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  1. So I have this player who is supposed to be a great talent. He wanted to go to Arsenal, but then rejected their offer as apparently he wasn't happy with the wage they offered... To be honest I was happy selling him, as he's often disappointing in actual match performance despite all his talent. He rarely get's a bad grade as he rarely makes mistakes, but I feel he's just not as decisive as he should be. He rarely creates chances and he rarely scores, which are things I expect from an attacking midfielder, especially in my current tactic. However, since he rejected the Arsenal offer and that's the only club who wants him, I guess I just have to make the most of it. I'm not entirely sure what to do with him though. I have 2 other good AMC's in my squad and about 4 talents in my reserve squad who start to get close to be ready for regular first team football. I want him to develop into more than a guy who usually passes the ball to someone wearing the correct colour, I want him to win matches for me. I don't know how though. He's fast, can sue both feet, good technically and has good composure and decisions. Looking at his skill set I think he perhaps would be better as an inside forward on support. That would mean I should adept my tactics though. Not sure which PPM's would sim him neither, I tried to teach him to play one-two's, which he failed, and for other PPM's he's weak at at least one skill that seems important for it to me. Guess refrains from taking long shots would fit, but I'm not sure who that would make him more decisive. Anyways. all advise is welcome. Please discuss.
  2. The AEK Athens Challenge | The Rise of an Empire Introduction | 1 July 2016 And so, I have arrived in Athens. One of the oldest cities in the world. This beautiful cosmopolitan metropolis has been home to AEK Athens F.C. since the clubs formation in 1942. The city is home to 25,000 Athenians and now it is home to me, Oliver Jensen, a Norwegian-born manager from Kristiansand. AEK Athens are rebuilding following their bankruptcy and relegation out of the football league in 2013. Notable fans and former players now own the club under the Union Friends of AEK group. The Union holds a majority stake in the club. AEK returned to the Superleague last year and finished an impressive third in their first season back in the AEK returned to the Superleague last year and finished an impressive third in their first season back in the top-flight. The Melissanidis era begins. It is 1 July 2016. Dimitris Melissanidis, the club owner, has handed me a one-year contract to become the new manager of AEK Athens following the unexpected resignation of Jose Morais just a few weeks before pre-season was due to commence. I am told that there are no club philosophies in place. The only expectation of me is that we finish around the top of the league. Given the league is formed of 16 teams, I'm assuming this is top four. And so it will be from these four walls—my office at the Athletic Centre of Spata—where I will write about both my tactical analysis and progression with the club. That is, however, until we move to the Agia Sofia in 2018. So we begin. Day one. We have no money for transfers and we have no room for movement in the wage budget, but I have the brilliant Baltemar Brito at my side who once worked alongside Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. The Challenge | What I want to achieve Despite the one-year contract, and the club setting straightforward, short-sighted goals for me, I do have my own personal goals for the club, which I will review at the end of every season: I. Improve the facilities. Having great facilities in place will help us bring in exciting youth products. Will help us develop the players to the levels we will need them to be at if we're to achieve our objectives. Corporate: Average Training: Good Youth: Good Junior Coaching: Good Youth Recruitment: Above Average II. Improve the squad personality and determination levels. At the moment the first team squad only possess six fairly professional players, one professional and one spirited player. In order to develop the youth players to levels where they can come into the first team, we need first team players who can tutor them and help them reach their potential. As the squad personality rises as does the personality of the youth players coming through the team. Squad Personality: Ambitious The below shows the current squad personalities. As you can see, we're primarily balanced. III. Break up the dominance enjoyed by our fierce rivals, Olympiakos. They have won the league 18 of the past 20 seasons. We have won it 11 times in our history, lastly as part of the great 1993/94 season. IV. Increase the number of Greek youth products promoted to the first team. This might not be immediately possible, given the facilities at the moment and lack of good prospects in the under 20s, but it’s an objective we can start work on now by improving our coaching setup and scouting network. I don't want to be hamstrung by only signing and playing Greek players at this time, but it is an aim to be self-sufficient. The Plan | How I aim to achieve it First and foremost, we must be successful on the pitch. If not, then this story ends quickly. If we can be successful on the pitch in the short term, we buy ourselves time to be successful off the pitch long term. To do this, we need a sound