We return to my FM17 save with Espanyol where in the Intro I outlined that the plan would be focused on the development of young players. This post will be focusing on our tactics and how pre-season has gone.
So Before we start the campaign with Espanyol, I wanted to discuss the system we intend on using and how I want it to develop over the next few seasons.
After the success I had with developing the ‘Four Horsemen‘ I wanted to continue with a strikerless theme. I wanted to use the ‘Four Horsemen’ as a foundation to lay down for the first season and use it as a template to develop into seasons ahead.
The system is pretty much the same but with a few minor changes. At Arsenal I had the luxury of Walcott and Bellerin having outstanding pace on the right hand side. Unfortunately no one at Espanyol has that sort of pace, so I didn’t want to my right hand side being exposed. What I did instead was switch the RWB from (a) to (d) as my RB’s are not as attack minded. My LB’s on the other hand are a little more adventurous and has slightly better pace so this was changed to (a). This could also be effective going forward as there is a IF ahead of him cutting inside allowing the space out wide to advance in.
Just like in the original my CM pairing was a DLP(s) and a CM(d). I’m sticking with this pairing but they are flipped so the CM(d) can cover the LWB space.
The attacking 4 are the same and should provide us with very exciting brand of football. My only concerns are that as the Espanyol side are not as talented as Arsenal, so will the system have the same effect? I’m not expecting to be as dominant at all, but I do hope to have a top 10 finish. That is what the board are expecting and I believe it can be done.
So let’s get into pre-season and see how the system has been working out. Before out first official match, Monaco were sniffing around Víctor Sánchez and my board accepted a bid of £14.25m rising to £16.25m. Not too shabby there, admittedly I would have liked to have kept him around but that gives me some actual spending money, although I only have been given £6m of it. With that in mind, we needed to sign another RB and someone preferably young so he can develop.
So in comes Iván a 23 year old from Levante. He doesn’t look to bad and hopefully should improve with a bit of first team football.
I know a few others have mentioned it before but injuries have been a nightmare in this version of FM and we have received some real inconvenient ones during pre-season, with Caicedo and Jurado out for 8 weeks and 3 months respectively. So I managed to bring in Ravel Morrison from Lazio and Jonas Hofmann from Gladbach on a season long loan to help out with numbers.
Looking at our pre-season results went very much our way, aside from the Juventus game but at the end of the day it’s Juventus and a brace from Higuaín was enough to see us off. Obviously it was early days for the players to get used to the tactical system but they made a very promising start with such a huge change. Let’s hope this kind of form can continue into the season.
Below is where I would like to see the tactics moving forward. As mention earlier the ‘Four Horsemen’ is a foundation or a platform to start with and over the space of a few seasons we will transition into something similar to this. This is just the prototype at the moment but in 1 years time I intend on creating this and trying it out during the pre-season. Once I have found the right roles to suit the system and continue with the same brand of football, it will be trained along side the current system so players can reach maximum familiarity. All transfers and player development will be based on this new shape. it doesn’t have a name yet, I’m hope you can all give some suggestions throughout the season.
So that some’s up this first post, thank you all for reading. Next post will return for a mid season review.
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