Thursday, 3 November 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Anticipation

Type: Mental

Training Category: Tactics

Description: The anticipation attribute defines how well a player is able to read the game. It is their ability to know when and where team mates and opposition players are going to run and where the ball is going to be passed. This attribute can be improved through tactics training, but you will see a player develop this attribute more rapidly through game experience so try to give your players as much game time as possible to see large improvements.

For goalkeepers it is there ability to know when an opposing striker is going to place their shots or where crosses are going to land. Defenders with good anticipation will know where players are going to make runs or where through balls are going to occur, increasing their chances of making an interception and cutting out the danger. Attacking players can see where space is going to open up or when a team mate is going to make a run.

Even though anticipation helps a player know what is going to happen next it doesn't mean they will act upon it or be in the correct position to take advantage of this. They also depend upon other mental attributes such as decisions and positioning to make the most of the opportunities they see before them.

Useful for Position: All.

Works well with: Decisions, Positioning, Off the Ball.

Pro Tip: When scouting for youth prospects a young player with a high anticipation attribute is a reliable indicator that they will develop into a good player, take this attribute into account before signing a player.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Aggression

Type: Mental

Training Category: None

Description: The aggression attribute defines how forcefully a player will get stuck in and try to impose themselves upon the opposition, it is closely tied to the bravery attribute. While bravery indicates how likely a player is to get involved in dangerous situations, the aggression attribute will describe how hard they will go into these situations.

Aggression can not be increased through training as it forms part of a players innate personality, but it can be manipulated through player interaction in the form or warnings and fines for violent behaviour.

A football player showing high aggression

Useful for Position: Goalkeepers, Central Defenders, Defensive Midfielders.

Works well with: Marking, Tackling, Bravery, Heading, Strength..

Pro Tip: It is possible to reduce a players aggression attribute if it is too high. If they get sent off, then after the match interact with the player and discipline them for 'dismissal in prior match'. For two yellows or their first red issue a warning, then fine one weeks wages for each red card after that. If you are lucky then player will react and their aggression attribute will have reduced. This method can also have the benefit of improving a players hidden personality attributes such as sportsmanship, dirtiness and temperament.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Strength

Type: Physical

Training Category: Strength

Description: The strength attribute defines how strong a player is and how they are able to impose themselves on the opposition. The strength attribute works relative to the other players on the pitch, when challenging each other for the ball on the floor and in the air. When players are in possession it will help them shield the ball and force themselves past an opponent more effectively and stay on their feet when being tackled.

The strength attribute is highly correlated with the players height and weight, a tall heavy player will naturally be stronger than a short skinny one. As such the players weight and height will place a limit on the maximum strength a player will be able to achieve through training. 
Strength will improve naturally over time as a young player matures, you will see that players under 20 can have their strength attribute increase 3-5 points per season, as such strength is probably the easiest of physical attributes to increase for younger players.

Strength attribute helps players ride challenges

The strength attribute also has an influence on how much power a player can get in their passes, long shot and throw ins. It can be useful for defensive players getting distance on their clearance and allow forward players to smash the ball into the back of the net.

Useful for Position: Goalkeepers, Central Defenders, Defensive Midfielders, Target Men.

Works well with: Tackling, Marking, Jumping, Balance, Aggression, Bravery.

Pro Tip: Try getting defensive players with high strength but poor tackling to learn the Stay On Feet When Tackling Player Preferred Move. They may not have the technical tackling ability to win the ball from the opposition player but hey can hassle and bully them into eventually making a mistake.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Stamina

Type: Physical

Training Category: Strength

Description: The stamina attribute defines how quickly the players condition deteriorates during the match, a higher stamina attribute will mean that the players condition will reduce more slowly. A player with high stamina is able to last the whole game and won't need to be substituted.

The condition of a player doesn't just depend upon their stamina attrbute, it also takes into account the game tempo, player's role, determination and work rate. For example a player who is a box to box midfielder with a high work rate is going to have his match condition decline faster than a central defender that sticks to his position so it is vital for this type of player to have a high stamina attribute.

A high stamina attribute can help late in the game

Useful for Position: Wing backs, Wingers, Central Midfielders.

