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SFraser

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  1. I would be very wary about starting a player at 92% condition unless he is utterly key to my team. I would much rather start another decent player at 98% or above. In my own save the best performances I have ever gotten out of players comes when they are at 98% or higher condition. They start the game with a real bang and retain much higher levels of condition throughout the match than they otherwise would. From what I have seen I think condition is a massive factor in player performance. Even the apparently minor difference between 92% and 98% in my save makes a world of difference to a players performance. This is for FM10 mind you, I have heard condition is an even greater factor in FM11.
  2. Indeed. 20 for every stat would remove all the individuality of "strength v weakness" in players and therefore remove about 90% of the game as I play it. This game is first and foremost all about players. Their individual strengths and weaknesses on the pitch, their mentality and character, but most of all about how you develop and build a relationship and utilise these radically different players. Remove individuality and uniqueness, make it possible to develop all players to CA 200 or stat level 20 and you remove everything that makes characters in this game interesting. That is the very fact they are not all the same.
  3. The ME is not "verging on being a mess". Do you think I would watch every match in full match replay if it was even remotely close to being a mess? A good 90% to 95% maybe even as high as 99% of the ME is sound, more than sound even. You are picking up on a couple of obvious "wtf" moments that can be tweaked and not giving the rest of the ME it's fair dues. Yes some clearances are not done well, crosses don't cause enough panic and disruption in defences, and goalkeepers can ping one-touch passes like Scholes in his pomp but the vast majority of the ME is excellent. I know this because I have done five seasons on full match replays. If the ME was remotely close to verging on a mess I wouldn't be arguing with you, you would be following my lead in complaining about it. There are plenty of "devices" ingame to ensure that not every match is easilly winnable. Consistency, Important Matches, Motivation/Teamtalks/Pressure, radical formations, reactions to your reputation, weather, home team minor advantage. There is no need to use "superkeepers" because if you can overcome all of these realistic "devices" then you deserve your wins. And shooting straight at goalkeepers does not equal "superkeepers" it equals shot mechanics. While there may be a "quick fix" in place to counter some defensive ME weaknesses by reducing goalscoring rates in certain positions it is equally true that shooting straight at goalkeepers is a product of player attributes. I have two wingers that like to shoot. One is right footed on the right wing with the PPM "Shoots with Power" and the other is right footed playing on the left wing with the PPM "Places Shots". No prizes for guessing which player regularly finds the goalkeepers face and which player regularly finds the corners of the net. Tactics are vastly over-rated. You cannot micromanage a rubbish striker to beat a great defender all else being equal. Where tactics matter is building a sound platform for your team, a general strategy for playing the opponent. It's a logical fallacy that is prevailant amongst FM players that each and every formation must have some "magic set of instructions" to make it perfect in attack and defence. The closest you can get to perfection tactically is to design tactics specifically for use against each opponent, to exploit their weaknesses and neutralise their strengths. It's still not some "objective" perfection that people seem to think exists in a random configuration of tactical instructions for X formation. Players are by far the most crucial element of this game.
  4. Personally I think in-match injuries have a lot to do with Anticipation. Players with low Anticipation are not likely to spot a career ending tackle and will dribble into it at pace. This is a disaster. Players with high Anticipation will spot the tackle and dribble around it, or atleast take some kind of less damaging action than sprinting head long into it. In my opinion all injuries can be seperated into two kinds: 1: Injury prone players taking knocks during any kind of physical interaction. 2: Players that lack Awareness being broken during intense physical exhertion. If your players are not Injury Prone and are pretty sharp then you shouldn't suffer a lot of injuries. If your players are Injury Prone and pretty dull then expect punishment. If they are a mixture then expect the average.
