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Project Invincible - Recreating the Arsenal Invincibles


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Cleon, why have you gone for Romero, a player who isn't consistent nor good in important matches?

How would you know what his consistency is like or how good he is in important matches? These are both hidden attributes. The coach report that Cleon showed of Romero also doesn't indicate any of this.

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How would you know what his consistency is like or how good he is in important matches? These are both hidden attributes. The coach report that Cleon showed of Romero also doesn't indicate any of this.

I'm sure reports can state that players dont look forward to the big games or something like that? Although I've only ever found that in youth or those in the lower leagues.

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I'm sure reports can state that players dont look forward to the big games or something like that? Although I've only ever found that in youth or those in the lower leagues.

You are correct. However there is a Romero report in the article which doesn't state that. It lists his competitive streak as his only weakness.

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You are correct. However there is a Romero report in the article which doesn't state that. It lists his competitive streak as his only weakness.

Maybe he checked himself with better scouts? Or maybe he's had him before?

Or maybe he used the editor? Or the in-game editor? Or a third party in-game editor.

I'm not sure why it's an issue.

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Maybe he checked himself with better scouts? Or maybe he's had him before?

Or maybe he used the editor? Or the in-game editor? Or a third party in-game editor.

I'm not sure why it's an issue.

I never said that it's an issue. No need to get so defensive mate, I asked a simple question out of curiosity because from what is presented in front us indicates nothing of the sort. So I was interested to see how he arrived at that conclusion.

Besides, he's scored 22 league goals in 33 league games @ an average rating of 7.67, that is not inconsistent in my book.....

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I never said that it's an issue. No need to get so defensive mate, I asked a simple question out of curiosity because from what is presented in front us indicates nothing of the sort. So I was interested to see how he arrived at that conclusion.

You're right, there wasn't. Apologies pal.

In my defence, my 8 month old has had a cold for 6 days which as resulted in very little sleep.

Even still, twas pretty dicky of me.

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Speaking about crosses..

I'm seeing something relatively odd.

Almost all of my left back crosses are being block...and it's the exact same way every time; the ball isn't beating the first man.

I'm watching the games on comprehensive. Here are some stats:

Against -

Man City - Intercepted 16 : Completed 1

PSG - 12 : 1

Leicester - 7 : 3

Spurs - 23 : 10

Swansea - 15 : 4

PSG again - 15 : 1

Hull - 20 : 7

And it's turtles all the way down.

Is a symptom of having Whipped Crosses set as active?

They're pretty much all Leighton Baines' figures there and he isn't exactly rubbish.

I've honestly never seen anything like it.

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This is really excellent. I've been wanting to try this for sometime with Everton so this will be a great help (Brendan Galloway could be the perfect modern day Viera. We'll see).

Thanks especially for the links as they proved very informative.

A few quick questions though;

1. What about a False 9 for Bergkamp? The description seems to fit quite well but the role has Runs with Ball often so i assume thats why you went with the DLF Support?

2. Similarly, i was thinking about trying (when my child allows me 5 seconds) with the Defensive Forward on Defend but having the player know the PPI Tries Killer Balls often? That would allow them to come deep, put the foot in and still be a creative outlet?

3. How have you found your Henry's movement eg drifting out wide? My Henry (bit of a weird sentence) seems to be quite stationary in the middle of the park. I intend to have him mark the Rb but loosely to try and encourage him to go wide (but hopefully not track back).

4. How would you rate Amy Lawrence's book? I always liked her on The Football Weekly but i'd be interested if it was more a book about the tactics employed during the time period rather than a book about the comings and goings at the club.

Thanks again for the great read. I may not get to play FM as much as i like anymore but it's still a lot of fun coming on here and seeing people talk this thoroughly about the game.

1. The F9's behaviour in general isn't really what I was looking for. Not only does he dribble a lot but he also shoots a lot.

2. Depends on how close you want to resemble it. It also has to fit in with your idea and style as a whole too.

3. It works well but it's down to the PPM's that will make it happen and what sort of player. Ideally I want a AML/SC player for the role long-term.

4. It's fantastic but I like her work anyway. She's a very good writer and knows her stuff :)

I'm in my second season, have been scouring the database for a Dennis Bergkamp without any success.

