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Thread: Is the psychological side now "more" important than players or tactics in FM??

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    Default Is the psychological side now "more" important than players or tactics in FM??

    Asking this question as someone who just cannot find the consistency in my tactic building. Perfect example which has pushed me to finally ask this question has once again happened.

    I beat Man City at home and played some great stuff. They hardly got a shot on goal and I was delighted how things seemed to be clicking within the team. I then go to Anfield and battle to a very respectable 0-0 draw. Could have gone either way but a fair result at the end. I then play at Home to 18th placed Sunderland. 4-1 up at half time after being 1-0 down and it should have been 8 if my strikers could shoot either side of the goalkeeper!! Half Time I tell them to just keep going because when I use "Don't get complacent" they usually look confused or get angry! Suddenly the team that plays so well in the first half can't pass the ball 5 yards whereas Sunderland who couldn't put a pass together in the first half become Barcelona. I muddle through and manage a 5-4 win. The following week I play Man United at home. The League leaders and they are running away with the League. We play great again and despite going one down we have far more posession and get a late deserved equalizer and it finishes 1-1. We then have Championship side Charlton at home in the Quarter Final of the League Cup. My Hammers play some of the best football I have ever seen for the first 20 minutes but again my strikers with good finishing stats just belt the ball at the keeper bar one time when it's a sublime finish. 1-0 up and I look at the match screen and we have had 75% posession with 9 shots on target to nil. Suddenly after 20 minutes the wheels inexplicably come off and Charlton grab one of those famous 44 minute goals. Second half they start on fire again and despite me changing things we are level at 9 shots on target each. Then Steven Fletcher decides to get sent off for a kung fu challenge for the 3rd time this season, second game in a row despite having an aggression stat of 11 and promising to control his temper since I fined him two weeks wages!! So down to 10 men their left back takes a free kick from the half way line which goes in!! 1-2 down and suddenly my lot wake up and batter them but the Referee gives them loads of free kicks and my striker who I can't seem to ask to stop being offside decides to break the "how many times can you be offside in 90 minutes" record! Despite running up my shots on target total to 18 v 9 I run out of time, partially due to their goalkeeper taking all 3 minutes of Injury Time to take a goal kick, and lose 2-1. I have Chelsea away next week so needless to say I will probably win 6-0!!!

    Now this FM for me is littered with this sort of scenario. A team builds confidence with some fine results and then throws it all away. With games literally being a game of two halves at times!! Now some will inevitably say my lot got overconfident or looked to lax in the warm up but that's my point. Have the Team Talks and Press Conferances taken over as the main importance of winning games in FM rather than having good players or fine tactics? I understand that there has to be a balance but footballers are "professionals". Terry Venables got it spot on recently when interviewed about the England Job. He said that as England Manager you should just keep things simple and work on just a few things because the players are professional footballers and "will know what to do". Whereas in FM I am starting to think that you need to treat your players like children and do every mortal thing for them. I just feel that the psychological side now takes up too much importance to result building than things like form, performance and how good your players are.

    Anyone feel the same?

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    It is true that team talks have a great impact on results. Luckily, I've pretty much got them covered into turning everyone's body language bar turn green prior and within the match (at half time.) I don't really notice a dip in form throughout the season - only from individual players.

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    For the nth time, "Don't get complacent" should be used when your team is narrowly beating a much inferior side, not when you are 4-1 up against a good team. Then you should be "pleased / delighted." "Keep going" means that if the continue playing like this, they should get the result. Also weird at 4-1 up. That's why your players get confused.

    I'm not saying that SI makes it easy to know this stuff (they don't and I appreciate the frustration), but it has been common knowledge on the forums for some time.

    Simply put, happy and angry players can play well. Confused players generally don't. Avoid confusing them, and all will be fine.

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    Football has always been a game of balancing tactics with player confidence and moral, i would personally say moral is the most important thing in football. You can have all the tactical skill in the world, but if you cannot motivate your players properly its pointless. Equally you can have very little tactical knowledge but be successful because of your ability to fire up your players.

