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Everything posted by bowieinspace

  1. No problem. You’ve only got to be careful with players over the age threshold who need to be registered for a squad to be eligible. I have found that making them available for the B team doesn’t mean they will get registered for that team. So you have to temporarily put them fully into the B team, register them on deadline day and then return them to the first team squad the next day
  2. B team training is seperate, so if you have a real top prospect, I'd recommend having them training with the first team and available to play for the B team. I do often put players there for a fixed period though and it usually works ok, but I find leaving them there for multiple seasons doesn't help development at all
  3. Depends on the age of the player and ability. Generally I’ll only move players to the B team once they turn 17 and hit a specific ability level. The u19s is good for the younger ones, but for the good prospect they will need to get experience at higher levels eventually
  4. I use the upper tier Europe packages for both seniors and youth
  5. I would personally leave your leagues as is. Mexico is kinda useful but personally I'd say having the key european leagues active is more important as it enables a stronger European competition
  6. In about 10 years of playing 10+ season Athletic saves on FM, I've never seen it happen
  7. Thanks! just starting the next season, 2 for 2 in the league and we won the Supercopa against Villarreal so a positive start. Also Borja Borja, Alberto Lopez and Eneko Goni were capped for the first time for Spain which is always nice. Borja Borja thanked me personally for my involvement in his development...he's my favourite
  8. Yeah I’ve had quite a few ‘best of their generation’ guys over the years. Likely they will become a world class player. Once they develop their knowledge of the area it shouldn’t be an issue, I never really had concerns about this myself having always used Bernhard Peters in past FM’s and never seeing any disadvantage. If you’re only bringing in 3-4 players in your youth intake I think that’s a database size thing.
  9. 2022/23 Season Review Competition Summary/Overview An excellent season, we played superbly from start to finish and deserved our league win. We lost in the Champions League quarter finals to Liverpool who went on to win the competition...we drew 1-1 at San Mames and 0-0 at Anfield, and had a legitimate goal disallowed for offside on 80mins at their place....so close. We lost in the semi final of the Copa Del Rey to Real Madrid in a match where we were the better side, but were comfortably beaten by them in the Supercopa. The league win was just rewards for our quality and consistency, with competitive displays and close exits in the two main cups. Unai Nunez was our player of the year according to the fans, and Alberto Lopez (our regen RB) came 3rd in La Liga player of the year. The most positive aspects to this season were the emergency and transition of our young players to important players, and the minor tweaks to our tactics paying real dividends, after a slightly inconsistent 21/22 season Tactics and Key Indicators - Shots on target % of 49%, most shots on target in the league with 5th best conversion rate - Most goals in La Liga - Most overall set piece goals, not including direct free kicks - Best defensive record/most clean sheets Statistically, our numbers represent just how competitive we were this season, with a solid defensive foundation and incisive attacking set up, while also making the most of set plays. We were resilient and our efficiency/consistency made us difficult to beat. We very rarely were second best in any game. The main changes tactically this season stemmed from the switch to one formation. Instead of switching between a few, we went with a 4-3-3/4-5-1 consistency and just made minor adjustments in game if needed. We'd been using this formation for a while, but there were a few areas I wasn't happy with: - IF tended to get stuck running inside too often and didn't provide us with a player attacking the channel on the left. I want my wingers to play fairly narrow, but I don't want them to be running into the middle - I wanted this area clear for the central midfielders - The central midfield pairing wasn't quite working...the AP (A) and BBM combination I was using wasn't quite giving the support to the forward that I wanted. \ - The above combined with the high tempo I was playing meant my striker often looked a touch isolated, so counter attacks, or faster attacks in general felt like they too often fizzled out due to a lack of quick support to the striker I rectified this by