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  1. Thanks! I've now changed my W(A) to a W(s) and reduced the left FB to a FB(s). Maybe I'll change the BWM(s) to a BWM(d) or a DM(s) to help us keep possession better. The player I have for the RPM(s) is 4 stars for League 2 but he probably doesn't have the stamina and finishing for that role. I'll keep him as an AP(A). I'm quite sore right now as I got another 1-1 draw in a tight game. This time it was entirely unexpected - we finally broke through a tough defence after dominating all game then conceded an equaliser in injury time when I forgot to change my FBs to Defend. Will get better slowly!
  2. Hi all, Thanks for your feedback. I've followed your suggestions: moving towards a Standard mindset, only using the Retain Possession later in games to see them out and putting my Winger on Support rather than Attack. Right now the RPM is injured so I'm using an AP(a) which is working well. I gave the AF a go in the Striker position and he ended up getting a goal and having a great game. In the following game I moved him back to LW for rotation and he had lots of shots but a 5.9 rating, so I'll consider playing him in his natural position more often until he improves his long shots and is Accomplished as an Inside Forward. Guess I'll need someone else for the left side. When it comes to giving them more options for shots, that is the aim of the BBM and having a Winger(A). I'm still not scoring as much as I would like but in the past few games I've gotten 1-0s that should have been more so the changes I've made seem to be working for now!
  3. Hello all, I'm gunning for promotion from League Two with my Oldham side but have been encountering some problems of late. Here is our usual Control tactic on Flexible or Fluid, playing a possession game: DLF(s)/TM(s) IF(a) W(a) BBM(s) RPM(s) BWM(s) FB(a) CD CD FB(s) Instructions: (Keeper) Pass to Full Backs, Retain Possession, Play Out from Defence After a solid start to the season we've hit a five match winless run and all the games are following a similar pattern. I've been getting a lot of games where we dominate possession and shots but can't create CCCs, concede the first goal (usually from a cross from our left hand side) and then have to push to equalise. At home this has been resulting in draws; away, in narrow losses. My IF(a) is our best striker but an AF doesn't fit into our 4-1-2-3 system. I've considered switching to a 4-2-3-1 to be able to play the AF, a 4-1-2-1-2 (ditto) or to a defensive 4-1-4-1 to which my other players are suited. There aren't generally enough two striker teams in the division to play 3 defender systems. We are the best passers in the league and were on course to finish in the playoffs but have now dropped out because of this. It's only November and we're only a few points behind so there's still plenty of time to recover. Any ideas? Happy to take screenshots.
  4. Thanks for getting back to me. My BWM(s) is our best central midfielder, has very good Finishing and has the PPMs Runs With Ball Through Middle and Gets Into Opposition Area - I have previously played him as a BBM(s) for that reason. Perhaps doing that I could free him up and use my CM(s) as a DLP(D)? Is it worth putting my Wingers on Attack so our AP has more people to aim for too? As I said, our approach was absolutely fine last season when we were a dominant side but less so now that we're inferior to a lot of other teams!
  5. I know that physical stats tend to do well in the lower leagues but I really do like my teams to be able to play. My defenders are all 3 stars+ for this division, as are my strikers. It's the midfield that is a little slow, although our passing/determination/teamwork/work rate is really good. On paper we should be able to stay up. We are already in the relegation zone so need to start grabbing some wins. I just bought a left winger who is outside of my usual purchase type (speed > intelligence) to see if we can start playing more of a counter-attacking game as we don't have the pace for that currently. I read in a thread on advanced playmakers that if my playmaker is supporting I should have two/three attacking players ahead of him. That's why I'm wondering whether a diamond is a good idea, or blowing some money on an Advanced Playmaker who can carry the ball upfield better.
  6. Thanks for replying! The three formations my team are trained in are 4-4-1-1, 3-4-1-2 and 4-1-2-1-2. Usually I aim to play a control game so the full backs are on support and the wingers on attack but because the wingers are ML/MR rather than AML/AMR they are better at dribbling/crossing than scoring. Our defence hasn't been that bad at all really - never any heavy hammerings, just narrow defeats. I'd say we are definitely struggling to score enough goals with our best striker out.
