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Frustrated but not giving up.


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Ok, so lets star at the beginning.

 I came up with the idea of a tactic that it would actually attack the space behind the defense or/and strike from behind in a kinda, lets say, ‘’stealthy’’, sneaky way.

First of all, I figured that this can work in a tactic that is based on a counter-attack basis, inviting the opponent to my area and then, if possible, breakthrough fast and efficient.

I chose a team that will inevitably suffer heavy pressure throughout a season, and that was Union Berlin, a newly promoted (for the first time in their proud history) in Bundesliga.

The formation I came up, originally is this:

UOdENs4.jpg

 

Now, I know this seems like kinda awkward but hear me out first.

A back four which with the WBs giving some width and attacking options.

An Anchorman sitting in front of the defense mopping things up, protecting them, becoming a third DC in times of need and playing simple-secure passes to his teammates.

Two BBMs  that could provide defensive cover but also, maybe, just maybe, come from behind, arrive late in the opponents area and provide some scoring.

(actually here is a goal that demonstrates exactly what i mean-Gonzales one of the BBMs, combines with my left-side RMD and continues his run forward

and voilà!)

https://imgur.com/12xBwQ1

 

 

A DF/F9 that would serve as a decoy basically, opening space, dragging opposition’s DCs out of their positions if possible and try to lead the counter attack with his runs.

Two RMDs in each side. The idea behind this, I admit, awkward choice, is to have two ‘’space-hunters’’ to exploit the space in the opposing half, created by soaking the opposition in, drifting them away from positions (with the DF/F9) and hitting them in the open field.

 

The tactical settings are shown here:

cXwfBbc.jpg

 

7qny6zO.jpg

 

47M6G8E.jpg

 

 

Now, before I go on, I would like to know if the above make any tactical sense, both as an idea and as a way of implementing it.

 

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I dont think that the offside trap and stay on feet are that big a deal. I was playing with no offside trap in friendly games and i tried the first three league games  with playing the offside trap and there was not a significant difference one way or another. 

I was under the impression that ''stay on feet'' is like a staple when you are using counter-attaking tactics but i might be wrong. Either way i dont think that it plays a major part. 

My problem is this: I cant distinguish if the tactic is wrong or the lack of quality in my team (sorry Union Berlin fans) hinders the whole thing. Because i see some things during the games, such as the goal i posted but i also see some stupid passing, moves and decisions that destroy any good play i m trying to produce. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Hunter T said:

I cant distinguish if the tactic is wrong or the lack of quality in my team (sorry Union Berlin fans) hinders the whole thing.

Perhaps the easiest answer to that is, how are you performing?  If you are (significantly?) overachieving your tactic is fantastic.  If you are bottom of the league by a (significant?) margin then probably your tactic sucks.  If you are there or there abouts in amongst the relegation candidates then the system is probably ok.

Notice I said "system" at the end there rather than "tactic".  Your players are only good enough for around the bottom of the league, thus if you over or under perform it's probably more to do with your tactic.  But your players are also part of an overall system (tactic + players + morale etc), so if your performance is around the expected level then your overall system (including your tactic) is good enough and results should improve as you bring in better players.  The question is - is "good enough" good enough for you?

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i understand what you re saying. I m five games in the season, one for the cup (won that one), four for the league (3 defeats, one draw vs  RBL, BVB, Augsburg,Werder) 15th in the league, scored in every game except against BVB. So, results-wise the team is where i guess it should be. 

The thing i really want to know is that, forgeting for a moment the quality of my players, if this tactic makes sense. The whole concept of ''attaking the space'' i tried to explain in the first post.  And to answer your question, good enough for me, is to see this tactic working as i imagined it despite the quality of the players, ie i would not mind losing a game if lets say my RMDs have like 3-4 breakthroughs . (dont know if this makes any sense). I ll try posting some examples.

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4 hours ago, Johnny Ace said:

It looks nuts to me to be honest, an offside trap with the D-line on the edge of your own box?

I think @Rashidi often comments on the Offside Trap as something he uses to quickly compress the space between defence and midfield once his team wins the ball back. If you're defending with a low block and struggling to get out of your half it could be useful to have your defence quickly step up, forcing the opposition striker to drop lower or get caught offside.

