Duncan Alexander is the man behind OptaJoe, the enormously popular Twitter account and brand that has made its way into common footballing parlance with its incisive, stats-driven match commentary, delivered regularly, and not without wit, in 140 characters or less.

And whilst Twitter recently announced its controversial intention to double character limits from 140 characters to 280, Duncan has shown no fear of longer form content – so much so that, as he discusses in the latest episode of our Science of Football feature, he has produced a 350-page book dedicated to exploring the role of numbers in the beautiful game.

Outside The Box looks back at the narratives of football history and challenges them with statistics, delving into the archives at Opta and reproducing the results in an accessible and entertaining way. And we had the pleasure of sitting down with Alexander to talk about the book, and more, in the interview above.

Alexander gives valuable insight into the role of stats in the game today, the direction that that relationship might head in the future, and the extent to which the latest innovations in football will reach the public eye – as opposed to being kept under wraps alongside a manager’s most secret tactical plans.

 

Evolution Of Football: How Analytics Are Changing The Game

 

The Science Of Football