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I have watched a whole season of Barca on full match, this game needs improving ...


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To make it easy to read I will list the problems for the user and the AI when trying to play good football mostly:

1) The ME and tactics simply do not allow the flexibility that good football requires

2) It is too hard to get EXACTLY what you want from the players

3) If you have loads of possession, no matter the creative freedom, long shots etc, the team do not create realistically

4) Stupis, awful passes out of play, to their team happen too often, w/e instruction

5) Passing accuracy for AI is laughable and so so so far off the mark it is unreal

6) You cannot replicate the high pressing system

7) Things like CB's spreading when the GK has the ball and playing from deep are far away from what you get in fm

8) Instructions for players are too limited, too many times you'll want 3 things from him, but ou can't get them simultaneously witht he limited instructions

9) Simply too hard to keep the ball, If I am Barca and just do basic and advances team instructions, I expect us to dominate still, maybe not play that well but if I get them right I expect god results, I know for a face I've tried everything, but still the results are mixed at best, I''ve had success, but not regularly as it should be with Barca

That's all I can think of for now but there is many more, this article further explains what I mean http://www.fm-britain.co.uk/2010/04/26/barcelona-tactics-football-manager/

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1) what exactly is good football? one could argue that inter played extremely good football against barca

2) I have no problems to get my players to act like i want them to

3) what do you mean by creating realistically?

4) you probebly do not give your players enough passing options

5) i usaly spend most of my time looking at my own team so im not commenting on this one

6) its fairly easy to implement a high pressing system in the current ME, infact, its a lot more easy to do that then to build a good stand of type of defence

7) have yet to expriment anything with that

8) in some ways i might agree, but like i said, after some tweeking I use to get what i want from my players

9) i have no problem to keep possession if thats what i want my team to do, or to get consistant results for that mather

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I have watched every season played in the past few versions of FM on full match replay and spend about 95% of my time on FM playing the same team. This does mean that by the time FM11 comes out I will likely be about 5 seasons into my save maximum.

I think some of your concerns are valid and accurate, some not so valid, and some of them are because of other weaknesses popping up.

1) The ME and tactics simply do not allow the flexibility that good football requires

I disagree with this one. There is a huge amount of flexibility in the ME and tactics to produce plenty of good football, but you need to play it on the games terms. The game does have some clear weaknesses when it comes to "replicating" tactics from real life so if you want to play good football in FM10 you have to couple knowledge of real life football with knowledge of what works and doesn't work in the game. FM is not vastly and obviously off the mark in a big way in many areas but you still need to deal with FM as a game and not a pure simulator.

2) It is too hard to get EXACTLY what you want from the players

In fairness it is impossible to get certain things from players as the game doesn't support certain tactical behaviours. However it is also a clear design principle that players are significantly influenced by their own attributes and make their own decisions etc. Therefore once you understand how certain players behave it is rather easy to get them to play certain ways and do certain things. You will never have absolute direct control over players, but if you understand their abilities and behaviour then the indirect control through the instructions is often enough to get precisely what you want.

It is an absolutely fundamental element of FM that you must accept that it is your players that carry out your instructions according to their abilities. Players play football, you instruct them how to play it. The degree of control the instructions give on specific actions seems about right to me. However more instructions and certainly more tactical-logic development in the ME is always welcome.

3) If you have loads of possession, no matter the creative freedom, long shots etc, the team do not create realistically

Not sure about this one myself. Chance creation involves so many different factors that can be used in so many different ways that it is incredibly difficult to look at someone elses chance creation and consider the game to be flawed.

One of the major ironies of the FM community is that players over the age of 30 tend to be sold outright as soon as physical attributes start to decline, whereas players over the age of 30 will improve their mental understanding of the game and mental understanding of the game is an incalculably vital component of chance creation. Especially against deeper, stronger, tighter and more numerous defenses that ability to spot a pass and time a pass and execute a pass under pressure and without succumbing to the desire to shoot or dribble or go for glory is an absolutely huge asset to have in a team. Indeed it is a crucial asset to have all across a team, and not just in a single designated playmaker.

I think that especially when playing as a club like Barcelona, to create chances "realistically" in the manner that Barcelona actually create chances then you have to be very good at this game indeed. It is quite possibly to create chances with Barcelona that are not like the chances they create in real life, but to design into a team like Barcelona the tactical ability to play like Barcelona requires skill at FM. And it certainly cannot be done through the TC with it's generic positions, roles and instructions. You cannot take "templates" and "generic roles" and "average instructions" and mould them into a scintillating representation of one of the most stylish and unique attacking sides in the world.

4) Stupis, awful passes out of play, to their team happen too often, w/e instruction

I am not sure what you mean here, but confident, composed, cultured players playing at a low tempo with plenty of options should not be hitting passes out of play. If the AI is doing it against you then it is very possible it is because they are playing at a high tempo to close you down, are playing without confidence or composure and have few numbers forward, or are simply not very good.

5) Passing accuracy for AI is laughable and so so so far off the mark it is unreal

Perhaps. It has never stood out for me in my saves and there are a large number of factors that combine to define passing accuracy of players and teams.

6) You cannot replicate the high pressing system

Perhaps you cannot replicate THE high pressing system directly as Barcelona employ it but you can replicate A high pressing system, therefore if you wish to press high up the pitch you can do so. The problems arise when designing teams that have a lot of depth to them, i.e. designing a team that plays "between the lines" and has AMC's and CM's and Trequartista's and DMC's etc. but also wanting to play compact and tight on the defensive. These things do tend to require some creative problem solving.

It might be more accurate to state that in FM you cannot easilly replicate defensive systems that in real life go along with certain offensive systems. For example you can easilly replicate a 4-2-3-1 defensive system but then it is extremely difficult to get a good 4-1-2-3 shape when attacking, or to get a single winger to tuck infield and play alongside the AMC as dual playmakers, and vice versa.

