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  1. Top 50 Breakthrough Start To Use In FMM 17 & 18, Presented By KennyMiller27 and mcandrew003 Hello Vibe! Me and @KennyMiller27 have been hard at work to bring you the top 50 Breakthrough Stars of the year! After PM'img me to see if I needed help, we got straight into business, scouting and analysing player stats before coming to a conclusion on the contents of our list! So, in no particular order, here is the list! 50. Steve Mounié 49. Nelson Semedo 48. Sandro Ramirez or 'Sandro' 47. Fernando Pacheco 46. Sergio Rico 45. Anderson Talisca or 'Talisca' 44. Samir Santos or 'Samir' 43. Sebastian Haller 42. Kasper Dolberg 41. Dani Ceballos 40. Mattia Caldara 39. Emerson Palmeiri or 'Emerson' 38. Andrea Conti 37. Leandro Parades 36. Timo Werner 35. Naby Keita 34. Sead Kolasinac 33. Saul Niguez or 'Saul' 32. Yeray Alvarez or 'Yeray' 31. Marcus Llorente 30. Ben Gibson 29. Alfie Mawson 28. Tom Carroll 27. Tammy Abraham 26. Henry Onyekuru 25. Leander Dendoncker 24. Uros Spajic 23. Jere Uronen 22. Sander Berge 21. Frederic Guilbert 20. Wylan Cyprien 19. Ricardo Pereira 18. Thomas Lemar 17. Kylian Mbappe 16. Mauricio Lemos 15. Tiemoue Bakayoko 14. Kingsley Coman 13. Franck Kessie 12. Balde Keita 11. Andrea Belotti 10. Andre Silva The Non-Playables Players not available in this years games, but should be next year.... 9. Cyle Larin - Orlando City - 7 Goals in 10 Games 8. Gonzalo Martinez - River Plate - 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 7.52 AVR 7. German Conti - Colon - 3.4 Aerials Won, 7.34 AVR 6. Kenneth Zohore - Cardiff - 12 Goals, 4.8 Aerials Won 5. Aleksey Miranchuk - Lokomotiv Moscow - 5 Goals, 5 Assists, 80.8 Pass Completion 4. Ohi Omoijuanfo - Stabaek - 7 Goals in 8 Games 3. Josef Martinez - Atalanta United - 5 Goals, 81% Pass Completion 2. Gilbert Koomson - Sogndal - 4 Goals, 1 Assist, 7.35 AVR 1. Filip Dagerstal - IFK Noerkopping - 2 Goals, 7.36 AVR So there you are folks! Baring in mind that took me and @KennyMiller27 a few hours of reaserching and took me at least 1.5 hours to write up, a few comments on some of the players would be appreciated, aswell as your general thoughts. Big thanks to KennyMiller27 for helping me out, and, well, enjoy!
  2. First off, credit to @Mollers01 for the original idea via his disappointments post Football, just like life, isn't all negativity and gloom. There's a load of happy stories out there, and I'm bringing you 6 of them here. Young English Centerbacks > Who said the cupboard was bare for the Three Lions once JT goes off and shags women at leisure? You got a whole bunch of young lads coming up! The future's bright - unless City and Chelsea throw ridiculous pay packets at these kids to rot in the reserves! Burton Albion > And everyone thought they'd jumped too high,too fast. Burton played their hearts out and consolidation in the Championship is a welcome reward for the dreaming Brewers. Amiens > Let's hope the Unicorns turn out more like Southampton in being able to consolidate in Ligue 1 after back-to-back promotions than Norwich - the 2010s' premier yo-yo club. Bournemouth and Joshua King > 10th place for a club most bookies had struggling AND 16 goals for a kid that most fans wrote off as a flop?Not bad at all. Take a bow Eddie Howe - and buzz off big boys! Minnesota United > A little story-time: Minnesota United lost their first two games in MLS by shipping 11 goals. You'd think that would be bad right? Well you're sorely mistaken - the Loons tightened the ship up, have their game flowing and have scored some big upsets and scrappy performances recently, beating both the careening LA Galaxy and the stingiest defense in Sporting Kansas City and running second-place Toronto FC hard over the weekend. With the June transfer window close and MNUFC having immense transfer flexibility with their DP slots, they just might sneak into the playoffs and show everyone what's up. Monaco > Yes, they may have money, but it's so refreshing to see a bunch of young players just let loose. I daresay these kids may be spoken of in the same breath as the Class of '92 and the Cruyff Group in time,especially if they stay together and aren't picked apart. There's my list,what's yours? Sound off below and let's talk about it!
  3. Top Seven Breakthrougn Talents To Watch Next Year Every year we have our dose of wonder kids. Last year, it was local boy Marcus Rashford making a scene, and this year we have had many more. This list is in no particular order, just players to watch next season and in next years game.... 7. Ademola Lookman The young attacker, bought from Charlton in the January window, has been a joy to watch this year, when given the chance. Having started 3 times this season in the league and coming off the bench 5 times, it's clear to see Lookman is regarded as a wonderkid by the Everton faithful. This season seems to have set him up for great things in the future. 6. Jack Stephens The Englishman has had his breakthrough season with the Saints this year, starting 13 League games after the unexpected injury of Virgil Van Dijk. His partnership with Maya Yoshida has secured Southampton a mid table finish, if they keep up their current results. His Aerial duels win ratio of 1.6 a game show he is no pushover, and could become a favourite on FMM in coming years. 5. Harry Maguire Our third Englishman on the list, and not the last. Maguire has been a revelation since coming into the Hull backline, being a major part of their fight against the drop. Having started 24 times in the League and coming off the bench 3 times, Maguire is now a key player for Hull. If you aren't convinced, throw in the stats of 3 MOTM's, 2.4 Aeriel Duels won per game and 2 Goals and 2 Assists this season, Maguire should be a starter for any Premier League side you plan to manage. 4. Tom Daives After coming in towards the latter part of the season, Davies has been a mainstay in Everton's midfield. Having started 17 League games this year, Davies has scored 2 and assisted 3. His arrival into the first team spells the end for such fringe players like Tom Cleverly and Gareth Barry.He looks to be another superstar academy graduate from Everton, will you be the one to snatch him up? 3. Leroy Sane A more well known player around the world, Sane's big money move to City has been their best investment in a while. The German Winger has started 17 times in the league for City, and has managed to find the back of the net 5 times in that period of matches. He often becomes a world record transfer in FMM, will you swoop in and grab him first? 2. Ramadan Sobhi The Egyptian mystro joined the Potters from Al-Ahly in the summer for around 4 Million, and since then he has gone on to inject some energy and skill into Stoke City's performances. Having started 7 in the League, Sobhi has scored once for Stoke, but his talent has gone further than that this year, playing once off the bench for Egypt during AFCON. Next year promises to be an exciting one for the youngster, with Walters aging and Aurnautovic wanting to leave, it could be Sobhi's year to shine. 1. Marcus Rashford....Again I'm sorry but I had to. Rashford has been a revelation this year for United since he took the reigns from Zlatan up top, banging in 12 in all competitions this year. That's 4 more than last year, meaning Rashford has developed into an already outstanding goal scorer and player. With Zlatan aging and Rooney falling down the pecking order, will next year be THE year for Marcus Rashford? Notable Mentions Jordan Pickford The young Englishman misses out on the list due to Sunderland's relegation. However, he still had a largely impressive season, picking up 3 MOTM awards and an average rating of 7.13 for the Black Cats. It's no wonder Premier League clubs are after him, and he could be an International in the next few years. Cheers for reading lads! Anybody I missed out? These players are likely to be superstars in the future, would love to hear how they did in your games!
  4. So, as the season draws to a close and we are faced with a long summer of no football (and only FMM to keep us company), it’s time to think about those teams and players who perhaps haven’t lived up to expectations this season. Perhaps now is a good time to give them a go before the inevitable transfers/downgrades/retirements in the next edition. Inter Milan The once-great giants of Italian football find themselves in the unimaginable position of not qualifying for Europe next season, and as such look set for a huge overhaul in the summer. A squad featuring the likes of Handanovic, Icardi, Barbosa and Kondogbia should not be struggling like they have – can you get them to improve? Francesco Totti Not a disappointment per se, more a last opportunity to play with the Roma legend following the announcement of his retirement. For a man of his age, his stats in-game are quite frankly astounding – but you’re going to have to play as the capital side to use him as he won’t move anywhere else! Aston Villa The Midlands side were included in another of my lists earlier this season, but find themselves here again as nothing has changed. After spending heavily in the summer only to see mediocre results, they did the same in January, and while performances improved, they still finished in mid-table. Expect to see another summer of overhaul ahead, so give them a go now before everything changes again. Hatem Ben Arfa After rebuilding his career at Nice following disappointing spells at Newcastle and Hull, Ben Arfa earned a move to PSG last summer. Unfortunately, the transfer to the Champions hasn’t worked out for him, as he has spent most of the season on the bench. He has impressed in his rare appearances, but the rumours are that he will move on before the new season starts. Why not play as PSG to bring the best out of him, or try to pry him away from the French capital? Hamburg After a comfortable mid-table finish last season, Hamburg have struggled this season and find themselves, with four games to go, in a relegation battle. Former Premier League stars Johan Djourou and Lewis Holtby are among those trying to help the former champions to safety. Are you the man to inspire them to greater heights? Claudio Bravo Much was made of the goalkeeping situation at Manchester City last summer, when Joe Hart was eventually shipped out for not being good with his feet. Unfortunately for City fans, he was replaced with Claudio Bravo, who it turns out isn’t very good with his hands – something quite crucial for a goalkeeper. Try and make him come good – or just try to exploit his weaknesses!
