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Need help against 532 Gegenpressing formations


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As the topic suggests, I need help with my tactics against the CPU using 532 formations. Against most other formations I have found good ways to play them from my base 433 formation (4141 DM Wide in FM20 terms). To test my tactics I've set up a test-save with FC Bayern in the German Bundesliga. I have superior players by a pretty wide margin, so I should have an advantage in terms of individual player quality in most games. Against most other formations that advantage is enough to easily win those games. However, as soon as the opponent is playing some form of the 532 in combination with counter pressing, I just can't beat them at all. Leipzig and Hoffenheim are two teams in Germany who use the 532 (inspired by Julian Nagelsmann). Both teams usually sit back and protect their box with everyone but their 2 strikers (who pressure my buildup-play) and then, as soon as they win the ball, they fly forward to hit me on the counter - either with long balls over the top to their strikers, or with runs from their wingbacks or midfielders.

 

This is the formation that I need help against:

819411784_532Hoffenheim.thumb.jpg.df10b200a0cbeb7b9df47edba25a2939.jpg

Hoffenheim 532 Gegenpressing with Cautious mentality

 

2006215101_532Leipzig.thumb.jpg.08e5f30a55076dd76a92947587a6008e.jpg

Leipzig 532 Gegenpressing with Defensive mentality

 

This is my normal formation, which I use as my base formation. Depending on opposing shape/mentality and game situation I might tweak slightly from game to game. But against anything aside from 532 formations, this is my base formation: pretty standard 433 formation, created to fit the strengths of Bayern. Alaba bombs downs to help on the left flank, Kimmich is a tad more conservative on the right, as he needs to cover for the AP-a. Gnabry on the right is more of a goal-scoring threat while Coutinho/Coman on the left are more creators than finishers. Lewandowski might be the best allround striker in the world, thus the CF role (although I could also see him as a PF-a). I usually change the DM role from game to game, based on opponent and in-game-situation.

278030427_433Normal.thumb.jpg.8793eb1c3d910c7e81ed82713ba88bfb.jpg

 

I've tried to educate myself on the subject and tried to replicate what Guardiola did when he faced Chelsea under Conte (who was using a similar tactic at the time):

 

This is my tweaked formation to combat the strengths of the 532 Gegenpressing formation - I changed the wingbacks to IWB-s to act more like midfielders and to take away the numbers advantage of the 532 in the centre of the pitch. I also changed my DM to Halfback to help against the two opposing strikers but also provide a passing outlet. On the flanks I now use Wingers to provide width and stretch the opposing defense (because the Wingbacks are now inverted and won't do that anymore). I also added TI to play as wide as possible.

1518388846_433InvertedWB.thumb.jpg.c025ff7ead2bee20523549907ed67d35.jpg

 

 

No matter what I do, it just won't work. If I increase mentality to Attacking I get hit over the top with long balls. If I lower mentality to Balanced I can't seem to break them down.

Long story short - I can't get anything to work against that 532 Gegenpressing formation described above. I need your help!!!

@Experienced Defender @Rashidi @herne79

 

Edited by burnum
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43 minutes ago, burnum said:

However, as soon as the opponent is playing some form of the 532 in combination with counter pressing, I just can't beat them at all. Leipzig and Hoffenheim are two teams in Germany who use the 532 (inspired by Julian Nagelsmann). Both teams usually sit back and protect their box with everyone but their 2 strikers (who pressure my buildup-play) and then, as soon as they win the ball, they fly forward to hit me on the counter - either with long balls over the top to their strikers, or with runs from their wingbacks or midfielders

First off, you are confusing gegepress with counter-press. These are two different things. Gegenpress is a tactical style, and a very aggressive one. It is by no means defensive. Quite to the contrary - it uses very high lines, both of defense and engagement, and extremely urgent pressing. Teams that play gegenpress certainly do not sit back and defend waiting an opportunity for a counter-attack (although they do use counter-attacks as an extra weapon).

Counter-press on the other hand is a defensive transitional strategy. It is how a team reacts when they lose the ball (i.e. possession). If they try to immediately win it back by applying intense pressure on the ball-carrier, it is the counter-press. If they look to get back into their defensive positions (shape), then it's regrouping. While counter-press is an integral part of the gegenpress tactical style, it can be also used within other styles of play. 

From what you described, I assume the teams (systems) you are struggling against (Leipzig and Hoffenheim) are actually playing some sort of counter-attacking tactic (fluid counter, I guess) with the counter-press as a tactical tool. But they obviously do not play the gegenpress. 

