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Caixa Futebol Academy: Youth Development & Adapting Tactics


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4 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

It's that time which comes around every couple of years in a save where I have too many options but also nothing which quite fits so end up getting a bit creative.


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:lol:

Oh lord.. what next :lol:.

 

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36 minutes ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Nah, I did what I do every time and played one friendly and that was enough to remind me not to try to be too smart :lol:

Too much then? I love how you tinker with dominant formula and end up with something even better. Hats off to you mate.:applause:

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Yea. Trial and error is part of the process. Sometimes just laying out your best 11 in the tactics creator in whatever weird shape they make up and then playing around until you find something you're happy with. Invariably, you'll come up with something innovative which 'may change the way football is played forever' then play a friendly and quickly realise it won't, then revert to something more balanced. The secret is to get as much of the experimentation done in the pre-season as possible and not to do anything irreversible.. like sell your only right back like I did 4 years ago :lol:

 

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The 4-2-4 you shared has been a revelation in my United save. At the end of October, unbeaten, top scorers in the league and 2 draws (Real Madrid, West Brom). I only started it out of curiosity, but I have really enjoyed it.

I love how it works, it does have its weaknesses, but it has really made me appreciate having 2 quality strikers on the pitch being supplied by quality wide men.

Its made me question some of my role choices now, also the formations I use so thanks!

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14 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

It's that time which comes around every couple of years in a save where I have too many options but also nothing which quite fits so end up getting a bit creative.


image.png.e05e6573b9189dd4ad91e8d9bea1a303.png


:lol:

Shame this didn't click, would have been interesting I'm sure. Out of interest, I noticed you shared a few variations of back 3 formations earlier in the thread when the team was very young, have you used any of them regularly going forward? 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Garrlor said:

The 4-2-4 you shared has been a revelation in my United save. At the end of October, unbeaten, top scorers in the league and 2 draws (Real Madrid, West Brom). I only started it out of curiosity, but I have really enjoyed it.

I love how it works, it does have its weaknesses, but it has really made me appreciate having 2 quality strikers on the pitch being supplied by quality wide men.

Its made me question some of my role choices now, also the formations I use so thanks!


You're welcome. Thank you for sharing. Glad to hear the success is translates elsewhere! :applause:

 

7 hours ago, ElJefe4 said:

Shame this didn't click, would have been interesting I'm sure. Out of interest, I noticed you shared a few variations of back 3 formations earlier in the thread when the team was very young, have you used any of them regularly going forward? 


Actually not much in this save. The 4-2-4 shifting to 3-1-6 has dominated for a number of years now. Most seasons I have at least considered some variant of the 3-4-2-1 or 3-1-4-2 but have actually never quite got them working the way I'd like.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!
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  • 3 weeks later...
28 minutes ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Does anyone know how to get an old match report (just the main summary page) when I've gone on too far and it's no longer in my inbox?

I know there's a way to do it, but cannot find it for the life of me.

Is it not in the Analysis page of the Team Report?  Not sure how far you can go back as I'm not in the game at present...?

 

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11 minutes ago, Lordluap said:

Is it not in the Analysis page of the Team Report?  Not sure how far you can go back as I'm not in the game at present...?

 


I thought so too but, if it is, I can't see it. It's not that far, it's just slightly longer than the Inbox keeps the news for. Less than a month.

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23 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


I thought so too but, if it is, I can't see it. It's not that far, it's just slightly longer than the Inbox keeps the news for. Less than a month.

Can you click on the scoreline in your results view?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/04/2021 at 16:07, Konrad_Box2Box said:

First of all, even though I never commented, I enjoyed reading this thread multiple times, so hats off to @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! for the contribution! 

I actually came here to say that cult hero Tiago Dantas is currently playing in his first start for Bayern Munich, let's see how it goes! 


Thank you for sharing? How did he get on? I am in a remote location right now on satelite wifi so might have to wait a few weeks to catch up.

Always interested to follow how my FM prodigies go on in real life.

Crazy he's just making his first start. Could have won a couple of Champions Leagues by now if they'd all stayed at Benfica :lol:

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28 minutes ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Thank you for sharing? How did he get on? I am in a remote location right now on satelite wifi so might have to wait a few weeks to catch up.

Always interested to follow how my FM prodigies go on in real life.

Crazy he's just making his first start. Could have won a couple of Champions Leagues by now if they'd all stayed at Benfica :lol:

You need to be Benfica's manager for that to happen!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 12/04/2021 at 22:01, woodyy2r said:

Out of interest @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! are you still going on with this save? I'm not sure what you've got left to achieve tbh, but this is an amazing read!


At the moment I am a little more pre-occupied with my FC United save but this is still going. I'm in a very remote corner of East Africa for work at the moment. Although I'm having a fair amount of time to play, the internet isn't strong enough to load a screenshot let alone a GIF :lol:

I'm open to ideas about how (/whether to) to progress the save. My objectives right now are:

  1. Overtake Real Madrid's 13 Champions League wins to become the most successful in Europe (on 12 right now).
  2. See the club into the new 100,000+ seater stadium (complete end of 2032 season).
  3. Play long enough to see out the career of Tiago Dantas (he's 30 now).

I have realised I never stick with a save long enough to see out someone's full career. As the youngest of the initial Golden Generation, Dantas' eventual retirement will also likely mean Joao Felix, Jota, Embalo, Luis, Fernandes, Pinto will be finishing their careers too so it will be nice to see how they all finish up.

