Jump to content

FM19: Ajax Amsterdam - Time to reap what has been sown


Chef Raekwon
 Share

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, zlatanera said:

Lincoln is an absolute beast, 30(18) apps in 18 months, 29 goals. Half of those appearances were at AML which he didn't even have a red dot for when I signed him, he tends to play with my B lineup rather than my A lineup, and we don't score that many goals, which makes the numbers even more impressive I think. Pretty much everyone in world football is after him but I got him on a 5+3 contract :) Considering forcing Dolberg out wide to play him more - he looks very much like how I imagine Ronaldo would have looked like at that age on FM, I'd like to see if I can get him hitting those early Suarez / Huntelaar numbers that helped contribute to the joke about anyone being able to score in Eredivisie.

Yeah first season you'll not attract anything special, and even now I can't get offers for De Jong over £40m. They usually calm down I wouldn't worry about it. I'm stuck trying to figure out what to do with 115 players on my books and my scouts giving 90+ recommendations to 5 different newgen strikers beyond the one I bought who very much looks like the next great Uruguayan forward, but De Ligt has now attracted upwards of £140m cash from PSG. I think if they bid more than they bid for Neymar I'd accept it just to have a defender as the most expensive player on the planet. 

Do u have to play games before CL group stage all the time or it changed after u won ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 560
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

 

On 19/02/2019 at 09:40, LukasZ_VCF said:

What's the biggest bids people have had without conditional add-ons? (i.e. cash + instalments, but not after international apps etc.)

Late June 2021 and De Ligt has been subject of a £104m bid from PSG.

412695635_DeLigt-bid.thumb.png.84a58997557e398877e214c1e93b0e82.png

Dolberg 100M.png

Mazraoui 90M.png

 

And to add to that, I think my top bid for De Jong was around 140-150M, but I don't have the screenshot. Also sold Schuurs for around 70-80M to PSG if memory serves me right.

 

EDIT: messed up the quote, message remains the same!

Edited by Chef Raekwon
Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, LukasZ_VCF said:

Do u have to play games before CL group stage all the time or it changed after u won ?

Winners get direct entry, but yeah that CL win bumped us up to 11th so the league winners get a group stage place.

1 hour ago, Chef Raekwon said:

 

412695635_DeLigt-bid.thumb.png.84a58997557e398877e214c1e93b0e82.png

Dolberg 100M.png

Mazraoui 90M.png

 

And to add to that, I think my top bid for De Jong was around 140-150M, but I don't have the screenshot. Also sold Schuurs for around 70-80M to PSG if memory serves me right.

 

EDIT: messed up the quote, message remains the same!

Ah yeah I remember you mentioning getting such an unreal offer for Mazroui you had to accept. My game crashed just after the end of the transfer deadline and I got sent back to June 30, which is demoralising when you have 114 players on your books, but on my 2nd go around I think I'm going to be more ruthless about who I keep. I think the top one I got for De Ligt was £149m, so should definitely be getting similar to yours by 2022. Weirdly got offered £45m for Victor Nelsson which I'm hoping to get again and accept. Your Schuurs and Mazroui are definitely better than mine - still stuck on 6 and 10 Determination respectively, which is I think what held them back, and I can't imagine the latter improving much beyond 23. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Gungner said:

How can you not accept that? :o 

I mean, I know it's De Ligt, but those money can buy someone just as good

I don’t make big signings when I’m Ajax, Daley Blind is still our record transfer (although the game still has it as Sulejmani). Nobody of his quality would accept £40k wages either. 

Oh, and he’s an academy player and if I make it 5 seasons I’ll probably start only signing players from my own academy, Ajax CT and Ajax Amateurs. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Gungner said:

But surely he'll become unhappy at some point, if big offers are being rejected all the time? No?

I don't no :) 

So far I've been able to calm him down by pointing out he's a Team Leader. I did start to worry when he came to me about a contract two times in the space of a week but was able to talk him out of that too. He's contracted to 2026 so when it gets to 2025 if I don't have a replacement lined up I'll break my £50k/week wage ceiling for him. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 23/02/2019 at 11:15, Gungner said:

But surely he'll become unhappy at some point, if big offers are being rejected all the time? No?

I don't no :) 

Unhappiness is often linked to player personality. De Ligt is a model citizen, which means it's relatively easy to keep him happy. I've been rejecting all De Ligt offers since season 1 and he's yet to be unhappy. Whenever he brings it up, I tell him the atmosphere in the dressing room is something he's going to miss and he always agrees with me!

 

This is not 100% fool proof. I remember Ziyech, Marin and probably others getting unhappy while being in the exact same situation as De Ligt. It's also different if a player is just a back-up player. In my last season, Blind, Tagliafico and others were unhappy because of lack of playing time combined with my rejecting offers (have to keep those players with good personalities!) which forced me to at least sell Tagliafico.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Decided to give Ajax another go in the latest update. Last time, I suffered because we were poor in attack. This time I aim to recreate van de Beek-Tadic partnership up front. I'm playing the default Vertical Tiki-Taka 4231 with the striker set as DLF/s and the attacking midfielder as a SS/a.

I really like Ajax team this season. It's a bit different after the update. Of course, De Jong will sadly leave at the end of the season, but still got de Ligt, who I think was boosted. Tadic, Mazraoui, and Tagliafico also got a decent boost. Gravenberch still looks like the brightest prospect outside of the first team and hopefully will help us forget De Jong.

Hennie Henrichs still looking to leave the club, I thought it was a mistake in the original database?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently started as Ajax too. A club I am always drawn to for their history but, on this occasion, because I specifically aimed to go old-school with a modern take on Herbert Chapman's 'WM' formation. I won't duplicate my tactics here now, but an idea of what I am doing was posted on Cleon's create a tactic thread yesterday if anyone is interested.

