*This post is for FM18
Hello and welcome to my Staines Project thread.
I have been playing this FM game for the past 14 going on to 15 Seasons and I've invested a huge amount of time into it over the last year and a half.
I'd like to thank the creators for making such an enjoyable and addicting game. I also would like to rant about how frustrating and infuriating the game can be at times!
I'm coming to the point in the game where I'd like to tie up loose ends and move on to newer and better pastures (FM19).
I can't do this however until I finally satiate my desire to lead Staines to glory so I've created this thread in the hope that I can document my experiences for myself and others to help analyse where I can improve as a manager.
Predicted 8th, Board expectation finish top half – Success
After playing through last season I feel there is a need to adapt to certain situations, specifically mentality wise where I saw myself lose about 9 games away from home which led me to think that maybe if I had setup a defensive minded tactic I may have turned those losses into draws and also if I had a more attack minded tactical variant perhaps I could have turned my draws into wins. Now perhaps I shouldn't have made wholesale changes to my base tactic but I felt like I needed to try to rule out over complicating things with too many TI's and I also felt changing certain player roles made more logical sense.
Alteration from 1 primary tactic to 3 tactics
Tactical Style and Vision:
This will be my starting point for how I look to improve my current tactic as I look to become more successful, please note this is a work in progress and my ideas may and probably will be flawed I hope however that by documenting my experiences I will be able to learn and become a better FM player whether through my own ideas or through forum responses.
My main objectives are to be successful (I.e win silverware) with the 4141 formation, use a low block, have my lone striker to be the main scorer and have one of the best defensive records. I am aware this will be really challenging as I am no FM expert but hopefully I will do myself proud.
Please note that some of my tactical instructions are based on what I've read on the forums over the years and through conversations with other FM players, they may or may not be the right type of instructions to be used.
To play the low block I use the Team Instruction drop deeper apart from when I play my defensive tactic where they should be plenty deep already due to the mentality. I may have to alter how deep the instruction is when using my attacking tactic perhaps dropping even deeper as the attacking mentality may push my D-line up further than I want. Due to the passive nature of dropping deeper I have set the majority of my team apart from my STK to tackle harder, I do this because I believe as we allow the opposition to come on to us there is a more desperate need to make and win a tackle because the alternative could see the opposition make a breakthrough on goal. I think the main principles of the low block are to allow the opposition space in the wide areas close to our box but to control all that goes on in our box, this requires my defenders to be able to deal with crosses therefore I foresee certain attributes like anticipation, positioning, jumping and heading to be key. Although I want to encourage the opposition to go down the wide areas I think it might be a fine balancing act as I don't want the opposition to have too much time on the ball for them to easily pick out the best cross. So to prevent this I think it's important to apply some kind of pressure to opposition wingers. For the time being I have my full backs set with the PI's close down more hopefully to reduce the effectiveness of opposition crosses and to help win the ball back. I also have the TI's Use tighter marking and Use offside trap applied, these are set more from outside advice rather than my own, I think however I can see why tighter marking would be beneficial as I play so close to my own goal I don't want the opposition to find any space and I want my players to be as close as they can be to their markers for them to be able to engage them as soon as they can. Use tighter marking may become problematic against the really top sides if they possess players with great off the ball movement, dribbling and agility so I may need to consider disabling this instruction in certain situations.
I want my ML, MCL, STK and MR to be my main goal threat, Assist/support wise I want to see my DL, MCR, and DR be the main providers for my team and defensively I'd like to see the GK, 2x CB and DM provide solidity at the back.
I'm hoping to see something along the lines of this:-
*You may note that the above picture plays with a winger and that's because during the 31/32 season that was the role I used, this season however I'm going to opt for a Wide Midfielder role.
Player role changes and Info
GK – SKd will be changed to GKd. This change is going to be made for simplicity, I think I make things more complicated than I need to at times so I'm reverting back to a generic GK and if I feel I need to change the role I will do so but only after I feel there is a need to after watching matches. I have set the distribution to the DL as I feel this is the best option to retain possession and the best option to bring the ball up from defence.