Works well with: Determination, Work Rate, Natural Fitness.

Pro Tip: Having a team with high stamina attributes for its players means they can out last the opposition, try playing with a high tempo and lots of pressing when not in possession. Those extra bits of energy can make all the difference when chasing a game especially in extra time.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Pace

Type: Physical

Training Category: Aerobic

Description: The pace attribute defines the players top speed as opposed to acceleration which is how quickly they can reach their top speed. Players running with the ball will be slightly slower than players running without it. Pace can be improved through Aerobic training and the Quickness individual training focus, which also includes acceleration.

High pace means a player can outrun the opposition

Players with a high pace attribute will be able to outrun slower players allowing them to get to the ball first or get past an opposition player. A team full of players with high pace can dominate a slower team, they will be able to get to loose balls first and if they lose possession are able to recover their defensive positions more quickly.

Useful for Position: Wing backs, Wingers, Strikers.

Works well with: Acceleration, Agility, Dribbling.

Pro Tip: If you have a player that is high in pace and acceleration try getting them to learn the Knocks Ball Past Opponent Player Preferred Move. They will be able to get past their man and retain possession, even if the opposition player has a head start. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Natural Fitness

Type: Physical

Training Category: Strength

Description: Natural Fitness as the name suggests defines how fit a player is as standard, it is the level of fitness they are born with as such this attribute is very difficult to improve through training.

In order to improve natural fitness they player must be young (below 20), you must have a 5 star fitness coach, the strength category in training must be quite intensive and you must have very good training facilities. Even then you can only expect this attribute to increase by one or two points if you are lucky.

High natural fitness is the sign of a born athlete

Natural Fitness is the most important of all the physical attributes. A player with high natural fitness is less likely to get injured and if they are injured they recover more quickly than a player with a low natural fitness attribute.

Natural Fitness works over the long term, recovery after games is faster with players high in this attribute allowing then to player more games over the season before needing a rest and for older players their decline in attributes is slower making it possible to extend their careers.

Useful for Position: All.

Works well with: Stamina, Work Rate, Determination.

Pro Tip: Players with high Natural Fitness can take a more punishing training schedule, try setting an intensive schedule for these players, when combined with high determination and work rate you can see massive improvements. Avoid buying players with a very low value for this attribute they will spend more time on the treatment table than on the pitch.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Jumping

Type: Physical

Training Category: Aerobic

Description: The jumping attribute defines how high a player can jump in the air from a standing start. It is closely tied to the players height, and in general the higher the player's height the higher the jumping attribute. It is important to note even if a short player has a very high jumping attribute they will still struggle to win the ball against tall player with low jumping.

A high jumping attribute helps you win the ball in the air

Useful for Position: Goalkeepers, Centre Backs, Target Men.

Works well with: Heading, Balance, First Touch, a forward player who is good at jumping as well as these other attributes is a good candidate for a target man, try to play long balls in the air to this player and catch teams on the counter attack.

Pro Tip: When taking corners and set pieces aim your crosses to the player with the highest jumping and heading attributes, they can win the ball in the air and get you a few crucial goals over the course of the season.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Balance

Type: Physical

Training Category: Aerobic

Description: The balance attribute defines how well a player can stay on their feet with or without the ball, in situations where they are under pressure from the opposition
. It describes how stable they are when turning and jumping and how quickly they recover from changes in direction.

Balance helps players stay on their feet when under pressure

Useful for Position: Wingers, Strikers, Centre Backs.

Works well with: Agility, strength, jumping and dribbling, a player with good balance is able to ride out tackles and challenges when shoulder to shoulder with opposition players especially if the also have good strength.

Pro Tip: Players with high balance and dribbling attributes are good for running with the ball and retaining possession when being challenged, try getting these players to learn the 'run with ball' player preferred moves.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Agility

Type: Physical

Training Category: Aerobic

Description: The agility attribute
 ties in with the other physical attributes to defines how quickly a player can start, stop, turn and change direction especially when a player is running with the ball.

Cones are useful for agility training

Useful for Position: Wingers, Strikers and Goalkeepers.

Works well with: Pace, balance, acceleration and dribbling, a player with high agility is light on their toes and is able to dummy and skip past an opponent.

