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Thread: Brand new to FM, several game and football questions.

  1. #1
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    Well, finally took the plunge and bought the latest version after years of justifying not buying it due to my lack of football knowledge. I did play the heck out of an old DOS game called one-nil (which gave me my strange affinity to Hartlepool <G&gt, which, besides watching the odd game on TV, is pretty much my entire knowledge of the sport but I've lurked on the boards for years.

    I'm friendly with Amaroq from the forums through another game and while I will be pestering him with most of my obvious questions, i'll give him a break here!

    Sorry in advance if some of these are obvious questions and if they've already been answered several times.

    1. On the game pitch screen, between the players benches is a circle with a "p" in it, I can find no reference to this or to the 2 circled "+"s on the top right of the same screen

    2.Subbing. I understand in regular league games, subbing is done much closer to the end of a game, but how is it usually done in friendlies? do you put your first team on for most of the game, or do you pull em at around the half and let the backups and younger players get some experience?

    3. injury time. I understand the concept, but in the game it will say 3 minutes of injury time, but the clock will run to 4min 20 sec of injury time? (follow up football question: is the whistle blown at the end of the (in this case) 3 minutes of injury time, no matte what the situation?)

    4. Can anyone recommend a good, easy to find book to help me get a better grip on positions and what their functions are? I have a basic grasp, but it's the intricacies and what's expected from some positions that throw me. For instance, is a fullback simply someone on the back line?

    5. Until the patch is in, can anyone recommend an easier team to play to start out with, the get a better idea of both FM and football?

    Thanks in advance, my wife already hates this game!

  2. #2
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    Welcome to Football manager!

    1) The (P) is either your physio or the opposing teams physio. I think they only do something when one of your players has a light injury and go over to your physio for treatment. The (+) are medics, and run onto the pitch when a player needs to be carried off.

    2) Thats up to you. Sometimes in pre-season friendlies it's best to play your first 11 to make sure they're match fit, whilst sometimes you just want to play as many people as possible to get more people fitter. Or maybe you want to treat it as a serious game and tweak your formation and tactics. The choice is all yours

    3) Injury time is worked out by adding the time the referee stops the clock for. If the ball goes out for say a throw in or corner, play will be resumed very quicky so the clock doesn't get stopped off. However, if some sort of delay occurs (whether it be a few heated words or kicking the ball away) the clock is stopped. Thats how the time added on is worked out.

    So, if 3 minutes are added, AT LEAST 3 minutes stoppage time will be played. The final whistle will sound when the time added on has finished, and neither team is on the attach. The extra 1 minute 20 secs would have came from a team keeping an attack going beyond the 3 minutes

    4) There are many different 'terms' for each position. The easiest way to learn this would just be to sit down and watch Match of the Day or Sky Sports News. A quick overview though of different names for positions:

    Goalkeeper - Goalie, GK, Keeper

    Defenders
    Full back - A defender who plays on either the far left or far right side
    Centre back - A defender who plays in the centre of the pitch
    Sweeper - A player who plays behind the defenders, and clears away any loose balls
    Wing Back - Like a full back, but this player is expected to play up and down the entire length of the pitch

    Midfielder
    Defensive Mid - Plays behind the midfield line, but infront of the defence
    Attack Mid - Plays infront of the midfield line, but behind the strikers
    Wingers - Midfielders who play on either the left or right, usually going down the line and crossing the ball

    Strikers - Attackers, Centre Forward

    5. Any team with loads of money and great players would be my guess. Chelsea?

    Hope that helped

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    Firstly, welcome to the game and the scene, you've chosen the best game on the market in its category

    1. The "P" is a physio, he will come on when injuries occur, other than that he's of no use to you. haha

    The ones with the "+" are medics who would stretcher off a player if he's seriously injured. Again, thats all they're used for.


    2. You are allowed to sub whenever you want, each manager to his own. In friendlies you have a lot more subs and you can use a lot more of them in game. Friendlies are effectively test matches, so I personally change quite a few subs to try things out.



    3. The extra injury time eg : 4.20 in the 3 minute means that the 3 minute is only technically a guideline, the ref can keep it going for longer for whatever stoppages happen within injury time itself.



    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soccer this may help?



    5. I would recommend one of the bigger sides in the English Premier Leauge. Manchester United are my personal favourite, have lots of good players and decent young ones. Should give you an easy enough challenge

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    Thank you both very much for the prompt replies! Extremely helpful and I should have thought of a wikipedia! I'd still like to grab a good book as well, let's just say the desktop doesn't quite reach the room where I do my best reading!

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    Have a look here, pretty basic site but maybe of some help. It would be hard to recommend a good book because most of us on here grow up knowing the game. Maybe try one of the "for dummies" books. Dummies.com

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    There's some good stuff on the game in here

    http://community.sigames.com/eve/for...7/m/1632017743

    Any other questions just post in this thread and someone will help if they can. Or alternatively get out while you still have your sanity (and a healthy marriage)

    Also a good tip for figuring out attributes for positions is to use the player search and then arrange by value. This should give you a list of the top well known players in the different positions.

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    Welcome! I was in your boat a few years ago and just keep asking questions and keep playing. Also, I bought Soccer for Dummies and it has the basics in there.

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    Elan!

    Makes my day that you've finally taken the plunge!!

    I'd actually love some good books on football tactics and strategy - something a step above the "Dummies" books, maybe going through the history and evolution of formations, etc. All we get here in the States is aimed at providing parent-coaches with "drills" for youth rec-league practices.

    Regarding your questions, I think you've got answers for most of 'em:

    2) For the first friendlies, I play 45 minutes, sub out eleven players, and have the "second team" play the second half. Then I play them longer and longer as the preseason wears on, closing up with a final friendly about 10 days before the first "real" match in which I play almost every starter for 90 minutes.

    4) Yikes. What is each position responsible for? Woof.

    GK - Goalie - Uses his hands to keep the ball out of the net.

    SW - Sweeper - Tends to be a central defender given a lot of freedom to roam around the back line, wherever he thinks he's needed. Not much used in modern formations, was very popular ten to twenty years ago, I think. I haven't used one in FM.

    DC - Central defender - Typically tall strong players, who can muscle an opponent off the ball and win aerial crosses. Would tend to "man mark" the opposition strikers. Should "stay back" even when the team is attacking, though many managers send them forward on corner kicks.

    DL/DR - Fullback - The "wide" defender. Typically a bit faster and shorter than the central defender. Tends to "man mark" the opposition wingers. Might or might not be given the freedom to get forward into the attack.

    WBL/WBR - Wingback - Used in place of a fullback, and man-marks the opposition wingers.. but is expected to get forward and into attack much more. Attacks like a winger, defends like a fullback; therefore needs a ton of stamina.

    DM - Defensive midfielder - I've been using this a lot in my games; its a midfielder who sits in front of my central defenders. He's a double threat - to intercept low passes for the opposition strikers, or to "close down" any opposition midfielder. Sometimes ranges sideline to sideline to break up attacks - but the fact that he's doing so means my defense can "hold their shape", and be better positioned for opposition attackers.

    MC - Central Midfielder - Depending on your instructions to him, he's most likely a "box to box" midfielder, meaning he'll range from your eighteen to your opponent's eighteen. Ideally a hard working (Work Rate) player with plenty of stamina, responsible for both attack and defense. Two good central midfielders and you can really dominate a lower division!

    ML/MR/AML/AMR - Wingers - By attacking the flanks, they either get one-on-one treatment with the opposition fullbacks, or they drag somebody else out of the middle. Typically very fast, good dribblers, who can cross the ball very well. Like an MC, though, a true winger is expected to track back and contribute in defense.

    AMC - Attacking Midfielder - Typically the Creative playmaker whose brilliant Passing will rip apart the opposition defense, making chances for his teammates.. and ideally, one who can score Long Shots if nobody closes him down. Probably not expected to play too much defense.

    FL/FR - Forward - Wide attackers, who will attack somewhat like a winger, but will also need to be able to cut inside and shoot. Not expected to track back in defense.

    SC - Striker - Striker. Finishing. The man who bangs the ball into the back of the net, by hook or by crook. There's plenty of different ways to do it: the tall Target Man who scores plenty of goals on headers, the short speedster with blistering Pace, the artiste whose breathtaking Technique and Flair astounds and confounds defenders, and the goal-poacher who just hangs out in the box looking for rebounds.

    If you imagine your attack looking something like this:

    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre"> DL AML
    DC MC SC
    GK
    DC MC SC
    DR AMR</pre>
    You can see how almost every player has three options in relatively close proximity to him: the DC has the other DC, the DL, and the MC... the MC has a DL, an AML, and the other MC... the AML has the SC, an MC, and the backpass to his DL...

    A typical attack might build up as follows: GK to DC(r) to DR to MC(r) to MC(l) to AML to SC(l) to SC(r) - shoot, score! .. but you can see on the little map that none of those passes had to be too long. That's not to say the DR didn't think about hoofing a long ball for the SC(r) to run onto...

    If you're trying to design your own formation from scratch, that's the sort of thing you want to remember: keep people providing options for each other!

    Look how the "diamond" midfield provides its natural linkages:

    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">
    DL ML
    DC SC
    GK DMC AMC
    DC SC
    DR MR</pre>

    5. I'd recommend starting with Ajax (Holland). The expectations will be very high, but in the Dutch divisions you should be able to stay in the top three pretty easily, while also getting a real challenge in the Champions League encounters. Plus they have such brilliant attackers that its always fun to watch them play. Man-U is also a good place for beginners, and their debt structure will teach you to watch your finances, which is good practice for lower leagues.

  9. #9
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    Okay, the rest of these lads can tell you that's probably more smilies than I've used the whole rest of my posting career.

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    Thank you gents and amaroq!

    Thanks to my old one-nil game (still have the darn 5 1/4 diskette, can't bear to part with it!) I have a basic understanding of formations (who plays where, not strengths and weaknesses).

    I did print out some of amaroq's posts, the FM07 hints and tips, and rashidi's tactical bible and have read them all through more than once and am muddling my way through Amaroq's rusty blade story for the second time.

    As for the healthy marriage, it's way too late for that, between Eastside Hockey Manager, Front Office (american) Football, Diamond Mind Baseball and Puresim Baseball and now FM... let's just say that when my wife tells my 5 year old to go see daddy, first stop is at the computer Luckily my wife is understanding enough to tolerate my sports gaming, besides procrastination and general laziness, it's my one real vice!

    Thanks again, for both putting up with the really basic questions and for taking the time to help! Expect many many more, but now it's time to turn on the world series and start a new short term fm career!

  11. #11
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    Just another massive thank you for the talkfootball.co.uk link!
    and one more small question about statistics? just to get a ballpark baseline.

