I came up with the name Terri-ball as I thought it was a funny play-on of things like "Conte ball" and whatnot.
I'm not sure how well this will do with lesser sides, but a new save with Manchester United saw us surpass all expectations and become arguably the best club in the world.
It's a high-pressing system that saw us score about 3.1 goals per game, concede 0.73 goals per game, and dominate nearly every opponent we came up against.
I set up this tactic myself since I love the 4-1-2-1-2 formation, which only needed small changes throughout the season. I wanted more of a tiki-taka playstyle, so I set the instructions to have the players press high up the pitch and play short passes through the middle.
Even though the game says that it's gegenpressing, I would definitely disagree; my inspirations for it came specifically from tiki-taka football. I attempted to keep it more true to tiki-taka by turning on "dribble less," hoping to utilize shorter passing and a narrow width as the players focused play through the middle, but I ended up turning off the dribbling instructions. I believe this change is what helped certain players, most notably Sancho, to find their footing and show improvement.
I began the season with instructions to "force the opposition inside;" it worked for a while, but a short spell that saw us briefly out of form and lose our first game caused me to change that instruction to "force opposition outside" as I noticed we were being easily opened up in the middle.
We began winning again immediately after making this change, so this instruction hasn't changed since. However, the goals we concede often tend to come from crosses on the wing, likely due to the opposition being forced in that position and our wingbacks playing higher up the pitch. At least, I believe this is the reasoning for those types of goals, so I may experiment with it in the future.
It's not something that has caused too many problems for me, so I don't see it as an urgent change to make; we've seen more success with the opposition being forced outside than inside, despite our wingbacks playing higher up the pitch and having a HB that drops between the BPDs. It's just how FM is, I guess lol.
Some other changes that I made include: removing "play out of defence," changing to Carrello from BWM(S) (even though I like BWM a lot and think both would work), switching the DLF(A) from the left to the right and AF from the right to the left (this helped get the best out of Greenwood as the AF and Cristiano as the DLF since they both would perform best in these roles), often setting the HB to specifically mark the/a striker, and less commonly setting a BPD to mark a striker or a WB to mark the winger (in our quarter final match of the Club World Cup against PSG, Messi played AMR and quickly scored two goals in the first half.
Setting Calafiori to specifically mark him completely shut Messi out and helped us come back in a 3-2 win). I would say that the HB is a personal preference, as I really love the role due to the player dropping between the BPDs, forming more of a back 3 that sees the WBs advancing up the pitch.
I haven't experimented much with the other DM roles since I enjoy this one so much, but I have used BWM at DM before and really enjoyed it, I just haven't used it in this system.
The WBs I switch between support and attack depending on our opposition or how a player is performing during a match.
With all of this being said, the file that I have uploaded is what I ended the season with. This tactic is what I believe has brought us the most success after all the tinkering I made to it throughout the season.
Some changes might need to be made in order for it to work best for you, so hopefully everything I mentioned can help guide you in experimenting with it yourself.
While our style of play would further steer away from tiki-taka, I personally might try switching "focus play through the middle" to either not be selected or "focus play down the left/right."
I'm curious about this because, despite focusing the play through the middle, our WBs still make great impacts by being on the ball a lot and making tons of crosses. I'm curious if changing our focus to the wing could help improve the output from our WBs, or possibly selecting "hit early crosses." However, as I personally want to continue using more of a tiki-taka system, I likely wouldn't use these. Instead, I may try the instruction "shoot on sight" as we have many attacking options higher up the pitch and/or "be more expressive" as we have many creative players that can act as both goalscorers and playmakers.
As previously mentioned, this was our first season, and we managed to surpass all expectations set for us. We managed to become Invincibles in the EPL and also won the Champions League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup.
At the time of writing this, it is 27 June 2022 in-game, and we are in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup with the Super Cup and Community Shield still yet to be played. That means we won the quadruple in our first season and will be competing in 7 competitions in this upcoming season.
We played 66 matches that season, including the 3 Club World Cup Group matches that came in the summer, and we managed an incredible 57 wins, 7 draws, and 2 losses. Those 2 losses were against Ajax (an away match in the Champions League group stage that ended 1-2; wasn't too surprising as I played our second team due to already qualifying and wanting to rotate the squad), and Chelsea (the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final, where we lost 1-2 as the away team). In those 66 matches, we scored 204 goals in all competitions and conceded only 48.
