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sporadicsmiles

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  1. Did you ever actually play FIFA manager? It was a terrible game. There is a reason it stopped being made, and that was because it was nowhere near as good as FM. The simulation of football matches made it practically unplayable unless you used fast results. I would welcome a good competitor to FM, but there has never really been anything that came close. This is the most sensible thing that has been said on this thread so far. Promises work exactly as intended. Where the game falls down is not telling us what we need to do to actually keep these promises. "Improve the midfield" is a little vague. It would be useful to know what the game considers to be success in such cases. I would definitely be happy to see improvements in that respect. Promises and conversations and all that are so simple to negotiate though. You just have to think what you would do in real life. I guess it comes with real life experience of resolving conflict in working environments, but mostly it is common sense. Do not make promises you will not keep. No not escalate a situation for no reason. Do not back down if you are being reasonable. The other thing is that you do not have to sell unhappy players. That is something I see floating around here, and it is untrue. More often than not, a player will settle down in good time. This is particularly true for players who are unsettled by a transfer bid. Tell them no, let them get moody, and settle down when the interest has gone. Your player losing trust in you is harder to resolve (as in real life), but often players will sort themselves out. Also, you can happily play unhappy players, especially if it solves their unhappiness. You should also be keeping all your key players on long contracts at all times. Never let them get under 3 years if you know you want them around in 3 years time. That way, it does not matter how much they want to leave, they cannot walk out on a free. If you are letting key players get to 1 year left on a contract, they get unhappy and you lose them on a free I have some bad news for you. It is your poor squad management that is to blame more than anything else.
  2. Honestly, that is not so surprising in the lower leagues. The quality of your players at that level will determine the results as much as your actual tactics. The tactics will of course play a role, but the influence of a good player can be enormous at that level. The obvious example is getting your hands on a player with 19 pace when everyone else around him is much slower. He will eat defenses alive with pace like that at lower levels, because players simply do not have the attributes to deal with him. A lot of randomness comes from this. Another source is simply that crappy players make more mistakes or crappier choices. This adds a huge element of chance into a match. There is not really much you can do about that either. This is one of the reasons lower league managing is fun (or annoying, depends how you look at it). You have noticed that you never know which players will play well. That is because the players simply are not great. When I am managing a lower league side, I will look to build a tactic that exploits the very best from my players. I will not really look to build any particular style of play and impose it. I will say "well, Jimmy B Fast can really run, lets get him 1v1 on defenders with balls over the top" or "Tommy Shotsfromrange can really hit a ball outside the box, lets get him lots of chances to score" or "Billy Giantman is over 2m tall, can jump and is good with headers, better try to get the ball on his head as often as possible, I'll work on my set pieces and crosses". You see what I mean? There are plenty of examples. Lower Leagues is all about finding players who stand out in a small way, and trying to extract as much as you can from them. You seem to be chopping and changing your tactics all the time, which is also not always good. If you do not have a good reason to change, then I'm not sure you can expect to work except by pure luck. There is not any further precise advice I can offer unless you want people to have a look at a specific tactic you try, or at the team to see what they would do to give you ideas.
  3. I think this point illustrates perfectly the differing philosophy in the two ways of playing the game. As a preface I never use downloaded tactics, although I do look through them from time to time to see what the current trends are. I have nothing against people who use downloaded tactics though, people can play the game as they wish. Having covered by backside, let me try to explain by first sentence. What you describe in the quoted section is called an unstable equilibrium in science language. I am a scientist so this is how I automatically thing when I see something like that. Think of it as a hill. You can rest a ball on top of a hill. It is at rest and in equilibrium. This is the PnP tactic. It works as it is, it is on top of the hill. However, if you move away from the initial settings - move the ball slightly to one side - you roll off the hill. Small changes have dramatic (and usually negative in this metaphor) effects. These tactics are typically exploiting some aspect of the match engine. This year it is hyper aggressive pressing, and IWB paired with BBM to flood the middle. Clearly this works, but it does so because of limitations in the game. If you move away from those limitations, it stops working. Our ball rolls down the hill and we drown in a our own tears of frustration. Now, you have a totally different scenario when you build a tactic based on football logic rather than match engine issues. My analogy is not going to be perfect here, and it will get clunky, but lets try it. Assume you design a well thought out tactic, which is based around using your common sense (we have lots of excellent examples of that on these forums). The ball now sits in a little valley. If you make small changes, the ball will roll around, but it will always end up close to the bottom of the valley again. That is my imperfect way of saying that small changes will not have a huge effect. A better way would be to imagine that there are a whole bunch of valleys, and you can roll the ball around them, but it will always stay close to a good spot. Okay, I am going to ditch my terrible metaphor now. If your tactic is initially based around a solid football concept, then it will be robust to small changes. They will affect it, but it is unlikely a minor change will cause all your performances to collapse. It will also be able to be directly used in any FM engine (I have not changed the way I play the game in a long time, bar experimenting with things). This is clearly not true for most PnP tactics, which change year after year. In that respect, it is always worthwhile learning to make your own tactics. In fact, the best argument for creating your own tactics if you can implement your own vision of how football should be played. On the flip side, if you just want to win games, sign players and get trophies, then PnP is definitely the way to go. It entirely depends what you want to get from the game. And that will likely change over time. I think that is just because these styles are in fashion, and produce attractive football in real life. Nobody really wants to be Tony Pulis, no matter how effective he is. I definitely agree with you on this. As long as you have a good reason for a role, it can work. I play with a FB(A) behind a IF(A), and a FB(A) behind a W(S). Both of these would often be considered a no-no for various reasons to some guides you read. However, I have good reasons for playing like that, and it works. I think people like rules, especially when things are as complicated as FM.
