"Straight Outta La Plata" - Return to La Plata #FM18 #WeAreTheCommunity


Pavone 2.JPG

Intro

During my annual FM lull in October, I sat in a 'cultural change' course at my employers.  One quote in this 2 hour lecture caught my attention, so much that I hastily had to write it down: 

“While it is important to have the right structure, without the right culture to support it, it won't deliver what we need it to” 

Obviously, my FM senses were set alight straight away.  I already knew at this point that I wanted the 'One Club' save in FM18 (like I did with Grasshopper Club in FM16), and that club would be Estudiantes de La Plata (a club I managed for 3 years in FM17).  Therefore, thematically building a culture within my 'One Club Save' was always going to be a major focus for me.  But before I discuss this, we need to conclude the happenings in the final 6 months of the 2017/18 season...


Season 2017/18

The first six months of Bastardo in La Plata were eventful: we ousted the Club President and took time to build momentum in the league.  The next six months were always going to be relatively tranquil compared to that!  We played out the 2018 Copa Libertadoes Group Stage fixtures alongside the league campaign, and to a large extent coped well.  An unbeaten run, including two clean sheets Vs Grêmio, sees the continuation of continental football for the later part of 2018.

On the domestic front we were largely consistent in the final 5 months of 2017/18, losing only twice.  However everybody in Argentina unestimated Talleres de Córdoba's late run...pipping me to the last Copa Libertadores spot on the final day of the season.  On goal difference!  We finished 6th.  Not great, but enough to keep Bastardo in the job...who signed a 2 year extension to 2020.

This means Copa Sudamericana for 2019, unless one of two scenarios occur: (1) both the Winners AND Runners up of the yet-to-be played Copa Argentina are two of the teams above me in the final 2017/18 domestic table OR (2) I win the 2018 Copa Libertadores.  Qualification is messy, so for now, let's just say I qualified for the 2nd tier of continental club football for 2019.

Some tight results, but more green than anything else!

2017/18 Superliga table.  La Plata is red!


Straight Outta La Plata

Straight Outta La Plata.png

Ángel Bastardo's aim is to transform Estudiantes de La Plata from an unlikely domestic title challenger to a South American powerhouse.  With a bustling network of youngsters going through the system, mixed in with ex-International pros, the club would have one set of music from which everyone would play.  A concerto of Fibra...'Straight Outta La Plata'.
 
The Bastardo Hierarchy
To keep my house in order, my structure will be hierarchical which means there are clear ordered levels of management.  To an extent, the new FM18 Dynamics feature conveys this.  It has subtlety been in the background for a number of FMs, but we're now able to see team leaders and thematically order my club on a hierarchical scale.

Team Bastardo in June 2018.

Now that we have removed El Presidente Verón.  Bastardo sits on the throne with three leaders beneath him for 2018/19: Mariano Pavone, Mariano Andújar and Current Club Captain Leandro Desábato.  It's my intention to always make one of these guys the Club Captain each season.  For 2018/19 we won't upset the apple cart at all, even with his powers waning, current Captain Desábato keeps his armband.  The hierarchy I want to instill is based on succession from within the Dynamics screen...so if he is not fit enough to lead, he will lose the armband to a peer. 

Bastardo's strict management is perhaps best highlighted with the treatment of 39 year old Vice Captain Rodrigo Braña.  His influence has declined due to his form at the tail end of 2017/18.  So he is removed from his responsibilities as Desábato's deputy.  His successor will be either Andújar or Pavone.

Leaders, Leaders, Leaders (Player's Playing Style)

Generally the fibra transfer policy I've adopted in this save is attracting the right kind of bastard.  When a player has high levels of Aggression, Bravery, Teamwork & Work Rate he is more often than not going to be a 'Leader'.  Bastardo's recruitment of Abel Aguilar, Leonardo Jara & Diego Polenta in the Summer of 2017 added another three Leaders, bringing a total of nine leaders over the age of 25 years:

Estudiantes 1st Team June 2018 Over 25s.

