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  1. So a season in review. We finished as runners up in the EPL, to two points and 1 goal in the vital last game. Beyond heartbreak. We also didn't perform well in the cups losing to eventual semi-finalists Juventus by 1-0 aggregate loss. Liverpool went onto win the Champions League. The domestic cups were a similar story. We lost in the 5th found of the League Cup as we fielded many u-23 players against Conte's fierce first eleven. We lost the FA cup fifth round tie versus Everton due to tactical tinkering with a new system . Moving forward, I will set the following aims for next season: Have a central midfielder score 20 goals in all competitions Score the most set-plays in the league ( indirect free kicks and corners) - set this as a philosophy Trim the squad - have no players out on loan. Make use of buy-back clauses. Have a strong eleven in the u-23s - At least decent championship players current ability. Hire a new u-23 manager to play a style more reflective of our own. Win a trophy Key Player Analysis The key player throughout the season, he performed majestically being miles ahead of the competition and was rightly awarded the Ballon D'or for this efforts. The stats speak for themselves with only Messi leading him in terms of key passes and chance creation. Cutting in from the left wing with the Advanced Playmaker (support) role enabled him to inflict damage and link up with our man leading the line. I shall update when pre-season is over and have a newly calibrated squad with two different tactical approaches. A couple of things to consider: We have Aubameyang, Lacazette, Moussa Dembele, Welbeck N'Ketiah and Loftus-Cheek competiting for one striker position as a number 9. Mkhitaryan, Kovalenko, Lingard and Reis Nelson can also fill in as a false 9 here. Ramsey spent a huge chunk of the season injured with knocks with Wilshere impressing in the final run in for the end of season. This competition may lead to one or even both leaving the club, with Kovalenko impressing in a loan spell at Lazio How to fit in the world player of the year Hazard and not stifle creativity from other areas of the team.
  2. The game begins badly with Manchester United's aerial bombardment starting strong with them hitting the bar inside 3 minutes. In my error I set Aubameyang to man mark Pogba to prevent him dictating the game from deep. This prevented me building any counter attacks . United take a early lead through a Lukakau header, followed by Gelson Martins turning Monreal inside out before lashing one home from 25 yards. . A tactical change saw me go striker-less with Lingard as a shadow striker finding space in-between the lines and driving at the defensive line before finding Aubameyang as a Raumdeter taking advantage of Daley Blinds lack of pace at left back. We strike either side of half time to level the game in identical fashion to the below. Before the first half ends, Ander Herrera picks up a second yellow card and is sent out and Mourinho responsds by bringing in Mata. This vacates the left side attacking position sided, leaving Bellerin plenty of space ahead of him to exploit. However, Bellerin has a poor game and fails to complete any of his eleven crosses. Loftus-Cheek who was playing as an auxillarily target man holds up the ball in the Manchester United Half, waiting for midfield runners. Searches out Lacazette playing as the right side raumdeter, who knocks it down for Ramsey who plays it back to Lacazette. Jack Wilshere, the only midfielder behind the ball finds himself in time and space on the edge of area, receives a pass from Lacazette and lashes home a half-volley to make it 3-2 to Arsenal in the 82 minute. This was my formation before that went in! I then go full-defensive mode, changing formation, set pieces and individual instructions. To not avail though, Gelsen Martins who has a superb game skins Bellerin on the right and crosses for Lukaku to find space in the middle of my three center backs to head home the leveller, breaking Arsenal hearts. I took multiple screenshots in the game, as I watched on full detail. The adrenaline! This means we finish the season trophy-less and Manchester United having the first piece of silverware for a FA Cup, League Title and Europa League winner treble. Manchester United and Liverpool will contest the FA cup final. Chelsea will play United in the Europa League final and Liverpool play Monaco in the Champions League Final. I will do a full season review once I write it up tomorrow and get some statistics.
  3. Into the final game of the season with a straight game 38 play-off against Manchester United for the league title. They only have to avoid defeat to win the league. Its at Old Trafford, with the reverse being a 4-0 win by me at the Emirates. Any chance of an unlikely away win on this FM? They have INJ status' for numerous players while we will miss Ozil through Injury, with Aubameyang only fit enough for the bench. Earlier in the season I purchased Lingard with Welbeck going on loan there as a makeweight. So many subplots!
