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Tactical Series - Guardiola Evolution class - 3 teams 3 styles


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Save 1 will be with Athletico Madrid. The main post with the instructions for this take are here:

 

 

The final season report post with final tactic is here:

 

 

Edited by 04texag
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:thup: Really looking forward to seeing how you recreate Pep's Bayern system. I always felt that was the one the one that felt most like evolution of Cruyff 343 Diamond at Barca. And as such it was always my favourite one.

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40 minutos atrás, 04texag disse:

Save 3 - Manchester City - Saving this thread to put a link to the save 3 big post when it happens.

Looking forward to this. Here's a link for one of my favorite football related articles of the year. First part is about structure/formation and the second about chance creation and attacking method. Hope it helps.
 

https://spielverlagerung.com/2020/09/18/analysing-manchester-citys-attack-structural-considerations-and-variations/

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47 minutes ago, 04texag said:

I've been wanting to do a series like this since I started playing FM. My biggest issues that kept me from doing this until now were threefold. First, I'm still relatively new to even watching soccer and certainly playing FM. Second, I had never done a major thread before, but after my last two were received fairly well, I'm hopeful that I can get this going in a fun way, being interactive and hopefully informative. Third, the last two versions of FM were very stale for possession focused teams, especially those looking to exploit the middle areas of the pitch. I believe FM21 has finally taken steps to get better balanced gameplay, and the work on overloads has really opened up a lot of tactical options to creators within FM.

So, the final inspiration and the direct guide for this thread will be the wonderful video by Football Made Simple, which you can find on youtube here. 

Pep Guardiola

Perhaps one of the greatest coaches of all time when you look at his track record so far, which is impressive considering he is still fairly young. He has won major trophies at all three clubs he has coached at, and been considered a top dog/favorite in just about every season, which always increases the odds against you as everyone is gunning to knock you down. Yet, with three very different teams, Pep has managed to advance his 433 positional play variants to success, but adapted the overall tactics employed at each stop based on the variations of players he had at his disposal.

I do not claim to be an expert here, but must lean on the shoulders of other giants. This video will essentially guide us, so we don't have to study and come up with the tactical analysis ourselves. Our job, is to try to emulate these three teams playstyles within the game of Football Manager, specifically FM21.  

 

Thread Gameplan

My idea for the thread is to do 3 separate 1 season saves, with one save each dedicated to one of Pep's three teams. I will be doing posts within this thread as I put together everything, so you guys can follow along and learn alongside me as I do this. I really love interactive threads, and many of you are much better at FM then me, and most of you have watched more football than me. I have only watched replays of anything prior to 2018!

Save 1 - Pep's Barcelona - FM21 variant Athletico Madrid

I believe they have a pretty complete squad. I can put together the midfield 3 maestros with Llorente, Koke, and Saul. Then with Felix dropping deep as a False 9, I'm excited to see if I can push the youngster to great heights. When he struggles, I can unleash great finishers to pick up some slack.

Save 2 - Pep's Bayern Munich - FM21 variant (either Napoli or Bayern themselves, as Muller and Lewandoski still remain)

Save 3 - Pep's City - FM21 variant City

I do not aim to replicate the trophies.  I don't believe this is as important as getting the style of play correctly. Yes, trophies would be great, but we should get some really good performances and good play. That is what I will focus on. I could choose to focus on getting trophies, but then I would be shaping the tactics more to how each of the three teams are different, which is not the aim here. Additionally, since these will be 1 season saves, I do not have the time in game to groom players or acquire any to fill specific roles.

But you could. Hopefully, with what we learn across all three saves, we will learn more about Pep's style, how to manipulate different tactical pieces, something I've discussed in my longterm DNA thread (which I will resume after this). And then you can put these to use in your own saves, where you can buy players that might be better fits and then you can win the trophies!

Post plans

I will plan to do a big initial post for each save. That way I can show the tactics, why I chose the team with specific players ( so you can know how to evaluate players for these roles), and then get into the TI and PI's of the tactics. After the main post, I will give updates as the season goes, discuss any in game instructions I use, and try to analyse what I'm seeing. If stuff works out well, I'll put together some youtube highlight videos for each save.

Shameless Plug

Doing threads like this takes a lot of time, and so it is really helpful to receive cooperation/participation with comments. If nothing else, if you enjoy the work, please click the heart button to like the thread, as this really encourages me to keep working on this stuff.

 

This sounds great! Looking forward to this. 

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One other little note, an idea I had just now.

Maybe, after the first season, I can after evaluating the team I've played and with the final version of the tactic, try to identify through scouting all year the one or two key people that would be great transfer additions to the team. For instance, and this is jumping ahead, Trippier at Athleti, I think is good, but not a generational full back. If I were to do a long term save out of save 1, that would be one of the first signings I would necessarily make. I would probably get someone like Manuel Lazzari from lazio, or maybe someone else, but after the year save I can maybe make a strong recommendation.

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I'm looking forward to this @04texag! Really enjoyed the other thread(s) and have found myself once more with a 4-2-3-1 in part because of your promotion of the #10 in your positional play thread. However, I still want to get back to an effective 4-3-3, so am interested to see how you get things working (especially at Bayern and City, where the striker is certainly not a false nine. I think my biggest issue is getting an effective positional play 4-3-3 where the striker is one of the main goal scorers but without going full on wing play a la Klopp's liverpool)

Anyway, also happy to see the use of Athletico for the Barca recreation... in both FM20 and 21 I've been tempted to go in for Felix precisely to use him as a False Nine in a 4-3-3. So, I think that is a perfect Messi replicant (or at least seems to be on paper)

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Pep’s Barcelona – FM21 using Athletico Madrid

Often imitated, Pep's Barcelona squads are viewed by many to be some of the best ever. There was quality and world class talent all over the pitch. Pep had learned from Total Footballing legend Johan Cruyff and continued on with what he had started at Barca. The result was countless trophies and phenomenal individual performances. Now, my representation will not be the best, as I just don't have enough experience, but I think it will be fun and educational. 

Some things about the Pep tactics will be consistent across all three variants. So let’s start with those: Possession, Attacking, Pressing

These three principles are all prevalent for Pep and core ideas that exist within Total Football, and it’s positional play variants. The roots for a lot of Pep’s coaching philosophy go back to Johan Cruyff and to an extent Lillo. But the three principles of possession, attacking and pressing are paramount.

Team Shape - 433

Pep has employed a 433 shape at each team. Only recently with Juanma Lillo joining him at City has he begun exploring the 4231 shape. Also, in some CL and specific matches, he has gone with a back 3, but for the purposes here, we will pretty much stick to the 433 shape that has seen predominant use across Pep’s managerial career.

image.png.2dad2f3648b1bc7202801667e7fdbe75.png

We might explore a flat 4141 with the Bayern representation, but we will get there when we get to save 2.

First third - Build up play

Play from the back – FB/WBs push up pitch and CB’s split wide. HB drops deep. This is all pretty standard fare

image.png.78ff6f81c4d73c537b2acada71ba65d6.png

We of course have the play out from back instruction, and I have play short kicks. I have not instructed the GK to play to the HB but ok with selecting CBS for now. In game, if they are struggling, you can change this to specific player and pick the HB.

