Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About santy001

  • Rank
    Stoke City Researcher

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Stoke City

Recent Profile Visitors

6,305 profile views
  1. santy001

    Anyone Play A Sweeper?

    I've been using a Sweeper for the majority of the last 8 or 9 seasons in my game. The premier league in one of the saves became a little unusual, blistering pace and acceleration for front and wide-men has become the norm, not just "good" but most clubs have 1 player who is 17+ for acceleration in the mix in their attack. A sweeper came to be extremely handy for countering how football has gone. I had tried many things, a deeper defensive line just ultimately meant conceding too much space on the edge of the box, and even the average bloke in the street has the odd wondergoal from long-range in him. It also necessitated bringing others deep to then negate this space, and all of a sudden every counter attack is being built from deep and you're not really able to counter in the most effective way. It had a few very tight at the back 20ish goals conceded seasons, but the sweeper has begun to fail as the 4-2-3-1 is coming back in as the favoured formation and this tends to expose the sweeper system more.
  2. The biggest challenge FM would have on its hand is implementing the way in which clubs value players on their accounts. As a Stoke fan I've only ever seen the club write-down player values over time, but in official accounts a players transfer fee is never put on the accounts as one block even if they pay for a player upfront, its spread over the duration of the contract. It gets messy when you sign a player for £10m on a 5 year contract for £10m upfront, but on the accounts its only £2m per year. But at the start of the fourth year he signs a contract that takes him back up to 5 years remaining so you've got the last £4m spread over another 5 years. It would be extremely convoluted to implement that, but furthermore there's clever accounting done by clubs at different points. Just before the premier league brought in FFP Stoke posted a £30m loss, seemingly to prevent any FFP issues over the next few years it was realised the club could take advantage at this final stage and write-down the squad value substantially. I expect in the next set of accounts from last season the club will have done the same because with relegation, if the club loads on that side to accounts that the football league doesn't review, it means the next couple of years could avoid a Villa-like scenario. It's such a huge undertaking though because there would also need to be the implementation of a large degree of external factors. I can only speak for the arrangement at Stoke, but the way the club is set up it means that there's some very clever shenanigans. If Stoke lose money, Bet365 (who own the club) pay less tax because part of the business is making a loss. The club also pays out a hefty amount (around £4m-£5m per season) in rent for its stadium and ground (to a sister company called Stoke holdings which is also owned by Bet365), but this seems more like its a way to again get a bit of a hand up in removing certain overheads from Stoke's accounts for FFP reasons which can then be put back into the club from Bet365. When you start to realise just how nuanced each and every club probably is with how its run, and how situations can transpire of a club making a loss of £5m but having £15m more cash in the bank. It seems difficult to reflect this happening in FM without an enormous support structure around it. It probably should be hidden from players (because the figures can't ever be truly accurate with club finances anyway, because the FM world is always going to be at least 1+ year behind depending on when clubs publish accounts - or if they even have to) but I don't really see how this level of nuance can be brought to a game without adding an entire module to the game that is somewhat loosely emulating real world finances outside of football to influence it - which possibly goes down the wrong route for the game. - - - That being said, and I don't know if this is for legal reasons, or technical limitations, but the prospect of financial mismanagement in FM is not really a factor in the game right now. Clubs cannot agree overdraft facilities, so there's no situations in which clubs are being in some way hampered by a poor financial decision made 4/5+ years ago. There's no short-term loans for liquidity that clubs go for in order to make signings, and these are the things that ultimately lead to clubs having more problems. An awful lot of clubs operate with external financing away from the director, some have a mixture of director support and external support and some are like Stoke where the club just has the owning director/entity that underwrites it all. There's no problem in FM of running the club with a £10m+ deficit until you get to the end of the season, but in reality the club would at least need an overdraft if it were in this situation and I don't know the going rate on a £10m overdraft, but I imagine its pretty pricey and could/should factor more into clubs budgeting to avoid it. Hell in FM you can drop down to negatives in the £50m+ range and not be too worried. If this were to