  5. Hello and welcome to this article. Today, I am going to be talking about the massive benefits of the website, and how coming out from the dark and posting careers can really make your game experience that much better. Why Join Vibe? Vibe is such a unique place full of talented and caring individuals who love the game. Every one of us here, if we are level 2 or level 20, love to help out and share our games with the community. Joining the website can add massive bonuses to your in game experience. Current members of the website have many conversations every day, wether that be about their in-game situation, or having a laugh and a joke. Talking to hundreds of people who love the same thing as you, FMM, really boosts your skills in the social world. Having in depth discussions on how to get that tactic just right, or why Lingard might actually fit that 4-2-3-1 you were going to play. Aswell as this, Vibe provides the best graphics and downloads on offer, with good IT lads creating new downloads every day, and if you are creating or reading content, you are sure to get something out of the site. I can tell you the benefits are massive, with your in game and out of game skills being enhanced every day. Finally, you have so much fun being part of a community, meeting new people and learning new things from experienced members. It really gives you something to look forward to every day. Coming Out From The Dark I have spoken to many members this year, and a lot of them speak of the benefits of coming out with a unique idea to bring to this ever-growing community. Wether you are attempting a challenge, or have a unique career you want to share with everybody, you are sure to get support and praise on your idea. From personal experience, I can tell you that coming out from the dark and sharing with the community is better than sitting in the shadows and watching the careers unfold. Sharing anything with the community is greatly appreciated by us all, wether it be Tactics, graphics, downloads or an interesting career, we love it all here. Also, sharing with the community is a great way to boost your happiness, talking with other members, or logging on to see those comments on your new career, it feels great to see your content being liked by anybody in the community, and drives you to play more. Wether you have been a member for 2 years or 2 weeks, everybody's content is welcome here and often enjoyed by the community. Everybody has different idea that are sure to wow us all, maybe you can share your wow idea with us? So there you have it guys, a quick article on why Vibe is the best for FMM. Hope both new and old members enjoyed this little piece, and hopefully we see many new members in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading!
  6. League football – you know the drill. Three go up, three go down, one champion, and sometimes there are playoffs. I won’t insult your intelligence. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? What if I told you there are leagues out there that steer away from the norm? Come with me as we explore these exciting other leagues. Scottish Premier League We start this tour in the SPL, which is a pretty standard league with a few twists. The 12 team league still has one winner, who qualifies for the Champions League, and the teams in second and third qualify for the Europa League. However, with the league being on the small side, instead of each team playing everyone four times, the league actually splits. After all sides have played 33 games, the top six then play each other once again, with the bottom six doing likewise – allowing teams struggling at the foot of the table to get a leg up by playing the teams around them. At the end of the season, the bottom team is relegated, with the second-bottom team playing the second-placed team from the Scottish Championship in a playoff. The Northern Ireland Premier Division also follows a very similar format. Belgian First Division B And here we come across our first properly unique league in the game. The Belgian league system underwent an overhaul in 2016, and the First Division B was created. The 8 teams in the league play each other twice, with a league winner declared, and then they repeat the exercise. The winners of the two ‘mini-leagues’ then play each other for overall first place, with the teams finishing 2nd-4th joining the teams in the First Division A in a Europa League playoff. The four remaining teams then play each other in an overall relegation playoff. Got it? No? Why not give it a go? League of Ireland Premier Division 12 teams play each other home and away in this summer league, with one winner who qualifies for the Champions League qualifiers, and 2nd- and 3rd-placed finishers who qualify for the Europa League qualifiers. So far, so standard. However. The 2017 season is seeing a shakeup. One team will be promoted from the first division and three teams relegated. After this, 10 teams will contest each decision. It may be a one-season wonder, but it could be fun to play in a division where 25% of the teams will drop out at the end of the season. Turkish League 2 The Turkish second division is a fun little league. Or rather, it isn’t. Because it’s more like two leagues. The third tier of the Turkish league pyramid has 36 teams and is split into two groups, red and white. Each group plays like a standard league, with the winner going up automatically and the bottom three teams being relegated – however the playoffs are where it gets fun. The second to fifth placed teams play their corresponding team from the other group, with the four winners then completing the playoff sequence to find the final team to get promoted. What I love most about this league is that you could play a season as one team, then pick another and have an entirely different experience. On balance, I think my favourite is the Belgian First Division B. It’s just so different from the norm, and there are plenty of twists and turns to be had. What’s your favourite?
  7. For the last couple weeks, I’ve been running tests to try and determine the effects of the Primary Outlet (PO) and Primary Attacker (PA) tactical options. No one here seems to have a good explanation for how to use these options except to say that they don’t like using them. Well, what if I told you that Primary Outlet (PO) and Primary Attacker (PA) tactical options do exactly what you think they do? But, as is often the case, the devil is in the details. While most of my test results have been fairly straightforward, I ended these tests with more questions than answers. I look forward to seeing everyone’s interpretations of my tests. But first, let’s go over the methodology. The test match was the Community Shield match between Manchester United and Leicester City. Each test (7 in all) shown below was simulated 25 times and all match results were recorded unless there was an injury to one of the tracked players or a red card. There were no subs made by me on the Manchester United side for the entire match. I used short passing to maximize the # of passes attempted to help with identifying trends. LC always started in highly defensive formations however MU had little trouble breaking them down as they averaged 2.75 points per match across all tests. I consider this to be a good thing because it ensured that the base case was fairly consistent and overall match results had the potential for relatively little variance. I tracked the stats for the six non-defensive players for my tests. We can have a discussion about the performance of the BBMs later but for the purposes of this topic, I’ll just say that their stats stayed consistently near average for all tactical settings so they’re not included in the results shown below. Control Let’s go through the rows - results are out 75 points, average rating is for the 10 outfield MU players, possession %, passing %, shots, shots on target, clear-cut chances, open-play goals, xG. MU on the left, LC on the right. Table below that is - passes, completed, pass accuracy %, % of total passes between the four players, key passes, assists, shots, shots on target (SOT), SOT%, rating, goals, average of 3 highest passes attempted, average of 3 highest passes+shots attempted. These last two stats indicate the highest range of possible actions on the ball by the player - a best case scenario, basically. As per my xG post, I’m highlighting xG only. Goals scored and assists are not highlighted as those could have a high variance and are listed for reference only. Lastly, a word on the highlights - I’m using excel’s conditional formatting for each player’s or team’s stats on a scale of green (good) > yellow > orange > red (bad). Each field is compared to itself across all tests. So the more green you see, the better the test went for everyone. So with that out of the way, let’s look at the control test. Team average rating is near the top of the range but the rest of the stats are average or worse. xG of 59.390 was second worse out of the seven tests which makes the 71 points earned as a result of a 23-2-0 record a bit misleading due to overperforming xG. Defensively, MU allowed xG of 16.155 which was second worst out of all tests and tied for most CCC per match. Clearly there’s much room for improvement. Across all tests, the two most common post-match messages were that “Wingers were a real threat” and “Midfield showed real creativity” appearing in 77% and 64% of the matches respectively. But what I want to focus on are the three messages that I think were meaningful across tests - “Midfield supported attacked well”, “Attacking midfielders got into the box frequently”, and “Striker didn’t test the opposition goalkeeper enough”. In the control test, attacking midfielders made good runs into the box in 16/25 matches however the striker (Zlatan) didn’t have much of an impact in nearly half the matches (I sometimes got this message even in matches he scored). Schneiderlin as PO Positives: With Schneiderlin as the PO, the results were a bit unlucky. A poor match record 19-5-1 masked some really good things. Under this setting, MU enjoyed their highest average possession %, pass completion %, most CCC at 1.88/match, and great xG of 68.200 (but only 51 goals scored.. a win for xG metric as this tactic clearly seemed to click on the pitch!). Defensively, MU allowed fewest shots and second fewest SOT. Negatives: Despite the positives, there are a few oddities as well. The three attacking players, Mata/Martial/Zlatan, all had a low amount of passes. Total shots by the team were low as well. Martial in particular was relatively ineffective with total shots, rating and and 3xP+S being on the low end of the spectrum. In-game: Here’s my interpretation of the in-game implications. PO acts as a “magnet” with Schneiderlin being the preferred pass target if all things are equal. He attempted nearly 41.8% more passes than in the control scenario with a really high pass completion % as well. This means that, despite the attacking mentality, there were many passes back to him instead of forward to Mata/Martial/Zlatan. This is also supported by the post-match comments - “mid supported attack” and “AM got into box” appeared in only ~20% of the matches. Alternatively, with the ball at his feet, Schneiderlin attempted over 50% more key passes than in any other test. Zlatan, despite attempting a fairly high number of shots, “didn’t test the GK” in 11/25 matches. Mata as PO Positives: With the tactical “magnet” switched to Mata, the attack seemed to operate better. With the ball moving forward, both Mata and Martial played a high amount of passes. The team record was pretty good at 21-4-0 with the team generating the most total shots and SOT of all the scenarios. With the ball at his feet, Mata attempted over 3 key passes per match. The post-match messages about the midfield showed up with decent frequency including “striker didn’t test the GK” only appearing 5 times. Negatives: Team pass % was low-ish due to, probably, the frequent attempts to get the ball forward to Mata. Defensively, MU allowed highest xG and CCC, presumably due to the team being higher up the pitch more often with Mata being the passing nexus for the team which left them open to counter attacks. In-game: The team attempted to get the ball to Mata as often as possible. His 3xP+S (the highest and “best” case scenario) was nearly as high as Schneiderlin’s. Mata and Martial seemed to interchange pretty well however Zlatan was strangely absent as he had his second fewest 3xP+S, only slightly below control case. Martial as PA Positives: This setting made Martial the primary target for many passes. Curiously then, he ended up attempting an average number of passes. However, his shot attempts were through the roof as you can tell by his 3xP+S being highest of all tests. The PA setting seems to give a license to shoot - Martial generated his highest shots per match and there were 3 matches in this test where he attempted 10, 12, and 15 shots (1K attempters - take note!!). He enjoyed his highest average rating of 8.76! With the ball driven hard at the net by Martial, Zlatan also enjoyed good matches - he attempted a lot of shots, and had best SOT% as well as best rating. Thanks to these two, the team also enjoyed its best average rating, second most shots and CCC generated. Negatives: Not a lot of negatives to speak of here. With the passing focus on Martial, passing % was low and post-match comments regarding the midfield appeared in only 20% of the matches. In-game: The team played well and seemed organized. Mata and Zlatan interchanged effectively combining for nearly 2.5 key passes and 9 shots per match. Team record matched control’s at a great 23-2-0 record while generating a fairly high 64.980 xG. Defensively, the team allowed a decent 14.030 xG as well as fairly few shots and CCCs. With the ball being driven forward to Martial, midfield was curiously absent from the attack. Zlatan as PA Positives: This resulted in the best team record at 24-1-0. Defensively, the team allowed fewest xG of 13.300 and CCC. And, predictably, Zlatan attempted the highest amount of actions on the ball out of all scenarios - passes, shots, SOT, 3xP+S. Martial’s 3xP+S was pretty decent too. Negatives: Besides getting the ball to Zlatan, nothing else seemed to click. This scenario highlighted why I wanted to use xG - despite going 24-1-0, the team generated 55.870 xG, which is worst across all scenarios and scored 56 goals which is pretty poor considering the match record (conversely, take a look above at the Schneiderlin PO test - high xG, only 51 goals and only 62 points). If we looked at the match results only, we would think that this test