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duesouth

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About duesouth

  • Rank
    Amateur

Biography

  • Biography
    Played CM a bunch in my younger years - currently playing FM for the first time with FM19.

Interests

  • Interests
    NFL, football, cricket

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Southampton

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    San Marino Calcio & San Marino National Team

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  1. San Marino Calcio 2026/27 Update There was no relegation hangover at the start of the year, as we were doing pretty well. At the mid-season break, we were 4th and although there was a gap, we had a shot at top spot. However, we fell away and March/April we were poor as I gave chances to young players. We finished 7th and in a playoff place. One good thing for playing the youngsters was the performances of Luca Di Matteo, who really stood out. Our young striker Andrea Bugli from the last youth intake was sold in January - the board annoyingly accepted a low offer (70k up front - could rise to 240k) from Parma in Serie A - and this only a couple of weeks he had scored his debut goal, a far post header in the last minute to rescue a point for us! We did replace him with the loan signing of Alex D'Inca - and he was actually better than young Bugli. The Serie C playoffs are a long and winding road - seeding matters early, but when it goes to two leg affairs, that goes out the window. The road was actually pretty easy - I think because I'm not great tactically in the game, but playing as the underdog is something I can do pretty well - but not when I'm the favourite and have to create space. We were the underdog in all games, so our counter attacking football worked a treat. The semi-final against Pisa was close, as they were a very good team - we were 2-1 up in the home leg, but conceded 10 minutes from time. I wasn't expecting much in the 2nd leg - particularly as they went 4-3-3. We conceded in the first 10 minutes, and I thought that was that - but we scored just before half time - and then won a penalty from a corner to take the lead. In injury time, they went for it and we hit them on the break to win 3-1 on the day. The final was pretty easy - until the end. We went 1-0 up and had good control of the game - and then our right back Giovanni Vincenti (a Calcio youth product) decided to score his first goal of the season - hey, if you're going to score once a season, might as well make it in a big game! We were in control until they scored with 10 minutes to go, but we managed to hold on and win promotion back to Serie B. I got through this season pretty quickly (for me anyway!), and it looks like FM20 is still a couple of weeks away, so I might keep going in Serie B until the beta is released. We have a large number of players out of contract and only 2 or 3 of them will be offered a new deal. There's going to be large turnover, as the team is full of Serie C or even D players - and they won't cope with the step up in talent anymore than they did last time. 2 of my loans - right winger Andrea Pepe and striker D'Inca are coming back next season - but right now my 2 other loanees clubs want them to play with better players - hopefully they'll change their minds once the league year ticks over and we are officially Serie B. Finances are still awful despite the board putting in money - we're miles below the wage budget, but still losing money - our attendances are awful… San Giovanni 2026/27 Update Well, the word is mixed. We won the first stage league group without losing - but then hit a wall and stopped scoring. Needing one win in the last two games, we didn't manage it - and finished 7th - missing out on the playoffs. Teams shut up shop against us, so it needs something different tactically - as mentioned above, this is for sure something I need to improve on moving forward. I did trial a 4-2-2-2 but we shipped far too many goals, which wasn't good for my health! On the plus side - finally - we won the Cup! We were made to work for it though - the final going to penalties! I convinced myself we were doomed (again), but we scored our first 4 and our keeper saved 2 of theirs, so thankfully for our new stadium due to be finished in late June, we qualified for Europe. I'm hoping to better the 3rd qualifying round we managed this season - going out to Aberdeen. I've made 2 new signings - a backup striker, but also a left sided inverted winger. We really missed Riccardo Dragoni's 10 or so goals - and threat - so I've signed someone who is actually (hopefully anyway) better than he was - his replacement Federico Bugli only scored twice on the year and was generally poor.
  2. I spent many happy hours playing Kevin Toms Football Manager as a kid - the old Spectrum 48k was probably less powerful than a modern toaster!! The players were little stacked pixel blocks - very little variety in the chances/goals you saw - but I loved it! Not sure what I'd make of it now! Seeing how far games have come in those years is amazing - just imagine what FM will look like in 35 years time! I suspect something like Stadia might be the way forward and that could mean processing power that will make the current top-end PC today look like a Spectrum does now to us. Something like shouts in the current game could become quite literally shouts in a VR style game!
  3. This. I mean at least give the demo a decent go...
  4. I would agree - pre-season can be rather tedious if you have an established team and tactic - even on fast commentary only, it takes too long. When winning/losing heavily, it would be good to go into super-fast speed to get through it - particularly for me as I don't have much free time to play (I suspect any request to my boss to have Steam installed on my work PC would not be approved, although perhaps "working" from home more might be the way forward ).