Second Third - Midfield Transition, build up play

Barcelona’s strength lied in the center of the park, which I’m including Messi as the F9 here. The 3 midfield maestros would control the game/tempo and when and where to overload. In FM, we can do this with a  HB sitting deeper, and two playmakers in front of him. To mimic Barca’s play, you had one playmaker playing a little deeper, with another being more offensive and playing higher on the left. We can represent that with a DLPs on the right and an AP-A on the left. Both playmakers like to play in half spaces. For Athleti, we have 3 great players IMO who can play these three spots:

image.png.6bf29a16c9eb6fd18138fef07157c0c8.png

Midfield Maestros

I think Athleti has really good options here in our starting three. 

Saul – more offensive and forward player than Koke, and thus will play the Iniesta role. I like his PPM’s but going to train him and hope he can get fast plays one twos

Koke has plays long range passes, and more impactful in my mind deeper than saul, so much more like xavi. I will try to add dictates tempo to koke.

HB – Llorente comes deep for build up play, sits at center half in possession, has PPM likes to switch ball to wide areas. Llorente should play well as our Busquets.

Midfield Diamond

The final central midfielder is Messi dropping deep in the build up play. With the F9 dropping deep, we will have a midfield diamond to control possession and the game.

The False 9 – Leo Messi

This is going to be difficult, as no one can play like him other than him, IMO. But, we had to pick a team and honestly, Joao Felix has a lot of tools that to me show he can play this role well. That said, I don’t expect 30 goals and over 15 assists from him. If I can get double digit of both, I’ll be happy here. Felix can dribble, has flair, technique, plays one twos, good passing and off the ball, and adequate finishing. Right off the bat, I’m going to train him for PPM comes deep to get ball. If time allows, will also work on places shots.

 

In order to encourage the F9 to drop deeper, and to give him space, our base tactic has both central midfielders with the PI stays wider. Our F9 will also have roam from position and moves into channels. 

 

Another key point in our base tactic to encourage all play to move through our midfield diamond is to play on Very Narrow (or fairly narrow with focus play through middle). I’m currently testing both to see which I prefer.

Sometimes in the build-up, after Messi would drop deep, the right Winger would rotate up top like a forward, and Alves would maraud forward. The WB-A will mimic this movement from Alves, keeping width but getting forward.

But, and one difficulty within the FM engine for this whole style,  is to get the below movement from the right Winger:

image.png.9173b38c798b0eaf0e505fbd53d912ab.png

When Messi drops deep, the AMR can move centrally into space. In order to this within FM, yet keep all of the other normal movement and position patterns of the AMR, I have adopted this:

image.png.bbf6657d23cb93455c5fc44286421e98.png

The AMR I want to be forward and wide (depending on where in the build up the team is), attacking the byline and crossing. But, in cases when the F9 drops deep, I do want him central. So marking the DCL can help get this positioning more narrow. Unfortunately, the rest of the instructions I want I cannot get from any other PRD except the wide TM, but I do not want him to be a ball magnet.

** The AMR is where I anticipate experimenting more over the first month of the season.

Final Third - Attack

In final third, with possession maintained and moving through any of the 3 advanced midfield diamond, Barca would look to transition play out to a wide player making a run:

image.png.7f38a01ccd52d0e58ddb874c4d7d3871.png

This is why I really want wingers on both flanks. These players should stay wide, and when getting 1v1 situations against opposition FBs, they should drive to the by line and either beat their man for a shot, or center the ball with a cut back pass to the box attacking f9.

The right flank can of course be either the Winger or the WB-A. Again, this AMR is the most undecided spot for me currently.

As far as Athleti, we have multiple options here with the two wingers –

Both Lemar and Correa are both explosive, with good physicals, dribbling and crossing, with adequate finishing. These guys should both be able to make runs into the box for through balls from Felix, or play well with the 1v1 game against opposition fullbacks, where I will want them to drive the by line for cut backs to Felix or the CMs. Yannick Carrasco can also fill in on either side and do all of the above as well.

 

Initial Base tactic - Everything above goes into the creation of our base tactic, which is below. We will start most games using this base tactic and this will be our primary training focus.

image.png.0e4aaa44c8085cb640673e62663e7e31.png

Minimal OI's

image.png.3b08c5c4561fcc2527023cabd4592e76.png

I want to press the defense, but I want them to pass the ball to the flanks, as Barca would use the touch line like an extra defender. Thus, we have the force opposition wide TI, but with OI's we have further emphasized this. I don't want to mark the FBs (unless we need to close one off in a big game, think TAA and Liverpool).  But we will immediately press them when they get the ball.

Tactical Pieces

Now, at different times, Barca would utilize the width of the pitch to overload the flanks. As such, we have a few tactical pieces which enable us to shift our focus to one or the other flank. As such, some PRD and ti/pi’s must change. For ease of use, I have created two alternate tactics, one with each flank overload.

Overload Left

When I put an overload on, I swap some positions, focus the play down the flank I want to overload, go a little wider on team width and a little slower on tempo. When overloading the left, Iniesta would play wider of the AML and the FB would tuck in to cover for him being more advanced and wider. Thus we have changed the left flank PRD to IF-s, Mez At, and IWB-s. 

image.png.ab80549b1e76b611aa73f3175ab33020.png

 

Overload Right

The right overload we have a little different and we might explore changing this one some more. This is a fairly similar setup to an OL tactic I have used in my Lazio save.

image.png.75279c3daa642ff1f34f02e895b10c24.png

 

That's it for now. This is our initial plan of attack for Athleti. I will make minimal changes to all of the above as we move through the preseason and first 4 games of La Liga. Depending on what I see I will start iterating changes and reporting back. Hope you enjoy.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Pep’s Barcelona – FM21 using Athletico Madrid

Often imitated, Pep's Barcelona squads are viewed by many to be some of the best ever. There was quality and world class talent all over the pitch. Pep had learned from Total Footballing legend Johan Cruyff and continued on with what he had started at Barca. The result was countless trophies and phenomenal individual performances. Now, my representation will not be the best, as I just don't have enough experience, but I think it will be fun and educational. 

Some things about the Pep tactics will be consistent across all three variants. So let’s start with those: Possession, Attacking, Pressing

These three principles are all prevalent for Pep and core ideas that exist within Total Football, and it’s positional play variants. The roots for a lot of Pep’s coaching philosophy go back to Johan Cruyff and to an extent Lillo. But the three principles of possession, attacking and pressing are paramount.

Team Shape - 433

Pep has employed a 433 shape at each team. Only recently with Juanma Lillo joining him at City has he begun exploring the 4231 shape. Also, in some CL and specific matches, he has gone with a back 3, but for the purposes here, we will pretty much stick to the 433 shape that has seen predominant use across Pep’s managerial career.

image.png.2dad2f3648b1bc7202801667e7fdbe75.png

We might explore a flat 4141 with the Bayern representation, but we will get there when we get to save 2.

First third - Build up play

Play from the back – FB/WBs push up pitch and CB’s split wide. HB drops deep. This is all pretty standard fare

image.png.78ff6f81c4d73c537b2acada71ba65d6.png

We of course have the play out from back instruction, and I have play short kicks. I have not instructed the GK to play to the HB but ok with selecting CBS for now. In game, if they are struggling, you can change this to specific player and pick the HB.

