FM Stats Lab: Decisions, Decisons, Decisions

Welcome back to the FM Stats Lab. In our first post we covered how we set up our lab environment to give is as much control as possible over our variables, and we also dipped our toes into the statistical water by investigating what sort of impact the professionalism attribute can have on overall team performance. If you’ve not had a chance to read it you can find it here – spoiler alert though, professionalism can have a huge impact.

Our first post was a light introduction, and the statistics were kept on a leash, but now (for all you fellow nerds) we are going to delve a little bit deeper. If stats aren’t you thing that’s fine, you can still find out our headline results from each of our experiments and there’ll be a little glossary at the end of any statistical terms that get thrown around.

There have been some great suggestions in the comments so in this post we planned to cover two experiments:

  • The Impact of Decision Making
  • Physically, Mentally, or Technically good Strikers?

However we went down a stats rabbit hole with the investigation of Decision Making. One that had originally been looked at by another blogger back in FM18 with their original version of an FM Lab. So the striker based experiments will have to wait until next time…

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Striking from the Shadows: Shadow Striker FM19 Guide

Last year I started to cover the more exotic player roles that have been added to Football Manager series over the years. Some of the roles I highlighted, like Raumdeuter, Regista and Trequartista, have been the staples of the game for years. While Pressing Forward and Wide Targetman have only been added in the recent entries. In that respect the Shadow Striker role is not new. It was one of the original roles from 2013 when Football Manager did its biggest tactical revamp by getting rid of the old slider system and introducing the ubiquitous player roles and duties. So while it is a role that has been around for a while, I think it deserves to be celebrated for its shear usefulness. Unlike some of the other exotic roles, a Shadow Striker can be utilized in any tactical system and competition level in FM19. So what makes it such a universal attacking role?

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Sarriball at Juventus | The First Season

The Maurizio Sarri experiment at Chelsea did not last long, and now he has returned to the Serie A to have another crack at the Scudetto, but this time with Juventus.

If you’ve watched Sarri over the last few years, you know exactly what style of play he is going to bring. His 4-3-3 will be out in full force, and there is the potential for real magic at the Allianz Stadium next season.​

TURIN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 20 (Photo by Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)
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Hammer and Anvil -Guardiola Masterclass – Guide to Creating Overloads in FM19

There seem to exist many misconceptions out there about what exactly it means to overload in football and how to create overloads within football manager tactical engine. This article is meant to be an easy to follow, step-by-step guide on how to successfully create overloads with any team and at any level. It does not present an exploit win-all plug-in tactic but it should hopefully make scoring goals, and winning, more consistent for your club.

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Welcome to the FM Lab! Where statistics and FM collide

Welcome to the FM Lab!

Statistics and myth-busting are the aim of the game in our FM Lab. We have set up a database and league to let us test what impact changing certain variables have on the actual game, to gather lots of data, and then test it statistically at the end. If like me you like seeing simulations and experiments, but also like me you want more hard figures then this is the experiment series for you.

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Wide players in FM19: How to harness them in your ball-hogging side

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Like watching your wingers bomb up and down the touchline, getting crosses in? Or your full-back beguiling the entire opposition, manoeuvring his way into the box unmarked? Well stop reading right here.

We’re looking for passing and moving, people. No player can move without passing first.

That’s how I developed this spectacular tactical system.

WBA tacticDid you think any of that was true? It couldn’t have been further. Continue reading

Livin’ the Dream | FM19 Story | Start of the Season

Livin’ the Dream is the third and final installment following the journey of Mason Bradshaw’s football manager career. His most recent role was with Braintree Town FC, in the Vanarama South, where he managed to keep them up. He’s now down under managing Sydney FC, living on the harbour with his wife Sophie, and young daughter, April.

The start of the season is upon Mason – will he lead the club to the title – or will his perfect dream begin to crumble….?

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FM19 | Moneyball | Part 2

First I want to start out by saying thank you to everyone who read Part 1. The response was really overwhelming and while I tried to respond to most comments, there are undoubtedly a few I missed. As promised, in this post we will be looking at my January Transfer Window activity, the stats for the players I signed, and a closer look at my KPIs and statistical setup.

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Tactics Tested | The Libero Diamond Tactic

It was a majestic sight. Go back 30 or 40 years and watch teams defend. The majority of them will feature a type of player that seems to have been lost from the modern game. You’ll see an elegant defender sitting behind the defensive line, picking up a stray through balls from an attacker. As he effortlessly brings it under his control, he marches forward with it, stepping past the other defenders and moving into the midfield zone. From there he acts as a modern-day deep-lying playmaker, initiating the play and spreading it out to the flanks, or playing it forward into midfield or attack. This is the Libero.

That passage could have been about any number of great players; the late Gaetano Scirea, Velibor Vasović, Ruud Krol, Matthias Sammer or the archetypal libero, Franz Beckenbauer.

In trying to create a tactic that showcased the Libero, I wanted to accomplish a few things:

  • Give the Libero room to work
  • Create diamonds to enable passing options
  • Make sure we have enough possession that the Libero can work his magic
The Diamond Libero
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FM Guide | Different signing strategies for big and small clubs

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During any Football Manager save you want to keep improving, and one way of doing this is by signing new players to your club. This doesn’t matter what division you are in, the same rules apply. However, depending on your club, signing players may be a little harder due to a number of reasons.

I will write down several different subcategories that change depending on the size of your club and reputation. These are just a few of the categories I have noticed when trying to sign players at various levels on Football Manager.

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