It’s also worth noting a couple of things that Bastardo did not do to bring about the culture change in the first 12 months:

  1. He did not change the coaching & playing  staff en masse.  The only staff member to depart was Assistant Manger Federico Hernández who was let go in favour of World Cup winner and Estudiantes icon José Luis Brown.  
  2. Bastardo sold no players.  He worked with the players who were already there.  This trend will continue, to those players & staff worth keeping... if we need something (either coaching or playing staff) I will first look to draw on existing club employees from within the organisation.  Moving players who wish to stay in La Plata along the route of youth- player-coach/scout.  (But I am also conscious that players will want to leave for Europe and I must cater for this).

It is hoped all of the above will go some way to addressing the quote I discussed when I opened this blog post: 

“While it is important to have the right structure, without the right culture to support it, it won't deliver what we need it to”

Getting the culture just right will hopefully see my bastards rise to unimaginable heights of fame & fibra.  Stay tuned to my Twitter & Slack channel for further pre-season developments and happenings, as we embark towards kicking off Season 2!

As always, thanks again for reading/sharing and caring,

FM Grasshopper
 

"Ángels & Demons" - Return to La Plata #FM18 #WeAreTheCommunity

Previously in Return to La Plata, Ángel Bastardo reviewed the squad and counted the Argentine pesos.


Intro

“Life is the thing that happens when you’re busy making other plans”.   A John Lennon lyric from the 1980 song ‘Beautiful Boy’, perhaps never intended to be used in a blog about Football Manager 2018.  But there I was, 5 games into a league season with El Presidente Juan Sebastián Verón breathing down my neck.  Despite all of my meticulous plans, it had been an awful start...just one league win in five (W1/D2/L2) and a Copa Sudamericana exit to Fluminense (losing both home and away).  

Whilst I was busy making plans about using a 442/4411 system all summer, I threw it out of the window when I felt the heat of Verón, the players and the fans.  Ángel Bastardo adopted his third tactic, the 4141 and changed a lot of the approach (defensive line, mentality etc).  Sometimes in this game you just have to adapt in order to survive.  Today therefore, I discuss my 'angels and demons' - a reflective look back at the first 6 months in La Plata…


Pre-Season

My first match was a competitive Copa Sudamericana away tie in Venezuela against Deportivo Anzoátegui.  My AI predecessor had already established a 2-0 1st leg win, but I remained desperate to start well for the fans.  Luckily I had an in-form Mariano Pavone turn up that day in a 2-1 away in (4-1 on aggregate), assisting both goals for Gastón Fernández & Fernando Zuqui in my 442 'doble cinco' system.

We pretty much played this 442 all pre-season, however I did also mix in a 4411 variant and a 4141 DM.  I always prefer to have all three tactic slots setup with different systems and combinations, to make my teams adaptable against the AI.  Here are my results:

I was quite happy with what we were able to do in the Transfer Window too, using a large portion of the cash reserves (€3.6m) that I spoke about in my previous blog post.  The signings, coming in just under €2m:

  1. Playmaker Abel Aguilar (60 fibra) - €135k from Asociación Deportivo Cali
  2. Central Defender Diego Polenta (58 fibra) - €500k from Club Nacional de Football
  3. Full Back Leonardo Jara (55 fibra) - €1.3m from Boca Juniors

As most of you will know, I’ve been using a strict recruitment model for 2 editions of FM now: what I call the ‘fibra model’. Whereby I sign players who offer a great deal of sacrifice, both to the team but also from their individual resource.  All three signings meet my [slightly revised] fibra criteria, that is: a cumulative attribute score of 55 from Aggression, Bravery, Teamwork & Work Rate (for 25s and over).  Read more on my FM18 fibra model here.

I also used a significant slice of this year’s budget to enhance the backroom staff, bringing in 11 staff members which increase our monthly staff wage bill by €33k to €116k (29% increase).  Some of the guys I brought in were mainly for the romance.