56 minutes ago, burnum said:

278030427_433Normal.thumb.jpg.8793eb1c3d910c7e81ed82713ba88bfb.jpg

 

56 minutes ago, burnum said:

1518388846_433InvertedWB.thumb.jpg.c025ff7ead2bee20523549907ed67d35.jpg

I don't know what Rashidi and Herne will tell you - and whether they are going to agree with me or not - but I personally do not think that the primary reason these opponents are able to hit you on the counter is either their 532 formation or counter-pressing. Rather, it's your more-than-necessary aggressive manner of defending, which leaves too much space between the lines of your team (including behind your back-line, in relation to the balls over the top) for the opposition to take advantage of. 

So my first suggestion for you would be this:

- remove more urgent pressing

- drop the LOE slightly (to standard)

- remove the Prevent short GKD TI

- and instead employ a split block/press

That should make you more solid defensively. 

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1 hour ago, burnum said:

As the topic suggests, I need help with my tactics against the CPU using 532 formations. Against most other formations I have found good ways to play them from my base 433 formation (4141 DM Wide in FM20 terms). To test my tactics I've set up a test-save with FC Bayern in the German Bundesliga. I have superior players by a pretty wide margin, so I should have an advantage in terms of individual player quality in most games. Against most other formations that advantage is enough to easily win those games. However, as soon as the opponent is playing some form of the 532 in combination with counter pressing, I just can't beat them at all. Leipzig and Hoffenheim are two teams in Germany who use the 532 (inspired by Julian Nagelsmann). Both teams usually sit back and protect their box with everyone but their 2 strikers (who pressure my buildup-play) and then, as soon as they win the ball, they fly forward to hit me on the counter - either with long balls over the top to their strikers, or with runs from their wingbacks or midfielders.

 

This is the formation that I need help against:

819411784_532Hoffenheim.thumb.jpg.df10b200a0cbeb7b9df47edba25a2939.jpg

Hoffenheim 532 Gegenpressing with Cautious mentality

 

2006215101_532Leipzig.thumb.jpg.08e5f30a55076dd76a92947587a6008e.jpg

Leipzig 532 Gegenpressing with Defensive mentality

 

This is my normal formation, which I use as my base formation. Depending on opposing shape/mentality and game situation I might tweak slightly from game to game. But against anything aside from 532 formations, this is my base formation: pretty standard 433 formation, created to fit the strengths of Bayern. Alaba bombs downs to help on the left flank, Kimmich is a tad more conservative on the right, as he needs to cover for the AP-a. Gnabry on the right is more of a goal-scoring threat while Coutinho/Coman on the left are more creators than finishers. Lewandowski might be the best allround striker in the world, thus the CF role (although I could also see him as a PF-a). I usually change the DM role from game to game, based on opponent and in-game-situation.

278030427_433Normal.thumb.jpg.8793eb1c3d910c7e81ed82713ba88bfb.jpg

 

I've tried to educate myself on the subject and tried to replicate what Guardiola did when he faced Chelsea under Conte (who was using a similar tactic at the time):

 

This is my tweaked formation to combat the strengths of the 532 Gegenpressing formation - I changed the wingbacks to IWB-s to act more like midfielders and to take away the numbers advantage of the 532 in the centre of the pitch. I also changed my DM to Halfback to help against the two opposing strikers but also provide a passing outlet. On the flanks I now use Wingers to provide width and stretch the opposing defense (because the Wingbacks are now inverted and won't do that anymore). I also added TI to play as wide as possible.

1518388846_433InvertedWB.thumb.jpg.c025ff7ead2bee20523549907ed67d35.jpg

 

 

No matter what I do, it just won't work. If I increase mentality to Attacking I get hit over the top with long balls. If I lower mentality to Balanced I can't seem to break them down.

Long story short - I can't get anything to work against that 532 Gegenpressing formation described above. I need your help!!!

@Experienced Defender @Rashidi @herne79

 

5-3-2 is easy to exploit with pacy, skillful players in the wings. When I see a high-pressing one, I remove Distribute to CBs and shorter passing to get rid of the pressure in the defensive thirds using at least two players between the lines. 

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@Experienced Defender Thanks for your suggestions, they really helped a lot (from a small sample-size of 5 test games against Hoffenheim). Switching to a mid block really helped defensively. My testing with your suggested changes showed that my 'normal' base tactic (with the Wingbacks and IW/IF) somehow works better against that 532 than my Guardiola-inspired '532-beater' tactic (with IWB and Wingers). In theory that doesn't really make sense to me but as long as I've found a way to be successful against the 532 I'm content.

