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So first off I am a Canadian who doesn't know a ton about the sport. I got the game on the steam sale and got addicted quickly. I read a bunch of guides and read up on forums and I seemed to be doing alright.

I started as the manager of Dagenham and Redbridge, and I did pretty good for my first season, getting a bunch of good free transfers, and some good free loans. I was in first place for a while, but then I started losing games like crazy. I lost 3 of every 4 games for the last quarter of the season and dropped to tenth.

I started the second season with more good signings and loans, but I still just couldn't win. I tried everything, attacking, defending, rigid, fluid. I tried so many different tactics and absolutely nothing seemed to work. If I went with a big attack I would just concede a bunch of goals and only put up one or two. If I tried to defend I would just lose games 1-0 or 2-0.

I eventually got fired, and thought it might have been Dag and Red that sucked, so I signed on Walsall as the same manager. It hasn't got any better at all. I've honestly tried everything. Every kind of tactic, strategy, giving my team easy friendlies to boost morale, and I just cant win. I think in about the last 20 games I have played I can think of 2 wins so far.

I even tried a save as Barcelona and I drew 0-0 against Millwall in a friendly, so I must be absolutely awful or this game really doesn't want me to win. So I ask all of the pros here, what the **** can I do? I must be doing something completely and totally effed up.
 
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The first thing I'm going to tell ya mate is that everyone sucks at this game the first time they play it.
I remember giving a small Italian team a go thinking "I know football, I'm a man and kicked a ball once. How hard can this be". Went on the usually 5 game win at the start of the season and then didn't win a single game.

Stay with it, every time you feel like punching the Monitor, just say to yourself "At least I haven't signed Darren Bent."

My own approach to it was complete and utter Trial-and-error until I figured out the basics of the game. Don't worry about trophies, just get used to the game. Getting your substitutes right. The different types of player roles and how they interact with each other. The age old question: 3 at the back or 4 at the back :p
 
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just try find the basics out and then expand from there. when i started FM13 i lost like 5-1 to sunderland when i was spurs. you will be great in no time jus keep workin. and looooooool at Darren Bent Brendn
 
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Rather than just trial and error plugging tactics, I'd recommend watching a match vs a side that is roughly equivalent to you in extended mode (not just watching the highlights). Just have a look and see what is going wrong. I apologise in advance for the wall of text, but theres so much in FM to play with.

Things to look for...
Is your defence pushing up too high and getting beaten on the counter?

Are your CBs set to appropriate roles when it comes to Cover, Stopper, Defend? The safe option is normally to set them both to Defend... Have a play and you'll see the difference in how they behave.

What is happening with your passing on different parts of the pitch? Are they just bombing it forward? or are they too careful and just chipping it around to nearby players until they get in trouble? Would you prefer some players run with the ball more?

What does your attacking movement look like? Are you using wide players to hit crosses? Do you have players that can actually get on the end of them? Or would it be better to focus more on through balls in the center of the pitch instead? And on the flip side, perhaps you don't have the players to hit good through balls and you should focus on attacking using crosses instead.

Are your players shooting from range too often? Perhaps they should work the ball around more and try to get into a more dangerous position before having a shot.


I know that sounds exhausting... but thats what FM is all about, the details! Maybe take a few notes when you do this so you can focus on the biggest problems.

Armed with that information you can adjust the overall formation, tactics, passing style, etc to try and bring out the best from your players. I recommend using a rigid philosophy and less creativity to make players follow your instructions closely instead of doing their own thing.

Then you can refine individual roles further by setting individual instructions for each player. Stuff like setting a player with good dribbling to run with the ball more often, setting long shots to rarely for players that have no business shooting from outside the area, etc, etc. You can even train preferred moves to individual players to try and lock them into certain playstyles.

After this play a few games with the tactic, and try to remember that your players need time to learn the tactic. See how you go, and if you only want to watch highlights then use the game analysis to work out how the tactic plays in different phases.

Stick with it! You'll get the hang of it eventually and come up with your own killer tactic that fits your team!
 
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Mate read around. There's loads of helpful threads in this site (such as my own Box of Sweets and many of RAIKAN's), and loads of very interesting blogs on FM(13).
 
