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Bozza
11-09-2008, 19:38
Moderators: If there is a better section than General Discussions to post it in, please move it. Without any replies, it will be on page 10 in a couple of days. Thank you!


Click here to download the pdf document for a better view of the article. (http://fmf.hugsvillefamily.co.uk/Football_Manager_2008_My_Point_Of_View.pdf)

Football Manager 2008: My Point Of View

http://fmf.hugsvillefamily.co.uk/logov5.png (http://www.fmformation.net)


1. Introduction

2. Pre-Game
a) The Countries and Their League(s)
b) Choosing a Club

3. The Game
a) The Player Selections
b) Training
c) Transfers
d) Media
e) Parent/Feeder Clubs

4. In-Game
a) The Match Engine
b) Team Talk
c) Opposition Instructions

5. The Editor

6. Final Words


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Chapter 1: Introduction

Welcome to my article about Football Manager 2008. Let me start by introducing myself.

My name is Jos but in the FM scene I am better known as Bozza. I am the proud founder of the FM fansite FMFormation. With over 67,000 members, we have a pretty large community.
I am from the Netherlands and 25 years old. The fact that I am from Holland means that English isnít my native language. Therefore, I would like to thank FMFís Moderator John10 for correcting my article wherever needed. Still, keep in mind that the article could contain some grammatical errors.
The reason why I started FMFormation is because I have been playing the game since CM1 and still loving it so I wanted to do something back and share my knowledge and commitment with others.

This article will be about Football Manager 2008 only. Please keep in mind that I wrote this article before the FM2009 announcement was out. Excuse me if I mention some things which are mentioned in the announcement as well. The reason why I decided to write the article is because I am not fully satisfied with some of the features. FM2009 should be better and can be. The goal should always be to make it more and more realistic. That is the main and perhaps only reason why I decided to write this article.
Before you start reading, I would like to say that I do not have a grudge against anyone or want to hurt someone. My intentions are as good as possible and my goal is to make Football Manager 2009 better than its previous version. Perhaps you agree with some points and you might disagree with some. See this as a guide to raise some questions and positive discussions.

Enough about what this article is. It is time for you to start checking it out! Have fun reading it and I encourage everyone to share your opinion and discuss with your fellow FM fans about the positive and perhaps negative points of FM2008. If you could like to contact me you can do this through FMFormation (http://www.fmformation.net) or by sending me an e-mail to bozzajos[at]gmail[dot]com.

On a final note, sharing this article is permitted but only with permission from me. So if you would like to publish this article on your site or anywhere else, please send me a PM or an e-mail to the address mentioned above.

Enjoy!

Bozza


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Chapter 2a: Pre-Game Ė The countries and their league(s)

One thing we canít disagree with is the enormous amount of countries you can select when starting a new game. Isnít it amazing that you can even manage a club in the Second Division of Hungary?

If I had to name some countries that arenít playable but perhaps should, I would have to say Guatemala, Paraguay and of course Japan. Let me explain my choices. The only reason why I am naming Guatemala is because FM2007 had too many quality Guatemalans that were tremendously cheap. In FM2008, SI has lowered the attributes of those players but I, and I bet many others, have fallen in love with the players and the clubs. Players like dribbling king Jose Manuel Mendoza, Mario Giovany Acevedo (the Jan Koller of Guatemala) and many others just canít be forgotten and the same goes for the clubs. My opinion is that now SI has decided that Guatemalans can play football, we should have the option to manage in that country!

The reason why Paraguay isnít playable in FM is still a big question mark for me. I mean, we can even manage a club in Chile, Colombia and Peru. Why is it that Uruguay are the game while Paraguay isnít? Donít you guys miss those famous clubs like Libertad, Cerro Porteňo and Olimpia?

Last but now least it is Japan. However, I am NOT going to say anything about Japan since I know why it isnít in FM and that it probably never will.

Only one thing left to say about the countries and leagues which are playable in FM. I am wondering if SI is going to keep all leagues up-to-date. For example, the Indian I-League is going through some changes. Please take a look at this quote:

ďThe I-League from next season onwards would be played only on Saturdays & Sundays from September to March. All state leagues will be played in the same period from September to March, but match days would be Wednesdays & Thursdays. An exception has been made for the IFA organized Calcutta Football League for the 2008-09 season due to non-availability of grounds. The IFA has been allowed to organize the Calcutta Premier League between May to September 2008, but must resolve the ground problem in time to ensure that the local league for 2009-10 is held between September and March. In one of the most discussed issues it has been decided that players playing in an I-League match for more than 45 minutes will not be allowed to participate in the subsequent state league match.Ē

Is this going to be in FM2009? Another example is the Italian Serie C (changed into Lega Pro from this season on). Because almost all clubs in the Lega Pro are in debts and a lot of players arenít being paid or only partially, there are going to be some rules on how many players a team can have and how many players it can buy. Besides that, there are some U23 and U21 rules as well.


Chapter 2b: Pre-Game Ė Choosing a club

The screen for choosing a new club looks as logical as it can be. I personally donít fancy the wizard of adding a new manager. Just give me the one screen and I can fill it in however I want it. But hey, letís be fair. It is an option that can be unchecked in Preferences so it is just an extra way of adding a manager. I bet there are people who are using it.

There is one thing I donít like and canít understand about choosing a club. When I selected the leagues I want to have in my game, I checked the ďHide player attributesĒ box as well. So why is it that I can see the attributes of ALL players in the game? The option to hide player attributes is meant to make the game more realistic. But why should you combine unrealistic and realistic? Just choose which way you want FM to be. Itís not like in real life you are without a club and because of that, you know the qualities of every player in the world. However, when you get a club, you suddenly lose that knowledge? I love the option to hide attributes of players but I donít like the way it is done when choosing a club. Change it or leave it, itís up to you SI!


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Chapter 3a: The Game - The Player Selections

The first team, reserves and youth; It is all looking good! I like the way the page is organized. It is very clear and still contains a lot of information. With different sections, you can see all the things you would like to see from your players and compared them (by sorting them on a single column for example). So how can I say anything negative about that? Well, it is possibleÖ let me explain.

Assist column.
First of all, I am missing one very important column when I am at the selection screen. It is the assistís column. Why is there one to show how many goals a player has made but there isnít one for assists? I know that there is a little add-on for it but thatís not the point. The point is that assists are just as important as goals and a column should be added in FM2009! At least, that is my humble opinion hehe.

Making players available for the reserves.
Secondly, I would like to say something about the possibility to make a player available for the reserves without needing to put him in that squad. Great feature but it comes with a downside. Why is it that you can only choose to make a player available for the upcoming five days and not for longer? I would like to see detail in that option. Making the player available for the upcoming month, three months, six months or indefinitely. This way you can keep your squad with the best x number of players but the ones that arenít playing frequently can be made available for the reserves. I know you can put a player in the reserves squad for a certain period (even though, a month is still not long enough) but I want to be able to keep my first team squad intact but having some players available for the reserves. Perhaps you can even combine it with a news message telling you when a period has expired.

Possibility to add extra squads.
I will continue with another ďsmallĒ thingy. When you are going to manage a club in Portugal, you wonít have a reserves squad. Yes, I do know that in real life, Portuguese clubs donít have a reserves squad as well. However, this makes managing a club in that country a pain in the you know what. 30-40 players in one squad really makes it unclear who is backup and who is first team. A solution is that you send players back to the youth team but there is a problem with that solution. The problem is that ALL players in the youth team are requires to follow a youth training schedule. This is of course a waste of talent for the players who are on a full contract at the club.
Possible solution: Give managers the possibility of creating extra ďsquadsĒ. Perhaps the word ďfilterĒ is a better word. So you can add players to certain filters. When you are managing in Portugal, it could be a first team filter you want to add players in. Or with any club, you might want to have a tab/filter in which you put your biggest talentsÖ the players of which you think they could become quality players. So at the left, we will have the first squad, reserves and U(xx). At ďShow FiltersĒ you can add and select the filter you want to see which players it contain. Remember, this is just a possible solution. You guys (SI) are way better in adding features and finding solutions. I do think that the Portuguese situation needs to be looked at!


