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Playing On The Edge: Dominating Possession with only one CB


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6 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Real Sociedad "Dream Team"

Part 1: Midfield Diamond Roles 

 

So the midfield diamond in Cruyff's 3-4-3. The most important 4 roles in the whole tactic, aside from the sole CB of course. 

Carrileros

As I mentioned before here is where you need your Total Footballers, very well-rounded players great in attack, defence and transition. To give an example of my favourite player in FM21, Mr.Sociedad himself, El Capitán Mikel Oyarzabal, you will need players who just like Mikel can slot into any of the three roles; AMC, Carrileros or DLP(D). Again to reiterate what I wrote before, the reason why I settled on those four roles as opposed to earlier Shadow Striker, Mezzala, BBM and Anchor quartet, is to better keep the diamond shape. I could have used CM(S)s too but I found that carrileros do exactly the same job except with the additional benefit of having "Stay Wider" hardcoded in. Again this instruction is important to keep the shape and adding some more additional cover on the flanks while freeing up the middle for my AMC and DLP. Unlike what you might expect, carrilero can be a good progressive midfielder going forward too. While they are not as aggressive as Mezzalas, they can basically make late forward runs ala BBM (especially if possessing appropriate PPMs). So Mikel is my prime choice for carrilero role. 

 

He could probably play just as well as my AMC or DLP or Central Striker or BPD even. Or any role in my formation for that matter. The only reason I would hesitate using him as IW on wing is his unfortunate lack of acceleration and pace. Well, you cannot have everything :lol: 

Actually, his universality is one reason that I am not training him with any new traits. Its best he stays my universal Swiss knife player that I can slot in anywhere in midfield or even defence at a moments notice.

So you get the idea. If I had 4 Oyarzabals for my Diamond then it would be ideal. But instead I possess four players of similar attributes albeit with their own unique skills and strengths. Oyarzabal's partner Mikel Merino was initially his perfect foil. Merino possessed more defensive aggressiveness and raw physical strength to compliment Oyarzabal's technique and mentals. But then Man United crashed our party and triggered Merino's release clause. To be honest I was resistant and angry at first (particularly when I could not match their offer of £155 000 per week). But then without that sale I probably wouldn't have my £ 85 million cash and no Dream Team. So at least have to be thankful to the bloody Devils for that. No hard feelings really. Hopefully Merino plays as well at Trafford as he did at Anoeta.

So in steps Olympiacos' Mady Camara. My Mikel Merino replacement and the first piece in the New Total Football Dream Team.

 

I got to say Mady is a hell of a carrilero (and I am even training him as my future IWB too). In a way as Merino replacement, Camara does not lose any of the former defensive and technical abilities. But his physicals are a definite improvement. So welcome to the team Mady!

 

 

Side Note on Total Football DNA

Before I go on with the other two roles, I just wanted to offer a little insight into my scouting requirements (and at same time little update on my Total Football DNA) Because the diamond is so essential, I am extra picky on who I play in the midfield. When searching through my shortlist, these are basically the attributes I filter for. The actual values are not as important since they will differ depending on your league and competition level. But generally for top leagues you don't want any of those below 12-13. Obviously if they are still young then you have more room to develop the attributes.

 

So I am rather proud that my team possesses 5 "Total Footballers" - 4 of them in our midfield diamond with all of the required values. The only other club in my database that currently has more Total Footballers is Liverpool (according to the above parameters). Not surprising really. 

 

 

AMC Role

Of course the individual strengths or traits of the player will still gravitate some "Total" players towards a specific position. While Oyarzabal can play any role in the formation and Mady can also be an excellent IWB, Marcos Antonio and Beltran (my other two Dream Team acquisitions) already have specific spots in the diamond. To help me decide, I generally look at the attributes and if they have better "attacking" ones such as Anticipation, Composure and Off The Ball then I put them higher up in AMC slot. 

This is Antonio's profile, and you can see that he is definitely my Attacking Midfielder. I think aside from Man City's Bernardo Silva I have not seen a young player under 23 who has similarly high mental attributes. He also becomes Real Sociedad's first player with "world-class" label. And still lots of room to develop his potential. I'm a little scared of what he can become in two years. But surely a fitting replacement for our aging icon David Silva. He even has similar traits to Silva. 

 

At this point I want to make a note on PPMs (or player traits). I am usually not one to use them needlessly, especially when the same player behavior can be coded by a simple Player or Team instruction. But some traits bring truly unique tendencies to players that cannot be manually coded. In Antonio's case the ones that I like for this reason are "Runs with Ball", "Comes Deep to Get Ball" and "Dictates Tempo". These will allow him to act more like a playmaker without designating his role as such. Especially "Dictates Tempo", there's no way to really instruct this manually. It simply gives player more creative freedom to control the passing length and tempo. Sometimes having very intelligent players with this trait is the kind of creative spark that is needed against defensive sides. Another one is "Comes Deep to Get Ball". Actually, I prefer my AMC to have this trait as it allows better link up with the rest of the diamond. Something that Shadow Striker definitely wasn't doing. Another trait that I think is mandatory for AMC is "Plays One-Twos". This is my all-important possession football trait. I will discuss it more in the future Forwards Role Update. But to give you a little preview, all of your front four need "One-Twos". For my carrileros the only real required trait would be "Arrives late in Area"

Deep-lying Playmaker (Defend)

Other than more creative freedom there is really no other difference between DLP(D) and Anchor. All of my players for this role are creative playmaker-types so I decided that Anchor role limited their creativity too much. But if you have a more defensive type then by all means play him as Anchor. Generally I am looking for players with best "defensive" attributes here such as Positioning, Tackling, Marking and Concentration. But if they are also very technical than the DLP(D) role will take the full advantage of their skillset. I do like to position my playmakers in deeper strata in possession tactics as it allows them better control of the game and much more passing options without having to deal with the opposition press all the time. Like in Cruyff's classic tactic, young Guardiola had the full lateral control of his deep midfield area. But at same time Cruyff did not want him moving vertically (unlike the CMs in front of him or the libero-like sole CB behind him). From his deeper position Guardiola could use his superb vision to pick out the right passes to midfielders in front of him. 