  5. As noted above, the lower defensive line and lower line of engagement means you are very passive with your defending. It will mean a congested final third - but if you're still shipping goals, then you aren't good enough and have to think about other ways of defending. Maybe try standard defensive line and lower line of engagement - and at least up the pressing via TI's of some of the midfield 4 and strikers. If you are shipping goals of the same type, then you need to think how to address this. You are narrow - so I would assume crosses to a winger/inverted winger at the far post are an issue? Perhaps normal might be better in that case. If long shots are an issue, you could try the CD-Stopper / CD-Cover combo option, as long as one of your CD's has enough pace. Again as noted above, attacking wise, I think as you're playing with a balanced mentality, you can be a little more aggressive with your duties. I tend to have one winger on attack and then on the other side an inverted winger on support - the full back on that side is set to attacking to overlap into the space created. The way you are set up, I would have the inverted winger/attacking full back combo on the right, so your BWM can provide some cover vs counter attacks. I would also look at your front pairing. Both are very high up the pitch. As you are going more direct, I would recommend a Target Man on Support with an AF or Poacher. I've been using a TM-Su recently and have been impressed with the movement, coming deep to receive, hold up play as well as being there for the more direct balls. I would have the TM as the right sided striker - he can hold up and then involve the full back, inverted winger, or inside to your CM-Su - or an out ball to your BWM. I've been in your situation in the lower leagues and getting promotion. It's easy to retreat into your shell too much - but the result will tend to be you are sitting deep and basically looking for a point or a 1-0 win with a long ball counter. The trouble is, you aren't as good as the oppo, so clean sheets aren't the norm - so you have to be brave and be a little less passive defensively and give yourself greater options as an attacking force. Good luck, and keep us updated!
  6. I pre-ordered last week, and pretty sure I saw 8 November on Steam, but not sure if that's subject to change...
  7. San Marino Calcio 2025/26 Update Unfortunately, our stay in Serie B was brief. I made a couple of loan signings in the summer, but struggled to attract better players to the club. That left us with a team of mostly Serie C players and we didn't deal with the standard of the division at all. Serie C has three divisions on the same level, so the divisions tend to be top heavy - therefore the jump to Serie B is large. Certainly, we were playing in some massive stadiums and were always going to be punching above our weight as we couldn't compete financially with these sides. We only had 8 points at the mid-point of the season. We didn't lose heavily (only 1 or 2 4+ goal losses) - but always 2 or 3 nil - and we couldn't score - even when we created easy chances, we didn't take them. I signed a few more loans in the transfer window, and we improved, but finished 2nd to bottom and 14 points from safety. I was able to manage the morale pretty well, but need to do better tactically. So, back to Serie C . The finances are in a complete mess - Serie B wasn't good for them - and as such, the in progress improvements to the youth facilities have been canned. The youth intake was awful for the 5th or 6th season in a row - however, there's one striker who does look really promising and I'll use him in rotation next season. On the plus side, our star central defender from the first youth intake, Riccardo Gatti, joined us on loan in the winter window - out of contract in the summer, he agreed to re-join us - and during his time bouncing around elsewhere, his determination has risen from 4 or 5 to 15! We've re-signed 2 of the loan players - a box to box midfielder who is the best player we've had in the save (and I'm shocked his club agreed to send him back to us because of the relegation - he's miles too good for Serie C) and a striker who didn't play huge minutes as we tended to be 4-1-4-1 - but 4-4-2 is the plan next season and his pace (15) should cause Serie C teams problems. San Giovanni 2025/26 Update We cruised through the two league stages - finishing top both times - and only losing 2 games all year. We also made it through to the Cup final very easily. The Champions Playoffs were easy in the Quarter Final - and we were cruising at 2-0 on aggregate in the second half of the second leg of the semi - but out of nowhere we had a man sent off (didn't look like a bad tackle) - and all of sudden we shipped 3 goals. So, it was all out attack and we managed to get a goal 2 minutes from time - which saw us progress as the higher seed. Unfortunately, injuries and suspensions meant a few changes for both finals - and we lost both 0-1 (both teams played 4-5-1 against us and we struggled to break them down). So, it's Europa League qualifying for us and only the San Marino Super Cup in the trophy cabinet. Our "star" left inverted winger, Riccardo Dragoni, has decided to retire. He's been a huge source of goals for us (9 last year, 10 this - and early in the save was always our leading scorer) - and although he's currently listed as a 0.5* CA and never been more than a 1* CA, he's been massive for us. I'll miss him! His backup, Federico Bugli, was complaining about lack of game time, so he'll finally get his chance to start, although he does have a 17 year-old youth product