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6 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

It's all going to end with 10 guys in the box and just the goalkeeper at the back. If only the Sweeper Keeper (Attack) would actually send the goalkeeper forward! :lol:

Please upgrade to Fm21

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On 08/11/2020 at 12:50, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

2025/26 Update: the 3-1-6

Before I begin, I am going to apologise if this comes across as vague. Due to lack of internet access I am retrospectively posting this update a month or so after having played it to get the thread up to speed.

I also hope these screenshots work, as I have struggled in previous posts. If not, it'll have to wait a few months until I'm back home.


https://i.imgur.com/SYKnJsu.png
 

The pre-season saw a summer transfer exodus, motivated by two factors:

  1. a "top heavy" first team squad.
  2. generating transfer revenue to counter balance the financial free-fall due to our ever expanding wage bill.

Elvis, Halex and Tiago Almada, in particular, leave the club as world class talents and I have no doubt they'll be back to bite us in the ass in future, but we need to open up some space for young players from the academy.


https://i.imgur.com/n2At1bn.png


Tactically, we remain extremely similar in a lopsided 4-2-4 shape. The only change from the previous season was withdrawing our midfield into the DM strata.

The motivation for this switch was to experiment with the 3-1-6 attacking shape we have been starting to see in real life.

Dantas drops between Florentino Luis and Alex Pinto to create a back 3, with Vitor Costa roaming in the space ahead of them creating the '3-1' build up shape.


https://i.imgur.com/0Z1rc3X.png


This 3-1 shape allows us to circulate possession and advance the ball, leaving an extremely aggressive - and semi-undefendable - line of 6 in attack.


https://i.imgur.com/oQe7E43.png

 

  Reveal hidden contents

..and yes, the screenshots are against PSG again. I am sorry to any PSG fans. They are the second best side in Europe now, by some way.


The relentless intensity continued, with another record-breaking title.


https://i.imgur.com/1vtql9Z.png


Led by a new talisman..
 

https://i.imgur.com/CWeVwmd.png


..and reaching a goalscoring level I think may be impossible to beat.


https://i.imgur.com/h5nJVQj.png


Europe was similar:


https://i.imgur.com/JHEnPD1.png


https://i.imgur.com/lfinvAO.png


https://i.imgur.com/sD4pTRH.png


https://i.imgur.com/onz0IjW.png


https://i.imgur.com/tGElIwE.png


The Trophy Cabinet


https://i.imgur.com/QGAAraN.png


I haven't really got too much more to say at the moment. Spectacular football, easily the best I have ever seen in any version of FM.

The numbers here are stragering, especially since the 3-1-6 shape is likely to push teams into their own box. It's such a shame you can't currently upload images/videos because I would love to see the movement of your attackers.

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Question for the main man @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! (and anyone else who might be able to help) - this might have been asked/discussed before, but I couldn't find it with the search function. What is your view on the 'Dictates Tempo' PPM? 

For context, after a few days of 1990s/2000s Serie A nostalgia, I've just started a save with Inter Milan (FM20). With this thread as the inspiration, I'm looking to implement an attacking, possession based philosophy. I am probably going to be selling Eriksen and Brosovic in order to raise funds and build the midfield (and the team as a whole) around Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella. These 2 seem ideal for the central midfield roles that you used in your first move towards this style of play with Benfica, back in the early pages of this thread. Both players boast impressive technical and mental attributes. Sensi has the 'Gets Forward Whenever Possible' PPM, while Barella has 'Gets Into Opposition Area'. This should help with supporting my striker. My first quite frankly unoriginal idea for a signing to round off the midfield 3 was Sandro Tonali, who would act as the Deep-Lying Playmaker. My only issue however, is that I would have 2 players (Tonali and Sensi) with the 'Dictates Tempo' PPM.

- Would both players having this trait simply cancel each other out and allow them both to play normally?
- Could it marginalise Barella's involvement, as he'd be the spare man in midfield and the only one without this trait?
- Would it lead to a conflict in who is trying to 'orchestrate' the play?

I note from your screenshots of Tiago Dantas that he doesn't have the 'Dictates Tempo' trait, is this something that you would actively look to avoid? If so, regardless of whether Tonali, or any other player with the 'Dictates Tempo' PPM is brought in, would you suggest trying to make Sensi drop that trait, especially as he is not likely to be playing as the Deep-Lying Playmaker? 

Edited by ElJefe4
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6 hours ago, ElJefe4 said:

Question for the main man @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! (and anyone else who might be able to help) - this might have been asked/discussed before, but I couldn't find it with the search function. What is your view on the 'Dictates Tempo' PPM? 

For context, after a few days of 1990s/2000s Serie A nostalgia, I've just started a save with Inter Milan (FM20). With this thread as the inspiration, I'm looking to implement an attacking, possession based philosophy. I am probably going to be selling Eriksen and Brosovic in order to raise funds and build the midfield (and the team as a whole) around Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella. These 2 seem ideal for the central midfield roles that you used in your first move towards this style of play with Benfica, back in the early pages of this thread. Both players boast impressive technical and mental attributes. Sensi has the 'Gets Forward Whenever Possible' PPM, while Barella has 'Gets Into Opposition Area'. This should help with supporting my striker. My first quite frankly unoriginal idea for a signing to round off the midfield 3 was Sandro Tonali, who would act as the Deep-Lying Playmaker. My only issue however, is that I would have 2 players (Tonali and Sensi) with the 'Dictates Tempo' PPM.

