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  1. I screamed into my pillow just now. This is way, way to common for me. Granted, one of the games was Stuttgart with Baumgartl and Badstuber in defense but even without that I had plenty of seasons with filler youths to greyed out players in my squad due to heavy injury bugs.
  2. — runs into offside (Diamantakos) — Shoots at keeper (counter strikers) — Easily confused (Baumann) — Does not know the term 'shorter passes' — Outplays his stats (Gogia, Ziereis, Knoll) — Moans a lot (Bellarabi) — Plays well when unhappy (Dimata)
  3. I only had one: A generated big man from the German fifth league. Essentially he was nothing. But he was tall. And strong. And really determined. Stood at one place and headed the ball in or geld his strong right in. He didn't even get that much better but with age came some mental bonuses and with some PPM training he eventually (i.e. 11 years) was MotM in a Champion's League finale because he just did his job! Won high balls and distributed them to my star inside forwards. Scored a header. Generally secured most hoofballs from either side. Sadly that was his by far biggest highlight. He was still surprisingly okay in higher leagues but nothing special. I had a main man and kept this man around for sympathy. Thankfully he was happy with a backup contract and came in when needed. Could I have replaced this man? Sure. Did I want to? No! When he eventually ended his career I immediately had a new AssMan, despite his subpar skills in it. It didn't stop him the first time, so why not give it a try?
  4. Generally: —Big strikers with decent pace into Inside Forwards. Their bulk and aerial abilities give them the certain extra. Works particularly well for set pieces and with an opposite winger. Or on high press/hard tackles. —Inside Forwards as Inverted Wingbacks. They are usually fast and technically gifted, perfect for an IWBa that has a defensively minded midfielder on his side. Bulk them up a bit and the end result are nice hybrids! —Short and aggressive midfielders to wide positions. I like to play aggressively but demand aerial wins in the centre. So the shorter members that are willing to fight get wider positions to win back balls and initiate counters. —Older wingers as wingbacks. High mentals, decent remaining speed, less basic intensity. Perfect to keep great careers running for two or three additional seasons. Specifically: —Marcel Tisserand as a wingback on both sides. Sadly it eats almost all his remaining CA and normally he needs those for some mental stats but fully fleshed out he is a really good allrounder for the entire backline who does can stay a backup for most clubs beneath the very best. —Renato Steffen. As is, he already can be a good to decent PFa and, with right team mates, really good IWBa. Sadly his criminally underrated PA hibders him on really mastering either role but early on he is a nice option to have for very narrow systems or when Ginczek pulls a Ginczek. [Although, for my longterm save I modded him a lot because some stats didn't fit real life in my opinion. Sasly thi meant, while he now plays as he should on normal positions, he is *too* overpowered on others.] —Zulj (the DM one). Right sided IWBa on the wingback slot. Bought him because I wanted to try something and his skillset looked decent. Thought in two or three years I'd get a real player for CL sides. I even got myself one but Zulj outplayed him. Again and again. —Akaki Gogia. Still probably my favourite player this edition. Cheap, nominally weak but just so, so well rounded for his duties! CA and PA make him a good second league player but usually he plays Champions League for me and rocks it! After lots and lots of fun with him on the flanks, I was forced to test him as a supportive striker after the injury bug hit. He might be even better there! He causes plenty of chaos, creates rooms, and his assists are superb. —In 17 I also had Malli and Didavi as Inside Forwards. Didavi was okay but for a while the only capable player so set by default. Malli was a hit due to his One-Two PPM and good movement. In general Malli plays quite good and only ever lands on my sell list due to his horrible Determination. But until then he is a superb F9, perfect AP in all four possible positions, really good Trequartista, likewise in all four, and, this surprised me the most, with some PPM changes a really good offensive DM, particularly as RPM or, with some madness, RGA. Sure, he can't tackle. But he runs and directs the game. —Vicenco Grifo. Had him as a good RPM and decent Shadow Striker in the past, particularly 17. Only wanted him for set pieces but he overdelivered. Sadly my current save his still a beta remnant and for some reason players refuse to be retrained in it. Even 21 year olds with 18 versatility and already decent amounts of familiarity won't get the final bit. Time to get my modding done so I can start anew!
