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I don't think Suso himself scouts the players he has agents and scouts that he has contacts with. One name that doesn't seem to get mentioned in all of this is Ben Hackney, he's meant to be our Head of Recruitment, came from Barnsley in April of last year.

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6 minutes ago, useless said:

I don't think Suso himself scouts the players he has agents and scouts that he has contacts with. One name that doesn't seem to get mentioned in all of this is Ben Hackney, he's meant to be our Head of Recruitment, came from Barnsley in April of last year.

In all honesty, I don’t have the slightest clue or insight into Barnsley or Hackney. But this just screams of small time. Once again, who was Hackney scouting for Barnsley before he came to Villa. Frees and League Two players? 

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No Idea which players he would have scouted at Barnsley. Sounds like recruitment is being looked into though, so hopefully they get it right.

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4 minutes ago, useless said:

No Idea which players he would have scouted at Barnsley. Sounds like recruitment is being looked into though, so hopefully they get it right.

In his time at the club they were mostly League 1 with a promotion to the Championship two seasons ago and now sit 23rd. In the US, the GM handles player recruitment and in almost all cases that person has been in an upper management role within another team that shares the same league. NFL teams don’t hire GM’s from the CFL and NBA teams don’t hire GMs from the D league. Recruitment at Villa, from management to the first team, has been small time for the last 10 years. It starts at the top and trickles down. If I’m the owners, I’m looking at hiring a CEO, Sporting Director, and Head of Recruitment from clubs that are consistently in the Top 6. Who is Liverpool’s assistant sporting director if that position even exists? Or Chelsea’s assistant head of recruitment? Those are the people I would be going for. 

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To be fair Barnsley have produced a few players over the past few years.

Holgate ,Stones ,Lindsay, Mawson.

They produce a lot of defenders.

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2 hours ago, Dave-R said:

All three, Smith, Purslow and Jesus must have heavy say on these transfers,they're all in a WhatsApp group together right in regards to signings, so they all obviously are bringing these players in.

I bet the truth wont come out though, I've a feeling the club will make someone fall guy in all of this even if there are more than one culprit.

 

Until we know (and we may never), if our first choices was baulked at, financially,then its hard to criticise certain individuals.

if some of the choices, mentioned on here, were refused, its difficult to know where to apportion blame......the worrying thing is, it seems to be a re-occurring scenario.

I don't know how the recruitment of players is to improve, when them that make those decisions, don't think they are doing anything wrong.

Edited by TRO
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1 hour ago, Reivax_Villa said:

To be fair Barnsley have produced a few players over the past few years.

Holgate ,Stones ,Lindsay, Mawson.

They produce a lot of defenders.

I wonder why we don't?

when was the last time we developed a CDM for the first team?.....Gareth Barry , Maybe in his later career.

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9 minutes ago, TRO said:

I wonder why we don't?

when was the last time we developed a CDM for the first team?.....Gareth Barry , Maybe in his later career.

We never give them an opportunity to play

We buy ourselves out of trouble.

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1 hour ago, useless said:

I don't think Suso himself scouts the players he has agents and scouts that he has contacts with. One name that doesn't seem to get mentioned in all of this is Ben Hackney, he's meant to be our Head of Recruitment, came from Barnsley in April of last year.

That does not fill me with glee, regarding Suso, it all lacks accountability for me.

Ben Hackney...never heard of him.

I think with player recruitment, the success, surrounds contacts, in other words its not what you know, more about who you know.

 

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4 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

We never give them an opportunity to play

We buy ourselves out of trouble.

I suspect its an area of player, that is way down the priority list.

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1 minute ago, DCJonah said:

Not getting Benrahma done is a huge error. 

Yep we were down a man on the wing all season long. Forced it down Jack’s side and teams caught on. I truly believe if we had a serviceable winger opposite Jack we would be firmly out of the relegation zone. 

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2 hours ago, Reivax_Villa said:

To be fair Barnsley have produced a few players over the past few years.