  5. It's not that much of a difference. I still have my ass man + two General Coaches covering all areas of training as Motivators, but the difference this time is that I am keeping proven coaches purely to coach First Team training and using my Youth Team training areas as a place to "test out" and develop unproven coaches. So last season while I had say three staff members involved in all areas, I still have three. Last season my single Ball Control coach took both First Team and Youth Team training, this season I have two Ball Control coaches, one is established and doing First Team training, the other is young and developing and looks like he has potential and is taking Youth Team training. This minor detail means several things. First workload is reduced for each specific coach, second I always have a backup available if someone pinches a coach, third I am in control of the future development of my backroom staff. I can plan and plot and develop future First Team coaches from within my own ranks. This is where I sign the recently retired Gary Neville and plant him to do some training work. If he accepts a youth team coach role I have to pay him less and I can keep an eye on him to see if he develops as a coach. If he turns out to be rubbish, well that little experiment costs me less wages and I can replace him with whoever retires next.
  6. Jenko there are ways of saying "I want to discuss attributes with you" and that wasn't a very good way. You can't expect Cleon to do all this work and still think up every question to encourage a discussion. If you want a thread to go a certain way then you need to contribute to it. I don't think either Cleon or myself would pass up the chance for a good discussion on attributes, but we can't think up every single subject ourselves. If there is something you want to discuss then bring it up.
  7. Heaths point here is crucial. The fundamental barrier to performance in Lower Leagues is a players Mental state and his confidence rather than his ability. Clearly ability is important, but in the lower leagues the reduced average level of Personality Attributes means that all players are significantly more temperamental and teams very rarely respond to events as a unit. Likewise the reduced average level of Personality Attributes means that negative responses to events are in much greater abundance. In the lower leagues not buckling under pressure is equal to a Premier League team becoming highly motivated when conceding a goal. In the lower leagues a players theoretical ability that can be seen in his attribute profile is vastly modified by the vast range and temperamental nature of lower league players. A top quality Lower League side in terms of attribute panel ability can quite easilly collapse utterly in terms of Motivation and receive a hefty thrashing. This simply does not happen at the top of the game. Developing a players Mental Strength not only helps him perform closer to his ability, it also helps to stabilise your team in the face of "mental pressures" like away games or going a goal down. It helps you to adequately man manage players and get the response you desire from them. It stops Centrebacks from becoming utter hazards and nightmarishly bad simply because the opposition fluked a lucky goal. Developing a players Mental Strength is a major asset to any player at any level, and I believe it functions the same at all levels of the game. Developing a players playing Attributes is however a completely different kettle of fish. There is a "triangle of player development" as I call it, these are multiplicative factors that determine the rate at which a player improves his attributes. The triangle is Personality x Match Experience x Level of Football. By definition Lower League Football is a vastly reduced level of football, and this has the multiplicative effect of vastly reducing the growth of player attributes. And this vastly reduced level of growth in the Lower Leagues due to Level of Football cannot be avoided. It can be slightly mitigated by maximising Personality and Match Experience but these are not additive factors, they are multiplictive factors and so maximum growth rate in Lower Leagues is several orders of magnitude less than at the highest level. It's a gameplay mechanic, there is no working around it so long as the player plays for you and you play in the Lower Leagues. This grinding prison of development that is Lower League Football has two clear implications: 1: Cup Competitions are now twice or three times more valuable to your players than your previous view of sheer financial gain. Not only are Cup Competitions themselves viewed as a "Higher Competition" than your Blue Square North league, but you can achieve a double whammy of player development greatness by drawing yourself an away game to Manchester United. The Reputation of the FA Cup combined to the Reputation of Manchester United means your