There are problems of that specific nature in FM, no doubt about it. However it is not accurate to state that you cannot replicate a certain defensive system, because you can. What you cannot do is easilly replicate from certain attacking shapes first. So you can design the high pressing defense and perhaps struggle to get the ideal attack, or replicate the attacking shape and struggle to get the ideal defense. This is certainly true, atleast from my experience.

7) Things like CB's spreading when the GK has the ball and playing from deep are far away from what you get in fm

That is again true. The game tactical logic is certainly not up-to-speed with the kind of things becoming more and more regular today. It does a reasonable job of replicating the major footballing tactical issues seen a couple of years ago in the big European leagues, European Cup and International Tournaments but it is indeed quite simply nowhere near being able to adequately replicate tactical issues we all saw suddenly emerge in a big way in the last season.

This however is to be expected. Unless SI happen to employ tacticians at the cutting edge of the sport it is going to be extremely difficult for them to keep pace with real life and FM will invariably lag behind the wider uptake of certain tactical concepts.

Personally I think that this FM does a pretty good job of representing the 4-5-1's as they functioned 2-3 years ago. It is however terrible at representing the 4-5-1's as they have evolved today.

8) Instructions for players are too limited, too many times you'll want 3 things from him, but ou can't get them simultaneously witht he limited instructions

Instructions are not limited, the TC is limited. The underlying instructions are fully customisable and give you the range of options you want.

The TC was always going to be limited in comparison to the "Advanced" Tactical Options purely because the TC would have to account for every single possible combination of options to match the "Advanced" Instructions, which would make the TC completely bloated and unusable. Instead of two sliders with 20 different settings you would need 400 TC options to cover ever possible combination, 200 TC options to cover half, or 40 TC options to only give you 1/10th of the finesse of the sliders.

The TC does deal with the "sliders" in a particularly clever way, but the actual Role/Duty Action-Options as I call them are fairly limited, and indeed quite one dimensional. However all you need to do is tick these "Action-Option" instructions and away you go.

9) Simply too hard to keep the ball, If I am Barca and just do basic and advances team instructions, I expect us to dominate still, maybe not play that well but if I get them right I expect god results, I know for a face I've tried everything, but still the results are mixed at best, I''ve had success, but not regularly as it should be with Barca

Building a team capable of playing quality football is not a matter of clicking tactical options untill you hit the jackpot and it all works, it requires attention to detail, planning, creativity, and an understanding of the basics of football. And then it requires the ability to use the instructions to put all this stuff in your head down on the pitch.

Football Manager is not a game like FIFA or Pro Evo where you can become "good" and dominate everything with ease with little need to change anything. FM is a game where your players do not have super-power abilities compared to the AI, unlike a human player in FIFA, and it is a game where you must learn the FM version of Football and then Manage your team against opponents.

Whenever someone states that they cannot "gain success" with their team, but they never mention the opposition, then they don't yet have quite the right understanding of the game. FM is a game where you have to pick the opponent apart, beat his attacks and his defense, a game where you have to pay Tactical Attention to the opponent and then use your team to defeat him.

FM is far more like a strategy game in principle than the football games we are all used to on the Playstation or Xbox. If you want to go out and thrash the AI with brilliant football you don't pick up a control pad and dribble around his entire team before sticking the ball into the top corner from 40 yards. You have to pick up a scout report and a teamsheet and study his strengths and weaknesses, then build your own team to pick his team apart on the pitch with their skills and abilities.

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1) what exactly is good football? one could argue that inter played extremely good football against barca

2) I have no problems to get my players to act like i want them to

3) what do you mean by creating realistically?

4) you probebly do not give your players enough passing options

5) i usaly spend most of my time looking at my own team so im not commenting on this one

6) its fairly easy to implement a high pressing system in the current ME, infact, its a lot more easy to do that then to build a good stand of type of defence

7) have yet to expriment anything with that

8) in some ways i might agree, but like i said, after some tweeking I use to get what i want from my players

9) i have no problem to keep possession if thats what i want my team to do, or to get consistant results for that mather

OP is right though.

- Let me see you simulate a Central defender acting as DM while when team is on the ball.

- Let me see you have 3 CDs and have the 2 wide ones hug touchline when team is on the ball.

- Let me see you have 2 strikers central and keeping them there (no roaming to the wing).

- Let me see you take a CM and have him hug touchline on attack.

- Let me see you do the Chile world cup tactic with the current ME.

Those are just a few of many issues with the ME. As I see it, it all boils down to on/off the ball, which the ME doesn't do well enough.

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OP is right though.

- Let me see you simulate a Central defender acting as DM while when team is on the ball.

- Let me see you have 3 CDs and have the 2 wide ones hug touchline when team is on the ball.

- Let me see you have 2 strikers central and keeping them there (no roaming to the wing).

- Let me see you take a CM and have him hug touchline on attack.

- Let me see you do the Chile world cup tactic with the current ME.

Those are just a few of many issues with the ME. As I see it, it all boils down to on/off the ball, which the ME doesn't do well enough.

Fair enough you cannot do these things, but you are being incredibly harsh on the game.

It is not "one of many issues with the ME" that it cannot replicate the precise Tactical Logic shown in teams that were playing in the World Cup. Do you honestly expect Mourinho to come in to SI offices and spend a couple of months designing the Tactical Logic for FM11?

FM is always going to be a few years behind the real life times. It is always going to make judgements about whether it is worthwhile spending months coding Tactic Logic for some obscure system that rarely sees the light of day in the Big Competitions, and so when football evolves as it always does, FM is tied due to A: not being designed by Mourinho and B: having to make priority decisions on where and what to tweak in the ME.

I would like to see this specific issue with back fours becoming back threes fixed, but it would be completely rediculous to expect it to exist in FM before it starts appearing in the top European/International sides.

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The Match Engine is not perfect but watching every match in Full probably does not help. In Real Life watching a 90 minute match, you only get a limited amount of meaningful action. Things like goals, corners and fouls. The rest of the time you are wondering how footballers earn their pay with stupid passes, player standing off side even though they can see the defensive line, play-acting pansies’ rolling around on the floor and shots that my gran could score. You might have better luck with "Extended Highlights" as it has less ridiculous moments.