    What would be considered (for a team) a lot of shots? an avg amt of shot? I understand it will depend on the formation, styles of play etc, but just average it all out?

    goals/assists for individuals? what would a high end or a good season be? a historical type season?

    Finally, for team passing, what is a good range to be in, 75%+?

    It's hard to try to evaluate a team with no basis for what's considered good, bad or average!

    Thanks again!

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    I'd say something that would really help you to into the game quicker would be to take a little more interest in real life football, get an RSS feed from somewhere like skysports.com or something and just read up on some of the goings on and watch some videos - even things like post match analysis (if they are online somewhere) will help you out as comments are made about how and why a player is doing well or poorly in their position, discussions on manager decisions and questioning them, where teams are strong and weak and why - which is all knowledge you can take into the game. FM is trying to be a simulation of real life, so the more you understand about the real life world of football, the easier the game is to pick up and play in my opinion.

    Naturally there are some things in games you won't find being discussed in this sort of thing, such as training and manager/player interaction for example - but...

    I'm friendly with Amaroq from the forums through another game and while I will be pestering him with most of my obvious questions, i'll give him a break here!
    ...you have a good and very helpful mentor there (and a rather obsessive one) that I am sure will point you in the right direction - and it won't be long before you're creating complex tactics, telling everyone to use notes in game, suggestiong possible improvements to SI and starting a one man campaign to get everyone writing in FM Stories

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    Um, I tend to see shots range from 1 to 20+ for a single match; I always feel like I'm doing well if I've gotten 10 or more, maybe 6 or more "on target", and frustrated if we've taken 6 or fewer shots in a game.

    Goals for individuals is typically measured as "goals per game", and 1 goal every 2 games is phenomenal for a striker at the highest levels. At lower levels you may see a dominant player bang in a goal a game, but he really belongs further up the ladder. 1 goal every 3 is more likely. 20+ will be a very good season, equivalent to say 40 home runs.

    Team passing.. not sure, and does vary a lot by level (as higher quality players are much more likely to string three passes together in succession). I'm typically looking for "more than my opposition".

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    LMAO @ paulsgruff.

    Wha', who, ME?

    **best innocent grin**

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    Originally posted by Amaroq:
    Elan!
    curses! so much for traveling incognito!

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    paulsgruff,

    Actually, thanks to DV, I've got 2 24 hour football (see, I'm not barbaric enough to call it soccer here! <G>, now if only I can slip in a "whilst" here and there, I'll be mistaken for a wily vet!) channels that I've been watching more and more. The problem I find is that most broadcasts and announcers take for granted that most of the intricacies are common knowledge. True enough most places, just not for us heathen colonials!

    I like your idea for post match analysis alot, although I'd have to try to find one for a game that I can watch.

    Just like other sports, you get a totally different picture of a game when you're there as opposed to on TV, since on TV they tend to follow the ball, but when you're there you can pay close attention to the big picture and pick a position to watch and see how they react to different situations.

    That'll be the hardest part for me, I believe, picking up the intricacies of the game. The big strategy should be relatively easy, and I'll also have to get into the proper frame of mind, coming from an ice hockey background, with a smaller surface, much more offense and unlimited substitutions. Oh, and a lot more ice!

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by sposfan:
    Just another massive thank you for the talkfootball.co.uk link!
    and one more small question about statistics? just to get a ballpark baseline.

    What would be considered (for a team) a lot of shots? an avg amt of shot? I understand it will depend on the formation, styles of play etc, but just average it all out?

    goals/assists for individuals? what would a high end or a good season be? a historical type season?

    Finally, for team passing, what is a good range to be in, 75%+?

    It's hard to try to evaluate a team with no basis for what's considered good, bad or average!

    Thanks again!
    Hello sposfan,

    When it comes to shots it depends not the number but the quality. You can generate 20 shots on goal, but if these are from distance and are 'long shots' then its a desperate attempt and a sure sign that you are not getting penetration. Ideally you want to be looking at goals/shots on target. This is a better measure. Try and keep the ratio as low as possible and you will know that you are doing well. 70-80% is a good target to aim for and it means you are very dangerous. Total shots in my opinion is not a good measure

    Another thing you want to be looking at is Action Zones, these are graphical representations of possession by pitch area. The pitch is divided into 3 boxes, defense, midfield and offense. When you have high possession % as depicted in your match stats screen you will want to refer to Action Zones to see where these are predominantly occurring in. I have seen people get as high as 60% possession, but they don't score. When they look at the Action Zones they discover their possession is mainly in defense and midfield. The goal here is to try and be good overall or to dominate midfield outright and offense. There is more in the sticky in the tactics forum that should really help you its called the FAQ.

    When it comes to goals and assists, it really depends on the kind of formation you have. If you know you want to create a tactic which is dependant on goals coming from the flanks then you want good assists from the wingers. This will be the first sign that your tactic is coming together. I personally like tactics to have 3 main ways of scoring. Through the flanks, from midfield and from set-pieces. So I generally aim to get good assists in all areas. Depending on the level you play, 20 goals a season from a striker is a must if you want to be considered a contender.

    For team passing, it all depends on your style of play. A counter attacking formation generates lower passing percentages then a slow probing formation. You need to decide on what kind of formations you want to have and then you should use passing % to see how close to the mark you are:

    In general:

    Slow passing probing possession : 80% passing
    Counterattacking: 70-75%
    Defensive football: 75% passing

    There is a basis to determine if a side is good or bad. If you are looking at just measuring how your players stack up its covered in the FAQ. In general you want to look at attributes and what the league average is. For instance in the premiership or any topflight league, you want passing for top playmakers to be at least 15. Key attributes for key positions need to be around 15...and then these get lower for different leagues...

    hope that helps

  18. #18
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    Rashidi,

    hope that helps

    Thank you for the welcome and it does!


    Paulsgruff... sorry, can't edit posts, meant dTv (directv)

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by sposfan:
    paulsgruff,

    Actually, thanks to DV, I've got 2 24 hour football (see, I'm not barbaric enough to call it soccer here! <G>, now if only I can slip in a "whilst" here and there, I'll be mistaken for a wily vet!) channels that I've been watching more and more. The problem I find is that most broadcasts and announcers take for granted that most of the intricacies are common knowledge. True enough most places, just not for us heathen colonials!

    I like your idea for post match analysis alot, although I'd have to try to find one for a game that I can watch.

    Just like other sports, you get a totally different picture of a game when you're there as opposed to on TV, since on TV they tend to follow the ball, but when you're there you can pay close attention to the big picture and pick a position to watch and see how they react to different situations.

    That'll be the hardest part for me, I believe, picking up the intricacies of the game. The big strategy should be relatively easy, and I'll also have to get into the proper frame of mind, coming from an ice hockey background, with a smaller surface, much more offense and unlimited substitutions. Oh, and a lot more ice!
    You're lucky, I never get to see hockey games because of the time they are usually on TV here and how it unbelievably always seems to coincide perfectly with when I am at work (I'm a penguins fan, they're doing okay at the moment too!)

    In my opinion the intricacies are quite well dealt with in FM. I can see where you're coming from though about how TV portrays the game and the amount of action and important events that happen off screen and how it could hinder learning what makes a player good for the positions he plays in.

    The nice thing about FM is that the attributes are very easy to understand - you could literally look up a dictionary definition of most and know instantly how it would relate to what they make the player be able to do - and once you know from real life experience what is important for a player to be able to play his role effectively - then it's just a fair bit of common sense that comes into realising which attributes go hand in hand and will make him suitable for his job. For example, a defender that has terrible attributes for scoring goals shouldn't worry you, but if he can't tackle and doesn't regularly get his positioning or decisions right then you might find him making more mistakes than you are willing to put up with.

    Another great and not often mentioned thing about FM is that it is as deep as you want it to be, if you want to get involved in all the tactics, control the reserves and the youth team and do all of the media interaction while juggling your budgets around - then you are free to. Then again, if you just want to sign players and let someone else do all the work then you can holiday the matches and let your assistant manager play them for you etc - there are so many variations of style, even if you asked everyone in this thread how they play the game, most people are almost always going to be different - which is one of the reasons that it can be so interesting talking to people just starting out and trying to learn about it.

    Back on topic, tactics are naturally extremely important (if you plan on playing the matches yourself) and are hard to cover simply. One of the great things about football is that any team, no matter how big or small, can potentially beat another team as the starting conditions for both is always the same and there is no handicap involved - which means that it can often come down to tactical decisions (and of course some luck). Instead of trying to explain anything here, I will leave it to people that have already done it, and done it far better than I would have been able to do. I didn't check through all the links in the posts in this thread, so sorry if this has already been posted, but there are some very informative threads in the tactics forum. The one I would always recommend that people take a look at is this one by wwfan. I would say that, for a beginner, it is far more useful as an information source than a tactics reference book would be as it explains things in terms that are relative to the games match engine and gives you an insight into how to get players to do what you want them to do in game. Some of the information may be outdated with the newly improved AI, but the theory is technically still the same, just how it is applied may be slightly different now.

  20. #20
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    Paulsgruff,

    Thank you for the link, I had not seen that one previously. Going to have to replace that ink cartridge soon at this rate!

    For everyone else...

    seeing as how my football knowledge pretty much stagnated in the 80's, is there a particular reason for the demise of the sweeper? For those knowledgeable about US football, I see him almost as a free safety, able to move freely to where the point of attack is. I would guess that Obviously something happened to counter what effectiveness he had, but is it really countered or is it more a matter of a few successful teams moved away from using a sweeper and the other teams just followed the leaders?

    Going to be a big penguins/montreal game this weekend, if you send me an email to sposfanATsympaticoDOTca, I can record it to our vhs and mail it to you. No dvd burner for the tv yet unfortunately, but you can always have it transferred to the system of your choice.

    Elan

  21. #21
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    Shoot,<STRIKE>one</STRIKE> two more FM question(s).

    I understand that I can leave the training in the assman's hands (boy, does THAT sound dirty!!!), but will he adjust them as needed, or does he pretty much just keep everyone in general or goalkeepers? I know I can download training regimens too, but just curious!

    Also which, if any add-ons do people recommend? I know there are facepacks and soundpacks and more!

    thank you all again for your help and patience.

  22. #22
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    You really don't need to bother too much with training. IMO
    Check what your assmans best attribute is(hopefully tactical training), then assign him as the only coach for that training(ie tactical). Then search for coaches with the filter so you can find the best attacking coach you can get and the best defensive coach etc. etc.
    Then put them in charge of their suited training style(only 1 training regime for each coach, look at the stars) and away you go, do the same for the youth team and need never go back to training again.
    After a while you might go and try to set up your own groups and stuff, but the players still improve a fair amount with the basic set up.

