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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.

Eytexi @Eytexi on Twitter for English Allsvenskan & Eliteserien content. One half of @CaribouCabPod (footballing & fantasy content).”

698 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 20 days ago

    Oh-oh Sandefjord take the lead against Bodo/Glimt…
    1-0

    1. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 months, 20 days ago

      At least it’s not a Botheim OG… Tveter in the 52nd minute

  2. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 20 days ago

    This is more like it Viking!!
    3-1
    Oh wait - it’s disallowed…
    Remains 2-1

  3. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 20 days ago

    Stabaek aren’t giving up the fight!
    It’s a goal!
    Desmond!!
    2-2

  4. Eytexi
    • 3 Years
    10 months, 20 days ago

    McDermott on 8 saves & now a penalty save as well. Beautiful.

  5. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 20 days ago

    Stabaek take the lead
    2-3

    1. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 months, 20 days ago

      Wee Nusa yet again!

      1. Niemi
        • 7 Years
        10 months, 20 days ago

        Almost bought him as a long shot punt for Hopmark. What a talent, born in 2005.

        3 shots and 3 goals from 0.15 xG though.

  6. Hotdogs for Tea
    • 6 Years
    10 months, 20 days ago

    Could do with some of the these cleanies gone

  7. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 20 days ago

    Deary me
    Sandefjord 1 Bodo/Glimt 0
    2 defeats in 3 games
    Clearly Bodo/Glimt were Sorli missing someone today…

    1. Niemi
      • 7 Years
      10 months, 20 days ago

      Should have been down more than 1. I have been mentioning this a few times before, they are not the same attacking team as previous season. First few games they were efficient, and vs. teams that can't defend like Strømsgodset and Stabæk the flood gates open. Sandefjord have been low key decent this year, and totally deserved their win today. Sørli and Solbakken obviously big losses when they have no wingers to replace them with, except Lindahl who has been poor.. Good news is that they face Viking next, who are also a team that can't defend properly. Hopefully they'll grab some goals.

  8. El Puqi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    10 months, 20 days ago

    Any news on Bye? Totally missed that he was out… I had triple KBK and none of them started (including double defence)

    1. Niemi
      • 7 Years
      10 months, 20 days ago

      Rested because of fatigue.

      1. Niemi
        • 7 Years
        10 months, 20 days ago

        Aasbak out because of family reasons. Not sure what's going on, but second game in a row.

        1. El Puqi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          10 months, 20 days ago

          Okay, seems a bit weird… but thanks!

          1. Niemi
            • 7 Years
            10 months, 20 days ago

            Afraid it's something serious when he miss out twice.. but idk

  9. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 19 days ago

    Mjøndalen

    1 Sousha Makani
    3 Nikolas Walstad
    4 William Sælid Sell
    12 Markus Lund Nakkim
    23 Sondre Solholm Johansen
    11 Christian Andreas Gauseth KAPTEIN
    18 Stian Semb Aasmundsen
    24 Ole Amund Sveen
    7 Lars Olden Larsen
    9 Benjamin Stokke
    17 Martin Rønning Ovenstad

    Odd

    1 Sondre Løvseth Rossbach
    4 Odin Luraas Bjørtuft
    6 Magnus Lekven KAPTEIN
    11 Gilli Rolantsson Sørensen
    25 John Shuguto Kitolano
    7 Filip Rønningen Jørgensen
    8 Markus André Kaasa
    16 Joshua Gaston Kitolano
    9 Mushaga Bakenga
    22 Kristoffer Knudsen Larsen
    29 Sander Svendsen

  10. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 19 days ago

    Odd take the lead just before half time through an own goal from Solheim Johansen
    1-0

    1. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 months, 19 days ago

      Apologies- it’s the keeper Makani that’s been awarded the OG

  11. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 19 days ago

    Vålerenga

    13 Kristoffer-August Sundquist Klaesson
    2 Christian Dahle Borchgrevink
    4 Jonatan Tollås Nation KAPTEIN
    22 Ivan Tarek Fjellstad Näsberg
    25 Samuel Ayomide Adekugbe
    7 Fredrik Oldrup Jensen
    8 Henrik Rørvik Bjørdal
    17 Tobias Christensen
    11 Amor Yonas Layouni
    14 Henrik Udahl
    26 Osame Sahraoui

