Expected goals, and other similar metrics, entered Football Manager 2021 as one of the most significant improvements to statistics and data. It brings a number of new possibilities to close the gap between the statistics and data real analysts and experts use to analyze players and teams.
Now it’s time to look at the statistics we want in Football Manager 2022 and other new metrics and data for FM22 that will be highly valuable when analyzing your team’s performances, conduct match analysis or in the process of recruiting players.
Let us delve into the FM22 features we want in regard to statistics and data!
Expected goals on target (xGOT)
We have come to learn the expected goals model in Football Manager and how it measures the quality of a chance based on the likeliness of the shot resulting in a goal. Each shot would get a value from 0.0 to 1.0 depending on the location of the shot, positioning of defenders and goalkeeper, in addition to the height of the ball when striking it. A 0.3 value would mean that there’s a 30% chance the shot converts into a goal – or for every 10 shots three of them will end up in the goal.
The result is that it pre-measures the quality of the chance, but doesn’t tell us the complete picture of the quality of the execution of the shot. This means that the shot is measured after it has been taken.
Expected goals on target (xGOT) will help us to further analyze a striker’s shots on target quality. This means that where the shot hits and how difficult the shot is to stop will be valued.
A shot placed in the far corner near the crossbar will have a higher xGOT than a shot in the center. The benefit of adding xGOT in Football Manager 2022 is to enable us to further analyze the performance of a striker. It can show that a player is an average at coming to chances with a not too extreme xG rating but that he manages to fire his shots away in good locations that improve the chances to convert those chances to goals. Similarly, we might have a player who comes to great goalscoring opportunities with high xG value, but regularly accounts low xGOT rating. Why that is might be down to technique, mental weaknesses in those situations (composure and concentration) or average finishing.
xGOT conceded – measuring the quality of the goalkeeper
These statistical metrics are not only valuable for those looking to finishing off attacks but also for goalkeepers. xGOT Conceded can help us to understand the quality of the goalkeeper. How many goals does he prevent? How does that rank towards other goalkeepers in the league?
Besides clean sheets and save percentage, xGOT conceded can help you understand the influence of the goalkeeper on your defensive records. By taking into account the quality of shots being faced we can understand the goalkeeper’s ability to prevent goals.
You can learn more about xGOT in this article at theanalyst.com.
Expected Assists xA
When xG was introduced in FM21 I was baffled by the fact that xA or expected assists were not!
I assume expected assists will be in Football Manager 2022. The benefit of having the stat is to better quantify any pass regardless of a shot is being taken or not.
Currently, we got key passes and chances created, but both metrics is calculated according to the quality of the shot. Chances created will only be given to a player if the xG is higher than 0.3.
Expected assists will provide you with a deeper insight into the quality of the pass by calculating its likeliness to result in an assist regardless of a shot is taken or not. An xA of 0.0 will never result in an assist, while an xA of 0.9 will 9 out of 10 times result in an assist.
Since it measures the probability of any given passes becoming an assist, based on a number of factors such as the pattern of play (e.g open play or set-pieces), the destination of the pass, type of pass, execution and distance, we can measure the passing quality and how creative a player is.
Expected assists allow us to value the underlying contributions of creative players that traditional football metrics can’t measure effectively. It is the next step in providing a more informed framework that values the creativity of all passes, rather than just those that directly result in a shot or goal.The Analyst
PPDA – Passes Allowed per Defensive Actions
How can we figure out whether your pressing strategy works in Football Manager? Maybe you’ve gone for a high pressing system where you use a high defensive line and much more closing down, or Mayte you like to use a mid-block where you allow the opponent more time on the ball before pressing them into unfavorable zones.
Currently, there are very few options to analyze whether your pressing system works. You can look at where your players intercept passes or regain possession but there’s a metric that can reveal the truth better than the statistics we currently got.
PPDA allows you to measure the pressure that the defending team puts on the opposition players when they are in possession of the ball.Wyscout
Passes allowed per defensive actions, otherwise known as PPDA, is a metric that allows us to measure pressing and its intensity. It can be used for individual matches or throughout the season to provide an insight on the extent and aggression on the press set by teams. By calculating the number of passes allowed by the defending team before interceptions, tackles, fouls or possession-winning duels (including headers) are made, you’ll get a number that can be compared from match to match or between teams to see the effect of your pressing intensity.
