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


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3 hours ago, Trevomac said:

Cheers. I know the C team is in an unplayable league but I can't see an option to make them use the tactic, although it probably doesn't really matter anyway.

Is it possible to arrange a friendly for them every week? ūü§Ē

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8 hours ago, endadc said:

started a new Bilbao save after reading about moving up the two mids. Absolutely killing it. first 9 games won 7 drew 2. 

Me too! Have been doing much better since implementing the changes such as moving the midfielders up into central midfield and switching to Balanced team mentality.

2164C054BC3FA423940B5323247013A516400FA4 (1600√ó900)

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20 ore fa, crusadertsar ha scritto:

No. But do you have any links to articles on how they are playing? Curious.

Nowadays I know only an Italian site which has covered this aspect in details. Simone Inzaghi Inter.

Maybe translating it could help us to understand a very beautiful football with frequent interchange between players.

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On 18/12/2021 at 06:09, crusadertsar said:

Me too! Have been doing much better since implementing the changes such as moving the midfielders up into central midfield and switching to Balanced team mentality.

2164C054BC3FA423940B5323247013A516400FA4 (1600√ó900)

Nice. I also began experimenting with lower mentalities and felt it to work better. I went of a horrible run just after the Winter break of 7 games without a win which included an early exit from the Copa del Rey. After that we went unbeaten until the last game of the season and won the league on head to head with Barcelona. Not really what I expected or wanted in the first season .

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1 hour ago, Trevomac said:

Nice. I also began experimenting with lower mentalities and felt it to work better. I went of a horrible run just after the Winter break of 7 games without a win which included an early exit from the Copa del Rey. After that we went unbeaten until the last game of the season and won the league on head to head with Barcelona. Not really what I expected or wanted in the first season .

I ended up losing the league on the last day to real, lost 2-0. i brought in a lot of young players but i am tying to save money to bring in merino so no notable transfers outside of kuki and guerrero 

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We're in 2025, and I'm managing Bohemains in Ireland. The hard work since the start of the save to set up an extensive scouting system to "Moneyball" in talented youngsters from 2nd tier countries is beginning to pay off, and it uncovered this guy from Romania.

69pb3d9fys581.png

 

Not quite a CB, not quite a DM. This man screams WCB. My problem was however, to this point in the save I had been playing a pretty vanilla 4-2-3-1, and playing him RB would of been a terrible waste of his potential. 

 

b2a6d43d55b1839d38ae6aee07ec8cfb.png

 

Then, I found myself playing around with different systems to find a way to accommodate my new gem and give him playing time from the off and the wild thought of trying a Cruyff-like diamond found it's way into my head. I had read this thread recently, and also one of my favourite ever threads on this forum touches on the topic, so I thought I'd give it a go.

 

86341ec044ac2b18ef310ad4e3f78e07.png

The more that I played around, the more I realized that my current crop of youngsters was ideal for this system and style of play. On the left side, the Colombian Arley Ochoa has the intelligence to make the left hand WCB role his own and develop alongside Tenea and my homegrown product Derek Moran for years to come.

In midfield, I have never been a massive fan of the Half Back role's implementation within FM. I have always preferred the calmness and static play of a DLP. Marco Nichetti, one of the squad pensioners fits this role perfectly especially with "Stays Back At All Times". Ahead of him, I needed two players who would put in a shift and shuttle to the flank to ensure that space is filled, so generic midfielders performing a Carrilero role suits this need perfectly. 

For the front four, I decided to keep the 4-2-3-1 template. I really enjoy how the focus play works with a shadow striker and AF.

2025 Champions League Qualifying Campaign

We qualified for the group stages in 2024 for the first time in the save, however we need to continue getting that sweet £12m in order to fund our scouting network and youth infrastructure. 

Whilst I always expected to beat TNS in the first round, there were initial promising signs of how this new system works:

pJx9yXJ.gif

Y9pThG9.gif

These were two goals of a 18-1 aggregate victory. The next round put us against Dun. Streda of Solvenia, which would be a sterner test of the new system held together by a teenage defence.

PpH5O9s.gif

The goalscorer here, Anthony Lenihan is a key outlet for us to exploit overloads due to his explosive pace and off the ball movement. In the clip above, the system almost turns into a 4-2-3-1 again, notice the movement from the central players.

We put away the Slovenian champions 6-2 over the two legs, drawing Sheriff Tiraspol in the third round.

VCYagit.gif

JLKyrQR.gif

VViTuQb.gif

The first two goals pleased me especially due to the heavy AMC interactions :D. This helped us to repeat the 6-2 aggregate scoreline again, and set up a playoff clash with Slavia Prague for place in the group stages.

UBESeoL.gif

You can see a pattern developing, however what I love about most of these goals is how the DLP is the starting point for the majority of them. Lenihan's pace on the overload has been too much for teams to handle so far, and it was the same for Slavia Prague who were beaten 5-1 on aggregate. 

65507ba3b3abbbc95c7e7b255c9bb87f.png

Our heatmap during the 4-0 win away in Prague is very pleasing to the eye, with the clear diamond shape in view. 

The group stages should give this system a real litmus test, and I may need to go back to a "stable" 4-2-3-1 against a crazy good side, however I am confident that this system is the way forward to develop my young team in, gaining familiarity in domestic competitions for the annual European campaign. This system is so fun to watch, and I'm glad that our friend Tiberiu Tenea forced me in this direction!

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12 hours ago, Deego619 said:

We're in 2025, and I'm managing Bohemains in Ireland. The hard work since the start of the save to set up an extensive scouting system to "Moneyball" in talented youngsters from 2nd tier countries is beginning to pay off, and it uncovered this guy from Romania.

69pb3d9fys581.png

 

Not quite a CB, not quite a DM. This man screams WCB. My problem was however, to this point in the save I had been playing a pretty vanilla 4-2-3-1, and playing him RB would of been a terrible waste of his potential. 

 

b2a6d43d55b1839d38ae6aee07ec8cfb.png

 

Then, I found myself playing around with different systems to find a way to accommodate my new gem and give him playing time from the off and the wild thought of trying a Cruyff-like diamond found it's way into my head. I had read this thread recently, and also one of my favourite ever threads on this forum touches on the topic, so I thought I'd give it a go.

 

86341ec044ac2b18ef310ad4e3f78e07.png

The more that I played around, the more I realized that my current crop of youngsters was ideal for this system and style of play. On the left side, the Colombian Arley Ochoa has the intelligence to make the left hand WCB role his own and develop alongside Tenea and my homegrown product Derek Moran for years to come.

In midfield, I have never been a massive fan of the Half Back role's implementation within FM. I have always preferred the calmness and static play of a DLP. Marco Nichetti, one of the squad pensioners fits this role perfectly especially with "Stays Back At All Times". Ahead of him, I needed two players who would put in a shift and shuttle to the flank to ensure that space is filled, so generic midfielders performing a Carrilero role suits this need perfectly. 

For the front four, I decided to keep the 4-2-3-1 template. I really enjoy how the focus play works with a shadow striker and AF.

2025 Champions League Qualifying Campaign

We qualified for the group stages in 2024 for the first time in the save, however we need to continue getting that sweet £12m in order to fund our scouting network and youth infrastructure. 

Whilst I always expected to beat TNS in the first round, there were initial promising signs of how this new system works:

pJx9yXJ.gif

Y9pThG9.gif

These were two goals of a 18-1 aggregate victory. The next round put us against Dun. Streda of Solvenia, which would be a sterner test of the new system held together by a teenage defence.

PpH5O9s.gif

The goalscorer here, Anthony Lenihan is a key outlet for us to exploit overloads due to his explosive pace and off the ball movement. In the clip above, the system almost turns into a 4-2-3-1 again, notice the movement from the central players.

We put away the Slovenian champions 6-2 over the two legs, drawing Sheriff Tiraspol in the third round.

VCYagit.gif

JLKyrQR.gif

VViTuQb.gif

The first two goals pleased me especially due to the heavy AMC interactions :D. This helped us to repeat the 6-2 aggregate scoreline again, and set up a playoff clash with Slavia Prague for place in the group stages.

UBESeoL.gif

You can see a pattern developing, however what I love about most of these goals is how the DLP is the starting point for the majority of them. Lenihan's pace on the overload has been too much for teams to handle so far, and it was the same for Slavia Prague who were beaten 5-1 on aggregate. 

65507ba3b3abbbc95c7e7b255c9bb87f.png

Our heatmap during the 4-0 win away in Prague is very pleasing to the eye, with the clear diamond shape in view. 

The group stages should give this system a real litmus test, and I may need to go back to a "stable" 4-2-3-1 against a crazy good side, however I am confident that this system is the way forward to develop my young team in, gaining familiarity in domestic competitions for the annual European campaign. This system is so fun to watch, and I'm glad that our friend Tiberiu Tenea forced me in this direction!

Really nice update mate :applause:! I love seeing wonderkids from more obscure leagues making it big in a save. So looking forward to reading more about how you get on with this tactic. 

Edited by crusadertsar
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22 hours ago, endadc said:

I ended up losing the league on the last day to real, lost 2-0. i brought in a lot of young players but i am tying to save money to bring in merino so no notable transfers outside of kuki and guerrero 

I am sorry to hear that. Must have been heartbreaking coming that close to winning the league! I would be devastated :( But the positive is definitely that you must be doing something right to manage such a performance in your first season. So in 2nd season things can only get better. Are you still using formation and instructions similar to my last tactic? How was your scoring distributed? So far I have seen the majority of my goals come from the central striker (Kukki with 9) and AMC(S) who is Iker Muniain (9 goals). Inaki scored 7 so far, so not too shabby.  

streak.png.91473b2ee2de7be2fa0fabe476f758b9.png

Overall, its been by far my most goal-friendly tactic in FM22. With 40 scored in 20 matches and only a few from set pieces. So far we only conceded 19 goals.