  7. Hello all, I'm looking to survive relegation with FC United and was wondering if anyone could offer me advice. We were just promoted last year (through the play-offs after blowing the league on the final day) and we're currently three points from safety with a game in hand. I tend to play a possession-based 4-4-1-1 with an Advanced Playmaker (s) supporting an Advanced Forward (A); although I had much success with a 3-4-1-2 last season there are fewer teams who play bog-standard 4-4-2s in this division. My team tends to have over 50% possession in every match with some of the best passers and mental stats in the league but our physical attributes are below average, making our possession quite sterile. We tend to concede on the counter quite a lot. My most skilful striker is out injured for six months, so my next best striker is a Defensive/Deep Lying Forward. Should I be looking to play more with a Counter/Defensive mentality? The board only want me to fight bravely against relegation so my job isn't at risk, but I'm really not keen on returning to the Conf North so any advice on how to eke out wins in this division would be much appreciated! Happy to provide screenshots, more info about my squad etc. Here's my set-up under a Standard mentality: Sweeper Keeper (d) FB(d), CD(d), CD(d), FB(d), W(s), BWM(s), CM(s), W(s) AP(s) AF(a) Instructions: Play Out From Defence (P.S. Neither of my Advanced Playmakers can dribble well enough to be AP(a), so I'm wondering whether a 4-1-2-1-2 would be a better option.)
  8. I literally finished a three-season stint with Truro City this morning, resigning after losing the BSP Playoff final, so I definitely feel I can be of service here! Obviously our tactical approaches are likely to differ but if you're taking control of them while they're still in the Blue Square South, I can certainly offer some specific starting pointers. In your first season, it's entirely possible to win the Blue Square South title if you buy wisely. Some players at the club when you arrive, such as Stewart Yetton, Andy Taylor, Arran Pugh and Jake Ash, are capable of being key players in this (Yetton can be top scorer in that division if used right), but you should relegate the wingers to bench duty right away. Hayles isn't very useful as more than a squad player but a very useful tutor and potential coach. As people higher in the thread have suggested, scouting for lower league players on free transfers in Scotland, Ireland and Wales is highly worthwhile, but also keep an eye on young players released by or available for loan at larger local clubs like Torquay, Plymouth, Exeter and Yeovil, a few higher like the Bristols and Portsmouth or even search to see which players have the club in their Favourites. When you hit the Premier start casting your net more broadly and try to build a team over a few seasons as it's a tricky division to escape. Stats around 10 are pretty good - I personally always look at Determination, Teamwork and Work Rate. I struck lucky with my youth system in my first season: spending money on youth coaching and recruitment gave me five squad-quality youngsters by my third season, all with league potential. Because the club's reputation is low, using youth or resorting to non-contracts gets you some decent players without breaking the bank and means you can release them easily. Train just one young player to sell on or make a Wembley final and that debt will be immediately much better, but to stabilise in league football you might need to build slowly for a few seasons (which I didn't have the patience to do). Truro are a very rewarding team to play with though, so enjoy!
  9. Peregrine

    Your First 11 [spoilers]

    Intriguing how many Truro City managers are in here, and how different our squads are! Truro City, BSP, December 2013 4-1-2-1-2, Control, short passing GK: Josh Wagenaar (free) RB: Adam Hunter (free) RCB: Jon Lines (youth) LCB: Rob Atkinson © (free) LB: Martin John (free) DM: Agustin Battipiedi (free) RCM: Darren Potter (free) LCM: Ellis Martin (free) AM: Luke Mulholland (Minnesota All-Stars) RST: Wayne Phillips (youth) LST: Martin Grehan (free) I have a very young team this year, having abandoned almost all the players that got me promoted from Blue Square South two seasons ago to give our youth crop experience (two other homegrown 17 year olds are in the squad). We regularly dominate possession during games and have the best defence in the league but aren't very good at making CCCs, so we tend either to win 1-0/2-0 or get sucker-punched on the break. As with last season, we're comfortably playoff-quality but lack the firepower to challenge for the title due to our reputation. This season, I'm just hoping to consolidate and sell Lines (18, with Championship potential) to improve our finances and bring in a quality striker.
  10. Peregrine

    Scouting: Next opposition.

    I feel this got lost in the nighttime lull, so apologies for bumping it.
