Holiday season.

Holiday season.

As the Covid restrictions look as though they’re about to ease in the United Kingdom, it’ll hopefully soon be holiday season.

That means lots of sun, alcohol, laziness, and who knows what el… oh, hang on – you’re reading False9 here, and not a travel blog.

And, in terms of Football Manager, the term means ‘tweaking player and coaching attributes with one of the in-game editors, setting up some training schedules, turning on holiday mode for the season, and seeing how the attributes are affected by the coaching staff and schedules.’

No, not that sort of holiday – don’t you know there’s a global pandemic going on?!? Original – Effect by Lunapic.

I have tried to do this with Brda, with my vast backroom army of, uh, me and a goalkeeping coach, but I kept getting sacked in about November time, with the team inevitably nailed to the bottom of the table.

Hence the idea of messing about with the pre-game editor. There are two reasons for this: firstly, if every single player has every attribute set to 12, they’ll destroy the Slovenian Second League (and I won’t keep losing my job, and hence will have something to write about at the end of the season.) Secondly, a constant number makes it easier to see what difference a slew of fitness coaches, and a very physical training schedule, makes, when compared to a bunch of tactical coaches, who like defensive football, with training schedules which emphasise defending and ball retention?

The answers should be obvious: the more you work on defensive shadow play, the more your Decisions, Positioning and Teamwork, etc., attributes rise, at the expense of other attributes. The more resistance your squad does, the better their Jumping, Aerial Reach, Strength, and so on, will become.

Some training blocks, like Tactical (General), and Physical (Quickness) allocate 100 per cent of the benefit of that training block to one set of attributes. So, for Quickness, 100 per cent of 100 per cent is allocated to Acceleration, Quickness, and Pace, you’d assume at ratios of 1/3 each.

But for others, such as say, Attacking Direct, the increases are split across primary, secondary, and tertiary categories. The primary focus of Attacking Direct takes 60 per cent of the benefit, divided across nine attributes (so Long Shots, Off the Ball, Vision, and six others, get 60/9 per cent each.) The secondary focus shares 20 per cent over six attributes, and the tertiary (goalkeeping) focus, allocates 20 per cent over 10 attributes.

The point of the testing I plan to do (assuming I don’t keep getting the bullet from my trigger-happy owners) is to find out where the sweet spots are in the training schedule, and use them to my advantage once I start playing properly. In other words: what is the optimum mixture of physical, set-piece, technical, attacking, defending, etc. training, considering the coaching resources you have to play with?

There should come a point, after enough tests, when I begin to home in, through brute-force, on what looks like a very good (if not perfect, because Football Manager, like the world, is probably ragged at the edges) solution for a semi-professional team, with minimal coaching staff, who intend to play football in this way, and not that way.

I’ll put up a table of some description, with the number of coaches I am using, what their best attributes are, and the training schedules I am trying out, with the attendant effect on attributes. Over time, I hope it is something which proves to be illuminating.

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