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[FM22] Statman and Robins


Shrewnaldo
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1 minute ago, Shrewnaldo said:

And with the WB on the opposite flank holding the width, and my regista having the "switches ball to flanks" trait, I'm looking to get something like Pep's old trick at Bayern with Douglas Costa isolated against a fullback for a quick switch. Not working out all that well so far

I’m achieving numerical advantages in other ways but it’s still so fun.

My WP(s) on the left is a natural ball magnet and he and the Mez(a) create a numerical overload that is hit by aggressive defenders and no play out of defence TI. They can either overload there or, when I play Romanov there, use the Switch Ball trait to exploit spaces elsewhere due to the fact we’ve drawn players in. So we create the overload to draw them in rather than to exploit that area. Certainly a new tactical aspect for me and I love it! 

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Just now, _Ben_ said:

I’m achieving numerical advantages in other ways but it’s still so fun.

My WP(s) on the left is a natural ball magnet and he and the Mez(a) create a numerical overload that is hit by aggressive defenders and no play out of defence TI. They can either overload there or, when I play Romanov there, use the Switch Ball trait to exploit spaces elsewhere due to the fact we’ve drawn players in. So we create the overload to draw them in rather than to exploit that area. Certainly a new tactical aspect for me and I love it! 

That sounds ideal. Have you stuck any PIs on the WP? Maybe more direct passing? 

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1 hour ago, Shrewnaldo said:

That sounds ideal. Have you stuck any PIs on the WP? Maybe more direct passing? 

Nope. Sobirjonov has some traits (not got the game open right now) but can’t remember them! I don’t have a backup for him so was playing around with my DM there who has that trait and it created some lovely opportunities for us to use space. That’s certainly a big part of my tactical ideology - which is why I’ve always ran with at least one Mezzala. 

EDIT:

Here you go:

e524b798d2250832c389016e0f54d120.png

In my opinion, the perfect traits for a playmaker. I didn't teach him any of these, which is even more surprising as I don't know whether he starts the game with them.

Edited by _Ben_
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2 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

Nope. Sobirjonov has some traits (not got the game open right now) but can’t remember them! I don’t have a backup for him so was playing around with my DM there who has that trait and it created some lovely opportunities for us to use space. That’s certainly a big part of my tactical ideology - which is why I’ve always ran with at least one Mezzala. 

EDIT:

Here you go:

e524b798d2250832c389016e0f54d120.png

In my opinion, the perfect traits for a playmaker. I didn't teach him any of these, which is even more surprising as I don't know whether he starts the game with them.

Yup, pretty much perfect. Reckon he's Premier League quality? I could do with exactly those traits for my creative 6

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2 minutes ago, Shrewnaldo said:

Yup, pretty much perfect. Reckon he's Premier League quality? I could do with exactly those traits for my creative 6

Maybe not any more:

f0adc189fdd88ff0aab1157c712314eb.png

He's a real player - came from Paxtakor in Uzbekistan for just £4k to Torpedo Moscow. Depending on the size of your database, you might be able to find him? Also, no idea how randomly generated he is...

 

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Replacing Smalling

Chris Smalling has been absolutely brilliant for us. Arriving in January 2023, he was pivotal in our improved defence and a vital component in our survival. Into his second season at Ashton Gate, he's continued his outstanding form - not only performing on the pitch but, with his Model Citizen personality, providing the ultimate role model for the less influential members of the squad.

image.png.2122eb921e3ef7f39774395d328fbf7d.png

Sadly, the former ManU man is 34, very much in the autumn of his career and in need of replacement. Our other centre backs are capable, for sure, but not of Smalling's quality. Whilst Greiml in particular will continue developing, it isn't immediately apparent that this will be to Smalling's level and so a replacement will need to come externally.

image.thumb.png.b240a403aa019579d6c75db23fcddd89.png

These are all the centre backs in the squad currently (noting that we have no u23 or u18s), although Vyner is really the back-up right-back and hasn't played a minute as a centre half this season. Smalling's aerial ability is clear for all to see - not just in his header success ratio, but also in the Key Headers metric - in which he far exceeds our other centre halves. It isn't entirely clear to me what the game defines as a Key Header, but having watched a few back through the analytics, it seems to be as crudely defined as 'any defensive header within the 6 yard box'.

Alongside that aerial prowess, he's got solid tackling success ratio and gives away comparatively few fouls in comparison to his team-mates.

So in order to find a replacement, I'll be keeping a keen eye on all these statistics:

  • header success ratio ~90%
  • key headers ~1.2 a game
  • tackle success ratio >75%
  • fouls conceded <0.33 per 90
  • preferably an experienced player, 28+

I also wanted to experiment with the scouting options within the game and have asked one of my scouts to take 2 months specifically to find a replacement for Smalling. So far he has come up blank.

Luckily, we're building up quite the database of options now, and a trawl through our shortlist funnel has given me a number of options to explore further. From January, then, our scouts have been sent to watch ~20 centre halves from across the world and I've "been to see" about 10 myself in various matches. For these, I now tend to "go see the match" but leave instantly and then review the analytics for key events, then select a random 5 minutes or so to watch in full.

A number of options have fallen at these hurdles - standout names being James Tarkowski (poor aerial stats), Jamaal Lascelles (poor tackling stats) and Leo Østigård (Preston, poor tackling, fouls way too much and Dives into Tackles trait). But now we're left with 7 potential players:

image.thumb.png.1df03929517314222295efe4c4454c9e.png

 

The above is shown with a custom view for my Top Targets shortlist which includes all of the viewable key statistics for centre halves, plus their scout results. I also decided to add their Team Conceded per 90 and Points per Game statistics as this gives an indication as to whether they are currently playing for a club who defends a lot, or one who tends to dominate. In the case of the latter, then some of my statistical pre-requisites can be relaxed somewhat. For example, Lovato is at Atalanta who are smashing Serie A this season and raking in 2.36 points per game. A quick look at the Serie A stats also lets me know that Atalanta keep 55% possession on average. All of which means it makes sense that his Key Headers stat is likely to be lower than Rouault or Taylor, both of whom are going to have spent an awful lot more time in their own 6-yard box than Lovato.