I'm starting to think that maybe we are onto something with this formation. Or maybe we are just lucky because it suits Athletic. But so far the data seems to be very positive.  Especially seeing how you managed to finish 2nd with Bilbao in only your 1st season and @Trevomac achieved an equally surprising league victory in his 1st season. I am only into January in my first year with 20 games played and in tight competition with Valencia (only 2 points behind me) so a title is far from assured. But I'm still very happy to be overachieving like this with almost no incoming transfers (except for my Kukki kid). 

072F57479F2A4482900EAEB0CD17625339D5B477 (1600√ó900)

The above 6-1 demolishing of Vallecano was no doubt our best game of the season so far. And all of our 6 goals came from the two AMCs. 3 from Raul Garcia (Shadow Striker) and 3 by Iker Muniain (AMC on support). All but one freekick by Garcia were open-play goals that resulted from through balls from the midfield.

 

8A61AC88A8D18BEFD9DBCD96873D6003366BB300 (1600√ó900)

The switch from 3-4-2-1 DM to 3-4-2-1 (flat midfield) version has really done the trick. As you can see our clear count chances created increased significantly. The new formation reminds me more than a little bit of Tuchel's Chelsea (although it wasn't my intention to recreate that at the start). Except with wingers instead of wingbacks. And I don't think it plays too much like Chelsea. We are playing much more direct brand of football with more emphasis on through balls. Finally FM game where through balls are easy to achieve! That fact that in our last 27 matches, 28 out of 50 of our assists were through balls is a real testament to the beauty of this system. It is a trend that I hope continues. 

tac3.png.571ca25d5949cd3286eeace0963d97b1.png

It is actually funny but the game calls my tactic a 'geggenpress tactic" when it is not really all that aggressive in its pressing or defending. Or at least not more so than most typical geggenpress tactics you see on the forum. 

And as you can also see the diamond is still very much intact. I am totally in love with that shape.  

pos.png.cd0822a6c796d5bbbb2b5534dfbb998e.png

And here is our typical passing map.

DCEE699CD207E20462477A93ACC1C6354D266A5E (1600√ó900)

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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  • crusadertsar changed the title to Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED Dec 20, 2021
11 hours ago, Deego619 said:

We're in 2025, and I'm managing Bohemains in Ireland. The hard work since the start of the save to set up an extensive scouting system to "Moneyball" in talented youngsters from 2nd tier countries is beginning to pay off, and it uncovered this guy from Romania.

69pb3d9fys581.png

 

Not quite a CB, not quite a DM. This man screams WCB. My problem was however, to this point in the save I had been playing a pretty vanilla 4-2-3-1, and playing him RB would of been a terrible waste of his potential. 

 

b2a6d43d55b1839d38ae6aee07ec8cfb.png

 

Then, I found myself playing around with different systems to find a way to accommodate my new gem and give him playing time from the off and the wild thought of trying a Cruyff-like diamond found it's way into my head. I had read this thread recently, and also one of my favourite ever threads on this forum touches on the topic, so I thought I'd give it a go.

 

86341ec044ac2b18ef310ad4e3f78e07.png

The more that I played around, the more I realized that my current crop of youngsters was ideal for this system and style of play. On the left side, the Colombian Arley Ochoa has the intelligence to make the left hand WCB role his own and develop alongside Tenea and my homegrown product Derek Moran for years to come.

In midfield, I have never been a massive fan of the Half Back role's implementation within FM. I have always preferred the calmness and static play of a DLP. Marco Nichetti, one of the squad pensioners fits this role perfectly especially with "Stays Back At All Times". Ahead of him, I needed two players who would put in a shift and shuttle to the flank to ensure that space is filled, so generic midfielders performing a Carrilero role suits this need perfectly. 

For the front four, I decided to keep the 4-2-3-1 template. I really enjoy how the focus play works with a shadow striker and AF.

2025 Champions League Qualifying Campaign

We qualified for the group stages in 2024 for the first time in the save, however we need to continue getting that sweet £12m in order to fund our scouting network and youth infrastructure. 

Whilst I always expected to beat TNS in the first round, there were initial promising signs of how this new system works:

pJx9yXJ.gif

Y9pThG9.gif

These were two goals of a 18-1 aggregate victory. The next round put us against Dun. Streda of Solvenia, which would be a sterner test of the new system held together by a teenage defence.

PpH5O9s.gif

The goalscorer here, Anthony Lenihan is a key outlet for us to exploit overloads due to his explosive pace and off the ball movement. In the clip above, the system almost turns into a 4-2-3-1 again, notice the movement from the central players.

We put away the Slovenian champions 6-2 over the two legs, drawing Sheriff Tiraspol in the third round.

VCYagit.gif

JLKyrQR.gif

VViTuQb.gif

The first two goals pleased me especially due to the heavy AMC interactions :D. This helped us to repeat the 6-2 aggregate scoreline again, and set up a playoff clash with Slavia Prague for place in the group stages.

UBESeoL.gif

You can see a pattern developing, however what I love about most of these goals is how the DLP is the starting point for the majority of them. Lenihan's pace on the overload has been too much for teams to handle so far, and it was the same for Slavia Prague who were beaten 5-1 on aggregate. 

65507ba3b3abbbc95c7e7b255c9bb87f.png

Our heatmap during the 4-0 win away in Prague is very pleasing to the eye, with the clear diamond shape in view. 

The group stages should give this system a real litmus test, and I may need to go back to a "stable" 4-2-3-1 against a crazy good side, however I am confident that this system is the way forward to develop my young team in, gaining familiarity in domestic competitions for the annual European campaign. This system is so fun to watch, and I'm glad that our friend Tiberiu Tenea forced me in this direction!

Excellent stuff. I love that you completely decided on a new tactical approach based on signing 1 player

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23 hours ago, endadc said:

I ended up losing the league on the last day to real, lost 2-0. i brought in a lot of young players but i am tying to save money to bring in merino so no notable transfers outside of kuki and guerrero 

Unlucky that but hopefully can push on next season

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8 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

I am sorry to hear that. Must have been heartbreaking coming that close to winning the league! I would be devastated :( But the positive is definitely that you must be doing something right to manage such a performance in your first season. So in 2nd season things can only get better. Are you still using formation and instructions similar to my last tactic? How was your scoring distributed? So far I have seen the majority of my goals come from the central striker (Kukki with 9) and AMC(S) who is Iker Muniain (9 goals). Inaki scored 7 so far, so not too shabby.  

streak.png.91473b2ee2de7be2fa0fabe476f758b9.png

Overall, its been by far my most goal-friendly tactic in FM22. With 40 scored in 20 matches and only a few from set pieces. So far we only conceded 19 goals.

I'm starting to think that maybe we are onto something with this formation. Or maybe we are just lucky because it suits Athletic. But so far the data seems to be very positive.  Especially seeing how you managed to finish 2nd with Bilbao in only your 1st season and @Trevomac achieved an equally surprising league victory in his 1st season. I am only into January in my first year with 20 games played and in tight competition with Valencia (only 2 points behind me) so a title is far from assured. But I'm still very happy to be overachieving like this with almost no incoming transfers (except for my Kukki kid). 

072F57479F2A4482900EAEB0CD17625339D5B477 (1600√ó900)

The above 6-1 demolishing of Vallecano was no doubt our best game of the season so far. And all of our 6 goals came from the two AMCs. 3 from Raul Garcia (Shadow Striker) and 3 by Iker Muniain (AMC on support). All but one freekick by Garcia were open-play goals that resulted from through balls from the midfield.

 

8A61AC88A8D18BEFD9DBCD96873D6003366BB300 (1600√ó900)

The switch from 3-4-2-1 DM to 3-4-2-1 (flat midfield) version has really done the trick. As you can see our clear count chances created increased significantly. The new formation reminds me more than a little bit of Tuchel's Chelsea (although it wasn't my intention to recreate that at the start). Except with wingers instead of wingbacks. And I don't think it plays too much like Chelsea. We are playing much more direct brand of football with more emphasis on through balls. Finally FM game where through balls are easy to achieve! That fact that in our last 27 matches, 28 out of 50 of our assists were through balls is a real testament to the beauty of this system. It is a trend that I hope continues. 

tac3.png.571ca25d5949cd3286eeace0963d97b1.png

It is actually funny but the game calls my tactic a 'geggenpress tactic" when it is not really all that aggressive in its pressing or defending. Or at least not more so than most typical geggenpress tactics you see on the forum. 

And as you can also see the diamond is still very much intact. I am totally in love with that shape.  

pos.png.cd0822a6c796d5bbbb2b5534dfbb998e.png

And here is our typical passing map.

DCEE699CD207E20462477A93ACC1C6354D266A5E (1600√ó900)

 

Brilliant. Hopefully you can keep the run going. I see you've done the same as me and retrained Yuri as a WCB

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55 minutes ago, Trevomac said:

Brilliant. Hopefully you can keep the run going. I see you've done the same as me and retrained Yuri as a WCB

I know! He is really an excellent WCB. Had to let Capa go though. He just didn't fit into my system. No room for traditional wingbacks who don't have the typical CB attributes like jumping reach, positioning and tackling. And he wasn't attack-oriented enough to be a sub for my wide midfielders. 

Edited by crusadertsar
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1 hour ago, crusadertsar said:

I know! He is really an excellent WCB. Had to let Capa go though. He just didn't fit into my system. No room for traditional wingbacks who don't have the typical CB attributes like jumping reach, positioning and tackling. And he wasn't attack-oriented enough to be a sub for my wide midfielders. 