As always with Ajax, I started with a sweep of the coaching set-up to remove some of the less desirable personalities and bring in 'Ajax men', such as Dennis Bergkamp. Beaten to the services of Bernhard Peters, my go-to man Kristjaan Speakman was employed as the HOYD. With the coaching corps up and running, I turned to the squad. I don't have any specific remits with this save - I am not aiming for a homegrown-only or Dutch-only game, but I do like to keep to a certain set of philosophies; that is, to follow the Ajax tradition and promote as many able academy-developed talents as feasible, prioritise young(er) level signings in the main, and also take from Ajax's traditional markets, such as Scandinavia and Belgium. And also play in the spirit of Ajax - i.e. keeping players where possible but not 'gaming the game' to keep world level players forever, when they have outgrown the club.

I always split Jong Ajax and the U19s personnel into four groups; Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier X:

  • Tier 1 - players with the ability to easily transition to first team level and who I will prioritise the development of.
  • Tier 2 - players with the ability to transition and who will be developed if the opportunity arises.
  • Tier 3 - players I am unsure of, but who could be viable to develop to squad level.
  • Tier X - those with no chance of reaching the standard required and who are retained only until a better intake or signings replace them, or who act as positional cover in the youth teams.

Minusing any player already in the first team squad, this year I am going with these as the main prospects:

Tier 1

  • Ryan Gravenberch
  • Liam Van Gelderen
  • Perr Schuurs

Tier 2

  • Issam El Maach
  • Jurrien Timber
  • Venitchio Sint
  • Brian Brobbey

Tier 3

  • Nordin Musampa
  • Nicolas Kuhn
  • Kenneth Taylor
  • Lassina Traore
  • Quinten Timber

Playing the 'WM' requires a certain set of players with certain skill sets. Gravenberch is clearly the marquee player in the academy and no more needs said, but I really like the prospect of Van Gelderen as one of the HBs. In Tier 2, El Maach was an instant promote to Onana's understudy and Sint has the ingredients to succeed. J.Timber may be the surprise name, but I see a lot of potential in his all-round game. The Tier 3's could be hit or miss - none are ideal for what I want and may need a good deal of coaching. The surprise could again be the second twin, Q.Timber. Despite being the lowest rated player in the U19 squad, I see potential - if I can work on that determination stat.

However, there is one player I haven't mentioned, my favourite prospect in the academy. Enter Jurgen Ekkelenkamp:

Ekkelenkamp.thumb.png.aac35b737202a0411ea1938d70286b7b.png

Not the most glamorous player, but there is no better fit for a specific role in the 'WM' than Ekkelenkamp: MEZ(a). High rating for finishing, potentially exceptional in the air and able to match up against centrebacks. Work a little on his movement, bulk him up in a few atts and attempt to develop one or two certain traits, this could be a very potent player. And he has a rocket shot too.

With the youths appraised, I then made my moves. I settled for bringing Van Der Wiel into the first team on a free as the sole experienced signing. Ex-Ajax youth product, easily capable of spelling for Kristensen at wingback and covering the left if needed. One issue I did see with the squad is the preponderance of left-footed players in key attacking areas. Not ideal for what I want to achieve, so I made two moves to bring in two-footed versatile youths as squad options and for development: Antonio Marin (£2.2m) and Magnus Kaastrup (£1.5m). I then added in Mattia Viviani (£1m). I don't usually return for players in past saves, but I only reached two seasons at Brescia before the lure of the 'WM' took over, and this guy will be my halfback extraordinaire of the future. And quite possibly the De Jong replacement when he leaves for Barca. Last up, Herman Geelmuyden for £30k finished my shopping - something a little more dynamic than Brobbey as an alternative forward to develop.

I'm not interested in signing lots of players, so the £9m remaining can sit in the bank for now. I have a number of options for potential first-team level players, but the only one that has really caught my attention is Mykola Matvienko. He is ideal for what I want from a 'WM' wingback, albeit I really like Tagliafico in that role.

Currently 12 games into the Eredivisie season and a couple of points clear at the top, and have picked up 9pts in 4 games in a god-awful Champions League group with PSG, Dortmund and Inter. I'll post a proper update at the end of the season with a review of how things are progressing.

Edited by AndySummers
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think from now on I will be trying to put absurdly high release clauses into all contracts.

Liverpool not only had the nerve to ruin the champions league for me by scoring a dodgy penalty in a 1-0 defeat but also would like to lowball offer £15m for my star player!

The player conversation made me laugh, it's been about a week since but apparently, he's already forgotten we had a fairly comfortable run through to the final.

 

Screenshot-2019-03-07-at-18-25-48.png

Screenshot-2019-03-07-at-18-29-44.png

 

He agreed and said he'd stay for one more season!

 

edit: sorry for huge pictures

 

Edited by Jpr
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jpr how do you use Almendra in your tactics? He was one of the highest recommendations by my scouts for 2 seasons of my last Ajax save, but his low Flair made me think twice about it - I need my wide players to be able to beat a man, and whilst a low Flair CM playmaker can be moulded to imitate Xavi, given how defensive sides can go in Eredivisie it seemed like a waste.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@zlatanera  

Almendra is a top player in my side, he seems to play equally well as the DLP-s at CM, B2B and even occasionally as a RM Winger.

He has low flair, but he still seems to be capable of beating a man which is probably due to his absurd physical stats. He averaged 7.35 domestically and 7.31 for the champions league campaign, which is surprising, we batter teams in the league so I thought he'd show higher. He doesn't contribute many goals/assists, but as he generally plays the DLP role that's not a huge concern. 

I am tempted to alter my midfield role pairing to allow him to play as his preferred Mezzala role but with 9 finishing and 10 long shots I'm not sure it's worth it.

 

@Aizo4576

Good luck with the save! Top tip would be to tie down your best players on new, long contracts with 100m+ release clauses (De Ligt, De Jong, Van De Beek & Dolberg) are the main ones.