players suddenly find themselves playing at a Level Of Football that is some of the highest possible in England and for that one match your players will receive the same development boost (or even higher) than any Premier League Team achieves in a single match. It might not be much on it's own, it might not even show up in some players, and if it does it might only be a single extra green arrow, but if you can do this a few times throughout the entire career of some protege you have developed since his birth then you will reap the rewards. It's lower league football, scratching for the crumbs of the footballing world is what you do. So make sure you heed my advice and scratch for these crumbs too. 2: Developing a players Personality becomes all the more important. Not only to milk every meagre drop of Attribute growth you can from your sterile surroundings, but particularly because attribute growth doesn't really work down here. Developing a players Mental State is the only real "proactive" thing you can do to literally improve a player, other than become a mastermind at cup runs. Developing a players Personality is a fiddly, slightly counter-intuitive and slightly complex issue. As far as I can tell there is no Age limit for Mentoring a player. In my Manchester United save I have the 26 year old Aguero Mentoring the 24 year old Pjanic. If there is an age limit it's not very low. What does most definately, absolutely, certainly matter is that the Mentor is viewed as a better player than the Mentored. To Mentor a player the Mentor simply must have a higher reputation than the player to be mentored. If not, then the potential mentor wont show up. And what else most definately, absolutely, centrainly matters is that the Mentoring works, and the only way it works is if the Mentored player either Respects the Mentor or can relate to the Mentor. What this means in FM terms is that a Mentor must either be someone the Mentoree likes, has a good relationship with, views as favoured personell OR has a Personality that is relatively similar to the Mentoree. If you try to Mentor a light hearted player with a Leader you will fail, there is far too big a Personality difference and their personalities will clash. One is a happy go lucky chap with smiles and cheerfullness aplenty, the other is a footballing Warrior of steel, it simply aint happening unless the footballing warrior of steel is the happy chaps Idol. While this is the closest thing I can get to a "scratch every inch of possible development out of the lower league sand" type post, keep in mind that it wont always work. Sometimes you will find awkward players that annoy everyone with their arrogance and this means you can't find an idol and trying to pair them up with someone in a similar mental state is likely to end in violence, or more likely angry text messages and both players refusing to train. Keep in mind what level of football you are playing at when it comes to developing youngsters. It's not your fault their attributes don't go up. By the same token attribute increases in Lower League Football is significantly less influential precisely because so many players are gibbering mental wrecks. Improving a players Mental State is not only the equivelant of +1 to all attributes, it also helps to prevent your team from collapsing under pressure when the tea lady shoots a harsh look at them. That said I haven't spent a significant amount of time playing Lower League Football. It is a good challenge, but the football isn't as nice to watch.
  8. Positioning is the ability to take up a good defensive position. This can best be seen during open play where players with good positioning will have a "knack" of being in the right place at the right time defensively speaking, while players with lower positioning might find themselves just slightly too far one way or the other to prevent a throughball, intercept a pass, win a header or block a shot. The crucial thing about positioning is to realise that it works on a move-by-move basis. As each move occurs, players will take up new positions to deal with the threats. A fullback with good positioning that has a winger down the near corner flag is highly unlikely to let a cross past him into the box and will constantly "juggle" his position back and forth as the winger looks to turn and twist to deliver the ball, but if his tackling is poor he might be skinned by a good dribble. Marking is the ability to get close to a player and deny him space. This is best seen, imo, during corner kicks. Give one player with high Marking a "mark player" instruction and give a player with low Marking a "mark player" instruction. When they line up to defend a corner one player will be ontop of his man, the other player will have a good two or three yards space between him and his man. This two-three yards is all a player needs to nip in behind or infront of the defending player and score a goal.
