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cregan

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  1. No, it's not unplayable, but my point was equally that it is that "hard to mentor/tutor up" younger players and that mentoring can't handle it if the only players available to mentor are all also affected. Newgens don't come in until the youth intake ticks over, so even if they came in in enough numbers to replace an entire senior squad (which they won't, obviously), that doesn't affect the first-season experience. For illustration: I started, and quickly stopped, a Scandinavian save last night, July start, unemployed, accept the first offer that comes in. That was Linkoping, bottom of one of the bottom leagues in Sweden. Good fun start, and by no means unusual as challenging FM saves go. The club has 17 players in total, all but two of them under 23. It has two players (neither over 23, as it happens) with Determination over 3, at a mighty 7 and 9; neither is going to be able to do any mentoring to speak of. The club's total wage budget is £225p/w so the scope for getting in senior (semi-)pros, even if there were any who aren't also Determination 1-3 (which, on searching, there aren't), is very limited. Adding a manager to browse other clubs at the same level, it's the same across the board: mostly very young players, with a smattering of near-retirement oldies and a few journeymen, almost all attributes probably unset in the database because of the level they're at, and almost all of them with minimum Determination (Linkoping is better than some; one of our rivals has one player on 7, the rest on 1). And there's no in-game way to change that because there are no mentors, and in any case you'd be looking to improve an entire squad rather than one or two duff youngsters. (On top of which, the way attribute points are distributed for a player's overall ability level seems on the face of it to mean that everyone at these obscure little clubs in obscure little leagues has remarkably good scores in their other mental attributes: only one of my team of no-hopers has Decisions lower than 8 and more than half have 11+, for instance. That rival with one lone guy with Determination 7 has almost an entire team with Leadership 10+, others are wildly Aggressive.) So I doubt it's a problem at the top end, where a raft of senior players with values set in the DB can coach up erroneously poor youngsters and cover for the bug. But outside that experience, it is. And while, yes, the AI suffers from the same problem, the user can't do anything much to get around it at that level due to the resources lower leagues have to offer. And even if every team in the division is populated almost entirely by fragile, inconsistent, charismatic geniuses with anger management issues, as a simulation while it might be playable it's still not especially enjoyable.
  2. Some leagues, particularly lower/poorer leagues, are made up predominantly of players below the age of 23 with unset attributes in the database. If you're playing a team in one of those leagues, everyone is affected and you don't have anyone - and may not be able to get anyone - to mentor the 90% of your team with their personality attributes set to minimum. So while it might not affect highly-researched, higher-tier leagues, that's not the case elsewhere, and "elsewhere" represents a very large chunk of the available playable league structure.
  3. Having just spent an entertaining five minutes trying to persuade FM to take a screenshot via F12 or Alt+F9 rather than having to Prt Scrn/paste into Paint/save, I can also report that it allows Fn+F# to work as media keys (volume, etc., changes normally as per my laptop's normal media key behaviour) on my laptop, but blocks the F# keys from working as F# keys instead.
  4. As an illustration of how things seem to skew in weaker/all-random-attributes leagues, here's my guys. Woeful Determination, of course (even the only two players older than 21-ish in the squad, Sartori and Yeksel), but in what I suspect is the way the available pool of attribute points spreads around when Det (and presumably the hidden ones as well) is rock-bottom, remarkably good Decisions for a pack of basement league no-hopers. Remarkably Aggressive, at that. (And their Anticipation isn't bad either.) I added a manager to browse the other Swedish Div 2 teams and check, and this is typical. Almost all Determination at 1, other mental attributes - in particular Aggression, Decisions, Anticipation, Leadership - really very high. The bottom team in Div 2 Soddra Gottland had only one player with Aggression below 8 and only four (I think) with Leadership below the same. And only two with Determination higher than 1 (at 3 and 7; woop).
