Author Topic: West Brom, the real Moneyball story  (Read 16082 times)

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Standaman

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2014, 03:17:08 PM »
How astute any or all of this summer's business turns out to be only time will tell. Equally stripping the squad back to basics was to some extent forced on us by circumstances and I don't think we can really claim it was particularly smart because it was part due to the fact that last summer we abandoned a methodology that had previously worked.

However taking last summer as a benchmark of how bad things can go wrong even there when we made mistakes and  were pushed in a direction which was ill advised, you can see the benefit of some of things we have done to de-risk transfers. We have shipped out some expensive mistakes relatively cheaply, being stuck with Anelka Sinclair and Lugano on big contracts or worse still paying them to go away would have had negative impact on what we could achieve this summer.

Mistakes happen if a club gets 50% of it's transfers right it is doing well the secret is to minimise the damage when things go wrong. Obviously the bigger the fee the more downside potential there is. From this perspective the Brown Ideye transfer is a little bit scary, I am not for the moment suggesting that the club is in jeopardy because of it but were it to fail there isn't another £10m in the coffers to put it right.
 

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2014, 03:56:14 PM »
A little off topic,but,
Last august I can clearly remeber saying and writingabout how excited i was about Steve clarke having the best squad for 30 years to utilise.
Its well documented how that un-ravelled,
I refuse to let my enthusiasm run away with me this year, despite the good start to the window and the "re-freshing" of the squad, plus the less than impressive CV's of the coaching staff.

Here's hoping I'm wrong again  :D
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PsalmXXIII

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2014, 04:18:05 PM »
A little off topic,but,
Last august I can clearly remeber saying and writingabout how excited i was about Steve clarke having the best squad for 30 years to utilise.
Its well documented how that un-ravelled,
I refuse to let my enthusiasm run away with me this year, despite the good start to the window and the "re-freshing" of the squad, plus the less than impressive CV's of the coaching staff.

Here's hoping I'm wrong again  :D

It was an exciting squad definitely and the names brought in SHOULD have done better - but shows how football isn't played on paper. You could have approached the targets last season without scouting any of them. Tell me any of the non British players we are bringing in this season you'd heard of?

The Black Pearl

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2014, 04:55:19 PM »
How astute any or all of this summer's business turns out to be only time will tell. Equally stripping the squad back to basics was to some extent forced on us by circumstances and I don't think we can really claim it was particularly smart because it was part due to the fact that last summer we abandoned a methodology that had previously worked.

However taking last summer as a benchmark of how bad things can go wrong even there when we made mistakes and  were pushed in a direction which was ill advised, you can see the benefit of some of things we have done to de-risk transfers. We have shipped out some expensive mistakes relatively cheaply, being stuck with Anelka Sinclair and Lugano on big contracts or worse still paying them to go away would have had negative impact on what we could achieve this summer.

Mistakes happen if a club gets 50% of it's transfers right it is doing well the secret is to minimise the damage when things go wrong. Obviously the bigger the fee the more downside potential there is. From this perspective the Brown Ideye transfer is a little bit scary, I am not for the moment suggesting that the club is in jeopardy because of it but were it to fail there isn't another £10m in the coffers to put it right.
 

Ideye has been sold for successively larger amounts before we bought him, yes there is a risk (when is there not in a £10m fee), but the risk is not that great IMHO, I would say the likelihood of a decent profit is just as great in his case based on his previous fees.

Great thread by the way.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 05:37:11 PM by The Black Pearl »
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PsalmXXIII

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2014, 05:27:15 PM »
Ideye has been sold for successively larger amounts before we bought him, yes there is a risk (when is there not in a £10m fee, but the risk is not that great IMHO, I would say the likelihood of a decent profit is just as great in his case based on his previous fees.

Great thread by the way.

Cheers pal, it got merged with a previous topic by King Koren but was originally intended to spark conversation about how we functioned as a club particularly financially speaking and with recruitment and acquisitions which may be a bit lost on the new title but it's becoming a mini obsession of mine.