happen administration would've come long before then. Without provisions at the start of the season in fact, the moment your club was approaching 0 cash in the bank then people aren't getting paid. I'd be really happy if FM could implement this side of the game. Did an overly-ambitious chairman take out a loan to sign players and its since backfired? Did season ticket/merchandising revenues fall short of projections and so the club needs a loan? Has the club been stuck with high earners it couldn't shift on but has needed to still bring in more? Did the club get into a bit of a squeeze similar to Everton and an ever-growing overdraft is becoming a lead weight around the clubs neck so the owner is seeking investment. Again I'm not sure if this is a legal limitation or not, but administration is a bit of a cakewalk in FM. Because new owners come in no problem really once a club does go into administration, and there's little legacy issues of the debt clubs can recover quickly. Some clubs can spend a long time looking for new owners in reality, again coming back to Everton, pretty much since he took over Kenwright was looking for extra finance to come in and that took over 10 years to materialise. Once more coming back to Stoke, Peter Coates wanted to sell up and it took a while until eventually an Icelandic Consortium came out of nowhere. Then a couple years in the major financier of the consortium pulled the plug over disagreements with the other members. This meant they were looking to offload the club and that process itself took some time, before Peter Coates saw no one was coming in to buy the club and had the urge to come back and "right the wrongs" of his previous tenure. Something like this could be a dramatic addition to the game that would certainly increase the gravity of enormous spending and constantly pushing higher when the club isn't getting the money in until further down the line.
  3. I think you're misunderstanding my point massively. Because even if there is another defender behind, or what else is in the situation I don't mean a last defender, then through on goal situation. Furthermore I'm not talking about an even on the pitch situation, I'm talking their spread of attributes, so in all situations, in all possibilities, defenders are lesser mentally and physically, generally speaking across the board than their attacking counterparts. In regards to the second point, I should have clarified, but I'm thinking about after a changeover of possession, and leaving 3 up the field. The advantage to this, and foregoing their defensive contribution is that no team will leave (to have a ready made double-up in place) 6 men back. It was a general philosophical thought about the advantage of having 3 left up the pitch, largely void of defensive responsibility. In addition to this it was factoring in the tendency to attack with more, most defensive structures do indeed have the 2 banks of 4, or a 4-1-4-1 to defend well with 9. But if you have 3 forwards, 2 wingbacks and 1 or 2 central midfielders pushing up then to double up on every man isn't possible. My main aim from this thread is to get more information though, I've got a belief that the effectiveness of these gung-ho formations comes from something more than just a deficiency in the ME, or perhaps not at all much to do with it. The discussion about this hasn't really (to my knowledge) come up on the public forums in regards to this niche, nor on the researcher forums (separate researcher only board) but there's definite room for input from people who have a much greater grasp of tactics than myself.
  4. @Svenc we can only speculate on the elements at play, but with work rate governing how likely a player is to chase a "lost cause" as it were, I wouldn't be surprised if this is another attribute that at times accentuates and furthers these issues. It is a very real element of football, Gary Cahill is one of the most prolific I've seen in recent years, wanders out of position and its too much of a lost cause to chase back seemingly in his mind. So how does this play in FM? It's something we can't accurately pinpoint, but a player with the higher anticipation - to see where the ball is going and to see the opportunity, coupled with that high off the ball which should translate to being in a generally more suited position anyway with the physicals are these runs potentially causing issues where the numbers are being run and the defenders who have these lower mental and physical attributes just realise that they can't get there in time? They're slower to see what's happening, and then as its happening they are merely conceding defeat. It's something I genuinely don't know the answer to, but again its something that tends to be weighted in the attackers favour of having more of the positive attributes that can lead to that situation. Knowing the situations you speak of though, and with a relative understanding of the instructions it could almost feel as though FM has it not the wrong way, but rather has it done in the opposite way football has evolved. Football has evolved in a way in which defenders had very explicit instructions, the structure and manner of which they defend drilled to a tee and the attacking side of the game has often, historically, been very