Dynamo Project FM19 – The Golden Generation | Youth Development

Every year, around January when the arrival of the Winter Update is imminent, I start asking myself the same question, and this year is no different; who should I manage on football manager 2019? Now that the game is fully-updated what long-term definite save do I do? Do I start a Lower League Management saga, or a campaign to revive a Sleeping Giant? Do I manage in top 5 Leagues with their guaranteed riches, or in one of the more obscure ones and try to build them up to greater glory? All these are the questions that go through my mind in the month of January.

Sometimes restarting multiple times with different clubs, it might take weeks before settling on a save. This year the process has been somewhat easier as I finally realised what I enjoy the most in all my saves; to develop players from youth academy to the heights of continental football. Seeing these youngsters progress, sometimes rising up the leagues with the club, gives me the ultimate feeling of reward. This article is not only an informal guide to my philosophy of youth development but also a guide to those with less time or patience to start their own golden generation and rather jump into a club already possessing one at the start of the season.

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Serie B: US Triestina – the battle to avoid relegation. Thirteen games down…

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Having secured the Serie C title by 16 points, my objective in the 2019/20 season was simply to avoid relegation. This post will cover the pre-season and first thirteen games of the Serie B season.

Although I didn’t have any philosophies on which the Board would judge me, I had my values that I wanted to maintain in my second season. These would be:

  • Signing good, young footballers with a balance of technical, mental and physical skills
  • Loaning where possible, since finances remained perilous. I would need to make heavy use of my senior affiliate Udinese
  • With the ball, playing attractive football with multiple threats from wide areas and central midfield, with predominantly one striker
  • Playing a high pressing, high energy game without the ball, looking to win it back as soon as possession is lost.
  • Improving the quality of my coaches and scouts.
  • Hire a new Head of Youth Development to improve the quality of my U-20 and U-18 teams.

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Highlighting the Wide Target Man and the Flo Pass Tactic in FM19

 

Since it was first introduced in FM2014, the role of the Wide Target Man has always fascinated and brought out the tactical tinkerer in me, for better or worse. Sometimes I get an idea that takes over whichever save I’m doing, as I try hard to make it work. Most of the time it leads to a lot of wasted time playing around with the tactics screen and the later disappointment of watching game after game and seeing none of the results which I hoped for. My particular weakness has always been the exotic roles in football manager games. I created my share of Raumdeuter, Libero and Enganche tactics.  The Wide Target Man is no exception. While my previous exotic experiments led to inconsistent results at best, given all that I have seen from current Football Manager match engine and the revamped tactical interface, I have high hopes that the “Big man” on the wing role is at its best since 2014. Given the right player it could be just be missing ingredient to bring life back to the fallen giant or to build a tactical system to directly counter the high pressing and possession-heavy trend in football today.

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US Triestina – Season 1: Performance Analysis

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In my previous posts I spoke about how I evaluated the squad at my disposal and then, how I shaped this squad into three systems.

Here I will look at how the season played out, then I’ll go into more detail about my usage of the 4-1-4-1 DM Wide, the 4-4-2. I’ll analyse how my attacks are built from the back, whilst also analysing the team in transition and also out of possession.

I’ll round off by analysing my usage of the 4-4-1-1 system versus Sambenedettese.

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US Triestina: Squad evaluation #2

Introduction

Following my initial post which outlined the rebuilding work at US Triestina in Serie C, this follow-up article will describe the systems I used in my first season. Suffice to say, performances were excellent and after an inauspicious start, I was delighted with the results.

My target for the season as determined by the Board was to achieve a play-off spot in Serie C, which required a top ten finish. I was very confident that I could deliver this, and more.

In this post I will evaluate the existing squad members and explain how I put it all together into three different systems.

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Dynamo Project FM19 – Part 5 – Tactics, Glory & Wonderkids

For some reason I always associate the month of December with playing Football Manager. Maybe it was because I started my first ever save on FM14 in December 2013, the glorious campaign of promoting Manisaspor out of the gloomy depth of Turkish 2nd division. Maybe by pure luck or some fluke of the plug and play tactics, which back then I was almost exclusively using because I did not know better, I was actually able to win the league and promote my first ever club. I got it then, that feeling of dopamine rushing to my head, firing up the neurons in the glorious exploding chain reaction of joy that all managers, both real and virtual, experience at one point or another. It was the first shot of that most addictive of drugs that gets you hooked, the feeling that we all strive to experience with our virtual hobby again and again. The rest as they say is history, but the memory remains. In my mind, December will always be associated with the fuzzy feeling of winning in football manager, or if not winning then at least the next best thing, discovering that future homegrown superstar on intake day, and visualising all the future records and trophies he will achieve. Continue reading

US Triestina – Welcome to Serie C

Around every October, FM fanatics turn their thoughts to their next FM save, with the new game just around the corner. I had always fancied the idea of turning a minnow into a European superpower; on previous versions I had a very enjoyable save in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen and in the UK, with Oxford United. I gave some thought to managing overseas and settled for a career in lowly Serie C in Italy. I prefer to begin as an unknown manager in the lower leagues, working my way up and building a reputation.

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Dynamo Project: Part 3 – Highlighting the Pressing Forward in FM19

I was torn between two formations for my gegenpressing tactic: 4-2-3-1 DM wide or 4-5-1. In the end I ended up choosing 4-2-3-1, with 4-5-1 moving to my backup tactic when faced with superior sides in Champions League. Why did I not use Lobanovsky’s classic 4-4-2, you may ask? For one reason, I’ve used 4-4-2 extensively in both FM 2017 and FM 2018 and while I always had some success with it, I nevertheless noticed that Number 10 strikers never played as I wanted. No matter his role, he would not drop as much as I needed to link up the midfield and attack as well as attacking midfield would. When I decided upon using defensive midfielders (although sometimes I experiment with having one of each) instead of midfielders then I became convinced even further that I will need an attacking midfielder in order to link up play better. I’m planning to play more of a natural striker than playmaker in that position, one who will not just pass the ball around but will also work hard to make late runs into penalty area.

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Dynamo Project: Part 2

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Club DNA

The first question you might ask is what sort of player you will need to recreate Lobanovsky’s system, or indeed any kind of “gegenpressing” tactic, work. Primarily you want players with as much Stamina, Workrate and Determination as possible. I’m looking for something in 14-16 range ideally. As long as they are gifted in that trio, they will run their hearts out in whatever system you employ. Although, it helps if you use fitting team instructions and roles to get the best out them (more on that later).

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Dynamo Project: Part 1

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Introduction

Hi my name is CrusaderTsar and I’ve been playing Football Manager since 2014 and been a long-time follower of this forum. I finally decided to dip my feet in and write a series following my first long-term save in FM 2019. I plan to start a somewhat open discussion of Dynamo Kiev club and my tactics. I intend to post regular updates on my squad and results as well as welcome feedback on how to improve my tactics and training. Continue reading