Bayer Leverkusen in FM 2017
Hi there - My name's Adam, I'm 38 next month and I hail from England; I support Tottenham Hotspur with interest in the results of Huddersfield Town too. I've always toyed with the idea of writing up a Football Manager database in story form so why not now? I thought I'd start a regular update on my Bayer Leverkusen save game which I've just begun. Coming off an 18 season FM 2016 run as Blackburn Rovers manager I wanted to try a more established team from the start and it's been a while since I managed in Germany. Leverkusen are the choice then and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in... P.S. this is unlikely to be a screenshot intensive Story but if there’s anything in particular you are hankering after a look at then let me know!
There's a lot to like with my immediate thoughts that there is quite a lot of versatility in terms of position and not many players with predominance in one foot or the other. That should allow for a degree of flexibility. So far on the surface I feel that: -
- There is maybe a lack of physicality in the squad.
- Only one natural left back and I’m not sure how good Wendell will be.
- I kinda doubt that Özcan will offer much in the way of challenging Leno as first choice GK.
- No heading monster in centre midfield.
- Any kind of injury to Volland and I’m relying on Stefan Kießling at Deep Lying Forward and he's injured for at least two months. May need to try Kampl there.
Ömer Toprak is also leaving in the Summer as Dortmund have paid his release clause in reality which kinda sucks. Still versatile Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos will return from his season loan at Hamburg as an immediate stopgap so no great urgency to replace Toprak just yet. I don’t like using players who are leaving that much so Toprak will have to get used to the bench. Leverkusen have Excellent training/Superb youth facilities although the BayArena only being 30,210 capacity means I’ll need to watch my wage bill carefully. I’ll likely avoid offering more than £3.5m annum per Key Player with Hernandez and Volland on £4.3m p/a perhaps needing renegotiation. I am not expecting to be able to lure the best names and will buy into the club philosophy to promote youngsters; we will see… Specialist coaching is also a concern and I only have four slots [after sacking current Assistant Manager] to play with. Carsten Jancker [new Assistant Manager and a rival from my Blackburn database where he managed Man Utd], Dennis Bergkamp, Massimo D’Urso and Paul McGuinness have been offered coaching contracts. I will try to negotiate with the Board over additional coaches as I could do with at least two more. How’s about we start this story with my Formations/Tactics? I usually import my previous database’s tactics and go from there so this is what I finished with when playing with Blackburn: - Formation A: 4-4-2 [Variants: 4-1-3<BBM>-1-1 or 4-1-3<BWM>-1-1] Starting: Standard > Highly Structured... [can switch to Counter > Take a Breather if 2+ goals up in 2nd half with busy schedule] Tempo: NormalWidth: BalancedDefensive Line: Starts Slightly Deeper but can go Normal if we’re not getting a foothold.Offside Trap: NoClosing Down: SometimesPrevent Short GK Distribution: YesUse Tighter Marking: NoGet Stuck In: NoStay on Feet: NoBuild Up = Play out of Defence onlyPassing Directness = Shorter PassingRetain Possession = YesCreative Freedom = Be More DisciplinedAttack = Work Ball into Box onlyCrosses = MixedRun at Defence: NoDribble Less: NoFreedom of Movement: Stick to Positions Variant: As above
- Used for the first 5 away league games of a season.
- Used for Home league fixtures thereafter where the opposition is within the top 5-6 form teams.
- Used for Away league fixtures thereafter where the opposition is within the top 15-16 form teams.
- Variant 4-1-3<BBM>-1-1 will be used if the opposition is controlling the midfield or getting too much space and for Away European fixtures.
- Variant 4-1-3<BWM>-1-1 will be used in away European Knockout Games, against opponents who consistently beat us later on in the Database and in the closing stages of games to close out for the result.
Formation B: 4-4-2 [Variants: 4-4-1-1 or 4-1-3<BBM>-1-1 or 4-2-4] Starting: Attacking > Fluid...[can switch to Overload > Take more Risks for obvious scenarios]Variant: 4-2-4 used when switching to Overload Tempo: HigherWidth: BalancedDefensive Line: Starts Slightly Higher but can go Normal or Higher depending on how I feel the game is progressing/the opposition is performing.Offside Trap: NoClosing Down: MorePrevent Short GK Distribution: YesUse Tighter Marking: NoGet Stuck In: NoStay on Feet: NoBuild Up = Play out of Defence onlyPassing Directness = Shorter PassingRetain Possession = YesCreative Freedom = Be More ExpressiveAttack = Look for Overlap and Work Ball into BoxCrosses = MixedRun at Defence: NoDribble Less: NoFreedom of Movement: Roam From Positions
- Used for the first 5 home league games of a season.
- Used for Home league fixtures thereafter where the opposition is within the bottom 6-7+ form teams and also for Home European fixtures.
- Used for Away league fixtures thereafter where the opposition is within the bottom 5-6 form teams.
- Used for most Home and Away cup games unless Giant opposition encountered.
- Variant 4-4-1-1 will be used if the opposition is controlling the midfield or getting too much space; this can also be changed to Variant 4-1-3<BBM>-1-1 although depending on the score line this might precipitate a change to Formation A.
- Variant 4-2-4 will be used in situations requiring the impossible [with Blackburn I was 3-0 down away to Liverpool in the CL QF after the first leg and used this to secure a 4-3 aggregate win; I would go on, destiny fans, to beat Leverkusen in the CL Final].
