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Everything posted by SFraser

  1. "Making Layoffs" is far more about Creativity and Flair than Passing Accuracy. A brutally clever pass that is miles away from being inch perfect can still be lethal a lot of times, but if the player can't see the pass or doesn't want to try it then all the accuracy in the world is irrelevant. Personally, for Strikers and Forwards, I find accuracy to be far less important than vision and speed of mind and technique. No point being able to knock the fluff off a cappuccino from 40 yards if you can't see the cappuccino let alone the fluff.
  2. I would very much go along with that. For "ten clicks" of Workload to be important you would really have to be quite obsessive over one or two points of Condition a week or 1-2 points of CA a season. Where Workload plays a role that is going to matter to most people is Morale. Workload does affect Condition, it does affect CA gain, but these are very small issues that might make a difference over the course of a season, but not a massive difference. Morale though is the area where it can have a large short term effect. If players are Unhappy over Workload then you have basically a weekly Morale drop in those players ontop of all other Morale modifiers. So for the purpose of "good and sound training in general" that goes along with gameplay without trying to micromanage every available issue, giving players a schedule that keeps them happy at the same time as being the shape you want these players to change according to is the ideal. I think that's how the majority of people have always approached Training, but the problem is knowing how to define the shape you want properly. That's the issue this thread is meant to address, finding out how to "design the shape" properly.
  3. That is the kind of result that makes this all worthwhile and shows I am not on a fools errand here. Thank you for taking the time to put these ideas into practice in what looks like immense detail, and thanks for sharing the screenshot. I might download it and whip it out whenever anyone mentions the "Training Line Theory" That's great stuff. And it shows that just like Tactics, if you put in the time and the effort to do things properly and in detail then it actually works.
  4. It is because his Strength went up one point, and because his CA stayed constant. Strength is an attribute that takes up a lot of CA. For Strength to increase by one point alot of CA is required. If the players CA is fairly constant then that CA must come from other attributes. You think he is declining, which is completely understandable. In truth he has remained precisely the same in terms of CA, but his Strength increased which means other attributes must pay the price. Your player is simply changing according to your Training Schedule. Developing schedules, if they are mine, are best used for players that are gaining CA. If this is the first time you have noticed a "decline" then you should put him on another schedule that emphasises the attributes you wish to see improve. If you wish to see Strength improve then you are going to have to accept the fact that there is no free lunch and the increase in Strength must come at the cost of some other attributes.
  5. I misinterpreted the meaning of the chart. It displays attribute weights in terms of rank, not actual modifiers. However Attribute Weights themselves do not play a direct role in training. It is my personal opinion that all attribute modifying gameplay such as Training directly affects attributes, whereas the CA system and attribute Weights are the underlying control mechanism that governs what happens when attributes do change. These are in effect two different mechanics and they are not entireally well "meshed" or entireally well married. CA and Attribute Weights should not directly influence gameplay because they are control systems, but due to how the system works of first calculating changes and then rebalancing attributes, you inevitably get an end result where CA weights do matter, but not in the first system. I am not being very clear because it is a slightly complex issue, dealing with mechanics I have a vague understanding of. In the training screen attribute weights are irrelevant. When a player has plenty of "free CA" and has not hit his PA attribute weights are irrelevant. Attributes will grow and decline at a steady and similar rate. Almost a perfect 1:1 ratio when you disregard the influence of Age and of the misbalance of numbers of attributes per category. If you setup a balanced schedule according to my system so each attribute receives the same overall "training effect" and you remove the factor of Age, all attributes should grow and decline at precisely the same rate. Add the Age factor and attributes will now grow and decline at identical rates if they belong to the same "Age Group" and the different "Age Groups" will grow and decline at different rates. However it is when you add CA to the equation that things become complex, because there is an underlying system of CA attribute weights, of CA/Attribute rebalancing, and of gaining or losing CA through match experience/reputation etc. that is not the same as the natural growth and decline of attributes via age. What happens here to my knowledge is the following: 1. If CA remains the same and a particular attribute such as Acceleration for example declines, it will free up X quantity of CA and the system will then rebalance all the other attributes to ensure all the CA remains in the player. Thus other attributes will receive an automatic CA boost independant of training or CA growth. However if Acceleration is a "Heavy" Attribute it will free up more CA by a drop of one point than many other attributes need to increase by 1 point. Thus the gain in other attributes is proportionally greater than the drop of the single Acceleration attribute. The opposite is also true, if the system calculates an increase of Acceleration by 1 point the corresponding drop of CA in other attributes will be proportionally greater. 2. If CA increases or decreases the system will add/remove CA from attributes in proportion to their Weight so that no attributes are overly favoured or penalised. The whole "problem" or "issue" is that the rebalancing of CA and attributes is done after a change to an attribute or to CA is calculated. This means you train a player perfectly to produce ideally no drops in many attributes, the system first of all recognised no drops in many attributes, it then notices an increase in one Heavy Attribute, it applies a 1 point increase to the Heavy Attribute, then the CA rebalancing system kicks in and reduces many other attributes by the corresponding CA amount. The Attribute Weight system does play a role in Attribute Change but it does so after the effect of training is calculated. Training is applied first, changes are "noted" and applied, then the CA system kicks in to rebalance all attributes according to CA value. If you attempted to apply the CA weights to the Training sliders you end up with an erroneous initial input. You may add, for example, only 1/4 of an attribute increase or 4x attribute increase to the initial "count" which would then be applied to the attribute in question and then the rest of the attributes would be rebalanced in line according to CA weight and CA level. As you can see even when understood well, or reasonably well, or better than before, it still produces an entire situation where the basic premise is easilly understood but to actually "manipulate" or calculate the precise outcomes is now an order of magnitude more difficult. However having said that the underlying CA attribute balancing system does appear to me to be Proportional which means that barring certain exceptional cases such as a 34 year old declining in Acceleration the entire system tends to work at a 1:1 ratio. This means that for the most part we need not worry about the CA Weight/Balance system, however it will sometimes throw up some unexpected results such as declines when least expected in apparently random attributes. My Training System therefore will help you manage the "attribute pattern" of players far more effectively, you will apply training schedules to players in precisely the correct "overall pattern" but the precise details of what goes up, what goes down, when this occurs and by how much cannot be controlled or even accurately predicated. However the "overall shape" of change you wish to see will be applied but it might not be exactly what you expect. In short, 99% of the time you do not need to worry or concern yourself with attribute weights, but they do play a fundamental role "under the hood" and this can have some strange effects that are still perfectly logical and sound in terms of the system itself, if not gameplay. The threads in the FML section regarding youngsters declining in key attributes under "perfect coaches" is testament to this fact. These human Coaches are inadvertantly "sucking CA out" of their players Key attributes thanks to their excellent coaching skills. Thankfully we FM10 managers get to manually control our Coaching Effect via the Training sliders. The FML managers do not, and it is something that will very likely have to be looked at indepth and may require a serious overhaul of that area of the game.