 

Now one thing that still needs improvement after the changes to mid-block is possession. At home with Bayern against Hoffenheim I only average around 40 percent (should be more around 60 percent with Bayern at home). Don't get me wrong, your tweaks to my tactics have been tremendous - they just changed the way my team plays.

 

Here are some ideas of how I might try to improve possession numbers (my board wants possession football as part of the club vision - and to be honest, I like possession football):

- lower mentality to Balanced (do I still have enough urgency to break down defensive/cautious teams?)

- lower tempo (not sure about lower tempo paired with shorter passing)

- remove 'Be More Expressive' (although I think I have the right players to use it to my advantage with Thiago & Coutinho)

- remove 'Counter' in transition (does it rob me of some some good chances?)

 

Any ideas how to tweak the tactic to get possession up into the 50-60 percent range (Bayern averaged around 63 percent in real life last season)?

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6 minutes ago, burnum said:

Here are some ideas of how I might try to improve possession numbers (my board wants possession football as part of the club vision - and to be honest, I like possession football):

- lower mentality to Balanced (do I still have enough urgency to break down defensive/cautious teams?)

I don't think it will be necessary to lower the mentality. Instead I would tweak the setup of roles and duties. Because your current setup seems more suited to counter-attacking than possession-based football. On that score, I would - among other things - change the playmaker's duty to support (instead of attack). That's the first thing I would do to help improve possession stats. 

 

12 minutes ago, burnum said:

- lower tempo (not sure about lower tempo paired with shorter passing)

Again not necessary. For a top team like Bayern, it would most probably make it easier for opponents to defend against you. Shorter passing, playing out of defence and WBiB should suffice (even WBiB may not be necessary, at least not all the time). Therefore, I would leave the tempo on default (standard). 

 

15 minutes ago, burnum said:

- remove 'Be More Expressive' (although I think I have the right players to use it to my advantage with Thiago & Coutinho)

I agree with both your statements here. On one hand, BME can lead to a loss of possession sometimes. But on the other hand, it can be useful when you need to break down stubborn defenses by allowing your players to be more creative and think outside the box (and you do have the right players for that). So my suggestion would be - use BME when you feel it can help, but not necessarily all the time (basically same as with WBiB). 

 

20 minutes ago, burnum said:

- remove 'Counter' in transition (does it rob me of some some good chances?)

Yes, you can remove the Counter. Because even without the instruction, your players will still attempt counter-attacks when a promising opportunity is there, but not as much as they would when the Counter TI is on. In other words, they will not look to counter-attack as soon as they win the ball, but only when the situation looks promising enough. When you can use the Counter TI is if you notice the opposition have become more attacking after you scored (i.e. took the lead). You can encourage counter-attacks to try and (hopefully) punish them for daring to attack you ;) :brock: 

26 minutes ago, burnum said:

Any ideas how to tweak the tactic to get possession up into the 50-60 percent range (Bayern averaged around 63 percent in real life last season)?

And yes, if possession is an imperative - change the LOE back to higher, but do not increase pressing urgency. Counter-press is also a logical TI for possession football.

Btw, I would advise you to remove the Dribble less TI, because there is no reason to deprive yourself of a potent attacking weapon when you manage a top team such as bayern. If you want certain players to refrain from dribbling (because they aren't good enough at that), then better use the relevant player instruction. 

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vor 14 Minuten schrieb Experienced Defender:

Btw, I would advise you to remove the Dribble less TI, because there is no reason to deprive yourself of a potent attacking weapon when you manage a top team such as bayern. If you want certain players to refrain from dribbling (because they aren't good enough at that), then better use the relevant player instruction. 

Again, thanks for your advice. My thought behind the Dribble Less TI was to replicate the Guardiola style to a certain extend with a shorter passing game and heavy ball-circulation. I had my IF/IW (Coutinho/Coman left, Gnabry right) on PI to Dribble More.

 

Will now implement some of your suggested tweaks to increase possession:

- switched AP from attack to support

- removed 'Dribble Less', only put a PI on my DM to dribble less (both centre-backs have it hardcoded already)

- removed 'Counter'

- removed 'Be More Expressive' with the option of turning it back on during a game if in need of a goal

 

I'm not touching LOE at this time but that would be the next step if possession numbers are still too low. Will see how it all works together once I get back from work tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you, you've been incredibly helpful.

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Ok, back testing yesterday's tweaks after getting help from @Experienced Defender.

