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I've always found strengthening weak squads, or poor (monetary) squads, or weak AND poor squads, easy to do thanks to the amount of free transfers available at the end/beginning of the season. Signing players on a free contract, either towards the end of their existing contract, or when they're out of contract, is a sure-fire way of improving your team on the cheap.

And this obviously has an effect on the overall difficulty level of FMM as strengthening your squad is integral to achieving success.

In my current career, I have the responsibility of achieving a mid-table place with Colchester United. The squad has a number of issues as identified in the team report and I don't have a the money to sign new players (plus the wage bill exceeds the wage budget so I am rather limited there). So what I do is to find what out of contract players are available via Player search > Contract expired > Show interested players only and then filter the available players via the new (and excellent) Positions search screen. I then ask my scouts to report on players who are non-English (because the English talent is generally rubbish) and players who are under the age of 25. 

My scouts provided me with reports on many players who were rated with a current ability of 2.5 to 3 Stars with potential ability of 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Basically these players were either at a level on par with, or better than, the players I already have in my squad.

Because these players are young and out of contract, negotiating terms is easy and cheap. The average wage is probably around 1.5K a week which even with my overspent wage budget, is no barrier in signing them.

So a all of the issues identified in my team report (decision making, incisive passes, good on the ball, injection of pace) are now no longer an issue. Suddenly my aim of achieving a mid-table place doesn't seem so difficult. In fact, exceeding this aim is very realistic.

I signed seven new players in total without spending a penny from the transfer budget. My squad is now significantly stronger and has the potential to be even stronger, especially of a League 2 side (I have already beaten League 1 sides in the Carabao Cup).

That to me feels unrealistic. Would a League 2 club really be able to sign so many young talented players from France, Germany and Italy from under the noses of more reputable clubs?. It also takes away the challenge of having to compete a whole season with the squad that I have been given.

I thought I would share this observation to see if anyone else had an opinion on this. IMHO, the ease of signing good players on free transfers makes the game significantly less challenging.

 

Edited by Lillywhite Dean

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This is the way I've been playing FMM for the last 3-4 years, so I am not surprised.

First thing I do is to put all money into wage budget and then just go ham on FT players. I never look at the wage budget after that because even though the board complains about the spending, there is never any consequences.

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Hey Lillywhite Dean, i think you need to accept that you are a experienced and pretty good player of this game. Maybe the game doesn't need to be harder, maybe you need to be less of a genius manager? I mean come on, every day there's a new comment how you've basically conquered the World :lol:

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Do we really want the game to be as realistic as possible? As in, you will never achieve anything with the likes of Colchester and Oldham unless you invest a good 20 seasons? 

I don't. 

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17 hours ago, Harri Frisch said:

Hey Lillywhite Dean, i think you need to accept that you are a experienced and pretty good player of this game. Maybe the game doesn't need to be harder, maybe you need to be less of a genius manager? I mean come on, every day there's a new comment how you've basically conquered the World :lol:

You are probably right. Just imagine what I could achieve in life if I stopped contributing to this forum and focused my time elsewhere!

16 hours ago, Footix said:

Do we really want the game to be as realistic as possible? As in, you will never achieve anything with the likes of Colchester and Oldham unless you invest a good 20 seasons? 

I don't. 

That's a fair comment. Some people enjoy the fantasy of being able to take an less than average team to the upper echelons of football glory without first having to complete a UEFA A coaching badge.

But what makes Football Manager the genius game that it is - is its commitment to realism. Even the Mobile version of Football Manager is a sophisticated piece of work. IMHO, there are gaps in this game which can be tweaked to make the game more realistic and yet still very enjoyable for the casual gamer.

I would love to experience a relegation dogfight with my job on the line. That's another level of enjoyment. It isn't always about the winning.