The solution might have been in my squad already, Ainsley Maitland-Niles. He's got great teamwork and flair and decent physical and technical stats, some of his mentals need improvement but hes got lots of potential.

Also no preferred moves.

If I was Arsenal he'd have been someone I was looking at. With some tutoring and developing he could be good and is from what I've seen on my own saves. Not sure if he would be a long-term Bergkamp style of player though.

Fossum already comes with Vieira-sque PPMs. Unfortunately, Amartey's PPMs should be removed if he is to be anything resembling Gilberto. True, the aggression attributes should be the other way around, as I believe Vieira was far more aggressive player than Gilberto, but hey it can't be perfect :) With this PPM setup though, Amartey could also fill in an early-Arsenal-days Vieira role, when he played deeper and was shooting more frequently.

They are both good but I feel I have better options now, which I'll be writing about soon :)

And a quick question for you. Are you considering player personalities and mental attributes, when choosing players for the long term, cause I believe that was also a big part of what the Invincibles squad was. I would not consider a player with less than 15 determination, unless I have a senior squad member that can change this through mentoring. With this in mind, a couple of inputs on your current long-term acquisitions

Yes but not in the way you are thinking. The determination thing for example, not all the Invincibles were determined nor do I think it was a vital attribute. It's one of those if you can get it higher then its a bonus but not a must. However certain individuals need it high but as a team, no.

Rajkovic's strenght is ok, but, mental traits look very far from Lehman, who I believe was a Perfectionist(good Ambition, Determination, Professionalism, low temperament), his tendency to punch also seems a bit high, compared to a keeper, who made a football seem like a handball, and was making some of the best one-handed saves ever seen in the game. Lehman was a dying breed of a goalkeeper, like Kahn, Schmeichel, Van der Saar even Friedel in his best days. There are not many like that nowadays. A physically strong keeper that cannot be bullied in the box, and that relies on his positioning instead of making showtime dives to keep the ball out

You're comparing a young player who has plenty of developing to do, with an established keeper who was fully peaked. People keep looking at my players as they are now, not what they'll be like in 2-5 seasons time. They'll look very different by then.

Romero may be or train technically to become your Bergkamp, but he lacks the aggression and bravery Bergkamp had. This might seem unimportant if we concentrate on the attacking part of the Invincibles, but as far as I recall Bergkamp's role on the pitch was not just a pure number 10, especially when the team met opponents of equal stature like United, Chelsea, Liverpool. Bergkamp was then more of a defensive forward type, always looking to harass defenders and deep-lying midfielders in an attempt to disrupt the opponents' build-up play, and launch a counter attack. I doubt Romero will ever have that in your game.

This is where you are wrong. Romero does do this. While he might lack those two specific traits he makes up for it in other ways, especially with his scout report indicating he has a high dirtiness attribute. Which will make him still do the things I need him to do. He'll make their life hell and hold them back, chase them around, hold onto their shirt etc. Something which Bergkamp did.

Also remember I can't get every player to be perfect there has to be some sort of compromise along the way. It's highly unrealistic thinking I'd have the correct type of players straight away. Remember what I've posted so far is still all short term. I've not even discussed or wrote about the players I might be using now.

Iheanacho is also far away from Henry, but well I don't know if there are any Model Citizens in the game at all. At least I haven't seen one. In terms of technical - obviously he will not be your main set-piece taker, and looking at his teamwork and mental attributes he's not suited for the Henry role, by a mile. People often get carried away by Henry's goals, forgetting that he still holds the Arsenal record for most assists in a season(though probably Ozil will surpass that this term), and he provided to his teammates as often as he scored. If you could switch the physical attributes of Romero and Iheanacho, I'd say play Ihe as Bergkamp, and Rom as Henry - and it would be the almost perfect replica. Now, you've got it a bit mixed up, but there's not much you can do.

I think you're taking personality a bit to literal here.

On Wingers - apart from the rather mediocre personality traits, I think both Pereira and Thauvin lack the finishing, teamwork and workrate of Pires and Ljungberg. The Swede was probably the more industrious of the two with better defensive attributes and off the ball movement, while Pires was more of an on the ball runner and was better technically, with superior passing, vision and decisions(which by the way you should also take into account when training PPMs to your youngsters. I'd say no player in the invincibles squad had less than 13 on Decisions).