First season is a strange one while you figure out who you're going to keep and sign players to fit your formation, 4-2-3-1 has worked well for me so far though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Jpr said:

@zlatanera @Aizo4576

 

Good luck with the save! Top tip would be to tie down your best players on new, long contracts with 100m+ release clauses (De Ligt, De Jong, Van De Beek & Dolberg) are the main ones.

First season is a strange one while you figure out who you're going to keep and sign players to fit your formation, 4-2-3-1 has worked well for me so far though.

Thank you! I'll be playing on the latest update so I'll only have Frenkie for a year sadly.

 

Going to go for a 4231 or 4141, not quite decided yet. I'll likely change it up depending on who I'm facing, too

Link to post
Share on other sites

I fancy doing an Ajax save soon, I know De Jong is set to go to Barcelona for 75m in the summer. I wonder is that reflected in the transfer budget when he goes or is it already factored into the game with the update? Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Carlf788 said:

That's disappointing. Losing there best player for 75m yet see none of it :/

Well, I can't say for sure, but I do remember in the pre-update, getting Paqueta for Milan in January didn't influence how much you'd get in transferbudget the following season, since he was already paid for. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Ajax: The ‘WM’, a nod to the elders. Part 1.

So, after a couple of weeks I have finally reached the end of season 2018-19. This is not solely a season or club review, but rather an indication of how I have implemented Herbert Chapman’s ‘WM’ into the modern-day and touching on some of the quirks of the system – positive and negative - and a little bit of club development. It, therefore, is an extension of previous posts on @Cleon's 'create a tactic' series, and also a reflection of some of the collective ideas expressed there. As this will be a long post and I'll hit the image upload limits I'll break it down into a mini series. If it can give even one manager an idea for their own save, or is just an informative read, it will have done it's job.

WM.thumb.png.8889dd92753b49b5bdf31f9be4b74a90.png

Eredivisie

To start with the domestic campaign though, the aim was to develop a potent balanced tactic. I touched on how I saw my set-up working in the previous post(s). Moving away from two IWB(s) and instead using two tucked-in WB(s) for additional penetration in the final third. The lone defender augmented by two halfbacks who, in time, I aimed to develop into proto-playmakers. IF(s) were soon replaced by W(a) to add an explosive element in behind adventurous opponents, although in practice these roles toggled between (s) and (a) duty across the campaign. The MEZ(a) was viewed as a major source of goals here, supporting the lone frontman.

Although the midfield quad and some of the Tis shown (in base set-up) would lead you to suspect that possession was a key focus of the tactic, that is not the case. Yes, I wanted to move the ball carefully and 'working the ball into the box' to ensure we weren’t counterattacked easily, but again in practice the approach was flexible – I quite often toggled this to a 'pass into space' mentality. Situation, situation, situation.

At the basic level, the ‘WM’ performed admirably. A league win is not surprising of course, but a headline stat is the goals conceded column. Until late I had hoped to keep this in the single digits. The single-back set-up proved very stable throughout the campaign. In fact, we conceded more than one goal in only two Eredivisie games all season – one of which was a late collapse when down to 10-men.

Eredivisie.thumb.png.4da8d47c06878ad37c6884ddec2cfb68.png

Drilling down into the stats, you begin to see some of the reasons for the solidity.

Fouls made:

638658813_Foulsmade.thumb.png.f020759dc11b11cc7cb2b8a5f9e58b66.png

The success of the 'WM' is in the control of space in a controlled manner and not overcommitting or allowing easy space by launching into tackles. This controlled aggression led to:

1405517990_Pensconceded.thumb.png.d4bda6667d27e598c6316e100d1cf66d.png

Only one penalty conceded all season, and that was a shove in the box. A key focus is ensuring areas are covered, time on the ball is limited and that wherever possible the decision-making capabilities of the defensive players are not called into question. Contrast that stat with the threat the intricate play caused opponents.

1770421074_Penstaken.thumb.png.274b7018c190b1a3236593e222ea6043.png

I was also hoping to be able to get some stats for offsides too; the ‘WM’ often gives a team shape similar to what you see here, where the centreback is acting as a sweeper behind a bank of four, offering both a natural sweeper system and a very effective offside trap.

1246155998_Offsidetrap.thumb.png.36079b1b78dd57b15a2823cdffadead1.png

 

The Hidden Dangers

The widths of the pitch. I touched on this in the previous posts as an obvious potential problem area. It’s why I feel the wingbacks are the pivotal players in this set-up. In the NFL you will often hear commentators talk of ‘shutdown corners’ – cornerbacks that can match up against the most explosive wide receivers and take them out of the game and cornerbacks ‘being on an island’ (i.e. able to be left in man v man coverage without support). The principle is the same here. The wingbacks have to be able to shut down the best opponents and do it quickly and aggressively enough that the opposing winger doesn’t have the time to play a quick crossfield pass – another potential danger of the ‘WM’ structure. However, the ‘hidden’ aspect comes from a particular problem I had to set about solving: opponents who double-down and combine both a winger with a very attack focused wingback.

I came across this early in the season against PSV. Check this out: fifteen seconds into the game and the raiding fullback has already raced clean through the space between the Ajax WB and the left-sided HB. The ballplayer is being pressed and can’t get the ball to the winger in order to make a quick pass. However, fast-forward another twenty-five seconds and the ballplayer (Hendrix) is in position to make a pass before the press can close him down. The winger is being marked by the Ajax wingback, but the PSV fullback is in an ocean of space. He received the pass, raced away and we nearly conceded instantly. This was only one of several instances I could show in the early part of this fixture.

 

PSV.thumb.png.ff80ae98022e93567e746163e22bba73.png    1958142388_PSV2.thumb.png.122de859e583398445194118d382cbc2.png

Here you have two choices: risk v reward. Do you adjust or do you accept the danger and turn it to your advantage? Here I adjusted, dropped the entire engagement lines backwards, pulled off the ‘prevent GK distribution’ TI, but kept my aggressive press and took my chances that defensive structure and quality would be enough to dull the wide threat. End result: a 0-0 shutdown.

