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Introducing @K_risma

It’s been a long time coming, having first collaborated with @cook1e_mr managing Chelmsford City in 2010 and writing my first post about Metalist in April 2013. Here’s an overdue introduction to myself, @k_risma.

I believe I joined the world of FM some time in 2005. I have undertaken many solo campaigns in the past, from a successful 15 seasons with Newcastle and 3 consecutive promotion-winning seasons with Bristol Rovers to mediocre success with the Croatian national team and an ‘interesting’ foray in the MLS with Toronto FC.

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About time for an update!

First of all, I would like to apologies to my regular readers for the lack of posts, unfortunately I am having an incredibly busy year. I am trying to renovate/decorate my house in preparation for moving (strange concept decorating to leave, but a necessary step when we are talking large sums of money). This has meant that Saturdays (the day i would normally write) have been taken over by polyfilla , sand paper and paint brushes.

The gist of this is…. I have been pestering my succession game partner @K_risma to get more involved in the blog and help keep the articles coming. After a tirade of abuse he finally relented!


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Tic Tacs

In the last post I introduced you to my RB Leipzig side, discussed who I felt the key players would be and how we would look to set up tactically. Within this article I said I would look at how things have progressed and analyse the two primary tactics I have been using. Whilst the former is true, I have decided that before analysing my tactics it would be useful to discuss how I feel the match engine and tactics creator fit together.

 How it’s gone

So we have fast forwarded a few months, into November 2013. Things have been going swimmingly. RB Leipzig pleasingly sits atop of the 3 Liga and are yet to experience the heartache of a defeat.

 The League

3 Liga

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Here We Go Again!

Finally FM14 arrived, wrapped up and hidden out of sight from me. My parents always buy me FM. It may seem strange for a 30 year old man to get a game from their parents, but it does give them an easy present that they know I will enjoy.

This year my parents decided to play a little trick on me. They passed me a FM shaped package, which I unwrapped in a fury as my excitement had been building – I tend to start thinking about the next FM a week or 2 before Xmas day.  However as the wrapping was discarded and the realisation that the package was not FM sunk in, I felt a small twinge of panic. Was I actually going to have to wait a few more days to get the game? What the hell would I do on Boxing Day! This panic was short lived though. I pulled my chair out to gorge myself on our now annual Beef Wellington and another FM shaped package was sat snug on my allocated chair. A nasty trick I am sure you will agree. One which will be avenged!

On To The Game

Much of my FM these days is played as part of a succession game. I have tried to tailor the game style to the needs of my relative FM newbie compatriot.

We had a very enjoyable save on FM13 with Metalist, a relatively large side in Ukraine. Although not the biggest side, they were always capable of challenging for the title and as such were ideal for the objective I had in mind for the save. This save had two targets: 1) To show @K_risma how my interpretation of the player development mechanics work and 2) To show him that to maintain a successful club you do not need to pay over-inflated fees and exorbitant wages (Apparently @K_risma already knew this, so I wonder why he gave a 17 year old a £12k per week contract when our highest paid player was only on £18k!). For those new to FMFocus, you can see the framework I put in place and the financial constraints that I forced upon the club in my previous posts.

In the build up to Xmas before i had the game, I had started thinking about what sort of side and challenge I wanted and what I wanted to show @K_risma next. Although @K_risma loves FM he is probably quite a rarity in that he plays the game whilst not particularly following football. Therefore he has little to no knowledge of football tactics. This then clearly should be the main focus of our FM14 adventure. Now whilst Metalist was ideal for learning budget control and focusing on player development at the same time, I am of the opinion that a side of this size isn’t the best place to start to learn about tactics. I believe lower league clubs with their inability to attract the top talents are the best place to experiment. Lower league clubs however generally come with the distraction of financial problems. For this save I didn’t want us to get bogged down with trimming debt.

I considered many clubs, including match fixing Lecce, but I kept coming back to one club ….. Read more…

Death To All But Metal(ist)

The latest Metalist career update has been put together by my succession game partner @Krisma. I handed the reins over to him. The below is his account of the events  occurring between Jul/14 and Nov/14.

…A little light entertainment there for you. Anyways, on with the show.

