You’re finally set on the ultimate tactic, and you now understand the perfect roles for all your players and constantly dominate the teams you play against. However, your high possession percentage and multiple shots are not reflected on the scoreline. If you have played Football Manager for a while, then I’m sure you’re familiar with this story.
This is, in fact, one of the many reasons we love the game!
Real-life players and teams also hit dry spells, so it’s no surprise it happens on Football Manager. If you keep recording higher shots and xG than your opponents but lower goals, there could be many reasons why. If you don’t take care of this soon enough, you’ll have a dressing room full of players with low morale and soon, you won’t be getting those shots again.
Here are some reasons why you have lots of shots and no goals, plus vital tips on improving your team’s shot conversion rate.
How to Improve Goal Conversions on Football Manager
If you notice that you’re recording high shots with little goals, your first move should be analysing the type of shots your players are taking. Are your shots from your strikers missing sitters, or are your midfielders trying their luck from 40 yards out?
The type of shots will determine your approach to the problem. You can check this after a match by going clicking on the Match Analysis option. Also, from FM22, SI introduced a Data Hub tab that lets you analyse the critical aspects of your game.
You also shouldn’t be too reliant on xG. Having a better xG than your opponent doesn’t necessarily mean you played better. 30 shots with 3.00 xG don’t always mean that you should have scored 3 goals. That xG could be accumulated from the many poor shots you took.
Now, here are some vital tips to help improve your shot conversion.
#1 Check Your Tactics and Player Instructions
The type of shots you’re taking should determine your approach to the issue. Check your team instructions if most of your shots are from several yards out. Turn off the Shoot on Sight instruction, especially if you have Midfielders that have low Long Shot ratings.
Set team instructions to Work Ball Into The Box and adopt a more patient style of play.
If your shots are from close ranges, you should check the type of chances your team is creating. Are they suited for your attacking players? For example, if you play with short strikers like Daniel Podence, you can’t set team instructions to Floated Crosses. Your forwards will struggle to make proper contact with the ball, which will only lead to poor shots.
Moreover, if you create chances that end with your striker going one-on-one with the goalkeeper, you have to be sure he has good Dribbling and Composure attributes, or he’ll keep wasting those chances!
Training him to lob or setting another player in that one-on-one position will lead to an improved goal conversion rate.
Ultimately, your tactic should generate scoring chances for your most clinical players in the way that most suits them.
#2 Team Dynamics
Team performance in Football Manager is not strictly talent or tactic-based. The mentality and morale of your squad will heavily determine how well they play.
This is especially important if you play in a tough league where every match feels like a cup game. Finding a way to keep your players calm will affect how much they convert chances.
Firstly, you must ensure that you’re playing to their full strength by using the right tactics and player instructions. Then, you’ll need to remember that the players are just as frustrated as you!
Frustration breeds pressure, and pressure leads to mistakes and wasted chances. Try encouraging your players instead of berating them all the time. Keep the atmosphere positive by holding good team meetings, praising training performance, and encouraging them on the pitch.
Furthermore, ensure you properly rotate your squad because fatigue and stress affect Composure, Decisions, and Finishing.
How you train your team will dictate how they play on the field. Once again, you have to be good at analysing your team’s performance. If you have long-range shots mostly from your midfielders, it might be because they don’t know how to create chances. Add more Chance Creation and Chance Conversion sessions to your training schedule.
Moreover, you can assign individual training instructions to your attacking players. If your team solely creates one-on-one chances and your forwards keep missing them, set them to train on their Dribbling, Positioning, and Composure. You can also set it at Double Intensity.
If you have a tall forward that can’t head the ball properly, set him to work on his heading. While this might take time, your players will definitely start scoring more.
The quality of your backroom staff is also important here as they really influence player growth. Ensure you only hire the best attacking coaches.
You can find out how a Recovery and Rest training schedule differ here.
#4 Team Quality
Attributes that determine a good goal scorer in Football Manager are Finishing, Composure, Off The Ball, and Anticipation. If your attacking players severely lack these attributes, your team will suffer. It doesn’t matter how good your tactic is; these players will constantly over-hit shots or fail to find creative ways to beat the keeper.
If you move into a new team or get promoted to a league with better defense, you might start to notice this and it might be time to invest on better players. However, only consider squad revamps as your last option.
The Bottom Line
Underperforming xG and having shots without goals can leave you frustrated and perplexed. You start to question your tactics, player abilities, and your love for the game in general. Some even start to blame the game’s AI!
However, these things happen in real life, and it’s only fair it happens in Football Manager too. Also, in FM, you can analyse where the issue is coming from and fix it.
For starters, check the type of shots. Are they from long-range shots? Who’s taking them?
Next, you need to check your tactics and team instructions. Are you playing to the strengths of your players? You can’t be playing from the wings and sending floated crosses with a 5″4 striker.
Moreover, train your players to improve on specific attributes and add Chance Creation and Conversion sessions to your training schedule. Lastly, avoid putting pressure on your players and encourage them as much as possible. If nothing changes, it might be time to upgrade your squad!
You can find out how chances created differ from a key pass here.
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