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10 minutes ago, Zemahh said:

I think @Rashidi often comments on the Offside Trap as something he uses to quickly compress the space between defence and midfield once his team wins the ball back. If you're defending with a low block and struggling to get out of your half it could be useful to have your defence quickly step up, forcing the opposition striker to drop lower or get caught offside.

Potentially lower end of the league team, playing an offside trap on the edge of their box is risky in my book, but that's me, we're sofa manager's here :D 

@Hunter T Union Berlin have won 3 out of 25 so far in my save, that seems a reasonable measuring stick

Are you using 2 BBMs or 2 BWMs? They're BWMs in your picture & what mentality are you using?

 

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7 hours ago, Hunter T said:

Two BBMs  that could provide defensive cover but also, maybe, just maybe, come from behind, arrive late in the opponents area and provide some scoring.

Your tactic has two BWM in the screenshot you post. There is an error somewhere (I suspect in the screenshot?). 

I mean in principle the idea here appears to be soak up pressure and hit teams on the break hard when they give the ball away attacking you. Using either the PF to hold the ball up or the two RMD to run onto long clearances to the flanks. With the BBMs getting forward quickly to support. I would expect you want to score most goals within 4 to 5 passes by being super direct. You use regroup to get all these advanced players back into position quickly after you lose the ball. You defend extremely compactly so will deny space. I mean in principle I see nothing obviously stupid here. 

I would not use an offside trap with a line this low, but you mention it is something Rashidi has talked about (I did not see it). So if you have a reason, fair enough. 

I do not really see what your plan B attacking option is. If you fail at the counters, what do you want to do? It is very one dimensional in that it is designed to score from a counter and only from a counter. You will have to adapt this as you get better, 

The only thing I do not understand and would definitely change is how you are distributing from defence after getting the ball. This tactic is definitely not designed to play slowly from the back. You need to hit them and hit them hard on the counter. You really do not want to be playing out of defence really. Add this to playing the ball to fullbacks and you are asking to be rushed into a bad pass from defence by any kind of press. I would certainly stop playing out of defence. You can use distribute to fullbacks to create pressing traps if used alone, so you could keep it if you wanted. This goes back to the lack of plan B though. I do not see how you want to play when not counter attacking. 

In terms of players. You want pace. Lots of it up front. In particular the RMDs should be as quick as you can get, with good anticipation and good off the ball. Dribbling and flair (especially flair) is also useful. Flair is the ability to do something unexpected, and is killer for players like this. You striker should either be fast or strong (preferably both). Off the ball is a must if you want him to drag defenders around. If you counter right, you should get a few 3v2 counters, so good pace and off the ball will hurt sides. 

The midfielders need to be excellent all rounders, and this is where you may struggle. The need to be defensively strong, and with good acceleration and pace. This is going to be harder to find as a lower side. They need to be able to defend well enough to force the AI to either play the ball wide and cross, or take a long shot through the packed area. 

I think this system could work, but it is very limited. I would use it for away games against much better sides, or against sides like Bayern. I would have a more progressive way to play against other sides at home. The major issue is that if you concede a goal, you are probably screwed. As soon as a side does not have to commit to attack you, you may struggle to score. 

Oh and the goal you shared, what a beauty. Love me a good counter goal!

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@sporadicsmiles thanks for the reply. You are right guys, the screenshot is a mistake, there are 2 BBMs. You are correct to point out that is pretty one dimensional with no plan b, but you know, baby steps.:) 

Anyway, i m glad to see that the tactic makes sense to someone else as well,:D

We ve got relative speed up front (13-15 pace/acceleration between 3-4 players) but we are very low as a team in passing. And i am starting to think that this is a major problem. 

for example, Mees (RMD) takes the ball from the clearance from Bender and both Kroos (BBM) and Abdulahi(DF) make the run forward. The pass is there to either of them (maybe Abdulahi is offside) but there is the Kroos option.

CL7vGTc.jpg

 

But alas, Mees dwells on the ball forcing both Kroos and Abdulahi to track back

7vgKPjD.jpg

 

Mees gives the ball finaly,  to Kroos but the momentum is lost. Kroos, lost possesion eventually. 

And not only that, but the WBL that made the run overlapping, Mees is now out of position.

d9PMKBM.jpg

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General idea is sound, question some of the specifics though...

