Squad and Team Report
You’ll spend much of your time poring over the Squad screen as you look to develop and mould a group of individual players into a finely-tuned machine capable of success. It’s therefore worth familiarising yourself with this particular screen, and the screens associated with it.
The Team Report is the best way to take both an at-a-glance look and a detailed study of the players available to you. It is a comprehensive breakdown of your squad from top to bottom, with your backroom staff presenting you with all the information you will need to know to prepare and build a successful team. It is broken down into a number of sections, with an Overview panel bringing together the most important statistics in one place.
The Overview screen presents an immediate and detailed look at the team’s Pros and Cons in the same style as the Coach and Scout report cards do for players elsewhere in the game. Information on squad depth, attributes, goalscoring trends and on-pitch production are gathered and presented accordingly, whilst a sub-panel towards the right of the screen gives a brief overview of your Squad Depth.
Your squad is broken down by formation and position, with each position box then displaying every player who can feature there, plus their competency in the form of a star rating. Scroll up and down the page to view the full length of the pitch and the depth available in every position.
Click on the numbered person icon to the top right of each positional box to bring up a dialog presenting the information in more detail. Each position has a hierarchy of capability and suitability as well as any information regarding players you are currently scouting to play there for ease of comparison. Should you not already be scouting, a handily-placed button exists at the top right of this pop-up dialog to enable you to do just that.
The ‘Filters’ button allows you to streamline or increase the number of players who appear in these lists (for example, you can include youth and reserve team players). The ‘Customisations’ toggle allows you to manually remove players from a position (if you would rather not consider a player in a given area of the team, for example) whilst the ‘Roles’ menu has four different options for the information being presented to you.
To change the member of staff who compiles this part of the report, navigate to the ‘Opinion of:’ drop-down menu and select accordingly from the list of available staff.
This section presents a breakdown of team statistics across a wide range of areas and also highlights the best and worst performers accordingly.
This section presents a breakdown of statistical leaders in your team – such as the youngest and oldest players – and compares them to the leaders within your league.
This section takes a number of statistics from your squad and compares them across the rest of the league to see how your charges compare. The ‘General’ tab takes miscellaneous information such as height and weight, whereas the positional breakdowns take an average of particular attributes to show strengths and weaknesses in your squad.
How can I make best use of the information available to me?
With such a wealth of information at your disposal, it might be easy to feel overwhelmed, and to not know how best to identify the real strengths and weaknesses of your squad.
- The Overview screen is by far the best place to start as it distils everything into a succinct Strength or Weakness. The words used in each item are also instructive of what, if any, action you should take next; the scale representing the level of talent being described leaves you more informed about just how much improvement can be made:
Star, Excellent, Superb, Very Good, Good, Fairly Good, Decent, Useful, Low, Unsuitable
- Tailor the Squad Depth view to your own circumstances. Ensure it’s based off your primary tactic and defined roles, displays the most pertinent ratings to you (whether that be Current Ability, Best XI, etc.), and ensure the filters are set to include or exclude players in your youth teams and/or out on loan. If you configure this part of the report to your own specific needs, you’ll find it serves you a lot better.
- Use all of the screens frequently. Players develop, teams change, and every time something new happens, the data you’ve previously reviewed runs the risk of becoming outdated. Making a check of the Team Report a regular part of your managerial planning will reap long-term rewards.
Dynamics and Player Happiness
Part of successful team-building is ensuring that your squad comes together in the right way, developing inter-personal relationships and having the right characters to pick the team up when they’re doing badly and to keep things going when doing well. The Dynamics section provides a full and comprehensive insight into the network of relationships that exist within the squad that you have put together.
The Overview screen gives you a top-level look at what’s going on. The Match Cohesion section shows how the relationships amongst the players are affecting the team’s performance on the pitch, the Dressing Room Atmosphere section indicates how the group as a whole currently feel whilst the Managerial Support sub-panel keeps you abreast of current levels of support for your management amongst the players.
The majority of the screen is handed over to detailing any issues players might currently have whilst the club’s most influential players and social groups are also included, with links to dedicated sections providing further detail.
This screen presents the overall squad hierarchy to you in a rough pyramid system, although the exact nature of each squad might differ in terms of the number of players residing within each section. The manager oversees everything above the hierarchy; clicking on them will display their overall Managerial Support in a side panel as well as a visual indicator of each player’s support.
Team Leaders sit at the top of the pyramid and are the most influential players at the club. They typically have leadership and experience in abundance and other players will naturally gravitate towards them. As the most significant players in the squad, they are the ones you want to keep happiest, as any grievances will not only affect them but also permeate through the rest of the squad.
