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Everything posted by SFraser

  1. The best answer would be to have as many players as you can comfortably and effectively manage, or want to have around the club. I personally have a first team of 25 players, a reserve team of zero players at the club but with all my loan players sitting in there, and a youth team of around 20 or so players. 51 players at the club not including youth team players seems extremely bloated to me, but that's my opinion. The key things you want to look out for is unhappiness over excessive players, lack of football, the increased risk of personality conflicts, lack of matches and opportunities for players to develop or even maintain their current level. With a bloated reserve team your youth players wont get much chance to experience reserve team football which will stunt their development, and your senior pro's in your first team will also find themselves competing for space and time in the reserves and if their match fitness drops, so does their current level of ability. And then you have the inevitably cost in terms of wages for players doing nothing other than sitting in the reserves. £20k a week wages is a million quid a year, so five players sitting on these wages for five seasons is the price of a top class striker simply wasted. It's up to you how you organise your club, but the way I organise my club is to have no such thing as a reserve team, just a combination of youngsters and first team squad players getting reserve matches, and I use my reserve team as a "store" for all my youngsters out on loan. I would rather have ten youngsters out on loan with the option to recall them than have ten youngsters sitting rotting in the reserves.
  2. I will try not to derail this thread and make this my last answer to this particular question. Speaking from my own experience I would consider Technique to be the trump attribute, the key attribute in Free Kicks. I would also consider Flair to be essential for players to step up and attempt a curling howitzer into the top corner. These two attributes combine to produce a player that is willing and capable to try the kind of freekick capable of beating goalkeepers in FM. Generally those with heaps of pace that swerve into the top corner. The actual Free-Kick attribute in my opinion is of a lesser importance to the above two but still important. With Technique around 18, and Flair above 15, then any double figures Free Kick attribute should give you some return, with an increasing return as the Free Kick Attribute increases. Lacking Technique and Flair however will almost inevitably see the ball hitting the wall regularly irrespective of Free Kick Accuracy. It is much the same as the Longshots attribute. You have a player with high Longshots and so his Longshots are more and more accurate, but Technique, Flair and Composure make them better struck, and more difficult to save. Lampard in FM has a rather low longshots attribute you would think at first glance, and yet is highly lethal from range because of his Composure and Technique. A calm, composed player hitting a very well struck shot does not need to stick it into the top corner to score, he can fire it past goalkeepers at speed. So generally speaking when you are looking for a very well struck shot you are looking for Technique and Composure. When you are looking for an accurate shot you are looking at the relevant Shooting Attribute, Freekicks/Longshots/Finishing etc. When you are looking for a shot that is difficult for the keeper to reach due to the trajectory of the ball then you are looking for Flair. Technique+Composure+Flair contribute a huge amount to the "components" of any shot, but you will still need to be reasonably accurate if you don't want your howitzer style thunderbolt or 20 yard top corner curler or delicate edge of the box chip to slide wide of the post. I am glad I could be of help. I would say here that you should look at the lessons you learned when beating the lesser teams in the previous division on your way to promotion. Particularly the teams you played last season that had just been promoted themselves. Irrespective of how you approach the next season in terms of style, philosophy, offensive aggression etc. It will absolutely vital to make your team difficult to beat. You will very likely be playing against superior players that are looking to attack you and while you don't necessarilly have to adopt a "9+1" system on the edge of your box, you do have to understand that giving the opponent space, time, and worst of all giving them the ball is going to play directly in their favour. There are several ways to play football as the underdog. There is the counter-attack approach where you defend deep with numbers and attempt to catch the opponent under-manned at the back with quick and direct counter-attacking play. There is the "bring the game to them" approach where you effectively counter the opponents attempt to exploit space and play football by playing an aggressive, tight, dense block of players further up the pitch trying to disrupt play from a more central position than they operate in forcing them to try and play around you where they have less numbers while you have much greater strength through the middle and can win the ball quickly and release it quickly to your forwards. And then there is the "strangle" approach where you play deeper, narrower with plenty of hard tackling, timewasting, man marking key players with your more advanced players and then when you win the ball back you keep it and play very conservative passing football making them chase the ball, and slowly work your way up the pitch where you only play a risky ball when there is a glorious opportunity to get a striker through on goal. Whether you play defensive, counter-attacking, or a more aggressive attacking game is up to you, but as the underdog the key element of your tactical design must be to control the middle of the pitch and deny the opponent space and time on the ball in the most dangerous areas, which ultimately means the centre of the pitch. And I would also advise you to invest in good defenders. If you can dominate the centre of the pitch and force the opponent wide or to try and play over the top then defenders that are dominant in the air and capable of holding a good line are worth their weight in gold. It is very likely that to stay in the division and do well in the division in your first season that you will need to become adept at all of these approaches. There will be teams you can take points off by playing the more aggressive but narrow and tight "slugfest" style through the middle, but there will be teams where you simply cannot leave any space in behind, nor can beat through the middle and these teams you may have to counter-attack, and then there will be the top quality teams in the division where your only realistic hope is to make sure you keep the ball as long as possible. And study the opposition. If you can spot a weak player in their side, say a slow rightback or an aerially weak leftback, then exploit them. Set your attacking players up to exploit any and all weaknesses you can spot. Do that and you will have much more ability to score goals from a defensive base than simply playing blindly in attack.
