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4-4-1-1 A very flexible tactic. Hello, this is my first post after years of lurking. I first wrote it in swedish then i translated it with google (Im lazy yes). Then i tried to fix some small errors but there might still be some of them left. Other parts will be written in English and even if its not my native language I hope it will be better flowing. This thread is quite long now, so I have collected all the posts here! Post 2 Inverted wing-back and inverted winger. Post 3 Attacking midfielder. Post 4 Winger + mentalities. Post 5 Central midfielder + 4-4-1-1 Arguments. Post 6 Deep lying playmaker. Post 7 Summary of roles + more. I also started a new series about positonal play. Will my team be able to pass their way to world domination? Stylistically, I (as a Man U) fan have always liked the direct 4-4-2 that Sir Alex Ferguson's first teams used (arguably 4-4-1-1 with Cantona). They focused mainly on wing play for the creation of opportunities and played a relatively direct style. Later, I was obviously amazed by Pep Guardiola and his Jugo De Position,overloads and diagonal movements. The most recent manager that influenced me was Jürgen Klopp and his Dortmund, who won the german league two years in a row and made it to the final in the Champions League. Klopp's team was known for its extreme counterpressing (gegenpressing) where they then tried to attack at high speed once the possession was won. The goal is to succeed in creating something that is a hybrid and with some influence from the best of them different styles. Of course, compromises will have to be made as I only play in a second division (at the moment). The pace and the length of the pass is something that I would really like to have balanced / standard but with better players (or that the current squad is developing) it should probably go away eventually. For now I have decided that I will start with these instructions for the team. The mentality is positive which is the first one that is "offensive" and the 5 out of 7 different where 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 goes from most defensive (1) to most attacking (7). It will, in turn, increase our playing width, tempo, passing directness, LoE, back line, press to slightly higher than standard. That is the whole basis of our game. After that, some adjustments are made to squad quailty and to get to the overall style I want to create. I Would like to have possession but not for the sake of it, press high but not too high, other instructions are to complement this. I try to stay away from extremes. So, I had to start somewhere and I didn't want to start in an top divison. The Premier Leauge has always been the "league for me" so I started looking for suitable teams in the Championship. Fulham with Mawson, Cairney and Mitrovic had enough ability to create a style of play that I was comfortable with. To increase the challenge, I tried to stick to players from the Nordic countries, Great Britain & Ireland, Brazil and Argentina (cause FLAIR). Thus, a large sale was initiated. Tried at all costs to get rid of players who did not meet these criteria. After that, a little more interesting phase began as I tried to strengthen the squad for this year's challenges. Most acquisitions are for the future and squad depth, but a few offer something from the start. Among others, the 22-year-old lightning fast forward from Blackburn Adam Armstrong. Well-rounded midfielder James Garner from Manchester United who came on loan will also get a lot of playing time. Other key players, as previously mentioned, include Alfie Mawson, a so-called ballplaying defender. Cairney is easiest to describe as a classic playmaker with good flair, technicals and vision. Our third designated key player Mitrovic, a physical phenomen that also possesses surprisingly good techique and touch for a lad of his size. As a base, I start to build from the back with 2 regular roles (fullback and central defender) and 3 more specialized roles (sweeper keeper, ball playing defender and inverted wingback). The idea behind this is that the Sweeper keeper is important to be able to build possession from the back, the regular full back to the right will overlap every now and then, the ball playing defender will help the SK to build out from the back. The regular center defender should primarily defend and only add short simple passes to the more technically gifted players around him (IWB, BPD) The inverted wing back is very important to start building the game deep, he will also occasionally appear in the opponsitions penalty area to end the attacks or make killer balls into the penalty area. This happens because the player gets an attacking mentality when I use "look for underlap" on the left. This player is almost playing like a marauding playmaker and is one of the most important roles in my system. The player in question who currently holds this role is Joe Bryan. Here there is plenty of room for a better player to have a greater impact on the team. Dwight Mcneil would be a quality signing for this, originally a winger but with 12 tackle, 10 marking and 11 positioning he is already a capable defender who has a lot of room for development. (Joe Bryan) The regular full back is a basic role (zero preset pi’s) and it can look very different depending on who is playing there. UNE (Jakob Une Larsson) makes the role very safe and secure and often thinks of the defensive side of the game in the first place. (UNE) If Cyrus Christie or Rankin-Costello plays, it will be much more buzzing. Christie (and Costello) because of his traits will be much more attacking in his interpretation of the role. Often advancing further up the pitch and when he plays it is almost like having two inverted wing backs at times. (Christie) The midfield is pretty basic and doesn't have that much finesse but hard work and grit is most important. I Would like to have great physical players centrally in the field. On the wings I like to see a