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SFraser

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  1. I am one of the most active posters in this particular forum, and probably the most verbose when I do write, and I have never even made it into a FM beta test. For some absurd reason you seem to think that what happens here on these forums is some grand discussion between those directly involved in designing the game. This particular forum here is a place for fans to discuss tactics and training. It's not a developer forum, it's not a game design forum. I honestly do not understand where you get the idea that people here design the game. I don't blame him. I think you are missing the point somewhat. WWFan has said previously that his line of work is management analysis or research or something along those lines. If I understand correctly his involvement in the game is in helping to provide sufficient management tools to the player, not in defining the underlying game mechanics. That is the job of other people. I'm quite sure that a football management game designed by the vocal contributors to tactical and training discussions and guides would be an absolute bomb. I'm sure SI value the opinions of people like Heathxxx and Cleon and the chaps from FM Britain but it is also pretty clear that these guys do not work for SI, do not have the required skills and knowledge to design game mechanics, but are still a very excellent source of feedback and suggestions. If you look very closely you will notice that people with the "SI Games" tag on their profiles do not post in the Tactics and Training forum. It is so obvious that it must, and quite reasonably so, be a rule. And that is all the advice we give. And we "fanboys" are not designing the game, we are giving advice on how to play the end product. Indeed I have never had any input on anything to do with game whatsoever. It doesn't stop me trumping Heathxxx for post length. Ultimately you are projecting your problems with the game in all the wrong directions, with all the wrong arguements, at all the wrong people and you simply refuse to understand that your arguements are completely derailed the moment you hit "post reply" because none of the people you are ranting against, apart from WWFan, have any kind of design role in FM. We are just fans talking about a game we spend an awful lot of time playing, and that's it. I suppose in some way it is complimentary that you think I would actually have some kind of input/design role at SI for FM, but I can assure you that your "arguement" is completely and one hundred percent incorrect. I don't have any kind of input/design role. The closest thing I have to input in FM is the odd PM to WWFan, and I'm pretty sure he ignores them all And just an fyi, Heathxxx is just about the most sound and calm and unprovokable moderator on this entire website. A very highly respected moderator.
  2. A quick update post to show some results I have had recently. Feeder Club Loveliness In my first few posts I explained how my choice of Feeder Club for my youngsters depended on the clubs manager more than anything else, barring perhaps the level of football the club played at. And for this reason I picked the best manager I could find in the Championship and asked the board if I could have his club as my Feeder Club. The manager in question was the very excellent Owen Coyle. Some two months game time after I wrote this thread I have entered the start of December, and after an early period of having to show what they can do before nailing First Team spots, my two players out on loan at Burnley have some fairly interesting results to show. Results that are unsurprising but very, very welcome. Andre Allsop I expected Andre Allsop to do well at Burnley under Coyle as he is a player of excellent quality for the Championship and has the mental attributes you would expect someone like Coyle to look for in spades. The results of his first three full months at Burnley are about as good as I could have hoped for. He did have to play his way into the team at the start, as you would expect from a manager like Coyle, but since doing this he has performed very, very well. Ten starts, eight goals, one assist, one man of the match and an average rating of 7.48 in the league. This player regularly pops up in my scout reports having played really well and banged in a goal or two. But what is even more remarkable is that in only 3 full months of the season Allsop already lists Coyle as favoured personnel and Burnley as a favoured club, and he is enjoying playing for the club. He has developed an awesome relationship with his manager and his team and he is in-form. There are still six full months of the season left to play. You will notice that there is a bit of an "old boys club" forming in his favoured personnel list. I poached him from my chum Steve Bruce, who is a very solid and sound manager in the Premier League, mentored him up a bit with Jonjo Shelvey and got himself and myself listed as favoured personnel, then loaned him out to my feeder club and Coyle became favoured personnel. This player is doing the "old boys club" rounds but is also completely buying into my clubs little footballing world. It's great stuff to see. Fred Deeney I took a huge risk with this lad sending him on loan with 12 Determination but I needed to free up space at my club for another young striker I thought had greater potential and needed my attention, so I shipped him off to Burnley for a season not expecting much. Shows how much I know huh. Twelve starts, ten goals, four assists, five man of the match and an average league rating of 7.71, this lad is firmly back on my radar. The trend of excellent club and Manager relationships alongside brilliant performances continues with Burnley and Owen Coyle again listed as favoured club and favoured personnel. There isn't much to say about this lad other than he completely surprised me. All in all these two players are forming a formidable partnership upfront for Burnley, under the excellent watch of Owen Coyle. The question you have to ask is "are these players of such a high quality they would do this anywhere" or "is this the best Feeder Club I have ever picked"? The answer would appear to show up in these players Personal Panels, with the club and the manager rated very highly by two on fire players. I don't know about you but I would consider my management of this small area of the game to be a resounding success.
  3. That's possibly because he is working. If there is nothing to report then everyone is likely to be happy and fairly motivated. A "psychologist" that keeps everyone happy is a much better staff member than a "psychologist" that reports back on problems.
  4. My personal favourite is this one: http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/220742-Creativity-and-Flair.
  5. It means his reputation has grown faster than his ability, and it's a fairly big issue I have forgotten to discuss in my guide. There is plenty of post space though so I will squeeze it in somewhere. It's quite possible to have a player develop too quickly, by that I mean exposing him to too much first team football so his Reputation accelerates away and leaves you in a position where he wont go on loan or refuses to be mentored by "lesser" players. If someone with Determination 13 becomes "the best player at your club" Reputation wise because he bangs in a lot of goals then he is stuck at Determination 13 because there is no one of a higher Reputation to mentor him with. I was bound to forget a few important things with so many other points floating around my head, so thanks for bringing it up. Be assured that Reputation is another important thing to keep your eye on, and I will at some point go back and add it to my guide. Take heed about what I said about Reputation. If these 35 year olds don't have a high enough reputation your plan wont work. It's a pretty big omission from my guide, sorry about that.
