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Adapting to promotion


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I'm currently managing AC Ajaccio. Gained promotion to Ligue 1 for the second time. Went up two season ago, but got related in the same season. Went undefeated the next season in Ligue 2 and now I'm back in the top league. I still use the same tactic but I doesn't seem to work that well after promotion. Of course I will struggle, since the competition is much tougher, but I want to ask if anyone see anything I can do to improve my tactic.

As pointed out earlier, this is the same tactic I used last season. It's a clean slate in terms of TI's. I like to focus on roles and duties along with mentality. I change mentality depending on the opposition. Last season I mainly played on balanced, positive and attacking. This season I use counter and defensive in away games and balanced in home games. Positive if I'm the favorite.

Apologies for the poor image quality. 

IMG_20201012_155118.jpg

Edited by Continum
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2 hours ago, Continum said:

I want to ask if anyone see anything I can do to improve my tactic

First off, I like the fact that you don't use any instructions, simply because it makes it much easier to figure out what you may need to tweak when things go wrong :thup:

In terms of roles and duties, the setup looks decent, but can still be improved IMHO with just a couple of small tweaks. And given that you are an underdog, I personally would suggest the following:

PFat

IFsu                                   Wsu

BWMsu    CMat

DLPde

FBat    CDde   BPDde    FBsu

GK/SKde

You can easily notice that I swapped duties of your AMR (winger) and MCR and then also switched your RB's role to the standard FB (with the same duty). The reason is to give you better defensive solidity on the right flank while at the same time improving central penetration.

Another tweak is changing the BBM into a BWM on support duty - a subtle tweak aimed at better defensive cover for your attacking LB as well as adding another option for possession-recycling in the midfield. You can also opt for a carrilero as an alternative. A third option would be DLP on support, but then your DM should be changed into a non-PM holding role (either DM on defend or anchorman). 

Then the AF is changed into a PF on attack duty - these 2 roles are very similar in terms of attacking movement, but the latter is less likely to end up isolated when played as a lone striker (along with pressing opposition back-lines more aggressively).

Last but not least, I changed 1 of your BPDs into a standard CD. The reason is threefold:

1. What's the point of having a DLP if you use 2 players immediately behind him in a role that tends to skip the midfield relatively frequently and play adventurous long passes directly to your forwards?

2. Why would you want to lose possession more often than necessary (since BPD as a role is hard-coded to attempt risky passes often)?

3. Why would you want to increase defensive risk when playing against high-pressing opposition by encouraging both CBs to spend more time on the ball while being under a lot of pressure?

The question is whether you need even one BPD, let alone 2. 

3 hours ago, Continum said:

I change mentality depending on the opposition. Last season I mainly played on balanced, positive and attacking. This season I use counter and defensive in away games and balanced in home games. Positive if I'm the favorite

Mentality change is usually not a good idea in this particular respect. Because the mentality neither defines your style of play nor makes you either more defensively solid or more dangerous in attack. On top of that, any change of the mentality automatically changes (adjusts) not just your players' individual mentalities but also all other instructions.

A lot better idea than the mentality change is adjusting the D-line and LOE depending on the situation (always making sure your compactness is not compromised) as well as slightly adjusting passing style or/and tempo (keeping in mind that these 2 instructions work together and interact with each other). 

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Thank you for your thorough response. I've made the changes you highlighted and will try it for a couple of games. Could the pressing forward be changed to a deep lying forward on attack? My main striker is more suited for that role. 

When it comes to mentality, would you leave it at balanced? In which scenarios would you adjust D-line and LOE? If I'm an underdog, should I drop a bit deeper then? And higher if I'm a favorite? 

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  • Continum changed the title to Adapting to promotion
53 minutes ago, Continum said:

Could the pressing forward be changed to a deep lying forward on attack? My main striker is more suited for that role

Yes. And that looks like an even better choice, given the rest of the setup :thup: 

 

54 minutes ago, Continum said:

When it comes to mentality, would you leave it at balanced?

Yes :thup: 

 

56 minutes ago, Continum said:

In which scenarios would you adjust D-line and LOE? If I'm an underdog, should I drop a bit deeper then? And higher if I'm a favorite?

When you are a complete underdog in a certain match, I would only drop the LOE just 1 notch (to lower) in order to both get better defensive compactness and create more space for potential counter-attacks. 

When you are either the slight underdog or slight favorite, I would leave both DL and LOE on default (as they already are).

And when you are a clear favorite, I would up the D-line to higher and apply a split block. 

But in any case, you need to watch matches carefully so that you can see if and when some adjustment(s) may be needed. At least until you feel completely comfortable with your tactic. 

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

When you are a complete underdog in a certain match, I would only drop the LOE just 1 notch (to lower) in order to both get better defensive compactness and create more space for potential counter-attacks. 

