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[FM 23] "Gegen pressing my way around the World": A Journeyman's story (Is the "Out of the Box" Gegen press OP?)


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VNL here we come!

Funny about the physical work - really thought I saw something in there at some point but must have misread.  Still - lot of xG jumps at the end of games, good chances late.  We can pretend it's getting used to playing at that high tempo (or just OP tactics).

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Welling United


August 2024: Regular Season

Manager's Thoughts

The season started and I now realize how OP the Gegenpress is because I am playing with a team totally unsuited for it. I should be emulating Dyche's Burnley 4-4-2 with my big, slow, physically strong team that is good at defending and Set Pieces.

That being said I am staying with the 4-2-3-1 DM Wide Gegen Press of the past two seasons. The results weren't all bad a win on opening day and two draws when down to ten men!

So, we are not flying high, but the team can't be underestimated. I think on the whole we will stay up even if it is on the last day!




Season Preview


The team is thought to be relegation candidates, but we will continue to play a Positive Gegen press ans see where that takes us. 


Reminder of expectations.....should be able to meet them.


The month of August saw the team add another player....one that I forgot that I put out as an end of contract to the General Manager (DOF)


He will definitely compete for the Left Back Spot and provide cover for CB even though he is a bit short (175CM)

The first match of the season would see us face Gateshead on the road.


According to the Bookies and Media we have a chance against a Preseason Midtable team!


What do the Board and Supporters think.....expecting a Gateshead Win.....BOO!


The first match was a good one even though we went down to Ten Men!


The supporters are jumping on the Band wagon!


Gateshead went ahead early, New signing Rollinson got a Red Card. At halftime I subbed in McGill for Agho and told the team to believe in themselves.

Thomas Hughes Scored on a Free kick and McGill Stole a pass from their GK and scored. I then "Parked the Bus" for Extra Time.


Seven Players made their Debuts for the team!


It was a mistake by their goalie and we took advantage of it.


We were the better team by XG!

The Sales Department had good news as well the Season Ticket Sales had topped 400!


The next match would see us host Notts County at Park View Rd.


We were home underdogs and probably will be for most of the season.


This match could have gone either way and it was a mistake by Jack Madelin (record signing) that led to the only goal. We just couldn't buy a goal. More on that later!


The Pess tried to get me to say something about the biased (against us) officiating.


according to Xg we should have at least tied the match!

The next match would see us play another Preseason Playoff team this time on their home pitch.



In other news the goalie from my first season who rejected us in June because he wanted more money was still available......since he was now entertaining offers from smaller teams in worse leagues maybe we could sign him!


Underdogs as expected.


another match that could have gone either way. An early mistake by Jack Madelin allowed Chesterfield to score in the first minute. We then started a furious counterattack that finally succeeded in Thomas Hughes scoring. The Second half saw us have chances, but we just couldn't score. The in Extra time they got a Lucky Game winner from a Set Piece.


XG shows how close it was.....


The xtra analysis shows we have played well and that Joel Rollinson isn't quite gelling in the attack. It might help if he wasn't always in Card trouble!


We signed him for the long term as our GK!


I am excited because it was his steady presence in goal that allowed us to go on the playoff run my first season. Would have had him Last season but Watford wanted him to play with "Better Players" their U-21's!

The next match is at home against another preseason playoff team: Dorking!



Both teams are sputtering, and we are the underdogs because of the Preseason poll!


We have to stop this going to 10 men trend even if we play well when doing so!

More biased officiating!


The match was a drab match even though the team was down to ten men.

Team Overview


The team has some talented players, but all will need to contribute if we are to have a successful season.


We are one of the biggest teams in the league!


We are in good shape except for technicals First touch and passing......


The Three goalkeepers a decent but really can't control the ball.


Even though I tried to find speed in the defense we are still slow!


Decent defensive Midfield attributes except Technicals!


Attacking Midfield a little better!



No wonder we have a such a hard time scoring ......look at the off the ball rating and pace, and it doesn't get much netter with just midfielders and attackers.


Big and Physical and Slow.....decent Stamina


Smart , Brave and well positioned defensively.


Good at Set Pieces

This team is totally unsuited for a Gegenpress and should be playing like Sean Dyche's Burnley Teams!

Monthly Analysis Report


If we just matched our expected goals, we would have at least one more win!

Management Report




Financial Report


Thanks For Reading!









