Get deeper insight into how the Recruitment Analyst staff role works in Football Manager 2021 or discover what improvements to the Recruitment Analyst for Football Manager 2022 WE WANT TO SEE!
Signing players in Football Manager with potential is easy, but finding the players that fit your tactics whilst having the potential to become a future key player is harder. It’s not like you can only look at the scout’s recommendation rating and/or star rating to find a player that might be successful for your club. You need to consider their playing position, their set of skills, personality, hidden attributes, and traits in relation to the on-pitch performances via stats!
The Role of the Recruitment Analyst in Football Manager 2021
Over the years, statistics and data have become a major part of Football Manager. With more tools and information at your fingertips, Football Manager has entered the modern footballing world where technology assists the club on all fronts. Statistics and data bring you a way of assessing player’s performances and skills in order to make better judgments in scouting and when signing players.
It’s here the new staff role Recruitment Analyst plays a major part. The role was introduced in Football Manager 2021 and meant the team of data analysts was split between Recruitment Analysts and Performance Analysts.
One being in charge of assessing the performance of the team and the individual player’s within your squad as well as analyzing the next opposition and gather vital data about them. The other, in charge of analyzing players within your database or scouting reach, according to your club’s allowed recruitment package.
The Recruitment Analyst looks to assess statistics and data about external player’s performance to give you a better insight to potential signings sets of skills, herein strength and weaknesses. By providing a role analysis of the player in question comparing a player’s stats and performances between the two copetitions and between similar players at your club, you got another tool at your disposal to let you make more informed-decisions when it comes to signing players.
So, while the Performance analyst works close to the coaching team, will the Recruitment Analyst work as close to the scouting team. Instead of watching the player in matches, so-called live scouting, will the Recruitment Analyst use statistical data and other metrics to provide reports that are totally objective!
The scouting team will, as you already know, potentially consist of a Director of football, Loan Manager, Technical Director, scouts and the Recruitment Analyst we hereby speak of.
When it comes to scouting for players in Football Manager, it’s merely the main job for the scouts and the recruitment analyst. The way you use them will be somehow different, but both roles enable you to get reports of potential signings.
Live Scouting vs Data-Driven Insights
Scouting in Football Manager can broadly be speaking be split into two different options;
- Live Scouting is the event where scouts attend matches and roam the world, a region or a nation to identify likely targets. In FM21, if you’ve created an assignment, the scout will basically attend matches that’s played in that area without considering the clubs playing, the overall fixture list for that day or traveling distance. One day he might watch A.C. Milan in the hunt for a wing-back, the next day he might go to see Paderborn.
…and here it’s possible an improvement for FM22 – giving us an option to set further paramaters of which matches he should attend and on what level. But back to the topic!
Live scouting enables you to get insight about a players characteristics relating to mental abilities and traits such as his adaptability, injury proneness, consistency and alongside other valueable information that describes how well the player could fit within your squad in regard to Social Groups, Personality, role suitability as well as letting you learn more about his strongest and weakest areas of his game.
- Data-Driven Insights is scouting by assessing statistics, data and other metrics to analyze player’s on-pitch performance in a more objective way to evaluate players capabilities. For instance, instead of describing Anticipation as the strongest area of a player’s game, the Recruitment Analyst will use data to find information that undergirds that opinion. Perhaps the player frequently makes a lot of interceptions per 90 minutes, or clearances, which can tell you how good he’s at reading the game and act upon defensive situations in numbers!
You could say he’s a Data Scout who uses numbers and metrics to analyze how good or bad the player is – or how his strength and weaknesses relates to his position and role. It’s then your job to analyze his individual performances towards your league and its standards.
These two different approaches to scouting will thereby live side by side. For success, you should consider using both measurements for the most efficiency.
The Responsibilities of the Recruitment Analyst
The main responsibilities of the Recruitment Analyst is to gather and compile Analysis and Reports of the player’s outside your club. It may be potential signings that you’ve identified through increasing your scouting knowledge and using player search to your advantage. Or, it may be players within your scouting knowledge that becomes of interest to the Analyst via specific scouting and recruitment focuses determined in the Recruitment Meetings.
