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


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2 minutes ago, milestobudapest said:

I see a lot of similarities with your youth tactic and my current Barca 2011 replication, such a fun system! I opted for a SS rather than DLF as I preferred the initial deeper position and later surges in the box.

Ya, there are similarities here to Ozil's barca 433. But since I'm using this for the youth team and how I want players to develop, I've gone with the DLFa instead of a SS. But I like that approach.

 

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8 minutes ago, milestobudapest said:

I see a lot of similarities with your youth tactic and my current Barca 2011 replication, such a fun system! I opted for a SS rather than DLF as I preferred the initial deeper position and later surges in the box. 

So just watched the highlights of my U18 team using this tactic, as they blew out their opponents 5-1 and dominated. Watching the highlights, they are playing brilliantly with this tactic. Maybe I should try it with the senior boys.

image.png.e1faa490d64b13fb5a20ec5758c792ca.png

image.png.0c9cd6be0f6ee742254d77c4b6b145b5.png

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10 minutes ago, malemute kid said:

@04texag I'm assuming you aren't actually playing Luis Alberto at HB in the 4-3-3 setup? Or maybe? 

Haha, no I'm definitely not. I was just flipping through the tactic screen to show the tactic, so it flipped the AMC to DM.

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5 hours ago, milestobudapest said:

When the players begin training in their second position, do you find they start to lose tactical familiarity in their original, playing position?

 

3 hours ago, 04texag said:

So far it has not been an issue, and I imagine that's because the players are still playing games in their primary position. This probably hurts their taking up the new position, so I try to get some game time at each. I'm sure there is an optimal way to approach this, so if anyone else has knowledge on this, would love to hear advice here.

 

Players slowly lose role familiarity if you start training them on another role. Duties don't take much of a hit though. I usually train my players on two roles and I switch between the two every month. For example, my AMRL train as IF-S or IW-S each month, while my STC train False9 or Trequartista. 

Depending on how training weeks are set up, you can switch between 3 roles every two weeks or so. 

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4 hours ago, 04texag said:

Is he playing on the left wing? AML? I like that he's an either footed player, good pace, dribbling and work rate.

Yep, AML. I haven’t played a lot but the few matches I have he has stood out. 

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4 hours ago, 04texag said:

I've noticed this at times too. I initially tried using the CM-S, vanilla but with hold position and dribble less, but my guys still got too far forward. I am using players though that could quite feasibly play a more expansive/playmaking role, so that's probably the problem. I still think I could use an actual destroyer type player, but just don't have any. There's a 16 year old BWM that I'm hoping to groom for this role.

Is he playing on the left wing? AML? I like that he's an either footed player, good pace, dribbling and work rate.

 

Ya, it's probably best to settle on a team and see how their starting roster looks. I would do one of these two tactics. 

Currently, my backup senior tactic is my FM21 take on the JdP tactic from my tactical series on positional play. I use this often with my senior squad. It also is the tactic that my U20 team uses, as I want these players to all have familiarity with it. I believe this should be a good base tactic without too much specialization. But for a team without great players, you coudl change the RPM to a dlp-s with dribbles more.

image.png.03620e599eacd3b3a26795158f75827d.png

 

Another option if you don't have a good AMC to start would be my first version of the 433. This tactic is much more simple, and I use this for my U18 squad. I have the FBs advanced to Wingback positions, as I want youth training and playing this role to boost their offensive training/crossing/work rate, etc. You could easily just drop those back to the regular defensive line spot.

image.png.beea49591f9011fc2d8c636d7b5e3344.png

So far it has not been an issue, and I imagine that's because the players are still playing games in their primary position. This probably hurts their taking up the new position, so I try to get some game time at each. I'm sure there is an optimal way to approach this, so if anyone else has knowledge on this, would love to hear advice here.

 

Can you give a detailed overview of your player instructions? It's kinda confusing which one your are using in each role now

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I’ve quietly been following this thread as I’m working towards a 4-2-3-1 formation myself. For some reason, I haven’t really been using the formation before as I have been using the 4-3-3 and formations with three at the back more often.

Right now I’m experimenting with two RMD’s, but I might go the more traditional way with some kind og IF/IW variant.

Love the thread!

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27 minutes ago, Lasson said:

I’ve quietly been following this thread as I’m working towards a 4-2-3-1 formation myself. For some reason, I haven’t really been using the formation before as I have been using the 4-3-3 and formations with three at the back more often.

Right now I’m experimenting with two RMD’s, but I might go the more traditional way with some kind og IF/IW variant.

Love the thread!

