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Tactical nous

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4 hours ago, du Garbandier said:

Do scouts give an indication of suitability to the team's tactical approach? 

Other than the stats they provide, and any particular traits they reveal, I don't believe so.

Most of a players personal tactical familiarity can usually be shifted in a handful of friendlies, but while the game conflates the two in some circumstances, this is different than their suitability. When your assistant manager talks about how a player is used to something different, this will usually go away as it's related to familiarity.

Now, in terms of suitability, a deep lying playmaker with 15 passing and good vision is generally going to be ok with any type of passing game, very short to very direct, and you'll rarely hear a complaint about anything in that regard. On the other hand, a central defender with a passing skill of 2 is always going to be a little concerned when you select "work into the box", as there's no way he's going to be able to pull that off. He might also be disappointed if you go with a very low pressing intensity, as it "doesn't suit his stamina". Likewise, a player who has been trained to "get further forward", is going to be frustrated with a role or personal instruction to stay back at all times, as these instructions conflict with what they are built to do. If you give players conflicting instructions, or instructions that they believe are unsuitable, this can show up in pre-match meetings in various ways, but it isn't indicative that they are actually unfamiliar with the tactic itself, but are instead less suited to do the job.

It's very helpful to really understand what each of the stats do in the context of each particular action. Before bringing someone on board, studying each player thoroughly to see what potential pitfalls they may have in their game as it relates to the tactic you want to use can be quite important. An attacking midfielder with an aggression of 4 and bravery of 3 is not going to be very useful in a high intensity pressing game, and in the locker room he's going to nervously and comically exclaim, "you want me to do what, exactly?" each and every time you head out to the field. A lot of players will pull a player off the street, say "wow, 4 stars", then put them in an unsuitable role, and have them do unsuitable things.

Not all of this is hugely obvious, either. Not too long ago, I took over at a club, saw that I had a star player left back who's outlined stats made him look suitable for a wing back, so that's what I selected him as. He got horrid scores 3 matches in a row, so I investigated what was going on. He was absolutely unable to win any headers he came up against. Odd, I thought, so I check his sheet... and he's something like 5'2" tall with virtually no jumping or heading ability to speak of. I had totally missed that, because the game itself outlined it as unimportant for the role, when it was in fact quite important. Eventually ended up repositioning him to an attacking winger, where he did much better for himself. At least, that is, after a long period of criticizing him and fining him to boost his determination and work rate to extreme levels. He went on to become an absolute hero, but that's another story.

I do wish that scouts had better feedback in this sense. A short blurb of.. "he's aggressive, hyper-focused, and very strong, making him a good fit for our hard pressing philosophy". It would help sell the player for me quicker, and could help newer players figure out what stats they need to be on the lookout for. The stats, as they are now simply offer a very short description on what they're vaguely about, offer a new manager little insight as to how that stat is useful on the pitch. So, in scout reports, when they might read something about "a brave individual", they don't understand the context of where that matters, and how it might be beneficial. Instead, they might pick a front line with an average of 2 bravery, and wonder why nothing is getting done up front.

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2 hours ago, Prepper_Jack said:

he's something like 5'2" tall

yeah that's a FM favourite, right enough. For scouts' reports, I was thinking that just a simple criterion of 'best tactical style' -- which might be tiki-taka, or gegenpress, or route 1 or whatever -- might work. I hadn't correlated aggression/bravery with pressing, but that's something to look out for. Window just shut and I'm sitting on a €70 transfer kitty because it's so damned hard to find players who don't have one glaring fault or another.

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The "not familiar with pressing intensity" is a short term thing based on what they're being trained on, which for your players will be your formation. 

(Though you wouldn't want a player with low work rate and stamina to be an important part of a pressing side)

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