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noikeee

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    Madeira Island, Portugal

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    FC Porto

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    Hradec Kralove

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  1. 2018/2019 - Pescara - Italy - Serie B Transfers and finances Not much going on here as we just snapped 3 players, namely creative midfielders Lee Seung-Woo and Bernardo Martins on loan, and experienced striker Andrea Cocco on a free. A poor financial situation meant there wasn't much we could do - currently we have a dismal bank balance of -6.5M€. Competitions and results Tasked by the board to finish in the top half and with a pre-season media prediction of 7th, we started reasonably okay wandering around the predicted position. Bad form installed around October/November though and we tanked as low as 12th. A turnaround later came, largely built around a switch of Leonardo Mancuso from winger to 2nd striker. The talented forward proved a huge driving force in getting us much better results, and we found ourselves comfortably in the playoff positions by the end of the season, as we also got some pretty spectacular away wins with a 4-0 in Verona and a crazy 7-0 in Brescia in the final day. Come the playoffs, Padova were fairly easy to beat, but in the semi-finals we got beat 2-1 at home by Perugia in a very unfair match we had dominated. It got worse as Perugia scored immediately at home going 1-0 up, but insanely, we then scored 4 in a row to completely turn the tie around and book a place in the final - Mancuso excelling with a hat-trick. In the final against Crotone we did the job with two narrow 1-0 wins, clinching a scrappy Serie A promotion as the weakest of the 3 Serie B sides to go up after finishing 5th in the league, the most Pescara thing ever, setting ourselves for likely yo-yo rebound next year. Squad, statistics and best 11 I nicked a tactic which is built around a wide playmaker, and although the WP wouldn't particularly shine for me this season, it was nevertheless fairly interesting within the deeply frustrating limitations of the FM19 engine that makes it nearly impossible to play as I'd ideally like. Goalkeepers I don't think Fiorillo is particularly amazing and might get exposed at Serie A level, but he did okay here this year. Defenders The strongest area in the side, Gravillon-Perrota proved a brilliant CB pairing, Pinto wildly overperformed at LB, and later in the season I introduced teenager Elizalde into the side, adapting him to RB with surprising success. Midfielders and wingers I was expecting more out of these 4 guys. WP Lee Seung-Woo was good but did not achieve the heights I expected of him, winger Antonucci was mediocre quite frankly, and I didn't think much of CM Memushaj neither. However the other CM, prospect Filippo Melegoni, was a revelation with 8 assists. Strikers Main striker Gaetano Monachello was a bit of a letdown, 12 goals is okay but not outstanding, however next to him Leonardo Mancuso truly excelled once he was converted upfront from being a winger, with a superb return of 22 goals - player of the year for me. Prospects Apart from defender Edgar Elizalde shown above, the guy I'm most excited about is CB Davide Bettella who will soon start matches - however he is not ours, he's contracted to Atalanta. On our reserves 17yo striker Rodrigo Muniz is the biggest prospect at the moment.
  2. So I've been struggling with motivation to play much FM this year, but let's try this once again. My latest project is to take over the light-blue-and-white vertical stripes of Pescara, in Italy's Serie B, in FM Touch. Known as "the dolphins", this somewhat docile animal is planned to show its teeth and morph into something more akin to sharks in the coming years! The club has not much history beyond a few fleeting Serie A appearances over the years, usually followed by a quick relegation back to Serie B - latest happening in 2012 when manic man Zdenek Zeman took them to Serie A playing crazy attacking football, and they took to Serie A as well as you'd expect with just 6 wins through the whole season and back to Serie B we go. I'm planning to do a very minimalist thread with only 1 post per each season, basically to document my progress, but we'll see how things go, it's a fluid situation.
  3. This is yet another of the counter-intuitive problems, this has been on the game for lots of years now, and it still comes from the "tactics & frameworks" thing or whatever that was called, that helped them create the TC. Back then the theory was that on attacking mentalities defensive players would pass longer and offensive players shorter; and on defensive mentalities the defensive players would pass shorter and offensive players longer. This never made much sense to me, and the result is that in the game the teams that play "defensive" are more willing to calmly and patiently ping the ball around in defence, often even whilst under pressure(!) - completely at odds with what people perceive as "defensive" football in real life. There's now all sorts of other modifiers that affect this such as "play out of defence", keeper distribution etc that stack an extra level of complexity on top and make this thing less noticeable, but it's still there below and still doesn't make sense.