went great. In reality, not quite - the team’s stats were average or worse across the board. Mata was strangely absent from the match with the balls seemingly bypassing him on the way to Zlatan. And despite the attempts to get the ball to him, the post-match report still said that “striker didn’t test GK” in 8/25 matches. In-game: This seemed like a standard “hoof it to the target man” tactic. When it clicked, Martial/Zlatan wrecked havoc as indicated by their higher than average 3xP+S. When it didn’t, which seemed to be most of the time, the team was ineffective as the standard link-up play was ignored in favor of getting the ball to the “magnet” PA, Zlatan, who did relatively well considering he was a lone target man against a defensive mentality team. Post-match message of “AM got into box” appeared in 12/25 matches so clearly these was some movement in the box by the midfield in support. This is where I originally intended to stop my testing. But the Zlatan test left me very unsatisfied. So I decided to run a couple more tests. The setting with Mata as the PO seemed to work pretty well while Zlatan as PA was poor so I wanted to combine the two settings. Mata PO + Zlatan PA Positives: Uhhh.. Mata had his highest 3xP+S…? Negatives: Pretty much everything. The ball didn’t seem to find Zlatan despite him being the PA. He took fewest shots, SOT and had his worst rating. “Striker didn’t test GK” appeared in 12/25 matches while “AM got into box” appeared in only 8 matches (compared to 13 when Mata was the sole setting as PO). Team record was 21-2-2 and they scored lowest # of goals while xG was also on the low end. In-game: So now that we got the easy stuff out of the way, let’s dive into the hard stuff. This didn’t work at all and I’m not entirely sure why. I assume the team tried passing forward to Mata who then tried to get it to Zlatan (instead of interchanging with Martial as in the scenario when Mata was the sole PO). Since LC lined up in a defensive shell, the forced passes from midfield -> Mata -> Zlatan likely broke down. With that last test failing miserably, I decided to test another scenario - the high possession/passing of Schneiderlin as PO combined with the high attacking prowess of Martial as PA. Schneiderlin PO + Martial PA Positives: Schneiderlin with plenty of time on the ball. Team went 24-1-0 and generated a very respectable xG with 64.375. Team seemed to play well together with a high average team rating of 7.54. Negatives: Individually, none of the attacking players stood out. Unlike in the original test when Martial was the sole tactical setting at PA, here his shot volume was very low with top 3 matches having 9, 9, 8 shots only. In-game: The idea here was to have Schneiderlin’s measured passing to route the ball to Martial and let him dominate like he did in previous tests. In practice, that doesn’t seem to have happened. Martial’s 3xP+S was on the lower end and the other two attackers didn’t seem to fare much better. The post-match message "Moves broke down in the final third" appeared in 7/25 matches so something didn't fully click. However, midfield seemed to do fairly well with Mata in particular having his best rating and nearly 3 key passes per game. Bonus Round Honestly, I’m not sure how to explain these last two tests. Out of curiosity, I ran two shorter tests with Zlatan as CF and PA. I thought that maybe the Target Man role assignment was too constricting for him. So I ran 5x with Schneiderlin as PO, and 5x with Mata as PO. PO’s performed as you would expect them to perform based on previous tests (higher # of passes attempted). However these attempts still failed getting Zlatan into the match. With Mata as PO, he averaged 7.6 passes and 11.40 3xP+S which is massively worse than in any of the previous tests. The team was on pace for 60.25 xG which is not great. With Schneiderlin as PO, Zlatan did slightly better with 11.2 passes and 14.0 3xP+S with the team on pace for 62.95 xG. The only thing that may explain this is that a single striker against a defensive team just doesn’t work. Even if that striker is ZLATAN. Conclusion I think it’s clear that the Primary Outlet and Primary Attacker settings seem to work as you would expect them to. We always ask SI for more tactical options. And I’d say that they delivered here. Now we can argue about how effective these options are but additional options are always welcome. PO & PA instruct your team to route the ball through those players. And while the PO is pretty easy to get right since you’re likely passing to a player under little pressure, PA is a bit more difficult. That player is often surrounded by defenders so his effectiveness is usually dependent on opponent tactics. When using both options at once, interplay between the target players seems to be very confusing and very difficult to get right. But I hope these tests encourage everyone to test these tactical options more frequently. I look forward to seeing everyone’s explanations of my tests as well as future tactics that use PO/PA to great effect. P.S. Fun fact: there were 18 draws in my tests. MU won 17 of them on PKs.
  8. Good afternoon everybody and welcome to this article, where I will run over 5 things you can use the editor for to enhance your current or future careers on FMM. The IGE is a wonderful tool when used correctly, as I have found with my Chairman save, so how can you guys use it to your advantage? Read on to find out! 1. Create your own club with more control As promising as MyClub was when first introduced, it hasn't quite lived up to expectation, with limited options when creating the club of your dreams. With no control over finance among other small details, the In Game Editor can help input these features As you can see, you have lots of control over things like Finance, Stadium capacity and attendance and the facilities your club has, meaning you can mould the club in your exact image. 2. Using it for challenge purposes From what I gather, few people have thought to use the IGE for challenge purposes over he years, due to a lack of ways of no cheating being shown. However, as UkFootballScore has shown us a few years ago, it is possible to make a challenge scenario, with his 'Win one take one' challenge being very interesting back when it was first created. Having that little symbol in the corner gives you so much power in a challenge creating sense, wether you are the agent of a manager, or need to release someone every month, there are so many options. 3. Editing that awful player ( not permitted in challenge scenarios unless specific rules) Ever bought a player and saw he is actually awful? Well with he editor, you can iron out these inconsistencies easily. Maybe he needs that 1 extra pace, or his stamina is just a bit too low, the editor is useful for upgrading your mediocre players to become world beaters (not recommended in challenge scenarios) 4. Flexibility when needed The editor has so many features, including being able to edit positions. This can be fantastic when you discover your new Winger actually CANT play on the left side, only the right. Or maybe instead of being a Winger, you want your wide player to cut inside, and change his favourite foot and his role? The editor allows much flexibility in this regard, and can be the difference in a personal challenge or just a stand alone save. 5. Using it for experimental purposes Maybe you are like me and many other FMM players and want to see what happens in certain scenarios? By editing Player and club stats, you can conduct experiments within the walls of your game! Maybe you want to edit the reputation and see what happens to Manchester United? Or maybe, you want to see what happens if Gareth Bale goes back to Southampton by editing his club? Either way, there is so much choice! The reason I post this is because the editor is barely used on the site these days, and there is so much potential if the editor is in the right hands! I would love to see some challenge ideas using the editor! Thanks for reading!
  9. Six Interesting Lower-League Clubs to Use in FMM17(and two to consider in FMM18) Picking a club to use in the lower leagues in Football Manager is 80% of the experience in playing there – most people either pick a club recently relegated from the Championship or the quirkiest underdog promoted from the trio of feeder leagues into the Conference. What to do if you can't pick? I’m here to present some possibilities that are more story-driven to consider for you to use in your next lower-league save! Note: This covers England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Scotland and France! England – Stockport County F.C Financial information: Transfer budget range: 140,000£-150,000£ Wage budget range: 7,150£ - 7,860£ Wages offerable – 450£ – 600£ / week Facilities – 10,500 seat stadium, Good training facilities, Basic youth facilities. Can hire 3 coaches, 2 scouts and 2 physios at first. Why? – Stockport County suffered one of the most calamitous falls in English football during the mid-to-late 2000s, plummeting from League One to Conference North in 4 years and being stuck there ever since. With training facilities that rival most lower-tier Championship sides, and a robust squad of young players, you can spend time building a viable youth pipeline while moving up the ladder again. Squad-wise, the only thing Stockport really need out of the gate is a A-list striker which you can easily attract with their nice kitty for Conference North. Are you going to be the man who revives the spirit of Danny Bergara and take the Hatters back up the leagues? Honorable mentions – Sheffield United/ Bolton Wanderers(can you take the big boys out of League One purgatory?), Poole Town(take the new boys of Conference football onwards and upwards!) Scotland – Clyde Financial information: Negligible transfer budget Wage budget at 3,680£/week. Wage ranges between 300£ -575£ Facilities – 8,086 seat stadium, Adequate training facilities, Below Average youth facilities. Can hire 2 coaches, 1 scout and 1 physio at first. Why? – This is the most sentimental pick of the article because they’re the Bully Wee! Being honest, Clyde has the passionate fanbase, and they are starved for success. Can you repay the loyalty of the fans who followed the Wee to Cumbernauld with pots and maybe even top-flight football? Honorable mentions – Queen’s Park(Save the Spiders from financial trouble and utilize Hampden efficiently to support the amateurs!) and Edinburgh City(can you take them up from recent SFL electees to challenging the duopoly of Hearts and Hibs?) Italy – Lupa Roma Financial information: Transfer budget ranges from 700k – 800k € Wage budget ranges from 40,600€ - 46,690€ Wages ranges between 1,300€ - 3,700€/week. Facilities – 4,000 seat stadium, Adequate training facilities, Adequate youth facilities. Can hire 2 coaches, 1 scout and 1 physio at first. Why? – with 2 clubs based in the Greater Rome region in Lega Pro, you have an automatic derby matchup – and the possibility of rising up to challenge the duopoly of Roma and Lazio is tantalizing. Lupa Roma’s rivals Racing Roma are pretty much in the same boat story-wise as Lupa, only with worse facilities (and yellow kit as opposed to Lupa's Roma/Lazio color combi). Honorable mention – Pro Piacenza(with their city rivals Piacenza also in Lega Pro, can you usurp their title as the premier club in the city?) Germany – Hallescher F.C Financial information: Transfer budget between 1.1M€ – 1.2M€ Wage budget ranges from €43.41K – €47.75K. Wages range between €2,700 or €3,600 – €4,600/week. Facilities – 15,057 seat stadium, Adequate training facilities, Adequate youth facilities. Can hire 2 coaches, 1 scout and 1 physio at first. Why? – With most of the former East German powerhouses seemingly in a slump, the time seems riper than ever to write your story as the best of the former. RB Leipzig may be rampaging in the Bundesliga but they’re a plastic club, so pick a club with a rich heritage in the former Oberliga, and challenge the rest of Germany with Halle! Honorable mention – Hansa Rostock(being honest, they shouldn’t be in 3.Liga with facilities comparable to the other Bundesliga teams – can you raise the ship and reclaim the throne as the best of the East German clubs?) France – Creteile Financial information: €263k transfer budget €97.5k wage budget. Wages up to €14,000/week can be offered. Facilities – 12,150 seat stadium, Average training facilities, Adequate youth facilities. Can hire 2 coaches, 2 scouts and 2 physios at first. Why? – It’s rare I’ll pick a side who just got relegated, but honestly Creteil look like the best challengers to PSG for the title of Roi d’Paris. Can you spur the supporters to come out and boost you up higher? Honorable mention – Auxerre(rare I pick a second-tier side but TBH Auxerre deserve to be in the top-flight. Can you take them back there?) Spain – Recreativo Huelva Financial information: €1.1M - €1.2M transfer budget €52.1k - €59.81k wage budget. Wages between €3100 - €4700/week can be offered. Facilities – 19,860 seat stadium, Impressive training facilities, Adequate youth facilities. Can hire 3 coaches, 2 scouts and 2 physios at first. Why? – Huelva are Spain’s oldest football club and they’ve had a torrid time since finishing 8th in La Liga a decade ago, having been relegated 2 years after and drifting steadily down to the middle of the third tier since. Can you stop the rot and push them back up to La Liga? Honorable mention – Racing Santander(Can you resurrect them from being gutted by their previous ownership?) SPECIAL PREVIEW SECTION FOR FMM18 Two clubs that’ll definitely play differently next year compared to now are Coventry City and Leyton Orient. On Coventry – with SISU running the proud Sky Blues right into the ground, expect their facilities to degrade next season, dipping from the current Impressive(T)/Good(Y) to something worse as they go down to League Two. Making noise about moving out of the Ricoh and into Butts Park will impact your houses and overall fan dissatisfaction may impact your operational budgets. Play Coventry now if you can – they’ll become an entirely different proposition next year! On Orient – What is it with Italian numpties destroying football clubs? Cellino did it with Leeds and Beccheti’s doing it with Conference-bound Orient. This may make for a fine redemption story – IF Orient survive this season and aren’t shuttered. Expect whoever takes over to focus on the relatively rich youth intake Orient had this year and push for a quick return to League football. Can you take them back up and reverse their misfortune of missing out on Championship football? I hope you have fun and explore the lower leagues!
