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Once and for all, what's going on after December 31:th?


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I am sure this has been discussed before, but I can't find anything right now:

Explain to me, with words suitable for toddlers, what happens after December 31:th when teams suddenly start to play more defensive. Why is this a thing? And how? I always struggle at FM, but after this kicks in it get just ridicolous. My players suddenly can't get a pass right, can't score a penalty, can't win for the life of them. I've tried to fight fire with fire and play defensive too, I've tried to put the pedal to the metal, I've tried short passing, long balls, hard tackles ... I've tried everything I can think of. Nothing helps. The other team, despite apparently "sitting back", just racks up the shots on goals and toy around with laser beam passes, cannonball shots, and tops it off with a ninja save on my one and only shot on goal. Every single highlight starts with a corner, a free kick or a throw in somewhere close to my goal. It's a freak show,

So, in short, how do I play after New Years Day?

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It's not a thing.

What you are seeing is that the faults of any tactic become more exposed as the season goes on and AI gets more fluent with their own tactics ( which are often quite defensive to begin with). If you don't take measures to "fix" these faults then AI takes advantage.

Edited by crusadertsar
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From my limited understanding...

The reputation of a team gets updated twice per season, after 31th december and at the end of the season.

So, if your reputation increase, your opponents might be more defensive against you thus reducing the conceded space. From that on, it's a question of looking at your own tactics/players/game approach...

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What david says. This is a common ocurrence in many saves. A big part of the reason is as mentioned because AI reevalautes its league rivals with the pass of the year. If you overperform they suddenly consider you a bigger threat, like maybe you were considered a medium team and  ow they consider you equal to the top teams.

So teams will overall be more cautious against you.  Specially notable vs lower teams of the league which tend to pack their defences deep and restrain space. I dont know if they ecen have the fixture in account regarding rotations or match prep.

There may be other small factors adding to this like maybe tactical familiarity been top for everyone (if it wasn't early on when you met) or transfer having adjusted, so the teams overall work a bit better. But overall you should expect to adjust a bit to deal better against more defensive teams overall. 

Also, pay close attention to your squad reactions. Overachieving its a delicate balance at times when managing them. It requires goods amount of praise, as they will feel its fair and deserved but you need to avoid comllacency or relaxation by been more demanding or critic when you can afford it.

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1 hour ago, Jervaj said:

What david says. This is a common ocurrence in many saves. A big part of the reason is as mentioned because AI reevalautes its league rivals with the pass of the year. If you overperform they suddenly consider you a bigger threat, like maybe you were considered a medium team and  ow they consider you equal to the top teams.

So teams will overall be more cautious against you.  Specially notable vs lower teams of the league which tend to pack their defences deep and restrain space. I dont know if they ecen have the fixture in account regarding rotations or match prep.

There may be other small factors adding to this like maybe tactical familiarity been top for everyone (if it wasn't early on when you met) or transfer having adjusted, so the teams overall work a bit better. But overall you should expect to adjust a bit to deal better against more defensive teams overall. 

Also, pay close attention to your squad reactions. Overachieving its a delicate balance at times when managing them. It requires goods amount of praise, as they will feel its fair and deserved but you need to avoid comllacency or relaxation by been more demanding or critic when you can afford it.

Adding to the above, you can tell when this happens because - especially when you're overachieving - the board asks you if you want to change your season expectations around this time.

It's also something that is expected to happen irl. I remember a lot of chatter during Leicester's amazing title win about when big teams were going to take Leicester seriously, and play against them as though they were a big team. But it didn't happen because everyone thought they would drop off, and then February/March rolled around and they were still there.

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Well, what is happening before new year? What team are you playing as? Are you doing better than expected? Do you use a tactic that works by exploiting space the opposition gives you, or creating your own space? There is no way anyone can provide a meaningful answer without knowing these things. Normally this affects people who rely on a tactic that exploits the space they are given by the opposition, so it stops working well when that space is no longer provided and you have to start to create your own space. Then you will overcommit players to attacks, flinging players forward in a hope to break down defences rather than trying to unlock them. This leaves you more open at the back, and suddenly it is your team that is gifting the opposition space to play in, and they capitalise. But as I said, it is speculation because I know nothing about the context. 

1 hour ago, chrisw said:

It's also something that is expected to happen irl. I remember a lot of chatter during Leicester's amazing title win about when big teams were going to take Leicester seriously, and play against them as though they were a big team. But it didn't happen because everyone thought they would drop off, and then February/March rolled around and they were still there.

A little off topic, but some of the teams lower down in the league definitely started to take Leicester more seriously and be more defensive, and it did cause Leicester to struggle in those games. They were excellent against the big teams who attacked them, and a little bit iffy against teams who were more cautious. They just had some players who were amazing that year that could win those games. It all went wrong very quickly when they lost those players and teams were defensive. 

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