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Tilling

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  1. I didn't see you updated this! Loved reading it, thanks for sharing, very interesting stuff
  2. Thanks for the kind words Thanks! I saw a thread a really long time ago about the importance of trying to be reactive to the formation that you're playing against. I think it's important (and ultimately much more satisfying when you win) to change your shape proactively depending on what you're coming up against, especially when you think you're going to be playing a good side. The idea is to change your shape to exploit the space that the opposition formation leaves for your side. Simultaneously, you should look to counter the strengths of the other team at the same time. Sounds obvious, right? You would think so, but it is extremely tempting (and actually also often correct) to not to change a winning team. Figuring out when to change it up and when not to is the hard part really. For example, in both Juve games (which ultimately proved pivotal!) you can see I changed to the 4-4-1-1 2 DMs. This was because I knew from looking at the formation, passing maps and average rating (crude but still insightful) two key things. Firstly, Juve played 4-1-2-2-1, leaving space for my defensive midfielder. Secondly, Juve built out from the back with the best passing play in the league, with many of the moves starting through the middle of the park due to very attacking wide players. In particular, their defensive midfielder was a key part. I exploited this by changing my shape to include a second DM (because I wanted to make sure we were well covered in defence against the best attacking trio in the league), changed the first DM to a Regista (meaning he would push higher up the pitch in attack and dictate play), and changed my other midfielder into an Attacking Midfielder in order to mark the defensive midfielder out of the game. I didn't change the wide players up at all because I wanted to keep that compactness to, again, put pressure on those amazing wide attackers. The TIs didn't change; I still wanted to use passing triangles to push us up the pitch before releasing a player in space out wide. The striker didn't change; I still wanted him to drop deep and link up play. The only thing I changed was the part of the pitch I wanted to press hard, and the part of the pitch I wanted my playmaker to start moves from. The result was a 1-0 victory; whilst I didn't create loads, Juventus had three shots all game! Nothing like nullifying your opponent as a priority in the Italian league. @sicosimatic without going into discussion of the ME, I do actually agree with the general thrust of what you were saying. What I would genuinely encourage is to do a write-up a bit like I did; you don't have to actually post it, but you'd be surprised at what you pick up when you stop to write about these things that you didn't notice before. The big thing for me was realising my defenders were dreadful on the ball; I had been using Play Out of Defence for a decade!! Funnily enough I also had the same issue regarding the 3rd season of using an otherwise successful tactic. In particular the season where I lost out on Europe was the third season of using a very possession focused 4-1-2-2-1. I think Morale has a much bigger part than even in previous iterations, and there's also something to be said for sides figuring you out after playing one style of play for a while, especially if you're very successful with it.
  3. I didn't intend this thread to be an epic saga, but even this is shorter than I thought it would be! I figure it might be worth jotting down some thoughts I have about my approach to the game, and how I was able to reverse the rot and have our best ever season at Palermo. Let's have a look at the final table: What you can immediately see is that it was not a barnstorming, record-setting victory. In fact, the first time I was sat at the top of the table was at the end of the 37th match of the season! The entire season, I had been chasing what felt like a relentless Juve side. They didn't lose a single of their first 23 games, and at one point had a 10 point gap at the top of the league. Thankfully, they came to my stadium and were completely trounced, and being dumped out of the Champions League early appears to have shaken the morale of the team massively, allowing me to catch up right at the death. How about the fixtures then? What you'll notice about this is that, for the most part, we tended not to steer clear of our trusted 4-1-4-1 DM, as it provided us with a solid base with which to grab goals and sit on leads. You'll also notice that we very rarely trounced teams, and vice-versa. The worst loss we suffered was 2-0 (in the cup, no less), and at no point in the campaign did I feel like we were ever truly battered. However, there are only three or four occasions where I can see we truly battered another team. As if winning the league on H2H isn't close enough, we won many games by very fine 1-goal margins. We didn't exactly set the league alight with goals either... However, what we did do extremely well was avoid conceding, in no small part due to