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  1. TWEAK ** Download Link > http://bit.ly/2GJa22h ** Better Results, less possession. Following V1 being released it's clear whilst the tactic succeeds in very high possession stats, results are slightly unstable. Tweaks have been made to the formation as can be seen below and we achieved a higher league position whilst also gaining more points. Our possession stats were slightly affected, but we still did average the highest in the league with 56.61% per game. With this tactic being much more stable, there is no need for a backup formation for some away games or for tough games.
  2. **UPDATE** I've made tweaks and the results are MUCH more stable and convincing, working on doing a test season and will post ASAP. Thanks
  3. Thanks for speaking for the majority of the FM community, this tactic is something different and the point of the post was to represent SOME FM players who prefer to build a club philosophy and sign players to suit a certain style of play This is a base tactic with one season of testing focusing purely on possession...as per the disclaimer
  4. HEl **For download link, please read disclaimer at the bottom of the article** **Scroll down for TACTIC TWEAK, better results slightly less possession** I’ll start off and state possession stats mean NOTHING, as Wigan recently proved after pipping Pep in the Fa Cup, but it’s nice to have possession and control the tempo of a game, right? This is the idea behind this tactic, my sole focus is on playing possession football and hoping results will follow. It’s too easy to exploit the match engine on FM18 (3 striker formations), so instead I’m aiming to play beautiful football. So before I go into the tactic and how we’ll be playing, here’s the final league table and the average possession stats after 38 games. 1 point separating 1st and 4th. 7000 more passes than any other team in the league. This is the base of this FM18 Tactic, it’s not to win every game 6-0 (though 3 central strikers exploiting the broken match engine would probably achieve this) it’s to control the tempo of every game we play, regardless of the opposition. Shape is everything, and I wanted to create a system where my players always have more than 1/2 options to pass the ball, I therefore needed a shape with as many ‘triangles’ as I like to call it, as possible. Here’s the shape, the most eye catching part of our tactical set up is the 2 red zones on each wing, where we seem to be missing wing backs! I do tend to ignore these warnings, as generally my wide midfielders will fill in with their defensive duties. Instruction wise, here is how we’re setting up: As you can see, we’re playing SO narrow and the reason behind this is to completely overload the midfield so we can gain control. If we for example were to play wide, then our weaknesses (red zones) would be open for exploitation. A much lower tempo allows us to control the game and frustrate the opposition. IMPORTANT **Tip #1** As with any FM tactic, we’ll have games where it just isn’t going to plan. As this is a very expansive formation, we’ll get picked off if for example, we are down to 10 men. It’s so important to manage these situations. If we can pretend Ozil is invisible(which he’s pretty good at for Arsenal in real life in some games), here is how I tend to change when down to 10 men > **Tip #2** Away from home, if you’re struggling results wise please do consider using the v2 of this tactic which is the 3-5-2 for more solidity. Also, there’ll be games when we’re not playing well, this happens regardless of what tactic you use or what style of play you operate. A key switch of shape is needed to stabilise the performance, again I switch to a 3-5-2> If for example we’re only 1-0 down or we’re drawing on 70 mins, I’ll tend to change back to a 3-4-2-1 and take a risk for a potential victory. **Tip #3** This is all about key player attributes to look out for when signing players. As this is an expansive formation, our transitions from attack to defence and from defence to attack is so important. Therefore, this tactic is more suited to players with HIGH natural fitness and stamina. Please do bear this in mind when selecting your team and picking out transfer targets. Match Stats So you’ve seen how the league table ended, but below are some example matches and match stats> # Download link? Please do download here > https://defencefirstfm.com/2018/02/21/my-fm18-possession-tactic-3-4-2-1/ (scroll to the bottom) Thank you for reading and I hope this draws some tactical inspiration for your own saves. **Disclaimer** This tactic is designed for teams predicted to finish near the top of the league and is solely focused on possession football, so please bear this in mind. Share this:
