The Football Manager series for many years has allowed players to learn and develop ways of assessing the effectiveness of the approach used for the teams they choose to manage. In the latest version of the game Football Manager 2016, Prozone, the most efficient performance analysis tool has been incorporated into the game for even deeper analysis of both whole team and individual player performance. In this post, I will aim to show you how to use Prozone to assess your team’s shooting.
Before you start reading this post, I would recommend that you read our Prozone – Key Points post. This post covers all the aspects of Prozone that are essential in assessing your tactic. If you need to understand any of the Prozone options in further detail then checking out that post will be essential. I would also recommend that you read my previous posts where I showed how I assess your team’s average position and passing
It is important to note that the analysis and assessment used in this post will be taken from my current Football Manager 2016 save in the year 2036 with a set tactic that I have been working on throughout a whole season and more intensely during the pre-season leading to the current 2036/2037 season.
This post over time will get updated with more assessment from various games. It would be biased to show assessment from only one game as football is a game of opportunities, different standards, different teams and different players. The first assessment consists of my Valencia team taking on Villerreal in the La Liga.
Tactic & Team Instructions
You will noticed on the right that I am using a different tactic in this assessment in comparison to the tactic I used in the post where I assess passing in prozone. This tactic was chosen based the opposition, Villerreal. In the year 2036, Villerreal are a very average Spanish side that I would hope my Valencia team can easily beat. In the passing assessment, I found that my team were working the ball into the box which isolated the striker and he alone was the only one taking shots. This tactic uses a Complete Forward and two Inside Forwards in the hope that by having three players on a forward role that they create more shooting opportunities. Another thing that you will noticed with this tactic is that I have move the full backs forward. The RB is now a Complete Wing Back and the LB is Wing Back. Both are playing on attacking duty. Some might think this risky, but having a Deep Lying Playmaker on defensive duty I feel, is enough defensive cover.
The tactical instructions have also changed with me setting the defensive line to be higher so as to pressurize the opposition and get more shots away. I have maintained my possession based approach with the play the ball out of defence, retain possession and shorter passing selected for this tactic. Shorter passing is sometimes changed to mixed depending on the opposition.
When looking to assess my team’s shooting at half time or at the end of the game, I start by looking at the match stats. In this game against Villerreal my team had a total of 15 shots with 9 of those shots being on target. That means that a total of six shots were off target. These stats are where I start to ask two questions: who, in my team is shooting and where are they shooting from?
The answer to both questions can be answered in prozone by looking at all the shots. As a manager, you should know which player is which number. If you don’t, then you can easily scroll over each shot and it will tell you which player it is. In the image on the left I can see that my team take very minimal long range shots. This to me is an advantage and fits in well with my tactical style and team instructions. It is clear to me here that the ‘work ball into box’ instructions is working very well with the majority of shots coming from inside the box or roughly in the vicinity of the box.
Just to slight guide you away from the aesthetic nature of prozone. Another place to look in stats of the opposition GK. Specifically the stats in the marked section in the image above. To make you aware of what the abbreviations stand for: Saves Held (SVH), Saves Parried (SVP), Saves Tipped (SVT). The stat that most interests me here is the saves that have been parried (SVP). When a shot is parried, the ball is played back into play meaning that there is a chance that one of my player could follow in with a rebound shot. You can also there the SVP and SVT by checking on the prozone individual player analaysis of the opposition In the image on the right, the green circle is the shot that was parried and the yellow circle the shot that was tipped. As with most of the features in prozone you can see a replay of the occurance. When viewing shots that are parried I like to look for where the ball is parried to and where my players are when the ball is parried. In order for my team to capitalise parried shots, they need to be in the right positions to get the rebound shot.
The image on the left shows the moment where the ball was parried from Enes Kancar’s shot. The ball is parried to the left. In this moment I would expect my Inside Forward on that side to be attempting to following in for the rebound shot. In this situation, my IF is in position for a rebound shot. However, as he is marked effectively by the RB he cannot get on the right angle for the rebound shot. The GK has also done well to parry the shot away from the IF, which prevents him from getting a rebound shot.
Being marked is something that can be fixed with player positioning. When players are being marked I would hope that some of my players would drag defenders out of position to allow for one player to be in position for a rebound. I have circle two players in red circles. These players for me are too deep to even attempt a rebound shot. These players should be pressurizing the defenders, dragging them out of position. The IF could also come into this. By applying pressure I would hope that one of the three players would be able get into a good enough position to get on the end of a parried shot. Another option for the IF is to ask him to stay wide by adding that very player instruction. by staying with I would hope that the IF would drag the RB wider opening even more space for players to find a position to be on the end of a rebound
If you do find that you are getting a lot of shots being parried and your players are not in position to attempt to get the rebound then I would suggest that you look at player roles and player attributes. In this situation the my IF is doing the job of an IF and tucking inside when the ball is on the right side of the pitch. However, as already noted two players are not applying pressure, are not in the right positions. In these sort of situations I would recommend looking at your players’ positional and anticipation attributes.
Now I shall start to look at specific sections of shots. Starting with shots off target. In the image on the right you can see four shots off target. Now the thing that stands out to me is the areas that the off target shots has come from. Two of them come from outside the box at distance and the other two come from wider positions. Starting with the positives from this image, I like my players to try and take shots from a varitey of positions and these off target shots shows that my players are, at least, attempting shots from a variety of positions. Shots from distance off target are not really something to moan about unless they go excessively wide. I am also happy with only a small amount of shot being off target from distance I don’t really have much to complain about. The one thing I would recommend checking is your player instructions if you see players taking numerous long shots. Players that you don’t want shooting often you can tell them to “shoot less often” this should prevent them from shooting in areas you don’t want them to. To link with this, you should check your players attributes. Obviously with shooting you should be checking their shooting attribute. But to stay with the topic, it is my opinion that you should only let players with a long shot attribute of 15+ take shot from distance. Any players below, I would recommend that you tell them to shoot less often.
Now I move on to the shots on-target. More specifically the shots that where saved by the GK. I see a very similar image to the one above in relation to where are coming from. A lot of the shots are very central meaning that GK has an easy chance of saving. This is where I would be looking back at my chosen tactical instructions. I can only assume that my team are shooting in central due to my team instructions telling the team to play fairly narrow. It is situations like this where you have to try and find the balance between the style of build up play you want and where you want shots coming from. This obviously will mean that you have to experiment with the team and player instructions.
The image on the right shows the goals scored in this this. There is a clear different in the shots off target, shots saved and the goals. Apart from the one anomaly three out of the four shots were from a very close distance. Three goals coming from inside the six-yard box and one coming from just inside the box. The goals scored follow the team instructions very well with the work ball into box very clear. The shot from just inside the box comes from the player who has been told to shot more often, so the shot from distance paid off well a goal from distance.
To finish this assessment I shall draw your attention to the image above. You can find this by looking at the shots tab underneath analysis. Above the image you can either select to see all the shot or just the goals. I would strongly recommend using this image to assess your players’ shooting accuracy. I have mentioned above about shots on-target and shots off-target. The image above allows you to better assess both shots on and off target. The image shows seven shots off target and eight shots on targets. To assess your players accuracy you can using the green squares in the surrounding areas. Obviously the goal is marked with a bright green, shots off target are marked by lighter shades off green. Just off target lighter and on target and far off-target an even lighter shade of green. To break this down: four shots were far off-target, three shots just off target and finally. eight shots on-target which I have mentioned above. To use this information effectively, you should be checking the players taking the shots. If you find that certain players are shooting way off target it might be worth telling them to shoot less often or you might want to start looking for better players who can shoot better.