FM19 Advanced Tactical Primer – Improving 4-2-3-1 Possession Tactic via One-Twos

I have been playing Football Manager since 2013 and year after year I still see the same questions pop up regarding Player Preferred Moves (PPMs or also known as Player Traits). Why do they not work how they should? My player has “Plays with back to the goal” but I never see him receiving passes and holding up the ball? How come my centreback with “Brings Ball out of Defence” does not dribble into the midfield? The game engine must be broken right? Wrong, what you see is the divergence between what his role is instructing him (including any idiosyncratic traits he possess) and the general team and/or individual player instructions. This guide will examine some popular Player Traits and explain how they can work together and be applied to a typical 4-2-3-1 tactic to enhance overall possession and scoring.

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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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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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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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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: 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