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santy001

Thoughts on player retirement

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Really good post, gonna follow it. I also find on the opposite side to the case.

I'll have 33-34-35 year old club legends, and I don't even play them for a full season because I want them to retire with the team, but they refuse and would rather wait out free agency for 6 months then announce it. So annoying! I actually personally love a really old player still showing up for me, 35-36 is brilliant. Talking them out of retirement never works does it?

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Not a point I had ever really considered before, I tend to try to move stalwarts of my club into coaching roles as soon as they are no longer prominent and not starting most matches. It is pretty rare I have come across a player over 35 who I would want to play, so I have never really experienced one of my players retiring while still doing a job for me. Usually players get released and drop down a league, or just retire at my club. I guess I'd role play that the player simply wanted to commit to family on a full time basis rather than play, but I know that probably is not what you are looking for.

From what you describe, it does look like there needs to be some checks and balances to players who excel despite age. Something along the lines of how often they play, how well they play, how long their contract is, etc. 

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@steakfaced if they're retiring at the lower end of the 30's, around 34 I have had it work but it is exceptionally rare to be honest.

@sporadicsmiles I can indeed think about it reasonably in my mind and put it to one side, but its become a recurring theme now that I've noticed not a single one of my players has ever made it to 40, unless they were already there when the game started.

In the second season there are 87 players who are 39+ but already its down to just 2 who are older than 40. There were players in their 50's during the first season, and of course my argument is never one that all players should keep going that long but as I also mentioned, I have numerous long term saves and what becomes abundantly clear in all of them when doing a player search is that the reaper is waiting scythe at the ready to call time on careers in the year in which players turn 39. 

Generally speaking as well most times I haven't had too many complaints because its usually been players who've been at the club for a while announcing their retirement, it was just in the case of Aritz Aduriz, it was less than 3 months after he moved signing with a decent sized loyalty bonus, had set out the aim he wanted me to have for the club in what would be his second season with the club and on possibly the best wage of his career that he called it quits. It made no sense to me given the lack of injuries and the ample game time + being well in the running for the premier league golden boot.

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Yes I agree. Players in general retire too early. Barely anyone gets over 34-35. There are plenty of example of players who continue to play, some of them into their 40s. Sure in lesser leagues, but still on a high level. Ashley Cole is a recent example as he just signed with Derby at the age of 38. John Terry (38), Barzagli (37), Buffon (40), Aduriz (37), Joaquin (37), Casillas (37), Claudio Pizarro (40) just to name a few that quickly popped into my head.

I think part of the problem is physicals dropping too quickly, even for players with high natural fitness. A 30 year old player with 14 pace will drop down to 5-6 within the span of 2-3 years. Way too quick. AI or the player himself realises that and deems himself not good enough anymore. They should get slower, no doubt, but not to this extend. Koscielny is 33 now and even after his long-term injury he seems to be one of the quickest CBs in the league. This is fairly accurately reflected in the database by the researches, showing how it should be. Now let's say a player with identical attributes to Koscielny who wasn't in his 30s at the start of the game, wouldn't have keep his physicals the same way. They would have dropped of massively quicker (on average, sure some players do better, some players do even worse). Players are a lot more fitter nowadays, physios, dietrists and fitness coaches know a lot more and are able to get the extra out of it.
 

Edited by BadanieLuck

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Would just like to add my reply to @santy001 from the bugs forum here as acknowledgement.

Having taken a look at this save his decision to retire is a logical one. Obviously most players retire once they consider themselves "too old" to compete, however some also opt to retire in their "prime" rather than decline publicly. In this case Aduriz is well past his best and his attributes show that (I would actually argue that his attributes should have declined further). He has taken the option to retire before he drops off a cliff.

The issue for me is why did he agree to a two year contract at that age. This is something we will investigate.

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Indeed, I did make it a large part of my point in the bugs post that what was most aggrieving was that he decided he was retiring 3 months after signing a 2 year deal. Ultimately had it been as Seb says and he should have only really signed a 1 year deal, then the imminent prospect of retirement makes a lot of sense with that.

It would explain similar issues I've experienced previously with some other golden oldies such as Donnarumma at 38 

- - -

That being said, I still pin a lot of hopes on being able to keep older players around if they're performing at a high level so perhaps my feature request will one day wind up in the game that will give an avenue to delve a little deeper into it and how it might come about. It's still very much anecdotal that because I haven't experienced a player staying on longer than 39. As I'm writing this post, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also announced he will retire in the season in which he turns 39. 

It's very much more contextual topic though, because obviously going forward I will need to try and avoid what the bug is (signing for more than a year at a certain age) and look more towards players who've been with the club for a while. Means a lengthy amount of time has to be invested to test it. 

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21 minutes ago, santy001 said:

Indeed, I did make it a large part of my point in the bugs post that what was most aggrieving was that he decided he was retiring 3 months after signing a 2 year deal. Ultimately had it been as Seb says and he should have only really signed a 1 year deal, then the imminent prospect of retirement makes a lot of sense with that.

It would explain similar issues I've experienced previously with some other golden oldies such as Donnarumma at 38 

- - -

That being said, I still pin a lot of hopes on being able to keep older players around if they're performing at a high level so perhaps my feature request will one day wind up in the game that will give an avenue to delve a little deeper into it and how it might come about. It's still very much anecdotal that because I haven't experienced a player staying on longer than 39. As I'm writing this post, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also announced he will retire in the season in which he turns 39. 

It's very much more contextual topic though, because obviously going forward I will need to try and avoid what the bug is (signing for more than a year at a certain age) and look more towards players who've been with the club for a while. Means a lengthy amount of time has to be invested to test it. 

Realistically though, how many players play into their 40s? Beyond that, how many actually play at a decent level into their 40s? The only examples I can think of are exceptions rather than rules.

