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Everything posted by OJ403

  1. I'm getting great play from Roony Bardghji on the right as an IF-S, with Paul Wanner offset to AMCL as a SS-A. I find the SS acts as a more creative player than the AM-A, roaming round and linking up play. He also scores a lot of goals - Wanner is our leading goal scorer so far this season. Roony then roams in field and our right back overlaps to form a four behind our central striker who's main role is to push back and move opposition centre backs round to create space for our four behind. Yes, it certainly is interesting. It's simple and stable and allows players to interpret the role as they see fit to a degree. I have five players I tend to play in these positions: one playmaker type, one pure holder/destroy and three box to box types players. This lets me chop and change personnel and adjust the system that way. I also often change the roles/duties during games. We're known to drop both onto defend duties when we want to block out space for opponents to attack centrally, or change one of the roles to a DLP or segundo volante depending on how things are playing out in game.
  2. I've been playing with a 4-2-3-1 for the first time in pretty much ever this year with my Hamburg save. I've found playing the double pivot on the same duty and the AM one higher (e.g., DMs on support, AM on attack) to be really successful. It ensures the defensive midfielders stay together and link up with the back line and attacking midfielder unit and help circulate the ball in all phases of play. I've also offset the attacking midfielder to one side, which encourages the opposite wide player to cut inside and form a box midfield of sorts, with the full back overlapping.
  3. I've been following this thread without commenting, but it really is a fantastic bit of work! I would suggest that the principles discussed are one of the best ways to create tactics in any formation/style, not just the 4-3-3. I came across an interesting thread on reverse engineering tactics from the playing squad and tactical ideals, but can't remember where I found it (I think it spoke about City as an example), that's very similar to this. How would people look to set up a 4-3-3, or indeed any similar shapes (4-2-3-1 and the like), with deeper full backs as seems to be the trend today? I've just the point in my Hamburg save where attacking full backs are becoming a rarity and have just signed a right back more in the Wan Bissaka mould (can't dribble, can't cross, can tackle and do anything mental baring work rate) and mainly use deeper build up left backs. We've typically bombed our right back forward to allow our AMR (currently Roony Bardghji) to come infield and operate as one of two 10s. I'm thinking a 4-3-3 with a attacking central midfielder just inside and behind to overload the space whilst our right back stays deeper. I'm wondering if anyone has set up anything similar?
  4. Just my luck! Unfortunately, he wasn't replaced this summer. I have played through most of preseason now and no good goalkeepers are available for a competitive wage so I am going to risk him until January at least. I have since noticed Jason Knight and Max Bird both seem to have generated a low important match rating. So three of our most important players don't like big games!
  5. Season one ended in disappointed this evening. A poor middle and end to the season saw us slip out of the top two on the final day, finishing third with 97 points. Going into the final day a point would have been enough to secure automatic promotion and bettering first placed Ipswich's result would have seen us claim the title on goal difference. As it goes, we capitulated to a 3-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and went on to lose 1-0 to Bristol Rovers at Wembley. Ultimately poor form at the end of each half of the season cost us promotion, perhaps due to our relatively small squad with weaker depth - as in reality. The title is the aim next season. Tactically we need a rethink. None of the loans will be returning, although only Haydon Roberts and Daniel Jebbison had a particularly notable impact, the latter being the top scorer in the league. The squad has little to no depth, and many mediocre players even for League One. The 4-2-3-1 saw us lack "depth" between the lines and relatively rigid positional football. A more fluid approach, with greater control and movement will be the aim for next season. After reading an interesting thread/post on twitter, we will redefine our approach tactically. - Who is going to score our goals? The striker. We only have James Collins who isn't first team quality, so a similar upgrade is needed. - How will we create the chances for a strong, physical striker? Probably from crosses and balls from deep. We have a good playmaker in Conor Hourihane, if we have one player crossing on each flank we should create plenty for the striker. - So who will be the crossers? Overlapping full backs, or orthodox wingers? Probably a variety. A full back on one side and a winger on the other. - So we can have the full back on one side and the orthodox wingers on the other. What about the other winger? Well the other