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Thread: Those Games you Should Win...

  1. #1
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    Default Those Games you Should Win...

    (this is horrendously long, but if it helps someone, then it's gotta be worth it)

    ... but just don't.

    We all know the situation. We're the big team going up against the little insignificant club, yet your players transpire to lose the game. It could be an all round bad performance that sees you beaten 2 or maybe 3-0. It might just be a bad day for your strikers, and you're undone by a sucker punch in the last minute.

    Inevitably, some people end up on these forums complaining that the game is fixed, that it would be impossible to win this seemingly easy fixture. Joining the conspiracy, you're instantly flamed, and shot down by the GD regulars. You'll almost certainly be told "It's your tactics", with no-one paying heed to the fact that Port Vale just scored twice against you in the 90th minute. There must be something more to this!

    Well, yes. But it is all about your management. I don't know how the coding of the game works. I probably don't play as in-depth as some FM players. I let my assistant take control of opposition instructions. I never watch my reserves or U-18's. However, I do seem to have a knack of seeing out games.

    On FM10, I struggled to overcome smaller teams with an all-powerful squad. Whenever I was up against a little team, complacency would set in, and we'd drop points. However, some players didn't seem phased about playing the littler clubs. They thrived against any opponent.

    Fast forward to FM11, and I have tried to find players who fit into this mould. Players with a high workrate, so they will not rest no matter who the opposition is. Players with a high determination, who want to win every game. Players with a high concentration, who won't fluff up in the final few minutes. Youngsters and fringe players who know they must put in a good performance to earn a starting spot. Most importantly, players who list your team as a favoured club are a must. Not only do they play well, they almost never want to leave, and will generally play long into their 30's. Someone playing because they want your club to do well is worth 10 money-grabbing mercenaries.



    Each situation is different, but in all of the screenshots I use here, I am managing Middlesbrough. I am a top-half Premier League side, and in general, my opponents will be relegation battlers who I should be beating. Sometimes it clicks, and you win 3-0. You don't need help when that happens, but when it seems a potential upset is on the cards, I hope this advice helps you.



    The longer a game goes on with nobody scoring, the more likely it is that your opponents will nick a late goal against you. You can't just sit watching this happen, you must pro-actively look to undo your opponents. The pressure is on the bigger side to produce that spark of magic that will be the difference. If you're playing control, play attacking. Push higher up. Work the ball into the box. Pump it into the box. Get the ball forward. Take more risks. Overload! These are the kinds of things you should be looking to do. With an hour on the clock, if it is still 0-0, I will try to force the game. I'll make changes, both in tactics and personnel.



    Have players who want the club to do well. Both Mancienne and Sanogo list Middlesbrough as favoured clubs, and their determination is a key attribute to why they will never give up on a game. If you're left wondering why your squad full of Brazillian, French, Italian and Spanish imports earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a week aren't winning on a wet afternoon at Blackburn, you clearly haven't given it enough thought. My squad has 8 players from the Middlesbrough academy, and a further 11 who have trained in England. There are only three foreigners. They understand the game, and most support Middlesbrough.



    So, despite your warning against complacency, your players have become just that. Here, I switched to a more defensive formation at 2-1, but to no avail. However, you must always respond to your opponents actions. Clearly, I didn't close the door at 2-0, and allowed them into it. Against incessant attacks, we let them back in. Predict what they will do next! I guessed that having been 2-0 down with 5 minutes to go, Bolton would probably be happy to sit back and take an unfancied point. I threw absolutely everything I had at them for the remainder of the game, safe in the knowledge that if they got the ball, the first thing they were likely to do was hammer it towards my defence where we could deal with it. It paid dividends.

    If you're defending that narrow lead, don't keep doing what you're doing. Your opponents will be throwing everything, so you need to respond by becoming more defensive. Play narrower. Hassle your opponents. Change it so that they're not able to just throw themselves at your goal.

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    Sometimes, your strikers have a bad day. Deal with it. Throw more players forward. Create more chances. Someone will find a way through eventually.



    Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your players will become complacent. Some of them just won't care. It might be because it's the last game of the season, or it might be because you've raised them so high on a pedestal that they don't see how they can do wrong. I am constantly looking at my players motivation, and if players look complacent, I make a note to challenge them. Take them off if you need to, as early as you like. Put on someone with something to prove, someone who wants to make a point. Drop them for the next game, just remind them that they need to put in stronger performances. Don't congratulate them on scraping past the side bottom of the league 1-0, tell them you're disappointed.



    While I know plenty of FM-er's here who do this already, be prepared to trust the kids. They often have more to prove, and will be motivated for the entire game. Obviously, if they're short on form and confidence, then you want to keep them out of the limelight, but if they're lighting up the reserve league, give them a chance. Of the four strikers at my club, three of them are under 21. My attacking midfielder has been playing in the first team since he was 17. My goalkeeper is 19, and starts every match looking motivated. The old adage might well be that "you'll win nothing with kids", but they'll certainly give it a go.



    After the result, no matter what it is, remember that much of it is down to luck. It may go against you as important players go off injured, but may come back to help you as Paul Robinson scores a last minute own goal.

    So, fellows from GD, what other advice can we give to those unfortunate souls who are convinced that the game is somehow cheating them?

  3. #3
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    Fantastic post, sums up exactly what I love about Football Manager. A great help to those who don't quite understand where they might be going wrong. Great post.

  4. #4
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    Glad to see you doing well with the boro. Pretty difficult to do!

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    You need Sanogo hey?