  6. Not the most fun Saturday ever. Still Sunday was much better though. The world of football turns once more.
  7. Whichever team you are most likely to get involved with. It's important you get excited about what you are doing instead of feeling like it is dull chore. Excitement is key. I think there is a lot can be said about how I constantly manage the same team and also constantly write about what is going on in my saves. If you don't get interested you wont get interested. Personally it's more important that you can look at a player and see how you think he is likely to develop. Low Determination might hold a player back in his attitude, but this might be made up by the fact he has the attributes to score 30 goals in the under-18's at the age of only 15. Or maybe the opposite is true and the player looks like he needs a lot of work to develop but is packing 18 Determination. FM is a funny game in that there are "rules" but also "no rules". There are certain things every manager wants, certain things that work in each position, but a manager has to be able to recognise talent in players rather than hunt for the ideal, because the ideal might not exist. It's about being able to look at a player and see what he actually is, and then asking yourself what you can turn him into and if you can use that in your side. Sometimes players will become more than you expected, sometimes they will be less but that's football. That's why it is so important to organise your club into a managable whole, so that you can keep yourself aware of players and get to know them as players. Here are two of the strikers I have out on loan: Dave Batchelor. Nothing special and some big flaws in this dude, but I sent him to League 1 at Stockport and his alright attributes plus immense Determination means he is tearing up that league. Fred Deeney. I took a big but calculated risk with this guy because I needed space and mentors to develop another player and I trust Owen Coyle. He is on loan at Burnley in the Championship with 12 Determination and Four Decisions. Frightening stats. But take into account he always picks the wrong choice, then combine it to his immense Flair, amazing pace, agility and fitness, excellent Anticipation and Composure and very good technical stats. His Pace, Power, Fitness, Sharpness and Composure plus his Flamboyancy and horrible decision making makes him a bit lethal upfront for Burnley. I'm guessing he has a horrible habit of trying the holywood shot against knackered defenders after he has terrorised them with direct running for 85 minutes. A bit like sticking SWP or Aaron Lennon in the Championship. These guys probably wont ever make it far at my club, but if they keep this up I'm pretty sure I can find some interested buyers to take for a ride at the end of the season. This next guy is the reason why I sent Fred Deeney on loan: He is a much more rounded pacey forward than Deeney already, with much more general intelligence and a great team player. This player is someone that could potentially do well at my club because he has the attributes to be a dangerous striker, but even more importantly he has the attributes to play a very clever game of football in a team.
  8. 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.
  9. I would sell players that are definately doing nothing more than taking up space but I wouldn't go hacking at your First Team too much in your first few seasons at a club like Arsenal. The whole point of youth development is bringing youngsters into the fold of your "squad plans" so that can rely on cheap youth to plug gaps and save up your cash for those big signings. One of my best ever signings was a player I saved up ages for, for a particular new tactical role in my team I was looking to experiment with, and that has awesome mental stats. He joined the club and performed that role to perfection so a mega plus for the whole "improving the first team" side of transfers, but the guy also came with 20 Determination and is an epic mentor. What you don't want to see is players in your reserves. If they are not good enough to be brought into your first team squad and used in rotation then they are not good enough for your club. I have quite a few players over 30 at my club but I still trust them to do a job. Good development at a young age will vastly improve players. The question is are you canny with your purchases or do you take risks in the hunt for a gem? It's important to realise that if you can run a profit when transfer dealing in your first team then the youth team offers even greater potential for growth of ability and reputation. It's all about being active and organising a club so that your youngsters become a part of your "squad view". All of that and more. Most of the players in my youth team I hand picked from scout reports and other clubs so I already know what they look like and I already know how I hope they will turn out. Then it is a matter of keeping an eye on them, seeing if they are growing, getting the right mentors, and hopefully they put in enough performances and enough good signs that you start to get excited about them and pay them even more attention. I could tell you the Jumping stats for my Youth Team Centrebacks right off the bat, I already know these things. Same for the flair for my strikers and the creativity and work rate for my midfielders. I could tell you the weaknesses of the players I have sent on loan without having to load up the game. You are unlikely to get a good "manager" style backroom staff member that will take up a youth team role. If you don't plan him to work with your senior players then give him the cheap contract if you can, but keep in mind you don't want these people being poached because you are tight fisted. What I would say is that if you intend a staff member to take youth team matches, involve him in youth team training. It might not do anything but the greater exposure might help foster positive relationships.
  10. No worse than mine after a few beers, and I like beer
  11. Personally speaking I don't like any "holes". Some weaknesses are better than others but any true "holes" I don't bother with. Having siad that it's not always so easy to tell. What you think is weak could be god of football in ten years. Because it's up to you to sign the guy, your eye matters. Look at the first post with Michels, he signed for Tottenham..
