I’m watching Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, for the second time and it’s once again got my manager senses tingling.
It’s a film about a baseball team called Oakland Athletics who ‘changed the game’ winning a record 20 games in a row in Major League Baseball, against clubs whose teams cost much more to build, using an analytical scouting technique which helped them find cheap, unfashionable, but highly effective baseball players.
Ever since I read articles about using Moneyball ideas in Football Manager, by Alex Stewart, and maybe before then, I’ve used aspects in my own FM careers. It makes the game more challenging and gives me something to aim for, a reason to keep playing. The game is so much more rewarding when you have to work long and hard to succeed. It’s also satisfying for those, like me, who seem to enjoy the agonising struggle of having to suffer loss after loss after loss before they eventually succeed, knowing they were never willing to give up.
So I’m going to use the ideas of Moneyball in Football Manager again.
My challenge starts in earnest in my second season managing Sampdoria in Serie A. It’s July 2016.
Step 1 is to take another look at each player in my squad. What were their average ratings last season? Why are they here? Are they only at the club on reputation? Who are the most valuable players? Are they tied down to long-term contracts? Are they happy?
Step 2 Find undervalued and/or unknown players. Sign scouts with knowledge of players in obscure nations so I can find these players and sign them for low prices.
Step 3 Get rid of players who flatter to deceive, a la Luis Nani. Looks like a footballer, appears very talented, but does not contribute enough consistently.
The most important thing for me though is finding the right players to make a squad that can compete with the big boys, namely Juventus.
So that’s the plan. I’ll update you when the squad is sorted out and explain why I’ve picked those players.