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Travis Bickle

Scouting Regions Should be Updated

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Posted (edited)

Hi there, 

I've thought for a while that the scouting regions on Football Manager were a bit outdated, particularly in Europe. I'm glad South America has now been split East and West as South America is far too diverse of a region just to be lumped together, but I think Europe should be updated now too.  Let's look at the current regions in Europe:

Central Europe: Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, Andorra, Luxembourg, and San Marino. 

UK & Ireland: England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

South Europe: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar.

Eastern Europe: Russia, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Georgia, Albania, FYROM, Latvia, Belarus, Estonia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kosovo. 

Scandinavia: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Faroe Islands. 

I don't think it's hard to see how this is massively flawed.

Eastern Europe for one is basically the "Eastern Bloc" and that is clearly an outdated purely political concept with no grounding in modern football. In reality, a scout that in Poland knows nothing about what's happening in Azerbaijan and a scout in Moldova knows nothing about what is happening in Slovakia. This is a scouting region far, far too big and could be splintered several ways for better accuracy. Furthermore, several of these countries are not even located in geographic Eastern Europe. If Czech Republic is "Eastern Europe" then you could make the argument Austria is.

Talking of geographic inaccuracies, there's none more inaccurate than Italy, Spain, Portugal and San Marino being considered "Central Europe". This is the one I object to the most. They are by every single definition Southern Europe. You may think that they are more connected to German and French football than to Turkish or Greek football, and I think you'd be extremely wrong given the amounts of Spaniards and Portuguese in Greece and Cyprus in particular, but it makes zero geographic sense. No matter how many times you bend a map, Portugal is not Central Europe. Southern Europe should include Italy, Spain, Portugal, San Marino and Andorra. 

Scandinavia is fine and whilst there might be a case for attaching the UK & Ireland into a new "West Europe" or "North Europe" region, I can live with a UK & Ireland region. 

So I'd propose either: 

Central Europe: Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein and Luxembourg.

UK & Ireland: England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

South Europe: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Andorra, San Marino and Gibraltar.

Eastern Europe: Russia, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Albania, FYROM, Latvia, Belarus, Estonia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kosovo. 

Scandinavia: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Faroe Islands. 

OR if you want to micromanage things

Western Europe: England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, France, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. 

Central Europe: Germany, Poland, Czech Republic,  Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein. 

Eastern Europe: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia, Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

Balkans: Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, FYROM and Kosovo. 

South Europe: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Andorra, San Marino and Gibraltar (OR merge South Eastern Europe with Balkans) 

Scandinavia: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Faroe Islands. 

I think this will be a far more accurate way of conducting scouting and will allow for a more accurate input. Please let me know what you guys think and I hope SI take some notice :). 

See post 2 for some regional maps of Europe. 

Edited by Travis Bickle

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I quite like your "Central Europe" concept as being a set of countries with quite a lot of movement between them and dual nationality or language overlaps and think there's a good case for treating the Balkans as a distinct region, but I think your own "Southern Europe" concept is actually much worse than SI's "Eastern Europe".

At least the Eastern Europe has a coherent historical reasoning behind it and a general expectation you can find low wage players willing to contemplate moves to other Eastern Bloc countries. On the other hand, there's precisely no connection between Spain and Bulgaria other than latitude - vast disparities in culture, wages, facilities etc. 

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Yes, yes, yes to your points about Eastern Europe - it's really taken from the point of an UK based person, it's basically ex-USSR which some would even find offensive :D 
I wholeheartedly support the new Central Europe as there are some real-life relations between those countries.

IMO, Bulgaria and Romania should be added to the new Eastern Europe as I think they are closer to those countries then they are to the Balkan countries (In terms of their football style, transfer tendencies and youngster training)

I also agree with @enigmatic that Spain and Italy shouldn't be in your proposed categories - in my opinion, Western Europe block fits them the best. UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy - (minus Germany in Central Europe) these are the big leagues, big boys of the game, big clubs, mostly best training. If this group is too big I think the UK should be its own thing as they are a bit different in the football culture.

tbh, the most difficult is... Greece. It's football culture and other aspects fit more the Western Europe type but geographically it's obviously far away from there. Also, calling them "Balkans" would definitely make some Greeks mad :D they are kinda their own thing but not significant enough to be their own thing so I agree with your grouping, but the name would definitely be changed just cause of them. Also - Malta, Cyprus. 
I think the best idea for the categories should be - UK, Western Europe, Central Europe, Southern Europe (Balkans+Greece), Eastern Europe, Northern Europe (Scandinavia+Baltic)

My proposal below.

0sxe0qh20viz.png

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Posted (edited)

Much as many people from there will hate me saying it, the Baltic states are a better fit with a Russia-centric Eastern Europe than Scandinavia too.