  4. I will be interested to see how it goes with the F9 playing up top with the counter. He will be nice for the side of the game that is not counter attacking. I typically have found that having a more attacking front man (in terms of his starting position when you transition from defense to attack) is really nice for counter attacking against better teams. Having at least one option higher up the pitch when you regain possession is important to being able to trigger a counter attack in the game. The two things I have highlighted here are not things I would generally think of as being conducive to counter attacking. In fact you make the distinction between direct and fluid counter attacks. I would argue all counter attacking football is direct. The ball moves from back to front of your team very quickly for a counter attack to work. Play out of defense actively inhibits counter attacks, because players will look to build from the back, not get the ball forward. It stops the fast transition that is associated with a counter. This will be accentuated by much shorter passing, and not entirely offset by having a higher tempo. I think I know what you want to do with this. You want to have elements of controlled play alongside the counter attacking. I think this probably errs towards possession more than it does counter attacking. The other thing I think you are perhaps trying to generate here is a pressing trap, where you draw in the opposition (most of the top sides will press you pretty hard) and then bypass most of their side with a single ball. In my experience, play of out defense does not work so well for that, for the same reasons as outlined above. What does work much better is specific instructions for your 'keeper. Telling him to give the ball to defenders and fullbacks. So you still start by working the ball from the back. Then remove the play out of defense and let the players decide what they want to do with the ball. I often find the bull backs get into pockets of space behind the press and are able to either build an attack or initiate a counter attack simply by taking out most of the AI and forcing them transition to a good defensive shape again. This would also work well with the "run at defense" instruction, since your players would tend to get the ball deep with space to run at. The other thing I would worry about is getting caught on the break yourself. Your midfield is very mobile, and everyone is leaving the central area in some respect during the attacking phase. You may get caught out in the scramble defense you have while your midfield sorts itself out. This should be offset somewhat by having a HB. But he will start quite deep when you lose the ball, and a striker could easily drop into midfield space which everyone has vacated. I'd definitely use a HB when playing against a front 2 (it is nice to have 3v2 at the back, I usually do this by making a FB more defensive). Against 1 man attacks, or against teams with midfielders who keep getting lost in that space, Id actually use a DM(D) or AM(D). Push them into that space to make it smaller. Give someone who can engage the opposition earlier (gives your players more time to get back and help out, and the AI less time to do something dangerous). He will also act as more of a pivot - someone who can just help recycle the ball when you have it and are building a non counter attacking attack phase. It might be nice to have that stability since you want your front 5 to have a bunch of movement to create space for each other. A DMC can become a unheralded rock who does simple passes.
  5. I talked a little bit about team talks in this thread. It is not exhaustive though, so it likely is not what you are looking for. I'd check google for this, likely someone has written a guide. And things written for older version will still be valid. My advice is just use your own common sense and you probably will be fine.
  6. How many loan offers are you receiving for players who are not on the transfer list in any case? I mean, I never get loan offers for first team players who other teams may want to actually sign. I really fail to see how "reject all transfer offers" is not what the OP cares about. If you have a player listed (either because you want to sell or because he wants to leave), it is nonsensical anyway. The person selected as an example is Lloris. A first team player with 4 years on his contract and "unavailable for loan" set. I find it impossible to imagine you ever receive a loan offer for him. I have never received such an offer for a player like that. So reject transfer offers will deal with anything you are likely to see. This is a case of making a problem out of nothing, and turning it into a rant.
  7. I would stick him into my first team rotation as a backup. So he covers injuries, makes sub appearances in the odd game to rest the rotation players, and plays in unimportant cup competitions as a starter. Assuming I had a cup cup run, he should get 4 or 5 starts, at least, plus whatever sub time over the course of the season. When I played weaker teams in the league I would have him on the bench to rest a first team rotation player. The rest of the time he would not feature and I would just make him available to play in the reserves to get some game time. I would also keep an eye on his training to get the most from him as I can. I would also reassess when he reached 18. If there was a space for him in my team as a rotation option playing a good number of games, I would keep him. If not, I would look at the possibility at getting him a good loan move and assess the situation again the following year.
