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  1. Had a search for this but not found a clear answer as yet. Basically had a number of promotions with a non-league semi-pro side who only had a first team squad and U18s squad. I kind of expected the option of an U23s team would appear once I achieved professional status, but no sign. I'm now in the championship and have a large squad of developing players who aren't getting any game time. I'd rather not ship them all out on loan in case of injuries to first team players. These players are now severely lacking match fitness and are dragging the morale of the team down because they aren't playing any football whatsoever. Is there anything I can do to add a reserve squad? Billericay in non-league have somehow got one, so why can't I?!
  2. I think player interactions need freshening up too. My BWM had a great game in central midfield, particularly when it came to breaking up play and passing the ball to the DLP to make something happen. He finished with a rating of 8.8 and played his role superbly. When I tried to praise him after the game, the only two options were 'your passing was a joy to behold' or 'I'm pleased with the number of quality chances you created'. Actually, neither of those were reasons why he had a good performance. At the very least there should be a generic option to say you're pleased with their overall performance?
  3. I'll always play with wingers rather than inside forwards and they both contribute heavily with assists and goals. I've not really noticed an issue with decision making out wide; my teams tend to exclusively use the wide channels when available. I must have my tactical setup well built over several seasons. I'd say that it's much easier to influence a game on this edition. Coming back from an awful start with a few tweaks do have a significant effect on performance. I seem to have much more joy piling forward in the closing minutes to win/draw from losing positions. Not saying this is the best game but I'm enjoying it a lot more than recent ones
  4. FM is a game I buy religiously every year, and rightly so. That said, I do have my frustrations with each edition that eventually burns out my interest. This year has been quite a different story. If you have a couple of minutes, here's why! : Each year when I load up the game for the first time, I take on the non league to Premier league challenge. The teams I choose typically have a strong starting squad and are well back by the owners; Barnet, Barrow and Boreham Wood in recent editions. My Barnet save ended in a premier league title, while the latter two consolidated in the championship. Realistically so, it was very hard to progress any further. This year I fancied a harder challenge. With a 24 hour flight to Australia looming, I took charge of National League South newcomers Chippenham Town. Poor squad, poor facilities, abysmal finances. Roll the game forward nine seasons and I am still managing Chippenham. Four promotions in this time has landed me in the championship, despite having the lowest budget in every division since day one. Overall I've really enjoyed this challenge, and despite not playing it for long periods I'd always return determined to keep pushing. Will I make it to the Premier league before FM19? Unlikely, but I'll give it a go! I just wanted to share some of my thoughts about my experience so far: The Good: The match engine has been much more realistic. By this I mean there is much more control over how a game plays, particularly when defending. I've found it much easier responding to threats, which seem different in each division. Similarly, adjusting tactics according to the game scenario seems to have more of an impact. I've really enjoyed the challenges of recruitment and scouting on this edition. I've actually been involved in player recruitment in a lower league club and its incredibly difficult to identify suitable targets. The scouting system in FM18 reflects the challenges well by restricting potential targets until scouting packages are purchased. As a championship club I can now afford these and it's making a huge difference! The annoying: Sadly, the game hasn't been perfect. I've always found it frustrating how much club reputation affects transfer negotiations. Following promotion to the championship I tried recruiting from top talent in league one. I knew I wouldn't be attractive to current championship players so I didn't bother trying. More often than not I couldn't even make a contract offer to league one players, despite playing in a higher division! Even more frustrating when those players joined another league on club on much lower wages than I would have offered. Arghhh! Premier league strikers on loan in the lower leagues have had a huge influence, particularly in league one. Almost every club has one in on loan and they all score an obscene amount of goals, and there's very little to stop them with lower league defenders! Finally, as far as I'm concerned, getting Chippenham Town to the football league deserves legend status. To take them within one promotion of the Premier league is something else altogether. Yet, I'm a lowly 'favoured personnel' on the club screen, along side a successful loanee. WHAT!? Seriously, what more do I need to achieve! I'm excited to see how I get on in the championship with a really low budget squad. The signs are promising though as I beat two championship sides 4-0 and 2-0 on the way to the FA Cup quarter final last season. The run was eventually halted by Arsenal in a thrilling 5-4 loss in front of 5000 fans at the Chippenham Stadium. That match wasn't even awarded game of tournament! Ah well, it's just a game...
