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Daniel Evensen

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  1. First Match I’ve never been as nervous for anything in my life as I was for that first match against Bayreuth. It’s a helpless feeling, really. Once the players are on the pitch and the game is underway, there is very little you can do as manager to influence what happens. Aside from shouting out a few words of encouragement and making a few substitutions, I found myself powerless and helpless. What a job this is, one in which you are judged and evaluated based on the performance of others. It makes me wonder sometimes why I came out here at all. Anyway, my nervousness faded 6 minutes into the match, when Tobias Schröck, our captain and star defensive midfielder, scored a goal on a free kick from just outside the penalty area. It was a real beauty of a shot, and there was simply nothing the Bayreuth goalkeeper could do about it. We didn’t just hold on from there. We dominated the game. We kept hold of the ball, we slowly put together good shot opportunities, and we made Bayreuth look like a team that didn’t belong in the league. We came up with a second goal in the 67th minute. That one was a beauty. The entire squad worked together to manufacture a goal on the right side of the point of attack, bringing the ball through to the box for a low cross, and then on to Jalen Hawkins on the left side of the keeper. His wide-open header put us up 2-0, and that’s all we needed. Perhaps I’m a tactical genius. We wound up with a whopping 74% of the possession in the game, and looked like a team playing in a different dimension. Bayreuth barely managed a shot on target all game long, and looked robotic. I suppose we could have scored more. I’ve felt a bit tentative in the early stages, and worry about leaving ourselves too open in the back. I told the players to take their time and make smart decisions with the ball, which probably explains the high possession rates. There are always things to worry about, of course. I was up all that night worrying about the striker situation. Pascal Testroet, a 31-year-old veteran and media darling, did absolutely nothing in the starting striker role. We replaced him with Patrick Schmidt, a 28-year-old journeyman with extensive experience in the German lower leagues, who also looked like he didn’t quite belong. The defense and midfield, in contrast, looked excellent. Lino had a clean sheet on his first outing, and our passing was simply terrific. We also wound up with two players in the Team of the Week: Denis Linsmayer and Tobias Schröck. I would have also included Lino in goal, but they don’t ask me for my opinion. Mike Krannich, one of our two assistant managers, quickly reminded me that the media considers Bayreuth relegation candidates. That’s exactly the sort of news I wanted to hear. My hands are sweaty again, and my stomach has rediscovered that familiar knot. Personnel You read correctly — our little club has two assistant managers. I don’t know how it happened, and I’m not going to mess with it. We’ll take it as it is and will make adjustments to the staff over time. I’ve left most of the staffing decisions to Hubert Doebler, especially since I need to focus my attention on player transfers. In all honesty, can’t be bothered with deciding which recruitment analyst or performance analyst to bring on. It’s fine when you’re playing a video game, but I don’t have the benefit of unlimited time and endless turns in this world. Besides, it’s better to trust the staff you have than to micromanage. There is one staffing change I did make, however. There was something about Ronald Reichel, our Head of Youth Development, that rubbed me the wrong way. He didn’t have a horrible personality by any means. He didn’t strike me as a real gung-ho kind of guy, though, and didn’t seem to have that special something that all great leaders and mentors have. I think I did the wrong thing in Reichel’s case. I didn’t drop any hints of my plans. I simply looked around for options, discovered a Polish man named Tomasz Bochenski, quietly interviewed him, liked what I saw, and made the change. Reichel didn’t know he was being replaced until Bochenski was already in the door. I’m not going to make a habit of this sort of thing, mind you. Youth development is absolutely critical, though, and I don’t want to take any chances. I just hope I didn’t make a long-term enemy. Out With The Old After that victory, you’d think that I’d stop fiddling around with ideas of selling players. You’d be wrong. Denis Linsmayer, who played well in that first game, agreed to a contract with Charleroi the very next day. He’s out the door, along with his salary. We were €220,000 richer because of it — money that I really wanted to put back in our scouting budget. Linsmayer was technically another backup defensive midfielder to Schröck. The plan was to push for