Hello and welcome to my first update in a while. There’s a number of reasons why it’s been a while but one of those is I just haven’t had time to play Football Manager lately. As well as this, there’s been a few in-game issues which I’ll go into throughout the update.
But the best way to go is just to plough on, and I did that with Le Mans. It was always going to be a difficult Summer, though, for two major reasons. Firstly, much like the situation QPR find themselves in presently, Le Mans had players on Ligue 1 wages. The drop to Ligue 2 was a hitch in the road but unfortunately not gaining promotion at the latter end of last year has really sent the bills spiralling out of control. The revenue generated in Ligue 2 simply isn’t enough. And because of this, the board have slashed the transfer and wage budgets. Last season, I had £7m in my transfer kitty and spent £215k per week on wages. This year, I’m expected to push on with no transfer budget (and 0% of the revenue earnt re-invested into transfers) and a £175k p/w wage budget. Because of that, I had to make some extremely tough decisions.
The second reason this was a particularly difficult Summer was the particularly odd rule put in place by the FFA in regards to number of non-EU players, for Ligue 2 clubs. For relegated Ligue 1 teams, you’re allowed 4 non-EU players registered in your squad. This rule somewhat limited me last season in that I had a fifth player from Brazil unable to play. This annoyed me but I was willing to wait until the new season to bring him in. Then I realise that if you were in Ligue 2 last season, you’re only allowed 2 non-EU players. This meant I had to cut my transfer prices dramatically. And I was not happy.
Welcome to the second update of my Le Mans career. For those of you that follow the blog, you’ll know that it’s been a while since I began the career, but other things have gotten in the way. Even with my customary routine of playing the first season at a new club without any in-depth analysis, it’s still taken me a while to actually get it done. But there you go.
And in my first season, we finished just outside the promotion places of Ligue 2, in 5th place. Whilst I’m more than happy to spend another season in Ligue 2 in order to develop the talented youngsters we have, the club’s accountants and directors aren’t nearly as content. Whilst we had a transfer budget of £2m and wage budget of £200k p/w last season, the board have dropped this to £200k transfer budget and £175k wage budget. Considering we were already spending over the previous wage budget, at £205k, it’s going to be extremely difficult to not only cut back, but also maintain a necessary title challenge.
However, as always, the first season is always done quickly and efficiently. Its main role is to make my life easier in the second season where I really begin to make my mark on a save. If you’re ever having trouble getting into a save, I like to do this, as you become attached to the players and involved with the club despite the minimal input of effort. If you really don’t fancy it then you can even holiday games and act as a Director of Football in your first season.
Thanks for the tremendous response to the first part of the article. I hope this gives you a better idea of how you can use the tactic yourself.
As ever, no one tactic is suitable for every formation and tactic you come across. And that’s much the same with the crooked 4-2-3-1. It’s vitally important to consider the opponent whenever you play, and so I’ll highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the formation against other opposing shapes. Note that you’ll have to go into a lot more detail than this in order to guarantee success – shape is only a basis of a tactic.
I’ll be using a Manchester United side as a basis in order to show the different players you can use in each role. I haven’t made any changes to the starting squad apart from the signings of Arturo Vidal and Leighton Baines.
For years my Wolves side had played a variant of the popular tika-taka football style implemented by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side during his time at the Nou Camp. As well as this, the squad was built around home-grown talent rather than big-money signings. And whilst this has been largely successful (the side has won the last eight consecutive league titles), a change was necessary. For years my ultimate goal has been to complete an unbeaten league season. Despite all the trophies, cups and awards, it has always eluded me. Be it a shoddy 1-0 loss at the Emirates or a 3-1 thrashing at Old Trafford, I’ve always struggled away at the other major English clubs. My possession-based football has always come unstuck away from home, and I felt it was time to re-create something a bit different in a bid to complete that illustrious unbeaten league system.
Over the past decade and a half of managing Wolves I’ve had a number of incredibly talented players come through the ranks. With this, I’ve had to adapt and tinker with my system over the years in order to ensure they fit the shape and style of the play. It’s led to me creating some very interesting tactical roles, and a number of those fit into this system. I’d like to think they complement each other.
This combination of interesting roles and talented players has really piqued my interest in Football Manager, and this in-depth analysis is something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while. It may not be your style of football, but I’d like to think that it’s still worth the read regardless.
Welcome to my very first update on the save game I’ve been playing since late last year. I started my career at Wolves in the 2012/13 season, in a bid to make them the dominant force in European football. I eventually achieved this goal in 2019 when I beat Manchester United on penalties in an enthralling matchup. Throughout the early ’20s I then dominated English football and one the Champions League twice more.
But I needed a new challenge. I originally thought that challenge lay in London, with Arsenal. They had a talented squad with an incredibly potent attacking line, but it wasn’t my squad. I wanted something more.
So I had a scour around. I wanted to make sure my next job was something I was going to stick with. The only pre-requisites for the job was that it had to be abroad and it had to be a team and a club I could build. I’d experienced English football with Wolves and Arsenal and something different was needed – Italy and France were my preferred destinations.
Welcome to my player analysis of Juventus’ all-action midfielder Arturo Vidal. It’s obviously a fairly specific article as it’s based on one player alone but I’d like to use it to show the basis on how I analyse a player. Being able to properly analyse a player is always handy when you’re looking to build a squad in which the players complement each other. I’m using Vidal not just because he’s a personal favourite of mine but also because there’s not really another player like him.
Welcome to the second part of this Match Analysis special, against Real Madrid in the 2025 Champions League Final. I’ll try to quickly recap on the pre-match analysis whilst also telling you the things I’ve altered from my usual tactical setup.
– hard pressing on Civet (Civet was targetted in the media before the game and is already known as Real Madrid’s most error prone player).
– Martinez (LAM) pushed out wide onto wrong foot to make the most of his poor crossing (he’ll want to come inside as he’ll be set as an Inside Forward but hopefully Malfleury, my RB, can push him outside).
– Malfleury set to bomb down wing – very attacking – Cuevas switched from LDM to RDM to cover incoming Inside Forward threat (this was because Miguel Castro, Real Madrid’s LB, has very rarely pushed forward from LB in the past).
– Neto told to ‘hug touchline’ to put pressure on opposition LB.
– made Emir Sen (LB) more defensive to deal with attacking threat of Arthur Huet (Real Madrid RAM).
– got Daniel Santa Cruz (B2B mid) to close down Michael Peters (dangerman in the centre of Real Madrid’s midfield – think a more technical Yaya Toure).
– shorter passing and lower intensity (it’s been a long hard season and all that) and we’re the much better passing side.
– make Cuevas anchor man rather than defensive midfielder in order to cover Malfleury’s runs.