  6. I am about 90% convinced they are all accounted for but there is no simple way of knowing for sure. There are plenty of little indicators such as whether attributes change much ingame, how they work in the editor, if they are involved in behaviour that tends to belong to a non-CA "group" etc. etc. but these are not absolute proof. That's why I am about 90% certain all the attributes are accounted for properly but I would never claim to be absolutely 100% certain about anything written here. I don't work for SI, I don't have direct access to the game mechanics in nice clear detail, so it is always possible I am wrong. How much CA the untrainable attributes are "worth" is open to debate. While they do not gain or lose CA via training this does not mean they do not take up CA when they change by some other means. It is quite possible that the untrainable attributes still take a "share" of CA but not through the training mechanism. This is speculation though, I cannot tell you the hard and fast facts. They might take up no CA ever and change through specific ingame events or they might take up some CA while still only changing through specific game events. However they do not change through training, whatever is shifted and moved around and done by training, these attributes are not involved in it.
  7. I almost completely agree with you here. Training works with or against a players natural development trends. It does not sit ontop of the game and distribute CA according to your slider settings, it influences the naturally occuring positive or negative swing of player attributes. That's why high workload schedules can see increased but generic gains. It's why carefully constructed, detailed and in-depth schedules can have no visible effect. It's why extremes of schedules can either explode a player in one area, or do absolutely nothing in terms of his profile. There is absolutely no point even trying to attempt to train a player unless you understand his natural growth patterns. Anything you see as "success" is basically the fluke boost of certain attributes at the right time, any thing you see as "failure" is your schedule doing what it is supposed to be doing but working completely against the players natural development. There is nothing more important when it comes to training than understanding which attributes are naturally improving and which are naturally declining, because all you can do with training is influence these "natural swings". Crank a 34 year olds Strength up to maximum and he might not decline very rapidly, but you will never get him to improve 99% of the time. Do the same with a 19 year old and his strength goes through the roof, but only because it was trying to improve anyway and you just boosted that increase. It is utterly vital to realise that players define the effect of training, not vice versa. What I am doing in this thread is trying to point that out, and also point out that you need to account for the number of attributes in each category when you come to "balance" your schedules.
  8. That's very plausible. I would need to have a look at a lot more of your data to see if there is an obvious explanation for this behaviour, or if there is not. The whole issue about the "natural growth trends" of players is that it is just about as far from a science as you can get despite being very obviously existant. There are other "quirks" of the mechanics of the game that can pop up regularly and produce somewhat unexpected results. To put it another way, the screenshot you posted of Physical decline + Mental gain are two sides of the same coin. If overall CA remains static then any conditions that are met that result in a loss of Physical CA must correspond to an increase in Mental CA and vice versa. It may look completely unrelated to the schedule, completely contrary to the schedule but it is going to be functioning completely inline with the schedule. I'm planning to write a post/thread about that specific issue sometime in the near future. Not a thread on training schedules, on downloadable schedules, on interpreting the sliders but a guide to the underlying gameplay mechanics as I understand them. A guide to precisely what is happening to players and attributes, and the behaviour and influence of all associated factors. This seems to be a rather fundamental area of the game that has near zero attention and very little seems to widely known about. This means that threads such as this one can furnish you with end results before you understand the underlying gameplay and mechanical behaviour, before you have a "concept" as to what is going on.
  9. The distribution of attribute increases and drops do correspond entireally with his training schedule. The confusion comes from the fact that you are not paying to attention to the fact that he recently came off a completely maxed out Physical schedule for three weeks and lost the level of input that was keeping him at that level of Physical Attributes. He was on a completely maxed out Physical Schedule which was reinforcing his Physical Attributes to the maximum possible level at the expense of everything else. When he got injured this excessive artificial re-inforcement was lost and he returned to his natural distribution level of CA between attributes, which forced Physical Attribute CA into his other Attributes. You are seeing the effect of the loss of the artificial attribute reinforcement of his Training Schedule. If you use a schedule of this extreme level of reinforcement, the loss of the effect of the schedule when injured will be equally extreme on his attributes because the input "keeping him going" at that extreme level of physical gain is lost. All players have a "natural" state of CA distribution in the absence of training that they will attempt to return to when injured or not training for long periods. You can manipulate this with training, but when such a dramatically extreme schedule is no longer working, the change back to his more "natural" state will be fairly dramatic.
  10. Fluidity and Rigidity define general ideas of organising Mentalities in your team. Each position on the pitch has a multitude of possible roles and duties which can influence Mentality. A Fluid philosophy tries to keep Mentalities for your team closer together which brings your players closer together, while a Rigid philosophy will try to keep Mentalities distinct which keeps your players seperate and in more distinct roles. Under a Rigid philosophy your Striker could have a very high Mentality in one role, a very low Mentality in another. It is still possible to keep your striker more in-tune with deeper players, but the range of Mentality options will be much wider. In a Fluid philosophy you will still have different Mentalities for different roles, but the overall range of Mentalities between extremes will be much close together. Under a Rigid philosophy the extremes of Mentality will be large, obvious and produce very distinct behaviour for each choice. Under a Fluid philosophy the differences will be subtle, there will be a much lower range of Mentalities, and the extremes of Mentality will be much closer together producing a much more subtle effect with players playing very close together but in slightly more or less aggressive positioning tendencies. Positioning defines positioning, not behaviour. Players are automatically and constantly in a state of motion, with different abilities and different contexts defining movement. Seperating mentalities exaggerates differences in roles, it instructs players to play their game in different areas of the pitch. Identical mentalities instructs players to play their specific games in roughly similar areas. The variations in attributes, other instructions, specific positions in the formation, the ebb-and-flow of the game, the movement of opponents and teammates and everything else defines how they actually behave. All mentality does is put players in rough positions. You can exaggerate or reduce the "average" distance between players using mentality and this has a powerful enough effect on playstyle and performance to be considered worthy of it's own TC "section". No instruction is the be-all and end-all of player behaviour, nor indeed are all instructions for all players that only things that control behaviour. Mentality is powerful, but it is not some kind of absolutely powerful almighty instruction. It is just the rough, general position you want a player to try and hang around in, which is quite an important thing for football even if that's all it is.
