The Santos 3-5-2(ish)

Well, this is my first post back on Strikerless after a long absence running my own blog The Tactical Annals. First things first, thank you very much to Guido for having me back on the site, and it’s fantastic to be writing here again. All of the old articles I wrote on this website are still available, so if you have no idea who I am, or you haven’t read any of my articles before, then go check them out! So, my first article back is going to be tactically focused and – sorry Guido – it features strikers. Only one though. I’ve been developing it with Santos since they have an abundance of players able to play in several positions, and as any of you who follow me on Twitter (@JLAspey) will have seen, it’s been working pretty well.


Finishing Chances; How Can I Stop My Forward Finishing Like Torres At Chelsea?

Every year you get games where you absolutely dominate proceedings but end up bemused, bewildered and sometimes downright enraged. How on Earth did those pillocks you call your forward line, those descendants of a sordid love-affair between Emile Heskey and Fernando Torres, fail to put a ball past the opposing goalkeeper?! It’s not like he’s Superman with gloves and the size of the goal should be sufficient to see one or two balls go in instead of bouncing off the woodwork. Bloody hell, it’s statistically speaking more difficult to hit the woodwork then score!


Those games tend to look something like this. We’ve all played games like this, where we were frustrated enough to punch random objects or people around us or throw objects around the room. Some of us would even stoop so low as to restart the game and play the match again. So what can you do about it? Jonathon Aspey from The Tactical Annals, Diego Mendoza from Pass The Bloody Ball and yours truly try to answer this frustrating question.


The Narrow 4-1-2-2-1 – Expanding Upon Defensive Football in FM14

Those of you that follow me on Twitter (@JLAspey) or have read any of my recent articles will know that I’ve started to become very interested in defensive football in Football Manager. I wrote an article a few months back, trying to create a side that was uber defensive, and designed to be impossible to break down, and steal 1-0 wins. Since then, I’ve wanted to expand on that idea, but take away the negative aspects of it, whilst still retaining the defensive stability. The original article was inspired by a fantastic thread by @Cleon81, where he achieved a fantastic season with his Sheffield United side, utilising a defensive 4-4-2 diamond formation. Another inspiration for my tactic came from @MrEds, who combined aspects of Cleon’s ideas and tweaked my ‘defensive diamond’ in his save with Ujpest in Hungary. Like MrEds, I’ve recently been drawn to Hungarian football, but with Kecskemet (or KTE), a team predicted to finish 13th, and tipped for relegation by many. This seemed like a perfect situation to develop some defensive football, with a team that will need to be defensively solid in order to avoid relegation. (more…)