Episode 5 – Tactics + Questions
I originally wasn’t going to do this before the beta was released, but we’ve covered pretty much everything that we’ll be doing off the pitch, but what’s going to happen on the pitch?
Rule number 2 in our philosophy was to “play attacking and entertaining football”, so obviously we’ll be trying to achieve that. Player development is another aspect we’ll be wanting to promote, this screams out to me that we should be playing a technical style of football.
What formation and tactics is obviously dependant on what players we’re given (I could have a look at the FM16 squad and see how they shape up but I sort of want it to be a surprise for some reason!), but we can still make some rough tactical plans and formations that would suit our criteria (especially since I love talking tactics!), and if they end up not being used immediately, they could potentially suit another sister club when one gets introduced.
In fashion in the Bundesliga at the moment, the 4-2-2-2 is a very flexible formation that can be adapted to suit most players we have at our disposal. As a team we need to have a high tempo pressing game, as that’s when the formation flourishes. The passing style can be set to mixed as it suits both a more possession oriented game as well as giving options to play more direct if the opportunity presents itself during the game. The team mentality will be set to attacking as we want to dominate and “get at” the other team – but still maintain a relatively solid backline without over-committing.
- The strikers ideally need to be quick, with a high work-rate to close down the opposition whenever they’ve got the ball.
- The attacking midfielders can be set to push out to the channels when on the ball to open the pitch up so we’re not relying on the full-backs to push up for the width.
- The central midfielders can be deployed in variety of ways: both could be set as box-to-box, one can play a more defensive role whilst the other roams around or any one of a number of different combinations, we’ll have to wait and see on the type of midfielders we get that provide the best balance to the team.
- The full-backs ideally will be more attack-minded than defensive, but a high work-rate and decent tackling is a must otherwise the 2 centre-backs will end up swamped.
A highly possession based tactic that I’ve used on a few versions of FM with varying degrees of success. It’s pretty much based on Barcelona under Guardiola, but with a couple of personal tweaks.
- The role the striker takes is based on the *best* striker I have at my disposal, if he’s a creative type I play him as either a false 9 or trequartista, if he’s more of a traditional striker, he’s played as a poacher or as an advanced forward to hopefully mop up any chances created by the other attacking players.
- The wingers are either both played as inside forwards, set to cut in whenever they can (preferably with inverted footed wingers – so the right winger would be left-footed) or one set to stay out wide with the other as a sort of playmaker.
- The 2 central midfielders are set to keep the ball at all costs, one of the two is set to be slightly more advanced and is chosen to play a few more riskier balls through to the wingers/strikers.
- The full-backs are set to play as pretty much wing-backs, bombing forward to fill the gaps left by the inside forwards to create overloads and ensure possession is kept.
- The holding midfielder is set as a half-back to drop into the defence when the full-backs bomb forward to ensure defensive stability in-case of counter attacks.
A rather different yet surprisingly solid formation, it operates much the same as the above 4-3-3 but sacrifices a bit of possession for enhanced defensive cover and slightly more creativity up front. Very player dependant though so i’d be surprised if it’s used too often
These are my personal favourites, but are obviously player dependent so don’t be surprised if we choose to operate with a different tactic.
Thanks to all of you have tweeted me or posted on forums or Reddit asking me questions about the series and how we’ll go about different aspects of it, i’ll cover a few of the most asked questions here just to clear things up a bit.
Q) How will you go about adding another club into the mix?
A) The most asked question! I’ll approach the choosing of the club much like I did in episode 1, with research done to pick the most viable club to takeover. The actual takeover itself will be done by adding another manager into the game as the manager of the next club that I decide to “purchase”. I’ll then manage both teams concurrently with a shared goal of helping each other to greatness. This will continue as we add more and more teams into the mix. Time consuming? Definitely. Rewarding? Hopefully.
Q) Will you be starting the game when the Beta is released?
A) The next episode will indeed go live when the Beta is released, however we won’t actually start gameplay then as sadly the editor won’t be released with the Beta – which we need to change the name of the stadium and give a small cash injection to the club. Instead the next episode will be another planning stage – analysing the Antwerp squad, the likely tactics we’ll be starting off with and checking out the backroom staff changes and potentially looking at some likely transfer targets.
Q) How much money will you be giving Antwerp at the start of the game?
I’m actually undecided on this. I don’t want to give us too much money as that’ll just make the challenge too easy, but at the same time we need to reflect the status of the “takeover”. So far i’m thinking of making the club debt-free (if it has any debts) and providing a balance half that of the richest club in Belgium (presumably Anderlecht), but again this may change.
Q) What attributes will you give your manager and what happens when a manager of one of the owned clubs gets sacked?
A great question! I think a manager that used to be an ex-pro with middle of the range stats would be the fairest option. As for the sacking, if a manager of one of our owned clubs gets sacked, he’ll be dormant (potentially able to take a job at another owned club), and another player controlled (aka me!) manager added in to take the reins. So we’ll essentially be manager, CEO and sporting director rolled into one!
Join me in Episode 6 next Monday when I play the Beta and will go through what I mentioned above – the analysis of the Antwerp squad and backroom staff as we plan exactly what we’ll be doing when the game is released.
Whilst you wait, i’d appreciate any feedback or any questions you have about the series (or me!) on my Twitter – https://twitter.com/From_The_Wing