  9. It's not the most utterly vital topic in the world and it is a topic that regularly gets discussed anyway so alot of people will be comfortable in how they train these PPM's, but I wanted to give my 2 cents on this topic based on my experience of using these PPM's for different players playing in different roles. The general concensus is that with lower Finishing accuracy, blasting the ball is more likely to beat the goalkeeper. With higher Finishing placing the ball is more likely to find a corner the goalkeeper can't reach. That's a completely sound point of view. However I think that there is more tactical depth that can be drawn out of these PPM's. I believe that to get maximum results from use of these PPM's within tactics it is vitally important to consider a players position as well as his ability. No Keeper In The World Would Have Saved That Shot! That's what you get with "Shoots With Power" and it says a lot. What it says is that within a reasonable distance, if this player can get the ball between the sticks and somewhere other than straight at the goalkeeper then it is hitting the back of the net. Anyone that has ever kicked a ball knows that hitting a ball with power reduces accuracy. It's a great way to score penalties, it's an extremely difficult way of scoring from the corner of the box. My point here is that while a player that blasts the ball has a slightly increased risk of missing, a player that shoots from central positions has a much higher chance of hitting the target than a player that shoots from wide. A player that shoots with power has a much higher chance of scoring if the ball is on target. Excellent finishers that play centrally and close to goal are much more likely to score if they shoot with power. Their chance of missing is slightly increased, their chance of beating the goalkeeper is hugely increased. For full chances, half chances, or complete snapshot chancer chances in a reasonably central position, if your player is a decent finisher and shoots with power then it is very likely to go in. Think Alan Shearer. He Showed You Don't Have To Blast The Ball! Scoring a goal is ultimately about putting the ball in the net. Putting the ball in the net requires accuracy to get it between the sticks, and enough pace on the shot so that it beats the goalkeeper. When close to goal and with a good angle power is king. When faced with a difficult angle and at a bit of range then what is needed is accuracy. Power will make the already increased risk of missing even higher due to the angle. And due to the angle there are only a few places the ball can go to beat the goalkeeper anyway, because he will naturally "cover the angles". When approaching a goalkeeper at an angle he has the maximum level of advantage. Both sides of the goal are vastly reduced in size compared to his size and position. The actual availability of goalscoring areas is tiny. This requires not simply accuracy to score, but a shot that uses the instep to curl the ball because a goalkeeper can easilly reach a straight shot aiming at uncovered corners. Further, when the ball has been played across the box quickly to someone lurking at the back post, catching the keeper out and presenting a goal on a plate, what you want is not a power shot but a carefully aimed and accurate shot into the net. The goalkeeper will never reach it and it is highly unlikely to miss. "Places Shots" is for players that regularly get into goalscoring positions but from awkward angles or at the back post. Conclusions While you can base the PPM's "Shoots With Power" and "Places Shots" on Finishing accuracy, my point is that to fully take advantage of these PPM's and of players in certain roles is to base these PPM's on the positions payers regularly take up. Players that regularly get into the box in a central position should be considered for "Shoots With Power". Players that regularly get into the box in wide positions should be considered for "Place Shots". Players that regularly shoot from outside the box should be considered for "Shoots With Power". This is not an absolute rule, it is an additional and important factor for you to consider when dealing with players that regularly hit shots.
  10. Building a team isn't about the attributes of a player, it's about the the attributes of a team. The answer to the question "what attributes fit together" is vast. Great managers use attributes and can make teams out of attributes. There is no answer that question. The only question people like Cleon and myself can answer is what are the attributes that are best for a specific type of player/role in your team. Even the best of attribute watchers are still playing football, still watching and developing a football match. It is still a football match. I recently bought an attacking rightback because I am planning for my defensive fullback to move into the centre once my current first choice fullback starts to decline. It hasn't happened yet but it will, and this new attacking fullback will show me his stuff and show me whether I need to add to the right back or centreback position when my current first choice gets too old. The game is football, give a problem and good FM managers can solve it. There is no objective, absolute rule to this game.
  11. Absolutely. From Tactical Instructions to Teamtalks it is attributes that define every single reaction and event. The whole crux of the game is applying some basic changes to players attributes. Every single thing you can do ingame is either about influencing attributes directly, or influencing calculations involving attributes. The funny thing is that the more you pay attention to attibutes, the more you really understand players as individuals you cant totally control. Stare at attributes long enough and you start seeing wholly unique players. It starts off with "thats his Anticipation" and ends up with "well done Jonny Evans son, great tackle" because you understand players. Cleon said I know attributes better than most, I am probably the only one that watches every match in Full Match Replay. Is it cause or effect? Or is it the enjoyment of getting involved in the stories of my players?