  3. For Natural Fitness I have never once seen an example of it increasing. Ever. I saw it decrease once in my own saves in the past 2 years and that was after a player of mine sustained repeated long term injuries immediately after recovering from the previous. In other words the only time I have ever seen NF change is once when a player of mine missed almost an entire year of football. If NF were trainable then regardless of how high/low the intensity of Strength Training is, it would change regularly. Maybe not regularly in the same player but there would be noticeable improvements or declines across a squad. NF though is by far the most unchanging attribute in all of my saves, having seen it change precisely once in two years. As for Set Pieces in Goalkeepers, it is possible to train a Goalkeeper in Free-Kicks or Penalties but these attributes only govern the accuracy of the Free-Kick or Penalty so there is usually no point whatsoever training these. For categories such as Defending, Attacking, Shooting they do nothing for a goalkeeper. Goalkeepers do not improve outfield technical attributes. The Goalkeeping Technical attributes are frozen in place for outfield players, and the outfield Technical attributes barring only one or two examples are likewise frozen in place for Goalkeepers.
  4. Technique is extremely important when it comes to Free-kicks, and very often your back room staff will recommend a player that does not have the highest free-kick attribute but has high technique for this very reason. The reason technique is important is because the "Free-Kick" attribute defines the accuracy of the final position of the ball, defines how close the player will get the ball to his target, but technique defines the ability to execute curling or swerving or dipping or thunderbolt shots. Players with high Technique will be able to chip the ball over the wall and then have it dip and curl into the top corner. A player with low technique will only be able to batter the shot straight at the top corner. So when choosing free-kick takers, or any set-piece taker, keep the distinction in mind. The specific attribute governs the final accuracy of the ball but the Technique attribute governs the danger/threat/quality of the actual delivery. This is the same for Free-Kicks as much as for Crosses or any other form of delivery and is really worth looking at whenever you rely on "X" form of delivery. Technique matters every time someone strikes a ball. For example: A player with 20 passing can aim right at his target all the time, but with low technique the pass can only be straight and along the ground. With 20 for technique it can be both curled around a player and chipped over defenders heads. The player with 20 technique is therefore much more capable of delivering a trully dangerous pass than the player with low technique, because he can deliver a pass that takes opponents out of the game even if they are in the way. Precisely the same matters for crosses, and every other time a ball is kicked. It is in my opinion quite important to take this attribute into account. There is very little in this game to my knowledge that relies solely upon a single attribute. Even a penalty kick takes into account a lot of different factors for a player.
  5. It's hidden. The Free Role attribute could work exactly the same as other position attributes and reduce a players mental attributes or CA or whatever else might occur when playing a player out of position. But because it is an actual attribute then it will directly define something. Either accuracy/quality at exploiting space or the players overall ability when in a "Free Role".
  6. No. I am very interested to see how SI have managed to add "Tactical Preparation" to training. I commented before that I thought the only way without radically adapting huge areas of the game would be to artificially boost specific attributes which might lead to exploitable gameplay behaviour. I have no input nor knowledge whatsoever of how this was done, and I am looking forward to finding out. It is certainly a very "realistic" thing to attempt, but how realistic it is in terms of gameplay and the currently existing game mechanics is something I wait to see. That is absolutely correct. It is something I mentioned previously. There is a greater achievable "difference in extremes" when boosting the Attacking category compared to boosting the Aerobic category. If Attacking is set at notch 2 to train each attribute at "1 notch worth training" then you can boost each Aerobic attribute to "4 notch worth training" relative to attacking. So you can train Aerobic attributes at 4x attacking attributes. If you do it the other way and set Aerobic to notch 5 for "1 notch worth training each attribute" then you can boost each attacking attribute to 12.5 notch worths of training. That is three orders of magnitude greater and explains precisely why training is so damn difficult to get right. It's just not balanced. This is applied after training. Once my attacking attributes have increased because they are accidently being trained 3x faster, my Aerobic attributes decline to make up the difference. I must say that there is possibly a balance between CA weight and Attribute per Category, I hadn't actually considered it untill now. Thanks for these questions. They have opened up an avenue for investigation I hadn't previously considered.
