We have all been there, your team is dominating the game, creating a lot of chances, but your strikers are just not scoring consistently for your liking, and you just can not figure out why it keeps happening.
Now, there are a lot of possible reasons why your strikers are missing a lot of chances and I will lay them out before giving solutions which I have always found effective to get them firing again.
Most of the time, when your strikers are not scoring enough goals in FM21 or FM22, it might just be a simple matter of your tactics not creating enough chances for them to showcase their finishing skills.
One problem with your tactics might be that it is too narrow, so that when you face defences sitting back, the team can not find a way through and has to resort to long shots that are obviously not particularly effective.
Another issue might be that you have too many players on attack duty, each one of them trying to do too much on their own, leading to a style of play that is not potent enough.
If you are on the positive mentality, have no more than 4 players on attacking duty, and also ensure you have at least 3 players on support duty and a few on defend duty to shoulder the burden of transitioning the ball into attacking areas while also picking up extra defensive responsibilities. Slightly tweak this general outline for counter attacking, defensive and attacking mentality.
Solution for Blunt Tactics in FM21
To create an effective tactic in football manager to get your strikers scoring, start with a simple one that the majority of players in your team can comfortably fill the roles, from the templates you are provided with at the tactics screen.
Do not add any other instructions at this point for around 3 or 4 matches. Set the game to Extended or Comprehensive Highlights in order to get more insight as to how your team plays.
After observing your team play for a few matches, you can then add one or two instructions to further get them playing according to your style.
But always avoid wholesale changes from game to game, as it will mess with your team’s tactical familiarity.
2. Player Role Combinations
This is very much part and parcel of tactics, but I have decided to note it down separately as it is very much an important factor, and one very easy to get wrong.
In order to get the best out of your strikers in any FM21 match, you want the strikers to make the right runs while also receiving service in the right areas. Having players in roles that do not complement one another will always lead to underperformance of the players.
A good simple example of roles complementing each other is having your wide player as an inside forward or inverted winger, while the fullback behind him is playing as a wing back on attack duty. The winger will cut inside when the team is in possession, opening the flank up for the overlapping fullback to occupy and pick a cross for the attackers in the box.
Creating Good Football Manager Role Combinations
In order to create good combinations, always read the information on what movements a player will follow once given that role. Make sure the roles you are assigning players will not make them occupy the same spaces in possession.
A bad role combination can be a lone Advanced Forward or Poacher, having a single Shadow Striker behind him. The Shadow Striker needs to play off a striker, preferably in a false9 role or Deep Lying Forward role as those will normally drop deep and link the midfield to attack, rather than with the Advanced Forward who will, more often than not, play on the shoulders of the last defender ready to burst through on goal following a through ball from midfield.
Role combinations can be done differently, and it is best mastered during friendlies when you have more time for testing with minimum repercussions.
3. Bad Form
It would be ideal if your striker could consistently score goals throughout the season, but unfortunately this is not realistic, both in the real world and in FM21.
Strikers having barren spells is part of football, and you should not worry over it too much.
But there comes a time when you badly need the striker’s goals for a promotion push, cup final or avoiding relegation.
There are a few ways you can deal with players having bad form in FM21.
Players Overcoming Bad Form in Football Manager
One of the most effective ways of making your striker end his barren spell is having a private chat with him. Tell him that you have faith in him to end his goal scoring drought. This will work most of the time, and you are bound to get a positive reaction from the striker.
However, be cautious of using this route on players who have poor personalities and professionalism. Take a look at this guide on such kind of players. They might react poorly, damaging your relationship with them.
Another effective solution to overcoming bad form is dropping the player. It is admittedly difficult benching your star striker, but 3 or 4 games might be enough to get a positive reaction from him.
A determined player will be keen to win his place back, forcing himself to play better and in turn score some goals.
If the above two methods do not yield expected results, you can try fining the player for particularly poor results. If the striker puts a match rating of less than 6.30, then go to his profile and there should be an option for interacting with the player, then fining him.
This will also work well with professional players with good determination, but players with low professionalism will definitely not take it well.
4. Poor Morale
Players in general having poor morale in FM21 will affect their performances. It is a downward spiral that might be difficult to get out off as poor morale causes bad performances which in turn brings morale down further.
A player can have his morale turn for the worse because of the team’s poor form, missing out on the national team call up, a new contract not being offered to him or a transfer bid for him being rejected among other reasons.
But how would you go about improving morale in Football Manager?
How to Improve Morale in Football Manager
If poor morale is being caused by poor team performance, arranging a friendly against a weak team from the lower leagues is a good way to boost players confidence. Getting a big win will cheer the lads up and improve their morale.
If it is a transfer bid being rejected, missing a national team call up or a player who was close to him being sold, sending an influential player like the captain or vice-captain to talk to him is normally effective in making a player happy again, and he will normally drop his concerns. This will especially work well when the player being sent for the ambassadorial duties is an influential person in the dressing room.
Strikers not Scoring in Football Manager, Conclusion
When all is said and done, and having followed what I have pointed out, your strikers might still keep firing blanks. If this happens to your football manager save, compare your strikers to the opposition’s to get a feel of what the benchmark is for the league.
Maybe your strikers are just not at par with the standard of the league and will obviously underperform. This is not the end of the road though, as with proper scouting and wheeling and dealing, you might get some bargains in the transfer market.