Second Third - Midfield Transition, build up play

Barcelona’s strength lied in the center of the park, which I’m including Messi as the F9 here. The 3 midfield maestros would control the game/tempo and when and where to overload. In FM, we can do this with a  HB sitting deeper, and two playmakers in front of him. To mimic Barca’s play, you had one playmaker playing a little deeper, with another being more offensive and playing higher on the left. We can represent that with a DLPs on the right and an AP-A on the left. Both playmakers like to play in half spaces. For Athleti, we have 3 great players IMO who can play these three spots:

image.png.6bf29a16c9eb6fd18138fef07157c0c8.png

Midfield Maestros

I think Athleti has really good options here in our starting three. 

Saul – more offensive and forward player than Koke, and thus will play the Iniesta role. I like his PPM’s but going to train him and hope he can get fast plays one twos

Koke has plays long range passes, and more impactful in my mind deeper than saul, so much more like xavi. I will try to add dictates tempo to koke.

HB – Llorente comes deep for build up play, sits at center half in possession, has PPM likes to switch ball to wide areas. Llorente should play well as our Busquets.

Midfield Diamond

The final central midfielder is Messi dropping deep in the build up play. With the F9 dropping deep, we will have a midfield diamond to control possession and the game.

The False 9 – Leo Messi

This is going to be difficult, as no one can play like him other than him, IMO. But, we had to pick a team and honestly, Joao Felix has a lot of tools that to me show he can play this role well. That said, I don’t expect 30 goals and over 15 assists from him. If I can get double digit of both, I’ll be happy here. Felix can dribble, has flair, technique, plays one twos, good passing and off the ball, and adequate finishing. Right off the bat, I’m going to train him for PPM comes deep to get ball. If time allows, will also work on places shots.

 

In order to encourage the F9 to drop deeper, and to give him space, our base tactic has both central midfielders with the PI stays wider. Our F9 will also have roam from position and moves into channels. 

 

Another key point in our base tactic to encourage all play to move through our midfield diamond is to play on Very Narrow (or fairly narrow with focus play through middle). I’m currently testing both to see which I prefer.

Sometimes in the build-up, after Messi would drop deep, the right Winger would rotate up top like a forward, and Alves would maraud forward. The WB-A will mimic this movement from Alves, keeping width but getting forward.

But, and one difficulty within the FM engine for this whole style,  is to get the below movement from the right Winger:

image.png.9173b38c798b0eaf0e505fbd53d912ab.png

When Messi drops deep, the AMR can move centrally into space. In order to this within FM, yet keep all of the other normal movement and position patterns of the AMR, I have adopted this:

image.png.bbf6657d23cb93455c5fc44286421e98.png

The AMR I want to be forward and wide (depending on where in the build up the team is), attacking the byline and crossing. But, in cases when the F9 drops deep, I do want him central. So marking the DCL can help get this positioning more narrow. Unfortunately, the rest of the instructions I want I cannot get from any other PRD except the wide TM, but I do not want him to be a ball magnet.

** The AMR is where I anticipate experimenting more over the first month of the season.

Final Third - Attack

In final third, with possession maintained and moving through any of the 3 advanced midfield diamond, Barca would look to transition play out to a wide player making a run:

image.png.7f38a01ccd52d0e58ddb874c4d7d3871.png

This is why I really want wingers on both flanks. These players should stay wide, and when getting 1v1 situations against opposition FBs, they should drive to the by line and either beat their man for a shot, or center the ball with a cut back pass to the box attacking f9.

The right flank can of course be either the Winger or the WB-A. Again, this AMR is the most undecided spot for me currently.

As far as Athleti, we have multiple options here with the two wingers –

Both Lemar and Correa are both explosive, with good physicals, dribbling and crossing, with adequate finishing. These guys should both be able to make runs into the box for through balls from Felix, or play well with the 1v1 game against opposition fullbacks, where I will want them to drive the by line for cut backs to Felix or the CMs. Yannick Carrasco can also fill in on either side and do all of the above as well.

 

Initial Base tactic - Everything above goes into the creation of our base tactic, which is below. We will start most games using this base tactic and this will be our primary training focus.

image.png.0e4aaa44c8085cb640673e62663e7e31.png

Minimal OI's

image.png.3b08c5c4561fcc2527023cabd4592e76.png

I want to press the defense, but I want them to pass the ball to the flanks, as Barca would use the touch line like an extra defender. Thus, we have the force opposition wide TI, but with OI's we have further emphasized this. I don't want to mark the FBs (unless we need to close one off in a big game, think TAA and Liverpool).  But we will immediately press them when they get the ball.

Tactical Pieces

Now, at different times, Barca would utilize the width of the pitch to overload the flanks. As such, we have a few tactical pieces which enable us to shift our focus to one or the other flank. As such, some PRD and ti/pi’s must change. For ease of use, I have created two alternate tactics, one with each flank overload.

Overload Left

When I put an overload on, I swap some positions, focus the play down the flank I want to overload, go a little wider on team width and a little slower on tempo. When overloading the left, Iniesta would play wider of the AML and the FB would tuck in to cover for him being more advanced and wider. Thus we have changed the left flank PRD to IF-s, Mez At, and IWB-s. 

image.png.ab80549b1e76b611aa73f3175ab33020.png

 

Overload Right

The right overload we have a little different and we might explore changing this one some more. This is a fairly similar setup to an OL tactic I have used in my Lazio save.

image.png.75279c3daa642ff1f34f02e895b10c24.png

 

That's it for now. This is our initial plan of attack for Athleti. I will make minimal changes to all of the above as we move through the preseason and first 4 games of La Liga. Depending on what I see I will start iterating changes and reporting back. Hope you enjoy.

 

 

This is great! I am particularly interested to see how you get on with the movement of the Wingers. What is the footedness of the players in those positions and what sorts of PPMs do they have? I'm wondering if you are getting (or will get) a lot of inside movement and attempted shots/through balls, despite the winger role, or if you'll just get a lot of crosses.

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Should be an interesting thread. Here is a great thread about Pep / Barcelona: 

One thing I'm not too sure about is the Busquets role. Everyone seems to think he would drop in between both CBs frequently but I don't think that was the case. I think he would do it depending on the opponent & the system they were playing against in order to create the +1 in build up. So, against teams where they only had 1 striker (4-3-3 for example), there would be no need for him to drop between the CBs because they already have the 2v1 in build up. Whereas against teams that played with 2 strikers (4-4-2, 3-5-2 etc / maybe even a 4-2-3-1 depending on how the #10 pressed) then we would see Busquets drop in to create that 3v2 & again, ensure the +1 superiority. Maybe something to think about.

I'm also fascinated by the decision to go with wingers in the base setup. For me, Villa & Pedro were the start of the Inside Forward trend that we see so prevalent today.

I'm curious as to why the LCB is a stopper? 

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4 minutes ago, ozilthegunner said:

This is great! I am particularly interested to see how you get on with the movement of the Wingers. What is the footedness of the players in those positions and what sorts of PPMs do they have? I'm wondering if you are getting (or will get) a lot of inside movement and attempted shots/through balls, despite the winger role, or if you'll just get a lot of crosses.

