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I really don't know what to do next


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Not sure if it's loss of motivation as I really want to play this game and often stay late at night after a long day of work to try and play this game, but when I start the game, I don't have any idea of what I want to do. I can't feel attached to any club I can manage, I struggle to break teams down with my favorite club so that is even more frustrating ad I have no tactical imagination. When I play games, I watch them but completely forget to watch the team as a whole and instead look at the ball moving. I can't understand why certain things happen in game and I don't know what style of football I want to play at a club. In the past I liked top division clubs, maybe Championship too in England, but after a successful save with a lower league side, I would really like to take a League Two club and build it up.

 

Thing is I have no idea why I can't understand tactics after all the things I read. Guides, articles, watched videos, still can't crack it properly. So I have no idea what to do next. I don't know if there's any way you can help me, an advice, tips etc, please let me know.

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14 minutes ago, Armistice said:

I can't feel attached to any club I can manage

For me at least, this is key.  If I don't feel an attachment to a club, I can't play it.  So long as there is an attachment, no matter how tenuous, is all it needs.  Shirt colour; I liked a particular player who played for the club 20 years ago; the brother in law of my wife's cousin's hairdresser is a groundsman there.  Whatever, so long as there is some sort of connection.

Create a club can be fun too.  What more connection can there be in creating your own club from the ground up?  Put Man Utd into a town in Cornwall, change their kit, alter their affiliate/rival clubs, put in your own players.

As far as tactics go, that's a different kettle of fish.  So here's a suggestion - forget about tactics.  Concentrate on building up your club, buying players, bringing in staff, managing player mood swings, building better facilities.  Get in a decent assistant manager (rashidi talks about Bobby Mimms) and let him sort out your tactics.  Either go on holiday during matches or grab a skin with the Instant Result button.

Only once you start having a bit of fun again start thinking about your own tactical system.  And if you do, start by using FMT with a throw away test save.  It's quicker and easier to set things up in FMT.

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It happens sometimes. I go through periods where I just can't get into any save. Maybe try managing in a country that is out of your comfort zone. Maybe try a formation you've never tried before. Don't over cook it, just set it up and spend time watching it. I know I always I say it but, start with Mentality, Shape and very basic Roles and Duties. Just get a broad and general feel for the kind of set up that you want and then allow it to slowly grow. If you can't think of a country why not think of a continent you've never or rarely managed in. Take over a side. Maybe give yourself the challenge of not signing anyone, or only signing a maximum of three players. Sometimes setting yourself boundaries and parameters can give you new and cool ideas. It sounds like you're suffering from indecision because there are too many possibilities.

So, to recap. (1) Pick a continent. (2) Pick a country. (3) Pick a club. (4). Give yourself a restriction or challenge. (5) Choose a formation. (6) Pick a Mentality and Shape. (7) Give everyone generic Roles and Duties. (8) From here you could either play your own way or go and read up on @Cleon's method for analysing your system. But to get that fresh feeling back just go somewhere you've never been before and play a way you don't normally play and whatever happens don't overplay or tinker. Don't change things for changing them's sake. Know why you're making every change or just don't make it.

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If tactical principles and struggles aren't your thing there's always the harry redknapp way to management. Give the team as few instructions as possible and just match the players with the right skills and ppm's together for success. Let them figure it out. 

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I experienced similar issues this year as well. The only side I finished a season with was Liverpool and I was constantly starting a new game, at best progressing about 5 games per save. All I can say is that since I've started posting my own career on the Career Update board I'm more engaged than ever. I've started with a side I've never played with before, on a league I managed once or twice. So maybe refreshing up a bit and moving out of your own comfort zone could help as well.

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On the subject of inspiration, I often find watching FM Youtubers fairly inspiring. Whether they be more or less knowledgeable than me is kind of irrelevant. I love a good climbing the pyramid or journeyman series. I find that it really gets me going and gets me wanting to dive into the game myself.

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6 minutes ago, Atarin said:

On the subject of inspiration, I often find watching FM Youtubers fairly inspiring. Whether they be more or less knowledgeable than me is kind of irrelevant. I love a good climbing the pyramid or journeyman series. I find that it really gets me going and gets me wanting to dive into the game myself.

It can definitely help, but then tactical failures act as a nasty deflator of mood.

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32 minutes ago, Bunkerossian said:

Feeling drained after repeated tactical failures is definitely an issue I'm familiar with, too.

Yeah, this. Having tried so many different systems, formations, roles & duties combinations and 99% of times failing short of my expectations led to becoming more and more insecure, dull and negative when it comes to this aspect. I do like player development and the sort of stuff @herne79 wrote about, but tactics have to be my soft spot.

Thing is I don't know what exactly I am doing wrong. Maybe I' doing wrong a bit of everything.

 

Let me give an example. I started a game with a League Two side that back ago I considered to be one of the most boring club in Football League. For some reason now I just felt connected to them even if I never tried League Two before. I looked briefly at the league, saw that most clubs were gonna play 4-4-2 so I tried a 3-man defence with wingbacks of course. My team was predicted to fight for relegation. I finished third and promoted to League One. It was too early though, the club has worse reputation that clubs in Vanarama National and I couldn't improve my squad so ended up with like 8-9 loans and no permanent transfer. I released most of those players who couldn't hack it even in League Two so I ended up with a thin squad and unable to fit the system I used in League Two. Yeah you could say I could have changed formation, but I had no wingers. So I ended up giving up on that save. Since then I tried to restart a save with that League Two side and make earlier plans, scout playets etc, learn from mistakes. I couldn't replicate those results at all.

 

@Atarin I certainly agree, I look on YouTube, in Careers section on this forum and get some inspiration, at least momentarily (for example @TheJanitor save with Kaisers inspired me to start a 2. Bundesliga game with Nurnberg. Will I keep going? Unlikely after that 'passion' burns out). I am also very unpatient so if season doesn't start my way, I stop playing the save and try another one. I think this has to be my biggest flow, but again that's because I cannot do a solid tactic system. What's funny is that I know a lot of FM theory from guides that I should help myself with this matter. :lol:

Edited by Armistice
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1 minute ago, Armistice said:

Yeah, this. Having tried so many different systems, formations, roles & duties combinations and 99% of times failing short of my expectations led to becoming more and more insecure, dull and negative when it comes to this aspect. I do like player development and the sort of stuff @herne79 wrote about, but tactics have to be my soft spot.

