No win in eleven. The vultures gather

Central Stadium, Mykolaiv. Early afternoon, 23 November 2020. SUPPORTER I: So I wonder who will be in charge for our next game, after the winter break. SUPPORTER II: You don't think Pasha can survive? SUPPORTER I: Over 3 months since we last won. 5 points out of a possible 33. Why's he still here? Utterly … Continue reading No win in eleven. The vultures gather

Yes, I can trust the gaffer, but…

Late September 2019. MFC Mykolaiv right-back Roman Kunev is enjoying some gentle autumnal sunshine in Shevchenka Park, ruminating: Last time I was sitting here, back in the summer, I was wondering whether I could trust Grigor Pasha, the newly installed gaffer at MFC Mykolaiv. When I joined the club, a condition was that he'd strengthen … Continue reading Yes, I can trust the gaffer, but…

Tactical review at the Atmosfera bar

End of the working day, 6 August 2020. Atmosfera bar, Central Avenue, Mykolaiv. Dramatis personae: Grigor Pasha (MFC Mykolaiv manager); Anatoliy Didenko (assistant manager) [PASHA places a familiar diagram on the table.] PASHA: So, half a dozen games in: what's our view of the tactic? DIDENKO: Even now, every time I look at the graphic, … Continue reading Tactical review at the Atmosfera bar

Total football: a review

Du Malone writes: I came across Sanjeev Shetty's Total football (Aurum Press, 2018) when searching online for books on the topic of total football. Fortunately I read the sub-title -- A graphic history of the world's most iconic soccer tactics  -- before I bought the book, so I wasn't disappointed to find that the book … Continue reading Total football: a review

MFC Mykolaiv go asymmetrical

End of the working day, 28 May 2020. Atmosfera bar, Central Avenue, Mykolaiv. MFC Mykolaiv manager Grigor PASHA and assistant manager Anatoliy DIDENKO are enjoying a swift half -- well, actually their second swift half -- and sharing a plate of snacks. PASHA: So this, Anatoliy, this is what I'm thinking for the first tactic … Continue reading MFC Mykolaiv go asymmetrical

Set pieces, stupid

Grigor Pasha writes: As I reported in my previous post, at the end of the the 2021-22 regular programme we blew automatic promotion from Liga 2. The last 8 matches of the programme went LLLWLLD. 4 points from a possible 21. But that dismal run conceals a radical change. Changing the playbook Between the penultimate … Continue reading Set pieces, stupid

Tactical transformation on the Black Sea: the advent of wingers

Grigor Pasha writes: I've written before about the advantages of a winter break. Here in Romania it's long enough to introduce a new tactic. During the break we (that is, Farul Constanta) host three cup competitions, so that we can not only train a new tactic but also test it in match situations. I didn't … Continue reading Tactical transformation on the Black Sea: the advent of wingers

I’ve never been in this situation before and I don’t know what to do about it

Du Malone writes: In his second season (2020-21) at Farul Constanta our manager, Grigor Pasha, was tasked with a top-half season. The season got off to an uncertain start. Mid-October saw Constanta hovering, unconvincingly, just above the relegation zone. Try as he might. Pasha couldn't get his 3-2 (wing backs)-2-1 (trequartista)- 2 system working. After … Continue reading I’ve never been in this situation before and I don’t know what to do about it

When It Just Isn’t Working…

Du Malone writes: On our Links page we have links to a couple of posts on what to do when you’re in a crisis. This post, which we reblog from The Tactical Annals, isn’t quite that. Rather it’s about what to do when you start off and find that performances are mediocre.

The Tactical Annals

Football Manager 2020 - game artworks at Riot PixelsYes, I am back on Football Manager, finally. After my much documented (if you follow me on Twitter (@JLAspey) technical problems with my laptop I have eventually been able to afford a new laptop – thanks to all who helped me pick one – and given our current existence of lockdown and me working from home as a teacher, I’ve had plenty of time to get back into FM20. Despite that, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been easy, but more on that later. Before I continue, I do want to plug “The Italian Job”, a new Twitch series I’m doing with my good friends @watadam20 and @turntostone_ as we manage in Italy Image result for italy flag gif *insert Gazzetta theme*. I’m managing Sampdoria, and keep up with my Twitter for more info about when we’ll stream etc.

Anyway, back to my exploits since returning to FM20. My save is with Torpedo Zhodino…

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We need to talk about the central defence

Grigor Pasha writes: At present we are playing, In Romania's Liga 2, with a 3 - 2 (WBs) - 2 - 1 (trequartista) - 2 formation. The main challenge arising from this decision is finding a sufficient number of decent centre backs (CBs). Here's how I've tried to solve that problem On the right, as … Continue reading We need to talk about the central defence