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FM19 | Moneyball | Part 2

First I want to start out by saying thank you to everyone who read Moneyball Part 1. The response was really overwhelming and while I tried to respond to most comments, there are undoubtedly a few I missed. As promised, in this post we will be looking at my January Transfer Window activity, the stats for the players I signed, and a closer look at my KPIs and statistical setup.

Firstly, let’s take a closer look at my KPIs and why I chose them. I am playing a 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 formation and as such, I’ve separated my squad into 6 key areas:

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Goalkeeper

Pretty straight forward, we want our goalkeeper to make saves, be consistent without making mistakes and be comfortable on the ball.

  • Clean Sheets
  • Saves Tipped, Parried & Held
  • Goals Conceded
  • Mistakes Made & Leading to Goals
  • Passes Completed & Completion Ratio

Centre Backs

Hard tackling, no nonsense centre backs will be split by a deeper more technical defender.

  • Tackles Won & Completed
  • Fouls Made
  • Interceptions
  • Headers Won
  • Mistakes Made & Leading to Goals
  • Passes Completed & Completion Ratio

Wing Backs

We’re looking to our wing backs to provide all the width and do most of the running. They should be good at winning the ball back, driving forward and crossing in the final third.

  • Tackles Won & Completed
  • Fouls Made
  • Interceptions
  • Dribbles & Distance Covered
  • Mistakes Made
  • Cross Completion Ratio
  • Passes Completed & Completion Ratio

Central Midfield

My central midfielders will be tasked with winning back the ball, keeping passes simple and finding my number 10 or the advancing wing backs.

  • Tackles Won & Completed
  • Fouls Made
  • Interceptions
  • Dribbles & Distance Covered
  • Mistakes Made
  • Passes Completed & Completion Ratio

Number 10

The number 10 is our key attacking outlet. Our Fantasista (Brilliant article btw), he will be responsible for all that is good in the final third.

  • Shots & Shots on Target
  • Goals
  • Assists
  • Dribbles Made
  • Chances Created
  • Key Passes, Passes Completed and Completion Ratio

Strikers

At the top of the pitch, we’re looking for willing runners, to create space for the number 10, get on the end of crosses from the wing backs and finish off attacks by converting their chances.

  • Shots & Shots on Target
  • Goals
  • Assists
  • Dribbles Made
  • Fouls Against
  • Headers Won
  • Passes Completed and Completion Ratio

Application

All these KPIs are done on a per 90 minute basis or by appearances where applicable. Following these KPIs, I compiled a list of players for each position, and compared the data of all of the players I had scouted. This data formed the basis of my scouting. If you are going to implement moneyball with your save, the important thing to consider is what you want from each role in your system. Work out what you want each player to do, and draw your KPIs from there.

Also it’s important to take into account the meaning behind the numbers. For example, a goalkeeper who makes 10 saves a game might seem great based on that stat, but he could be playing for a relegation threatened team, who are facing an average of 30 shots a game, and he’s averaging 5 goals conceded. It’s important to look at the players league/team/style of football to apply some background and context to the statistics.

Here’s an idea of how I have my spreadsheet set up. After importing all the data, I’ve ranked each player based on each statistic, highlighting the top performers across numerous KPIs. This ranking is a bit simplistic, but gives a decent overview of players who are performing well above average across many different KPIs

Signings

January was a busy month. We made 5 signings, and offloaded a couple of players as well. I’ll first show their in-game profile, then the stats I based the signings on. I’m looking to use the data to exploit market trends, signing overlooked and unwanted players, where the data suggests they are capable. This is essentially the meaning of Moneyball. A reminder that these are the types of transfers I’m looking at:

  • Bosman Players
  • Transfer Listed Players
  • Players with low Release Clauses
  • Old / Injury Prone / Unproven Players
  • Players from Lower Leagues / Outside Top Five European Leagues

Wing Backs

Ewen Clave
  • Bosman Transfer
  • Signed on a Free (Joining in June)
  • Market Value: £83K

Ewen Clave was signed based on his high tackle completion and his high interceptions. He had a solid cross completion ratio, and was top of all my scouted wing backs for pass completion and average rating.

Dumitru Iordan
  • Bosman Transfer
  • Signed on a Free (Joining in June)
  • Market Value: £450K

The only players to better Clave’s tackle completion were Ricardo Pereira and Dumitru Iordan, who had the highest tackle completion at 94%. He also had the highest cross completion ratio at 50% and was 3rd for average rating.

Below I have compared my players with new signings. The average here is the average of all scouted player in each position.

Central Midfield

Sylvain Payet
  • Bosman Transfer
  • Signed on a Free (Joining in June)
  • Market Value: £1.7M

Sylvain Payet was third of all scouted players for tackles won, averaging 4.25 per 90 mins, also placing high for tackle completion. He was top when it came to interceptions, making an average of 3.4 per game, and had a decent average rating.

Strikers

Sebastian Burghelea
  • Signed from Steaua Bucharest
  • Signed For: £2M
  • Market Value: £9.75M

Sebastian Burghelea had a high shots and shots on target, 3.25 and 1.79 respectively, and high average rating of 7.36. For £2M he was an absolute steal.

Jaime Ortiz
  • Signed from Leganes
  • Signed For: £1.6M
  • Market Value: £2.2M

This guy is my big experiment, and hopefully will take centre stage in the future. Jaime Ortiz’s attributes are bang average, though he is quick. When it comes to stats he is an animal. He averaged 4.23 shots, 2.28 shots on target and 0.73 goals per game, all of which were in the top 3 of my scouted players. He was also really high for dribbles made and average rating. At 21, he’s already scored 78 goals from 137 games in his career.

Conclusion

Overall I’m really happy with the signings I’ve made. Bringing 5 players in for £3.6M with a combined value of ~£14M is a great window in my book, and hopefully these guys can impact the team in a positive way.

I also managed to offload a 33 year old Cristian Benteke on a loan deal, reducing my wage budget by £60K per week, and a 31 year old Erik Lamela for £1M, reducing my wage budget again and bringing a bit of money in.

Currently we’re sat 12th. With our wage budget 18th in the league and a media prediction of 19th, I’m pretty happy with our progress so far.

That about wraps up this post, next time I’ll be rounding up my season, looking at how my new players have done. I’ll also be rounding up my first Moneyball summer and previewing my second full season in charge of Crystal Palace. Also, I’m thinking of creating a plug-and-play spreadsheet that you can download and use. If you’re interested in something like that let me know and I will look into it.


Moneyball Series:

Thanks for checking out my article. If you’d like to contact me directly you can find me over @FM_Vars on Twitter

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