Chapter 3b: The Game Ė Training

Lets quickly move forward to the training of FM2008. I remember back in the old days (FM2005 for example) where you had a fantastic training schedule which made your playersí attributes go through the roof while the players of AI controlled teams stayed pretty much the same. Even though most people donít think that is such a bad thing, I am writing this article to discuss how realistic certain aspects are and if those aspects can become even more realistic (because, we will have to agree that SI is doing a tremendous job when it comes to bring the reality of football management to your bedroom).

Fortunately, the training schedules are better and more realistic now. Players need to do their best to improve their attributes and older players are almost certain to stay the same (or decrease of course). This is the way it should be! Well done SI!

I bet you are already guessing itÖ. there should be something to discuss. You are right! One thing that is really making me itch. This is another situation of combining reality and unreality in one aspect of the game.
How is it possible to buy quality coaches with every single team? It doesnít matter what team you choose to begin with, there are always amazing coaches available on a free transfer and willing to join your club. It should be harder to find quality coaches and good coaches shouldnít be interested in joining a smaller team. Of course there would need to be exceptions but you should get a great feeling of accomplishment when you find a good coach on your own. I can honestly say (and I think I speak for most FM users) that I have never even looked at the ďPlace AdvertĒ option because it is not needed. The Staff Search option is way too powerful.
To give an example, I have started a test game with Colchester United in the Coca-Cola League 1. When I go to the Staff Search, I find out that I can get a coach with Attacking 17, one with Defending 17, couple with Technique 16 and Tactics 16. When I look at my current staff I have a coach with Attacking 13, Technique 12 and Tactics 13. So SI, what you guys are pointing out is that clubs are doing a bad job in real life with appointing coaches?
Possible solution: Good coaches shouldnít be interested in signing for lower clubs. The ďPlace AdvertĒ option should either be removed or become more useful. If you decrease the results of the Staff Search, I think the ďPlace AdvertĒ option becomes more important. It is really something that needs improving!
Step one (slower increasing of playersí attributes) is doneÖ now it is time for step two!


Chapter 3c: The Game Ė Transfers

Trying to make my point on the transfers part of FM2008 is going to be a though one and I am certain that a lot of FM fans wonít agree with it. However, like I said before, I am looking at how realistic different aspects of the game are, not how much fun they are. You canít call a game the most realistic management simulator ever when you ignore the not-so-realistic parts of the game. It is already amazing what SI has done with the game, now it is time to show that we are entering the year 2009.

The ability of buying players.
Okay, letís talk about the transfer aspect of FM2008. Overall, it is pretty decent. The idea behind it has been the same for a couple of years now and I think some things should be revised.
First of all, I would like to go into the details of buying players. The quality of players in different and countries to be exact. As I already mentioned, in FM2007, a lot of players from Guatemala were suddenly ten times as good as they were in FM2006 while their value stayed the same (which was around uhh.. 0K hehe). Another example was the Brazilian players. It is a bit different cause of the fact that Brazilian players are ruling FM since CM turned into FM. However, in FM2007, there were too many cheap Brazilian talents. It almost looked like every single talent in Brazil was touted as the next Kaka, Ronaldinho, Bebeto, Romario or Dunga. I can remember that I once had over ten players from Brazil in my U19. And I was De Graafschap in Holland haha. They were all touted as the next ďbla-blaĒ. Some of these had a pretty high value but the bug in FM2007 was that there often was a minimum fee release that was the same or even lower than the current value of the player. This made buying the best talents in FM suddenly a lot easier.
Football Manager is the best game to see if the programmers are learning from their mistakes. In FM2008, the talents of Brazil arenít that cheap anymore, the min. fee release clause is suddenly a lot higher and there arenít so many huge talents available. So, my verdict about Brazil: Great job SI!
ButÖÖ I am not done unfortunately. With FM2008, it looks like SI tried to make a mix of the low value of the Guatemalans and the quality of the Brazilians. The country they chose? Argentina! Argentina is really filled with talents who donít cost a penny and even some older players who are cheap and quality at the same time. For example, please check the screenshot below:

http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/6311/diegolagosprofilenj1.th.png (http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?image=diegolagosprofilenj1.png)

A while back, I decided to make shortlists of almost all Argentinean talents (http://www.fmformation.net/scouting-network/30388-south-american-players-guide-argentina.html), sorting the shortlists on position. The conclusion is that with those shortlists, you are able to buy 5-10 talents for less than 500K. Advantages of the players are that they are willing to go to lower league clubs, their salary demands are a joke and most of the times, they are way better than your current players. I managed to buy 21 youth players from Argentina with Anderlecht. I suddenly had the best youth of Belgium and my reserves and U18 walked over any opponent.

I really think we should get rid of this weird phenomenon. SI, why are you guys always choosing one or two ďweirdĒ countries to give them the best talents and the cheapest ones at that. I am really fascinated in why you guys are thinking that and if there is a reason behind it. When I started with a new game, I have the patience to search for players for hours. Most of the times, I am just looking for a country that has the talent, and I know that this country is the heaven of Football Manager.

Interference of the board.
My second criticism is a continuance on the above. I already mentioned that it is not that difficult to buy quality players with teams. Sometimes itís even that the smaller the team, the more easy it is to buy the good/cheap players. The free transfer is filled with players who are unknown, good and willing to join lower league teams. What I would like to talk about is how easy clubs allow you to buy players, especially how many. Why canít it be that the board of a club can/will interfere with transfers more often? Let me give an example. I am managing a club that is 20K under its wage budget. The board is still allowing me to give nice salaries to players I want to sign. When I sign one player, there is a chance my max. wage is going to drop down so that it will be harder to buy players. However, when I buy 20 players simultaneously and I accept them all at the same time, they will sign all 20. My wage budget will be 30K over it but apparently, the board doesnít care if you do it that way. As long as you donít buy players one at a time. Isnít that a bit weird and ridiculous? When I am trying to buy a couple of players from far abroad, the board should interfere immediately. Cause common thinking, we are talking about signing players who carry a certain risk factor because you donít really know the players and it is just hoping that they will adapt to their new surroundings and that they have the talent they are suppose to have. So signing 20 players from a country in South America (presuming you are a club in Europe) is something that doesnít happen in real life so why should it in FM? And why is it so easy in FM to do so?
It should be harder to sign good players in FM. Especially when you are a smaller club. Other clubs should be after the same player and should win the fight because they have a better reputation. When you manage a club with a lower reputation, you should be dancing In your bedroom when you are able to sign a talent from South America.

Scouting players.
Letís move to the scouting aspect of the game. In real life, every club needs their scouts. They are the ones who make the long journeys to countries and find those raw diamonds. However, in FM2008, using your scouts is useful to review your next opponent or certain players of which you arenít able to see all the attributes. With that last one I have a small remark. How is it possible that you can assign the same person to scout players in all possible continents and still get all the results at the same time within a couple of days? Do I have such a lazy scout that he uses Google to scout the players?
But is it that useful to send scouts to other countries? Iíve done a little test with Tottenham, where I bought six scouts from six different countries and all with high scouting ability attributes (17+). They were all assigned to their home country to look for quality players. For example, I had a scout from Brazil and Argentina. When they were finished with their assignment, I looked to their reports and was kind of shocked. Have my scouts done such a bad job or are there only six players in those two countries who are good enough for Tottenham?
Perhaps it could be good if you can ask a scout to look for a certain position in the countries of his knowledge. Some scouts have knowledge in a couple of countries so the scout is free to look for that player in multiple countries. Let the scout do his thing, give him some space to do his job.
I have a question about scouting players as well. Let us go to France. In the Ligue 1, there are a lot of players who could be the next Henry, Blanc, Mexes etc. etc. For example, letís take Anthony Marin, a DC/DM from Olympique de Marseille. This guy is 17 years old and is labeled as the next Philippe Mexes and is a promising centre-back. I have a scout with Tottenham who has Judging Player Ability 17 and Judging Player Potential 19. Especially the second attribute is very important in this game since we are talking about a big talent. Since I couldnít see any of the attributes of this player (just his Personal information), I decided to scout him. Scout Report? Marin would be a decent signing. Three stars Potential and three stars Recommendation. My question is, is Mexes is really that bad? Or does my scouts have it wrong? How does this work exactly? It is funny to have quality scouts but if they canít separate a talent from a useless player, what is the point of having scouts?

