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  1. hmm maybe I should get that right sided inside forward to start placing shots, what stats would you need for that? off the top of my head: composure, technique, finishing, concentration?
  2. Hey thanks for the reply. Good tips too. I rejigged it a little mezzala support, Ins.fwd left support, LWB attack. Those three do combine well but i might experiment with switching to a fullback on that side too. I started closing down, which has helped the defensive side, my form is patchy but I think I drop some points due to blooding in youngsters. Missed chances, alot are the inside forwards getting inside the fullback and cb into a one on one situation esp. my right sided one. The other chances are often my f9 missing a one on one- when a ball goes directly over the top/ he gets played in behind early from the flanks. Tbf this season we went on a run and scored a lot of those same chances---maybe morale? One more question--I have a wonder kid, but he's not suited to a inside forward role. He plays on the right. I'm thinking maybe right winger with an inverted wingback on that right hand side-good idea? or any suggestions?
  3. Hi Guys, Use the forum alot, never post. But I've run in to some troubles in the Premier League. I always play an unemployment challenge. I landed a big gig in Southampton with some stipulations: Possession football, attacking football, dev. youth, sign young players, score set-pieces. Now, in lower leagues I had an attacking formation that dominated possession but the prem is quicker and crueller. The counter attacks just destroyed me. I reverted to a 4231 with some success (8 game run) but then started getting destroyed again. In fact, I decided I'd need a DM, so reverted back to a 41231 with some new roles. Here it is: Gk RWB (A), CB, CB, LWB (S) DLP (D) CM (S) Mez (A) Ins.fwd (S) Ins.fws (A) F9 Instructions: Short Passing, Play out of Defence Mentality: attacking Philosophy: Flexible Here's the good: I counter extremely well (I always think thats a good sign for a tactic), Possession is decent 50+ % in game. Plus there's always options on the ball, passing channels and good movement into the box, overlapping runs etc. This tactic took a lot of tweaking (and a lot of bad results) to get where it is so far, and I like the build up, counter-attacking and general threat with the ball. The Bad: Results. Teams exploit me by overloading my left-hand side, mistakes: penalties given away at corners, poor passing, giving the ball away in playing out of defence, Now some of this is fixable in game. E,g, when they exploit the left hand side, I can revert my mezzala to a support duty and/or WB to defense which nullifies the threat without sacrificing attacking too much. (I did try putting inside fwd left on support but then I stop having channels and good attacking play (with 2 inside fwds support) equally switching the attacking role to the right handside ends up with all my play going down the right---this usually leads to lots of opposition counters. Defensively, my players are always close to the opposition but not close enough to get in challenges. We seem to marshall the opposition well but aren't aggressive in winning the ball back. We miss lots of sitters in fact, most media reports are so and so strikes lucky etc etc, southampton in disappointing collapse. This is part and parcel of the game, its conceding thats the problem When we score we often concede straight after, in other games we can keep missing chances before an ineveitable sucker punch. I wonder if the attacking mentality is causing the mistakes, high risk passing etc. Any suggestions to improve much appreciated. If you need any extra info just ask,
  4. Oxford City (away) This is it. The first day of the season, nerves tingling, fingers jangling, injuries hampering. I name an unchanged squad but change the BWM to a centre mid as we've given away too much space in the friendlies. Friendlies are friendlies. This is competition. We're unfit, under-staffed and inconsistent but, are we ready? Oxford City are shoe-ins for the title. The play a 442 with the wide players pushing up. I'm confident they'll attack me as they're at home and better in every department. On the plus side my 451 should provide me with enough defensive cover. Captain Mark Hughes will have a lot of work to do in the DM position. Star man Luke Daley is out injured so I bring youngster Jack Barham on the right wing. Everything else is unchanged. We start brightly. Solid as a rock and putting