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Help! It all went wrong when it shouldn't have!


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I've just finished the 4th season of an online game and the final couple of months were a disaster! I'm West Ham and had been going so well throughout the season, I had a 6point lead in the prem with 11 games left, knocked out milan, getafe and man city in the europa league and reached the fa cup final. Fast forward to the end of the season and I'd dropped so many points in the league to poorer opposition (draws with leeds, middlesborough, wba, losses to blackburn, bolton, aston villa - all these teams were in the bottom half and I was usually the better team) and ended up finishing 4th, still only 4points off the winners, chelsea so I really feel I should've won the league. Roma beat me 4-1 in the europa league semi's and to cap off a miserable end to the season aston villa beat me 4-2 in the fa cup final!

I don't really understand how my players can capitulate? Is it a pressure thing? What can we as manager's do? I was utilizing the squad in an attempt to keep players fresh. My formation was generally 4-2-3-1 but would sometimes change by bringing the att mid back into a def mid position depending on opposition/game situation. Having had 3 years to mould the squad i've built it up really well and there really isnt much need to alter things much, maybe 1 or 2 quality signings but no more.

As far as I could see we would either play well and concede late goals, or the players wouldn't turn up in the first half and go a goal or 2 down despite me trying as much as i could to wake them up! It just looked like my players couldn't cope with the pressure but what can you do about this?

If anyone has any advice to help that would be great, its been such a gutting end to the season and the fa cup final really summed it all up! i don't think I can go through another season like that!

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I've experienced this many of times; so many times that I believe I can counter it before it actually happens :D

A number of things could cause the poor form. Things like complacency, pressure and teams figuring out your tactics and therefore, changing their own to get the result against you. If you attend pre-match/post-match interviews instead of leaving them to your assistant, try and relieve pressure on your team or warn them about complacency. That may help a considerable amount. Try and keep your players focused and motivated to win every match you play. Sounds like a tough thing to do but it's quite simple. Use private chats, or your pre-match teamtalks. Hope I've helped :)

Also, going back to my first sentence where I said I believe I can counter the poor form. In the last 2 times that it's happened to me, I had a game where my team were dreadful. I mean, really poor yet we scraped a win. So when that game where my team were awful happened on my network game with a buddy, I knew that if I didn't mix things up, I would've gone on a real bad run of results. I did mix things up when that game came, and I didn't go through the bad run of results and won the league. :D

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Roma beat me 4-1 in the europa league semi's.

:thup:

As Dan said it's probably a mixture of complacency, pressure and teams figuring you out or simply going more defensive against you when you were big favourites.

The pressure issue can be solved by buying pressure-resistant players, and "Unflappable" or "Evasive" in the Media Handling Styles. If you are dropping leads it may be wise to get more determined players in (couple that with pressure resistant and you'll notice the difference) and putting pressure on the opposition by closing them down agressively with the shouts "Hassle Opponents" and "Get Stuck In", this may get you a few extra yellow cards, but it has worked admirably for me.

If teams are stifling you with their defensive performances you should try to drop back a little and patiently pick them apart with the shouts "Drop Deeper", "Play Wider" and "Retain Posession".

Also, criticism of performances can be a very useful tool if you get it right, I've had players bounce from Poor to Superb Morale and go on to do very well in the next matches.

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It is quite normal for your squad to have a dip/ Like in real life, teams can't win everything. This is where a great manager distinguishes himself. See where it goes wrong and adapt your tactics accordingly. The tips given by DanP123 and Romanista1994 should do the trick in my opinion.

Indeed the other teams are seeing you as a danger for now and they adapted their way of dealing with you, it's actually a compliment. Get the spirit in your players by expecting more, but be gentle with your less resistant players. Play either more agressive (when you're drawing too many games) or drop your tempo, probing the opposition when your up against a team that counters well.

Good Luck!

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I would also add, besides the other comments- which are all spot on, that sometimes you can find underlying issues in team chemistry that are affecting your club more than you realize. My case in point was a young midfielder/forward who did wonderfully for my side in BSN, then did Ok in BSP, but was clearly not playing to League 2 level (no goals at all by midseason). After I had dropped him from my starting lineup, I hadn't really considered how much of a problem that might make. My club then struggled to score goals for a two month stretch as we scratched and clawed for every result. I believed most of that was the AI adapting to my club's tactical philosophy. I was a bit surprised when I finally dumped the player on free transfer (because of my ill-advised rewarding of his first two seasons with a new contract that was overly generous given his League 2 performance), and several players on my club commented that they were pleased to see him leave (I hadn't had any indication from Asst Mgr or others on club that he was a problem). Suddenly, my club rediscovered their scoring touch. Was it all on him- No. Was he part of the problem- Yes. Sometimes club management has a say in their own successes or struggles.

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