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BanOly

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About BanOly

  • Rank
    Amateur

About Me

  • About Me
    United Kingdom

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    die Werkself

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Bayer Leverkusen

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  1. Haven't even been on FM since the crash. Not because it annoyed me, which it did, I've just been busy moving house and all my stuff is up in the air at the moment will be a while before further updates. Please do let us know how you get on though!
  2. That sucks! I was enjoying reading your progress. My save file went corrupt as my computer decided to restart itself while saving my game! But I'll more than likely start another save, since there's quite a few things I'm looking forward to doing differently this time round. I'm going to sign Exe Palacios in January, as well as Roger Schmidt's personal Fitness Coach, Oliver Bartlett, since he will help my players keep up a heavy press throughout the season and stay injury-free, but more importantly is English so I'll have someone to talk to
  3. @matsnor21 Nice results, looking like a very successful save! I know you've almost certainly had more success due to bringing in better players, unfortunately being a big fan of the club I find it hard to replace real-life club players as Gee said, I'd love to see your tactical setup since I also experimented with mine quite a bit. Great work! Nice to see you getting the best out of Bailey and Volland too, since they were both mediocre for me. Looking forward to hearing how you get on in the DFB-Pokal and Champions League next season! I should have an update soon, in all honesty I've been very busy over Christmas with family and friends so I haven't even finished the window of Summer 2020 yet!
  4. Spring 2020 After all the smoke and dust settled, we were left to fight for the Bundesliga, and for the DFB-Pokal. A win away from home to Frankfurt secured our spot in the semi-final, and provided us with important information for the repeat fixture at the BayArena. Leon Bailey registered his first ever hat-trick for the club, with three truly memorable goals, but was unable to continue the performance at Anfield. Our Champions League hopes were already pretty much over and we weren't up for a fight. A quality away performance at Werder Bremen would also serve to help us in the future, as we drew them and eventually defeated them in the semi-final of the German Cup. Our inconsistency continued to show however, as we lost to relegation-threatened Borussia Monchengladbach before going 7-0 against Wolfsburg and Freiburg, largely thanks to quality performances from Volland and Almada, and this left us three points above Bayern Munich with just five games to go. We came out the gates well, earning a penalty against Bayern Munich that was put away well. We then went 2 up just before the break, but the goal was disallowed and before we knew it, Bayern had instead equalised. Quite the half-time teamtalk! In the second half we stepped up our game but it appeared so did Bayern and, eventually, Lewandowski led them to a comfortable win. The team were demoralised and showed it against Schalke, Koln and Hertha Berlin, the latter of which leaving us five points shy of Bayern with just one game to go. The title was lost, and eventually, so too was the cup. Player Performances In the end, it was the whole team that collectively let us down. Nobody stood out towards the end of the season as being exceptionally poor, but the duration of the season was especially disappointing for Wendell, Julian Baumgartlinger, Nadiem Amiri and Moussa Diaby. Wendell and Julian shared 21 yellow and 3 red cards between them for the season, usually getting sent off when needed the most. Nadiem and Moussa are still young and both have been subject to a lot of rotation in several different positions, so I will be trying my best to be more consistent with them both next year. Our best player, Fans' Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season was Daley Sinkgraven! A surprising one, since for me he was the least impressive signing made last summer but nonetheless he has taken the initiative to step up in the absence of a strong, reliable left-back and impressed me greatly, a feat I'd be happy for him to achieve in real life. Kerem Demirbay also had a fantastic debut season, and my first main signing Thiago Almada was also exceptional although that's hardly a surprise considering how popular a choice he is with other managers. The most impressive player