Holgate ,Stones ,Lindsay, Mawson.

They produce a lot of defenders.

Produced implies they've got a good academy. If they signed these players from fox & hounds FC as unearthed gems then that would be more what we're after 

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10 hours ago, NSmith22 said:

I’m sure this has been mentioned but how often does La Liga dip into the English market? The answer is rarely if ever. Becks, Bale...? Has Suso ever been involved in a UK based signing for his previous spanish clubs? His knowledge of the leagues and transfer market was likely minimal before he came to Villa and we gave him the keys to the car. 

English players are too expensive for La Liga. The big teams sign players from England a lot but is not really much value in English market

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23 hours ago, NSmith22 said:

In all honesty, I don’t have the slightest clue or insight into Barnsley or Hackney. But this just screams of small time. Once again, who was Hackney scouting for Barnsley before he came to Villa. Frees and League Two players? 

I've spoken to Ben few times on linkedin

 He bought number players into Barnsley one is Ethan Pinnock from Forest Green Rover's  later sold to Brentford (Around £3mil)

After this article in 4-4-2 Magazine he signed for Villa from Barnsley.

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/whats-it-scout-a-league-one-club

Quote

In football, you’ve got to dedicate yourself to get opportunities. It’s so competitive, and there just aren’t many jobs out there compared to other industries.

When I was at college and university, I used to do some player and opposition scouting for local non-league teams. Once I’d built up a portfolio of reports, I sent them to as many of England’s 92 best clubs as I could find email addresses for.

Generally my non-league reports were pretty basic, but you have to start somewhere, don't you? I did a few opposition reports for Ramsbottom, mainly focusing on strengths and weaknesses of opposition, how to exploit them, general patterns of play and key players.

I also did some independent player work to send around to different clubs – I remember being really impressed with a young Denis Suarez, now at Arsenal, playing for Manchester City’s under-23s in a game at Rochdale.


Luckily, I received a few replies and was soon working (voluntarily) for Crystal Palace as a regional scout, alongside some other (voluntary) work for Manchester United’s foundation.

But then I got a break.

Barnsley gave me an internship as a performance analyst and I quickly learned a lot being in a football club day to day, mixing with players and staff during the week and on matchdays. The club took a chance on me full-time when they decided to create a new recruitment department after Lee Johnson was appointed as manager in 2015, and I’ve been there ever since.

I’ve worked under five managers, and there’s always something new to learn; each one brings with them different philosophies and ideas.

Coach's orders

Our current head coach Daniel Stendel has been great to work with since he took over last June. He brings a fresh approach having spent his whole career in Germany, including a year managing Hannover.

He's very clear in his style of play, and that’s absolutely vital for the scouting team when we’re identifying players, so we know exactly what he wants and expects from each position.

Barnsley have a specific playing identity: a front-foot style, focusing on defending from the front and attacking at pace. Last summer, the club made a conscious decision to adopt a counter-pressing style; a philosophy that Daniel embraces.

The scouting team itself has a centralised team of three recruitment analysts who work from the club base. On top of that, we have three regional scouts placed around the UK, and a chief scout who travels the country and reports back for meetings.

An average day would involve focusing on one player from our 'watch list'. We’ll look at him in several games, analysing every action, and submit a report afterwards reviewing his performance, data, plus any additional information that might be useful (such as their contract situation and even personality, more on which later).

Dependent on the day I might also watch our under-23s if they’re at home, check up on our under-18s via video clips, watch first-team training or get out to a midweek game in the evening. This isn’t a job for those inclined to get bored watching football...  

All of the information we gather then gets sent back to base – the management team have full access to the reports we submit daily on players – and we’ll have a weekly meeting to discuss any interesting players that have been highlighted. From there, we can plan our workload for the week ahead. We’re a relatively small department compared to many clubs, but we watch 50-60 games a week in the UK and Europe, both on video and in person.

