By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger is a fan of statistics but he admits his baseball knowledge is found wanting.

The two come together in Moneyball, a book by Michael Lewis that focuses on Oakland Athletics and their analytical, statistical approach to building a successful team under its general manager, Billy Beane.

A film based on Lewis' book starring Brad Pitt is released this week in the UK and it would seem to appeal to Wenger's love of numbers. He agrees, but he has a weaker grasp on the sport the movie portrays.

"I met Billy Beane but I am completely uncultured in baseball, it is very difficult for me to understand," said the Frenchman.

"I was a bit in touch with it in Japan, it is a big sport there. In Nagoya there was a team so I met the coach a few times.

“From what I have heard from Stan Kroenke, Billy Beane has done exceptionally well in baseball. He is obsessed by statistics.

“I like the numbers as well, because what is repeated is not a coincidence. If you think you have a good defence, if you are always conceding goals the numbers will tell you the truth. But what is more difficult is to number the performances.”

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25 Nov 2011