As discussed in my previous blog post, my Homegrown defenders lack the technical and mental ability to suit a passing game. As a five, their average Passing stat is 8.8 and Vision is 5.6. This isn't so much of a problem when coming up against weaker opposition, whereby the the transition is made easier from defence to midfield because my opponents are generally weaker at positioning and pressing. However, we struggled when coming up against the European Heavyweights such as Juventus and Man City. I need to experiment putting a passer in defence, someone with composure to keep hold of the most precision resource in football: the ball itself. Today's blog introduces my plans to implement this change, let's begin...
Introducing: Ronnielle Rodrigues de Moura ('Casado')
The player I've chosen to revolutionise Central Defence may mystify some, it's Brazilian 22 year old Regen midfielder 'Casado'. Signed for £9.5m from Clube Atlético Mineiro, Casado's standout attributes are Passing & Vision...something I want instilled at the back.
So what other strengths do I see?
Professionalism - As we are looking to retrain a player's position and completely overhaul his footballing role, we need to make sure he has the mentality to make this a success. As I have argued previously, Professionalism (a hidden attribute - other than the Personality descriptor) governs how hard a player trains. Casado's first few months at GCZ are going to be spent learning a new position and playing style. It's vital he can pull this off and luckily for me has the attitude to succeed.
Two footed - In real life, Ball players benefit from being two footed. It's no different in FM. Casado's Passing & Vision stats are enhanced by being two footed. More on why it's important here.
PPMs - Casado already has 'Dictates Tempo' and 'Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank' as PPMs. It will be interesting to see how this displays in the match engine as PPMs enhance the frequency of how often a player does certain things. I have no doubt his strong Vision stat will complement these PPMs.
Attributes - Aside from being a stronger and creative passer, Casado complements this by being an Aggressive, Brave and Determined Leader. He also makes good Decisions, something vital for any Centre Back role.
What weaknesses do I see?
What I am proposing to do to Casado is radical. The transfer fee is my 5th highest in my 7 seasons at GCZ and to experiment with this kind of marquee player may seem absurd. There's also one major flaw in Casado's armoury: his Heading and Jumping Reach. Well done if you picked up on it straight away. Combined with Casado's height of 174cm (5 foot 7), he really isn't gong to do well against larger Strikers.
This is a flaw I cannot really correct with training. Both Heading and Jumping Reach can be improved (marginally), but I cannot make a 22 year old any taller. So my plan is to combine Casado with 1 or [maybe] 2 defensive partners. Luckily for him, my Homegrown talents are all around 186-190cm (6 footish) and have the necessary Strength (17 average value). I may also remind readers of the last defender to win the Ballon d'Or was also 1.7m, so there's hope:
It will be good to hear the opinions of the FM Community, am I Mad? Brave? Stupid? All three? Only time will tell if it pays off. Check back here for updates throughout Season 8 , 9 and 10 in my save to see how Casado is getting on. I plan to do a lot of work in the pre-season of Season 8 to view Casado in the match engine and how he behaviours with the AI and also with his defensive partners.
As always, thanks for reading.