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Russianbear

Tactical/Team/Morale Malfunction. Constant Recurrence.

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Right so i'm posting here to figure out why I keep facing this problem in my save. This isn't a whiny thread about the ME failing at all, I really just want a good explanation from you FM gurus so I can try to avoid this situation in future but more importantly understanding why it happens to ease my frustration.

So, i'm Arsenal and this is a mid season game, away against Bristol City who are sitting 10th in the League. We are in 2nd on the log and winning this game would take us to 1st.

We've already won the division title four times in a row.

To the game. This screenshot is from just after half time, we're down 3 to 1. So that's my tactical set up and player choice. Not my best squad but I have a game coming up two days later against Man United which i'm resting players for.

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Bristol City Formation Vs. Ours.

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Notice how the morale has dropped throughout the squad, we went into this game with good to superb morale among the players.

Now to be honest I played this game twice, loading my save, because I felt it was a really stupid game to lose.

The second time I changed my tactics based on what I noticed during the game, but it seems like no matter what I do my players have just reverted to being rubbish.

So I guess i'm at a loss here, these tactics have been great so far (even after the infamous patch, which I thought was a great improvement btw), I'm trying to compensate for where we appear weak in this match but no matter what I do, we lose.

All i'd like is some feedback with regards to why this seems to happen on the oddest occasions and why nothing can remedy it. I'm not playing this game again, i'm taking the loss as that happens in football. But what I don't like seeing is the way the players just seem to completely turn to trash and lose all fight completely in these matches, and I know it's going to happen again at some point, doesn't stop me getting frustrated everytime it does.

If you think you can help, or shed light. please feel free.

I've kept a save just before this match so I can apply any good advice and let you guys know if the outcome is different.

Thanks.

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Why are you not pressing against them when you are playing a relatively high defensive line? It's like saying "well ok we will give you time on the ball and some space behind the defense to exploit but please just don't do anything with it ok?" Especially against a team like Bristol I would defend really aggressively to try and dominate them. If you give them time and space on the ball you just let them get into the game.

There could also be a man management issue going on in the background. The players morale doesn't tell you anything about complacency or nervousness. Balancing your players between complacency and nervousness is the most important aspect of man management. You have to have your players playing confident but too much confidence and they get complacent. To avoid this you put pressure on your players by demanding performances and criticizing bad performances but if you are too harsh your players get nervous. It's a constant balancing act and very much a guessing game as you often only get information about their mental state if it's too late and the match has already started. You have to really get into the minds of your players and imagine how they would react and feel before the game to get it right and even then you won't always be right as the game can be a little odd at times.

btw. The moral drop has very little to do with why you lost. It's a result of you losing the game and instead of the other way around. If you go behind you often see your players lose morale. You could see the same thing happen last night with during Man U's loss. You could see players lose moral and you could see players get more determined to win at the same time (especially determined players like Berbatov). It's a natural reaction from the players as they know they really shouldn't be losing and are playing badly so their moral drops and they often start trying harder to win the game at the same time. The only thing you can do is first make sure you don't lose, secondly use the half time team talk to tell them they have to win this game or else get shot when they return to their country (only if your managing certain countries, otherwise tell them they are rubbish and maybe something about disappointed fans), then when the game is over you give them a good burner and maybe see if you can fine a player or two (or the whole team). Also take into account younger and/or mentally weaker players and maybe give the wussies a little encouragement or tell em their mom is watching.

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Alright thanks for the feedback. With regards to pressing I usually do press teams, but as of recently i've noticed my team struggles in the tackle, so we close down and instead of getting the ball we either concede a foul or open up a gap which the opposition then exploits. I usually concede much less when I sit back and wait for the other team to make mistakes, and I usually have possession more in the first place.

As for my high line, that was as a result of switching to a more direct pass style, after getting frustrated with my lack of decent chances.

All that being said, I understand where your coming from and your logic is sound, it's just that Bristol were playing the ball like freakin Barcelona and all I could see were gaps forming and missed tackles.

I guess that's my frustration in this situation, it's like sound logic doesn't quite work anymore and something else is going horrible wrong. On paper we shouldn't have lost.

With regards to morale, I get what you're saying. I thought the morale would affect confidence alot during the match so I was horrified to see a few players dropping to abysmal. I usually don't tell my team I expect them to win even when I do, because this has almost always resulted in an absolutely rubbish performance with most of my players being described as "playing nervously", "close to losing discipline". But that's just been my experience, and every team is different.

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Alright thanks for the feedback. With regards to pressing I usually do press teams, but as of recently i've noticed my team struggles in the tackle, so we close down and instead of getting the ball we either concede a foul or open up a gap which the opposition then exploits. I usually concede much less when I sit back and wait for the other team to make mistakes, and I usually have possession more in the first place.

As for my high line, that was as a result of switching to a more direct pass style, after getting frustrated with my lack of decent chances.

All that being said, I understand where your coming from and your logic is sound, it's just that Bristol were playing the ball like freakin Barcelona and all I could see were gaps forming and missed tackles.

I guess that's my frustration in this situation, it's like sound logic doesn't quite work anymore and something else is going horrible wrong. On paper we shouldn't have lost.

With regards to morale, I get what you're saying. I thought the morale would affect confidence alot during the match so I was horrified to see a few players dropping to abysmal. I usually don't tell my team I expect them to win even when I do, because this has almost always resulted in an absolutely rubbish performance with most of my players being described as "playing nervously", "close to losing discipline". But that's just been my experience, and every team is different.

It's true, every team is different. Maybe it's a good idea to monitor their motivation and mental state throughout the game a few times. You can go to "split view" during the match and select "(your team) motivation" to see if there are nervous or complacent players.

If you don't want to press more I think it's a good idea to sit deeper. You can just change your defensive line and keep the same attacking tactic (maybe use a shout "stand of opponents" to make sure you really don't press too much) or you can switch to a counter attacking strategy.

I do think you can still make a pressing game work, you just need to commit to it a little more and have a little bit of luck and good man management. It's natural for you players to make a few mistakes when pressing and tackling but if you keep the spaces small enough and close down hard enough those mistakes shouldn't be too costly as there is never a lot of space for the opponent except behind the D-line (which is no problem if your defense is fast enough or you have a good GK and a bit of luck).

If your team is making too many mistakes maybe it's indeed best to just switch to a deep defense and maybe just play on the counter. There is nothing wrong with playing on the counter against weaker teams especially for away games. It draws the opponent out of their half and can create really good chances.

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Another thought, that accured to me after reading the OP was that you are playing a back up team in a match that, although might be considered rather easy, is also a high pressure game as you stand to gain the first place from this game. Maybe there are players in your line up that are simply not up for the pressure of this game. Just a thought.

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Another thought, that accured to me after reading the OP was that you are playing a back up team in a match that, although might be considered rather easy, is also a high pressure game as you stand to gain the first place from this game. Maybe there are players in your line up that are simply not up for the pressure of this game. Just a thought.

Yeah that is a valid point, never thought about it that way. And their are specific players which to tend to let the team down in high pressure games, a good example here is Koscielny who I sometimes play as a left fullback to rotate out Badibanga.

Marsupian, I'll try to work on a strategy that presses my opponents more while still making room for error, I know it's going to be tricky though as the team i've set up over the seasons is very attack minded.

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