Creating A Quarterback From Your Defence

Those of you who follow the blog or my Twitter feed are well aware that I enjoy creating “new” roles by tweaking existing ones or using regular roles in extraordinary situations. I have dabbled with the Targetganche in the past, which was basically a Targetman-type player in the attacking midfield stratum but I was looking for something new and interesting for FM18.

In terms of football tactics, I try to think outside the box, which also means making use of underutilised resources. This train of thought automatically leads me to look at the central defenders. When your team is on the attack, the central defenders are almost always tasked with remaining behind to protect the defensive line and ensure the team is not caught by a counter-attack. The wing-backs are often tasked with adding to the offensive phases of the game but what if we could get the central defenders involved somehow to gain an extra edge?

When the team is pressing an opposing side, the offensive line is generally the first line of defence, as they pressure the opposition defence and try to either win back possession or force a long ball. When we mirror this idea, there has to be a way in which the defensive line or at least elements of the defensive line can act as the first layer of the offensive phase. The idea I had was hardly an original one, as people like Guardiola and Klopp use the same principle. I was going to use one of the central defenders as a sort of quarterback.

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Three Carat Diamond; A Lopsided Midfield

The tagline for this site is “dare to think outside the box”, which is both a play-of-words on the idea of not fielding an actual striker as well as a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally or from a new perspective. For my new tactic, I have decided to create a spin on the traditional diamond tactics. Naturally, the formation has a strikerless twist. Playing in this formation offers you a midfield diamond, which in turn enables you to pass the ball and play between the lines of both back four and midfield, as well as midfield and forward line. If you have followed the site somewhat regularly, you can see that such a concept of play appeals to me and suits the strikerless style.

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Three AM(igo)s

Over the past few years, I have been an avid follower of the Strikerless blog. In a way, you could consider me a disciple of the strikerless path to darkness. Initially, that meant that I downloaded the tactics available on the blog and slightly altered them to suit my specific needs. Although I have had some measure of moderate success in the past with developing my own strikerless tactics, this is the first one I have actually felt any pride in. This my strikerless tactic; the Three Amigos.

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The German Way: Kampfgeist

Whenever we hear the word “Kampfgeist” the mind almost instinctively wanders back to the days of the German national football team of the 1990s, before the now-famous reboot. Players like Oliver Kahn, Jürgen Kohler, Jens Jeremies, and Stefan Effenberg were not known for their silky technique or tiki-taka play. No, they were primarily known for one thing: Kampfgeist (fighting spirit). One of the best showings of this almost mythical quality came during the Euro 96 final against the Czech Republic when they called upon Kampfgeist to come back from going 1-0 behind to win it 1-2 in the last fifteen minutes of the game and sudden death. This was but one example of a game the Germans managed to turn around based on their fighting spirit. Another famous and fitting quote here belongs, one that can be attributed to Gary Lineker.

Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.

Even though the German national football team has transformed immensely since these days and has indeed become the hipsters’ favourite for the 2018 World Cup, not every team can put Mesut Özil, Leroy Sané, and Toni Kroos on the pitch. There are quite a few times where you will manage a club on FM which cannot call upon the immense qualities of a hugely talented pool of players. In such situations, Kampfgeist could be your ticket to success. @LeonTrotsema of RouteOneFM and @MerryGuido of Strikerless investigate this fascinating, intriguing concept and look at how you can apply it within the confines of the FM18 match engine.

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Why I Prefer Strikerless Over More Traditional Formations

Over the past years, people have asked me why I play the way that I play. Besides the obvious answer that it works, there are actually some valid reasons, some actual benefits to losing your forwards and replacing them with attacking midfielders. I never gave this any real thought as it just felt right on an instinctive level. Lately, something Cleon said got me thinking about this very subject, which ultimately led to this article.

Nothing really, I just wondered if you’d ever considered doing a piece on why you prefer strikerless over strikers and what they offer you better in comparison. I guess a bit like I’ll be doing with the DMC vs MC’s in the 4231

I always relish the challenge to delve into my own mind in an effort to try and grasp and phrase concepts that have become somewhat of a second nature to me, almost instinctive in a way. So this is my effort to explore the dark depths of my depraved mind and shed some light on why I do what I do, besides the obvious reason that I am a deranged madman.

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Set Pieces; How They Can Help You Break Open A Game

Managers, coaches, players and pundits alike; none of them are blind to the importance of set plays, which can be a crucial means to force in a goal when things don’t look good during open play. The premeditated nature of set pieces offers managers a level of relative consistency in preparation and planning. You can work out multiple routines and prepare your players for these routines during training sessions. In this blog post, I want to focus on the process of setting up a good corner routine, the variables that determine whether or not a routine is successful and my own routine. (more…)

Cerberus; The Three-Headed Beast

In Greek mythology, Cerberus was often called the “hound of Hades”. Cerberus is the monstrous multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving. Cerberus is my first FM18 tactic to be released and like the three-headed beast, it revolves around three deadly forwards carving a path of mayhem and destruction through opposing defences.

As a pragmatic football manager, I found myself struggling during beta, torn between trying to make individual stars shine and maintaining a tight and cohesive system. The fanboy in me wanted to make the stars shine as they do in real life, wanted to emulate the insane records set by the likes of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, whereas the dogmatic strikerless zealot in me did not want to compromise the ideas that made strikerless as good as it was in previous iterations of the game.

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An Inspiration; Dazza’s Strikerless

When I started Strikerless.com a number of years ago, it was merely a way for me to unwind, to put my thoughts to paper and to create some order in the perpetual chaos swirling around in my mind (hello ADHD!). Eventually, this blogging got a bit more serious, as apparently, people thought and still think that I have sensible things to say. I try to interact with people as often and as polite as I can and one of those interactions has resulted in this blog post.

One of the biggest compliments you can make me is saying that I have inspired you to do something you enjoyed doing. It’s a quality I strive for in my professional life as a teacher and it’s even more flattering when I hear I have inspired people I have never met to change their views on how to play a football manager simulation game.

Anyway, back to this post. @DazzaFM contacted me and said I had inspired him to create a strikerless tactic. He felt it worked well enough to create a tactical video over, so that brings us to this blog post. I am going to share this video with you and I hope to have many more conversations like this one over Football Manager.

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American Football – Part IV; Evolution of the System

While my goals for the system were constant from the beginning, it can evolve considerably from the first season to its current iteration. Particularly in the early years, the system was extremely cumbersome altogether lacked much of the variation and complexity, not to mention actual functionality, that the current system has. There were numerous roadblocks and hurdles along the way and the team had to endure some pretty ugly football at times working out the kinks. To date, there have been 3 versions of the system, each a significant step forward from the last. I do not expect to need another complete version moving forward as I really like where it is now and I think any changes will be within the existing framework, but who knows.

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Farewell FM17 you have been a good friend

As we are slowly but surely inching towards the release date of FM18, I have been looking back at my FM17 saves and how much fun this version of FM has been. For probably the first time I think a lot of that fun has come from being part of an online community. For a game that is in the main a single player game I think is quite a feat.

Being part of the FM community for me is great fun and showed me there are so many ways to play the game. Most of which I had never ever thought of, so here is a list of ideas that have woken me up to the vast array of ways you can play this wonderful version of FM. I hope these also bring you more fun to your final days of FM17

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