Despite failing to “moneyball” his way to the top with Rangers on The Set Pieces’ FM project, you could say Alex Stewart is still Football Manager’s moneyball expert.
His recent save saw him to take Bristol City from League One to two Champions League titles, using moneyball.
“It was great.” Alex says remembering the Bristol City save.
“The first ever Moneyball save was on my own blog, PutNielsInGoal.com, and ironically enough was with Rangers.
“When I started blogging about football more generally, and FM, Iain [Macintosh] was one of the first people to take notice and help publicise my writing, so when he offered to host the Bristol City Moneyball series, I was delighted.
“The series went well, but it was great to interact with the FM community online and build my own profile a bit doing something I loved.”
But how can you have a moneyball save in Football Manager?
“The rules are all there – it’s just a question of following them!” Alex said.
“The new game makes it even easier to use data because the scouting screen now contains a lot more in terms of metrics: interceptions, aerials won, passes, and so on.
“I’ve also started adding in attributes before I even start scouting – I’ll look for players aged 19-24, with high determination, team work, and work rate, and that’s the first set of filters.
“Then I apply the other rules. Starting at a club with a good youth set-up also helps, as you’ll get players coming through to replace the ones you sell.”
But how did Alex get into Football Manager? It is a love which stems from school.
“I first playing seriously with CM 97/98. I was at boarding school and had a lot of time to fill and was given my first computer for work.” Alex said.
“I have always loved football, but not been very good at it and mostly watched Serie A because of the Football Italia show, and so I plunged into that.
“The game was quicker and easier then, and so I quite rapidly started winning stuff, building teams, and learning about real players through the game.
“When I left school and went to university, my playing dropped off, when Steam came along and I got hold of FM 2013, I was back on it.
“Before I became a freelance writer, I was a police officer for six years and I had a lot of down-time when everyone else was at work. I played a lot.
“Writing about it when I left was a natural move.”