  10. In next year's Football Manager Mobile, FMM18, there are numerous things that I would like added. Manager Rivalries: At the start of the game, you could select a manager that would be your main rival. Hall of Fame Update: If you press on yourself, you can get your info (games played, which ones won, drawn, lost - money spent/sold on transfers - some stats) and the coaching thing. I would like to see what you can see on other managers - all your stats. More Leagues Added: You could play as more leagues, such as the Chinese Super League, Argentine Primera División and some more leagues. Play as more National Teams: When I bought the National Teams, and started to play with it, I was slightly disappointed when I found out that there was only a limited amount of teams that you could choose. End of Season/New Season Finances: At the end of a season I had £86M left to spend, after I pressed New Season, I was given £50M, I would like to see this number added, not set. Player Search: When I search for a MC on FMM17, I also find Neymar, and more attacking players in it. I would like to see a feature where you could select multiple position selection and exact position when you do it. Youth Squad: I would like to see more things on the Youth Squad. So you could actually view the player's stats and promote them, even if they are 15 or 16. International Squads: Sometimes (most of the time) you see players with the squad of, 'World Cup Qualifiers (Germany)' or something along the lines of that.= I know that it may be due to licensing issues, but the fact that, in Germany's case, they have the licensing for the German Leagues, so why don't they have the licensing?
  11. Hey guys and welcome to my first attempt at an article. Today, I will be bringing you a run down on the Turkish Super League, so you guys get a better understanding of it and hopefully play there one day. So without further ado, let's begin. League Format So, the TSL, or the Süper Lig as it is known in Turkey, is home to 18 different teams per season. From these 18 places, there are 3 relegation places, where teams will be relegated to the Turkish 1. League. However, at the other end of the table, there are several different European spots as you can see. Let me explain the meaning of each of these to you know. 1st place: Qualifies for European Champions Cup group stages 2nd place: Qualifies for European Champions Cup third qualifying phase 3rd place: Qualifies for Europa League group stage 4th place: Qualifies for Europa League third qualifying phase. Also, finishing in 5th place earns you the right to qualify for the Europa League second qualifying phase, depending on the winner of the Turkish Cup. Any other major rules? The only other thing in the Super League is that you play 34 games, and Karabuckspor air ineligible for European qualification until 2018 Turkish Cup The Turkish Cup may be the equivalent to the FA Cup, but it shares no likeness in rules. In the Turkish Cup, teams are split into several small groups consisting of around 4 teams, with the top 2 going through into the knockout rounds. However, before the group stages, teams go through several stages of knockout rounds to see who will be drawn into the groups. As you can see in the screenshot, the teams are about to go into the third round of qualifying. Any other rules? None that need reporting. Who rules the roost? Well, the most time winners of the TSL are Galatasary with 20 division titles, whilst Fernebache follow closely behind with 19. As you can see, the league is mainly contested between 3 teams: Besiktas, Fernebache and Galatasary, but can YOU break that dominance with a club from elsewhere? Teams To Try Konyaspor Konyaspor have a good selection of players at the start of the game, with their defence admirably strong. They have Good training, but Adequate youth. Often a side that go on to win the league, can you achieve this with the club Galatasary On the other hand, why not take over these Turkish beasts, and wreak havoc over the league with such ledgends of the game as Snejider and Podolski. A cool 12M budget should smooth over any problems you face, whilst an impressive training facility and good youth ones mean you are all set for the future. Osmanlispor Osmanlispor start the game with a semi-decent squad, possessing such talents like Thievy, Chieck Diabate, Adam Maher and Pierre Webo. With excellent training facilities and good youth facilities, the club has a decent spine to build on. They start the game with European Football to their name, albeit it the Europa League. Can YOU make this team the best in the country? Thank you for reading my Turkish Super League guide!
  12. There's nothing worse than starting a career with high hopes and losing interest after a couple seasons in. Every career you play needs to have that something that makes you want to pick up your device and continue the journey. You need to want to enjoy the full ride as much as you need to want it to last forever. And when it does end you need to feel sad it has and wish it could last just a few moments longer. That's the added flavor every career needs to make it last. To make it memorable. To make it "live". There's a few things you can do to add that little extra flavor to your career. Read Up On The Club's History Would you watch a final without looking at the line-ups? Without any pre-match talks? Without a glance at what both finalists achieved and had to go through to get where they are? It's exactly these sort of build-ups that your careers need. There are so many amazing facts to discover or re-discover when you read up on your chosen clubs' history. The talents that have come up through the academy. The fairytale championship title run. The darker and gloomier days each and every club carries with them that should motivate every staff member, player or manager to avenge and try to make it forgotten. Knowing what your club stands for and knowing what it has achieved over the years and decades really adds a lot to your career and makes you want to make it a successful journey. Win for the club. Read Up On The Player's History This is one of the best build-ups you can have when you're playing a career, especially challenges where your chosen players play a central role. Read up on his life. Where he began his professional career, the clubs he's succeeded or failed at before he decided to join yours. But go even further back to really add that extra flavor your career needs. These players are people. Where he was born, his hometown, how he and his family struggled before he realized his footballing dream. It takes only a few minutes but will add hours of enjoyment in a career. Perhaps it's a way to live the dream we ourselves failed to realize through them by getting to know them a little better as a person and before they became these famous footballers. Knowing your players' backgrounds adds huge amounts to your career and really makes you want to play till the very end until you succeed. Play for the players. Remember/Reward Club Legends It can be something as simple as bringing back former club players you love or want to see playing in that shirt and in that stadium again. But what I'm more refering to is rewarding those who have done so much for you and the club. A player with several hundred appearances for the club or hundreds of assists or goals surely doesn't deserve to be brushed aside as soon as they hit their late 30s. Keep them in the squad if they're willing to accept their new role. Be proud seeing their name when you scroll through your squad. It motivates youngsters to see their childhood heroes with them in the dressingroom. The pre-game peptalk surely can do no harm to the team. You can even go as far as offering them a position in your staff despite having an abundance of quality coaches at your disposal. Sometimes it isn't that what your career needs, it's that romantic story that makes you play on. It's this type of flavor that can keep your motivation and interest up when playing long careers. Cherish your club legends. Relive Clubs' Glory Days This can be seen as a side challenge to your career. Look up your club's/player's stats or records and try to achieve or even break these. When you're playing smaller teams it's especially refreshing to win the trophies that are still missing in the trophy cabinet thus have never been won before by any manager at the club. It may not be as big an accomplishment as your main challenge but it certainly adds that bit of flavor knowing that you've just won your club's first Cup or Championship. Bring back the club's best days. Emulate Clubs' Playing Style This can be the most difficult of all to achieve but it could also be the most rewarding in terms of adding that extra 'feel' to your career. Of course we mustn't forget that every new manager is unique and brings his own approach and playing style to the club, but the club has its DNA imprinted in every hardcore fan's heart and they want to see their beloved team play a certain way. Think about the great AC Milan side in the 90s, the other Italian giants Torino back in the 40s before that terrible disaster struck and took their players, the Total Football of the mighty Dutch that conquered the world in the late 70s early 80s, or perhaps the entertaining yet effective style Dortmund fans can't live without. We are of course dependent on the squad players at our disposal, but if you manage to identify your clubs DNA and emulate how the fans expect to see your team play it's hugely rewarding and really adds that special 'feel' to your career what no challenge, achievement, player or manager can. It is in my opinion the flavor that adds the most to any career when you successfully emulate the club's formation and tactics that all fans identify with. Give back to the fans. I hope any of these add that little bit of extra that your careers may be lacking or that it has helped you to re-discover or re-energize the enthusiasm in your career or the interest in the game itself. Thanks for reading and feel free to drop a comment.
