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04texag

Applying a 424 Brazil style tactic to the Premier League

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Posted (edited)

**EDIT** I've changed the title to this and will start tracking some of the save here. I'll add some flair maybe in another post down below.

 

I'm looking for an attacking 424 tactic to be used with a top flight team. I'm wanting to make the most out of a few players that I have. First, I was thinking a False 9 up top using Sandoval (all player screenies below) and pair him with my main goal scorer, Bajamich, who really shines when he's an AF-A. In the middle, I want to use my second playmaker, Adli. The last key player who has the most Brazilian type flair is Francisco Conceicao, who typically I have on the right wing, AMR, IW-S. How would you maximize these 4 players in an attacking setup, 424 tactic? Would really love some ideas here as I'm stalling out and feel like I'm not getting the most out of my guys in my current 4141 and 4231. 

Sandoval

image.thumb.png.d6b7ed6e98c0ade06886e44bfc1b817e.png

 

Bajamich

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Adli

image.thumb.png.4170037aea25dbc0915423e7a6439561.png

 

Conceicao

image.thumb.png.e663915d920da43602199c5eaba76b18.png

Edited by 04texag
changed title

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Here is what I have come up with so far, but would love to hear from someone who has run a similar attacking 424. I realize I do not have any holding midfielders. I used this last in a game I should definitely win, planning to change the midfield pair to a dlp-s and CMd for a tougher matchup. That said, I do have all the back 4 holding further back.

 

image.thumb.png.f8118961e7ace850be2fe8f1698689d0.png

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Posted (edited)

Coincidentally, I'm working on one at the moment. Trying to replicate 1970 Brazil for my next article.

image.thumb.png.0e5122b6570007c3c87b5644246c2cd5.png

I'm leaning towards Shadow Striker, over Trequartista for Pele role. It should resemble 4-2-4 or 4-2-3-1 in attack.

Edited by crusadertsar

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Posted (edited)

That looks interesting @crusadertsar. how is it working so far? I normally shy away from offset/asymmetrical tactics, there's some sort of purist snobbery in me that I have no idea where it came from. That said, if it can get results and play the way I want, then why not try it.

 

Also, the treq will have more lateral roaming/movement, and a shadowstriker will have more vertical. Seems like SS is what you would want there.

Edited by 04texag
added treq comment

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1 hour ago, 04texag said:

image.thumb.png.f8118961e7ace850be2fe8f1698689d0.png

 

1 hour ago, 04texag said:

I realize I do not have any holding midfielders

Well, you yourself identified the most pressing issue of your tactic. In this kind of system, you need at least one holding CM, while the other one can either be also a holder or a covering role or a moderate runner. 

Your fullback roles also don't make much sense IMHO. With an IW/IF on both flanks (which btw is also not the best idea IMHO), you need fullbacks that will provide attacking width when their wide partners move inside.

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I'm actually using the fullbacks to recycle possession, but with their individual traits, they  naturally overlap and provide width when needed. 

I'm willing to sacrifice some defense for good movement and know I'll sacrifice some counter goals. 

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57 minutes ago, 04texag said:

That looks interesting @crusadertsar. how is it working so far? I normally shy away from offset/asymmetrical tactics, there's some sort of purist snobbery in me that I have no idea where it came from. That said, if it can get results and play the way I want, then why not try it.

 

Also, the treq will have more lateral roaming/movement, and a shadowstriker will have more vertical. Seems like SS is what you would want there.

Haven't started testing yet. But have a bunch preseason friendlies that will hopefully will get through tonight. Will report after

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So this was just my second match with the tactic, my club's first continental game in the Euro cup, away to Krasnodar. The team still isn't familiar with the shape, but results were astounding. Some of the passing, movement and chances were amazing. Here are some analysis screenshots. I think this formation is going to get a little more training and see how it does.