  • An offside trap while playing an extremely low line with no ball pressure sounds like a bad idea. 
  • Not a fan of "stay on your feet" as a tactic-based instruction. Dive in can make sense in certain circumstances (e.g, breaking up play, desperately trying to get the ball back late), but generally, I think it's best to leave these alone and let player role and traits determine the challenges your players are making. 
  • I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with two RMDs, could actually see it working quite well in the right side, but seems to contradict what you're trying to accomplish. You're wanting to absorb pressure, then counter, but you're committing to defending shorthanded, leaving you susceptible to overloads on the wings, and your anchorman is, well, anchored in the middle.  
  • There's a pretty noticeable lack of playmakers. Your RMDs are trying to find the space to exploit, but who's trying to find them with the key pass? This might cause some of your counters to breakdown, but more importantly, as @sporadicsmiles points out, leaves you seemingly without a plan B to score. How do you score if/when you're at home and/or the other team is ahead and choosing to play more conservatively? If you're in a fight for survival, one or two timely goals can easily be the difference. 
  • You're set to play out of the back (not sure this makes sense if you're wanting to absorb pressure and counter), but neither of your CBs are "ball-playing." That just seems like a recipe for disaster. 
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7 hours ago, Hunter T said:

The thing i really want to know is that, forgeting for a moment the quality of my players, if this tactic makes sense

For me personally, it does not. But if you are satisfied with the results you are getting and/or what you see watching the matches, then everything else is irrelevant :thup:

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12 hours ago, XuluBak said:

 

  • I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with two RMDs, could actually see it working quite well in the right side, but seems to contradict what you're trying to accomplish. You're wanting to absorb pressure, then counter, but you're committing to defending shorthanded, leaving you susceptible to overloads on the wings, and your anchorman is, well, anchored in the middle.   

Totally, I see roles like the Raumdeuter (Enganche & Trequarstista) as luxury roles, an exceptional player who you can leave up front & afford to not have track back & press. Two of them, on the wings in a underdog tactic with a bottom 3 team isn't something I'd entertain, I'd want at least one if not both helping out in overturning possession.

If his team's under pressure, the opposition will probably just leave the centre backs back, send the full back's forward & overload him on the flanks

Keep us updated @Hunter T        

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On 06/11/2019 at 13:19, Hunter T said:

UOdENs4.jpg

 

1 hour ago, Hunter T said:

@Experienced Defender would you care to explain why? Just for me to get another point of view. 

I am pretty busy these days (unrelated to FM), so I don't have the time for long and detailed comments at the moment, but I'll make an exception for you here :thup:

First, I am always strongly opposed to one-dimensional setups of roles and duties. Not only that your flanks are mirroring each other, but even your CMs are both played in the same role and duty. In short, there is absolutely no variety in your attacks.

Second, you obviously want to play very defensive football. Which is logical given your team's (lack of) reputation and quality (relative to the league), but the problem is that your tactic is not defensive in a well-balanced manner. Rather, you created a defensive overkill in terms of instructions and mentality. The mentality cannot be seen in any of the screenshot you posted, but given that your attacking width and time wasting are labelled as "Fairly narrow" and "Sometimes" respectively under the default settings, it's obvious that you play either on Cautious or Defensive (if not even Very defensive). There is nothing wrong in that in and of itself. But then you also use instructions such as Lower D-line, less urgent pressing and stay on feet, which means that you are literally inviting the opposition to camp in and around your box all the time until they eventually break you down. And this is further compounded by using RMDs - and on both flanks at that - who by definition are not obliged to help the fullbacks in defense. The result - you are constantly under heavy pressure while at the same time actually lacking defensive solidity despite playing on such a low-risk mentality and with extremely passive defensive instructions. Remember - the mentality affects everything. So when you play on a low mentality, your players will be already more passive when defending by default. Therefore, when you tell them to press even less, start pressing even later (deeper into your half) and tackle even easier - it actually makes you defensively more vulnerable, rather than more solid. 

I hope you understand what I mean.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, this is the update. First of all I would to thank everyone for their advice and thoughts on this.  I ve made some changes based on that discussion which I think gave a better result on terms of how I want the team to play.

 

1st game vs Bayern Leverkusen. They played with a 4-1-2-3 and we tried to couter that with a 4-3-3 with 3 players in front of our defense, Kroos playing as a SV(att), Gonzalez as a Anchorman and N’Dinga as a BWM(sup).

