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Posts posted by SFraser

  1. so anyways tl;dr, can I loan players that I have bought but aren't in my team yet? Also is there a work around sending players with a youth contract out on loan?

    No and no.

    I'll tell you something - nothing is more freaking frustrating then finding a wonderkid, only having to wait until he is 18 before he joins me. THEN, instead of learning my system and having me and my club become apart of his favorite personnel, he learns some backwards system, learns to love a club and manager, and it always bites my ass 5 years later when that club is declaring interest in him, or his old boss gets a better job and has buying power. It rattles my players and disrupts my form, so just avoiding it completely is the best.

    Yeah that's hugely annoying, but it's all part of the game. My advice is to load up those leagues that produce awesome youngsters but don't allow transfers until the player is 18. Brazil, Turkey etc. And then it's up to you to sign the best.

    Thanks to my awesome skillz at FM I signed up an amazing young Brazillian fullback when he was sixteen, but he couldn't join me until he was 18. The player developed amazingly at his home club and turned into an awesome fullback within months of joining me.

    He is 20 now, and is already classed as World Class.

    It's just a test of your ability. It's a question of your awareness. You can sign them early, they just can't play for you, and sometimes this is actually a benefit to the player in question.

    Don't hate the game, play the game and enjoy the challenge. Brazil is a cunning nation, it always produces great players yet it has strict rules for transfers. That's not a nightmare scenario, it's an interesting feature of our mutual footballing world.

    While playing in England, can you send players you bought from other countries on loan? To say Belgium (to get EU-nationality &work permit)?

    EU nationality =/= Homegrown. Players that have been on your books long enough, even if on loan, will become homegrown.

    The only benefit to sending players on loan to these countries in realistic terms is if their level of football is sufficient to develop your youngsters, and you have the league on "full realism" or whatever is it called.

    When it comes to FM quite simply feeder clubs are not well simulated. Simulated well enough so that you can force a player on loan if he agrees but not much else.

    The way I do it as Man United manager is that the Championship is king for multiple gameplay reasons, it's always fully simulated anyway for a more realistic season, but plays English football etc. etc. etc.

    However the Championship doesn't have epic reputation and so if my players don't like the Championship I look for the "Premier Division" of other countries that is active but likely has a low Reputation, for example France.

    Keep the French top division active, find a team that is a bit rubbish but never gets relegated and there is your awesome club that players that refuse the Championship will go to.

    Another option is to try and strike up close friendships with managers in your own league and then offer out players on loan in the general way. But to be honest I never find this works well. That awesome Chelsea youngster scoring for fun at Bolton just doesn't seem to happen in FM.

    Keep in mind, they are U18 as well and join my club on their 18th birthday/next transfer window. I find it really annoying receiving a kid when he's 18, cannot get a work permit, send them on loan to my feeder in Belgium (which sucks btw) for 3 years to finally get them into my club, and those 3 years are more or less wasted and they still have a low CA but huge PA.

    Cuz when I buy youth, I like to buy 14, 15 and 16 year olds (17 or 18 very rarely, and only because they regened at age 17 or I just totally missed them while scouting). If I could send them to Belgium (or wherever) to gain nationality THAT young would be IDEAL. Then I can get them into my system as young as possible.

    That's not how Homegrown works, it's not how loaning works either.

    The absolute key to Homegrown status is realising that if you are asked to name a 25 man squad and you name a 23 man squad, those two spare slots are AUTOMATICALLY home grown. If you need 8 HG players then 6 HG players + 2 spare slots is perfect.

    And this totally ties into everything I have ever said about "small" robust, functional, logical squads. Never failing the HG requirement + epic youth development because of a small(er) First Team is a mutually reinforcing, and might I say profoundly useful, situation.

    The truth of your entire post is that the game sets you tasks, it sets you challenges, it sets you stuff you wish was different but isn't.

    You can either fight against them or you can accept them.

    But if you are really good at this game you can exploit them all to your advantage. Need a certain level of HG players? Have fewer first teamers and force yourself into using youth. Signed a Brazillian but he can't join you for another two years? That's two years for Darren Gibson to prove his worth. Got yourself a First Team squad that doesn't meet the 25 player rule? Forget about Belgium, send players to France instead.


    That's all you need to worry about.

  2. Wondering of the validity in telling a player you are "disappointed" when the motivation widget describes them as "looking complacent"/"looking disinterested".

    The reasoning being that the player will realise that this attitude is not acceptable..

    That's the basis of my man management techniques. Criticise players when they are not performing to the standard I demand, praise them when they achieve it or surpass it.

    I don't actually understand the logic behind other approaches. Why would you be nice to someone that doesn't look like he can be bothered?

    I do understand that some personalities require a different tact and can be quite tricky to man manage, but I personally am not a "softly softly" manager.

  3. Half of this thread is absolutely FALSE. There is nothing true about Double the intensity x number of affected attributes. Well it is logical that 8 is 2 times more than 4 in Strength but the same is true for 6 is 2x3.. Training is absolutely linear and every single click gives you a bit more chance on improving the affected attributes. That's all. Everything about players age and training I also agree.

    While I agree training is linear I am unconvinced that each category has the same effect per attribute regardless of quantity of attributes.

    If you look at the schedules I produced there were massive differences in the category workload which never corresponded to massive differences in the rate of increase of attributes. My radically unbalanced shedules produced very balanced attribute growth. Indeed some minor mistakes early on in this thread produced some fairly obvious poor results, such as Strength gains for goalkeepers.

    What I did for FM10 is what SI did for FM11, I balanced the training categories, so that the linear progression could be managed more accurately.