The recruitment meetings play a major part in how the Recruitment Analyst will operate. In fact, you can affect how he will operate in three ways:
- Request an Analyst Report by asking the Recruitment Analyst to prioritise gathering statistics of any specific players. It can be a player in your next opposition’s squad that have caught your interest and you like to learn more about, or who is wanted by your rivals but which you know little about.
- One way to request these reports are by going to any player’s player profile and use the drop down menu in Reports, or right clicking on a player’s name in lists, which opens up a window with the option to Get Reports. Instead of clicking Get Scout Report, you’ll click either ‘Get Analyst Report‘ or ‘Assign Analyst‘.
- This option is available both in player search, in the Scouting Centre or from Report cards at Recruitment meetings.
- Set an short-term scouting focus in Recruitment Meetings to identify player’s with notable stats that relates to his role and position. For instance, it might be useful to find players who makes lots of key passes and got a high pass completion ratio if you’re looking for a new creative playmaker. Read more in our guide on how to use statistics and data to scout for players.
- Using Set Focus (short or long-term), which is available when you’re not responsible of Scouting but has left it to your Chief Scout or Director of Football. In this case will the Recruitment Analyst imply acquire reports about players according to your filter with notable stats.
- For instance, you’ve set a Scouting Focus, where the scouts will look to identify targets that fits your tactic, plays as striker and are between the age of 18 and 25. The Recruitment analyst will then work within the allowed recruitment package to identify prospects with notable stats according to these parameters.
Whilst these are just some of the tasks you can give to the Recruitment Analyst, the role excels in collating statistics and data about individual players and serve it to you in a meaningful way.
Therefore he will assist the scouting team to compile his recommendation which merely focuses more on statistics and how he performs within the position/role than subjective opinions and observations. That means you’ll be given reports that are totally objective.
Key Attributes for the Recruitment Analyst
In order to fulfill the requirements of his role in the best manner, will the recruitment analyst need the ability to both;
- Analyzing Data – the ability to comprehend player data and interpret the statistical data at hands in a useful manner to the manager.
- Judging Player Ability – the ability to appraise the current standard of a given player
The Analyst Report
The analyst report analysis the player’s statistics within his role and position and looks to compile relevant stats in a spider web chart. While the initial analysis of a player starts as soon as you click the ‘Get Scout report’ button the Recruitment Analyst will not compare and gather data in a more meaningful way until you ask for an Analyst Report.
By giving you a report card that gives you both insight into his form, the current season stats and his positive and negative performances relating to a whole range of stats you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of the player’s capabilities.
The data will then correlate to the competition the player is based in and shows you the numbers and statistical performance in comparison to the player with the best score within that position for your side.
For instance, while the scout has identified a player as a fairly consistent performer, the Recruitment Analyst can provide you with numbers that correlate. In this event, the average rating stat or current form can build-up under the scout’s opinion.
Attributes vs Stats?
It’s foolish to make judgments of a player based on single attributes. The reason you shouldn’t consider a player based on stand-out attributes is because the Football Manager’s match engine uses sets of attributes to calculate the outcome of a given situation.
Instead of looking at the level of single attributes will the Recruitment Analyst compile numbers and combine statistics to work out a spider web chart that includes the most important stats for his position.
It’s important to note that the spider web chart won’t be visible until a player has received enough match minutes to make it purposeful.
Just like scouting players to build up knowledge about them, you will learn more about their positive and negative sides by acquiring an analyst report. The report will thereby become more detailed as you can flick through different stats web chart’s for different positions he’s capable of playing. The chart will then feature stats relevant for that role and compare his stats to the league average.
The information it reveals can be used to determine how good or bad a defensive-minded player is at winning tackles, block shots, make clearances, or interceptions. It will reveal if the player is performing above or below the normal standard for his role and how his performance relates to similar players within the league he’s based in.
Statistics and data will therefore help you get a clearer picture of a player’s achievements in regard to certain attributes and technical skills. A player with 16 in passing might not be the best playmaker unless he also possesses other relevant attributes such as vision, technique, balance, and anticipation, and even then he might perform in his role quite differently than another player with a similar level of attributes.
What do you mean?
An example may be two strikers with 14 in finishing. One of these strikers comes to goalscoring opportunities inside the box, which is shown by a high expected goals value, but scores rarely. The other might have a tad lower expected goals value but scores more often.
