On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

Sutton United - Set Piece Specialists?

Blue Square South and up?
Started on 4 October 2012 by GCambo
Latest Reply on 4 October 2012 by GCambo
  • POSTS2
  • VIEWS5554
GCambo's avatar Group GCambo
11 yearsEdited
Hello. I have recently completed my second season in game with Sutton United which I have been talking about on these forums. Thought I should make one of these because I couldn't find any advice about Sutton United when I started and I still think I'm having a bit of trouble.

I have given myself 1 rule to building this team and that is to dominate set pieces. I dont care much if I get scored against through set pieces but I want to score in a lot of set pieces and I want plenty of chances!

So straight down to Blue Square South I went. Letting the game pick a club for me it was fairly generous and gave me a club predicted to finish 13th out of 21 in the Blue Square South division. Awesome, after a bit more research I found they had just been promoted to the division, are based in London and found that there was hardly any advice out there for playing as Sutton United, bugga.



Looking over the team I was quite pleased, quite a few good players for the league DC Anwar Uddin and DR Jay Conroy kept things controlled at the back, ST Leroy Griffiths somewhat stable at the front but the midfield was the strongest part of the club. MC Harry Beautyman was a reliable midfielder while the wings looked very strong with Craig Watkins on the right wings and a lad called Tony Taggart on the left.

As I looked through all the stats a few things stood out for my set piece plans. Tony Taggart was a gun at free kicks and crossing while Beautyman wasn't too bad either. Leroy Griffiths seemed like a suitable target man while Anwar Uddin is pretty good in the air too. Even Jay Conroy could help out with long throws. One player stood out who wasn't one of the best players but had really good stats for these set pieces, Craig Dundas, I used the striker and attacking midfielder a lot at the cost of Leroy Griffiths missing out.

The weakest spots in the team were the goalkeepers, a huge lack of staff and very poor youth services. I hired a few staff (who shall remain nameless because they sucked and bailed after the first season), an assistant manager, coach, physio and a scout, I improved training to get as many stars as possible and then I worked on tactics.

I made 3 formations. A standard 442, 541 and another 442 based around the teams best players with 2 aggressive wingers. Through the season this last formation proved to be the most successfully with Watkins and Taggart constantly crossing to the far post and easily slotting it in on the counter.

I didn't deal with any transfers because I wanted to learn more about the current group but half way through the season we were desperate and we needed some help. I brought in a Scottish 21 year old striker called Kyle Hendry to help out in the air and a right winger to replace the whiny Craig Watkins called David Hutton. Wow what a transfer that proved to be, Watkins and Hutton proved to be a great tag team with Hutton quickly taking over the right wing and providing a ton of assists and goals while Taggart soldiered through the matches by himself on the left wing.

We had some trouble, to start we stuck around 14th position then quickly dropped to the bottom and were struggling with a huge losing streak. After doing the transfers and realizing I need to start talking to the press to keep the team motivated gameplay slowed down a lot and we clawed back up the table. Most of the season we stayed just out of relegation and ended up finishing 14th, 1 under our expectation, not to happy with that but I learned a lot. Overall I didn't notice many goals being scored from set pieces, most came from our wingers on the counter and through fast passing, definitely something to work on for the second season.

It was not a good season, the crowds were low, we were trapped under our transfer costs and didn't win any big contests, didn't even stay in any cups for very long. Most months we lost around $45k. I did find a parent club for some help, Sheffield Wednesday answered the call to give us some money every now and then while allowing us to loan some of their players for free. Great!...but none of them wanted to come over, dammit!
GCambo's avatar Group GCambo
11 yearsEdited
Season 2 started and I was immediately upset with some of the players abandoning the club DC Sam Page and DC Simon Downer definitely hurt our defense and aerial power. MC Anthony Riviere RW Craig Watkins and ST Leroy Griffiths also left while our captain DL Neil Jenkins left too. Fine I can recover from that but AMC/ST Craig Dundas left too, After all I did for him! I seemed to ignore most of this and went straight to the transfer market for a new keeper.

Keenan Gracey from Canada prooved to be a great find, great stats for rushing out for the ball which I noticed a lot of Blue Square south keepers (including our own) diddn't do much. I also brought in MC/DC Adnan Ahmed and ST Omar Koroma. Sadly Ahmed had the best stats but was injured through most of the season. Koroma also had the stats in all the right areas but didn't suit my style of set pieces, he was a poacher, a short guy too. He helped in open play but I think he could of done much better if I built the team around him more.

Because of this I began to rethink my plan, a semi-professional set piece focused team is kind of awkward. In the lower leagues where physical stats reign supreme I may have to suck it up and try focus on that again when the team turns professional...if I ever do. But my recruiting will stay the same, there's a lot of great players out there so I filter them by how helpful they can be in set pieces.

Because of the amount of people who left the team was desperate for some players, I promoted some from the reserves. Young DC Peter Aylmer proved to be a great student of Anwar Uddin while DC Oba Obamwonyi was good backup. Striker Jerson Dos Santos was starting to look like a great player especially in the tournaments, frequently being more fit and reliable than Omar Koroma! Through the season I also picked up Alex Dyer who could play, MC, AMC and RW fairly well. Basically I had flexible substitutes who could fill in most positions while I saved a ton of money for the long run.

Sheffield Wednesday proved to be no help again with the loans and the board again weren't very helpful. Though I did manage to convince them to bring in some better youth for the future so our next bunch of youth players could be a bit more varied.

I also had to go over the staff again. I was more pleased with the new staff though (sorry I haven't got their names at the moment.)

I decided to re-do the tactics, I found a version of Stoke's 442 I tried out, also a counterattacking style which someone suggested. I used those tactics the whole way and the counterattacking one away from home the majority of the time. Both suited the team well thanks to the philosophy I set which was a more fluid play-style because the team was great with first touch passing.

Better than the first season I thought, we spent a lot of time in 5th place, even jumping into 4th every now and then until 3 straight losses stopped me right above relegation. The team was being overworked, we had injuries and players needing a rest constantly missing out on game time while our only physio, a poor 60 year old guy told us that he had enough and will leave at the end of the season, even though he had 1 more year on his contract...

We were poor in the league but I did give the team an extra incentive in the cup competitions where we did well. In the FA Cup we beting a few League 1 and 2 teams while we won the FA Trophy by beating Kettering from the Blue Square Premiership.

Through all the tournaments, league games, injuries and unfit players we diddn't have any huge injuries and we were able to pull off finishing 14th yet again. The board was not happy, again I failed to meet their expectations but we were playing fast attractive football which the fans liked, we won a tournament and saved a lot of money which is why they offered me a new contract for 2 more years.

You are reading "Sutton United - Set Piece Specialists?".

FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.