I know how PPM's work thanks.

I'm still building the squad and looking for ideal players. You seem to have ignored or completely missed this though and have gave feedback as if the players I used are my ideal players or finished products.

Hi Cleon,

A great thread! I have attempted to do the same with the current Arsenal squad which is certainly an easier task than with Sheffield Utd!

I couple of things that you have made reference to struggling with is the striker movements!

I have come with something which I believe perfectly replicates the way Henry operated!

If you shift HEnry to a left forward (I.e. In the way you would if you are playing a front 3 and then Bergkamp to a central striker and obviously leave the right striker as blank) this makes him pull into the left channel a lot more like Henry did!

I also set him up as a CF attack rather than support as he threatened in behind a lot more!

I have screenshots of this working to show it as Henry played so will upload these when I next get chance!

I'm not struggling for Henry's movement. He certainly wasn't an attack duty either, Arsenal played strikerless. Giving him at attack duty goes against what I'm creating and how he behaved. I have no issues getting him to score, drifting inside from wide position or getting behind the strikers. I've not actually wrote about this role yet, or more to the point, posted about it just yet.

Cleon, why have you gone for Romero, a player who isn't consistent nor good in important matches?

Does it look like he is struggling for consistency? Also you'd only know this with the use of an editor of some kind, something I haven't got on this save. So in future I'd appreciate you using spoiler tags.

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Speaking about crosses..

I'm seeing something relatively odd.

Almost all of my left back crosses are being block...and it's the exact same way every time; the ball isn't beating the first man.

I'm watching the games on comprehensive. Here are some stats:

Against -

Man City - Intercepted 16 : Completed 1

PSG - 12 : 1

Leicester - 7 : 3

Spurs - 23 : 10

Swansea - 15 : 4

PSG again - 15 : 1

Hull - 20 : 7

And it's turtles all the way down.

Is a symptom of having Whipped Crosses set as active?

They're pretty much all Leighton Baines' figures there and he isn't exactly rubbish.

I've honestly never seen anything like it.

Maybe take a look at his cross aim and change it accordingly in the player instructions? On one of my saves my player crossing the ball was always going for the near post. After analysing this more and more it turned out it was the delivery of the cross that was wrong and the player he was aiming for couldn't realistically get to the near post so time and time again, the crosses were being blocked. I changed it to specific crossing to be central instead and it made all the difference in the world.

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Cleon, obviously its common knowledge now that Romero is NOT consistent nor does he like important games, however you have him playing quite consistently so... does this mean that consistency can be ignored if you play a player perfectly?

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Cleon, obviously its common knowledge now that Romero is NOT consistent nor does he like important games, however you have him playing quite consistently so... does this mean that consistency can be ignored if you play a player perfectly?

Think you answered your own question? :D

People always take attributes into isolation without taking into account the full attribute set he has...........

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so playing a player in a role that is perfect for him CAN negate consistency?! i hope so because i have a few young players who have poor consistency who have superb stats but i LITERALLY buy players who are considered to be consistent.

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so playing a player in a role that is perfect for him CAN negate consistency?! i hope so because i have a few young players who have poor consistency who have superb stats but i LITERALLY buy players who are considered to be consistent.

Consistency can change and get higher anyway from playing game and doing well. The same with important matches.

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i knew consistency could change not drastically though, but i didnt realise important matches could.

Lets say player A with 200 potential but 5 on consistency could never reach 15 for it though could they? isnt it capped? so it could go up by 5 but no more?

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One aspect of the tactic which is really working for me is the link up between Pires and Henry (Cazorla and Sanchez).

CF(S) is making plenty of runs into the left hand channel which the WPM is finding with increasing regularity.

Not quite getting the crosses from the left hand side but I think that can be rectified with a decent Ljungberg with 'Get into the opposition area' PPM.

I do have the Bergkamp role as a Defensive Forward (d) which is quite static and prevents the CF from drifting over to the right.

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I know how PPM's work thanks.

I'm still building the squad and looking for ideal players. You seem to have ignored or completely missed this though and have gave feedback as if the players I used are my ideal players or finished products.