Take 1986 World Cup Winner and ex-Estudiantes defender Josè Luis Brown as an example, who arrives as Bastardo’s Assistant Manager.  Newly recruited scout, Luciano Galletti is another staff signing who has Estudiantes within his heart: a Homegrown La Plata winger who lit up Estudiantes as a teenager before making the move to La Liga in the 2000s.

Once labelled as a ‘persona non grata’  by the club, due to a dispute with a previous Estudiantes President.  Bastardo welcomes ‘Tata’ Brown as his Assistant.


August-September: Del cielo al infierno en un mes

From Heaven to Hell within a month.  It's the clearest way to describe my first month of competitive fixtures in one sentence.

Racing & San Lorenzo represent 2 of the 'Big 5' clubs in Argentina, so starting with them was always going to up an uphill task.  We didn't help ourselves either, three red cards in the first 5 league games from Bastardo's Bastards.  5 points from a possible 15...shite. 

We were also incredibly poor in the Copa Sudamericana 3rd Round too.  Facing a club from Brazil were always going to be tough.  After all they are Bastardo's demons...but we made life easy for Fluminense by being extremely wasteful in possession.  Against a Brazilian side this simply cannot happen!  Hopefully in time I can get my revenge on Brazil in this FM18 save, and exorcise those demons for good!

But first Bastardo had to deal with a more immediate demon: El Presidente Verón, who was piling more and more pressure on Bastardo...


October-December: El Presidente, Bastardo & The Estudiantes Spirit

The Club President-Manager relationship between Juan Sebastián Verón and Ángel Bastardo lasted just 88 days.  Having such a huge persona as a Club President was always going to cause issues for Bastardo.  After all, there can only ever be one alpha male running things at Estudiantes de La Plata.  So, what do you do when there's a man above you threatening to give you the sack?  You sack him.

Verón casting his vote.

Both the performances and results were not good enough, El Presidente simply had to go.  But how was this made possible?  Well, luckily the upcoming Estudiantes presidential election gave Bastardo the opportunity to work a few moves and put enough dirt on Verón.  By the time Bastardo was finished, Verón was unelectable - his legendary status questioned, after a series of damning reports about extramarital affairs, money laundering and tax evasion.

Probably my favourite addition to FM18 so far: 'Rig Election'.

With a new puppet Club President in place, Mariano Del Bono, Ángel Bastardo got to work on a new system: 4141 - used widely around Europe and the FM scene as a 'hackz' tactic.  Luckily the form picked up, four games unbeaten from making the switch and only a narrow loss Vs River Plate at home.  Bastardo had found his place again.

After that River loss, a further four games unbeaten followed (D/D/W/W). Culminating in a 1-0 away win in the Clásico Platense derby.  38 year old evergreen Rodrigo Braña scoring the only goal to see Estudiantes go into the Summer break buoyant and full of hope.  The Estudiantes spirit had returned.  


January

Bastardo's Estudiantes currently sit in 7th place after 14 Argentina Superliga games, as we move ahead into the December/January Transfer window.  We have around €1m to spend, should we wish to bring somebody in.  However, we have to be mindful of the squad dynamics...which seem to be a bit volatile if players do not get gametime in FM18.  So I will review any gaps in our squad first, to avoid an over abundance in a certain playing position.

The second half of the 2017/18 campaign will see the Copa Libertadores return to La Plata.  Personally the most interesting competition to be part of in South America, so I am particularly looking forward to that.  We'll have a minimum of 6 group stage games to play, but hopefully I can progress into the knockout rounds.  This has to be the target.

Please stay updated to my Slack/Twitter channels for progress as 2017/18 continues.  My next blog post is likely to be the end of the domestic season in Argentina.  Can it be as eventful as the first 6 months?  I wouldn't bet against it.

Thanks for reading/sharing/caring,

FM Grasshopper

"Doble Cinco" - Return to La Plata #FM18 #WeAreTheCommunity

Last time out in Return to La Plata, Ángel Bastardo set out his aims and objectives.