PI's: Distribute to DL.
DL - Primarily will be IWBs although this might change to a FullBack defend with the 4141 defend tactic. With the base tactic I might consider changing this role to a Wingback if I feel I need more width and on the attacking tactic I might change the duty to attack if I feel I need more men forward. This role will have gets further forward PI as I see this as a supporting role during the attacking transition he should enter the MCL/AMCL position when we attack. Attribute wise I expect this role to be very demanding as he will need get up and support as well as defend fortunately I believe I have a very competent player in Diegmann.
PI's: Close Down More, Tackle Harder and Gets Further Forward.
My only concern is whether his off the ball and first touch is enough to make him effective as a supporting player. Trait wise I may consider asking him to learn gets further forward.
Rodrigo regularly played as a Winger and IWBs last season but as second choice to Diegmann I need to consider whether he is up to the job. I feel he's a fairly decent player but probably more suited to a Wingback role rather than a IWB I think this guy could do a job against teams in the bottom half of the table but against those higher he may not have enough quality so I may need to look to see if I can bring someone in from the transfer market. The problem is that I see this as a very demanding role so I might not be able to find a player of sufficient quality.
DC – These will most likely be CDd roles, I want these guys to tackle hard, be good in the air, read the game well and not surrender possession too cheaply. Looking at the team comparison page shows me that the highest average for jumping from attackers is around 14 so ideally I'll want my central defenders to have a jumping reach of 14 or higher. With Off the ball the highest average is a whopping 17.6 so I think my defenders will need to have really good positioning perhaps 17 or higher, realistically I have to acknowledge this will be a very tricky find. Anticipation and tackling I think I'll need around the 15-16 mark. After looking through my central defenders it becomes clear to me that most are more suited to the defensive centre back role rather than the central defender role. They all lack the composure to hold onto the ball which could be detrimental as they may panic and not be able to play the ball out from the back or hold on to the ball whilst being pressed.
PI's: Tackle Harder.
Coria looks to be an excellent prospect for the future and could potentially play as a BPDd in the future. Unfortuantely his Aggression, Bravery and Composure really let him down but he is still young so it's possible for him to improve, maybe not so much his Aggression and Bravery but his composure should increase. I'll just have to pay special attention to whether his lack of aggression and bravery results in him not going in to win challenges.
Originally I wanted this guy playing as a Halfback or Anchor Man like last season but after assessing my defenders I feel I'm forced into playing this guy in central defence to make up for the qualities Coria doesn't possess. Vargas has the aggression and bravery I need, he is also composed the only attribute I have a concern over is his jumping reach. Ideally I wanted 14 or above but unfortunately this is something I think I have to sacrifice in order to make up for Coria's shortfalls and also my other backup defenders shortfalls. Again I may have to look into the transfer market to see if I can find a player who would fit better as a central defender in my system. One thing to note is I believe Diegmann has the ability to play the CDd role but that would mean finding a replacement at DL.
DR – This guy I want to play as a WBs or if he got forward enough to support a FBs, last season I chose a WBs role because I felt the FB role just didn't get forward enough. I need this guy to be good defensively but also he must be able to get forward and provide support with passing but really he needs to be a good crosser of the ball. This role will include the PI's Shoot less often, Close down more, Tackle Harder and Cross more often. I will also consider the use of the stay wider PI.
PI's: Close Down More, Tackle Harder, Shoot Less Often and Cross More Often.
1st choice: Tuta
I used Tuta in this position last season and I think it's clear to see he's not exactly fit for the role I want him to play and this is possibly the weakest link in my system. I will have to look for a replacement in the transfer window for someone more fitting. He is a good player defensively though which is why I used him to play DR last season but I think I'll need a player with better dribbling, crossing, passing, off the ball and composure going forward.
2nd choice is really more of the same so I won't bother posting any more details up.
