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[FM22] A Day Without Football is a Day Lost


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18 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

Here we go!  Should be a fun challenge. Like Howedes as a choice. Are you going to stick to it he challenge the letter or use it as a guideline? 

Thanks man. I'm going for the challenge. its the only way to do jarheads idea justice. 

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Club DNA

This is something that probably does not stand out too much in a journeyman type save when you’re just trying to get the job done. However, it is one of the core ideas I always try to implement in whatever save I play, this way everything links in. The tactics match the players, and the training program helps nourish and development the players and the desired style of play.

Following on from FM21 am looking to play a possession based, Positional play, total football style. My early Ruch tactics were loosely based around Pep’s early Barcelona stuff. This will also be the case at Sparta as tempted as I was to go Gegenpressing with a German manager I did not want to throw away the hard work done towards the end of FM21.

Players will have to match up with the core attributes at the heart of the club also staff will have to match up with the desired style of play this way everyone is pulling in the same directions and chasing the same goal.

Players must be technically solid, after all the style of play demands it while holding on to possession and playing through the lines. Intelligence is hugely important; players need to be able to read the game and most importantly understand the game. To round it off Physicality is a must the team is going to work immensely hard out of possession therefore they must be physically prepared. This clearly leads onto the obvious that the complete players are necessary.

Complete players will come at a premium and while Sparta aren’t the smallest, they certainly aren’t the biggest or the richest. Therefore, I have broken my DNA down and allowed for some manoeuvre room in certain areas. There are always bargains out there but the need for smart well thought out recruitment for the correct type of player has never been higher on my priority.

Key Attributes for any position on the pitch

First touch

Passing

Technique

Anticipation

Decisions

Composure

Teamwork

Work Rate

Stamina

Vision

Now this is where I have to be smart, the chances of finding every player at the club with these are pretty much impossible even more so its going to be just as difficult to recruit players with the full package. So, I have devised a small system.

As a minimum they must have 10 in at least all off these attributes, which adds up to 100 overall in the total numbers. To allow me some wiggle room am willing to accept players without one of the key attributes provided the total of the rest added up to that 120 and they posses a higher attribute in one of the two positional attributes. Off The Ball for Attacking Players or Positioning for Defence players. These number will become higher as the club progresses.

These core skills should give us the players capable of our style of play, I could add a lot more into the mix, but I feel this is the core of what I need across the pitch and when the pitch breaks into zones the more specific attributes come clear. For instance, I can’t have slow CBs due to a higher line, but a slow DLP wouldn’t be the worst. While a full back who can’t cross is no use, but a striker is provided he can finish or link play. This is also where PPM's come into play as they are role specific and something ill cover later on in this series.

Training Plans

In FM21 I took my first steps into team training by going down a tactical periodisation route. For people unfamiliar with the concept, I suggest reading » Understanding the Tactical Periodization Methodology (spielverlagerung.com) while this is unbelievably detailed there is other shorter explanations out there.

In its most basic form tactical periodisation is a methodology which prioritises preparing the players for the games by making the training game like. Each session is devoted to the style of play and tactics, and in game scenarios. Training must be well thought out and planned to achieve ultimate preparation for each game. A game model must be built in order to have a structure to follow throughout the club. This model is based around the DNA of the Club and the Managers style of play. It is then broken down into the four phases of play.

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Four moments of the game -  Attacking Organization, Defensive Transition, Defensive Organization, and Attacking Transition.

As you can see in my diagram I have made a basic game model around the four phases of play. These all make up my style of play and then they are broken down into individual sessions and then built into schedules to ensure I hit my attributes I want to work on at the club. I covered this in huge detail here on page 3 of my previous post. 

General Morphocycle - Designed to prepare the team for upcoming match with a balance towards defence and attack while covering game parts of our style of play which in turn gives us the required hits on the desired attributes.

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Defensive Morphocycle - Designed to prepare the team in a more defensive manner for the next game while still covering our core ideas and hitting the desirable attributes but with slightly more defensive drills.

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Attacking Morphocycle - Designed to prepare the team in a more attacking manner for the next game while hitting the core attributes but with more defensive drills.

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Now in my studying off how training works the only things that give a boost directly to the upcoming game are the match preparation sessions, therefore I may adjust my scheduling slightly. Although I like my ideas and I can’t see how more training drills on specific thing wouldn’t boost its sadly not how FM works. So, I may make one general session which covers all my key attributes and playing style with generic match prep and then make the exact same one but with more defensive or more attacking match prep. That way we are training the same attributes all the time and only tweaking match prep to counter opponent or try solving issues from earlier games. I did however have success with this idea previously so may see how it runs for now.

Current Staff

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There will certainly need to be a recruitment and improvement drive in this area of the club. The DNA and training plan requires a high level of staff and right now in terms of the league averages the clubs on the lower end of the scale.

Staff must at least have two of the three following things as well as attributes.

  • Passing as the playing style
  • 433 as the preferred formation
  • Tiki Taka/Vertical Tiki taka or control possession as tactical style.

Usually, I would demand all three, but I think it’s unreasonable at this stage but much like the attribute scores this will also progress as the save does.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Interesting idea, and a good introduction game.

With the training, how do you work that? Is it over a month cycle rotation? Or a couple of weeks of each before moving to the next morphocycle?

