The Science of Squad Size


A recent comment from Mr Malcolm’s (excellent) review of Division 2 teams regarding squad depth made me think about my squad and so I decided to share my thinking on squad depth and coverage that I have developed over the last two seasons at Die Wolfe.

In Top100 – like several of my other game worlds – I typically find myself only competing in one major competition in any one season: the league. My appearances in Shield and Cup knockouts tends to be short and sweet – and of course Youth and World Club Cups are not impacted by injuries and do not affect fatigue.

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8 comments

  1. A valuable way of looking at cover in various positions. I try and keep 2 sides a league and cup team. This automatically gives me one immediate replacement in each position and fatigue is rarely a problem. What I never understand is the position in D4 where some clubs have 11 players in one position and no cover in another when the players are freely available at externals.

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  2. Excellent work Greg!I would only add that, in a GW like TOP 100 with 50 man limit, some managers (me for eg), will hold players in already covered positions simply because there is faith that their ratings will rise. When they do an older player of same rating can then be traded.There is also a technique of buying players you may have no faith in but because they are young and at a decent rating they become valuable trading chips.I don't think it's as cut and dried as simply covering all positions and having decent squad depth. You need depth obviously, but you also need to hold on to talent you think will rise that you cannot sell even though the player will not play, even in cup games, until that rise.A great example is Miguel Borja in my squad. I've got Forward cover a plenty, but I have faith that he will rise and so he's not for selling. Same with Dominguez and the American lad at Seattle.Also, for squad depth, you could buy an older 87 rated player. Very useful for injuries, suspensions and cup games. But that older player in your squad is taking up the space that may be needed for a new player, youth talent or simply a younger player that becomes available. For that reason I sold El Ahmadi after SM gave him a miserly +1. Yet I hold on to Masiello fully expecting at least a +3, but will probably again be disappointed. ;-0It has taken me a full year of playing in this GW to realise that short-termism is fatal. Patience is absolutely crucial. As I'm Certain Ruts at Celtic would agree.Last season I suffered due to fatigue of players (although that fatigue was an unwarranted shambles from SM engine), and lack of squad depth. To address that I've had to sell some big names. But there was necessity in that decision and although my 1st XI is weaker I believe the overall depth is much better except in defence – but my patience will pay dividends.

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  3. Great & interesting article Greg & Alex, I totally agree with what you say.If you haven't got the youngsters to trade for a better player you buy 30+ 87's then buy a number of younger players in those positions that you hope will rise so you can eventually sell that 30+ 87. All this while gambling on getting a youth/s that you can move on for a decent player – although I hate selling youth, love to see them rise but mid-termism seems to be the key in T100. Wibble

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  4. Totally agree Alex – as you will see in my squad I have a number of other players who are used for trading or held in the hope of a rise. This just covers the first 20 or so players in my 50-man squad to make sure I can field an 88+ side in most games.

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