We actually have another really good generation coming through so it would be nice to send the side out into their new stadium with a 3rd great side and then think about either new challenges within the save or starting somewhere new.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!
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Honestly? You have already started the save over a second time, so why not play through until you are the truly dominant team in world football with no one ever having a hope of catching you. See if the new stadium and next generation are good enough to get you there, or press on for even more and a bigger stadium etc.

Just edited to add I was just browsing through this thread the other day and saw how much rubbish I have written in here, alongisde so many good ideas from yourself! I looked at the Guardiola style "free 8's" again and it made me take a look at another Portugese team - Sporting. They start the game with some good wingers, not inside forwards, have a couple of useful strikers and some good options for the free 8 roles. Hell, Fernandes starts off as a backup! I also really like the first team structure, with there being a core first team alongside everyone else being a back up player. Some good players in the B and youth sides and an area to work on with the defence... yeah I think they might just work well when I get the time to play. I wonder if I could ever overtake the master :lol:.

Edited by Garrlor
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:applause:
 

15 hours ago, Garrlor said:

Honestly? You have already started the save over a second time, so why not play through until you are the truly dominant team in world football with no one ever having a hope of catching you. See if the new stadium and next generation are good enough to get you there, or press on for even more and a bigger stadium etc.

Just edited to add I was just browsing through this thread the other day and saw how much rubbish I have written in here, alongisde so many good ideas from yourself! I looked at the Guardiola style "free 8's" again and it made me take a look at another Portugese team - Sporting. They start the game with some good wingers, not inside forwards, have a couple of useful strikers and some good options for the free 8 roles. Hell, Fernandes starts off as a backup! I also really like the first team structure, with there being a core first team alongside everyone else being a back up player. Some good players in the B and youth sides and an area to work on with the defence... yeah I think they might just work well when I get the time to play. I wonder if I could ever overtake the master :lol:.


Thank you for the comments :thup: I've now played one further season. Wifi connection isn't strong enough to provide an update so I will not give away any spoilers for those following. Dantas turns 31 this year - with no sign of deterioration - and the new stadium is one more year from completion.

One thing that is interesting me somewhat is almost the opposite of the original premise of this thread. It's maintaining the ability of older players into their mid-30s. This is something I have never done before and actually failed quite badly with Cristiano Ronaldo at Paris Saint-Germain. I actually think Dantas has the potential to find another gear. Dantas' physical attributes are high, particularly pace which I understand is quite expensive in terms of Current Ability. When his physical attributes deteriorate over time I am interested to see if we can keep his Current Ability high enough to see them redistributed into mental attributes. We are not far from 20s across the board for Anticipation (currently 17), Decisions (18) and Vision (19) etc. We can easily adapt the side tactically to mitigate any decrease in physical attributes.

Elsewhere in Europe, there have been a few developments:

  • Manchester United appear to have regained dominance over English football under Unai Emery. Instead of going to Arsenal, Emery won a few titles with PSG before a few La Ligas with Barcelona, a few Bundesligas with Bayern and now multiple Premier Leagues with Manchester United :lol:
  • Barcelona have a very strong team under Marcelino and just won their 6th consecutive title. Real Madrid look an utter mess.
  • PSG still dominate France under Jose Mourinho although Neymar has gone and Mbappe is 32.
  • Bayern wrestled the title back of Dortmund after 3 in a row.
  • Napoli won Serie A after Milan and Juventus have exchanged titles for the past few seasons. Juventus are ageing (for a change).

Most squads almost entirely consist of newgens now.

Regarding your comment on Sporting - I agree entirely. Sporting and Porto have two of the best squads in the game for this type of save, with academies to match. I'd be interested to hear how you go :thup:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 23/02/2021 at 14:54, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Sponsorship

I am putting this out there, in case of anybody has any insight on increasing Sponsorship revenue, or even simply how it works.

In the 2028/29 season - as the most reputable club in the world, winning every trophy and a side with multiple World Cup winners and the Balon d'Or holder - Benfica generated £46m in sponsorship revenue.


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This has not increased since 2021.


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In comparison, in 2018/19 at PSG we generated £405m in sponsorship revenue.


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Admittedly this was having won the Champions League and playing a Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Mbappe front line :lol: but still, nearly 10x more than Benfica seems off. Even before these signings, PSG generated £225m, and another £282m the year after.

At PSG I get a lot of messages like this:


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It seems to be that major transfers are a far bigger driver of Sponsorship, Merchandising and TV deals than on the field success.

 

Club Debt

We also still have this club debt which it looks like we will be paying interest on until the end of time :D


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Let me know if anyone's got any ideas, particularly about the Sponsorship/Merchandising revenue :thup:

On FM19 so potentially irrelevant to anyone actually keeping up with the latest versions of FM, but I notice a similar issue with sponsorship. A year after winning a League and Champions League double with Man Utd we took €288m in sponsors. At Roma with 7 consecutive Serie A, 6 Champions League (5 consecutive), and basically everything else every year for the period 2019-2025 we took a mere €81m. Serie A is ranked 3rd in the world, Luka Jovic just had 49-goal season and I'm not not making big transfers (only 3 over €40m as the academy is strong, but one of those was €82m on Dayot Upamecano). €210,000/week is our highest salary (well, I'm on €325k/week!) yet we're still projected to make a loss every year until I sell a bunch of 22-year olds and take in around €100m prize money per season.