Soon after, I have the same issue v NAC Breda. Again, the wide 4231, but a lower-quality opposition. This time I accepted the risk, allowed the overloads to develop, trusting in the recovery potential to be able to recycle possession and for my own aggressive wingers to be able to exploit the spaces left by the opposing fullback. There are likely better screenshots available, but I’m working retrospectively from notes: this will give you the picture. The Breda winger and fullback on a dangerous overload and the Ajax winger set aggressively and not overly tasked to track back, but where a turnover would set up a prime counterattacking opportunity. 

1983564356_NACBreda.thumb.png.190f28cee0fc9b1c5a42239236e9f165.png    1220662679_StartofBredacounter.thumb.png.f2a7e96a36eef18b0b6559054a89638b.png

The approach is risky but there are times where you have to turn a weakness into a strength. Did it work? Yes, insofar as a 0-1 win, but we actually couldn’t make the most of opportunities with some poor play on the counter in this game. However, in the second image you see an example of a counter in action: Breda have been robbed of possession on the right, one ball into Ziyech sees two players running clear with four in support; almost a 2v6 overload developing towards the right flank. This formation is very adept at generating a lot of bodies streaming forwards on the counter and this is one of a multitude of images that could be shown here.

Sometimes, though, there are times where anything you try seems fruitless. This is the CL knockout against Barca. After a frantic 4-3 win at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, I dialled it back for the away game. Moved away from the high line, toned down the press, played it safe. I couldn’t get it going against a perfect storm of Suarez’s settings seeing him move wide and drag the centreback out of position, Messi’s legion PIs that sees him drop deep, and then Sergi Roberto at wingback playing like he is Carlos Alberto reincarnated. Here is a sample of it all going wrong:

Barca.thumb.png.d01a22e7dbee641144f892fbe9b6268f.png    1668159846_Barca2.thumb.png.749622f7af7fd911e7a746e0919e5e00.png    1032924235_Barca3.thumb.png.cd21a308ca8c3b94b991e7a03bb7d51f.png

In the first image, my wingback is facing up Messi but not attached as Rakitic plays in the short pass, and the W(a) is sleeping as Roberto marauds in behind. It has danger written all over it. Messi receives, plays in Roberto. By then, the winger has woken up but it’s far too late. Roberto steams to the box and faces the ball across for a tap in. I tried everything in this game, perhaps too much, but that marauding fullback killed me dead. In games like this, you can learn as much in 90 minutes as you can in endless easier fixtures.

That moves me neatly to the next point. I mentioned the wingbacks as being the key players. But you need the right personnel. That should be true in any system of course, but I feel more so here, in a very specialised structure. I give you here two players for comparison. And I chose them because they are directly comparable: same position in the squad, similar no. of games, no set piece duties to boost ratings or stats, and atts not vastly different.

Kristensen.thumb.png.d508bc7a98f828df2a238ee305858e97.png    321494432_VanDerWeil.thumb.png.db64a9cec08fed45f04c8cb145a67f34.png

734504910_KristensenvVanDerWeil.thumb.png.176d01feb0276862e4be86893e37c639.png

In the base stats, that is a heck of a difference in Kristensen’s favour in terms of productivity. And where you see two of Kristensen’s PPMs come into play (gets forward whenever possible, knock ball past opponent) in addition to his raw strength, aggression and work rate. Van Der Weil gets into opposition area, but that was rarely seen. I'll talk more of PPMs later. Drilling into their stats sheets, the difference is even more marked. That sees Kristensen attempting nearly double the amount of crosses, approx. treble the shots, an extra 50% dribbles per game and with a vastly superior win percentage (77% v 55%) – that one is an interesting stat as Kristensen largely played more difficult games across the season. Each stat is small in isolation, but the whole demonstrates a far more effective player. Where having the right player gives you the edge (equally it shows one potential weakness where his dives into tackles PPM sees him commit a higher percentage of fouls per 90mins).

802253126_Kristensenstats.thumb.png.68599a2e828ebfd2bb28416441d4ef77.png    1155898759_VanDerWeilstats.thumb.png.cfd638e3cd97d852b101cc732e0ddfae.png

Kristensen actually led the league in rating:

195082051_Averagerating.png.9f363857cac2bd05d71b4ca975051779.png

 

The ‘Wingdeuter’

Having the right player also opens up possibilities. One of my favourite ‘option’ tactics is to set a WB(a) role. I use this sparingly to preserve the defensive integrity of the ‘WM’, but in the right circumstances it adds a dimension and stratification to the attack. In combination with the switching of the point of attacks and overloading the centre with an IF(s) you can quite easily generate situations where the WB(a) is aggressively exploring a lot of space on the edge of the opponent’s box – acting almost as a wingback version of the raumdeuter.

Again, there are better images available if I had more time to search, but this is a sample:

1313262569_Kristensenwingdeuter3.thumb.png.3666606a54b430e1e04e4a90b18cb5ec.png

I captured the shot just before Kristensen attacked from the diagonal. With play developing on the opposite flank and opponents drawn to an IF(s) on this occasion, the space for an aggressive WB(a) can be significant.

To be continued...

Edited by AndySummers
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ajax: The ‘WM’, a nod to the elders. Part 2.

Combo Play

408672383_Allmidfieldcombos.png.b21fa85bcd37e228ff17fbab0f1db6eb.png

When it clicks, it can be glorious. Here you see a back to front move involving the ‘wingdeuter’. Image 1: Onana in a normal distribution phase, spreads it wide to Kristensen (off camera). Image 2: Kristensen is about to triangulate with the supporting RPM(s) and the W(s). Image 3: further into the move, the triangle has led to the first W(s) Kaastrup drifting inside into space. At this point I was cursing that he couldn’t see the pass to the other W(s) – perhaps his low decision-making counting against him. Instead he dumped it back to the advancing half back who, in turn, is about to swing it back into the path of Kristensen (image 4) who is again about to make the trademark diagonal run. In possession (image 5), Kristensen is now attacking the box. Well-marked, seemingly little danger? However, he takes the available pass into the W(s) Kaastrup, sidesteps the defender to the rleft, receives the one-two from Kaastrup and rifles it left-footed into the corner of the net.