- Would both players having this trait simply cancel each other out and allow them both to play normally?
- Could it marginalise Barella's involvement, as he'd be the spare man in midfield and the only one without this trait?
- Would it lead to a conflict in who is trying to 'orchestrate' the play?

I note from your screenshots of Tiago Dantas that he doesn't have the 'Dictates Tempo' trait, is this something that you would actively look to avoid? If so, regardless of whether Tonali, or any other player with the 'Dictates Tempo' PPM is brought in, would you suggest trying to make Sensi drop that trait, especially as he is not likely to be playing as the Deep-Lying Playmaker? 


Quite honestly, I don't have a strong view. My understanding is that Dictates Tempo means a player is more likely to deviate from the tempo set by your tactics.

I cannot think of ever having seen a moment in the match engine where I have noticed an action which could have been due to dictate the tempo.

Right now, we play extremely high-tempo, high-intensity football and I wouldn't want anyone deviating from that. Perhaps if I was playing a slower, more controlled style Dictates Tempo might be useful in temporarily speeding things up when the rest of the team isn't otherwise capable.

In general, I'd say give it a go. See if you notice anything and decide whether you like it :thup:
 

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13 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Quite honestly, I don't have a strong view. My understanding is that Dictates Tempo means a player is more likely to deviate from the tempo set by your tactics.

I cannot think of ever having seen a moment in the match engine where I have noticed an action which could have been due to dictate the tempo.

Right now, we play extremely high-tempo, high-intensity football and I wouldn't want anyone deviating from that. Perhaps if I was playing a slower, more controlled style Dictates Tempo might be useful in temporarily speeding things up when the rest of the team isn't otherwise capable.

In general, I'd say give it a go. See if you notice anything and decide whether you like it :thup:
 

Ah, I see. In that case it's probably much more simple than it was in my head (that's a bit of a theme for these threads). Thanks!

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On 07/04/2019 at 11:02, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Real Madrid and Barcelona have very aging squads. Ronaldo is 38 years old and still on consecutive 30+ goal seasons, but we beat the comfortably in the groups and Manchester United just knocked them out of the Champions League. Messi retires at the end of the season and is now a backup midfielder. Suares, Pique and Busquets all well into their mid-30s. Looking at their squad it looks like they're in financial trouble, or just their signings have been rubbish. Total rebuild required.

 

Wow FM really did a good job in your save to predict what is currently happening in real life :lol:

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On 11/05/2019 at 18:16, zlatanera said:

On thing new on FM19 I do enjoy is that - I think, but I'm not certain, that its only when you have Play Out Of Defence selected - from a goal kick centre backs split wide and your DM will drop between them to receive the ball as your full backs push high up. When I played a 442 with two DMs it looked practically bizarre, the DMs and CBs forming a back four, the FBs pushing up so it looked like we had 3 players on each flank, and nobody at all in the centre. 

 

On 11/05/2019 at 22:08, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Yes, certainly. Over the years I've moved from Standard to Control to Attacking to Overload and that experience has been helpful each time I'm starting with a new team and being able to gauge a style that could suit the players.

I can't really comment on FM2019, but I'm sure they're gradually improving the way build up play works. Based upon my experience in this save, the AI needs to press more effectively in order to make that kind of build up necessary.

Doing one of my regular read through of this thread and this perked my interest. Particularly what you say about opposition needing to press in order to make 'Play Out Of Defence' really necessary.

It interested me as I've quite often found my CMs (in a 433) dropping far deeper than I need them to be when building out from a goal kick. I've also seen the problem this causes in that it leaves a big gap in the centre of the pitch and as a result we end up playing longer, riskier passes to forwards/wingers who are then isolated due to the lack of support from the '8s'.

It goes against one of the key principles of Guardiola's philosophy which Thierry Henry is describing here:

The very first clip he shows nails my problem. He highlights how Iniesta doesn't come short to receive a pass from Xavi, instead he waits in his position, trusts that Xavi will find him and is therefore in a better position to progress the play. This is the exact opposite of what I find my CMs doing.  

Removing 'Play Out Of Defence' seems like a risky move, as the last thing I want is for my defenders to start lumping the ball up front. But at the same time, I definitely need to improve the spacing of the midfield by finding a way of stopping my MLC/MCR from dropping in next to my DLP in order to help in the build up phase. Seen several videos and read several articles that talk about the +1 idea when building from the back. That is, that you should use as few players as possible in this phase so as to free up more attackers. Ideally then, you'd only have 1 extra player than the opposition in this phase. At the moment, I'm seeing 2 Centre Backs, my Deep Lying Playmaker, 2 Inverted Wing Backs and 2 Central Midfield players all dropping to within 30 yards of my goalkeeper. That's 8 of my own players in an area where the opposition often have maybe 3? Really unnecessary. And by having 8 vs 3 in the build up phase, that leaves me with a 3 vs 8 in the attacking phase. Doesn't take a genius to figure out that those are not good odds!

Edited by ElJefe4
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@ElJefe4 I don't know if you saw my doing a little bit of 'analysis' (2 screenshots, so about equivalent to your average Twitter user claiming to know how to turn Manchester United around) I found something similar. I'm on FM19, I don't know about yourself.

Partially to keep things interesting, and partially to see if its possible to improve on a team that has gone 35-3-0, 35-3-0, 36-2-0, 37-1-0 in consecutive seasons I'm considering removing Play Out Of Defence and manually setting my goalkeeper and back line's passing directness as Shorter instead. I'll post here if I find anything, and would be curious to see if you find any ways around this problem too.

