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Marcelo Bielsa's Tactical Philosophy in Football Manager 2017


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Hey VirgilFanDijk12 - great post and well explained tactic.

I just have a follow up question on the passing lengths. When you say:

Some key aspects of my tactic that I feel are representative of the way he plays are: extremely wide, extremely high tempo, and extremely urgent pressing. I have chosen to have the passing range as "standard", in combination with PI's to certain players to pass short. These instructions help to create a range of passing, and "verticality", passing short, but mostly moving forward.

Which players did you choose to pass short and how did you make this selection? I'd imagine it would be more of the defensive players to give you more verticality up front, but I'd be interested to know your reasoning.

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On 17/01/2021 at 00:49, crazybrain13 said:

Hey VirgilFanDijk12 - great post and well explained tactic.

I just have a follow up question on the passing lengths. When you say:

Some key aspects of my tactic that I feel are representative of the way he plays are: extremely wide, extremely high tempo, and extremely urgent pressing. I have chosen to have the passing range as "standard", in combination with PI's to certain players to pass short. These instructions help to create a range of passing, and "verticality", passing short, but mostly moving forward.

Which players did you choose to pass short and how did you make this selection? I'd imagine it would be more of the defensive players to give you more verticality up front, but I'd be interested to know your reasoning.

Hi @crazybrain thanks for your kind words.

Yh so it's pass shorter for LB, LCB, CM, AM, RW, LW I believe. RCB is normal, RB is more direct as Ayling has a more expansive passing range, same for Phillips at HB, and Bamford more direct too, just to increase the chance of a line breaking pass when he comes deep. I've found the combination of a more direct team instruction but pass shorter for most gives a bit more variation with style a leaning towards possession. Also, if you look at the pass stats, it's very close between medium-short but with a lot of forward passing. Most possession tactics are sideways, sideways, backwards. I found this gave that representation of verticality I wanted to see in Bielsa passing.

Also, if anyone wants to know more about my thoughts behind the tactic, I did a longer write up here too https://www.rdftactics.com/post/marcelo-bielsa-s-4-1-4-1-leeds-by-virgilfandijk for RDF's website. I'm working on a series of Bielsa disciples tactics too including Gallardo, Almeyda, Heinze and maybe Sampaoli too. If anyone has some idea about those guys too we should chat about it.

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2 hours ago, VirgilFanDijk12 said:

a series of Bielsa disciples tactics too including Gallardo, Almeyda, Heinze and maybe Sampaoli too. If anyone has some idea about those guys too we should chat about it.

Add Hernán Losada, newly appointed DC United manager, to the list. I would love to collaborate on this, feel free to PM me. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 28/12/2020 at 08:07, VirgilFanDijk12 said:

Here is my Bielsa tactic for FM20 I've been working for a while. This is my interpretation. I could change the striker position to a more support duty but it has helped me to get more goals out of the tactic. In the championship I played a full season with Very Fluid and Very Attacking and finished with 40 wins, 6 draws, 0 losses, and 99 Goal Diff. Leeds score the most goals and won the most games in Championship history with this tactic. It has been mixed results in the Premier league, I have also switched to Attacking, as we were leaking a lot of goals, but in true Bielsa style, I refuse to change the style anymore than that, whatever will be, will be.

I also won the league two seasons in a row with Racing Club de Avellaneda. Some really great football to watch, with verticality, width and decent possession stats (57-62%) most matches. 

There are a lot of player instructions, which could probably be reduced but this helped to create a tactic in this ME that I believe is pretty close to Bielsa football, certainly entertaining attacking football that's for sure!

Screenshot 2020-12-28 at 3.48.12 PM.png

Screenshot 2020-12-28 at 3.45.50 PM.png

Bielsa (v. 1 Striker).fmf 44.07 kB · 42 downloads Bielsa (v. 2 Strikers).fmf 44.06 kB · 36 downloads

You think either of these would carry over int fm 21? Love how these look and the roles fit my current Everton 

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  • 2 months later...
On 20/01/2021 at 19:01, VirgilFanDijk12 said:

Hi @crazybrain thanks for your kind words.

Yh so it's pass shorter for LB, LCB, CM, AM, RW, LW I believe. RCB is normal, RB is more direct as Ayling has a more expansive passing range, same for Phillips at HB, and Bamford more direct too, just to increase the chance of a line breaking pass when he comes deep. I've found the combination of a more direct team instruction but pass shorter for most gives a bit more variation with style a leaning towards possession. Also, if you look at the pass stats, it's very close between medium-short but with a lot of forward passing. Most possession tactics are sideways, sideways, backwards. I found this gave that representation of verticality I wanted to see in Bielsa passing.

Also, if anyone wants to know more about my thoughts behind the tactic, I did a longer write up here too https://www.rdftactics.com/post/marcelo-bielsa-s-4-1-4-1-leeds-by-virgilfandijk for RDF's website. I'm working on a series of Bielsa disciples tactics too including Gallardo, Almeyda, Heinze and maybe Sampaoli too. If anyone has some idea about those guys too we should chat about it.

Hey Virgil. Really like the write up on rdftactics. I think you have combined the bielsa style and the match engine really well. I’m trying to download the tactic on steam but I unable to get the tactic to show up. Can u please tell me the pis when you get a chance? 

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