Stop taking credit for other people’s work and ideas, Harry Redknapp.
That seems to be the gist of former Tottenham Hostpur director of football Damien Comolli‘s recent comments regarding the current Queens Park Rangers boss, Real Madrid star Gareth Bale and the use of very helpful statistical data nearly 10 years ago.
According to Comolli, Bale’s breakout seasons from 2009 to 2013, in which he transformed from a floundering left back whose side failed to win a single game in his first 24 Premier League appearances, to the most expensive player ever sold, had less to do with Redknapp’s famous “Just run around a bit” “tactics,” and more to do with the use of statistical data.
In fact, it was the statistical experts at Spurs who suggested moving Bale forward into a more advanced, attacking position in 2009, a time where Redknapp was actually looking to offload the Welsh superstar-to-be for a fraction of the £7 million pounds they had paid in 2007.
“I’ve got to say, I’ve been working with data since 2005 or 2006 in terms of recruitment,” said Comolli. “We did it at Spurs. We used data in terms of team selection.
“Spurs actually told Harry Redknapp where to play Gareth Bale, because he wanted to get rid of him. Data was showing Bale would be an outstanding left winger when they were playing him at left-back [because of his running and skill].”
It’s no secret that everyday statistics are becoming a more prevalent and more important part of the modern game. But to hear Comolli tell it, the numbers saved Spurs from making an £80-million pound — let alone all the goals and glory Bale brought the club — mistake.