393964809_Goal1.thumb.jpg.6f8a88ad43a1bce9e747498773325498.jpg    1903198049_Goal2.thumb.jpg.fe2700113590436359d8590c799401b7.jpg    151741880_Goal3.thumb.jpg.a70f59621ac4c9e4910930c452e302b6.jpg

2076302525_Goal4.thumb.jpg.ba13b7474ad375f3bd317013aa4eb425.jpg    1167463074_Goal5.thumb.jpg.4fb27860c2341af9bfe59ae8ab9846fa.jpg    2018451786_Goal6.thumb.jpg.f733ee7db53c5615222d1824c4bc1bf9.jpg

 

Ajax 2.0

I mentioned previously the talents in the Ajax academy that I split into tiers. So how did they fare across the season? Between them, they made 90 appearances all told. The ‘under the radar’ gem Ekkelenkamp was given the most game-time and he did reasonably, although currently lacks some aspects that I’d want (those PPMs I’ll talk about soon)

Ekkelenkamp – 18 + 16 apps

Gravenberch  - 8 + 13 apps

Van Gelderen – 6 + 4 apps

Schuurs – 22 + 3 apps

Ekkelenkamp.thumb.png.4c1c02f8b6136316164a09a9a9885f90.png    Gravenberch.thumb.png.db8799b76694d0536e0eda7b9bcca811.png    1780377834_VanGelderen.thumb.png.d46be91a2982e718fa74935153eb35aa.png

In tier 2, El Maach played backup to Onana but is developing slowly and looks like being usurped by other talents. J.Timber, Sint and Brobbey all made nominal appearances – but featured. As expected, tier 3 were mostly developmental. Musampa is developing acceptably, but Q.Timber, Kuhn, Taylor and Traore may all fall by the wayside. But the tiering did demonstrate not to write off players too early. Eros Maddy wasn’t even on my radar, but has developed quicker than Sint and could now easily be a tier 2 talent – needs work but has potential.

Maddy.thumb.png.1eca0222d0a4be00488cf40144f9955c.png

That brings me on to the PPMs. I like to develop these sparingly, it is easy to overdo it. And I didn’t touch them for the first half of the season until I had a full idea of what I wanted. Then the training began in earnest. There were four areas in particular I wanted to focus on:

HB.png.561aee3b8b96338037c12a1bef52237e.png

Desired: likes to switch ball to other flank

Option: dictates tempo, stays on feet

Undesired: dives into tackles

I mentioned earlier about slowly transforming the halfbacks into proto-playmakers. That’s something I really wanted to explore; a halfback that retains its defensive nous but can act in the transition game. Likes to switch ball to other flank is my key PPM here; we’ve already seen how space can be exploited crossfield, and this trait helps get the play from side to side before the opponent can shift position. Dictates tempo is an option, although I am cautious to see how it may pull the halfback out of a natural position and I have trained a lesser player in this as a test. I also want the halfbacks on their feet, winning possession through position and not coughing up chances through careless play. I loathe the dives into tackles PPM; it brings disorder where there should be order.

1722361861_Viviani-switchballtoflanks.thumb.png.c95acdc5cd0458de0f72baf73c84e346.png    4527085_Eiting-dictatestempo.thumb.png.0447d5807abefdb3f2e8438b21e446d1.png

RPM.png.e10bba39f127df4e1b8f127cd9f39d3d.png

Desired: tries long range passes

Option: runs with ball through centre

Undesired: slows play down, comes deep

The RPM I want to bring a dynamic element to the offensive play. I don’t want him slowing play down, certainly not coming deep and sitting in the halfback space, and quite possibly not even dictating tempo. He should be a dynamic quarterback figure that can either exploit the space the two wingers move into or can break the lines and draw opponents.

773839374_Gravenberch-longpasses.thumb.png.c97cbc60bdce15ff724cf4b16d159665.png

MEZ.png.7c5c3b42f0bfea34530fab5a237d2ce3.png

Desired: gets forward whenever possible, get further forward

Option: tries first time shots

Undesired: arrives late in box, shoots from distance

The MEZ, an easy one. Either of the traits that will see him get further forward are desired – and this is where Ekkelenkamp lacks currently. Given the space he gets into, an option for a quick shot against an unset keeper is also appealing. But I don’t necessarily want him arriving late in the box and the combination game isn’t helped by players taking potshots from range (another trait I loathe).

287173909_Ekkelenkampfirsttimeshots.thumb.png.06d953ecd2ccd77a4b61bc9feafd1076.png

CF.png.ca726fd1a8280bded4186d8e47f16289.png

Desired: tries killer balls

Option: n/a

Undesired: comes deep

The CF is another simple one for me. With two often aggressive wingers and the CF on support, there is a real opportunity to use this advanced player as a creative force. Tries killer balls fits the technical quality of a Dolberg. But I don’t want this player deep, inhibiting the space ahead of the central midfield. If I want the player to drop deep, I want to be able to control that by roles and duties.

1933742192_Dolberg-killerballs.thumb.png.837799547ae6fbc1d1b3bad848a8c971.png    209991924_Geelmuyden-killerballs.thumb.png.4d4497eb27524632df342999b37b187a.png

There are a number of other potential options for PPMs, but these are some of the key ones that I want to develop the academy players around. The work continues.