  5. It’s worse, too, in some leagues more than others. Started in the Swedish bottom tier last night - where most first team players are both young and I’d imagine have a great many randomly generated stats - and there’s an overwhelming number of 1s, slowly rising to about 5. I don’t have the save to hand so I can’t screengrab and might be a little off, but as Linkoping I think I have two players with Determination over 5, the highest being 9. I’m not sure how they’re going to mentor each other out of that (nor how realistic/practical it’d be to have to try to find and bring in old players with regular human level stats specifically for mentoring purposes given my £225 wage budget). Aggression, on the other hand, I quite frequently see (Linkoping also have only one player, a DRC, capable of playing in *any* wide area, so I’ve had to go looking) in the higher ranges (not enough to be especially odd perhaps but it’s more noticeable given the poor stats elsewhere), suggesting that lower league Sweden is full of bullies with poor impulse control who’ll nonetheless collapse like a soufflé the moment things don’t go their way.
  6. When adding a new manager/starting a new game, the “expected for manager in...” doesn’t seem to work properly in terms of its range of preferred results, and if you select a new league to base on, particularly switching down the rankings, much of the time the old result sticks (so the Segunda B division in Spain might expect a Continental Pro license if you change to it from La Liga, but if you switch to it from the Allsvenskan (which for some reason experts no coaching badges at all!) it’ll remain at None. (Those two results are the only two I’m offered across Spain, Italy, Germany and Sweden.) Expected playing experience offers more of a range, but occasionally offers a blank (La Liga in particular) and seems to have much the same ‘sticking’ problem.
  7. I don't know how much of the challenge I'll end up doing, but having reloaded a zillion times trying to get Lewes, I figure these saves might help for a few hard-to-land clubs I've seen mentioned on the thread. Saves have all UK+I leagues active, large database + players from regional premier divs + I think top Central European clubs (or possibly in continental competition, or both; I forget.). And an unretired and truly terrifying holiday manager as a bonus. Lewes Met Police Basford
  8. It all depends what the rest of your instructions/tactics are, but while it's certainly possible to be doubled-up down the flanks playing with wingbacks (or wide mids in, say, a 3-4-1-2), it's by no means suicidal and you can to some extent mitigate that weakness by playing to other strengths. If your DCs are big and good in the air, crosses are less of an issue, particularly if you have a defending CM/DM who can tackle back and clean up any second phase ball. If you want to tie up a flank more effectively, playing a WB(d)/DW(d) on that side with either a covering central/defensive midfielder (a BWM(d), say) or the outside DC set as a stopper will make you less vulnerable down that side. It doesn't take superb players to do it. The only rule of thumb I'd personally apply rigidly would be to pair your D-line to your DCs' speed stats - deep if they're slow - and to try to use reasonably nippy wide players, just to make it harder to be caught out by longer balls.
  9. Yeah, I thought it was: Youth recruitment - affects PA of newgens; the better it is, the higher your max cap. Junior coaching - affects CA of newgens; the better it is, the better their starting level, though it has no bearing on their potential. Youth facilities - affects maximum CA increase/attribute development for U18 squad. Youth coaching - affects rate of CA increase/attribute development for U18 squad. Training facilities - as youth ones, but for players in senior and U21 squads. Senior/U21 coaching - as youth ones, but for players in senior and U21 squads.
