Do you know that feeling when you’re watching your favourite team and enjoying football they are playing? Just sitting in the stand or before TV and you have a stupid smile on your face like you were a small kid and you knew Christmas is coming.
My Football Manager 2018 save with Hungarian side BFC Siófok is still going and I’m in exactly the same phase as I mentioned above in the first paragraph. I’m just sitting before my laptop and enjoying the way how my team play.
The save progressed to the year 2040 already and during the previous years, I tried various formations and various style of play. It was one of my main goals of this save to try various formations and I think it went well.
I started with 3-5-2, changed it to 3-5-1-1, experimented with some versions of 4-1-4-1 and I also used 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-2-1 and other variations of this very commonly used formation. Some challenge was also to play 4-5-1 with flat five-midfield but that’s maybe something I will try to use more in next edition of the game.
And during 2038/2039 season I decided to switch to 4-3-3 with two wide players. To be fair, the impulse to use this formation came to me thanks to Shrewnaldo and tweets about his save with ADO Den Haag.
I used this formation several times in the past including a couple of seasons with Reading during FM17.
The main inspiration from Shrewnaldo was to use two central midfielders with attacking mentality but in the end, I changed the flat midfield trio to CM/A-DLP/D-CM/S.
Mainly because I use Inside Forward on the right side so my right central midfielder is with support duty because I don’t want these two players will be in the same place on the pitch during attacking phase.
I wrote about it shortly in my FMSlack channel recently that I also made some changes in my favourite 4-1-4-1 formation including the change in CM role where I now use BWM/S instead of CM/S because I wanted to make the formation more aggressive and it paid off.
Despite I use CM/S in the 4-3-3 formation the player in this role is more like ball winning midfielder because CM/S role is customisable and I added Close Down More, Hold Position & Tackle Harder instructions.
The Hold Position instruction is used mainly to avoid him running to the penalty area where he would hinder to Inside Forward and I would like he just wait for the second ball behind the penalty area.
The difference between CM/S (number 8) and CM/A (number 7) ⤵️
If you wanted to ask if I use some other individual player instructions, the answer is no. Only my goalkeeper has Distribute To Full Backs and Pass It Shorter. The rest individual instructions are the default.
Thanks to several discussions with James I’m used to using strikers in wide midfield roles but I recently broke the club & nation transfer record as I bought Greece star Manos Pasas from PSG for €115M.
And he is playing as Inside Forward within this formation. He also plays as Wide Midfielder when we use 4-1-4-1 what is our strongest formation.
You can see also his stats from the first part of the 2039/2040 season after the winter break. I think he can be more effective in the future and I hope he will. But still, he is a great player.
I didn’t even break the club & national transfer record with a purchase of this player but I also broke down some my personal barrier. I’m usually very strict about finances. Not only wages but also in terms of buying players. I rather let play my own youngster instead of buying an expensive player but I decided to surpass myself in this case. And who knows, maybe I will change in the future and will be able to spend money more. But probably not in this save… 🤷🏻♂️
*This match was played shortly after I wrote this so I hope he will continue with performances like that despite this match was against weak lower league side in the domestic cup.*
There is one example of what I really enjoy with this formation. It’s from a common domestic league match against the average opponent but I really like this situation so I decided to use it as a perfect example.
It’s a random throw-in situation and this is how we defended it. The back four moved to the right side to cover the throw-in and left winger with support duty made it down right to cover his opponent.
Maybe you ask why CM/A is deeper than CM/S but it would be vice versa if the throw-in would be on the left side of the pitch from our point of view.
After the ball went back to play we stayed patient to get it back. That’s one thing I really like (except our right fullback who probably took some energy drink and he decided to run from right to centre to left but gladly he moved back to his position. You can also see in the video below that our DLP/D moved to the right defender role when the fullback was closing down).
As I wrote central midfielder with support duty is more aggressive but thanks to Close Down More team instruction you can see not only he wants to win the ball back.
Just watch player Papuga… ⤵️
After the patient moving around the pitch it was clear our opponent has no option to pass or cross the ball to the penalty area. And as we were in the right positions, in the end, we were able to win the ball back and start a perfect run by Pasas…
You can also see who made the interception – our Complete Forward who dropped down and stole the ball.
Ok, just watch the whole video how the situation ended…
If you want a different example of a goal, there is also this one. It started with a free kick at our own half and it turned into a perfect triangle combination and a perfect volley by our former midfielder who moved to Real Madrid in the last day of the summer 2039 transfer window.
As I mentioned at the start of this post we are now in 2040 just before the second part of the season will begin.
The club growth since 2017 was great, our facilities are at maximum, we have four affiliate clubs from Hungary, Croatia, Czech and USA.
Our biggest weakness is probably the stadium. The Siófok Stadium was built in 2024 and it has a capacity of 12K seats but as it stands I have to wait for more years to be able to ask about a new stadium.
It’s enough for domestic competitions but I’m sure we would be able to fill the bigger stadium for Champions League matches. Especially as we were in late stages of this competition in the previous years including the final in 2038/2039 season.
In terms of squad, you maybe know I used some transfer policy at the start of this save and I was concentrated to sign mainly players from a specific area – mainly domestic players.
This changed during the save and especially before the current season, our squad is now more internationally based. But that’s not a wrong decision, everything has some development and I just decided to scout and sign players from various nations in combination with our own newgens.
My plan is to get rid of foreign players (not the newgens from our own Youth Intake thanks to affiliate clubs) in next seasons and finish this save with just only our own players.
I mentioned Manos Pasas, our record transfer signing, but I want also show you my own newgen, Bence Kovács. He is the best striker in the squad and he is our captain since he turned 21 years old.
He scored 50 goals and made 15 assists in 49 appearances during the 2038/2039 season. He was wanted by Real Madrid or PSG but I was able to keep him so far. He currently has 93 goals in 118 league matches.
The last screen of this post shows the results of the current campaign. The usual goal for Champions League is to progress to the 1st Knockout Stage what we have done already thanks to second place in the group stage behind Arsenal.
In terms of domestic league competition, we are now 245 matches without losing. It takes it from 22nd August 2032 to 10th December 2039. We will see if we can continue in it or there will be some club who will beat us finally.
Many of you are already in FM19 time in your minds but I will continue this save for some more time.
Until next time…
You can also join my FMSlack channel to see some updates from the save. You can join FMSlack via THIS link. Take care.