  12. As I sit here playing through my clubs Pre-Season, I though this would be the ideal time to discuss setting up your backroom staff. This Pre-Season I have decided to overhaul my backroom staff, having recently lost a good coach to another club and having left them alone more or less for the past few seasons. Much of what I write here is speculation, but speculation based on the assumption that the huge quantities of information involved in backroom staff must mean something. It is possible that a lot of the ideas I put forward in this thread don't actually work ingame, but based on what I see ingame I am confident they do work, and if they do work then brilliant. Either way if you follow the advice in this thread you can be confident of having a well organised, well structured, well set up backroom team. The Panel As far as I am concerned "the panel" is the holy grail of backroom staff info. If a staff member can offer up awesome advice on Man Management and Training then logically he must be a good Man Manager and Trainer. While this panel says "advice" you should take it to equal "ability" and this is what I do. What this means is that you can see in a glance the rough quality of a staff member, the end result of the relationship between his attributes. Turn your screen to this panel and use the left and right arrows to cycle between staff members and you can see the true strengths and weaknesses of all the staff at your club in a flash. "The Panel" is the greatest tool you have for developing and improving your backroom staff, it should quickly become your best friend and a point of regular reference for this part of the game. What's more, you can see this panel for prospective staff members. Got a chap in mind for your Ass Man? Make sure you check out The Panel before you sign him. Backroom Advice While The Panel says "backroom advice" the truth of the matter is twofold: first The Panel reflects ability and secondly Backroom advice will often consist of a single piece of advice based on two or more of these general abilities. Club Players knowledge is obviously a key ability to give accurate Man Management or Squad Management advice, likewise with accurate Mentoring advice. This means it is wise to look for abilities in The Panel that are mutually beneficial. Club Players Knowledge + Recruitment, Squad Management + Man Management, Recruitment + Tactical, Tactical + Club Players Knowledge + Squad Management and so on. A trully crucial issue in Backroom Advice is that the best man for the job gives the advice while the Ass Man or second best man gives his opinion on the advice. This means that some obscure foreign Youth Set Piece coach on £750 a week at Manchester United could well pop up with a Tactical Observation that is the key to beating Chelsea away from home. It also means the manager of Manchester United should not just be looking for awesome Coaches to train his players, but awesome Coaches that each have an additional area of expertise for backroom advice. This is a key issue and I will give it more attention further on. First Team Coach, Coach, Youth Team Coach What is the difference between these roles? A First Team Coach only works with first team players, a Youth Team Coach only works with youngsters, a Coach can work with all players. And so can your Ass Man. What are the ingame features that correspond to this difference? Working With Youngsters attribute and Coach Workload. The existence of the Youth Team Coach role and Working with Youngsters attribute clearly points to the fact that this matters. So I assume it does. It might not, I can't prove it, but the evidence points in that direction so I follow it. Likewise with the First Team Coach. There is a crucial issue that defines how I use these roles. Coaches and Staff can develop like players. They have CA and PA and seem to develop according to the roles you give them. With all this in mind my strategy is as follows: The most important thing bar none in your job is the First Team. A Youth Team can be awesome but never at the expense of your First Team. The best coaches in my club are those taking my individual First Team Training and they are First Team coaches and I do not share them with the Youth Team. The Youth Team coaches are all excellent at working with youngsters. This is a given, they are all also as good as I can find at training the different areas of the game. Most importantly though they are all young and cheap to employ, I am developing my Youth Team Staff for future excellence like I would develop a Youth Team Player. My Coaches are people not quite good enough to take First Team Coaching, but I am keeping them around the club. They may be able to offer great advice, or they may be developing still, or perhaps they are a Youth Team or Reserve Team Manager. These Coaches involve themselves in Youth Team and First Team coaching to reduce the Workload experienced by my key coaches. Simple, but highly effective. Youth/Reserve Team Manager These Staff Members are the ones that manage your Youth Team and Reserve Team matches. There are two key points here: Good results improve your players, Experience improves your Staff Members. Taking the Youth or Reserve Team is the fastest way to develop your Staff Members. This gives the average FM manager a headache, but it gives the good FM manager another exciting and interesting area of management. The below average FM manager isn't even remotely bothered about this, probably unaware of it. In my personal backroom staff strategy this is the ideal way to boost General Coaches into the realms of First Team coaching, or on the contrary with a great intake of youth it is the time for my Ass Man to step in and make sure these players