As we are on the subject, my philosophy on most footballers is they are fundamentally stupid and struggle creating an intelligent thought. I find FM simulates that perfectly :)

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Some good arguements here and some that are probably borne out of frustration at tactical creation and "tweaking".

I think we all know the ME requires constant adjustments all the time to fix small things here and there etc as its far from perfect, but also far from broken or inoperable. At the end of the day, a computer cannot replicate the ability to think on the spot like a human player, otherwise we'd have Terminator 2 happening now.....

What I see as a flaw however is the issue with setting a player to be a Target Man up front and giving the instruction to swap positions with his fellow forward. The target man instruction does not follow the player and as such, at Spurs for example, Crouch and Defoe could end up with Defoe being the TM.

That and the frustration of the opposition team almost always scoring with their 1st and only shot on goal each time.

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In Real Life watching a 90 minute match, you only get a limited amount of meaningful action.

You might think so, but I can assure you that there are plenty of people out there for whom every touch, run, movement, lack of movement in a real life 90 minute match is a vitally important detail. And not just managers.

When I was 12 I found football outside of goals, chances, penalties, dribbles to be boring and meaningless. Now I am 26 and I find that "highlight shows" with their goals and chances and key action show absolutely nothing that tells you how players and teams are actually playing. Indeed it is the little things like taking a touch to the left instead of the right when under pressure that opens up passing options instead of pushing the player into a cul-de-sac that is where you see real football.

As we are on the subject, my philosophy on most footballers is they are fundamentally stupid and struggle creating an intelligent thought. I find FM simulates that perfectly :)

My philosophy is that stupid people doing something all day every day for decades will know more about that particular thing than you ever will in your entire life.

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Whilst it's always good to have the ME improved to better represent real football, you must remember it's only a game. If a game can accurately represent 22 humans thinking on a football pitch (some of whom may be footballing geniuses), instructions from managers, history of day to day training, influence of fans along with countless other variables, it wouldn't be a computer game any more. It would be a perfect AI copy of the world.

On the whole, the game is generally pretty good at simulating football matches.

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You might think so, but I can assure you that there are plenty of people out there for whom every touch, run, movement, lack of movement in a real life 90 minute match is a vitally important detail. And not just managers.

When I was 12 I found football outside of goals, chances, penalties, dribbles to be boring and meaningless. Now I am 26 and I find that "highlight shows" with their goals and chances and key action show absolutely nothing that tells you how players and teams are actually playing. Indeed it is the little things like taking a touch to the left instead of the right when under pressure that opens up passing options instead of pushing the player into a cul-de-sac that is where you see real football.

Is every touch, run and movement simulated by FM? Not very well. I would class "meaningful" for FM as the clips shown in the extended highlights. A computer program (FM10) is just a set of logic statements and will filter the gumph that it constructs for a match and place that in the extended highlights. It is not swayed by the biased pundits on a “highlight show” trying to convey there inept opinions so the highlights it shows are what the computer program has decided is meaningful.

I understand where you are coming from in terms of real life and that watching the whole match gives you a complete picture of the team tactics and the individual’s abilities. I find that it can be more interesting watching 0-0 than a thriller (unless it my team doing the thrilling).

My philosophy is that stupid people doing something all day every day for decades will know more about that particular thing than you ever will in your entire life.

I think you missed the point here. Intelligence is the ability to solve a problem in any given situation and not use instinct trained into you. This is the reason why not all footballers become good managers. That is also why the best mangers are considerable smarter than others. A good example is Maradona vs Mourihno.

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I'm agree with SFraser post.....you want a football simulator............but FM is a computer game. A computer game like Command & Conquer, like the Sims or i think the beautiful compare, like the chess....

but a computer strategic game with football thema. You don't need to understand football to be good at FM, you need to understand how attributes are working alone, are working together, what means team instructions and mostly important individual instructions...as SFraser said, you mean to know weakness and strength of opponent and your own team (can help to know football too).....

I think 3D match got pretty good improvement and now you can watch complete 3D match without boring and you can feel now how your team react to your orders and to the opponent. Take a lower leagu club and climb two or three division, i think you will see your team improve season after season under your eyes !!! you will see difference between amateur player you have at the start and pro you have when you arrived in Premier League.

So don't ask so much for the moment, it's only a computer game, a ****ing very good computer game and future versions will give us, perhaps one day, not just a computer game but a football management simulator.

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As we are on the subject, my philosophy on most footballers is they are fundamentally stupid and struggle creating an intelligent thought. I find FM simulates that perfectly :)

What you say and how you do it is BRILLIANT, 12 points! ;)

As far the match engine is concerned, I am not a tactical guru unlike many of you but I could perhaps explain what I love and hate about the game. The whole simulation part is fun and would like to see even more realism in future releases.

One of the things that needs urgent attention is the way transfers are made by AI managers. I recently experienced a total collapse of Arsenal that way, see http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/153790-FM10-Official-Arsenal-Thread-You-can-win-anything-with-kids!?p=5703039&viewfull=1#post5703039.

The AI never seem to properly replace the players they lose, instead signing sub-standard players and subsequently declining as a result. Furthermore, the AI seem incable of getting the best out of every player. Taking Arsenal as an example, they play 4-3-3 so that means at least three of their strikers don't get games and then are sold. It means that Walcott is the only adequate right-sided winger so they go and get some other average right winger, which means other players that can play there like Wilshere and Barazite never get games and never develop. Even though the defence needs improvement, the AI just signs more players that are only decent and no better than what they have.

This is taken from another thread but in my opinion very well explains why these unrealistic situations occur. Here I tend to agree with JEinchy's assessment: the AI transfer system is flawed, making the game purely unrealistic should you play longer than a season or two.

