How I built my 451 for FM 18

Taking Benevento to new heights

The story so far: Part 1, part 2, part 3.

You might know what happened last season, after a bloody finale that saw us avoiding the drop on our last game of the year, I decided it was time for a change, Football Manager gives you the chance to put in action some extreme and weird tactics but then I wanted to create a more conventional tactic.

A 4–5–1 to rule them all?

I opted for 4-5-1 cause we had really good wingers: Ciciretti, Adzic and Parigini were joined by Fares and Ianis Hagi (both on loan to add more depth), all of them were competent inside forwards so 451 suited these players well.

4–5–1: team instructions

I couldn’t afford an outstanding central forward, so I developed this tactic where the lone striker main duty was to keep the ball before delivering it to his teammates, mainly the inside forwards, running beside him.

IF’s instructions

The tactic showed its defensive solidity, a huge improvement over last year performance when we conceded 109 goals, this time even our goal difference in the league has been dramatically better: 50 scored and 51 conceded.

The tactic is not possession based, it’s more inclined toward a counterattacking kind of football, it has some problems vs. teams sitting deep in their own half but due to our poor reputation many teams attack us from the start.

The defensive flankers are probably too “defensive” so they don’t offer too much in the build-up phase, but it’s a choice that pays off if you’re an underdog.

Anyway, if you want to try it, feel free to click the link below.

Download 4–5–1 tactic

Croatian forward Bruno Petkovic joined in January from Bologna and did decently, before that my other strikers have been extremely disappointing: Omoijuanfo, Armenteros, and McBurnie scored 4 goals overall, the first two left in January.

My biggest summer investment was Fabio Depaoli from Chievo, I paid 4.5 M for him upfront, a sum that could rise up to 6.5 M, he should become a key asset in my midfield, perfect for the advanced playmaker or mezzala role, plus he’s Italian.

2018.19 Benevento transfers

Overall I spent 14.5 M, mainly signing young players, better if Italian, to build a solid spine for the present and the future of the team.

The signing that surprised me more has been Matteo Zaccagni, an underrated central midfielder I got from Verona: 21 apps, 4 goals and 6 assists this season, snapped for 300k, without doubt the bargain of the year.


Season overview (2018-19) and future plans

Ok, but what about your season?

It went brilliantly, we reached the Tim Cup final, we defeated Inter, Roma and Napoli, only to lose to a largely superior Milan team, meanwhile we finished 7th in serie A, a result that qualifies Benevento for Europa League next season.

2018.19 Tim Cup run

The league was a tough affair, Milan won it and we came really close to some of the best clubs of the league, surprisingly Sampdoria after an abysimal season got relegated, my work didn’t go unnoticed and I won the Manager of the Year award.

Old manager does it better!
2018.19 Serie A final table

Mvp of the season: once again I could name Ciciretti (my best scorer with Vittorio Parigini, both 8 goals), but this year the winner is Sondre Rossbach, my Norwegian keeper played 46 matches with 16 clean sheets and 7.12 Avg. rating.

Most importantly he could still improve, amazing reflexes and determination for this 23 years old.

The future

The board accepted my request to upgrade our training facilities, I’m managing a small club that will have issues to build a new stadium and bring more people into it, Benevento is a small town (60.000 pop.) close to Napoli, a bigger city and a more established football club.

Our financial situation is improving thanks to my tight wage policy, but now more players will start to moan to have new deals.

Benevento low average attendance (11.000) results in poor gate receipts, keeping the books balanced is a priority, we need to grow up slowly. The best thing about this save though is that I’m approaching my third season and we still haven’t got the money, the transfer budget made available for next season is 6.7 M, which is depressing and lovely at the same time!

In other news I already have some ideas about our tactical evolution, we’re still evolving and I could try something new to continue this tactical tour de force, stay tuned to discover more and follow my twitter account: Armchair_Gaffer.