The rest of this explains more about the impact certain players had, including who I thought was best, struggled, and so on. If you don't care about this, there are screenshots included below that may interest you!
Talking about PlayersThere were certain players that were absolutely pivotal in our success. This includes Cristiano (45(2) apps, 51 goals, 23 assists), Greenwood (35(5) apps, 38 goals, 17 assists), Bruno Fernandes (41(8) apps, 14 goals, 23 assists), and Martial (13(8) apps, 11 goals, 5 assists), who remained at the club until January.
Despite being in fabulous form throughout the first half of the season, where he found himself as our 3rd highest goalscorer, Cristiano and Greenwood only continued to comfortably overshadow him.
Not wanting to pay his 250 thousand pound per week wages, and seeing that he was in the form of his life, it seemed like the perfect time to cash in on him. I fought hard throughout the first half of the season to sell him, pushing for upwards of 70 million pounds, but clubs would only go as high as 30 million pounds. Finally, January saw him transfer to Inter in a 50 million pound deal.
As for the rest of the squad, some notable mentions are Wan-Bissaka (35(8) apps, 3 goals, 15 assists), Dalot (37(15) apps, 1 goal, 12 assists), Barella (only played that CMR spot; 41(3) apps, 4 goals, 9 assists), and Seiwald. Seiwald is a young, Austrian midfielder that I brought in for 10 million pounds with the expectation that he would be Barella's backup and begin to develop into a squad player able to play multiple positions, hopefully remaining as such throughout his time at the club.
Despite only managing 1 goal and 2 assists in 20(8) appearances, I'm quite fond of him. I can't find much to complain about as I personally feel he met these expectations throughout the season, consistently being a solid midfield option. While we could easily splash some money on a better player to replace him, I really want to continue developing him and keep him at the club for many years.
During the summer, Telles would be out for some time due to injury, and none of the academy players impressed me enough to bring them to the first team, so I had only Shaw at LB going into the season. I thought this was far from being ideal, so I ended up bringing in Calafiori (13(11) apps, 1 goal, 5 assists) for only 10 million pounds. I thought his attributes were incredible for his age, especially his 15 crossing that could grow even more. In the second half of the season he was needed much more, which often led to him being out injured, but I was still quite impressed with his overall performance that season.
I also brought in Palinha for 27.5 million pounds to play the HB role (36(9) apps, 3 goals, 1 assist, 2.24 tackles/90), seeing that he would be a cheap option with impressive attributes. However, he especially stood out to me as I really liked the idea of building not only a stronger Sporting connection in our squad, considering Cristiano and Bruno played for them, but also a stronger Portuguese connection when you include Dalot.
I also want to mention McTominay (34(9), 2 goals, 6 assists, 2.55 tackles/90), who has continually met my expectations of being backup to Palinha in that HB position, despite being told by other FM players that it would be stupid to play him as HB. In fact, I thought both Palinha and McTominay were very solid throughout the season; neither really dominated that role, as both would often have a run of games where they started.
In goal, de Gea (41 apps, 29 conceded, 19 cleansheets) was our primary goalkeeper with Henderson (24 apps, 19 conceded, 8 cleansheets) our cup goalkeeper. De Gea was really solid and did his job well, and I thought Henderson was quite impressive due to often playing against the likes of PSG, Ajax, Chelsea, Liverpool, and so on, so I have no complaints about them as I'm very content with my options in that position. However, de Gea has mentioned being interested in leaving, so, considering his growing age and incredibly high wage, I'm very open to this and may soon begin to look for a replacement or make Henderson my main keeper with a younger player to develop as backup.
It's hard not to name the entire squad as notably impressive players, except for mainly Shaw. He managed 2 goals and 6 assists in 33(6) appearances, which isn't terrible, but he was asking for wages of 250 thousand pounds and was often out injured with Calafiori.
Dalot was excellent and incredibly reliable as he often played on the left to replace the Shaw and Calafiori. This was mainly an issue in the second half of the season after selling Telles in January; Calafiori was brought in during the summer transfer window due to Telles' injury and myself wanting a good, young, cheap LB to develop. This was a problem that was partly my fault, but I didn't expect it.
We pulled through, though, and I ended up selling Shaw after the season ended due to the infuriatingly common injuries I was dealing with in that position. After Shaw moved to Chelsea for 50 million pounds, I snatched Wijndal for 40 million pounds before Man City could sign him.
