If you don’t shoot you can’t score: part 2

In the first helping of ‘If you can’t shoot you can’t score’ I mentioned how the top goalscorers in the Premier League have taken more shots per game than other top strikers with fewer goals. For example, Aguero and Suarez have a better goals-to-game ratio than Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o.

I wanted to see if a similar pattern would emerge in Football Manager 2014 and although I haven’t given my strikers particular instructions to shoot more or less I think I have made some interesting findings.

Clear cut chances mean nothing

So some of the ‘elitists’ in the FM community bang on about the importance of clear cut chances (CCCs). I remember when countless frustrated FM players have complained on the SI Games forums they have a crazy amount of shots but cannot score only to receive the slightly condescending response that mere shots mean very little, they said it is ‘clear cut chances’ that matter when going for goals.

This is logical of course but when playing this year’s iteration of FM logical explanations seem null and void as the game’s a minefield of hair-tearing bugs. Nevertheless you would assume if you create around five CCCs in a game you will score at least one and probably more.

Well lately I have played several games with my Hartlepool team in the English fourth tier where I’ve been scratching my head as to why we have not won comfortably.

Here is an example with screenshots of match stats:

chancesThe green dots are CCCs Hartlepool had against Kidderminster in a 1-0 away win. Five all in the penalty area and only one was scored. The solitary goal was shot from the near post after a corner.

As you can see we had five half chances which could have resulted in a goal on another day.

chances 2As you can see above we had eight shots on target to score only one goal. Kidderminster had a clear cut chance of their own and thankfully they showed little more finishing ability than us.

Notwithstanding we also had eight corners so from so many shots on target and a generous helping of set pieces you might expect more than one goal.


And look at this howler. Herbert Amos is in acres of space right in front of goal and he puts it wide. Herbert has scored some fabulous goal for us, 8 in 15 this season, so you have to question what is going on here.

herbert amosYou might argue he has low composure but that is a woeful miss by anyone’s standards.

I might be more concerned if my team wasn’t making any chances but it’s so frustrating seeing your side playing well, keeping the ball, and getting in to scoring positions only for your attackers to miss constantly. Well I’m on the look-out for a striker who can actually find the back of the net and I can stop blaming the game.

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