  23. #23
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    With regards to sweepers falling out of fashion, I would guess it boils down to if you play a sweeper it leaves you a man light elsewhere (normally you would play a sweeper in behind 2 central defenders). Plus central defenders have improved a lot over the years. They were quite often the biggest, strongest but least skillful players who would just defend by out muscling the attackers, but now they tend to be a lot quicker and a lot more skillful, so they can almost do the same job as a sweeper.

    Best of luck learning the game. I'm just getting into NFL, and by far the best thing I did was sit down and talk through a whole game with a far more knowledgeable friend. Having someone with you able to point out why players are doing what they are doing etc was a massive help.

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by amack1n:
    Welcome to Football manager!

    1) The (P) is either your physio or the opposing teams physio. I think they only do something when one of your players has a light injury and go over to your physio for treatment. The (+) are medics, and run onto the pitch when a player needs to be carried off.
    I know it's just a plus sign in parenthesis but somehow I find it very em,.... uplifting.
    Very aesthetically pleasing somehow!

  25. #25
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    HonkyDick,
    thanks for the tips! I think my problem will be if I do play Hartlepool (a lower league team) my staff budget is pretty much maxed out already with my assman, goaltenders coach, general coach, scout, 2 physios and youth coach. I have to "make do" with less, but for my "learning about the game" team (premier div), I'll do as you say!

    Actually just found out from a tip while booting up the game to doublecheck my staff that all staff will accept mutual termination contracts when i take over a team, but since my team's crappy assman is signed through 2012!! it still doesn't pay since if I understand Amaroq's Rusty Blade story, I still have a to pay 'em!

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    bigdunk,

    ah, gotcha, thanks for the lesson! As for the NFL, I think you'll have more "fun" with that, since there are so many more rules and specialties.

    Humber,

    took me a second! Think of it as a good likeness of my assman! <VBG>

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    Originally posted by Humber:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by amack1n:
    Welcome to Football manager!

    1) The (P) is either your physio or the opposing teams physio. I think they only do something when one of your players has a light injury and go over to your physio for treatment. The (+) are medics, and run onto the pitch when a player needs to be carried off.
    I know it's just a plus sign in parenthesis but somehow I find it very em,.... uplifting.
    Very aesthetically pleasing somehow! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What can I say Humber, apart from "I am to please"

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    Originally posted by bigdunk:
    Best of luck learning the game. I'm just getting into NFL, and by far the best thing I did was sit down and talk through a whole game with a far more knowledgeable friend. Having someone with you able to point out why players are doing what they are doing etc was a massive help.
    That's a really good point - speaking in general, what I've noticed is that people who declare a sport "boring" usually don't understand the sport. Once you have some level of understanding, you start seeing a lot more subtlety in it.

    Actually just found out from a tip while booting up the game to doublecheck my staff that all staff will accept mutual termination contracts when i take over a team, but since my team's crappy assman is signed through 2012!! it still doesn't pay since if I understand Amaroq's Rusty Blade story, I still have a to pay 'em!
    Yes, you would.

    You might - if you're lucky - be able to renegotiate from a 5-year contract to a 1-year contract, and then terminate 'em.

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    now that doesn't seem too sporting!! <G> Who the heck hires these stiffs to a FIVE year contract!?!? I can understand if they were at least ALMOST average, let alone good!

    One more quick question? Hartlepool, I have 2 physios, are they both needed, or is one sufficient? Also should I try for more than one scout and maybe another coach or just make do with the scrap I have? What does a staff at that level consist of numbers wise usually?

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    If you're learning from Amaroq, you're in good hands. For an American, he ain't bad.

    It's funny that I learnt all my initial knowledge of the NFL from Madden 2004 and got into American Football that way, learning the rules. I used to enjoy Madden 95, (top down on the Gameboy) but never understood the rules and got immensely frustrated when I could only run one play or so and got turnover on downs so often when the opposition never seemed to.

    Now that I understand the rules I revisited Madden 95 a while back and found I could pass, run and do all kinds of crazy sh**


    A good way of understanding football would be to actually just watch a game on FM in full, no highlights, just the match engine in full. You'll learn how certain positions will move in given and different situations and what happens at certain "set-pieces".

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    One more quick question? Hartlepool, I have 2 physios, are they both needed, or is one sufficient?
    This is one question that I don't think anyone knows a definitive answer to. One thing about physios on 07 was that their reputation rather than their physiotherapy attribute had more impact on how accurately they could predict how long a player would be out with an injury.

    Also should I try for more than one scout and maybe another coach or just make do with the scrap I have? What does a staff at that level consist of numbers wise usually?
    On 08 the board appear to be very sensitive so I would advise to make sure you don't go over their recommendations for how many you have. This side of the game is more 'Football Club Accountant 2008' for me as I always based these decisions on finances e.g. how are my attendance figures doing, will my future income cover additional wages, can I afford to pay compensation to the guy I'm sacking and the coach I want to bring in's club etc.

    The best way to get an idea of attributes for your level is to look at the other teams in your league. Personally I look for the best who is willing to sign for me. It is time consuming and tedious but it pays in the long run. I would also recommend checking out the FAQ in the tactics section as it outlines the different attributes to achieve different star levels in training.

    For players like myself who are tactically inept scouting is pretty much where I win or lose so the more scouts the better for me. If playing in the EU Romania and Poland are great for good cheap prospects. But this will depend on where your board will let your scouts go.

    On 07 Judging Player Ability and Judging Player potential determined the accuracy of reports but it appeared that reputation affected how in depth the report would be. Not sure if this has been tweaked for 08.

    Once you get a feel for attributes for different positions then you can pretty much ignore the 'Judging Player Ability' attribute as you can do that yourself by looking at their profile. The key to success in this game for me has always been finding talented youngsters on the cheap and allowing them to develop, although I think the 08 Board Confidence thing might make this more difficult.

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    Originally posted by Wegason:
    A good way of understanding football would be to actually just watch a game on FM in full, no highlights, just the match engine in full. You'll learn how certain positions will move in given and different situations and what happens at certain "set-pieces".
    Wegason, that's exactly what I'm doing! I've also found, that since only the the ball carrier and the most recent/next player's name are shown on the pitch, that if you click another player, it will show his name as well, no matter where he is and I can watch a specific player/position much easier that way.

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    Originally posted by isuckatfm:

    This is one question that I don't think anyone knows a definitive answer to. One thing about physios on 07 was that their reputation rather than their physiotherapy attribute had more impact on how accurately they could predict how long a player would be out with an injury.
    Thanks for the help, but follow up question if I may. Would 2 physios be more beneficial than just one? Would it be better to have one better physio than two average ones? If I have one physio better than the other, would the weaker physio drag down the good one, making him a major detriment to my team?

    On 08 the board appear to be very sensitive so I would advise to make sure you don't go over their recommendations for how many you have. This side of the game is more 'Football Club Accountant 2008' for me as I always based these decisions on finances e.g. how are my attendance figures doing, will my future income cover additional wages, can I afford to pay compensation to the guy I'm sacking and the coach I want to bring in's club etc.

    The best way to get an idea of attributes for your level is to look at the other teams in your league. Personally I look for the best who is willing to sign for me. It is time consuming and tedious but it pays in the long run. I would also recommend checking out the FAQ in the tactics section as it outlines the different attributes to achieve different star levels in training.

    For players like myself who are tactically inept scouting is pretty much where I win or lose so the more scouts the better for me. If playing in the EU Romania and Poland are great for good cheap prospects. But this will depend on where your board will let your scouts go.

    On 07 Judging Player Ability and Judging Player potential determined the accuracy of reports but it appeared that reputation affected how in depth the report would be. Not sure if this has been tweaked for 08.

    Once you get a feel for attributes for different positions then you can pretty much ignore the 'Judging Player Ability' attribute as you can do that yourself by looking at their profile. The key to success in this game for me has always been finding talented youngsters on the cheap and allowing them to develop, although I think the 08 Board Confidence thing might make this more difficult.
    Thanks for the scouting hints, you guys are invaluable and much more helpful than any written guide.

    Oh, and I simply love your screen name, although based on your knowledge, you might want to pass that mantle on to me!

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    Thanks for the help, but follow up question if I may. Would 2 physios be more beneficial than just one? Would it be better to have one better physio than two average ones? If I have one physio better than the other, would the weaker physio drag down the good one, making him a major detriment to my team?
    I haven't got 08 so I don't know if any changes have been made but on 07 persionally I found it difficult to tell if there was any improvement from going from 1 physio to 4 physios. I even checked over player injury histories to see if any noticeable reductions happened in the number of injuries and recovery times. The only one I noticed was that with certain types of injuries (fractured ribs IIRC) the recovery time was a couple of weeks quicker with the 'world class' physio. I would emphasise that reputation rather than attributes seemed to govern their effectiveness.

    I think the best approach is to assume the game behaves like real life and that the more physios you have the better you can deal with injury crises. I don't think anyone from SI has ever cleared this issue up but maybe the new manual has something in it.

    The one bad physio dragging down another I really don't know. I honestly think that the game just has a database of injuries/recovery ranges which are then matched to your best physio to determine the length of injury. If you have more than one physio in 07 the reports were generated automatically by the best physio which might be an indication of how the game code itself treats injuries.

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    Originally posted by Wegason:
    If you're learning from Amaroq, you're in good hands. For an American, he ain't bad.


    Originally posted by Wegason:
    A good way of understanding football would be to actually just watch a game on FM in full, no highlights, just the match engine in full. You'll learn how certain positions will move in given and different situations and what happens at certain "set-pieces".
    That's an excellent idea; it wouldn't have worked so well four or five versions ago but the match engine with FM'08 is very very good.

    In particular, I'd recommend watching away from the ball, for example, for one match watch only your strikers; on another watch your back four. Even if the ball is way down in your end.

    Originally posted by isuckatfm:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by sposfan:
    One more quick question? Hartlepool, I have 2 physios, are they both needed, or is one sufficient?
    This is one question that I don't think anyone knows a definitive answer to. One thing about physios on 07 was that their reputation rather than their physiotherapy attribute had more impact on how accurately they could predict how long a player would be out with an injury. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    At one point in Blade, I went through a significant injury crisis, which I think was related to not having enough physios *for the size of my squad*. I'd been adding players, adding players, adding players, without adding physios, and wham, all of a sudden everybody, from my superstars to my sixteen years olds, seemed to get hurt. When I added a physio, the problem went away.

    I don't think anybody knows what the ratio is, but there is one.

    Originally posted by isuckatfm:
    For players like myself who are tactically inept scouting is pretty much where I win or lose so the more scouts the better for me. If playing in the EU Romania and Poland are great for good cheap prospects. But this will depend on where your board will let your scouts go.
    True for me, too. Remember that it depends on database size and active leagues, too; scouting Sweden may not do you much good if you're in a small DB with only English leagues active.. but if you've got the Swedish leagues active and/or are on a large DB, it can be a veritable goldmine.