classic winger (fast) on one side and one more “Arjen Robben (not because Robben was not fast) inspired” on the other. Something else is that in the middle field I handed out my first PI or personal instructions and that I have done to all players, they are all told to "push more" which the defenders do not have. This is to create a so-called "split block" as one half of the team pushes higher up the pitch and the other half of the team is standing off and more trying to steer the opponents out of dangerous areas. The exception that confirms the rule is the defensive midfielder, which I count to he defensive part of my split block. So, pressing we have midfield and forward except cmd. Low pressing we have cmd and defense. The defensive midfielder also has some other PIs so he looks as follows. Since the mentality is careful, I have increased the pass length to direct, then I have instructed the defensive midfielder not to dribble. This is because the defensive midfielder is rarely good at just this but also to speed up the game a bit as I would rather see a quick pass to a more technical player. The offensive is largely handled by two players where one is thought to be a link between the lone striker and the rest of the team. The spearhead should try to create as much disarray as possible for the opponents. An APA (advanced playmaker attack) links the play less than an APS and an AF is the striker who is most willing to move into channels and pull apart the opponent's defense. Combined with Mitrovic's ability to play with the back towards goal, I think the mix between the role and the "traits" will be perfect and it will be as a combination between several roles. Thoose two also are included in the pressing block and have thus been given this personal instruction (pressure more). When Armstrong plays at the top, the opponents often have problems with his high pace and they often have to adjust their back line to get control of him, or else he will probably score. The whole tactic thus looks like this: my preferred eleven is this: Next part I will try to analyse this and see how it plays out (and show some results). Also i will discuss some development and future plans.
This original post is from fmrensie.net. The player development in the Football Manager is one of the key areas of the game. At least for me. In combination with a good training regime, it can lead to quite good results. What is my system in FM20? Most of you who follow me and my saves, know, my saves are usually connected to young players and their development. And it’s not different in FM20. I’ve reached the end of the 2023/2024 season recently and I think I already have enough examples of player(s) development after five years. And I would like to share some of them with you. Also with the samples of their additional training focus. Same as we all love the green dots in the schedule screen, many of us love the green up arrow near the attributes. The green arrow(s) means your player is developing well and his attributes are better. But don’t worry if you will see some orange or red arrows aimed down… If you look on the attribute graph you will see that most if not all the attributes dropped by as little as .01. Under the hood, FM views the attributes as a 1-200 range. And this allows it to account for gradual declines and gains over time. Over the course of the season, and often early as they are working back into fitness, you will see this happen. It’s only a problem if you see it persist over time. Things to consider if it is a decline to be concerned about: age, a serious long-term injury, and off-field incident, or signing a young player from a team at a higher level with better training facilities (though this will level out fairly quickly and cease to be a problem, though he might not get back to where he was if the decline is too much). Source: SI Forum Midfielders = my pride If I really enjoy the development of some specific players, it must be midfielders. It’s also connected to my favourite formation as I like to use 4-3-3 with a flat midfield. That means I need to have a lot of central midfielders. They are usually my key players I like to have a big depth in this position There is a big potential to develop some really good players I also changed my approach during FM20 in terms of Position/Role/Duty training. I liked to use Roaming Playmaker role for 99% of my central midfielders in the past. This role covers most of the physical attributes but also most of the mental attributes. That means it’s a very “overall” type of training as it’s less specified and it can be slower in terms of improvement. I decided to change it to Box To Box midfielder role. Trained attributes for BBM role (green) in combination with Defensive Positioning as Aditional Focus (blue). One of the key questions is what do you want from your central midfielder? Hold the position and distribute the ball? Roam from his position, play as a free player? Get forward whenever possible? You can have everything but even if my central midfielder is creator, finisher from the second line or just someone who is responsible for simple passing, I want them to have strong physical attributes. The only exception would be the player who I would use in the Ball Winning Midfielder role. Yes, the physical attributes are important too, but it’s a very specific role in my eyes so I would not train this player in a different role than as BWM. Player development in FM20 – example 1: The first example is Gilberto Erick Serrano. My central midfielder who plays as DLP(S) or CM(S), it depends on what role I’m using. Gilberto is our own newgen from the 2021/2022 Youth Intake. He was able to make 11 appearances until the end of this season in our U20s team. He was promoted to the 1st team squad and made 12(9) appearances in his first full season. In that time we used DLP(S) role so he was my backup for Lionel Laborda. He was set to train BBM position with Defensive Positioning as the additional focus as I wanted to improve him for