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About sirgiorgio

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  1. You need to have a basic understanding of the game mechanics in order to take full advantage of your knowledge of football. Whenever I watch a football match and want to reproduce a particular tactic, position, role, movement... I need to know what works, what could work (if certain conditions are met) and what simply won't work. In other words, I need to translate from a potentially limitless "language" (rl football) to an objectively limited, albeit complex one (FM). A couple of years ago, there was an ME update where all strikers on support duty (especially DLF) acted like extra midfielders, to the joy of Simeone's fans. That behaviour was "corrected" in the following patch, to the disdain of Simeone's fans, who complained en masse. The answer was: "you can have your strikers act like extra midfielders, just set them as AM C." So it could be done, but, as it happens with every translation, something had to get lost in the process. People who say "I play with the same tactics since CM2" are clearly ignoring how FM has changed in the last 20 years... People who say "I managed to win the 2018 World Cup with my version of 1934 Catenaccio" are clearly ignoring how football has changed in the last 80 years... Those who spend hours trying to figure out the difference between FB/att and WB/att, or the use of WB/def, those are the heroes of our times
  2. My personal definition of key pass is a quasi-assist. For instance, if my cross finds the striker, and the striker scores, it's an assist. If the striker doesn't score, it's a key pass. Or, a key pass becomes an assist when the intended target of the pass scores. I don't know whether or not this is the official definition, but it makes sense to me.
  3. When I first played the game (in 1998!) people told me "it's not easy!" so I thought: "I'll pick a top club from a non-top country; I'll win the league for sure!" My choice was Anderlecht, "the biggest Belgian club". Not a wise choice... I got sacked I don't know how many times, and rightly so. So my advice would be: pick a small club from a lower division (possibly not in England, too many matches and too little time to "learn how it works"). If you win, good for you, if you lose, you can blame the players and if you get sacked, well, it happened to the best of us Tactical advice (or the ABC of football): as they say, "Offense sells tickets; defense wins championships". I would start with a very balanced, solid formation, for instance 532 (with wingbacks): three defenders will (hopefully) help you concede less goals, five midfielders (of sorts) will help you control the game, or at least make things harder for the opponents, and two strikers will help you distribute the weight in attack. If you don't want to have three defenders, use at least one defensive midfielder: 442 diamond narrow, 4141, 4123, 442 with two defensive midfielders, 4231 with two defensive midfielders... Also, understand the difference among defend/support/attack duties (it's not that simple as the words would suggest).
  4. I guess everybody got Conte wrong... and rightly so! He wasn't a left midfielder, influence 6? Heading 1? Who was the Italian researcher in 1993?
  5. While I agree the fullback is to blame, I wouldn't call that an "easy crossing angle". A cross from that zone of the pitch is considered as one of the hardest (and, therefore, most useless) thing to do in football. Maybe a fast ball toward the near post, hoping for a first time shot, an header, or even a deflection from the defender... but to aim at the far post it takes "incredible craft and vision", and also a fair share of luck, since you have to find the no man's land between the keeper and the defender(s), and you have to hope for some kind of misunderstanding from their part ("is it mine?" "No it's yours", "I go", "you go", nobody goes...). In fact, every time I see these goals I can't help but thinking of the goalscorer, who seems to be the only one in the whole stadium to understand where the ball will go... The way I see it, there's simply too much space between the fullback and the nearest defender, which is partly due to the fact that the goal comes from a counter-attack (so you have to expect some players to be caught out of position) and partly due to the "individual vs team defending" issue. Great defenders (and defenses) are able to spot their teammates' errors and react quickly. On the other hand, mistakes happen, so I don't see anything particularly "flawed" in the way defenders act and react. The only exaggeration, the thing you don't (usually) see in a game of football, is that Perfect Cross. Another winger (with another ME?) would have probably punished the poor defensive positioning cutting inside with the ball and reconsidering his options (pass, cross, shot, dribbling) from a much more dangerous zone (more central and nearer to the goal).
