Category Archives: Tactics

How to transfer a tactical plan from your mind to the pitch

After spending the sum of two years playing Football Manager I still really struggle to translate my ideas for playstyles into the game’s tactics creator. I often lean towards a formation partly because it’s symmetrical and its shape is pleasing on the eye – a ridiculous reason probably. But the game allows us to make a complex mix of choices and I find it very difficult to visualise how my team will play just by looking at the tactics menu. What’s more, for every player you move around the pitch to strengthen your attack or defence, you weaken the area he was moved from and it can be difficult to accept this. But I think I might have worked out how to put my plan in to action…

  • Start by brainstorming everything you want your tactic to include. Maybe you want marauding wing backs, a Pirlo-esque playmaker or a sweeper keeper. Do you want supporting wingers who prefer to cross than get in to the box or do you want them to run at defenders and try to beat them with skill a la Bolasie? You might like the idea of using a big target man. Get all of your ideas on paper and work from there.
  • Arrange a friendly to get an idea of how your new tactic will work but remember it takes time for your players to become familiar with a tactic. You can do this at any point in the season. I find Nike Academy are usually available for a game and they’re not great so it’s also a confidence booster.
  • Start with the basics. I’m a perfectionist so it’s very tempting to try to add every team and player instruction before I play a game. It might be better to start with a few simple team instructions and add more, plus player instructions, as you come to understand your tactic. Choose a formation, a mentality and a team shape. Your team instructions will be at their default settings, such as ‘normal’ defensive line and it shouldn’t be too risky to leave them alone for the first few games. If one of your key philosophies is to play possession football then choose ‘retain possession’, sure, but try not to overcomplicate matters at this early stage.
  • Decide if you’ll be an attacking or defensive team. Ultimately, every team is one or the other. Consider what your choice will mean. To what extent will you be offensive or defensive? There are numerous ways you can gain a defensive advantage, such as using a ball winning midfielder, defending deep, closing down or not closing down to keep your shape. Maybe you’ll use ball retention as a way to prevent the opposition from scoring. If they don’t have the ball, they can’t score.
  • People say Marouane Fellaini isn’t ‘a Man United player’. If there was a certain player, who played a certain way, who personifies the sort of football you want to encourage, who would it be or how would they play? Then look for these qualities in all of the players you buy. Maybe aggression is important to you or you might want a team of very technically-gifted players.
  • Find a template you can work from. Chances are, if you’ve had an idea for a tactic, it will have been done before to some extent, so use it to build your new system. uMAXit Football on YouTube make some easy-to-follow explanations of the way well-known teams play. It’s exciting to try to make your team play in a completely original way without using any examples but it’s much more difficult to pull off. I’ve chosen Chelsea’s 3-4-3 (calling it this as you all know what I mean) as inspiration, because I haven’t used a three-man defence for a while and it’s clearly a strong gameplan when using the right players.

If you take anything away from this article, I’d suggest remembering that you can’t make a successful tactic just by tinkering in the tactics creator. You should use external resources too and use other areas of the game, such as matches and match analyses, to decipher what is and isn’t working so you can continue to sculpt your ideal system. Everyone plays the game differently though so however you set your team up, keep having fun.

Surprisingly effective player role in Football Manager 2017

There are certain player roles and formations that most FM players feel comfortable using . These go-to tactics tend to change with every new iteration of the game as players realise what works on a consistent basis. On the other hand, there are always tactical options that don’t appeal as much and you might go the whole year without trying them. In this series of articles I will highlight some tactical features that don’t seem popular in FM17 but I’ve found work well.

Half Back

I’ve used this role in previous games but I felt it lost its effectiveness so leaned towards the Deep Lying Playmaker (defend) and Defensive Midfielder (defend) roles as their advantages seemed more obvious and I thought there was less chance they would completely fail. It probably is best to stick to what you know in FM until your team’s doing well enough that there’s an opportunity to experiment. I have Sergi Samper, Kristoffer Ajer and Marouane Fellaini who are happy playing in defensive midfield but Samper tends to be there. Although he can’t tackle or mark very well, he’s pretty competent in that deep midfield position. His high composure, first touch, passing, vision, anticipation and decisions make him excellent at distributing the ball to players ahead of him on the pitch and mean he can keep the ball even when pressed. He also has suitable traits: dictates tempo, comes deep to get ball, likes to switch ball to opposite flank (not sure about this last one).