DLP(S) role – mainly to improve his Positioning and Decisions attributes. As you can see, between March 2022 and July 1, 2024, the progress of those attributes was really good: Decisions + 7 Positioning + 5 Marking + 5 In combination with his overall development including physical attributes or Off The Ball attribute improvement, he grew up to the perfect midfielder. And he still is only 19 years old. Also, both his traits – Plays One-Twos & Dictates Tempo – were developed during his time in the club. It’s also the right time to decide what Additional Focus to give him now. I thought about Passing but Technique and Vision are already good. It looks like I will give him some time with Endurance to boost Stamina and Work Rate. Player development in FM20 – example 2: The second example is Kefren Castillo. I bought this midfielder at the end of the first season of this save from Zacatepec for €60k. I let him play the U20 league in the first season and as I’m in charge of the individual training of the youth team, it was not a problem to train him same as if he would be in the 1st team. Same as Serrano, he was set to train as BBM. The difference was the additional focus. Castillo was set to train Passing. Passing + 7 Technique + 5 Vision + 8 The improvement of his Vision attribute is phenomenal in my eyes. Both Serrano and Castillo play as CM(S) with Hold Position and Shoot Less Often instructions. Not good enough? I will take a look… Our example number three is not a midfielder. It’s a central defender and our own newgen. I mentioned Josué Infante in the post about the far post corner kick routine some time ago. He was not among the players our DoF wanted to sign from the Youth Intake. But I signed him. And he made 45(2) appearances in the latest season despite he is still only 19 years old. He is trained as the Ball Playing Defender. The additional focus in the first full season was Agility and Balance. I changed it to Aerial for the second full season. Agility + 6 Balance + 7 Heading + 3 He is playing as a central defender and I’m very happy he improved attributes like Anticipation, Concentration or Positioning a lot. Same as Pace up by + 5. I will continue for some time with the Aerial additional focus with him to improve his Heading attribute. The Youth Intake responsible man I don’t buy too many players in my saves. I’m more inclined to develop my own players. That’s why I try to invest all the money to the training & youth facilities and youth recruitment. Currently, our Director of Football Ramoncito Morales is responsible for youth intakes. Mainly because of his professional personality. If I will be able to find better HoYD, I will change it. Btw. it’s hidden here in Staff/Overview/Transfer and Contract responsibilities – Provides Youth Development Information. The reason why I mention the youth intake is mainly that the fact of the preferred formation as it could have a big impact on your youth intake. Morales’ preferred formation is 4-1-4-1 DM Wide. That means three central midfielders, same as I like to use within the flat 4-3-3. The DM position is not too important. It’s much easier to retrain DM to CM role than to have 5 players with the position I’m not using… The 4-1-4-1 is my most favourite formation with the flat 4-3-3 so I like to choose my coaches or other staff with this formation. If it’s possible of course. The own players aim We are currently on the way to finish the third improvement of our facilities in three years. We currently have Good training facilities and Average youth facilities. I also hope the Youth Recruitment will be available to upgrade. I have 27 players in the 1st team at the end of the 5th season with the club. 15 of them are home-grown players and 7 of them are our own players. The aim is to have at least 75% of the squad made up of its own players. * I would like to find my coaches and DoF or Head of Youth Development by the 4-3-3 formation with the flat midfield trio but it’s not possible to select it in the Staff Search as 4-3-3 Wide is not within the Preferred Formation option. I remember I suggested it as a new feature during FM19 but nothing changed… Another one? David Escobedo is on a very good way to join his older teammates. I bought this young midfielder from Mineros de Zacatecas in summer of 2023 for €40k. He trains as Box To Box midfielder with the Passing as the additional focus. And his attributes of Passing, Technique and Vision already moved up by 2 and 3 respectively. His physical attributes are also better. He turned 17 years old in April 2024. He still has a lot of time to reach his potential and became a first-team regular player. So, that’s it about my Player development in FM20. I would be able to share some more players from my current squad but I think those examples are enough. If you would be interested in something related to the player development, just let me know.
I'm managing Sunderland in League One. No signings and many tactics used to try to get the best from my players. It's not a bad tactic, but I think that I can take more from my wingers, who doesn't seem to play well like pure wingers as they lack speed. Also, I guess that speed is something that my entire team don't have and I really wanted to make a better defensive block (play with a 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-1-4-1...). What do you guys think?
What are some of your tried and true strategies for getting the best out of very high potential players. I want examples from people's past experiences and not just opinions please. I have a few really good young players in my save who have developed very well, but seem to not be growing anymore in attributes i want them to grow further in. I know they still have some growth left in them and i'm currently seeing them progress in attributes that arent very meaningful for their positions, like long throws for a forward. Is it better for me to use the remaining potential to train them for new positions ? Has it worked out great for anyone here ? Thank you