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Some (mostly morale related) questions from a returning player


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Hi lovely forum people,

Having only played FM in fits and spurts since FM13, I’m trying to take the plunge with a long-term, non-league-to-Prem style save in FM22. Always a tough challenge and while I’ve been enjoying it so far, I think I’ve reached the limits of my skill and am in need of some help with a grab-bag of questions at the bottom of this post.

I managed to escape the Vanarama North but I’m coming seriously unstuck in the National, and I suspect it’s down to the new (to me at least) Dynamics system that I don’t understand as well as things like tactics and player recruitment, which are broadly the same as what I remember. Back in the day you could quite easily replace your whole squad each year with little fuss and while I enjoy the immersiveness of a more authentic morale system, I’m struggling to figure out how to use it to my advantage

Full context: I finished in a respectable 18th in my first season in the National, though I was flirting with relegation for a while and relied heavily on a loan striker I don’t have any more. I went on a bit of a hiring spree to improve my threadbare squad (probably the worst in the division) but this has created more issues than it’s solved (squad probably too big, too many promises about playing time, don’t know my strongest team). After 12 games I’m now close to the bottom and looking at what looks uncomfortably like a morale death spiral. 

I’m trying the usual tricks – careful use of praise/criticism, friendly against a cabbage team – but it’s a real slog. 

Having spent quite a bit of time boning up on the subject, I feel my tactics are at least OK (nothing too fancy, a very basic 442 for home games and a more counter attack minded 433 for away fixtures). I suspect my team’s issues are almost all psychological. With that in mind, I wanted to ask…

  1. My team is really suffering with being anxious, unsure, apprehensive during games. Is this purely linked to where we are in the table or could it be caused by hidden attributes etc? If so, any recommendations? It wasn’t an issue last season, even when we went longer without winning! 
  2. I have a couple of players complaining about not getting enough playing time. In the heat of a relegation battle, is it better to cave to their demands and avoid a further hit to morale, or to try and persevere with my best XI to try and secure the results I need? Or another option?
  3. In general, how do you recommend making end-of-season improvements at these low levels? I tend to find only 6 or 7 of my starting XI are worth keeping, but my replacements aren’t exactly better, and hiring so many players at once causes problems. Is it better to take the same team and slowly gel them through the years? Or is there another way? 
  4. I’m finding FM22 really punishes putting players on their weaker side (eg right footed player at left back), even if it’s a natural position. Any advice on circumventing this? Even average left-footed players are rare as hen’s teeth when you’re at the bottom! 
  5. Random one, but how would you decide the role for a lone striker/the wide attackers in a counter attacking 433? I find AFs tend to get isolated, but DLF(A) doesn’t have the penetration in behind. 
  6. My team’s only real strengths are in Jumping, Acceleration and Teamwork - how do I take advantage of these better?
  7. Not a question but a general open call for feedback on these types of issues – how you improve a poor team, deal with morale tanking etc. 

 

Thanks in advance!

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1. Are their mental attributes like aggression, determination and leadership high enough? Get a leader is my recommendation on this.
2. I would go with the best XI option, if they make an issue at those times they don't deserve to even be in the team imho.
3. There are LOTS of bargains in the final day of transfers, you can get some free players which are way better for the league but have no team. Bringing them for trial helps too.
4. Not true, but your tactic must mean something, if you have an IF and an IWB in the same side it might not go so well, both of them will cut inside in the same spot. The better the player the less this is an issue of course.
5. DLF -su works well, however those teams have terrible defences and usually an AF or even poacher is better for the easy "run behind the defence" goals.
6. No idea,maybe set pieces?
7.Finances is everything, if you get better players you just destroy LLM.

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9 horas atrás, Absen disse:
  1. My team is really suffering with being anxious, unsure, apprehensive during games. Is this purely linked to where we are in the table or could it be caused by hidden attributes etc? If so, any recommendations? It wasn’t an issue last season, even when we went longer without winning! 
  2. I have a couple of players complaining about not getting enough playing time. In the heat of a relegation battle, is it better to cave to their demands and avoid a further hit to morale, or to try and persevere with my best XI to try and secure the results I need? Or another option?
  3. In general, how do you recommend making end-of-season improvements at these low levels? I tend to find only 6 or 7 of my starting XI are worth keeping, but my replacements aren’t exactly better, and hiring so many players at once causes problems. Is it better to take the same team and slowly gel them through the years? Or is there another way? 
  4. I’m finding FM22 really punishes putting players on their weaker side (eg right footed player at left back), even if it’s a natural position. Any advice on circumventing this? Even average left-footed players are rare as hen’s teeth when you’re at the bottom! 
  5. Random one, but how would you decide the role for a lone striker/the wide attackers in a counter attacking 433? I find AFs tend to get isolated, but DLF(A) doesn’t have the penetration in behind. 
  6. My team’s only real strengths are in Jumping, Acceleration and Teamwork - how do I take advantage of these better?
  7. Not a question but a general open call for feedback on these types of issues – how you improve a poor team, deal with morale tanking etc. 

1. That's Dynamics. When you have team leaders it's easier to go through rough times.

2. Winning is always the best option. On the other side, it's quite easy to avoid hits to morale when team dynamics are not a problem.