  12. Section 4: Preparing Players In the previous section I explained what you need to develop players. Now I will explain what comes after the ground work has been set, and that is the fundamental, crucial, integral elements of actively developing them. The first and greatest of these is Preparing Players. After you have turned your club into a Youth Academy and set your mind to task of developing players, the first and most vital active thing you do with any player is prepare them to develop. This is by far the most important step you take with indvidual players. The club you build gives you the greatest environment for development, but hoe you prepare players is what defines whether or not each individual player can achieve his potential in that environement. Understand what I am saying here. You have build an evironment that is productive for youth development, a significantly potent system for guiding players through every stage of their development. But for each individual player nothing matters more than you how well your prepare them to undertake this journey. Preparing players is the most crucial element of any individual players journey. Without any shadow of a doubt the most crucial thing in the preparation of each individual player is the development of their personality. There is a player development "rule" that I follow to the letter, that is borne out from several years of investigation into development and training and reputation and myriad other "under the hood issues". You don't need to know the detailed mechanics because I don't pay attention to the detailed mechanics. What matters is the core footballing principle. Player development depends on the relationship that follows: Personality x Match Experience x Level of Football. This is the player development "triangle" as I harp on about at great length. It matters. Nothing matters more to the development of any individual player. Regardless of which league you play in, who you want to improve, what you are doing, anything. Regardless of all things whenever you want a player to actually improve this is what matters. And because it matters so much it has two clear consequences: Players benefit most from their time in your Youth Team and Reserves when their personalities are developed as much as possible. Players benefit most from their time on loan when their personalities are developed as much as possible. In short players benefit the most at any level with any quantity of football when their personalities are developed as much as possible. This makes preperation both an easy and a nailed on "you-must-do-this" issue. You simply must develop personalities as soon as possible. Developing personality doesn't require match practice, it doesn't require a level of football, it requires only mentors. Mentors are key to all development. Mentors define youngsters. I have an unwritten rule at my club (Manchester United, I'm sure most of you spotted that). That rule is that anyone under Determination 13 will fail, anyone over Determination 16 will succeed. Failure might be he is sometimes awesome but usually ****, success might be he is always average, but anyone between 13 and 16 is a loose cannon and anyone under it someone I cannot trust. At any stage of development and First Team behaviour. This is a profoundly crucial issue. I have sent many Determination 17 players to my "holding feeder club" because their skills sucked, and I always get messages about "League One Player of the Month". I have sent a lot of quality youngsters with Determination 13 to the Championship and they come back saying they would have learnt more at Old Trafford. Because of that I have a simple rule now. If your Determination is under 15 you don't go on loan. This matters, Pay attention to it. It's one of the reasons why a well organised club is king. Section 5: Developing Players This section is where most people start their development of Youngsters and I end my development of Youngsters. It's also where most people end their development of First Teamers and I start my development of First Teamers. You see most people take a profoundly narrow view of development of players, from the age of 19 to 21 roughly, while my view of development of players ranges from 15 to 41. That's the youngest and oldest players at my club. Developing players is not a race. It is a marathon. Developing players is not consigned to the young, it is more than possible in the mid-career players providing your club has the "assets". Player development might start with doing your damndest to get some youngster into first team contention, but it only ever ends when you have built the perfect player in every way possible. And this doesn't happen. I think it is important to understand that player development is an integral part of gameplay with every player you have. Whether young or old it doesn't matter, the point is the same. But seeing how this is thread on the development of youngsters I will go with that vein. The most beneficial thing you can do for a youngster, after you have done all what I described before, is take risks with him. If you followed my advice and scaled down adequately then quite simply nothing is more beneficia; to player in your club than a first team appearance. And this sole fact produces a great deal of strategy and usefulness. For example I play a 4-4-1-1. I have two quality strikers of reasonable age and a third backup striker that is an OAP. I am quite comfortable in going 4-4-2 when the opposition goes 4-4-2 or has an inferior midfield. This means I have a slot for a fourth striker. My fourth striker is obviously a chap from the Youth Team, but he isn't my best youngster. My best youngster is on loan, this fourth spot is for a lad I want to pump his attributes personally. It's for that "if/but/maybe" forward I want to both observe closely and also give the maximum opportunity to. My best young striker plays for Owen coyle, he will get to be under my management next season. This season i'm comfortable to take risks with a guy I like but that hasn't made the advances I want. If he doesn't develop with this opportunity at his back then he never will. Section 6: Conclusion/Final Thoughts. And that folks is how I develop youngsters. It's not short, it's not simple, it's not plug and play but by God is it football.
  13. Section 3: What Do You Need? In the words of Roy Keane "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail". Preparation is king in FM but is all the more so crucial when it comes to Youth Development because the pre-existing youth team mechanics are awful. The best, top level, maximum quality pre-existing youth team setup in FM is a bunch of players sometimes playing a few really poor games that are kicked into the reserves when they are too old and replaced by a bunch of randomly generated teenagers. That's the greatest youth system in the world if the manager doesn't get involved and sort it out. It is horrific. I will tell you a few other things about "inherant" youth development in FM. The average club setup is not merely not conducive to Youth Development, it actually inhibits Youth Development. If your first action when you take over a club is not a root-and-branch re-organisation of the club and you just go along tweaking a few things here and there to the basic setup of your club then you will never be able to develop youngsters remotely well. The truth of the matter is simple. To develop youngsters to the level I have done in the preceding post you must turn your entire club into a Youth Academy with a First Team sitting at the apex. This more than anything else is the real challenge in youth development. To consistently develop World Class youngsters you need the ability to turn your club into a World Class youth Academy. If that sounds like too much effort that is fine. This thread is about ultimate success at a more marginalised area of the game and is thread for the hardcore FM gamer. You get back what you put in and there is no wrong in putting in great or little and getting back great or little. It is your choice. Keep in mind that lower level clubs are not going to be able to achieve high level results, so scale appropriately. I don't play much lower level football. I perfect my management ability at the club I support. Because this section contains the meat, the guts, the main content of this thread I will subdivide it into further sections for clarity: 1: Scout Network. 2: Club Composition and Relationship Between Squads. 3: Mentors. 4: Feeder Clubs. 5: Staff Members. 