There may well be scope to make a change to this in FM, but currently we have a very solid retirement model that, if we consider it an issue (and I'm not wholly convinced), has players never play into their 40s. If we were to make changes here we open up the very real possibility of serious knock-ons with player development, decline and retirement. I'd rather have no one reach 40 than everyone reach 40 (hyperbole perhaps) or (more realistically) unbalancing the rate at which players decline post-peak. There are also the considerations of numbers of players in the gameworld - we need to force retirements to allow newgens to appear and not expand the DB beyond what your machine can handle (although this is focused on free agents of course), transfers - if Aduriz continues performing until he is 40 the AI will be considerably less active in the transfer market, player development - the AI is not going to blood young players if the older players are going to continue at a high level for the forseeable, and so on.

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@Seb Wassell I can understand the point. I can point back to Total Club Manager 2003 in which it was absurd because of the "player level" something akin to a 1.0 - 20.0 rating system you could build a team and still have most of the players in their mid 40's at a 15+ indeed I very much remember that my Stoke squad on that game had players like Zidane still being one of the worlds dominant midfielders at 47. So I'd never advocate for FM to aspire for that because its absurd in the extreme.

Perhaps context in the retirement messages could ultimately be something that leaves a more satisfying feeling or perhaps waiting until there's something that triggers a reason to retire. In some ways, the reasons I object are somewhat silly and I do understand it. I'd say its the immersive factor that of course is going to vary from player to player. 

I know its a lot more nuanced than it perhaps ought to be for the sake of the game, but again coming back to Aritz he announced his retirement in November and it was already done and dusted when he was still well in contention for the golden boot award coming into January. But now in April, he's suffered an injury (ankle ligaments) that kept him out for a month, he declined sharply, and hasn't scored since he returned from injury in February. It would make perfect sense for his retirement announcement to come now. And of course, it means what actually happened is fully justified. 

Similarly with Ibrahimovic, he too got injured with a major severity injury, was out for 6 weeks and had that injury been a trigger for hanging up his boots it would have again made sense. But instead he came back, played, started scoring and assisting then announces he's retiring before he has to drop to a lower standard. 

Perhaps retirement decisions should come either in anticipation of the start of a season and its a case of "No matter what, this is my final year" or towards the end of the year a reflection on an injury or a poor return or poor performances can be what the player mentions.

- - -

As an aside to the topic, and my apologies as its going down a bit of a rabbit hole I feel in general injuries don't seem to weigh enough on players decisions to retire, going back to FM18 I had a truly fantastic striker, but a series of knee ligament injuries had ravaged him. He was still going on at 35, only ever fit enough to play about half a season (he'd only been managing half a season of games for nearly 9 years at this point) but that didn't seem to be a factor. He couldn't manage more than 10 games without a recurring knee/ankle ligament injury in the final season and he still hadn't yet announced he was retiring. 

To use a real life example, I know Rory Delap was adamant about continuing into his 40's, it was his one aim in football as he was getting older but a couple of bad muscle injuries in his final 2 years really made him re-think the whole thing. 

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4 minutes ago, santy001 said:

@Seb Wassell I can understand the point. I can point back to Total Club Manager 2003 in which it was absurd because of the "player level" something akin to a 1.0 - 20.0 rating system you could build a team and still have most of the players in their mid 40's at a 15+ indeed I very much remember that my Stoke squad on that game had players like Zidane still being one of the worlds dominant midfielders at 47. So I'd never advocate for FM to aspire for that because its absurd in the extreme.

Perhaps context in the retirement messages could ultimately be something that leaves a more satisfying feeling or perhaps waiting until there's something that triggers a reason to retire. In some ways, the reasons I object are somewhat silly and I do understand it. I'd say its the immersive factor that of course is going to vary from player to player. 

I know its a lot more nuanced than it perhaps ought to be for the sake of the game, but again coming back to Aritz he announced his retirement in November and it was already done and dusted when he was still well in contention for the golden boot award coming into January. But now in April, he's suffered an injury (ankle ligaments) that kept him out for a month, he declined sharply, and hasn't scored since he returned from injury in February. It would make perfect sense for his retirement announcement to come now. And of course, it means what actually happened is fully justified. 

Similarly with Ibrahimovic, he too got injured with a major severity injury, was out for 6 weeks and had that injury been a trigger for hanging up his boots it would have again made sense. But instead he came back, played, started scoring and assisting then announces he's retiring before he has to drop to a lower standard. 

Perhaps retirement decisions should come either in anticipation of the start of a season and its a case of "No matter what, this is my final year" or towards the end of the year a reflection on an injury or a poor return or poor performances can be what the player mentions.

- - -

As an aside to the topic, and my apologies as its going down a bit of a rabbit hole I feel in general injuries don't seem to weigh enough on players decisions to retire, going back to FM18 I had a truly fantastic striker, but a series of knee ligament injuries had ravaged him. He was still going on at 35, only ever fit enough to play about half a season (he'd only been managing half a season of games for nearly 9 years at this point) but that didn't seem to be a factor. He couldn't manage more than 10 games without a recurring knee/ankle ligament injury in the final season and he still hadn't yet announced he was retiring. 

To use a real life example, I know Rory Delap was adamant about continuing into his 40's, it was his one aim in football as he was getting older but a couple of bad muscle injuries in his final 2 years really made him re-think the whole thing. 

If you'd like to put that into an FR/update your current FR it is certainly something we can look at. Can't guarantee any changes will be made, but it gives us a platform from which to investigate.

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I can see both sides very legit, on the one hand if anything santys Teams seem to be too good for having rather old players from the Looks of it if anything. But then there ARE players that just perform a little longer. I think the ystem in place works though and it would be bad to just chancge it and get a a worse one. But why not , as Seb said, when there are very rare exceptions from the rule in real life why not improve the ystem in the future and improve the System to have those rare exceptions. Maybe Bound to a Player role or Determination or something even. So that one in  amillion you get a 50 year old Player, while most hang it up for good at 35. Ist not that a Team of those high performing oldies than really would work, because they are rare one of a Kind players that you even cant spot in advance. So in santys case probably in his team all players till would retire exactly when they did, expect he had some serious luck because there are very few players to be found in the database that DO play longer and create a special legacy.  Funny i stumbled upon Romario yesterday on the Internet and he had to call it quits because of doping accusations when he looked to still have it. If just anyone could bang his daughters girlfriend to proof a point he is still fit. :-D

So worst case scenario : Teams full of oldies

Best case scenario: A few forty-somethings in the game and and a one of a Kind 50 year old still playing somethign resembling football worthy and so unique and special to be mentioned on the forums and become a legend.