Edited by zlatanera
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Serious question @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! - do you think anyone will ever be able to replicate what you did with Benfica in the latest additions of FM? The idea of high tempo, high pressure, possession based football using technically gifted players developed in a youth focused structure. Aside of the exact replication of tactics, do you think the process of a whole can still be adopted? The eventual success and magnitude of results is stunning and I haven't seen that level of european domination in any of my saves or many others. I would love for when FM21 is released, to begin a similar journey on the 24th. However, it is difficult to be committed, when I have uncertainties about how successful I can be using the current generation of football manager. Would love to hear your thoughts though.

Edited by milestobudapest
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Hey, good morning everybody. Taking advantage of a couple of days with a more reliable internet connection to get this up to date. This will be a short one as there's not too much to say that hasn't been said before, but here is the Portugal's 2026 World Cup campaign in USA.


image.png.3b309675d8566802815549ccd63de081.png


At this point, the Portugal team is pretty much Benfica, minus Leão. In some ways this makes life easier, as it means we play a simple 4-3-3 which is really easy to execute given that the players are not together for as long as they are at club level. We've been using pretty much the same shape since the last World Cup so it's a very well established team.


image.png.c1c5701c79127744ccdee9025fb1ef47.png


Leão's replacement is - another Benfica academy product, of course - Tiago Valentim. Valentim has been around the fringes of the Benfica squad for a few years but exploded over the course of last season into one of the best midfielders in Europe.

 

image.png.65913cd5d52354c684a19e72450bb860.png
 


Valentim does not contribute as many goals as Leão but his addition gives us more control in midfield whilst maintaining the high intensity, expansive style which itself results in a lot of goals.


image.png.f43c00a64a1c46133ad10164de5bce26.png


image.png.b16d365cafc9444a30b76dcb91e5d1d6.png


The group stage was a walk over.


image.png.ef4232e139ff8fac5a9a5f9cd8a43902.png


..with the easy run extending to the semi-final without too much trouble.


image.png.cabb117f1f4aba17a9974b7df90263e0.png


Germany gave us a good game in the semi-final.


image.png.8a744bdcaa2591a8cc20b79d2e391edd.png


Before beating Italy comfortably in the final.


image.png.c28b0ff217a6febed7c25ccec8ea5de4.png


There's not really much I can think to add from a tactical standpoint at the moment. Very similar to the 'Total Football' style developed a few seasons earlier, just with the intensity dialled up to the max.

Looking at the age profile of this squad means that they are going to go into the 2030 World Cup right in their prime. Unless there's the emergence of an absolute superstar, we might be fielding a team of players each with 100 caps as they attempt a hat-trick of World Cups.

Internet connection still not up to posting GIFs, I'm afraid. Will try when I get to Nairobi :cool:

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!
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On 20/11/2020 at 01:03, milestobudapest said:

Serious question @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! - do you think anyone will ever be able to replicate what you did with Benfica in the latest additions of FM? The idea of high tempo, high pressure, possession based football using technically gifted players developed in a youth focused structure. Aside of the exact replication of tactics, do you think the process of a whole can still be adopted? The eventual success and magnitude of results is stunning and I haven't seen that level of european domination in any of my saves or many others. I would love for when FM21 is released, to begin a similar journey on the 24th. However, it is difficult to be committed, when I have uncertainties about how successful I can be using the current generation of football manager. Would love to hear your thoughts though.


Yes, I am sure people will achieve similar results, for sure.

Youth-wise, as well, I am sure people can and will do it. Changes to the tutoring model mean it's more challenging but I think that's far. I've certainly taken advantage of the FM18 tutoring system to create a production line of talented players with the right attitude to succeed.

Tactically - quite simply - no. A few people have tried and got pretty close in the Total Football thread I created but ultimately the tactics creator has lost a fair amount of depth in recent years in order to become more accessible to people less interested in tactics.

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I've lost count of the amount of times I've read through this thread. :lol:

On my latest read through, one thing that interested me was the '10 year reflection' post. You mention a few things about how you'd alter the individual training to further develop specific attributes e.g. finishing. You also mention potentially using more fitness training (combined with individually training roles such as defensive forward and defensive winger) to help with developing attributes for pressing. Other than that, did your team training generally stay fairly similar the second time around i.e. heavy tactical focus?

Another more general one on youth development - I find that a lot of my 16/17 year olds are very one footed. Is it worth training them to develop their weak foot at this age or is it likely to naturally get stronger over time?

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51 minutes ago, ElJefe4 said:

I've lost count of the amount of times I've read through this thread. :lol:

On my latest read through, one thing that interested me was the '10 year reflection' post. You mention a few things about how you'd alter the individual training to further develop specific attributes e.g. finishing. You also mention potentially using more fitness training (combined with individually training roles such as defensive forward and defensive winger) to help with developing attributes for pressing. Other than that, did your team training generally stay fairly similar the second time around i.e. heavy tactical focus?

Another more general one on youth development - I find that a lot of my 16/17 year olds are very one footed. Is it worth training them to develop their weak foot at this age or is it likely to naturally get stronger over time?

Me too. Always coming back and reading it again. I don’t think you can truly understand the impact this thread has had on many of us. The way the thread is presented and ideas are explained is so invaluable. I really wish @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!would give at least one run through of FM 21, because even if he couldn’t achieve the exact same, he might find some joy with something else, and it’d be great to have this type of content once more! 

