I am not going to take credit for coming up with this style of graphic, I saw it in one of the articles over at Voetbal International and figured it looked cool enough to replicate. While I am not at all an expert in the usage of Excel, it didn’t take me long to whip up something that looked reasonably good.
Initially, this Excel file was all manual input. While that works, it was a painstakingly slow process. With some help from @atahualpa-maia (whom you should follow on Twitter as well!), I found a quick way to extract the raw data and import this data into Excel. I am quite happy with the end result.
I’ll save you the process of how I made these graphics and skip straight to how you can make your own. To start off, you need two files for this to work.
- The Excel file; to actually create the graphic;
- The squad view; to extract the raw data.
For your convenience, I have zipped both files into a single download (Excel) [Mirror for .ODS]. You can download this file here. I’ll add the bit “free of charge” since it’s apparently the morally sound thing to do these days. Feel free to donate to my Patreon though, as it helps me to keep Strikerless running. Anyway, using the files…
Step 1; extracting your raw data
Boring! But rather necessary if you want to create your own graphics, I’m afraid. I’ve whipped up a custom squad view called “Playing time vs age”. This .FMF file should be copied into the following folder. If the folder does not exist, create it manually.
My Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 20/views
You can then import this view. On the squad overview screen, there is a dropdown menu on the top left hand side of your screen. When you click this menu, it should show you the following options.
Clicking “Import View” will bring you to the aforementioned folder and you can select the “Playing time vs age” view. When imported correctly, you should be able to see it in your squad view screen.
This does not look pretty but you only need this abomination for a brief moment. The data on this screen needs to be printed. Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you type this over from paper onto your screen. You can print the data into a web file, which allows for easy access and copying.
On the top right hand side of your screen is your starting menu. When you click it, a dropdown menu appears. One of the options that pops up is the “Print Screen” option. Please click it.
When you click the “Print Screen” button, a popup menu appears. This gives you three options. We need the middle one, “Web Page”. Print to a web page and select a location for your file.
When you access the location you specified earlier, you will see a web page there. Double-click this web page to open it and you will see the data from FM displayed in a neatly-organised table.
You need to highlight and select all the rows, except for the top line which states “Name”, “Age” and “Mins”. So be sure to select all the names, all the ages and all the minutes. Once you have selected these rows, copy them. You have now successfully extracted the raw data.
Step 2; importing the raw data
This is probably the easiest step in the entire process. Open the Excel file. It will contain the data from my Khabarovsk save. Don’t worry about that. Just copy the data you have over the existing data. The graphic should update automatically. That’s all. It’s as easy as that.
There is a decent chance your graphic looks messy, plus you’re still stuck with the Khabarovsk logo. Don’t worry. We’ll look into that now.
Step 3; tidying up
There is a fair chance that some player labels are overlapping or that it is unclear which label belongs to which player. Don’t worry, we can fix that. Select a label and drag it to the side. You will see an arrow appear, pointing towards the actual dot on the graphic. Just rearrange the labels so that the entire graphic becomes clear. There’s no automated way to do this, that’s all on you.
Logo-wise, you can simply click on the Khabarovsk logo to delete it from the image. I highly recommend you do this. Importing a new logo is also easy. Find a club logo with a transparent background (Google Images lets you search these) and import that into the file. Just drag it to where you want it and presto.
Further customisation is all up to you. Tweak the colour scheme, the axes or whatever you want to change the aesthetic and generate the look you are after.
Step 4; making the actual graphic
You have a neat Excel file now, containing a graphic. What you want is a graphic, without the data. Either screenshot and crop or use Gyazo (or similar programs) to make a selected screenshot. Save the screenshot and Bob’s your uncle. Use it on your social media or blog if you want, there’s not even a need to credit me (it would be massively appreciated if you did though), as I am not the inventor of this type of graphic.
Interpreting the graphic
Before we begin, let’s get this out of the way. This is a very general view at interpreting the graphic at hand. There are often extenuating circumstances why a player has played less than expected or desired, so it’s not a black-and-white type of interpretation.
There are often pretty decent reasons why a player has not played as much. Suspensions and injuries can take a toll, especially when the data is not over a full season but only a few games, like in my example.
What it can do is alert you to players who need perhaps looking at, either because they should be playing more at their age (yellow bracket) or are not playing enough to merit a place in the squad (red bracket).
If you’re looking for a more in-depth view at things, @BaggiesRob has a few Twitter threads where he took these graphics and ran with them.