winger (wide forward from now on) can help with goals too, at this level we won't have a Haaland quality player to do it all! - Ok. So how are we going to get the ball into the "creators"? Well we can invert the full back on the wingers side, so probably by building out from the back as we'll get a numerical superiority here. - Are our central defenders good enough on the ball to do this? Or will more help than the IWB be needed? - Probably more help, Eiran Cashin is our only first eleven centre back under contract and he is only ok with the ball. So probably some form of deep lying playmaker (not necessarily the role) will be needed. Hourihane suits this best, but I want him to create chances higher up the pitch. We could use a DLP or HB to link the defensive and attacking units, Max Bird suits this reasonably well. - So that's responsibility of the striker, both wingers, both full backs, two central midfielders (AM, CM and DM stratas included), minimum two centre backs sorted. That leaves one outfielder, who is your next best? Probably Jason Knight. He's an energetic central midfielder who got goals and assists last season. He could ease the burden on our two goal scorers and and operate in the defensive and attacking units due to his energy. - Great. So this leaves us with two possible shapes, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. What's the plan? - Well I want Hourihane to operate near the half spaces and wider areas to make use of his crossing and diagonal balls over the top. He's also left footed so I want him to operate mainly on that side of the pitch. So it will have to be a 4-3-3. Whilst this doesn't include any roles (in terms of those within the FM), the basis of these can be fit around the player profiles. For example, the "overlapper" could be a FB-A, WB-S, WB-A, CWB-S or CWB-A; the "wide forward" could be a IF-A, IF-S, RMD-A, or maybe an IW; and so on. These will largely be determined according to the player in question. We need a fair few signings, so we'll fill in the blanks as we go. With regard to the players already at the club, I expect we will go like this role and duty wise: • Hourihane - AP-A • Knight - BBM-S or BWM-S, maybe a CM-S • Bird - DLP-D, HB-D or DM-D • Cashin - CD-D Instruction wise at this early stage I anticipate that we will end up with something like this: - Play out of defence, overlap left. - Counter, short goal kicks - More urgent pressing From this, our squad plan looks like the below. We have already opened talks to sign Ruben Rodrigues on a free from Notts County, so he is included in the plan. Players not listed are intended to be sold or released. The only players of note here are Joe Wildsmith (he doesn't like big matches according to our staff, which I feel has cost us in big games. This is a huge red flag for me, so he has to go, which is a genuine shame. He also has the lowest save percentage in the league at 75%) and David McGoldrick (technically he's good, mentally he's good, but physically he just cannot play the style we want). FYI, I am going to post part of this in the tactics forum in the 4-3-3 thread given that is where we have ended up. Tactically, I think this reverse engineering approach is a really interesting way of setting things up.
  6. Currently, you can set players within your first team to be available for the youth teams under certain criteria, including at all times. I tend to use this for young players who you want to train with the first team and play the occasional match, but mainly operate as part of the youth team. Sometimes, the ideal game arises to give these players a chance in the first team match day squad, however they are unavailable due to being involved in a youth team match. I suggest that there should be another option when making players available - for all matches, prioritising first team, whereby players are available for the youth team at all times except for when there is a fixture clash with the senior team.
  7. I'm finally back with another update on my save. Things have slowed down since my last post - we have a lost a few games and are now only five points ahead of third and level with second in mid-December. Ultimately though, we are still playing incredibly well and have just fell victim to the end of what was a relatively soft opening run of games. This run has also been compounded by injuries to key player Jason Knight, who was the top assister and second top scorer in the league at the time, and Daniel Jebbison (top scorer in the league) leaving for the World Cup with Canada. Unfortunately the worst part of this run involved losing Curtis Davies to an achilles injury that would ultimately see him retire from playing and join as a coach. This will be a huge loss for us as a player but also as a leader. We have agreed to take Liverpool youngster Rhys Williams on loan with a £1million optional fee in January.
  8. Very very small update today... Played the first three league games tonight, we've scored four goals in each game and only conceded one. Jebbison has 7 goals, Sibley has 5 assists and Hourihane 4. It turns out we're quite good at football matches! We've also put five past Fleetwood in the first round of the Carabao Cup (5-3).
