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[FM22] Hull City - The Tiger Kings


Matty Aqua
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Looking for a bit of new save inspiration on the forums lately with some really great threads by @Shrewnaldo@MattyLewis11@danielgear has prompted me to kick things off with Hull City a club owned by the Allam family have had some highs and lows, under the Allam family reign there have been two promotions to the Premier League, and a first ever FA Cup final appearance. Also under their stewardship have been relegated three times with two unsuccessful attempts to change the club's name which went down like a lead balloon with the fan base. The club has been up for sale for a few seasons and as you can see from the squad above aren't exactly spending a lot of money for the this level as the owners are not really investing into the playing squad recently and trying to recoup financial losses through player sales.

I haven't had a personal save that has really grabbed me this year, and general life hasn't allowed me to get as much FM time as I would have liked I have enjoyed reading about different ways to play FM. I wanted to just create a little thread to share my thoughts as I move along the save and try to approach rebuilding the squad from a different angle both tactically and recruitment wise. In the past I've mostly focused on attributes - If his attributes look good, i'll sign him!, and while that's not necessarily a bad option I wanted to take a different approach and dig a little deeper into stats after enjoying Shrew's Statman and Robins save. Shrew has been kind enough to share his Stats views which I will be using.

If you haven't read the Byline article by @danielgear you should!, I've quizzed the host of the Grass and Gear podcast about his methods of playing and slowly he's converted me to a more realistic approach of using the Director of Football to make transfer deals and take control of the contracts, I can tell you from trying this with a few side saves, it can be frustrating to have deals slip through your fingers but also adds a sense of realism, so it blends well with trying to find players using statistics too and Hull City are a good club to rebuild as the board are just expecting survival for the first season so it takes some pressure off having to deliver success immediately.

Lee Darnbrough is currently our Director of Football and Head of Youth Development, financially Hull City have amassed quite a bit of debt tho the club is up for sale in FM22 and there's a good chance a buyer may purchase the club and wipe the debt but we'll see how that plays out!, the first transfer window is turned off anyway so I doubt i'll have much to spend in January either. I don't normally spend to much on backroom staffs immediately, tho I have offered a contract to Jody Morris to be an Assistant Manager and might make some reassessments at the end of the season!. I'll post up some tactics in the next post and keeping things simple as we're predicted to finish 18th and avoid a relegation battle. I'll also be keeping an eye on players from the Under 23's and Under 18's to bring through as the academy will be an important aspect of this save and i'll try to write up a little bit on player development.

Dan Gears article 👉  https://www.footballmanager.com/the-byline/using-your-staff-recruitment-fm22

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I don't intend on rushing through this save I'm more focusing on digging through the stats to find players, organizing a collective of players to add to shortlists and relying on a Director of Football to get the deals done so it will take some time - especially the first season but I'll try to post shorter updates and maybe a longer seasonal update on things that went well, things that didn't, and players that are standing out in the recruitment department. Ultimately as mentioned I will be trying to look at solving tactical issues and finding players using the data provided but since I'll be using the DOF to get the deals done there's a good chance I may not get the targets I set out too, therefore in that case I may rely on finding the best player available based on attributes. Hull City have been such a yo-yo team, bouncing around from the Premier League and the Championship and recently a short stint in League One and I want to get the firing in the Premier League but more on that later!.

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Just in case people are wondering I've listed some details below in regards to the save set up!

Skin  - Tato

Database - Daveincid Realism Database

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Matty Aqua
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Good luck with the save Matty, as you know it has taken time for me to get one that sticks.

I hope the new approach to playing the game is enough to do the same for yourself. Will be keen to see how this one progresses.

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Nice one Matty, going to be quite the challenge in the first season.

I know, irl, the club just got a takeover by the guys who appointed Arveladze so hopefully you'll get something like that in game.

And you've got quite the player Keane Lewis-Potter. I've looked him a number of times and he's really handy. 

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18 hours ago, MattyLewis11 said:

Good luck with the save Matty, as you know it has taken time for me to get one that sticks.

