We all bitch about FM from time to time, some more than others! I know I do especially with regards to the training module. So I thought how about we actually try and make a difference to how the game is made and see if SI will take notice? With this in mind I’ve spent the last 3 months maybe longer coming up with new ideas for the training side of the game because imo its lacking and pretty restrictive how it currently is. I’ve spoken to a few other people who I know take training serious on FM and came up with a few ideas on how we’d improve it.What I want to do though is create a fully working concept with the help of the community (yes that’s you:P) and then present it to SI and lets see how it goes. For us to be able to do this though we need to come up with something and be able to explain how it all will work and provide the documentation to back it up. It sounds daunting but it isn’t really, it just involves us all putting our heads together and thinking of a concept that will actually work in practise that is more realistic and flexible compared to what we have now. If we do this then SI will more than likely take it more serious and if its good enough they might make changes based on this or even add it.
I wrote something about this a while back that wasn’t used in Clear Cut Chance at the time so thought I’d post it here to gauge some reactions and hopefully get others to chip in with how they’d change training or what they’d like to see implemented. The stuff written below was done about 4 months ago and I’ve actually changed/adapted some of the ideas which I’ll be sharing with you in a series of articles over the coming weeks. I’ll not add my ideas and the concept we have come up with just yet as I’m really interested to see your own ideas and what you’d like to see implemented for a fuller more immersive training module without the influence of what we’ve come up with.
Here is what I originally wrote about this subject
I know that sliders were removed for FM14 but for me, Football Manager 13 was a step away from the sliders system that many have grown fond of over the years. I think many people knew that sliders were becoming obsolete but didn’t think it would happen this fast and still thought they had at least another year of them. I think the new training module was a big indication of how the game is changing and what the future held when they did away with the sliders from that part of the game. While many feel sliders were unrealistic, I think the main reason for stepping away from them is they just don’t fit the direction the game is going currently. This brings me onto the next point; What next for FM?
The current training module is far from perfect and was added because it was more real life like and less micro management compared to the old training system according to the games developers. But is this actually true? According to all the coaches we’ve interviewed or spoke to for Clear Cut Chance, the current training module isn’t a reflection on real life at all and doesn’t even resemble it. As for the less micro managing argument, I think now you have to micromanage just as much as you did before. Nothing really changed in that aspect unless what they meant by less micromanaging was actually its a lot easier to ignore training now, then I’d agree with that.
Now that sliders have been abolished from the game I think this means that training needs to be linked more closely to tactical side of the game in the coming years. I’m not sure what SI’s plans are for training, but I really hope they do have plans for the current training module. It just doesn’t deliver at the minute in its current state because its far too simplistic, yet very fiddly at the same time.
What we need to see introduced is something that allows us to see the bigger picture of how training is actually working for your players as individuals and as a team. This means that the feedback you get from the game needs to be more in depth and clearer than it currently is. Everything about training is currently bland and mundane. There is no real feedback and its far too easy to achieve great results with little effort.
What’s the point of having different role training schedule if the user is just going to pick the one that trains the most attributes?! Lets take the forward positions for example, there is no real benefit choosing a preset role schedule like advanced forward when the complete forward one covers more useful attributes and a lot more of them. Sure you might see a slight difference in how the player develops but it’s very minimal at best. Anyone who’s followed any of my training projects in the past will see what I’m talking about.
The complete forward training schedule is the better one to use long term because it offers a wider variety of attributes to train (although they are supposedly learnt at a slower rate the more attributes the category has but I haven’t always found that to be true). This isn’t right and it needs to be corrected. The same could be said for the box to box midfielder role too. What needs to happen is to either give us the ability to select which attributes we want to focus on, or make the role trainings actually mean something. Another thing that needs to happen is a bigger advantage and distinction between team training and individual training. In its current form team training is almost redundant to individual training and there is no real benefit to choosing team training over individual training long term, you could even go as far as claiming its a hindrance. What needs to be done is a clear separation of the two, and the options of favouring one over the other should be made more prominent.
It would be great to have tactic specific training options to supplement the role options, e.g. Defensive play, defensive transition, attacking transition, attacking play, general movement, tactical understanding etc. This would then provide us with some more fine tuning options. Not only that but individual training which consists of fitness or tactical work should be classed as extra on top of the team training. All the coaches we’ve spoke to seem to indicate that these (fitness and tactics) are all extra work done by adding extra training sessions or time rather than actually taking away from their normal training.
Individual/Group player training
Role training should remain but rather than having individual attribute training it should focus more on smaller groups of attributes instead. So it could be something like.
Technique focus – Passing, dribbling, first touch etc
Defensive – tackling, marking, concentration, composure
Without the ball – closing down, marking, positioning,
Communication – Teamwork, work rate, decisions
Speed – Pace, acceleration, agility, balance
These are just some examples to give you an idea of what I am talking about. Or alternatively you could add something that allows 3 or 4 players (small groups) to work together to work on these attributes.
And if you wanted to work on Fitness then this should come as added time and the players would do an extra session a day or whatever we can select.
New match training
Transition from Defence to Offence
Transition from Offence to Defence
It could even be an added option called Team Functions and work along side match/general training. It could focus on.
Attack – Defending – Transition
Depending which one of those you select it would train.
Build up play/scoring – covering and defending space
Match training is a good idea in theory but limited in what it actually does. I believe that doing something like this would allow you to actually build towards how you want to play or set up for the coming game. After all, FM is becoming more and more about adapting and changing for every game and is reflecting real life more in that sense. So the build up to a game should also reflect this and training should be focused on the game you play next.
A manager should be able to decide how often and how long a training session is. FM treats every manager the same in this regard but in reality everyone trains a different length. I remember we had a manager at Sheffield United who liked his players to train two 2 hour sessions and we had another who linked two 1 hour and 20 minute sessions. I think Nigel Clough currently works longer than both those. So it should be down to us as the manager to decide upon these factors.
The number of staff you employ should make a real difference on the game, but currently it doesn’t really matter if you have 30 coaches or 4. You can still see significant development irrespective of the number of coaches. Making staff actually play a bigger part in actual development or players needs to be added to the game. The more spread and poorer the coach, the less improvements I should see.The more quality coaches I have, the better/faster the development should be. All that matters for staff at the moment is the workload aside from that you can basically achieve the same development whether it’s a 5 star coach or a 3 star coach.
If I decide to go the player development route then I should have to put actual thought into the backroom staff I’m assembling.
The development rate of these should be slowed down and happen at different times. It’s quite common currently to have a high potential player and have him hit that potential before he’s 22. It’s really a far too common occurrence for any top club. What I’d like to see is the mental side of development slowed down a little. This should come more with age and experience. I know the game kind of works like this now but its still all a bit too rapid and doesn’t make much sense. Some players will be mentally strong when they are younger but not every single one after a few years of development, which is what we currently see.
That is the basic outline of the original idea. So what are some of your ideas? Please post them in the comments section below.