Then again, maybe that's realistic? By all accounts Ed Woodward at United is considered to be a genius at selling advertising, like an analogue version of Google / Facebook, City and PSG are blatantly fraudulent and every other club involved in the ESL plot is making absurd losses (in a just world, Barcelona would get to enjoy the rest of Messi's career before having to drastically downsize to pay off those €1bn debts, but most likely the Champions League reforms and making the Qatar branding on the shirt bigger will see them become too big to fail). Bayern are the exception in that they've apparently got a commercial operation that at the very least is on the same scale as United's, without selling out to despots or rentier capitalists.

As an aside your goalscoring numbers are insane. My saves' success would look like cheating to some people yet my record is 199 goals in all competitions with Ajax (admittedly that's exceptional, as it was first season with no transfers), with 49 goals in a season my record for an individual player (although I usually pursue a very heavy rotation policy).

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11 hours ago, zlatanera said:

On FM19 so potentially irrelevant to anyone actually keeping up with the latest versions of FM, but I notice a similar issue with sponsorship. A year after winning a League and Champions League double with Man Utd we took €288m in sponsors. At Roma with 7 consecutive Serie A, 6 Champions League (5 consecutive), and basically everything else every year for the period 2019-2025 we took a mere €81m. Serie A is ranked 3rd in the world, Luka Jovic just had 49-goal season and I'm not not making big transfers (only 3 over €40m as the academy is strong, but one of those was €82m on Dayot Upamecano). €210,000/week is our highest salary (well, I'm on €325k/week!) yet we're still projected to make a loss every year until I sell a bunch of 22-year olds and take in around €100m prize money per season.

Then again, maybe that's realistic? By all accounts Ed Woodward at United is considered to be a genius at selling advertising, like an analogue version of Google / Facebook, City and PSG are blatantly fraudulent and every other club involved in the ESL plot is making absurd losses (in a just world, Barcelona would get to enjoy the rest of Messi's career before having to drastically downsize to pay off those €1bn debts, but most likely the Champions League reforms and making the Qatar branding on the shirt bigger will see them become too big to fail). Bayern are the exception in that they've apparently got a commercial operation that at the very least is on the same scale as United's, without selling out to despots or rentier capitalists.

As an aside your goalscoring numbers are insane. My saves' success would look like cheating to some people yet my record is 199 goals in all competitions with Ajax (admittedly that's exceptional, as it was first season with no transfers), with 49 goals in a season my record for an individual player (although I usually pursue a very heavy rotation policy).


Interesting. Thank you for sharing :thup:

It's more difficult than I thought to organically create a self-sustaining 'super club'. Even without major transfer fees, with (reasonably) modest wages and a massive stadium it's difficult not to rely on player sales in order to operate at a profit.

It's very fun, but after a few seasons with PSG following the 'galactico' signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi that I don't think it would benefit my Benfica approach.

The benefits are clear:

  • The entertainment/sentimental value of playing Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi alongside each other and simply enjoying their talent before they retire.
    • Personally I also enjoyed the tactical element of accommodating aging superstars.
  • Massive amounts of sponsorship and commercial revenue they bring in.

The main negatives are:

  • There is no resale value due to their age.
  • In the context of Benfica they would absolutely abolish our wage structure.

I initially thought it may be more workable to look at players around 23-24 years old to essentially:

  • Offset the transfer fee against a resale value
  • Offset wages against increased commercial revenue

However the issue I could not get over was my wage structure. I identified a suitable target at Barcelona, had an world-record breaking offer accepted however would have to pay more than twice the wages of current top earner, Tiago Dantas. Not to mention then needing to increase the wages of the rest of my top earners quite considerably.

It would be a tighter call if the academy stops producing but right now we have another really talented batch coming through. Interesting you mention Bayern, as they seem to be a great example of a club operating on a middle ground. I've always admired their approach to the transfer market.

Ultimately I think the commercial revenue is largely out of my control. One thing I have thought of is signing commercial partnerships with Feeder Clubs in US/China/Japan as I have exhausted the options for youth intakes. Not sure that'll have a huge impact though. Will obviously have another go at the stadium but that's now years away.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Ultimately I think the commercial revenue is largely out of my control. One thing I have thought of is signing commercial partnerships with Feeder Clubs in US/China/Japan as I have exhausted the options for youth intakes. Not sure that'll have a huge impact though. Will obviously have another go at the stadium but that's now years away.

That might be worth a shot, actually. I left it out of my initial post but in terms of merchandising my Roma side, after that prolonged and ongoing period of success, brought in €154m and €170m in consecutive seasons. Man Utd on the other hand were around €30m. Creating my own superstars is certainly an element in that, but I also have a commercial affiliate in the Chinese top flight, and multiple partnerships in the US whereas at United I had 0 affiliates full stop. 

A problem exclusive to Roma though is that we’re nowhere near close to filling the Olimpico and FM(19, at least) doesn’t offer the chance to “do a Juventus” and build a smaller, better one. 