Thanks! Who are you managing? 

I find too many specialist roles to not work as well, but always worth trying. I did use a RMD on the left at times when doing the tactical series at the end of FM20.

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6 hours ago, yonko said:

 

Players slowly lose role familiarity if you start training them on another role. Duties don't take much of a hit though. I usually train my players on two roles and I switch between the two every month. For example, my AMRL train as IF-S or IW-S each month, while my STC train False9 or Trequartista. 

Depending on how training weeks are set up, you can switch between 3 roles every two weeks or so. 

Role familiarity can't be trained if I'm not mistaken.. It just trains the attributes needed for the role.

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1 hour ago, BadAss88 said:

Role familiarity can't be trained if I'm not mistaken.. It just trains the attributes needed for the role.

I was talking about Position/Role/Duty familiarity as part of the Tactics Familiarity. This is different from Role Suitability. 

Role Suitability (the star rating now, used to be pie chart before) improves as attributes increase. But that is over years of development. 

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26 minutes ago, yonko said:

I was talking about Position/Role/Duty familiarity as part of the Tactics Familiarity. This is different from Role Suitability. 

Role Suitability (the star rating now, used to be pie chart before) improves as attributes increase. But that is over years of development. 

Ya I was referring to tactical familiarity as well. 

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11 hours ago, 04texag said:

Thanks! Who are you managing? 

I find too many specialist roles to not work as well, but always worth trying. I did use a RMD on the left at times when doing the tactical series at the end of FM20.

I'm playing with FC Copenhagen. I've gone back to IWs on the left side and IFa on the right side. Hopefully it'll work out.

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Arsenal (2020)

So I thought I would share how I was getting on with Arsenal. I've incorporated a lot of the principles outlined here re: positional play, with the principles I usually adhere to in Pairs & Combinations. 

image.png.c4a0a0764440c214ab2caeca1a9ac25b.png

So, the theory:

  • Despite the fact that Partey is actually a more complete player, than the way I am using him - he's very balanced, takes account of Xhaka's lack of mobility. The DLP(s) & CM(d) shields the centre backs really effectively, which is good considering my wing backs are getting forward and we hold a high line. We're less likely to be outnumbered on the break. Sometimes trying to push one of the central midfielders forwards can actually restrict your own space when getting into the final third too, so this works nicely.
  • The right flank has Pepe staying wider, with Bellerin getting on the overlap later on. The IW doesn't get into central areas as quick, or early as the IF - he stretches play a little, but then cuts in around the corner of the penalty area. Bellerin will get to the byline, offering an overload and an overlap. Bellerin can drive along the byline, cross, or lay it back to Pepe who may be in space.
  • The left flank has a few variations. My preference is for Saka staying high and wide, stretching play, using his pace and trickery to get to the byline. Basically the opposite of the right flank in that the winger gets to the byline, with the WB(S) the out-ball to lay it back to. Sometimes when I am lacking a bit of central penetration, I move Aubameyang there as an IF(a), to get closer to Lacazette in the middle.
  • Final third has Ceballos there as the AP(s) - by being close to the DLP(s) it can mean play can slow down if you're not careful, but what it does here is it draws opponents in as we retain the ball centrally - before spreading it to the wide areas, where I have most quality. Let's be clear - Pepe, Saka, Bellerin, Willian etc., offer more creativity than Ceballos, Xhaka and Partey. In a nutshell - draw them into the middle, then punch in wide. Aubameyang as a CF(A) is the mixture between getting in behind and linking play. It encourages movement into channels too. It's a good role to play both possession and dynamic systems. 
  • Not much to say about the centre backs and keeper. They retain and distribute the ball well, looking for passes into the feet of central midfielders, or to play it into space on the flanks as we try to punch a hole in the opponents. If we wanted to focus more on retention I'd be using a central defender in there, rather than 2 x ball playing defenders.
  • I use the Control Possession template primarily - this is a little less extreme than Tiki-Taka. It allows us to play comparatively a touch wider (which suits the fact my wide players are my best attacking creators), dribble at the opponents a little more as well - which is useful to break down sides which sit deep and compact.

A couple of set piece bits that are quite crucial.