free form. Certainly something in the English game that was driven by Allardyce some 20 years ago. We're seeing now a number of managers, on the flip side, and largely driven by Guardiola it seems in England of a very specific, very drilled and nuanced attacking plan too. In FM, you can have and have been able to have, the very precise attacking structure for a good number of years. Indeed, all the way back to the exploit tactics. Meanwhile, defending is much more freeform, you set your shape and you alter the defensive line but you can't really give or convey what you want your team to do defensively anywhere near as much detail as you can offensively. Mostly because its something that varies so much from game to game, how you're going to defend against this particular opposition. How this then comes back to it is without this being in the game (and potentially not even possible right now in terms of how to code it) its surely falling down to player attributes to decide whether or not a run is followed, whether a space is defended etc. Which in turn comes back to my point, the attributes in the game currently suggest the speed of thought and speed of feet advantage lies firmly with attackers over defenders. When you bring in other elements of play, such as chasing those lost causes and putting the work in is it perhaps exacerbating what you see? Its anecdotal as I've said before, but I've seen the vast majority of the 3 forwards (and various other gung-ho tactics) come massively undone in my game in which the defenders have moved from being 6'2-6'4 with moderate pace and moderate mentals to 5'10-6'0 essentially Kante-esc players at centrehalf and they render the equivalents of Salah, of Dybala etc largely ineffective. There are some teams fortunate enough to also have height in there with the good acceleration, agility and balance too but these are your more typical defenders. The teams who have them are the top 4 competitors, the teams who don't are the midtable/relegation strugglers. The general 3 forward formations available on these forums are generally non-functional. Teams are mostly playing a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 in my save now, and the two in the middle for most teams are often more than capable of dealing with fast forwards even when outnumbered. What they aren't well suited to anymore, is a 6'3" bloke getting crosses smashed into him by the two side forwards who exist for that one purpose. So long balls and crosses yield goals galore, which on the starting database testing, has proven my tactic to be terrible. In this world of pacey midgets at centre half its a dominating tactic. Over 150 goals in the league, just by long balls and crossing. Fire it up in the base game and well Real Madrid, Bayern and Liverpool had all sacked me by Christmas. It's vital to reinforce I'm not dismissing the match engine element, but the match engine is the same. It still works the same, its the only constant in FM. When the types of players in the game change, the tactics that work have, in my experience, changed.
  5. It's becoming very common to just state its an exploit and even seeing that mindset settle in among well established posters. The change in attributes over the course of years (as regens come through) and even a couple of windows as clubs buy new players can render tactics irrelevant. But I do think the discussion has to move away from it being an exploit area. But there needs to be more thought as well on the attributes side. It's hard to check, but that is where people more involved tactically with the game can perhaps lend insight. Liverpool were phenomenal last season, yet I distinctly recall Erik Pieters able to keep Salah quiet for an entire game when it was a 1-on-1 situation. It's rare that happens, but its coupling up with what I feel I'm seeing in FM is defenders at a distinct disadvantage to forwards, when in reality defending is not easier, but its definitely more understood in football as a process. One reason why the likes of Wenger struggled is that he failed to seemingly adapt to the changes in defending that came in with the likes of Allardyce. Now we're what some 15 years on and defending has become something every team can actually do to a high standard through professional football. In reality most defenders have the well established, well versed skillset to keep even extremely talented forwards out if the opposition doesn't have a solid plan for attacking. Yet the attributes paint the picture in reverse, the defenders are, on their spread of attributes, inferior to deal with the attackers head on. So when you get a formation that goes man for man in attack (not a well constructed overload in spaces, but just flat up man for man matching) it comes across as very powerful in the game. The main point of interest that follows on is what do other people see? Do you see solid defenders just being steamrolled over in ways that are less likely than reality? It's one topic of conversation that so rarely comes up that while the attacking side of the game is so inherently well discussed and pushed to its limits with tactics and people that push the discussion regarding attacking players forward in a very much power-creep way that the defensive side is almost being left behind.
