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AndySummers

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  1. I fancy an opener in Mexico's Liga MX. Or potentially Argentina/Brazil league structure, with an outside shot at Colombia if it feels competitive. I am usually tied to Ajax but enjoyed a save with Argentinos Juniors on FM18 as they had quite a nice youth link including the three MacAllister brothers. If I can find a similar scenario or potential, that might be the early winner. I have also long promised myself a first English LLM file with a local club, Blyth Spartans, but I can never quite seem to get over a lack of player graphics. Even with nigh on everything downloaded.
  2. Frequently. He won't dribble past a player as a winger would (I haven't looked at dribble stats and he's injured currently > possibly why it doesn't count?) but he will often dribble through the lines and prompt a forward pass. Or equally as often, he'll bring the ball forward and suddenly stop and play short as if he's walked into an invisible wall. But it's that forward momentum that makes a subtle difference, transitioning out of defence more urgently or prompting aggressive opponents to move out of position to close him down.
  3. The green circle is a method to represent what the game ascribes as a player's optimal role based on his attribute set. But that does not mean the player will perform any less capably in another role given to him; context is key. To give you a practical example: I have a player who is a full-circle deep lying playmaker, a half-circle halfback. He's not a natural halfback, lacks the defensive aspects and has no real aerial ability. But I use him as a halfback. Why? Because his ball retention is second-to-none, passing and vision dynamic, and his dribbling ability combined with a 'brings ball out of defence' PPM makes him liable to instigate moves more quickly than a more regular player and also helps to draw opposing midfielders out of position, setting up better counterattacking possibilities. The player is a distance better than the natural halfbacks I have in the squad. The green circle also doesn't take into account ability. For example, I also use a BBM. See below: So who is your BBM of choice? The youngster because the game tags him as a full-circle BBM, or the experienced part-circle player who has far better all-round attributes, the ability to finish etc.
  4. 'The WM' - 2021-22 This thread is mightily quiet, have users moved on? So, prefacing 2021-22 from the previous thread, I went into this season with dissatisfaction. The 'WM', whilst successful, had begun to lose its lustre in 2020-21; occasional insipid play, just a little 'dry' against increasingly defensive opponents. So I made changes: The formation on the left is what I was using, the one on the right what it became. The aim was to remove the symmetry of the base formation and increase variety. Putting more emphasis on runs from deep (CWB(a), BBM), less emphasis on the wing contribution (IF(s)) and bringing a creative force into the frontline (T). It was an intention to make the formation more dynamic, unpredictable, and hopefully a return to the free-flowing football of old. Early signs were positive; a strong pre-season followed by a 1-5 win at NAC Breda on the opening day and an 8-0 against NEC in the first match at the ArenA - easily my biggest Eredivisie win in three seasons. Immediately apparent was the sheer variety in goal contributions, players chipping in all over the pitch, and this would be a theme throughout. Also apparent, we were more open. The anchor-man does a good job of protecting space vacated by the aggressive wingback, but the changes did cause some instability in the early stages and we were conceding more frequently. Some gentle tweaks alleviated this as the season progressed. Eredivisie form in the first half of the season was good, albeit with a few draws ensuring in-form AZ - led by in-form Ajax loanee Lassina Traore - were able to keep us off top spot. We slowly began to reel them in from January, coinciding with the return of Frenkie De Jong. Unloved and unregistered at Barca, he rejoined for £25.5m. I had to break my wage structure at £92k, but as with Klaassen before him, I'll do that for an 'Ajax man'. And I had £325k spare in the wage budget. This time I moved De Jong away from central midfield and installed him ahead of Daley Blind at halfback, where his 'brings ball out of defence' trait and dribbling