  6. I think an oft forgotten aspect of Conte’s tactics is that he is very rigid about the formation but quite elastic about “roles and duties”. Personally, I tried to build a 532 with a "triangle midfield" (CM-DM-CM) and never got anything decent (and I'm talking about the last four or five editions of FM...) so I've always settled with a flat midfield. This is the “FM16 edition”: WB+CM: they can be on support or attack, and CM’s can also be BBM or RPM or even BWM(s) depending on the opponents, or the players themselves, or the ME… I usually have two of them on support and two on attack, but who is on support and who is on attack depends on a lot of things (too many to mention). Also, some TI’s such as “get further forward” or, even better, PPM’s such as “get forward whenever possible”, “moves into channels”, “gets into opposition area” is needed to get the most out of the tactic. The “middle” CM is always on defend, ideally a DLP, but a vanilla CM can do the job, if you don’t have a Pirlo or a Verratti. As for the strikers, Conte wants them to play real close to each other, to open up spaces for the midfielders and to participate in the defensive phase. The latter is quite hard to replicate (even with DFs and conservative mentalities). In order for them to play as close as possible to each other, I'd say the "classic" DLF(s) + AF is a good choice. But it really depends on the strikers: Tevez+Llorente was more like CF+TM, Pellè+Eder was something like DF+F9... In fact, I don't know if it is a blasphemy FM-wise, but I'd say that both strikers could be on support. As for mentality, I'd say counter at least (he never, ever "parked the bus" in his whole career) but standard or even control are better, IMO, especially against weaker opponents. Also, he's never been particularly interested in ball possession, unless he wanted to freeze the game, so I'd say passing style mixed, and be prepared to switch to direct or shorter (or retain possession) depending on how the game is set. Closing down: “sometimes” or “more” (I personally prefer “more”), coupled with “tighter marking” and a slightly higher defensive line. Short distribution from GK to CD’s and “play out of defence” are equally necessary. Structure: it should be fluid, IMO. For three reasons: defenders are supposed to help in the build-up play, midfielders are supposed to score goals, and strikers, as mentioned, are supposed to help in the defensive phase. Now, we could argue that "fluid" doesn't really mean this, but even if it just means "more creative freedom"... well, we always have the "be more disciplined" shout if things get too chaotic. One thing you'll probably notice over time: Conte’s wingback and strikers tend to get tired very quickly, and rightly so… Conversely, FM seems to “punish” CM’s much more than wide players and strikers. This either means that my tactic is not an exact replica of the original, or that the ME guys have some work to do My wild guess: he won’t use 532 at Chelsea. When he came to Juventus, he was known for his so-called 424 (which, in my eyes at least, was a bog standard, old-style, “British” 442 - think 1990’s Man Utd - but you know, the press like the hyperbole: “ohhh… 4 strikers!”), and after a couple of matches he switched to 433. 532 came almost by accident, when he realised that Barzagli Bonucci and Chiellini HAD to play together. Even with the National Team he sometimes played with a back four. Also, he doesn’t like to train more than one formation, so I guess he’ll settle for a 433 or a 4231. He has a reputation of being a sort of “Full Metal Jacket Sergeant”, but he actually never had problems with players with low work ethic (Vucinic, for instance), as long as they did their job. Finally, he doesn’t rotate the team, but he has a large senior squad. Which is funny… and even funnier if you think that fringe players who never see the pitch worship him as a God.
  7. A lot of Italian teams use/have used 532 or one of its variants: 541 (one striker, one AM), 3421, 343... Juventus Torino Udinese Palermo (with Iachini) Genoa Fiorentina Sampdoria (with Montella) Verona (occasionally, with Mandorlini) even Roma and Inter have played with 3 central defenders for a couple of matches (and disastrous results). And this is just Serie A 2015-16. Note that the current trend is to couple a more defend-minded wingback with a more attacking one, so that the final result looks more like an asymmetric 442 rather than a classic 532. For instance: Evra+Cuadrado (Juventus), Alonso+Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), De Sciglio+Candreva (Italian National Team). Current Watford manager Mazzarri is another fan of 3-at-the-back formations.