I actually used Capa as a wide-midfielder and Winger and he done OK. I also brought him and Balenziaga on as subs early in the season and dropped the wide midfielders back to wing-backs to see out games. I retrained De Marcos as a CM but he signed a pre-contract agreement in Jan. Lekue and Balenziaga left in Jan

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8 minutes ago, Trevomac said:

I actually used Capa as a wide-midfielder and Winger and he done OK. I also brought him and Balenziaga on as subs early in the season and dropped the wide midfielders back to wing-backs to see out games. I retrained De Marcos as a CM but he signed a pre-contract agreement in Jan. Lekue and Balenziaga left in Jan

Aha 3-4-2-1 with wingbacks! Now that sounds more like Tuchel's Chelsea ;)

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17 minutes ago, latrell said:

@ crusaderstar  have you done any work on Netherlands 1988 side if not would you consider it for a future project. 

Hmm. For now I would have to consider it as a future project. Simply have too many saves testing different tactics going at the same time. What was the defining element of that team? Can't seem to remember how they played. 

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34 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Hmm. For now I would have to consider it as a future project. Simply have too many saves testing different tactics going at the same time. What was the defining element of that team? Can't seem to remember how they played. 

i was only six years old but it was the first tournament i remember that stands out for me in my memory was Ruud Gullit and van Basten the link up play they had i knew nothing about formations then, but this is how they lined up.

32677.png

Edited by latrell
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2 minutes ago, latrell said:

i was only six years old but it was the first tournament i remember that stands out for me in my memory was Ruud Gullie and van Basten the link up play they had i knew nothing about formations then, but this is how they lined up.

32677.png

Nice! I love how it looks like their back four is morphing into back three during attack. Will definitely need to read more into it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention :)

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

absolutely love this I've started it and ill finish reading tonight got a long drive to visit the in laws ill be thinking about this all day :)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Crazy_Ivan said:

Just a brilliant amount of effort and a fascinating read and I wanted to thank you for making sure Ernst Happel  isn't always a footnote in this discussion.

Thanks man! I appreciate the kind words :) He really deserves more recognition.

In case you were interested I went in and put in a few more old photos of Happel training with his Feyenoord players. Just to show more context on what kind of coach he was. A real-life track suit manager who actually played football very well and not just wrote about the theory :onmehead:

Edited by crusadertsar
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On 20/12/2021 at 02:35, Deego619 said:

We're in 2025, and I'm managing Bohemains in Ireland. The hard work since the start of the save to set up an extensive scouting system to "Moneyball" in talented youngsters from 2nd tier countries is beginning to pay off, and it uncovered this guy from Romania.

69pb3d9fys581.png

 

Not quite a CB, not quite a DM. This man screams WCB. My problem was however, to this point in the save I had been playing a pretty vanilla 4-2-3-1, and playing him RB would of been a terrible waste of his potential. 

 

b2a6d43d55b1839d38ae6aee07ec8cfb.png

 

Then, I found myself playing around with different systems to find a way to accommodate my new gem and give him playing time from the off and the wild thought of trying a Cruyff-like diamond found it's way into my head. I had read this thread recently, and also one of my favourite ever threads on this forum touches on the topic, so I thought I'd give it a go.

 

86341ec044ac2b18ef310ad4e3f78e07.png

The more that I played around, the more I realized that my current crop of youngsters was ideal for this system and style of play. On the left side, the Colombian Arley Ochoa has the intelligence to make the left hand WCB role his own and develop alongside Tenea and my homegrown product Derek Moran for years to come.

In midfield, I have never been a massive fan of the Half Back role's implementation within FM. I have always preferred the calmness and static play of a DLP. Marco Nichetti, one of the squad pensioners fits this role perfectly especially with "Stays Back At All Times". Ahead of him, I needed two players who would put in a shift and shuttle to the flank to ensure that space is filled, so generic midfielders performing a Carrilero role suits this need perfectly. 

For the front four, I decided to keep the 4-2-3-1 template. I really enjoy how the focus play works with a shadow striker and AF.

2025 Champions League Qualifying Campaign

We qualified for the group stages in 2024 for the first time in the save, however we need to continue getting that sweet £12m in order to fund our scouting network and youth infrastructure. 

Whilst I always expected to beat TNS in the first round, there were initial promising signs of how this new system works:

pJx9yXJ.gif

Y9pThG9.gif

These were two goals of a 18-1 aggregate victory. The next round put us against Dun. Streda of Solvenia, which would be a sterner test of the new system held together by a teenage defence.

PpH5O9s.gif

The goalscorer here, Anthony Lenihan is a key outlet for us to exploit overloads due to his explosive pace and off the ball movement. In the clip above, the system almost turns into a 4-2-3-1 again, notice the movement from the central players.

We put away the Slovenian champions 6-2 over the two legs, drawing Sheriff Tiraspol in the third round.

VCYagit.gif

JLKyrQR.gif

VViTuQb.gif

The first two goals pleased me especially due to the heavy AMC interactions :D. This helped us to repeat the 6-2 aggregate scoreline again, and set up a playoff clash with Slavia Prague for place in the group stages.

UBESeoL.gif

You can see a pattern developing, however what I love about most of these goals is how the DLP is the starting point for the majority of them. Lenihan's pace on the overload has been too much for teams to handle so far, and it was the same for Slavia Prague who were beaten 5-1 on aggregate. 

65507ba3b3abbbc95c7e7b255c9bb87f.png

Our heatmap during the 4-0 win away in Prague is very pleasing to the eye, with the clear diamond shape in view. 

The group stages should give this system a real litmus test, and I may need to go back to a "stable" 4-2-3-1 against a crazy good side, however I am confident that this system is the way forward to develop my young team in, gaining familiarity in domestic competitions for the annual European campaign. This system is so fun to watch, and I'm glad that our friend Tiberiu Tenea forced me in this direction!

Do you use any player instructions on your tactics?

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39 minutes ago, stuartlaw11 said:

Do you use any player instructions on your tactics?

Nope.

Though since the post I now use Winger/Attack on both sides. It's more dynamic than IW/IF in this year's game (scores & creates) and keeps the width. 

Be interested to see if it works for you or if it's just a good system for my side, I have an idea to try this with a bigger team (was thinking Barcelona).

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25 minutes ago, Deego619 said:

Nope.

Though since the post I now use Winger/Attack on both sides. It's more dynamic than IW/IF in this year's game (scores & creates) and keeps the width. 

Be interested to see if it works for you or if it's just a good system for my side, I have an idea to try this with a bigger team (was thinking Barcelona).

Thank you for the reply. I’m going to use it for my Carmarthen save. Build a nation around total football ideas

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19 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Ernst Happel's 4-3-3: The Invention of Dutch Totaalvoetbal 

Going Back to The Basics of Total Football

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From time to time my readers will ask me one particular question. Or a variation of it. Basically it goes like this. What is the absolute essence of Total Football? If I want my team to play Total Football, where do I start? How do I build it into a Total Football powerhouse? What foundation stones, in tactics, training and personnel, do I implement? The following article will hopefully answer some of these questions. To do so we might as well go to the very beginning of Total Football. And no that does not mean the work of Rinus Michels. Not to speak ill of the man, but Rinus was not the first to implement defining elements of Total Football. Not even the first one do so in Holland. That honour goes to his contemporary manager and domestic rival, Ernst Happel. The real father of Dutch Totaalvoetbal.

Ajax 4-3-3 Revolution? Or The Greatest Copycats of All Time?

Rinus Michels and his pupil Johan Cruyff were very prolific in writing about and promoting Totaalvoetbal as a playing philosophy. Their unique take on it is what put Ajax on the map of world football. Because of this we tend to associate the Dutch school of Total Football with Ajax. But in fact it was the manager of rival Feyenoord who first implemented ideas we now associate with Dutch Totaalvoetbal. In fact his tactics were so successful that they fostered imitation by Ajax's manager Rinus Michels. Feyenoord's manager was a rather unassuming and often mysterious Austrian by the name of Ernst Happel. His team, Feyenoord, was the only one that Ajax were not able to consistently beat at the time. And Happel's Feyenoord played a proto-Totaalvoetbal 4-3-3 when most Dutch teams (including Ajax) still used some variation of 4-2-4.  

The revolutionary shift came in the spring of 1970. In April of 1970, the powerhouse Ajax drew 3-3 against Happel's Feyenoord. At the time, Michels still used the old 4-2-4 with two central defenders and two flanking aggressive fullbacks. The rest of his formation included two holding midfielders and four attackers (2 wingers and 2 strikers). The traditional offensive football style in Holland prior to early 1970s. Greatly influenced by Brazilian football school in both its attacking flair and lack of discipline in defence.

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Image: Brazilian 4-2-4, precursor to 4-4-2 had great influence on Dutch football prior to Total Football 4-3-3 revolution in the 1970s

Following that difficult game against Feyenoord, Michels decided that something needed to change. So he switched Ajax to the new style 4-3-3. The rest as they say was history. Both Rinus Michels and his club Ajax became the staunchest proponents of the 4-3-3. It became viewed as one of the most balanced attacking formations and an archetypal Total Football shape. Even today, it's a formation that's synonymous with Ajax club culture and one that their youth teams teach religiously to all their graduates.

At the time, Michels saw that the old Brazilian-inspired style was simply too vulnerable against strong teams. Feyenoord, playing in its innovative 4-3-3, went on to win the European Cup (modern Champions League) in 1970. It was the very first Dutch club to do so. Interestingly, one year later Ajax used its own Happel-inspired 4-3-3 to win the European Cup as well.

Weird Austrian Who Conquered Europe

"A day without football is a day lost." - Ernst Happel

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Always a bit of a loner, Happel preferred the company of his cigarettes and expensive cognac to social gatherings and parties. Not surprisingly, Ernst Happel was not a man of many words. Neither was he one to write tactical treatises and books like some of his contemporaries. That is probably one reason that he is less known than someone like Rinus Michels or Johan Cruyff. He was a typical "tracksuit manager", a hands-on practical guy whom you rarely saw on a sideline wearing a suit (more so in his later years). Reminds you of someone we all know?