develop as good as possible under his expert guidance. My strategy here is again simple: Because staff members have long careers as staff the odd season off here and there from maximum development hardly matters. Therefore with an average Youth Team I give these staff members control and with an epic Youth Team I switch control to my best match winner. Pay a bit of attention to what is happening at your club, and make it simple for yourself. Is this current youth team something you gain the most from by developing your staff or by developing the players? Keep in mind that the developing staff should one day be boosting your First Team which is the utter core of your job. Random Musings/Assumptions This is the part where I speculate wildly but also describe some of the deeper strategies I employ when building my backroom staff. A club that laughs together wins together. When working with mates you respect you enjoy work better and follow their instructions better. Training Star level only controls speed of category change. These three rather wild assumptions form the core of my backroom staff recruitment strategy. Despite being a Manchester United manager this could easilly be called "The Liverpool Way" or perhaps more accurately the Shankly way. My strategy is that Man Management and Motivation in staff members is crucial to maintaining and even improving player morale as they train. Likewise a well trained 4 star training squad being trained by their favoured personell will train better and perform better than a poorly trained 5 star squad trained by Ogres. Morale on a match by match basis is infinately superior to Training on a match by match basis. Over the long term yes Training matters, but in the short term Morale and Man Management is equal only to Tactics. Therefore my backroom staff strategy is to sign the coaches and staff with the best Motivation and Man Management ratings alongside their training ability, ideally to sign the best of my ex-players as coaches even if their training ability is less than perfect. So long as they have good Man Management and Motivating I would rather have 4 star Giggs, Scholes and Neville training my first team than 5 star random others. So long as the star ratings only affect speed of change then I can easilly control the training effect of my staff, but I can never a sign a Coach that half my First Team has as favoured personell. I will easilly sacrifice a training star or two to have a club legend training players effectively rather than perfectly, because I believe Favoured Personell matters in terms of Morale. Ofcourse, in FM10 atleast, all retiring players have a Staff CA of 130 which is horrific, thus your retired players have to be specialist to be useful at all. Conclusion While star level in training matters, if you can build good schedules with your coach training ability in mind then I don't think star level matters that much. On the other hand hopefully I have shown that you backroom staff is significantly more important than considering star ratings. Backroom staff is a nice and deep part of this awesome game. Not the deepest and most mind bending but deep enough. And hopefully this thread has shown that doesn't require epic complexity to make the most of all the options Staff Members may offer, it just requires a bit of attention to detail and some fairly logical thinking. It's not hard to set up your backroom staff to the best of all possible outcomes, indeed those that love this game should enjoy it. Try it for yourself and let me know how you get on. And never forget "The Panel".
  13. I have been away for a while so it is good to see this thread continued and added to. It is a very deep thread written by people that obviously spend a lot of time watching the ME at work. There are a couple of points I would like to make based on what I have been observing recently. They are not absolute nailed on fact points, they are opinions I am putting forward for discussion. Determination and Workrate: I think these two attributes are the attacking and defensive variations of each other. I say this because highly Determined players do not seem to lack drive when attacking regardless of their level of Workrate. Likewise high Workrate players can seem to disappear from matches where you are attacking regularly and they lack Determination. Indeed there are three "effort" based attributes as I see them: 1: Determination. How much drive a player has to advance an attacking position/move. 2: Workrate. How much effort a player will put in to rectify a defensive situation. 3: Teamwork. How hard a player will work to involve himself in team moves, or how much skill a player has in playing as a part in a "unit". As I continue to watch 2-D full match replays it is becoming very obvious to me what the impact is of high or low teamwork, though I find it difficult to describe accurately. In a recent match my highly creative, high teamwork AMC received a pass with his back to goal and instantly played my striker through on goal with his first touch. Creativity was what enabled him to see the pass, but his Teamwork in this case seemed to magnify his Creativity as if he was waiting and ready for a teammate to make a run as the ball came to him. It was his "skill" in functioning as a part of the team unit. What was also very interesting was that my striker has 19 teamwork and made his run as my winger passed to my AMC. The winger played the ball into the AMC and that started a "team move" where my striker made a run and my AMC played him through on goal with his first touch. If Creativity is the ability to spot a pass, then I would say Teamwork is the ability to spot a developing opportunity for a team move. A different type of "vision".
