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OspreyJ

Wenger's Arsenal weren't the only Invincibles, y'know

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In the first season of the Football League, 1888-89, Preston North End smashed any opposition they played and finished unbeaten. Their secret? They played a rather defensive formation: a 2-3-5 (you read that right) rather than a 2-2-6.

It was massively attacking, but at the time it was considered a very conservative formation. This formation would be laughed at today, of course.

But I don't have a problem with being laughed at.

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If anyone thinks they have a better interpretation of PNE's 1888 tactic you can tell me (obviously it's always 2-3-5 but if you think that, say, whipped crosses is wrong then tell me).

The player roles aren't set yet.

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The rules:

Win the Premier League with Preston (preferably unbeaten)

Win everything else with Preston too

Only use the tactic I've shown above, unless someone corrects a bit of it and I edit the tactic to make it more accurate.

No subs. There were none in 1888

If I become a manager of another team, the rules are the same, even if it's a NT.

Edited by OspreyJ

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To be clear I doubt I will accomplish any of my goals. But we'll see.

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Okay,What about the reverse? 5-3-2 sounds so much better.Good luck mate! I agree on doubting to accomplish your goals :D

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Good luck! I'll be following :)...235 is a formation I've been tempted to play with on this FM version just haven't got around to it yet. It could work on last years but this is a complete different ME. I think you should be open to any variant 235 of your choosing though to give yourself a chance!

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16 minutes ago, Kaan said:

Okay,What about the reverse? 5-3-2 sounds so much better.Good luck mate! I agree on doubting to accomplish your goals :D

Thanks! I think :D

3 minutes ago, BJT said:

Good luck! I'll be following :)...235 is a formation I've been tempted to play with on this FM version just haven't got around to it yet. It could work on last years but this is a complete different ME. I think you should be open to any variant 235 of your choosing though to give yourself a chance!

If this gets waaay to hard I might adjust the rules a little

Edited by OspreyJ

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I'm going to take the opportunity to introduce you to what is probably our starting XI, and some periphery players.

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Our best Center Midfielder, he fits the system well as a Box2Box Midfielder.

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A rather good looking striker, but he'll be injured for 3-4 months :(.

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He's going to be an important Center Midfielder, because the main Center Midfielder acted as a defensive midfielder in PNE's system.

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Not sure where I'll play him. He can be both an AML or a Striker, so I'll see where he fits best. I'm leaning towards AML because we lack depth there.

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A starting fullback no doubt. Solid player.

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It cannot be said that we do not have a strong midfield. Johnson looks almost as strong as Pearson and Brown.

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Our strongest striker that's fit.

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Two strong Central Defenders who will no doubt be fighting for space.

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He's one of those players who can play in many positions. I like having these on the bench, but with no subs, I'm not sure if I'll play him. He'll probably compete for CM spots.

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I now fear I may have been hasty in accepting a bid for him to go to Bolton on loan. I wonder if I'll need to recall him?

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Solid looking striker. He'll be out with torn ligaments for a year.

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Looking like he'll have to start. He's not amazing but he'll do.

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Likely going to be a starting AMR.

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An injury crisis in the ST(C) position. Great.

Our lack of depth in attack is worrisome although not unexpected, most teams don't play a 2-3-5

 

 

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New player brought in by HoYD. A  future star?

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It's too early to get angry, maybe, but couldn't a left back have been injured or something?o

Why only our best attackers?

 

Edited by OspreyJ

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My best guess as to why your attackers are picking up more injuries is that because you're playing 2-3-5, you're more likely to be able to rest defenders and midfield players than you are strikers. If I was going to play 2-3-5, I would probably want a squad something like:

2x GK

4x CB

6x CM

2x RW

2x LW

6x ST

That would give you two full teams to play with, and you could rest your players more. You won't need players in other positions if you're going to stick with this formation, so you could sell some of them and bring in players in positions you actually need. 

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I agree. But we have only played one game

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Our first game! These roles are final.

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We almost lost it at the end (no subs, remember?). That said, a very open game. 62 shots all together. This is going to be fun :D

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Crazy set of rules, I'll be amazed if you can keep the same starting XI for more than 2 games. They're going to be knackered!!

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I’m attempting to buy whatever forwards or midfielders I can (that are good). At the end of the transfer window I’ll do a rundown on what happened.