 

Ajax 3.0

The academy is the pivotal feature of an Ajax save and I looked forward to intake day, but oh woe:

178491981_Ajax3.0-YouthIntake.thumb.png.199e311b49b87111b406fac772c78f1a.png

That is one of the worst intakes I have ever had, and a surprising one. In fact, it was so bad:

1847200995_Overmarsrecommends.thumb.png.b1dc7da8947b94ea7b198a6a8d298718.png

I think that's the first occasion in 20+ years where the DoF hasn't recommended signing everyone. There was one solid talent, although ironically even he wasn't Dutch (well, half-Dutch), and one other possible. Ljuma is a 'tier 2' talent in my eyes, but has a good PPM for a potential MEZ role. Schilder is tier 3 at best. All in all, hard to get excited by this year's crop and my scouts will be on double-duty locating a few more bodies for the U19s (I have a rule here, no signing top players or cherry-picking youth from the top Dutch clubs, to keep the league structure more competitive).

Ljuma.thumb.png.d76436aea2a01014f90230eac2dce751.png    Schilder.thumb.png.e1188cfbb9b615d4e380ceb038835fde.png

 

Ajax 4.0

Ajax 4.0 is the future squad. That is, how can I improve it and where do I need to improve? I have built an extensive shortlist but the need for quite specialist players – the right players – limits targets.

What I want to do first is to strip the squad back. Ajax have a large squad and some of the chaff needs to be removed for the young wheat to prosper, particularly those that don’t fit the system. I am aiming to move on: Magallan, Van Der Weil, Mazraoui, Sinkgraven, Bande and possibly Cerny and Huntelaar.

Targets:

WB(s) – Kenny Tete, Kevin Mbabu

HB(d) - Kristoffer Ajer

RPM(s) – Xaver Schlager (potential PPM issue)

CF(s) – Artem Besedin, Hwang Hee-Chan

There are a few others, but these most closely fit what I need from a ‘WM’-ready player. The hole left by De Jong will need to be filled and I have been toying between bringing in a quality replacement or going with a stopgap ageing Schone as Gravenberch develops. Ajax-old-boy Tete’s aggression fits the remit for a fullback as I really want to shift the negative personality of Van Der Weil. Recruitment is also going to be driven heavily by…

 

Developing the ‘WM’

Next, I want to develop the structure further; that is, bring in some ‘WM’ option tactics to use in certain circumstances. I haven’t fully formulated this yet –  for a future post maybe – but one example is a strikerless structure where the CF(s) is dropped back into the attacking midfield strata as a SS(a), the wingers operate on support only, and I look to overload the centre with the support network behind the SS(s). I have a few options that I am mulling over and the options really are endless.

Pre-season testing will give me a better idea where I want to go with this. So that is where I'll leave it for now.

 

Edited by AndySummers
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Finally, after a Europe debacle I picked up the save again and continued to conquer Europa next season. 

You have groups of death and this one.. :lol:

1655082300_Screenshot2019-03-28at22_32_29.thumb.png.2b577b703206af81641e05b2dc755466.png

 

Eredivisie / KNVB Beker

There is no challenge here. The tactic that clearly didn't work in Europe (15 goals against...) worked wonders in Holland. The league is basically over if we just do our thing. The Cup could become interesting as PSV and Feyenoord matched against each other and we got AZ (h). After that the only challenge will be PSV/Feyenoord.

 I will be planning for next year already as I don't see any problems in the league or cup. 

1715698480_Screenshot2019-03-28at22_30_41.thumb.png.27ab3b50e69afebd86397a7d406a335e.png

 

Tactic

The current tactic is based on the fact that our team really has one good inside forward (David Neres) and no real wingers. That is why I changed to a diamond midfield. (luckily for me Ziyech is still injured, going to be though getting him and Tadic in the midfield..) 

2087009757_Screenshot2019-03-28at22_37_21.thumb.png.affce7f255f56cde175b0829560516fa.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally picked up the game against to finish my 2023-2024 season. We won the famous quintuple (CL, Euro Super Cup, Dutch Super Cup, Dutch Cup and Eredivisie). This was probably the hardest CL victory of the four we've racked up so far, having to overcome defeats in both the quarter final (2-1 loss away at Man United) and semifinal (2-0 loss at Chelsea). 

I currently also have eight players from my own academy claiming regular starting places. 

  • Gravenberch: Started 28 games in all competitions this season but performs less than both Xadas (in central midfield) and Almada (on the left wing) so he's not indispensable. 
  • van den Steenhoven: Naturally a left back but two footed so my first choice on the right back at the moment. Performed really well on loan at Heerenveen last season so decided to give him a chance, didn't disappoint. Trying to keep him happy as he didn't like me rejecting a PSG bid for him. 
  • Jansen: Came through the academy last season but I immediately promoted him to the first team where he made 25 starts this year and lived up to the hype. Just turned 17 so plenty of margin for improvement and I'm hoping to build my defense around him for years to come.
  • Saidi: Left back who's competing with a Romanian import product for a first team spot. Also one of the reasons why I moved van den Steenhoven to right back (apart from me not finding any quality players for that position). Similar progression to van den Steenhoven, performing really well on loan in the previous season. Played him in most of the Eredivisie games as a starter, only 19 as well.
  • Bakker: Posted him here before, he's been stalling a bit in the last year and I have a Brazilian DM coming up with a better personality who might take his place permanently in a year or two. I also couldn't change his personality which is light-hearted while Toto (the Brazilian) is resolute. 
  • Sanchez: Started the season as a substitute for Chong but still managed to grab 23 starts in all competitions (including two cameo performances as right back out of necessity). Will probably move up to a first team spot next year since Chong is unhappy and might be offloaded for a big bucket of cash.
  • Schuurs: Been a starter for the past three seasons but this year his place is on the line with Jansen coming up. My third central defender, Ximenes, is also pure quality so it'll get harder to fit him in somewhere. 
  • Jongmans: The latest academy gem, coming through this season. Got two assists in his first two games for the senior team and will probably be the rotation option for Reis next year. 

 

Honourable mentions for Xadas, who scored a ridiculous 26 goals in 47 apperances as a midfielder and had 18 assists as well, and Monnier, who become top goalscorer in both the CL and the Eredivisie with 37 hits in 47 games.

