Introduction to cherry picking.

Introduction to cherry picking.

In previous write-ups of test data, then, I looked at what happened when different attacking corner routines were plugged into a heavily-edited database, and found something I thought might be useful in my own saved game,

Once you get the hang of obtaining the data – Football Manager doesn’t let you print certain things as a web page, or text file, and you have to come up with creative solutions in order to get around this – you can analyse anything you want, and use what the game is telling you, to drive your own managerial decisions.

As above, it isn’t possible, using the game in the standard way, to turn a screen like the below, into a Chrome document which can be dropped into, say, Excel. Being able to do so would be incredibly useful.

Instead, what you get, is this blank document:

There is at least one way around it, that I have found, which is good news, because I strongly suspect that those ‘unobtainable’ numbers hold the key to being successful in Football Manager. It took a long time for me to figure out how I might extract those figures, but I did so, and the results are interesting.

It means you can ask: what things does a good Football Manager team do? You can also ask questions about formations, about which ones work better than others, but the most important question seems to be: what does a good team do? (And, what do good teams not do?) What things are seemingly baked-into the game, that successful teams do, that are not done by less successful teams? Do they keep possession? Do they put lots of crosses in? Do they commit lots of fouls? Is there a lot of dribbling? Are there any headers won? Many interceptions?

When you can answer those questions about teams, you can then look at the player data (which Football Manager does allow you to have access to, by using the game in the intended manner) to help with recruitment. For instance, if dribbling does turn out to be an important statistic, who’s doing the dribbling? Is it coming from the central attacking midfielder (if there is one?) Is it coming from the left wing-back (if there is one)? You now know what to look for in your existing squad, or when you’re trying to recruit. And you also get an insight into what training schedules you should consider. I hope that it is in some way possible to cherry-pick what a good Football Manager team does, and replicate it for myself.

Next time, I’ll discuss the limitations of what I am doing, and discuss the actual data.

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