It could be the title of a Woody Allen movie, but it’s not. Although it may seem complex, it is much simpler than it seems. This will be the start of a series of posts that aim to unravel the work of those who work in the shadows to spot a player’s talent, as in the long run, their work is just as important to a Club as that of a goalkeeper as it is to a penalty taker.
Well, all football fans have heard the story of this or that player, and how he was discovered by some mysterious characters, who appeared in a match of his local league, and ended up offering him a contract to sign for a big football club. Some call them one way and others another and therefore it is a subject of which it is normal to mix concepts. Let’s try to clarify them
What is Scouting?
The word scouting comes from the English word scout and has no single definition. In a simple way we can say that it is the process of collecting information for later analysis. There are more complex definitions but in short scouting is just that, collecting information. Observe.
In any case scouting is a process, not a person. It is the process of observing and collecting data on one or more players.
What is the difference between scouter, scout, analyst and scout?
Although apparently it seems that they are all the same, each one has its own very different work. The scout or scouter’s objective is to observe (scout) and to catch talent.
The analyst on the other hand has a profile that focuses more on the performance of a team’s staff. Therefore, we can say that scouts, or scouters are more involved in the technical secretariats, while analysts are more involved with the coaching staff of a team.
He’s the scout of a lifetime. The person who watches football matches with the aim of identifying talented players, whether they are young or not, in order to try to incorporate them into his team.
In the old days, the most normal thing was for these people to go to the stadiums to watch the matches live. Nowadays, due to the problems of Covid, it is more complex to move around, so some tools are used, such as inStat, a worldwide platform where the statistics of more than 400,000 players with more than 6,000 monthly videos are dumped. Certainly much cheaper than travelling or buying a ticket for any match.
Even so, it is very common that the scout is constantly traveling around the world either as a scout for a team or as a freelance scout.
Normally a scout is a person with special training and sensitivity to be able to predict the future adaptation and evolution of a player within your club.
The scout must be able to separate the emotional from the rational in order to make the best decisions for the team. An analyst must be able to abstract from the ball and concentrate completely on the player as it is equally important what the player does with or without the ball.
Some clubs may have more than 500 scouts spread around the world, either part-time or full-time.
This figure is in charge of studying the football of a team in each of its phases, breaking them down and identifying each of the details and patterns in the teams, both in their own and in their rivals.
His role is more oriented to the performance of the group and its continuous evolution.
An analyst has to know the strengths and weaknesses of the teams and is closely linked to the day to day life of the coach. He’s usually one of the coaching staff. He travels with the team, attends training sessions and is an active part of the decision making process.
However, there are different types of analysts depending on their specialization.
- Tactical analyst: They focus on the phases of the game and set pieces.
- Technical analyst: focused on improving the movements and individual technical actions and more oriented to the youth teams of the clubs.
- Physical performance analyst: Usually the physical trainer who in turn is guided by data provided by GPS tools or similar systems.
- Data analyst: Specialist in their capture, processing and interpretation.