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Paysandu - The No Attribute Way

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This year I want to show a different way of playing the game which doesn’t include attributes at all. I’m using the Keysi Rensie skin https://mrkeysirensie.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/the-fm19-rensie-custom-skins/ for this and had custom panels created by wkdsoul.

I feel that while attributes are a vital part of Football Manager, I think we all become far too reliant on the actual numeric value of the attribute above all else. My aim is to take control back and use all the utilities the game has to offer and show that focusing on attributes isn’t the only way to play. I'll also be using fake names, so I won't know who the original players are. Some of you might find this way to time consuming and that’s fine, it probably is for some of you. That’s the beauty of Football Manager, there are many different ways to play the game and we all do quirky little things to bring us enjoyment and add longevity to the game. This happens to be my way this year.

There is a really good chance that Paysandu are relegated in real life. At the time of writing this, there are four games left in the season and they’re currently third from bottom. With this in mind I’ve decided to delay the start of my Paysandu series in case they are relegated. If they do go down, I’ll either edit the relegation myself or wait for the Brazilian community to release the first major update they do, normally shortly after the games release. I like the idea of starting in a lower league, so that’s the main reason for waiting as I think it could add another challenge to the restrictions I’ve already imposed on myself. So fingers crossed that they are relegated!

A lot of people who have seen what I’m planning to do on Football Manager 19 this year think it’ll be fun and different. Which I hope it is but I think a lot of people, don’t understand just exactly how hard it will be playing without attributes. It has implications for absolutely everything I do in-game. So while I’m waiting to see if Paysandu get relegated or not, I thought I’d talk you through some of the difficulties that I’ll encounter and offer a little insight into how I’ll try and find a solution for them. I’ll also introduce you to the squad and walk you through everything.

Before I do anything though, I will be creating many different custom views like I do every year. Once they’ve been created I’ll share them with everyone as they proved popular last year with over 10k downloads. But as of yet, I still haven’t created any.

Assessing The Squad

When I finally start the save game, I’ll have to make a decision on the players I have at the squad and decide who is going to play. Without attributes or being familiar with the players this will be a difficult task because I have nothing to make an informed decision on just yet due to playing long enough.

1st.png?resize=474%2C193

This is what I have to work with at the start, just look how imbalanced the squad it. It’s basic at best and I don’t have much variation in the positions I can play. I need to decide which of those players will be the starting eleven and who are the backup players. Another interesting decision I have to make is what to do with the loan players. Eleven of them is a bit much so I’m likely to terminate all the loan players if I can and probably fill the squad out with the reserve and youth I have.

res.png?resize=474%2C134

Those are the reserve players I need to assess and promote to the first team when the loan players leave. I don’t have any players in the under 20 squad currently so the players above are all I have at the club.

Due to the nature of the way I’m playing the game, everyone will get a chance to impress as I don’t know who is good or who isn’t just yet.

Deciding If A Player Is Good Or Not

When looking at a player's profile this is what I see;

4.png?resize=474%2C263

The attributes are hidden and blank so I can’t see them at all, not even on the attribute panel of the profile. I will be changing this view on the overview profile above though and it will look like this instead;

3.png?resize=474%2C292

This screen is set up (with the use of extra panels) to offer me the info I need and feel is important. The things that have been changed and I believe are useful are;

Pros and cons view

The pros and cons section of the profile will give me a good overview of what the player is good at, what he’s capable of, while also telling me about his limitations and drawbacks. This coupled with the rest of his overview basically tell me his full coach report.

Comparison

This is needed because I want to know how the staff rate the player compared to others at the club who share the same positions.

Dynamics

Dynamics are a big part of the game now. By tracking them I can easily which see part of the social group a player is in, what the positives and negatives are that the player is feeling. This can be a good insight into which mentoring units I want to put him in, or for tracking if the mentoring unit he’s in has had any kind of impact on his social standing at the club.

Fitness

I want to know if a player is not match fit, lacking condition or is an injury risk. This is not only for squad selections though but it can also help me with training. I have a quick snapshot of if he needs resting, to work on a specific thing to increase his sharpness and so on.

Training

Keep an eye on training just gives me a very quick overview of what he’s working on.

PPM’s

These help me see what and how many PPM’s he has. This will help me decide how they impact the role I give him at the club. A lot of people ignore these but they have a greater impact tactically than people realise.

Player status

Here I can track the players morale and any possible time away from the club he’s currently on. It will help me plan future squads and team selections.

