Dafuge & Data: Stats and Summary Season Three

Welcome back to Scarborough for our third season summary, and our very first in the Vanarama National. It’s always difficult to know what to expect after promotion, especially when it’s a little ahead of schedule. But we had pleased the Seagull God with the progress made, even if this season turned into a slog.

Recruitment Summary

With a promotion comes transfers. All free’s but they still count as transfers. With our wage budget going up to about 11k a week we were able to splash the cash in comparison to where we had been before. Still minnows in comparison to the teams around us but it meant we could get some depth for the team sorted out.

A lot were youth rejects with promise and very little in the way of stats history. It’ll be a while until we are crunching the numbers to work out who to buy. A lot of this involved hoping, praying, and leaving a chip offering on the altar. We tried to strengthen the wings with Davidson, McGuigan and Kwame coming in to give competition for Billam. I was hoping they would take over from the hard-working but limited looking left-winger.

In defence we got Hoey. I was drawn in by his height (6ft 5!) but it’s jumping reach that really matters (16). Adding more and more height and aerial presence to what was an already a pretty giant backline.

To compete with Simpson and Brennan from last season (who had been pretty solid) came in Debord, Mazlan and Hardarson. Debord was originally meant to be a potential winger but when he arrived he made it clear he hated playing on the left so it was into the box to box role he went. Hardarson just has an amazing name and made the get stuck in shouts much more fun. Mazlan looked like he would be good but not brilliant.

Upfront, after assessing the strikers last season, we brought in 6ft 6 Coburn. The hope was that he would be the natural TM that could reawaken the spirit of Kayode from season one.

At the end of the season (and the start, see below) the real stand out was Hoey. Everyone else was at best…meh.

The Blip & Way of The Warrior

From the last post you’ll be aware that we had a bit of a blip in form. Whilst we started well with 3 wins, a draw and a loss in our first-month form stuttered. We were continuously being pinned back and conceding to long shots. The old tactic wasn’t doing the job. So summoning the fighting spirit of the seagull, with some Klingon inspiration, we made a tactical change and manage to stop the slide.

summary schedule

You can see the tactical info here, but as a brief spoiler next season we’ve tweaked the Way of the Warrior tactic even more.

End of Season Summary

The form picked up, we kicked on and managed to grab ourselves a deserved and not completely disappointing 12th place. Bottom of the top of the table if you’re into that kind of thing. 66 points meant we were well safe but the poor run of form had left us flirting with relegation at times. Beyond our brief dalliance in the playoffs during the first month we never really got near the top sides.

But context is key. It was our first season. And there were lots to be hopeful about. Such as Varian and Salisbury finding their scoring boots. Billam and Bright still owning the wings, and Hoey stepping up in defense. Mazlan and Hardarson also managed to make a good case for their inclusion next year.

And the stats summary? Well, we had a great conversion rate for our shots, 4% higher than the next best reflecting our strength in attack. Varian and Salisbury managed 48 goals together, and 14 assists. Both outscoring their xG (for the 2nd season running.

We crept nicely up the fouls table as well which is a key indicator for our tactics. But our keeper has some explaining to do, shipping almost 15 more goals than expected. McDonnell did at least set up 2 goals to offset this a little.

We massively over-performed on our xG, by about 24 goals. But in terms of the justice table, our 12th place at least seemed fair. So on balance next season didn’t look like we would be facing a complete overhaul to avoid regression to the mean, and ultimately relegation. Not bad for a team in 20th place when it comes to the wage budget.

Where’s the DNA?

I did say in the last summary that I would be looking to run a DNA test on the team. Using the KPI’s that indicate success for my team to work out which attributes are best. Which attributes predict success as defined by our long ball KPI’s.

The plan was the 3 seasons of solid long ball data would give us enough but with the change in tactic mid-season, it’s actually changed things. There’s no point me running the numbers as I would just find out what worked for the longball tactic of old not the Way of the Warrior, Crazy Gang inspired new tactic. The DNA would have to be sent back to the lab until we have a few more seasons yet. You can put the black lights away for the moment, the DNA will be coming.

What’s next?

We’ve survived, so now we need to consolidate. Financially we are stable but not rich. And by that I mean we are losing money but at a slow and steady rate. Keeping almost 25% under our wage budget has helped.

We still have recruitment issues. We need cover on the left and right still. Coburn despite playing like a TM should only managed a single goal, so upfront could benefit from some fresh blood. Jackson at LB is looking more and more out of his depth and the lack of cover for him is telling, even if he has reached record appearance numbers. And whilst our keeper McDonnell did okay he is leaking goals.

Next season I may need to splash some of the coppers reserved for the arcades to make a push for promotion. The longer we stay in the national the more likely someone will try and lure stars like Varian away. The next post is likely another season summary as I’m making progress in the save. And the stats I need for my next analysis are gradually collecting.