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25 minutes ago, milestobudapest said:

Me too. Always coming back and reading it again. I don’t think you can truly understand the impact this thread has had on many of us. The way the thread is presented and ideas are explained is so invaluable. I really wish @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!would give at least one run through of FM 21, because even if he couldn’t achieve the exact same, he might find some joy with something else, and it’d be great to have this type of content once more! 

Same here. I re read all of the time, aiming to learn, adopt and adapt, and then mimic @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s greatness. Last year I offered to buy fm20 for him. He passed and I think eventually got the demo or something. 

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1 hour ago, ElJefe4 said:

On my latest read through, one thing that interested me was the '10 year reflection' post. You mention a few things about how you'd alter the individual training to further develop specific attributes e.g. finishing. You also mention potentially using more fitness training (combined with individually training roles such as defensive forward and defensive winger) to help with developing attributes for pressing. Other than that, did your team training generally stay fairly similar the second time around i.e. heavy tactical focus?

Another more general one on youth development - I find that a lot of my 16/17 year olds are very one footed. Is it worth training them to develop their weak foot at this age or is it likely to naturally get stronger over time?

I'd love to hear a response to this as well! What kind of success have people had adapting Ozil's training methods (focussing on developing players football intelligence using tactics training, individual training using BPD/CWB/RPM/CF roles, weak foot training like Eljefe pointed out) to the newer FMs?

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On FM 21 I'm trying a more flexible 442 heavily inspired by the famous 424 by @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! . Still very much work in progress  but I like (some of) what I'm seeing from my team.

729436978_ManausFutebolClube_Overview-2.thumb.png.ccfdb764cbeaf87e5b1ac81f2e1de251.png

- Double pivot in DM strata with HB recreating the 3-1-6 build-up. No playmaker due to presence of a WP at ML.

 - Focus play down the left instruction aims to make WP even more involved and create overloads on left flank.

- Left-footed player as a right Winger operates wide and leaves room for F9 to drop, but still uses strong left foot to create/finish chances.

- WP, W and F9 all roam from position and hopefully take advantage of space behind Poacher.

 

This goal made me particularly happy (if I'm able to uplad from gyazo, of course):

https://gyazo.com/56afd897668ecd028482563f2228436e

Wide playmaker cuts inside with the ball, F9 drops deep and plays a first time pass to winger, who plays another first time killer ball to poacher for a well taken goal (against VERY weak opponents, but still!)

Would like to evolve to a Very Attacking (Overload) team mentality in the future, and maybe review the roles of strikers (or even replace F9 with an attacking midfielder at AMCR slot). But mostly would like O-zil to buy/play FM 21 just to read a new thread soon :D.

Edited by kandersson
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How does everyone like the ME of 19 compared to 20? I like 19 a fair bit, but there's some obvious issues. It's difficult to get wide players to track back, wingers playing unnaturally, and unintelligent play as well. Anyone have a preference between the two?

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Season 2026/27 Update
 

image.thumb.png.f681163424541a1589f844ed5c24a7f8.png


We have to start this update with something of a tribute to outgoing club legend Gedson Fernandes, who joined Manchester United after more than a decade with the club winning everything possible and approaching a century of caps for Portugal.


image.thumb.png.61a8efe93b92946bf40852cec4bdcf54.png


image.thumb.png.cb086882595393bc4c2efa1a556d94d3.png


The reason for sanctioning the sale was partly financial and partly tactical.

A few seasons ago we made the decision to commit to our star players with bumper contracts ensuring we keep them through the prime of their careers. This has resulted in a hefty wage budget, far outstripping our incoming revenue. In order to counter-act this, we have to generate a substantial amount of transfer revenue each season. Gedson was subject of a big transfer bid from Manchester United which would take £250,000 per week off the wage bill at 27 years old. It's early to sell as we could certainly have still got another couple of seasons out of him whilst still commanding a major transfer fee however ultimately the immediate financial benefits were pretty strong.

Tactically, the aforementioned emergence of Thiago Valentim meant I needed to free a place in the team.

The challenge was/is that playing a 4-2-4 means a) we only have 2 midfield spots and Tiago Dantas and Victor Costa are two of the first names on the team sheet and b) Valentim is more of a '10' than a '6' or '8' so does not necessarily suit a midfield 2.

Last year I had rotated Valentim with almost everybody in the 'front 6' but ultimately I prefer to have a more stable team.

My solution was to use use Jota to provide width on the right as a winger and then take advantage of Victor Costa's versatility to play him as an inverted wingback coming in from the right, thus opening up an advanced midfield role for Valentim.
 

image.png.337dceb1bb4e234262283d4e6b572389.png


Unfortunately, we stumbled through a rather flat season. Firstly, losing our first league game in over 5-years.


image.png.7000cea6f164197323d0fbca63037670.png


..and also losing in the final of the Champions League, both domestic cups and the Super Cup.


image.png.73f29f4724474acd03785b7122732186.png


Captain, Tiago Dantas, unfortunately missed most of the season with a broken leg.


image.png.e8e598933a1d85970790dd07b315e46f.png


Which capped off a difficult year for injuries overall.


image.png.9ac58bb4c8819c4274997abf881087e1.png
 

As a result, we had to chop and change a lot. Unfortunately denying the chance to really get a feel for the new tactical set up.


image.png.50d0004cde6cbd25c6ada25d19429c8c.png


Still a very solid season overall, just not quite up to the recent standard. Time to freshen up the squad a bit and look at how we move forward.

image.png

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Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!
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Spooky, I just lost my first game in 5 years (285 games, a lovely number) too! Feel your pain with Fernandes as well, I’m definitely going to have to sell off a beloved player to make some room. Strange really given they’re just 1s and 0s.

