Cultured Football #22
Using AI to transform football
Apologies for the late send but it felt wrong to talk about football in the midst of the Christian Eriksen incident. Sharing now that the news seems to be more positive.
It looks as if Jadon Sancho is (finally) on his way to Manchester United in what could be the first major transfer of the summer. Significantly, the fact that fees of £70 / 80 million are being spoken of once more is a sure sign that some semblance of normality is returning. Of course, we do not feature transfer rumours on Cultured Football and the timely nature of most Euro 2020 related articles make them hard for us to feature. Even so, I feel that there’s an excellent slate of articles for you to enjoy this week.
If, by any chance, I’ve missed any article you feel I should have picked up or you come across anything I should be including in the next issue, I would love it if you could reach out and let me know.
The burnt bridges, moments of class and quiet leadership of Antoine Griezmann
From an objective point of view, it was easy to understand why Antoine Griezmann forced a move to Barcelona in 2019. He was 28 at that point and, despite being seen as a phenomenal talent, had very little to show at club level apart from a Europa League and a Segunda Liga title. The move was meant to see him add domestic and continental titles, even if it came at the cost of a broken relationship with his previous club’s fans. And yet it hasn’t proven to be the success he had hoped for. So much that the national team has become a welcome escape for him. And yet, Griezmann remains a wonderful talent who exudes leadership.
A definitive ranking of every football song we could think of
Now that the season is over we can indulge in something a little bit lighter than usual and this is certainly it. Football songs – those issued specifically by football clubs or on the occasion of important finals – tend to be horrible. It is impressive, then, to see that someone has gone through them all to rank 100 to identify the least bad of them all.
PS – Pity that this article didn’t go beyond English shores because it missed the objectively great Grazie Roma by Antonello Venditti.
‘Messi surprised me. He enjoys a song, cards’
Expect to hear a lot of Rodrigo de Paul this summer. He has continued to build his reputation at Udinese and this looks like the summer where he will finally make the move to one of Europe’s big clubs. Before that happens, however, he could be making more of a name for himself in the Copa America as part of a revamped Argentina side.
Flags, flares and fights: Graeme Souness’ mad year in Turkey
“A mad dash with the flag held aloft ended in the centre circle of Fenerbahce’s hallowed turf, with Souness’ manic episode culminated in him spearing the flag not once, not twice, but three times into the ground. In what can only be described as the smartest thing he had done since touching down in Istanbul, Souness then headed down the tunnel in a flash.”
Using AI to transform football
Now that practically every top level club relies on statistics to guide its decisions, the more savvy ones are looking at ideas and technologies that could give them a new edge. AI could be just that technology and it will be interesting to see how it is implemented.
Last Week’s Most Read
The Guardian’s massive and incredibly detailed preview of Euro 2020 was last week’s most read and it I easy to see why. With more than 600 player profiles it is the single most detailed companion to refer to as the competition progressing. One to bookmark and keep on referring to.