 

This is how my tactic looks now (after the tweaks):

1576422325_433EDTweaks.thumb.jpg.99f06d8ead4d77ea191d11b2dc3cdddf.jpg

 

And this is what happened in my very first game after the tweaks:

1847031135_Augsburggame.thumb.jpg.839761fb749639b8033bdf116f5c31d2.jpg

Won 6-0 at Augsburg, even with resting some of my regular starters. Stats show we were the better team but not completely dominant (22-15 shot, 7-4 CCC), so the result was probably higher than the stats would suggest. Possession was up from 40 to 49 percent but I'd still prefer higher possession. In a perfect world we could build a tactic from my 4123 base which gives me good results, realistic play and 60+ percent possession on average.

 

Now it's time to find out if the result was due to the tweaks really working well or just a lucky one-off performance...

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55 minutes ago, burnum said:

Possession was up from 40 to 49 percent but I'd still prefer higher possession

As I said earlier: 

20 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

if possession is an imperative - change the LOE back to higher

And you can also try a split block as an additional pressing tool (either together with the higher LOE or alone). 

 

1 hour ago, burnum said:

1576422325_433EDTweaks.thumb.jpg.99f06d8ead4d77ea191d11b2dc3cdddf.jpg

You may need a couple more tweaks to roles/duties to get more penetration, but for now keep this setup (as long as it works).

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vor 7 Minuten schrieb Experienced Defender:

And you can also try a split block as an additional pressing tool (either together with the higher LOE or alone). 

LOE higher or standard doesn't make too much of a difference in terms of possession, maybe 2-3 percent.

 

Could you explain what you mean with 'split block'? 

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4 minutes ago, burnum said:

Could you explain what you mean with 'split block'? 

Split block is when you tell your 3-5 (ideally 4) most advanced players to close down more via their PIs instead of increasing the team pressing urgency. In your tactic, these 4 guys would be the striker, AMR, AML and BBM.

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Thanks, I had my striker set to press more anyway. Now also added the BBM and both wingers (IF/IW), let's see if it improves performance and/or possession...

 

vor 34 Minuten schrieb Experienced Defender:

You may need a couple more tweaks to roles/duties to get more penetration, but for now keep this setup (as long as it works).

If in need of a goal I usually change the AMR (usually Gnabry) from IF-s to IF-a. And I also change the role of the DMC based on opponent formation and in-game situation. Usually start him as either DM-s or DM-d (for tough away games), sometimes change him to HB-d if my opponent plays 2 true strikers. He's basically my "wildcard role" - the one role I change from game to game.

One position I'm currently not overly happy with is the striker role. I have him set as CF-a because it suits Lewandowski's skill set. But whenever Lewa is not on the field (injured or rested) his replacement seems to struggle (as they're not really 'complete' forwards). My backups are Müller and youngster Arp. I've even experimented with Coutinho as a F9-s but it didn't work at all.

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3 hours ago, burnum said:

One position I'm currently not overly happy with is the striker role. I have him set as CF-a because it suits Lewandowski's skill set

Given that you want to play possession football, I would rather have the lone striker on support duty - either DLFsu or CFsu - whereas one of the wide forwards can be on attack (in your current setup, I would play the AML on attack, rather than AMR). 

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16 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Split block is when you tell your 3-5 (ideally 4) most advanced players to close down more via their PIs instead of increasing the team pressing urgency. In your tactic, these 4 guys would be the striker, AMR, AML and BBM.

Sorry for the very stupid question but... 

With this, do we then have all the other team pressing instructions and defensive line of engagement on standard?

So pressing urgency, removing the 'prevent short GK', standard DL and LoE? 

Cheers

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2 hours ago, BrickCommo23 said:

With this, do we then have all the other team pressing instructions and defensive line of engagement on standard?

So pressing urgency, removing the 'prevent short GK', standard DL and LoE? 

First, the split block is not a necessary tactical tool. You may use it or not. If you manage a strong team that is expected to dominate most of its matches and (want to) control possession, then the split block is (IMHO) a better/safer option than higher pressing for the entire team (assuming that you want to win the ball back as soon as possible and make it difficult for the opposition to organize their attacks). Therefore, when you use the split block, you do not need to increase the team pressing urgency (hence the term "split block").

Now... if you opt to apply the split block, then you basically don't need the Prevent short GKD instruction. You allow the opposition keeper to distribute the ball to his defense (or deeper-lying players overall) and then your most advanced players apply high pressure on them. Ideally, they will intercept an opposition attack in their half and (hopefully) launch a quick (semi)counter-attack. But even if your players fail to win the ball high up the pitch, the very pressure they put on the opposition helps your defense to deal with the opposition attacks more effectively. 

As for DL and LOE, it's primarily about your vertical compactness. There is no fixed rule as to how you should set them up. But the factors you need to take into account are: your formation, team mentality, role/duty distribution and overall quality and abilities of your players. When it comes to the split block, I prefer to use it with standard LOE (rather than higher, let alone much higher). Which in turn means that my DL should be set to either higher or also standard (because if it was lower, I would compromise the vertical compactness, which I don't want). 

