Just to get the ball rolling, here are some hors concours stats.

(I will be a bit verbose, and I will tell you how to compute each stat.

You don't have to do either of those things.)

# Best player at each age

Who scored more points in the season in which they turned 17? and 18?

etc.

[How to compute the following stat: 1. Visit playersarchive.htm 2. Click

twice on the "+" next to "Pts" 3. Write the age above "Age" and press

Enter]

| Age | Player | Points |

|----:|:----------|-------:|

| 17 | Gavi | 11 |

| 18 | Gavi | 13 |

| 19 | Mbappe | 26 |

| 20 | Rashford | 19 |

| 21 | Neymar | 33 |

| 22 | Neymar | 24 |

| 23 | Schurrle | 24 |

| 24 | Mbappe | 26 |

| 25 | Griezmann | 24 |

| 26 | Pedro | 24 |

| 27 | Griezmann | 26 |

| 28 | Depay | 26 |

| 29 | Giroud | 26 |

| 30 | Griezmann | 25 |

| 31 | Giroud | 21 |

| 32 | Muller | 15 |

| 33 | Busquets | 11 |

| 34 | Giroud | 20 |

| 35 | Di Maria | 14 |

| 36 | Giroud | 18 |

| 37 | Neuer | 4 |

| 38 | Mandanda | 1 |

OK, but this is heavily influenced by WC/Euro/Copa seasons. How can we

account for that? One way is to divide the number of points of each

player by the number of matches his NT played that season. We have these

data in the table, in the "Pts gain / NT matches" column. Let's check

this score then. We'll have to exclude the 2019-20 season, though, as

with just 6 matches played because of COVID-19, it would distort the

ranking.

[How to compute the following stat: 1. Click twice on "Pts gain / NT

matches" 2. Write the age above "Age" and press Enter]

| Age | Player | Points |

|----:|:-----------|-------:|

| 17 | Gavi | 0.85 |

| 18 | Gavi | 1.18 |

| 19 | Mbappe | 1.44 |

| 20 | Mbappe* | 1.45 |

| 21 | Neymar | 1.65 |

| 22 | Neymar | 1.41 |

| 23 | Mbappe* | 1.46 |

| 24 | Mbappe | 2.00 |

| 25 | Depay* | 1.70 |

| 26 | Pedro | 1.50 |

| 27 | Depay* | 1.47 |

| 28 | Depay | 2.00 |

| 29 | Kane* | 1.85 |

| 30 | Kane* | 1.73 |

| 31 | Griezmann* | 1.31 |

| 32 | Giroud* | 1.27 |

| 33 | Blind* | 0.91 |

| 34 | Giroud | 1.18 |

| 35 | Di Maria | 1.00 |

| 36 | Giroud | 1.38 |

| 37 | Neuer | 0.36 |

| 38 | Mandanda | 0.08 |

* = different from the previous table

# Best scout performance in each relative year

Which were the best performances at the beginning of a cycle? And in

later seasons? To answer this kind of questions, we can use the concept

of relative years. Relative year = years since the end of the picking

phase of that cycle. So -1 = 1 year before the end, 3 = 3 years after

the end, and so on.

OK, but what measure of performance should we use?

* Scout points? No, as it is measured in different ways in cycle 1.

* Then points scored by the scout's player? No, as in some seasons more

matches are played, so the performances in those seasons would be

unfairly favorited (compare e.g. a World Cup season vs. 2019-20, with

the COVID-19 stop).

* Then, we should divide those points by the number of matches played by

NTs.

Summing up, here "performance" is:

points score by the scout's player / average number of matches played by

that cycle's NTs

I.e., for each round of international matches, how many points did that

scout's players score? That's the figure in the "Player pts gain / avg.

no. of NT matches" column.

[How to compute the following stat: 1. Visit rankingsarchive.htm 2.

Click twice on "Player pts gain / avg. no. of NT matches" 3. Write the

equals sign and the relative year above "Rel year" and press Enter]

| Rel year | Scout | Cycle | Performance |

|---------:|:-------------|------:|------------:|

| -3 | Andrea V. | 1 | 3.90 |

| -2 | Daniele | 1 | 1.50 |

| -1 | Leon | 8 | 3.64 |

| 0 | Michael H. | 1 | 5.42 |

| 1 | Jackson | 5 | 7.19 |

| 2 | Daniele | 4 | 7.21 |

| 3 | Jackson | 6 | 6.94 |

| 4 | Daniele | 4 | 7.33 |

| 5 | Jackson | 5 | 5.70 |

| 6 | Andrea V. | 3 | 4.50 |

| 7 | Andrea V. | 3 | 5.24 |

| 8 | Andrea V. | 3 | 6.17 |

| 9 | Andrea V. | 3 | 3.78 |

| 10 | Tom Two | 2 | 2.13 |

| 11 | Michael H. | 2 | 2.43 |

| 12 | Sid Debgupta | 1 | 1.60 |

| 13 | Sid Debgupta | 1 | 1.71 |

# The turning point of the 3rd cycle

Don't know about you, but something in that last table caught my eye...

Let's delve a bit into the story of the 3rd cycle.

Let's go back to July 31st, 2016.

[How to compute the following stats: Write "2016" above "Year", "Andrea

V." above "Cycle", and press Enter]

Picks for this cycle have ended two years ago. Andrea V.'s players

scored just 2.05 points per match in the seasons that has just ended,

4th best performance in the cycle, a little more than *half* the points

scored by the players of leader Daniele. Moreover, Andrea V.'s players

scored 1.13 points *fewer* than the season before---the worst

deceleration of the cycle this season. On this basis, Andrea V.'s

predicted score being the 4th best looks fair, maybe even optimistic

(parenthetically, let's note that the ranking for the top 5 performances

of the year is the same as for the top 5 predicted scores).

What happens next:

[How to compute the following stat: 1. Click on the "Clear filters"

button on top right 2. Click twice on the "++" on the right of "Player

pts gain / avg. no. of NT matches"]

* In 2016-17, Andrea V. scores 6.62 points per match. This is 4.57

points more than the season before, the strongest acceleration *ever*.

[How to compute the following stat: 1. Write "3" above "Cycle" and press

Enter 2. Click twice on "Player pts gain / avg. no. of NT matches"]

* In the seasons from 2016-17 to 2021-22, Andrea V. has *the six best

performances in the history of the cycle*. (Fun fact: the best 9

performances are all from 9 different seasons, indeed from successive

seasons: Daniele 2014-16, Andrea V. 2017-23.)

The result is that Daniele will win the cycle, but not without getting

scared beforehand.