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    sanogo is a beast for you lol ...maybe your post is why your suceeding or maybe its just this guy x

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    He hasn't actually ever been my top scorer. It's just he scores goals late for some reason - I think it must be his pace and height. Easy target to lump balls towards.

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    You raise some good points there.

    Sometimes your tactics end up useless you are not effective enough with your man management.

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    ill be trying this in my current game! often lose stupid goals late on in games to lower rep teams! ill get back to u about how i do

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    Another point to add - in the last few minutes, I'll often bring on Hargreaves. He's an experienced defensive midfielder who loves the club, and can generally steady the ship and secure a boring finish to a game. Central defence is the one place where I avoid using kids where possible.

  11. #11
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    Epic post right there. Really good. Most people just look at stats and say Oh shiny stats a good player and buy him. It's not like that, people should pay more attention to the stats.

  12. #12
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    lovely post, can't stand people moaning about losing "easy" games

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmi88 View Post
    lovely post, can't stand people moaning about losing "easy" games
    or calling the game "scripted"

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    Soo sign Yaya Sanogo is the general drift of this thread yeah?

    A player with 8 concentration and 7 work rate

    But a nice post anyhow

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint_Lane View Post
    Soo sign Yaya Sanogo is the general drift of this thread yeah?

    A player with 8 concentration and 7 work rate

    But a nice post anyhow
    They're actually half decent on mine. I don't have FM open now, but I think its about 13 workrate. Not sure on concentration. He does have the physical and technical ability, and I'm putting it partly down to him listing Middlesbrough as a favourite club that gives his stats a boost.

    *While the screenshots are kind of related, I had a couple of choices for some situations. I uploaded about 15, and picked 8 from them. Having looked at the other 7, Sanogo wasn't scoring all the goals in them. Just, you know, in hindsight, I should've probably picked them.
    Last edited by tom_numbers; 27-02-2011 at 05:13.

  16. #16
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    Top quality post. Love it great advice in here.

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    Quality, very true and that's why football manager is great once you know what to do.

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    Fantastic post. Would you mind re-posting it in the tactics forum too? It's more likely to be "preserved" there, even if it doesn't meet as large an audience immediately. If you don't have the time, I could move this thread for you.

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    This is a brilliant thread. People always moan about opponents always scoring late winners against them but need reminding it can work in their favour.

    to the OP, you offer good advice about players, favoured clubs and youth etc and I'm gonna have to look for these things more often - try turning them draws into scrappy wins.

  20. #20
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    Thumbs up

    Great post. All people saying the game cheats must read this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCIAG View Post
    Fantastic post. Would you mind re-posting it in the tactics forum too? It's more likely to be "preserved" there, even if it doesn't meet as large an audience immediately. If you don't have the time, I could move this thread for you.
    I'll get on it this week. I'll have a bit of a tinker with it first though.

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    Some of us are not actually saying the game cheats, we're just saying the computer AI managers players are more likely to play at their best when they play the human, especially in the first few seasons & if you don't improve your profile things get tougher.

    Example: When you play against Asene Venger, you're actually playing against Asene Venger, it's Asene Venger's profile against your profile & his players are way more likely to get the results (on top of his tactics etc) because his status has more influence

    Part of the challenge is to go on to match the best managers in the game

  23. #23
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    Azuru, the points you raise aren't particularly valid.

    When you begin a game, you're given the opportunity to choose your past experience, Sunday League, Semi Pro, Pro, or International. This will determine how much influence you have over your players. If you choose International, and manage a Premier League team, the players will listen to you. They will consider you to have been one of the best players in the World, and will give you their fullest attention when you're telling them what to do. They will be determined to succeed underneath you, because they have total faith that you can improve them as players, and help them to win medals. If you do this with Manchester United, they will give you as much respect as they do to Fergie.

    If you change the tactics, then obviously, they won't play as well. They're used to a certain system under Ferguson, and if you suddenly try to teach them 3-5-2, then their performances will suffer. This isn't because they don't yet have respect for you, it's because they don't yet know the system.

    If you set your experience to Sunday League and took over Manchester United, you would find the game very difficult. A number of players wouldn't respect you, because you're a nobody. Their achievements already eclipse yours, so they don't see what you can possibly teach them that they don't already know.

    I took over a Championship side with semi-pro experience. About 80% of the squad respected me, and worked hard. The remainder were complacent, uninterested, and a general waste of space on the pitch. I either had to convince them over the course of a couple of seasons that I was a good manager, or move them on and bring in someone who did respect me.

    Azuru, when you are failing to beat Arsenal, what is your past experience?

  24. #24
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    Admit it, this is just a 'Yaya Sanogo is the best player in the world' thread isn't it?

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    These are you managerial attributes. None of these affect how well your players play.

    The things that affect performances are the tactics you use, how effectively you man manage your team (both during a match and between matches), the type of players that you choose to sign and play.

    All of these things tom has done very well and this thread is an example of how to get things right no matter what season you are in.

    In fact the decisions you make affect what your attributes look like.

    One last thing....the player manager does not have attributes like the AI managers have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcftm View Post
    Admit it, this is just a 'Yaya Sanogo is the best player in the world' thread isn't it?
    That depends on if you agree or not

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcftm View Post
    Admit it, this is just a 'Yaya Sanogo is the best player in the world' thread isn't it?
    He winds me up something rotten tbh. I should point out that my other strikers are 20, 18, and 16 years old, so it's only natural that the 24 year old is the most well-rounded of the lot. He still goes on rotten runs of bad form.

    In his first season, it took him 2 months to score his first goal, then he got three hat-tricks in three games, then went off form for the rest of the season, finishing with 11 goals in 30 games.

    I thought Mancienne came across far better.

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