a more youthful approach in midfield and to find a backup defensive midfielder who wasn’t already over 30 years old. I wanted to make a few other player sales, but held myself back for the time being. We had weeks left in the transfer season, after all, and I wanted to give the scouts time to find some real high quality players. Sometimes it’s better to go slowly. In With The New We did bring in a few new faces, however. Our scouts had nothing but glowing things to say about Philip Fahrner, a central midfielder stuck in SC Freiburg’s second team. I jumped at the chance and signed him for a song — only €425,000, with a wage scale that starts off low. Fahrner could be a real asset for us in the future. The scouts and coaches all thought that he might be a Bundesliga quality player in the future. I wasn’t convinced that anybody at this club knew exactly what a Bundesliga quality player looked like, but I figured I’d go along with it and see what would happen. Benjamin Hemcke was the second new face to come in — another central midfielder. Hemcke’s story was similar to Fahrner. He was rotting away at FC Viktoria Köln, with no real shot at playing in the first team squad. We managed to get him for only €200,000, and gave him essentially the same wage deal that Farhner received. We’re weren’t done in the midfield by any means, but at least this ensured that we would have a little bit of depth. And, finally, we found an answer to the depth problem at right back. Lion Semic came in from Borussia Dortmund II. Our scouts really liked Semic, and I jumped at the chance to sign him. The thought is that he might be a 2. Bundesliga standard player in the future. I hoped that he would be more than just that, though we’ll see. We paid €215,000, which I thought was reasonable. Next Match We didn’t have much time to rest. Our next match was coming up soon, this time at Borussia Dortmund II. This would give Semic the chance to face his former team straight away. It also meant more time away from home for me. I’m sure Charlotte and the children will be fine. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to get used to my frequent absences.
  2. The Tactic Well, we have a tactic. The nights of pouring over roster sheets and looking at YouTube tutorials, coaching books, and various blogs are now over. I’m not going to win any points for originality here, but at least we’ve got something. Perhaps I can start seeing my family again. The theory behind the tactic itself is pretty simple. I thought we’d be best with a vertical tiki-taka system — something in which we could exercise our apparent superiority by holding the ball for long periods of time, opening the game up with strong through passes, and wear holes in the defense before scoring. After watching hours of video from Ingolstadt’s ignominious exit last season, I decided to hold the defensive line back a tad. I also decided to go with fullbacks on the sides instead of wingbacks, mostly in hopes that they would find themselves in a better position to come back for defensive duty. It’s a simple tactic — four at the back, three in midfield (anchored by a halfback), two attacking wingers, and a striker on top. The 4-3-3 might seem trite in the Football Manager world, but, honestly, we need something that will give us results as soon as possible. The last thing I want to do is start us off with a losing streak. The idea is to score goals, obviously. We want a striker who is willing to score a lot of goals. We’re also looking for goals from the wings where possible. Now we just need the players to make this concept a reality. Transfer Drama I didn’t come here to rock the boat. I didn’t have much choice, unfortunately. The boat started to rock me. I hadn’t even taken my coat off when Dominik Franke came to speak with me. I was surprised that he already knew who the new manager was. Our discussion was less than ideal. He told me flatly that he was tired of playing for a hopeless, losing team, that he wanted to move on to something bigger and better, and that he was considering his options at the end of his contract. I was stunned. This had the potential to throw my plans completely in disarray. The problem, you see, is that Franke just so happens to be our only left back. He’s relatively young, the coaches seem to like him, and I thought we could make good use of him during his time here. I did what I could to implore him to stay. He wasn’t having any of it, though, and left in a huff. And so I did the only thing I could do. I put him on the transfer list. Selling Franke was no easy task. We received a number of lowball offers from other teams in our immediate region. Franke was upset when I turned them down. I spoke with him and his agent, and we eventually decided that €900,000 was an appropriate price. I’m not entirely sure how we settled on that figure; honestly, I threw out the highest price I could think of and simply looked for