MANUMAD'S BOX OF CHOCCIES

MANUMAD

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I havent gotten into this version as enthusiastically as previous versions (probably cos its basically the same game as the past 5 versions at least with very minor tweaks and also cos I cant figure out the tactical interface).

Still, I guess this has to return, if only as a forum for me to spout my inanities ...

So here goes!
 

MANUMAD

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He's still awesome:

If you are playing in one of the big leagues with no WP and are in need of a goal machine - BUY ELKESON! He costs around 10 mil (can use some instalments as well) has high wages but his stats are great and his performances consistently great as well. Plus his value quickly goes to over 20m and keeps rising.

Great as a ready made option to help you win stuff while you re waiting for your wonderkid cf to fully develop.
 
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MANUMAD

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DONT SUFFER CRUSH DUMPS, FREEZES, PARSING ERRORS ETC

I often see people doing stories, long saves etc and then get heart broken cos their save is corrupted etc. Truth is that unless you ve got loads of RAM (and god knows maybe even if you do) you WILL suffer from many of these. So here is some advice on how to avoid it:

1. Parsing errors - these are curable. Google it and you ll find the solution. It involves deleting the contents of a file once in a while. Easy peasy.

2. Game freezes, crashes:

a) If game refuses to move past a date try holidaying. Usually does the trick.

b) Generally do the following:

i. Dont load up useless leagues (eg no China if you dont intend to manage there). Also note that you still get the main players if you load a league but"view only".

ii. From preferences choose a weekly 3 file rolling save. This way if one of the files corrupt you have another one starting from a few days before.

iii. This wont be popular but it helps A LOT: from preferences - match, untick show stadium and show scenery.

iv. DO NOT under any circumstances use the PC to do other stuff such as browse the internet while waiting for game holidays to pass.

v. If you play and then leave the game for longer than about half an hour dont pick up where you started from when you return. Rather quit game (not to start screen but fully) and reload.

These will all save you a lot of tears. I know it cos they' ve saved me the same!!!
 
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MANUMAD

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Very useful blogs by FM geniuses

1) Downloadable shortlists, filters etc plus articles, tactics etc - this is a veritable treasure trove of FM related stuff:http://www.passion4fm.com/


2) Strikerless is the most fun you can have with FM and with your clothes on! This is the dogs b*llogs by an FM top dog and an all round brill guy (hello GUIDO!):http://strikerless.com


And this is great also:Real Life : There is more to Corby than the trouser press… | The Higher Tempo Press

3) CLEON is our god oh yes he is (and being God he is entitled to be a bit prickly and we still adore him):SI Sports Centre
 

MANUMAD

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ITS MY FUNERAL!!

BE THE BOSS

Do not sell players because they want to leave sell them because you have decided you want them gone.

A good way to do this is:

1. When a player comes to you expressing a wish to go to another (bigger?) team, in conversation tell him you'll accept any bids that will meet your valuation.
2. When the other team bids do not reject but keep negotiating wanting higher and higher amounts. And keep doing it.
3. If player comes back asking you why you rejected tell him that the bid was nowhere near what he's worth. Usually this keeps him calm. Sometimes he gets unhappy. Either way dont budge.

You only have to do the above till a particular transfer window shuts. Once it does - provided you give the player match time - sooner/later you get media info to the effect that ".... player has decided to stay."

TIP: When player asks for a new contract and if you want to actually give him one, first ask him to sack his agent. After he does offer the new contract immediately. This way you avoid paying agent fees!!!
 
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MANUMAD

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ADVANCED DATABASE!

You've got the game ready, and are about to start a new save. You set up the leagues you want to play, let's say England, Spain and Italy. So you look down at the databsase selection, set it to large and start your game.

That's fine but what about exploring custom DB possibilities? Hitting the custom button you will be able to see all the additional leagues/nations/continents you can add to your game, increasing the player pool. This is a nice way to increase the players and prospects available to you as a manager.

I've been looking at some websites which list some prospects in World football and used my season and a half long save with Lyon to look at them and see how they'd developed. However, on that save I'd only loaded France on a large database and had trouble finding some the players based outside Europe.

So what about loading a save with a few more leagues loaded and a custom database, adding players from the top divisions of S. America, Asia, Africa and Oceania?

By doing this you will be able to "unlock" even more cheap young players you can buy and develop or older ones to help you win stuff pronto.