  13. With the winter transfer update on the horizon (expected early March), it’s time to start thinking about how the game will change when it comes. As the January transfer window has now slammed shut (except in China), I’ve put together a list of 11 teams worth starting a career with following their mid-season wheeling and dealing that will come in the update. Hull City – Not many teams are brave enough to sell arguably their two best players in the middle of a relegation battle, but that’s just what Hull did. Robert Snodgrass and Jake Livermore departed in January for West Ham and West Brom respectively. In their place, the Tigers signed the likes of Lazar Markovic and Kamil Grosicki to add some flair, classy defender Andrea Rannochia to provide stability at the back, and Oumar Niasse to add some potency up front. Certainly worth a look at post update. Aston Villa – Nine players in and seven players out – it’s safe to say that Aston Villa did not have a quiet January. Out went the likes of Jordan Ayew, Aly Cissokho and Ashley Westwood, but they were more than adequately replaced with players such as Neil Taylor, Scott Hogan and Henri Lansbury. If Villa had a full season with their current squad, they would no doubt be favourites for promotion – why not give it a go? SV Darmstadt – Darmstadt are rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table, but they have made some intelligent January signings to try and drag them away from the relegation zone. In have come the hugely experienced Hamit Altintop and Sidney Sam, while they have also managed to get the highly-rated Patrick Banggaard to try and shore things up at the back. Las Palmas – One player does not make a team, but when the team concerned is Las Palmas, and the player concerned is Jese, then that one player can make a huge difference. The Gran Canaria-based team pulled off something of a coup by encouraging former Real Madrid superstar Jese to return to them on loan from Paris Saint-Germain. It’s worth starting a new save as the island side just to build a team around him. AC Milan – I had a tough time picking between AC Milan and Genoa for this list, but plumped for the former Italian champions. They sent FMM favourite M’Baye Niang out on loan to Watford, and replaced him with Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu and young Argentine Lucas Ocampos, both on temporary deals. They both certainly have the quality to make a big impact in Serie A. Besiktas – Turkey has often been a league for former greats to go try and revive their careers, and Besiktas have continued that tradition by welcoming former Premier League stars Demba Ba and Ryan Babel into their ranks during January. Ba comes back to Europe following a stint in China, while Babel arrives from Spanish club Deportivo, and they will be hoping to help Besiktas secure the Super Lig title. Can you do the same? Marseille – Arguably the biggest saga of the January transfer window was that of Dimitri Payet, and it almost seems natural to include his new club, Marseille, on this list. The South Coast club signed their former hero, along with former France captain Patrice Evra, to try and boost them up the table. Was Payet right to return ‘home’? Why not give it a go and find out? KRK Genk – I’ve included Genk on this list not because of the players they’ve bought, but the players they have lost. The club still find themselves in the top six, but have seen highly rated winger Leon Bailey move to Bayer Leverkusen and central midfield powerhouse Wilfred Ndidi depart for Leicester City in return for large sums in the January window. While they have used some of that money to strengthen across the squad, as we all know - quantity doesn’t always replace quality. Benfica – It seems a bit odd to include a club the size of Benfica on this list, but they are another side that were weakened in the January window by the loss of key players. Young winger Goncalo Guedes left for Paris Saint-Germain in a big money move, while Braga recalled Brazilian Danilo and Adel Taarabt went out on loan to Genoa. They did, however, keep hold of Victory Lindelof, so all is not lost, and they have plenty of potential in their ranks. Kilmarnock – I think it’s safe to say that Kilmarnock aren’t one of the most fashionable clubs in the Scottish Premier League, and they currently sit in no-man’s land in midtable. They lost key striker Souleymane Coulibaly to Egypt in January, but made a number of astute loan signings including former hero Connor Sammon , highly-rated goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and promising midfielder Kristoffer Ajer to try and preserve their top-flight status. Those signing certainly provide a solid base on which to start a career. AZ Alkmaar – It may seem strange to include a team that only made two signings on this list, but those two signings could prove to be enough to push AZ into the European places. Dutch international Tim Krul cut short his loan at Ajax to join them, while Norwegian defender Jonas Svensson came in to provide support to a somewhat leaky defence. Key signings can make or break a season and AZ fans will be hoping for the former. Let me know what you think - do any of these take your fancy?
  14. With the winter transfer update nearly upon us, we continue our look at some players who deserve a stat boost in-game following a decent start to the season. Here, we look at central midfielders, who deserve a boost either for their attacking or defensive prowess. Aaron Mooy Not many people were aware of Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy when he joined Manchester City last summer, and then again when he joined Huddersfield on loan. He has, however, become one of Huddersfield’s key men and one of the best players in the division. His passing and technique are already right up there, but his creativity and positioning could do with a boost. Expect to see this guy plying his trade in the top flight next season, whether with City or someone else. Tom Carroll Young Englishman Tom Carroll started the season as a bit-part player for Spurs, but has excelled after a return to former club Swansea in the January transfer window. His passing is already one of his key attributes, but his crossing, creativity and decision making all deserve a jump based on his performances so far this season. Marcos Llorente The young midfielder is on loan at Alaves from Real Madrid, but has impressed at the Basque club with his tough tackling and aerial ability. As such, both of those stats deserve to get a boost in the upcoming update, while his passing – another key element of his game – is already quite high. His strength and teamwork should also increase too. Oscar Trejo Argentinian midfielder Oscar Trejo is listed as one of Tolouse’s key men at the start of the game, but he has backed that up in real life too. His passing and crossing both deserve an increase based on his assists this season, as does his shooting (at least a little.) Tony Trindade de Vilhena A young player who has been a revelation for his team this season, you can expect to see Tony Vilhena’s stats jump right up. Shooting, passing, aerial ability and aggression are all likely to see a boost based on his exploits in the early part of the season. One to keep an eye on – I think this lad is going to develop into a real player. Papa Alioune Ndiaye The Senegalese midfielder has been running the show this season for the Ankara-based side. His goals alone show that his shooting deserves a boost, while his passing should also increase. He is prone to a yellow card so his lower tackling rate is deserved, as is his poor aerial rating, but he certainly needs a stat and value boost. Emil Forsberg It’s fair to say that Leipzig have been the surprise package of the Bundesliga so far this season, and Emil Forsberg is one of the best players in the division. Seven goals and ten assists from just 16 starts is a fantastic record, and as such he deserves big boosts in shooting, passing and decision making. He has also been played in a more central role, so expect the Swede to undergo a positional change in-game too.
  15. How To Nurture Your Talents Let me take you on a little experiment I did the other day. I went on a journey with 4 talents I had in my squad in order to find out which specific journey works best for their development. It works really simple. I inherited a very strong squad in FC Barcelona and the sheer talent in that squad is mind-blowing. Setting up a formation and tactics is pretty easy with that sort of quality in the squad but with an eye on the future as well I wasn't sure what the best path was to take for some of the other players. Once the starting 11 are set and the bench filled with subs for all positions, what do I do with the 'leftovers'? Just leave 'em there? Throw them into the Reserve Team? Loan them out? Well, to be fair, they aren't exactly 'leftovers', they're talented players that we need to keep for the future but since the competition is immense at certain teams such as Barcelona it may take a season or two before they're ready to become a regular or even a key player for the team. In the meantime? We have three options Join The Reserves Keep in the squad Send on a loan spell Let's meet our talents! Our GoalKeeper Only 1 GK at the time on the pitch. Our friend Jose Aurelio Suarez has competition from A.Ter Stegen, J.Cilessen and J.Masip. That's lots so I'm taking Jose on 3 journeys and I'm eager to find out which one's going to make him a better Goalkeeper. Our Defender No lack of competition here either. T.Vermaelen, S.Roberto, G.Pique, J.Mascherano, J.Alba, J.Mathieu..our defender Umtiti looks really nice with many 13s and 14s. Let's bring friend #2 on this journey with us in order to find out what suits him best. Our Midfielder Looks great. But..He's no S.Buquests, no A.Iniesta, no A.Turan and no I.Rakitic. But he could very well be one day. He's a really promising talent so let's take this midfielder and friend #3 on this journey as well. Our Forward Great numbers here. If you find a way to implement him into your formation then that's settled. But what if you can't guarantee playing time with guys like Neymar, L.Messi, L.Suarez, Rafinha and others already in your team? This is going to be our 4th member for this all-revealing journey. The Journey The journey is very simple as I explained earlier. These 4 players happened to be on the wrong side of the cut but the manager has big plans for the future with this group. They need to develop into mature players and be ready when they're called upon. The first journey is taking them 1 full season into The Reserves (Barcelona B). They'll be getting plenty of games versus weaker opposition but the amount of gametime may just be what these talents need. The second journey will keep them with the squad and while training with the very best in the world is very educational, the lack of gametime opportunities may very well stagnate their development, or part of it. The third journey will split the group. Each will go on a seperate adventure to a new club (on loan) where they'll get new teammates and play regular football in a top division against top opponents. Let's start this experiment with our GK, followed by the CD, the CM and lastly our F. GK - Jose Jose played nearly every game in The Reserves, 0 games with the main squad and 39 games on loan with Rayo Vallecano. Where did he learn the most? Let's look at those digits below. Far right column are Jose's starting attributes. His technical attributes developed nicely in save 2 and 3. No difference there which is perhaps surprising. Mental attributes actually decreased in save 2 and 3 which to me is odd but telling. Physical attributes increased really well in save 3 with strength being really useful for a GK on certain ocassions. I would therefore say the Jose's third journey has been the most succesful one. CD - Samuel Samuel joined Barcelona B and played only 23 games due to injuries. Second journey took him to the main squad where he played nothing. Third journey was with Sporting Gijon where he managed 30 games in total. Which journey was best for him? Far right his starting numbers. He did ok in The Reserves, better with the main squad but clearly the best in save 3, on loan. Physical attributes jumped up, mental ones too in 'decisions' and 'positioning', which are pretty crucial for defenders. What about 'passing' and 'tackling' for his technical attributes. Those went up nicely so that's pretty clear that once again save 3 wins it. CM - Andre Same as the others. Started at the Reserve Team. 29 games versus weaker opposition. 15 goals. Very good for a midfielder I'd say. Then main squad, 1 game there. Lastly, Sevilla which are a strong team so that's perfect getting 29 games there. Let's look at the numbers. You can instantly see too much blue on the two most right columns. Then save 2 and 3 are close but the physical attributes' improvement in save 3 nicks it. Quite significant ups too with +2 +2 +3 for 'strength', 'stamina' and 'pace' respectively. That's a lot in 1 season. Small wins on mental and technical attributes too makes this an clear win for save 3 again. F - Paco Same journey here apart from the loan spell. Reserves brought him a massive 38 games with a whopping 29 goals. That's great despite the weaker league. Then main squad. Just like our CM, 1 game. Then the, what's becoming clearer, all-important loan spell with Valencia. 30 games and a chunk of goals. What do the stats have to say? First thing I see are those physical stats. Save 1 (The Reserves) are instantly out of contention. Mental stats are better in save 3 and so are the technical ones with 'shooting' being one of the most important for our forward. 'Technique' up as well and so is 'teamwork'. Great up in 'pace' btw during his loan spell. There's no question here. Save 3 wins! Conclusion: There's not a whole lot to conclude here anymore. I think we all know that playing your talents regularly at your very club is the best for their development. If they're just lacking that quality or maturity in the first few seasons then placing them on the sub bench + regular playing time is a fantastic alternative. But if you happen to have "too many" talents which is a welcome luxury of course then looking at our 4 friends' journeys the loan journey is the best option. I think the reason save 2 (staying with main squad) won it over The Reserves is because the 4 were probably too talented for a lower division playing weak opposition so there was little to learn for them in the end. They had quality players on the training ground to work with on a daily basis which proved more educational. I'd like to put the latter on a test for future expirements as I think there's more to take from these but for now I think I can safely conclude that opting between going to Reserves, the squad, and on loan, the loan spell is the best choice for your future stars. Thanks for reading and feel free to drop a comment, opinion or experience.