Again in terms of traits, we need to be careful here so as not to overdue it. Its definitely the case of less being better than more. Thus the popular "Tries Killer Balls often" trait might do more harm here than good. I want my DMC to act as a reliable link between our defensive trio and the rest of the midfield. Not to send Hollywood passes to the forwards all the time. In my opinion, the best combination of traits here would be "Dictates Tempo" again, "Stays back at all times" and maybe "Comes deep to get ball". Actually, Pep Guardiola's own choice for this all-important role at Barcelona was Sergio Busquets. And Sergio possesses perfect set of traits for it. Although "Dictates Tempo" could be even better than "Short Passing" to make the role unpredictable and better at creating dangerous plays. 

 

 

And this is by the way my 1st choice DLP, Fran Beltran. The third Dream Team transfer and a former Vigo wonderkid. Also another versatile "Total Footballer" as he can easily fill carrilero role to give a break to Mady.

 

It's really amazing how far £ 85 million can go. And that's not even all the players I acquired in that summer. I will try to show you the rest of Real Sociedad's Total Football Dream Team in the next update.

That's a great write up.  I will definitely be taking on board your scouting search tips, as I normally end up trawling through loads of profiles until I find a decent player. 

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Results so far using the updated version:

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It was at the Marseille game and all the results thereafter that the team decided to completely give up dominating the ball and pretty much all of the games after that were around 50% possession each. 

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@crusadertsar

This is fantastic thread. Well done!:applause:

I like the look of the updated version with those roles in the diamond. And using Attacking mentality is very ballsy but your explanation makes sense why. 

Cruyff used the 343 at Ajax and Barca to combat the 532/352 and 442 formations that were popular during the late 80s and early 90s. Pep Guardiola used it at Barca in his last season when he had Fabregas behind Messi. 

How is your tactic doing against 4231 and 424 formations?

 

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I have lurked and followed this thread for a little while as I am also a fan of the 343 but find it very hard to replicate in FM, big fan of your work so far. So much so I've made an account to contribute.

 

I've tried both versions and find the newer one less potent - I've had 1 win with my young Brighton side in 2027 so it probably isn't an accurate test and I will keep going however my possession stats hover around 55% regardless of opposition, goals are a struggle. 

 

On the other hand, it is very rare I concede more than 1 goal and seems to deal with the counter attacking threat a lot easier. 

Disclaimers; I have an 18 year old wonderkid leading the line and have played 6/7 games so familiarity isn't quite there. 

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1 hour ago, Deeplying said:

I have lurked and followed this thread for a little while as I am also a fan of the 343 but find it very hard to replicate in FM, big fan of your work so far. So much so I've made an account to contribute.

 

I've tried both versions and find the newer one less potent - I've had 1 win with my young Brighton side in 2027 so it probably isn't an accurate test and I will keep going however my possession stats hover around 55% regardless of opposition, goals are a struggle. 

 

On the other hand, it is very rare I concede more than 1 goal and seems to deal with the counter attacking threat a lot easier. 

Disclaimers; I have an 18 year old wonderkid leading the line and have played 6/7 games so familiarity isn't quite there. 

Welcome, glad to have you! Just like you I was lurking for a long time, but eventually I got so inspired by Total Football that I started posting :D

Quick update on my trials - The version with Wingers is indeed creating more chances, but at the expense of controlling the game. I noticed in the 6-7 games I played with WIngers that we had ~200 passes less in games on average. While that's not a bad thing, it's not what I want so I decided to give the new version a go. And we lost a bunch of games which helped my decision :D

For some reason, even though only the roles changed a bit, pretty much the whole team had no familiarity with this version of the tactic... so annoying. Because of this and because my players don't have the skills and the PPMs I felt it was lacking a bit from the original version.

Some things I like better: 

  • The AMC indeed helps out a lot more. Drops deeper to get the ball and tracks back without it. 
  • The DLP does pretty much the same defensively, but offers more offensively. Not sure about having a ball magnet so deep though. Sometimes I see stupid pass backs, but that could be because of the low quality players.
  • The double IW seems better than the original IF & IW combo. 

Some things I think are worse:

  • In the previous version, we had a lot more freedom in midfield. Now players seems stuck in their positions and we don't take advantage of the open spaces enough. Not enough roaming for my taste. 
  • The CAR as a player role seems inferior to BBM and Mezzala. Just the way it feels at the moment. Obviously with PPMs that can change. 
  • We lost the awesomness of the F9

To combat this, I decided to make one of the CAR back into a MEZ. One CAR I can tolerate, because it helps recycle possession, and he can still help out in attack in certain situations. Two is too much for me. The MEZ is so much more impactful. I think that helped things a bit, but I'm not too sure yet. 

Btw, did you watch the City game tonight? So many similarities, it was beatiful to see :)

 

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11 hours ago, Impacto said:

Welcome, glad to have you! Just like you I was lurking for a long time, but eventually I got so inspired by Total Football that I started posting :D

Quick update on my trials - The version with Wingers is indeed creating more chances, but at the expense of controlling the game. I noticed in the 6-7 games I played with WIngers that we had ~200 passes less in games on average. While that's not a bad thing, it's not what I want so I decided to give the new version a go. And we lost a bunch of games which helped my decision :D

For some reason, even though only the roles changed a bit, pretty much the whole team had no familiarity with this version of the tactic... so annoying. Because of this and because my players don't have the skills and the PPMs I felt it was lacking a bit from the original version.

