Du Malone: In A scouting hack inspired by Brian Clough, Grigor Pasha announced that he had developed three and a half scouting hacks. He then explained one of these.
Naturally, the hope was that the community would pounce on this and vehemently demand to know what the other two and a half hacks were.
Unaccountably, though, nobody asked.
The above post has, however, aroused some interest online, so we’ll take that as cast-iron evidence of a demand for more.
Grigor Pasha writes: I don’t devote much time to scouting: we have very little budget for scouting, let alone bringing players in, so what would be the point?
At Farul Constanta I have appointed two scouts (including the Chief Scout) and am already wondering if that’s one too many.
I have, however, developed a few hacks — three and a half, to be precise — so that I can discover some potential targets without much expense of money or mental energy.
One of these hacks focuses on personality.
In the leagues that managers like me work in — I’m currently in the Romanian second tier — the database shows that a vast numbers of players are classified as having a ‘balanced’ personality.
I don’t like this.
Having some balanced types around is fine, but having a large number can create problems. These balanced types follow the herd.
When things are going well, that’s fine: they’ll go with the flow.
But if you hit a losing run, they’ll prove incapable of sparking a turnaround.
The result is that managing a club come come to feel like trying to steer a boat that has too shallow a keel. You lurch from one extreme to another.
My solution is to search for potential recruits by personality.
I set a few low-level requirements., just to eliminate no-hopers. For example, I currently use determination, natural fitness, and jumping reach, each with a minimum of 6.
And then I just search by personality.
First, I select the personalities that would be welcome in most or all contexts. They include model citizen, model professional, and professional.
I’ll also look for leaders, though will tend to ignore them if they don’t have sufficient determination and teamwork to render their leadership effective.
Second, I search for personalities suited to context. For example, if a relegation battle is looming, I’d really like to recruit resilient types. And jovial bods too, since they’ll probably help the squad to handle pressure.
I like having loyal players especially in relegation struggles: they’re less likely to ask for transfer the moment things go pear-shaped and might hang around even if we go down.
If, though, I’m aiming to kick on from say mid-table to launch a promotion challenge, I’ll look for some ambition.
The next set of personalities I search for are those that will provide squad diversity. So I might seek to identify a sprinkling of, for example, spirited, light-hearted, perfectionist, or sporting types.
Common sense suggests that psychological diversity will help the squad to blend and enable them to adapt to circumstances.