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FM21 - Total Football, A club dna project with positional play


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I liked a lot of your ideas from the Juego de Posicion thread, thinking about how to implement some of them with Arsenal. Had a really strong Arsenal side on FM20 in a long career save, which had a lot of fluid movement and possession football, but not quite sure how I'm going to go about it in FM21 - got a few ideas I'm going to try out.

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Club DNA Overview

Our club going forward will be defined by several core principles. If we can successfully do each of these, then I believe we can meet our long term goals for the club, which are to annually challenge for the Serie A title, Annually make it to the knockout rounds in the Champions league, and at least win one trophy every other year. 

  • Positional Versatility - we will aim to sign youngsters at the beginning of the save who we can train as versatile players. Ideally we will never have players who are truly one-footed, meaning no weak footed players, thus being able to positionally rotate players among flanks. Ideally our flank players can play both the offensive and defensive role of a flank, and our best players can play as either attacking flank player. Our central playmakers should be able to play in either midfield strata. And our holding midfielder should also be able to play as a BPD (a la Frenkie de Jong recently)
  • Creative/Technical Players - we will aim to have a squad with multiple creative and technically gifted players on the field at the same time. 
  • Defensive Stability - Although we will be an attacking/possession oriented team, in order be successful, particularly on the continental stage, we will need to have a solid defense, surrendering few goals over the campaign. We will aim to have a good goal differential in the league and have our goal keeper be in the top 3 for shutouts
  • Transfer Neutral -  This is actually a part of the club vision already,  but I aim to be transfer neutral. We will occasionally buy high profile players, but this should be balanced by developing youngsters who either make it into the first team, or can be sold on for profit and successful careers elsewhere. I expect this to show up in Lazio being a leading developer of talent in Italy. We will need to build a more robust youth setup in the first 3 years, as it is currently not up to snuff.

Club DNA Attributes

Our general team DNA will establish our core fundamentals as five key attributes for total football success. Then based on our team groups, we will have some additional key attributes to further pursue our style of play.

  • Core Attibutes - Passing, Technique, Decisions, Off the ball, Work Rate - I believe these five are core to our ability to maintain possession, working hard as a team both on and off the ball, and also having the off the ball ability ability to make ourselves available to maintain possession and progress the ball up the pitch.
  • Minor Core Attributes -  First touch, anticipation, composure, Determination, Team work, Vision, Balance and Stamina. 
  • Three Core Playmakers - All of the above, with dribbling, acceleration, agility, vision and flair

We will scout for players based on the above. For our key 3 playmakers (RPM, APA, and IW) we need to prioritize all of these, but most can be effectively trained if we have the right foundation.

You will notice that determination is not a core attribute, as it really goes without saying IMO that determination is always key. It is listed as a minor.

Below is a screenshot of our custom squad view.

image.thumb.png.f12c9680ce42abe456448f31c33992c0.png

 

 

Edited by 04texag
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11 minutes ago, llama3 said:

I liked a lot of your ideas from the Juego de Posicion thread, thinking about how to implement some of them with Arsenal. Had a really strong Arsenal side on FM20 in a long career save, which had a lot of fluid movement and possession football, but not quite sure how I'm going to go about it in FM21 - got a few ideas I'm going to try out.

Thanks. Feel free to post in either thread about your successes and what you're trying that might be different from me. 

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To understand how we will be looking to play, I highly suggest you read the previous tactical series thread, as it goes into the technical details of how my tactic is setup. I will post the tactics here, as FM21 plays differently, but first, I want to focus on the three key playmaker positions, how I have them setup, and why I'm so excited for this initial Lazio team.

The Number 10 - In the center of the park, we have our number 10 in the AMC slot. This player needs to be our best playmaker, creative and highly technical. Our AMC can give up some work rate and team work (which our RPM will pick up), but needs to have high marks in our 3 PM attributes listed above,  dribbling, acceleration, agility, vision and flair. These additional attributes help the player to be able to roam from position, find open space, and due the unexpected/risky passes to unlock the defense.  

Luis Alberto is the man who really intrigued me and got me wanting to play as Lazio. Here are his attributes. 

image.thumb.png.c18d683e1cafa0a1f4de246aa59e2d7d.png

Luis has everything I'm looking for and can honestly excel at either playmaker spot. He doesn't have a plethora of player traits like a lot of FM playmakers, but we will be training some for him. I'm first going to try to get him moves into channels as I want him to prioritize playing in the half spaces, which should help increase his touches per game.