  6. Tactics, not my strong point, but after many moons of reading threads on here and watching videos from the likes of Rashidi, I generally would class myself as an enthusiastic amateur. So I'm going to hopefully add something to the debate around 3 forward tactics today. Straight to the matter at hand, here is what I've come to believe over the last 2 years and 2200 hours of FM: Three striker tactics do not inherently exploit a weakness in the ME. - - - The Meaty Filling It sounds pretty stupid, because its so clearly overwhelms the opposition. Indeed, even I myself, with nothing more than a simple 3-4-3 with the forwards set to run wide with the ball got a striker to score over 100 goals last season. The match engine is a brilliant thing, but as a researcher, as I see these topics coming back up time and time again my mind always goes back to a point where Peter Crouch was scoring 30+ goals for fun. There was nothing in the match engine that inherently made big players good, there was nothing inherently in the Stoke squad at the time that suited Crouch (I put him in the Barca team and he was scoring 60+ for fun) but there were some issues that the height of Peter Crouch, plus his spread of attributes were producing something altogether unforeseen. Many researchers helped contribute, and eventually the goalscoring beast that was Peter Crouch returned back to being a 5-10 goals a season man. Anyway, context provided and coming back into what I want to discuss. When you start and FM save, there is only 1 defender in the game truly suited to playing in a defence that would counter the 3 forwards. Eric Bailly. My "tier one" as it were for these players is 15 in each of anticipation, positioning, acceleration, agility, balance and pace. My "tier two" is the same but dropped to 13. There are 36 players in total. Bailly has anticipation of 18, positioning of 15, acceleration of 15, agility of 15, balance of 17 and pace of 16. In addition his tackling, marking, bravery and work rate are all solid, but a bit irrelevant. There's no one else immediately available, and Rojo is on the next tier down (perhaps why some struggle against Man Utd) Those first 6 are essentially a cheat-sheet of the attributes required to defend against the 3 forwards. There's a simple reason for this, the 3 forward tactics aren't built on something in the match engine, they're built on specific types of players. Spoilered for any who don't want to see the list of forwards and just to save space. What attributes are around these really help cement it, and determine who you play in the middle. But these are attributes that develop in abundance across the ML/AML/MR/AMR/AMC/ST roles. This means these players replenish far faster in the game, and perhaps, even greater specialists appear over time. Now to bring it back home, here's the striker who scored 103 goals last season in a front 3. The main 6 attributes once more: 19 anticipation, 17 off the ball, 17 acceleration, 20 agility, 19 balance, 18 pace. In the starting game there is no one that matches this guy, doing a filter search of those 6 attributes the only point you get a match is at 2/6. I don't have the IGE to check, but I'd say its safe to say he's above 190CA. But in the game he's in the 3 striker formations have generally died out, the reason is that just at baseline - the ideal gold standard I used for Bailly pulls up 12 results. When I drop it down to "tier two" there are 143 results. An enormous part of it is down to chance, that's just the way football has gone in my game. On the whole though, it broke the 3 forward formations. If you take a good team and play some of the most popular 3-4-3 formations in my save now, they flounder because the AI teams have players capable of defending. Most of the "big" success 3 forward formations with a team roughly on par with the teams that dominate at the start of the game will only get a 4th-8th placed finish with adequate defenders around. As I said, its been 2 years of poking, prodding and playing around with stuff to get to this point. There is an exploit at play here, but its not the match engine. It very much looks that way but it's coming down to mental/physical mismatches. Even at a certain level the raw CA is playing a part because the majority of the best defenders at the start fall into the 150-170CA bracket, but the best attackers are in the 160-200CA bracket. In fact, an awful lot of players look down on attackers or bemoan the lack of ability for attacking rated players who are below 170CA. - - - So What am I Saying? Ultimately it means the data of the game is skewed in favour of 3 forward attacks. While there can be times where it draws a blank, there are no defenders who can man for man compete with the forwards in the game. This means when the AI decides to pull its 3 forwards out as well its often equally as successful, because there are no players for the human or AI to buy with regularity that can defend it. The very nature of 3 forwards is that it prevents the opposition from ever realistically doubling up on a forward, if the opposition are playing a back 4 it means usually there's 1 free or even 2 attackers occupying 1 defender. It's actually very unlikely there is a solution that can be implemented in the match engine without decimating "normal" build-up play tactics. If you want to guarantee 6 men centrally (and also catering for wing backs pushing up) you would need a defensive line up that has 2x anchor man at DM, 3x central defenders, 2x fullbacks and 1x sweeper. That can't ever happen, its absurd. It's essentially an 8-X-X formation, and it would come with a whole host of other defensive issues. I have come to the conclusion there may be a flaw in how players are rated, I'm fully aware its essentially nothing more than 2 years of anecdotal situations built up in my head but there is no real testing bed environment to sim it in a fair/controlled manner. While an individual attribute plays little to no part in the grand scheme of the game, a small cluster of attributes that build a positive loop that enhance and accentuate each other can be very potent. And this is ultimately what the 3 forwards formations are drawing upon, a positive loop of the positive loop by triple stacking this.