    Half this thread is now irrelevant for FM11 because the training categories are now +/- one attribute relative to each other. Goalkeeping has been split into two groups and the rest have been reorganised so that the effect of X slider level is now equal across all attributes in all categories. It is X/4 for all, no balancing is required. The assumtpion that X level for all categories has the same overall quantitive effect on all attributes is now true.

    That is the real major update to training in FM11. After 3-4 releases the basic assumption that everyone starts out with in regards to Training is now true ingame. There should no longer be such things as untrainable goalkeepers which marred every release and training theory over the past three years untill this thread came out.

  4. I don't quite grasp the part about tempo and tackling level. Why should you aim to tackle hard when the opposition is playing with a quick tempo? I can understand wanting to break up the play but wouldn't you risk having your players commit themselves too easily and leave space for the opposition to attack

    It's not an absolute rule and there will be teams you play against that use a high tempo and are capable of dribbling past your tackles and opening you up so use your judgement. The point I was making is that when the opposition play at a higher tempo they give themselves less time to make good decisions and to execute moves well, giving you more of an opportunity to get your foot to the ball first.

    In my own save I use light tackling to start a match as the opposition tend to play to timewaste, draw fouls and defend against me. As soon as I score a goal I switch to Hard Tackling as the opponent is going to come and try and get a goal back, which means they will play with a higher tempo and take more risks with their passing. Hard Tackling means not only will I stop the opponent by fair or foul means from getting forward, but I'm going to take more risks with my Tackling at the same time as the opponent is taking more risks with their possession football which should in theory result in a far greater quantity of possession turnovers in my favour.

    or is that why you should be more careful/use light tackling when the opposition play with a slower tempo - so your players don't commit themselves and get drawn out of position?

    I'm giving examples of how to make your own judgements, not hard and fast rules. You can't base your Tackling strategy purely on Tempo but Tempo is a major factor to take into account when deciding upon your Tackling strategy.

    What you say above is certainly true but the other side of the coin is that the opponent has more time on the ball to make good choices and execute clean moves, so you might want to get right into their faces. Light Tackling in this context will protect you from being skinned or from being drawn into a foul but maybe the opponent isn't trying to draw fouls and is very poor with the ball when faced with a physical confrontation.

    With that in mind when facing a good side playing a low-ish tempo you might want to opt for a Light Tackling Strategy for your team, but select Hard Tackling OI's for the main opponent playmaker and the opponent players with poor First Touch and Dribbling.

    I'm basically trying to tell you to be aware of the Tackling Game, of the very large role your Tackling choice plays in the match. Which choice is "best" depends on a huge quantity of factors, but that aspect of the tactical to-and-fro is very important.

  5. Can anyone give me any tips on gaining a little more possesion, i'm averaging 44% - 56% against and not sure what to tweak in order to gain more time with the ball.

    I'm using classic tactics for the record, so shouts are out.

    To gain more possession in X system when you have the ball what you want to tweak is Creativity, otherwise known as vision. There are other tactical options you can tweak, tempo for better evaluation of decisions or mentality for reduced passing risk or passing style for an increased bias towards possession, but there is nothing that so vastly improves passing in one fell swoop as Creativity. When it comes to knocking the ball about Creativity utterly demolishes every single other feature/mechanic/attribute in the game as far as I am concerned.

    To gain more possession in X system without the ball is trickier because there is no sole attribute that has an effect equivalent to Creativity. The key is winning the ball back.

    The first thing you want is a good shape, and the 4-2-3-1 is not the "big match" formation of choice in the real world by accident. 4-2-3-1 is a great defensive shape. In the context of winning the ball back it allows you to press the ball while still maintaining control of key areas of the pitch.

    The second is to press well. In the 4-2-3-1 this is near automatic. You don't have to understand the theory behind the 4-2-3-1 to get it to press well, but it helps.

    The third thing is to play a tackling game that is in tune with the opponent and the ref. This means hard tackling when the ref is lenient or the opponent is playing a quick game that makes demands of their players accuracy and control, or light tackling when the ref is harsh or the opponent is playing to waste time or a game that is easy for their players to receive and to pass.

    The final thing is the all important, utterly key area of attributes. Anticipation when defending is not up for debate, positioning is crucial, workrate a must. High values for Tackling and Marking can never be over-valued. Acceleration and Strength are huge helps as well. And don't under-estimate how useful a high Jump and accurate Heading can be for turning defence into attack.

  6. Do these theories of attribute focus/grouping the clicks still apply to fm11? I'm guessing they do, but since the training has changed a bit...

    I had a look at the demo and I don't think training has really changed much at all. The only real differences being a change in the number of attributes per category. The rest is pretty much a facelift, different looking screens and more preset schedules but not a whole lot else. The match preparation stuff looks like a separate system altogether that just takes up workload.

  7. I’ve just bought Welliton for my first season managing Everton. He is natural at FC and accomplished at AMC, but has no ability currently to play at AML and I’m thinking of switching to a wide 4231 formation. My first ‘stupid’ question is whether it is possible to retrain him to be natural at AML, and if so how long can I roughly expect it to take.

    If he is a natural FC then he will be natural all across the front line and you could play a modified FL role instead of AML. The behaviour of a modified FL role will not be exactly the same as an AML role but there are tools to atleast attempt an approximation.

    How long it will take to retrain him to FL, or indeed if it is possible to achieve "Natural" depends on his Versatility attribute and the length of time spent playing and training in AML. Very versatile players can do this in a matter of months, less versatile players may not be able to reach "Natural" even after a long period of time.

    My second ‘stupid’ question is, seeing he is already accomplished at AMC, would I be better off playing a slightly modified 4231 with him at AMCL and then an AMC and AMR? Cheers.

    That's much the same as playing him at FL instead of AML. He will be more capable in his "Natural" roles but then his Natural roles may not be tactically ideal. May not produce the kind of tactical behaviour you wish to see, specifically defending and marking down your left flank.

