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How does one extract performance from a striker?

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I don't know why this is, but i find strikers to be the most frustrating position to fill in the game. So often you sign a striker you know is good and seems like a perfect fit for your vision, and they either flop or just aren't quite good enough. On both FM14 and FM15 the achievement "Goal Machine" for having a top-scoring player remains locked, because mine are never that good no matter who or where i manage.

I'm pretty good usually at getting players to perform for me, especially with younger players who show some promise but other managers might have given up on. But turning a good striker into a great one is an achievement that so far has eluded me. In my current save i have 3 quality strikers at my club, and i play a formation that only uses one. In all 3 I see the same pattern. They play well enough, but they don't really get the goals i need them to.

After all, we won the league by a 10 point margin, scoring the most goals of any team in the league. And yet our best scorer was some 10 goals adrift of the league top-scorer, and he was a winger. Out best striker was 22 goals away from the best in the division. They all have good overalls, favourable stats (by non-league standards) and i've put all sorts of training in place to give them a boost. I just can't get them to click.

It's not a huge worry to me in all honesty, but it is something i'd like to understand, so if anyone has the same issue, or has insight into what the cause of my struggles might be, i'd welcome them with open arms. Below are summaries of each of my strikers from last season.

Alex Parsons: Our most successful striker. Played a fair percentage of our league matches, but with fairly limited success. His tally was reasonably good, but when you consider he was the Number 1 striker for a team that won the league, picking up 104 points and scoring 90+ goals in the process, 13 goals isn't good enough. Thankfully he did provide a decent haul of assists to the wingers and midfielders supporting him, and in that way made some progress to redeeming himself. So summary, not bad, not good. Based off his stats i'd probably prefer to use him as a midfielder instead, but the lack of quality in my other strikers means he must stay up front for now.

Attributes: http://puu.sh/goVLF/9dc567b7a3.jpg

Stats: http://puu.sh/goVx9/a7f9593041.jpg

Mark Ebanks: A summer signing, arriving shortly after the season began. He made an instant impact, and promised great things after scoring 2 goals within 10 minutes after arriving from the bench on his debut. But from that point on was distinctly average, not netting for the next 7 appearances. He found a touch more form as the season wore on, but it was too little, too late.

Attributes: http://puu.sh/goW1d/da2a3077d1.jpg

Stats: http://puu.sh/goW4D/703c4aff89.jpg

Noah Keats: As my struggles with strikers continued I made a point in december of starting the hunt for a star striker to fill the void come the January window. Up stepped Noah Keats, already looking better than Ebanks and Parsons and with the potential to improve further. My my, did he flop. If anything, he was the worst of the lot. He behaved almost like he didn't want to be there, moping around slowly up front (despite possessing reasonable pace). On the occassion where he DID fashion a chance for himself it seldom found the mark, with more of his shots testing the linesman's reflexes than testing the keepers. For someone so well rounded and promising, a real let down.

Attributes:http://puu.sh/goWdj/d0f5cfe506.jpg

Stats: http://puu.sh/goWog/48c4e633ac.jpg

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Have to say, seeing the complete opposite.

Just looking at my Overall Best Eleven...

Player - Goals/Appearances

Joe Jones - 456/352

Matty Breeze - 228/312

Andy McAree - 281/299

Lewis White - 216/208

And that's only the ones that made it onto the Best Eleven. A few seasons back I had a striker hit 70 in the season, win the Golden Boot before leaving.

Goals are something I've never struggled with, it's usually the other end of the pitch.

As for what could be done on your end, without looking at what your actual set-up is like, I guess you need to ask yourself a few things. Your strikers aren't scoring too many, but you admit that you're scoring well enough as a unit. Are your strikers assisting more than scoring? Perhaps getting into the positions, but others are taking the "credit"? Are your strikers not getting the chances to score? Are they getting in the right positions?

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None of your strikers have shown a history of scoring a lot of goals, even Noah Keats had only scored 16 goals in 87 appearances.

If im ever desperate for a goal scorer I look at what they have done in previous clubs.

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What tactic(s) do you use?

I had this same issue when using a solo striker tactic, with the solo striker on support duty. Anyone I used in that role would do his job well, accumulating assists and key passes, but because they were not scoring goals every match, the game kept telling me they were struggling (10 hours without a goal, etc.). I finally relented and started using a two striker tactic so that I could avoid faux-slumping strikers.

To me, that is a flaw with the game. If you play a F9 or DLF(s) and they go a few matches without scoring, the game seems to saddle these playmaking forwards with a poor form attribute.

