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About sparkyunited

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  1. Great thread/concept @Cleon. Consider me inspired and I'm giving the no-attribute approach on my new save with Sparta Rotterdam. I'm not going in totally blind as I know the squad from a previous save I had with them a few months back, but it'll be interesting to see how I do as things evolve over a few seasons. I'll mostly be using a DoF approach to transfers but will veto any signings he tries to bring in that doesn't align with my approach, but will also do some eye-ball scouting of my own to identify targets.
  2. Bath/Brunt did really well over the first 10 games or so after gaining promotion to the National League. He wasn't as dominant at the higher level but we adapted the tactics a little more to use him as a facilitator rather than the main scorer in a 4-1-4-1 setup which worked really well. Given he has no movement or pace, we used him like a forward pivot so he could hold the ball up and have runners around him (think Viduka in his prime). His scoring dropped, but he was fundamental to the setup and we would have likely been promoted or at least made playoffs but.... I encountered was a board takeover in January and they decided they wanted someone else to manage....luckily I was offered an interview with Oxford United and got the gig. I then decided to buy Brunt and take him with me but he struggled two divisions above due to his lack of pace. It was a fun experiment, but his technical prowess didn't make up for his complete lack of movement. I did get Oxford promoted to the Championship though! We had the lowest wage budget in the division and managed to float around in mid-table for a couple of season before I got bored with the save so have parked it for now. Without further investment from the board, that's where they'll stay. I've just started a Leyton Orient save and am trying to play a bit of Bielsa-ball Leeds style (4-1-4-1), to give the hoof-ball a rest for a while.
  3. Yeah...I switched the Full Back duties to suit my players at Sparta. I don't think I used any PI's. Cafu was very attacking. Jankulovski would get forward as well, but not with the same zest. Cafu is my favourite full back of all time. He would fly forward but also track back even though he had Gattuso to cover for him. Cafu was as much of a catalyst for that team as Pirlo. His work rate was breathtaking.
  4. I had success on my first FM19 save with Sparta Rotterdam inspired by the Milan Xmas Tree. Note: I moved to a Poacher up top rather than the DLF/A in the image below and dropped the "play thru middle" instruction as ED correctly noted, it was redundant. I also went with FB's rather than WB's as they tracked back better on turnover of possession and mine are reversed compared to the Cafu/Jankulovski version based on my team's personnel. Having a good shadow striker was crucial, but it was a lot of fun. I love that version of Ancelotti's Milan and spent a lot of time in November/December watching footage from that era.
  5. Just finished our first season and we stumbled over the line to promotion via the playoffs after finishing second to moneybags Billericay who bought ever player available. We had a couple of decent cup runs as well which brought in some cash and fun games against opposition from higher leagues. We were flying high in the first half and seven points clear going into the second half of the season but teams started working us out and playing 4-1-4-1/4-3-3 systems against us and largely cut off supply to big Brunt. Getting promoted was a fantastic result, but I think we should have won the league. We had Billericay in our sights with two games to play and had to play them in our last game but we dropped a 4-3 result (after being 3-1 up) to Oxford City ending our title hopes. I rested our entire starting squad for the final game as we'd blown it and Billericay smashed us 4-1 but it saved our tired legs for the playoffs where we dispatched with Welling Utd before clinching a last minute winner from a set piece in a 2-1 result over Dulwich in the final. The big fella still finished the year with 30 goals in 45 games in all comps (24 from 36 in the league) but at one point he was scoring at better than a goal a game. His strike partner Fraser Murdoch picked up the slack and had an amazing second half of the year to finish with 20 goals from 44 games, so 50 goals from our two main strikers was an astonishing return. Brad Carr, the right winger got 13 goals and a whopping 19 assists (9 and 14 in the league) and was our player of the seasons. From a tactical perspective, the big Fella is a massive unit so presents a fine target for long balls but equally as effective were the runs of Murdoch, the PF(A) into the right inside channel. The Left WM, either fullback or the Central Midfielders would routinely launch balls into that channel for the PF to exploit the space in behind the fullback. It's that Graham Taylor "space" thing. It also reminded me of when Sven was managing England and he'd sometimes play the likes of Darius Vassell with another small fast striker during games and have them run onto long balls booted into the channels. The striker pair would start centrally and then make lightning quick diagonal runs towards each corner flag. It's the one tactical memory that sticks with me from when he managed England that I liked. Anyway....we're promoted and Hoofball did the trick! "POMO" much??
  6. Our unbeaten run finally came to an end at 16 games at the hands of Truro City but the lads bounced back with style. 5 points clear at the top. Really, really happy with the result against money bags Billericay. Hoof-ball at it's finest. Not sure if the latest update has changed the match engine to make things this much easier, but we are blowing through teams without too much trouble with our 4-4-2.
  7. I'm 14 games into the season and still unbeaten with seven league wins in a row (nine in total including the FA Cup) and teams are now starting to sit back against us in the last couple of games as the graphic below shows. I'm dropping the pressing at times if we can't break them down and "regrouping" instead to draw them out a bit, but teams are starting to give me puzzles to solve which is always fun. We are still leaking the odd goal, but we tend to dominate most games in terms of chances while only averaging 45-50% of possession, which I'm also happy with. Brunt is still scoring with 9 goals in 11 games in all comps so far be we're spreading them around with 15 different goalscorers which is amazing.
  8. I tried it on FM18 and had a pretty effective 4-3-3 system going with Jamie Mackie smashing it in the WTM(A) role in my Plymouth save. He just overpowered his marking Fullbacks and mostly scored from crosses coming in from a Winger on the opposite flank. It took a lot of tweaking but if you can get runners in front and behind him (say a BBM and/or WB on the same side) it can be a really effective role. I think I had either a Defensive Forward (now a pressing forward) or a DLF in the striker role and may have even offset them so the striker's starting position was in the left inside channel to free up space for the WTM. The 4-3-3 ended up looking like a 4-4-2 at times.....I might have to give it another go at some stage on FM19.
  9. Have lurked on this thread for quite some time and tried hoof-ball on a few saves but I finally got the right combination of players and system going on my new Bath City FC save. Have gone for a little bit of a hybrid hoof-ball with a lower line of engagement but some counter-pressing to force mistakes out of the opposition but depending on game management, I switch this to regroup at times. The left winger is switched to an inside winger depending on personnel. It's kinda Graham Taylor inspired, but mixed with a bit of traditional hoof-ball. In terms of PI's all wide players are set to cross to the TM and the BWM is set to man mark the opponents AMC when we encounter opposition who play one. I will also watch the oppositions defensive line and switch on/off pass into space and if they go for a freakishly high line I may try the transition instruction to "distribute over opposition defence" if I am playing a fast striker in the PF(A) role. Eight games into the season and we are unbeaten and sitting in second in VNL South a point behind Torquay and two points over moneybags Billericary. Big Fella Brunt (appropriately named) is currently the joint top scorer in the league with 7 goals from 6 games and a 7.96 average rating. He might be slow as a wet week but he is an absolute beast and his mental and physical attributes are off the charts for this level. He is the perfect player to build this system around. Will provide an end of season update and see how things go for the rest of the year. Hoof-at it lads!
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