My suggestion (depending on what your pc can take):

1. Load 2/3 divisions of the country you plan to manage in.
2. Load 6/7 other top divisions relevant to the team you ll be managing - eg: In a save with Lanus in Argentina, also loading Spain would not be relevant. Note that the more divisions you note the better the chance you have of quickly selling players!
3. Use the custom database option to load 'players from top division' of North America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Also tick 'add players from continental cup teams' or whatever the equivalent option is.

It's really easy, takes a few clicks (and then can be saved as a preset filter) and vastly increases the amount of prospects you can find in your game at various levels, without putting too much of a strain on your processing speed.
 

MANUMAD

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UNCLE MAD GOES TRAINING!

Start the pre-season as early as possible. Understand that training is a gradual process:

(a) First week fitness general training - tactics match training (focus bar should be all the way to the left) plus rest after match. Intensity: Average.

(b) Second week increase intensity to high and keep training fitness.

(c) Third week gen training team cohesion - Intensity high. No rest after matches

(d) Fourth week gen training team cohesion - Intensity high + rest after matches.

(e) Fifth week till start of season team cohesion and intensity high + rest after matches

(f) From start of season: intensity low + rest after matches (lose tactics/team cohesion when your tactics bars are 3/4 or as you did in previous versions. Also intensity average).

(g)
MATCH FITNESS is VERY important. Monitor it and use the system of utilising the reserve team to build up players' match fitness. If possible DO NOT play players with less than 85 match fitness for more than 45 minutes. Non match fit players are more susceptible to injury.
 
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MANUMAD

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HOW NOT TO CONCEDE EQUALISERS IN THE LAST FEW MINUTES - PART 1

1. The most popular approach to wind down the clock and hang on to a result is to adopt a Contain strategy together with a combination of team instructions, such as Drop (much) Deeper, Stay On Feet, narrower etc (also waste time - retain possession).

But actually such changes may be counter-productive. Also note that you sometimes dont necessarily need to be that defensive. It may even be making it more likely that the opposition will score if you do that. Dont forget that "retain possession" in combination to those other instructions equates to dithering on the ball, so if your team is not technically up to it or can be out muscled by the opposition, it may be a recipe for disaster. So it would be better to employ the clear ball to flanks instruction instead, provided you have wingers/ifs.



2. Before I move on to discuss the matter further I want to share another TIP: On top of the above team instructions Going very rigid and the additional instructions: stick to positions and be more disciplined are extremely effective.



3. The main thing to understand when adopting an extremely defensive mentality is that it invites pressure. The opposition is allowed to advance at will quite deep in your half before they are met with any resistance
(drop (much) deeper/ close down (much) less/ stay on feet exacerbate this). So, this approach should be far from your mind if you have had the upper-hand for the vast majority of the match, or if the opposition happens to be a significantly weaker team that have been defending up until this point. If you have been able to control the match and peg the other team back, why would you drop back and finally give them enough space to create chances?! In this situation, a slightly reduced mentality (ie from attacking to standard) and a modified approach geared towards keeping the ball can more than suffice. Not only is this likely to be a more practical way of thwarting the opposition under the circumstances, but it's also likely to represent less of a change compared with your starting tactic. You should bear in mind that sudden changes in mentality are problematic. So, if you started the match with a positive approach involving an Attacking or Control strategy, your team may struggle more when suddenly switching to a Contain strategy, much more so than if you were going from Standard to Contain, for example.

4. Also bear in mind that not only is the team being asked to do something drastically different, but it's also inviting unnecessary pressure on top of that. This logic would naturally suggest only slight modification when you're defending against a weaker team. So, possibly a Standard mentality, alongside instruction such as Get Stuck In or Retain Possession. This would ensure that your team eases off slightly and comfortably holds onto the ball, allowing you to still control the game and at the same time be more than stable enough defensively, even if its at the expense of attacking intent. The logic in not dropping back more than that is that if the weaker opposition haven't been able to be particularly threatening throughout the game, then they're going to struggle just as much to do so now, even when getting more players forward. No need to back off and gift them the space on a plate that they've not been able to find otherwise.

5. Of course it's different if you are the smaller team attempting to maintain a flattering scoreline against better opposition, or if you have been outplayed and outfought (in which case as early as possible in the match look to substitute in stronger/more aggressive players and have the team tackle and press more and harder and close space -esp midfield space- better and in this respect tweaking your formation may also help). If you still have struggled to contain a team over the course of a match, it's inevitable that when they turn up the pressure you'll be even more overrun than you were before the final minutes.