8tdy7sb.jpg

We did stop them, 0-0 and they ve only had 2 half chances, but we rarely ever saw the ball. That was not a counter attack based performance (although the intention was there) but a ‘’park whatever bus you have available’’ performance. Funny thing is, we came close in the 85th minute to shamelessly steal the three points but Abdullahi missed it, saving some Leverkusen fans a trip to the hospital with minor cardiac problems.

https://imgur.com/OpmTpvl

 

The next two games (vs Wolfsburg and Frankfurt) were treated like one tactically, because both of these teams used a 3-5-2 with wingbacks.

I used a 4-3-3 with a low blocking 2 BWMs (sup) in the dmc strata and an AP (att). in front of them. By using my WBs (att) and IFs (sup), i tried to suppress the space the opposing WBs would have to operate (they were the main source of creativity both for Wolfsburg and Frankfurt).

By using two BWMs on either side of the AP, I tried to offer an extra cover on the flanks, without losing the center of the pitch since BWMs generally attack the ball, so I figured that they will always follow any switch of play from the center to the flanks and vice versa.

The AP(att) was really there to create an alternative source of danger for the opposition , create a 3 vs 3 in the center of the pitch and provide a kinda of secondary threat.

The IFs (sup) replaced the RMDs in order to have someone to check the forward runs of the opposing WBs but still try to penetrate through space. The downside (I think) was that by cutting inside didn’t stretch enough the opposing 3 men defense so whatever width should come from my WBs. Hence their attacking duty.

Result wise, we did ok, two draws. And we didn’t play that bad actually! If fact, we had our chances to steal both of these games, we equalized (vs Frankurt) showing strength of character and determination

https://imgur.com/nB56eS0

and despite the fact that we had almost 60 shots against us in these two games less than 10 of them I would consider them real chances and yes, counting the two woodworks in the game vs Wolfsburg. You need some luck as well.

eEXnHHi.jpgrVFgRDo.jpg

 

Playing style wise, we were not so negative as we were against Leverkusen. Below is the basic mentality/style i chose for these two games, i liked it, so i decided to stick with it for the time being. 

MqGMHsk.jpg

In general, in these tow games, we had a couple of good breaks and some suspicions of good breaks, but man, sometimes, our passing/vision as a team, sucks. I cant figure out, if this is due to my players low quality in that department or is it some kind of ME bug. Below are some examples, that really pissed me of...

Reichel (WBL) has all these players in front of him. What he actually does, is give the ball all the way back to DCL.

AipG9CQ.jpg

 

Xadas (AP) really messes these two. In the first one, the black lines are the options he has and the red line is where he sends the ball. Which is the WBL, who then looses it and we re on the back foot. The second one, again  the pass is obvious (to me anyway), to the path of the PF (dotted line). Instead, again he will just throw it away in the WBL.

xhsWqcv.jpg

lsjsuls.jpg

 

And not only that, I had to deal with Anderson who suffered a stroke in the middle of a counterattack and did this:

https://imgur.com/eFDZGfm

 

Despite the above weirdness, I was content with our efforts and went to meet Freiburg (3rd in the table with a4-4-2) with the same tactic but this time, the 2BWS were placed on the mc strata with the AP between them. I figured that since Freiburg employ a 4-4-2 my 3 mids might have an edge against their mid 2.  We are heavily suffering in the attacking department, so i tinkered with the training schedules, trying some more attacking sessions in oredr to give the team a little extra help. I have to say that it did. We played quite well, or so it seemed to me anyway. We controlled the game in the first half and we could have scored if Ujah has kept his nerve at the 41st minute

https://imgur.com/Sj3dd6q

 

or we could have (probably) registered our first win if Abdullahi was more composed in the 85th min.

https://imgur.com/tWHjjPp

 

In the end, my assman said it:

ptTndwB.jpg

jhe9eTI.jpg

because the goal we conceided in the 91st min, felt like a dagger in my heart.

 

 

Despite the loss, i think that we re playing better than before. I am ok with the results, one loss in four games for a team that will battle to avoid relegation is fine but we have to win at some point. Defensively we are a tough cookie to break. We ve only allowed two goals in these four games, which is more than ok i guess, but our big, big problem is the offensive part. I dont think that the problem is in chance creation, we had our 3-4 good/verygood moments in every game but we dont seem able to convert them. The only goal we scored in these four games, came from our BWM from a shot outside the area. We have to find some goals!