  4. I can do a mildly workable system, just not the way I wanted it to play out, or in a realistic time frame for a long term career without having to get into lots of very in-depth match-by-match things, or with satisfactory football, or without having to just poach things from other's tactics. Struggled badly to get a decent possession-ish system working in FM19 that scores lots of varied goals from open play. That's what I set out to do in every version of FM and gave up as an unachievable goal this time. Admitedly this is a bit like searching for a unicorn and not something I can really blame SI for, as this is such an incredibly complex game that to please everyone nevermind in such specific ways is impossible, but yeah just completely lost the fun of playing on this version. Sorry for sort-of hijacking this thread but seemed relevant/similar to my experience in some things.
  5. Well I agree! It's fun to imagine how tactics would play out in real life and test it in game, learning about football in the process. The simulation aspect is a huge part of the appeal of FM. I think in recent FMs something got lost somehow in the constant chase to make it more and more realistic, that makes it less fun though. I think it's not even the sheer huge amount of options we have (some of which are confusing), it's mostly how the options we choose play out in game. The tactical part of the game seems a) extremely sensitive, 1 bad choice of 1 role which might look sensible on paper will make your system crumble, b) it's very hard to tell if your system is working or not, the statistics/analysis tab has tons of info but is essentially unreadable mumbojumbo, c) the game can be very rock-paper-scissory and your tactic might be great in some circumstances and not in others. This can be a good thing, however it's extremely tricky to tell when is your tactic suitable and when it isn't, given how difficult it is to read the statistics analysis; d) this leads to a tactical game where to be truly successful above average you need to do in depth game-by-game analysis and subtle changes, but this runs at odds with the enjoyable fun of having the seasons breeze through and building a long-term career. Unless your full-time job is to play FM there's not enough real life time to do both. Switching to FM Touch doesn't help, it's the same tactical engine. Using plug-and-play tactics kinda helps but even them seem low scoring on FM19, and they kill the mini-game fun of doing at least some basical match-by-match tactical adaptations on your own. e) the AI reverts far too easily to an extremely defensive form in this version of the game. This leads to certain real-life concepts not working in game, because in so many matches there's less space on the pitch than there would be in real life. In theory what the FM human player should do in these circumstances, is to use more cautious mentalities to draw them away etc, but this seems to have stopped working all that effectively in FM19, plus this isn't even all that common a tactic in real life anyway. When's the last time you heard from real life pundits, that to beat a parked bus, you should stay back too and give them time on the ball? f) I actually think we have too FEW options. Roles are so restrictive and lock-in so much stuff that the end result is all of this is so super convoluted. I've lost count of the amount of times I had a situation in which for what I wanted, I either had to use role A with a certain TI; or role B with another TI; and neither played out like I wanted. There's certain basic things you still can't do in FM, like keeping a winger very out wide but NOT behave like a classic winger that runs and crosses, just keep him there as a passing option to give your team width; or telling a winger to NOT track back on the defensive phase, gambling through having less defensive cover to then keep him as an easy out ball for a counter through the wings. Or have a striker/winger hybrid, keep him constantly roaming wide from the ST position trying to occupy both CB and FB. I've tried all of this and failed to simulate it all in FM. g) buggy/badly simulated things like so many easy side passes to the wing being constantly missed by world class passers. Fast mid-height crosses being apparently easier to finish acrobatically with your feet, than well controlled one-on-one situations (?!). I could go on and on, but clearly am just disillusioned and burnt out with the game right now.
  6. There's still plug-and-play tactics but those seem to rely on heaps of tiny little advantages one on top of another rather than clear exploits, and only the very best plug-and-play tactics will give you undefeated seasons with a bit of luck. Wasn't quite this way in past FMs, when sometimes you just needed some pretty simple strategies to start performing above average. In a way this is good, obviously SI wants a balanced game, not exploits all over - specially because when a huge exploit is on, it ruins the games of the people who want to play with the opposite strategy to the exploit. However keep in mind this is a game and games are meant to be fun. The problem here is not only the game is hard (which for most people isn't fun - winning generally feels more fun than losing, and the huge appeal of FM is to take little teams to do the impossible), the game also sucks at telling you why are you losing, it's so counter-intuitive in so many different things. If you go really really really in depth and read these forums everyday you can figure out why you're losing, but that's approaching a full-time work level of effort.
