man wearing black and white stripe shirt looking at white printer papers on the wall

The Ruan/Esposito Conundrum; The Devil Is In The Details

During our succession save, two most excellent forwards played a major part in the quick ascension of Depor; Internazionale’s Sebastiano Esposito and a Brazilian newgen forward called Ruan. While both forwards were formidable forces on their own, our tactical tendency had quickly shifted to a single-forward setup. Neither Ruan nor Esposito was undisputed for all the managers involved. This ongoing mystery plagued the minds of the entire managerial pool. How can two obviously world-class players vacillate between quietly mediocre performances and stellar form within the course of a season?

Creating And Using Graphics For Squad Management

I am not going to take credit for coming up with this style of graphic, I saw it in one of the articles over at Voetbal International and figured it looked cool enough to replicate. While I am not at all an expert in the usage of Excel, it didn’t take me long to whip up something that looked reasonably good. It’s a quick way to identify squad management issues and let’s be honest, it looks cool in your blog or on your social media page as well.

FM20 Shortlist

To me, one of the most exciting parts of a new version of Football Manager means perusing the new database: uncovering hidden gems, building them up and then wreaking strikerless havoc with them. This shortlist consists of my findings so far.

Urban Warriors – Part 5

Off We Go!!
So after all the discussions and planning stages, it’s time to put it all into action. The main goals were to get promotion out of the 2nd tier at the first attempt whilst stabilising the club financially. Squad wise we were very heavy which meant we were haemorrhaging money, so the first thing to do was pass the reins to Guido to be ruthless and sort the squad out.

Finding Wonderkids The Easy Way

This article is the first time I’ve attempted to write anything about Football Manager that isn’t a weird story or a basic season update post. This post won’t be long and should hopefully shed light on a little trick I suppose you’d call it, to find wonderkids easily. Every person that plays FM hopes to uncover some wonderkid from a far-off country that takes their team to the next level.

Acquiring Valuable Assets; The Newgen Hunter

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.

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Instilling Fighting Spirit Into Your Squad

While the old Greeks never played football, one of Plato’s quotes can easily be applied to any footballing context. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Some people fawn over Barcelona and whichever team Pep is managing and their one-touch football. Others prefer the more energetic and physical brand of football played by the likes of Klopp and Pochettino. There are others still who have a taste for an even more physical, almost violent brand of football.

If you don’t have the players to play a technically or tactically demanding still, is playing aesthetically pleasing football still a goal in itself or can beauty be found in being efficient and maximising the resources you have? Can you compensate for a lack of technical (and tactical) skills by instilling a fighting-spirit into your squad?

The Italians call it “grinta”, a word that loosely translates to “grit” in English, but there is more to it than just grit. Grinta is more like when you not only dig deep and play against all the odds, but you play with heart, you leave your soul on the pitch, your every last bit of sweat and blood.  The Argentines use a similar term, called fibra, and the Germans call it Kampfgeist. When we’re going to look at how a concept like that would work in FM, who better to ask for help than Tony, @FM_Grasshopper, the man who made “FIBRA” a well-known phrase in the blogging community.

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Top Right-Back Wonderkids for the Future of Your Strikerless Formation

Football Manager 17 is rife with young talent, and the key to sustaining success at any club is to fill your youth teams with wonderkids. Obviously, the key to growing your youth system around strikerless tactics takes you away from signing the very pricey young strikers, so you can focus your funds on more quality players in other positions.

Looking into the English divisions, there are loads of talented young players, but the some of the best ones play at right-back. So, without much further ado, here are a couple of the great under-17 players for you to sign on Football Manager 17.

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Players Ready to Become Top ‘Trequartistas’ for Your Strikerless Formation

When Spain won the European Championship in 2012, they had to do it without star striker David Villa – who was injured – and despite still having Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo, and Fernando Llorente, they went into the final without a recognised striker. In the final, a group stage game, and the quarter-finals, Spain opted to play without a striker and instead have Cesc Fabregas up top, presumably to aid in their over-the-top possession game.

Particularly in the final, Spain were hailed for the successful use of their ‘false nine’ formation, but Fabregas’ play didn’t mimic that of a man atop this setup. Instead of dropping deeper, the then Barcelona midfielder played very high up, darting around the Italian defence.

Fabregas effectively transformed himself from a central midfielder into more of a striker, very similar to that of the Football Manager role of the trequartista.

Cesc Fabregas at Euro 2012 match Spain-France‘ – Дмитрий Неймырок (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The trequartista is a favourite for use in a strikerless formation, as the player is allowed to exploit the pockets created, often bringing about goals. The role is quite gung-ho, involves very little defensive responsibility, and thus keeps the player ready to attack.

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