 

 

 

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This tactic just doesn't make too much sense and in real life they would get pumped every game trying to sit back like that; this is just begging to get scored on especially by teams that have way better players. Tbh out of my head I only could name you the Leipzig vs. Augsburg game in the league this spring where this playstyle worked for a team in reallife in Bundesliga in the last 2 years. And this wasn't because of them being so great defensively but for Leipzig missing some great chances, that you just can't prevent when letting a great team play in your third for 90 minutes.

I understand that it's pretty intuitive as an underdog to try and sit back and defend, but I made the same mistake for so long and never was able to perform with underdog teams in FM like that. Then last year I played with Fulham and first tried similar tactics like you did here (not as extreme but in the same direction, low mentality, defensive set-up, just hope to secure a draw somehow), against superior teams. In 2 1/2 seasons I think I got one single draw against Arsenal like that. And to be honest, it wasn't fun to play like that, I was literally feeling more anxious before playing these games than before my final exams this spring. 

Then I watched one of the Stalybridge videos from Rashidi and how he played on Attacking mentality against one of the leagues top-teams with a team full of players that had no business even being in this division. I tried the same and this really helps you, getting quicker transitions, exploiting spaces of these superior teams attacking you. Also playing Standard Defensive Line and Higher LOE for example to keep them outside of your third and applying pressure yourself. From that point on the results just were WAY better, lifting me from constant fight for relegation to 6th in the following season.

Since then I'd say that's my personal football philosophy I believe in (also in real life). I don't know if you understand German, but this match from Ingolstadt in Munich against Pep's Bayern (https://spielverlagerung.de/2015/12/13/4-3-3-pressing-lange-auf-remiskurs-bis-bayern-besser-vorrueckt/) and the whole season of them is my personal blueprint of how it should be done. They had a big amount of players, that, similar to Union, didn't really have the quality to play in Bundesliga but with their aggressive and high intensity pressing game they even could trouble Bayern in their own arena and comfortably stayed up. If you're the underdog you always should try to play aggressive pressing, with quick transitions into the spaces these teams leave you (in FM probably more than in real life, but the principle is clear). In the games where you aren't the underdog (like with your game against Freiburg) you need to try and find solutions with your own possession to create chances.

I play with these principles with Southampton right now and the results are pretty solid. I'm pretty sure it's possible to overperform with Union too in similar fashion.

 

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This is an interesting thread :-)

First I am being quoted :kriss:

I like what you are doing cos it shows a great deal of thought when constructing something. There are certain things I thought I should highlight.

Firstly if its working ignore what everyone is saying. Have fun. However if you want to try different things out. I have a few suggestions.

I play offside traps for compression that's true, however it also depends on the roles and duties around me and the mentality I am on. When I am looking at your tactic I noticed there were 2 WB on auto duty.  Their initial positioning will be the same as the team mentality, so in this case you have wingbacks on cautious mentality.  Offside traps are there to reduce playable areas behind you, but you are playing with a super low line of engagement and a very low defensive line, so there isn't any space to compress, unless you are looking at the penalty area. In this case I would suggest removing it. I normally never play an offside trap if my DL Is that deep with a super deep LOE.

However and this is where things get interesting, I like to hit teams quickly on the break and I want my players to take some risk in moving the ball up quickly. Since you are on a cautious mentality when you do have the ball against teams that are on par with you, then issues will arise. You are nearly always going to struggle to break teams down. The PF(D) and double RMD has been known to work, however that happens more often against teams that leave space. So you want your counters to be quick, and this is where I enter the domain of craziness which works really well.

On higher mentalities, players take more risk. And don't forget in FM20 the pass/risk algorithms are new. If there is space to explore then on higher mentalities they may be willing to look for that space more aggressively. The players in your team likely to do that however.....aren't many. The 2 WBs standout as players who may do that which is why some are saying there is one dimensionality to your system. So what can you do? 

The low defensive line also commits your fullbacks to staying closer to the goal. This also means that they won't be bombing off nearly as much. So if its protection you want in a compressed space, turn them to WB(D). An overlap instruction will position them higher up the pitch when you have the ball bringing them closer to the midfield. This gives the BBM or BWM passing options. WB(D) will still stay in safer positions and actually are a very good role in FM for defensive systems. So you could play on a lower defensive line with WB(D) on an overlap.

Finally mentality: Want the quick transition try playing on positive mentality. I know there aren't a lot of people on the forums as crazy as me, I'd probably go overload.