Edited by zlatanera
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On 04/05/2021 at 14:11, zlatanera said:

That might be worth a shot, actually. I left it out of my initial post but in terms of merchandising my Roma side, after that prolonged and ongoing period of success, brought in €154m and €170m in consecutive seasons. Man Utd on the other hand were around €30m. Creating my own superstars is certainly an element in that, but I also have a commercial affiliate in the Chinese top flight, and multiple partnerships in the US whereas at United I had 0 affiliates full stop. 

A problem exclusive to Roma though is that we’re nowhere near close to filling the Olimpico and FM(19, at least) doesn’t offer the chance to “do a Juventus” and build a smaller, better one. 


I've played a little way ahead and can confirm that commercial partnerships with feeder clubs does seem to have a fairly noticeable effect on merchandising income.

I have signed partnerships with:

  • FC Tokyo
  • New York Cosmos
  • LAFC
  • Shanghai

After around a year we are recording higher merchandising revenues in February/March than we have in earlier seasons after winning the Champions League.

We have signed a new TV deal which is around £64m per year (up from 50something before) however no progress on sponsorships.

I'll keep an eye on it and post some screenshots when I get to a reliable internet connection if you're interested :thup:

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12 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


I've played a little way ahead and can confirm that commercial partnerships with feeder clubs does seem to have a fairly noticeable effect on merchandising income.

I have signed partnerships with:

  • FC Tokyo
  • New York Cosmos
  • LAFC
  • Shanghai

After around a year we are recording higher merchandising revenues in February/March than we have in earlier seasons after winning the Champions League.

We have signed a new TV deal which is around £64m per year (up from 50something before) however no progress on sponsorships.

I'll keep an eye on it and post some screenshots when I get to a reliable internet connection if you're interested :thup:

I am!

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! Yeah I'd definitely be interested to see how it progresses. I didn't really pay attention to this stuff until after I paused the save (FM19 Roma's €300m debt is a lot more manageable than FM18 Benfica's appears to have been, and I made over €1bn in player sales so never needed to concern myself). When I look now in the save the only commercial affiliates I have are with a bunch of minor U.S. teams and one Australian one, yours are theoretically much better for the purpose. I'm not far from your levels of success so a comparison would be interesting.

I've just noticed I have a €600m balance which earned us around €5m over the past season too - barely 2 weeks of wages, but not insignificant. Owed €338m though monthly instalment transfer clauses on sales too.

(Insert well-respected footballing executive here) eat your heart out! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

After nearly a year away, am finally back at home with some time to relax and get in a bit of FM.

Internet connections in remote corners of East Africa mean my updates have fallen a little behind. I'm going to do two back-to-back updates to catch up. I actually played this season a couple of months ago so apologies if this is vague/brief.

Season 2030/31 Update

97 Caixa Futebol Academy graduates are now playing in the top leagues across Europe plus we are playing an entirely academy produced team ourselves and a majority academy produced squad.
 

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Transfer wise - last time I spoke about being at a cross roads with a a few of the squad reaching the age I should think about selling and an academy side which just won the UEFA Youth League and looked stacked with talent.

After much deliberation, I decided to extend many of the existing first team and to sell on some squad players in order to make space for the academy guys to come through.

  • The academy players need to develop and are some way off the level we now play.
    • This is much more difficult at a £1bn super club than it was in 2017 on the fringes of Europe.
  • At this point it's only really Premier League clubs who can afford the likes of Valentim, Costa, Alves etc who are approaching the time to sell before their value drops off. This year, there was low interest/activity from them. Barcelona and Real Madrid bids are consistently lower so I decided to sell some of the younger guys who I was not sure would quite make our first team.
  • The big decision was Leandro Pereira. He and Braima Alves are the best left backs in the world and having both at the club is overkill. I am pretty sure he'll overtake Braima soon but the state of the transfer market meant Pereira was the far more attractive sale.
     

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This took the club over the £1bn mark for the first time. Given all of these are future transfer fees we should stay there for the foreseeable, until we can finally invest in the stadium.


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As an Arsenal fan, I feel some interesting echos of some of the later Wenger squads. Mainly in terms of a few slightly too idealist decisions throwing out the balance of the squad.

  • Firstly, as mentioned before it has taken until now to replace Gedson Fernandes.
    • Letting Gedson leave 2-3 years ago to embark on an unsuccessful experiment to show-horn another creative midfielder into the side was a mistake.
  • Similarly now, letting Jota and Umaro Embalo leave and also replacing them with creative attacking midfielders also cost us a bit of directness in attack.

Valentim, Lisboa and Costa are all creative playmaker types. All would ideally like to play at 10 but Lisboa can play False 9 or wide, Valentim and play False 9, wide or deeper in midfield and Costa can play wide, in midfield or as a deeper playmaker as deputy to Dantas.

In a slight formation shift, I decided to try playing Costa a little deeper, and moving Lisboa out onto that flank and playing a strikerless 4-3-3 rather than 4-2-4.


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This year was an experiment. I wanted to try using a 4-3-3 formation, to create the 3-1-6 attacking shape I have been using for the last few years.

  • It meant our defensive shape shifted from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1, which I am indifferent about.
  • It gave an extra man in midfield.
  • Costa played a more comfortable role, but Lisboa was slight more out of position.
  • I was interested to see how Leão in a strikerless system with space ahead of him rather than the man to play off.