together some passes of our own. Ebenike goes close with a header from a corner just glancing wide. Then a hopeful ball over the top sends Bricknell into the clear with just the goalie to beat. Side netting. He misses another similar chance just before half-time then picks up an 'injury'. Bruised shin. He misses the best chance of the half seconds before the whistle. He's knows he's been poor so there's no suprises when I haul him off and throw on young Billy Hunt. The second half is more of the same, we defend well and I feel we could nick it. It finishes 0-0. Could nick it! We absolutely battered them. Five chances to their one. All hail the counter attack. The only worry for us is that we didn't score, we need all the points we can get and dropping two here is gonna be costly. Hampstead Hemel (Home) It's the first home game of the season and the legions of fans (572) turn out to watch the team against Hemel Hampstead. Jack Barham can barely stand up after the Oxford game so Rob Girdleston (right back by name, right back by nature) replaces him on the right wing. Pre-season hero Harry 'one goal' Morgan comes in for Lee sawyer in the attacking centre midfield role. Billy Hunt replaces the profligate Billy Bricknell and I hand debuts to Marvel Ekpita and Damien Green. Centre Back and Right Back respectively Only having a days rest from the Oxford game is why I make so many changes and it highlights how small my squad actually is. Most of the incoming players are being played out of positon. The big test today is whether we can play on the counter against teams of similar stature to ourselves and whether we can play on the counter at home. It's not gonna be pretty. It's a win. Our first win of the season. Harry Morgan has blinder, Billy Hunt opens his account and Girdleson provides the assist. The fans chant "are you Vardy in disguise" for Billy Hunt who chases every ball and is a general nuisance up front. 1-nil is never comfortable but we give no chances away and make three of our own. 4 points from two games and up to 9th in the league, what a boon! We're back on the training ground when my U21's manager Larry Bayford approaches, a worried look on his face. He pulls out a dossier on match preparation, tactics, stats numbers. I groan and organise the lads round the penalty area. Time for set-piece training. I hate set piece training but as a counter-attacking team goals from corners are gonna be invaluable. I make three routines. far-post, near-post and penalty spot. Larry wanders off muttering about a lack of plan b but I pretend not to hear; I mean Plan B, who needs a Plan B. Hayes and Yeading (Home) The matches are coming thick and fast. We're favourites here and it's a relegation six pointer. Hayes and Yeading play a 442 so I stick with the 451. Star man Luke Daley returns to the line-up. I move harry Morgan to the left wing to rest Graham and restore Sawyer to central mid. Girdlestone goes back where he belongs at right back and Billy Hunt keeps his place after scoring the only goal last match. 49 seconds in we get caught ball watching and Benyon slots away at the near post. It's textbook stuff and we should really be doing better. I suddenly realise that I left a make shift centre back in the squad, Marvin Ekpita. I can't make a change this early so I stand on the touchline with the words "Plan B, who needs a Plan B" echoeing in my head. Marvin Ekpita is having a shocker. He's at fault for the second as he loses Ehui for Hayes' second. Fenlon is getting the assists so I tell the players to close him down. Moments later so called 'Star man' Luke daley blazes over the bar.Marvel Ekpita scores from a set piece! It's now 1-2. In the dressing room I tell the lads they've been unlucky. I sub off poor Marvin for the solid Mark Haines. Billy Hunters' been chasing shadows all game so I hook him, Harry Morgan too. In come Billy Bricknell and Edogan Graham. Hayes shut up shop and its a half of few chances Bricknell spuns a fanastic chance to equalise 5 minutes from time after being sent clean through on goal. Final whistle Chelmsford 1 Hayes and Yeading 2. Plan B who needs a Plan B So it turns out we don't need a plan B. We just need to take our chances. 