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Manchester City Pep Guardiola Analysis and Tactical Recreation


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57 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Brilliant stuff mate love seeing this!

Yeah as for previous seasons possession I believe once you start a new season it's gone. So the only way is to create a save file at the end of every season like Rangers season 2. Then go back to saving over your original file after that.


Yes happy for you that you got that European trophy in the end! Yeah I think it's like you said before it's down to player quality in Europe. I was ridiculous with my transfers I think of the original squad maybe 1 player survived into the starting 11 of season 2! Although I do like your signing of Assuncao & a few others. I just signed him for on my Forest save he looks amazing. 

The euro cup win, I kind of knew I was going to be dominated before the game just from experience against the big teams in the champions league so I decided to drop the mentality to cautious, somehow held on to penalties. 
 

as for Assuncao I had him on another save a few months ago, he was at Burnley this time around and they had been relegated to the championship so got transfer listed.

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Posted (edited)

So I've been tweaking throughout this save but here is how things currently stand.

 

1034956145_Screenshot2021-04-29at02_14_06.png.4b605f8c27c70c02860d35645327d0a0.png

802132304_Screenshot2021-04-29at02_14_14.png.e9f6bc6539662177b731bb61fadc9810.png

 

 

I'd found something interesting with the wide players. When I played United they scored a goal from their ACM playing a 4-2-3-1 where the wide player held onto the ball and played him through the backline. It was a counter attack and it was between the CB's when swapping movements with the striker but it made me thing why it's so difficult to do that either side of the CB's

 

I then found the following. When the wide players are in the AML and AMR positions they are set like this.

884165465_Screenshot2021-04-29at02_18_00.png.a8895399aebccd9f29fd504fb7d40a1a.png

 

They are still set like this even if you put 2 CAM's either side on their line

 

959859891_Screenshot2021-04-29at02_18_13.png.2410d839896c4a353f32ec4f53685867.png

 

However if there's a central midfielder playing as a AM in the AMC slot we see this.

1720013675_Screenshot2021-04-29at02_18_07.png.fd59bae5b0bb917f45189570610cc03f.png

 

Now that might be harder to see in screenshots but try it for yourself you'll notice the wide players actually get pushed out wider. They only do this with a CAM they don't even do it when there's a AMCR or AMCL it has to be in the centre.

This obviously intrigued me & i've been testing it a lot in games. 

1131298728_Screenshot2021-04-29at02_25_10.png.88cf1a5e50a722e6365eb14cf613a660.png

 

Playing something like this has the right side playing well in terms of the SS-A makes brilliant vertical runs between the FB & CB. The issue is the RW still likes to make diagonal runs as a IW & I've been testing this with different roles. The left side I have the same issue especially with nobody in that space the IW loves to dribble straight there so i've dropped the left side back to our WM-A role. The CAM depending on the role does play offset to the left because of the RCAM as can be seen here

1721400484_Screenshot2021-04-29at02_28_36.png.b9da2550b7d5699524258bd911591a4b.png

I believe in this game both wide players were still IW's. RW was IW-s & LW was IW-A

 

Also I've been playing other games with the tactic in the orthodox 4-3-3 as it is but with full width which is throwing up some different scenarios which I'll continue tomorrow. 

 

I hope everyone is well & enjoying their saves

Edited by Cult of Football Manager
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If you want MCs playing more advanced and link better with forwards you need very fluid setup. Tiki taka preset would do just fine in terms of pos/role/duty selection. Vertical compacntess is the key to what you want to achieve and with structured duty selection you are doing the opposite actually. Also structured setup limits creative freedom and I'm sure you don't want that with such a team. 

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1 hour ago, Mitja said:

If you want MCs playing more advanced and link better with forwards you need very fluid setup. Tiki taka preset would do just fine in terms of pos/role/duty selection. Vertical compacntess is the key to what you want to achieve and with structured duty selection you are doing the opposite actually. Also structured setup limits creative freedom and I'm sure you don't want that with such a team. 

Structured versus fluid does not mean anything anymore like it did in older FMs. It's all about balanced selection of duties and roles now. And if you select all support duties then you will have a bunch of possesion for the sake of possesion but no penetration. Which was never the point that Guardiola wanted to achieve with Tiki Taka.