  4. Building on the previous post. Can we take a moment to appreciate the versatility of Ainsley Maitland Niles, Ben Sheaf and Josh Da Silva. Between them they can do a job covering anywhere on the pitch . If I can get them to any form of premier league standard they could be utility players for years! Ben Sheaf was tutored by Kolasinac and have pick up some his left wing-back positional attributes and has even come on as a Mezzela in some games!. Josh Da Silva has deputised there for a few games since Kolasinac's long term injury. AMN has been his dependable self. Hopefully, I can get him a England call-up at some point!
  5. What type of player would they be? Would they be a goal getting midfielder who works on the end of moves off the ball or a more play key passes and lay on assists type player? I've just reached the half way point of the second season. The save is going very well. Enough going on tactically to be interesting and having key players perform how you like them to is a big part of it. Sitting second currently behind the usual formidable on FM Manchester United. We lead the league by quite some distance for goals scored and have a pretty decent defensive record - considering Matt Macey has played 19 of 21 games so far. Hazard has been an utter revelation. Being in double figures for goals scored and assists by the half way point. His efforts contributed to him winning the World Footballer of the Year, ahead of Messi and Ronaldo (not sure if this is the Balon D'or). His 50 Key passes and 34 chances created are miles ahead of anyone else in the league. But a questions rises of what happens if he gets injured. As previously mentioned I've tried to give a lot of minutes to under 23 players. Matt Macey being the number 1 for half a season has benefitted the most and has probably filled out his potential. His kicking has developed as I would have liked and would like to see how much of a sweeper keeper he could be going forward. He will probably go out on loan until the end of the season to continue his development as Joao Virginia will step up for half a season between the sticks.
  6. I switched to a variant of this tactic for the last 20 minutes of a EPL game the other night and was delighted with the results. I took of a number of senior players off and replaced them with u-23s. As Arsenal with Ben Sheaf playing as a Mezzela assisting a goal from Josh Da Silva as an inverted wingback lashing one in from the edge of the box. Also experienced the pitfalls of defending with being exposed to long ball and through balls in behind. Will see how it goes as a backup tactic when chasing a game or seeing out a dominating win.
  7. God damn! Every time I go into a well put together tactics forum thread I want to completely change my team! Could you mitigate the players not holding width by setting team instructions to the widest possible option?
  8. 10 games into the season and things are going very well. We have not conceded a goal in 7 game since a half time switch to a holding 4-3-3 below after being constantly cut open in a 4-2-31 with a carrilero and a central midfielder. Since Elneny came into the team we have been on an upwards trajectory. The 4-3-3 gives us a solid triangle base with the central defenders and half-back performing a defensive triangle. A huge number of chances, especially against title rivals, result from winning possession deep in our half. This can be from crowding out the area in front of the box, or with wide forwards tracking back and winning possession from a misplaced opposition out-ball to the wing back. They then transition the ball to the forward or deep plying playmaker. The raumdeter would led provide the out ball by being on the shoulder of the last defender and being threw on goal for a scoring chance or cut it back for the onrushing attacking central midfielder or box-to-box midfielder. The signing of Hazard has been a revelation. He tops the charts in chances created, assists and key passes. A possible hard-brexit on the way?
