Not every scout or analyst is lucky enough to have access to the full market when it comes to the wide range of scouting, video and analysis based systems available. We’d all love to have a ‘Monday Night Football’ based touch screen with access to wide angle footage of every match but unfortunately this isn’t possible. Luckily for us however, there’s still a variety of free websites that can help support us with our work.
Access to video
The actual match footage is probably the most difficult thing to attain (without having access to Wyscout or InStat). InStat do normally offer a free trial however, so take this short window of opportunity to get your hands on plenty of footage to work with. This will allow you to get your teeth into some analysis, working with high quality videos. YouTube is another free website where we can get access to matches. We may not be able to get the most recent games played but again, if we are simply looking to get hold of footage to practice with then YouTube is another potential avenue to check. Please be aware that it’s illegal to post videos of game footage online without possessing a contract with the relevant broadcaster. If you do upload footage you are actually breaking copyright laws and committing a crime so please don’t put yourself in that position.
Team / Player information
Transfermarkt is a German founded website and offers a fantastic range of information on teams, players, leagues and managers. Their coverage is vast including leagues ranging from Zanzibar and Angola all the way to The Premier League and Serie A. If we are looking to build reports from an analysis point of view, the website contains all the information we need in terms of squads, players heights, age, cards, assists and goals. If we look from a scouting perspective, the information is also vast and hugely rich. The site offers information regarding players contracts and agents as well as constantly updating market values and lists that show players whose contracts are expiring. All of this information can help paint the bigger picture of just how attainable a player might be to sign and best of all, it’s completely free!
If we are looking to get hold of statistics then again, we have plenty of free websites available. As mentioned previously, Transfermarkt is a great resource with everything we might need. If we are looking for alternatives then Squawka, Whoscored and Soccerstats all have a plethora of information for budding analysts/scouts to dissect. I like Whoscored because their data is provided by Opta who are probably the biggest data providers in the market. It’s worth noting that Squawka is currently undergoing maintenance on the stats part of their website so keep your eyes open for when it’s back up and running. The betting industry heavily rely on accuracy when it comes to statistics and the beauty of betting websites is that all their information is delivered in real time; again, making them a great free resource.
Formations and Lineups
If you are looking to get hold of formations and match information then again there are plenty of options. The aforementioned Whoscored is a great website and the fact they use Opta data is a big plus point. They also put both teams into a formation with accompanying statistics which is great but should also be taken with a small amount of caution. Personally, when documenting a team line up/changes I’d always analyse the formation myself from the video rather than solely relying on a website that might not be strictly correct. Although this takes more time, formations are imperative when analysing an opponent and accuracy is key. I also really like goal.com in the way they present the lineup to be used in setting up your own formations as shown in the image below.
Clearly, there are plenty of free resources available and many more than the few mentioned in this article. The aim of these websites is to supplement the great work you are producing and should never become your work. We are the ones with the knowledge!