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@Experienced Defender You've helped me achieving my goal of being able to defeat those 532 formations. Even better, you've shown me a way to make my tactics more efficient through better (more balanced) defense. If I could ask for one more favour - let's try to turn this 4123 base into a possession-heavy tactics. Basically I'm looking for Guardiola-style football in a tactic that works on FM20. I can't seem to get possession numbers in the 60+ percent region.

So let's kind of evolve this topic to 'I need help to make a possession-style 4123 work' ;-) 

 

Here's my first take:

1766332336_433Pep.thumb.jpg.6bed71b1be61034adc988ca100d4cfe4.jpg

 

Reasoning behind it:

Team Instructions:

Playing with Bayern I am heavy favourits in most matches, thus Positive mentality. Shorter Passing, Play Out Of Defense and Work Ball Into Box were chosen to increase possession and create a slow buildup. Extremely wide width was chosen to stretch defenses as far as possible and create space inside or in the half-spaces. GK Distribution to CB or FB was chosen to stop GK hoofing it and build-up from the back. I added Counter-Press to instruct my players to try to get the ball back quickly if it's lost (kind of like Guardiola's 6-second-rule). Higher DL and Offside Trap should go hand in hand, especially with pacey defenders like Hernandez & Süle (both have 17 pace).

Also set up a split press with more pressing by my front 5.

I purposely left out Be More Expressive to use it more on a situational basis whenever I struggle to break down a defense. In a pure Guardiola-style tactic it should probably be added.

 

Roles:

SK-s: High DL with offside trap on positive mentality needs a keeper who is aggressive sweeping out of his box. Neuer is the perfect fit for the role. Might even go with SK-a as long as I have Neuer.

CD-d: Both centre-backs in a normal role. I don't want BPD to avoid the long balls. Just move the ball to midfield (or the IWBs) and defend...

IWB-s: Both wing-back in an inverted role to create Pep's famous W-shape in the back-5. The IWBs are basically wider defensive midfielders.

DM-s: Still undecided on this role, so I left it as a pretty generic role. Also thought about using a Halfback against good teams or against teams with 2 true strikers. Also thought about a Regista against lesser teams.

AP-s: The David Silva role; playmaker with forward runs and a creative passing outlet.

BBM-s: The Kevin de Bruyne role; a bit deeper than the AP and also takes on more defensive duties. Thought about RPM-s but I wanted to avoid 2 playmakers next to each other. Does that make sense?

W-s & W-a: Stretch the defense as wide as possible, basically touchline players with the license to find space. Midfield setup could create overloads on left, so AMR is set to attack duty to finish off.

F9-s: Drop deep and drag defenders out of position to create space for the wingers and midfielders to attack.

 

 

With all that laid out - it doesn't work. 42 percent possession at home against a decent but still clearly inferior Leverkusen side has nothing to do with possession-oriented football. What am I doing wrong?

658673529_Leverkusengame.thumb.jpg.0fed9fbcb77060aed8960a16ae0ac19c.jpg

Edited by burnum
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5 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

First, the split block is not a necessary tactical tool. You may use it or not. If you manage a strong team that is expected to dominate most of its matches and (want to) control possession, then the split block is (IMHO) a better/safer option than higher pressing for the entire team (assuming that you want to win the ball back as soon as possible and make it difficult for the opposition to organize their attacks). Therefore, when you use the split block, you do not need to increase the team pressing urgency (hence the term "split block").

Now... if you opt to apply the split block, then you basically don't need the Prevent short GKD instruction. You allow the opposition keeper to distribute the ball to his defense (or deeper-lying players overall) and then your most advanced players apply high pressure on them. Ideally, they will intercept an opposition attack in their half and (hopefully) launch a quick (semi)counter-attack. But even if your players fail to win the ball high up the pitch, the very pressure they put on the opposition helps your defense to deal with the opposition attacks more effectively. 

As for DL and LOE, it's primarily about your vertical compactness. There is no fixed rule as to how you should set them up. But the factors you need to take into account are: your formation, team mentality, role/duty distribution and overall quality and abilities of your players. When it comes to the split block, I prefer to use it with standard LOE (rather than higher, let alone much higher). Which in turn means that my DL should be set to either higher or also standard (because if it was lower, I would compromise the vertical compactness, which I don't want). 