The Roaming Playmaker/Heart beat of the team

Our central midfield strata playmaker is a RPM, and aims to drive up and down the field almost like a box to box, with high work rate and team work, but the technical and creative ability to be a playmaker. They will be playing in tight spaces, executing our quick passing style in the channels and in between the defensive lines. Thus they also need good composure anticipation, essentially all of our core attributes. They don't always have to craft the perfect through ball, as often the RPM will lay possession off to either of our other two playmakers, or even to the CM-D or FB who can execute switches of play. But they must always have a high motor.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is our RPM. He has a lot of the same characteristics as Luis, but is more of a typical CM box to box type player. I honestly could and intend to try each player in both positions. Sergej already has plenty of traits, and most will complement my desires for him to move into channels, push forward and be an attacking threat.

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The IW, wide roaming playmaker

Our third playmaker type players is only one in attributes and PI's, but not a technically named playmaker in FM terms, as this often causes issues.  We can utilize the IW-s on either flank at different points in any game. But they should be attribute wise a playmaker, and positionally, we will ask them to play narrow, roam from position, and take risks. Tactically, this third our player who is looking to exploit the middle and create good possession play. This will help us to play according to our tactical style. This player should be opposite footed to flank if not either footed. This player will typically not have attributes as good technical or mental compared to the previous two, but have better physicals. This player should be able to provide both goals and assists for the squad.

This might be our first Transfer priority - We have some players who can adequately play here, but not our third best player on the team. Currently we are looking at Andres Periera (on loan from Man U), and Joaquin Correa. Correa is really close to what I'm looking for, I just am worried by his constant injuries in preseason.

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Now that I've introduced you to some of our key players, here is where they are playing on the field.

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3 hours ago, 04texag said:

Thanks. Feel free to post in either thread about your successes and what you're trying that might be different from me. 

So I've looked at instructions of a Tiki-Taka system, to recreate the short passing, with lots of close options available, which supports counter-pressing etc. too - in combination with ensuring that roles and duties stretch the pitch and offer width. Specifically the key parts here are my Winger (Attack) on the left flank, playing higher and wider, forcing the opposition full back to come and shut him down, with the Wing Back (Attack) on the right, doing much the same, but coming from a deeper angle. It's all about stretching play, whilst retaining the key central, close passing options. I need my striker to come short, link, move into channels and spin in behind. I like the balance of the DLP(d) breaking lines into AP(s) too. Lots of good switches from Xhaka (whose PPMs are really useful as a slightly more direct distributor from deeper positions). Primarily if I make changes, it's defensively working out if I am forcing opponents outside, or where I am focusing my passing.

Formation below, with some annotations to denote key movement... (personnel are key options, lots of alternatives I can use)

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Specifically note Pepe's internal movement into advanced half-space areas on the right, so Bellerin aggressively drives late to offer width, and get to the byline for low crosses or cut backs. Xhaka sitting deeper and spreading the ball often finds Saka and Bellerin. So we draw people in with the close passing of Xhaka, Ceballos & Partey, before switching it. Ceballos will drift slightly left of centre when Saka goes in behind, so him and Tierney offer deeper and more central out-balls. 

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I like the look of your tactic @llama3!  There are definitely a lot of similarities. I guess it would be prudent of me to share my full tactic on this thread as well. 

Here is my base tactic. This is what I start out each game in. I'm always tweaking things but I feel this is close enough to being season ready/share ready.

image.png.b9fc3145410f4bcd452ee028c7560e58.png

 

I do have a more advanced version, but I'm mostly using as an alternate the below version, it's UW (ultra wide) Abus (anti bus) for when facing deep 532's which we see a lot of in Serie A.

image.png.6f5139993e480eb8a2a36b215d77d21f.png

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1 hour ago, Luizinho said:

Sorry if it's been covered here or in your other thread. Whats the reasoning behind using an IW over an IF?

Good question. I'm wanting more of a creative player here, something similar to the way Mahrez or B Silva will hug the line, then cut into the box looking to cross or put a through ball in. You could try either one here though depending on personal preference.  

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I don't know if it holds true with 21 as of yet because I haven't had the opportunity to try them out, but on 20, I found Inside Forwards would not only drift inside much earlier in play progression but also more often than an Inverted Winger would. Which is certainly ideal for the intent for the player.

Anyway, following along :brock:

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7 hours ago, ericstpeter said:

Great thread again! Do you use other PI’s than the ones you laid out?

As of now I have not deviated on the initial tactic PI's much. Once I have more time in game with FM21, I'll do a solid tactical update.

8 hours ago, sherifdinn_ said:

A very fitting title to a thread with so much potential.