    Starting at Hartlepool, your board is going to seriously limit your scouts' travels, so stick to the Home Nations for a time.

    Originally posted by isuckatfm:
    Once you get a feel for attributes for different positions then you can pretty much ignore the 'Judging Player Ability' attribute as you can do that yourself by looking at their profile. The key to success in this game for me has always been finding talented youngsters on the cheap and allowing them to develop, although I think the 08 Board Confidence thing might make this more difficult.
    The one thing "Judging Current Ability" is good for is identifying "hidden attributes". Two players who might appear identical based on the visible attributes might have very different hidden attributes which impact their ability: consistency, big matches, professionalism, etc. So don't ignore it entirely.. use it as a red flag (or green flag) if their opinion doesn't match your own.

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    Amaroq,

    Thanks for the additional hints, I'm going to be keeping you busy! As for the watching away from the ball, you've just confirmed you don't read MY posts! <VBG>

    I already do that! I find it helps to pick a player, click him on the pitch so his name shows, which makes him easier to follow and track. See, I'm not TOTALLY hopeless!

  37. #37
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    Originally posted by Amaroq:
    True for me, too. Remember that it depends on database size and active leagues, too; scouting Sweden may not do you much good if you're in a small DB with only English leagues active.. but if you've got the Swedish leagues active and/or are on a large DB, it can be a veritable goldmine.

    Starting at Hartlepool, your board is going to seriously limit your scouts' travels, so stick to the Home Nations for a time.
    My current setup is England only, small DB, so I'll be concentrating on the Home Islands for now. I figure that a smaller world, with a smaller DB will make it easier to run a first career.

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    Originally posted by sposfan:
    Amaroq,

    Thanks for the additional hints, I'm going to be keeping you busy! As for the watching away from the ball, you've just confirmed you don't read MY posts! <VBG>

    I already do that! I find it helps to pick a player, click him on the pitch so his name shows, which makes him easier to follow and track. See, I'm not TOTALLY hopeless!


    That or I started my response at 9:33, before you posted that bit...

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    The one thing "Judging Current Ability" is good for is identifying "hidden attributes". Two players who might appear identical based on the visible attributes might have very different hidden attributes which impact their ability: consistency, big matches, professionalism, etc. So don't ignore it entirely.. use it as a red flag (or green flag) if their opinion doesn't match your own
    So they actually incorporate hidden attributes into this? Thanks for the tip

    I always thought that if they were at a relevant level and the scout was good enough they got included in the report e.g. "Scout A feels Player B to be a fairly consistent performer" or "Scout A feels Player B may have trouble living in a new country".

    Now that I write that, another key thing in buying young foreign players is if the scout indicates thay might have problems settling in a foreign country then avoid them if:-

    1. you don't have players of the same nationality at the club.
    2. you don't intend giving them too much first team football.

    I first noticed this when I bought a young Italian guy. I generally paid little attention to training prior to this happening, but I noticed his attributes hadn't been changing whatsoever. I checked his trining screen and his training history had all of the bars at very low levels for every month since he had joined. Then two weeks or so after I noticed this I got a media message about his difficulty settling, and this was followed by a transfer request.

    The cliff notes to that little story would be that players lack of adaptability can severely hamper their development. Also their training levels can give a good indication of their happiness in conjunction with their profile.

  40. #40
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    Thanks for the foreign player tip! You guys are really a big help! I really appreciate all the time and thought you put into my questions!

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    One major question:

    I'm looking to improve my assistant manager, what would the most important attributes for an assistant manager be? In EHM, the way I used the assistant was to use him for his judging current and potential abilities.

    In FM I understand that he also can give the team talks if I want, so I think for that motivating would be important and possibly man management for training.

    I don't think his tactical knowledge is THAT important, since I can use whichever staff I want to recommend the lineup and tactics.

    Any advice on this front?

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    It definitely depends what you think you'll be using him for.

    For FM'08, since I can't change the default person who gives Coach Reports, I think JA/JP are going to be the two most important attributes for me.

    If you let him give the team talks - or just advise you - then yeah you'll want plenty on the motivation front.

    If you let him manage games for you, then Tactical knowledge will be very important, but if you don't its not too useful.

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    You've pretty much got it right there, he's just the assistant, so he doesnt need to excel in all areas. Obviously, it's a plus to good stats accross the board, but the main ones I aim for are:

    Man Management - Determines how good he is at keeping morale up and generally handling players. Not so important if you do your own team talks, but remember, he'll most likely be managing your reserve team

    Working with youngsters - I doubt lots of people will have this as a must have attribute. If you're a big team with a youth coach, this sin't as important. But if you're a small team who can't (or won't) employ a youth coach and you have a lot of youngsters, this is important for their development

    Judging Player Ability & Judging Player Potential - With the improved coach reports, it's easy to see your assistants opinions on all your players. This is important if you ever have your assistant pick the team or just look for his opinion on one of your players. If his attributes in this area are low, there's more chance that the 18 year old striker he told you to sell could become a world beater.

    Motivating - For getting that extra bit out of players in matches and training.

    Also, any coaching attributes in an area you're training isn't good in (so if your Defending training is at only 3 stars, signing an assistant with a good Defensive Coaching attribute will help in training)

    So, to recap:

    Man Management, Motivating, Judging Player Ability, Judging Player Potential, any specific coaching stat and, if you're a smaller team, Working With Youngsters

    This isn't a definitive answer, but thats what I generally look for. Someone might have a different (and better) idea

  44. #44
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    Thanks again, and just an FYI, according to the patch list I read on the Front Office Football boards:

    - Coach report screen remembers which coach you were using to get reports when moving between players

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    amack1n,

    Thank you as well, the only downside to all this help is that I'm regretting not purchasing the game years ago.

    It's extremely helpful getting all these different points of views, since in sims like this there really is no one right answer.

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    if you want a couple of good teams to start out with, villa and everton would be my picks
    they have solid squads, money to augment them and lower expectations than the top clubs

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    Originally posted by sposfan:
    amack1n,

    Thank you as well, the only downside to all this help is that I'm regretting not purchasing the game years ago.

    It's extremely helpful getting all these different points of views, since in sims like this there really is no one right answer.
    No worries. There was a time about a decade again, when even I could have done with some help

    Now I'm the fully fledged Football Manager Champion Superstar Master of the World

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    Btw if I remember correctly the sweeper started to fade out as teams started to get defenders who were pacey and able to play an offside trap.

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    Hey there,

    I actually became interested in football mainly due to Championship Manager 1 and Sensible World of Soccer about what, 12 years ago ? These days I am a season ticket holder at Leeds.

    Anyway... lots of good advice in this thread but my advice would be:

    Play as a big easy team, don't worry about tactics too much at this stage, just try and have some fun and see what you pick up along the way.

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    Originally posted by foxmad:
    Btw if I remember correctly the sweeper started to fade out as teams started to get defenders who were pacey and able to play an offside trap.
    Do you mean real football or FM? Cos I know using a sweeper is very much alive in Sunday football

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    Originally posted by T-Bag:
    Play as a big easy team, don't worry about tactics too much at this stage, just try and have some fun and see what you pick up along the way.
    What?!?!

    Have FUN?!

    With a game!?!?

    Heretic!!

    Where's a mod when you need one!


  52. #52
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    Gents (and Amaroq, who doesn't quite fit THAT description <G&gt,

    Thanks again for all the good words! My first try really should be a big easy club, but somehow I'm fatally and irresistably drawn back to Hartlepool (curse you old DOS game!!!) partly because in the back of my egotistical evil genius mind, I believe that several tune-up games will give me a leg up in understanding and scouting my team for my "real game", if that makes any sense!

    Also, thanks for the reasoning for the demise of the sweeper, looks like it was more an evolutionary issue, with the betterment of the central defenders leading to it.

    Time to boot up the game again!

  53. #53
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    Big surprise, I have another question! (I'm going to simply keep asking in this thread to for 2 reasons: everything will be in one place, and I won't clutter up the forums)

    Reserve teams. I googled this and tried to get some information, but couldn't find anything in the least bit helpful. I understand the concept of reserve teams and youth teams, but do I want to have full teams for both? I can see that my reserves play games (haven't touched youth area yet, so I'm not sure there), but are they actually played out, and should I sign enough players to have a full squad or just simmed with the game filling out my squad with generated players? Is it different if I let my assman control reserves and youth teams?

    Thank you all again in advance!

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    Personally, in order to keep my salary as low as possible, I tend to keep only those players that would be employed in an injury crisis or any players deemed to have good future potential, anyone who I can be sure won't get a first team game and is over 21 can go. The benefits of the reserve team are to keep those players that would be used in an emergancy fit and match ready. The youth team is used for analysing any potential greats that have come through your youth system.

  55. #55
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    Originally posted by Dappen:
    Personally, in order to keep my salary as low as possible, I tend to keep only those players that would be employed in an injury crisis or any players deemed to have good future potential, anyone who I can be sure won't get a first team game and is over 21 can go. The benefits of the reserve team are to keep those players that would be used in an emergancy fit and match ready. The youth team is used for analysing any potential greats that have come through your youth system.
    Sorry for the double post, I also tend to use my reserve team to help anyone who is back from injury regain match fitness. Or to try youth players out in reserve matches.

  56. #56
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    I'll answer the easy questions first

    Is it different if I let my assman control reserves and youth teams? - Yes. Your assistant may play a different formation and different players than you would. This could be a problem if you want specific players playing. However, it'll take so long to manage the first played out?[/B] - In a word, yes

    should I sign enough players to have a full squad or just simmed with the game filling out my squad with generated players? - Depends on club size, I'll come back to this one

    Do I want to have full teams for both? - Again, depends on club size. Prepare yourself for a lengthy explanation:

    The youth and reserve teams are for giving your younger players or fringe players matches and keeping them match fit should they be needed for the first team. Now, with a small team, you'd try to not have a reserve or youth team as you can't really afford the wages.

    If you're a big team, you'd have as many prospects for the future crammed into your teams. You can afford the wages and you're more likely to come across a wonderkid.

    If you're an "in between" club, you can have a reserve team (for your youngsters and extra squad depth) but most likely not bother with a youth team. I'm an "in between club" and have a reserve team of about 18 players. Not huge, but enough.

    So overall, it depends on your squad size. If you're Hartlepool, i'd suggest having a reserve team full of younger players who could be groomd for the future. Also, if your youth team is empty and you dont intend to keep the youngsters you get at the start of next season, you can choose not to enter your youth (or reserve team) into a league at the end of the season.

    Hope that helps, and sorry for the mini essay

  57. #57
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    Dappen,

    Thank you for the quick response and tips! Seeing as how I'll be starting with a lower level club (too darn stubborn to start easier), I assume I'll be in the same boat as you in terms of salary constraints.

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    quick tips for you sposfan....depends on your style of play at the end of the day.

