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About nerf

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    West Mids, UK

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    In the fog, with an owl.

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    Aston Villa
  1. Nice thread! My favourite player in my long-running FM11 save is a 'false eight'. He's a two-footed MC produced through the club's youth academy, never predicted to be a star, but has become a critical cog in a 4-1-4-1 system. He has excellent physical attributes and - most crucially - the 'Gets Forward Whenever Possible' PPM. His forward bursts off the ball can be so dangerous, frequently getting alongside and beyond the lone DLF(s). The match commentary often notes how instinctively he times his runs. He doesn't have outstanding technical or mental abilities, but he just makes things happen with his vertical movement. Despite his low Finishing attribute, he still has a knack of finding the net and hit double figures last season. I don't do anything complicated with the way he's set up. A Central Midfielder Support (Balanced framework), I tend to reduce his RWB & TTB so he can just concentrate on giving it simple and arriving in dangerous areas. He's currently learning the 'Plays one-twos' PPM. No alterations to his Mentality, Creative Freedom, nor asked to Roam, etc. The key, I think, is that the channel ahead of him is clear. He's the left-centre midfielder and there's only a lone central striker ahead of him; the DLF(s) roams and creates gaps for the false eight to burst through. There's also a DLP(s) sitting behind to cover when he vacates the midfield on his forays.
  2. Is there a reason why you do this? The DLP can tackle and do everything a DMC/Anchor can do. Unless your DLP isn't good at the defensive side of things? It's partly that my DLP is usually not as proficient at defending as my available defensive midfielders. But it's also an attempt to put him somewhere that he can find the most space. I tend to observe (in my setup) that a DM DLP will be more effectively marked by the AM; compared to when an MC DLP is dropping out of the midfield line away from his opposing MC.
  3. Interesting thread The formation and roles you're using are very similar to the system I'm currently using in my game, and I too enjoy having a good DLP to build my attacks. I tend to move him based on the opposing formation. If my opponent has an AM in the hole, I'll play a defensive player at DM and put my DLP at MC. Whereas if they do not have anyone in the AM position I'll put my DLP at DM. I have never previously considered teaching the Plays Short Simple Passes PPM to a DLP; it's something I've tended to add to defenders or defensive midfielders who are not very good at passing. I'd be interested to see it in practice.
  4. Against an opponent who is pressing high, I will usually: 1. Play a bit quicker. Slightly more direct passing, slightly higher tempo, slightly less time-wasting, and no defenders or midfielders with Hold Up Ball. Encourage my players to move the ball around quicker to break the press, rather than taking their time and as a result being closed down in their own half. 2. Set up a (preferably quick) striker to make frequent forward runs in behind. If they're pressing, they're probably pushing their defensive line up - the space to exploit is now behind them. Perhaps even make him a Run Onto Ball target man if you need.
  5. From a design perspective, I imagine the aim is to encourage you to judge the situation like a real manager. To think how you would approach the situation in real-life, and run the risk of not always pressing the win button. If the impact of everything was laid out, the danger is that you would become an informed monkey pushing the button that always brings you food. There are many other occasions in game design when simplicity and transparency is beneficial, but I think it would be a shame if the subject of psychology was reduced to being thought of in terms of mechanics and binary outputs.
  6. I haven't suffered much from this gap, but then I am quite happy to sacrifice width. I narrow my team width to 2, with my DL/DR set to Fullback-Defend. The back three and my Anchor Man are all on Zonal marking. I also have an ML and an MR in my formation and don't press high, so perhaps their presence helps keep my fullbacks deep rather than being lured forward/wide to close down opponents too early, potentially widening those gaps. I don't think that 'Press More' is wise if you want your fullbacks to remain deep. When playing against two strikers, I think it can sometimes help (but not always necessary) to move your lone DC back to Sweeper. If you're narrow, your fullbacks then help out picking up the strikers while your DC sweeps. Of course, you then need your midfielders to be responsible for the opposing wingers. Broadly, I think that in this combination you need to treat your DL/DR as wide centre-backs. Like centre-backs, if you are asking them to move forward, or to press aggressively, or you allow big spaces in front of them with no protection, then they will probably be more vulnerable to being out of position.