  5. I share your frustrations. I took on the lowest ranked side in the national league South, Chippenham Town. 8 seasons later, I have just achieved promotion to the championship - Chippenham had never been higher then NL South. Operating on the lowest budget in each division I've played, I've somehow found a way to get this minnow side within one league of the Premier division. Realistically, getting promotion to the football league in itself would attract 'icon' status, but I'm still languishing as a 'favoured personnel'. Can anyone shed some light on how these statuses are decided?
  6. When a regular first team player is showing poor training performance, I find it can be very difficult to turn it around. When trying to intervene, there are only two options available to try and provoke a positive reaction: 'You need to step up your level of training if you want to stake a claim for regular first-team football' 'You must show signs of improvement in training if you want to remain at this club' For a regular first team player, choosing either of these interactions often gets greeted with 'I feel I have done more than enough to deserve a chance'. What would be more realistic is having the option to tell a player he will be dropped from the team if he doesn't pick up in training. The two options available usually work very well with younger players and squad players, but there needs to be more control over training performance of key players. I'm sure this is easy enough to implement going forward, I get very frustrated when my wonderkid centre forward has red arrows next to almost every attribute and I end up making it worse by using one of the existing threats!
  7. I've been working on a 4-4-1-1 system for these games, focused on defensive structure for these tough away games. GK(D) RWB(S), CB, CB, LWB(S) W(A), BWM(D), DLP(S), W(A) EG(A) CF(A) Counter (Flexible) - Normal tempo, fairly narrow, less closing, stay on feet, more discipline, play out from back, mixed passing, work into box The first opportunity to test this came in a home game against 1st place Arsenal. I won 2-1 which was encouraging, but home form hasn't been the issue. Spurs away was the first away game to try, and I came away with a 1-1 draw. Not a bad result but still searching for that first away win in 4 seasons. The very next game was a tri to Old Trafford, where I took all 3 points with an injury time winner. I was by no means the better side and had to absorb lots of pressure, but a very satisfying result. I hope now I have found a system that makes me more competitive in these games and can push into the top 4 regularly.
  8. I'm in my 4th season with Newcastle and the majority of games I play are comfortable, particularly at home. The one area that is stopping me from breaking into the european spots each season are my performances away vs teams with higher reputation (Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs). Its not just that results are poor; I barely get more than a couple of decent chances while the opposition dominate each game. I have tried several different systems over the course of three seasons, and once again I search for a tactic simply to compete against these teams away from home. I have now played 20 games away against these teams and have yet to win a game. Record against these 6 teams away from home by season: 2015/16 p6 w0 d2 l4 f2 a11 2016/17 p6 w0 d1 l5 f5 a22 2017/18 p6 w0 d2 l4 f5 a14 My current system is a 4-2-3-1 (counter, flexible). Much lower tempo, short passing, play out of defence, exploit middle, pass into space, stay on feet, look for overlap, narrow, slightly higher line. Here is my first choice line up with age and role: GK - Predrag Rajkovic 23 SK(A) RB - Ricardo Esgaio 25 WB(A) CB - Emanuel Mammana 22 CB - Brendan Galloway 22 LB - Douglas Santos 24 WB(A) CM - Carles Alena 20 DLP(S) CM - Juan Bautista Cascini 21 CM(S) LW - Goncalo Guedes 21 IF(S) RW - Fede Cartabia 25 IF(S) AM - Marcus Rashford 21 SS(A) ST - Adam Armstrong 21 CF(A) I'm after some pointers to try and help me compete better in just these away games against higher reputation teams. I by no means expect to achieve victory every time, but as the stats show I have been on the end of some brutal losses in these games and need to stop the rot. I feel my team has a lot of potential, and have beaten these teams at home (recently beating Liverpool 5-1), but maybe I lack some experience for these tough away games? There must be some pointers to help me compete better in these games? Once I get over this obstacle I should be able to push for european football at last.
  9. People don't come to forums for indirect hints I think I know what I have to do now, but it might take a while to get things sorted. I probably should have anticipated the difficultly before the season started and recruited players that could add flexibility to the squad. Alternatively I could just stick to what I know and hope things improve!
