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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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

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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Serie B continues: Can US Triestina avoid the drop?

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(The legendary Triestina player Nereo Rocco, after whom the stadium is named)

In my previous post I outlined the progress of the first thirteen games of the Serie B season, in which my objective was to avoid relegation.

We  made a very positive start, notwithstanding a horrible start to the season; in our opening game we were 4-0 down within 16 minutes against Bologna! We recovered to lead the table by 5 points. Continue reading