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FM20 - Athletic Club - Basque in the Bilbao Sunshine

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1 hour ago, dothestrand said:

@TOMetz It's likely @bowieinspace puts more work in than I do with youth development but the first thing I do is improve the staff. Your HOYD, if I recall, isn't great, so replace him. Regularly ask the board to improve youth recruitment and facilities when it's available. I take control of all teams' coaching - I delegate very little generally. If there are players who're a couple of years off being first team quality, then it might make sense to bring them into the first team squad - set them up in mentoring groups, control and observe their training more closely and to set them to play for the B or u19 squads. I try not to loan those players as you have less control over their development but they often request a loan move in their contract negotiations, so be careful and try to get rid of that demand. If you renege, they'll be unhappy and if you need them to sign another contract, they won't. Give them some game time in cups perhaps.

When the players are really on the cusp of first team football or you don't have room for them to play regularly, I would loan them to a top division club and request they get regular football. Your coaches will usually say if a player needs regular football for his development. I've got a 21yo midfielder who is so good, but he's one of 7-8 competing for 3 spots (and he might start half of the league games) so I've loaned him to Porto last season and Roma this season, and he's got regular football each time. You obviously can't control how they're coached but hopefully you've done that work and it's the game time they need. I'm generally stacked for midfielders so am looking to retrain them in their 2nd/3rd positions more to cover weaker positions in the squad. TBH, if that doesn't work out, I'll move them on.

I don't think you'll ever be short of youth options. Some intakes are good, some less good. But you obviously have other clubs you can raid. Generally, I'll bring in a few Basque youngsters each season from elsewhere whilst their release or compensation fees are low. A lot of big clubs try to poach your own young players. Sometimes you'll get insulting offers. Sometimes you'll get silly offers for players who might never really make it - often I'll sell in those situations. You might also want to consider whether a young player might develop well at another club - if you sell any young player with promise, get a good buy back clause, even if you sell for less than you'd like. 

I think after around 8 seasons, I've only got a handful of original players (Simon, Nunez, Yeray, Villalibre, Vencedor and Sancet, who I've just sold). Everyone else is a 'real' Real Sociedad player (Odriozola, Barrenetxea), an Athletic Club regen or another Basque regen. So the players will come through. Generally the first 2-3 seasons are the hardest. 

Solid stuff, thanks! Guess I wasn't doing too much different from you although I might need to upgrade the staff of my youth team and Bilbao Athletic. Although I find that it's really hard to find staff who are interested to work at Bilbao Athletic. Often they'd accept a job at the U19 instead of my B team. And I would like to have control over my staff at all clubs except Basconia so I'm not delegating that part.

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I'm having a tough time getting my tactics to work. It's as if no player has the balls to make a crucial pass, no player seems to be able to beat his man. And defensively speaking, my players keep on backtracking and get dribbled past by even the worst teams who then score outrageous goals against me. I have similar issues with all three these tactics.

I'd like to combine Gegenpress tactics for some formations and fluid counter attacks with other ones. 

Is it the positions, roles, tactics? Any help is very welcome. Thanks i.a.

PS: I restarted my save after the winter DB update. We're still in preseason so I'm rotating some players but the problems even persist then.

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@TOMetz I think your last formation works best for Athletic Club. In theory, you could try three at the back/wing backs, as Athletic Club are IRL, but I think a 4-1-2-3 formation utilises the talents you have out wide. I'd certainly try Cordoba/Williams on the wings (or Muniain but he can also play in CM). How is Villalibre in your save? He was decent in mine from the start, so he and Aduriz were my strikers. I've never had much luck with Williams up top. He just doesn't score enough.  

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16 hours ago, TOMetz said:

I'm having a tough time getting my tactics to work. It's as if no player has the balls to make a crucial pass, no player seems to be able to beat his man. And defensively speaking, my players keep on backtracking and get dribbled past by even the worst teams who then score outrageous goals against me. I have similar issues with all three these tactics.