  8. I think I found a bug, and I wonder if I can solve the situation in some way… Managing Millwall, second season, just promoted from League 1. Apparently, I promised some of my players, namely S. Williams, E. Upson and S. Ferguson, to strengthen the team. This promise remainder appeared out of nothing in mid-August. I suppose it refers to the end of the season team meeting, when I said “with the right additions, we can stay up”. I did buy some 7-8 players, not exactly high profile players, but hey, I didn’t promise to buy Ronaldo, right? I just said “with the right additions…” Anyway, the three amigos were not impressed, and I have no problem with that, they’re entitled to have their opinions. The problem is, after the transfer window closed, I’ve been bombarded by news that say “Williams/Upson/Ferguson are facing uncertain future at Millwall after row with manager”, and that they “asked to leave”: no they didn’t, they never came to talk to me, and I can’t talk to them (they’re unhappy and their morale abysmal), the captain/vice captain can’t talk to them (there’s no option), and I can’t organize a team meeting, or, I can, but I have no option to choose from. In fact, technically, I haven’t broken my promise yet, because I still have “1 day”, but it must be the longest day ever, because it has been two weeks now and I still have “1 day”… So, I suppose I have to wait until the promise will be officially broken to unlock the interactions, but what can I do in the meantime?
  9. I used to say “there’s no such thing as a 3-x-x without wingbacks”; and I still think it’s true. However, I’m following the evolution of the classic Italian 5-3-2 (Conte’s Juve, Mazzarri’s Napoli, Ventura’s Torino…) and I think asymmetric formations are the new black nowadays. Take Paulo Sousa’s Fiorentina, for instance. Their formation is usually described as 3-4-2-1, but it looks like an asymmetric 4-2-3-1 to me: Juventus (with Cuadrado) use a mix of 4-4-2: and 4-3-3: Basically, the idea is to have an isolated player on the right side of the pitch (but you can do it the other way around, if you want) whose job is to “do the winger”: hugs line, runs with ball, looks for 1 v 1 situations… His defensive skills being nonexistent, you need an out-and-out defender to cover him, usually a centre-back acting like a limited fullback. Nothing new, really… Now, I don’t know how the ME deals with asymmetric formations and hybrid-roles like the “almost right back”, the “left-winger quasi second striker”, or the “central AND left midfielder”, but the point is, symmetric 5-3-2 (and all their variants) are going “back to the future”.
  10. I wouldn't put so much emphasis on tactics, and I would say that FM has definitely improved in this area. Whenever I'm favorite to win, and don't win, there's always a reason: 1. Maybe I'm no better than the opponent: my guys are overperforming, their guys are underachieving... but in theory, there isn't such a big difference between us and them as the league positions/media predictions would suggest. 2. I had one of those "I am Almighty" moments and decided to rest two or three key players, which doesn't mean my backups are crap, but maybe they need some time and tactical tweaks to perform as good as they're capable to. 3. It's very late in the season, and all is said and done. In other words, nobody cares about the match. The only thing I'd like to see toned down a bit (although I haven't played FM16 so I can't speak for this year's edition) is the "oh the drama" effect during the most important matches of the season. I don't know how many times I needed 3 points to win the league, and I couldn't do better than a 0-0 draw, and I was fuming, and then I hit continue and realized I did win the league, as my rivals just lost 2-0 at home... Oftentimes you just want a duel under the sun against the team sitting in second place, because you know you're gonna beat 'em and be done with it. But a team sitting 12th in the league with nothing to ask for? The worst possible opponent! I know it's cliche, but my suggestion is to treat matches against presumed smaller teams as you would treat any other match: let your best ( = best run of form) players do their thing, exploit potential weaknesses, don't underestimate their best players, and so on. Tactics, motivation, etc. are important, but not that important. First of all, if a crap manager of a crap team decides to park the bus, he's still a bad manager and his team is still bad. Maybe you won't beat them 5-0, but you'll win for sure. And if you don't, maybe they're not that bad? Especially in lower leagues, there isn't much of a difference between the best and the worst team, and anybody can beat anybody. You may wonder why they decided to have the performance of their lives against YOU, but I'm sure there were times where you didn't deserve to win and yet you got the 3 points... TLTR: There's always a reason. And it's not (necessarily) tactical.