Yes, the two wingers are my most unsure of at the start of this. As of right now, I have them on the flank of their dominant foot, although I might change that because I'd prefer the opposite. That just happens to be those two players preference it seems, but doesn't mean they need to be locked into that. 

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5 minutes ago, retrodude09 said:

Should be an interesting thread. Here is a great thread about Pep / Barcelona: 

One thing I'm not too sure about is the Busquets role. Everyone seems to think he would drop in between both CBs frequently but I don't think that was the case. I think he would do it depending on the opponent & the system they were playing against in order to create the +1 in build up. So, against teams where they only had 1 striker (4-3-3 for example), there would be no need for him to drop between the CBs because they already have the 2v1 in build up. Whereas against teams that played with 2 strikers (4-4-2, 3-5-2 etc / maybe even a 4-2-3-1 depending on how the #10 pressed) then we would see Busquets drop in to create that 3v2 & again, ensure the +1 superiority. Maybe something to think about.

I'm also fascinated by the decision to go with wingers in the base setup. For me, Villa & Pedro were the start of the Inside Forward trend that we see so prevalent today.

I'm curious as to why the LCB is a stopper? 

Yes, very familiar with that thread. The unfortunate thing is that until @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! moves up in FM version, his old stuff really hasn't aged well three versions on now. I love his threads and have learned so much from re-reading them all countless times.

 

Yes, I agree with the Busquets role. But, some of the play out from the back is very vanilla in FM. You are correct, against a 442 he would be a HB, but against 1 striker, the two cbs and GK would create a numbers and he didn't need to drop as deep. My inclinations in such match ups would be to change the HB-d into a DM-S. Although, in past versions, FM19/FM20, I really enjoyed the Anchor position, as that player would not drift far from the center circle and recycle possession. Most other DM PRD I have notice will drift too far from the circle when your team is dominating up the pitch. So I might give that good simple Anchor-d a try.

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11 minutes ago, retrodude09 said:

Should be an interesting thread. Here is a great thread about Pep / Barcelona: 

One thing I'm not too sure about is the Busquets role. Everyone seems to think he would drop in between both CBs frequently but I don't think that was the case. I think he would do it depending on the opponent & the system they were playing against in order to create the +1 in build up. So, against teams where they only had 1 striker (4-3-3 for example), there would be no need for him to drop between the CBs because they already have the 2v1 in build up. Whereas against teams that played with 2 strikers (4-4-2, 3-5-2 etc / maybe even a 4-2-3-1 depending on how the #10 pressed) then we would see Busquets drop in to create that 3v2 & again, ensure the +1 superiority. Maybe something to think about.

I'm also fascinated by the decision to go with wingers in the base setup. For me, Villa & Pedro were the start of the Inside Forward trend that we see so prevalent today.

I'm curious as to why the LCB is a stopper? 

The only reason for this is that making the CB a stopper is the only way to get rid of the hard coded hold position. I want this CB to carry the ball out when needed (although I don't really have the best BPD for this on Athleti). 

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Humor me and switch the F9 to a Treq.. I think it will reproduce things better and give the role the more attacking mentality it needs to replicate Messi.  This and the poor striker movement from FM 19 is one of the reasons O-zil went SS-A with roaming for his recreation back in the day.. also the role was pretty much created to replicate Messi.  I think the movement of the Treq role in the striker position is really good in FM 21 too.

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4 minutes ago, Kharza_FM said:

Humor me and switch the F9 to a Treq.. I think it will reproduce things better and give the role the more attacking mentality it needs to replicate Messi.  This and the poor striker movement from FM 19 is one of the reasons O-zil went SS-A with roaming for his recreation back in the day.. also the role was pretty much created to replicate Messi.  I think the movement of the Treq role in the striker position is really good in FM 21 too.

This has been sitting on the back of my mind, but I just had to start with the False 9 to see. I remember from Ozil's thread the main issues is that that player's mentality is way too low. I wish within the false 9 they would hard code an attacking mentality, even with him being a support duty player.

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21 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Yes, very familiar with that thread. The unfortunate thing is that until @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! moves up in FM version, his old stuff really hasn't aged well three versions on now. I love his threads and have learned so much from re-reading them all countless times.

 

Yes, I agree with the Busquets role. But, some of the play out from the back is very vanilla in FM. You are correct, against a 442 he would be a HB, but against 1 striker, the two cbs and GK would create a numbers and he didn't need to drop as deep. My inclinations in such match ups would be to change the HB-d into a DM-S. Although, in past versions, FM19/FM20, I really enjoyed the Anchor position, as that player would not drift far from the center circle and recycle possession. Most other DM PRD I have notice will drift too far from the circle when your team is dominating up the pitch. So I might give that good simple Anchor-d a try.

You're right, they haven't aged fantastically but they're still a good place to start in my opinion.

My midfield 3 is set up similarly to yours, in terms of duties anyway = DM (D) - DLP (S) - CM (A) & I've found that my DM (D) tends to stay fairly well connected with my CBs when we're in the attacking third. He'll sometimes move to be an option to help us recycle but I think thats what Busquets did too. 

16 minutes ago, 04texag said:

The only reason for this is that making the CB a stopper is the only way to get rid of the hard coded hold position. I want this CB to carry the ball out when needed (although I don't really have the best BPD for this on Athleti). 

Could this not be achieved by teaching the CB the trait of "Brings Ball Out of Defence" & thus wouldn't affect your defensive shape? 

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5 minutes ago, retrodude09 said:

Could this not be achieved by teaching the CB the trait of "Brings Ball Out of Defence" & thus wouldn't affect your defensive shape? 

Yes, but I'm still ok if one defender is a little more advanced, as in positional play principles, you want very few players to exist in the same horizontal and vertical lines. Staggering is encouraged. 

You make a good point though, but without a BPD with good dribbling, I really don't have the right CB at Athleti. On a longer term save, yes you would want to find a better player for this.

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19 minutes ago, Obaaa said:

Looking forward to properly reading through this but one major bug bear so far.. no H in Atletico!! Sorry but that's always bugged me haha. 

Great idea for a thread, will follow along. 

Ha! Spot on!

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Good post. 

I am not convinced Busquets always acted like a HB. I got the impression his role was situational. He acted as a HB when he needed to vacate the midfield to allow Xavi to drop deeper to get the ball. Which I guess happened when teams were sitting a little deeper and denying Barcelona space with a medium block without pressing. However when a team tried to close Barcelona down higher up the pitch, he would position himself further forward as a more standard DMC to allow the midfield to push further up and Barcelona would pass through the press. So this is something to be aware of. 

Another thing with Busquets is that he was the pivot. All passing play rotated around him. He had a better pass completion rate than both Xavi and Iniesta. Mostly because he passed short almost always (so did Xavi for the most part). So this is something to keep in mind when using a HB role - is Busquets able to be the pivot? (I realise I keep saying Busquets, I of course mean the player in the Busquets role). 

I also think low tempo should be used cautiously here. This Barcelona side were mostly quick short passes with sudden bursts of direct football. Either incisive passes from Iniesta or quick one touch passing. This, I think, is very difficult to replicate in FM. However you should be careful not to take away too much of this with the instructions. You do not want to take away the ability to play with a high tempo when required. Otherwise you become all possession and no bite. 

