FM Blog #6: Awful August

Posted by Scotsman on January 9, 2014 in Football Manager |

Well it’s the end of August, my first season back in the EPL and I need to do an update because I also need to take some time off from FM and really think about things.

As I’m sure you can tell from the title of this blog post – things aren’t going too well.

Before we get to that, I’ll update Taff and Homer on how they are doing since the first day of the season:

Blackburn (Taff): No signings after the first day of the season. Drew 2-2 at home to Newcastle, lost 4-2 away to Spurs, and defeated Man City 2-1 at home. Currently 10th, and in the Europa League Group Stages after beating Rosenborg.

Leeds (Homer): Signed Chris Wood, Reece Brown and Andre Wisdom(on loan from me) on transfer deadline day. Chris Wood was the big one, costing 5.25m. In the league he drew 1-1 at home to Villa, lost 1-0 away to Fulham, and defeated Newcastle 1-0. Currently sitting 9th.

And now….onto me.

August 2014:

Here are my results thus far:





In that last game I pretty much blew up and played a crazy tactic:


Hilariously to the exact same result of 4-2. However that one wasn’t totally crazy – I wanted to see if my beast of a midfielder Valon Behrami could maybe work in the libero position. Sadly he got injured in the pre-match warm up, but I decided to go with Joe Allen in there. He didn’t add as much to attack as I hoped, but he contributed passing wise, had 3 crosses, had 5 tackles which he won, made 6 interceptions and even a shot. So it’s something to think about and I may experiment with it.

End result: Bottom of the EPL. Only team without a point.

Anyway – I really need to take some time off and think about tactics going forward. Some notes about the games:

vs West Brom: Went with 4-3-1-2. Had slightly more possession but they killed us in the shots department. Agger was out so I had to go with Kelly/Skrtel in central defense. This was a poor performance overall from the whole team. Just one of those things where nothing went our way. I also probably should have adapted to Shane Long better. I didn’t, and he scored 4.

vs Chelsea: I was feeling low after the WBA Game, so I went for a defensive tactic but aimed at using wing backs. 2-3-2-2-1. Also hacking the fuck out of them. We were just poor here. Chelsea dominated the game. Lucas only had 57 passes out of 71 complete, and many passes were misplaced. Skrtel and Wisdom were central defense here due to an injury to Kelly.

vs Bradford: We went with the 4-3-1-2. Skrtel/Wisdom in defense. We had more possession and 24 shots to 6. Despite that, we didn’t deserve to win. Just some piss poor passing etc especially in key areas.

vs Sunderland: This was a disaster. They dominated us 31 shots to 12. Defensive paring again was Skrtel vs Wisdom. This was just a bad, bad day.


I can’t ignore the fact that defensive injuries didn’t help. Agger injured, Sakho injured then Kelly injured and Andre Wisdom just didn’t seem up to the task of the EPL. Plus having a new goalkeeper probably doesn’t help matters much.

Even striker wise – I can’t fully blame them. I need to take some of it. I haven’t given as much thought as I should’ve into how they would play. More just a case of throwing them in and hoping for the best.

But it doesn’t excuse my midfield, who have just been disastrous at the moment.

I have the international break to think things over, and I’m taking a few days off to do that.

I have some tough decisions to make. For example:


Do I go with Akinfeev or Reina, who I was unable to ditch during the window? I’d like to keep Akinfeev in for a bit longer but if he performs like this then I may have to get Reina back in the squad.


Still a very strong position. I just need to determine whether I want them to attack or be in a supporting role.

Central Defense:

Obviously Agger/Skrtel are my 2 main centre backs. I will have Kelly, Sakho and Toure available if need be. I’m debating the 3 man defense and then using the wingbacks more, but the libero position is also one where Behrami might shine.

Central Midfield:

This is where I should be dominating it. Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Behrami(who really hasn’t played yet due to injuries), Allen, and even Coutinho has been trained here.

Attacking Wings:

Another position I can utilize with playmakers OR inside forwards – and something I need to consider with the wingbacks or full backs. I have Suarez, Gerrard, Sterling, Coutinho, Sturridge, Gauld and even Torres who can play here.

Attacking Midfield Center:

Again, strong with playmakers or treqs. Suarez or Coutinho or both, even Gerrard and Ryan Gauld.


Torres, Suarez, Crouch, Rhodes, Sturridge. Pretty set there.

Tactical Summary:

I really need to figure out exactly what I want from this team. There are so many options. For example a 1 man strikeforce would work in a slow, defensive build-up. But it’s also set up for countering with a poacher. Two man strikeforce with DLF/AF or even a Treq. And of course a 3 man strikeforce with Crouchie in the middle.

Lot of thinking to do over the next few days – any advice appreciated. My next game is in 2 weeks against Arsenal at home. I plan on reading a ton of SI and really thinking about this. In the meantime I’m going to train team cohesiveness because there was just so many slack passes etc that I felt was a problem. I want to get this team working together again.

Here is my squad sorted by position – click for big:


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