is yet to start for the senior squad. Christopher Scott is a 17 year-old German attacking midfielder and striker that has been with die Werkself since 2009, and his progress with the youth team recently has earnt him a call-up to the newly-formed 2nd Team. In his last 18 appearances for the Under-19s, Scott was played as both a False Nine and occasionally an Advanced Playmaker, resulting in an astonishing 30 goals and 2 assists! Backup goalkeeper Christian Früchtl has also developed well since signing for the club and has replaced Rambo Ozcan as backup goalkeeper, since the 38 year-old has announced his retirement at the end of the season. Looking Ahead As the popular saying goes, "we move." Plenty to look forward to next year as all the same opportunities are up for grabs with the added inclusion of the German DFB-Supercup! Hopefully we can finally add some silverware to the empty trophy cabinet. Transfer plans are scarce but I'm not looking to make too many changes, since the squad did well. We managed to get Kai Havertz to sign a new contract, which sees him become our highest earner on a wage of €140k per week for the next 5 years. This included a Minimum Fee Release Clause of €120m. Other players to sign new contracts were; Kevin Volland: €120k per week, 4 years Panagiotis Retsos: €46,000 per week, 5 years Christopher Scott: €10,500 per week, 5 years
  5. @bucket Pretty much this. His most natural role is as an Advanced Playmaker on Support in CAM, but he can also play in CM and should be able to play on Attack as well. He should make a good Attacking Midfielder, in my save he was good but not as good as when used as a Playmaker. His attributes could also make for a decent Wide Playmaker or Advanced Playmaker on the right wing (given he's left-footed) but I think his stamina is a little short of that required to be an effective Box-to-box Midfielder or Mezzala, and his attacking capabilities would be a little wasted in these roles anyway. I would also recommend training him to Move Into Channels, as this will help open up more passing and shooting opportunities for him during the build-up, and suits his high pace and off-the-ball awareness. Hope that helps!
  6. March 2020 As I expected, we're finding it difficult to keep up our impressive form as the season continues. The intensity of our philosophy is starting to take its toll, and I can see us having to fight hard to stay at the top of the table. We've started suffering multiple long-term injuries, including to first-choice goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, and Bayern have crept up to within just one point of the top spot. We took the opportunity during the Winter Window to add to our youth ranks, and prioritised deals that were guaranteed to make a profit in the future. One especially promising signing was Erkan Eyibil from FSV Mainz 05, who set us back just €45,000 in compensation! He could end up being one of the best players at the club, at a similar level to Kerem Demirbay, which is crazy when you consider how little we paid for him. He was immediately loaned out to Heidenheim until the end of the season in order to aid his development. I also took the opportunity to bring in a personal favourite of my own, young Bayern Munich goalkeeper Christian Früchtl. He's already 20 and certainly nowhere near matching the expectation once put on him to be the next Manuel Neuer, but still more than capable of matching the ability of Hradecky and other first-choice goalkeepers in the league, and at a minimal price of just €185,000 he's another one that's guaranteed to make a tidy profit in the future. He came to the club alongside fellow young Bavarian Ryan Johansson who again cost just €40,500 and has the potential to be as good as club captain Lars Bender. Finally, we needed a right-footed attacking player who could operate either in the middle or out on the left, not just to rotate with Havertz but also to eventually replace him when he's inevitably stolen away. There were a few targets to choose from but ultimately we only had €5m and the transfer window was coming to a close, so it was on transfer deadline day that we eventually brought in Thiago Almada for €3.4m rising to €5.25m with add-ons. As far as the results went, there was nothing particularly unexpected. We had a good month back, before travelling to Hoffenheim and dropping our first points, but we put in a good show so no love lost there. After staying in the cup, we demolished Borussia Dortmund thanks to a brace from Kerem Demirbay and a goal from Lucas Alario, who kicked on and found a whole new level in 2020. As expected, we didn't stand much of a