I'm with you, that's very helpful indeed. Thank you 

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1 hour ago, burnum said:

1766332336_433Pep.thumb.jpg.6bed71b1be61034adc988ca100d4cfe4.jpg

 

1 hour ago, burnum said:

I can't seem to get possession numbers in the 60+ percent region.

So let's kind of evolve this topic to 'I need help to make a possession-style 4123 work

But if you insist on playing possession-heavy football, why on earth have you opted to use wingers (role) on both flanks and extreme width ??? I mean, none of these is possession-friendly. 

On top of that, even if you manage to achieve the possession stats you are aiming for, what's the point of having possession purely for the sake of 'possession? 

1 hour ago, burnum said:

SK-s: High DL with offside trap on positive mentality needs a keeper who is aggressive sweeping out of his box. Neuer is the perfect fit for the role. Might even go with SK-a as long as I have Neuer

I agree that Neuer is a perfect player for the SK role, but if you want a possession style, then you should not give him attack duty. Because it makes the keeper play a lot of speculative long/through balls, which logically runs counter to the possession-based approach. I personally would have no problem playing him as SK on attack, because I don't care about possession stats. But you do :brock: 

 

1 hour ago, burnum said:

AP-s: The David Silva role; playmaker with forward runs and a creative passing outlet.

BBM-s: The Kevin de Bruyne role; a bit deeper than the AP and also takes on more defensive duties. Thought about RPM-s but I wanted to avoid 2 playmakers next to each other. Does that make sense?

Avoiding 2 PMs next to each other absolutely makes sense, and I personally never play that way. However, if you want to emulate City's midfield duo de Bruyne - Silva, then I believe it's actually a mezzala (Silva) and RPM (de Bruyne). 

 

1 hour ago, burnum said:

F9-s: Drop deep and drag defenders out of position to create space for the wingers and midfielders to attack

Okay, but who actually attacks that space in your system? You don't have any direct deep runner. BBM can occasionally try to exploit that space, but I fear not to a sufficient degree. The winger on attack will look to attack the far post area at times, but his primary responsibility is to provide width and deliver crosses, rather than act as a direct central runner. In my Newcastle save, a good number of goals are coming from a winger, but my tactic is very different from yours (and I don't play possession football, even though I do have pretty good possession numbers in general).

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vor 1 Stunde schrieb Experienced Defender:

But if you insist on playing possession-heavy football, why on earth have you opted to use wingers (role) on both flanks and extreme width ??? I mean, none of these is possession-friendly. 

vor 1 Stunde schrieb Experienced Defender:

Okay, but who actually attacks that space in your system? You don't have any direct deep runner. BBM can occasionally try to exploit that space, but I fear not to a sufficient degree. The winger on attack will look to attack the far post area at times, but his primary responsibility is to provide width and deliver crosses, rather than act as a direct central runner. In my Newcastle save, a good number of goals are coming from a winger, but my tactic is very different from yours (and I don't play possession football, even though I do have pretty good possession numbers in general).

Ok, switched wingers to IW-s (AML) and IF-a (AMR) and changed width back to normal.

In addition I changed LOE from normal to higher to help with possession numbers.

 

vor 1 Stunde schrieb Experienced Defender:

Avoiding 2 PMs next to each other absolutely makes sense, and I personally never play that way. However, if you want to emulate City's midfield duo de Bruyne - Silva, then I believe it's actually a mezzala (Silva) and RPM (de Bruyne). 

Switched to your suggested Mezzala/RPM duo. Mezzala at support duty for the moment but might switch to attack if I don't get enough runs up front.

 

 

vor 1 Stunde schrieb Experienced Defender:

On top of that, even if you manage to achieve the possession stats you are aiming for, what's the point of having possession purely for the sake of 'possession? 

I do understand that tactics should be measured by goals scored against goals conceded first and foremost and chances created against chances conceded to a lesser extend. My obsession with possession numbers is just a personal pet-peeve because I like dominant possession football since Louis van Gaal brought that kind of football to Bayern ten years ago (which was followed up by Heynckes and Guardiola). I simply like it and so I try to make it work on FM20. But I do realise I might be a bit 'nerdy' about it ;-) 

Don't get me wrong - I don't want pure possession. I want a tactic (preferably a 4123, but a 4231 would also be ok) that combines possession football with a lot of created chances and solid defense. I'm not sure if that's possible, but that's exactly why I'm asking for help.

 

With the tweaks mentioned above I beat Leverkusen 2-0 at home after two late goals. 15-8 shots, 4-2 CCC but only 50/50 possession.