Over the save game I might add/remove some of these depending on how useful I find them long-term and whether I can get more custom panels that could offer me something else that I might feel is missing.

Deciding who is good and who isn’t will be tricky. My plan is to devise a system that works for me and this is where the player profile becomes useful.Currently the process looks something like this;

Comparison - The comparison on the player overview will tell me who the staff think are the better players in the position I’ll be looking it. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be the best suited for what I need. I won’t know that until I see the player actually play myself and look at the match stats.

Personality - You always hear managers mention how much personality matters and how hard-working players are. So this is where personality fits in for me. If you have a weak personality type then the chances are, that long-term, they’ll struggle to hold down a regular position for me as I won’t deem them having the right playing mentality for what I need.

Coach/Scout Reports Including Pros and Cons - These are probably the biggest indication of what a player is good at and what he struggles with. Using these reports will be the second biggest insight I get into players. On face value probably the most important but overall I believe it second to seeing what the player actually is capable of in a match.

Training - Training will be a big part of how I play. The players will need to be getting good training scores in the weekly reports. That way I know they’re putting effort into the sessions and schedule. If someone isn’t training properly, then can I really trust them to start a game? It’s something I will have to judge on a player by player basis. Long-term I might have the luxury of dropping players. But what if my squad is small and I don’t have that luxury short-term. These are all question I’ll have to answer as I’m playing.

Watching A Player - One of the things I’ll be doing this year is focusing more on the visuals. Not only will these likely form the more interesting articles, I believe it’s essential for knowing what a player can/can’t exactly do. This is where I think you can make up for not knowing what attributes someone has, because you are forced to pay attention to the actual details. For example, if you know your striker has 17 for shooting and he misses an easy chance, you automatically blame the player and think he did something wrong.

But what happens if the player was put off, the chance wasn’t as easy as you though or it was something else. When you know the attribute values, you over focus on those rather than looking at what actually went wrong. People also have a tendency to look at attributes in isolation. In the scenario I mentioned above most would blame finishing or composure. But the actual move is much more complex than that and there are a whole host of combinations of attributes in play at all times.

I’m hoping this approach will show people, while attributes are important, what you see happening is much more important. You don’t need to be fixated on them.

I don’t want to give everything away in this post, as I have some very special articles coming later in the series. I’ll talk about my approach to tactics in the next one, then the one after that will focus on scouting and how I approach that. It should also include examples of who I bought and how I came to the conclusion of singing them over someone else for the same role. I’ve come up with what I believe is a realistic template for scouting and have been throwing ideas around with https://twitter.com/VincentGuzman_ over the past few weeks and I can’t wait to show you what I came up with.

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This year on Football Manager 2019, I want to try something new tactically rather than covering stuff I’ve done before and going over old ground. But I’ve been struggling to decide which idea I should go with, due to having so many of them and my brain going into overdrive. So I thought I’d do a post explaining the options I could take and then allow you to help me make the final decision.

4-2-3-1

One of the options I toyed with originally was to mimic Paysandu’s real life tactics. This issue with this however is they play a 4-2-3-1 shape and I covered that last year, well the deep version with defensive midfielders. Nonetheless, it’s always satisfying replicating real life systems, especially when you find some really good analysis to base it off. I was lucky enough to stumble across some analysis from https://twitter.com/torotatico. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I sent them a message on Twitter and Mathaus Almeida who runs the site gave me some really detailed analysis. Mathaus has been really helpful and gone above what I was expecting with his analysis, so for that I am very grateful.

Paysandu aren’t a stable club, they’re on the fifth manager this year already. Which means it’s hard to find some kind of tactical identity to copy. However there is some positives under the current manager João Brigatti. Paysandu don’t strictly stick to a 4-2-3-1 formation and it can often be described as a 4-5-1/4-4-1-1/4-3-3 depending on the phase of play. This gives us some wiggle room on Football Manager because we can manipulate the shape we use to attack however we want via the roles and duties used. When Paysandu attack, they tend to attack in a 3-3-4 or a 3-2-5 shape.

We could use most of the shapes I mentioned above as a base to work from. But ultimately it will likely come back to playing like a 4-2-3-1 and as I’m wanting to avoid repeating what I’ve written about tactically in the past, I’m not sure this is the best option but it is an interesting and realistic approach. Which fits what I’m doing on the game.......