6: Training. Subsection 1: Scout Network Youth development begins with building up a scouting network capable of finding you good high potential young players. Make no mistake that the usual influx of random youth players will cost you money and take up starting positions that better youngsters could use. You are not running a charity here. Most of your youth team really should be made up of the best players you have spotted around the world and managed to pinch on the cheap and you should be willing and even eager to get rid of any dead wood in your youth team to make room for better players. If you keep rubbishy players at your club and then sell them, away goes a Homegrown slot from your First Team Squad. A quality player signed early from abroad will become Homegrown and actually play in your First Team Squad. Keep this in mind. A scout network is basically a "net" of eyes to quickly find lots of youngsters, backed up by a few trusted scouts to send out to give back detailed reports on their actual qualities and potential. The key is to find and highlight youngsters as quickly as possible, as early as possible, and to try and not leave any gaps in your "coverage" for gems to slip through and for opponents to find first. Coverage is relatively simple and quite sneaky. Assume that many tens of thousands of other scouts are out trawling through the world looking for gems and that players prefer to go to the better clubs in the higher reputation leagues. So in theory quality players should slowly filter up through the leagues and eventually find their way to the top clubs. This means that you want to put good scouts to work watching the best leagues for any players that filter up through the football pyramid. If you put a scout to work scouting La Liga then you are pretty much getting the benefit of every scout in La Liga, albeit the player you find will probably cost you more. However this means you are unlikely to "miss" the rise of top talent completely. You might just be a little late to the party. That doesn't get them early though, that just stops you being completely unaware of them. To get players early you need to go scouting as many Youth Leagues as you can afford to send scouts to, and you definately want to scout those youth leagues/nations that have a tendency for producing excellent youth. Like Brazil for example. Even if they are not loaded up they will still produce regens and newgens. A top class scout network might be allowed 18 scouts. I would distribute them like this: Truly awesome ultimate scout with superb reputation is your "Head Scout" and I would send him to scout "World" while his real job is to go and watch three matches of every interesting player that turns up in another scout report. I have two of these guys for increased speed of compiling multiple scout reports and for double the likelyhood of a "World" search actually finding a good player. It's quite rare. Good scouts in all of the top leagues in your game. Premier League, La Liga, Serie A are no brainers. You can quite feasibly stop there with scouting the top leagues if you like. In theory all the best players in the game should eventually end up there. For early spotting you might want to go for Brazil, Argentina, Holland as well although the Dutch seem to be underwhelming in FM for youth production. Having said that our friend Fritz Michels is Dutch so you might want to ignore me on that point. The rest of your scouts should be set to scout as many youth leagues as possible, including a couple from your own domestic leagues. The key here is not so much the quality of the reports but your scouts viewing a huge amount of youngsters in a short period of time so you can use the Transfer Filters to find good targets. It's far more effective to be able to look through the attribute panels of hundreds of players rather than waiting for good reports on tens of players, albeit a lot more time consuming for the player. The filters help though, and you can find players for positions easily enough. However you choose to set up your scout network, scouting is utterly vital. A club that is very good at developing youngsters is a club extremely active in the transfer market. You are just buying and selling for your youth team. Subsection 2: Club Composition and Relationship Between Squads. While all youth development begins with an effective and efficient scout network, the most vital, crucial, core aspect of youth development is how the manager organised his club. This is what separates the wheat from the chaff, literally. Do you have a handful of wheat or several piles of chaff? A club is not composed of two or three different clubs. A club is composed of two or three different types of matches and a whole bunch of players trying to improve themselves and win football matches. The most important thing by far when it comes to Youth Development is to completely wipe away the prior conceptions of "First Team, Reserve Team, Youth Team" and instead have a single united club where every player is known by the manager, understood by the manager, developed by the manager, and has a place in the overall heirarchy of the club. The worst thing a manager can do is have too many players for the amount of matches his club plays, or have too many players for his management ability. There is a simple test to find out if your club is poorly organised: Go into a save that is at a very busy time of the season, such as Christmas in the Premier League. Go into your First Team Squad and click the filter options and show Reserve Team, Youth Team and tick "Hide Unavailable". If there are any players that Lack Match Fitness in your entire club that are not just back from a serious injury then you have far too many players for the amount of football at your club. If there are any players you don't recognise and know nothing about then you have far too many players for your personal ability to manage. It's that simple. Youth development relies entirely upon having a club size and club composition that you can manage. If either of the two apply to you then you need to start taking the axe to some contracts if you want to effectively develop youngsters. The next thing to realise is that the only difference between all the different squads at your club is that First Team Players wont get picked for the Youth Team, and the Reserve Team Players wont get picked for anything but the Reserves. Having players in the Reserves is a bad idea. Players in your Youth Team will be picked for Reserve Matches and players in your First Team you select for Reserves will play in the Reserves. This means more football for these players, and football is good for footballers. The only difference between players at your club should be those players that will play Youth Team and Reserve Team football but are unlikely to play many First Team games, and those players that will play First Team and Reserve Team football but not many (or any) youth team games. That should be the only difference. And between all those players you should have a nice, balanced, deep squad of say 4 or 5 players per position to play all the football your club is involved in. Let me show you what my Reserve Team looks like: And here is my club, i.e. all the players I am managing this season: Now this isn't Christmas time this is September, a month after the season kicked off. The only players at my entire club that are not match fit are Vidic and Evra who got injured a good few weeks ago. Infact my current management decision is to play the unfit Vidic because Chiellini is suspended or to not risk someone who will be badly off form even if he is awesome, and wait for a reserve game to get him fit? But that is for a different thread. The composition and relationship between squads at my club is absolutely key to my success at player development. If you look through my club you notice it is extremely strong without being superfluous and unwieldy. I have five Goalkeepers at my club playing all the football at my club ranging from my 42 year old decrepit backup veteran that barks orders at my defence to my two 17 year old hot prospects taking turn about in the under-18's. I went slightly overboard with the Rightbacks because my Rightback slot was weak, but I found a few peaches in that pile and it's no bother to me to send a few packing. That's 50 players at my club playing in 3 different types of matches, or slightly under five players for each position on a football pitch with three games a week on average. That's a good squad. That's a really well organised club. That's a proper heirarchy that is reaping immense rewards. This, in my opinion, is the biggest difference anyone can make to their club, whether it is youth development or squad discipline or competition for places or club morale