A little bit of background on myself first……
My name is Nick Kakoschke otherwise known as the infamous “Little Badger” (on the Official Forums). I can be quite controversial on the FML forums due to being fairly blunt and honest about my views on many aspects of the game. I am the manager of the Little Badgers in the Clough Game World.
Without blowing my own trumpet too much, I am one of the more successful managers in this game world, having won a long list of official trophies, including the game worlds most competitive Premiership 6 seasons in a row. I’ve also been ranked no.1 in the GW with 3 completely different squads of players.
Whilst there may be others who have achieved greater success in FML, I believe I’ve achieved enough, and learnt enough, that it’s time to share some of my advice and knowledge with others who are aspiring to improve at FML. Without further ado – here are my top tips to achieving success in FMLive.
1. Have a game plan
I would say most ‘game plans’ I have are generally up to 5 seasons in duration as planning beyond this timeframe effectively is too difficult. If you’re a 4th tier team and you aim to get promoted to the top tier inside 5 seasons then you need to plan accordingly. In such an example you want your team to get progressively stronger season after season eventually peaking in the 5th season. Signing older players at the start of the 5 season plan is generally a bad idea as any high wages will reduce the resources available to you over the coming seasons.
However, signing older players towards the end of the 5 season plan could be a good idea as you will probably need additional player quality on the cheap in order to compete in the higher tiers. You are much better off planning properly, not getting promoted for the first 2 seasons and then getting promoted 3 seasons back to back is better in the long term than getting promoted the first 2 seasons back to back, but lingering in the 2nd tier because you don’t have the resources required to get promoted again.
I believe in football manager live it is important to have a goal in mind and have a plan to achieve that goal. Just continuously trying to ‘improve’ your team (whilst it may seem to be a good plan) may mean you never actually win/achieve anything. If your goal is to win trophies, you need to build a team that is capable of doing that (not have a team you’re always trying to improve but will never be capable of achieving your goal). My goals within FML always revolve around building a team that will have a sustained periods of success.
2. Understand when your team is peaking.
By peaking I simply mean, your current squad of players are at their peak, and each season that passes as a collective, your first team is not improving (i.e. for each younger player who is getting better there is an older player getting worse). To achieve goals you need to build a core of players that will ‘peak’ around the same time. Generally this will mean buying younger players who will peak around the same time, so you can have a sustained core to the team to achieve your success. This core, when it reaches it’s peak, can be supplemented by cheaper older players.
3. Understand when your team is ‘past it’.
By past it I mean, that your current squad of players as a collective are going to get worse season after season. If your team currently isn’t at the level you want it to be (and you don’t have the financial resources to bring it up to the level required), and the core players are ‘past it’ – then it is time to start rebuilding. This will involve being very frank and realistic about assessing your players, their value and the road ahead.
You need to create a new plan. You need to sell all the players who won’t contribute to realising this plan (this will generally be all older players who are at the end or past their peak). There is definitely an art to rebuilding teams effectively, understanding which players to sell and which players to keep. Generally you’ll want to be selling most/all of your older players and replace them with a new core of younger players, however, there are exceptions. Selling players who are currently in their late 20’s is an art form as well, as the price you can get for such players varies quite dramatically, be realistic in what you want for them.
4. Understand the value of older players.
Given how quickly they depreciate both in terms of value and ability often means such players are unwanted. However, it very often occurs that older players that have at least 1 season left in them become available for a nominal fee (sometimes just £1). If your team has ‘hit it’s peak’ then picking up the right key ‘old guy’ for a bargain could be what ‘takes your team to the next level’. Also remember that old players offer your team more than perhaps meets the eye. In the match engine older players are more consistent, and high reputation older players provide a lot of assistance in being able to win matches consistently.
The increase in squad reputation (via increased performance and also the older players reputation helping as well) will lead to an increase in revenue for your team (which will help to offset their wages). They will also lift the performance (and consequently average ratings) of your team as a whole, which can also contribute to your younger players developing better. So don’t always write off old players, the right older player/s in the right circumstances can add a lot of value to your team both on the pitch and off it.
5. Understand the value of Younger Players.
I don’t want to write an essay about how much wages younger players should or shouldn’t be getting paid. But what I will say is this, if you can pick up a player who is 19 years or younger, who is on a ‘reasonable’ wage, and who you can play in the starting line-up of your senior team, then 9 times out of 10 this player will turn out to be an absolute bargain.
If you can get your younger players averaging over 6.8 at senior level starting every match, their development, reputation and value should very likely go through the roof. When rebuilding a team, you want to try and have at least 3 or more such players in this boat. Obviously tied into this is the ability to spot youth talent. But I would say, if they have good key attributes for their position, and they have at least 3* potential, then it’s hard to go wrong here.
|Written By Nick Kakoschke
Nick is the infamous Little Badger on the SI forums and manager of the Little Badgers in the Clough game world. A very successful manager in his time on FML he now aims to pass his knowledge on to others.