I'd also argue that Barcelona were not a narrow team. Guardiola always has stretched the field as wide as possible. Often with one winger and one wing back. Stretching the defence this way forces them wider and means there is more space centrally. Plus it expands the half spaces which can then be attacked. 

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23 minutes ago, retrodude09 said:

@04texag- Whats the thinking behind giving the AMR the "Hold Position" PI? Won't this make him less of a goal threat? 

I want someone to maintain width on the left flank and preferably in the am strata so that we can stretch the defense out. When in the final third this instruction doesn't really hold this player back, it's more for build up play. Also, they will receive the ball wide and then make 1v1 attacking moves. This doesn't prevent them from dribbling when on the ball. 

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1 hour ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Good post. 

I am not convinced Busquets always acted like a HB. I got the impression his role was situational. He acted as a HB when he needed to vacate the midfield to allow Xavi to drop deeper to get the ball. Which I guess happened when teams were sitting a little deeper and denying Barcelona space with a medium block without pressing. However when a team tried to close Barcelona down higher up the pitch, he would position himself further forward as a more standard DMC to allow the midfield to push further up and Barcelona would pass through the press. So this is something to be aware of. 

Another thing with Busquets is that he was the pivot. All passing play rotated around him. He had a better pass completion rate than both Xavi and Iniesta. Mostly because he passed short almost always (so did Xavi for the most part). So this is something to keep in mind when using a HB role - is Busquets able to be the pivot? (I realise I keep saying Busquets, I of course mean the player in the Busquets role). 

I also think low tempo should be used cautiously here. This Barcelona side were mostly quick short passes with sudden bursts of direct football. Either incisive passes from Iniesta or quick one touch passing. This, I think, is very difficult to replicate in FM. However you should be careful not to take away too much of this with the instructions. You do not want to take away the ability to play with a high tempo when required. Otherwise you become all possession and no bite. 

I'd also argue that Barcelona were not a narrow team. Guardiola always has stretched the field as wide as possible. Often with one winger and one wing back. Stretching the defence this way forces them wider and means there is more space centrally. Plus it expands the half spaces which can then be attacked. 

I agree with pretty much everything said here, and most of it is already contained in the finer details. 

Busquets role was already mentioned and yes it changed depending on opposition shape, either dropping deeper or staying a little more advanced. Unfortunately, these are all combining multiple facets of a few different roles IMO. 

As for tempo, I adjust based on the matches and how fast or slow we are closed down, so any tempo listed is a starting reference. One thing with tactics in this game is that you are balancing team tactics for everyone, but then sometimes you need individual players to play quite differently. I think the passing and tempo is a good example with this tactic and team. The team instructions are for everyone but not the playmakers, including the F9. Their individual roles circumvent this and player instructions always trump team instructions. So do PPMs which is why I've noted some important ones that some of these guys have. 

Lastly, width. Yes you're right and I've commented on this. You have to pick narrow width within FM to typically get the build up and transition play to go through this midfield diamond. But width can be established other ways, which I've written about extensively in my positional play threads. The winger on support has hold position, which will keep him holding on the touch line and establishing width on the left flank. This is very important in positional play and Pep always does this. On the right flank, the wb-a is doing this same thing, which is why I opted for this role instead of a CWB, as the wb will stay wider. 

Hope this didn't sound defensive, but I did specifically address some of these things. 

That said I do want feedback as I still feel like some positions need addressing. The DM slot, AMR slot are probably the biggest that might need adjusting. I'm resigned to believing though that the DM is a game dependent adjustment. 

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7 hours ago, 04texag said:

I agree with pretty much everything said here, and most of it is already contained in the finer details. 

Busquets role was already mentioned and yes it changed depending on opposition shape, either dropping deeper or staying a little more advanced. Unfortunately, these are all combining multiple facets of a few different roles IMO. 

As for tempo, I adjust based on the matches and how fast or slow we are closed down, so any tempo listed is a starting reference. One thing with tactics in this game is that you are balancing team tactics for everyone, but then sometimes you need individual players to play quite differently. I think the passing and tempo is a good example with this tactic and team. The team instructions are for everyone but not the playmakers, including the F9. Their individual roles circumvent this and player instructions always trump team instructions. So do PPMs which is why I've noted some important ones that some of these guys have. 

Lastly, width. Yes you're right and I've commented on this. You have to pick narrow width within FM to typically get the build up and transition play to go through this midfield diamond. But width can be established other ways, which I've written about extensively in my positional play threads. The winger on support has hold position, which will keep him holding on the touch line and establishing width on the left flank. This is very important in positional play and Pep always does this. On the right flank, the wb-a is doing this same thing, which is why I opted for this role instead of a CWB, as the wb will stay wider. 

Hope this didn't sound defensive, but I did specifically address some of these things. 

That said I do want feedback as I still feel like some positions need addressing. The DM slot, AMR slot are probably the biggest that might need adjusting. I'm resigned to believing though that the DM is a game dependent adjustment. 

Not at all defensive, so do not worry! I am grateful for the detailed response you wrote me, and I always welcome good discussions on these things.

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8 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Good post. 

I am not convinced Busquets always acted like a HB. I got the impression his role was situational. He acted as a HB when he needed to vacate the midfield to allow Xavi to drop deeper to get the ball. Which I guess happened when teams were sitting a little deeper and denying Barcelona space with a medium block without pressing. However when a team tried to close Barcelona down higher up the pitch, he would position himself further forward as a more standard DMC to allow the midfield to push further up and Barcelona would pass through the press. So this is something to be aware of. 

Another thing with Busquets is that he was the pivot. All passing play rotated around him. He had a better pass completion rate than both Xavi and Iniesta. Mostly because he passed short almost always (so did Xavi for the most part). So this is something to keep in mind when using a HB role - is Busquets able to be the pivot? (I realise I keep saying Busquets, I of course mean the player in the Busquets role). 

I also think low tempo should be used cautiously here. This Barcelona side were mostly quick short passes with sudden bursts of direct football. Either incisive passes from Iniesta or quick one touch passing. This, I think, is very difficult to replicate in FM. However you should be careful not to take away too much of this with the instructions. You do not want to take away the ability to play with a high tempo when required. Otherwise you become all possession and no bite. 

I'd also argue that Barcelona were not a narrow team. Guardiola always has stretched the field as wide as possible. Often with one winger and one wing back. Stretching the defence this way forces them wider and means there is more space centrally. Plus it expands the half spaces which can then be attacked. 

I am also currently plucking away at a Barcelona replication so I have some insights here, although mine and 04Texag's interpretations differ quite a bit :brock:

Re: The Busquets role, I agree that it may not have necessarily always been a HB. I've not really deviated from this, as generally the shape and player movement has *mostly* been good for playing through a high press. As for being a pivot whilst as a HB, I think so. Of my midfield trio, the HB role consistently has the most passes and highest pass completion rate, although I will add that he doesn't have the highest Passed Received, as you can imagine that goes to the DLP given it is a ball magnet - I do wonder if there is a case for not using a playmaker role specifically and letting these things manifest through PPMs.

I play on a similar tempo as 04Texag currently (one notch below standard, balanced mentality), and I do find find the ball is shuttled around almost fast enough, but I also have Plays One Twos on a couple of players which helps in the final third.