  16. With the winter transfer update nearly upon us, we continue our look at some players who deserve a stat boost in-game following a decent start to the season. Here we look at the strikers who have impressed recently with their goalscoring exploits. Cenk Tosun It’s no surprise to see a striker with a shooting rating of 20 as the top scorer in the Super Lig, but there is more to Cenk Tosun’s game than just finishing. His passing deserves a bit of a boost – it still isn’t one of his strengths, but he has a number of assists this season, and he also plays the vast majority of games, so his stamina deserves a boost too. His strength is in the air, and I would expect his aerial ability to improve. Steve Mounie Beninese striker Mounie has a record of one goal in every two Ligue 1 games this season – a good record in anyone’s book. His shooting score is 15 but could do with an increase, while a number of his goals have been headers, so his aerial ability needs a big boost. His passing is still not great so probably won’t increase, while he’s earned a red card this season so his aggression may also go up. Certainly one to keep an eye on. Reza Ghoochannejhad Now here’s a guy that’s going to get a big jump. The former Charlton striker has made a huge impact in the Eredivisie this season, scoring 14 goals in 25 games. His shooting deserves a boost by at least two points, as does his strength, as holding up the ball is a key part of his game. He likes to lay the ball off and bring others into the game, so his teamwork should also increase. A big value boost is likely too. Timo Werner One of the brightest prospects in European football, Werner starts the game with good stats and a high value but they are only likely to improve. His finishing is already good but may see a jump, while his passing should get a small boost as should his dribbling. Based on where he has played so far this year, he could well lose his rating as an attacking midfielder too. Welthon Brazilian Welthon has been in good form for Pacos de Ferreira this season, scoring 11 goals and assisting four in 24 appearances. His shooting and aerial ability deserve a boost, but his passing, strength and teamwork may all take a hit. However, on balance, is it worth the trade?
  17. In the earliest days of football there were no specific formations or designated positions. Football was played like a children’s game of kick and run: the ball was kicked long and all the players ran towards it. In 1863, the offside rule in football was formalized with the creation of the English Football Association. The rule stated that any player in front of the kicker is offside and can't play the ball. The kick and run game was gradually replaced by a game of charge-and-dribble: players dribble the ball as far as they can towards the opponent's goal with several teammates to their sides. Players rarely passed the ball and there was no real formation. Because of excess of dribbling and the poor number of goals scored, the FA amended the offside rule. Forward passes were allowed again as long as there were three players between the receiver and the goal line. With this new rule, teams began to play a more organized football which led to the creation of tactical formations. Below are the most influential formations in the earlier years of football. formation: 1-2-7(1860s - 1870s) The 1-2-7 is the most popular formation in the 1860-70s. With only one center back, two halfbacks, and seven forwards, it reflects the all-attacking nature of football in that era. The strategy at that time was mostly based on long ball to the upfield and charge-dribbling. The English team played with a 1-2-7 formation when they faced Scotland in 1872. The Scots utilized a 2-2-6 formation. Unlike the English, who played a game based on individual skills, the Scots relied on short passing and teamwork. By passing the ball among each other, the Scots were able to grind an unexpected 0-0 draw against highly favored England. formation: 2-3-5 (1880 - 1925) The 2-3-5 formation is popularly known as the “pyramid” because of its triangular shape on the blackboard. The pyramid can be considered the first formation that relied on teamwork rather than individual effort. In defense, the left and right halves mark the opposition wingers and the center backs mark the inside forwards. The key player is the center half, who marks the opposition striker and is in charge of pivoting the team from defense to offense. After retrieving the ball in defense, he organizes his team’s attack and feeds the ball to the forwards. Preston North End used the 2-3-5 formation to become the first winners of the English Double: winning both the English League and the FA Cup in 1889. They went through the entire season without conceding a loss, earning them the nickname “The Invincibles” and encouraging other clubs to adopt the pyramid. The formation continued to dominate English football until 1925, when the offside rules were changed to allow players to receive forward passes if there are at least two defenders between him and the goal line. In the 1930s, a modified 2-3-5 formation was popular in Austria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Called the Danubian school, its primary strategy is to distribute the ball through short ground passes. formation: WM/3-2-2-3 (1925 - 1945) The 3-2-2-3 formation was popularized by Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman in 1925 when the offside rule was changed. Chapman countered the increased pressure on defense by putting an equal number of players on the offensive and defensive ends. Three defenders (two fullbacks, one center back) and two halfbacks make up the defensive end while two inside forwards, two wingers, and one striker make up the offense. This 3-2-2-3 formation was more popularly called as the W-M formation because the defenders’ arrangement on the field forms a “W” while the forwards form an “M.” In a game, the W-M formation works with three forwards in front of the opponents’ goal, three defenders in front of the team’s own goal, and four players forming a square in the middle. Teams that have high-endurance midfielders can play this position with seven forwards or seven defenders at a time. This can be done by halfbacks moving up in offense and inside forwards dropping back in defense. formation: 2-3-2-3 (1934 - 1938) “Il Metodo” (the method) was a football formation developed by Italian manager Vittorio Pozzo in the 1930s. Fundamentally, it is a defensive adaptation of the 2-3-5 formation, formed by withdrawing two forwards from the frontline. Two center backs protect the shoulders of the goalkeeper while the left and right halves take up the opposition wingers. The center half marks the opposing striker while two inside forwards lie deep to help on defense. The center half, just like in the pyramid position, serves as the transition from defense to offense. The offensive strategy is based on counter-attacking and long balls, which the center half initiates with the inside forwards. formation: MU/3-2-3-2 (1950s) MU is a flexible football formation that was derived from the WM formation. It places equal number of players on both halves of the field and was popularized by the Hungarians in the 1950s. The formation works with three defenders, two halfbacks, three forwards (two inside forwards & one withdrawn striker), and two wingers. The key player is the deep-lying striker, who draws out the opposing center back to make room for the other forwards. In defense, MU works the same way as the WM formation. It can be considered that MU brought the death of the then famous WM formation, when Hungary defeated England by a score of 6-3 in 1953. Hungarian forwards constantly swapped places, which confused a man-marking English defense and ultimately led to the blow out. formation: 4-2-4 (late 1950s) 4-2-4 is the predecessor of modern football formations and was developed by the Hungarians and Brazilians independently in the late 1950s. It is the first formation that featured a four-man backline. In defense, this formation can become a 4-3-3, with one forward dropping back to defend in midfield. The two halfbacks are tasked to block off counter-attacks. Because of a weak midfield, much of the defending will be left to the back four. The defenders should look to passing the ball as quick as possible to the forwards to exploit their numeric advantage. When attacking, the formation works as 3-3-4, with one defender going up to push the ball. The two strikers give depth to the attack while the two wingers give width. Brazil brought 4-2-4 to prominence by winning the 1958 World Cup. Since then, it has evolved to different four-back formations like 4-3-3 and 4-4-2. Do you think (one of) these formations would still work today? Would they be effective in FMM? Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts with us.