I'd like to combine Gegenpress tactics for some formations and fluid counter attacks with other ones. 

Is it the positions, roles, tactics? Any help is very welcome. Thanks i.a.

PS: I restarted my save after the winter DB update. We're still in preseason so I'm rotating some players but the problems even persist then.

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Not surprised nobody tries to beat his man or play killer balls with the first formation, which is safety-first, only has one player making regular runs into the box and is missing half your best attacking players. Other two should be good, the 532 is very effective on FM [and secure at the back if you switch to an attacking style] and the last formation is a pretty standard attacking formation which complements the squad. The higher tempo should lose a bit of flair to move the ball a bit quicker, but a lot of people have success with that. Personally I like to set 'be more expressive' to let the players try the long shots and dribbles they're good at, but it shouldn't be necessary

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On 21/02/2020 at 22:26, TOMetz said:

Solid stuff, thanks! Guess I wasn't doing too much different from you although I might need to upgrade the staff of my youth team and Bilbao Athletic. Although I find that it's really hard to find staff who are interested to work at Bilbao Athletic. Often they'd accept a job at the U19 instead of my B team. And I would like to have control over my staff at all clubs except Basconia so I'm not delegating that part.

Hey @TOMetz,

Some really good advice there from @dothestrand so I'll add a few extra notes based on things I do and where I put my focus, just to expand a little bit and focus on a few details.

For me, youth development is based around two key concepts:

- Recruitment
- Individual attention/coaching

Recruitment:

In addition to the notes from @dothestrand, the personality of your HOYD can be quite important. You want to find someone with a really strong personality...model professional or model citizen are amazing, equally resolute I find pretty good as well as it means there's good determination and professionalism present. I also like to find someone with a preferred formation that suits what I'm trying to do, so i get more players coming through natural in positions I actually play people in.


Individual attention/coaching:

Guiding your young players through the right pathway can be key. This is helped a lot by getting your B team up a division as it provides a more controlled environment for them to gain playing time. 

1) Training program - I control their individual training and make sure they are on position/role training suitable to what I want them to do in the future. For some players this can be selecting a role based individual training program that develops their weaknesses - for example, a player who already has insane creativity/passing skills I may choose to put on a BBM or CM (A) schedule to boost other characteristics that make them more well rounded within a playmaking role, at least until certain attributes reach a particular level and then I'll adjust it again and may specify them on to a playmaking program. If you take a look through my posts on this thread, take a look at Julen Uriarte's development - I targeted him as a fantastic playmaker with a good base to be versatile, I could have trained him specifically as an advanced playmaker and maximised those attributes, but instead I rounded him out so he became a threat for scoring goals and could also recover the ball well in midfield, this allowed me to use him in a 4-4-2 as a central midfielder who was the hub of the team. If I hadn't developed his defensive attributes in particular, he would never have been able to be such a key player in that particular system and I would have needed to go in a different tactical direction. You can use individual focus to do that as well if it's a more limited spread. Perhaps the one I use most often here is putting young full backs on attacking wing back programs as they are often quite weak offensively, or I'll retrain wide attackers into full back roles if they've got a decent defensive baseline. 

2) Game time - This is really important once they get past around 17-18 years old, prior to that I will normally have them playing for the U19s and focusing on their training. Once they hit an appropriate point to be playing more regularly I will get them in the first team squad but available for the B team, if they are an average player with less potential I'll just move them to the B team squad to see how they go. Once they hit 19 and need to be registered, I'll either have them playing for the first team (even if it's sub appearances/very occasional starts), or they will play for the B team or go on loan. When selecting a loan club I look at playing time expectations, facilities and the clubs expectations for the season. I'll happily send a player on loan to a La Liga club in relegation trouble if they have good facilities and plan to have the loan player as an important first team player. I will also use international loans to top division clubs if they tick the above boxes and the league they play in is ACTIVE. Once they hit 19 game time needs to ramp up, so that should take priority, but I don't mind them playing more limited first team minutes when aged 19, as if they are doing well it increases their chances of a good loan move in the future. Once they hit 20, if they aren't regulars in the first team squad, making a solid number of starts and plenty of sub appearances, I am loaning them out for sure. The only exception would be a player who requires mentoring and adjustments to personality, in which case I will make room for them in the first team squad as much as possible and continually assess their progress during the season.