PPDA = Number of Passes made by Attacking Team / Number of Defensive Actions
A team that is aggressive with their press by allowing fewer passes for the attacking team before taking defensive actions in their hunt for possessions will normally record a lower PPDA score, than one team that sits deep and starts their press around the half-way line.
For the manager, it can be valuable to get a calculation of how many passes you allow before your players are closing down the opponent. A team who wants to regain possession high up the pitch but have a higher PPDA score gives reason to believe either the players aren’t capable of doing what you instruct them or that there are weaknesses in your pressing strategy, perhaps to your shape, compactness or individual player weaknesses within the first line of defense. Perhaps you’ve set a too low line of engagement, perhaps your shape lacks players in specific zones which means the opponent can easily bypass press or individual players are lazy, or his role/instructions contradicts your overall pressing strategy.. perhaps even you use the wrong opposition instruction strategy when coming up against a player.
On the contrary, PPDA can be used as a measurement to provide characteristics of a team’s pressing intensity. The value might drop or increase between matches depending on the strength of the opposition, the team’s form and morale heading into a match, but the average season number can describe the manager’s football philosophy and tendencies. In summary, it can be used to understand how you shall approach the next match, whether you need to employ specific match plans or adjust your pressing strategy according to, or depending on, their strengths or weaknesses.
By adding PPDA in Football Manager 2022, we will finally be able to measure how well the team defends. We already got several ways to quantify the team’s attacking efficiency with xG and shot maps, so it’s about time to improve the way we can analyze defensive actions in FM. Passes allowed per defensive actions will therefore be a huge step in the right direction.
Passing sequences and speed of directness
Measuring the effect of pressing intensity is one thing, but another is to measure and rank a team’s ‘effectiveness’ in attacking transition. Whether you’re a manager who relies on counter-attacks and likes to get the ball forward with as few passes and by a high tempo it might be beneficial to find statistics relevant to the average number of passing sequences within the team and their speed of directness.
This will better describe and quantify the team’s approach in possession. To better quantify how fast they enter the final third and how many passes they combines can help us analyze the next opposition and their strengths in transition.
This means that speed must be taken into account within the match engine, both in terms of the number of metres the team advances forward per seconds but also the kilometer per hour a player can run at.
By displaying it within a graph you can get an overview of how good your team is in transition compared to your opponents. A team playing a possession-based system will be displayed as slow with intricate passing sequences compared to a team that attacks fast and much more direct.
This way you’ll get an overview of the team’s style of play within a league aiding you to create match plans and approach the next opponent with a specific strategy according to your opposition analysis.
Contribution rating – Individual players influence to the performance of the team
Headers, key passes, tackles completion ratio, passes completed or shots on target are important stats to look at when assessing a single player’s performance on the pitch but basically it only considers how often a player performs a particular action when attacking or defending.
It doesn’t take into account the influence a specific action has on the game and its outcome. By adding Contribution rating in Football Manager 2022 we can better understand the frequency and impact a specific action a player takes has on the team’s abilities to score or prevent goals.
It may be a player who records a high number of expected assists, key passes and assists.
With him, on the pitch, the team will generally create more chances and come to better goalscoring opportunities than if he’s not in the squad.
The contribution rating will therefore describe the impact a player has over the team’s performances over the overall minutes played, or by 90 minutes according to all the individual actions he takes. It may take into account shots, passes, crosses, tackles and set-piece situations helping you to both plan recruitment and look for similar players or help you assess how much impact one player has on your team’s results.
The higher the Contribution Rating for a particular type of action is, the more the player has contributed to increasing the chances of scoring a goal or decreasing the chances of conceding a goal by performing that type of action. Actions that yield more favorable match situations receive positive values, whereas actions that yield less favorable match situations receive negative values.SciSports
An example may be a player who regularly restores to short simple passes that are played into less dangerous areas of the pitch – perhaps sideways or backward which decreases the probability to bypass defensive lines and get the ball into dangerous areas in the next event. This action will lead to a low Contribution score since the pass has a low influence on the team’s chances to come into goalscoring opportunities compared to a more direct diagonal pass from the half-space channel and into the penalty box.
