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Managing Games through the 3D Match Engine
After choosing your first 11 players, your substitutes, team and individual orders and your team's formation, it is time to enter into a game of football.
You should have already scouted the opposition, and know about their strengths and weaknesses, what formation they're likely to play and who the danger men are.
Using the comparison screen in the lead up to the match, you can see how the opposition are expected to line up, as well as deciding on a player to focus your defensive marking on.
Once you are ready to proceed to the game, click on the green whistle button. The next screen allows you to choose whether or not to watch the action unfold in Text Mode, Videotext Mode, Instant Results – or FIFA Manager 10's eye-candy, the 3D Match engine, a common element in modern football manager games.
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Managing Your Team in the 3D Match Engine
As you enter the match, the line-ups and formations of each team are displayed in smooth graphics as your team walks out on to the pitch – there is a resemblance with watching the action unfold on TV.
Thanks to a useful menu bar at the foot of the screen, you can keep your eye on the condition of the players on the pitch (both the opposition and your own men), keep an eye on player and team statistics, adjust your team's tactics, alter individual orders and even shouting orders from the touchline. There is even an option to alter the camera view and the display options, as well as keyboard shortcuts to replays and a toggle to switch between the standard camera and a top-down view.
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Influencing Your Team during the Match
Via the Tactics, Individual Orders and Shouts menu options, you can instruct your team to play in a certain way, depending on the situation.
For instance, if you are losing to inferior opposition, you might opt to change formation in the Tactics menu to move another player forward, or from the Individual Orders menu, change the individual Positioning Bias of your players to make them attack more.
During a match, the Tactics and Individual Orders menus are pretty much the same as they are pre-match. While they usually have more of an affect during a game, the real strength of the in game menu is the Shouts menu, a way to directly shout orders at your 11 men on the pitch. This element of football manager games is unique to FIFA Manager 10 - 17 shouts are available.
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FIFA Manager 10 Shouts
Although a useful way to push your players to move the ball about in the banner you want, shouts should be used sparingly as their effect will wear off the more you use them.
- Pass Left
- Pass Ahead
- Pass Right
- Hoof It (clear the ball up field)
- Square It (pass to a player positioned perpendicular)
- One-Two (pass to a nearby player who will then return the pass when the first player has advanced)
- Slow Down
- Forward Run
- All-out Attack
- Change Sides
- Out of Bounds
Each of the above options has its own keyboard shortcut for quick use.
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Half Time Team Talks in FIFA Manager 10
If you want to talk to your players directly in FIFA Manager 10, you will have to wait until half time. This is a great opportunity to instill new belief and determination into your players, particularly if they're under performing or losing to a much better team.
Using the Talks menu, you should use the time in the dressing room at half time to quickly analyse the statistics of the team, the players (including the remaining energy of your players in case a substitution is required) and take note of the atmosphere in the dressing room.
Depending on this mood, you can influence the remaining 45 minutes of the game in the appropriate way. As with other current football manager games, this will also depend on how the opposition reacts to its own half time team talk...
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Team Talk Options in Football Manager Games
By selecting a player or group of players by position in the Talk to drop down menu, you can then choose an appropriate action to either Praise, Motivate or Criticise their performance so far. If an individual is chosen, you also get the chance to threaten them with substitution, while if the whole team is selected you can order them straight back out onto the pitch or let them discuss the previous 45 minutes themselves.
FIFA Manager 10 offers the chance to make 5 “speeches” - it isn't always necessary to use all of these slots and the information displayed on the right side of the screen will tell you how well your comments have been received.
After you return to the action, the players will continue to act as instructed until the end of the match. At this stage, you're then able to assess the result, read a match report and check the match statistics. A key element of all football manager games, these statistics can give you an idea of who the better players are within your team, and how well they have handled the opposition.
Articles outlining the key steps to success in FIFA Manager 10