Eibar: an Analytics Story Part 1

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Eibar An Analytics Story

If you have stumbled upon my work on this site earlier, you probably noticed that most of my stuff is quite analytical. I tend to refine Tactics a lot and look at what they are actually doing on the pitch. Often that means playing on comprehensive in the initial stage of a Tactic and just later switching to Extended. I also look at Data quite a lot and try to base decisions on the Data that the game gives me so the idea was: Why not make a save based on Analytics? I picked SD Eibar for this one because they are the smallest team in La Liga with a tiny stadium. They are doing very well in reality but it’s going to be a challenge to get them to the top. Here are some of the rules/ideas of the save:

Constant Evaluation of Performance

One part of Analytics is obviously Performance Analysis. Training isn’t very well covered in Football Manager so in this case, it has to be mainly about Match Performance. I will look at how my players are doing and what they are doing all the time – that means watching the match on comprehensive and looking at the Data after the match. This has to be done because Average Rating as a Metric does not necessarily say too much about how a player performed and especially for some positions like Defenders it can just be based on the volume of actions which doesn’t mean these are Actions I want him to be performing. Average Rating also doesn’t help in terms of evaluating Tactics.

Finding a Tactical Identity

I like being pragmatic, I really do. But what I love is when a team symbolizes a style – a way of playing. And I want to get to that point eventually with Eibar. However, when I start out I am going to have a look at the squad – analyse the strengths and the weaknesses of it and set up a couple of Tactics according to the players we have at our disposal. But I do want this Tactic to be evolving, I want it to be a steady process of finding better players, of finding the right players for what we want to do in the long term. What that is – I don’t know it yet. We might end up in a Klopp style of relentless Pressing or we might end up as a team that tries to penetrate teams with loads of possession.

Scouting and signing players

There are a lot of approaches to signing and scouting players and loads of guides have been written about both subjects. I am obviously not going to disclose everything about my approach to signing players because doing that in an introduction post would kind of defeat the purpose of an in-depth series. What I can say is, that the approach to signing players and also to scouting is going to be quite analytical. An example: If we need a left back we won’t just scout for any left back that looks quite good and could do a job for us – no we want to take a look at a left back that does exactly what a left back should do for us. When we then go into signing said player, attributes are not the main thing to be taken into consideration: We will look at how the player actually performed at his old club, which requires trying to figure out how their old club was playing. This ensures that we don’t just get any, but the perfect player. On a shoestring budget like the one we have compared to the big dogs in the league it is the best and only way to keep up.

Long-Term Planning

Having a long-term plan in place is always important. This includes steadily improving the club and not going all out on a big transfer or a big loan that isn’t going to benefit us in the long term. Check out the next episode if you want to know more about what is behind the plans for our first few years in the Basque country.

You can expect updates on our journey (who will include fancy stuff and numbers) at least twice a week. If you have any suggestions, any question or just want to talk to me in General you can check out the Socials at the Bottom of the post or the FM Slack. I can also make a channel on Slack if you are interested in that sort of thing.

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