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Difficulties in the second half of the season

Started on 14 August 2011 by psah
Latest Reply on 9 September 2011 by aggy71
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psah's avatar Group psah
11 yearsEdited
I'm playing as Leeds and for 3 consecutive seasons now, I've finished 3rd in the premier league, but at around the middle of the season when 16-20 games have been played I have without exception been at the top. But its getting ridiculous that I can pretty much predict exactly when things start to go wrong.

I dont change my tactics, team talks or my approach press conferences. NOTHING changes, except the performances of the players. It's usually a lower reputation team that starts my losing streak, so I guess it's a complacency issue, but nothing seems to help.

So this time I lost to Peterborough 2-1, while winning 15 of the league games up to that point and drawing 2, losing 0.
I saved before this peterborough match cause I was just so frustrated that I wanted to see what do I have to do in order to beat them. I tried a few different team talks, couple tactics, different line ups and press conferences, but ended up losing every single one of the 6 games I tried. It is worth noting that I only lose if these matches are in the middle of the season, if I for example start the season against Peterborough, it's an almost certain win.

I've since lost to Fulham, Man Utd and West Ham(who had only collected 5 points in the whole season so far).

Please help me, how can I make my team keep up their performances after the first half of the season?
Heya, it seems that you are experiencing something totally different from me, as I usually in the second part of the season get much better results because players gel and settle in with the tactic, so maybe this is what is happening with your opponents.

Firstly, what happens at me might have happened with your opponents, they might get their sharpness up. After the first defeat it's crucial what you say to your players, as this might make their morale go down and it's very hard to work it up from there, or depending, might not be harsh enough to put them with their feet on the ground.

Also, this lack of form actually happens to everyone, everywhere, but then it's the quality of the players that matters here, as if you have more talented players, they might win games (or draw) for you, say if your strikers are having a very bad period, the winger might make a couple of good runs and put 1-2 bells in the net, or an in-form goalkeeper can save the whole team and defend the score etc. more than having an average team.

I'd like to point out what happened to Chealsea, and then Arsenal last season, as some very well known examples. when Chelsea didn't win anything for 8-9 games or so, or Arsenal who were in all competitions and then starting from 1 game, with a smaller team (League Cup final?) everything went from bad to worse. Chelsea came back and due to the maturity of the players, and of the coach probably, managed to come back and finished 2nd, actually having a chance at the title.

1 more thing would actually be the fact that you don't change anything, 1 is the team talks, that don't work anymore, as I've seen it with my eyes, firstly saying "We can win" was motivating half of the team then fewer and fewer players were affected by it till no one was listening to me :| it really is like that. Also the tactic, it's pretty much logical that as you say, in the second part of the season teams know what to expect from you, as they've already played against you, they know your strengths/weaknesses, and will work from there, it's the AI that CAN do this, so that's why having a back-up tactic, or altering some things in your tactic will keep things "interesting" for your players.

These are my ideas, and I don't think you should do drastic changes, just see what the problem is, not creating chances, not scoring from them, conceding easy, individual errors etc. is and start from there. Hope you get the idea, good luck .
Thanks a lot for your quick response. I'll try some of this immediately, but I guess i'll have to wait for the next season to really see.

I'll update here once the season is over!
I used to have this kind of problem in almost all my saves. Then I started changing tactics and it sometimes worked. Now I always have two tactics that my team can play fluidly by mid season. Also take a look at how the opposition plays and try to attack their weak links.
Well it came very close in the end, but I managed to win the premier league for the first time and I'm very very happy. After those few losses, I tweaked my tactic a little bit and changed my team talk to ''the result will come'' pre-match and I went on to win the next game 5-0. It was quite unbelievable that my defensive midfielder scored 4 of those goals.

Before my last game, I was only leading the league by goal difference and Arsenal and Chelsea both won their last games. Thankfully I managed to beat Burnley 3-1.

It still wasn't as good in the second half of the season;
I only lost 1 game, but played to a draw 8 times. I think my biggest problem during the whole season was putting our goalscoring chances away. It usually felt like we had complete control of the game and the chances were more than plenty, but we just didn't score enough and much too often the victories came from direct free kicks or penalties.
hi, i`ve had these problems in the past. agreed that all players have a blip in form even the best. another key area would be to look at the determination of your coaches/assistant to be winners. good stats on them don`t always make them the best.