our excellent control over the ball and ability to keep possession. Superb! What then do I think is useful to learn from this? Firstly, when you find yourself in a bit of a rut, feeling like you can't progress the squad further, what you should not do first thing is go looking for tactical inspiration that you can transplant. It can be very seductive to see someone getting results with an interesting tactical recreation of a side you admire in real life, but at the end of the day, you very rarely have a truly similar squad to another player on this game. What you should look to do is make the game simpler by asking yourself a few easy questions: what is your squad good at? What is your squad bad at? Is there a particular area of the pitch in which your squad can excel to the point of compensating for weaknesses in other areas of the pitch? Who are your best players, and what would be their best role? If you stop to think about these questions, what you'll find yourself doing is re-evaluating what you had previously then for granted. The most obvious examples for me was my previous insistence on having wingers press higher up the pitch, and worst of all, my insistence on using Play Out of Defence. What I quickly learned when looking at my squad in depth was that my defence, on the whole, could not bring the ball out of defence well. However, I knew that I didn't have a strong squad either, so distributing it further up the pitch would likely lead to loss of possession. Thus, a happy medium was established; I used Distribute to Centre-backs, which allowed me to avoid the dangers of frequent shorter passing and a deeper midfield, but still allowed me to retain the ball in the way I wanted to. Similarly, I also recognised a weakness in my team out wide; they had very little to offer when defending. I figured that there would be no simple straightforward way around this without making my midfielders less offensive, instead trying to make them cover marauding wingers (and that has a place in certain squads too!). However, some thought allowed me to stumble across a very simple principle; when the opposition win the ball back, it is much harder for them to dribble past two bad tacklers than it is to dribble past one. Thus, my solution was to keep the space between wide midfielder and fullback compressed, by making sure they had matching mentalities (or in some cases, the fullback on a higher mentality). This worked pretty well! We rarely got caught on the break aside from a few Offside Trap related tactical errors on my part. Finally, try to think creatively about how best to use the strengths of players that you might otherwise struggle to think of the squad. Take for example Carmine Marchetti. Even when I deliberately cut out the position map from this profile, it is pretty obvious to me what Marchetti is best at; he is a superb Deep-lying Forward. He is physically very impressive, and best of all he has an excellent First Touch, Jumping Reach, and Technique for controlling the ball; Carmine Marchetti could chest down a meteorite. He's weirdly not great at heading, but he's still more than capable of playing that leading lone striker role up top. However, I was faced with a significant problem; one of my best players is one of the best strikers in the league for the position. As good as Marchetti is, he was going to struggle to displace Manuele Trapani, who indeed ended up scoring the goal that won us the title. I didn't want to leave him on the bench though... My answer was to play him where we were weakest; the left wide midfield, where we had two bog-standard one-dimensional wingers and nothing to write home about. Although I had initially been thinking of Marchetti's excellent Technique, First Touch, and Jumping Reach as perfect for winning aerial duels, I came to realise that 17 First Touch, 19 Technique, 15 Pace, and 16 Acceleration makes you godly at Playing One-Twos. Moreover, the wide midfielder on the right was set to Cross from Deep and Cross More Often; whilst this often led to goals for the striker as initially planned, what also quite regularly happened would be a floated cross all the way over to Marchetti, arriving late at the far post to slam home. Indeed, he even ended up our top scorer. It didn't matter that he had 8 Crossing; he wasn't there for crossing the ball, and the use of the Look for Overlap (Left) TI meant that there was regularly a fullback ready to take the ball from Marchetti and whip the ball in. 17 Work Rate and 16 Stamina didn't hurt either for getting up and down the pitch. Thus, I was able to repurpose one strength into solving a major weakness. We went from having one tactical option on that side of the field (classic winger) to having two (battering ram cutting inside). In pausing to actually write up a detailed review of my squad, I was able to answer these questions pretty straightforwardly and create a tactic which actually suited my own squad. This allowed me to ultimately go on and succeed in my greatest FM20 achievement to date. That's not to say I didn't also have a healthy dose of luck, but no team wins anything in football without luck on their side. Hopefully this has been an interesting read for you.