  11. Kuijt and Olic maybe? Don't know about AM R/L, but I can certainly think of a "tactical", defend minded AM C whose main duty is to occupy the space between midfield and attack, keeping an eye on the opposing "regista". Players like Perrotta (Spalletti's Roma, late 2000's) and Nainggolan (Spalletti's Roma, today), or Boateng (Allegri's Milan) and Vidal/Pereyra (Allegri's Juventus), perhaps even Tim Cahill and Fellaini at Everton and Kevin Nolan at West Ham. I don't know how to describe such players in FM terms, maybe advanced BWM or deep-lying DF?
  12. You should try signing a Serbian player from a Serbian team and see what happens. In Italian Serie B, for instance, you cannot sign non-EU players from abroad, but you can have non-EU players in your team, and you can buy non-EU players from (and sell them to) other Italian clubs. Maybe this rule was recently introduced and Swedish clubs already had non-EU players in their squads. They couldn't just terminate their contracts unilaterally, could they?
  13. I spent way too much time building a 4231 that resembled the Belgium National Team tactic in the 2014 World Cup. I think CM-A is the way to go for the "Fellaini role", but other roles are equally important: a CM - D (or DLP -D) and a LFB to provide cover, a Winger - A to provide width and space, and the AMC - S + DLP - S to generate what I'd call "organized chaos" in the middle. I have to say I'm very happy with how this setup works defensively, IF the CM -A is a sort of BWM in disguise (tackling, positioning, work rate, teamwork...), and I'm fairly happy with its offensive shape, although I think that, to get the most out of him, the CM- A needs some very specific PPMs, either gets forward whenever possible or gets into the opposition area, or even both. I was shocked to see that the FM-Fellaini had neither "gets forward whenever possible" nor "gets into the opposition area".
  14. AFAIK, it's not even legal... There's no such thing as a loan with the obligation to buy, it's just a gentleman agreement between two clubs, and a way to extend payments over multiple years. The max allowed installments are 48 (48 months = 4 years). However, if a player is valued, say, 10M, you can do something like this: First year: Loan fee 2M (over 12 months), future transfer fee: 8M (over 48 months). So in the end you'll have 56 installments instead of 48. So, what FM really needs is the possibility to extend payments over multiple installments also for loan fees and future transfer fees. And of course, the possibility to add bonuses and clauses. Now that co-ownerships are gone, in Italy they invented the two-year renewable fee-paying loan deal + future fee (for the buying club) + buy back price (for the selling club). Which is not very different from a Co-ownership deal, if you know what I mean.
  15. In the vein of Paris FC, you could try Lupa Roma (fka Lupa Frascati), and make them bigger than AS Roma and Lazio (it's not that difficult ). Or London teams such as Barnet, Dag & Red,... If you have Italian Serie D, there's an interesting team called "Astrea". Basically, they started as a "sunday league" club owned by the Italian Penitentiary Police (!), and they still are, but they also have a history in the Serie C, a professional league. So they had to change their legal status from amateur to professional football club, most of their players (who obviously "worked for the state") could not sign professional contracts, and people started wondering why the Police had to fund a professional football club... Of course you can't replicate all this, but imagine if you win the Scudetto, you'll really do it for the country!!!