or finance or anything. This mind-numbing "first load" trawl to actually set up a football club is in my opinion the best and most important thing I do in any save, and once it's done the first time it's oh so simple to keep going and keep running and really rewards with vast dividends in almost every area of the game. You don't have to manage the Youth and Reserve Team matches (I most certainly don't, I would only be starting season two if I did) but always remember your job is to manage a club, not a squad. Subsection 3: Mentors This is a crucial part of developing individual players and this is one of the areas where a well organised club like shown above reaps absolutely immense dividends. Mentoring is crucial because it develops and improves a players personality and attitude to all aspects of football, from on-pitch "Determination" to pre-match handling of "Pressure" to media "Controversy" and such things. Mentors are the key to maturing players because players tend not to mentally mature much on their own in FM. Maturing a players personality and attitude is crucial to improving his performances, which not only makes a great deal of difference once he turns into a £40 million superstar, but also actually enables him to get there instead of becoming a "nah can't be bothered today boss, and by the way I want to leave because you said I played poorly last week" dud. A well organised squad like the one above, with on average five players per position and most players in the First Team Squad, will automatically give you nearly one mentor for every youngster at your club. This means that the vast majority of your players in your Youth Team will be getting mentored for as long as they are at your club. This is another truly vast asset to player development, and is produced and enabled purely through intelligent and rational club organisation. It makes sense to have five goalkeepers at your club and so your two youngest goalkeepers can automatically be mentored by your two most mature, and so on. This is where you start to see signs of the "conveyor belt" system I described for Arsenal and Manchester United in real life start to appear in your own save. The "rules" for mentoring seem straight forward and I can tell you that I know for a fact they are different to the general consensus. 1: There seems to be no age limit for mentoring a player. Maybe 30 but I have not seen that as I have no 30 year olds that need mentored. 2: A mentor can be the same age or older than the mentoree, but it doesn't look like it happens if the mentor is younger. 3: A mentor must be considered "better" than the mentoree in the eyes of the footballing world. 4: They must play in similar positions. 5: Players that fit all the above but where the Mentor has a really different personality to the mentoree, will fall out. 6: If you mentor a player with someone with lower Determination, it will drop. This can sometimes be okay if you want him to mature in other mental areas, and then mentor him with a Determined chap later. I'm not going to speculate on what the different options do. I pick "perfect model" for all my players because my First Team Squad is so awesome and we have such a great relationship. That's still the most important part of the club and I know that well. Subsection 4: Feeder Clubs The feeder club is a huge asset for the manager. It allows you to keep more players than you can effectively manage on your books, while offering furthered development for those players that gain little from youth and reserve football but are not good enough to get many First Team starts. Look through your own club for players "severely lacking match fitness". Those are places in your squad that could be being filled by youngsters on loan to a feeder club of your choice. There are two "types" of feeder club to the youth development manager. These have nothing to do with ingame represenation or "mechanic module" or anything else, but are entirely based on the practicality of managing a squad. Once you learn to develop youngsters you start to understand what a club needs to have even if there are no obvious clues in the game or the manual to tell you this before hand. That's why I'm here. The two types are: 1: The holding club for players that are not great but you don't want to sell yet. Players you think have awesome potential but need a vast amount of your attention to develop and you can't give them that attention yet. 2: The development club for players that are good but need regular football at a level much higher than your reserves to kick on and start fighting for a place in your first team squad. Alot of people give the choice of league a heap of consideration. The choice of league is easy, a league below you for the development club and two leagues below you for the holding club. Choice of league is obvious, what really matters is choice of manager. My players go on loan to develop, and the last thing I want is a manager that can't see their skills and has a habit of constantly falling out with players. I want a manager that can the best out of these players, and in Owen Coyle I have picked a gem. Best manager in the league bar none, and the perfect man to manage the guys I send on loan. It doesn't matter how the club does, I know the manager will do my players well. That's what matters. It all seems so simple doesn't it? You get back what you put in. Subsection 5: Staff Members Staff members that are involved with Youngsters follow the same principle as above, they must be capable of handling youngsters and motivating them, and either training them well or helping them to results in their matches. Good performances and good results equals increased development. A good run the Under-18's Cup is worth it's weight in gold development speaking. Youngsters tend to be a difficult bunch to handle. Their personalities are not developed and they are rash, brash, bold and pretty stupid. Any long term member of this forum will agree with me. It's important to surround your youngsters with the right people, not simply people with the attitude you want to see in players but people with an attitude that is forgiving to youngsters, that works well with youngsters. And perhaps the most important facet of this issue is the man you pick to manage the Youth Team Squad. This is the man I specifically headhunted to be Youth Team Manager at my club. He plays a similar style of football to me, Adventurous with Zonal Marking and Mixed Pressing. He plays 4-4-2 while I play 4-4-1-1. I can be confident that the Youth Team match feedback I get and pore through makes sense to my team. But most importantly he is a perfect judge of potential, a great handler of people, a good disciplinarian and motivator with sound tactical knowledge whose forte is youngsters. I consider myself extremely lucky, privilaged, and potent to have this man managing my Youth Team, but it was me that hunted him out. Subsection 6: Training This is a test of two things: Your patience and your desire. Training is far from the most user friendly area of the game but that doesn't diminish it's importance. Training is crucial in the development of young players. There are two points to this process: 1: Finding and training the position that best suits his attributes. 2: Highlighting and focusing on both his greatest strengths and his greatest weaknesses. Some players emerge in such a way that they are clearly not suited to their initial role. You can either write these players off or you can train them to perform in the role they are built for. All it takes a good eye and the patience to look through your players profiles do to the latter. And often the latter is worth it. I have seen many horrible Centrebacks that look like excellent Fullbacks. Same in midfield with many horrible CM's looking like ideal WF's. It sounds like an FM weakness but complaining doesn't achieve results unless you are lucky enough to be listened to for the next version. Either way it doesn't help your current save. Highlighting strengths and weaknesses however is more "natural" and more "important". You are not trying to train a "God of football" from the youth team, your task is to shift meagre attribute changes around in such a way that this player is capable of doing some kind of job in a better team. The bottom line is that if he can't do any kind of job well then he is doomed regardless of PA, he simply wont perform well enough while he sucks to gain the required increases. Your job is to take an epic potential youngster and turn him into a rather one dimensional useful player, because that's when he can start racking up starts and performances that carry him forward.