  18. Introduction The wing-back and full-back position in football is arguably the toughest, with both attacking and defensive attributes needed, and enough stamina to get yourself up and down the pitch. Below, I have listed 5 players who play as a wing back/full back who have impressed so far this season, thus deserving an upgrade in the upcoming update. Enjoy. 1. Marcos Alonso - Chelsea Marcos Alonso was quite a surprising signing for Antonio Conte's Chelsea, joining from Fiorentina for £23m. The Spaniard has impressed in the left wing-back position, which was deployed by Conte earlier on in the season. Alonso has already scored 4 goals so far this season for Chelsea, which is the same amount he scored during his 3 year spell at Fiorentina, and assisted 2 times, as he continues to grow under Antonio Conte. The majority of his stats are fairly low, with only 3 green stats. Based on his perfomances this season, I think he definitely deserves upgrades in his stats, including his crossing and dribbling skills. 2. Victor Moses - Chelsea Like Marcos Alonso, this man has impressed hugely since Antonio Conte switched to a 3-4-3 formation. Prior to this season, Victor Moses had been spent the last 3 seasons on loan at Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United, with it looking like he'd spend another season elsewhere. However, he was brought in from the cold by Conte, and placed as a right wing-back for the 2016-2017 season, becoming one of The Blues' most reliable players. Moses has already made the same amount of appearances as he did during his loan spells with Liverpool and Stoke City, and has scored 3 goals so far this season. Looking at his stats, he already has some fairly high stats, with key stats such as dribbling and pace all in the green. I still think, however, he deserves some stat upgrades, as he has been one of the best players this season in the Premier League. 3. Seamus Coleman - Everton I know what you're thinking. "Another player from the Premier League?!". This is the last one, I promise. Seamus Coleman is probably the biggest bargain in the history of the Premier League, joining Everton from Sligo Rovers for just £60,000. The same price as a 2 bedroom mid-terraced house in Bolton. Since joining, Coleman has got better and better every year, playing nearly every game for Everton every season. So far this season, he's made 21 appearances, scoring on 4 occasions, and assisting 3 times for his team-mates, as he continues to be one of the first names on the team sheet for The Toffees. I think that he deserves some upgrades to his stats, as they don't really do him much justice. His shooting skills, most notably, certainly need improving, as he's good with long range shots. 4. Mitchell Weiser - Hertha BSC Moving in the Bundesliga now, and to a player who spent 3 years at Bayern Munich, before making a move to the capital back in 2015. Mitchell Weiser had an impressive 2015-2016 season, starring 29 times for Hertha BSC, scoring twice, though it wasn't enough to make the Germany squad for the 2016 European Championships. He's carried his terrific form into the 2016-2017 season, helping Hertha to a good start to the campaign, where they sit just 1 point below a UEFA Champions League place. The young German is definitely be a regular in the national side, potentially becoming a long-term replacement for Philippe Lahm, who retired immediately after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Although his stats are fairly high for his age, he still deserves a few upgrades to his stats, including his stamina. 5. Nelson Semedo - SL Benfica Nelson Semedo has been a Benfica player since 2012, where he was bought from the Sport Uniao Sintrense youth academy, where he has slowly been fed through to the first-team, with this season set to be his big breakthrough season. So far this season, Semedo has played 20 times for Benfica, already assisting 5 times. The youngster certainly hasn't gone under the radar, with reports suggesting that he is set for a summer move to Manchester United, with FC Barcelona also said to be interested. Semedo has a lot of green stats already, but I think he could still do with a few more upgrades, particularly in the stamina department. Thank you for reading. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
  19. Hey guys, I wanted to share a little side project I've been toying around with. What is expected goals ("xG")? It is a method for estimating the quality of chances that a football team creates or concedes in a match. In real life football, there is plenty of historical data on the location of the shot, the type of a pass that assisted that shot, whether the attacker dribbled before trying the shot, etc. By aggregating all of these factors, an estimate can be calculated of the likelihood of scoring from all the different shots. For example, if your team takes 10 shots during a match, and each one of those shots has a historical goal rate of 0.2 (aka 20%), then on average, your team would expect to score 2 goals in that match. In FMM, the data that we get is very limited however that doesn't mean we can't have fun and use the idea behind xG to create a model that suits the game. There are a few uses for this but let me list the ones I like most: Sometimes it feels like you got unlucky (or lucky) in a match. A difference between actual goals scored and expected goals will answer that question (and by how much!) Sometimes you will think "my team is creating chances but not scoring". A simple calculation will quantify that in a single number which could help provide an explanation as to how much of that is perception and how much is fact. xG is a good way to discuss and compare the effectiveness of a tactic, especially over time. If you are inclined to keep track of your results for fun, or if you're testing something, or for a career narrative, xG can provide insight into how well a given tactic is working for you. Arriving at xG in real life is an extremely complicated calculation that takes into account a dozen factors. However, we don't have many of the same key data points in FMM so the math is much simpler. All we can use is shots, shots on target ("SOT"), and clear-cut chances ("CCC"), plus a few secondary statistics. After experimenting with the data, I decided to primarily focus on SOT and CCC. I made this choice because it's simple while still getting the job done and because FMM is a simulation and real life analogies don't always apply. While a high number of shots is nice, it doesn't force a save from the goalkeeper where an extra check need to be made to determine a goal. By comparison, in real life xG calculations, all shots count because even the act of getting a shot off can be an indication of the potency of attack. In FMM, the link between the two isn't always clear because players often fire off shots without any rhyme or reason. As this is a simulation, the goal of any tactic should be to force a goalkeeper into making saves as frequently as possible. This is also a good place to mention that penalty kicks and own goals do NOT count toward goals scored when using this metric. Open play goals only (including free kicks). The basic idea is then xG=(SOT*x)+(CCC*y) where x and y are constants of how often each action is expected to result in a goal. Now let's take a brief look at the data. It comes from three sources: Season 1 from my career with El Ejido (49 matches) Match screenshots from @BatiGoal's Villalibre career (138 matches) Tests I've been running recently with MU & Leicester in the Community Shield (125 matches) After evaluating all the data sources, I've settled on the following constants: SOT = 0.15 CCC = 0.73 (note: this may be slightly higher than actual goal rate from CCC's in-game) I also thought that shot attempts, while minimal, should have a small contribution to the formula as a proxy for successful possession, therefore Shots = .005. What this basically means is that you should, on average, over time, expect to see a goal from CCC about 73% of the time. Same logic applies to SOT - a goal can be expected from about 15% of shots on target. So our final formula becomes xG = (Shots*0.005)+(SOT*0.15)+(CCC*0.73). And remember, open play goals only! This formula seems to scale well across saves and formations. Here are the results for the three data sources mentioned above: El Ejido - goals scored 82 (xG = 80.110) / goals allowed 50 (xG = 46.325) BG save - goals scored 527 (xG = 531.255) / goals allowed 207 (xG = 269.895) (I've noticed that with good GK's, actual usually underperforms xG, especially in AI's case) Test - goals scored 297 (xG = 311.860) / goals allowed 48 (xG = 75.330) A fun observation - in BG's save, I show 70 home games in which he had 288.925 xG (4.123 xG per game) while in the 68 games on the road he had 242.330 xG (3.564 xG per game). Field advantage is real in this game! And it's worth about a goal every two games! I plan on using xG in my career thread for El Ejido when it suits the narrative as well as a key comparison metric for some tests I've been running for a future article. I welcome your comments to help refine these numbers.
  20. This is the second part of an experiment I did a couple of months ago, to know more about it you can read the first part here Based on the suggestions I got in the first part I decided to do it again with the following 2 changes: • I removed technique and added dribbling • The player was the key striker in the team during the experiment unlike in the first part where they were all in the team at the same part. The attributes taken into consideration are dribbling, shooting, movement, decision and pace. The basic stats of the player looks like this. First experiment The first experiment is about looking at the attributes individually to see who performed better. Dribbling The first player we are going to look at is Dribbling, in the first season he played 40 matches and scored 15 goals with 4 assists coming out with a goal ratio of 0.38 Shooting The second player, Shooting, played 34 games and scored 25 goals with 1 assist with a goal ratio of 0.74 Movement The third player Movement played 44 times and scored 24 goals with 4 assists making his goal ratio 0.55 Decision The forth player decision played 40 times and scored 19 goals with 2 assists making his goal ratio 0.48 Pace And the last player Pace played 38 times and scored 6 goals with 4 assists coming out with a goal ratio of only 0.16 Second experiment The season experiment is to combine the attributes two by two to see which one is more lethal in front of goal and here are the results. Shooting+Movement The first attribute combination to look is shooting and movement. The player played 43 times, scoring 24 goals and 8 assists which makes his goal ratio 0.56 Shooting+Decision The second combination shooting and decision played 44 times scoring 21 goals and 3 assists. Goal ratio of 0.48 Shooting+Pace The third combination of shooting and pace played 41 times and scored 23 goals and 4 assists making his goal ratio 0.56 Movement+Decision The combination of movement and decision played 44 times and scored 18 goals with 2 assists making his goal ratio 0.41 Movement+Pace The combination of movement and pace played 33 times, scored 6 goals with 4 assists coming out with a goal ratio of 0.18 Decision+Pace The combination of decision and pace played 35 times scoring 15 goals with 5 assists making his goal ratio 0.43 Dribbling+Shooting The combination of dribbling and shooting played 40 times and scored 32 goals with 5 assists coming out with a goal ratio of 0.80 Dribbling+Movement The combination of dribbling and movement played 41 times scored 23 goals and 3 assists making his goal ratio 0.56 Dribbling+Decision The combination of dribbling and decision played 40 times and scored 15 goals with 5 assists making his goal ratio 0.38 Dribbling+Pace And finally the the combination of dribbling and pace played 43 times and scored 22 goals with 7 assists making his goal ratio 0.51 Conclusion Bearing in mind that the players basic stats suggest his a decent striker the surprise in the first experiment was that the player with pace came last. People would normally rank physical stats over mental stats but that was not the case. In the second experiment the worst combination was movement and pace which was a surprise for me because if I was supposed to say the best combination I would have gone for that after movement and shooting but I think after looking at the first experiment it makes sense but that doesn’t explain why the combination of decision and pace did much better since movement was the better player in the first experiment. And when I was thinking that shooting and movement would have been the best I have to take back my words because the combination of shooting and dribbling smashed the others by far, and that's the only attribute I don't look at when signing strikers so I may have to consider it more . The other results makes sense to me so based on this experiment I’d say that if I was to sign a striker and the options I have, have similar stats I would say the best to go for is the one with better mental attributes. Thanks for reading, if there is anything you spotted that I didn’t see let me know and bare in mind the experiment reflexes what the game thinks are the best attributes so it might not be like this when you manage the players yourself because a good human manager would build a tactics to cover the weaknesses of his players so the poor performance in the experiments would end up doing much better.