  5. PART TWO > https://defencefirstfm.com/2017/12/24/sean-dyche-tactics-with-a-title-contender-an-fm18-experiment-2-2/ Sean Dyche Tactics with a Title Contender? An #FM18 Experiment 2/2 DECEMBER 24, 2017/DEFENCEFIRSTFM/EDIT Hello and welcome to the second part of this FM18 experiment; “Sean Dyche Tactics with a Title Contender?”. In part one (http://bit.ly/2D5e4jK) I focused on Pre-Season and the tactics we’re going to be implementing for the season. I was really hopeful following Pre-Season, we had some excellent results and performances. Whilst I didn’t set a points total or a positional goal, I was aiming for UCL qualification and a solid defence. Going into August I did stick by my 4-4-1-1 shape as shown prior, and defensively this worked a treat in August. With 5 games played, and 3 in the Premier League, we had only conceded 1 goal and that was an OG at home to West Ham. More importantly, the shape was good. To start off our campaign we did drop 2 points with a goaless draw away to Swansea. Whilst it was a disappointing result, overall the performance was pleasing. Out of possession we looked solid and compact, whilst on the Counter with we had real pace to attack Swansea’s back 3. My biggest concern on the other hand is how narrow we played. I was hoping for my STC and AMC to move out wide, which didn’t occur as you can see by our ‘Average Positions Map’ Sticky September… The month of September proved to be our worst month defensively, but on the other hand, the most important in regards to the remainder of the campaign. As you can see by our results, we had some brilliant ones, and some not so brilliant ones… 3 points against Manchester City, away to Leicester City and success in the Champions League were real positives. However, during those 7 games we did concede 11 goals which simply is not good enough. This prompted me to analyse our shape and one keey thing stuck out, our weakness in the centre of the pitch. When you look at Sean Dyche’s Burnley, they do a wonderful job of packing the centre of the pitch and encouraging teams to move out wide. Looking at my average positions without the ball at home to Newcastle, it’s clear to see the gaps between the defence, midfield and attack. Ignore the two circles underlined in Blue, this is a glitch. I ideally want my 2 central midfielders to be closer to my centre backs and for it to be more of a clear 4-2-3-1, so here is how we lined up for the remainder of our campaign. As a result of this change in shape, over the next 15 games we did only concede 5 goals, where as previouslly we conceded 11 in 7. Whilst during those 15 games we did go unbeaten, winning 9 and drawing 6. This run of form was so iumportant as this is what the style of play we’re going for is all about. Solid at the back whilst still carrying an attacking threat. It’s evident how this change in shape has helped us become more solid and organised. A game which shows this was our Merseyside Derby clash away to Everton. With just 39% possession we managed to have double the shots on target than Everton. Looking at our average positions map, we did manage to become more solid centrally, with #23 (Emre Can) remaining close to both central defenders throughout. A Season Analysis… So now we have our setup, the remainder of the season was very much a ‘plug and play’. This means I wanted to see how the tactic performed, with no real intervention from myself on the training field and in game. When drawing 0-0, I didn’t change our shape to become more attacking and when protecting a lead late on I didn’t change our shape to become more defensive. Reason being is so I can see just HOW this performs in all circumstances. So, the League Table… We finished 2nd which is exactly what I aimed for, UCL qualification. It’s fair to say we were the ‘best of the rest’ if you exclude Arsenals wonder season. Noticable is our lack of goals, only 59 from 38 league games. However, we did only concede 25 from 38. Looking into this stat further, since the tactical switch, we only conceded 14 goals in 31 league games! Even more pleasing was our capabilities from set pieces, we did only conced 2 goals from corners all season with 1 going in from an indirect free kick. We also managed to keep the LEAST amount of possession in the league, with only 44.63% on average per game. I personally see this as an achievement, as it goes to show this tactic does EXACTLY what it says on the tin in true Sean Dyche style. After early exits from both the League Cup and FA Cup, we were knoocked out the UCL by Real Madrid. I personally see this as a good campaign, after topping our group we were unlucky to come against such good opposition. To Summarise I feel this is a tactic which worked well – I personally would use this if I had a team full of quick and pacey players. Given a few transfer windows, I do believe this is a league winning tactic. As you can see from my managerial stats, from 52 games we won 29, drawing 17 and losing just the 6. The key stastic is our strong defensive record, conceding just the 33 from 52 league games. I would recommend this tactic as an ideal defensive option for your saves, one which you could implement to hold on to leads or against tough opposition. A link to the tactic can be found here > http://bit.ly/2BFXGtL. Thank you for reading.
  6. To answer your question, it should be set to 'close down less' rather than much less. New blog post below actually explains a slight change in tactic which worked very well!
