Scouts Honored: Football Manager Data Being Used By Pros

By Graham Smith on August 11th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Oldboy is a pretty great film. No spoilers, but I like the scene in which the main character, after years of private practice, first confronts a group of street toughs. “Can 10 years’ worth of imaginary training… be put to use?”

Apparently it can. Hopeful players of Football Manager have been wondering for a long time whether their expertise would convert to the real world, and as reported by The Guardian, it seems at least their scouting data would. FM’s famously vast and detailed database is now going to be included as part of Prozone Recruiter, a software tool that many real clubs use to help with finding players to buy.

That sounds like cause for FM players (like me) to delude themselves further. The data we’re playing with – collected by a network of 1300 amateur scouts from all over the world – is so accurate that actual football teams can use it. The image in my head right now is of Louis Van Gaal, fresh at Manchester United, pawing over Football Manager forums for data on the latest iteration’s “wonderkids”. Who is ‘Tonton Zola Moukoko’, he wonders idly.

Personally if I was going to buy a hot prospect, it’d be the sexy Alec and John mashup at the end of my love letter to Football Manager regens. But I like these stories of games so accurate their simulations bleed into the real world: whether it’s VATSIM training virtual pilots with virtual air traffic controllers or, I dunno, a second example that further illustrates my point. Players of Gran Turismo getting accepted into racing driver academies. Yeah, that’ll do.

Football Manager 2015 was announced just last week, and although new feature announcements won’t happen til October, I had some ideas for the team. I’m full of ideas for teams.

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15 Comments »

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  1. Stardog says:

    If anyone had used this database, Aaron Niguez would have been sold for £20m 5 years ago. It’s mostly useful for established players only.

    • Evilpigeon says:

      It might not be 100% accurate but it works as an effective filtering system. Even if one in ten of the youth players it highlights are actually any good, you’ve still created a smaller pool with a higher percentage of talented players than you would otherwise have from just sifting through everyone everywhere.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    Cue more Football Manager fanboys acting like arses.

  3. subedii says:

    Is Football a keyword trigger for the spambots or something?

    • Nice Save says:

      I like to do the maths to work out how many hours a week each fake job must require. Of the 3 posts I can see, it works out at approximately 42, 51, and 72 hours per week respectively.

  4. sinister agent says:

    Lady Vengeance is even better. Not as slick (and it doesn’t have that brilliant fight scene), but more grounded, hits harder emotionally, and doesn’t get a bit silly at the end.

    Oh, and er, something something imaginary training something England football team something.

    • Pliqu3011 says:

      I know some people who agree with you, but personally I couldn’t disagree more.
      [AYE, SPOILERS AHEAD!]

      To me Sympathy for Lady Vengeance was – though still a good film – by far the weakest part of the “Revenge” trilogy, since it lacks one of the greatest and most crucial elements in all other Park Chan-Wook films (that I’ve seen): an antagonist who is a real human being, instead of just “evil”; essentially a good/normal person doing bad things because of the circumstances, human error or accidents. In case of the first 2 Revenge films, the protagonist and antagonist are equally driven by revenge. They are the same, both caught in a spiral of violence, both victims of each other.
      The main “bad guy” in Lady Vengeance is nothing more than that: a two-dimensional “bad guy”. He’s just plain evil, without any motivation, without humanity.

      I really wonder what you thought was “a bit silly” at the end of Oldboy, I’ve rewatched the film just a few weeks ago and I don’t really recall anything particularly silly – especially in comparison to Lady Vengeance’s ending, which is just a 20 minute long revenge-fantasy torture scene (with a funny unexpected axe joke), which I thought was quite silly. I thought Oldboy’s ending was very poignant (though not as genius as the ending of Mr. Vengeance, which is probably my favourite ending and transition-to-credits of any film).

      What was truly brilliant about the film though, is that in the director’s cut, the colours slowly fade to black and white over the course of the film. Sheer brilliance, completely changes the tone and atmosphere.

      [/SPOILERS]

      I’d highly recommend watching all 3 films of the Revenge trilogy. Though I like Sympathy for Lady Vengeance the least, it is only because it’s not quite as brilliant as the other ones (IMO). (And also watch J.S.A.: Joint Security Area while you’re at it, another Park Chan-Wook film with many of the same core elements)

      • sinister agent says:

        BIG SPOILERS FOR OLDBOY / LADY VENGEANCE / MRS GEUM-JA THROUGHOUT

        He’s just plain evil, without any motivation, without humanity.

        But that’s exactly what Lady Vengeance is about, and why there are three films instead of two. It deals with those absolutely monstrous people who, while not relatable as regular people, most certainly exist, and who cause problems and desires for revenge that the film is all about. And those people DO have motivation, and ARE human, regardless of what we tell ourselves.