ability make a subtle, but significant, difference to how the 'WM' functions. We barely dropped a point after his arrival and a decisive week where we won 3-1 against PSV and 0-2 against AZ made a fourth consecutive Eredivisie a fait accompli. Although we again couldn't quite go unbeaten, losing limply 3-1 at Heerenveen in January after De Ligt saw red early. In the Champions League, we went deep to the quarter finals but again came up short, falling to eventual-winners Spurs in two very close encounters. However, the crowning glory of the season was the KNVB Beker final to wrap-up a domestic treble.. We actually went a goal down in the first minute here, before a trademark 60-yard mazy run and cross from Antonio Marin set up Armin Djerlek for the equaliser, De Ligt netting a second before the half. Then we ruthlessly exposed PSV having a man sent off to score four times in the next fifteen minutes, Dolberg adding the seventh. Djerlek scored four from his IF(s) role and the Serb proved a worthy successor to the ageing, injured Dusan Tadic. Overall, the changes made brought a freshness back to the pitch and, previously mentioned, everyone contributed. Allowing for a slight variation due to players featuring across two positions, as near as I can make it the main positional contributions were: T(a) - 28 goals, 8 assists W(a) - 27 goals, 15 assists IF(s) - 17 goals, 7 assists BBM - 16 goals, 9 assists MEZ(a) - 13 goals, 25 assists Minusing set pieces, the CWB(a) was the most prolific assister in the side. And one main change was the relationship in central midfield, where the BBM became a more potent source of goals than the MEZ, but the MEZ - with the players now on their strongest foot - really became a very potent creative outlet. Setting up for 2022-23 Heading into the summer, I was happy with all aspects of the squad and based my plans around keeping my 'five pillars' at all costs: Kristensen, De Ligt, De Jong, Gravenberch, Marin, and assessing any other player bids as they came. I did make a couple of early sales. Perr Schuurs went to Brighton for £21m and Sigurd Gronli to Southampton for £15.5m. Schuurs had been the John O'Shea of Ajax, featuring at HB, A, CB, IWB, and latterly CWB. Giving him 'hits early crosses' had made him a more effective wingback, but the fee was good value for a squad player. I replaced him with Alexis Saelemaekers for £14m+Sint. Long on my radar, his lack of defensive atts had always put me off. But now I'm using a CWB, his winger-like abilities made him a very intriguing prospect. Steven Bergwijn is my other main signing, hounded out of Atletico. Marin is horrifically injury-prone (as is Bergwijn seemingly) and although this gives me perhaps too much depth out wide, there should be enough games for all. And it covers either Marin or Djerlek being poached at a later date. Last of all, I re-signed my former star keeper Andre Onana for a paltry £5.75m. This was in the expectancy that current keeper Timo Horn would join Everton or Fulham for £25m, but the deals fell down on contract. Having two starting keepers on £50k-ish isn't really my style, so I will be open to Horn moving on. He has better atts that Onana, but the Cameroonian was terrific in my first season before Spurs poached him. And arguably trading up whilst making a £20m profit is hard to ignore. Very little incomings elsewhere, as I like to keep changes limited. I did future-proof the HB/A tandem though with two excellent 16-year olds. I've seen better teens overall, but these two really fit my mould:
  5. This has always been my take on shouts; a well-aimed comment here and there, rather than repeatedly. Purely speculation, but I have always assumed there is some control - let's call it a 'timer' for sake of description - that proportionately increases/lessens the effectiveness of a shout the less/more it is used. Whether that applies to each shout individually or all shouts, unknown. That follows on from the logic I use to approach team talks; the more a certain talk is used > the less effective it can become > variety and timing is key.
  6. If you navigate to your squad and click on your desired player, then click on their 'development' dropdown menu, the 'discuss trait to add' option is just under their player traits info. Or within the training menu, when on the individual training dropdown make sure that it is set to 'detailed' (yours is on 'list'), then select your player and you'll again see the 'discuss trait to add' option.