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I use a 4-3-3, but with the strikers as a main man and an attack role and the wingers behind him on support. Yet the wingers score more? My Right-Wing scored 25 league goals, to Parsons 13, in a similar number of appearances. Given that i set the team up for said winger to assist the striker it's kind of backwards. It works i guess, we exceeded expectations. It just seems weird how no matter how much emphasis i put on the strikers, nor how well my team is playing, it's never the strikers who excel, always the guys behind. I had a fleetwood save where we had to fight hard against relegation season after season, using a 4-4-2 Diamond. My top 2 goalscorers one season where my ML and AM, then the strikers 3 and 4 (One of these strikers was an Arsenal loanee, Chuba Akpom, who was actually good enough to play in the division above us). It's bizarre to me that this keeps happening. Again, It's not really a PROBLEM, I'm delighted with my Bognor Save so far and love the team i've put together. I'm just curious as to how all the strikers i sign are so backwards.

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The only way you can answer that is to watch how the goals you are scoring are being scored. If you are scoring from wingers cutting in are they from crosses from the other winger to t he far post, from the striker's movement creating space for the winger to dribble into, through balls from creating deep lying players? What role does he have, AF(A)?

Once you understand this, you can start tweaking positions, roles, PIs and TIs to get the striker doing what you want him to do (scoring goals). You need to think about what exactly you want him to do, where you want him to be in relation to other players, etc. in order to do that. The problem with using a lone striker in a 4-3-3 as a main goal scorer is that he will more than likely receive the ball in the build up play, and be forced to play it to someone else. This can often cause him to get behind play and not be in position to score goals.

In my 4-3-3 I use my striker to drop deep and create space for the IF and CM I have to run past him. He scores a few, but usually it is my IF who scores more because the way I play is designed to give him space. What

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I also almost never have high-scoring strikers. The thing is that I usually change strikers if they don't score within two games. This said, I have usually two equal strikers both demanding match time. So by every striker playing roughly half of the matches, I seldomly have a high-scoring striker. Maybe it's a similar case for you?

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HA! finally someone with same problem. for years i was using 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-2-3 (lone striker) formation in FM and experienced kind of same result as OP. this year i have changed to 4-4-2 where one striker drops deeper while the other one is either AF or P. my problem is that none of my strikers excell. to be fair, only my DLF is really any good but he fails to score enough (despite first half season when he scored 7 and assisted 4 in 15 games). my goals are fairly spread around but i never menaged to get it right which sees me for two seasons now in 3rd spot in my division always missing the promotion.

the strikers get into good positions to shoot after getting the ball from my CM's, wingers, attacking full back or DLF, but they miss quite a lot and it is costing me dire. so i would say i get chances, i get into the position to threat the GK but it they are rarely consistent enough to produce game in game out to mount a serious challenge to get a promotion. i blame strikers of course ;D

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I have a similar issue- I generally get decent goal hauls from my strikers but I struggle to get them to perform when not scoring. If I win a game 2-0 but my striker has neither scored or assisted they usually have the lowest rating on the team by far.

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I used to have the same issue with my lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 til I played a AP(A) behind him with the "try risker passes" instruction and told my striker to shoot more often.

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HA! finally someone with same problem. for years i was using 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-2-3 (lone striker) formation in FM and experienced kind of same result as OP. this year i have changed to 4-4-2 where one striker drops deeper while the other one is either AF or P. my problem is that none of my strikers excell. to be fair, only my DLF is really any good but he fails to score enough (despite first half season when he scored 7 and assisted 4 in 15 games). my goals are fairly spread around but i never menaged to get it right which sees me for two seasons now in 3rd spot in my division always missing the promotion.

the strikers get into good positions to shoot after getting the ball from my CM's, wingers, attacking full back or DLF, but they miss quite a lot and it is costing me dire. so i would say i get chances, i get into the position to threat the GK but it they are rarely consistent enough to produce game in game out to mount a serious challenge to get a promotion. i blame strikers of course ;D

Your issue sounds closest to mine, as far as wasting opportunities goes. In my first season in the conference, Ebanks is BETTER but still not nearly good enough. He's played all 5 games, scoring 2, but they were both in the same match and he has no assists. Even in the game where he scored twice he was the teams 3rd best player on rating? It's baffling.

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Your strikers are all pretty weak physically and in my opinion not really suited to playing up front on their own. I always use one striker formations and the first thing I look for in strikers is their physical attributes. Strength, jumping, balance, agility - all very important to win the individual battles. Furthermore, you say your wingers are on support and the striker on attack, that means you're making it even easier for the defenders to mark the striker out of games because you're not giving them any space to work in.

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what aktsjon says makes a lot of sense. especially further down the pyramid you go, phisical attributes become more important as technical are pretty scarce. that being said, i just got promotion to 3rd tier of my country. needless to say, my strikers had 15 goals from 40ish matches :D

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