After our success in the last 2 years it could have been easy to get over-confident and proclaim just that – “DEATH TO ALL BUT METALIST! WE ARE THE DOMINANT FORCE IN THE UKRAINIAN LEAGUE AND ALL WILL BE CRUSHED BY OUR MIGHT!” But no, we’re not the dominant force in Ukraine, Yet! We have crafted a successful team that is certainly a force to be reckoned with but the likes of Dynamo, Shakhtar and Dnipro are still constant threats and to maintain any form of stability will take perpetual work.

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Metalist – Once more unto the breach….

The last couple of Metalist articles have hopefully helped to familiarise you with the framework we will be using throughout this save. This post however is going to serve as an update of season two. We were optimistic going in to the second season. We were hopeful of building on last year’s league title and the semi final run in the Europa league. This season we hoped to defend our title cementing ourselves as a dominant force in Ukraine. We would also compete in the Champions league for the first time since taking charge of the club.

I have already discussed at length the financial constraint Metalist has compared to clubs from larger European leagues. In one of the previous posts we identified our 3 year plan. This plan meant reducing the wages paid to fit within a sponsorship/wage relationship and because of this the preseason was incredibly busy. We needed to move players on, re-negotiate contracts and in general attempt to “force the square peg through the round hole”. I am not going to focus on all the business of this window but I will discuss the larger transactions in the transfer market.  Read more…

Metalist – Player development

In my last Metalist update I touched briefly on the importance we needed to place on the development of players. I choose this sentence carefully, as across the net people talk about player development but they focus mainly on the young players within their squads.

This is logical as there are a number of things we can do to progress young players and create potential stars within our FM worlds. Buying players in their early teens, progressing them to their potential and then moving them on in their mid twenties for vast profits is common place and when applied in cycles can be incredibly successful.

Within this article I am going to explain my approach to player development. Although I do adhere to the above approach of progression for profit, I prefer to think of player development across the life cycle of a player.

A little science

Each player within the game has potential ability (PA) which is the upper limit of their ability and a current ability (CA). The difference between these numbers can be distributed into attribute values. PA and CA are depicted in the game as star values. Players with high PA will have high star ratings. However something that needs to be considered is that star ratings are dynamic and are based on your league and club reputation and the ability of other players in your existing squad. What this means is that a 3 star player may still be a quality player but in comparison to your team may not be the best in your squad.

The holy grail of any FM player is to develop high PA players’ CA to this upper limit. To do this it is important to tutor players giving them the best possible personalities for improvement. For information on this I recommend reading @shrewnaldo’s post  or @cleon81’s Ajax development posts. Read more…

The Metalist Project

Brief recap

I am going to do a quick recap of my current save for those of you that haven’t read the opening post on the blog.

The team is Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv and it’s a succession game played by @k_risma and myself. We take it in turn to play four month stints of the save meaning that the turns are offset.This means that we both get different periods of the season to play at each handover. We are currently in our second season after a very successful first season, in which we won the ultimate prize in Ukrainian football and had a very strong run in the Europa league. Read more…

Striking a Balance

Alex Ferguson once said that any top side needs four great strikers. I would take that statement further and say any top side needs four different strikers. Those of you who have been following my articles will know I like options all over the park. However the last few months of my save I have started to realise that options in the striking roles are of greater importance than others.

Before I start to explain why I believe this, let’s take a look at the striking options I have in my game at Ferencvaros.

Mbei Pasteur

Mbei Pasteur

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The Third Wheel

The latest article on Footballmanagerfocus has been contributed by @krisma. It is a season review of our Succession game with Metalist. With each passing FM we play a game together. Last years game was our Huracan save that you can read about on this blog. We usually pick a lower league side however this year wanted a different challenge.

Introducing Metalist

Metalist. The third wheel of the Ukrainian Premier League. They have come 3rd behind Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar for the last 6 years straight. So while not posing the same challenge as a lower league side or relegation candidates, there was the intriguing challenge to build them into a team capable of toppling Dynamo and/or Shakhtar.

Upon taking the reins at Metalist, the board expressed their desire for the club to become a top 2 side, to the point where 3rd position could cost us our job, a daunting task for a new manager. Fortunately they allowed me a substantial transfer budget and naturally the squad was already in decent shape.

Before the season began, I rearranged our staffing situation, set up our most promising youth players with tutoring assignments, attempted loan deals for as many of our youth players as I could to aid their development and arranged future transfers for 2 promising foreign youngsters, Adryan and Gennaro Tutino.

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