Ideally I want to be training the general cycle for the whole season, as that covers all the key attributes in perfect balance. The attack and defence ones are only used if I feel our play in previous games is lacking in these areas. Say I am conceding to many goals in the three games ill switch to defence for a month or longer if the issue is still unresolved. Of course the issue could be tactical as well. In my playing experience if we were losing goals we worked on defence in training this is just my basic idea. The same goes for if we are missing to many chances. 

Having done more research on training between FM21 and 22 am tempted to tweak my schedules but I did have success with these ones in FM21 so am willing to give them a go. But I may switch my attack and defence ones to match general but with only match preparation changes as these only boost the next game. Which is mad really cause if am training and doing a load of attacking drills through the week it would boost me but FM these only boost attributes which takes time therefore it may be more beneficial long term to be hitting all the key areas constantly and only having match preparation lean towards attack or defence. Once am settled in to the game sure there will be more discussion on training coupled with individual player development plans.

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Good stuff as always.  Like your DNA ideas, but also being flexible in letting a bit go if the rest of the attributes are in the right range.

You going with a 4-3-3 then?  That's my old shape and works really well with the style you look like you'll be implementing - though I did a bit of a different take.  I was planning on going back to it for FM22, but then there were WCBs and how could I resist?

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On 10/11/2021 at 21:01, 13th Man said:

Good stuff as always.  Like your DNA ideas, but also being flexible in letting a bit go if the rest of the attributes are in the right range.

You going with a 4-3-3 then?  That's my old shape and works really well with the style you look like you'll be implementing - though I did a bit of a different take.  I was planning on going back to it for FM22, but then there were WCBs and how could I resist?

Ideally I want them hitting all the attributes but I have to be smart as well and know my place in the food chain. I would rather I fully complete player with all off the attributes reasonable. Then say some one who only had 3/4 but are really high. Cause the style of play really needs that complete player. 
 

Tactics wise. Am gonna start with where I left of with ruch in that 433. but the master plan will to get eventually go down the LVG Ajax 1995 side with the 3 at the back. I’ve done a little bit squad analysis which I’ll write up after my weekend away and the centre backs are the big area of issue so it will take 2/3 windows to get that right before moving to a 3. 
 

in the end I want 3 shapes with the same gameplan with different types weapons with in them. Overloads on different sides etc 

433,343,4231 most likely route. 

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20 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

When I saw that you considered an Austrian alias, my hopes immediately rushed to Paul Scharner. I suppose Howedes will do!
 

A great choice of club to start this journey. Best of luck, my friend.

He was in the running along with pogatetz and stranzl but I felt a needed a bigger name to walk right into a first manager job at Sparta.

thanks man

14 hours ago, Rikulec said:

This is gonna be good. :thup:

Thanks very much my friend

 

3 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

I just might"borrow" Howedes Training Methods.... since I about to go on Midseason Break due to the 2022 World Cup!

As always your more than welcome to any ideas my man!  

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Backroom Team

I mentioned last time that the standard of coaching at the club was currently well below par. Especially when you take into account the style of play & training regime I want to install at the club. I set this as being my first task mainly because I see it as critical if I am to install these values throughout the club. The things i desired were

  • 433 (preferred formation)

  • Passing (playing style)

  • Tiki taka/Vertical or Control Possession (tactical style)

It became clear very early on that matching all three would be a big ask, even more so with good attributes so I decided that two out of three aint bad(quote the great Meatloaf). All but one member of my coaching team brought in would lack at least two of these and somehow that was Dennis Bergkamp.

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Although I forgave him due to his incredible attributes, the fact he is Gengenpressing is madness. Originally I considered him for the Ass Man role, but the ridiculous compensation of the current one made me decide that unless the perfect man was out there he would hold on to the job. I did try to talk ex international teammate and fellow world cup winner Miroslav Klose into it but he was having none of it and opted to join FC Koln instead.

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A serious recruitment drive was required and delivered, it does cost money and can be a pain but i feel it's vital. Most real life managers want their own team behind them so I follow suit. Only issue was finding that perfect Ass Man so that's to be sorted at a later date. Along with senior team reform the B team and under 19’s staff needed work but it was about downscaling the under 19’s most transferred into the B team so everyone kept their jobs and it's now more balanced below. Top academy but no reason to have 14 coaches when 8 is budgeted for.

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Now take a look in comparison, previously the clubs coaching was dire compared to the league averages, now we are mixing it with the big boys of the netherlands. Above average on all fronts and no lower than 3rd in all categories except people management also crucially Sparta now lead the way in terms of technical coaching major thanks to the most gifted first touch in football Bergkamp!

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The only German to join the ranks was the head of youth development, a crucial role at a club that is well renowned for being a talent factory. I managed to get someone who ticks most of the boxes although I would prefer my coaching attributes but mainly a better personality to help aid the players arriving in the intakes. His formation may provide an issue as well although I am hoping his 2nd prefered will provide us with the wide midfielders.

First System

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A basic look at my desired tactical style, just for reference so i can match the current squad against what i want to achieve. I useds this system in FM 21 with Ruch and had good success with it however I was the strongest team in the lower leagues of Poland so I feel I may need to tweak it here or there hence why I won't go into great detail at this point.

