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Hi All,

Currently I'm struggling with my Barcelona team to consistently create chances. Despite the obvious wealth of talent within the team, I've been disappointed by the lack of creativity/chances/goals that we offer going forward.

The way I see the squad personal-wise, is that I don't have any real goal threats of central midfield. Pjanic, De Jong and Busquets are all deep-lying midfielders who are exceptional on the ball with strong mentals - but they offer little in the opposing box. Therefore my goal threats will need to solely come from my forwards (Messi, Greizmann, Fati, Coutinho, etc).

My general gameplan is to play possession football, with the full-backs offering the width in attack. The midfield three will be fully focussing on transitioning the ball into the attacking third and supporting the front three. Messi to drop deeper from the ST position and combine with Coutinho - with Griezmann offering more of a direct goal threat of the three.

On the left we look to overlap and be more fluid with positioning. On the right we’re more rigid with the AMR staying high and the fullback holding the wing. Just add some variety on each flank.

It is not working  and it's all very stale.

My current shape is like this (I haven't used it exclusively, but pretty much as below):

626752138_Screenshot2021-01-15at14_37_56.png.a94c754426d9f916c2dd16c2632134e0.png

 

I have the front three all roaming from position and Coutinho is asked to sit narrower. Other than that, no other real PIs are used.

I may be a little cautious? What do you all think?

Below is how my results have been (started well, but not good enough recently). I don't mind the odd poor result, but draws with Levante, Eiber, Cadiz and Alvas is not good enough.

 

305081859_Screenshot2021-01-15at14_47_16.thumb.png.def98bf4714d297fb177f663249a001e.png

 

Just wandering if you guys may have any ideas on how to add some more creativity into my game - particularly for my front three. They are so poor for me!

Griezmann: 15 games, 7 goals, 2 assists

Messi: 19 games, 8 goals, 4 assists

Coutinho: 21 games, 4 goals, 2 assists

:thdn:

Edited by Luizinho
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Hi, 

If you are playing with a top team why use the following instructions: dribble less, and fairly narrow?

You are facing very defensive and compact opponents, why choose to play narrow, in particulary when your wide players are IF, when you need to strech the play to have more space?

Why dribble less, when you have players like Messi, Grizeman and Coutinho up front... players that on one-on-one can decide a match?

I would also drop the left overlap instruction, because you already have that with your player duty choice: WB(a) + IF(s.

Finally, i would probably drop a bit your out of possession instructions. I don't think Barcelona have the right players to make a high pressing zone. I would drop the D-Line and LOE to Higher and also drop the more urgent and prevent shot GK instruction.

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1 hour ago, Keyzer Soze said:

Hi, 

If you are playing with a top team why use the following instructions: dribble less, and fairly narrow?

You are facing very defensive and compact opponents, why choose to play narrow, in particulary when your wide players are IF, when you need to strech the play to have more space?

Why dribble less, when you have players like Messi, Grizeman and Coutinho up front... players that on one-on-one can decide a match?

I would also drop the left overlap instruction, because you already have that with your player duty choice: WB(a) + IF(s.

Finally, i would probably drop a bit your out of possession instructions. I don't think Barcelona have the right players to make a high pressing zone. I would drop the D-Line and LOE to Higher and also drop the more urgent and prevent shot GK instruction.

Thanks for the feedback.

'Dribble Less' - I used this to try and help with the possession side of our game. Essentially asking them to keep the ball moving. I've always understood that this wouldn't overide any players with PI 'dribble more' - that my front three have. I guess not!

When would a top side want to use to 'dribble less' as a TI - I assume it's a good when looking to keep the ball and hold out for a win?

As for Play Narrower - I used this to try and encourage the team be closer together - which I feel would help with possession/shorter passing. I felt it would also encourage us to play more centrally, with the fullbacks giving me the width in attack. The theory being that we can have more bodies centrally, so we can try to outnumber them in the when in possession.

Wouldn't having a 'wide' team width be detrimental to short passing?

Edited by Luizinho
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22 minutes ago, Luizinho said:

Thanks for the feedback.

'Dribble Less' - I used this to try and help with possession side of our game. Essentially asking them to keep the ball the moving. I've always understood that this wouldn't overide any players with PI 'dribble more'. I guess not!