  7. I think it depends on the context. I mean the career updates thread isn't purely LLM so there's nothing really that wrong with people gravitating towards the same players. I pretty openly stated in my thread on there though that it's just an all out competition between me and the guy I'm playing with so nothing is off the table. But the specific object there is to just batter the other player, never been too concerned about seeking anyone else approval for it, it's how we play FM these days.
  8. Some feedback I'd like to offer up is that I find it frustrating to be playing the game at present with the fact complacency is very much a part of the game, but we have no tangible mechanic in FMT to combat complacency. Unless I'm missing something, the only option is to sub a player, but it can be the problem is you just don't have enough subs. More specifically, its a major problem affecting players who are subbed on, it is very common to sub on fresh players when winning a game to see they are complacent from the moment they step onto the pitch. I feel like there has to be something to mitigate it, it's extremely frequent even with an assistant manager who has 19 for level of discipline, 19 motivating and 16 man management - of course he shouldn't be perfect but the lack of options to be tackle it is a bit of a problem. Not an easy solution to offer in suggestion it just doesn't feel right, ultimately I would suggest something needs to be in the background that works it from the assistant manager to better handle this rather than make it more like the main game and put it on the players. If it is currently supposed to be like that, then after 40 seasons, numerous assistant managers and many more numerous playing squads I would suggest that it is not working correctly.
  9. Been a couple of lean years for me as I'd been in strong positions just letting it slip. Last season it was Oli who finally slipped though, having been leading for so long he found his season coming undone thanks to two red cards. One in the third from last game of the season against Arsenal and another in the Champions League final against myself. I also got the better of in the FA cup and Carabao cup. In a full blown rekindling of Oli's bottlers, he also lost the club world championship final against a Brazilian team. Last few years standards had slipped for both of us as this year was the first 100+ point year in nearly a decade. Extremely closely run as well. For a long time I had been using various @knap tactics, in particular his blue matter 433 and the 442 variations, but over time the premier league has become something a bit different. Very often teams sit back with deep, structured formations at all times, but have blistering pace. The vast majority of teams have a number of attacking players with 16+ acceleration, so it necessitated some drastic changes as pressing and high line formations were just being carved apart. So I decided read up on this thread from @herne79 It lead to me building this formation: Borrowing some elements from Knaps 3 forwards formations and it's working really well. It's incredibly basic, but massively functional. The sweeper helps to provide a deeper anchor to counteract pace, perhaps a CD-Cover could do the same but it works well. The central forward is generally quite isolated from play, but that is largely by design. Leone in that role scored over 70 last season. The play at the back tends to be in a V shape between the two CB's and the keeper, then played to the wing backs or the DLP and it moves forward from there.
  10. santy001

    What is the purpose of Instalments?

