The Truth About Tackles

As a Liverpool fan, I get caught up in lots of online debate about whether Lucas Leiva is a good defensive midfielder or not.

This post is not my attempt to answer that question, but rather a look at what constitutes a tackle won or a tackle lost, because this is one aspect of the Lucas debate that regularly gets brought up, as he attempts more tackles than any other player in the Premier League.

In my opinion people who use the figures don’t always understand what they actually mean in terms of football statistics (and I’ll happily admit I have been guilty of this myself in the past), so I think it’s important to try to clear it up from a general football analytics point of view; this post raises further questions, so certainly shouldn’t be viewed as definitive.

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