chance against Liverpool in the Champions League and have now left ourself with an impossible task at Anfield. Thankfully the team retaliated to the loss with an astounding display against Augsburg, thanks once again to Lucas Alario who bagged two goals. Weiser also managed to get on the scoreboard with a world-class volley from over 30 yards out that sailed into the top corner, and big signing Almada made his first start for the club. Sadly the performance couldn't be replicated against Leipzig and we once again dropped points, allowing Bayern to catch up to us. Player Performances As previously mentioned, Lucas Alario has finally opened up and found form, largely due to me giving up on retraining him as a Pressing Forward and letting him play in a more free role as a Poacher. Kerem Demirbay and Nadiem Amiri continue to be impressive, especially when played together, as the Hoffenheim due work very well alongside each other as you'd expect. Moussa Diaby has done a good job of replacing the injured and otherwise disappointing Leon Bailey, who despite being played on both sides of the pitch in several different roles with several different responsibilities, has been terrible time and time again, failing to get himself involved in attacking moves and even ending several of them by failing to stay onside. He has been by far the biggest challenge of my campaign so far and I'm desperate to fix it. Christian Früchtl was disappointing in the DFB-Pokal but it's still early days yet and I remain hopeful that he'll start to perform once we've built up match fitness. The only other players struggling are Paulinho and Julian Baumgartlinger, who haven't been played often but are giving me no reason to keep them in the side ahead of the likes of Aranguiz, Demirbay and Diaby. Upcoming Fixtures As we approach the end of the season, we have to accept defeat in the Champions League and move our focus over to the Bundesliga. We have a real chance to win our first ever domestic title and still have a chance at the DFB-Pokal as well. Unfortunately Hradecky won't be back with us until mid-April, so we're going to have to rely on Özcan and Früchtl until then.
  7. Yan Couto In real life, had a fantastic U17 World Cup and is now wanted by Arsenal and my own Bayer Leverkusen, finding him on FM20 requires a large database since he plays for the youth team of Brazilian 2nd Division club Coritiba.
  8. Winter 2019 What an incredible end to the year! Our defence really started to shine through and take centre stage, especially one player in particular, and we ended up taking a massive 19 points from 8 games, only dropping five! We also secured qualification to the knockout round of the Champions League, but more on that shortly. Following our Burnley-esque start to the campaign, my main focus was finding a way to win games away from home. We continued to dominate at the BayArena, where our free-flowing attack was simply unstoppable! But away from home was still a struggle, until the Bayern match. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm no tactical mastermind. When it comes to finding a tactic that works, I tend to go with the cookery-level "trial and error" approach. I know how I want my tactic to play, so I make it and hope for the best. This save has been kind to me and it appears my tactic is working wonders, but this is hardly surprising given how strong Gegenpress seems to be, not just in the real world but on FM especially. However, I had no idea what made a good away tactic, or how I wanted my tactic to play away from home. I figured it was well suited to counter-attacking, so the first stage of the experiment was as simple as... changing from "all-out attack" to "cautious." Safe to say, if the result against Bayern wasn't too bad then the win at FC Koln was largely satisfying indeed. We were let off the hook at Mainz due to the sheer amount of injuries they sustained, but all in all we have a fantastic league position to build on in the new year. Merry Christmas, everyone! You'd think nothing could put a downer on us heading into the winter break but you'd be wrong. We put in two fantastic shifts in front of the home fans to all but solidify our place in the next round, Tottenham requiring a miracle scoreline to avoid the Europa League. We even put in an inspiring away performance at White Hart Lane! But ultimately Atalanta beat us to pole position, and we had no idea how much it would hurt. Our Champions League hopes are all but over, as we drew the current reigning champions of Europe, trailing Manchester City by only one point over in the Premier League, only missing Clyne and Origi through