When would a top side want to use to 'dribble less' as a TI - I assume it's a good when looking to keep the ball and hold out for a win?

As for Play Narrower - I used this to try and encourage the team be closer together - which I feel would help with possession and shorter passing. It would also encourage us to play more centrally, with the fullbacks giving me the width in attack. The theory being that we can have more bodies centrally, so we can try and outnumber them when in possession.

Wouldn't having a 'wide' team width be detrimental to short passing?

I see a lot of conflicting instructions for this tactic. First, from your in possession instructions you seem to favour a more slower build up through the centre but you have two wingbacks to stretch the play hence the ball will get channeled to the wide areas more frequently. The overlap left is not needed as explained.

The player roles can also be problematic as your front three and mezzala will all occupy the same space. I think putting a runner from midfield to attack the box when messi drops deep will make your attack more dynamic. Your current tactic lacks a bit of penetration.

Dribble less TI is not going to be useful when you have so many players that have dribble more as default instructions.

Pressing high will also expose your defence as the half back will be reluctant to join the press and leave a gap in your midfield. You want a more aggressive role in the DM position if you want to press high like a DM(d). If you insist on a half back which I think is a more suitable role for Busquets, a mid block will be more suitable.

Passing directness affects more on the verticality of your passing while your attacking width refers to how wide of area will your team do most of the build up. Wide attacking width means your team will primarily look to build up from the wide areas and vice versa. Your mentality will also affect how your players pass the ball. A defender will be more willing to try play around the press on higher mentality instead of hoofing it long under pressure. An attacker will be more willing to try a defence splitting pass on higher mentality instead of moving the ball around slowly.

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34 minutes ago, zyfon5 said:

I see a lot of conflicting instructions for this tactic. First, from your in possession instructions you seem to favour a more slower build up through the centre but you have two wingbacks to stretch the play hence the ball will get channeled to the wide areas more frequently. The overlap left is not needed as explained.

Don't fully understand this; I need some width in order help strech the play? The fullbacks are really there as outlet in possession if the opposition are sitting deep and narrow; otherwise I'm going to struggle surely?

36 minutes ago, zyfon5 said:

The player roles can also be problematic as your front three and mezzala will all occupy the same space. I think putting a runner from midfield to attack the box when messi drops deep will make your attack more dynamic. Your current tactic lacks a bit of penetration.

Good point - although I don't really have any players that can suit being a runner - my three midfielders are very much deep lying creative players. The Mez is there as someone to break the lines (has the 'get further forward' PI locked, so he deos break when the oppurutnity arises). That said I want my three midfielders focusing on the build-up, rather than racing forward ASAP - hence why the Mez is on (S).

44 minutes ago, zyfon5 said:

Dribble less TI is not going to be useful when you have so many players that have dribble more as default instructions.

So it doesn't overide the PI 'dribble more'? @Rashidiany thoughts on this specfic query?

46 minutes ago, zyfon5 said:

Wide attacking width means your team will primarily look to build up from the wide areas and vice versa.

Thanks for this - I definitly want to play the majority of my play in central areas. Encourage Messi, Pjanic and De Jong to get on the ball more. Crossing isn't going to be a real strength for me.

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What about just a change in personnel? Fati at AML & move Coutinho back as one of the midfield 3 to add a goalscoring threat from there? 

Or even a formation change, could a 4-2-3-1 work with this squad with a front 4 of:

Messi

Fati - Coutinho - Griezman

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I personally would:

- remove the overlap left, because there already is a natural overlap there due to the role/duty configuration

- remove dribble less, because Barca has fantastic dribblers, so why would you want to deprive yourself of such a potent attacking tool in the final third

- be slightly less aggressive out of possession, for the sake of better space creation but also better defensive solidity

These are definitely the tweaks I would make first. Other potential ones would come only if these don't suffice.