  7. The Penalty Taking attribute is all about the accuracy of the kick. The higher the attribute the more likely the player is to find the spot he aimed at and vice versa. For a Goalkeeper facing a Penalty Kick you are looking at Reflexes and Agility, and very likely you are looking for Anticipation, Composure and possibly Decisions. I have a goalkeeper with 19 Reflexes, 19 Composure, 19 Concentration and 18 Agility and he is a monster at keeping out penalty kicks. If you don't want to "build" set-piece taking goalkeepers or goalkeepers with great first touch and passing and instead just want a good goalkeeper, stick to the training categories of Aerobic, Goalkeeping and Tactics. These three categories are all you need and they cover a goalkeepers physical ability at goalkeeping, his mental ability at goalkeeping and his "technical" ability at goalkeeping. To my knowledge they indicate changes to how a player is training, not directly corresponding to end result but close enough. In this image Ryan Giggs is just back from injury and so has started training again, so the efforts to improve his categories has picked up and that's what you see here. He wont actually improve though because he is too old, but none of his attributes will decline quicker than any others going by the info on this screen, atleast not because of training. They might decline faster for other reasons. Douglas Costa has had his Set Piece training reduced to zero by me, and because of this all the rest of his categories have started improving more because no ability is being added to his Set Pieces and is instead being spread out amongst the rest of his categories. However his Strength training has not changed by reducing his Set Piece training, so if I want his Strength keep pace with the rest I will have to go into his schedule and crank it up a bit more compared to the rest. These arrows show the effect that changes to training, whether the schedules themselves or injuries or holidays or improvements in attitude or coaches, is having on the player. Whenever you make a change to a schedule, check back here to make sure it is working as you have planned. If you want to see more Strength increases compared to everything else then change his schedule untill you see arrows on this screen indicating that Strength is improving faster. After he has been on the same schedule for a while these arrows will all go away as there are no more changes to the EFFECT of his training schedule. The simple answer would be to try and overload Zonal Marking systems with lots of players in the same area, while against Man Marking systems you want to pull players out of position and try and get a good player of yours against a bad player of the opponent in a dangerous position. I can't give a more complex answer because I don't know precisely what circumstances you have in mind and I don't know the precise ins-and-outs of all marking and defensive behaviour in the ME. Nor would I like to give out any "game-breaking" answers if I did. Loose Zonal Marking with little to no Closing Down, and a player with very low Workrate. Also if you position a player in a "strata" above the opponent, for example place your Wingers at AMR/L when the opponents has his Wingersat ML/R then they tend not to "catch" each other defensively because they are in different zones. There is no simple answer to this question but the general idea is excellent movement from your front men pulling defenders out of position, combined to intelligence, creativity and technical ability of delivery for your providers. The more and better quality movement you can produce and the better your players can spot passing opportunities and deliver the ball, the more likely you are to create CCC's. Tempo is a very important aspect of creating good quality chances, because it forces a speed of play and this effects the ability to make good decisions and deliver good quality passes but also affects the time the oppositions defence has to think and get back into position. There is a tempo "sweetspot" for every match but in general you should look to find the "average tempo sweetspot" for your team. The balance between quality and pace of play is as important as the quality of movement and delivery. There are two very sound "answers" to this question I have read but I do not know the truth for sure, however both tend to mean the same thing. The first answer is that Position Rating affects Positioning, Off-The-Ball, Decisions and other Mental Attributes that relate to intelligence and understanding. So playing a player out of position will affect his "Intelligence" Mental Attributes but not his "Personality" Mental Attributes. The second answer is that it reduces a players CA via some fairly complex equation. In other words a player playing in an unfamiliar has his effective ability reduced. Both of these seem sensible answers to me but I don't know the truth. However if either of these are true then Mental Attributes will be reduced by playing out of position, so that is what I personally take into account when playing players out of position. Based on my own observation of free role behaviour I would say the following: Free Roles "liberate" a player from positional absolutes and allow him to play according to his own positional understanding. When Free Role is given to players, Off-The-Ball + Positioning + Teamwork become absolutely vital. Players will make attacking runs, position themselves defensively, and offer support to teammates based on their own abilities at these attributes combined to the situation being played out in the match. Free Role effectively free's a player to Position