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[FM10] I burn for you - a 4-4-2 comeback!


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Is the 4-4-2 really outmoded?

In real life it seems like that, but in FM?

I'll try to understand that in this effort to bring some glory to the mighty Clarets, even if they weren't able to avoid the drop this year I think they have some good 4-4-2 material.

Patch: 10.3

Leagues loaded: English leagues only

Database size: large

Trying to build my 4-4-2 tactical framework I need to look for the right players to fit my system well, I'd like to have two players for every role, cause I'm going to develop a very demanding kind of football, high defensive line and heavy pressing will be the main features of our style, so a good rotation will be needed.

I'll be back soon with my transfers.:thup:

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Burnley F.C.


Stadium: Turf Moor (capacity 22.500)

Budget: 4,84 M. to avoid relegation

In my opinion good team building is always the first step for a successful season, building a balanced team, without holes or too many players in the same role is the first thing I try to do when I start a career, so it's time to have a look at Burnley team.


Diego Penny: I believe in him, a risky sentence I know, he's not one of the hot goalies in the game, but I had him in the past and I know he's capable to be a premiership gk, so he will be my regular between the posts, at least for this year.

Nicky Weaver: a backup, no more than that.


Tyrone Mears, Danny Fox and Richard Eckersley will stay with us, the first will be my first choice on the right, I'll have to find a starting left full-back to fill up the roster.

Not sure about Graham Alexander's future, Kalvenes will be sold (ageing and slow) as Stephen Jordan (good selling value and I need money).

Andre Bikey (despite his low concentration), Clarke Carlisle and David Edgar will be part of the team, I won't retain Caldwell (too slow) and Duffy (not good enough).

Then I'll look for one or two young asset to be able to rotate my centre backs.


The wingers area needs to be revamped, the only good man here is Chris Eagles, capable on both flanks, so at least 3 men should be bought, without spending too much.

In the middle of the pitch I want to have, basically, a deep lying playmaker and a more attacking central midfielder.

I chose to retain Kevin McDonald and McCann, young and promising.

Jack Cork is on loan and will remain too, 2 more players are needed here.


Steven Fletcher is my best player upfront, a very versatile striker, I think I'll use him as a false nine, a dropping back creative forward, to open space dragging away his marker.

Paterson could be my poacher, even if I'm not sure if he's ready for the EPL.

I tried to bring in Tafer on loan or Yannick Djalo, two well known poachers in this FM edition, both of them refused to join.

Nimani starts injured but I'll retain him, his strength could be useful, Thompson and Robbie Blake will be on the bench, as Jay Rodriguez, my young gun.



As you saw my most expensive buy has been Miles Addison, a key man for years to come, then I found some cheap and promising talents to complete my team, trying to survive in this first EPL campaign.

My starting eleven should look like this:


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Pre-season friendlies


I chose not to play hard games in my pre-season, the only strong opponent was Porto and we had a good match, the most important thing of this part of the season is that Martin Paterson was able to convince me, I'll give him a chance to be a regular cause I was well impressed by his performances, he scored 11 goals and worked well with Fletcher, not bad.

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The Clarets -

from 15.08.09 to 30.10.09 - Season One


Paterson, 4 goals & 5 assists

The season began incredibly well, apart form a loss to Arsenal, we put together an unexpected undefeated streak, then some injuries took us back on heart.

Our best midfielder so far, the marauding Slovakian Kucka will be out for 5 months, already 3 goals for him.

Paterson and Fletcher upfront are keeping up to work well together, I can't say the same regarding my wingers, not so effective so far, none of them.

My passing ratio, consider that I play a short passing game, is not adequate (no more than 65%) but probably we lack the required skills to do something better; however not so much to complain, cause we're actually 8th, so I hope to continue.

Just one more thing, Weaver is not a keeper, I was obliged to employ him for few games and he's been ridiculus!


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Higgins, do you reckon you could give us a 'low-down' on this 4-4-2 you talk about ;)

I'm just trying to use no more than the tactic creator, tweaking from time to time, the start was good; I'm simply trying to play the game as a real manager would do, without exploiting any ME weakness, I think I could have more fun playing this way.