  10. 5-2-1-2 WB So the season's over and I've got to be happy with how things went. In addition to 4th in the league - and with a couple of matches to go, there were I think five teams, down to Hannover, in contention for the last Champions League slot, so it was very close - we also won the cup, beating Augsburg 3-2 in the final. (Easier than it looked; they only got their second in the 93rd minute; that said, we'd lost twice to them in the league, conceding 5 and scoring 0.) In the Europa, we were dismal, winning only our last game to finish 3rd in the group, having failed to qualify with two games to go. I changed to the final version(s) of the tactic after the Augsburg loss in early November. It wasn't as tight at the back - we finished with the second lowest conceded, having been easily the best defence at that point despite some ropy games (though we only lost four matches from that point on) - but it was much more effective going forward and the quality of the football on offer noticeably improved, especially once the team's cohesion maxed out. Base, defensive version: PIs: WB(d) - Stay Wider; DLP(d) - Dribble Less, More Risky Passes, More Direct Passes More aggressive option when we needed to chase the game: PIs as above. Both are heavily based on counterattacks. The 'chase' version turns the ball over faster due to the attack mentality, with the D-line and passing setting dropped back to account for both increasing on attack, and I made the pressing more aggressive. It's more vulnerable, as you'd expect, but not that much. I'm happy that it still plays largely like its catenaccio ideal - a solid wall in defence, breaking very, very fast on the counter as soon as possession comes back - just with a bit more punch. The base version is a little more measured, or its players a little less adventurous, but it's still the quick ball forward that forms the basis of our attacks. This is the first time I've consistently played Highly Structured and I've been genuinely surprised at how well it suited the system, stopping us falling completely out of shape and collapsing when we lose possession. And I've not had a good defensive-based attack system and/or a good counter-based system in ages. The first iteration I tried wasn't entirely successful, but I'm mostly very pleased with this one. Advantages Good god, we can hit hard on the break. Some of the counters are glorious to watch. The narrow three-man back line is generally very effective. The stoppers close down, but when one goes the other two are normally tight enough together in the centre that there's not much of a hole left. I'm surprised at how keen the IWB(a) and/or Bittencourt is at closing down. He picked up 10 yellows, had the highest average distance in the league, and the 6th highest average tackles per game. We were nothing like as vulnerable down that side as I'd feared. The midfield pairing works very, very well. Deep-lying pivot to get attacks moving, with a rampaging destroyer as the first line of defence beside him. The front three too. Having the two strikers drop off makes all three keen to run at the opposition from deep (which in a direct, counter system is ideal) and pull defenders out of position. Against teams playing narrow - Bayern, with Robben cutting in, for instance - we were brilliant. Disadvantages The IWB not inverting when its the lone wide player. Clemens (who has the PPM) did it more than Bittencourt - both are right-footed, so both did it to some extent - but I wish one of them had managed to train Gets Into Opposition Area as a PPM because that sounded like it'd help. We were definitely at our worst against aggressive, high-pressing teams playing at tempo. Leipzig, Dortmund, Hamburg and - in the league, anyway - Augsburg were really tough (from eight games against those teams, we picked up 2pts, scoring 4 and conceding 15, nearly half of the goals we let in all season). The 'chase' version of the tactic plays better against them because we move the ball faster, even if it does turn matches into table tennis. Otherwise, 4-4-2 was a tricky formation to play against, where doubling up on the flanks was more of a risk - I assume because the two wide players on each flank are more inclined to work together than in a 4-2-3-1. Crosses in general weren't a particular threat, though the match engine does like them; the narrow back three's pretty sound in the air. On the basis of our performances with regular players missing, playing this way relies on everyone but the two CMs having high Pace, and the two STs and three DCs ideally having high Jumping Reach. Basically, big, fast guys who can latch onto long balls forward and bully defenders, or big, quick defenders who can quickly get back into position or deal with crosses/long balls before they become a threat. Koln have a lot of pace in their squad, so it worked well, but we were weaker with second-stringers less suited to their jobs. In games where we were outmuscled by the opposition, we struggled. Players The regular squad ended up being mostly excellent. Up front, Guirassy contributed almost goal per league game (15 goals, 6 assists) in 24 appearances as a striker; we might have done better if I'd used him from the beginning rather than persisting with trying to get Pizarro or Osako to perform. Cordoba played every league game and finished with 15 goals and 9 assists. Neither of them have particularly attributes on the shooting-composure-decisions side, so this was pleasing. Risse spent a bunch of time out injured, but still ended with 9 and 9 in 24. Ozcan and Hector were rock-solid in midfield. Heintz in the BPD role and, from January, Wahlqvist made two members of a sound back line; Sorensen was occasionally accident-prone and Mere just isn't as commanding as the others, though neither was a disaster. Olkowski was far superior to Klunter in the WBR role. Handwerker made a few sub appearances in the back half of the season and looks promising, as did Quieros before I loaned him out. I wish I'd been able to sell off my unwanted players (Rausch, Lehmann, Zoller) - though a trio of Brazilian offers for Pizarro in December neatly took that £34k p/w problem off my hands - to give me greater options in the market. Tanase started to look decent enough in the first three games after Guirassy's broken toe in February, but he promptly picked up a lower back stress fracture and was out for the season; his physicals aren't bad - 14s in the key stats, decent in most of the rest you'd look for - but with more cash I could've bought someone completely suited to the system instead. All told, though, this was a far, far more successful attempt than I was expecting; normally everything crashes in flames whenever I try this challenge...