  21. The January transfer window came to an official end last night, which means only one thing. A new database update. Amongst all the player transfers and manager movements, players are bound to be given upgraded (and even some downgraded) stats. Here are 8 goalkeepers that I think should be given an upgrade in the new database update. 1. Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) There is absolutely no doubt that Jordan Pickford has single handedly kept Sunderland in games this season, as without him, The Black Cats would probably already be relegated by now. His excellent reflexes and agility is exactly why Arsenal were rumoured to be sniffing around for the 22-year-old, with Sunderland facing a possibly tussle in the summer to keep the in-form goalkeeper, whether they remain a Premier League team or not. With Pickford one of the top performing goalkeepers this season, I think he deserves a boost to his stats. 2. Tom Heaton (Burnley) Burnley have done exceptionally well in this Premier League campaign, sitting very comfortable in 10th place, and most of the credit lies with this man. Tom Heaton, like Pickford, has kept The Clarets in games, and saved them vital points this season, with the 30-year-old going from strength to strength. Although his stats in FMM 2017 are quite high anyway, I still think he deserves a little increase in some of his stats, especially agility. 3. Yoan Cardinale (OGC Nice) Football fans often refer to Ligue 1 as a 'boring' league, with Paris-Saint Germain dominating the league in the last few years. This season, however, is a little bit different. OGC Nice sit second in the table and are currently battling with PSG and AS Monaco to gain the crown of French champions. Dante, manager Lucien Favre and Mario Balotelli have all played their part in Nice's rise to the summit of French football, but one players who goes under the radar is Yoan Cardinale. The 22-year-old got his big break last season, making 25 appearances before claiming the number 1 spot for the 2016-2017 season. Yoan Cardinale certainly deserves an upgrade in his stats, including key stats such as agility, reflexes and handling. 4. Andre Onana (Ajax) Ajax have a long and proud history of producing some of football's finest players, including the likes of the late Johan Cruyff, Dennis Bergkamp, Wesley Sneijder and Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen. The next name on the long list could be this man. Andre Onana. The 20-year-old Cameroonian started the 2016-2017 in the Ajax reserves, but was promoted to the first team, where he looked to battle for the number 1 shirt with Newcastle United's Tim Krul. Krul's loan stay was cut short, as he was then loaned to fellow Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, giving Onana the perfect opportunity with just 3 months of the season left. The youngster has produced some sterling performances this season, and he'll only continue to grow. Looking at his stats, he definitely deserves upgrades in some areas of his stats, including his handling and reflexes. Remember the name. 5. Gianluigi Donnarumma (A.C. Milan) What a year and a half Gianluigi Donnarumma has had. Making his competitive debut for AC Milan back in October 2015, he then went on to make his Italy debut in September 2016, as he's gone on to become one of Europe's top keepers, and certainly a long-term replacement in the national side for Gianluigi Buffon. At just 17-years-old, he's already become AC Milan's first choice goalkeeper, appearing in every game since his debut. He made a blistering start to the 2016-2017 campaign, saving a penalty to deny Andrea Belotti to give his side the 3 points. The picture above shows the amount of saves per game Donnarumma has made since October 2015, all the way to May 2016. As you can see, he made roughly 4 saves per game throughout the whole of last season, excluding the 9 he made at the back end of the season. His stats are already high, including his communication, handling and reflexes, but I still think he could do with a few more upgrades in the reflex department. This lad will only keep growing. Hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to leave comments below. Thank you!
  22. Dimitri Payet. A name that rang through the terraces of Upton Park last season, with the Frenchman scoring 12 goals in all competitions, carrying his form into the European Championships in the summer as France reached the final, with Payet scoring 3 goals. This season, however, has seen things turn a bit sour. Payet has scored just 2 goals in the league so far this season, and to make things worse, West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic admitted that Payet wanted to leave The Hammers, with former side Marseille being the most likely destination. If the move happened, how will Payet do? Will he re-discover his form of last season? Let's see what FMM 2017 has to say. Dimitri Payet - Profile This is what Payet's stats look like in-game. Technique and passing are his highest stats, closely followed by his dribbling and movement stats. At 29-years-old, a value of £12.5m is pretty good, considering the fact he's probably past his prime. Position-wise, Payet can play as an attacking midfielder in the number 10 role, or on either wing, with him adding plenty of flair to the team. He is also strong with both feet, making him very useful. Let's see how the season unravelled... It was probably not the best of seasons for Marseille (Although it was a bigger improvement on last season's 13th place finish). An 8th place finish for the French side saw them finish just 5 points behind Lyon, who finished in the last remaining Europa League place. On a personal level for Payet, he suffered a foot injury in late April which put him out for 3 weeks. It was his only injury of the season, as overall, he had quite an impressive first season back at Marseille. Making 29 appearances in all competitions, Dimitri Payet scored 9 goals, with 7 of them coming in the league, the same tally as last season at West Ham United. Furthermore, he assisted 7 times, while averaging a match rating of 7.39. On an International level, Payet made 3 appearances for France, scoring twice and assisting on 1 occasion. Not bad for a 30-year-old 'one season wonder'. And finally, some of Payet's stats have improved. His passing attribute has gone up by 1, from 17 to 18, his decision attribute has gone up to 15 from 14 and his movement has gone up from 16 to 17. On the other hand, his value has gons down from £12.5m to £11.75m. So, not a bad return for Dimitri Payet. If he did return to Marseille, how do you think he'll do? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. As always, thank you for reading.
  23. First of all, please let me apologise for the awful 90's wrestling pun in the title. Here we are with another transfer simulation. West Ham seem to be at the heart of everything happening in this transfer window, and while most of the focus seems to be on Dmitri Payet's impending departure (or not), the other long-running saga is their purchase of Brentford's star striker Scott Hogan. After returning from nearly 18 months out with a serious knee injury, Hogan has been in blistering form for the Bees, scoring 21 goals in 32 games. That form has prompted the Hammers, who have struggled for goals, to put in a bid, and it is expected that a £15million deal will be completed by the end of the window. So what are they getting for their money? The answer is a half-decent forward. His finishing is excellent and his pace and dribbling are pretty good too. With a bit of coaching, his technique and decision making could improve too. Hogan works best as an Advanced Forward and is left-footed, a rare commodity. Is he in good form? The answer is - not really. 3 goals and one assist in 13 games does not scream 'sign me up', but his rating is decent enough and with the stats above, he has the chance of making an impression at the Olympic Stadium. Speaking of them, how are his new team getting on? Like in real life, West Ham are bobbling around mid-table, and are still in the position where one result going their way (or against them) could have a big impact on their league position. So does Hogan fire them up the table? Let's fast forward to June... The answer is a most definite 'no'. The Hammers finish outside the relegation zone by just two points, winning only four of their last 17 league games. What about their new striker? Has he made an impact, despite the team's struggles? Again, a bit fat no. Making just five appearances, and scoring just one goal, Hogan is very much a bit-part player for a struggling team. Could that indicate he's perhaps better off in the second tier? Let's see how his stats have improved. With Premier League-level coaching, Hogan's finishing has gone up by one....and that's it. While that is a good thing, his finishing was good enough to begin with, and the other areas of his game haven't improved. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hogan shipped out in the post-season. West Ham fans will be hoping that Hogan doesn't turn out to be a flop like this (if the transfer happens, of course!), but I suspect he may do a little better in real life. So, looking at the above, would you sign Hogan for your team?
  24. Gerard Deulofeu has had a strange career to date - one of a long line of players to come through the ranks at Barcelona with the potential to become a superstar, he was loaned out to Everton three and a half years ago to develop his game. After a pretty successful spell with the Toffees, he looked set to become part of the first team squad at the Nou Camp, before being shipped out on loan again, this time to Sevilla. A disastrous campaign followed, and Barcelona decided he wasn't going to make the cut - Everton picked him up for a minimal fee. After a largely inconsistent 18 months on Merseyside, Deulofeu has the opportunity to reboot his career in Serie A with the somewhat fallen giants, AC Milan. Can Deulofeu finally fulfil his undoubted potential and return Milan to their former glory? Let's see what FMM thinks. First things first - the quality is undoubtedly there. High scores in crossing, dribbling, passing, technique, pace and others beside - what more do you look for in a winger? And are all of those attributes translating into performances? Not as much as I would like, certainly. Everton are sitting in the top half of the table, having played 21 league games, so it's clear that Deulofeu has been a regular in the side - but a return of 3 goals and 2 assists, with a rating of 6.88 and a red card, isn't what I'd expect from a player of his quality. Maybe a move to Italy will perk things up? It certainly does! In two fewer games, the Spaniard has two more goals, nine more assists, and a 0.38 increase in average performance. What a turnaround! Have his stats improved? Or has he just started showing his worth? Tacking, positioning and leadership are down by one, while decision-making is up by one, which I find a bit strange - although none of those stats will have a significant impact on his performance or the way he plays the game. His upturn in form is also reflected in his value, which increases by £1.5million. So in summary, it seems that the Italian life suits Gerard Deulofeu. Does he have what it takes to become a San Siro legend for years to come? I certainly think so.
  25. The January transfer window. Where out-of-favour players move to seek new career challenges, where clubs at the top bulk their squad up to make it over the finish line first, and where relegation-threatned sides make their last gasp effort in order to avoid the trap door. Yesterday, Watford completed the signing of former West Ham United player Mauro Zarate for an undisclosed fee from Italian side Fiorentina. Watford also completed the signing of 22-year-old M'Baye Niang from AC Milan on a loan deal. How will these 2 do? Will they steer The Hornets away from any sort of trouble? Well, I did a little simulation on Football Manager Mobile 2017 to see how they fared. Overview of Their Profile M'baye Niang is rated as one of the most promising youngsters in the Football world, which reflects perfectly in his FMM 2017 profile. Firstly, he has a value of £11.5m, which is a pretty big amount for a 21-year-old. Furthermore, he poses impressive stats for a young striker, with his 'dribbling', 'technique', 'movement' and 'pace' attributes being the highest out of his stats. The only downside to Niang's stats is his 'positioning' stats, which should be higher considering he's a striker. Let's now have a look at Mauro Zarate... Unlike Niang, Mauro Zarate is getting on a bit in terms of age. At 29-years-old, it's fair to say that the Argentinian is past his prime. Despite that, he is still capable of doing a job for Watford, or a club with the same calibre. With a value of £5.25m, he is more than affordable for clubs at the bottom end of the Premier League. 'Technique' is Zarate's highest stat at 17, followed by his 'dribbling' and 'movement' stats. A concern with Zarate is that he has a lot of orange stats, including 'strength' and 'aerial', which is more of a concern considering he's an attacking player. So, now we've had a look at the 2 new signings, how much of an impact will they make? ... Italian Job Gone Wrong After a disappointing and depressing first-half to the season, Watford manager Walter Mazzarri was sacked after finding his side hovering just above the relegation zone. Sam Alladyce was brought in to replace the Italian, with the former England boss tasked with saving The Hornets from the drop. End of Season Table After an awful season, Watford narrowly avoided the drop to the Championship by just 2 points, to the expense of Hull City. Although Watford finished 17th, the attackers weren't to blame, with The Hornets scoring the most goals out of the bottom 7 teams, racking up 58 goals. The problem was with the defence, leaking a massive 81 goals all season, 21 more than bottom side Bournemouth. 2016-2017 Player Stats M'Baye Niang managed to score 5 goals all season for Watford, making 21 appearances and assisting on 3 occasions. Mauro Zarate experienced a much more disappointing season, making just 3 appearances and scoring 0 goals. So, in conclusion, it was a disastrous season at Vicarage Road, as both new signings failed to make any sort of major impact at the club. Let's hope they do a lot better in real life. Thank you for reading. Leave your thoughts below.