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  1. 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
  2. Hello and welcome to this thread where anyone and their dogs can discuss the genius tactic of Total Football in FM, wether that be wanting tips to create it (like me) or to learn a different way of doing it (also me, I have a way in my head). When you come to this thread, if you leave that little bit more enlightened about this than before, it has achieved you purpose. Also the same applies if you have successfully help a person achieve just that. So enjoy...
  3. Long-time reader, infrequent poster. I thought I ought to share this league and cup double winning tactic having benefited from the insight of so many people on here. I built this tactic having taken the Arsenal job two years into the save following Wenger's retirement. (I started the save unemployed before getting the job at Swansea City and winning the Europa League and European Super Cup) Fortunately, the squad was pretty much in tact with only Monreal sold by the time I took over. I wanted to play a controlling style of football with emphasis on possession, pressing and fluidity - an attempt at emulating the 'Total Football' utilised by Michels/Cruyff. PS - I'm posting this tactic a season after I won the double. Since winning those pieces of silverware I also bagged the League Cup before losing the Premier League to Chelsea on goal difference last season - three goals, to be precise. *sob* I set my team up as follows: I find that when my team attacks and reaches the final third it becomes a 3-2-4-1 of sorts with my left back often overlapping the inside forward. The combination has proved fruitful and that is shown by the number of assists from the left wing area. The most common types of goal I score tend to be through balls from Ozil, WIlshere and Coutinho to Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain or crosses from Davies headed in by Giroud or finished by Ozil. Obviously there are several other types but these two seem to crop up quite a lot. I rarely score from outside the area though and would like to add that as another string to my team's bow. I haven't tweaked the Fluidity setting at all so far but do vary my side's mentality quite frequently in matches. I start most games with Control but have sometimes used Counter when playing difficult opponents, particularly away from home. If I'm looking to shut out a match, having secured a lead, I will switch to Counter or Defensive and adjust my other TIs accordingly. Usually I do this by adding Retain possession, Much lower tempo and Waste time. When I'm chasing goals I switch to Attacking and employ Higher tempo and Much higher defensive line to try and compress the opposition's space further and use the ball more urgently. If I'm really desperate and in the last 15 minutes I'll go to Overload and use Much higher tempo, Get stuck in and Shoot on sight. (I'm still tweaking my tactics for chasing goals and try different combinations as I play more of the save) Team instructions: I settled on these TIs quite quickly having read through a series of really useful posts (linked to below) but some variations that I've used in the past, with differing success, are Pass into space and Use offside trap. The latter requires a change in PIs for my centre backs from Stopper and Cover to Defend and Defend. Player instructions: GK: Goalkeeper (Defend) - Pass it shorter // Default role for the tactic which I use for Szczęsny and Mannone. However, when I use ter Stegen I employe him as a Sweeper keeper (Support) because of his unique skill set. I have found there isn't too much difference between the two roles but there are moments when an SK is particularly useful in a team playing with a high defensive live. This includes intercepting long balls sent over the top of your defence and instigating counter-attacks. DR: Full back (Support) - Run wide with ball // I used Sagna here until he got a bit too old and then switched to Stones last season. I prefer tallish full backs in this position as they don't get forward as much as the left back and often deal with aerial clearances from the opposition. DRC: Central defender (Stopper) - Mark tighter // I use Koscielny and Vermaelen here who are getting on a bit but have great mental stats, useful for tutoring younger players, and can still get the job done. DLC: Central defender (Cover) - Mark tighter // Eventually I'm hoping to make Dier a Ball playing defender with Cover duty as he has the required skills and gives me another creative option from deep. My first choice until recently was Nkoulou but he's upset I rejected an offer from Monaco and his performances started to drop. DL: Full back (Attack) - Run wide with ball // A really important attacking outlet for this tactic, as odd as it seems to say for a defender. Constantly provides overlaps and crosses into the box for Giroud and Kane. I use Davies and Gibbs presently but used to have Bernat who was one of the best performing players in the Premier League for the two seasons I had him. Average rating was 7.38 in his final season with us before Real Madrid