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Euro 2012 Soccer Stats Zone: app of the day
What is it?
A stat-heavy iPhone app for this month's Euro 2012 football tournament - the result of a partnership between footy magazine FourFourTwo and stats tracker Opta.
The depth which you can dig into individual games and player performances is startling: the app puts the kind of data professional commentators and pundits have into the palm of your hand.
iPhone - free
Football has always had a big statistical element, but it's been beefed up in recent years. The rise of fantasy football is part of the reason, as is broadcasters taking inspiration from the way American sports are televised. But companies like Prozone and Opta have played their part too.
By tracking what players do in matches down to every tackle, pass and shot, these companies provide a wealth of data on how games are won and lost. In Opta's case, it then finds its way into the media.
The company has worked with magazine FourFourTwo on an app before, for the Premier League. This is its spin-off Euro 2012 version, and if you're a proud and unashamed Statto, you'll love it.
The app lets you dig into every match in Euro 2012, serving up stats on passes, tackles, shots, fouls, assists and anguished temple-clutches as England go out on penalties to the first good team they meet in the knockout stages. Well, all but one of those.
You can compare players and teams to one another, as well as figuring out the impact of big moments in matches (goals, but also sendings off). And whatever nuggets you find, you can share on Facebook and Twitter, or by email with friends.
The app's publisher Haymarket suggests it's ideal for creating "the perfect fantasy football team", armed with the data but also team and player profiles.
That may be true (although it's a bit late now to be setting your team up), but it's also perfect for answering burning questions. Is player X as wasteful in possession as you think? Just how dirty is player Y? And can player Z hit a barn door when standing next to a barn door with a big hitty thing? The answers will be here.
Euro 2012 Soccer Stats is a well designed app too. It would be easy for such a stat-heavy app to feel cluttered and complex, but finding your way around the data isn't a headache. The visuals showing players' in-game performance work well too: it's not just numbers.
I suspect a lot of people will be boring the bejaysus out of their friends with this app before and after matches, as well as during half-times. The perfect app for settling pub arguments, although it may well start a few too.