Sergi Samper the Half Back

Admittedly, it’s early days using a Half Back (HB) in my setup — Samper has played three games in the role, he’s played 15 games as a Deep Lying Playmaker (DLP) — but his best game was in the new role. He made 82 passes out of 88 in a 2-0 win against Hull as a HB. His passing success for the season is 90%. He also has made 76% of tackles he’s attempted, which I’m happy with as his tackling attribute is only 10.

The Half Back is supposed to drop in between the centre backs acting as something ‘between an aggressive sweeper and a defensive midfielder’ and that’s what I saw Samper do. It gave me a greater feeling of security and I enjoyed how he’d collect the ball in a deep position and begin our attacks from a position that was hard to close down. Having someone competent in this role allowed the team to build at our own pace, either gradually through defence and midfield to attack or more directly.

Why not try using a Half Back in FM17 if you haven’t already? You might be pleasantly surprised!

For more on the Half Back role read this article about ‘the return of the sweeper’ at Zonal Marking http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/04/22/is-the-sweeper-set-for-a-return-to-prominence.

Conceding poor goals in Football Manager? Let’s find out why

CONTINUED

It’s a few hours after my last post (read here) and I’ve been for a bike ride, done some shopping and calmed down.

Now let me tell you how I plan to improve our results instead of dwelling on what’s gone wrong.

I’m too open. 99% of the time I start ‘attacking’ and as my forwards and midfield push up, it leaves my back four vulnerable.

When my wing backs push up our play style looks even more risky.

I don’t know why I haven’t noticed these dangers before, I guess I was in an all-out-attack mindframe.

It’s so important when playing FM to be as open-minded as possible. Watch games in ‘full match’ mode and be patient, allow your brain to process what is happening, and you should notice important features of your play that are contributing to negative issues.

While I was writing the first part of this blog, I was watching us lose 0-5 against Chicago.

This is their first goal. It’s hard to say anything tactical caused this because there are 4-5 defenders around the goalscorer. Maybe it’s a simple case of my defenders can’t defend very well and they’re weak in the air.

dc united

dc united 1

But the thing is they’re not all terrible in the air or apparently bad at defending if I look at their attributes.

chad marshall

This guy was our worst player, rating-wise, with a 5.8 but he has 15 marking, 16 heading, 14 jumping, 15 strength and he’s very tall so why was he so bad and why couldn’t he stop the opposition scoring at will?

I’m currently playing the game after the 0-5 defeat and after bringing him on due to our young right back being sent off he somehow got away with this tackle: http://gyazo.com/9b8e6421ac8bbe1f5445a703aa131cf2.

And he proceeded to dive in like a complete idiot so I had to substitute him.

I guess it could be my fault that my players are diving in as I always use the ‘get stuck in’ team instruction. I rarely have a problem with using it though, and rarely receive any red cards.

Moreover, even after changing from ‘get stuck in’ to ‘stay on feet’ another defender of mine decided to dive in to a tackle but got away with it.

It wasn’t my team talk as I simply assertively told the players to not get complacent.

Back to the 0-5 loss. Here is the second goal we conceded http://gyazo.com/cd18ba49c8b3269a5c626a7d27c606eb.

I challenge anyone to analyse this. You might say it’s just a case of bad luck, an inability to clear, lack of desire to get to the ball before our opponents. Either way, it left me feeling a lack of control.

OK so as I’m analysing our big defeat, something has developed as a pattern. Chad Marshall diving in again. Chicago’s third goal against us was a penalty.

The penalty was given when Marshall dove in on Player of the Match, Juan Luis Anangono. See below.

marshall foulThe foul is clearly outside the box for one but that’s not my point. It looks like Marshall, who’s a new signing at the Rio Tinto Stadium, is slide tackle-happy and it’s not helping us one bit.

Here we see the build up to their third goal:

build-up

We have seven defenders ‘back’, they have seven players attacking. To me, the situation at first glance looks benign. We only have four, maybe five men behind the ball though as we’re being counter attacked, and we’re out of shape.

Shipp passes short to Anangono who holds the ball for a couple of seconds while team mates make runs.

anangonoShipp runs in to space created by Ananono’s movement and he waltzes past my centre back, Nat Borchers, who seems completely oblivious, to slot in for a fourth. Too easy. It brings a whole new meaning to shipping goals 😉

shipp-goal

What a load of Shipp!

In fairness my back four were exposed as the rest of the team failed to get back. I should point out this attack developed from a simple long goal kick. It wasn’t really a counter attack, my players should have been positioned to sufficiently deal with it.