  4. Well, it turns out that all I needed to do to secure my greatest FM achievement of the past 2/3 iterations was to... sit and write down some thoughts about the squad?
  5. Thanks for the comments. I ended up sticking with a DLF, just because I wanted to emphasise the link-up play, and moreover it's a role I tend to avoid using. I've actually just finished the season last night, so I will share the results soon with some lessons learned. I didn't go with a HB because I thought it would be a bit overkill with the PPMs I have for my DM, but I'll grant you that the HB and the DM(D) are very similar roles.
  6. Playing style The first thing we should decide on is the mentality. I've been told that mentality is a little bit misleading; it's less about emphasis on defence/attack, rather more about caution vs risk. The most important in my opinion is that team mentality influences each individual mentality within your team, which in turn alters how each role will play in a given set-up. The higher the individual mentality, the more the individual player will play riskier forward passes and riskier runs with the ball. Our squad is fine, so we won't be playing lower than Balanced. Very Attacking is probably a bit much, which leaves Positive as a happy medium. We might change the mentality a single notch up or down depending on the team we're playing. For Team Instructions, we have to decide how our team plays: In Possession In Transition Out of Possession One of the most defining parts in my book as to how your team will move the ball up the pitch is the Passing Directness. Having grown up watching an Everton side drilled by David Moyes, I'm partial to a more direct style of play. However, although we do have a beefy Target Man, it is quite clear that the rest of the squad is a little too weak to play that kind of football. We could go down the Graham Taylor-route of direct football, with balls played into space for rapid wingers, but I don't want the main thrust of our attack to come from wing play; we're at our weakest on the flanks. With that in mind, I have opted for Shorter Passing. We could opt for Balanced, and I'll probably keep an eye on that moving forward. Our midfielders have decent passing ability, but not the best attributes for winning the ball back. They do almost all have Plays One-Two's, and with that in mind, I have gone with Fairly Narrow attacking width. This plays to our strengths (quick, intricate passing) and helps account for our weaknesses slightly (players are closer together, if we lose the ball we are more likely to win it despite our lack of aggressiveness). Shorter Passing and Lower Tempo tends to lead to tepid football in my experience, so I will further encourage quick, one touch football with a Higher Tempo. We have almost always used Play Out Of Defence to try and encourage building from the back, but the earlier re-evaluation of my squad suggests that this may not have been wise, so we'll leave that one unchecked. I'm very tempted by Dribble Less, but I think it might be slightly overkill? Be interested to see if anyone has thoughts on that. In transition, I want us to go on the attack when we win the ball, and I don't mind us playing slightly riskier balls in the name of faster transitions. As a result, we will be playing on the Counter. We'll also have Counter-Press on to take advantage of our players being closer together. They'll have to work harder for space, but I think they're capable of doing that, whilst I don't think they're capable of pressing beyond short distances. I've also gone with Distribute to Centre-Backs for now. Might seem a bit odd given that I've outlined that they're weak playing the ball, but using this TI means we can still play quickly through an opposition pressing high without forcing the team to drop deeper like Play Out of Defence does. I also don't want them to always play out of defence; sometimes, they'll kick it long, and that's fine in small doses. Out of possession, we'll use a Higher Defensive Line with an Offside Trap, as we have a reasonably quick back four with good Decisions across the board. We'll use More Urgent Pressing but not go to the extreme for the reasons previously outlined. We'll use a Higher Line of Engagement to make sure that we don't compress the space too much, and to keep our striker pressing the back line. Voila. Structure and Formation These are the two formations that I will look to play primarily, with more information on the roles to follow. The decisions I've made are as follows: Being weak defensively on the flanks presents two options; play a flat back four and have two wide midfielders to make sure we don't get done by opposition teams with two wide players on either flank, or play with very aggressive wingbacks and go three at the back and a slightly more defensive minded midfield. I do love a marauding fullback (that's