5 things you need to stop doing right now to win more matches on Football Manager 2017

Football Manager 2017

Heck knows we all fall into the same lazy traps sometimes – but FM guru Valentin Macovei is here to make sure you don’t stumble into these ones

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1. Start weaker players just to maintain squad rotation and fitness levels

Some managers are obsessed with squad rotation. Usually, if you have a balanced squad depth and players of similar value in the same role, you’ll want to ensure that everyone gets their playing time. The same thing happens when you have promising hot prospects lying on the bench.

That’s not bad, as long as you don’t go over the top. Starting players who are the closest to max physical condition is another common fixation among virtual football managers – but this doesn’t really work as well as you think.

Unsettling your best XI comes at a cost: sometimes you get away with it, but in the long run you’ll fail if you aren’t observing the effects of this routine. You have to correctly estimate how your other options will cope against your next opposition, and if you’re not very confident about winning, just let the backups wait a bit more before featuring.

Remember, as much as you need to keep your players happy, maintain your squad’s match sharpness and develop youngsters, your primary goal should be to win matches.

2. Use the same tactic just because it worked well during a 5-10 match sequence

You may have downloaded/created the best tactic so far, but if you’re going to get stuck using it forever, don’t expect to achieve impeccable results. Variety is the key in FM17. Even if you’re on a great run, things will turn bad if you don’t react.

The opposition scouts will collect a lot of data with time and sooner or later they’ll know how to counter you. This is why tactical surprises work like a charm in FM17 – you’re basically messing up the AI’s expectations and there’s not much it can do to prevent it.

Make sure you have at least three different tactics and if you know what you’re doing, tweak them around every now and then.

3. Argue with your players in an attempt to make them stay

If you haven’t played any of the game’s last three releases and just got into FM17, you’re probably in for a surprise. 

Players now moan a lot. Some are just testing you, but others mean the real deal. Make sure they don’t end up developing a grudge, and never keep unhappy players at the club if you can’t convince them with reasoned talk.

Whatever you say, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Unhappiness spreads rapidly throughout the squad and you’ll find other players having their morale dented for a long period if you can’t deliver what they’re expecting from you.