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    It has more importance, I think, in that it has a higher % of impact on results than other versions.

    But if you think it has more importance on balance than tactics and attributes, no, I don't think so. Not unless you are truly rock-bottom in the morale stakes.

    I have a new save in which I started at Leeds and took over Man City in 2014 (sixth place in February), and Tevez was still a sulky little dog on the transfer list by request. I gave him some games, and he got a hattrick against Walsall in the FA cup, complimented him, and started him the next game out. He scored, and pretty soon his morale was skyrocketing and he scored in nearly every game for the next six matches, came off the transfer list, and was my top scorer by the end of the season in which we finished 2nd to a runaway Man U.

    So yes, morale will play a big part, but getting those tactics right is the way to go first.

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    I agree milnerpoint, but with so few option for the teamtalks and interaction in general it makes it a little boring and frustrating. I've been there when on a good run of form, winning 2-1 away from at half-time against so called 'lesser opposition', so I use don't get complacent and some of my players are angered! Why would this anger them in any situation? I agree we have to use this element in the game, but, in it's form at this point I find it very poor. Too vague, not enough options and can't get your specific points across to your team/players. If it is going to have a big part of the outcome of matches, I want/need more options to interact with!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wwfan View Post
    For the nth time, "Don't get complacent" should be used when your team is narrowly beating a much inferior side, not when you are 4-1 up against a good team. Then you should be "pleased / delighted." "Keep going" means that if the continue playing like this, they should get the result. Also weird at 4-1 up. That's why your players get confused.

    I'm not saying that SI makes it easy to know this stuff (they don't and I appreciate the frustration), but it has been common knowledge on the forums for some time.

    Simply put, happy and angry players can play well. Confused players generally don't. Avoid confusing them, and all will be fine.
    My point is that even when I have said "pleased/delighted" form drops. I don't think I have ever seen my team say 4-1 up at half time go on to win say 7 or 8, it's always another goal tops. I always also get "green" with my team talks, that's what confuses me. Apart from Anderson who seems confused or loses focus no matter what you say to him. Even with all players on green peformances seem to drop. Away at Man Utd, you say "relax" so they relax and you are 3-0 down after 20 minutes. It's very confusing and as has been said not enough options maybe.

    Ok at 4-1 you may well say "you are pleased" but surely you would also say "Your pleased BUT don't get complacent" or "Your pleased BUT keep going, I want more goals". Just "You are pleased" is so vague. Players could think that the job is done with a mere comment like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dolph11 View Post
    I agree milnerpoint, but with so few option for the teamtalks and interaction in general it makes it a little boring and frustrating. I've been there when on a good run of form, winning 2-1 away from at half-time against so called 'lesser opposition', so I use don't get complacent and some of my players are angered! Why would this anger them in any situation? I agree we have to use this element in the game, but, in it's form at this point I find it very poor. Too vague, not enough options and can't get your specific points across to your team/players. If it is going to have a big part of the outcome of matches, I want/need more options to interact with!
    The issue i think people run into is the context of the game, in your example, you have only given half a story, 2-1 against a smaller team, but how did your team play in that first half, were you dominate but conceded a soft goal or a lucky goal, or was your team just plodding along doing what they needed too, or was your team struggling and were lucky to be 2-1 up at half time? Just looking at the opp and the half time score will inevitably result in strange reactions from players from time to time, personally (and im not harping on about how good i am or anything like that) i cant think of any time i have got an adverse reaction from a team talk both before, at half time and full time. I dont really care who i am playing most of the time, its the context of the performance i am interested in, i also do not follow the so called rules of team talks, ill happily use the wish luck talk at home, or encourage team talks at home if i feel they are appropriate to that single game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sussex Hammer View Post
    My point is that even when I have said "pleased/delighted" form drops. I don't think I have ever seen my team say 4-1 up at half time go on to win say 7 or 8, it's always another goal tops. I always also get "green" with my team talks, that's what confuses me. Apart from Anderson who seems confused or loses focus no matter what you say to him. Even with all players on green peformances seem to drop. Away at Man Utd, you say "relax" so they relax and you are 3-0 down after 20 minutes. It's very confusing and as has been said not enough options maybe.