While I specifically mentioned Shaw as being fairly disappointing, I want to mention my BPDs in general for being quite disappointing themselves. Varane (37(5) apps, 1 goal, 1 assist) and Bailly (27(4) apps, 3 goals, 3 assists) were generally my favorable partnership, but it was common for me to rotate Varane, Bailly, and Maguire (36(4) apps, 4 goals, 1 assist) as my 2 BPDs depending on who is currently performing the best. Lindelof (28(5) apps) would occasionally perform well but was often out-of-favor due to myself preferring the other BPDs and wanting to bring in at least one new signing anyways.
Allowing them to finish the season with happy faces, I immediately began my attempts of offloading them in the summer. I managed to convince Madrid to increase their 18-20 million pound bid for Maguire to 35 million pounds, and he soon left.
My plans were to offload Lindelof and have Tuanzebe take spot after returning from loan. However, soon after the season ended, Arsenal made a 30-35 million pound bid for Tuanzebe that I countered with 50 million pounds, testing their interest in him and expecting them to counter with a lower price or walk away. They didn't, and he's now an Arsenal player.
While we are still attempting to sell Lindelof, who also almost joined Arsenal for 35 million pounds (he rejected the contract), our wonderful financial status allowed us to replace these players with Gvardiol for 67 million pounds and Kounde for 65 million pounds. Quite worth it in my opinion, especially considering we still have much more to spend.
Now with Varane, Kounde, Gvardiol, and Bailly, along with Lindelof should he not move on, I'm quite excited for the upcoming season and hope these BPD issues can be fixed.
With Rashford coming back from injury around November, he had a pretty slow return. His performances were poor, and he managed only few goal contributions for quite some time. This was to be expected, though, as he was coming back from a fairly long-term injury. However, sometime in the second half of the season, he began to blow me away, finding incredible form that saw him end the season with an 25 goals and 7 assists in 25(13) appearances.
Jadon Sancho was another player who I thought had a really slow start. It was difficult with him because he was a real transfer that I was stuck with and didn't necessarily fit in my system. Seeing him primarily as a winger, he needed to adapt to not only a new league but also a new position and system.
Without any attacking wingers in my system and not wanting to change my entire system to one that I personally would favor less, all for one player that I didn't choose to sign, I thought the best bet would be to play him as a number 10. Having a slow start at the club and barely contributing in matches, I experimented with him, trying him as a striker (usually the DLF but he had a couple great performances as the AF) and once or twice as the Mazzella, which I wasn't ideal due to his poor tackling and marking.
By January, he had only 5 goals and 5 assists, which isn't bad for a player coming to a new league, but it still felt very underwhelming when compared to our best performers that season. However, as the second half of the season progressed, he managed to find his footing and ended the season with 36(9) appearances, 16 goals, and 13 assists. I am very proud of him for managing to improve so much, especially during times where Bruno and Gravenberch fell out of form.
There was also Van de Beek who had a slow start to the season and struggled to find much consistency. It's hard for me to decide whether I'm happy or unhappy with him, although I suppose I would lean more towards considering him to have pulled through. I switched him between the number 10 and Mazzella spots throughout the season, but I felt that he improved the most in the second half of the season and was fairly decent. Still, Van de Beek ended the season with 4 goals and 6 assists in 17(15) appearances, which isn't a very ideal goal contribution for a player being paid 120 thousand pounds per week. I hope that he can continue growing and improving, and I'm going to remain patient with him as I never truly gave him a proper run of games, but I feel that his situation may get worse.
Throughout the season, we've had Gavi set for a future transfer to us. We're in a position now where Sancho is performing well in that number 10 role, and Bruno has shown to me that he performs much better as the Mezzalla than AM.
With this, I plan for them to be my starters with Gravenberch primarily playing as the backup number 10. With Gavi's long-awaited arrival, I'm incredibly keen on playing him as the MCL backup to Bruno, occasionally rotating in the number 10 position. This isn't even to mention certain academy players that I may give chances, such as Hannibal and Elanga. Van de Beek, who can definitely play in either role, now has to compete with all of these players and very well could drop further in the pecking order. He really needs to step up this season, possibly helping in rotation as we'll have tons of games this season, but he very well could be sold in the future.