Heat map

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Passing combinations

 

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Player ratings, everyone played pretty well, even the two below 7 had some good highlights that I saw, they just didn't convert some chances.

 

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And some gold, look at the key passes

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image.thumb.png.c7a7cd9616139092fda58e09a0d497cc.png

 

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Sometimes I play FM on my galaxy note, playing FM Touch. I recall one time seeing that a big difference between the full game and touch was that you did not have to train tactical familiarity. I recently started a Santos save in Brazil so I loaded up my current version of the new 424 attacking tactic and played through a month of games while drinking my morning coffee. The results were VERY impressive. That's given me confidence to keep training and playing my current Portsmouth save with this tactic. I'm hoping that another month or so in-game and my guys will have a higher tactical familiarity with this system and the results will really shine. I'll post updates if anyone is interested....

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I have used the tactic now for almost three full months of my third season in the PL with Portsmouth. We were predicted to finish just outside of the relegation battle. We have been massively over-performing sitting at 3rd in the table, even with multiple injuries to some key players. Here is the table and the recent run of results, including a few smashing 7 goal wins.

 

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Our team has an impressive 53% sharts on target

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Looking into the goal and assist analysis, I'm liking what I see. I've set it to look at just the last 15 games, as I've been using the tactic the last 17. Here are some screens of the tactical analysis.

Goals

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Assists

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Pretty happy with the CCC, That's 23 CCC in 15 games, and we have converted on all but 4 of them. The opposition does have 17 against us, but only converted on 8, which is just over 1 every 2 games. I'll take that.

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I'm going to be watching the squad closely in the month of December. I'm hoping the injury bug will go away and we can get healthy for a solid second half to the season. We are right on the door step of challenging the top of the table and even Champions League football. We are also very alive and well in the Euro Cup, looking to ease into the knockout rounds.

 

image.thumb.png.dd9acdc4610726d8c02e201f69dec565.png

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, 04texag said:

53% sharts on target

I just noticed this typo... our team must have received a dodgy lasagne

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IMO to create a good 424 system that lets the front 4 do its magic, you need to really be careful with the 2 CMs. I think you need conservative roles there to balance the tactic. Those players need to recycle possession and cover/protect the back. Even if you use FB on Support with adventurous traits that make them use the width and overlap naturally. Considering the Attacking Team mentality and the Counter instruction In Transition. FB or WB roles, they will get up there. 

Also I would use IW on the same side as AF and IF on the same side as DLF/F9. This is one way I would try:

MRC - DLP-D

MLC - CM-D

AMR - IW-S

AML - IF-S

STCR - AF-A

STCL - F9

 

Or you can try this:

MRC - CM-D

MLC - DLP-D

AMR - AP-S

AML - IF-S

STRC - AF-A

STLC - F9 

 

See which one gives you better ball and player movement. Either way you have AF and IF looking for goals, while F9 and IW or AP are the creators. 

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Thanks @yonko I'll look into these. I started off trying something similar. I do have an away tactic that converts the two midfield roles into what you described and drops the team mentality to balanced. The positions I'm most unsettled on right now are the two wide attacking players. 

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3 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Thanks @yonko I'll look into these. I started off trying something similar. I do have an away tactic that converts the two midfield roles into what you described and drops the team mentality to balanced. The positions I'm most unsettled on right now are the two wide attacking players. 

I'd consider using a conventional Winger on one side just so that you can maintain width higher up the pitch consistently -- whether it's a W(S) or a W(A) would depend on the players involved at that position and also behind them on the same defensive flank. A W(A) is going to cut inside more aggressively and a WB would still overlap a fair amount, whereas a W(S) (depending on PPMs) will usually stay wider, which could allow you to use the defender behind them as a IWB to shore up the middle of the field or a FB to help with the defensive line.

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On another thread there was a lot of discussion about through balls. I've been getting a lot of them with this tactic and my squad. This highlight is a great team play with passing, movement, and a through ball for the winning goal.