Along with describing a player’s Contribution rating from low to high influence in a pattern graph, information in individual player analysis (e.g. analyst report made by the Recruitment Analyst) or reports delivered by the Performance Analyst can describe the areas he has high performance on, whether it’s chance creation, crossing, interceptions or dribbling.
Bypass defenders stats added for runs and passes
Should Contribution Rating be added in FM requires a more thorough calculation of not only passes or shots but also movements and runs. We frankly need to know whether a pass or run bypasses a defender or two…
By adding the number of times a player bypasses a defender with the ball, OR without it, we can better understand his contribution and impact to the attacking phase of the game. Similarly with shots. If a player frequently makes passes that bypass defenders, the danger of the pass (or run) will increase meaning it’s a higher chance the pass or moves results in a goal-scoring opportunity.
Passes Played Final Third
The influence of a player on the team’s performance does not only depend on the type of shots he takes, the number of bypassed runs, or his number of key passes. While passes completed and key passes are one of the stats I like to look at to judge a player’s contribution to the passing game, it’s important to look at where passes are received. It enables you to know which areas of the pitch he occupies and how he affects the game within that zone.
In order to improve on the passes’ completed stats, I’d like to see statistics for the final third passes added in Football Manager 2022.
The stat could be relevant for both teams and individual player’s as it lets you see which teams or players attempt the most passes in the final third and their completion ratio.
At the moment, everything is ready within FM to enable the final third passes to be calculated. You can simply select the pitch area within the individual analysis and select passes. What you’re not able to see is the percentage or accuracy in passes completed in the final third or how many of his passes are made in the final third throughout the season.
The benefit of the stat could be useful when looking for attacking wingbacks or playmakers who should play between the lines and his abilities to both recycle possession or create chances.
Enhance player’s statistics information tab
The player profile is often the go-to place to quickly assess a player’s performance. The overall statistics information of a player’s goals, assists, average rating, and specific stats relating to his position is all well and good. For FM21 it included xG, but for FM22 I’d loved if it was enhanced with expected assists (xA), positive or negative xG score to see if the player score more or less than expected in relation to the quality of his shots, along with other relevant statistical information added in the bar, such as;
- Number of high intensity sprints
- xG conceded (goalkeepers)
- final third passes % (wingbacks and midfielders)
Finally, I would have loved all the relevant stats in the player information tab were clickable and led to a screen where you can analyze the stats further. For instance, a zoomable shot map with all shots throughout the season with xG and further abilities to see highlights from the event when clicking on shots on target. Similarly, you can see a map of every goal and its location when clicking on the total number of goals.
Add Statistics Overlay technology to players in match screen
The last FM22 feature on my agenda today is not much about adding specific statistics and data but bringing the information to be displayed for players when playing a match. By adding real-time match facts you’ll get more insights into the performance of the players.
Like the real-life experience of watching matches on television, it would be great to get overlays of statistical information visible for top performers – providing you with a summary of his current performance.
It could include the number of dribbles a player has made, his maximum speed in the match or the number of key passes he has made until that moment. For a striker it might show the power of his hardest shot, the number of shots on target, passes completed in the final third or number of headers. At free-kicks it might perhaps show the distance to the goal with some graphical overlays.
The reason for adding these overlays is to give you a better picture of a player’s performance whilst watching the game. Yes, we got match and team stats popping up now and then, but in order to access player analysis in matches you need to click;
Tactics - Opposition - Click title; 'Best Performer' or 'Room for Improvement'
With overlays technology included in FM match screen there’s endless possibilites in the future. It could show a team’s shape by displaying striking lines between each players in a unit – regardless of you play 4-2-3-1 or attacking wingbacks in a 4-3-3 that morphs into a 2-3-5.
Feel free to share your ideas for new FM22 features, necessary changes, and improvements by adding a comment in the comments section below.