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Using Attribute Analysis to Bring Success to Minor UEFA Nations - Albania (Chapter Six)


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Hi all,

This will be my first foray into this section for this year's edition of FM, having spent all my time in the FM21 Youth Challenge. Whilst that was fun, after a while my interest went away a little and I began looking for something else. 


During my time attempting the youth challenge, I developed a way to pick players based on their attributes needed for specific roles. I felt it gave me more control and knowledge of my players, and also I didn't trust my assistant at lower league levels. Here is the post about my team selection habits:



On 04/12/2020 at 12:09, shaunvamos said:

I just thought I'd share how I go about selecting my players.



This was my default lineup for most of the season. The good thing about Holland is that there are 12 subs so I can have an entire second XI as backups, and the twelfth sub is the guy with most potential. I calculate these ratings using this:

((Sum of all key attributes for role + (0.66 * (sum of all preferable attributes for role))) / total number of key/preferable attributes for role * 5) / rating if all attributes were 20 * 100


 So basically what it does it give me a rating out of 100 for each player in a specific position. I may have set the bar a bit too high as it's unrealistic that every key and preferable attribute will be 20, but I suppose it works given that a player isn't ever going to be rated 100/100. I may have to tweak it though as the best players in the world barely reach 80. So maybe I'll have to change the benchmark to be 17 or 18 instead of 20.


Thanks to @XaW and @Braumiller, whose thread on attribute weighting was a massive influence on this for me. I've only just discovered the print screen option to create a web page that can allow me to import everything into excel (I was doing everyone manually). That'll save me so much time!


Edit: it looks like I'll be using 17 as the benchmark, as using that the Ballon D'Or winner has an overall of just over 90, and Mbappe is a 92. So pretty close to something representing FIFA I'd say.


So using this our ideal lineup for next season is like this:



A couple of new names in there, but this definitely shows a clearer picture of how good we are at the moment, and the areas we need improvement on.

Just to be clear the new formula is

((Sum of all key attributes for role + (0.66 * (sum of all preferable attributes for role))) / total number of key/preferable attributes for role * 5) / rating if all attributes were 17 * 100



It was from this that my idea began to take shape. Scouts tend to look for specific players that will fill a role rather than just a one size fits all player. So I'm going to try and test that out in this save, upgrading positions based on my formulas, and see if there is some success.


Now, onto the details on the management part of the save.

Thirty three nations have had at least one team reach the Group Stages of the UEFA Champions League. They are as follows:

=1. Spain & Germany (13 teams each)
3. France (11)
=4. England & Italy (10)
=6. Netherlands & Russia (7)
=8. Turkey & Belgium (6)
=10. Portugal, Switzerland & Denmark (5)
=13. Romania, Sweden & Austria (4)
=16. Greece, Czech Republic, Israel & Slovakia (3)
=20. Ukraine, Scotland, Norway, Croatia, Cyprus, Serbia, Poland, Bulgaria & Hungary (2)
=29. Belarus, Slovenia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan (1)


That leaves 21 countries (excluding Liechtenstein) that have never mixed it up with the elite clubs in European football. 

My goal is to make sure that those 21 have a team qualify for the Champions League Group Stages. But not just qualify. I want to make sure that they are granted an automatic place in the Group Stages before I leave that nation. 

I think winning the CL in those 21 might be a little unrealistic, and I wanted to make it a little different from something I tried in FM20 that didn't last long. But in order to have an automatic place in the CL I'm going to have to go deep into the knockout stages of European competition, maybe even winning some silverware along the way. 


League Setup

All leagues in Europe that have had a team in the Group Stages will be loaded as View-Only, and the highest 4 nations in the UEFA coefficient that have not reached the Group Stages will be loaded as playable. They are #34 Lithuania, #35 Luxembourg, #36 Bosnia & Herzegovina & #37 Republic of Ireland. I think I'll load some of the South American leagues as view-only so more players come from there. I will be starting in Lithuania, and once I complete the goal there it will be made as view only/inactive and the next available country will take it's place. The next nation I manage in will depend on the availability of teams I find interesting.


Initially in Lithuania I bought anyone and everyone, which I thought was a little unrealistic. So from Ireland onwards I set myself a rule that I would only buy players with a nationality or second nationality of bordering countries or the managing country. That way it keeps a bit of local flavour around and hopefully adds to a bit of realism. The leagues of these nations will be fully loaded to increase the player pool for us to choose from.



