Members have access to my individually assessed player rating database. It’s divided by position with a separate table for defenders, midfielders and forwards.
It is updated very frequently to reflect the changes happening on the pitch. A previously strong performance player can decline very quickly due to a tactical change, and vice versa, the weak can become good if the circumstances change.
Any changes to these tables will be highlighted and explained in the Scouting section under Improving or Declining players.
I have assessed each player for both Current and Potential performance suitability, and it is important for members to understand what I mean by this to use the ratings properly.
Below, I will explain how I arrive at the ratings, what they mean (and what they don’t!) and how to get the best out of them.
This is one page of the forwards table. You will find tables for both midfielders and defenders in the members section too.
It is split this way to ensure we are comparing like with like, and to keep loading times down.
Each player has a Current and Potential performance rating based on a simple 5 star system (explained below).
Members can sort it by name, club or star rating, or search for the player they want in the search bar. You can also type in the number 1 to 5 into the search bar – “5” will bring up any players with 5 stars, for example.
Each player is clickable to reveal a notes section. Not every player needs a note, but when I have something interesting worth adding for a player, it will be there.
Often, I include notes about what they will need to do to reach their potential rating, particularly if there is a big difference between their Current and Potential score.
The overall intent is to cut through all the hype and focus on what is really happening on the pitch.
I use a lot of different sources to inform my decision making. The heaviest weighting by far though goes to real match statistics from recent games, and I tend to look at the last 6 matches in detail. I pay for access to additional stats used by professional sports journalists, which often give a level of detail beyond what you might find on a free statistics site. I look at all the classic statistics you might expect that are relevant to the Football Index scoring system, as well as more innovative things like Expected Goals.
I also use a lot of other secondary sources such as previous performance scoring data, historic match data, local scouting and match reports and of course I watch a lot of games myself.
Current ratings represent a players likelihood of challenging for performance dividends in upcoming games. It is rooted firmly in hard statistics based on their performance in previous matches (usually the last six) with all hype and speculation put aside. Historic factors like consistent high performance scores are considered, but a player will not have a high current rating just for being good last season or 4 months ago!
There are also important practical factors that have a big impact on the Current ratings, such as the amount of pitch time they are getting. There are plenty of players who would become strong performance players if they secured a regular starting place, and this will result in a weak Current rating and a stronger Potential rating (usually the players notes will highlight this).
I have a high degree of confidence in the current ratings. It should be noted however that winning performance buzz is hard! On a big match day there will be hundreds of players competing for just 4 winning places. Even the elite players may only challenge for a win 10-15 times in a season.
With current ratings, we are thinking in months not days and members should not expect a player with a high rating to win next time. However, the cream does eventually rise to the top and the players who are consistently winning and getting close to winning do get noticed by other traders and pick up buying action.
Potential Rating is the realistic level the player may reach in the next 3 years (the maximum you can hold the player). Usually, in order to reach their potential they will require ideal conditions, such as a big club move, and the right tactical role in a side. But, based on the player’s ability and the market/scouting/transfer news, it is possible to predict who has the right traits and a realistic prospect of moving to a performance suitable club.
Potential ratings are still based heavily on real match data. I can see whether they have the right attributes to succeed if their circumstances improved. However, for some players who do not play, youth prospects for example, I may have to take more account of softer factors such as youth match performance, playing position, transfer value and local scout reports. A big factor here is the realistic possibility of them securing a move to a big club and get pitch time and a favourable playing position. A player can be potentially strong but will receive a low potential rating if they are not likely to to meet those practical requirements.
To keep things on the ground, I consider potential to be “where they can realistically get to in the next 3 years” rather than in their entire career. First of all, this represents the maximum hold period for a player on the Football Index. Second of all, trying to predict a players fortunes beyond that would be hard to do with a respectable level of accuracy.
Simply put, potential ratings are best used to sort the up and coming players with substance from those based purely on hype.
The rating system is designed to be as simple as possible for members to use and sift through. However, a lot of detailed research is behind each player rating. To give more detail in borderline cases, I also use half stars in between the below ratings.
Elite – Can be expected to challenge for performance wins 10 – 15 times a season. This is reserved for a handful of the very best players.
Very Strong – Can be expected to challenge for performance wins 7 – 10 times a season. A player must be showing exceptional stats and have favourable conditions to place here.
Strong – Can be expected to challenge for performance wins 4-7 times a season. Most solid performance players will be here.
Average – Can be expected to challenge for performance wins 2-4 times per season. They may struggle to challenge regularly, but are still relevant and may pop up with a win. They may improve with a change in circumstances like more pitch time etc.
Weak – Can be expected to challenge for performance wins 0-2 times per season. A player here is unlikely to win without a significant change. They may still get a big score once or twice a season, but it is unlikely to be consistent. Often, they can be this low because of a practical problem like limited pitch time. If so, they are likely to have a better potential rating.
These ratings will help narrow things down and highlight changes to members and take the heavy lifting out of detailed research. However, I strongly encourage members to use this as a starting point rather than the end of your research on a player. Traders run different strategies and a player that is right for one portfolio may not be right for another.
Also, a strong performance player is not necessarily good value and will not automatically result in a profitable trade. This is where my market guidance through the Members Dashboard gives a fuller picture. But ultimately, members still must make their own trading decisions and that’s part of the game!
It is probably obvious but it is also worth stating that these are very much performance ratings, they do not account for media suitability (see the FAQ if interested in why).
The final thing I will say is that patience is required on the Football Index. Even good players don’t get big scores every week, and sometimes they do get big scores and get beaten anyway because a long shot player who has never had a hope of winning before had the game of his life and bagged a hat-trick.
All we can do is find the consistently strong performers and then be patient. When the markets see consistency in a player, he will start to move into the highest price brackets. Some players will get lucky and over perform, others will do everything right and not get the luck. But over a season, those who know the who the strongest performance players are will have the chips stacked strongly in their favour no matter what strategy they are using.
Ratings also change quite frequently. We can’t just say “he’s a strong performance player” and then forget about it. Tactical changes, big dips in form, a move between clubs. All of these things can significantly affect a players chances. I keep on top of all this, and when a player rating changes, it will be flagged up on the Scouting Section so you can easily keep track.