  9. After watching the word cup and following our preseason so far, I have started a new save with arsenal and hoping to progress further than the last save. I holidayed the first season to try simulate the final damaging Wenger year and surprisingly the AI controlled Arsenal won the Europa league, finished third and made a few astute signings. The AI staved off any major interest in the squad and as a result I had a similar starting squad, with a few additions, to what we have currently in real life. I decided early on that if there was interest in any players I would move them on and accept the AI offers. As a result Iwobi moved to Manchester City in a structured deal worth up to £55m. Jesse Lingard was transfer listed by Manchester United and as a player who I quite like in real life was signed for a £31.5m fee with Welbeck heading back to Old Trafford on loan. Chelsea under AI managed Conte disappointed in the previous season and finished 5th in the league. As a result a few players availability was brought up by my scouts. Hazard had a falling out with Conte and was unhappy after too many broken promises. After a few failed negotiations with first Lacazette and then Mustafi not willing to make the swap to West London. Eventually, Raul Sanllehi managed to broker a deal for an initial £82m, rising up to £113m in instalments. With Hazard being secured a real marquee signing, a number of departures followed. PSG came in for Xhaka with a deal worth up to £43m, Mustafi was a target for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, but signed for the latter in a £56m transfer that left us light at the back. An influx of rotational players also occurred, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek following Hazard to the Emirates in an £8.25m transfer. We further added to our English contingent with the signing of Jamaal Lascelles from relegated Newcastle. Following his impressive perfomances in real life and in game for his national team, Domagoj Vida arrived as a senior option at centre-half. Below show the remaining outbound transfers. During the pre-season friendly, I tested line-up variations of the 4-2-3-1 and 5-3-2 and will go into the community shield with the below tactic and lineup. I will back Macey as the number one for the first half of the season to see how he progress. Cech will remain at the club as an understudy. The first choice back four may be heavily rotated as I’m undecided who to give the most rotational minutes to out of Chambers, Mavropanos, Lascelles and Bielik. The central midfield pairing will also likely to be heavily as I want to give plenty of game time to Maitland Miles and Loftus-Cheek. Elneny will slot in as a defensive midfielder in games against rivals and tough away games. Wilshere and will compete to be Ozil’s backup. The right sided Raumdeauter is also a position a number of players can potentially play with Mkhitaryan, Lingard and Lacazette being well suited for the role and performing well in preseason. Ramsey may be deployed here also, or as a rotation option for Hazard. Up front Aubameyang will lead the line as the main outlet, with Dembele or Lacazette providing rotation. I hope to give plenty of game times to u-23 graduates. I will also see leave the DoF in charge of incoming transfers with me confirming the final deal. It will be interesting just to see what players are targeted. The same responsibility will be given to Mertesacker as HoYD when recruiting youngsters. I have since played the community shield and European super cup which ended up being high scoring occasions with a 4-2 win over liverpool and a 4-3 loss to Bayern Munich. We conceded a number of goals from set pieces, something I aim to correct. After being inspired by a blog post, I aim to try and make the most of set pieces offensively and defensively. The results are immensely rewarding when they come off, but hugely disappointing when they lead to goals conceded from poor marking or counter attacks. The below two are defensive - one completely zonal marking with the striker forward and creative power as the edge of the area player to transition the counter attack. The other is more a desperate, we need a goal late on counter attack set up. The below attacking set piece has Vida attacking the near post, with Loftus-Cheek on a near post flick on, using the strength of Kolasinac to block off the goal keeper collecting the cross. This came to fruitation in the European super cup final, with Monreal blocking off Neuer and Vida outjumping his marker Brandt.
  10. Do you have any screenshots? Any suprises from the original u-23’s or U-18’s?
  11. Love it. Maybe teach him dictate tempo and play as a regista? Training his positional trait would be key here. You may need to pair him with a rather combatative midfielder.
  12. So tempted to start a new save reading all these updates. Will holiday the first season and play from 2018/19. Kind of fancy a continuation of retraining player positions. Fancy a Welbeck and Iwobi as CMs with someone like Kolasinac as a DM.
  13. Swills417

    2018 World Cup squads

    Will this be the first time Reus is fit for a World Cup or Euros?
