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Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED April 21, 2022


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16 minutes ago, -Jef- said:

I love your writeups but it's unreadable on dark theme when you use black/grey color for text as seen below

 

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Thanks for letting me know mate. I'll keep it in mind for next updates. One other user mentioned it too. So i stopped copy pasting directly from my site after that first update. Although for that one I provided the link at the top where you can read it on my blog. But all the other ones should be readable on the forum.

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8 hours ago, alanfishead said:

Looking forward to the next installment!

 

@crusadertsar sorry if I've missed it but will you be covering scouting at all? I'd be interested to see how you set up your scouting network and assignments for this approach. 

I think I'll touch on that a little in my next update. At least relating to scouting candidates for the midfield diamond. In general i prefer well-rounded Total Footballers for almost every position in my formation. With special focus on mental attributes like teamwork and work rate. And stamina is pretty essential.

Expect the next update very late tonight. Canadian time :p

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1 hour ago, crusadertsar said:

I think I'll touch on that a little in my next update. At least relating to scouting candidates for the midfield diamond. In general i prefer well-rounded Total Footballers for almost every position in my formation. With special focus on mental attributes like teamwork and work rate. And stamina is pretty essential.

Expect the next update very late tonight. Canadian time :p

looking forward to this 

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7 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Thanks for letting me know mate. I'll keep it in mind for next updates. One other user mentioned it too. So i stopped copy pasting directly from my site after that first update. Although for that one I provided the link at the top where you can read it on my blog. But all the other ones should be readable on the forum.

Appreciate it! You can c/p but can make text color be automatic

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  • crusadertsar changed the title to Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED Nov 2, 2021

Nice post. I have been following this and building my third tactic when I have the squad to sustain it. Interestingly, i had set it up with ML/R as i felt it would give more balance and be more appropriate for lower leagues if this should succeed at all in my league. 

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1 hour ago, Collectivism said:

Signed up just to say how fantastic this thread is. Im literally waiting to start a save until you release the full tactic, I want to be able to dive in and craft a team around it. When do you think that may be? Im itching to get going!

I'm aiming at shortly after full release. So sometime next week. Need to iron out a few things with duties and individual mentalities.

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2 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

You got it! The whole top of the tactic and not Half Back. 

And those are the only personal instructions for the players? Or you take a look at what suits your players best? 

And both wide midfielders to keep it narrow? Or is that based on the player that is playing? Also if a wide midfielder is playing attacking or supporting? 
 

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28 minutes ago, indyvidu said:

And those are the only personal instructions for the players? Or you take a look at what suits your players best? 

And both wide midfielders to keep it narrow? Or is that based on the player that is playing? Also if a wide midfielder is playing attacking or supporting? 
 

It's what I love about the WMs so much, their versatility. In this case I would vary things up. Because I have a Carrilero on that side i can afford to play my left WM more attacking. And cutting inside suits the player. Oyarzabal is right footed and likes to cut inside from the left. And he has plenty of space because Carrilero is more conservative about going forward than my mezzala. But at the same time the carrilero will cover out wide while Oyarzabal goes inside.

On the right flank i definitely want to have WM to stretch the flank and provide width. If I play a naturally right footed player then I don't even need to instruct him anything. I'm also considering having my WMs alternate switch positions to add more Total Football flavour. Then having players with two different dominant feet would make even more sense.

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Em 02/11/2021 em 00:27, crusadertsar disse:

3)

Crafting the Best Possible Midfield Diamond

This section is all about the diamond and especially the midfield players comprising it. The midfielders play a very important role in my 3-4-3 tactic, because they run the engine-room of the formation. Its lungs and heart. Once the ball passes from your defence, it is the midfielders who will distribute it to your attackers. They will also be your first line of defence by hard pressing the opposition players with the ball when out of possession. In any Total Football system, not just 3-4-3, the strong midfield is essential because of the focus on hard press and short passing. And the main advantage of Cruyff's Diamond tactic is having an extra player in (you guessed it!) midfield. 

The way I set up my midfield diamond is influenced by a combination of attributes and roles that I believe are suitable for Total Football style. In a way, one decides the other. First, I will choose the roles to fill my diamond. The roles, which I choose, are ones focused on hard work and teamwork. Shuttlers, box to box runners and tireless midfielders. That is what I am looking for.

The players who fill those roles come next. Only Total Footballers with a specific set of attributes need apply. That is to say my tactic is never going to be a good plug and play tactic. Unless you are already controlling a club like Liverpool or Man City. Then chances are, you probably already have two or three midfielders that would be perfect for the 3-4-3 Diamond. But what’s the challenge in that?

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Over the last three years with Football Manager, going back to FM20 at least, I have always gravitated towards one club. The club that I always choose to initially test out my Total Football tactic, is Real Sociedad (Real San Sebastian in the game). There is one good reason for this. Sociedad is not a world-class club like the two I mentioned above. However, it has a surprisingly strong selection of midfielders who can punch far above their weight if utilized in a proper tactic. Real Sociedad is what underdog dream stories are made of. I am yet to win a Champions League with them, but hope to change that in FM22.

