A number of people have encouraged me so far with this blog. Coming into the FM16 scene late as I have, that’s meant a lot to me. Chris Darwin from The Higher Tempo Press, The Wide Playmaker, David Graham-Bood, FM Analysis, and Rousty in particular have enabled my not-so-humble beginnings. And I’ve been shocked to see this blog triple the stats of the best months of my ‘regular’ writing blog. And I’m very grateful for those who have stopped in and taken an interest in Max Furey’s journey.
It’s actually helped remind me I’m not entirely horrible at the craft. Which is hard to remember sometimes, when you set yourself a 6 book series that’s taken over 3 years of labor. No one really sees it, or comments on it. So all that’s left is the writer and his doubts. And doubts become legion in such a scenario. I’m in the last book now, and I think I have just enough juice to set a schedule and get back at it. It’s a fantasy influenced by the Punic Wars, written from the side of the “Carthaginians.” That has, at times, made it difficult to pursue for reasons you can probably guess.
That doesn’t mean I’m abandoning this at all. First of all, I’ve started Season 2 with Fiorentina. Some of you may have seen various interview/rumors I posted on Twitter regarding Max Furey’s future. This was always a careerist save, so when Barca offered an interview, I had to accept the chance to give it. They went with Low instead. Both successful FM16 games they’ve done that to me. And as I said on Twitter, I have *never* been accepted for that job. In FM15, the campaigning President promised to bring in my Dutch avatar. He got elected, and Jan De Knap didn’t even get interviewed. The hack. I took great pleasure in smacking them around the next season with Leverkusen. Hah! Anyway, as a matter of realism, when headhunted by a higher reputation club he doesn’t actively hate, Max would listen. My goal is to get Max to the top of the global heap. Not necessarily Fiorentina.
Also, I have a rather bad habit of delaying in buying FM. So I will continue this story until either Max can’t find work, he’s made it to the top of the heap, or I buy FM17. Which may not be until Christmas. We’ll see. If there’s still interest in this until then, I’ll keep rolling it out. If not, I’ll keep the blog active on commentary and other material until I’m ready to do a Bob Bradley Challenge in FM17. Or I decide to tweak DerFM and manage RB Leipzig. 😛
On a completely different note, somehow I missed the question of the week from the bloggers for The Deep Lying Podcast. I was a 4-2-3-1 guy in FM15, and part of my frustration in the 1st months of this year’s version is how FM16 nukes an attack-minded version of that system so easily. Whereas in FM15, I could gegenpress in attacking mentality and go Full Metal Klopp (which he appreciated when I was at Dortmund and he at RBL, LOL). In this year’s version, caution is rewarded–perhaps overly so–due to the OP fullbacks. Last year, I had no problem playing a DM(S) and BP(D) as the double pivot. If I thought the passer more adept at reading the game and intercepting, then I could play him as a defense, and have the ball-winner play Box-to-Box. Or sometimes even a Roving Playmaker in the rear spot (Veratti with Dortmund, with Gabigol operating in the shadow of Calleri…and they were all on hand when I arrived 😛 ). Though this last was with a hard tackling Bender holding hard behind him.
This year, I have to play with a more defensively solid pivot, or the space between gets overrun. Typically I run a DLP(D) and a CM(S), because I want the pivot to play asymmetrically. The supporting midfielder will play closer to any inside-cutting wingers, to pick up loose change or square passes from them. And then he recycles back, or makes a cutting pass, if that’s on. From the rear of midfield, the DLP can switch the attack as desired. My Benfica formation, I actually kick the playmaker into the DM strata. But I’m not crazy about him being that far back, and it’s more a concession to player preference.
Shhh, don’t tell the poddies. But I love me inverted wingbacks in a 4-2-3-1 formation. As the support wingback will often add a 3rd level to the pivot. Especially when I align the two midfielders so that one moves closer to the AM strata. If I set it up right, the inverted wingback will occupy the space he deserts, solidifying the base of my formation. I’ll admit, you have to have the right player for this. But then, you have to have the right player for a lot of the ‘super-specialist’ roles like Raumdeuter, Ball Playing Defender, and Regista. And if you fight the player, he will most definitely revert to a ‘regular’ wingback.
But that isn’t the same as saying it doesn’t work. I played this with Dortmund in FM15 to great effect (Durm on the left). I also did in Chelsea last year, backing up Eden Hazard playing Raum on the left with Cesar of the Long Throw (I had Mario Fernandez on the right, sue me). And I’m using it this year in my Benfica save, with the Brazilian Zeca. I’m going to have to dredge up some highlights from his performances. But he’s been absurd. And yes, he does go up a little higher than the description. But he actually does link between Gaitan, my left wing, my shadow striker and playmaking midfielder (Talisca and Davy Klassen, swapping). And he does it to great effect. RBL’s Teigl also pulls this off, typically running straight into the hole behind a AMC from the right hand side. And if he has the ball, he may keep right on going at goal. But if you try to play correct footed inverted wingbacks, they fail. Because yes, then they will default to running the wide channel. That’s their strong foot, after all. Is it the same as playing fullbacks cutting inside on support? I don’t know. Haven’t tried it. Haven’t seen the need TO try it. I’m pretty much a wingback guy. Fullbacks are for when I want to defend, or I have someone who is already 100% winger (like Gaitan).
Anyway, regular content resumes tomorrow. Winter Transfer Window and the start of the run-in. Including our Europa League tie with Liverpool’s Klopp. It wasn’t quite as heart-wrenching as the Anfield Meltdown was for us Dortmund fans. You can decide if that’s better or worse when you see the result. 😉