  9. So after another period of limited play time, over the last couple of days I have played through preseason. Initially my plans were to play a back three system with a midfielder four and two number 10s supporting McGoldrick up front. Whilst normally I wouldn't advise paying much attention to preseason results, the performance in defeats to Chesterfield, Burton and Mansfield led to a change in approach. Overall our philosophy has remained the same, but the shape has changed going into the season. Despite this being the case, by placing two more aggressive defenders either side of him I actually increased the spacing between him and the adjacent players. In the back four I have found us to be more compact when in possession, such that Davies is less exposed. We may have no out and our right back, but it turns out we have no make shift wing back either! NML and Barkhuizen were both poor in this position through preseason, offering nothing defensively and restricted attacking output. Shifting them to operate as wingers should help this. Korey Smith will be our first choice right back, with Rooney and Chester in support. I did look at loaning someone in to play here, but found more pressing issues elsewhere. This means we will line up predominantly in a 4-2-3-1 that could easily become a 4-3-3. The "more pressing" area was striker. I don't rate Collins and as I mentioned before my decisions will be influenced by real life, particularly in the early stages of the save. Whilst I do rate McGoldrick, he is just too slow for my system in FM and is probably best as the number ten regardless. So from Sheffield United comes Daniel Jebbison on a season long loan (paying 70% wages). He is everything I look for in a striker - quick, tall and a good finisher. This meant I couldn't realistically bring in a right back on loan as all five match day slots are filled and with no good/affordable free agent targets we will move forward into the season as we are. By January I expect to know if we can get away with this and invest a proper player here in the summer when our embargo has been lifted. (Whilst the terms of this are T.B.C. in real life, I will lifted this and agree a "business plan" that will allow transfer fees of some form for season two). Unfortunately this has forced Sibley out wide, but poor performances from our 10s in preseason (not Sibley as he missed all of preseason with injury) made this decision for me. Moving forward I do see Knight dropping back alongside Bird and Sibley moving inside. Overall, I am happy with the squad and system, despite gaps at centre back and right back. Is there any way I can de-age Davies 10 years?!
  10. Whilst perhaps the flippant answer, it's also the one I agree with. The midfielders have the capabilities to be amongst the best midfield group in League One, and the potential to be such in the Championship (key word potential there). I don't plan to replace anyone in this group until we hit the Premier League. This is correct - Bielik will still be at Birmingham. Once he returns for season two, whether he is sold to fund a rebuild largely depends on our system and the progress of other players. If Conor Hourihane underwhelms and we switch to a 4-3-3, Bielik could come into the base of our midfield freeing up Bird, Knight and Thompson to rotate as 8s, their best role in my opinion. If we stick with the back three, he could take Davies' place in the centre and operate in a more ball playing fashion. If we switch to some form of 4-2-3-1 he could partner Bird or Knight in the DM strata. I think his future will be dictated by the needs of the squad as a whole. In terms of defenders I agree with all your points. Given mainly age and resultant declining technicals, I anticipate going into season two with one starting and two backup centre backs (Cashin - Forsyth, Rooney) and no out and our full back options. I agree it may be worth keeping one of these players, probably Davies in my opinion, but if we move to a back four I think I'll be happy without them. In midfield, I agree again. I don't intend to touch this as mentioned. Korey Smith may leave to facilitate Liam Thompson's opportunities and development, but this is no way near set in stone. In wide areas, it largely depends on how we intend to go tactically. Mendez-Laing and Barkhuizen are theoretically capable right wingers or wing backs. I expect one or both of these to stay according to what's on the market. Out on the left, I don't plan to renew Dobbin or Springett's loans - so either left wing back or left wing options will likely be needed. As I have mentioned, I am unsure as to Sibley's long term position - he is likely to get minutes in this part of the pitch this season as I'm not completely convinced on his suitability to play as our goalscoring attacking midfielder (both our striking options are going to dropping deeper in season one) given his unspectacular pace or goalscoring instinct. I tend to find well round attacking players play well as wing backs so we will see here. And finally for strikers - we will need two of these next season. I don't expect to renew either Collins or McGoldrick's contracts given their age and the type of profile of striker I tend to prefer. Typically, I like to build my team's around quick, strong strikers - neither of these two fit this profile, which means I have to ask things of other players I may not want to, see the Sibley situation. McGoldrick is perhaps more likely to be here into season two (largely based on real life performances as you suggest), however as a rotation option for our creative midfielder with Hourihane. This is where the youth come in. Having surveyed the talent in more depth today, I most certainly agree. In terms of talent... there is no talent. Or at least little to no talent. I think most of the incomings in the summer of season one are going to be young players to pad out this group as the first team squad should be largely good enough to compete for the top six, despite obvious gaps in it. This means greater opportunities for Rooney and Thompson amongst others as young players who have perhaps outgrown U21 football but aren't quite ready for senior football yet - needs must!