Squad Analysis

In every position I like to have 3 players: a starter, backup & prospect. Now there is nothing to say a prospect could in fact be a starter or a backup, if you're good enough you're old enough in my eyes. But in this situation I would then be required to fill the prospect spot. In easy terms I always want three players regardless of age. Now the starter and backup will stay in the first team and the prospect will be in the youths ready to step up and supplement the squad if required until he is ready to become starter or back up.

I have seen myself end up with three high calibre players in one position, a good problem to have but in this case I would usually go find a player 16-17 and sell one of the top players therefore it keeps a good clear path to the first team and ample game exposure.

In Holland the subs are a max of 5 from 12 players with a max 3 stoppages. Now I am not sure if the amount of players you can sub is due to covid but 12 as the amount you're allowed on the bench is set in stone. This makes it very useful for player development as you can afford a few prospects each game.

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Well with no fewer than 7 first team starters players going out of contract it could certainly be interesting. The budget is tight at the minute with only 300k and 2k in wages available so it will have to be a well thought out decision before players are handed deals. It's a very specific playing style and I have spoken about the need for complete players. I cant allow for passengers, but I must be wary. I don't leave myself short either. Complete players come at a price even in the bargain hunting of today's market.

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Clearly two players that will be on their way out of Het Kasteel, A lack of technical ability from Vriends coupled with the fact he is slow and aging throw in his contract is up and i would have to be insane to offer him a new deal. Shame as his intelligence is great but just will not fit into the style at all.

Big Tom, much like his centre back partner, isn't suited to the new style that Benedikt Höwedes is trying to bring to the club. Slightly better than his friend but with a similar speed across the ground. He would have been a joy for my near post corner routine but his days are numbered.

GK's

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The goalkeeping department is very healthy, Okoye being one of the highest rated players at the club, However he does have flaws in his game for the style of play. A lack of passing, first touch and vision makes him weak for playing out from the back however I can opt to roll it out and work on these weaknesses due to his incredible potential and the fact he is a very good standard keeper. I can see me relying on a safe pair of hands especially in the early years before we started to fully dominate sides.

Van Leer on the other hand is slightly better in this department however he isn't as good a goalkeeper and his contract is up. Age is against him and with youngster Janse ready to step up as a back up Mr Van Leer is on his way. Still a very solid goalkeeper so I would expect to get some good money for him.

CB's

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Center backs is clearly my main area of concern, Vriends and Beugelsdijk are up for sale which means two at a minimum are required and with Heylen only being able to do a job I'll be looking for two starters. A left footed back up to partner Heylen is required also and although I have some very nice prospects in the ranks most are still just that and I'm happy to see them supplement the squad for now with that pathway.

RB's

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On the face of it right back looks an area of strength, however Jans who has just arrived at the club lacks hugely in the technical side of the game with 9,8,9 for all of my three required technicals for the DNA, had he not been a new arrival he would be cashed in on.

Abels is slightly better technically but poor on other fronts, i feel he may be sold and a younger more complete player is looked for.

Jans may do a job and perhaps put himself in the shop window but i can't see him pulling off the inverted wing back role so may see a slight tackle adjustment here. As the budget and size of the club may require me to think more long term. Patch it just now then hopefully sell Jans and then get a real technically gifted player for a key role in the system. Adney can provide backup from the Sparta Jong he is rough around the edges but can step in.

LB's

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Left back is about the best of a very bad bunch, The last coach must have worked wonders with this backline to see them finish as high as they did. Pinto looks a solid enough starter especially going forward although his defence is certainly average, it's much the same for Meijers who doubles up as a winger. Mulumba and De Nooijer provide a couple of very nice prospects as well. All in all I feel left back is good enough for the first window or two. Budget will be needed in other areas so I won't waste too much time in the early stages but certainly will be looking for a long term solution.

DMC's

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Auassar, the aging club captain who is going out of contract, probably could do a job in the holding role. My concern is there is no real back up for him and with his age I may look for an upgrade and notch him down to backup. It makes sense with his age and his deal to be honest.

The holding role or 6 for the technical guys out there is a huge role in the system. Anyone who has watched a 433 play out knows how crucial it is. Busquets at Barcelona, Fernandinho does it at city Fabinho at Liverpool who both do it slightly differently. Here I really need a star as I need him to link defence and attack and set the tempo, eventually becoming the Pep of the great Barcelona system. The conductor as the great man puts it.

Bynoe and Udenhout provide two very different approaches in the prospect category which is ideal as the role will differ as systems begin to evolve. Bynoe in particular will be getting some game exposure as he looks to have all the makings of a great holding CM.

CM's

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The 8’s is the most solid area of the team in terms of starters, Osman who arrived on a free this year is a hard working playmaker who is about to enter his prime hopefully. He would top the list if it wasn't for Sven Mijnans who pips him to the best player in the middle. However both offset each other nicely as Sven looks like he can be molded nicely into a Mezzala.

Goudmijn and Smeets provide adequate cover but Smeets is aging and slow and his deal is up so will be sold for a cash injection and a back up brought in.Goudmijn is on loan so there is a long term need for him to be replaced. El Dhari provides a serious prospect in the centre of the park with a couple others following in his wake.

Widemen

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Engels gives a real option on each flank, his contract is up but lucky he has an extension clause. He lacks in decisions but his off the ball makes up for it and he makes the count therefore and makes it into the DNA. Van Crooij has arrived on a free and except for his crossing he will provide backup to engels. Which leaves me at least two players short, a starter and a backup. Bashir and Schoten provide the prospects, Both are far from being stars so it is a potential area of serious strengthening if there is budget left.

