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FMunderachiever

FM20 General Pointers For Albion Rovers Scottish League 2

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Hello everyone.

 

My plans for FM20 revolve around managing 3 teams:

 

Barcelona: to build a new galactico era and new trident post messi

Feyenoord: to win eredivise and work with youth to sell for big profit

Albion Rovers: because they are hideous. Managed them before, but always sacked

 

I'm just looking for general pointers on where to begin with Albion Rovers.

The squad will be absolutely tiny, funds will be nil.

At that level, Albion Rovers' squad will be of Vanarama North/South type level, with opposition being significantly stronger.

 

Id be interested on some very general thoughts, or if anyone has indeed managed Albion Rovers like I have done in the past (and never avoided the sack with them), on what you would do to take this kind of team forwards.

 

 

 

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My FM2019 Journeyman save began at Albion Rovers, and lasted for 3.5 seasons, before I left to take over my boyhood club in England. It's been my best save in any FM ever - never had a career save that's kept my interest as long. Focused mostly on the basics - simple formation with simple roles (4-4-2/ 4-1-4-1, defenders, fullbacks, midfielders, wingers, poacher/pressing forward), kept the wage bill down (to apease the board), got an affiliate (for loans, though I rarely used them in the end - but also helped for additional income) tried to get some cheap frees and loans to bulk up the squad and keep wages down.

First season finished 6th, made the playoffs in the 2nd season (lost in first round), 6th again season 3 and team were 3rd in the league when I left them.

Gary Fisher is an absolute legend. Player of the season in 3 of 4 seasons, and scored 21 goals as a CM(s) in one season for me. Though sadly he won't be there in FM2020 as I think they released him in real life.

I enjoyed the save so much I check Albion Rovers results in real life now, and will probably buy their kit at some point!

 

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2 hours ago, AlexJames said:

My FM2019 Journeyman save began at Albion Rovers, and lasted for 3.5 seasons, before I left to take over my boyhood club in England. It's been my best save in any FM ever - never had a career save that's kept my interest as long. Focused mostly on the basics - simple formation with simple roles (4-4-2/ 4-1-4-1, defenders, fullbacks, midfielders, wingers, poacher/pressing forward), kept the wage bill down (to apease the board), got an affiliate (for loans, though I rarely used them in the end - but also helped for additional income) tried to get some cheap frees and loans to bulk up the squad and keep wages down.

First season finished 6th, made the playoffs in the 2nd season (lost in first round), 6th again season 3 and team were 3rd in the league when I left them.

Gary Fisher is an absolute legend. Player of the season in 3 of 4 seasons, and scored 21 goals as a CM(s) in one season for me. Though sadly he won't be there in FM2020 as I think they released him in real life.

I enjoyed the save so much I check Albion Rovers results in real life now, and will probably buy their kit at some point!

 

Do you try to take lots of players on trial and then pick the ones the staff seem to like?

I do agree that setting up an affiliate club is very useful.

 

Im interested what approach you took defensively. It seems when i manage this team, i need to be quite expansive to score goals. But this can make us massively leaky at the back.

 

Every time ive managed him, Brian Wharton is an absolute dead ball SPECIALIST!!!

 

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I actually tend to not go too crazy with trials, think I only signed around 5-6 new players total in my first season. The only regular first-teamer I brought in was a young LW as they literally had noone that could play that position.

I found that the general staff setup there was pretty solid - I kept all the original staff and Coaches/ Scouts were fairly decent for that level.

First season was definitely a low-scoring one - I remember the strikers all being pretty useless for me, especially Gracie who was actually supposed be be good but played horribly every time I played him (and then complained when I dropped him). Jamie Watson was the best of a bad bunch.

My general first choice setup was something like this (this was pre-19.3 so players might be different now):

GK(D) - Potts

RB (S) - Fagan

CD (D) - Wharton

CD (C) - Murdoch

LB (S) - Loan LB (forgotten his name)/ Smith after xmas when loanie refused to return

DM (D) - McGeough

RW (S) - McMahon

CM (A) - Monaghan

CM (S) - Fisher (the man, the legend)

LW (A) - Bradbrury

PF/P (A) - Gracie/ Watson/ Kearney/ Watters (whoever was playing the least badly)

I found I didn't struggle in games as much as I thought I would - playing a Balanced/ Cautious mentality home/ away with Lower Defensive Line and Standard LOE and trying to keep things simple - short passing, low tempo etc. - nothing fancy - we scored enough goals to be competitive and avoided relegation comfortably in the end.

I found a covering defender helpful, too - someone with pace to mop up the inevitable defensive mistakes.

You're right, Bryan Wharton was a beast from direct free-kicks, and I think was my top scorer in season 1 was 10-12 goals from free-kicks/ pens - he even scored a hattrick one game! Tailed off in season 2 though, and Fisher took over legend status.

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14 minutes ago, AlexJames said:

I actually tend to not go too crazy with trials, think I only signed around 5-6 new players total in my first season. The only regular first-teamer I brought in was a young LW as they literally had noone that could play that position.