The 4-3-3 becomes a 3-1-6 in attack by:

  • The half back drops between the centre backs to create a 3
  • The Deep Lying Playmaker sits deep creating the 1, and also a diamond to out-play the opposition press.
  • The wingbacks, Mezzala, Shadow Striker and Inside Forwards push forward creating a 6 man attack.

Overall it was a very good season, but ultimately we did not win the Champions League which is currently the marker of success.


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In domestic cups and easier league games, we used a more structured version of the same shape.


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We have some exciting talents coming through here, many coming from last year's UEFA Youth winning squad.

  • Serrano is an electric winger who is superb on the left and I am trying to develop to cut in off the right.
  • César is a very composed half back, central defender or deep playmaker.
  • Mahao also has first team potential at centre back.
  • Xavier and Teixera are possibly most exciting but I am trying to be pragmatic. Somehow we have an absolute production line of creative midfielders but I really want to find balance.
  • Cho Hyun-Jin, Sow, Carvalho, Barbosa and Sousa are all looking like good squad players or could command decent fees.

As the season went on, I experimented with Xavier, Teixeira and Serrano coming into the first team.


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This time, we stay in 4-3-3 but with a assymetric variant of the 3-1-6 in attack.

  • Alves plays deeper and comes inside to create a 3 with Kouassi and Soares.
  • Dantas is again the 1 as the deeplying playmaker, this time at the base of the midfield.
  • Serrano, Nkosi, Xavier, Teixeira, Lisboa and Leao all drive forward creating a 6 man attack.

I actually loved this shape, however with the caveat that it was only employed against weaker sides when the league was won. My one reservation is that my central midfielders are not creating the same attacking threat as inside forwards but I want to continue to experiment.


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O Capitão

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:applause:


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From now on I want to start saving these each season. It's difficult to compare, not having the older ones, but looking at the financial reports or merchandising is growing quite rapidly, particularly over-seas sales. This is one year into the push to establish international partnerships in US, China, Japan etc.

Apologies again for the rushed post and lack of match engine analysis. I am trying to quickly update to get on the same page as the actual save.

 

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!
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Juanma Xavier's first Benfica goal :applause:


2031/32 Update


Until weeks before the 3031/32 season, we expected this season to be our last at the Estadio da Luz.

At the same time we had a squad of players in the prime of their careers.


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The plan was to have a bit of fun and put on a show to celebrate the final year at the Estadio da Luz and manage the transition from one generation of stars - Costa, Valentim, Alves, Guimaraes - to another - Xavier, Teixeria, Serrano, Cesar etc.

Despite the disappointment of the planned stadium falling through weeks before the start of the season, we decided to go ahead with the show :cool:

My idea, was to bring together a combination of the collective, high-intensity pressing and high-tempo possession played in earlier seasons, with the 3-4-3 diamond.


 


image.png.5acdc612f0e11291d7b609a6b7bc69eb.png


The idea was fairly simple:

  • The centre forward to occupy opposition defenders and act as a focal point for the attack.
  • Two high and wide wingers.
  • A midfield diamond.
  • A 3-1 diamond to build up from the back
  • Leao in an completely free role.

The mentality structure was:
 

        15
17      17      17
    17      17
        15
  15    15    15
        15


The shape also allows us to seamlessly rotate in the most talented young players at the club.


image.png.5b8ddfb70d311c26b8b2ec0a2a025ea2.png


Results were spectacular. I actually think we nearly broke the match engine :lol:


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I actually think we nearly broke the match engine :lol:


image.png.ee35c82b20b94d66d3edadf92bbcca28.png


Ultimately we stormed our way to our 13th Champions League title, equalling Real Madrid.


image.png.6cc7b5f58ed1ad83e62541692045108e.png


All the while, playing some spectacular football :applause:


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:applause:

Off the field, sponsorship is down - I assume having not won the Champions League last season - however shirt sales are now up to nearly £100m with the overseas expansion clearly paying dividends.


image.png.6af59d18f7427ba775b8936530859e62.png


Perhaps most importantly, we're having another go at the stadium.


image.png.4580b7eac99d55c6c7f1a0b71b573b5b.png


Whilst the Portuguese league finally joined the "Big 5".


image.png.60c95d388bdfdceaac0e18d915cb580b.png


On a sad note, the club waves good bye to two legends.


image.png.cd2b3c29a1919d9ce0a7a48cb154c412.png


image.png.afbeecc271bdda17bca786973e3863b3.png


Both to Manchester City who are starting to look like a Benfica retirement home :lol: It's pretty much only them and Manchester United, and occasionally Chelsea, that can afford any of my players.

There we go. With that you're up to speed on the save. Next season is going to look very different. Excited to bring through a 3rd generation. Have a few ideas in my head and a bit more free time over the next couple of weeks to make updates more tactically focused :hammer:

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1 hour ago, gokalpcakir1 said:

I'm trying to play fm21 on the same lineup, but I'm skeptical about the instructions. Any suggestions for fm21?


More recent FMs have lost some of the functionality that we had through Team Shape up until FM2018 which makes life more difficult.

My advice would be to grab a note pad and pen and roughly map out what you want the individual mentalities to look like across the team. For example, if you're trying to re-create the system above you might go for something like:
 

                   Positive
Attacking          Attacking          Attacking
         Attacking           Attacking
                   Positive
    Positive       Positive       Positive
                   Positive


Or even up that to Attacking and Very Attacking depending on how you judge the number scale.