 

Don't be overly stressed if you get a few bad intakes, it'll happen, just keep scouting every basque regen you can find to widen your pool of players. When you get good players, make sure they have a solid release clause so they can't get poached.

Edited by bowieinspace

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3 hours ago, TOMetz said:

No worries. It is a great save, and most of us have this as our flagship save in each edition and usually play for multiple seasons. The constraints are actually an advantage. Enjoy!

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Yes, it's an annual save for me as well ever since FM16. Need to progress though, the furthest I've ever gotten was about five seasons in. And that's just when the fun starts.

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Posted (edited)

Please let me do this offtopic.

While at home I'm doing my anual Athletic save, at work I decided to start an experiment.

I've chosen Real Sociedad and I will work with Athletic's philosophy.

In the first 20 days at charge I managed to sell almost every non basque player from all the squads without being fired (luckily). The only player I could not rid off is Martin Odegaard because I can't terminate his loan. But he won't be registered for any competition.

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I just put all them on the transfer list and didn't want to make more money because the idea was to sell them quickly. The 3 main transfers in were Berenguer as AM L, Aitor Fernandez to fight with Remiro at the goal and Fernando Llorente to have an experience and quality striker.

Still a couple of players would come to the team for free, if they accept the contracts. Gorka Iraizoz as 3rd keeper, Gorka Elustondo and Miguel Olavide.

May be I should go for Javier Eraso, who is for sale and could be a backup player for the DM C and M C but that's a place in the pitch where we didn't lose big names.

Edited by Ricotero_uy

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7 hours ago, Ricotero_uy said:

Please let me do this offtopic.

While at home I'm doing my anual Athletic save, at work I decided to start an experiment.

I've chosen Real Sociedad and I will work with Athletic's philosophy.

In the first 20 days at charge I managed to sell almost every non basque player from all the squads without being fired (luckily). The only player I could not rid off is Martin Odegaard because I can't terminate his loan. But he won't be registered for any competition.

image.thumb.png.361732464dcde6069582fc20b7123d4f.png

I just put all them on the transfer list and didn't want to make more money because the idea was to sell them quickly. The 3 main transfers in were Berenguer as AM L, Aitor Fernandez to fight with Remiro at the goal and Fernando Llorente to have an experience and quality striker.

Still a couple of players would come to the team for free, if they accept the contracts. Gorka Iraizoz as 3rd keeper, Gorka Elustondo and Miguel Olavide.

May be I should go for Javier Eraso, who is for sale and could be a backup player for the DM C and M C but that's a place in the pitch where we didn't lose big names.

Iraizoz at Real Sociedad.... your game is broken

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A return to the pre-Aldridge days would probably be a good save. Real Sociedad have a great Basque core at the moment. Oyarzabal is clearly going to be your most important player for the next decade, you've got great midfield and decent defensive options, probably too lightweight up front. Ivan Martinez has to be your GK though, so raid Osasuna. I wonder if Osasuna players are more likely to sign for Real Sociedad than Athletic Club. 

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You would be surprise. Finally Iraizoz prefered to move to Qatar but I managed to bring Kodro (who was transfer listed) as a backup for Llorente.

I bought David De la Vibora 16yo thinking that he will gain automatically the basque 2nd nationality but he didn't so now i'm going to sell him.

There is a great block in the middle Illarra, Zubeldia & Merino, plus Elustondo in the defence and of course Oyarzabal in the wing, I'm not using him as an AM C because I will play 4-1-2-2-1 with Berenguer and Oyarzabal as AM L and AM R. 