Thing is I don't know what exactly I am doing wrong. Maybe I' doing wrong a bit of everything.

 

Let me give an example. I started a game with a League Two side that back ago I considered to be one of the most boring club in Football League. For some reason now I just felt connected to them even if I never tried League Two before. I looked briefly at the league, saw that most clubs were gonna play 4-4-2 so I tried a 3-man defence with wingbacks of course. My team was predicted to fight for relegation. I finished third and promoted to League One. It was too early though, the club has worse reputation that clubs in Vanarama National and I couldn't improve my squad so ended up with like 8-9 loans and no permanent transfer. I released most of those players who couldn't hack it even in League Two so I ended up with a thin squad and unable to fit the system I used in League Two. Yeah you could say I could have changed formation, but I had no wingers. So I ended up giving up on that save. Since then I tried to restart a save with that League Two side and make earlier plans, scout playets etc, learn from mistakes. I couldn't replicate those results at all.

 

 

I had a save that looked it might be successful too, but a bug ruined it. Restarting never got me to the same promising point- I always seemed to screw up. The worst thing is: I read guides and watch videos. Instead of them improving me, it seems I became worse at the game. It doesn't help that in real life, I have suffered from depression.

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I have to say, the first season can be a real slog, and it's rare that I feel like the team/club is 'mine' until the second or third season. The tactical ideas, the players I've brought in to develop, etc. That moment when your best player leaves and you're a bit gutted - that takes a while to achieve.

When picking a club, I'll either go for a team I have a soft spot for if in England, or a team from a city/town I've been to. Or resurrecting a fallen giant. Pro Vercelli, Dukla Prague and Queen's Park have all endured my attempts to revitalize them.

When deciding on a tactic, what I often do is to think about the defining tactic from that country (often from the national team) and try to create my own spin on it. For example, I'm currently trying to implement a version of Total Football in the worst team in the Eredivisie (Sparta Rotterdam). I'm failing miserably (5 points from 15 games), but I'm having fun doing it.

I've done lots of other fun ones.

Getting the Wide Target Man to work in Norway

Red Star Belgrade's late 90s tactics in Croatia

Denmark's 1986 tactics

Argentina's 3-4-1-2 from 1998 in the Argentinian Second Division

One on my list is to try to replicate the Australia national team's crazy 3-4-2-1 in the A-League (with Newcastle Jets, obviously!)

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I wouldn't recommend playing with a current mental disorder, even though it's the type of game that can attract a fairly few fairly easily (outside of the obvious ones that cause divorces and relationships to break down, eg. "Just one more game, honey, promise!"). Some of the worst rage quitters  seem to suffer quite a few, which goes as far as threatening to beat guys up, or threatening to file lawsuits against SI. Whatever you do, your perception / experience will always be shaped, at least influenced by it, up to the point that you may not even enjoy the smaller things the game rewards you for (and it rewards you for a shitton if you watch, unless you are completely useless at this in any area, which is pretty hard to achieve, imo). And tbh, it's a game where you tend to dump a few dubious hours into every save, which can be already suspicious itself (I really wish they would hide that in-game clock rather than constantly reminding how many hours you've wasted yet again). :D

For me it's the other way around in that sense. That itch will be back, as I've played management games for almost three decades now, but no matter where I start, I know where the save will eventually go, or how it will roughly progress. Considering that it takes a few hours, I can't bring myself to start another one atm, actually deleted the thing from my HDD, including the huge Panini Picture pack I downloaded two or three years ago and took from iteration to iteration (15-20 gigs of data or something). Sure I could browse the tactics forums for a more tactical journey, but the AI can't cope with even the basic stuff here and this isn't an online game where you actually compete against decent players. Plus I've done these 50 year careers on old games already. However, it will be back. In particular as real football has lost quite a bit of its attraction to me in recent years, and FM is a bit of semi-idealized version of actual football.

The itch always returns at some point. Even though I have a suspicious it will be more about the journey, than the (inevitable) destination/kind of progression. Then again, that's what the game's been programmed for, and what makes it stick out. It doesn't give a **** if you get fired or at all compete in the first place, it dumps you into a football world where there's other stuff happening at any one time. It's a bit of a different journey every time, no matter your contribution.

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8 minutes ago, Svenc said:

I wouldn't recommend playing with a current mental disorder, even though it's the type of game that can attract a fairly few fairly easily (outside of the obvious ones that cause divorces and relationships to break down, eg. "Just one more game, honey, promise!"). Some of the worst rage quitters  seem to suffer quite a few, which goes as far as threatening to beat guys up, or threatening to file lawsuits against SI. Whatever you do, your perception / experience will always be shaped, at least influenced by it, up to the point that you may not even enjoy the smaller things the game rewards you for (and it rewards you for a shitton if you watch, unless you are completely useless at this in any area, which is pretty hard to achieve, imo). And tbh, it's a game where you tend to dump a few dubious hours into every save, which can be already suspicious itself (I really wish they would hide that in-game clock rather than constantly reminding how many hours you've wasted yet again). :D

For me it's the other way around in that sense. That itch will be back, as I've played management games for almost three decades now, but no matter where I start, I know where the save will eventually go, or how it will roughly progress. Considering that it takes a few hours, I can't bring myself to start another one atm, actually deleted the thing from my HDD, including the huge Panini Picture pack I downloaded two or three years ago and took from iteration to iteration (15-20 gigs of data or something). Sure I could browse the tactics forums for a more tactical journey, but the AI can't cope with even the basic stuff here and this isn't an online game where you actually compete against decent players. Plus I've done these 50 year careers on old games already. However, it will be back. In particular as real football has lost quite a bit of its attraction to me in recent years, and FM is a bit of semi-idealized version of actual football.