    1. Get a scout with good tactical knowledge and judging player ability...he'll scout out matches and is supposed to give you better reports..at least that's the theory

    2. For an assman..discipline, motivation and tactical knowledge are all impt. Motivation is important cos you may want to get his input for teamtalks or get him to do some.

    He can manage the squad and make them play to your tactic and follow your team selection as much as possible as well.

    Squad size

    Use a good dose of good ol fashioned common sense.

    = Start of season decide by the end of preseason who is going to be in your first team squad, reserves and u-18s.

    Clean out the reserves first..transfer list those players who are not up to scratch and be ruthless. Look at the U-18 squad and promote those you consider very promising to the reserves.

    Now from this list of players whom by now you should have whittled down 15 each for...Take these players and either note it down somewhere or look to adjust their contracts..First teamers are first teamers..reserves are backup and the rest are loanees or transfer listed.

    Promising youngsters - loan them out or go reserve squad.

    18-19 if they are not good enough for reserves then loan them out to 1 league below you, but make sure teams who want them will consider them a "valuable" asset. The goal is for them to have play time.

    Make very sure that you have not more than 15 players AT MOST in any squad. Ecvess players must be loaned out or sold off unless you can guarantee them playtime thru rotation. For them to improve as players they need to be playing. Keeping them on the shelf is not going to help them at all.

    At the end of the day your goal should be simple, the reserves should be just as good as the first team, but hungry to play. It can be done, you just need to do a lot of juggling.

    Keep moving players to play a few matches for the reserves to keep match fitness up...I actually like this part of the game even more than the tactics nowadays. good luck...and drop by the tactics forum if you need more help...

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    If your going to start in the lower leagues then it can be a real challange financially so yes, you will want to keep your reserve team as small as possible. Have you checked out the Lower League Managers forum for a real challange? Just a tip, if you do read the forum rules before posting

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    amack1n,

    It does help. and a lot! TO start with my youth team does have about 10 players or so, and my reserve team, probably about the same. There are definitely some players on my reserve squad that I'll be promoting to my senior squad, and i think they'll be some going the other way as well.

    3 follow up questions (can't check the help file or the game on this computer yet, sorry): There is a minimum age that players can be promoted to a reserve squad right?

    Can players be demoted back to youth at any time? I understand (if possible)that like bouncing a player back and forth between seniors and reserves it might well upset him.

    To sign players for my reserve squad (if not promoting from within), do I simply try for free loans or really bad transfer players to try to fill up the squad, or am I better of saving the money and having a depleted reserve squad?

    Thanks again for putting up with all these basic questions, the organization of a football team is very different from the that of North American sports clubs!

  61. #61
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    Rashidi,(sorry for the double post, you posted the same time I did!)

    Thank you for the tips about squad size, that is a huge help! I've been lurking in the tactics section and read a lot of the more general type of posts, I don't think I'm ready there and I don't want to start tinkering with them until I know the effects of what I'm doing, since I'll doubtlessly mess up pretty badly pretty often, but by reading a lot of the general hints in the forum (and of course the tactics bible - which I printed out and read several times over already) I'm starting to get a fuzzy picture!


    Thank you all for sharing your knowledge of the game, you have no idea how much I have learned from this one small thread. While all of htis is most likely common knowledge for those of you brought up where football is king, but for me this all new and extremely different than what I am used to.

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    There is a minimum age that players can be promoted to a reserve squad right? - Well, you can only play players who are 16 years or old in first team competitive matches. If you happen to ahve a player who's only 15, he can only play in the youth team until he's 16, at which point you can move him around freely

    Can players be demoted back to youth at any time? I understand (if possible)that like bouncing a player back and forth between seniors and reserves it might well upset him. - All players can be moved around your squad as you please. The only real restriction is if you have an older player in the youth team. If you have a 20 year old in the U19s squad, he won't be eligible for any U19s games.

    Bouncing a player to and from the reserves will only really hurt the morale of players who percieve themselves as fist teamers. If you move a player who thinks himself as a reserve teamer to the first team and back to the reserves, it shouldnt affect his morale. Leaving a first teamer in the reserves though will definetly make him unhappy

    To sign players for my reserve squad (if not promoting from within), do I simply try for free loans or really bad transfer players to try to fill up the squad, or am I better of saving the money and having a depleted reserve squad?

    This is again down to the size and resources of your squad. If you're Manchester United for example, spending 5 million on a 18 year old striker to play in your reserves isn't uncommon, as he could be the next Wayne Rooney or Ronaldinho. However, a smaller club is always restricted by their resources (or lack) of.

    It will eventually come down to your opinion. Can you spare more money to sign a 17 year old to play in your reserves, and wait 5 years before you can play him? Or just buy a squad of youngsters on a free transfer and hope that a few of them will be future stars.

    Loaning players is always good for increasing your squad depth though

    I know I haven't given you a complete answer, but there isn't one. All I suggest is working out how much money you can afford to spend on transfer fees and wages, and working out whether or not a player is worth it.

    On a different note, do you mind keeping us all up to date with your progress? I'm kinda enjoying this tutoring lark

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    amack1n,

    Thanks for the replay (again!), there were two HUGE nuggets in there, which I was previously unaware of, which will seriously affect my decisions! I thought, like most North American pro sports, players had to be 18 or over to be signed professionaly, and I never even thought that older players could be transferred to the Youth Team. (might actually be a great way to get him to WANT to leave).

    I'm not sure why you're apologizing for not giving a complete answer, these are perfect!

    I will certainly be keeping you all up to date with my progress or lack of same, the least I can do for all your help is give you a few good belly laughs! (wish I was joking about THAT! <G&gt

    So far, I've restarted the game umpteen times, as I learn about things I should have done, but my latest restart shall be my last. I'm planning on using my first game as a learning operation, and will wait for the patch to start my "real" career. My set up is England only, small DB, playing Hartlepool for reasons explained in an earlier post.

    So far, I've spent a lot of time clicking around, getting a feel for where things are in the game and how it works.

    I've gone through my squads, trying to get a grip on who my best players are and what the key attributes are for each position and what range they should be in for my division.

    I'm not touching tactics or training, and I've quickly learned NOT to rely on my Assman for his reports, instead using another of my coaches with much higher abilities in both CA and PA (can't wait for the patch where it will default to the coach I choose for those reports), as well as asking ALL my coaches, just for comparisons sake.

    I've placed adverts for coaches and assmen, to get an idea of what's out there.

    I've checked the transfer wire to see who's available and made a few free loan bids for players where I'm hurting.

    I've transfer listed a few players who are clearly overmatched (if I can see they're weak then they're CLEARLY overmatched!)

    I've watched a few games from my previous starts (the entire 90 game), to get a feel for positions, tactics and game play.

    I've scoured the web (thanks for the site referrals!) for the actual rules of the game to get a handle on that, and surprisingly the rules seem pretty straightforward and simple to understand,unlike OUR football!

    I'm not going to go in more details here, but I will keep you updated on things I've learned and done in the game so I can pick your brains for what to do/look for next. If I do start going into more details, I'll post it in the Story forum to keep this as more of a hints thread for other clueless souls like myself!

    Finally, and this is a major problem, how am I supposed to find enough time to play when I'm constantly reading all the great posts?!?!?

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    darn, really frustrating that we can't edit posts, but I was going to add that can I make you all my tutors, just like in the game?

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    Yeah, keep us updated, its aleays interesting to see how an FM virgin gets on. For many of us our first time was so long ago

  66. #66
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    Dappen,

    feel free to live vicariously through my stumblings and bumblings!

    On a serious note, I would love to see this thread, or a thread like this stickied. I most definitely would have bought this series earlier, but for my lack of knowledge and although I have seen shorter threads like this one pop up from time to time, they are hard to find or have only specific questions. Perhaps some sort of a FAQ for totally newbies to FM and Soccer in general would be great, I'm sure I can't be the only clueless one out there, who would have purchased the game, but found it completely overwhelming due to unfamiliarity to the sport. This is most definitely one of the more helpful and friendly forums I am on, and a valuable tool that should not be overlooked for the game!

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    I was thinking of doing something along that line, may work with rashidi1 to see where he's going with it. There was one other "stickied" thread to this effect (its linked from the Tactics Bible, and I think I sent you the link in e-mail, but since others will be reading):
    more newbie questions

    As for squad size, as a beginning Conference-level club, I'd angle for no more than 30 players or so, and that many only if I had room under my wage budget at that size. That gives me 15 first-teamers and 15 Reserves, with an empty youth squad - and the Reserves standing ready to play first-team matches in injury crisis.

    For a Premiership club, I'm typically aiming around 70-75, which tends to break down as follows:
    22 first-teamers
    11 Reserves*
    30+ out-on-loans
    15 Under-18s

    *-though listed first, in a number of cases these are 21-24-year-olds who haven't "made it" and aren't going to, they're just serving out their contract and getting playing time in injury; my more promising 18-22-year-olds are out on loan.. unless they're good enough to crack that "first 22".

    For an American-centric (Canadian-centric?) levelling, think of

    Premiership = MLB
    Championship = AAA
    League 1/2 = AA
    Conference = A
    Reserve League = A
    Under-18s League = Rookie League

    So you'll see that, once you're a Premiership club, you want to make loans out to "push" your players; as a Conference club there's not much point loaning out to sides below you, as they'll be semi-pro to amateur sides; I'd use loans only for guys who really aren't going to play and whom, for whatever reason, I can't cut.

    Now, if I took over a Conference club and had only 18 players, I'd probably look to bolster the club only in areas that I actually needed, when I needed them, or use the loans to provide depth. I'd probably use those 12 empty spots to pick up promising youths as cheaply as I can.

    Note that you'll want to use your full compliment of loans every year until you reach the Premiership: its a win-win, as you can often get players who are better than your league, but not good enough to start for their team, who can help lift you to victory. The downside is you're not developing your own players, you're developing somebody else's.. but they can really help.

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    Originally posted by amack1n:
    On a different note, do you mind keeping us all up to date with your progress? I'm kinda enjoying this tutoring lark
    That's the reason I keep coming back to this forum.

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    Amaroq,

    thanks, and yes you did send me that link AND I printed it out. I have an entire folder of printouts for FM already!

    A few questions on your treatise!

    1) if I put my younger players on my reserve team, will develop as well, better or worse than if I left them on my youth team? Also, in regards to developing my own talent, wouldn't I want some youth players, or can I have youth players, but loan them out?

    2) If I do have, say 3 players on my youth team, does it pay? Will their growth be stunted if they are way undermanned?

    3) I like the way you posted the MLB equivalent, it's how I was thinking, so as to getting players on loan, wouldn't that be a good way to keep winning, while developing a few players of my own? Would winning with loan players have a bigger payoff in regards to my chairman and fan's confidence than finishing lower with players developed in my own system? I was thinking about trying to run my team more as an american farm team, relying on loans to get more skilled players than I could usually afford, but with high turnover from year to year with a few exceptions.

    any thoughts?