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I am not an expert per se but can offer my opinion on what I think, first, why you choose these roles and how you plan to score goals. For example, 4-3-3 is excellent for possession football, and you could dominate many teams without problems but need to approach each team a little differently. To play a possession type of football, you need two to three playmakers to control the tempo and move the opponent. What I find useful about 4-3-3 formation is diamond all over the pitch and able to create width. You have to take traits and attributes into account also. Everything needs to flow in harmony if you want to play possession football. Barca is one of my favorite teams in real life, and the current situation they are in is pretty sad, but they have an exceptional group of players nevertheless. Now, one thing I might do here is taking individual player quality into account.
For example, Messi is by far the greatest player in the team and certainly will score lots of goals just from free-kicks alone if he gets enough in the season. He is perfect for False 9 with suitable traits for it; it includes, if I am not wrong (comes deep, runs with the ball, switches the ball to flanks, tries killer balls often) now, one of the first things that would be appealing about Barca is how can I get the best out of him. The formation you choose is a great one, and the roles you choose for Messi are also right now; let's take traits into account and how other players could benefit from him. In this year's match engine possession, football certainly is better, and with Barcelona, we can expect it to be even more extraordinary. Look at Ansu Fati's traits and do not play Griezmann down the flanks; instead, play Dembele if possible. Dembele has freaky pace and can use both feet is useful with him being a winger on the right side on attack duty. You can overload the left side with Messi coming deep to isolate Dembele with opposition full-back on the right, and I am sure he will always be the winner. With Messi's traits switches the ball to the other flanks would be very complementary. If you could give Dembele (hugs the line trait, knocks ball past opponent) trait, it will work together nicely. Sorry for such extended writing.

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7 hours ago, Luizinho said:

Don't fully understand this; I need some width in order help strech the play? The fullbacks are really there as outlet in possession if the opposition are sitting deep and narrow; otherwise I'm going to struggle surely?

Good point - although I don't really have any players that can suit being a runner - my three midfielders are very much deep lying creative players. The Mez is there as someone to break the lines (has the 'get further forward' PI locked, so he deos break when the oppurutnity arises). That said I want my three midfielders focusing on the build-up, rather than racing forward ASAP - hence why the Mez is on (S).

So it doesn't overide the PI 'dribble more'? @Rashidiany thoughts on this specfic query?

Thanks for this - I definitly want to play the majority of my play in central areas. Encourage Messi, Pjanic and De Jong to get on the ball more. Crossing isn't going to be a real strength for me.

For the wingbacks, change them to FB(s) and give them instructions to stay wider and get further forward. They will stretch the width while not having the other instructions of a wingback that you do not want. You can also try underlap TI so that they can feed angled through balls for your inside forward. This will further reduce the amount of crosses.

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To create goal scoring opportunities you need to take risks and create both ball and player movement to overwhelm the other teams defensive line. 
 

With shorter passing enabled your players will most likely play with their back to the goal to receive passes into their feet. That doesn’t sound too difficult to defend right? 

So first instruction to add would be „pass into space“ to not only make the ball being played into the channels but also players making runs into the channels to create opportunities for through balls into the box. 

Second TI to start with is „Be more expressive“ which will allow your players both create more movement and roam around and also use more creative freedom in terms of vision and flair to do the unexpected and surprise the opposition. 

If that’s not enough yet you can either add more tempo, remove dribble less or remove narrow attacking width 

before you move on tho make sure to have max tactical familiarity. 

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The main problem I see is basically no one who is going to be getting into goal scoring positions consistently. No one from the central midfield will, Coutinho will drift inside and eventually get into the box. Messi will drop deep and eventually get into the box. The only one consistently getting in there or available for a killer cutting pass will likely be Griezmann. You need multiple and varied options, especially against a packed defence.

You identify the problem with the midfield imbalance in that SB/MP/FDJ are all deeper players, yet haven't looked to solve it or take a hard choice, and instead have shoehorned them all in. I think you need to either a) make the forward roles more aggressive if you want a supporting midfield feeding them or b) make a choice and sacrifice one of them for a more attacking option from midfield.

But if you do want to select all three of them, one final alternative... You're Barca, likely facing very defensive teams I assume. Is it an option to sacrifice a centre back and play Busquets there, or, even more aggressively, De Jong and have him bringing the ball out of defence?