The itch always returns at some point. Even though I have a suspicious it will be more about the journey, than the (inevitable) destination/kind of progression. Then again, that's what the game's been programmed for, and what makes it stick out. It doesn't give a **** if you get fired or at all compete in the first place, it dumps you into a football world where there's other stuff happening at any one time.

I myself am prone to rage quitting- i kind of try 5 competitive (non-friendly) games at most, before a failure kills me. I watch the game, but it seems that important things just don't get registered by my brain. The worst of it? I've developed a phobia of adding certain TI-s and PI-s, because I can't at all tell if something should be added. It's like trying to open doors, but if you open the wrong one, you get electrocuted.

Edited by Bunkerossian
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*secret* I have smashed a few monitors, hurled a laptop at the wall, and dumped my girlfriend after I got fired. We have all gone through these frustrations, in fact these frustrations will return during the beta of FM18, of that I am absolutely sure. What's more important is how we draw up a plan to figure things out and master the game. A lot will depend on your expectations, and this isn't helped by people who overachieve easily. 

*fact*, overachievers are a really small minority - just look at other games and you will see this is the case too.  Using them as a benchmark is not healthy because these players have usually invested a tremendous amount of time in the game and usually almost always have a specific methodology of playing each  version of the game, checking and double checking each element they assume is inter-related in the game. To give you you idea, when I am testing the game, I have been known to play the same game 500 times making exactly the same change each time to study if the same string of events can happen.  Thats my psychotic way of playing, but is that how we are all supposed to play? Of course not. I just happen to be obsessed with perfecting things, and I know any game can be beaten.

There is a real easy way to master this game, you just need to go through the routine.

a. Understand the choice of team affects your expectations. The higher the rep, the easier the game should be, the lower the rep, the harder it will be for you to overachieve.

b. Start with a high rep team in a good league, if its your first time.

c. Create a simple system you understand. If you don't then just depend on the ass man's recommendations and go with the flow. Be realistic with your expectations. 

d. Your gauge of success should be beating media predictions and meeting realistic board targets. 

e. Try to beat those expectations each season, improving a step a time until you finally reach a point where you can realistically say that you are one of the top sides in Europe.

f. If you are not sure about something in the game, try it out, and study its effects.  Make sure you are not afraid of trying things out, then observe what these do. Make notes then ask around the forums whether your observations are shared by others. 

g. If you have a fear of failure then gaming isn't for you.

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13 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

*secret* I have smashed a few monitors, hurled a laptop at the wall, and dumped my girlfriend after I got fired. We have all gone through these frustrations, in fact these frustrations will return during the beta of FM18, of that I am absolutely sure. What's more important is how we draw up a plan to figure things out and master the game. A lot will depend on your expectations, and this isn't helped by people who overachieve easily. 

*fact*, overachievers are a really small minority - just look at other games and you will see this is the case too.  Using them as a benchmark is not healthy because these players have usually invested a tremendous amount of time in the game and usually almost always have a specific methodology of playing each  version of the game, checking and double checking each element they assume is inter-related in the game. To give you you idea, when I am testing the game, I have been known to play the same game 500 times making exactly the same change each time to study if the same string of events can happen.  Thats my psychotic way of playing, but is that how we are all supposed to play? Of course not. I just happen to be obsessed with perfecting things, and I know any game can be beaten.

There is a real easy way to master this game, you just need to go through the routine.

a. Understand the choice of team affects your expectations. The higher the rep, the easier the game should be, the lower the rep, the harder it will be for you to overachieve.

b. Start with a high rep team in a good league, if its your first time.

c. Create a simple system you understand. If you don't then just depend on the ass man's recommendations and go with the flow. Be realistic with your expectations. 

d. Your gauge of success should be beating media predictions and meeting realistic board targets. 

e. Try to beat those expectations each season, improving a step a time until you finally reach a point where you can realistically say that you are one of the top sides in Europe.

f. If you are not sure about something in the game, try it out, and study its effects.  Make sure you are not afraid of trying things out, then observe what these do. Make notes then ask around the forums whether your observations are shared by others. 

g. If you have a fear of failure then gaming isn't for you.

I followed your avice to go mid-table in the last several attempts. G has developed after bad effects from F. I had been the type to add a ton of instructions before, and most of the time, it was a mess that worked suboptimally. After reading that it's better to add nothing in the beginning, I went for that. The thing is, adding no or maybe one instruction improved nothing for me. As it is, I have not been able to draw conclusion from watching games, on what should basic things like Shape and Mentality be set to, optimally. Let alone TI-s like Pass into Space... So, I'm stuck. Paralyzed. Afraid of the game.

Edited by Bunkerossian
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I had been the type to get angry with any game when I was young- even to cheat if things weren't going my way. After age 16- not so much. Confusion, dejection and loss of morale are my reality with FM. I suppose being angry is more productive to get good at FM- but I haven't lashed out at something or someone in maaany years.

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d. Your gauge of success should be beating media predictions and meeting realistic board targets.

A second method is judging how your average AI manager does with a team and how do you do  with it (that's become my personal gauge in a 2nd step). Generally, worse teams do worse, better teams do better. A curious thing about media prediction is that they are oft based on a team's last league position. The BL has a situation IRL where between 6th place (Europa League) and 16th (Reelgation play-Off); there's barely any more than three lucky wins and a few draws for a total of 10 points plus in between teams... :D In real football, whilst tactics are ideally linked to everything, and play their big part, they are  tertiary to player and squad development, not the main show that carries everything. There's a limit as to what tactics alone do. In a game there may be always ways to do some better, but  the game's generally been coded to reward common sense basic football logics. However, being overly emotional towards a game and similar imo is always going to be a hurdle. Luckily I don't have that. The downside to not getting all riled up to losing is that I don't fly over the moon when winning either.

