How to use the Mezzala as a creator in FM23
Player Roles 09.06.23 - Rock's End FM
Since its introduction to the Football Manager series in FM18, the Mezzala role has been hugely popular. Drenched in historic tradition, the role offers dynamism and creativity in the middle of the pitch and gives managers tremendous tactical flexibility.
However, while a Mezzala can carry out several different responsibilities within a midfield, it’s not often thought of as a team’s main creative force. In this blog, Rock’s End FM uses Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to change that perception and show how you can build your attacking threats around the Mezzala.
Mastering Rest Defence in FM23
Defending 15.05.23 - Rock's End FM
As football managers have become more comfortable sharing and discussing complex tactical concepts and terminology with the press and the public, the debate surrounding the sport grows ever richer. However, that also means sometimes the wider football conversation can become harder to follow as the concepts involved become more and more specialised.
One such concept is ‘rest defence’, a term borrowed from German and Dutch football that is at times misunderstood. In this Byline post, Rock’s End FM explains exactly what Rest Defence is and how can we use it to improve our careers in Football Manager 2023.
Mastering the Press in FM23
Tactics 05.04.23 - Rock's End FM
Since the 1970s, pressing has become increasingly important in football. As more teams focus on regaining the ball quickly and efficiently, pressing with commitment and intelligence is key to success in the modern game.
Pressing is vital to most Football Manager 2023 tactics. Here, Rock’s End FM provides a detailed guide to help you master the press.
Understanding Central Defenders in FM23
Defending 31.03.23 - Guido Merry
In modern football, it’s very hard to find elite central defenders at an affordable price. Their steep increase in value makes sense when you look at the duties they have to perform and the requisite attributes to fulfil those duties. It is a role that necessitates not only extraordinary cerebral and physical abilities but also the ability to lead and organise a defensive line.
On the pitch, a team's central defender is its foundation. They provide defensive stability and offer the launchpad for attacks from behind. There are five role options available in Football Manager 2023 for players operating in central defence – Central Defender, Ball-Playing Defender, No-Nonsense Centre-Back, Libero and, the most recent addition, the Wide Centre-Back. Here, Guido Merry breaks down the five roles and explains how to identify good talents for each one in FM23.
What makes a perfect False Nine in FM23?
Player Roles 30.03.23 - Ihor Crusadertsar
This article could, in all honesty, have just consisted of an image of Lionel Messi. However, that wouldn’t be all that helpful for encouraging all of you to use one of my favourite roles in Football Manager, the False Nine, more often.
In this blog, Ihor Crusadertsar outlines the key characteristics of an ideal False Nine before highlighting some FM23 formations geared towards maximising the False Nine's unique skillset.
Recreating Brighton & Hove Albion’s tactical style in FM23
Formations 07.03.23 - Dan Gear
Since his appointment as Brighton & Hove Albion manager in September 2022, Roberto De Zerbi has received plaudits for his entertaining and effective style of play.
Making the most of a lot of the good work done by his predecessor, the Italian has crafted a bespoke tactical approach that is paying off for his side in league and cup.
Having studied a lot of the Seagulls’ recent games, Dan Gear has put together this explainer to show how you get your sides playing just like them in Football Manager 2023.
Power your FM23 performances with the Half Back
Player Roles 31.01.23 - FM Admin
The changes to the match engine in Football Manager 2023 have made it more important than ever to ensure that you’ve got the right balance in your midfield.
One key defensive midfield role that’s been getting a lot of love recently is the Half Back. We’ve built a tactic around it with EFL side West Bromwich Albion, who have two natural Half Backs in Okay Yokuslu and Jake Livermore, to show you how best to play with the role in FM23.
Developing devastating throw-ins in FM23
Tactics 27.01.23 - Guido Merry
Set pieces in football, and therefore in Football Manager, are the subject of attention and study. That attention is usually reserved for Free-Kicks and Corners but what about the innocuous throw-in? Apart from when a team develops a long throw-in programme (think Stoke City), they’re largely ignored.
This doesn’t do the humble throw-in justice, as they are an essential component of any Football Manager career.
Just throwing the ball somewhere willy-nilly not only robs you of a potential goalscoring opportunity (depending on your location, of course), but it also increases your risk of losing the ball and ending up on the wrong side of a devastating counter-attack. So again, throw-ins are far more important than you might think. Guido Merry explains how he’s developed devastating throw-in routines in Football Manager 2023.
Dominate with a 4-4-2 Narrow Diamond in FM23
Tactics 11.01.23 - Ihor Crusadertsar
For Football Manager 2021, Ihor Crusadertsar wrote about how to build a simple, winning tactic using the classic 4-4-2.
Now, he’s returned to The Byline to provide another explainer, this time inspired by a certain Portuguese coach and focused on the Narrow Diamond variant of the same formation.
How to use Target Forwards in FM22
Player Roles 19.07.22 - Ihor Crusadertsar
The Target Forward is one of FM22’s most specific roles. Almost like no other role in the game, a player’s suitability for it is largely determined by their Physical Attributes. This can make building tactics around the role a bit hit and miss but if you find a well-suited player and a system that gets the most out of their unique skillset, playing with a good Target Forward feels almost like using a cheat code. Ihor Crusadertsar explains how you can create a tactic to maximise Target Forwards in FM22.
Developing More Effective Counter-Attacks
Tactics 27.04.22 - Ihor Crusadertsar
Attacking transitions are a core element of most styles of play but particularly counter-attacking football. Arguably, any successful tactic needs to have potent, well-thought-out attacking transitions. Ihor Crusadertsar explains how you can create more effective transitions in FM22.
Midseason Tactical Adjustments: Overhauling
Tactics 06.04.22 - Rock's End FM
Imagine the following scenario. You’ve started a new FM22 career. During pre-season things went well, and now you’re looking to build on that for the season ahead. You’ve got to know the players, you know who you can count on and who needs a bit of help, you made your new signings, you’ve worked to get them settled and… it all starts going terribly wrong. Results are bad, but that’s not the worst part. The problem is you’re playing horribly; you can hardly keep goals out and your players seem to have lost all their footballing ability. At this rate, you’re going to get the sack rather than any Manager of the Month awards.
Sound familiar? I’m sure it does because we’ve all been there. Worry not, for help is at hand. You’re probably in need of a tactical overhaul and Rock’s End FM is on hand to show you how it’s done.
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