Every system needs objectives. Without an objective, I don’t have a tangible metric by which I can determine if my changes are helping or hurting the overall mission. Once the objectives are identified, then I can focus on practical rules or ideas which will help me accomplish those objectives. Both the rules and objectives are really high level. They aren’t anything that can be applied to the pitch, but rather are the first steps to creating the system properly.
Just to ensure clarity I am going to take a moment to explain a few terms that you will see me use throughout this primer. Most are football terms converted for use in my system. Also, note before we get started: Typically, when I say football, I mean “football” sport of the American variety with the oblong ball. When I mean the sport where one must use their foot to kick the round ball, I will, of course, refer to it as soccer.
I read a lot of great tactics and articles posted by a lot of people on this forum. They have been immeasurably valuable to assist me in developing and understanding this game. It is my hope that I can add a little to collective knowledge and maybe offer a different perspective. I also promised some people via pm that I would post this and explain the system.
As background, I am an American with almost zero soccer experience. Prior to picking up FM16, I had never seen a club match in my life and had only watched a few US men’s and women’s national team games. Aside from a short stint on a soccer-based MMO, I had no experience with soccer video games. I had no idea what a holding midfielder was or anything much about formations and tactics. I still don’t know how to properly kick a soccer ball. I only discovered FM by accident looking for a similarly designed game for American NFL Football. I bring literally no soccer background or knowledge (or biases) into this, but I like team building games and the FM franchise was well reviewed so I gave it a shot. I’m now hooked.
One of the key aspects in Football Manager is ensuring you sign quality players. After a few saves, the diamonds in the original database are well-known, which removes the challenge of scouting for me. The annual intake of newgen players forms a different kind of challenge altogether. Seemingly random players are generated every season and as you progress through the save-game, more and more authentic players retire and are replaced with newgens. For me, that is where the real challenge begins.
Now, I like to think that I am in fact quite good at finding the right newgens for my team. Scouring the ends of the earth for talented newgens is definitely one of the aspects about FM that I enjoy the most and one of the reasons why I generally make a shitload of money with the Juventus Gambit. Finding a young starlet and developing him to his full potential is one of the more fulfilling experiences in the Football Manager universe.
I sometimes jokingly refer to it as newgen hunting. In my head, I imagine myself being a sort of Steve Irwin, creeping up on unsuspecting footballers. “Crikey! That’s a big one! He might play at centre-back!” While I leave you struggling to rid yourself of the mental image of me tiger crawling through the bush, preying on unsuspecting footballers, allow me to explain what this blog post is about. I want to describe, in as much detail as possible, the strategies I use to track down newgens, the attributes that help you distinguish valuable signings from overrated crap and some general tips and tricks.
Welcome to – what I should imagine is – my last tactical work before Football Manager 2018.
So far, I have enjoyed looking at some of the most exciting and interesting teams in football history and looking at how we can implement their playing styles in the Football Manager Tactics Creator and see it played out in the match engine.
As always – if you have yet to read along so far – I would recommend you start here as I will not spend too much time explaining already-discussed concepts.
- Johan Cruyff’s 3-4-3 Diamond
- Arrigo Sacchi’s 4-4-2
- Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles
- Brazil’s Jogo Bonito style
- Cult Heroes: Wales at Euro 2016
- Pep’s Barcelona
This article will be the third installment in what is effectively a case study in reactive tactics. The Hungarian national team is playing the 2052 European Championships with yours truly at the helm. In the first game, we kept the Czech Republic to a draw, whereas the second game saw us effectively nullify the mighty offensive power of the Spanish national side, gaining a second draw. In this final game of the group-stage, the Magyars take on an old adversary; the Austrian national team.
Not everyone starts his FM career with a top side with the financial means and facilities to crank out homegrown talent on a regular basis. In fact, some clubs are severely strapped for cash and cannot free funds to invest heavily in the development of talent. Just fielding a somewhat-decent first team squad takes up most of the available funds so developing your own talent isn’t really an option. How exactly do you improve a club like that? You let others develop the talents for you as if you were some sort of FM variant of the cuckoo.
You see, cuckoos are notorious tricksters, shortcutting the chores of parenthood by hiding its eggs in the nest of other birds, which wind up hatching and raising them. A similar strategy can be applied to FM if you know where to look, how to scout and what to look out for. You let other clubs develop talents only for you to snap them up and use them; the cuckoo transfer-market strategy.