Edited by GerdMuller

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@Seb Wassell I will do that, although I do have to also admit I'm desperately going to need some help from SI then if I'm ever to break 2 of the longstanding records at Stoke.

a6866750ebf5a244332df854e1688c54.png

It was a different time of course, but perhaps hailing from the one club in England where a 50 year old man turned out for us in the top flight it perhaps skews my thoughts a bit since its such an integral part of the club identity. Especially considering I sit on the knowledge that he didn't actually hang up his boots from football completely until 63. 

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2 minutes ago, santy001 said:

@Seb Wassell I will do that, although I do have to also admit I'm desperately going to need some help from SI then if I'm ever to break 2 of the longstanding records at Stoke.

a6866750ebf5a244332df854e1688c54.png

It was a different time of course, but perhaps hailing from the one club in England where a 50 year old man turned out for us in the top flight it perhaps skews my thoughts a bit since its such an integral part of the club identity. Especially considering I sit on the knowledge that he didn't actually hang up his boots from football completely until 63. 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that record is not getting broken in FM :lol:

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You mean FM isnt the only real open world game after all i always saw it as…dont tell me the chances , dont tell me it will never happen , just tell me it COULD in the most theoretical way possible. :-D

Having a record that cant be beaten is the msot useless thing ever. There will be records that probably never will be beaten, but i think theres always one Person in the world that might try, because it could always happen anyway.

Edited by GerdMuller

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How many times have we heard players tearfully admitting that their bodies can't keep up with their minds any longer on the pitch? So many players regretfully retire in their early to mid 30's once they realize they're not up to par anymore. I always get a good mix of older players opting for MLS or lesser Euro leagues. Then some will just retire, and others are content to be a dressing room presence and play 8 odd matches a season. I find it a good mix and have zero issues with retiring players. 

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2 hours ago, skintsaint said:

I'm aware of his as an example I could've used, but I've checked his career stats before because again coming back to the fact I'm a Stoke fan, it gets flagged up usually whenever anyone keeps playing beyond the age of 50 at a reasonable level. 

One thing that stands out though is he seems to have managed very little appearances relative to the length of his career. It could be down to poor documentation of course.

16 hours ago, puffascruffowitz said:

How many times have we heard players tearfully admitting that their bodies can't keep up with their minds any longer on the pitch? So many players regretfully retire in their early to mid 30's once they realize they're not up to par anymore.

I did concede myself in this thread that this should be an impact and perhaps felt it wasn't something that happened enough in FM as I pointed out in my own save that spurred this post on both Aduritz and Ibrahimovic had injuries that could have been a trigger for retirement. Indeed, from a pure immersive element it would have made a lot more sense in how the season has gone that after the disappointment of injury and sharp drop off in attributes that came with it Aduritz announces his retirement then.

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19 hours ago, GerdMuller said:

You mean FM isnt the only real open world game after all i always saw it as…dont tell me the chances , dont tell me it will never happen , just tell me it COULD in the most theoretical way possible. :-D

Having a record that cant be beaten is the msot useless thing ever. There will be records that probably never will be beaten, but i think theres always one Person in the world that might try, because it could always happen anyway.

It could happen, in the most theoretical way possible.

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@Seb Wassell on the topic of injuries & retirement in game, and now to go almost entirely against my point entirely how does FM utilise the injuries in retirement decisions? As sometimes I feel like players suffering injuries don't retire early enough.

I'm asking because while I don't have an example on FM19 as of yet, on the last few I have had players very prone to lesser (by this I mean not of the 6+ month ilk) injuries but they've never caused a player to retire. I have had a 36 year old retire due to a broken leg, but do less lengthy but recurrent injuries factor in at all? Personally it doesn't feel like they do, perhaps because they don't impact enough.

As I've potentially mentioned already, I had a 35 year old forward who had spent 9 years blighted with knee & ankle ligament issues yet he was still trucking on like no ones business. Despite struggling 25 games a season some years, and becoming incapable of 2 games a week without usually suffering an injury.

I don't have the save anymore to post to dig into but I checked the thread in the careers section where I made a post, he suffered 12 of the ligament injuries, with a total of 33 ankle/knee injuries in general and 50 injuries overall during that period. 

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1 hour ago, santy001 said:

@Seb Wassell on the topic of injuries & retirement in game, and now to go almost entirely against my point entirely how does FM utilise the injuries in retirement decisions? As sometimes I feel like players suffering injuries don't retire early enough.

I'm asking because while I don't have an example on FM19 as of yet, on the last few I have had players very prone to lesser (by this I mean not of the 6+ month ilk) injuries but they've never caused a player to retire. I have had a 36 year old retire due to a broken leg, but do less lengthy but recurrent injuries factor in at all? Personally it doesn't feel like they do, perhaps because they don't impact enough.

As I've potentially mentioned already, I had a 35 year old forward who had spent 9 years blighted with knee & ankle ligament issues yet he was still trucking on like no ones business. Despite struggling 25 games a season some years, and becoming incapable of 2 games a week without usually suffering an injury.

I don't have the save anymore to post to dig into but I checked the thread in the careers section where I made a post, he suffered 12 of the ligament injuries, with a total of 33 ankle/knee injuries in general and 50 injuries overall during that period. 

Major injury can cause a player to retire, either immediately or during the recovery phase.

In terms of constant small injuries I am not certain, so will need to check. Obviously it's going to depend on the scale and type of injury. I would say that despite all those injuries, 25 games per season, whilst not great, for an older player isn't awful (presuming a total available of 38 league + half dozen or so cup and half dozen European?). The fact that he is still getting game time when fit does indicate that he is still capable and willing, especially given the encouragement of not losing his place.