their reaction. After a few days Hamburg caught wind that Franke was up for sale, and made us a €750,000 offer. I couldn’t turn that one up — not as a manager with no transfer budget whatsoever — and so I moved forward on it. But then came Jeonbuk to save the day. They made a €900,000 offer, and within a week Franke was on his way. And now we had a transfer budget. Plugging Holes I’ll be honest with you. I simply didn’t see what the media saw in this side. Our best player was an overpaid center back who is injured. Visar Musliu came in with a strong reputation, but there’s not much we can do with an injured player who happens to be popular with the media. As I came in, we were paying him upwards of €21,000 per week to sit in the medical unit and recover. That €21,000 represented 1/6 of our entire wage budget, and made it almost impossible to shape this team the right way. I don’t know who originally put this team together. It felt like a child managed the roster, taking their favorite star names and shoving them together to see what would happen. We had an abundance of attacking right wingers, for example, and yet almost no attacking left wingers. And I was horrified when I realized that we have almost nobody to play in those midfield roles that are so important to our tactic. With Franke gone, we had no left backs, and we had a shortage at right back as well. Our goalkeepers were also not great, which was obvious in last year’s clips. Robert Jendrusch, who I consider chiefly responsible for the lack of quality in goal, is long gone. I suppose the initial plan was to play 21-year-old Markus Ponath, a young player clearly more suited for our second squad, and one who certainly was never going to have what it would take to survive in the 2. Bundesliga. Our other choice at goal was Marius Funk, an 26-year-old who had bounced around lower level German sides without ever impressing. He came in on a free transfer, but also came in injured, and won’t recover for a while. I couldn’t believe it. Why were we spending money on aging, talentless journeymen like this? What happened to signing players under 22 for the first team? With all these holes and problems, and starting out with no money, I did the only thing I could do. I went over to our Director of Football, Malte Metzelder, and asked him to prepare a list of free agents that might want to come here. And so the trials started. The good players wanted too much money, and we let the poor ones go as quickly as they arrived. We did come up with a new goaltender, though. Lino Björn Kasten is his full name, though we just call him Lino. He’s 21, has experience playing on loan in the first division in Austria, and is clearly better than anything we had in goal before. And, most important of all, the scouts think he has what it takes to compete in the Bundesliga. Pundits My first press conference was far from ideal. I thought nobody would attend a press conference for a team as obscure as Ingolstadt 04. To my surprise, 9 reporters showed up, each of them skeptical and difficult to read. I think I answered their questions well. The pressure of the moment almost got to me, though, when they asked me whether I felt qualified for the job. I replied meekly that I thought I could grow into it — a response that led to silent stares of incredulity. I phoned Peter right after the meeting and asked for permission to take my first coaching course. My first meeting with the squad was no better. I hemmed and hawed, stuck my hands in my pants pockets, and stared more at the floor than at their faces. They make this seem easier in the video game. It’s hard to face all the players at once, especially since so many of them are taller than you. Nobody was interested in my promise of better defenders or goalkeepers. Captain Thomas Schröck promised his support, but I don’t think anybody took him all that seriously. The pundit at home was vocal, too. I did myself a favor by working late on transfers instead of listening to Charlotte’s concerns. I told myself that I’d deal with the marriage later — after the first match, at least. Start of the Season The season started early for us. July 23rd seemed like a particularly early starting date, especially since the transfer window would remain open until September 3rd. Our first game saw us hosting Bayreuth. Everybody expected us to win. Personally, I was just praying that we wouldn’t see any more injuries, and that we could get at least a point in the early going. We were able to bring in one more piece before the first match. Sascha Härtel came in on a free transfer to handle the left back position. He was 23 years old, a bit short for his position, but came in with a somewhat good reputation. He was also a warm body, which is what we needed more than anything else. And so it started. My managerial career started far before I was ready for it, with a squad held together with duct tape and chewing gum.