Also presets are full of tactical overkill and generally not a good idea to recommend. At least not if you want to be successful in the game.

 

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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20 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Structured versus fluid does not mean anything anymore like it did in older FMs

It is true that the Team fluidity label and the Team shape instruction from older versions are definitely two different things (which some people still confuse though). However, it is also true that having a structured team fluidity label is not a good idea if you want your tactic to be primarily possession-minded, simply because it means that you have fewer support duties than would be optimal for a possession style to work properly and smoothly. Which of course does not mean that it has to be fluid. Absolutely not. Flexible is quite enough.

People also need to keep in mind that it's not just the mere number of different duties that matters. Distribution of duties across the system as well as selection of roles is just as important.

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1 hour ago, crusadertsar said:

Structured versus fluid does not mean anything anymore like it did in older FMs. It's all about balanced selection of duties and roles now. And if you select all support duties then you will have a bunch of possesion for the sake of possesion but no penetration. Which was never the point that Guardiola wanted to achieve with Tiki Taka.

Also presets are full of tactical overkill and generally not a good idea to recommend. At least not if you want to be successful in the game.

 

 

I have found that to be fair and specifically playing through opposition lines with the penetration like you said you rack up possession which is great but it's hard to have success playing like this or after going a goal down against a team who's happy to sit on a 1-0 lead!

 The worst bit as well is lots of the movements i've written about recreating just have even less chance of happening especially the wide players and central midfielders. If they're all set to support they all start way too deep in the build up and take far too long to make any vertical runs in behind.

 

33 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

It is true that the Team fluidity label and the Team shape instruction from older versions are definitely two different things (which some people still confuse though). However, it is also true that having a structured team fluidity label is not a good idea if you want your tactic to be primarily possession-minded, simply because it means that you have fewer support duties than would be optimal for a possession style to work properly and smoothly. Which of course does not mean that it has to be fluid. Absolutely not. Flexible is quite enough.

People also need to keep in mind that it's not just the mere number of different duties that matters. Distribution of duties across the system as well as selection of roles is just as important.

I understand what you're saying here. I guess to explain why I have so many attack duties for a possession based system the issue I found from my testing with the support duties is...

To get my central midfielder runs behind the back line I felt they had to be on an attack duty. One of the wide players I felt had to be on attack duty to help with the press if we have Mezzala's & to also have a threat beyond the back line if we have a F9 & the other wide player on S. Otherwise it appears we just pass and dribble their backline to the edge of their own 6 yard box with no penetration then look for long shots or crosses from the byline in many cases!

Also the having one of the IWB on attack seems to help a lot more with playing through their first midfield line of press in the build up. He seems to love beyond the deepest central midfield player enabling us to get the ball in a space ahead of the pivot but before the central midfield players. The downside is once you're past that point he becomes a problem taking up the RCM's half space and zone on a regular basis. On support I've found him to be a little more static in the build up which results in him though often playing a risky pass the moment there isn't a clear passing option on. So we get our support duty possession stats up like @crusadertsar said, but no actual penetration then a unnecessary risky pass after!

 

It's great to have you both in the thread by the way @Experienced Defender & @crusadertsar.  Right this second the only thing i'm looking to achieve is to regularly get the wide players to stay somewhat wide and have both CM's look to exploit the half space and gap between the FB & CB. Any help on this is greatly appreciated. If I can get that in any combination, I'm then looking to build the entire tactic with instructions and duties/roles etc around that. So please feel free to destroy any other parts of the tactic I won't be offended I got close in lots of other areas but it's a struggle to get this to work and I don't feel I or anyone can call any Pep recreation a success without those combinations coming out at least a little bit!

My fear is like I mentioned in an earlier post the movements of the players in the match engine just don't allow the wide players and central midfield players to move high enough early enough to get in position to make this kind of movement. I also think the mechanics of how the back 4 play make it a lot harder to achieve this then in real life!

 

I don't mean to make my posts so long I apologise and will keep this example to 1 just to save time.