switching the CM duo to a RPM (S) and the BBM to a CM (A). This gave me the balance I wanted. I also toned down the tempo to standard to assist with getting the midfielders up in support of the front 3. I also changed the IF on the left to a W (A)...this suited Borja Borja and Cordoba if deployed on the left, and didn't affect Muniain too much as his PPM's force him inside anyway, so it give me some variety on that side. Borja Borja now the first choice in that position with Muniain an experienced alternative, who offers something different. The key indicators in regards to chance creation were so much better this season...I had identified our chance creation and conversion rates weren't good enough, so delighted to see this improved so much. Transfers and Looking ahead -Kepa returns The big news of the summer! Kepa Arrizabalaga returns to the club to take the number 1 jersey. Alex Remiro wanted to leave anyway with Simon having taken his spot in the side, so he will be moved on. Simon is a good keeper, but I needed an improvement if I wanted to challenge for the Champions League next season. Kepa is a clear improvement to the first XI and I'm delighted to have got him back, although I debated the move a lot...I have a young keeper coming through in Gorka Goni, however he's currently only a 2* keeper with the potential to be around either Kepa or Simon's level. I decided it wasn't clear enough that he would reach Kepa's level, so bringing Kepa in was the right choice. Simon will be back up and Goni will either play in the Segunda for the B team or go on loan this year. The other potential option with my budget was Aymeric Laporte. However I have so many CD's, including regens Eneko Goni (now a 4* player) and Josu Flano (3* with huge potential), that in the end Kepa was the obvious choice. This season we say good bye to Javi Martinez who was retired, and Yuri who has declined significantly so is leaving on a free. Both excellent servants to the club. Inigo Martinez however earned himself a contract extension, he will be 4th choice CB this season and also cover left back during the first half of the season while my regen Juantxo Eraso continues for the B team for a while longer. Julen Artola is my first choice LB (regen) In other news our stadium is now being expanded to the maximum 66,665 capacity.
  10. Yes and yes...I do find the Chinese clubs often unsettle, but they either get over it or if I really don't want to lose them, I just suggest we should discuss the financial figure they are looking for. I've generally found they've not been much higher than existing salary anyway. Heaps of requests for new contracts...for first team players I generally accept they should be offered a new deal and then negotiate hard to get them down as much as possible. It's not hit the bank balance too badly and Athletic's wages are quite low anyway.
  11. I am training him as a DM (D) as that's the role I want him to play there anyway
  12. Yep I am retraining Yeray as a DM to utilise him there permanently from now on. He's got great attributes for that role, as does Martinez. Nunez is a little worse with the ball at his feet, so out of the 3 he's the one I would leave at CB
  13. Training can be really complex but you can leave a lot of it as standard and still do just fine. Id recommend just setting the individual training to the role you want them to play, or a slightly different role int he same position if you want to develop particular attributes, you can keep it simple that way
  14. Thanks! A little concerned about the lack of quality central midfielders on the defensive/energy box to box side of things, and the lack of forwards...but I can't complain about the overall quality and the number of quality basque players I have coming through. I have enough here to make a side capable of challenging for the league each year and pushing for the final stages of the Champions League. I am hoping that once the top regens become fully developed, we will be a better side than we are right now. Losing Herrera to decline from age will be a blow as he is not someone I have a direct replacement for, so that'll be the only real area we weaken in over the next 2-4 years. I am hoping that Oyarzabal or Merino will flourish in that role
  15. That is a very unbalanced method to fit them in to your side. You can get away with a B2B player in the two there but not alongside the RPM, you'd have no cover whatsoever it would be suicide. You could switch to a DLP (D) and that would function more, but to be honest I'd put thought to what system you want to play and then figure out what roles they could operate in within that system. If that means you end up rotating them, so be it...balance is important.