Moyes talking again, god bless you Leighton Baines) but I've not really been able to make three at the back work this year, and I fear it's an ineffective distribution of space coverage when the opposition plays with a single striker. Flat back four it is. Our strength is in midfield, so we should try and have three midfielders in the middle of the park. They should create effective triangles leading to releasing the wider players on either flank. I'd really like two up front, but I can't really justify it when we only have two reliable strikers, as good as they are. Both of them can also still theoretically play, as we shall soon see. We'll go with one up top instead, but the team has to work hard to make sure he doesn't end up isolated. I'm a strong believer in trying to change your formation to exploit the weaknesses of the opposition formation. I face a frustrating amount of 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-2-2-1, and I think both of these formations can counter those with the correct roles. Both formations will have two defensively minded midfielders and one attacking minded midfielder, either via roles or via structure. The 4-1-4-1 will be the default approach, so I'll go into more detail on that one. If the 4-4-1-1 Deep ends up working too, I'll do a separate post on how I set that up. Player roles and instructions Let's start from the back. The goalkeeper is set to Sweeper Keeper (SK-D) as a result of playing our high line, and because Marco Di Napoli is a fantastic fit for that role. He is pretty good at distribution but not amazing, so I've kept him on (D) for now. Our right central defender is on Central Defender (CD-C) in order to create an additional line of cover what with the high defensive line, but also because our best defender Gianpaolo Giovenco suits the role, as does his deputy Erasmo Accomando. Our left central defender is your typical Central Defender (CD-D). There's no point in telling fullbacks who can't defend to sit in the last line of defence waiting to get skinned by world class forwards, so I've gone with attacking fullbacks. The right fullback is your classic Wingback (WB-S), but I am thinking about going with CWB due to the fact that it has Roam from Position hardcoded, which I think would be useful here. The left fullback is set to Fullback (FB-A). This is a little too attacking for my liking, but I want to create compactness out wide to make sure that there are a number of players around the opposition if we are dispossessed of the ball. I think the best way to do this is to make sure that your fullbacks and your wide midfielders have the same mentality, which you would also hope means they will attack together cohesively (the wide midfielder actually has a slightly higher mentality here; one way I've been thinking of getting around this is to go FB(S) and use Overlap Left, which gives both players an attacking mentality. If you've experience with this, let me know in the comments!). For the midfield, we have a Defensive Midfielder (DM-D) to take advantage of our Sicilian Busquets in Gaspare Drago. This player serves multiple purposes; firstly, I want him to be able to drop deep and almost create a back-three in certain cases, and his PPMs combined with the role suggest that he will. I also want him to be stopping the opposition from countering quickly, giving away cheap fouls rather than let us be countered á la Gareth Barry. Finally, I also want the option to have a DM that can mark an AM against 4-2-3-1 in certain cases. We then have a partnership of a Ball-winning Midfielder (BWM-S) and a Roaming Playmaker (RPM-S). I first and foremost want to make the most out of Petrini as a good playmaking midfielder and a personal favourite, which means giving him free reign to creatively move up the pitch. The BWM might seem a bit of a rogue shout given my focus on keeping the ball, but it is a role somewhat specific to Comparelli as a technically gifted player who is also capable of putting a shift and a tackle in. The BWM tends to roam more than other roles (which I usually hate, but don't mind here), and his PPMs suggest that we won't get a Cattermole impersonation act, but rather someone who can do a bit of everything. It again gives me another player who can man-mark opposition playmakers, who are frequently on the right-hand side of the two midfielders in a 4-2-3-1. Out wide, we have a Winger (W-A) and a Wide Midfielder (WM-S). These wide roles are the roles most likely to change depending on how the opposition will set up, but the core idea is to make sure that the wide midfielders are in the space vacated in a 4-2-3-1, which in my opinion is either the AM strata (not always), or more frequently the space between wingback and winger. The more attacking minded flank is designed to exploit the space left by an attacking fullback; I would play this current iteration for