Example

image.png.654ce87793f07320d876e09ab8958fc1.png

 

Now here we've had the ball for a good few passes so this isn't a turnover. What you can see at the bottom is sterling has dribbled into the middle because he's a inverted winger and then released the ball to the LB via the CDM & is starting to run wide back to his position ( He's the one facing the wrong way to the ball ) .

The LCM is a mezzala attack and makes no movement to get higher at this point, waits for the wide player to get on the ball and dribble. He then starts to run into the gap as the wide player nearly runs into him being IW-S i think at this point but it's so late in the move the ball is not played to him. This was the best example I had of it. Now don't get me wrong I've had this movement WORK in a one off & it nearly work lots of times but often if they're any type of winger role they dribble too much and don't like to pass in this scenario or dribble too early not allowing for this movement to develop. Also at the end of the clip you see the scenario pop up on the right side and then the mezzala attack for no apparent reason runs to the middle instead haha.. so frustrating. This could be because the game is reading the IWB-A in that space despite him being deeper?

 

I need a "Play on opposition back line" player instruction for the wide players but on support duty and a Mezzala at the CAM positions. Feature request!?

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One thing I forgot to mention is I have found a way to get it a lot more regular but still not perfect, it involves playing with no striker and the 2 CM's in the AM slots. or 2 Mezzala's. The problem is this makes it very hard to dominate the ball and can be quite a counter attacking based system. @knap has been able to do it with some of his recent tactics which I was impressed by! But i'm sure he would be the first person to say possession style football and pep style movements isn't something he overly cares about! And they did come from counters and direct attacks, so again left with one corner to cut to get the other it appears.

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3 hours ago, Mitja said:

If you want MCs playing more advanced and link better with forwards you need very fluid setup. Tiki taka preset would do just fine in terms of pos/role/duty selection. Vertical compacntess is the key to what you want to achieve and with structured duty selection you are doing the opposite actually. Also structured setup limits creative freedom and I'm sure you don't want that with such a team. 

Sorry I missed replying to this. I think it was covered in the reply but also the issues are very complex and to take an approach of just getting the team fluidity to say something different I don't think will get what I want when what I want is so specific i'm not just looking for a better link i'm looking for a specific link. Although i've posted a lot I haven't posted every single thing i've tested and done & spent lots of times with most players on support duties and team fluidity being fluid etc.

Haha with the last bit that just reminded me of a time when I witnessed a UEFA A license and former professional player spontaneously have this debate with another UEFA qualified coach about whether Pep's teams play with lots of creativity or little to zero creativity.  I know some people who would argue with that one!

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38 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Sorry I missed replying to this. I think it was covered in the reply but also the issues are very complex and to take an approach of just getting the team fluidity to say something different I don't think will get what I want when what I want is so specific i'm not just looking for a better link i'm looking for a specific link. Although i've posted a lot I haven't posted every single thing i've tested and done & spent lots of times with most players on support duties and team fluidity being fluid etc.

Haha with the last bit that just reminded me of a time when I witnessed a UEFA A license and former professional player spontaneously have this debate with another UEFA qualified coach about whether Pep's teams play with lots of creativity or little to zero creativity.  I know some people who would argue with that one!

Lines are closer together with very fluid setup which meens mcs operate closer to forwards Also wingers stay wider because of vertical compactness. Structured setup gives opposite vertical depth with lines. I agree such systems can be a little dull you want to add some width tempo try playing with another attack duty with att mentality etc.

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10 minutes ago, Mitja said:

Lines are closer together with very fluid setup which meens mcs operate closer to forwards Also wingers stay wider because of vertical compactness. Structured setup gives opposite vertical depth with lines. I agree such systems can be a little dull you want to add some width tempo try playing with another attack duty with att mentality etc.

Ahh ok I'm with you I see what you mean. Thank you for the contribution I appreciate it! 

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52 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Pep's teams play...

In FM terms they play with more fluidity thats probably why both tikitakas employ fluid setup. Structured is meant for defensive football at least in my books.

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@Cult of Football Manager The trick I think is having a "balanced" mix of attack and support duties to get the kind of football that I think both you and me are looking for. Or maybe we are not on the same page when it comes to possesion? For me, possession is always a means to an end which is winning in style. And I think Guardiola would agree too. I don't care about actual possession numbers. What i like is seeing that we dominated the other team by having more time on the ball and creating more plays. To me that's a core of Total Football style. 