Once you've decided on that, use the Tactics Creator to try to create that. You most likely won't be able to get exactly what you want but you can try to get as close as possible.

People had a go in the Total Football thread I made last year. I am not sure if anyone ever actually managed to get there but it's a good starting point.

Unfortunately the FM Tactics Creator works back to front in that player's individual mentalities are derived from their Team Mentality and Duty rather than simply allowing managers to set the individual mentalities of their players.

Good luck :thup:

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35 minutes ago, craigcwwe said:

Love this thread so it's great to see new updates even at this stage. Keep them coming! :thup:

 


Thank you for the kind words :thup: Glad to hear people still enjoy as the updates are a little harder to write retrospectively and keep the tactical ideas fresh.

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26 minutes ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


More recent FMs have lost some of the functionality that we had through Team Shape up until FM2018 which makes life more difficult.

My advice would be to grab a note pad and pen and roughly map out what you want the individual mentalities to look like across the team. For example, if you're trying to re-create the system above you might go for something like:
 


                   Positive
Attacking          Attacking          Attacking
         Attacking           Attacking
                   Positive
    Positive       Positive       Positive
                   Positive


Or even up that to Attacking and Very Attacking depending on how you judge the number scale.

Once you've decided on that, use the Tactics Creator to try to create that. You most likely won't be able to get exactly what you want but you can try to get as close as possible.

People had a go in the Total Football thread I made last year. I am not sure if anyone ever actually managed to get there but it's a good starting point.

Unfortunately the FM Tactics Creator works back to front in that player's individual mentalities are derived from their Team Mentality and Duty rather than simply allowing managers to set the individual mentalities of their players.

Good luck :thup:

Any chance of you giving the more recent game (fm21) a chance and developing some tactics there?

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Any chance of you giving the more recent game (fm21) a chance and developing some tactics there?


Eventually I am sure I will be forced into it by my database getting further and further out of date. At the moment I am stuck in a trade-off of old database but better tactics creator vs current database with a very poor tactics creator. I've tried a couple of times with demos and even actually purchased last year's game but never managed to find a system I was remotely happy with. Hopefully it's addressed eventually in a future version. The main reason I am playing is an interest in the tactical side of the game and recent versions just don't cut it.

It's already getting difficult to find new saves. Hence the longevity of this save!

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!
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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Eventually I am sure I will be forced into it by my database getting further and further out of date. At the moment I am stuck in a trade-off of old database but better tactics creator vs current database with a very poor tactics creator. I've tried a couple of times with demos and even actually purchased last year's game but never managed to find a system I was remotely happy with. Hopefully it's addressed eventually in a future version. The main reason I am playing is an interest in the tactical side of the game and recent versions just don't cut it.

It's already getting difficult to find new saves. Hence the longevity of this save!

You really think FM21 has the worst tactics creator? I would like to disagree. I think it's the best in the series. Why do you think it's so bad?

I find it hard to go back to FM18. Just find it's too easy and primitive. Sure, it's fine when, like your Benfica save, you focus on youth development and growing club finances. But tactically it is much too easy to cheese the system and develop a super tactic that wins season after season. I prefer the challenge that FM21 brings where you have to consistently adapt your tactics to break down stubborn sides. But that's just me.

Edited by crusadertsar
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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!the tactical ideas/principles in this thread have been great to read about and learn from. The fact that you are in the process of bringing a 3rd generation of young players through is also a massive achievement. What's your process for recruiting and developing so many talented young players?

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Posted (edited)

Wait? Newcastle Utd got to CL semi final?! :eek: and impressive 28 goals in over 2 legs against Man Utd and Newcastle. :cool: 

Edited by john1
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16 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

You really think FM21 has the worst tactics creator? I would like to disagree. I think it's the best in the series. Why do you think it's so bad?

I find it hard to go back to FM18. Just find it's too easy and primitive. Sure, it's fine when, like your Benfica save, you focus on youth development and growing club finances. But tactically it is much too easy to cheese the system and develop a super tactic that wins season after season. I prefer the challenge that FM21 brings where you have to consistently adapt your tactics to break down stubborn sides. But that's just me.


Yes, of course everybody has their own opinion.

For me, the biggest issue is the lack of functionality since removing Team Shape. Unfortunately users can no longer create simple, perfectly logical systems due to not having the functionality (see Total Football thread). Almost every time I try to create anything in the recent tactics creator I end up with varying degrees of compromise for no logical reason.

Right now I am interested in a lot of the ideas coming out of Germany where you have lots of sides playing well-organised, collective systems. In FM2018 I can set a structured team shape to give me that well-organised system and then lots of Support duties to get the team playing as a collective. If I do the same in a new FM then I can only use the Support duties, then I am labelled Fluid and I understand that is only a label but it's just not what I want.

Actually at this point, I would not want to go back. I would like to see the removal of Team Mentality and Duties. Instead I suggest you choose your formation, roles and then select your individual mentalities. Team mentality would simply be a description, based on the combination of individual mentalities you have selected, perhaps with a preset of suggested TIs which are customisable. To me, doing this the other way around puts the cart before the horse. Building tactics from the bottom up would be far more realistic and give you infinitely more possibilities.

:kriss:
 

16 hours ago, camoulton21 said:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!the tactical ideas/principles in this thread have been great to read about and learn from. The fact that you are in the process of bringing a 3rd generation of young players through is also a massive achievement. What's your process for recruiting and developing so many talented young players?