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It is also a club with the right kind of attitude towards homegrown development. But more importantly, Total Football spirit runs strong through their First Team. Their midfield players, like Oyarzabal, Silva, Merino and Guridi, all have excellent technical and mental attributes. From the very start, you come into possession of one of the best diamonds in FM22. The only negative might be that David Silva is past his prime and will probably only serve as the creative tip of the diamond for another season or two. Although playing him in a less physically demanding role like Enganche might prolong his usefulness to you. Conveniently, his contract also expires at the end of June 2022. But for one season at least you probably get the best kind of player you could ask for the spearhead of your diamond.

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But more on the attacking midfielder, and the important role he plays in the striker partnership, later. Let us first start lower down our tactic’s Mentality Ladder. At the all-important base of the midfield diamond.

Starting at the bottom of the diamond, we have the ever-present Asier Illarramendi as Half Back. He is very similar in his attribute profile to my earlier example of Daley Blind. In other words, Asier is a rare player that is both very technical and very good defensively. His traits also suit his defensive pivot role very well. I expect he will excel at his primary task of covering for the wide defenders and pinging passes to two central midfielders.

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Despite his excellent technical attributes, we do not need our Half Back to be very creative. He just needs to connect well with the two central midfielders. And make sure that the opponents don't have an easy time getting through his area of the pitch. 

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Unlike the Half Back, the two wide CMs are allowed greater mobility within the diamond, but mostly they cover the wider central spaces and the two halfspaces. Their hard-coded instruction of “stay wider” fits perfectly because that’s exactly what I want them to do. With only wide midfielders providing width, we need extra help from the central midfield in pressing the opposition wide players.

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In Cruyff's 3-4-3, midfield has usually been the place for the most creative players in the squad. Better mobility and mental attributes are more important in the players you choose for these two roles. That is because unlike the Half Back these two will be heavily involved in the press and in controlling the ball in the half spaces. While with the Half Back you could get away with an aging player that is less of a physical workhorse, the two CMs are required to be Total Footballers in almost every sense of the world. Physical work beasts that are both great in attack and defence. Ideally, both should be very creative but you could choose to go with a complimentary partnership of one more creative mezzala paired with a more defensively capable carrilero. 

The general blueprint for the kind of players I want in my four-player diamond is the ideal of Total Footballer.

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Remember the screenshot from earlier on? Again try to guess what position this player plays in my formation. The right answer is all of them.

That is a very well-rounded footballer capable in all three phases of play, attack, defence and transition. What this actually means in the game is that you will need players who are technically and mentally strong to control the ball and pass it around with ease. In addition, they need to have the mental stamina to withstand the most intense opposition pressure and not lose possession. At the same time, the pressures of Total Football will require excellent physical stamina to be able to keep pressing and running for full 90 minutes of the match.

Similarly on the wings, I look for similar qualities. So over time my tactical tinkering has moved me towards what now seems like an obvious choice. Wide Midfielder.

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Its a role that was seemingly created with Total Football in mind. Wide midfielders in contrast to traditional wingers are the more rounded, team-focused, modern footballers. With the right player you can get the very best out of this role especially in regards to circulating possession and winning back the ball. A very hard working player in this role and on attack duty will be relentless in their drive cover the flank and to get into the box. A sort of wide shadow striker or deep raumdeuter. What I also like is the lack of hardcoded instructions on the WM role. This allows you to customize and mold the role depending on the player.  

When I set up the scouting network for the kinds of players to recruit into my Total Football system, this is what I look for:

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And what if La Liga is not your cup of tea? What other teams with ready-made diamonds might I suggest?

Well, another one that I have been eyeing and which is of similar caliber to Real Sociedad, is Lyon. They actually possess a younger diamond with some potential to get even better. As well as a potential opening for another midfielder to bring in to complete what could be one of the best midfields in Ligue 1 for years.

That actually gives me some ideas. This former lion cub seems to find himself at odds at Bayern at the start of the game. He is a perfect candidate for our Total Football system, as he could easily fill any of the four midfield roles. 

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Why not bring him back to the place where he first became a star? And maybe at the same time show to PSG that homegrown talent is the way to go and money cannot win you everything. 

 

 

 

Could you put the image of the team instructions? and you put individual instructions?

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27 minutes ago, lipebtavares said:

Could you put the image of the team instructions? and you put individual instructions?

This is what i am testing at the moment. But mind you it will probably change once the full game is out. Waiting for some of the major beta issues to be addressed. 

I use almost no individual instructions, except for the ones you saw on WM (a). The right WM(s) I tell to get further forward and play wider.

And "close down more" on the whole front six.

 

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51 minutos atrás, crusadertsar disse:

This is what i am testing at the moment. But mind you it will probably change once the full game is out. Waiting for some of the major beta issues to be addressed. 