tactical footing. I have reviewed the competition we are up against, a quick browse through the default tactics for all 16 teams in the Superleague, the Greek top division. Nine are set to 4-2-3-1, five to 4-3-3 and there is an odd asymmetric 4-2-2-2 for good measure. All teams are playing with attacking wingers and a lone striker. The media believe we are good enough for a third-placed finish. Behind Panathinaikos and the favourites Olympiakos. Not bad considering two years ago we were out of the football league. So, as we expect to be favourites for most games this season. We should look to take advantage of this. I have a team report offered by Baltemar, we have an aggressive and committed squad. We are hardworking and physical. There is an impressive standard of passing and technical ability and amongst the players, showing excellent first touch. The squad has good depth, but overall I do not think we have the quality to compete with Olympiakos just yet. I decide to go for a 5-4-1 Diamond WB | Standard | Very Fluid Given that we are excellent at passing (I know this because Baltemar said so), we will play shorter passes and aim to keep possession. I want us to play out of the box, and to work the ball into the opposition box. The idea is that we recycle possession at the back, feeding the ball through the diamond midfield and into the advanced positions. Given most of our opposition have four players out wide, reducing their central players, I should get some joy here. Moreover, we need to be able to exploit the space our wide when their attacking wingers are out of position. My attacking wing-backs will have some work to do. They also need to keep the play stretched to allow us the space infield to play. My two key roles are at the top and bottom of the midfield diamond, my defensive midfielder, and my attacking midfielder. The positions, roles, and duties Goalkeeper. Initially, we'll work with a sweeper keeper to keep him close with the defence to ensure there's no big gap between him and the players ahead of him. Central defence. I will use a flat back three. I do not want to give away possession so quickly after we recover the ball from deep, so defenders instructed to play shorter passes. I will ask my central defender of the three to cover. Wing-backs. Their primary objective for me is to stretch play and offer an outlet if the middle of the pitch becomes too congested. I also need them to exploit any space vacated by attacking wingers. My defensive midfielder. He will be the protector of the defence. We will have three at the back, so he will give some stability in the middle when the defenders split. With a defensive duty, he needs to hold his position and recycle possession when we win it back. I also instruct him to collect the ball from my keeper when restarting play. My central midfielders. These two are important as we need them to offer both defensive stability and attacking support. I want them positioned asymmetrically in the middle, creating a diamond where a passing option must always be available in three directions: ahead, to the left/right and behind. I have a central midfielder who I will ask to attack, he will be the main attacking support, alongside a box to box midfielder who will be in and around the opposition area. Attacking midfielder. I like the advanced playmaker role here. Given that we are very fluid, he is my sole specialist role. He is the pivot for which all play will build around. I expect him to be high in goals and assists. I expect him to have a lot of touches, good movement, receive and make a lot of passes. This role is key for me. Striker. We have three strikers who can all play Target Man, which is an undervalued role I find. He is a great outlet when short passing options are limited. He can bring in others when we are building play. And more importantly, he will make the space for my advanced playmaker and other players to move into. Final Words I will not be making too many off the field changes. I do not want to completely overhaul the club just yet. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day and this empire will be built the right way. For the next six months, we will work on the tactical side of things and by January I should have us up and running as I need. I may see if I can get a loan or two in before the end of the window. I will also start scouting the Greek leagues to look for players for potential summer transfers. I will set up training for the first team and under 20s to ensure everyone is training for the positions I need them to play in. It is imperative that we get everyone up to speed on their new roles and positions as quickly as possible. I will report back on 1 January 2017. Where I will cover how we have adapted tactically, review our strengths and weaknesses and review any back office changes, should I decide to make any. Oliver Jensen