bought him for £36.5m - kerching! MCR: Central midfielder (Support) // I try not to have more than one PI for each position as I have quite a lot of TIs for this tactic and don't need any in this position. Wilshere is really good from deep and gets further forward to support the attack when I use Attacking or Overload mentality - has scored some crucial goals at the death. Ramsey is the other player I use here and he brings distance shooting and long range passing qualities I otherwise don't have. I'd like to be able to play both at the same time. MCL: Central midfielder (Defend) - Mark tighter // I like tall players here as I've noticed a lot of what they do is dealing with aerial clearances from the opposition's defence when I have them under the cosh. Enriquez and Rodwell work well in winning the ball in the air and laying it off to one of the attacking players to start another attack and keep the pressure on. However, I got Bender in this year as he was available for a good price and he brings a more physical defensive presence - a couple of times his challenges high up the pitch have led to quickly taken goals. I play him as a Ball winning midfielder with Defend duty. AMR: Winger (Attack) - Get further forward // Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott give me width, pace and crosses from the right hand side but their main threat is running in behind defences and finishing in the corner. Ox scored 28 goals (all competitions) in the season I won the double. I instruct them to Stay forward in Set pieces and they have picked up a good few goals, corners and free kicks by attacking on the break. AMC: Advanced playmaker (Attack) - Roam from position // I have Ozil - the Kings of Assists. Basically, he's brilliant and scores goals as well as creating them. In the last two seasons his average rating has been 7.67 and 7.41 with Cazorla relieving him when he's rested. AML: Inside forward (Support) - Sit narrower // Coutinho and Rotariu are becoming really good in this position and it's fun to see them pick the ball up in the final third with lots of options available. Davies running down the left, Ozil and Giroud in front of him, Ox to the right and Wilshere square. One of the main strength's of this tactic is the consistent overload it creates down the left hand side and, touch wood, will continue to be a reliable supply of goal-scoring opportunities. ST: Advanced forward (Attack) - Shoot more often // Default role for the tactic but I always put Giroud and Kane as Target man (Attack) because of their skill set and it's really useful to have an aerial threat up top. Giroud has scored 29 and 24 goals in the last two seasons with Podolski also banging in a few before he was sold. (Got old and fell out with me) The added height also gives me extra protection at defensive set pieces which is useful in a team with quite a few short players and particularly when playing the likes of Pulis / Alladyce. Thanks for reading and I hope I've included everything that's needed. Feel free to ask any questions about the tactic or pass on some advice, best of luck! Recommended reading: How to Play FM14: A Twelve Step Guide How to Play FM14: A Twelve Step Guide [Ext] Shouting Strategies: Defensive Counter-pressing; Or Why Aggressive Is An Absolute Pre-Requisite In FM14 Football Manager 2014 Staff Requirements Youth In FM14: Getting 5 star regens How To Develop Youth In FM 2014
  4. UPDATE: Finally got round to adding screen shots to make it easier for everyone to follow! Inspired by @Cleon and @Rashidi's guides and blog entries and more recently @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! series of fluid and very fluid tactical posts: 1) https://community.sigames.com/topic/352148-universality-in-football-manager-2015-very-fluid/ 2) https://community.sigames.com/topic/373859-arsene-wengers-invincibles/#comment-440604 3) https://community.sigames.com/topic/373361-arrigo-sacchis-4-4-2-very-fluid/ 4) https://community.sigames.com/topic/372887-johan-cruyffs-3-4-3-diamond-very-fluid/ and particularly this one: 5) https://community.sigames.com/topic/390163-playing-style-structure-a-modern-4-1-4-1-very-fluid/ (updated version of 1 above) I set out to convert my very structured/structured 4-1-2-3 Chelsea playing possession football based on Cleon's "Art of Possession Football" guide to a very fluid version of the same style of football. I've been trying to seriously take Cleon and Rashidi's advice in just watching the match and trying to figure out what's not working and what's working and how to create or attack space but haven't really come to any conclusions about where my tactic is working/not working. So after resisting for 2 weeks and watching half of my season's matches in full, I have come to these forums to seek enlightenment! I would like to show you how I set up initially based on Cleon's "Art of Possession". BEFORE: Shape: Structure/Very Structured Mentality: Control DLF(S)/F9 Costa/Embolo IF(A) AP (S) Hazard Willian AP(A)---BBM Tielemans---Lewis Cook DM(S/D) Matic/Mikel WB(S)--CD(D)x2--WB(A) Rahman--Terry/Zouma--Azpilicueta GK Courtois TIs: Lower tempo, Wider, Higher