 

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I took on board the feedback on the thread and thanks all for it. I actually loaded up a save earlier, so got replay a couple of games. Unfortunately it hasn't worked... I really don't understand that people feel this game is too easy. Ive been playing FM for 10+ years and I can't even succeed with Barca. :lol:

This what I was using:

1356301442_Screenshot2021-01-16at14_45_58.png.022e4eaab48e40e7de068510ed3c620f.png

 

And these are the results:

107908273_Screenshot2021-01-16at14_45_13.thumb.png.9fbf6271cb96a0ceccdf2a28759872eb.png

 

So I'm now out of UCL in 1st knockout round and sliding down the league.

Edited by Luizinho
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3 minutes ago, Luizinho said:

I took on board the feedback on the thread and thanks all for it. I actually loaded up a save earlier, so got replay a couple of games. Unfortunately it hasn't worked

Because you took different types of suggestions from different people and then tried to incorporate them together into a tactic. Things don't work that way when it comes to tactical creation. 

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

Because you took different types of suggestions from different people and then tried to incorporate them together into a tactic. Things don't work that way when it comes to tactical creation. 

I've basically taken your exact advise (remove dribble less and overlap left) and noted from other that I've been playing too narrow (so asked the team to play one notch wider). Only other change is changing the Wingbacks to Fullbacks (more possession friendly). I think all of those changes make sense - I haven't just applied bits of advice at random and hoped for the best...

Edited by Luizinho
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2 hours ago, Luizinho said:

I took on board the feedback on the thread and thanks all for it. I actually loaded up a save earlier, so got replay a couple of games. Unfortunately it hasn't worked... I really don't understand that people feel this game is too easy. Ive been playing FM for 10+ years and I can't even succeed with Barca. :lol:

This what I was using:

1356301442_Screenshot2021-01-16at14_45_58.png.022e4eaab48e40e7de068510ed3c620f.png

 

And these are the results:

107908273_Screenshot2021-01-16at14_45_13.thumb.png.9fbf6271cb96a0ceccdf2a28759872eb.png

 

So I'm now out of UCL in 1st knockout round and sliding down the league.

MEZS and IFA occupies the same vertical channel. Personally, I'd prefer to leave IFA in isolation and overload the other side to release IF to do his thing.

Short passing and playing wide don't go hand in hand, leave it at default. You have good passers, I'd remove Shorter passing too.

 

If you want to keep F9 then the tactic must be built around him, for example(may need some specific traits):

                       F9

IFA/RA                                WA

              DLPS     MEZS

                      DMD

WBA       CDD     BPDD     FBS

 

 

F9 is a pure space creator. Here the space is created for the wings as well as MEZS. WA needs the trait of Get Into Opp Area and/or Cutting Inside from Both Wings, etc. WA and IFA are pure goalscorers as well as some contribution by WBA and MEZs. 

WBA moves into the space created by IFA with early runs on and off the ball. F9 drops deep and links up with the midfield. This creates space for the attack duty players. WA stretches the opposition defence and this creates some space for MEZS and this will create some interesting passing combinations. DLPS and DMD both screen the central channel and keep everyone clicking around them while FBS is a passing option for the midfield and the right winger. In addition to all of this, BPD is going to play some defence-splitting passes for the wings. 

This is not a plug and play tactic and may need some tweaks. I hope you got the idea. Good luck!

 

 

Edited by frukox
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Personally I would try messi as a Trequartista rather than  a F9 and watch to see if he drops deep enough. Even though nominally you would expect the F9 to drop and play through balls, I feel that the mentality might be a bit too low to allow messi to do messi things. Another option I would try would be to play him on the right as any of AP-a, AP-s or Trequartista with an overlapping fullback and a more positionally responsible CM on his side to allow for space creation for messi. Essentially a simple overload the right side to unlock the left/centre. In terms of mentality and TIs I would just start small, positive with shorter passing, play out of defence, distribute to CB+FB, Higher D-Line and maybe apply press more PI to the front 5 players to create the high press.