Strikers

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The strikers provide zero cause for concern with Lennart Thy leading the way, Benedikt Höwedes fellow German looks to match his ideas technically he is good mentally he is great and physically he is sublime. He isn't going to be a twinkle toe false 9 but he certainly will be able to hold up play and link others all while being able to dominate the CB’s. 29 deal is running out but definitely top of the list for a new deal.

Emegha is very highly rated within Holland however he only just makes my count as his vision and Anticipation are both lower than 10 but his off the ball of 14 saves him. Work to be done for the young man but he definitely has a good model in Thy to learn off. Jorn Triep is another who is hugely rated so much so Ajax are already looking at him. He is the prospect and will definitely will be afforded some game time. I feel I am probably one light in this area purely on the fact I don't have that pure creative forward that I can use as a false 9 when things heat up.

Up Next

Recruitment will be covered in depth next time out along with a greater look into the tactical ideas of Benedikt Höwedes and with a bit of luck preseason should be covered. Playing catch up at the minute but the weekend is free so it's time to dig into it!

Thanks For Reading

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19 minutes ago, Deisler26 said:

Love me a (similar :D) DNA save

Look forward to seeing how this goes!

Thanks man! I’ve no went too deep as of yet in the DNA as I’m mainly taking off were I left of with my Ruch Chorzow season last year. The upcoming recruitment should shed some more light on my process. 

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9 hours ago, Rikulec said:

I wish I had anywhere near enough time to do such write-ups. :D Great work as always mate!

Thanks mate. Game time does suffer especially early on but hopefully If I get the bulk of it out the way and set it all out there the updates from then on in can be short but sweet.

8 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Fantastic post. A very detailed delve into the squad that leaves me understanding exactly where each player stands in your plans at the present moment in time. You've nailed a squad analysis post to a tee! :D 

thanks very much! Takes time but worth it. After the first 5/6 posts should be able to pick up the pace. 

1 hour ago, 13th Man said:

Good stuff! I think you might be right that the Ruch system might need some tweaking, but with your d line being a weakness, it might be a good idea to play on the front foot anyway.

definitely will need tweaking as it’s stands their is no way I can play IWB. Personally this is a big recruitment moment. Get it wrong and it could take me ages to sort out. Usually don’t like adding to much but I think I need at least 6/7 players which doesn’t help considering the previous manager had already added his 5/6 over summer. Interesting times ahead 

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2 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Great Update!  Backroom Staff on the same page tactically is important almost more so than attributes. Especially in HOYD and whoever reports on tactics and training.

Certainly is. Especially when trying to create a specific style and DNA throughout the club. Fortunately the youth side of things was already geared towards it. 

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6 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Get it wrong and it could take me ages to sort out. Usually don’t like adding to much but I think I need at least 6/7 players which doesn’t help considering the previous manager had already added his 5/6 over summer. Interesting times ahead 

This is why I sometimes wish they had a pre transfer window database option. I used to sometimes go into the editor and do it manually - adding and subtracting from the transfer budget, and to the clubs bought and sold from. 
I’m also with you both on back room staff - I don’t actually know if it matters in game but I’m following this generally as well.

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11 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

This is why I sometimes wish they had a pre transfer window database option. I used to sometimes go into the editor and do it manually - adding and subtracting from the transfer budget, and to the clubs bought and sold from.

While it's a brilliant idea and I'd love to see it included, I imagine it's impossible for licencing reasons. :(

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3 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

I had not thought of that, but it that is probably why!

 

5 hours ago, Rikulec said:

While it's a brilliant idea and I'd love to see it included, I imagine it's impossible for licencing reasons. :(

Definitely would be a good idea but Rikulec is on the money I think their hands would be tied there. I get by and to be honest I’ve enjoyed my recruitment drive more than ever. Stats driven this year which has helped. Which will soon be revealed. 

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Recruitment

Think it's clear to see from the analysis that there is a fair bit of work to be done in this area. I've created a checklist to make sure i cover all boundaries and dont go off signing 16 year old brazilian prospects, we've all been there. Every position is important but the ones with stars are the most important. The only position not listed that I would like to add would be that creative centre forward due to the fact he would it's more of a luxury than a necessity.

Requirements

Position 

Squad Status

Desired Role

Position 

Squad Status

Desired Role

RCB*

First Choice

BPD

DMC

First Choice

HB/DLP

LCB*

First Choice

BPD

MC

Backup

AP/MEZ

RB*

Backup

WB

RW

Backup

W

LCB

Backup

BPD

LW*

First Choice

IW

My main concern is that I have to get this right as there really is no margin for error, for this reason players will need to be thoroughly scouted to make sure they have all the desired attributes but also don't have any serious hidden flaws.

The DNA i touched on earlier still remains the same after some serious scouting, i am still looking for a minimum of 10 for all 10 key attributes if however there is one short am willing to let positioning or off the ball fill the void, depending if their defence or attack. Budget and club stature will mean complete players come at a premium so, another plan I have put in place is that if they lack the basic 10 for each key attribute I am willing to take a count on the others and if it meets 120 am willing to sign them. Of course this will progress as does the save.