Thanks to both of you, glad you're enjoying so far. Unfortunately I've been too busy to get as much in game time as I'd like, but I'll hopefully make up for that over the coming week and get more content coming.

 

So the season has just started and the first transfer window has closed. The main issues I have with the squad is way too much depth in the WB positions and several aging players on high salaries. We are letting some guys go for not much value, but it's good to get the salaries off the books. To go along with the above, at the start of the save, we had only two truly serviceable players for the two AML/AMR slots. So I used my full transfer budget this window to bring in two players, one who can play at the AMR in Domenico Berardi, and another who can play all three AM strata positions in the brazilian Otavio. Below are the two signees.

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I have big expectations out of these two, Luis Alberto, and Sergej. And Ciro Immobile as well, who is off to a good start with 5 goals in 3 games. 

We have played really well so far and are 2 wins and 1 draw to start. The draw a really close 1-1 game against Roma away.

image.thumb.png.bd0aa27541a1ee35463e8f6b81220cf7.png

 

More to come soon.

 

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21 hours ago, 04texag said:

I like the look of your tactic @llama3!  There are definitely a lot of similarities. I guess it would be prudent of me to share my full tactic on this thread as well. 

Here is my base tactic. This is what I start out each game in. I'm always tweaking things but I feel this is close enough to being season ready/share ready.

image.png.b9fc3145410f4bcd452ee028c7560e58.png

 

I do have a more advanced version, but I'm mostly using as an alternate the below version, it's UW (ultra wide) Abus (anti bus) for when facing deep 532's which we see a lot of in Serie A.

image.png.6f5139993e480eb8a2a36b215d77d21f.png

If opponents are defending deep, then is Pass Into Space really effective? They don't leave space behind, do they?

I find it more effective going wider, lowering tempo and upping the passing to Standard or More Direct, without using Pass Into Space. I also remove Dribble Less. 

I prefer to use IFs vs 3CDs+WBs formations. 

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4 minutes ago, yonko said:

If opponents are defending deep, then is Pass Into Space really effective? They don't leave space behind, do they?

I find it more effective going wider, lowering tempo and upping the passing to Standard or More Direct, without using Pass Into Space. I also remove Dribble Less. 

I prefer to use IFs vs 3CDs+WBs formations. 

Yes, this is very much a work in progress on that second tactic. I agree with pretty much everything you said, but just trying tweak to get the movements and passing I'm looking for, which hasn't been as easy as I would have hoped on FM21 so far. More time with game will help.

I'll try the IFs versus the back 5, thanks for that suggestion.

 

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20 hours ago, 04texag said:

Good question. I'm wanting more of a creative player here, something similar to the way Mahrez or B Silva will hug the line, then cut into the box looking to cross or put a through ball in. You could try either one here though depending on personal preference.  

If you want a creative player in the AMR was an AP or Trequartista considered?

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10 hours ago, yonko said:

If opponents are defending deep, then is Pass Into Space really effective?

I'd say that in combination with two playmakers, Much Shorter Passing and Play Out Of Defence, it could work. Pass Into Space doesn't necessarily mean players will be trying to hoof the ball in behind defences at all times (could be the case with More Direct Passing), it can just mean they're passing the ball slightly ahead of their teammates, rather than waiting for them to come closer so they can pass to feet. As the Manual description says, one of the effects of that is that it helps the "tempo":

Quote

Pass Into Space asks players to lead their team-mates into open spaces with their passing, rather than delivering it to their feet, in an effort to stretch the play and increase the overall tempo.

I can see the logic behind it in the setup above (create overload on the left, then make a quick shift to the right for an attacking IW/AF). If players are given discretion to make riskier passes into space when they see fit (majority of the time they should be passing it short to playmakers, plus there's Much Shorter Passing instruction), they could really exploit that space that gets vacated on the right nicely.

Edited by Zemahh
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1 hour ago, Zemahh said:

I'd say that in combination with two playmakers, Much Shorter Passing and Play Out Of Defence, it could work. Pass Into Space doesn't necessarily mean players will be trying to hoof the ball in behind defences at all times (could be the case with More Direct Passing), it can just mean they're passing the ball slightly ahead of their teammates, rather than waiting for them to come closer so they can pass to feet. As the Manual description says, one of the effects of that is that it helps the "tempo":

I can see the logic behind it in the setup above (create overload on the left, then make a quick shift to the right for an attacking IW/AF). If players are given discretion to make riskier passes into space when they see fit (majority of the time they should be passing it short to playmakers, plus there's Much Shorter Passing instruction), they could really exploit that space that gets vacated on the right nicely.

