The Secrets of the Talent Spotters

Paul Grech Monday, September 30, 2013 , ,
Each day thousands upon thousands of words are written about football.  A lot of it is fluff; guess work by those who either wrongfully imply they have contacts within the game or else argumentative nothing by people trying to show how clever they are.

There is very little which gives you real insight into how the game works; very little from which you walk away feeling that you’re slightly more capable in discerning what is happening.

The Nowhere Men is one such rarity.  As he journeys into the world of football scouting, talking to an impressive number of people who work in that area, Michael Calvin slowly shows you what goes into scouting a player, bringing down the illusion – for those na├»ve enough to believe it – that selecting a player to add to a squad is any easy process.

In it he shows how the best scouts go about forming an opinion on players and why some clubs hold back from signing a player even though there is both the financial ability by the club and talent on the part of the player.

The interview with Michael Calvin can be read on Blueprint for Football.

Perception is in the Eye of the Beholder

Within instances of the ball arriving at his feet, Xavi Hernandez looks around him, takes in what runs his team-mates are making and then moves the ball on.  It is a simple process yet, within a team of the ball playing ability of Barcelona, it is also a devastating one; capable of ripping to shreds the best laid plans of most teams.

Few players embody Barcelona’s style of play as much as Xavi.  His ability to pass through bigger and more physically imposing players mirrors his team’s favoured way of winning games.   It is difficult to determine what is more impressive; whether it is the fluidity or the speed at which all of their attacks are created.  No matter how tight opposing teams try marking Xavi – or his teammates, for the matter – they always seem to find a way through.

The main reason for this is that Xavi is a fantastically talented player, one who can see the game in a way few in the world can.

Why is that the case, however?  What is it that makes him so special?

Those are the questions that Geir Jordet has been trying to answer and answer in a very specific method: by looking at players’ faces during games.

The rest of the article can be read on Blueprint for Football.
Copyright 2010 Paul Grech: Writer