    There's a big issue that exists in football right now that FFP on any level doesn't adequately cover or cater for. I don't know vaguely anything about French business practices but with how it is in the UK, any English club could buy Mbappe and it would be unlikely the FFP rules could touch them. But first and foremost the OP's point, in reality, very few transfers are actually all the cash upfront. Instalments are the standard go-to model. For the receiving club, instalments help reduce tax liabilities (or better prepares them to be able to spend to offset the tax cost a massive transfer could otherwise have) and for buying club instalments also help with accounts over the next few years. - - - On to the FFP issue and football in general though its a nightmare to work through for the research for FM, because club accounts are done in accordance with the rules of the country they're based in, and players are assets. This means there are years in which I've seen Stoke post a considerable loss, I think the heaviest was £30m, but the club was £20m richer in terms of cash in the bank than the year before. Typically that means in England for example, a player who costs £10m on a 5 year contract will only see £2m added onto the accounts each year for 5 years, irrespective of what the actual terms of agreement were with the other club. But these players also have a "value" now how you treat this in accounting is probably the murkiest area in football. After 3 years of his contract that player you bought for £10m should now only be worth £4m on your accounts. However, if he's in his mid 30's, you can write down his value. Before FFP came into play, Stoke wrote-down the value of its squad by £30m. There's no perfect guide onto how it plays out in football, but it would then suggest that if say that £10m player was valued at £4m on your accounts now, but you wrote it down to £1m, and as another year passes he's now down to 1 year left on his contract, and £500k value on the accounts. If you sell him for £2m at that point you can account there being a £1.5m profit on that player which then counts towards FFP. - - - This means you can choose to write-down (and I've not seen it at Stoke, but also presumably write-up, although this would be a very risky practice and has the potential to have some negative, prison related consequences to doing so) the value of players. This means its very malleable, it's recalculated yearly and new contract signings change the way things are accounted etc. Again I can't speak for other countries because I've not the foggiest idea, but should it come down to purely transfers then it would be open to legal issues. I believe AC Milan are challenging their ban, and no doubt were PSG to be banned they too would challenge it. It will probably see UEFA going back to the squad registration punishments before long. It is a competitions ruling body that sets this rule, but it seems ignorant of the fact football clubs are businesses and have other legal obligations to be run as such. If its published in the accounts that your losses over the last 3 years are only say £20m no matter what interpretation UEFA use, it seems sensible to believe they would lose such an argument.
  11. santy001

    Jumping reach

    There isn't a PPM at this time, hence finding a working solution that was faithful to the reality within the constraints of a game. It was also an extremely rare case. It's better we try a bespoke solution like that in my mind, than just a generic thing and let it potentially be the case of people having Marko Arnautovic the 6'4" aerial monster. It was an imperfect solution, but what is more realistic. As I said as well, don't be looking for the examples 1 or 2 points out but those which are clearly out and make the post from there. As you say a 189cm tall player with 6 stands out dramatically, but it was FM17. Find examples on FM18 and get them logged.
  12. santy001

    Jumping reach

    This is an interesting topic. There is a table, that I will include at the bottom. However, the table is only a guide. Jumping has always been a bit of enigma in FM. It's simple but too many topics have veered down misinformed paths, so hopefully my example and then the table at the bottom will help to provide some context. I've had a discussion about height with my head researcher before and how to provide a solution to a certain problem (the problem in question was Marko Arnautovic having a distinct preference for not challenging aerially, he would much rather wait for the drop and control it - even to the point of getting his feet up to head height/what would be considered dangerous play rather than jump and cushion it down etc) - - - Players heights are included, so if a player is 6'5" tall he has that height for aerial battles without even leaving the ground. If a players jumping reach is a bit below what you'd expect for their height they won't jump for aerial balls since jumping would offer them nothing. This means in my case, I was setting 6'4" tall Arnautovic to have a jumping reach of 10, so that its substantially below what he can jump to in order to reflect the way he plays the game (I can't say if its changed since he joined West Ham, his game has seemed to become a bit more comprehensive since then though). So there is a valid reason but its quite likely to be rare. So take a look at the type of player, a centreback who lacks appropriate jumping for his height is likely to be at a distinct disadvantage for example. If you've got examples then head over to the bugs forum and post a screenshot of the player and reference the table if needs be. Bear in mind though that pulling up a 6'5" player for 14 jumping really won't be so useful, its the standout examples, because where the exact margin is for the "worst of the worst" in a certain height bracket is not clear.
