What You Can Expect From The Tactical Annals Through FM15

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As FM15 inches ever closer, I thought I’d summarise some of my plans for this blog through FM15, and let you all know what you can expect this year. There are some fantastic ideas going round the FM scene right now, and tactically speaking, if the ME works correctly, it’s going to be a great year for Football Manager.

Firstly, I’ll go into what I’ve always done – tactics. In the last post I talked about an asymmetrical 4-1-2-3-0, utilising the new role the ‘Raumdeuer’. That is still very much in my plans, but a thread over at The Dugout (http://www.thedugout.tv/community/showpost.php?p=4276293&postcount=8) talking about footballing philosophies led me to go through mine, and by the end of writing it, I was so excited to try it on FM15. It’s a 3-6-1 with a midfield diamond. It’s possession based, but not entirely, as I’d want my players to counter attack when the opportunity presented itself. That would probably mean an ‘attacking’ or ‘control’ strategy, but then again, the defensive strategies lead to possession also, and ‘counter’ has the counter attack box ticked as standard. We’ll see. It also highly depends on how Back 3’s work this year. Last year they were pretty poor, and required you to be on defensive to make them work (or as @RTHerringbone discovered, play a Back 5). I would rather not have to work so hard to make my tactic work on FM15.

I’ve said on Twitter that I never use 4-4-2 in Football Manager, which is strange because I’m often saying to friends etc. that there’s nothing wrong with the formation itself, just the way that certain managers use the formation. Lately I’ve been very interested with Real Madrid’s 4-4-2, with James and Isco on the ‘wings’, Modric and Kroos in the middle and Benzema and Ronaldo upfront. It’s not at all a standard 4-4-2, and I’m very tempted to try it out. Plus, with James it will give me the opportunity to try the new ‘Wide Playmaker’ role. This isn’t a definite, but I think it’s something I’d like to try. Combine it with a bit of Pellegrini’s 4-4-2, and Sacchi’s 4-4-2, and you’d have a fascinating tactic.

In terms of player roles, there’s a few I’ve got in mind already. I’ll 100% be creating the Central Winger again. Hopefully the role is still as effective as on FM14, breaking from deep and being a nuisance to defences. I loved this role last year, so it’s likely that I’ll do an article seeing how it works on FM15. You can find my original CW article here: https://cdeekyfm.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/utilising-the-central-winger/ and @MerryGuido has also done some fantastic work with the Central Winger over at ‘Strikerless’.

On the topic of Central Wingers, I’ve also talked about the Central Winger 2.0 on Twitter. This was initially going to be my last FM14 article, but due to time constraints, I think I’m going to move it to FM15, where it will be more beneficial to people anyway. This role is largely based on Raheem Sterling, another Winger who has moved centrally with great effect. This will be at AMC rather than MC, but it should be just as effective.

I’ve already spoken about the Advanced Destroyer in my previous post, so I won’t go through that, but I am also looking at possibly recreating Thierry Henry’s role at Arsenal, where he would start at striker, but would regularly move out left and cut inside. Cristiano Ronaldo is beginning to do the same thing in Real Madrid’s 4-4-2, so combining the 4-4-2 idea with this might be worth trying.

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In terms of saves, the save that’s likely going to be my first one is in Austria with SV Austria Salzburg. This might sound like a strange first save, but I rarely manage in the larger leagues (particularly England), and much prefer those ‘middle to small’ leagues like Austria, or Hungary. On FM14 I had a fantastic save with Red Bull Salzburg which has caused me to love that city and the country of Austria (somewhere I want to visit someday). However, I had to holiday far into the game to find a challenge that made Salzburg worth playing as. This year, @Shrewnaldo will be creating an Austrian edit (details available at http://footballmanagerveteran.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/so-lets-try-this-again/) for his yearly Rapid Wien/Austria C&C save, changing the league from 10 to 16 teams, and Austria Salzburg are going to be one of the teams moved into the top tier. Fantastic. Austria Salzburg are a fascinating club, formed as a result of fan displeasure at Red Bull’s purchase of their football club. As a result they took the name and badge, and have worked their way up from the 7th tier of Austrian Football. I’m likely going to apply some restrictions for this save, and initially I’m thinking of a limit of only 1 ‘foreign’ signing per season, and except that, it has to be Austrians and Germans. I’m not sure, but I’ll brainstorm this a bit more before the game releases.