  11. It would seem that way but it's not at odds with the TC, it's just that the TC uses those phrases to define certain philosophies that may or may not correspond to your own idea of "fluid" and "rigid". "Rigid" in the TC means lots of seperation of mentalities, meaning players are set in very distinct positions. Well developed "Rigid" formations can be incredibly "fluid" in terms of movement and overlaps, but the crucial point is that within a "Rigid" framework you have far more control over specific moves. "Fluid" in the TC means very close together mentalities, meaning players do tend to congregate in similar layers of play, but it also means that the whole team is more or less "linked" into the same level, meaning they all play a very "fluid" game by dropping into different zones and advancing into different zones and anyone can end up anywhere. You have far less control over the specific details of moves, but you also tend to find far more "fluidity" of moves because players are not seperated and isolated and distinct. "Rigid" means seperation of mentalities meaning greater control over behaviour. It does not necessarilly mean defensive stability or "rigid" and "immovable" defences. It could infact be the most weak of all defensive systems because players are spread out and prone to becoming isolated. "Rigid" means control and not strength. Likewise "Fluid" can be the most defensively sound as the opponents meets huge walls of very close ordered players. "Fluid" defences and DM's and MC's very often swap roles and cover each other and drop deep into the back four or press an opponent while another covers. "Fluid" in this respect means less seperation, less direct control, more independant but group-like behaviour. It does not mean your defence or attack is like water and weak and easilly penetrated. Some of the best defenses you can build necessarilly MUST be fluid.
  12. You can use them if you want, but don't give up to early on making your own. It's not complicated. Players improve physical attributes more than other attributes "naturally" when they are young, so your schedules are going to acting ontop of this natural tendency. Once you understand that "physical = fast when young/slow when old / technical = average / mental = slow when young/fast when old" then you understand the natural trend of the player you are training. Players have their own natural trends of growth and decline. Training goes ontop of this and works alongside it. This thread is meant to explain how to understand the sliders, but also to explain that you need to take into account the natural trends of your own players. In order to train anyone properly you need to understand how the sliders interact, but also how the player behaves. In this respect Age is the most important thing to understand.
  13. Yup. And if you want twice as much Workrate as you get Acceleration you need to take into account the fact that Workrate is a mental attribute and will go up slower than physical attributes in youngsters, but faster in 30+ veterans.
  14. That's something others have brought up aswell and the schedules could very well be too light in key categories for what you want to see happen. The CF/ST schedules were designed based on my opinions and I tend to favour far more all-round abilities in my forward players, valuing attributes like First Touch/Technique/Dribbling and Anticipation, Decisions etc. for more close control link-up play in my forward line. This undoubtedly, infact obviously, has creeped into my schedule design. That's the way it goes though. Not everyone is going to have the same ideas for even specific and detailed roles, let alone more general all-encompassing roles. There is no right or wrong in that, just variations in opinions and preferences. So if you see schedules you don't like the look of, tweak them to your satisfaction. Though in all honesty you are going to be better off designing your own from scratch so you know from start to finish what you want, expect and what you have done to produce the outcomes you are getting. It's easy to lose control of schedules/tactics etc. someone else has built when you tweak them.
  15. Well you wouldn't really apply two lines of four in a 4-1-2-1-2 diamond. In theory you could get the AMC to drop into the middle, maybe push up the DMC and make a flat four but in practice as the game ebbs and flows you will be left with a huge gap between your midfielders most of the time causing serious problems to your midfield wall, and very likely to be caught in the horrible defensive position of having a DM and AMC in a line from goal to goal which is pretty much completely useless as a defence. What you would look at here again is the shape of your side and how you can translate that into a solid defence. You have a DM and two Centrebacks which is a good, solid shape for defending against counter-attacks, has a nice arrangement of players for controlling the middle of the pitch and is the ideal shape for adding "layers" to in a diagonal fashion which protects the channels outside the centrebacks and forces attacks down either side of a "pyramid" shaped defence. Ideally you would have two Wingers/Inside Forwards which you could integrate alongside your CM's and Fullbacks into a rock-solid three man "guard" of the flanks the opponents are forced into, that can close ranks quickly and tightly and win the ball with numbers off the wide players receiving the ball you have forced into the wide areas through your "pyramidal" defence of the centre. By virtue of my graphical artistry you may just be able to make out the point in the following image: The white triangles show your defensive shape, or your defensive "walls". They denote the areas you wish to keep the opponents playing outside of, show the areas and positions you are attempting to funnel the opponents into. They show the players you are using to keep a solid defensive shape and the sort of shape you wish to keep. The black triangles and the black circle show the areas of prime opportunity and of prime tactical position to attempt to win the ball back aggressively. They show the prime areas of the pitch to win the ball back when your organisation and cohesion is solid, and they also show the arrangement and positioning of the players that will assist you in winning the ball back. You can see that the white triangle shape of your formation automatically tends to funnel players right into the heart of the black triangles, which you can also see by the arrangement of players in that triangle is a prime defensive position to win the ball back. Players funneled into these areas are going to find themselves trapped between the touchline, fullback, winger and central midfielder with plenty of cover defending the gaps between these players. This is where you want the opponent, and this is where you attack him to win the ball back. It is a brilliantly sweet position to put an opponent in terms of your defence. Even with fullbacks overlapping, it is a tight and congested and packed area of the pitch where aggressive ball winning defence hardly disturbs your overall shape and gameplan at all. If you want to learn to defend well, these are the sorts of things you should learn. The tactical strengths and weaknesses of formations, the defensive "tricks" and opportunities and critical tactical components of formations. Now you will see that there are two white triangles, one containing your back three, the other containing five additional players that overlap with black "aggressive defence" zones. You will also see that only your Wingers/Inside Forward fall outside these white triangles and sit only in black zones. The white triangle containing your "back three" is a crucial defensive element. This is the heart of your defence using this shape, and you have no real cover for it in terms of depth. This zone must be an immovable wedge sitting right at the heart of your team that defends every ball into the area, but never leaves their zones, never breaks up or apart, never goes charging to closedown players. This element of your team must play as a complete unit and is the heart of your layered triangular defence. The second white triangle is likewise crucial. If you are playing against the bottom of the league club in a home game at your ground, these players will be high up the pitch, pressing hard, leaving your back three to defend and control the pitch on the counter. If you are playing away from home in the European Cup, these five players become the fundamentally crucial aspect of your team fulfilling the dual roles of keeping deep shape and providing an additional defensive "layer" or "shield" of cover for your Centre of the Defence while carrying out highly organised, well disciplined, well integrated tactical pressing of the opponent in the key black zones. These players become the fulcrum of all your play, behaving in principle like the "modern" day version of the winger and CM's in the traditional 4-4-2. These five players have to integrate shape keeping and cover with critical tactical pressing with defensive duties and with attacking duties. They must be able to counter at speed and recover at speed, press high up the pitch when building sustained attacks, drop deep into their covering roles when under sustained pressure, and provide the crucial and critical tactical pressing of the key black triangle zones. This zone of black triangles overlapping with white triangles is your modern day midfield. Which means that your two Wingers are your modern day strikers. Now as for your specific 4-1-2-1-2, the only fundamental difference is that your "strikers" are pushed higher up the pitch and more centrally, which means that your key black triangle hard pressing defensive zone is under-manned but at the same time your opponent is very likely going to have to keep one or both Fullbacks deep to cover your significantly greater counter-attack threat. And if you tight man-mark his Fullbacks with your Strikers then not only will you have enough players back when he starts chucking players forward, but your strikers will be in the prime position to exploit the fullbacks when you counter-attack, especially if they play quick passes off your AMC/Lone Striker who should be sitting somewhere around the edge of their DMC and at the tip of the opponents defence. Be under no illusions that this defence is weaker than a 4 man wall + 4 sweepers + dual man-markers that I posted earlier, but it is not an all-out-defensive system. It is a very highly organised, balanced defensive system ideal for meeting the threat of Wingers/Inside Forward type formations and is ideal for when you think you are relatively equally matched with the opponent, or stronger in key areas. If you are stronger than the opposition, you can start throwing bodies forward from deeper in "waves" while also sitting right outside their penalty box with this shape, winning the ball in all areas high up the pitch. That's very possible. The key indicator of whether or not you need your Forward players to play greater link-up football is how advanced your midfield and fullbacks are when they play most of their football. And indeed whether or not you are attempting to find runners that are bombing from those deeper positions past your forward players. If you find your attacking players being pressed hard against the backline and being pretty un-findable by your advanced midfielders, it is because there defence is far too tight and well organised to find runners with the ball from deeper positions. You need to find runners with the ball from close range, advanced, short pass positions so the defence has no time to react and so you can exploit whatever little gaps they have in their formation with late/deep runs past your marked forward players.