I hope the new approach to playing the game is enough to do the same for yourself. Will be keen to see how this one progresses.

Sometimes you need to try a few different saves before one sticks!, I'm definitely not going to revolutionize the way we play FM and I'll make some mistakes but I'll see how I go!. I prefer a slower approach and I've learned a lot from your writing and @Matt1979

18 hours ago, danielgear said:

Good luck Matty

No doubt i'll need it!, Be interesting to see what deals my DOF can get done!, figured Hull City was a good place to start as there is no pressure to get promoted straight away!

17 hours ago, Shrewnaldo said:

Nice one Matty, going to be quite the challenge in the first season.

I know, irl, the club just got a takeover by the guys who appointed Arveladze so hopefully you'll get something like that in game.

And you've got quite the player Keane Lewis-Potter. I've looked him a number of times and he's really handy. 

Yes!, I did read that on doing some background reading about Hull City, apparently the Turkish "Simon Cowell" make of that what you will! haha

I personally would like to clear the debt myself but we will see how it plays out!, maybe a take over will happen.

He looks great!, I want to get the best out of Keane Lewis-Potter (and Mallik Wilks), tho I also may need to start look for his replacement as he might get some attention from bigger clubs!, he's already developing nicely!

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Edited by Matty Aqua
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When I started this save I had a few key things in mind for how I wanted it to play out. With enjoyment being the number one factor at the forefront, I also set out to play the game a bit slower than my average pace which can sometimes lead me to making some rash decisions. In some sense creating a thread on the forums or blogging is rather a cathartic way of thinking through your thoughts about an FM save (or life for that matter). So in the opening post I mentioned I would be digging into the stats a bit more to hopefully find some answers for recruitment and even tactically being able to spot a few problems. Also another welcome ideas is being open to change and new ways to look at things such as the DOF handling the transfers meaning I will need a few back up options in case Option A doesn't eventuate in the transfer market.

Moving through things a bit more slowly aloud me some time to think about a few other important aspects of the save such as...

  • What is my short term and long term strategy?
  • What tactic will best suit these current players that I have inherited? 
  • How will I recruit for the long term and short term goals?  

Maybe these are questions I haven't asked myself enough lately when starting an FM save and hence why I've not really delved into a long term save this FM cycle but it's a good question to ask and there best time for change is always now!, So let's delve into these questions a bit more and go over the plan for the Hull City save.

What is the short and long term strategy?

To state the obvious it's to restore Hull City to the Premier League and establish them as a regular Premier League club and no more yo-yo'ing up and down from the divisions. I'm also a big fan of developing youth prospects from the academy which currently we only have Adequate youth recruitment and Adequate facilities so it's an area that could use some financial attention and be upgraded with time. Tactically tho I'm always naturally to inclined to play a more counter attacking brand of football - think of Claudio Ranieri's title winning Leicester City team. There's so many elements of that team that I really enjoy whether it's the speed and tenacity of Jamie Vardy breaking away on a counter attack or N'Golo Kanté desire to win the ball back and work hard for the team, it's a brand of football I resonate with and something I think could relate to Hull City at the moment as we're predicted to finish around the bottom end of the table, so being compact defensively and hitting teams with pace inspired by the title winning foxes is ideal!.

I've spoken a bit about recruitment already with how the DOF will be used to deal with transfers and digging into stats being a big part of the recruitment component of this save, but also in my opinion recruitment goes beyond attributes and stats. Even tho my style of play is inspired by Leicester City's counter attacking team I'm not looking to replicate the formation or Ranieri's exact team I'm just looking to develop a good counter attacking team with the right combination of players. The short term recruitment focus is very much finding value for money and most likely a large percentage of our transfer will be players signing of free contracts and we don't have the finances at this point of time to compete with the bigger teams. Short term I'm focusing on scouting the English Leagues and the Scottish Leagues as that's all we can really afford right now, but long term will see an expansion in recruitment shifting through Scandinavia, Greece, and other countries.

