I read Michael Lewis’ Moneyball 13 years ago. It was an exploration of key metrics missed by most of baseball and exploited by the then Oakland Athletics general manager, Billy Beane. The lesson from the book was that while each sport has a standard set of metrics the vast majority of coaches and execs follow, if you want to over-achieve against richer opponents, you need to find different, better, metrics.
Adopt the same operational rules as everyone else and over any period, you will punch your weight, not more and no less. Oakland (the A’s) understood this and chose a path less worn. They sold their most saleable assets and bought better players from the unfashionable counter. Some with awkward gaits, overweight or for various reasons just didn’t look right to the rest of elite baseball.
If Billy Beane was working in football today he would sign Leigh Girffiths in a heartbeat. Read his recent rap sheet, he is the most Moneyball player on the planet. The new manager is likely to take a look at the headlines and shrug, which is a pity.