  7. *NEW BLOG POST* https://defencefirstfm.com/2017/12/20/sean-dyche-tactics-with-a-title-contender-an-fm18-experiment-1-2/ Sean Dyche Tactics with a Title Contender? An #FM18 Experiment 1/2 DECEMBER 20, 2017/DEFENCEFIRSTFM It’s fair to say Sean Dyche is a miracle worker, he’s got 2 Premier League promotions under his belt and is currently sitting pretty (if that’s the right word) high up in the Premier League. Dyche is very sensible with his tactics, unlike some newly promoted teams. He keeps it simple, you could say priorotises ‘defenceFirst’…but that’s just cringy (sorry). In all seriousness, his teams are VERY hard to beat, and he’s evolved his philosophy more recently to add more attacking bite. What I would love to see is Sean Dyche given the opportunity to manage a so called ‘big team’. Would there be a more beautiful sight than Sean Dyche bollocking Mesut Ozil for not putting in a shift? Whilst that would be something, for this FM18 Experiment I’ll be using a team who are quite renown for their defensive incapabilities; Liverpool. I’ll be using the squad as it comes and will be making no transfers. How will my Liverpool team need to be setup? Good question, firstly, a Dyche team plays with big strikers who can collect long clearences and hold up the ball. Liverpool don’t have this, but what they do have is PACE, and plenty of it. This is therefore a perfect alternative, as the likes of Salah, Mane, Firminho and Coutinho can hold the ball up with their pace and skill. Secondly, his teams have a very high work rate, something which is already engraved in this Liverpool outfit. Liverpool are use to playing a high press, though, our squad will still have the fitness to keep their shape off the ball and counter with speed. The most significant attribute is organisation, something which Liverpool have lacked under Klopp. This is where I come in, and this is the base we’ll be using > So to match our desired system, I needed to keep things really simple. No fancy Libero or CWBs, I’ve gone for a flat compact back 4, a flat 4 in midfield, a shadow striker to help support midfield when out of possession and a DLF. With our secondary shape, the only change is having two out and out strikers rather than a Shadow Striker. I anticipate using this shape when searching for a goal, and I’m more likely to switch from ‘Counter’ to ‘Attacking’. Both shapes do have the same team instructions which can be seen in greater detail: The Idea is to keep a rigid back 4 who sit slightly deeper, I want to encourage the ball to be played infront of our defence rather than in behind. Our general shape will be kept fairly narrow to make us compact out of possession and stick to positions also encourages greater organisation. When transitioning from defence to attack, I want us to be quick about it. We’ll be playing at a higher tempo, running at defences and knocking the ball into space out wide. Player roles Midfield is key, and in a 4-4-2 I believe the most important positions are out wide. I personally believe the ‘Winger’ player role is flawed, it’s way too focused on individual attributed rather than to fit a team ethic. I’ll be using wide midfielders who by their role description will fit the style of play I want to implement to perfection. Both wide midfielders have the below player instructions, which will help our team frustrate the opposition and win back the ball. Central defenders are also key to the way we want to play. Sean Dyche has got a record of massively improving Central defenders, just look at Michael Keane (who earned a move to Everton), Ben Mee and James Tarkowski. I want my defenders to be solid, have no rush of blood moments. I’ve therefore tweaked their instructions. Set Pieces Set Pieces in modern day football are absolutley vital, especially for lower to mid table clubs. It helps bridge the goalscoring gap that some teams have. Both defending a Set Piece and attacking one is an art, but one which I don’t feel is respected enough by top teams. This cannot be said for a Sean Dyche team, excellent defensively and a constant threat attacking one. This is how we’re setup to defend a corner. I find that 3 and 3 works wonders, that is 3 players on the six yard box, with one at the near, one centrally and one at the far post. The other 3 players are set to ‘go back’ for two, and my central defender will pick up their tallest player. I want to breakway quickly from corners, so I’ll be keeping both wide midfielders forward, who in this squad generally do have pace. I do expect to be keeping the ‘corners conceded’ stat to a minimum, I’ll take a look at this come the end of the season. When attacking a corner, two players must be back at all times, with two lurking outside the box to pick up a clearance if there is one. I find corners delivered into the 6 yard box are most effective, as the game engine will have the player under and over hit the cross. If this is the case, it’ll either go to the near or far post if miss hit, adding variety to our corners. If this eventually happens, we do have attackers positioned in both areas, as well a striker in the 6 yard