It was not my intent to teach you how to play FM, nor patronize you in some way... And I know it's a work in progress... Sorry if it came up this way... It's in my nature, cause I'm a sick Arsenal fan, whose best friends are Spurs and United fans, and I see football (and its virtual twin) through a different type of goon :) For people like me the Invincibles squad is like the Holy Grail. Something so pure and godly that no one should ever mess with. Hence, my stubborn and probably unnecessary pedantry with mental attributes...

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How would you know what his consistency is like or how good he is in important matches? These are both hidden attributes. The coach report that Cleon showed of Romero also doesn't indicate any of this.

Does it look like he is struggling for consistency? Also you'd only know this with the use of an editor of some kind, something I haven't got on this save. So in future I'd appreciate you using spoiler tags.

This is a prime example of why I hate posting on this forum. Negative, sad people with nothing better to do ready to jump down your throat given the slightest opportunity.

7-3.jpg

Does it say that Romero is consistent or good in big matches? No, it doesn't.

I ask Cleon why he's gone for such a player.

And some idiot says I've used an editor to find out and another idiot says I shouldn't spoil it for others. Nor did I even get an answer. Just a silly soundbite.

F.

F.

S.

From asking one genuine question to this. Pathetic.

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Jackane,

I know what you mean about his consistency and stuff. I have seen it myself because my scouts say he is inconsistent so i check the DB and sure as hell he is.

So to Vincenzo that proves that the levels of scouts ability ect and the length of time spent scouting the player is obviously what matters.

Also thats a Coach report... maybe thats from a coach that doesnt know him very well yet.

Perhaps CLEON could just open up an ingame editor to have a look? or atleast upload the save for us to have a play with?

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This is a prime example of why I hate posting on this forum. Negative, sad people with nothing better to do ready to jump down your throat given the slightest opportunity.

7-3.jpg

Does it say that Romero is consistent or good in big matches? No, it doesn't.

I ask Cleon why he's gone for such a player.

And some idiot says I've used an editor to find out and another idiot says I shouldn't spoil it for others. Nor did I even get an answer. Just a silly soundbite.

F.

F.

S.

From asking one genuine question to this. Pathetic.

It doesn't say he isn't either so why did you assume?

If you want drama go elsewhere. Stop calling people idiots too.

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This is a prime example of why I hate posting on this forum. Negative, sad people with nothing better to do ready to jump down your throat given the slightest opportunity.

7-3.jpg

Does it say that Romero is consistent or good in big matches? No, it doesn't.

I ask Cleon why he's gone for such a player.

And some idiot says I've used an editor to find out and another idiot says I shouldn't spoil it for others. Nor did I even get an answer. Just a silly soundbite.

F.

F.

S.

From asking one genuine question to this. Pathetic.

Sorry mate, I asked one genuine question myself, as I was genuinely curious to know how you knew Romero is inconsistent. I didn't imply anything, I simply asked because I didn't find anything in the article to indicate that. No need to get all defensive. I have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not he is inconsistent or can't handle big games. My point is that his stats certainly appear to be those of someone who is playing consistently at a high level.

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Cleon, I know you're strictly following the Invincible squad and how they played but do you feel like that the style of play could be 'improved' in the sense that you could score more goals?

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The arguements here over 1 players traits that Cleon himself has said may not be his end article is laughable and crazy at the same time. The man is going out of his way to help other people on here to learn how he plays the game and has had mind boggling success with it. So much so that fellow Fm players here, fro want of a better word idolise him.

He gave his reasons as to what he thought, there is no need to dwell on it unless constructive, getting knickers in a twist over something such as a player being different on each save due to potential or traits that scouts may not show up as they are not as good as ones in your game is just down right silly.

pack it in and learn or leave the thread imo

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Cleon this might be the wrong thread to ask this question. I have decided to recreate the Invincibles with the current Arsenal side. I know that this team does not have a Viera, Bergkamp or Henry type player. I read in one of your earlier post that having the right PPMs is important to get the team to play the way you want. They are players with PPM that do not benefit what Ivam trying to do. For example I have identified Walcott has a possible candidate for the Lungberg role.