Creating tactics is a long story. Personally, I have had limited success with the TC. I always seem to get mediocre tactics that way even if I make minor adjustments with sliders as needed. The result being, you still need sliders to create a decent tactic that can win something. So, I cannot see the real benefit of the TC right now. My tactical awareness in the game is probably not up to a standard where I could produce something by moving sliders only. As a result, I often end up using ready-made tactics bacause 1) the TC is not good enough even with minor slider tweaks, 2) creating a classic slider tactic from scratch is too discouraging at the moment. I have created one tactic (that was FM09) with sliders that worked like a charm that way but you can obviously see that we have problems here and supposedly I am not the only one experiencing them.

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With the right tactical settings and most importantly, utilisation of the right player attributes, you can get pretty damn close. Of course, it helps if your players are a good few notches above the quality of your opponents too.

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With the right tactical settings and most importantly, utilisation of the right player attributes, you can get pretty damn close. Of course, it helps if your players are a good few notches above the quality of your opponents too.

Really? please do explain :)

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How did I know you would ask Corkey :)

I'm assuming you've read through Cleon's thread: Explanation of the Impact of Player Attributes During Match Play?

Cleon discusses some very useful information in that thread, particularly in relation to understanding of player attributes, in relation to tactics, roles, positions. Also, there's discussion of various attributes, which are linked to others and are important, but many people overlook. It's a big project he's working on though and will take some time to complete.

If you take some of the principals discussed in that thread and used them with some of the bigger clubs, or prominent national teams, mixed ideally with short passing/high tempo tactical settings, you'll certainly be close to tiki taka. I'll not upload any particular tactics I've messed around with, simply because all the information is here in this forum, plus everyone's take on things, their clubs and players, are different.

Interestingly though, I'm seeing some lovely stuff along these lines with a settled Granada CF squad I'm playing with at the moment, with more direct settings. It took a while for me to get things going, not least because of the suitability (or not) of the players. What I see from my team, can still depend on the quality of my opponents though. So it's not something I'm seeing every match.

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Interestingly though, I'm seeing some lovely stuff along these lines with a settled Granada CF squad I'm playing with at the moment, with more direct settings. It took a while for me to get things going, not least because of the suitability (or not) of the players. What I see from my team, can still depend on the quality of my opponents though. So it's not something I'm seeing every match.

You have been playing that Granada save for donkeys.

It's no surprise though that you are seeing football of an enjoyable quality. To construct football of the highest or enjoyable quality at every particular level I do think you need something of a love affair with the game and with the team you are managing.

You can't just fire up Barcelona and design a "Tiki Taka" formation. You need to really get to into the nitty gritty of your players reactions and the league you are playing in before you can design a "Tiki Taka" that is actually going to work against the specific opponent.

It's no coincidence that those people that seem to be able to construct great tactics that produce the football they want and the performances they wish are also those people that are likely to be able to explain to you the intimate details of this attribute or that instruction or the next players personality and temperament. These things go hand in hand. You can't produce "exactly" what you want unless you really enjoy trying.

And even then it is likely to only work for a game or two ;)

FM has it's flaws and as "fanboy" as I come across I am the last to ignore them, even when completely wrong. But the flaws are, generally, not issues of laziness or a lack of effort or stupidity or anything like that. FM tries really hard to be accurate and where it is not accurate it is a failure of long thought out processes that just fail and have to be looked at indepth and detail from the beginning.

But I really do think that some awesome and realistic football can be produced. Maybe not "Tiki Taka" but enough to satisfy most people once they get into the nitty gritty of the game, so long as they have their "realism" and "patience" hats on.

Got a bit preachy there but I personally wouldn't be saying anything I didn't think was true. You wont find me defending anything I think is broken that's for sure.

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Here's a quote from iniesta about the mantra of barcelona's system when he was at la maisa :

"Receive, pass, offer, receive, pass, offer."

I think that the simplest form of football which barcelona play, is definitely the hardest form because it is so easy on the eye yet requires incredible amounts of composure and technique.

Oh, and here's a clip of busquets:

[video=youtube;ehCnW-dT08M]

This is busquets, a player that many people regard your 'average' DM, yet he is so technically gifted, and he does the same thing as iniesta, Receive then pass, then offer an option.

I really hope SI integrate new tactical improvements in this year's game.

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Busquets is the biggest cheat in world football, closely followed by Alves. I hope you can recreate this in FM11. Just rolling about everytime somebody gets near them, absolutely typical of Spanish football. I want the option of 'tell player to dive feign injury everytime they get tackled.' Yet you cannot get this in FM, absolute disgrace.

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I really hope SI integrate new tactical improvements in this year's game.

It depends how high up their list of priorities is "ME Tactical Logic" but I do have to say that there is a lot of stuff from the past year of RL foobtall that the ME doesn't seem capable of doing that it would annoy alot of people if it wasn't addressed, me included.

I'm never going to turn my Manchester United 4-2-3-1 in defense into a W-M in attack with the current Me Tactical Logic, and that's a big deal for me. :p

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Ja ja ja ja Mr. SFraser, seems me and you have the same problems, I am unable to turn my 4231 in defense to 3-3-3-1 in attack, and I am also unable to get a high pressing system going. :p

I really do hope they improve the pressing and marking in this game, as that is still a problem in FM 10, although not a big one, but it still needs to be addressed.

Do you have any solution SFraser to very successful high pressing systems ?

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9) Simply too hard to keep the ball, If I am Barca and just do basic and advances team instructions, I expect us to dominate still, maybe not play that well but if I get them right I expect god results, I know for a face I've tried everything, but still the results are mixed at best, I''ve had success, but not regularly as it should be with Barca

You expect to dominate because, well, you are playing as Barcelona and they are dominating in real life?

Imagine a game that is a perfect simulation of a real football. Then don't you need to be as knowledgeable as Guardiola in order to run a club like Barca successfully? I am not saying you aren't, but I, and I am sure many people who play this game, are not. I want a game that lets me be myself while still managing a club more or less successfully, and not make me feel dumb for not being the world greatest tactician.

The game has to be approachable. At the same time I believe it already offers a lot of "advanced" options for people who really understand football. If they add too much of the fine grained controls, you might be happy, but it will make it much harder for players like me to succeed.

