In addition to the strengths and weaknesses of both your own team and the opposition team, when planning your tactics you might want to consider the effects of the weather and pitch conditions, the pitch dimensions and the strictness of the match referee. All of these factors can have slight effects on the success of different types of tactics.
Weather and Pitch Conditions
Adapting to certain weather and pitch conditions can potentially offer a small benefit, especially in cases where the conditions are more extreme. Therefore, you may want to slightly adapt or even switch your tactical style if it is not suited to the conditions faced by your team.
Wet weather and a poor pitch, especially when combined together, can make short passing more difficult. The centre of the pitch in particular is likely to be most affected by such conditions. Therefore, you may want to use an attacking style that avoids this area, such as the Attacking The Flanks or Playing To A Target Man styles.
In particularly hot conditions on the other hand, a more patient attacking style with shorter passing, such as the Passing Through The Defence or Attacking With Creative Wingers styles, can help your players to conserve energy and keep up performance levels for longer. Furthermore, if your team can keep possession well then the opposition players may become exhausted from chasing the ball.
The expected weather for a match can be seen on the Home screen and on the Senior Fixtures tab of the Schedule screen, and is best checked on match day for more accuracy. A stadium’s pitch condition can be checked by clicking the stadium name on the Senior Fixtures tab. Both are also shown on the Match Preview screen before you confirm your team selection.
Pitch dimensions only have a minor effect on the success of a tactic and do not tend to vary greatly between teams in a league division. Therefore, they can generally be ignored. It can, however, be worthwhile to consider your usual tactical style when choosing your club’s pitch dimensions before the start of the season. You may also find that your team occasionally faces an opposition team that has noticeably different pitch dimensions to those that your team normally plays on.
If a pitch is short or narrow then a more patient attacking style with shorter passing is most effective. Also, on a narrow pitch playing wider will help give your players more space, while passing is best focused through the middle.
If a pitch is long or wide, including if it is both long and narrow, then a quicker, attacking style with more direct passing is most effective, unless the pitch is both wide and short. On a wide pitch, playing narrower is advisable so that there is not too much space between players, while passing is best focused down the flanks.
A stadium’s pitch dimensions can be checked by clicking the stadium name on the Senior Fixtures tab of the Schedule screen. You can also compare pitch dimensions for all the teams in the league division that your team competes in on the Stadiums section of its Overview tab.
If the match referee is particularly strict then you may want to use the Stay On Feet specific team instruction to reduce the likelihood of fouls being committed, possibly as part of a more cautious defending style.
On the other hand, if the referee is lenient then you may want to take advantage by using the Get Stuck In specific team instruction, possibly as part of a more aggressive defending style.
However, other factors, such as the abilities of your players and of the opposition players, are more important when deciding on your defending style. Therefore, if you do wish to adapt your team’s tackling to the strictness of the referee then it is advisable to only make slight changes using specific player instructions and opposition instructions. This allows you to gain more control over tackling according to the abilities of both sets of players.
You can assess the strictness of a referee by checking how many yellow and red cards he has shown per match on the Match Preview screen before confirming your team selection.