My #FM19 Exposé

Sick of reveals? Try an Exposé


Hello and welcome to my #FM19 save exposé. While this reveal isn’t as slick or as early as Dan Gear’s,  I hope you find it interesting all the same.

It should be apparent that I intend to manage Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia. I would like to thank a good friend for help with the featured image but he/she wishes to remain anonymous.

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My Manager

Ruslan Chepiga. “It’s the dose that makes it poison.”

It wasn’t meant to be like this. Ruslan Chepiga walked through the dusty streets of Kaspiysk, it was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Just five years ago promises were made to turn his beloved Anzhi into a footballing powerhouse. Now all that is left is a shell of the club he loved as a boy, and it is his mission to revive this dream.

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My first days at Anzhi #FM19

Service station FM

It’s Friday 8 June, Ruslan has been formally appointed the manager of Anzhi Makhachkala.  He has met the board, who were equally keen to meet the man appointed by the Kremlin to take over their club. In the distance, a car bomb explodes killing nine and injuring twenty more, mainly police.  It would prove to be the largest attack in months. Ruslan knew it was happening, but a government double agent was involved, so he advised against any intervention. Besides, a Russian government think-tank recently concluded that a top-notch club, loyal to the Kremlin, could change attitudes in the region. Another bomb attack would help strengthen this view amongst key decision makers. Forcibly installing Ruslan as manager, along with an 80 million Ruble sweetener, was a small price to pay for a shot at stability in the Caucasus.

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Match in Focus 1 – Zenit v Anzhi

Welcome to the first “match in focus”. These will be a small aside to each blog post in which I will discuss, in more detail, one particular match. In these posts, I will give an overview of the match, along with my reasoning behind any key decisions I took, both before, and during the game.

Date: 6.00pm 4th August 2018 Attendance: 44, 912

Before many games, especially early in a save, I like to scroll through some opposition players. This serves two purposes, firstly I get to thoroughly evaluate the opposition looking for strengths and weaknesses and secondly, it allows me to better benchmark my own side. It is important to know what is out there.

My initial assessment highlighted Claudio Marchisio as Zenit’s best player. As it was so early in the season I was unsure what role he would play against me, but I was prepared to adjust things to nullify him if required.

Zenit lined up in a 5-1-2-2 formation quite different from the 4-2-3-1 my scouts had suggested they would. Marchisio was in the DM slot presumably as some sort of playmaker. I was content for him to have the ball in deep positions as we would be defending deep and compact ourselves. I was hopeful this would limit his ability to easily find space to pass into.

We would line up in a 4-1-4-1, at this point I was still using the direct counter attack pre-set as a base for my team instructions. I had no player instructions as I tend to develop them once I am more familiar with my players and I adjust according to patterns I see repeated during games. I used an extra central defender in the DM slot and Kulik was deployed as a deep-lying playmaker. My plan was to sit deep and narrow, allowing Zenit to cross the ball into our box, where I would have two giants heading the ball away. My hope was for Kulik to then pick up any loose balls and immediately release my winger on attack Savichev. I was without three of my preferred back four, both full backs and a central defender. Leaving me with the substandard Kerimov at right back, and I opted to use a winger as a wing back on attack on the left hoping to push Zenit’s wing backs towards their own goal. Continue reading “Match in Focus 1 – Zenit v Anzhi”

My Review of Season 2 – Long Runs the Fox

Planning for season two was well underway when the bombshell came. Star left-back and player of the season Evengy Gapon, along with goalkeeper Alexandr Budakov wanted out, both wanted to leave for Rostov. Neither believed Ruslan could take the club further,  while he found their lack of faith disturbing,  Ruslan also knew this was a battle he could not win, but he was confident he would win the war. “The fox runs long my friends”, he muttered under his breath, as he smiled and waved them off.

Ruslan recognised the club needed cash and needed it fast. The two million raised from these two sales would help the club immensely in the short-term. Eleven players, mainly youngsters, had already been released to reduce the clubs swollen wage bill. Replacements would be difficult to source, the transfer embargo had only recently been lifted and consequently relatively little scouting had been done.

Agents (aka scouts in FM parlance) were dispatched across Eastern Europe to find willing recruits to the cause.

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Match in Focus 2 – Anzhi v Krasnodar

Welcome to my second Match in Focus. A little aside from my main blog posts where I describe one important, or notable, match from my save.

Date: 8.00pm 15th March 2020 Attendance: 12,068

Squad building is an integral part of any successful FM save and for me it is my favourite part of the game by far. Very often I see managers setting out attributes they want for each position and aim for two players per position. This is sensible, however, I like to take this a little step further when planning ahead. Instead of having two similar players for each position I prefer to have two, sometimes three, different types of player per position. By doing this it is possible to completely change how your team plays whilst remaining within a tactical framework that is largely unchanged. Continue reading “Match in Focus 2 – Anzhi v Krasnodar”