Listen free for 30 days

  • Expected Goals

  • The Story of How Data Conquered Football and Changed the Game Forever
  • By: Rory Smith
  • Narrated by: Simon Darwen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
Expected Goals cover art

Expected Goals

By: Rory Smith
Narrated by: Simon Darwen
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £13.00

Buy Now for £13.00

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Listeners also enjoyed...

Intensity cover art
The World's Biggest Cash Machine cover art
Revolution cover art
The Price of Football, Second Edition cover art
Net Gains cover art
Boot Sale cover art
Unfit and Improper Persons cover art
Pep Guardiola cover art
The Wow Factor cover art
Done Deal cover art
The Rare Find cover art
All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain's Political Class cover art
How to Be a Football Manager cover art
Too Much Information cover art
A Newborn Business cover art
Soccer Analytics cover art

Summary

Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2022

Football has always measured success by what you win, but only in the last twenty years have clubs started to think about how you win. Data has now suffused almost every aspect of how football is played, coached, scouted and consumed. But it’s not the algorithms or new metrics that have made this change, it’s the people behind them.

This is the story of modern football’s great data revolution and the group of curious, entrepreneurial personalities who zealously believed in its potential to transform the game. Central to this cast is Chris Anderson, an academic with no experience in football, who saw data as an opportunity to fundamentally change a sport that did not think it could be changed. His aim: to infiltrate the strange, insular world of professional football by establishing a club whose entire DNA could be built around data.

Expected Goals charts his remarkable journey into the heart of the modern game and reveals how clubs across the world, from Liverpool to Leipzig and Brentford to Bayern Munich, began to see how data could help them unearth new players, define radical tactics and plot their path to glory.

©2022 Rory Smith (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Featured article: Best football audiobooks


Whether you belong to a football club, are a Premier League fan, or simply just interested in learning more about the football world, our list of the best football audiobooks captures what draws so many people to makes ‘the beautiful game’. Here’s our list of the best football audiobooks to hit play on, brought to you by your favourite sportswriters and international football superstars....

More from the same

What listeners say about Expected Goals

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    64
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    57
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Expected brilliance

Fascinating listen. Just as I’d expect from Rory. So knowledgeable, insightful. A brilliant book for true football fans

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Really Interesting Insight

Really fascinating insight into some of the characters involved in the story of data in football. I really enjoyed how each chapter had its own story while the thread of the story of Chris Andersen ran through the whole book. I do feel like, as is the case in all the other football/data books I've read (all referenced in this book), data claims some victories that can be attributed to other factors somewhat. It comes to the conclusion that we're still some way away from the full impact data can have on the game, which I suspect will be proven correct.

I also really enjoyed the narration.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really interesting

A really interesting account of the people behind the data revolution. Really recommend it.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyable

This isn't a deep dive into technical metrics but it's a really well written story about how data in football got to this point. Great book, definitely recommended.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really interesting

If you are interested in football this is well worth a listen. I would highly recommend it.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating listen

Great book. Well read and really interesting. You don’t have to love football to listen. But it will help.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, really enjoyed it

I really enjoyed this despite a slightly flat section partway through. Mostly though, well narrated and very interesting. There were no shortage of 'Oh really?' moments.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Maths and Football

If you like technical and statistical side of Football, you will really enjoy this book.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting and informative

A cold, complex and often dull subject given life by the stories of real people struggling to be heard making huge changes to the game we know and love.

Glad I listened to it.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Only scratches the surface

The author has done a lot of research, but is hampered by the fact that the big clubs and bookmakers hold their valuable data secrets closely.
There are a few tantalising snippets about how specific clubs use data, but it never goes deep enough to be satisfying and much of the book ends up being a series of potted biographies of characters whose significance is hard to determine.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!