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Data crunching keeps England ahead of the game, AI to unearth new gems

LONDON : England manager Gareth Southgate is tapping into the data-crunching power of new technology as he prepares his squad for the Euro 2024 tournament that begins in Germany next month.

Southgate's side will be one of the favourites as they bid to surpass Euro 2020 when they lost to Italy in the final.

The Football Association's partnership with Google Cloud is helping give Southgate key insights into his squad as he finalises his plans.

And to ensure future Harry Kanes, Phil Fodens and Jude Bellinghams do not slip through the net, the FA is working with Google Cloud on a developing a Scouting Summarisations project using generative AI technology.

While Southgate, who also led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, still travels the country watching players up close, the Player Profiling System means he has a powerful tool at his disposal.

"We use technology and data more around selection of players," Southgate told Reuters. "Helping to inform our decisions. We obviously watch every player in every match that they play with their club.

"Then we get data on those performances that help us to make assessments on those players against certain opponents, and what some of the trends are for our team."

Southgate says data analysis helps recognise areas of the team that can be improved.

"Let's say we're not scoring as many goals from set plays as we might be. We're breaking down actually 'Why is that?' and reviewing individual matches," he said.

"But then if you've got the data collected over 10 or 15 matches, you start to see patterns. Has the delivery of the set play been correct? Have the runs been correct? Have the contact of the headers been correct?"


While there is no substitute for good coaching, Southgate