Pro Tip: Players with high agility are good for finding space especially if they have a high off the ball attribute, look to play killer ball to these players.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Attribute: Acceleration

Type: Physical

Training Category: Aerobic

Description: The acceleration attribute defines how quickly a player can get up to their top speed (Pace). It is useful for getting past an opponent or running into space.

Useful for Position: All, especially wingers, full backs and strikers.

Works well with: Pace and Dribbling, a player with high acceleration and pace can be devastating for breaking on the counter attack and beating the back line.

Pro Tip: Look to play through balls to players with high acceleration so they can run into space and onto the ball.

High acceleration get you up to your top speed faster

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

FM2011 - LLM Beginner Tactics Part 3 - Free Kicks

Free kicks are one of the hardest things to get right in Football Manager, Especially with lower league teams. The problem you will have is most of your players technical attributes are too poor to get the ball to fly into the top corner like David Beckham.

The first thing that you want to do is nominate your free kick taker, I usually pick my wingers for this as they usually have the best crossing, technique, long shots and free kick attributes, but if you find another player with better pick them. I then tell them to aim corners to the far post.

You can see below the individual roles I pick for my players, the important ones are the centre backs forward in and around the keeper, one of my centre mids disrupting the wall and another good free kick specialist standing with the taker.

Football Manager 2011 Free Kicks

I find this strategy quite successful, but only expect a few goals per season with this.

Don't forget to check out my early guides to beginner tactics:
Football Manager 2011 LLM Beginner Tactics Part 1 Formation
Football Manager 2011 LLM Beginner Tactics Part 2 Corners

Saturday, 17 September 2011

FM2011 - LLM Beginner Tactics Part 2 - Corners

Now you have your basic tactics setup in place its time to refine it a little bit, lets start with corners. First of all you want you best crosser taking them, these are usually your wingers. I like to have inswinging corners so have you right winger taking the left corners and left winger for right corners. Like in real life you want to get your biggest players in the box that can challenge in the air, this means bringing your centre backs up. See below for the setup I go with.

Football Manager 2011 Corner Tactics

As you can see I aim my corners for the 6 yard box, my centre backs are there annoying the keeper and are big enough to win the aerial challenges, I also have players attacking each of the posts with my best long shot player lurking outside the area. With this setup I am able to get an extra 10-15 goals per season which can make a big difference!

Don't forget to read up on the other parts of my tactics training here:
Football Manager 2011 LLM Beginner Tactics Part 1 Formation
Football Manager 2011 LLM Beginner Tactics Part 3 Free Kicks

Monday, 12 September 2011

FM2011 - LLM Beginner Tactics Part 1 - Formation

Today I'm going to talk about tactics for lower league teams. The key to a successful tactic for a poor technical team is to keep it simple, so I always start with a standard 4-4-2 formation:

Football Manager 2011 4-4-2 Formation

I then set one of my central midfielders to a defensive role and the other to attacking. Most of your players will be lacking any decent technical or mental skills so you want them to stick to their positions and roles, this is how I setup my team instructions:

Football Manager 2011 Team Instructions

As you can see I've told my team to play a direct 'hoofball' game with little creative freedom and roaming from positions. This will ensure that your player will be in the right place at the right time more often than not and prevent your oppostion a free run on goal. The idea of playing direct is that your players will not be good on the ball and if they try and play it around the back they are going to make some critical mistakes eventually.

Thats it for now, as I said keep the tactics simple to start with and once your team gets a good understanding of how to play you can start tweaking things here and there. More tactics tips to follow!

Once you're set up you can move on to the other parts of my beginner tactics here:
Football Manager 2011 LLM Beginner Tactics Part 2 Corners
Football Manager 2011 LLM Beginner Tactics Part 3 Free Kicks

Friday, 9 September 2011

Poll's Closed

The FM2011 poll is now closed and it looks like you guys want some tips about tactics. I'm not going to be here for the next few days, but when I get back I'll give you some info on tactics for lower league teams.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Gold Investment Update

As you might remember I opened a GoldMoney account last month, hoping to invest in silver. In the end I decided to buy some gold as the transaction fees are lower for gold than silver.

