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Eliteserien Optician – Runde 10

Why the Eye-Test?

For those of you who have read my comments regarding the Eliteserien and Allsvenskan before, it will come as no surprise that I am taking a more visual approach to my first article, as opposed to the rigorous statistics of Reindeer Hotdog. Although there is plenty of legitimate argument to be made regarding the subjective nature of the eye-test, I have now spent 2 seasons watching the Eliteserien and reducing my notes to what I believe are predominantly objective descriptors (and consequent conclusions).

This strategy has helped me to some all-time best ranks, and I hope that this run can continue as the 2021 Eliteserien season unfolds: 21st in Eliteserien Fantasy (2020 – peaked at 4th), 2nd in Allsvenskan Fantasy (current – peaked at 1st), top 25k in FPL (2020/21), top 10k in Euro Fantasy (current).

For the most part, I reduce my eye-tests to the following variables:

  • Frequency with which a team attempts (and fails) to pass the ball out of their own half.
  • Number of players behind the ball out of possession.
  • Proportion of long-shots conceded.
  • Height and structure of defensive line.
  • System changes relative to score and, therefore, how likely a side is to concede more than 1.
  • Relative player positioning in possession – advanced, central, under-/over-lapping, etc.
  • Centre-points of attacking play i.e., playmaker and target-man.
  • Frequency and “ambition” with which a player shoots – selfishness & confidence.
  • Off-the-ball positioning and ‘Out of Position’ players.

As this is my first article regarding my beloved eye-test, I will look to introduce some of these variables by using contextual examples from an Eliteserien match in either Runde 8 or Runde 9, therefore demonstrating not only what I look for in these games but how I apply this to adapt my squad. In future weeks, I will look to introduce each of the remaining variables as I see particularly relevant to my thoughts and plans.

Frequency with which a team attempts (and fails) to pass the ball out of their own half

Beginning with one of my favourites, I use this variable to qualitatively record, and thus provide more insight into, mistake-contingent statistics. Key components include mistake frequency, risk caused by build-up play, risk caused by poor player distribution, and the consequent likelihood of mistakes leading to goals.

It may not come much of a surprise that Trømso are the side with the greatest issues of late, specifically in their losses to Lillestrom and Odd in Runde 8 and 9, respectively.

Versus Lillestrom, the issues began in the 38th minute as a poor pass out the back ended up at the feet of Ifeanyi Mathew. The defence then entered a state of complete disarray as Mathew found Gjermund Åsen on the left, leaving Thomas Lehne Olsen in acres of space to get a shot off from 10 yards. This pattern continued throughout the match, Lehne Olsen capitalising on this in the 52nd minute to add his second of the match after Jacob Karlstrøm blasted a pass off the shins of his own defender. Back-to-back miskicks from Isak Amundsen gave Lehne Olsen an opening to complete his hattrick in the 58th minute, but fortunately the Lillestrom talisman failed to take advantage and spared Amundsen’s blushes.

Despite facing a high-pressing Odd side in Runde 9, it was quite clear from the off that Trømso would not learn from their mistakes. A simple interception by Joshua Kitolano in the 13th minute presented Markus Kaasa with a chance to make it 1-0; Sander Svendsen probably would have done so had Kaasa looked for the pass. Two pathetic missed interceptions leading to Mushaga Bakenga’s second of the night warrant discussion as ‘losses of possession’, the Trømso defenders seemingly dumbfounded by the prospect of intercepting Odin Björtuft’s weak pass from inside his own half.

This consistent insistence on playing the ball out the back, regardless of opposing pressure and ability to do so, makes Trømso a clear target in weeks to come. It is because of this that I currently have the armband on Bendik Bye for Runde 10 – a player I later mention with regards to ambitious shooting. In this instance, it is quite clear irrespective of these highlights that this defence is one of the weaker in the division, however it is the instances in which errors like this are identifiable without a clear correlation to goals conceded that make this analysis beneficial.

A brief example of this is with Molde’s latest shot-stopper Oliver Petersen. On two occasions in Runde 9 (in the 45th and 60th minutes), hesitant distribution from the youngster nearly cost Molde the three points, on the earlier occasion presenting a great chance for the usually clinical Erik Botheim to break to deadlock. It is for this reason I am confident in starting Fred Friday vs. Molde in Runde 10, hoping that this trend continues.