  5. I played almost the same base formations in the beta with Pauli. Just had the DM position always on support and the left Wingback on attack. Due to personal fetishes I also forced the CBs to be BPDs later on after beginning with one NCB. My two *big* differences: 1) I began in a counter-based tactical preset. Pauli has good speed so I began deep and then had my offensive players run forwards. 2) Depending on my opponent I switched the striker between Targetman (Veerman) and Poacher (Allagui) with Diamantakos being backup for both. Veerman is big and bulky. He can hold the ball while Mezzala and IWa rush to the box and the wingback looks for crosses. With him I had a lot of options. Staying in the box and making room for shots from distance while being a ridiculously dangerous* man in the air? Or a deeper holding player in almost the entire opposition's half who helps direct the game and helps Buchtmann and Sahin to run into empty spaces? Just don't play the ball low with him, he is a tower! Meanwhile Allagui had the right mentals to be a precise hitman who excelled in quick counters. For me he scored six goals where he ran absolutely alone and unbothered at the goalkeeper becauae he started just behind the line while the opposition was attacking. His 17 composure are gold! With him I often take one NCB and maybe instruct the DLP to take more risks. With Diamantakos you have somewhat of both. Sadly I killed mine by teaching him to beat offside traps. Since then he scores maybe one or two goals more a season but gets caught at least four times per game with the ocassional nine or so sprinkled in which really, really hurts his ratings. However, in this formation he (or my replacement for him, Hrgota, really shine against some opponents as AFa. If they get going, they score three to five times against similar to slightly better opponents but sadly on off days they are prime candidates to go at the half time. One thing I'd keep in mind: This formation needs alternatives! Due to similarities and available players (and Moeller-Daehli's fitness issues) I practiced a 442 wing play and 4411 fluid counter during my later Second League season and early Bundesliga before slowly phasing out the 4411 (only cup against top teams now) for a 352. *Sure, he has just nine or so in heading but as a giant tower he reaches so many improbable balls that that barely matters.
  6. In 17 it was easy with the gamebreaker tactics. I holidayed myself to an unbeaten sextuple (that one draw though...) while trying to see what my new big sponsor would give me in the ninth season. I also managed it in my beta save, more or less accidentally. Lucked out in the cup, had some luck against the big dogs and sudden tactical changes pre-match in a well-oiled team were pretty strong when appropriate. I just wanted some defensive trophies and got more than I asked for Since then only some heavy editing got me close to these highs. Well, this and save-scumming. Normally playing, I might only concede 9 or 10 in some seasons and situations but those can fall brutally in terms of statistics and results.
  7. For those that have played through the Winter: Are players and board still throwing a fit about pre-arranged transfers? I had a near revolt upon me and had to declare the reasons for something I had no hand in and don't want it manyfolds now with all the new movements. Besides this issue, which will decide when or with whom I start my new save, I am looking forwards to some changes, particularly about Strikers. I've had my fun with what worked and the teams I managed but now it is time to start other teams and tactics. (please tell me F9 drop properly back now!) Also, hopefully some fixes to Throw-ins and corners. I love them short and secure and so far this was not even funny how much it borked the engine. Sure, nice for a fun game of exciting, high scoring lower league develeopment but once it gets serious it was either abuse or one legitimate tactic out of the question.
  8. I think the key is the change in Tempo created by the switch in mentality. The spurs are a good team with a defense with pretty good positioning and mental stats. If you play an aggressive mentality, your players are instructed to play faster and more direct which the Spurs could easier deflect or block. When you played more defensively, your players took more time in attack and tried a more patient approach. Roles and duties and TIs still told them where to run and what the general idea was. But with more patience and the Spurs lured forwards, your higher quality shined through and you had a bit more space to use.
  9. To the two things mentioned above I also have something to say. Width and passing length: In my experience a narrow to very narrow formation and a short passing range are really good at breaking down walls under the right circumstances. Personally I play it slow to keep the ball and play the defense but fast really suits Dortmund and is pretty pretty. But in your formation there are few passing recipients in the final third. Your MCs are relatively stationary and your left back is not too active, either. This leaves the top three up front. IF and AF attacking the box with the Winger and Wingback staying a bit wider and AP distributing the ball. Thus the defense can stay solid and mark both men and zones while you have a hard time breaking it down, resulting in longer passes or long shots. Taking a guess, a lot of your goals are passes to the right flank and then crosses to the two (A)-players? In such a case the AMC is important to play the right pre-assists and hold the ball in the midfield triangle but it is a job with little reward in ratings. Train Götze in reading the game and doing the unexpected. It will result in easier games despite the rating sayong he is constantly average. Pass into space It *can* work with your team. Dortmund is an intelligent team and while it is build for high presses which usually go against this instruction, it can also has a lot of pace and good wide players. With wider width or an hyperaggressive wingback on the left, your 'run wide with ball'/'stay wider' players can profit from this by outrunning the defenders while the central players continue to pass short passes to the foot. But unless your winger has 'hugs line' or your (A) players have anticipation and off the ball 20 or your fullback is PPM'd to run long, there is very little room to run into. The team stays narrow which is a classic one-touch or dribbling scenario. There are few players running into/around the box, making marking easier. AMC in general In my opinion AMCs really depend on PPMs to bring their very best unless they are very carefully managed. A few combinations I particularly fell on love with: Comes Deep, Killer Balls, [Dictates Tempo|Stops Play]---->Classical playmaker who directs the game and sprays ball to more advanced players. Depending on skillset tackling or dribbling can be a nice bonus. Arrives Late, Forwards Whenever Possible---->More offensive players with good movement. Will remain deep a bit longer to receive balls but then sprints into the box for some added chaos unless a mate is free in which case there are quick passes. Together with One-Two and Killer passes they often play through balls from deep before running into the box as target; with First Time Shots they can be absolutely deadly running into the target area. Dribbling is another option, then they get the ball deep and then try to run into the area with the ball. Back to goal, Stops play, Dictates Tempo, Killer Ball---->Strong or technical Playmaker with either a very mobile or very static but creative backline in a central buildup. The player holds the ball and has full liberty to process it. Back to roaming fullbacks for wide runs; back to the midfield for runs or new recycling; Holding until marauding players down the line are ready; soaking up pressure and passing through balls to the front line... For your formation Look at the game and your goals how well Götze harmonises with the wide players. Sadly pre-assists count very little but players that deliver them can make or break any formation. If he does the right passes ignore average ratings and continue. If Götze seems uninvolved in your game, look in which direction he is ignored. If the AMs play only wide or long, let Götze come from deeper positions. If he only plays long balls up front, let him run more or get further forwards. Unless every individual players is a perfect fit, either get more players (eg. MCR, DL, potentially AMR) forwards/inwards without passes into space OR play somewhat wider.
  10. Highest I had was Predrag Rajkovic in my Pauli file. He was already a decent Bundesliga keeper with a laughable release clause of 4m Euros whereas my team was mostly lower tier Bundesliga if not even second league material. Yet he still wanted on; somehow I won the league cup and played Europe and in a top league whereas he played somewhere in Israel in a club that had had a really bad season. Additionally, the only keepers under contract were a solid second leaguer in his mid-thirties and a third league talent. Still only landed a 98. I guess because his agent was an idiot. Always started negotiations with a fixed 8m release clause and an absurd number for himself which I absolutely refused; he'd be over that value a week after I signed him and gone in the winter! In the end I payed double wages once he played in the World Cup (and completely failed to attract other clubs through it) but at least he stopped making these unacceptable demands.