I wish the game would have more reliable gauges of which wins were lucky and unlucky though, in particular with so few points separating teams typically. Dortmund may not have been at their very best in Klopp's last season at Dortmund, but they must have been the most crazy dead-last-by-January the Bundesliga has ever seen, as their "unlucky" losses piled up to crazy amounts. Similar, when Hertha were pretty close to be crowned surprise champions in 2009, they did so with a goal difference of but plus 7 for a reason (Matthew Benham who made a fortune with his company SmartOdds judged them a worse side than relegated Nuremberg; the coming season Hertha finished dead last btw). In-game too, matches tend to be decided in pitifully few seconds. A systematic struggle will always manifest itself in losing matches consistently, plain and just (bad teams have that simply by sucking, naturally). The easiest way to judge this is to look at where it matters, which is the end product. Feedback that's missing is something similar to this (been posting this for a few weeks). It would put results into some less "subjective", "emotional" context, as chance in real football for sure plays a huge part in any run. Point being: The emotional type would be prone to make big changes at every loss, when it may not be needed.

The tactical stuff 90% is for me looking at the squad and deciding upon a style of play (and if you need a ton of PI's, chances are you've already picked the wrong role as far as I'm concerned). That is, will be, whenever I'm back to playing. :D

Edited by Svenc
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I was going to post something related to what you said in the last post, I think creating a balanced tactic is not a very hard thing to do, what is harder is to have a crop of players to perform the football style you want them to do, let's say you have a team with poor team work, work rate and determination attributes and you decide you want to instill a high pressing game, it is bound to fail shortly and that's a problem for me because when I go to a complete unknown league, I have some unrealistic expectations I would say.

 

Anyway, if I am to characterize myself and guess some reasons why I keep failing. Lack of patience. If season starts badly, I quit. Take Spurs for example (and with this occasion I am gonna say I hate big teams because breaking stubborn defences has to be one of the most annoying experiences in my FM career). I started a season a few days ago, wanted to concentrate strictly on Youth Development. Started playing some friendlies, drew most of them against weaker sides which made me pissed off and remember how bad I am at breaking defensive sides so I quit.

 

Another problem I have is that I overcomplicate things. Overanalyse, so I lose sight of the basics.

 

These are only a few bad traits I could remember now, but I think these can really affect me on the way of building a club. I just want to start a save at a lower league club, where most clubs have the same value and try to start with basics. But then I also have little experience in lower leagues and I don't know what to expect of my football style.

Try to build a tactic on my players strengths, improve defence, improve attack, tighten midfield while I keep expectations completely away and just enjoy the game but it's so hard, once I rack a few wins, I demand more and more and when the team form collapses, I change things around and deny the basics.

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I think one of the most frustrating things for me personally is breezing through pre-season, playing the exact kind of football I wanna see, to then getting hammered on the opening day of the season. Especially when you've spent hours researching tactics, thinking in depth about how you want to play, re-reading old guides etc it really sucks the life out of you. It's so strange that I feel I was better at the game when I knew a lot less about it than what I do now, and i'm wondering if i'll ever truly understand the game.

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2 minutes ago, jc577 said:

I think one of the most frustrating things for me personally is breezing through pre-season, playing the exact kind of football I wanna see, to then getting hammered on the opening day of the season. Especially when you've spent hours researching tactics, thinking in depth about how you want to play, re-reading old guides etc it really sucks the life out of you. It's so strange that I feel I was better at the game when I knew a lot less about it than what I do now, and i'm wondering if i'll ever truly understand the game.

I also seem to not be able to draw useful conclusion from the pre-season. At least 3 times I've had a good pre-season, but then the league games are a crash.

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Just now, Bunkerossian said:

I also seem to not be able to draw useful conclusion from the pre-season. At least 3 times I've had a good pre-season, but then the league games are a crash.

What is a "good" pre-season? Do you mean results? Because the issue is that AI teams do not take it seriously. The point isn't to win matches in pre-season. It's to get the tactic working, which is a completely different beast. For that, attention needs to be paid to player movement, passing options, defensive positions, transitions etc.

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The best you can do in pre-season is judge whether your players generally link the way you want (I don't spend ages on this, no reason to typically). You should really look closer at what happens during pre-season matches in particular as of the AI, however. If they at all field their best eleven or anything approaching it, by the 60th minute+ they've swapped players around like mad. It's pre-season friendly and AI are coded to treat it such, results don't matter, player fitness may. I won a match at the Allianz when I just got promoted into the 2nd Bundesliga on some release as 3/4 of the Bayern squad was still on World Cup holidays. Additionally bits of motiviational stuff. But the above is a huge and very natural thing, always. :)

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4 minutes ago, HUNT3R said:

What is a "good" pre-season? Do you mean results? Because the issue is that AI teams do not take it seriously. The point isn't to win matches in pre-season. It's to get the tactic working, which is a completely different beast. For that, attention needs to be paid to player movement, passing options, defensive positions, transitions etc.

Well, you got me there. All these things you mention- nothing ever stands out. And I use Comprehensive view. I mean- there's even an example of how a situation I thought was OK, ended up with me conceding. Now I'd need to find a PKM and get someone to look at it, but I was honestly baffled when the goal came.

Edited by Bunkerossian
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I used to take pre-season too seriously as well. These days it only serves the purposes of generating income, improving match fitness, improving morale and increasing tactical familiarity. More often than not its a straight choice between generating income and improving morale, because the lucrative fixtures are generally ones I'm more likely to lose and thus lower morale, where as the games that improve morale by allowing us knock in some goals aren't against teams our fans would want to pay to see...so you pays your money, you makes your choice.

As for playing strongly competitive games and paying attention to the results...nah.

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For me, you have to deal with failure in a different way...

You never made a journeyman save? You were fired from that tasty project of yours, that you wanted so bad to succeed? Well, This will not succeed, but you still can, being fired can be, but shouldn't be the end of the save. Maybe a team suited to your formation will come calling... 

Or you can start unemployed, or in a league that you have no clue about the tactics, i mean, tactical approach varies A LOT from country to country. (i'm 100% playing english football, but i'd probably get Juve relegated playing in Italy... )you know a lot, but these traits you can only acquire by playing. FM18 is coming soon, so why not meeting new leagues? new players? South Africa, Colombia, South Korea... there's a lot of different places to go, forget about the teams, forge a manager of respect. If all goes wrong, at least you got to knew some new cultures.

