Increasing offensive or defensive efficiency? An analysis of Italian and Spanish football
This paper analyses technical efficiency of Italian and Spanish football during three recent seasons, to shed light on the sport performance of professional football clubs. To achieve this we have used mathematical optimisation methods, particularly DEA models, which enable the calculation of the frontiers of efficient production. Some of the most interesting results are the following. Firstly, the Spanish league is clearly more homogeneous and competitive than the Italian league. Secondly, to obtain a better classification in the Italian league, it is much more important to improve defensive, rather than offensive, efficiency. The popular maxim holds in Italy: the best attack begins with a good defence. Third, in Spain our analysis supports the idea that to improve the ranking in the league, the best-rewarded strategy consists in improving offensive efficiency playing at home ground, followed by increasing offensive efficiency when playing away from home.
Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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