Walcott has knock ball pass opponent and run with ball down the right has his PPM. If I trained him to cut inside and get in opposition area would he use these PPMs in the game. I do Not really want him running down the right with ball or knocking the ball past opponents because I do not think these two PPMs are fit for the Lungberg role. I requested that he unlearn these PPMs but my coach came back and stated that he does not think this will work but he will try anyway.

Could you let me know how it will take for PPM to be unlearned. I have the same problem with Ozil I want to play him in the Bergkamp role but I want him to unlearn Move Into Channels PPM.

I am a bit confused about how PPM actually work within a game. From what I understand the correct PPM plays a major part in getting the Invincible dream to work. So I need to do something about the players with the wrong PPMs. I rather not sell players like Ozil but I am getting worried that this might be my only option which is sell and buy players with the right PPMs or get players who I can train the PPM without it being a problem.

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Kieran, relax man. It was just stated that Romero generally gets low consistency. I notice on the file i use its set as random.

Having someone raise the consistency and important matches question actually helps this thread by further solidifying the fact that PPM's and ROLE management can make a player perform BEYOND what their hidden stats say they can!

As for James9, could'nt Ozil play the Pires role well?

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This is the Bergkamp role summed up in a nutshell. Just looks at how deep it starts and where Romero is;

[video=youtube_share;RfOvpbyhUtY]

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This is the Bergkamp role summed up in a nutshell. Just looks at how deep it starts and where Romero is;

[video=youtube_share;RfOvpbyhUtY]

Nice! It must be a pretty good feeling when things start to come together.

If i may ask a question about that goal, but the Henry role;

Have you told him to move into the channels as it looks like that's what he is doing and i don't think (though, i could be wrong) that the Complete Forward Support has this instruction by default.

Still struggling with Henry so very much looking forward to the write up you do on him, if you get a chance to do one.

Are you still enjoying the save by the way?

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I've not had time to play the game for a few days. This was the first game I've played today but have to pick my daughter up from school now.

He's just the default CF support there, the movement is the players attributes and PPM's nothing else. It's still not perfect but as you can see, I can get him playing similar to how I want.

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I've not had time to play the game for a few days. This was the first game I've played today but have to pick my daughter up from school now.

He's just the default CF support there, the movement is the players attributes and PPM's nothing else. It's still not perfect but as you can see, I can get him playing similar to how I want.

I know how that feels. My daughter also doesn't understand her fathers need to get frustrated at Football Manager. She will though...

May I ask, does the player have Moves Into Channels? Is that part of how you have gotten success with Henry's movement?

I'm going to tick the Moves Into Channels instruction on the Complete Forward Support instructions and see what his movement is like.

Cheers

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Hi Cleon what a fantastic thread, I decided to give this a try with my Sutton team who were struggling and have seen a very big change.

I have one question I have taken into account your information and have tweaked to improve my team the CF works okay but I would like my other striker to be a bit more potent.

Could I ask what sort of additional role would work with CF in the lower leagues.

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A bit miffed to see people not read what Cleon and others write so regularly, but i thought i would add this because all those articles you write cleon have really helped me get back into the game after years of not playing. All the articles others have written on scouting, training and tactics have all contributed to me doing this

dg2gyp.jpg

I lost one game to Hull in the capital cup semi which we then lost on penalties and also drew the community shield which we lost to Arsenal on pens. The most memorable game was being 1-0 down with 10 men away to Everton on Boxing day and managing to claw back into the game to get a draw. What the screenshot doesn't show is the 9 previous seasons of developing my tactics rising through the leagues with Worcester, Doncaster then taking Leeds from League 1 to winning the prem title this season for the first time in this save. Developing the young players with training and ppm's were important, as was the advice on playing lots of preseason games and high workload training, they all made a difference and saw improvements in my team. Almost forgot how important managing morale and team talks were, i was regularly seeing my team tank in the last 10 games or so so i became much harsher at half time and only would praise at the end of the game, this stopped complacency creeping in.