Cheers,
Bitner 

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One way I really get into saves is by researching the club I manage in real life. I discover their history (usually how they have fallen on hard times), read about the city/community, examine their rivals, and read about their legends. Then I imagine a scenario in real life where I might actually be able to take over the reigns of the club (a little bit of youthful imagination doesn't hurt here). I have also spent a few moments waiting in lines, standing in subways, or in meetings at work imagining how I would be interacting with press, friends, and local fans in my position as manager. It's not quite like having a dual life because that's a bit insane...but it kind of is.

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5 hours ago, Overmars said:

One way I really get into saves is by researching the club I manage in real life. I discover their history (usually how they have fallen on hard times), read about the city/community, examine their rivals, and read about their legends. Then I imagine a scenario in real life where I might actually be able to take over the reigns of the club (a little bit of youthful imagination doesn't hurt here). I have also spent a few moments waiting in lines, standing in subways, or in meetings at work imagining how I would be interacting with press, friends, and local fans in my position as manager. It's not quite like having a dual life because that's a bit insane...but it kind of is.

I do this as well. It really helps with the immersion and connecting with the save long term.

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On 26-9-2017 at 12:36, Armistice said:

Not sure if it's loss of motivation as I really want to play this game and often stay late at night after a long day of work to try and play this game, but when I start the game, I don't have any idea of what I want to do. I can't feel attached to any club I can manage, I struggle to break teams down with my favorite club so that is even more frustrating ad I have no tactical imagination. When I play games, I watch them but completely forget to watch the team as a whole and instead look at the ball moving. I can't understand why certain things happen in game and I don't know what style of football I want to play at a club. In the past I liked top division clubs, maybe Championship too in England, but after a successful save with a lower league side, I would really like to take a League Two club and build it up.

 

Thing is I have no idea why I can't understand tactics after all the things I read. Guides, articles, watched videos, still can't crack it properly. So I have no idea what to do next. I don't know if there's any way you can help me, an advice, tips etc, please let me know.

If you take a lower league club like you are saying in the League Two. Get a club that is predicted to finish around 14th. That way you can lose games due to your tactical disadvantage. Try to restrict yourself in putting all combinations in to play that you have no idea how they move and react. Try the basic formations that the game put in like the 4-4-2 / 4-2-3-1 / 4-1-2-3 and just play preseason with the most simple instructions. Watch the game with extended highlights - or the whole game if you got the time - and see how your players react and adjust the players that don't do what you want. Watch the opponents formation as well. Because most of the lower league teams play the old 4-4-2 it's an idea to start 3 at the back. This way you create a 3v2 situation in your advantage.

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7 hours ago, IscoDisco said:

If you take a lower league club like you are saying in the League Two. Get a club that is predicted to finish around 14th. That way you can lose games due to your tactical disadvantage. Try to restrict yourself in putting all combinations in to play that you have no idea how they move and react. Try the basic formations that the game put in like the 4-4-2 / 4-2-3-1 / 4-1-2-3 and just play preseason with the most simple instructions. Watch the game with extended highlights - or the whole game if you got the time - and see how your players react and adjust the players that don't do what you want. Watch the opponents formation as well. Because most of the lower league teams play the old 4-4-2 it's an idea to start 3 at the back. This way you create a 3v2 situation in your advantage.

Well that's how I work my tactics, I start with my formation, roles & duties and keep everything else basic/default. After that I adjust what I feel I need to see more, just that sometimes I don't know why certain things don't work my way. Let me give you an example. I played this 3-4-1-2 formation with Hartlepool, I wanted my CBs to play short passing and stop lumping it forward because we were losing possession too often and the opponent could move the ball around better than us and we'd unnecessarily put us under pressure. So your first instinct is to add Play Out of Defence TI. Just that it didn't work out how I wanted, at least from what I used to see in those highlights. You could start wonder why the heck is that not working when I tell my players to do something? It could be down to attributes and you could say I got unrealistic expectations from those players. Of course I don't expect these players to build from the back all the time because I understand their composure is usually low, but when I switched to full match, I noticed after some time that actually my CBs didn't have passing options, only horizontally and because of the low attributes, they couldn't keep composed and lumped it forward. So I identified the problem in the end. But wasn't sure how to fix it still. After that I thought about giving one of my CMs the DLP role to try and drop deeper and give them more passing options, but I really dislike to play playmaker roles in lower leagues. Or in other words, just give my CBs more passing options so they won't lose their heads and launch the ball aimlessly.

 

That would be only one of the examples of knowing what to do but not knowing how to do it. Of course I could head to forum and ask people but I also want to learn it the hard way, on my own, because I think it's more rewarding, at least for your self esteem.

Edited by Armistice
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Sorry for double post, I started again with Hartlepool, this time I tried to avoid giving too much attention to details in pre-season and just build a tactic and see how it will work. 

 

JvJxrGC.png

 

Please let me know if the roles & duties combinations are decent to start with. I want to counter-attack in general, I will give PKMs a look tomorrow to see if I can improve anything in terms of movement.

Sometimes, like now, I feel like I am not learning anything, I mean I can't spot issues and I don't feel I learnt at least a thing or two more from the last couple of games. Not sure why is that really.

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4 hours ago, Armistice said:

I want to counter-attack in general

Why didn't you use the Counter Mentality for this?

 

4 hours ago, Armistice said:

Sometimes, like now, I feel like I am not learning anything, I mean I can't spot issues and I don't feel I learnt at least a thing or two more from the last couple of games. Not sure why is that really

How do you attempt to analyse what's going on? Personally, it can take me a few matches sometimes just to spot issues (depending on the issue, of course) on Comprehensive. So if I'm really not sure about a tactic or issues, I watch a bit of a match in full. With that, I can usually sort it out very quickly.

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6 hours ago, Armistice said:

Sorry for double post, I started again with Hartlepool, this time I tried to avoid giving too much attention to details in pre-season and just build a tactic and see how it will work. 