THIS is when you should drop back and shut-up-shop (but do it carefully, gradually and only for the last 5-10 minutes). There is little to no chance of suddenly pressuring the opposition in ways that you've been unable to previously, so better to get men behind the ball, maintain the team's shape and try to weather the storm by being as difficult as possible to break down. So, a
Contain or Defensive strategy, supplemented by instructions such as Drop (much) Deeper,Close down (much) less, Stay On Feet, and Narrower is advisable.

5. An alternative way of approaching this stage of a match is to be counter-attacking. Generally speaking, this method will only be as effective as your team is at counter-attacking in general. So, if you haven't built a tactic around counter-attacking and been successful with it, this approach is most likely not your best option now when such an approach would need to be at its most effective. In general I dont like counter tactics and cant seem to make them work.

There's a very interesting series of articles by CLEON in his website (SI SPORTS CENTRE) and on the SI FORUMS on the art of counter attacking football that you should read if you want to learn how to set up counter attacking football.

Anyway, a
Standard, Counter or Defensive mentality (depending on how far you're deviating from your starting tactic, as well as your team's performance on the day), in addition to the team instructions of Drop Deeper, and Clear Ball To Flanks and Pass Into Space, in order to encourage longer balls that play your wingers into space which can be especially effective if the other team has adopted a desperate 4-2-4 shape.

6. Another thing to do is to be reactive to what the opposition does in another way: you must in any case always have the opposition formation on screen during matches to monitor in match formational changes. Usually when the opposition is chasing matches it needs to win, it changes formation to extremely attacking permutations such as 424. This presents a golden opportunity for you to take control of the most crucial area: the midfield. So change your own formation to pack the midfield so that the opposition's two players there will be inundated by your players.

Also note that when opposition teams try to break you down they do so trying to exploit width and space on the shoulder of your defenders (as explained in a separate post below). So look at your left defender and right defender (turn both of them into full backs and have them on defend with instructions to hold position).
 
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MANUMAD

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HOW NOT TO CONCEDE EQUALISERS .... - PART DEUX

1. If a Standard strategy is used, it makes more sense for your team to not be backing off so much.

In contrast, if you choose a
Counter strategy, lower closing down becomes more important, so drop down (much) less should be considered, as this mentality requires more emphasis on team shape than Standard. With Defensive though, you may as well use both drop down (much) less and Stay On Feet. After all, your players are sitting so deep that they may as well be looking to force the other team to break them. Otherwise, if midfielders in particular are too readily leaving their defensive positions, opposition midfielders and forwards may find enough space to go unchallenged and have enough time to produce dangerous shots just outside the penalty area. Allowing such attacks defeats the purpose and compromises the strength of sitting so deep within your own half.

3. With the right balance,you'll defend opposition attacks and give them something to struggle with on the other end. If at the same time you don't have a direct threat that's causing problems to the opposition then you're simply allowing the opposition to swiftly get the ball back, allowing them to attack you again. Its not only a question of altering team/player mentality and instructions however. Only doing that is dangerous and may well result in you conceding. Equally if not more important are formational tweaks. You should be watching matches at least on extensive and have the formation of the opposing team on screen at all times. This is to know immediately about formational changes they may employ so that you can negate or even exploit them.

For example:

a. If you play with wingbacks / fullbacks with attacking /automatic duty it would be good between the 80[SUP]th[/SUP] and 85[SUP]th[/SUP] minute to pull them back to be in line with your cbs and have them DEFEND. Even more drastic but quite effective is to also pull the "wingers" back to the wb position so that you have two banks of players on the left and right side of your defence. But NEVER forget having alsways a player who can get the ball and move it (swiftly) to opposition territory as explained above.

b. If the opposition possesses good wingers/employs wing tactics such as 442 or you see a wing thread, then identify it and maybe have your own wingers man mark their wingers (or if their wingbacks are the threat point have them man mark them instead). Of course if you employ Ifs, in order to do that you need to change them to wide players instead so that they occupy the same areas as their target players.

c. If the opposition changes formation to one using an am then pull one cm back, make him dm or anchorman and have him man mark their am.

d. The most common AI tactic to seek goals is to employ a 424. This is very easy to tackle. All you have to do is as per a. above plus pack the midfield by either employing a 4141 or a 451 (but not with a flat 5 cos that is not conducive to defending better nor to having an outlet for your own attacks). Also remember that a midfield which has a dlp (even on defend) as well as an AP will hold the ball better.

e. Make sure whatever you do to leave attacking outlets of your own as if you dont have any whenever your players have the ball they wont have players in mf/attack seeking openings resulting instead in loss of possession. Generally speaking the one time when you unavoidably MUST be REACTIVE to what the opposition does is when you are trying to hold on to a slender lead.

