Cool, that's good to hear at least. I was going to just start a new save, but I just said **** it.
I actually did try the downloaded tactics with Bolton, but it didn't seem to suit them... I would win big or get my ass kicked. I tried another similar downloaded tactic, but despite it being the same base formation, it said they needed to learn the tactic, so that backfired. I was too inconsistent. Also it seemed that if I made tweaks to it when it wasn't working, it would actually make things worse. I ended up sucking it up and tried to learn more about how things work and try to tweak my own formation with Sunderland instead of letting them do it for me. That actually gave me better results.
I mostly played defensive, slow, narrow, possession 4231 with a target man, and that yielded the best results. Asamoah Gyan and Ji Dong-Won split in scoring, and that helped me catch up. Down the stretch is where I had problems. I would dominate, take the lead and then give up the lead if I stayed in the same philosophy. So then I tried to go more defensive. All that did was make me lose possession and give them tons of chances.
I lost count of how many leads I gave up after seemingly dominating then them countering what I was doing, and I had no answer for them.
I really didn't mind this save, though. I felt like I learned more from it than I did with City... I'm hoping I can start a new save with a solid team and see how I do with them.
After a small hiatus I decided it wasn't worth trying to go with Sunderland in the Championship, so I resigned. I simmed it and Bochum hired me, but I had no real intentions of taking yet another relegation zone team in another strong league. So I ended up starting a new save.
I decided to take the Ukranian PL since they seem to have solid teams, but I didn't really want to try with Shakhtar for some reason. I thought of Dynamo Kiev, but wasn't that interesting. I decided for Dnipro Dnipropretosk. No other reason than that I only was familiar with them cause Nery was on loan with them for a bit (very unsuccessful I might add). They are solid on finances and they had some solid talent.
I opted for no downloaded tactics only because I want to have full understanding as to why things are working and why they aren't, and it seems that when they're downloaded I have no option to tweak it much if at all.
I'm playing the conventional 4-3-3 with a DM and it has worked out well enough. One thing that I noticed was that actually putting the DM as support was more effective for some reason. I always had DM as defend, but for some reason support seems to be more versatile and doesn't run out of position.
Here's the formation:
So far with very minor tweaking, this formation has yielded me these results:
I'm content with it for the most part aside for the fact that no matter who I play, I tend to win by a minimal margin. Also, for some reason I seem to score mostly from FKs and corners, and my attackers hit the bar way too often.
Also as you can see, my only experience in the Europa League Qualifiers was a complete ass kicking at the hands of Lazio. That was just sad. I had no answer.
This is the table thus far. As you can see ******* Shakhtar hasn't lost and they look to be unbeatable... and I happen to play them next. It should be interesting how it pans out.
I'm not too sure. Maybe some type of affiliate? They're on my subscriptions along with the two feeder clubs. I'm too lazy to take them off.
Anyway, as expected I lost to Shakhtar. I lost 1-0, even though I contained them well and countered them. I controlled most of the match with slow tempo and short passing. I though I could squeek out a result but I got beat on a ******* wonder goal from like 35m out. I also hit the post twice and my striker missed a complete sitter late in the game. This game can be a lot more frustrating than Fifa at times.
Started season number two. Got some signings done, but since I signed many players last year and spent a record 30m, I decided to stick to only players that were upgrades only. I also sold a few, so I still have a nice chunk of transfer money in case I need it later.
Needed a GK, preferably Ukranian and he was the best one of the bunch which isn't saying much.
Got him from Tottenham and has been playing pretty well to my surprise.
Got him on a free, which works great because he's an upgrade over another Ukranian and I didn't realize that I was running short on decent Ukranians.
After beating some Danish team in the qualifiers I was drawn in this group:
What the **** is going on here?! I feel like FM is trolling me. I'm on a massive drawing slide, but it isn't just that. I'm hitting the post at a record rate. It's infuriating. Time to put all my attackers on a high intensity finishing training regimen!
At the winter break of year two, and doing alright considering I couldn't win a game to save my life not too long ago. I'm relatively close to the teams ahead of me, so I just need a good run and I can get my goal which is Champions League qualification.
While I was sucking in the PL, I was doing well in the EL. I qualified with two games to spare, so I played my U21 team plus some reserves. They actually didn't completely suck to my surprise.
Specialised training and tutoring, when they're ready start bleeding them in and give them spots on the bench, and starts in unimportant matches. If you can't afford to risk playing them or they're not good enough, loan them out to a club that tells you they'll be a valuable first team member (and have a look at the squad to see if they stand a chance of playing lots of matches, have your scout scout them). Make sure you've loaned them out to a club at an active league and have a scout compile match reports and check up on them every month or so. Make sure they're getting games, and if not, recall them (always make sure there's a recall clause).
I personally loan out anyone over 17.5 years old who aren't good enough to be regular bench players because when they're 18, if they're not getting games the assman will tell you their progress has stalled due to lack of match experience. So, 14-17.5, play them occasionally and specialised training, then loan them out to progressively better clubs until they're good enough to play for you.