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Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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Everything posted by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

  1. Figured we might need another creative, attacking midfielder I think this is actually the first time ever I've gone over the £100m barrier for a player. It's happening quite regularly in this save and we've got a couple of options to recoup the cash. Will see if it comes off.
  2. It's always one of my 'go to' formations. Certainly one of my top 3 ways to set up so it's never a million miles away. I like the idea of Gedson Fernandes in midfield though.
  3. Oh, yes.. and in other news, Mil Homens has now retired. Tralhão is promoted to Head of Youth Development. With Rafilla promoted from U19 Coach to U19 Manager, replacing him. It's satisfying being able to promote staff from within too
  4. Toying with ideas ahead of the 2023/24 season. It's going to be difficult to top last season so it's likely to be more of the same. My one observation on last season is that the midfield could be more attacking and my tactical preference is for the 4-3-3 which becomes a 2-3-5 in attack. I'm thinking about experimenting with Dantas and João Felix in "Free 8" roles. There's something I don't like about playing two playmakers and ideally, I'd like Dantas in the deeper central role with the attacking 5 ahead of him but that puts a lot of attacking responsibility on Florentino Luis and I'm not 100% sure. Replacing him would be a huge risk. The eleven might change a little bit as there's already big bids coming through for Grimaldo and Victor Bobsin and I've got ready-made replacements in the squad. We'll see. The other big name likely to leave is Trincão. He's a £100m+ player in the current market and I've got him, Embalo and Aragon as left-sided attackers and more coming through. He's too good not to be in the first team and he's not good enough to get in so I'll move him on to somewhere he can run the show. Meanwhile, Aragon is ready to play a greater role. He'll still be in that mid-week squad, but they're going to get a lot of game time this season with the Club World Championship and Euro 2024 in the summer. My first choice team is going to be Champions League and necessary league games, otherwise heavily rotated. I've re-shuffled that team, around Aragon. The sentimental side of me likes the Argentinian combination of Aragon, Almada and Lo Celso after the old Aimar, Saviola and Di Maria team, years ago. Roles in the AM(C) position are some of the most hotly debated, but as usual, I prefer the simple option. At international level, Bragança has developed massively. He looks perfect for the Inverted Wingback role. I am actually going to throw money at him, if Sporting will sell, in order to retrain him. We'll see.
  5. Interesting. Let us know how you go! There's a couple of big sides about who either need or will soon need a drastic rebuild, so it could be interesting. I'm keeping an eye on the big European clubs in my save and there's a few interesting options but I'm certainly going to attempt the next season at Benfica to attempt 3-in-a-row Champions Leagues and getting Portugal to World and European Champions.
  6. I must say, watching the latest Ajax team has planted the seeds of temptation but life's been busy this year and the upgrade just hasn't appealed to me. Will see what next year holds.
  7. The 2022/23 Champions League Final is done, capping our best season yet. We won everything available and broke all the points and goalscoring records, and everyone's really hitting their peak at the same time. Embalo scored 2 and set up 3 in the final, Jota was the top scorer in every competition, Felix consistently outstanding but the highlight for me has been Dantas. Captain for club & country and the absolute heartbeat of the team. He's simply in absolute control, pulling the strings behind everything we do. Personally, my favourite player, I can think of having in an FM save in a long time. Thinking tactics, for a moment. With the national team, I'm using Dantas centrally flanked my two creative midfielders in free roles which creates a 2-3-5 shape in attack and I'm really enjoying it. Wondering if this could be applied at club level..