That's one approach, but remember you can get compression defences in a lotta ways. You don't need to be so close to your goal to do it. For example:

You could play with a standard defensive line, a lower line of engagement, and now with an offside trap. Within that zone you are doing your hard pressing and tackling. That creates the zone of compression. Finally your roles around you dictate how offensive you want to be when you have the ball. The only roles here to worry about are the WBs. The lower line of engagement draws a team in, the offside trap keeps your ass safe. Against bigger and better sides sometimes you will run the risk of giving away free kicks, penalties and long shots. This is one of the reasons why I play a low block differently. I try to win the defensive game away from my defensive third and somewhere between the halfway line and the defensive third. This way I draw a team in and try to beat them in transition.

In real life a lot of good counter attacking plays by underdog sides is won in transition not when they are sitting with their backs to the wall, but by creating traps on the pitch. They draw better teams into areas where they face an immovable force. So while you are trying things out with Union Berlin, have a think about options. 

 

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1 hour ago, callamity said:

i understand how we are saying it is one dimensional on paper, however each player is different, each player has different traits. each player has different attributes. how they play the roles will be different. 

 

Yeah i forgot to add that too, there is plenty of variation in tactics now because of traits.

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Guys, i cant thank you enough for your advice and sugestions. Just to clarify things, this is how (more or less) the team was set up in the update (matches vs Leverkusen-Frankfurt-Wolfsburg-Freiburg)

GJstKtP.jpg

hMm1bt2.jpg

 

@Rashidi i understand what you re saying about the attacking mentality, the thing is i dont think that the players i ve got have what it takes to play that way, so i m kinda of reluctant to try it. I ll see what happens in the next couple of games though and try and make some adjustments.

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I run a absorb/counter "not quite hoofball", but 3-4 completed passes is often the norm before a shot is taken, wing centric tactic as well.  I'll echo the above, I score more often and get scored upon less when I go Positive/Attack over Cautious/Balanced.  (I haven't bothered with anything more conservative)  And when I say more, I mean losing 4-1 on Cautious, getting 1-1 draws on Balanced against equal/better teams to winning 3-1, 5-0, and 4-2 (stupid 92nd minute penalty) and shots taken has gone from 9-12 to 24-30 maintaining a 50-60% on target rate.  I also use an underlap on the side of my attacking Winger, cause I was too heavy on my support Winger/attacking Wingback side of the pitch, the underlap gives me an overload on the right, with a late option on the left.

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I actually like the thought process.

Question: why not take full advantage of your strength by exploiting the "open" flanks. With "counter attacking" systems I've found that "distribute to flanks" and flank exploits have extra effects. Depends on your setup, obviously, but i hope you do well on this save. Something different, at least.

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Update 2.

The games against Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig for the cup were a disaster. Eight goals against, totally outplayed in every aspect of the game and in every corner of the pitch, bullied all the way. There can be some minor excuses for the 0-5 thrashing against RB Leipzig, because I used some players that didn’t play that much in the previous games, but we were dreadful. The worst part, was that, after those games the local derby against Hertha was in line. A game that for absolutely no reason could afford to lose.

 

Vs Hertha. They chose a typical 4-2-3-1 and I opted the 4-3-3 I used in the previous games. The objective was not to lose. And I hadn’t the stomach/guts to play the ‘’best defense is the offense’’ trick, we just played it safe all the way. Restrict the space, fill any gaps as good as possible and try to find ways to counter. Again, using two BWM besides my AP, who was the main outlet to start an offensive move, alongside my BLD (first time I tried it) who on occasion acted like a really deep DLP. Actually, my ΒLD (Friedrich) was the best player for my team, with a 7.

zbyBlDk.jpg

The final score 0-0, was ok, we really didn’t suffer but on the other hand didn’t threatened either. And that was our main problem. We are ok defensively, but I have to find a way to make the team score some goals, well one goal really. Enough was enough, really.  So, back to the tactics board.  (and back to the training board eventually).

First things first .Training. Some more attacking routines were introduced in the training schedules. Chance creation, chance conversion, counter attacking, attacking set pieces (both free kicks and corners) etc. All this extra hard work, should pay off, somehow!

Tactics. The objective was simple. Score more, without losing our decent (for our caliber anyway) defensive standards. Easier said than done of course, so I decided to go with Rashidi’ s approach and try to adapt it to my team. So, this is the basic structure. Depending on the game, changes would be made to the ‘’shot on sight’’, LOE and the pressing intensity, but as I start I just went for the standard setting or thereabouts.