Intro

Happy Fibra Friday [for tomorrow] everyone, today's blog is a short one and is the last intro post before I begin my FM18 adventure with Estudiantes de La Plata.  Today I discuss my (1) squad review and how it (2) shapes my recruitment and (3) governs the tactical system I need to use in my first season in La Plata.  It's essentially a brain dump of some things I need to think about on Fibra Friday (tomorrow!) and how I reached my conclusions during the FM18 beta.

Vamos!


(1) Squad review

Ángel Bastardo's first headache is not having a recognised Right Back in the squad.  For a man that loves a back 4, this has to be the No.1 priority during the Argentine Winter transfer window.  The screens in the 'Team Report' section really help evaluate the shortcomings in the Estudiantes squad (below):

The squad as evaluated by the assistant manager.

The GK & defence.

The midfield & attack.

We're also short at Centre Back and a Creative Midfielder (not necessarily a playmaker...but at least somebody who can pick a pass and be composed on the ball every now and then).  In addition to this, I will also have to think about succession planning for the key players in my team.  They're an old bunch, some only having 12-18 months of a career left as pro footballlers.

The Estudiantes Old Guard.

The four most influential players in the squad are Mariano Andújar (GK), Leandro Desábato (DC), Rodrigo Braña (MC) and Mariano Pavone (ST).  Luckily Mariano Andújar in goal should give me at least 3-4 seasons, but the other 3 players are at the twilight of their careers.

So my recruitment plans are pretty much laid out before me: 

  1. Right Back - a 1st choice RB who can free up Facundo Sánchez to play his preferred RM/RW role.
  2. Centre Back - to step up once 1st choice Club Captain Leandro Desábato calls it a day.
  3. Central Midfielder.  Somebody more dynamic going forward than what I currently have.
  4. A young(ish)* Striker, who can lead the line and also complement Pavone.

*I will be using the term 'young' very loosely in this save.  To me, a youngster is anybody up to the age of 32 :-)


(2) Recruitment

I've told you what I need.  Next I'll show you what I have in order to get it.

For those that are unaware, Santiago Ascacíbar was Estudiantes' shining light for the first half of last season.  He has since made the big move to Germany to ply his trade with VfB Stuttgart.  Defender Juan Foyth also made a rapid rise into the Estudiantes 1st team at the tail end of last season and was sold to North London's 2nd best team.

In reality the excess monies are being re-invested to settle outstanding debts and loans.  Real life loans that are taking Estudiantes back to their spiritual home of 1 y 57 (Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi), a circa 20k capacity stadia in La Plata.  This would put an end to Estudiantes' current arrangement at the Estadio Único where every few weeks the Buenos Aires Province kick them out for rock concerts.  Luckily this level of realism isn't in FM18, nor is the planned new stadium.  So onward I go with the Ascacíbar/Foyth money, which equates to around €5.5m at the start of FM18.

I'm rich, b*tch!

You will see above that I have re-jigged the money around, freeing up around €150k a month for extra wages (Note - this is for both players and staff wages).  In Argentine terms, I am pretty rich and I could bring in around three €1m players and offer them sizeable wages.  However, my fibra policy doesn't always favour the more expensive player and I have a number of targets to complement my squad.  I'll only introduce the Right Backs and Central Defenders for today's post, to avoid this becoming cluttered with images!

Right Back

From left to right: Aldo Cozo (61 fibra), Leandro Jara (55 fibra) and Lautaro Geminiani (fibra 55).  Despite Cozo having the stronger fibra, Leandro Jara is my number 1 target.  Jara is ex-Estudiantes and 6 months away from contract expiry, so Boca might consider selling. I would be foolish to overlook him.  Geminiani is also a solid option and Argentine too.

Central Defenders

Perhaps all three of these targets are out of my reach.  But this doesn't stop Bastardo dreaming for the next upcoming Argentine rock at the back.  Fausto Grillo (far left) leads the way with 65 fibra, up next is Alexander Barboza (middle) with 57 and then Germán Conti with 56 (far right).  In real life, both Barboza and Conti had a good previous season.  Grillo, on the other hand, has never really impressed me when I have watched him live, but in FM he continues to be ridiculously overpowered.