Pass Into Space is risky passes. The playmakers already do that anyway. When opponents play deep, there is little space to play risky passes. It would be just giving the ball away. I choose not to do that. I play wider and slower to draw them out and for that I up the passing a little.

And I didn't say anything about hoofing the ball. 

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1 minute ago, yonko said:

When opponents play deep, there is little space to play risky passes.

This is what I'm getting at. There may be little space in behind their defences, but that's not the only space Pass Into Space looks for; the Manual description clearly mentions stretching the play and increasing tempo. The tactic above plans on exploiting space on the right flank, which is where the instruction could come in handy—instruct players to mostly retain possession and look for ball-magnets, but also give them license to make adventurous switches of play when they see fit.

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4 hours ago, nick1408 said:

If you want a creative player in the AMR was an AP or Trequartista considered?

No, I did not, as I already have a specialist in the RPM and a second playmaker in the AMC slot. I don't want that wide player to be too much of a ball magnet. The post just above this describes well that AMR role of remaining on wing and waiting for the switch pass. I want after receiving the ball this player to either run in and cross, out in a through ball or shoot. The IF might be too one dimensional and what you mentioned will be too much of a ball magnet. 

Another play option is that we overload the right wing with the wb, and the IW does a better job in this overload scenario. 

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2 hours ago, yonko said:

Pass Into Space is risky passes. The playmakers already do that anyway. When opponents play deep, there is little space to play risky passes. It would be just giving the ball away. I choose not to do that. I play wider and slower to draw them out and for that I up the passing a little.

And I didn't say anything about hoofing the ball. 

 

2 hours ago, Zemahh said:

This is what I'm getting at. There may be little space in behind their defences, but that's not the only space Pass Into Space looks for; the Manual description clearly mentions stretching the play and increasing tempo. The tactic above plans on exploiting space on the right flank, which is where the instruction could come in handy—instruct players to mostly retain possession and look for ball-magnets, but also give them license to make adventurous switches of play when they see fit.

I think both of you have points and it depends. When I'm playing a true parked bus, I agree with @yonko. But it normal play or against a cautious team that's looking to counter, pass into space still works well, in this tactic. Maybe not generally but with this combination of play. 

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I'm seeing a significant amount of through ball assists (especially compared to FM20) from just outside the 18 yard box without utilising something like Pass Into Space. What that tells me is that players are more capable this time out to make something happen in limited amounts of space. In FM20 we cautioned against the use of Pass Into Space when the expectation was there was going to be minimal space behind the defense, but I wonder if that's something that no longer is applicable.

I believe Rashidi has a video out on team instructions now but I haven't had the time to watch that and see if this is something he touches on or not.

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2 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

I'm seeing a significant amount of through ball assists (especially compared to FM20) from just outside the 18 yard box without utilising something like Pass Into Space. What that tells me is that players are more capable this time out to make something happen in limited amounts of space. In FM20 we cautioned against the use of Pass Into Space when the expectation was there was going to be minimal space behind the defense, but I wonder if that's something that no longer is applicable.

I believe Rashidi has a video out on team instructions now but I haven't had the time to watch that and see if this is something he touches on or not.

That was something they were supposed to have improved upon. I still have had pass into space on as it was necessary in prior versions, so I should definitely test in FM21 without it. I just simply haven't had enough game time yet with the novel writing going on. I'll test this some this week for sure.

 

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Let's talk some initial results and thoughts on the squad.

So far, I'm encouraged by my Lazio squads response to our change in tactics and shape from what the game starts out with (We are changing a typical wing back 532 club into our JdP 4231). We have had slow starts out of Joaquin Correa, but the last two games he's bagged a goal and is starting to get used to playing out wide and cutting in. We have had some injury issues but players are coming back and the squad is mostly healthy. Ciro has been playing very well as a lone AF striker, and Luis Alberto is clearly our best player. I'm still trying to get Lazzari to impact games more by driving high and wide on the right flank, as I think that will create overload issues and release Berardi.

In our first month or so of play, we have had a few easy match ups in Serie A, but also two very difficult away matches, at Roma and at Inter. I've been very happy with both away draws, as the 1-1 games really could have gone either way. We aren't surrendering a lot of goals, and I think it's pretty acccurate to see tough fought 1 goal draws in big away games. 