There are pros and cons for each player, not least that only Komar comes anywhere close to my preference for an experienced player but, having added in the All Time Appearances column, you can see that all but one of them has played 100 first team games. Not quite Smalling's 338 but, you know, not bad.

So I thought it might be interesting to open this up to the floor. Do you have any preference for which one, or perhaps two, I should try to sign? Any obvious standouts from the statistics? I have my own preferences but, again conscious of my own bias, I'm interested to see what others might think.

 

@_Ben_ - sadly Sobirjonov is not in my game

 

Edited by Shrewnaldo
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1 minute ago, acidmonkey said:

Collins hands down for me he can be epic 🙂

I think if he was cheaper then I'd be all over that. But £30-44m will likely mean committing our entire budget on him and I need a creative 6 and probably another 10. Maybe a structured deal but could be tough.

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6 minutes ago, Shrewnaldo said:

image.thumb.png.1df03929517314222295efe4c4454c9e.png

In my opinion:

Collins:

- Lots of tackles and yes, most successful but we know Burnley's game. Good interceptions so suggests he may be more intelligent than the rest. Does not merit that price tag though.

Todibo:

-  Not as successful in the tackle but does he make up for it with great interceptions? I'd want an eye test to prove that. However, cannot justify that wage (although I know you're in the Premier League)

Komar:

- Weaker league but there's not a lot I'm concerned about there. Much older so would want to see dynamics and career experience to date before I pulled the trigger.

Taylor:

- Playing in a terrible team which means under the cosh and probably less opportunity for interceptions as they'd occur more in transition rather than crowded penalty areas. My concern around quality would be that he's not the star player in the weakest team.

Roualt:

- I see nothing that stands out as terrible or amazing. Third highest price tag though and also I'd assume the bid is from elsewhere so you'd probably have to pay over the odds?

Holmes:

- A little bit rash in the tackle, giving away more fouls /90 than anyone else (if my quick maths is correct) but actually is pretty consistent across the board and important player. However, from a weaker league. I'd want to see where Reading were in the Championship before I jumped there.

Lovato:

- Stat wise, doesn't do it for me. Lowest but one on interceptions but not making up for that with tackle wins. Part of a good defence though, so I'd want to look to see how his compatriots are playing to decide the size of the role he's playing. Also, given that he's in the first team of a big club with stats like that - is he there for anything else? e.g. is he good at bringing the ball or out or linking play? I'd like him more if so!

---

If I had to pick? Komar. Why? I love a player who's gone under the radar a bit elsewhere (why else would he be in Argentina at 27?) and one who could be that little diamond in the rough.

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1 hour ago, _Ben_ said:

In my opinion:

Collins:

- Lots of tackles and yes, most successful but we know Burnley's game. Good interceptions so suggests he may be more intelligent than the rest. Does not merit that price tag though.

Todibo:

-  Not as successful in the tackle but does he make up for it with great interceptions? I'd want an eye test to prove that. However, cannot justify that wage (although I know you're in the Premier League)

Komar:

- Weaker league but there's not a lot I'm concerned about there. Much older so would want to see dynamics and career experience to date before I pulled the trigger.

Taylor:

- Playing in a terrible team which means under the cosh and probably less opportunity for interceptions as they'd occur more in transition rather than crowded penalty areas. My concern around quality would be that he's not the star player in the weakest team.

Roualt:

- I see nothing that stands out as terrible or amazing. Third highest price tag though and also I'd assume the bid is from elsewhere so you'd probably have to pay over the odds?

Holmes:

- A little bit rash in the tackle, giving away more fouls /90 than anyone else (if my quick maths is correct) but actually is pretty consistent across the board and important player. However, from a weaker league. I'd want to see where Reading were in the Championship before I jumped there.

Lovato:

- Stat wise, doesn't do it for me. Lowest but one on interceptions but not making up for that with tackle wins. Part of a good defence though, so I'd want to look to see how his compatriots are playing to decide the size of the role he's playing. Also, given that he's in the first team of a big club with stats like that - is he there for anything else? e.g. is he good at bringing the ball or out or linking play? I'd like him more if so!

---

If I had to pick? Komar. Why? I love a player who's gone under the radar a bit elsewhere (why else would he be in Argentina at 27?) and one who could be that little diamond in the rough.

Loving it. Chimes with a lot of my thoughts, although I am more of a fan of Rouault than you are. I almost bought him last year when he was relegated with Dijon. Two relegations in two seasons isn't ideal but his stats in the Premier League have proven he can make it at this level. The bid was from me - looking to activate his relegation release clause and testing to see if he'd accept a squad player contract, which he would. I pulled out, though, as I don't want to commit and, the big downside with him, I've already had him in a long-term save - being a Toulouse graduate. He was phenomenal for me last year but I try to avoid just using the same players.

And with Komar, I am very much onboard but for one crucial weakness that you couldn't know about. His Acceleration attribute is only 'silver' for me, which could be a problem in the Prem. But given the success of Batalla, another player signed from Argentina on the basis of stats, I'm tempted to bring in Komar and one other, potentially Taylor who, whilst only listed as a Squad Player, has started 30 games in the Prem and done well despite Stoke being generally awful.

 

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Some purely anecdotal thoughts in stark contrast to the quant theme of the save, and mostly a selfish wish to see how Juan Cruz Komar would fair in the Premier League.

He’s not your typical footballer who takes lavish trips to Dubai during the off season. He’s well known for standing up for human rights issues, taking trips to Palestine, and encouraging his dressing room to talk about societal and political topics such as feminism.

I’m unsure how his social conscience translates into FM. Perhaps in higher mental and leadership attributes, although not necessarily in professionalism as I think he’s currently embroiled in a spat to force a move to his boyhood club, Rosario.

Personally I would be surprised if he has the physical attributes to cope with the English game, especially due to the lack of pace against elite strikers, but the romanticist in me hopes you to take the risk.

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10 minutes ago, wpmk said:

Some purely anecdotal thoughts in stark contrast to the quant theme of the save, and mostly a selfish wish to see how Juan Cruz Komar would fair in the Premier League.

