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Michael Zorc

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Michael Zorc last won the day on October 6 2017

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130 "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"


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  1. Haven't seen anything that would make me buy the game. I see a lot of work has gone into new features - and that's great - but nothing regarding the area of the game that I feel needs improving the most - more detailed & varied options for the defensive phase, and the negative transition. Purchased a subscription to Netflix instead to keep me busy for the year ahead - until FM19 is announced...
  2. Does FM18 actually allow you to do this? If yes, apologies, as I must have misunderstood the feature. Were this to actually be possible, I would buy the game as this would be a definite advance defensively!
  3. You could already do that in FM17 using specific man marking. I don't see any difference apart from how it's branded, unless I'm missing something...
  4. Taking a couple of years off FM while I wait for SI to improve the defensive options available to us. Just no longer prepared to put the time into the game until this is finally addressed and brought into the 21st century. See you all in 2019.
  5. Really disappointed with the defensive side of the game. Nothing on vertical compactness (i.e. not just pushing up d-line but getting strikers to drop back too), pressing triggers, counterpressing. Just hopeless. Given the debacle that was FM17, absolutely STUNNED that nothing was mentioned on fixing wide midfielder positioning. Also, you could already tell a player to mark a specific position, it was just hidden inside the specific man marking instruction so not sure why this is being sold as a new feature - it's just been moved. Agree that the underlap feature needs to be refined and made available for just one flank, not forced on both if you tick the option. On the plus side, the new PPM "bring the ball out of defence" is a tiny step forward but if it's just limited to when the player has the ball and then they immediately shift backwards instead of maintaining a line with the DM to setup the counterpress, then it will be a disappointment.
  6. This is exactly why I will now not be buying FM18. Absolutely gutted. This will be the first version of FM/CM that I have never bought. Now awaiting FM19.
  7. Whereabouts? Only saw scouting video and don't remember seeing this mentioned. Is there another source of info I've missed?
  8. Disappointed to be 30 days from release and still not have heard anything major on tactics. Really dislike the way SI is going about this.
  9. I learnt the same lesson with FM17. I pre-ordered as I had usually done over the years and was largely disappointed. Wide midfielder positioning spoiled my experience for the most part, until recently, when I created a 3-5-2-0 formation that I was actually happy with, and one seemingly immune to the worst parts of the match engine. That experience really eliminated any "benefit of the doubt" I previously had for FM releases and now I want to "see" before I "believe". I'm patient enough to wait. Was encouraged when the first headline features video mentioned new player roles and match engine improvements but would like concrete evidence before I actually commit to buying the game.
  10. Interesting feature and relevant to real life football so I think it's a good addition. However, I won't be pre-ordering as I don't have enough info on improvements to tactics, training and the match engine. Happy to wait until post-November 10, if necessary, as these are the parts of the game that really matter to me. I'll miss the discount, but that's fine.
  11. I had a similar experience with Tranmere Rovers in terms of the Barcelona-style football you referenced with Ebbsfleet FC. One of the regretful aspects of FM is that to enjoy a more difficult save, one must usually choose a club that is somewhat restrained in the transfer market and with the quality of players they have at their disposal, due to size and resources, as opposed to being able to find a deeper, more sophisticated tactical challenge in a higher/different league. We've even seen teams like Rangers/Celtic hold a Messi-inspired Barcelona scoreless in CL games despite limited resources so as you quite rightly point out, a world class offense and tactically astute manager isn't always enough to easily break down smaller opponents. I've found that aspect of football elusive in FM. Winning is fun, but I think from a purist point of view the holy grail is realism and being able to re-create real life systems in an FM match engine that is flexible enough to accomodate new, innovative ideas. In other words, give us the tools to show how good we are - and to allow the world class AI managers like Guardiola and Simeone to really separate themselves and show how good they are. It has to be a 2-way street or the game becomes unrealistic and too easy. It's an interesting discussion as I think the overarching principles have been around a while and many of the new innnovations have simply been built on top of that, with roots in the ideas taught by Michels, Cruyff and Sacchi. However, in terms of the complexity of the organisation, setting up the counterpress with positional attacking, methods to counter opponent dismarking measures, triggers to set up situational counterpresses to effectively force an opponent back to the prior transition phase, having situational and pitch geographic specific orientations in marking schemes, and the individual variations of counterpressing: man-oriented, space-oriented, ball-oriented and passing-lane, I think that has moved on since the 90's. On some level, taken individually, all concepts have been around for decades (whether as a deliberate strategy a team trained for, or spontaneous, player-initiated action on the pitch) but as a collective whole and cohesive strategy across a wide range of leagues and teams, I think football has seen a change in the last decade as the coaching curriculae have improved and the younger