    Ok at 4-1 you may well say "you are pleased" but surely you would also say "Your pleased BUT don't get complacent" or "Your pleased BUT keep going, I want more goals". Just "You are pleased" is so vague. Players could think that the job is done with a mere comment like that.
    How many times do you see teams that are 4 goals up at half time go onto score 7 or 8? Spurs at the weekend were 4-0 in 30 minutes, that game finished 5-0, Rangers were 4-1 up at half time at the weekend, the game finished 4-1. In that situation its very likely your team is playing to the same level they were before half time, just the other team has really upped their game due to getting a roasting. Also green arrows do not mean your going to play well, you will ALWAYS get a green reaction telling your players to relax as its a way of taking all pressure off your players, but that doesnt mean they will play well, its all dependent on the game and context of the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milnerpoint View Post
    How many times do you see teams that are 4 goals up at half time go onto score 7 or 8? Spurs at the weekend were 4-0 in 30 minutes, that game finished 5-0, Rangers were 4-1 up at half time at the weekend, the game finished 4-1. In that situation its very likely your team is playing to the same level they were before half time, just the other team has really upped their game due to getting a roasting. Also green arrows do not mean your going to play well, you will ALWAYS get a green reaction telling your players to relax as its a way of taking all pressure off your players, but that doesnt mean they will play well, its all dependent on the game and context of the game.
    I agree with you with regard to results I was just making a point that it's very difficult to make your side perform as well in the second half than they did in the first. If green also doesn't mean your players will actually perform then maybe team talks to an extent are pointless because it's all so random. It really is a choice in each game and you don't know if you had made the right choice until the game has finished. I just think it's probably a tad harsh that the outcome of a match can "possibly" be determined by a random push of a button.

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    It really is quite random sometimes. It needs more work on it.

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    It does seem to help a lot, but it's nowhere close to the importance of tactics and especially players. No matter how motivated they are they won't beat a team miles ahead of them in skill.

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    Also, regardless of tactics, skill, and motivation, football is still football and needs to be played on the pitch. People need to accept that sometimes there isn't a valid explaination for why you lost a game, it happens, just like real life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sussex Hammer View Post
    I agree with you with regard to results I was just making a point that it's very difficult to make your side perform as well in the second half than they did in the first. If green also doesn't mean your players will actually perform then maybe team talks to an extent are pointless because it's all so random. It really is a choice in each game and you don't know if you had made the right choice until the game has finished. I just think it's probably a tad harsh that the outcome of a match can "possibly" be determined by a random push of a button.
    Teams will by nature slow down after they are 4/5 goals ahead, you very rarely see a team playing flat out for 90 minutes, and like i say if the opp has upped their game it may seem like your team has slowed down when in fact it hasnt.

    You need to stop looking at team talks like a mini game where your looking for the "right" answer. Green arrows do not indicate good performances, again it all depends on the game and more importantly your players!! Telling a highly motivated squad to relax going away to man u is prob not the best option, not if you have a chance to compete. But telling a struggling squad with very little chance of a win can be productive and helpful. There are very few right and wrong choices for team talks as a general rule of thumb, and rightly so, its not a mini game where talk x gives result y. Its more complex than that, and needs to be treated as such. Most of my team talks result with few green arrows, or the occasional red one, i take that as a good thing, i dont need green reactions, i know my team is usually motivated enough without my talks making a huge difference, and occasionally i want to annoy a player to bring a performance out of him.

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    Too much black and white thinking here. What you say at half time does not guarantee you will repeat your first half performance. Team talks are not 'say A, get B' cause and effect, and it is very unlikely any team will produce exactly the same performance 2nd half as they did 1st. There are plenty of reasons for this.

    The first and most important is that there is another team on the pitch that has probably had the proverbial rocket at half time. They will be playing for pride and will up their game. If you do score early anyway, they may collapse, but otherwise they are very likely to do just fine.