  11. No confirmation but some anecdotes: It appears to play somewhat of a role in player body language and expectations. After my initial failure I deliberately botched a few briefings and it almost always resulted in an awkward mood in the dressing room with the players being harder to impress and motivate. At least the UI also says it can improve or decrease morale when something goes particularly well or bad.
  12. As a Bundesligaplayer who does not pick Bayern or Dortmund I have two so far: Assane Gnoukouri (out of contract, MC). A well-rounded rotation player who can grow into a good starter or be sold for plenty of money in two or three seasons. For lower teams also a good starter from the first day. Akaki Gogia (Union Berlin, AMC, MR, AMR). Very cheap and nominally weak, so he is content with ****** contracts. Almost always plays well over his stats and can turn into an important squad member. Great stat spread and PPM for supportive playmakers Right now I'm also pretty interested in Peter Zulj (25, DM). Is available for just 5m€ and starts as an SV in either duty. But I usually buy him to retrain him into an IWBa which he absolutely rocks!
  13. I had a similar idea once but scrapped it due to a missing key player. Two IWBa, two MEZa, two Wa and one striker. My idea was not to exploit potential weak spots but to create a rather defensive formation from which the players bomb forwards after winning the ball. But even before I scrapped it, I created a few alternatives: One with the IWB on support and underlap, one with the IWB and W having mixed duties, one with DWs on the flanks to better reclaim balls, and finally one with SASA duties that on a second tactical slot was a ASAS that I switched between every ten to fifteen minutes. Sometimes legitimate tactical ideas and formations look weird on the screen because FM can't simulate every thing or weird idea and close-enough alternatives nominally have different roles or duties. Right now I am experimenting with heavy movement between the line after a joke experiment (two CD, 8 players on the wings) worked surprisingly well in tests as all the roles cutting inside had a lot of space to get into and used these holes pretty well. While this particular approach was a joke and borderline exploit (only borderline because it was better than expected, not better than all), I am now trying out IWBd in the wingback slots as pseudo DMs that protect hyper-aggressive wingbacks defensively but offensively link defense and midfield centrally and recycle between the lines. Otherwise this behaviour of DMs defending wide is hard to replicate but an IWBd comes close. Looks absolutely derpy on screen but - at least in my opinion - is the closest the ME comes to replicating legitimate ideas for movement.
  14. First of all, standard disclaimer: I am by no means a tactic guru. I have a few that work, I have a few that look nice but little that is ready for publishing or is 'special'. The way I play, different bases just happen naturally. Lots of different teams with different given key players and stars. Surprisingly good youth intakes or cheap deals. Offers I can't refuse. All these situations give me a different starting point for how I start the season. Unless I decide to cheese it or see obvious weak points, my first approach is: Take the squad and look at team status, hierarchy and star rating (okay, attributes but this could go too deep for first steps). Make a formation out of the top players and set them to their best position and roles. Add a few(!) team instructions and play friendlies. Adapt and continue. Some roles won't fit and have to be changed. Some stat spreads lead to players not playing well with the idea or their team mates. Some mixes create effective holes on the pitch. Usually I decide to take one or two harsh decisions after the roughly two weeks until the window opens: Trust a youth player over a veteran I'm cutting off. Bench a star player who is not a good fit or underperformed. Buy replacements. This is where heavy scouting begins and I get to finer details. Once the season starts I have one to two new formations that might be similar to what I have but have the team-specific quirks. Throughout the season the base stands but I continue to adapt until I have something that works as a baseline. The more I play or the more I reload the preseason, the more baselines I have that can be worked with. Sure, it might not be the most effective method but it won't completely me-ify a team immediately and keeps some character while expanding my view. After a few starts I now know enough to make quicker first decisions about similar players and some attributes I *really* need or that *really* play together. ------------- Another method, one I particularly use for midseason-files: Similarly, I start with a quick overview but also take into consideration unhappy players. For them it is a quick