I use almost no individual instructions, except for the ones you saw on WM (a). The right WM(s) I tell to get further forward and play wider.

And "close down more" on the whole front six.

 

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Are player attributes the same for all positions? From defenders to attacker?

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16 minutes ago, lipebtavares said:

Are player attributes the same for all positions? From defenders to attacker?

In an ideal world yes :lol: But i generally try to prioritize determined hardworking team players in all positions. It's easier said then done. Especially at the start of the game when there are newgens with funky attribute combinations.

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  • crusadertsar changed the title to Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED Nov 5, 2021
2 hours ago, PT-KK said:

And how it is going result wise?

 

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Tested this as well with Arsenal Sarandí for half a season and won Sudamericana.

Now i'm waiting for full release and Ecuador/Bolivia/Paraguay/Venezuela Leagues to start my South America save either with CA Peñarol, Independiente del Valle, Olimpia, Junior, Once Caldas, Deportivo Pereira or América de Cali.

The tactic should be better once ME gets a little fix.

 

 

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8 hours ago, endadc said:

any progress on this crusader?

Had mixed results in beta with Roma and Real Sociedad. It actually surprised me a little as both seemed like suitable clubs (on paper at least). But seeing how this tactic focuses alot on central play, not that surprising at all. But looking to test much more extensively now that the full game is out and hopefully the kinks in the ME have been ironed out so that tactics that do not favour wingplay are equally viable. Will have to report back as soon as I have more data. 

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Just now, crusadertsar said:

Had mixed results in beta with Roma and Real Sociedad. It actually surprised me a little. But seeing how this tactic focuses alot on central play, not that surprising at all. But looking to test much more extensively now that the full game is out and hopefully the kinks in the ME have been ironed out so that tactics that do not favour wingplay are equally viable. Will have to report back as soon as I have more data. 

I too am excited to see if any ME changes with the full release. Hopefully testing some tonight. Excited to see your update!

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Tactical Addendum:

Player Traits, Individual Instructions, and Specific Marking Instructions.

Individual Instructions

Both Wide CBs - Mark Specific Position. Told to mark their respective wide attackers. This is very much opposition formation dependent. So could be MR/ML or AML/AMR opposition players. Depends on the opponent's formation. In all cases your player marks the opposite player. This means that a player on your left side will mark a right side opponent. 

Central CB - Mark Specific Position. Marks the opponent's Central Striker

Half Back: Take More Risks. Close Down Less. Mark Specific Position. Marks opposition AMC player or their second striker. Again it depends if opponent is using a formation with two strikers or a central attacking midfielder.

Mezzala: Take More Risks - this is my more creative player so I make sure he gets more freedom to create without using a playmaker role.  Run Wide With The Ball. I use this latter instruction on both of my midfielders in order to stretch the space in the midfield and facilitate their movement into half-spaces. 

Box-To-Box Midfielder: Run Wide With The Ball

Both Wingers: Mark Specific Position. Instructed to mark opposing fullbacks if available. 

The front four - Striker, Wingers and CAM - Close Down More. Used to create a split block pressing. 

 

PPMs (Player Traits)

In terms of unique player traits I prefer less to more. So the following ones are really most essential traits that help to create our preferred playing style. 

One-Twos - on Striker, CAM, Mezzala and B2B. If your wingers possess this trait already then it's an added bonus but I won't go out of my way to teach them this. It won't make as much of a difference as with the central players and will take up valuable training time. 

Comes Deep to Get the Ball - for my central striker. This trait it will allow greater flexibility of roles. Such as using more attacking roles like Complete Forward (Attack) or DLF (A).

For my back three, I encourage traits like Brings Ball of Out Defence, Tries To Play Out of Trouble (only if player has good dribbling). While for the most part avoiding ones like "attempts long passes", "killer balls" (unless the player has an exceptional playmaking ability). 

 

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  • crusadertsar changed the title to Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED Nov 10, 2021
21 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Reserved

Mini-Update: Player Traits, Individual Instructions, and Specific Marking Instructions.

Coming later today :brock:

So, the next update will be the last one? If not, do you plan to finish late this week?? I'm just waiting this to start my save.. kkkk

Thanks

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9 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Part 5)

Putting It All Together

 

Mentality: Attacking

As I mentioned before, the way I use team mentality is perhaps not the same way that others use it. I do not use "attacking" because I want my team to play balls-to-the-wall gung-ho attacking style. Far from it. I only use it because it is the mentality that gives me the distribution of individual mentalities that I look for. Specifically the mentalities of my back three. With Attacking Team mentality this is the individual mentalities that I get.

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Increasing Mentality Ladder of Progressive Possession.

Such distribution of mentalities allows us to move the ball up from our backline in a measured and progressive manner. It may start out slow with the keeper passing to the centrebacks and then centrebacks pinging the ball around but by the time the  ball gets to our front four it is moving with a lot of intent. 