I will start with no qualifications, because it has to be so.








I have chosen Žalgiris Vilnius, a team with a pretty significant history in Lithuania, having won 7 league titles. I just did some quick research, and there are only 6 teams in the top division because the some had major financial issues, and others had widespread match-fixing. Interesting.



@PaulHartman71 &  @ManUtd1, whose saves inspired me to make this amalgamated version of their ideas.

@Timo61 who provided most of the league files (except San Marino and Gibraltar).

@claassen whose San Marino league file I'm using.

Last but not least Sports Interactive for providing the Gibraltar league file via the Steam workshop.



Let's do this!

Edited by shaunvamos
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2020 Preseason



A pretty straightforward preseason, as we played Lithuanian lower league teams. But it's still nice to get some wins on the board early on.




We still have a very small squad, and our scouting is only limited to Eastern Europe, so pickings were slim. None of these guys are expected to start, I brought them in as depth options when our starters are tired or injured. I may have overpaid for Rudinilson, but he was the best CB our scouting range had to offer.








Predicted first, so there's no pressure!

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March 2020




The undefeated start continues as we look pretty good.






The analytics are not very encouraging for us, despite our success. I know it's only early, but we've got to be more clinical and much tighter at the back.

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May 2020



We have our first loss of the season, as morale begins to tank after I handled some player concerns with a huge lack of diplomacy. Hopefully we can turn that setback around.



The classic representation of being FM'd this month.

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June 2020



Our worst month yet, as we are knocked out of the cup and lose top spot in the league.




In more positive news, we've increased our youth coaching and recruitment in the hope we get some good newgens in.

Speaking of which, here is the preview:


So we have at least 3 decent players coming, but it's a very poor crop of players? Okay then.



The transfer window opened at the end of the month, so we made some additions: a striker who will start straight away, and a left back who is there as a backup as we had depth problems. A right back is on the way too for the same reason, but we are still looking.






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3 hours ago, shaunvamos said:

From what I know about Lithuanian football, I agree! They don't seem to be going too well at the moment though.

They are the best team nowdays there mate with some great results in Europe too.I remember them from my Lithuanian saves too,they are  very strong.

Edited by Sheriff7
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Very interesting save, will follow this! I lived in Lithuania for a while and would love to have a save there, but the 6-team league and general awful state of the football there is putting me off. 

Do you take into account how good a player is with their weaker foot? This has quite some impact on a player's attributes, but it's probably hard to incorporate since you don't get exact values for this.

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4 minutes ago, Toin said:

Very interesting save, will follow this! I lived in Lithuania for a while and would love to have a save there, but the 6-team league and general awful state of the football there is putting me off. 

Do you take into account how good a player is with their weaker foot? This has quite some impact on a player's attributes, but it's probably hard to incorporate since you don't get exact values for this.

Thanks mate, welcome aboard! The 6 team league is a little off putting, I agree, which is why it's imperative we make as much progress in Europe as quickly as we can. 

In terms of their footedness, I usually put the CBs, CMs and STs on the side of their preferred foot where I can, but apart from that I'm not really sure what I can do with it.

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Yep I agree, unless you are willing to go into some real time editor to see the value for their weaker foot, you can't really use this. And even then you would have to question what weight to attach to this.

Anyway, I hope that the fact that the A Lyga is a summer league will give you an edge over other teams in the qualification rounds for continental football, since your players won't struggle with match fitness.

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A 2-0 win to finish the season. All in all, I think it was an excellent start to my time here, and it's only going to get better.








Hugo Vidémont  -  Donovan Slijngard  -  Klemen Bolha


Our defence really did pave the way for us this season, although our strikers did their job when called upon.










Edited by shaunvamos
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Preseason 2021



Flawless preseason, even though it was once again against lower league teams. We are also heavy favourites to win the title again.




There were a tonne of players to choose from that were better than our best XI. The problem was that they were all Serbian, a non-EU country, and we are only allowed to have 5 non-EU players in our match squad. We have too many already so I wasn't just going to sign more. So we get in two excellent young players on loan. I think Bilic is a great find for the club and will bang in some goals. Our scouting range has now been upgraded from Eastern Europe to all of Europe, so next transfer window there should be some great players on our radar.




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June 2021



Just the one league game in June, and we made the most of it, flogging 2nd placed Riteriai.