example if the opposition lined up with two wingbacks and the right wingback was on an Attacking duty. This more attacking player is also given the PI to Close Down More. The wide midfielder meanwhile exploits the gap between a more cautious fullback and an aggressive winger, taking his time to play pinpoint crosses from deep, hence the PI Cross From Deep. To re-iterate, the wide roles swap sides depending on how the opposition line up. Finally, our striker is the Deep Lying Forward (DLF-A). He has a Very Attacking mentality to make sure that his primary aim is still to score goals, but the role allows for our striker to drop deep and link on with onrushing midfielders with the ball. There's a case to be made for Complete Forward instead, but I don't really understand the difference between the two, and I don't think the CF drops as deep. This gives us a mentality split like this: (VA) (VA) - (POS) - (POS) - (POS) (CAU) (ATT) - (CAU) - (CAU) - (POS) (CAU) Food for thought: If we introduce the TI's Look For Overlap (on the left) and Focus Play Down The Middle, and change the FB(A) to FB(S), we get something more like this. This might be a bit more compact. but it does mean we have no Cautious mentalities. Would this be a bit more effective? (VA) (ATT) - (POS) - (POS) - (POS) (BAL) (ATT) - (BAL) - (BAL) - (POS) (BAL) Next time: results!
  7. Hi mate, it's Tad Twenty, which can be found here: https://community.sigames.com/topic/505026-fm20-skin-tad20-v-122-01062020-and-teal20-v11-31122019/
  8. Central Midfielders Gaspare Drago is an excellent deep-lying midfielder, and arguably the best player that the Palermo youth academy has produced. He has no real major weaknesses bar a lack of Aggression (a consistent theme), and he is one of the most consistent performers at the team whether he be playing in the middle of the park, covering the back four, or deputising at fullback. His PPMs make him a particularly good Busquets-type player. Mattia Comparelli is his main partner, and he too doesn't have many weaknesses. His first touch leaves a little to be desired, but he is the 'runner' to Drago's 'holder', with good Stamina, Work Rate, and Decisions. He also has good PPMs for moving the ball up the pitch. Fabio Petrini completes what is typically a midfield trio, and there's something innately fantastic about watching a 5'3 playmaker get to work. His PPMs are a little bit overkill for my liking, but he scores many key goals and provides for many more as the key playmaker in the squad. In the second string, the tastily named Carlo Bolognesi typically deputises for Drago as a deep-lying midfielder, but his tackling really needs some work. However, he is good at moving the ball about. Marco Varriale is the deputy to Comparelli, as he has good PPMs for progressing the ball up the pitch. He isn't the quickest though, nor is he a very good tackler, so that needs a bit of work. Finally, Fernando Versaci is my one exception to the Sicilian/Youth Academy-only challenge, and if you look at his stats you might see why; he is a bizarre footballer. 6'5, but 9 Strength. 17 Crossing and 9 pace. 16 Dribbling but 10 Agility. Nevertheless he is a capable deputy for midfield positions higher up the pitch, and he is still a pretty good playmaker all things considered. Wide Midfielders Matteo Rossetti is one of the brightest talents that the club currently has in terms of potential, but he isn't the player that he could be just yet. He is however reasonably quick, with good stats required to be the ideal wide midfielder. However, the same can't be said for Matteo Molteni and Walter Coppola, who are our best options on the left side of the pitch. Both of these players are fairly similar in that they are extremely one-dimensional wingers. They are pretty quick, and pretty good at whipping the ball into the box, and that is about it. Having said that, Coppola in particular has turned a few games around by exploiting simply how direct he. Deputising Rossetti on the right flank is one of Vinco or Vigliotti, depending on which of the two is playing at right fullback. Strikers Manuele Trapani is probably my favourite player. He joined the team in one of the first youth intakes we had and has become one of the better strikers in the league. He doesn't really have any weaknesses, and he has been at ever present as the lone striker as a consistent feature in my tactics since getting promoted into Serie A. Carmine Marchetti however challenges the notion of using a lone striker, as he has improved dramatically since coming on as Wide Target Man and scoring a final 10-minute hattrick against Lazio last season. I also love a massive lamppost of a forward, but he has the technique, finishing, first touch, and passing required to be more of a complete forward. If Trapani is more of a creator, Marchetti is more of a scorer, although they could both feasibly be either. Valerio