Scouting Players – Good choices, better results!!

Scouting Players Good choices better results

Everybody talks about Liverpool, analyzes, discuss and congratulate them for their success. But are no parallels between them and the teams that were not the favourites in the past ?

Of course that to determine, measure or evaluate if a team is successful or not we can only do it after we have samples of their success. Most of the unexpected winners have things in common, not only but also and perhaps the most important thing that I chose to talk about in this article. The recruitment assertivity.

Many don’t remember or don’t even know, but when José Mourinho arrived in Porto to manage FC Porto and lead a team that won the Uefa Cup ( currently Europa League ) and the Champions League 2 years in a row ( Also domestic league and other competitions ) he recruited surgically the players he needed. He was probably the first one to do scouting with so much impact in Portugal and possibly in World Football. He recruited players with a very low transfer fees coming from smaller teams, despite the fact that he managed them previously.

Mourinho already knew very well FC Porto’s structure and their philosophy so he took that in consideration when it came the moment of choosing the players. Players for that reality and particularities and not only by their qualities inside the pitch. He tailored the team around the most influential players that the team already had, complementing that with “new blood”.

Not necessary the best players in their positions in the world, but fore sure the right men for the job.

When we look at Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, obviously with all the differences of time and reality, we also look to “spot on “ signings that brought the team to the next level.

When he signed 2 key players for a significant amount of money ( Virgil and Allison Becker ) many questioned the club recruitment politic as their “neighbours” were much stronger and were signing players with reputation. But were not those 2 players exactly what and only what the team needed? I believe that now we all know the answer.

Only a few miles away we have a completely philosophy. The “rivals” from Manchester where Man U is the biggest example of that. Bad recruitment that proofs that spending millions buying consecrated players and not considering other aspects rather than talent can lead a club to dissarter. Same with Man City that is also the proof that having the possibility and budget to buy any player in the world, that doesn’t buy success and the Champions League is the biggest example of that.

Scouting is not only crucial to obtain immediate winnings but as we can see is also crucial for a medium/long term success. When inexistent can also lead a club to ruin, we all can easily remember for sure several examples if we think about it for a few moments. Results are impossible to predict, but certainly we will be closer to achieve good results doing the right choices and minimizing failure. During the process failure and misjudgement are normal to happen, but like an investor also fails, what it matters is that assertivity happens more times than failures.

This leads to a reflexion that all the clubs, specially the ones with smaller budgets should do. Is it a scouting department an extra costa for the club or it’s an investment that in the end pays itself? This is an answer that the winning teams know for sure.

Bringing again an investor’s example ( that we can all be independently of the amount ) we all know that nobody likes to waste his money, so if that same investor is not an expert he will for sure hire someone/company to invest for him to obtains profit. Will he see that as an unnecessary expense or as a cost that he is more than happy to have as the other only possible scenario was depending on luck where the odds are the same as playing on a casino?

Is it football different specially on these days that clubs became companies and investors are the ones in control?

I will leave this question open as many still seem far of understanding this although it is present in everything that surround us. Good choices, better results.

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Nuno Milheiro
Nuno Milheiro is an experienced Soccer Scout with previous experiences as FC Porto youth teams scout, he was also the Head of Scouting and Co-founder at Athleads and FC Felgueiras 1932 Chief scout. He is currently International Scout for the German Club SpVgg Greuther Fürth and Head of Commercial Operations & Partnerships at Soccer HUB!

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