Re: Narrow. This is mostly how close players position themselves to one another in possession and doesn't necessarily mean you aren't using the full width of the pitch. Indeed, the 4-3-3 still offers that natural width even on Very Narrow. Although I am personally moving away from Very Narrow, as I find this too often (well, too often for my liking) leads to players coming too close together on the flanks, which allows the opposition to pen you in and force unnecessary turn overs.

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3 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

I am also currently plucking away at a Barcelona replication so I have some insights here, although mine and 04Texag's interpretations differ quite a bit :brock:

Re: The Busquets role, I agree that it may not have necessarily always been a HB. I've not really deviated from this, as generally the shape and player movement has *mostly* been good for playing through a high press. As for being a pivot whilst as a HB, I think so. Of my midfield trio, the HB role consistently has the most passes and highest pass completion rate, although I will add that he doesn't have the highest Passed Received, as you can imagine that goes to the DLP given it is a ball magnet - I do wonder if there is a case for not using a playmaker role specifically and letting these things manifest through PPMs.

I play on a similar tempo as 04Texag currently (one notch below standard, balanced mentality), and I do find find the ball is shuttled around almost fast enough, but I also have Plays One Twos on a couple of players which helps in the final third.

Re: Narrow. This is mostly how close players position themselves to one another in possession and doesn't necessarily mean you aren't using the full width of the pitch. Indeed, the 4-3-3 still offers that natural width even on Very Narrow. Although I am personally moving away from Very Narrow, as I find this too often (well, too often for my liking) leads to players coming too close together on the flanks, which allows the opposition to pen you in and force unnecessary turn overs.

I also have moved to fairly narrow, focused play through the middle and standard tempo on positive mentality. All else is the same. 

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6 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

The Busquets role, I agree that it may not have necessarily always been a HB. I've not really deviated from this, as generally the shape and player movement has *mostly* been good for playing through a high press. As for being a pivot whilst as a HB, I think so. Of my midfield trio, the HB role consistently has the most passes and highest pass completion rate, although I will add that he doesn't have the highest Passed Received, as you can imagine that goes to the DLP given it is a ball magnet - I do wonder if there is a case for not using a playmaker role specifically and letting these things manifest through PPMs.

I rarely use the HB role, so I was not sure if it was able to reproduce what Busquets did (and does). If it does, then my point is mute and it is not worth considering any further. He definitely did drop between the CBs at times and the CBs would go really wide to create a back three to start possession from the back. So it is an entirely feasible role. I think the biggest problem with reproducing Barcelona is that they were so flexible it is almost impossible to faithfully reproduce such a style within the confines of what FM is capable of. In the past I have found you can emulate aspects of their play, but getting all aspects at once is extremely challenging. Completely understandable mind, I have no idea how you could code such positional flexibility into the game. 

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4 minutes ago, sporadicsmiles said:

I rarely use the HB role, so I was not sure if it was able to reproduce what Busquets did (and does). If it does, then my point is mute and it is not worth considering any further. He definitely did drop between the CBs at times and the CBs would go really wide to create a back three to start possession from the back. So it is an entirely feasible role. I think the biggest problem with reproducing Barcelona is that they were so flexible it is almost impossible to faithfully reproduce such a style within the confines of what FM is capable of. In the past I have found you can emulate aspects of their play, but getting all aspects at once is extremely challenging. Completely understandable mind, I have no idea how you could code such positional flexibility into the game. 

Ya, the HB can play really well as a pivot, player dependent I think. So I'm currently using the HB when facing a press, and an Anchorman when not facing a press. Both will sit back and recycle possession, and with Llorente's PPM he will switch flanks occasionally. 

As for the aim of this thread, it's not to be all things. Even from year to year, as our source video and inspiration talks about, Pep would change tactical variations a lot. Sometimes in any one game things would vary a bit. So we are going to try to go for a tactical version that at a high level gets to the main points, the main feel of how these 3 squads played under Pep. To do any more than that I think would be very difficult if not possible within FM.

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Busquets role has been discussed for years. It changed depending on the situation and as the team evolved and usually no one is wrong, they're just selecting their own preferred version of him or what they saw in a specific game. If you can get to a point where you have different roles for that position depending on different scenarios that is the ideal. How changing the role effects the rest of the team has to be taken into consideration though. If Busquets played deeper, Xavi quite often dropped deeper too.

My main question mark would be the two BPD's. How is that working, are they taking it upon themselves to dictate the play and spray passes about? That's not really the role(s) that would come to mind for me. Puyol/Mascherano kept it very safe and just gave the ball to their more talented team mates. Pique had a little more license but again he, as is with most of the team, played to instruction with short passes to those ahead of him. Anything more 'flair' from him I'd probably account for via attributes and PPMs.

As has been noted the wide roles cause the most problem. The Pedro role had different movements - sometimes holding his width, sometimes breaking in behind, sometimes playing as a centre forward if Messi had dropped deep - which are hard and maybe impossible to replicate fully. The David Villa role (and now, Raheem Sterling plays fairly similarly) I wouldn't say was a winger, and I'm not sure exists in FM. He held the width to open space, often wasn't that involved in play/was ignored and just kept it simple if he was, and concentrated on timing his runs to burst in behind diagonally or arriving to apply the final touch to a move in front of goal. I've said for years this type of 'wide poacher' is a role needed in FM (maybe as a new role, or a reworking of the Raumdeuter one) but it's never happened.

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31 minutes ago, mp_87 said:

Busquets role has been discussed for years. It changed depending on the situation and as the team evolved and usually no one is wrong, they're just selecting their own preferred version of him or what they saw in a specific game. If you can get to a point where you have different roles for that position depending on different scenarios that is the ideal. How changing the role effects the rest of the team has to be taken into consideration though. If Busquets played deeper, Xavi quite often dropped deeper too.

My main question mark would be the two BPD's. How is that working, are they taking it upon themselves to dictate the play and spray passes about? That's not really the role(s) that would come to mind for me. Puyol/Mascherano kept it very safe and just gave the ball to their more talented team mates. Pique had a little more license but again he, as is with most of the team, played to instruction with short passes to those ahead of him. Anything more 'flair' from him I'd probably account for via attributes and PPMs.

As has been noted the wide roles cause the most problem. The Pedro role had different movements - sometimes holding his width, sometimes breaking in behind, sometimes playing as a centre forward if Messi had dropped deep - which are hard. The David Villa role (and now, Raheem Sterling plays fairly similarly) I wouldn't say was a winger, and I'm not sure exists in FM. He held the width to open space, often wasn't that involved in play/was ignored and just kept it simple if he was, and concentrated on timing his runs to burst in behind diagonally or arriving to apply the final touch to a move in front of goal. I've said for years this type of 'wide poacher' is a role needed in FM (maybe as a new role, or a reworking of the Raumdeuter one) but it's never happened.

Really good comments here. 

I've already left the right CB to a central defender- def duty. I've still been keeping the left CB as a BP-St, but unsure if it'll stick past first month of the season. It is performing just fine, the defenders typically are playing short passes to the DM, or sometimes koke at dlp or the fullbacks. They aren't going any longer than that. 