  14. Have hit a purple patch in December of the second season. My tactic has just been massively exposed as one dimensional. I am over reliant on Lacazette for goals. My formation and tactic has brought good performances from Ramsey as a Advanced Playmaker on the right and enable Zielinski and Ozil to play together in the center of midfield. However, we have shipped loads of goals and have lost 4 premier league games in a row. We have sunk to 5th in league. Tactically, I think it is time to move beyond this 4-1-2-3 tactic. I wanted to experiment with possession dominance and with mifield players playing in defence and just having all eleven outfield players being capable of picking a pass. However, we have been desperately exposed from this. The below screenshot shows this. I've noticed we concede numerous goals from crosses from deep as we play with a higher line. If we face a target man with the above back 5 we are usually dominated by this. I think the low positioning and marking attributes of the back four is a fundamental weakness of this approach. We have also conceded the joint most from corners in league. Our attacking play is also leaving a lot to be desired. Of Lacazette's 14 league goals, 6 have come from the penalty spot. Despite cramming creators into the side we have only created 47 chances (7th in the league) and no players in the top 20 chance creators in the league. I can only assume this is due to a lack of "runners" in the team. Moving forward for the rest of the season, I will go for a tactical change. I know its often preached to not chop and change tactic when in bad form. I will give a browse of the tactical forum for inspiration. Perhaps it would be better to simply play players in their natural positions .
  15. Has anyone ever experienced a complete mauling from a former player? Three games into the new season and things are looking promising. Keeping clean sheets, creating loads of chances. We come up against Southampton and Lucas does this. 4 goals and an assist to completely destroy us. Will look into how my defence allowed him to be so devastating to us. I suspect a combination of a high line and a regista instead of a more defensive option at DM. Pre-season I have tried to get out team playing with the ball on the pitch, making use of our many options with cramming as many midfield and forward creators into the team as possible. Playing twelve preseason friendlies including hosting a tournament which I cam third in. We won the European Super Cup with an excellent 3-1 victory over Atletico Madrid. A huge number of players returned from loan spells and I had the task of trimming the squad while exploring various options of keeping players. Very early in the window, I decided to refresh our goalkeeping options. David De Gea was the number one target after falling out with Mourinho. Unfortunately, the club would not negotiated even with a £70m+ various first team players. I instead decided to turn my attention to the maligned Claudio Bravo from Manchester City in an intial £6m deal, on a one year deal. This was followed by a high profile departure and arrival. Piotr Zielinski arrived in for £10m plus Cech moving to Napoli the other direction. Zielinksi is perfect playmaking partner for Mesut Ozil in the central midfield. Being either-footed compliments his uniqueness in this position. Another playmaker also arrived from Serie A, Hakan Calhanoglu will provide danger from his set pieces delivery and drifting in from the left. With the club being well stocked with squad players in every position, I set about moving players on. A number of players left on loan including Oliver Giroud to Seville, Ospina to Benefica, Chambers to RBL, Coquelin to Roma and various under-23s to clubs in the championship and below. Di Maria, who arrived just the previous January agitated for a move after failing to win the title, a promise I didn't deliver to him. I was going to make use of him as an advanced playmaker on the left. However, Barcelona came in with a structured deal worth up to £64m which I could not turn down. I would of preferred more time making Di Maria a talisman for my team, but his inconsistency persuaded me to move him on. Lucas and Joel Campbell also left on permanent deals. Two deadline deals were completed as Anthony Knockaert arrived from Brighton for an initial £12.5m and Sammer (Our new DoF) was bidding manically for central defenders - a number of which I had to cancel. Eventually, I allowed him to complete the signing of Argentine Emanuel Mammana from Zenit. He will provide good Rotation. My starting eleven and tactic as below. Martinez and Claudio Bravo will contest/rotate in the sweeper keeper role. Martinez being a promising shot stopper and Bravo capable at playing out from the back. Bellerin will be a mainstay at rightback, with Walcott providing backup here. I plan to rotate Mustafi with Koscielney and Elneny with Kramer as I play with one converted midfielder and one natural centre back. The evergreen Monreal will be rotated with an offensive minded inverted wing back of Wilshire. Cazorla, Ozil and Zielinski will be the midfield creative hub, with strong tactical dynamics appearing early into the season. Ramsey and Knockeart will rotate as wide advanced playmakers. The left will be up for grabs and contested between Jeff Reine Adelaid and Calhanoglu contesting the position. Lacazette will be the main striker in the set up, being able to create and score. Mario Gomez, although injury prone, will provide poacher cameos, with Welbeck performing a more defensive forward role.