Reviews// Football Manager 2010

Posted 27 Oct 2009 17:23 by
This change not only provides a much easier way of creating your formation, but also improves the feedback you receive on the pitch. After the first few games I played I could quite easily recognise where I was going wrong in a few fundamental areas. My lads werenít controlling the ball for big chunks of the game, and when we did we were too direct. Changing the philosophy of my squad and personal instruction of my players meant that I could tell them to pass the ball shorter, build the play up more slowly, and generally keep a hold of the ball when we had it.

It took me a while of playing around with the formations until I came to the conclusion that formations should be layered. I created a 4-4-2 that possessed team philosophy and player instructions that I felt were compulsory to how I wanted to play. On match day I would tailor these further by making use of the touchline shouts and player instructions.

Touchline shouts are wonderful. The beauty of dealing with formations this way is that no formation will work against all opposition, but it means that I can tweak my formation during play and begin to notice big differences on the pitch. Example touchline shouts are: Retain Possession, Get Ball Forward, Pump Ball into Box, Shoot on Sight, Play Wider, Play Narrower, Drop Deeper and Take More Risks.

The key point here is that I no longer feel slightly clueless. I can see where Iím playing well, and where Iím going wrong. All of which is down to the fantastic game engine and how I instruct my players within it. If a player in the hole was destroying my defence, Iíd get Darren Fletcher on the case with tight marking and hard pressing. This quickly sorted that problem out! And by sorting I mean lots of kicking legs in, obviously.

A further feature that improves feedback to the player comes from the Backroom Advice. This highlights a number of elements that were previously never obvious enough, allowing me to combat it accordingly. For example, it will display the advantages and disadvantages my squad has against the upcoming opponent. When, where or how do they tend to score their goals? Are they particularly dangerous at set pieces? What kind of defensive line do they tend play better against? Can they be beaten with pace? These statements are essentially hints, but provide only enough information for you to absorb, analyse and then counter in which way you see fit.

Using this information you can then apply drastic tactical changes or tinker slightly with pre-match instructions. Another nice feature of your backroom staff is that if youíre lazy, or possibly unaware as to how to instruct your players at the start of a match, you can ask your assistant manager to do it for you. A benefit of this is that new players wonít be punished for having little knowledge, and it also speeds up the learning curve on how you should be managing your squad.

Granted, there are areas for improvement here, with management of training and setpieces remaining fairly linear and boring, still managed by sliders and basic instruction. Iíve always struggled to get into this part of FM, and this year proves to be no different. Considering how CM 2010 has tackled this issue head on, it was a bit disappointing to see.

Press conferences I still find tremendously boring, and I often get my assistant manager to sit through them for me. Still, I do occasionally sit in on one, just to storm out in disgust at the mildest of questions. Ha! Damn football journos!

Whilst all of the above hints at the game generally being easier Ė which is true to a certain extent Ė thereís a lot for old and new here. Iím really appreciating the new changes as a manager, and itís allowing me to sit down and play a lot more, rather than frequently looking to the community for help. The game remains the same in many areas, but improves vastly on those that really needed it, leaving just a few left to tackle next year. FM is a very, very well polished game that stands proudly above its competitors in the market, even if the gap is getting ever slightly smaller.

SPOnG Score: 92%
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Reezo 31 Oct 2009 03:21
i think that fm 2010 is gonna be awesome fm games everrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The master 31 Oct 2009 19:40
i have been waiting so long for this game. i hope that is better than the last one
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