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Well from age 26 - 35 he was getting less and less games, he basically lost the peak of his career to the injuries. It might have been skewed that most of the appearances came in the league so despite it being a 50+ game season most of the 25 games would be in the league. It was very Michael Owen-esc in some regards, the player could never really play at full tilt again after a couple of seasons of the injuries.

It was mostly just an idle thought off at a tangent because of this thinking how I'd never really seen the accumulation of minor injuries being the reason a player called it a day. Given that the game does keep track of injury severity and pre-disposition to certain injury types it does seem like perhaps something that could be more utilised in player logic as FM keeps improving various aspects of player mindsets.

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21 minutes ago, santy001 said:

Well from age 26 - 35 he was getting less and less games, he basically lost the peak of his career to the injuries. It might have been skewed that most of the appearances came in the league so despite it being a 50+ game season most of the 25 games would be in the league. It was very Michael Owen-esc in some regards, the player could never really play at full tilt again after a couple of seasons of the injuries.

It was mostly just an idle thought off at a tangent because of this thinking how I'd never really seen the accumulation of minor injuries being the reason a player called it a day. Given that the game does keep track of injury severity and pre-disposition to certain injury types it does seem like perhaps something that could be more utilised in player logic as FM keeps improving various aspects of player mindsets.

Certainly something to look into.

Of course retiring because you literally cannot play due to injury and retiring because you are constantly missing lots of time due to injury are two very different things. If you spend a lot of time injured but are still capable of playing when fit, I suspect most would not choose to retire and lose a very substantial income.

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That is indeed true enough, although given the way in which injuries in FM are (more on the generous/undertuned vs reality side if I remember what people say?) I don't think we're ever too likely to get a player perpetually blighted by injuries. Speaking of which I do have some concerns about the proclivity towards injuries, but I'll check with the HR's first to see if there's a better solution in the data for this since it relates to research.

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30 minutes ago, santy001 said:

That is indeed true enough, although given the way in which injuries in FM are (more on the generous/undertuned vs reality side if I remember what people say?) I don't think we're ever too likely to get a player perpetually blighted by injuries. Speaking of which I do have some concerns about the proclivity towards injuries, but I'll check with the HR's first to see if there's a better solution in the data for this since it relates to research.

How do you mean Santy?

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Well @Seb Wassell apologies for de-railing my own thread I was just looking at Shawcross. 

c9ee23fc364bb917a3d33b50c7b1f46e.png

The back strain injuries have varying severity, but in the data the last couple are set to 20 because in reality this should be an on-going issue for Shawcross. Yet he's had just a single pulled thigh, his injury proneness is 4 because he doesn't really suffer other injury issues and natural fitness is quite high to reflect that he is keeping himself in good shape with more careful training schedules around his back. 

I just realised when I was looking at this information and what I was seeing in game either it's not working the way I interpreted it as it should (with severity being the recurrence of a specific injury type) so I had thought it might have been a bug - but decided to check with the HR's first to see if I'm getting the wrong end of the stick. Maybe it needs dialing up to 30, it jut seems a little peculiar that a major severity injury hasn't recurred during 2 years and just under 80 games. 

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13 minutes ago, santy001 said:

Well @Seb Wassell apologies for de-railing my own thread I was just looking at Shawcross. 

c9ee23fc364bb917a3d33b50c7b1f46e.png

The back strain injuries have varying severity, but in the data the last couple are set to 20 because in reality this should be an on-going issue for Shawcross. Yet he's had just a single pulled thigh, his injury proneness is 4 because he doesn't really suffer other injury issues and natural fitness is quite high to reflect that he is keeping himself in good shape with more careful training schedules around his back. 

I just realised when I was looking at this information and what I was seeing in game either it's not working the way I interpreted it as it should (with severity being the recurrence of a specific injury type) so I had thought it might have been a bug - but decided to check with the HR's first to see if I'm getting the wrong end of the stick. Maybe it needs dialing up to 30, it jut seems a little peculiar that a major severity injury hasn't recurred during 2 years and just under 80 games. 

If you'd like Shawcross to have a recurring injury you need to check either "permanent" or "future" - check with Pete/Gripper as you say. Severity does not mean recurring. A severe injury has a chance of recurring, but does not set a recurring injury in the way that you seem to be after.

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I've always felt FM (and CM before it) never really got the balance right...

Some iterations ago (around FM10?), Top Clubs simply couldn't let their Aging Stars go. Despite physical attributes <5, the likes of Rooney, De Rossi and Messi kept on sticking around the Starting XI of thir clubs well into their late 30s.

In newer versions, you'd be lucky to find a competent 32yo player who wasn't already that age (or slightly younger) in the starting db. So the original one would be the ONLY generation able to play at a top level past 30, while the first batch of newgens would have turned into useless geriatric patients already around age 29.
 

That problem has carried over in my perception, meaning I NEVER sign anyone over 28 unless I'm at a crappy club and even an older, declining, star is still better than my younger players.

My biggest gripe is that under the current development/decline model, it's pointless trying to preserve or micromanage aging stars because their drop is simply too sharp AND, combined with the ME's emphasis on physical skills, it becomes impossible even for a top-quality veteran to hold his own in a productive way.
Maaaaybe you can get away with a lethargic and weak DLP, but besides that role, I can't think of any other place where I'd venture fielding a 7Acc/6Pace/6Str player, no matter how mentally and technically gifted he is.

So forget Zanetti or Totti being important players til their very late 30s... In FM the moment a player isn't able to keep up with the game's pace, he's done for.

P.S. At least it'd be fun having aging stars looking for a last fat paycheck in some crappy, but rich, league OR (the less greedy ones) accepting it's time to step down and to play at a lower level, even semi-pro, for fun or for the love of the game.
E.g. Lucio is still playing in Brazil lower divisions, and so have been many other former stars.

