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About SD

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    Tottenham Hotspur
  1. To do list before players return from holiday. Add some staff to the backroom team, especially quality physios and sports scientists, although I do plan to be conservative and not make sweeping change to existing staff. Cancel existing friendlies and schedule my own. This is to squeeze as many matches as possible, while still having 2-3 days between them for general training. The goal is to have fluid tactical familiarity and every first team player over 90% match fitness by the first official match of the season. The friendlies are going to be against weaker teams as I did not notice and difference in tactical familiarity gain between weak and strong opposition. Poor morale can lead to a vicious circle of bad results leading to even poorer morale, so it's important to get into the season on a high. Review staff responsibilities. Make sure reports come from the best coaches for the job, turn off the reports I'm not using, etc. Set up training. Tactics focus for first team. I rate mental attributes highly for all positions so even though this focus is a bit suboptimal for younger players in the reserves team, I still think it will be a net positive over Balanced. U18 will get Fitness focus. Physical attributes increase the easiest in the teen years and I want to make sure young players are fully developed when they make the jump to the Reserves. There will be no rest days for the first team - instead, the team as a whole or preferably individual players will get rest days as needed. Intensity will be set weekly between low, average and high depending on the schedule, for now, it is on high during pre-season. Additionally each player, first team to U18, gets an individual schedule and possibly a focus, unless they're training a PPM at the same time as I still want to keep workloads in check. Re-visit player status and promote/demote players between squads. Take Llorente for instance, he starts with First team status when in truth he'll likely get Backup playing time. A couple other players will see similar adjustments to ensure good squad harmony. Set up scouting. Other then the scout on the next opposition, I want dedicated scouts for each of England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Holland and journeymen scouts for South America, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The goal is to rely less on player search and more on scout recommendations, media reports or match performances. I play with first window budgets disabled, but I'm still looking to snap up some free agents to act as tutors as well as backup for the first team. Ideally I'd want to find a ST, a creative type AM, a defensive type DM and a left fullback. Ask the board for an affiliate. Set up tactics. I like to use all three slots so that the team is proficient in as many settings as possible, even if it takes more to become fluid. Next post I'm going to go in depth into tactics.
  2. A couple of things, for starters. I played FM on and off since the 2003 edition and a couple of weeks ago I returned to the game after a 5 years sabbatical. I played FM quite a bit in my day but throughout this time, my relationship with these forums ranged from non-existent to lurk-only. This is the first time I attempt anything like this, starting a career thread sounds like fun right now, but I could just as well just go missing randomly half-way through, so I offer my apologies in advance if that will be the case. Similarly, I'm not native to the UK, so even though I know my way around words, do expect a fair dose of ignorance to English footballing culture. Another thing, I play slowly, really really slowly. As I was learning the game I also took up Spurs and it took me over a month to complete a single season. I did eventually win the title and the FA cup, but I did do a fair bit of save/loading in the beginning as I was testing tactics and getting the hang of player interactions, transfers and contracts. And even though past October the results were all legit, my silverware felt fake and the save itself felt tainted - so I decided to delete it and start over, despite the youth intake gods granting me a 5 star newgen keeper that was described as "something something golden generation". This is not going to be a journeyman save through the lower leagues of the Maldives and my goal is as unspectacular as it gets - take up Spurs and build a Fergusonesque legacy. Develop a golden generation and then watch it hand over the baton to the next one. See as many academy products fulfill their potential and continue to have successful careers, even if it's at other clubs more fitting to their ability. Win trophies and firmly establish the club among the Real Madrids, Barcelonas and Bayern Munichs. The Game. Since I play at a snail's pace a couple of minutes of processing time won't make a difference. I know from previous FMs that the more leagues you have active the better the game ecosystem, so I loaded every league that's even remotely relevant. Plus, I reckon that loading not only the standout players in the lesser leagues but also the chaff makes scouting more challenging, which has always been a pet peeve of mine. The Manager. No particular meaning behind his name, I just went through the squads of two random teams and picked a random first name and a random last name. Then I googled the name of a borough in North London. You see, Mr Lucas Fuller has been a boyhood supporter of the club and academy graduate and while he did not make the cut for the first team, he went on to have a successful career as a center-back for various Championship and bottom Premiership clubs. He even got capped once, almost, but sadly had to withdraw from the squad due to an unfortunate testicular injury. But despite his respectable footballing past, his appointment as Spurs manager after the inexplicable resignation of Mauricio Pochettino still left everyone scratching their heads. He does possess the coaching qualifications and a semblance of a reputation, but surely he lacks what it takes to finally win this club some silverware. The Club. I do feel a bit like a fraud for 'replacing' Pochettino, in real life he's probably the among the managers least likely to lose their job, but I always had a soft spot for Spurs and what they represent - the underdog making it, and not through oil money but though good business decisions and competent management. So in that regard, the club is half way there, it has superb infrastructure, a good core of players to serve as a foundation, enough money to keep them and plenty of youth talent to develop. So here is where I bring the glory. Sounds simple enough. So, without further ado, I bring to you my Tottenham Hotspur career thread, complete with match by match updates, ruminations on tactics and youth development and the occasional rant.
  3. SD