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But then, there is the Champions League. We came down with a pretty difficult draw in my opinion. Barcelona, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Zenit. Of course, our first two games are away, at Zenit and then at Barcelona right after our big Inter match up. To say that the start of this season, especially with the Covid influenced overload of games, has resulted in a tough stretch of games. But we have managed pretty darned well, and for that I'm really happy with our team. 

image.png.c8e9f7147fc6d3176706fb583cba1c75.png

 

Below is our Serie A anaylst summary. I'm very happy with our xGa per game, but want to see better finishing from our squad. Our shots on target I think needs work, but possession is good and we are looking better than the average opponent.

image.png.a07814c0fe16ff93759323418a05c435.png

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Zemahh said:

This is what I'm getting at. There may be little space in behind their defences, but that's not the only space Pass Into Space looks for; the Manual description clearly mentions stretching the play and increasing tempo. The tactic above plans on exploiting space on the right flank, which is where the instruction could come in handy—instruct players to mostly retain possession and look for ball-magnets, but also give them license to make adventurous switches of play when they see fit.

They defend deep and narrow as well. So all they are giving you is the wings. You don't need Pass Into Space for that. There are other useful instructions to open them up and I mentioned them. 

But you don't have to agree or listen to me at all. Play the way you like. 

3 hours ago, 04texag said:

 

I think both of you have points and it depends. When I'm playing a true parked bus, I agree with @yonko. But it normal play or against a cautious team that's looking to counter, pass into space still works well, in this tactic. Maybe not generally but with this combination of play. 

I was specifically talking about opponents that defend deep and narrow. Against more open opponents it's a different story. 

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So far, I've been a little disappointed with our offensive output, particularly with our number of shots attempted, and our % shots on target. This can be seen in our analyst data, but also in how stale our attack has felt at times. 

Here is our analyst performance up through October.

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I made a tactical change for our last game, which resulted in us destroying the 7th spot Torino at home, 4-0. It was a brilliant game, which is also great as we had tired legs from our mid week trip to Barcelona.

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I made the changes about a third of the way into the game, and you can see the impacts as our xG shot up. Also, our shot map shows us getting off more and better chances.

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Of course, two thirds of one game can be a total fluke. So I'll be playing some more games with the new tactic to see if the results translate and if we maintain the overall style of play we are setting out to achieve. But I thought the above shows some great prospects.

 

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Edited by 04texag
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So post tactical change, we have played one month of games and I believe the results are a step in the right direction. I'm still early on so this will likely still be tweaked as I get more comfort with the squad and FM21 in general. But if you compare the previous posts analyst report to the below, I think you'll see the difference. We have SLIGHTLY decreased our defensive dominance, while increasing our goals per game, shots per game, shots on target ratio and xG per game. I'm very happy with that.

That has also been done in a very tight window of games, missing some key players, and a couple weeks of champions league games followed by top 8 serie A opponents.

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So now that I feel like the tactic is a confirmed step in the right direction, here it is to share:

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One note about the tactic in general, above it shows on positive team mentality, against weaker opposition and at home I've been doing the one game only adjustment of moving to attacking mentality.

In last years FM, and in the tactical series primer, I had the AMC as an advanced play maker. This was done as without my AMC being a playmaker to somewhat be a ball magnet, the other roles at AMC just never saw any player I managed get enough touches per game. The improved central play in FM21 I think has helped to address this. So I have reverted the AMC slot back to what I really ideally wanted all along, and so far I'm getting enough touches and good play that is connecting the offense together in transition and attack. Borrowing from Ozil's master threads, the AMC has the below instructions.

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Now that I was back to one playmaker, I went ahead and began testing a wide Trequartista. I have placed him on the left, given him keep wide and cut inside instructions. In combination with that, I have changed the FB-s on the left flank to a WB-s with dribble less and stay wider.

Feel free to ask any questions. 

 

Edited by 04texag
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So just after posting about the new tactic, we had an away CL game at Zenit. Zenit was fresh off of a home 1-0 victory against Barcelona and flying high on momentum. And yet, our team had tired legs, so I went ahead and played mostly backups. We went on to absolutely annihilate them. But first, our goal that opened the game up:

So I just have to share what I think might be the best goal I have ever seen in FM, at least certainly of my goals. I think you need to watch this twice. On your second watch, pay attention to the super quick interchanges just before the goal. The striker drops deep, heel flicks it backwards before making his run on goal. That heel flicked ball is quickly one touched, to a two touch, to a one touch through ball. It happens all so fast and is just amazing.

 

Amazing, right?

Ok, so here is the full score line in our absolute thrashing of Zenit.