 

JvJxrGC.png

 

Please let me know if the roles & duties combinations are decent to start with. I want to counter-attack in general, I will give PKMs a look tomorrow to see if I can improve anything in terms of movement.

Sometimes, like now, I feel like I am not learning anything, I mean I can't spot issues and I don't feel I learnt at least a thing or two more from the last couple of games. Not sure why is that really.

I'm intrigued to hear why if you want to counter attack you didn't use that as the base mentality?

I recently did one of the most in-depth posts I've ever done on this shape, have you seen it? If not then take a look at this, it might answer a lot of questions you have, especially about spotting issues etc;

https://teaandbusquets.com/3-5-2-chronicles

 

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3 hours ago, HUNT3R said:

Why didn't you use the Counter Mentality for this?

 

How do you attempt to analyse what's going on? Personally, it can take me a few matches sometimes just to spot issues (depending on the issue, of course) on Comprehensive. So if I'm really not sure about a tactic or issues, I watch a bit of a match in full. With that, I can usually sort it out very quickly.

Remember at a point in this thread I said I want to start with default everything, just set up formation, roles and duties for a start. Considering that I lost only one game in the season so far, and that was down to individuals (opponent scored free-kick and from a penalty) I didn't think about changing mentality just yet. I'm expecting teams not to venture forward too much against me either.

 

As for analysis, usually I look for instance at goals conceded. See why I conceded, try to determine where the opponent gained the upper hand on us and why. Then I look at game stats, long shots are usually an issue here for this tactic so I try to determine why exactly are my players taking long shots, are they doing it because they want to or because they are put under pressure or because they have no other options? Also, I look at transitions when we fail to do anything productive, or fail to keep possession, or get put under pressure when it's not needed etc. Usually I look at full match for these and I am trying to sort issues out in pre-season. But, after all of this speaking, I still can't spot right away why something is happening in my tactic. I don't know how to explain it exactly it's just that I have this complete confusion in my head when I am looking at my tactic and see players doing things I don't want to see and I get frustrated because I don't know how to act. Should I try an AF with a CF? No, I shouldn't, my players are too low quality for a CF. If I use an AF what do I expect to see? Him trying defensive line more often. Do I need that? I don't know. And so on.

 

This post can be an answer for @Cleon's post too.

Edited by Armistice
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6 minutes ago, Armistice said:

Remember at a point in this thread I said I want to start with default everything, just set up formation, roles and duties for a start.

Default is fine, but if you want to counter attack, it's the most obvious thing to do. Given that both myself and Cleon asked this, it should tell you as much. Why wouldn't you set up as close to a counter attacking tactic as you can (without fine-tuning obviously) if that's what you want? You're not going to trigger nearly as many counters as with the correct Mentality here, so you won't often see what you planned anyway.

7 minutes ago, Armistice said:

I'm expecting teams not to venture forward too much against me either.

Why a counter attacking setup at all then?

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Remember at a point in this thread I said I want to start with default everything, just set up formation, roles and duties for a start. Considering that I lost only one game in the season so far, and that was down to individuals (opponent scored free-kick and from a penalty) I didn't think about changing mentality just yet. I'm expecting teams not to venture forward too much against me either.

This is good that you're doing this. However you already knew how you wanted to play, so why not start off with mentality that does exactly what you want and work from that? You're already at a disadvantage because you know its the wrong mentality for what you want. You are just adding a level of frustration/complexity that isn't needed imo.

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As for analysis, usually I look for instance at goals conceded. See why I conceded, try to determine where the opponent gained the upper hand on us and why.

Are you making the same mistake most people who struggle on these forums and post make, and that is to over think and over concentrate on what the opposition is doing. If you focus more on the opposition then you can never build your own style of philosophy because you're always looking at what the other side is doing. That's why I always ignore the opposition and focus on what my side is doing. If my players do as I want them to do then everything is fine. If not then I'll change it. However I couldn't care less what the opposition is doing. For me its all about what my own players do good/badly.

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Also, I look at transitions when we fail to do anything productive, or fail to keep possession, or get put under pressure when it's not needed etc.

No offence but you struggle (based on your posting history) with the basic concepts at the minute. So I would ignore things like transitions because you don't understand the most common basics of your tactic/set up and how it functions. Things like transitions are more complex when looking at them and assessing if something needs fixing or not. Sort the tactic out first with the basic elements of what you want/need it to do. Then the transition side will naturally come once you find the balance of roles/duties.

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Should I try an AF with a CF? No, I shouldn't, my players are too low quality for a CF

I bet in my Sheffield FC striker who played in a 352 with the CF role is lower quality than your player. You think about roles and duties in the incorrect way imo. You tend to focus on the individual and not what the role offers the team as a whole. Anyone, and I mean anyone can play any single role, regardless of their quality. They just play it differently that is all. If a CF works better for the team then use it. But already before you start you've got a mindset of something can't work, that's never a good thing imo. 

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 If I use an AF what do I expect to see? Him trying defensive line more often. Do I need that? I don't know. And so on.

Read the basic description of what the role you use does and then you know how it should be behaving in the game. As for not knowing if that's what you need or not, no-one can teach you this. This is something you have to figure out yourself for whatever style you have in mind.

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36 minutes ago, Cleon said:

No offence but you struggle (based on your posting history) with the basic concepts at the minute. So I would ignore things like transitions because you don't understand the most common basics of your tactic/set up and how it functions. Things like transitions are more complex when looking at them and assessing if something needs fixing or not. Sort the tactic out first with the basic elements of what you want/need it to do. Then the transition side will naturally come once you find the balance of roles/duties.

So where do I learn the basics? Do you mean by basics like how counter-attack works, like sit back and soak pressure, then launching quick attacks to exploit the space left behind by the opposition?

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In my case, I don't often have specific plans (possession or counter orientated tactic etc), but I do have an idea (based on my team's quality) of just how attacking or defensive I'll "need" to be and just take it from there. If I do create a base tactic, there will always be a basic plan at the very least of how it's supposed to function. I'm not getting that from your post. If you don't even have a basic idea of how it functions or should function, how will you know when players are doing something you don't want?