  14. For my 4-2-3-1 formation I tweak all the instructions for my roles barring the 20 notch sliders, so I can use the different match strategies to adjust global mentality, closing down, passing directness etc. to affect general aggressiveness of my football without disturbing my specific preferred style and preferrered tactical options. The AM is without a doubt the key to this formation. Player choice can have a radical influence on the type of performance from your AM and therefore the entire style and pattern of your attacking play. In my experience the most crucial element in the game for a player in the AM slot to perform as a focal point of the attack is his Teamwork attribute. High Teamwork is what distinguishes a builder and constructor of team moves from a mere Second Striker. Clearly closely related to this is Creativity, a players ability to see options. Regardless of Tactical Instructions, high Creativity and high Teamwork is what produces the core ability of a Playmaker. I had great success playing Berbatov behind Rooney in a 4-2-3-1. Berbatov has the abilities of a playmaker and a forward while Rooney is slightly more biased towards being a Striker. The combinations of Teamwork between these two players produced excellent link up play and for several seasons they sliced defences apart. The instructions I use for my AMC are the Attacking Midfielder Attack role, giving high levels of Mentality and Creative Freedom with Mixed Passing, in conjunction to these I use the instructions RFD Mixed, RWB Mixed, Long Shots Rare, TTB Mixed, Crossing Rare and Roaming ticked. This effectively gives my AMC the instructions make runs when it is a good option and to balance throughballs and dribbiling with a normal passing game. In short I give my AMC the freedom to make the best options according to his abilities and I restrict none of his Creativity. If he thinks a chipped throughball is the right option, I don't tell him otherwise. This "theory" of balancing options to enable players to play according to their intelligence is something that applies throughout my entire side. The only instructions I move away from Mixed are those instructions my players are poor at such as Crossing because my side is not the best at crossing and is poor in the air upfront. My striker, wingers and AMC all have RFD Mixed, TTB Mixed, RWB Mixed and huge quantities of Creative Freedom. This style of play requires particular players, players with Creativity, Flair, Decisions, Teamwork, Off The Ball and plenty of technical accuracy. It produces some immense attacking play, but rarely of an individual variety. I rely upon the ability of my players to open up teams with passing and movement throughout my attacking unit. The right AMC is crucial. He is the fulcrum of this play and should be blessed with immense levels of Creativity, Teamwork, Decisions, Flair. Since Berbatov has started to decline I have opted for Mesut Ozil to play in the hole. I use the MC version. Defensively speaking you can never get tired of players with high Anticipation and Positioning with the ability to win headers in the MC slot. Players like this will be able to nip in first before the opponents to nick the ball and generally dominate the pitch whenever there is a threat of a counter from the opponent. Liberal quantities of Acceleration and Pace to help recover if a player gets past your midfield is another major asset. My CM's are effectively Centrebacks with high Creativity and Passing ability to distribute the ball around well. I may sometimes opt for a less defensively able CM but then you do notice a reduced defensive solidity of your midfield, so it's a matter of choice. That's the nature of the system though.
