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Am I the only one who feels that the bias towards English teams & players is completely unbalanced?

I own every copy of FM/CM since the original one in the early 90's.

I don't know how long I've had this on my mind (probably at least since FM2005), but it seems that English teams, and players are completely out balanced compared to their actual ability in the real footballing world.

I mean, in the last 20 years, there have been a total of 4 English teams to win the CL.

The English national team has won 0 UEFA European Champonships, since its inception in the 1960's.

The English national team has won 1 World Championship, 49 years ago.

So how come in FM, the English teams will usually win the CL or at least make the final almost every year, and the national team will usually win at least a world cup or two, with the added Euro here and there, plus some world class players regenerated all the time?

It just all feels way too biased.

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I'd actually say its biased to Argentina and Brazil, can't comment too much on this FM as I'm doing a lower league save but in previous FM's I've always built invincible teams using 80% Arg/Bra players which I've picked up for v reasonable money and who have huge ability at a young age.

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As a piece of software FM will & does find it difficult replicating English underperformance, heck it even baffles real life experts.

This.

Perhaps it baffles English experts, but outside of your beautiful islands, people are not very surprised :)

But that's because we can make correlations that FM can't. If you look purely statistically at England - which FM does - then they should do better. Football is huge, the amount of money swimming around is obscene, and a rich history. Is it really that hard to imagine them winning a competition? They may not have won a European Championship, but had their chances to get to the final in 96, and were fairly close to the same in 90.

National football is extremely cyclical. Instead of getting in a tizzy about imaginary bias towards England, maybe question why you get more "shock" results like Switzerland and Turkey battling in the Euro 2016 final. Not that there's anything really wrong with that either.

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I'd very much like people to stop spouting this stuff without any actual evidence.

I'd like to see the records from their game if any has a screenshot?

How biased exactly is it?

What I would say, is that when a game is primarily made by a british/english based team, you are bound to have unintentional bias..it's human nature.

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Hmm.

My last 10+ year game was in England FM15 and the most disappointing aspect was that Barca, Real Madrid and Bayern wasn't a factor at all, regularly even failing to qualify past the group stage. Maybe the problem isn't so much that England is over performing, but that the main land team that should be dominating perform horrible.

The trend seems the same in my FM16 save, but it's over a much shorter period of time.

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That's interesting miravlix... how long after the first few seasons?

The problem we want to avoid is falling into the trap of thinking anything that happens in the later game should have any resemblance to what's going on irl currently, it's a game that moves and changes.. that said, should have some resemblance to reality to begin with :)

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Don't know if this is still the case on FM2016 but I remember looking up the ratings of training facilities and youth facilities with Genie Scout on FM2015 and being absolutely baffled at how highly rated English teams in general were while foreign teams with actual renowned academies were rated far lower. Better facilities = better players = more success

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Over time, the leagues you haven't fully loaded will become weaker than the leagues you have loaded.

So if you create a game with only the English league, in that game, the English teams will become dominant.

If you create a game with only the Danish league, over time, the Danish teams, including the national team, will become stronger and stronger.

The reason? Newgens.

A fully loaded league will get more newgens, and eventually they will have more higher quality newgens across the board than leagues that are not fully loaded.

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That they have an edge should really not be a surprise in a, like has been said, "piece of software". Fact of the matter is that there are at any given time going to be 5 english Clubs amongst the Worlds richest, that is going to skew the balance in their favour. Have you seen the type of money that is floating around the PL ?

One issue i have seen in past FMs is teams like Bayer, Barca or Real (even more so than the english teams) hanging onto their star players for way too long for way too high wages. All part of the issue that FM seems to way reputation very heavily and has major issues when it comes to squad rotation and youth development by the AI teams :(

In my current save in April 2016, already Bayern has alienated Götze, Costa, have bough Moura (4 apps in 3 months) Bayer Leverkusen fail to play their biggest prospect (Julian Brandt) while in Dortmund Julian Weigl and Shinji Kagawa are upset for not playing and Gabriel Barbosa was bought and does not see the pitch at all.

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With the game made by English developers and the British countries probably the best scouted it shouldn't be a surprise if there is a slight bias towards those nations.

That said as Thunder has pointed out above most of any actual bias comes from which leagues you load as playable. Its always been the case in FM that playable leagues become stronger when compared again other leagues and that the users that experience this bias are usually those that load a small number of leagues.

Money also talks and generally there isn't massive movement in terms of leagues over time with the big leagues now will generally be the big leagues 50-100 years into a FM save in a rich get richer type of scenario.

For those of us who do load many leagues we generally see a good variety of winners both at national & continental level.

