Welcome back dear reader! As mentioned in my previous post, I will take you along my journey with The Yellow Submarine, Villareal. Our pick up point would be the end of the first season wherein our team has performed fairly well.
Villareal has taken La Liga by storm! Predicted to finish top half at the start of the season, The Yellow Submarine ended up qualifying for Champions League for next season, finishing fourth. As predicted the top two spots are pretty much locked up by Real and Barca until we are able to start challenging them. 3rd spot was taken by Atletico Madrid which will be our target next year. Some may say that we can challenge for the title next year, but truth of the matter is I still am not that good at FM. I also enjoy long term saves wherein I can build my squad into exactly how I want it to be, including the U19s. Eventually we will challenge, I just want to take things slow and let things play out wherein we will not crash and burn after instant success. Sustainability is key!
This section will be dedicated to recognize the reason behind the success of the team this year. I have not written much about the players who actually performed within the season in my previous pieces.
We have Cedric Bakambu who started majority of the other forward position. By no means he is a world beater. Acceleration and OTB were his main strengths. We have tried to convert him into a defensive forward but to no avail. He probably would have scored more had we not forced him to play the defensive forward striker position. When he played, either it would be as a CF-S or AF-A. This piece of the system is something we really have not figured out yet. But so far, it has produced some results as you can see with Cedric. Hopefully his performance generates interest and we get to sell him in the off season.
This was a very close battle. It also could be attributed to playing with different tactics in Season 1 which forced me to slot my “passers” or “play makers” in different roles/positions. Honestly to date, we have not obtained optimum and consistent performances. It is what it is but still one player emerged at the top of the list. Suarez eventually took home the award due to a string of late season heroics.
Man of the Year
Basically he has the most Man of the Match awards. Although this may not reflect the true impact of this player on the squad, this award was given by the game and hence, I am relaying it on this post.
This aspect of the game is the most frustrating and the most rewarding as well. My challenges as an FM player is basically what tactic to use, when to use it, and what players fit into the system. Over the course of the 1st season, we have changed tactics numerous times. The frustration stems from not getting results. But not getting results stems from not using a system consistently enough to let the players adapt. Hence, we have settled on two main systems. A 4141 and a 4312. Mentality-wise, we shift as needed but train the 4141 on counter and 4312 on control. Nothing fancy as you can see. Shape shifts between structured, flexible and fluid. Again, the 4141 counter on structured or flexible and the 4312 on flexible or fluid. I will not expound on the rationale behind my choices but basically this is what I have seen work for this side with this group of players. I may be wrong I may be spot on but if it ain’t broke, why fix it right?
There are a hodgepodge of players on our squad right now. What we initially did was move all the top prospects and first team-ready players into the La Liga division. This allowed them to train with my 5 star coaches and use the best training facility available to them. It also allowed us to initiate tutoring sessions. It also allowed the new FM feature of the overall team personality to influence the younger guys.
Next piece we want to look into is how to leverage the B and C teams. Both these squads play in several divisions lower but competitive divisions nonetheless. We will be experimenting on moving one of the top prospects to the C team and gradually move them up to the B team and then to the first. It will take several seasons to see that experiment out. So if any of the readers have a clue or a suggestions, it will be much appreciated. In the meanwhile, we will have the U19s top prospects stay there then move them directly to the first team. The rest will be moved to the C and B squads accordingly.
The Suicide Squad
I just wanted a catchy name. LOL. But yeah, we want a group of players committed to staying with us and doing whatever is necessary to win. It also calls for a certain set of attributes to be part of this group. I learned this from Rashidi @BusttheNet and he called it Club DNA. As much as we would want to put a zillion attributes, that would be in a perfect world. We have identified a number of attributes that we will be using to filter my prospects and view potential transfers moving forward. I won’t claim this as gospel and say that this is what 100% will work for the system we use, but I feel that this is what I will look at regardless of the position a player will be slotted for. Either he has it or he doesn’t.
Acceleration, Natural Fitness, Determination, Teamwork, Work Rate, First Touch, Tackling
I do not want to complicate the DNA. Obviously other attributes can be built into the player through time spent on training and tutoring. But in about 4 to 5 seasons I envision the all the players in the first team to have at least 12 for all these attributes regardless of position…well except maybe the GK. It’ won’t happen overnight and I don’t think we can attain this with 100% commitment within the first three seasons.
