FM19 Tactical Changes Explained

With the release of Football Manager 19 beta yesterday, many of you will have noticed that the tactical UI looks much cleaner. Things are presented in a way, they’re easy to understand and follow whether you are a new user or an experienced one. While we haven’t seen any massive changes to the tactical side of the game, we have seen a lot of subtle changes and a few new additions to the tactics module. All the Team Instructions and Player Roles have all had tweaks on this years version of the game, both visually and under the hood.  Due to these changes, it’s probably for the best that you don’t compare Football Manager 19 to previous version of the game, as it’s slightly different how everything works. Continue reading FM19 Tactical Changes Explained

(Director of) Football Manager 1.1

This is a new series for Football Manager 2019 that focuses on playing the game as the Director of Football. It's written by guest author @FmReids

First off welcome to my new FM19 series, if you’ve followed any of my previous FM series, you’ll know that I don’t do run of the mill FM saves, and this year is no exception. So I present to you (Director of) Football Manager, where instead of playing as a manager, I instead play as the Director of Football. So how will I do this, and what will be the focus of the save?

I will implement this by forfeiting all responsibilities for the first team such as training, tactics and everything related to match-day such as picking the team or managing the game. Instead, this will all be delegated to the assistant manager, who during the save will instead be taking the role of “manager” (sadly no way of actually doing this in the game for real, so we’ll pretend he’s the manager).

Instead of doing everything the manager will do, instead, I'll have a bunch of different duties to control. Duties such as hiring the “manager”, scouting + recruitment and building a plan for the long-term direction of the club. I’ll now explore each of these duties, detailing what each duty entails and how I’ll go about it and how my own personal philosophy will link into each one.

The Vision

After a vote on Twitter, it was voted that I’d be taking over as Director of Football at Swansea which lets me set measurable goals and a plan for the future. Obviously getting back into the Premier League is the main objective, and looking further afield to that - European qualification. I like building a 5-year plan when planning my FM saves - this gives me targets to aim for and lets me judge how well I’m doing, and this save is no exception.

  • Season 1 (18/19): Rebuilding. The plan is to get rid of the players on large wages and make sure we’re financially stable going forward. Try to resist splurging on big money signings and instead focus on youth and loans to keep the costs down whilst strengthening the squad with cheap purchases. Mid-table (10-13th) finish likely. The manager will be one to steady the ship and tide things over.
  • Season 2 (19/20): Strengthening. Hopefully, the goals in the first season were met, if so then it’s time to strengthen upon last seasons rebuild. Hopefully, some key players will be bought over the summer to build upon the foundations laid last season. The aim is to challenge for playoffs (6th-8th).
  • Season 3 (20/21): The push. Hopefully, more targets bought over the summer to strengthen the squad even further. If the previous seasons have all gone to plan, then this is hopefully the season where we really go for promotion. It might be a risky strategy, but potentially worth the risk of changing the manager in the quest for promotion (although this will very much be a “wait and see” decision!). The aim is for promotion, either via automatic or the playoffs (1st-6th).
  • Season 4 (21/22): Staying up. Hopefully, promotion has been achieved, which means it’s now time to fight to stay up. Likely the squad will need some sort of re-building as well, with the players unable to make the step up to the Premier League sold, whilst some key new players bought in.
  • Season 5 (22/23): Establish. Hopefully, survival is confirmed, which means it’s time to build upon last season, improve the squad some more whilst hopefully fully implementing my philosophy outlined below and to establish ourselves in the Premier League.

Philosophy

As a Director of Football, it's my job to set the direction and play-style of the club, which is done by a mix of player and manager recruitment. So my own personal philosophy that will slowly drip into the club is the following:

  • Possession football
  • Attacking football
  • High Pressing
  • A very strong (technically + physically) packed midfield
  • A focus on bringing youth through

Scouting + Recruitment/Hiring the Manager

The Recruitment Strategy

Since it’s my job to ensure the club reaches its goals and improves, it’s important to have a plan, even if it’s just a rough one. So my recruitment will focus around 3 areas

  • Fringe players from better clubs. Better clubs than us will likely have better players than we currently have, by targeting players not playing that fit in with the recruitment process detailed below, it’s an easy way to increase the quality within our team.
  • Youngsters. Scouting for young talents and potential wonderkids is a cheap and easy way to drastically increase squad quality, although it’ll likely take time for them to break into the first team, instead appropriate loan destinations will be found to help them develop

The Recruitment Process

Obviously ensuring the “right” players are bought and sold is the main responsibility of the Director of Football so it’s important that instead of buying players randomly that they adhere to one or all of the following points

  • If a player is being bought directly for the first team then it’s obviously important that they fit in with the current manager's philosophy. Depending on their age, they may also have to fit into my long-term vision for the club - or at least be resellable or the right age to be able to terminate their contract without it costing too much.
  • If a young player is being bought for the future, then it’s important they’re somewhat versatile or fit into my long-term vision for the club.
  • Ensure potential signings undergo rigorous checks to ensure they’re the right signing for the club. To do this I’ll not only look at the usual things such as a player's attributes, of course, they’ll play a large part in the recruitment process still, but I’ll combine that with “priority lists”. These priority lists are where I’ll have a list of targets for each position on the pitch that we’ll be tracking over a large amount of time. I won’t necessarily be making moves for the number 1 target in each position every window, but instead use this to monitor targets who may suddenly become available, or be needed in case of long-term injury or a player sale as preparation is key!
  • Hiring the manager. The first manager hired will obviously have to fit with the current squad as my long-term vision is simply that: long-term! But over time the squad will evolve to fit that of my long-term vision, and the manager will likely change as well, as either I move them on, or they leave for pastures new.

So there we have it, a rough plan for the series ahead. Join me when the beta is released as I take a look at our squad, begin the process of hiring our first manager and planning for the 18/19 season! Feel free to ask any questions either here or my twitter: https://twitter.com/fmreids 

20+ Brazilian Cup Defeats – Let’s Do It All Again

On Football Manager 2013 I had the best save I ever had with Paysandu in the Brazilian Leagues. It was also one of the most frustrating because I failed miserably to win one specific competition, the Brazilian Cup. I know people think I’m always successful and that the game is easy but I still suffer the same bad luck as other users and have bogey teams and competitions I can’t beat and win at times. The Brazilian Cup was just that for me, I made the final 20+ times and lost every single go. It still hurts to this day. When Football Manager 2014 came out, the first thing I did was select a Brazilian team and win it at the first attempt just to prove I could. Continue reading 20+ Brazilian Cup Defeats – Let’s Do It All Again

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