My overall opinion is that the transfer part needs improving. The basics are still the same as they were years ago. Football Manager is still a game in which it is very easy to sign good players and many of them. It is funny to see that when you go over your wage budget with one signing, you arenít able to buy any other players cause of the wages you can offer to players. However, when you buy twenty players at the same time, they all come to your club without a problem.


Chapter 3d: The Game Ė Media

The media, in my opinion an aspect of the game which is fantastic for FM users who are new to the game but boring for the ones who are playing FM for years.

There are two main problems with the current media. For starters, it is pretty much always the same. When a playerís made his debut, you always get the same options depending on how well he played. Same goes when you have a player on your shortlist and rumors are going you are interested or when you have to play your next competitive match. There are always the same options to choose from (http://fmf.hugsvillefamily.co.uk/preview.png).

Like I said, it is funny when you are new to the game and you might even think that it is very comprehensive. But this isnít the case really.
Secondly, it is the way players are responding to certain choices. I really think it is hoping for a positive reaction from your players and you cannot know which answer suits your team the best. I once had a new signing who played very well in his first match. I said to the media that he played very well but shouldnít be carried away. He was happy with the positive comment. However, when you get the same question later in the game and you give the same answer, he might respond different to the answer. This is for me a guessing game and for me, it resulted in ďNo commentĒ on ANY media question. I disabled the media option cause it simply doesnít work for me.
One final thing about the media. It is incredibly annoying that you can get the same media newstopic over and over again. With Tottenham, I had Funzo Ojo from PSV on my shortlist and without exaggerating, a journalist contacted me five times in two months, asking me if I am planning to sign him. It is just annoying.


Chapter 3e: The Game Ė Parent/Feeder Clubs

I was so happy when the parent and feeder club option was added in FM. It was a feature that was just missing in the game and it completed FM.

The parent/feeder club option is still quality. It works great. FM can judge very well if a club needs a parent club or another feeder club. One thing is that you can advise what kind of feeder club you need is just awesome and very realistic. However, there is a feature which I donít fully understand and I am kind of confused about.
There is a partnership possible in which players can move freely between clubs. I have used this feature with Chivas (MEX) who have a partnership with Tapatio, who are playing in a division lower than Chivas. Players should be allowed to move freely but I couldnít figure out the details of this option. I know you can make a 0K offer on a player, the feeder club has to accept it and you can give the player a contract. But how does it work when I, as the parent club, want to send a player to the feeder club? I couldnít figure this out. The club isnít mentioned in the ďMove to affiliateĒ list. In this case we are talking about two different clubs but in Ukraine, the same thing goes for Dinamo Kiev and Dinamo Kiev 2. How can you get a player from Dinamo Kiev to the second team?


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Chapter 4a: In-Game Ė The Match Engine

Before I go and have a shout about the match engine, I would like to say that I have already mentioned this in a separate topic, which was all and only about the match engine. When I posted that review, I thought it was a good idea to fully examine the game. Of course, this includes the match engine so most of it will just be copy/paste work.
This part of the chapter only includes things that arenít working properly while playing a game or are missing from the game.

Where is the player dribbling?
With FM07, it was said that there was too much dribbling in the game. When you had a quality dribbling player, he sometimes went past three, four players without any difficulty. With FM08, it's not only that a player can't properly dribble past an opponent, most of the time they don't even try. With Chivas (Mexico), I have Ramoncito Morales, an WBL/AML who has dribbling 20 and is really fast. However, in the nine matches that I played, he tried to get past an opponent TWO times. So that is two times in 810 times. One time he succeeded, the other he didn't get past his opponent. I have played with many teams (including Barcelona with Messi) but players are not interested in getting past an opponent. And when they do, they just go around the player, instead of getting past them. I would love to see the real dribbling back, like how it was with FM07 (perhaps a bit less). With this I mean that a player runs with high speed towards an opponent and you see the player icon almost go through the other icon, like a dribble how itís meant to be!
If a winger manages to get to the byline, it's just because the opponent was a couple of meters away from him and the player could run in a straight line to the byline. Otherwise, it's not going to work for the player.

Pace of the game.
Where is it? I've done a little test using quick and direct passing to see if I can use a fast pace tactic. The answer is no. How can it be that when a player passes the ball to another player, the receiver just stands still with the ball for over a second before continuing the attack? It doesn't matter how technical the player is or how good his first touch/ball control is... they just stand still with the ball! Do you guys think that in real life, a fast one-two is banned from the pitch? Or a deadly triangle combination in which the opponent is being dazzled. I sometimes get the feeling that the preparation of an attack consists of the commentary line ďPlayer A passes the ball to player BĒ.

Intelligent through-balls.
When do I see a through ball with the ball being passed on the left side of an opponent while the teammate is on the right side of the player. It doesn't matter how high I set creative freedom and through balls on often, through balls are being given very rarely. And it's not only the fault of the player who should pass the ball.... it's the attacker as well. Forward runs on often should mean he tries to run into the open space, looking for that through ball. Instead, Berbatov starts to run offside when the player hasn't even received the ball yet and when he comes back from offside position, the player passes the ball lol.

Free Kicks.
Letís start with indirect free-kicks just outside the penalty box. The player who is set to take free-kicks is behind the ball (that's weird, I thought setting that player to take the free-kicks is that he tries to put them into the goal?) and another player, sometimes a defender who is only good at defending tries to shoot it in. What happens is another episode of comedy errors. The ball is being passed straight into the feet of his teammate, instead of passing it a bit in front of him so he can shoot the ball with maximum power towards the goalie. The result: the receiving player stands still with the ball and tries to shoot it with the point of his boot (because the ball is lying between his legs lol). I should expect something like that in the team where I play in (lower amateur team)... not when I am Barcelona, Tottenham or Chivas.
To continue, let's go to the free kicks on the side of the pitch (I believe it is called the touchline). Perhaps one of you guys know a special trick to make these free-kicks work but for me, it doesn't matter how I put the team/player instructions, 95% of those free kicks end up with a simple ball in the hands of the goalkeeper.
To show you what I mean with indirect free kicks going wrong, I have included a video with some match highlights of my Tottenham match against West Brom. These highlights all happened in six minutes time. Just click on the image below and watch it. You will probably laugh about it hehe.


http://fmf.hugsvillefamily.co.uk/screenshot2.PNG (http://www.fmformation.net/clips/WestBrom_vs_Spurs_freekicks/)

Giving away corners.
It was so incredibly annoying in FM07, how players gave away corners. A long ball, defender goes after it, opponent on more than 30 meters distant, it's almost at the byline, the defender tries to control the ball but awww.... the ball gets away 3 meters from his foot and ends up as a corner. Annoying little bug, one which you would think should be gone in FM08. Unfortunately, it isn't lol. The bug is still there and now, after 2 years, it's more annoying than ever.