  14. Introduction I have written some threads on this before but they tended to be very user unfriendly, and I am also really enjoying the strides FM has taken recently towards being more "naturally football-like" rather than a good but very abstract simulation of football. In that vein I want to produce a guide to developing youngsters that does two things: A: Actually works and people can follow for success. B: Discusses player development in a wholly "football-like" way. Player development is one of the toughest parts of the game and for very good reasons. It requires a lot more attention invested into the day-to-day going-ons at your club, it is very long term with very few quick results and quick feedback, and it requires a great deal of risk taking and faith in players. While most of us will have developed the odd gem every so often, few of us will have managed to replicate the feats of Wenger and Ferguson when it comes to consistently developing First Team players as well as a whole raft of other players that can be found playing in teams slightly below the top 3-4 teams in European Leagues. I think the reasons for this are obvious. First of all player development is not easy in and of itself. It's not necessarily difficult but it's not a plug and play element of the game. You get back what you put in. Secondly FM itself ingame rewards football thinking while almost all player development debate and discussion revolves around min-maxing and mechanic busting and long complex discussion about abstract concepts. No one has yet written a footballers guide to player development in FM that is good enough to actually help people. I will break this guide down into the following sections for ease of use and ease of referrence, and to stop myself wandering a bit towards the end like I tend to do: Section 1: Why Develop Players? Section 2: What Can You Expect? Section 3: What Do You Need? Section 4: Preparing Players. Section 5: Developing Players. Section 6: Conclusion/Final Thoughts. Section 1: Why Develop Players? The main reason why managers start to develop players is money. Cristiano Ronaldo cost Manchester United a heck of a lot less than he cost Real Madrid and even if Ronaldo was earning £10 million a year at Manchester United in wages the club would still have made an overall profit in his sale on top of his contributions to the team. This crucial financial element never changes and is one of the key factors that should always be taken into account when starting the whole development process at your club. The manager should start developing players based on the idea that they can be sold atleast for as much as they cost the club during their time at the club. Youth Development is all about a zero sum game in terms of cash, with the odd gem that makes the entire process profitable whether he is sold for megabucks or kept as a first team player. It is unearthing this gem from an overall no cost or minimal cost process that is the point of youth development. Instead of spending £25 million on a winger, you spend £25 million and recover £25 million over a period of several years of youth development and eventually unearth that winger, or discover someone else that benefits your team and allows you to play with some other winger in your team or even without wingers. It's about improving your team for the minimal cost possible. Some clubs are in a position not to have to do this due to having megabucks, some clubs are in a position where this is all they can do to keep competing at a specific level. Other clubs are in a position where they don't have to do this but can't afford to let gems pass to their rivals and develop into players that become awesome for the opponent team. Youth development is a key part of the whole football process going on in FM. Believe me when I tell you that you will regret it when you arch rivals suddenly line up against you with some Off-The-Ball 18, Anticipation 18, Composure 18, Finishing 18 teenage forward that you hadn't spotted in the game before. In my current save precisely this happened recently. A youngster that looked a bit promising but was very young and a bit of a risk turned up at some obscure Dutch club and the top sides in my league were all keeping an eye on him. None of the top sides made a bid and he went to Tottenham. A couple of seasons later he turned up in the Tottenham line up looking like the following image and the top four let out a collective d'oh. Klinsmann is in charge of Tottenham with his 20 Motivating and I play them next with one first choice Centreback suspended and the other first choice Centreback unfit after just returning from injury. Yay. He might only be third choice forward with those stats in my club, but I would still rather own him and then sell him to Valencia or Roma rather than see him line up for Tottenham and potentially move to Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona or Milan. Regardless of whether I want to develop players, am any good at developing players, could be bothered developing him etc. let Tottenham develop him was a management error on my part. It was a player development error. Player development can also be a very active and front line part of the contest between clubs. It might start off as a financial issue but as you spend more time with this area of the game it starts to grow and develop itself in terms of importance and function. The financial basis for player development starts to evolve, into a battle for who can find the next gem and for who can deny the competition access to the future stars of the game. The financial issue might be the basic reason for developing players, the race for the next generation of top players and denying rivals the next generation of the top players might be the "mid-game" aspect of player development, but eventually when you spend even more time on this area of the game the reason why you should develop players evolves again and take the game to a whole new level. The truth is that the main reason why you should develop players is remarkably simple. It vastly improves the game as an interactive experience. It radically enhances the experience and enjoyment of the game. Once you start getting youth development and player development working well then your club literally becomes a group of players that you are moulding, manipulating and interacting with regularly to push your club forward. It's only when the majority of your time in FM is spent moulding and developing and evolving both your players and your team that FM truly spreads it wings as the greatest management simulator around. Players turn from spreadsheets into characters, characters you can radically adapt along certain lines while along other lines retaining key crucial traits that are a nightmare to adapt. Thus players can greatly grow under your management yet still retain their own individuality and unique behaviours. And once you get to this level in FM you no longer see dots or dodgy looking stickmen in your replays, you see people, you see individuals, you see carefully sculpted and brilliantly simulated players. And this is when FM becomes a work of utter genius and a computer game that for a football fan is without rival. Section 2: What Can You Expect? Me enthusing loudly and prolifically about FM is nothing new and so the question "that's all great and all but does it actually work out that way?" is completely valid. It is important to know whether or not the effort and attention required to