Sunday, June 13, 2021

Clement happy to embrace Moneyball at Swansea


tiamin rice

Swansea City’s new English head coach Paul Clement checks out the conditions ahead of the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Swansea City at Selhurst Park in south London on January 3, 2017.
Paul Clement became Premier League bottom side Swansea’s third manager this season when he was appointed on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Clement, whose only previous job as a manager was with second tier Derby, will attend Tuesday’s relegation clash with Crystal Palace but watch from the stands as first team coach Alan Curtis will take charge. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON /

Swansea’s new manager Paul Clement says he is willing to embrace the Moneyball influence of the club’s American owners when he looks for signings.

Clement was officially unveiled on Thursday after Swansea marked his appointment with a crucial 2-1 win at fellow strugglers Crystal Palace 48 hours earlier to move within a point of Premier League safety.

The 44-year-old has arrived with his own transfer targets in mind after choosing to swap life as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Bayern Munich for a Premier League relegation battle.

But Clement, who is Swansea’s third manager this season after the sackings of Bob Bradley and Francesco Guidolin, will have to work with the club’s analytics expert Dan Altman to ensure the new recruits provide value for money.

Swansea were taken over last summer by an American consortium fronted by Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien and they have hired former economics journalist Altman to provide statistical data about the value of players’ production in relation to their transfer fee.

So-called “Moneyball” is widely used in baseball, after being popularised by the Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, with major league teams basing many of their signings and in-game tactics on statistical analysis.

Clement says he is comfortable with using the input of New York-based Altman, even though the system isn’t widely used in football.

“I’m a believer statistical analysis should be part of the jigsaw puzzle that goes together to help recruit players and assess your own team,” Clement said.

“I have experience of this, I’ve travelled in the United States and visited a number of sports teams that use data.

“It is my belief it should be used as part of the due diligence process in deciding who should come to the club.

“But it’s just one part because you can’t take away the expertise of the scouting, calls to get information about a player’s character and their professionalism.

“We will be using data as part of the whole picture. Dan is someone hired by Steve and Jason, but he’s sent me through some information.

“He’s an intelligent man and an expert in the field.”

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