The oh so famous 20 shots against 1 shot fiasco.
I guess when creating a game, you should try to impress the young audience, since they are the ones who are controlling the games industry. Unfortunately, since FM06 (or FM07), this apparently means you have to make an Arcade game. Letís stick to FM08 and not to the older versions though. Example: I've created a pretty good squad. Found and bought some sweet foreign/domestic players who are incredibly good, especially for the price I paid for them. When looking at my opponent, my players are way better and this match should be a three pointer! Ending the match with 30 shots, 18 on target for me and 2 shots and 1 on target for the opponent means I was right. However, the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Almost everyone in my team created a chance but no one could score, except for one obviously. The opponent however, took it easy and waited for the final injury time minute before getting a corner and heading it in. A 1-1 draw and an angry person behind the PC who could break almost anything he sees hehe. And after a while, I even get so dumb to think that my tactic is working and I will win the next match. An hour later, the same thing has happened again and again and again.
At this moment, FM is this: It should be fun to play, to create many many chances and entertain the user but the results need to be realistic at the same time. Why am I saying this? Check the above...

More action in front of the goal.
When I look at the strikers, the main thing that I am missing is the real quality of certain strikers like Makaay, Klose, Huntelaar, van Nistelrooy. With this I mean that they are able to get that foot to the ball to tap it in the goal. A low cross (or medium height) from the sideline and the striker can touch the ball enough to make it towards the goal. How many goals don't you see like that in real life? For certain strikers, it's the only way they can score properly lol. And in FM, I don't ever see it.... a striker (or attacking midfielder) always needs to touch the ball once or twice before shooting...

Throw-ins
Overall, throw-ins are pretty decent. However, there are some positions on the pitch where throw-ins arenít exactly logical regarding man marking. The attacking closing down when it comes to man marking at throw-ins is little to zero. It is just impossible to lock up the opponent when they have a throw-in on their own half.
The video below shows three examples, all taken in the same match within the first 15 minutes. Even though I have put my wingbacks, MCís and DCís on specified man marking, they are just not listening to me when it comes to throw-ins. Just watch the video below by clicking on the picture. It will take you to a page on my website, which contains the video. I think you will know what I mean when youíve watched it.


http://fmf.hugsvillefamily.co.uk/screenshot.PNG (http://www.fmformation.net/clips/spurs_villa_throwins/)


Chapter 4b: In-Game Ė Team Talk

Discussing the use of Team Talks is always interested. I get the feeling when the feature wasnít there it was needed and now that it is there it isnít useful enough to satisfy the die-hard FM users. In my opinion, team talks are the same as media comments. They are always the same, you never know which one to choose since the impact of your choice is hardly noticeable. Besides that, you always want to choose the same one and that is, let your assistant manager take care of it.
If SI wants to stick with this feature, it really needs a makeover. I think it either needs to be expanded or removed but at this moment, itís somewhere in the middle and just not good and interested enough.


Chapter 4c: In-Game Ė Opposition Instructions

Opposition Instructions. Something of which I am dying to know how useful it is and, perhaps of even greater value, how important it is. When you start a match, there are three different instructions you need to set. The individual player instructions, the team instructions and the opposition instructions. What instruction overrules one another? When I set the individual instructions of a WBL to zonal marking but the opposition instructions for the MR to tight marking, which one will overrule the other? The WBL will mark his zone but the MR is in this zone and I have said that the MR should be marked tight at all times. Will the WBL keep marking his zone and his zone only or will he follow the MR? The same goes for the closing down of a player. When I have set the WBL to zero closing down but the MR of the opponent to closing down always, will the WBL close down on the MR or will he be the only player that wonít?

Something totally different is the way opposition instructions are being remembered. Most of the instructions set are because of the position where the opponent plays. When there is a ML, I want my players to block his left foot and force him towards his right one. With a striker, I want him to be marked tightly. These are settings for the position of the player, not the player himself. However, when a player is substituted, the new player wonít have any of these settings. Everything has been reset. It is a really annoying and useless way of how the instructions work. Just keep the instructions like they are when a new player comes in and let the manager decide whether he wants to change the instructions or not.


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Chapter 5: The Editor

It has already been a long story so I donít want to spend a lot of time on the editor. The things does what it is supposed to do. Unfortunately, it does take some proper requirements of your PC to get the application to work well.

Since I am a database updater for the past three years, I work a lot with the editor. One thing is really bugging me and I bet it is for SI a pretty easy job to include in the next version. When I am starting with my summer database update, there are hundreds, if not thousands of old loans to be cancelled. This is a process which takes ages and can be quite annoying because there are so many transfers happening in one single summer so time is valuable. What I would like to request is the feature to run batches. All proper programs with a lot of data can run batches to do the same thing which takes hours with one mouse click. We updaters need this in the FM Editor! One click on the mouse and it starts removing all current loans or all loans which expire in the summer. A while later, all loans are gone and you are still RSI-free. Same goes for injuries, future transfers and perhaps some other things (like a batch to import which does all the new European qualifiers or the promotion/relegation of all the important countries).
Life is all about the batches!


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Chapter 6: Final Words

Sometimes, enough is enough. I could type for hours but these are the main aspects and I hope I covered them all. Please remember that this article should be constructive criticism. It was never my intention to burn someone into the ground. FM is and will be the only game I play. Since I spend so much time in my website and in playing the game, I just needed to share my opinion with everyone in the scene and to see if I am the only one who thinks the way I think about certain aspects of the game.

I thank you kindly for taking the time to read my article and I really hope you enjoyed it. One of the reasons I wrote this article is to have some positive discussions about the aspects of FM2008. When you feel like replying to one of my opinions, try to mention which chapter it was about. This makes it easier for all of us.

When I wrote the article, Football Manager 2009 wasnít announced yet. It could be that some of the improvements/add-ons I suggest are already announced for the upcoming release. Just remember, I didnít know that. I have seen the videos of FM2009 and read all the stories about it. All I can say that it looks amazing and lots of exciting stuff. Sports Interactive wonít lose me as their biggest fan!

Thatís it everyone! The final words of my article.

Take care,

Bozza
Founder of FMFormation
http://www.fmformation.net

mattant250
11-09-2008, 21:50
Sometimes, enough is enough.

Couldn't agree more, however, great article. :thup:

CSF90
11-09-2008, 23:02
Great article.

Jonathan Woodgate taking the in-direct free kick was hilarious. :D

megafan2005
11-09-2008, 23:05
Great article mate quality read (Y)

Smac
12-09-2008, 07:26
There's only one thing left to be said: Q.F.T. Bozza

Pretty much all of it, especially towards the end regarding the ME, tactics, editor, etc..

Some of this stuff has been lagging in what I would call an 'unfinished state' for years. If only SI had some competition! What else can I say lads? You don't seem to take the bull by the horns without it, and your product could be so much better.

Recently I saw a post by an SI member who said: "Yeah, I too would love to have this feature. Would make the game so much better.....".

WTF
WTF
WTF?

The reason this is bewildering to me is another comment earlier which said in effect: "We can't do so and so with the database without redesigning everything".

WTF?

Grow a pair and redesign it then! Its your game, some of you actually claim to be programmers, and I for one will not coddle you with your own excuses of "Its really hard to change this because its so complex". Apparently you get enough of that treatment at the office!

Horsebollocks. You can do it, but you won't. Don't try to snow me with your 'its difficult to redesign from the ground up', 'its really complicated' stuff. Of course its complicated, its programming, not knitting! I think I should have told my Computer Science professor that I wasn't going to do the senior project in the language of his choice because: "Its too complicated. I don't know that language yet. I'd have to start all over". Wonder how that would have gone over?

You have what you need, which is a winning design. If the code has to be redone, I say, so be it! C'mon, SI, I believe in you. Don't let your implementation hold you back, as it very much seems to have done over the last few iterations, and in the comments you do make on possible changes (as above).

Thanks Bozza for a good article. Did you want to discuss any particular part of it?

shaggy61
12-09-2008, 10:11
Bozza

very good article, well thought out and certainly raise a few good points that i hope SI are aware of/going to improve on this year.
Especially agree the media link up could be enhance greatly.