Player Sales

Before delving into the market I need to look at moving some players on and at least work out what sort of budget I would be dealing with before getting on the hunt. If i could raise around 3 million i think that would more than cover me, deals are built up nowadays and it can help massively in crucial transfer window like this. The bonus here is i have a fair amount of first team players that are good players but just dont suit the style.

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3.5 million made from 4 player sales is precisely what I needed and Dirk Abels looks on his way for about 400k, the old guard providing the financial muscle for the new blood to arrive and set this great old club on its way, led by the German world cup winner. I would say with that sort of funding behind me I will have no serious issues strengthening provided I do some good deals. My target will be to not exceed this year's budget and no more than 7 million in total. Regardless of being able to build deals I can't jeopardise the long term budgets as the squad is far from complete and the future holds more work.

Scouting

My first move was to take over scouting assignments from the DOF, who will be left to run down his contract had he had a smaller pay off i would have terminated his contract. I never use him especially at this level and have never found them much use. Manager not head coach Mr Höwedes is indeed.

The plan was to scout 3 players full knowledge per position required which seems easy, but it requires some good first knowledge before committing to the full knowledge, so i set about scouting 6 players per position to get a basic knowledge then would pick the best 3 to go full knowledge in. Then pick the best two do compare against each other before making my final decison.

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Right back was always going to be an interesting one, jans looks like he will have to see the season out so it was about being smart in this area and not blowing too much funding. Dekker and Seedorf provide the two options, both have all the minimum DNA’s with scores of 116 for Dekker and 114 for seedorf and are rounded enough to be considered complete.

A very close decision and with the scout reports not showing too many alarm bells it would come down to cost. Seedorf looks a better bargain and a couple years younger plus his relation was half bad at football. Seedorf on this occasion makes greater sense with budget.

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Clearly a step up in class of player here, Nagano at 18 years of age looks like he could be a superstar probably why Inter Milan are interested along with us. With his count of 124 in the DNA markers he is definitely what I'm after. He only hits one bum note which is decisions which is 10 but at 18 plenty space for that to grow. Certainly the more expensive of the two players. Concerns that he is fairly injury prone and needs to work on his concisntency.

Bauer certainly runs him close and with his count of 118 he more than makes the cut, he represents the better value for money and would add another German ally to the squad. My concerns are his poorer first touch and acceleration.

I think it's fair to say Nagalo shades it with age and attributes but Bauer gives more value for money. I think my planning is to try and get both players in and move Heylen on. Nagalo will be prioritized due to the interest already mounting on him.

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The backup LCB had two dutchman battle it out, there was a very clear winner due to the pace of Eerdhuijzen which is a shame as he had been talked up hugely in real life such as my persistence to scout him all the way, had he been 18 i potentially would have gambled that i could shape him into a BPD.

Bakker in the end makes perfect sense, technically very  gifted with a count of 12 but does need work on the defensive side of the game. I did however have one eye down the line for him being an able WCB. If I can work on his defensive side he could prove a real asset with that incredible passing.

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Another close one for the LCB first choice slot, counts of 111 and 121 means both players make it although Arrey-Mbi gets in on his positioning due to a lack of vision at 9. Knoester certainly looks the better of the two and the higher count would agree with that but his pace is poor however his acceleration may be able to cover for him, Mbi on the other hand is a physical beast and absolute flying machine.

Mbi seems more value for money and with the correct training program is only going to get more intelligent on the pitch. Knoesters' pace and price tag are a worry but he is complete and dutch which is a huge selling point for the club although Höwedes would like to add to the growing German contingent. Close call I think the price tag will decide it. If there was enough money both would come and see Bakker move to a cover for if a back three comes into play.

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Another tussle between a Dutchman and German, Burnic looks a superb option with his technical prowess that the scout report mentions. Count of 132 backs up the scouts claims the highest of anyone so far, sadly his decision making is the only flaw at 10 but 23 doesnt mean its over and done for the young man.

Janssen comes in at 121 and is three years younger, he presents me with the potential option that would see Auassar the club captain continue as a starter, but i'm sure recently relegated VVV-Venlo will put up a fight for his signature. Burnic is the exact type of player I want in the role and will be ready to go there for he is the prime candidate for this slot, plus is more capable defensively and has a supreme count on the DNA’s.

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The backup CM was much like the RB area. I had to use my brain due to the fact it was not completely essential and I had some telling prospects so, it was another area I could take the bargain option. That said, I didn't think I would come across two players so tightly matched and reasonably priced. Haye comes in at 130 the dutchman had a lot of promise in his early days picking up some under 21 caps, it has not worked out since then and he finds himself stuck in the 2nd tier. Perhaps the fact he doesn't like the big matches has caught up with him. Nonetheless he is a very complete player and looks to be coming into his prime.

His opponent in this dual is a full international and a very very intelligent young man on the football pitch his count of 129 is delightful. Þórðarson isn't as well rounded but is 5 years younger his lack of athleticism is a worry in a high press team in that middle area for that reason i see Haye as the superior choice especially with the financial aspect i think there is a deal to be done here. But the young Icelandic man will stay on the radar for sure for future endeavours.

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A first in this recruitment drive, a former academy player makes it onto the radar. Nigel Thomas left the club in 2015/2016 to join PSV Eindhoven, he has never played for the first team but racked up 30 starts for the Jong side (B Team) now it looks as if he is ready to come home and kick start his career in the top flight. A count of 119 ensures he fits the bill, a concern at his crossing is outweighed by his fantastic decision making and the fact he is a very consistent performer. I like the fact he is a good finisher that could prove a vital weapon as I look for my wide man to get me goals.

