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  1. I'd go for option A and send him on loan to the Eredivisie. Make sure any loan has him play as a regular starter, he's at an age where his development will proceed faster with regular gametime at an appropriate level. If that level is the Eredivisie, it makes sense for him to spend time getting regular games at that level. After the age of 18, regular game time has more benefit to development than training. It makes sense to give him this season on loan, then assess his performance and development and see how he fits into your squad at the start of next season.
  2. He's got quite a good spread of attributes, and a decent personality for develpment. I'm assuming you'll have good personalities in your squad to keep him on track too. Reminds me a bit of a very young Cesc Fabregas, actually. He's definitely not good enough to be a nailed on starter for you at the moment, so you're going to want to give him 15-25 minutes in games you're winning and the odd start in easy cup ties. Don't go shredding your entire system for him yet, as a lot of his supplementary attributes are lacking. Perhaps look at how you can use training to develop some of his weaker attributes. He'll never be much use defensively, so look to mould his attributes in such a way that in a few years time when he has improved you can look at building a system around him more.
  3. A good tact to take with this could be to consider how you would shut down your tactic if you were your opposition. For example, a deep defensive line denies space for your AF to run in behind and creates a packed defence for your WBs and Wingers to cross into. Reserved wide players would mean your strategy of doubling up on the flanks would be easy to stifle. A couple of energetic midfielders would be free to press your supporting central midfielders, so as not to give them time on the ball. They wouldn't even have to worry about players moving laterally into space behind them, as your WBs and Wingers would stay wide and AF just runs into the opposition CBs. What sort of changes could you make to your tactic that might help your side pose more of a threat to the defence?
  4. @Jimbokav1971 had a player come through his youth system in the English non-league (even lower than the Vanarama National N/S) who went on to play regularly for PSG, Manchester United and England.
  5. A trick I often employ is to look for where gaps are in the opposition defensive shape. I'll stick a playmaker role in that spot and let him drag the opposition out. He can do it through passing or dribbling, whichever works based on how the opposition are defending. It's an idea I pinched from this thread, so props to @Tez21: I don't switch formation every game based on the opposition - like is used in the thread - but the idea works nicely, especially if you're unsure about a mentality shift.
  6. I'd advise reading through some of the threads @herne79 has written over the years. You get a good idea into their thinking and processes when developing tactics and how they can be tweaked during matches against a variety of opposition. https://community.sigames.com/forums/topic/465977-developing-my-4123dm-wide-tiki-taka/ https://community.sigames.com/forums/topic/364527-developing-my-4-4-2/ There's many more, but these have good examples of how to tweak against certain opposition.
  7. Have you made any alterations, considering Team Shape is no longer a factor? I'm not asking to copy the tactic for myself, I'm just intrigued by your own process. A lot of people ask about this sort of thing with tactics by @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!, so I was interested to see if you made any changes to mitigate the loss of Team Shape.
  8. I suppose it would with the "looks for overlap" function, as that increases the individual mentality of the wide defender. I think that is the only situation where it is abundantly clear that it's the case though.
  9. I've used an almost identical strategy to good success in the past. Essentially, I was relying on good work rate and defensive acceleration to disguise a deficiency in decision making within my team. We keep the ball away from our goal with a high line, avoid as many one-on-one defensive scenarios in our half with a high press and when we get the ball we keep it. I don't want risk taking in possession, as we'll end up giving the ball away and putting ourselves under pressure. We concede very few goals through high possession. There's more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to defensive football.
  10. It gives you the option to play different blocks on different mentalities. If we weren't able to alter the DL and LOE then the mentality would define where on the pitch your defensive block would be and you'd be stuck with that. For example, all Very Defensive tactics would be low blocks and all Very Attacking tactics would be high blocks. In one of my saves I play a high block (Much Higher DL/Higher LOE) with a Cautious mentality, as my players are poor technically, but my defenders are quick. This works to mitigate any weaknesses in my players attributes. The thread that @Zemahh mentioned further up this thread gives some good examples on how you can combine mentality with DL and LOE.
  11. I'm already playing on a cautious mentality, so players will naturally be more risk averse and disciplined anyway. I still want players to be able to make their own decisions in certain situations. Not at all. Cautious is a mentality, not a Team Instruction. The mentality you choose will alter your default TIs - consider it a way to decide how much risk you want to play with. I like to consider what I want my tactic to do when I choose a mentality, then use TIs to impart the style of play I ultimately want. I want to do this using as few TIs as possible, so it's easier to tweak when things aren't playing out as I'd like them to. I play with a cautious mentality, as my players don't have great technical attributes and were expected to finish around 10th in the Finnish First Division. I want to play a controlling, disciplined possession game - if we have the ball, the opposition can't score - but if we have a deeper line, we'll invite pressure on closer to our own goal if we make a mistake in possession. Therefore, playing a much higher defensive line means our defenders will play closer to the half way line, but we'll still play cautious, patient passing in line with the cautious mentality. Mentality sets the framework for your tactical style. TIs will give that framework flavour, based on your players attributes and your personal tactical preferences. I'd definitely recommend reading the topic I shared in the previous post. It covers a lot with useful examples and is really enlightening. I used it when building the tactic I shared. I'm not playing FM currently, so don't have any concrete examples, but I see it happen in matches and can provide my reasoning for using it. As I mentioned, my players aren't great and lack in decision making. My style of play is in no way built around counter attacking either, I don't want swift breaks into the opposition box and basketball transitions. I want us to win the ball back and then recommence strangling the life out of matches through possession. Sterile domination, as Arsene Wenger put it. Hold position means, when we win the ball back, we look to reassert our domination on the ball. It's impact means players don't rush to take advanced positions, they'll hold their spot and offer a passing option for the guy who wins back the ball. If we keep our shape and our triangles, we keep the ball and don't offer easy chances for the opposition to score. Having thought about it, this is my alternative to using be more disciplined. I want players to be disciplined in how they transition from defence to attack, but not also have the effect of potentially stifling players in the attacking phase.
  12. Sounds similar to a tactic I was using recently. High possession, but with low creativity as my players aren't great and a high press to prevent opposition time on the ball. I used a 4-3-3 DM wide, though. Not dissimilar from what you'd like in the 4-1-4-1, but it allowed for natural triangles in possession and more advanced players for the press. Here's a screenshot of my tactic: I opted for a cautious mentality, but used a much higher line (my defenders are absolutely rapid, but with no aerial ability) and a split press for my advanced players. This was largely influenced by example #3 in this post by @engamohd:
  13. Using TMs and a SSa could be a useful release valve for you when you're hunkered in to see out a result. Both will naturally sit deeper in the defensive phase, while your players will still look to hit your TM quickly to relieve pressure and the SS will look to break beyond. Not too dissimilar from how you seem to be set up currently. Could be worth trying out, give it a go and see how it works.
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