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Team Statistics in real life vs Team Statistic in FM


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There's two sides to the AI management coin, though there are overlaps.

1) Believability. What this thread in parts collects is evidence that AI manager struggle for basics, including replicating playing styles they are known for in real football. This relates to match engine, research and AI limitations. This doesn't necessarily affect difficulty at all unless there was a heavy bias towards any style. So far you could sit top of the tables with a pass completion of 65% average, as well as the opposite, which is somewhat encouraging.

2) Competition. This does. It's about how AI managers perform. This relates to the same as above, not only from the AI's end, as every player who (deliberately/by accident) either exploits ME holes or lack of AI reactivity could testify. I'd argue it's become fairly easy to outperform most AI (most do without realizing). In parts it is because so much spoon-feeding has been introduced that it's hard to do anything massively iffy (and it's obvious all that spoon-feeding is only assessed by the human player). In parts though as some AI decision making either deliberately or do tue an overhaul has declined from ca. FM13, or else there wasn't that many AI playing top heavy formations with every single player encouraged box-side, amongst a few other things. AI playing narrow and never advancing a wide player has been a constant for long. All fairly common sense stuff, and neither believable match management outside of specific scenarios nor anything. Both would also show deep red blinking zones on the tactics pitch for any player by now.

This was the vision of the game ca. 1992. This is how it was presented, emphasizing believability and some competition as key components of the game. That's what I'm personally judging the game by. I'd imagine most players would -- an be it for judging the "believability" of the matches they compete in, which inevitably mostly involve AI competition too.  FM's never been the most difficult game, but some kind of believability is key. 

What either way may deserve challenging is articles such as this.

Edited by Svenc
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Hi,

I think that this thread require extra attention by SI.

While I agree that the top dogs (either players or clubs) are performing worse than irl which must be addressed in any way - either selecting different difficulties whenever a game is created, or boosting the top dogs ( I remember that FM16 Pep's Bayern had also 50-55% possession every game but was one of the hardest opponents to beat in FM due to dynamic of tactic changing), I do also think that the way it is measured possession needs to be changed because just boosting the top dogs won't solve the unrealistic low possession for clubs managed by Pep, Pocche and others which defend with ball at feet. Since some irl players/staff which are reflected in db are playing this game I wonder their opinion on having such low numbers, since this game is a football simulator - why do the "possession is calculated differently in FM" excuse should stand? It's so hard to split possession by the number of passes completed and stop the chess clock whenever the ball is out? I hardly imagine. Or, I would gladly work on the Steam's workshop on a mod that calculates possession similar to Opta, if would be possible to do it.

I may went on a rant here, but I have one question - If I set my goalkeeper to play long balls to the other goalkeeper the whole game similar to a ping-pong battle, the time the ball travels before reaching the other GK (or player) is counted as my possession, right? So if I play a direct approach on my Celtic side with a passing lenght of 5x versus Barcelona, which plays a short passing, possession-based approach with passing lenght is 1x, a Celtic pass would value 5x higher on the possession stat than a Barcelona pass, even that Celtic pass wouldn't be received by other Celtic player? Disappointing.

There are some FM players which played since CM (including myself) which became tactics-oriented and less trophy hunters (because they would come if the tactics work properly), therefore we seem to be challenged only by creating proper tactics which generate several statistics which imply if our tactics work or not, but if the stats aren't properly reflected, who would further bother? We simulate a head coach's career on a football simulator, yet the simulation can't be compared with irl data. Pretty subjective, but I agree with others saying that in today's era, metrics are sometimes more important than the result itself:

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Possession statistics are commonplace in football broadcasting and reporting. They are regularly used to demonstrate one team's superiority over another, to confirm dominance or otherwise when the scoreboard remains deadlocked.

And lets face it, we all do remember the Celtic's miracle by which they won with 11% possession versus Barcelona.

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The "simulator" term is an albatross around the game's neck.  It's used to explain away the game's little foibles, and also to criticise it.  Expecting the game to perform 1:1 with real life is a fool's errand.  Hell, expecting it to come anywhere close to an outcome that is now coming up to 9 months removed from the game's starting point is similarly foolish.  It's always going to be an approximation, rather than a true simulation when you're referring to trying to mirror real life.

I've never quite seen the need to hold the game to those standards.  It's especially unfair to take a record-breaking side (as in, performing above the expectations that anyone could reasonably have) and compare it to how the game performs.  It's not as if the match engine is the only variable here, there's also the absolutely enormous difference caused by the researchers.  On 1st July 2017 (or whenever you start the game), FM is still not particularly realistic - it is instead an interpretation of thousands of researchers, with an overarching interpretation of football moulded into what has to be a fairly static framework in the ME.  For every single time you press continue, that starting difference only gets bigger.  Does anyone honestly expect that FM should reliably have predicted Manchester City going on a record-breaking winning run and had them on the same (or similar to be generous) points totals as they've got in real life?  Honestly?  I can kind of get some complaining about seeing City vastly underachieve, but again that's based on real world knowledge that's largely irrelevant for comparison.

So what's the solution?  The game is unlikely to ever stack up if you want to try and compare it to real life.  I completely understand people scoffing at it, but I'd recommend just treating it as a completely separate entity, another universe which has no frame of reference to real life.  I know that's not going to be good enough for some people, but it doesn't change the fact that the game is always going to struggle to live up to the standards you're trying to apply to it.

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4 hours ago, Kelvinu said:

Possession statistics are commonplace in football broadcasting and reporting. They are regularly used to demonstrate one team's superiority over another, to confirm dominance or otherwise when the scoreboard remains deadlocked.

At the risk of draggint his OT: That quote is from an Opta Blog ca. 2012. Since then, they know a bit better. https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2013/feb/24/football-numbers-game-gary-neville
 

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Which makes it puzzling that broadcasters continue to focus on crude possession and player distance stats, even when they are as illuminating as an energy-saving light bulb.

[...]

So why don't broadcasters use data that clubs have long since dipped into? Blake Wooster from Prozone, which provides match data to Canal Plus and Al-Jazeera, believes is it about understanding audiences. "I sometimes make the distinction between what is interesting and what is important," he says. "Professional footballers and gamblers are interested in the key performance indicators that contribute to winning – viewers perhaps less so."



It's a bit off-topic. But traditionally it's pretty easy to create tactics in FM that a) dominate possession stats to hella back. And b) push opposition into their half all match long (if they aren't defending deep either way, further contributing to that possession advantage). Dominating possession itself is a completely fallacy, doubly so in-game, as at its very worst, shots will go off, but exclusively poor ones, as no space is created whatsoever. I was top of the EPL in this game with the worst pass completion / possession in the league, Leicester style. I agree with you on the game lacking reliable metrics, by the way. :D Actually, at its worst, the feedback is terribly misleading -- and even relatively simple stats are completely missing (counter attacks/breaks conceded per side in the match -- shots from actually open play vs set piece scenarios, also highly relevant in-game as outside of set piece settings, all the tactical instructions relate to open play).

Edited by Svenc
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