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Moneyball | FM21 | Part 2

Statistics, finances and transfers. Welcome back to Moneyball. In my first post of the series, I outlined what Moneyball is, the club I’d chosen to take forward, and the rules and restrictions I’ll be using this year. If you missed it, I’d recommend starting there, and also reading my FM19 edition for a wider background on the subject. This post will look at results from the end of the 20/21 season and a deep dive into one signing we’ve made ahead of the summer window – Ryan Porteous.

Completing the 20-21 Season

Taking charge of Newcastle, there were seven games left of the Premier League season, just one point clear of relegation. Planning on taking a back seat, I signed an Assistant Manager who I felt would do a job as my first team coach. Brian Reimer has decent attributes and came in relatively cheap. He’ll be the guy on the sideline shouting instructions at the team. I’ll be in the office listening to the radio.

Brian Riemer Fm Screenshot

After a win against West Brom, but losses against Spurs and Liverpool, we were 18th, with a game in hand on Brighton in 17th. The remaining games were Fulham (H), West Ham (H), Man U (H), and Southampton (A) on the final day of the season.

Newcastle 3 – 2 West Ham

2-0 down with half an hour left, and we pulled it back to win, a goal from Joe Willock in the 89th minute was the winner.

16thAston Villa3636-7
18thNewcastle 3534-20
19thCrystal Palace3632-25

Newcastle 1 – 1 West Ham

A draw isn’t exactly what we needed with a couple of big games to come, but we’ve moved up out of the relegation zone.

west ham
16thAston Villa3736-8
19thCrystal Palace3632-25

Newcastle 1 – 1 Man United

Harry Maguire may have saved our season. Another draw, and after Brighton and Palace achieved wins, things aren’t looking great. We need to better Villa or Brighton’s result on the final day of the season. As I’m the GM, I won’t be watching the game.

Man united
17thAston Villa3736-8
19thCrystal Palace3735-24

Southampton 4 – 4 Newcastle

Having been 4-1 up with 60 mins gone, we somehow contrived to draw the game. But we did enough, Aston Villa lost 2-1 to Wolves, and we remain in the Premier League for next season.

Southampton results

Moneyball Begins

Looking ahead to next season, there is one position where I feel we could strengthen, Centre Back. Having decided on some Key Performance Indicators for each position, I conducted a search for relevant players who fit these requirements.

At DC, my KPIs are as follows:

  • HDRS W/90
  • HDR %
  • TCK
  • TCK R
  • INT/90
  • PAS A/90
  • PAS C/90

One player who really stood out when looking at Tackles and Interceptions was Ryan Porteous. He was the highest player in terms of TCK with 3.28 and also had a strong INT/90 with 3.68. Nathan Collins, Winston Reid and Odilan Kassounou look like good options also. Adriano doesn’t represent a good option at CB which is why he has been overlooked here.

Statistical analysis of tackling

When looking in terms of strength in the air, Mark Beevers, Sonny Bradley and Jake Cooper all represent good options.

Statistical analysis of heading

Looking at passing data, we can see again that Adriano comes out top, followed by Marco Kana, Harry Pickering and Eugene Makarenko.

Statistical analysis of Passing

All these players were placed into a shortlist and compared with each other, but one player stood out in terms of Age, Ability, Average Rating and overall value for money.

Porteous FM screenshot

Ryan Porteous was signed on a £3.8M deal with up to £0.8M worth of add ons. He will earn around £835k per annum making him one of the cheapest players at the club. Porteous was a top performer in terms of TCK and INT, played a good number of minutes in the league and had a great average rating. He also looked solid in terms of heading statistics and at 22, he represent someone I believe has the ability to grow into a more valuable asset in the future. Jake Cooper came a close second but I felt as though we would have had to pay over the odds to get him from Millwall, and Porteous represented better value for money.

Mass Exodus

I’ll also have several players leaving at the end of the season. I’m planning on releasing Andy Carroll, Henri Saivet and Kyle Scott, and players such as Federico Fernandez, Dwight Gayle and Cristian Atsu have already agreed deals at other clubs. This will recoup me around £8.5M per annum on the wage bill, which I intend to put to good use over the summer.

The next post will be looking at getting a formula together to calculate inherent value of a player. I’m aiming to use average rating, league rating and minutes played to try and estimate the value of a players wage, which I can then use to estimate whether a player is over or under valued.

I’ll also be looking at selling and buying players over the summer, so expect squad analysis and replacement signings in the next post.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post. Here are some other posts you may be interested in:

Written by FMVars


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  1. Amazing!!
    You are using Qlik to make those graphs?
    I am trying something similar in my save Deportivo La Coruña, thanks to this kind of analysis i found really cheap players playing in lower divisions.
    Great work

    • Thank you!

      It’s Tableau I use for the graphs

      Always great to find undervalued players, Good luck with the save! Depor are a great club hopefully you can take them back to the top!

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