I've played two matches with the changes you highlighted. I was a complete underdog in both (as I almost am in every match) so I dropped the LOE to lower. Lost both matches 1-0, but I could see improvement in the play. Defensively we look much more solid now. Decent shot/shot at target ratio but struggle with creating clear cut chances.

When chasing a goal, which changes do you suggest I try? In these matches, I tried to reset the LOE to standard and play a higher D-line. In the second match, I also tried more direct passes. Still couldn't find a way through. It's only two matches though. In both, I was expected to lose. Overall, even though we lost, I don't think we put up a bad performance. So it's a step forward in the right direction I would say.

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12 hours ago, Continum said:

I've played two matches with the changes you highlighted. I was a complete underdog in both (as I almost am in every match) so I dropped the LOE to lower. Lost both matches 1-0, but I could see improvement in the play. Defensively we look much more solid now. Decent shot/shot at target ratio but struggle with creating clear cut chances

Okay, losing 1-0 when you are the complete underdog is not a catastrophe by any means, which does not mean that you must lose every single time. 

But a very important question here is - do you watch the matches at least in the Comprehensive mode (if not full) in order to identify potential issues and then try to fix them through small in-match tweaks, or you play entire matches with the starting tactic without paying much attention to what is actually happening on the pitch? 

12 hours ago, Continum said:

When chasing a goal, which changes do you suggest I try?

In my personal case, these changes (or rather tweaks) are always based on what I observe watching the match. Therefore, there is no universal recipe in the sense of "in situation X do this" or "in situation Y do that". The only "rules" I follow in such situations are:

- do not make many changes/tweaks at once

- do not make tweaks on a random basis

- do not rush and do not panic

- be patient and give the tweak(s) you've made some time to take effect 

12 hours ago, Continum said:

It's only two matches though. In both, I was expected to lose. Overall, even though we lost, I don't think we put up a bad performance. So it's a step forward in the right direction I would say

Seems so, but only you can know. 

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14 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

But a very important question here is - do you watch the matches at least in the Comprehensive mode (if not full) in order to identify potential issues and then try to fix them through small in-match tweaks, or you play entire matches with the starting tactic without paying much attention to what is actually happening on the pitch? 

I do watch on extended. But to be honest, I struggle a bit with what to look out for in different situations and even more important, how to fix it if I spot any issues. Any pointers which I could use as a starting point? 

Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

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12 minutes ago, Continum said:

I do watch on extended. But to be honest, I struggle a bit with what to look out for in different situations and even more important, how to fix it if I spot any issues

Better watch on comprehensive while the tactic is in the testing-and-tweaking phase, and then you can switch to extended (once you are confident enough). 

 

15 minutes ago, Continum said:

Any pointers which I could use as a starting point?

Instead of a pointer, I have a question that might prove helpful (depending on your answer): do you still play your DM as a DLP? 

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9 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Instead of a pointer, I have a question that might prove helpful (depending on your answer): do you still play your DM as a DLP?

Yes, I do still utilize a DLP in the DM position. 

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2 hours ago, Continum said:

Yes, I do still utilize a DLP in the DM position. 

I asked because that could be a potential defensive issue. Because playmakers are ball-magnets, and yours is in a very deep position. So when you play against stronger teams that press you aggressively in your own half and near your penalty area, guess what can happen if they target your DLP. Even if he has all the relevant attributes to handle that pressure when he has the ball, what if a pass from a teammate gets intercepted by an aggressive opposition player before your DLP receives it? 

I hope you understand what I am referring to.

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11 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Even if he has all the relevant attributes to handle that pressure when he has the ball, what if a pass from a teammate gets intercepted by an aggressive opposition player before your DLP receives it? 

Ok, so change it to a non-PM role. A defense midfielder or an anchorman as you suggested. At least for the tougher games. Then I can change back in games where I have the upper hand. Then, observe and adept to match highlights.

Would you advise to change one of the other midfielders to PM, who play further up, or keep it as it is now? It's not like I have to force a PM into my team by any means. 

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1 hour ago, Continum said:

Ok, so change it to a non-PM role. A defense midfielder or an anchorman as you suggested. At least for the tougher games

I did not say that you necessarily need to change it. For now, just watch matches carefully to see if that poses a problem. If yes - then change. If not - keep it. 

 

1 hour ago, Continum said:

Would you advise to change one of the other midfielders to PM, who play further up, or keep it as it is now? It's not like I have to force a PM into my team by any means

As you said, using a PM role is not mandatory. But if you want to have one anyway, then I personally would rather play him in CM than DM. And in the case of your current tactic specifically, I would play him as a DLP on support duty in MCL position. The DM can then be switched either to anchor or DM on defend duty. 

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48 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

As you said, using a PM role is not mandatory. But if you want to have one anyway, then I personally would rather play him in CM than DM. And in the case of your current tactic specifically, I would play him as a DLP on support duty in MCL position. The DM can then be switched either to anchor or DM on defend duty. 

I like it. I will try it and see how it works out.

Thank you.

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