Note: My wingers' mentalities are reduced by the inclusion of "overlap" instruction on both wings.

And because I am using more aggressive attacking team mentality, it is important to balance our directness quite a bit. I do this by including some specific in-possession instructions.

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And as discussed in the section above here are all the defensive team instructions I use in my tactic. Not many, but all essential to our build up from the back. Because we are playing in a narrow shape, it's important to channel the opposition into the middle of the pitch. It is exactly where our formation gives us an advantage. It also has a double benefit of pushing our wide defenders wider to cover the flanks even better.

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To encourage one-twos and progressive possession in the middle, these are the instructions that I went with. The jury is still out on whether low crosses make a big difference. Most of my central strikers are more in the mold of technical playmakers than tall targetmen so it makes sense for now. We also want to limit the floated balls or hoofballs from our defenders and wingers.

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"Dribble less" is also something I believe should increase the frequency with which our players play "pass and move".

While playing out from the back and progressive possession are both very important in recreating Total Football style, getting out press just right is the other half of the formula.

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For this purpose I decided to keep the overall pressing urgency at default level. I prefer to have my front four press more intensely while the rest of the formation keeps their defensive shape. It also makes more sense to run with a split block like this due to the top-heavy nature of the formation. I dislike the popular uber-geggenpress strategy of having 10 of my players running around like headless chickens chasing a ball. I also wanted to make sure that our midfield diamond is preserved and we are well organized defensively, especially when faced with tougher competition in the Champions League.

This also happens to be the area where I ran into my first stumbling block with the tactic. At first my idea was to run a formation with deeper wide midfielders. Mainly it was to recreate the hard working nature of Cruyff's flank players in the 3-4-3 diamond. I also liked the flexibility of the WM role. But upon testing with Real Sociedad and Roma, I found some things that I didn't like about the wide midfielders.

Wingers

The wide midfielder's deeper defensive position comes at the expense of their ability to press high. While the role can be instructed to press the opposition aggressively, it does not happen as often or easily as with a winger who already starts in an advanced position (AML/AMR). So this caused me to revert back to my earlier idea of using two advanced wingers. A hard-working player in this position will still mark and press the opposition very well. Also, I like how naturally wingers will provide width in a formation that already has a lot going through the middle. Where it gets interesting is in the types of players I prefer to use for my wingers.

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He might be young, but I know that he will develop into one of our best wide men. So I am playing him as much as I can in our first season.

Ideally, I want my wingers to cut inside via a player trait and not PI. This creates interesting patterns of movement in the final third. I especially like how with "cut inside" PPM, this movement does not always trigger but instead is linked to player's decision-making and the situation at hand. Sometimes he will cut inside, sometimes not. Also unlike with the hard-coded player instruction, the movement will happen later in our attack. The winger will hold the width until the final third where he will drift into the half-space around the box. Such behaviour also has the added benefit of avoiding the ever-present annoying cross from the byline. How many times did you see opposition defender or fullback block that one?

Hard-working wingers will also drop back and support the midfield as dictated by their support duty and "overlap" instruction (reduces their natural attacking tendency).

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I also tell both of my wingers to "close down more" and "mark specific position" (more on that in the following section).

Striker/CAM Duo

My central striker and central attacking midfielder are likewise essential to how we execute our press. Having all four attacking players in advanced positions helps us in winning the ball back as soon as it's lost. I also remembered one important fact about Cruyff's CAM player. He often acted practically like a second striker. His duty was to push up when necessary, but he would only play as a midfielder when there was an overload. When Bakero played in this position he enjoyed a very dynamic relationship with the striker (Laudrup or Romario). At times they would interchange positions with the striker dropping back to help the midfield and the CAM moving up to act like a striker. In FM, there is only one role that can work in tandem with a central striker in this manner.

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Shadow Striker. A unique hybrid between a more creative midfielder and an an all-out attacker. So when the role is there why not use it? Ever since FM14 I have been trying to get the best out of a Shadow Striker role. Seems like FM22 won't be any different.

Whats even more interesting is that the role is hard-coded to close down opposing defenders when out possession. And because it starts in a deeper defensive position it contributes more to the build-up and press than most other striker roles. Yet once in the final third it turns into a very offensive-minded role. A truly capable hybrid role for a total footballer-type player.

There are a few striker roles that can work well with a shadow striker. Principally, Shadow Striker pairs well with a False9 (if you have a more flashy, technical player) or a Deeplying Forward (more physical Targetman-type player with some technical skill). I decided why not try to pair him with a well-rounded player that has a bit of both.

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There are advantages to playing a well-rounded jack-of-all-trades as a striker. Especially in a single striker systen, you need a player that can do a bit of everything. This way you will be sure to create chances no matter what opposition you face. Sort of like Romario in Cruyff's Dream Team, a Complete Forward is a great role that brings a ton of variety and unpredictability in its patterns of movement and attack. At times he will drop deep and exchange places with the Shadow Striker. At other times he will push forward and pin the opposition defenders back. An attack duty striker could work well too. Something like a DLF(A) or Complete Forward(A) with an individual trait to come deep to get the ball.