Throw in's - the focus is on retention of the ball, so same as we want 2-3 good passing options in open play, there's no reason to change that for a throw-in. See how I keep the forward and opposite winger forward, the opposite side central midfielder in a central position as out-balls, as well as my other defenders in a good position to cover if we lose the ball. I have 3 x players all available to receive the ball - the central midfielder, attacking midfielder and winger of the same side. 

image.png.3595390f3b120c8b4cc3f4c4f85e881f.png

Corners - we keep at least 2 x players back, along with one of the central midfielders. I have a player outside the area, who both helps cover defensively if the ball breaks out, as well as to recycle possession or take a ranged shot if needed. We keep a mixed aim, as we have players attacking each post, along with a couple of other players in the box, and a short option. We remain defensively secure at all times.

image.png.9128eaa5d526d48a45dd3675cf5255b9.png

So in the league our record is very strong:

image.png.798459daba0a1c2458fb0d7066dfb402.png

image.png.7ef0f60f547f9a2460a99c4f8cf26ccd.png

As you'll see we don't concede many goals and have got more prolific in attack. We're yet to lose a league game, with only 2 away draws.

image.png.5f8aed83db84e017a186bad5ecf468f1.png

We're overperforming our xG (scoring 2.31 per game, expecting 1.86), we're also slightly overperforming defensively too (conceded 0.62 compared to expected 0.72) - we may well regress to the mean at some point. We're taking plenty of shots per game, keeping the ball well. 

image.png.83cb4a217ff48f9fa4104e9780d32a0f.png

We're getting shots in good areas as you can see, converting most of our high xG shots. 

image.png.3a59f77c18d980f9cc3986f23adf7bde.png

Defensively, we're not allowing many shots in dangerous areas. Most of those that are have been saved.

Essentially, the stats are backing up that we're playing well. We're mildly overperforming, but nothing to suggest this is going to come crashing down.

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18 minutes ago, llama3 said:

Arsenal (2020)

So I thought I would share how I was getting on with Arsenal. I've incorporated a lot of the principles outlined here re: positional play, with the principles I usually adhere to in Pairs & Combinations. 

image.png.c4a0a0764440c214ab2caeca1a9ac25b.png

So, the theory:

  • Despite the fact that Partey is actually a more complete player, than the way I am using him - he's very balanced, takes account of Xhaka's lack of mobility. The DLP(s) & CM(d) shields the centre backs really effectively, which is good considering my wing backs are getting forward and we hold a high line. We're less likely to be outnumbered on the break. Sometimes trying to push one of the central midfielders forwards can actually restrict your own space when getting into the final third too, so this works nicely.
  • The right flank has Pepe staying wider, with Bellerin getting on the overlap later on. The IW doesn't get into central areas as quick, or early as the IF - he stretches play a little, but then cuts in around the corner of the penalty area. Bellerin will get to the byline, offering an overload and an overlap. Bellerin can drive along the byline, cross, or lay it back to Pepe who may be in space.
  • The left flank has a few variations. My preference is for Saka staying high and wide, stretching play, using his pace and trickery to get to the byline. Basically the opposite of the right flank in that the winger gets to the byline, with the WB(S) the out-ball to lay it back to. Sometimes when I am lacking a bit of central penetration, I move Aubameyang there as an IF(a), to get closer to Lacazette in the middle.
  • Final third has Ceballos there as the AP(s) - by being close to the DLP(s) it can mean play can slow down if you're not careful, but what it does here is it draws opponents in as we retain the ball centrally - before spreading it to the wide areas, where I have most quality. Let's be clear - Pepe, Saka, Bellerin, Willian etc., offer more creativity than Ceballos, Xhaka and Partey. In a nutshell - draw them into the middle, then punch in wide. Aubameyang as a CF(A) is the mixture between getting in behind and linking play. It encourages movement into channels too. It's a good role to play both possession and dynamic systems. 
  • Not much to say about the centre backs and keeper. They retain and distribute the ball well, looking for passes into the feet of central midfielders, or to play it into space on the flanks as we try to punch a hole in the opponents. If we wanted to focus more on retention I'd be using a central defender in there, rather than 2 x ball playing defenders.
  • I use the Control Possession template primarily - this is a little less extreme than Tiki-Taka. It allows us to play comparatively a touch wider (which suits the fact my wide players are my best attacking creators), dribble at the opponents a little more as well - which is useful to break down sides which sit deep and compact.

A couple of set piece bits that are quite crucial.