He’s not your typical footballer who takes lavish trips to Dubai during the off season. He’s well known for standing up for human rights issues, taking trips to Palestine, and encouraging his dressing room to talk about societal and political topics such as feminism.

I’m unsure how his social conscience translates into FM. Perhaps in higher mental and leadership attributes, although not necessarily in professionalism as I think he’s currently embroiled in a spat to force a move to his boyhood club, Rosario.

Personally I would be surprised if he has the physical attributes to cope with the English game, especially due to the lack of pace against elite strikers, but the romanticist in me hopes you to take the risk.

Ok, well now I basically have to sign him. I am just really concerned about that pace

image.thumb.png.a7089df34b7c0354bc4c5878caf2962e.png

I'll watch a couple more Talleres games and see how it looks in-game but it's really a big risk in a league like the Premier to go with such a slow centre back.

 

EDIT - one of my centre backs, Ousseynou Ba, is really unhappy with his lack of football and so will likely leave this summer. That pretty much solidifies the need to bring in two centre backs. So I think we're definitely look at Komar plus one.

Edited by Shrewnaldo
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Man you are doing so well, I playing with City atm and am half way through the 1st season, am sitting in the top 6 because we are terribly inconsistent.  The strikers are absolutely horrendous, Wells is deadset ****, misses so many clear cut chances. Played Huddesfield recently and was completely in control, couldn't score for my life. Weimann has been decent though. Have purchased one striker but need to get more. Going to offload Wells and others with silly high wages.

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12 minutes ago, SmashtonGate84 said:

Man you are doing so well, I playing with City atm and am half way through the 1st season, am sitting in the top 6 because we are terribly inconsistent.  The strikers are absolutely horrendous, Wells is deadset ****, misses so many clear cut chances. Played Huddesfield recently and was completely in control, couldn't score for my life. Weimann has been decent though. Have purchased one striker but need to get more. Going to offload Wells and others with silly high wages.

Sounds like you're doing better than I did first season. We scraped into the playoffs after dinging around mid-table most of the season. 100% agree on Wells, I ended up dropping him after about 8 games and then shipping him out in January (Derby, £650k). Same for me with Weimann being decent, plus Semenyo got a few and I brought in a couple of loanees in January who carried us through. I hope it goes well for you

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Thought I'd check in on this for the first time in a while. Loved the role discussion in particular, and has got me thinking that a CAR and DLP in my own (largely successful) standard 4-1-2-3 might not be the best choice 🤦‍♂️

If it's Komar +1 can you ensure your other CB make up for Komar's lack of pace, or is there a CB partner already in the squad who can do that?

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10 minutes ago, Jazzbobification said:

Thought I'd check in on this for the first time in a while. Loved the role discussion in particular, and has got me thinking that a CAR and DLP in my own (largely successful) standard 4-1-2-3 might not be the best choice 🤦‍♂️

If it's Komar +1 can you ensure your other CB make up for Komar's lack of pace, or is there a CB partner already in the squad who can do that?

Thanks!

I was thinking that - a pacy option to play against weaker teams who have a pacy striker but we still want to play a high line against. None of our existing options are particularly fast so that is definitely something to keep an eye on

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End of 2023/24 season

A very brief update to highlight that we've had a great second season in the Premier League.

image.png.efe1a425a4183aa6e3dc07769b8afff5.png

We also made it to the Carabao Cup semi finals, drew with Man City 1-1 at the Etihad and then were battered 5-0 in the return game. That came immediately following a 2-1 loss to Preston in the cup where we had five times their xG but just couldn't score. Regardless, that has to go down as a super successful season.

Our goalscoring has improved 10% from last season (37 to 41), not a huge jump, but defensively it's been chalk and cheese. From 73 conceded in 22/23 to 46 this term. That's a 37% drop. Huge.

A big part of that has been the signing of Augusto Batalla, who has been absolutely superb in goal. An absolute steal at £1m from River. In terms of the other signings, Reiss Nelson, Nick Bätzner and Willyan Rocha were definite 'hits' from the summer recruitment; whilst Roberto Galiardini was signed in January and has done well. Seiwald has been a bit hit and miss - I wanted him to be a bit more creative than he is, so definitely a fail on that score; but he'll be an excellent ball-winner so will work out well.

Cucho Hernández, on the other hand, has been a big fail. He's a decent player but he keeps picking up little, niggly injuries and can never get a run of games. When he does play, he doesn't get enough shots away which then limits his effectiveness, despite a very decent conversion rate.

All of which leaves us looking at a squad strength chart something like this, with some obvious priorities for the summer's recruitment - already partially covered above.

image.png.e83b14821138bb944c8d22ec29215880.png

3

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9 hours ago, Shrewnaldo said:

Ok, well now I basically have to sign him. I am just really concerned about that pace

It’s a really gamey screen but what is the average pace of defenders and then attackers in the league? Your silver star could be 11, at best, so it’s not going to be a million miles from average? Plus, you’ve got Ant, Pos, Dec and Cnt that are all ‘good’ plus his pace, once he’s at top speed, isn’t bad. 

A type of player I’d definitely go for.

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23 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

It’s a really gamey screen but what is the average pace of defenders and then attackers in the league? Your silver star could be 11, at best, so it’s not going to be a million miles from average? Plus, you’ve got Ant, Pos, Dec and Cnt that are all ‘good’ plus his pace, once he’s at top speed, isn’t bad. 

A type of player I’d definitely go for.

In my experience someone who reads the game so well can cover for his lack of acceleration as he is already one step a head of everyone else. “The first yard is in the head” 

8 hours ago, Shrewnaldo said:

End of 2023/24 season

A very brief update to highlight that we've had a great second season in the Premier League.

image.png.efe1a425a4183aa6e3dc07769b8afff5.png

We also made it to the Carabao Cup semi finals, drew with Man City 1-1 at the Etihad and then were battered 5-0 in the return game. That came immediately following a 2-1 loss to Preston in the cup where we had five times their xG but just couldn't score. Regardless, that has to go down as a super successful season.

Our goalscoring has improved 10% from last season (37 to 41), not a huge jump, but defensively it's been chalk and cheese. From 73 conceded in 22/23 to 46 this term. That's a 37% drop. Huge.