Central Midfielders

Like the above-mentioned striker/CAM partnership, this is another important pairing in my tactic. It also changed quite a bit from my initial conceptualization of the tactic. I finally settled on my old trusted combination of mezzala and box-to-box. It worked very well together in the FM21 iteration of this tactic and, in beta at least, still seems to be the case in FM22. Although in games against tougher opponents, I sometimes change the B2B into a carrilero. The mezzala acts as my "needle" player to make runs high up the pitch. That is the player that provides dynamic game-breaking movement behind the forwards. It is definitely the more creative, offensive player with exceptional ball-control and ability to penetrate tough defences. Box-to-box midfielder on the other hand is the tougher of the two. He is not as much a half-space merchant like his mezzala partner. The B2B balances his attacking and defending duties well to give support to to the mezzala. He also provides late threat on goal by making well-timed runs into the box in the wake of the mezzala. 

Centrebacks and Half Back

I already discussed my defensive trio and the half back at length in the previous update, so won't cover it in the same detail again. The main idea is still to have higher individual mentality on the two wide centrebacks in order to encourage them to move laterally and up the field to overlap and support the midfielder. At the same time the central defender and the half-back will provide defensive cover at the base of our defensive diamond. For that reason I keep their individual mentality lower than the wide defenders. Depending on your players, you could also use an asymmetric trio of one wide centreback on support duty, libero in the middle and another more conservative wide centreback (defend).

Final Tactic (as tested with Porto)

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NEXT: Player traits and marking instructions. Further testing and analysis of the result.

 

This is really great stuff. I'm going to load this up later today and give it a shot with your rivals Benfica! I did notice that for almost identical reasons I landed on attacking mentality with much shorter passing and lower tempo. It seems to be a really good combo of settings.

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2 hours ago, gpassosbh said:

So, the next update will be the last one? If not, do you plan to finish late this week?? I'm just waiting this to start my save.. kkkk

Thanks

I wrote the last update late last night so didn't have time to include the little details about PIs and traits, ect. Should be able to update those later today. After that the tactic should be clear enough to try out and test. I should have some more competitive results by the end of the week to analyze for you guys though.

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1 hour ago, 04texag said:

This is really great stuff. I'm going to load this up later today and give it a shot with your rivals Benfica! I did notice that for almost identical reasons I landed on attacking mentality with much shorter passing and lower tempo. It seems to be a really good combo of settings.

I know the attacking team mentality seems to do the trick :) Especially with my centrebacks behavior. Our progressive build-up is beautiful. But the forwards are still having trouble converting. Opposition defends the half-spaces much better than in FM21 unfortunately.

Although in the last game, we won 5-1 with our mezzala getting three goals! It was a domestic league Away match. I mean we are Porto, one the top three in the league so should probably take the result with a grain of salt. But the other team tried to park the bus against us. It was also positive because it was the first match after I made a few tactical tweaks (as mentioned in the above update). The next match is against Chelsea in the Champions League, so that will be the real test of the tactic :onmehead:

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35 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Opposition defends the half-spaces much better than in FM21 unfortunately.

Yes, they do do this, but you can exploit that. I was watching a match yesterday where the CB moved out to close down the player on the ball, and it left acres of space behind him. The left channel was being marked, and my right Mezzala made a perfectly timed run in behind him to receive a through ball and get a wide open shot on goal. 

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Really enjoying this! As always these posts throw up a few new things to think about, which I really like. The main one I'm pondering right now is the use of 'Overlap Left' and 'Overlap Right'.

Firstly a general one, do you know if the individual mentalities of attacking players are definitely correct now? I know lots of them had been Very Attacking even with Support duties. Anyone know if this is fixed? I'm still not 100% sure we can take the individual mentalities as gospel yet.

Secondly is more to do with the use of the Overlap TI in terms of the tactic itself. I understand the thinking of reducing the individual mentality of the wingers down from Very Attacking to Attacking, but what are your thoughts on using the Underlap TI instead?

It has the same impact on the individual mentality of the winger from Very Attacking to Attacking. However, given that we: 
1. don't have any full backs, who would traditionally be the overlapper 
2. don't want our central midfielders going outside our winger as we would lose the diamond
and 3. want to make the pitch as wide as possible so that we can utilise the players in the half spaces, e.g. ball going wide, half space is open, Mezzala surges into space and receives ball with time and space,
then the Underlap TI could be more appropriate?

Not a criticism at all, loving the thread so far and unfortunately haven't dedicated as much time as I'd have liked to testing tactics myself yet, just thought it'd be good to bounce some ideas back and forth :thup: 

Edited by ElJefe4
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On 10/11/2021 at 14:30, ElJefe4 said:

Really enjoying this! As always these posts throw up a few new things to think about, which I really like. The main one I'm pondering right now is the use of 'Overlap Left' and 'Overlap Right'.