Scandinavian countries all have mutually intelligible languages bar Finland, which at least has cultural overlap, a Swedish minority and similarly high income levels. The Baltic states are all middle income states where Russian is widely spoken if not always considered polite.

IRL you'd send your Swedish & English speaking scout to Finland and your Russian speaking scout to Estonia, and you'd expect to be considerably more likely to attract Lithuanians to your Eastern European nation than Swedes.

Logically the Baltic might make sense as its own grouping (unlike Belarus, Russia and Georgia it's all EU) except the standard of players is so low few people would bother scouting it...

Edited by enigmatic

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On 07/03/2019 at 18:39, enigmatic said:

I quite like your "Central Europe" concept as being a set of countries with quite a lot of movement between them and dual nationality or language overlaps and think there's a good case for treating the Balkans as a distinct region, but I think your own "Southern Europe" concept is actually much worse than SI's "Eastern Europe".

At least the Eastern Europe has a coherent historical reasoning behind it and a general expectation you can find low wage players willing to contemplate moves to other Eastern Bloc countries. On the other hand, there's precisely no connection between Spain and Bulgaria other than latitude - vast disparities in culture, wages, facilities etc. 

 

1 hour ago, enigmatic said:

Much as many people from there will hate me saying it, the Baltic states are a better fit with a Russia-centric Eastern Europe than Scandinavia too.

Scandinavian countries all have mutually intelligible languages bar Finland, which at least has cultural overlap, a Swedish minority and similarly high income levels. The Baltic states are all middle income states where Russian is widely spoken if not always considered polite.

IRL you'd send your Swedish & English speaking scout to Finland and your Russian speaking scout to Estonia, and you'd expect to be considerably more likely to attract Lithuanians to your Eastern European nation than Swedes.

Logically the Baltic might make sense as its own grouping (unlike Belarus, Russia and Georgia it's all EU) except the standard of players is so low few people would bother scouting it...

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad we're having this conversation and I hope SI will take ntoe. 

What objection specifically do you have to my Southern Europe? It comes from three arguments:

1) Geographically they are all Europe's southernmost countries. 

2) I think they are culturally, and mostly linguistically linked to each other. 

3) Greek football is very much dependent on Portuguese and Spanish football, far more than it is on Serbian and Croatian football at this point, hence why I think Greece belongs in the same category.

Thanks again for your input, I agree with what you said regarding the Baltic states. 

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On 08/03/2019 at 20:13, Sopel said:

Yes, yes, yes to your points about Eastern Europe - it's really taken from the point of an UK based person, it's basically ex-USSR which some would even find offensive :D 
I wholeheartedly support the new Central Europe as there are some real-life relations between those countries.

IMO, Bulgaria and Romania should be added to the new Eastern Europe as I think they are closer to those countries then they are to the Balkan countries (In terms of their football style, transfer tendencies and youngster training)

I also agree with @enigmatic that Spain and Italy shouldn't be in your proposed categories - in my opinion, Western Europe block fits them the best. UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy - (minus Germany in Central Europe) these are the big leagues, big boys of the game, big clubs, mostly best training. If this group is too big I think the UK should be its own thing as they are a bit different in the football culture.

tbh, the most difficult is... Greece. It's football culture and other aspects fit more the Western Europe type but geographically it's obviously far away from there. Also, calling them "Balkans" would definitely make some Greeks mad :D they are kinda their own thing but not significant enough to be their own thing so I agree with your grouping, but the name would definitely be changed just cause of them. Also - Malta, Cyprus. 
I think the best idea for the categories should be - UK, Western Europe, Central Europe, Southern Europe (Balkans+Greece), Eastern Europe, Northern Europe (Scandinavia+Baltic)

My proposal below.

0sxe0qh20viz.png

Indeed SI's view of "Eastern Europe" is extremely dated and even offensive to some. It's a purely Cold War definition. 

I could get on board with your scouting regions for sure, although I think UK & Ireland maybe does deserve it's own region. 

You can see what I said above regarding Greece, however I do accept that Spanish, French and Italian football are even more linked to each other so splitting them from France might not work.  Either way this would make for more realistic play, scouting and reputation. 

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Just now, Travis Bickle said:

 

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad we're having this conversation and I hope SI will take ntoe. 

What objection specifically do you have to my Southern Europe? It comes from three arguments:

1) Geographically they are all Europe's southernmost countries. 

2) I think they are culturally, and mostly linguistically linked to each other. 

3) Greek football is very much dependent on Portuguese and Spanish football, far more than it is on Serbian and Croatian football at this point, hence why I think Greece belongs in the same category.