  16. The schedules you use/design are going to depend on the players needs or your wishes for the outcome. The key point being that to improve the Mental attributes in youngsters you need to compensate for their natural tendency not to improve. If a player is "Usain Bolt" in physical attributes but lacks even reasonable mental attributes, then you want to focus on them but it will require more intensive Tactics training that if you were training physical attributes, or training mental attributes in an older player. What is important is being aware of the natural trends in players when you come to decide on the schedule you want. That's the very thing right there. Because Finishing and Longshots are technical attributes while Composure is mental, those two attributes will always increase faster than composure in an 18 year old because they are in the same category. You can improve composure, but at his age finishing and longshots are likely to rocket up much faster. You can't get past the age related natural increases in categories with multiple different types of attributes, but where you have categories of all one type then you can favour them and boost them more.
  17. I might oblige. Got one eye on the Portugal match so the other is free to write about that. Building your Defence using the Tactical Instructions Building your defence follows very similar principles to building your possession play. You have your initial shape defined by your formation and you then have a set of Tactical Instructions for defining how you want individual players to behave. The difference here is that instead of trying to penetrate or overload or create and exploit space in the opponents defence and his lines of play, you are trying to keep the opponent from doing the same to you. One of the reasons that building a good defence is perhaps more difficult than building a good attack or good possession play is that you are rarely dealing with situations where you tweak individual players in isolation. You are not saying "this guy would be great with a bit more/less mentality or Roaming off/on, sitting perfectly in this gap in the opponents formation" but instead you are dealing with the whole shape of your own side in unison, trying to ensure that you leave no space while also providing cover in depth against potential attacks you might not actually see untill they beat you. I would argue that there is far more tactical thinking and strategising and planning involved in defending than in attacking. After all when you attack you are looking for your players to use their individual abilities to do something well, a good dribble, a good run, a good pass and hopefully a goal. You can instruct players to attempt these things, tweak their preferences, but really all you are doing is try to get players in the right places to do the right things. By contrast defending is all about using your shape to prevent opponents from doing this to you. Individual ability does matter, and there are always key roles for key defensive players, but the most important aspect of defending by far is how you design your shape, your team wide cohesion of pressing/dropping off/marking, and how you design backups and safeguards and key roles into your shape. I will discuss some basic and generic systems for defending commonly seen later in this post, but first I would describe the instructions. Tactical Instructions Mentality: A very important instruction for defending. Works exactly like I explained in my first post, but in this context you use the positioning of players to design depth and shape for your defensive system. This instruction combined to your starting formation essentially sets out the shape you want your team to use when you are defending and attacking. Like the combination of Mentaity + RFD work together to produce attacking depth and movement, so Mentality combines with Closing Down and Marking instructions to define defensive depth and movement. Closing Down: Essentially controls the desire/extent to which your players attempt to pressurise the man with the ball. The higher Closing Down is, the more a player is happy to leave his defensive position to get close and tight to the player with the ball. This instruction doesn't control a player desire to attempt to win the ball, but to get close to the player with the ball and defend against him from short range. Darren Fletcher is a good example of a player that chases and harrasses an opponent with the ball, without necessarilly diving into a tackle at the first glimpse of the ball. Paul Scholes would be a good example of a player that also gets really tight really quickly but has a habit of sliding, kicking and tackling whenever he see's a glimpse of leather. Tackling: This is a crucial instruction for defending, not only in terms of individual player instructions but also in terms of entire team defensive tactics. How and where you use this instruction defines what you are trying to do defensively, it defines your entire approach to defending. The instruction itself tells a player to either attempt to win the ball at the earliest opportunity, or to effectively back-off and refuse tackles untill what seems like a unfailable opportunity to win the ball. The instruction does not take into account the players ability, so exceptionally good tacklers with immense physical strength are very likely to win the ball regularly even with only slight opportunities. Vidic is a good example here, regularly seeming to somehow manage to get a toe to the ball with the most risky of challenges from the most risky of positions. Someone like Scholes who attempts similar challenges will give away free-kicks and Penalties. The reason this instruction is such a tactically definative instruction is not because of what it does to a single player, but because how identical settings effect entire lines, groups or key players in your whole defensive system. If you are trying to defend from the front you cannot tell your forwards to back-off because it defeats the whole point giving opponent defenders the opportunity to measure a pass. Likewise if you are trying to contain the opponent infront of your five man midfield, telling them all to dive into tackles like Gattuso completely defeats the point. How you set up your Tackling depends upon and defines your entire defensive tactical approach to a match. It is a game defining setting. Marking: Another crucial set of instructions coming in two forms, but I will admit that I am not entireally clued up on the nuances. The first marking option comes as a choice between Zonal and Man Marking. This is a pretty fundamental choice in terms of defending and while the actual specific behaviour is clear, it would requires pages to discuss the implications and tactical subtleties of the decision. Perhaps the best way to sum up how important this choice is, is to explain that Catennacio was a primarilly Man Marking system with a sweeper that everyone described as "anti football" untill "Total Football" came along and freed the game of football from this intense man-marking system. Then after "Total Football" came the evolution of Catenaccio into a Zonal Marking form, the Zona Mista, specifically designed to deal with "Total Football" and is the basis of the modern day Zonal Marking back four. The basic principle of