  16. Ander Mancisidor looks like he’d go well as a roaming playmaker in CM due to his stamina and work rate alongside his technical qualities Roberto Lopez would make a good IF on the right due to his dribbling, finishing and physical attributes and being a left footer, would be good on the right. Equally he could do well as a W(a) on the left too David Aizpurua could probably do a few roles, either as an attacking CM or a wide player depending on where the gaps in your squad are
  17. A good amc playmaker will make a good central midfield playmaker too. If they’re not combative or just a bit weak you simply have to make sure they have the right players around them to compensate, so I wouldn’t worry about his suitability...just get them trained up in the role you want them to play
  18. Entering Phase Two To elaborate on this, I consider any Athletic save to have 3 initial phases: Phase one: When your team is full of existing real world players and you are reliant and trying to pluck the best available existing Basque players in to the squad for squad strengthening. During phase one I was able to sign all of my key targets, particularly Oyarzabal, Merino, Odriozola and Ander Herrera, supplemented by a couple of others like Javi Martinez who have shorter, more limited roles in the team. My final potential signings (I don't include Griezmann due to wages) are Laporte and Kepa...the latter I decided against pursuing due to Simon and Remiro being very capable, while the former I very nearly managed to sign in the summer of 2022 (just gone), however financially I just couldn't quite do it. I never really expected to get Laporte so would have considered it a bonus to do so. Phase two: I establish this phase to have begun whenever a regen player becomes a clear first choice in my starting XI - prior to this they will have been rotation options, or just promising youngsters, but as soon as one becomes a nailed on starter in the big games, that's the start of phase two for me. This phase is all about youth development. Usually this coincides with a lack of existing basque players in the talent pool who will genuinely improve the team. Phase three: This starts when the last existing players exit the team. For me this will probably be when Oyarzabal is getting older, so in quite a decent number of years. As of the 2022/23 season (which is all sorts of weird due to the Qatar World Cup by the way), I have my first 'nailed on' starter regen in the first XI - Eneko Goni. I also have a raft of promising youngsters coming through, so thought this would be a good time to update on their progress. This year feels like a real changing of the guard as both Yuri (his decline has been swift this season) and Inigo Martinez are likely to depart come the end of the season when their contracts expire, alongside Javi Martinez. In Borja Borja I have a left winger who is competing with Muniain for the spot, I have Alberto Lopez at RB who is giving Odriozola real headaches, plus Josu Flano, Julen Artola and Aitor Llorente who are now solid rotation options, potentially soon to be nailed on starters in their own right. Here is the future of my save - all Basque off the rip, mainly from our academy but quite a few poached from other basque clubs: Goalkeeper: In Gorka Goni we have a solid GK prospect who looks set to be at or around the level of Unai Simon. Excellent shot stopping attributes suggest this guy will be world class in those areas, but perhaps needs development with his ball playing. I am working on these but unsure if he'll ever be a decent sweeper keeper. Right Back: It's fair to say we are privileged to have a number of quality young full backs coming through, and with Odriozola still with plenty left in the tank, we have options. Given the lack of depth elsewhere, I can see this leading to some retraining. Alberto Lopez will make an excellent defensive mid, and I think Odriozola could work really well further up the pitch too. Next up we have the already regular fixture in the first team, Alberto Lopez. Right now he is covering left back due to the decline of Yuri (and my young prospect being just a little shy of being ready to step up). He's already attracting interest from all the top clubs, but he's not going anywhere. Finally at RB we have Mikel Gomez - a solid prospect with 3gold and an additional black star potential, but an excellent attribute spread. In the end, I think we are likely to have Lopez and Gomez at RB, Odriozola pushed further up, this will help the AMR position where I have no real prospects at the moment. Left Back: Three very promising prospects at left back, just in the nick of time. Yuri is in significant decline and is already out of the team more often than not, with Alberto Lopez playing the big games, and Julen Artola getting experience here and there to be ready for next season. Alongside Julen Artola, we have Juantxo Eraso, who looks an excellent prospect, albeit slightly behind Julen Artola. They will fight for the LB spot next season and will be first and second choice. Alan Thevenet looks to be a top prospect as well, but needs a little more time to develop in the youth ranks currently. Alan Thevenet - a world class French Basque prospect...a real treat! Joining in January from PSG's academy, I expect this guy