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About AlexJames

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  1. Thanks for the response, I'll check out that YT channel. Could you elaborate what you mean by "tactic that suits him", however? My issue is more with the individual performance of the player than the team in general - for example why does he not even challenge for headers when the ball is there to be won, or why does he get muscled off the ball by players mich weaker than him? I seem to get better "Target Man" perfomance out of my pressing forward.
  2. Has anyone had any success getting production from a Target Man role, specifically in the lower leagues (i.e. English/ Scottish League 2). I feel this is a role that could be particularly impactful in these leagues, but I'm really struggling to get anything to work. I'm not even talking goals/ assists, more the basic stuff you'd expect to see - aerial dominance, ability to hold the ball up etc. I had trouble using a Target Man with a previous team in my current Journeyman career, and raised a similar question on a previous thread. Ultimately I put it down to the fact that the player maybe wasn't as good as I thought he was. However, I have fallen into the Target Man trap again at a different club, and am having the same issues. The player in question this time is Ollie Palmer (look him up). His attributes seem pretty decent to me - with possibly the exception of lacking a little pace - 6'5", Jumping Reach 15, Heading 14, Strength 15, Work Rate 15, Teamwork 15, Aggression 16 - but I can't get anything out of him. He rarely seems to attack crosses in the way I'd expect (i.e. actually attempt to go for the ball), when he does jump he is regularly beaten by players with seemingly worse attributes, and is far too frequently muscled off the ball by players practically half his size. In my last game (and the pre-cursor to this post) he was pushed off the ball by a 5'3" midfielder. In addition, regardless of if I play him as a lone TM (in support or attack) or as part of a two man frontline (again, as support or attack), whenever he is the furthest forward, he insists on heading the ball forward, regardless if there is clearly no teammate around to run onto - and even when there are options to head the ball backwards to a teammate. This is infuriating. I don't have any idea how to prevent this. I know the ask here might be to "post my tactics" but I don't know what part of the tactics would contribute to getting an individual player to perform as I suggest above? The rest of the team are performing as I'd expect, just not this guy. I've tried harder tackling and greater pressing intensity, still no different. What am I missing here? Any suggestions welcome!
  3. One thing I should caveat this with is that by no means am I a tactical expert or really have much of a clue what I am doing with FM (at least compared to others on this tactics board). All I know is what seemed to (mostly) work for me and what led to my most enjoyable FM experience in years (not that it didn't have it's difficulties - I've documented in other threads my frustrations with aspects of the game elsewhere). My rational for short, low tempo football was simply to retain possession. My players had generally poor passing stats and direct passing only resulted in constant aimless punts upfield. Anything too quick and balls would again be sent out of play. This did result in some painfully dull matches, but it is Scottish League 2 after all... As for the DM position, my priority was for someone tall and strong who could primarily win headers and help break up opposition attacks. It was pretty hard to find a suitable player that wanted to join my club, however. I guess with better players around, Fisher would've probably done pretty well in the DLP position, but personally I prefer someone more defensive as the deepest midfielder, rather than a playmaker. Especially for lower league football. I never had Smart Osadolor at my team, but he tore my defence to pieces playing for Queens Park. Tried to sign him but wasn't interested.
  4. I actually tend to not go too crazy with trials, think I only signed around 5-6 new players total in my first season. The only regular first-teamer I brought in was a young LW as they literally had noone that could play that position. I found that the general staff setup there was pretty solid - I kept all the original staff and Coaches/ Scouts were fairly decent for that level. First season was definitely a low-scoring one - I remember the strikers all being pretty useless for me, especially Gracie who was actually supposed be be good but played horribly every time I played him (and then complained when I dropped him). Jamie Watson was the best of a bad bunch. My general first choice setup was something like this (this was pre-19.3 so players might be different now): GK(D) - Potts RB (S) - Fagan CD (D) - Wharton CD (C) - Murdoch LB (S) - Loan LB (forgotten his name)/ Smith after xmas when loanie refused to return DM (D) - McGeough RW (S) - McMahon CM (A) - Monaghan CM (S) - Fisher (the man, the legend) LW (A) - Bradbrury PF/P (A) - Gracie/ Watson/ Kearney/ Watters (whoever was playing the least badly) I found I didn't struggle in games as much as I thought I would - playing a Balanced/ Cautious mentality home/ away with Lower Defensive Line and Standard LOE and trying to keep things simple - short passing, low tempo etc. - nothing fancy - we scored enough goals to be competitive and avoided relegation comfortably in the end. I found a covering defender helpful, too - someone with pace to mop up the inevitable defensive mistakes. You're right, Bryan Wharton was a beast from direct free-kicks, and I think was my top scorer in season 1 was 10-12 goals from free-kicks/ pens - he even scored a hattrick one game! Tailed off in season 2 though, and Fisher took over legend status.