    The truth is that you are unlikely to get the exact tactical role and behaviour (AML) without some kind of sacrifice of this players overall effectiveness even if he retrains to "Natural AML". It is a juggling act, an issue of judgement and there is no real right or wrong answer to this question. You can try to mould him to fit the team or mould the team to fit him better.

    I would suggest looking through the tactical threads on asymmetric 4-2-3-1's, such as the Brazilian box or the Spanish 4-2-3-1 type formation of the World Cup. A striker played wide left was a major feature of the World Cup just passed and a major feature of specific matches played by major European Club sides. Your situation as described here sounds like the perfect time and perfect opportunity to start experimenting with formations that have what I call an altered axis of attack. In these systems you need to start thinking of your Wingers/Inside Forwards as your true striker, your actual number 9.


  8. Can't find a specific thread for this, is there a 'here's my over-sized squad, someone tell me if I've got too many players' or a 'How many players do you have in your squad?' If not, then how many maximum should one have between the first and reserves? I've got a first team of about 25-ish, but there are a few players who'll warrant a first team place soon and I'm finding it hard to keep the balance right. Just checked, I've got 51 players, not including the youth system, mind you I've got about 30 coaches.

    The best answer would be to have as many players as you can comfortably and effectively manage, or want to have around the club. I personally have a first team of 25 players, a reserve team of zero players at the club but with all my loan players sitting in there, and a youth team of around 20 or so players.

    51 players at the club not including youth team players seems extremely bloated to me, but that's my opinion. The key things you want to look out for is unhappiness over excessive players, lack of football, the increased risk of personality conflicts, lack of matches and opportunities for players to develop or even maintain their current level.

    With a bloated reserve team your youth players wont get much chance to experience reserve team football which will stunt their development, and your senior pro's in your first team will also find themselves competing for space and time in the reserves and if their match fitness drops, so does their current level of ability.

    And then you have the inevitably cost in terms of wages for players doing nothing other than sitting in the reserves. £20k a week wages is a million quid a year, so five players sitting on these wages for five seasons is the price of a top class striker simply wasted.

    It's up to you how you organise your club, but the way I organise my club is to have no such thing as a reserve team, just a combination of youngsters and first team squad players getting reserve matches, and I use my reserve team as a "store" for all my youngsters out on loan. I would rather have ten youngsters out on loan with the option to recall them than have ten youngsters sitting rotting in the reserves.

  9. I think you are right, but as long as DFKs are being discussed, what do you think about this guy's ability?

    The only weakness I can see is his Decisions attribute but still he should be banging in a lot more DFKs than he did with me. I think the number of DFKs scored by top teams in this game is unrealistically low.

    Thanks for the explanation about the Technique attribute. I usually try to get players who have a technique of at least 15. What is the point of having high crossing, passing, creativity, flair and decisions if you don't have the technique to carry it out?

    I will try not to derail this thread and make this my last answer to this particular question.

    Speaking from my own experience I would consider Technique to be the trump attribute, the key attribute in Free Kicks. I would also consider Flair to be essential for players to step up and attempt a curling howitzer into the top corner. These two attributes combine to produce a player that is willing and capable to try the kind of freekick capable of beating goalkeepers in FM. Generally those with heaps of pace that swerve into the top corner.

    The actual Free-Kick attribute in my opinion is of a lesser importance to the above two but still important. With Technique around 18, and Flair above 15, then any double figures Free Kick attribute should give you some return, with an increasing return as the Free Kick Attribute increases. Lacking Technique and Flair however will almost inevitably see the ball hitting the wall regularly irrespective of Free Kick Accuracy.

    It is much the same as the Longshots attribute. You have a player with high Longshots and so his Longshots are more and more accurate, but Technique, Flair and Composure make them better struck, and more difficult to save. Lampard in FM has a rather low longshots attribute you would think at first glance, and yet is highly lethal from range because of his Composure and Technique. A calm, composed player hitting a very well struck shot does not need to stick it into the top corner to score, he can fire it past goalkeepers at speed.

    So generally speaking when you are looking for a very well struck shot you are looking for Technique and Composure. When you are looking for an accurate shot you are looking at the relevant Shooting Attribute, Freekicks/Longshots/Finishing etc. When you are looking for a shot that is difficult for the keeper to reach due to the trajectory of the ball then you are looking for Flair. Technique+Composure+Flair contribute a huge amount to the "components" of any shot, but you will still need to be reasonably accurate if you don't want your howitzer style thunderbolt or 20 yard top corner curler or delicate edge of the box chip to slide wide of the post.

    Hey all,

    First I'm new to this game.

    But anyway I got promoted to Serie A with my Brescia team. Mainly because of many great posts of SFraser. Those posts really helped to understand the game FM10 and Football it self. So thanks

    But how to survive the frist season in Serie A. What do you need to do to make that next step and compete with the big boys

    I played wery active 4-2-3-1 and pressured high. season was really great. offensively it was quite creative and active. I think that partly the tactick was created by accident :p

    So if someone can point me to right direction and give few pointers how to prepare to new season in Serie A

    I am glad I could be of help.

    I would say here that you should look at the lessons you learned when beating the lesser teams in the previous division on your way to promotion. Particularly the teams you played last season that had just been promoted themselves.

    Irrespective of how you approach the next season in terms of style, philosophy, offensive aggression etc. It will absolutely vital to make your team difficult to beat. You will very likely be playing against superior players that are looking to attack you and while you don't necessarilly have to adopt a "9+1" system on the edge of your box, you do have to understand that giving the opponent space, time, and worst of all giving them the ball is going to play directly in their favour.

