The Sean

How do you evaluate your season's progress/performance?

17 posts in this topic

I am curious what the different methods are that people use from the ultra-casual and cavalier to the ultra-intense (like me) who use Excel spreadsheets to analyze data. Basically, at the beginning of each season, I record in a database a player's age, position, positional value (using a positional scouting I created that can be searched in the editor's forum) salary and transfer value. At the end of the season, I record the exact same information, while measuring the differences from the previous values. The biggest change in these values I am looking for is did they improve in their positional value. In addition to these items, I also record statistical data at the end of each season. I want to know their number of appearances, goals, goals-per-appearance, assists, points (goals + assists), MOM, avg. rating from matches and then for goalies I add in goals-against-average and clean sheets. I also record any individual awards each player received. Finally, I record a positional Best Eleven. I keep this data on separate worksheets. For example, one is titled Opening Day 2009 and another End Of Seasn 2009. I do this for each season and then can compare results from multiple seasons. I am currently through four seasons in MLS.

I do NOT expect many people to be this involved in something like this. I just wanted to hear how you evaluate your season's performance. Also, I wanted to pick your brains if you 'do it better than me.' Thanks

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League table.

And a little bit of observing squad depth/harmony/development.

Similar approach to my opinions about weather forecasts, forget about dedicated TV channels with 24hr weather broadcasts, look out the window ffs.

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League table.

And a little bit of observing squad depth/harmony/development.

Similar approach to my opinions about weather forecasts, forget about dedicated TV channels with 24hr weather broadcasts, look out the window ffs.

I can appreciate the global information provided by looking at the League Table. I guess I am a fan of the book Moneyball and I run my team like a GM of American sports.

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Wow, thats just intense preparation. I just use the power of my beer-addled brain to make it up.

Well actually what I do is look at the training graph of all my half-way decent young players every three months. I also take over the odd youth team game to get a feel of how they are coping tactically. The rest is just intuition. The only thing about that is that I sometimes (rarely but happens) get a bad impression about a player over a course of a season when he is actually doing all right, in that case I still let him go, as a) I will keep the bad impression, and b) usually it's gotten from underperformance in big matches.

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I understand that approach, I've mentioned elsewhere how I enjoy the quirkiness of the MLS and would manage there for more often if SI sorted out the perennial issues with the league, however I think you can be far too overly analytical with FM. Average ratings don't really mean squat if your team is united, happy, settled and winning matches. Also, i tend not to fret about players specific attributes or abilities as long as I feel they're pulling their weight and fulfilling the role I imagined for them.

I've always felt that squad harmony is undervalued by most FM players, and far too much emphasis placed on player value, player potential, and statistics. I know I may have sounded trite with my "weather" analogy, but the jist of what I was getting at is that if I'm winning and the team is happy then about the only thing I concern myself with is squad depth and looking for opportunities to expand or improve it without having to necessarily head-hunt known individuals.

I can relate in some ways to your passion for keeping spreadsheets etc, but with all that data do you actually ever get time to progress your career in FM? :) (honest question btw, not intended as an insult)

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I understand that approach, I've mentioned elsewhere how I enjoy the quirkiness of the MLS and would manage there for more often if SI sorted out the perennial issues with the league, however I think you can be far too overly analytical with FM. Average ratings don't really mean squat if your team is united, happy, settled and winning matches. Also, i tend not to fret about players specific attributes or abilities as long as I feel they're pulling their weight and fulfilling the role I imagined for them.

I've always felt that squad harmony is undervalued by most FM players, and far too much emphasis placed on player value, player potential, and statistics. I know I may have sounded trite with my "weather" analogy, but the jist of what I was getting at is that if I'm winning and the team is happy then about the only thing I concern myself with is squad depth and looking for opportunities to expand or improve it without having to necessarily head-hunt known individuals.

I can relate in some ways to your passion for keeping spreadsheets etc, but with all that data do you actually ever get time to progress your career in FM? :) (honest question btw, not intended as an insult)

No offense taken. I am through four seasons in MLS with my beloved Kansas City Wizards. I have won the MLS Cup twice and the U.S. Cup once. I have also had the opportunity to manage Israel at the international level, taking them to Euro 2012. I am currently managing Wales in WC Qualifying for 2014. I feel like I progress at a good rate. I never get through the 30 or 40 seasons that some other gamers get through. For me, it's about the depth of the game.

As to the bit about good squad harmony, etc; I actually have lower-rated players as starters and have cut a number of more well-known players because they couldn't make-the-cut. It's not only about average rating and stats; it's about the whole package. I have kept Josh Wolff well past his prime (0 goals and 2 assists in his last two seasons) because I love him and want to turn him into a coach. I think you are right that there has to be a human side to it.

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Wow, that is intense. I like it. Don't have the time for that but your dedication impresses.

I generally just have a look at the league tables, stats etc, job done. Next season here we come!

