Dynamo Project: Season 3 – Recreating Porto’s Dream Team of Underdog Heroes

2019 will likely always be know as the year of the Underdog. With Ajax’s fairy-tale Champions run, lovers of the beautiful game will have great moments to remember. Who can forget the time that we saw European lightweight Ajax thump Real Madrid’s Galacticos 4 goals to 1? For me the giant-killer stories of football’s Davids beating the game’s Goliaths are always the most satisfying to read about. It is even more rewarding to experience them yourself with your favourite club. Some of us stay hooked to our virtual hobby just to relive the joy of bringing continental glory to the underdog. I tend to devout a lot of time, devising tactics for such clubs. Lately I read a lot about Mourinho’s Porto, envisioning how I could apply Jose’s ideas to my own save. The following is the result of my musings. It is not only an attempt to recreate Porto’s 2004 Champions League winning tactic but also a continuation of my search for the next world-class player to wear the fabled #10, a fantasista for the new era!

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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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Dynamo Project Tactic Creation – Step 2: Transition Unit

I planned this article as a three part series. In this extensive guide I intend to go step-by-step through the process of creating my 3-5-2 tactic, from examining the formations strengths in the context of the primary three units: defensive, transition and offensive to showing you what kind of players you would need for this tactic. The first part dealt with the 3 Men Defensive Unit. This following one will be looking at the Transition Unit of the two midfielders and two wingbacks, and how their roles fit in my tactical system. So read on!

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Dynamo Project Step-by-Step Tactic Creation – Step 1: The Defensive Unit

I love summer break. No, I’m not being nostalgic for those halcyon days in elementary school when we would have three months free from all worries of studying, exams or work, and simply enjoy life. No, unfortunately as much as I would love to, this is not an article about that. Rather, I love the summer preseason break in Football Manager 2019. A great time to take a look at what worked or not in the previous season and start planning for the challenges of the next. For me all tactic building happens in preseason with ideally only a few tweaks needed once Fall rolls around and we get well into the new season.

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Dynamo Project: Improve The Odds – Guide to a Winning Tactic For The Underdog

My second season with Dynamo Kyiv is drawing to a close and once again we have lost the title to our arch-rival Shakhtar by a margin of 6 points. There are definitely things I need to improve in the league. We have not been doing all that well abroad either. Our European trophy cabinet is somewhat meager since winning UEFA Cup Winners Cup (predecessor to current Europa League competition) back  in 1975 and 1986, as well as one UEFA Super Cup in 1975. In recent two seasons, there was some success but it has been overshadowed by disappointment. While we are able to handle teams of similar or lower standing than us quite well, once we are matched up with one of the elite sides from the top 5 European Leagues, we tend to lose more often than not. How do we change this for the next season? How can a continental underdog be successful against the big European clubs? Hopefully this guide will be able to answer these questions.

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Dynamo Project FM19 – Guide to The Regista – Orchestrating the Play

For a while now, I was planning to write about the new tactic that I have been working on in order to get the best out of my amazing regen, the Croatian diamond in my last golden generation intake (as seen in my previous article). As I started to write I realized that before the full tactics revelation, I need set a bit of context for the specialized role I intend to build the tactic around; the Regista. There are many misconceptions out there about this role. In Football Manager 2019 the challenge in using a regista is that unlike other roles, it really requires you to build the tactic around him. You need to start with this very specialized role and then choose the other roles around very carefully in order to best complement him. So without further ado, who exactly is the Regista?

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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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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 visualizing all the future records and trophies he will achieve. Continue reading

Dynamo Project FM19: Part 4 – Injury Crisis

Despite the positive start to the season, we had to contend with a bit of a crisis. Within a space of a month I’ve had 4 of my first team players receive long-term multi-months injuries. I could be bitter, blaming it on the fact that I was playing with an earlier patch at time that made injuries a tad too common. But realistically, I am using a high intensity high pressing system that demands a lot from my players’ stamina and natural fitness. Injuries were bound to happen sooner or later. So instead of reloading or restarting my save I decided to use it as a theoretical experiment and a proper challenge to test the depth of this squad. As I intend this article to showcase, there are some positives to losing your important squad players for a few months. It does not necessarily spell the end of a successful season, since sometimes a few long-term injuries is just the catalyst that a team needs to bring it to the next level. Continue reading

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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