    There are several ways to play football as the underdog. There is the counter-attack approach where you defend deep with numbers and attempt to catch the opponent under-manned at the back with quick and direct counter-attacking play. There is the "bring the game to them" approach where you effectively counter the opponents attempt to exploit space and play football by playing an aggressive, tight, dense block of players further up the pitch trying to disrupt play from a more central position than they operate in forcing them to try and play around you where they have less numbers while you have much greater strength through the middle and can win the ball quickly and release it quickly to your forwards. And then there is the "strangle" approach where you play deeper, narrower with plenty of hard tackling, timewasting, man marking key players with your more advanced players and then when you win the ball back you keep it and play very conservative passing football making them chase the ball, and slowly work your way up the pitch where you only play a risky ball when there is a glorious opportunity to get a striker through on goal.

    Whether you play defensive, counter-attacking, or a more aggressive attacking game is up to you, but as the underdog the key element of your tactical design must be to control the middle of the pitch and deny the opponent space and time on the ball in the most dangerous areas, which ultimately means the centre of the pitch.

    And I would also advise you to invest in good defenders. If you can dominate the centre of the pitch and force the opponent wide or to try and play over the top then defenders that are dominant in the air and capable of holding a good line are worth their weight in gold.

    It is very likely that to stay in the division and do well in the division in your first season that you will need to become adept at all of these approaches. There will be teams you can take points off by playing the more aggressive but narrow and tight "slugfest" style through the middle, but there will be teams where you simply cannot leave any space in behind, nor can beat through the middle and these teams you may have to counter-attack, and then there will be the top quality teams in the division where your only realistic hope is to make sure you keep the ball as long as possible.

    And study the opposition. If you can spot a weak player in their side, say a slow rightback or an aerially weak leftback, then exploit them. Set your attacking players up to exploit any and all weaknesses you can spot. Do that and you will have much more ability to score goals from a defensive base than simply playing blindly in attack.

  10. I am still not convinced about dropping Natural Fitness from the Strength base. I think one can expand one's natural fitness with prolonged exercise over an extended period of time, after all the fitness is natural to you and if you change then maybe your NF changes. plus it is number 1 on a list of 4 attributes under Strength, Training Categories on the Gen. Tr. Screen-with it's own line on the graph- it must be there for a reason and one I suspect to do with training.

    Also the one Set Piece attribute for GKs. I agree with many that it's not worth training however, if the aim is to get a balanced base from which to then focus training onto categories you wish to target then shouldn't it be included with the choice to disgard or not down to personal preferences? More importantly it is there (hello NF) and can be trained.

    For Natural Fitness I have never once seen an example of it increasing. Ever. I saw it decrease once in my own saves in the past 2 years and that was after a player of mine sustained repeated long term injuries immediately after recovering from the previous. In other words the only time I have ever seen NF change is once when a player of mine missed almost an entire year of football.

    If NF were trainable then regardless of how high/low the intensity of Strength Training is, it would change regularly. Maybe not regularly in the same player but there would be noticeable improvements or declines across a squad. NF though is by far the most unchanging attribute in all of my saves, having seen it change precisely once in two years.

    As for Set Pieces in Goalkeepers, it is possible to train a Goalkeeper in Free-Kicks or Penalties but these attributes only govern the accuracy of the Free-Kick or Penalty so there is usually no point whatsoever training these. For categories such as Defending, Attacking, Shooting they do nothing for a goalkeeper. Goalkeepers do not improve outfield technical attributes. The Goalkeeping Technical attributes are frozen in place for outfield players, and the outfield Technical attributes barring only one or two examples are likewise frozen in place for Goalkeepers.

  11. This seems like the thread to stick this in, How do I score direct free kicks, I have Robin van Persie taking them and he seems to have all the stats required yet I haven't scored from a free kick in over a season. I think I've only scored 2 free kicks in all of my saves in FM10 put together so am I missing something here or is it just rotten luck?

    Technique is extremely important when it comes to Free-kicks, and very often your back room staff will recommend a player that does not have the highest free-kick attribute but has high technique for this very reason.

    The reason technique is important is because the "Free-Kick" attribute defines the accuracy of the final position of the ball, defines how close the player will get the ball to his target, but technique defines the ability to execute curling or swerving or dipping or thunderbolt shots. Players with high Technique will be able to chip the ball over the wall and then have it dip and curl into the top corner. A player with low technique will only be able to batter the shot straight at the top corner.

    So when choosing free-kick takers, or any set-piece taker, keep the distinction in mind. The specific attribute governs the final accuracy of the ball but the Technique attribute governs the danger/threat/quality of the actual delivery. This is the same for Free-Kicks as much as for Crosses or any other form of delivery and is really worth looking at whenever you rely on "X" form of delivery. Technique matters every time someone strikes a ball.

    For example:

    A player with 20 passing can aim right at his target all the time, but with low technique the pass can only be straight and along the ground. With 20 for technique it can be both curled around a player and chipped over defenders heads. The player with 20 technique is therefore much more capable of delivering a trully dangerous pass than the player with low technique, because he can deliver a pass that takes opponents out of the game even if they are in the way. Precisely the same matters for crosses, and every other time a ball is kicked. It is in my opinion quite important to take this attribute into account.

    There is very little in this game to my knowledge that relies solely upon a single attribute. Even a penalty kick takes into account a lot of different factors for a player.

  12. A brilliant analysis from you. THANKS!

    Just one question - I have never seen a free role attribute!

    It's hidden.

    The Free Role attribute could work exactly the same as other position attributes and reduce a players mental attributes or CA or whatever else might occur when playing a player out of position. But because it is an actual attribute then it will directly define something. Either accuracy/quality at exploiting space or the players overall ability when in a "Free Role".