  8. You should be able to find a fairly comprehensive overview throughout the thread, but essentially the development path for a young player is: One or two seasons in the U19s where they're tutored and develop reasonably quickly due to the facilities. At 18 or 19, promoted to the B Team for their first season of competitive football. Tutored again, so by this point they've been tutored 2-3 times and have strong personalities. When ready, they'll need to be playing in the Primeira Liga. Early in the save, there was often room on the fringes of my first team squad. Less so these days. Typically a free loan, playing 100% of wages and guaranteeing first-team football. Eg Oliveira banged in nearly a goal a game at Maritmo so I recalled him amid an injury crisis and he's been in the squad since. If they can't secure this, they're probably released or stay with the B Team if there's room and I'm unsure. The strength of our squad now, means it's still difficult to get into the first team squad so I try to get them a year in one of the top European Leagues. Always 100% of wages and guaranteeing first team football, now charging £100k-£300k per month. Almada did a year at Inter Milan, Aragon went to Atletico Madrid, Vitinho is at Juventus now, Svilar at Real Madrid, Ze Gomes at Sevilla, Horta at Roma, Centelles at Bayern, Batista at Leverkusen, Lambiel (newgen?) at Milan, Saldanha at Fiorentina. The monthly fee helps to tick over, but the main benefit is either having the player return to the club first-team ready, or maintaining ownership of the player as their value increases so you can cash in whenever you need to meet FFP regulations. For example, I'll be looking for a right-sided attacker next season and I'll have Vitinho returning from a year at Juventus and Ze Gomes from Sevilla as options in addition to anyone in the academy. This game has been different, in that my intakes have been horrendous. Not a single newgen from the club is near the first team at the moment, so I've been relying on overseas scouting, also largely unsuccessfully outside of Aragon. EDIT: I should also add that there are eye-watering sums of money flying around Europe at the moment. We've got the budget for a large transfer fee but cannot compete on wages. With the right timing, most of our team could attract fees of £100m+ but we need to plan well in advance to have a replacement.
  9. Next update is the latter stages of the Champions League. Premier League Champions, Jose Mourinho's Manchester United have shaped up significantly more strongly than they did in real life. They use a difficult to break down 4-1-4-1, whilst we enjoy a near clean bill of health with the strength of the squad allowing us to use key players sparingly in the league. The first leg resulted in a typically tough 1-1 draw. The first side we've failed to defeat in Europe this season. The second leg presented more of an opportunity, with Mourinho opting for the free-flowing defence set up.. Thank you very much, Jose. This allowed us to pin them back and pummel them into a heavy defeat. The league is absolutely broken. Now we 100% focus goes into retaining the Champions League..
  10. Over the course of 2022/23 season, development of fringe players has improved the squad depth greatly. I've already mentioned Alvaro, Rodrigues and Oliveira playing crucial roles. Trincão has been superb and on the fringe of the first choice eleven for a while, but Diego Leite and an Argentinian trio of Gionvani Lo Celso, Thiago Almada and Lucás Aragon have broken through this season. Whilst most of these fit into our usual 4-3-3, I'll also rotate with a simpler version of the 4-3-3 which maintains the same style of play but simplifies the midfield to suit Lo Celso and Almada. Lo Celso is developed into a player with wonderful technical ability and intelligence. Plays on the left-side of the midfield trio. Signed for a bargain £3.6m after two reasonable loan spells, but failing to break through at PSG. He's now been on the fringe of the first team for a number of years and is pushing hard. Almada is a very similar player. Very intelligent player with excellent decision making and technical ability. Also been with us for a few years. Signed very young and given a debut season in Benfica B before getting a couple of first team appearances and spending a solid year with Inter Milan. Also now ready to play a more substantial role. Tactically, I've not quite got them in their best roles. We're playing a very standard 4-3-3 structure with inside forwards cutting in to create an attacking trident, wingbacks overlapping for width and central midfielders controlling the middle. Lo Celso and Almada now suit the "free 8" role we see Guardiola using at Man City perfectly. Wouldn't necessarily change the role, but the instructions could be used to free them up quite a bit. The big obstacle to this right now is I'd need Wingers rather than Inside Forwards in order to stretch play and open up that space however both Trincão and Aragon are left footers and I sold Nuno Santos so no longer have a natural right winger. Fullbacks could invert and whilst Pinheiro and Costa aren't quite ready right now, they could be next season. In which case I'll be shopping for a right winger!
  11. I'm really enjoying seeing that you're getting results as well. Funny we've got two different sets of two Joãos. I guess you've got Felix in there somewhere? Interesting to see the academy played in a different way. You're obviously having success with João Carvalho and earlier in the thread a couple of people talked about Batista, neither of which got too far for me but shows how players can develop under different circumstances. How did you go with Carvalho up front? Whilst I like an out-and-out forward in most circumstances, each season it's been increasingly difficult to keep hold of Lautaro Martinez. If that happens, replacing him externally would be beyond impossible given our wage structure. Goncalo Oliveira could undoubtedly step up and do a good job and take on the goalscoring responsibility - particularly given that Jota, João Felix and Umbalo contribute considerably - but I'd be concerned about the general play. There's also nobody really pushing through in that position from the youth setup, but there's midfielders pushing to get in all over the place so a strikerless variant could be an option. In fact, I've been training both Jota and João to play there but I am still apprehensive.