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In a crazy squad registration issue, Adam Marusic had to miss out on our league registration, but due to other quirks, he did get registered for the CL (our signing Otavio came in after final CL registration but not Serie A). So I've been playing him in the CL and it's been good to help rest others. He CRUSHED it in this game with 1 goal and 1 assist, but honestly he got robbed by the engine of a second assist. He rated at 8.6 and looks like I'm going to have to find room for him in the squad full time at the winter window. 

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With the win, we have now qualified for the first knockout round, which I'm super happy about as I felt we had a tough group. We still have one game left to play, Barcelona at home, which would see us as top of the group if we can do it.

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Being super pumped about qualifying, and our club running at a profit for the season, I approached the board to improve our youth recruitment, as long term we really need to up our youth setup game. 

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With us qualifying for knockout round, the youth recruitment improvement accepted, our new tactic working and us sitting 3rd in the Serie A table, I'm quite pleased. We also head into the winter window without any real needs to address. So far, very pleased.

 

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Amazing thread so far, great to see how JDP can work in FM21. I’ve always been a admirer of Pep and this style of football. 
 

I’m currently doing what I call a ‘Beta’ save where I pick a good team and play around with a few things whilst getting to grips with the new game. Using Benfica, who have a squad capable of doing this - although my go to is usually a 4-3-3 shape rather than 4-2-3-1 

However, for the full release I’m thinking of a long term save with a team in the lower leagues, probably in Italy. Palermo caught my eye. Would be cool to take them back to the top.

I’ve been thinking about using a back 3/5, for added security, but with some Cruyff elements (shoutout to Ozil’s fantastic thread on here). This would have to be dialled down a lot I guess. 

Curious to know your thoughts on implementing a JDP style (probably more cautious) like this with an inferior squad.

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26 minutes ago, Fantasista10 said:

Amazing thread so far, great to see how JDP can work in FM21. I’ve always been a admirer of Pep and this style of football. 
 

I’m currently doing what I call a ‘Beta’ save where I pick a good team and play around with a few things whilst getting to grips with the new game. Using Benfica, who have a squad capable of doing this - although my go to is usually a 4-3-3 shape rather than 4-2-3-1 

However, for the full release I’m thinking of a long term save with a team in the lower leagues, probably in Italy. Palermo caught my eye. Would be cool to take them back to the top.

I’ve been thinking about using a back 3/5, for added security, but with some Cruyff elements (shoutout to Ozil’s fantastic thread on here). This would have to be dialled down a lot I guess. 

Curious to know your thoughts on implementing a JDP style (probably more cautious) like this with an inferior squad.

Thanks for the feedback!

That sounds like a fun save. I too love SLB and one of my most fun saves was in FM19 with them, doing my best to mimic O'zil's thread. I have predominantly played a 433 shape as well until this past half year. I really like both and think you can get very similar performance from both shapes, with some slight role changes.

I think I mentioned it earlier in the thread, but inspired by De Zerbi and Roma, I think a 532, or 3142 would be a fun tactic to try next. I think you could do a good representation of positional play and go for two flavors, a balanced 235 in attack and a more aggressive 316 in attack. I believe both will be doable and I hope to do so down the road. For now, I'm trying to not get too distracted and try too much too soon.

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25 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Thanks for the feedback!

That sounds like a fun save. I too love SLB and one of my most fun saves was in FM19 with them, doing my best to mimic O'zil's thread. I have predominantly played a 433 shape as well until this past half year. I really like both and think you can get very similar performance from both shapes, with some slight role changes.

I think I mentioned it earlier in the thread, but inspired by De Zerbi and Roma, I think a 532, or 3142 would be a fun tactic to try next. I think you could do a good representation of positional play and go for two flavors, a balanced 235 in attack and a more aggressive 316 in attack. I believe both will be doable and I hope to do so down the road. For now, I'm trying to not get too distracted and try too much too soon.

Ah yes, that would be an interesting shape to try and create. De Zerbi is doing a tremendous job IRL. Very flexible with his setups. 

I love the idea of a 3-1-4-2 as you can have enough players to cover those five zones that we typically see Pep’s players fill. 

Using two wing backs or wide midfielders who stay wide, coupled with Mezzala’s or CM’s instructed to stay wider to play in those half spaces. 

Excited to see how you get on and perhaps evolve the shape further down the line! Early signs from this ME are also encouraging :) 

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I've only been able to get a few games in the last day, as I'm trying to really focus on my novel for Nanowrimo.

That said, I've been growing frustrated with my teams poor attacking form since the January window. It's such a well documented occurence, the winter window occurs, teams adjust, and after the fall playing well, teams adjust and park the bus against you. We have been back and forth in first and second place in the league, so we have been fighting this. In italy, there is an abundance of 5 at the back (3 defenders and 2 wingbacks) and they are all playing defensive football against me. I'm really struggling to break these sides down.