  7. Not certain this counts as 'abstract' exactly, but in my FM 2011 save I'm currently experimenting with a diamond-shaped defence. Loosely a 3-1-4-1-1. --------------- DFa -------- -------- APa --------------- WMs - DLPs - B2Bs - WMs ---------- ANCd ----------- FBd ------------------- FBd ---------- SWd ------------ It evolved from the 4-4-1-1 I was using for a long time. I basically rotated the two centre-backs 90 degrees, and split the two attackers so they are not aligned centrally. I'm aiming for a possession-based style and the presence of the Anchor in midfield helps facilitate that so much better. He is so often an outlet, a safety valve for my other midfielders when they are pressed. He keeps it simple and retains the ball, and we start again. The Anchor forms the base of another diamond in the centre of midfield (AP, DLP, B2B, ANC), which provides a numerical advantage in that zone in every match. With the Deep Lying Playmaker sitting deep and the Box-to-Box given freedom to roam, that diamond often twists to more of a rhombus/square. My fullbacks sit deep and narrow to form a back three with the sweeper. If we're playing against two strikers, they will tuck in and help mark. If we're playing against one striker I usually push the Sweeper up to a Central Defender, to avoid him being isolated 1v1 so deep.
  8. I see what you're saying, but I think I'd be tempted to go the opposite way. I currently have a right footed DCL. When he has the ball at his feet, facing up the pitch, I would quite like him to favour feeding the ball out to my LB or ML (particularly as my LB is usually the one in most space). It's an intention for my team to direct most of our build-up down that side. This suits a right footer, I think. If my DCL collects the ball facing his own goal, well, I don't have much problem with him passing the ball back to my goalkeeper in that situation. It's safe and then we can start again. As always, I suppose it depends on your specific priorities.
  9. This is something I've been prioritising in my current save. It's not something I've really considered before, but now I view it as important to getting my passing play to be as slick as I want it to. Primarily, in my 4-4-1-1 I want my ML to be right footed. This is because I think it encourages him to look infield where the passing options are. Below is a very typical example: My GK's (right footed) distribution is set to Defender Collect for my LB (also right footed). The ball is frequently moved out to my ML, who usually receives the ball, like this, with his back to his marker. Because he's right footed, he can turn infield and release the ball - across his body, like you say - to one of my central players. I believe that when I play a left footer here, he sometimes wants to turn outwards to the sideline, or takes too long shifting the ball onto his left, and in both cases that makes him vulnerable to being pressed by the opponent. A right footer here will move the ball more easily by naturally turning infield and finding early passing options. This is especially useful for my tactic because I play a Trequartista AMC, and he is frequently in that gap between the opposition's lines (especially when transitioning from the defensive phase). In the screenshot above, he receives the ball from my ML and plays in my SC for a goal. The more often I can get the ball to my AMC, the better for my team... and I think that my ML's right footedness helps facilitate this and 'greases the wheels' of the team's build-up play. So in short, I would encourage thinking about the preferred foot of your players in combination with the situations in which they most commonly receive/distribute the ball.
  10. What goes around comes around... (this is the following season): Four and a half years after Hartlepool sacked me for sending my CV to other clubs, Frances Farmer has had her revenge on Seattle. Not that I bear grudges or anything! Eddie Howe ('Pool boss) despises me too, even though he benefitted from the foundations I'd built. Enjoy L1, Ed, and take your 28 goals with you Good season for us though, first one up in the Championship and just four points shy of the playoffs (predicted 22nd).