I have a couple of points i would like to raise with the coaching issue you raise. With the recent departures of Curbishley and Keegan
the subject of coaching/managing their respective clubs and a move to the more continental approach of managers coaching and
a director of football type figure pulling the strings in terms of player transfers needs to be examined closely. From the games
perspective I think its vital that the game doesnt become too realistic on this front otherwise where is the fun finding a bargain
or blowing your whole budget on a superstar? For sure you have your scouts to help you and there will always be/should be board stepping
in and selling a key asset, much to your annoyance it happens in real life therefore it should remain, but just our quest for realism as experienced
FM players shouldnt necessarily undermine a good game.

The second point is slightly more trivial, why shouldnt a lower league coach be better than a top division coach? For over 20 years Crewe
had Dario Gradi producing players like David Platt, Danny Murphy, Rob Jones, hell even Robbie Savage. Some of these players came through the
youth system, some (Platt and Savage) where top flight cast offs, re trained, re invigorated and returned to the highest level of the game.
In fact i would say its more important at a lower level to have the good coaches, because the facilities wont be as good, and as you rise the
levels man management and motivation become more important with pre madonna like figures that the top stars are.

Take Steve McLaren, began at Oxford, went to Derby, then onto Utd, and won the treble all as a coach. Now onto management he did okay at Boro getting to Uefa Cup final wasnt too bad, and he along with Parnaby's excellent youth team put together a team of youngsters able to play in the premiership. Now onto England pretty much a disaster, not having the personality to impose on the players, nor the time to gel them togethor
as at club level. Can he coach yes very well but at the top level and international level (I have spoken to 2 former internationals 1 English, 1 Greek)
they both agree its not all about coaching. I'll be interested to see how he does at FC Twente as they were very good last season, it may take a little
time to restore his own battered confidence.

Again feel free to respond?

Bozza
16-09-2008, 12:26
Many thanks for the positive replies guys! I'm glad people do think it is a good read. I just wanted to share my opinion about this FM and see what others think of it. So, again, don't be shy and let us know what you think of this years edition! I will answer Smac's reply first and Shaggy's one later. Reason for this is because I want to take the time when replying to someone and after typing my reply towards Smac, I noticed it has become pretty large hehe.


There's only one thing left to be said: Q.F.T. Bozza

Pretty much all of it, especially towards the end regarding the ME, tactics, editor, etc..

Some of this stuff has been lagging in what I would call an 'unfinished state' for years. If only SI had some competition! What else can I say lads? You don't seem to take the bull by the horns without it, and your product could be so much better.

Recently I saw a post by an SI member who said: "Yeah, I too would love to have this feature. Would make the game so much better.....".

WTF
WTF
WTF?

The reason this is bewildering to me is another comment earlier which said in effect: "We can't do so and so with the database without redesigning everything".

WTF?

Grow a pair and redesign it then! Its your game, some of you actually claim to be programmers, and I for one will not coddle you with your own excuses of "Its really hard to change this because its so complex". Apparently you get enough of that treatment at the office!

Horsebollocks. You can do it, but you won't. Don't try to snow me with your 'its difficult to redesign from the ground up', 'its really complicated' stuff. Of course its complicated, its programming, not knitting! I think I should have told my Computer Science professor that I wasn't going to do the senior project in the language of his choice because: "Its too complicated. I don't know that language yet. I'd have to start all over". Wonder how that would have gone over?

You have what you need, which is a winning design. If the code has to be redone, I say, so be it! C'mon, SI, I believe in you. Don't let your implementation hold you back, as it very much seems to have done over the last few iterations, and in the comments you do make on possible changes (as above).

Thanks Bozza for a good article. Did you want to discuss any particular part of it?

Haha, now this is what I call a passioned response. I agree, there are some things I mentioned which have been like this for many editions. However, I do get the feeling SI is trying to get from point A to point B in which they try it another way. Biggest example is the transfer system of course. For FM09, it's going to be totally re-designed and probably in a good way. So basically, SI recoginized the problem and is now going to try to solve it by building it from scratch. I know there are more aspects of the game which are in need of the same but it's a start and I hope SI will look at those parts of the game the same as they did with the transfer system.

There isn't a particular part of the article I would like to discuss. It's pretty much everything that I wrote about which could use a good discussion. However, there has been always been something of which I am curious about. With this, I mean the way you can/should play the game called Football Manager.

How do you guys see FM and how would you like to play it? Everyone is always saying that it should/could be more realistic and that they want it to be more realistic. However, these same people are always looking to buy tons of players, preferably from all kind of exotic countries. But that's not all. They also want to have success with smaller teams in a short period of time. Most of the times, combined with the buying of cheap/quality players. My opinion is that you can't combine both. You either want to buy a lot of cheap/quality players (who shouldn't be that good or cheap) and have success with smaller teams or you should struggle with buying players and when you are a smaller team, you should accept less success.

I am someone who is a real fanatic of the second option. When I am Heracles in the Dutch Premier Division, I know I am a relegation candidate and most likely, always will be. There is no money so the board won't allow me to buy any players. Especially not those unknown, cheap, "are they good or not (who knows) players" from countries like Argentina or Peru. Most likely, it would stay to loaning players from the big three (Feyenoord, Ajax or PSV) or try to buy a youngster of one of those teams who got his contract cancelled because he wasn't good enough. Season after season, battling against relegation and trying to slowly expand your squad with better players and out-tactic your opponents. In the meantime, you are trying to prove yourself as a manager, gain a better reputation and hope that a bigger club will come to you with a job offer. This is how I would like to play as a manager. I want it so to be that when you win a match against a better opponent, you can't stop smiling, perform your own uniqie dance in your room and call all your friends telling them you won an away match against Heerenveen. Wouldn't that be something? :-D

The way it is at the moment is this: You start with a team in the Conference South and every season you expect to promote and for some, it even can be done each season. Perhaps it will be fixed a bit with the new transfers because it is too easy now to buy star players for your team. It's easy to buy eight players for a Conference team who will become the best eight players of your team. I once won the UEFA Cup and finished 2nd in the same season with De Graafschap. In real life, that team would battle bravely against relegation each season. I can guarantee you... it wasn't because I was such a good manager. I just had the patience to search for those quality players and create a nice tactic.

But what's your opinion about the above guys? Do you want FM to be that realistic or do you want it to stay on the Arcade side for a bit?

Ched
16-09-2008, 13:13
The only point i disagree with in a big way is the point regarding youth players:

"SI, why are you guys always choosing one or two ďweirdĒ countries to give them the best talents and the cheapest ones at that"

is absolute nonsense. Youth players are rated individually based on how they perform. SI don't sit around a desk and decide "which coutry are we going to make good this week?" they just reproduce the data that their researchers give them. If the players are cheap its because of the club finances and player rep - not just because SI have decided to make them cheap.

Also, i would not consider argentina having good youth in anyway "weird" - there are many examples of excellent argentinian teenagers.

As to why certain clubs/nations aren't playable, i thought that would be fairly obvious;

Why aren't Guatemala or Paraguay playable?

Simply because there aren't reliable paraguayan or guatemalan researchers - when SI find people capable of researching every club in detail i'm sure they'll get 'round to adding those leagues.

A large proportion of your ME problems are tactics related and not game bugs as such. I agree with your points regarding throw ins and free kicks tho - i'm sorry to say most of the rest is your fault.


Still, other than the above, it was a well thought out and well written post with some good points - however a large majority of your good points are now moot with FM09 improving on large areas that you've touched on - hopefully it'll be to your approval :D

millwallrules
16-09-2008, 14:37
Great article but disagree on your thoughts that older players are set up well...they are not and shouldn't decrease as quickly as they do.

Bozza
17-09-2008, 11:44
Bozza

very good article, well thought out and certainly raise a few good points that i hope SI are aware of/going to improve on this year.
Especially agree the media link up could be enhance greatly.