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I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Busquets' attributes receive an "upgrade" for FM11. There's an obvious reason why he's ousted Toure from the DMC spot, but not just that, he's able to comfortably interchange positions with other players in the defence and midfield too.

Going back to the tactical side of things in FM though. There's obviously improvements that can be made. There always is. But there's an awful lot of things people can discover in this game, by experimenting with tactical settings and different types of players.

SFraser mentioned that my Granada CF save seems never to end. Well, I've about three different saves. Only one or two players are ever the same in any given save I'm playing. They're all different tactically too. I like to experiment with different players and settings, to see how things evolve differently. The challenge is not only the evolution of any particular tactics, but how they fare in different levels. Granada start FM10 in the Spanish third tier (Segunda B4). In real life, they've just been promoted to the Liga adelante, where I'm looking forward to watching them play the likes of Real Betis, Celta Vigo... even Barcelona B.

Whenever I evolve my tactical settings in a save, I do the same things with my U19s team. Perhaps my philosophy is similar to that of some of the big clubs and notable managers. When young players come into the side, they often perform above expectation, because they're ready to play the system and they're gelled with senior players through tutoring.

As for tiki taka, it's not just a formation or a tactic, it's a style of play. A philosophy. A similar style of football can be achieved within the game, but it's certainly not "plug and play" and it requires an immense amount of experimentation and certainly all the right ingredients when it comes to players, attributes and instructions.

It's not worth me reaming off pages of detailed information as to how I feel I've been able to achieve the style I've achieved, but when FM11 is out, I'll try to provide somewhat of a write up. It's probably easiest with one of the "giants" of football, who have the core of the attributes amongst their starting squad. Suffice it to say though, I've worked entirely with the Tactics Creator and only the most minor tweaks with FM10. Although I'm happy with the sliders, I very much think the user interface changes are a big leap forward.

Suffice it to say though, I currently use some of the following team settings:

Philosophy: Fluid (can use very fluid too).

Starting strategy: Attacking (or sometimes Control).

Passing Style: More direct (though I switch between Direct/Mixed/Short regularly).

Creative Freedom: More expressive.

Closing Down: Press more

Tackling: More aggressive (though I also vary this depending on the referee and opponents)

Marking: Zonal marking

Crossing: Default

Roaming: More roaming

As you can see just from the overall team settings, I am flexible with quite a few areas. I also take opponents and weather conditions into account, especially with passing for the latter.

I've used a similar overall framework with two or three different formations. Every time, it comes down to the attributes of the players I have, along with their varied preferred moves, as to how things pan out. I observe things carefully during games and make shouts and/or substitutions based on my observations, with the aid of a good assistant manager.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that on top of "patience" that SFraser mentioned, "observation" is very important in this game, along with how you react to what you see and observe. :)

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Falahk I used to be exactly like you, I used to think it was ust the poster, but it is not, in reply to your replies, 1) By good football I mean as in Barca, Arsenal 2) It is impossible to get the flexibilty i want from my players, e.g. CM's go to the wings when it is out there, Messi, drop deep and male runs in behind at dofferent times 3) I mean that if you create chances, then your possession and PA is low, but if you keep the ball well, the chances go down too much 4) Complete b b b bull baldrdash, explain why my cb's play it to the full back from 10 yards and play it out of play? 5) Nice swerve ;) Barca for example, 66% at home to tenerife!?!?!? 6) You definitely cannot press like Barca irl, which is what I want to do 7) Nice swerve ;) Definitely impossible, no replication whatsoever in the ME of this 8) Again, i want 5 or 6 different things from a player, i always can't get them all 9) It is definitely not realistic enough, i have gone into the nth detail, setting 100% the right instructions, if not perfect then good, i expect them to get good possession. Rgarding tika taka, Barca only play this way sometimes, they also slow down the tempo, then in the final third it'll be tika taka, you cannot implement this. Fantastic point by the perso who said about ini saying receive pass offer, the players never jut roam into a position where they can receive the ball even if you have them on roam, thus why the ball is not kept enough.

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Ja ja ja ja Mr. SFraser, seems me and you have the same problems, I am unable to turn my 4231 in defense to 3-3-3-1 in attack, and I am also unable to get a high pressing system going. :p

I really do hope they improve the pressing and marking in this game, as that is still a problem in FM 10, although not a big one, but it still needs to be addressed.

Do you have any solution SFraser to very successful high pressing systems ?

Write big long posts about the theory behind it.

Seriously though the problem seems to be that teams that attack in many distinct layers also defend in many distinct layers which does not help a high pressing system. The overall shape of the team stays the same so if your team is naturally "deep" with an AMC/DMC system or something similar then there are going to be big gaps in your defensive system.

To get around that your team needs to be as "positionally" close together as possible when defending. That means you are probably going to have to rely on RFD instead of positioning for your attacks. A nice and tight team is great for defending but not so great for getting "between the lines" of the opposition.

Like I said before, the whole issue of transition from one defensive shape to another attacking shape along basic and logical lines needs to be looked at.

I agree with WHY SI took out defense and attack shape and then removes Sarrows, but I don't agree we should be forever left without those kinds of tools. It's becoming more and more obvious just how much "something" like that is missing the more I try to design formations I see played this year.

Failure to replicate the "Barcelona system" is the kicker that might spur SI into action, but more fundamentally it is lack of either tools to control lateral movement or Tactical Logic to automatically form sound shapes through assymetric vertical movement that are the problems, as I see them.

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1) The ME and tactics simply do not allow the flexibility that good football requires

And never will while FM Live is running. Any increased flexibility which reflects real life, namely designated patterns of play/movement, inevitably leads to exploitation. The arrow system was much closer to real life tactical control than the current arrowless system, with it's main flaws being it's deterministic nature, logic insufficient to deal with 'abnormal' behaviours (still exists with asymmetric tactics) and lack of 'punishment' for extreme choices. Yet instead of addressing the core issues, the easy route was taken.

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Well Mr.SFraser, we can only hope that it will be the kicker for them to look into it.

