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What's under the Squad tab?

What's under the Squad tab?

Of course, you can't hope to win all your matches without looking after your Squad.

Squad Home

The Squad Home page takes you directly to the Squad Home subheading. This one page gives you a lot of concise information. Take a look at your saints - the top goal scorers - and your sinners - those with the most yellow and red cards. Amongst other statistics, you can see what your squad wage bill looks like (note that this does not include match bonuses). Another box shows the players whose contracts are due to run out in the next 15 days: below that you can see your five highest rated players, with a few details about them. Click on a player and you can learn quite a bit more.

The next two subheadings - Leading goalscorers and Player discipline - tell you how every member of your squad is doing in those two important areas.

As far as discipline is concerned, from time to time, some of your players will attract the wrong kind of attention from the referee and will end up by being booked or even sent off. The Match Report (>Summary>Teams) will tell you about the issue of Red and Yellow Cards. Here is how they can affect your team selection: please note that the rules for Yellow Cards vary depending on whether they were earned in League or Cup games. Please also note that the League and all Cups work independently of each other. Cards earned from one competition will not affect selection in another one.

Yellow Cards

League games

2 Yellow Cards in one match lead to a 1-match ban
5 Yellow Cards during the league season lead to a 1-match ban.
8 Yellow Cards during the league season (i.e. 5 plus 3 more) lead to a 2-match ban.
Thereafter, each 3 additional Yellow Cards will lead to a 3-match ban.

Cup games

2 Yellow Cards (whether in one match or during the competition) lead to a 1-match ban
4 Yellow Cards (i.e. 2 plus 2 more) lead to a 2-match ban.
Thereafter, each 2 additional Yellow Cards will lead to a 3-match ban.

Red Cards

Cup and League games

1 Red Card leads to a 2-match ban
Each subsequent Red Card leads to a 4-Match Ban

Suspensions are carried over from the previous season in all competitions but accumulated cards are not carried over.


Lastly, under Squad Tools, if you're a Subscriber you can download some very useful information in spreadsheet (CSV) form about your squad members' performances on the pitch, and the development of their various skills.

Squad Manager

The Squad Manager page again contains a lot of information. It is worth noticing that you can filter how much you see under each of the various subheadings.

The squad list of players tells you first how many of these you have. Your Board will have set you maximum and minimum numbers for this. The maximum is variable, but the Board's minimum is a squad of 17. If your Squad gets down to this level, you can expect to receive a letter from your Board's Chairman, suggesting that you increase numbers.
If your squad size falls to 16, the Board would probably like to give you a final warning, but the shareholders of the Club may well vote against this happening. If that happens, then you get a rather more strongly worded letter from the Chairman.
Should your squad size get as low as 15, the Board and the shareholders will lose patience and put you on a seven day warning to increase the size of the squad. If you fail to do this, then your next letter from the Chairman will be one in which he gives you the sack.


Under the Overview subheading, you can see and compare your players' Position, Best Position, Age, Contract, Wage, Insurance, Estimated Value, Market Value and overall Rating. You can also see his Squad Number, Status (Youth, Reserve or Senior) Country and whether he is on the Transfer List.


By clicking on the links, you can have a look at individual player contracts, and the injury insurance available. Each player will be given an individual quotation.

The Contracts subheading gives you a useful way of viewing all of the contracts at once, including Appearance Fees. You can also see which contracts are approaching renewal time: you will get a message from the Board when a contract has five days remaining. You can open negotiations before then, but be careful! Players may be unwilling to renegotiate their contract once it has been signed. You will also get messages from the Board when players give notice of their retirement.

If you instigate contract talks, then your player's first response will often be found when you click the Manager Home. Thereafter in the negotiations, you will normally get updates from the Board by PM. If the player goes quiet, take a closer look at his contract negotiations: he could be just thinking it over, or it might be that he has got fed up because he finds your offers too stingy! If that happens, you will have to begin negotiations all over again. Take note that if a player's contract is running out and you fail to reach an agreement before it does that he will pack his bags without even leaving a note on his locker. Please read the news item regarding renegotiations

Once a players contract has been renegotiated you will not be able to start negotiations with him again until 1 season has passed. A player who only accepts a 1 season contract will be able to negotiate a new contract when 5 days remain on it, unless he has announced his retirement.

The Insurance subheading gives you an overview of the relevant arrangements you have made for all of your players: however, if you want to take out a policy for a player, you will need to do this via the link in the Overview subheading.

The Statistics subheading displays lists full of good news about your players' successes on the pitch, and the Attribute summary gives comparisons of players' Technical, Physical and Mental abilities. If you have squad members that have come in via your Youth Academy, then you can see how they have developed, as the same categories are displayed for your youths.

Training

The way in which your squad will develop and improve is largely governed by Training, but do remember that Match Fitness is important also: this can only be gained by playing in matches. This includes reserve matches but not friendlies.

Training home shows you your best six and worst six trainees, as measured by their improvement during the current season. In general, the younger your players are, the most rapid improvement they will show. Your oldest players may show a gradual decline as they start to move towards retirement.

With Assignments, you can really get down to the nitty-gritty of interaction with your players. You need to keep a balance between improving your players' ability and overtiring them - keep an eye on their fatigue levels, as tired players won't perform well in matches and their training will be less effective.

Here is some detail regarding the individual disciplines:

Training Assignments

There are a number of training assignments that can be selected and these are listed below, along with the players' skills they improve. Some of these assignments focus on several skills, whilst others may focus on only one or two. The fewer the skills trained, the better the improvement. For example, selecting Training match will give all skills a small lift, whereas selecting Cross country would give stamina a much larger boost.
  • Attacking overloading Focus on general attacking skills.
    Improves crossing, shooting, movement, technique, accuracy, control, dribbling and anticipation.

