In a previous article, I mentioned how important a Physio could be in keeping your players fit, on the pitch and from being a waste of money. By preventing injuries and reducing the length of any that happen your Physio can really help make a difference to your FM21 game. There’s a reason why top-flight teams invest in the medical team. An injury crisis can cost a team on the pitch and on the books. In this article we are going to look at a brief experiment comparing teams with different ability Physio’s. This will let us see what the benefit is in FM21 in clearer terms.
The Physio is in charge of the physical health of your team. Both in terms of helping reduce the likelihood of injury as well as treating players once they are injured. You’ll find most of the information they provide in the medical centre in FM21.
They can give an indicate of high risk players (because of training and/or match load), as well as a summary of the injuries sustained so far. At the end of the season you can see fairly clearly who has been out injured, for how long, and what percentage of their playing time/contract time that year has been spent injured. A great way of raising red flags about potentially injury prone or unfit players.
The medical team can have a Head Physio as well as additional Physio’s, and even some dedicated to youth or reserve teams.
In terms of the Physio Attributes you obviously want one with high values for Physiotherapy. A bit of a no-brainer. Alongside that though it is useful to have good values for Sport Science (for fitness related assessment) and useful secondary mental attributes like determination and motivation.
The Physio Experiment
Back in FM19 I set up an edited league for running experiments. I replaced the English league system with a single six team division. Each of these six teams, helpfully labelled A to F, were identical. In staff, finances, facilities and players. All teams had a transfer embargo too.
This means as many variables as possible were controlled for. All I had to do is make the changes I was interested in and then measure to see if they had an effect. I initially did this in FM19 with Professionalism.
After a lot of fighting with the FM21 editor I updated it. And then I gave a Head Physio to each team. But not the same Head Physio. This is where I made a change, a manipulation. I create 3 types of Physio (Good, Okay, and Bad) and altered their attributes accordingly.
All Physio’s had 1 for all attributes that were not likely to have much of an impact (where possible). But Physiotherapy, Sports Science, Determination, Motivating and Working with Youngsters were all changed. For the Good Physio’s this meant 20’s. For the Okay Physio’s this was 10, and for the Bad, 1. The current and potential ability were locked to the recommended amount for each level of ability so attributes wouldn’t change much over time.
Teams A and B got the Good Physio’s. C and D got the Okay, and E and F were cursed with the bad Physio’s. I then simmed a full year. I repeated this 5 times to get the data set.
Once I had the 5 different seasons I then went to the medical centre to count the number of injuries, the longest injury, and the total amount of weeks out injured.
From the figures below a few things about the Physio experiment stick out. The broad headline figure is that a good Physio is worth it. But they don’t make so much of a difference as to be worth breaking the bank over in the lower leagues.
Total Injuries and Total Time Spent Injured
When we consider the total amount of injuries and total length of these injuries we can see that on average the teams with the bad Physio have slightly more. More injuries for much longer period of time (about 138 weeks worth of injuries compared to about 103 weeks for teams with a good Physio).
Thats about 35 extra weeks worth of injuries for the bad teams, almost 9 months. The difference between okay and good Physio’s though seems to be negligible. Suggesting that whilst a good and okay Physio is better than a terrible one, there’s not much between them.
Digging a bit deeper we can see it’s not just about how many injuries there are. The most severe injuries in terms of length seemed to map to the Physio ability. The most severe injuries for the bad teams had players out for almost 5 and a half weeks longer than in good teams. Likewise the most common injury length for teams with a good Physio was jus shy of a week, whereas for the bad teams it was almost double at 2 weeks. Small margins, but margins that could impact on a small squad.
Looking at injury length and common lengths does suggest that when it comes to treatment there’s a real benefit to a better Physio. But as we mentioned earlier the benefit when it comes to prevention (number of injuries) is less stark.
Time Out and ‘Wasted’ Wages
Let’s talk time and money. In the slideshow above you can see that players from a team with a bad Physio were spending on average almost 11% of the year injured. For good and okay teams that was about 9%.
Again this seems like fine margins but in another graph in the slideshow you can see that this means in a team with a bad Physio over £28k was being spent per player,per year, for them to get a rub down from the medical team. Just less than £24k on the otherhand was being spent by good teams. Over the course of the season this means that whilst approximately £560k was being ‘lost’ by the good teams, around £675k was being ‘lost’ by bad teams.
This was easy to work out as all my players were getting £5k a week, or £260k a year. But it demonstrates that that small percentange difference, about 2% in time spent injured can really add up in terms of ‘wasted’ wage.
Lets put it another way. Improving your Physio can reduce ‘wasted’ wages and help you get more out of a small squad.
What does this mean for our Physio?
This is only the first part of the Physio analysis. In my next post I’ll look at the data in context, so in the real leagues we have running. Taking into account the impact of different size and ability medical teams. So we have to take this all with a pinch of salt. Especially seeing as whilst the sample size is decent, it’s not as big as it could be.
But from what we have here a few things stand out. Whilst a good Physio is much better than a bad one, and can really reduce the time spent injured and ‘save’ money there isn’t much difference between a good physio and an average one.
Essentially it’s worth investing in a Physio so you can get a reasonable one. Okay and Good are better than Bad. But I wouldn’t splash the cash on upgrading them to Good unless you’ve got
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