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  1. Hi, I've been a huge fan of FM for years but there's one thing that consistently bugs me a little bit about the game. After a certain amount of time the AI teams and clubs start to blend together a little bit. Moreover, particularly in the Premier League, I find that often the mid-table sides are a little bit too stable. It occasionally feels like, in the game, an established Premier League side is a bit more established than they would be in real life. I find this a particular issue with the PL where the gap between a mid-table side and a struggling side, in the long-term, is bigger than it is in real life. Finally, the procedure for sacking AI managers often feels a little bit formulaic when, in reality, managers do get sacked for... more random reasons occasionally. So, this is my suggestion to help combat some of these issues. I don't want to over-exaggerate this stuff either, I'm aware that club philosophies are already a thing and obviously it is possible for a mid-table side to slip into a relegation battle. It's more a matter of degree rather than any attempt to suggest that the AI clubs on FM follow a completely set template and are innately stable. My first suggestion would be to have chairmen and DoFs take a more active role in determining how an AI club runs and operates. What I mean by this is increase the importance of club philosophies for AI clubs. For example, some clubs could sign players from certain countries (eg Wolves could sign a lot of Portuguese players), or could bring in managers who play a specific style of play or could focus on signing younger players or more experienced players or could focus on signing players who have strong physical stats or technical stats or mental stats or whatever. Basically, make club philosophies more varied, more common and make them have a bigger influence on how AI clubs operate in the game. This would help to allow the game to feel more varied and flexible if you're doing a long-term save when, at the moment, after a certain point the AI gets kinda samey and the opponents start to blend into each other a bit. These philosophies could change as a result of a new chairman or DOF coming in or could even change because the club is performing badly and the chairman wants to "freshen" things up a bit. Tied to the above, there could be a new feature on the club information page called "Identity and Stability". This would outline what a club's identity or strategy is. It would also have two bars on the page. The first bar would show how strongly a club is wedded to their identity. Initially when a new chairman or manager or when a club embarks on a new strategy, they would be strongly wedded to their identity. But after a bad season or two an impatient chairman may become less wedded to a specific identity or strategy. The second bar would indicate a club's stability. This would deal with another small issue with the gameplay I've noticed. Often clubs are able to sack managers fairly regularly in game without feeling any obvious negative consequences for that or the consequences aren't as negative as they would be in real life. Obviously though in real life if a club starts getting through managers regularly it has an impact on the club and the club becomes a visionless mess with no strategy and no identity. I would also tend to suggest that these changes should NOT apply to the player's club. Simply because a lot of these changes involve the chairman or the DOF playing a more active role in the game and that would get really frustrating really quickly for a player. In particular if you were to introduce more "random" sackings into the game for the AI that go beyond simply looking at whether results meet a minimum level that would be a terrible idea if it happened to the player as it would just be REALLY frustrating. Effectively some specific suggestions are above but what I'm really trying to get at is that, in terms of tactics, the AI is fairly well-developed when it comes to FM but the AI often seems to lack a coherent long-term strategy. Part of this is due to the structure of the game. As the game is about managing a football club, the manager has all the power. And although this obviously makes sense for the player's club, for the AI clubs it's problematic. As plenty of AI clubs get through managers at a fairly reasonable rate and the managers effectively control the club's strategy, the clubs never develop a coherent strategy. In order to combat this it might make sense to move the AI's strategic decisions to a chairman or a DOF and away from the manager as chairmen tend to last longer than managers do. It might also more accurately reflect how many actual football clubs operate. And obviously you could have variety to this, some clubs will have a strong identity and strategy while other clubs will float around looking for short-term fixes, as in real life. This could make for a more dynamic and challenging AI that thinks ahead and could also lead to more instability. Newly promoted teams tend to do worse on FM than they do in real life and this is because newly promoted teams often have a strong identity and strategy (hence why they got promoted in the first place) which some clubs in the division above lack which makes up for their comparative lack of resources. Anyway I'm rambling and I think my point has probably been made at this point so...
  2. Sadly I cannot describe any side which draws a game 6-6 having been 3-0 up inside 30 minutes as completely competent...
  3. You're lucky. You're avoiding some top quality opposition there. By the time I left our side was almost competent...
  4. Hehe, having just finished American Samoa with the mightly Lion Heart today to move to the heights of Papua New Guinea, I'm gonna enjoy this. Try not to take me supporting Lion Heart against you too personally but I'm still in the midst of FM attachment to the club . But seriously, good luck. And if you ever manage Lion Heart you may just about earn my backing.