I clearly need to work on where I play my midfield and attack and look at their work rates, team work, etc, or this will happen again. It reminds me of playing football at school and everyone gets tired and you only leave one man back to defend!

It’s disappointing the opposition found it so easy to get behind us. I use a very high line to catch opponents offside and encourage opponents to force passes makin it hard for this sort of thing to happen but it clearly failed here.

GOAL FIVE:

build up 5They proceed to work the walk up the pitch, everything looks safe, nothing to worry about?

build-up-4Without warning Chicago get seven players forward again while our lazy attackers saunter around waving to friends in the crowd.

There’s so much space and the defence is outnumbered again. Shipp picks it up to rekindle his dangerous partnership with Anangono and he once again finds a through pass, this time to left back, Magee, a left midfielder/ striker playing at left back.

MageeIt’s a good goal as well as poor defending and maybe highlights their understanding built up over time. We have a mix of new signings, very young guys who have just broken in to the first team, and some players who simply aren’t good enough.

What I’d like you to take away from this article apart from enjoying reading it, is you CAN stop the rot, you can win again, if you pay attention to hints the game always gives you. Sometimes your issues aren’t difficult to identify at all!

I’ll be back soon to let you know if I managed to plug the holes in my defence and if I managed to get winning again.

Follow me on Twitter @fmscrapbook

Related articles

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/410324-Good-run-bad-run-thing-is-over-the-top

A real good American adventure in MLS

Hi there, how are you? Not bad, yourself?

In fact, Real Salt Lake (RSL) and I are doing very well indeed, thanks for asking.

I played around at a few football clubs when I first got Football Manager 2015 but I didn’t find a comfortable spot to hang my hat until I took the trip ‘across the pond’ to America.

I wanted to try management in MLS, partly inspired by exciting clubs, such as New York City Football Club and LA Galaxy. It was something different.

And I follow a RSL footballer, Luis Gil, on Twitter, and he looks a great prospect. It might sound lame but another reason I chose the Salt Lake City side is their kit’s vibrant colours.

luis-gil1

Gil has been a bit-part player for us this season and, to be honest, I’m not too worried about his development because if we win the league in our first season (which we’re on course to do) I’m planning on moving to a more reputable league if I’m wanted there.

However, I mentioned NYCFC before and if they want me, it could be too good an opportunity to turn down.

The season so far

I can’t remember ever having such a good run of form.

record

The form of Ecuadorian winger, Joao Plata, and the goals of striker, Alvaro Saborio, have helped us on our way.

Plata’s injured but in his 16 games he has 6 goals and 14 assists with an average rating of 7.81.

Saborio has 15 goals in 19 games with 7 assist and an average rating of 7.43.

I won’t pretend we’ve controlled every game – sometimes we’ve scored lucky goals – but my players’ performance levels have been generally very high.

I’m now at a point where I’m desperate to maintain our unbeaten record and I think this could become problematic and hold us back. Plus, it will take me forever to finish the season if I keep fretting over decisions to make to ensure a win or turn a game around (and on that note we’ve just drawn level 1-1 with Montreal Impact in the 55th minute when it looked like we’d finally get a second loss of the season so let’s take a segway).

I feel quite proud of the equaliser as it came just after I made a tactical change.

We were set up as you see below in what has this season been a very reliable and successful formation/ tactic.

formation

I noticed at 1-0 up Montreal were playing with caution and leaving vastly experienced Italian striker, Marco Di Vaio, up front and hoofing the ball to him.

Unfortunately for us, his class meant he could hold up the ball very well, and he was like a wolf scaring our defensive flock.

Montreal were finding it far too easy to lump the ball to Di Vaio which took pressure off their defence and the striker’s skills allowed his side to keep the ball and you can’t concede if you have the ball.

As I noticed our opposition were sitting deep I felt I had to take the initiative even though we were already playing ‘attacking’ and closing down ‘much more’ so I took Luke Mulholland off (playing advanced playmaker) for Javier Morales who I told to play in ‘the hole’ as a trequartista.

I also moved Kyle Beckerman (c) from ball winning midfielder (BWM) in DM to BWM in CM, again to put more pressure on the opposition. I wasn’t particularly worried about our opponent’s ability to get behind our defence with us advancing up the pitch as one thing Di Vaio does lack is pace.

goal

Real Salt Lake are playing in red.

On 55 minutes their goalkeeper smashed a kick upfield once again but this time it evaded Di Vaio and the adaptable Ned Grabavoy (number 20) was there to head the ball back where it came.