Throw in's - the focus is on retention of the ball, so same as we want 2-3 good passing options in open play, there's no reason to change that for a throw-in. See how I keep the forward and opposite winger forward, the opposite side central midfielder in a central position as out-balls, as well as my other defenders in a good position to cover if we lose the ball. I have 3 x players all available to receive the ball - the central midfielder, attacking midfielder and winger of the same side. 

image.png.3595390f3b120c8b4cc3f4c4f85e881f.png

Corners - we keep at least 2 x players back, along with one of the central midfielders. I have a player outside the area, who both helps cover defensively if the ball breaks out, as well as to recycle possession or take a ranged shot if needed. We keep a mixed aim, as we have players attacking each post, along with a couple of other players in the box, and a short option. We remain defensively secure at all times.

image.png.9128eaa5d526d48a45dd3675cf5255b9.png

So in the league our record is very strong:

image.png.798459daba0a1c2458fb0d7066dfb402.png

image.png.7ef0f60f547f9a2460a99c4f8cf26ccd.png

As you'll see we don't concede many goals and have got more prolific in attack. We're yet to lose a league game, with only 2 away draws.

image.png.5f8aed83db84e017a186bad5ecf468f1.png

We're overperforming our xG (scoring 2.31 per game, expecting 1.86), we're also slightly overperforming defensively too (conceded 0.62 compared to expected 0.72) - we may well regress to the mean at some point. We're taking plenty of shots per game, keeping the ball well. 

image.png.83cb4a217ff48f9fa4104e9780d32a0f.png

We're getting shots in good areas as you can see, converting most of our high xG shots. 

image.png.3a59f77c18d980f9cc3986f23adf7bde.png

Defensively, we're not allowing many shots in dangerous areas. Most of those that are have been saved.

Essentially, the stats are backing up that we're playing well. We're mildly overperforming, but nothing to suggest this is going to come crashing down.

On my phone so not a detailed response yet, but this is looking great. Surprised you're not starting lacazette up top with aubamayeng coming in hot off the left wing. 

I contemplated the cf-a, but haven't really tried it yet. How do you find it working? I like the idea of it, but in order to pin the back defense line deep, I almost exclusively leave that role as af-a, to buy as much room as possible for the number 10.

I've not found the amc as an ap-s to be very good. I think I've used it in this priority, enganche, ap-a, Treq. 

Your results look good and your analyst report looks very similar to my results. When home I'll have to post my most recent one. 

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22 minutes ago, 04texag said:

On my phone so not a detailed response yet, but this is looking great. Surprised you're not starting lacazette up top with aubamayeng coming in hot off the left wing. 

I contemplated the cf-a, but haven't really tried it yet. How do you find it working? I like the idea of it, but in order to pin the back defense line deep, I almost exclusively leave that role as af-a, to buy as much room as possible for the number 10.

I've not found the amc as an ap-s to be very good. I think I've used it in this priority, enganche, ap-a, Treq. 

Your results look good and your analyst report looks very similar to my results. When home I'll have to post my most recent one. 

I prefer the width offered by Saka on the left, stretching high and wide - Lacazette the casualty of that approach. The CF(A) is for when you want the best of both worlds - link play and a threat in behind. The AP(s) is not as much of a chance creator for me as I would expect in previous years. I know the flanks are where I create most, so the 10 is effectively a decoy to attract attention.

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12 hours ago, llama3 said:

I prefer the width offered by Saka on the left, stretching high and wide - Lacazette the casualty of that approach. The CF(A) is for when you want the best of both worlds - link play and a threat in behind. The AP(s) is not as much of a chance creator for me as I would expect in previous years. I know the flanks are where I create most, so the 10 is effectively a decoy to attract attention.

The way you're set up with your wide players, the number 10 role looks ideal for a shadow striker .

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On 29/11/2020 at 19:51, 04texag said:

Senior Schedules - Aside from my 4 main youngsters, Thiago Almada, Sergio Gomez, Yeremi Pinto, and Francisco Gonzalez, the rest of the first team is all well developed and past 26 or so in age.

Did you create a separate unit for your younger players to get the training you want them to have that the rest of the squad doesn't need, or do you just keep them together? I'm asking because in my Celta Vigo save, I have the opposite situation: mostly U-25 players and a few older vets (although I'm doing my best to offload all but one of those). My main concern is potential injuries from the heavier schedules.

Edited by gunnerfan
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1 hour ago, gunnerfan said:

Did you create a separate unit for your younger players to get the training you want them to have that the rest of the squad doesn't need, or do you just keep them together? I'm asking because in my Celta Vigo save, I have the opposite situation: mostly U-25 players and a few older vets (although I'm doing my best to offload all but one of those). My main concern is potential injuries from the heavier schedules.

In that case you can have heavier training set through the rest tab on training, but individually limit to normal for your older veterans.

I have the youth mentioned training with the main squad for mentoring reasons.

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24 minutes ago, 04texag said:

In that case you can have heavier training set through the rest tab on training, but individually limit to normal for your older veterans.

