The Clausura 2028/2029 of my FM20 save in Mexico with Celaya FC included six different trophies as we were able to make small tweaks to the 3-4-1-2 formation (or 5-2-1-2 WB as it’s called in the game). Our main wing back José Francisco Pineda broke the assists record, our goalkeeper Erick Vargas made the same with the clean sheets record. And it’s the right time to call the day.
Continuing with the 3-4-1-2 and small tweaks
If you’ve read the previous blog post about developing the 3-4-1-2 formation, you don’t need some long prelude.
It worked perfectly at the end of the Apertura but I decided to make small tweaks for the second part of the season.
The first one is obvious at first sight – both wing backs switched from the support duty to attacking duty. The reason was to raise their mentality from positive to attacking and make them more dangerous within our attacking efforts.
My main players for the WB(A) role were Emiliano Ozuna and José Franciso Pineda.
Ozuna is the eldest player of the squad (I wrote about him in the last post as well) and he had almost similar Apertura & Clausura in terms of goals and assists.
But he scored 6 goals and made 2 assists in 7 Champions League matches and was voted the best player of the competition and also the best goalscorer.
Pineda was unstoppable. While he scored once and made 8 assists in Apertura, he scored 8 goals and made 15 assists in the Clausura. Two goals and 6 assists in the Champions League were a bonus.
The rest is the same except the one thing – I changed the AP(S) in the AMC role to the AM(S) to have no playmaker role in our line-up.
And the last change was I removed the Higher Line of Engagement and it was just Standard.
Time from time, I was changing PF(S) to PF(A) but it worked almost the same in my eyes. It would need probably more testing and more matches to see some benefits.
I don’t like to play against Mezzala
The Analyst report in the game tells me we have faced 18 formations in the last 50 matches. The 4-1-4-1 DM Wide is the most common with 25%.
And most of these teams is using Mezzala role. Some of them two Mezzala’s in both CM positions. Our example in the picture below is Club América formation from the Champions League semi final when they have used 2x Mezzala with support duty.
Both these players stay wider due to this instruction coded to this role. As we are using two CM(S) players in the middle, both these Mezzalas have a lot of space in the channels of the pitch.
And it’s hard to defend against this. I usually have to react in some way but I don’t want to break our own way how we play.
My favourite thing was to sacrifice the MCR player who is considered as some kind of bulldozer who sits deeper and tackling harder.
So, I give this player mark specific position individual instruction where I set one of the Mezzalas. I like to think it will help with defending at least one of the monstrums. Sorry, Mezzalas…
A simple example. You can also see in the gif below the Mezzala made a perfect first touch and moved forward while my central players were far from him, gave him a lot of space and had to go back fast.
The second example is from the same match. As you can see all my central players are defending on the left side of the pitch leaving Valenzula almost the whole central part of the pitch free.
He, of course, received the ball from the defender and he had a lot of space to create something.
Luckily for us, he passes the ball to the side but his pass was bad and the ball ended out of play.
As I said, it’s hard to defend these things. I tried to use Carrilero role as a player in this role should “cover lateral areas of the pitch […] as they are not expected to shuttle between boxes, but merely between lines of the midfield.” But it didn’t help too much.
The only solution was the man marking so far.
Read @FMSamo‘s post about Mezzala role from FM19
Clausura 2028/2029 results
The closing stage, as it’s called in the game, went really well and we ended the season unbeaten again. But as we made some tactical tweaks and our wing backs have a higher mentality, we conceded more goals than in the opening stage (9).
But it’s still was enough to comfortably end 1st in the table and to win the play-off as well. We hit the perfect form in the last month as we scored 18 goals in the last five matches including a 7-0 win over CF Monterrey. More below.
The striker Víctor Ríos, who was almost the whole Clausura unhappy as he wanted to leave, was the best goalscorer of the league with 28 goals and he was also the best-rated player with 7.54.
Jose Francisco Pineda had 23 league assists, Gilberto Erick Serrano had 15 league assists. Goalkeeper Erick Vargas has kept 29 clean sheets in 49 matches.
The perfect end of the rivalry
When you open the club info in the game, you can see the rivals – competitive, local, historical. The competitive rivalry is also dynamic in the Football Manager for some time.
There is only Club León as our local rival in the game for the whole of the save. I slightly hoped the competitive rivalry will develop between Celaya and Monterrey during the time. Especially as we played a lot of play-off or Champions League knock-out matches including the final stage.
But no luck and I had to create this type of rivalry just in my head. As you can see in the picture below, the start of this rivalry was one-sided. We lost 8 from the first 9 matches after our promotion to the top flight.
As we were stronger it started to turning around and we were the better side in the end. There were 4 matches against them in the last season of the save within 2 weeks.
We played 45 matches against them since 2020 with 16 14 12 and we scored 64 goals and conceded 53.
The last match of all was absolutely the best end as we beat them 7-0 at home. My favourite real player of the save Emiliano Ozuna scored once, my favourite newgen of the save Gilberto Errick Serrano made 3 assists and 10 key passes as CM(S).
This is the latest Celaya FC squad I worked with before the end of the 10th season. It’s sorted by position. I’m glad I was able to put together mainly the home-grown squad again as I like it the most.
The six trophies in the 10th season of the save.
If you will be interested, I would like to write another post about the club development during this save. Hopefully, I will have time very soon.