If you ever thought that using informs came with a handicap, this post is going to rock your boat.
A new site, FIFA gamers pub, collects performance data directly from the transfer market, and it even allows us to peek into information about sample sizes and the likes. With this information at hand, we once and for all can bury the claim that informs mean handicapping.
We already dealt with this claim in this previous post, where we demonstrated a direct connection between stats and performance for a number of rare players. With FIFA gamers pub’s new tool, it’s possible to attack this topic from another angle: By comparing different editions of the same player. If things work as they are supposed to, we would expect 88-rated Harry Kane to outperform 84-rated Harry Kane by a mine. And he does:
|Kane||84||86 (IF)||87 (SIF)||88 (TIF)|
|Goals per match||0.54||0.59||0.59||0.63|
As seen above, replacing 84-rated rare Harry Kane with his 88-rated TIF edition increases the goal ratio from .54 goals per match to .63 goals per match. It is difficult to assess to what extent these differences reflect actual differences in card performance or perhaps rather skill differences among the owners of the various editions. While regular, rare Kane is accessible to anyone, the rarer editions clearly aren’t. On the other hand, the fact still remains that even the editions which are comparable in price, reflect a clear connection between stats and performance.
The same goes for a number of other players. A few more examples, where we have fairly big sample sizes confirming that the differences in performance aren’t coincidental:
|Lukaku||84||85 (IF)||86 (SIF)||87 (TIF)||88 (FIF)|
|Goals per match||0.61||0.64||0.67||0.71||0.74|
|Goals per match||0.51||0.57|
|Icardi||82||84 (IF)||86 (SIF)||87 (TIF)|
|Goals per match||0.54||0.63||0.65||0.65|
The chart below contains all strikers from EPL, Serie A, La Liga and the Bundesliga, who up until this date have received an inform, and who are released in a decent number in order for us to collect a decent sample. The table only includes cards, which were released as strikers.
With the exception of a few cases, where the sample size is too small, every single of these players confirm the pattern above: Higher stats means better performance.
Handicapping – isn’t a thing, never was
It doesn’t get much clearer than this: There isn’t and never was a handicap associated with informs or any other type of high rated player. Anyone can repeat the experiment I did above and reach the exact same result.
As clearly seen above, some of the differences are small. So, if you are playing against an opponent who can score 5 goals against you, none of the cards above are going to turn your boat around. And this is perhaps the main point here: You definitely can lose against a lower rated squad, because the main success factor in FIFA is skill.