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So, I got fired from Walsall after loosing 11 games in a row. I created a new coach and put him on Preston, who were #1 in League 1 and absolutely destroying everyone. I played 2 games as them trying a bunch of different strategies, and lost the first one 2-0 and lost the second one 3-0. There must be something obvious that I am doing horribly wrong because I can't win a ********* game no matter what.

It doesn't matter anymore what I do, if I go all out attack I still don't score and just give up a bunch of goals, if I try to play defensive I still lose 2 or 3 nothing. This is most definitely the most frustrating game I have ever played.

Oh and to reply to Mordox, I watched a bunch of my games. My defenders seem to make awful decisions and just give the ball away. They also routinely get straight up beat. My forwards also make bad decisions with the ball and either give it away or take a really bad shot.
 
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Do not get crazy with tactics and signings. Team cohesion and familiarity with the tactics are more important than choosing the right one. If I only knew that someone else would play with Dag & Red, I could of written a team guide j/k. First off the players starting off are good enough to get you to Championship. Ogogo played for a few seasons in my save in the Premiership as well. He was the last of the starting players to leave in 2022. The tactic I used was Pow Right In the Kisser that you can dl from this site. Stick with it and create a less aggressive, but keeping the same formation, tactic. Understand man management and you should be in the EPL in the 2017/2018 range.
 
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They're all right: Tactics, team cohesion and fluidity, and judicious financial management will win the day - eventually. Once you start flailing around with tactics, the team senses you don't know what you're doing and all start playing for themselves. You need to find/research 2-3 tactics (download them if you must, copy them from the tactics forum - but understand that your personnel may not utilize them to the fullest), put your training on tactics and cohesion (once you've got them fit for the season), and try not to overload on shouts and sliders. Everyone who plays FM has had several instances of job loss due to bad form. Wembley wasn't built in a day.
(btw, I'm American, know even less about soccer than Canadians. At least Canada has lacrosse, which from what I can determine, is hockey on a soccer field with a tiny ball, no skates, and tiny butterfly nets on sticks. Hmmm...)
 
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May I direct you also to my thread MANUMAD's box of sweets? Has stuff which is sure to help you
 
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My defenders seem to make awful decisions and just give the ball away. They also routinely get straight up beat. My forwards also make bad decisions with the ball and either give it away or take a really bad shot.
Geez I dunno what to say, unless I'm watching it happen I can't tell you exactly whats going on.

Anything I say is really just gonna be repeating what I said before. This game takes time to understand, I've been playing it for 4 years now off and on and I still don't understand a bunch of things in the game. I had one season I think 4 seasons ago in my current save where I was getting destroyed for half a season in championship league, as in dead last in the league in january. I tried so many tactics and failed a bunch, but then I basically replaced half my team with germans and russians, fined a bunch of players and went ape at them in team talks. Turns out my players were just terrible together, or I was being too soft on them before that. Absolutely no tactic I tried worked until we went through that meltdown.

Anyway, If you're saying your defenders make awful decisions then set those idiots to Limited Defenders and see if theres a reason in their stats thats causing this. Marking/positioning/concentration and composure are all pretty important for them. If they're getting beat on through balls then perhaps they need a nice aggressive anchor man in front of them to help them out. If your forwards are making bad decisions... what exactly do you mean? Are they trying to pass when they're bad at passing? Set them to poacher if they can't handle anything apart from taking a shot. If their composure is low then they are going to handle pressure badly and screw a lot of things up.

There will be a reason why you're having these issues. Just try making a single tactic for now, make it tight in the back and then worry about figuring out how to score goals. One of the best tactics I had (as in avoiding losses) when I first started playing FM had 2DMs, no wide midfielders and just relied mainly on counters and set pieces to score goals. And if nothing works, just get more russians and yell at people.
 
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I downloaded a new tactic, its called 4-4-2 IronOnes or something like that. It seemed to be the magic solution. My team started beating everyone, and I went on a 21 game unbeaten run. This game is so strange....
 
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frankly, a person can win with a **** tactic if they stick with it. The game is overly generous to tactical consistency.

I have two tactics set up at all times, and only use a single tactic, ever. I tweak the tactic for each game, but only once the game has loaded, that way you arent affecting your team's familiarity with the tactic.

Constantly tweaking the tactic outside of this context, or using lots of different ones, is a sure fire way to fail.
 
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