3. I'm on my 4th season with the same team in a lower league. This is a semi-pro team so contracts are either non-contract (bonus payments) or 1 year contracts, so every year I have to make adjustments. I try to keep most of my team, especially decent players, utility players and/or good personalities. This means keeping guys who are happy to be on the bench all season, for instance. Also, if someone rejects you on day 1 of the transfer window, it doesn't mean they'll reject you on the last day. Keep a close eye.

4. Depends on what's being asked of them. Putting a right footed player on the left side when he's cutting inside seems a good option; asking a right footed player to keep width and cross on the left, there's no way around it

5. Depends on the characteristics of the players. I like having at least one W-A so he doesn't cut inside so much and doesn't funnel the play so much. However, if you are seating deep and trying to hurt the opposition on the counter, I would go with 2 strikers. Wingers always feel too deep to make a big difference on a counter.

6. Where? Your players all have great Jumping, Acc and Teamwork? Jumping on defenders helps defending deep and on set-pieces; on central midfielders you can get them to get into the box; Forwards: cross more often (even if they are wingers). Acc on defenders: high line; Mid: dribble more; Forwards: counter and pass into space (also good for pressing from the front, especially if they have some strength)

7. Improving a poor team is about getting the tactics right, the interactions right, the squad building right. On LLM, my first instinct is to get a decent team as senior affiliate. Not necessarily the best, but the most adequate. You don't want City when you're in the 4th tier. Their players won't be interested. Unless they pay much more, then the financial part of the deal is interesting and you can use it to build your team.

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Posted (edited)
On 21/03/2022 at 11:55, Poison said:

1. Are their mental attributes like aggression, determination and leadership high enough? Get a leader is my recommendation on this.
2. I would go with the best XI option, if they make an issue at those times they don't deserve to even be in the team imho.
3. There are LOTS of bargains in the final day of transfers, you can get some free players which are way better for the league but have no team. Bringing them for trial helps too.
4. Not true, but your tactic must mean something, if you have an IF and an IWB in the same side it might not go so well, both of them will cut inside in the same spot. The better the player the less this is an issue of course.
5. DLF -su works well, however those teams have terrible defences and usually an AF or even poacher is better for the easy "run behind the defence" goals.
6. No idea,maybe set pieces?
7.Finances is everything, if you get better players you just destroy LLM.

Thanks @Poison!

I know what you mean about transfers, I've been pleasantly surprised by how much players will lower their wage demands when no-one else picks them up.

As for the weaker foot thing, I think @lfds89 said it well - I needed to be a bit more strict that players should be cutting inside more, and stopping them from getting into trouble. That said, I've always found IWs to be hard to use, they tend to run into traffic all the time.

5. I agree, at lower league spamming balls over the top is probably the better long term option

Edited by Absen
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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, lfds89 said:

1. That's Dynamics. When you have team leaders it's easier to go through rough times.

2. Winning is always the best option. On the other side, it's quite easy to avoid hits to morale when team dynamics are not a problem.

3. I'm on my 4th season with the same team in a lower league. This is a semi-pro team so contracts are either non-contract (bonus payments) or 1 year contracts, so every year I have to make adjustments. I try to keep most of my team, especially decent players, utility players and/or good personalities. This means keeping guys who are happy to be on the bench all season, for instance. Also, if someone rejects you on day 1 of the transfer window, it doesn't mean they'll reject you on the last day. Keep a close eye.

4. Depends on what's being asked of them. Putting a right footed player on the left side when he's cutting inside seems a good option; asking a right footed player to keep width and cross on the left, there's no way around it

5. Depends on the characteristics of the players. I like having at least one W-A so he doesn't cut inside so much and doesn't funnel the play so much. However, if you are seating deep and trying to hurt the opposition on the counter, I would go with 2 strikers. Wingers always feel too deep to make a big difference on a counter.

6. Where? Your players all have great Jumping, Acc and Teamwork? Jumping on defenders helps defending deep and on set-pieces; on central midfielders you can get them to get into the box; Forwards: cross more often (even if they are wingers). Acc on defenders: high line; Mid: dribble more; Forwards: counter and pass into space (also good for pressing from the front, especially if they have some strength)

7. Improving a poor team is about getting the tactics right, the interactions right, the squad building right. On LLM, my first instinct is to get a decent team as senior affiliate. Not necessarily the best, but the most adequate. You don't want City when you're in the 4th tier. Their players won't be interested. Unless they pay much more, then the financial part of the deal is interesting and you can use it to build your team.

1. Good shout, based on yours and Poison's comments it really seems like I'd underestimated the impact of team leaders!

3. Again, good to know - have clearly been leaning too much on ratings and not the overall impact a player can have on the squad

5. I agree, and having experimented, it seems like countering with two strikers is the best options. I'd love to play 532 (instead of 442) for more security at the back but I don't think I'll find the WBs to make it worthwhile.

7. Had no luck with the senior affiliate thus far. Is it true you have to be a professional team to make it work? I'm still semi-pro and have been pushed back by the board each time

Edited by Absen
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