the immense and furious evolution of defending the Man or defending the Zone is all about shape, which is the basic issue of defending. Is a specific, individual player better at defending against certain opponents despite the possibility of being lured out of position, or is a highly organised and well drilled shape of multiple players better at defending against certain opponents? The truth of the matter is that the theoretical question is irrelevant, that modern defences have evolved to be capable of both and to use both at the same time in the same match. In FM you quickly learn to keep specific man markers outside of your shape if you must keep one opponent quiet. This doesn't mean you cannot employ Man Markers within your shape, but it means you cannot rely upon a single defender both keeping shape and keeping an opponent quiet unless you have designed this defenders potential absence into your shape. The second Tactical Option, Tight or Loose Marking applies to both Zonal and Man Marking and defines the distance you want to keep your defenders from the opponent. Tight Zonal means your defender will get close to the player that enters his zone, Loose Zonal means he will keep his distance and a more "shapely" position. Likewise with Man Marking, your player will either get tight, or leave some distance from his mark. This instruction is important both for dealing with specific opponent abilities and for attempting to maintain shape while marking if it is necessary. It is a particularly big deal when faced with the threat of overloading in Zones or particular areas of the game. Summary: Altogether there is a staggering amount of options and detail in your defensive instructions, and rightly so because defending is perhaps the most tactically demanding aspect of the game. The very fact that defending requires the astute combination of shape, cover, isolation and defeat of specific opponents, requires that there is a large amount of possible behaviours not only for individuals but for the team. You can defend with individuals, with layers, with groups, with the whole team. You can focus your defense on the ball, on specific players, on potential areas of exposure and again on all these issues simultaneously. When defending it is a ludicrous task to attempt to micro-manage individual player defensive issues in perfect detail across the entire pitch like you might do when attacking. When defending what you need to do is have ideas of shape and cover and depth in your mind. Of using your team to force the opponent to play football where you want them, to force them to attack you where you are strongest, and to defend against them with strength where they are strongest. I really enjoy setting up defences and discussing defences in FM, it is the most tactically rich area of the game although not perhaps the most exciting. Individual Player Example I discussed an Inside Forward with some cool looking but ultimately flawed instructions in my last post. This time I will try and explain a rock solid "Cover Centreback" playing in the Nike Defence of Cover + Stopper CB's. Mentality: Say average for his nearby defenders is 10, I put him around Mentality 7. Closing Down: Say average for nearby defenders is 10, I put him around 8. Tackling: I put him at Light. Marking: Zonal Loose. This "should" produce a Covering Defender that sits deeper than the rest of the defence but not too deep as to produce huge gaps behind the fullbacks for the opponent to exploit, does not get tight to any runners in his zone and keeps his distance, while he sprints over to anyone that has the ball behind the defence using his body as an obstacle without commiting to a challenge, allowing teammates to get back and defend. An alternative setup would be low Closing Down, Hard Tackling for a sweeper that stays central and tries to win the ball that comes close to his deep centre position. This would be a "second goalkeeper" but would be horribly exposed if a couple of opponents get him isolated. A great setup to have behind a deep sitting defense though. Common Mistakes By far the most common error I see in defensive related topics on these forums is people thinking that the job of defending comes down to the instructions given to Centrebacks and DM's. If you think defending is a 3 player job then you have got the entire game of football completely wrong. It is easy to make mistakes in defending and so there is not much else to write about here, other than this glaring and fundamental and complete flaw in perception. This is easilly the single biggest and most prevailent error I see in people playing FM. The Team Example This is what defending is all about, the ability to build an entireally cohesive and rock solid strategy for defending against the opponent with multiple layers of redundancy combined to defense in detail. For this example I will use the 4-1-4-1 formation as it offers examples of everything I have talked about, and I will assume that all the player really cares about is defending. What we have here is first of all two lines of four and this should form the basis of your entire defensive strategy. How you choose to use these two lines of four in your team defines how you defend. Fail to use them as two sides of the same coin, fail to relate one line to the other line properly, and your defense is weak. We also have two players in "between the lines" positions. The DM and the Lone Striker. These "between the lines" players can operate independantly of your shape if you so choose, and can carry out key jobs and key roles. Alternatively they could be used as integral components of each line, providing an intensely strong defensive "peak" at the centre of each defensive line. The important part here is that you begin to see and imagine defensive shapes and defensive systems, you begin to see layers and defense in depth, you see shape and width, you see regions of key threat and areas of relative safety. When defending the most important part of the pitch bar none is the goal mouth. Followed by the Centre of Defense of the goal mouth, followed by protection and defence of the centre of defence. All defending is a matter of protection and layers. The further the opponent is from goal, the wide he is from goal, the safer is your goal. The reason you defend in depth is because if you dont then a single pass, run and dribble defeats your 10 man wall. The wall you present needs to have multiple layers so that no single event can defeat your defence, so that you can actually defend against a decent move. The further forward you start designing your defence, and the more layers you add to it without compromising strength of each layer, the more solid your defence becomes. In this example we are commited to defending. That is the premise and I will now describe how to set it up. We start off by choosing a deep D-Line and Narrow Width in order to keep most of our team deep and keep most of the space on the pitch wide. This pretty much means the opponent can only have good fun playing football near the centre circle or on the touchline, which is all good stuff for us. We then continue by recognising our two lines of four and our two "between the lines" players. In this example our "between the lines" players will be used as man markers. The CentreForward specifically marks the