#FM17 : Taste The Feeling Episode 12

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Since we’ve introduced another team it’s obviously taking me a bit longer to get through a season so from now on each episode will cover up to January. This episode will be an exception though as I’ve had a few requests to cover in detail on the tactics we’ve been using.

Firstly though I’ll cover the transfers we’ve made over the summer for the 19/20 season.

Silkeborg Transfers

Not much “external” business done, plenty of players outgoing who we have no use for – whilst many of last years team who won promotion on loan from CCA (Coca Cola Antwerp) join CCS (Coca Cola Silkeborg) permanently. This should be enough to compete at the Superliga level for a season, whilst hopefully giving us a bit of a transfer budget to work with next season (along with any further handouts from CCA). You can view all their stats below.

Antwerp Transfers

Gino Dekker: Bought in to provide a bit of depth at winger (as I was experimenting with wingers for CCA during pre-season), he’ll probably move to CCS in January.

Jordi Vanlerberghe: A decent home-grown buy that should fit into the side as a rotation option. No fee means minimal risk and his wages are quite reasonable as well

Sergio Pena: A talented looking attacking midfielder, he’ll be a useful rotation option this season, but is fully capable of making the position his own if things go right for him!

Joshua Onomah: Despite the high wages (I believe he’s the 3rd highest paid player at the club behind Grant + Cuevas), he looks a fantastic talent and I can’t quite believe we’ve landed him

Nathan Leyder: A bit of home-grown cover in central midfield who is also capable of playing CB. Should be a regular on the bench due to his versatility.

Dejan Todorovski: Our biggest purchase on the series so far clocking in at an initial £2m fee. Highly talented and will be the chief creator for us this season if all goes to plan. Fingers crossed that he’ll deliver the goods.

Nicolas Tchoumi: My plan was to switch to a new formation (discussed further on in the episode) using just the one striker, selling Iker Hernandez and using Ambrose as a lone striker, but with Tchoumi being bought in as a rotation option. However with the departure of Hernandez, Ambrose and Bunino, Tchoumi will now start the season as the preferred striker.

Diego Reina: A talented looking young CB. Can’t really fit him into CCA this season due to the lack of home-grown players so he goes off to CCS on loan for the season to hopefully develop.

Ikechukwu Suleiman: Similar sort of thing to Gino Dekker, was bought in as an emergency winger, however we’ve now settled for a wingerless formation so he goes off to Silkeborg on loan.

Kim Ji-Hoon: Will be the glue in our midfield alongside Morsy and Drljaca. Looks to be an amazing prospect for the future and i’m delighted with the small fee that we had to pay out for him, can easily see him going for 10 times what we paid for him in a season or 2.

Redouane Tatem: Another young talented CB joins the rank and looks the best of the bunch. Due to the lack of cover at CB at CCS though, he moves there on loan to become a regular alongside Lapena.

Benito Raman: Another home-grown player that is much needed, Raman provides an option either on the wing or up front, he’ll mostly be used up front unless I have a dramatic U turn about our formation.

As to be expected after such a roller-coaster of a season, teams have been circling like vultures around our star players. This has led to the departure of 2 of our key players who had their release clauses met, leaving me powerless, however the money received will be very useful.

So it’s time to say goodbye to Thierry Ambrose, whose 58 goals in 71 games for CCA has been vital to what we’ve achieved so far. He joins Espanyol for £7.25m. Another release clause met is that of Razvan Popa who moves to Sampdoria for £6.75m. A couple more first teamers who leave are Iker Hernandez who moves to Alcorcon for 825k (along with a 10% sell on fee) and Cristian Bunino who moves to Heracles for £1.1m.

Overall i’m gutted that Ambrose and Popa have left, but cannot complain about the £14m returned for our mere £1.3m investment. Our buys have been solid so far so i’m sure these sales can help push the club to the next level.

Tactics

I’ll only cover the 2 systems which I’ve deemed a success, along with the new system that we’ll be using for CCA for this season. I will also run a simulation for each formation so you can see how it would fare in a top league. For the simulation I’ll use the Premier League and run 3 simulations for each formation, one as the team FM predicts to finish top of the PL (Chelsea), one as the team predicted to finish 10th (Southampton) and one predicted to finish bottom (Hull). 

Zeman

The first system i’ll be covering is the system I’ve named the “Zeman”. Whilst not following the ideals of Zeman specifically (you can read about Zeman in another article I wrote here) it follows some of the key principles (mostly in attack). In real life i’m sure this system wouldn’t work but in FM we had a great amount of success with it. In both full seasons I used it, we had the highest amount of possession come the season end (around 55%). I think this is due to the deep lying forwards dropping back into midfield, forming what is essentially then a 5 man midfield, that grows to a 6 or 7 man midfield when the full-backs get up the pitch. This then has the knock on effect of having plenty of players in or around the box as the ball gets worked up the pitch – which normally ends in a cross from a full-back which will hopefully find a striker in the crowded box.