Petrocca has been disappointing since coming through the academy and is yet to have a season where he averages more than 6.7, but in fairness, he is regularly shunted out wide or played behind the striker when he's actually not a terrible striker himself. He's a capable deputy. Having gone through the individual players, what have we learned about the squad available? Recap of the Team Report We have good central defenders, but they lack the ability to distribute the ball well. We're really weak defending out wide. The midfielders are woeful finishers. What we can add about the squad by considering individual player attributes and PPMs Compounding the weak defending out wide, going forward out wide we're really one-dimensional. Almost all of the midfielders and forwards have the Plays One-Twos PPMs as a hangover of trying to implement a 'Total Football' style of play, which was a bit bold in hindsight given our highest ever media prediction has been 10th. There aren't many situations in which this PPM is bad though, and I think it might generate some nice passing moves even without specific TIs and PIs. All of our striker options have Comes Deep To Get The Ball, which has its' positives and its' negatives. Marchetti is an excellent Target Man should we want to change to direct passing following 10+ seasons of short passing. We have two complete strikers at the club, and three good playmakers who can play in a variety of positions across the pitch. The centrebacks and the central midfielders have strong Decisions across the board. The entire squad lacks Aggression, but does have very high Determination. They'll chase lost causes but won't put a foot in to win the ball? Bit weird. Having established this, next time I'll start putting a tactic together based on what I've analysed here.
  9. Since the turn of the year, I've spent this years iteration of Football Manager 2020 managing S.S.D. Palermo. Inspired by a thread I saw on the Career Updates forum in which someone managed a team of players from the Canary Islands, I set myself a stipulation of only using Sicilian players. This isn't particularly difficult up until a certain point; I managed to sail through Serie C and Serie B pretty easily. However, the challenge becomes drastically harder once you set foot into Serie A, as there aren't enough players of the required standard for such a competitive league. From that point on, the save has altered into more of a youth development challenge, which in fairness has been the most engaging save I've played in Football Manager by myself. However, I'm now in to my 13th season with Palermo, and the steady growth of the previous seasons now seems a distant memory, with the club recently on the decline. I think this is because I've become a bit jaded and thus less interested in the minutiae of the game. This is because I've had a series of terrible youth intakes (despite having the best youth facilities in the world! ) and the tactics that were successful in the past have since crumbled as the club has grown in reputation and as other teams in the league have figured the side out. With that in mind, I figured I would come at the 12th season with a clean slate approach, rethinking the way I set up the team and listening to the feedback that the forums may have to offer. If you've come expecting inspirational tactical analysis, I'll refer you back to the thread title; this is more somewhere for me to record my own thoughts for self-reference, and maybe see if anyone has some interesting suggestions for how to set up the team. The story so far As you can see, up until the previous two seasons, things were going pretty well at Palermo. Serie C and Serie B were blown apart by Danilo Ambro at Regista (who has since become an actual club legend ingame after averaging around 7.5 for four consecutive seasons), and we made a good start to life in Serie A with such a limited squad. Despite being odds on favourites to be relegated for the first three seasons, we were able to play a style of football that allowed us to control the majority of the possession. Whilst we certainly didn't score many goals, we conceded even less; molto benne. As we hit the 7th season, some of our youth talent (which we will get to later) had finally began to blossom, which led us to finish 5th and bring European football to Sicily for the first time in 15 years. Whilst this ultimately proved to be a false dawn, as the squad crumbled under the pressure of playing so many games, so many extra games provided an opportunity for us to blood even more young players. This saw dividends in the following seasons; despite a disappointing 8th season, we have consistently been in European contention ever since. Our 10th season was marked with Palermo's highest ever finish as the club entered the Champions League for the first time, and in hindsight I probably should have