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Macha
11-03-2010, 14:02
My take on FM 2010: Scouting & Player's Development

Hi All,

I've spent considerable amount of time playing this game, and I would like to share and discuss some finer points of the game. I'm a CM & FM veteran, playing the game since 1993, though I miss a few installment like FM2009. Despite playing that long, it hardly means that I know everything about this game. Like I said earlier, it is about sharing information and hopefully some of you can give some feedbacks. Perhaps on how to improve the game generally or perhaps on some misconception that I might have.

I shall begin with Scouting and Player's Development. The earlier edition of the game I believe I was obsessed with finding the best formation. As the game evolved, its formation + tactics. In the last 5 years of the game, an important part of the game is about finding the best potential and developing them the best way possible. It has been more complicated in the current edition, and I am enjoying every bit of it.

While playing 2008, I felt that finding potential & developing for cash was too easy. Finding newgens were easy enough and being a super rich club was very easy to me, through developing this talents and sell them later on. Scouts would give recommendations and it was 9/10 good judgement. I played Hercules in spanish league and the club was worth 1 billion after only 10 years. For FM2010 however, there is a new twist that has been added; Inaccurate Scouting report.

Just like real life, not every players that had been touted to be a star would become one. Sometimes it is injuries, distraction or just the players never had it as people thought they would. In this edition, I had faced numerous occasions where my scouts (whose skill at judging current abilities & potential abilities at 20), said that the player has potential to become a Leading Premiership Player just fade away. No matter how much I tried and opportunities given, they just didn't develop even though my Assistant Manager (who has strong judgement on player's potential) still think he could. After 3-4 years, it is time for them to go.

Although initially I was annoyed with this, I have to concede that it gives better gaming as it further tested my skill as a manager. If you plan to manage a club for more than 5 years, it would not be enough to know who are the best players when you start the game. Every year there would be newgens and it is up to your skill to find the best potential players. Of course, I am talking from a point of view that I do not and will not use Genie Scout. To me it kills the fun of the game. If any of you prefers to use it, that is your personal choice.

Interestingly, as I was force more NOT to rely on scouts report and tried to do my own search, I managed to unearthed 4 World Class Players. I got 6 in my squad, and only 1 was through scout recommendation. The other 1 I got was through free transfer (goalkeeper). I would like to have more World Class Players but at this point it is not feasible through financial constraint. I am only making slight profit every year because my board keep on taking dividend every year, but that is another topic. So the moral here is to be more creative in finding players and not to rely entirely on scouts. They are useful, but not as strong as before. Also there are times when my scouts did not think that the players are good enough but I bought the players anyway. Sometimes the scouts were correct and I got it wrong, they didnt develop but I had more success story than bad ones.

While playing 2008, I had a healthy discussion on forums and suggested that SI should consider different time frame for each player to develop. Some players should manage to peak their abilities when they are young, some should improve steadily and some might suddenly improve after they are 25 years old, or maybe even 28 years old. It would be cool if the players that I sold at 21 years old because I thought he didnt have enough talent came back to haunt me and become World Player of the Year when he is 29 years old. Or the other way around. I could have bought a player that I thought was good when he is 25, but suddenly start to improve as he matures.

It is rather disappointing to see my players reach their full potential at 20 or 21 years old. Even the game itself suggest that Midfielders for example, usually peak out when they are between 26-31 years old. I believe the game could be more exciting if there are such random development especially on later age. The world started to know about Zidane when he played for France in 1996 at the age of 24 years old. In 1995, his potential was not apparent to the point that Jack Walker, then Blackburn manager, were quoted saying that "Why do you want to buy Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?"

His ability really came to life when he was playing for Juventus. And by then we all know what a class act he was. There are other examples like Luca Toni & Teddy Sheringham. When Sheringham joined Spurs in 1992 he was already 26 years old. And still was not a star at that age! More recent example would be players like Grapfite of Wolfsburg. He didnt join professional football until he was 22 years old.

Maybe any of you out there could correct me on this? Has this been implemented on FM2010(late bloomer that is)? I am playing Leeds, and every year up till the first 4th year, Jonathan Howson was improving slightly every year. He only seems to peak out around 24-25 years old. Another example I got was Jordon Spence. I bought him when he was 27 years old. Looking at his career path, it was hardly exciting. During at West Ham, he was persistently loaned out until he was sold to Leverkusen when he was 23 years old. Now he is 30 years old and my team's captain with 31 caps. He got his first cap after I bought him.

When I bought him, he was considered as a Leading Premiership player. Seems that no club rated him highly early in the game until he played in the German league. If he did developed during his time at Germany, that would be interesting indeed. I did start the game again to see what type of potential player he might be. I took Chelsea and the scout says that he was a Decent Premiership Potential. Interesting indeed. Anyone can comment on whether there is such a thing as late bloomer in FM2010?

Another thing that I want to add is Position Retraining. This was a point that I highlighted while playing FM2008. Since we can retrain a players position, it would be nice if the retrain position could occasionally becomes their natural position. It should be random of course, not all the time. For example, the programming script could say that "After playing as a striker for quite some time Player X had developed a taste as one. As such, playing as a striker seems natural to the player."

There are many real life examples where a player started initially at other position and became famous in others. Zidane again and Leonardo (Milan's current manager), both started out as left back but end up in attacking midfielder role later in their life. Leonardo in fact played as a left back for Brazil and later on change his position.

Ok thats all for my 2 cent worth of rant. Hoping to hear any comments or recommendations if any.

dfgrigg
11-03-2010, 16:03
Different peaks for players have been implemented into the game. For example, my assistant manager reported that Ramires was playing at his full potential, and then, when he was 25, he suddenly improved significantly again. Similarly, my central defender Miranda didn't look like he was going to be a star player - my coaching staff didn't particularly rate him - and then when he turned 21 his ability suddenly shot up, and he turned into my best defender.

On your point about inaccurate Scout reports, I agree that it's a great addition to the game. I've found that I now rely on my own assessment of a young player's attributes when I decide whether to buy him or not. If a young player has good scores in his key attributes then I'll often take a chance on them. Similarly if they have high determination and workrate.

It is possible to train a player to become natural in a new position, so long as you play them regularly in that position. If you stop training them though, I believe that they lose their natural ability in that position, which is a bit of a shame.

Macha
11-03-2010, 16:19
So now it is possible to make accomplished as Natural position? I was wondering why my ex player gained new natural position. Thanks for clearing that up!

I've checked all players that I've sold and were earmarked to be star players. Unfortunately none of them become better players, which is a shame. But overall congrats to SI to implementing this new options. It shows that if we can suggest good suggestion, it might be implemented.