Some things I like better: 

  • The AMC indeed helps out a lot more. Drops deeper to get the ball and tracks back without it. 
  • The DLP does pretty much the same defensively, but offers more offensively. Not sure about having a ball magnet so deep though. Sometimes I see stupid pass backs, but that could be because of the low quality players.
  • The double IW seems better than the original IF & IW combo. 

Some things I think are worse:

  • In the previous version, we had a lot more freedom in midfield. Now players seems stuck in their positions and we don't take advantage of the open spaces enough. Not enough roaming for my taste. 
  • The CAR as a player role seems inferior to BBM and Mezzala. Just the way it feels at the moment. Obviously with PPMs that can change. 
  • We lost the awesomness of the F9

To combat this, I decided to make one of the CAR back into a MEZ. One CAR I can tolerate, because it helps recycle possession, and he can still help out in attack in certain situations. Two is too much for me. The MEZ is so much more impactful. I think that helped things a bit, but I'm not too sure yet. 

Btw, did you watch the City game tonight? So many similarities, it was beatiful to see :)

 

It's funny you should mention City as the last few times I have watched them you can see their change to a back three when in possession, with Stones going over to the RB spot and Cancelo pushing into midfield and attacking areas. It really is interesting and great to see in action. 

With regards to the double CAR, I actually quite like and I think it is definitely more solid defensively than the MEZ / BBM combo, despite the negative results in my earlier post. I think these results are more due to the fact that my squad depth is seriously lacking and players are incredibly fatigued, meaning I had to play more ACM type players in the CAR role which after watching the games play out is far from ideal imo. 

For some reason whenever I think of the CAR role I think of Wijnaldum, someone that imo isn't really an ACM or a DM, just a good solid central midfielder who is very technically gifted. This is the type of players that I am going to try and bring in to fill these roles and hopefully begin to dominate teams again. 

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53 minutes ago, RenegadeMaster said:

It's funny you should mention City as the last few times I have watched them you can see their change to a back three when in possession, with Stones going over to the RB spot and Cancelo pushing into midfield and attacking areas. It really is interesting and great to see in action. 

With regards to the double CAR, I actually quite like and I think it is definitely more solid defensively than the MEZ / BBM combo, despite the negative results in my earlier post. I think these results are more due to the fact that my squad depth is seriously lacking and players are incredibly fatigued, meaning I had to play more ACM type players in the CAR role which after watching the games play out is far from ideal imo. 

For some reason whenever I think of the CAR role I think of Wijnaldum, someone that imo isn't really an ACM or a DM, just a good solid central midfielder who is very technically gifted. This is the type of players that I am going to try and bring in to fill these roles and hopefully begin to dominate teams again. 

I agree, City are incredibly interesting to watch at the moment, especially Cancelo’s role. I would love to be able to create a system that defends in a 4-3-3 (4-1-4-1) or 4-4-2 but morphs into the 3-4-3 Diamond in possession but I think that’s where the tactics creator is a little limited. 
 

Good point about the CAR role I think Wijnaldum is a perfect example.
 

I haven’t had much game time lately so not been able to try the new version, but out of curiosity has anyone tried the new roles but with the previous Balanced mentality? 
 

I understand the reasoning for the switch to Attacking, especially for its impact on individual mentalities. In my head staying on Balanced makes sense given the new roles augment the diamond as @crusadertsar mentioned, and the reduced mentality helps to control the game better than (what I would imagine) an Attacking mentality. Like I said, this is me speculating as I haven’t tried this yet so I could be totally wrong. I found the Balanced mentality was great at controlling games and creating plenty chances - the only issue was the occasional ball in behind the IWB or lone CB, but that is part of ‘playing on the edge’. 
 

Looking back to @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!and his great thread on the 3-4-3, I like the idea of leaving passing on Standard, especially with intelligent players, letting them pick the best option and not having possession for possession sake. So I aim to give this a try and hope for some positive results! 

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1 hour ago, Fantasista10 said:

I agree, City are incredibly interesting to watch at the moment, especially Cancelo’s role. I would love to be able to create a system that defends in a 4-3-3 (4-1-4-1) or 4-4-2 but morphs into the 3-4-3 Diamond in possession but I think that’s where the tactics creator is a little limited. 

This is what I am trying to replicate at the moment - I.e The 5-0 Barca v Real Madrid in 2010 - you kind of can in some parts of the play to some extent, with the left full back (D/S) creating the back 3, the false 9 dropping into the top of the diamond and an inverted winger acting as the ‘striker’, which then triggers the fullback to move high and wide on the right.

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Sorry about pause in updates guys. I had a bit of a stumble tactically and kinda lost a bit of my inspiration for the save. So shortly after I switched to the new "Attacking" version, this happened. 

BFD43F4C76164922BDEFC637EE8FDBC478AA0B15 (1600×900)

Starting with that 3-1 defeat against our arch-rival Bilbao. I really don't know what happened since I thought the new version was looking more solid defensively. But like some noticed the possession and number of chances were not the same. I guess having roaming roles like mezzala and RMP or BBM in CM positions is really essential to the tactic. You really need to occupy the half-spaces to overload and press the opponent successfully. Which makes sense to me now. 

Since then I switched back to the older "Balanced" version and Real Hispalis game was better but we actually played most of it with only 10 players since Ander Herrera decided to get himself send off. So even with a tactical switch that defeat couldn't be prevented.

Then the 2-0 win against Barcelona (playing 4-2-3-1 @yonko) gives me more hope. As you can see we dominated the ball in the their half for most of the match. And only limited them to 9 shots, of which most were rather harmless longshot efforts. Very proud of our boys, especially Eric Garcia who did an amazing job against his former club. So I guess I won't give up on this save until I get the sack and have no choice :D 

C74347F73B2F750A0831327BBDA046EDCBB1717C (1600×900)

Edited by crusadertsar
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And this is the "new" tactic that I used in Hispalis and Barcelona games. 

