As seen in the Manager Profile Creation sometimes the game groups player attributes.
It’s the right time to remember this. In previous editions attributes categories appeared to the user more frequently, so some mechanics were more visible and more intuitive to understand. In Football Manager 2016 they are more hidden but it doesn’t mean they are literally disappeared.
We can see, even if hidden behind a tooltip description, the pivotal element of the training system: player attributes. Since the descriptions and the legacy from previous versions, we can sum up the categories as following
Attack: Crossing, Finishing, Long Shots, Off The Ball, Passing, Vision;
Ball Control: Creativity, Dribbling, First Touch, Heading, Technique;
Defense: Marking, Tackling, Positioning;
Fitness: Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Jumping Reach, Natural Fitness, Pace, Stamina, Strength, Work Rate;
Tactic: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Teamwork;
General Training manages team training and acts without the possibility of changes once started. His tasks concern players attributes growth. From the dropdown menu you can choose between Balanced, Fitness, Tactic, Ball Control, Defense, Attack, Team Cohesion.
Every training schedule bonds the players for the same amount of time, intensity is adjusted with his own option. The schedule decides in which category the players shall train more, so which attributes category shall be given major priority in the growth process. As said, regardless of the program, the total workout time is still the same, so if intensified, it must inevitably lighten somewhere.
A visual and indicative example of the system, in case you don’t have a clear overview by words. Values and proportions are indicative only, they don’t reflect exactly what is implemented in the game but they likely summarize it. It’s intuitive that Balanced coaches everyone evenly without any particular preference or peak.
There’s a routine though, consider it as a jolly if you’d like, called Team Cohesion. It’s a schedule that doesn’t concentrate most of the time spent on attributes development, it focuses on other uncountable components (there references somewhere, don’t worry) like understanding, affinity, togetherness, morale.
Now a question might arise: do all the players train in the same way? If I set Balanced, does everyone have the same program covering the same attributes? A defender is training like a striker… and a goalkeeper?
Nothing leads to this conclusion and nobody has ever intended so. Giving a specific priority to everyone doesn’t mean everyone has the same schedule, you’ll understand soon. The philosophy behind the choice takes different shades. You can start from the assumption that your players have some gaps to be filled, they lack some attributes in order to perform a specific phase of the play as requested, or that you want to focus their improvement to specialize a special feature of your game (defensive impenetrability, ball possession and retention, pacey counterattacks, strength in the scrimmage). You’ll end up choosing Defense to improve 1 vs 1 and technical skills related to the off the ball phase, Attack to improve finishing and passing, Ball Control to have a better ball management and the technical skills for dribbling, Tactic to improve the interpretation of the game and the way to stay on the field, Fitness to increase speed required in the counter-attacks, physical in contacts and endurance to be consistent and responsive until the final minutes of the match.
From this screen we see a player without individual training has set as default the schedule of his natural position (be aware, position not role!). A goalkeeper trains following a goalkeeper schedule, a full back has a full back one, and so on. This way we understand how the system is branched and more specific than it might look at a first glance.
Scheduling defines in proportion (and you have a clear measure in the calendar) to the total available how much time to dedicate to General Training, and how much to focus to the other element: Match Preparation.
If General Training has effects and advantages in the medium-long term, Match Preparation leads to temporary benefits for the next match only. Defensive and Attacking Movements, Free Kicks improve team’s performance in these specific stages in the next 90 minutes. Some particular choices are available here too. With Match Tactics you work on the learning and understanding of the tactics you have selected, so that the players will be able to apply the instructions in a consistent and effective manner. It’s something that improve just by playing matches, once at maximum there are no reason to choose this option. The last alternative Teamwork joins the similar one in General Training and just to state it clear again their effects are not temporary.
Comes into play a philosophical choice according to your goals and situations. If you want to develop at best your players potential, the raw material at your disposal, you’ll focus much of your time (basically almost the entire week for the whole season) on the General Training. If you have changed a lot a players in your roster, in addition to teaching as soon as possible the system you have implemented, you need to spare some time for Teamwork. During the late season when there are important and decisive matches, or when the result of the next game counts much more than it seems, it is definitely recommended to move the balance towards the Match Preparation.
Let’s see some other details. It’s possible to customize the development of every player. Selecting a specific role, you’ll train that specific position and the related most important attributes.
Observing Poacher and Complete Forward, the interest falls in the number of attributes involved.
It’s faulty to think that both schedules focus on different attributes in the same way. As said, the same intensity is applied in the weekly training, available time is always the same. What does it mean having more or less attributes in the same time frame? If in the same time frame you need to take care to more attributes, it means you can’t reserve the same time and effort. More attributes a role covers and gives priority, less effective the training will be (with less benefits) and minor priority will be given to that attribute.
