Summer Specials Three – Picked Last: The Stats Don’t Lie…Or Do They?

Hello and welcome back to the mad house that is CM9798 Summer Specials! You can catch up with last week’s experiment here where we took a team of Keith’s on a tour of Scotland.

Most of you will, new players of the game or old, come across the mystery of your team getting diddled by a player that has awful visible stats or seeing players who look so terrible they remain on a free transfer until they retire. So, how much do the hidden stats impact the in-game performance? Well, I’ve devised a cunning plan.

We’ve built a squad of players with 1 for every visible rating (+ dirtiness & marking) 20 for consistency, big occasion and character and 200 for ability and potential. We’ve placed them in the Premier League at the expense of Southampton and we’ll see just how far hidden stats can take a player’s performance. Who are these sickly-looking bunch? Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you ‘Picked Last’

Here is a calibre of player we have at our disposal given the game won’t allow us to have 1’s it’s given us 9’s:

Our opening game at Blackburn doesn’t go well due to our excellent finishing skills.

But then we’re at the Knackers Yard and it comes together against the Premier League’s least rated side:

Villa demolish us 3-1 and it feels like it is going to be a long old season fighting off the boards desire to give me the boot.

That said, the vultures are already circling for our squad of average Joe’s.

Chelsea beat us 3-2 and I’m wondering where the hell the next points are going to come from. Thankfully even more woeful sides like Barnsley and Newcastle keep us out the bottom three. All of a sudden, things begin to click:

Our ability in front of goal is getting better as we manage accuracy as well as Sheffield Wednesday.

We’re a third of the way in and our last picks are climbing the table!

Well, this is a new one.

We are clocking up wins and this is the pick of the bunch. Ringo gets his chance to lead the band.

The ultimate test arrives and I’m actually not calling this a failure:

We thrash Liverpool in the League Cup 3rd round and then we get up against Spurs. Phillip Flap’s big occasion certainly comes to the fore as he saves three penalties.

We get Bury in the Quarter-Final. We lose to Newcastle in the League (it was coming) but we recover by thrashing Coventry 3-0. Our position in the league at the almost 2/3 way through is phenomenal.

We lose to both Barnsley and Newcastle 1-0 but work our way through to the League Cup Semi-Final by beating Bury. We draw Man Utd, typical. We go on a run peaking at 2nd placed Arsenal.

Just needed John on the scoresheet. Recognition finally arrives for dragging these ‘all 9’s’ up the table.

We are ungraciously dumped from the League Cup by Utd, I guess ratings play some part when ability is almost on par. The 2nd leg ends 1-1.

Spurs hate playing us in the cup, there’s no doubt. Another Flap day as penalties are saved.

I had been telling him to beef up. Too little too late.

A win at Derby and a draw with the Dons see’s us maintain 6th place but injuries and suspensions take their toll on our 16-man squad.

We crash out of the FA Cup Quarters to Middlesbrough. Tough times.

We follow up with back to back 3-2 defeats to Liverpool and Leicester. Our hopeless and hapless heroes are fading sharply as the season draws to a close. Perhaps we needed a bigger squad? We’re 4 points from 4th with a game in hand but it is going to be a struggle to finish higher on current form.

An approach is made for Dave (appropriately) but we have to turn it down.

It’s a great time at the hammers as we upset the odds. But it is followed up by a loss to Leeds and draws with Man Utd and Spurs. We’re struggling to break above 6th place – this could be the glass ceiling for hidden stats alone?

Slow Coach gets a call up (I’m not entirely sure why) and makes his debut in a 1-0 defeat to Denmark.

The run in sees us lose to Everton, draw with Newcastle and then a classic CM9798 Coventry tie to end the season…so much for the consistency stat…

And with that, here is the final table:

And the vital statistics:

Our main man and most expensive player at £9.75m…Dave

Phillip Flap and Phillip Flop have been largely outstanding in goal. But my player of the season, Paul:

Boro went on to win the FA Cup inexplicably so I’m less fussed about that defeat now. But the perplexing decisions just keep on coming…

It’s a debut for Flap!

Flap is named PFA Player of the Season for his 17 man of the match performances.

As tempting as it is, I can’t possibly stay on for another year. Picked Last are picked first it would seem.

And with that ends our third experiment of the summer. I think we can agree that this has been a ‘success’? And it has gone some way to proving that there’s a reason why some players are unreasonably good or unreasonably bad despite what can be seen. I hope you’ve enjoyed this CM9798 science lesson and do join us again next week for another summer special!

You can follow Andrew on twitter: @KingOfTheRooks

3 thoughts on “Summer Specials Three – Picked Last: The Stats Don’t Lie…Or Do They?

  1. Pingback: Summer Specials Four – Seven-a-Side Heroes: The Best vs. The Rest | CM 97/98

  2. So frustrating that this seems like such a big deal with no real scouting taking place game play wise.

  3. Pingback: A Game of Luck: Is the Game Engine Against You? | @KingOfTheRooks | CM 97/98

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