From my FM15 save with every league playable I currently have the following in 2026:

World Cup

2018 - Winners Spain, RU Colombia, 3rd Serbia

2022 - Winners Colombia, RU France, 3rd Argentina

2026 - Winners Italy, RU France, 3rd Spain

European Championships

2016 - Winners Croatia, RU Germany

2020 - Winners Holland, RU France

2024 - Winners Holland, RU Spain

In terms of England their record is:

EC2016 - Quarter Finals (Lost to France)

WC2018 - 1st Knockout round (Lost to Germany)

EC2020 - Quarter Finals (Lost to Italy)

WC2022 - Group Stage

EC2024 - Quarter Finals (Lost to Spain)

WC2026 - 1st Knockout round (Lost to Argentina)

Moving onto club level and the English teams have done better with Man Utd very much a force atm, in the last 13 years for the Champions League:

Man Utd - 3 wins & once RU

Liverpool - 3 wins & once RU

Man City - 1 win & once RU

Chelsea - Twice RU

Real Madrid - 2 wins & once RU

Barcelona - 1 win & twice RU

Atletico - 1 win & twice RU

Juventus - 2 wins

Bayern - Once RU

Gelsenkirchen - Once RU

Marseille - Once RU

While as you would expect there has been more variety in the UEFA Cup:

Arsenal - 2 wins & once RU

Everton - 1 win

Man City - 1 win & once RU

Man Utd - 1 win

Tottenham - 1 win

Real Madrid - 2 wins

Valencia - 1 win

Sevilla - 1 win

Villareal - Once RU

Juventus - 1 win

Sampdoria - 1 win

Inter - Twice RU

Napoli - Once RU

AC Milan - Once RU

Wolfsburg - 1 win

BMG - Once RU

PSG - Twice RU

Marseille - Once RU

Sporting (POR) - Once RU

Benfica - Once RU

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Don't know if this is still the case on FM2016 but I remember looking up the ratings of training facilities and youth facilities with Genie Scout on FM2015 and being absolutely baffled at how highly rated English teams in general were while foreign teams with actual renowned academies were rated far lower. Better facilities = better players = more success

Pretty much this. Also I think the fact the game is created by Englishmen has plays a part in biasing the game towards England. I'm not even saying that to have a go, it's just human nature. When testing out the match engine I'm sure English formations and tactics will be heavily tested to ensure they work well whereas Bielsa's Chile's 3-3-1-3 or various Dutch back 3 formations just don't work and never have worked. For ages on the old CM games zonal marking just didn't work and using a sweepers just made you more vulnerable. I guess you can argue how viable it is in today's game, but Catenaccio has never worked too well in FM. Trust me, I'm not having a go, I know how hard it is to create a complex match engine designed to simulate the infinite complexity of an actual football match and how much effort goes into making it as good as possible each year. But in as much as SI are constantly tweaking and improving the game and learning and researching as much as they can, but being English, sourcing from other English people, the game is always going to have a slight English bias. That's fine, the biggest market for the game is in England after all, so it makes sense. Just don't bother denying it. Let how well the game simulates English football be a standard that you can aspire to for the rest of the game world.

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Pretty much this. Also I think the fact the game is created by Englishmen has plays a part in biasing the game towards England. I'm not even saying that to have a go, it's just human nature. When testing out the match engine I'm sure English formations and tactics will be heavily tested to ensure they work well whereas Bielsa's Chile's 3-3-1-3 or various Dutch back 3 formations just don't work and never have worked. For ages on the old CM games zonal marking just didn't work and using a sweepers just made you more vulnerable. I guess you can argue how viable it is in today's game, but Catenaccio has never worked too well in FM. Trust me, I'm not having a go, I know how hard it is to create a complex match engine designed to simulate the infinite complexity of an actual football match and how much effort goes into making it as good as possible each year. But in as much as SI are constantly tweaking and improving the game and learning and researching as much as they can, but being English, sourcing from other English people, the game is always going to have a slight English bias. That's fine, the biggest market for the game is in England after all, so it makes sense. Just don't bother denying it. Let how well the game simulates English football be a standard that you can aspire to for the rest of the game world.

Sorry but tactically any balanced formation is very capable of working within the ME providing its setup correctly.

Saying three at the back formations don't work is simply wrong. I'm using a three at the back formation in FM15 as one of my main two formations with a lot of success and previously used a similar formation with success back in FM08.

However every formation has inherent strengths and weaknesses and if a formation you want to use has an inherent weakness against the formations you are facing then its going to be an issue but thats not the fault of the formation or FM.

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If you can show me FM correctly emulating Van Gaal's Ajax 3-4-3 (if you can even call it that) circa 95 I'll be very very very impressed. FM handles basic tactical shapes very well, but it doesn't handle movement and positioning between different phases very well. Maybe the fact that traditional English systems are more basic make things easier in that respect.

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If you can show me FM correctly emulating Van Gaal's Ajax 3-4-3 (if you can even call it that) circa 95 I'll be very very very impressed. FM handles basic tactical shapes very well, but it doesn't handle movement and positioning between different phases very well. Maybe the fact that traditional English systems are more basic make things easier in that respect.

Sure there are limits within the ME that make some RL theories & strategies hard or impossible to implement in the same manner but thats not to say you couldn't have success with a 343.

Personally speaking I've never tried to implement a RL strategy for a couple of reasons:

A) I would rather create my own than copy what someone else does either from FM or in RL.

B) Tactics/strategies are constantly changing and saying you want to use "Van Gaal's Ajax 343" is not a black & white choice as even IRL he would tinker with it from match to match & during as any RL manager does.

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