5 bloody chances to their two. They score them both. I take a portion of the blame for accidentally fielding distaster man Marvin Ekpita who is at fault for both goals. I file him under the emergency only category and get Bricknell, Daley and Hunt training on their finishing. He's the laughing stock of the town! Bishop Stortford (away) Bishop Stortfort are 2nd in the league.They play 442 and they think they can batter us. In Byrne Hewitt and Karl Hawley they have a couple of top strikers and we need to watch out for midfield maestro Omar Rowe. I make three changes from the side that lost to Hayes and Yeading. Bagosun Graham replaces Lee Sawyer, Billy Bricknell for Billy Hunt and Mark Haines for Marvin 'calamity' Ekpita. I move Harry Morgan into centre mid. Jack Barham replaces a fatigued Luke Daley. I mark Omar Rowe tightly, Tell the lad to show Hawley onto his weaker foot and then pray. Stortford are dangerous be we knew that and we limit their chances well enough. Harry Morgan excels again in the central midfield berth and he hammers a freekick onto the cross bar. Jack Barham reacts first and slots the rebound into an open net. 1-nil. Graham goes down with a twisted knee but I tell him to get up and get on with it. We're playing well but just before half time Omar Rowe is given far too much space and crosses in for Buchanan to tap home the equaliser. We show Rowe onto his weaker foot. In the second half we dominate but again we can't take our chances and leave with a well earned point. The following day my Physio tells me Graham is out for 5 (FIVE!) weeks. We don't have another left sided winger so I scour the market desperately. Stephen Brogan stands out I mean he's not gonna improve the squad but at the moment I just need to slap a plaster on the left wing. He's got experience, a bit of pace and is probably worth a gamble; I scout him for two weeks. Whitehawk (away) So it's another away day and I've made another cock-up. I make my unfit players available for an u21's game and a few first teamers are thrown in. My best player, and only player capable of covering on the left wing, Luke Daley is knackered. Oh well. It's another 442 to play against and my scout points out that Whitehawk have low aggression ratings I resolve to kick them off the park.Luke Daley comes in for the injured Badogun Graham, Damien Green replaces a tired Marvel 'not to be confused with Marvin' Ekpita and, the excellently named, Skepelhorn makes his debut at centre forward. Barham rattles the post with an absolute worldy but Whitehawk CF Mills is dropping deep and is dominating the game. I get Hughes to man mark/ physically assault him. Sam deering is being given the keys to the kingdom on my left flank so I show him to his weaker foot in an attempt to stop the barrage of crosses that are flying in. Skepelhorn who has been linking up well all game polishes off a great passing move to make it 1-nil, then we almost give the game away, by losing the ball outside our own box. I'm forced to make changes at half time due to fatigue. Damien Green and Luke Daley come off. Marvin the disaster and Lee Sawyer come on. Harry Morgan moves out to the left. We are under the cosh second half. I switch to defensive and retain possesion to try and stop the flow. Ofori is subbed on and makes mince meat of Marvin. I tell him to man mark him tight. Then I change Hughes to an anchor man, Barham to support duty and Skepelhorn becomes a defensive defensive forward. They throw everything at us and eventually we give (Marvin lets ofori go for the goal if you must know). It's a nervy last few minutes but we hang on for a point. St Albans (Home) With our form teetering we welcome St Albans to the Chelmsford Sports and Athletics Centre (catchy I know). Skepelhorn keeps his place after opening his account last match. It's an absolute classic lower league match. By which I mean, no goals, no chances and 50 fouls in all. We trudge around the pitch kicking players and achieving nothing. The same from St. Albans. After our bright start to the season we look to be fading fast. This makes it no wins in four. Maidstone (away) It's the last game of August. The leaves fall from the trees and the pitch is dashed in colour. A win here makes for a decent start to the season. Maidstone are bottom of the league the combination of our incisive counter attacks and their weak defense should make for a routine win. Bricknell comes back into the fold and Lee Sawyer moves out to the right wing. Maidstone play a 4231 and it will be interesting to see how we match up today. It's a game of many chances but it's Maidstone who break the deadlock. In the dressing room I tell the players they're unlucky but I know its not true. Our opening season goodwill is all but drying out and we find ourselves just a point above the drop in 17th. It's gonna be a long, cold winter. I stick on the tape and have a cuppa.