Have a look at the Suicide Squad V1.0
This year we had Alfonse Areola to begin with. Once Sergio Asenjo returned, Areola was sent back to PSG. It was not a smart move though as I did not have any back up keeper.
We started out with a Victro Ruiz and Eric Bailly partnership as Mateo Musascchio started the season injured. I then changed the partnership to Ruiz and MM which saw my defense suffer due to lack of pace. It also did not help that Ruiz and I had a spat so off he went! In came Gabriel Paulista who was transfer listed and acquired for a discounted fee. Edgar Le is a multi purpose defender that serves as backup.
Mario is the main man on the right flank. He put in a fantastic season as an attacking fullback and I have no qualms about his performance. Although stat-wise there is more to be desired in the crossing and passing and vision side of things. Edgar Le backs him up in this slot too and has put it some fantastic performances when called upon.
On the left, Marin is the starter. He is natural in this slot and even at 18 years of age has attracted attention of MUFC and Liverpool. He is now under the tutelage of Mario and now has a resolute personality. Alfonso Pedraza was a very promising defensive winger and was converted into a fullback. He is now accomplished in this position and will share the workload with Marin on the left flank.
Three slots and three different roles that I selected. Two of these are already cast in stone but the LCM puzzles me. Maybe in the second season I will see more better results with the role I selected being used consistently.
RCM – BWM Support
Initially this was a CMS with BWM PIs so I figured to just switch it to the actual role instead. Tomas Pina originally plays in this role and but looks like he may be departing some time soon. Eric Bailly trained as a DM is now training for the CM slot and has put in some awesome performances. My only qualm is his lack of determination which I hope can be solved by tutoring.
CM – DLP Defend
This post was manned by Bruno prior to his departure. At the start of the season PSG was offering me 10M for him and I declined as I needed him for tutoring. Manu Trigueros and Jonathan Dos Santos compete for this spot at the moment. And Rodri my identified replacement looks like he is burning through his PA fast without real progress in his attributes. I may have done something wrong but I will probably sort it out next season.
LCM – BBM Support
Until around March in-game this was a CMS with some sort of PIs. I decided that this was not producing the results that I wanted. There is no threat from these three players in same strata. I still have no idea as to how I will utilize this position but I think this will be another layer of attack. Suggestions are most welcome. Samu Castillejo is currently the starter for this spot. A winger converted into a CM. Maybe a Central Winger? Olabe is also a possibility to slot for this as a back up.
AMC – AM Attack
Again another role that we have trouble figuring out. Honestly I am not sure whether to use and Advanced Play Maker or just plain Attacking Mid role. I have a bunch of PIs for him but I am trying to figure out what will work best really. This player is part of the defensive triangle up front which is asked to close down much more and tackle harder (thanks again @BusttheNet). Suarez and Trigueros alternate in this role. Both are wanted by some big clubs I have no suitable replacements. Both have put in inconsistent results and I am at a loss right now.
These two slots’s roles have been changed more than any other in this system. Either we have the roles right and the players wrong or the players playing the wrong roles. As you can see either way I have obtained inconsistent results. Ideally I want to have two DFs on defend and support. What we have done is to switch the role depending on the player’s most green role in the suitability panel. We have to sort this out seriously.
STCL – DF Defend
Moves into channels is added to this role as a PI. At the start of the season, Samuel played this role flawlessly. He fell out of the rotation and Soldado returned so he took over. Soldado did not score much and put in disappointing performances despite having OK attributes for the role requirements. I have given 19 year old Acosta a run with some success although using the AF-A role.
STCR – DF Support
Moves into channels is added to this role as a PI. Bakambu manned this spot mostly playing as a CFS. But once I obtain a players suited, the double DF combo will work. Acosta was also given a run as a DLFS on this side, and even Nahuel. This striker combo is just a mess really. Suggestions are much appreciated!
The Future – Season 2 and More
The future is bright for The Yellow Submarine! Luckily during the youth intake, I got the message every FM player wants. The “best player of his generation” tag. And that is where I will need some help from all of you readers. I want your input as to how I will mold this guy. Feel free to throw in ideas and I will respond to your comments. Here he is!
The next guy is the experimental dude where we will immediately send to the affiliate which is Villareal B.
Transfers and the like will be discussed in the next update as this has dragged on for too long. Thank you for your time. Would really appreciate your comments or tweet me @jedifootball. Shalom!