key link-up man between defense and midfield, while the DM specifically marks the key link-up man between midfield and attack. Even if both players never win the ball, they will cause huge disruption to the ease of playing the ball through the key outlets, and cause huge problems for these players trying to receive the ball and get it under control. If the average defenders or average midfielder dont play inch-perfect passes, studs are going into these playmakers thighs. Likewise any passes they play will have to go either side of our markers bodies. This leaves our two lines of four. Because we are defending resolutely, we use our midfield four as a shield for our defense. It's job is to present a massive wall between the opponents midfield and their attack. By telling our midfield four to Loose Zonal Mark, Low Closing Down, Light Tackling we make completely sure that our midfield four retains their positions as a tight line of players facing the opponents midfield. This means any forward pass from the opponent can only go through the gaps between midfielders into tiny little areas. We can keep this line, or we can do something slightly different which disrupts the line but adds extra defense in possibly key areas. We can tell our wingers to tight man-mark the opponents wingers. This will produce space down the flanks, but the flanks are generally safer than space through the middle, while we make sure the opponents key wide outlets are constantly marked by players of similar pace/physical ability. If we do leave gaps out wide, this will encourage the opponents midfield to pass wide, which is a good area for us anyway. With our midfield four providing a wall, our DM man-marking the opponents AMC, our FC marking their DM, they have very little opportunity to provide beautiful defense slicing throughballs. Their playmakers dont have space or time, and their midfielders are facing a wall with limited gaps. This means our defenders can quickly step forward and instantly try to win any throughballs. However we do not wish to leave gaps through the middle. So what we do here is employ a Stopper Centreback to instantly challenge for any throughballs that by-pass the midfield. Tight Zonal Marking, Hard Tackling, High Closing Down. He will immediately charge forward and attack the pass receiver. Because our midfield is producing a wall against the opponent, his chance of winning a throughball is immense. In conjuction with the Stopper, we use a Covering Centreback whose job it is to drop deep and sweep up behind the Stopper incase he somehow manages to fail to win the ball. The crucial element in the back four here is the Fullbacks. We set them to Tight Zonal Marking, Low Closing Down, Hard Tackling. They will tightly mark and hard challenge any player that runs into their position and receives a throughball, but they will not run towards someone that already has the ball, but will instead back-off and provide cover. This is important because the Fullbacks work alongside the Sweeper to provide an additional, "reverse" shield for the Stopper. The midfield provides the wall. The stopper attacks all passes past the midfield, the Fullbacks hard tackle any passes into their zones, the sweeper drops deep. The Fullbacks therefore fullfill two roles of A: hard tackling any quick passes into their zone and B: dropping off and covering the stopper with a deep three man "sweeper shield". With this defensive setup we man-mark the key playmakers in the opponents team, we provide an unmovable 4 man wall infront of their midfield, and we then defend with a combination of instant aggression and layered depth if the ball gets past the midfield. It is because of how difficult it is to get passes through our midfield that our defensive setup works. If it was easy our stopper could be skinned, our fullbacks skinned and our Cover CB outnumbered and isolated. Because it is incredibly difficult to get good passes past our midfield, our Stopper/Fullbacks will cause havoc to the reciever while everyone else gets into a position to cover. Crucially however our Fullbacks will not charge into wide areas whereas the Stopper charges into AMC areas. The Fullbacks will retain shape while the Stopper attacks all passes infront of the back line. I really hope I have made sense here. It is quite a bit harder to describe the defensive system for an entire team than to explain how to get one midfielder behaving reasonably well in an attacking/possession context.
  18. It makes sense. I tended towards the opposite view, lots of Physical early and Mental later, but that is just a personal opinion for the actual effect of the schedule. If the schedules you design take the opposite view to the ones I designed, then that's all the better for everyone who might have different needs, wishes and opinions themselves. I totally understand the thinking behind it, and it is sound. If you train Mental earlier and I train Physical earlier, then someone wanting to boost a youngsters Mental can use your schedules. More options, more choices, better training for everyone. Just make sure you explain the thinking behind each schedule. I forgot to do that in my OP and it confused alot of issues. The better the explanation behind the schedules the easier it is to find the right one, and tweak it slightly to suit your particular tastes. I'm totally in favour of other people designing schedules based on this method. Saves me a lot of work for a start and might throw up some ideas and schedules I can use aswell.
  19. Sure go for it. Do try and test them before you release them though. You could release them in this thread but they might get swallowed up by some of the discussion. I would make a post here, and maybe make your own thread explaining what they do and I will put a link to it in my OP.
  20. You could be right. For me the stand out point is what wide players do when they receive the ball with these instructions. "Hugs Touchline" and "Cuts Inside" would seem to force the player to run inside or outside with the ball. Moves Into Channels is the one for me that is hard to pin down. But like I said you could be right. The two instructions could control Off The Ball movement as much as on-the-ball behaviour. That is much harder to see in detail than your winger obviously dribbling infield and unleashing a thunderbolt, but that doesn't mean it is not true. I didn't go into detail on those points precisely because I am not totally sure myself. It's not imperative if the TC already has the exact options you want, and even if a few options are a bit different you can still stick with the TC completely unmodified. Personally I control RFD, TTB, RWB, etc. and leave things like Mentality/CF/Passing Style/Tackling to the TC. This way you can use touchline shouts to change your overall aggression at the game without altering individual player behaviour or without having to accept TC behaviour choices you don't like. A combination of the two, TC + Classic is the way I go. The combination of flexibility and control is nice. Agreed. I have seen it on many forums and in many threads, that RFD Rare is perhaps the most overlooked instruction in the game. Even the TC refuses to give RFD Rare to very advanced wide players, while in my current save I consider it essential to the performance and behaviour of my winger(s).
