Monday, 16 July 2012

Can Football Manager Be Used As A Scouting Tool?

Our 'Guest Blogger' Tomas Moseley, 

from www.playedoffthepark.net 


CAN FOOTBALL MANAGER BE USED 

AS A SCOUTING TOOL?

Sports Interactive’s Studio Director – Miles Jacobson


I would like to start off by saying I know this sounds stupid, as it’s a game, but hear me out!

This will be quite a small post, as it’s just a thought I used to have and after reading a recent interview with Miles Jacobson, I’ve been thinking about it again. Could, the game, Football Manager be used as a scouting tool?
In a recent interview, Miles said
“If you look at the person who’s currently being regarded as the best (scout) in the Premier League, Graham Carr at Newcastle, who spotted a bunch of French players that anyone who’s played Football Manager over the years knew of ages ago”
He definitely has a point, many players who have recently come into the spotlight, have been spotted years before on Football Manager, most people would agree. It is, technically, a huge scouting network, with hundreds of researchers assessing players before they go into the game, so the person who uses the database has lots of different opinions on one player, which, theoretically, means it should be relatively accurate.
A good example of this, for me, is Robert Lewandowksi. He has recently had lots of attention due to a good season with Dortmund and playing quite well at EURO 2012 with Poland, but for all my friends telling me about him, I feel as though they’re late, as he was a Football Manager 2008 legend, playing for Lech! So, I’ve looked out for him since then.
Everton currently are the only team to officially use the database, and they have uncovered some gems to be honest. Which could be a sign that it works, or it’s coincidence and they didn’t spot them through that. There’s no way of knowing, unless they’ve publicly said or you’re part of the ‘team’. But, I’m sure avid Football Manager fans will rush to praise football manager!
Now, there’s no guarantee of it being good though. A player could be amazing in real life and awful on the game, and vice versa. There’s a lot of players like that, everyone’s had them. There’s players that were tipped to be world beaters in Football Manager a few years ago, who now, are nowhere to be seen, which is probably, unfortunately, the majority. As it is a game, it’s impossible for it to predict 100% accurately.
Overall, I think teams should use the database, mainly to save money. They can use the database and target specific players, then go and further investigate to save money, so not buy solely on the game. I think low-budget clubs can find players in obscure countries on the game, then go to a couple of games and what-not in real life, as it’s cheaper than going to any old game in hope for any player, you’re going specifically and more efficiently. I’m not saying it’s an amazing, revolutionary tool that will answer all teams problems, if they want to find gems, but, used along side a traditional scouting team,  I think it could be a useful tool.
There are risks for this and most managers would not use, as it’s a game! But it’s just a thought I had, and was wondering what others views are on it, so, what do you think?

Check out www.playedoffthepark.net for more football blogs from Tomas Moseley, Also follow on twitter @playedofthepark 
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