Managing your way out of a rut

Lifes all about its ups and downs. Managing troughs is very much a question of mind-set and how you face it is a question of character. Some choose to give up and moan, some may reflect, and others might elect to swim against the tide.  Success needs to come from a well thought out plan, when you’re in a rut, thats when you’re gonna get challenged. And, its my favorite time.

Here we are, the Baggies we swept every single trophy there was to win in the previous season, Its January going into February of 2019, and the wheels have started coming off. Rutz

We went from top of the table to 13 points behind league leaders Chelsea, who haven’t skipped a beat all season. After our 6-2 win over West Ham, I was deceived by a false dawn. By the time February had come to an end, we had only won 1 game in 7. we would dominate and lose, or get dominated and spanked.

We had after all changed systems, testing a new one, which had done well at the start of the season, but it was now time to reflect. A plan needed to be thought out or I could be facing my worst FM performance in years. The challenge of this game is not winning everything but how we recover when things go wrong. The butterfly effect of bad results in this game can be intense.  What went wrong?

a. We lost a lot of games through silly errors, and I mean bad clumsy Chaplin shit.

b. We created lots of quality chances but somehow some players just wouldn’t score

c. Over confidence. I was so complacent that taking things for granted became the norm. We had stopped looking at players to see if they should be playing where they were

d. Finally, could something be actually wrong with the system? Was I becoming lazy?

I could do nothing about a or b, except rotate players. C well, that was me down to the bone, poring through my player attributes I realised that one player who should have been playing as a ball winner was being played as a deep lying playmaker…basic complacent mistake.

Then I started asking myself if I had been doing the wrong thing…went back to some simple basics. We play a system that can easily switch mentalities, but in order to play such a system one needs to ask if the roles suit the system. And I honed in on one position.

The 433 I am playing uses a raumdeuteur, since that role frequently goes AWOL, he needs support and this should come from players that aren’t too far away from him, and someone close by also needs to put in the challenges. Now my system can be played counter attacking right through to attacking, but one role on the pitch critical to how the RD would play was being ignoredRD

By being attacking the wingback is high up on the pitch to become a second outlet, the problem was the CM (D) originally I had him as a BWM(S) or (D). I hadn’t gone to check the closing down settings of the BWM assuming that all was fine and dandy.  In a lot of matches, Cristeig who was brilliant was all over the pitch, he needed to be a screen, but by closing down everywhere he had become a liability. This was especially the case when the side was playing a counter attacking game, we would frequently find ourselves in bad shape. I was asking him to do way too much. A quick look at the roles told me that the default setting for the BWM is to close down much more, so I changed him to a MC(D) who had more restrained closing down settings. This was I could get the central midfield to close down as a unit via the TI, instead of having one guy do his own thing.

Simple enough a fix, but will this and making sure the right players are playing be enough. I know the system works, we have been banging in the goals at the start of the season, one bad run in January doesn’t mean its all over. We will continue to work the game, and keep things simple, but can we overhaul the 17 point gap? I love a challenge

If you are in a rut, its so vital you don’t make wholesale changes, if your system works, then identify why its gone wrong. I had become complacent and lazy, I still watch matches on key highlights but I shouldn’t need to go making a new system or reverting to a previous one just to ensure victory.

3 comments

  1. About a and b you’re absolutely wrong. Yes there is something you could do and it’s a private chat and it’s there for a good reason. Now, whether it’s going to work or not depends. But it does can have effect. I have in my squad a player who couldn’t hit a sitting duck even though he had much needed ability to do so. So that’s the time where private chat kicked in, but there was a choice: Should I put pressure on him or encourage him? I opted the latter. Why? Well, it’s not that he didn’t worked his ass off to even be in a position to score so he just needed a little bit of confidence boost. The next game was a miracle. He bagged a hat trick. And scored in upcoming games as well.

    1. I have honestly gone through entire seasons without using private chat intentionally. Its always had a minor impact, and its impact isn’t permanent as well. I have used the feature before but its not central to my play. If it works for you then fine, but I am not prepared to state unequivocally that it can play a key part to fixing a system. What plays a key part and can easily be replicated from team to team is the right mix of player instructions/roles and having the system fit the players at your disposal. In game changes do more to turn a result around for me than private chats

Leave a Reply