    Secondly, a four goal half is very unusual. You can never expect it to happen. In 45 minutes, your team has already scored more goals than a full match averages. Rather than trying to repeat the very unusual, congratulate the team and be happy.

    Thirdly, having such a lead will result in the team slowing things down naturally. There is no need to push and press hard when you are cruising. You can play within yourself and enjoy the match. Personally, I take this kind of opportunity to play a very slow tactic, sub on some youngsters and rest a few legs in preparation for the next game. 4-1 is enough for me. I don't need the team to score 5 of 6 to be happy.

    Reducing how the virtual players perform 2nd half to the choice of team talk you made fails to consider the natural human reactions that the ME/AI is trying to simulate. It is far more complex and sophisticated than that. While it is easier to make things worse by confusing or over-relaxing your players, trying to make a 4-1 half even better is an exercise in futility. 4-1 is already excellent. Take it and play out the game. Don't expect to match or better it, and don't think the team talk you chose is the reason you didn't.
    Last edited by wwfan; 17-02-2012 at 01:57.

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    don't get complacent = one player is angered, i wish this would go away, common sence says that you dont want players to go slack
    and trust me 4-0 at half time is not unusual, but second half ends up drab. which is dont want, i want a nice 8 or 9-0 win like the AI seem to get.

    but the results of a team talk are also random, so i see nothing really there. sometimes you get nothing from players, sometimes you get some greens, doing the same game, same options.
    the away effect is the major problem here. if i completly dominate a team at home, i do not expect the exact reverse away. that is dumb
    Last edited by scott MUFC; 17-02-2012 at 02:54.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scott MUFC View Post
    don't get complacent = one player is angered, i wish this would go away, common sence says that you dont want players to go slack
    Please read what it means post#3, internalise, and use as suggested.


    and trust me 4-0 at half time is not unusual, but second half ends up drab. which is dont want, i want a nice 8 or 9-0 win like the AI seem to get.
    Try to be realistic. Huge wins are rare for everybody, including the AI.


    but the results of a team talk are also random, so i see nothing really there. sometimes you get nothing from players, sometimes you get some greens, doing the same game, same options.
    The context of the match determines the reaction, not the team talk in itself. Again, this has been explained until we are blue in the face.


    the away effect is the major problem here. if i completly dominate a team at home, i do not expect the exact reverse away. that is dumb
    Different match, different conditions, different outcome. Do not expect you can just turn up an win. That's a recipe for disaster at any level of sport.

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    so when i have had to redo teamtalks through crashing and done the exact same options why are differant/less/more players getting motivated?

    try to be realistic? when i see less of fulham winning 8-0 man city,winning away at wigan 5-8, england winning 12-0 holland winning 8-0, i dont expect 4-0 at half time (which i have 6-7 times last season) to make my strikers magically turn into the real life fernando torres.

    i use as suggested, the first time i used it i had a player complaining to press after the game because it was "wrong"


    differant match or not, if i completly dominate a team at home and win by 3 or 4 goals. when i go to thiers i expect a realistic result based on that. not a 4 or 5 nill defeat creating hardly any chances. that is too excessive, i expect it for both sides of the coin, the swings are too much, player quality should be the most important thing, not where to game is. or at least i expect my tactics to be the influance to the result rather it just be "playing away" because going from a team playing fantastic one touch passes and scoring at will, to a team that stands around, not looking for passes, getting tackled instead of making an easy pass, never going forward and conceding 3 or 4, losing is fine, but being completly dominated when top of the league with a team of internationals? no, nothing i do changes that, having all these crashes has showed me this, as i lose a game, change tactics, get into game. crash. try that tactic. play rubbish.
    Last edited by scott MUFC; 17-02-2012 at 03:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scott MUFC View Post
    so when i have had to redo teamtalks through crashing and done the exact same options why are differant/less/more players getting motivated?
    Because the context is different. Every action changes the context. That's kind of the whole point. Player reactions are also not static, but flexible. A player might be relatively likely to get motivated by a certain type of communication, but is not 100% certain to. Sometimes he'll respond positively, sometimes not. However, he won't respond negatively. Bit like people's moods / actions in real life.


