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Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED Jan 12, 2022


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On 07/01/2022 at 17:39, gokalpcakir1 said:

Are there any other PIs you use?

I will have to do a more detailed write up on this tactic soon. It's actually going really well in this second second season with Torino. But I don't have too much time to explain it now. If you wish to try it out and check the PIs here is the tactic download.

Total 4-3-3.fmf

Edited by crusadertsar
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On 24/12/2021 at 07:06, 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 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

One of the most fluid “Very Attacking” 4-4-2s ever. Just watched the Euro 88 Final: Netherlands v USSR ( another equally Attacking 4-4-2 outfit under Lobanovskyi) 

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I've been using this tactic, with some small changes and I'm quite happy with it. Wingers are a bit inconsistent though, they never have an average game. It's either 6.3/6.4 or 7.5+.

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35 minutes ago, duvels said:

I've been using this tactic, with some small changes and I'm quite happy with it. Wingers are a bit inconsistent though, they never have an average game. It's either 6.3/6.4 or 7.5+.

Yeah, there has been a whole big issue with inside forwards and inverted wingers not behaving as they should in FM22. So possibly their performance is affected.

It seems like it still has not been completely fixed. But then in this tactic they are more supporting players. With the real star bring the central striker. Sort of like Pep's Barca. Although I would love to have a player like Villa for my left IF. 

Edited by crusadertsar
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Role Focus: #6 Midfield Pivot - Most Important Role in The Tactic 

So where to start my more detailed analysis of this Total Football-inspired 4-3-3? Where else but with a role which I believe is the most important in the whole formation. The midfield pivot, #6 position. A player around whom the whole formation rotates.

el-espanol-hablo-de-manera.jpg.61b748801816c15ead596eacc292b088.jpg

Basically your link player in the centre of the pitch. Pep Guardiola played this key role in Johan Cruyff's 3-4-3. Then as a manager himself, Pep employed two players who went on to define this role (especially in a patient possession system): Sergio Busquets and Fernandinho. Due to the attacking nature of the wingbacks and the two "free 8s", the defensive solidity of the tactic depends on having a good player here. Maybe even one of your best players. Arguably, a very demanding role. If you can only get one "Total Footballer" for your tactic then this is the place where one is needed. More so than in any other position in the formation.

Your midfield pivot need not be your best playmaker. But he always needs to be available for a short pass from the defenders. Or a backward pass from your central midfielders for the times when you're being pressed and you need to recycle the ball. Therefore, he always has to remain cool under pressure, even in the face of the hardest opposition pressure. He might not be a physical beast like your typical centreback or midfield destroyer, but nevertheless will require above average Composure, Concentration and Balance. That is because he possesses clear defensive responsibilities to shield your defensive line and stop counter-attacks.

dlp.png.0be51d004a39267033dbd7acc15860ed.png

So clearly your pivot will also need decent Tackling, Marking and Positioning. Then finally the all-important "Total Football" attributes of Teamwork, Workrate and Determination are like the glue that connects all of the pivot's strengths into one well-rounded package.

So what role is the best for this essential position in the 4-3-3 formation? The answer to that is harder than it might seem. Although a half-back role might fit Busquets, it's not always the best role for every situation your 4-3-3 will face. Ideally, I would like a role that changes its behavior dynamically depending on the situation. A bit like how Pep Guardiola had his #6 playing at both Barcelona and Man City. But we all know that it is not really possible within the limits of the FM game engine. Maybe one day. For now we have to do with what we have.

I definitely know what I DON'T want from my #6 pivot role. I don't want him to roam around too much and take needless risks. So regista (or even DLP on support) is pretty much out of the question. I don't want him pushing too far forward and joining the other midfielders. When the possession is lost he'll be caught upfield with not enough time to get back into his defensive position. I also don't want him to be too aggressive in hunting the ball like your typical ball-winning midfielder. Especially given the aggressive nature of our pressing. So that is why I always add "close down less" player instruction on whichever role I use for the pivot.

At the same time you don't want a role that sits back too much and is not proactive or creative enough. Although you could still use an "Anchor" or "DM(D) role as your #6. But I would include some individual instructions to make them play more creatively and take more risks.

So to combine all of these requirements into a single role is no simple task. Also you will have to take into account the hard-coded behavior that some roles might have. Such as the Half-Back dropping deep between your centrebacks ("splitting the centrebacks") during possession phase when your wingbacks go forward.

Then there is also the factor of the unique traits that some players might possess. These can drastically change the behavior of the player, no matter what their set role or PIs are.

traits.png.302da71bb583de746b62348ce548f97c.png

For example, the traits of this player essentially make him act like a playmaker even if he is not specifically played in DLP role.