For striker A, it could be a case of unluck, form or major differences in the level of attributes required in those situations. He might be great in decision-making and off the ball but lacks the technical skills to execute shots from close-range or mental capabilities such as composure and concentration to stave off that pressure in these situations. Perhaps it may even be a case of passes and crosses are delivered to his weakest foot whilst striker B is capable of finishing with either foot.
By taking advantage of the Recruitment Analyst in scenarios like this, you can both track his form and assess his performances in a wider perspective than for a match or two, to see if this is a trend that’s naturally part of his skill set or just a brief stint.
Browsing through the list of strengths and weaknesses within the Analyst Report, or properly analyze the spider web chart can reveal more about the player than what the scout report clarifies.
What’s the benefits of utilizing the Recruitment Analyst
Using data to scout for players with the help of a Recruitment Analyst is not only a cost-effective way of scouting as the traveling cost will be minimal, but also enables you to acquire reports of a huge amount of players within a position from a league or competition.
For a club with minor financial resources, data scouting can be a way of assessing a player’s current abilities relating to performance. While it doesn’t tell anything about a player’s on/off the ball movements, his tactical awareness, decision-making and abilities to create space for himself or others, analyst reports can be one of the pieces in the puzzle to learn everything you need about the player.
Apart from being a more cost-efficient way to conduct scouting, taking the advantage of your Recruitment Analyst can be a purposeful way of monitoring a player’s development for the long term.
Instead of considering a player’s attributes and availability, will the Recruitment Analyst combine data and statistics to compile reports free from subjective opinions. Frankly, it removes some of the parameters that may affect the scout’s opinion about the player.
How Cognitive Biases affect Scout Recommendations
External ‘noises’ that might affect your opinion about a player is gone when looking at statistics and data.
For instance, a scout’s judgment of a player might be affected by how the two teams enter the match and the environment around the match. The latter is most relevant for real-life scouting. Their playing style, herein the use of tactical instructions, shape and formation, in addition to the type of weather and the overall performance of the squad can affect an individual player’s performance. Perhaps the opposition makes it difficult for the specific player to get space to make an impact. Perhaps his manager uses a formation and starting line-up with partnerships that reduce the effect a certain player may have, or he opts for tactical instructions that decrease the impact of a certain player; as it requires additional skills of him. Perhaps, the team simply has an off day where tiredness and morale affect their on-pitch performances.
It may be the use of a higher tempo which forces the player’s to think faster, utilizing more width or a more direct playing style which stretches the shape and requires each player to run more than ‘usual’ resulting in a player with less stamina and concentration to perhaps make less of an impact. Similarly, it may even be that the player has been used as a lone Advanced Forward in the matches before, but must play as a Complete Forward in a two-striker partnership in the next match as the manager wants a more physical player besides him.
By using data scouting more, you’ll remove some of the effect cognitive biases may have on the scouts when watching the players live, but it can’t replace live scouting entirely. Instead, it can be a great addition to live scouting as you get to see the actual facts about how the player performs along with notable trends.
How the role of the Recruitment Analyst can be improved for FM22?
For FM21 we came to know expected goals and got charts like attacking efficiency, shot maps and xG Match Story that helped us get a better picture of the team’s or player’s overall performance. For FM22, I hope this will be extended on – providing us with more information about the player we’re analyzing the data of, than ever before!
Whilst I loved the introduction of the Recruitment Analyst role in FM21, I think it got a massive potential to be improved upon and be even better!
Before Football Manager 2022 release, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on how the Recruitment Analyst role can be revamped for Football Manager 2022 by, in fact, distinguish the two data analyst roles further apart. What I envision, is that the Recruitment analyst will compile new reports or gather additional statistical information that will benefit us – giving us further abilities to weigh up the pros and cons ahead of making a transfer offer.
The primary objective of this is to get a deeper knowledge of the player’s style of play and how he might fit into your club.
These improvements I’ll hereby suggest, aims to close the gap between how the Recruitment Analyst works in Football Manager and how data scouts operate in real-life. In fact, I’d like to put emphasis on the meaning of ‘Recruitment’ and bring further tools at your fingertips to get a more thorough analysis of the player’s style of play.