  11. Hello there. Just a quick question regarding a difference I've noticed between FM12 and other versions. I'm in charge of Truro City in the BSS and have my one scout set to Next Opposition. In previous versions he would come back and tell me something along the lines of 'Your opponents play a defensive/offensive 4-4-2 formation and look to play on the counter-attack. They have a lot of pace up front so defend deep/don't worry about their pace. Their main threat is (such a player).' Now I receive the team report comparing my opponent's players to mine. Should I assume that I no longer receive this information, or is it just because my scout is rather duff? I've just had a quick search around the forum and it doesn't appear anyone else is disappointed that this feature's been removed. The team report does help me identify their best eleven, but it no longer gives me any indication as to their style of play, such as: Do my opponents play a high or deep defensive line? (i.e. do they press or stand off?) Who is their main play-maker/target man, if any? (I guess I could look harder at the team report or pass concentration in their previous games?) Do they concentrate play through the middle or down the flanks? (Maybe I should look at where they gather most assists.) Can anyone offer any advice with this? Thanks for your help!
  12. 1. What team are you managing in your current save? I'm currently managing Lokomotiv Moscow in the 2013 Russian Premier Division. I started the save at Norwich City for two seasons, getting them promoted in second in an eerie premonition of the Canaries' success this season and leaving the club immediately after being headhunted. 2. What is your favourite tactic, of your own making, to use in your current save? Being better than most teams in the Russian Prem, I tend to use a Fluid philosophy, a mentality to Control the game, a Short passing Style and more Roaming. I prefer to let my players express themselves whatever the level, although I fully admit to being a tinkerer - I tend to adjust my mentality and formation to counter a specific threat or simply try something new. 3. What formation do you use and what kind of roles do you deploy in your tactic? Since taking over at Loko, I have never had less than three players in midfield. I most typically start games with what I would describe as a 4-2-3-1 (I hope you don't mind if I list my current preferred XI!): GK: Andriy Pyatov (Goalkeeper) RB: Branko Ilic (Wing Back, Defend) RCB: Malkhaz Asatiani (Ball Playing Defender, Defend - he is also our starting point from goal kicks) LCB: Rodolfo (Central Defender, Defend) LB: Gia Grigalava (Wing Back, Defend) DM: David Mendes de Silva (Defensive Midfielder, Support) CM: Roman Eremenko (recently, Advanced Playmaker, Support, although I've played him as a Deep Lying Playmaker most of the season) RW: Dmitry Sychev (Inside Forward/Deep Lying Forward, Support) AM: Jorge Valdivia (Advanced Playmaker, Support, but Runs with Ball Often) LW: Dmitry Torbinskiy (Defensive Winger, Support) ST: Roman Pavlyuchenko (Target Man, Attack) My general approach to a game is to retain possession as much as possible, taking advantage of the three man centre. Sychev aims to drop in and tracks back on the right hand side without possession, being a hard worker. Eremenko is our main playmaker, controlling play further back, with Valdivia asked to be our main creative outlet, threading balls to our two forwards. Torbinsky provides the majority of the width - we score the majority of our goals from his far post crosses and corners - while Ilic passes back into the middle. I occasionally switch to 4-5-1 by bringing the AM back and moving the DM more centrally, or 3-4-1-2 by tucking Grigalava in (both my wingbacks are tall, physical players) and bringing Torbinsky back. 4. What have you achieved using this tactic? With my first half-season being a write-off as I adjusted to the players and the country, my second season in charge has been very successful. I have just achieved fifth place in the RPD, the club's best finish in about five seasons - the Big Four in the Division of Zenit, CSKA, Spartak and Rubin are very hard to crack. We also won the Russian Cup 2-2 on penalties over our fierce rivals Spartak and are currently top of a Europa League group featuring Fulham, AC Milan and Bursaspor with two games to play. Last season was my first in Europe on any FM save I've played, and I managed to finish bottom of a group featuring a Championship Nottingham Forest side, so I'd consider this a significant improvement! 5. What has been your biggest tactical mistake in-game? I have a tendency to hesitate, leaving it too late to make substitutions or adjust defensively to opposition changes. This puts my team under pressure and we repeatedly lose leads against decent opposition: we nearly lost the cup final despite being two up, and I somehow conspired to blow a 3-0 lead over AC Milan at home in the last twenty minutes. It would have been my proudest ever victory. 6. What features of your tactic do you think work best? This tactic is very good at getting the best of Torbinskiy, who manages to get a lot of balls to Sychev arriving late at the far post in open play (it was two goals like this that won the cup final). Our height also makes us absolutely deadly at corners, and our midfield tends to run games. 7. What features of your tactic do you think might be weaknesses or don't work so well? Although he's having his most productive season in years, my tactic can leave Sychev ineffective - leaning towards the left means he rarely gets much time on the ball, he doesn't have the left foot to be a true inside forward and, as he is turning 30, I am trying to guide him through an Anelka-like transformation from a poacher to someone deeper. He's consequently lost form badly towards the end of the season. My tendency to play a high line with a CB-physiqued RB who likes getting forward also leaves our right side and our aging captain Asatiani exposed on the counter - my main priority for the transfer window is to find replacements for them both. With more defensive solidity, we might be able to challenge for the CL next season. 8. Do you think of yourself as a tactical manager or do you tend to keep things simple? Considering how long I've taken to type this, probably the former! I hope it wasn't too soul-destroying to read.