3-4-2-1

3421.png?resize=465%2C602

Another option is to use some kind of variation of the 3-4-2-1 formation above. The roles above aren’t what I’d use obviously, those were just the preset options I had. For the 3-4-2-1 to work I’d need to add the following to the system;

  • Someone who can play the ball out from the back.
  • Wingers or wing backs who can get up and down the pitch to offer width.
  • A no nonsense midfielder who won’t shy away from a tackle.
  • Attacking midfielder who can create chances and space, use space and support the striker.

Those would be the fundamentals that I need for the system to work. There are many different combinations that I can use when setting this up and one of the reasons it’s an option. It’s intriguing because it’s a very flexible system and will create an abundance of passing triangles throughout the side.

3-2-2-3/W-M Formation

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Okay so I’ve wrote about this one in the past a number of times, however I don’t think any of it exists online any longer (with all images intact) as it was on the old hosts before they went bust and I lost everything. Those of you who have followed me for a while will know of my love for the W-M formation. I believe the system still has a place in the modern footballing world but its hard work to get it functioning how you want. If I really wanted I could push the two central midfielders up to the attacking midfield positions to give it a different kind of attacking threat.

From an article perspective, I think this formation will bring some of the more interesting ones due to the issues I’ll have implementing it and how I’ll have to view the games to spot issues. I’ll be doing a lot of analysis this year anyway but I think this would be the most challenging to write about.

5-1-3-1/Bielsa-esque

5131.png?resize=474%2C579

One of the more interesting football concepts would be to do something along the lines of what Bielsa does. There isn’t a shortage of content covering the Argentine, so I’d have lots of stuff to reference and watch if I go down this path.

The downside to this is there are probably a million people all doing the same thing this year. Do I really want to be a sheep and follow what everyone else is doing? I’m not sure I do but I don’t want to rule it out until I see what other content creators have/are doing.

3-5-1-1

3511.png?resize=474%2C607

Last year I wrote about the Segundo Volante role and how great it was. I also posted some screenshots on Twitter of me using a modern day Brazilian Box formation using two of them. But it was just a throw away idea. The idea itself does still interest me though. The rest of the roles in the system above aren’t what I’d use I don’t think but the two Segundo Volante’s are something I’d keep.

I’m just wondering if this system would be much different from the 3-5-2’s I wrote about last year and the year before. I have a feeling they’d end up pretty similar in terms of how they function, even if I mix up the roles.

There are other ideas I have but if I wrote about them all, I’d be here all day and never finish this short article off. My issue isn’t I’m short of ideas, if anything it’s the opposite and I have too many. As this will be my only save on Football Manager 2019 though, I need to make sure I keep it interesting as it’s highly unlikely that I switch the system up once I’ve started. The reason being is that I’ll be building the club towards playing a specific way and developing the players for certain positions. So the philosophy I instill on the club has to correct from the start and I don’t want to build towards something in terms of player development then in a few years time, decide to throw that away and start again tactically.

If you have any interesting ideas yourself on how I should set up, I’m willing to consider them. Please post them below for me to see, or if you like the idea of some of the stuff I’ve mentioned above then please let me know.

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The W-M formation was created in the mid-1920s by Herbert Chapman of Arsenal to counter a change in the offside law in 1925. The change had reduced the number of opposition players that attackers needed between themselves and the goal-line from three to two. This led to the introduction of a centre-back to stop the opposing centre-forward, and tried to balance defensive and offensive playing.

The formation became so successful that by the late-1930s most English clubs had adopted the W-M formation. Retrospectively, the W-M formation has either been described as a 3–2–5 or as a 3–4–3, or more precisely a 3–2–2–3 reflecting the letters which symbolised it.

Herbert Chapman was the Pep Guardiola of his era with his forward thinking and revolutionising the football world. I find him fascinating as a person and highly recommend reading this piece by Andrew Flint.

https://thesefootballtimes.co/2016/05/20/herbet-chapman-and-the-legendary-w-m-formation/

Or if you have a few quid to spare and want to treat yourself, then I highly recommend reading these books;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Herbert-Chapman-Football-Emperor-Origins/dp/028563416X

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Times-Herbert-Chapman-Influential/dp/1474600794

That second book link is a good read but the title is a bit misleading and feel I should point this out. It doesn’t really tell you much about the man himself, it’s more a historical look at the teams of this era rather than about Chapman’s life in general.

For those of you who have followed me for years, will know that I have a soft spot for the W-M formation and have created it many times over the years. Those workings no longer exist fully intact due to images being missing. So for my current FM19 save, I thought it would be good to recreate this tactic for my Paysandu side.