  3. In real life football there are many examples of players who are influenced by the managers they met at their clubs. Take for example the influence Mourinho has on his players.He demands his players to really form a strong team and there is very little room for selfish players. Ofcourse there are many, many examples of players who just don't fit at a new manager's way of wanting to play football. And those players, even great players sometimes, just have to find the exit door at a club because they don't fit the manager. To stick with the Mourinho example: Juan Mata, 2 times player of the year, had to leave Chelsea because he didn't work hard enough for Mourinho's likings. But there is also the other side of a manager's preferred playing style and the players adapting to it. Some players who at first glance would not be qualified as hardworking players have changed their game because they believed in the manager's philosophy. Take Wesley Sneijder. At Ajax and Real Madrid he was a technically gifted playmaker. And at Mourinho's Champions League winning Inter Milan? He still was a technically gifted playmaker, but he also worked his arse off in favour of the team. That is something he wasn't capable of at Ajax or Real Madrid. In Football Manager it is not possible to influence your team's players as a manager in the way Mourinho does. For example, a very important quality like Workrate is very difficult to influence in Football Manager. You can't really train it. And you can certainly not influence it the way Mourinho can at his squads. Do you want to play with a cohesive team, but your star player hasn't got the qualities for that? Too bad, you have to sell him because you can't try to convince him to behave the way you want him to. Considering this I would suggest two types of interactions with the players to make it possible to interact even more with the players and the team than possible at the moment. 1. I think it should be possible to appoint a team meeting at the start of your time at the club (or even at the start of each new season), where you can explain the type of football you want your team to play and that you demand your players to adapt to that style of play(if you want to have a dedicated kind of football like attacking, possession, counter, etc.). Practically this could mean things like: "I want to play counter-football with this team. I expect all you guys to develop your concentration and stamina, so that we can have success with this team." To clarify: I know you can train a player's stamina. But at this time, you can't influence a players willingness to develop his stamina. You can't try to inspire and convince him to develop the qualities you want from him. 2. I thinks it should be possible to appoint individual player meetings during the season in which you can compliment/warn a player because of his developement considering the playing style you are playing with your team. For example: "for the type of football we are playing, I really expect you to improve your First Touch. If you can't improve that than I don't see a place for you at this club under my leadership anymore and I will have to replace you." or, even with transfer-targets you have in mind: "I really want you in my team, but you have to be willing to improve your teamwork to fit our team." I think that both suggestions would really improve the way you can influence your squad, just like a real life manager can influence his squad. Some real life squads really develop under manager with a certain vision, but you just can't replicate those kind of stuff in Football Manager yet. The only thing you can do in Football manager is sell the players that don't fit your vision and replace them with new players who do fit your style. I think the existing squad players should be given the chance to adapt to a new manager and that goes not only through training, but also through motivation and explanation of a vision. I think you should be able to really bond or disagree with players to how the game of football needs to be played. Does a player disagree your vision? Fine, then find another club. Is he willing to commit? Great! He fits the team! (I'll quit writing now, hoping that I've made my suggestion clear)
  4. Hi everyone, I'd like to monitor history of attributes of changes of each player in the squad. For example, let say we have a 16 years old wonderkid. 10 years later, I'd like to see his previous profiles, i.e. when he is 18, 20, 22, 25 to make conclusion about player development. Maybe when he became 21, we would be able to make conclusion that "this player has not improved as much as I expected for 5 years" and change our minds. This will also let us to learn more about the player development process, how aging affects it, how the physical building affects it, etc. Cheers.
  5. Sorry if this has been posted previously or is obvious but I was wondering how I can set up loans and transfers OUT to always require certain conditions unless I intervene. So for instance I want to make a condition of someone loaning my player that the player can play against my team. Or I want it to be a condition of sale that I get a sell on fee (I can then remove these conditions in individual transfers, but I want them to be the default) I thought I saw a way to do this but for the life of me I can't find how I did it - is this an option or was I imagining things? Thanks in advance
  6. As we are all aware that the tendency of a player's development varies from each other. Some players' develop physically while some others develop technically. Similarly, aging does not affect all players affect in the same way. Some players' physical abilities prominently drop while others (almost) not. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo is physically as good as almost his prime time despite his age. But Rooney is not like him. So how can we determine the tendency of a player for both development & aging? Thanks in advance for your contribution.