himself defensively, move into attacking space, or move into supporting positions according to his abilities. Personally speaking I would consider Teamwork to be by far the single most vital attribute when it comes to Free Roles as players with high Teamwork and Free Role will constantly be looking to support the team effort by moving into space whenever possible. For that space to be great attacking space requires Off-The-Ball, for a great defensive supporting position requires Positioning, and to fully exploit space requires a high Free Role attribute. It is however Teamwork that encourages or forces players to constantly be on the move to support the team effort to the best of their abilities, whether that is support the team via offensive movement or defensive positioning. In my own save I play a 4-4-1-1 / 4-2-3-1 and I have given my advanced six players outside my back four Free Roles. My two CM's all have excellent Teamwork and Positioning attributes and negligable Off-The-Ball and their play consists of brilliant positional support for all play. They very rarely move into advanced areas, they very rarely move wide, they spend most of their time creating passing angles for each other and for the rest of the team in the centre of midfield. They are constantly moving into space in support of the team around the ideal positions for them to occupy, right at the heart of the team. By constrast the AMC with Free Role and negligable positioning but high Off-The-Ball and high Teamwork is constantly looking to support my CM's but through movement into attacking areas. He combines the effort to support the team with the effort to take up very threatening positions. So the summary of my answer is that when you are planning to give someone a Free Role, look at the Positioning / Off The Ball / Teamwork attributes and decide whether "liberating" these players from absolute positioning instructions is going to enhance their role in your team or diminish it. For example, if you give Fabregas a Free Role don't expect him to support your team from deep, because his positional sense is low, especially compared to his attacking movement off-the-ball. However if you give Carrick a Free Role, do expect him to support your team from deep. His high Teamwork and high Positioning means that he will constantly be taking up excellent supporting deep positions relative to your attack. To my knowledge there is no combination of instructions that produces this behaviour to an acceptable degree. The game simply does not support it.
  8. I was going to put this in a thread of it's own, but this one is excellent and covers all the relevant bases so I thought I would put it up here. These are the results of my last three half-time teamtalks, in each match I had atleast 3 goals before half-time. My method of operating here was simple. If a player had a rating above 8.0 it was "Pleased" If a player had a rating between 7.5 and 8.0 it was "Don't let your Performance Drop" Between 7.0 and 7.5 it was "You have Faith" Between 6.5 and 7.0 it was "Disappointing" The important thing to understand is the match context. In each match I had a healthy half-time lead. If that context was different I would have needed a different approach. Several things stand out here. 1: My players respond to this kind of overall approach in this context. They respond to a fair judgement of their performances in the context of the match and the current result. Ratings of 6.9 when I am winning 3-0 at half-time is a disappointing performance, so I tell my players this and they respond to it. 2: My players do not respond exactly the same. There are a couple of examples of similar responses to similar teamtalks but overall you can see that different players are going to respond in slightly different ways to the same circumstances, even if they respond in the same general fashion. This is down to their individual personalities. Slight differences in personality produce slight differences in response. 3: Individual players do not always respond exactly the same to the same teamtalk over three matches. While I followed my "basic plan" I did get different responses from players that fell into that "plan". Carrick for example must have come in at half time with ratings between 7.5 and 8.0 and so received the same teamtalk three times, but he only responded the same way twice. The third time he did not respond. What this means is that players themselves have their own "views" on what sort of ratings deserve what sort of response, so Carrick isn't thinking "7.5 to 8.0 means Don't Let Your Performance Drop" he is thinking maybe 7.3 to 7.8 is a "good performance" or even 7.8 to 8.3. In other words his "personal bar" is set at a different level to mine, but not by much. So while I have the right idea for how to deal with my players at half-time in these match contexts, while I have figured out the rough "bar height" to work with and the right responses to give to my squad in these match contexts, to get it absolutely spot on I now need to understand each individual players "personal bar level" in detail. Just like one player might think that 7.5 for his last 5 games is "playing well" while another might think he "needs to improve" and a third might think he is "on top form" so the same applies to teamtalks. I know how to give great half-time teamtalks based on how I think players have played but now I need to take it even further and figure out how each player thinks he has played himself.
  9. "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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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