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Like Marcelo Bielsa of his era (except for the chain-smoking habit) Happel constantly looked like he was ready to charge onto the pitch himself and show the players how to do it. He was definitely not a theory guy. Instead Happel created simple solutions based on the players at his disposal. Happel's football was an organic process. 

"Michels was great in developing a tactical plan at the start of a game and he’d try to hold on to it. Happel was different. Happel was capable of seeing where things didn’t work in a match and he’d tweak it while we were playing. I think Happel read the games way better than Michels." - Theo Van Duivenbode - a fullback who played for both Ajax and Feyenoord (part of Feyenoord's squad that won the European Cup in 1970).

A side-effect of Happel's reticence to expound on his tactical thinking, is that there isn't much information out there about the intricacies of his tactics. He himself hated talking about theory. So what we are mostly left with is old footage of games. And stories told by the players lucky enough to be coached by him. Ernst Happel did not simply coach but often led by example. Naturally he was not one for speeches and did not speak Dutch very well. Even in his native German, his pep talks were famously laconic. His most famous quote to Feyenoord players was¬†‚ÄúKein keloel, fussball spielen!‚ÄĚ. Which literally means¬†‚ÄúStop talking, just play football!‚ÄĚ.

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Yet with very few words he would manage to show his players exactly what he wanted them to do. He won their respect when at the very first training, he put some bottles on the cross bar, and proceeded to hit them with the balls. Not a single miss. This showed the Feyenoord squad that their manager knew what he was talking about when he talked about football. In his youth he was a great footballer at Racing Club Paris and Rapid Wien (one of the greatest clubs of its time). Ernst was just a no-nonsense kind of guy who lived and breathed football. As he once said, a day without football was a day lost.

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Happel's System - Total Football on a budget

Sadly Ernest Happel seems to only garner a side note in the history of the game. Even in Jonathan Wilson's seminal "Inverting the Pyramid" there are only two pages devoted to the Austrian manager. While Rinus Michels and Cruyff have a total of 51 (yes, I actually counted :idiot:). It is rather sad but often the way of the world. We remember those who spoke the loudest. History associates Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff, and Ajax with Total Football. Their names have become intertwined in the history of not only Dutch but world football. 

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Yet Happel's system lives on. The hard-pressing and fluid 4-3-3 that he created saw its natural continuation in some of the greatest modern teams. Not only Cruyff's Ajax but more recently Pep Guardiola's Barcelona and Man City and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.

The basic elements that made up Happel's 4-3-3 might seem rather simple by modern tactical standards. No fancy inverted wingbacks or shadow strikers. Yet what was important to Happel's Total Football were the concepts that have become intertwined with what we idealize in modern football. Fluid, Possession, short passing, and highly technical attractive game. Yet tough and disciplined high-line press at the same time. The Offside Trap that goes along with that high defensive line. It is how some of the best teams in the world play now. And yet Happel managed to get his somewhat modest Feyenoord squad to play this way. So what are these elements that he used to create Total Football on a budget?

Total Football Basics: Setting Up a Fluid 4-3-3

1) The Shape, Mentality and The Roles

Feyenoord's 4-3-3 was natural shape for the kind of football that Happel was after. Feyenoord played like a collective, preferring patient build-up play with its short passes from the back rather than the long balls towards the forwards. This was most evident in that historic European Cup win over Celtic.

In its pure essence, Happel's system encouraged fluid, entertaining football and required a formation that could easily allow the best coverage of the pitch by the players. Such as what 4-3-3 allows naturally. But more than just the formation, in a way of Total Football, it required intelligent, physically fit, well-rounded and highly-skilled players to fill the roles.

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Image above is what Happel's famous 4-3-3 formation and line-up looked like for that historic European Cup game against Celtic. This was largely how Happel set up his First Team for most of his time with Feyenoord. But it was not how they always played. When he joined Feyenoord in 1969, they still used the 4-2-4 shape. That meant that Kindvall and Van Hanegem were two strikers in front of a two-men holding midfielder. And most of the attacking movement came from flanks. The attacks it created were more direct and relied on long-balls to the forwards (much like what Celtic employed) but lacked the fluidity and creativity of the build-up that the extra man in the midfield added.

When the Austrian introduced the 4-3-3 shape into Dutch football he changed how an ideal midfield functioned. No longer could it be a two-men affair. Three men were needed to exert "Total" control over the pitch. To create his shape, Happel dropped Van Hanegem (more of an advanced playmaker than striker) into midfield and added Franz Hasil (talented playmaker) to the midfield where Wim Jansen remained as the defensive rock in his holding DM role. The new three-man midfield could now get more involved in the attacking build-up with Wim Jansen covering defence in his dedicated holding DM role. Happel instructed his two more advanced central midfielders to look for half-spaces between the opposition lines of defence and midfield. In this way they were tactical fore-runners of Pep Guardiola's famous "Free 8s".

Ernst Happel went even further in his quest for fluid, expansive and entertaining football. As a precursor to Total Football's interchanging of positions, he encourage Hasil (his chosen attacking central midfielder) and his striker Kindvall to constantly exchange places. Playing one-twos and taking advantage of their superior off the ball skill and mobility, they were practically impossible for Celtic defenders to mark. A rather unconventional duo for the time, Hasil was more of a complete attacking midfielder playing in a deeper CM position while Ove Kindvall was a rare short and creative forward. Unlike most strong and tall strikers of the era, the diminutive Swede became a veritable goal machine at Rotterdam. In his 144 Eredivisie appearances he managed to net a total of 129 goals.

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The two wide attackers, Wery and Moulijn’s, with their tricky dribbling and constant cutting inside, caused even more problems for Celtic's befuddled defenders. As would later become apparent in Ajax' own 1972 European Cup victory over Inter's Catenaccio, the traditional man-marking strategies were no match to attackers playing in the Total Football way.

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Both wingers also got involved in Feyenoord's pressing game. With their boundless energy and hard work the wingers led Feyenoord's first line of defence and had both flanks covered. When they cut inside in the final third, the wingbacks would take over the primary wide duties. This was another aspect of Happel's team that was ahead of its time. The two aggressive attacking wingbacks that overlapped and took active role in the build-up alongside the forwards and midfielders. Something that Ajax would perfect and make into a regular element of all modern football tactics. These days, it would be hard to find a club without at least one inside forward and marauding wingback. Not so much in the late 1960s to early 1970s.

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Now, how do we translate this into the game? For my Happel-inspired system I prefer to start with a Balanced Mentality. It provides the best platform for controlling the pitch, in both attack and defence. It goes a long way to recreating that patient build-up from the back that defined Total Football. And as the balanced mentality's name suggests, it can be used to "balance" some of my very attacking roles in high risk positions (wingbacks). Thus on Balanced Mentality, while my wingbacks have an attacking duty, their individual mentality will remain "positive". Among the front three, the striker and the inside forward both have "attacking" mentality and are thus encouraged to take more risks. They will be the two players scoring our goals. In this they are supported by the IW (positive mentality) and the BBM (balanced) who stay deeper when in transition and support the other two attackers.

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Finally, my two playmakers have two very different mentalities to make sure that they operate on separate strata and don't run into each other's space. DLP(D) is my recycler from deep and helps guard the back when the wingbacks overlap. While AP(A) is my "needle" player that along with the wingbacks helps link midfield to attack. It's a delicate struggle to balance risk and reward in a typical 4-3-3. But in the end it's about making sure that all the roles work well together and effectively occupy different areas of the pitch.

While our two playmakers are both the beating metronome/heart and brain of the system, the BBM is its lungs. The little dynamo machine that supports the team at both ends of the field. Your best Total Footballer candidate should go here. The player who is most well-rounded technically, mentally and physically. Rinus Michels had Johann Neeskens for this important role. While Ernst Happel relied on Van Hanegem who turned out one his greatest Total Football coverts. Van Hanegem had a very close, almost fatherly, relationship with his coach. And Happel helped him to develop into one of the greatest Dutch midfielders of all time. Van Hanegem would eventually go on to earn 52 Dutch caps, including at the 1974 World Cup final. He earned the nickname  De Kromme ("The Curve") for his running style and ability to curl the ball with the outside of his boot.

Van Hanegem was a very hard-working team-player with exceptional passing ability and a penchant for timely hard tackles. Remarkably he had great vision for the pass despite allegedly only having 70 percent of his eyesight!

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Image: Feyenoord's Willem "Mr.Total Football" Van Hanegem bossing the "Great One" Cruyff.

Certainly, at Feyenoord, Happel did not have the exceptionally talented individual players like Johan Neeskens and Johan Cruyff at Ajax. But he possessed a great understanding of what each one of his players was capable of and was able to instinctively see how each player could best fit into his system as a whole. Essentially, Happel was able to produce a team that put cooperative teamwork and hard work before individual flair. His Feyenoord team had guts!

It is my goal that I can similarly get my team to work well as a collective unit and combine their various movements to confuse the opposition and create better chances. While the wingbacks overlap, they leave my DLP and two CBs who provided a solid three-men defence. Both wide attackers cut inside and combine with the BBM and AP in the half-spaces. This leaves my central striker with plenty of central space to either push forward to pin back opposition defenders or drop deep to liberate even more space in the half-spaces for his teammates to exploit.

2) The Offside Trap

The Offside Trap, is believed to have been poplarized in 1974 when Dutch used it at the World Cup. Yet Happel saw the benefits of aggressive high defensive line during his playing days for Rapid Wien in 1949. In response to a humiliating 5-0 defeat against Brazilian Vasco da Gama, young Ernst decided to completely change his game. In the words of his then coach, Hans Pesser: “We were humiliated. We had never had this before. We [Pesser and Happel] spent hours jotting on pieces of paper and analyzing what they did. Their coach Flavio Costa was an innovator, who laid the foundation for Brazil’s flowing tactical style of play. That morning we decided to abandon the Austrian school. We needed something new".