Striker/ winger Sebastian Jaime (number 23) played a one-two with Alvaro Saborio (15) and whipped a cross for substitute, Morales (11), to smash home the leveller. He’d only been on the pitch for two minutes.

As you can see in the 2D graphic above, Morales (treq) is the most advanced player as we counter attack.

On 69 minutes it was still 1-1 and we were struggling to create chances. There had still only been one clear cut chance in the game (ours).

I couldn’t help but thinking a pacey striker could help us unlock the stubborn defence we faced but I’d used three subs already.

I was at a loss on 72 minutes as to what to do to break the deadlock so I did the only obvious thing at the time and played ‘more direct passing’.

SO on 75 minutes I ‘went for it’ and attempted to create overloads in the middle of the pitch by putting one inside forward (Jaime) up front as an advanced forward and the other inside forward (Velasquez) as an advanced playmaker in AM. See below.

formation4Despite the change in formation we couldn’t break down Montreal for a second time and the match ended 1-1. Their flat five across midfield was exceptionally effective at protecting the defence behind and I’ll bear it in mind for future challenges against stronger opposition. Sorry if this seems an abrupt end to the analysis but my laptop decided to restart and I had to play the remaining 15 minutes of the game on ‘only commentary’ – who knows what might have happened if I’d had more time to make little changes.

Starting team instructions:

instructions3

After that game this is where we stand in MLS:

league

I don’t see any reason we can’t win the league. We’ve lost momentum after Joao Plata’s injury but he’s back in 4-6 weeks and we’ve shown we can win without him.

Until next time, follow me on Twitter @fmscrapbook.

The FM15 Learning Curve with analysis Part 1: Real Sociedad v Petrolul Europa League 3rd Qualifying Rnd Leg 1

 

 

ratings

 

over the top ball

De Lucas plays a Scholes-esque ball over my DM and LCD to Vechiu – too easy

sitter

Vechiu misses a sitter! Luckily for us…

through ball

This time Teixeira plays a ball through but the striker is offside

Canales shot 25mins

Sergio Canales has acres of space. He chooses to shoot but his effort goes just wide of the right post

busca goal

Right midfielder, Busca, makes it 1-0 to the home side! My left back was drawn to the middle but you’d never expect a player to score from that angle.

On the half hour mark I told my centre backs to specifically mark Petrolul’s strikers, one each.

It was either that or drop deeper and, being one goal down, I thought sitting back was the last thing I should do.

  • a big blow hit us on 33 minutes. Ruben Pardo, our best deep lying midfielder, was in poor shape so I subbed him for Esteban Granero
27 minutes after Petrolul scored Agirretxe equalises with a header from a long distance freekick. Direct. There was a reason I decided to employ a big target man

27 minutes after Petrolul scored Agirretxe equalises with a header from a long distance freekick. Direct. There was a reason I decided to employ a big target man

Agirretxe goal

The goalkeeper is stranded and big Imanol powers it home

 

robbed

The ‘experienced’ right back, Carlos Martinez, is robbed

 

Vechiu goal

To rub salt in to the wound the two fake players link up for Petrolul’s second

As soon as we equalise Petrolul centre back, Geraldo, smashes the ball up field for Dumitru to chase.

Carlos Martinez reaches the ball first but Dumitru is determined and robs my right back.

Dumitru squares the ball to teammate, Vechiu, who makes no mistake this time to score while my defenders have all ignored Vechiu’s threat and pushed up. Long ball – defensive mistake – close range shot = goal.  It was that easy.

Although a defensive error played a big part in this goal it showed how effective long balls can be on FM15.

  • On 42 minutes I decide enough’s enough, I’ll fight fire with fire, and I go from short passing to more direct passing
  • I took a tired Aggiretxe off at half time replacing him with Alfred Finnbogasson

finbogasson

  • On 48 minutes I ask Gonzalo Castro to play as an AM(C), the same with Xavi Prieto, as neither are impacting the game

Moving Prieto and Castro seems to work as the two start to combine within a couple of minutes and we look a lot more threatening in front of goal.

Cabral’s (signed for £1.9m from Sunderland and always impressed me on FM14)  tackling has been brilliant.

The longer the match goes on (55 minutes) I start to think we don’t have enough strength in depth. We don’t have enough attacking players who can offer something different.

  • Prieto looks a stylish player. He’s made some classy touches, you can tell he’s been around

On 65 minutes it doesn’t look good. Still 2-1 down.