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    If I put my younger players on my reserve team, will develop as well, better or worse than if I left them on my youth team? - Playing youth players in the reserves will aid their development. It gives them higher standard of football and more matches. However, if you play a youth player in the first team and play him regulary (25+ games or so) it can hinder his growth, as he may be too young to handle the pressure

    Also, in regards to developing my own talent, wouldn't I want some youth players, or can I have youth players, but loan them out? - Your own youth players who come through the academy, regardless of what level you're at, will be poor. It's usually better to sign youth players from other teams. You can get a real gem of a player if you look for players released from top clubs.

    Occasionally, you'll get a youth player who's worth keeping. Rarely, he'll be good enough to go straight into your first team (like my centre forward ) and soemtimes your coach/assitant will tell you of his potential

    If I do have, say 3 players on my youth team, does it pay? Will their growth be stunted if they are way undermanned? - If your youth team has matches scheduled, they will always be played. If you don't have a full team (or any players) in that team virtual "grey" players will fill in any holes in the team. This won't affect your players growth. It'll only affect thet reserve/youth team's position in the league or cup they're in. This doesn't matter really, as there is little to no benefit in doing well in these.

    As to getting players on loan, wouldn't that be a good way to keep winning, while developing a few players of my own? - Sometimes you'll be able to loan a player from a team a couple of divisions above, and he'll excel in your team and push your team to success. However, it's not always possible to get these standard of players to your team. If you can't, thats when you just want to add some depth to your squad through loaning

    Would winning with loan players have a bigger payoff in regards to my chairman and fan's confidence than finishing lower with players developed in my own system? It makes no difference at all. Then again, you can usually sign players on loan without paying anything towards their wages. This can be a great way to get up the league whilst saving a few thousand pounds a year (this may not sound like much, but at the lowest end of the league system, it's a massive sum)

    I was thinking about trying to run my team more as an american farm team, relying on loans to get more skilled players than I could usually afford, but with high turnover from year to year with a few exceptions. - You can sometimes "farm" youngsters in your reserves. By this I mean buy a player with potential for say 10k, and sell him for 50k, which would give you a profit of 40k minus his total wages.

    Doing this in your first team is a big no-no. If you keep the same squad from season to season, the players will play better as they're used to what each other player is doing. having a constantly changing squad is a sure fire way to slip down the leagues

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    Definitely, to #3. That's exactly the strategy I would recommend - for now, winning, promotion, etc, is probably going to be more important than developing your own players, just wanted to point it out on the "cost" side of that ledger.

    By the time you get to about the League One level you'll want to be finding some Premiership-potential 18-year-olds of your own, and developing them, so that, 5 years later, if you've earned promotion to the Premiership, they're 23 and able to help keep you in it.

    For #1, I've had good luck thinking of it as a balancing act: you need to "challenge" a player by playing him against players who are somewhat better than he is. However, you can't just toss him to the wolves - if you play him against players who are wayy beyond his standard, he'll get hammered, and won't learn anything from it.

    So it almost amounts to "take a look at the quality of opposition"; if he's better than the other players on *opposing* youth teams, you need to promote him to the Reserves to develop him. If he's better than opposing Reserve-team players, you need to loan him out to ensure he develops.

    #2, your youth team will get filled out by "grey players", amateurs if you will, so your guys won't be undermanned. They might get overworked, as your assistant will play them every match, which may or may not be "too much" for them, depending on their age and fitness.

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    Dangit, Amack1n! If you're going to type faster than I do, you could at least give worse advice so I have something to be proud of!

    Speaking of grey players, though - at the Conference level, its worth looking at them. You can offer a professional contract to them, and while most of them are of the "utterly useless" standard, about 1 in 20 are reasonably useful, and around 1 in 100 have reasonable potential growth. So if you spot one who looks like he's about the standard of your first team, go ahead and sign him; a bit of time on your training schedule should improve his key attributes beyond what you see while he's amateur.

    Another thing to think about - I don't know if Hartlepool are full-time professional or part-time. However, you'll get a huge benefit from having your players on full-time contracts (and therefore, having more training time with them) than on part-time.

    I found, with Nîmes Olympique in FM'07, that I had a bunch of first-teamers at the start of the game who were on part-time contracts. I could sign them to full-time contracts without a pay increase.

  73. #73
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    FAQ in Tactics Forum give this a read..the section on coaching may need a re-write. I don't currently have the time.

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    As far as loans from clubs are concerned. It also depends on your luck. I'm managing Cambridge United and managed to get W.Ham as my parent club which was amazing. Next thing I know I have 2 long term loans who are miles better than anyone else in my club and one of them has already bagged me 20 goals and its only feb.

    A good strategy to take if you are a small club is go find a "sugar daddy" however don't just take any ol player. You may want to develop some talent at home, or if you like to overachieve, these loanees may like you enough to want to be considered as transfer targets in case you get promoted.

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    Originally posted by amack1n:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by foxmad:
    Btw if I remember correctly the sweeper started to fade out as teams started to get defenders who were pacey and able to play an offside trap.
    Do you mean real football or FM? Cos I know using a sweeper is very much alive in Sunday football </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Exactly my point, at the top level the defenders are nearly as fast as the strikers, however in Sunday league (which I play myself) the defenders are more often than not slower.

    I meant irl but at professional levels.

    And I never stated it had completely disappeared, just decreased in popularity.

  76. #76
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    Originally posted by foxmad:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by amack1n:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by foxmad:
    Btw if I remember correctly the sweeper started to fade out as teams started to get defenders who were pacey and able to play an offside trap.
    Do you mean real football or FM? Cos I know using a sweeper is very much alive in Sunday football </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Exactly my point, at the top level the defenders are nearly as fast as the strikers, however in Sunday league (which I play myself) the defenders are more often than not slower.

    I meant irl but at professional levels.

    And I never stated it had completely disappeared, just decreased in popularity. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Aaa, was about to say. I've been playing for a saturday and sunday team for the past 14 years, and played as goalie or, thats right, sweeper.

    Had a panic attack when you said my position isn't used any more

    Anyway, at semi-pro levels you still get the odd team playing sweeper. Also teams playing the 5-3-2 formation (mainly in Germany) sometimes play a centre back as a sweeper.

    I admit it's rare, but you do still see the odd sweeper at the high levels

  77. #77
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    Originally posted by rashidi1:
    FAQ in Tactics Forum give this a read..the section on coaching may need a re-write. I don't currently have the time.
    Rashidi,

    already printed this out a few weeks ago and read it several times over. It was a huge help!

  78. #78
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    And to all, thanks for all the hints on running a club, I've already pointed a few friends to this game and this thread since they're all pretty much in the same boat as me (paddling up the proverbial stream without a paddle!).

    One more followup. For Parent clubs, can I try to forge a relationship with one, or is it a random thing offered by the game? I'm pretty sure that's the case with feeder clubs, and my manual and print outs are upstairs and I'm waaaaay too lazy!

  79. #79
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    To get a feeder club, go onto the Boardroom screen and request a feeder club. You'll get offered a selection of clubs with one of several benefits, mainly loaning players to a team so the players get experience, sending players on loan to avoid a work permit or benefiting for extra merchandising. There are more, but they're the main ones. Sometimes the board will feel theres no suitible clubs, and sometimes they'll ask you for the type of feeder club you want.

    Parent clubs is done in pretty much the same way, go onto the Boardroom screen and as for a parent club. If you haven't got a parent club, but the option isn't there, it means the board has arranged a parent club but hasn't come into affect yet. If this is the case, you'll get a news message at the start of the next season sayign the board have announced a link with the parent club.

    The parent club isn't completely random, as it'll usually be a team in the same domestic league from higher divisions. If despite being in the top divisions you're in a low ranking league (Welh Premier League for example), you'll be offered a parent club from a nearby country (England or Scotland in this case).

    Once you've asked for a parent club, the board will come back with a selection of suitible clubs for you. The benefits will be a small amount of money paid once a year, plus the chance to host a pre-season friendly between the two teams and finally the parent club will send you players on loan. Also, players from the parent club will be more inclined to join your team.

    Wasn't completely sure what your question was, but I hope I answered it somewhere with that reply

  80. #80
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    Originally posted by amack1n:
    The parent club isn't completely random, as it'll usually be a team in the same domestic league from higher divisions. If despite being in the top divisions you're in a low ranking league ( Welsh Premier League for example), you'll be offered a parent club from a nearby country (England or Scotland in this case).
    Fixing a spelling mistake

  81. #81
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    amack1n,

    for someone who didn't understand the question, you sure did a great job answering it! How much better of an answer do I get when my questions actually make any sense?

    Wife is MAKING me go out with friends for dinner (why don't you want to go out? uhhh, I'm tired? No, you just want to stay on the computer, and what the heck's with the soccer game?!?!) but I'll play some when I get back and post an update or 2!

  82. #82
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    Small update:

    I restarted the game yet again, final time (for now! <G&gt

    Placed an advert for an assistant coach and a scout since of my staff the highest CA rating is 9. One of my coaches has a PA of 14 though, so I'll make do with him for now in my ocaching reports looking to the future.

    Went through my Youth team. 13 guys are going to be hitting the pavement. I realize that a free release is pretty much just buying out their contract, so I transfer listed all 13, made the asking price 0 and set their status to not needed.

    1 of them (a gk) got a decent write up so I'll promote him to my reserve team and maybe look to loan him out, depending on the abilities of my reserve GK.

    4 others got mediocre reports (said ability to be decent-ok for league 2), so I'll either leave them on my youth for a year and see how they develop or loan them out on the offchance something becomes of them.

    Up next: going through the reserve and the senior team.

    Did I miss anything I should have done so far?

  83. #83
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    also put in a request for a parent club as a way to get my hands on some free talent.

  84. #84
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    oops, learn something new every minute!

    can't loan or transfer list youth players and to release on a free will cost me 3k per player per year left on contract to be released. Does it pay to take this hit, or just keep them on?

    they're being paid 55 a week. Is this for a full year or only per season (ie are they paid in the offseason?)

    Thanks in advance (again!)

  85. #85
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    Firstly, I'll teach you some FM terminology.

    You said your coach's highest CA is 9 and another coach has a PA of 14.

    Now, I'm sure by CA you mean Coaching Attribute, and by PA you mean Judging Potential Abilty. This will confuse a lot of people, as CA and PA actually stands for Current Ability and Potential Ability. These are figures in the database which say how good the coach/player is and how good they will be. You'll be unable to see these stats unless you use a 3rd party program (which many people, myself included) consider cheating.

    We know you're no cheating, but just thought I'd let you know what CA and PA mean.