Thats a very bold shape, I would not feel comfortable attempting that on FM19 or beyond (could just be cowardice), not least as FM18 does appear to be a last hurrah for the all-Su system. Interestingly your intensity level on your tactics appears higher than similar approaches on FM19. Initially I thought it was the shape but it’s the same in the 4-3-3, do you think it is because you’re Very Fluid? 

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6 hours ago, zlatanera said:

Spooky, I just lost my first game in 5 years (285 games, a lovely number) too! Feel your pain with Fernandes as well, I’m definitely going to have to sell off a beloved player to make some room. Strange really given they’re just 1s and 0s.

Thats a very bold shape, I would not feel comfortable attempting that on FM19 or beyond (could just be cowardice), not least as FM18 does appear to be a last hurrah for the all-Su system. Interestingly your intensity level on your tactics appears higher than similar approaches on FM19. Initially I thought it was the shape but it’s the same in the 4-3-3, do you think it is because you’re Very Fluid? 


:lol: ah, what a coincidence! Being subjective and selling players is the toughest part.

It's difficult to articulate or even show anything tangible but something is certainly missing. We're much flatter, creating fewer chances, missing chances and seem to have lost some of that intensity.

I'm very much in two minds at the moment. On the one hand, this shape allows me to get my best players into a team - namely, the Dantas, Costa, Valentim midfield trio whilst maintaining the Jota, Embalo, Leao, Felix front 4 which has driven us to so much success so far.

On the other, I wonder to what extent this is my own idealism and I am shoehorning too many attacking players and playmakers into the same starting eleven and whether the team would be more pragmatic and either selling someone or using someone from the bench. 


 

On 27/11/2020 at 00:32, ElJefe4 said:

I've lost count of the amount of times I've read through this thread. :lol:

On my latest read through, one thing that interested me was the '10 year reflection' post. You mention a few things about how you'd alter the individual training to further develop specific attributes e.g. finishing. You also mention potentially using more fitness training (combined with individually training roles such as defensive forward and defensive winger) to help with developing attributes for pressing. Other than that, did your team training generally stay fairly similar the second time around i.e. heavy tactical focus?

Another more general one on youth development - I find that a lot of my 16/17 year olds are very one footed. Is it worth training them to develop their weak foot at this age or is it likely to naturally get stronger over time?


Good question :thup:

I certainly learned lessons from the first time around. Probably most prominently in:

  • Jota and Embalo - both of these are start out as excellent wingers but both now have 15+ in finishing, composure and off the ball, decent work rate and Jota in particular has become an excellent all-round playmaker.
  • In midfield, Tiago Dantas, Vitor Costa and Tiago Valentim are world-class all-round playmakers but also have excellent positioning and work-rate making them one of the best midfield units I have come across.

Team training intensity has been way more dynamic, actually.

When the team was extremely young and developing rapidly during the first few seasons we used high team training and balanced it out with using the squad more - for example, when we had the likes of Pedro Alvaro, Pedro Rodrigues, Francisco Trincao, Giovani Lo Celso, Thiago Almada and Goncalo Oliveira around the squad.

Once the core of the team had developed, we started using medium and even low team training because training became more about keeping players fit and getting them into the best possible shape for matches, rather than about developing them.

I have started using the following view to balance training intensity and how much game time players are getting.


image.thumb.png.5330a1dbabb2c9886b96906544268bcc.png


Last season was a bit of a disaster for injuries, however until then this had allowed us to keep our best players on the field for as much time as possible without too many injury problems.

As for the young players one-footedness, given that we now have so many 24+ year olds in the squad most young players can be tutored immediately and are typically determined, professional and have the necessary traits for their position within 2 - max. 3 - cycles of tutoring. Therefore, by the age of 17-18 they are able to start developing their weaker foot and I am happy for them to continue to do so for some time. I think that Vitor Costa, Tiago Valentim and Leao all became 'either' footed at around 21.

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5 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

I'm very much in two minds at the moment. On the one hand, this shape allows me to get my best players into a team - namely, the Dantas, Costa, Valentim midfield trio whilst maintaining the Jota, Embalo, Leao, Felix front 4 which has driven us to so much success so far.

On the other, I wonder to what extent this is my own idealism and I am shoehorning too many attacking players and playmakers into the same starting eleven and whether the team would be more pragmatic and either selling someone or using someone from the bench. 

Argentina managers have known this struggle for the past decade. I'm coming up against similar issues though, I currently have a world class front six (2 front threes) yet also about 8 young players who could be world class if I integrate them next season! I've hoarded enough strikers that I'm considering selling one who hit 49 goals last season! 

5 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

As for the young players one-footedness, given that we now have so many 24+ year olds in the squad most young players can be tutored immediately and are typically determined, professional and have the necessary traits for their position within 2 - max. 3 - cycles of tutoring. Therefore, by the age of 17-18 they are able to start developing their weaker foot and I am happy for them to continue to do so for some time. I think that Vitor Costa, Tiago Valentim and Leao all became 'either' footed at around 21.

I'm interested in this. I have a quite clear memory of somebody from SI saying you couldn't train a player's weaker foot beyond "Reasonable" if they weren't naturally two-footed. So, looking at the likes of Leao have you got their weak foot up to "Fairly Strong"? "Strong"? "Very Strong"? 

This could be something that changed between FM18 and 19 but either way I'm curious.