  3. Introductions “It’s great to have you here, Daniel,” said the slightly plump man in front of me, smiling wryly, peering at me over his glasses. His eyes had an intense quality to them — lively, blue eyes that contrasted sharply with the grey of his beard and his balding head. “I trust that you’ve gotten to know some of the players already, right?” That southern German accent captivated me, with its sing-song quality and sonorous smoothness. “A little,” I managed, stumbling slightly over my words, trying to say as little as possible to disguise because of my telling American accent. It was true, of course. I had gotten to know a few of the players. Most of the ones I met were in the medical unit, up with long-term injuries. “You’ll feel comfortable with them soon enough,” chuckled Peter Jackwerth, head of the board and the man I now call boss. “I suppose we might have a few more personnel changes this summer, now that you’re here.” “Perhaps,” I replied meekly. “I still need to analyze what we’ve got.” “Well,” Peter said, hesitating slightly. “I’ll go ahead and come out with it. After being relegated, we unfortunately don’t have much of a transfer budget to offer you. In fact, we can’t give you anything at all. You’ll have to sell first before buying, I’m afraid.” And there it was — the big kicker. A recently relegated club, complete with awful morale, multiple injuries, a completely inexperienced new manager — and no transfer budget. My lucky day. Hated I’m not sure how I managed to get on everybody’s bad side so quickly. My arrival in the club wasn’t exactly a momentous occasion. In fact, some of the players seemed downright angry to see me. Our small coaching staff was concerned when I first met them. Nobody had been training well. It seemed like most of the players just didn’t want to be at the club. And my presence? It only seemed to make things worse. Things weren’t exactly going swimmingly at home, either. In fact, we didn’t have a home yet, which was the first bone of contention. Audi-Sportpark, the stadium and home of the club offices, was located in a fairly remote section of town, surrounded largely by other businesses. The team had put us up temporarily in a hotel about a 15 minute walk from the stadium, the Hotel am Campus. This was nice, but wouldn’t do permanently — and there weren’t exactly a ton of housing options in the area. We wanted to purchase one of the new houses in Niederfeld, a suburb not too far from the park. My salary, as nice as it seemed, wasn’t quite enough to get us anything really fancy, however, and Charlotte wasn’t exactly in a position to make money herself. She could spend it, though. The Chinarestaurant Panda was her first discovery, and was a sign of things to come. I suppose we had to eat out; there was no kitchen in the hotel room, after all, and our pots and pans were still being shipped out. Eating out every evening, combined with the constant refrain of “I want to go back home” and “German is impossible to learn” only added to my woes. The love of my life didn’t want us to be there, and none of the players seemed to want me there, either. What an auspicious start. Expectations Now, you’d expect that the surly atmosphere would temper expectations for the upcoming season, right? A club of sore players with poor morale led by a foreigner who barely knows what he’s doing isn’t exactly a recipe for success. Well, if that’s what you thought, you’d be wrong. “I’m not asking for much,” Peter went on. “I expect that we’ll earn automatic promotion to the 2. Bundesliga this season — that should be relatively easy and straightforward.” My jaw nearly hit the floor. Going up right away my first season? With a team that looked so poor in the second league last year? And with no transfer budget? I nodded slowly. “I recommend that you focus on attacking football, just like you said in your interview,” Peter continued. “Oh yes — and focus on signing young players, players with high potential.” I suppose that will be our secret strategy. Certainly no other German football club has considered signing young players that can grow. The fans didn’t help much, either. Geoff Wrigley, my personal assistant (and isn’t it cool to think of little old me with my own personal assistant?!), kept me abreast of the conversation on Twitter. Nobody thought much of me, of course — but everybody clearly considered us favorites to move up. Even the press thought we were a shoe-in. The season preview had us sitting in the number 2 spot, right behind Dynamo Dresden — favorites to move up unimpeded. I guess our players have a good reputation. It’s not too bad to be on a team that is expected to win. Unless you wind up losing, of course. Tactics Planning out a tactic was no easy feat. Obviously, my ignorance and lack of experience were my first two problems. I don’t have to tell you much more about that. I guess that’s what I get for trying to fraud my way into a better job. However, the squad itself had numerous problems. Numerous players were out with long-term injuries. Visar Musliu, our popular centerback and easily the most talented player on the squad, was out for up to 6 weeks with a leg injury. Maximilian Dittgen, a recent signing and excellent attacking option, was also out for several weeks. Even Marius Funk, a goaltender we signed on a free transfer right before my arrival, was out for 5 weeks with an injury of his own. It felt like some sort of disease had descended upon our camp, and it wasn’t helping the mood much. And then there were the coach reports. I spent hours sorting through those in my first few days. Report after report came in. This player is inconsistent; that player is injury prone; this one can’t be counted on in big games. On and on it went. I took notes, just like I would on my computer. I started to put little yellow markers by the players who the coaches were so concerned about. The first team looked okay — but our second team was riddled with yellow marks. And the youth squad didn’t look much better. My plan was to come up with a tactic, and to come up with one quick. I figured that establishing a tactic would give me a better understanding of who should go and who should stay. Then, over the course of my tenure here, I could slowly work through the squad, flushing out the players who either didn’t want to be here or who didn’t deserve to be here. Signing youth was a great choice — but we needed to be more intelligent in our signings. I vowed to let the scouts do the scouting, to keep my hands off until the very end, and to be more patient. No more of those Football Manager spending sprees for me. All I hoped is that it would work. I didn’t have much margin for error, after all.