A big part of that has been the signing of Augusto Batalla, who has been absolutely superb in goal. An absolute steal at £1m from River. In terms of the other signings, Reiss Nelson, Nick Bätzner and Willyan Rocha were definite 'hits' from the summer recruitment; whilst Roberto Galiardini was signed in January and has done well. Seiwald has been a bit hit and miss - I wanted him to be a bit more creative than he is, so definitely a fail on that score; but he'll be an excellent ball-winner so will work out well.

Cucho Hernández, on the other hand, has been a big fail. He's a decent player but he keeps picking up little, niggly injuries and can never get a run of games. When he does play, he doesn't get enough shots away which then limits his effectiveness, despite a very decent conversion rate.

All of which leaves us looking at a squad strength chart something like this, with some obvious priorities for the summer's recruitment - already partially covered above.

image.png.e83b14821138bb944c8d22ec29215880.png

3

superb second season, that increase in defensive performance must be extremely pleasing for you! 

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10 hours ago, Shrewnaldo said:

image.png.efe1a425a4183aa6e3dc07769b8afff5.png

Christ Stoke and Blackburn were bad. Who's coming up from the Championship, and do they look better equipped?


Over the course of the season, did your drop off in GAs come predominantly against big club (losing, but perhaps not as heavily), or by locking out the other 13/14 sides more frequently? Looks as if a lot of sides generally struggled for goals, with everyone from Villa down barely scraping a goal per game, plus Villa and Leeds looking diabolically dull all-round!

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9 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

It’s a really gamey screen but what is the average pace of defenders and then attackers in the league? Your silver star could be 11, at best, so it’s not going to be a million miles from average? Plus, you’ve got Ant, Pos, Dec and Cnt that are all ‘good’ plus his pace, once he’s at top speed, isn’t bad. 

A type of player I’d definitely go for.

Good idea. I checked and the average striker pace and acceleration are what would be classed as 'gold' for the league. But I'm pretty much set on Komar. As @SixPointer says, the first yard is in the head and I can always try to drop the line as a mitigation. Besides, I'm not trying to play the perfect game here, I'm trying an alternative recruitment strategy so I really should commit to it. It worked out really well with Batalla and Rocha, so I'm going to go for it again.

He's unlikely to be the only arrival, with the second potential centre back being someone not on the list above.

7 hours ago, Jazzbobification said:

Christ Stoke and Blackburn were bad. Who's coming up from the Championship, and do they look better equipped?


Over the course of the season, did your drop off in GAs come predominantly against big club (losing, but perhaps not as heavily), or by locking out the other 13/14 sides more frequently? Looks as if a lot of sides generally struggled for goals, with everyone from Villa down barely scraping a goal per game, plus Villa and Leeds looking diabolically dull all-round!

So far it's Palace and Wolves, both of whom I'd expect to be much stronger than Blackburn and Stoke. The remaining spot is Fulham or West Brom and I think both will struggle.

Good question re the goals against - I'd say it's a mixture of both. It certainly helps that we didn't get absolutely battered by anyone this season. Last year, we shipped 10 to Man Utd and 9 to Liverpool;  this year, 6 and 2. But we also had random shockers last season - like losing 4-0 at Bournemouth, or 3-0 going on 10-0 at Leicester. That just didn't happen this term. Still definitely room for improvement but it's at the other end where the obvious, and probably easier, gains are to be made

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And now for a creative 6

Above I posted a bit on sourcing a new centre back. Having found both the process and the bits of feedback on here very useful, I wanted to do the same for the next key role - that of a creative 6.

image.png.f6b396a9b0bf95968736a1912f848301.png

The latest iteration of the 4-3-2-1 / christmas tree looks like this - or at least the base tactic does, with various amendments and tweaks being made depending on the opposition. Having moulded the squad over the last few seasons to fit this sort of shape, we have great options in most positions but creativity has long been our weakness. Both at 10 and in the deeper midfield positions, we've never really had a player with true creative quality. In the Championship, Tyreeq topped our assist charts with a creditable 10 - but in our two seasons in the Premier it's been Omar Richards with 4 and Reiss Nelson with 6. And even looking beyond the stats, just using the eye-test to see that there's a player who regularly unlocks defences or picks a pass that perhaps assists the assist... it's not been our strong suit.

What I'd like to see, is a lot more of this from Han-Noah Massengo, collecting the ball in a deep position and then splitting the defence with a perfectly weighted through ball.

Sadly, those sorts of passes have been in short supply.

Hence, a shopping trip.

Our recruitment strategy is well-established so I won't go through how I got here again. I will just present the remaining options and ask for your feedback. So what am I looking for? A creative player, yes, but also one who can carry the ball through the lines. We tend to have plenty of options in front of the regista, as you can see in the video above, but the ability to beat a player in the middle of the mark can be massive in creating space - typically forcing someone in a deeper position to abandon their place in the defensive shape to close down the threat. This then creates a free player further up the pitch and, with luck, the regista has the passing range to find him.

So a mixture of creativity, technical ability and mobility. Something like Declan Rice, if you want a real life comparison. Key statistics will be pass completion rate, chances created per 90, key passes per 90 (exc set pieces) and dribbles per 90. But it's not just attributes and stats I'll be looking for - I really think traits can be key here, particularly in providing the passing range that I'm looking for. I want to see through balls, yes, but I also want to see raking passes to the flanks. So I'll be keeping an eye out for Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Runs With Ball Through the Middle, Tries Long Range Passes, Likes to Switch Ball to Wide Areas and Dictates Tempo.

I think this might be the most important transfer window in the save and this is quite possibly the most important acquisition so I'm quite happy to splash a little extra cash in order to get the right player. I really feel like getting this right will transform the team and push our attacking output into that of a top-half side.

So the options are...

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And each, with a little more detail

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A bit of a left-field option but the more I look at him, the more I like him.

  • Pros - two-footed, consistent, likes big matches, affordable, traits, traits, traits
  • Cons - lack of aerial presence, has been playing in a relatively weak league, only has a Balanced personality

image.thumb.png.5c73c5e91745eeeb9d6d297eb319abdf.png

A player that I had admired a lot in my Toulouse save last year but never managed to bring in, he isn't natural at DM but I think could easily be retrained there.