Edited by Lillywhite Dean

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Hi guys very new to fmm love your post about scouting out of contract players you said you get your scout to look at non English young players have I missed a trick here is there a way to get the scout to look at out of contract players or do you click on individual players and then request that he's scouted I always send my scouts on assignments just making sure that I am not making things harder for my self by going through each individual player and selecting scout (would be a great feature add if you could ask your scout to look at free transfers and a certain type of player like assignments)

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34 minutes ago, Popey85 said:

Hi guys very new to fmm love your post about scouting out of contract players you said you get your scout to look at non English young players have I missed a trick here is there a way to get the scout to look at out of contract players or do you click on individual players and then request that he's scouted I always send my scouts on assignments just making sure that I am not making things harder for my self by going through each individual player and selecting scout (would be a great feature add if you could ask your scout to look at free transfers and a certain type of player like assignments)

Hi @Popey85. Unfortunately you have to view each individual player and ask that your scout assesses them.

It would be great if SI did implement a scouting profile whereby the Scouts could automatically go out and look for non-English players, under the age of 25, who are out of contract. I did request something like this back in FMM18.

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Out of interest Lillywhite Dean - how easy was it to land these players at your club - generally if you try and persuade minor young players from abroad to come aboard they quite frequently will indicate they're not ready to move to another country ... did you ever come across that? (I definitely did in my Eastbourne Boro game ;) ).

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1 hour ago, Marc Vaughan said:

Out of interest Lillywhite Dean - how easy was it to land these players at your club - generally if you try and persuade minor young players from abroad to come aboard they quite frequently will indicate they're not ready to move to another country ... did you ever come across that? (I definitely did in my Eastbourne Boro game ;) ).

Hi Marc. I never had that issue. All of the players I approached were happy to sign for me. I've just had a look at one of the young players I shortlisted but never decided to sign. This is what I found:

So a 20 year old German keeper.

Screenshot_20181113-155735.thumb.png.2fd68c6320c31d300549080ad3c95fde.png

Who is expecting a wage of £1.1K per week. This was the type of negotiating stance I experienced from the youngsters I did sign.

Screenshot_20181113-155718.thumb.png.2d71110cb4767c51c2d2d4943546eba6.png

I would say your experiences in the Eastbourne Boro game is more realistic. I certainly think that should be the same when attempting to sign young players from abroad at a League 2 club.

Edited by Lillywhite Dean

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5 hours ago, Lillywhite Dean said:

You are probably right. Just imagine what I could achieve in life if I stopped contributing to this forum and focused my time elsewhere!

That's a fair comment. Some people enjoy the fantasy of being able to take an less than average team to the upper echelons of football glory without first having to complete a UEFA A coaching badge.

But what makes Football Manager the genius game that it is - is its commitment to realism. Even the Mobile version of Football Manager is a sophisticated piece of work. IMHO, there are gaps in this game which can be tweaked to make the game more realistic and yet still very enjoyable for the casual gamer.

I would love to experience a relegation dogfight with my job on the line. That's another level of enjoyment. It isn't always about the winning.

It's not always about winning, true, but part of the fun is taking your local side to glory. If FM went overboard with realism it would be no fun playing as smaller sides, you would never get anywhere with them. Except for maybe another job at a bigger club. The odds of Exeter or Harrogate rising to fame before 2040 are... slim. 

To your point, I still remember a relegation dogfight I had with Southampton in CM 97/98 many moons ago. Best save ever! 

(the following season I of course went on to win the lot, because CM)

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P.S. @Marc Vaughan

I just had this come up in my news filter.

Screenshot_20181113-221051.thumb.png.df379736552d5d2b14aa7c0a6f1f9c39.png

The player in question is a young German goalkeeper I scouted at the beginning of the season. Only 19 years old and has the potential ability of five stars.

Screenshot_20181113-220638.thumb.png.0f72c03cb3d40b3293cb88646166d8c3.png

I'm loving this new feature of players approaching you in the hope of a transfer deal can being made.

Edited by Lillywhite Dean

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8 hours ago, Marc Vaughan said:

Out of interest Lillywhite Dean - how easy was it to land these players at your club - generally if you try and persuade minor young players from abroad to come aboard they quite frequently will indicate they're not ready to move to another country ... did you ever come across that? (I definitely did in my Eastbourne Boro game ;) ).

I've come across many of those even as the manager of Hamburger SV

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8 hours ago, DarJ said:

I've come across many of those even as the manager of Hamburger SV

It's odd then that a club like Colchester United can attract young, talented non-English players whereas a more reputable club such as Hamburger SV cannot. I wonder whether this is actually a bug? 

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It's no longer a problem since I got promoted and won the champions league

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