  11. Just had a stonking game at Loftus Road: Three-nil down after twenty minutes ... suffered from being too deep and too negative, and also perhaps through not motivating my players enough pre-match. QPR were dancing rings round us. The game changed on a couple of things. Firstly, Goodey snatched a goal back out of literally nothing - charged out of midfield, won a tackle he had no right to, and smashed it into the net for his first Colchester goal in two and a half seasons . Suddenly we were going into HT only two behind, and when I looked at my team's motivation, they weren't down, they were mostly 'Fired Up' or 'Motivated'. Inspirational stuff, Goodey. So I gave them a further boost at half-time by telling them I had faith... ...which Guthers loved, and the 20 year old Colchester youth product went on to score twice, including a 90th minute equaliser. Helped by Keithy boy, who I subbed on 'in the hole' for his first senior action in two months (suspension/injury). He promptly set up both of Guthers' goals and also won the penalty, MOTM despite only playing the second half. I thought the Loohuis rocket that put QPR back in front was going to be a heart-breaker, but we came back again. Dizzy heights of the November mid-table in our first season up in the Championship. 2010/11 - Hartlepool United, League One - 15th 2011/12 - Hartlepool United, League One - 11th 2012/13 - Hartlepool United, League One - 7th 2013/14 - Hartlepool United, League One - 3rd 2014/15 - (Gentleman of leisure!) 2015/16 - Colchester United, League Two - 3rd 2016/17 - Colchester United, League One - 9th 2017/18 - Colchester United, League One - 1st 2018/19 - Colchester United, Championship - Pleased to note that we are currently ten places above Hartlepool, even though the media predicted that they'd stay up and we wouldn't. Still, a long way to go yet.
  12. The outcome: Phew! What could have been a tense afternoon at Underhill turned into a 3-0 stroll, thanks to Barnet already being on the beach with their buckets and spades. I told half my team 'We can win this' and some key creative/attacking players 'No Pressure', but I probably could have said 'Just don't trip over their sandcastles' for all the enthusiasm Barnet had left in them. Leyton Orient enjoyed an identical result but it wasn't enough, because despite Huddersfield creating more chances, having more shots on target and playing with a man advantage for half an hour, a single own goal by a loanee defender gifted automatic promotion to lucky Hartlepool. Ouch!
  13. I believe this could be described as 'tight': To make things spicier, Hartlepool face Huddersfield on the final day. Hartlepool are also my previous club, so I would rather like it if we could go up at their expense. While Orient go to mid-table Bournemouth, we must take care of business at relegated Barnet, who have only won three matches this side of Christmas. It's there for the taking. Most crucial teamtalk of the season coming up...
  14. A cautionary tale here. In short: the grass is not always greener. In long: the Hartlepool board threw a hissy fit because, while under contract, I merely sent a CV to Millwall about their managerial vacancy. Ooh, they didn't like that. I apologised, but they still had a strop and tore up my contract. So whereas before I had a comfortable job while wistfully eyeing something bigger, I'm now unemployed and the only clubs entertaining the idea of approaching me are non-league outfits. My Sunday League Footballer reputation has clearly not been that far enhanced by four years in League One with Hartlepool, where I considered myself to be doing a good job (turned a relegation candidate into a promotion favourite). So not only am I feeling regret over the promising squad I have now left behind, I'm also facing the likely prospect of having to re-start my career on a lower rung just to haul myself back up to where I was before. Boo.
  15. Yeah, that's about what happened. My second request for a delay was rejected, so I walked away from the contract talks on the eve of the playoff final... which we went on to lose one-nil to Southend. Gutted! Dominated much of the game too, just couldn't break through. I'd promised promotion and narrowly failed to deliver, and my captain came to me the day after to request a move to a bigger club. Still, when the contract was laid back on the table... I decided to stay. I negotiated down to just a one year extension rather than two and signed. My change of mind was partly due to a lack of other available jobs at that moment in time, partly because I didn't want to quit on that Wembley defeat, partly because I didn't want to abandon some of the young-ish players I've been developing that are now on the brink of the first team, partly because the bank balance is looking healthy after our playoff/FA Cup runs, and partly because the board subsequently agreed to build a new training facility... although that will take a year to finish. My 30yr old Finnish captain moved to Premier League Fulham for a reasonable £300K. I didn't try to stop him leaving, he's far too good for League One and had showed patience to stick around for the last three years. Replacing him will be tough. Much of the first team squad is now around 21/20/19 years old, aside from a core group of key players, but there's lots of potential there. The board, however, want promotion now rather than later, having come so close last time. So do I, but we need to bring in experience and scouting is proving difficult. I seem to be lumbered with a pair of numpties for a scouting team, who struggle to identify players on their own doorstep never mind anywhere further afield, and advertising for a new Scout only generates a queue of similar numpties outside the Victoria Park entrance. The vast majority of the players I've attracted to Hartlepool have been on the back of spontaneous recommendations by my coaching staff, who seem much better connected than actual scouts.