  • Pros - 3rd most creative player in Ligue 1 last season, consistent, enjoys big matches, Loyal personality, "greens" (elite attributes) for agility, technique and vision which are ideal for the role, positive traits
  • Cons - one-footed, would need to be retrained to DM, lack of aerial presence, weak defensive ability, lack of strength

image.thumb.png.2bdc20f33f271214252af67f5a1cd1aa.png

The most experienced option

  • Pros - consistent, enjoys big matches, elite stamina, Resolute personality, experience, relatively capable defensively, highest dribbling stats of the options
  • Cons - one-footed, no sought-after traits, lowest re-sale potential (if I care)

image.thumb.png.dd4c0ae4667715800ffe986554f7c53b.png

Another bit of a left-field option but was at Lazio in 2021/22 and proved himself capable in a bigger league, giving me a little more comfort about his stats

  • Pros - consistent, enjoys big matches, aerial ability, set piece ability, positive traits, most creative player in Croatia
  • Cons - lacks pace, only Balanced personality, plays in a weaker league

So those are my four options. Any opinions welcomed.

 

EDIT - as an aside, I really wanted to sign either Billy Gilmour or David Turnbull, but sadly neither is interested in joining us

Edited by Shrewnaldo
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I tried to sign Danilo, on a free, in my Middlesbrough save.  I got out bid by Leverkusen.  So, I signed a bruiser to fill that position instead of a creative player.

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4 minutes ago, keeper#1 said:

I tried to sign Danilo, on a free, in my Middlesbrough save.  I got out bid by Leverkusen.  So, I signed a bruiser to fill that position instead of a creative player.

How did he get on at Leverkusen?

Sadly for me, he's just signed a new contract at Palmeiras and so is no longer interested. Gutted as he was my #1 target. I've agreed deals for the other 3 and am just making my mind up which to pull the trigger on.

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30 minutes ago, Shrewnaldo said:

How did he get on at Leverkusen?

Sadly for me, he's just signed a new contract at Palmeiras and so is no longer interested. Gutted as he was my #1 target. I've agreed deals for the other 3 and am just making my mind up which to pull the trigger on.

Don't know because he just signed with them and hasn't played a match yet.

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9 hours ago, Shrewnaldo said:

And now for a creative 6

Above I posted a bit on sourcing a new centre back. Having found both the process and the bits of feedback on here very useful, I wanted to do the same for the next key role - that of a creative 6.

image.png.f6b396a9b0bf95968736a1912f848301.png

The latest iteration of the 4-3-2-1 / christmas tree looks like this - or at least the base tactic does, with various amendments and tweaks being made depending on the opposition. Having moulded the squad over the last few seasons to fit this sort of shape, we have great options in most positions but creativity has long been our weakness. Both at 10 and in the deeper midfield positions, we've never really had a player with true creative quality. In the Championship, Tyreeq topped our assist charts with a creditable 10 - but in our two seasons in the Premier it's been Omar Richards with 4 and Reiss Nelson with 6. And even looking beyond the stats, just using the eye-test to see that there's a player who regularly unlocks defences or picks a pass that perhaps assists the assist... it's not been our strong suit.

What I'd like to see, is a lot more of this from Han-Noah Massengo, collecting the ball in a deep position and then splitting the defence with a perfectly weighted through ball.

 

Sadly, those sorts of passes have been in short supply.

Hence, a shopping trip.

Our recruitment strategy is well-established so I won't go through how I got here again. I will just present the remaining options and ask for your feedback. So what am I looking for? A creative player, yes, but also one who can carry the ball through the lines. We tend to have plenty of options in front of the regista, as you can see in the video above, but the ability to beat a player in the middle of the mark can be massive in creating space - typically forcing someone in a deeper position to abandon their place in the defensive shape to close down the threat. This then creates a free player further up the pitch and, with luck, the regista has the passing range to find him.

So a mixture of creativity, technical ability and mobility. Something like Declan Rice, if you want a real life comparison. Key statistics will be pass completion rate, chances created per 90, key passes per 90 (exc set pieces) and dribbles per 90. But it's not just attributes and stats I'll be looking for - I really think traits can be key here, particularly in providing the passing range that I'm looking for. I want to see through balls, yes, but I also want to see raking passes to the flanks. So I'll be keeping an eye out for Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Runs With Ball Through the Middle, Tries Long Range Passes, Likes to Switch Ball to Wide Areas and Dictates Tempo.

I think this might be the most important transfer window in the save and this is quite possibly the most important acquisition so I'm quite happy to splash a little extra cash in order to get the right player. I really feel like getting this right will transform the team and push our attacking output into that of a top-half side.

So the options are...

image.thumb.png.3b4e0566951461617e594fdffc191b22.png

And each, with a little more detail

image.thumb.png.e91da7e666ed73cdf296eec5524055c3.png

A bit of a left-field option but the more I look at him, the more I like him.

  • Pros - two-footed, consistent, likes big matches, affordable, traits, traits, traits
  • Cons - lack of aerial presence, has been playing in a relatively weak league, only has a Balanced personality

image.thumb.png.5c73c5e91745eeeb9d6d297eb319abdf.png

A player that I had admired a lot in my Toulouse save last year but never managed to bring in, he isn't natural at DM but I think could easily be retrained there.

  • Pros - 3rd most creative player in Ligue 1 last season, consistent, enjoys big matches, Loyal personality, "greens" (elite attributes) for agility, technique and vision which are ideal for the role, positive traits
  • Cons - one-footed, would need to be retrained to DM, lack of aerial presence, weak defensive ability, lack of strength

image.thumb.png.2bdc20f33f271214252af67f5a1cd1aa.png

The most experienced option

  • Pros - consistent, enjoys big matches, elite stamina, Resolute personality, experience, relatively capable defensively, highest dribbling stats of the options
  • Cons - one-footed, no sought-after traits, lowest re-sale potential (if I care)

image.thumb.png.dd4c0ae4667715800ffe986554f7c53b.png

Another bit of a left-field option but was at Lazio in 2021/22 and proved himself capable in a bigger league, giving me a little more comfort about his stats

  • Pros - consistent, enjoys big matches, aerial ability, set piece ability, positive traits, most creative player in Croatia
  • Cons - lacks pace, only Balanced personality, plays in a weaker league

So those are my four options. Any opinions welcomed.