As I was looking through some of my old stuff that I’d wrote about it in the past, I did find one image;

W-M formation

This was my take on the W-M formation in 2013 on Football Manager 2014. A lot has changed since then tactically with the game itself though. We can no longer have wide strikers like in the screenshot, these were removed after SI discovered they didn’t actually work like they originally intended. Basically it came down to them behaving the exact same as attacking wide midfielders rather than strikers, so they were removed. On Football Manager 2019 it means I’d have to players in the AML/AMR slots to replicate the attacking behaviour.

While looking through the old stuff I also found a couple of clips that I uploaded seven years ago, when I was using the W-M formation with Santos.

The way we used to attack was some of the best football I’ve ever seen on FM, even to this day. But it wasn’t all plain sailing and it was very vulnerable at times. The next video below highlights these issues. Even though I still won in the end, it highlights how hard work the system can be at times.

With how you create tactics in Football Manager 2019, recreating the W-M formation is more appealing than ever because we have more control over the actual behaviour of the players. This coupled with some of the other new additions we’ve had over the past few years means I believe, I can create a more realistic version of the original W-M formation.

W-M formation

To make this work on Football Manager, I’ll have to make slight adaptations to how it functioned in real life and put my own spin on it. But the basics of the formation will be the same and those are;

  • The lone centre back will have to be very strong and dominant.
  • Using two halfbacks means we revert to a traditional back five in defensive situations.
  • The two wingers will need to be very athletic because they’re expected to help defend as well as attack.

A neutral attacking style make sense initially here as anything more aggressive to begin with, might leave me overly exposed until I can sort out the roles and duties that suit my players and the system  best. This is likely to be much harder than normal though and will take some time to figure out due to me playing without attributes.

Creating The Tactic

I’m jumping straight into the deep end here and will select the style, roles and duties that I think will work regardless of the player quality at my exposal as I don’t know any of that due to it being the first day at the club and me not having the time to study them yet. I’ll adapt as the season develops based on what I see happening in-game tactically. I also want to keep an eye out for how well my players are playing and finding out what they are/aren’t capable of. This will again force me to adapt my ideas. But initially based on common sense, this is what I’ll start with;

W-M formation

The first thing that likely stands out is I’ve pushed the attacking midfielders back to the central midfield positions. I’m wanting to add my own modern twist on the W-M formation and make it function in today's footballing world. I also don’t like the idea of my having four players that have starting positions in the attacking midfield strata. This makes build up play harder to achieve and would put too much focus on the more defensive players I have to link up play with the attackers.

Vertical Tiki-Taka offers me a balanced mentality and is quite direct at times, so this suits the ideas I have much better. I’ve not touched the team instructions yet, everything is still default. I won’t be altering any of this until I’ve seen it played for three consecutive games. That way I can build a much better picture of how it functions and pick up any patterns that I spot. The narrowness is something I want to try to keep though, it will help us stay compact and be much harder to break down, even though we might give up space in some specific areas. Giving up space is fine though, as long as it fits your overall strategy and you don’t become easy to break down.

GK - I’ve gone for a standard keeper here but I think eventually he will have to be a sweeper keeper. I think him staying on his line and playing deeper, might make me more vulnerable, especially if the central defender pushes up. I need all the defensive players to play as a fully functioning cohesive unit. Any big gaps between the players, and this is something the AI could possible exploit.

CB - I don’t want anything fancy from him, I just want a good old-fashioned no-nonsense defender.

IWB’s - I don’t want players to cross often down the wings. I want t force play into the central areas were I have the numbers. I think these roles suit that better than the others available. There is a concern here though and that’s that I could become too narrow at times or that they push too far up the pitch. So I’m not 100% set on these roles but they are the best fit as a starting point.

HB’s - The two halfbacks will allow me to revert to a flat back five when the opposition attack me. This will make me harder to break down and offer protection to the lone central defender who might become isolated without them.

RPM - There has to be someone who can play with the ball at their feet and bring it forward. He is very much the link player in the system. Without this type of role, I struggle to see how the ball would get to the attacking players.

Mez - A very aggressive role as I try to overload the central areas. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, especially with the inside forward possibly taking up the same areas. It could be problematic on FM18 and forced one of them to act in a way that wasn't the intended behaviour of the role. With the changes in FM19 though, this shouldn’t be as much as an issue as before.

IF’s -  Scoring goals and providing support to the striker while trying to cause the opposition defence issues is the main aim here. I’m not sure on the duty allocation just yet and might end up having one side more aggressive than the other. But it’s something I really need to see in action first.

