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  1. Afternoon all. It's been a while, I hope all is good here on FMCU. After a bit of a break from FM as part of my efforts to deal with the black dog, I'm back in a position to enjoy the game once again. In order to ensure the pesky mutt doesn't keep turning up at my door, I've had to make a few changes in my lifestyle, the most important of those (at least for me) is to sort my sleep pattern out. Considering my main FM time used to be between 10pm and 1am, that means I need to change the way I play the game to help me get a good night's sleep each night. As a result, I'm embracing technology and the iPad, so I can find time here and there during the day for a game or two, without having to get out the way of the family to play on my usual system. It therefore looks like my days of playing full-fat FM have come to an end, at least until the kids are a bit older! I've been stuck on FM13 for a long time, and despite starting saves on FM15 & 16 I never really got into them, mostly because my computer found the games a real struggle. That means FM19 is brand new to me, so this will be a real learning experience. I shall however be using the cross save function on Touch, and so far on the technical side, things seem to be moving along just nicely. OK Withnail, so what is the plan with the save? Simple enough. While I normally find myself playing in a smaller football country, the restriction of only being able to use three nations has made we think I need to play in more mainstream leagues, and with Germany now being officially recognised on the game, it seems the ideal place to play. The goal is simple enough - to remove Bayern from their position of dominance, and then grind them into the muck. I shall be starting in the third tier, but I am happy to move on when it is the right time to do so, and I'll even cross borders into France or Holland for a while in order to attract the attention of bigger German clubs if required. While I have no intention of managing other German sides with a recent tradition of success in order to beat Bayern, I won't rule it out if they are in a weak position or if I'm getting to the end of the 30 year period (which is the career limit on the iPad) without having achieved my goal. Game details: FMT19 Leagues loaded from Germany (3.Liga and above) Holland (Keuken Kampioen Divisie and above) and France (French National and above) The manager As ever in my saves, it's Johan Andersen. This time, the Norwegian is 38 years of age, and with German heritage. He spent most of his playing career with Celtic, who are his favourite club, and he can also speak Dutch and French if he is required in future. Andersen was a solid holding midfield player, and he likes his sides to play at a high tempo and on the front foot, without having possession for the sake of possession.
  2. Does anybody has any tips for a solid Bayern-tactic? I struggling a bit to be honest. Especially away from home. Currently using a 4-1-4-1 tactic with Robben and Ribery as Inverted wingers, and Vidal as BTB, and Thiago as OP. Anyway, any help or tips would be appreciated.
  3. Goal: I want to explain my thought process in a way that hopefully helps some people with creating systems that get them results. But ultimately only those that want to be helped can be helped. If you're sitting there thinking that the game is rigged against you, then you'll need to change that thought. The game is not rigged. Tactics are vital. And understanding HOW the game plays out is 99% of the solution. What you do to compensate is the other 1% If you only read 1 portion of this, please read the "how I select the roles and duties" part. That is arguably the most important aspect of any system! The Idea: I was sick of playing the same 4-3-3-ish system so I wanted to change things up and do things using my own ideas. I didn't want to copy anyone, I wanted to get creative and test my own ideas. Hopefully we can work towards a system that creates QUALITY chances, presses effectively, and defends solidly. I'm not looking to create 60% possession, or the most shots on goal. Just a system that creates a lot of problems for the AI while remaining stable at the back. Bayern Munich are the team I'm playing as, simply because I like them a lot, and also because they're a fantastic "test" team for trying out tactics. Why? Because top-tier clubs generally are so good that you don't have to worry about having the right players to carry out your ideas. For example if I wanted to use a very intricate high-pressing high-possession style, I probably wouldn't be doing that with Sunderland. So using a top-tier club is a great way to test tactics. Initially my goal with bayern was to be pretty direct and aggressive. It worked well in the league, but we got destroyed in the champions league knock-out stage 2 years in a row and I was absolutely pissed about it. Tottenham knocked us out, and then Liverpool (both teams managed by Pocchettino, that bastard!) In both games we were completely inept in attack, and the lack of balance was truly exposed. So I wanted to make big changes. I hit the pre-season going into season 3, after winning 2 league titles, 2 super cups, and 2 domestic cups. It was time for big changes because I was sick of tinkering, and sick of 433. So we made some transfer moves, and settled on a system that I'm loving. The base shape is a 4-4-1-1 Asymmetric. Notice how I left out the roles/duties. I don't want you to get bogged down in all that right now. Just look at the shape. The thing I'm going for here is coverage of the pitch when we're in this shape (our defensive phase). The 4-4-1-1 defends by default in two banks of four. This is one of the most universally-agreed upon excellent defensive shapes. If you set it up right you can have it defend perfectly well against teams with more players in midfield (particularly problematic in the central areas) than you have. The idea is about controlling space. Movement-wise, I want to see a few things. I want my most forward striker to be dropping deep, pressing the other team, and linking play. I want the offset AMC to be burst forward but also help win the battle in central midfield (and