I'm tempted to try and talk with Chris Lepkowski to see what I can find out about the clubs scouting system (I'm not expecting much) and really identifying what makes us tick and what we do. Especially now that there seems to be national mockery at us signing a player having scouted him for an extended period of time, being scouted properly rather than on the back of a World Cup.

The Black Pearl

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2014, 05:43:46 PM »
As mentioned in the thread, buying players on the strength of their World Cup performance, is, on the whole, not to be recommended, however, provided he had been scouted before the world cup as a potential target, the only additional risk is an inflated fee due to world exposure.

The new signings will certainly bring a lot of interest to the new season, many eyes will be watching to see if we have de-risked our recruitment.
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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2014, 05:49:53 PM »
I'm tempted to try and talk with Chris Lepkowski to see what I can find out about the clubs scouting system (I'm not expecting much) and really identifying what makes us tick and what we do.

If you're on Twitter, our Head of Scouting Stuart White (@woollywhite) might be willing to chat about it.  Not sure how much he'd reveal, but perhaps better-placed to inform than Lepko.
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Standaman

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #57 on: July 25, 2014, 06:24:16 PM »
I wrote this about our transfer activity a few weeks back (before we broke our transfer record)

 http://lookbackinmildbewilderment.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-global-search.html

In it I highlighted what to my mind what a successful transfer strategy looks like, to date I think we are at least attempting to follow the script

1. Build a team - While it is impossible to really know how it will all fit together thus far our actions seem to be moving to a plan i.e. we are short of full backs we've gone out and bought some.
2. Research Research Research It is plain we are carrying out due diligence talking to players and coaches who have worked with our signings.
3. The Wisdom of Crowds From comments made by Irvine and Burton the scouting department is certainly back in the loop.
4. Multiple Targets We have not got every player we have targeted Creswell and Riviere for instance have gone elsewhere but we still have 6 new players so plainly we haven't wasted time pursuing the unattainable
5. Target Players on the Up Escalator Certainly there might be a slight concern about Lescott and Baird in this regard but the bulk of our business seems to be focussing on players in their early to mid 20's
6. Plan for Failure I think the third year of Lescott's deal is dependent on appearances
7. Never Shop at Harrods  Thus far we haven't paid a fee for an English based player. It would not surprise me if we don't and that is not a bad thing.

Ultimately we have to operate smarter we simply don't have the financial muscle of two thirds of the division and hopefully this window will see us find our range again in the market.
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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #58 on: July 25, 2014, 06:51:38 PM »
Cheers pal, it got merged with a previous topic by King Koren but was originally intended to spark conversation about how we functioned as a club particularly financially speaking and with recruitment and acquisitions which may be a bit lost on the new title but it's becoming a mini obsession of mine.

I'm tempted to try and talk with Chris Lepkowski to see what I can find out about the clubs scouting system (I'm not expecting much) and really identifying what makes us tick and what we do. Especially now that there seems to be national mockery at us signing a player having scouted him for an extended period of time, being scouted properly rather than on the back of a World Cup.

We used to have a mini cinema at the training complex full of DVDs recorders and satellites, it recorded all the football over the planet so if you wanted to see a player you just typed his name in and you could watch all of his performances on TV. We also used a system like football manager which gives players score out of 10. Plus the obvious asking people who might know him aka background checks.
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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #59 on: July 25, 2014, 06:56:26 PM »
Psalm XXIII, absolutely brilliant mate, analysis, knowledge, experience, perception - no need for Football Manager  ;)

halifax_baggie

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Re: The 'Moneyball' System - How do we work?
« Reply #60 on: July 25, 2014, 07:05:54 PM »
PS - I wouldn't have gone anything over £3m for Snodgrass. 

Also I would also point out that (reportedly) we offered £32k a week to Jones, but Sunderland went to £38k/week.  The difference is £312k per year - or less that £1m over, say, a 3 year contract.  So unless his replacement is going to cost less than £1m in fees and wages (unlikely) it is costing us more to replace him.  I know there were probably re-signing fees, etc.  I know that you probably don't want to set a precedent of an average full back on £38k per week.  But it doesn't make much financial sense.