box. Training With training during both pre season and the regular season, I like to keep it focused on the next match, rather than general training. If away from home, I either go for defensive positioning or attacking set pieces. At home, I’ll either go for attacking or attacking set pieces. As you can see with the screenshot below, I do have start of my weeks consisted of ‘team cohesion’, this is for pre season purposes only. During the regular campaign, I tend to go mix this up, depending on the opponent and our form. Pre Season Friendlies First up was AZ away, a solid dutch outfit usually competing for the European spots in Holland. With the way the Dutch teams play, I knew this would be perfect, AZ 30 minuted in controlled the possession, but we we brilliant on the counter attack. 2-0 up with just 39% possession and limiting our opponents to zero shots on target. As the game progressed, AZ changed their system to try and Counter attack us, leading to more possession. AZ did break our defence and get on the scoreline, which was a disappointment. Though, the goal was from 20 yards out and it wasn’t a defensive mistake, which was somewhat of a consolation. I was really pleased with the amount of goal scoring opportunities we mustered with just 44% possession, whilst AZ only had 2 shots on target with 56%. Looking closer into the match stats, we created 5 Clear Cut Chances (CCCs) and one half chance. We still maintained a high pass percentage, despite our direct approach. We also attempted 46 crosses, which is a fantastic return. We then took on Roma, a potential UCL opponent at Anfield. What was interesting about this game was how defensive Roma were, I was expecting Roma to dominate possession, which just didn’t happen. We drew 1-1 which was disappointing, we’re still looking for this elusive clean sheet. As per the average positions, Roma did sit very deep which meant we ended up with 55% possession. What’s a real positive is once more we didn’t allow our opponent a CCC whilst we managed 2. As a team, this is now two games in succesion we’ve out run our opponents, which was an aim for me. Our next pre season game against Premier League Watford was our most pleasing. A real benchmark for the up coming season, in classic Dyche style we allowed the opposition all the possession in their third and on half way What is really noticable is 41% of Watford ball possession came in the middle third of the pitch, and only 6% was in our third. This resulted in Watford being the next opponents to not have a CCC against us, or even a half chance in this game! We managed to collect 3 CCCs with 3 half chances too. Now onto our final and most difficult pre season outing, away to AC Milan which we took on our stride. A comfortable 3-1 away win which gives me great hope that I can make this style of play work. What stands out so far is how consistently we’re managing to have 5+ shots on target, despite having little possession. AC Milan, like most teams, had a 3 man central midfield and controlled the ball for large periods. We played on the counter attack wonderfully and took the spoils…if there are any for a friendly. A close first half was followed by a dominant second. I’m not too sure what happened to Milan during the second half, but we were sensational. Milan did score from their CCC, but it’s encouraging that we’ve only conceded 3 goals from 5 pre season games (which includes a 3-0 win away to Wrexham). So that’s it for Part one, you’ve seen how I’ve built this tactic and the way we’ll be playing. Part Two will show how we fared over the whole season, and I’ll be analysing our system further. Thank you for reading, please feel free to check out my Twitter here > @defenceFirstFM. Thank you defenceFirst
  8. NEW BLOG POST > https://defencefirstfm.com/2017/12/17/from-top-4-to-league-domination-my-football-manager-2018-story-so-far-part-4-4/ From Top 4 To League Domination – My Football Manager 2018 Story So Far…Part 4/4 DECEMBER 17, 2017/DEFENCEFIRSTFM/EDIT Hello and welcome back to defenceFirst and the fourth part of my introductory blog posts; ‘My Football Manager 2018 Story. This will be the final installment of these introductory blog posts, where we’ve gone on a journey from the Championship all the way to the top of the Premier League. As per the title, this installment is all about taking that final step from continental qualification, managing that and overcoming the final hurdle in the Premier League, the league title. I’ll be covering multiple seasons. Later in the blog, I’ll be sharing a little insight into my new 3-5-2, looking at some analysis and I’ll be explaining why I made the decisions I did. First of all, let’s talk about season 4. Season 2020/21 As so many teams find out in the Premier League, it is so much easier to be successful without the distraction of continental football. You only have to look at Leicester in their one off wonder season and Chelsea last season. On the reverse, we’ve seen Tottenham this year struggle to live up to the heights of last year, whilst they’re battling The Champions League, I want to avoid this. Whilst Spurs are still