 

 

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39 minutes ago, scratchmonkey said:

I'd consider using a conventional Winger on one side just so that you can maintain width higher up the pitch consistently -- whether it's a W(S) or a W(A) would depend on the players involved at that position and also behind them on the same defensive flank. A W(A) is going to cut inside more aggressively and a WB would still overlap a fair amount, whereas a W(S) (depending on PPMs) will usually stay wider, which could allow you to use the defender behind them as a IWB to shore up the middle of the field or a FB to help with the defensive line.

I've been doing just this, but my main winger has been injured so I've been having to use mixed roles some because of his replacement. I just played another game with the AMR as a W-S and he played well.

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Club DNA, training and scouting

About one season before this current, it was my 2nd year in the PL with Portsmouth. I decided that I wanted to start focusing my training of my young players towards a core club DNA, and then start scouting for very young players who fit a certain technical mold. With all of our club finances, we started upgrading everything for our youth setup. Our stadium still sucks, but we have great training, youth recruitment and facilities. I was hopeful that year 2 in PL would get me close to continental football, so it was time to start investing towards the future.

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I fell in love with a save done by @Mikaelinho and so I started looking for young technical players, with flair and quickness. This would complement my club DNA of building around players capable of playing as "playmakers". So here are the goals I began working towards.

Club DNA and core players - Playmaker capable midfielders (CM/DM/AM slots) Passing, vision, first touch, technique and flair. The first four are all solid for possession type teams, but the inclusion of flair is to add the element of unique play to help break down determined defenses once you are in control of possession. Determination and mentality are keys for the entire squad as well. My two main players who fit this mold are my star central midfielders, Sandoval and Almendra. Year two, we also signed Adli, who definitely fits the bill.

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I have a lot of young players who are right behind these. So I have adopted the following training, with different focuses for the different phases of the season. This is something I've pulled from @Rashidi fine training guides.

Pre-season through to early December. Building fitness and tactical awareness (especially important in this year 3 PL season as we made a major tactical shift to the 424. During this phase of the year, I train my players individually for the actual role and duty they are playing. This will shift in phase 3.

Typical 1 match week, with lots of general training modules and match prep modules

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Also, I will mix in this mentals rotation schedule, typically during international break weeks with no matches.

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Dec - January represents a huge slog of games in England. There are cup games, continental games, PL games. So I really dial down the training and use 1 or 2 general modules (overall or outfield) and then match review and match training/attacking movement/teamwork)

Then comes the 3rd phase of the season, the push to the end. At this point, my team should all be tactically aware, so I shift towards developing more core team attributes. This is where my ginga schedule comes in. Based again on @Mikaelinho save, this training schedule develops my players core attributes including flair. During this phase, I switch the individual players so that they are training a pos/role/duty (PRD) that matches with what I want them to play like, or the stats I want them to develop. This is commonly Roaming playmaker for central mids, Trequartista for attacking mids, and complete forward for strikers. Although I will sometimes use Poacher, as it trains less items but the key ones. One of my guys is an all around but finishing is a little low, so he gets poacher.

image.thumb.png.d7280627f6424db77c6fd633c45f5112.png

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Next up is scouting. I have created a few scouting filters to specifically target very young players. One is for finding playmakers, one is for finding ginga's, (dribbling, technique, flair, agility, acceleration). Below are my scouting filters. It's been super helpful to save these search filters and then re-run them once every 4 months. I will shortlist any found youngsters to separate lists per search filter and then scout those players. It's important to un-follow any players found this way so you don't get flooded in your inbox.

Ginga search - 15-17 year olds, dribbling, tech, flair, agility, acceleration all at 15. This is very restrictive and usually only finds 2-5 players.

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Playmaker - 15-19 year olds, vision, technique, passing, first touch, concentration, and decisions. These are all set to 13, and the age is a little older. Some of these, particularly since more mentals are included, take a little longer to develop. So this broader search will find 5-15 players typically.

