Skill moves certainly aren't needed, but they can certainly create chances out of nothing.|
I personally don't use them and got to 6th on the manual leaderboards. I much prefer to see a player passing intelligently and breaking my defense down rather than using the same old skills.
You said something about players getting promoted and winning games after doing very little in games. They're either very good at defending, which means they are doing something significant in the game or you're at fault for not killing the game off.
That is the problem when you underestimate opponents you try to rush the game and force the goal rather than keeping possession and waiting for gaps in the back four for the killer pass.
Patience is key.
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