As for midfielders and strikers, well keep your eyes on my Twitter or Slack channel (#fmgrasshopper) for confirmed signings :-)


(3) Tactics

The decsions from my squad review are a bit like dominoes, when one decision is made another one falls into place, leaving me with a tactical system made from necessity as much as choice!  For instance, Mariano Pavone is perhaps the perfect Defensive Forward in Argentina, it would almost be criminal not to use him in this way.  He's good in the air and can be used as an effective battering ram upfront.  But can he effectively run in behind?   I think not.

Mariano Pavone back at Estudiantes de La Plata.

38 year old Rodrigo Braña is a special player too, who is a great fibra warrior in midfield.  Perhaps La Pincha's best player in real life so far this season.  But he'll need to anchor and hold...I cannot expect him to regularly make contributions offensively. 

The Centre Back pairing of Desábato & Schunke are experienced heads, capable of man marking well and are strong in the air.  Their weaknesses lie their mobility, they cannot be expected to cover ground quickly.  They're also not great with the ball either.  I think their football would be best if it's more workmanlike and defensive.  So how does the above dictate my expected system?

Front 2 and floating some crosses

Pavone as the DF/Target Man means we're not going strikerless (sorry Guido), Pavone will need support in and around him too.  Somebody to run beyond him.  Therefore I am leaning towards an AF-DF combo.  Let's also float some crosses...in order to make use of Pavone's physicality.  For that we probably need to use some wide players, which we have.

Braña holds, others run

Braña holding means I need runners around him.  I still need to decide if he'll be residing at DM or at CM.  I also have a distinct lack of competency with the ball at our feet, so we're not going to be possession orientated.

Deep & Counter/Defensive

My slow CBs means we go deep, as it would be fatal to exposure their weakness to the AI.  Let them defend and do what they do best, let's not ask too much of my boys.  I don't want them getting caught high up, so we go a structured team shape too.

So to recap:

  • Two Strikers up top
  • Wide players to float crosses in
  • A defensive central midfielder
  • Deep line
  • Defensive/Counter mentality
  • Structured shape

We're looking like an El Bastardo 442 or 4411 - something simple to start off with, on which I can build upon.  I may also look to have a dirtier version for the big crunch games Vs the likes of Boca and River....perhaps go 4141 and deploy anti-fútbol in all its glory :-)

Decisions need to be made on the partner of the CM-D.  It will most like be a mix depending on the opponent between a CM-Attack/Support and a Box-to Box mid.

Keeping it simple now with just the 4 TIs.

I've got a few pre-season games to get something working via Full 90 minute or Comprehensive match modes.  I will also be simulating a save that ensures Estudiantes drop into the 2017 Copa Sudamericana (to get this close to how the 2017 Copa Libertadores Group Stages unfolded).  As discussed last week in my Argentina guide, this will mean that the Copa Sud 2nd Round Leg 2 knockout match will be my first game in charge!  A 1st game with no tactical familiarity whatsoever, we can only hope for the best.


Doble Cinco

One other thing that I have decided to do each season, perhaps a bit quirky (or even a bit sad), is re-number shirts 1-11 each season based on the formation and best XI on paper.  Argentine football developed its numbering from within its own bubble, away from the uniformed approach of Europe.  So the 442 system will be numbered based on the 1960s Estudiantes 442, a team of champions (Copa Libertadores winners in 1968, 1969, 1970).  The most notable change from today's European convention is along the midfield, with the 10 occupying the ML slot and our box-to-box designated any number from 11-99.  He is known as the 'doble 5', it's an ode back to Eduardo Flores bombing forward as the doble cino with Carlos Bilardo (later a World Cup winning manager in '86) anchoring as the '5' during that maiden Copa Libertadores win Vs Palmeiras in 1968.