    Adjusting set-pieces

    Exactly, for some roles I like to have players on the same mould, others, especially ST, I like a bit of variety.
  4. SD

    Adjusting set-pieces

    Yes, I do set up set pieces, I just don't bother tweaking them match to match. Also, I'm a bit less specific in my instructions, take your example for instance. I have both CBs marking tall players, HB zonal marking near post 6y box, AP role AML sitting on edge of are and IF role AMR staying forward. Everyone else gets default instructions. I can't say I concede many, a handful a season, but then again I never score many either.
  5. SD

    Adjusting set-pieces

    I micromanage a lot myself but I will admit that this something I never done. I know it's hard to tell since you don't have a baseline to compare to, but do you feel your tweaks are making a difference?
  6. Some of it it's tedious, I'll give you that, but it's not so much about the time, but more about the expectations, that I am content with going through a match or two per playing session. One possible solution, is just the way team talks lose effectiveness to more you say one things, to have interactions lose impact to more you talk. It makes sense come to think of it, it's unrealistic that a player still gets exhilarated when I tell them they did well in training, when I said the same thing, every month for the past 6 months to everyone of the 60 players at the club.
  7. If anything, interactions are grossly overpowered. I play slow and methodically, I take the time to comment on training performance every month, offer praise or criticism after every match, comment on form every couple of matches, and in less than 6 months every player in all three squads is close or very close with me. And I'm not exaggerating, every single player, on loan or at the club, from the U18, reserves and first team. This turns team talks into easy mode, it's not uncommon to get all green reactions from the pre-match talk and have 8-9 players showing motivated body language 15 minutes into the game. Additionally, managing player complaints becomes a breeze and so does keeping them at the club. As for press conferences, I would not be so quick to call them useless either. If you've ever taken a look at team talk feedback in the Tactics section, the game mentions changes in focus or motivation, which leads me to believe that beyond the player variables visible in the foreground, such as morale, fitness and condition, there are short term variables at work in the background. This is all supposition, but I would not be surprised if features that apparently do nothing, such as press conferences or tactics briefings, act on these background variables. Take for instance the tip that warns against praising players to guard against complacency, or something along those lines. Either the game tip is entirely made up and a blatant lie, or it hints one of these mechanics at work in the background. Does any of the above make the difference between winning or losing a match? On their own, I'd say no, but then again I can't think of many other things who do. FM is generally a game of small edges, as long as a good handling of these interactions give me a 10% edge averaged across the season, I'd say they are 5 minutes per match well spent and a well implemented feature.
  8. @Sebas I'm far from a tactics expert myself, but your tactic may be using too many TIs. I can attest how tempting it is to go down this road when you are first starting out and every TI sounds like something you'd want your team to do. The breakthrough comes when you realize that the TIs are not binary absolutes, like 'do X' vs 'do not do X', but rather tendencies, changes in the frequency of that X. So then the decision whether to add a TI or not boils down to two questions: 1. Do I want my team to do X more than the default? 2. Is there a less intrusive way I can achieve that desired level of X? In your particular example, the first candidate for the chopping block is Work Ball into Box. A possession tactic is intrinsically patient, so if your players are misplacing passes or taking too many long shots, it's a sign of more systemic problems such as lack of space, lack of passing options or too high tempo. Often, your players are going for sub-optimal options not because of poor decision-making, but because that long shot or dribble into three defenders was the only option they had to begin with. A possession tactic should not need this TI, and from my personal experience, whenever my team struggled to create quality chances, activating Work Ball into Box never seemed to make things any better. My second concern is about the extreme closing down/D-line settings, which in combination with the Control will see your team lose any semblance of a defensive shape. Your CBs and DLP will end up with the closing down of a BWM and that will leave large gaps in your defence. It's playing with fire and even if you manage to deny the ball to the opposition for most of the game, your keeper will constantly be one through ball away from a 1v1 with their striker. Instead, you want to achieve the suffocating Klopp pressing you are after by means of PIs and OIs, distributed in a deliberate manner across your players. There are definitely several ways to