I don't mean to hog this thread but give an example of my "balanced" approach. At the moment I am working on on a variation of my Swiss Knife system. It basically started as a 4-5-1 or 4-1-4-1 tactic that evolves from game to game and even changes during match.

The end goal of it is always to create 2-3-5 shape in attack. Not to get more possession. Although because of how we play we tend to get more possession as a side effect. I most commonly switch to a 4-1-2-3 when I'm dominating lesser opposition (with roles you see below). Simply because I find it is the most efficient way to achieve this 2-3-5 shape in possession. And the roles I use have a good mix of attack and support duties.

Sorry about the drawing, I'm away from my computer. The Team Instructions are pretty basic. Just short passing, play out of defence, counter-press, high DL and standard LOE. And split press on my front five. And I tell my left flank to underlap in order to modulate the mentality of my IW(a) and IWb (d).

The choice of strikerless is actually because of that - individual mentality, which I find is very important. I don't like how all supporting striker roles only have Balanced individual mentality when you play with Positive team mentality. Having my AMC on Positive mentality allows it to play closer to the other attackers and midfielders. Which is something that you want with this style. But at the same time still make penetrating runs forward. Something that noticed False 9 does not really do. While a striker on Attack duty does too much. 

 

 

IMG_20210430_100351783.jpg

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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Again sorry for diverting attention. I plan to do a proper update about this in my own "Swiss Knife" thread this weekend.

I was just trying to show that you don't need to go overboard with either attack or support duties (or too many team instructions) in order to achieve a "balanced" fluid Total Football style. My Real Sociedad side is currently 1st in LaLiga (with 40 points and 7 more than Real Madrid) in December 2025. And we are scoring a fair number of goals which are spread all through our front 5. Our possession may not be in 70% but it's still consistenty more than most other teams. But it doesn't really matter as I'm just happy that we are able to impose our style on the other teams. Which is what Pep's football is all about in its essence. 

Edited by crusadertsar
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9 minutes ago, Mitja said:

So your CF is AM support and you are first in primera? Odd.

What's the issue :eek: ? You don't think strikerless systems can work? How is me being 1st in league a contradiction to not using a traditional support striker? I really don't get your logic so please enlighten me and the rest of the people reading this thread.

I do have some specific PIs on the AMC so it's not acting like vanilla AMC (s) anymore.

I just find it's a better alternative to False 9 that's always stuck on Balanced individual mentality and tends to be too passive for my tactic. But I'll discuss all that when I do a proper update.

Edited by crusadertsar
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6 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

@Cult of Football Manager The trick I think is having a "balanced" mix of attack and support duties to get the kind of football that I think both you and me are looking for. Or maybe we are not on the same page when it comes to possesion? For me, possession is always a means to an end which is winning in style. And I think Guardiola would agree too. I don't care about actual possession numbers. What i like is seeing that we dominated the other team by having more time on the ball and creating more plays. To me that's a core of Total Football style. 

I don't mean to hog this thread but give an example of my "balanced" approach. At the moment I am working on on a variation of my Swiss Knife system. It basically started as a 4-5-1 or 4-1-4-1 tactic that evolves from game to game and even changes during match.

The end goal of it is always to create 2-3-5 shape in attack. Not to get more possession. Although because of how we play we tend to get more possession as a side effect. I most commonly switch to a 4-1-2-3 when I'm dominating the opposition. Simply because I find it is the most efficient way to achieve this 2-3-5 shape in possession. And the roles I use have a good mix of attack and support duties.

Sorry about the drawing, I'm away from my computer. The Team Instructions are pretty basic. Just short passing, play out of defence, counter-press, high DL and standard LOE. And split press on my front five. And I tell my left flank to underlap in order to modulate the mentality of my IW(a) and IWb (d). The choice of strikerless is actually because of that - individual mentality which I find is very important. I don't like how all supporting striker roles only have Balanced individual mentality when you play with Positive team mentality. Having my AMC on Positive mentality allows it to play closer to the other attackers and midfielders. Which is something that you want with this style. But at the same time still make penetrating runs forward. Something that noticed False 9 does not really do. While a striker on Attack duty does too much. 