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After a few weeks, I'll get all of these scout reports back. Two key things happen at this point. First, the players must pass a determination/mentality check. Simply put, low ambition or problem mentality guys will not develop to their full potential, and the wrong mentality can hurt the rest of the team in addition to them. I try to avoid even balanced players, although if they are great, I will sign them as the rest of my squad is all becoming really great mentally so I can mentor that balanced player up.

The second big test is to evaluate the player's current squad. Sometimes, other large teams will have already acquired these young talents, or they might have come up naturally through their own youth intake. I don't go after players from big squads as they will simply be too expensive. I'm looking for high potential guys, great mentality, but from small countries or teams so that I can get them cheap and early, then train them up further at our great training facilities. 

As you can see below, this process has been good in identifying some young talents, but I'm currently hindered by the UK's rules that do not allow players from out of country to transfer until they turn 18. Here are 5 guys weighting for their birthdays to come in.

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Predrag is a balanced player, but as a DLF with playmaker abilities and flair, I decided to take a risk on this youth. He will immediately go to the senior squad for training and mentoring, but will play exclusively for one year on the U18's. If the mentoring pays off, he should develop nicely.

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Thanks for checking out info on my save. Would love to keep reporting back if there is any interest. So if so, please drop a line or upvote so I know you're reading!

 

 

 

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Also, here is my current tactic with some of the recent advice above. 

image.thumb.png.950acc5a184c9fdb7c1b8760e4fc0152.png

The AP should push forward and he and the F9 will occupy the middle of the field to control possession and play more direct passes. Everyone else should mostly recycle possession back towards them with the focus through the middle. On the left flank, Adli is also a playmaker type, I want him receiving balls while on the move (he has high flair and dribbling alongside is playmaking abilities) and either drive towards goal or play through to the AF or a late running F9. The WB on the left provide width since the IF is playing narrow and advanced.

On the right flank, the winger looks to run beyond and wide of the W9 and the FB is sitting back with hold position on to recycle possession and occasionally will overlap if we are really high up the pitch. 

Almendra in the middle sits and holds things together. He's a great passer, but also has really high work rate and teamwork. 

The results continue to impress.

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1 hour ago, 04texag said:

Also, here is my current tactic with some of the recent advice above. 

image.thumb.png.950acc5a184c9fdb7c1b8760e4fc0152.png

The AP should push forward and he and the F9 will occupy the middle of the field to control possession and play more direct passes. Everyone else should mostly recycle possession back towards them with the focus through the middle. On the left flank, Adli is also a playmaker type, I want him receiving balls while on the move (he has high flair and dribbling alongside is playmaking abilities) and either drive towards goal or play through to the AF or a late running F9. The WB on the left provide width since the IF is playing narrow and advanced.

On the right flank, the winger looks to run beyond and wide of the W9 and the FB is sitting back with hold position on to recycle possession and occasionally will overlap if we are really high up the pitch. 

Almendra in the middle sits and holds things together. He's a great passer, but also has really high work rate and teamwork.

 

IMO your left side will get exposed vs better opponent or good counter attacking team. I would switch the CMs and STCs roles. CM-D and F9 on the left and AP and AF on the right. 

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@yonko I like moving the CM-D to the left like you said. Have tried that now and played well and stable. I have the left defender on cover as well. I have mentioned it multiple times but never put a screen up, but my back 4 all have hold position on and close down less. That way any pressing happens high up the pitch and my back 4 keep a solid stable line.

 

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Just a quick update. I'd say things are going pretty well, as we just climbed to the top of the premier league at the end of January. The tactic has been working really well. We made it through the tough slog of Dec-January and most of our players are finally back healthy and fit. We still have games to play in the Euro Cup and the FA cup, so it will be a packed schedule. I'll be super happy if we can hang on to earn champions league ball for the following year.