    try to be realistic? when i see less of fulham winning 8-0 man city,winning away at wigan 5-8, england winning 12-0 holland winning 8-0, i dont expect 4-0 at half time (which i have 6-7 times last season) to make my strikers magically turn into the real life fernando torres.
    So you want freak results to become commonplace?


    i use as suggested, the first time i used it i had a player complaining to press after the game because it was "wrong"
    What, exactly, was the context?


    differant match or not, if i completly dominate a team at home and win by 3 or 4 goals. when i go to thiers i expect a realistic result based on that. not a 4 or 5 nill defeat creating hardly any chances. that is too excessive, i expect it for both sides of the coin, the swings are too much, player quality should be the most important thing, not where to game is.
    If that is happening it is your fault for not preparing properly. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

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    prepare? what does preperation have to do with it? full 100% players, tactics are well trained and oiled. i used FOUR differant ones. and i was barly conceding goals all season, so it is dumb.
    i won the title in a fluke manner because the top teams were losing or drawing games away,and was there after i blitzed my first half of the season because of all the home games i had in that period, and the odd freak away win.
    no i do not expect freak results to happen so often, but i never get any bar my 6-2 win against fulham, but they are TOO common for AI, it isn't hard to want a bite of the cherry, like the free kicks. i expect more then 1 direct free kick to go in a season.

    the context was, we were 1-0 up against a hard team, and i didn't want to throw it away. then lost 2-1
    Last edited by scott MUFC; 17-02-2012 at 03:34.

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    When i'm winning by a lot of goals to a side i'm supposed to beat i always use the "things are going well but i now you are capable of doing even better" on a calm tone and it works for me.

    Also after beating someone that you are expected to beat while on a winning streak, using the calm tone is also good to avoid complacency, on FM11 i used to not say anything but this seems to annoy players a lot of times so i generally just say on a calm tone "i'm happy with that performance" or "a good win boys, well done" if it was a good away win, haven't got any complacency issues this way but my squad right now is highly professional anyway so it might not be related.

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    ok example.
    just got a cup game away at everton which proves the point
    results
    0-4
    0-4
    1-3
    2-6
    0-2

    so seasons top scorers can now not score a single goal? and 2nd best defence is leaky? no this is a full strength side with players at 100%

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    Quote Originally Posted by scott MUFC View Post
    prepare? what does preperation have to do with it? full 100% players, tactics are well trained and oiled. i used FOUR differant ones. and i was barly conceding goals all season, so it is dumb.
    i won the title in a fluke manner because the top teams were losing or drawing games away,and was there after i blitzed my first half of the season because of all the home games i had in that period, and the odd freak away win.
    no i do not expect freak results to happen so often, but i never get any bar my 6-2 win against fulham, but they are TOO common for AI, it isn't hard to want a bite of the cherry, like the free kicks. i expect more then 1 direct free kick to go in a season.

    the context was, we were 1-0 up against a hard team, and i didn't want to throw it away. then lost 2-1
    1: Again, if you can't see the problem with the phrase 'prepare? what does preparation have to do with it?', then I really can't help you.

    2: So, you win consistently at home and sometimes away. And that differs from reality exactly how?

    3: Please provide one example of an AI team consistently winning lots of matches by big scorelines. You have one big win. Thus far, you have provided four examples of different AI managed teams having one freak result. Unless you have an example of a single AI team winning multiple matches (5 plus during a league season) by freakish scorelines, then there is no issue at all here.

