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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Serie A saga: Can Lazio make Europe?

A famous Lazio side of old in the Champions League in 99-2000 – how many can you name?!

In my previous post I described my progress up to the halfway point in my first full season at Lazio. I was nestled nicely in second place, but the second half of the season would be a tumultuous one with managerial changes at one of the major front runners.

In this post I will:

  • Outline progress through the second half of the season
  • Outline some tactical changes made
  • Update on our youth development
  • Give a round-up of transfer activity
  • Evaluate plans and objectives for next season

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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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Season update: A sad farewell to Trieste, and a hello to…

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In my previous post, I outlined how we achieved a very respectable 12th place in our second season in Serie A. The consequence is that we have another season to accumulate finance to develop all aspects of the club.

The Board agreed to improve both the training and youth facilities, which underpins my strategy of developing youth players and improving senior players to sell for large profits. This had already borne fruit last season when we sold Cedric Teuchert for £7.5m and Max Christiansen for £2.7m.

Until the club is established in European competitions, selling to buy for a profit would have to remain a core strategy.

In this post I will look at:

  • Youth development progress to date
  • Summer transfer activity
  • Performance in my third season
  • A change of club

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A difficult second season in Serie A?


In my previous post I reviewed our first season in Serie A, in which we managed to survive by finishing in a respectable 16th place, despite the odds being against us.

My aim for the “difficult second season” was to have a more comfortable campaign, by using the increased funds to bring in better players. Our transfer business was included in that post, with a number of defensive reinforcements arriving, supported by some excellent loan signings in midfield and attack.

In the post I will look at:

  • A summary of the second season in Serie A
  • Brief match review of a home game against Napoli
  • Club reinforcements
  • Managerial approaches
  • Assessment of summer signings

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Serie A: Survival or slaughter?

In my previous post I wrote an analysis of Trieste’s first five games in Serie A, and how we had got off to a very disappointing start and lost each encounter. I looked at a couple of matches in-depth and saw some worrying patterns that led us to struggle in matches, and made some restorative attempts to tighten up and concede less opportunities.

In this post I will look at:

  • Progress of the full Serie A campaign
  • A quick overview of club finances
  • Adding a philosophy
  • Upgrading our backroom staff
  • Scouting improvements to give better quality to targets
  • Summer recruitment


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Youth Development at US Triestina


I am now in my third season at US Triestina, having secured back to back Serie C and B titles.

However, one area that I have overlooked up to this point is the youth setup. Given that the club has a relatively low stature in Italy and is not awash with money, it would make sense to put a youth structure in place to boost the first team squad and secondly, to provide an additional income stream for those not quite good enough to make the grade. In this post I will:

  • Look at the current youth setup in terms of facilities, coaching and recruitment
  • Review the coaching staff
  • Review the standard of U20 and U18 squads
  • Highlight a group of players to nurture and develop over time
  • Assess suitable training plans for this group of players

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Serie B continues: Can US Triestina avoid the drop?


(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

Milan’s Summer Spending – What it means for Serie A.

Milan were taken over by Chinese investors in April which made a lot of football fans ask questions about whether these investors would invest heavily into the club, to make them one of Europe’s powerhouses once again.Well this summer has proven that Milan’s owners had exactly this in mind. With the early captures of: Mateo Mussachio (£15m), Franck Kessie (Loan, £6.8m) and 2014 World Cup star Ricardo Rodriguez (£15m.) Many Milan fans were very hopeful that they were investing more players to replace the dead weight and older players such as Ignacio Abate and Ricardo Montilivo.
However, I don’t think even they were expecting the transfers that were about to be made by the Rossoneri.

Firstly Milan had reached an agreement for long term target, Hakan Calhanoglu. The free kick specialist signed for £19m from Bayer Leverkusen after not having played for 4 months after being banned for breachng FIFA transfer regulations over his move to Hamburger SV.
Milan’s early signings (left to right: Franck Kessie, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez & Mateo Mussachio)

Then, Gianluigi Donnarumma, a breakout star of the 16/17 season was supposedly declining a new contract after his agent, Mino Railoa, was creating problems for Milan and the money that was being demanded. This was sorted out relatively quickly after donnarumma had returned from the U21 European Championships. Alongside this deal Milan signed Gianluigi’s older brother, Antonio, from Greek side Asteras for £1m.

Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma signed a new contract after a wage dispute.

Following this heavy rumours started circuling that Milan had reached an agreement with Juventus and Italy center back Leonardo Bonucci. Milan fans on social media couldn’t and some even wouldn’t believe it. One of the best center backs in the world was on the verge of signing. Bonucci returned to training with Juventus however the next day he had’t reported in for training and videos quickly surfaced of him arriving at Milan’s training ground. In the end the deal went through for a reported £40m which in the current market is a bargain.
Leonardo Bonucci joining from Juventus after winng 6 Scudetti in a row.

Finally the day of this article, Milan have secured the signing of Lucas Biglia from Lazio who was a key part in Lazio’s cup run this season. But the bigger news is that they have supposedly agreed personal terms with highly rated young talent Andrea Belotti of Torino. Milan originally had a bid of £45m + Niang & Paletta rejected however, a new bid of £60m + Niang & Paletta was supposedly put forward with no news of Torino either rejecting or accepting. The signing of Andrea Belotti could prove key in Milan’s hopeful return to the Champions League with goals being something that has lacked for them for a very long time.
Andre Belotti scored 28 goals in all competitions last season and finished third best scorer in Serie A with 26.

What does all this spending mean for Milan’s rivals? To start lets look at Juventus, now looking to win a 7th league title in a row, they must surely be concerened about the amount of money Milan have spent especially compared to themselves who have only secured the signings of Douglas Costa and Rodrigo Bantancur this window.
As for the teams behind Juve like Napoli, Roma, Inter and Atalanta; these clubs now know that Milan are targeting a return to the champions league which means this season they’re really going to have to battle hard to keep up the standard that Milan’s new faces should be bringing in, especially as these clubs usually source players from various smaller leagues throughout Europe and Italy and also gamble on outcasts from other clubs.

Overall I think this Serie A season will be the most competitive season for some time but the real question is…Will Milan’s summer spending be enough to stop Juventus?