    Sarpsborg 08

    21 Anders Kristiansen
    4 Bjørn Inge Utvik
    5 Magnar Ødegård
    28 Ben Kantie Karamoko
    6 Nicolai Næss
    14 Emil Palsson
    16 Joachim Thomassen KAPTEIN
    32 Eirik Wichne
    17 Joachim Soltvedt
    20 Anton Janos Jönsson Salétros
    25 Steffen Lie Skålevik

  12. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 19 days ago

    Happy Canada Day Mr Adekugbe…
    Tonight is your night bro!
    Tonight is your night bro!

  13. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 19 days ago

    2-0 Odd
    Easy Street
    Mr Bakenga

  14. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 19 days ago

    Mjondalen pull one back…
    Ibrahim with the goal
    A nervous 20 minutes to go…

  15. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 19 days ago

    Valerenga fans throwing cans of beer at keeper Anders Kristiansen…
    Poor show

  16. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    10 months, 19 days ago

    Valerenga take the lead
    1-0
    Udahl scores
    Borchgervik assist

    1. Ze_Austin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      10 months, 19 days ago

      Sniper shot

  17. Proedros78
      10 months, 19 days ago

      Walker would start for the Lions ?

    • Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 months, 19 days ago

      2-0 Valerenga
      Udahl brace
      Layouni assist but really should have scored himself

    • Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 months, 19 days ago

      3-0 Valerenga…
      Floodgates are open

      1. Mince n Tatties
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        10 months, 19 days ago

        Bloody Borchgrevik
        Still cursing not having him

    • colby_
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      10 months, 19 days ago

      Just messing around with my FPL team. Alternately, I could go with Bruno/Iheanacho instead of Kane/Jota.

      Sanchez
      TAA, Digne, Shaw, Coufal
      Salah, Raphinha, Jota
      Kane, Calvert-Lewis, Watkins
      Bench: Sondergaard - Lamptey, Rupp, Brownhill

    • Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 months, 19 days ago

      Boom!
      Valerenga have a fourth

      1. Mince n Tatties
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        10 months, 19 days ago

        Sub man Holm makes it 4

    • Ze_Austin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      10 months, 19 days ago

      If you're gonna score an own goal, make it stylish

    • Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 months, 19 days ago

      And there goes my double Valerenga clean sheet…
      4-1
      Just get Brochgrevik man…
      Toys are coming out the pram

    • troux
      • 5 Years
      10 months, 18 days ago

      Who are people Captaining for Runde11? I'm currently on Saltnes with Lehne Olsen VC.

      1. El Puqi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        10 months, 18 days ago

        I’m captaining Saltnes’

        Ohi also a great option against anyone.

      2. Ben Phippen
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        10 months, 18 days ago

        Ohi K, Botheim VK for me this runde.

        1. Ginkapo FPL
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          10 months, 18 days ago

          Blue VK for me. Cheers

      3. ReindeerHotdog
        • 1 Year
        10 months, 18 days ago

        Ohi for me.

        Form player in the league and only needs an hour to bag a brace.

        Sarpsborg away isn't an easy fixture but Molde are Molde and I'd back them to get goals against anyone.

        I could see the game being close but Sarpsborg aren't scoring many and I can't see Molde not scoring.

        Difficult week to call though!

        1. ReindeerHotdog
          • 1 Year
          10 months, 18 days ago

          Ok so I've changed to Velde now!

      4. Eytexi
        • 3 Years
        10 months, 18 days ago

        Velde for me. Same reasoning by the attempted Bye (K) vs. TIL last week.

        No real stand-out option except for Saltnes who I don't own.

        1. Bakule-ski
          • 2 Years
          10 months, 18 days ago

          Im going with Velde too.. any news on Bye and Aasbak?

    • El Puqi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      10 months, 18 days ago

      Any news on Bye?

    • Better luck next year
      • 2 Years
      10 months, 18 days ago

      Team for GW11.