I have a couple of points i would like to raise with the coaching issue you raise. With the recent departures of Curbishley and Keegan the subject of coaching/managing their respective clubs and a move to the more continental approach of managers coaching and a director of football type figure pulling the strings in terms of player transfers needs to be examined closely. From the games perspective I think its vital that the game doesnt become too realistic on this front otherwise where is the fun finding a bargain or blowing your whole budget on a superstar? For sure you have your scouts to help you and there will always be/should be board stepping in and selling a key asset, much to your annoyance it happens in real life therefore it should remain, but just our quest for realism as experienced FM players shouldnt necessarily undermine a good game.

The second point is slightly more trivial, why shouldnt a lower league coach be better than a top division coach? For over 20 years Crewe had Dario Gradi producing players like David Platt, Danny Murphy, Rob Jones, hell even Robbie Savage. Some of these players came through the
youth system, some (Platt and Savage) where top flight cast offs, re trained, re invigorated and returned to the highest level of the game.
In fact i would say its more important at a lower level to have the good coaches, because the facilities wont be as good, and as you rise the levels man management and motivation become more important with pre madonna like figures that the top stars are.

Take Steve McLaren, began at Oxford, went to Derby, then onto Utd, and won the treble all as a coach. Now onto management he did okay at Boro getting to Uefa Cup final wasnt too bad, and he along with Parnaby's excellent youth team put together a team of youngsters able to play in the premiership. Now onto England pretty much a disaster, not having the personality to impose on the players, nor the time to gel them together as at club level. Can he coach yes very well but at the top level and international level (I have spoken to 2 former internationals 1 English, 1 Greek) they both agree its not all about coaching. I'll be interested to see how he does at FC Twente as they were very good last season, it may take a little time to restore his own battered confidence.

Again feel free to respond?

Thank you for your good response Shaggy. Let me start by replying to the first part.

I agree that one of the best things in FM is finding that one player that no one else even knew about. However, at this moment, with doing some intensive research, you can find tons of quality players in the game, especially for the lower league teams. You say finding a bargain is fun and I agree with you. But I dislike the fact that you can find tens of bargains and with a little bit of luck, you are able to buy them all. Blowing your whole budget on a superstar is great, I love that. What I don’t like is that you can buy a lot of players on the same day and your board won’t interfere, even if it will exceed your max. wage budget big time.
When I am a Conference team, I don’t want to be able to buy 20 players like some people (including me sometimes) are doing. My board should see how big my squad is and how good the youth players are. Based on that, the board should show more interference with how many players you are allowed to buy. Same goes for clubs in leagues where there is no work permit. If I want, I could buy 10-15 players from all kind of foreign countries who haven’t even heard of the country the club is in. I don’t want the game to be total realism but I do think there should be a better way to address this issue.

As for the coaches. I wasn’t saying that a lower league coach can’t be better than a top division coach. What I was trying to say is that you can buy a coach for each training aspect who is better than your current coach. I find this a bit awkward. So in real life, all the current clubs are doing a very bad job when it comes to coaches because there are so many great ones on the free transfer market, like it is in FM. The first thing when I start a new FM game is seeing if I can get rid of my coaches and buy 5-8 new ones. All my friends are doing the same. Isn’t that a bit weird?

I totally agree with your vision about the youth system, how it is in real life. However, I don’t think it is the same in FM. FM is and has always been a game in which you have to buy youngsters instead of using them from your own youth. I hope (and I think) that SI will fix that a bit in the upcoming release. If they don’t, it would really be a shame. I mean, none of my friends are ever using their own youth simply because their own youth isn’t good enough and never will be in most cases. So most people rather choose to buy good youngsters and other players than have the risk of playing with a team who has less quality than possible.

If you don’t agree with something I’ve said please let me know. I think the transfer system and the youth system are two aspects of the game which should really improve. I know that the transfer system is going to be redesigned for FM09 but in what way? I think I’ve also heard that the youth system is going to be better but can’t be sure though. Let us just pray haha…

Smac
17-09-2008, 13:40
But what's your opinion about the above guys? Do you want FM to be that realistic or do you want it to stay on the Arcade side for a bit?

Well, this is a false dichotomy, isn't it? I mean, in regards to teams 'always being relegation candidates' being 'realistic', or 'getting back-to-back promotions is unrealistic'.

Every year in 1 or 2 leagues we have the story of some team who has defied the odds and steamrolled their way to the top. Two quick examples:

Hull. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_City_A.F.C.)

Cluj: "Romanian side CFR Cluj-Napoca pulled off one of the biggest Champions League shocks in recent memory with a 2-1 victory away at Roma on the opening day of the 2008-09 season.

Cluj, who were playing third tier Romanian football seven years ago, fell behind when Christian Panucci headed in a cross from Daniele De Rossi after 17 minutes.

But Cluj, playing their first Champions League game, had not read the script and Argentine midfielder Juan Emanuel Culio strode through to fire in from the edge of the penalty area. " (from the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/7620106.stm)

Then we have the Leeds of the world too, going the other way. Sometimes things look static up close but are more dynamic than we realize over time.

I like to play in an 'unrealistic' way, buying more players than I would at a real side, not sticking to Llama type rules at all, but still take my game seriously and refuse to take too much advantage of the AI. I think the general trend of the game in this dimension has been quite good: FM allows the serious players to role-play and play fairly realistically, while allowing others to 'game' the game a bit more.

Bozza
18-09-2008, 12:56
The only point i disagree with in a big way is the point regarding youth players:

"SI, why are you guys always choosing one or two ďweirdĒ countries to give them the best talents and the cheapest ones at that"

is absolute nonsense. Youth players are rated individually based on how they perform. SI don't sit around a desk and decide "which coutry are we going to make good this week?" they just reproduce the data that their researchers give them. If the players are cheap its because of the club finances and player rep - not just because SI have decided to make them cheap.

Also, i would not consider argentina having good youth in anyway "weird" - there are many examples of excellent argentinian teenagers.

As to why certain clubs/nations aren't playable, i thought that would be fairly obvious;

Why aren't Guatemala or Paraguay playable?

Simply because there aren't reliable paraguayan or guatemalan researchers - when SI find people capable of researching every club in detail i'm sure they'll get 'round to adding those leagues.

A large proportion of your ME problems are tactics related and not game bugs as such. I agree with your points regarding throw ins and free kicks tho - i'm sorry to say most of the rest is your fault.


Still, other than the above, it was a well thought out and well written post with some good points - however a large majority of your good points are now moot with FM09 improving on large areas that you've touched on - hopefully it'll be to your approval :D

Hello Ched, many thanks for your response!

Let us talk some more about the youngsters in FM and other players in general. When I said that each FM has some countries who have more quality players than any other country by far. When you say that the Guatemalan league isnít in FM because there arenít reliable researchers, I am really wondering why there were so many amazing players from that country in FM2006 and FM2007. From out of nowhere, there were suddenly 10-15 quality players who werenít worth more than 10K each. I mean, a striker with Acceleration & Pace 17, Dribbling 20 and Finishing 17 is fun to have and the fact that he was valued less than 100K is just amazing. I am talking about Jose Manuel Mendoza. There were many other examples of good Guatemalan players. Itís the combination and attributes, value and interest in joining a lower league club that makes me a bit skeptical.

The same goes for Argentina in this FM2008. I mean, Iíve written a players guide that contains 134 players from Argentina of which most were young, cheap and willing to join a lower league club. In Brazil, I couldnít find more than 10 players who are like that. Any other country is the same. Looking for those three factors, I couldnít find more than 10 per country. But 134 players in Argentina?
Itís all fun that SI relies on their researchers but I think everyone can see that the Argentinean researcher apparently made a couple of mistakes. The 134 players I mentioned in my guide can be that good (even though I think most of them arenít THAT good) but if they are, they should be worth more. You shouldnít be able to be a lower league club in Europe and buy 10 quality, young players for the 300K transfer budget you were given.