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1 minute ago, dothestrand said:

@Ricotero_uy Is Barrenetxea not immediately better than Berenguer? 

Not yet, and also the experience is key to play at the start XI.

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On 04/03/2020 at 12:59, Ricotero_uy said:

Not yet, and also the experience is key to play at the start XI.

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I see. I don't think you'd need Berenguer at Athletic Club as you have enough options in the wide-left positions but he might be more useful at Real Sociedad. 

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And we have a Basque final in the Copa on our hands! 

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Just wanted to write a post in deep appreciation of Raul Garcia and how wonderfully unique of a player he is. I will be incredibly sad when SI neuter him in coming editions as they did with Muniain and Mikel San Jose in FM2020

I just played at home against Barcelona. Barca lined up in their usual 433 - It was their strongest lineup featuring Griezmann Suarez Messi playing left to right. Their midfield consisted of Rakatic Busquets and Arthur again from left to right. 

I opted for a 532 with counter attacking instructions. Aduriz playing TM(s) with Williams tucked behind as SS and Muniain playing as a attacking mezzala With Raul Garcia playing advanced playmaker. Early on in the match I got ahead by means of a successful counter with Williams actually managing to convert a chance for once. From there I made the decision to try to maintain possession and frustrate Barca. Since the AI was playing Messi deep and in the channel between my strongest wingback -there was nobody really for him to pass it to. I opted to employ Raul Garcia to man mark Griezmann just on gut instinct. This more of less changed the entire game for me. One or both of Ander Capa or Rulo managed to keep Barcelona's #7 marked while the other would pick up late runs of Jordi Alba - While this gave Rakatic loads of space, he would rarely dribble with it and would cycle the ball between Jordi Alba. The Croatian was too intelligent to make a wasteful pass that would be intercepted, but also had no idea where or who to pass the ball to - usually to Jordi Alba who would make a unsuccessful run or pass back to the centerbacks. Raul Garcia and Ander Capa managed to shut down Barcelona's entire left flank and more or less neutralized Messi in the process since the front 3 had an impossible time connecting. I rarely played him anywhere but the AM strata or with a free role but since San Jose has gotten nerfed hes the last of Atleti's total midfielders. I love his shithousery. 

Barca vs Atl.png

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, AsierÈamon said:

Just wanted to write a post in deep appreciation of Raul Garcia and how wonderfully unique of a player he is. I will be incredibly sad when SI neuter him in coming editions as they did with Muniain and Mikel San Jose in FM2020

I just played at home against Barcelona. Barca lined up in their usual 433 - It was their strongest lineup featuring Griezmann Suarez Messi playing left to right. Their midfield consisted of Rakatic Busquets and Arthur again from left to right. 

I opted for a 532 with counter attacking instructions. Aduriz playing TM(s) with Williams tucked behind as SS and Muniain playing as a attacking mezzala With Raul Garcia playing advanced playmaker. Early on in the match I got ahead by means of a successful counter with Williams actually managing to convert a chance for once. From there I made the decision to try to maintain possession and frustrate Barca. Since the AI was playing Messi deep and in the channel between my strongest wingback -there was nobody really for him to pass it to. I opted to employ Raul Garcia to man mark Griezmann just on gut instinct. This more of less changed the entire game for me. One or both of Ander Capa or Rulo managed to keep Barcelona's #7 marked while the other would pick up late runs of Jordi Alba - While this gave Rakatic loads of space, he would rarely dribble with it and would cycle the ball between Jordi Alba. The Croatian was too intelligent to make a wasteful pass that would be intercepted, but also had no idea where or who to pass the ball to - usually to Jordi Alba who would make a unsuccessful run or pass back to the centerbacks. Raul Garcia and Ander Capa managed to shut down Barcelona's entire left flank and more or less neutralized Messi in the process since the front 3 had an impossible time connecting. I rarely played him anywhere but the AM strata or with a free role but since San Jose has gotten nerfed hes the last of Atleti's total midfielders. I love his shithousery. 