  13. SFraser, have you had any input into the new training module announced for FM2011?


    I am very interested to see how SI have managed to add "Tactical Preparation" to training. I commented before that I thought the only way without radically adapting huge areas of the game would be to artificially boost specific attributes which might lead to exploitable gameplay behaviour. I have no input nor knowledge whatsoever of how this was done, and I am looking forward to finding out. It is certainly a very "realistic" thing to attempt, but how realistic it is in terms of gameplay and the currently existing game mechanics is something I wait to see.

    Sfraser, a theory question;

    Do you think there is some kind of diminishing returns when the ratio for one training category to another gets really high? For instance, if we follow your idea to the 't', maxing out attacking training would mean you are giving it ~13 times more focus than something with only 1 focus, however for something like tactics you can only max out at about 5 focus.

    That is absolutely correct. It is something I mentioned previously. There is a greater achievable "difference in extremes" when boosting the Attacking category compared to boosting the Aerobic category.

    If Attacking is set at notch 2 to train each attribute at "1 notch worth training" then you can boost each Aerobic attribute to "4 notch worth training" relative to attacking. So you can train Aerobic attributes at 4x attacking attributes.

    If you do it the other way and set Aerobic to notch 5 for "1 notch worth training each attribute" then you can boost each attacking attribute to 12.5 notch worths of training.

    That is three orders of magnitude greater and explains precisely why training is so damn difficult to get right. It's just not balanced.

    Or do you believe this is all controlled by the underlying coefficients that modify the placement of CA gain into attributes?

    This is applied after training. Once my attacking attributes have increased because they are accidently being trained 3x faster, my Aerobic attributes decline to make up the difference.

    I must say that there is possibly a balance between CA weight and Attribute per Category, I hadn't actually considered it untill now.

    Thanks for these questions. They have opened up an avenue for investigation I hadn't previously considered.

  14. I'm currently trying to put together my own training schedule and just wanted to ask a short (and possibly stupid) question about set pieces. Does penalty taking work for goalkeepers?, i noticed that the default goalkeeeper schedule has very low workload on set pieces which seems surprising, i have always thought goalkeepers need to train set pieces for penalty taking skill?

    The Penalty Taking attribute is all about the accuracy of the kick. The higher the attribute the more likely the player is to find the spot he aimed at and vice versa. For a Goalkeeper facing a Penalty Kick you are looking at Reflexes and Agility, and very likely you are looking for Anticipation, Composure and possibly Decisions. I have a goalkeeper with 19 Reflexes, 19 Composure, 19 Concentration and 18 Agility and he is a monster at keeping out penalty kicks.

    If you don't want to "build" set-piece taking goalkeepers or goalkeepers with great first touch and passing and instead just want a good goalkeeper, stick to the training categories of Aerobic, Goalkeeping and Tactics. These three categories are all you need and they cover a goalkeepers physical ability at goalkeeping, his mental ability at goalkeeping and his "technical" ability at goalkeeping.


    This question is regarding the training schedule page where you assign your players different training regimes. Now on that page, these are green or red arrows next to each players name, under various attributes. What do these arrows mean?

    I always thought that these means changes in skills in the appropriate skill attribute. But when I saw the changes in the corresponding skills (from the players page), these were not consistent.

    Thanks and regards

    To my knowledge they indicate changes to how a player is training, not directly corresponding to end result but close enough.


    In this image Ryan Giggs is just back from injury and so has started training again, so the efforts to improve his categories has picked up and that's what you see here. He wont actually improve though because he is too old, but none of his attributes will decline quicker than any others going by the info on this screen, atleast not because of training. They might decline faster for other reasons.

    Douglas Costa has had his Set Piece training reduced to zero by me, and because of this all the rest of his categories have started improving more because no ability is being added to his Set Pieces and is instead being spread out amongst the rest of his categories. However his Strength training has not changed by reducing his Set Piece training, so if I want his Strength keep pace with the rest I will have to go into his schedule and crank it up a bit more compared to the rest.

    These arrows show the effect that changes to training, whether the schedules themselves or injuries or holidays or improvements in attitude or coaches, is having on the player. Whenever you make a change to a schedule, check back here to make sure it is working as you have planned. If you want to see more Strength increases compared to everything else then change his schedule untill you see arrows on this screen indicating that Strength is improving faster. After he has been on the same schedule for a while these arrows will all go away as there are no more changes to the EFFECT of his training schedule.

    What kind of tactical adjustments are effective against opponents that use zonal marking vs man-marking?

    The simple answer would be to try and overload Zonal Marking systems with lots of players in the same area, while against Man Marking systems you want to pull players out of position and try and get a good player of yours against a bad player of the opponent in a dangerous position.

    I can't give a more complex answer because I don't know precisely what circumstances you have in mind and I don't know the precise ins-and-outs of all marking and defensive behaviour in the ME. Nor would I like to give out any "game-breaking" answers if I did.

    How do I make a player stay higher up the pitch and not track an opposing player back who has the ball? For example: I want a left winger or striker of mine to NOT pursue the opposing team's right fullback ( or whoever else has the ball) into my defensive side of the pitch. The reason being that my defensive midfielders or fullback will make an interception, launch the ball upfield to the winger or striker who has now been left isolated by the opposition's attacking fullback.

    Loose Zonal Marking with little to no Closing Down, and a player with very low Workrate.

    Also if you position a player in a "strata" above the opponent, for example place your Wingers at AMR/L when the opponents has his Wingersat ML/R then they tend not to "catch" each other defensively because they are in different zones.

    hey iknow its a stupid question but how do i go about making my team get more clear cut chances? i have some players with run with ball sometiems and they just run inwards and then into trouble and dont pass yet everyone has throughballs often its just quite annoying :(

    There is no simple answer to this question but the general idea is excellent movement from your front men pulling defenders out of position, combined to intelligence, creativity and technical ability of delivery for your providers. The more and better quality movement you can produce and the better your players can spot passing opportunities and deliver the ball, the more likely you are to create CCC's.

