I'm not an expert in FM, I have played it for a few years now, but I still struggle in some aspects of the game, so this will be some general questions, and I hope that this thread is in the right section for type of questions I have. So...
I downloaded the demo a few days ago, and I'm really struggling. In FM 2012 I used Liverpool mostly, and mostly won every competition I played in. Bought some great players, built a nice squad and it worked well.
Now in the demo, I tried playing with few stronger teams - Real Madrid (never played them before, but I chose them because of Modrić), PSG and Man Utd. So, pretty much some of the strongest teams.
Real Madrid - played their 4-2-3-1 tactics, used Ronaldo as an inside forward, Di Maria winger, Higuain or Benzenma poacher, Ozil advanced playmaker, I rotated Alonso, Khedira, Modrić and Essien (in order: deep lying playmaker, box to box, dlp, ball winning midfielder), and defense I think only Ramos was ball playing defender. Casillas as a goalkeeper, not sweeper. So, 3 games in Japan - 3 wins - 2-1, 1-0, 1-0, then Tottenham, lost 5-2. In league managed to beat Valencia 3-0, lost to Getafe 7-2 (?!), Super cup - Barca 0-2 and 0-0, never managed to even come into a decent scoring opportunity... Lost to Granada I think 4-1. Really bad results. Ronaldo is frustrated during most of the games, just wastes the balls, I set the team tactics to direct passing (and yet, Karanka always says we should play more direct in in-match analysis. Thicked counter attack to yes, balanced game and attacking. Other parts I didn't alter.
In PSG I lost even to my younger squad 4-3, in Manchester I lost every pre-season game. I played the most with Real, so I explained their tactics in detail, I'm not so sure about what I did with PSG and ManUtd.
What am I doing wrong? Former years, I managed to do really well right from the start, but now I struggle so much. And I don't even know how to respond to some of my assistant coach's analysis. I'd really like some guidance on all of that before I get the game, and if there is a thread which deals with all this, I would be grateful if someone could delete this thread and PM me with some links to what threads I should read.