So thanks and keep up the good work

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I wont share my tactics no i think that would do more harm than good, its also against the beliefs of this very thread and indeed my own ideas. Besides as you will find in all of Cleons articles you can win almost any way you want and it really is about the process of developing a solid idea and using every aspect of the game, from choosing staff, scouting to find the right player, to training them to have the right attributes and ppm's, to setting training and managing morale and playing time to develop a player. You need to see everything as a whole not copy some random persons tactic because they went unbeaten over a season with the expectation of reproducing the same, I bet you even if i shared it that people would complain it doesn't work! Just as they complain Cleon is using Romero in the Bergkamp role and he's not like him enough so its wrong! the poor guy hasn't even got close to finishing his project yet!

(note someone deleted their post)

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I cant say ive ever really struggled since the 98/99 game, but what i will do is say that I tend to stick with a very rigid way of playing which does get boring. I like winning from game one, devloping players but reading some of Cleons works does make me want to try new ways of playing and i thank you Cleon, even if sometimes you do answer questions with questions haha.

One thing i have noticed is that the DLF seems to score just as many as the ST(L) I was considering setting up the DLF as an attacking midfielder but not to sure on the role....I may try Enganche or even second striker, am i right in thinking that the ATTACK for a attacking midfielder will yeild the same results as SUPPORT for the DLF as in positioning up the field?

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Superb thread Cleon, great work. I've found that this tactic is a good starting point, but PPMs are absolutely vital to making it play out effectively. I've added "gets into opposition area" and "break offside trap" to the Ljungberg role and they've really transformed how it plays, I think I'll add "tries first time shots" next. The Pires role has also seen marked improvements since I added "tries killer balls often," "curls ball," "gets forward whenever possible," and I'll probably add "cuts inside."

I was wondering what you think the ideal PPMs for Henry, Bergkamp, and Vieira, would be? I'm thinking of the following:

Henry

Cuts inside from left wing

Moves into channels

Places shots

Knocks ball past opponents

Come deep for ball

Looks to break offside trap

Runs with ball often

Plays one twos

Bergkamp

Comes deep for ball

Looks for pass rather than attempting to score

Plays short simple passes

Tries killer balls often

Vieira

Runs with ball through centre

Dives into tackles

Arrives late in box

Plays one twos

Knocks ball past opponents (Maybe)

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Max great choice of PPM's there, but with the Vieira ones i dont think Knocks ball is needed.

If anyone wants to have a go with a team set up for this already then Schalke are the team to be. Meyer in the Pires role rotating with Nicolaij Thomsen is great, with Di Santo in either Henry's or Bergkamps role. Goreztka in the Vieira role and Leroy Sané in the Ljunberg role rotating with Andrija Zivkovic....

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The First 15 Minutes



I’ve been asked a lot of questions recently about how I set up for games and prepare for the opposition that I am facing. So I thought I’d write a bit about how I set up and how I decide what to do. Those of you who have followed my articles might remember a similar topic from years ago but sadly, the screenshots for that no longer exist, so I have decided to revisit it in this article.

What is it about the first 15 minutes?

For me and the way I play the game, the first fifteen minutes of the game is probably the most important period of the entire match. In this time I will have identified the main issues I’m likely to face. In my opinion games are won and lost during this period. By that I don’t mean scoring goals, I mean in the way we’ve set up and the tone of the match. Most of the changes I do are actually done in this period of time, I still change things throughout the game if I feel its need but the actual way I’ll set up and play is done in the first fifteen minutes.

A lot of people like to plan how they’ll play before a game and if that works for them, then fair enough. However for me it’s no good doing all the prep for a game before the actual kick off as all your preparation could be all for nothing as the opposition might not play how you envisaged. Or other factors might play a part. The only way you can tell how you need to play and set up is from viewing the game itself.

For me context is everything and this is why watching the first fifteen minutes are vital. You don’t always have to do this but I do this an awful lot. I guess it comes down to how comfortable you are with what you’ve created and how much you actually understand how it really works. People might think this is time-consuming and it can be, but the way I play isn’t and it’s actually fast. You can play it on any speed you like. At first doing it on a slow speed might be better until you become more familiar with the method, then increase the speed to a faster one as you start to become more comfortable.

Before we start it’s always worth remembering you don’t need to rush and can take your time with things. You can pause the game and rewind and also use the stats if needs be. Just find a way that suits you and how you play, that’s the most important thing to remember. My ways might not suit others but it might give you a different view or give you ideas for you yourself to use in your own game.