Thanks again for your input, I agree with what you said regarding the Baltic states. 

I was commenting your map, which seems to be different from your better groupings in the written post. And as far as the map goes, Bulgaria is much further culturally, linguistically, economically and geographically from Iberia than from Ukraine or the Balkans and there's far more two-way exchange of players within SI's "Eastern Europe" than between Spain and Bulgaria. The map even put Romania and Moldova into separate world regions despite them being so close culturally and historically there's actually a reunification movement! 

I think SI's existing "Central Europe" is logical enough if you ignore the "Central" and assume it means "Western".  From a scouting perspective, I expect to find a similar type of player at a similar price point in Spain and France, and expect players to be a lot cheaper in the Balkans (and don't expect my Balkan club to be able to sign even lower tier French, Spanish players as easily as top tier Bulgarians or Azeris...)

There's some scope for breaking off Germany/Austria, with its more fitness and teamwork-oriented coaching styles and tendency of their player pool to be derived from and overlapping with players from the east and southeast, especially at lower levels, per your suggested Central Europe region and @Sopel's map

I think we all agree Greece/Cyprus is awkward because it's not really important enough to have its own group, fits better economically with Western Europe and geographically with the Balkans and Turkey (which it doesn't exactly scout..) and takes players from both, and for that matter Greek players are most likely to end up in Germany...

 

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19 hours ago, enigmatic said:

I was commenting your map, which seems to be different from your better groupings in the written post. And as far as the map goes, Bulgaria is much further culturally, linguistically, economically and geographically from Iberia than from Ukraine or the Balkans and there's far more two-way exchange of players within SI's "Eastern Europe" than between Spain and Bulgaria. The map even put Romania and Moldova into separate world regions despite them being so close culturally and historically there's actually a reunification movement! 

I think SI's existing "Central Europe" is logical enough if you ignore the "Central" and assume it means "Western".  From a scouting perspective, I expect to find a similar type of player at a similar price point in Spain and France, and expect players to be a lot cheaper in the Balkans (and don't expect my Balkan club to be able to sign even lower tier French, Spanish players as easily as top tier Bulgarians or Azeris...)

There's some scope for breaking off Germany/Austria, with its more fitness and teamwork-oriented coaching styles and tendency of their player pool to be derived from and overlapping with players from the east and southeast, especially at lower levels, per your suggested Central Europe region and @Sopel's map

I think we all agree Greece/Cyprus is awkward because it's not really important enough to have its own group, fits better economically with Western Europe and geographically with the Balkans and Turkey (which it doesn't exactly scout..) and takes players from both, and for that matter Greek players are most likely to end up in Germany...

 

Ah got you, the map I shared was one I found online I believe from the World Factbook or something similar. I do not suggest breaking the regions exactly like that, but it was a decent guideline for rough regional splits. I do agree that Bulgaria is clearly more tied with Eastern Europe than Southern or Western Europe. The amount of transfers that occur between Bulgaria and neighbouring Greece for example is very very minor, and there's only 1 Bulgarian player in the whole Greek Superleague (16 teams). It kind of echoes my point that in transfer activity Greece and Cyprus belong either in Western or Southern Europe. 

I think one thing to consider is that each nation does have their own transfer preferences. Portugal ends up buying a lot of players from Brazil because of their individual transfer preference. As such, in the case of Austria I think it's accurate to have them in Central Europe with Germany just with preferences to sign players from Balkans/Eastern Europe. 

I do wish SI would visit this though, I just think it's a very outdated way of looking at European regions. 

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On 13/03/2019 at 16:58, enigmatic said:

Much as many people from there will hate me saying it, the Baltic states are a better fit with a Russia-centric Eastern Europe than Scandinavia too.

You are right, they are most likely closer to Eastern Europe and Russia and only Estonia is weirdly close to Finland. Although I knew it wasn't the best fit I didn't put the Baltics in Eastern Europe as it would just bloat the region even more. If that would be fine they should be kinda their own thing.

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On 14/03/2019 at 17:19, Sopel said:

You are right, they are most likely closer to Eastern Europe and Russia and only Estonia is weirdly close to Finland. Although I knew it wasn't the best fit I didn't put the Baltics in Eastern Europe as it would just bloat the region even more. If that would be fine they should be kinda their own thing.

It might be a relatively small scouting region I think to have the Baltics by themselves. 

Does anyone else think it's ridiculous Gibraltar is in the same region as Turkey? Might as well have Spain/Portugal then lol. 

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Just a thought... what about overlapping scouting regions? Estonia could be paired with Finland in one and with Russia in the other. Moldova with Ukraine in one and Romania in the other. Greece with Turkey in one and with Spain in the other, etc.

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