Unfortunately our transfer budget is not exactly massive (3.8M, which isn’t bad), but our wage budget is small. 500K or so and many players want more.

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OK. I'm going to go over what happened in the transfer window.

OUT

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Our best midfielder now plays for Everton. Shame but I couldn't really reject a bid from a PL club.

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Out on loan with an option to buy. We don't really need a LB.

 

 

IN

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On loan. You might've noticed he scored the winning goal v QPR

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A possible young star. He could even play on the first team now, and will hopefully become a star player.

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A backup CM who could become quite good.

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So I didn't get as many transfers as I'd have liked but I'm happy with those I did.

i just realized all the players I signed were gut decisions. No scouting. Those I had scouted were not so good.

 

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Forgot to mention. I can't go below cautious mentality. I'm guessing that would be the equivalent of V. Defensive in 1888.

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Shame. But still, this is going to happen with this tactic. I also believe I made a blunder by going cautious.

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The Carabao Cup. As against QPR, we almost threw it away. Luckily it was Crewe. I'm going to need players with downright amazing stamina.

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Southampton. If we must get a Premier League team, I always hope for one of the big ones for the revenue and stuff, but Southampton are good. We'll probably lose

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Alternatively, encouraging a slower tempo/retain possession should help keep the energy. Also Take a Breather as an instruction can be very useful if you want to try and keep everyone topped up near the games end. 

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Somewhat dull game. We probably should've won but we have some massive wastefulness in front of goal

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These results will happen, I guess, with such an attacking format. The fans are understandably pissed off.

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This looks like my earlier 'Sabotaging' save...

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Thought we had made a comeback. Derby isn't a team we were expected to beat though.

Who scheduled our games so that we got Swansea, Stoke, Norwich, then Derby? Too many strong teams in one month.

Now we play Southampton.

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What a fun match. Exactly what I expected from his save.

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Goal of the month!

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There are clearly some problems. We had a massive majority of the shots and still lost. So there are a few actions I'm going to take and a few areas to address:


1. I'm going to take @BJT's advice and go with any tactics as long as its a 2-3-5.

2. Address the wastefulness of our strikers

3. We're going to have to train 'smarter, not harder,' because our players are so knackered after the game.

 

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This game was just not fun. Moult hit the post like three times and we threw away a 2-0 lead.

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Really interesting idea for a save although I'm not sure I could handle the frustration of conceding six goals a game!

Best of luck trying to get it all to work out.

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Keep the faith mate, make it work! 

It'll be a great achievement doing it with this club. I'll try and give it a pop myself although I won't be as daring as you I'll demand better players! :)

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I have created a slightly more defensive variant of the 2-3-5 with the midfielders acting more as defensive midfielders

Hopefully it will help us in our two next games, Leeds and Sheff U.

I think my poor start to the season will mean I will be dismissed from the Preston role by the end of the season. If that happens I'll find a new club and try to lead them with the 2-3-5

Edited by OspreyJ

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Even though, with no substitutes, our players should be dying on the field, our best moments seem to come late in the game.

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We actually did very well. I used my defensive 2-3-5 with an attacking mentality and it worked quite well.

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The better team lost again. I let Brophy start and he repaid my trust, but other players just weren't up to scratch I guess

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Either we're very unlucky or my tactic is really really weak defensively, more than I thought it would be

Of course I knew we'd be weak defensively so I've got a new idea. What if I played a RB and an LB and just let my CMs play in very defensive roles? It would still be a 2-3-5, but I'm pretty sure it would leave us too open to attacks down the middle

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I'm going to show every goal in this game cause it's so important.

Look who's back from injury!

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Three minutes into the game:

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But just three minutes later:

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In minute 18:

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But then in the 34 minute:

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And then again a minute later:

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And now we were playing catch-up.

We tied it up off a rebound

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But Wigan took the lead in the second half.

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We tied it with an own goal a few minutes later:

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but they took the lead again.

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Finally, with a last gasp, we tied it in the 83 minute:

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So not the win we wanted.:(

Hopefully the return of Maguire will help though.

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Update as to my job security: my board is very disappointed with my continual use of 2-3-5, but the fact that our football is so exciting (SEE: Above match) seems to be keeping me afloat

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More experimentation will occur because this isn't working

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