CF - When creating a lone striker formation, this is probably the role most will struggle with. Any number of roles could possibly work. I’ve tried to select a role that offers a bit of everything. I didn’t want to use one who dropped off the front constant and was more focused on linking play with the IF’s. As I have the Mez who will be venturing forward a lot too and space is likely to be limited to begin with. The last thing I want is someone else constantly dropping into the same areas. It might be a role I change after a few games but I think whatever role I end up with, will be one that is very attack minded and focused on occupying the central defenders and playing in and around the box rather than outside of it.

I’ll be starting the save properly tonight, so I’ll keep this a brief introduction to the tactic I’ll use. Then in the next part, it’ll be an in-depth look at how it functions, what issues we’ve spotted and how they can be fixed.

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In the last part of the Paysandu series I wrote, I spoke about the W-M formation and explained how I was going to use that. This post is a follow-up to that but this time, we focus on the stuff that happens during a match. I’ll highlight the pros and cons of what I see and explain about possible fixes, if it’s something that is happening constant.

My Analysis Breakdown

Don’t Make Knee Jerk Reactions

If you’ve followed me for a while or read some of the other stuff I’ve written then you will know that I like to play three games without changing anything. Even if something isn’t working, I don’t change anything. The reason for this is because when I’m creating a tactic I like to get a feel for it over several games. This way, you can see if something is a one-off or whether you see patterns in each game of things that aren’t working. You don’t want to make knee jerk reactions and change things without knowing if it's a one-off or not. Friendlies can kind of help with this but I believe competitive games are better because players know the difference between a friendly and a competitive game.

Split The Analysis Into Sections

When I am trying to spot issues I keep it very simple and split it into two categories;

  • With the ball
  • Without the ball

The reason for splitting what I am looking at during a match into with and without the ball is because it shows us what’s happening during different phases of the game. Just because you defend solid or cause the opposition a massive threat in the final third, doesn’t mean you have balance and can do both simultaneous. It also makes it very quickly to identify issues because you have a lot less going on.

By breaking it down into sections, this allows you to focus on different aspects and also limit what you are seeing. This will hopefully take some confusion away as there are only certain scenarios/outcomes you are seeing. You can add them all together later to see the bigger picture. But find a way to break things down and make it easy for yourself. Break it down into even more sections than I do, if you feel it helps.

There are no rules. It’s all about making it easier for yourself.

Focus on the Opposition Or Not

If you’ve read my stuff before you’ll be familiar with how I analyse games and pay no attention to the opposition. You can pay attention to them if you wish but for the way I play it just doesn’t fit my overall approach. The reason for this is that I like to create my own style of play and would rather focus on what my side does, rather than trying to adapt to the opposition. If you are always adapting then how can you truly create your own brand of football? I don’t believe you can.

Forcing the opposition to adapt to me is my preferred way of playing. This doesn’t mean I don’t change stuff during the game. But normally any changes I make are based on how the match is going and what my players are/aren’t doing. You’ll see examples of this throughout the whole series.

Friendlies

Normally I dismiss friendlies and what happens in them and use them mainly for fitness. However this year, due to playing without attributes I can’t really do this. I need to use them to get to know my players and see what they’re capable of. So I’ll be using friendlies and competitive games this year for analysis as I have to watch them and assess the players anyway.

The results in these games doesn’t matter. I could win 4-0 but see things during the game that I believe will be problematic long-term. Or I could lose 4-0 yet see the signs that our overall play will be fine. So take the results with a pinch of salt and instead, focus on the context of the game above the results/stats. However you can possibly use the result to grab a quick snapshot of possible formations you might struggle against once the season starts.

Preseason friendlies Paysandu FM19 friendly results

If we look at the friendlies I have played so far you’ll see their nothing special results wise really. But it does show that when I play the 4-2-3-1 wide whether with midfielders or defensive midfielders, I have struggled so far in both games. It could be problematic or it could just be pure coincidence that this formation (or a variation of it) caused me trouble twice. Now what I need to do, is make a mental/written note about this so the next time I face this formation in a competitive environment, I can look further into it and maybe pay more attention to this match that I might normally do.

If you enjoy the tactical side of the game then I’d highly recommend adding the opposition formation custom view to your overview. You can also add your own formation, this can be helpful if you use many different formations throughout the reason. It makes it easier to see what you used and against who and to see the score.