I have the youth mentioned training with the main squad for mentoring reasons.

Sounds good. BTW, since losing on Opening Day at Real Madrid, we've won seven straight and now sit atop La Liga.

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42 minutes ago, gunnerfan said:

Sounds good. BTW, since losing on Opening Day at Real Madrid, we've won seven straight and now sit atop La Liga.

That's awesome, who are you managing?

I'll be doing an update soon, but end of February season 2 and we are 5 points clear at the top of the table and really playing well. We haven't conceeded in 4 or 5 games and 20 unbeaten streak going. 

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I have loved reading your work from last year and into this so wanted to say thankyou.

Also I am attempting a similar philosophy with Sassuolo and have taken alot of ideas I had in FM20 and moved them into FM21 and am having some really good success so far with the results but almost as importantly the style, which I must say the ME is a pleasure to watch at times.

I have added some screenshots to show what I am attempting and so far achieving, which is for me exciting that I am seeing some form of 'total football' which ive been searching for in the last few editions.

Screenshot (2).png

Screenshot (3).png

Screenshot (4).png

Screenshot (5).png

Screenshot (6).png

Screenshot (7).png

Screenshot (8).png

Screenshot (9).png

Screenshot (10).png

Screenshot (11).png

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8 minutes ago, mdougal said:

I have loved reading your work from last year and into this so wanted to say thankyou.

Many thanks! Glad you've enjoyed the threads. I really like what De Zerbi is doing and would love to do a save with them. As I was just starting the 21 beta I loaded one up with them and immediately Boga and Djuricic left, which was a big bummer. Looks good you were able to hold on to Boga.

It looks like you're performing well, but the defensive stability looks like it needs some work by looking at the analyst graph.  I wonder where maybe that could improve. Overall your tactic looks good. Are you struggling against the 532's in the Serie A?

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Yeah I would definitely say currently I’m more likely to win 4-3 than 1-0. 
I’ve actually found so far that it’s mainly counter attacks that I struggle with and have toyed with the idea of replacing the dlp with a halfback but then I think of lose a lot of what I’m looking for with the tactic. 
Some of the football im seeing is really good and seems to be when I’m on it they really play well. 
Id be interested in how you would look to add solidity without losing what currently is a decent attacking and possession output

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11 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Many thanks! Glad you've enjoyed the threads. I really like what De Zerbi is doing and would love to do a save with them. As I was just starting the 21 beta I loaded one up with them and immediately Boga and Djuricic left, which was a big bummer. Looks good you were able to hold on to Boga.

It looks like you're performing well, but the defensive stability looks like it needs some work by looking at the analyst graph.  I wonder where maybe that could improve. Overall your tactic looks good. Are you struggling against the 532's in the Serie A?

As for Djuricic he just was not willing to stay so had to sell him but with Boga I’ve had no offers but his wage demands are far too high so can’t see how I keep him behind this season

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14 minutes ago, mdougal said:

Id be interested in how you would look to add solidity without losing what currently is a decent attacking and possession output

Maybe try lowering the defensive line to standard, even though this goes against the rule of thumb for compression, I found in FM20 that it really helped a lot for stability with this style. Another thing I typically do is always in the OI set the striker to be marked tight.

 

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5 hours ago, mdougal said:

I have loved reading your work from last year and into this so wanted to say thankyou.

Also I am attempting a similar philosophy with Sassuolo and have taken alot of ideas I had in FM20 and moved them into FM21 and am having some really good success so far with the results but almost as importantly the style, which I must say the ME is a pleasure to watch at times.

I have added some screenshots to show what I am attempting and so far achieving, which is for me exciting that I am seeing some form of 'total football' which ive been searching for in the last few editions.

@mdougal I've been playing with Sassuolo as well, trying to emulate De Zerbi's style (which I think it's one the most interesting things happening out there right now). Since I was able to keep all their players I went for the typical 4-2-3-1 they are using this season. I still tweaking a few tactical things like tempo and width, but for the most part I think I have it. Like you are saying I see some great football and great results as well. I think that if I get a real #10 (Djuricic doesn't convince me much) the whole game could be brought to a higher level.

@04texag Thanks a lot for sharing all your work. It's great and I keep learning things. 

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6 minutes ago, DNZ-8 said:

@mdougal I've been playing with Sassuolo as well, trying to emulate De Zerbi's style (which I think it's one the most interesting things happening out there right now). Since I was able to keep all their players I went for the typical 4-2-3-1 they are using this season. I still tweaking a few tactical things like tempo and width, but for the most part I think I have it. Like you are saying I see some great football and great results as well. I think that if I get a real #10 (Djuricic doesn't convince me much) the whole game could be brought to a higher level.