 

A basic question, for instance - who is going to score your goals here? That answer is simple. The AF.

But then, who else could possibly chip in? Because there should be more than one person you rely on. There, I can't answer you. The DF will sit deep and in possession, keep things very simple. A pass straight to the AF pulling wide or maybe back to the midfield is what I'd expect to see. Nothing adventurous and I don't see him creating chances if most of the teams do sit back, as you indicated. The playmaker is going to supply (for the most part) the DF or AF and with the DF so deep, he'll create chances for the AF only. The CM/S will do much the same as the playmaker (except see less of the ball and attempt fewer passes into space) and if your left wingback crosses, it'll probably be to the AF again with (maybe) the DF joining late). Overall, it's difficult to see you're goals coming from anywhere other than the AF.

Those are basic starter questions when creating a tactic - who is creating, who are they creating it for and how etc.

I know if I have this player dropping deep to link the midfield, he's creating space. So I'll think about using another player to use that space. etc etc.

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2 minutes ago, HUNT3R said:

In my case, I don't often have specific plans (possession or counter orientated tactic etc), but I do have an idea (based on my team's quality) of just how attacking or defensive I'll "need" to be and just take it from there. If I do create a base tactic, there will always be a basic plan at the very least of how it's supposed to function. I'm not getting that from your post. If you don't even have a basic idea of how it functions or should function, how will you know when players are doing something you don't want?

 

A basic question, for instance - who is going to score your goals here? That answer is simple. The AF.

But then, who else could possibly chip in? Because there should be more than one person you rely on. There, I can't answer you. The DF will sit deep and in possession, keep things very simple. A pass straight to the AF pulling wide or maybe back to the midfield is what I'd expect to see. Nothing adventurous and I don't see him creating chances if most of the teams do sit back, as you indicated. The playmaker is going to supply (for the most part) the DF or AF and with the DF so deep, he'll create chances for the AF only. The CM/S will do much the same as the playmaker (except see less of the ball and attempt fewer passes into space) and if your left wingback crosses, it'll probably be to the AF again with (maybe) the DF joining late). Overall, it's difficult to see you're goals coming from anywhere other than the AF.

Those are basic starter questions when creating a tactic - who is creating, who are they creating it for and how etc.

Yeah okay you might be right, but it's difficult really to have a good plan in your mind when you get down to League Two and especially to a team that's predicted to fight to avoid relegation by media prediction (not that it means anything, but just to make an opinion). The only positive thing about Hartlepool is that I've had saves with them before which went pretty well until I had to abandon them, so by this I mean that I know the players pretty well and what they can do.

Walker and Kavanagh are the only good players for this level, the rest of them are average and below average, especially the central defenders. Initially I didn't have a plan to come up because I lack experience at this level, but what I knew was that I wanted to create a solid defensive basis, then move on and adapt, considering the table after a few games, how the opponent reacts to our good/bad form etc. I didn't exactly want a counter-attacking tactic in very precise terms, I wanted to see if my defence could handle the pressure that was going to come from the opponent because as I said, probably most teams in the league are going to try and score past us. 

 

So as Walker is one of the best, if not the best player in my team. I had to build things around him. I think he's at least average by league standards when it comes to playmaking and of course, you can't find good or great players at this level at the start of the season, especially when no one will join the club because of its reputation. So I decided to give him this role, but also an attack duty because I wanted him to step forward more often. Look to drop deep and get the ball out of defence by dribbling (has PI Dribble More so it's good fit) or passing. Then, Kavanagh is another good player, I played him a WB (A) in a previous save, but because the AP is on his side, I decided to give him a support role.

 

Why I chose a DF (D)? Because I thought that my strikers would be positioned too high up the pitch or be disconnected from the rest of the team if I used a support duty. And because my DF drops so deep, I thought a DLF (A) could do because if I given him a AF (A) let's say, then he would most likely be a little bit isolated (ofc can't say 100% but that would be my guess).

 

How do I want to score goals? Haven't given a good thought about it, I wanted to score through quick counter-attacks (or transitioning quickly from the back to attack) so I used quick players upfront. If not possible, like the oppo would sit back more than expected, then through patient build-up as I'd probably have less pressure on my players, considering their low composure.

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9 hours ago, Armistice said:

Sorry for double post, I started again with Hartlepool, this time I tried to avoid giving too much attention to details in pre-season and just build a tactic and see how it will work. 

 

JvJxrGC.png

 

Please let me know if the roles & duties combinations are decent to start with. I want to counter-attack in general, I will give PKMs a look tomorrow to see if I can improve anything in terms of movement.

Sometimes, like now, I feel like I am not learning anything, I mean I can't spot issues and I don't feel I learnt at least a thing or two more from the last couple of games. Not sure why is that really.

Why don't you send me the tactic and I will feature it on a show and explain how I create a counter attacking system.

Each time I sit down to think about what to write I fear it's going to end up as a long essay. 

What I see are fundamentally 3 issues for you.

1. While you may have an idea of how you want to play your choice of roles and duties indicate you don't know how to apply it in the game. For example, the two strikers neither one of them is thinking of attacking space if you are defending deep. You haven't dealt with the issue of how you will attack space.

2. I don't see anyone there with an instruction to look for others in space from deeper positions .

3. Counter attacking systems come from a conscious choice to defend a certain way and attack space in a certain way. All sides have some counter attacking styles built into them. Some teams play with more aggressive mentalities and incorporate counter attacking in them, e.g. Liverpool.

And some sides play cautiously and depend on a few players to break away quickly to do those counters.  The kind of style you need largely depends on the kind of players you have.

4. Formations can have inherent styles embedded in them. For example a deep 4231, can play on any mentality and just requires you to think of how you want to transition into a counter. Here your choice of mentality, shape,roles and duties will influence how this will look.

I said 3 and I am typing this on a phone, so I hope to see your save and I will try and do it on a forthcoming show, instead of running the risk of having to correct typos that come with entering text on a phone.

 

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Okay, I will take into account what everyone here said, thank you for your advises, I will try to work out Cleon's article and see if I can implement some of the principles there in my tactic.