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I'm just trying to use no more than the tactic creator, tweaking from time to time, the start was good; I'm simply trying to play the game as a real manager would do, without exploiting any ME weakness, I think I could have more fun playing this way.

I can't get my head around the TC, I never can commit the right amount of players :( ow well :D

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The Clarets -

From 01.11.09 to 30.12.10 - Season One


Injury crisis hit Burnley hard!

After my first update we had a very difficult period, too many injuries to some of my key players provoked an impressive 5 losses in a row, so the dream of a safe season seems to be over, our table is not so comfortable now, and we'll miss Fletcher and Nimani (this guy is a beast, scored 6 in 6 games! It's a pity he's too injury prone...) for some time.

Bikey, my central defender has been a sort of Jekyll and Hyde so far, very good when going forward, scoring 4, but conceding too many silly penalties in our box.

On the transfer market I received a good offer from Sunderland for Chris Eagles, 5,75 M., due to his unimpressive performances I decide to sell him and to buy Chris Brunt (3 M.) from W.B.A. as a replacement.

Old Robbie Blake will leave to Norwich for 250 k while Danny "killer" Fox (he injured a lot of his teammates during our training sessions) will go to Forest for 1 M.

Of course I will have to bring in some new players to face this severe injury crisis, I'm practically without central midfielders, probably I'll loan two men, a full-back and a central midfielder or two.

This is going to be a long and difficult season, god save the 4-4-2!


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The Clarets - January Transfers Update - Season One


In my previous post I talked about my transfer activities, now I'll give you further details.


- David Lafata (striker) 850 k to Reggina, this guy was unsettled and was never been able to show his skills.

- Leon Cort (centre-back) 1 M. to Southampton, never played, useless.

- Clarke Carlisle (centre-back) 725 k to Ipswich, his contract was expiring so I monetized his transfer quite well.


- Danny Holla (Dmc/Mc) ln fee 450 k, from Groningen, a backup deep lying playmaker

- Gabriel Silva (left fullback) ln fee 325 k, form Palmeiras, a future star, I'd like to buy him before the season ends.

- Omar Koroma (striker) 800 k, from Portsmouth, one for the future.

-Vadim Demidov (centre-back) 800 k, from Rosenborg, to add more defensive depth.

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The Clarets -

From 01.01.10 to 28.02.10 - Season One



The good news is that Martin Paterson is scoring regularly now, some really spectacular goals to be true, after he came back from his injury he had some problems to recover his form, but now he seems ok; Chris Brunt, my new left winger is still tryin to impress me, but it's now clear that I still haven't found the right settings to let my wingers to perform at their best, however our table is still satisfying, even if recently we've been a bit wasteful in some games, Bolton and Fulham for example, 2 games we could have won.

Danny Holla is playing better than Rasmus Lindgren, so I'm employing him as my deep lying playmaker, he's more creative.

We're very close to play some key games that will decide our season, the table is still tight and every points gained in these last matches could make a huge difference for our final standing.


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The Clarets -

End of season - Season One


Frederic Nimani won the Young Player of the Year Award!

So the season is over, a not too bad finale, except for two humiliating defeats to Manchester United and Everton, finally we got a distinguished 11th place, very far from the relegation zone, now that the job has been done it's time for some considerations.

The highlights of the season have been our two wins over Liverpool (home & away) and our last game win 3-2 to Chelsea, the curious thing is that we scored more far from home (30) than playing at Turf Moor (23), always using 4-4-2, but being a bit more cautious during my away games.

An entertaining first season, showing that a team can overachieve without using formations with strange shapes, without playing too narrow, overloading the middle of the pitch or your attacking zone to exploit the well known flaws in the match engine.

I simply tried to develop my own style, but adjusting some settings wisely, from time to time when my game plan (yep...it's good to have a game plan and not a "win" button) failed.

