Building A Dynasty Squad; Some Do’s And Don’ts

Sir Alex Ferguson was a manager renowned for his squad building skills. “Fergie’s never really looking at this moment, he’s always looking into the future,” Ryan Giggs once told newspapers. “Knowing what needs strengthening and what needs refreshing–he’s got that knack.” I want to look at my approach when building a squad, what is important and what isn’t, what are the do’s and don’ts. If you want your chance to build a dynasty á la Fergie’s, you might find this useful information.

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When building a squad, there are a couple of key aspects I focus on to put myself and the team on the road to success. I focus on the demographic structure of the squad, I look at a form of performance-based analysis and finally I worry about the transfer policy. The demographic structure defines the capacity of managers to make up a balanced squad from the point of view of age, experience and contract length so as to guarantee sufficient long term stability. Secondly, performance-based analysis refers to the managers’ ability to objectively identify the strengths and weaknesses of their teams in order to find collective and individual solutions to improve results or anticipate eventual problems. Lastly, transfer policy defines the managers’ capacity to renew the pool of players available to optimise, or maintain over the long term, group unity, demographic balance and performance levels. Ultimately, the aim is to have a talented squad with sufficient depth to it, without having to deal with too many unhappy players complaining about being left on the bench.

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Making The Most Of Your Veteran Players

Real life football is no country for old men and I guess the same applies to FM. Both have always been about getting results. Results are what keep you in a job, allow you to grow the stature of the club, attract better players and keep you from pulling your hair out and breaking things in frustration. Managers look towards players who can make an instant impact, is reliable, preferably cheap and has potential re-sale value. We tend to focus on younger players and pay obscene amounts of money for “the next big thing.” Somehow it’s all about the joy of the new.

That got me thinking. Why do we so often overlook these footballing greats that are in the twilight of their career on FM? Could it be that the “35 year old and over”-generation of footballers actually have a part to play in getting those all-important results? If so, how would you go about making sure that they play to their strengths and benefit the team rather than be the “weak link”? We’ll have a look at the benefits of veteran players, how to use them properly, the main attributes to scout for and some of the (obvious) cons of signing veterans are interwoven with the entire article.

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Sign-To-Sell Revisited; The Way Forward For Smaller Clubs

Modern football is changing. With money becoming more and more important, the club landscape has changed. That applies to FM just as well as real life by the way. There is now a top tier of untouchable clubs who, like big businesses, get constantly richer and keep football alive with a trickle down of capital (Man City, PSG, Chelsea, Bayern) and then there is a secondary tier of clubs who provide a safe shop window for investors.

It seems rather unlikely we will ever see another ‘Ajax ’95’, a team which (arguably pre-Bosman ruling) bypassed economic restrains to achieve romantic glory. However, the most organised and forward thinking boards can overachieve and rise up the tiers. Take real-life examples such as FC Basel, Ajax, Porto and Sevilla. They understand that, in capitalist football, all staff are up for sale and will only remain at the club until they have reached their peak. The best businessmen know who to sign cheap and even more importantly; when to cash in before hitting a glass ceiling.

In this blogpost, I want to focus on the business side of things. If you’re a smaller club trying to break the strangle-hold of the traditional top clubs, be it nationally or internationally, how could you sign the right players for the right price? Which strategies can you employ to scout and sign players, how can you get the most value for players you intend to sell, basically, how can you be a smart wheeler-dealer?

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Making Use Of The Big Spenders’ Hoarding

Much like in real life, FM15 sees the top clubs in Europe hoarding talent in a way similar to Scrooge McDuck acquiring money. These clubs often have a sugar daddy investing copious amounts of money, which allows them to make a play for pretty much any emerging starlet, whether they actually need these players or not. Whilst it can be hugely frustrating to lose your starlets to the money-bags from London, Paris, Madrid or Barcelona, you could also try to benefit from their behavior. In my eyes, there are two ways you can take this excessive hoarding from the top clubs and turn it against the top sides.

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Scout Reports; How To Use Them Properly

With the scouting system receiving a major overhaul with the appearance of FM15, you’re going to have to rely on your scouts more than ever, especially if you have enabled the attribute masking ability. This article however isn’t about the scouts, but about what they produce… The scout reports, FM’s way of helping you discover how good a player is and can become.

In this article, we will focus on a number of things.

  • Where can we find these reports?
  • What are the contents of a report?
  • How do we interpret these reports?

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Value For Money; Exploiting The MLS (FM15)

First off, I know there is a lot of overlap in the initial stage of this post and my earlier post regarding Value For Money. The older post still isn’t 100% complete and in hindsight, I should have released each region as an individual post instead of making it one huge post.

Secondly, with interest in the MLS rising due to the guys like Lampard and Gerrard moving there, I decided to give the league a go myself, which in turn helped me discover this little exploit, loophole or whatever you want to call it. Now I would like to stress this isn’t a game-breaking exploit, but just a neat way to make some extra cash or get potentially great players cheap.

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Collateral Damage; What To Do With Excess (All) Strikers?

Let’s just presume you have fallen under the spell of the siren song of strikerless tactics. Otherwise, why would you be here, on Strikerless.com? 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 bagage; 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?

So what are the most effective and efficient ways to get rid of those banes of my Football Manager existence; strikers? If you’re the kind of guy that’s not interested in long, winded posts, here’s the TL;DR version:

  1. Re-train them;
  2. Sell them,;
  3. Loan them away.

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