injury. We'd require one hell of a win at the BayArena to make it past Liverpool. Tactical Approach The main tactic continues to be a success, so I continue to rely on it. There have been some more tweaks, but aside from switching to "Cautious" for away games and sometimes moving the defensive line back a little, this remains the primary tactic. Player Performances The standout of the year has definitely been Kerem Demirbay. Whether it's setting up goals or scoring them himself, he always seems to at least be involved and has a large say in the defensive game to boot. We truly miss him when he sits out to regain fitness, and could do with more players like him. If we're going to have one in the future though, it's looking like it might be fellow signing Daley Sinkgraven who has surprised me, since I expected him to be a versatile backup option this season! Instead, he's pushed Wendell out of the starting eleven and even put in some good shifts as a box-to-box midfielder and playmaker in the middle of the park as well. Finally, Karim Bellarabi returned from injury to provide a reliable winger option once again - an important role in our style of play. Unfortunately, Leon Bailey continues to struggle to adapt to the left wing. I'm partially blaming Football Manager for his incompetency to perform there, as it's not at all realistic, and his job solely involves running at the defence with the option of shooting or passing. It seems to be the latter that's letting him down though, and it may well be that he needs to work on his finishing or perhaps wait for a confidence boost. Fringe players Paulinho, Moussa Diaby and Lucas Alario have all been poor when given opportunities but I'm hopeful that the latter two will move on now and change that. The former has given me no reason to think so. Upcoming Fixtures It's my favourite time of year - the winter break - and with it comes our very first active transfer window. Our only plans for now are to loan out or sell Nicklas Lomb and Joel Pohjanpalo, but anything could change in the heat of the moment. When we return from the festivities, we're lucky enough to begin with pretty straightforward fixtures as we look to retain top spot, but as we move into February the real challenge will begin and tough clashes with Hoffenheim, Dortmund and Leipzig could push us back. We also have our first leg against Liverpool and the next stage of the German cup against Hamburger SV, in what definitely looks like an exciting start to the year 2020!
  9. October 2019 Our good form continued into the start of the season, for the most part. We just about managed to meet our ambitious target of 20 points from our first 9 league games, and as a bonus we've actually done well in the Champions League too! We kept the 100% win rate going for a while, but were very fortunate to even grab just the one point against Fortuna Dusseldorf; only a red card and a penalty gave us the opportunity to level the scoring. There was then another red card in the Hoffenheim match, which solidified the result for us as we were already 1-0 up, Kerem Demirbay scoring against his former club. Then came the first massive fixture of the season, away from home to Borussia Dortmund. We fielded our strongest side on paper but still managed to concede within 120 seconds thanks to a poor clearance from Aranguiz that only made it as far as Thomas Delaney on the edge of the box. Unfortunately Hradecky couldn't get enough on the shot to prevent it from slipping past him into the bottom corner of the net. Ironically, it was a misplaced pass from Delaney that was cut out by Havertz in the 86th minute, and started a quick counter-attack that ended with Volland converting from less than ten yards out. Havertz then grabbed the winning goal late on in the last minute of stoppage time when he ran onto an excellent through ball from Bellarabi and curved a placed shot around Burki. We drew Zenit St. Petersburg, Atalanta and last season's runners-up Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League group stage, and kicked off our progress in the competition with a valuable point away from home at Atalanta. Unfortunately our unbeaten run finally came to an end in the next match at Augsburg; despite a good performance in the first half, a needless challenge from Baumgartlinger earned him a second booking and left us with ten men for the final half hour. We were unable to hold on until full time, and a late goal was enough for us to record our first loss of the campaign. Our second-biggest Champions League group stage fixture started well, we were awarded a penalty and the chance to make it 2-0 inside of half an hour