The left Winger-S, works the best I can get to mimic that Sterling type of role. The key is to have that player be opposite footed. I'm not playing either Correa (who got hurt) or Vitalo there, as they are right footed. This player maintains width with hold position and doesn't participate in the build up very much. But they make runs into the box, or when they get the ball out wide, will try to 1v1 into the box or the by line. It works pretty well and I'm satisfied here. Now, the other flank, I'm going to experiment with some today. I think ultimately will need to just pick one of the types of roles Pedro would execute and go with it, ideally one that unlocks the Treq up top more, as that PRD is not working very well in league games.

I will say, Lemar as the Winger-A on the right has been our best player in attack by far. 

Edited by 04texag
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Quick update

So we are getting towards the end of October, and so far the tactic is playing pretty well, albeit I'm not happy with a few position's performances. Mainly, our fullbacks. I am making a change to now flip the tactic, as Renan Lodi is a much better creative and attacking player, so I want him to be the more marauding wing presence. Trippier has been ok in some games and down right awful in most. Hopefully as a FB-s he will play better. Up top, Felix and Saurez are really not producing much. I think they will hopefully do better if they can get some better balls in from Lodi. 

The two stars so far have been Saul at the Iniesta AP position, and Thomas Lemar playing as the Pedro, AMR. 

Tactically, we haven't changed much. We are playing a little faster and a little wider, yet focusing play through the middle. I'm also experimenting with a RMD-A ilo the Winger A from original. 

image.png.c12fd950453b14c849fe8c1be4c54a04.png

All three draws we have dominated the games and given up late fairly cheap goals and or ridiculous penalties. 2-2 away to Barca and 1-1 against Juventus I mark down as solid draws. The 1-1 to Getafe we got totally "fm'd" dominating the game and they had 1 shot all game. The 2-0 win away at Sociedad was a very solid win.

Our CL draw is a pretty rough one, so getting points against Juve is good.

image.png.656d2ef771acc577d40cedd154afab39.png

 

Here is the tactic as currently stands, and with the flipped version to hopefully get better fullback play.

image.png.5d1ccc44e273991897ea263ef5f7841d.png

 

As noted, against high presses we use the HB, against teams that don't press us high, or only 1 striker, we are using the Anchor-d. Also, depending on how quick they close down our midfield maestros, I sometimes tweak the in possession settings:

image.png.eae81a29472efe77f878266d4e0a0b10.png

 

Let me know if any questions. We had some tough games, with more to follow with R. Madrid and two against Ajax over the next month of play. Hopefully we can get some momentum moving into december as we have a flurry of games but against all mid to lower table teams, so max points will be necessary during that stretch.

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@04texag, another great thread, thanks! 

A few comments to continue the conversation.

1. I agree with @mp_87, it would be great to have a wide poacher kind of role, but I would agree that your solution is the best at this point. I used it last year in FM20, at some point I had Mbappe playing that way and he was simply a killer. It worked great.

2. I think that the trickiest part of making a replication - once the tactic is more or less defined (shape, roles, Tis and so on)  - is to actually find the FM players that can actually mimic the real life players with the style that we are trying to replicate. In this sense I think that a good Barcelona's replication has to have those three famous roles/players absolutely spot on (Messi, Iniesta, Xavi).  For the first one... good luck, for Iniesta is not so difficulty (more or less), but my question is: who can better mimic Xavi in FM? If we find that player than a replication would get to another level all together. That role is the trickiest of the whole tactic in my view. I think you are playing Koke in that position, how is that going in terms of replicating at least some aspects of the way Xavi used to play? In my experience in fm20 the player that got closest was Sensi (but surely there were others). I haven't found one in FM21 yet (but it's early and I am looking for him...).

Anyway, I guess my point is that for a successful replication you need tactic + players and sometimes when people are trying to replicate real football teams they don't pay enough attention to the characteristics of their player selection. I don't know if you guys agree.  

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6 minutes ago, DNZ-8 said:

@04texag, another great thread, thanks! 

A few comments to continue the conversation.

1. I agree with @mp_87, it would be great to have a wide poacher kind of role, but I would agree that your solution is the best at this point. I used it last year in FM20, at some point I had Mbappe playing that way and he was simply a killer. It worked great.

2. I think that the trickiest part of making a replication - once the tactic is more or less defined (shape, roles, Tis and so on)  - is to actually find the FM players that can actually mimic the real life players with the style that we are trying to replicate. In this sense I think that a good Barcelona's replication has to have those three famous roles/players absolutely spot on (Messi, Iniesta, Xavi).  For the first one... good luck, for Iniesta is not so difficulty (more or less), but my question is: who can better mimic Xavi in FM? If we find that player than a replication would get to another level all together. That role is the trickiest of the whole tactic in my view. I think you are playing Koke in that position, how is that going in terms of replicating at least some aspects of the way Xavi used to play? In my experience in fm20 the player that got closest was Sensi (but surely there were others). I haven't found one in FM21 yet (but it's early and I am looking for him...).

Anyway, I guess my point is that for a successful replication you need tactic + players and sometimes when people are trying to replicate real football teams they don't pay enough attention to the characteristics of their player selection. I don't know if you guys agree.  

You are right on with 2. I'm working on trying to get the tactic down as well as I can, from a general standpoint. I think that so far Atleti has some of the right players. At the end of this save, I'll make some comments on the players again, and maybe if I can find one or two that might be more ideal, make some recommendations. That way if someone wanted to do their own longer term save with this setup, they can know what to shoot for.

I've been very impressed with Saul, he plays the playmaker role well and sometimes will move pretty high up. He's playing much more aggressive than my playmakers in my Lazio DNA thread are. I'm liking it a lot. Koke has been playing well, high pass completion, but not doing much else. I'm interested to see how playing him on the left as a right footed player might slightly change things up a little. 

I'm hopeful that over the next month I can get the F9/Treq to start working better, because so far it's been virtually non-existent (aside from preseason 2 goals a game?!)

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Will be interested to see how you get on with the TREQ. It's a switch I've contemplated but for now I'm committed to the False Nine role. The individual role mentality concerns me though, I'm currently on this for the front five

                         Cautious

Balanced                                 Balanced

              Balanced    Balanced

Cautious becomes Attacking with the role change, which is liable to be an issue.

I ended up swapping the Iniesta role from a Mez(At) to a Mez(Su) - The duty change has been good in the sense that I am now seeing the desired movement where the player will drift wide when the wide man comes inside, something that really wasn't happening when on Attack. 

As an aside, I'm thinking I need to go out and buy a right back in the correct mould because trying to do this inverted as I am currently confuses me from time to time. :idiot:

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6 minutes ago, 04texag said:

At the end of this save, I'll make some comments on the players again, and maybe if I can find one or two that might be more ideal, make some recommendations.

That's a great idea. Thanks!

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1 minute ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

Will be interested to see how you get on with the TREQ. It's a switch I've contemplated but for now I'm committed to the False Nine role. The individual role mentality concerns me though, I'm currently on this for the front five

                         Cautious

Balanced                                 Balanced

              Balanced    Balanced

Cautious becomes Attacking with the role change, which is liable to be an issue.

I ended up swapping the Iniesta role from a Mez(At) to a Mez(Su) - The duty change has been good in the sense that I am now seeing the desired movement where the player will drift wide when the wide man comes inside, something that really wasn't happening when on Attack. 

