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FM Guide To Help With Your Mid-Season Slump

BLUFFERS FM GUIDE TO ARRESTING YOUR MID-SEASON SLUMPWelcome along to a bluffers guide to arresting your mid-season slump in Football Manager, let's take a look together at what can be done to get you on the winning ways.

We've all been there.

You're approaching the January transfer window, and despite an excellent start to the season, things are starting to turn for the worse.

Injuries are mounting, players are getting tired, and as results turn, so does morale.

The transfer window offers potential salvation, but will rarely cure all your problems.

So, what do you do?

Prevention is always better than the cure, so here are some ways to spot an incoming slump and stop it in its tracks.

ADMIT THERE'S A PROBLEM


Praising Conduct Football Manager

The first part of addressing a slump is admitting that something isn't working.

Maybe you've stuck with the same tactic for a couple of weeks too long, perhaps you're not paying attention to the different teams you're playing.

Maybe the squad is thin, and you're finding it hard to pick and choose your rotations.

Whatever it is, the first step to getting back on the winners' list and getting your season back on track is admitting that there's an issue and working out what it is.

Start by looking at the first game in this poor run you didn't win when you really should have won.

What happened in that game? Did your team fail to finish chances? Were you overrun in midfield? Once you can answer these questions, it will be easier to work out what you need to do next.

Sometimes the answers you find will point to more significant problems with your squad which are trickier to solve in the short term – such as lacking the required quality of players or depth – but at least this will point you to long-term solutions you can begin to plan for.

MONITOR PLAYER CONDITION


There's no point flogging a dead horse.

If your best player is tired, rest him. If he can sit out one game, it will make a massive difference in the short term.

If the condition is an ongoing issue for some players, then check his training program and put them on a lighter schedule.

If morale is down, try and fix it with a one-on-one chat or a team meeting.

Praising Conduct Football Manager

Praising a player's conduct is the easiest way to get a cheap morale boost and at least get the squad nice and happy again. The little things count when you're desperate for a win.

Praising Conduct Football Manager

Look at your schedule ahead and nurse your best XI back to fitness and happiness ensure they're ready for your next winnable match and make sure your best 11 players are fit and healthy for that fixture.

That one big result can completely snap your team out of poor form.

SET UP ALTERNATIVE TACTICS


If you have not already, you really should take the time to set up three game plans.

The FM AI is generally pretty good at adapting to your tactics if you use the same team week in, week out and you'll notice this if you're not playing as one of the best team's in the world.

I generally set up my standard tactic I expect to use for most games which I tweak as required and then I'll set up another tactic to deal with games where I expect to be outclassed.

If you're struggling for results and you haven't played with your tactics, then things aren't likely to change.

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Go back to the problem you found in your previous games and start from there. You might find your system just needs a small tweak rather than a full overhaul.

Conceding too many goals? Look at your defensive set-up. Maybe you don't need to go to a 6-4-0 set-up, but if you're playing with four at the back and your full-backs are spending more time attacking than defending, then merely setting them to a more defensive role might help stem the supply for opposition strikers.

Not winning enough ball in midfield? Lose a play-maker and try a midfielder with a higher work-rate and better tackling ability.

If you're stuck in a rut, you really don't have much to lose by trying something different.

LIMIT SIGNINGS


Whether in Football Manager or in real life, so many managers see the mid-season transfer window as the solution to all their problems.

But signing anymore than two players for your first team can do more harm than good, especially if the players you're bringing in are not substantially better than what you already have.

If you're looking to the market to help you get back on track to your season goals, identify the two most significant problem areas in your team. Work out which role you need your new player to play and make sure that any new signing has better numbers in at least three of the key attributes required for that role.

Any less and you're only going to further disrupt team harmony without actually making a tangible difference to the quality in your team.

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"Every defeat is a victory in itself" – Francisco Maturana, the first manager to lead a Colombian side to Copa Libertadores glory.

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FM19 Blog - Best Football Manager 2019 Content: FM Guide To Help With Your Mid-Season Slump
FM Guide To Help With Your Mid-Season Slump
Welcome along to a bluffers guide to arresting your mid-season slump in Football Manager, let's take a look together at what can be done to get you on the winning ways.
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FM19 Blog - Best Football Manager 2019 Content
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