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Extend age range for loaning out Goal Keepers (11)
Let's face it, a GK is a completely different player to an outfield player. Unless you seriously mess up your squad, he does not become a useful member of it until he is an age that regular players are retiring.
So, a vastly inferior 24 year old GK in your squad is just a pain in the arse. If you play him in 20 first team games, you are very limited with squad rotation because he takes 2/3 of your allowable understrength player allowance.
So the only option is to play him for several seasons in U21 games.
I propose that it the age limit for loaning out GKs is increased to 30.
Agree. It's really hard developing a GK between 23 and 30
I agree that it's a problem but I would prefer a different solution.
As things stand the loan market for good quality keepers is rather limited. I think that's a good thing.
There would be a significant knock-on effect of having much better loan keepers available to the lower and middle levels, which would alter the balance of the teams outside of level 1. Many managers would be sucked into a seasonal merry-go-round as they tried to borrow a new keeper each season instead of buying one or developing their own.
The best loan keepers would also be highly sought after, possibly even by some of the weaker level 1 clubs.
I really don't think that would be a good thing for the game.
I would propose (1.) that keepers were only counted as 1 weak player instead of the current two, which would make it easier to rotate the squad, and (2.) that keepers could play in the U21s matches until they were (say) 30 without being considered an overage player.
@Numpty. Yeah, I'd be OK with (2). I probably would not take advantage of (1) but I see no issue with it.
There may be other, better ideas than mine.
The main thing that concerns me is significantly altering the balance of the clubs outside of level 1. Potentially making top keepers available on loan would probably alter things in a fairly big way.
I guess you could also loan older keepers if there were restrictions which clubs were allowed to borrow them. Perhaps they could only move to clubs at the same level or something similar. Would make it all very complicated though.
Edit - Reserve Matches
I've always wondered why there are no Reserve matches. I realise that in RS the U21s generally provide that function, but in real life most clubs would also have reserve matches in addition to youth games.
I would suggest having a 3-tier system consisting of U21s matches and reserve matches which all count towards the 20 games. The amount of xp would need to be carefully considered, but there should be a natural progression from U21s to reserves to the first team. This would allow for over 21 squad players to get regular reserve games.
I would prefer not to have the loan system extended for the reasons @numpty states.
Having weak GK count as only one weak player for lineup purposes risks making match-fixing easier. Unfortunately, we have seen too much of this in the past and, although we have taken action to punish perpetrators, it keeps happening from time to time. I would not therefore be in favour of this.
I don’t really see why using your weaker GK in the U21s is a problem. Yes, the player loses out on some experience, but everyone has to go through this unless you are prepared to play a weaker player or you have a very special player indeed.
I personally like the challenge of trying to manage a squad of players.
Possibly agree with Numpty and Davo on point 2 to an extent, but they shouldn't be allowed in u21 cup matches up to the age of 30.
Though I also agree with Stephen about using the keeper in the u21s, rather than increasing the age limit for keepers.
I always try to manage my squad so that I have a developing keeper as one of my over age players and give them their 20 games.
Yes they lose 1000 xp a season that way but If you take a keeper who is loaned out until 23/24 and plays until he is 42 - this amounts to no more than 19/20 seasons max where he is losing out on that 1000 xp (which decreases depending on when he becomes a first team regular).
Making the assumption he would play u21 up to 19/20 anyway and then full xp games until he reaches the age limit for loans, even in a worst case scenario of not making his first team debut until 42, which means a loss of between 18 to 20k xp, that is less than two full trainings of blocking at the full 13000 xp.
Considering the longevity of keepers, the lower rate of decline and the fact the effect is the same for everyone, then I don't really see this as a problem.
Good points @DT, as you say it's the same for everyone.
I agree that overage keepers shouldn't play the U21 cup matches. My point was about them getting their allotted 20 league games.
The main difficulty with playing them in the U21s is that it blocks the overage spot for use by another player. Hence my suggestion to not count overage keepers in the U21 (league) matches.
Regarding @Stephen's point about "match fixing". I would have thought if people intentionally lose to their friends or make arrangements with each other then they will usually find a way to do that. The software may make this more difficult but it can't and won't stop it happening - so it potentially penalises everyone for no obvious benefit. In point of fact, it probably makes it even more difficult to notice when it does happen.
In my view the whole idea of the "weak player" system is flawed. It spoils the game for the sake of a few miscreants. There should be a better way to police this than making it difficult for everyone. I would suggest increasing rewards for success and heavily penalising anyone caught deliberately flouting the rules.
- Taking actions that are not in the interest of the team you are managing. Among other things this includes (1) intentionally letting a friend win against you, (2) making excessively high transfer bids to pass money to a friend or (3) intentionally ruining your own club.
It's not just the match fixing Numpty, which it can help facilitate. What I objected to was that being able to field weaker players has great potential to skew and screw up titles, relegation and, in the top divisions, qualification for Europe/intercontinental tournaments. It's about the integrity of the competition.
It's one of the reasons the Professional game has rules in place to prevent teams playing a weakend team. Even though it's a lot more difficult to prove with the modern squad game, teams have been sanctioned for it.
There may be no deliberate intention to do this but it has that effect anyway. It also makes it harder to prove intent. "but I had games left for that young player, I was only getting him experience like everyone else, I wasn't doing it to deliberately help a friend win the title".
The main time of the season that managers use weaker or u21 players in their first team is at the end of the season, when titles and relegation are being decided.
You have a tough last game of the season, it's tight the bottom (or top). You need to win and hope your rivals drop points. You look with dismay to find their opponents have played a weakened side because they had XP earning games left for some of their youngsters. You end up relegated or missing out on a title because of it.
Imagine the top of League 1 in England as it is now. If it's that tight at the end of the season and one of the team's opponents plays a couple of u21 players because they have games left to earn XP. Not all managers will care about the integrity of the league, only what's best for their team. So their actions unfairly affect the outcome of the league.
It was even worse when someone had a new youngster from their youth centre just before the season's end, so they tried to squeeze as many u21 and first team games in for a player with hardly any developed attributes.
I always said the answer to this was to extend the u21 league to the same number of games as the main division. This reduces the need to squeeze additional games in for many youngsters. You'll still have the issue with those that are newly created near the end of the season, but it would help.
That can be resolved too and there were suggestions that all new youth players appeared at the start of the season, so if your youth centre produces 4 players a season, they'd appear when the season starts. Again helping with squad management and reducing the scramble to get as many games as possible in for a player at the end of the season.
I agree with all of that. A major part of the problem is that there is an inherent weakness in some aspects of the game design. The weak player 'logic' is simply an attempt to paper over the cracks in the flaws of the game.
Removing the reward and temptations to do the things you mention above would mostly solve the problem.
Attempting to mirror real life is often the best way to go.
To take the end of season issue, for instance. I would suggest changing the game so that there was little or no perceived benefit from playing "weak players" in the team. There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Increase the rewards for getting more points and a higher finishing position.
- If the player is "weak" then maybe they only get 450 xp instead of 500. In other words they only benefit if they are good enough. Possibly only 400 if they are totally out of their depth. (Specials and maybe DMs would need to be accounted for.)
- Youth player produced during the season get their 20 match allocation prorated in accordance with the remaining games. So at the end of the season they might only come with 2 or 3 matches needed. This removes the "scramble".
Other ideas could be potential financial penalties, or points deducted from next season, for fielding "weak" players if the match result affects titles and qualification positions.
I would also suggest having a discussion and trying to reach a concensus on what constitutes "weak".
(Apologies to Davo as we seem to have gone off topic.)