within touching distance, you’d expect them to be slightly higher in the league. To do so, I knew I needed to strengthen my squad on the whole, whilst keeping some key players who performed so well the previous season. I was also in the predicament of not having as much money as the previous year, 30m to be precise. To make the additions necessary, I did have to sell some backup players and be clever in the market. Let’s take a look at my departures > Plenty of key names depart, resulting in some healthy profit margins made. Some key names who have departed include Joost Van Aken, Adam Reach, Lewis Baker and Sam Hutchinson. All these players were regulars on the subsitutes bench and provided suitable cover last season. However, due to an increased fixture congestion and my plans to rotate my squad, they simply are not good enough anymore. Tonny Trindade de Vilhena wasn’t getting the game time he deserved, a regular on the bench and backup for Ross Barkley, he became unhappy. Due to the price I picked him up for (£8.5m) I decided to cash in for almost double, which proved to be the best move for all parties. For season 4, I will be sticking with a 4-2-3-1 but I did have it in mind that next season I will be switching to a 3-5-2. So, I had this in mind when looking at transfer targets. Quite considered compared to last season, but we still picked up some great buys! The first port of call was a Left Back, an area I felt we struggled in the season before. Other than Christian Gunter, I only had Kongolo as a back up, who was needed at CB. Benjamin Mendy is tall, powerful and a great all round left back. He’ll fit in perfectly for this and future seasons. Below is Mendy and my other star signing, Harry Winks! He’s now a Turkish delight… The other key signing, who is still with me to this very season is Harry Winks. A star in real life and he lives up to that bill on FM. Harry went on to become an England regular, brilliant all round. Adopting the same philosophy, we had a really similar season and points tally. This time, we managed to secure 2nd spot in the Premier League. So close, yet we lacked the cutting edge to turn those draws into a potential title. All in all, it was so important to repeat the success of my prior Premier League campaign with the addition of European football. And a tough European campaign we had, due to the quality of opponent we faced, I was tending to rotate and play squad players in the Premier League. Something which was possible due to the additional strength in depth we had. Atletico proved too strong for us – still a real positive campaign. Overcoming Galatasary, Villarreal, PSG and RBL. It’s fair to say we proved we could compete during our maiden campaign, my expectations was to reach the First knockout campaign, to which we excelled. Here’s my best 11 for this season > Dat guy Welbz having another superb season out on the wing, with Gerard Oomen starting to show what he’s about… Overall, another solid season to build the foundations for the next chapter of my journey. We now had another season of Premier League money behind us, with the added ammunition of Champions League money to come. Before moving onto season 5, please see our progression in our managerial performance: As you can see, we’ve managed to turn those draws into victories. Still, managing a frustrating 15 draws, this still massively outweighs the number of defeats, which is a key target of mine. This shows consistency, which is what I’m trying to achieve. Season 2021/22 Now comes the key tactical tweaks I’ve been talking about – a move I’ve wanted to make for the previous 3 Premier League campaigns. Sometimes you have to play a certain way to be successful, to which I did. However, now is the correct time to evolve and make changes, I’ll be operating the below shape and instructions: I’ll start off with the 3 most important positions for this shape, the 3 CBs. Some will utilise a sweeper as the middle CB, and have them on ‘Cover’. I feel this encourages teams to get in behind, so would rather operate with a ‘Stopper’ who can push and block any playmakers in front of our defence. The positive about this is when the middle CB does push on, I’ll have 2 CBs back as cover. Moving on to my wing-backs, I decided to use WB (s) as I prefer the balance this gives my side. CWB (A) would be my usual port of call, but I think this suits a more direct style of play, for providing more defensive cover the selected role suits my team. This doesn’t mean my wing-backs aren’t bombing on, because boy they do! With ‘play narrower’ this does naturally draw the opponents narrow with me to cope with the numbers I have, allowing space out wide for the likes of Diop (new signing) and Mendy to go forward. As you can see, we’re very expansive and wide open with possession, which is the complete opposite to when we are without possession. I’m purposely encouraging teams to attack us on the flanks so they are limited to crossing the ball. Then I feel I have the defensive advantage due to the quality of CB, and general height/physicality I have to win the defensive headers and clear the ball. To