to be a top full back (he has 4 gold, 5 black star potential btw) Centre Back: Again we are really well placed for prospects in the back line with these guys. Eneko Goni is now first choice alongside Unai Nunez (Inigo Martinez had a 4 month injury last season so has declined a little, and I'm retraining Yeray as a DM). Josu Flano is next in line at CB and rotates in and out...they will be a quality pairing in the future, with both likely to eclipse Nunez. Following them we also have Aimar Ramirez, a solid prospect who will likely be a good rotation option if needed. Currently leading the B team in the Segunda: Defensive Midfield: We have no prospects here, hence the need to retrain Yeray and also consider Alberto Lopez as a future option there in a couple of years. Right now I am using Merino as my primary DM, with Yeray learning the position to replace Javi Martinez who doesn't have another season in him after this one. Central Midfield/Central Attacking Midfield: I have put these two together, as they tend to be one and the same within my system. I generally lean towards tactical systems with runners from central midfield and one designated 'holder' in the DM position. I tend to use the RPM or AP role alongside a BBM or CM (A). On the playmaking side I have a few solid prospects - not so much on the BBM/CM(A) side, however Sancet is doing ok progressing to suit that role so he can function there. Equally Oyarzabal can do it too, so I am not massively concerned. Coming with in central midfield we have Aitor Llorente, Juan Manual Lopez and Xabier Mancisidor. The latter has a lot of work to do, but I like him as a CM(A) prospect given his attribute spread, so I've includded him, despite the obvious development needed. Aitor Llorente is now a rotation option for me and plays back up to Oyarzabal in the roaming playmaker role in my side. He's really impressed me with his performances this season, he looks excellent on the ball and has a superb passing range. Juan Manual Lopez is younger and just came through our intake a few months ago, but he looks set to be a creative midfielder of the highest quality: Wide attacking midfielders: Only one to mention here, but at least Inaki Williams and Iker Muniain (and Cordoba) have some years left in them, while Juan Artola has proven to be a good back up to Williams. As mentioned above, I also think retraining Odriozola to play as an AMR is extremely likely, as with his attributes he could offer a great attacking option who can defend further up the pitch. However the one to mention is none other than Borja Borja! He's one of those players who looks interesting on paper...lacking in some key areas (passing and finishing in particular), however with such superb physical attributes alongside his dribbling attribute and decisions, he's a devastating attacking winger. He's in the side more and more these days...definitely one who gets those little fans in the fake stadium jumping up and down. Strikers: Still an issue here...the best we have coming through is Daniel Karanka. With his attribute spread he will at least have the right characteristics for our side, however he's only rated as a 3 gold and 4 black star potential...similarly to our other (real life) prospect Nico Williams. it's likely these two will fight with Cordoba for the striker spot in the future and it'll come down to their development. I've been impressed with Nico Williams' first team displays this season so hoping he continues to develop well. The team of the future....this is how I see my team working out for the next 3-5 years - given the number of regens in the team currently and developing to soon be in there, you can see why I'd now consider this phase two: GK: Simon, Remiro and Gorka Goni (regen). Likely Goni will challenge Simon for the first choice spot. Remiro may be sold when Goni is ready RB: Lopez (regen) and Odriozola, with the development of Gomez (regen) to determine when they are moved to AMR (Odriozola) and (if I get another RB prospect) Lopez to DMC LB: Julen Artola, Alan Thevenet and Juantxo Eraso (both regens) CB: Flano and Eneko Goni (both regens), with Nunez and Ramirez (regen) as 3rd/4th choice DMC: Merino and Yeray, potentially Lopez in the future once the other RB's develop CM (playmaker): Oyarzabal, Llorente (regen), with Juan Manual Lopez coming up in the coming years. Once he is there, Oyarzabal will switch to a CM(A) type role most likely as he will be the most suited to that CM (BBM/CM (A): Herrera (this season and next) with Sancet gradually taking over as Herrera declines (this will likely also involve playing Llorente and Oyarzabal together as above) AML: Muniain with Borja Borja (regen) stepping in more and more, eventually taking over AMR: Williams and Juan Artola CF: Cordoba, Nico Williams with Daniel Karanka (regen) if development allows. As you can see our depth of defensive regens means some players such as Yeray and Odriozola will need to be shifted around the pitch to make sure we make good use of what we have. This is the kind of future planning you need for an Athletic save. I'm still hoping to see decent regens coming through in the AMR, BBM and CF roles, but not holding out too much hope. If I get another world class full back come through I might have to retrain one of them as a BBM!