Unfortunately in FM, the Reputation Gap will prevent this from happening, as there's no way a former international will accept the offer of a Tier 3 (or even 2) club, and the club won't even make an offer anyway...

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@RBKalle it's of course two very separate aspects of the general getting older theme. Deterioration and retirement. What squads do with these ageing players is then another layer on top.

However, what exactly are you seeing because I signed Aduriz, at 38 because he still had the stats needed to compete. In fact, when I uploaded it for SI to look at this is what Seb replied:

09df40d7d653e6f16ef8402cf442f9ef.png

Seb mentions that he would expected to see more decline. Of course, this is a player in the starting DB but this is a case of being nearly 18 months down the line at the time Seb got to step into my save and see the player. Furthermore, Aduriz was 2nd in the golden boot until an injury in January as an advanced forward. His pace had of course gone, but goals were coming fine and frequent. 

- - -

I can't speak too much for your issues I'm afraid, I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum - I will sign players well beyond 30 if they'll do a job. I tend to be a little more arbitrary but a player with natural fitness of 10 or less will be sold by 30 to get maximum money before he declines. If a player is 15+ natural fitness and has a high profile indicator for professionalism then 35/36 is pretty much fine to keep playing as a first team/key player without seeing decline. Injuries of course past the age of 30 can cause significant problems but development is always going to be an equally grey area. 

Again, I can't speak for what you do but this issue was one that built for me over time and I finally felt I had a grasp on what aspects about it didn't feel enjoyable as part of the experience of playing FM. While I was wrong, at least in the eyes of SI as to what the bug was, they are looking into the problem - being that older players are signing contracts they won't honour. 

I then went through and made a hefty feature request on how I think retirement should work in the game, one being the detailing of some kind of player interaction event like with unhappiness so that perhaps there can be the chance for a manager to stave off retirement if they can satisfy what the player is being determined to want from football still at this point and the second being what would admittedly be a considerable overhaul of the logic making process behind retiring but one I feel would be superior purely for the immersive factor.

- - -

Very few people actually just make single standalone points to SI of "I don't enjoy this aspect, here's why" rather than getting worked up and making huge sweeping statements in general so an awful lot of good feedback does probably get lost in the excess. Although I myself tend to be one who waffles to excess endlessly.

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13 ore fa, santy001 ha scritto:

Of course, this is a player in the starting DB but this is a case of being nearly 18 months down the line at the time Seb got to step into my save and see the player. Furthermore, Aduriz was 2nd in the golden boot until an injury in January as an advanced forward. His pace had of course gone, but goals were coming fine and frequent. 

IMO the biggest problem is that a newgen wouldn't have EVER made it to that age as a very good player... He'd have probably become completely useless around age 35, if not earlier, and long retired before turning 38.

I'll dig up a long-term save for the newest FM I can find to do a bit of data crunching... I'd use FM14 but I guess it's way too old... My latest FM18 save is just in year 2027, so there hasn't been enough time for most newgens to reach their mid-late 30s, even though the game had to generate plenty of new players to fill the squads (it was a weird gameworld setup, so it's probably a bit inaccurate)

 

13 ore fa, santy001 ha scritto:

I can't speak too much for your issues I'm afraid, I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum - I will sign players well beyond 30 if they'll do a job. I tend to be a little more arbitrary but a player with natural fitness of 10 or less will be sold by 30 to get maximum money before he declines. If a player is 15+ natural fitness and has a high profile indicator for professionalism then 35/36 is pretty much fine to keep playing as a first team/key player without seeing decline. Injuries of course past the age of 30 can cause significant problems but development is always going to be an equally grey area. 

Maybe it's because I've rarely managed at the highest level, but most of my aging players started to decline visibly around 30-32, with Acc and Pace in the single digits and dropping like a rock. So if I can scoop a decent replacement for free (courtesy of AI's sloppy squad building) or I can splash the cash on a far superior player, I see no reason to stick with a former star who's now more of a liability.

And in the rare cases I keep an aging guy around because he's a team icon or a leader, he'll soon enough realize he's done for as a top player and he'll retire..

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I've not looked into anywhere near the detail Santy has, but I've just had a quick look at my old FM2016 save, which was in the sixth season. I checked the Premier League, the Football League and the league I was in (Northern Premier League Premier Division) and the oldest player according the the fact comparison on squad reports is 37.

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On 26/01/2019 at 17:22, RBKalle said:

In newer versions, you'd be lucky to find a competent 32yo player who wasn't already that age (or slightly younger) in the starting db. So the original one would be the ONLY generation able to play at a top level past 30, while the first batch of newgens would have turned into useless geriatric patients already around age 29.

I think this might be a bit of a misconception. Some players don't even peak until they are 29. We have various turning point ages under the hood, it would be very rare for any relating to "decline" to be 29.

On 26/01/2019 at 17:22, RBKalle said:

So forget Zanetti or Totti being important players til their very late 30s... In FM the moment a player isn't able to keep up with the game's pace, he's done for.

Totti is a once in a decade example, any player replicating his career should be extremely rare.

On 26/01/2019 at 17:22, RBKalle said:

P.S. At least it'd be fun having aging stars looking for a last fat paycheck in some crappy, but rich, league OR (the less greedy ones) accepting it's time to step down and to play at a lower level, even semi-pro, for fun or for the love of the game.
E.g. Lucio is still playing in Brazil lower divisions, and so have been many other former stars.

Unfortunately in FM, the Reputation Gap will prevent this from happening, as there's no way a former international will accept the offer of a Tier 3 (or even 2) club, and the club won't even make an offer anyway...

If you've got some examples of where you believe this should be happening we'd certainly be interested in taking a look :thup:

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On 27/01/2019 at 10:43, RBKalle said:

IMO the biggest problem is that a newgen wouldn't have EVER made it to that age as a very good player... He'd have probably become completely useless around age 35, if not earlier, and long retired before turning 38.

Once the game begins there is no difference between a newgen and a real player. If Aduriz can do it a similar newgen can too.

