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Town to Take Data and Statistics-Led Approach to Recruitment
Thursday, 1st Apr 2021 08:51

Town have announced that they will be taking a “a new data and statistics-led approach to recruitment” next season with adding creative players to the s the main priority.

The summer is expected to see significant changes of personnel at Portman Road with 26 players, many of them senior pros, out of contract.

“We are investing more into the recruitment area of the club because it’s clearly a vital component of any football club,” general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill told the club site.

“We have looked at what clubs like Leicester and Brentford have done for a few years and Rangers over the last year or so as well, with some of the Liverpool staff going up there.

“A lot of the bigger clubs are using data and statistics as a big part of their recruitment. The days of just going off someone’s opinion are going.

“It’s about identifying a player and breaking down the analysis to find out how you get the best out of that player and whether he will fit into the way you want to play. We will be doing a lot more profiling on players than we have ever done before.

“It will mean a lot of investment into the recruitment area of the club for sure. We were going to implement the new structure before this season started but Covid put everything on hold. We are moving forward now though.

“The manager will obviously be part of the recruitment process and improving our goals return at the top end of the pitch is clearly going to be a key area for us.

“That’s not just about the strikers. If you look at James Norwood’s stats, he’s right up there in terms of around the 18-yard box but when you look at Charlie Wyke at Sunderland, he’s got 25 goals or so but he’s had Aiden McGeady playing behind him with 12 assists.

“That’s what we’ve been missing and finding that creative element will be one of our big priorities.”        

Photo: TWTD

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BryanPlug added 08:54 - Apr 1
Oh God this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Hope I’m wrong but do we have the necessary people to be able to do this properly?

Buryblue78 added 08:58 - Apr 1
We're buying a ZX84 to help with scouting

Buryblue78 added 08:59 - Apr 1
Or maybe LON found one when he cleared out the loft?

PackwoodBlue added 09:00 - Apr 1
Sounds interesting and positive. We certainly do need a lot more goals and creativity. Worth giving it a go.

itfcserbia added 09:01 - Apr 1
So in other words - if a player is not already playing in a system that supports his stats you will pass despite him being possibly a great talent? Hopefully a trained eye will have a final word instead of a college graduate with a lap top.

DurhamTownFan added 09:02 - Apr 1
It’s good news and sounds sensible. Recruitment has been poor for a few years now since MM left, and even then he signed plenty of duds.

But you have to ask why the hell haven’t we been doing this already..? Have we just relied on recommendations from mates and agents phoning us up to offer players?

Tractorboy58 added 09:04 - Apr 1
This club just seems to be constantly looking for 'ways forward' without any real success. That must come down to poor judgement and lack of real effort and commitment by owner, managers and players. I don't think Paul Cook will make any difference. Just have to accept that we are a poor club lacking any real energy and guidance. I miss the matchday experience (season ticket holder for nearly 30 yrs) and will always go...but now without any belief that we are going to achieve anything meaningful

dingus added 09:05 - Apr 1
So is this an April Fools?

Kulturarv added 09:07 - Apr 1
Why not use this "new data and statistics-led approach" also in recruiting a new owner? That must clearly be the most failing area for the last 1,5 decade.

Europablue added 09:12 - Apr 1
Get Paul Hurst back as a recruitment consultant and just do the opposite of whatever he advises.

Edmundo added 09:13 - Apr 1
Moneyball. It's the approach that has led to consistent success with Southampton and Brentford. American in origin, interestingly....
We need a Stuart Weber (Narwixh) type of recruitment head though, otherwise it won't work.

DifferentGravy added 09:15 - Apr 1
Buryblue78 that cracked me up lol

This is needed. Football has changed forever. Scouts and recruitment no longer rely on an eye for raw talent. Its all about how much distance a player covers, which areas of the pitch they frequent, productivity in certain phases of the game. All playing styles are beginning to resemble a factory line. Fast, very fit players who can run all day.
There are players like De Bruyne who can occasionally bring a moment of joy..........but the days of Messi, Iniesta, Maradona, Pele, Zidane, the original(and far better) Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Best, Gascoigne etc are sadly gone

hoppy added 09:17 - Apr 1
As soon as I read this bit... “It will mean a lot of investment into the recruitment area of the club for sure.” I knew this was an elaborate April fools joke, for definite!

itfctilidie added 09:18 - Apr 1
the theory is great but as bryanplug has mentioned do we have the right people at the club to be doing this? Unless there is a new team that is coming in to provide analysis i cant see how this is going to work.

Lee O'Neill sitting there scouring through the fifa 21 datebase

tetchris added 09:23 - Apr 1
Yeah I think ME needs to stop using Barry Fry as recruitment consultant

rfretwell added 09:29 - Apr 1
Just finding players that can shoot hard from distance would be a start. Ours are all weak as dishwater. Simon Milton can spot them surely.

braveblue added 09:37 - Apr 1
This has been in use for about 20 years. Amazed they do not already use it. Says something about the level of person running the club.

rickw added 09:38 - Apr 1
After lunch they'll release :
"April Fools! How backwards do you think we are??? We've obviously been doing this for years!!"

Bert added 09:40 - Apr 1
Good. Something had to change. There is still a place for good old scouting at the lower levels but a systematic approach as proposed has to be the way forward. Looking at stats is one thing but actually investing is another so whoever the owner is will have to loosen the purse strings.

Suffolkboy added 09:42 - Apr 1
Sounds a logical progression ,but of course really can’t bring success on its merits alone . Willingness to work , and athletic prowess and exertions on the pitch do not of themselves guarantee the end result ! Allied to what could be a guide to natural fitness and energy is the undoubted need for intelligence , character and evidence of the capacity to learn and develop skills from any natural talent .
Statistics will be a most valuable indication of potential , perhaps on the way to realisation but alone can never be the be all and end all ; human judgement will always be needed to effectively sort the wheat from the chaff ,ensure effective comparisons occur — and of course we shall need to try to be ahead of any competition to acquire the prospective asset !
This is a worthy demonstration of the commitment at ITFC to improve and bring quality into the Club and onto the pitch . No one coming in is likely to be the finished article and man management and leadership on and off the pitch must be to the fore !

ChrisR added 09:45 - Apr 1
If the take over is complete before next season starts , any big money available , then the club needs proper football management in place to make signings in conjunction with PC . Somehow LON just is not convincing . Hate to say it but the NCFC model has worked well ,so who would make those similar decisions for us ? Can't rely solely on stats !!

raycrawfordswig added 09:48 - Apr 1
April Fool .

trncbluearmy added 10:02 - Apr 1
A fairly major change of direction, met with derision.

Just shows how low we have fallen and the contempt for evans and co. and what they have done to our once great club

Linkboy13 added 10:10 - Apr 1
We have got creative players they just don't want to work or do the physical aspects of the game. Need to sign more players who can play for ninety minutes and can mix it physically. Keep signing these lightweight fancy dans won't get us out of this league.

Cheshire_Blue added 10:11 - Apr 1
Presumably this is how Sir Alf and Sir Bobby were so successful !

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