    Tempo is a very important aspect of creating good quality chances, because it forces a speed of play and this effects the ability to make good decisions and deliver good quality passes but also affects the time the oppositions defence has to think and get back into position. There is a tempo "sweetspot" for every match but in general you should look to find the "average tempo sweetspot" for your team. The balance between quality and pace of play is as important as the quality of movement and delivery.

    Sorry if this has been asked before, but what is the effect of a player's position rating, i.e "natural," "accomplished" etc? Does it really come down to his attributes, or if he has the right attributes for a position, but is not natural there, will he not play as well? For example, will Pirlo not play as well as a central midfielder as he does as a defensive midfielder as he is only "accomplished" at the former? Is there a thread on this?

    There are two very sound "answers" to this question I have read but I do not know the truth for sure, however both tend to mean the same thing.

    The first answer is that Position Rating affects Positioning, Off-The-Ball, Decisions and other Mental Attributes that relate to intelligence and understanding. So playing a player out of position will affect his "Intelligence" Mental Attributes but not his "Personality" Mental Attributes.

    The second answer is that it reduces a players CA via some fairly complex equation. In other words a player playing in an unfamiliar has his effective ability reduced.

    Both of these seem sensible answers to me but I don't know the truth. However if either of these are true then Mental Attributes will be reduced by playing out of position, so that is what I personally take into account when playing players out of position.

    what attributes(including hidden) make player effective in roaming?

    I want to set my AMC in free role in 4-2-3-1(wide) while wingers will play wide and my striker will play relatively deep. move into channels is also something I want him to do so some information about attributes for this setting will be good to :)

    Based on my own observation of free role behaviour I would say the following:

    Free Roles "liberate" a player from positional absolutes and allow him to play according to his own positional understanding. When Free Role is given to players, Off-The-Ball + Positioning + Teamwork become absolutely vital. Players will make attacking runs, position themselves defensively, and offer support to teammates based on their own abilities at these attributes combined to the situation being played out in the match. Free Role effectively free's a player to Position himself defensively, move into attacking space, or move into supporting positions according to his abilities.

    Personally speaking I would consider Teamwork to be by far the single most vital attribute when it comes to Free Roles as players with high Teamwork and Free Role will constantly be looking to support the team effort by moving into space whenever possible. For that space to be great attacking space requires Off-The-Ball, for a great defensive supporting position requires Positioning, and to fully exploit space requires a high Free Role attribute. It is however Teamwork that encourages or forces players to constantly be on the move to support the team effort to the best of their abilities, whether that is support the team via offensive movement or defensive positioning.

    In my own save I play a 4-4-1-1 / 4-2-3-1 and I have given my advanced six players outside my back four Free Roles. My two CM's all have excellent Teamwork and Positioning attributes and negligable Off-The-Ball and their play consists of brilliant positional support for all play. They very rarely move into advanced areas, they very rarely move wide, they spend most of their time creating passing angles for each other and for the rest of the team in the centre of midfield. They are constantly moving into space in support of the team around the ideal positions for them to occupy, right at the heart of the team.

    By constrast the AMC with Free Role and negligable positioning but high Off-The-Ball and high Teamwork is constantly looking to support my CM's but through movement into attacking areas. He combines the effort to support the team with the effort to take up very threatening positions.

    So the summary of my answer is that when you are planning to give someone a Free Role, look at the Positioning / Off The Ball / Teamwork attributes and decide whether "liberating" these players from absolute positioning instructions is going to enhance their role in your team or diminish it.

    For example, if you give Fabregas a Free Role don't expect him to support your team from deep, because his positional sense is low, especially compared to his attacking movement off-the-ball. However if you give Carrick a Free Role, do expect him to support your team from deep. His high Teamwork and high Positioning means that he will constantly be taking up excellent supporting deep positions relative to your attack.

    This looks like the correct thread for my question.

    When the Barcelona defenders have the ball and they try to set up a new attack:

    the backs push up, the central defenders go wide and the most defensive midfielder tends to fall a bit back (to ask to ball).

    How on earth can you manage this in a tactic?

    To my knowledge there is no combination of instructions that produces this behaviour to an acceptable degree. The game simply does not support it.

  15. "Making Layoffs" is far more about Creativity and Flair than Passing Accuracy. A brutally clever pass that is miles away from being inch perfect can still be lethal a lot of times, but if the player can't see the pass or doesn't want to try it then all the accuracy in the world is irrelevant.

    Personally, for Strikers and Forwards, I find accuracy to be far less important than vision and speed of mind and technique. No point being able to knock the fluff off a cappuccino from 40 yards if you can't see the cappuccino let alone the fluff.

  16. You know, I don't pay as much attention to work load anymore. As long as it is overall not too heavy, or not too heavy in physical training, but this is mostly for my first team players. I have some players on work load at around 70 and others close to 100. It's all about how you want to mould the players. What areas they need improvement in the most, or the areas you wish to see improve.

    I would very much go along with that. For "ten clicks" of Workload to be important you would really have to be quite obsessive over one or two points of Condition a week or 1-2 points of CA a season. Where Workload plays a role that is going to matter to most people is Morale.

    Workload does affect Condition, it does affect CA gain, but these are very small issues that might make a difference over the course of a season, but not a massive difference. Morale though is the area where it can have a large short term effect. If players are Unhappy over Workload then you have basically a weekly Morale drop in those players ontop of all other Morale modifiers.

