Football Manager 2019 Guides | Training the next Generation

In my recent post about my Golden Generation at Red Bull Leipzig, I’m still churning through seasons at the club. I’m trying to make some progress but as a result of my endeavours, I’ve started to get to grips with the new training system implemented in this year’s Football Manager.

I amazingly ended up signing Jadon Sancho this summer after my board agreed to make the arrangements to complete the transfer!

After winning the league in my second season, we’re looking confident to challenge for the title again. After losing Marcel Sabitzer and Péter Gulácsi we signed Jadon Sancho, Julian Weigl, Timo Horn and Serge Gnabry to pad out the squad for a good cup or champions league run.

As with lots of creative or inventory management games (in this case footballers) there is a ‘golden rule’ for success:

Input = Output

What I mean by this is that if you decide to plug in a tactic from a content creator, leave your assistant to run training and tactics and just meander through the season you’ll probably do alright. Perhaps you’ll do a bit better than expected or maybe a bit worse, but you’ll do alright.

If however you decide to fully invest into the save and create a detailed tactic, scour nation after nation to find the perfect player and micro-manage your imaginary staff to an infinite degree, you might find that results will tend to go your way, and the payoff is ecstatic. You might still do worse than if you coasted through, but you can safely say it was you doing it and can be proud of the commitment.

Training is definitely one of these ‘Input = Output’ scenarios. This year training was overhauled and is now heavily integrated into the tactics system, with the two overlapping constantly. Here are some top tips to bridge the gap and make more of the training features without being completely in over your head.

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FM19 | Moneyball | Part 3

Welcome back to the third post in my Moneyball series. If you’re new you can check out Part 1 Here.

My first full season at Crystal Palace draws to a close, and with the end in sight, there’s time to reflect on a successful season in the Premier League. We’re going to take a look at how my signings performed in the second half of the season compared with other players in the squad, my results as a whole and a look at inventive ways I’m keeping my expenditure down.

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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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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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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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FM19 | Youth Development | Lucky Leipzig’s Golden Generation

To add a bit of context to this piece, I’m currently managing RB Leipzig and I’m in my second season. After finishing a respectable 4th place in the league and reaching the Europa league final (but losing to PSG) I made some good additions to the squad including a transfer listed Reuben Loftus-Cheek, Benjamin Henrichs from Monaco and Donny Van de Beek from Ajax.

After the summer we set out on another season in the Bundesliga and to my surprise, we’ve done incredibly well and found ourselves top of the league at the mid-way point. After signing Rafinha on a free-transfer come the summer I continued the save. I was originally thinking of uploading my tactic, showing off how brilliant my team was but then came 29th February, 2020: I struck gold.

Christmas in February for my Leipzig side!

I’ve been lucky enough to have a son before in Football Manager, but this feeling was completely different. I realised quickly how lucky this was. I received a youth academy team of young starlets. It completely restructured my youth set-up and made me realise how good this bunch of kids could be if I put my mind to it. So this series of articles will follow the lives of 8 youngsters, either from my youth academy or brought in for less than 300k. I’m not expecting all of them to become world class, but I’m hoping a fair few of them will become regulars at my title-challenging side.

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FM19 | Moneyball | Part 1

I start a Masters Degree in Data Analytics this September, and recently I’ve been looking at how I can use Analytics to impact my favourite game, Football Manager. Cleon recently tweeted about Moneyball, and how no one has replicated it correctly when it comes to FM.

Now, I had heard of Moneyball, and knew it involved using Analytics to scout players, but I didn’t know the true extent of Moneyball, or where the definition came from. So, I watched the film.

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