732F439EB3AC4E8288051FB5333DEFE070C67562 (1600×900)

 

And in case you were wondering at the new name on the left flank, Txuri-urdinak welcomed a new "Dream Team" member, my compatriot and former Shakhtar man Viktor Korniienko. And another Total Footballer, of course :D

Ласкаво просимо до команди, друже!

 

7BC598430B57FF3BC9A484F710FBC5C4AE60073A (1600×900)

 

And this was our Hispalis short-handed loss. As you can see despite being one man short for most of the game, we still had more possession and equaled their shots. 

F6C1D804E0F18B90D359655415A1BCA60F4E5F89 (1600×900)

To deal with this situation I moved my AMC down to DM position and the wingers down to midfield strata to create 3-1-4-1 shape.

Edited by crusadertsar
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@crusadertsar

What formations were the opponents using in the games you lost? And how did they scored the goals against you? 3 of the losses were in away games. I assume opponents are more aggressive in attack and find gaps in your defense. 

Have you tried AM-S, Mez, Carilero and DLP in midfield? I would change the IW to Support and use Positive team mentality. 

Personally I see Cruyff's 343 more as 3 CDs in defense, because it was designed to face formations with 2 strikers which were popular at the time. 

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Someone on here will have a better idea than I do but to assist the SS with dropping deeper can the PPM 'come deeper to get the ball' be trained? 

I've gave up with the Barcelona save and decided to try and win the CL with Ajax playing this system, made a few signings but the team is nowhere near complete yet. 2 games in 1 win and 1 draw. 

If anyone is looking around for a decent DM then this guy is alright. Signed for £4m: anchorman.thumb.PNG.fa847a0b2e9110bd3258932730728ee9.PNG

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1 hour ago, yonko said:

@crusadertsar

What formations were the opponents using in the games you lost? And how did they scored the goals against you? 3 of the losses were in away games. I assume opponents are more aggressive in attack and find gaps in your defense. 

Have you tried AM-S, Mez, Carilero and DLP in midfield? I would change the IW to Support and use Positive team mentality. 

Personally I see Cruyff's 343 more as 3 CDs in defense, because it was designed to face formations with 2 strikers which were popular at the time. 

Actually now that I look at it three of the loses came against defensive formations with 2 DMs. Two 4-2-4 DM and one 4-2-3-1 DM. So definitely that's something I have to look into. As AI is starting to use ultra-defensive formations against me like they did in FM20. Barca played a more free-flowing attacking 4-2-3-1 and we did much better against it not surprisingly

I think AM-S, Mez, Carrilero and DLP might be a good compromise. But I still think you need both CMs to occupy half-spaces sort of like Guardiola's Free 8s. I believe that Mez (more creative) and B2B (physical beast like my Mady Camara) is still the best balance. Especially if you have a defensive DLP or Anchor behind them combining together with two IWB on Defend. I think Positive mentality might be a good idea too,

Regarding the three CB version, I disagree that its how you recreate Cruyffs 3-4-3. At least not in the game. True, in real life that's probably what Cruyff did, and asked his wide CBs Ferrer and Munoz to overlap. But in FM thats still not possible. We cannot get the kind of creative aggressive overlapping CB role that the formation requires. Trust me, I tried this on multiple occasions in FM19 and FM20 and either the backline does not get involved in passing enough and we do not get the required ball possession. Or it does not defend the flanks enough, even if told to stay wider. IWB (D) are still a better hybdrid role. Especially if you keep IWBs individual mentality not higher than Balanced. And I do not want to sacrifice my domination in the opponent's half by switching to 3 CBs.

There were some who already tried this with 3 CBs in FM21 and that system's failing become pretty clear if you look at the last page of this thread. It may have worked for @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! in FM18 but in FM21 it does not work.

 Why don't you try it with the IWBs and single CB so you can see for yourself the kind of ball domination and chances you can get. Thats just simply not possible without IWBs. 

Edited by crusadertsar
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18 minutes ago, RenegadeMaster said:

Someone on here will have a better idea than I do but to assist the SS with dropping deeper can the PPM 'come deeper to get the ball' be trained? 

I've gave up with the Barcelona save and decided to try and win the CL with Ajax playing this system, made a few signings but the team is nowhere near complete yet. 2 games in 1 win and 1 draw. 

If anyone is looking around for a decent DM then this guy is alright. Signed for £4m: anchorman.thumb.PNG.fa847a0b2e9110bd3258932730728ee9.PNG

Thats what I am doing with Marcos Antonio (you can see his profile in previous update) and now that I am using him in Shadow Striker role again, that trait combined with his high work-rate actually transformed him into a whole different role. Like a mix between Shadow Striker and more hard-working AMC (S). It helped immensely in my build up. He had several key passes in that Barca game

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Thank you for this tactic and the work you put on and to anyone giving ideas to make this football possible in the game i was probably going to drop the game whitout this, I have one question it's about the mentality and the tempo i understand that you play with short passing and normal tempo and that you can adjust to the situation in the match but why not positive mentality instead of balanced ?

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Guys, I think we're changing too much stuff at one time and that is causing the issues. The original tactic worked great. Let's just try to perfect it, instead of changing million things? :D

With the original I found two problems - IFs underperformed and the SS didn't do enough. We also didn't have enough width. So, I switched the IFs to IWa. made both IW stay wider, and switched the SS to AMs. I also added 'move into channels' + 'get further forward' so he can take advantage of spaces that open up. Here is the dilemma - Do I make the AMs roam a bit more, and use a CAR alongside the MEZ, or do I leave him as is, and use the BBM to naturally roam instead.

Honestly, the whole point of this system is to overload the opposition. The CAR doesn't really help with that, not enough movement and fluidity from him. So I think I'll stick with the BBM. 