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Image: Ernst Happel - Austrian star central defender, whose competitive drive to win changed football forever.

One new thing that Pesser introduced to Rapid Wien strategy was 22 y.o. Ernst Happel as central defender that would relentlessly push forward and become the playmaker from the back. That one game became a sign for Happel that the game had moved on. No longer could a team defend passively and hope for a good result. The basis of Total Football, the Offside Trap, was laid down.

In the game, setting up the Offside Trap is quite simple. It only requires two instructions. The defensive line can be either "high" or "highest" depending with what you are comfortable with based on the quality of your team. And on how hard you are willing to push your team when pressing. It's a question of risk and reward.

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What is not as simple is actually setting up an effective Offside Trap. For this you need the right type of defender. Mainly defenders that are relatively mobile (Pace and Acceleration) for their level of competition. For a team competing in the highest level (in top 5 world leagues) or in the Champions League, a player like this would be more than appropriate:

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So basically you will need a player with above average mental attributes in order to be able to read the game well. And since he will be playing higher up, pace and acceleration helps. But what is much more important is having an intelligent defender. One with good Decisions, Teamwork, Positioning, Concentration and Anticipation. The quality of your Offside Trap will be highly dependent on these attributes. Probably more so then if they are fast or strong. The speed attributes are mainly needed for the times when the Offside Trap fails and the defender has to scramble and get back into position to fix the situation. Any weak link here will be the downfall of the whole system. So as a first priority make sure to invest in some intelligent defenders. Why is that you might ask?

Because your Trap will fail due to a lapse in player's concentration. Or if when the defender does not read the play well (Anticipation and Decisions failure). Also with the Offside Trap the most important thing is having both defenders on the same page in their mentality (same duty) and having relatively similar mental attributes. In fact, the mental attributes are by far more important than the physical or technical attributes. As you see above, my chosen defender is not the strongest or best at jumping. But as a retrained fullback he possesses above average mental attributes. You will need similar defenders with enough intelligence to know when to step up to join his teammates in attack and when to drop back into their defensive positions. 

3) The Pressing

"If you mark man-to-man, you’re sending out eleven donkeys." - Ernst Happel

Ernst Happel was not a fan of rigid defending strategies such as man-marking. But his love with the collective pressing style was not an instant affair. Rather it was also resulted from being exposed to football style from different footballing culture than his native Austrian school.

It happened when Happel's Rapid Wien traveled to play in the post-WW2 USSR. There he was first exposed to Maslov's school of "collectivist" football. In Austria and UK, teams relied on the individual brilliance of their players when it came to dribbling and defending. On the other hand some Soviet teams, namely Dynamo Kyiv, perfected a system of playing pressing football as a collective unit. Viktor Maslov, was the pioneer of this proto-Total Football style. And so was his greatest pupil, Valeriy Lobanovskyi.

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Image: Viktor Maslov - a Soviet coach that was much respected by Happel for his revolutionary ideas on pressing.

Viktor Maslov, and later Lobanovskyi, saw the future of football in utilization of space and half-space. The main idea being that one had to take time and space away from the opponent. Play as a compressed and close-nit unit when defending and as expansive and wide as possible when attacking. Control the pitch and you will the game.

"I can’t remember any time where Ajax put us under pressure. It was Happel who was innovative in Holland with this concept, using fast, hardworking players on the wings. They were the first defenders. We had Henk Wery at Feyenoord and he used Rene van de Kerkhof in the 1978 Dutch team. He created the ideal circumstances this way, for a team that could grasp the opponent and never let them go." - Willem van Hanegem (member of Happel's Feyenoord)

Once again, how do we go about setting up Happel's style of high aggressive pressing in FM22? Part of it comes via having a few appropriate team instructions. Start by selecting "counter-press", setting trigger press to "much more often" and "higher line of engagement" and you basically have your recipe for Total Football-level intense pressing.

But as we saw with the Offside Trap before, the far more important part is having the right players for the job. Like Happel, don't look for the most talented player but ones who can work as part of a tightly-nit team. Total Footballers - technically well-rounded, hard-working and intelligent footballers who are nevertheless physically fit and strong.

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More to Follow ... 

Incredible read, and very timely as I currently scour the world for "total footballers" who would be willing to come and play their trade in Dublin. Upon reading this thread, I changed my approach to scouting somewhat and identified the following players who fit Maslov's school of "collectivist" football.

  • Kiki Silva - Leixoes
  • Yarden Shua - Beitar Jerusalem
  • Jacob Sorensen - NYCFC

Three names that just sound like they're from Football Manager, and unlikely to come into the conversation of total football. But if we take a look at these gentlemen, we can see how they can become very useful assets for my "rest and vest the CL money" Bohemians side.

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None of these players will set the world of football alight, but they all play into the collective philosophy like you mention in your post. Kiki is full of 12s and 13s, and wouldn't be out of place in the Championship. Yarden will slot into the tip of my diamond, using his vision and both-footedness to really open up our options in attack, whilst Sorensen will provide a stable base anchoring our midfield.

Total outlay of £2M spent for a new total core of my side. I found these by creating a new filter focusing on the following attributes mentioned in this post:

Quote

Football intelligence
Decisions, Anticipation and Vision across the board, positioning for more defensive players, off the ball for more attacking players
Technical ability
Technique, first touch, passing, weaker foot
Personally
Professionalism, Determination, Work Rate

Looking forward to see how it goes! Loving this thread for ideas :D 

Edited by Deego619
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fantastic read and thank you for bringing Ernst Happel to light i felt a bit sad tbh that this man never gets a mention i had never heard of him before ill definitely be looking up some old Feyenoord games now thanks @crusadertsar  

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Deego619 said:

Incredible read, and very timely as I currently scour the world for "total footballers" who would be willing to come and play their trade in Dublin. Upon reading this thread, I changed my approach to scouting somewhat and identified the following players who fit Maslov's school of "collectivist" football.

  • Kiki Silva - Leixoes
  • Yarden Shua - Beitar Jerusalem
  • Jacob Sorensen - NYCFC

Three names that just sound like they're from Football Manager, and unlikely to come into the conversation of total football. But if we take a look at these gentlemen, we can see how they can become very useful assets for my "rest and vest the CL money" Bohemians side.

9e914fa71a286c147ce997779d314355.png

341a60356f3d67b64caf76fe1baf1321.png

d0bf251985b873afde39d539bd4961d5.png

None of these players will set the world of football alight, but they all play into the collective philosophy like you mention in your post. Kiki is full of 12s and 13s, and wouldn't be out of place in the Championship. Yarden will slot into the tip of my diamond, using his vision and both-footedness to really open up our options in attack, whilst Sorensen will provide a stable base anchoring our midfield.

Total outlay of £2M spent for a new total core of my side. I found these by creating a new filter focusing on the following attributes mentioned in this post:

Looking forward to see how it goes! Loving this thread for ideas :D 

Nice! Great finds. Some real gems you got there. Especially Jacob Sorensen :thup:

Incidentally, the whole reason for my latest update has also been trying to see far I can go in developing a Total Football-like intense style with a more unusuaol team. A team that perhaps would not be a typical choice for such a style. Essentially in many ways Happel's Total Football was like a mix between Tiki-Taka and Gegenpress. It essentially had elements that greatly influenced both of those styles. In recent years (greatly thanks to the work of Bielsa, Guardiola and Klopp) there has been a lot of overlap to the point where, in my opinion, you could say that all modern possession-focused football is basically "Total Football". But unfortunately we do not see a lot of underdog teams play in this way. Naturally, you do need very technical players to make it successful. Or do you really? Wouldn't Happel's idea of putting teamwork and great physical fitness still work successfully in modern era? 

Even in the highly-competitive Premier League you have teams like Steven Gerrard's newly-revitalized Aston Villa playing a very neat, aesthetically-pleasing brand of possession football. Gerrard has his Villa attack vertically through the half-spaces with narrow front attackers and overlapping marauding wingbacks. They also defend with a controlled press and a rather high defensive line with a an effective offside trap. 

https://theanalyst.com/na/2021/12/the-tactics-behind-aston-villas-resurgence-under-steven-gerrard/

I am big fan of Gerrard's Aston Villa exactly because of this. It's a "smaller" team that is punching WAY above its weight right now. And you can already see hints of the more exciting style emerge. Hopefully as they get more confident we could see more of what made Gerrard's Rangers so special. His unique take on 4-3-3 with its dual #10s employed in the very narrow inside forward position that he used to better control the half-spaces and to break down low-block teams in the Scottish League. 

 

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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Posted (edited)

Currently, I have been experimenting with making my Total Football more accessible to a lower league team or a more mid-tier club like Aston Villa. Or Torino perhaps :D

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And as a result of my experimentation, the tactic that I discussed in my Happel update, has started to emerge.

Some of you perhaps wondered at the conservative choice of team mentality. I too was not a big fan of Balanced mentality until more recently I started testing it more with my other tactics. And really, it works quite well if you are after patient short-passing build-up. Even with more intense pressing of Total Football. This made me rework my whole approach whereas before I would almost exclusively play possession-football with Positive team mentality (or even attacking as you might remember from my recent 3-4-3 experiment). 

But some of the recent ME changes to how pressing, player stamina and individual mentalities work (especially in attackers and players on support duty) has really made me embrace "Balanced" way of playing. And what I find especially nice is how a combination of Balanced mentality and low tempo with very aggressive pressing and defensive line can modulate the overall tactical intensity to a lower, more managable level. I find that when playing this way my players rarely get injured or lose fitness between games (or not more than what a single day of rest or a good recovery session can't restore). But more importantly, during a match they can keep on running and pressing for the whole 90 minutes. The difference in intensity between Balanced and Positive mentality is quite significant. To the point where I asked myself of question, whats the point of trying to play Total Football when your team can only play in this way for 45 minutes? Or if you get half-dozen injuries after a month?

