“The Numbers Game,” by Chris Anderson and David Sally
This summer, World Cup fans around the world tuned into the tournament to discover just how data-driven soccer has become over the last four years. But the most astute fans learned about the role of data in the sport in summer 2013, with the release of Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer is Wrong. The book is an introduction to soccer analytics for a general audience and it uses data to tackle a variety of deeply-held fan theories about the best way to play the game, from the importance of corner kicks to the most effective kind of throw-ins. Written by former professional goalkeeper Chris Anderson and behavioral game theorist David Sally, Numbers Game answers many questions about the sport while making the reader wonder what other insights might still be hiding in player statistics.