4. If when watching matches you see the other team attacking in waves and yours defending/being unable to keep possession you are deffo not playing well defensively. This means that you are employing the wrong approach combination towards safety (the wrong tactics for the match) and its an indication that alternative tweaks are necessary.


5. Shutting up shop in a few clear steps:

1. There is no substitute for watching matches on extensive at least. If there is a time to be reactive to what you have seen its in the last 10 minutes of matches.

2. Bear in mind what all instructions actually do. Close down (much) less for example can be a dangerous counter productive instruction to suddenly introduce. If you have quick defenders to the other teams not so quick attacking players or if you are the much more reputable team DO NOT employ this shout in its extreme version (ie much less).

3. Following on from 2. above, do not blindly introduce stuff that make your team more defensive/less ambitious. Always do it in relation to what you have seen in the match as well as your players vs opposition players.

4. On the 80th minute pause the match and make your formation more defensive: eg pull back wbs to fb position giving them defend instructions/pull back a cm sit him in front of your cbs make him an anchor man etc.

5. On 84/5th minute pause match again and give defensive instructions:- contain mentality drop deep (much deeper if you are the weaker team)/narrower/retain possession/stay on feet/close down (much) less/waste time/play even safer/be more disciplined/stay in position exploit flanks and maybe even clear ball to flanks. If you dont have wide players in the tactic you are using then pull one player on the wing so that you can have an avenue to release pressure cos otherwise you will be hemmed in as your players wont have anyone to pass the ball from deep/defence and clearing ball to flanks has more chance of releasing players for counter attacks.

6. Dont use counter unless you re sure you know what you re doing as its very difficult to make it work.

I employ the above and I very rarely concede in the last 5/10 minutes as aresult - not only that but mostly I score! (mishaps do happen but then THATS FOOTIE for you!).
 
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MANUMAD

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TANTRIC FM - OR AVOIDING SECOND SEASON SYNDROME

Remember that it is likely that in the second season your reputation will have risen, so now your team is much more of a threat in the eyes of your opponents.

This may have the following results:

1. Teams will often be happier to take a draw against you.
2. Deeper defensive lines: the space behind the lines that you were exploiting the previous season will get smaller.
3. Man-marking of your star players will be much more common - so tweak your tactics to have more varied danger sources (see comments in other posts in this thread).

One cannot be too specific about any recommended tactical changes because you must consider what will work best for the players at your disposal, but I would advise doing the following:

(a) Only recruit players you are sure you need.

(b) Look for players with good
Creativity, Determination, Off The Ball, Composure, Vision and Anticipation, as these are the types of player who will help you to stay in games, break down narrow defences and retain possession.

(c) Look for
pace as well - even where you wouldnt think that its that important (eg starting xi/back up cbs with less than 11/12 pace should be avoided. The ideal is at least 14).

(d) If you got promoted in the previous season, you have turned from one of the top teams in the previous division to one of the lesser ones in the division you now find yourself in so: tweak your tactics to reflect this.
Understand your reputation has changed and play according to it.

(e) It is reasonable to want to build on your squad after the first season in a better divison (or after a season of success) but being too busy in the transfer market will
damage your team more than improve it. Do NOT go on spending sprees. Rather decide what you need and buy the best players you can for it. Buy quality not quantity. Not more than 3/4 players per summer (up to two in January). Even if you do buy with restraint you still have to introduce your new players gradually (one per starting lineup for a couple of months plus one more as a sub).

(g) Conversely dont offload too many players at once. Remember
TEAM COHESION is
very important. Aim for a gradual shift towards a more balanced team. A team which stays together for long will play better than a team which keeps changing even with the introduction of better players. Language is also very important. It takes players about 6 months to learn the language and this will affect their performances.

(h) Look at the candidates you want to buy and esp their character. Dont bring in disruptive players.

(i) Are players who previously played tremendously now looking lazy or demotivated (watch the games closely: who is misplacing passes they shouldnt, who is getting caught on the ball, who is skying shots from 6 yards?)? Remember that motivation issues emanate from the
way you approach press conferences, team talks, private chats and media comments
as well.

(j) Match train (and general train) to combat specific issues. Or try attacking training for longer periods as Ive found this works quite well.