    Anyway, on to your update

    You should always look at improving your coaches whenever possible, especially if sacking your old coaches is cheap. And for future reference, placing job adverts cost money. I've never noticed how much it is, but I assume it's a miniscule amount.

    Well done with the youth team. If no players were worth keeping, you did the right thing in transfer listing them instead of releasing them. You never know, a club might buy one or two of your players and save you a few thousand pounds.

    Good idea with the keeper. Also, as your first team keeper will most likely play almost every single game, you can get away with using a lesser skilled, cheaper goalie as your sub keeper. That'll save a bit more money

    Personally, I'd try to get rid of those players who would be good enough for League 2. If you're keeping young players so they can improve and become part of your first team squad, I'd advise only going for players whose potential is at least a division higher. Players with potential to play in your current division are always ten-a-penny, but look carefully and you'll find loads of better youngsters.

    So far so good with your youth team, it's pretty much exactly what I do.

    Well done on the requesting for a parent club. A lot of people forget to ask for a parent club for a season. Do you mind letting us know the options the board give you for the parent club and which one you pick?

    And thats right, you can't list a player for transfer or list him for loan if he is on a youth contract. Players will come off a youth contract on their 17th birthday if you have offered them a contract and they've accepted it.

    Finally, the £55 a week the players are getting paid is throughout the year. So thats £55 x 52 = £2860 a year. If you prefer, you can gon onto the "Preferences" screen and change how the wages are displayed. You can make it so weekly wages are displayed, monthly wages or yearly wages. It's on weekly wages as default and most people leave it like that, but I have it on yearly wages. I find using yearly wages makes it so much easier to set yourself a budget and know how much you actually can afford to spend

  86. #86
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    amack1n,

    thanks to the terminology lesson, that's exactly what I meant, no 3rd party utilities here, I can fail all by myself! <G>

    Didn't know about the adverts and the money, but I'll keep it in mind for next time. Makes sense that it costs SOMETHING though, but it would have been nice if this was mentioned somewhere!

    Thanks for the advice on the talent level of younger players I should hold on to. Is there anything like a boom/bust feature in FM, where higher rated players just turn out to never meet their potential and vice versa, where lower rated players sometime exceed theirs? That's the only reason I was undecided about keeping those few other youth players.

    I'll definitely keep you updated on the parent club happenings and it looks like I won't be giving those useless youth players their free release, ( I will however change the preferences to show yearly wages, thanks!) since I'll actually save money by holding onto them and spread it over a few years rather than taking a one time hit.

    The guys on the reserve team, I did set the useless ones to transfer listed at their default value and then offered to all clubs. Maybe someone will bite and if not, I'll relist them at 0.

    In football, is there the possibility of a player requesting his release? If so, is there still a fee for it? If this possiblity does in fact exist and no one takes my scrap, I'll demote 'em to the youth squad and then try to make them feel very unwelcome

    As another follow up, I was also going to discipline those unwanted players to make sure they get the message, but for some players I don't even see the option and the others all seem to have the discipline for no reason option greyed out.

  87. #87
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    Hmmm, a good point there.

    A player will never, ever, exceed his PA (potential ability). Also, a player won't always fulfill their potential. Injures, poor training or just a lack of matches can hinder a player's development and could eventually stop the player reaching his full potential.

    However, depending on your coach/assitant/scout's Judging Player Potential attribute, he could get it wrong. If a coach's Judging Player Potential attribute is 2, he could say a player has the potential to be a world beater, when really he might never have had the potential to play in the Championship.

    So, to answer your question, a coach might be wrong and the player could have more or less potential than the coach thinks .

    You cold try to offer a mutual termination of a useless player's contract. You still need to pay about half of the remaining contract, but if they accept the termination it'll save you money in the long run. Then again, only older players sually accept this, but you never know, you might get lucky.

    Not sure if you'll know this, but a player will improve the most before thier 22/23 years old. If that youth player you kept for the future hasn't developed enough you'll be best off seling him, as his growth will slow down consideribly and then stop at about 26/27 years

    There is a possibility of a player asking to be transfer listed, and you have the option of granting or denying this request. If you do transfer list him, he'll eventually be sold and you'll get the paid the transfer fee. And you can demote players, but as I said earlier in this thread, it can affect morale. But if you're trying to get rid of him, it doesnt exactly matter.

    And disciplining plyers for no reason was only ever used to force players out of clubs in earlier versions. I'm assuming SI removed this feature to stop this

    You've got the right idea with the reserve plaeyrs you don't want. Remember to offer them to clubs again if you chaneg their value

  88. #88
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    Thanks for the advice on the talent level of younger players I should hold on to. Is there anything like a boom/bust feature in FM, where higher rated players just turn out to never meet their potential and vice versa, where lower rated players sometime exceed theirs? That's the only reason I was undecided about keeping those few other youth players.
    No. Every real player and every created player has a fixed Potential Ability. What is supposed to affect whether or not they reach that is the quality of coaches, training facilities, serious injuries/continuous injuries and playing time in the key development years from 16 to 23. Basically it is like a decreasing curve of current ability gains in that as a player gets older the amount they can improve will lessen depending on how close they are to fulfilling their potential.

    In football, is there the possibility of a player requesting his release?
    It's not something I have ever seen in the game but that doesn't mean it isn't in the code as a possibilty. The closest you get to this is offering mutual termination but that usually costs as much as the contract would over it's lifetime anyway.

    As another follow up, I was also going to discipline those unwanted players to make sure they get the message, but for some players I don't even see the option and the others all seem to have the discipline for no reason option greyed out.
    It's a new addition for 08 as people were playing the game 'unrealistically' in previous players by disciplining players repeatedly to **** them off and make them more likely to leave. Now disciplining actions only appear when they are relevant to the situation and the choices appear in the bottom right corner of the related news item.

  89. #89
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    thanks to both of you! Looks like someone closed my loophole a year too early for me!

    thanks for the low down on the boom/bust thing too! On the way out for now, but more to come!

  90. #90
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    Quick update:

    Went looking for a new scout ( my current is rated 8JCA and 9 JPA). Signed an unemployed scout rated 16 in JPA and while looking around found another unemployed scout rated 15 in JCA, so I sacked my original scout and took a small monetary hit, and signed the other new one. Set the one better in JCA to next opponent and sent the other one on a nice jaunt around England looking for some talent. Signed both to 2 year deals for a total of 35 for the lot.

    Also went through the coaching reports again for every player (snr/res/yth) on my roster, to see what the 2 new guys had to sa about them, since they have better ratings than the rest of my staff. ( I seem to remember that they'll have a better sense of the players after having been on the team for a bit, but still).

    My board came back with a response about a parent club, gave me 2 choices: Sunderland and Middlesbrough. I chose Sunderland for the simple reason that Middlesbrough already had an affiliate team in league 2 and I figured that with sunderland I wouldn't have to chance competing for and losing a player to another affiliate. Both clubs were rated between 13-17th in the premiership, and the difference in what they would pay me was 38.15k to 37.85k for sunderland.

    I was loaned 2 players from them immediately, one valued at 575k and another at 160k, both who will go into my squad rotation, so it's already paed off nicely with some extra cash and the extra cash from the yearly friendly as well.

    QUESTIONS: is there any benefit to "sucking up" to the parent teams head coach with positive media comments? I wasn't sure, but I couldn't think of any harm coming from it, so I gave it a shot anyways. Also if a parent club has more than one affiliate, does any one get an advantage in players loaned? Does the higher ranked team get the better players, or is it just random?

    I also signed a new GK, my current GK is the weakness of my team. I used the search for transfer listed gk and sorted by value. found a young one that was listed at 22k that I bid 16k for and got. got a great deal on a per letter value for 19 year old Mr. Przemyslaw Kazimierczak <G> My thinking was that I was going to rebuild from the net out, I have one very good DC on loan and some pretty good strikers and a strong GK would anchor my Defense and give me some time and room while I rebuild. The fans weren't thrilled about it, but with his ratings already as high as my incumbent, they can bray all they want!

    ONE MORE QUESTION: In a game, is there any way ( or reason, for that matter) to target an opposing player who was yellow carded? In other words, try to play more on that players side and attack that player, possibly playing them more physically in order to try to get them a 2nd Yellow?


    Thanks again for all your help! Can anyone spot anything I should have done differently or not at all?

  91. #91
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    Firstly, good idea with the scouts. Many people try to get scouts with high ratings in both JPA and JCA, something which can be quite difficult to do if you're a lower team. By signing a scout with a high enough attribute in JPA for scouting future talent, and one with high JCA for the next opposition, you'd have gotten the best scouts possible for your team

    I liked your reasoning with the parent club options. In all honesty, I've never checked to see if they have a feeder club at my level, but I'll be doing so from now on. It makes sense that with 2 feeder clubs attracting the same players, you'll get less talent than you would if you were the only feeder club at your level.

    "Sucking up" to any team has almost no effect. The only thing it does is help you buy/sell players to that club in the future. If you constantly insult the manager of a team, then try to sign a player form them, they'll demand a higher fee than usual or even refuse to negotate at all. If you compliment managers, they'll be more inclined to sell you their players for cheaper. This applies to all clubs, and not just parent clubs.

    I'd assume the higher ranking feeder club would get the better players. However, these will be players that are most likely uninterested in joining you, so you won't lose out. As I said earlier though, if you have 2 clubs at the same level, if makes sense that you'd struggle to get their players on loan.

    Glad to see you can use the filter function on the player search screen. However, if you have patience, if may be better to search by certian attributes instead of value. This is how I search for my players:

    Goalkeeper - Search for players with high handling, rushing out and reflexes

    Defender - Players with high tackling, marking and heading

    Midfielder - Depends on what type of midfielder you want and what role they'll be playing, but as a rule of thumb go for passing, tackling and long shots

    Attacker - Players with high finishing and compusure. Finding a player who also has good heading and long shots is a bonus.

    The above way is the most efficent and ultimately cheapest way to buy players. This is becaue a player who has good all round stats would be valued quite highly. However, you can find a player with more specific attributes to that position, and seeing as not all their stats are good, they are usually cheaper.

    For example, there might be a centre back worth 500k who is top when sorted by value and has 10 in all technical stats. Then, there could be a centre back worth 2k who has 17 in marking, tackling and heading, and has 2 in all other technical stats. Whilst it looks like the first player is better, the second player is by far the better defender, and cheaper to boot. Thats an extreme example, but does happen, so it's always worth searching by attributes.

    As I'm sure you already know on opposition instructions, you can set whether or not you want your players to tackle an opposing player hard/easy, close him down constantly/never etc. These all ahve their different reaosn for being used, but it is unlikely you can atagonise a player into tackling you and getting a second yellow card. Hard tackling (which I assume is the instruction you're refering to) is used to basically injure a player and get him subsituted.

    You've started quite well, keep the updates coming!