but Lloris did well to keep it out. We’d looked the better team, but what happened to Tottenham at half time is anyone’s guess as they fell apart in the second half! A truly astounding scoreline but more importantly our first win of the group and a massive three points. It would have been nice to capitalise but unfortunately a poor performance against Zenit meant we immediately gave up the top spot, meaning that with just two games to go and only two points between everyone in the group, it's still wide open! In the Bundesliga, we closed out October with three hard-fought games and seven crucial points. We already had control of the Leipzig match before Konrad Laimer found himself sent off in the closing moments of the game, but still went on to record another two of our signature 3-1 wins! The Frankfurt game was tough as most away games in Germany are, but credit to my players for holding onto the 2-goal margin in the Werder Bremen game after Bender got sent off in the 72nd minute. That leaves us three points ahead of third-placed FC Schalke but trailing league leaders FC Bayern by 5 points. We're firmly embedded into the Top 4 by the same number of points though, so it's a good result considering the tactic and some of the tough games we've been faced with already. Tactical Approach Given the success of the current tactic, I ended up removing the alternative tactics I had saved and instead am focusing on this one. Occasionally we'll look to focus the ball down the middle if we're not having enough success out wide, and against opposition with slow attacking players we sometimes look to deploy an offside trap. Our defensive line is already sat high up the pitch, but I would just change the Covering defender to a regular Defend role. If there was an advertisement for my tactic then obviously it would be the Tottenham game, everything just went perfectly and Havertz scoring two goals just shows how effective it is having him play in the position and role that he does. With such an ability to score goals, I didn’t just want him to be my Playmaker, I wanted to get the best out of him and I feel playing him as an Attacking Midfielder has definitely done that. Player Performances Well, Leon Bailey had a fantastic and enjoyable start to the season, putting away 4 goals in his first 2 competitive matches. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to be the most consistent and his purple patch evaporated rather quickly. He started to become complacent during big matches and this affected his performance, so eventually I started to give Paulinho and Diaby the extra playing time they were after. Daley Sinkgraven was the standout player in his first appearance at Augsburg despite the loss, and as a result earnt more playing time. Despite impressing in the latter stages of pre-season, Lucas Alario has been really poor and has now failed to find the net in his last 9 appearances, 5 of them starts. Finally, Karim Bellarabi proved he can perform well on the left wing with a Man of the Match performance against Leipzig, but unfortunately suffered an injury in training before the Zenit game and won’t be available for at least a month. Despite our positive league position, our best player so far this season has been Tin Jedvaj over at Augsburg, who contributed to our first loss and hasn’t put a foot wrong in a game so far all season. I’m already looking forward to getting him back, as he’s developing really well too! Upcoming Fixtures We close out the month with the next round of the DFB-Pokal, before heading into a very busy and competitive November. Every Bundesliga match is a big one, and with the Champions League group being set the way it is, we really need to be looking to win every single game. It's going to be a struggle, and having Bellarabi out injured isn't going to help matters. Summary & Experience Thankfully, we're in for a little more of a relaxed December before heading into the Winter Break. We'll have plenty of downtime to analyse the team and look at potential signings, but for now I'm thinking that Pohjanpalo will almost certainly be loaned out, as he's yet to make a single competitive appearance! It's been widely reported that there are a lot of penalties being awarded, but so far I've only seen four in my 12 matches, three of them mine. I have noticed however that only one of them was scored; the other three saved. Lastly, there have been a lot of sending offs. Dusseldorf, Hoffenheim and Leipzig all lost a player during the game, and all to straight reds. I've received two myself, both second bookings for petty fouls. This seems quite excessive to me and maybe needs looking at.