Firstly a general one, do you know if the individual mentalities of attacking players are definitely correct now? I know lots of them had been Very Attacking even with Support duties. Anyone know if this is fixed? I'm still not 100% sure we can take the individual mentalities as gospel yet.

Secondly is more to do with the use of the Overlap TI in terms of the tactic itself. I understand the thinking of reducing the individual mentality of the wingers down from Very Attacking to Attacking, but what are your thoughts on using the Underlap TI instead?

It has the same impact on the individual mentality of the winger from Very Attacking to Attacking. However, given that we: 
1. don't have any full backs, who would traditionally be the overlapper 
2. don't want our central midfielders going outside our winger as we would lose the diamond
and 3. want to make the pitch as wide as possible so that we can utilise the players in the half spaces, e.g. ball going wide, half space is open, Mezzala surges into space and receives ball with time and space,
then the Underlap TI could be more appropriate?

Not a criticism at all, loving the thread so far and unfortunately haven't dedicated as much time as I'd have liked to testing tactics myself yet, just thought it'd be good to bounce some ideas back and forth :thup: 

Unfortunately I don't have an answer to your first question. My guess is that it's purely superficial. So probably a typo. Why? Well in my testing my players such as my AMC and wingers still behave as I expect them too even if their individual mentality is described by the game as "very attacking". 

And regarding your second question, good points! Originally I went with the "overlap" instruction because I was trying to see whether it would actually affect the movement of my wide centrebacks. On support duty they already overlap the midfield quite frequently. But I was trying to increase this behaviour to aid with our overloads in the half-spaces. To this point I have not really noticed much difference with or without "overlaps". Other than modulating my wingers. So I will probably switch to "underlaps". That might actually have the benefit of improving our one-two passes in the midfield.

By the way, I updated a little addendum (post right after Update 5) explaining all of the individual instructions and suggested player traits. If anyone is interested ;)

Edited by crusadertsar
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  • crusadertsar changed the title to Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED Nov 11, 2021
22 hours ago, gpassosbh said:

Hello @crusadertsar any update on it? Can you show your last results using it?

The reason why I haven't put out more results lately is that I haven't been too happy with the the tactic this week. Specifically in my main Porto save. 

53888BB3B1755F177B85F2F80C743DA21E1501F3 (1600×900)

 

Again it could be a question of not getting my team habituated to the tactic yet. Our domestic results are mostly positive, We are 4th in the league despite two big losses to Benfica and Sporting. And we did change the tactic from the ML/MR version to the AML/AMR version (at about the time of the Belenenses match). But we are Porto and I felt that the players were more than suitable to this style. So something is definitely wrong. Now the hard part begins trying to pin-point it and make the tactic better. 

At first glance, It is probably the same problem that I faced in FM21. 3-4-3 Diamond suffers a lot when facing any formation with overload on the wings (like when AI uses both advanced wingers and wingbacks). 
This one formation that I faced a lot lately is the dreaded 3-4-2-1 Wide. Basically another type of 3-4-3. Which is kind of ironic. 3-4-3 beating another 3-4-3. 

2529A4D7B44BE753DDC90032FCCEDBE128B77AAA (1600×900)

As you can see that in the 4-0 thrashing by our league rival Sporting, they used 3-4-3 or (3-4-2-1 if you will). Goncalves playing as a Raumdeuter scored no less than 4 goals! And this is despite me trying to specifically mark their wide players.

 

Then incidentally in my other save, my Real Sociedad playing with similar 3-4-3 Diamond were defeated by Frankfurt. 

2CD906B3E70AE655CC786C08A2BC14955EC38D6A (1600×900)

Again that same 3-4-3. 

Actually this formation got me intrigued to the point where I'm studying it to see what makes it so good when used by AI. And especially using those kind of roles. It might even turn out a good Total Football formation!

But if any of you have some ideas how to make 3-4-3 diamond better, I more than welcome the feedback. 

Edited by crusadertsar
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Hi. I'm testing another version of the 343 diamond that I created.  Ran a quick 10 games test with Ajax. 

20211114214109_1.thumb.jpg.8cea9adc4370ee75890a5ec7b04805e1.jpg

20211114214120_1.thumb.jpg.d7cf4acf2254d8d8b363bea56d5ffad6.jpg

Domestically, it's quite effective, and I'm dominating most games (as I should).  I don't know how to upload clips, but some of the goals are really a joy to watch.

20211114214150_1.thumb.jpg.7e2edd38b77b9ce03e0ad25da5135fd5.jpg

20211114214205_1.thumb.jpg.7b9ef1989736c4957486de8b1997196c.jpg

In Europe, it's more complicated.  I'm not getting blown out (the scores don't reflect the reality of the game, and are a bit harsh), but I'm having a hard time creating quality chances like in the league.

