Hello FM players! Imagine the following scenario. It’s the last matchday of the season. Your team is predicted to finish rock bottom in the league by the media. Despite this, you have battled hard throughout the season, spending hours and hours constructing that super tactic that will see you avoid relegation come to the end of the season. Your efforts have borne fruit, leading to the following scenario: you need to win the last game against fellow relegation candidates to avoid relegation and stay up for the next season. If you win, you stay up. Anything else, the opposition stays up.
During the match, things are going well. You lead 1-0 going into injury-time. You think you’ve made it! The opposition is going down! You are staying up. So, you begin planning your transfer targets for the next season. You are lost in these thoughts for a moment. Suddenly, there is a highlight. The opposition has a freekick, and inevitably, they score. Moments later, the referee blows the final whistle. You’re relegated.
To make matters worse, the players and the fans turn against you, and the board sacks you. You’ve gone from possibly being a hero to definitely a zero in the blink of an eye. So, how do you avoid this agony? Here are six tips to up your game and avoid future situations like this.
Keep your players happy.
Player happiness is extremely crucial in FM. The addition of the “Dynamics” section in recent editions of the game have made it more important. The equation is quite simple. Happy players equal a good dressing room atmosphere, equals players focused on their football, equals good performances on the pitch. You might think this to be a minor factor, but trust me, every little bit helps. Team meetings are also a good way to improve player morale before crucial games. However, it would be best if you were careful with team meetings. Don’t use them too often, or your players will get fed up, and you’ll end up making things worse.
Momentum is important
This point is related to the first. A good run of results leads to more good results. A bad run of results leads to more bad results. Therefore, it’s imperative to avoid consecutive defeats. So, plan your match strategies accordingly. If you’ve lost your previous match, don’t go gung-ho in the closing stages of the next match to try to win the match. If you rack up enough bad results, you might find your players making stupid decisions and giving away easy goals or missing simple chances to score.
Stick to what you know
Most people will tell you not to be afraid of experimenting and to be creative. Don’t Do This. Stick to what you know. For example, don’t play a Christmas tree formation to surprise your opposition if you don’t know how it works or hasn’t played it before. As for all other things, there is a time and place for experimenting. For FM players, that time is the pre-season. During the season, go for the tried and tested solution.
Choose your training schedules yourself.
This is an important part of the game, which most new FM players leave for their staff. However, I cannot stress how important this is. I’ve lost count of the number of positive results I’ve had by focusing on this aspect of the game. Your staff tries to choose a balanced training schedule most of the time. However, if you are relegation candidates and playing Barcelona at the Camp Nou, you don’t need a balanced training schedule. It would help if you had an emphasis on defense. Therefore, choose your training accordingly. This feature has been improved in the newer versions of the game, but still, the AI can’t match human intelligence.
Watch the match, and adapt accordingly.
Some FM players don’t watch the game at all. Some use key highlights because the match takes too long to simulate otherwise. However, watching the game on at least extended highlights is recommended since it allows you to make better tactical decisions during the match by observing the opposition players. For example, if the opposition is attacking from wide areas, you might want to add more defensive cover on the flanks. In other words, adapt your game plan according to how the opposition plays.
It is easy to get sidetracked from your main plan if things aren’t going your way. Be patient, especially in terms of tactics. Most teams aren’t fully fluid until they have played the same tactic with almost the same core players for over a season. Maybe your tactic produces average results in your first season, but the same tactic with the same players might be unbeatable in the next season. With player performances, again, patience is the key. Don’t make hasty changes in the lineup if the players don’t perform immediately. Give them ample time to settle in, and make sure they are match fit before throwing them in the line of fire. You’ll get more than you expect when they eventually do hit a good run of form.
So, these are my six tips for players struggling at FM. I hope they help you out.