I changed a lot of expierenced staff for inexpierienced staff but with better "win" attitudes and the 1st couple of games at the start of the season we started slow, but after 3 games we were beating man u, arsenal, chelsea by 3 or 4 clear goals. We finished the season 12 points clear.

also try playing all fringe players or your promising youngster (change all eleven, with maybe 5 1st teamers as subs)in games where you are at least 9 points clear at the top of the league to rest your stars. I always do this.

hope this helps
I had no idea that the coaching attributes can play a role in this. So these winning attributes are what? determination, motivation? I'd love to know more about this.
I've also noticed that when I was forced to rest my usual starting players, that the backup players and youngsters seem to play very well. Maybe to prove themselves? I shall try to do that more often. Thanks for the advice!
Ok it's been 4 seasons since the first post now and the problem persists. The form drop is like clockwork. At 18 games played I had 17 wins and 1 draw and the next match was against sunderland(9th). At 10 minutes, my CB captain, who very rarely even gets yellow cards, picks up a red in an attacking corner situation. I go on to draw the game 1-1, but I knew it was all downhill from there, next game was a 2-1 lose to west brom, then a 1-1 draw with derby and finally i then lost to Aston villa 3-0. I have now tried EVERYTHING and just have to accept that for some completely mind baffling reason the developers have thought that it would be a good idea to make something like this happen.
I really don't know what to say mate :( I just had 2 seasons unbeaten. It might be something different about that particular save maybe?
# tomy : I really don't know what to say mate :( I just had 2 seasons unbeaten. It might be something different about that particular save maybe?

It's hard to say cause I've never played FM before and this is the only save i've played. Cant compare it with anything else. I've tried starting new saves but I keep coming back to this Leeds save.
Hmm it is a familiar problem to me. I usually also tend to struggle in the second half of the season.
A few things to take in mind:
- Make sure you do not use the same tactic the entire season as your opposition will 'learn' your tactic and adjust their style of play. Try to have at least to and preferably three tactics between which you swap every once in a while. You can even make an attacking tactic and defensive tactic and switch between them in a match. (this is the most essential hint!)
- Check the match preperation every month or so, as I have noticed that during the season your players can suddenly dis-learn your tactic (even your first tactic!) if you have the match preparation workload too low.
- This 'learning' of tactic by the opposition does not limit to your play style, but also affects your set-pieces.
- Ensure all your first team players are 'match fit' at all (possible) times in the season. If there are players who do not remain match fit in a season, consider selling them as you probably don't need them and their lack of playtime can cause problems with the team morale.

If all of these tips still don't work, you should consider downloading a tactic from the internet and see if that helps. A tactic I advise to try is Zero Sea's Fairyland. I haven't tried it myself yet, but I've heard that it works amazing :). And, btw you might want to consider reading that tactic either way, as he has some good tips for maintaining good performance throughout the season. (His English is not great but it is well readable :P)

If that STILL doesn't work, please come ask for some more tips! I might think of some more ;)
Evo's avatar Group Evo
11 yearsEdited
Some good advice Zonnegod, I want to comment on your tactic changing though. I've used the same tactic for every game of every season (probably over 30 now), if anything I find that my teams performances get better in the second half of the season and I never change a thing with the tactics (excluding red cards). It's possible that changing tactics up could cause bad form.

For me team talks are the most important thing to keep your team motivated to win. There was a team talk article I read a few years ago by someone called wolfsong that was really good and sorted out my understanding of team talks.
My teams also seem to struggle in the second half of the season. I put it down to fatigue, and injuries/suspensions start to come into play the further into the season you get. At the start of the season for at least the first 7-10 games you play with the same starting 11 and bench (generally). Its very rare my team is the same for 7-10 games in a row after the january transfer window.
The problem is that the second half of the season gets so congested with fixtures, league, fa cup league cup semi and final and europe, its all so much. The only advice I can give is to have a strong 33 man squad (3 players for each position you generally play) and a variety of experienced players for the bigger games and younger players for more fixtures. Other than that just hope to play your main rivals for the second time at christmas time as this may give you an advantage to bring back some points
I encountered this problem for the first time in my second season at Melbourne Victory in my current save. I went on a 12 game winning streak and was leading the league by 18 points then all of a sudden I go onto a 6 game losing streak. I tried tinkering with players in different positions, players playing different roles but kept to my 4-3-1-2 formation trying to keep some consistency to the team but nothing seemed to work. Then I remembered I had a 4-4-2 formation, that I had slightly edited from the one joannes3000 used in his Newport County game, that I had saved and had in my match prep so it was always fluid but it hadn't been used since my first few games in the first season, but I thought, what the hell I'll try it anyway.....first game with the formation I won 5 - 1 against Newcastle Jets and then 5 - 1 against Wellington Pheonix. So I think the point about changing formation to one that you either haven't used that season or against that team in the current season works very well :)

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