  12. Enjoying getting back into this save now I've got a couple of weekends of downtime.. João Felix won World Player of the Year.. ..whilst Jota destroyed Pep Guardiola's Juventus as the machine rolls on in Europe. Yet another world class youth intake secures the next generation of talent for the club. Brimming with potential along with unambitious, casual and spineless personalities to strike fear into the rest of Europe. Starting to think this game is cursed Joking aside, this illustrates the random element and sometimes you can do everything possible to maximise the chances of producing talented newgens but still not make it. Make other plans, be patient and move on. In a nutshell, this is why I'm not overly interested in writing about newgens in this thread. Scouts are out in force in U19 leagues around the world, in order to fill my U19 squad for next season. The league is once again beyond doubt. The strength of our squad means that we're able to really rotate the likes of Dantas, João Felix, Jota, Embalo, Martinez etc, etc due to the strength of our replacement options. I've already posted about the core of Alvaro, Pedro Rodrigues and Oliveira but this year Lo Celso, Almada, Trincão and Aragon (our only newgen) have really stepped up and I'd like to write a post - when I get time - about how they play together, which is similar but slightly different to our first team. They're also giving me more options outside of the core 4-3-3 to change things up using substitutes, which is interesting. We finished off Juventus with ease. Then rolled over Tottenham over two legs who are plodding along around the same level they're currently at in real life, competing with Arsenal for 4th. Power dynamics of European football have changed, a little. Under Guardiola, Manchester City managed consecutive league and Champions League titles. Pep moved on to Juventus and Luis Enrique came in and started well, winning the title but Mourinho's Man Utd overtook them by a point last season. Man City are now 5th and Man Utd 10 points clear at the top, so expect I'd expect Enrique gone in the summer. Liverpool have fallen off to the lower end of the top 6, whilst Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are still in the mix without ever really contending. Real Madrid and Barcelona have very aging squads. Ronaldo is 38 years old and still on consecutive 30+ goal seasons, but we beat the comfortably in the groups and Manchester United just knocked them out of the Champions League. Messi retires at the end of the season and is now a backup midfielder. Suares, Pique and Busquets all well into their mid-30s. Looking at their squad it looks like they're in financial trouble, or just their signings have been rubbish. Total rebuild required. Juventus still dominate Italy under Guardiola. No real progress from any of their challengers. PSG now boast an attack of Mbappe - best player in the world now - alongside Neymar, Martial and James Rodrigues. Monaco aren't really close. German sides look quite exciting. Bayern have won the league every year so far, but Dortmund will win the league this season. Dortmund have an attack of Sancho, Dolberg, Neres and Isak with Weigl, Thiago and Sergio Gomez in midfield, but a weaker defence. Bayern have a strong core of Tah, Kimmich, Alaba, Sanches, Goretzka and Diawara with Malcolm, Guedes, Jovic, Lozano and Brandt up front. However, neither made it past the Champions League first knockout. Champions League Semi-Finalists: Benfica PSG Barcelona or Manchester City Manchester United PSG and Utd seem our biggest competition.
  13. Ah, yes. It's always disappointed me that most of the players from the Ajax side I used to play haven't quite hit that potential in real life. Bazoer, Nunnely, Riedewald etc were wonderful players. quite a coincidence. Don't start a save with Juve as I'm just setting up to play them in the Champions League knockouts. Yes, SFraser's stuff is superb. Particularly his stuff about squad management and youth development. This save has really just been implementing many of his ideas. What set up are you using at Lyon? They've got some very talented players but a different style of play to Benfica. If you check a few posts back, you should see a more comprehensive answer to the question about long shots
  14. Thank you I've not seen much of the new game, but Ajax must have a pretty good squad for this type of style this year. Good to see them having a strong side.
  15. Thank you. Yes, it's certainly been evolution rather than revolution for quite a number of years now. Not sure what year this is, but the flat 4-3-3 has been a staple since this team back in one of the earliest threads: Season 6. Lyon have a wonderful team, somehow having managed to hold on to a lot of their wonderkids but they play a horrible defensive 4-4-2 with 2 DMs. We're coming up against some very stacked defences these days, which is one of the reasons I switched to Overload as I like relentlessly chewing them up. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One frustration with this years FM - possibly most - is the inability of the AI to develop their youngsters. Porto and Sporting have just about squandered their very talented academy teams. Afonso Sousa sat in the Under 19s and B Team for years, before getting lucky with two productive loan spells and making it into the team. Recent form and his potential warrant a call up to the international squad. Very interesting creative option in midfield: We stuttered, early in the post-World Cup cycle with a draw to Austria and loss to France but got back to form with club form translating to international level here: Whilst the juggernaut rolled on in Europe: Looking further ahead, long-term Head of Youth Development, Pedro Mil Homens announced he's retiring at the end of the season. I'll do my due diligence and see what's available on the market, but we've got a strong internal succession option: Finally, I've not commented too much on newgens as they're so random, but the scouts have come back with a very solid looking defender who fits the profile well. Like the idea of an intelligent, technical player with a bit of bite. Plus, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Nacional having spent a couple of months working in Medellin a couple of years ago
  16. The Jota / Joao Felix partnership is just about the on-form attacking combination in Europe at the moment. Absolutely on fire.