    4: So, you were doing well against a tough team. You should have praised, not warned. As made clear in post #3.

    ok example.
    just got a cup game away at everton which proves the point
    results
    0-4
    0-4
    1-3
    2-6
    0-2

    so seasons top scorers can now not score a single goal? and 2nd best defence is leaky? no this is a full strength side with players at 100%
    I can guarantee you that many forum members would win this game first time if you uploaded, simply by preparing for the match logically. The reason you are losing is you, your tactics and your motivational strategy. If you have the best players, then you are doing something fundamentally badly to be experiencing these kind of scorelines.
    Last edited by wwfan; 17-02-2012 at 04:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wwfan View Post
    3: Please provide one example of an AI team consistently winning lots of matches by big scorelines. You have one big win. Thus far, you have provided four examples of different AI managed teams having one freak result. Unless you have an example of a single AI team winning multiple matches (5 plus during a league season) by freakish scorelines, then there is no issue at all here.
    I can help with number 3

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    Quote Originally Posted by poola21 View Post
    I can help with number 3
    No you can't. This is Barcelona, arguably the best team in the world, winning three matches by big scorelines (6-0 or better). One against Levante, one against Stabaek and one against Real Union. Bar Levante, who probably should have played better, how is this unexpected or excessive?

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    most of the time i let my assistant do the talks

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    Must confess I have let my Assistant do them in recent (game) weeks. He "always" uses "Let's give the fans something to cheer" at the start of a match and I have never seen any real reaction from the players. Maybe you will het one who is motivated but that's it, one! The one that gets the bad reaction at the end of a game is if he says "Nothing to say" after you have narrowly won against a team you should be beating and that gets a few reds which I in turn try and change individualy which makes them confused, probably because he has said one thing and I have said another. I have also been amused when your assistant says "great win lads" and your striker who scored a hat trick shows nothing at all. So you say "well done" or something to that effect and he still shows no emotion. It really can get confusing on what you should say.

    Individual talks through the interaction are also quite bizarre. I had one player who was playing awfully. Ratings on 5 or so for three games on the bounce so I called him in and said basically in a calm tone that if he wanted to stay in the team he would have to up his performances. He suggested I was harsh and thought he had played quite well and left in a huff. Wish I had just left it now!!!! It's just so random that seems to be the problem.

    However, if they get talks 100% right I would love an option to tell your player why you are substituting him. It's rare now that I get a player getting the huff that I have replaced him but I do wonder if there is a hidden morale thing going on if you do sub them. For instance something like :

    My player may have got a hat-trick so I may want to say "I wanted you to take the applause from the crowd for your performance",
    Player may be on a yellow card in a game you are narrowly winning - "Wanted to protect you from a second yellow".
    Player may be tired - "Need you fresh for the weekend"
    Game is won - "Need you fresh and want to give Under 18 striker some experience".

    That sort of thing but NOT until they are 100%.

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    It's good that SI perputuate the worldview that footballers are all thick by suggesting that a comment at half-time that confuses them (and whether it should or not is debatable in many scenarios) means that they are so distraught that they can no longer play football properly.

    This thread - and some of the responses in it - add to the confusion around the whole player interaction model, however. Was it PaulC or Neil that have said (on more than one occasion) that the effect on morale/performance from team talks doesn't impact the ME that much, and yet so many people on the forums do believe it is a big reason that they may win or lose.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperMeppen View Post
    This thread - and some of the responses in it - add to the confusion around the whole player interaction model, however. Was it PaulC or Neil that have said (on more than one occasion) that the effect on morale/performance from team talks doesn't impact the ME that much, and yet so many people on the forums do believe it is a big reason that they may win or lose.
    Thats mostly because imo people would rather look to blame the game than themselves when they lose. Its easy to just point at team talks and claim they made all the difference, its much more work to pull apart your tactics or players to find where you actually went wrong.

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    The psychological aspect - if you get it wrong - will have only the slightest impact on player's decision making. However, that might, all other things being equal, be enough to tip the balance against you in any even game.
    However, if you're an experienced and careful manager - you won't get it wrong. So don't. Follow wwfan's advice in the third post. You won't be able to motivate every player for every game - not even Sir Alex Ferguson can do that - but you will avoid making any serious mistakes. And there you go, now you can focus on your tactics and selections.

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