  7. 'The WM' - 2020-21 I'll aim to keep this update relatively brief, as I'm short on time. After coming within a penalty kick of a quadruple in 2019-20, season three proved altogether less accommodating. The campaign started in the vein the previous had ended, a defeat on penalties to PSV in the Schaal, and an early defeat in the league at last season's rivals Feyenoord. The squad was on edge; David Raya and Donny van de Beek unhappy after being tapped up and this really had an early impact. Raya didn't get back into the groove until November, whereas Van de Beek was often 'disenchanted' during matches, and was still fairly petulant even after his unhappiness had faded. The squad underwent an overhaul; Veltman, Xadas, Eiting and Kaastrup headed the summer departures, joined by Tonali and Neres in the winter window, totalling a profit of £79.5m as I put faith in youth, signing no experienced players bar Clasie on a free as a squad half-back. Although I was rarely out of top spot in the Eredivisie, a certain panache had been lost - winning a number of games in a George Grahamesque 1-0 fashion, generally lacking dynamism. This was exacerbated by some real underperformance; the previously-deadly Ekkelenkamp limited to 3 goals, and I'd be surprised if the MEZ(A) role managed 10 goals from all personnel, all season. It may have been any combo of reasons: opponents again adjusting, too much rotation (I struggled to find a 'best XI' this year), immature players, effects of unhappy players. Whatever the root cause(s), the football just didn't feel 'right'. I did win the Eredivisie, demolishing PSV 4-1 at the ArenA in the 31st game, putting an end to their title charge and eventually finishing 14pts clear: ironically, despite the general feeling of tepid football, I ended on more pts than in both previous seasons, finished only 5 goals off last season's treble-winning team, and conceded three less. But the stats hid the facts. The European campaign was a disappointment though. Drawn against Man City, Milan and Dynamo, qualification was a distinct possibility. Predictably lost against our CL-nemesis City in the opener, before fine wins away to Milan and Dynamo looked to have ensured a commanding position. But 1pt from the home fixtures and a heavy defeat at City sealed an exit on -GD. Dropping into the Europa, I then lost 0-2 against Spartak in Moscow in the depths of Russian winter, and couldn't claw back the deficit in a 3-2 home win. And continuing a running theme, I then went out of the KNVB Beker in the semi final at home to Feyenoord in a penalty shootout loss, our third straight major loss on penalties. So, moving into pre-season 2021-22 I knew I needed to change things up. Squad wise, I aimed to brook no indiscipline or underperformance, so when the summer window opened and I was inundated with offers and both Raya and Van de Beek demanded to leave again, they were both punted off to big-spending Monaco. Raya, £26m, Van de Beek £38.5m. That wasn't as high a fee as I'd hoped for Donny, but it did include a p/ex on a very talented youngster, Roger Saunier. Backup Academy keeper Daan Reiziger also made noises to leave, so he went too. Decent keeper but replaceable. And finishing the main sales, I also sold non-performing Dani Olmo for a healthy £20m. In: after considering a range of keepers, it came down to a straight choice between Thomas Strakosha and Timo Horn. I preferred the Albanian, but with my wage rule and De Ligt the highest earner on £68k, Strakosha's £100k+ wages would never fly. So in came the dependable Horn for £15m, with Cho as the second keeper. I also re-loaned out the underperforming Joveljic with a view to sell and picked up a fantastic bargain in Fiete Arp for £5.75m. Bayern had nabbed him for pennies from Hamburg, probably a relegation clause, but hadn't used him. He is a perfect fit for what I planned to do with the 'WM' this season, and foil for Dolberg. Van de Beek's replacement was harder to find; most of my targets had already moved out of my wage point. I looked at Sander Berge first of all, cycled through a range of other options, eventually took Wanyama on trial, before passing up all of them and returning to Berge for £17m. -- The final main deal, Celik, was an Overmars signing. He's now made four across this save, demonstrating an eye for talent: Proper is around the first team, the physical beast Cahyono now the de facto option to De Ligt, Celik is promising, Derksen unlikely to make it. ---- Overmars' eye for a talent has helped mitigate a poor return from the academy. Mirroring season one, season three's intake was atrocious - no player above two stars, zero chance of any graduating through to the first team. The only two players who are on track both came in season two's intake. Vos is on loan in the KKD for a season to refine his craft, whereas Schilder was a surprise hit at Heerenveen on loan last season, 7 goals in 21. This year he's with Strasbourg in Ligue 1. -- Moving on to tactics. One of the most important