Although i don't think it is down to their tactical logic that they are unable to replicate such behaviour in the ME, maybe there is a problem with the mechanics that we don't understand.

How about these suggestions :

1- A width slider for each and every player, will help a great deal with the players' movements and getting them into the spaces you like.

2- A tempo slider or option for INDIVIDUAL players, for example i may want my defense to play the ball very slowly and pass the ball around, then in the midfield my players will be a bit faster, but will also look for the backward pass if possible. Then my forwards will look to play it quickly , and if need be and late on in the game with a lead, i will ask them to play a slower paced game.

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Batata you are spot on. For example, how do I get Keita's position here exact http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/05/09/sevilla-3-2-barcelona-tactics/ , by having a iwdth setting for him alone, and the tempo is spot on, not only individual, but I want my team to play a slow tempo at the back then quicken it up in the final third, that is not possible in FM, we are not being picky, these are really really important things to people that like to get indepth woth tactics and have - not being a cocky **** - more knowledge of tactics in general, since i've started reading zonal marking i've realised the flaws in FM, as i have developed a much greater knowledge of tactics.

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FM automatically makes your strikers play more quickly anyway if you have a slow tempo since they would never have time to play at the same pace as defenders or midfielders unless they had lots of space. Even then they would probably run at goal

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Why are people so picky?

Just enjoy the game with what you have.

Theres no such thing as a perfect game.

People like you remind me just how important it is to be "picky", as you put it. Without a desire for perfection, there is rarely progress.

Criticism is one of the most important tools for game developers, especially when you make sequels and have a big community like SI does.

And it's not like this criticism isn't constructive, posters such as SFraser and heathxxx, who have contributed a lot in this thread, almost always offer insight and reasoning to go with their appeals.

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Fair enough you cannot do these things, but you are being incredibly harsh on the game.

It is not "one of many issues with the ME" that it cannot replicate the precise Tactical Logic shown in teams that were playing in the World Cup. Do you honestly expect Mourinho to come in to SI offices and spend a couple of months designing the Tactical Logic for FM11?

FM is always going to be a few years behind the real life times. It is always going to make judgements about whether it is worthwhile spending months coding Tactic Logic for some obscure system that rarely sees the light of day in the Big Competitions, and so when football evolves as it always does, FM is tied due to A: not being designed by Mourinho and B: having to make priority decisions on where and what to tweak in the ME.

I would like to see this specific issue with back fours becoming back threes fixed, but it would be completely rediculous to expect it to exist in FM before it starts appearing in the top European/International sides.

Mourinho or world cup tactics is not what it is about...

The single most important thing for me in FM is a match engine, which gives me just as many options and ways to play the game as RL managers have. Too much is "set by default"/hardcoded or isn't possible with the current set of options under tactics.

Yes, I know it's only a game, and I expect much, but FM is a football simulator, where the ultimate goal should be to get as close to RL as possible. That doesn't mean I don't like the present ME, but I think it's lacking and it's restricting my options. I'll probably never find the ME to be perfect, but that doesn't mean I don't hope SI will look into perfecting their ME. Hopefully the competition to make football manager games, will push the ME to new heights :)

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Mourinho or world cup tactics is not what it is about...

The single most important thing for me in FM is a match engine, which gives me just as many options and ways to play the game as RL managers have. Too much is "set by default"/hardcoded or isn't possible with the current set of options under tactics.

Yes, I know it's only a game, and I expect much, but FM is a football simulator, where the ultimate goal should be to get as close to RL as possible. That doesn't mean I don't like the present ME, but I think it's lacking and it's restricting my options. I'll probably never find the ME to be perfect, but that doesn't mean I don't hope SI will look into perfecting their ME. Hopefully the competition to make football manager games, will push the ME to new heights :)

You have just described the desires of every hardcore sports gamer ever.

And like the rest of them, I am fairly confident that you will always be disappointed if your goal is to have a match engine that perfectly emulates real life. I have played some good, bad, and horrendous sports games in my life, but only recently began playing FM. It blows every other game out of the water as far as the match engine goes. That doesn't mean we should overlook it's flaws, but certainly from my perspective I appreciate what this game offers and will overlook some minor frustration.

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The single most important thing for me in FM is a match engine, which gives me just as many options and ways to play the game as RL managers have. Too much is "set by default"/hardcoded or isn't possible with the current set of options under tactics.

I understand that point, but the SI team don't just decide one day "hang on a minute, let's make a more realistic ME today". These things are a process and when the ME gets as complex as it is then changes have repercussions all over the place. Look at the whole Centreback marking issue of the release version of FM10 before patching. That wasn't because the whole ME was rewritten and SI forgot to add in the relevant behaviour.

You have to be realistic about these things and "as many options and ways to play the game as RL managers have" is just not realistic.

Yes, I know it's only a game, and I expect much, but FM is a football simulator, where the ultimate goal should be to get as close to RL as possible. That doesn't mean I don't like the present ME, but I think it's lacking and it's restricting my options. I'll probably never find the ME to be perfect, but that doesn't mean I don't hope SI will look into perfecting their ME. Hopefully the competition to make football manager games, will push the ME to new heights :)

I doubt anyone would disagree with that but again it is unrealistic to think you will install FM11 and have a game that is as superior to FM10 as FM10 is to its competitors. The ME improvements since FM08 when I first started posting here have been quite significant, indeed the alterations to the entire game have been quite dramatic, but they are all step-by-step processes.

I think anyone that says that the FM10 ME does not need or cannot be improved is making an undefendable statement, I think everyone would agree that the game has plenty of scope for improvement. What is important is not to get carried away or go overboard about it, but above all to be fair and reasonable, and if possible be accurate and detailed about the problems in the ME.

Behaviour of fullbacks, marking issues with CM's, and the difficulty the ME has with representing logical movement in assymetric formations are all issues I would like to see looked at because from my perspective if these things were addressed, and these things alone were addressed, then the game would be a lot better. Alot of people regularly state that they would like a "Training Creator/Wizard" though and that is not something that is likely to be simple to design. Then there is a significant lack of gameplay and detail and depth surrounding Youth Teams, Youth Academies, Youth Development which effectively leaves Reserve and Youth Team football gameplay almost like a token gesture or indeed nothing more than "player bins".

