Tactics Through Time: Sheffield United 5-3-2

Du Malone writes: I nominate this post by Alex Parkin as an instant classic. Much if the best writing about FM explores, as this post does, the interface between FM and football ITRW. The post is also very fluently written. Great stuff.

StratMan Gaming

Hello and welcome to another tactics through time post! It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these so I thought I’d focus on a tactic that was a little less historical and a little more personal to me as I’ve wanted to try and look at this one in depth for quite some time. If you want to look at other formations I’ve tried to recreate in the past you can do so here.

So what tactic is it?


I remember the 8th of May 2016 well. Sheffield United had just suffered an insipid 2-0 home defeat to Scunthorpe United to consign the Blades to 11th in the table, our lowest league position since 1988-9. Our dreams of making the play offs had gone up in smoke a few weeks earlier after failing to beat Barnsley and results had nosedived since.

Image result for sheff u adkins

At full time the squad…

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FK Mačva Šabac: 2022/23: Great Expectations

Du Malone writes: Again I’m pleased to reblog a post from From Eleven, One about his save in Serbia. Us Balkan-based FMers need to support each other. I do like the way that he writes with a spring in his step.

From Eleven, One

Welcome back to Serbia! Last time out, I spent more time than ever putting a totally fool-proof plan together. Today we’ll cover the fact that I’ve assembled the best looking squad I’ve had thus far, and given my own FM history, the fact it’s taken me more than a month to update you must be a good sign, right?

As the season took me so long to play (and write), I’m going to power through the whole thing in one hit today. Fear not, I’ll be keeping the word count well under control.

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The language of online FM content: a practical tip

Du Malone writes: In a chapter in what is far and away the best business book** I've read, Hugh Williams considers the question of bad language. The chapter is less preachy than the following extract might make it sound. It begins: 'Of all the things one may have to give up in life, swearing has to … Continue reading The language of online FM content: a practical tip

Down the Danube | #2 – Squad Numbering is an Art Form

Du Malone writes: I reblog this post from FMathlete for two reasons. First, like Grigor Pasha, he’s managing Farul Constanta in Romania (though he’s a couple of seasons ahead of Pasha). And, second, it’s the only post I’ve read on that deals with the topic of squad numbering.


Welcome back to the bustling city of Constanta where the Sharks are gearing up for their first full season with Frank Athlete at the helm. This season took me almost two months to complete, largely down to several work trips preventing me from getting some decent game time in.

Nonetheless, I’m delighted to bring you an update from the Black Sea and will also share my musings on the role of squad numbering – a topic that will have some of you drooling at the mouth and rest of you now asleep in a heap, but hear me out anyway!

Shall we get on with it?

Save Update

I can’t say I’m not pleased about it, I’m delighted, but there’s so much more to come from this team. I really hope they can live up to my expectations, and push on to the next level within the next year or…

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Enganches, FM21, creative writing, and whisky: the FM Stag interview

Du Malone writes: I much enjoy reading FM Stag's online content, not least because of the sheer quality of his writing, so I was very pleased to have the opportunity to interview him for site. Before we focus on FM, I’d be interested to hear about your involvement, in whatever role, with non-virtual football… Outside … Continue reading Enganches, FM21, creative writing, and whisky: the FM Stag interview

Playing FM and creating content: our interview with An Old Lady Plays

Du Malone writes: I first came across Cait, aka @OldLadyPlays, via Twitter. I made use of her generous offer to advise on the pronunciation of foreign mames. I then discovered her YouTube series of advanced tips, each instalment of which typically lasts a few minutes. I do appreciate brevity when it comes to video! The … Continue reading Playing FM and creating content: our interview with An Old Lady Plays

Breaking news: Surprise managerial appointment in Romania

Liga II outfit Farul Constanta have surprised the football world by appointing Grigor Pasha as their new manager. Pasha, who is Bulgarian, is no stranger to the Black Sea region. In the 1980s he played in the Varna region in Bulgaria. He then took time out from football, working in the merchant navy and what … Continue reading Breaking news: Surprise managerial appointment in Romania

How to keep your players fit and free from injury

Du Malone writes: I’m far from expert about what goes on, on the pitch. So to succeed at Football Manager (FM) I have to attend closely to what goes on, off it. One area in which I do seem to succeed is management of injuries and fitness. My aim is always that, when the match … Continue reading How to keep your players fit and free from injury

Breaking news: Pasha quits Balchik, citing medical issues

June 2023: It has been confirmed that Grigor Pasha's 4-year reign at Black Sea-outfit Chernomorets Balchik is over. In a press release Pasha said, 'I have been diagnosed with a condition known as incipient ennui and have decided to take some time away from the game. 'My doctor, Dr Glarus, has recommended that I allow … Continue reading Breaking news: Pasha quits Balchik, citing medical issues