  15. Very interesting stuff. It looks like a greatly enhanced system. I still havn't played FM11 but when a thread like this pops up it gets the cogs whirring. There were two things I wanted to talk about; my experience of man managing top players in FM10 where I was really getting some awesome results, and the effect you guys are seeing of diminished returns from unsettling opponents as you climb the leagues, because I think these are linked and quite understandably so. My experience of man managing a top side in FM10 was simple. Opposition comments tended to upset my own squad for limited gains and it was often best to let the opposition do my work for me (Wenger/Benitez). The second thing is that my squad performed at their best when pushed to the limit of pressure and demands. I always had one or two players "unhappy with recent teamtalks" but managed these issues carefully, which basicly means I was ultra demanding of my players to the point where I was treading a fine line between motivation and excessive harshness. I would walk this line by taking risks with my demands and then toning them down if I received a bad reaction, effectively operating at the borderline of intensity of demands. For my squad this kicked players into maximum performance mode, regardless of score I would tear into players at half time playing less than 7.0 including those that were nervous and had made mistakes. This approach with my top side did the trick. The downside was the odd "feels you are too harsh" etc. The way I think it ties into what you guys are saying here is in terms of the level of personality attributes. At low football levels there are low personality attributes so achieving a "negative" result is much easier than a "positive" one. So you comment on the opponent and disrupt his squad while you try to talk your own players into not collapsing. If you try to get a "positive" result i.e. motivating your own side they will likely just crumble under the pressure. At higher levels you have higher personality attributes so players respond better to a "positive" approach while a "negative" approach will backfire. Slandering an opponent will provoke a reaction from high professionalism attributes in your own squad for example. But so will trying to fire them up through teamtalks, ripping into poor performances at half time. This means that there is a level of football where both start to come into play. Where there is a combination of positive and negative effects and reactions throughout club and league as opposed to the mainly negative at low level and mainly positive at high levels. This mid tier where high and low personality attributes combine should be the toughest man management challenge of all.
  16. 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.
  17. Well in theory the changes to the number of attributes per category should make downloadable schedules obsolete, but I would definitely expect to see an FM11 Training Thread from me at some point. I can't tell you when though, I'm still playing FM10.
  18. 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. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. The above post nails it for me. Teamtalks are not so much a feature to be "cracked" but instead is the way you involve yourself in an ongoing relationship with your players that is to be discovered, developed, exploited and ultimately enjoyed. Within the small quantity of teamtalk options and teamtalk reactions is an ongoing game-by-game and season-by-season relationship with your players. What works at the start of the season and the middle of the season with players might not work during a title or relegation run-in and so your approach with these players has to change as their response to your teamtalks change, as their form and performances change, and within this is the "personal story" of your players season. FM is a simple but deep game. The quantity of the options misleads people into thinking that teamtalks and player interaction is not deep, yet I would argue that it is perhaps the deepest and the most definitive aspect of the game. It's up to you to decide when a "pressure" approach to general interaction becomes a "supportive" approach to general interaction, usually when the season gets to the business end. It's also up to you to understand whether a "pressure" then "support" approach is how to handle a player, it's up to you to understand if the player is thriving under the pressure and needs it cranked up. A lot of good teamtalk guides have been written, documenting that X teamtalk equals Y response under Z conditions. But nothing has been written as a guide to explain the actual gameplay, that this is an ongoing story written by how your season pans out, by how your players respond to what is going on in their careers. Nothing has been written about the fact that players understand their football environment even if the manager doesn't, even if the manager thinks that teamtalks are all about X+Y=Z. X+Y=Z is true, but only when you understand that it takes place within the "story" of each individual players season. Understand what they are experiencing and then you understand how to apply the X+Y=Z formulae.
  21. 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.
  22. 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. 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.
  23. I personally am a bit dubious about advanced mentality, low RFD lone strikers. Pushed far forward and extending the natural gap between themselves and the AMC/Midfield/Wingers and then lacking regular attacking runs is for me something I find contrary to the idea of an actual penetrative forward. My take on a penetrating lone striker would be a role that is dropping deep then making attacking runs. A role that is naturally testing the defensive line by dropping into the hole and looking to run beyond the D-Line before any other options are considered. In effect constantly trying to spin the Centreback.
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