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How you play football manager


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I'm really curious how others play the game. Especially in LLM what do you do season by season, your expectations even after promotion and what you enjoy.

I want to know what you look for in players, what you do when you cannot find the players you need. Do you change your tactics or do you keep the same tactic and just wait for squad building?

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This is a big question! For lower leagues, I've really enjoyed being having sunday league experience with VERY low marks in player knowledge with attribute masking enabled because it forces me to rely more on scouts and deal with the consequence of getting it wrong. 

In my Dulwich save, I take up most of the tasks myself so its pretty involved to set things up, but once things are in place it moves quickly. To start my save, I take a minute to fill out my staff as best as I can ensuring I have 1 coach per category (again as best as I can with staff limitations). After that, I take a look at the analyst comparison tool just to have a rough idea of my squad's strengths and weaknesses. Not a big deal in lower leagues if your squad sucks, the contracts are only for a season and most are completely replaceable. Anyway, it helps knowing exactly how you either want to play or intend to play. I differentiate these two because its important that the tactic you want to play with may not suit your squad, so either accept that and factor that into your results and expectations or create a tactic that takes advantage of strengths and weaknesses. Anyway, after getting tactic squared away (including set pieces) I set up training for the season. Then onto the scouting center, but lower leagues have no scouting budget so this is really only for opposition scouting. With everything set up in this way, I can turn the continue game timeout feature to "instant" and let it fly.

For lower leagues, I always bring in free agents offering their services because you really never know who you can land. Plus with the contracts only being a year, you can really experiment. I try being as specific as possible to way they need to do in relation to the tactic. Whereas I probably would care about, say, a leftback's decisions, technical ability, corner taking, decisions, anticipation, etc. in a save with Liverpool or Napoli, in LLM I really only care if they are good with their positioning, whether or not they'll play both sides of the ball, and whether or not they can cross, anything and everything else are bonuses. In my Dulwich tactic, my leftback sits wide and offers wide support for the midfield and will charge forward for the overlap if necessary, so I really only care about their recovery speed and crossing. I'll bring in a group of fullbacks for 4 week trials and see what they can do. That's just my example though, so I guess my point is to learn what you WANT your players to do in their roles and remained focused on the 3 or 4 attributes that get you there. Also, don't use complex roles in LLM tactics like mezz, treq, CF, RMD, RPM, etc. unless you're sure you have the personnel. These roles are more dynamic and require more of the players that a lot of LL players don't possess. 

I changed my tactic up midseason in my second year with Dulwich. We had been using a 4-3-3 which got great results, however a poor run of form in the early part of 2021-22 caused me to panic a bit and switch tactics. My thinking behind this came from someone elsewhere on the forum (feel free to self-identify) who said LLM is all about basics and having 2 strikers is better than 1. Struggling for goals, I pulled the trigger and readjusted. I also saw nothing but torrid performances from DM (not sure if that was related to the metrics bug that has been patched or what) which further prompted me to drop my favorite formation for the more "basic" 4-4-2. 

Season by season I try to keep my eye on who has an expiring contract that might want to play for me. LLM is much more about how you respond to a given situation than anything else. Always have a plan and stick to it. Learn how to manage your players personalities and how to break through to them when the squad or they are in a rut of form. Know who your good players are and try to keep them on the payroll, make their contracts a priority. Also make their development and morale a priority too, players who are closer to you are much more willing to engage in longer contract negotiations. In LLM, that extra 12k you saved between three bigger contracts equates to one entry-level contract. That also reminds me of my final point: have a wage structure and stick to it. Sign your stars and pay them like stars, sign your safety nets and pay them as such. Makes no sense to bring in a 30 y/o keeper who wants a big wage (older players tend to) if he's only there as a mentor and a backup.

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I always stick to one club and play for as long as I can. I've hit a record in FM20 with Everton and I'm in the year 2075 currently.

For me, it's all about squad building and planning for the future. I stick to the same tactic so I can keep good track of individual player records. Most goals scored for a wingback in a season, most games played for the club, most league goals in the club's history etc.

I only buy youth prospects. It's fun to guess what my squad will look like in five seasons, and there are always many surprises, both good and bad. Some players that you thought for sure would become first team regulars stopped developing at 19-20 while others that seemed to become fringe players somehow worked their way into the team.

This far into the future, we've had golden generations and worse ones. We've only had one unbeaten season and that is a constant goal for us, but it is just super hard imo. We've also only had ONE player come from our youth academy and stay with us until retirement, the fantastic newgen Aaron Albinson who played 456 league games for the club.

I'm happy I didn't get FM21 after reading about so many game breaking bugs, and tbh I see no reason giving this save up anytime soon.

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I love an unemployed save just started one, got to the end of December and got the barrow job bottom of the table ended up finishing 14th, now about to start season 2. I would be extremely happy with a playoff spot if I can this season, promotion would be unbelievable. That's the thing with a LLM save you don't really know the players that well so alot of it is about the stats and just pure feeling I have had teams that I just felt were far to good for league 1 or 2, but this barrow team is still questionable even with my own stamp on it just with who I was able to bring in. Also when I mention stats I dont mean profile stats but the ratings a particular player give to you despite his profile stats, I have had many players who are just straight up bad stats wise but for some reason play like messi for me.

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I love sto start save with some idea. 

- For example I would try to recreate AC Milan 2007 season, then I buy only players of nationality same as that squad and I use the same tactic they used to play with. That is a long term save since I count Champions League win only if I have met two requirements. 

- I would start for example save with Llagostera, club from spain that has similar colors like Barcelona and I try to make a new Barca from them, using tiki taka.

- Or for example I have played with Sassuolo but I was only allowed to buy Italian players, that was one of my favourite saves, almost whole starting Italy national team was from my players. 

Those were saves that lasted about 10+ seasons, but I don't do such long saves anymore since I don't like player development in newer FMs, it is too strict, there is no point of keeping some players for long since they peak very fast and stop developing, so I now play something less demanding. For example I play as Werder Bremen and only rule is that my main striker must be German, to replicate Miroslav Klose. 

 

Edited by Marko1989
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On 10/01/2021 at 00:33, Norfair said:

I always stick to one club and play for as long as I can. I've hit a record in FM20 with Everton and I'm in the year 2075 currently.

For me, it's all about squad building and planning for the future. I stick to the same tactic so I can keep good track of individual player records. Most goals scored for a wingback in a season, most games played for the club, most league goals in the club's history etc.

I only buy youth prospects. It's fun to guess what my squad will look like in five seasons, and there are always many surprises, both good and bad. Some players that you thought for sure would become first team regulars stopped developing at 19-20 while others that seemed to become fringe players somehow worked their way into the team.

This far into the future, we've had golden generations and worse ones. We've only had one unbeaten season and that is a constant goal for us, but it is just super hard imo. We've also only had ONE player come from our youth academy and stay with us until retirement, the fantastic newgen Aaron Albinson who played 456 league games for the club.

I'm happy I didn't get FM21 after reading about so many game breaking bugs, and tbh I see no reason giving this save up anytime soon.

I'd like everyone that talks about player development to read this response

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I stick to very basic tactics because your players are not world class so trying to get them to tactics of a world class nature wont work . Dont buy high priced players but try to just make your team play as a team for the first few seasons so concentrate on bonding . Just keep it basic for a while 

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Done a few saves with 1860 Munich I normally loan half of benficas and Lyons u19 squads for the first three seasons and look for decent players who's contracts expire or are listed cheaply and concentrate on improving my youth set up, also keep my eye out for new-gens worth taking, after 2-3 seasons some unreal talent start appearing you can nab before they get too valuable

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