I love the start of the season.

There is so much to look at as we try to work out who the break out stars are going to be. 

Awful players are being bought. Great players are being sold. And everything in between. 

This always creates opportunities and whilst it can be frustrating particularly if you can’t resist the urge to chase some of these rises, it’s a time to keep a level head. 

If you have better information than the other guy, you can really profit at times of uncertainty. 

The market is pretty wild as people read way too much into just one performance score for this player or that player.

Usually, this is caused by an influx of new traders making their early mistakes and the general excitement people feel for seeing the return of performance and feeling like they have to trade or risk missing out on the next star.

That is definitely present. 

But I think the new scoring matrix is confusing matters even further. People have their mental definition of what “good” looks like and something around the 200 mark is usually the benchmark. 

It won’t be any longer though. The new scoring matrix is going to drag the average up significantly and I think those 200’s will start to look pretty damn average before long. 

It may be that 225 or even up to 250 or greater is required and as we see all 5 leagues back in action and a few more game weeks roll on we will get a better idea. 

So, traders will have to stop being so easily impressed and will need to demand more from their players. 

The midfield category in particular is looking fiercely competitive as we see several players stack up both goals and assists and build monster scores. 

As it is, traders are buying up anything with a good score whether it’s likely to continue or not.

I missed the usual blog post yesterday because I had my head in the match data from across the weekend’s action for a major scouting update for the members area.

Having been through each game in detail it is fair to say that the probablities are that some of these players who scored big at the weekend and have been chased at high prices are unlikely to be repeating their heroics anytime soon. Not all of them though by any means. 

And on the other side of the coin, there are plenty of players who got a poor performance score and were sold but actually have a good chance to do well in the coming games.

So, for the informed trader who is trading on the real match statistics and the trends rather than chasing performance scores from just one day, value opportunities are being opened up.

It’s really quite unimportant how much you made this weekend, it’s a volatile market. What does matter is whether you are carrying real quality in your portfolio or not and that’s where I am focusing my efforts right now.

This unsettled period won’t last forever. Things will calm down but many traders will want to see some consistency in the performance scoring first. That can take weeks to come through though and it is generally a bad idea to wait that long. Once it appears in an FI score then everyone knows already. 

Reviewing the real match data and knowing how to read it is the key to success in the coming weeks and months.

It’s the only way to stack the odds in your favour.

Risers

Kevin De Bruyne

Exceptional game from De Bruyne and holders got a big reward.

I have always been a De Bruyne sceptic historically. As a popular and well known (dare I say it too obvious) player, his price was always that bit out ahead of his actual ability.

The new performance scoring matrix was a real game changer for him though as highlighted in my analysis of the scoring changes in the members area.

In his most recent game he created an astonishing 9 chances 2 of which were converted with 7 going down as key passes.

That level of creativity is unusual even for De Bruyne. 2-3 chances per match is more of an average and a reasonable expectation but he can spike up towards 4-5 quite consistently. 

Combined with the goal threat he showed last game he looks set to be a regular dividend contender under the new system.

The only real issue is the same thing that can affect many a popular pick.

What happens when an over priced player massively improves for some reason? That could be a big tactical change, or a scoring matrix change, a total turn around in form, whatever it is. 

To see it as a signal for more buying is actual fairly crackers when you think about it – it is more that the improvement should start to justify the existing price. 

But I do expect the performance changes to start to bridge that gap between quality and price and he could start delivering big scores regularly now.

Sergio Reguilon

Traders went nuts for Reguilon after a 251 on debut as he grabbed the match winner. But can we expect this.. reguilon-ly?

He had 5 attempts which is extraordinary for a full back. It’s also something he has never shown before. He played 4 games in pre-season and had 1 shot total. He didn’t do this for Real Madrid either. You’d have to go way back to playing for Logrones in Segunda B in 16/17 for anything like this.  

So, it could either be the game of his life or the start of something special. Chances are, when a player shows stats they’ve never shown before, it’s probably a one off. But you never know and it’s well worth watching in the coming games.

Fallers

Kylian Mbappé

This drop is fairly interesting.

It seems caused by a very poor score of 35 in what was a very poor game for him. He offered none of his usual threat or involvement.

But one bad game is just one bad game, it’s going to happen to every player and it’s not a cause for concern. 

What is more of a worry is the game before. He did well with a goal and an assist and still only hit 153. That’s a much bigger red flag because if you are performing and still not delivering competitive scores it’s a sign your player has problems.

He’s not bad by any means and I think he will improve on last year, the scoring matrix will help him some. But, for the money he costs you have to be better than decent. 

For a long time you’d see people say “one day they’ll fix the scoring matrix and Mbappé will get rewarded”. But he won’t be the biggest winner from it.

He’s an incredible player with a great trend fit and that alone and the chance of a bigger future media profile has strong value. But I do question why people buy a player who looks good and then expect the universe to bend to accommodate that talent.

It won’t, not entirely. Football Index is just a game. It has a scoring system that rewards some players and not particularly others and Mbappé is not the best of them. 

He’s decent and we should see him popping up with big scores 5-6 times per season, an improvement on last year.

And in a Euros year there are worse times to hold too. 

But I wonder how long people will be happy to hold based on faith alone without the returns to support it. 

 

Ayoze Perez

Perez has done really well on the market after his move to Leicester. 

It wasn’t long ago he was down at 60p, before hitting £1.40 and then now back down to £1.05 after showing not much in the first two matches. 

In pre-season though he looked good scoring 1 in 2 matches and he could have had more, he had chances throughout. He also had some reasonable involvement and assist potential for the money and Leicester carried optimism into the new season.

These first two games have indeed been poor though. They have been tough games where Leicester in general have struggled to put up decent scores.

Looking at the fixture list, away to Sheffield and home to Bournemouth in the next two is a good opportunity for Perez and Leicester players in general to show what they can do. 

They looked a good budget performance side under Rodgers last season.

 

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