  19. Oh nice, that must've been awesome to be there, even if the result wasn't what you had hoped for. Yeah getting through the group in first was quite an achievement, we lost to Liverpool away but beat them at home, and we managed to win our other games (against some quite good sides to be fair in Schalke and Napoli) but Liverpool slipped up in one of their away games. They were a far better team than us though and their line up was immense... basically the existing squad with Milinkovic-Savic in central midfield and some other lad up front in place of Mane who was equally good
  20. Liverpool won 2-0. I actually played them in the group stage and their team was insanely good, although we equipped ourselves well and actually got through in 1st.
  21. 2021/22 Season Review: Competitions: La Liga - 3rd Champions League - First KO Round Copa Del Rey - Winners Wow what a crazy end to the season, we had such a bizarre second half of the year. In the league, let me first of all remind you of the positions in late January: 1. Athletic - p21, pts 48 2. Atletico - p21, pts 48 3. Valencia - p21, pts 45 4. Barcelona - p21, pts 41 5. Sevilla - P21, pts 40 6. Real Madrid - p21, pts 39 End of the season: As you can see, Real came from miles behind to pip both ourselves and Atletico...Atletico threw it away, gaining only 6 points from their final 5 fixtures. Real on the other hand made a genius managerial change at the end of january, bringing in Rafa Benitez, after that, their results were exceptional: I never would have called Real hauling that back in, but wow, what an effort. We managed to win the Copa Del Rey, and a 3rd place finish, albeit quite a tight one, was probably fair - it only really felt close at the end because of Atletico throwing it away, I never really felt we were in with a good chance. We need to have a bit of a tactical adjustment for next season and make a few squad changes. The whole season was summed up by the Champions League exit at the hands of Benfica (see screenshot a few posts above).
  22. Well I had to share this colossal bit of money wasting that Barcelona are doing in my save...transfers for 21/22, and appearances through to end of January in all competitions, all were signed in preseason: 32 year old Andriy Yarmolenko - 46million GBP - Apps 5(5) 24 year old Pol Lirola - 25.5 million GBP - Apps 9(1) 23 year old Marco Varnier - 45 million GBP - Apps 13(8) 21 year old Nikolas Nartay - 42 million GBP - Apps 6(8) 27 year old Memphis Depay - 53 million GBP - Apps 8(11) 27 year old Bruno Fernandes - 29 million GBP - Apps 16(3) 25 year old Victor Kovalenko - 20 million GBP - Apps 10(7) Compared to their main starters e.g. Ter Stegen, Pogba, Messi who are on 26-28 starts in all competitions. In the same summer they sold Arthur to Man United for 71 million, and Zivkovic to Dortmund for 23.5 million, so have invested around 130million on these players after outgoings are deducted. That's a crazy amount of money on rotation players. Out of the bunch Varnier is quite good and is a model citizen which is always a plus, Bruno Fernandes is pretty solid too...the others...I wouldn't touch any of them for a club at their level (albeit they aren't bad players). Only Fernandes has first team squad status, the rest have rotation/back up. Only Varnier and Nartay have much potential to develop due to their ages, and 46million on a 32 year old Yarmolenko is just bizarre. At the other end of the spectrum, it's not all a **** show for transfers in Spain, Real are having a fairly poor season but made some good transfers in the summer, getting rid of quite a bit of deadwood and making one big purchase in Donny Van De Beek, with a couple of promising youngsters. Atletico did nothing in the summer but had no need to. Valencia had a superb summer, losing Rodrigo to Man City, but bringing in some excellent players in Forsberg, Aboubakar, Rudiger, Rakitic, Luckassen, Sergi Roberto for a total of 57million GBP. They are currently third in the table. Sevilla are 5th in the league having also done some sensible summer business. Currently: 1. Athletic - p21, pts 48 2. Atletico - p21, pts 48 3. Valencia - p21, pts 45 4. Barcelona - p21, pts 41 5. Sevilla - P21, pts 40 6. Real Madrid - p21, pts 39