  92. #92
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    amack1n,

    Thanks for the critique! I totally agree with you about not looking at value, I look at it the same way as I found my staff, I'll target certain attributes, and allow them to be weaker in others, which will give them an overall lower ranking, but fit better with my system. Kind of like a hidden gem.When I found the GK, I was looking for transfer listed GK and there weren't many valued at over 10k, so I sorted by value and forgot anyone listed at more than 25k, so it was pretty simple. If there were a larger number, I would then have filtered it further down to make it more managable.

    Finished my pre-season. lost 4 of 5, getting outscored 13-6. My sole win was a 1-0 blanking, with the only goal an own goal, but I'll take it! Didn't really care about the results, subbed out almost everybody every game to get the younger and reserve players some match time.

    Just finished my first league game and I'm debating quiting this game and never playing again, just so I can retire undefeated!!!

    Yes you read it correctly, thanks in large part to beginners luck (okay, wholly in part) I went up 2-nil on Bournemouth, conceded a goal midway through the 2nd half and then hung on. My new goalie played well, and I made a few subs in the second half, replacing my 5 rated DR, whose poor clearance resulted in the lone opposing goal. Unfortunately, due to not paying attention, I had only 1 D listed as a sub and 4 attackers. Put my only DC sub in at DR. Later in the game I replaced my MR and one ST with a DMC and a AMC and moved one of my MCs to MR, if that makes any sense.

    My reasoning was that, since I did not have any other true defensive subs (THAT will not happen again), and had the lead with about 20 odd min. to go, I would get at least a little bit more defensive with the straight exchange of a ST for an AMC, who would also help clog up the middle when I moved my MC to MR (who I had dropped back to DMC).

    Basically, I tried clogging up the middle, relying on my outside players to watch the flanks and try to force the action to the middle of the pitch. I also noted that my guys on the flank were just as good, if not better than my foes AND by the 70th minuted my opponents outside men, were showing much lower condition which I thought would also help.

    I also set my opp. instructions to hard tackle their main dangerman.

    Now, I have no clue if any of this was strategically sound reasoning, but at least it WAS some sort of reasoning and I can put that win in the bank!

    oce again, any and all critiques welcomed, help a poor colonial learn!

  93. #93
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    One small comment about replacing your 5-rated DR: a player who "gets blamed" for conceding a goal (poor clearance, hanging on to the ball too long, etc.) will get a 1-2 points rating drop. But this doesn't necessarily mean he's having a bad game. He could be having a perfectly fine game, worth a 7, but then make one little error and get rated 5.
    Just something to keep in mind.

  94. #94
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    CoachFlu,

    Thanks for the tip! I should have been a bit clearer too, but I was trying to keep the post as brief and readable as possible. The DR I replaced also had his conditioning lower than the rest of the players and the player I replaced him with was not a big drop off, it at all.

    That said, to be prefectly honest, it was more of a petulant move, no matter how I try to justify it!

    Actually, this leads to yet another QUESTION:

    At what conditioning level do you start looking to replace a player? Obviously the quality of the sub will play a large part, but all thing being equal, at what level do you start keeping an eye on it, monitoring it and then finally replace at?

    For my first regular season game, I started paying attention when it went under 80, and replaced when it hit 70 or below. I also took into consideration my opponents level as an additional benchmark.

    Thanks again for tip though, it's certainly appreciated, as is everyone's help, there's a heck of a lot to digest, trying to learn everything about the game and the sport at the same time, so your patience with me is really appreciated!

  95. #95
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    Originally posted by sposfan:
    For my first regular season game, I started paying attention when it went under 80, and replaced when it hit 70 or below.
    70 is my limit too, anyone who drops below that gets subbed. Well, unless the weather conditions are such that half the team drops below 70, but that's not very common.

    I somehow developed a bit of a habit about substitutions - I generally replace someone around the 60th, 70th and 80th minute.
    If there's no tactical reason to replace someone, I mainly go by condition and replace someone whose condition is the lowest (even if it's still, for instance, 78). A half hour is a decent amount of time for a sub to make an impact and prove to me that I should consider playing him from the start next week, hence the 60 minute sub even if it's not strictly necessary yet.
    The 70th minute sub is usually just a straight-up condition replacement (by then there'll be a few players in the 75ish range). And no matter how low conditions get, I always save the third sub until the clock passed the 80min mark, for injury emergencies.
    If the team is playing particularly well, with high ratings across the board, I may skip the 60 minute sub, for a fear of jinxing the match, and wait another 10 minutes before bringing a new player on.
    And of course, that whole subbing-habit goes out the window if I want to change things around tactically. But at least 80% of the time I find that's not necessary and I can stick to my traditional 60-70-80 rule.
    This is mainly just a personal habit/style thing though, there are no concrete rules about that.

    As to which players to put on the bench, that's also something everyone has their own style and habits about.
    I try to cover as many positions as possible. "Utility players" (players who can play in more than one position) are very handy for that. With five subs, something like GK, DRLC, DC/DM, AMRLC, ST would be ideal. Obviously that's not always possible, and I may have to settle for a DRC or an AMRC or something, hoping that the left sided player doesn't need replacing, or playing someone out of position when he does.
    But I like utility players, and keep a special eye out for them on the market - especially those AMRLCs, I almost always have one of those on the bench.

  96. #96
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    sposfan...

    Consider who to place on the bench as a strategy in itself. You could have players on the bench who can provide you with a different style of playing altogether or you could have players there who are ideal replacements.

    Both have their merits and it really depends on your preferred style.

  97. #97
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    I'm almost formulaic about hauling off the first three guys that reach 70%.

    There are definite strategies to "who to have on the bench" - one that I've had particular success with is "Pacey striker". Especially in lower leagues, if you can bring on a striker with Pace 18+ somewhere between the 60th and 70th minute, he's probably already faster than the defenders, but as their condition drops and they get tired, the advantage becomes really pronounced.

    Other than that, I tend to like to have similar replacements on the bench, so that an early injury doesn't force me to change my tactical approach, and often make "like-for-like" substitutions, meaning "MR replaces MR" - but there are plenty of real-life managers who will adjust formations by bringing on a striker for a defender, or a defender for a striker, depending on whether they're a goal behind or a goal ahead.

  98. #98
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    I must sound like a broken record, but thanks for sharing your strategies!

    I played a second game last night before reading this, beat a team I was heavy underdogs to 1-nil, so obviously I'm an FM genius! <VBG> Due to being told I basically had no chance, I actually changed (from in game) my tactic to the default defensive 4-4-2, my reasoning being I'll play a much more defensive game and try to wait for the odd offensive chance and keep from being blown out as well. Also thought that if I was able to stay close, say within a goal or two, I could then open it up later with a more offensive bent and try for my own score.

    Thanks also for the tips on subs. Before my second game, I simply let my assman select my roster. I'm close to getting what I think is a handle on my team, but for now I'm will to bow to his familiarity with the team, although I did tweak the subs list last game, taking out a second more offensive player for another more defensive player (a DC)since I was playing a more defensive style. My other subs were a GK, ST,and 1Midfielders and 1 AMfielder (I realized I need some more depth on my team in certain areas) so that I could go slightly more offensive later in the game. I've also decided, that whatever the cost, I'm going to pay for the best assman I can afford, and eat the cost of sacking the incumbent, since I seem to be relying on his so much and the rest of my coaches are pretty poor in JCA, and the assman is just pretty poor period (but very alliteration minded! <G&gt


    One more QUESTION, this one more on a tactics bent:

    I was told in my scouting report that the team I was playing was weaker attacking on the wings and would look to break through in the middle. From a defensive standpoint, once I was in the lead later in the game and went to a more defensive posture, would it have been wise to try to funnel his attack to the middle? In hockey, you want to always want to try to direct the attack to the flanks, since it limits his options (has to pass or shoot to one direction only), but is it the same concept in football, or in cases like this (also was a smaller pitch where I was told there would be congestion), do I want to force them to the middle?

    What I did, and I probably went against basic logic here, was later in the game replace my 2 strikers. I wasn't looking to keep any offensive pressure going at that point, and moved on of them (who was rated accomplished) to DMC to help clog the middle. I then pulled both my MR and ML back to DMR and DML with subs (both were also getting close to 70%) and replaced my other striker with a sweeper.

    My reason was this. Keeping in mind that my best 2 players are my DC's, and my MC's are also pretty strong, I decided, based on the scouting report, to funnel people to the middle by further strengthening my flanks and use the fresh, decently rated DMC to help slow down and blunt the attack, for my DCs and have the sweeper be there as a tactical reserve in the centre, able to back up the defensive line where needed. Also I was going to rely on my new higher rated goaltender to stop what shots came through.

    It did work, but I have a feeling it was just dumb luck. At the very least I'm trying to think tactically now and by watching the game in it's entirety is allowing me to see some of the effects of tactics.

    How would you have played it, and was there any GOOD reasoning behind my changes?

  99. #99
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    Congratulations on your wins! Looks like you're going in the right direction.

    Another comment on your subsitutes. Whilst it might not matter now, there are some competitions where you're only allowed 3 subs on the bench, and others where you can have 7. When you have more subs, you can cover more positions should a player be injured. With less subs, utility players are vital to ensure you've got players to cover most positions

    Onto the tactis. One of the opposition instructions is "Close down". Setting this to always will mean a player has little time on the ball and will struggle to mvoe with it. I find that setting my players to close down the oppositions wide players force them to play the ball into the middle, which stops them playing to thier strength. However, this can go wrong as if your player closes them down, the opposition can play a quick one-two and beat your man. Something to be aware of.

    Some teams will be especially good at attacking down the wings. If a team has wingers with good crossing stats and attackers with high heading stats, forcing their attack down the wing is just asking for trouble. On the other hand, some teams will be especially good at attacking down the middle.

    The only thing I can suggest is always playing to your defence's strengths. If teams struggle to attack down the flanks against you, try to keep teams trying, and if they can't attack down the middle against you, try to make them keep trying that aswell. Unless you're against a team which is exceptional in a certian method of attack, it'd probably be best to just play to your strengths instead of playing to thier stengths or weaknesses.

    Tactically, you thought your changes through. Even if it was dumb luck, it's a good sign for the future as you won't be throwing subs on randomly anytime in the future. If the opposition were good down the flanks and the pitch was short, forcing them to attack down the middle where you had positioned your best placed was tactically sound. You wouldn't been scoring many goals, but the target was not to concede any, which you managed.

    Finally, I don't think anyone can accurate say how they would have played it, as we have no idea of the attributes and stats of your team. However, your reasoning is good and once again, congratulations on your great start.

    Keep the updates coming

  100. #100
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    Rashid - interesting to say you say keep 15 people in the squad at most. Does that not cause problems with the lack of a full subs bench? What about when injury comes - promotion from reserve squad for that?

    Just interested in what seems like a good theory

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