Everything else seems pretty good to me, but let's see how we get on. 

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2 hours ago, Giovanna said:

Thank you for this tactic and the work you put on and to anyone giving ideas to make this football possible in the game i was probably going to drop the game whitout this, I have one question it's about the mentality and the tempo i understand that you play with short passing and normal tempo and that you can adjust to the situation in the match but why not positive mentality instead of balanced ?

Initially I chose Balanced mentality because I did not want have my attacking players such as Shadow Striker and IF operating on too high of a mentality in order to keep compact shape with the rest of the team and to help with the build-up. But now I am experimenting with positive but then as @Impacto mentioned I am using AM(S) and dual IW(S) (with left one having more aggresive PIs as listed above to mirror IF behavior better). With Positive mentality I am little concerned with IWBs operating too aggressively however. 

This was actually my recent result using Positive mentality and Impacto's suggestions. We managed to get a rather equal-sided draw against a very powerful Real Madrid team. So I couldn't be more happy. Hopefully the Board will have a little more patience for me. 

48E6DBAEBEB63889EE49048A88162F3C134F0D2D (1600×900)

Despite the final result and the xG, I still think we outperformed them especially where it counts most, in possession numbers, completed passes and tackles won.

And they used and attacking 4-1-2-1 formation where they were really trying to overload us on the wings with their fast inside forwards and overlapping wingbacks. So our IWDs and single CBs did rather well to shuting them out in case @yonko was wondering. This was also AWAY match by the way. 

Edited by crusadertsar
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1 minute ago, crusadertsar said:

Initially I chose Balanced mentality because I did not want have my attacking players such as Shadow Striker and IF operating on too high of a mentality in order to keep compact shape with the rest of the team and to help with the build-up. But now I am experimenting with positive but then as @Impacto mentioned I am using AM(S) and dual IW(S) (with left one having more aggresive PIs as listed above to mirror IF behavior better). With Positive mentality I am little concerned with IWBs operating too aggressively however. 

This was actually my recent result using Positive mentality and Impacto's suggestions. We managed to get a rather equal-sided draw against a very powerful Real Madrid team. So I couldn't be more happy. Hopefully the Board will have a little more patience for me. 

48E6DBAEBEB63889EE49048A88162F3C134F0D2D (1600×900)

Despite the final result and the xG, I still think we outperformed them especially where it counts most, in possession numbers, completed passes and tackles won.

Are the Pl settings the same as in the first version

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4 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Initially I chose Balanced mentality because I did not want have my attacking players such as Shadow Striker and IF operating on too high of a mentality in order to keep compact shape with the rest of the team and to help with the build-up. But now I am experimenting with positive but then as @Impacto mentioned I am using AM(S) and dual IW(S) (with left one having more aggresive PIs as listed above to mirror IF behavior better). With Positive mentality I am little concerned with IWBs operating too aggressively however. 

This was actually my recent result using Positive mentality and Impacto's suggestions. We managed to get a rather equal-sided draw against a very powerful Real Madrid team. So I couldn't be more happy. Hopefully the Board will have a little more patience for me. 

48E6DBAEBEB63889EE49048A88162F3C134F0D2D (1600×900)

Despite the final result and the xG, I still think we outperformed them especially where it counts most, in possession numbers, completed passes and tackles won.

How was your players average positions of your team in the Madrid game, was the diamond in tact? 
 

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53 minutes ago, gokalpcakir1 said:

Are the Pl settings the same as in the first version

Yes 

 

47 minutes ago, RenegadeMaster said:

How was your players average positions of your team in the Madrid game, was the diamond in tact? 
 

0F717A6C8BC891DD3F04C8FB490D505F4C32A709 (1600×900)

 

We are on the right. Diamond was preserved for the most part. Although AMC dropped a bit too low and ran into my left CMs space. Part of that could be due to the other role roaming too much into AMCs space though.

Edited by crusadertsar
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8 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Actually now that I look at it three of the loses came against defensive formations with 2 DMs. Two 4-2-4 DM and one 4-2-3-1 DM. So definitely that's something I have to look into. As AI is starting to use ultra-defensive formations against me like they did in FM20. Barca played a more free-flowing attacking 4-2-3-1 and we did much better against it not surprisingly

I think AM-S, Mez, Carrilero and DLP might be a good compromise. But I still think you need both CMs to occupy half-spaces sort of like Guardiola's Free 8s. I believe that Mez (more creative) and B2B (physical beast like my Mady Camara) is still the best balance. Especially if you have a defensive DLP or Anchor behind them combining together with two IWB on Defend. I think Positive mentality might be a good idea too,

Regarding the three CB version, I disagree that its how you recreate Cruyffs 3-4-3. At least not in the game. True, in real life that's probably what Cruyff did, and asked his wide CBs Ferrer and Munoz to overlap. But in FM thats still not possible. We cannot get the kind of creative aggressive overlapping CB role that the formation requires. Trust me, I tried this on multiple occasions in FM19 and FM20 and either the backline does not get involved in passing enough and we do not get the required ball possession. Or it does not defend the flanks enough, even if told to stay wider. IWB (D) are still a better hybdrid role. Especially if you keep IWBs individual mentality not higher than Balanced. And I do not want to sacrifice my domination in the opponent's half by switching to 3 CBs.

There were some who already tried this with 3 CBs in FM21 and that system's failing become pretty clear if you look at the last page of this thread. It may have worked for @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! in FM18 but in FM21 it does not work.

 Why don't you try it with the IWBs and single CB so you can see for yourself the kind of ball domination and chances you can get. Thats just simply not possible without IWBs. 

The Mezzala and Carrilero both have stay wider instruction to play in the half spaces. One is just more conservative. You can probably add focus play right and left to exaggerate the effect even more. 

