I've just started my first ever FM19 game, and I'm trying to learn how this game works. My inspiration for my first game is the old Man United 442 wingplay, using their current day squad. I've tried to apply some logic, but I'm sure I've made a lot of mistakes, so it'd be great to get people's thoughts.
My overall aims are:
Start as simple as possible. There's a few roles I don't understand, so I'll avoid them.
Try and replicate the types of players Ferguson had in '99.
I'm not as knowledgeable of football as a lot of people, so I'll instinctively pick what sounds right.
In goal, my Schmeichel is De Gea, which is a pretty good modern day replacement. Not much to say here - one of the world's best goalkeepers, obvious first choice, and I've kept it simple with a normal GK on Defend.
My two central defenders are simple, normal, CD-Def. I personally actually quite like Jones and Smalling as a partnership in real life, and both seem to have good positioning, tackling and heading abilities. Nice and simple.
On the right-side, I've gone for a FB-Support and W-Support. My logic is that Beckham wasn't particularly fast, but he stayed wide and delivered great crosses, so a Winger on Support seems right. Supporting him, in the Gary Neville role, is a full-back. I don't really want him bombing forward like Cafu, I want a mix of attack and defence, so a fullback seems right.
On the left-side, I was confused by the Giggs role. I read the description for an attacking winger, and it didn't sound right. I want that role to be a dribbler, cutting inside, beating people, and crossing sometimes but not every time. The description for Inverted Winger on Attack sounded right. In my current team, Martial or Rashford seem perfect for that too. When he cuts inside, it will likely create space on the left wing, so I've put my left back as an attacking left wing-back to run into that space, and provide the overlap.
My midfield duo was really tough. I'm trying to find the Scholes/Keane combination. In my simple head, I saw Keane as a destroyer, someone to tackle and lay it off simply. The best descriptive match I could find for that was a Central Midfield-Defend. As far as Scholes goes, I saw him as someone who passed from a central area and also arrived late in the box. The Box to Box Midfielder seemed to fit, and Pogba seems to have the right athleticism, pace, finishing and movement to fulfill this role.
I've put the defensive central midfielder on the same side as the attacking left-winger to plug the gaps he, and the left-back, might leave.
Up front, I've got a more creative striker dropping a bit deeper, and then a powerful target-man type up front, to get on the end of the crosses from the right. The DLF is on the opposite side to the BBM so they've not filling the same space. In real life, Sheringham/Yorke was the guy that seemed to drop deeper, and Solskjaer/Cole were the out and out striker. I think Sanchez and Lukaku are a decent fit together, and Lukaku should enjoy the crosses from the RW, and the LW/LB.
My immediate thoughts are that we can score through a variety of ways:
Crosses from the right.
Incisive runs from the left, ending with either a cross or through ball if he cuts inside.
Cross from the overlapping left back.
Centrally - through the BBM and DLF linking up, and potentially feeding balls through to the striker, or maybe even the LW cutting in.
Knock-downs from the striker to the DLF.
Defensively, we seem OK as a result of:
If the LW/LB are forward, we should still have 3 defenders back, and the CM-D back as well.
If the two full-backs go forward together, and the BBM has gone forward, we should still have 2 CB's and the CM-D holding their position back.
The two CB's are strong in the air, and good positionally and tough in the tackle, so should be OK at 1v1's if we are left short.
My concerns are:
If the BBM goes forward, and the CM-D holds back, near the CB's, that might empty the midfield.
We might easily get overrun by 3-man midfields. I've tried to counteract that slightly that keeping the RW on Support so he stays in the midfield strata, and the LW will hopefully cut in naturally and might be able to help us out centrally.
If the RW/LW get the ball in the midfield strata, and the DLF has dropped deep, maybe the striker will be isolated?
So far, I've played 2 friendlies, with less than ideal players, and won both, but had about 15 shots with only 2 or 3 on target. My opposition, who were fairly poor, had 4 or 5 shots but 3 on target, indicating that we gave them pretty good chances.
The problems I found was:
The DLF dropped incredibly deep, all the way back to central midfield for some reason. This left the striker isolated, and the wingers were crossing from deep but it was easily being cleared.
Our midfield was definitely being overrun, and I think it was only due to my higher quality of player that I managed to get out of trouble.
I'm going to play a few league games and see what happens, but does anyone have any immediate thoughts. I'd definitely appreciate any advice.