pushing him. The new stadium is going ahead, we've secured £900,000 in funds in the form of a grant and £190,000 in sponsorship, but it will still cost us around £1 million. I've cleared out a bunch of players in their early 20's to allow promising younger players to come through. Our youth intakes are consistently full of 4 or 5* potential players - they start out as 1 or 2* current ability - but the move to full time/professional status has seen them develop in the U19's and then I give them as much game time as I can. With not many fixtures, and very few midweek games, it's hard to give the young players massive minutes without upsetting the first team squad, so the development can then stall rather. I've had 6 players now wanting loan moves - no takers for any of them - and then they get unhappy (one called me a liar when I said there was no interest from other teams!!) - so that was another reason for the clear out of the squad. However, I would love to have an affiliate club (I was thinking San Marino Academy would be perfect), but no matter how hard I try, I can't get the board to agree (anyone who has any pointers on how to really force this, I'd love to get your input!). Tactically, we played a positive 4-4-2, but it looks like the AI is adjusting to it. So, I might experiment with a 4-2-2-2 in the first phase of the league - at least the structure of the league allows me to do that, knowing I should be able to qualify for the top group of the second stage pretty easily. In Europe, I'll play 4-4-2 if we get a nice draw - but revert to our old 4-1-4-1 against better teams. San Marino National Team Update We were awful in World Cup qualifying - not picking up a point. I'm hopeful for better in the Nations League. The plan is to go 4-4-2 in this and really attack it. We are better than we were, but progress has been slow. The poor Calcio youth intakes haven't helped... The Challenge I've already decided to buy FM20 - and with little time left before its release, it's safe to say I'm not going to complete this mammoth challenge. Although San Giovanni didn't finish with any silverware, I think we're one of the best clubs in the country, so job done on that front. The league stages the last 2 seasons have been easy. But, clearly 2025/26 wasn't kind to Calcio and there was no silverware for San Giovanni - and I don't want to bow out on a down note - so I'll play one more season. It would be amazing to crack the group stages of the Europa League - but we'll need a little luck with the draws!! With Calcio, it will be my last season with the club, as it won't exist in FM20. I'm not sure if the youth intake for Cattolica San Marino will be primarily Italian (although the club is called Cattolica San Marino, it plays its home games in Italy), thus making this challenge far more difficult - I'll have to ask the mighty @claassen if/when he produces his FM20 megapack (and thanks to him for his FM19 one - I had zero problems with his database - superb quality, and I appreciate his time in putting it together). So, it's dust myself off - and attack 2026/27!
  8. You are right, it would be hard work early in a save. Perhaps just tweak and talk to those you wanted to? It still might be quite a few players though depending on the squad and how you want to play.
  9. The way I read that feature was when you make the signing, included in contract discussions was the plan with playing time. So I guess something like U18 side for 1 year, U23 side the 2nd year, the odd cup game 3rd year, some league games 4th year. Perhaps that's not the best example, as I don't know I'd promise a 16 year old keeper from a lower division first team football in 3 years time. You wouldn't know how they would develop - but then would a Premier League club sign a 16 year old keeper and tell him he'd be in the first team in 2/3 years? So, in your example - sign him to a 2 year deal and tell him he'll be in the U18's and I wouldn't see there being a problem. Now, if you just have to sign him and promise him the world and don't deliver on those promises, I would expect a problem. I think you'll need a plan for your squad - and I would see the new features in FM20 giving you the tools to create and monitor that plan (including being able to see what players are coming into your U18's before you would in FM19). If you sign too many players at a certain position with conflicting promises, you'll have problems, but then you'd be expecting that. It would be the equivalent right now of signing 3 keepers and giving them all "Key Player" status. In theory I would see the new feature as being a more detailed way of managing players expectations as to playing time, which if managed correctly should mean less unhappy players.
  10. I went through the same kind of thing playing as San Giovanni in San Marino. It was an amateur club when I took over - and we went semi-pro after one season, but it wasn't a massive help. We turned fully pro after 3 seasons - the key was how much money we had in the bank, I recall it was around £2.5 million (which we got from qualifying for Europe). I decided this was key to my save, so elected not to go for any other upgrades (youth facilities, youth coaching etc.). So, yes, you can do something about it - but you need a good amount of money in the bank. Good luck!
  11. I seem to recall someone trying a career save in Turkey and mentioning many of their clubs are massively in debt - might be worth checking out.