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We are on a 15 game without losing string and have won our last 5. We also are leading the league in goals scored at 53 through 25 games, with the goals being pretty well spread out around the squad.

 

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Enjoyed reading this so have started up a save with Blackpool using a 4-2-4. My initial setup 

SK-S

Wb-A cb cb iwb-d

Dlp-d cm-s (hold position)

Iw-s w-s

Af-a dlf-s 

Positive mentality with distribute quickly to fullbacks in transition. 

Im hoping the iwb-d tucks in when we have the ball and the dlp drops in alongside him to form cover for the more attacking players

 

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Good stuff. That is a setup I have wanted to try toying with some as well, but my current setup has been working really well so I haven't wanted to tweak any more since we are in season and on form. I will play some at this upcoming pre-season with some tactical variations on this main them.

Let me know how things go with your save!

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The scouting filters that I have been using have been working wonders so far. Here is on of the players that came in during the winter window after having just turned 18. I signed him on the cheap, and now under our wing with our good training facilities, he's really shooting up. He's currently on the U23 team and also made available for 45 mins per match to the U18s.

Signed for 750k from Ecuador

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Progress nearly straight up.

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On 03/08/2020 at 10:36, 04texag said:

After a few weeks, I'll get all of these scout reports back. Two key things happen at this point. First, the players must pass a determination/mentality check. Simply put, low ambition or problem mentality guys will not develop to their full potential, and the wrong mentality can hurt the rest of the team in addition to them. I try to avoid even balanced players, although if they are great, I will sign them as the rest of my squad is all becoming really great mentally so I can mentor that balanced player up.

You can mentor players with far worse personalities as well, especially if they are younger.  I've turned unambitious personalities into professionals countless times.  It takes 2-3 tutor sessions, but if you have for example one tutor who is driven and then one who is fairly ambitious or professional, the determination will go way up from the first tutoring and then the second tutor will balance out the ambition/professionalism to get you a really good personality.  So what I'm saying is that you might not always want to skip out on a really young player who fits your scouting filters, but just doesn't have the right personality.  

edit: here's one in progress, already up to fairly professional, just need to get more determination, at that age there's plenty of time still

personality.png

Edited by Analog

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This is a great point. I've been focusing this first big year of settling into the PL on getting a foundation. I don't think I had enough eligible tutors, especially at the lower age, u18 level. I didn't want to have too many young players crowding my first team as that impacts the whole squad with coaches and training all too thin. 

Hopefully after the massive success of this season, I'll be able to continue to bring in some more recruits, including some with promise but that need some mental training and mentoring as well. 

Great points!

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A super disappointing last few weeks of the season saw our young Portsmouth side lose the league title to Manchester City on the last day of the season. We had been in first place the last month or so and all we had to do for the last 3-4 games was just win one, and we couldn't do it. We tied Bournemouth on the last day and they smashed Nottingham Forest to win the league by 1 point. It was pretty disappointing since we had it in grasp but completely failed the last month, losing out on competitions and not able to score goals. Up until the last month of the season we were the most prolific goal scoring team in the league but just couldn't score enough when it mattered. Everyone went cold at the same time. 

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After a 30 game unbeaten streak, here is the last abysmal month of play.

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Well, on the one hand I feel quite joyous on the year, on the other, that last month was so disheartening. This tactic has been the best, most fun to watch, good spread of attacking and possession play from all across the pitch, but to just get shutout at the end of the campaign hurts. We qualified for champions league play though which is exciting. We don't need to re-invent the wheel, but perhaps shore up the defense with another young high quality center back to go along with our other up and coming. My biggest concern is that sharks are circling around Sandoval. He is truly in a class apart, and everyone in the league is scouting his games and announcing plans for him. Because of the interest, I can't get him to sign a new contract. I'm hoping I can reject any offers, and then resign him at that point. With a large transfer budget offered to us after our great financial performance, I'm hoping I have enough to offer him to keep him.