Caciano is a year younger but also boasts a 113 on the key DNA’s the only issue is he lacks in composure and decisions had these been up to scratch it would have been a lot closer and would have taken a lot more consideration, but due to two of these key elements being missing Thomas will be primary target and Caciano for now will be second in line.

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Last but not least the left footed wideman, Kishna, former Ajax and Lazio man looked a clear front runner early on. 129 the count with some incredible technicals, not the hardest worker which would be a worry for him getting involved in a pressing situation. Pflücke hits a 119 however his stamina is below par so he is saved by his off the ball which carries him into the required skill set. Both appear to come at a reasonable price with Kishna shading it on attributes he looked to take pole position. 

However this is where the scout reports become crucial, both players are very fluid postionaly which is ofcourse massive part of what am trying to do with total football and postinal play at the core of my ideals. This wasn't the big point though as kishna’s report alluded to some serious injury concerns.

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My prime candidate has just been thrown to the scrap heap, 3 damaged cruciate ligaments totalling to 37 months on the sidelines is enough of a concern to add to that cartilage and arthritis and it's not looking good for the ADO man. He looked like a starter all day long in my new look Sparta side but I'm not willing to risk another big injury and therefore Pflücke jumps into pole position and a backup target must be found.

Up Next

Transfer incomings will be covered in the next post along with a look at the final squad before the first tactical build then finally starting pre-season. I feel like I am a million miles behind everyone but I want to cover as much as possible in the outset so that I can streamline my updates as the game picks up pace.

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Transfer Business

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3.9 million raised 5.25 million spent upfront and 1.75 million in add ons which in turn is a big spend, but being smart with contracts has kept me within budget so its a successful window so far. Nagalo was a large chunk right at the start then deals were extremely smart and good value until the Brunic saga. Bauer is still a deal i would like to get over the line, I have decided to see how Mbi and Nagalo settled together in pre season before deciding to shift Heylen on as that would mean all four centre backs would be new arrials, so will see how that plays out.

I made an error on the Brunic deal here in that I tried to sign him before the budget was available and couldn't offer him a good wage therefore the deal turned sour and meant I had to continue to offer for him until in the end I was held to ransom. My initial offer was accepted at 600k with 600k in installments so it's a tough one to take and had he not been vital and off very high class he would have been left alone.

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The only player who never featured in the scouting is Jizz Hornkamp, He will beef up the strikeforce and provides me with a more creative option. Interesting story he has, originally left the academy as a right back and got fed up at Heerenveen with a lack of game time as a striker so decided to leave and join Den Bosch and hit 20 league goals in 34 starts could prove a very smart investment.

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Squad Overview

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The overall DNA at the club now is good especially for the first season. Very few red numbers I would however prefer to see a lot more green than yellow but all in good time. It wouldn't be much fun to build if it was already perfect. Technique, Teamwork are the real strong points with anticipation being on the lower side which made me think about the pressing element of the team.

Individually Brunic and Osman lead the way with counts of 132 each, in fact the central midfield area is very strong in general which is crucial to the game plan.

Couple of concerning players, Mbi doesn't score very well but young and physically unreal also Nagalo boosts the pairing gives me an element of beauty and the beast.

Engeles is another one who scores low, his form will decide his long term future as he is worth a fair amount of money, in general wide midfield isn't the strongest area.

Emegha is another one who scores very low. He is pretty much on the cut off, but at 18 and with bags of potential I'm sure my training program and Thy’s mentoring can lift him very quickly into line. This was another reason Hornkamp was drafted in so I now have two strikers for him to feed off.

Jans technicals are a worry but everything else is pretty solid, so he gets the season at right back for now.

Pre-Season

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Very successful pre-season campaign. The tour in Holland gave me a lot of promise that the side could tactically pull off my style and were scoring freely and not leaking goals with a specific pattern.

Ipswitch certainly brought that back down to earn as they bypassed a limp press and got in behind the wing backs, Sheff Wed took the lead in the same way which meant some actions would have to take place. The press would need to be looked at but first I dropped the wing backs into the defensive line first, hopefully that would help with the balls down the side.

Another two wins followed and things looked a lot more secure down the sides, but it did however blunt the overloads slightly but am going to come up against a lot tougher opponents in the league so it is a wise decision.

Pressing

Was clear to me that the pressing was becoming a clear issue for a few reasons. First up pressing has been reworked since fm21 when the system was made and it now takes into account stamina among other things, which makes it very difficult to press for 90 minutes unless you have the correct players.

Also game management plays a big part now, therefore my extreme press from fm21 may be an issue here. So I decided to have a look at my player’s capabilities of high pressing. In particular the first two lines of the press.

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I decided on ten attributes that will show if full tilt high pressing was capable from the first two lines, now there is no set number like the DNA. This is purely me analysing my squad to make sure I am not sending us into battle to end up in certain death.

Aggression, anticipation, bravery, determination, teamwork, work rate, acceleration, natural fitness, pace, stamina

Pressing in the wide areas is certainly an issue when looking at these numbers with only Vito van Crooij scoring more than 114,This more than likely means i'll defend narrow this way my pressing triggers will kick in as my opponent comes narrow i'll also have to take care with opponent instructions.