  5. Urrgghh, I found Tonga dull with 7 teams yet alone having that reduced even further. Plus they're all generic blue-badge teams with one exception. To be fair things have been a bit more open in my save, only one all New Zealand, only one all New Zealand final in 8 years and one non-New Zealand winner. Fiji, Vanuatu and Tahiti have all had sides that reached the final. Auckland were dominant initially as always. I was a little bit glad to only lose 2-0 tbh.
  6. I'll admit I'm enjoying Oceania. Tonga was a bit lame but the other 3 countries were all pretty enjoyable. Particularly Samoa as it felt like a couple of sides were a cut above everyone else there whereas most of these leagues are pretty even. Have only spent 2 seasons in the Champions League, both with my Samoan side (Strickland Brothers). First year got knocked out of the prelim group thingy, second year reached the quarters and then drew Auckland City which put a swift end to any thoughts of competing for the title. I normally tend to leave the year after I win the league which tends to mean I miss out on the following year's Champions League. A Tahitian team won it last year though so the New Zealand teams aren't unstoppable.
  7. Following... good luck with this. Actually doing something similar right now inspired by your saves from previous years. Differences being I'm using 18 not 19 and I intend to only win every League and the main continental competitions and I'm only including all nations who are FIFA recognised. Plus using last year's claassen database. Currently won the league in Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands. Currently expecting to complete American Samoa sooner rather than later (aiming to start in Oceania then move across the continents rather than doing it alphabetically). But yeah these saves are a yearly feature now. I fully expect to see it completed one day!
  8. Hi, does anyone know how to change the maximum number of teams in a League? I've already changed it under Stages in Advanced Rules and I feel like I'm missing one of the places you need to go to to edit it. Using the FM18 Editor...
  9. Hey guys, sorry for the lack of updates recently, was busy and then got swept up in World Cup fever. Will try to post more regularly from here but that may have to wait until the World Cup is done. Anyway, continuing with the first weekend of Football League action: English Division Two Saturday 11th August Bournemouth 2-1 Chesterfield Brighton 2-0 Colchester Cambridge United 3-3 Reading Cardiff 4-0 Oldham Huddersfield 2-0 Bury Notts County 1-2 Swindon Peterborough 1-1 Blackpool QPR 2-2 Bristol City Stoke 2-1 Wycombe Tranmere 3-1 Port Vale Wigan 3-2 Northampton Wrexham 2-0 Brentford QPR's draw against Bristol City was probably the standout fixture of the opening weekend with both sides gaining a point at Loftus Road. Looking at other potential challengers, Huddersfield, Stoke, Cardiff and Wigan all picked up wins. A Brighton side containing Bobby Zamora also picked up three points and could be a dark horse to challenge at the top end of the table. Wrexham, Tranmere, Swindon and Bournemouth also picked up three points. Oldham stood out as the worst side on the opening weekend after being battered by Cardiff. 