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Ideas Needed: Planning a Save Focused On Getting One Last Run Out of Old Players

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I've played a lot of FM, and while I love developing young players and building fast, attacking systems, recently I've been wanting a new challenge that will make me explore sides of the game I don't look at so much. So I've had the idea to try a save that gets the most of players past their prime, which would force me to explore lower intensity tactical systems and roles based heavily around mental and technical attributes.


I'd like your help with ideas for the following:

1. What rules/guidelines would be the most interesting to follow?

2. What tactics and roles could I try to overcome the lack of physical attributes in the squad?

3. What league or club would make the most sense for the save?


Here's my own thinking so far:


1. I don't like doing something super "gamey," like a hard-and-fast only 30+ rule, or only free-signing rule. I prefer saves that still feel like something a real club could be doing (for example, on my youth-focused saves, I'll give preference to academy players over signing better available talent, but will still make critical signings where I have no one coming through, because that's what real clubs do). I'm also kind of inspired by something I heard on the Statsbomb podcast, where they said the youth-focus of analytics had in some cases gotten to the point where young talents who could be resold were often over-valued now. As a result signing older players with one or two good years left before they retire had swung around to being the rational choice. My head-canon is I could be at a club that had adopted that as a driving philosophy.

I haven't settled on a hard and fast set of rules, but I am thinking of something along the lines only signing transfer listed players who are first-team ready (i.e. no players who will go from squad player to regular starter. Everyone comes in as a regular or better, and winds down.) I could also go with a rule that everyone retires at the club, unless the ask to leave (i.e. no offering players out, or marking them as surplus to requirements etc. to force them out).


2. Obviously gegenpress, tiki-taka and counter-attacking are all out. Do I play catenaccio? Will an enganche or a regista be able to work if there are no quick players making runs for them? Do I play a diamond to get around the lack of wingers? If so, how would you defend out wide with physically declining wing-backs?


3. I'm thinking for a first try, I would go for a league like the Eredivisie. The clubs there tend to have excellent facilities, which will be important to prevent players from declining too quickly. The generous registration rules will also make it easier to serve as the world's retirement home. The drawback is most of the clubs have youth-focused visions, so I would need to find a club that let me use their amazing facilities mainly to stave off the final decline of Yaya Touré.


Looking forward to hearing any ideas you have!

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Seems an interesting discussion!

Not having too much to say, but I was thinking about doing something similar in Internacional (Brazil) to reap all what's left on an old player like D'Alessandro.

Never thought about doing this with an entire old squad, so I'll follow this closely. Good luck!

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I would try a control possession type tactic and sign technically proficient players. Less time off the ball should mean less running and fatigue, without the pressing and counter pressing elements. Make sure you have players back to avoid the counter as quick players won't be an option to get you out of the hole and maybe even defend wide to push them through the middle? 

Will probably result in low scoring games but could be an option!

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