Cruyff never had Ferrer and Munoz or any of his side backs overlap though. Koeman was actually the Libero who was allowed to bring the ball from the back and play deep diagonal passes (mostly to Stoichkov). The side midfielders from the diamond were responsible defensively for the opponents' wide midfielders. Van Gaal did the same at Ajax as well in the mid 90s. 

Therefore for me Cruyff's 343 is with 3 CDs, DLP at DM and 2 IWB-S in the WB strata.

Maybe I will try it one day. I'm just too in love and attached to the 433 DM Wide. 

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Main issue I had with the 3 CBs was a defensive one for sure. Always felt like it conceded too high of a volume of goals in a manner that didn't make much sense. Cool to see a system using inverted wingbacks instead, I never got around to trying it personally.

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Quick update with my Ajax save - moved up to second place and starting to score some goals now after a few 0-0s. I can't decide whether it team mentality is better at positive or balanced 

Taking @Impacto's suggestions on board I have definitely seen a difference in relation to  how certain roles operate within the team, especially the left IW. Below images are of the average position of Quincy Promes (11), who was operating as an IF(s) during my first game of the season (left) and the recent game operating as an IW(s):


863975184_averagepositionsajax.PNG.ffe0b660c54d8f0c75905d1db9d123c1.PNG1449802746_AjaxvsEmmen.PNG.558854613ba1264ce8b26533cb27df3c.PNG

Edited by RenegadeMaster
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1 hour ago, RenegadeMaster said:

Quick update with my Ajax save - moved up to second place and starting to score some goals now after a few 0-0s. I can't decide whether it team mentality is better at positive or balanced 

Taking @Impacto's suggestions on board I have definitely seen a difference in relation to  how certain roles operate within the team, especially the left IW. Below images are of the average position of Quincy Promes, who was operating as an IF(s) during my first game of the season (left) and the recent game operating as an IW(s):


863975184_averagepositionsajax.PNG.ffe0b660c54d8f0c75905d1db9d123c1.PNG1449802746_AjaxvsEmmen.PNG.558854613ba1264ce8b26533cb27df3c.PNG

Nice! I really like your positioning. The diamond is intact! What roles for the rest of the players?

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17 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Nice! I really like your positioning. The diamond is intact! What roles for the rest of the players?

Midfield is the same set up as before with the A / MEZ / BBM, but the second striker is once again ACM(s). How is your test of the positive mentality?  

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55 minutes ago, RenegadeMaster said:

Midfield is the same set up as before with the A / MEZ / BBM, but the second striker is once again ACM(s). How is your test of the positive mentality?  

Me too I cannot decide. So far I've been trying positive mentality against easier teams and it worked well. But the games where we used balanced worked well too. So it's a hard choice.

Edited by crusadertsar
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So I have just played my first Champions League game and this happened: 

1445229544_vsJuventus.PNG.fa4e747ccd64a071214aab8c2279fb36.PNG

Yes, it's a defeat but incredibly unlucky with one of their goals coming from a free kick and Dybala's coming from one of their few clear cut chances. It gives me hope considering this team are still not fully fluid with the tactic and although Ajax have a good team most of the players aren't really 'total footballers'. Mentality was set as balanced all the way through the game. 

You will have noticed that I have included in the screenshot the ratings for Ronaldo and Sandro, that is because I actually set OI for this game and am going to try them out in the coming fixtures too. These were to assist with the instruction to force opposition out wide by showing all wide players down their line and not be allowed to cut inside. 

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  • crusadertsar changed the title to Playing On The Edge: Dominating Possession with only one CB

So far i like the tactic but i concede to many goals i feel that the defense is not solid, 12 Pl matchs only 3 clean sheet compared to 9 last year in 12 match as well. Now i don't know if its because it's my first season using this tactic or simply that is more difficult to play with only one cb but i feel that my season is not going to be as expected if i don't figure a way yo fix this.

 

I have a top tier squad im a title contender against liverpool both in UCL and PL but so far they dominate the PL and have 7 goals conceded when my Chelsea squad has 16 and we struggle against team that we use to demolish last season. I might have to switch it up because last year Liverpool won the PL with 7 more points then me and lost the UCL final against Man City that eliminated me in semi in the additionnal time. I won't let them get away that easily this year

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I'm seeing some lovely football after making the Inverted Wingers stay wider, plus the Mezzala naturaly doing it and adding the Stay Wider + Get further forward to the Box-to-Box mid. This leaves the space for the Attacking Mid to do his thing and the False 9 is also making better movements.

In the last game we scored 2 almost identical goals from both sides, with lots of passes to disrupt the opposition, followed by great movement from the AMs and the F9, which left the half-space behind them unoccupied, resulting in the IW making a run into the channel which thankfully was spotted by the Mezzala -> one on one with the keeper -> goal. Beautiful stuff. 

I also made a slight tweak defensively, that I think will offer us a bit more stability. The BPD now closes down less and holds position. I spotted him going to press way too hard, leaving acres of space behind him which leads to a lot of trouble sometimes, so I think this will help with that. 

The team continues to overperform, last season we missed out on promotion playoffs by 3 points following a bad form near the end, and this season we're moving in similar tempo without any significant transfers. The squad is young and inconsistant, I think with a better one this tactic will absolutely shine. 

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1 hour ago, Impacto said:

I'm seeing some lovely football after making the Inverted Wingers stay wider, plus the Mezzala naturaly doing it and adding the Stay Wider + Get further forward to the Box-to-Box mid. This leaves the space for the Attacking Mid to do his thing and the False 9 is also making better movements.

In the last game we scored 2 almost identical goals from both sides, with lots of passes to disrupt the opposition, followed by great movement from the AMs and the F9, which left the half-space behind them unoccupied, resulting in the IW making a run into the channel which thankfully was spotted by the Mezzala -> one on one with the keeper -> goal. Beautiful stuff. 