This isn't to say my wingers wont press, it's  just more likely to press centrally or press from the angle. This is my understanding of that change this year.

Thankfully Lennart Thy is a real asset for pressing from the front, he can lead the way on that front, Osman and Mijnans are solid enough as well as a second line centrally. It definitely gives me food for thought.

I'm considering dropping the line of engagement and using central opponent pressing instructions, as I try to force the opponent wide where I could potentially man mark, also it will make us a little more compact between the lines. That said I'm unsure what intensity to go with, I think more than ever with the changes the intensity will be something that is fluid and specific to what's happening in the match.

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The tactic I have settled on for starting the league season after taking everything I saw in pre season into account along with my squads capabilities. While it is a change from the original plan I have kept the in possession instructions the same as the original Ruch system.

I still want to overload centrally and attack in the half spaces, making 1v1 ones and 2v1 in this area. I really got the style of football I desired on the tail end of FM21 so I am hoping I can recreate it again albeit at a higher level. Postional play is the key goal and ill look to go into more depth as i start to review games instead of banging on about it here.

I still look to counter press It's a hallmark of any good total football side, hold shape is to encourage patient football. Think about Pep’s 15 pass rule which allows the team time to transition into its attacking shape. I have changed the goalkeeping distribution to roll it due Okoye’s poor passing ability, he does however have great kicking so I may in time try letting him have a few long ones which gives us a variation in attack from time to time.

Out of possession I have indeed opted to go with my plan I spoke about in pre-season starting with removing tighter marking. The high D line with standard LOE should provide compactness between the lines then adding defend narrow will further help this. Im willing to concede the flanks in a sense but may use certian man marking schemes to expolit weaknesses. I have kept pressing intensity full as i think this will be fluid within game and I plan to use opponent instructions on certain members of the opponent's back line in order to initiate the high press in the right areas.

A flat back four this time around to begin with to avoid the balls down the sides, also makes more sense with Jans being poor technically that the IWB role is changed to a standard fullback although i have asked him to sit narrow. Mbi is asked to play wider this way when the WB moves forward he can cover that space and make a sort of three at the back with Jans tucking in.

The fact it's a flat back four with a full back shifted me away from using a half back now the number 6 role becomes more of a pivot and a quarterback type now. Which in turn made me think about going double Mezzala in front but I've opted to keep the original role for the midfield two. I have asked the AP to stay wider in a bid for him two wreak havoc in the half space.

The final change in terms of roles is the IW becoming an inside forward, a role I became frustrated at in fm21, as I felt it never really played how I wanted it to within the system. Hopefully he can attack the space in behind in the half space after the DLF draws the opponent out.

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Defensive corners are set up like so, back and front post covered by the CB’s and big Thy comes back to be the third zonal ball winner. The space in the middle is left for Okoye to come and claim the ball, his superior aerial reach and reasonable bravery,strength, commanding, anticipation and handling should make him very adept at coming to claim balls in his 6 yard.

Three man markers to block runners, with a man on the edge, a man shutting down the corner positioned well for breakaways to join in with the two left up top which should force opponents into leaving three players back.

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Three attacking corner routines are the same for each side of the pitch. A fairly standard near post one with a lurker at the far post for any knock ons. Then it gets a little more elaborate as I look to overload the near post as a decoy before finding Lennart Thy at the back post hopefully isolated 1v1. The final one is a reverse of the far post idea. I load the back post hoping to draw the man markers there and leave Thy to coast in at the front post ahead of his marker.

That covers the basics of the initial tactical idea. Any questions feel free as this is my favourite part of the game. Now finally I can get stuck into some competitive football games.

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10 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

I like the Set-Pieces.....

never thought of overloading a single post!

 

The overload is to draw the defence to that area then the delivery should hit the opposite post in a 1v1 hopefully. It’s actually a corner routine my coach done when I was younger.

The only criticism I can have of FM22 is the set pieces creator never got an overhaul but they did however make an incredible edition of the game probably my favourite Version in a long time and the set pieces creator overhaul would be massive work. But it would give us a bit more flexibility. 

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Fantastic updates - especially the ‘Recruitment’ post. A great insight into how you opted to select the players you did. I work similarly but probably to a less organised degree. :lol: I initially started reading the post yesterday before I headed out to football and couldn’t wait to return to finish it off. 
 

Really enjoying this.

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Interesting to see how you’ve adapted your Ruch system. The flat back four is wise, I think. I still had lots of success going forward with WBs in my 4-3-3, so it’s not like making a back 4 is going to ruin them.

Are you getting good penetration into the box? It looks like there’s no one attacking the box, but with your possession tactic I can imagine it’s more about methodical working it into the box (and not just the TI) and 

On pressing, I think this years is far more realistic and (to me) intuitive. I feel like players are also actually doing what they’re supposed to. Makes it a bit trickier but also seems far more responsive! 
Last but not least, agreed on set pieces. I think they need to be careful though as unless they get it right, ir can see it being easy to exploit like it had been in previous versions.
 

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11 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Fantastic updates - especially the ‘Recruitment’ post. A great insight into how you opted to select the players you did. I work similarly but probably to a less organised degree. :lol: I initially started reading the post yesterday before I headed out to football and couldn’t wait to return to finish it off. 
 