Also another "sideffect" of using a more conservative overall mentality is my ability to employ some more "high-risk" roles like marauding wingbacks. On Balanced they will provide the width and penetration in the final third but will not expose my defence as much as they would on a higher team mentality. 

I need to write a more detailed update about this but I have seen that we are much more effective in breaking our opponents down and scoring important goals in the later minutes of 1st and 2nd half when the opposition players become more tired than my "Total Footballers". 

But of course, you still need some pretty good players with key mental and physical attributes. I will try to show more of this in my next update.  

Thanks for reading so far everyone :cool:

Edited by crusadertsar
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Great update to Happels totalvoetball approach. Big fan of the balanced mentality myself since I read a piece from Cleon about it. Besides it really helps to keep up the pressing level without reaching the red zone. Looking forward to further updates.

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7 minutes ago, Bahamontes said:

Great update to Happels totalvoetball approach. Big fan of the balanced mentality myself since I read a piece from Cleon about it. Besides it really helps to keep up the pressing level without reaching the red zone. Looking forward to further updates.

Thanks! I still fondly remember that piece by @Cleon. His Art of Possession guide is my personal favourite. Exactly, that's what I'm after, keep the pressing and opposition pressure up without reaching that Red Zone in intensity. 

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10 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Currently, I have been experimenting with making my Total Football more accessible to a lower league team or a more mid-tier club like Aston Villa. Or Torino perhaps :D

press.png.48e550f49521808bd1de1a255fbc5b0b.png

 

And as a result of my experimentation, the tactic that I discussed in my Happel update, has started to emerge.

Some of you perhaps wondered at the conservative choice of team mentality. I too was not a big fan of Balanced mentality until more recently I started testing it more with my other tactics. And really, it works quite well if you are after patient short-passing build-up. Even with more intense pressing of Total Football. This made me rework my whole approach whereas before I would almost exclusively play possession-football with Positive team mentality (or even attacking as you might remember from my recent 3-4-3 experiment). 

But some of the recent ME changes to how pressing, player stamina and individual mentalities work (especially in attackers and players on support duty) has really made me embrace "Balanced" way of playing. And what I find especially nice is how a combination of Balanced mentality and low tempo with very aggressive pressing and defensive line can modulate the overall tactical intensity to a lower, more managable level. I find that when playing this way my players rarely get injured or lose fitness between games (or not more than what a single day of rest or a good recovery session can't restore). But more importantly, during a match they can keep on running and pressing for the whole 90 minutes. The difference in intensity between Balanced and Positive mentality is quite significant. To the point where I asked myself of question, whats the point of trying to play Total Football when your team can only play in this way for 45 minutes? Or if you get half-dozen injuries after a month?

Also another "sideffect" of using a more conservative overall mentality is my ability to employ some more "high-risk" roles like marauding wingbacks. On Balanced they will provide the width and penetration in the final third but will not expose my defence as much as they would on a higher team mentality. 

I need to write a more detailed update about this but I have seen that we are much more effective in breaking our opponents down and scoring important goals in the later minutes of 1st and 2nd half when the opposition players become more tired than my "Total Footballers". 

But of course, you still need some pretty good players with key mental and physical attributes. I will try to show more of this in my next update.  

Thanks for reading so far everyone :cool:

Great stuff, thanks.

In FM22, I've become a bit obsessed with a 3-CB formation thanks to the new WCB role. I'd be interesting in seeing how this tactic could play out with a Libero in the middle of a back 3, replacing the DLP, and with all the other tactical instructions the same. Doubt I can find a good one at my current club, though. But food for thought if I end up at a bigger club.

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12 hours ago, StatboySpurs said:

Great stuff, thanks.

In FM22, I've become a bit obsessed with a 3-CB formation thanks to the new WCB role. I'd be interesting in seeing how this tactic could play out with a Libero in the middle of a back 3, replacing the DLP, and with all the other tactical instructions the same. Doubt I can find a good one at my current club, though. But food for thought if I end up at a bigger club.

I think it would play very similarly. A libero on support duty is basically like s DLP (D). So go for it :thup: What's your current club? 

 

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40 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

I think it would play very similarly. A libero on support duty is basically like s DLP (D). So go for it :thup: What's your current club? 

 

FC Nordsjælland in Denmark. I have a couple of options, though not completely ideal. I may give it a go in the preseason for a game or so just to see how it works.

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Posted (edited)

Creating a Total Footballer - Setting The Foundation For Success

1) Identifying Total Football DNA Potential - Does Your Club Have It? 

The profile of the player that you will want for your Total Football tactic isn't some kind of elusive animal. In fact, when assessing most mid-tier teams in top 5 European leagues, there should be plenty of footballers that fit. And most of them are not world-class players or even popular wonderkids on every FM player's transfer list. There are a lot of hidden gems that you can find, as @Deego619 showed us in the post above.

For the most part you will need players who are hardworking and good teamplayers. At least to begin with. To round them off they will need a few other good mental attributes. Such as positioning (especially if they are to be part of my defensive unit) or off-the-ball (if they are one of your attackers). Afterall, you don't expect your striker to have positioning that is in the double digits. Or your DLP to have exceptional off the ball. Except, if he does have great off the ball then that is always a great bonus.

marcos.png.f1aeefaa39efbf878833ea507e916f6f.png

You might be lucky enough to possess a player like Shakhtar Donetsk's Marcos Ant√īnio, whose attributes and traits allow him to function as both a deep playmaker and a more forward-thinking regista if the situation presents itself. But what if you team is not gifted with stars like Marcos?

Well, most mid-tier teams will have a playmaker with above average teamwork and workrate. Then the next thing you have to look for are decent Decisions and Composure. To make better passing choices when controlling the ball and not lose his cool when pressed by the opposition (composure). Anticipation is also a good attribute for someone tasked with reading the game around him and trying to dictate the play. As mentioned above, both positioning and off the ball are good attributes to have. Particularly, in someone you want to operate in your midfield. Finally, to round of his "Total Football" profile, your player will need above average technical attributes, specifically First Touch, Passing, and Technique.

linetty.png.026bd74a0dd8d1b76f924cfa6b02393d.png

Physically the most important attribute is Stamina, followed closely by Balance. A "Total Footballer" needs his stamina to be as high as possible in order to cope with our intense pressing style. And to function at the top of his game for the whole 90 minutes. Then balance is just great in general when it comes to controlling the ball during possession. A team full of fit, technical players with great balance will be much harder to strip of possession.

Let us take Torino as a good a example of a club that has potential to be turned into a Total Football powerhouse. I took them over in the summer of 2022, their sophomore season in FM2022. As a result their squad is at interesting crossroads point. The talismanic captain, Andrea Belotti is gone.

belotti.png.8063c5db72a6766f3ee74dbc68945ed5.png

Belotti chose not to resign his contract with the Turin club and instead ply his trade on greener pastures. In real life, there has been much talk linking him with some big clubs, from Toronto FC to AC Milan. And he is currently regarded as one of the top strikers in the world. So not surprising at all. Also a number of older players left the team during the summer. And many others have been loan/transfer-listed by the previous manager, Ivan Juric, even before I took over. Clearly he was thinking of implementing some big changes to their Club DNA before getting the eventual boot. I plan to continue this mission, albeit maybe not in the same direction that he envisioned. My plan is to remake Torino into a Total Football club in the same mold as Arrigo Sacchi's AC Milan.

squad.png.f0b428d7e448d75b6334fb7558b1336b.png

There is already a core of players that seem to fit the Total Football style. Most importantly, Torino's First Team is a mix of young and experienced players. Thus the young ones still have the potential to be molded into exactly the roles that I need. While the older veterans can serve as mentors for the youngsters. As you can seen in the image above, there is a lot creativity and technique in Torino's First Team. Even the young under-23 players are for the most part very technical. And there is a decent spread in some of the key attributes that I discussed before. This may not be Man City, but we definitely have something to work with here and work towards improving. Just as I like :D

 

2) Building Your Tactic Around "Franchise Player"

Speaking of developing high-potential youngsters. That is actually the main reason I was drawn towards this Torino squad. One thing I like to do in FM is to take over a club that is starting its 2nd season. By then most European clubs already had their youth intakes (which usually happen in the Spring) and there is a decent new talent pool available. I especially like to see what kind of "newgens" the game generates. I always find them to be more interesting that the "real" wonderkids you find at the start of the game. Mainly because there is more potential for some truly special combinations of attibutes. And there is always a couple that prove to very interesting indeed. So I tend to scout around, looking for interesting newgen players until I find one that draws me. It is especially nice when you find such a kid a low-to-mid-tier club. Nothing is more satisfying than developing a homegrown star from the very start of his career and keeping him at his original club. To help lead the club to great glory of course.

In ice hockey (my Canadian bias is showing :cool:), we tend to call such special players - "Franchise Players". To those not familiar with the more North American term, Wikipedia defines it as "an athlete who is both the best player on their team and one that the team can build their "franchise" around for the foreseeable future. The term may be used alongside a particular position name to describe a player, such as a "franchise quarterback" in American football."

20161220rldPenVsRangers02-1-1568528647.jpg.9e37063c8d7157b00654815feceeed0c.jpg

Image: One of my all-time favourite "Franchise Players" - Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney "Sid The Kid" Crosby. He has played 17 seasons with the club that first drafted him!

