Preparing For A Major International Tournament

International management in FM is one of those subjects not many people write about. You could say it’s the Meg Griffin of FM. To be fair, we have always considered it a welcome distraction to get through the summer months in FM, when we were unable to organise friendlies and we had completed our transfer market antics. At best, it was a good way to speed up progression on the leader boards by adding additional silverware to the collection.

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It’s the attitude many managers take to international gaming, but it shouldn’t be like this. After all, there is no greater glory than winning a major international tournament for ones country. Men who have decided important international fixtures, be it in a positive or negative way, are forever reminded of this by both fans and pundits. In a glorious career where he has won nearly everything, Andrés Iniesta’s crowning moment was the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final. Similarly, in a glorious career where he has won nearly everything, David Beckham will forever be haunted by his failure to win any silverware with England.

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International management also appears to be unpopular with the Football Manager crowd. Whilst we admit that there are some kinks in the proverbial cable regarding international management, we do feel that international management deserves more attention and we have gathered some useful tips and tricks for you if you decide to give international management a go in Football Manager. So join @FM_Samo from Occasional FM, @diegomendoza1969 from Pass The Bloody Ball and @strikerlessguido in an article to see how you can improve your experience.

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A Leicester City-Inspired 4-4-2-0

Over the past decade, people have fallen out of love with the humble 4-4-2 formation. It’s a shame really, as it’s a beautiful and effective tactic. Its beauty is also part of the reason why people tend to snub their noses at it, since it’s a rather straight-forward and simple tactic. Ranieri and his marauding Leicester City team are proving quite how effective a humble 4-4-2 formation can be. So here’s my take on a Leicester City-inspired 4-4-2-0.

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Going Down A Gritty Road; Compensating For Lesser Players By Instilling Fighting Spirit

Whilst beauty is certainly in the eyes of the beholder, not every team has the players to play Joga Bonito. It makes one wonder, is playing beautiful football a goal in itsself? What is beauty? Sometimes, beauty is being efficient and making the most of the material you do have. The results achieved by fighting spirit and team mentality rather than finesse on the ball can be as beautiful in their own way as a technical and tactical masterclass by a FC Bayern or Barcelona.

Take for instance the style of play the Uruguayan national team employs. The football character of Uruguay throughout history was established as a defensive and combative though not without some attacking flair. The mix of different European cultural immigrants entering Uruguay, combined with the spread of association football globally, meant that Uruguay, as a nation, (along with their neighbours’ Argentina) created a new and unique style of football. They turned their back on the direct game brought across by the British and developed a brand of football built around short passes, player movement and attacking play.

These technical developments mixed well a key source of pride for Uruguayans, the national characteristic of “amistad” or “friendship/togetherness.” When looking at match clips from their national team, the concept of amistad seems to be a key ingredient of their style of play. They play as a cohesive unit, even established international stars, like Forlan and Suarez, fought tooth and nail for the shirt, eschewing any of the egotistical pretensions of grandeur seen by the so-called superstars of some other nations, taking one for the team if needed.

Add “amistad” to a pretty un-South American, gritty style of football, a style sometimes physical enough to make the toughest Argentine or Italian teams quiver, and you have teams that are pretty tough to beat… So what happens when you employ such a style in FM? Is it enough to compensate for a lack of absolute world stars against the very best teams out there? @diegomendoza1969 and yours truly look into things.

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