@04texag Thanks a lot for sharing all your work. It's great and I keep learning things. 

Thanks! Feedback is always welcome as it encourages the work to keep going.

In FM20 I did a 4231 based on De Zerbi, which is a little different than what I've been doing in the Jdp thread and this one. It had a stable back four all used to recycle possession, but then very fluid and roaming for everyone in front of them. I might have to revisit that and do it again. It was an interesting and different take on the typical 4231 everyone bandies about.

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8 hours ago, 04texag said:

I have the youth mentioned training with the main squad for mentoring reasons.

Basic question: I set up a separate youth training schedule, and I've taken control of youth training, but I still can't get access to it. How do I apply the schedule to my youth team?

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28 minutes ago, gunnerfan said:

Basic question: I set up a separate youth training schedule, and I've taken control of youth training, but I still can't get access to it. How do I apply the schedule to my youth team?

Should be here.

HUi4oUIQ.png 

cHR4Mi5.png

image.png.46f2d0bae85aeadb1d9042fe09c86b62.png

RExjlWK.png

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1 hour ago, 04texag said:

Thanks! Feedback is always welcome as it encourages the work to keep going.

In FM20 I did a 4231 based on De Zerbi, which is a little different than what I've been doing in the Jdp thread and this one. It had a stable back four all used to recycle possession, but then very fluid and roaming for everyone in front of them. I might have to revisit that and do it again. It was an interesting and different take on the typical 4231 everyone bandies about.

Yes, that's exactly what I am doing now. I would love to take a look at that tactic, in which thread can I find it? 

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8 minutes ago, DNZ-8 said:

Yes, that's exactly what I am doing now. I would love to take a look at that tactic, in which thread can I find it? 

Here is where I posted, but should read the entire thread. 

 

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9 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Here is where I posted, but should read the entire thread. 

 

And now I see you were already commenting on that thread but no one seemed to even notice my addition to it. 

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1 hour ago, 04texag said:

And now I see you were already commenting on that thread but no one seemed to even notice my addition to it. 

Yes you are right, I know that thread and I was posting on it, but I realized it only when I went back into it following the link you provided. What I posted there was my test with Chelsea during beta. Well, thanks anyway.

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Time for a short update, including a fun short term tactical experiment. 

Season Update

We are through the end of march, and playing extremely well. We are unbeaten in all competitions going back to that away loss at Arsenal on 11/23. We have 3 draws against solid teams, but been playing really well.

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Those results have us 5 points clear of Juventus in Serie A, with a game in hand on those below them.

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We made it beyond Athletico Madrid with a great away performance to win the two legs after a 0-0 home game. We drew Barcelona for our Quarter Final, which is about as tough a draw we could have seen. But we've been playing really well, and although I still consider us underdogs, it's not a foregone conclusion.

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Unfortunately, we recently lost Lazzari to an injury. So, with his injury reducing our impact of the attacking wingbacks, and with barcelona on the schedule, I've decided to do a short term experiment...

Short Term tactic shift

With only 1 great wingback now in the young Wjindal, we are going to do a short term shift of our positional play to the one I linked above, an FM21 version of last year's De Zerbi 4231 approach to positional play. Last year, Sassuolo would use their back four as a solid defensive base/line, keeping them fairly restrained from an attacking standpoint and just focusing on ball recycling. Then the front 6, all technical midfielders with an all around forward, were allowed to roam free and try to create good passing play and free/third men for switches and overload attacks. As Barcelona has a lot of potent weapons, I think this will be a good tactic for us to still have some attacking impetus, yet adding even more defensively solidity at the back. Fittingly enough, our first contest to try this new tactic as we prepare for the Barcelona matchups, will be away at Sassuolo.

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The idea here is some variation between flanks, with the width coming from the left back and right winger, with their counterparts both being narrow. The backs on both sides have hold position, but my natural athletes will still get forward when time calls for it. We don't have true holding in midfield, but rely on the strength of the back line, and that both our central mids are high work rate, and high team work players. All forward positions have roam from position.

We also have a variant of TI's that offers slightly different play, but also a lot less TI's, really just focusing on the players playing according to their roles, keeping it simple.