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I'm in between tbh. I usually go with the flow and try to remember things in my head than spend time on notes etc. even though I do keep some notes on tactics and staff. I just follow the game... scout reports will tell me who to buy, I keep the same tactic and players usually, I try to vary my transfer policy if things aren't working out and now having memorised my team talk schedule, my team are usually winning games after losing half time and keeping good morale always in the club. Pity about my financial control though :(

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Sounds like a nice career you have going. Regarding the "human" side of things :- I'm convinced more, now than ever, that squad unity and player happiness is at least as important, if not more so, than the nuances of tactics or having the most talented players with respect to putting together long-term good performances and achieving results. So many times I've seen the backside fall out of my team's performances, they play as if they're recovering from a bout of influenza, and almost every time it's been down to something causing disharmony in the squad. Now it's "goodbye Mr potential World Class youngster" the second he begins acting up.

You need to be ruthless, drill them hard and rule with a rod of iron!!! :)

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I'm in between tbh. I usually go with the flow and try to remember things in my head than spend time on notes etc. even though I do keep some notes on tactics and staff. I just follow the game... scout reports will tell me who to buy, I keep the same tactic and players usually, I try to vary my transfer policy if things aren't working out and now having memorised my team talk schedule, my team are usually winning games after losing half time and keeping good morale always in the club. Pity about my financial control though :(

This sounds very much like me.

The only time I used notes was when I got about five seasons into a very deep game, where I was managing Wrexham in the Championship while trying to guide the Ivory Coast through the WQ quals and the Nations Cup with an ageing and injury prone squad. I've still got some of the handwritten notes lying around on my desk!

As for assessing the season as a whole, I just try to see whether there has been any progress in our league position, our general performances and how the squad interact. If those things are all going well then I'm happy. With me, a lot of it is based on intuition apart from team talks and tactics, which I do have a system for.

My grip on finances is awful too.

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Mostly by goals conceded, now I think about it. I rotate madly, almost regardless of how players performed in previous matches. I'm certain that my players are capable and we score in most of the games (I think there have been three games this season we haven't scored).

I'm in a lucky position at the moment though, I realise that. I have 7 great strikers for 3 positions (3 for every role, almost), 6 players for three positions as the back that I get regular (big) offers for. My central midfield is also fantastic. The only problem I have is my MR and ML positions. Money also isn't an issue: I spent 40M on a player who rotates as much as anyone else. I am well under my wage budget.

But anyway, goals conceded seems to be it mainly for me. I've kept 7 or so clean sheets in a row twice this season, with a different team in all those matches. We've been struggling a bit the last few matches and it shows: we've conceded in every one of the last 6 matches (Barcelona twice, AS Roma, AC Milan, Genoa and Real Madrid - so not weak opponents), but still.

Also, bounce-backability. One strong point from those last 6 matches was the game against Genoa where I came 1-0 behind and scored 4 before half time to make it 4-1.

Rambling rambling :D

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I am curious what the different methods are that people use from the ultra-casual and cavalier to the ultra-intense (like me) who use Excel spreadsheets to analyze data. Basically, at the beginning of each season, I record in a database a player's age, position, positional value (using a positional scouting I created that can be searched in the editor's forum) salary and transfer value. At the end of the season, I record the exact same information, while measuring the differences from the previous values. The biggest change in these values I am looking for is did they improve in their positional value. In addition to these items, I also record statistical data at the end of each season. I want to know their number of appearances, goals, goals-per-appearance, assists, points (goals + assists), MOM, avg. rating from matches and then for goalies I add in goals-against-average and clean sheets. I also record any individual awards each player received. Finally, I record a positional Best Eleven. I keep this data on separate worksheets. For example, one is titled Opening Day 2009 and another End Of Seasn 2009. I do this for each season and then can compare results from multiple seasons. I am currently through four seasons in MLS.

I do NOT expect many people to be this involved in something like this. I just wanted to hear how you evaluate your season's performance. Also, I wanted to pick your brains if you 'do it better than me.' Thanks

Similar approach, but simpler.

1- On the day of newgens/regens/whatever we call them these days get generated, i dump out a 'view' for each players filtered by position (ie- GK's have a GK view for attributes, same for DEF, etc).

2- Import each result set into excel via a utility i developed for private use

3- In excel, the total value of each attribute (with scaling for each attribute) is calculated, and players ordered by this total value in descending order

4- that gives pretty much my preferred starting lineup in each position

Also, i can see season-on-season changes for each player and overall position groups.

Also record a players age, so once they are 28/29, i can get ready to place them onto the transfer market (damn physical attributes!)

5- from this, its just pen and paper to determine which player is in which squad and who to sell/loan and where i need to focus buying players.

FWIW- It helps me rocket up the table.

In my 4th season with atalanta was pipped to the league title by a few points, and im currently undefeated in my 5th season with 7 games gone (2 draws against roma and napoli, DAMN 2-0 comebacks!)

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It seems you spend a lot of time analysing. Tbh i dont have the time for it and I dont think I am losing out by not doing it.

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See if the average rating and the stats match up to the talent of the player mainly.

Sometimes I'll go in depth, sometimes I won't.

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Squad harmony can not be underestimated. It can take you places (combined with tactics) with very average looking teams. Personally I look at the league table, look out the window ffs etc, and keep one eye on what the board and fans think of me.

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My routine is usually:

1. Being annoyed by another unsuccessful season

2. Trying to find a new approach (tactic, team talks, whatever) in the forum

3. Getting lost in the forum

4. Starting the new season while still reading

5. Realising halfway through the season that I didn't actually change anything and it's going to be another unsuccessful season

6. Reading in the forum to make the second half of the season go by faster

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