Good question. It's quite a long answer but you should hopefully find everything you need in the earlier content of the thread :D

Long story short, I'm typically focusing on:

  1. Finding the best raw talent available
    • Through my own academy
    • Through feeder clubs
    • Through extensive scouting
  2. Creating conditions for them to develop
    • Maintaining club facilities
    • Hiring high quality coaching staff
    • Having tutors available early
    • Ensuring they have enough game time at the correct level
    • Monitoring progress every 3 months and adjusting accordingly

My approach has always been to produce intelligent, technically capable, well-rounded and versatile players who work hard and have a good personality.

You actually don't need the highest ability in the world. I've been surprised how much I can get out of a 3-star player. See earlier posts about Luis Pinheiro, Pedro Rodrigues, Goncalo Oliveira in this thread. They all came through with the original golden generation and peaked at 3-star potential but Luis Pinheiro is entering his 10th season at Atleti having made 300+ appearances, Pedro Rodrigues played 200 Premier League matches and captained Arsenal and Goncalo Oliveira generated £100m+ in transfer revenue over his career and scored 150+ goals for Milan, Real Madrid and Bayern. 

As a result, many of the guys who don't make it into our teams go on to have good careers elsewhere. As for the volume, you've got to be organised and create a production line. I typically hire 11-18 new young players every season. Say we call it 15 and say I've had 12 seasons to produce players (given more recent players are still in the academy), that's 180 so slightly over half are making it through to top flight leagues.


 

15 hours ago, john1 said:

Wait? Newcastle Utd got to CL semi final?! :eek: and impressive 28 goals in over 2 legs against Man Utd and Newcastle. :cool: 


Yes! :lol: Newcastle are a cool story in this save. Rafa Benitez got them relegated in 2019 but then Didier Deschamps took them back up and got them back into the top 6 within a few years. Looks like they must have had money from somewhere as they've spent upwards of £100m every year for a decade.

 

6 hours ago, gokalpcakir1 said:

are you using any pi


Nothing particularly fancy, just goalkeeper distribution and move into channels on the central midfielders/attacking players off the top of my head. Roaming on the AMC also :thup:

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Posted (edited)

Any PI’s on the 3-4-3 diamond?

Do you think it would work as well using a slightly less gung-ho ‘Attacking’  mentality?

Edited by FJW
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13 hours ago, FJW said:

Any PI’s on the 3-4-3 diamond?

Do you think it would work as well using a slightly less gung-ho ‘Attacking’  mentality?


Again, fairly minimal:

  • Goalkeeper distribution to centre backs
  • MCR/L and ST move into channels
  • AM roam from position

Think that's it, off the top of my head.

Yes, I actually think it would work best with a Control mentality. The weakness is clearly defence, so having the ball as much as possible mitigates that and the general formation should be able to control possession really well.

My biggest concern would be in the overall quality of the team, I would re-think if we weren't such a dominant side as the lack of wide defenders is a clear weak-spot.

Enjoy :thup:

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On 31/05/2021 at 09:12, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

You actually don't need the highest ability in the world. I've been surprised how much I can get out of a 3-star player. See earlier posts about Luis Pinheiro, Pedro Rodrigues, Goncalo Oliveira in this thread. They all came through with the original golden generation and peaked at 3-star potential but Luis Pinheiro is entering his 10th season at Atleti having made 300+ appearances, Pedro Rodrigues played 200 Premier League matches and captained Arsenal and Goncalo Oliveira generated £100m+ in transfer revenue over his career and scored 150+ goals for Milan, Real Madrid and Bayern. 

I 2nd this. In my most successful FM saves on FM19 with Lyon and Roma I've had 3-star players who, whilst not having the full career progression due to my saves not being as long as yours, have been incredible for me. For example in a squad where - to make the ratings clear - Dayot Upamecano is 4.5-star, Amad Traore is 3-star:

689147799_Screenshot2021-06-02at01_02_52.png.7a663b704b8b9d6650d14023c1b81f85.png

Yet playing in his favoured role - IF-At at AMR (in a tactic almost identical to the 4-3-3 used in the seasons following the spin-off of this thread) - he's scored 50 goals in 78 games, better than 1 in 2, despite being a backup option in a system where the strikers score the most goals. Of course despite the star rating, his attributes are spread in an ideal manner, with no waste.

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! I'm curious about your preferences with goalkeepers. Obviously Geronimo Rulli in FM18 is pretty much perfect, what with his Model Professional personality and well-rounded attribute spread for a Sweeper Keeper. But now you have a newgen, Fernández, whom I don't believe we've seen an image of. Is he in a similar mould? Would you prioritise a good passer of the ball over a higher Rushing Out attribute? 

I'm particularly curious as I play a very similar style to your Total Football 4-3-3 and currently have a newgen who looks like a reincarnation of David De Gea - 22 years old with 15+ in every attribute for GK-De but with only 7 Rushing Out. He can pass ok (9 Technique, 9 First Touch, 12 Passing, 11 Vision). Yet my current No. 1 Alban Lafont is near-perfect, also with 15+ for all GK attributes yet also 14 Rushing Out and Vision, so I worry that the difference in style could hinder us were De Gea-lite were my backup GK as opposed to the inferior, but closer stylistic fit or Rubén Blanco.