factors to bring back dynamism was to resolve the lack of an effective crossing game. I've thought for a while we were too symmetrical, and the double wingback-double-winger combo was, at times, too blunt - in light of the general problem on this game with deliveries coming in late too. I needed a deep threat and more combination play to free up space for a better quality of delivery. That meant one role: a CWB(a), positioned down the right due to Kristensen's quality. The left wingback then became an IWB(S) to help steady against the aggressiveness on the other side of the pitch. Directly in front of the CWB(a), the halfback role had to change to an anchorman; past experience told me this was more effective to stabilise the structure whilst using a raiding wingback, and the role does a superb job of dropping back to form the three-man defence when the wingback is merrily exploring space somewhere near the forward line. Completing this combo, the W(a) changes to an IF(s) to drag defenders out of position, freeing up space for - and combining with - the CWB(A) I switched the MEZ(A) to the right of the pitch, to put the player on his natural foot when drifting wide, given all my options here are right-footed. The RPM role has currently become a BBM, but that is under review. The last change was to drop the CF(s) and change to a trequartista. I thought about this one for a while, tested various options across the duration of pre-season, and the treq just gives a better level of presence in the box from crosses, whilst being a creative force. It has proven much more effective than CF(s) or DLP(s) and suits the technical game of both Arp and Dolberg. My thoughts may change across the season. So, quite a change-around overall. We now line up in this way: 9 wins and a draw across pre-season bodes well and the fluidity has returned to the play. We've started the season well, winning the Schaal and battering NAC Breda 1-5 on the opening day.
  8. In isolation: with his high tariffs for tackling, anticipation, decisions and his physicals - and workable positioning - he'd be a halfback for me. With the caveat that I would be concerned about the third of his PPM's. As a second option, box-to-box midfielder to utilise his first PPM, physical fitness and solid all-round game. I wouldn't entertain a '6' finisher as a mezzala personally, as that is a role where I want a good finisher to contribute heavily to the team's goalscoring prowess.
  9. One way to overcome your dilemma is to take a reference manager and implement his tactical style and preferred formation. Then you are working towards one common goal, with some nuances, and have no need to flip-flop between styles and formations. Find an historical team or manager that interests you, research how they went about playing football and try to implement it. And the more offbeat the better, as you will have less reference material to work with from these forums to guide you (i.e. not another 433...). Personally, I don't even look at the players I have at my disposal at the outset. I pick a way that I want to play and then work towards it, developing the players, traits and signings as appropriate. And I almost always try a different approach in each version of FM, or in different saves if I end up having multiple. Currently it is Herbert Chapman's 'WM' formation from the 1920-30s, next time around I might try Francisco Maturana's approach with the Colombians in the 90s - as examples. The more disciplined you are, the more rewarding the save I find. Set yourself rules appropriate to the task.
  10. In-game, usually very little - minor tweaks. The one semi-regular change I make pre-game is dropping the line of engagement and defensive line, and also removing 'prevent short GK distribution' if I am facing stronger opposition where I feel I may be outmatched. This is a double-edged sword though, as a lot of the success of the 'WM' (my version of) is, I feel, in the high pressing and limiting passing options. The drop back does stabilise the chance to be caught out by accurate long balls, but the negative is that it can make it easier for opponents to get in positions where an accurate through-cross from mid-wide positions takes out the defence. It's a careful balancing act. In terms of roles, I use a few variants situationally. The most regular changes are: RPM > CM(s) - where I feel a playmaker won't be beneficial (i.e. if I am more focused on countering as ^) WB(s) > WB(a) / CWB(s) - if I am struggling to create chances, sometimes I like to bring in a greater threat from deep. And linked to that: W(a) > IF(s) - one wideman focused narrower, freeing up space for an aggressive wingback ^. Mentality is nearly always 'balanced'. Occasionally I will ratchet it up to 'positive', and link that to overarching changes in roles , such as dropping both widemen down to a support duty. I never go into any game with anything less than a balanced mentality, and I've changed in-game to 'cautious' perhaps only twice in two seasons.
