The Revival of the Ruthless Rovers- The Ruthless Tactic and a Ruthless Pre-Season

With every great team; a tactic needs to be created that suits the team’s strength’s and hide their weaknesses. Think of how Ranieri guided a Leicester side who won the Premier League when the season previous were teetering on the brink of relegation; his tinkering and counter-attacking football gave the Foxes the Premier League trophy. Or Pep’s style of football in which he plays silky control based football which was successful at Barcelona and is now working wonders with Man City or Klopp’s ‘heavy metal’ football which worked wonders at Dortmund. But would those styles of football work with any old team? Perhaps but not all teams share those specific mantra’s. Every team wants to play their own way and create their own style instead of replicating someone else’s work.

So looking at the Rover’s side and what I want to achieve; I want to build a tactic which will blend solid attacking play with great defensive work when the ball is lost. Every team DNA is different and specific formations work well and certain ones won’t; I want to be different by not going to the ‘tried and tested’ 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 but a variation and something that is quite different. So here is the tactic that we will be starting with.

The Ruthless Tactic

This was a tactic that I tried to create for a different team in FM; but didn’t quite work out and something I wanted to try out and test to see if it will be good enough for the Championship. With the injuries to potential wide players to begin with; I needed to adapt to those obstacles and so want to predominantly play through the middle with only the Wing Backs giving any width whatsoever. I want them to bomb up and down the pitch and so the more attacking minded Schlupp was brought in to abuse his pace and get behind the lines of the opposition; but with Richards even though he is set to attack; by looking at the analysis of some games; he is a lot further back than Schlupp was. I want to start off with a balanced mentality to see how the opponent is playing; if they are playing more defensive; it will be set to Attacking, if they are looking to control the game then be more cautious and catch them out on the break. My only weakness so far is to get the AMC to be more effective as he is one of the players whose ratings are usually the worst. Why the Half Back? I have had certain success with a Half Back with Chivas in another save providing some cover to the two centre backs whilst the Wing Backs bomb up the field and as it suggests; protects somewhat if the team is trying to counter-attack.

I feel with the Rovers side; Counter-Pressing isn’t the best option so I just think it’s better to Regroup and protect against the counter-attack as I always seem susceptible to this style of football a lot. It looks weird but I feel that it can be successful and I feel it provides a good blend of attack and defence but only time will tell when the competitive football starts up.

The Ruthless Pre-season

The purpose of the pre-season was A) To get everyone in tip-top shape and B) To boost the morale rather than being spanked by teams and for the morale to worsen so a bunch of Welsh clubs came to Ewood Park i.e. New Brighton, Johnstown Youth, Prestatyn and Overton Rec. Also, Bamber Bridge was chosen as I actually live there and I thought I might as well and Accrington Stanley as the only friend I couldn’t remove. They always say that the pre-season isn’t anything to go by, but it helps the player’s fitness and be able to bed the tactic in. All of the teams didn’t put up that much of a fight, bar Accrington. They gave us a real fight and it took us 81 minutes to get the first goal and the players got a rollicking but I got to give it to Accy Stanley; For a League One side; they weren’t bad at all. Mulgrew got 5 or so goals in 6 games which were predominantly from the penalty spot or Direct Free Kicks. Overall I feel ready but Ipswich won’t be an easy team to try and overcome for the first game of the Ruthless Era.

Next Update:  The first 5 games of the Championship and the first two rounds of the ‘Tinpot’ Cup.

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