Building a squad for the long term requires patience and preparation, I am already tracking a few players I think would fit the system not just for not but potentially in the future should they become available on the transfer list or should their contracts be run down and expire. I believe the art of a good deal is all about persistence, patience and timing. I'm not expecting to get promoted this season and I think possibly even next season will be a big ask to get promoted so the focus will be about rebuilding this squad and stabilizing the ourselves, but that doesn't mean I won't be planning for the long term too. I'll get into the specifics of the tactic int eh next section but long term recruitment will be trying locate a pacey Striker, a strong Midfielder with good balance who can pick a pass and a strong Centre Back who can clear the ball from incoming crosses. I'm not convinced by either Goalkeeper at the moment either but Matt Ingram will be given a chance.

 

What tactic will best suit this squad?

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Initially upon a quick overview of the squad I seen two big Target Forwards in Josh Magennis and Tom Eaves, two big strong forwards combined with the speed and pace of Keane Lewis-Potter and Mallik Wilks and I thought 4-4-2 would be the way forward! (yes, I love the Burnley 4-4-2). However looking at the players surrounding our attack and I quickly come to the conclusion that I wouldn't be getting the very best out of the rest of the squad and I wasn't convinced by either Target Forward. I spent a bit of time in the team analysis section and felt it would be best to try and utilize our midfielders passing strength a bit better and eventually I settled on a 4-2-3-1 formation. Even with one of our best midfielders George Honeyman out for a few weeks at the beginning of the season we still have decent options in George Moncur, Greg Docherty, Andy Cannon and two veterans Tom Huddlestone and Richie Smallwood. I'll spend a bit more time watch some footage of the title winning Leicester City team for some counter-attacking inspiration and reading some blogs and threads and feel free to recommend any good material on counter-attacking football!.

I've set the mentality on Balanced but I'll be using Cautious mentality quite a lot too, I think on Cautious mentality we may hold onto possession a bit longer than I would like but I will monitor it. I think the squad has a few to many weak links for it to be an a proficient counter attack team but I'll work with what I've got. Ideally I would like a different Striker but I'll have to try and get the best out of Tom Eaves and Josh Magennis but the idea is to create space in behind for Lewis-Porter and Wilks to run into as they will be out main goal scoring threats. I've also set a Higher Defensive Line and a Much Lower Line of Engagement but I think it might be a bit to low and both strikers won't have the pace to support the counter in a transition?.

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How will I recruit for Long term and Short term goals?

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As you can see the club has amassed quite a bit of debt over the years and is currently up for sale so there's a current embargo on the transfers. The current owners are looking to move on from Hull City which I'm aware could result in a takeover and possibly a potential sacking if new investors decide to go a different direction so I'm going to have really get off to a good start. I've mentioned that I'm scouting the English Leagues and the Scottish Leagues and I'm playing a Counter-Attacking 4-2-3-1 and i will be recruiting players to fit that system. Again, slowing down and thinking about things I come up with a few key attributes I'll be looking for, and keeping track if the data can provide any outliers. From my experience of playing FM building the squad you want takes a few transfer windows.

Key Attributes

Physical

  • Acceleration - Being able to break away from the opposition and move into space as quick as possible could unlock a passing opportunity
  • Pace - The most obvious Attribute and exactly what it says on the tin, I want players who as fast and can hit top speeds
  • Stamina - Counter Attacking is hard work and players will cover a lot of ground, Being able to run all day is important as I'm looking for players who can give me everything for 90 minutes

Technical

  • Dribbling - If we're going to play Counter Attacking football then we need players who can take on the opposition and confidently dribble up the pitch.
  • First Touch - Once we've won possession of the ball, we can't afford to have the transition breakdown and lose the ball
  • Crossing - I believe crossing is vitally important to a counter attack, the ability to play a cross behind the defense can easily catch defenders out of position and create goal scoring opportunities

Mental

  • Bravery - I want players who are willing to go and win the ball back, tough in the tackle and strong Defenders in the air
  • Off the Ball - When we win the ball back, I need players moving in the right places creating space and moving into positions to make attacking runs 
  • Work Rate - Players are working hard in both Defensive and Attacking phases of play
  • Teamwork - Possibly one of the most important Attributes, Working cohesively and not having any weak links mentally

Without getting to far ahead of myself unless we get taken over by an investor who gives me a lot of money in the transfer budget I highly doubt I'll have much to spend. So looking for good Free Agents is most likely the short term method of recruitment. I'll report back when I've played some matches and see how the tactic is playing out and may have to make some adjustments.