  • Attacking set pieces Not converting enough corners or free kicks?
    Improves set pieces, crossing and anticipation.

  • Closing down Having trouble getting hold of the ball?
    Improves communication, marking, movement, passing, stamina and tackling.

  • Cross country Fitness is crucial, especially in the final stages of a match. Make sure your team can keep going right to the very end.
    Improves stamina.

  • Defensive overloading Focus on those defensive abilities.
    Improves awareness, clearance, communication, concentration, handling, heading, marking, reflexes, tackling and timing.

  • Defensive set pieces Conceding too many goals from corners and free kicks?
    Improves set pieces, awareness, movement and heading.

  • Five-a-side match Nothing gets the heart going like some fast and furious five-a-side.
    Improves control, dribbling, handling, marking, pace, passing, shooting, stamina, strength, and tackling.

  • Goalkeeping. Essential for keepers.
    Improves awareness, clearance, communication, concentration, distribution, handling, reflexes and strength.

  • Long-range passing For switching play and the long ball specialists.
    Improves distribution, accuracy, passing and clearance.

  • Shooting
    Improves shooting, anticipation, technique, heading and accuracy.

  • Crosses A key skill especially for your wide players.
    Improves crossing, distribution, set pieces and timing.

  • Sprints Lacking speed? Always second to the ball?
    Improves pace and reflexes.

  • Technique Need to work on those silky skills?
    Improves control, passing, dribbling, technique and timing.

  • Training match A good general work out of all player skills. Try and get one in every week.
    Improves all skills.

  • Weight training
    Improves strength and concentration.


  • Rest

    Rest is crucial. Make sure you give players enough rest especially when heavily fatigued.
    Constant training and playing can result in serious injuries. You need to ensure players have sufficient time to recover. You can vary the training intensity to help manage fatigue.

    Intensity

    You can set the training intensity. The higher the intensity, the better the player will respond in training.
    Be careful though, training at a higher intensity can result in increases in fatigue, and injuries are more common.

    Schedules

    You have the ability to create a training schedule to allow you to develop and maintain training plans. You plan out the required training assignments for a 7 day period. All managers can maintain one schedule. Subscribers can have multiple schedules which you can tailor to individual players or groups. For example you could create separate training schedules specifically for defenders, forwards, attacking midfielders, older players, etc.

    Players

    How well a player trains is governed by a number of things.
  • Age. Age is a factor and as players approach retirement you may start to see decreases in certain skills.
  • Coaching. The quality of your coaching team.
  • Player condition. Players with high fatigue and/or knocks won't respond as well as if they were fully fit.
  • Players need matches. Training is all well and good but there is no replacement for matches. To develop, a player needs the opportunity to play. Aim to play Reserve matches when you can, and consider using a squad rotation system.


  • All players are different and have differing abilities. In principle, each player will eventually reach a maximum in each skill and if that happens, the skill bar will show as red. The better the player, the harder it is to get him to his maximum potential. A poor coach would never be able to take a great player all the way. It is worth getting the best staff that you can, and not being afraid of changing them if you are in a position to improve your staffing.

    Player skills will only decline in the event they miss training for a prolonged period (even if injured) or if they are getting close to retirement. This slowdown will occur for all players, however when it starts in relation to when they will retire will vary. This might be between around three seasons or just half a season.

    Next to the Schedules subheading, Coaches gives you a list of the various abilities of your coaches. Notice here that the figure for the overall coaching ability is found by taking the best that is offered in each coaching area.


    Treatment Room

    Unfortunately, from time to time you will get a message about a player who is being tended to in the Treatment Room. Sometimes, this is only a knock, and the player can continue playing although it may be better to rest him. At other times, he can sustain an injury that will keep him off the pitch and off training for a specified period of time. If you have taken out Bronze insurance, then your medical fees will be covered: Silver insurance will also cover his wages while he is laid up, while Gold insurance gives total cover, including compensating the Club if the player's career is cut short by injury.

    The Overview tells you which players are injured and shows you on a bar graph how their recovery is progressing. To get more detail, go to Long-term injuries, where you can learn how long the recovery is expected to take, and therefore how many days are left before the player will be fully fit.

    There's good news if an injury comes near to the end of a season, however - as it's assumed that there would be a decent gap between seasons if this were the real world, then most injuries will have healed by the start of the next season.

    The Physios subheading works just like the Coaches subheading referred to earlier.

    Youth Academy

    Next in the Squad section we come to the Youth Academy. It's been noted already that you cannot run a Youth Academy until you have staffed it with Youth Coaches. Academy Home gives you a detailed view of these.

    Once your staffing is in place, you can offer youths a place - but how do you find them in the first place?

    The answer, of course, is that you send out your Scouts. This is where you need to be good at forward planning. It can take several seasons until a youth is ready to be offered promotion to your Squad, and he can't be offered such a place until he has passed his 16th birthday and also been in your academy for at least 21 days. Given that youths can enter your Academy from age 11, then you need to be thinking up to five seasons ahead about your future squad needs. Indeed, youths might spend as many as seven years in the Academy, as you can keep them there until their 18th birthday. At that point, if you have not already offered them a place in your Squad, the Board will do so on your behalf. Remember you can only have a maximum of eight youths in your academy at any given time

    Surprisingly, perhaps, not every youth who is offered a place in your Squad accepts this. Such is life. A number of theories are expounded on where the youths who do not enter your senior squad actually end up.

    You can keep an eye on how your youths are progressing by checking the next subheading: Youth Players. Canny managers will keep a record of their youths' progress from week to week - many of these check this on Saturday evenings . . . . . . . .
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