  5. Pre-Season Chatham (away) We win. 3 nil. Bagosun Graham gets two assists and Daley scores a brace. The last goal is a ball over the top that Bricknell slots away. It's a messy first half and Chatham make a few good chances but take none; largely down to Dibble who impersonates a brick wall made from Gordon Banks. We counter well enough and the goals soon come, from the flanks which is pleasing. Second half we shut down the game nicely. The biggest worry on first look is set pieces. We do nothing of note from ours and absolutely **** ourselves whenever they knock a corner in. I make a cuppa coffee and watch the tape. It's Witham away up next in the pre-season tour of Nowhere. Never heard of them, never will. I keep the same team and tactics as we only have two games till the season starts and we need consistency, match fitness and familiarity, fast. It's a turgid first half. No chances either way except for big man Bracknell who slices into the side netting at the stroke of half time. Lee Sawyer's gasping for air in the dressing room so I throw on young Harry Morgan. We go 1 nil down in the 60th. Ravenhill cuts inside and thumps one past a hapless Nibble. We create some good chances and Morgan eventually equalises. Bricknell wastes a hatful and we draw 1-1. The players trudge off exhausted. I give them the hairdryer and demoralise half the team. The bus is very quiet on the way to Averley. It's the last friendly before the season. Some of the players won't look me in the eye after my outburst last week. We need a win here to take some confidence into the season. I name an unchanged line-up. It's another tight first half. Bastard Billy Bracknell misses a couple of sitters and Daley limps off clutching his rib. We lose 1-nil. I look at the squad and decide it's not enough. It's time to go to market. Turns out we can't go to market. We're broke, stone broke and the squad is thinner than a glass of water, no left-backs, one replacement midfielder. When I get back to the office a grubby man is waiting for me with a pitch fork. "pitch dimensions?" he grunts. I look at the framed photograph of Arsene Wenger on my desk and then push it, face down. "Long" I reply.
  6. They say that the cream trickles down from the top. In footballing terms that means that the wealth, the talent and the beauty flows vertically, filling each division as it passes down the football pyramid. I'm at the bottom, in the sewer of English football- Oh, and I'm wearing a suit. This is an unemployment challenge. I have opted to be a suit manager (tactical pushed to maximum). As for my experience I have no badges and a brief stint in the sunday league. I tell the PA to apply to everything and go on holiday while the offers pile in! Bromley, from the vanarama conference national take a punt as do Chelmsford a league below. I opt for relegation battlers Chelmsford as I need time to learn the game. The expected top half-finish with Bromley won't give me that. I sign the contract to the princely tune of £425 per week and get to work. Holiday's over. Chelmsford are relegation fodder so I've opted for a counter attacking strategy given that i'm expected to get pasted by most sides and I've got pace on the flanks. The key positions are the defensive winger, the ball winning midfielder and the defensive forward. All these roles are automatically set to press and I'm hoping this will get the team hunting in packs in a controlled way, not letting the opposition recycle attacks and hopefully sparking some quick counters. I'm also gonna need support for my lone forward so I set one of my central midfielders to attack. Flat back four for safety. I've set the team mentality to highly structured because I don't want the team messing around trying rabonas and falling on their arses. It's up to Chatham today for a friendly where I can see if any of this works.