As for the Match Engine, I would love to hear some more information about you. For me, it is a fact that some points I mentioned simply donít work. I donít know if you have seen the CL match between Man Utd and Villarreal yesterday? Nani was pretty on fire with his dribbling. Each time he had the ball, he went towards the opponent and with one fast move, he was past him. This is something which I see once in five matches in FM2008. How often do you see your player icon almost go through the opponentís icon and still have the ball? In my matches, it never happens. In FM08, when a player makes a dribble, he just runs around the opponent. Most of the times in a big circle hehe.
I would love to hear your detailed opinion about the aspects I talked about and see how you are getting those to work.


Great article but disagree on your thoughts that older players are set up well...they are not and shouldn't decrease as quickly as they do.

What exactly do you mean by this mate? To which part of the article are you referring to? Please let me know! Thanks!

millwallrules
18-09-2008, 13:02
Fortunately, the training schedules are better and more realistic now. Players need to do their best to improve their attributes and older players are almost certain to stay the same (or decrease of course). This is the way it should be! Well done SI!

He says that mate

Ched
18-09-2008, 13:50
Bozza - first can i say thank you for a considered reply, I'm used to getting abused when i disagree with someone and this was a pleasant change :D

With regard to the guatemalan players - maybe they had played well in a U21 tournament and were noticed by the researcher for another nation? Maybe following this, they then played not so well in an international tournament, hence their ability has been downgraded? I don't know the answer obviously, but i feel either of these possibilities is reasonable.

With regard to Argentina. I wouldn't personally complain about the number of good players to come out of there (similarly i'd queery a number of your stats regarding good players to come out of other countries - you do realise a lot of it is randomly generated?) as i've previously said there are large amounts of talented argentine youth.
Perhaps, there is an issue with them being willing to join lower league teams (i managed to get piatti to leeds - it's a bit daft tbf) so i feel you have a point there. The value is not really SIs fault - the whole transfer market is a bit of a mess tbh, which is why it's been fixed - i wouldn't be surprised to see argentine youth costing more in FM09 :D

Right, now for the match engine.

Dribbling

This requires much more than it would at first appear;

The player himself needs a high dribbling stat, a high flair stat, and quite often a high decisions stat, so that he knows when it is appropriate to dribble.

Also, the team tactic needs to have fwd runs set to "often" and run with ball set to "often" with an attacking mentality.
If we are talking about wingers then you also have to tell them to cross from the byline.

Any PPMs such as "runs with ball" or "tries tricks" may also help.

Lastly, your players may be dribbling without you knowing it. If you view key highlights only then any dribble that doesn't end with a chance will not be shown - consider how many times IRL a player skips past 2 defenders and then delivers a useless cross :D Similarly, if the two players "blobs" go around each other rather than through - it's entirely possible that this is merely a fault with the 2d engine and that it is just an odd way of representing what you've described?

I agree to an extent that you don't get enough of the messi-style dribbles where they pick it up on the half way line and skin 3-4 opponents, but let's be honest, it doesn't happen that often IRL.

Triangles

They happen under fairly strict circumstances. Sorry i can't really describe it better than that as it's something i hit on after a fair bit of random tweaking. It involves mentality (the players mentalities should be close to one another) using short passing and having players with high team work. Tweak and you should be able to hit on it eventually.

Pace of the game

If a player holds onto the ball for too long this is down to one (or many) of a number of issues.

- does he have a number of passing options who are unmarked?
- is he good enough at passing to get the ball to those players?
- is his decisions stat high enough for him to be expected to make the correct decision quickly?
- is his creativity stat high enough for him to "see" the pass quickly?
- is the teams passing set up to allow him to make the pass?
- is the players mentality high enough to encourage him to pass the ball forwards?
- is the player a new signing and does he therefore not know where his team mates usually are?

there are numerous others but those are the most common faults i've found.

Intelligent through balls

Through balls by their very nature are risky and ahrd to pull off. IRL you will see numerous examples of what you've described above in every match - caused by indecision by the fwd or by the passer, i personally think that FM has got this spot on, but i guess this is as much to do with personal opinion.

Similarly, through balls don't work well against a defensive opponent, it could be that you are winning a fair bit, hence the opponent sits back - in this case through balls are your worst enemy, as against a tight back line they will more often than not be picked off - what you want to do here is go wide and play the ball down the flanks trying to pull their FBs out of position etc.


20 shots against 1

This is by far the most common complaint people have with this game. The main cause for this is that your team are creating too many poor quality chances, which has 2 hugely significant knock-on effects;

1/ OP GK's confidence increases
2/ Your strikers confidence decreases

The results of this i'm sure you can figure out for yourself, suffice to say it's a bad situation to be in.

The causes of these "too many poor chances" are generally realted tol;

- too high tempo
- too narrow fmt
- too attacking mentality (players force shots rather than looking for open opportunities)
- strikers with poor composure
- too low timewasting (an unusual one, but i've found having lower than normal time wasting to be extremely bad)
- too many through balls against a deep defending team
- too many crosses from deep (therefore more easily defended)
- too many long shots

There are people on this forum who can give you a better answer than this (wwfan) but there should be enough there to get you going in the right direction.

More action in front of goal

This is related to the above point;

If the chance is poor or the striker is lacking confidence, is it reasonable to expect that he will take more than one touch? I feel it is very reasonable to expect that.
It is possible to get consistent 1-touch "passing into the net" finishes - what it requires is a good chance, within 15 yards of goal, with an in form striker.

Right, i think i've touched on most of your points, if you have any further questions i'd be glad to answer them.

Ched.

PGB_SPURS_FM09
18-09-2008, 16:51
Bozza - Similarly, through balls don't work well against a defensive opponent, it could be that you are winning a fair bit, hence the opponent sits back - in this case through balls are your worst enemy, as against a tight back line they will more often than not be picked off - what you want to do here is go wide and play the ball down the flanks trying to pull their FBs out of position etc.

Absolutley correct! against a defence minded team you need to get wide and go round the back of their defence! i have my team set up to "go down both wings" in order that if they are finding it difficult to break down they will come back out and then go to the opposite wing and this causes their defence to become out of place and this is then where you can exploit them :)

Vilosophe
18-09-2008, 18:46
Dribbling

This requires much more than it would at first appear;

The player himself needs a high dribbling stat, a high flair stat, and quite often a high decisions stat, so that he knows when it is appropriate to dribble.

Also, the team tactic needs to have fwd runs set to "often" and run with ball set to "often" with an attacking mentality.
If we are talking about wingers then you also have to tell them to cross from the byline.

Any PPMs such as "runs with ball" or "tries tricks" may also help.

Lastly, your players may be dribbling without you knowing it. If you view key highlights only then any dribble that doesn't end with a chance will not be shown - consider how many times IRL a player skips past 2 defenders and then delivers a useless cross :D Similarly, if the two players "blobs" go around each other rather than through - it's entirely possible that this is merely a fault with the 2d engine and that it is just an odd way of representing what you've described?

I agree to an extent that you don't get enough of the messi-style dribbles where they pick it up on the half way line and skin 3-4 opponents, but let's be honest, it doesn't happen that often IRL.



I disagree.
There aren't enough dribbling in the ME and the percentage "number of dribbling/match" (that you can find in competition's players stast)that is too low and weird prove that:
the players that play in the R/L side are favoured much more than the central players, and if this could be normal for att winger, it's absolutely irreal for the lateral defender with poor offensive stats. So in the Match Engine a DR with dribbling, balance, tecnique, decision = 10 makes more dribbling than a TC with the same stats at 17.

I made a test: I created a superstar player TC with 20 in that stats (dribb, tecn, bal, dec, pace, acc etc..) and I put him in MTK ( Hungarian A League) and set his instruction with often 'run whit the ball': in the end of League he was under the top 20 in the "number of dribbling/match" ( dominated by a CS/TS with dribb 12, tecn, 14, paca acc 12/14 etcc. and in the second place: DL/WBL with dribbling 8, tecn 11, pace and acc 13 etc.. - they have a percentage of about 1,69 while my Superstar is at 0,67)...