        Mr Vengeance and Oldboy both have us thinking “shit, this guy kind of has a point, how do we deal with that”, which is fascinating and part of their greatness. Lady Vengeance has us thinking “shit, this guy is utterly irredeemable, how do we deal with that”. And just to emphasise that even more, Lady Vengeance brings totally innocent, ordinary people into the revenge discussion, and is the only one about a character who (a) realises there is more to her story than her own personal revenge, and (b) attempts to redeem herself. And yet she is still far from any moral high ground. It’s no coincidence that LV is the only one of the trilogy in which the law, and wider society in general, are a consideration.

        I really wonder what you thought was “a bit silly” at the end of Oldboy

        Oldboy’s ending not silly? Aside from the phantom pregnancy, and the orphan having no interest in her past and the dad none in his family, the entire plot was a ridiculously over-elaborate scheme dependent entirely on MIND CONTROL. Don’t get me wrong, I love the film, but it really stretches suspension of disbelief.

        SPOILERS OVER

        Mr Vengeance and Oldboy are basically about people who’ve suffered terrible injustice/misfortune, but the people responsible for those things have too. How the protagonists deal with an antagonist who has their own legitimate grievances are fascinating moral quandaries.

        Lady Vengeance is about someone who’s suffered terrible injustice, but the person responsible is an unsympathetic monster with no ethical justification whatsoever. How the protagonist deals with that is no less complex.

        Is it okay to murder someone who hurt you in an act of desperation? Complicated!

        Is it okay to murder someone who hurt you because you hurt them first? Very complicated!

        Is it okay to murder someone who hurt you because they felt like it? Frustratingly, still complicated!

        Lady Vengeance removes the grey area of whether someone’s wrongdoing can be justified/sympathetic. It’s the most ‘pure’ kind of revenge story – even if you don’t believe in ‘evil’, the villain is as close to it as possible. It examines revenge in that light, and that’s why it’s the last film in the trilogy, and it’s why it’s my favourite.

        • Pliqu3011 says:

          [SPOILERS EVERYWHERE]
          I get where you’re coming from and I agree that yes, Oldboy does depend a lot on the mind control thing. Phantom pregnancies do happen though (albeit rarely), just like orphans being disinterested in their past – or, since we’re rolling with the whole mind control stuff anyway, memories could’ve been implanted, so she has no reason to be particularly curious. Also there’s not really a reason to suspect every random stranger you meet to be your father, if you’re an orphan, is there?
          Oh Dae-Su was interested in the whereabouts of his daughter, but finds out that she was adopted by a Swedish family, making it pretty reasonable for him to halt his search until after having revenge on Lee Woo-jin (which has, after all, been his main drive for 15 years).

          To get back to Lady Vengeance, I’m still not convinced though that an “unsympathetic monster with no ethical justification whatsoever” is an equally interesting character as the antagonists of the first 2 films.
          The thing is, you could use your argument for pretty much every generic film with a generic “evil” antagonist.
          Sure, how the protagonist deals with it is also complex, but I do generally find the film less interesting to watch. There are tons films with two-dimensional, dehumanized bad guys, while very little explore, as I said before, “good people doing bad things” (a group which is IRL infinitely larger han the “emotionless psychopath” type). For me, it’s the entire reason I watch Park Chan-Wook’s films. Apart from some brilliant cinematography, this is what really sets them apart from the rest IMO.
          In the end I admit this does come entirely down to personal preference though.

          I do see your point. A dehumanized monster does have it’s place at the end of the trilogy, with Sympathy for Lady Vengeance being pretty much the ultimate revenge story. It also has the happiest (“happiest”) ending of the three films.
          Again, the film is by no means bad, but I just find the characters much less interesting or relatable. In my eyes, they’re not as much people as they are metaphors. Mr. Baek is Evil and Geum-ja the Innocence which prevails in the end (…at the cost of her innocence). Also interesting, sure, but definitely not the “human” drama of the previous films (which was my favourite part about them).

  5. MartinWisse says:

    Old news. Everton already did this in 2008.

  6. Coming Second says:

    What are you doing peering out of my screen outside of my Sheffield Wednesday save, Kike Gomez? Get back to training on those specialty vicious-20-yard-shots-which-unfailingly-hit-one-of-my-own-players-inside-the-box-and-balloon-out-for-a-goal-kick of yours, please.

  7. stoner says:

    My friend’s girlfriend makes $200 an hour. She’s the hooker at 5th and Main.

  8. Aardvark_Man says:

    Another example I’ve heard of is the Close Combat RTS games being used by the US Marines to train officers.