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About Mozy

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Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Newcastle United
  1. Spent the last few days doing a load of research, the Lenovo on the link below seems to be the best one for me in my price range. Do any of you smart folk see anything glaringly missing with it? Can accept it being a 7/10 across the board. https://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/lenovo-ideapad-330-15ich-15-6-intel-core-i5-laptop-1-tb-hdd-black-10185206-pdt.html
  2. Interestingly (or not), I'm in pretty much exactly the same situation as Lost Boy & am looking for a new laptop to play FM on, and would prefer to buy at Currys as I have some handy vouchers to use. When looking today I actually found the Lenovo Ideapad he linked and thought that one looked pretty good. Is it significantly worse than the HP? £600 is really my limit as my old laptop still works it just overheats like crazy to play FM.
  3. Chapter 2: Redemption The first question that needed to be asked was what had gone wrong; why hadn't I been able to finish ahead of Derby and Norwich. Looking at the league table gives some idea as to why that might be: Second top scorers in the league looks fairly good to me, and that figure is backed up by having a possession high shot & shot on target count. So then, I conceded too many goals and drew/lost too many games in the process. It's important to me to look at the way that I was conceding goals to see if there was any quick fixes I could make. A quick look at the assist location of goals against me confirmed that my aggressive right side was a weak point as expected, but that I am conceding a worrying % of goals in relation to which I score from lofted through balls. In this case, the stats matched the eye test from watching games; my defence would be regularly caught out by direct counter attacks in the form of a through ball or cross. In my mind, the problem came down to three things: Lazy Pressing. Dwight Gayle, Mo Diame, Jonjo Shelvey and Jack Colback were my most used players in the central 4 attacking roles. None of them are particularly natural players to have at the forefront of a high pressing team. They lack dynamism, or stamina, or both! Less closing down means more time for the opposition to pick out that killer pass. Slow Defenders. I'd rotated in Grant Hanley and Lascelles for much of the year, neither are very quick and Hanley especially got caught out for speed a few times. Mbemba playing alongside them is pacey, but there is only so much covering one can do. Player Roles and Formation. Due to the way I set up to play, opposing attackers were regularly getting 1 vs 1 with my CB's and the midfield wasn't giving enough cover to the defence. As pointed out by posters below, the right fullback especially wasn't providing much cover due to his role setting. Looking at the midfield, I began to question the use of a playmaker within a system that's design at keeping compact and giving no space between the lines; I'd be setting him up to fail almost. The Drawing Board So how do I want us to look in attack, when the ball is with a central midfielder for example? The shape below is how I had seen my existing 4-4-1-1 looking in possession: As soon as I was drawing this out on the lineup builder, I realised how and why I'd been conceding most of the goals that I had. I mean it's obvious. A formation that's not effective at covering gaps across the pitch and also happens to leave a gaping hole where the right back once was. So something had to change. I don't want to play a back 3, at least not on paper. So a back 4 is decided upon. The two wingers and striker will stay in role as they are for now. This brings us to the midfield triangle. Looking in isolation, the AM fulfilled his role well, contributing with link up play before bursting into the space created by the CF. However, he wasn't doing anything in my mind that the CM couldn't do if given an attack duty. The Frank Lampard role, in my mind. The DLP was axed and replaced with a more simple CM support role. Fairly logical given my philosophy and shape. The final role change was to bring in a midfield Anchorman to attempt to cure my defensive woes. I chose an Anchorman so he is less inclined to join in with the ferocious pressing, and happy to sit in his role in front of the back 4. So in possession I now saw this: It's still obviously very attacking on the right hand side, but I felt I could live with that given that I now had the Anchorman in place. New Blood Connor Hourihane was brought in to replace the departed Jack Colback (fetched a whopping £8m from West Brom). His attributes fit my 'player vision' outlines in the opening post. On top of that, his resolute personality makes him a great tutor for my youth academy. This was my last deal in a busy summer. After the playoff final defeat, much of the squad had interest from other clubs and expressed a desire to leave. Whilst there are some players I'd rather not sell, I operate with the mentality that every player has his price. In some cases it's just a ridiculously inflated one (see the sale of Jamaal Lascelles to Watford below! The players in were a mixture of hits, misses and youngsters, with Sakho, Hourihane and Garcia being the standouts. Season Review The title probably gave away that the second year was far more successful than the first, culminating in 103 points and the league title. The defence was better (although never going to be elite) and the new additions made sure that the attack was even better than the previous year. A further highlight included an 18 match unbeaten run in the league, breaking the previous record. Special mention to Huddersfield for making the playoffs despite conceding the second most goals in the league! Needless to say they lost in the playoff semi final, conceding 7 goals across the two legs. This was my starting team for most of the season (minus Garcia who started most games at left wing). The anchorman role seemed to work well in allowing my CB's the freedom to follow runners into the channels if they needed to. His aerial ability and physicality was also useful in terms of shoring up the team. I'll be interested to see if I can get away with my attacking right side in the premier league or if something will need to be changed. Other Notes This year's youth intake was much better, numerous players with at least 3* potential. One I want to pick out is Luke Anderson, the real diamond of the group. The one issue with him is that I'm not sure at all where his best position will be! I also really want to improve his work rate and stamina if I can. Be interested to hear some thoughts on him.
