The "woodwork" is unrealistic and appears to be a rubberband mechanism
In the 2010 Premier League season, Liverpool earned the dubious honor of hitting the woodwork more than any other team. They hit it 20 times during the EPL season, averaging a frustrating 0.53 shots against the woodwork per game. In the current season of La Liga, Sevilla holds the honor with an average of 0.52 per match and Real Madrid closely following with 0.48.
Football Managers could only dream of being so lucky.
I'm currently in mid-November of my new Tottenham save. I've hit the woodwork 10 times for an average of 0.77 shots against the woodwork per game.
Incredibly, in the last four games after I reached the top of the EPL table I've hit the woodwork 7 times for an average of no less than 1.42 shots against the woodwork per game.
By comparison, second-place Arsenal (who play a style and formation similar to my own) have only hit the woodwork twice so far this season for a more realistic 0.15 woodwork shots per game.
Now, this could just be bad luck, but I find this happens in virtually every save, regardless of the tactical style I adopt and the shooting style of my strikers.
The basic statistics alone tell me that the number of shots that hit the woodwork in FM11 is unrealistically high, but the fact that the number tends to increase after a team has had a successful run of games suggests that it's used to "tamp down" player performance.
This is also unrealistic. Chelsea, despite their first place showing in 2010, did not experience a higher number of shots hitting the woodwork in the Premier League as a result nor have Man Utd experienced a similar phenomenon despite their strong recent form and comfortable place atop the table.
I understand the need for mechanisms to make the game challenging and ensure relatively realistic table results, but SI should aspire to make these as invisible and statistically realistic as possible.
As well as placing shots, are you using left or right footed players on the left/right of your attack? I'd imagine that a left sided right footer (and vice versa) is more likely to hit the near post or curl it to the far post. Either option is more likely to result in a post and out than an across-goal shot to the far post, which will tend to result in post-and-in if it hits the post, and thus won't count in your statistics?