As an aside, I'm thinking I need to go out and buy a right back in the correct mould because trying to do this inverted as I am currently confuses me from time to time. :idiot:

Ya I didn't want to flip it either, but with Lodi and Trippier as the only options (Atleti is surprisingly devoid of depth in the defense) I really don't think I have a choice. 

Saul has been awesome as an AP-A and with his PPM and PI's, really happy with it. Sometimes I have him roam and other times I don't but this is basically it.

image.png.3ac38c4847e32a71a4bef73835f63355.png

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16 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Here is the tactic as currently stands, and with the flipped version to hopefully get better fullback play.

image.png.5d1ccc44e273991897ea263ef5f7841d.png

 

As noted, against high presses we use the HB, against teams that don't press us high, or only 1 striker, we are using the Anchor-d. Also, depending on how quick they close down our midfield maestros, I sometimes tweak the in possession settings:

image.png.eae81a29472efe77f878266d4e0a0b10.png

 

One thing to test out that worked miracles for me. As you know I am on a save with Chelsea replicating De Zerbi's style. What I was looking for was to combine slow build-ups and overloads based on very short passes with bursts of sudden quick vertical transitions. I'm mentioning this because Barcelona would do the same at times. Well, I think I finally found the formula to get something similar in FM. I play Cautious mentality with much shorter passes and standard tempo, combined with Counter (or at least eliminating "hold shape"). It's something that is really working out nicely for me and maybe it could be used in this tactic as well, in replicating another aspect of Barcelona's style. Just an idea to test, unless you are already getting that kind of sudden change of tempo and verticality. Someone was taking about it a few posts above. In previous years with my Barcelona replications I was never able to really get that effect and I think it is because I was playing higher mentalities, but now with the new ME you can play cautious and still get those attacking runs.

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1 hour ago, 04texag said:

I'm hopeful that over the next month I can get the F9/Treq to start working better, because so far it's been virtually non-existent (aside from preseason 2 goals a game?!)

Have you tried him in the AM position as a shadow striker? 

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14 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

I am also currently plucking away at a Barcelona replication so I have some insights here, although mine and 04Texag's interpretations differ quite a bit :brock:

I would love to see a screenshot of your tactic set up! I’m currently trying to do the same with not much reward :lol:

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@04texag IMO, the DLP can easily be replaced with CM(s). you then can customize the role. With positive mentality and no PI's added to CM(s) and with right player attributes and traits will act like a playmaker. 

Xavi mainly stays deep but as the ball advances into the final third or when Barca are camping, I have seen Xavi make those vertical runs ( that goal against Real Madrid where Iniesta carves a through ball splitting the RMA defense) . A CM(s) can occasionally do that if it's the right time even without the get forward PI. 

It goes without saying that except for your GK, CB's and DM, everyone in the team need to have the trait "play one-twos". It is quintessential for this set-up especially when playing short & narrow.

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12 hours ago, Callummack said:
 

I would love to see a screenshot of your tactic set up! I’m currently trying to do the same with not much reward :lol:

Sure! This is the most current iteration; I'm giving the Ramdauter a go, inspired by (perhaps unintentionally so) @mp_87 earlier post regarding David Villa. The role is locked into Sit Narrow but gut feeling is it may still hold width well. Honestly a role like the Wide Midfielder where you're free to customise would be ideal here but alas. Also testing the CM(Su) (running with nidhar.ram's suggestion) to see how that interacts with the False Nine.

image.thumb.png.14c2750f7e6e919aa0126784c19dd3f7.png

As mentioned previously, the recreation is inverted by necessity. To visualise it:

590673225_lineup(1).png.9b7a8e0f3454a6aa3d6e584d32647fc8.png

Only PIs currently are:

False Nine: Moves Into Channels, Roam From Position

Center-backs: Stay Wider

RWB: Stay Wider

One thing I am starting to do personally is be more fluid with how I approach the Busquets role. The base role is HB, but depending on the opposition formation (typically 1 striker but top heavy, formations) and their press, I switch the HB to a DLP(De) instead and with that, the CBs lose the Stay Wider PI and I also add the Distribute Playmaker TI. This allows the player to still potentially drop into the backline but not nearly as frequently or rigidly so.

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I've spent the day trying having a good go at this myself I am really pleased with how things are going. 

Apart from the game against Real Madrid we just didn't turn up on the day.   

My plan is to turn this into a youth only save see if I could get the to where Guardiola got where he fielded a whole team of La Masia graduates...  

Screenshot (4).png

Screenshot (5).png

Screenshot (6).png

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Ah, Pep's Barca....the never-ending FM tactical pursuit. 

For me, a long time Barca fan (since 1990), the 2010-11 season is the best football I have ever seen any team play. It was simply poetry in motion. Pep had the team play differently in each of the 4 seasons. But I'm glad to see that the version picked for replication here is from the 2010-11 season. 

Here is a 40 min video showing the best from that season. 

Basically a footballing lecture and the best video to see a lot of nuances in the way the whole team played, as well as each individual role. 

By far, the hardest thing to replicate is still the Messi role. 

I have my own interpretation of the whole tactic, of course. I've read some good points made here already. Here are some of my points:

- Alves was more adventurous, Abidal was more reserved

- Pique has more freedom, Puyol was more conservative

- Busquets role was flexible depending on opponents, circumstances, etc. (covered already and I agree)

- Xavi was the maestro and he always dropped deep, regardless of other roles/players around him. But he also found himself  around the box for killer passes and occasional goals

- Iniesta was more advanced and roaming, with more license to dribble and adventurous passes.

- Villa was more attacking then Pedro. Villa was looking to break behind D-lines more frequently, while Pedro helped keeping possession and circulating the ball on the right side (think Xavi, Alves, Pedro, Messi overload)

- Messi with complete freedom to roam and overload wherever he wanted but always surging into the box to score goals. If teams pushed up higher, he would also break behind lines

Pep sometimes tweaked a few things to throw opponents off or spring a surprise, a small variation. For example:

- Pique would sometimes be at DCR, other times at DCL

- Villa and Pedro would swap flanks and stay very wide (CL semi-final vs Real M, CL final vs Man U)

- back 4 will morph into a back 3 during build up with Alves going up the flank, Pique shifting to the right. Plus Busquets and Xavi as double pivots. Iniesta and Messi as 10s.

Enjoy the video! I will chime with more some other time. 

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4 hours ago, yonko said:

- Xavi was the maestro and he always dropped deep, regardless of other roles/players around him. But he also found himself  around the box for killer passes and occasional goals

- Iniesta was more advanced and roaming, with more license to dribble and adventurous passes.

- Villa was more attacking then Pedro. Villa was looking to break behind D-lines more frequently, while Pedro helped keeping possession and circulating the ball on the right side (think Xavi, Alves, Pedro, Messi overload)

I think this is what I want to still tweak some. Can you share your ideas for what you would do for this flank? Although I have to flip it with Lodi playing the alves role instead of trippier. 

Thinking through it in light of your description too, I might make xavi role the only playmaker but as rpm, then do a standard cm-s "free role" for iniesta role. 

Thanks for looking the video, will watch with coffee this am!

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