  4. A brief prelude: This is my first purchase since FM14. I feel like since I last properly played the game, I've developed a much more concise idea of football cultures, style and tactics and this led to my urge to play the game again. Also reading a few of the stories on here has inspired me to detail my own. Choosing a team to manage, it was never going to be anything other than Newcastle United. They're my team have have the potential for growth into an elite club. They just need my help! What do I want to achieve in the long term? End the club's major trophy drought (now standing a ridiculous 48 years). Develop the academy to produce players for the first team. Play intense, attractive, attacking, winning football. Create a winning culture, something the club has lacked for years. That last point is difficult to quantify exactly in the game. It's a problem that set upon Newcastle United from c.2012-2016 and culminated in a second relegation to the Championship in the past 8 years. The strategic direction for transfers on the playing side was to sign younger, cheaper players from Europe, develop them for a number of years and then sell once a big offer came in (see Sissoko, Moussa). This worked initially, but fell apart as those brought in were not up to the task, failing to address gaping holes in the squad. There was also a depressingly hilarious disconnect between those in charge of transfers and those coaching the team. An example would be signing a Target Man type in Mitrovic despite having no wingers to provide crosses. In Summary: An imbalanced squad lacking talent and application Players who had no bond with the city or fans A culture of malaise and low ambition Not enough players with a 'winning' mentality Chapter 1: A False Dawn Before loading up the game for the first time, I spent a good few hours reading some guides and experiences on here. It's safe to say I learned a few new things, especially relating to the impact of personalities, tutors and tactics. Shape, Mentality and Team Instructions Upon starting, the first screen I gravitate to is the tactics builder. Because one of my goals above is to rebuild the culture of the club, I want to try and instill my tactical philosophy from day 1. This will be built solely on a future vision, not built on the players I currently have at my disposal. So, what is the tactical philosophy I wish to implement? It can be summarised in 4 points. A co-ordinated high press. Attacking football based around width, movement and penetration. Intensity. Intelligent players being given the freedom to show their ability. Having learned from some of the excellent threads on here, the Mentality and Shape that suits what I want to do above is a Very Fluid Shape. This provides the compact shape for a high press, and gives the players complete freedom to show their ability. A standard mentality (standard attitude to risk) should provide a good balance; let the players decide when to push and when to sit back. This brings us on to Team Instructions. Tempo - Much Higher: I want maximum intensity in attack and especially in my pressing. Time Wasting - No change. Width - No change. Def Line - Higher to close space between the lines. Offside Trap - No: I've only ever had bad experiences when using offside traps, personal preference not to use them. Closing Down - Much More: Needed for the high press. Prevent Short Kicks and Tighter Marking - Both yes as they help with my high press. Play out of Defence - I don't want to be preaching to the players about how to attack, but I've not got the set up to play a long ball game, nor do I really want to. Pass into Space - Yes: I find this goes really well with the high tempo approach, lots of forward runs and through balls. Low Crosses - As much down to personal preference but I want my onrushing midfielders and wingers to chip in with goals too. High crosses will not be their forte. Formation, Roles and Duties The above 4-4-1-1 is what I settled on as my formation in the first season. I was never wholly comfortable with it and tinkered with the roles and duties of the central midfielders especially. As I'll come to detail later, I eventually moved away from this shape and onto something new. My main tactical post will come in chapter 2, as I don't want to dwell on something that won't be a part my plans moving forward. Players As you'll have noticed, I've not really discussed the specifics of players and the squad so far. I only made a couple of loans in the first year, perhaps under the arrogant belief that I couldn't fail but get promoted. Additionally, as stated above, I wanted to focus on implementing my desired culture rather than build something tailored towards players who won't be here in the future. You can guess how that turned out. For the future, I'll be looking to bring in players who meet the below criteria (in addition to specialised positional attributes). These fit my culture, shape and tactic. Determination Work Rate Stamina Vision Decisions First Touch Other Notes I wanted to highlight some further reading I did and changes I think applied during the season. One of the things I didn't previously realise was how the personality of a player can affect his training and development. With a cultural philosophy or developing young players for the first team, this is something I need to factor in from day 1 via training and tutoring. Related to the above was discovering that the Head of Youth Development's personality reflects that of the youth intake. So Joe Joyce received his P45 and Kristjaan Speakman was brought in. A shame really, as Joe is quite a talented coach. I'd already made several requests to Mike Ashley to invest in widening the youth recruitment network and to improve the junior coaching budget. The first intake was disappointing on the whole (one potential 4.5* talent and little else), but this is year 1 and in more time better prospects should emerge. I had set up some tutoring on past editions but without any real idea on exactly how it was beneficial to the younger players. In my experiences so far, the right tutor has improved determination and personality in youth players. I intend to use this to improve my 'winning' culture to create a determined and professional squad. As you may have guessed, the season did not end as I had wished. We finished 3rd, which at best could be described as an underachievement. A crushing 1-0 defeat in the playoff final had me genuinely fearing for my job, but luckily Mike Ashley appreciated my failure (as he does) and came calling with a 2 year contract. If this happened in reality, I would certainly be demanding my instant sacking on twitter, but there we go.
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