  11. These things happen with FM. It was a good save and fun squad, but long breaks in game time due to life commitments and the core of "good but less good than Bayern" teams ultimately my killed the save. I've took over Derby with the winter update, so we have no Osula, but do have Springett, White and McGee. Whilst I think we probably ought to have replaced Osula in real life, I think between McGoldrick and Collins we will be fine for season one. Moving into season two, irrespective of which division we are in I only anticipate keeping maybe four or five players (excluding the younger players) so a large scale rebuild will be needed then when we will likely begin to mould more into a back four team as I prefer this approach. The only concern I have with this is Cashin's height and 12 jumping reach. I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of those that have both managed Derby this year and seen much of us in reality as to the make up of the squad moving into the 2023/24 season. Who do you think we should keep and let go? What positions and player profiles ought to be priority? I already have an idea as to how I'd want us to look, but I'm curious as to what others think.
  12. So then, after a failed attempt at a real world style rebuild my Hamburg save has finally grown stale after several seasons stuck as a middling Bundesliga side unable to make that step to the next level. As a big Derby fan and long term season ticket holder (plus huge Paul Warne fan), I found myself thinking up squad and tactic ideas for a Derby save. Ultimately I think my rebuild save failed as the best available players had been signed by the club already - even James Collins couldn't be improved upon! So I've loaded up the game and had a look at the squad, although we're yet to press continue. I am going to let my real life judgements hold a fair amount of sway in the early seasons, but obviously as I get deeper into the save FM views will have to take over. Although to a degree FM views will be important in decisions. I intend to base the first season around the young players (namely Bird, Knight, Cashin and Sibley who I feel have the quality to stay in the team deep into the Premier League) and the best "experienced" players at the club (McGoldrick and Davies). The squad is going to be based on the concept of "old heads, wise legs" (OHWL) with younger players asked to do the running in their place. This has left me with a squad depth looking like this: The idea is to press hard in the middle of pitch, forcing turnovers and quick transitions in the wide and half spaces. The players at the back and top ends of the pitch will be excluded from the press, with only Conor Hourihane from the OHWL group asked to join in the press. I intend to play a back three/give for three main reasons: 1. Davies can't run, but is our most important leader and experienced defender. Two wider centre backs either side of him should allow him to go 1v1 with opposition strikers and cover space intelligently. 2. We have no right back. Jason Knight would be wasted here; Korey Smith just isn't a right back and given his age isn't the long term solution anyway; and the younger boys in Rooney and Oduroh just aren't ready yet. NML and Barkhuizen are relatively short term players anyway in terms of age and ability, so I don't mind using square pegs in round holes here anyway. 3. We lack quality depth in attacking areas, but have lots of quality centrally with White, Smith and Thompson all outside my initial best eleven. This system lets me get three to five of them on the pitch at all times. I don't intend to make many transfers in the first window, or season one at all to be honest, and intend to follow the basic rules set out in Derby's real life regulations/embargo in that we won't be paying transfer fees or making any fee paying loans. Any incomings will be wage contribution only loans or free agents on sensible wages. My major transfer targets included a right sided centre back option and cover in the attacking midfield positions. I am considering using Sibley as my left wing back (I'm not sold in Roberts in FM or real life particularly) as Warne has at times this season. I'm not convinced his physical profile suits a position other than a BBM, which we don't use and either way would be covered by Knight and White before Sibley. I've used him as a wing back in previous FMs to good success, his hard working attitude making him a really good player up and down the side as a slightly more hustling and bustling wing back than a physical athlete (think Kieran Trippier over Kyle Walker). Hopefully I'll be able to get my teeth into the save in the coming days, with further updates to follow. The aim isn't necessarily promotion this season, as in real life, it's more about re-establishing the club on and off the pitch and building a squad to bounce to the Premier League in a few campaigns once the ball is rolling.
  13. I'd say this isn't beyond the realms of possibility. Maybe a flat three in the centre of midfield, with your BWM and DLP on the sides with the CM-A central. This should both push them wider, thus reducing the gap between the wingbacks the rest of the side, and allow your CM-A to push closer to the DLF without occupying the exact same spaces as often/easily. I've had success creating shapes from other formations that don't necessarily line up with the final shape to start with on the tactics screen. At the minute I'm using a 4-3-3 (with a DM and AMR/AML, I'm not sure what FM calls it!) that becomes something between 3-box-3 and 2-box-4 with the ball. I've also had a flat 4-4-2 become a diamond on the ball amongst other systems.