Screenshots included. :) 

Jan Jongmans_ Overview Profile.png

Ryan Gravenberch_ Overview Profile-4.png

Thiago Almada_ Overview Profile-7.png

Oussama Saidi_ Overview Profile-5.png

Perr Schuurs_ Overview Profile-2.png

Redouan Bakker_ Overview Profile-6.png

Lionel Monnier_ Overview Profile-5.png

Mark Sanchez_ Overview Profile-6.png

Xadas_ Overview Profile-5.png

Toto_ Overview Profile-3.png

Nicolae Vlădoi_ Overview Profile-2.png

Geraldo Ximenes_ Overview Profile-3.png

Jaap Jansen_ Overview Profile-3.png

Gerald van den Steenhoven_ Overview Profile-8.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Raymond85 How is Dolberg for you? Couldn't get him to score in the striker position in my first season (14+(8 as sub) 8 goals and 2 assist)  and with Huntelaar on fire (32 games, 25 goals) it was a no brainer keeping Huntelaar as first option.

Edited by Brian
Link to post
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Rooks said:

@Raymond85 How is Dolberg for you? Couldn't get him to score in the striker position in my first season (14+(8 as sub) 8 goals and 2 assist)  and with Huntelaar on fire (32 games, 25 goals) it was a no brainer keeping Huntelaar as first option.

Was Huntelaar getting those goals from the DLF-Su or AF role in your 4312? 

Asking because if it was the DLF then I was going about getting Quagliarella during the wrong way haha

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, zlatanera said:

Was Huntelaar getting those goals from the DLF-Su or AF role in your 4312? 

 Asking because if it was the DLF then I was going about getting Quagliarella during the wrong way haha

Also used a 4-3-3. In both formations he was a DLF-Support. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

9 minuti fa, Rooks ha scritto:

@Raymond85 How is Dolberg for you? Couldn't get him to score in the striker position in my first season (14+(8 as sub) 8 goals and 2 assist)  and with Huntelaar on fire (32 games, 25 goals) it was a no brainer keeping Huntelaar as first option.

45d2e38da91734872265645d174ca170.png

 

13 goals in 15 starts, Hunter has 3 in 4 starts and 5 off the bench, Ziyech has 5 in 12, and the rest i have 9 players chipping in with another 16 goals.

He's fantastic as a complete forward support. I play Huntelaar as a Poacher or a DLF support when i need him to link up better

Link to post
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Rooks said:

Also used a 4-3-3. In both formations he was a DLF-Support. 

May have to revisit my Samp 4312 at some point and make slight adjustments. I put Quagliarella on DLF-At alongside an AF in from of an AM-Su, figuring Attack duty = goals but perhaps if he was a support duty he'd get a lot of cut-backs from the AF. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys, great thread here. 

After watching Ajax defeat Madrid 1-4 at the Bernabeu, I was inspired. What a performance, it had everything you could ask for from a football team - work ethic, desire, technical quality and deadliness in front of goal.  So I fired up a save on FM19 (I'm using the Winter Database).

I'm absolutely loving it. Easily my favourite so far on FM19 and the first season isn't even over yet. 

Well, in the league it kind of is.

1832141658_tableafter30.thumb.JPG.a7b29d180373d9c52f0809903407c50c.JPG

We're champions after 30 games. Suffered only 1 defeat all season, away at Feyenoord. We did beat PSV 4-0 both home and away though which was the highlight of the league campaign.

psv0ajax4.thumb.JPG.a05e3d85455e3d55c70eb4b5a92bb7ed.JPGajax4psv0.thumb.JPG.3acaa049554626f138c38cc589a4461f.JPG

We also hammered AZ 3-0 both home and away. 

ajax3az0.thumb.JPG.e61519195e00e67c9ecd0600a26044e2.JPGaz0ajax3.thumb.JPG.6222a913fff8cb9b019b05d0bf2cb3d1.JPG

The Champions League has also been successful thus far. 

424039090_groupstage.thumb.JPG.f6938fb45f9389b9a9f16573592a4ebe.JPG

We finished second in our group behind Porto but managed to qualify ahead of Inter. We actually smashed Inter 4-0 at home in a great performance and held them to a 1-1 away.

ajax4inter0.thumb.JPG.cbf4d315d83a2cc859f589ba3018e757.JPG

Porto were actually a much tougher opponent and beat us 2-0 both home and away which was hard to take. The matches were actually a lot tighter than the scorelines suggest though. 

We then drew Barcelona in the first knockout round. 

And at home we absolutely dispatched them. 3-0. Away from home, we put on a defensive masterclass. This is not at all my usual style of play, but I thought I'd try it out and we held them to a 0-0 at the Nou Camp. Some of my instructions included short passing (because we weren't too concerned about scoring, keeping the ball when we had it was a good idea), regroup in transition, narrow defensive width, lower line of engagement and higher defensive line (this may seem odd but we didn't want to sit too deep and allow Barcelona right into our box). In the second half I even dropped my wide forwards to wide midfielders and turned into a proper 4141.

561874961_ajax3barca0.thumb.JPG.87080db869548e4c65163d1ff6e5b138.JPG711581348_barcelona0ajax0.thumb.JPG.cb26696af538a0ac0b75fb780a29eb28.JPG\

Then, we managed to draw another big Spanish team, Atletico. These guys were easily the toughest opponent we faced all season. They work so hard and exploit space so well when they have the ball. The first leg we had at home and were hoping to score a couple of goals. But Atletico were just too resilient and held us to a 0-0 draw.

