Scouting

Currently browsing: Scouting
  • 22 Jun 2017

    The challenge of scouting Ajax

    Ajax’s impressive run to the Europa League final alerted clubs across Europe to the potential of the young players in their squad, and suggested to many that they had the temperament as well as the skill to compete in bigger leagues.While clubs have access to video as well as the ability to watch Ajax’s players […]
  • 19 May 2017

    The breadth-depth compromise

    In an ideal world we would scout every footballer on the planet and have full knowledge of each player’s suitability for our club. However, limited resources mean we have to strike a compromise between the breadth and depth of our search:Prioritise breadth: by scouting many players, we reduce the risk of missing out on talent, […]
  • 20 Apr 2017

    Rating our scouts

    Player recruitment is a process that should ideally combine objectivity and subjectivity. Both aspects, however, should regularly come under suitable scrutiny and review: we should question whether we are looking at the right data, and we should question the predictions of our scouts.While the former can require detailed statistical checks, the latter needn’t be an […]
  • 12 Jan 2017

    A spike in demand

    The January transfer window is often a period of opportunism and seeking a short-term fix. The ability to bring players in can depend on a whole range of factors, including costs elsewhere in the squad, the seller’s appetite to sell, payment terms, and so on.The market conditions play a role, too; it’s useful to know […]
  • 10 Nov 2016

    How many players do we need?

    Implicit in all the decisions around player trading and youth promotion is a prediction about the depth of squad needed to compete during the season. Some clubs hope to go deep in all competitions, others are content at prioritising the league.Given the average footballer’s annual pay is a deeply material cost to the club, it […]
  • 01 Sep 2016

    An avoidable distraction

    September always brings a certain tranquility to the world of football when juxtaposed against the annual melee of deadline day.  As the clock runs down on August, buying clubs rush to bolster their squad while selling clubs look to offload their expensive, unproductive assets.  Indeed, since 2010 a remarkable 18% of business in the Premier […]
  • 18 Aug 2016

    The overrated factor

    With less than two weeks until the transfer window closes, boardrooms are increasingly required to make quick decisions under pressure.In this environment, we often try to evaluate complex choices by relying on small pieces of simple information. In some cases, this can be useful - last year we encouraged clubs to ‘make three rules’ as […]
  • 04 Dec 2015

    For every talented player

    For every talented footballer... There is an agent telling stories about the player's attributes and future potential. There are 10 scouts in the stadium also watching on, scribbling down notes.There are 150 scouts sat at the training ground trawling through reports via a database. There are 500 sporting directors and technical analysts watching video and […]
  • 26 Nov 2015

    The next Jamie Vardy

    Jamie Vardy’s record-equalling run of 10 goals in 10 consecutive Premier League matches is a remarkable feat on its own; it’s made all the more astonishing by the fact he was playing in England’s seventh tier just four and a half years ago.His path from the lower leagues to national team starter is therefore making […]