called it quits there as an acceptable achievement. However, I carried on, and we were cruelly knocked out of a group containing three recent finalists in Arsenal, PSG, and Ajax on goal difference. We dropped into the Europa League and started well, but were ultimately smashed by Tottenham in the Round of 16. Worse still, this kicked off a dramatic downturn in form: we threw away Champions League qualification and lost our first Coppa Italia final all in the space of two weeks. The most recent season carried on this horrendous run of form, as we won 5 of our first 20 league games. Decent performances from the second string in the European Conference League were marred by the fact that I couldn't care less about that trophy, and a late rally was still inevitably nipped in the bud by the top five teams, who have worryingly started to break away from the rest of the league. We did manage to stop Juventus from going invincible with only 10 men though, so at least there's that; have that one Zinedine, you bald fraud. This is comfortably the steepest decline that the squad has undertaken thus far, and thus there is a need to reassess the strengths and weaknesses of the squad. Team profile I'll be going through individual players soon, but for now, let's take a look at the strengths and the weaknesses of the squad by using a frame I nicked from @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!. To paraphrase his approach: White lines indicate divisions, grouping relevant attributes together to allow for easier analysis: Work rate, determination, fitness. Technical ability. Defensive ability. Attacking ability. Green boxes indicate strengths. Red boxes indicate weaknesses. Strengths We have a determined squad across the board, and although not everyone in the squad has good work rate, the players in the centre of the park have strong attributes for pressing. Our central defenders are pretty good so long as you don't ask them to do too much. (I haven't included it on the screenshot, but they are also generally possess above-average pace and good decision making skills. Weaknesses Poor ball-playing ability across the defence with the exception of Antony Angileri, who is the oldest player in the squad. Gianpaolo Giovenco is improving on that though. Our fullbacks are truly dire at actually defending. This is perhaps because they are almost all wingers retrained into the role following poor youth intakes. The midfield are not very good at putting the ball into the back of the net across the board. Individual strengths Gaspare Drago is a pretty complete footballer, as demonstrated by the fact that he has been Player of the Season for two straight seasons. He's essentially my Busquets/Rodri/Fernandinho type defensive midfielder. Fabio Petrini has been an excellent playmaker, and one of the leading stars of the team in the past few seasons. When he plays poorly, the team does. Petrini and Drago often form the tip of an effective diamond midfield. In Manuele Trapani we have a pretty excellent creative forward, and in Carmine Marchetti we have a pretty strong finisher/battering ram (who doesn't love a 6'5 striker?). Team report To round this off before moving into individual players, let's see what else we can glean from the Team Report page in comparing our squad to the rest of the league. Some standout insights from what we can see in the Team Report (or can't see, if that ends up posting as small as it seems to be in the preview ): Our defenders have great jumping reach but they are amongst the weakest in the league. They're also pretty quick. Our midfielders should be decent at quick passing, with the 4th highest Decisions and average Passing/Vision/Technique. They should also be reasonably good at winning the ball back with excellent tackling. Our forwards (or certainly the two strikers Trapani and Marchetti) are amongst the best in the league, with excellent attributes relative to the league across the board. What they generally lack in Pace they make up for by having top-notch Acceleration. The physicality of the squad on average leaves a lot to be desired, and particularly worrying is how weak and tiny they are. We naturally also lack Aggression. However, this is skewed by extremes across the squad, and in particular some very weak midfielders. From other comparison graphs not listed, the squad as a whole has good dribbling ability, possesses good set piece takers, and decent enough technical ability. We also have a terrific starting goalkeeper, with great Kicking distribution and superb One on Ones. Individual players Goalkeepers Not much to share here; Marco Di Napoli is a fantastic young goalkeeper. I wish his Vision and First Touch were a little better so I could go full Neuer/Ederson with the goalie, but he has saved us in many games. Vito Sala is a more than capable backup. Central Defenders Gianpaolo Giovenco is the