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This is very interesting. I just can't seem to get Raul Garcia to work, on any position. He gets frequent touches during games but doesn't make any game-changing plays. Shame of his insane attribute spread. I absolutely love this guy, also IRL, but with an average of 6.64, I just can't be happy.

Edited by TOMetz

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On 07/03/2020 at 04:24, TOMetz said:

This is very interesting. I just can't seem to get Raul Garcia to work, on any position. He gets frequent touches during games but doesn't make any game-changing plays. Shame of his insane attribute spread. I absolutely love this guy, also IRL, but with an average of 6.64, I just can't be happy.

I just sold him to Young Boys. Him and Aduriz gave me a lot of problems. Can't hit a barn door and they can only play as Target Men (which I don't use in my tactic). At least Aduriz will leave on a free.

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On 07/03/2020 at 00:39, TOMetz said:

And we have a Basque final in the Copa on our hands! 

Cant wait for this!

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Just finished the 2027-28 season and it was my most successful so far, winning both La Liga for the third consecutive year but also winning the Champions League for the first time! I reached the SF and F of the two Spanish cups, so not far off a domestic clean sweep!

I led La Liga for most of the season after the first couple of months and although Real remained on my tail, we finished three points ahead of them.

In the Champions League, we had a reasonable enough group, finishing second behind Man City but ahead of Ajax and Basel. Knockout rounds were pretty kind, as we defeated Marseille and the two Milans (Inter, then AC) to reach the final where we faced.....Man City again.

We nabbed an early goal through Villalibre, and then just held on, with our defence all performing strongly. 

So where do we go from here? We have a squad that combines youth with older players who need to be transitioned out. This Summer, Griezmann will retire. He signed for us for two seasons to play as backup to Villalibre. By the end his technical skills were great but his physicals were laughable. Odriozola still has a couple of seasons in the tank. We signed Laporte up again for one more season as we're not strong at LB but after that, he's done, I think. Yeray and Nunez are our backup CBs and I might accept offers this Summer but they still have lots to offer. Areas we would love to improve are at GK and CF. Simon and Villalibre are awesome, but ageing without any replacements on the radar (Sociedad's goal machine won't sign for us).

I've posted up a few wonderkids too. We're pretty strong in wide positions and in defence, CM too. We haven't had a decent intake for a while but there are enough guys emerging at other Basque clubs.

 

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Well, a bit late to the party, but what a great first season!

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Started the game hesitant. I made post here that I was struggling with tactics, roles and duties. It was more difficult than ever to make this team tick. The best move appeared to be putting Muniain as a MEZ on attack and Williams as a CF on attack. Before I knew it, we went unbeaten all the way to Christmas. Had some spectacular wins v Real (2-0 at home), and Barcelona (2-1 at home). Only Atlético proved unbeatable, both in the league and the cup. I competed for the cup until the semi final. The league matches during this time were a lot more difficult due to injuries and that's when I lost my first spot. A good run in April and May came a bit too late to stop Real from winning the league.

Ibai Gomez and Capa proved to be irreplaceable this season. Both tallying up the assists and constantly posing a threat. Gomez is such a weapon on set pieces.

De Marcos, Herrerin, Balenziaga and San José want to leave the club cause they want to broaden their horizons. I did convince Sanjo to stay, the other three are free to go.

Another cool thing that happened: Muniain wanted a new contract but I failed to reach an agreement with his agent. The day after, Muniain sacked his agent. Two days later, we sealed a nice deal. Now that's a sign of love for the club!

My youth intake generated a handful of useful players with this guy as a starlet:

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Also, Alaves and Osasuna are relegated. So snagging up Moncayola shouldn't be an issue and I managed to lock down this regen from Alaves for next season:

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I also signed Herrando, Javi Martinez and Iker Muñoz from them. Eskerrik asko, Osasuna!