 

 

IMG_20210430_100351783.jpg

 

Regarding the possession stat I agree and I've mentioned that before in my thread it's not about the overall statistic especially when it's calculated differently in FM, but I don't think anyone can say with a straight face they've replicated a Pep style tactic if they're floundering 4/5th in the average possession stats? Do you see what I mean?  So I think it's still important on some level at least in this context on FM.

Yeah without going into massive detail Pep has said before about things along the lines of controlling areas rather then overall possession ( But this the possession becomes obviously a consequence of doing this correctly ) and in one off games you see it like against Southampton away this season City had only 52% Possession & if it was calculated in FM terms who knows they might have had less. But that's a one off every once and a while, if that's happening every FM game there's a chance one of the many corners i've mentioned isn't quite right and can quite quickly feel less like a Pep recreation.

I'm about to start streaming in a second so i need to quickly head off but I'll respond to anything I miss later. In short no I agree and the 2-3-5 is a lot easier to replicate then the current 3-2-5 & my issue isn't that shape but specifically the movements and moments with the wide players and the central midfield players.

The IW don't just travel with the ball inside but they seem to also make their runs in there too. Quite a few times they start wide which is great and the central midfielder gets on the ball higher up the pitch and then the wide player runs between the FB & CB.

Now don't get me wrong that's absolutely fine and is one of the many things that could happen with a pep team in real life, It's just this is the most common occurrence or the wide player dribbles at the back line himself. To create the movements where the wide player stays wide, gets on the ball dragging the FB out then the central midfield player exploits the gap between the FB & CB in the half space is something I hardly ever see done and if done not done correctly and they don't seem to get the ball played to them. As I show in my analysis this is a major part of pep's current system it's not a pattern like they just do it every time but it happens extremely often & to not see it happen the same way successfully means from my analysis I don't think I can call it a successful recreation.

 

No worries at all ! you aren't taking anything over I said from the very start this thread is for everyone & please feel free to share anything and everything you want to share here! 

 

by the way here's how my season ended.

1249784127_Screenshot2021-04-30at01_12_01.png.334da52ee8bf2852e2320af7b1f6bbaf.png

719905280_Screenshot2021-04-30at01_12_09.png.cc022c781a105e0a04b83032a89efdce.png

 

 

1971936857_Screenshot2021-04-29at02_18_00.png.7219d5cc5886515329685881cabb220f.png

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26 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

To create the movements where the wide player stays wide, gets on the ball dragging the FB out then the central midfield player exploits the gap between the FB & CB in the half space is something I hardly ever see done and if done not done correctly and they don't seem to get the ball played to them.

Have you tried playing strikerless with SS? In FM20 I saw some interesting forward runs from Mezzalas that I've never seen in any tactic with a striker. Haven't experimented enough with it though to say if it's a common occurrence or not.

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Right I just saw it for the first time. Now they did clear it and it came about immediately after but it happened. Sterling was wide pulled the FB out KDB ran through the gap, the ball was played and then he did hit it 35 yards wide but it did come off. 

Testing to continue and updates to follow!

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Posted (edited)

Here is a different game to the one I mentioned before. Here's one of two goals that the winger played the ball to the LCM between the FB & CB.

 

 

Now the FB actually gets caught trying to mark both the wide player and the mezzala and goes temporarily in with him then back out to the winger creating the gap for the LCM Bernardo Silva to break through and score.

 

Second Goal.

Now they've just cleared the ball long before this clip starts and the Mezzala is a little narrow at the start but he is the one that breaks through here to score which is again great to see in a combination of movements I was starting to think wasn't possible except for once every 15 games!

 

The only downside to this.. and again going back to cutting one corner to get to another we didn't control the game well and we aren't able to press aggressively enough with a strikerless system & support duties everywhere. But i'm happy I was at least able to get this combination of movements and will look now to tweak keeping this a possibility but while making the tactic better overall.

