My FM 20 Feedback so far:
Every two weeks I go through the same cycle: I watch a weekend of premier league games, analyzing interesting tactics. Naturally, I get the urge to load up my game to replicate something exciting that I've seen. The process of building the tactics is so much fun as you envision what the players would do on a pitch (thinking to myself, "ahhh this will show them!"). This is arguably my favorite part of the game. I watch all my preseason games on comprehensive/full match highlights to address the glaring errors in my system.
That's where I start to get disappointed. Yes the players are pressing high(usually with minimal risk), winning the ball, holding shape and building the attack again. But the chances I expect my players to create, due to player roles and duties, are not being created. An example is pairing two CM's in a 4-1-4-1 with (left to right) RPM and CM(attack) with a false 9 and inside forwards on attack and support. Because the strikers movements are so bad, he is not creating sufficient space for what should be a marauding CM(Att) or for the IF(A) to run into. I know much has been made of the striker movement but I think it applies to the entire front three. When in the final third of play, they all seem to just stand on the edge of the box with little to no movements. Its so frustrating as I aim to use fluid movement of my attacking players(two cm's, wing backs, wingers and strikers) to break down low blocks. Also what so ever happened to the option to select (fluid/structured etc.)?? I try to do this with individual instructions but it barely seems to help. The striker movement seems ultimately unfixable but playing the wingers as Advanced playmakers seems to alleviate the issue somewhat.
Oh and, lest I forget, to complete my "cycle": I decide that it is not possible to recreate certain styles as the ME seems to nullify all my attempts to force the ball through the midfield and I go back to studying/reading a book or whatever other thing I can pour some time into. The issue is I don't remember this always being the case. I remember booting up my FM's in the past (pre-2019) and getting something more similar to what I expected, and this was enough for me.
However, I won't say everything is horrible this year. I love every part of the game outside of the ME, the tactical options (though they don't always work), the sheer ridiculous number of stats that makes a data geek like me giddy, and the overall immersion the game provides. There's a few positives inside the Match Engine too: I remember playing against a very narrow team and tweaking my system to force both my CM's wide to create insane overloads on both sides. This worked wonders as I battered a shell-shocked Eddie Howe Bournemouth team 6-0 at the Vitality Stadium, with some impressive combinations down the wings. So I won't say the ME completely ignores my instructions.
I apologize for the long post. I've never posted on these forums before but I've purchased every FM since 2012. I can't help but feel that there is a wonderful game still to be salvaged this year. While I understand that work must now begin on FM21, I believe continuing work on this edition even until the summer might do a lot to appease fans like me; even if that means the next edition is released super late. Alternatively, if SI decide to stop working on this version and create a fantastic FM21, I'd still be happy as I'll buy this game regardless. I think SI have earned a certain amount of goodwill over the 20 something odd years they've worked on this game, so I trust that the right decision will be made. Hopefully sooner rather than later