On 27/01/2019 at 10:43, RBKalle said:

I'll dig up a long-term save for the newest FM I can find to do a bit of data crunching... I'd use FM14 but I guess it's way too old... My latest FM18 save is just in year 2027, so there hasn't been enough time for most newgens to reach their mid-late 30s, even though the game had to generate plenty of new players to fill the squads (it was a weird gameworld setup, so it's probably a bit inaccurate)

Any examples from FM19 would be grand :thup:

On 27/01/2019 at 10:43, RBKalle said:

Maybe it's because I've rarely managed at the highest level, but most of my aging players started to decline visibly around 30-32, with Acc and Pace in the single digits and dropping like a rock. So if I can scoop a decent replacement for free (courtesy of AI's sloppy squad building) or I can splash the cash on a far superior player, I see no reason to stick with a former star who's now more of a liability.

This absolutely will be a contributing factor. Players lower down the leagues tend to have a lower overall level of natural fitness.

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On 27/01/2019 at 11:43, RBKalle said:

Maybe it's because I've rarely managed at the highest level, but most of my aging players started to decline visibly around 30-32, with Acc and Pace in the single digits and dropping like a rock.

I sort of agree with you that there are too few players that are playing well in the mid- to high 30s, but there are some. At least around 33-34. I'm currently in 2035 and since I don't usually have older players in my squad, I took at look at other teams and their older players. I've picked players (only newgens) who are part of the main squad and not 3-games-a-season backups.

9OcGP4E.png3weuIyt.pngkw1XErL.png

OaVKCtQ.pngrpkzlVx.pngrcQxvin.png

First of all, the reason most are around 33 is because that is the average age of a newgen that came through the first season in-game. A few more years in and we should hopefully see even more and older newgens. There still are quite a lot of 34-38 year olds around, but they are real players at the end of their careers. I just looked through the Premiership teams and at the older players of each. Some have very poor physicals (Amaral and Magalhães) while some of the others have very good ones.

So for me there is a good mix the timeframe of falling physicals. However, to me it seems like there is fewer "older" players. The oldest player in the league is Trent Alexander-Arnold at 36. In fact only 4 teams have any players 34 or older. Compared to real life 15 teams have players at that age. Granted most of the teams in real life have back goalkeepers at that age, but this is not really mirrored in my game. Is this something you are aware of @Seb Wassell? If not, I'm more than happy to upload my save.

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@XaW Cheers for the data.

Obviously whilst in percentage terms 4 > 15 is quite a large change, in real terms it is not. It would only take a handful for the balance to swing the other way. As you can understand with these things we need to be careful what tweaks we make, a 'tiny' rebalance could actually have much larger consequences in real terms. Goalkeepers is certainly an avenue to explore though, thank you for that example.

Overall your above observations match our internal data, showing a balance that I am currently satisfied with. Of course this does not mean we won't be looking to further refine this in the future.

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No person over the age of 39 has played in the PL in 2019. Only 2 over the age of 36. and 16 over the age 33, mostly GKs and back up defenders.

This is a non issue. Football has changed and the biggest change since I was a kid is the fitness levels of players. There's no Razor Ruddock in the PL anymore and there's no 40 year old outfield players. Ashley Young is Uniteds oldest outfield player, Fernadinho is Citys. Both 33 and their clubs actively seeking replacements.

That's just how the game is now.

Edited by Stubz
Paragraph.

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4 ore fa, Seb Wassell ha scritto:

I think this might be a bit of a misconception. Some players don't even peak until they are 29. We have various turning point ages under the hood, it would be very rare for any relating to "decline" to be 29.

Again, I speak out of my personal experience... I've seen players around 29-30 get a solid increase in their mental skills, but with physical decline already kicking in.

It can be mitigated (or it used to be so with custom training schedules before the overhaul), but like @XaW's players have shown, having VERY HIGH physical attributes at one's peak is a mandatory prerequisite to last longer as a useful player.

A slow-ish player at 28 has absolutely no chance to ever make it into his mid-30s... Think of Pirlo or Xavi: never the fastest guys, both'd have been Acc/Pace 5 and a massive liability in the game to a level they've never been in real life, not even the day they retired.

 

4 ore fa, Seb Wassell ha scritto:

Totti is a once in a decade example, any player replicating his career should be extremely rare.

Quagliarella is having his best season at 36. Sergio Pellissier (far from a top-level player) will turn 40 in two months and is still a respectable bottom-half Serie A striker...

Totti, Zanetti and Giggs were exceptions, but it's not *that* exceptional to have well-trained, professional and relatively "undamaged" players to stick around well into their mid-30s at a decent-to-good level.

I maintain FM's ME puts too much emphasis on physical skills, so an aging, slower and weaker player will likely be outperformed by sheer pace or physicality regardless of his technical ability or of his superior match-reading skills.

 

1 ora fa, Stubz ha scritto:

No person over the age of 39 has played in the PL in 2019.

There is a lot of top-level football outside the Premier League though...

EPL clubs have enough money to afford replacing every player at the slightest hint of "decline", or just for the sake of it... Elsewhere though the experience of a couple of veterans is still a valued asset and they're kept around as mentors/rotation options or even as first choices.

Not to mention in lower leagues or smaller nations, where an older guy with top-level experience can easily mop the floor with a kid half his age, no matter how quicker and stronger he can be.

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My experience is also that in Premier league at least players dont really hold up. Top clubs want to get rid of them  when they reach 28. I often get them as Everton to stay close to the top, but i know if i get a 28 year old he will start to decline until 30 then you can only hope and pray you get a nice offer from China, because as a top player in this league he becomes useless.

Edited by GerdMuller

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Here's a fresh example from my current FM19 save

 

tore_reg_decline.thumb.jpg.63030090f9e4bd9641db50f8e8aa6db2.jpg

The best CB at the club in the original db, a top-level player in the league at the start, still a key member for my side, which incidentally has started to leak more goals as Tore's Acc and Pace PLUMMETED over the last 18 months.

