In FIFA 12, your game will be automatically set to Assited Controls. This means that whenever you take a shot, the computer will greatly alter your shot from what you specified in terms of power and direction. In some cases, this can be useful, but usually it isn't because the ball goes exactly where you want it to go with Manual Controls. When you start, you will miss a lot, but once you get good at Manual, if you aim for the top corner correctly, your shot will go top corner. Read more here.
The D-Pad offers a method of having the computer structure your team for you. This can be incredibly useful, although many ignore this. Setting your team up for the Posession Game when you need to run the clock out can make that small difference needed between you and your opponent. Read more here.
A feature that debuted in FIFA 09 was the ability to set your own Custom Tactics, and this feature returns in FIFA 12 for the third year in a row. These Custom Tactics are basically your teams "settings", so to speak. You can specify how quickly or intensely you want your team to defend, attack, posess, pressure, etc. to your liking. Remember that every tactic that is increased, there is a drawback of some sort, so find that perfect balance. Read more here