Number of players behind the ball out of possession

Although this tends to fluctuate game-by-game, a side’s defensive structure relative to the strength of opposition is often beneficial to transfer planning when attempting to target weaker defences. A prime example of this can be found in Mjøndalen’s performances vs. Strømsgodset and Kristiansund, two games versus fantastic attacking sides across which they only conceded twice.

Versus Strømsgodset, there was only one occasion (1/7) where there were fewer than 7 Mjøndalen players in their own box at the time a shot was taken; on four occasions (4/7) there were 8 or 9 defenders present. The opposition, however, had 7 or more men in their own box for just three (3/9) of Mjøndalen’s attempts. This defensive onslaught not only means that a greater proportion of shots are inevitably blocked but it means that the opposition are forced to take a greater proportion of their shots from distance (or not at all), with little space to play into further forwards. This directly links to the proportion of long-shots conceded – a variable I assess separately, hopefully to be discussed in future articles.

Something I had not realised until writing this article is the consistency with which Mjøndalen have been able to hold off onslaughts from big sides this season, conceding only once to Valerenga, twice away at Viking, twice away at Bodø/Glimt, and keeping a clean sheet versus Molde. It is quite clear that Mjøndalen are, as last season also showed, no whipping boys. It is, therefore, unlikely that I will captain an opposing player again this season (despite Sondre Sørli’s Runde 7 haul being one time in which I have done so prior).

Height and structure of defensive line

The positioning and structural integrity of a team’s defensive line is often only represented by statistics that regard shots and chances conceded. However, the use of the eye-test allows for the identification of the specific limitations of a system. This is the primary reason for my Runde 10 move: Carlo Holse to Ola Brynhildsen. The system in question: Strømsgodset, specifically versus Mjøndalen’s Martin Ovenstad.

From the off, it was clear that Ovenstad was going to be allowed space to flourish, following up on Lars Olden Larsen’s 5th minute shot without contest, acres of space left both inside and outside of Lars-Christopher Vilsvik for the Mjøndalen winger. This continued throughout the first half, another prime example being in the 31st minute where Ovenstad was left isolated to set up an Ole Sveen shot whilst only Vilsvik was present on the entire right-hand side of the Strømsgodset half (when Ovenstad received the ball). Even as Nikolas Walstad looked to overlap, no defender came across to help contain the threat.

Ovenstad went on to have 5 shots, scoring in the 58th minute with (no prizes for guessing) a shot curled through this gap left between Vilsvik and the rest of the defence. Having flourished in recent weeks, I have no reason to doubt that Molde’s attack will take advantage of this space. Ola Brynhildsen loves a shot from the area identified, so I’m backing him to grab a goal on his next outing.

Relative player positioning in possession – advanced, central, under-/over-lapping, etc

This is probably the variable I most often take note of because a player’s positioning relative to that of their teammates is usually a top-tier predictor of goal involvement, to an extent more so than player ability, thus making it pivotal in selecting a fantasy football squad. Although relatively self-explanatory, using the eye-test to assess player positioning in different situations provides a much better idea of attacking involvement than a simple heat map. This is because, for example, relative player positioning during counterattacks is much more important than their average position over ninety minutes.

Two teams where this evaluation is essential to selecting the best attacking options are Valerenga and Bodø/Glimt, this because of the large quantity of attacking options requiring comparison. This makes the Runde 8 tie an ideal opportunity to see how the sides’ systems may benefit, or hinder, some options.

In the absence of Aron Dønnum, and the consequent introduction of Tobias Christensen, it was apparent from the off that Valerenga would have to adapt their system to accommodate their primarily central selection of attacking assets: Henrik Bjørdal, Osame Sahraoui (‘central’ given that Amor Layouni has occupied the left wing since arriving), Henrik Udahl, and the aforementioned Tobias Christensen. Since my comment regarding Christian Borchgrevink last week, my thoughts have not changed (with the exception that, versus Stabaek, Christensen occupied a wider position at times, with Borchgrevink underlapping): “VIF looked like a different side against Glimt, Sahraoui & Christensen both occupying central positions in a somewhat changed system. This left space for Borchgrevink to advance from right-back, taking 3 shots from open play vs. a strong Glimt side”. It was because of this that I opted to start Borchgrevink versus Stabaek, a decision I have not yet been made to regret at the time of article submission.