 

EDIT - as an aside, I really wanted to sign either Billy Gilmour or David Turnbull, but sadly neither is interested in joining us

Strange you mention Billy Gilmour as to me he is the ideal Regista. Yes okay am scottish and bias 🤣

for me I like the look of the Brazilian. Best key pass, CCC and assist ratios. Granted in a league very different from the EPL so I would like to see the scout report to see his ability to settle. His traits are perfect for what you desire, although personally I prefer plays killer ball over long range passes. I also think he’s the most complete player with being either footed it opens the pitch up more for him. 

The french man lacks the defensive capabilities for me, I have Brunic in the Regista and while he’s a superb technician he also has the stability to protect the back 4. But in your system he is flanked by two destroyers so you could well go down the route of a pure technician in the role and if that was the route you took he is your man in my eyes. He also looks a capable goal threat outscoring his XG. 

The other two are for me don’t cut it. And look more suited to being 8’s than sixes. 

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Ah that’s a shame about Danilo. I’d then go the French player, as having two players already for protection need that player to circulate the play like Silva at Man City or Thiago at Liverpool. I think it’s good he doesn’t have Dictates Tempo too, as he might hold up the ball in a deep position instead of progressing the ball. His other traits, one-two’s combined with getting forward and having good vision and technique to pull it off (hope his first touch is on the higher side of the star) should help link the play vertically as well as be an outlet for the defence. All that and then having the trait to slipping in a through ball (hope his decisions are also on the high side of the star).

I feel the other two are either two similar to what you’ll play next to or not mobile enough.

That’s enough of my ramblings.

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I would go for Le Fee. Like you said re-training is not a big issue. when playing him and re-train in the Regista roll as a DM he would be fast enough complete ready for the things yoy want form him. 

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Really too bad about Danilo would have 100% gone with him. Side note, seems a weird mechanic that players never want to move after signing a contract. I feel like it’s happened plenty of times where a player will sign a new contract and leave in the same window but can’t think of any off the top of my head so maybe not?

I’d personally go with the Croatian. Speed isn’t as big a deal in the middle and he’s got good traits, played in Serie A, and I like that he’s good off the ball. The set piece and heading are nice bonuses too. The lack of desire able traits and one footedness of the other two is not ideal in my view.

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Both Danilo and Enzo are players which always appear on my scouting assignments, like others Danilo would have been my first choice. However, now that deal is dead I would opt for Enzo over the other players. 

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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions, @keeper#1 @SixPointer @Sonic Youth @rich ruzzian @13th Man @MattyLewis11

I completely echo all the sentiments for Danilo, totally gutted that I missed out because he signed a new contract. HOWEVER, the new contract includes an £8.25m minimum fee release clause for foreign clubs so.... we may yet return.

On that basis and because I agree with the support for Enzo, I've signed Le Fée. If it doesn't work out, then Enzo can shift to 10 and I can go back for Danilo in January.

And now on with the rest of my shopping.

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46 minutes ago, rich ruzzian said:

How much did you pay die the french Guy? 

He cost me £11.25m and I'm paying him £56k a week

And now we have this - Billy Gilmour has just been listed by Chelsea and he might be interested... As @SixPointer noted, he'd be so good in that regista role, although he might lack the dribbling ability that I want in there

image.thumb.png.a4bd00d9bd102f3ed570ae155b3ccc4b.png

EDIT - no, he really doesn't want to join us anyway

Edited by Shrewnaldo
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Extending the use of data

I've been trying to find ways to make the data in FM useful and potentially some ways in which future features for Recruitment Analysts might actually be useful. Today, following a twitter discussion with @F0rzaH, I wanted to try something new. Forza / FM Analysis / Lee suggested looking for players who were performing well for poor teams by looking at those players who are responsible for high percentages of their team's goal output. This suggestion really struck me and led to some almost immediate "lunchtime FM" to see if the idea was feasible.

In the absence of Recruitment Analysts who, you know, are in the slightest bit useful, I went to the Player Search screen - a feature I never use these days. I implemented a series of searches along the lines of:

  • Selecting players from a specific league, or small group of leagues (e.g. Championship and League 1)
  • Minutes > 1000
  • Position: AMC, accomplished

I then created a custom view which included a range of statistics that I was keen on analysing further and exported the data into Excel by selecting all the returned players and printing the screen (Ctrl+P).

From there I added a couple of very simple formulas to add the Goals per 90 and Assists per 90 metrics together, then calculate that as a percentage of the team's Goals per 90  whilst the player is on the park. I did this in three sets - Championship and League 1; top 4 leagues in Europe outside England; and all other loaded leagues in Europe. I could then re-arrange the spreadsheet in the order of the player's who have contributed most to their team's performance whilst they were on the pitch.

I have to say that I'm absolutely loving this approach and all credit to Forza / Lee for the idea. The results were really interesting and helped to highlight some players who had never been picked up by my scouting network. As an example, here are the results for the 23/24 Championship:

image.png.38a8648999f3238d7ce9bdc9775b551b.png

Only Carvalho and Cairney had previously been on my radar - so does this mean those options should be prioritised because they provide an additional level of verification, or should I be looking more at those that I previously hadn't noticed?

Alan Velasco immediately stood out, directly involved in nearly 60% of his team's goals whilst he was on the pitch; similarly Gonçalo Paciência, who topped the 'big European leagues' list with 56% G/A involvement whilst playing at a club that were nearly relegated.

image.png.279cba0a63d72fa9ff867c1ecd806215.png

Genuinely really loving this approach and finding some means of 'thinking outside the box', trying to manipulate the data in more meaningful ways and identifying players that would otherwise have escaped my notice, or that of my scouts.

Something I'll definitely continue to use and try to find new ways of extracting value.