So let’s take a look at the information I think the Recruitment Analyst should provide us in FM22.
Automatically Analyst Players on Shortlists
Since the Recruitment Analyst is part of the job to identify suitable targets, one natural step moving forward is to make him automatically responsible for analyzing players on your shortlist(s) for FM22. Since the Recruitment analyst doesn’t watch the player by attending matches but instead uses Computer and data-driven insights it shouldn’t be hard for the Recruitment team to ‘established an in-house database’ of the player’s within your recruitment package.
Instead of asking them to get an analyst report of a player, they should automatically analyze any players in your shortlists. This will be ongoing progress until the player has been removed from the shortlist.
Apart from analyzing the player’s on your shortlists, it should be a way to determine which leagues the Recruitment Analyst and its team of data analysts shall report from.
Despite having a worldwide scouting package, you could limit the Recruitment Analyst to get Analyst Reports from players within the top 10 European leagues if you’re playing in any of the top divisions in Europe. This will extend on the options from the Recruitment Meetings as they can use the statistical database of players to provide you with more reports.
Since they are using computers to analyze statistics the possibility of browsing through hundreds of players…or even thousands of players performances, it wouldn’t be much hassle to provide you reports about players with notable stats on a monthly basis. It could be a news ticker that’s being sent to your inbox that notifies you of players with notable stats in the last month.
As it’s now, it seems the Recruitment Analyst doesn’t consider the playing level when assessing a player’s performance. They could watch a player in the Swiss Under-18 league, Sky Bet League Two, regional divisions of Germany or a player in the Prva Liga Serbia despite you’re playing as one of the contenders for the Championship title in one of the top 5 leagues.
Anyways, perhaps that’s just part of his job, assessing statistical performances without considering the playing level, which means you need to send out your scouts to finally judge the player’s abilities.
Show Percentage of Player Role Suitabilities instead of Star Ratings
The star ratings have been part of Football Manager for as long as I can remember. For Abilities and Potential, I can partly understand why stars are the best way to show their abilities, despite it might leave some confusion and uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean the star ratings is the best option to display role suitability.
Take Everton Cebolinha as an example. Four stars as Inverted Winger (Su), Inside Forward (At), Advanced Playmaker (Su), Raumdeuter and Trequartista. That’s only on the left-wing. A similar star rating shows that he’s ‘equally capable’ of playing as False Nine or Advanced Forward.
The star rating doesn’t totally reflect the minor differences in behavior to the roles and the individual capabilities to play in one role over the other. He might have a specific movement trait that will make him more inclined to affect the role to the better or worse, or he might have an attribute or two which is a tad lower which can ‘heavily’ affect the outcome of the performance in a specific player role.
For FM22, I’d like to see the Recruitment Analyst work out percentage suitability for role and duty when assessing stats and combining the data within his player profile. According to player traits, preferred foot and most suited playing position it could be better to get an overview of the percentage to play as an Inside Forward, Advanced Playmaker, Winger or Striker.
It could be displayed as a piechart in the Analyst Report and a list of percentage suitability in player profile – simply swapping stars with a more accurate percentage number.
Additional Information: Playing Behavior displayed in reports
Additional information in the analyst report could include where he mostly plays – e.g right or left wing, whether he’s most used to play in a 4-3-3 formation or 3-4-2-1, or which role he typically behaves like.
It could be that he has the role of the Deep-lying Forward but behaves like the False Nine by dropping deep and running with the ball through the center. Similarly, he might play as a right-winger, but behaves like an inverted winger as he tends to move the ball to his stronger foot (left) before dribbling.
This information about the player’s roles on the pitch will be pretty helpful in order to understand how the player behaves on the pitch and how he might fit into your team.
The Recruitment Analyst could provide an additional note that the player tends to prefer shorter passes or middle long passes, or that he got the highest chance creation passes within the team he plays for along with the current information about how he ranks in the competition.
It might be tactical instructions (e.g team or player instructions) that he’s become accustomed to after playing in a role or under specific instructions for a longer time!