  11. He was transfer listed for that amount, found him purely by chance. Delighted to pick him up really, can't turn away an academy graduate with a lot of scope for development. Along with Overmars picking up Proper for peanuts, Hoever is probably my favourite deal to-date. It'd be great to see others trying the shape out, as there are many ways you can approach the roles. Assuming their atts aren't too variable, you may have some decent HB options already in the squad. Both Van Gelderen and Schuurs did a solid job for me in season 1, before I picked up my two Italian playmakers and moved them both back into defensive coverage. Van De Beek is the ideal partner for Blind to me, although I preferred using him further forward last season after De Jong departed.
  12. Yes, certainly. The 'WM' is the only formation I'll be using during this save. Defensive performance. Overall, it is good and very stable. 15 Eredivisie goals conceded in 2018-19 and 20 in 2019-20. I did have some troubles in the away Champions League games last season though, and also once or twice in the Eredivisie. I put that down to increased squad rotation and having inferior players on the pitch more often, in addition to some changes to the squad, as well as some unique situations in the Champions League where I was defending large leads in the knockouts. I could also do more with the balance of the squad and maximising defensive capability; such as bringing in a player with a more natural halfback skillset, such as Tousart. That would certainly help, but it's not what I'm aiming for right now. I've also been experimenting with different combinations more, which can create some instability, If I can keep the expected GPG around 0.5 this season, I'll be happy.
  13. I've just finished pre-season and started digging into season three, 2020-21. Keeping to my plans, the off-season was about squad trimming. Veltman was the main loss, allowed to leave after 'achieving all he could'. Passed up on signing a replacement to promote Van Gelderen from his jack-of-all-trades role into the dedicated backup to De Ligt. After three Eredivisie goals in two seasons, I wasn't seeing enough from assist-king Kaastrup and allowed him to depart for £9.5m and 40% future sale profit. With Ekkelenburg now firmly established as the MEZ(a), I also moved on Xadas and promoted the impressive Dirk Proper as his backup. Xadas had a reasonable debut season, but freeing up possibilities for Proper and Gravenberch made sense. I also kept to my philosophy to sell to Eredivisie wherever possible; Eiting, Magallan and Mazraoui moving across to rivals. £146m in the bank, £57m transfer budget, no major signings made. I had Tousart on completion, but pulled the plug at the last minute as I'd recently brought in Clasie on a freebie as extra cover at HB. This was a player asking for £50k in the final stage of his Southampton contract, but I picked him up for £5.25k per week after a trial. Excellent experienced squad player to have as an 'influence' replacement for Schone, who has a season left at best. Purchased a few youngsters to round out the B-team. Florescu is effectively Kaastrup's replacement, whilst Djerlek I see as a future Tadic replacement. Partizan are akin to Dinamo Zagreb, a superb source for players and they have 3-4 more players of interest in their squad. Florescu is a sure-fire future first-teamer and Djerlek more of a punt, but the former has moved out to feeder-club OH Leuven for a season whilst Djerlek proves his mettle. Solid academy coverage across the squad at present, nine full members having progressed through the system; Reiziger, De Ligt, Van Glederen, Blind, Van De Beek, De Waal, Gravenberch, Klaassen, Ekkelenkamp. I've mentioned Ekkelenkamp on a couple of occasions, as an unglamorous but effective player that I chose to work on early. I have another in that mould; Ki-Jana Hoever. Former Ajax academy graduate, picked up from Liverpool for £63k. Nothing exceptional, but very mouldable either as a WB or IWB. A good dual-sided 'option' player that I will be keeping close tabs on.
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