Football Manager 17- My new AC Milan save.
On a whim, I decided to abandon my FM16 Milan save and buy FM17 to start a new one. I had started a previous thread for FM16 but then I was too far into the game and had won everything already so I decided to take on the challenge Montella had when he took over Milan. 

I took over the team at the beginning of the 2016 season and immediately Berlusconi informed me that I must make the team play attacking football and focus on developing the youth. to accomplish all of that he gacve me a grand budget of 6 million Euros. Grazie Presidente? 

I decided to not do any transfers whatsoever to keep it all as close to reality as possible and I even decided to adopt Montella's style of play. Suso on the right wing, Jack on the left but I did decide to play two strikers up front - Just like Mr. President wants. 

That worked out as well as anyone can imagine and after a humiliating defeat at Juventus I knew I had to change things around. So I decided to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. 

The tactical setup. 

I want my central defensive pair to do just one thing- Defend! So they have been told to stay in position, not go forward and in no way should they make long passes. All they do is spread the ball to the wings and to the holding midfield that is right in front of them. 

I created the holding midfield role specially for Montolivo coz let's face it. I can't isolate the captain as a new coach or the squad harmony will be disturbed. But this is in no way a regista role. I am using the few good qualities Montolivo has namely interceptions and making a pass when not under pressure. 

So all he does is sweep up long balls and opposition clearances and then relays a quick sideways pass top the wingers or the fullbacks. The fullbacks have to be attacking coz there is no other way to do things in modern football. Although our fullbacks aren't anything great, I have no choice but to play them in an attacking manner. 

To counter the defensive gaps left behind them, I have positioned two midfielders right in front of Montolivo. We have an abundance of workhorses and this works in my favor. The two midfielders are supposed to help in defending against opposition wingers in conjunction with the fullbacks, & are supposed to close down aggressively and go forward rapidly in case of a counter attack and wreak havoc in the opposition area. 

The left midfielder is the creative one (Mati, Bertolacci, Sosa etc.) who has the freedom to make creative passes, send in killer balls etc. And while they are in the opposition box, they make quick little passes, retaining possession in a dangerous position. Montolivo has been told to stand right outside the box, waiting for any stray balls, clearances and deflection which he can take a long shot at. In the game he has the long shot attribute set at 15 which is good enough for me. 

The wingers have been given a very attacking role. Let's face it. I don't expect Jack or Deulfeu or Suso to track back and help with defending so why bother at all? They are instructed to play free football, dribble all over the place, take on opponents and provide dangerous balls for Bacca to slot home. And as for Bacca, he does two things- He stays mostly in the box with one motive- to take shots. And during the buildup process (especially when the opposition has parked the bus) he move to the channels or drops deep taking with him opposition players and creating space in the opposition area for midfielders who are charging forward (Nocerino flashbacks). This very often crates great chances for the wingers and fullbacks to score goals. Abate scored a stunner recently. 

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This tactic has served me very well and I sit in a comfortable position in the league halfway through the season. Majorly thanks to other teams fucking up and Bacca being in super form. 

It is amazing how realistic FM is as my season has been a replica of our current season. Matches being won in the last minute, matches being won only coz of individual skill and completely bottling it up against provincial teams. It is really really hard to manage Milan on the game and it feels surreally close to how it was in reality last season. 

Anyways, here is where we stand in January. I don't know how the hell did we stumbled to the top. 

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And there is more drama to come...
Didn't we actually finish 2nd in mid-season?

Did you get to experiment a 4-2-3-1, with Delefeu - Jack - Suso, Montolivo - Loca?

While we're at it, How are our youths rated in FM17? For instance, I remember that Donna had couple of upgrades after the launch of FIFA17...
Right now I have shifted to a 4-4-1-1. I will post some screenshots later. I still haven't made up my mind about the youth products. I am giving a few chances to La Ferrara and Zucchetti but then again, the first team is already full of youngsters. I did however make Plizzari the #2 GK and gave him a lot of starts int he league and cup.

I am struggling with the tactics though, esp when it comes to scoring. In some matches nothing seems to work and that worries me. Not sure if it is the Match Engine or what. I will post some exciting screenshots later Wink
January came and surprisingly Berlusconi offered me a new contract and some transfer money. 

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Considering that our board are famous for taking back the money, I decided to spend it right away, although I wanted to finish the season with the same spot. Barca was my top scorer with 14 goals in as many games but I knew that it wouldn't last and besides, I want a more complete attacker who can do more than just finish to play up front. 

This was the January market. 

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Probably paid a bit much for Dolberg but he is supposed to be the new Van Basten plus buying young talents in this game is tough. The Agents are absolute cunts. I was barely able to finish the transfer and had they asked for even 200k more, I wouldn't have been able to finish them. 

Berardi was having issues at Sassuolo so I decided to swoop in quickly. He demanded a lot before he even sat down for a contract discussion and one of his demands was reinforcement in the midfield. Even he knows!
Oh and BTW much like in real life, ended up winning the SuperCoppa on penalties. Very tight game. Very reminiscent of real life. 

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And this was an incredible performance. Locatelli gets his first Milan Hat-Trick 

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This is how the season ended. Had we not lost random matches to weak teams and suffered draws, we could've given Juve a run for their money. In any case, I met the goals set by the board. Qualified for CL. 

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But What about the Italian cup?

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Who said you couldn't win anything with kids? Didn't have Montolivo, De Sciglio or Gomez available - which was bad coz they have been in terrific form. Vangioni has already been sold to Fiorentina and he was unhappy with me, but still I decided to play him. Two cups this season. Not bad. Fuck Juve! 

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But most importantly. Guess who won the Goal of the year award?

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But lots of meaningful awards were also won by my boys..

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I have budget of about 50m and this is going to be a busy transfer window. Firstly, getting rid of the deadwood and then buying talented Italian youths. Conti's deal is already wrapped up while Palermo is giving me a headache with a deal for one of their explosive fullbacks. Plus I am gonna send my talented youths on loans.
Signing players in this game is really tough and so is managing them. Agents ask for unrealistic deals and even before they sit to negotiate contracts, they have a pre-meeting with promises they compel you to make. On top of that, Suso, Romagnoli and De Sciglio all wanted to leave for bigger teams and I had tiff with all of them. Especially with Suso and De Sciglio who I sent to the U20s to train with. 

The transfer window was a matter of lucky as I got two players who were disgruntled at their clubs and I quickly moved to sell some old wood and get these guys in. Not the most perfect signings but well, I need a half decent team for CL. I did however sign a bunch of talented youth and I am very excited about seeing how they will be in two years. 

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The season however didn't start well as an Angry Juve took their revenge. 

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At least Locatelli maintained his record of scoring against Juve.