I also made a slight tweak defensively, that I think will offer us a bit more stability. The BPD now closes down less and holds position. I spotted him going to press way too hard, leaving acres of space behind him which leads to a lot of trouble sometimes, so I think this will help with that. 

The team continues to overperform, last season we missed out on promotion playoffs by 3 points following a bad form near the end, and this season we're moving in similar tempo without any significant transfers. The squad is young and inconsistant, I think with a better one this tactic will absolutely shine. 

Great stuff! Thanks for the update and tweaks. Was just wondering, with the modifications to the BBM role wouldn't it make more sense to just change him into another Mezzala? As with those PIs he is basically identical to mezzala role.

Also do you have any PPMs on your AMC? I'm starting to wonder that maybe "comes deep" on mine is doing more harm than good. Initially I thought it would help more with build up but he hasn't been performing well lately. I think now I'll try your tweaks. Are you playing on Balanced or Positive team mentality?

Edited by crusadertsar
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10 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Great stuff! Thanks for the update and tweaks. Was just wondering, with the modifications to the BBM role wouldn't it make more sense to just change him into another Mezzala? As with those PIs he is basically identical to mezzala role.

Also do you have any PPMs on your AMC? I'm starting to wonder that maybe "comes deep" on mine is doing more harm than good. Initially I thought it would help more with build up but he hasn't been performing well lately. I think now I'll try your tweaks. Are you playing on Balanced or Positive team mentality?

I was considering it, but it just feels wrong. I love the BBM role, it's a bit more balanced than the Mezzala - slightly more defensively oriented so it compliments the whole tactic well. The stay wider is there just for having more space up-front and the get further forward is on so we can have even more options going forward. 

I thought I mentioned it, but I guess I've missed it - The AMC is on support and has get further forward and move into channels. He does drop deeper by default, but is also often in dangerous positions forward and I really like that. I gave the player there 'Dictate tempo' and I'm currently training him to 'play one-twos' as you suggested, no other PPMs. 

Still on Balanced. Sometimes I bump it to Positive in the dying moments of a game if we're behind, other than that I don't change it. 

Edited by Impacto
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Third Champions League game, again balanced mentality all the way through the game. First half was absolutely exceptional. It was exactly the way we all want to see this tactic play out, dominating possession (over 71%) and limiting Dortmund to 2 shots, breaking down attacks before they have even started and playing around opposition like they aren't there. It was like watching City in their prime. Second half was a different story, we just never got going and we didn't have the same motivation to keep it up. I think this is coz I have quite a young team at the moment and don't have the ability or consistency in their game yet. 

How do you guys handle team talks when holding a comfortable lead? with this version of FM I find it difficult to motivate the players either before the game or at half time. 

@ImpactoI am going to try your tweaks now and will report back. Do you have any added PI's to the AMC? 

image.png.d316d4d75addcb66f5ef782b988d8286.png

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28 minutes ago, RenegadeMaster said:

@ImpactoI am going to try your tweaks now and will report back. Do you have any added PI's to the AMC? 

 

I mentioned in the last post, I guess you missed it - The AMC plays as AM on support with 'move into channels' and 'get further forward'. 

As far as the team talks, for years 'don't get complacent' has worked wonders for me, but I don't know it that's still the case in FM 21. 

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On 21/01/2021 at 22:14, crusadertsar said:

Initially I chose Balanced mentality because I did not want have my attacking players such as Shadow Striker and IF operating on too high of a mentality in order to keep compact shape with the rest of the team and to help with the build-up. But now I am experimenting with positive but then as @Impacto mentioned I am using AM(S) and dual IW(S) (with left one having more aggresive PIs as listed above to mirror IF behavior better). With Positive mentality I am little concerned with IWBs operating too aggressively however. 

This was actually my recent result using Positive mentality and Impacto's suggestions. We managed to get a rather equal-sided draw against a very powerful Real Madrid team. So I couldn't be more happy. Hopefully the Board will have a little more patience for me. 

48E6DBAEBEB63889EE49048A88162F3C134F0D2D (1600×900)

Despite the final result and the xG, I still think we outperformed them especially where it counts most, in possession numbers, completed passes and tackles won.

And they used and attacking 4-1-2-1 formation where they were really trying to overload us on the wings with their fast inside forwards and overlapping wingbacks. So our IWDs and single CBs did rather well to shuting them out in case @yonko was wondering. This was also AWAY match by the way. 

Balanced or positive is the way to go i feel, are you feeling your team good defensively ? Because that was my main issue this season and the reason we did a bad season, i'm thinking about giving the team a more disciplined instruction, why don't you play with work the ball into box and pass into space  ?

 

I think i'm going to keep this tactic they play beautiful football but not consistently and defensively it was not good at all, we had a bad season but i think it was more a transitional one and next year who should do better, i'm going to adjust things a little and will keep you posted about the changes

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1 hour ago, Giovanna said:

Balanced or positive is the way to go i feel, are you feeling your team good defensively ? Because that was my main issue this season and the reason we did a bad season, i'm thinking about giving the team a more disciplined instruction, why don't you play with work the ball into box and pass into space  ?

 

I think i'm going to keep this tactic they play beautiful football but not consistently and defensively it was not good at all, we had a bad season but i think it was more a transitional one and next year who should do better, i'm going to adjust things a little and will keep you posted about the changes

Sometimes it takes time to mesh with the team. Chelsea is not exactly the best team for this. Since outside of their micfy they are not very technical (don't really have creative strikers or defenders). 

We actually didn't have the best 2nd season. We finished 7th in LaLiga. But I wouldn't blame it on my defence. I integrated a lot of new players into the te this season. We pretty much conceaded as many goals as last season. But the problem was finishing from our strikers. Way too many 1-1, 0-0 games. I think unlike last season the opposition realized we are a major threat and used more uber-defensive anti-football formations. My most dreaded is the 3-5-2. When AI uses it's almost impossible to break down. At least without changing the formation to something else more top heavy. Which I never like to do.