  • I’ve reverted to shorter passing & work ball in to box seeing as our passing has improved
  • On 68 minutes I push both my full backs to wing back positions (slightly hit and hope now)
castro miss

Canales finally opens his eyes and puts Castro through but he can’t finish

castro miss 2

He should have scored

Finnbogasson wins a freekick on the edge of the Petrolul area.

Finnbogasson wins a freekick on the edge of the Petrolul area.

A minute after his miss Castro powers a freekick in off the underside of the bar - what a goal!

A minute after his miss Castro powers a freekick in off the underside of the bar – what a goal!

At full time it’s 2-2 and half of the lads look exhausted and I’m starting to realise we went in to the game in poor physical shape.

We were undone by two goals by a fake player which is always annoying.

  • It was a mistake to play Gaztanaga in central defence but Inigo Martinez and Mikel Gonzalez were injured
  • Positives from the game were Castro showed me he can create and score but his finishing could be better and Canales played one or two lovely through balls – I know he’ll be good for me, this is only the first game I’ve managed. Esteban Granero was decent when he came on. I might re-consider selling him
  • Cabral’s tackling was good but his positioning and marking were suspect at times
  • Jeronimo Rulli had a decent game in net for us on his debut and couldn’t do anything about their goals

Analysis

I learned a lot from watching this single match. I want us to progress as far in the Europa League as possible and we were favourites before the game so to struggle for a draw is disappointing.

It’s worrying we only made one clear cut chance while Petrolul and their many over the top balls created four. As I alluded to before, though, once we have our best two central defenders back we’ll be more solid.

We were also missing our best player, Carlos Vela, who will be first choice up front and can also play wide.

Formation:

forms

I think I made a mistake playing a defensive midfielder in this match. We gave Petrolul’s Pablo De Lucas too much time to spray passes around and over us. I was too cautious, not brave enough.

It highlights a role I could use though. De Lucas was playing what I guess you’d call the Pirlo role but I could never get that working in FM14 so it’s exciting. It looks like it might be possible now. I’m not sure if deep lying playmaker (support) could be the role to use.

I feel I need a better right back after Martinez’s poor show.

We have a 22-year-old called Joseba Zaldua who looks promising so I’ll give him a game soon.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Follow me on twitter @fmscrapbook.

My most successful tactic and career in FM14

belta2

My love affair with Newcastle United on FM14 (strictly just on the game, mind) is still in its honeymoon after not even two seasons.

I think it’s the most successful time I’ve had at a club though due to the speed at which we’ve become a very good team, won trophies and competed at the highest club level.

As I write we’re on the verge of a win against league-leaders Chelsea which would see us cut the gap between us to three points.

Even after winning the FA Cup and Capital One Cup in our first season and finishing fourth (level on points with Man City in third who pipped us by a two-goal superior goal difference) qualifying for the Champions League First Knockout Round, it still amazes me in our second season we could win the Premier League.

I’ve struggled to win trophies on FM14. My hours played to trophies ratio would be embarrassing for most fans of the game to have I’m sure.

[We have just beaten Chelsea 1-0 at St James’ Park to put us on 69 points after 34 games while they are on 72 after 33.]

I should mention we’re only three points ahead of Manchester United who also have a game in hand but to be competing with the big boys after nearly two seasons and with most of the players I started with, it has to be my most successful save.

John Stones, now a ‘wonderkid’, was the Player of the Match against Chelsea. His passing and positional play was top class and his headed goal gave us the three points.

Stones was an undoubted bargain. He cost £8.75m from Everton. This season he has an average rating in the league of 7.22 in 17 (3) and 7.16 in 27 (9) overall. He has still to make his full England debut which is very strange. The same goes for our striker Facundo Ferreyra who Gerardo Martino continues to ignore for the Argentina side.

Ferreyra has 26 goals in 46 (4) games this season including nine in the Champions League (he’s only second to Lionel Messi in the competition’s goal chart).

