And now the Monkey comes out of the sleeve – An introduction to The Jade Rabbit

Let me preface this by saying I am in awe of the writers on this site. Seattle Red, FMWynter and Guido Merry are legendary for their tactical nous and FM wizardary. Me? I’m….not. And yet, I’m writing a tactics guide? Well, it’s not so much a tactics guide as a tactics fumble in the dark.

I love defensive football. A 0-0 makes me happy. This is not to say I like dull football, far from it. But to watch a well-regimented defence move as one is a joy to behold. Think the classic AC Milan defence of Maldini, Baresi, Costacurta and Tassotti. George Graham’s Arsenal defence of Dixon, Adams, Bould and Winterburn. Both idols of mine. I ran a save on FM11 back in the day where I would try to get a Serie C2 side to eventually win Serie A by only playing Catenaccio football. My quest ended after 14 seasons and only finishing as high as 6th in Serie A. But I never lost my love for defensive football.

So now we’re up to speed. It’s been a while since FM20 has come out. I’ve enjoyed the ME a lot, but unlike the noted tactical gurus I’ve mentioned before. I don’t see a tactic in terms of analysis. I see it as the eye test. If we win 1-0, then I’m happy. If we concede a goal in the same way for three matches, then I need to change something. This is primal-level tactic evaluation, almost reflexive. And it’s served me well mostly. But this is my chance to feel my way into something, to attempt to use the Analysis tab and shot charts and all the various things. And for everyone who will read this, hopefully it will maybe help someone who maybe finds using it a bit daunting!

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