 

Edited by burnum
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1 hour ago, burnum said:

Switched to your suggested Mezzala/RPM duo. Mezzala at support duty for the moment but might switch to attack if I don't get enough runs up front

Okay, but be very careful with this combo, because it can make you overly vulnerable defensively (especially if you play Thiago instead of Martinez, and even more so if you keep using DM on support instead of a holding DM role). And I did not say that you should emulate Pep. I just told you what I think are his CM roles. But what works for one team may not necessarily work for another. Plus, the whole context of a tactic matters, not just a single role or a couple of them. 

 

1 hour ago, burnum said:

I do understand that tactics should be measured by goals scored against goals conceded first and foremost and chances created against chances conceded to a lesser extend. My obsession with possession numbers is just a personal pet-peeve because I like dominant possession football since Louis van Gaal brought that kind of football to Bayern ten years ago (which was followed up by Heynckes and Guardiola). I simply like it and so I try to make it work on FM20. But I do realise I might be a bit 'nerdy' about it ;-) 

Don't get me wrong - I don't want pure possession. I want a tactic (preferably a 4123, but a 4231 would also be ok) that combines possession football with a lot of created chances and solid defense. I'm not sure if that's possible, but that's exactly why I'm asking for help.

Okay, let's clarify one thing. Playing a possession-based style of football and dominating possession in terms of stats are not necessarily the same. Take Liverpool for example. They certainly do not play possession football under Klopp, yet they regularly have high possession stats. Why? For two reasons:

1. they not only defend aggressively, but are doing that in a very effective manner (because they have the right players for such style of pressing), which helps to win the ball back quickly

2. their opponents often willingly give possession away to them because they understand their chances will be better if they defend tightly and occasionally try to hit LFC on the break than if they tried to compete on equal terms

Now, there is a style which I call progressive possession football (as opposed to classic patient possession styles of tiki-taka and similar boring stuff). That's actually the style of football I would recommend for top teams (including your Bayern). It combines possession-based football with more penetrative attacking styles.

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vor 52 Minuten schrieb Experienced Defender:

Now, there is a style which I call progressive possession football (as opposed to classic patient possession styles of tiki-taka and similar boring stuff). That's actually the style of football I would recommend for top teams (including your Bayern). It combines possession-based football with more penetrative attacking styles.

That sounds exactly what I'm looking for and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. Feel free to teach me/us - whether in this thread or in an own related topic...

Edited by burnum
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13 hours ago, burnum said:

That sounds exactly what I'm looking for and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. Feel free to teach me/us - whether in this thread or in an own related topic...

Okay, in terms of instructions you basically use those associated with possession football in general, such as PoD and short pass (with WBiB as an option, but not always), but also the non-possession Be more expressive TI (except when you use a lot of highly creative and mobile "exotic" roles). Counter in transition is also an option to consider. 

Defensive instructions are basically like in the regular possession football - higher lines, counter-press and either Prevent short GKD or split press.

The mentality is Positive (even Attacking may work, though you may need to do small tweaks on passing and/or tempo).

Roles and duties are key. You need a bit more attack duties than in the patient possession style, but the distribution of these duties is as important as their number (if not even more). And you need variety.

I'll now give you an example of a progressive possession tactical setup:

DLFat

IWsu                                   W/IFat

DLPsu    MEZsu

DMde

FBat       CDde    BPDde    IWBsu/de

SKsu

Positive

- shorter pass, Play out of defence, be more expressive (sometimes WBiB and overlap if the IWB is on defend)

- counter, counter-press

- higher DL, higher LOE (and either Prevent GKD or split block)

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/12/2019 at 21:20, Experienced Defender said:

Okay, in terms of instructions you basically use those associated with possession football in general, such as PoD and short pass (with WBiB as an option, but not always), but also the non-possession Be more expressive TI (except when you use a lot of highly creative and mobile "exotic" roles). Counter in transition is also an option to consider. 

Defensive instructions are basically like in the regular possession football - higher lines, counter-press and either Prevent short GKD or split press.

The mentality is Positive (even Attacking may work, though you may need to do small tweaks on passing and/or tempo).

Roles and duties are key. You need a bit more attack duties than in the patient possession style, but the distribution of these duties is as important as their number (if not even more). And you need variety.

I'll now give you an example of a progressive possession tactical setup:

DLFat

IWsu                                   W/IFat

DLPsu    MEZsu

DMde

FBat       CDde    BPDde    IWBsu/de

SKsu

Positive

- shorter pass, Play out of defence, be more expressive (sometimes WBiB and overlap if the IWB is on defend)

- counter, counter-press

- higher DL, higher LOE (and either Prevent GKD or split block)

 

May I know your reasoning to go with an IWB on the right flank?

