There has been lots of talk about “drops” or “downturns” this week. 

Hopes that Football Index would deliver a birthday bonus to bail that out have faded. Really, I don’t think people should have assumed one. It’s clear FI are weening us off the sugar rush of regular bonuses and with good reason. Eventually, the market has to function effectively without them. And by now, it’s strong enough to do so.

These bonuses have papered over the cracks in some poor trading for a long time. The market is maturing and as traders we all have to keep getting better and adapting to today’s market if we want to stay profitable.

These drops we have been seeing lately are mainly in players that have been clearly overpriced for quite some time (with a few honourable exceptions). 

Some have some real FI value but not quite enough to justify the money. It’s like backing a team to win at odds of 1.2. You know you are likely to win but it’s not going to earn you that much even if you do. And if there is a shock result you’ve lost a lot for the prospect of a relatively small gain.

And some are just very poor players for FI purposes riding waves of hype. Eventually though, such players have to deliver consistent good scores or they get found out and start dropping. Often, the very worst thing that can happen to a hype player is a good run of games where it becomes clear they aren’t quite the next Messi. Yet safe on the bench, people can keep dreaming. At least for a while.

It is possible to avoid these drops in clearly overpriced players. It’s not bad luck. It’s not other traders doing stupid things. The player is not “safe” and you should not “buy the dip” in a player that is still overpriced after that dip, no matter how many holders might tell you to.

We have to take personal responsibility for our trading and not blame other people or beg FI to give us a bonus to compensate for our mistakes. 

Being able to avoid losses or even make some progress when others are reporting losses is, to me, one of the strongest indicators of a good trader. 

This ability to keep moving forward and very rarely backwards is the difference between huge returns come the end of a season and average results. 

And in future when FI gets tougher, it will be the difference between being profitable and taking losses.

Risers

Paul Pogba

A small rebound for Pogba after a very severe drop of late. Rumblings of new contract talks at Old Trafford are fueling that.

And, OGS may get the sack which is looking more likely by the day. That could change things up. 

Depending on who comes in this could rekindle optimism. I would remain very cautious though because it would require huge changes to get this team firing on FI.

The biggest question is whether it would lead people to think Pogba will stay if a big name coach came in.

Pogba is getting towards his peak years and my feeling would be that he wants to be at a club that near guarantees trophies, he has probably had enough of rebuilding projects. 

But it’s all up in the air and my guess is as good as anyone’s.

The question for us is the risk versus the potential reward. My view, and it has been for some months, is that most believe Pogba is on his way out at the end of the season. He is definitely worth far less at Real Madrid, and people want out. 

They are even willing to give up any accompanying dividend blitz because they see it has a bad ending. As long as that remains true, the price is doomed.

If however something happened that made people believe Pogba would stay, it would almost certainly turn his price around. 

Personally, this is not a bet I would be making. 

He’s £6.37 at time of writing. You can reasonably expect that to rebound to £8 if he stays. If he goes, he may fall below £4 with ease. And with the size of the spread (a whopping 9% plus the 2% commission) you are in a really bad place. 

Everyone would want out at that point, with no hope of selling to market. I’d feel locked in by the spread and that might tempt me to hold on too long into the saga even if in my gut I knew he was going. 

 

Once you get on that bus, it’s very expensive to get off it. And if something goes wrong you aren’t going to be able to sell to market and that Instant Sell will be painful. 

If the gamble comes off the rewards will be significant. But it’s not my style to bet on the gambles. There are so many prospects that are both higher reward and lower risk in the cheaper end of the market that I don’t find it worth the reward. And not worth the headache of following every twist and turn either. 

I’d rather be scouring the Belgian league for young talent than trying to divine whether Pogba is staying or going from the message he may or may not be sending with his new haircut. 

Domenico Berardi

A good game for Berardi at Sassuolo at the weekend with 223 with just 1 assist. For a forward that’s good. Especially when he has strong goal threat of his own. 

For performance purposes, he looks a cut above other forwards and has an unusually high level of involvement in the game for this position.

He could be excellent particularly if he gets a big move, and had minutes in the nations league for Italy so may be on the fringes and get a call with good performances. 

If he replicated these numbers at a bigger club he could be very strong. 

£1.43 is not cheap but given his strength and real potential it offers decent value. But patience may be needed at a smaller club. He is capable of winning from here, though. 

Fallers

Joao Felix

A real savaging for Felix lately. Felix was my darling from last season but I sold at peak transfer hype and have never looked back. 

At the weekend, he was interestingly tried on the wing for Atletico rather than up top. Theoretically, this should improve him.

But it didn’t really, whilst a team sheet will tell you he moved, a heatmap shows he occupied much the same areas.

He therefore delivered quite similar numbers to recent games. He is very close to getting a goal and the threat is strong.

But the rest of his numbers are weak and well below the excellent stuff he was showing in pre-season. His involvement is not brilliant in general and worryingly he has not created a chance in the last 6 games.

Should be on the scoresheet soon but unless something significant changes it will not deliver a big score.

At this price you just have to be better than this and that is why his price is being savaged. He has talent but the price just got away out ahead of it, particularly at Atletico who are not a great performance club.

The goal should come and that may steady the ship. Or, if the score is still poor with the goal as I suspect it will be it could spook holders even further.

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