Granted, he was never a speed merchant, but -4 over the span of one and a half-year are a staggering decline that will cripple any player. And for a relatively slow CB, -4 was like a -33% of his pace in a rather short amount of time.
 

Again, not that it's necessarily unrealistic, but imagine this happening to an EPL or La Liga CB... In the lowly Norwegian league an Acc/Pace 7 player can get away with his experience against relatively weak strikers. But against the likes of Aguero, Messi etc, it's clearly a no-go.

Edited by RBKalle

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2 hours ago, Seb Wassell said:

@XaW Cheers for the data.

Obviously whilst in percentage terms 4 > 15 is quite a large change, in real terms it is not. It would only take a handful for the balance to swing the other way. As you can understand with these things we need to be careful what tweaks we make, a 'tiny' rebalance could actually have much larger consequences in real terms. Goalkeepers is certainly an avenue to explore though, thank you for that example.

Overall your above observations match our internal data, showing a balance that I am currently satisfied with. Of course this does not mean we won't be looking to further refine this in the future.

Of course, it was more a sudden observation in regards to the subject at hand. I appreciate the delicacy needed around tweaking such things, and of course my observations is only a single game while I expect you guys have done soaks thousands of times to balance it out. When I looked at this and compared it to real life, pretty much goalkeepers were thing missing as far as I could see. So if a small tweak to older goalkeepers as backups is possible in the future, then I think the older ones are pretty much bang on.

21 minutes ago, RBKalle said:

A slow-ish player at 28 has absolutely no chance to ever make it into his mid-30s... Think of Pirlo or Xavi: never the fastest guys, both'd have been Acc/Pace 5 and a massive liability in the game to a level they've never been in real life, not even the day they retired.

Pirlo was a massive liability for his teams though, and only because of Arturo Vidal were he able to play so good for so long. Just about every Juventus game I saw back then the team carried Pirlo without the ball and allowed Pirlo to do his magic without the ball. Without a very dedicated work horse beside him, he would have allowed the opponent too much space and been a big liability. For Xavi, I'd say his lack of pace were inconsequential because of the extremely high possession that Barcelona had ensured that very few teams had enough of the ball to exploit his weakness. And he also had Busquets behind him covering an insane amount of space. The weakness in Pirlo especially were very obvious when he went to New York City. He played very good on the ball, but he got a lot of criticism for allowing space without the ball, mostly because of lack of pace as well as a low work rate. For Xavi I didn't see much of him after he left Barcelona, since I don't see much football from the Middle East.

At any rate, I'd say those two were played in a way that masked their sluggishness and allowed them to focus on their strengths and let their lack of physical attributes be as inconsequential as possible. And these were two of the best footballers in the world, other, less talented footballers would be even less successful with the same level of speed.

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57 minutes ago, RBKalle said:

 

There is a lot of top-level football outside the Premier League though...

EPL clubs have enough money to afford replacing every player at the slightest hint of "decline", or just for the sake of it... Elsewhere though the experience of a couple of veterans is still a valued asset and they're kept around as mentors/rotation options or even as first choices.

Not to mention in lower leagues or smaller nations, where an older guy with top-level experience can easily mop the floor with a kid half his age, no matter how quicker and stronger he can be.

 

That's moving the goal posts of the OP and you're still basing it on perception not looking at stats to back you up.

 

There's nobody over 37 who has played in The Championship.

There's nobody over 39 who has played in League One.

And there is one player in League Two who is 40.

 

So there is currently one active player in the football league who is over 40. And he played on February 2nd. His 40th Birthday was January 24th. So until February 2nd 2019 not one 40 year old had played in the Football League 18/19.

You are just guessing and assuming, SI are doing endless research and even my 10 minutes of research says they are closer to the truth than further away from it.

You know what they say about assumptions.

Edited by Stubz

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I have also noticed older players and staff sign new contracts with my club and then retire in the middle. Seems like either they're leaving or they're not. If a player retires in the middle of this contract wouldn't he have to buy himself out of the contract and pay you the wages for the time he cuts? This did not happen, but I wondered if it should've. Perhaps more realistically he wouldn't have signed in the first place.

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Serie A.

Famous for prolonging careers and valuing older players.

Not one 40 year old.

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5 minuti fa, XaW ha scritto:

At any rate, I'd say those two were played in a way that masked their sluggishness and allowed them to focus on their strengths and let their lack of physical attributes be as inconsequential as possible. And these were two of the best footballers in the world, other, less talented footballers would be even less successful with the same level of speed.

I wouldn't go as far as calling Pirlo at Juventus a "liability", but I don't necessarily disagree with your point.

Pirlo needed to be protected, and Xavi could thrive in a very possession-oriented system, whereas neither would have lasted as long in, say, a gegenpressing setup or in any tactic requiring direct play.

HOWEVER

I maintain in FM neither player would have still been useful for as long as they were IRL. 

For reference's sake, let's compare their speed attributes:

Pirlo:
FM12, age 32, Acc 11 - Pace 12
FM14, age 34, Acc 9 - Pace 9
FM15, age 35, Acc 10 - Pace 9

Xavi:
FM12, age 31, Acc 11 - Pace 13.
FM14, age 33. Acc 12 (?!) - Pace 11
FM15, age 34, Acc 9 - Pace 8

 

So, approx a -1 per year decline (with Xavi getting an Acc boost between FM12 and 14 for some reason) but at a much LOWER rate than it'd happen in FM gameworld (see my screenshot above).

That probably means that by the 2013-14 season in FM12 world, both Pirlo and Xavi would have become much slower, much earlier, likely leading to retirement or to an earlier move to a crappy league

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2 minutes ago, Stubz said:

Serie A.

Famous for prolonging careers and valuing older players.

Not one 40 year old.

To be fair there have been several and there was one as recently as last season, and there are many high-30s currently playing now.

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26 minutes ago, Weston said:

To be fair there have been several and there was one as recently as last season, and there are many high-30s currently playing now.

 

But there are none today and it's a moving trend.