I find by having some kind of structure like the above, it helps when trying to pinpoint potential issues and just analysing things in general. I’m not saying you should copy this or my methods are better than anyone else's. They’re just what works for me.

Match Analysis

I’ll now go back and review all the friendlies I’ve played and list some of the more common issues that I saw happening. I’ll not discuss them all as there will be lots more analysis and refining issues once the season officially starts.

HB-dropping.png?resize=474%2C209

One of the first things I noticed when reviewing the friendlies back, was the half back role. In the red circle we have the left-sided half back who knows there is danger and has dropped back to mark the opposition player. The second half back is a lot more advanced as there is no real danger for him to pick up, so he didn’t drop as deep.

I also notice maybe the first issue in this screenshot and that’s the space between the inverted wing-back on the right hand side and the no-nonsense centre-back. Due to the shape I am using, this kind of space is expected and might seem worse than normal because we lost the ball seconds ago and my defence had already split to go wide. However I would like the other half back to take up this kind of space to eliminate these kind of threats. Or at the very least, my central defender to be aware of the opposition player and get closer to him.

Is this a one-off or does it happen regular. I still don’t actually know as this is just the first 15 seconds of the game I am reviewing. But we can add it to the list of things to keep an eye on.

if2.png?resize=474%2C274

This screenshot bothers me a little bit. I’ll explain why. My Inside forward is deep and helping out defensively which is great. However, the inverted wing-back is also deep. This means when the opposition has the ball in these areas, they always have a spare man because the inverted wing-back is deep which is creating a huge gap that the opposition are exploiting. I’ve noticed this on a few occasions throughout the game.

ifissues2.png?resize=474%2C314

Later in the move, it shows why it’s problematic. When the opposition made the original pass, it meant my inverted wing-back and the inside forward both come inside chasing the player cutting inside. When this happens, the oppositions wide player continues his run down the wing. The player currently on the ball passes is to the player were the red arrow ends. Then that player plays the ball into the path of the rampaging wide player. I get cut open really badly here. On this occasion nothing really comes of the move but it still troubles me.

There are a few options to explore here though. I could do one of the following;

  • Change the IWB role to something else
  • Change the line of engagement
  • Push the whole defensive line higher
  • Change the duty of the IWB

All of those are possible options I can explore to limit this happening. I’m unsure as to which option I will explore the first though as this article is just about spotting issues. Fixing them and discussing why I selected one option over another, is for a later article.

wideissues.png?resize=474%2C217

Wide play in general is causing me a lot of headaches at the minute but that’s expected due to the shape we are using. Play in these areas specifically when being hit on the counter make us a mess at the back. I lack the numbers at the back to begin with, so when we are hit on the counter the situation worsens. All the opposition has to do here is to play a simple direct ball to the striker and he's in behind the defender and clear in, on goal.

The W-M Formation is very much a risk vs reward system but I’m not sure the roles I’m using are helping at the back. The no-nonsense centre-back and the two half backs don’t seem to have the synergy I was hoping for. They both function okay but it looks like I might want something a little different from both players, rather than using the same role for both. It’s a tough one though because from an attacking standpoint they contribute and offer exactly what I want and expect. It’s just defensively which is an issue.

Now I’m in a dilemma, do I sacrifice defensive player for the potential attacking output and stick. Or do I try to go for more balance, which might take away from the attacking intent. Playing risky doesn’t bother me but I’m not a great side and not knowing the attributes that the players have, is making me question everything. If this was a normal save and I could see the attributes, the risk vs reward debate wouldn’t be an issue. But I can’t, so it is. It’s something I’ll think about in more detail before the next update though.

I don’t want to overload this article with too many examples, I just wanted to pick out a couple to get us on the way. This series will be very analytic heavy, so I don’t want to give too many examples in a post. I just want to highlight how we can look for potential issues and give a few tips for breaking it down into parts to make it easier to understand.

In the next article we’ll focus on more issues but this time it’ll be from competitive games and be a lot more detailed, due to them being more important. I’ll also discuss any changes I’ve made.

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Oh my.

Cleon you never stop amazing me

Edited by Taipan

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I feel like you know the Brazilian league quite well? You have made the challenge very difficult without attributes, but if your knowledge of the Brazilian league is good then you will know enough of player quality and they type of player they are, not to rely on the attributes. Im thinking i could get by for a few seasons in many of the leagues i know well. 

An added challenge (but may take some of the fun away) would be to use fake players from the start. 