  17. Wow, some familiar names there but also quite a few new ones. Looks like in a couple of years the squad will be more competitive and versatile than ever. Dilu-Diop looks particularly useful as a two-footed defender, as does Alexio in midfield. Are they real players or newgens? Either way, you'll have some options. Looks like Dantas isn't quite so strong this time around, although could be the opinion of the report or just the luck of the save. Also Alves as a naturally right-sided attacker there, something my squad has also been missing. Please do keep posting updates. Interested to see how you go
  18. Quick update on the tactical experiments during the pre-season and first few games. I've toyed with a few different ideas.. and settled on playing the system I had at the start Florentino Luis was excellent playing a more expansive role on the right of the flat midfield 3 and the combination of him, flanked by Gedson Fernandes gave us near complete control of the right side of the pitch. The issue, however, was that his presence was missed on the left side. As a tactic, it worked wonderfully and - annoyingly - I'd like to have used it if I still had Xadas as a more all-action left-sided MC. However, João Felix is a more classic playmaker, in the Iniesta mould. Whilst he's a wonderful two-footed, intelligent, creative, technical footballer, he lacks the strength, bravery, work rate for the all-action midfield role. It was clear from the first couple of games that the balance wasn't there. The pressing on the left was nowhere near as intense or effective as on the right and Felix was not dynamic enough, leaving space in front of the defence. Not necessarily a problem in the Portuguese league, but a big concern in Europe. One option was to switch the AMR/L back to wingers and play inverted wingbacks and free up the wide MCs to play a more attacking role, but that was then beyond the scope of how I wanted Florentino Luis to play. A brief experiment playing asymmetrically theoretically fitted both, but messed up the passing triangles. So, back to the more specialist midfield 3 we used last season, with Joao Felix dropping into midfield as a direct replacement for Xadas and Embalo adding pace, power, intelligence and technical ability, cutting inside from the right wing. Jota and João Felix are two of the top technical, attacking players in Europe at the moment so I'm excited to let them combine on that left flank. Both attribute profiles look a little bit more lightweight than some of the others but their two-footedness makes them very unpredictable in attack. ..and we could still see Luis advanced into an MC trio with Portugal where we'd still benefit from the balance of Xadas.
  19. How's Joao Carvalho doing? Always had a soft spot for the guy as a classic playmaker but he's always been a few places behind the first team so ended up out on loan. One of my observations on the Benfica save is that versatility means that you can set up in so many different ways, and it feels like a continual evolution depending on who's on form, who is developing well and how the opposition is reacting. Off the top of my head.. both wingbacks can be classic wingbacks or inverted.. Dantas and Luis can interchange between MC and DM, both playing each role completely differently.. Fernandes can play right back, right-sided MC or right wing.. Jota and Embalo can play as wingers or inside forwards on either side.. Joao Felix can play the free role in midfield, or any role in the AM strata.. One question, actually - how are you finding the positioning of Florentino Luis at DM(S) in relation to Dantas at DLP(S)? I've always liked the idea of using one of the more expansive DM roles - particularly Regista with a player like Dantas - but whenever I do it with 2 MCs ahead they end up right on top of each other in a cluster. Have you noticed an issue?
  20. Great team I actually seem to be just about the only person around here that doesn't mind the occasional long shot Looking at your set up I cannot see why you'd have a problem. I normally start using Work Ball Into Box when I hit team mentalities or above. Perhaps try looking at who's shooting and see if they have a trait or a PI making it happen? The other thing you can look at is the scenarios in which they are shooting, are they shooting when there's no other option, in which case can you mitigate that with your tactics? Xadas always loved a long shot for me, but they were pretty effective. At one point in the second season Xadas and Talisca had long shots thundering in from everywhere!
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