- I use an Excel spreadsheet system I have devised to calculate whether [for example] a player should Shoot More Often; this based on an HTML Extract of key stats.
- I value the following seven stats: Aggression, Composure, Concentration, Positioning, Teamwork, Workrate and Stamina.
- The average of this is my base rating “Mark” for my players.
- The Leverkusen squad has a Mark average of 13; this is a decent start but I’m looking for 15+.
- I prefer a global approach to Opposition Instructions so will define these by position in the Opposition Instructions screen
- Every position is shown on to their Weaker Foot.
- All wide positions [e.g. DR/WBR/MR/AMR], AMCs and STs are all Tight Marked, Closed Down and Tackled really, really Hard.
Players, Positions and Shortlisted Players Goalkeeper > Defend [Formation A + Formation B] First Choice: Bernd LenoSecond Choice: Ramazan ÖzcanShortlist: Kasper Schmeichel, Predrag Rajkovic, Augusto Batalla. Full Backs > Defend [Formation A] + Attack [Formation B]Wing Backs > Attack [Formation B > Variant: 4-2-4] First Choice DR: Benjamin HenrichsFirst Choice DL: WendellSecond Choice DR: Danny da CostaSecond Choice DL: Henrichs to go DLShortlist: Corentin Tolisso, Sead Kolašinac, Nacho, Ricardo Rodríguez. Centre Backs > Defend [Formation A + Formation B] First Choice CB Pairing: Jonathan Tah [RCB] and Alexsandar Dragovic [LCB]Second Choice CB Pairing: Tin Jedvaj [RCB] and Ömer Toprak [LCB]Shortlist: Sven Bender, Virgil van Dijk, Aymeric Laporte, Alessio Romagnoli, Andreas Christensen, Felix Uduokhai Ball Winning Midfielder > RCM > Defend [Formation A] + Support [Formation B]Ball Winning Midfielder > CDM > Defend [Formation A > Variants] + Support [Formation B > Variants] First Choice BWM: Lars BenderSecond Choice BWM: Julian BaumgartlingerShortlist: Tiemoué Bakayoko, Niclas Stark, Gideon Jung Wide Midfielders > Automatic [Formation A + Formation B]Wingers > Attack [Formation B > Variant: 4-2-4] First Choice RM: Julian BrandtFirst Choice LM: Hakan ÇalhanoğluSecond Choice RM: Leon BaileySecond Choice LM: Brandt to go LM, Bailey to RMShortlist: Martin Ødegaard, Andrija Živković, Pione Sisto Box to Box Midfielder > LCM > Support [Formation A + Formation B] First Choice BBM: Kevin KamplSecond Choice BBM: Kai HavertzShortlist: Leon Goretzka, Rodrigo Bentancur Deep Lying Forward > Support [Formation A] + Attack [Formation B]Attacking Midfielder > Support [Formation A > Variants] + Attack [Formation B > Variants] First Choice DpLF: Kevin VollandSecond Choice DpLF: Stefan KießlingShortlist: Kasper Dolberg, Zackarias Faour, Adalberto Peñaranda Poacher > Attack [Formation A + Formation B] First Choice SC: Karim BellarabiSecond Choice SC: Javier HernándezShortlist: Ahmed Musa, Timo Werner, Tomas Connechy Utility Player [every squad should have one of these] Charles Aránguiz [RB/LB/RM/LM/BBM/BWM] Wild Card [something out of nothing if you please] Joel Pohjanpalo [DpLF/RM/LM] Learning his Trade [will be involved] Atakan Akkaynak [BWM] In Reserve [Loan or Sale in their future but you never know…] Roberto Hilbert (RB)Niklas Lomb (GK)Admir Mehmedi (LM)Ole Päffgen (RB)Vladlen Yurchenko (AMC) Out on Loan [Underlined may be given a chance] Robin Becker (RB/LB)Lukas Boeder (CB)Marc Brasnic (DpLF)Patrick Dzalto (DpLF)Marlon Frey (BBM)Kyriakos Papadopoulos (CB)André Ramalho (BWM)Ryu Seung-Woo (RM/LM) Marinating [Promising for next season] Marian Prinz (GK) 16 years old (4 Star potential)Sam Schreck (RM/LM) 17 years old (3.5 Star potential)Daniel Nesseler (CB) 18 years old (3.5 Star potential) Individual Training
- All players – the exact role I expect them to play in the short term; therefore for multi-position players who have to cover this will change as the season progresses.
- We’ll be starting with specialist moves for all players then moving on to specific attribute focus where required.
- Week 1: Balanced [Average] > Match Training [Lowest]
- Week 2: Balanced [Average] > Match Training [One iteration from the right]
- Week 3: Balanced [High] > Match Training [One iteration from the right]
- Week 4: Balanced [High] > Match Training [One iteration from the right]
- Week 5: Balanced [High] > Match Training [Two iterations from the right]
- Week 6: Balanced [Very High] > Match Training [Two iterations from the right]
- Week 7: Balanced [Very High] > Match Training [Two iterations from the right]
- Week 8: Balanced [Very High] > Match Training [Three iterations from the right]
- Week 9: Balanced [Very High] > Match Training [Three iterations from the right]
- Week 10 [Internationals]: Balanced [High] > Match Training [Two iterations from the right]
- Week 11: [Default until February]: Balanced [High] > Match Training [One iteration from the right]
That’s all for now but I’ll be back with a report on Pre-Season...