decisions whether to cut them off or get them what they want. Sometimes an idea has to suffer to get morale up and th team to get together. Sometimes a player has to be punished to get something new going. Otherwise, with less time to experiment, I start with a similar formation OR starting squad and adapt in the direction the team failed before me. I can change instructions, players, or formation but, unless one really underperformed or turned pissy, I start with the tactical approach. Once the tweaks are made, I check what the starting squad can do with it and do a few changes in players as well. [personally, I also always bench a starter for a young player but that is just preference]. This roleplaying approach always gets new things started that evolve. Add a few tweaks for big matches and sometimes stuff just works so well it gets tested more and more. Take my Pauli beta save: It started with a direct 4141 flat. Throughout the season I tweaked it into a 442 wingplay and 4411 fluid counter. The 442 slowly turned into my new standard with the 4141 (played slower) as a big game formation. When I needed a goal it got adapted into a 343 which became another mainstay. And in turn that 343 morphed into a 352 when one winger got injured midgame and right now that is what I am working with and morphing more and more. In two seasons I had five different formations, each with different states and instructions over time. Arguably I had eight different, distinct tactics with them that, with extra testing or more universal tweaks, could be used for short videos or write-ups. Better players than me can skip a few steps. They see quicker which players fit which and what instructions work with them or generally fit together. Meaning they quicker can make adaptions and thus either make more experiments or get their ideas to work better, quicker.
  15. Like said above, one problem is the combination of the lines with the rest of the preset and formation: You play high up with good pressing, forcing the ball up the opponent's half. Then you want it to go fast to the flanks who in turn make quick, low crosses to your forward who just has to hold in his foot to score. Problem 1: There is not much more to your game. If the opponent plays direct with a solid, static defense (which, going by your chances of gaining promotion is somewhat realistic) you have nothing to break it down except the hope for set pieces/big wins from your Wa. One possible solution: Swap your MCs and turn the Mezzala into an attack duty. This way you'll have another player lurking at the box which gives your wingers one more option and makes it harder to neutralise your box play. Personally I'd also make the right fullback more attacking but in that case I'm prejudiced; I can't stand wing pairs with the same duty (unless it is a tightly compact highly fluid passing orgy). Problem 2: As others said, there is little space to exploit as the opponent usually is still in his side when you win the ball. Thus your wingers have to dribble and your striker can not run into the ball but has to stop, increasing the possibility his shots are blocked or he is dispossessed beforehand. Alternatively, he just shoots from the backfield as his path is blocked and there are few teammates close by. One possible solution: Reduce your Defensive line and LoE. You are defensively solid and have the pace, so use it! If your wingers are not that fast, you might want to turn your DLP into a Support Duty and allow him more freedom. He'll hold the ball and spray it wide or will dare long balls to your striker. Alternatively, use a BPD (for controlled long, if sometimes risky passes) and/or an NNC (for long shots forwards your wingers/Forward might get to) for more diverse options as counter-starter. Generally, I'd start working towards one of two endgames: 1) You focus on the idea of quick counters and quick plays up front. Try the preset 'Wingplay' instructions and see how it works and slowly adapt out/in new instructions. I played a similar system (with a flat four and the DLP/BWM swapped) and the instructions handily beat my original plan and secured me first promotion and then a good midtable finish. For relatively normal systems the presets are pretty good, actually! 2) Keep the high line and press. FInd more ways to score goals. Attack duty MC/Wingback. One winger more narrow and roaming. More general compactness while at least one winger (and the opposite wingback) is made wider through PI. Try to perfect one of them and then work on implementing elements of the other approach. Sure, you have to make a choice on the lines eventually but a slower alternative or a quick option can liven up the offense *a lot*! The AssMan might say it is a negative if a fair amount of goals is scored slowly while you usually play quick but in my book options are always good!
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