partially on his flank). I need my two CM's to control the middle of the park despite not having a third teammate (nominally) with them. So I prefer to keep it simple and I expect them to act as sort of a double-pivot. The flanks are set up as wide mids and fullbacks. Why? I'm sick of using wide AM's, and I've found that with the right instructions, players from the wide-mid strata can be just as offensively effective as those in the AM strata. But, you get the added bonus of defensive stability / increased tracking back. One of the huge problems I see on here is people complaining that they're getting scored on, particularly on the counter. It's easy to see why when the majority of tactics are using either 2, 3, or even 4 players in the attacking midfield strata. (4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, etc.) What's happening is, having those wide attacking mids spaced out so far from their fullbacks causes a lot of open space to be left behind for the AI to exploit. Most teams in real life don't even play this way. Using wide-mid's is a scary good weapon to have in your arsenal. Plus, the WM role is super customizable. What more can you want? How I selected Roles / Duties I'll start from the base. And remember the goal is to create a well-balanced system with multiple points of attack, as well as a solid defensive structure. 1. SK-D with PI's to take short kicks and distribute to my CD's. This is because I have good ball players in that position, and also because a lot of teams in Germany love to use AMLR's who press the fullbacks immediately. Distributing to the CD's helps us filter the ball into our CM's, and not get caught out on the flanks. Minimizing risk is key here. 2. CD-D, BDP-C. What I've gone for here is a classic central defender who breaks up play, and then one who isn't afraid to play a risky pass, but also sits back a bit and cleans up any mistakes / through balls / 1v1's. I love this combination because it also allows us to effectively defend that crucial space in behind the CM's. One CD can set up and be aggressive without unbalancing the entire system. This helps dilute any possible numerical advantage the AI might have inbetween the lines. 3. FB-A / FB-S. This is a really simple thing. I wanted at least 1 full back to be consistently getting forward. What this does is puts the AI under pressure from a more unpredictable area. It also allows us to more effectively control the play once we've established possession in the attacking third. The other fullback will get forward too, but much in a much less risky manner. 4. DLP-D / CM-S This was the hardest thing for me to decide on. I knew I wanted to utilize a DLP-D. Bayern seem to always have phenomenal options for that role. But tactically speaking I love this set up because it allows us to have a creator/holder partnered with a runner/supporter. These guys have to be good all around players because they're only in a pair. I expect them to break up play a bit, but not TOO much. Ideally I want to see them helping defend their respective flank, but not exclusively. They need to be able to force the AI to play the ball down the flanks, where we'll have a better numerical advantage. The CM-S should provide enough forward thrust to support the attacks, while also not being overly-aggressive / roaming in a way that would expose the DLP-D. 5. WM-S / WM-S So for these guys I have special instructions. Both are set to maximum closing down. Both are told to sit narrow. The left mid cuts inside. The right mid dribbles more but doesn't cut inside. This creates sort of a false winger / false inside forward combination that is really fun to watch. I usually like to use James Rodriguez on the wide left spot, and either douglas costa or kylian mbappe on the right flank. Please note, the key instruction here is sits narrower. This is because in order for us to remain stable in midfield I wanted to give the DLP-D / CM-S as much help as possible. A lot of teams in FM attack narrowly, for whatever reason. So if you can't defend the middle, you're going to have a bad time. Both of these wide mids sitting narrow helps a lot. They're also told to close down aggressively because it's easier for us to win the ball back on the flanks than in the middle. Remember the AI has nowhere to go if you close them down against the touchline. Also note, BOTH wide mids are on support. Why? Because as I said above, I wanted to give a lot of support to those central mids, especially against narrow attacks. When we need to we can easily turn the right wide mid into attack, giving him a lot more license to get forward consistently. But you have to remember this key point: just because a player is on support doesn't mean he won't get forward and be involved in the attack! I've got supporting wide mids who have potential to outscore Lewandowski / Muller. The thing to realize is how much space there is. If a support player has space to run into, he's going to do it if it's relatively risk-free. Remember they're starting position is deeper than the typical wide attacker. They're going to find themselves (a lot of times) with plenty of space ahead of them. This creates SO many problems for teams using AMLR with regular full backs. 6. SS-A / DLF-S Initially I wanted to use a complete forward on the right, but I found that he roamed too much and we lacked enough of a central threat. So the DLF-S was the natural choice for a player who can come deep to get the ball, link play, and do so without roaming too much. The SS-A is a great role. Muller is perfect for this, I don't think there is anyone on earth better for that role. This is mostly due to his incredible mental stats! Anyway the idea here is that the SS-A will burst forward, and he'll do so slightly off-set from the main striker. It's about space! I want him to have as much space to work in as possible, while still be safely supported by his teammates. Often times he'll be the further forward. Other times he'll be quite deep helping us link play. This variety is exactly what helps create space and therefore, goal scoring chances. As I said above the DLF-S also links play, but he's a bit more of a "central" player, which is important. We still need to