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9 minutes ago, Shrewnaldo said:

Extending the use of data

I've been trying to find ways to make the data in FM useful and potentially some ways in which future features for Recruitment Analysts might actually be useful. Today, following a twitter discussion with @F0rzaH, I wanted to try something new. Forza / FM Analysis / Lee suggested looking for players who were performing well for poor teams by looking at those players who are responsible for high percentages of their team's goal output. This suggestion really struck me and led to some almost immediate "lunchtime FM" to see if the idea was feasible.

In the absence of Recruitment Analysts who, you know, are in the slightest bit useful, I went to the Player Search screen - a feature I never use these days. I implemented a series of searches along the lines of:

  • Selecting players from a specific league, or small group of leagues (e.g. Championship and League 1)
  • Minutes > 1000
  • Position: AMC, accomplished

I then created a custom view which included a range of statistics that I was keen on analysing further and exported the data into Excel by selecting all the returned players and printing the screen (Ctrl+P).

From there I added a couple of very simple formulas to add the Goals per 90 and Assists per 90 metrics together, then calculate that as a percentage of the team's Goals per 90  whilst the player is on the park. I did this in three sets - Championship and League 1; top 4 leagues in Europe outside England; and all other loaded leagues in Europe. I could then re-arrange the spreadsheet in the order of the player's who have contributed most to their team's performance whilst they were on the pitch.

I have to say that I'm absolutely loving this approach and all credit to Forza / Lee for the idea. The results were really interesting and helped to highlight some players who had never been picked up by my scouting network. As an example, here are the results for the 23/24 Championship:

image.png.38a8648999f3238d7ce9bdc9775b551b.png

Only Carvalho and Cairney had previously been on my radar - so does this mean those options should be prioritised because they provide an additional level of verification, or should I be looking more at those that I previously hadn't noticed?

Alan Velasco immediately stood out, directly involved in nearly 60% of his team's goals whilst he was on the pitch; similarly Gonçalo Paciência, who topped the 'big European leagues' list with 56% G/A involvement whilst playing at a club that were nearly relegated.

image.png.279cba0a63d72fa9ff867c1ecd806215.png

Genuinely really loving this approach and finding some means of 'thinking outside the box', trying to manipulate the data in more meaningful ways and identifying players that would otherwise have escaped my notice, or that of my scouts.

Something I'll definitely continue to use and try to find new ways of extracting value.

I can’t keep up with all this amazing stuff. I still have my statman learner plates on 🤣 but what I’m starting to make use of is really enjoyably and helping even more with immersion. I’ve been using some off your stuff will making my shortlists and the amount of players I’ve found through stats that I probably never would have encountered.

I really hope SI are pay attention. They gave us the data hub which is immense upgrade. but I feel they need to now go a step further and really turn it into what real life is. So that people like myself can put your tools to work in game in a clean easy way!

keep up the good work, this save has really effected massively the way I look at recruiting players. All down to your work 

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2 hours ago, SixPointer said:

I can’t keep up with all this amazing stuff. I still have my statman learner plates on 🤣 but what I’m starting to make use of is really enjoyably and helping even more with immersion. I’ve been using some off your stuff will making my shortlists and the amount of players I’ve found through stats that I probably never would have encountered.

I really hope SI are pay attention. They gave us the data hub which is immense upgrade. but I feel they need to now go a step further and really turn it into what real life is. So that people like myself can put your tools to work in game in a clean easy way!

keep up the good work, this save has really effected massively the way I look at recruiting players. All down to your work 

Proper team effort, this sort of stuff. Lots of people coming up with individual ideas and then bringing them together to supplement them with someone else's idea, to make a more complete picture. All good.

1 hour ago, _Ben_ said:

Love that Shrew and @F0rzaH!

Certainly going to have a look at this tonight. Wonder how this would work for defensive players? I love these kind of metric searches.

I was thinking there could be something in comparing defensive actions to the Team Conceded per 90 metric? So that you could gauge an individual player's contribution to actively protecting the defence, rather than someone who happens to be part of a good defensive unit but is primarily passive within it? I'm not sure what would be good or bad metrics, though. That'd be tough to work out.

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Just managed to catch up on the whole thing. Been slowly reading the past 2 days! Amazing stuff! Will definitely chuck some ideas into my own save! And it really got me thinking about the 'hidden' attributes skin, will definitely research about it!

EDIT - Missed the last update, I had the thread open in a tab and it hadn't updated.

EDIT 2 - The excel method is something I was going to suggest for you to use. I also find that using percentile ranking is very useful too (I think Ben actually uses them in his saves) as it compares directly to the average of players you have exported.

My method of exporting is not filtering by minutes, I instead opt to filter the minutes in excel because it allows much more precise filtering (the game only allows 1000, 2000,3000 minutes IIRC). In terms of the custom view I kind of do the same, I have a view which has ALL the possible columns allowed by the game, this exports into excel and from there I choose which columns to see in my spreadsheet (and I don't have to go back and forth between excel and FM to add or remove columns).

11 hours ago, Shrewnaldo said:

Proper team effort, this sort of stuff. Lots of people coming up with individual ideas and then bringing them together to supplement them with someone else's idea, to make a more complete picture. All good.

I was thinking there could be something in comparing defensive actions to the Team Conceded per 90 metric? So that you could gauge an individual player's contribution to actively protecting the defence, rather than someone who happens to be part of a good defensive unit but is primarily passive within it? I'm not sure what would be good or bad metrics, though. That'd be tough to work out.

IIRC @Matt_1979 has done some work in terms of defining or working out defensive actions in his Girona save. Maybe he could chime in!

EDIT 3 - I'm following closely!

Edited by RogerC
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10 hours ago, RogerC said:

Just managed to catch up on the whole thing. Been slowly reading the past 2 days! Amazing stuff! Will definitely chuck some ideas into my own save! And it really got me thinking about the 'hidden' attributes skin, will definitely research about it!

EDIT - Missed the last update, I had the thread open in a tab and it hadn't updated.

EDIT 2 - The excel method is something I was going to suggest for you to use. I also find that using percentile ranking is very useful too (I think Ben actually uses them in his saves) as it compares directly to the average of players you have exported.

My method of exporting is not filtering by minutes, I instead opt to filter the minutes in excel because it allows much more precise filtering (the game only allows 1000, 2000,3000 minutes IIRC). In terms of the custom view I kind of do the same, I have a view which has ALL the possible columns allowed by the game, this exports into excel and from there I choose which columns to see in my spreadsheet (and I don't have to go back and forth between excel and FM to add or remove columns).

