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Struggling AS Roma

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I've played fm for nearly 12 years now but I have to say that the latest iterations and particularly this years version have me hanging in the ropes. I've had only very poor results so far and I've left the game from time to time in frustration (though I always come back for it, heck, it's still the best game in the world, right?). Admittedly, I'm not the best tactician out there and since I've been building my own home for the last three years now I rarely had the time to micromanage the game. I played only when I had some spare time and thus I played it plug-and-play-style, but that left me nowhere (and wishing I'd spent my spare time otherwise). But now I've decided to come back to it and at least try to master one game in this edition, before we all get to play FM17. But, and this is a first timer, I've decided to ask you people, as probably the 1487th guy in a row (yeah, a lot of you some to be struggling with fm these days), for help. But, to keep it interesting for everyone, I will try to be as detailed as possible and explain my (mis)goings.

For years now, I've always played with AS Roma. I just love everything about them. More so the image in my head then the real Roma thesedays, but when I grew up, it were the days heydays of Cafú, Tommasi, Candela, Totti, Montella and later Batistuta. But, as a Belgian, seeing two countrymen play for them this season (not in fm16 though...) is a bonus. Seeing as I'm only interested in managing them, not getting fired and going from glory to glory, season after season, is quite a must. It also let's me put out some long-term visions. Since I've got an interesting youth academy, among the best in Italy, squad building with own youths, is a definite. Here's a screen of one of my most promising ones, Daniele Verde:

Daniele Verde_ Overview Profile.png

I'll be giving him and some others regularly play time to help them develop. Btw, that's why I don't loan many of my youngsters out, as soon as they're good enough, I'll be handing them playtime myself. And I try to bring in lots of good coaches for them here, at my training grounds.

A.S. Roma Under 20s_ Training Coaches.png

Try and top that! I save no expense on that front.

But okay, since I've already had a go, we're actually mid-season and this is the league table so far:

Serie A TIM_ Overview Stages.png

It's not a disaster, but it's not going well either. Specially, we've been on a bad streak recently, losing to Empoli and Verona and drawing against Sassuolo.

A.S. Roma_  Senior Fixtures.png

And as you can see, we've got some very though fixtures coming up, not in the least today's fixture at Juventus, who sit just in front of us at the table and can widen the gap to 6 points (and then we will have gone from comfortably second to trailing third in only two to thee weeks...). And they're on a roll: WWXWW!!

More on my long term squad building vision: I want to play the game (very) fluidly, with players surpassing each other, flowing into the transition phases and thus creating a dynamic attacking game (which I think will be necessary, enlightening to bring in Italy). I've translated that into some key attributes which I think are obvious (I've spent some time reading guides and posts, and hopefully I've understood them well). Anticipation, concentration, decisions, determination, flair, off the ball, positioning, team work, stamina, vision and work rate. Some positions will benefit more from certain attributes and other positions from others (f.e. off the ball and positioning). And to be honest, my squad's not that bad, certainly not my favourite pick, but the rigours  of our busy schedule make me rotate quite often and as  a whole the squad will need improvement.

A.S. Roma_ Players Players.png

My tactical ideas translate into this:

A.S. Roma_  Overview.png

So we have a fluid 4-2-3-1. Roma's squad is at the beginning of the game meant to be played like a 4-2-3-1 and I haven't shuffled around too much yet. I've played some games in a 3-5-2, dropping De Rossi back as a BPD in the central CD slot, but with only three real central defenders at my disposal, I can only do so on limited occasions. Secondly, I've got way too many (inside) wingers that would need retraining to fit other positions.

We play it attacking and to complement our fluid attacking approach, we add a little pressing by limiting the opponent's GK possibilities and we try to keep our pitch narrow, which should help shorter passing options and keep my nets tidy in defence (because I've also opted for a AMC instead of a DMC, which obviously would've been De Rossi; some games I do switch from AMC to DMC). But I mostly put this guy closer upfront:

Miralem Pjanic_ Overview Profile.png

He's going to be the focal point of my squad. His ability to strike the ball is amazing. He maybe has one "downside", which I try to "correct" by putting him in an AMC slot rather than MC: he tends to try and make every pass count. When he's got the ball, he always goes for the killer ball and his success rate goes up by moving him closer upfront. I used to play with a DMC, with him one row down and he'd gift the ball away a bit too much for my taste. It's basically the same reason I play him as a standard attacking midfielder rather than an APM. But, since he's got his PPM's and a lot of creative freedom, there's little I can do anyway. Overall, his splicing passes frequently do cause havoc anyway. So what am I complaining about.

My second main attacking outlet's Edin Dzeko. Quite frankly, he would not be my main transfer interest, but he's got a future transfer set and he's allready banged quite a few this season. More built like a target man, he's not the agil and fast striker I picture, but his athleticism does come in handy in modern football and he's really quite more than a targetman. He's technique's not that bad, but he's not the same visionaire his supplementing AMC is. It's more of a one way street for now, with Dzeko getting on the scoring end of things.

Edin Dzeko_ Overview Profile.png

But the agility Dzeko misses, is being made up by our pseudo-striker Salah. Coming from the right wing, he too has netted quite nicely so far this season. Though I played him as our STC for a while.

Mohamed Salah_ Overview Profile.png

For now I will leave it at that and go and play a couple of games. I'm going to try and analyse the game a bit more. I'm looking forward to hear what comments you guys are going to make and I'll try and respond as good as possible.


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Ok, the Juve match went not as bad I had feared:

Juventus v Roma_ Stats Match Stats.png

They did get the most chances, but the best ones were by far ours. If only we had nailed one... But that said, a draw in Delle Alpi is not that bad a result, especially given the forms of both squads.

Tactically I did go for a little upset, and fielded a 4-4-2 with a narrow Diamond, witch control approach instead of the usual attacking. I did chance to counter halfway though, which shifted possession a bit more towards us.

A.S. Roma_  Overview-2.png

I did try to fend a bit more on our left side of the pitch as Juve is known to be the most dangerous building up from their right through their FB Lichtsteiner (11 assist this season so far in the serie A and the highest average rating thus far). So I put my LFB on support rather than attack and let the LMC be the one to hassle more opponents. His pass completion ratio for this game was only 66%, where it's 81% in the serie A at the moment. A little succes if you ask me. Furthermore he took a second yellow card in the 85', leaving them one man down.

I decided to cram the midfield and play our midfield diamond, basically because I went with statistics.

Juventus F.C._ Senior Squad Tactics.png

But since Juve usually plays 4-3-1-2 (that's with 3 DM's and 1 MC), that looked like a good idea to battle it out on midfield since I'd not be able to overclass Juve at Delle Alpi. They're simply the better team.


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