For the longest time, statistics in football were heavily skewed towards end product. Goals and assists were the only tangibles available to the regular viewer of football. Over the past few years, however, the statistical landscape within football has undergone a revolution. Companies such as Opta, Statsbomb and Wyscout have led the charge in this regard, utilising events data to create advanced metrics that shine a light on aspects of the game that are easy to miss otherwise. Metrics such as xG, xA, key passes, etc have as a consequence become a part of common football discourse and occupy an important space in player analysis.

With the availability of these metrics, analysts have attempted to find ways to reward deeper players for their contributions to earlier parts of play. Enter xGBuildup; as the name suggests, this metric rewards players by tracing xG back to the first link in that chain of possession and dividing the end xG value equitably. In other words, xGBuildup is the total xG a player is involved in minus shots and key passes. Sounds confusing? Well, just a minute. When put into action, the metric begins to make a lot more sense. “Contextualise”, as they say. Continue reading

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