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How to Play FM: A (Very) Short Guide to Match Preparation, Strategies and Motivation

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Firstly, I didnt write this, this a small but very good guide written by wwfan, which i though would be helpful to some users on here

How to Play FM: A (Very) Short Guide to Match Preparation, Strategies and Motivation (by wwfan)

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How to play FM: I am assuming that everybody can employ the Tactics Creator well enough to build a stable and logical formation. If you are struggling in that regard, I suggest downloading TT&F10 (stickied at the top of the forum), which will explain how to do so in great detail. This thread simply focuses on preparing for and playing matches in FM11.

1: Firstly, recognise that the match preparation screen is more than cosmetic. You need a stable and solid base formation and a gelled side before you can expect any good runs of form. You also need to have a basic strategy for approaching each match type. I use the following:

  • Match I expect to dominate: Team Blend (should win anyway, so spend some time building the team understanding)
  • Match I expect to win: Attacking Movement: Make sure I have the best chance of converting attacking sequences of play
  • Match I hope to win: Defensive Positioning: Make sure I keep it tight at my end and hope to ****** goals on the counter
  • Match I expect to be a struggle: Attacking Set Pieces: Try to keep things as tight as possible and score form a set piece
  • Match I expect to lose: Defensive Set Pieces: Try to frustrate opposition in open play and then successfully defend the resulting set pieces
  • Match I expect to be dominated in: Team Blend (very little chance of a result, so work on team understanding)

I'd prefer this type of strategy to be automated so I didn't have to click the screen every match, but beggars can't be choosers. NB: My own strategy is just one of many options you might decide upon. Just make sure there is some logical consitency in whatever approach you decide to follow.


2: Play each match according to the conditions, relative formations and relative abilities of the teams.

Conditions: Don't try to play pretty football in bad conditions.

  • Good pitch, good conditions: Play whatever style you prefer
  • Wet conditions: Extend your passing, consider more long shots
  • Hot conditions: Reduce your passing, consider working ball into box
  • Heavy conditions: Use the flanks to avoid the chewed up mire in the centre of the pitch
  • Freezing conditions: Use the centre to avoid the frozen ground on the flanks

Formations: Target key opposing players in different formation shapes, e.g:

  • Lone wide players (i.e. no wide midfielders or no full backs): Target the flanks, try to put player under pressure when in possession
  • Lone DMC: Can be useful to specific mark him to stop him controlling possession
  • Lone FC with no AM support: Can be useful to close him down to prevent him holding the ball up long enough for support to arrive

Reputations: Consider the odds and try to work out the best way to beat them

  • Long odds favourite: Patience may be needed as the opposition will invariably sit deep
  • Favourites at home: Take advantage of the home crowd backing and hit them early
  • Favourites away: Control possession until heads drop
  • Close odds: Don't take too many early risks
  • Poor odds: Try to frustrate and hit on the break
  • Terrible odds: Try to frustrate and silence the home crowd

Please note, this is my base logic and is not the only way of approaching these matches. You might be more aggressive or more cautious than I am and have different ideas on how to counter these variables. The important thing is that you have some type of logical plan.


3: Learn to read the match

Even if you are the best motivator/tactician in the world, sometimes your team will have a terrible first half. Recognising that this is happening and counteracting this is vital to long term form. The key thing to look out for is your players losing all their 50/50 challenges, getting to balls late and struggling to keep possession in the opposition half. You need to react quickly and sort things out in the dressing room at half time.

Tactical reaction: Play more conservatively and clear the ball from danger (use the shouts and strategies)

Dressing room reaction: Praise the best one or two players, tell the rest you are disappointed and ask those really underperforming to go and prove a point. This should kick start performance and give you a fighting chance of winnign the 2nd half.

Another important thing to learn is how to ensure a team doesn't slacken off in the second half after an OK-to-excellent first half performance. The last line of in-match commentary before half time can be very helpful in determining which approach to use.

  • Team has the lead in a match you expect to win but doesn't really deserve it: Warn against complacency/performance dropping
  • Team is playing as expected: No team talk, deal with a few individuals playing well/badly
  • Team has played well but doesn't have the lead or a big lead: Encourage
  • Team is playing very well: Pleased
  • Team has dominated from start to finish: Delighted

If you consistently do all the above well, random results and long slumps will become a thing of the past. Good luck and play well.


Again all credit to wwfan
 
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Very useful. I especially liked the bit on pitch conditions.
 
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I've been playing FM/CM for more than 10 years and consider myself a good manager and I found this very, very useful. Would reccomend everyone give it a read.
 
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That's a very concise guide, sure to help a lot of people. I never really consider pitch conditions to be honest, but there are some very good points there that I will now have to consider
 
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Excellent - I love service with a smile.

Thanx v much.

Is average setting the norm for Match Preperation ? When would you make it more intensive ?
 
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Excellent - I love service with a smile.

Thanx v much.

Is average setting the norm for Match Preperation ? When would you make it more intensive ?
well the more you have it, the less time they have for normal training, i have it at 30% normally
 
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