  21. I'm sure plenty of people are well versed in all the tricks and details of building your formation using the tactical instructions and this thread will be of little use to them, but it is such an integral part of the game that I am surprised it is very rarely discussed beyond individual instructions for individual players, and I think it is worth bringing up for discussion. For this post I want to talk about what your team does when in possession, how your play and shape develops through your use of the Tactical Instructions, so things like Closing Down and Marking which are key components of the defensive shape and performance of your side will not be discussed, yet. The reason I want to bring this up is because once you have setup your initial formation, the interplay between Mentality, Run From Deep, Roaming and Wideplay instructions in a single player, and between multiple players, and between different layers in your side can produce a huge variety of completely different shapes and playstyles. It is more than possible to have an idea of how you want to play in your head, then get one link in your team a little bit wrong through one instruction, and completely cut-off all your attacking options and completely neutralise your own team. Likewise knowing what using these instructions is likely to do to individual players, and the play it is likely to produce between players, and being able to have little ideas of detail and set them up in players, can produce a huge variety of detailed or general styles of play. I'll start by describing the tactical instructions first. Tactical Instructions Mentality: Is pretty much nothing more than altering the position of your player backwards and forwards in his role, with the additional effect of your player preferring more or less aggressive passes. The tactics creator has certainly opened my eyes to just how simple this instruction is, how very uncomplicated it actually is as an instruction. Before the TC mentality was perhaps the most controversial and confusing and highly "theorised" and queried instruction in the game, but now with the TC there is really no excuse for people not being able to use it like a pro. The problem pre-TC was in my opinion the fact you had to build a whole mentality framework for your team from scratch, leading to compound problems of being able to see it at work, leading to compound confusion. That's in the past now, and mentality is a very simple and very powerful instruction for moving your players preferred position forwards or backwards on the pitch. Run From Deep: This instruction controls how early/often your player makes attacking runs as moves develop, and because moves tend to develop very regularly in FM it is also an instruction that controls the general positioning of your player when you have possession. Using RFD to control positioning gives you far less control over specific preferences of positioning, but when combined to mentality it lets you control backwards and forward behaviour from your chosen starting position. This combination between Mentality and RFD is perhaps the most powerful tactical tool in FM. You cannot really talk about one unless you talk about the other, likewise you cannot really try to consider the impact of one instruction without considering the impact of the other. Getting the two setup in tandem is both really easy and really hard. It is easy because it is quite simple to select a preferred starting position and then choose the level/type of forward/backwards movement you want, difficult because A: everyone comes to a football game with the perception that Forward Runs=Attack=Good and B: because those two instructions can produce a huge variety of different behaviours and tactical issues when you actually play the opponent. Roaming: This instruction controls whether a player is allowed/told to look for space and move away from his position into gaps on the pitch. It is probably the single most powerful instruction because selecting it because you think moving into space is good can end up with your player popping up in completely useless and isolated positions. There is a time and a place for Roaming off and Roaming on, and unless you understand when this time and place is you can easilly destroy the tactics you are trying to set up. Wideplay: Wideplay is new to FM10 and one of the more confusion instructions because it seems to be the tactical instruction version of certain wideplay PPM's that don't necessarilly all do the same thing. There is certainly a discrepancy between "Cuts Inside" which is a "with ball" instruction and "Moves into Channels" which is an "off-the-ball" instruction. As far as I can tell the Instructions "Hugs Touchline" and "Cuts Inside" control whether you wish the player to run down the outside of a player or take the ball infield, while "Moves Into Channels" tells your player to position himself wider than his starting position when making runs or taking up positions. "Cuts Inside" certainly does exactly what it says and there is no problem understanding this one, whereas the other two I am less sure about. Next I will describe the behaviour likely to be shown by a player with a certain set of instructions. Individual Player Example For this example we will imagine an Inside Forward in a Mourinho's Chelsea or Guardiola's Barcelona style 4-1-2-2-1 with the following Tactical Instructions. Mentality: Let's say about 10, quite a conservative Mentality for an attacking side. Run From Deep: Often, we are going for heaps of penetrating runs. Roaming: Ticked, free roles are cool. Wideplay: Cuts Inside, for those awesome curling goals and slick one-two's. The instructions themselves would suggest to us a player that starts pretty deep, makes lots of penetrating runs, takes up space the opponent leaves and then runs with the ball infield when in possession. This sounds really cool. However because of the formation and the shape of the team, what is likely to happen is that our Inside Forward is usually pushed really far forward as moves continue to develop, because he keeps making attacking runs and doesn't drop back as often. We are very likely to find our player really high up the pitch, almost like a Wide Forward, and with the same marking/space/pass availability problems as a really advanced striker. And because of where our players plays in the formation, wide on the flank and pushed high up against the opponents defence, our Roaming instruction is very likely to push our player to the touchline because there is no space infield. When he gets the ball he will drive infield and attack the centre, but instead of attacking the centrebacks from a deeper position by driving through the heart of the team, he is going to start really high wide and actually run backwards and across the defensive line instead of attacking the heart of it. And because of his low Mentality, when he has the option for a pass it is likely to go back into midfield. Common Problems One of the most common problems or mistakes is selecting instructions that look the part without actually considering what they are going to do to your player in the team context. Extremely aggressive attacking players are very likely to find themselves pinned against defenders instead of running at them or picking up space infront of them. Players that continually make Runs also suffer from this problem, playing really high up the pitch, against defenders, looking for constant half yards of space in a clogged area instead of bombing into an acre of space at speed at the final minute from a great deep position. Wingers in particular are a common source of this kind of problem. Told to get forward from deep positions to attack the opponent they end up playing in positions more like strikers looking for throughballs and making runs, instead of receiving a nice easy pass in a deep and wide position and then storming past a fullback. The Link-up Example Here I will describe some different ways of linking up groups of players using the Tactical Instructions. I will start with a basic 3 man midfield and discuss only Mentality and RFD. Let's say you want to play a 3 man midfield, and you want a deep playmaker with a more advanced playmaker and your third man to link-up the two. Now while Playmakers that make runs can be good attacking threats, generally you don't want your playmakers bombing out of position and getting stuck tight against defenders, so you are going to give both players RFD Rare. Now you do want your two playmakers staggered slightly, so that one is deep and one is more advanced. This means you want the more advanced playmaker to have a higher mentality. Or if the Deep Playmaker starts in the DMC slot, equal mentalities. So you setup your Deep Playmaker in the DMC slot and your Advanced Playmaker in the LCM slot, both with equal mentalities that are relatively high, and RFD Rare. This will keep both players from bombing into the centre forward positions, keep them both in playmaking positions, and keep them both seperated and staggered with one slightly more advanced than the other. So lets say you want the RCM to shuttle back and forth between the two players, offering easy passes and a good additional link-up option between the two, perhaps even making the odd run into the box and maybe looking to get on the end of a cross. This player you need to instruct so that he stays deep but moves backwards and forwards. This player should have a lower mentality than either player, but RFD Mixed. This means he will make runs regularly, but he will not get carried upfield by his mentality. He will run back and forth regularly never quite hitting his mentality position, and usually taking up positions between both players or slightly ahead of your advanced playmaker as attacks develop. If a good opportunity presents itself he will bomb into the box. If the RCM's mentality or RFD is too high, he will play too advanced up the pitch, and play a shuttling role between advanced playmaker and forwards, or even play as an extra forward. Another good and basic example is the Advanced and Deep Striker combination. One striker plays with a high Mentality and RFD Rare meaning he starts in an advanced position but does not make runs. The other striker starts deeper but he makes RFD Mixed, and will look to feed the ball to the advanced striker, then make runs past him. Once the deep striker gets past the advanced striker, the advanced striker will bomb forward and try to stay high up the pitch because of his mentality. In this way you can setup a whole series of pass-and-forward run moves simply by getting one striker to run from deep, and then getting the other striker to try and stay high up the pitch through mentality alone without making Runs From Deep when he is already advanced. Conclusion The morale of this story is that RFD Rare keeps the shape have designed through mentality and positioning, while RFD Mixed or Often will change your shape. RFD is great at linking up layers of your team, but is equally as good at completely destroying the basic plans you are attempting to carry out. Too much forward movement will give you seven strikers for your DLP to try and pick out, while not enough movement can make it difficult to get the ball forward from layer to layer. Mentality sets out where your players start from, where they position themselves and helps to define your shape. RFD sets out where you want movement from layer to layer and can effectively link-up your whole shape and attack the spaces in the opponent, but it can also completely destroy your shape, and prevent players from actually carrying out the roles you want them to. Being able to effectively manipulate these two instructions, to design the right kind of movement, to create movement where you want it and prevent players moving from where you want them, is the key to designing a good formation. Learn to use these four instructions well and you can design any shape and formation and tactics you can think of. Everything else pretty much tells your players what to do with the ball, these instructions tell players what to do with themselves.
