Totaal Anti-voetbal – An Introduction

Welkom. The animated image above may give a number of clues away about the nature of this post and my next destination for Football Manager 2018. After the untimely demise of my hard drive and previous data the América de Cali save is lost, a mere ‘what may have been’. We had started well and, although we may not have achieved my aim of wining continental titles, I think we would have picked up some silverware. Looking back, my sole aim of achieving things and winning as much as I could may not have been the best way forward. What happens when that fails, what do I fall back on?

For this save I have decided to try something new for me on FM. That will be to attempt to implement a philosophy to a club, something that, as long as I can see that working, then match results can almost be forgiven. The question is, what style or ideals can I bring to the table?

I have always admired a defensive, safety first type of football and as much as I try to avoid it in past FM saves I always revert to type. I am a fan of some of the best in the business, Pulis, (early) Mourinho, and Bastardo, the true kinds of solid anti-football. I have grown up a fan of Stoke City, hence why I am one of the few people who will openly admit to liking Pulis. In my eyes our best years we’re under him. Sure, with Hughes at the helm Stoke had their best finishes to a season, but we had also lost our DNA which gave us a recognised style. It wasn’t attractive but it works, and now looking at the three clubs in danger of dropping out of the Premier League, Stoke, Palace and West Brom, you see the danger of turning your back on Pulis.

Totaalvoetbal is the label given to the tactical theory that every outfield player should be able to take on the role of any other player. At least that is how I have come to understand it. This is not what I want, instead my approach will be that every player in the starting XI will have a specific job to do and be as adept as possible at that role. In the past I have tried to get players who can perform in a number of different areas of the pitch, full backs who can tackle, centre backs who can pass and strikers who can create. This has also filtered down to my youth training but in this I plan to train with a specific plan, and not train to produce ‘Jacks of all trades’. I will also look at players in a new way for me, assessing them on physicality more than technical ability, in true Pulis (and FM Samo) style.

This will all take place in the Eredivisie and not the Dutch national side as the image may suggest. Coming soon will be my team selection and tactical plans and what I expect from the save.

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