Cutting corners (2).

Cutting corners (2).

As promised, I’ve plugged another 48 attacking corner routines into my custom database, in the hope of improving the conversion rate from that type of set piece.

To recap, then, I have done my best to cancel out any statistical noise from the numbers I am generating, by making every team in my modified Brazilian First Division, exactly the same. They each have 64 identical players, for whom every visible attribute is 10, and the hope is that what is being asked of the players – the formation they’re playing in, team instructions, player instructions, and set-piece organisation – makes the difference in results.

My aim is to use the numbers which Football Manager itself generates, to optimise my managerial decisions in my own save-game, which will be, eventually, the team predicted to finish bottom of the third division in Northern Ireland.

Last time out, the best I had managed to do, was come up with a corner-kick routine which resulted in seven goals across the season – or, slightly better than a goal every seven matches, given that a season has 47 games.

Could it be beaten? The good news is yes.

One of the routines yielded nine goals. From other things I have read about Football Manager 2022, there is a perception that near-post corners are overpowered, and so I’m not really too surprised that it’s a near-post corner setup causing havoc.

If you prefer the visual, to the table, the nine-goal arrangement looks like this:

The interesting thing which jumps out at me, is that here we have a near-post corner setup, but there isn’t even a man attacking it. There’s a lurker, yes, but I am obviously wondering whether or not it might be even more fruitful with someone directly looking to capitalise on balls put into that area.

A note about one of the assumptions I have made, and it might well be wrong. In the tests I am doing, I don’t care who’s on the front post, who’s on the back post, who’s staying back, who’s on the edge of the area, and so on, because all the players are exactly the same, with their attributes of 10. If I have a save game, I’ll be looking at who has the best corner-taking, and composure, and getting them to swing it in. I’ll be looking at who has the best long shots, anticipation, and technique, and sticking them on the edge of the box, and so on. But, unless there’s some innate ‘strikeriness’ which makes a striker with attributes of 10, more likely to convert, than a central midfielder with attributes of 10, it shouldn’t make a difference who is positioned where, in these tests.

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