 

Edited by Matty Aqua
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39 minutes ago, danielgear said:

Might be worth focusing recruitment on end of contract PL players aged 18-23 who you could potentially build around going forward

I'll set an assignment for the PL, I actually forgot and have done one for the Scottish PL!

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Season Kick Off!

After settling on a formation and getting a few game in we are currently in 8th position after 10 games, I'm pretty happy with that considering we've had some tough opponents and although I'm not completely happy with every component of the tactic at the moment, but there are some positives and it's a good start to the season.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

We can start with the good. Keane Lewis-Potter has started of the season superbly scoring 7 goals and look dangerous in goals with Mallik Wilks pitching in with 3 goals and 2 assists also. Team wise we've picked up some good results with the 4-2-3-1 working pretty well, nice away wins against Fulham and Swansea proved we can hold our own with the best. Well there isn't much to complain about at the moment but a run against Blackburn, Sheffield United and Stoke without a win was frustrating as both the Blackburn and Sheffield United matches were winnable and we let them slip out of our hands. Goalkeeper Matt Ingram has been great in front of goals but his distribution of the ball at times has been ugly despite having a rather decent pass percentage and we've conceded some ugly goals from set pieces. 

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I've made some adjustments to the tactic using Docherty as a BBM now that Matt Smith has returned from injury and thanks to @Shrewnaldo I have this lovely view to gauge effectiveness, Greg Docherty has been very consistent and although he hasn't notched up a goal or assist yet despite 9 Clear Chances Created, Docherty is hitting 91% of his passes and moving really well as a Box to Box midfielder. George Moncur has also been good with 4.42 Key passes per game but again no assists even tho he has 7 Cleat Chances Created. This could be down to the fact that I have the Counter option and most of our assists have come from wide areas due to attempting to play a more Counter Attacking style.

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Josh Emmanuel has been able to keep his spot at starting Right Back over Lewis Coyle winning 91% of his tackles and 2.45 dribbles per game picking up 2 assists so far, Coyle has only managed 325 minutes of action but in the minutes he has played he hasn't impressed me to much with his crossing only hitting 16% out of the 37 crosses attempted it's early days and a small sample size but a concern none the less. Sean McLoughlin has been ok, not setting the world on fire but reliable in defense but I'll start rotating Jacob Greaves to give him some minutes to develop. Alfie Jones has probably been our best Center Back so far and is probably more suited to a Half Back role as he likes to bring the ball out of defense which can unbalance us defensively but is still putting up a 96% pass average and winning 82% of his headers.

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Overall it's been a nice start the the season and sitting in 8th is a good start, we do struggle when it comes to rotation as there is not really a lot of quality to bring of the bench and I'm sticking rigidly to the 4-2-3-1 despite a brief 4-4-2 encounter with a rotated squad against Burnley were Jay Rodriquez decided to channel his inner Cristiano Ronaldo and score goals from everywhere. I have seen some nice passages of play leading to goals for Lewis-Potter and Wilks. George Moncur played a part in both goals as has been generally always the pass before the assist - big question is can we keep it up?, as the Championship is a long and tough season!.

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Tom Eaves finds Mallik Wilks to open the scoring against Preston!

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George Moncur plays it wide to Josh Emmanual who find Lewis-Potter on the Counter Attack!

 

I'll play a bit more through the season in the next few days and I should get a more clear idea about what is working and what isn't with a larger sample size in minutes played, any thoughts on the tactic is welcome!. We also have received some news about a possible take over and the investor considering placing the club on the stock market!. 😮, Recruitment wise I'm still scouting a lot of players I think a pacey striker is top of the list as Magennis and Eaves are far to slow in transition. At this point i'd say most if not all the recruitment will be done at the end of the season and this season will be more about identifying what we need and where we can find it!. Let me know what you think of the start at Hull!.

