The benefits from using a wide target man (WTM)

Du Malone writes: From discussion online I don't get the impression that the wide-target man (WTM) role is widely used in FM. Members of the FM community often publish their formations. These reveal that WTM isn't at all a popular choice for players playing wide in the attacking-mid line.¬†Wingers, inside forwards, and inverted wingers are … Continue reading The benefits from using a wide target man (WTM)

Player acquisition on #FM20: applying Arrigo Sacchi’s approach

Du Malone writes: In this, the third post in my series on learning from Arrigo Sacchi's approach at AC Milan, I consider what kind of players to acquire. Total football? In the account of Saccho's tactics that I treat as canonical, namely Raghunandhanan Narasimhan's article on Football bloody hell, reference is made to Sacchi's admiration … Continue reading Player acquisition on #FM20: applying Arrigo Sacchi’s approach

Squad development: the roundtable approach

SCENE: Football manager's office. It is an office of two halves. The half nearer the window is dominated by a tatty desk from the 1970s. On the desk are in, pending, and out trays, with paper spilling out of them. There are also various other piles of paper: from the looks of things this manager … Continue reading Squad development: the roundtable approach

Tables turned: In which a manager assesses the chairman’s performance

FAO: The Chairman of Neftochimic 1962 Dear Mr Danchev, Thank you for your evaluation of my performance as of 1 November 2022. I agree that September proved a disappointing month. I would like to draw your attention to one aspect of our play, namely goalkeeper performance. Young Ivaylov Iliev is an improving goalie with plenty … Continue reading Tables turned: In which a manager assesses the chairman’s performance

Golden generation? Well, certainly some nuggets there

Grigor Pasha writes: August 2021. Early in my third season at Neftochimic 1962. From the intake in the spring we signed six players. Of these, at least four have been genuinely glistening. First, the boy Slavov. He's remarkably mature for a goalkeeper of his age -- good, in particular, at making decisions. He's already got … Continue reading Golden generation? Well, certainly some nuggets there

Managing your players through contracts: football and stakeholder management

Grigor Pasha writes: Exploration of online content (especially podcasts) on football management suggest that there is a common assumption that contracts are not where it's at. Players, transfers, tactics: yes, they attract attention. But contracts, no. They seem to be consigned to the mental category of 'admin'. Boring. Merely clerical. To any manager who thinks … Continue reading Managing your players through contracts: football and stakeholder management

In which a football manager sorts the sheep from the goats

Du Malone writes: I once heard a manager -- I'm pretty sure it was David Pleat -- say that at the end of each season he'd sort his players into two lists -- the winners and the losers. The losers, he'd ship out. He added that, quite often, he'd find the list of losers included … Continue reading In which a football manager sorts the sheep from the goats

Assessing strategy for club development: a worked example

Grigor Pasha writes: June 2021. In a couple of previous posts I outlined my managerial strategy. In one I argued that there are two types of football manager -- the hunter-gatherer and the cultivator. I explained that, contrary to my personality, I'd decided that the optimum strategy here at Neftochimic 1962 was the latter. I … Continue reading Assessing strategy for club development: a worked example

Reluctantly, a narrow diamond

Grigor Pasha writes: Mid-November, 2020. Mid-table. Playing mostly a narrow diamond -- though not excessively narrow, since I've briefed by two in the middle to go wide. I went for the narrow diamond simply because i had the depth and blend in midfield to make it work. At the base of the diamond is 'Donny' … Continue reading Reluctantly, a narrow diamond

In which I express my loathing for our centre-forward

Grigor Pasha writes: Allow me to introduce Stefan Nedelchev. I signed Stefan for Neftochimic 1962 at the start of the season (2020-21). He is the second-highest paid player on the staff. And he is useless. Utterly useless. Out of 15 league matches he has started 11 and come on as a sub once. And what … Continue reading In which I express my loathing for our centre-forward