involve yourself in Player Development can actually pay off, and indeed what sort of returns can actually be expected? Because surely if one gem is developed every ten years, a First Teamer every five, and someone for Backup every 2 then it is hardly worth the time and effort getting the sleeves rolled up and micromanaging a whole bunch of extra players. This is one hundred percent completely valid and so this section of the guide is devoted to showing what can be done in game when you commit to the player development process. This section will show what I have achieved in my current save obviously using the very approach I am writing about in this guide. I will tell you that what you can expect from Player Development is very, very impressive atleast in the first decade or so of a long term save. What I have achieved in my current save is beyond anything I have achieved before by a large margin and I take great pleasure in stating that this save was done 100% "pure" with no sneaky peaks at hidden attributes or PA values or any of that sort. It is actually quite interesting to me that the save where I put down the utilities that enabled me to see the guts of the game, see the workings of players and formed some of the basis for all my previous guides on different areas of the game is the save where I have run my club almost to perfection. I was at the heart of a lot of discussions on mix-maxing and this and that, which I now find ironic because although it did furnish me with a lot of knowledge about how things work, I have found that how you achieve maximum success in FM is by treating it on entirely footballing terms. All my recent guides and threads now follow in this vein, and it is because I am thoroughly enjoying this football game even more by treating it like football. What you can expect from youth development when you approach it with detail and commitment and on footballing terms is the following: These are all the players in my First Team Squad I have personally developed in my six seasons at Manchester United in my current save: Defenders Midfielders Forwards The oldest player here was 19 at game start, the youngest was 12 and is therefore a pure newgen, infact I believe only two out of the six here are real players but I could be wrong. I personally hunted out each of these players and had to buy them all. They cost me a grand total of £25.8 million altogether and are now worth £98.6 million altogether. That is an increase of £72.8 million in six years. Four World Class players and two highly excellent young defenders that look as if they too will become World Class. That's over half a first team for a World Class club like Manchester United in only six seasons, and the sixth has barely started. You will notice that these players are all busy players. By busy I mean that when they play they tend to do something. My fullbacks both have assists from two starts, my striker has 8 goals from 5 starts. Even the underperforming Douglas Costa has two assists in 7 appearances. These players are not for show they are for winning football matches and you will notice that every single player barring the youngest has a Determination score of 18 or higher. I am infact packing two 19's and a 20 Determination in a bunch of players that came to my club at age 19 or younger. These players are top, top level footballers. If I can do this so can you, but I will be honest and say I do not expect the vast majority of you to pour over the details of the game like I do. I do pay an enormous amount of attention to detail and consider every weakness anywhere in my club to be an error made by me. But like I said the games gives back what you put in, so it is up to you. Take a year to play six seasons and you too can produce players of this calibre on a regular basis. It is entirely up to you.
  15. If you set player with the PPM RWB Often to RWB Rare and TTB Mixed, he will behave as if both instructions are set to Mixed. These types of PPM's are like inherant tactical instructions.
  16. Considering it is a game FM is remarkably accurate, we are talking HOI levels of accurate in simulation. Now anyone that plays HOI knows it is far from a perfect simulation of warfare, but it's good enough to really get the relevant issues across and "trick" people into thinking they are commanding a vast and complex war. Both HOI and FM share a similar problem, that is ease of access to the game before players are able to appreciate what it is, so that they can then afterwards appreciate what it is not. Alot of this criticism gets mixed up or considered to be the same criticism. It's not.
  17. I believe Ferguson did that against Crawley as he was away scouting Valencia at the time.
  18. You don't have to take "my roles" as the letter on this subject, but I do think you will benefit enormously from thinking about coaches beyond simply their star ratings. My assistant manager has amazing Man Management and Motivating skills and has been my Assistant for five years now. I am brutal when it come to pre-match demands, half time teamtalks and squad discipline. I am ruthless. I will easilly "ANGRY" at a 6.5 away from home against my arch rivals, but I have never had a squad wide interaction problem. I have had a couple of "thinks he is being treated unfair" that I solve by not playing these players untill they apologise, but I have never had any real dressing room issues. I could be wrong, but the results I see from the way I do things are so impressive I am tempted to think I am doing something right.
  19. I agree with your general point but I think that there is more than one way to skin this particular cat. And there is anecdotal evidence to back up this particular line of discussion even if not to prove it. While it is entirely valid to go down the route of refusing to sign individuals that don't speak the same language to avoid any settling in problems, I have seen plenty of evidence to support the opposite approach. The opposite approach would be constructing a highly "multicultural" or "metropolitan" club where there is one common language but there is also large numbers of people speaking many other languages as well. Clearly this is only going to be an approach open to a few clubs in the entire game but I have reason to believe this approach actually works to reduce "settling in" problems. I will explain my reasoning. 1: Everyone will have seen the "new signing press conference" question where the journalist asks you if not speaking the common language will be a problem, and then asks if X player who speaks the new signings language will be used to help out. This indicates two things. One that languages actually matter and probably matter a lot. Two that other people in your club that speak a similar language to a new signing can help him settle. 2: My own "Domestic Player Bias" manager stat is a princely 2. This again means several things, one that I buy a lot of "foreign" players and two that I keep a lot of "foreign" players. In the five seasons of my save that it has taken me to achieve this might "2" rating I have never once had a problem with a player being unable to settle, regardless of who I bought and quite clearly I must buy a vast majority of non-domestic players. Either I am exceptionally lucky in always buying players that find it easy to settle in a foreign country, or the vast amount of foreign languages spoken at my club make it significantly easier for players to settle at my club. I think the latter is the more likely.