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6 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

As for the young players one-footedness, given that we now have so many 24+ year olds in the squad most young players can be tutored immediately and are typically determined, professional and have the necessary traits for their position within 2 - max. 3 - cycles of tutoring. Therefore, by the age of 17-18 they are able to start developing their weaker foot and I am happy for them to continue to do so for some time. I think that Vitor Costa, Tiago Valentim and Leao all became 'either' footed at around 21.

I'm also interested in this, as in when is the right time to train it. I remember reading somewhere that training the weaker foot takes up some of the players (PA or CA). Doesn't that mean you are robbing some of their attribute point development potential by doing this? Certainly you need to be done with their player traits development, but when do you decide that the majority of their attributes growth has happened and start doing this training?

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1 hour ago, 04texag said:

I remember reading somewhere that training the weaker foot takes up some of the players (PA or CA). Doesn't that mean you are robbing some of their attribute point development potential by doing this?

Indeed, pretty sure it takes up a large chunk of CA. From my experience, either-footed players tend to be quite average in other areas.

Anyway, as of FM21, weaker foot can no longer be developed with a Player Trait. Apparently it can still develop through Technique training, but don't hold me to that.

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3 minutes ago, Zemahh said:

Indeed, pretty sure it takes up a large chunk of CA. From my experience, either-footed players tend to be quite average in other areas.

Anyway, as of FM21, weaker foot can no longer be developed with a Player Trait. Apparently it can still develop through Technique training, but don't hold me to that.

Ya that was my understanding about CA as well. So was planning that once a players attributes start to incline much more slowly around 24ish, but they still have room in the reports between ca and pa stars, train the weaker foot. I haven't looked for how in fm21 yet though. 

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Another excellent update. Time for a what have I learned from the save, and what would I now do differently? part 2? :lol:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! On a serious note, I think your team is tailor made for the 343 LvG used in 95.

Both Alves and Pinto are/were fullbacks but very capable centre backs (De Boer/Reiziger... or Sergi/Ferrer at Barcelona). Don't think you've introduced us Guimaraes.
Dantas at the base of the diamond, flanked by Valentim and Costa.
Leao, the Litmanen incarnation.
Jota and Embalo on either side of Felix.

What do you think?

Unfortunately, in FM21 you can't train the weaker foot :(

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On 09/06/2020 at 13:15, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

The only thing we don't really have is any Target Man-type physical threat, which I would love if we had someone capable of that, plus the other requirements of the system, but we don't.T

So what would you change about your striker if you did?  Would you swap out the F9 and go DLF-S or CF-S?  Dortmund has this guy... thinking about tweaking your system and replacing the F9 with a CF-S role.

image.thumb.png.db6a970b8dd48bd633326b0b81fc31f8.png

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12 hours ago, MadOnion said:

Another excellent update. Time for a what have I learned from the save, and what would I now do differently? part 2? :lol:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! On a serious note, I think your team is tailor made for the 343 LvG used in 95.

Both Alves and Pinto are/were fullbacks but very capable centre backs (De Boer/Reiziger... or Sergi/Ferrer at Barcelona). Don't think you've introduced us Guimaraes.
Dantas at the base of the diamond, flanked by Valentim and Costa.
Leao, the Litmanen incarnation.
Jota and Embalo on either side of Felix.

What do you think?

Unfortunately, in FM21 you can't train the weaker foot :(


Hmm, interesting suggestion. Thank you very much! :thup:

Let me think about it. I am a bit rusty with at playing a 3-man defence, particularly without wingbacks but you are very much right about it fitting the squad. It might also be a bit of fun! :lol:

I'd need to think carefully about setting up the defence. In attack, I'd actually switch Leao and Felix so Leao is the more advanced forward and Felix is the 10, bringing the midfield into play. Both are very similar players but Leao is slightly the better goalscorer and Felix is slightly more the playmaker. They could even rotate.
 

18 hours ago, zlatanera said:

I'm interested in this. I have a quite clear memory of somebody from SI saying you couldn't train a player's weaker foot beyond "Reasonable" if they weren't naturally two-footed. So, looking at the likes of Leao have you got their weak foot up to "Fairly Strong"? "Strong"? "Very Strong"? 

This could be something that changed between FM18 and 19 but either way I'm curious.


Let me respond to this properly when I have the chance to load up FM and I'll tell you the description for the weaker foot for some of the players who became classed as either footed as I am not totally sure. Dantas is another example who started as right footed and became either footed. I think Jota and Felix started as either footed.

In fact the entire central spine of the team other than the centre backs is either footed.

Some players won't improve their weaker foot at all, but in my experience most do. Particularly over a long enough time frame. Players described as "Right/Left Only" are considerably less likely but most of the time you can at least get them to be simply "Right/Left" and those players are not necessarily bad with their weaker foot.

Responding to the comments on CA - I am not an expert, so take this for what it is - I know many people have run experiments to see how much CA developing a player's weaker foot 'costs' and it's expensive.

In my personal opinion, it's worth it. I'd put it up there with Technique, Decisions and Anticipation as one of the big attributes which effects a lot of the play.

The best example is to go back a few pages to the GIFs I posted of Jota getting 5-6 assists in either the World Cup or Champions League final a few seasons ago. His attributes are good but not elite, however his ability to beat a defender on the outside and cross or to cut inside and shoot or find a pass is devastating. I seem to remember Hazard being the same a few versions of FM ago.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!
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On 10/06/2020 at 00:52, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

2022/23 Season Update

This was a weird season. For part of the season it felt like the season after our best ever season; for another part of the season it felt like the transition to a new team; and for the - for the 3rd, and final, act - it felt like our best season ever.