OChJUWd.jpg

The formation was this:

JJXIcHT.jpg

Yeah, the simplest rule in the book. When in doubt switch to 4-4-2. 

Defense. Pretty standard. I liked the BLP in the previous game so I decided to keep it that way and in order to increase (in my way of thinking at least), the chance to counter I paired him with a NCB with cover duty. In that way, we have a ‘’calculated’’ hoofballer (BLP) and a ‘’close my eyes and hope’’ hoofballer (NCB). I thought that maybe in that way we could initiate more counters.WBs in support and since the LOD is now on ‘’standard’’ a click above of what we used to play so far, I went for a SK (sup) as an extra cover.

Midfield. The whole set up, is somewhat inspired by the tactics used by Miltiades in the battle of Marathon. In case you are not familiar: Greeks vs Persians, Greeks were outnumbered, no cavalry, no archers, just infantry. Miltiades advanced to the Persian line (consisted of Infantry in the middle, supported by the archers in their flanks and rear) at speed in order to avoid the rain of arrows. When the two armies clashed, the thinner in the center Greek line curved in (but most importantly didn’t break, just stood their ground) where the thicker in the flanks Greek line just obliterated the Persian flanks which were manned by archers and light armor infantry. As soon as the Persian flanks routed, the Greeks turned to the center, engulfing the Persians there and eventually, winning the battle.

This is somewhat the basis and theory of my tactical plan. A ‘’curved in’’ low block (in the dmc strata) being able to both defend (in quantity at least, we got four bodies in front of the area) and attack (at least the SV). This pairing could be SV and an Anchorman, but I wanted to try a DM. So, a ‘’curved in’’ center, which would lure opponents in, open the space in the most significant area on a football pitch, the center, and now the flanks come into play. A wide midfielder (I had to find some role for probably my most technical midfielder Xadas), that could operate in the center of the pitch and a wide playmaker to be an extra threat and try to find my attackers on the break. Why on an attacking duty? I tried to be in line with Rashidi’s spirit, though instead of using an attacking mentality with supporting duties, i decided to go with a cautious mentality with some attacking duties. That could change, but for now this is what it is.

Attack. My attackers are not what you could say, premium quality, but they have relative good speed and acceleration and are quite strong. Although not technically gifted could be a handful for a four man defense (i.e. 2 strikers vs 2 DCs). Both on supporting roles (this again, depending on the circumstances would change) but basically a PF who tries to harass the opposition early on and higher up and a TM as a focal point.

In short, this was the (new) plan and it would be put to test against Mainz (7th-8th at the time).

Lo and behold we scored twice! For a side that in the previous 11 league games had scored 4 goals, this 2in1 is quite something! And not only that, but twice we lost the lead (probably my players couldn’t believe the fact that we scored first). The thing is though that these goals came from set pieces, the first one, from a free kick and the other one from a corner, so that extra attacking training payed off!  Hard work pays off people! Mainz played a 4-2-3-1 they did had a lot of chances (2 ccc), a 64% possession but both teams played almost at the same level 6,94-6.85 and furthermore we scored two goals, so I don’t really care. After all, it was the first game with the new tactic.

 D2Ya0yd.jpg

Vs Borussia M’Glad. They came to Berlin with a pretty standard 4-2-3-1. Our 4-4-2 had one change, the WP and WM started on support and the TM on attack. The PF remained in support. All the other stuff remained the same.

XhIcVy5.jpg

They had 11 shots, only one on target (ok and one that hit the woodwork) but zero cccs where we had one, 8 shots 3 on target and to make a long story short we won people! We won 1-0, again scoring from a corner, BUT, but that corner came as a result of a quite good counter attack.

 

Our first win after 13 league games!

Vs Schalke away (4th at the time) 4-4-2 vs our 4-4-2. Quite the test! We didn’t win (0-0) but I was proud of my boys. We restricted them to a possession of really no meaning or intention and we had 2 cccs to win the game. Not steal the win, but really win it. Both of these ccc came by attacking the space, the first one is a proper build up starting from our keeper (and the SV completes the move)

https://imgur.com/O1As3uX

 and the second one, is a good play from the flanks in transition

https://imgur.com/1fQSonh

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I feel we may have found our way of playing!

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