Tips about prematch preparation in ML (Part 1) (07/07/2006 17:31)
Well, as you see this is something I'll make as a series. This is because teaching away parts of this stuff with be to much to read in 1 blog entry. Specially this part is stuff you might not be good at right away, but i'm gonna try to explain it all as easy as possible with a spesific example from one of my matches this season. In this part 1 i will not only talk about the power of reading your next opponents match reports, but i'll try to show you how to fully understand things that might seem as a fluke, just like this match report might would look like for you before reading this blog entry. Before i start i'll just hand out a little basic.
Part 1: Reading and understanding your opponent match reports.
This might sound very simple as i know most people only scroll down to the statistic page and then compares shots on target, freekicks, corners and ofc the formations played. They make a small conclusion about the formation worked or didn't work. Lets give a little visual example on this so it gets easier to both explain the issue and understrand the issue.
Lets say i'm your opponent and one of my match statistics gives you this;
I'm the away team using 5-4-1, longball, defending. Yes, this is an actual match report from season 11, i've just cut the lineups as they're not that important at the moment. Anyway, most people would say that the 4-3-3, mixed, defending formation certainly doesn't work since i won. Other people would say i just got lucky, but they leave it with that insted of trying to find out WHY i was lucky. As you all can see my opponent had 2 shots mor on goal then me, so lets read the match report to find out more. Like in this example we wanna find out a couple of things.
1) Was it my goalie that had a great game or was it the attackers from Team Magic that had a lousy day at work?
2) Noticed i had a penalty? Or did you only check the formation and shots on goal? Lets see how that penaty ended.
3) What about my goals. Were thwy all great efforts or just bad goaltending from Team Magics keeper?
So then we have a couple of questions to answear. Now to actually find answears on the questions from the actual report. I'll give you a couple of screenshots on those lines i find important. Remember, white lines in the report indicates that Team Magic have the ball.
So we're looking for those answears about my goalie and the opponent attackers. Under you'll see those lines i found to answear this issue;
Team Magic goals
My goalie saves
Lets do the basic answears we can get out of these screenshots first. If you look at both goals first. You can't see anything about a great shot or anything about the goalie having no chance to save, so this probably means there was no extraordinary to these goals. The goalie might have made a fool of himself, although Spinner haven't made match report lines that tell us that. But, when you take a look at the saves you can see both first and fourth save being important. The second one kinda explains that my goalie had to stretch as long as he was to save the shot, but it doesn't say it was a great save. This might be because the shot wasn't hard enough and any good goalie would save the shot, just not hold it.
Anyway, from what you see on both goals and saves i would conclude that my goalie didn't have any extrodinary day. Even though he had a couple of good saves, none of the goals were of any kind we could call extrodinary. When it comes to Team Magics attackers they don't seem to have had to bad a day either, specially not in the first 15 minutes at least.
So why is that actually? It does look kinda weird, doesn't it ? What could the reason of this be? Did i change my formation or anything after the 15th minute or was it just my defenders and midfielders getting into the match and stopped his strikers?
Let's go hunting some more to see what we can find. First i'm checking the 15th minute, as i know that is one of the options for event changes, along with minute 30, 45, 60 and 75.
okey, so no events seem to be the reason. At least not in the 15th minute. Let's check the other possibileties as well. Insted of showing you screenshots of them all I'll just tell you that you didn't find any. No formation changes, no pressure changing to more attacking. No events getting spilled at all. So what about my defenders and midfielders then. Does it seem they're starting to make the tackles count? Yet again, let's go hunting. In this match report you would only find 2 such tackles. Just to show you how they look like in the report i'll give you a screenshot of one of them.
Okey, so this is starting to look a bit weird. The game totally changed after 15 minutes, but there is no visual signs of why?
So most conclusions would end up with; This must have been a fluke. So we're heading on to question 2 and 3 to check if it's a fluke.
This was simply a question about the penalty. So lets just check it out.
Well, that looked mighty simple. Didn't it? Nothing much to find out here anyway, for christ sake! It's just a regualr penalty. About 80-90% of them ending up as a goal. Let's move on...
This is kinda the same as question 1, just changing the roles on the teams. Now checking my goals and their goalie. Btw, one thing before this. Remember i had 1 penalty, 4 shots on goal and 4 goals? If not just check up on the statistic screenshot. Those statistics do not count penalty shots as shots on goal. So if you didn't know that already, you do now. So that means their goalie had 1 save then. I think many people might not know that, so they would forget to hunt down the 1 save from Team Magics goalie.
Team Magic save
There we go. Even nice little highlight on the save from Team Magics goalie, Ray Clements. Just so you wont forget penalties don't count as shots on goal even though you score on them or the goalie saves. Okey, so we yet again notice that most my goals came after the 15th minute. So now we check my goals then. Both first and second goal look as any regular goal, just like both goals Team Magic scored. Third goalie is the penalty, and what a beautiful penalty it was. The goalie didn't stand a chance on that one. Last goal says it's a great header. So in my mind that counts as a bit better then any other regular goals. So my goal scorers didn't do anything spectacular to make my goals. Simply just what they had to do.
Looking at the save we see that it was a save with 1 hand, just like one of those my goalie had. Probably due to a good placed shot.
So conclusion would be that my attackers mostly just did what they had to do and Team Magics goalie maybe didn't get to good sleep the night before the match since he only managed 1 save.
The 15th minute turn over secret:
Okey, so before i go to how i would end my conclusion on this match report i'll give out a little secret of mine. Or, it probably aint just my secret. I actually know for a fact it aint only my secret, cause i've told a couple of guys. If anyone else then i have figured it out and use it to their own advantage i'm not sure of. Anyway, back to the point.
As you all remember we couldn't find any visual reasons for the 15th minute turn over. I'll show you my event for this just in the end of this text. As you might remember, my statistics told you that i played 5-4-1, defending, longball. Is there anything you find weird about this? For instance, why play longball? It doesn't cope make sence at all. I have 4 midfielders and i want my defenders to kick the ball all up to a lonly attacker and not get to use my midfielders at all. that's just plain stupid. At least i should have used mixed if i wanted some longballs into the action. Well, the answear is kinda simple, for those who is into this game.
Tactics like shooting, tackling and playstyle do not show visual in the match report. So while you are thinking that i played longball the whole match i actually only played longball the first 15 minutes and then changed it. I'm telling this secret so you will be better on understanding changes in a match report that aint understandeble. Also look after things that look totally idiotic, like 5-4-1 with longball. I kinda use this almost all the time, just changing it from match to match regarding what looks best against my opponent. This event is also one of the reasons i picked this match report in particualre cause it show you the power of it when it works. The best part is that your next opponent will get partly confused on what he reads and wont find any answears on how you managed to turn the match over since nothing seem to make sence. The clue is not to read your opponents match reports to prepare for the match you gonna play against him, but understanding the match report is what makes it powerful. So well, here's a visual of my event used for this particulare match.
Well, that's it for now. Hope you will find this blog helpful for understanding the match reports you read better.
Part 2 will be about formations, lineups and tactics. So stay tuned.
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