Also, I will look to make two separate tactics out of this formation, an attacking one through patient build-up and a counter-attacking one, for bigger matches where I am not favorite. 

 

What's more frustrating is that after so many guides I've read and videos I've watched I still seem to not know the basics of the game which is annoying because it shows that I can't work out anything if I don't know these. 

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On 26/09/2017 at 12:51, Bunkerossian said:

I had a save that looked it might be successful too, but a bug ruined it. Restarting never got me to the same promising point- I always seemed to screw up. The worst thing is: I read guides and watch videos. Instead of them improving me, it seems I became worse at the game. It doesn't help that in real life, I have suffered from depression.

Mate I understand. I do currently still suffer from depression so I can totally understand the frustration this game creates at times. What's worse though is I have severe OCD (been diagnosed) and it's probably the worst mental health disorder you can have for a game like FM. OCD and FM don't mix lol but I'm still trying to start a save on FM17 (yes, I've had FM17 since release and haven't committed to a save yet!) 

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35 minutes ago, Gee_Simpson said:

Mate I understand. I do currently still suffer from depression so I can totally understand the frustration this game creates at times. What's worse though is I have severe OCD (been diagnosed) and it's probably the worst mental health disorder you can have for a game like FM. OCD and FM don't mix lol but I'm still trying to start a save on FM17 (yes, I've had FM17 since release and haven't committed to a save yet!) 

What a similar story. I have had an OCD as well, until the meds took it away. It wasn't linked to anything about football, but it was there. My main issue with this game is that there seems to be no general patterns of behavior for players I could compare my bunch with. Nothing seems to stick out as obviously wrong.

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So where do I learn the basics? Do you mean by basics like how counter-attack works, like sit back and soak pressure, then launching quick attacks to exploit the space left behind by the opposition?

Well @HUNT3R and @Rashidi have already covered a lot of this, as did I in the link I provided about this very subject.

But to expand a little, the basics I think you need to focus on are simple. Just focus on roles and duties and how they'll work. You already have a general idea of how you want to play which is counter attacking (I also did an article about this too :D) so now focus on the roles that allow this type of play. Also you need to stop thinking like this ;

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Yeah okay you might be right, but it's difficult really to have a good plan in your mind when you get down to League Two and especially to a team that's predicted to fight to avoid relegation by media prediction (not that it means anything, but just to make an opinion). The only positive thing about Hartlepool is that I've had saves with them before which went pretty well until I had to abandon them, so by this I mean that I know the players pretty well and what they can do.

With these type of views all you do is limit yourself because again you make out you can't have a good plan. You are being restrictive in your thought process. Whether you are fighting relegation or promotion, every single team regardless of ability can have a plan and something to aim for. If not then what's the point? All you need is a basic plan, @HUNT3R highlighted his above which is all that's needed. Doesn't need to be thorough if you don't need but you do need a basic idea.

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Walker and Kavanagh are the only good players for this level, the rest of them are average and below average, especially the central defenders. Initially I didn't have a plan to come up because I lack experience at this level, but what I knew was that I wanted to create a solid defensive basis, then move on and adapt, considering the table after a few games, how the opponent reacts to our good/bad form etc. I didn't exactly want a counter-attacking tactic in very precise terms, I wanted to see if my defence could handle the pressure that was going to come from the opponent because as I said, probably most teams in the league are going to try and score past us. 

Teams trying to score past you is the entire foundation in which football is built unless you're a Sheffield Wednesday fan :D

In all seriousness though you don't have to approach the game differently just because you are lower down the pyramid. All concepts still work the same, it's just at higher levels the calibre of player differs but its all still relative to league you currently play in. You have weak players, so do most of the teams etc.

Also why do you have to move on and adapt as the season went on? Why can't you let the AI worry about adapting to you, while you concentrate on your own game plan?

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Why I chose a DF (D)? Because I thought that my strikers would be positioned too high up the pitch or be disconnected from the rest of the team if I used a support duty. And because my DF drops so deep, I thought a DLF (A) could do because if I given him a AF (A) let's say, then he would most likely be a little bit isolated (ofc can't say 100% but that would be my guess).

While this could turn out to be true, its a bit tunnel vision for my liking. You're focusing on the striker roles and speaking about isolation. But if there is any isolation on their part it comes because of the midfield and a lack of supply and support rather than the strikers. I'd have focused on this more so than the striker roles and what you should/shouldn't use.

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How do I want to score goals? Haven't given a good thought about it, I wanted to score through quick counter-attacks (or transitioning quickly from the back to attack) so I used quick players upfront.

You don't need quick players upfront. You need the players behind the strikers to be fast so they can catch up with play and provide the support needed. This is where your  approach will work or fall down, if your strikers are faster than the midfield, then the midfield is never realistically going to get up along side of them are they? Unless the strikers hold up the ball but then you won't see counter attacking style attacks because as soon as it gets to a striker he'll hold up play or shoot because he has no supporting options.

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8 minutes ago, Bunkerossian said:

What a similar story. I have had an OCD as well, until the meds took it away. It wasn't linked to anything about football, but it was there. My main issue with this game is that there seems to be no general patterns of behavior for players I could compare my bunch with. Nothing seems to stick out as obviously wrong.

There are plenty of patterns to see you just have to learn to see them. But sadly this isn't something someone can teach you, it has to be something you find a way of seeing somehow. There are guides that try and assist and show how person a thinks about stuff and how they spot issues. But at the end, it has to come from you because you have to teach your own mind to see the issues to begin with. I understand its hard and  causes frustrations (as someone who also battles mental health issues) but it is achievable if you focus on the correct things.

To keep things simple focus on supply and support above all else. You can see if your defender is not passing to the midfield and is misplacing his passes. You can see if the midfield isn't passing to the strikers much. Then what you do is look at why. So you'd pause the game and have a look around at the players and see if they're not passing because they are under pressure, out of positions, the receiver isn't a realistic passing option etc. Start small with the obvious things like that. Then you can also focus on when your strikers have the ball, what other players help him out. Do the midfield/wingbacks get up and support him etc. 

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