Just looked at all the games I played in January (6 - one friendly, two cup games and three league games) and the woodwork has been hit 9 times, 8 of them by my team. I drew two of the matches and won the other four so this isn't out of rage, but it just seems completely ridiculous; I've never known a streak of a team hitting the bar in that many consecutive games in real life. Are we acknowledging that there is an issue with this?
Edit > Just went back and checked December too (6 games - five in the league, one in the cup). In 12 games in the last two months my team only hasn't hit the woodwork in a match once - a cup game against a much bigger opposition where we had far less of the ball than usual. That's in over 90% of my games in that period. Woodwork was hit 18 times in 12 matches (including opposition hitting the woodwork too).
I welcome anyone to try to convince me this isn't an ME issue.
Edit 2 > Investigated further and checked all my league games only this season (20 played out of 34). My team has hit the woodwork 18 times in 20 league games. I'm playing in the Portuguese second division and can't statistical data for it, but this season in the English Premier League, Chelsea top the charts with hitting the woodwork 19 times in 30 games, and the league average is just shy of 11. I would be very interested to see what the longest consecutive game streaks of hitting the woodwork are too, but I don't think that data exists. Regardless, at the moment I'm on course to finish the league campaign with hitting the bar around 30 to 31 times in 34 games, and whilst I can't be bothered to go back and check previous seasons, I feel like I hit the bar most games no matter what team and league I play in, so this isn't just a fluke season.
Initially just wrote the above but figured I'll make a proper post out of it.
Will preface this by saying this is the first FM I've properly played since FM16, and I am impressed by a lot of the added features:
- Dynamics is a great feature and largely well-implemented. Linked to this I generally haven't found players to be totally unreasonable anymore and it's also no longer impossible to cure a player of unhappiness - in FM16 I never saw a player drop an issue once they got the ump.
- Love some of the transfer options - buy/sell players who have signed pre-contracts early, don't ratify transfer until replacement has been brought, transfer negotiations, whilst still not perfect, are a lot more reasonable.
- It's nice to finally see big players actually going to small leagues for money. This is the first FM I've played where big names regularly go to China and the US long into the future. On FM16 once all the big players left those leagues on their initial contacts no new big players would go there. I'm presuming this is a tweak to the power of league/club reputation and the power of money, which I feel is very well represented in FM19.
- Injuries are finally perfectly balanced. The regularity of injuries and injury lengths are bang on, kudos for this. Also match condition and sharpness is also a lot more realistic in this version.
Now onto some negatives.
- Training. In theory, it's great. In reality, it's dull as dishwater having to go through and do it every month. I've found that it has such an effect on how well your players perform in matches (which is both a positive and a negative - more later) that I have to do it, but it is so, so boring. Every assistant manager I've had so far (three of them) are all brain-dead when it comes to organising training, leaving me no option but to do it. I'm not one of these managers to delegate - never use a DOF, I attend every press conference and negotiate all contracts at all levels of the club, so I don't mind micro management but training is pushing it a bit. It's just so dull and annoying that assman can't organise anything close to what I want (and what would be logical)
- Mentoring. Really don't like this. I understand the reasoning behind it as opposed to tutoring but it's just a mess to be honest. In classic FM fashion it's not really been explained properly and I've tried it at three different clubs now and have seen very little improvement in any mentoring groups. Linked to this is the seemingly OP effect of squad professionalism - players I've signed with 19, 20 Determination see their Determination attribute plummet by three or four points within half a season, and I can't find a way to stop this. Just seems daft, in real life Ronaldinho didn't bring down Carles Puyol's determination. Javier Zanetti didn't become any less focussed because Adriano played at the same club for a few years.
- Players ask for new contracts way too regularly. Pretty self-explanatory and I've read other people have complained about this so will presume this will be looked at.
- Morale seems way too powerful. This goes both ways, if a player is even slightly unhappy they just become completely useless, whereas if you keep the squad's morale on Very Good or above you can beat teams who should be steamrollering you. It really feels like morale manager rather than football manager sometimes.
- Scheduling. Albeit I played with downloaded databases a lot of the time so I know this isn't strictly an SI issue but some of the scheduling is highly questionable, and the 'request to postpone match' option doesn't appear at crucial times. Like, 23 first team players got called up at one point and there was no option to postpone the match. I feel this feature could be implemented better.
- Defensive formations. They just seem way too good. If I come up against a team playing 4-1-4-1 I just holiday through it at this point to save myself raging. I've tried so, so many different tactics, watched matches on full highlights and adjusted based on what I can see, everything... and nothing works. This is another thing I've seen complained about a lot so I'd hope in FM20 it will be toned down. So many teams, even top teams challenging for continental football or even the league title will play park the bus, at home. It makes no sense whatsoever, very few teams will play this way week in, week out (especially not top teams, and especially not at home), but on FM it's probably the most common tactic I encounter save for 4-2-3-1. This is absolutely the worst thing about FM19 in my opinion. I get that sometimes teams pull off an absolute defensive masterclass (Inter vs Barcelona irl) but in FM you come up against it with such regularity and such little success no matter what that it's honestly demoralising and seems futile. It's like Man City vs Burton every two games, but Burton always come up on top. In reality they lost 9-0, on this game it feels like if a team puts out a defensive formation then you'll score a single goal if you're lucky, no matter what the teams are. I understand there has to be a balance of gaming fun and tactical understanding, and whilst I'm no super tactician I'm also not totally inept but the defensive leaning FM19 has defies all logic imo.
- Long shots and set pieces. Again well documented, it seems 80% of goals in FM19 come under one of these two categories. I've had two unbeaten seasons now but it's just dull to watch as the same five or six goals are scored on rotation. There's very little in terms of goal variety. As I mentioned earlier, if you work on set pieces at least once a week in training, you could beat Barcelona with Basingstoke Town. They're that effective.
- How rubbish strikers are in general. Tall Target Men are the only ones I can get to put up good, consistent numbers - Poachers seem absolutely useless and Advanced Forwards are average but very streaky. This seems linked to how overpowered defending seems on this version (would also explain why so many goals are from pot-shots and set pieces...). Scoring from central positions is way off too, I don't even worry anymore if a player goes clean through on goal because 8/10 times the keeper will save it, even if it was Aguero vs a 16 year old Bhutanese regen GK. It's like CCCs are there to make you rage. Keepers on a regular basis make saves from CCCs that would be up there with Banks vs Pele. Scoring from wider positions is a lot easier, but this is also frustrating because...
- Wingers don't seem to follow instructions. I want my AMR to stay wide at almost all times, yet he's constantly cutting in and taking shots with his left, running into cul-de-sacs or just being way out of positions. He has no counter-effective PPMs and I've told him to stay wide and run wide with the ball, but it's just ignored. It's so so frustrating.
- Penalties, I'm seven years into my save and have never seen a penalty not hit the target. They've all either resulted in a goal or the keeper making a save, never been wide nor high. Seems like a bug.