Sandoval won the young player of the year award.

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Team stats, we finished 3rd in goals, tied for first with 122 chances created,  3rd best average possession 55% (which is what 1-3 had), with 86% pass completion, 3rd best heading and 4th least conceeded. Overall that is fantastic for a mid table expected and young Portsmouth. 

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I've found those streaks quite common on this year's game. Even once you're seen as a top team and everyone plays defensively against you and you have tactic that can beat the bus parkers there's always a little patch of games where the goals just dry up. 

It's happened in every season of my current Sampdoria save. 

Mine have become significantly less and less each year. Where I would often suffer similar drops in form as you're end to the season, I now only experience it for 2 or 3 games on the bounce, maybe twice a season at the most. 

I don't think it's tactical (I've gone through enough different set ups!), I think it's linked to the age of your team and squad personality. My side was full of youngsters with ok personalities. Now after 5 or 6 years of frequent collapses, my players have matured, their personalities have improved and they're better suited to cope with a title challenge. 

It could be that your side is yet to mature? It certainly looks like they've bottled it in the run in. 

This might happen for a few seasons. Bringing in some older big time players might help (which is something that I didn't do). 

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That's encouraging to hear. My squad is pretty much all 23 and under. My oldest players are 28 and under and only 3 of those really play. That said, the youngsters are all fairly determined, fairly professional or better, with multiple driven, professional and model citizens. 

 

This is the off-season of 2026, so there is a world cup to watch and scout. I've shortlisted several players and will look to bring in one big signing, ideally someone young who has a breakout world cup performance. Think mbappe 2018. 

I will definitely bring in a young center back for more defensive depth and also I'm hoping to find an 18-20 year old goalie for the future, someone to start my cup games and get mentoring from my primary, who is 28 and good but not a world beater. 

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Our least productive position last year out of our attacking four was the right wing. Fransisco Conceicao just fell off big time on his production and also was injured. He only has 1 year left and I'm moving him as a transfer. Emi Buendia has been rotting away on Liverpool's bench, despite being a great player. He has wonderful PI's, great stats, and matches up really well with our club DNA and mentality. We were able to bring him in right at the open of the transfer market for a pretty good bargain at 22 million. 

With our bank account still doing well at over 150 million, we approached the board for our 3rd stadium expansion. This was approved and will push our max attendance up to 36k. It was around 20k when we first entered the premier league 3 seasons back, so this is fantastic and should help our long term finances. We are also playing champions league next year which should help as well.

The first week of the world cup is on-going, so I've been scouting and watching highlights. I'm still planning on another large signing of a young player who is bursting onto the international scene with this year's world cup.

Here's what I'm doing:

I first go to matches and results of the world cup, then I go day by day and pick 2 games to scout. Here you can se, there are actually four games being scouted by us this day as I wanted to see these specific teams.

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After simming a day, I go back and look for interesting results. If you click the blue score, you can go to the match report

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I'm looking for standout performances from players I don't recognize. Here, E.Morales stat line is top notch, but as it happens, he's already a star at Man City even though he's only 23.

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I'll keep doing this through the world cup and hopefully I'll come across one fantastic player who is signable.

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One thing I don't understand in this game is sometimes people just leave and you can't keep them. I brought Sasa Tasic in when he was 19 and he has pretty much started ever since. He had a phenomenal year last year with our new tactical change as our starting False 9. Everyone started declaring interest, but he just didn't want to stay and responded to asking what would keep him like he had been unhappy, which he never had been. Ultimately, he signed for 70 million to go to Man united and stated that a chance of more playing time was a considerable factor. Man U is stacked and he will sit on the bench, whereas he played 35 games for us last season. This sucks, as I was planning on keeping him for the long-term. We did make a healthy profit on him at least, since we paid 19 mil for him. 

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He had developed nicely since I brought him in, and still had PI training to go on him. 

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