Highly Influential Players are next and exhibit many of the same hallmarks as the Team Leaders do. They provide stability and bring the core of the squad together, as they will typically be more leading players than team leaders, who are generally the few who emerge from this group and take the overall lead.
Influential Players have a voice that deserves to be heard and are powerful figures within the squad, but haven’t quite scaled the same heights as their more experienced, illustrious and longer-serving team-mates.
Other Players make up the remainder of the group and haven’t generated enough leadership experience during their time at the club, or don’t have the requisite personality to lead, and tend to gravitate towards others at the current time.
Each player’s box can be selected to provide further information about them from a pop-up panel towards the right of the main screen area. It will also highlight the primary social group they are a part of as well as everyone else within that group. You can also select the different social groups from the section at the top of the screen.
Those social groups also have their own dedicated screen for further analysis. Each group has its own sub-panel arranging the players within it into a rough hierarchy based on the overall squad hierarchy. The panel to the side of the screen indicates whether the groups within the squad live harmoniously together or whether dissention factions are beginning to form.
Selected players can bring up a personalised pop-up panel regarding their information.
The squad happiness screen lists each player by hierarchy group and offers a visual indication of their happiness in several areas, allowing for a quick and easy reference as to who may have concerns, and who is developing issues. In turn, you’re able to identify and action these in order to resolve them before they become an issue for the social groups or the squad as a whole.
Promises represents the player’s satisfaction with any promises made towards him.
Morale represents the overall player morale.
Training represents the overall level of satisfaction with training.
Treatment represents your actions towards the player with regards to praise, criticism, fines and discipline.
Club represents the player’s feelings concerning the overall direction the club is heading in.
Management represents their feelings regarding your overall management, tactical decisions, team talks, and transfer market activity.
Playing Time represents their satisfaction with how much first-team football they’re receiving.
Overall Happiness is a summary that takes all of the above into account and distils it into a succinct reference of the player’s overall happiness right now.
The happiness ranges are as follows:
How do I keep my players happy?
The easy answer to this question is to give them what they want, but that’s not always easy, so it mostly comes down to the degree of flexibility you’re willing to offer. If a player can see that you’re making a genuine attempt to least meet them in the middle, rather than outright rejecting their request, they’re more likely to accept your decision or, at worst, only become Concerned.
Players will also give you every opportunity to correct your mistakes before escalating their unhappiness to a more severe state. You will be prompted to take action through Inbox messages, Backroom Advice, and direct interactions with players when a player is unhappy, and you can often rescue a situation before it gets out of hand. You do need to be proactive in doing this though; simply leaving things to run their course will rarely work out in your favour.
Treating Team Leaders and Highly Influential players with the respect their status deserves also goes a long way to maintaining a happy dressing room, and the same goes for ensuring players in a sizeable and powerful social group are kept happy. If these players become unhappy, it can quickly spread throughout the squad, far more so than if a fringe first-team player has a concern. You don’t always have to bend over backwards to give them what they want, but a common-sense approach is always advisable; acting fairly and honestly will be of tremendous help.
How important is it to maintain a happy squad?
It cannot be stated strongly enough that the morale and happiness of your players is one of the biggest factors in whether or not you succeed as a manager. You can have the most talented players at your disposal, playing in a rock-solid tactic, but if they’re unhappy and/or have lost trust in you, they simply will not perform to their full abilities. There are few things more important to work on than the morale of your players; it really is that simple.
How do I turn around an unhappy squad?
This, on the other hand, is far from simple. If you suffer through a few negative results in succession, players may begin to question your judgment, and the morale of the team sinks deeper and deeper with every disappointment. Before you know it, you’re left with an unhappy squad and seemingly no way out of the hole you collectively find yourselves in.
It isn’t easy to turn things around, but there are a few ways for you to get started. A well-timed Team Meeting is a superb opportunity for you to gather the players and give them something of a morale boost. If you do this before a potentially winnable match – perhaps against another team struggling for results and morale – you can lift your team’s spirits enough to get a positive result, which in turn will lift morale even further.
Changing your starting eleven to include players who aren’t quite as unhappy as others in the squad can also have a tangible effect; that isn’t to say that a happy youth team player is a better choice than an unhappy first-team key player, but a finer balance of players who have better morale can help move the needle in your favour, and it’s often the case that small changes are the catalyst for long-term improvement.
If one player in particular is the cause for team-wide unhappiness, selling him is often the best course of action, as the team will mostly be stronger than any one individual. The root cause of squad unhappiness can always be found on the Dynamics screens; make use of the information there to identify it, then make the best decision for the team.