I'll admit, though: it's hard to just watch a 'normal' game now. You're always looking at them with the emotion taken out, and trying to see it for what it actually is. The World Cup was good because I could enjoy some international football as a supporter, and I try to get away a couple of times a year. I'm still a fan at heart, so if there's football on TV at any level I'll generally watch it, but there are times when it's nice to get away. I always do so for a few days after a transfer window closes – it's a good way to reset mentally, and then you feel like you can really start looking ahead to the next one with a fresh focus.

Tell you what I want

We’re looking for players who we think are capable of playing at or above our level and, importantly, have the attributes to suit our style of play.

The suitability aspect is key. There might be an excellent player who is simply unable to fulfil the positional demands our head coach is looking for, so just wouldn’t be a worthwhile addition for us. For another team, he might be perfect.

In recruitment, it’s vital to plan for every eventuality and have a list of players for each position going into a transfer window. Of course, depending on specific areas the manager is looking to improve on and the contract situation of players in your own squad, there are always priority positions that you’ll spend more time on than others.


We often have meetings where we present players formally to the manager, supplying him with all the supporting information we have and a video showing their strengths and weaknesses. The head coach gives us his thoughts, and may want to follow it up by going and watching the player himself. Unsurprisingly, he always has the final decision on any players we sign.

Success stories

Pleasingly, we’ve had some good success in recent years, with a lot of our players gaining high-profile moves after a stint at Oakwell.

The most notable is probably Alfie Mawson, who moved to the Premier League with Swansea in 2016, and still plays at the top level with Fulham. It’s always great to see players you’ve helped bring to the club succeed, but it really is a team effort as so many people are involved in the success of a player.

Ethan Pinnock, who's been outstanding since we signed him from Forest Green Rovers, is a perfect example of that. He went through the full process of being initially identified through data, and was then watched in four games on video and five times live by different members of our team. I remember making the seven-hour round trip to watch him, only for him to get injured 15 minutes in. That was a long drive home.


I was back out to watch him several times before the end of the season, though, including at Wembley in the National League play-off final. Once you get the player, it’s a relief and job done for us. Then it’s up to our coaching and backroom staff who get to work on the training pitch.

The process

We like to make sure several of our staff have seen the same player, and we use different methods – including live games, video and data analysis – for each one. It’s quite fluid, and something we look at as a team as the process evolves: there’s no one person with a specific role of just identifying talent or just looking at the data.

Data is obviously an important part of the modern recruitment process. It helps you gain insight on players and can be particularly helpful in the initial trawling phase before you start to work through and look at players more in-depth. It can give you information that the eyes of a scout can’t – just like the eyes of a scout can see things the data can’t. It’s important to have a combination of the two.

Each club uses data differently, and no one wants to give much away to keep ahead of rivals.
 

 

Edited by Villan4Life
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9 hours ago, NSmith22 said:

In all honesty, I don’t have the slightest clue or insight into Barnsley or Hackney. But this just screams of small time. Once again, who was Hackney scouting for Barnsley before he came to Villa. Frees and League Two players? 

i've put his interview above.

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1 hour ago, Villan4Life said:

i've put his interview above.

Can't see it!?  Where abouts?

 

;)

 

Edited by AvfcRigo82

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2 hours ago, Villan4Life said:

i've put his interview above.

In fairness, he seems like an intelligent guy. But I still stand by the fact that we need to aim higher for our key positions as the past 10 years of decisions hasn’t made any marked difference in propelling us higher.

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8 hours ago, NSmith22 said:

In fairness, he seems like an intelligent guy. But I still stand by the fact that we need to aim higher for our key positions as the past 10 years of decisions hasn’t made any marked difference in propelling us higher.

Yep nothing against the guy but I've literally never heard of any of those players apart from Denis Suarez

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Lambert found Benteke, Westwood and Lowton. Absolute gems.

Can we replace Suso with Lambo?

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