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Youth Development

Our youth are developing really well. From month to month, I feel like it's hard to really see the attribute growth, so at the end of the season, I'm going to look at some comparisons to where they were at last summer, when I first introduced a number of them. They are all still getting solid game time and I'm pleased with their development. All spring, we have moved them to just training their "playing position" with additional training on their weakest attributes that I'm deeming important due to their PRD or club DNA. That seems to be working well, so we will see how things look at the end of May.

So far though, I'm most thrilled with our initial 16 year old intake 5* and his progress. Here is is first year's progress chart since last April when he showed up.

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Two months now left to play this season, and hopefully we can clinch the league, make it past Barca, and we still have the Italian cup final to play against Juventus, to see if we can win that trophy back to back.

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So, our fun little tactical experiment, has paid off in spades! 

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Guardiola loves to mix things up for difficult CL matches, and we in essence took a page from his book in doing so. I knew I would need something to counter Barca in our first match with them, away at the Camp Nou. So we put a tactic together and tested it against Sassuolo, one game before the big match. 

First up, Dismantle Sassuolo 3-0

The tactic looked amazing in our first test with it. We dominated them away, and even though we didn't control possession, we took advantage of it when we had it. I still (it's been a problem all season) don't like our shots on target percentage, but when you get 22 off, 10 on target and 3 goals is just fine. We even MISSED a penalty in this game, Ciro's first miss with his 20 penalty taking attribute. Marcos Antonio manned the AP-A position and dominated, scoring the first goal at the 6 minute mark and bagging a 7.6 game rating.

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So, on to the next, the big test at the Camp Nou. Just look below and weep in joy with me:

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We ran out the same lineup, and not sure if Messi is hurt, but he didn't play. Barca's attack was very stale, they got a lot of shots off, but Donnarumma in his first really big test of the season, played phenomenally as the POM with an 8.3 rating. Marcos antonio played even better this time with 2 goals! 

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with 4 away goals, we are looking really great for advancing beyond them now.

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1 minute ago, 04texag said:

I still (it's been a problem all season) don't like our shots on target percentage, but when you get 22 off, 10 on target and 3 goals is just fine.

I used to be fixated on this earlier in my Football Manager career and it was during a stats analysis conversation it was recommended to me to add blocked shots into my match stats.. you take your shots on goal + your shots that were blocked and you want your tactic to hit a 50% ratio of shots on target + blocked shots vs. shots off target.  As long as you maintained that 50% ratio you were good.. I still use that measurement to this day when looking at match stats.  So what is your ratio?

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3 minutes ago, Kharza_FM said:

I used to be fixated on this earlier in my Football Manager career and it was during a stats analysis conversation it was recommended to me to add blocked shots into my match stats.. you take your shots on goal + your shots that were blocked and you want your tactic to hit a 50% ratio of shots on target + blocked shots vs. shots off target.  As long as you maintained that 50% ratio you were good.. I still use that measurement to this day when looking at match stats.  So what is your ratio?

Still trying to figure out the analyst stuff in FM21, I feel like you have to hunt to find everything. For Barca game it was 50%, for Sassuolo it was more in the mid 60%. I used to add blocked shots to my in game stats window, need to do that again.

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35 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Still trying to figure out the analyst stuff in FM21, I feel like you have to hunt to find everything. For Barca game it was 50%, for Sassuolo it was more in the mid 60%. I used to add blocked shots to my in game stats window, need to do that again.

Tell me about it!  I mean this is what my passing network looks like now.. I mean WTF?!  This was my #1 analysis metric every single game and every single halftime.. and I get this:

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I mean I get that it is bugged (and has already been entered in the bug forum).. but this is a staple of my analysis and sucks that it isn't working.

For you however just "Customize" the match stats that are already in game:

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So if we go back to my Man City game..

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4 shots on target + 2 blocked shots = 6 divided by 10 total shots = 60% shooting ratio.. good to go since it is above the 50% we target every game.

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Just now, Kharza_FM said:

Tell me about it!  I mean this is what my passing network looks like now.. I mean WTF?!  This was my #1 analysis metric every single game and every single halftime.. and I get this:

image.png.37eb0650d2ce9008f2662b63b937555e.png

I mean I get that it is bugged (and has already been entered in the bug forum).. but this is a staple of my analysis and sucks that it isn't working.

For you however just "Customize" the match stats that are already in game:

image.png.2fce0e19bdc990a26cc08495e8557652.png

So if we go back to my Man City game..

image.png.14b84e5b2268e169dd5882c2a0958242.png

4 shots on target + 2 blocked shots = 6 divided by 10 total shots = 60% shooting ratio.. good to go since it is above the 50% we target every game.

