FM19 Guide: How to defend with a high line

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It looks like you’ve got enough men back. The next thing you know, someone ends up ghosting behind your flabbergasted defence. Your first instinct is to blame your players, but the game’s animation often makes players look slower, or less alert, than they actually are.

Your next instinct might be to change your centre-backs; either in personnel or roles.

Nothing wrong with this at all. That said, without suitable protection, isolated centre-backs in a high line will always end up focusing primarily on the space behind them. To stop your enemies playing any football, the centre-backs must focus on keeping their positions! Continue reading

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Livin’ the Dream | FM Story| First Silverware?!

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.

Following his first win as the boss, can he get his second win in as many games in the next round of the FFA Cup against Perth Glory and eventually lead The Sky Blues to cup glory? Could Bradshaw finally get some more signings too?

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Dynamo Project – Fantasista Quest

I would like to invite you all on a world-spanning, time-bending journey. It is a side project of mine, ran parallel to my main Dynamo Kyiv save. Also, as it is likely to be the last save I start on FM 2019, it must be one of epic proportions and ambition. Being a huge fan of Italian calcio, I find much of my tactical inspiration in Italy while I enjoy watching English football. England is where the beautiful game began and I find the Premier League to be the most competitive league, especially on Football Manager. In the game I use it as a testing ground for many tactical styles, from Tiki Taka to Gegenpress. I tried Spanish patient approach with Arsenal and Man City before, and could not resist to give Gegenpressing a try this year with Liverpool (albeit briefly as it just felt like cheat mode). In the 1st part in a planned multi-part article I intend to unite my two loves to tell this story. I begin the tale in England in the 70s, before moving to 80s Italy. It is bound to be a curious hodgepodge of styles and ideas, for as we all know, some of the best cuisine is fusion cuisine. Welcome aboard!

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FM19 | Sacchi’s 4-4-2 | União | Part 4

This is my fourth season in charge at União da Madeira, taking them from Portuguese Third Tier up to the Primeira Liga in my first two seasons. After a respectable lower mid-table finish last season, I was looking to make improvements and finish in the top half this time around. If you haven’t already, you can read previous editions by following the links below.

This time around I decided to switch up my tactics. Taking inspiration from Thomas Paine’s excellent piece on Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan side, I decided to take a punt on a fluid 4-4-2. Seeing how well he had done with a less fancied side over in Italy, I attempted to replicate his success over in Portugal. I was not disappointed.

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Tactic Creation Guide: Part 3 – Offensive Trio – Press Forward!

I planned this as a three part series. I intend to go step-by-step through the process of creating a 3-5-2 tactic, from examining the formation’s strengths in the context of its three units: defensive, transition and offensive to showing you what kind of players you need. The first part dealt with the 3 Men Defence Unit. The 2nd focused on the Transition Unit of midfielders and wingbacks. This third and final part will examine the Offensive Trio and how their roles and instructions contribute to the success of the tactic as a whole. Finally I will analyze how the three units fit together to make up the strengths and weaknesses of the 3-5-2 system. So thank you for following so far. Read on!

Step 1: Defensive Unit

Step 2: Transition Unit – Wingbacks and Midfield

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Serie A saga: A busy summer at Lazio

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In my last post I gave an overview of the Lazio squad and which players I would like to retain, dispose of and keep for the medium term. Rebuilding this great club would take time, patience and no small amount of financing. Their last Serie A win was in the 1999-2000 season under Sven-Goran Eriksson, although they won the Coppa Italia in 2012-13 under the guidance of Vladimir Petkovic, beating fierce city rivals Roma 1-0 in the final.

In this post I will:

  • Provide an overview of our summer transfer activity
  • Review the tactical systems for the new season
  • Discuss season objectives

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FM19 | The Box To Box Midfielder | União | Part 3

União are back in the top flight for my third season in charge. Today we’re going to have an analytical look at my Box To Box Midfielder, Rúben Oliveira. We’ll see how the Match Engine emulates the role of a BBM, and how effective they can be in the right situations. If you haven’t read the previous editions you can check them out here.

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Inverted Wing-Backs in FM19: How to Utilise Your Silent Assassins.

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Inverted wing-backs: what’s the point?

Inverted wing-backs are often just seen as full-backs standing in central midfield. An excuse to pass sideways. An excuse to bring natural full-backs out of position. An excuse to play 20,000 bleeding passes for the sake of it!

However, believe it or not, using inverted wing-backs correctly can give your side an unrivalled attacking threat. If you’re still with me, I’ll try to explain how! Continue reading

Saving English Football! – Part 1

So last year I created a series in which I tried to Ruin English Football. I basically created an alternate world in which top teams lost their ability to sign players meaning they relied heavily on their youth in turn creating a quality generation of English talent. However what ended up happening was League One and Two teams became huge and took over and Wigan and Blackburn won everything. If you want to read about that you can check out parts here:

England managed to win another 4 world cups, a European Championship and 4 Nations League Titles in around 50 seasons.

So this save has some similarities but I decided that instead of ruining another country or another simulation, I’d try and make up for what I’d done previously. This time round I’m going to save English football. I know the current national team is doing fantastically, its kind of sad that around this time last year I wrote an article on Why England won’t win a major competition in our lifetimes. That makes me look really pessimistic in retrospect. However despite how much I applaud Gareth Southgate; I’m stealing his job.

I have a few things on my ‘checklist’ that I’d like to achieve in this save: 

  • Climb the Leagues with the Unicorn, relying on young English talent either from my academy or an extensive scouting network provided by the national team. 
  • Keep the average age of the national team 24 or lower, without losing quality of players. Keep older players for key roles and rotate teams during friendlies/easy qualifiers. 
  • Improve the facilities as early as possible, as that is paramount to early climbing. 
  • DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO PLAYERS! Players will stay for a maximum of two years. 

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