 

Tactic:

435547155_Screenshot2021-05-01at14_55_48.png.2cd8ae159f08a75637ade95e7603ede6.png

 

 

Match Stats:  ( We did win the game 3-0 )

2133356236_Screenshot2021-05-01at14_55_56.png.9b1ba4fdbc00435fb6b80861c4cd9004.png

 

But as you can see not great on a lot of different levels however Bielsa is one of the most annoying managers to play against with this style as his teams on FM are very good at keeping the ball at the back & don't force it too often. This resulted in long spells of them playing out and us struggling to get enough player to press aggressively to lock them into one half or force a risky pass.

 

I did make tweaks in this game too but nothing drastic and nothing that changed the course of the game.

 

Also a thank you to everyone who's contributed and shared ideas that's exactly what this is thread is for so thank you I appreciate it!

Edited by Cult of Football Manager
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Here is a different game to the one I mentioned before. Here's one of two goals that the winger played the ball to the LCM between the FB & CB.

 

 

 

Now the FB actually gets caught trying to mark both the wide player and the mezzala and goes temporarily in with him then back out to the winger creating the gap for the LCM Bernardo Silva to break through and score.

 

Second Goal.

 

Now they've just cleared the ball long before this clip starts and the Mezzala is a little narrow at the start but he is the one that breaks through here to score which is again great to see in a combination of movements I was starting to think wasn't possible except for once every 15 games!

 

The only downside to this.. and again going back to cutting one corner to get to another we didn't control the game well and we aren't able to press aggressively enough with a strikerless system & support duties everywhere. But i'm happy I was at least able to get this combination of movements and will look now to tweak keeping this a possibility but while making the tactic better overall.

 

Tactic:

435547155_Screenshot2021-05-01at14_55_48.png.2cd8ae159f08a75637ade95e7603ede6.png

 

 

Match Stats:  ( We did win the game 3-0 )

2133356236_Screenshot2021-05-01at14_55_56.png.9b1ba4fdbc00435fb6b80861c4cd9004.png

 

But as you can see not great on a lot of different levels however Bielsa is one of the most annoying managers to play against with this style as his teams on FM are very good at keeping the ball at the back & don't force it too often. This resulted in long spells of them playing out and us struggling to get enough player to press aggressively to lock them into one half or force a risky pass.

 

I did make tweaks in this game too but nothing drastic and nothing that changed the course of the game.

Nice! I'm glad you decided to give my idea of strikerless AMC(s) a try :)  Any PIs on your AMC?

Edited by crusadertsar
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2 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Nice! I'm glad you decided to give my idea of AMC(s) a try :)  Any PIs?

 

 

Yes! I tried it the game before with some different ones and he was too passive and this is what he was for this game scoring a goal in the second half to make it 3-0.

1397956104_Screenshot2021-05-01at15_08_26.png.60994b90a2c1349063c999829fade9fa.png

 

I believe i had him with hold position in the previous game to stop him going into the half spaces but he did nothing all game. In this one having dribble more meant at times if he got the ball between their CDM & the backline he would then also dribble at the back 4 from time to time which seemed to be better for creating slightly different movement combinations and patterns in the game.

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1 minute ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

 

 

Yes! I tried it the game before with some different ones and he was too passive and this is what he was for this game scoring a goal in the second half to make it 3-0.

1397956104_Screenshot2021-05-01at15_08_26.png.60994b90a2c1349063c999829fade9fa.png

 

I believe i had him with hold position in the previous game to stop him going into the half spaces but he did nothing all game. In this one having dribble more meant at times if he got the ball between their CDM & the backline he would then also dribble at the back 4 from time to time which seemed to be better for creating slightly different movement combinations and patterns in the game.

Nice results. I have him roam, get further forward and close down more as part of my split block.

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4 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Nice results. I have him roam, get further forward and close down more as part of my split block.

on roam do you find him moving into those half spaces often? This set up for the front 5 worked very well for what I was trying to make work so I don't want to change too much if i can!  I like the Shadow striker role because it presses aggressively but is VERY direct on the ball.

The AM-S defends deeper and sits on their deepest midfield player which is fine because even in my analysis I have a clip where in real life Jesus does this and allows the one wide player and one central midfield player to press the back line, but for that to happen in game I think I have to change one of my wide players to an attack duty. It's an issue for me because if we go a goal down I can see this lack of pressure being an issue and costing me points!