(and the PPM:"tries tricks" doesn't work in the ME, SI says that, it is only cosmethics)

For the scout system indeed, I think that now it's too easy: you can find several prospective players easily.
The point is that scouting a players in FM08 takes too little time ( about 3 days) while it must take about months for each players: your scout can made a first report after 2/3 matches where you see only the basics stats (like the pace/acc/jump and tec), after other matches you have other stats (like the all tecnichal/physichal stats and the basic mental) and only after 4/5 months you can see all the mental stats.

In the end: there are too much long shot: the striker always made a long shot even if He can run alon in front of goalkeeper.

I hope the ME in 09 will be much better.

sirdez24
19-09-2008, 03:59
Just two quick points...

1) I don't think the problem is a certain country having too many good youth products, the problem is you are able to hoard them far, far too easily. For example, if you take a BSN/BSS team to League 2, you can often raid the under 21s of Bulgaria, Iceland, Finland etc and grab numerous class youngsters willing to join.

2) The 20 to 1 shot is explained well by Ched, however to me the problem is in the 2D. If we are having poor shots, then SHOW them as poor chances. Too often it shows on the 2D as missing straight forward or keepers making impossible ground to save. If I see my striker have an effort from close range or a one on one, I want the match engine to recognise this as a quality chance, not a poor, rushed one that is just misrepresented by the 2D.

shaggy61
23-09-2008, 21:58
Thank you for your good response Shaggy. Let me start by replying to the first part.

I agree that one of the best things in FM is finding that one player that no one else even knew about. However, at this moment, with doing some intensive research, you can find tons of quality players in the game, especially for the lower league teams. You say finding a bargain is fun and I agree with you. But I dislike the fact that you can find tens of bargains and with a little bit of luck, you are able to buy them all. Blowing your whole budget on a superstar is great, I love that. What I donít like is that you can buy a lot of players on the same day and your board wonít interfere, even if it will exceed your max. wage budget big time.
When I am a Conference team, I donít want to be able to buy 20 players like some people (including me sometimes) are doing. My board should see how big my squad is and how good the youth players are. Based on that, the board should show more interference with how many players you are allowed to buy. Same goes for clubs in leagues where there is no work permit. If I want, I could buy 10-15 players from all kind of foreign countries who havenít even heard of the country the club is in. I donít want the game to be total realism but I do think there should be a better way to address this issue.

As for the coaches. I wasnít saying that a lower league coach canít be better than a top division coach. What I was trying to say is that you can buy a coach for each training aspect who is better than your current coach. I find this a bit awkward. So in real life, all the current clubs are doing a very bad job when it comes to coaches because there are so many great ones on the free transfer market, like it is in FM. The first thing when I start a new FM game is seeing if I can get rid of my coaches and buy 5-8 new ones. All my friends are doing the same. Isnít that a bit weird?

I totally agree with your vision about the youth system, how it is in real life. However, I donít think it is the same in FM. FM is and has always been a game in which you have to buy youngsters instead of using them from your own youth. I hope (and I think) that SI will fix that a bit in the upcoming release. If they donít, it would really be a shame. I mean, none of my friends are ever using their own youth simply because their own youth isnít good enough and never will be in most cases. So most people rather choose to buy good youngsters and other players than have the risk of playing with a team who has less quality than possible.

If you donít agree with something Iíve said please let me know. I think the transfer system and the youth system are two aspects of the game which should really improve. I know that the transfer system is going to be redesigned for FM09 but in what way? I think Iíve also heard that the youth system is going to be better but canít be sure though. Let us just pray hahaÖ

Bozza- many thanks for your reply, absolutely agree with the coaches issue having taken Whitby first and now Heybridge on Dafuges challenge the first thing you do is get hold of new coaches and yes they are generally on free transfers, and you build it up from there.

Also agree that you shouldnt be able to be able to buy a team in a day, but in real life that is happening more and more, last year Leeds and this year my team Luton signed 11 players in one day. Admittedly administration was the cause of this, but also in my opinion the game should take this into account more, teams going into administration should be devastated by this as this is the case in real life. Couple of my friends are pro footballers one in the premiership and one gone semi pro in conference south after being top player in conference a couple of seasons ago, he had lots of trials/sessions with lots of clubs this summer, but clubs are unwilling to buy without seeing player first. Thats one thing i would like to see introduced, generally more trials first rather than the scouting the players as you say. Again the budget quota mentioned is a good one, youth team players at conference level should make a significant number of the squad up.

Totally agree with the buying of youngsters as a bigger club you can scoop up the talent, but to be fair in real life this is happening more and more, see Arsenal with Anelka, Pennant, Walcott, Ramsey some make it, some move on, some wont. If you want to look further look at Chelsea trying to buy a youth team from the best talent in the country. It was the point I was trying to make real life isnt necessarily the best thing for the game.

I think we both want the same, the best for FM2009 but both agree unlikely to be perfect, life isnt so unrealistic to expect the game to be.

Marc Vaughan
23-09-2008, 23:58
There's only one thing left to be said: Q.F.T. Bozza
Recently I saw a post by an SI member who said: "Yeah, I too would love to have this feature. Would make the game so much better.....".
Please bear in mind that people at SI are only human and often specialised within a specific area of the game.

For instance I'm probably one of the most 'jack of all trade' people at SI (ie. at some point I've worked on nearly ever aspect of a management sim) - however I presently concentrate on the handheld side of things; as such there are things I'd love to do in the PC game but its not something that I can do presently.

Thus its perfectly reasonable imho for someone to say "I'd love to have feature 'x'" - after all they can only do so much themselves and it'd be much less effective for the company if people kept leaping around trying to learn how to implement different areas rather than specialise in one specific module.

Paul Collyer for instance does amazing things with the FM match engine but would take a lot longer to work in the media interaction module because he'd have to learn about how everything operated internally before he could start making wholesale changes etc.

The game code is over 1,000,000 in size its unfeasible for any one person to know or manage the game imho (its one of the reasons I'm enjoying my work on the PSP game at the moment - its more akin to the CM3 code base back in the days when the game was manageable by a much smaller team).


The reason this is bewildering to me is another comment earlier which said in effect: "We can't do so and so with the database without redesigning everything".
Grow a pair and redesign it then! Its your game, some of you actually claim to be programmers, and I for one will not coddle you with your own excuses of "Its really hard to change this because its so complex". Apparently you get enough of that treatment at the office!
Redesigning everything from the ground up is something which would take in excess of three years to do so - as such its not something which would be done lightly.

As such generally we will target specific areas and plan their evolution as the game moves forward rewriting everything all at once just isn't feasible I'm afraid.

(you might have noted that the transfer system has been revamped largely from the ground up for the forthcoming version of the game for instance)


Horsebollocks. You can do it, but you won't. Don't try to snow me with your 'its difficult to redesign from the ground up', 'its really complicated' stuff. Of course its complicated, its programming, not knitting! I think I should have told my Computer Science professor that I wasn't going to do the senior project in the language of his choice because: "Its too complicated. I don't know that language yet. I'd have to start all over". Wonder how that would have gone over?
Please note I haven't said we can't do it - I'm indicating that it might not be feasible because of timescales/manpower/risk or any number of other reasons.

One of the facets of your computer science course will hopefully be project management, team interaction and risk assessment; these areas should expose you to the complications of undertaking a large scale project like a commercial computer game.

If you want to discuss this further indicating specific areas of the game which you think would be easily changed/rewritten then feel free to, however emailing me (marc.vaughan@sigames.com) might be better rather than posting on the forums (where most people might be rather bemused if things go geeky - which they undoubtably will).

Amaroq
24-09-2008, 02:40
Smac, if you won't buy it from Marc, you might read the following article from Joel On Software, one of my favourite software development authors: Things You Should Never Do, Part I (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html).