20 December 2023

AI will help managers decide on tactics and team selections in future – expert

20 December 2023

Artificial intelligence will be used to power a club’s tactics and team selection in the future, a leading expert in the field believes.

AI and the use of machine-powered learning is becoming more prominent in the game and is the next step in using data which has served the likes of Brighton and Brentford so well in recent years.

With more high-quality data available and advanced metrics, AI will be able to recommend tactics, which players to play in which game, when to make substitutions and who to buy in the transfer window.

And Aldo Comi, chief executive of leading global football analytics provider Soccerment, reckons we could see the implementation of some unusual tactics.

“Eventually, it will be able to do things like that. This is one of the most interesting aspects of the advent of AI in football,” he told the PA news agency.

“We saw in chess how AI invented some strange strategies which were difficult to accept by humans. They were counter-intuitive but ultimately they were right.

“At some point you will have managers listening to their assistants who listen to AI. The AI will come up with some strange solutions from a tactical point of view.

“Like for instance going 2-4-4 instead of 4-4-2. AI will provide very counter-intuitive solutions and strategies, but the outcome will be the same as in chess.

The AI will come up with some strange solutions from a tactical point of view. Like for instance going 2-4-4 instead of 4-4-2

“I envisage a future where AI will support managers. It is difficult to see a future where there are no coaches. I hope that does not happen.

“To have a future where you have no coaches and just AI taking care of the tactical part would be too weird.”

While the use of data and AI is currently primarily used to analyse what has happened, Soccerment has designed an app called AIDA, which encompasses GPT4 and is a mobile AI data analyst, allowing players, coaches, fans and media uncover analysis and data analytics within minutes.

Comi added: “It was built to become your personal data analyst. Soon enough it will be able to get into more predictive stuff.

“That is the final aim, to give professional clubs to ask AI to suggest the structure of the team for the next game, how the players complement each other, which player should they choose in the next transfer market and why.

“It will be like having a human data analyst, but in this case you will just have it in your pocket.”

Another use of AI is the advent of wearable technology and Soccerment has developed a shin pad that will be able to track a player’s XG and other data in real time.

Comi added: “The shin pads track the technical part of the game, not only the athletic. We see how many passes, where on the pitch you make them, how many shots, the expected goals. It is the only wearable technology able to provide XG. That is the main advantage.

“The data comes through an AI model, which understands the technical events from a biomechanical point of view so it understands if you are doing a shot, cross or pass.

“From all of the data, the location on the pitch, the biomechanics, we are able to determine XG.”

:: To find out more about Soccerment and the launch of XSEED shinguards visit https://shop.soccerment.com/

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