Speaking on Redmen TV, Goal journalist Neil Jones has been discussing Ian Graham after it was reported that he will be leaving Liverpool.
Graham is the Director of Research at Anfield, and while not all that much is known about this role, he’s a key figure on Merseyside.
Indeed, Graham has been at the heart of the Reds’ statistical revolution in recent years, and Jones has shared just how brilliant the data guru is.
Jones says that Graham is so highly-regarded within analytical circles, stating that his team has been compared to NASA due to the amount of knowledge and work they put into football stats.
Graham is vital
Jones spoke about Graham and his departure.
“That’s an interesting one. He’s the analytics side of it, and I know how highly-regarded he is in the analytics community and you’ll see some of that reaction on social media.
“His team, it was described to me as NASA. That type of knowledge and the levels they operate at. The details they go into. The biggest challenge in football and the misconception at Liverpool is combining the eye test with the numbers test.
“There have been people, and I remember the Michael Edwards hit piece years ago calling him a laptop guru, but Liverpool have done it better than most clubs getting the balance between analytics and relationships with agents, sporting directors and finding the players. But the numbers are a big part of that.”
Hard to replace
It’s going to be tough to replace someone like Graham.
Using data is easy, but using it effectively is an incredibly tough task and it’s one that so many teams get wrong.
Liverpool with Graham have been bang on the money time and time again with their recruitment, but now, their transfer policy is seemingly up in the air and it’s unclear who steps into these shoes.
The Reds may struggle to replace Graham.