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

on roam do you find him moving into those half spaces often? This set up for the front 5 worked very well for what I was trying to make work so I don't want to change too much if i can!  I like the Shadow striker role because it presses aggressively but is VERY direct on the ball.

The AM-S defends deeper and sits on their deepest midfield player which is fine because even in my analysis I have a clip where in real life Jesus does this and allows the one wide player and one central midfield player to press the back line, but for that to happen in game I think I have to change one of my wide players to an attack duty. It's an issue for me because if we go a goal down I can see this lack of pressure being an issue and costing me points!

Honestly i don't think playing with all front support duties works well in this ME. I have one of my wide players on attack to give more variety to our movement and it works well. 

I find even with roam my AMC stays central as needed by the tactic. The trick is not having a central striker role with "move into channels". I'll post a screen momentarily to show what I mean.

Usually to get players to move into half-spaces I tend to use a combination of "roam more" and "move into channels". I think that what "Roam More" does alone is to make the player move into areas that the role wouldn't usually move into but not necessarily the half-spaces. So in my AMC's case it makes him make more forward runs sort of like Shadow Striker but do it in less direct fashion. He tends to wait and try to set up my other wingers once we are in the final third. Sort of how I would like my False9 to act.  But unlike a False 9 he gets on the scoresheet more often (as you can see in the player profile). So a nice hybrid between Shadow Striker and False9.

 

positioning.png

 

And this is my own little homegrown Firminho who is my primary AMC

85FB641FF1F9FEBE2671E0840F7687C756FAB371 (1600×900)

I believe the big part of the tactic, is having the right kind of player for the role. 

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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18 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Honestly i don't think playing with all front support duties works well in this ME. I have one of my wide players on attack to give more variety to our movement and it works well. 

I find even with roam my AMC stays central as needed by the tactic. The trick is not having a central striker role with "move into channels". I'll post a screen momentarily to show what I mean.

Usually to get players to move into half-spaces I tend to use a combination of "roam more" and "move into channels". I think that what "Roam More" does alone is to make the player move into areas that the role wouldn't usually make but not necessarily the half-spaces. So in my AMC's case it makes him make more forward runs sort of like Shadow Striker but do it in less direct fashion. He tends to wait and try to set up my other wingers once we are in the final third. Sort of how I would like my False9 to act.  

 

positioning.png

 

And this is my own little homegrown Firminho who is my primary AMC

85FB641FF1F9FEBE2671E0840F7687C756FAB371 (1600×900)

I believe the big part of the tactic, is having the right kind of player for the role. 

 

Brilliant. Yeah I understand what you mean with Roam. I wasn't saying that it only just makes them go into half spaces but with my tactic I've found it doesn't take much for my striker to move across into that area taking the Mezzala's space away!

Ok I'll throw roam on him and change the RW to an attack duty and see how that plays out. In this test save we actually had liverpool and united first two games of the season and didn't win either so the teams low on morale and form which isn't helping at times!

 

19 minutes ago, Ripamon said:

How do you upload pkms? Would like to make a contribution 

I'm recording the highlights in games with the built in record function in the match engine if that's what you mean? Then at the end of the game you go to share then your highlights will be there and then i'm clicking export which gives me a link that I then upload here. If you want to make loads of clips you might need to upload it somewhere like vimeo or youtube and link it as posts are capped at 10MB for file size I believe!

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Solving The Right Wing Dilemma

The main difficulty here involved not just a width-holding right winger, but designing a role which, in as many ways as possible, encapsulated Mahrez's functions for Manchester City. A mercurial right winger who would dutifully hug the touchline, and when finally found, would become a hub of creativity, cutting inside, laying off through balls, or scoring beautiful goals.

 This incredible article goes into amazing detail analysing Manchester City's style of play in the 19/20 season, which is the version I'm trying to recreate. Having easily solved their chance creation methods on the left side and in their central channels, I set to my task re-creating their famous right-side chemistry.

As the article says, Manchester City have 6 specific chance creation techniques from the right flank. Therefore, finding a role and duty which emphasized width and height and positional discipline would be key for the right winger. 