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Welling United


September 2024: Regular Season

Manager's Thoughts

The team started September having been competitive but a definite lack of goal scoring was definitely hurting our chances as I searched for the "perfect" Starting XI that would give the team the best chance of surviving in the VNL. I finished my National B badge and if the team stays up and goes professional, I will stay otherwise I will look to sign with a bigger team (Professional) next season.

I came into the month hoping to gain 8 points from the 5 games. That would keep us with more points than matches played which is a good way to measure if you are to survive a relegation battle.

The team continues to use the Out of the Box 4-2-3-1 DM Wide Gegen press. 





The month began with a trip to Spennymoor and the team was again the underdog. 


This was a match against a fellow relegation battle side so was an important match.

The match ended 1-0 for Spennymoor and was marked by more bad officiating and the fact my players are still trying out to be NFL Placekickers!

In other news I finished my second badge.


and then tried for another.....


Rejected! Board fears I would leave for a bigger club and their right! If the team stays up and doesn't go pro I'm gone.

The next match was against the newly promoted side Boston United at Park View Road.

Welling United was considered the Favorites and in an unusual move I decided to play the Backups in the important match!


Hughes, Aljorfree, and Wilson were all second half subs!

The match was a tight affair until I subbed in Dead ball Specialist Hughes!

This was our best performance and win to date this season.




The next match was a trip to Woking the other team promoted with us to the VNL.


Both teams were in bad form getting used to a new league.


We were warned about the VNS Golden Boot Winner......it's not like we didn't remember him!

Since we were rivals for the title last season the media wanted to stir the pot....



neither coach said anything truly controversial.


We started fast but couldn't get a second to put them away in the first half. After halftime they started playing balls over the top of the press and found success.


We played well until they changed tactics and we just couldn't convert our chances!


The next match would see the team host Oldham Athletic another team that should be in a higher tier of English Football!


Both teams were on poor runs of form, but the press wanted me to give Oldham some "Bulletin Board Material" I didn't take the bait and my players were pleased.


It turned out to be a drab affair they scored very early and then did nothing but defend. Neither team really threatened the other after we equalized and both teams seemed happy with a point.

The last match of the month would see the team visit 2nd placed Solihull Moor


Solihull more was playing well and we were a bit of a mess form wise....


We won even though they pressed us hard and had better chances on goal, but it was a special play by Gabby McGill that won the game!






The fans were thrilled, and it gave the team hope that they could compete at this level!


But if there was one problem.....


The talisman of the season so far went down for the next month!'





Xg shows we were lucky, but I will take it!


McGill's effort was rewarded!

League Table


Monthly Analyst Report


If we could score atleast our XG we would probably have 1-2 more wins.


Other than his mistakes that led to goals early in the season, Madelin has performed well for the team.

Management Report




Monthly Financial Report


Thanks For Reading!






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Welling United


October 2024: Regular Season

Manager's Thoughts

GPS Coach came into the month of October hoping to get 8 points from 15 for the five fixtures in the VNL. The other fixture was in the FA Cup. The team played well as the new players got used to playing the Gegenpress and used to each other. We are much better defensively than we ever were last season. Unfortunately, we are not even half as good in front of goal! If we were as well as we are playing defensively, we would definitely be in the Playoff places if not leading the league!  This is shown in the analysis of last season and this season so far in General Performance.

Everyone needs to remember that this is a slow team that can't shoot or pass but somehow keeps the ball well (53%) and somehow wins matches.

I am only using the suggested Gegenpress TI's with the 4-2-3-1 Formation and setting OI's (pressing everyone and marking (zonal) four players) and changing to "Work the Ball in the Box" when the Assman says something!




The first match of the month was at home versus Ebbsfleet United.


I still wasn't sure about my team and since they had won the last meeting between the two teams, I said Ebbsfleet would be confident of winning.


The Referee gave us most of the cards and called us offsides in controversial circumstances and really tried to create an Ebbsfleet Win!


But I refused to complain about the Ref!


We were the obviously better team and should have won based on XG.


Next match was against struggling Barnet.


Another questionable officiating performance marred the match.

and we lost another player to injury....



and they play similar positions.


The analyst thought that Barnet played better but I will argue that we would have won if not hampered by the officiating.

During this time our place in the FA Cup was determined and we were to open our run on the road to Enfield Town!