20211114214220_1.thumb.jpg.b62d355f22d17f1cdeaa6e159c50824d.jpg

If anyone wants to try it.  There are no individual instructions.  

OI : press the entire backline, and show the wide players to their wrong foot (left to right, right to left).

Now I'm starting my first real save at Anderlecht.  I'll report back in a few days / weeks.

Cheers.

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2 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

The reason why I haven't put out more results lately is that I haven't been too happy with the the tactic this week. Specifically in my main Porto save. 

53888BB3B1755F177B85F2F80C743DA21E1501F3 (1600×900)

 

Again it could be a question of not getting my team habituated to the tactic yet. Our domestic results are mostly positive, We are 4th in the league despite two big losses to Benfica and Sporting. And we did change the tactic from the ML/MR version to the AML/AMR version (at about the time of the Belenenses match). But we are Porto and I felt that the players were more than suitable to this style. So something is definitely wrong. Now the hard part begins trying to pin-point it and make the tactic better. 

At first glance, It is probably the same problem that I faced in FM21. 3-4-3 Diamond suffers a lot when facing any formation with overload on the wings (like when AI uses both advanced wingers and wingbacks). 
This one formation that I faced a lot lately is the dreaded 3-4-2-1 Wide. Basically another type of 3-4-3. Which is kind of ironic. 3-4-3 beating another 3-4-3. 

2529A4D7B44BE753DDC90032FCCEDBE128B77AAA (1600×900)

As you can see that in the 4-0 thrashing by our league rival Sporting, they used 3-4-3 or (3-4-2-1 if you will). Goncalves playing as a Raumdeuter scored no less than 4 goals! And this is despite me trying to specifically mark their wide.

 

Then incidentally in my other save, my Real Sociedad playing with similar 3-4-3 Diamond were defeated by Frankfurt. 

2CD906B3E70AE655CC786C08A2BC14955EC38D6A (1600×900)

Again that same 3-4-3. 

Actually this formation got me intrigued to the point where I'm studying it to see what makes it so good when used by AI. And especially using those kind of roles. It might even turn out a good Total Football formation!

But if any of you have some ideas how to make 3-4-3 diamond better, I more than welcome the feedback. 

In my opinion the 3-4-3 you lost to is an exploit in the match engine this year and very hard to beat. I have used the same formation with my Barnsley side by coincidence and we dominated the league. I’m expecting a patch to come soon to fix it. 

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@crusadertsar -  As someone who has spent a lot of time in the past couple of years looking to implement total football principles, how important (if at all) is the Team Fluidity in FM these days? I've mostly stayed on FM18 until this game came out so I'm not used to the Team Fluidity being a result of the individual roles.

Is it literally just a reflection of how many Defend/Support/Attack duties you choose? Obviously that in itself has an impact on your tactic but I'm leaning towards selecting the individual roles and duties based on what I need from that exact player and saying 'que sera sera' when it comes to Team Fluidity.

I've been reading a bit about Sacchi's AC Milan recently so started looking at the Tactics Creator to see how I could replicate it. The FM18 player in me wants to see 'Very Fluid', but I'm beginning to think it's not really important anymore? I need a certain amount of similarity in individual mentalities to create the compactness to even come close to replicating a tactic like that, which might lead me to choosing a lot of Support duties anyway, but I wanted to get your thoughts (and anyone else's) on it first.

Cheers! :thup: 

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11 hours ago, Flußkrebs said:

Well it seems pretty straightforward why a 343 diamond would have a v tough time against a regular 343. 343/3421 creates a really simple staggered 325 shape in attack.

In FM trying to use AML/R or even sometimes ML/R to defend the wide areas against wingers/wingbacks can be suicidal. 

You're completely outmatched on the flanks. Against the AI's wide 343 they have 2 flank players against your 0 (sometimes 1 if the AML/R successfully tracks back, which just doesn't happen particularly well on FM).

Let's say you have this situation below where your wingers have tracked back against their wingbacks the whole way. Who is putting pressure on their back 3? The staggering of the normal 343 means that there are lots of natural triangles, and their back 5 should be able to easily pass around your ST/10/CMs. 

image.png.e969876b3eabb16a5569bd9c24f10a35.png

Let's take the example of trying to stop them play out from the back, i.e. pressing them. 

Scenario 1: You press high, with your CMs matching on to their CMs, and your front 4 pressing their back 3 and goalkeeper.

This leaves their 4 wide players basically unmarked, whilst your DM marks space. In this scenario if the keeper can get the ball to one of the wingbacks then 4 of your players have basically been cut out of the press.

image.png.f705699e1797e71f34691b99473436ae.png

Scenario 2: you go for a "Bielsa style" pressing system, where you match up man-for-man and press the back 3 with your front 2, as below. You see it effectively becomes a 352 shape. Ideally the 9 and 10 would press the back 3 whilst also trying to block off passes to their 2 CMs. Achieving this detail in FM is probably impossible, this is just some theory about why the 343 diamond is not naturally suited to trying to press a 343. Your 2 CMs can match up against their 2 CMs. The vulnerability here is if the wingers (in the FM 343, in a Tuchel system for example these are hybrid "wide 10s") are left unmarked and can try and find space. But the spacing definitely seems better set out to defend.

image.png.80fbc808314674a64d5b5d4c7c833b47.png

The issue of course is that this in FM the formation is the defensive formation, right? So scenario 1 is much more akin to how it would look actually defending. 