  22. It is not mine either. The problem is that you cannot seperate Positioning from Off the Ball when training, they are the same type of attribute in the same category and pretty much increase or decrease at the same rate no matter what you do. Likewise you cannot seperate Finishing from Composure, although these are different types of attribute and this difference can be exploited. We all have to work under SI's division of attributes into specific Categories. There could be some changes, like moving Positioning and Off The Ball into the Defending/Attacking Categories for greater and more logical control, but I do not know their reasoning and thinking so cannot accurately say whether it is an error or some deeply thought out issue of balance. Personally, I would be inclined to question those two specific attributes. Everything else looks sensible and sound, but those two specific attributes do not seem to be distinct in Training when they are quite clearly distinct in gameplay. Moving Positioning and Off The Ball into the Defending or Attacking Categories not only seems to me to be very sensible in terms of gameplay effect and current training effect, but also in terms of making the categories themselves more balanced in terms of numbers of attributes and therefore making the whole Training issue far more easy to control and utilise without having to come to a thread like this for an indepth explanation of the fundamental mechanics. If Positioning and Off the Ball were moved you would suddenly have a more logical distribution of attributes in terms of control, but you would also have a whole bunch of Categories now having 3 or 4 attributes each making the basic balance of each slider almost identical. You would no longer have to count the attributes in Tactics, Ball Control, Defending, Attacking and Shooting because they would all now have either 3 or 4 attributes making them almost identical. This seems to me like something that would radically improve training, and I might try and bring this idea to the attention of SI if I can. It should actually replace all those schedules, it is much superior to all three. However the Developing schedule that currently exists WILL boost physical attributes more, while the Veteran schedule SHOULD boost mental more. However all things considered this single goalkeeping schedule should be superior for almost all goalkeeping players no matter their age or attribute levels, barring any brutally obvious and huge deficiencies in Physical or Mental attributes. Goalkeepers are tricky like this. They are an incredibly awkward set of players to develop and train and this single schedule that is slightly better should make a huge difference to all Goalkeepers. Let me know how you get on.
  23. For Goalkeepers I miscounted Strength by 1 attribute which had a pretty big overall effect on their attribute changes, with lots of big, buff tanks being produced. So I redesigned the schedule and you will find it in the following link: http://www.mediafire.com/?njltnzt14jm That's some really sweet distribution. Maybe a tad too much in Set Peices/Shooting but that could be down to you retraining him for a more advanced position. Or indeed down to your own preferences for attribute change. Did you custom design the schedule based on my method or did you use one of my pre-designed schedules? It is the same "type" of attribute as those that change through tutoring, but apparently it doesn't change very much.
  24. The 110 workload was no cleverly crafted or figured out "maximum" but just a level of workload that "looked right" to me. The only downside of exceeding this level would be reduced condition recovery, perhaps a small negative morale penalty for the player, and perhaps an increased risk of injury. I do not think that the workload has "theoretical maximums" or "best positions" or any other over complex positions, simply risk versus reward. More training equals more attribute movement equals faster changes according to your wishes, balanced by increased condition+morale penalties and potentially increased risk of injury. Speaking personally, I tend to train youngsters quite hard in comparison to genuine First Team regulars or my veteran players. There are many reasons for this but the more important reasons are that injuries are far less of a concern in terms of immediate impact to the squad or longterm impact of lost CA while youngsters will benefit from every additional point of CA squeezed out of a heavy schedule, and because younger players even if first team quality in terms of attributes tend to be temperamental and have under-developed personalities that can still be mentored, meaning you don't want them becoming too important status wise and meaning you might find yourself having to rest, drop or discipline them. If this doesn't apply to Rodwell, i.e. he is a key First Team player in all contexts, then you must balance the schedule according to condition recovery versus schedule intensity/rate of change versus risk of injury. Injuries will still not be a longterm problem like they would for a 30 year old player, but they will disrupt your first team, as will intense training that reduces condition recovery between games. There is an alternative method to dealing with condition loss in players, and which method you choose will affect the players longterm career. The alternative method is to invest training time and intensity into improving the players Stamina. Improved Stamina means the player will lose less condition during matches, meaning he will have to recover less between games, and will be able to play more often. This will become very important as the player ages and begins to reach the end stage of his career. His physical attributes will begin to decline, migrating into his Mental attributes, and how you develop a player when he is young will define how quickly his physical attributes each unplayable levels that cannot maintain his CA and how quickly his mental attributes will improve and reach maximum quality levels. Investing in Stamina will extend a players career at the cost of a longer period of time where he deficient at the mental aspect of the game, and perhaps an overall career with slightly reduced mental levels untill right before his final seasons. He will still eventually reach the same period of declining physical and identical quality levels of mental stats, it will just happen at a later time because you invested so much in his Stamina, which will take up CA as well as prolong his career. There are no set rules to how you choose to develop and train players, no "right" or "wrong" way. There are only options that you might not be aware of, but can play a significant role over longer periods of time. It is ultimately up to you what you want to do with the player.
  25. Pretty much. When he is injured his Match Experience starts to drop which will eventually lead to drops in CA. The same thing happens with players who go on holiday at the end of the season, just before they come back for Pre-Season they start dropping in CA because their Match Experience is too low. Not so much the "end of his injury" but more when he starts to gain CA. If the player is injured for six months then you know he will lose some CA and hopefully then get it back after he gets back to peak form. Once a player gets back into "light training" he will still be losing some CA, but will soon be returning to match experience (hopefully) and will soon improve back to his previous CA levels (hopefully), so "player in light training after injury" is basically an indicator that it is now time for you to manage his recovery through training. You can use injuries this way in theory, but what tends to happen is that it is very difficult to control, the player doesn't actually train for a long time, and his Physical Attributes have the greatest risk of declining while also being incredibly hard to improve once he is fit. So in theory yes, you could do what you say but in practice you tend to always worry about Physical Attribute declines and so apply this method to his Physical Attributes. Remember that the older a player gets, the harder it is to improve or maintain physical attributes and eventually it becomes impossible to prevent them declining. Physical Attributes are a big deal for serious longterm playstyles.
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