The Decapitated Buffalo – A Strikerless Production

Originally posted at


Been quite busy at Poods HQ for a while, what with trying to resurrect saves that had gone the way of the dodo and I haven’t got around to writing anything for a bit. But I am back and here we go with another tactic for you all that guido has kindly allowed me to post here for your edification.

As a bit of background, I initially took my Buffalo Wing tactic that you can find here and simply “decapitated” it changing the striker to an AMC. Hence the rather colourful name. Having done so, I had a chat with the inestimable Lord of Strikerless himself who had a look at it and dabbled with some of his usual tactical alchemy to come up with what we have here.

Guido also used it as a test bed for some experiments with the overload philosophy and my word did it deliver. Extreme pressing and heaps of bodies pouring forward made for a really delightful tactic that has been quite successful, if I may modestly say so. Enough of that though, on to the tactic!

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The Wolf Pack Tactic

In an effort to make the most aggressive counter-pressing tactic I possibly could within the FM17 match engine, I ended up taking my inspiration from a BBC documentary on wolves and more specifically the way they work together within a wolf pack. It is during a hunt where co-operation between wolves within a pack is most apparent. A wolf pack may trail a herd of elk, caribou or other large prey for days before making its move. During this time, they are already hunting, assessing the herd, looking for an animal that displays any sign of weakness.

Such an approach is not dissimilar to how a well-executed counter-pressing tactic should function. As counter-pressing is intended to win the ball back as quickly as possible when possession is lost, you can easily see how this setup would benefit from players working together to bring down an opponent.

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The Withdrawn Targetman Saga; The FM17 Version

In previous instalments of the game, I have continually tried to implement a role I have dubbed the Withdrawn Targetman. In older versions of Football Manager, it turned out that the Enganche role was a perfect fit for what I had in mind. In the current edition of Football Manager, however, the Enganche role is simply too static to be effective. The quest to develop a new Withdrawn Targetman role begins.

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Transitioning To Strikerless; What To Do With Strikers?

It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true nonetheless. Strikers are overvalued. This over-valuation is an example of the ““availability heuristic”: the more available a piece of information is to the memory, the more likely it is to influence your decision, even when the information is biased. Goals tend to stick to mind, the goal-scorer tends to be the hero. The man who won the ball with a tackle tends to be forgotten, the man providing the assist tends to be forgotten, the goal-scorer sticks to mind as the victorious hero who won the day for his side. Most goal-scorers are forwards; hence they tend to be over-valued.

This tendency to focus on strikers is natural but that makes transitioning to a strikerless setup difficult, as this move challenges the beliefs you are instilled with regarding how you watch and think about football. Still, let’s presume you have fallen under the spell of the siren song of strikerless tactics. Otherwise, why would you be here, on By its very name, a strikerless formation has no need for actual strikers. So, when you are hell-bent on playing a strikerless formation, you are going to have to find solutions for your excess baggage; the strikers you have inherited in the squad you have just taken control of. What do you do with excess (most if not all) strikers? Bring them to a quiet spot on the training ground and perform a mercy-killing? Read on to find out what you can do with your excess strikers.

No need to worry Emile, you live to miss more chances another day...
No need to worry Emile, you live to miss more chances another day…

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5 Clauses That Will Lead To Bankrupcy (Unless Properly Dealt With)

My video games tend to lean towards either the sports side of things or the tycoon genre. The FM series is a mix of both those loves. I approach FM first as a business simulator, with the added benefit of scratching my football itch.

One of the most exciting things in-game for me is the hunt for new players. The negotiation. Getting that what I want out of the deal without breaking the bank.

I found that some of the clauses that you can offer to clubs or players are fascinating when it comes to getting what you want, but that they can also severely hinder your progress in the long run. In this article, I will look at five of the most dangerous ones.

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The Process Of Surgically Signing New Players

When you’re signing new players there are multiple approaches to the matter. I admit that I am generally a firm proponent of the hoarding approach. When you bring in 30 new players every season one of them is bound to succeed or develop into a player who can prove useful to the cause of subjugating the domestic league or Europe.

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the art of surgically signing new assets through methodical analysis and thorough scouting. While it’s not my general modus operandi, it is an art I have mastered along those many years of playing FM. Last week, I showed you a case study of such a surgical signing.

Again, not quite standard operating procedure. Normally, a case study is preceded by a post detailing the thought process behind the case study. As I was writing this case study, I noticed that a lot of steps had become a routine for me and as such I did not question what I was doing and why. This article is an effort to further explain the steps I have taken.

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