Will follow with interest :thup:

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15 minutes ago, westy8chimp said:

I feel like you know the Brazilian league quite well? You have made the challenge very difficult without attributes, but if your knowledge of the Brazilian league is good then you will know enough of player quality and they type of player they are, not to rely on the attributes. Im thinking i could get by for a few seasons in many of the leagues i know well. 

An added challenge (but may take some of the fun away) would be to use fake players from the start. 

Will follow with interest :thup:

I will be using fake names. No point doing it if not as you'd know everyone :D

Also I'm hoping they get relegated irl to add more of a challenge starting a level down. 

 

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Good luck with this, Cleon. I am sure you'll be watching statistics as well. I'm very interested in how you would analyse it, since (for example) pass % could be quite misleading as it may be short sideways and backwards passes. So, I'm guessing it'll be stats combined with watching a lot of the player as well.

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5 hours ago, Bobby_Zamora said:

@Cleon it's a travesty that Paysandu has a red & white color. Just sayin' :)

They don't, they are blue and white, no idea what you're on about :D

1 hour ago, HUNT3R said:

Good luck with this, Cleon. I am sure you'll be watching statistics as well. I'm very interested in how you would analyse it, since (for example) pass % could be quite misleading as it may be short sideways and backwards passes. So, I'm guessing it'll be stats combined with watching a lot of the player as well.

I think it'll mainly be more visuals I use rather than concentrating on stats. It's hard to put down in words and will be better explained by showing examples when I actually start :)

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@Cleon Looking forward to the next installments.  :thup:

You're able to spot more than I can in a match - saw that with the SI sports centre exercise, so would be very interesting how you rate players. Will you eventually do a 20/20 hindsight look at just how well you did rate them?

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4 minutes ago, Cleon said:

They don't, they are blue and white, no idea what you're on about :D

Your ingame colors for Paysandu :) Check the screenies you posted :]

I've been to their ground twice, installed a system for data collection/analysis there and at their training ground. They're great people.

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4 minutes ago, HUNT3R said:

@Cleon Looking forward to the next installments.  :thup:

You're able to spot more than I can in a match - saw that with the SI sports centre exercise, so would be very interesting how you rate players. Will you eventually do a 20/20 hindsight look at just how well you did rate them?

I'm hoping this will give people an insight into how I watch matches and make decisions. 

I've half written a bit about players and how I'll rate them. It's almost real life scout like. I've even devised a system using certain criteria, that I'll be looking for when watching the players myself.

I'm not sure I want to know just how good someone is, until I've finished with the same. But I might upload the save at various points, so people can look around and get the answers for stuff that I can't actually see. That way I don't ruin my save by knowing. Plus everyone will get to see the sheer amount of notes I use in game too. I think it might surprise people :D

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3 minutes ago, Bobby_Zamora said:

Your ingame colors for Paysandu :) Check the screenies you posted :]

I've been to their ground twice, installed a system for data collection/analysis there and at their training ground. They're great people.

That was before the 'fix'. They're blue and white now. These screens aren't from my save, I've not started yet.

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33 minutes ago, Bobby_Zamora said:

Your ingame colors for Paysandu :) Check the screenies you posted :]

I've been to their ground twice, installed a system for data collection/analysis there and at their training ground. They're great people.

Yes, due to those licensing issues the background colors of the clubs are all wrong.

@Cleon Interesting challenge.

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Taking a look at the attributes when the save is over will be really interesting... We could make you do a blind test of a couple of your stars and see how close you get :p

Itd be fun maybe when the save is drawing to a close to also hide the physical profile of the player: report card says they are strong in the air = hmmmm target man (aerial type) material... On debut realise he is 5'4 :D

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I tried to do this on FM17 and the thing that really liked it was not being able to look at player stats from past seasons. If it were easier to manipulate performance data then you could scout in a fairly realistic way without recourse to attributes. 

I suppose my ideal profile front page would have lists of historical performance data + recent form + training data if he's one of mine. 

Attributes are one of the least realistic things about the game if you think about it. 

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OOOh looking forward to seeing how this works.. Cleon post mentioned me... :hammer:

Edited by wkdsoul

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56 minutes ago, wkdsoul said:

OOOh looking forward to seeing how this works.. Cleon post mentioned me... :hammer:

I have to give credit where due, I’d not be able to play this way without the panels from yourself 😎

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1 hour ago, Cleon said:

I have to give credit where due, I’d not be able to play this way without the panels from yourself 😎

Nice work @wkdsoul. Of course, I just removed them completely in my attempt :D 

Did you remove the columns being available in views, if not, I still have those files if you need them.