  7. FM19 is not really very fun at all, and I stopped playing FM altogether a while ago. It's a strange mix of a) there's no "easy" clear way out to win as in previous games, ie no major exploits. Whilst this is realistic, it makes it very hard for the human player to know whether you're overachieving or not, as you need to play over a long term run of games to realize whether you're winning slightly more than average or not. In past match engines you could just play 4 or 5 games and notice it clearly when it was good. Now even the "good" systems are just a slight subtle advantage. So for the inexperienced player it's really hard to gauge when have you hit the sweet spot or not. Imagine you've got a good system but you don't realize it and just had 1 bad match, it's pretty easy to overthink it and change it into a worse tactic. b) related to this, generally FM19 is a low scoring game. So if in past FMs a good tactic would get you consistent 3-0 4-0 wins over slightly weaker sides, now you're gonna get 1-0s 2-0s 2-1s. It feels worse. Also it seems harder to score from open play and not so much from set pieces, so it's often death by a thousand paper cuts in generating more attacking corners and freekicks until you eventually score one. This also means if you don't touch the default set piece schemes, you're gonna get considerably worse results as those schemes are ****. c) plus, counter-intuitively, despite being a low scoring game, it seems to reward slightly more to be attacking and pressing hard. So you might feel, well this is so hard to score in here, and my team's a bit in a bad morale run, it's probably better to sit back, soak up pressure, hit them on the break. Then the AI camps in your area, you think well this is good they're not playing through my defence, but then they get 10 corners and score one, then score a screamer from 20 yards out, 2-0 defeat. What happened? Well, you're playing a suboptimal tactic, a defensive soaking tactic can work if it's really really well balanced, but generally the team that camps up front wins more in FM19. d) though this doesn't apply to the OP, the really frustrating thing about FM19, and this already comes from at least 2 FMs back (but it wasn't such a problem before the game became this low scoring) is that it's WAY harder to score once your team becomes favourites, because the AI starts playing deeper and deeper and deeper and more and more defensive, up to a slightly ridiculous point. So you'd start your career as a underdog and figured out if you actually play attacking, you win games. It's a blast at the very beginning as your team plays exhilarating, fun, quick counter-attacking passing football as the AI leaves you gaps to exploit, but you very quickly become a victim of your own success as the AI quickly realises you're good and parks a giant double-decker bus at you. So you stop playing good football, and either you adapt to win through the death-by-a-million-papercuts game of camping in the opposition area and winning through a set piece and a long shot, or your tactic will fail. Now the OP is adding an even less fun element of e) playing as a low rep manager in a high rep team. This means players will basically play almost like they want to backstab their own manager. Manager reputation is kinda ****ed in FM, you win way too much of it way too quickly, as proven by the OP getting the Brazil job (???!!!) despite having no real success beforehand; but starting as Valencia manager with Sunday League reputation is asking for trouble. Players will play almost like a caricature of what Graeme Souness says about Paul Pogba - they won't give a **** about absolutely anything and get dismayed at the slightest hint of trouble. That's a recipe for a very very not fun game.
  8. Hradec Kralove - November 2018 This on paper looked like as difficult a month as it gets, away to 3 teams fighting at the top end of the table. Instead we repeated our favourite result 3-1 twice yet again, then picked up one of the biggest wins of the season with a 4-0 over Sokolov. Inside forward Gjurgjevic and attacking midfielder Bazal have been immense in particular. With all of this we've opened up a really nice gap at the top, as we start to aim for 1st place and automatic promotion. The bad news? A 3 months winter break starts now. Ugh.
