Google Cloud Helps England Manager Gareth Southgate Choose Euro Team

Gareth Southgate, England Manager at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Michael Regan-FA | FA Collection | Getty Images

London — England’s manager Gareth Southgate, with Europe’s largest national football tournament imminent, is looking closely at the most promising players.

One of his key tools is the Player Performance Software developed by the Football Association, the governing body of the British Association Football. Google cloud.

“Thankfully, it’s easy to use,” the 50-year-old manager told CNBC in an exclusive interview.

The platform aims to bring different data sources together in one place so that managers can track player performance.

“Every weekend there are players in the Premier League … Bundesliga, Riga,” Southgate said. “We need to have access to that footage as soon as possible, and we also need to have access to all the data we can get from those matches.”

This includes thousands of video clips, from completed passes and shots at the target to accepted fouls and covered distances, including data from sports analytics firm Opta, recruitment platform Scout7, and even the BBC. And statistics are included.

“When I was playing, it really was about how far you ran,” said former Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, and England players. “The coach used it on Monday morning to make you a beast. They found this strange correlation that you won if you ran further. It wasn’t a very good use of the data. “

According to Southgate, managers are currently looking at key indicators for each position.

“Do we really clarify what we are looking for in each position? What is the role in that position? It maps how players play in the club. Do they have players who play in the same position, but they play in a different style, how is it mapped to the way we want to play? “

“We’re always trying to stitch this jigsaw puzzle together because it doesn’t take weeks or weeks to coach the team. They need to come in front of the euro and get as close as possible to the finished product. Our team will be competing in the European finals. The full team training pitch may only be 8 or 9 days. “

Southgate is under pressure from fans to get results from the England team in Euro, which will be held in Rome on Friday, June 11th and will end at Wembley Arena in London on Sunday, July 11th.

England has never won a tournament. The team made the last four in Italy in 1968 and did it again at home when they lost to Germany in a penalty shootout in 1996.

Data and privacy

The data collected about English players goes far beyond performance on the pitch and training grounds. They also monitor sleep and mental health, the latter being tracked through health questionnaires.

“Obviously, you need permission to get some of that data,” Southgate said. “Sleep patterns are a really good example. It’s always a player’s choice.”

He added: “Sleep is one of the key indicators of recovery, and in tournament situations recovery is one of the key physical areas we can hit.”

But not everything is tracked. For example, players are not obliged to share exactly what they eat. This means that players can theoretically eat a McDonald’s Big Mac meal before the tournament if they really want to. “If we were measuring it, I’m sure they were worried about it and I’m not sure if we could know the truth,” Southgate said.

Southgate’s player performance platform also includes data recorded on an internet-connected gym machine at the team’s training ground in St. George’s Park near Birmingham.

As a result, Southgate can see Everton’s forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Chelsea’s midfielder Mason Mount doing bench presses, as well as Manchester City’s John Stones spending time on aerobikes.

Digital database of player performance

Southgate said his predecessor, who couldn’t take advantage of the same technology, had to find a former coach to talk to or rely on anecdotal evidence.

“I had no memory of what happened in the past, what made success, what reduced failure,” he said.

Today, Southgate admitted that rival club managers would use similar software.

Asked if the UK player performance software is better than the ones used by France, Germany and others, he said: Other countries are also on the cutting edge. “

He added: “We can only improve what we offer and bring the system to the highest level possible for all staff. Ultimately, summing all these small benefits will improve performance. Chance to win. I think you should always be careful to say that you are the best in the world. “

Relationship between FA and Google Cloud

FA Chief Information Officer Craig Donald told CNBC on the same phone that the Google Cloud-powered platform “hopefully allows them to thrive and win” to Southgate and other England coaches. He said it would provide “new insights.”

FA and Google Cloud declined to comment on the financial details of the deal.

Donald acknowledged the existence of other cloud computing providers — Amazon Web service, Microsoft With Azure IBM Cloud—and FA said it relies on some of them for a variety of products.

He praised Google Cloud as an “open standard” and flexible. “They turned out to be a really big selling point because they allow us to effectively collaborate and integrate with other clouds,” Donald said.

According to Donald, England’s player performance platform was built by a small team of FA developers in collaboration with Google Cloud and other companies.

“Google is the people who help us understand the true power of the pure abilities of what they have, and we work with our partners and our team to gather all that knowledge. I will try to build a solution. ” Donald.

Google Cloud Helps England Manager Gareth Southgate Choose Euro Team

Source link Google Cloud Helps England Manager Gareth Southgate Choose Euro Team

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