best defender of the lot. Last year was his breakout season and he was one of two solitary shining lights in a squad that by and large was disappointing. His only major weakness from a defensive perspective is his lack of Aggression, but this is made up for in his other attributes, particularly his strong Bravery and exceptional Tackling. He's not fantastic on the ball, but at the age of 20, he still has a lot of potential left to be tapped. You hope that with training and some good PPMs, he can offer something new to the backline as a long-term BPD. Federico Longo is his usual partner on the left-hand side of defence, and despite reasonably average stats he continues to perform well. It's pretty telling that in his first season curtailed by major injury, we've also had our worst season in years. He compliments Giovenco well, and who doesn't like a CB who likes to Cut Inside From Both Wings? He also scored the 91st minute header that took us into the Champions League for the first time. Erasmo Accomando is a bit of a weird one. He isn't great in the air, he's got terrible PPMs that I simply cannot get him to abandon, and he's got odd attributes scattered about the place. He's a good 3rd choice CB, but I can't help but wonder what he could have been with more targeted development. He's also not a bad option as a more defensively minded fullback. Fabio Varriale is 4th choice behind Longo and is an average defender, not too much to write home about, although I like that he is good in the air. He's played well when called upon, and like Accomando, can deputise as a defensive fullback. Antony Angileri is being phased out of the squad in favour of trying to provide more minutes to younger youth academy products, but he offers us something different to the rest of the squad as the only good BPD in the team. He's got great PPMs for the role which I think makes up for the fact that he is only really an average BPD. Wide Defenders What one will notice pretty quickly is that my wide defenders are genuinely pretty dire, which has been a consistent issue ever since I started the save. Antonino Gallo is the starting left-back, and he's probably the most well-rounded of the options at fullback. That's not to say that he is any good however, as he really does not excel in any particular attribute. His performances are rarely terrible, but they haven't been great for a while now either. Gallo is getting on a bit, and Roberto Trotta is the best of two young prospects that could feasibly fill the left-back spot future, despite looking more like a CB at this early stage of this development. If we can improve his speed and his Crossing, I actually think he might become a decent player on that option. I like having tall full-backs as well, as it provides an extra option on set pieces. Leonardo Vigliotti and Gian Paolo Vinco rotate for the RB spot, and they are very similar players. If Gallo is bad at defending, then these two are diabolical. However, they both possess pretty good physicals, which has thus far allowed me to get away with having been forced to retrain wingers into fullbacks. As you can imagine, tactically I have generally played with more aggressive wing play on the right side of the pitch as a result of these two players; I want to accentuate their strength for beating a man and whipping a cross in by getting them up the pitch as often as possible.
  10. How did this end up going, did you play any further? Always interested to see someone recreating Everton tactics
  11. I thought the youth intake was fixed this year? Like when you get the notification about who the players are, that's actually when your intake is decided. Fingers crossed for you that this is the case!
  12. Thanks; so I'm correct in saying that a 6'0 player with 14 jumping reach and a 6'4 player with 14 jumping reach won't see any difference in their header success rates, assuming all other things are kept constant? Cheers. Also, any ideas on the Data Analysis question?
  13. I figure this would fit within tactic questions as I use it to guide my tactical analysis ahead of big games. What is the difference between good Data Analysis facilities and state of the art ones? Similarly, how does a higher Presenting Data (etc) stat improve the data analysis of a team? Is it quality of data, more data, or something else? If it is more data, what data is added? Also, is it true that height has essentially no importance when it comes to winning the ball, other than to dictate jumping reach? For example, a 5'10 player with 20 jumping reach will regularly win the ball against a 6'5 player with 14 jumping reach, assuming all other stats are the same between the two players?
  14. Does the PI 'Take More Risks' only affect passing and one-two's as stated in the description, or does it also affect dribbling and shooting?
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