In the winter months we start to see the good old British weather starting to have an affect on football as the rain changes the pitch conditions and the cold affects players yet to get used to such cold wet days. Recently we have seen games such as Plymouth v Barnsley be affected by heavy rain and as the winter draws on we may even see the orange ball make an appearance in the snow. In the safety of our warm houses though we get a chance to experience on the virtual football pitch rain, snow, drizzle and hail while staying nice and dry behind the computer. But does Football Manager weather have much of an affect on the tactics that we should play?
How can the weather effect the game?
As you would expect in the realistic simulation game and you should really consider the type of Football that you want to play with the weather forecast and actual results upon the day of playing. On warm sunny days it is mainly down to you what sort of football you want to play, how you pass and it will be mainly ability and the oppositions ability which will determine how affective a tactic is within that system. But when it starts to rain or snow this is where things start to get a little difficult. Just as you would expect wet pitches can become muddy, horrible and slow places to play football. Your strategy will start to suffer and playing an Arsenal type passing game will show problems as the ball slows down on the pitch, passes fall short or bouncing balls skid off the grass and go wide. Your players will start to tire quicker as they try and battle with the weather so mistakes can be made and game can become tougher, all these conditions really should be considered when tampering with the tactics before and during a game.
The best use of tactics
From a personal point of view I have found especially at lower leagues that passing football is really killed in rainy conditions and the opposition will near enough make your tactics redundant in these situations, so the logical thing would be to play more direct and to avoid using shouts such as “pass to feet” to get the ball down to the strikers as quick as possible instead of taking the gamble of where the ball is going to stop on a waterlogged pitch. In order to save the legs of yours players you want them to hold back a little, be a little bit more patient on the pitch and stay on their feet, rash tackles could see the player slide past the opposition instead of winning the ball and by pressing the opposition less the fitness of those on the pitch can be more sustainable through 90 minutes.
Does the Weather go far enough?
I would like to hear your own opinion on this but I don’t think that the weather affects in the game go further then just aesthetics at the moment and climate should have more of an effect on players within the match engine. Apart from rain I wouldn’t change the way I play my football for any other weather condition, because at the moment it is only rain and snow to a certain extent that will actually affect your game. I would like to see more of an affect from windy days changing the flight of the ball slightly, affecting long balls and the ability of players to run when exposed to this weather especially at the lower leagues. When players travel across countries to different climates managers should be made to consider what players are going to be able to cope and what football is better when a side may suffer from alot of running around in a hot humid climate for instance. Climate and weather are major impacts on the game, you just have to see freak results Argentina have been recently involved in to show how thin air can effect the fittest of sides.
Finally, something for the Football Manager Live crowd, I love the suggestion of the Football Manager Live game having real time weather condition built within game. They would probably have to base the weather condition in one particular area, say London where SI Games is based (so alot of wet pitches) to have a weather system that was consistent for everyone playing the game. But a nice little weather related thought and gimmick to end the article on.
Just remember next time you go into a big clash game, what small things can you change in your strategy that could make a real difference.
How do you think that weather affects the Football Manager game and does it do it effectively and realistically? Please share your own tips on playing in different weather conditions and if you even have to change your tactics at all. Make a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter @fmpundit