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On 31/01/2020 at 00:47, Experienced Defender said:

To cover space behind the mezzala and help the midfield to control possession and recycle the ball when needed. 

Thank you.

1. Would you think a BBM would provide an alternative to the Mezzala?

2. What about the attacking & defensive width? I'm assuming narrow since this looks like a possession-based approach.

3. Pressing intensity?

Edited by syakir.zainol
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On 10/12/2019 at 05:20, Experienced Defender said:

Because your current setup seems more suited to counter-attacking than possession-based football.

This 

On 12/12/2019 at 04:59, burnum said:

In addition I changed LOE from normal to higher to help with possession numbers.

And this..

Basically when you're playing against a good 352 and there are going to be a lot of good sides that play a really solid 532 especially in the Serie A, you will need to understand and pay attention to where possession is being won and lost. The 532 is a bottom heavy system, and yours is a bottom heavy system, but the 352 system has more than enough numbers to get around your midfield. So basically when it gets into midfield it can morph into a 343 which then poses problems for your team.

While its fine to pay attention to possession numbers what's more important is understanding where the action is happening. In the case of the 352 or 532 most of that possession will happen in their 3rd and midfield. What you need to do is to look at your own defensive third. Most times when I am playing against them I don't really care if they want to keep the ball in their own half, because the way most 532s like to operate is to draw opposing teams in so they can hit them for counters or direct attacks. When it comes to the game of football, what's more important is understanding where the battle is being won and lost. You need to know where you want to win the ball and how.

What I like to do is apply pressure on their backline so that they are forced to clear the ball out, this means that I absolutely need to win the 2nd ball. The 352 becomes dangerous when their wingbacks are able to get the ball and become part of the midfield transition. If they can still keep the ball and overlap then you are as good as done. 

When you adjust your LOE up, you are basically telling your team to do the pressing higher up. Your original system wouldn't have worked, because that system is going to struggle as it needs to be played higher up the pitch ,and, cannot afford to make mistakes, if you lose the attacking transition in their third,  you open yourself up to counters.  So if you want to play with that, your boys need to be able to do more. Guardiola's system is also dependent on players running between the lines with the ball. Players like KDB and David Silva regularly make runs with the balls at their feet. To play that kind of system you need technically very good players. The problem with his systems is that they cannot afford to skip a beat, and they don't always work. Compare that to Klopp whose style of pressing is different, and he doesn't use players who  are playmakers.  Instead he prefers to use work horses who can run, carry and make sure the ball does not get lost in the midfield phase. Plus they must be able to win the ball back and tackle. To top it off it requires a team to have top levels of acceleration. Finally both Guardiola and Klopp need their defenders to bring the ball out of defence, since they are playing so high. This in turn compresses the pitch even higher.  However both managers are also astute at adjusting when their defensive lines need to be raised. Neither plays with a constant DL.  The higher defensive line brings the backline closer to midfield.  Plus Klopp and Guardiola also have the extra complication of using their BPDs to compress the pitch even further with brings ball out of defence. Each time the defenders go up the entire team shifts up slightly, which make it seem like both teams are in the opponents half camping away.

Now that we have that long set of text out of the way...

You are playing against a 352, by the time your team is doing all this in the opponent's half, the opposition are all back defending, your front 3 run out of space, cos there are wingbacks there.  So to win the possession game against the 352 you need another strategy, a compressed 4123 isn't going to cut it.  In fact, you need to be consistently thinking bout how you can move the opposition around with overloads to unlock spaces, which is what Guardiola's systems do. You need to stretch the play both ways with width and depth, and you need to pin the wingbacks back for 90 mins, or at least one. This is why Guardiola and Klopp drop the use of any Inverted kind of fullback when they meet sides playing a 532. They have not been rigidly following a 4123. 

What ED has suggested is the best way forward, you just need to think about how to use the IWB and the FB effectively, The won't always need to be on attack duty, there are other tools in the game to help you too. You could leave both on support and use the overlap as a switch. Take it off once you think you want to defend and keep both roles on support. However in this case, it could be preferable to leave the FB on attack. Once again you need to pay attention to how your team is moving the ball about. Possession isn't a magic pill.  The only possession numbers I want to win are the final third numbers. I always want to have a higher possession count in the final third.

 

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6 hours ago, syakir.zainol said:

1. Would you think a BBM would provide an alternative to the Mezzala?

Alternative in which sense? BBM is a less adventurous and more defensively responsible role than mezzala, so that's also a factor you need to keep in mind. 

 

7 hours ago, syakir.zainol said:

2. What about the attacking & defensive width? I'm assuming narrow since this looks like a possession-based approach

Depends on too many factors for a simple answer to be possible. 

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