Widgets

Widgets are probably one of the most important things available to use for relaying what’s going on during a game. How you set these up totally depends on what you are focusing on and why. You should spend some time sorting these out to suit your needs. Here is my current screen.

1-11.jpg?resize=474%2C243

It looks awful messy doesn’t it? You can minimise the boxes though and don’t always need them open so you can still view the game and see what’s going on.

2-10.jpg?resize=474%2C244

The most important widget on the screen above is the opposition formation one. Regardless of how you set up your own widgets, this one is a must have because it allows you to see any formation changes the opposition makes. This becomes more vital and allows you to quickly react to changes late in games too as the AI will likely go chasing a game or look to defend a lead at some point. So always keep an eye on this one.

The other ones I use are;

  • Team ratings for both sides
  • Team performances for both sides
  • Match stats

These are the only ones I use as they tell me all I need to know. Other people’s like to use the body language widgets too but I don’t really need that one. But is it a useful one to use because it allows you to see which players are nervous etc.

The widgets I use above allow me to keep an eye on the game’s stats. This means I have a quick overview of how the game might be going and if I’m being aggressive enough or not.

The team ratings let me see who is having a good or bad game. Depending on what type of save I am playing or tactic I use, you can then use this information to your advantage. You can target the players having a bad game and try to overload them by either role changes or by using team instructions. There are many different ways you could do this though, that is just one example.

The performance tab lets me see who is having a good or bad game via descriptions rather than the team ratings above. This allows for better judgement when used with the ratings one above. The performance tab updates every four minutes in-game, so will always be changing based on what’s happened .

So spend a few minutes setting this screen up and configure it, to show you all the information you think you need to know.

*NOTE – For the purpose of the screenshots and to get the information across, I’ll be minimising the widgets just so the screenshots are clear and easy to follow. I do advise though that if you minimise them on your own save, to always leave the opposition formation widget always open. Or you could miss a shape change that could potentially cost you the game.

The Opening 15 Minutes

Now we’ve sorted the widgets out, we can now look at how I approach the actual game. It’s worth pointing out again, that I only focus on what my side is doing and now what the opposition is doing. This simplifies things for me. It doesn’t matter if I concede possession or give shots away. What is important is my team are playing how I’ve instructed them to play, that is the only thing that matters. If I start worrying about the opposition then my side could actually be playing how I want, yet I’d be looking at changing that just because I gave possession or shots away.

As long as my side do the things I need them to do, the rest doesn’t matter. If my side play how I expect them to and how I’ve instructed them, then we will get a result. If I start adapting and changing for the opposition then I love my philosophy that I’ve created at the club. I’m a reactive manager but that doesn’t mean I compromise in my approach. It doesn’t matter if you are the worst team in the world or the best, I’ll set out to play the same way.

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Immediately I see my team is lined up and keeping shape how I’d expect. However they seem a bit deep especially the central midfield duo. There are lots of uncovered space in the centre and Manchester City don’t have anyone in this area either. I can leave things how they are or I can try to dominate them by controlling the centre. I’ll need to see if it’s still like this in the next few minutes though, there is no need to make a change based on one isolated screenshot so far. But if I was to change anything these would be the options;

  • Use player instructions
  • Use team instructions
  • Change roles

All three of these would be viable and make a difference if I decided to change things. Which you select though is down to personal preference. Myself I am leaning more towards using a team instruction (pushing the defensive line higher up)because it looks like my defenders can afford to be pushed up. I’m also using a very specific tactic (The Invincibles one) so role changes aren’t really an option for me and neither are adding player instructions. But I just wanted to highlight the other options you could use.

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The above screenshot shows the same issue again but this time it’s moment after the first example. My defence is deep and so is the midfield. Now considering I play counter attacking, the defensive line is naturally deep. So this confirms that I can be more aggressive and push up without any real negative effect for now. I’d like my right back and the central midfielders to be more where the X is on the screenshot. This will allow players to be closer together and this will make it harder for Manchester City and give them less time on the ball as well as reducing the space. With this now showing the first example wasn’t an isolated one, I now decide to make the change and push the defensive line up by using the team instructions.