In association football, there exists a rather exclusive list of "one-club men" - footballers who have played their entire professional career with only one club. Players like Ryan Giggs (played 900 matches over 24 seasons with the Red Devils) who demonstrated total dedication to the club that made them famous. For this kind of loyalty I feel special affinity to such players. Having a player like that presents a special kind of challenge of trying to build your tactic around him. Or since you are involved in his development from a very young age, you can always try to mold his attributes to fit your system. Torino's first youth intake product, Lorenzo Antonelli, is exactly that kind of player to get excited about.

lorenzo.png.dc6456005931642f35329a853c6f2ae6.png

This player first grabbed my attention because of his unique attribute profile. At a tender age of 15 his combination of key attributes already places him among the best playmakers in the world. And he is by far the youngest player in this exclusive group! Given his potential ability prediction he could develop into a truly exceptional playmaker. Furthermore, I love how the game sometimes gives little predictions on what famous footballer the young wonderkid could resemble once he fully develops.

demetrio.png.5febf28199ff55f555c27d53e90c1be5.png

Looking at his attributes, I could not agree more.

Demetrio Albertini, one of my favourite AC Milan players from the Sacchi era (although he only truly broke into the First Team under Sacchi's successor, Fabio Cappelo). Before Andrea Pirlo, there was Albertini. One of the best midfield orchestrators (regista in every sense of the word) and smoothest passers to have played in Serie A. He probably would have made much bigger waves in world football if not for his modest nature and sportsmanlike attitude. Always happy to support his teammates and create goals, and not to hog the limelight. He will always be one of my all-time favourites from that nostalgic time in 1990s when Seria A ruled the football world.

dh6nwhjwsaavu5e-734x1024.jpg.dcec87047dd5d0b73b1a28fd3f86ed74.jpg

Albertini was a complete midfielder, gifted with power, technique, and class. He is still regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation. At both Milan and national side, he was seen as the heir-apparent to Carlo Ancelotti (and later as the predecessor to Andrea Pirlo) as the playmaking pivot of the teams' midfield. This was due to his ability to craft goalscoring opportunities and dictate the game from midfield and set the tempo of his team's play with his distribution. Truly "creative brain" and "orchestrator" of his teams. Albertini's key strengths were his mentality (determination), vision, tactical knowledge (decisions), ability to read the game (anticipation), and ball control (first touch and balance). But above all, he possessed a brilliant passing range, which made him a key member of the Milan and the Italian national sides of the 90s and early 2000s. Demetrio was also known for his powerful and accurate shots from distance, which enabled him to contribute to his team's offensive play with breathtaking goals. Few players since were able to replicate Albertini's precise long passing and powerful long-shots.

Many journalist have likened his abilities to Ronald Koeman, one of the all-time long-shot experts. Albertini was also an accurate penalty kick and set piece taker, who could curl the ball well, but also kick with power, and was known for often striking the ball without a run-up during dead ball situations.

With Lorenzo's Freekicks, Long Shots, Finishing and Technique (16) already at 14-15 attribute level, I expect him to score more than a few long-distance goals. Despite his young age, I already envision Lorenzo Antonelli fitting into the tactic as our First Team choice for midfield playmaker (AP on attack role). Especially given his current skillset and the significant potential. I would love to see just how far this one player could take this Torino team. Of course it would still require the rest of the squad to also be improved around him. Yet having that one special generational talent, like Johan Cruyff at Ajax, to lead a team of well-rounded footballers presents me with a very interesting scenario.

So Torino and Lorenzo Antonelli it is!

 

3) Setting Up The Total Football Factory

Before concluding this little update, just wanted to give you a little glimpse into how I plan to train my wonderkid. 

My next step, before I press that continue button and start this season with Torino, is to make sure that the training environment is ideal for our Total Football factory. That means having as good of a coaching team as possible. And if like me you have any talented youngsters below 18 years of age then it's doubly important to make sure that your best coaches have a good "Working with Youngsters" attribute. As the in-game description says, having one a coach who is very good at nurturing young talent can be priceless. Someone like this would be ideal to coach Lorenzo:

coach.png.852525215d34d7ea31d7adf624c55cfc.png

 

Next thing I do is set up my unique Total Football training schedule. It is an update of an earlier one that I developed in FM21. Generally it is geared towards improving the three important areas, "technical", "mental" and "physical", and as a result creating well-rounded players. Yet it gives special focus to attributes in passing, ball retention, building up patiently from the back, endurance and intelligent movement in finding pockets of space and chance creation. There are basically two schedules with varying intensity, for weeks with one match or two matches. 

Match1.png.60e422cba74de39f71cad0ae4fece480.png

 

But even the two match schedule is quite intense. As it tries to hit as many of the essential routines from the one match version. 

Match2.png.af11638b3150225b0a0619207e6f1342.png

 

Back in FM21, as well as my earlier saves in FM22, I saw great results with the combination of these routines. More importantly, this training seems to be very effective in training young players, under 23. I think it is probably due to the intense nature of the training. I tend to run it for the duration of the whole season. I only leave preseason on default assistant coach settings. 

Edited by crusadertsar
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  • crusadertsar changed the title to Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED Jan 6, 2022
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, rich ruzzian said:

In what kind of range would you say is it oke to use foor the attributes? Start with 10 as lowenst number or higher when scouting/searching for players in your total football squad? 

It all depends on your league or division in pyramid. Since I'm writing about Torino in Series A, the highest competition level in Italy, I would say lowest for the attributes I look for would be 13-14. But this also depends if we are talking about older player or a young one who can still develop his attributes. So obviously would be more lenient with young players. In a lower rep league like Russian or Portuguese maybe, I would go with lower standard, maybe minimum 12 for the key attributes. Hope this helps :)

Edited by crusadertsar
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If you really like developing youth, you should try an FC Nordsjaelland save. Only one player on the entire first team is older than 23! Lots of highly-skilled youngsters that I think should fit your style of play. Very good facilities and youth, and you can improve that very quickly too because you start with 24 million in the bank!

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15 minutes ago, StatboySpurs said:

If you really like developing youth, you should try an FC Nordsjaelland save. Only one player on the entire first team is older than 23! Lots of highly-skilled youngsters that I think should fit your style of play. Very good facilities and youth, and you can improve that very quickly too because you start with 24 million in the bank!

Wow that's amazing! That's a big transfer kitty for a club that's not from the top 5 European leagues. I'll definitely consider it for when I have less active saves on my hands.

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13 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Creating a Total Footballer - Setting The Foundation For Success

1) Identifying Total Football DNA Potential - Does Your Club Have It? 

The profile of the player that you will want for your Total Football tactic isn't some kind of elusive animal. In fact, when assessing most mid-tier teams in top 5 European leagues, there should be plenty of footballers that fit. And most of them are not world-class players or even popular wonderkids on every FM player's transfer list. There are a lot of hidden gems that you can find, as @Deego619 showed us in the post above.

For the most part you will need players who are hardworking and good teamplayers. At least to begin with. To round them off they will need a few other good mental attributes. Such as positioning (especially if they are to be part of my defensive unit) or off-the-ball (if they are one of your attackers). Afterall, you don't expect your striker to have positioning that is in the double digits. Or your DLP to have exceptional off the ball. Except, if he does have great off the ball then that is always a great bonus.

marcos.png.f1aeefaa39efbf878833ea507e916f6f.png

You might be lucky enough to possess a player like Shakhtar Donetsk's Marcos Ant√īnio, whose attributes and traits allow him to function as both a deep playmaker and a more forward-thinking regista if the situation presents itself. But what if you team is not gifted with stars like Marcos?

Well, most mid-tier teams will have a playmaker with above average teamwork and workrate. Then the next thing you have to look for are decent Decisions and Composure. To make better passing choices when controlling the ball and not lose his cool when pressed by the opposition (composure). Anticipation is also a good attribute for someone tasked with reading the game around him and trying to dictate the play. As mentioned above, both positioning and off the ball are good attributes to have. Particularly, in someone you want to operate in your midfield. Finally, to round of his "Total Football" profile, your player will need above average technical attributes, specifically First Touch, Passing, and Technique.

linetty.png.026bd74a0dd8d1b76f924cfa6b02393d.png

Physically the most important attribute is Stamina, followed closely by Balance. A "Total Footballer" needs his stamina to be as high as possible in order to cope with our intense pressing style. And to function at the top of his game for the whole 90 minutes. Then balance is just great in general when it comes to controlling the ball during possession. A team full of fit, technical players with great balance will be much harder to strip of possession.

Let us take Torino as a good a example of a club that has potential to be turned into a Total Football powerhouse. I took them over in the summer of 2022, their sophomore season in FM2022. As a result their squad is at interesting crossroads point. The talismanic captain, Andrea Belotti is gone.

belotti.png.8063c5db72a6766f3ee74dbc68945ed5.png

Belotti chose not to resign his contract with the Turin club and instead ply his trade on greener pastures. In real life, there has been much talk linking him with some big clubs, from Toronto FC to AC Milan. And he is currently regarded as one of the top strikers in the world. So not surprising at all. Also a number of older players left the team during the summer. And many others have been loan/transfer-listed by the previous manager, Ivan Juric, even before I took over. Clearly he was thinking of implementing some big changes to their Club DNA before getting the eventual boot. I plan to continue this mission, albeit maybe not in the same direction that he envisioned. My plan is to remake Torino into a Total Football club in the same mold as Arrigo Sacchi's AC Milan.

squad.png.f0b428d7e448d75b6334fb7558b1336b.png

There is already a core of players that seem to fit the Total Football style. Most importantly, Torino's First Team is a mix of young and experienced players. Thus the young ones still have the potential to be molded into exactly the roles that I need. While the older veterans can serve as mentors for the youngsters. As you can seen in the image above, there is a lot creativity and technique in Torino's First Team. Even the young under-23 players are for the most part very technical. And there is a decent spread in some of the key attributes that I discussed before. This may not be Man City, but we definitely have something to work with here and work towards improving. Just as I like :D

 

2) Building Your Tactic Around "Franchise Player"

Speaking of developing high-potential youngsters. That is actually the main reason I was drawn towards this Torino squad. One thing I like to do in FM is to take over a club that is starting its 2nd season. By then most European clubs already had their youth intakes (which usually happen in the Spring) and there is a decent new talent pool available. I especially like to see what kind of "newgens" the game generates. I always find them to be more interesting that the "real" wonderkids you find at the start of the game. Mainly because there is more potential for some truly special combinations of attibutes. And there is always a couple that prove to very interesting indeed. So I tend to scout around, looking for interesting newgen players until I find one that draws me. It is especially nice when you find such a kid a low-to-mid-tier club. Nothing is more satisfying than developing a homegrown star from the very start of his career and keeping him at his original club. To help lead the club to great glory of course.