The main pitfalls I would watch out for with this base would be to if the forward is getting into reasonable goalscoring positions - he should definitely link play well as a support duty, but we don't want all the scoring burden to fall on the IF-a with the left CM chipping in occasionally. Also seeing if the FB-a crosses a little too often, for that I would try WB-s to see if he crosses less while still providing enough verticality on the wing. As a side note I wouldn't really play a BPD in a possession system unless you have a forward who can consistently bring down the long passes since he will be inclined to play them - especially not with the playmaker on the right that I have added since he will play it to him and of course messi would have issues getting bullied physically by defenders.

Looking at the squad now I have realised that this setup is probably better flipped since alba is a better attacking winger than roberto but I already pasted the lineup :lol: so just flip the roles/duties. I would try with griezmann as the IF and coutinho as the dlf/f9 since they are better suited to those roles within this tactic - griezmann scoring, coutinho linking.

This tactic is designed around the wide playmaker (messi, but coutinho would be a solid 2nd option) so of course if you don't want that then I could draw up a slightly more balanced attacking tactic, but I think this would be the best way to squeeze the most out of messi before it's too late.

image.png.5faf443737b798892e52fb7cba56d0d0.png

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3 hours ago, Luizinho said:

I've basically taken your exact advise (remove dribble less and overlap left) and noted from other that I've been playing too narrow (so asked the team to play one notch wider). Only other change is changing the Wingbacks to Fullbacks (more possession friendly)

Well, that's exactly what I was talking about. You adopted my suggestions about removing the overlap and dribble less, but I did not suggest changing the RB's role from WBsu into FBsu and increasing attacking width. You took such advice from someone else, not me. FB on support is not more possession-friendly than WB on support. Quite to the contrary - in a setup like yours, WB on support is more likely to help you play possession football because of its natural attack-mindedness, due to which he can provide his wing partner with more effective support in the final third. 

I also did not suggest wide(r) attacking width. Personally, for a possession-oriented system, I would either go with default (which is fairly wide under the positive mentality) or slightly narrower, because you need players to be close enough together so that short-passing game could be more effectively implemented. Generally speaking, default width is always the best starting point. 

You also added work ball into box, which was not my suggestion either. The instruction tends to overcomplicate play in the final third, especially when coupled with an already possession-heavy setup. If you insist on working the ball into the box, then at least use it together with the Be more expressive to break the monotony of sterile possession.

Nor did I suggest changing the LB from WB on attack into FB on attack (although that particular tweak is not problematic per se). 

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Thanks for all the feedback.

17 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

 I did not suggest changing the RB's role from WBsu into FBsu and increasing attacking width. You took such advice from someone else, not me. FB on support is not more possession-friendly than WB on support. Quite to the contrary - in a setup like yours, WB on support is more likely to help you play possession football because of its natural attack-mindedness, due to which he can provide his wing partner with more effective support in the final third. 

One consistent bit of feedback so far in this thread, is that I need more penetration. I guess with little penetration from central midfield, wingbacks could help in this regard (albeit from out-wide). Penetration into the box is where Im finding it difficult.

I'm really keen to use the midfield three of Busquets, De Jong and Pjanic - however agree with everyone who has mentioned that there's little penetration/runs from them. So I understand that I would then need this from my front three, in the same way that Liverpool play. I'm surprised that two inside forwards and a false 9 don't do this in a positive mentality.

Anyone have any feedback on how I could get it out of the front three? Maybe ST into slightly more offensive role like either a Treq, a CF (S) or a  DLF (A)?

Edited by Luizinho
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1 minute ago, Luizinho said:

One consistent bit of feedback so far in this thread, is that I need more penetration. I guess with little penetration from central midfield, wingbacks could help in this regard (albeit from out-wide). Penetration into the box is where Im finding it difficult

That can be solved relatively easily by swapping the duties of the mezzala and AMR, plus switching the latter's role to IW instead of IF. Like this:

               IWsu

MEZat

The only question is whether either De Jong or Pjanic has the right set of attributes for the attacking mezzala role, since both are more of a deep(ish) playmaker type of player.

Alternatively, you may try with CM on attack duty instead of the mezzala and TQ instead of F9 up front. Like this:

        TQ

                     IWsu

             CMat

That way you would get more central penetration but with a role that is less demanding overall compared to mezzala on attack duty, while switching the F9 to TQ should compensate for the movement and creativity that has been "lost" due to the removal of the mezzala. 

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