1. Cardiff (Alan Cork)- 3- +4 2. Tranmere (Dave Watson)- 3- +2 3. Brighton (Micky Adams)- 3- +2 4. Huddersfield (Lou Macari)- 3- +2 5. Wrexham (Brian Flynn)- 3- +2 6. Wigan (Paul Jewell)- 3- +1 7. Bournemouth (Sean O'Driscoll)- 3- +1 8. Stoke (Gudjon Thordarson)- 3- +1 9. Swindon (Roy Evans)- 3- +1 10. Cambridge United (John Beck)- 1- 0 11. Reading (Alan Pardew)- 1- 0 12. Bristol City (Danny Wilson)- 1- 0 13. QPR (Ian Holloway)-1- 0 14. Blackpool (Steve McMahon)- 1- 0 15. Peterborough (Barry Fry)- 1- 0 16. Northampton (Kevin Wilson)- 0- -1 17. Chesterfield (Nicky Law)- 0- -1 18. Notts County (Jocky Scott)- 0- -1 19. Wycombe (Lawrie Sanchez)- 0- -1 20. Port Vale (Brian Horton)- 0- -2 21. Brentford (Steve Coppell)- 0- -2 22. Bury (Andy Preece)- 0- -2 23. Colchester (Steve Whitton)- 0- -2 24. Oldham (Andy Ritchie)- 0- -4 English Division Three Saturday 11th August Carlisle 3-3 Rochdale Cheltenham 4-2 Halifax Darlington 2-1 Plymouth Exeter 0-1 Bristol Rovers Hartlepool 1-2 Scunthorpe Hull 2-3 Luton Leyton Orient 1-0 York Lincoln 1-2 Rushden Macclesfield 1-3 Shrewsbury Oxford 2-3 Mansfield Swansea 2-1 Kidderminster Torquay 2-0 Southend Luton's win at Hull was probably the standout game between two likely challengers for promotion, an excellent start to the season for Luton. In other news, Cheltenham-Halifax, Carlisle-Rochdale and Oxford-Mansfield stood out as particularly entertaining games while Cheltenham, Mansfield, Scunthorpe, Leyton Orient, Bristol Rovers, Darlington, Shrewsbury, Swansea, Torquay and the division's moneybags Rushden all picked up wins. 1. Cheltenham (Steve Cotterill)- 3- +2 2. Shrewsbury (Kevin Ratcliffe)- 3- +2 3. Torquay (Roy McFarland)- 3- +2 4. Luton (Joe Kinnear)- 3- +1 5. Mansfield (Billy Dearden)- 3- +1 6. Darlington (Gary Bennett)- 3- +1 7. Rushden (Brian Talbot)- 3- +1 8. Scunthorpe (Brian Laws)- 3- +1 9. Swansea (Colin Addison)- 3- +1 10. Bristol Rovers (Gerry Francis)- 3- +1 11. Leyton Orient (Tommy Taylor)- 3- +1 12. Carlisle (Roddy Collins)- 1- 0 13. Rochdale (Steve Parkin)- 1- 0 14. Hull (Brian Little)- 0- -1 15. Oxford (Mark Wright)- 0- -1 16. Hartlepool (Chris Turner)- 0- -1 17. Kidderminster (Jan Molby)- 0- -1 18. Lincoln (Alan Buckley)- 0- -1 19. Plymouth (Paul Sturrock)- 0- -1 20. Exeter (Andy King)- 0- -1 21. York (Terry Dolan)- 0- -1 22. Halifax (Tony Parks)- 0- -2 23. Macclesfield (Gil Prescott)- 0- -2 24. Southend (David Webb)- 0- -2 Ligue 1 Friday 10th August Lyon 2-3 Troyes Saturday 11th August Auxerre 2-1 Rennes Bastia 1-2 Lille Bordeaux 3-4 PSG Guingamp 0-0 Marseille Lens 0-0 Metz Lorient 1-0 Sedan Monaco 1-0 Nantes Sochaux 1-0 Montpellier Sochaux are the only side who still have a 100% record in Ligue 1 after a 1-0 win at home to a struggling Montpellier side. PSG got their season back on track with a spectacular 4-3 win at a Bordeaux side who had started the season excellently. Guingamp dropped points for the first time after a 0-0 draw against a Marseille side who are still winless while Rennes lost at Auxerre. Troyes gained a spectacular 3-2 win over a Lyon side who are having an awful start to the season while the holders, Nantes, lost 1-0 to Monaco to complete a poor start to the season for them. Bastia still have no points after a 2-1 loss at home to Lille while Lorient recorded a win over Sedan. Lens and Metz played out a 0-0 draw. 1. Sochaux (Jean Fernandez)- 9- +32. Guingamp (Guy Lacombe)- 7- +43. Auxerre (Guy Roux)- 7- +24. Troyes (Alain Perrin)- 6- +15. Bordeaux (Elie Baup)- 6- +16. Monaco (Didier Deschamps)- 6- +17. Rennes (Christian Gourcuff)- 6- +18. Lille (Vahid Halilhodzic)- 6- 09. Lens (Joel Muller)- 5- +310. Lorient (Angel Marcos)- 4- 011. Sedan (Alex Dupont)- 3- -112. Nantes (Reynald Denoueix)- 3- -213. PSG (Luis Fernandez)- 3- -314. Marseille (Tomislav Ivic)- 2- -115. Lyon (Jacques Santini)- 1- -216. Montpellier (Michel Mezy)- 1- -2 17. Metz (Albert Cartier)- 1- -218. Bastia (Robert Nouzaret)- 0- -3 Bundesliga Saturday 11th August Koln 2-2 1860 Munich Cottbus 1-2 Leverkusen Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Kaiserslautern