  10. Having great success with this Roger Schmidt inspired tactic 😁 check out our progress on the Leverkusen Thread!
  11. Pre-Season 2019-20 So as previously mentioned, I will be posting updates on my own save with Bayer Leverkusen for anyone who's interested to follow and see what sort of dynasty we can have, hopefully win their first major trophy soon and generally just enjoy managing my favourite team! I'm starting without transfer budgets not just because of the realism but because I don't know who I'd buy or sell anyway, and to be honest I can see that being my biggest challenge during the save. Since I'm a massive fan of the club, it's going to be really difficult to sell anyone and harder still to find replacements! I have also included some editor data files, the main one being real German fixtures! Credit to AML for that one. The skin I will be using throughout my saves on FM20 is the same as every other year, the incredible TCS Skin for FM2020 by @bluestillidie00 that just gets better and better every year, so do feel free to go and check that out! Squad Overview At the start of any new save, my priority with friendlies is to try out my tactical ideas and test my players' weaker positions and roles to see how capable they are of performing in different areas of my tactic. In the meantime, we have to keep one eye on the future and that involves renewing expiring contracts and hiring staff if needed. As you can see, we have five players' contracts expiring at the end of the season. Charles Aranguiz is one of my favourite players on the game and in real life, and I'm going to offer him a new contract immediately to keep him at the club. I'm also aware that if you start with budgets enabled, Bayern Munich tend to show an interest in him, and that should give you some idea as to how good of a player he is and how hard he works for the team. Most of our Under 19 squad have contracts expiring at the end of the season and, as the youth squad is very thin to say the least, I will also be renewing most of these over the course of the season. The two backup goalkeepers will be looked at, but as the Team Report comes in, I get the feeling that we could improve in this area and so I might look to bring in someone younger and better than both Ozcan and Lomb in the near future, with the potential to eventually replace Hradecky who is himself ageing. The lack of quality depth in the centre of defence could be attributed to having Jedvaj out on loan, so that should be sorted come the end of the season. Tactical Approach I'm a big fan of Roger Schmidt's philosophy, and so I'm going to try to emulate his style of play as much as I can. Since I have Havertz and Amiri though, I've decided not to go with his 4-4-2 system, and instead I'm using an asymmetric 4-2-3-1 with the CAM becoming a RAM and acting as Schmidt's right-sided "Deep-Lying Forward." The striker will become a LS and remain a Pressing Forward. Having the RAM benefits Havertz, as he can cut inside from the right and find shooting more comfortable from his stronger left foot. Nadiem Amiri has experience as a RAM from his time at Hoffenheim where he essentially played as a more advanced and attacking-exclusive Mezzala, shifting wide to spray crosses as well as passes into the box for someone able to head the ball - in this case that could be Alario - and that is why the striker will be on the left; not just to retain that 4-4-2-ish shape, but to keep the forward as far away from the RAM as possible when they're either crossing the ball in, or cutting in themselves. As you can see, the cover options on the right are good too and the tactic is very interchangeable with the players we have at our disposal. I was very excited to use a tactic that revolves around a "Very Attacking" mentality on Football Manager, as I'm never usually that attacking, but during the course of pre-season I was surprised at how effective the tactic was and how little tweaking I had to do in order to get it close to what I wanted. At first it was difficult to get the message across to my players to press the opposition wide, but eventually I came up with something of a workaround; by setting my team instructions to play narrow, my team would already possess a narrow shape and therefore will naturally press the opposition from the centre of the pitch to the wider areas, at least in theory. Friendlies With the main goal being to improve and adapt my primary tactic, I made sure to arrange several small friendlies at the start of the pre-season and work up the quality of opposition and intensity from there. The results ended up being nothing short of spectacular; we looked formidable against the lower league sides as you'd expect, and as the team grew into the tactic, I started to see it come to life, both good and bad. Instead of scoring less goals against the more talented opposition, our goal output remained the same as I slowly and carefully adapted my tactics to take advantage of the weaknesses of each individual opponent. Villarreal played two defenders who were very capable in the air, so I made sure to play Havertz in the RAM position and keep the ball on the floor; by contrast, against Napoli's very capable ball-winning defenders, we had Amiri launch crosses into the box, one of which Diaby latched onto. The only downside was, as our team grew into the attacking side of the philosophy, as a result we started dropping clean sheets. I imagine this is something that will continue throughout the season but as is the way with this philosophy, we will have to look to outscore the opposition. Player Performances Tah, Bailey and Amiri didn't get back from holiday until the Cagliari match so it was hard to judge them, but there were some interesting performances that made me rethink my team selection going into the season. Aleksandar Dragovic put in some good performances and unfortunately Retsos failed to match his input. Karim Bellarabi had several great games and scored a few goals too, but these all came against the lower league teams and once we started playing against tougher opposition he became almost invisible. Lucas Alario struggled as a Poacher but has since adapted well to being played as a Pressing Forward; he's been hitting consistent form and has been helped along by Kevin Volland's fantastic progress adapting to his new positional training on the right wing. Sven Bender was most consistent throughout and has firmly solidified his place as my key centre-back this season. Unfortunately none of the younger players managed to impress me and as a result have all been demoted back to the Under 19 squad. None of the first-team players have been noticeably poor so far except Nadiem Amiri, but since he's only been played as an attacking midfielder so far and not in his more natural CM position, he needs a little more time before we can properly judge his progress. Looking Ahead... I'm really looking forward to the start of the season, and we kick it off with the DFB-Pokal match against Karlsruher SC. A somewhat easy start to the season will quickly turn sour as we find ourselves taking on first TSG Hoffenheim and then title challengers Borussia Dortmund away from home at the Signal Iduna Park. Our target for the coming months will be aiming for at least 20 points by the end of October - five more than we managed to collect in real life.