Currently, to combat this, I'm working on overloads using the new focus play reworking. Unfortunately, I can't report a full success yet. I would love to hear from others who have had success with this so far.

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I was feeling pretty doom and gloom last night, so let's do a more positive update. The future of the Biancocelesti looks bright! I have been scouring my scouting reports looking for some good young talent, under 20 if I can help it, to bring in and develop. Here are three transfers I'm super excited about.

First up, Thiago Almada - Since I started playing in 2018, I have always found a way to bring him over from Argentina in one of my saves. I think he's got a lot of potential, and I have a soft spot for him since my first save of FM. Because of a non-EU player signing rule, we signed him in the winter window but not to join until the summer. My plan is to train him at all three attacking midfield positions, but aiming to groom him to be Luis Alberto's long term back up. We were able to get him on a song, after we disrupted him a little in the summer. We offered 4.5m, with 8.25 total after future considerations. A steal in my opinion.

image.thumb.png.5e22430eb013431f0a57d512c1c7363c.png

 

The reason we had to wait until summer is that the save started with one non-eu, and then at the end of the summer window we brought in Francisco Gonzalez. He's a left footed attacking midfielder, which we do not have enough of. He will be training to play in the AMR position, with some cross-training at AMC for positional variability. He's already in the U20 squad and been performing quite well so far, with 1 goal and 4 assists in 4 games. We signed him for 1.7 m which is a great value if he can fulfill his 4.5 star potential.

image.thumb.png.56564673ed811df4ef46c28ca6519896.png

 

And finally, we triggered the release clause at 2.9m for Roberto Navarro from Real Sociedad. I think this too is a good deal for a future potential start. My plan is to train him at AML and AMC. He might get some training time in the central midfield playmaker roles as well, we will see how he develops at AML next season.

image.thumb.png.d8db5740a78648e23b9d85a9553632f0.png

 

So, as you can tell, I now have three hand selected youth prospects for my three AM positions for the future. I'm excited to have them all playing together in U20 next season, while giving them some spot chances and cup games. The future is bright for the eagles at Lazio.

 

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Another good deal about my Lazio squad, is that it's by far the best team I've ever had from a personality standpoint. We are stocked full of model citizens and professionals. We have 2 model citizens, 3 perfectionists, 7 professionals, 6 resolutes. That is just unheard of.

I have immediately taken my two youngsters who are already at the club and moved them to the main squad, while setting them as always available for 90 minutes with the U20s. This should ensure they get senior squad training, full slate of games, and then the opportunity for mentoring. 

image.thumb.png.330484a14ddab99c18135b21b3fc2fca.png

 

I really like how FM21 has added the estimated effect FROM group this year. 

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On 11/14/2020 at 9:42 PM, 04texag said:

I like the look of your tactic @llama3!  There are definitely a lot of similarities. I guess it would be prudent of me to share my full tactic on this thread as well. 

Here is my base tactic. This is what I start out each game in. I'm always tweaking things but I feel this is close enough to being season ready/share ready.

image.png.b9fc3145410f4bcd452ee028c7560e58.png

 

I do have a more advanced version, but I'm mostly using as an alternate the below version, it's UW (ultra wide) Abus (anti bus) for when facing deep 532's which we see a lot of in Serie A.

image.png.6f5139993e480eb8a2a36b215d77d21f.png

are you still working on ABUS tactics?

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27 minutes ago, lipebtavares said:

are you still working on ABUS tactics?

I am, but don't have a great solution yet. It's been frustrating to find a consistently performing tactic against the defensive back gives in serie a. 

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The Birth of Altarian-Ball

Alright, so how about another positive update to share.

Engaged in a discussion on the enganche role in another thread. I decided to modify and update my overload tactic from FM20, which is in the tactical series. I just used it exclusively in two back to back games. I still have the overall positional play instructions, but just some modified roles and duties. Let's just say, it's been impressive.