Unlike Valerenga, Bodø/Glimt have had little reason to adjust their system this season. Visual assessment of their players’ positioning, however, has been crucial to identifying the greatest value options early on. The three key comparisons, for me, have been Alfons Sampsted versus Fredrik Bjørkan, Brunstad Fet versus Ulrik Saltnes, and Sondre Sørli versus Ola Solbakken. I will be going into these over the coming weeks as I look to shift Glimt assets out ahead of two blank Gameweeks either side of a tough away tie to Sarpsborg 08.

Frequency and “ambition” with which a player shoots – selfishness & confidence

Last, but certainly not least, comes a variable for which I use far too many words to simply state: “he shoots lots and I like that”. Although shot frequency and xG can be reflected statistically, there is a certain beauty in the interaction between ambition and confidence/selfishness which can only really be identified by watching a player. The best examples of this, for me, are: Amahl Pellegrino (formerly of Kristiansund), Aron Dønnum, Kristoffer Velde, Bendik Bye, and Kristoffer Normann Hansen. This is something I will look to discuss in more detail in upcoming weeks. This alone has contributed hugely to my game-plan in recent years and will do so in weeks to come – Velde’s arrival is imminent.

Conclusion: And Your Thoughts?

The more I think, the more I realise how much depth can be put behind visual analysis, and I truly believe that watching more games is the number one route to improvement in any fantasy manager. Despite a great acknowledgement of the importance of statistics, I feel that an overemphasis on the numbers is often a hindrance rather than a gift when it comes to fantasy football. That said, I am very interested to hear alternative opinions, whether they regard how you use the eye-test or the emphasis which you place on it relative to statistics. I will look to discuss some of these opposing opinions in future articles.

Best of luck for Runde 10! Cue Bye and Brynhildsen blanks.

698 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Lehne Olsen fires a rocket low at the left hand post - but Myhra gets down to it
    More goals to come from Lillestrom - they are on top of this now

    1. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 4 days ago

      Apologises - clearly it wasn't Myhra...

  2. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Substitution for Sarpsborg
    Halvorsen is on for Ofkir

  3. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Thomassen picks up a yellow for pulling Lehne Olsen back tugging on his shirt
    Thought Lehen Olsen was giving as good as he got to be fair...

  4. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Fun Time Fred Friday!
    Stromsgodset goal!!!!
    Friday pulls one back - they now trail Haugesund 1-2

    1. FPL Egregious
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 4 days ago

      hmmm lost the cs here... oh well

  5. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Stabaek double their lead over Mjondalen
    0-2
    Edvardsen yet again - the lad can't stop scoring!
    Three games on the trot

  6. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Substitution for Lillestrom
    And it's the sub Svendsen that has now been subbed himself...
    Mathisen is on in his place
    Svendsen is handed a huge ice pack which he immediately applies to his meat and 2 veg
    That's gonna hurt in the morning mate...

  7. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Ovenstad subbed offin the 80th
    Normann Hansen subbed off in the 83rd minute

  8. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Odd get a 2nd goal to make it squeaky bum time for Sandefjord
    2-3 now
    Knudsen Larsen the sub gets the goal

  9. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    Penalty to Mjondalen!!!

  10. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 4 days ago

    And they score!!
    Benjamin Stokke gets the goal
    Hello Stranger - where have you been hiding?

  11. ReindeerHotdog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 1 day ago

    Klaesson at Leeds. What a signing.

    Gonna be a big name. Said this a while ago.

    Amazing.

    1. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 1 day ago

      The lad done good

  12. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Sunday Funday beckons...
    The 2nd half of Runde 14 will kick off shortly after what feels like an age of an interval...
    Who will shine this Sunday?

    Team line ups are on the way...

  13. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Mjøndalen
    1 Sousha Makani
    2 Syver Skaar Eriksen
    3 Nikolas Walstad
    12 Markus Lund Nakkim
    23 Sondre Solholm Johansen
    18 Stian Semb Aasmundsen
    20 Isaac Twum
    24 Ole Amund Sveen
    6 Joackim Andreas Olsen SolbergKAPTEIN
    7 Lars Olden Larsen
    14 Kent Håvard Eriksen

    Tromsø
    1 Jacob Karlstrøm
    4 Jostein Maurstad Gundersen
    5 Anders Finjord Jenssen
    6 Isak Helstad Amundsen
    8 Kent-Are Antonsen
    11 Ruben Yttergård JenssenKAPTEIN
    16 Tomas Olai Totland
    21 Eric Bugale Kitolano
    25 Lasse Nilsen
    14 August Mikkelsen
    18 Ebiye Moses

    1. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Ben Stokke on the bench for Mjondalen
      No Ovenstad for Mjondalen today - should have stuck with Aursnes...