  23. It was working really well when I was playing in November/December, but since I picked the game back up more recently it seems to struggle going forwards on the 19.3 update. At the moment I'm using my 4-3-3 against the 4-4-2 which has been more successful, so I've basically ditched the 3 at the back. I would like to spend some time making it work though as I have plenty of good defenders to do it. I didn't give the formation much time though as I wanted to shift direction a little anyway to using two formations as per my below explanation: My 4-3-3 and 4-4-1-1 in that post you screen grabbed above have both changed a bit with the introduction of new players, particularly to suit a midfield 3 of Merino, Oyarzabal and Herrera: 4-3-3: The midfield three are now a DM(D), AP (A) and BBM (S). I use Merino as the DM (D) as I want Oyarzabal to do the playmaker role and don't want both a DLP and AP in the team together. if Oyarzabal isn't playing then I can use Merino in that role. I also have Javi Martinez to come in as a more defensive DM (D) anyway. Merino's PPM's make him do more play making than a standard DM (D) anyway so it doesn't worry me that he's not in a role that naturally suits him perfectly. I also adjusted the full backs slightly to bring them in to balance with the new midfield roles, and I'm also only playing one BPD now too. 4-4-1-1: I've changed this to a standard 4-2-3-1, to allow me to use Oyarzabal in his favoured AMC position, but with the wide players further ahead to provide passing options for him, as I felt with a 4-4-1-1 he was short of forward options if he picked the ball up in the position to counter attack. This leaves me with a DLP (D) and BBM in midfield. I've always been a little cautious using a BBM in a 4-2-3-1 as it's not really a traditional role for a double pivot, however Herrera does a fantastic job covering the ground so it works ok, and the DLP (D) does a great job of anchoring. It often ends up looking more like a 4-3-3 in shape anyway when the BBM pushes up alongside the AMC (which is what I wanted to achieve for the purpose of the counter press), but the 4-2-3-1 defensive shape allows me to press more effectively just a little higher up the pitch, so it works better than the 4-3-3 in some situations. For example if I am really concerned about an opposition AMC I will often use the 4-3-3 to put someone in his space. If I am concerned about a deeper playmaker in their side, I will often use the 4-2-3-1 as it means the BBM and AMC will be pushed into the space of a defensive midfield playmaker, ready to counter press him if possession is lost. I do end up (contrary to what I said above) using a DLP and AP together in this formation. I don't think I'll do this long term, but it works well with the current players I use in that system Rather than switching between the two formations based on the opposition formation, I tend to switch between them based on opposition threat and where exactly I want to press them. If I am really concerned about them counter attacking I will use the 4-3-3, but if they are super defensive and don't take any risks, or I am getting squashed back into my own half too much with the 4-3-3 I switch to the 4-2-3-1. I have also changed TI's, so we now don't pass shorter or run at defence. Pressing is now extremely urgent and I also use tighter marking. My tactical changes have all been about pressing and shape so these TI changes were important. I am still using the same philosophy of being vertically compact with a high defensive line and low line of engagement.
  24. Yeah I think ultimately an offset striker could work, but I want the player on that side to also defend the flanks which makes it tougher to get the balance right. I could play around with a few options to see if I could make that work, but part of me thinks that Williams is better suited to playing as a winger in game (albeit this isn't how he is best suited in RL), so not sure it would really be worthwhile. Unsure whether his attributes are quite right but definitely would be keen to explore. Do you have a link to Rashidi's tactic/explanations?
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