Ö-zil to the Arsenal! Posted August 24, 2015 Share Posted August 24, 2015 Introduction to Universality Now we are into the dying months on FM2015 and the football season is kicking-off again, re-igniting the spark for lots of us, I decided to use the last few weeks before the new game to experiment with the concept of Universality to see if it could work on the current match engine and have been pleasantly surprised with the results. Universality is the concept of playing 'complete footballers' all over the pitch, attacking and defending as a cohesive unit. You want defenders who are comfortable on the ball, can help retain possession and launch attacks. Midfielders should be technically outstanding with good movement and excellent work ethic. Attackers offer multiple threats, combine as a team and hassle opposition defenders when you lose the ball. Formation Seen as when thinking about tactics the first thing most people think of is a formation, I will start here. When it comes to Universality, formation doesn't matter. Jonathan Wilson sums it up well: Formations are neutral; it is their application that gives them positive or negative qualities. That said, when I pick a formation I look for something: Balanced 3 or 4 central midfielders Has natural width Offers multiple attacking threats Personally I like the diamond, and classic 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 as go-to formations. The more adventurous may enjoy a 3-4-3. Team Shape - Very Fluid Not too much debate here, Very Fluid sums up exactly what we're looking for here: In order to build the rest of the tactic from here it is important to understand what this selection means: All players have the same mentality (set by your Mentality setting) Increased creative freedom across the team Point one is particularly important. All players have the same mentality. If you select attacking, your defenders have attacking mentality. if you select Defensive / Counter, your strikers have a low mentality. Mentality - Standard Seen as we're on the subject, the statement above pretty much explains why I go for a standard mentality. Let's review the description: Standard mentality gives you two big advantages: Balance. Flexibility. The entire team has a mentality which makes them responsible for both attack and defence. Defenders will get involved with play, in possession but not aggressively enough to sacrifice the defensive shape. Attackers will have defensive responsibility but not enough to subtract from their attacking play. Another important point is that Mentality is not the only thing effected by the Mentality setting. If you read descriptions you'll also see that Mentality also effects: Width Tempo Passing Defensive line Closing down As things stand we have a team with a very balanced mentality playing with medium width, tempo, passing, defensive line and closing down. This is where the team instructions come in. Team instructions Now your team instructions will vary quite considerably depending on how you want to play. There is nothing wrong with continuing as standard, but you may also want to implement some of your own philosophy. I personally have two preset combinations saved: Press & Control High Block: Much Higher Defensive Line, Closing Down, Tackle Harder, Press Defenders etc. Control: Shorter Passing, Pass Ball out of Defence, Slower Tempo, Work Ball into Box Sit & Counter Low Block: Lower Defensive Line, Lower Closing Down, Stand off Counter: More Direct, Much higher Tempo, Pass ball out of defence, sometimes NOTE: Width and ball distribution both depend on a) my formation, b) opposition formation. Finally, Player Roles & Instructions Wwfan sums this up very well in his 12 step guide. As a general rule: In Very Fluid structures, you want 0-1 specialist roles per shape. On other words - you're allowed one playmaker. Avoid fancy titled positions roles. I actually prefer to play without a playmaker as it will cause your team to focus too much attention getting them the ball. Remember your players all have increased Creative Freedom so they're all playmakers to an extent. Here are two examples of how I distribute player roles: Diamond Classic 4-3-3 For a comprehensive guide to Player Roles I'd direct you to Llama3's excellent Pairs & Combinations. Cleon has also written a series called "Meet the X" and you can read those guides on his website SISportCentre. Additional notes from me Beware that the MC(D) has Close Down Much More as standard, add a PI if you want him to sit. Box-to-Box Midfielders and Complete Wingbacks both have Roam from Position as standard. At one point I had 2 of each which left me with zero defensive structure. I am not sure if the Sweeper Keeper setting actually does anything. I recommend a DLF and an AF with 2 strikers or one Complete Forward for a lone striker. The midfield trio DOMINATES games - highly recommended. Great positioning for the MCL/R when in a trio. Conclusion Formation does not matter Very Fluid team shape is essential Standard Mentality is recommended Use Team Instructions to tailor to your style Keep the player instructions simple Now all you need to do is find the right players. This is easier said than done. Perhaps a whole new post on scouting and Player Development. Another topic for another day, i think.. Anyway, I am really interested to hear your views. If anyone else has tried this, tried anything similar let us know. It's been great for me: To close - here are some recommended clubs with squads pretty well-set, you could try this with (recommend any more and I'll add to the list): Arsenal, Liverpool, Southampton, Swansea, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Marseille, Spain, Juventus, Roma, Bayern, Dortmund.. Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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