 
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MANUMAD

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TACTICAL MUSINGS

The simplest way to tactics (either downloaded ones and tweaked to suit your squad etc / ones you make yourself) is:

1. Have a basic idea of how you want to play (be realistic - no tiki taka with Crew Alexandra in the first season for example). We all love footy and have watched it all our lives. Think about what you like to see and what works in real life and try to implement it - eg having a slow cb like J Terry man mark C Ronaldo in real life is a recepe for disaster. Same in FM - so dont have slow defenders on man mark - or if you re Chelski on FM and your other 3 defs are ok pace wise and you want to use man mark you could try giving only terry zonal (but if so dont play with off side trap as he'll always play people on, etc).

2. Time and again I see people coming on this site frustrated with FM / asking for tactical help/ wondering what they do wrong, and when they post their tactics they are allover the place.

There are loads of good blogs etc on tactics so read around at least for the basics - high defence line goes with offside trap and sweeper keeper etc. But I said the "simplest" way so here goes: Balance. You should have people doing different stuff per "line" ie: dont have all defenders defend (eg have at least one fb/wb on automatic or even attack), in a 4 man mf you should have at least one player defending. Balance means that the other 3 are: one attacking one defending one supporting (plus the other on defending/attacking/supporting/auto).

Also try to have your forwards doing different things. Its ok having both on attack (as long as the def and esp mf set up has enuff support potential to them) but dont give them the same roles! For example in a 3 man attack with a Treq/Target man up top and two IFs, having all three on attack is not balanced. A nice idea is the TM on attack the left IF on attack with a fb on auto behind him and the right IF on support with a wb on attack behind him.

3. Defence is not just for your defenders. Its about occupying and controlling space especially the middle of the park (literally). That is why the most effective (and nicest to look at in action) tactics are the strikerless ones - losing the attacker(s) means that you have extra players where it really counts (in the middle of the park).

4. FM Blogs I say above. There's loads - google Shrewnaldo/The FM Veteran which is an awesome blog that can start you off, and on it there's links to about 10 more which also have links to others ...... Passion4fm is also a great blog as is True Football Manager. Even blogs on past versions of the game are a treasure trove.

5. The ME is not broken. The game is not fixed against you or predetermined. If stuff is not working then its surely something you are (not) doing. With this in mind and with patience you will deffo have a better time with FM.
 
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MANUMAD

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PLAYERS

AS USUAL ILL BE KEEPING THE PLAYER SUGGESTIONS QUIRKY (NO BALANTAS OR BARBOSAS WILL BE MENTIONED UNLESS TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS FOR HELP/GUIDANCE).

Enzo Roco cb - awesome stats and only costs 6.5m (young too)
Emanuel Mammana cb - young and a bit of a wonderkid
Sime Vrsaljko l/rwb -
not cheap but great
Aissa Mandi - utility wingback who's even greater than the already impressive sum of his stats.
Juan Cazares AMC - 600k or free for unbelievable ability at a young age.
Vieux Sane cb - around 300k for a rock who has the stats of players 10 times more expensive. Your scouts will give him half a star even after you buy him and have him in your squad. The idiots!
Adam Vass dm - still awesome still amazingly worth peanuts.
Duelund CM - Very cheap brill youngster. Can feature in starting XI from get go
Daniel Amartey- DM/D(C)/M(C) Awesome.
Ion Nedelceanu - DMC - Young, combative and cheap
David (?) Ivan - CF awesome forward who already features in the Romanian national squad (where you can easily locate him in game)

 

MANUMAD

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Players

Gino Peruzzi -lb/rb dirt cheap
Iver Fossum cm/am (even better this version)
Sondre Rossbach GK (buy him!)
Predrag Rajkovic GK (16! years old)
David Pavelka - very cheap utility mf (much better than you d think looking at his stats. Good for the Sunderlands of this world)
Patrick Banggaard cb GREAT YOUNG PLAYER
 

Barca4ever11

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So glad Uncle Mad is back ! Love this so much... ;)
Cleon might be FM's legend,but you're a legend too,the FM Base legend !
 

MANUMAD

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So glad Uncle Mad is back ! Love this so much... ;)
Cleon might be FM's legend,but you're a legend too,the FM Base legend !
1. I luv u too!
2. Dunno how active this will be cos im not as much into FM as I once was. Overkill after playing the same game essentially for so many years plus annoyance with tactics window/set up which i still dont get.
3. Im nowhere near CLEON or people like GUIDO (who lurks on fm base as under the name NOM DE GUERRE btw).
 
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