deploy this system, I needed to let some players depart… A few HUGE sales…both in value and risks taken. I began the transfer window being graced with the beauty of Chinese money…I never thought I’d say that. Long time servant Stefano Sturaro left for 23m, an 18m profit. Other key departures included Patrick Roberts for 14m and Ross Barkley for 48m in January, a BIG BIG risk. Another big transfer window With a change of philosophy and formation, I knew the vast majority of my budget was going to be spent on my defence. Incomings included Reece Oxford for £30m and regen Alessio Neri from Torino for £39.5m. Both boosting the height and physicality I mentioned above to deal with those crosses. A superb player, his physicals are just ideal. An elite centre-back who again provides me with great physicality. The final player I’ll show you is my signing of FM18. a free transfer from a second tier Italian side. He couldn’t play WBR which is the position I was going to utilise him in, a role to this day he’s still learning, but he puts in world class performances on the pitch. Perfect, just perfect. These wonderful new signings and a key tactical switch resulted in us being very hard to beat, whilst deadly in front of goal. We won 25 of 38 league games, drawing 12 and loosing just the one away to Arsenal (2-1). It wasn’t all rosy, we did lose out on penalties to Marsellie in the Champions League after a superb group stage performance. 4 Seasons Later… As previously mentioned this is the final installment of my FM18 story so far. The following 4 seasons passed by with domestic dominance and European Success. 5 consecutive Premier League titles, losing 8 games out of 190 in the league. Apart from the 2024/25 season, we did concede an average of 0.5 goals per game, which is just utterly brilliant. I definitely achieved what I intended to defensively since the tactical switch. We went on to achieve 2 Champions League wins as well as success in the Europa League after a disastrous Group campaign in the 2023/24 season. A full list of my honours can be seen below. Thank you for reading this and the previous 3 parts of my ‘Football Manager 2018 Story So Far’. The support really does mean so much to me, I’m really motivated to post more blogs and better blogs! In future, I will be posting more general FM articles, and less ‘FM Stories’. Please stay tuned for tactical analysis and much more. Thank you defenceFirst
  9. Hi For me i kept my instructions very simple, meaning my players were able to just do what their role entailed. Too many instructions can over complicate it, which isn't good if you're the underdog team. Fluid worked for me since i build quite a pacy team. If you go for experience and slower players, rigid would be better. Hope this helps
  10. Building On Premier League Survival – My Football Manager 2018 Story So Far…Part 3 DECEMBER 13, 2017/DEFENCEFIRSTFM/EDIT Hello and welcome back to defenceFirst and the third part of my introductory blog posts; ‘My Football Manager 2018 Story’. This post will be dedicated to season 3, my personal favourite period of any Football Manager save. The reason being is I’ll be 5/6 transfer windows into the save, and I’ll have had chance to bring in my own players to fit the way I want to play. This is why I think it’s always so important to give ANY save at least 12 months, just so you have the chance to turn the ship into the direction you want to sail in. Too often (I’m guilty of this sometimes myself) I see people quit saves after 5 or so league games, when in theory, they’re at a disadvantage as they’re plugging and playing a philosophy with a group of players they didn’t sign to fit the criteria. If you read Part two, I talked about The Art Of Premier League survival, and below is the platform I have to build on moving into season 3. We did well defensively, managing to only concede 51 goals in 38 games, which is respectable for a first season in the top flight. We were also the top scorers in the bottom half of the table too; albeit with only 44 goals in 38 games. I knew I couldn’t rely on those goal-scoring figures to help me push forward, I needed to strengthen my attacking options. Thankfully, with managing in the Premier League, I’m able to access the vast sums of TV money, and after one season in the top flight with the lowest wage bill, I was given a pretty transfer kitty; 60m! With this money I really did believe I could turn 12th place into top 8 and potential European football. For the time being, I’ll be sticking with my 4-2-3-1 shape, as it served me so well the season prior. I’ll begin with my departures, and 62m worth. Tom Lees…20 MILLION pounds, you did read that correctly! Notable departures include the ever reliable Barry Bannan for 11m, Gary Hooper who scored 12 league goals the season before for 3m and Tom Lees for a staggering 20m! His value at the time was about 13m, and Hull provided me with an offer I could not refuse. I was intending to keep him as a backup, but no backup player in my position is worth that sort of money, thank you Hull City! So in theory, I now have 120m to build a squad…which I