I don't use Work Ball in box because it's more of a contextual instruction on my opinion. I will add when I see my players make too many long shots or crosses. So not that often.

Regarding, pass into space. I don't use it because it is contradictory to short passing possession style. You cannot tell your players to pass short and build up patiently and at the same time launch Hollywood passes into open space.

Edited by crusadertsar
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23 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Sometimes it takes time to mesh with the team. Chelsea is not exactly the best team for this. Since outside of their micfy they are not very technical (don't really have creative strikers or defenders). 

We actually didn't have the best 2nd season. We finished 7th in LaLiga. But I wouldn't blame it on my defence. We pretty much conceafed as many goals as last season. But the problem was finishing from our strikers. Way too many 1-1, 0-0 games. I think unlike last season the opposition realized we are a major threat and used more uber-defensive anti-football formations. My most dreaded is the 3-5-2. When AI uses it's almost impossible to break down. At least without changing the formation to something else more top heavy. Which I never like to do.

I don't use Work Ball in box because it's more of a contextual instruction on my opinion. I will add when I see my players make too many long shots or crosses. So not that often.

Regarding, pass into space. I don't use it because it is contradictory to short passing possession style. You cannot tell your players to pass short and build up patiently and at the same time launch Hollywood passes into open space.

I took over Chelsea 4 years ago and changed the squad so i have the right players since i value technical players but i never went that deep about tactics and formation so i used to make it simple and it worked but it got boring so i'm trying more complex stuff now.

 

I thaugt pass into space was balanced and for short passing i was wrong anyway i'm looking forward to see your results nex season 

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Recent run of results with other users tweaks:

image.png.da227f21e4ae0ff6935dddc9cd797b78.png

One thing I have noticed that we aren't playing well at all. Strikers are not scoring, we aren't creating any clear cut chances, no movement,  we aren't controlling games, defending terribly, you name it and I can guarantee it is going wrong, and it's getting quite frustrating. The vast majority of those goals above have come from long range shots from my MEZ or BBM. 

Edited by RenegadeMaster
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Why don't you guys try making the formation assymetric? So something like this:

                   CFL(A)

IWL(S)                              SSR(A)                                                                                                                                   

                   CML (S)                                WMR(S)            

                                          HBR(D)

IWBL(S)           DCL(C)                            IWBR (S)

                              SK(S)

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3 hours ago, TheWill3737 said:

Why don't you guys try making the formation assymetric? So something like this:

                   CFL(A)

IWL(S)                              SSR(A)                                                                                                                                   

                   CML (S)                                WMR(S)            

                                          HBR(D)

IWBL(S)           DCL(C)                            IWBR (S)

                              SK(S)

Nice idea, but you're missing a player ;)

Edit: and having an offset DM breaks the IWBs

Edited by Beerwulf
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5 hours ago, kalokalitokalo said:

Inspired by this and the 3-1-6 thread, I think I'm going to try something like this when I arrive home: It will be probaly a crazyness, but I want to test it!

image.png.d2b059731e930b7b022245bfb41ceebf.png

It's an interesting idea but with two Anchormen might make your midfield a bit too conservative and stale. As some noted on here before the trick with this tactic is in its aggressive pressing and overwhelming the opponent in the half-spaces. Your formation looks too bottom heavy and defensive to that effectively in my opinion. But try it out and let us know how it works. Maybe you can prove me wrong :)

Edited by crusadertsar
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3 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

It's an interesting idea but with two Anchormen might make your midfield a bit too consery and stale. As some noted on here before the trick with this tactic is in its aggressive pressing and overwhelming the opponent in the half-spaces. Your formation looks too bottom heavy and defensive to that effectively in my opinion. But try it out and let us know how it works. Maybe you can prove me wrong :)

It didn't work.

Anchors were both in the center together despite the stay wider instruction. And results were not good, specially against 4-2-3-1.

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5 hours ago, Beerwulf said:

Nice idea, but you're missing a player ;)

Edit: and having an offset DM breaks the IWBs

You my friend have the eyes of an eagle hahahahah

I play a 2-3-1-3-1 with inverted wingbacks and inverted wingers.

I win games score goals concede minimal amounts but I want one cb not two. 

If you have any ideas as to what could work let me know! (Total Arsenal tactic attached)

Total Arsenal.fmf

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1 hour ago, TheWill3737 said:

If you have any ideas as to what could work let me know!

Random thought while trying to get to sleep...

Has anyone considered an asymmetric back line with a libero? 

DL/IWB-D -------- DC/L-A --- DRC/BPD --- DR/WB-D

This might get the 1-3 shape in attack, but the roles of the fullbacks might need tweaking.

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Really nice thread and ideas here...

My love of Dutch Total football and German Gegenpressing combined to my stubbornness to use 4-4-2 actually led me to try form this 3-3-1-3 shape from...a 4-4-2.

So here's my idea:

image.png.ce3c3a47252fa75ef287721ee9cd275d.png

First draft of the tactic would be:

  F9-su    
    AM-at  
       
IW-su DLP-de CAR-su W-su
       
FB-su BDP-de BPD-co IWB-de


It may yield to an asymmetrical diamond, but I think this could be attenuated by having different type of players in each sides...anyway for now it's just a seed of an idea...

I'm actually curious if any have tried to get the 3-3-1-3 from another formation...

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15 hours ago, Beerwulf said:

Random thought while trying to get to sleep...

Has anyone considered an asymmetric back line with a libero? 

DL/IWB-D -------- DC/L-A --- DRC/BPD --- DR/WB-D

This might get the 1-3 shape in attack, but the roles of the fullbacks might need tweaking.

Does the game allow for a Libero to be played without a centerback to the left and to the right?

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