I wanted to start one of these things since I go through FM phases where I get into various games.
Right now I'm playing first season as Villarreal. I personally am most comfortable with the 442 and I played a game with Real in 2010 where I was successful and wanted to give it a try with FM2012.
Villareal were a great choice for me because they have some great fits for that formation. Rossi as deep lying forward, Nilmar as advanced forward. Borja Valero has great playmaking attributes, and is probably top 10 in the game at it. Senna can play DM. Villareal also have decent centre backs. I like to play with a Stopper/Cover and Zapata is a great cover. The only weak parts are the wingers and full backs but its fun buying to fill in the gaps.
So far I just brought in Osorio, an experienced Mexican international. He can play right or left back and for my tactic I need someone to support play, make nice decisions and passing and he is good for that. I also bought a fast left winger from France, Tabanou, who is good at dribbling, crossing and is decent at defending. Although he isn't world class he is what I'm looking for in my wingers.
In the winter transfer I'm bringing in 2 former players who will help with the homegrown rules (and I'll be selling 2 back-up players in their positions). I already bought a young left back option to come in January. He is Anita from Ajax and he is what I'm looking for in that position as described with Osorio, his only weakness is height. Also I arranged for a Brazilian from Cruzeiro to come in by the name of Wallyson. I'll try to see how he does as my right winger. He can also back-up both striker positions. The deep-lying forward often gets a lot of space to dribble past the defenders so he might do well there. I was able to get him for just $1.5 mil.
What I'm trying differently in this game is to buy players that I think are right tactically but not necessarily have the most stars. Because we all know if you buy highly rated players you are almost certain to succeed but in this game I want to keep it more realistic and not so easy on my-self. I am a bit of a hypocrite though because Nilmar and Rossi, my highest rated players, can take over games and win them for me with their skills. For the first time I'll also try to be cheap to limit my-self. Normally I like paying a lot for really great players but this time I'll try to go with the cheapest options possible. The Spain rule of only 3 non-EU players will also be a fun challenge.
Unlike my fm2010 game with Real this time I have 2 back-up tactics that might come in handy.
The 4-3-3 is a more attacking tactic and it's also useful against certain formation. It was successful against Athletic's flat 3-4-3 because it exploited the wings. The 3rd tactic is a defensive one.
So far I'm doing well in the league, squad morale is high which is huge. In CL I'm also doing good.
I noticed some things I like about FM12. Team Talks are much easier to understand. I like the fact that you can see what different coaches would say during team talks. And the description of how the player is feeling ( playing well/looks complacent/is having a bad game) is the main key now in my substitution selection and I feel that improves my success a lot.