Welcome to the exciting world of knock out football on FI, new traders!

That was brutal but also entirely, 100%, predictable. The Champions League is worth a lot to FI players. You get big chances to win triple performance dividends in a small field of players, with lots of attention on the game and media potential on top. 

So, when you have two big hitting teams going up against each other, there is going to be a big winner and a big loser. United are not out yet of course but it’s looking like it will take a miracle in Paris. Stranger things have happened. 

But the market is pretty much going to assume it won’t. 

As I have been saying in my members area and I think at some point on the Daily, the feel good factor around Manchester United and OGS has caused over optimism for their players. There have been real positive changes, particularly for Pogba, but prices for Martial and Rashford have gone well out of kilter with reality. 

This is the first time that over optimism has been dented and it will change how people feel about Manchester United and that will always filter through into prices. 

What I find most mystifying was the way people piled into Martial, Rashford and Lingard before the game yesterday.

Surely even traders new to FI had some kind of instinctive understanding that this game was a 50/50 at best for United and it could go very wrong?

I imagine more than a few people have learned some harsh lessons about chasing rises and taking needless gambles last night.

Perhaps in a world where the big new influx of traders from January have only ever seen things go up, risk management and smart trading is just not something that people have had to really worry about.

But you always have to worry about it. Especially when prices are rocketing because that is when people can be their most complacent and vulnerable. 

You can’t really protect yourself during a crash. There are only bad moves to make at that point. You have to protect yourself from crashes by making sure your portfolio isn’t carrying silly risks when everything is green.

Fix your roof when the sun is shining, as they say. 

Risers

Nicolo Zaniolo

This showcases the upside of getting a Champions League selection right. 

He appeared in my Champions League preview as one of the players to watch from Roma. I felt that the best hope for a big profit was a big performance from a young player attracting hype. Cengiz Under was another candidate but he didn’t start.

And so it turned out with Zaniolo bagging both goals and the matchwinner. 

He’s a talent for sure and at £1-3 it would be an excellent pick. However, at £5+ it gets hard to justify when you look at the reality. 

He won, yes, but with 2 goals and the match winner which do not come along very often. 211 from that is not brilliant and on a tougher treble day is even quite likely to get beaten. 

Generally, he has solid goal threat but his overall contribution to the game is limited. His pass completion is not good and he doesn’t typically make a huge numbers of passes. 

There is a glimmer of hope when in the occasional game his passing numbers are up in the 30-40 range which would be good, but it is very occasional. And, with low passing accuracy more passing may not be a great thing. 

As a youngster he can improve of course. And other similar players have gone on to reach very high prices despite limited real returns, so the market may decide it doesn’t care.

But, he’s looking quite far from a nailed on consistent performance player and we have a fair amount of minutes to judge him on. 

He would need goal streaks similar to a Piatek or Jovic to figure regularly. 

Another factor is that Roma still have a job to do to qualify going away to Porto. Porto have a crucial away goal so progression is still tough. And, if they get through, a draw against a big team will dampen enthusiasm for their assets in general because they are definitely an underdog team. 

Willem Geubbels

As a 17 year old, I’ve got very limited data on Geubbels to work with, and my data source is generally very good at pulling up minutes even at youth level. 

If we like, we can read something into his transfermarkt price tag of £12 million, the fact he plays for Monaco which is a known talent factory and the fact he is getting sub appearances at a young age. Someone at Monaco clearly rates him and he has a number of accolades including youngest player to appear in the Europa League. 

Essentially, if you were so inclined, it’s probably as easy to pump this player as it is to giveaway MDMA  at a rave in these market conditions.

So, he does have potential and the price is already creeping up there to reflect it. So, if you think you are going to buy when he does something incredible like make a 12 minute sub appearance without falling over, you might as well just go for it now. 

I will want to see more data before getting excited though. There are a ton of talented kids who aren’t very FI suitable. 

Fallers

Anthony Martial

Well. That… did not go well for many. 

As mentioned in the introduction I was a bit surprised that people were piling into this trade so late yesterday. I expected a bit of it but to that extent? 

Chasing rises on the day is a bad idea. Period. Almost always. To the point where even if you get one right, if it is part of your game, it is going to lose you money over the season. Just don’t do it. 

Even after that disaster, if you had thought just a bit ahead and bought 7 days ago you would still be up on the trade (unless you want to Instant Sell). 

I am probably the longest recorded Martial supporter, keen on him when languishing at £2/3 when nobody was interested (prove me wrong! 🙂 ). He is a strong potential performance player and still is. But you can pay too much for good players and the price is way out of touch with reality. 

Paying too much for good players is probably the biggest common error on FI right now.

Even if you are right about the player, the reward is small because everyone already knows they are good. If you are wrong, the penalty is severe. Why bother? Make the bets with high pay offs and low risks instead.

Hot Gossip

Sorry Sarri

How quickly fortunes can change. 

A few months ago Sarri was the genius who was bringing Napoli style FI friendly football to Chelsea. Now he is Sorry Sarri, a failure who is on his way out. 

This bad feeling is going to give the prices of Chelsea assets a kicking. And possibly hasten Hazard’s exit. 

If this beats down prices enough though, Chelsea players will be primed for a surge of renewed optimism when a new manager, possibly Zidane, comes in. 

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