In ice hockey (my Canadian bias is showing :cool:), we tend to call such special players - "Franchise Players". To those not familiar with the more North American term, Wikipedia defines it as "an athlete who is both the best player on their team and one that the team can build their "franchise" around for the foreseeable future. The term may be used alongside a particular position name to describe a player, such as a "franchise quarterback" in American football."

20161220rldPenVsRangers02-1-1568528647.jpg.9e37063c8d7157b00654815feceeed0c.jpg

Image: One of my all-time favourite "Franchise Players" - Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney "Sid The Kid" Crosby. He has played 17 seasons with the club that first drafted him!

In association football, there exists a rather exclusive list of "one-club men" - footballers who have played their entire professional career with only one club. Players like Ryan Giggs (played 900 matches over 24 seasons with the Red Devils) who demonstrated total dedication to the club that made them famous. For this kind of loyalty I feel special affinity to such players. Having a player like that presents a special kind of challenge of trying to build your tactic around him. Or since you are involved in his development from a very young age, you can always try to mold his attributes to fit your system. Torino's first youth intake product, Lorenzo Antonelli, is exactly that kind of player to get excited about.

lorenzo.png.dc6456005931642f35329a853c6f2ae6.png

This player first grabbed my attention because of his unique attribute profile. At a tender age of 15 his combination of key attributes already places him among the best playmakers in the world. And he is by far the youngest player in this exclusive group! Given his potential ability prediction he could develop into a truly exceptional playmaker. Furthermore, I love how the game sometimes gives little predictions on what famous footballer the young wonderkid could resemble once he fully develops.

demetrio.png.5febf28199ff55f555c27d53e90c1be5.png

Looking at his attributes, I could not agree more.

Demetrio Albertini, one of my favourite AC Milan players from the Sacchi era (although he only truly broke into the First Team under Sacchi's successor, Fabio Cappelo). Before Andrea Pirlo, there was Albertini. One of the best midfield orchestrators (regista in every sense of the word) and smoothest passers to have played in Serie A. He probably would have made much bigger waves in world football if not for his modest nature and sportsmanlike attitude. Always happy to support his teammates and create goals, and not to hog the limelight. He will always be one of my all-time favourites from that nostalgic time in 1990s when Seria A ruled the football world.

dh6nwhjwsaavu5e-734x1024.jpg.dcec87047dd5d0b73b1a28fd3f86ed74.jpg

Albertini was a complete midfielder, gifted with power, technique, and class. He is still regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation. At both Milan and national side, he was seen as the heir-apparent to Carlo Ancelotti (and later as the predecessor to Andrea Pirlo) as the playmaking pivot of the teams' midfield. This was due to his ability to craft goalscoring opportunities and dictate the game from midfield and set the tempo of his team's play with his distribution. Truly "creative brain" and "orchestrator" of his teams. Albertini's key strengths were his mentality (determination), vision, tactical knowledge (decisions), ability to read the game (anticipation), and ball control (first touch and balance). But above all, he possessed a brilliant passing range, which made him a key member of the Milan and the Italian national sides of the 90s and early 2000s. Demetrio was also known for his powerful and accurate shots from distance, which enabled him to contribute to his team's offensive play with breathtaking goals. Few players since were able to replicate Albertini's precise long passing and powerful long-shots.

Many journalist have likened his abilities to Ronald Koeman, one of the all-time long-shot experts. Albertini was also an accurate penalty kick and set piece taker, who could curl the ball well, but also kick with power, and was known for often striking the ball without a run-up during dead ball situations.

With Lorenzo's Freekicks, Long Shots, Finishing and Technique (16) already at 14-15 attribute level, I expect him to score more than a few long-distance goals. Despite his young age, I already envision Lorenzo Antonelli fitting into the tactic as our First Team choice for midfield playmaker (AP on attack role). Especially given his current skillset and the significant potential. I would love to see just how far this one player could take this Torino team. Of course it would still require the rest of the squad to also be improved around him. Yet having that one special generational talent, like Johan Cruyff at Ajax, to lead a team of well-rounded footballers presents me with a very interesting scenario.

So Torino and Lorenzo Antonelli it is!

 

3) Setting Up The Total Football Factory

Before concluding this little update, just wanted to give you a little glimpse into how I plan to train my wonderkid. 

My next step, before I press that continue button and start this season with Torino, is to make sure that the training environment is ideal for our Total Football factory. That means having as good of a coaching team as possible. And if like me you have any talented youngsters below 18 years of age then it's doubly important to make sure that your best coaches have a good "Working with Youngsters" attribute. As the in-game description says, having one a coach who is very good at nurturing young talent can be priceless. Someone like this would be ideal to coach Lorenzo:

coach.png.852525215d34d7ea31d7adf624c55cfc.png

 

Next thing I do is set up my unique Total Football training schedule. It is an update of an earlier one that I developed in FM21. Generally it is geared towards improving the three important areas, "technical", "mental" and "physical", and as a result creating well-rounded players. Yet it gives special focus to attributes in passing, ball retention, building up patiently from the back, endurance and intelligent movement in finding pockets of space and chance creation. There are basically two schedules with varying intensity, for weeks with one match or two matches. 

Match1.png.60e422cba74de39f71cad0ae4fece480.png

 

But even the two match schedule is quite intense. As it tries to hit as many of the essential routines from the one match version. 

Match2.png.af11638b3150225b0a0619207e6f1342.png

 

Back in FM21, as well as my earlier saves in FM22, I saw great results with the combination of these routines. More importantly, this training seems to be very effective in training young players, under 23. I think it is probably due to the intense nature of the training. I tend to run it for the duration of the whole season. I only leave preseason on default assistant coach settings. 

Love the ''creating part''. 

When training for positions on FM for the right attributes, I only train my players in the following player roles:

  • Sweeper Keeper
  • Ball Playing Defender
  • Complete Wingback
  • Deep Lying Playmaker
  • Roaming Playmaker
  • Complete Forward

These roles cover most attributes in training that defines the total package for me, regarding to Total Football.  

P.S. I love you're giving Happel the recognition that he deserves. Even though Michels and Cruijff promoted Total Football more, it was Cruijffs vison as a player and coach that evolved total football far ahead of it's time. And it's the reason we can watch Pep working magic at Barca, Bayern and now City. 

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Loved the last article you wrote. I have had such fun this year trying to sign complete players for my Barnsley side. We started in the championship and are slowly building our way up to be a top club in England. It has opened my eyes to good players I have never heard of before! And I finally was able to sign one of my personal favorites and a player I'm sure you will appreciate, Ismael Bennacer. 

139514693_ScreenShot2022-01-06at3_55_08PM.thumb.png.d61677a909b5360e3bbfd130b97e260f.png

Best part is it only cost us 36m to sign him. 

I wanted to give my two cents in regards to attributes. In my experience, it seems FM puts a reliance on physical attributes when determining how well a player will play. When looking for complete players, I always look for players who have high acceleration. You can find some very useful cheap players with great physicals who will get the job done for you in the transition years. 

Antonelli also looks like a great prospect! My dream is to have my academy start pumping out players like him, theres nothing better than winning with your own. Enjoying your recent posts, keep it up!

P.S. it hurt coming to FM boards to see a picture of Crosby crossing over Staal. I never thought I would have to be reminded of those terrible years when the Penguins were so dominant when coming here. So, thank you for inducing PTSD I didn't even know I had! 

Edited by Pattric_b
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7 hours ago, Pattric_b said:

Loved the last article you wrote. I have had such fun this year trying to sign complete players for my Barnsley side. We started in the championship and are slowly building our way up to be a top club in England. It has opened my eyes to good players I have never heard of before! And I finally was able to sign one of my personal favorites and a player I'm sure you will appreciate, Ismael Bennacer. 

139514693_ScreenShot2022-01-06at3_55_08PM.thumb.png.d61677a909b5360e3bbfd130b97e260f.png

Best part is it only cost us 36m to sign him. 

I wanted to give my two cents in regards to attributes. In my experience, it seems FM puts a reliance on physical attributes when determining how well a player will play. When looking for complete players, I always look for players who have high acceleration. You can find some very useful cheap players with great physicals who will get the job done for you in the transition years. 

Antonelli also looks like a great prospect! My dream is to have my academy start pumping out players like him, theres nothing better than winning with your own. Enjoying your recent posts, keep it up!

P.S. it hurt coming to FM boards to see a picture of Crosby crossing over Staal. I never thought I would have to be reminded of those terrible years when the Penguins were so dominant when coming here. So, thank you for inducing PTSD I didn't even know I had! 

What a player! Honestly, I had my eye on him in some of my previous saves. Looks he could be a perfect DLP in my system. Or even AP (A), except for that "comes deep to get the ball" trait. Great bargain fro 36 million!

Yeah poor Marc Staal :lol: he didn't stand a chance against Sid there. But I think him and Penguins caused some PTSD for me too. Their dominance didn't exactly make life easy for my hometown favourites, the Habs, during that 2010s era. Although we did get that one playoff series win! 

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1 hour ago, Sarriball14 said:

Are you using a split press with the tactic? Front 5 closing down more?

Not for this one. What I'm doing is counterpress and close down much more. And then specifically telling my DM, and centrebacks to close down less. 

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

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