We throttled Juventus in the second leg of the italian cup semi finals. We tied the first game away 1-1, so we didn't need much, but we destroyed them 3-0.

image.png.5814d6b305122880a76eaba36447298d.png

We had a follow match in 3 days at home against our fierce rivals Roma. We had tired legs, so our starters struggled to play more than about 60 minutes, but that was enough as we buried them 3-0 as well. 

image.png.8e76f4c2bba1b9c0a260b2212b9ff9f0.png

All of this to say, I'm really happy with this as an added tactic to our base positional play tactic. So impressive really, that the media has now had this to say.

image.png.d77057a9abb7b546016ef3566768bcc2.png

 

The 4231 Enganche

image.png.af6f1503df25d7e16ef2c8dc605d81e3.png

 

Edited by 04texag
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:applause:Ooh I like this latest tactic @04texag. Haven't commented on this new FM21 JdP thread yet but I'm liking what I see. I have a sneaking suspicion that the full release will have to do some balancing as the much better attacking play seems to be resulting in some quite easy steamrollering of the league with just some well thought out and relatively attacking tactics. Although I am not sure if you managed to get over your January hump but back to back 3-0 wins against strong rivals is reassuring.

12 hours ago, 04texag said:

The 4231 Enganche

image.png.af6f1503df25d7e16ef2c8dc605d81e3.png

So with this tactic you've obviously abandoned the RPM role. I thought initially that the IF-A was mean to be the free man to attack the space (RMD-esque) but looking at it more closely the overload actually seems to be on the left hand side with the back roles. Could you explain this? Which of the IF-A and IW-A is staying wider (or neither..?). Looks like the width is coming from the CWB-S on the right and so the IW-A is drifitng inwards but then the Mez is on the left so I'm a bit confused! :idiot: Sure it is just me being slow though :) 

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1 hour ago, Flußkrebs said:

So with this tactic you've obviously abandoned the RPM role. I thought initially that the IF-A was mean to be the free man to attack the space (RMD-esque) but looking at it more closely the overload actually seems to be on the left hand side with the back roles. Could you explain this? Which of the IF-A and IW-A is staying wider (or neither..?). Looks like the width is coming from the CWB-S on the right and so the IW-A is drifitng inwards but then the Mez is on the left so I'm a bit confused! :idiot: Sure it is just me being slow though :) 

So playing a little looser with some of the hard stance on principles and allowing some of my players to play in more natural positions, while focusing more on overloads. Which of course are still an integral part of positional play. 

Luis playing as an enganche is quite amazing to see. He is really roaming a lot more than I thought he would. I think there's something about the role, but also removing the RPM. He's all over the field. Funny enough, he is moving wide and helping to overload in all areas of the field, and our ability to create a free man has really started happening across multiple areas of the pitch. It's still most often the AMR. 

The cwb on the right is playing lazzari in the role that helps him truly shine. The LB is now a wb and providing width on the left. 

Try it, tell me what you see, I think you'll like it. 

 

Oh ya almost forgot to mention, Berardi at AMR has had 5 goals in 3 games. 

Edited by 04texag
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I've also used this variant up top in the middle of some games. The TM drops deeper and helps create a free man out wide left and also right. It's been an effective switch up of play during a game.

image.png.faa346893db6fcc7829c9b28caf7c3ad.png

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21 minutes ago, 04texag said:

So playing a little looser with some of the hard stance on principles and allowing some of my players to play in more natural positions, while focusing more on overloads. Which of course are still an integral part of positional play. 

Luis playing as an enganche is quite amazing to see. He is really roaming a lot more than I thought he would. I think there's something about the role, but also removing the RPM. He's all over the field. Funny enough, he is moving wide and helping to overload in all areas of the field, and our ability to create a free man has really started happening across multiple areas of the pitch. It's still most often the AMR. 

The cwb on the right is playing lazzari in the role that helps him truly shine. The LB is now a wb and providing width on the left. 

Try it, tell me what you see, I think you'll like it. 

 

Oh ya almost forgot to mention, Berardi at AMR has had 5 goals in 3 games. 

I will try it out but might have better results using a new save as my current Udinese side isn't really cut out for this style of play (been grooming them for hard pressing 4222)

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4 minutes ago, Flußkrebs said:

I will try it out but might have better results using a new save as my current Udinese side isn't really cut out for this style of play (been grooming them for hard pressing 4222)

I was just thinking that this could be a really good tactic to try an arsenal save with, actually playing Ozil. Lacazette up top and aubameyang coming in hot off the wing. 

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5 hours ago, 04texag said:

I was just thinking that this could be a really good tactic to try an arsenal save with, actually playing Ozil. Lacazette up top and aubameyang coming in hot off the wing. 

currently playing an Arsenal save so might give this a go.  any individual instructions for the Enganche tactic?  Cheers

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51 minutes ago, jdubsnz said:

currently playing an Arsenal save so might give this a go.  any individual instructions for the Enganche tactic?  Cheers

most of the same pis mentioned elsewhere, there is nothing new on the eng or mez.

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