IIRC @Matt_1979 has done some work in terms of defining or working out defensive actions in his Girona save. Maybe he could chime in!

EDIT 3 - I'm following closely!

Thanks. I've just discovered your thread and loving it so far

9 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Nice idea with greater percentage of teams goal contributions. Reminds me how players in France used to be found. Would definitely help in smaller teams and lower leagues.

Absolutely. Definitely a valid way of finding players who have low overall figures but are actually performing well in a poor side. Really set my mind thinking on how to expand this to other areas.

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On 08/02/2022 at 23:11, Shrewnaldo said:

Ok, so it's only a friendly against MLS side Charlotte FC but Enzo's looking like he might hit the mark

First, collecting the ball from defence and playing a perfect, raking ball to the flanks for Laird to cross and assist Kalajdzic...

 

What a pass, that ball was sprayed out wide with perfection.

Thoroughly enjoyed the post on using data to identify targets great analysis and kudos to @F0rzaH for steering you to using metrics to aid recruitment 💪

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Summer Transfers 2024

It's been a really active summer transfer window - far more active that I would usually be comfortable with, to be honest. But we needed improvement in a few areas and a couple of players came to me wanting moves. With my decision to run a very small squad (31 in total), it pretty much necessitates a 1-in-1-out policy.

Some fringe players were sold on, players who just aren't good enough for the Premier League - the likes of Zac Bell (£3.1m to Brentford) and Ben Thompson (£4.7m to Stoke). Two of the biggest early departures were Harry Wilson and Cucho Hernández. Wilson had done ok since joining from Fulham but hadn't done enough to convince me that he has enough creative quality to play at 10, so was shipped to Leeds for the same £12.5m fee that he'd cost us. Hernández was just one of those that never quite worked out. Clearly a good player and had decent enough stats once he eventually took shots, but was taking fewer than just about any other player in my midfield and attack. £19m later and he was Zenit's.

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image.png.bdfd4fb9c3de674d1bd4c3e428e83444.png

And that was supposed to be that until the deadline day move for Seiwald. The Austrian ball-winner had done pretty well in his single season with us, without ever excelling. When Leverkusen put in their bid, his agent let us know that he'd throw a massive tantrum if we didn't let him go, so I decided to take the profit, having paid Salzburg £12m for his last summer.

That left a number of gaps in our team, most of which were planned and for which I had players in mind. At centre back, I'd already talked about the move for Juan Cruz Komar from Talleres, whilst Enzo Le Fée was my chosen option for the creative 6 search I'd also posted about. With Cucho moving on, we needed a replacement back-up for Kalajdzic and I decided to move early for Tyrese Campbell, relegated with Stoke last season.

image.png.b7d73a26fdb0a39605c53516b484f07f.png

He's been on our shortlist funnel since season 1 and his goalscoring numbers in the Championship were always impressive. I've never signed him two or three times and, with a £15.25m relegation release clause, I finally swooped. Our #9 role has changed up a lot over time and is currently set as a poacher, for which Campbell's skill-set is perfectly suited. An ideal back-up.

As is the second centre-half on our list, Eric Bailly. He hadn't been on my radar at all until he was given a free transfer from Man Utd at the end of the season. With a few people noting Komar's lack of pace and the wisdom in bringing in a quicker player to cover beside him, Bailly was an absolute no brainer.

image.png.727064016695f4b145a4648fc10c4a1d.png

Aaron Hickey also joined from Bologna as a replacement for Jay Dasilva as back-up leftback, whilst capable of covering on the right too; whilst Etienne Green joined to replace Daniel Bentley as a benched 'keeper. The last planned signing was then potentially the most interesting, and certainly the biggest gamble. In the post above, I'd talked about the idea of using statistics to unearth players who might otherwise have escaped any statistical trawl or even the scouting system. I was on the lookout for a back-up 10, preferably a more creative one. Using the method described above, I'd gone looking for 10s in the Championship and League One who had been directly involved in a high percentage of their club's goals. One such player was Jorge Grant.

image.png.b751e43a98932f2dab5d18ef6a050841.png

So he doesn't look all that good. My scouts reckon that he's a "good Championship" player and my board weren't terribly pleased with his £2.6m signing. But, frankly, screw them because here he is in the 83rd minute of his debut, 30 minutes after coming off the bench to score a phenomenal equaliser and get PotM.

 

If that's any indication of the rest of his season (it won't be), then it'll be the greatest signing ever (it won't be). But certainly worth a shot for a very small outlay.

And as indicated above, we received an unexpected deadline day bid for Seiwald. Although we didn't have anyone lined up as a first-choice, the shortlist funnel was full of options. I did have to pay slightly over the odds given it was deadline day but I was really pleased to get Josh Brownhill. Pretty much perfect for the ball-winning role in the middle, plus English and was happy to join as a squad player. He's certainly an improvement on the back-up options that we currently have but also means I can take the first half of the season to identify a replacement first choice.

I actually feel a little silly as I'd lined up moves for both Lucas Tousart and Denis Zakaria over the summer but pulled out as I didn't want to have too many 'first choices'. Instead they moved to other clubs and, by the time Seiwald's bid came in, I'd missed out. Lesson learned for next time.

Regardless, our team is much stronger than it was last term. I just need to see how much negative impact we'll see from the unusually high turnover in personnel.

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7 minutes ago, MattyLewis11 said:

What a pass, that ball was sprayed out wide with perfection.

Thoroughly enjoyed the post on using data to identify targets great analysis and kudos to @F0rzaH for steering you to using metrics to aid recruitment 💪

Amen. When I saw that, there were noises. Involuntary noises.

Yet to hit something like that in a competitive game but we can hope.

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Great summer window and most of the business coming in from the domestic game, which should help with settling periods and the fact they are proven. I love the gamble on the statistical Grant and what a lovely start. 
Again this makes me approach things with a more open mind, granted it’s not a first choice your gambling on which is wise as you test the theory out. But a good start nevertheless. 
KUTGW!

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