    So for the purpose of "good and sound training in general" that goes along with gameplay without trying to micromanage every available issue, giving players a schedule that keeps them happy at the same time as being the shape you want these players to change according to is the ideal.

    I think that's how the majority of people have always approached Training, but the problem is knowing how to define the shape you want properly. That's the issue this thread is meant to address, finding out how to "design the shape" properly.

  17. Just want to thank SFraser for all his hard work in researching/testing to really figure out how training works. I've been a fan ever since I've read his first ideas about it and have followed the theories to develop my own schedules. The results have been quite amazing to say the least. Here's a pic of just one of the players whom I've managed mold into exactly the type of player I wanted, just by creating a custom schedule that focuses on specific areas where I wanted him to improve:


    It's almost hard to believe, but when I initially bought this player, some of his mental stats, such as anticipation, were only 10 or below. He made remarkable progress since then.

    That is the kind of result that makes this all worthwhile and shows I am not on a fools errand here. Thank you for taking the time to put these ideas into practice in what looks like immense detail, and thanks for sharing the screenshot.

    I might download it and whip it out whenever anyone mentions the "Training Line Theory" :D That's great stuff. And it shows that just like Tactics, if you put in the time and the effort to do things properly and in detail then it actually works.

  18. Hi, sorry to cut in like this but can anyone explain why one of my player, yannis tafer is seeing many of his attributes fall. i'm quite alarmed actually.

    i put him on the developing ST schedule for 2 months now. he wasn't injured before and has been fantastic for me on field as you can see below. Strangely, lukaku who has the same training has not been affected but he is being tutored by Torres if that is a factor.

    Am i doing something wrong?i'm really a noob at all this training stuff, thanks.

    It is because his Strength went up one point, and because his CA stayed constant. Strength is an attribute that takes up a lot of CA. For Strength to increase by one point alot of CA is required. If the players CA is fairly constant then that CA must come from other attributes.

    You think he is declining, which is completely understandable. In truth he has remained precisely the same in terms of CA, but his Strength increased which means other attributes must pay the price. Your player is simply changing according to your Training Schedule.

    Developing schedules, if they are mine, are best used for players that are gaining CA. If this is the first time you have noticed a "decline" then you should put him on another schedule that emphasises the attributes you wish to see improve. If you wish to see Strength improve then you are going to have to accept the fact that there is no free lunch and the increase in Strength must come at the cost of some other attributes.

  19. I misinterpreted the meaning of the chart. It displays attribute weights in terms of rank, not actual modifiers.

    However Attribute Weights themselves do not play a direct role in training. It is my personal opinion that all attribute modifying gameplay such as Training directly affects attributes, whereas the CA system and attribute Weights are the underlying control mechanism that governs what happens when attributes do change. These are in effect two different mechanics and they are not entireally well "meshed" or entireally well married. CA and Attribute Weights should not directly influence gameplay because they are control systems, but due to how the system works of first calculating changes and then rebalancing attributes, you inevitably get an end result where CA weights do matter, but not in the first system.

    I am not being very clear because it is a slightly complex issue, dealing with mechanics I have a vague understanding of.

    In the training screen attribute weights are irrelevant. When a player has plenty of "free CA" and has not hit his PA attribute weights are irrelevant. Attributes will grow and decline at a steady and similar rate. Almost a perfect 1:1 ratio when you disregard the influence of Age and of the misbalance of numbers of attributes per category. If you setup a balanced schedule according to my system so each attribute receives the same overall "training effect" and you remove the factor of Age, all attributes should grow and decline at precisely the same rate.

    Add the Age factor and attributes will now grow and decline at identical rates if they belong to the same "Age Group" and the different "Age Groups" will grow and decline at different rates.

    However it is when you add CA to the equation that things become complex, because there is an underlying system of CA attribute weights, of CA/Attribute rebalancing, and of gaining or losing CA through match experience/reputation etc. that is not the same as the natural growth and decline of attributes via age. What happens here to my knowledge is the following:

    1. If CA remains the same and a particular attribute such as Acceleration for example declines, it will free up X quantity of CA and the system will then rebalance all the other attributes to ensure all the CA remains in the player. Thus other attributes will receive an automatic CA boost independant of training or CA growth. However if Acceleration is a "Heavy" Attribute it will free up more CA by a drop of one point than many other attributes need to increase by 1 point. Thus the gain in other attributes is proportionally greater than the drop of the single Acceleration attribute. The opposite is also true, if the system calculates an increase of Acceleration by 1 point the corresponding drop of CA in other attributes will be proportionally greater.

    2. If CA increases or decreases the system will add/remove CA from attributes in proportion to their Weight so that no attributes are overly favoured or penalised.

    The whole "problem" or "issue" is that the rebalancing of CA and attributes is done after a change to an attribute or to CA is calculated. This means you train a player perfectly to produce ideally no drops in many attributes, the system first of all recognised no drops in many attributes, it then notices an increase in one Heavy Attribute, it applies a 1 point increase to the Heavy Attribute, then the CA rebalancing system kicks in and reduces many other attributes by the corresponding CA amount. The Attribute Weight system does play a role in Attribute Change but it does so after the effect of training is calculated. Training is applied first, changes are "noted" and applied, then the CA system kicks in to rebalance all attributes according to CA value.

    If you attempted to apply the CA weights to the Training sliders you end up with an erroneous initial input. You may add, for example, only 1/4 of an attribute increase or 4x attribute increase to the initial "count" which would then be applied to the attribute in question and then the rest of the attributes would be rebalanced in line according to CA weight and CA level.