If I can make my own assumption since everyone else is, I would assume programming for an exception is difficult and I'd rather we missed the one exception than have 44 year olds running around along side 20 year old lads.

 

My stats are from TransferMarket.com and I've looked up 5 leagues and found one active 40 year old. I think this tells it's own story and now the burden proof is on the people saying "This isn't accurate" and off the people who believe it is.

The OP is about players not hitting 40. " But it seems like 39 is the death sentence to all players careers" I think i've proven to enough of an extent that it's extremely rare for players in the big countries to be that age. Maybe I'll look up Sweden or Eastern Europe and see what's happening there but as for the OP his problem is a non issue since there's currently one active over 40 player in the entire English football league.

 

And nobody else has stats or names or evidence just assumptions and unreliable human memory,

Edited by Stubz

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8 minutes ago, RBKalle said:

I wouldn't go as far as calling Pirlo at Juventus a "liability", but I don't necessarily disagree with your point.

Pirlo needed to be protected, and Xavi could thrive in a very possession-oriented system, whereas neither would have lasted as long in, say, a gegenpressing setup or in any tactic requiring direct play.

Yeah. "liability" might have been a bit too strong of a word, but he were a luxury player that didn't do much without the ball and needed others to fill his defensive duties.

10 minutes ago, RBKalle said:

(...)

That probably means that by the 2013-14 season in FM12 world, both Pirlo and Xavi would have become much slower, much earlier, likely leading to retirement or to an earlier move to a crappy league

And in FM12 that would likely be the case, but I hope that it works better in FM19. I am still playing the save I started in the Beta with a youth focus, so I haven't focused on this much yet. If/when I keep my players into their older stage I'll have this in the back of my mind.

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Not a single 40 year old  has played in the Europa League (EL Proper I believe) this season.

3 over 38. One for a Cypriot team, one for a Swiss Team and one for Rangers. 3.

 

Only Buffon has played European football aged 40 this season. The one exception you can't account for.

That spans all these other countries and "Top level football"

SI have it bang on with "39 being a death sentence"

 

If you want to argue it further feel free, but I think I've proven mine and SIs point.

 

Now guess again and move the goalposts to China and Japan, I'm sure one will be right eventually.

Edited by Stubz

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Let's not confuse the progression (decline) model with the Match Engine or Research.

If there is an issue we certainly want to hear about it, but it has to be defined correctly. For example, the assumption that older players are hampered in game by their low pace is an ME question rather than Progression. Similarly, Pirlo having 10 Acceleration at 35 is not something I would agree with myself but regardless it is a discussion for Research rather than Progression.

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@Stubz I feel like I went through a fairly lengthy process in which I justified the retirement felt wrong. 

Keep in mind that this post was made at the beginning of an educative process. It came with some aims to find out if there were bugs the first post I made on this matter was a bug report here: 

But that tangent aside, I did go into very specific, niche examples because as I mention the majority should fall by the way side. Players who are still performing at the top level, irrespective of their physical attributes and providing they are healthy are unlikely to retire. That is the main cut and thrust of my point. Again coming back to my OP Aritz Aduriz was 2nd in the golden boot in the premier league at the time he announced his retirement. He had played in every game, he was on what was potentially the largest contract of his career. Further on in the thread I believe that I even said that it was right for Aduriz to retire. This was because later in the season he got a bad injury, his attributes nosedived and he took nearly 2 months to recover. Had that injury triggered the decision to retire, or had his loss of form post-injury triggered it those would have both been equally valid. So retiring while still performing comfortably at the top level was the second pillar my argument was built upon.

Which brings me onto the final part, which resulted in the writing of a feature request. The retirement process itself is very uninspiring, very unsatisfying as a player. Most retirement announcements come when an older player cannot get a new club, or a satisfying contract offer to keep playing. For those who get to announce it while still playing it tends to either be something said during the end of season period, either a case of this season just gone was my last, or next season will be my last. Mid-season announcements often tend to be after major injuries, or when a player has fallen completely out of favour. So my feature request also included a caveat about potentially being able to prolong players careers by asking what they want from football in a player interaction and whether that can be something to lure them on for a couple more years.

- - -

It's well worth mentioning that I never suggested clubs should be turning out these geriatric wonder-sides and even cited a game that got it horribly wrong in Total Club Manager. 

I'm completely capable of augmenting my views and thoughts over time, my belief now is that one major part of the argument has been completely laid to rest because it was down to a bug. What was most frequently leading to these situations recurring in my games was a bug with unintended behaviour, so that certainly changes my view on the rest.

So what remains is that the current processes don't feel as satisfying, or engaging as they could. In fact, perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong, the actual process in game of being informed once a player has decided to retire and the interaction with the player has not changed in over 10 years. The ages of retiring players and AI behind the decision certainly appears to have, but the delivery mechanism in game - a solitary news article does not seem to have. Given the advancements in other areas of the game, player interaction, player concerns I feel like there could be more done. And of course, I appreciate its not a pivotal aspect of the game, but the closing of a footballers career is a big part of the sport. 

My hopes now are to perhaps persuade SI that there is definitely merits in improving the feel of this element of the game and then have a slither of hope that perhaps there can be merit seen in using something like the player interaction tool, and the player unhappiness modules as controlling factors over retirement instead of something seemingly a little more arbitrary. 

- - -

It's also worth pointing out that there is a couple of threads of discussion within this thread of discussion. @RBKalle has very different, but similarly themed concerns to myself. But it can bring about other useful topics to discuss in the sphere of older players in the game. While not the central theme (as I used a player from FM19 for maximum relevance) I did also cite players of 36 (Ryan Goldberg), 36 (Toni Kroos), 41 (Gary Jones) and Robin Van Persie (37) who I also felt retired too soon. While Gary Jones was in non-league football, he was still capable of playing on. That is the level that actually tends to see more old players as well, as it tends to be for many all they know and their best source of income. The 39 death sentence part came from me looking into saves and realising there was an incredibly strong pattern there.

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