  12. Thanks @DirtyJoe! @matsnor21 Progress has been slow, I've been working a lot of overtime in the build-up to Christmas but hopefully should be able to post a full update soon! Also been watching real football and thoroughly enjoyed beating Bayern Munich for the second time this year!
  13. @Pavi could you link Bundesliga team guides? will help people to get started and ensure our threads get a fair bit of coverage. I have a Leverkusen guide and there's a fantastically detailed Mönchengladbach thread out there as well!
  14. Thanks @Pavi glad you liked the intro! I'm starting a save as soon as the full version is released, and will be posting my progress on here. You and anyone else reading this is welcome to do the same!
  15. Philosophy Former Bayer Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt, previously of SC Paderborn and Red Bull Salzburg, introduced what I choose to describe as "seven-second football." Whenever Leverkusen gained possession as a result of their heavy press, they would look to get a shot away within seven seconds, while the defence weren't properly set up yet. This often resulted in very intense, high-scoring games, and it is this tactic that I'm going to focus on first. On paper, the team typically lined up in a 4-4-2. However, out of possession it appears more as a 4-2-4, with the two central midfielders pulling back to cover the back 4 and the wingers moving up alongside the forwards. Together the front four would press narrow and force the opposition onto the flanks where the opponent only has 180 degrees where he can play the ball. Upon winning the ball, the entire team pushes forward to overload passing options and test the opposition goalkeeper as soon as possible. To accomplish this, Schmidt will ensure his front four are not only energetic, but also that each player offers something different going forward. The one thing they must all have in common, though, is their ability to score, from almost anywhere on the pitch but especially from outside the box. Current manager Peter Bosz retains the traditional Gegenpress that we've seen at the club for some time now, but pulls his punches when attacking; as a disciple of Johan Cryuff, "possession is nine tenths of the law." Lining up in a 4-1-2-3 formation, when in possession Leverkusen now tend to retain control of the ball and instead of instantly attacking the goal, attempt to craft out multiple high-quality chances instead. In the attacking third, you wouldn't be wrong to compare his philosophy to that of Pep Guardiola at both Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Since possession is so important to Bosz, his preference is to stack the team with at least four players capable of playing in the number 10 role. Tactics It's a different time from when Roger Schmidt was at the club, and since then many things have changed, most notably the footballing climate, and the players Leverkusen currently have at their disposal. This means that 4-4-2 will almost certainly be out of the question, especially given the amount of playmakers at the club and the fact Schmidt's tactics required both CMs be defensive. To go this route would be to waste players such as Amiri and Havertz. Instead I've retained his philosophy but with a more modern formation. The 4-2-3-1 will get the most out of our squad depth and ensure that the midfield stays fully packed. Since we're playing with Havertz in AM and he's left-footed, I may end up moving him slightly to the right to open up long shot opportunities with his stronger foot, and that will in turn give Bailey more space should he decide to cut inside. That movement would also help him link up with Bellarabi on the wing to help him get the cross off. My backup tactic is slightly more complicated than all-out attack on the counter, and is more similar to Bosz' current tactic in that we have our playmakers all sat centrally creating a slow, controlled build-up that likely results in creating more chances. Both wingers will now aim to cut inside and exploit the space left by the lack of an AM, while the wing-backs overlap to cover the space they leave behind and help offer more passing options.
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