  14. I am finally starting my annual Derby save, this time with a twist. The playing squad has been revaluated using the create a club feature to remove a large number of players, leaving a squad much closer that Liam Rosenior inherited at the start of preseason. This has left me with the following players: Joe Wildsmith Richard Stearman, Curtis Davies, Craig Forsyth, Eiran Cashin Max Bird, Conor Hourihane, Jason Knight, Korey Smith, Kristian Bielik (remains on loan at Birmingham) Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Louis Sibley David McGoldrick We have also retained the services of all loan players at the club. These are Luke McGee; Haydon Roberts; Harvey White; Lewis Dobbin, Tony Springett. I would be willing to let go Springett if given the opportunity. I have also agreed to mutually terminate the contracts of all of coaching team Paul Warne brought to the club with him.
  15. I am away from home at the moment so don't have access to my computer, but from memory it's something like this: IF-A -- AF-A -- W-S BBM-S -- AP-A A-D WB-S -- CD-D -- CD-D -- IWB-S SK-S Positive mentality Much shorter passing (bottom level), slightly higher tempo (one level up) Counter, goalkeeper slow distribution, roll it out High block, higher defensive line (one level up), slightly more urgent pressing (one level up), step up more There's no PIs on either, although I tend to recruit with traits in mind. Killer balls on my IWB, AP, W and IF are key.
  16. I've got something working quite nicely after joining Newcastle in late 2024 of a save. It's a relatively simple 4-3-3 with the AMR as a W-S and Jurrien Timber as a creative IWB-S behind - he forms part of the base of the box. In midfield I play an anchorman behind a BBM and an AP-A to complete the box. Most of the managers you've discussed create a back 3 as part of their shape. In my system the left back is more attacking with my left winger cutting in to act as an extra "striker". Whilst it's a highly fluid shape, it could be described as a 2-2-4-2, but I'd hesitate to give it a label.
  17. Not sure if this is the right place, or if this is a stupid question. I'm in season 5 of a save and have recently took over Newcastle half a season ago. We finished 9th in the Premier League, but won the Champions League so qualified for the coming season that way. I want to sign Moukoko, who has an £80 million release clause to clubs in the Champions League. However, I can't activate this. Is this because they are in the Champions League? Or perhaps because this seasons hasn't officially started (as in last season's, which we won, is still shown in the competition page)?
  18. I'm yet to get too into any particular save for a number of reasons this FM, but I keep coming back to this style of play. In the past I've had success create this style of build up on an attacking mentality with the "retain possession" TI ticked, back when it was available. Since it was removed I haven't particularly played in this style, but I imagine a combination of one or some of the lowest tempo, shortest passing length, be more disciplined and/or hold shape could get something along these lines to work. The attacking mentality encouraged more artificially created transitional moments, whilst retain possession helped reduce the risk factor that comes with the higher mentality.
  19. All echoing my thoughts cheers guys. Maybe an AM-A would be better than the SS - I hadn't appreciated him taking more risks. It almost sounds as though my roles could have been the wrong way around if anything. Im tempted to try either one of the playmaker roles or an altered AM-A for my more creative AMC given whats been said. The sort of football we are looking to play is a fairly generic modern day style. Short passing, quick counters and relative amounts of pressing, as with most teams these days. Ideally, I think my striker should be a goal scoring number 9, maybe a poached or AF would be most effective.
  20. Looking to implement the AMC in my Derby County save. Its 2030 now, we overperformed last season finishing 4th. The xG table had us 7th, a fair assessment would be that we probably are in the top 7 best but not top 4 sides - think Leicester of recent years and West Ham. We've played a counter attacking 4-1-3-2 up until now but we're suffering an inability to control games as opponents adapt to our increased reputation. I'm looking to convert us back to the 5-2-2-1 ("3-4-3") that I actually started the save with in season one, albeit that quickly became a flat front three. I've tested it in recent games and have something along these lines: My two best players are both natural AMCs, one more creative (??) and one a more natural scorer (SS-A) although they both have elements of the other to their game. So far they have been inconsistent, which hasn't been helped by the uncertainty of my AMCRs role. I've ran AM on both duties and a trequartista to inconsistent effects. In spite of this the football has been promising for the stage of development the system is in. I was wondering how this looked to those who have used AMCs more in recent years? As I say signs have been promising for the system, but underwhelming for my AMCs - who ought to be the stars of the side.
  21. Good work! That doesn't look overly different to how my system looked. Its always one I intend to revisit in the future
  22. I've had good success in previous FMs by staggering my side through the use of roles and duties, particularly in defence and midfield. I can't recall exactly, but I'm fairly sure it involved an IWB on either support or defend behind a W-S, who a CM-A next to him. On the other side I had a more attacking full back (FB-A, WB-S, etc) to hold the width, with an IW-A ahead of him, beside a DLP-D. As one player advanced, another took his place.
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