So due to the above reasons I settled on the role for the DM pivot that is as simple and generic as possible. After initial testing I decided to move away from the ball-magnet that was DLP. Also I concluded that roles that only came with Defend duty (like Anchor or Half-Back) might be a bit too conservative for my system. A needed someone that intrinsically operated at a higher mentality (at least Balanced) in order to make those riskier decisions in moving the ball forward. The generic DM on Support offers pretty much everything I needed. But most importantly, being a generic role, it allows quite a bit of instructional customization.

tac2.png.4cbe952820c6398cfb7dffb74459942e.png

Edited by crusadertsar
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3 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Role Focus: #6 Midfield Pivot - Most Important Role in The Tactic 

So where to start my more detailed analysis of this Total Football-inspired 4-3-3? Where else but with a role which I believe is the most important in the whole formation. The midfield pivot, #6 position. A player around whom the whole formation rotates.

el-espanol-hablo-de-manera.jpg.61b748801816c15ead596eacc292b088.jpg

Basically your link player in the centre of the pitch. Pep Guardiola played this key role in Johan Cruyff's 3-4-3. Then as a manager himself, Pep employed two players who went on to define this role (especially in a patient possession system): Sergio Busquets and Fernandinho. Due to the attacking nature of the wingbacks and the two "free 8s", the defensive solidity of the tactic depends on having a good player here. Maybe even one of your best players. Arguably, a very demanding role. If you can only get one "Total Footballer" for your tactic then this is the place where one is needed. More so than in any other position in the formation.

Your midfield pivot need not be your best playmaker. But he always needs to be available for a short pass from the defenders. Or a backward pass from your central midfielders for the times when you're being pressed and you need to recycle the ball. Therefore, he always has to remain cool under pressure, even in the face of the hardest opposition pressure. He might not be a physical beast like your typical centreback or midfield destroyer, but nevertheless will require above average Composure, Concentration and Balance. That is because he possesses clear defensive responsibilities to shield your defensive line and stop counter-attacks.

dlp.png.0be51d004a39267033dbd7acc15860ed.png

So clearly your pivot will also need decent Tackling, Marking and Positioning. Then finally the all-important "Total Football" attributes of Teamwork, Workrate and Determination are like the glue that connects all of the pivot's strengths into one well-rounded package.

So what role is the best for this essential position in the 4-3-3 formation? The answer to that is harder than it might seem. Although a half-back role might fit Busquets, it's not always the best role for every situation your 4-3-3 will face. Ideally, I would like a role that changes its behavior dynamically depending on the situation. A bit like how Pep Guardiola had his #6 playing at both Barcelona and Man City. But we all know that it is not really possible within the limits of the FM game engine. Maybe one day. For now we have to do with what we have.

I definitely know what I DON'T want from my #6 pivot role. I don't want him to roam around too much and take needless risks. So regista (or even DLP on support) is pretty much out of the question. I don't want him pushing too far forward and joining the other midfielders. When the possession is lost he'll be caught upfield with not enough time to get back into his defensive position. I also don't want him to be too aggressive in hunting the ball like your typical ball-winning midfielder. Especially given the aggressive nature of our pressing. So that is why I always add "close down less" player instruction on whichever role I use for the pivot.

At the same time you don't want a role that sits back too much and is not proactive or creative enough. Although you could still use an "Anchor" or "DM(D) role as your #6. But I would include some individual instructions to make them play more creatively and take more risks.

So to combine all of these requirements into a single role is no simple task. Also you will have to take into account the hard-coded behavior that some roles might have. Such as the Half-Back dropping deep between your centrebacks ("splitting the centrebacks") during possession phase when your wingbacks go forward.

Then there is also the factor of the unique traits that some players might possess. These can drastically change the behavior of the player, no matter what their set role or PIs are.

traits.png.302da71bb583de746b62348ce548f97c.png

So due to the above reasons I settled on the role for the DM pivot that is as simple and generic as possible. After initial testing I decided to move away from the ball-magnet that was DLP. Also I concluded that roles that only came with Defend duty (like Anchor or Half-Back) might be a bit too conservative for my system. A needed someone that intrinsically operated at a higher mentality (at least Balanced) in order to make those riskier decisions in moving the ball forward. The generic DM on Support offers pretty much everything I needed. But most importantly, being a generic role, it allows quite a bit of instructional customization.

tac2.png.4cbe952820c6398cfb7dffb74459942e.png

I love how you are choosing a DM-SU - in combination with instructions and PPM - to create the #6. That's a different approach and hopefully it will achieve the same results! 

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  • crusadertsar changed the title to Everything TOTAL Football (From Cruyff's 343 to Guardiola's Overloads) - UPDATED Jan 12, 2022

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