Ya, So disappointed that they somehow broke the passing combo chart and can't seem to fix it. After a month they still can't, it's not a new feature. I use it too every game and it would really help with all of these new tactical adjustments to the ME.

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@04texagcongratulations for this thread, I subscribed and fully enjoy to read it.

I wonder if you ever tried this setup with one (or even two) Inverted Wing Backs? I understand that in order to give it width you need them as Full Backs or Wing Backs, overlapping the Inside Forwards, but I wonder if there is a way to make a player (given suitable attributes, ofcourse) to play as a mix of the two roles... Meaning, give the player the option to see and decide if the team needs him wide (and go along the line, like a WB) or if he could be more useful in more central parts of the pitch, something on the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Fabian Delph or my favorite youngster Tomás Esteves.

I'm not there yet in terms of tactical knowledge in order to make it work, which roles I should probably change or even if it's feasible. Thank you.

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11 hours ago, 99 said:

@04texagcongratulations for this thread, I subscribed and fully enjoy to read it.

I wonder if you ever tried this setup with one (or even two) Inverted Wing Backs? I understand that in order to give it width you need them as Full Backs or Wing Backs, overlapping the Inside Forwards, but I wonder if there is a way to make a player (given suitable attributes, ofcourse) to play as a mix of the two roles... Meaning, give the player the option to see and decide if the team needs him wide (and go along the line, like a WB) or if he could be more useful in more central parts of the pitch, something on the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Fabian Delph or my favorite youngster Tomás Esteves.

I'm not there yet in terms of tactical knowledge in order to make it work, which roles I should probably change or even if it's feasible. Thank you.

Thanks, glad you're enjoying the thread. 

I have occasionally used the IWB, although not as much with this system yet in FM21. The CWB is a PRD that will occasionally come inside more than a standard WB will, and with the two players I have, I definitely want them to do this. Sometimes during matches, for attack variation on a flank, i will change from an IW-S and CWB, to an IWB and W-S. Usually I will do this when we are facing a parked bus, as the winger can pin the opposition fullback out wide, then the IWB can attack the half spaces.

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19 hours ago, 04texag said:

The idea here is some variation between flanks, with the width coming from the left back and right winger, with their counterparts both being narrow. The backs on both sides have hold position, but my natural athletes will still get forward when time calls for it. We don't have true holding in midfield, but rely on the strength of the back line, and that both our central mids are high work rate, and high team work players. All forward positions have roam from position.

@04texag I’m glad you are going the De  Zerbi’s way. As you know I am a fan of it. 
One quick question: what are the PI’s for the two midfielders, CM and AP? Thanks!

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3 minutes ago, DNZ-8 said:

@04texag I’m glad you are going the De  Zerbi’s way. As you know I am a fan of it. 
One quick question: what are the PI’s for the two midfielders, CM and AP? Thanks!

I was waiting to see if you noticed! Yes, it's been a good system for us in big games and against 2 striker formations.

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So not sure if this was a bug, or if I just totally messed something up, but ALL of our youth got left out of the second half of the champions league. I'm thinking it's a bug because they played the first half. My U21's all were not formally registered at the beginning of the season but because of their age they all played. After the winter window and the second registration window for CL, I left it the same and only added some of our new signings. Come to find out, they were all considered ineligible and so we got deep into CL with half our team missing. 

Then, once you add in some very crucial injuries, and the last month of the season is not going well.  Our big win against Barcelona excluded of course.

Luis Alberto missed about 10 games, and then as soon as he came back healthy, Joaquin Correa got injured for 3 weeks. On top of it Sergio Gomez fractured his leg and has missed three months. It's really disappointing to have such an epic season going and to have it get derailed because of NO squad depth after the two above issues, registration and injuries.

After we destroyed Barcelona, we drew Manchester City for our next matchup in the Semi Finals. They kicked our butts with our severely depleted squad. We are still in first place in Serie A with 1 game to play, so that's great, but we lost the Italian Cup Final to Juventus 1-0. 

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Oh ya, there was another bug with the non-EU player rule. I signed an additional non EU in Victor (below) and so I got rid of two non-EU players so that I would be able to register him, but didn't matter, he stayed as ineligible. So the below player has sat on the sidelines wasting away for half of a season. Again, maybe I messed this up, as the non-EU thing I've never encountered before, but I read the rules and followed them and still couldn't register him. Which, with as much as we struggled for depth, I could have reallly used him.

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Right before our last game, Yeremi Pino, who's been coming on really well for 19 years old, gets injured for 6 weeks with a lower back stress fracture.

 

The game is throwing everything ridiculous at me second half of season two.

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