Ian Graham, Liverpool stats analyst, discusses his role and how they came to buy Andy Robertson.
.If the last two seasons haven’t made you get down on your knees and thank Fowler for Andy Robertson, then you must not be a Liverpool fan. The Scotsman came to Liverpool at a time when they were desperate for a reliable left-back, and he quickly made the position his own, becoming arguably one of the best in his position in all of England.
The best part about it, though, was that Liverpool nabbed him from Hull City for only £8million.
Ian Graham, a data analyst hired by sporting director Michael Edwards in 2012, recently did an interview with Freakonomics Radio where he talked about his pride in using the stats to find the diamond in the rough in Andy Robertson.
“My role is the data analysis of analysing football, which is the newer side and the sorts of players that I really like are players who shine through in the data but don’t naturally shine through for your typical football fan or your typical scout.
”It’s the sort of awkward or ungainly looking players who have sort of been overlooked. One of my favourite players is Andy Robertson, our left-back, one of the best left-backs in Europe and now European champion, of course.
“Andy’s problem was his background as much as anything. He only started playing Premier League football at around the age of 22. He played for Hull City, which is not a very good football team.
”They got relegated from the Premier League and Andy was the best young full-back in Britain, at the time. He was in the strange situation of being a really great attacking full-back playing in a really poor defensive team.”
Robertson is one of those hard working and multi-talented players who seem, in retrospect, tailor-made for a Jurgen Klopp side, and his fairy tale rise to the top is the stuff of Liverpool legend at this point. It’s fascinating to hear a bit about how that monumental decision got made behind the scenes.