At the moment I have made my new Flores an '11', but should another number thematically fit...I can adjust.

I will announce the 1-10 + doble 5 once I kick off my season.


FM18 is [almost] here!

I am looking forward to returning to La Plata again, in this crazy league.  But this year, I'll admit, it's slightly terrifying.  The major worries are Dynamics and getting the tactical system functioning.  Luckily, for me at least, I play slow...any decision with be methodological and scrutinised.  For this reason expect my FM content to slow down to one or two posts a month, as I usually write concurrently with my save's game date.

You can catch up with all the previous intro posts over at fmgrasshopper.com/fm18.  You can also stay up-to-date on my save's progress via my Twitter feed or Slack channel, which I update regularly (practically daily!).

Thanks for reading.

FM Grasshopper

Why Estudiantes in #FM18? - Return to La Plata #WeAreTheCommunity

Previously in Return to La Plata: Ángel Bastardo woke up.


Special thanks to Keysi Rensie for these fantastic kit designs.

Special thanks to Keysi Rensie for these fantastic kit designs.

Adiós Ascacíbar

The love affair with Santiago Ascacíbar is over.  Ángel Bastardo's little midfield gem has made the move to Europe for FM18, VfB Stuttgart the team, €7m the fee.  But Santi leaving has not stopped me yearning for another crack at managing Estudiantes de La Plata in Football Manager 2018.  Today's blog sets out my aims, aspirations and parameters, as we look ahead to kicking off on Friday 10 November 2017.  Let's begin...


Why Estudiantes in FM18?

Please become acquainted with my FM18 Return to La Plata checklist.  I plan to be crossing items off as I progress through my 10 season save, so I hope readers will see this often. Today though, I'll discuss why they are on there in the first place and ultimately why I am back in La Plata!

Trophies - Aims (1), (2) & (3)

If FM17 is anything to go by, Ángel Bastardo has acquired the lust for the shiny stuff.  Bastardo won 13 trophies in all, culminating in that special 2026 Champions League win.  But that was just a cocaine dream, and Bastardo will have to do it all again.  As the player behind this save I still have ample amounts of hunger for trophies too, especially those in Argentina and South America.  After all, I never won a domestic trophy in the three seasons I stayed in FM17 Argentina.  4th, 3rd and 2nd league finishes and a Copa Argentina final loss on penalties to my name, close but certainly no Verón cigar.

Aim (1) - The Copa Libertadores is Estudiantes' obsession...they are four times winners despite not being a 'Big 5' Argentine club.  It's a record I want to continue but, more importantly, I also wish to overcome the heartbreak of my consecutive Quarter Final exits to bogey side Grêmio.  There's unfinished business here and I want revenge.

Aim (2) - The 2017–18 Argentine Primera División has been re-branded as the 'Superliga Argentina' with changes in the structure of the league and number of teams.  I will produce a guide in the near future as to exactly what's happening here but all you need to know is that I am aiming for back-to-back titles.  It's the true sign of a champion and in a league where the vultures from Brazil, Europe, Mexico and the Rest of the World swoop for your best players each year...two consecutive titles would be quite the achievement.

Aim (3) - Lastly the pinnacle of club trophies (at least for those outside of Europe) is the Club World Cup.  I decided against playing on for another season at Inter Milan and winning this trophy, because at that point in time I knew I wanted to return to South America in FM18.  Winning the Club World Cup for a team and continent that wholeheartedly wants it is more enjoyable.  It's also a considerably harder task for an Argentine club, due to the gulf in wealth between Europe and South America.

The Club World Cup - the ultimate club trophy?

Clean sheets - Aim (4)

Every man goes to sleep at night hoping to find clean sheets in his bed. Ángel Bastardo is no different.  He even applies this to his football, build from the back and do not concede!  That's why I've targeted 250 clean sheets in 10 seasons.  It might seem like I've plucked that figure out of nowhere but it's an ambitious target given my past performance at Estudiantes in last year's save, where I averaged 25 clean sheets per season (76 cleansheets in 137 games, 55%).  I'll keep a running total as I go through and update you with my save's progress. 