  12. In real life, Calcio were in the relegation playoffs last year, but managed to win to stay up. However, it appears that San Marino Calcio as a club is no more. "In 2019 the sports title is transferred to Cattolica and the name is changed to Cattolica San Marino. The new association continues the sporting tradition of the Rimini team and therefore the old San Marino is dissolved." The new team, Cattolica, is registered in San Marino - but as Calcio had no stadium it appears, they are playing their home games in Cattolica, Italy - to the east of San Marino. The team has new colours, red and yellow, and are playing in Serie D Girone F... and they've lost their first two games!! It's quite hard to find a good English translation to find all the details - but it looks like this might impact future San Marino challenges. I'm thinking with the club playing in Italy, perhaps the game might give us heavier Italian youth intake players.
  13. I would say you could be a bit more attacking with your roles - and also a little less vanilla. I would try having one of your wingers as an inverted winger on support (your left sided guy) and then have your left back as attacking - your left winger cutting inside will leave space for your full back to run into and get crosses in. If you have your Advanced Forward on that left side - his forward runs will also leave space for the inverted winger to exploit. I'd also probably change your midfield pairing - perhaps change the BWM to a B2B midfielder, or if you are at home against a weaker team, maybe a MEZ or CM on Attack. If you are favourite in most games, especially at home, I take it the AI is parking the bus? You have to be a little more attacking with your roles to try and break that. I didn't play FM18, but logically I don't know a counter attacking system would work against a team coming for a point away from home.
  14. There's no question this is a complex issue for SI. There are different ways to play the game - you can download a tactic that wins - or you can battle away yourself trying to develop one, or anywhere in between - and however you play it, you can have a lot of fun. Now, if SI changed the match engine to adapt to these super tactics so they work for a short time and then you'll struggle, people will stop playing the game and won't buy the next installment. If profits go down, SI will have to cut costs, which would likely mean less people hours spent developing the game, so they are in a tough place having to appeal to a wide variety of ways to play the game. I was a big CM guy when I was younger and 2/3 years ago re-installed CM 03/04, and enjoyed many hours of playing. I decided this year to make the jump to FM - which has and hasn't been easy. As someone said above, the game is easy to play in that you can create a tactic, training schedule etc. and not feel like you don't know what to click - but, as I discovered, to develop a good tactic is not easy. Thinking about difficulty level, I'm not sure the game needs it. If I want hard, I'll take over at a cash strapped team with no experience/badges and perhaps even make it a youth only challenge. I would say as a new FM player, a little more help would have been welcome. So, perhaps an option for "I'm a new player" to have an Assistant Manager flag up conflicting options in your tactic - or perhaps some recommended clubs for new players - a decent squad and patient board (I went for amateur status Dalum in Denmark for my first save as that was my last save in CM03/04 - but I think a "warning, this is really difficult for beginners" message would have been helpful as I bit off far more than I could chew). There are the guides when you start, and the tactical templates, but I think they could have gone a little further. Certainly my Assistant Manager was leading me down the wrong path and my defending was too passive, which also meant I wasn't scoring much either on defensive and defending very deep. Ignoring my Assistant didn't cross my mind in my first season of this brand new game - now I do most of the time - so that element I think could serve as somewhat of a difficulty level, that the attributes of your Assistant would be ignored and you'd get detailed and helpful suggestions. The tactical templates are a start because they essentially ask you "what style of football do you want to play?", but I think that could be better and I would expect them to be in FM20 with another year of development time. I think also pointers of why you lose might help - have your Assistant show you the oppo's 4-2-3-1 beat you because you had a lower defensive line and a higher line of engagement, so there was too much space for them to play in - and then have the game point to where you can analyse that for yourself. There's so much to that side of FM, I still find it a bit overwhelming. There's no question this game has been brilliant value for money for me. I've not picked top clubs to manage and am currently doing the San Marino Challenge, so probably haven't helped myself (again, so many different ways to play the game - the community creating league/kit etc. packs adds to that even more). There have been frustrations - I got relegated with San Marino Calcio from Serie C to D which stung - but got promoted straight back up and have just got promoted to Serie B via the playoffs - and I doubt that feeling of achievement could be replicated by (m)any games out there. I'm also pretty sure you can play many games and still be learning after 500+ hours, which I very much am. So, hats off to SI, as given the complexity of the game and issues like this, I think they do a nice job, and that's reflected in the fact they are the market in football management sims, let alone the market leader.
  15. I was preparing for the new season with Calcio - and got this bonus - a solidarity contribution from Arsenal who signed former Calcio midfielder Amadou Diawara for £55 mil. We netted a cool £818,000!! Happy days! I took the chance to invest in youth recruitment, coaching and facilities - all of which were approved by the board.
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