  9. Hradec Kralove - October 2018 Two wins by 3-1 and in-between, a less impressive home 0-0 draw as we failed to break down Taborsko. We're perhaps relying on set pieces a little two much lately, against Varnsdorf it was two free kicks by an inspired Fahrudin Gjurgjevic (the second was called as an owngoal as it bounced off the keeper), and against Znojmo it was 2 penalties both converted by RB Marek Plasil - AMC Josef Bazal had scored a brilliant solo goal before, though. We remain 1st, chased closely by Jihlava and Pardubice.
  10. Hradec Kralove - September 2018 I made a little blunder on the transfer market. Having a brilliant AMC lined up to join on a free, I decided to sell AMC Adam Vlkanova, who was 2nd choice but had started the season pretty well, to league rivals Jihlava. Then... the new AMC for some unknown reason will only join in January so I have no decent backup for the position now. The new guy. He's on holidays until January. He's also very, very good. Ballin'! Czeching out all the fun in this division! It's 3 straight wins as we shoot up to the top of the table. Again Prostejov it was weird as we got the early goals but then also an early red card and just about held on (we're picking up a few too many red cards! I could perhaps manage the "get stuck in" instruction a bit better!); whereas against Trinec it was almost the other way around, the goals coming late. Against Chrudim we went a goal down, but later a cunning plan of dropping mentality from Attacking to Positive was all it took to start breaking them down spectacularly well. Life's good. We're on a rhythm now. I'm also enjoying how little tactical changes here and there are actually making a huge difference (although I still dislike many quirks in this ME). I don't want to brag myself up that much, as I just nicked someone else's ridiculously strong tactical basis to work with from the beginning, but what beat Trinec's narrow bus (3-6-1 diamond) was a change to Otto Urma from WB/S to WB/A and off he went scoring a goal like he's Jordi Alba running into the keepers' box; whilst that little change of mentality unlocked Chrudim (who lined up on a defensive 4-4-2 with double DMs). Nice.
  11. Cheers more old faces! Weellll.. I guess that makes it a little challenging then. I usually don't get super annoyed at overly crammed fixture lists, I tend to have ridiculously large squad so lots of matches is a good way to rotate.
  12. Hradec Kralove - August 2018 A much better month with loads of goals, specially in the heavy wins over Viktoria Zizkov and Vitkovice - forward Jakub Sasinka has looked a very handy signing so far. We did however fail to break down the Vlasim bus, and before that got knocked out of the cup by Jihlava, as we couldn't hold on to a 1-0 lead after an early red card. Remarkably later in the month we faced Jihlava again, and again picked up a red card whilst ahead, but this time not only held on to the lead, but also extended it to a 3-1 win! With 14 points from 7 matches we're in the fight for the playoff places, which is where we want to be at the end of the season.
  13. Hradec Kralove - July 2018 Well this is a pretty bad start! We struggled to break down Sokolov until we finally did it, but then squandered the lead with a late goal; and then at Brno we managed to recover from being 2 goals down only to concede a late goal - they have a crazy good striker with jumping of 18 and generally attributes of a much higher level and his late header ruined us.
  14. Hradec Kralove - Pre-season 2018/2019 I hired 6 guys, 4 of the frees, 1 loan, and then I splashed 115K€ on one guy too. On hindsight this was an unnecessary transfer, we have good depth at the base of midfield. Because I also hired this guy. However he might be fighting for a starting spot as BBM, despite his 33 years of age. The real star signing, I spent a lot on him (115K is a pretty big fee for a club like us), he is pretty much ideal as AML IF/S and can also play very well as AMC where he will most likely fit. However he then picked up immediately an injury to stop him for 2 months... A pretty expensive loan as we'll have to pay 5K/month in wages+a fee to his parent club, but he's a good fit as striker in my opinion, it's pretty crucial in a lone striker system to have a guy that is both quick and can do well in the air. An alternate striker, not as good in the air, not as good a finisher, but really really quick. I had to promise him a starter spot. I lied, he'll be our backup LB. The squad is looking like this now, I'm happy I think, there's a decent amount of options and no massive misfits, but I haven't yet really had a chance to compare against the rest of this league. Hard to read anything from this pre-season, we smashed a lot of tiny sides, but got beat the two times we played good teams - although Young Boys and Mattersburg are from a top division and we aren't, so I think our performance wasn't too terrible.
  15. Ohhhh, look who's here, the same old farts who've been here for years and years.
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