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Moncur is pretty effective with his key pass per 90 metric, I would have expected him to have registered an assist though, given the amount of CCC.

Have you looked in any detail at where these key passes are occurring and more importantly the shot xG value which sits behind them? 

I could well be that they aren't in quality areas, therefore a cheeky tweak of a few PIs could change all that.

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1 hour ago, MattyLewis11 said:

Moncur is pretty effective with his key pass per 90 metric, I would have expected him to have registered an assist though, given the amount of CCC.

Have you looked in any detail at where these key passes are occurring and more importantly the shot xG value which sits behind them? 

I could well be that they aren't in quality areas, therefore a cheeky tweak of a few PIs could change all that.

@MattyLewis11I have Moncur playing as the Attacking Mid and the only PI I have ticked is the < Take more Risks > 

I haven't looked in great detail, I'm maybe not the best at locating these issues so any suggestions is more than welcome! - your pretty good with this stuff! 😉

Moncur has been great at setting up the pass before the assist, but my strikers haven't been scoring to much as they're to slow on the counter.

Overall for the players I have I think were creating chances, just haven't been finishing them.

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Edited by Matty Aqua
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Re the key passes for Moncur, with those sorts of numbers I'm guessing that he's on set piece duty? It's really frustrating but there's no way to automatically separate corners etc out of that metric so it very much gets skewed. I've started using chances per 90 more often but, as you say that doesn't account for the "assist of the assist" 

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24 minutes ago, Shrewnaldo said:

Re the key passes for Moncur, with those sorts of numbers I'm guessing that he's on set piece duty? It's really frustrating but there's no way to automatically separate corners etc out of that metric so it very much gets skewed. I've started using chances per 90 more often but, as you say that doesn't account for the "assist of the assist" 

Yes he is on Set Pieces, overall his attributes aren't amazing but I think he is more than capable of playing at this level.

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@Shrewnaldolooking at his Key passes per 90 they're not to bad, I think it's trying to find a balance of getting him the ball in a more dangerous position as @MattyLewis11 mentioned.

any suggestions on what to look at is appreciated!.

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On 27/02/2022 at 10:51, Matty Aqua said:

Yes he is on Set Pieces, overall his attributes aren't amazing but I think he is more than capable of playing at this level.

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@Shrewnaldolooking at his Key passes per 90 they're not to bad, I think it's trying to find a balance of getting him the ball in a more dangerous position as @MattyLewis11 mentioned.

any suggestions on what to look at is appreciated!.

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0.85 chances per 90 is really big. Some of that might come from set pieces but my general threshold for creative players was around 0.45 chances per game was "good". Bätzner was the absolute standout player for me across any season and got 0.97, so that gives you an idea of how good 0.85 is. And the fact that it doesn't align with his assists per 90 would most likely be down to the players on the other end of the pass not finishing properly. 0.93 dribbles per 90 is also good for a central player like that. Looks like he's doing a stirling job, to me.

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Posted (edited)

 

On 28/02/2022 at 23:17, Shrewnaldo said:

0.85 chances per 90 is really big. Some of that might come from set pieces but my general threshold for creative players was around 0.45 chances per game was "good". Bätzner was the absolute standout player for me across any season and got 0.97, so that gives you an idea of how good 0.85 is. And the fact that it doesn't align with his assists per 90 would most likely be down to the players on the other end of the pass not finishing properly. 0.93 dribbles per 90 is also good for a central player like that. Looks like he's doing a stirling job, to me.

He's been great but just looking at his assists and goals would say otherwise and maybe in other saves I wouldn't have valued him so much.

I've analysed a few of his matches I realized as an AM he dropped deeper to link with the midfield, so I've changed his role to an AP to try and link him up a bit more with the attackers, although as a counter attacking team I try to not have play makers slow things down.

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Edited by Matty Aqua
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