How to solve this? Well you could instruct the wingers to man mark opposition wingbacks when you face off against a 343. So you'd have your 3511 shape that you had at the start with the ML/MR. That might look like the below. But if they then play their wingers wide (doubling you up on the flank) then it should be pretty easy for them to play through their wide CBs and get the balls out wide.

 image.png.2da75e54814cdd5baaf92f23d01e3bb7.png

It all basically boils down to your 4 man midfield being "overkill" defensively against their 2 DMs/CMs. They're looking to play wide anyway- the 2 CMs are basically there as ball recycling and to provide the passing angles, and to cover for the Wide CBs. 

Who is your no. 4 meant to be marking? Is your 10 meant to be pressing as a striker? Because he's certainly not achieving much sitting in the hole marking a non-existent DM. 

On the flip side there are probably advantages that a 343 diamond has playing against a regular 343. Your no 10 and no 9 can drop off and sit in space. If you keep the ball you basically end up with a 5 man midfield and 2 wide players which would be great. But playing through the 343 is still difficult, and they can shut you off at the flanks pretty easily with their wing backs. If they so chose they could sit their no 9 to block off your no 4, and their wide forwards to block off passes to your wide CMs like so:

image.png.c0a71581a3d2dd92dec2237acd764aaf.png

 Again, caveat that in FM it doesn't really work like this. But I think the brilliance of the regular 343 is that the 2 wide forwards, 2 CMs, and 2 wide centre backs are all sat in such a way that they can easily cover all the half spaces, whilst doubling up centrally or even out wide, without really breaking the shape of the formation. 

EDIT:

And quickly- which formation makes most sense to counter a 343?

Well, the Bielsa platonic opposite of the 343 (plus 1 in defence, minus 1 in attack) is the 442. And as long as their wingers are genuine wingers and stay pretty wide then this should cover them. Wide mids match up against their wingbacks and you're on your way.

image.png.4a1afbfc522e6c8bac00d7558cb12073.png

Of course if their "wingers" really drift inside into the half space (which they will almost certainly as the wingbacks get forward) then you need to decide either to defend with your full backs tucked in or your midfielders dropping. Whether you call this a 442 with IWBs or a 4222 with v high wing backs is just a matter of convention.

image.png.575aba034ee586d72e602f16ed388517.png

Perhaps the 352 is actually better at defending against a 343 (and still follows the plus 1 at the back, minus 1 in attack rule). If you think of the 352 as actually a 442 Diamond but with the diamond as one in defence rather than in midfield....

image.png.ff6ad1ee5cd9c0531e35c9d7d2058d5d.png

The back 3 plus 1 can form a back 4 if the wingers go wide, or a diamond if they tuck in. Rest of the team matches up nicely. Issues might be that in a set defence situation where you'd want a nice bank of 2 in a 532 shape to play offside etc, then if the wingers drop into the hole to overload midfield, tracking them with a centre half might cause issues. But I think in general the 352/532/Diamond442/3142 matches up very nicely. Alternatively a 3412 or just matching with a 343 can work well.

Very nice! Some great food for thought. I especially like the 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 ideas. Will need to do some experimenting!

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15 hours ago, ElJefe4 said:

@crusadertsar -  As someone who has spent a lot of time in the past couple of years looking to implement total football principles, how important (if at all) is the Team Fluidity in FM these days? I've mostly stayed on FM18 until this game came out so I'm not used to the Team Fluidity being a result of the individual roles.

Is it literally just a reflection of how many Defend/Support/Attack duties you choose? Obviously that in itself has an impact on your tactic but I'm leaning towards selecting the individual roles and duties based on what I need from that exact player and saying 'que sera sera' when it comes to Team Fluidity.

I've been reading a bit about Sacchi's AC Milan recently so started looking at the Tactics Creator to see how I could replicate it. The FM18 player in me wants to see 'Very Fluid', but I'm beginning to think it's not really important anymore? I need a certain amount of similarity in individual mentalities to create the compactness to even come close to replicating a tactic like that, which might lead me to choosing a lot of Support duties anyway, but I wanted to get your thoughts (and anyone else's) on it first.

Cheers! :thup: 

Unfortunately the whole fluidity thing is rather superficial now. It does link directly with the number of support duties. Although since players on support duty tend to play closer together, it is a good indicator of how compact your formation is. Especially in defence. And compactness in defence is something that I usually look for when creating Total Football tactics.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • crusadertsar changed the title to Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED April 21, 2022

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