Bayern Munich 2-1 Wolfsburg HSV 0-1 Stuttgart Hertha Berlin 3-2 Monchengladbach Werder Bremen 3-1 St. Pauli Sunday 12th August Nurnberg 3-2 Schalke 04 Freiburg 1-0 Rostock Werder Bremen maintained their perfect record with a 3-1 win over St. Pauli, ending St. Pauli's perfect record while doing so. Bayern picked up their first win of the season with a 2-1 win over a Wolfsburg side who are still winless. Dortmund and Leverkusen both won to continue strong starts to the season while Schalke were the victims of an upset against Nurnberg. Gladbach and Cottbus are yet to pick up a point after defeats to Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin respectively. Freiburg continued their good start with a win over Rostock while Stuttgart beat Hamburg and Koln and 1860 Munich drew. 1. Werder Bremen (Thomas Schaaf)- 9- +42. Bayer Leverkusen (Klaus Toppmoller)- 7- +33. Freiburg (Volker Finke)- 7- +24. Borussia Dortmund (Matthias Sammer)- 7- +25. Stuttgart (Felix Magath)- 6- +36. Hertha Berlin (Jurgen Rober)- 6- 07. 1860 Munich (Werner Lorant)- 5- +18. Schalke 04 (Huub Stevens)- 4- +2 9. Bayern Munich (Ottmar Hitzfeld)- 4- +110. Kaiserslautern (Andreas Brehme)- 3- +1 11. Rostock (Freidhelm Funkel)- 3- 0 12. HSV (Lothar Matthaus)- 3- 013. St. Pauli (Dietmar Demuth)- 3- -1 14. Nurnberg (Klaus Augenthaler)- 3- -515. Koln (Ewald Lienen)- 2- -116. Wolfsburg (Wolfgang Wolf)- 1- -317. Monchengladbach (Hans Meyer)- 0- -3 18. Cottbus (Eduard Geyer)- 0- -5
  10. @Makoto Nakamura: Your contract negotiations seem to going about as well as any Arsenal contract has gone for the past decade...
  11. Charity Shield 12th August 2001 Manchester United 3-1 Liverpool Fergie's last season as United manager ended with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Gerard Houllier's Liverpool. An impressive result against a team who are as defensively sound as that Liverpool team were. English Division One Saturday 11th August Barnsley 3-0 Grimsby Birmingham 2-1 Crewe Burnley 1-0 Stockport Crystal Palace 2-2 Sheffield United Gillingham 0-3 Coventry Millwall 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday Nottingham Forest 1-1 Rotherham Preston 2-5 Wolves West Brom 0-1 Norwich Walsall 3-4 Portsmouth Watford 2-2 Bradford Sunday 12th August Manchester City 3-1 Wimbledon Of the three recently relegated sides, Coventry and Manchester City gained comfortable wins over Gillingham and Wimbledon while Bradford got a point from a tough trip to Watford. In other news, the most exciting game of the day saw Portsmouth win 4-3 against Walsall while Wolves' thrashing of Preston was also notable. 1. Wolves (Dave Jones)- 3- +3 2. Barnsley (Nigel Spackman)- 3- +3 3. Coventry (Roland Nilsson)- 3 -+3 4. Manchester City (Kevin Keegan)- 3- +2 5. Portsmouth (Graham Rix)- 3- +1 6. Birmingham City (Trevor Francis)- 3- +1 7. Burnley (Stan Ternant)- 3- +1 8. Norwich City (Nigel Worthington)- 3- +1 9. Bradford City (Jim Jefferies)- 1- 0 10. Crystal Palace (Steve Bruce)- 1- 0 11. Sheffield United (Neil Warnock)- 1- 0 12. Watford (Gianluca Vialli)- 1- 0 13. Nottingham Forest (Paul Hart)- 1- 0 14. Rotherham (Ronnie Moore)- 1- 0 15. Millwall (Mark McGhee)- 1- 0 16. Sheffield Wednesday (Peter Shreeves)- 1- 0 17. Walsall (Ray Graydon)- 0- -1 18. Crewe (Dario Gradi)- 0- -1 19. Stockport (Andy Kilner)- 0- -1 20. West Brom (Gary Megson)- 0- -1 21. Wimbledon (Terry Burton)- 0- -2 22. Preston (David Moyes)- 0- -3 23. Gillingham (Andy Hessenthaler)- 0- -3 24. Grimsby (Lennie Lawrence)- 0- -3 The rest of the weekend's action will be updated tomorrow, just wanted to get something out today.
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