  4. Hope I'm not intruding too much by entering this forum unannounced. After reading a few of the stories here, I thought I'd give the literary world a try while playing my latest save. It's my first shot at this, so please be gentle. The Phone Call It all started with a phone call. I could barely open my eyes enough to find it. I had a hard time figuring out which number was the time and which one was the phone number. One started with a 3, the other with a 4. 3 AM? 4 AM? Who would call that early? Was it an emergency? Some inconsiderate spammer? I knew I shouldn’t have left my phone in the bedroom. “Hello?” I murmured, climbing back under the covers. A friendly voice replied in German, with an unmistakeable southern accent: “Herr Evensen, I’m happy to speak with you again! Do you have a moment?” Now, I don’t know about how well you do at 3 in the morning. It’s hard for me to make myself comprehensible in English at that hour, let alone in a foreign language. When I realized he was speaking in German, though, my mind started to race. I slipped out of the bedroom as quietly as I could and continued the conversation. “Who is this?” I muttered, stumbling over the grammar and with a horrendous American accent. The caller laughed. “Peter! Don’t you remember — Peter Jackwerth, of Ingolstadt.” Ingolstadt… Ingolstadt… that did ring a bell… Our business didn’t take long. I went back into the bedroom after 15 minutes. Charlotte was awake, of course. “Who was that?” she asked in that smooth, silky southern Chinese voice. “Wrong number,” I muttered, figuring I’d explain things in the morning. Job Hunt Yeah, I lied. The call was for me after all. And our lives were about to change. I’d been searching for a new job for about a year. Bored to tears by government work, and yet dismayed by a weakening economy and the threat of tech layoffs, I found myself in an unenviable position. I dropped off resume after resume to no avail, and eventually settled on a more networking heavy approach. And that’s how Ingolstadt came up. It’s been years since I was last in southern Germany — almost 20, in fact. I cherished my time there, however, and tried to keep in touch with my old friends. One, an aging security guard working contract gigs in the Kriegshaber district of Augsburg, promised to let his friends know I was searching. Another, an engineer in Friedberg, told me he doubted he would be of any use, but he tried anyway. Both of them came up with the same contact in Ingolstadt — Peter Jackwerth. The job? Well, the job might not have been the best fit. Yeah, I fibbed a little bit on the application. I put my experience down as “Sunday League Footballer,” since they didn’t have any lower option. The truth is that I don’t even have that lowly level of experience — a more accurate description would be “played goalie once during PE class in middle school.” Peter must have known, though. Most of his questions were about my Football Manager experience anyway. Things like what mentality I preferred, what I thought about youth development, balancing offense and defense — that sort of stuff. Every serious Football Manager player has grappled with those questions before. I thought it was easy. I must have said the right thing. I told him that I wanted to attack constantly (“immer angreifen und dominieren!”), that teams were foolish for ever signing players 22 years old, and that Ingolstadt should have stayed up in the 2.Bundesliga. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to hear all that or not; I simply told him what I really thought. Well, apparently he agreed with me. Because I was now looking at a contract offer in my email, four months after that initial interview. The Discussion The best way to take off a bandaid is to do it all at once. Going slowly only prolongs the pain. It’s best to get it over with as quickly as you can and deal with the fallout later. Of course, that might not be the wisest marital communication strategy. I announced at breakfast that we were moving to southern Germany. Charlotte gave me a bewildered look. Charlotte, née Hua Xiren (花襲人), was the belle of Suzhou in southern China and the love of my life. I still can’t get over her delicate features, beady black eyes, long ebony hair and soft voice — not even after 16 years of marriage and three children. And, Lord help me, she’s even more dazzling and mesmerising when she’s surprised. “Are you insane?” she asked, looking at me as if I’d grown a second head. Charlotte was the English