Back to talking about money... and its just stupid numbers to me.  I mean £38k / week for a half crocked footballer with a dodgy haircut!

Quite possibly we will have replaced Jones with a player on lower wages, for a minimal outlay, younger and quite probably better.

That's what good scouting can do for you ;)

PsalmXXIII

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2014, 09:40:28 AM »
If you're on Twitter, our Head of Scouting Stuart White (@woollywhite) might be willing to chat about it.  Not sure how much he'd reveal, but perhaps better-placed to inform than Lepko.

I saw him yesterday for the first time on twitter (I don't have an account I just peruse it for transfer info shamelessly) I may get it and see what I can muster up. Not sure if he's too close to it all to divulge where as CL may be a lot less knowledgeable but give me an overview. I remember there being uproar at Stuart White saying he would leave so he's got a good reputation for scouting.

We used to have a mini cinema at the training complex full of DVDs recorders and satellites, it recorded all the football over the planet so if you wanted to see a player you just typed his name in and you could watch all of his performances on TV. We also used a system like football manager which gives players score out of 10. Plus the obvious asking people who might know him aka background checks.


Yeah I read about this massive room of DVDs - the concept of recording hundreds and thousands of games to watch players around the world is mind boggling. The concept of sports science and performance analysis really is a huge part of a game that many people think is just kicking a ball around for an hour and a half.

And Standaman that list looks so spot on it wouldn't surprise me if the club have made and identical list. I mean some are logical, but it seems that we are completely avoiding anything to do with how last seasons business went.

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2014, 12:03:14 PM »
As an example this is how West Ham are doing their business this summer

West Ham have made bids for four strikers in an effort to bolster manager Sam Allardyce's squad.
Andy Carroll could be out until November following ankle surgery, while £12m summer signing Enner Valencia will also miss the start of the season.
"We've got offers in for one striker in England and three abroad - and we just hope to land one of them," co-owner David Sullivan told the club website.


That quote from Sullivan is incredible in my opinion. It smacks of playing to the fans and 'look how hard we are trying' but I'd be horrified if anyone connected with our club came out with something like this. 4 bids in and hope to land 1 of them? It's a spray and pray technique and something I can't believe still go's on in today's game

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2014, 12:42:16 PM »
As an example this is how West Ham are doing their business this summer

West Ham have made bids for four strikers in an effort to bolster manager Sam Allardyce's squad.
Andy Carroll could be out until November following ankle surgery, while £12m summer signing Enner Valencia will also miss the start of the season.
"We've got offers in for one striker in England and three abroad - and we just hope to land one of them," co-owner David Sullivan told the club website.


That quote from Sullivan is incredible in my opinion. It smacks of playing to the fans and 'look how hard we are trying' but I'd be horrified if anyone connected with our club came out with something like this. 4 bids in and hope to land 1 of them? It's a spray and pray technique and something I can't believe still go's on in today's game

That is a good point you make there. I would not be at all surprised if the majority of PL clubs work this way.

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Re: West Brom, the real Moneyball story
« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2014, 02:34:02 PM »
There are many clever people involved in football. But in comparison to the greater number, they are in the minority I feel.

There's a lot of "Old boys" involved in football, post playing careers and many of these chaps ceased education at 16 or so and have no formal qualifications. Now by no means does having a certificate make you smart and the lack of said certificate doesn't make you an idiot, but this is a multi-multi-million pound industry in which certain sections are run by people with no real experience.

The amount of footballers who just walk into manager jobs or backroom jobs is startling. Paul Ince was a dreadful manager, but kept getting gigs due to his name.

The only chance Albion had at making it in the Prem was to box smarter than the likes of Forest, Derby, Wolves etc. Having made it and stayed in the Prem we now have the infrastructure to do well in the long term. Should/when we're relegated we stand a very good chance of getting back up.

People can slate the office staff all they want and yes some bloody stupid mistakes have been made, but pound for pound, we're doing about as well as any team in the country and I think that's something to be proud of.
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