My account took a week to authorise, once that was done I deposited £20 as a test, this took 3 days to clear so I bought 0.537 grams of gold at a rate of 36.2100/gg , not much obviously. You also have to take into account the transaction rate of 2.74% and a storage fee of 0.1 gold grams per months.

Now its the start of a new month I currently have 0.437 gold grams left, which is worth £16.57. Even though gold has risen in value during that time I've made a loss from the fees. I am planning of cashing this out before the end of the month before any more storage fess, hopefully with a small profit.

With the fees involved it looks like I will need to invest a couple of orders of magnitude more than £20, to negate the fees in order to make this worth while. I'm still pretty sceptical that gold trading is useful for the small investor, let me know what you think.

Friday, 2 September 2011

FM2011 - League Football!

Finished my third season with Hyde United, top of the league, 103 points, 20 clear of second place. I'm pretty chuffed. Upgrading my training and youth facilities, now its time to stengthen my squad over the summer. Check out the league table below, I'll be giving more FM2011 tips soon but for now I'm just basking in the glory of being Conference Champions!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

FM2011 - LLM - Making Money

As the manager of a lower league team you need every penny you can get, so I'm going to give you a helping hand with some tips below:
  • Purge your squad of dead wood, all your under 18 team will be useless, get rid of them as well as most of your reserves.
  • Ask your board for a Parent Club, not only do you get good players on free loans, you also get paid for the privilege and a money spinning friendly!
  • Pre-season friendlies - before the start of the season go to your reserve team screen and then their fixtures, here you can arrange friendlies. Arrange a friendly with the most reputable New Zealand teams, make sure it is an away game and you are guaranteed £20K in fees per game. Do this 5 or 6 times and you've got yourself enough money to get your team through the year.
  • Finally put as much effort as you can in progressing through the FA Cup, aim for the third round and pray you get a big away tie with a Premiership team. Cup games split the gate receipts so if you manage to get Manchester United you could be looking at up to £1 million for just one game!
I followed these tips with Hyde United this season and managed to draw Wolves away in the third round of the FA Cup. I've gone from an annual turnover of £200K to £500K and its only January, giving me enough to upgrade my training facilities and increase my wage budget!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

FM2011 - 1st Season in Conference Premier

Just finished my first season in the Conference Premier League. I finished in 7th place 4 points of the playoff positions. I'm pretty happy considering the Board wanted me to fight bravely against relegation. Now its time to spend the summer strengthening my squad and hopefully finish top of the league next season!

In other news Manchester United just beat Arsenal 8-2! I couldn't believe it, what a match!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

FM2011 - Promoted!

My first season in charge of Hyde United and I manage to get promoted through the playoffs. The playoff final was tense, but my boys managed to win through with a last gasp extra time goal in the 122nd minute! Check it out:

Now I need to spend the summer break rebuilding my team and preparing them for life in the Blue Square Prem, wish me luck!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

LLM - Physio

The Physio is the second most important member of staff after your Assistant Manager. He prevents players getting injured, speeds up their recovery from injury and give reports on how long players will be out of action for. Key attributes for a physio are:

  • Physiotherapy - Determines how accurately a player will be out of action for.
  • Discipline and Determination - Makes sure players work hard to recover from their injuries and return earlier for selection.
After many hours of searching this is the Physio I ended up with, as you can see his physio stat is only 10 so he gives me injury times that have quite a wide range, but his other stats mean that the players return at the lower end of those estimates:

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

LLM - Assistant Manager

So you're now the proud owner of a lower league club with no money or resources. What is the first thing you do? Sack everybody!

Your starting staff are going to be complete rubbish and you're going to have to build this club from the ground up. The most important staff member you are going to have is the Assistant Manager, he can do everything:
  • Manages your Reserve and Under 18 team.
  • Scout teams and players.
  • Trains your players.
  • Gives you feedback during matches.
  • Much much more.
Your Assistant Manager needs good stats in almost every attribute, now you're not going to get Alex Ferguson so be realistic. After many hours of searching I found Brian Caswell, his stats are all around 10 or so and I think thats the best I'm going to get for a Blue Square North club, he also has some knowledge of a few European countries which can come in handy when scouting players, check him out below.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Football Manager 2011 - Lower League Management

In anticipation of the release of Football Manager 2012 I decided to reinstall FM2011.