Personally, I feel the Recruitment Analyst or data scouts, if FM22 should introduce a new staff role, shall take into account heat maps and player’s positioning within the team shape when assessing stats. It might be that a central defender is most suited to play as a left center back in a three-man defense – something that might affect his statistical output and performance that the Recruitment Analyst could show a note on when handing you his Analyst Reports.
Introduce Similar Player As in regard to Statistics
I’m fully aware we got a feature in Football Manager that lets you scout for a similar player as another. But in regard to the Recruitment Analyst, I’d loved it if he would compare stats and data to another relevant player. He could in the bottom of his report provide you with a list of player’s at a similar playing level with a similar playing style and performance.
By using his database of statistics and performances relating to the recruitment package, he could continuously analyze the statistics and compare player’s performances and provide you with his findings when requesting specific analysis of a player.
This way he will work in the background until you send him out on specific missions.
Introduce Development Graph
When using data to scout for players, one neat little thing that could help us make better judgments when signing players is the option to see a Development graph of the player’s progress during the period of Analysis.
This development graph includes some of the similarities to the Progress graph in player profiles but with one minor difference. It shows the Current Potential ability score – e.g 125(!) and describes how much development the player has had in the last months.
Apart from that, could it be possible to compare the development graph to any player within your team – enabling you to see how the state of the player at a similar age.
If we take this idea one step, the scout or analyst reports includes a prediction of the player’s potential. What if a similar graph with the potential score were included in the Scout or Analyst Report. The score could say that the player got a potential score of 145.8 and compare it to your current’s average potential value (e.g. 142.2).
Then, you could compare his current potential score to other players within your team meaning you’ll have a better judgment than star ratings to decide if he’s a valuable asset to your team, or not.
Add Match Clips & Player Analysis in Reports
When a scout attends matches to watch a player he will deliver match highlights that shows his actions on the pitch. But what if you had a similar option to get match clips that relate to his statistics.
For instance, let’s assume you’re looking for a new playmaker within your team. Your Data Analyst has come across a player with a high passing completion ratio and key passes. What if you could get additional information within the reports that show the player’s average heat map and where he takes his touches along with match clips that relate to the stats. By clicking Key Passes, you might be able to see a compilation of his key passes and where he takes them from.
This information could be fetched from a club database that connects scout reports, analyst reports and information gathered by third-party sources – much like you would do if you go to SofaScore and look up a player and get stats from his latest match.
Feature Goal Scoring Information in Analyst Reports
The Player Analysis section could include another feature I’ve been missing for years. The ability to get information about how goals have been scored; whether it comes from headers, left or right foot could be ideal when looking to recruit a forward.
Along with information about which part of the body he most likely scores goals with, it could be beneficial to get a shot map to see where he scores most frequently from – whether he’s more of a box player, target man or all-round goalscorer who can finish off from long shots and/or close range.
I understand we got attributes that might tell you that, but what if attributes were no longer part of Football Manager, at least not in the same 1-20 manner we’re used to?!
Add Data-Scouting Packages
These third-party sources I mentioned above could be ‘external’ companies that deliver data to clubs, just like SciSports. Like Recruitment packages, Football Manager 2022 could incorporate data-scouting packages where it depends on the club finances, board philosophies, and management strategies how much in-depth they want in the gathering of statistics.
The highest tier of data-scouting could include full statistics and match clips of both teams and players worldwide, whilst a limited package may only include a selected number of leagues. For instance, a maximum of 3 to 5 leagues.
The data-scouting package you select or got at your disposal could relate to the size of the scouting and recruitment team and how you want the scouting team to work in FM22. It will be another way of setting up the scouting network, as you’ll have a unique way of using modern technology.
Whether you will gain success in the transfer market by utilizing the Recruitment Analyst is as much up to you as your scouting strategies. You need to comprehend the data provided to you in the most purposeful manner as well as considering it as a long-term process rather than a one-off click on the ‘Get Analyst Report’ on a player of your interest.
In order to be successful, you can’t look at scout reports and analyst reports in isolation. They need to be compared and considered with each other. You just need to get these analyst reports often and at least for each season, so your Analyst team got the latest stats on that player.
Then it’s important to understand that while a player may stand out in the statistics for his performance, the league level he plays in may differ from yours – making it hard to judge how he would do for your team and under other circumstances relating to tactics, squad dynamics, and different opponents.