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I don’t feel like the fullbacks are making the most of the space available. I feel they can and should be much more aggressive than this screenshot suggest. Now there are a number of ways I can do this and how I do this again comes down to personal preference. My choices are;

  • Use the look for overlap team instructions.
  • Use the play wider team instructions.
  • Use individual player instructions and ask them to play wider

Those are the options I have and will make the player do what I want. Each option has plus points and negatives. If I use the look for overlap shout this will instruct the wide midfield players to hold up the ball which will allow the fullbacks to overlap. However I’m happy with how my wide players are playing and I don’t really want them to hold the ball up.

If I use the team instruction to play wider, then the team as a whole, when in possession of the ball will be wider. Again I’m not sure I need everyone to be wider, especially as my two wide midfielders are set up to play narrow.

This leaves me with one realistic choice and that’s use individual player instructions. This will make the fullbacks play wider and take up the positions I need them to. Hopefully this will stretch Manchester City and even if it doesn’t, it means the full backs will always be in free space. So it’s a win-win situation.

6-5.jpg?resize=423%2C356

I’m approaching the first five minutes of the game so far and it’s not really been that eventful, as the stats suggest. They don’t really tell us much at this point as the game is still developing but it’s still worth taking a quick glance at them just for piece of mind.

7-5.jpg?resize=474%2C216

After almost ten minutes of the match gone so far, things are pretty even and nothing much to note. All the changes I mentioned above have now all been made and I’m happy with how I’m playing and what I’ve seen so far. The widgets haven’t really got much to say yet although one of my centre backs Souza, seems to be losing condition faster than my other players in these early stages of the game. So I know I’ll have to keep monitoring this and if it carries on into the second half, then he might need to be substituted. I also noticed Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City is also dropping condition fast. So he is a player worth keeping an eye on too.

For the next five minutes I also see much of the same and don’t see any real issues and the side seems to be playing how I instructed them to be. This now means I can revert back to how I watch matches which is key highlights only. You can play and watch in whichever highlights suits you best. It all comes down to experience and how well you know your system though. If you aren’t fully aware of how it works and why then you’ll likely struggle if you don’t pay more attention to begin with. So take that into account. Things do become faster though once you get a better understanding. So while it might seem a pain in the arse in the short-term, long-term it should make things faster for you.

I wrote this as I was actually playing the game, so I might write an additional part explaining what I do for the other 75 minutes of the game at some stage.

Wow what an incredible thread. I'd lost all interest in the game until I read this thread on your blog and have tried to implement it in my Liverpool save. I do have a few questions.

I seem to concede alot of goals. Mostly crosses into the box from out wide, I wonder if find the same issues and how u combat it. I've started using opp TI's so will have to see how that goes.

Also, my players like to pump the ball long alot. It seems there's not many passing options in midfield. Do you sometimes have to play with the tempo or passing TI? We sometimes rush the play and don't let the play build up a rythm.

Don't get me wrong I've had some success, scoring easily the best goal I've scored since FM14. I have it saved its magical and a typical "Invisibles" goal so I want to persist with it.

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Wow what an incredible thread. I'd lost all interest in the game until I read this thread on your blog and have tried to implement it in my Liverpool save. I do have a few questions.

I seem to concede alot of goals. Mostly crosses into the box from out wide, I wonder if find the same issues and how u combat it. I've started using opp TI's so will have to see how that goes.

Also, my players like to pump the ball long alot. It seems there's not many passing options in midfield. Do you sometimes have to play with the tempo or passing TI? We sometimes rush the play and don't let the play build up a rythm.

Don't get me wrong I've had some success, scoring easily the best goal I've scored since FM14. I have it saved its magical and a typical "Invisibles" goal so I want to persist with it.

I don't really change anything other than push the defensive line up at times if I feel I am far too deep. I'll be writing more about this when I get the time in a future update. If you're having specific issues though I'd focus on them and watch the clips back and see exactly what you could possible change.

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Im also very much on the same page as you with the instructions etc - my only gripe is that arsenal did tend to run at opposition quite a bit on the counter, i remember pires driving forward with the ball, henry running at defences and viera driving forward to.

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