The next match would see league leading York City visit Welling United!


Nobody gave us a chance......


even me!

and we were home underdogs!


I played a heavily rotated team due to injuries and suspensions and We played the best match of the season so far! We dominated the match!


Officiating helped nullify a York City goal.....at least it wasn't against us!


and I still don't talk about the officiating to the press....


even when they make it a big story!


According to our analyst we could have scored more!


In an interesting hire Dorking near the bottom of the table.....got a new manager You might have heard of him!


and his Assman Danny Drinkwater as well!

Our next match was a trip to Enfield for the FA Cup.



I played the backups and used the 4-2-4 Gegen press



The opposing manager used my strategy as well about the officiating.


We should have won by more!



a couple of VNL and League2 teams lost.


and that checks off a Club Vision objective!


If we keep doing the small things right the big things become easy.....


So, we will host Spennymoor in the First Round.....will this start another cup run?

The next match would see us head to Halifax.....


We were playing well and getting no respect from the bookies or the media!


There I said it! So sue me!


Back and forth with goals galore Neutrals were thrilled!



Since we were such underdogs according to everyone, I said I was happy with a point. Actually, I was fuming about having to tie it so late!


We snatched a point from the jaws of defeat!

The last match of the month was against King's Lynn Town


and it was the first time we are considered favorites this season!


I complimented the other manager....


and he complimented me back....

No war of words!


We played well and dominated them! They tried to "Park the Bus" and that made them sitting ducks for our press. The only reason it was close is our abysmal shooting!


the fans loved it, and we are 5 points ahead of relegation and 2 points from the Playoffs. The relegation battle is still on can't get complacent after a good month!



The Centerback scored the winner on a rebound of his header on a Set Piece!


This shows how good he was in the game and over the season so far!


I thought they fought hard their manager just chose the wrong match plan!


and the Analyst was overjoyed with our performance!



We were a little crowded in midfield and there bus helped stop us from penetrating farther and we had to rely on Set-Pieces to break it down.


I am not talking about the relegation battle and giving other teams "Bulletin Board" Material!


Monthly Awards


Player of the Month


Monthly Analysis Report


The analyst has been saying that we are shaky on defense and good on offense. His own numbers say the opposite!

Management Report




Monthly Financial Report


Thanks for Reading

PS. I have now caught up to where I have played and will hopefully not get so far behind again by keeping them coming out more regularly.











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I continued playing and was up to 10th place in VNL in January, but a crash in a talk with a player about playing time ended the career.

Here are some screen shots near the end of the career and where the team was:







This season is the opposite of last season, and we are comfortably midtable team even though we are a team that is totally unsuited to play Gegen press tactics.

I wish I could have continued this career as I was having fun. I was also looking forward to bringing the press to more teams.


I think I will try the Sir Alex "Fraud" Ferguson challenge next......or maybe something else.



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Oh no!  Was it a crash that made you think "okay I'm done with this" or was it just too far back since a save?

Was having fun with the OP gegenpress doing pretty well, if not quite taking the VNL by storm...

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3 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Oh no!  Was it a crash that made you think "okay I'm done with this" or was it just too far back since a save?

Was having fun with the OP gegenpress doing pretty well, if not quite taking the VNL by storm...

I couldn't get past the talk with the player even with a reload of the save from an earlier save. So, I decided I was done with this save.

I have kept up the premise while taking on the Sir Alex "Fraud" Challenge as Bournemouth using a Classic 4-4-2 with same TI's and went from 19th to 11th place. (Could have been 9th).

I am into my next preseason and all about creating a Sean Dyche Burnley Style Team that Gegen presses all over again. I now have two 6'5" CM's and no one in the starting lineup is shorter than 5'10".  Except were a little faster haven't even checked the Analytics yet!

The plan for this season is to comfortably avoid relegation. I have a few players running down their contracts and I am trying to preemptively replace them (Dominic Solanke, Top Goal Scorer) but no one has offered enough money yet. Even though his replacement is joining the team.

Also I can only sign 8 players a season as part of the challenge.


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12 hours ago, SixPointer said:

What’s next mate?

I am doing the Sir Alex "Fraud" Ferguson Challenge with Bournemouth. I post in that thread about my progress. I am using a "Out of the Box" Gegen press 4-4-2. Which was good enough to go from 19th to 11th. I have also won 3 out of 4 in season two so far.

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