Youth Development, Transfers & Fibra - Aims (5), (6) & (7) 

There's always an element of luck with regards to youth development.  In FM16 I was blessed with two golden boys in my 1st youth intake at Grasshopper Club Zürich.  It was great seeing them grow up and become two of the greatest Swiss players ever to have graced the game.  

In FM17 however, youth development never really happened for me.  Maybe it's because I only spent 3 seasons at Estudiantes and another 5 at Inter...meaning I never really had long enough to establish youth.  Or maybe it's because my youth intakes were crap.  The only player of note that I had a big influence on was Estudiantes' Newgen Jorge Rodríguez, who did go on to play for Argentina after being signed by my Inter team in 2023 (whilst previously being in my first intake at La Plata).

Jorge Rodríguez as a teenager in La Plata.

Jorge Rodríguez, International player at Inter MIlan.

Aim (5) - so the plan is to focus hard on nuturing a Newgen to International recognition.  Even if that means me selling him on to Europe or elsewhere for the betterment of his career.  If he's Homegrown from Estudiantes but is capped elsewhere it still counts for my checklist.

Aim (6) - creating a conveyor belt of talent will also fuel my ambition to have a self-sustaining transfer model...whereby youth sales help me fund some incoming elder statesmen.  From season 3 onwards, I would hope to be self sustaining and certainty by seasons 8-10 well into profit.   Again, this is all dependant on the intakes and the volatile transfer market, which is another reason I haven't put a precise target of how much $ I wish to make.

Aim (7) - Underpinning everything I do in La Plata is the fibra recruitment policy (more on fibra here), which has some subtle changes this year.  Importantly, I am only applying the criteria to players 25 years and over.  Mainly, because I want to fuel the sustainable transfer model as best I can.  I missed out on a few exciting youngsters last year, all because of a few attributes...so I don't really want to experience this again.  Those under 25s will either grow into warriors or make me money once they hit 25.  It's a win-win.

The Fibra Recruitment Policy for FM18.

The second change is doing away with Determination as a fibra attribute and adding Bravery in it's place.  This is not to say Determination is no longer important, if anything it's importance in FM17 was heightened half way through FM17's cycle as SI made it an influencer again in reaching Potential Ability.  But after thinking and talking it through with fellow bastard James (@FMPressure), I've decided to add Bravery into the mix.  As in reality, I wouldn't really want an aggressive player that stays away from 50/50 tackles.  Note - there is also a correlation between higher scores in Aggression/Bravery attributes anyway, so I think it fits nicely into my recruitment policy + Determination can be vastly improved via tutoring in any case.

I could obviously have left Determination in and also added a few other fibra related attributes, such as: Concentration (influencing player focus at critical moments).  But I found that recruitment was hard enough with just the 4 criteria within Argentina anyway - after all my fibra policy should help the team, not hinder it by being too constrictive.  So the fibra attributes in FM18:

  1. Aggression - a highly aggressive player is more likely to exert physical force in the tackle
  2. Bravery - a brave player will more likely go for the ball and put his body on the line
  3. Teamwork - a player with a high teamwork attribute will follow tactical instructions and complements the attacking/defensive units of the team
  4. Workrate - a player with a high workrate will exert more of his physical capability during a match

Note - 25 year old (and over) recruits must have a combined fibra score of at least 55 (average of 13.75 across the 4 mental attributes above).

I also have other parameters in place that come with managing in Argentina, such as the amount of non-Argentines in the squad, restrictive transfer windows etc.  These will all be addressed in my Argentina players' guide due out soon. 

So these are the 7 challenges running alongside my FM18 save - ensuring it holds my interest thoughout the whole of FM18's cycle.  I will of course continue to keep you updated via blog posts, Slack and Twitter updates.

Vamos!

FM Grasshopper

'El Retorno de Ángel Bastardo' Credit: Nestor