ajax0atletico0.thumb.JPG.df08210c62fffb4b6735328fcaa53823.JPG

I knew that it was quite unlikely we would be able to progress after that, but if we could nick an away goal that could be it all it takes. I have mainly used a 433 (4141 DM as they call it in game) and 4231. However, for this match I started with something different - 352. And I even dropped my two playmakers, Tadic and Ziyech to the bench. Neres went up top with Dolberg. We were playing quite decently but in the 43rd minute Correa put Atletico a goal up. At halftime, I brought on Tadic and went to our usual 433. We weren't going down without a fight - attacking mentality. This gamble was clearly a big risk as while we were now looking a bit more threatening, Atletico were really carving us up on transitions and Correa then doubled their lead in the 58th minute. I thought it was all over. The CL dream was gone for the season. But we kept attacking (and still looking vulnerable), in the 68th minute, Dolberg put a cross in and Neres came in to the box for a header, Godin attempted to clear but it deflected in for a goal! 2-1. We were very much in this. With just 2 minutes left in injury time, our goalkeeper, Onana decided to just put a long kick over the opposition defence (I had just removed play out of defence because there wasn't really time for that) and everyone was caught by surprise, Oblak came out of his area to clear it, but ended up heading straight to Dolberg, Dolberg came in to the box for a 1v1 chance and.....SAVED by Oblak...but out for a corner. I thought that was our chance gone. Tadic then put the ball into the box from the corner which was cleared but only as far as Van De beek who took a touch into the box and BURIED IT with just 1 minute left of injury time! 2-2 and we are through on away goals!

712884964_atletico2ajax2.thumb.JPG.fe0969c7bb3c3f9f3b099265545a3bed.JPG

We were clearly second best over 2 legs but wow...the determination to come back from 2 goals down away was incredible. 

On to the Semi-finals then and we have been drawn the toughest opponent of the remaining teams - Man City. Going to be very difficult but they are a lot more similar to Barcelona than Atletico which is good for our style. 

SF.thumb.JPG.b46c7e071d7d0aff69aef23da60d1a28.JPG

And this has all been done with the squad I started with and just one loan addition. Reguillon from Real Madrid as the backup left back to Tagliafico. No players sold so far, just a couple of young players out on loan. 

To be continued...

Edited by NabsKebabs
Link to post
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Raymond85 said:

I need to sleep on this. What would you do? Considering i have him, Magallan, Schuurs, Pierie in first squad

fa16e27fcd8498b41158d3ea5a7b38ae.png

 

On 23/02/2019 at 02:09, zlatanera said:

235142236_Screenshot2019-02-22at23_22_58.thumb.png.08377a8a7f20b3588309b0b543c3dfeb.png

 

Hold out for that Neymar money. My offer isn't the only instance of this happening, @Chef Raekwon posted about it too, he's effectively the best CB in the game so clubs are never going to stop wanting him.

If you feel like you have to let him go eventually for realism, wait until you're at least getting the silly money. That offer won't even break Van Dijk's record!

Link to post
Share on other sites

21 minuti fa, zlatanera ha scritto:

 

Hold out for that Neymar money. My offer isn't the only instance of this happening, @Chef Raekwon posted about it too, he's effectively the best CB in the game so clubs are never going to stop wanting him.

If you feel like you have to let him go eventually for realism, wait until you're at least getting the silly money. That offer won't even break Van Dijk's record!

Good to know. Now all i have to deal with is keeping him happy.

Btw got Jose Mauri on a free to get squad depth and competition for filling De Jong’s void in summer (likely Tadic and Schone will be out of our project). Also Kishna is coming back (another free), as i don’t feel Labyad is such a great player on par with the squad, even though he’s scoring quite a lot of screamer long shots and free kicks. And will have to find space for Veltman back from injury. I’m enjoying the challenge of these small things.

Link to post
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Raymond85 said:

Good to know. Now all i have to deal with is keeping him happy.

Btw got Jose Mauri on a free to get squad depth and competition for filling De Jong’s void in summer (likely Tadic and Schone will be out of our project). Also Kishna is coming back (another free), as i don’t feel Labyad is such a great player on par with the squad, even though he’s scoring quite a lot of screamer long shots and free kicks. And will have to find space for Veltman back from injury. I’m enjoying the challenge of these small things.

I found it was easy - Blind's mentoring had his personality go up to Spirited but even without it he's quite professional, use the old "you're too influential" button, should keep him happy. 

Mauri is a solid player, had him with River Plate the last two FMs - usually gets a season as a rotation option then a series of 250k fee loans. Watch out for Kishna's injuries, unless he's had his injury proneness decreased in the winter update, I signed him then immediately lost him for the season. Veltman is just a great person to have around, both for mentoring and talking people down from their issues whilst his professionalism means you can get away with barely playing him too. 

Edited by zlatanera
Link to post
Share on other sites

5 ore fa, zlatanera ha scritto:

I found it was easy - Blind's mentoring had his personality go up to Spirited but even without it he's quite professional, use the old "you're too influential" button, should keep him happy. 

Mauri is a solid player, had him with River Plate the last two FMs - usually gets a season as a rotation option then a series of 250k fee loans. Watch out for Kishna's injuries, unless he's had his injury proneness decreased in the winter update, I signed him then immediately lost him for the season. Veltman is just a great person to have around, both for mentoring and talking people down from their issues whilst his professionalism means you can get away with barely playing him too. 

We are really playing very similiar. I like this. Now to find playing time ok loan for mazraoui. I think that will be all fot the winter transfer window, if i don’t get good offers. :rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

56 minuti fa, Rooks ha scritto:

I really got screwed over when I forgot to turn myself for contract renewals and Overmars put in a 33 million pound release clause in De Ligt's contract and Arsenal came swooping in..... :lol:

:seagull: i renewed his and ziyech’s contract after the summer to keep them happy, worked a little with the moroccan too, i hope

Link to post
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Raymond85 said:

 :seagull: i renewed his and ziyech’s contract after the summer to keep them happy, worked a little with the moroccan too, i hope

Smart move! Ziyech was injured 4 months last season and really only played the last 2 months of the season with 1 month of getting his match fitness back to normal. If I can keep him, he will be my main star this season. 

For defense however, I have lost my triangle with Blind, De Ligt and Magallan as they are sold. Need to up my transfer game now because Veltman and Schuurs are to light for Europe. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...