coaches have infiltrated many more clubs, inspired by the likes of Sacchi and Lobonovski, Cruyff etc and looking to do even better with additional tools of analysis (e.g. video, tracking devices), better facilities (training pitch positional grids) and higher player/coach education throughout each club (now more widespread than the famous whole club tactical and technical philosophies that were once largely exclusive to Ajax/Barcelona). I think it's largely evident as we see some of the older "world class" coaches become less relevant in the modern game. Keegan/Dalglish of the mid-90's in England couldn't get a job today (Howard Wilkinson on '92 fame I believe got Sunderland relegated after Peter Reid left) and Ancelotti seen as an innovator at AC Milan with his 4-3-2-1/4-3-1-2 struggles to really impose a tactical identity on any of his teams and largely has to rely on superior players dominating their league and man management techniques to get the best out of them. He more recently has taken over a more disciplined organiser (Mourinho, Guardiola), whose influence doesn't immediately go away, hence being able to still win things until that fades after 1-2 seasons. That's why I believe he hasn't lasted more than a couple years at Chelsea, R. Madrid and Bayern. Just my take on it, though. I guess similar arguments for how football has collectively move on can be made for Benitez and Wenger, both seen as among the top innovators in the EPL at one point. It's not necessarily that their defensive schemes have changed or been degraded, it's more how teams defend against them, not just one or two teams, but the whole league can deal with the threats they pose/that were unique to their attacks when they first burst onto the scene. Trapattoni, Capello, Hitzfeld, van Gaal, Hiddink, Boskov, Lobonovski, Antic - I'm not entirely sure these guys could get a top job AND be consistently successful in today's game, despite their obvious pedigree. All defended/marked/pressed in their own ways very successfully with varying degrees of depth and aggression but I'm not sure they possess the array of tools and complexity that we see at the top today. Could they learn and adapt? No doubt, especially with their skills and talent, I just think they'd do it differently to how they did it when they were winning in the 90's. Of course, I could be wrong and maybe my perception is off entirely. EPL defences in particular had to adapt, as the prevelance of inside forwards became more common, to block those half-spaces the likes of Pires used to exploit so well. Going back and watching old games, it is sometimes amazing to marvel at the space between defence, midfield & attack. Until I actually went back and watched some 90's DVDs of Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and EPL (Football On Tap is a really good resource), I didn't believe the difference to today was so big. There were one-offs that were ahead of their time, absolutely for sure, but the leagues collectively have improved to a degree I didn't realise until I actually reviewed the old footage. I think I have nostalgic memories of the 90's that sometimes clouds my memory of what the tactical organisation was like back then compared to now. At the time, it was the best I'd seen and things evolve so gradually over the decades that it's hard to remember just how much of a jump we've made in coaching quality over a period of, say, 20 years. I just hope these ongoing changes in football are really tackled by SI to a much greater degree than they have been in the past as I don't think there has been a lot of innovation in the actual defensive strategies available to an FM game-world manager in the last decade. Has SI tried to improve the quality of defending that exists in the game? Sure, but I'm not sure that they've gone beyond that to really reflect the way defences are organised and used as an attacking weapon to disrupt opponents in real-life, modern football. FM defending feels very reactive and simplistic in comparison. Just my view and insight into what my hopes, dreams and aspirations for change are when looking forward to the new FM18 release.
  12. I'm totally with you on this. Only interested in the match engine and tactics/training - i.e. the stuff that actually relates to football. In the last 10 years, the football world has really moved on in terms of pressing and marking schemes but SI has been stuck firmly in the past with just "zonal", "tight" or "specific man", completely ignoring recent innovations or just letting them fly right by them without really noticing. There needs to be dramatic improvement in these areas or SI risks the game being a simulation that doesn't reflect modern football, but instead a 1990's brand of EPL defending that doesn't really exist anymore, all the while trying to squeeze modern roles into an outdated defensive tactical framework that causes offenses and certain individual roles to be way too overpowered in the attacking phase. It's too easy to score goals and exploit holes in the opponents' defence and this needs major work in order to be fully addressed. So far, I haven't seen enough to pre-order so happy enough to continue my FM17 saves with Ajax & Rangers using a new 3-5-2-0 formation that I'm quite enjoying (although my offense, while great to watch, shouldn't be this good in reality). Anyway, I reckon SI are waiting for Catalonia to declare independence on Monday before announcing their next feature...😥
  13. I actually liked the video and the way it was done, especially the Mike Duff reference and Miles' drive-and-stop interview. However, Miles acting was really bad (in a playful, funny kind of way - I think Miles is great 😀) and he gave away the info too easily but, still, it gave me a good laugh. I was just happy to hear about new players roles and potential tactical improvements, as I mentioned before. In terms of buying the game, I'll wait for the specific details of the tactical improvements to be released as I'm quite happy to miss the pre-order deadline and pay more for the game after getting greater certainty on the features that matter to me most.
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