defensive line, Close down more, Tight Marking, Prevent Short GK distribution, Shorter passing, Play out of defence, Roam from position. NOW: Shape: Very Fluid Mentality: Standard FW: CF(S)/DLF(S)/F9 - Costa/Embolo/Luan AML: IF(S/A) - Hazard or Raum(A) - Pedro or W(S) - Malcom AMR: W(S) - Willian/Cuadrado or IF(A) - Kenedy MCL: AP(A) - Tielemans/Fabregas/Oscar MCR: BBM - Cook/Hojbjerg/Oscar DMC: DM(S/D) - Matic/Thiago Maia LB: WB(S/A) opposite duty of the AML - Rahman/Targett RB: WB(S/A) opposite duty of the AMR - Azpilicueta/Mayke DCx2: Ball playing defs x 2 TIs: Normal tempo, balanced with, slightly higher defensive line (lower to normal vs fast teams), Use Offside Trap, Max closing down, Tight Marking, Prevent Short GK distribution, Mixed passing, Play out of defence. PIs: FW: Move into channels, Close down much more. IFs: Sit Narrower, Close down much more. BBM: Get Further Forward WBs: Sit narrower, Run wide with ball based on Guido's defending vs crosses guide (https://strikerless.com/2015/12/23/dealing-with-crosses-in-the-fm16-me/) DCs: Close down less Comments and observations: - The style of football I am trying to play is total football/gegenpressing and possession football. - I was tempted to emulate @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s 4-1-4-1 but then I felt that Hazard suits the higher up AML positions as an Inside Fwd (and Kenedy on the AMR side) and to save me from having to retrain him into a wide left midfield position. - From watching matches, I felt that my final 3 attacking players were often isolated from the midfield duo of my AP and BBM hence why I have the 'Get Further Forward' PI on my BBM. - I've feel that when I play Cook/Hojbjerg as CMs instead of BBMs they tend to play better and get more on the ends of attacking moves and passes more. Why is this the case? But I've seen people play and post tactics on here with an AP-BBM-DLP/DM trio in the 433 midfield with success. I've read somewhere in one of Ozil's tactical guides that the BBM is just the same as CM but with roaming as a PI on. Is this a possible reason why? - Willian was my best player and played consistently better than Hazard as a right wide AP(S) in my structured control system before I made the switch. Hazard was often underperforming no matter whether I tried him as IF(A) or (S). - I got rid of Willian as an AP(S) in the new very fluid system as such fluid systems should have 0-1 specialist roles according to @wwfan (I know, I know... I have read the numerous debates on how the generalist/specialist debate is just a myth and @wwfan came up with it to help newer players understand the TC and how it works and he did disclaim that not every thing is hard and fast rule but it does make sense: more specialists in structured systems, more generalists roles in fluid systems as the efficacy of specialist roles in more fluid systems are lessened). I have switched him to a Winger on Support duty now but I feel that it makes no sense since my striker is a deep playing one (see below) and won't be in the box to receive his crosses. Am I wrong to play Willian as a Winger then? Inside Fwd doesnt suit him because he is right footed. - I'm not sure what to put my roles and duties for my midfield trio and final third attacking trio anymore as they no longer perform as consistently or in the way I would expect them to compared to my structured system. Could it be that my players dont have the right mentality to play a "Very Fluid" system and I should take it down a notch to "Fluid"? The reason I am adamant about it being able to work is because my team is the highest ranked team in the Premier League for "Decisions" and thus should be able to play intelligent and possession football. - My FW is usually a supporting striker role. F9 works beautifully with Luan but neither Costa or Embolo have performed consistently either with DLF or CF(S). I tend to play them as DLF(S) when AMR and AML are both Inside Fwds and as a CF(S) when at least one AMR or AML is playing as a winger. - As my FW is usually a supporting/creative striker role, I thought it would make sense to exploit the space he creates when dragging out the opposition's defenders with him by setting Hazard on IF with an attacking duty. However, I find that he is often not doing much to contribute to the match and hardly getting any touches in. - I am holding most of possession with many shots taken but less than half on target usually and I concede at least a goal a game on average due to being hit on the counter with my high defensive line and playing the offside trap. During half time of course, I select to work into box if I see that I have low shots on target and long shots making a fair share of my total shots. That's all I can think of right now in terms of comments and observations. Please let me know what other information you require in order to help you suggest where I could improve or tinker with and see if it makes a positive difference. Thank you! @Cleon, @Rashidi and @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! I am particularly looking forward to your responses!
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