  7. hey I'm having similar problems in beating the little teams but i found a few tweaks in my game that might help you out. I play a 4231, we try to dominate possession and do most games and we press teams. This works well against the similar/ bigger teams as its not what they expect, most play out from the back and you can force errors, starve them of possession and generally dominate the game. Because these team are set up to attack you have lots of space to work in when attacking. This is the opposite for smaller teams. Breaking down compact teams is always going to be tough, it's why they do it. They expect you to attack them, press them and commit men forward and they set up to counter that. So do what they don't expect. I think the key is to draw the midfield out rather than overload them. SO your inside forward and adv playmaker are both going to drift into the centre of the pitch where there is no space. Try changing one of your inside forwards to a winger for these games. the reason being is that the winger will sit wider. this means that in the build up one of the oppositions cm's will move across to cover him which makes space for your central players, particularly your cms who can exploit that space from deep (make the cm on the same side as your winger bbm/ roaming playmaker/ cm attack). If you need to make more space for your inside forward, have the cm on his side sit deeper, when the cm receives the ball the opposition will come forward to close him down and leave space behind for your inside forward to move into. Overlapping is going to be key to give you additional width and draw the opposition out from the centre of the park. If you're worried about over crossing then focus your team through the centre but still have overlap ti or one attacking fb. Also think about adapting the style against smaller opposition. You don't have to change the shape but maybe let them have the ball and encourage them to come forward which will create space for you. i.e. have a ti of less closing down (you can keep the mentality on control/ attacking though). if they are smaller teams its unlikely that they can do much with the ball so let them have it, draw them out and then exploit the space behind. Finally try making your duties on the flanks more cautious, rather than attacking. This means your wide players will drop deeper and take opposition with them leaving space behind. *i would get rid of retain possession because you will need your players to be riskier with the ball in order to break down compact teams. I'm nowhere near a tactical guru but these are the things that have helped me beat the more compact teams. Try experimenting with one or all of the above and let me know how it goes...
  8. hey, thanks for the quick response My shape is a 4231 (I don't have any natural dm's or natural lm/rm). I have thought about retraining players but I noticed a lot of the time it prevents the player from reaching their true potential...dropping from quality/ key players to useful/ decent most of the time. As I'm only using players from the youth academy i need them to develop properly. my roles are: gk: sweeper keeper full backs: support or defend depending on opposition cb's cm defend cm defend Ifr att ifl support enganche poacher I close down alot aand run standard/ control, at the moment i use a structured shape though I want to change it to flexible after reading Cleons post. This i a new tactic i developed and I've picked up 4 wins and 2 draws in the first six games but I the draws have been back to back and i can feel a seachange coming. I like the enganche role as he holds the ball up which seems to bring the best from the poacher anyway thats the set up. any advice much appreciated
  9. Soooo.... I'm running a sm youth challenge save. Im about 5 seasons in and i've developed the club from perennial relegation battlers to mid table/ top halfers. The youth I've developed have come good in a big way but there are problems...this mainly stems from my hoyd who is great (always bringing through spirited, resolute, proffessional prospects) but hates strikers. I only have 2 strikers: a deep lying forward and a poacher. Now the problem: the problem is that my poacher (18yrs old) has a much higher pa than my deep lying forward so i have to develop him to pursue the dream of serie b footballl. He can score (18apps, 9gls, 3ass), but i can't develop a system using a lone poacher. Overall my players suit a 4231, this might be the famed "dna" of the club, but the system works better with the dlf than a poacher. I have strong cm, ams, and wingers (amr/aml) and i am retraining a cb to dm to give me more options tactically. I feel like this team could push for the playoffs. We frequently go on long runs with lots of wins draws against upper and lower opposition but we seem to get figured out. What follows is a long period of losses, tactical changes, and general bs (losing games despite more chances, shots, possession etc). What i need is advice on poacher formations. How to structure my midfield to bring the best from a poacher. Can I play a 41231 effectively without a striker dropping deep to allow overlap? should i go two up front (i've never been able to make a 442 in fm work) and also is it possible to develop a system that won't get found out after ten matches/ or how to tweak a formation. anyway any help is much appreciated I can post screen shots etc or whatever you need to help me with this conundrum. also if there are any threads that can help please link them to me here. CHeers! Liam Hoskini (san marino manager)
  10. Hi guys Got fm for christmas and I've been giving this challenge a go. It's bloody hard right? My personal best is to be sacked in january (dunno how jimbokav is doing it with no signings!). Thought I'd introduce myself before i go for round six.
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