  20. The game is what it is and you can either accept the advice to watch your matches in full match replay in order to iron out tactical problems or you can keep fumbling in the dark trying to guess what the problems are. It doesn't make any difference to people that offer advice. The advice is there, you either take it or you don't. Speaking for myself I would prefer it if my defenders didn't kick the ball out of play at all. I would much rather that when they get a toe to the ball they send it towards the flanks where my battling winger can spring a counter-attack. Because I went through the difficult time of setting up my team and ironing out my tactics and watching some none too great football in full match replays I have now produced a style of football at my club that I actually enjoy watching. It's not a question of being anal, it's an enjoyable way to spend time now I have my team playing fluid, creative attacking football. You battle at the start paying attention to detail to get things working and lo and behold you find things actually click together and the game is no longer an uphill struggle, it's a fun game.
  21. 99% of the time it's not a bug. What you just described is the whole point of the game. While some people struggle to find out what prevented their team from playing perfect football, other people put together imperfect teams and watch a football match. The devs are not going to give you feedback as to why your Right Back had a nightmare after getting an average of 8.0 in his last five games. If you want feedback then watch the match. That's what it is there for. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people that buy the most indepth football simulator on the planet and then refuse to watch their football matches. You don't have to watch every match in your career like I do, but if you don't watch any then your problem is yourself.
  22. I think that is true but I also think it is much deeper than that. Not only do staff members from different nationalities carry particular styles but they also seem to carry particular "stereotypical" abilities. Also a staff members playing career seems to have a significant impact on the style of football they prefer to play. I will give you a couple of examples: The Italians at my club almost all tend to be very tactically aware, whereas all the Scots at my club seem to be good at Motivating and Man Management. Some individuals buck these trends, but I can see a trend in my club. This may not be indicative across the entire game, it might be a "fluke" but it does seem quite remarkable. Of the players that have retired from the playing staff at my club and have joined the coaching staff at my club, all of them prefer to use 4-4-2 which is no surprise playing first under Alex Ferguson and then myself in the English Premier League. Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes both prefer to play an aggressive attacking 4-4-2 with high closing down and mixed marking. Gary Neville prefers a cautious 4-4-2 with mixed pressing and man marking. Edwin van der Sar prefers a cautious 4-4-2 with mixed pressing and zonal marking. Edwin van der Sar is a 4 star Goalkeeping Coach, Neville is a 4 star defending coach, Giggs is a 4 star ball control coach, Scholes is a 4 star attacking coach. This is pretty spectacular when you think about it. Players directly translate into coaches in multiple ways. Not only does player ability reflect coaching ability but player ability and player experience and player position also translates into preferred playing styles. The coaches that were once my most defensive players all opt for defensive variations of the systems they played under and played against most often, while the attacking players opt for the attacking approach. Not only that but the particular style of the attacking or defensive version reflects their own personal tastes. Neville opts for a pure man marking system, van der Sar for a pure zonal marking system but both like to keep mixed closing down, whereas both Scholes and Giggs opt for high pressing and mixed marking, reflecting their personal knowledge of the defensive game (i.e. minimal so put the opponent under pressure). However it is in the Italians at my club, again, that I see the most "inventive" styles of football. Instead of a clear and obvious defensive or attacking approach to 4-4-2 my Italian assistant manager prefers an ultra cautious 4-4-2 with high pressing in a zonal marking system. This is not the "back off and defend the zones" of van der Sar or the "pressure and attack" of Scholes, it is a "sit deep and pressure" 4-4-2 style that I don't see in any of my English or Scottish First Team Coaches. The only coach that I can see, at a cursory glance through my staff list, that departs from the 4-4-2 trend is my recently signed Italian Youth Coach. He prefers a 4-3-3 and was poached from an Italian club where he worked under a manager that preferred the formation 4-3-1-2. I think that there is certainly a lot in this area of the game. Selecting Youth/Reserve Team managers whose style more reflects your own style of play is likely to give much better clues as to how players will perform in your First Team Squad.
  23. In terms of Coaching alone, no. One specialised coach per training category plus an Assistant strong in man management and motivating involved in all coaching categories is something I would consider "optimal". However you didn't mention Backroom Advice nor Youth and Reserve Team Management. If I was setting up a group of backroom staff (and had heaps of cash and a high rep club) I would want to maximise these areas as well. Even if I don't particularly follow all backroom advice, if I am going to be getting it anyway I would want it to be good. So here is how I would work it: Coaches. The primary aim of coaches is to train. Their advice is a bonus. Assistant. Yours is already high in Man Management, and likely also Squad Management Advice. His role is motivating players during training. Youth/Reserve Managers. This leaves essentially two jobs and four areas of Backroom Advice, or two Areas of Backroom Advice per job. I would specifically head-hunt "experts" in Tactical, Recruitment, Training and Youth Development advice and install these people as my Youth and Reserve Managers. Clearly these individuals are likely to cost a lot of money as you will want them to offer the best advice while also being highly effective at actually managing a football match. So simply by adding to your backroom staff by an additional two extremely good coaches you can be confident of not only nailing the training side, but also the advice and youth/reserve team management side. If you can't find the perfect individuals then you may want to hire a few more coaches but ideally the overall "optimal" backroom staff should look something like this: Assistant : Skilled in Man Management/Squad Management (ideally, but others may have different needs). Reserve Team Manager : Skilled in Tactics and Perhaps Recruitment. Youth Team Manager : Skilled in Training, Youth Development. First Team Coaches for all Categories. Youth Team Coaches for all Categories.
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