  14. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Viking
    22 Arild Østbø
    3 Viljar Helland Vevatne
    5 Henrik Heggheim
    17 Sebastian Søraas Sebulonsen
    23 Rolf Daniel Vikstøl
    8 Joe Zen Robert Bell
    16 Kristoffer Lie Løkberg
    21 Harald Nilsen Tangen
    9 Kevin Alexander Kabran
    14 Veton BerishaKAPTEIN
    77 Zlatko Tripic

    Kristiansund
    1 Sean Mcdermott
    2 Snorre Strand Nilsen
    6 Andreas Eines Hopmark
    15 Erlend Ernst Blakstad Sivertsen
    19 Aliou ColyKAPTEIN
    10 Liridon Kalludra
    21 Amidou Diop
    23 Pål Erik Stensøe Ulvestad
    13 Bendik Bye
    18 Amin Soleiman Askar
    25 Torgil Øwre Gjertsen

  15. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Sandefjord Fotball
    1 Jacob Storevik
    2 Brice Wembangomo
    5 Martin Kreuzriegler
    12 Mats Haakenstad
    17 Sander Moen Foss
    6 Sander Risan Mørk
    18 William Albin Kurtovic
    24 Harmeet SinghKAPTEIN
    11 Kristoffer Normann Hansen
    14 Alexander Ruud Tveter
    23 Vidar Ari Jonsson

    Lillestrøm
    12 Mads Hedenstad Christiansen
    4 Espen Bjørnsen Garnås
    24 Tom PetterssonDEBUTANT
    30 Ogbu Igoh
    5 Vetle Winger Dragsnes
    6 Kasper Kaan Kairinen
    8 Ifeanyi Mathew
    11 Tobias Hammer Svendsen
    23 Gjermund Åsen
    26 Lars Mogstad Ranger
    10 Thomas Lehne OlsenKAPTEIN
    40 Jørgen Sveinhaug
    7 Pål Andre Helland
    14 Fredrik Krogstad
    17 Jonatan Braut Brunes
    18 Ulrik Mathisen
    21 Magnus Nordengen Knudsen
    22 Philip Alexander Kolberg Slørdahl
    25 Eskil Smidesang Edh
    90 Hans Daniel Gustafsson

    1. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      ** 40 Jorgen Sveinhaug onwards is the Lillestrom bench...

  16. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Molde
    1 Andreas Christopher Linde
    2 Martin Bjørnbak
    3 Birk Risa
    5 Sheriff Sinyan
    14 Erling Knudtzon
    7 Magnus Wolff EikremKAPTEIN
    16 Etzaz Muzafar Hussain
    17 Fredrik Aursnes
    9 Ohikhuaeme Anthony Omoijuanfo
    19 Eirik Hestad
    23 Eirik Ulland Andersen

    Haugesund
    12 Egil Selvik
    5 Benjamin Tiedemann HansenKAPTEIN
    15 Ulrik Tillung Fredriksen
    22 Alexander Stølås
    23 Thore Baardsen Pedersen
    7 Peter Nysted Therkildsen
    8 Kevin Martin Krygård
    10 Niklas Sandberg
    11 Kristoffer Velde
    9 Sondre Liseth
    17 Ibrahima Wadji

    1. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Aursnes still a Molde player...
      Brynhildsen on the bench
      Haugen not in Molde match day squad

  17. ReindeerHotdog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Thomassen misses the game today through suspension
    Berisha off with an injury

    I actually think the game has it in for me. What is with this rotten luck every week?

    Gotta laugh about it but hey my jaw is aching somewhat here!

  18. Hotdogs for Tea
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    That was quite a goal fest

  19. Exxtreme
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Any Berisha/McDermott injury update?

  20. Crocket22
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Hello everyone, is this game week the final game week to activate the first wildcard? If so does anybody have any tips who should be in a wildcard team?

