I read a quote from a statistician recently which suggested that defending is more difficult to quantify than attacking and that only twenty percent of statistics in sports relate to defending. I beg to differ. On the contrary, in terms of how you can remedy problems and predict future outcomes, I'd say that defensive statistics should account for a majority.
A statistics program which I'll have on the market by the end of October will have subtler scientific elements which should allow the Homer Simpsons of this world to quantify who their best defenders are, but in the meantime, we can stick with old(ish) school methods and simply go back over every score conceded with a fine tooth comb and see which defender was culpable (something I think all serious managers should always do).
In my initial post-match article on Sunday's All-Ireland final clash between Dublin and Mayo, amongst other things, I had noted that Dublin had conceded six points and Mayo 1-3 needlessly and unnecessarily. Or as I call them, they had conceded "Grade 3 Concessions".
View full article over at Grassroots GAA: http://www.grassroots-gaa.com/dublin-mayo-pictorial/