  13. I thought so. Thanks! I'll start from scratch then.
  14. Hello, everyone! I've been playing a save as Tours in Ligue 2 in my FM11 demo, and would like to continue it in the full version I'm about to buy, which I'm aware I can do. However, I'm wondering how exactly this process works. Do I just load the demo save in the same way as a normal save? If so, will I be given the chance to choose which other leagues/players I would like to load and run, or will I be stuck with what I have? As it stands, only the French leagues are running and I'd like to have a journeyman save. I'm not too far into my demo save so I wouldn't be too disappointed if I have to start again, but I'd obviously rather not. Thanks very much for your help, and I hope your respective jobs are going well.
  15. Peregrine

    Your First 11 [spoilers]

    Gateshead, 9th in our first season in League 2, currently spring in the 2012-13 season. I'm currently playing a 4-4-1-1 formation after a long persistence with a possession-based 4-4-2. GK: Tony Warner (Free) - Goalkeeper is the weak link in the team as we lost our first choice Ole Soderberg, keeper of the season in the Conference, after his loan ran out before the start of the new season. He was too good to stay and has since moved on to Plymouth. I've therefore had to fall onto my back-up. Warner's the wrong side of 35 and our other two keepers are youngsters so a medium/long-term replacement is my top top priority. RB: Jason Beardsley (Tampa Bay, £250) - Latest signing to make the first XI. A solid and speedy defensive right-back. Should be here for a while. RCB: John Kennedy (Free from Celtic) - Heads, tackles and muscles very well after resurrecting his career, but little intelligence. I recently bought Pat Baldwin as a medium-term replacement, as Kennedy's getting a lot of interest and I could get a decent fee for him, but he's not settled yet. LCB: Stephen O'Halloran (Free from Aston Villa) - the speedy coverer who also plays LB occasionally. LB: Alan Sheehan (Free from Leeds) - Great attacking threat. Scores free kicks, long-rangers... All play starts from the back through him. His first season. Has to be Player of the Season. RM: Alain Djissikadié (Free from a Congolese club) - Gabonian captain, more comfortable as a play-maker in the middle but played due to lack of better alternatives. RCM: Jason Taylor (Free from Rochdale) - Our defensive battler. Trying to convert him into a CB/sweeper for next season after some prolonged play there earlier in the year. LCM: Matt Bloomfield (Loan from Blackpool) - A deep-lying play-maker, brought in as injury cover for our Togolese player Yoann Folly who suffered a horrific broken leg against Leeds several months ago. Has since usurped our captain Kris Gate as first-choice. LM: Shane Ferguson (Loan from Newcastle) - A very fast winger offered by our parent club. I had him on loan in my first or second season in the Blue Square Premier, but he was mainly raw pace and little else at that point and couldn't hold down a place. He's still not too skillful, but his intelligence has improved well enough for him to prosper in his second spell at the club. AMC: Andrew Shinnie (Free from Rangers) - Our most valuable asset. Our player of the season last year, and perhaps the main driving force behind last year's promotion. A very intelligent, creative and skillful player, I've finally found his ideal position as an attacking Advanced Play-maker that runs at the opposition defence after previously playing him deeper in a 4-4-2. Still only 23 too so I'm sure I'll eventually sell him for a big fee. ST: Liam Buchanan (Free from Partick Thistle)/Victor Anichebe (Free from Everton): Take your pick. Buchanan is our main Poacher, a very fast and intelligent player. Lacks a little in skill, but seeing as all I ask him to do is skin defenders for pace and put the ball in the net, he doesn't need it. Anichebe is our skillful Target Man and best striker on paper, although I don't feel I've got the best out of him yet as he's proved inconsistent. If he had just a smidge more Agility he'd work as a Complete Forward at this level. He's just that good.