There is a huge amount of scope for improvement in almost every area of the game. If you spent enough time on the subject you could probably list a few suggestions for improving every single aspect of the game. But it simply cannot all be done overnight. And I think that it is unfair to directly criticise the game or the developers untill such time as it is obvious that they are not looking to make major improvements. Then you can rant and rave as much as you like about FM and SI. However if FM and SI show a desire to continue improving the game then criticism should be directed towards it's specific flaws. That's my opinion anyway.

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And never will while FM Live is running. Any increased flexibility which reflects real life, namely designated patterns of play/movement, inevitably leads to exploitation. The arrow system was much closer to real life tactical control than the current arrowless system, with it's main flaws being it's deterministic nature, logic insufficient to deal with 'abnormal' behaviours (still exists with asymmetric tactics) and lack of 'punishment' for extreme choices. Yet instead of addressing the core issues, the easy route was taken.

What a ridiculous statement to make. The arrows system was only exploitable because of other deficiencies in the match engine, it was not inherently exploitable itself.

Having FML involved in the testing and the development of the ME is actually a very good thing - it can lead to the discovery of flaws within the ME (like slightly overpowered 3 striker and narrow tactics in the current ME, or strikerless formations in the FM09 version) that many FMx players either don't discover or don't bring to light because they rarely encounter them from the pre-programmed CPU managers in the game. Not many FM10 managers are going to be moaning about the ME while they are winning ;) Surely getting rid of avenues to exploit the ME is a good thing for both games?

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What a ridiculous statement to make. The arrows system was only exploitable because of other deficiencies in the match engine, it was not inherently exploitable itself.

No the old arrows system used to allow players to play 2 roles without been penalised. They never worked as they should have and that why they were removed.

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No the old arrows system used to allow players to play 2 roles without been penalised. They never worked as they should have and that why they were removed.

Yes but the issue here is that there was not a sufficient stamina penalty. There is no reason a player cannot play "2 roles" i.e. fullback and winger in real life - but they would probably be exhausted by halftime! Additionally, it would lead to them being caught out of position on the counter.

There's no reason why the arrows system couldn't work if the underlying code was implemented properly.

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Yes but the issue here is that there was not a sufficient stamina penalty. There is no reason a player cannot play "2 roles" i.e. fullback and winger in real life - but they would probably be exhausted by halftime! Additionally, it would lead to them being caught out of position on the counter.

There's no reason why the arrows system couldn't work if the underlying code was implemented properly.

I think you are failing to account for the quantity of work required to "impliment the underlying code" whereby the game logic is capable of defending against multiple positions for each player, is capable of defending against a system that turns from one formation into another as attacks develop.

The problem is that with a sufficient change of positions, marking systems will become completely destructive to the defending team. It becomes a game of confusing the game logic through exploiting marking systems. The "underlying code" would be forced to be developed along lines of specific pre-defined counters to every possible permutation of a human users attacking system. That is the fundamental problem with giving players too much direct control over the movement of players. It cannot be "modelled" but must be defined with absolute precision for every permutation, or users will find holes and exploit them.

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What a ridiculous statement to make. The arrows system was only exploitable because of other deficiencies in the match engine, it was not inherently exploitable itself.

Having FML involved in the testing and the development of the ME is actually a very good thing - it can lead to the discovery of flaws within the ME (like slightly overpowered 3 striker and narrow tactics in the current ME, or strikerless formations in the FM09 version) that many FMx players either don't discover or don't bring to light because they rarely encounter them from the pre-programmed CPU managers in the game. Not many FM10 managers are going to be moaning about the ME while they are winning ;) Surely getting rid of avenues to exploit the ME is a good thing for both games?

And never will while FM Live is running. Any increased flexibility which reflects real life, namely designated patterns of play/movement, inevitably leads to exploitation. The arrow system was much closer to real life tactical control than the current arrowless system, with it's main flaws being it's deterministic nature, logic insufficient to deal with 'abnormal' behaviours (still exists with asymmetric tactics) and lack of 'punishment' for extreme choices. Yet instead of addressing the core issues, the easy route was taken.

That's my post. You're picking one sentence to jump on when the sentences that follow say pretty much the same thing you are saying. I thought the context of that statement was clear but obviously not :D

Again to retiterate, the simpler choice was made and FM Live played a role in that choice. The exploits you mention are all much more controllable than those that would be available through 'crazy arrow' tactics. They could have left the arrow system in which allows user flexibility (and reflects what managers do more accurately) and then dealt with what came. Instead they chose to remove the arrows and reduce the parameters that allowed for exploitation in a human v human gameworld, thus making them, as I said, more controllable.

I am not one of those users that you sometimes see who rails against FM Live. I don't have to be (nor am I) a business or programming guru to see the benefits of FM Live. I am not in any way disputing those gains. I am not opposed to FM Live nor crossing my fingers everytime I come to these forums hoping to see an announcement that FM Live is no more.

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I think you are failing to account for the quantity of work required to "impliment the underlying code" whereby the game logic is capable of defending against multiple positions for each player, is capable of defending against a system that turns from one formation into another as attacks develop.

The problem is that with a sufficient change of positions, marking systems will become completely destructive to the defending team. It becomes a game of confusing the game logic through exploiting marking systems. The "underlying code" would be forced to be developed along lines of specific pre-defined counters to every possible permutation of a human users attacking system. That is the fundamental problem with giving players too much direct control over the movement of players. It cannot be "modelled" but must be defined with absolute precision for every permutation, or users will find holes and exploit them.

I know this is not directed at me but it does pertain to my complaints. I am not disputing the difficulty of coding the match engine to deal with the arrow system. What I am saying is that we had this control for multiple iterations. Some people used these controls in a perfectly logical footballing manner to create patterns of play and variations in shape. Others used these arrows to 'exploit' the AI. Any exploit tactics that emerged (even if within the group of logical football approaches) could be used to further refine player AI and improve the match engine. This is what happened up until the choice was made to remove the arrows altogether.

