It’s been a busy week after the revisions to the performance scoring system. I spent a lot of time crunching the numbers to work out who is likely to see the biggest benefit (or otherwise!).

We should definitely use historical data to give us clues on this but there is a danger of over emphasising it. 

Success last season is no guarantee of continued success and we need to be watching pre-season carefully for what is happening now – not just buying lists of players who were  strong for dribbles or assists last season.

Overall, I’m feeling very positive about the changes.

I think it will improve the fortunes of many good players and reduce a few of those strange quirks that throw up winners that leave football fans scratching their heads.

Outsiders looking in could sometimes be forgiven for thinking that FI lives in an alternate reality. The more the scoring system reflects what people are seeing on the pitch the better.

With all the changes together, including the small reduction in the random element of game winning goal, I think we are going to see many strong players win more often. 

An elite group of players have the chance to dominate more than ever and the odds of Johnny McNoname stealing the show just came down.

We are also hitting the time of the year where knowing which players are most likely to win and win consistently is most crucial.

In late season and through the Summer, you can profit handsomely based on a reading of the market trends or getting some transfer gambles right. 

But in early season, there is no substitute for the hard yards of pre-season research. By the time that player scores big on the match day ratings everyone will know already and the price will fly – the best profits will go to the people who saw that big score coming.

You either have the data, know what to look for in it, and spend hours (days) researching or you don’t and there is no substitute for having that advantage as the season starts.

Quick Charitable Mention! A good cause to get involved with

Risers

Philippe Coutinho

News of a possible EPL loan move have seen Coutinho’s price yoyo back up again.

Arsenal are the apparent destination. Will it happen? I have no idea and I don’t think you can really call this one, you’ve got to put it down as a gamble. I’d certainly be very surprised as to where Arsenal were finding the money for what would be an expensive loan.

The question to ask is more “should I be involved in this kind of trade at all?”. 

He’s potentially an excellent FI player for both media and performance if he was back at a big EPL club and playing at his best. Particularly under the new scoring system I’d expect an early 2017/18 Coutinho to be doing well.

And he’d certianly get media interest. So there are plenty of upsides.

But to be in this trade, you have to be comfortable with the gamble that this could so easily collapse and you could be left with a rotation option at Barcelona who has dropped to perhaps £1.90. 

That’s not actually a terrible fate. There is always the chance that he turns things around at Barcelona and at 27 he has a long shelf life still. 

I am much more focused on pre-season and winkling out the good performers at the moment. 

But if I was in the market for transfer punts, I think this is one of the better ones because it isn’t quite all or nothing, he is going to retain some value and have his day again even if there is disappointment this time.

David Neres

Is there anyone Manchester United are not buying right now!?

This would be a big transfer if so.

I rate Neres as a potentially performance suitable player. He’s shown strong threat at Ajax but also the overall involvement and creativity that can build big baselines too.

He has shown that he can keep it up for Brazil in the Copa this Summer too (although to be fair he played against some pretty weak teams with Brazil and that will polish his numbers a bit). 

I would be optimistic for him overall, with the usual worry that Dutch league stats may not always translate to a bigger league. 

At this stage it is a risky trade because unlike Coutinho where you are still left with an eligible player, Neres could stay at Ajax leaving you with something of a dead weight much of the time and many traders won’t like that.

Patient holders might be fine to wait until the next transfer window if the worst happens but that’s not something I would do as a more active trader.

 

Gossip

Paul Pogba

This man. 

Just as people thought it was settling he has pulled a no show at training to force the exit. 

I am very glad to be 100% not involved with this. The social media slanging match in particular with loud holders begging others to stay with them and those without taking glee in the potential price drop is just tiresome. 

It’s a very unpredictable situation and whilst those with the gambling mentality might love it it is just not something I would get involved in at this stage. My latest trading guide explains why. 

Pogba could be an obvious media goldmine if he sticks around another season with United. But I think this is one of those rare situations where waiting and seeing is no bad thing. 

If you want those near guaranteed long term dividends if he stays, I think paying a slightly higher price to do so later to dodge the risk of a potentially savage drop is worth it in this case.

If he leaves the price is going to get crushed so the idea of buying into a situation where I have to worry about that for the next week does not appeal at all.

There are so many other targets to focus on that can deliver huge profits and don’t come with this level of stress!

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