Part One: post-2022

I am searching for a screenshot which will explain this section; it's difficult as the results remained excellent, but something was missing.

Tired after heroic World Cup exploits and picking up knocks all over the place, we didn't manage to put out our full starting 11 at all in the first few months of the season.

Form was good, results were good, but not quite at the same level as last season. The midfield felt a bit slower, our attacking trio hadn't played together and I couldn't settle on the best partner for Pinto at the back.

We were starting to get a little bit flat and I was wondering if it was time to start moving on a few big names to freshen the squad. Fortunately the transfer market in January was still non-existent, otherwise I may have made a mistake if the right bid came in. Pragmatism is not my strong point.


Part Two: the New Wave

Whilst much of the squad was a bit flat, Vitor Costa was a breath of fresh air.


7Hy6RCh.png


Costa - all of a sudden - was the heartbeat of the team, playing a high-energy crisp passing game and it became increasingly clear I had to find a place for him in the starting 11.

I couldn't possibly replace Dantas, could I? No. :lol: That was never a serious consideration. But nevertheless I did have to find a way to accommodate Vitor Costa.

Florentino Luis was the weakest creative link in our midfield, and was doing OK but not setting the world alight in his Box-to-Box role. I'd tried - and failed - playing without Luis before so was extremely apprehensive about dropping him, but Costa isn't direct enough for the Xadas-role so I decided replace Luis and push Dantas into a more advanced role.


xnTbaSM.png


That was encouraging, but not quite there. The squad was still extremely disrupted - with Jota, Embalo, Alves, Vinicius Junior, Guimaraes and Tralhao all had 1 month+ injuries - but we started to click.

The passing play was quicker and more decisive, back to dominating teams with chance after chance.

It was ultimately the injuries in central defence in which we stumbled into the system which clicked.


Part 3: New and.. improved?


PvUtFly.png


Costa successfully developed his weaker foot to become either footed and started to become more dynamic which meant Dantas went back into his favoured DLP(D) role and Costa in midfield.

The majority of the time I prefer one playmaker; but in this instance, it was simply the quality of the two that necessitated two.

I experimented with a DLP(S) but they were too one-dimensional? :lol: and the advanced playmaker can run wide with the ball to occupy that crucial space flanking an opposition double pivot.

Florentino Luis has matured to become an outstanding central defender. He's the most intelligent defensive player in Europe and is one of the best ball playing defenders out there.

I don't know how I am going to tell the guys in the Total Football thread I added attack duties :lol:

The mentality split is:
 


        12
17              17
    14      14
        14
17  14      14  17
        14


Honestly, it's very similar.

I wanted to accentuate the False 9 role by encouraging the Inside Forwards to advance beyond him more.


Deep-lying Playmaker vs Advanced Playmaker

Just a very brief comment on something I also noticed a few years ago with Barcelona.

Despite common sense that the Deep-Lying Playmaker should see more of the ball - being in more space, involved earlier in build up - the Advanced Playmaker invariably does.

Dantas stats in both roles:


tQ2uqkd.png


Costa stats in both roles:


yQMnVXG.png


This is why I shifted to the Mezzala years ago but right now I think Costa justifies the playmaker role.

 

Now for the reason I say this might be the best football we have played so far..


QJF70lq.png


This is a grudge match. Despite our ever expanding gulf in reputation, Monaco have been unsettling my best players for years. Now, it's pay back time.


0wNdu96.png


Coached by - one of my favourite managers - Leonardo Jardim; Monaco play an attacking 4-2-3-1. Lots of fairly well known names there, but I'd just highlight Gustavo Scarpa who - I had never heard of - but is a superb, well-rounded playmaker I will be snapping up in future.

 


a30a630de9ed557b515605df5048123a.gif


cad92157662816c4f4eb0170340140ec.gif


f73c59a4b727b68a7f831da3a020649d.gif


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a5bc4846a26e63d7a2a6ee205a4bc788.gif


41d0af75eb63e9893da5777f6b8cee87.gif


Now that is how you win a Champions League :cool:

On a more serious note, please notice a couple of things:

  1. Jota - these creative force of a two-footed Inside Forward.
    • Impossible to defend - able to cut inside and shoot or go outside and cross; with a wingback overlapping.
  2. Joao Felix - deep movement during build up
  3. Monaco have one of the worst defensive structures I have seen from a top side:
    1. They're high up, wingbacks often forward
    2. Zero compactness between their central defenders and midfield.
      • I'd guess one midfielder is a Ball Winning Midfielder, the other maybe Box-to-Box or something with Roam from Position, as he's rarely in position.
    3. Zero compactness on their flanks; regular massive gaping holes.
      • Pulisic and Lemar must be attacking roles, maybe even Trequartistas or IF(A); we walked through them.

Shame I cannot show an extra couple of seconds as some of those would show you a lot on the counter, and in the build up.


AeicyF9.png


iRJiT6K.png


Road to the Final..


D4X8rKA.png


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League


u9jJJxN.png


EILVLNt.png


Closest I have been to not conceding all year. Conceded two in the end; one mid-way through the season when 5-0 up and one when we had already won the league :applause:

Stats for those who are interested.


phDJNhT.png


Let's see if the post-Brexit transfer market has recovered this year..


Just quoting the GIFs I refer to above regarding the advantages of a two-footed players.