Which is better for long term development? Which would be ultimately more beneficial in terms of user flexibility and AI reaction to said flexibility? Which choice gives a better representation of how teams are coached? Who hates people who post questions that from the poster's perspective answer themselves?

What I'm saying is that the argument about the difficulties involved is at the core of the issue. I'm using 'easier' as it is strictly defined, a comparative, and with that said I don't see how anyone can disagree that removing the arrows was the easier choice to make. And without FM Live SI could have focused on the realistic footballing approaches employed with the arrow system that did exploit the match engine and left those 'crazy arrow' tactic users to please themselves.

EDIT: I realise I am just repeating myself over and over and a few of you are probably muttering to yourselves that you heard me the first time. So with that I'll exit stage left ;)

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What I'm saying is that the argument about the difficulties involved is at the core of the issue. I'm using 'easier' as it is strictly defined, a comparative, and with that said I don't see how anyone can disagree that removing the arrows was the easier choice to make. And without FM Live SI could have focused on the realistic footballing approaches employed with the arrow system that did exploit the match engine and left those 'crazy arrow' tactic users to please themselves.

But given the existence of FML was it the "easier" option or was it the only option?

And at the same time I think you have to take into account the "alternative perspective" whereby removing the arrows does remove certain tactical capabilities, but at the same time develops a more sound platform upon which you can (hopefully) create instructions for controlling behaviour along those lines that do not dig up the fundamental flaws in the ME.

If we are moving away from more "direct" control to more "emergent tactical behaviour" is this necessarilly a bad thing, assuming ofcourse that the capability to produce emergent behaviour like we see in real life is possible? I think literal, direct tactical control is not something you require to produce a quality simulation so long as the emergent behaviour is sound and can be controlled.

In other words, the loss of the tactical options via the arrows is a sorely missed feature but if certain crucial behaviours can be designed into the current game along different lines more in keeping with the way the ME works today in general then I think we have a better game, but that is a personal view.

I never enjoy ignoring something that is dodgy, it's always there in the back of the mind, and the "overloading" behaviour of the arrows was very dodgy.

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^SFraser

They are all excellent points and I can't dispute them. Just to clarify I don't want to see deterministic patterns and robotic behaviour. But whether or not we will flow back to a better system of control that the match engine can actually handle remains to be seen.

As an example the wideplay options were presumably implemented to replace the sarrows but they still do not allow users to do what they would like to do. The United pattern you mention regularly (giggs coming narrow and dropping off, Evra overlapping and Valencia playing wider on the right) is still not possible because of how the wideplay options were coded to function. If those settings had been implemented in consideration of what people wanted to be able to do I would maybe be a little more positive about potential future developments. On the old arrow system I could have placed United as a 442, given Giggs a curved arrow into the AMC,L position and Evra a long arrow right up the pitch. I could have used sarrows and a barrow on a striker to produce a 451 when defending that was well spaced. On the new system I can to a certain extent replicate the long arrow (but as you know and I remember you posting it can be difficult to fully replicate an aggressive full back) and I can get a decent approximation of that pattern on that side but in order to do that I have to by extension end up replicating elements of said pattern on the opposite flank (unless I place them nominally as you and Cleon do with your asymmetric formations but then the defensive shape becomes a struggle with the sliders). On the defensive side I have to do a fair few things to get it to morph to a 451 defensively which again could have been achieved with barrows and sarrows in 3 clicks, and based on my experience it takes a decent amount of time of experimentation to figure out how to get this to happen. So as you mentioned in your other thread you have a simple system replaced by a frustrating, convoluted one all in the name of preventing exploitation that without FM Live is not really an issue for a predominantly single player game (in my opinion of course) .

So what we get is a more realistic match engine but one that takes away from the point of the game, namely to manage/coach your team. Players will do certain things but it never really 100% feels like part of a plan or an intended pattern. So for example you tick 'roaming' to try and get a player moving more freely with a vision of what will happen in terms of an attacking pattern and at times that can happen, but you also get other 'roaming' behaviours that are not what you want to see happening at all. Same thing with the United pattern I mentioned above where you get one thing you want to see but another that you don't. You can't design cross over patterns in transition and they only happen because the player AI decided at any given moment to do it. It looks organic when it happens but I want to manage those movements and feel like I contributed much like a real life manager runs drills and patterns in preparation for a match. As I mentioned before the deterministic behaviour is an issue but for me a long term approach of creating more fuzzy behaviours would have been the idealistic solution, the best one for the future of the game in terms of allowing users to coach and the best option for allowing the match engine to evolve in tandem with what the user throws at it. I do not believe, as you posted, that removing arrows was the only solution.

And then there is the most obvious deficiency of the removal of arrows, namely the entwining of decision making and positioning in a single slider, mentality. Don't get me wrong I do see an improvement in terms of decision making etc. e.g. an attacking player set to mentality 1 or a midfielder set to mentality 1 uses the ball more effectively in FM10 than they did on say FM 08 where that low mentality meant that the majority of times they picked the low risk pass even when an obvious better option was available in front of them. But you still have to do a decent amount of experimentation in order to get something happening that could have been achieved with a barrow in one simple click, and even then you still find yourself having to theoretically limit the player in question when he is in possession because of the impact of mentality on positioning and decision making.

Re reading your post I do think we are on the same wavelength in terms of where we would like to see the match engine go, and I'm fairly certain SI want the same thing in the long run. I just disagree with the strategic development route taken even if the barometers of the choice with respect to sales suggest the path taken has had zero impact on the growth of the brand and serve as evidence of a correct decision on SI's part.

*before someone jumps in I'll just mention I am fully aware of AI limitations, technical limitations due to hardware in general and more specifically the hardware of the 'average' FM gamer, and all of those other factors that play into the difficulties in evolving the match engine within a more open user input environment that the arrow system involved. hence the use of 'idealistic solution' in this post.

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