  11. 5-2-1-2 WB Into the final third of the season, and while too many draws since the winter break has seen us slip 6 pts off the Champions League places, we're solidly in 5th (and with an easy-looking cup semi-final against Union Berlin coming in April). Gutted, though, that in a 4-0 demolition of Schalke so one-sided they'd have abandoned it in the first half if it were a boxing match, Guirassy picked up an 85th minute broken toe that's going to put him out for up to 8 weeks. In the last 12 matches he's played since I started using him as the right-sided F9 (he played four, promisingly enough but without netting, at AMC), he's scored 11 goals, only failing to hit the net in 3 matches. Pace and height seems to be vital to playing such a counter-heavy system, and he's been far more consistent than Cordoba. Easily player of the season so far. I signed a backup in January because Osako wasn't cutting it. £2m on Florin Tanase, the best-looking of what was available to me, though neither as big nor as quick, and now our hopes rest on him. In his five appearances prior to this he's contributed nothing.
  12. 5-2-1-2 WB Halfway point in the season - just a game against Hertha in the cup to go before the winter break - and I'm mostly happy with progress. The current form of the standard tactic seems to be mostly working except against wide, aggressive teams - and we notched up thoroughly pleasing wins against then-table toppers Mainz 3-0 and Bayern 2-1. The latter was particularly pleasing; we were 1-0 up and they hadn't threatened when Ozcan was sent off on 60 minutes. We promptly went 2-0 up, Cordoba playing in Clemens at WBL for a classic counter goal. Bayern pulled one back on 83 minutes, but we easily kept them at bay; they only had 3 shots on target all match and barely even touched the ball in our area. The football is gloriously hideous, though we have started to leak more goals than before; a slight concern, despite still having the joint second best defence in the league. I've also settled on an alternative approach that keeps to many of the same core principles for when we need to be more aggressive and chase a game. 2-0 down at half time against Dortmund, barely having had a foot on the ball, the switch pulled us back to 2-2 and threatening a winner before they got a lucky breakaway in the 89th minute to beat us 3-2. The switch to Attacking/Much Deeper D-Line instead of Defend/Higher D-Line makes us noticeably quicker on the transition and able to draw the counter, while the switch to the WB roles and duties gives more width and adventure down both flanks, and I've dropped passing down a notch to Mixed to account for the naturally increased tempo compared to our usual grind. It's not as tight at the back, obviously, but because we're still Highly Structured it's not completely gung-ho. Risse keeps getting injured, but is otherwise proving an excellent SS (3 goals, 5 assists in 11(3) apps), while Guirassy picked up a four-week injury in our last game to thankfully coincide with the winter break; his pace, height and power make him an ideal partner to Cordoba in a counter-based system and he's got 9 goals, 2 assists in 12(4) apps. The other three strikers - Pizarro, Osako and Zoller - aren't cut out for it at all.
  13. *delicate cough* Level playing field, and all that... *delicate cough* That said, still impressive work with a formation that looked like an absolute dog to get clicking together, and Ozalp looks ridiculously good for his age.
  14. Yeah, that does seem so. It's a shame - I last had a stab at a catenaccio system I think in FM15, back when there was no IWB but you could tell CWBs to cut inside et al., and the Facchetti role, with no one ahead of him on the left, worked really well, particularly with a right-footed left back.
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