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12 hours ago, zlatanera said:

Ö-zil to the Arsenal! I'm curious about your preferences with goalkeepers. Obviously Geronimo Rulli in FM18 is pretty much perfect, what with his Model Professional personality and well-rounded attribute spread for a Sweeper Keeper. But now you have a newgen, Fernández, whom I don't believe we've seen an image of. Is he in a similar mould? Would you prioritise a good passer of the ball over a higher Rushing Out attribute? 


Good question - here is Jose Manuel Fernandez today.
 

image.thumb.png.5ae5fc4be6a40d30e72ffd7c59dcf981.png


He was actually picked up by one of our scouts very young and spent a few years playing cup matches and for Benfica B before eventually taking over from Rulli.


image.png.0d7182d6b768b4b0a74330a3065e19ac.png


I actually prioritised mental attributes - namely, anticipation, decisions and positioning. Plus vision was very nice to have.

Looking at his development - particularly vision, which is not covered in GK routines - I think the tactical team training served his development extremely well.


image.png.8ef532e1213605872620f8f7786067f2.png


As you can see, we had a base to work from but nothing was too high.

  • Anticipation 14
  • Decisions 10
  • Vision 12

The combination of being tutored by Rulli, Tactical team training and Sweeper Keeper goalkeeper training, appropriate game time and the Benfica coaches/facilities served him well.

Every now and again I'd use individual training to correct an imbalance but generally it was fairly straight forward to let him develop.

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Posted (edited)

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! He's possibly the best GK I've ever seen...pretty much perfect. Whichever scout allowed you to get him for £45k deserves the freedom of Lisbon. Makes me want to go back to FM18 and abuse that Tutoring system, I'm also stuck in the past on 19 but development is a lot less linear and I feel like newgens have weirder attribute spreads. Lots of diminutive wide attackers with 15 Heading and centre backs with 10 or lower in Aggression, Bravery, and Heading. 

Alban Lafont is the most valuable GK in the world in my save - summer 2025, so 7 seasons in - having won 5 consecutive Champions League, EURO 2020 and World Cup 2022 (as well as every other club trophy Roma have entered since 2020). Yet a direct comparison shows he can only beat Fernández on...Flair and Stamina.

2035274534_Screenshot2021-06-02at16_18_56.png.44152f1dedb2a9997d222e5768257aa9.png

Nobody could possibly argue with his media description of 'World-class goalkeeper' but your man looks like some sort of unholy combination of Lev Yashin, Amadeo Carrizo, and Johan Cruyff. 

Edited by zlatanera
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5 hours ago, zlatanera said:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! He's possibly the best GK I've ever seen...pretty much perfect. Whichever scout allowed you to get him for £45k deserves the freedom of Lisbon. Makes me want to go back to FM18 and abuse that Tutoring system, I'm also stuck in the past on 19 but development is a lot less linear and I feel like newgens have weirder attribute spreads. Lots of diminutive wide attackers with 15 Heading and centre backs with 10 or lower in Aggression, Bravery, and Heading. 

Alban Lafont is the most valuable GK in the world in my save - summer 2025, so 7 seasons in - having won 5 consecutive Champions League, EURO 2020 and World Cup 2022 (as well as every other club trophy Roma have entered since 2020). Yet a direct comparison shows he can only beat Fernández on...Flair and Stamina.

2035274534_Screenshot2021-06-02at16_18_56.png.44152f1dedb2a9997d222e5768257aa9.png

Nobody could possibly argue with his media description of 'World-class goalkeeper' but your man looks like some sort of unholy combination of Lev Yashin, Amadeo Carrizo, and Johan Cruyff. 

My word what is this marvelous skin?

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@steakfaced https://www.fmscout.com/c-fm19-skins.html?id=5390 I got turned onto it seeing @crusadertsar using it with the exact same team, Roma. 

Only issue is I was late to the game with the face packs, so now I'm constantly finding guys who're in kits for teams they wouldn't move to until FM20 came out!

It does remove a couple of little bits of functionality: I can't see my GK's Technique, Free Kick Taking, and Penalties attributes; I also can't delete training schedules (but obviously its quite easy to just switch skins). Also occasionally those bottom 4 panels all reset to showing your player's future plans and there's nothing you can do except hope that one day when you start FM it'll be working again (and it will).

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Posted (edited)
On 31/05/2021 at 09:12, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Good question. It's quite a long answer but you should hopefully find everything you need in the earlier content of the thread :D

Long story short, I'm typically focusing on:

  1. Finding the best raw talent available
    • Through my own academy
    • Through feeder clubs
    • Through extensive scouting
  2. Creating conditions for them to develop
    • Maintaining club facilities
    • Hiring high quality coaching staff
    • Having tutors available early
    • Ensuring they have enough game time at the correct level
    • Monitoring progress every 3 months and adjusting accordingly

My approach has always been to produce intelligent, technically capable, well-rounded and versatile players who work hard and have a good personality.

Thank you @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!, this gives me a great framework to work from. This thread has inspired my current save with Goteborg in Sweden. Goteborg's infrastructure and finance isn't as established as yours at Benfica but I'm doing the best I can with the resources available, as well as investing any money from player sales and European matches back into the club. I have never been so involved in every aspect of the game before and I'm enjoying FM in a completely new way. I'd like to thank you for this!

Edited by camoulton21
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