My team of choice is Hyde United, based in the Blue Square North Division it is as low as you can start. My plan is to get them into the Premiership and eventually become English and European Champions. This isn't going to be easy, they have a tiny stadium with a capacity of only 4000 (550 seated), poor training facilities and wage budget of only 3.5k per week.

Check out the club details below to see what I've got to work with:

So over he next few week I'll be giving you updates on my progress and any tips I can think of for managing a lower league team.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Cassandra Gemini

I'm still waiting for my gold trading deposit to clear so in the meantime here is something different.

This is my favourite Mars Volta song at the moment, I wanted to embed it here but its been disabled, so just click the link and enjoy!

Click here for noise

Warning this song is 30 minutes of pure epic eargasms, turn volume to max!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Annual Appraisal

I had my annual appraisal with my boss today, It went pretty well, he seem pleased with the work I've done this year and he says I can go on a training course. I'm thinking of doing a course in .NET 4.0, as I already have the certification in .NET 3.5 I can just do the upgrade.

I will find out tomorrow what kind of pay rise I'm getting, I hope its massive!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Silver Bullet

As promised I registered for a gold and silver trading account. I signed up to, the registration process was arduous to say the least as I had to give them my driving license, bank details, life story etc. Other than that I would recommened giving it a go if you've got a bit of spare cash to lose.*

Now I will have to wait a few days before I can start trading until my deposit clears, in the mean time here are some reasons why I've decided to invest in silver:
  • Its cheaper than gold so I get more bang for my buck.
  • I'm diversifying my portfolio, I've got stocks, bonds and cash so who can say no to precious metals.
  • A hedge against inflation (keep printing those dollars).
  • No counterparty risk, a piece of metal can't go bust unlike companies and countries!
Once my deposit has gone through expect another update.

* Always seek professional financial advice before making any investment decisions, I am not an expert!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Back to the Gym

So I went to the gym today at lunch, this was the first time in three weeks since I went on holiday. It was hard going to motivate myself but I went and feel much better for it. Those three weeks out means that I'm back to the beginning again. ah well.

In other news I'm thinking of opening a gold and silver trading account. Now I can't afford an ounce of gold at $1800 but I should be able be able to get a bit of silver, I just hope the US goes into hyperinflation and I'll be rolling in it.

Check tomorrow for an update!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Peter Schiff Bankers Speech

Just saw this video of Peter Schiff in 2006 predicting the whole credit crunch thing, pretty interesting stuff he got quite a lot of it spot on. Have a look:

Saturday, 13 August 2011

New Premiership Season

The new season kicks off today, here are my predictions:

Top 6:
Manchester United
Manchester City

Bottom 3:

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Investment Report

So got my investment report recently, its grown by 20% year ending July. Since then in August the markets have dropped by about the same amount, am I mad? Not really, I'm buying and not going to sell for a few years. You know the golden rule, buy low sell high!

In other news the US Federal Reserve expects to keep interest rates on hold at 0-0.25% for another 2 years, it looks like the UK will follow suit. I don't know about you but I've been feeling a reduction in my spending power with inflation officially around 5% (personally it feels more around 10-15%).

A rise in interest would help this but it doesnt look like its going to happen. I say put it up 2-3% over the next year and get people saving, if people lose their houses making repayments at this rate then they shouldn't have had the house to begin with.

Stop dragging this out and get the pain over with, put up rates now!


Monday, 8 August 2011

US Credit Rating

So the US got its credit rating downgraded, I guess they should have listened to Peter Schiff. Most of Europe has been on an austerity drive for years now and I guess its America's turn, I'm sure the Reps and Dems will handle cuts and tax rises in a mature manner.

If your interested in economic matter you should read Robert Preston and Stephanie Flander's blogs at the BBC. They but a max length on comments which is a shame as I found that to be the best part, but still a good read.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Community Shield

Just saw probably the best Community Shield match in decades.

Apparently whoever has won the Community Shield at the new Wembley goes on to win the league, thoughts?

My New Blog

Welcome to my blog, I don't really have any theme in mind so I will just talk about whatever I want.

Thanks for reading,