The main thing that I wanted to say in regards to this, is that I am going to update this save on the blog to begin with. It’s not something I’ve got a lot of experience with (see the Serie A thread on The Dugout), but I feel it will be a nice break from the tactical posts on this blog. However, I dislike formulaic updates, so I’ll be making sure that my updates have some theme that I’m looking at, whether it be squad development, tactical development, or simply analysing where we’re going right (or wrong!). Knowing myself, I’ll probably end up talking about tactics anyway. I’ll see how these posts are received, and if I’m enjoying them, before deciding whether to carry on.

That’s my plans for FM15 on this blog so far, but I’m sure I’ll add to this as time goes on. I hope you all continue to read.

My Thoughts on FM15, and Some Tactical Ideas Going Forward

So, we’re now on the run up to the new Football Manager, FM15. I thought I’d summarise some of my opinions on the new roles for FM15, and preview some potential player roles that I’m looking at creating. I’ve reached a point now on FM14 where I don’t feel there’s much more that I can do, and save one more project for an upcoming article, I don’t expect to play the game much in the coming weeks. As much as I love Football Manager, I rarely end up playing in the period before the new game.

Despite this, there’s some new player roles that have been announced for FM15 that really have me interested. Those of you that have followed me on The Dugout, Twitter and Strikerless will know that I do enjoy a good strikerless tactic (not as much as Guido though), and I’ve already got ideas for my first tactical project on the new game.

The key to this tactical idea is the new role, the ‘Raumdeuter’. Here is the description of the role:

“Wingers can also be instructed to play as a ‘Ramdeuter’. The word raumdeuter is German and best translated as ‘space investigator and is most widely associated with Germany’s Thomas Mueller. A raumdeuter is a bit lit a wide poacher suitable for players who want to operate on the periphery of build-up play before finding space in a dangerous area to add a clinical touch to the move.

A raumdeuter’s main role is to find pockets of space in which to operate. Essentially a wide poacher, the Raumdeuter takes up seemingly harmless positions out wide, waiting for the opportune moment to burst through the defensive line for that telling shot or cross.

He is difficult for defenders to pick up as he will often drift from his assigned position looking for any opportunity to exploit. This can result in quiet periods during which the Raumdeuter may neglect his defensive duties, therefore adequate cover and a strong team shape are key in order to fully utilise his attacking prowess in the final third.”

‘ A wide poacher’. Doesn’t that sound absolutely perfect for a strikerless tactic? You need someone to move into that space when utilising a strikerless formation, and the Raumdeuter looks like it will be extremely useful. Even if you aren’t using a strikerless formation, the role itself will still be fantastic in a 4-3-3, or a 4-1-4-1. Very Bayern esque.

The next role I’m interested in is the ‘Roaming Playmaker’. There have been a few interpretations on what this role is, ranging from Angel Di Maria (i.e. my Central Winger) to Xabi Alonso’s new role at Bayern where he’s allowed to go all over the pitch. I’m not putting this into my tactical plans as of yet, but it will certainly be used at some point. I’m picturing this role combined with a holding midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 at some point.

‘Inverted Wingback’ is the next new role. Probably intended to replicate David Alaba at times last season, the ‘IWB’ will come inside, rather than stay out wide, and make runs through the centre of the pitch. However, this role is apparently not available with an ‘attack’ duty, which is a shame as I had super aggressive IWB’s in mind. However, what I’ll probably end up trying is turning them into DLP’s when they move inside, and turning them into more of a creative force.

‘Wide Playmaker’ is the last new role, and it seems very much like David Silva at Manchester City, which is another role I’ve tried to create before. I’m not ‘that’ interested in this role, but perhaps Arsene Wenger would love to put Mesut Ozil into this role out on the left wing. Yeah…..

In terms of tactical ideas, I’ve currently got an asymmetrical 4-1-2-3-0 in mind. A fairly standard defence, one CD on cover, one on defend and two CWB’s. In front of them in the DMC position, a Half Back to cover for the CWB’s. In the CM positions an AP-S (roaming playmaker if I hear good things about the role, since I used to tell my AP-S to roam from position) and a Central Winger. Ahead of that I want to use a ‘Raumdeuter’ at AMR, and a SS at AMCL (can be inverted depending on players). Centrally (AMC), I want to use an ‘Advanced Destroyer’, which I look at as a combination of Yaya Toure, Marouane Fellaini and Oscar. Pressing high, making tackles, being strong, and making short passes for the onrushing Raumdeuter, SS and Central Winger from deep. Hopefully that should lead to plenty of goals and vertical movement. Of course, this will probably change as we get closer to FM15, but that’s the general idea I’ve got now. The ‘Advanced Destroyer’ is going to be the first role that I try to create on FM15, so hopefully I can get it to work how I want, and then I’ll write an article for it.

So there’s my plans for FM15, let’s hope everything works like I want it to.