  5. I find that amazing, as I experience this regularly every single game - both from my own team and the opposition. We're talking defenders literally in yards of space to control the ball (or let it travel out of play for a throw/ goal kick) instead choose to head the ball back into open space, more often than not to be picked up by an opposition player
  6. My FM2019 Journeyman save began at Albion Rovers, and lasted for 3.5 seasons, before I left to take over my boyhood club in England. It's been my best save in any FM ever - never had a career save that's kept my interest as long. Focused mostly on the basics - simple formation with simple roles (4-4-2/ 4-1-4-1, defenders, fullbacks, midfielders, wingers, poacher/pressing forward), kept the wage bill down (to apease the board), got an affiliate (for loans, though I rarely used them in the end - but also helped for additional income) tried to get some cheap frees and loans to bulk up the squad and keep wages down. First season finished 6th, made the playoffs in the 2nd season (lost in first round), 6th again season 3 and team were 3rd in the league when I left them. Gary Fisher is an absolute legend. Player of the season in 3 of 4 seasons, and scored 21 goals as a CM(s) in one season for me. Though sadly he won't be there in FM2020 as I think they released him in real life. I enjoyed the save so much I check Albion Rovers results in real life now, and will probably buy their kit at some point!
  7. Never!? Are you serious?? How do you watch games, what tactic(s) do you use and what league(s) do you play in? This happens to me continuously and is infuriating.
  8. I didn't compare anything to real life? Are you referring to my mention of Harry Kane? I was talking in the context of my FM save, where he has just won player of the season for the PL. I was saying I don't think he'll be getting released by Spurs in my save, whereas this seems to happen frequently in the lower leagues I play in (English League Two and Scottish League Two). I can't imagine a scenario where a team in Scottish League Two would release a player who has just won player of the season, and that same player sits on a free transfer for months without any interest from other clubs. This is why my initial supposition is that for whatever reason certain players are capable of outperforming their attributes on a consistent basis. As for whether I think professional footballers are capable of smashing a worldie in with their wrong foot "every now and again" - sure, perhaps - but this isn't every now and again in FM. I think the concept of footedness isn't particularly well implemented in FM, as I consistently see this during the game - players in fact often favouring their wrong foot to shoot/ execute a perfect cross/ long ball. I watch a lot of real life football, and the amount of times players in the best leagues in the world pass up passing/ shooting opportunities because the ball is on their wrong foot is surprising - and these are the best players on the world. I've also watched a lot of lower league football in England as well, and the standard is... mixed, to say the least. So when a journeyman winger for Elgin City in FM is able to regularly ping 50 yard balls and top corner howitzers with their wrong foot during a game, I become suspicious.
  9. What are examples of "hidden attributes" a player might have? I would say the AI logic releasing such players is a Bug, however.
  10. Personally, I've encountered all sorts. However, I find that often the match I experience doesn't always align with the tactical approach I take. My recent save I was playing as one of the weakest teams in the league. I was regularly instructed by my AssMan to approach games with a Defensive mentality and lower defensive line/ LOE. I adopted this approach initially - although with a Cautious rather than Defensive mentality. Results were more or less as expected - the odd win, a few draws, a couple losses - but the performances weren't. I'd expected to be played off the park in most of these games, but generally my team would have the majority of possession and create the most chances, with the opposition barely threatening beyond the occasional long shot/ counter. The football, however, was often dull and uninspired - from both teams. Likewise, when I played a team 2 divisions higher than me in the cup, I adopted a Defensive mentality, hoping for the best, but expecting (actually, even grateful for) a hammering. Again, my team bossed possession and chances and ended up winning the game. Not by a fortunate counter attack, but a really dominate performance. Even in the dying moments, with opposition about to be knocked out by my little team, they were just passing it around between the defence and midfield with no urgency whatsoever. Bizarre. As I got more bold with my tactics - and began to trust the judgement of my AssMan less and less - I started playing a more Balanced/ Positive mentality - and all of a sudden my players started to play a lot better - wingers would look more dangerous, direct passes from midfield would connect instead of just being punted into touch, etc. etc. In one particular game I'd approached with a Balanced mentality, I recall sitting through some of the worst football I've ever witnessed. After about 60 minutes, I got fed up and simply switched to a Positive mentality. The difference was staggering. All of a sudden my team woke from their slumber and began to play like Barcelona in their Pomp. I know the answer is likely "it's your tactics" but it seemed strange to me that such a minor change could have such a major effect on general performance. The ability to pass the ball 10 yards accurately, for instance. Similarly, when I had been forced to chase a game, adopting an Attacking or very Attacking mentality - coupled high tempo and with super aggressive pressing and high defensive line/ LOE - my team seems to play much better... with very little push-back or threat of counter from the opposition. I must admit, at times it felt like I was taking advantage of an OP tactic or something.
  11. I'm playing in the lower leagues and often see players with fairly poor stats performing above what I would expect for that level. This manifests itself in a couple of scenarios: 1. An opposition player has an individually/unusually strong performance against my team - for example a player with poor long shots stats with "right foot only" scores a 30-yard screamer with his left foot, a player with poor tackling/ strength/ work rate stats absolutely bossing my (on paper) superior midfield, or a player with 4 pace beating my 15 pace winger to the ball. Generally I let this slide under the pretense of a one-off outlier performance (every dog has its day, after all) and carry on regardless. However, over the course of an entire season, I notice that a number of average players are continuously having strong games and outperforming their stats (usually strikers or midfielders). Again, this is fine (maybe the team in general is making them better, etc.), however: 2. These performances don't seem to get recognized by the AI. I have seen on a number of occasions players that have scored highly over the course of the season being released by their respective clubs, and twice in my save now the league player of the season has been released by their club. Often this player will remain unclaimed by another other club - in the same division, or even below - giving evidence to my suspicion that this player was never supposed to be good in the first place. Similarly when I scout these players, the report is in the 40's/ 50's with "doubts about their ability". A few times I have signed such players regardless, and have been unable to reproduce their previous form - perhaps for obvious reasons. Sometimes these players go elsewhere and continue to perform well. What is going on here? Firstly, why would a team release their better players - and even the player of the season? And how/ why are these players good in the first place? I've never played in the higher divisions, but doubt this occurs there - can't imagine Tottenham would release Harry Kane after he just won player of the season in my save - is this purely a lower league thing?
  12. Some useful suggestions, thanks. I hadn't considered the inswinging corners idea - generally just select the best corner taker I have - so will give that a go. Really frustrated by the the inability to position two players outside the area - on opposite sides of the box, not right next to each other - as this would offer much greater flexibility I think. Still a little confused by the free-kick ability stats translating to production, however. my previous team I had a player with free kicks 11, long shots 9 and he was golden with direct free kicks - must have scored 15-20 goals and looked dangerous every time. My current free kick taker in my new team has free kicks 13, long shots 15, and hasn't even come close to scoring - either hits the wall or blazes over the bar every time. Strange.
  13. Does anyone have any useful hints/ tips for making the most of corners/ free-kicks - specifically for lower league teams? I'm currently managing a team in English League Two - and previously managed a team in Scottish League Two - and have found it tough to get any production from set pieces for both teams. My players stats aren't terrible, with most players in the box 6'0 + with decent (for this level) jumping/ heading etc. My corner taker usually has around 10-12 for corners/ crossing. My setup for corners is pretty general, as there isn't a ton of variation to work with - tallest players attacking near/ far post, striker marking keeper, tallest midfielders lurking near/far post, small winger either taking or lurking outside area, full backs stay back. The problems I'm having are two-fold: 1. My players rarely win headers when directed into the box. This typically always results in the cleared ball landing straight to the opposition player lurking outside the area (never to my own player lurking outside the area, strangely) and a swift counter attack. 2. To mitigate this I've tried playing short corners, but mostly this ends up with the player receiving the ball waiting until they are closed down, get tackled or finally attempt to cross, smash the ball into their shins out for a throw in (or worse, a double ricochet off my own player for an opposition throw) I've also tried assigning two players to 'lurk outside the area', to recycle the cleared headers we lose, but they both stand next to each other, which is just ridiculous and not helpful, and still usually results in 1.) above. I've seen opposition teams play the ball straight to the player lurking outside the area, but I don't see this instruction anywhere - I've tried all of them, and so far haven't been able to reproduce. Also, is there really any correlation between training set pieces and actually scoring from them? I've had the odd fluke goal scored after various rebounds in the box and been told "our work on set pieces has paid off", but I'm not buying it. Truthfully I've probably scored <10 goals from free kicks/ corners (not including direct free kicks) in 4 seasons, but not sure what else I can try.
  14. Ya, that's what I figured, and hence why I didn't want to take the chance of missing out. I got offered the job in the end, so happy with that. Would be cool though if you asked to take over at the end of the season in the interview, but if the club don't want to wait then when offering the job they insist you take it immediately - rather than outright rejecting you. Who knows, maybe that does happen, guess I'll never know now! Unless someone at SI can chime in...
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