  10. I thin you're right - one of the problems I face is I have had to build a small squad within a very limited budget so my options for a shape change are limited. I opted for a number of players who can play across the AM strata to save money, rather than specialist wingers who could drop deeper and do a job there. What I do have is a number of central midfielders who could drop so I had 2 DM's for more protection - would the larger gap mean I would have to change my instructions or would the wingers naturally drop deeper to pick up the ball? I think from there I would need to play more direct and a higher tempo to create chances
  11. The tactical setup worked well enough last season to get me promoted, and I have now trained these tactics throughout pre-season to get fluid familiarity. Surely a complete change would be ill-advised at this stage? My original 'plan' was to carry on from the previous season and win enough points to finish mid-table. My problem now is that with similar possession stats I'm not creating nearly as many decent chances, and I'm being punished when I do have to defend. Rather than tearing apart my system, please can you give some advice on how you might approach this situation?
  12. So I have just taken Boreham Wood into the Championship after 3 promotions in 4 seasons, but instantly find myself out of my depth against most teams. The gulf in quality between league one and the championship seems much larger than any promotion before this. My salary per annum is half the amount of 23rd place, and most of my better players are relatively young and inexperienced. Here's some tactical information to start with - I stuck with the winning formula that helped me cruise through league one with a lower bottom half budget: COUNTER, FLEXIBLE .........................GK (D)........................ FB(S).......CB(D)......CB(D)......FB(S)..... ...............CM(A)......CM(S)................... CM(A) changed to support for away games W(S).................SS(A)..................W(S) ..........................AF(A)........................ TIs: lower tempo, pass into space, play out of defence, fairly narrow, work ball into box, higher defensive line, more closing down note: higher def. line reduced to normal for away games My tactics were based around dominating possession in the opposition's half - 'pass into space' seemed to be the key getting my wingers in behind the line and passing the ball into the box where one of four players would be on hand to tap in. This proved very successful in league one with 5 players scoring 10+ goals, and not conceding many as I tended to have control for most of the game. My first two competitive games were Millwall (H) in the league, followed by Peterborough (A) in the league cup - winning 4-0 & 4-3 respectively. It was possibly naive of me at this point to think everything would work out and I could compete with the 'big boys'. My first away game at Fulham ended in a 4-1 loss; possession was evident but with little being created, while I was punished by a few quality moves at the other end. My next home game was against relegated Brighton, who again nullified by attacking efforts and came out with a 5-2 victory. In the first 7 league games I have the highest possession %, but lost 5 of the 6 league games after Millwall. I think I may have been hopeful in thinking I could dominate these teams having had so much success previously, but given my low reputation I guess most teams will want to turn me over and dominate. I need a few ideas to help me cope better against the higher standard of opposition without compromising my whole philosophy I've built over the past 4 seasons. Thanks
  13. Since playing this version of FM I've noticed that a large proportion of opposition goals are being scored from within my 6 yard box and I'm finding it very frustrating to deal with. Having tried numerous tactical changes over 3 seasons, the problem is still evident and I've decided this can't be a tactical issue. <a href="http://s1281.photobucket.com/user/aspink3/media/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-17%20at%2022.25.56_zpsdbtu5frr.png.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1281.photobucket.com/albums/a504/aspink3/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-17%20at%2022.25.56_zpsdbtu5frr.png" border="0" alt=" photo Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 22.25.56_zpsdbtu5frr.png"/></a> This season almost half of my goals conceded have been from within the 6 yard box - an area which has been targeted by the AI and has a ridiculous success rate. From a tactical perspective I try and hold a high line, meaning any crosses from deep into the 6 yard box should be seized by the goalkeeper in the majority of cases. The frustrating thing is watching a low cross drilled in for an onrushing striker/winger to tap in while the keeper remains planted to the goal line. At the other end of the pitch, I have tried to re-create the effect but with little success. I hope this issue is being resolved by SI as I don't find the situation realistic in any way. In 40 games I have conceded 25 inside my 6 yard box yet not a single goal has been scored outside the area! I might just have to hold off for a while and cool off; I haven't been this frustrated by FM in a long while!
  14. The above record refers to away games in which I had a lead at any point. My overall away record is includes another 7 games where I didn't take the lead - and ultimately didn't win any. I've had lots of helpful advice from this post, I guess I need to keep picking up points and home and hope that I turn those winning positions into 3 points after a few tactical tweaks. I'll try watching the games in more detail to see where things are going wrong. I actually had a job as a football performance analyst last year so that should be quite easy for me!
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