Despite the attacking nature of the tactic, we really didn’t concede as many goals as I thought we would and it took a fair amount of time for the AI managers to “crack” how to beat it.

This formation looks best suited to either a team with plenty of strikers (obviously) or a team that’s likely to be in a relegation battle. I’ve previously used this to great success in previous FMs for teams destined for the drop.

DLF (R)
Shoot More Often

Dribble More

Roam from Position

Pass It Shorter

Hold Up Ball

More Risky Passes

Poacher

Shoot More Often

Dribble Less

Fewer Risky Passes

Get Further Forward

DLF (L)

Hold Up Ball

More Risky Passes

DLP
Dribble Less

Close Down More

More Risky Passes

Shoot Less Often

Hold Position

BWM
Shoot Less Often
Mark Tighter

Dribble Less

Fewer Risky Passes

Hold Position

Close Down Much More

Tackle Harder

 

BBM
Shoot Less Often

Dribble Less

Get Further Forward

More Risky Passes

Roam From Position

 

DR
Shoot Less Often

Get Further Forward

More Risky Passes

Cross More Often

Cross From Deep

Cross Aim Centre

Stay Wider

 

DC

Shoot Less Often

Dribble Less

Fewer Risky Passes
Hold Position

DC

Shoot Less Often

Dribble Less

Fewer Risky Passes
Hold Position

DL

Shoot Less Often

Get Further Forward
More Direct Passes

More Risky Passes

Cross More Often

Cross From Deep

Cross Aim Centre

Stay Wider

 

 

The higher tempo encourages the quick attacking style that we’re trying to promote, the rest is pretty much self explanatory. Overall if you’ve got the right blend of players, this system scores a ridiculous amount of goals and is surprisingly more balanced than initial formation screen would suggest.

The results of the simulation are as follows:

Chelsea:

 

Southampton:

Hull:

 

4-2-1-2-1

Slightly more balanced than the first formation, the 6 man midfield gives you numerical superiority in the middle of the park which should in essence give you the edge on possession. I use a system of heavy pressing for this particular formation – by setting every opposition player to be “closed down quickly”. Which I found quite effective in the first season of it’s use. I regularly noticed matches where I had 60%+ of possession, including some that even broke 70% possession I believe.

Best suited to a balanced team that has high work-rates and tackling. Doesn’t look like it works very well in the top leagues so i’d avoid if you’re managing in the EPL, La Liga or Bundesliga etc.

 

Defensive forward

Pass it shorter

Fewer risky passes

Hold position

Close down more

Tackle harder

 

Advanced Playmaker (AMR)
Mark Tighter

Hold position

Cross aim centre

Sit narrower

Shoot less often

Cut inside with ball

More risky passes

Cross less often

 

Advanced Playmaker (AML)
Mark Tighter

Hold position

Cross aim centre
Cross from deep

Sit narrower

Shoot less often

Cut inside with ball

More risky passes

Cross less often

 

CM
None

 

DR
Get Further Forward

More Risky Passes

Cross More Often

Cross Aim Centre

Stay Wider

Cross From Deep

 

DC
Shoot Less Often

Dribble Less

Fewer Risky Passes

Hold Position

 

DC
Shoot Less Often

Dribble Less

Fewer Risky Passes

Hold Position

 

DL

Get Further Forward
More direct passes

More Risky Passes

Cross More Often

Cross Aim Centre

Stay Wider

Cross From Deep

 

Chelsea:

 

 

Southampton:

Hull:

Xmas tree

Hardly a tactical innovation on my part here, but it looked the way for CCA in this season considering the lack of strikers and the huge amount of midfield talent that we want to give game-time. Keeps possession very well (averaging 61% possession after the first 4 games)

Suited to: Any team with an above average midfield and a semi-decent defence.

Poacher:

Fewer risky passes

Get further forward

Key attributes:

Advanced playmaker (R):
Shoot less often

Dribble more

More risky passes

Key attributes:

Advanced playmaker (L)

Shoot less often

More risky passes

Hold position

Key attributes:

BWM

Dribble less

Fewer risky passes

Hold position

Close down much more

Tackle harder

Key attributes:

BBM

None

Key attributes:

CM

None

Key attributes:

LB

Shoot less often

Dribble less

More direct passes

More risky passes

Cross more often

Cross from deep

Cross aim centre

Stay wider

Key attributes:

RB

Shoot less often

Dribble less

More direct passes

More risky passes

Cross more often

Cross from deep

Cross aim centre

Stay wider

Key attributes:

CB

Shoot less often

Dribble less

Fewer risky passes

Hold position

Key attributes:

CB

Shoot less often

Dribble less

Fewer risky passes

Hold position

Key attributes:

GK

None

 

Chelsea:

Southampton:

Hull: