The end of chalkboards

The Guardian’s chalkboards have been really useful to this site. We spend a lot of time trying to understand the game, understand why things have happened, and the chalkboards always helped us to do this.

Over time you learned to look for different things: how high up the pitch were the two teams’ full-backs getting? Which attacking players were getting in and around the box? Where are the midfielders playing, and how are they doing at keeping possession?

A few flicks through the chalkboards after a game could give you a sense of what had happened out there. And now they’re gone, the Guardian’s contract with Opta being up and not renewed. I am sure that similar tools are available elsewhere, but in these cost-cutting times I’m not sure that this’ll be the case for much longer. The Telegraph site, which also used to be handy for further analysis, seem to have stopped their detailed stuff after Norwich, too. ESPN does the heatmap thing but I don’t know how useful that is.

So… bummer, really.

12 thoughts on “The end of chalkboards

  1. Aw crap, and here I just went and registered on the Guardian’s website because I wanted to look at the chalkboards from the Arsenal match.

  2. I noticed that a few weeks ago when the embedding functionality stopped. Plus, the link disappeared from the Guardian’s navigation header.

    Oh well. Guess this means I’m fired.

  3. Very annoyed about this. Love reading chalkboard analysis – adds a whole new element to following this wonderful sport.

    Rich, might be worth getting in touch with our press girl Sarah Brookes and seeing if she can have a word with her friends in the press about where we might be able to find these tools in the future…

    1. I’d wager that FFC pay a considerable sum for Chalkboard-like data. Don’t they’ll let the fans have it though!

      1. yea but she may know people at other press companies who could may subscribe to some something similar…i dunno. Something a fan could access – even if for a small fee. There is just no proper analysis of football games anymore – just crappy “x had a good game, y didn’t. X should have been carded, y shouldn’t have been sent off.” Its dull – I liked looking at stuff like the chalkboards and making my own conclusions on games.

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