I found that the general staff setup there was pretty solid - I kept all the original staff and Coaches/ Scouts were fairly decent for that level.

First season was definitely a low-scoring one - I remember the strikers all being pretty useless for me, especially Gracie who was actually supposed be be good but played horribly every time I played him (and then complained when I dropped him). Jamie Watson was the best of a bad bunch.

My general first choice setup was something like this (this was pre-19.3 so players might be different now):

GK(D) - Potts

RB (S) - Fagan

CD (D) - Wharton

CD (C) - Murdoch

LB (S) - Loan LB (forgotten his name)/ Smith after xmas when loanie refused to return

DM (D) - McGeough

RW (S) - McMahon

CM (A) - Monaghan

CM (S) - Fisher (the man, the legend)

LW (A) - Bradbrury

PF/P (A) - Gracie/ Watson/ Kearney/ Watters (whoever was playing the least badly)

I found I didn't struggle in games as much as I thought I would - playing a Balanced/ Cautious mentality home/ away with Lower Defensive Line and Standard LOE and trying to keep things simple - short passing, low tempo etc. - nothing fancy - we scored enough goals to be competitive and avoided relegation comfortably in the end.

I found a covering defender helpful, too - someone with pace to mop up the inevitable defensive mistakes.

You're right, Bryan Wharton was a beast from direct free-kicks, and I think was my top scorer in season 1 was 10-12 goals from free-kicks/ pens - he even scored a hattrick one game! Tailed off in season 2 though, and Fisher took over legend status.

Few interesting things im picking up from your post:

 

Firstly, you mention a lower defensive line, but STANDARD line of engagement. Is this made possible by your use of the DM position which means you can maybe sacrifice a little vertical compactness in defense? this also leads me to point two which is...

 

Would you try and use the DM as a playmaking role, given the fact i would assume he drops into the space that the opposition arent pressing, i think he could be a key position in sending balls over the top for a pacey PF/A or P/A to run onto past slow defences. That COULD be an option i might explore.

 

I notice you set the passing to SHORT, and the tempo LOW. This i find a bit surprising. So your trying to use a style of play where you build through the thirds and pass your way into the box? very interesting. What interests me further is, you have two wide players set to winger. Wingers cross a lot, so where do the crosses go?

 

Im thinking along the lines of a midfield 4 comprising a WM (s) and WM (a) for the two wide players, ideally the WM (a) will be someone who has traits to come inside off their wing and be opposite footed to be a presence in the box, mixed with a CM (S) and CM (a) as the central pairing, again PPM dependent, and then a DLP behind them who can always offer a passing option and can send diagonals out to the WM (a) or over the top ball to the forward.

 

But in order to do that, would short passing and low tempo stifle the ability to do that? all hypothetical at the moment of course but in theory?

 

One thing i do think, and its not something that gets talked about too much on this forum; i think getting some good set piece routines are CRITICAL for this team as they are a side that relative to their level have players who can deliver a good ball.

 

What are your thoughts on pressing strategy with the Wee Rovers?

 

The formation in my head im thinking of is along these lines:

 

------------------------ PF/A

WM/S-------CM/S---------CM/A----------WM/A

------------------------DLP/D

FB/S--------CB/D-----------CB/D---------IWB/D

------------------------GK/D

 

Hopefully to create a nice little overloaded wing to free the other attacking winger to get into the box.

I think Smart Osolador could be the attacking wide man to get goals.

 

Pressing im still not sure about. might be a case of watching the friendlies very closely to see what works, but youre pretty much straight into the caramel wafer cup arent you?

 

 

 

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One thing I should caveat this with is that by no means am I a tactical expert or really have much of a clue what I am doing with FM (at least compared to others on this tactics board). All I know is what seemed to (mostly) work for me and what led to my most enjoyable FM experience in years (not that it didn't have it's difficulties - I've documented in other threads my frustrations with aspects of the game elsewhere).

My rational for short, low tempo football was simply to retain possession. My players had generally poor passing stats and direct passing only resulted in constant aimless punts upfield. Anything too quick and balls would again be sent out of play. This did result in some painfully dull matches, but it is Scottish League 2 after all...

As for the DM position, my priority was for someone tall and strong who could primarily win headers and help break up opposition attacks. It was pretty hard to find a suitable player that wanted to join my club, however. I guess with better players around, Fisher would've probably done pretty well in the DLP position, but personally I prefer someone more defensive as the deepest midfielder, rather than a playmaker. Especially for lower league football.

I never had Smart Osadolor at my team, but he tore my defence to pieces playing for Queens Park. Tried to sign him but wasn't interested.

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I know this is from a while ago and u probably won't see it but I have a mod that's called the great British Cup and in first round we drew Chester (me being edinburgh city) and we comfortably beat them 5 nil so I would say Scottish league 2 teams could vary between top vanarama North/South teams and playoff contenders in the national league. I will probably be doing an experiment and if u want to know the result dm me https://instagram.com/owenhibs0404?igshid=s1pcjf9tucm4

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