One-on-ones in FM20: Against the conventional wisdom

Du Malone writes: It's clear from following many FM-based accounts on Twitter that one-on-ones -- specifically the paucity of goals resulting from them -- is widely perceived as a major problem with FM20. Evidently, and sadly, some people have even ceased to play the game because of this. I certainly don't doubt the genuineness of … Continue reading One-on-ones in FM20: Against the conventional wisdom

FM20 | How To Turn Around a Bad Run

Du Malone writes: I reblog this post because it represents an example of the value of reflective learning on FM. In particular the post faces up to a number of temptations that seem to me, from my consumption of podcasts and other blogs, widespread. These include:

  1. assuming you can just choose a tactic at the start of a save and run with it, as if other teams will never wise up to it;
  2. selecting players on auto-pilot (and as a result lacking ruthlessness);
  3. thinking attributes are all that matters; and
  4. not recognising the value of BOTH continuity and change.

according to FM

Arresting a slide has proven to be one of football managements more difficult tasks. By the time the clocks go back, the board and fans have generally had time to assess the managers performance and decided if they should be under pressure or not. Turning around a bad run of form in FM20 can be the difference between keeping your job, or clicking ‘return from holiday when offered an interview’.

Under the new club vision tab a manager now has the ability to see what they are being judged on, but it also would appear that we are judged on far more areas than before. Be it style of play, on pitch performance or the finances around transfers, each decision we make as a manager can turn the game against us. So why do I start an article by writing about turning around poor form or battling board pressure? Simple…

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In the mild midwinter: in praise of the mid-season break

Grigor Pasha writes: Jan 2021. It's the winter break here in Bulgaria. I know the pros and cons of winter breaks are something journalists love to start a debate on, when they're too lazy to do any real reporting. In Bulgaria, the break is the obvious pragmatic choice. Though winters here in Burgas, on the … Continue reading In the mild midwinter: in praise of the mid-season break

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

The RE-Builders of Pripyat: A Valeriy Lobanovskiy tactical recreation

Du Malone writes: For its blend of football history, tactics, and FM, I hereby designate this post, reblogged from FM Eadster, as an instant classic.


Little more than nine days after the disaster at Chernobyl, with radioactive isotopes still falling across Western Europe, Soviet Cup Winners, Dynamo Kyiv lined up to play Spanish giants Atlético Madrid in the final of the Cup Winners Cup in Lyon. Kyiv sits only 100Km to the south of Chernobyl and the Kyiv youth sides, including a nine-year-old Andriy Schevchenko, had already been evacuated to a camp near the Black Sea.

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Bulletin from Burgas: the predicament at left-back

Grigor Pasha writes: Down here at Neftochimic 1962 on the Bulgarian coast we're 8 matches in. The board's expectation is top half. In fact,we're second. So far, so good, you might think. Except I have been unnerved by the problem at left back. We haven't got a good one. And if I can see it, … Continue reading Bulletin from Burgas: the predicament at left-back

Tactical learning: reflections on my season in Bulgaria’s second tier

Grigor Pasha writes: By now you'll no doubt have heard the news that I've resigned from OFC Pomorie, despite meeting the board's expectation of a mid-season finish. Since then I've spent some mornings in the Sea Park in Burgas, which I've recently moved to, drinking good coffee, looking out to sea, and even indulging myself … Continue reading Tactical learning: reflections on my season in Bulgaria’s second tier

The asymmetric formation that took Stoke City to European glory

Du Malone writes: Grigor Pasha used the pre-season period for what he called 'tactical heuristics'. In other words, he revealed that, tactically at least, he doesn't know what he's doing. Still, this spell at Pomorie is his first as a manager, so I guess we should allow him a period of grace. At least, for … Continue reading The asymmetric formation that took Stoke City to European glory

Oh, my Puskas and Hidegkuti long ago!

Grigor Pasha writes: I wrote, in my previous post, of my interest in retrieving tactics from the past -- specifically I wrote about reviving WM. I've also been undertaking some archaeology on the tactics used by the Hungarian team that famously defeated the WM of England in the first half of the '50s. The moving … Continue reading Oh, my Puskas and Hidegkuti long ago!

Retro football: the return of WM

Grigor Pasha writes: After the best part of three weeks in post, I finally got the chance to watch the boys in action: a friendly -- the first in the newly formed pre-season league named Coastal Combination -- against third tier Chernomorets Burgas 1919. Time to try out my WM tactics. Posing as a tactician … Continue reading Retro football: the return of WM