DMC – I'm torn between two roles in this position I like how the Half Back moves and I got the impression it looked more defensively solid that the Anchor Man, if I remember correctly I think I observed the Anchor Man get further forward than the Half Back during my attacking transition so I've opted to choose the Half Back role. His sole purpose is to provide defensive cover whilst being able to be used to recycle possession. Attribute wise Tackling, Marking, Positioning, Bravery will all be key though he will also probably need decent amounts for composure and passing. 1st choice should have been Vargas but because he's now vital to my central defence I'm forced to look elsewhere.
PI's: Tackle Harder.
I think Williams could play this role quite well my only real concern is his lack of height and Jumping reach.
2nd choice: Steve Freeman
Backup choice: Milomir Buzic
ML – Last season I opted for a Winger attack which performed okay but after reading certain threads I came to the conclusion that a WMs might be a more logical option the reasoning behind this is due to the Winger role's description. The Winger aims to beat his man down the flank and put a cross in, which is fine if I had men forward... but because I set my team so deep it's likely that the winger will only have one real option to cross - that being the lone forward. What I think I really need is for my ML to hold the ball up more so my team can catch up and go forward as a unit. I still wouldn't mind him going wide and crossing but I need him to do it when I have players in the box. This obviously puts more of a demand on the attribute requirements as I'll no longer only need pace, acceleration, dribbling and crossing etc. Required for a winger but more work rate, team work, passing and strength. This role is a bit of a work in progress but to begin with he will start off with the PI's Tackle harder and Gets further forward because ideally I'd like to see him possibly be a goal threat. Going forward though this role may become more specialized based on what I see in matches and whether I believe this role can add something different.
PI's: Tackles Harder and Gets Further Forward.
1st choice: Rodrigo could fit the bill here he has a good range of attributes my concern would be whether his attacking attributes are enough to cause the opposition problems, Off the ball of 11 may not be good enough.
Jed could be my best option for the future he's young with some potential so I could try and mould him into something I want.
MCL – This role was mainly a CMa last season and I liked what it did going forward but defensively I feel it could have been better therefore this season I thought I would try out the Box to box midfielder role with the PI gets further forward coupled possibly with the trait gets into opposition area.
PI's: Tackle Harder and Gets Further Forward.
Wilson was my CMa last season and led the way with assists but only scored 4 goals, by looking at him I think he would play best as a Mezz but that doesn't fit with how I want to play so I will either try to shoehorn him into my tactic or I will get rid. I'm leaning towards the latter as he's unlikely to be able to fulfil the role I want him to play. The player trait of Runs With Ball Down Left is exactly what I don't want him to do unless I have my ML cut inside. I want this guy to be an attacking presence in the box so I will probably have to look in the transfer market again to find a more suitable player. Wilson does give me a different option however so I may hold off on selling him just yet.
Backup choices aren't really of any note, I should look to bring in more competition for this role if available.
MCR – Last season I played this role as a DLPs which played okay however this season I'm opting for a generic CMs as I don't want play focusing through one player and I want a bit more defensively from the CMs. This is a supporting role so I'll be looking for passing, first touch, balance, teamwork, decisions and possibly off the ball. Player trait wise I might look for tries killer passes, plays one-twos, dictates tempo or switches ball to other flank.
PI's: Tackle Harder and More Risky Passes.
The trait Gets Further Forward may need to be unlearned. This guy is also an option to play in the B2B role.
The runs with ball through centre trait I'm not keen on so that maybe something I need to remove.
Back up choice:
MR – This role I want to be an IW because I believe I have one of the best players in the game who can play this role.
PI's: Tackle Harder and Cross Less Often.
Back up choice:
STK – This role I'm still unsure of as I want him to be our primary goalscorer but because he is our sole striker he will need to do a variety of things such as link up with the midfield. Last season I attempted the Poacher and DLFa role and while both worked at times there were also times where it was still a bit inconsistent. This season I will opt for a CFs role although this may be changed to an attack duty if I don't see him regularly being my primary scorer.
Due to the sheer amount of offside calls I had against him last season (something like 140 in one season) I have asked him to unlearn the beat offside trap trait.
I have the option to purchase this guy for £8.75m and I see him as a good option to have as 2nd choice.
Back up options: Ajina and