    1. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      It’s GW15 so yes i think it’s the last week for the first WC

      Some of these? try to avoid anyone on 1, 3 or 5 yellow cards and anyone flagged like Berisha & McDermott

      Myhra Storevik

      Strand Nilsen, Tollås Nation, Wembangomo, Sampsted, Molde/RBK

      Saltnes/Berg, Edvardsen, Velde, Jónsson, Asen, Gjertsen, Hansen

      Lehne Olsen, Omo, Wadji, Botheim, Friday

      1. Crocket22
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Many thanks hot dogs for tea? What are your thoughts on the two captain chip, the blank GW19 and double GW20?

        1. Hotdogs for Tea
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Edvardsen & Friday in 20 looks tasty

          1. Crocket22
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Wild card team
            GK Myhra, Trige
            DEF: Andersson, Wembangomo, Ottesen, skaar eriksen, borchgrevink (stand out player always getting points)
            MID: Berg, Edvardsen, Jonsson, Velde, Asen
            Att: Lehen Olsen, Omoijuanfo, Friday

  21. Crocket22
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Who would you start in Asen and Berg?

  22. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Kristiansund

    1 Sean Mcdermott
    2 Snorre Strand Nilsen
    6 Andreas Eines Hopmark
    18 Amin Soleiman Askar
    19 Aliou Coly KAPTEIN
    7 Jesper Strand Isaksen
    8 Sander Erik Kartum
    21 Amidou Diop
    9 Agon Mucolli
    13 Bendik Bye
    25 Torgil Øwre Gjertsen

    Stabæk

    12 Robert Marcus Sandberg
    2 Kasper Søndergaard Pedersen
    3 Yaw Eystein Ihle Amankwah KAPTEIN
    15 Sturla Ottesen
    19 Victor Christoffer Wernersson
    10 Markus Solbakken
    16 Martin Høyland
    24 Kaloyan Kalinov Kostadinov
    9 Pål Alexander Kirkevold
    11 Kornelius Normann Hansen
    23 Oliver Valaker Edvardsen

  23. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Stabaek take the lead in 27th minute
    Hoyland scores

  24. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    KBK equal immediately
    1-1
    Strand Nilsen for the home side

  25. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    2-1 KBK
    Bye gives them the lead

  26. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Sarpsborg 08

    21 Anders Kristiansen
    4 Bjørn Inge Utvik
    24 Mikael Bertil Dyrestam
    28 Ben Kantie Karamoko
    11 Jonathan Lindseth
    15 Gaute Høberg Vetti
    16 Joachim Thomassen KAPTEIN
    20 Anton Janos Jönsson Salétros
    32 Eirik Wichne
    13 Guillermo Federico Molins Palmeiro
    29 Ibrahima Kone

    Strømsgodset

    1 Viljar Røsholt Myhra
    3 Jonathan Parr
    5 Niklas Gunnarsson
    26 Lars-Christopher Horst Jan Vilsvik
    71 Gustav Valsvik KAPTEIN
    6 Ipalibo Jack
    7 Herman Sørby Stengel
    8 Johan Hove
    9 Imoh Fred Friday
    10 Moses Dramwi Mawa
    19 Halldor Østervold Stenevik

  27. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    3-1 KBK now
    Mucolli stretches their lead

  28. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    4-1 KBK
    Kartum gets on the scoresheet
    Stabaek are taking a beating here

  29. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Boom!
    5-1 KBK
    Sivertsen converts

  30. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Mjøndalen
    1 Sousha Makani
    2 Syver Skaar Eriksen
    3 Nikolas Walstad
    12 Markus Lund NakkimKAPTEIN
    23 Sondre Solholm Johansen
    18 Stian Semb Aasmundsen
    20 Isaac Twum
    31 Albin Petrus Sporrong
    8 Fredrik Neerland Brustad
    14 Kent Håvard Eriksen
    17 Martin Rønning Ovenstad

    Rosenborg
    1 Andre HansenKAPTEIN
    2 Erlend Dahl Reitan
    15 Holmar Örn Eyjolfsson
    16 Even Hovland
    25 Carl Adam Andersson
    4 Vebjørn Alvestad Hoff
    8 Anders Ågnes Konradsen
    21 Olaus Jair Skarsem
    9 Dino Islamovic
    11 Carl Johan Holse Justesen
    35 Emil Konradsen Ceide