really enjoyed spending as any FM player would admit! Now with these screenshots you will need to recognise my save is now 7 years down the line, so some players may have improved, and some will have declined in ability. I’ll point out which is the case below. First up, Patrick Roberts: Wonderfully Versatile, can play anywhere in behind the striker in my desired 4-2-3-1 formation. A brilliant pickup for 10.5m, he was transfer listed and understandably so by club at the time Manchester City. He was a star, wonderfully versatile but mainly found himself on the right wing. Now at Manchester United, Sander Berg is reaching his peak. A super servant who was a key figure in my squad. Costing 24.5m from KRC Genk, he was for me the complete holding midfielder. Comfortable in the tackle, and calm on the ball. Perfect as a DLP holding midfielder who allowed those further forward the freedom to attack. Versatile once more, exactly the sort of player I tend to go for! Next up is Tonny Trindade de Vilhena, who’s stats have sadly taken a turn for the worse. Still, he proved a very useful addition. Picked up from Feyenoord after activating his 8.5m release clause, he proved a brilliant addition to my squad, and one who is once more very versatile. Just look at that position map, it’s a managers dream! Lewis Baker was purchased mainly as a backup midfielder, and that’s exactly what he was. He still managed 22 appearances, 15 were as a substitute. A free transfer but a healthy profit in the end! Danny Welbeck is next up who has retired and is currently living it large in Gillingham. He was still a brilliant signing as you can see by his stats, he mainly played out on the wing too! Wow…Ross Barkley, a statement signing! Usually, he wouldn’t be available. But the first of 2 signings from Everton, Barkley signed for 23m after Everton were RELEGATED from the Premier League, Big Sam wasn’t available to save them this time (thankfully for me). He is still going strong at Man City, but his career is coming to an end at the top. Now at West Ham and in his prime years, a solid GK. Pickford went straight to number one…not his Christmas single but between the sticks (it’s a **** joke I know). He was signed sealed and delivered for just 5.25m, call me David Dickinson as I was on a Bargain Hunt… A shame that he’s never been capped for England, as he is a solid striker. Tammy was loaned for the season after 7 goals in 18 for West Ham the previous campaign. Tammy was mainly backup, and only mustered 2 goals in 18, which was a shame. He later went on to have a good career for himself in the Premier League and now in Italy…FANTASTICO. Now a Head Of Youth Development, he was a great pickup after being transfer listed by Liverpool. The OX fitted into my team perfectly, able to operate on both wings he added real quality to my ranks. Solid, solid CB. Would recommend for any save! Harry Maguire was signed as a replacement for Mr 20m, Tom Lees. Maguire, a much better CB was signed for only 19.5m, lovely. A perfect utility player. Timothy Fosu-Mensah was signed on loan for the season, and proved to be a valuable signing. Mainly a backup, but he played all over the shop. Now Onto January and my last notable signing… Mr Gerard Oomen…wow. An unbelievable talent. Oomen was picked up for 25.5m, which for an 18 year old seems ridiculous, but he is just an outstanding player 7 years later as you can see below > As his favourite role says, he is the COMPLETE FORWARD. So that’s the signings made to build on Premier League survival in season 3, and it proved to be money well spent. We managed to secure 3rd place and a spot in the Champions League, which for season 2 in the Premier League is superb. It just goes to show if you plan ahead and spend wisely it can be done, please see the table below > 74 points usually wouldn’t be enough for 3rd, thankfully it was this season! So you’ve seen my signings and the final league table, so here’s the squad used and the best 11 for the season > No extravagant player roles, we kept things simple and it worked a treat. As you can see, there’s some familiar faces from season 2 who made an appearance, and even season 1. Other faces such as Lamartine Braga and Eduardo were signed for the youth team, but who didn’t make an impact this season. Next time, I’m going to be sharing my KEY formation change and brave transfer decisions which led to Premier League Glory. I hope you’ve enjoyed part 3 of My Football Manager 2018 Story. In the meantime, why not check out my Twitter > @defenceFirstFM ? I’m frequently sharing other FM bloggers and inside info on my current FM18 saves. Until next time, Thank You for reading
  11. Hello Some have you will have read part two 'The Art Of Premier League Survival'. The follow up called 'Building On Premier League Survival' can now be found here > https://defencefirstfm.com/2017/12/13/building-on-premier-league-survival-my-football-manager-2018-story-so-far-part-3/ Part one and two can both be found at https://defencefirstfm.com As asked by admin, please see the post posted below > Thank you
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