  8. At the start of the match I will give team talks broadly. So individual team talks are directed to the defensive/midfield/attacking units using the drop down tab. Usually I use "have faith" unless there is a good reason not to do so. At half time I only really give individual team talks to players who have really deserved it. Either for good or bad performances that stand out compared to the team. Full time I do broadly the same as you. Praise goes to players who stand out significantly above the others. Criticism when it is deserved, or when I think I can get some positive response from a player. I actually do tend to explain all substitutions to players. Either they did not play well enough, were being rested because we were in control, or as a precaution due to yellow card/injury. I do not know if this helps, it is just what I would want to happen if I were a player. It is one of those things that make sense to me on a very basic level of dealing with real people. I like to think it makes the players like me more, but I have no proof that is true. I should also note I will use warnings if a player has had a particularly poor match (less than 6.3). I am extremely harsh on players who get sent off too, I feel there is never an excuse for a straight red. I'm glad it was useful. I think the game is quite simple if you think about what you are doing every now and then. Sometimes you can get away with being on autopilot, if things are going well. You just have to get used to spotting the signs that things are going awry. Spotting players who are falling out of form, or spotting complacency and nipping it in the bud before it becomes a big issue, for instance. You do not need to devote your entire attention (I rarely play FM and nothing else), but you have to keep aware of what is going on. That and keeping expectations in check, which is another major cause of frustration I think. Losing games you probably should lose, but expected to win really sucks. I actually approach FM in much the same way I approach strategy games. I have been playing a lot of Total War (Attila) lately and the same things apply. I plan ahead so my nation is in a good place a few turns down the line. I plan my armies to do what I am good at in a battle, but pause and think before a tough battle. I look ahead for buildings with a long term plan for them. FM is a sports strategy game where you conquer the footballing world.
  9. I doubt that, Chinese clubs will pay stupid wages for bad players. The best thing you can do with this money is just sign players who will definitely make your squad better. Whoever they are. Use these players to do better in Europe than you would have done before. This should boost your reputation. The next year, you should be able to repeat this process but buying slightly better players. It will be incremental rather. You probably are not going to be able to sign Ronaldo overnight. I'd initially focus on highly rated young players too. Especially from relatively small clubs. They will then develop at your squad into really good players. You can use them to get better results in Europe, and eventually sell them on at a much higher fee (at least initially).
  10. I agree with Experienced here, in that your results look pretty good. I mean I would expect to lose to Man City and Chelsea (where you won) most of the time even with my Leicester side I have built into challengers. But if you are struggling away, you have to address the why. Do you watch the games? What is different when you play away compared to when you play at home? Is your team exploited in any particular way?
  11. I'm going to guess this is a downloaded tactic (or inspired by one, its the IWB with BBM or CM(A) that give them away this year). It does not have the look of a well balanced and sensible tactic. In particular for a lower league team there are some glaring issues. The first being with a very high defensive line, you are going to get shredded by any team with a quick striker. Not helped by the full backs being out of position, and the two central midfielders being out of position. I assume this tactic concedes a bunch of goals, and relies on scoring more. It looks defensively very suspect. Another thing here is that your players are probably just not very good. Are you performing higher than expected in the pre season prediction? If so, you are doing fine.
  12. Could it be that your team is just not very good? While tactics will get the most from them that is possible, if the players are of poor quality for this level, then you can only get so much. How are you performing relative to your predicted finish?
  13. Or rather being confused when there is a dressing room mutiny, all the players want to leave and performances are crap. Exactly this. I respond in the way I think will get the most out of my players. Or create the least crap. Or not lead to a promise I cannot keep. I think the press conference side is useful and easy to get right, but you do need to think about it a little at times.