    As you can see even when understood well, or reasonably well, or better than before, it still produces an entire situation where the basic premise is easilly understood but to actually "manipulate" or calculate the precise outcomes is now an order of magnitude more difficult. However having said that the underlying CA attribute balancing system does appear to me to be Proportional which means that barring certain exceptional cases such as a 34 year old declining in Acceleration the entire system tends to work at a 1:1 ratio. This means that for the most part we need not worry about the CA Weight/Balance system, however it will sometimes throw up some unexpected results such as declines when least expected in apparently random attributes.

    My Training System therefore will help you manage the "attribute pattern" of players far more effectively, you will apply training schedules to players in precisely the correct "overall pattern" but the precise details of what goes up, what goes down, when this occurs and by how much cannot be controlled or even accurately predicated. However the "overall shape" of change you wish to see will be applied but it might not be exactly what you expect.

    In short, 99% of the time you do not need to worry or concern yourself with attribute weights, but they do play a fundamental role "under the hood" and this can have some strange effects that are still perfectly logical and sound in terms of the system itself, if not gameplay. The threads in the FML section regarding youngsters declining in key attributes under "perfect coaches" is testament to this fact. These human Coaches are inadvertantly "sucking CA out" of their players Key attributes thanks to their excellent coaching skills. Thankfully we FM10 managers get to manually control our Coaching Effect via the Training sliders. The FML managers do not, and it is something that will very likely have to be looked at indepth and may require a serious overhaul of that area of the game.

  20. Hi all, I have some fairly stupid questions but they could be useful to me if I'm correct :).

    Do you feel you've accounted for all attributes in this very impressive theory? Maybe, just maybe there may be a few more you've not accounted for that are not on the training screen like composure wasn't I think before 10.3, or perhaps some arent actually trainable like you thought flair was? Also, are the un-trainable attributes worth 0 CA?

    I am about 90% convinced they are all accounted for but there is no simple way of knowing for sure. There are plenty of little indicators such as whether attributes change much ingame, how they work in the editor, if they are involved in behaviour that tends to belong to a non-CA "group" etc. etc. but these are not absolute proof. That's why I am about 90% certain all the attributes are accounted for properly but I would never claim to be absolutely 100% certain about anything written here. I don't work for SI, I don't have direct access to the game mechanics in nice clear detail, so it is always possible I am wrong.

    How much CA the untrainable attributes are "worth" is open to debate. While they do not gain or lose CA via training this does not mean they do not take up CA when they change by some other means. It is quite possible that the untrainable attributes still take a "share" of CA but not through the training mechanism. This is speculation though, I cannot tell you the hard and fast facts. They might take up no CA ever and change through specific ingame events or they might take up some CA while still only changing through specific game events. However they do not change through training, whatever is shifted and moved around and done by training, these attributes are not involved in it.

  21. This is where we differ then. I don't think we have very much control at all to influence attribute distribution. I'd go as far to say that often the effort spent in trying to achieve this is counter productive. I regularly see players improving in attributes that they are having no specific training for, set pieces is usually the best example. On the flipside trying to get a 5foot4 players strength up significantly happens so rarely that its a complete waste of training time to try.

    I almost completely agree with you here.

    Training works with or against a players natural development trends. It does not sit ontop of the game and distribute CA according to your slider settings, it influences the naturally occuring positive or negative swing of player attributes.

    That's why high workload schedules can see increased but generic gains. It's why carefully constructed, detailed and in-depth schedules can have no visible effect. It's why extremes of schedules can either explode a player in one area, or do absolutely nothing in terms of his profile.

    There is absolutely no point even trying to attempt to train a player unless you understand his natural growth patterns. Anything you see as "success" is basically the fluke boost of certain attributes at the right time, any thing you see as "failure" is your schedule doing what it is supposed to be doing but working completely against the players natural development.

    There is nothing more important when it comes to training than understanding which attributes are naturally improving and which are naturally declining, because all you can do with training is influence these "natural swings". Crank a 34 year olds Strength up to maximum and he might not decline very rapidly, but you will never get him to improve 99% of the time. Do the same with a 19 year old and his strength goes through the roof, but only because it was trying to improve anyway and you just boosted that increase.

    It is utterly vital to realise that players define the effect of training, not vice versa. What I am doing in this thread is trying to point that out, and also point out that you need to account for the number of attributes in each category when you come to "balance" your schedules.

  22. Perhaps the intense physical training is not having an effect on attribute gain distribution because he is only 16? I mean IRL no matter how hard a 16 year old hits the gym, he will not be bigger/faster/stronger/fitter than a well trained 20 year old. I shall continue him on this schedule and post again when I hit 1st June (probably tonight).

    That's very plausible. I would need to have a look at a lot more of your data to see if there is an obvious explanation for this behaviour, or if there is not.

    The whole issue about the "natural growth trends" of players is that it is just about as far from a science as you can get despite being very obviously existant. There are other "quirks" of the mechanics of the game that can pop up regularly and produce somewhat unexpected results.

    To put it another way, the screenshot you posted of Physical decline + Mental gain are two sides of the same coin. If overall CA remains static then any conditions that are met that result in a loss of Physical CA must correspond to an increase in Mental CA and vice versa. It may look completely unrelated to the schedule, completely contrary to the schedule but it is going to be functioning completely inline with the schedule.

    I guess the question this thread is asking/answering is: to what extent can be influence attribute distribution through training, and how do we go about it?

    I'm planning to write a post/thread about that specific issue sometime in the near future. Not a thread on training schedules, on downloadable schedules, on interpreting the sliders but a guide to the underlying gameplay mechanics as I understand them. A guide to precisely what is happening to players and attributes, and the behaviour and influence of all associated factors.

    This seems to be a rather fundamental area of the game that has near zero attention and very little seems to widely known about. This means that threads such as this one can furnish you with end results before you understand the underlying gameplay and mechanical behaviour, before you have a "concept" as to what is going on.

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