Reason’s to be cheerful

Before I go over my tactic and why I think it’s been so effective (if I even know) let me tell you what I’m most pleased with at Newcastle United:

  • I have a young, improving squad with competition in most areas. We sold Santon and I was worried he’d be a big miss at complete wing back. Daryl Janmaat/ Sam Byram (right CWB) and Bryan Oviedo/ Alberto Moreno (£10.75m)/ Shane Ferguson have softened the blow of his loss (for £27m). After a shaky first six months, Moreno is looking very good and even has 18 caps for Spain, highlighting what a bargain he is proving to be.
  • Almost every player is performing well. The lowest average rating for anyone who has played more than 10 games for us is 6.89 from Franco Zuculini who, although free, was a rash signing. It’s hard to pick out our most consistent player.
    average ratings 14.15
  • Another thing the above graphic shows is who has so far scored the most goals for us. I’m not complaining about a thus far 49-goal partnership while the selfless Siem de Jong has 16 goals and 10 assists despite being a rotation player.
  • We have a stadium capacity of 60,000 up from about 52,000 when I started the save. A sign of board backing, a metaphor for progression, a reward for the fans’ support.
  • We have a balance of £15.85m and are projected to make a profit of £2.4m – we haven’t spent that much on wages and players. You don’t win by making profit but it’s nice that we have been successful on the field as well as being financially sensible.What has surprised me
  • I’d usually suggest getting the right coach for every training category but I haven’t taken as much care on this as in previous careers.

I stuck with John Carver as assistant manager even though I think he is a hot-head in real life and I don’t think I would get along with him.

I even have Terry McDermott has a fitness coach and he only has two-and-a-half stars for that category (I’ve just found out). Just sacked him.

  • Although Dani Parejo is an FM god – hail Dani – his performances in the Champions League this season, including two goals, eight assists in 11 (1) appearances and an average rating of 7.72 in the competition have been awesome and put him in the running for Champions Cup Best Player – another achievement that makes this a dream FM career for me. What’s also surprising about Parejo is his preferred role has quickly gone from CM AP (S) to CM DLP (S). I’ve been training him for the deep lying playmaker role, however, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a player’s preferred role change despite training. Maybe Parejo is very versatile.

Tactics

I thought my first season’s formation was the bee’s knees but as we ventured in to season 14/15, it seemed to lose steam, maybe due to a lack of a great half back. Although Massimo Ambrosini was 36 years old in 13/14 it seems he was the ideal player for that role and we apparently didn’t replace him well enough.

Even loan signing, Nemanja Matic, can’t seem to perform in the role – maybe we’ll try to sign a defensive midfielder in summer.

As well as our slow start with the 3-5-2/ 5-3-2, Manchester United’s real life 4-0 win with a 4-4-2 diamond against QPR, inspired a formation change so I simply changed to that shape.

diamond formationIt was pretty much an instant success. I sometimes push the CWBs up to the wing back spots, it depends on the strength of the opposition.

The much higher defensive line has been a revelation for me. It seemed to work a treat in our 1-0 home win against Chelsea.

They didn’t know where to go. They couldn’t play through us and were caught offside numerous times and our full backs didn’t give Willian and Hazard an inch of space.

high line

high line2As you can see in the image above taken during our 4-0 (6-0) home win against Lyon in the Champions League Quarter Final, their left winger/ inside forward Yohann Gourcuff has drifted to the right flank and tries to play it inside to AM (C) Clement Grenier but my players are set to ‘hassle opponents’ and our aggressively high line gives half back, Nemanja Matic, the ability to intercept the ball with my deep lying playmaker, advanced playmaker, attacking midfielder (trequartista), deep lying forward and advanced forward ahead of the ball ready to counter.

shapeLovely shape without the ball. Hard to break down.

FergusonComplete wing back Shane Ferguson, who hasn’t played a lot but has done well when he has, is high up the pitch where you might expect a traditional winger to be.

goal!Ferguson plays it short to Ferrerya in the area who beats a defender and smashes it in for 2-0 at the near post (slightly dodgy goalkeeping).

throw inLyon have a throw in deep in their half. We win the ball back and the Yanga-Mbiwa who you can see in the bottom left of the above pic surges forward to finish off the move with a great finish.

Mbiwa goalGreat finish from the centre back.

I used to think to make good use of the ball not only did you have to use the ‘retain possession’ shout but you’d be best off using the ‘lower tempo’ shout too.

I wanted to play exciting attacking football too so I use ‘higher tempo’. I don’t know how using ‘much higher tempo’ would work.

That’s all for now. I’m so looking forward to the summer transfer window. My main targets are a top quality attacking midfielder who will perform all season long, especially when Remy Cabella isn’t, and possibly another centre back to replace the aging Fabricio Coloccini, 33. He makes mistakes even though his attributes are getting better if anything.

I’m also sending my scouts to look for strikers who can play in the deep lying forward role as all of my seniors are best as advanced forwards. If we can get an even better striker partnership than Juanmi & Ferrerya, it could move us up to the next level.

Follow me on twitter @fmscrapbook