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AI squad selection

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I have spent a lot of time (and some money) on Football Manager over the years. If I could pick one aspect of the game to improve, it would be AI squad selection. Right now, it is awful.

There is no squad rotation. Starting players are played until they succumb to injuries while other players with similar abilities rot on the bench (or are not even in the squad at all). 

In the real world, top players who are in their mid (and even late) 30s still get plenty of game time even though they may not be as physically fit as they once were. Meanwhile, their reading of the game usually continues to improve. Unfortunately, in Football Manager, players in their mid-to-late 30s universally experience dramatic declines across most attributes, even to ones that should get even better with age such as decisions, movement, and positioning. In Football Manager, the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo become completely frozen out of their teams by the time they are 35, and that is no exaggeration. I have screenshots to offer as proof of this. 

The solution to these issues? Factoring player condition heavily into squad selection would take care of most, while other minor tweaks (such as a wild card event that gives a ‘forgotten’ player a new chance) could bring more realism to the game. After all, why on earth would a good manager field a team of starters at 70-80% fitness (rather than a fit team with more developing players) against a weak cup opponent when the match following is against a prominent league rival? That is ridiculous. 

Another feature that would encourage the selection of both younger and older players in a squad could be a larger increase in experience for younger players who play alongside older players. 

Why does this matter? I’m tired of having little-to-no challenge managing a team because every other side is incapable of properly managing their players. I do not like seeing good players cast aside for no reason other than being marginally less-skilled than a peer in the same position. I just want Football Manager to be more realistic when it comes to selecting a squad throughout the season. Is that too much to ask?

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