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How can I figure out what's wrong? (FM21)

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I'm selecting the players with highest attributes with a lot of stars, the opposition has players much cheaper and worse. One game everything works, the next one it's a total mess.

I've been listening to "the AI adapts" and so on, but how? Is it possible to see that change in the simulation, in the actual game? The only thing I see in every game are 22 players, playing with the ball. How to read the data? It should be common sense, but it seems to be trigonometry.

For instance, if I told N'Golo Kante to mark Ibrahimovic, it would be terrible because of the huge difference in terms of heading and height that would be crystal clear. But it's not the case. I tell my players do this and that, sometimes they do and in an outstaning way, sometimes they try and fail, sometimes they do not try at all and are overwhelmed by the opposition. Is it possible to say "this is off!" and change something tactical? It seems the same to me....

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Sometimes its better to actually tell your players less and get away with just a few basic instructions like the team mentality and your set of roles and duties until you are 100% sure which effects other instructions will have to your game. To better learn how the instructions work, just make one change at a time. Add for example play out of defence and see how it affects your game before making further adjustments. If you start mixing things up and add or remove several instructions at a time you cant comprehend any more which instruction had which effect.

Also keep in mind the order of importance when it comes to instructions:

  1. Most important and has the greatest effect on how your team plays is which Formation you choose in combination with Roles, Duties and the Team Mentality
  2. Your secondary layer should be the team instructions. They are meant to make small adjustments to how your team plays and can help you to refine your overall playstyle. The Changes you make here need to be in conjuction with step 1 and shouldnt contratict the big picture on a broad basis
  3. The least important changes are made on an individual basis to a player or an opposition. They are only meant to mikromanage your players to some extend to properbly get the last 1% out of them. They wont make a bad tactic look good.
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