have someone playing a more traditional striker role towards the middle. This way we have an effective "target" for crosses, someone who can knock the ball down and hold it up. Having a good passer here helps a ton. Lewandowski isn't a great passer, but he's such a dynamic player that it works a treat. Instructions! And Mentality! And Shape! See what I did there? Zero TI's. This may change eventually, but for now, it's zero. There's no need. I'm keeping things really simple. I'll add or remove TI's as I see fit in a match. But they're completely unnecessary for creating a solid system. A lot of times they just create more problems, making it harder to diagnose problems. Besides, our style of play is defined by our roles/duties, PLAYER instructions, and shape/mentality. For mentality we went with Control. Again, this will change in matches. Not a ton, but i'll do it when appropriate. I went for control because I want to get players forward and into dangerous positions. I want us to take a decent amount of risk while also not over-committing to attacking. Control is a really cool mentality because you can get a sort of hybrid possession/counter-attack thing going. In some matches we score from the counter, and in others we score from constant controlling of the AI's final third. It's beautiful. I'll change mentality generally if we need to hold onto a result / take less risk / go down a man. I'm not afraid to use attacking, but it hasn't been needed really. Think of mentality as risk, not as a measure of likelihood to score goals. It's about risk and space! Control = more risk, more movement, more emphasis on getting forward / ahead of the ball. Control does not = more goals by default, or less defending. Shape-wise I went for Very Fluid. The idea here is I wanna be as compact as possible. The strength of a 4-4-2 variant is the two banks of four in defense. Being compact helps us fortify that shape, AND it helps us press effectively as a unit. Remember that playing very fluid also means players will use more creative freedom so, if you have poor decision makers, this might not be a good idea. I will go to a more structured shape when necessary. For example if we're down to 10 men, I'd prefer to be much more "stand off-ish" and just maintain shape. Or, if we're being pressed to death and need space, going more structured can help us spread players out further and open up more space. Everything is contextual! So does this even work? Yes. Granted, plenty of friendlies in there, but the run speaks for itself. There's a good mix here of tough away matches / decent league opponents. Here's some shots of our assist locations, and assist types: (as well as opponent assists) Remember what I said about balance? Look at those assists. We're getting contributions from ALL over the place. We're scoring from different avenues, and creating quality chances. This is the sign of a well-built system that can sustain itself in the long haul. Remember, by this point in the save, we're already 2x champions and the AI respects us. Most games we play the AI is quite defensive. So this isn't a case of "well, in two months time see where it goes." This is designed to be a system that picks apart defensive sides. The bonus is that it has seemed to work really well on the counter, too. We destroyed Dortmund by playing mostly on the counter mentality with very few shouts. Same role/duty set up. It's all about the movement and control of space! So now what? At this point I'm excited to be using this system consistently. One thing I'd like to explore is using "work ball into box" from the get-go. This would reduce unneeded long shots, and even reduce some excess crossing. Also, stay on feet might help because we're usually quite aggressive. As for roles and duties, I think that changing the right wid mid to attack is going to have to continue to be game by game basis. I'm not sure I want to do that for each match. I like how he functions by default on support. It's just that in some matches when he's on attack it creates this insanely potent flank attack. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your FM saves. If you would like to ask me questions about this system, feel free. I'll try to answer as many as I can.
  4. Hi all, In the last couple of weeks I've discovered that my holy grail of football tactics lies within the total football inspired by cruijff and guardiola. I'm trying to emulate this kind of football in FM. I'm not trying to copy an exact tactic 1 on 1, but it's more about the philosophy behind the tactics. Lately I've been reading a lot of articles about Guardiola's philosophy and I was wondering: When I'm emulating his ideas into any fm tactic, what instructions do I absolutely have to tick? I guess I'll have to play very fluid, control. And further on? - retain posession? - work ball into box? -play out of defence? -high defensive line? -high pressure? My question in short is: what are the basic instructions that you would use every time while forming every cruijff/guardiola-inspired tactic? Note: I have learned a lot from the topics of Özil to the arsenal about his fantastic ajax and barca tactic. But I'm not trying to emulate exact tactics, I'm trying to emulate the bigger picture, the philosophy (gosh, I sound like Louis van Gaal right now).
  5. Hello, and welcome to my FM17 save. I've decided to do something a bit different this year, and it's probably the most difficult challenge I've ever undertaken. The Challenge This challenge, as the title suggests, is based on the career of Pep Guardiola. I'm going to try to win every trophy he has managed to (including the minor ones), in the same timescale. I will also take a 'sabbatical' at the same stage he did, and will watch games during that time, posting updates from the football world. I will create the vacancy at the next club at the appropriate time, but it'll still be up to my manager to get the job, I won't re-invent myself. My Manager I have, with the help of the FM Community, managed to almost exactly replicate Pep Guardiola's attributes from the 2007/8 season, and so here he is and here are his managerial stats to date The starting point
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