I read through Cleon's Sports Centre thread and it got me thinking. I then read through his 'WM' formation and what I took from it all was that I should watch the games in full. Watching the games in full gives you a feel for the game. It's not nice to view, but it shows if your fullbacks are bombing forward too often or if a midfielder is playing risky passes. It shows if your shape is being pulled apart by your opposition.
I've struggled to identify good players because there are so many attributes. Yes, at the top level it's easy to know that Messi is fantastic, but if you just viewed his attributes would you be able to understand how good he is. In short, no. Cleon does an excellent job of explaining attributes. Doubtless there are other articles on here that will do the same thing, but the examples given are clear and improve your knowledge of the game. I'm still not sure about which values are appropriate for which league or position, but it helps me when I view a scout's report.
After reading through I let the game pick me a team and I'm managing Taranto. Promotion in first season (not a shock) and three wins in my second from the first three games.
I urge you to look at Cleon's thread.