name she adopted, a combination of interest in the E.B. White character and a name reminiscant of Margaret Mitchell’s unforgettable southern belle. Charlotte wanted to live in the Atlanta area after we married and I brought her to the United States. However, fate and the federal government brought us to northern Virginia instead, where we battled a world of aggressive drivers, hyperinflation, and horrible traffic. I’d always wanted to take her further south and do something creative with my time. But this Ingolstadt job was not something I was going to give up lightly. “It will be fine,” I assured her, searching for the words. We’ve spoken together in Chinese only ever since we officialy started dating. I was a poor language student in those days, and she was the undisputed beauty queen of Soochow University. I’ll save the story of how I pulled off that heist for another time. “It will be fine,” I repeated. “I’ve lived in that area before. The food is great, the water is clean, the air is wonderful, and the football…” “Men!” she shouted, and off she went to her room. I respect those of you who disagree with me was the first thought that came to mind. Football Manager mode was taking over already. Arrival I don’t want to share all of my secrets with you. I guess I’ve just got a way with women. Either that, or my stubbornness knows no peer. I can’t remember exactly what I told her. I think I rattled off something about how important it is for every man to pursue his dream. I probably said something to the effect of, “Just think about Su Dongpo. He was a government official too — but his true calling in life was to compose. If he had been content with the easy government life, just think of how empty our literature would be!” I threw in a few other literary and historical allusions as well. In fact, I was just about to mention Cleon Hobson’s criticism of Jose Mourinho’s time at United (playing not to lose instead of playing to win) when she finally agreed. The next thing I knew, we were on a train headed for Ingolstadt. I opened up a copy of the Süddeutsche Zeitung I found folded next to my seat. And there it was, a story about my new tenure at Ingolstadt. It wasn’t long, and it wasn’t exactly flattering. They wondered whether I had the ability to lead the team back up given my lack of experience. I showed it to Charlotte anyway. She can’t read German, after all. “I made the papers,” I said, smiling. She demurred instead of showing any enthusiasm. “What does this word mean?” she asked, pointing to “verrückt” — an adjective repeated several times through the short article. “It must be a non-related article” was my weak reply, and that was that. I looked on out the window at the green of the Bavarian countryside. Slowly but surely, the football world started to open up to me, like the loading screens of a favorite game.
  5. Ahh, I see. Yeah, I think you've found a bug. Actually, my guess is that this bug has been around for years. I think I've encountered this before, too.
  6. I'm not the expert on the subject – however, my understanding is that training in Football Manager isn't always what it seems. Evidence Based Football Manager did an excellent series of videos on this subject not long ago; you might want to spend some time watching his stuff. In my experience, good and poor training performances have more to do with player professionalism than anything else. If you build a team of highly professional players, you'll discover that you rarely if ever have poor training performances. You'll also discover that complaining about training is also generally a sign of poor professionalism.
  7. Absolutely correct. The worst part is that the AI will completely screw up these basic tasks if you give it control. Your assistant manager will say stupid things at press conferences, your director of football will spend crazy money on old and declining players, your technical director will sign poorly rated staff for no apparent reason, your assistant manager will give you a training schedule that is as suboptimal as they come – the list just goes on and on.
  8. Ha! I actually bought FM for years in a row on Steam, starting in about 2010 or so. Never really had the time to play it for some reason. It was the pandemic that helped me see the light.
  9. My first was FM06, which I bought in a really sketchy mall in Nanjing, China back in 2006. The first Football Manager that I seriously played was FM21. I'm still playing it now, as a matter of fact.