Long story short, if you’re interested in Acceleration the Poacher schedule will be more effective than Complete Forward.
If there’s a specific attribute you prefer to develop, using Individual Training (Additional Focus) you’ll have a nice bonus on the development. There are contraindications to be evaluated due to introducing additional work. It’s a further burden on an already heavy workload, so on morale and on the probability to have to deal with an injury.
Training and playing matches help to achieve ideal Fitness and the optimal Jadedness you are looking for. Over exercise and too many minutes added consecutively depletes the player, increasing Jadedness over his optimal value. On the other side a player not running on the pitch often won’t be fit and with the a correct amount of Jadedness to perform at best.
It might happen to see unexpected attributes fluctuations at first sight. Priorities and focus attempts don’t imply there can’t be fluctuation in areas you’re supposed to neglect. As much as you’re trying to avoid work in the off the ball phase, a forward might have some improvement for different factors.
A not so immediate detail: the higher the value, the harder it is to raise it.
It’s easier to have a low value (a 6) and improve it in a shorter time than to see the same for an higher value (a 17). So even if you concentrate more on an high attribute you don’t have to be surprise if positive updates come from something you weren’t even thinking.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga is a powerful striker, 1.89m x 88kg. Pace e agility are definitely not his major features as it can be for sure the ability to see the goal.
Poacher focus on First Touch, Finishing, Concentration, Composure, Anticipation, Off The Ball, Acceleration, Agility. In the example it’s been activated with an Individual Focus on Agility.
In a season the upcoming changes have been reported:
Acceleration: 10 ► 9.6
Agility: 8.0 ► 9.2
Anticipation: 16 ► 16.8
Ball Control: 11 ► 11.6
Composure: 14 ► 14.8
Concentration: 14 ► 14.6
Finishing: 16 ► 16.2
Off The Ball: 15 ► 15
The overall trend is an average positive. The variables on the table concerning the development of a player a quite a lot: team structure, training scheduling, staff, injuries, playing time, competitions, performances, personality, approach to the training, inner growth margins. Considering this example we have more than 25 matches in the first German division and European competition, a supporting and favorable environment and just a little injury as an obstacle for few weeks.
An evident improvement of an Agility full point stands out immediately so every effort there fully paid off. Off The Ball and Finishing remained unchanged, while other stats improved of an half point. Time to point out the deterioration of Acceleration, attribute included in the Poacher schedule. It describes that cause and effect relationships are not uniformly linear and predictable (and there’s nothing wrong in it).
On the other hand to include everything…
…Fitness is far from being the first option selected, in comparison with other physical attributes:
Balance: 12 ►11.6
Jumping Reach: 15.0 ►15.2
Natural Fitness: 10.0 ►10.2
Speed: 13 ►12.8
Stamina: 11.0 ►11.0
Strength: 18.0 ►18.0
It follows a not positive trend. Important event: an key attribute for Poacher goes under a negative evolution.
Analysis and players development is not today’s topic, since we’ve got so far it would be a shame not add a something that complete this summary.
Let’s see attributes that are far from being high tier.
Crossing: 8.0 ►8.0 (Attack)
Marking: 6.0 ►5.6 (Defense)
Passing: 10 ►10.4 (Attack)
Positioning: 7 ►7.0 (Defense)
Tackling: 6.0 ►5.6 (Defense)
Teamwork: 10 ►10 (Tactic)
Technique: 11.0 ►11.4 (Ball Control)
Vision: 8.0 ►8.4 (Attack)
Considering 12 months, General Training has been split for one third on Balanced, and all priorities differs one from another for 1 or 2 percentage points. Defensive attributes like Tackling and Marking fall by half point while some Attack and Ball Control related rise by the same amount. To confirm the fact that setting defensive training doesn’t mean training forwards on just defending, neglecting attacking stats, like defenders. Every player has a scheduling based on his position.
- General Training is about players attributes, improvement stack for a medium-long term improvement.
- Team Cohesion is a schedule that takes time from players development to improve another features.
- Match Preparation follows the preparation of the next match, efforts are provided to obtain short-term temporary gains.
- Teamwork and Match Tactic are not temporary settings for the next match only, the benefits pile up over time.
- Set Scheduling according to your objective (raw attributes vs other) for short/medium/long term gain.
- Training players in a role not only improves versatility, it’s useful to force attributes that are important to you.
- Training is just one of the factors that affects players development, part of a chain that involves team structures, staffing, injuries, playing time, competition played, performances, personality, player’s approach to training, inner room for improvement.
- Lasogga is a fucking bomber.