Really enjoying this.

Thanks man glad your enjoying it the support it’s very welcome.

9 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Good to see this coming together! I really enjoyed playing this challenge on FM21. As always appreciate the level of detail in your posts. Keep it going!

Thanks man trying to pick up the pace now. 

 

6 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Good luck  mate!I will  be here too.

Thanks my man! Good to see you here 

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16 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Interesting to see how you’ve adapted your Ruch system. The flat back four is wise, I think. I still had lots of success going forward with WBs in my 4-3-3, so it’s not like making a back 4 is going to ruin them.

Are you getting good penetration into the box? It looks like there’s no one attacking the box, but with your possession tactic I can imagine it’s more about methodical working it into the box (and not just the TI) and 

On pressing, I think this years is far more realistic and (to me) intuitive. I feel like players are also actually doing what they’re supposed to. Makes it a bit trickier but also seems far more responsive! 
Last but not least, agreed on set pieces. I think they need to be careful though as unless they get it right, ir can see it being easy to exploit like it had been in previous versions.
 

Penetration so far has come in the form of the mezzala and winger who burst passed the DLF. The left side needs some work. The DLF actually gets himself into the box as well to arrive onto cross balls after he’s linked play. 

Pressing is definitely more realistic and a lot more fluid in the sense that I won’t press the same way for 90 minutes. I’m trying to apply more well thought out traps rather than just full throttle pressing and killing my players fitness. 

Set plays I actually do well from them, I just want to be able to position people properly two guys edge of area standing side by side isn’t realistic. They would be spread on the edge. Just things like that. 

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Makes sense on the winger + MEZ and glad that’s working for you! Players bursting beyond are so often devastating and beautiful to watch.

Also agree on set plays. I’d love to be able to run isolation plays against man marking, switch up the angles against zone etc. I’d rather them put the time into other stuff, but isn’t pieces are  about due for an update.

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1 hour ago, 13th Man said:

Makes sense on the winger + MEZ and glad that’s working for you! Players bursting beyond are so often devastating and beautiful to watch.

Also agree on set plays. I’d love to be able to run isolation plays against man marking, switch up the angles against zone etc. I’d rather them put the time into other stuff, but isn’t pieces are  about due for an update.

Even if you could set it so a player does the job rather than position. Right now I have a striker who’s an asset to defend corners and one that isn’t so I have to be careful when I make the sub so I switch the job in the set play. 

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3 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Even if you could set it so a player does the job rather than position. Right now I have a striker who’s an asset to defend corners and one that isn’t so I have to be careful when I make the sub so I switch the job in the set play. 

This is definitely something I would like to see! With Livorno I had one tall right back and one tiny, and I’d put the tall one defending the near post…conceded far too many corners cause I forgot to switch assignments after making a sub….

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1 hour ago, 13th Man said:

This is definitely something I would like to see! With Livorno I had one tall right back and one tiny, and I’d put the tall one defending the near post…conceded far too many corners cause I forgot to switch assignments after making a sub….

Definitely plus it becomes a pain when making same setups but a different formation. 

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August 2021

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Perfect start in management for Benedikt Höwedes, 7 goals scored 0 conceded in his first three games this coupled with a clear style of play that looks to dominate the ball and drag the opposition out of position has made for a very impressing start for the young German which sees his Sparta side sit top of the table.

Utrecht was always going to be a very tough away day which meant the first goal was always going to be vital, getting it in the first 20 minutes eased the pressure and fitting it was a back post corner routine that opened the scoring. In the end we did enough to get the three points in a very tough game.

Hercules were completely dominated with the visitors failing to register a single shot on target. 3-0 at Go Ahead Eagles really flattered us as it was a tight game but Sparta showed they are clinical in front of goal. Lennart Thy has shown he is the ideal man to spearhead his fellow Germans gameplan with 4 goals in 3 games.

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From the very first game of the season it's clear how we looked to combine from our Pass map. The right hand side has made a lovely diamond shape with the playmaker in the middle with lots of passing options. On the left the Mezzala has pushed into the front line to join with the inside forward in an overload. This has created space for Mbi to advance into, dribbling into this area and opening up the channel has been a key feature of play in the first three games.

Thy being described as being at the heart of things for linking the play is music to my ears as I look to use him as a springboard for bouncing passes off, the fact he got two goals as well in this match shows he can be creative and clinical. The second goal comes from a nice one two from DLF who receives the ball on the turn and plays a one two with the winger before he runs in behind to slot home.

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Looks like Laurent Jans won't be in the shop window very much after he takes a really bad injury in the trip to Go Ahead but this allows Seedorf a chance to step up and make a claim it does however pose a problem as it the one area am rather light on. Adney can do a cover job and Nagalo could play there in a really defensive role.

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The transfer business was concluded with Heylen returning to his native Belgium and Bauer arriving from Germany. I had said I wanted to wait and see how Mbi and Nagalo settled in and with three clean sheets I am happy to bring in my 4th centre back which sees a full turnover in that position. Three out and four in. Bauer asked for a good bit in wages but the profit made on the transfer fees covered it enough to justify it.

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16 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

Wow, that pass map looks unreal. Flat across the front and that perfect pentagon on the right. Plus goals galore and none conceded is always great.

It’s certainly a start! Possession looks good. And we do have some nice patterns of play but maybe not as often as I would like to see them. 

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