  13. Well there is but not what you're thinking. The formation you pick on the tactics screen is your defending shape. So you set that as 4-4-2 and you're half way there. You then make use of the roles and personal instructions to augment your team so it would become a 4-3-3 in attack. - - - In reality though simply transitioning to a 4-3-3 shape to attack possibly isn't the best, attacks are always more fluid and its overly simplistic to say Croatia went 4-3-3 for attacks because their fullbacks got involved for example, the heat map of Vrsaljko: He was spending a good portion of touches in the AMR position in FM. So that would arguably make attacks 3-3-4 with him up there. Whereas Strinic was having most of his more around the ML position in FM: So that would mean when attacking Croatia were perhaps getting more towards a 2-4-4 formation.
  14. You can't really compare a psychological aspect of the game with a technical aspect though. It's a baffling comparison to even make in my mind. Peter Crouch having 1 heading would be so jarring because he's 6'7" and aerial play naturally therefore is a part of the game on which he should focus. It just doesn't work unless at age 15/16 the regen sprouted an extra leg and its commonly known that 3 legged men are ball winning midfielders. It's nonsense basically. Aggression is a situation by situation attribute, so high can be wonderful and terrible in 2 tackles 2 seconds apart. Low can be terrible and then wonderful in 2 tackles 2 seconds apart. I can't speak with any certainty but in my mind the logical thing is that as Player A has the ball approaching the ball winning midfielder there's a whole host of options, all the aggression attribute would do is serve as a modifier - in conjunction with other attributes to come out with an outcome. If tackling based on all the other attributes makes sense, its very unlikely that the low aggression will prevent the tackle being made. - - - All that low aggression does is lead to there being scenarios in the game that you watch and say to yourself "I think he should have gone in for the tackle there" not knowing what the consequences of such would be. On one hand you may be right and he wins the ball and stops the attack, on the other hand he may have gone in, gotten beaten still by his man and opened up your defence. But maybe by not going in the player tries to do him for pace, but his acceleration then means he gets there first and nicks it away and sets up a counter. There's too many possible scenarios of "what happens next" in just one situation with the opposition having the ball 30 yards from goal to even try to envisage them all and how all the attributes affect the final decision that player is making in the ME. And that is why you can't pull the aggression attribute of 1 to one side and say "this is wrong" because you have no demonstrable way of proving or even arguing your point in a reasonable manner. It will have an effect, there will be situations you can probably narrow it down to the aggression stat having an impact, but you still won't be able to say conclusively that it was the right or wrong decision for a ball winning midfielder to make. Looking at the whole package it seems like he should still be a good ball winning midfielder, and his stats suggest he is proving it thus far. However, its easy to perform well in a few games.
  15. His anticipation is in a good place, so he can judge well where loose balls/spillages/opportunities to win it back are. His positioning is in a good place, so he can position himself well in conjunction with his anticipation. His work rate is in a good place, he'll keep chugging away. His acceleration is high, very high for that role which means he's got a tremendous advantage. He's brave, determined, got high decisions and can tackle. The fact he's low on aggression means you might have one of the most disciplined ball winning midfielders. Aggression is neither a positive nor a negative attribute. It can be massively positive or negative in different situations, it is an in-game/in-match attitude. If its high it means a player is more likely to go in for tackles, and generally get involved. It also affects how hard a player goes in on 50-50 tackles, a player can win the ball back without just going in for tackles. Ultimately you've said yourself you've played him and he's done well. If you are playing someone in a position and they're doing well, does it matter whether the attributes across the board are good or bad? The "templates" are the typically envisaged player for that model. There isn't just one way to be a striker, there isn't just one way to be a defender so why does there have to be one way to be a ball winning midfielder? The truth is, there doesn't. By lacking aggression he's an unconventional ball winning midfielder, it doesn't mean he's not an effective ball winning midfielder. If he can't play the role then you can partially put it down to that, if he moves on and his career never amounts to anything then his lack of aggression was his big weakness. And if that does happen to be the case what's wrong with that? There are promising young forwards who never master the art of composed finishing and its ruined what looked to be a great future. Others have performed at the top level in a role that would've ideally seen them better, like Paul Scholes, he's probably still trying to learn how to tackle to this day.