The old 4-4-2 can be still used, with good success in FM 10, it's flexible enough, if you have the right players, to face any other shapes, and the TC helps a lot to do that, just make some experiments; of course talking about the right players I'm not referring to world beaters, just players useful for your personal 4-4-2 asset and for the football you'd like to play.

Back on track, in this season finale the chairman decided to add 7500 seats to our stadium, spending 9 millions, a huge part of our bank balance.

I received a 6 M. offer from Monaco for Andrew Bikey, one of my best central defender and I decided to accept, he was good but a bit penalty prone too, so it was a good deal; on the other hand I chose to buy definitively 3 player that did well on loan this season, Nimani (scored 12 in 11 apps), Danny Holla, a decent Dutch playmaker and Gabriel Silva, a Brazilian fullback with bags of potential, for a total of 8 millions (just 1 of them upfront).

If I had to cite my personal MVP of the season I think I'd choose Martin Paterson, this young lad really surprised me, I know it's not a superstar but he did amazingly well for us.

Unfortunately there are bad news too, Steven Fletcher, my leading attacker will be out for ten months, damaged cruciate ligaments the damn verdict!

Chris McCann will miss next five months as well...

Some new problems to solve.

I was forgetting, here there are the stats of my whole team and the Season Review, have a look if you like, I hope you appreciated my updates, feel free to ask if you'd like to know something more, I should be back soon for the start of our second season.:thup:

Up the Clarets!!

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The Clarets -

Summer transfers update - Season Two


Andrew Driver, my brand new left winger

Ready to go?

Ok, I had a busy summer, being involved in lots of deals on the market: to be honest I didn't want to make any revolution, but then, just playing my first friendlies, I had some bad injuries to my attackers (Paterson out 3 months, Nimani out for one month!) so I had to fix this really bad start, injuries seem to be the leit-motiv of this Burnley career.

I thought that Franco Di Santo from Chelsea could have been the ideal sub for Nimani in the advanced forward role, they've got similar skills, then I brought in two hot Scottish starlets, David Godwillie and John Fleck, the second on loan.

In the middle of the pitch my most expensive buy was Joey Shelvey, a gifted midfielder that could raise the bar of a not so skilfull midfield, on the left I sold Brunt (too slow) and bought Andrew Driver cause pacey wingers fit my system better.

Defensively I didn't change too much, the regulars should be Addison and Demidov, while McManus and Hubocan should provide good cover.

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The Clarets -

The whole season - Season Two

Ok, I've been a bit busy lately so just a single update to tell you about my second season, a season where Injuries and mistakes (my own) happened quite regularly.

At the end we got a good 9th place, establishing ourselves in the top half of the table, so not that bad, but it could have been even better.

Injuries where quite annoying, they didn't let me to use a well gelled team, notably upfront I had to rotate too much my players with unimpressive results.

My strikers performances this year:

Paterson 21 played scored 13

Nimani 18 pl. 5 goals

Fletcher 6 pl. 3 g.

Goodwillie 7 + 20 (sub.) 2 goals

Di Santo 18 pl, 8 g.

Basically I brought in too many slow forwards that didn't fit my system well, my best striker has been, once again, Martin Paterson, not the greatest technically, but quick and effective in my 4-4-2, Fletcher had problems recovering from last year injury, Goodwilllie is not premiership material and Fleck was too young to play at this level.

Di Santo was good, a real talent, but not scoring so regularly.

Nimani didn't repeat last year performances, I expected more from him.

Apart from that we put togheter some good matches:

beating Sunderland 6-2 at home

Villans 3-1 at home

Blackburn 5-4 away

Liverpool 2-0 at home

Citizens 3-2 away

For next year I'm going to sell many players, I need a real poacher, a better right back (Eckersley and Mears are limited players) a good and versatile central midfielder, capable to recover the ball and to deliver an assist and a solid centre-back to play with Miles Addison in the heart of my defense.

My best XI

Gk Penny

Rb Mears

Lb Gabriel Silva

Cb Addison

Cb Demidov

Rw Mares

Lw Driver

Mc Shelvey

Mc McDonald

St Di Santo

St Paterson

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