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Introduction: I’ve been playing football manager since 2014 version and long-time following this forum. I finally decided to dip my feet in writing a series following my first long-term save in FM 2019. I plan to start a somewhat open discussion of Dynamo Kiev club and my tactics. I intend to post regular updates on my squad and results as well as welcome feedback on how to improve my tactics and training. You can follow the story at the site to which I contribute: https://dictatethegame.com/ I decided to start this save while still in beta for two main reasons. The tactic I intend to try out is not one relying on breaking the current game engine to overachieve but rather on tried and true concepts that would hopefully be applicable to any version of the game. So no 3 strikers nor strikerless tactics. Secondly, I intend to do it with a club that is not from the top 5 leagues. I noticed in the last couple of FMs that the attribute changes between beta and the first patch could be drastic in players in Premiership, Bundesliga or the other “big” leagues. For obvious reason those leagues are more thoroughly scouted. For that reason I reserve those kinds of big saves for later in the year, once I tested out my tactic with a less known side. This year I chose Dynamo Kiev. What attracted me to this club can also be viewed as the 3 Pillars of my 5 Year Plan: 1) Youth Development, 2) Domestic and Continental Success and 3) Implementing Hard Pressing Tactical System inspired by Valeriy Lobanovsky I hail from Ukraine myself so naturally I always followed clubs from this nation. My all-time favourite player growing up was Andriy Shevchenko. One of my earliest footballing memories was watching Dynamo Kiev’s systematic dismantling of Barcelona’s defense in Nov 1998 Champion’s league. Sheva scored 3 goals in that match. Dynamo went on to beat Barcelona 7 to 0 in aggregate. He was part of an elite class, all nurtured at same time by the club. Players such as Oleh Luzhny (later won the Premier League with Arsenal), Serhiy Rebrov (totaling 75 appearances for Ukraine) are just a few examples of the “Dynamo effect” – taking local youngsters and molding them into superstars through hard work and intense fitness conditioning. So to reflect this objective will be to develop a class of homegrown players over the first 5 intakes and then to integrate them into my first team over the following 5 seasons. So by 2028-2029 to have only youth academy products in the 22 player squad. On my way there I’m hoping to also have a positive effect on Ukraine’s National Team and become the foremost farm team for the National Team squads. Success in 1998 Champion’s League marked the revival of the club’s fortunes in late 90s when the manager Valeriy Lobanovsky took over for the second time. In total, he spent 3 decades with the club and its best years were undeniably with him. Becoming the fixture in Champions League and winning numerous domestic trophies were all part of this success. Lobanovsky relied on his signature hard pressing, direct style of play (what some might think of as Geggenpressing today). After dominating Ukrainian League from late 90s to early 2000s, Dynamo has had a bit of a decline due to the meteoric rise of its main rival Shakhtar Donetsk in late 2000s. In the last decade, Shakhtar has won 7 domestic titles in comparison to Dynamo’s 3. This is something that I intend to change, aiming for getting at least 4 titles in 5 seasons. Also Dynamo has not won a major continental trophy since 1985 (UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup) which I also intend to change by winning at least one continental trophy during my first 5 seasons with the club My final objective is developing a Lobanovsky style Pressing Tactic that is built around the player’s hard work, relentless physicality, stamina and disciplined selfless teamwork. By hitting my domestic and continental goals on time, I will know whether this tactical goal was achieved. As you might guess the mold of my ideal player will also be defined by this system (but more on this in future posts) Next: A little context on the Lobanovsky system
I have created a new gegenpress based tactic after being successful with my previous wing play tactic. Here are some ss regarding the tactic:
Introducing the 4-4-2 Pragmatic Flankenspiel My second posted tactic. It's a defensively solid tactic using the classic 4-4-2 formation, but with the width primarily provided by the full backs, while the wide midfielders primarily attacking channels and roaming inside the box (however they will also cross when given opportunities). The two central midfielders act as playmaker and engine respectively. It relies on quick and technically proficient wide players, good crossers and a solid pair of midfielders. Assist will come from both crosses and through balls, and goals will mostly come from placed shots inside box. Origins: The tactic was developed through trial and error while taking my Blyth Spartans team up through the divisions. I was looking for a way of playing a 4-4-2 without being too single-minded in attack, by combining the advantages of both wing play and through balls in the same tactic. The aim of the tactic: The aim is to create a solid defensive base, as well as a varied and potent attack. It presses hard and marks tightly, but is not a full-out gegenpress. The aim here is to leave some space to run into once the ball is won, enabling some deadly counter attacks when the opportunity arises. When the team needs to build from the back, there are plenty of passing options going forward. The playmaker acts as the passing hub, while the BBM does the dirtywork. What kind of chances can you expect: The tactic forces a lot of play through the flanks, but since the full backs provide the width, this often stretches their defense, leaving space in the channels for the wingers and strikers to exploit. The tactic is set to cross low, but you will still see both tap-ins and headers as an end product. You will also see some long balls over the opposition defense from the full backs and central defenders, usually into space for the advanced forward to run onto (as you can see, there are 10 assists from deep passes in the last 50 games). Most goals will come either from crosses by the full backs to the strikers or the opposite winger, or from combination play between the strikers and forward surging wingers. Your top scorers will most likely be the strikers, with the wingers also chipping in with a fair share. Results: The Spartans have become the dominant team in England, with a significantly lower wage budget than the former top teams. Also grabbed a few CL-wins and cup trophies. What kind of players do you need? GK: Any standard keeper will do. If he's decent with the ball at his feet, that's great, but it's not crucial to this tactic. Central Def: The two central defenders should have decent pace and aerial presence. It they are also decent passers of the ball, that's a big plus. Full backs: Pacey and good crossers. They need to cover quite a lot of ground. Playmaker: Good passing and vision, preferrably also good physique and tackling skills. BBM: An allrounder. Tackling and mobility. Passing and long shot is a big plus. If you have a great tackler who's not that useful going forward, you can change this role to a BWM(def) or Central Mid(def). You will lose some aspects of the attacking play, though. Wide Midfielders: Pace, dribbling, off the ball, passing, crossing. You might have to retrain a winger from an AM position. It works with both left footed and right footed players on both sides, but they will perform slightly different. A left footed player on the right will cross less and cut inside more, combining with your strikers and midfield. A right footed player on the right will often surge into channels, with the option of either crossing, playing through one of the strikers or passing it to the overlapping full back. I've had most success using players with a preferred foot matching their side. False 9: Needs good technique and passing. If he has enough strength to hold the ball up, that's a plus. An AM with good finishing can be retrained to play here. Should be right footed. Advanced Forward: Your main goal scorer. Need pace, dribbling, off the ball, finishing. Heading is a plus. Download: 4-4-2 Pragmatic Flankenspiel.fmf If you have any feedback, please comment below. I'd especially like to hear if the tactic works well in other leagues.