      Selvik
      Borch Nation Bjørnbak Strand Nielsen
      Aursnes Zacha Saltnes Jørgensen
      Ebiye Ohi

      Sveinhaug Utvik Sivertsen Solbakken*

      1 FT. Not really any players I want in for this GW. Bank the FT?

      1. ReindeerHotdog
        • 1 Year
        10 months, 18 days ago

        Really difficult to advise who to target this week. Fixtures look a bit tricky.

        Think a Sandefjord attacker is a good shout but so is a Stabaek attacker. See there being goals in that one for sure.

        Rosenborg away to Odd could be good, too. I know Odd are looking resilient and RBK poor, but RBK are creating they're just having a torrid time doing anything with their chances.

        I'm keeping Holse for this week, though I have done a -8...

        😀

        1. Better luck next year
          • 2 Years
          10 months, 18 days ago

          Cheers mate, will do some thinkering..

      2. Eytexi
        • 3 Years
        10 months, 18 days ago

        How much ITB?

        1. Better luck next year
          • 2 Years
          10 months, 18 days ago

          0,1 ITB..

    • ReindeerHotdog
      • 1 Year
      10 months, 18 days ago

      The elite series' top scorer Ohi Omoijuanfo (27) has signed a pre-agreement with the Serbian club Røde Stjerne from 1 January.

      No Ohi next season then 🙁

    • ReindeerHotdog
      • 1 Year
      10 months, 18 days ago

      Team update:

      Selvik
      Desler, Borchgrevink, Ottesen
      Skytte, Nusa, Holse, Velde (K)
      Ohi (V), TLO, Berisha

      Lysgard; Sampsted, Vilsvik; Mikkelsen

      -12pt hit this week (I have it on good authority Eytexi has vomited at least once after being told this) but I think the moves make sense!

      Makani - Selvik
      Aaabak - Desler
      EUA - Velde
      Bye - Nusa

      Nusa is a bit of a punt but I'm targeting FKH players for the DGWs and trying to get in on their points early. Double up on defence will either make or break this GW for me.

      If Stabæk had a tougher fixture I wouldn't have brought in Nusa, I'd have gone with my more rational pick in Normann Hansen (SAN).

      Velde comes in for EUA as all Molde midfielders are in clean health and I'm not sure he starts this week. Just a hunch, nothing more.

      Happy to fail spectacularly this week but in my head the potential gains to such a high risk strat are too much to ignore. I'd be bringing in these guys in the next couple of weeks anyway so just saves a hit then.

      1. Mince n Tatties
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        10 months, 18 days ago

        12 point hit???
        And there was me saying no to a 4 point hit…

        1. ReindeerHotdog
          • 1 Year
          10 months, 18 days ago

          I'd be wanting to go in heavy on the DGWs anyway so my potential -8pt hit is now just 4 etc...

          I know it's still a lot and I'm not exactly happy about it myself! Sandberg injury not helpful at all.

          Even if he is back next week I don't trust a recently injured player to just come back and hit form.

          1. Mince n Tatties
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            10 months, 18 days ago

            I’m sure it will pay off - Good luck!

    • Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      10 months, 18 days ago

      Bodø/Glimt

      30 Joshua Gerardus Petrus Wilhelmus Smits
      3 Alfons Sampsted
      4 Marius Christopher Høibråten
      5 Fredrik André Bjørkan
      18 Brede Mathias Moe
      7 Patrick Berg KAPTEIN
      10 Hugo Vegard Vetlesen
      14 Ulrik Saltnes
      19 Sondre Brunstad Fet
      24 Lasse Selvåg Nordås
      20 Erik Botheim

      Viking

      22 Arild Østbø
      3 Viljar Helland Vevatne
      5 Henrik Heggheim
      17 Sebastian Søraas Sebulonsen
      23 Rolf Daniel Vikstøl
      8 Joe Zen Robert Bell
      21 Harald Nilsen Tangen
      27 Samuel Kari Fridjonsson
      9 Kevin Alexander Kabran
      14 Veton Berisha KAPTEIN
      77 Zlatko Tripic

    • Hotdogs for Tea
      • 6 Years
      10 months, 18 days ago

      is that a new BG goalie ?