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Matt Benham spoke live at the Matchbook Traders Conference today – a conference exclusively for sports traders who want to take their trading career to the next level

When asked about Brentford and linking it to statistics – he admitted that things currently didn’t look good from the outside as they were 20th and had recently made a few mistakes which had hit them quite hard.

When questioned on the hiring of Marinus Dijkhuizen he told the audience that the club had done bags of research and zoomed in on the manager they felt the wanted to hire. They pulled in all the necessary references. But he also admitted that the club had also received one bad reference.

This reference they ignored – a fatal mistake – as they were so sure that Dijkhuizen was their man.

He went on to describe his relationship with the media – and his disappointment in the press completely mis-interpreting his, and Brentford’s, use of stats.

He said that he always stated that the club would use a combination of statistical analysis AND human eye (traditional scouting methods) to identify and sign new players. However, the press sensationalised that statement to imply that Brentford’s only way of scouting new players was through statistical analysis.

Benham also went on to speak about how unlucky he felt Brentford had been this season with injuries and compared it to his Danish team FC Mitjylland who won the Danish League last season and recently knocked Southampton out of the Europe League – but had been riding on a large slice of luck.

“Ronald Koeman said the best team had lost over the two matches. he was probably right”

He went on to talk about his global league table – a model which matches the relevant strength of teams in certain countries against teams in other countries. When he signed Tim Sparv from a mid-table 2nd Division team in Germany – it was not that difficult a decision as the team he came from was stronger than most of the teams in the Danish Premier League.

Benham also discussed how certain factors may not be covered by straight stats. . How a player may be playing for strong team in one league  but may find it harder to adapt to a team in say the Championship

He also talked about how it is human nature to jump to conclusions about a player or a situation. Often based on pre-existing prejudices.

“When watching a player play, the ball comes to him and he doesn’t manage to control the ball .. and immediately you think he is shit”

You can watch the full Periscope Video Broadcast of Matthew Benham’s talk at Matchbook Traders Conference right here.

You can also read Sean Ingle’s article on Benham’s speech from the same conference which came out the day after this article was written in The Guardian right here

Beesotted crew discuss the Matt Benham Traders interview in the Rotherham pre-match podcast