We're a little restricted on transfers right now, as we need to make sure we have enough Lithuanians are in the match squad. There aren't too many who fit the required standard, so we'll have to hold off on buying too much. But Stankovic is a massive loan for us, we're looking quite weak in the midfield.




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July 2021



A very busy July, and our first losses this season. But we're miles ahead in the league so there's no real issue. We made decent progress in Europe too, until an 86th minute goal prevented us from getting into extra time against Astana. We play Cypriot champions APOEL in the Europa League next.




We pick up an interesting Lithuanian prospect for a very cheap fee.




Transfers (Out)


Our 33 year old backup left back was missing home, and I had no problem letting him go.

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August 2021



We lost again in the league as we had to rotate a massive amount, but that's not the news here. We won our 2nd consecutive league title with 3 games to go, but that's not the news here. 

The news is that we qualified for the Europa League!

A crazy 9-6 aggregate win over APOEL, and then we smashed Rheindorf in Austria to reach the group stages, where we'll face:



It's a tough group, and we probably won't get anything out of it, but at this stage it's great to just be here.



With money comes upgrades, and our youth and training facilities are immediately invested in.

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November 2021



Another couple of friendly wins to keep the match fitness up, and we finally lose in the Europa League. If we win against Linz we have a great chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds, but that's a big ask.


In the meantime, here are some awards we won:





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We lose our final game in entertaining fashion, but we are in the Conference League knockout stages as a consolation. All in all, a successful season with a very noticeable upwards trend.





Kostyantyn Vivcharenko  -  Nikola Stankovic  -  Noel Bilic


Had a little issue with the right players not showing up in the Best XI graphic, so here's a less interesting version. Our reliance on loan players was really obvious here, as our three best players were all from loan deals. Hopefully when this next transfer window pops up we can find some players on permanent deals. 


Best XI on Paper










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Preseason 2022


A slightly shorter preseason as we gear up to play Stade Rennais in the Conference League knockouts.


Transfers (In)



I made some mistakes here. We have too many foreigners as I wasn't banking on extending our loaned players. I'll start the league, figure out who to keep and then post screenshots.


Transfers (Out)


A bunch of people who aren't good enough leave on frees.



Edited by shaunvamos
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March 2022



A return to normalcy in March, with 3 wins from 3. Bilic provided the highlight in the match against Riteriai, with a hat-trick and a red card.


Transfers (In)


Remember when I said I was going to stop relying on loan players? Well here's another one.





More upgrades, although I had to fight for them.

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April 2022



A perfect month in the league, conceding 0 goals all month!

I figured out a way to get my other loanees on the field without breaking the league rules. It's all down to rotation when guys are tired. So here are the others:




These guys are great, but thanks to my blunders will only feature sparingly.



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July 2022



An excellent month, and we have already secured the league with 5 games to go. We also had a tough win against Maccabi Haifa before entertaining performances against Stjarnan sets us up with a 3rd round tie with Dinamo Zagreb.


Transfers (In)


We sign Brecl as a backup after loaning him last season.


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August 2022



We got really unlucky against Dinamo Zagreb, before Wolfsberger killed us in the Europa League, so now we are in the Conference League.



I think we have a pretty good shot at getting something out of this group, as I like my chances against everyone except maybe Slavia Prague.




Putting the prizemoney for European competition to good use.

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We lose another fun match in the Conference League, but we are still in the knockout stages. We also win the cup, making it the first season where I've won every domestic competition available.


Best XI


Nikola Stulic  -  Ziga Lipuscek  -  Dragan Bojat


Still some issues with the end of season graphic, but this one does the trick. It was hard to pick 3 players, but these guys stood out. Stulic was the most impressive, as he was always the player left out because of the foreigner rule. Lipuscek was a beast during corners, there aren't too many out there that can match his 6'6" frame. Stankovic was an extraordinary supplier, with 20 assists. This was a strong team, and it will be interesting to see what we can find once the loans expire.





Both the average age and average overall are trending in the right direction.





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Preseason 2023


An easy preseason, setting us up for our Europa Conference League tie against Legia Warsaw.


Transfers (In)


We bring back Blilic, Stankovic & Vivcharenko on loans, Imnadze will start for us up front, Zilinski & Walker are good bench options, but I'll expect them to contribute heavily.









Transfers (Out)


A few guys leave us, but they were fringe players at best.

Edited by shaunvamos
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  • shaunvamos changed the title to Using Attribute Analysis to Bring Success to Minor UEFA Nations - Albania (Chapter Six)

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