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On 07/03/2020 at 04:24, TOMetz said:

This is very interesting. I just can't seem to get Raul Garcia to work, on any position. He gets frequent touches during games but doesn't make any game-changing plays. Shame of his insane attribute spread. I absolutely love this guy, also IRL, but with an average of 6.64, I just can't be happy.

Apologies for incredibly belated response and for the wall of text.

So this is my 3rd Bilbao save and the first one where I feel like I actually am getting results from him. Because he is so unique I think its really easy to misunderstand him and difficult to get good results out of him - The temptation is to play him at AM or SS basically use him as focal point for your attack. Simply put, he just isn't that good there or at least not consistently good. He tends to move into positions where he can't get a shot off and he isnt quick enough to lose a defender. I had some success playing him as an AP(s) which despite its hard coded "shoot less often" instruction saw him score far more than when I played him as a AM(A) all of a sudden though he just stopped scoring and had a string of abysmal games. 

What I found is that his lack of speed was the key to getting him to preform, he is the ultimate negative player. Instead of using him to link my attack and score goals I used him to nullify the opposition. He is an absolute nightmare for defenses which rely on a DLP to transition the ball. The trick to using him is to identify the the most essential player to the opposition buildup and move Garcia into a position where he can mark that player out of the game.  I tend to identify  and select the guy they want to get the ball to or the guy who dictates their play, Normally when you select a negative player the trade off is that they will be too deep to assist with the attack or that they tend to be weaker with the ball, in addition you cannot usually play these defensive players in the AM strata. Rulo is the exception. He is intelligent enough to find positions off the ball to recieve the pass and strong enough to keep hold of it. Even when he is staying next to his marker he rarely loses the ball and can frequently find a positive pass centrally or into a overlapping fullback (usually Capa) His combination of "shoots with power" longshots, and finishing stats sees him score some phenomenal golazos from range. While his defensive stats do have some issues his other stats usually make up for it: i.e marking is weak but decisions, workrate, and positioning make up for it, he's not the best jumper but he is fairly tall and his heading is excellent, etc. While he tends to work best against big teams (ATM, Real, Barca) marking players like Rakatic or Koke (or Griezmann in combination with Capa as I outlined above). He can absolutely help you to lessen defeats and even scrape out essential draws and wins agains the big 3 that you absolutely NEED when playing Athletic Club. Using him in this way he usually manages to get a 7.2-7.4 player rating without scoring/assisting.

TLDR: he has enough composite stats that he tends to win defensive battles when played against other midfielders and he has enough intelligence to make the correct decision in any given play. Place him so that he is next to the opposition's most essential player, select "Mark specific player" in the player instructions, and watch him rack up tackles and ruin that player's time on the ball. Think of him as a Defensive Advanced Playmaker.

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image.thumb.png.38a75f15db56491f898ab9800ca6aea2.pngHello, thought id give this a go but try something a bit different, as super bored of 4123/ 4231 in my other saves. What do people think of this?  

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On 29/03/2020 at 09:18, Spenky said:

image.thumb.png.38a75f15db56491f898ab9800ca6aea2.pngHello, thought id give this a go but try something a bit different, as super bored of 4123/ 4231 in my other saves. What do people think of this?  

I always liked to do a 3 CDs tactic to take advantage of Iñigo, Yeray and Nuñez, the problem is that without the wingers lot of players for the youth academy became useless, and I thing that no matter which Head of Youth Development you use, it always bring good AMR and AML at the intake. So, I always go to the 4-2-3-1.

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@Spenky Athletic Club have played with three at the back this season quite a bit too, though not sure it really worked that well. 

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Its working quite well so far I think, we are at-least really solid at the back. Also, we are such a threat from set pieces with three centre halves. Cant get williams scoring up top... but when Im chasing games I have put him at rwb (a) and he such a threat from out there. Good fun but need to get a bit more fluidity in attack. Also concerned, as @Ricotero_uy pointed out, that regens may not suit the 532 too much. Lets see!

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