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On 14/11/2020 at 14:59, Bot Makel said:

Sorry for the match screenshot in italian :idiot:

 

Football Manager 2021 14_11_2020 15_58_02.png

Had a look at this formation last night playing in League 2 in England.

fm_gaYrIrhG4w.png.ff8f7845e9d52ad4c48c81e6506b141f.png

27 passes for this goal, and to be honest, the opposition were chasing shadows.

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17 hours ago, robterrace said:

Had a look at this formation last night playing in League 2 in England.

fm_gaYrIrhG4w.png.ff8f7845e9d52ad4c48c81e6506b141f.png

27 passes for this goal, and to be honest, the opposition were chasing shadows.

Where do you get that screen from?

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2 minutes ago, rosque said:

Where do you get that screen from?

Team Report - Individual Match Analysis - Shots - Goals, then click on a goal (or any shot) 

tWiuiVR.png

Select 'Show Linked Events', that will then give you the pass map.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, so I am just kind of thinking out-loud here. Still suffering from selection dilemmas all over the place and regretting my own rash decision to sell Gedson Fernandes.

The flat run of form continued to international level, with a disappointing loss to an albeit talented Italy side.


image.png.19f702b08f13c3fe89ca5693fba64b63.png


The biggest news of the summer was the sale of another club legend. This time, Florentino Luis to Real Madrid for £72m.


image.png.c24bbac5f32a4f4fc344e9b279b39fdf.png


Florentino turns 28 this year, and the form of Guimaraes at centre back meant he was no longer a guaranteed starter so I decided to cash in.

Inspired by @MadOnion's suggestion, we started the season in a 3-4-3 diamond.


image.png.d2563a079daaecfced3f08dc4c55323f.png


Play was initially good, but not still not to the level we had previously been with the 4-2-4 -> 3-1-6 system.

Possession and passing play was really excellent, however pressing was difficult. When pressed, the opposition could simply play a pass the the space opened up by the vacant fullbacks almost like releasing a pressure valve.

Ultimately, I would have given it the season to see how we developed into it however injuries meant I lost my two first choice wide players so decided to re-think.


image.png.15d45d28aee8559cb1c50d311b028a83.png


Now these two injuries almost turned out to be a blessing in disguise as they forced changes which seemed to re-invigorate the team somewhat.

We kind of went back to what we know, in a flexible 4-2-4 shape.


image.png.99d9a7c1bfe7e3601bef0f88717647f1.png


At times, it's beautiful football. We've got no less than 5 classic 'Number 10s' playing in an aggressive attacking shape.

We are still occasionally a little bit flat but it's certainly progress.

The difference between this and our previous shape is our attacking shape. Previously we used a 3-1-6 attacking shape and now it's more of a 2-1-7 however I am wondering whether the additional man is causing a 'bottleneck' in attack.

I'm just approaching January and we're far from our best but still in the contest for everything. Right now I am just thinking out loud. Inputs are welcome.

image.png

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! have you thought about trying your ideas with FM21? I think your style of football would do very well with this current match engine. Not sure if you had a chance to see my thread here but there myself and a few others have been testing a 3-4-3 Cruyff-style system with a False9 and one CB and two Inverted Wingbacks and it's been working like a dream. In terms of controlling the ball and creating chances. And surprisingly solid defensively despite only having one traditional central defender. It feels like Total Football is closer than ever in this version. Check it out:

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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This is what my current system looks like. I would love to hear your thoughts on it 

 

1263850_screenshots_20201214221710_1.jpg

It also works very well against those ultra defensive teams parking the bus. So might be a good formation for the Portuguese League. When I played as Benfica there, parked buses were my nemesis in FM20.

Edited by crusadertsar
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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! Oh and I saw that you tried the 3-4-3 diamond with three CBs. I tried that before but I think you really need a more proactive role like IWB to fill in midfield when Mezzalas go up into halfspaces. Sorta Bielsa-style. They also press better and catch those pesky inside forwards before they hurt you on the break. Not sure how my tactic would work on FM18 though. I don't think ME then could handle one CB formations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What do you guys think of tutoring young players who already have good personalities and high determination? Unless I'm looking for them to develop specific traits, is it better to leave it alone?

I've had a really good youth in take at Lyon. I've got a young striker, for example, Gautier Merlet. His personality is driven and his determination is 19 at just 15 years of age. Is there any real benefit to having a senior pro mentor him off the pitch? My inclination would be that it would potentially do more harm than good, and that I'd be better off having someone 'help develop his game' (i.e. pass on traits), but just wanted a second opinion. :thup: 

 

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31 minutes ago, ElJefe4 said:

What do you guys think of tutoring young players who already have good personalities and high determination? Unless I'm looking for them to develop specific traits, is it better to leave it alone?

I've had a really good youth in take at Lyon. I've got a young striker, for example, Gautier Merlet. His personality is driven and his determination is 19 at just 15 years of age. Is there any real benefit to having a senior pro mentor him off the pitch? My inclination would be that it would potentially do more harm than good, and that I'd be better off having someone 'help develop his game' (i.e. pass on traits), but just wanted a second opinion. :thup: 

 

Look also at his media handling for any issues. If nothing then probably leave it alone until later. If you need a specific PPM and have a mentor that would cause an issue do that. But at 15 I wouldn't worry about PPM.

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14 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Look also at his media handling for any issues. If nothing then probably leave it alone until later. If you need a specific PPM and have a mentor that would cause an issue do that. But at 15 I wouldn't worry about PPM.

I don't even go that far, if they're driven I leave them as is. Only time I would touch them is if someone had Driven and an even higher DET rating.

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