  10. Not sure why you're being so dismissive of this. I doubt you'll find many long-time FM veterans who tell you that set piece training does very little to impact your success in an individual match, for example. In fact, most people I've seen who are putting together their own training sessions (including on the same Discord group that Max posts in) continue to use these training routines almost out of habit. Don't you think there is at least some value in looking under the hood and seeing how things actually work? Certainly it deserves a better response than "nothing new to see here, we knew this all along." Max's research really flies in the face of all the conventional wisdom about training that is out there.
  11. Hi @awboddy1 – could you link to the "realistic and rigorous experiments" regarding match preparation and team performance that you refer to? I ask largely out of skepticism, as I've seen a lot of in-game success after following Max's recommendations. I also wanted to note that Max does examine condition and fatigue. I do think that you make a good point regarding the impact of setting all player attributes to 15. However, I would note again that this isn't a particularly difficult experiment, and that it would be helpful to see actual data and results, rather than rhetoric and argumentation. The truth is that the vast majority of "studies" I've seen fail to control any of the many variables that impact player performance. Rather, most tend to take SI's descriptions of training impact at face value and make corresponding rhetorical arguments for the "best" method. Max is influential precisely because he lets the data speak for itself. If you can point to anybody with a similar approach with different results, I would be more than interested.
  12. I think I understand what you are saying, @DarJ – but there's still a problem. Max's study shows quite conclusively that the match preparation trainings offer no significant difference when compared with no training at all. He goes into some depth to show that this is the case. I have a very hard time believing that there is some sort of secret combination of trainings that overcome his findings. After changing my own training approach to match his findings, I've noticed a huge decrease in injuries and a very notable increase in 10.0 training ratings from week to week. All of my players are set up for individual training as well, none of which invalidates any of his findings or suddenly makes Attacking Movement, Defensive Shape, and the like have any actual positive impact. It's pretty clear that he is correct about Attacking / Defending / Physical being the most effective general trainings in the game, and that those trainings impact different areas than the game itself states. Why would we conclude that his findings for match preparation are incorrect? What you are asking us to do is to ignore the evidence that we have, which comes from a carefully controlled trial study – and believe your intuition instead? My biggest problem is that I've seen a lot more in-game success following his advice than handling training the traditional way. Again, it's not hard to set up an experiment to disprove his results. Evidence is a lot more convincing than your opinion on how training works in game.
  13. @Kevinho7 – I think part of the point behind this video was Max demonstrating that most of those training sessions appear to have no impact at all. If he is wrong (that is, if those trainings are actually meaningful and impactful), I think it would be pretty easy to demonstrate. Set up a new league and run experiments, comparing your results with or without these training sessions while keeping all other variables equal. I've only tried a few weeks of his recommended method (using Match Practice and ignoring the others). Injuries are down, my squad keeps winning, and I'm not seeing any negative effects. It's anecdotal data with a small sample size, sure, but I'm not seeing any evidence that he's wrong.
  14. Hi @cedinero – are you on a Mac by any chance? I discovered in FM21 that I couldn't load more than 140 editor files or so without having the game crash. I had success merging files together and going from there.
  15. I'd trust Max's experiments over Zealand's video editing any day. @fc.cadoni is right – the descriptions don't really mean anything. I've never seen much success in training set pieces, other than the assman telling me that we should play for set pieces.
  16. To be honest, I've moved past the point of speculating on what could happen. Whatever the true result of training sessions are, it is clear that the descriptions in FM themselves cannot be trusted. As I said before, it would not be difficult to construct an experiment to see whether match preparation training has a cumulative impact or not. I doubt it, however, since Max showed quite conclusively that it has no real impact on a single training basis. This is good to know – I haven't actually tried this in preseason yet. During the season, I've had a daily schedule of Attacking - Defending - Physical, with Goalkeeping / Community Service / Team Bonding thrown in here and there in place of Physical. Almost all of the injuries have come during things like Teamwork, Match Tactics, and those other match preparation sessions that I schedule closer to games. However, now that we know that most of the match preparation training has no real impact, I'm starting to wonder if having two sessions a day with rest isn't the optimal approach. Some on Discord have surmised that keeping training on "normal intensity" might help, rather than going to "double intensity" for fully-rested players. The theory is that "double intensity" only helps with players who are over 27 years old. Again, I haven't seen any actual evidence of this.
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