skin this cat. Last, I understand that the player roles are still work in progress, but in the current iteration you might struggle in the final third as well. The tactic lacks any threat from deep and even though the Roaming TI will somewhat alleviate that, it still leaves you too reliant on the lone forward to be your goal threat. I can see the point of using one winger, to allow the FB on that side to be more restrained and balance out the attack minded FB on the opposite side, but using two wingers will funnel the ball on the flanks while lacking the bodies inside the box to make use of that. Personally I would switch the left winger to an IF(S). Next, I would switch Fabregas to CMR and assign CM(A) to him - he's not ideal for it, but if you must use a winger you want a creator that can double as a runner. You do not want the IF and the CM(A) on the same side as they are attacking the same area and they would step on each others toes, so the BWM moves over to the left at CML. One common misconception I see a lot and I used to carry myself, is to think of this role as a uni dimensional destroyer, when in fact the signature characteristic of the role is not the hard tackle, but the closing down. So this player will be your second runner/ball winner/cover for the slightly exposed left flank. Hope I didn't come off as condescending and that it ends up helping you, it's certainly helping me to think of these concepts and articulate my thoughts.
  9. Thanks a ton for the insight, mate. Learned a lot from this exchange.
  10. Last question and I promise I'll let you go. From your experience, can this happen the other way around though, that the CA requirement for a given set of attributes goes down after learning a new position?
  11. Does the game average out the weights among all positions a player is capable of playing proportionally to his ability in each one of them? And does it only work one way, in that an additional position only increases the CA cost of its key attributes without lowering the cost of non-essential attributes. I ask this because if it's the former, then the optimal, albeit gamey as hell development strategy, is to train a CB on a DF role solely that his high values for tackling and marking end up costing less CA, even if you don't plan to ever use him as a ST. I'm presuming that being non-essential attributes, tackling and marking take up less CA for a striker and I gave this example because a DF schedule would still train useful attributes for a CB while at the same time teaching the ST position. Then again, I imagine the new position would also change the way training pulls on that players attributes, so over time his attributes would reflect that, thus negating any benefit from CA cost changes. When I say pull, I mean the generic training for a position, the way even before training schedules and individual focuses, a CB will naturally train CB attributes, a ST will train ST attributes and so on. So in the example above, as a result of these pulls from training, this player would see his CB attributes naturally drop and ST attributes naturally increase. I personally play with house rules against approaches I deem gamey(such as sniping youth intakes), so this has few practical implications, but I still find it interesting as a thought experiment and I cannot pass on the opportunity to pick the brain of someone with a bit of insider knowledge
  12. Really interesting insight, it completely turns on its head what I thought was optimal approach for developing either footed vs only footed players. While we're on the topic, does learning a new position cost CA in and of itself or do the changes in attributes we usually see come solely from changes in attribute weights from the new position?
  13. 2 DMCs is a perfectly valid approach as long as you assign dynamic roles. During the attacking phase a HB+SV combination will get the formation to morph into a 3-4-3, and on the other hand, during the defensive phase your team will defend with a back four and two classic DMs in front of the defence. To make up for having two players with restrained closing down settings, I use either a BBM with Close Down More PI or a SS with Mark Tighter PI. Another side effect of using DMs is that it that having more players positioned deeper, it will naturally draw out the opposition without changing the D-line or closing down settings.
  14. I was always under the impression that a strong off-foot only increases the CA cost of technical attributes. Sure, when doing your experiment increasing the off-foot may result in lower mentals by virtue of technicals costing more while relative attributes ratio remaining unchanged. However, developing-wise, if my understanding is correct you can get a lot more out of a both-footed footed player by focusing on mentals and physicals instead.
  15. For me personally it depends on the position. As a rule, the higher up the pitch he is, the more it matters for me. For GKs and defenders it makes little difference, for midfielders Reasonable or above will do, but I will admit that for attacking players I rate a strong off-foot highly - you never truly appreciate the difference it makes until you watch a player on Heung-Min Son's mould, with average attributes but very strong on both feet.