  14. So here I will deal with how to read a game and make some specific changes. I will typically do this against teams that are better than me, because I can normally impose myself on teams who are worse. I use this example because it was a recent game, and things worked well. Note that sometimes you are just going to get outplayed and will lose even if you make the correct changes. It could be the difference between losing 3-0 and 1-0 only. I am not able to make changes to win all the time. I doubt anyone can. You should not expect to. So use this as a way to see how I read the game. So this is part 5 of an epic series of games I have played against Arsenal lately (part 6 is actually 2 games later). I think I played them perhaps 5 times in the last 10 games; once in the league, an FA cup semi final, the Champion’s League semi final, and the charity shield. I’m sick to the back teeth of them actually. They knocked me out of both cup competitions. I did get the win in the league, but it was lucky. I struggle against this Arsenal side, they are a bogey team. The advantage I have is that I have played them so much I know what they will do in advance, pretty much. I still will take things as they come. So match day comes. I make two immediate changes to the way I play based on prior experience. One change is regarding the pressing. I drop the line of engagement to normal, and I stop counter pressing. Why? It is simple. Arsenal are good. Very good. They can play around my counter press and have attackers that can hurt me. I still want to pressure them, but not as much. I want my players to form a more compact defence, and press less immediately after we lose the ball. Dropping the line takes care of the former (my pressing line and defensive line are closer now, so we are more compact). No counter press takes care of the latter. I also put the right full back on defend. He has a CM(A) on his side, and I want to leave more defenders back to cover against the strong attack of Arsenal. How does it play out? 6 minutes in and this happens. This is clearly not good. They played around my reduced press (notice how players backed off into defensive positions before pressing, that is what I wanted). That does not bother me though, because we already slowed them down enough to get players into position. The problem is the striker. He gets the ball, performs a wonderful turn and skins both my defenders. This guy is quick. Very quick. Much quicker than my defenders (who are not slow, just slower). He is right in on goal, and probably should score. If I see this after 6 minutes, I will probably see this again. I have spotted a problem and need to fix it. How? My idea was to just drop my defensive line back too. I really do not mind a ball coming in to their striker in that position. He is isolated without much support. It was the pace that did the damage here. So dropping my defence will mean they are in a much better position to deal with that next time. This is actually very effective, since I do not see anything like this happening again. However, I did not think this through very well as it turns out. We are getting totally outplayed here. We actually did not have a shot in the first half (which is really a bad sign, but one I was used to against Arsenal). What was going on. I should have picked up on this a lot sooner, but I got this highlight eventually (not much actually was happening in the match, and this showed me why). Here we are trying to play out of defence, and being pressed heavily. In itself this does not bother me. I have players who are calm on the ball. The problem is that we have dropped everyone too deep. We have no way out. The ball is endlessly recycled until we give it away. If we keep playing like that we will eventually make a mistake and Arsenal will get a chance. This is why I am having no shots, but also why Arsenal are doing nothing much either. How to fix this conundrum? Again, it is simple, but I did a few things that you may not immediately think off. I need to stop this passing. The obvious way is to stop playing out of defence. Let’s remove that TI. However, that does not address how I am going to attack instead. If I just remove it, I probably will just lose the ball faster. I also do not want to discourage the press, because you can get good chances from counters if you beat it (see the above post with the goal against Man Utd). So my plan was this. I still let the keeper pass the ball to either CBs or FBs. This means we are in control of our restarts (and I lack a strong aerial threat to win long balls anyway). However, now without the need to play from defence, they are freer to pick whatever forward pass is best. Then the more subtle change is to shift form a DLF(S) to DLF(A). The reasoning here is simple. On attack, the striker will in general be more advanced. He provides an outlet and will occupy the defence a bit more. This gives me an outlet that I can hopefully use to bring other players into play. Does this all work? Actually, it all came together perfectly. After zero shots in the first half (and a bit of a rollicking at half time), we have the better for the second half. 6 shots to 5. Arsenal never pose a goal threat again (they hit the post from a corner I think is all). They have 7 long shots out of 9 total shots. That is my deeper defence with less pressing working. We have 6 shots, only one long. Which means we are creating better chances than they are. The winning goal was a think of beauty, where these changes I made did have an effect. First, we just have to acknowledge that Maddison makes a perfect interception. That is not really part of my tactic, just the player being excellent. You can notice that my defence is extremely compact here. We are not giving any free space in or around the box. This is why Arsenal struggled to do anything meaningful with the ball. That was the plan I made with my defence. After the interception, we see why the striker as a DLF(A) was a good idea. He was already forward, and in position to get the ball from the onrushing Maddison. This is exactly the sort of attacking outlet I needed. From there it is just another ascetically pleasing counter attacking goal (it reminds me of vintage Man Utd under Ferguson. We get a bit lucky with where the ball goes from the tackle, but you need luck sometimes. The DMC (Marcelo) does exactly what he is designed to do; plays a simple pass to a player in a better position. The cross from the LB is perfect. The back post is unmarked, goal for the right winger. I love goals like this. Here are the stats. You can see we were pretty even overall, although the first half was Arsenal’s while the second belonged to me. We defended particularly well, and it was a very pleasing victory against a side I hate playing. I will note, however, that this was not the best example of me being tactically clever. I waited way too long to notice my problems, and hence too long to fix them. We could have been out of the game by then. So these kinda things are hard to do. I spotted the problems and made the correct changes, but I was still quite lucky here. So another message is do not take this post as me being some kind of tactical genius. That you should be able to do this every match. That I can do this every match (these 5 games with Arsenal are now played 5 won 2 lost 3, so I am clearly not doing that great all the time). Just being able to notice things and make positive changes is a good thing. Sometimes you will get a pleasing victory. Sometimes you are too late. Sometimes the other team is just too good. You cannot win them all, do not expect to.
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