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15 hours ago, Cleon said:

What I’m wanting from you though, is to give me suggestions to make the game more unique and different to what everyone else is doing. So if you have any suggestions please post them below or on Twitter.

Just be the coach and not the manager.  Give your Director of Football full control of transfers and contracts.

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Just now, Robson 07 said:

Give your Director of Football full control of transfers and contracts.

Sounds very @fmFutbolManager that...... ;)

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8 hours ago, Robson 07 said:

Just be the coach and not the manager.  Give your Director of Football full control of transfers and contracts.

Boring and too easy, I may aswell just not play if I take that approach. The DOF will always sign decent players for the level I will be at. Seems a bit defeatist to what I'm trying to highlight. 

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23 hours ago, Cleon said:

What I’m wanting from you though, is to give me suggestions to make the game more unique and different to what everyone else is doing. So if you have any suggestions please post them below or on Twitter.

Hide the Staff attributes panel?

Therefore only having available their Reputation rating & the performance of their previous employer in their respective job area, as the means for assessing a staff member .

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Just now, Vokes said:

Hide the Staff attributes panel?

Therefore only having available their Reputation rating & the performance of their previous employer in their respective job area, as the means for assessing a staff member .

All attributes are already hidden. It's even mentioned in the title of this thread ;):D

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Ah, I assumed it was just the Player attributes were hidden. 

Have you customized the staff screen as well, along with hiding the coaching)scouting attributes?

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9 minutes ago, Vokes said:

Ah, I assumed it was just the Player attributes were hidden. 

Have you customized the staff screen as well, along with hiding the coaching)scouting attributes?

The attributes are just blank like in the player screenshot. Not customised the actual screen though no. I might have a look at doing this before I start though :)

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Very interested in seeing how this goes. Love the idea, not something I have the time to commit to personally, but will follow closely.

Is the octogon thing still in the game that groups attributes together and gives you an attacking rating etc? Will you be using that?

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13 minutes ago, craiigman said:

Very interested in seeing how this goes. Love the idea, not something I have the time to commit to personally, but will follow closely.

Is the octogon thing still in the game that groups attributes together and gives you an attacking rating etc? Will you be using that?

I’ve had it removed. 

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Interesting approach. I'm looking forward to see how you approach training with the new module.

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Quote

I’ve been struggling to decide which idea I should go with, due to having so many of them and my brain going into overdrive. So I thought I’d do a post explaining the options I could take and then allow you to help me make the final decision.

You could take the easy way out and fall back and play the 4-2-3-1, but honestly Cleon you could take the St Mary's U12 girls side to the top of the FM tree using the 4-2-3-1. Not much of a challenge there.

Do you really want to do 3-5-2 over again? Great formation but ya been there and got at least two T-Shirts.  5-1-3-1 is a also nice thought, though hardly unique it seems,.

I do like the 3-4-2-1, as I am interested in the delivery linking the back's to the wings/wing backs and forward on to the double AM's. My choice

You do love the 3-2-2-3, and I feel that formation is the one you will feel most passionate about.

So Cleon my summary is, do you go with with your head or your heart?  :D

Edited by Taipan

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11 minutes ago, Taipan said:

You could take the easy way out and fall back and play the 4-2-3-1, but honestly Cleon you could take the St Mary's U12 girls side to the top of the FM tree using the 4-2-3-1. Not much of a challenge there.

Do you really want to do 3-5-2 over again? Great formation but ya been there and got at least two T-Shirts.  5-1-3-1 is a also nice thought, though hardly unique it seems,.

I do like the 3-4-2-1, as I am interested in the delivery linking the back's to the wings/wing backs and forward on to the double AM's. My choice

You do love the 3-2-2-3, and I feel that formation is the one you will feel most passionate about.

So Cleon my summary is, do you go with with your head or your heart?  :D

This is like an exact image of the discussion I have with myself in my head :D

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Very nice approach. Very tempting. It really gives you a feel to watch the players and rely on reports from your staff what they noticed. You don't have this eagle eye view of what your players are good at in terms of specific numbers.

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@Cleon I think you should go with 4-4-1-1 formation. It's flexible and you can set it up in many ways through roles and duties. 

But I also think you should go with whatever you think will best represent what you want to show people with this project. Do you want to show everyone how powerful roles and duties are? I'm sure most of us are not aware of their power and how much they can change a tactic. 

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