I touched on the possible roles in my last post, along with my pros and cons. It was my strong feeling that any role in the AMR strata would be strongly ineffective, and indeed, countless tests with that position left me scratching my head in frustration. For no matter what instruction or configuration, the player would consistently fail to deliver the desired performance. Not enough height, not enough width, not enough positional discipline (even with hold position), or too selfish (wingers!)

Furthermore, the MR roles with an attack duty, while better, seemed a bit preoccupied with attacking like secondary goal threats and staying too narrow once your offensive move had entered its 'camping phase'.

Close to resignation, I decided to try the one setup I hadnt. An Inverted Winger (Support) in the Right Midfield Strata. I did it for a laugh. If the AMR roles stayed so deep in transition, I thought, surely the MLR would stay even deeper. To circumvent this, I decided to add Get Further Forward and Roam from Position. Then i settled down to watch 3 full games with my midtable quality Schalke side. 

Before we take a look at the PKM's, it is important to note that the MR IW(S) role suffers from two notable weaknesses. The first is, weakness in transitions. Indeed, he does stay quite deep when the ball is won, and is relatively slow to transition up the pitch. However, he is no slower than the AMR support roles in this regard, and unlike them, has the freedom to stretch defenses because he need not be bound by Hold Position to keep him from dropping too narrow or from trying to break the defensive line too often. The Roaming Command also seems to give him more license to receive the ball on the right flank, as opposed to dropping narrow like it seems to do for AMR's. Secondly, like every other Inverted Winger, he dribbles a lot. Perhaps I ought to use the Hold Shape TI.

Again, City have 6 major chance creation techniques from the right flank. It is worth noting that the 5 clips posted below came from just 2 games (4 vs Koln and 1 vs Frankfurt) - so potent and frequent were the combinations that they were easy to find. However, this also means that most of these combinations didn't end in goals. I could go find more fitting ones later but I only just learned to upload pkms and I can't really be bothered to find more at this moment.

  1. Overlap

Not sure why it says FM20 before the clip as I'm obviously playing FM21. This is an interesting clip because we can see here the two weaknesses of the role I spoke about above. His deepness in transition and his selfishness. However, we can also see a wonderful overlapping run by the IWB(D) behind him the Right Midfielder. He sadly gets ignored as the RM goes on a lamentable solo run (he does have the runs with ball often TI but hes my best winger..)

2. The Inside Channel Run

This is a wonderful clip that shows the potency of the Inside Channel Run from the Mezzala. It's made possible by the depth provided by the Pressing Forward, who pins back the defensive line and occupies both center backs, and the IW(S), who stays perfectly high and wide to drag the left back towards him, leaving a gaping hole in the channel. A simple through ball by my left central midfielder sees the Mezzala through on goal. Unfortunately the pass isnt strong enough and he then has to combine with the striker in order to get a shot off.

3. Exploiting The Central Channel

I particularly like this clip because it shows 2 chance creation techniques at play in the same clip. A wonderful combination down the right between my Inverted Right Back (D), my Right Midfielder and my Mezzala, who overload the flank and contrive to set the Mezzala free. The opposing defence shifts in time to block the inside channel and the chance is gone, or so it seems. The ball is recycled to my right centerback and he combines with the Inverted Wingback and Mezzala to find the Inverted Winger once more. He cuts infield and delivers a delicious through ball down the central channel for the breaking striker, who, in true Schalke fashion, hits the post.

The other chance creation methods from the right flank include :

4: Cut Inside and Score

 

Here the Right Midfielder receives the ball from a throw in, combines with the Mezzala, gets it back, cuts in, and lets loose a vicious shot which nestles in the back of the net.

5: Cut in and Find Opposite flank

Here our right midfielder picks up the ball from our DM as usual. Without hesitation he spots the gap on the opposite flank and pulls out a lofted through ball for the inside forward to latch onto. Rudimentary but devastatingly effective.

6: Deep Cross

Here our inverted wingback gives a simple ball to the right midfielder. He takes a single touch and delivers a curling deep inswinging cross to the back post, which is met by the left inside forward. Unfortunately it sails high.

And I've got two nice bonuses to add as well below. 

wing-triangle-positions.png

Here you can see the specific triangular setups that is so pivotal to Pep's build-up patterns all across the pitch. This allows his team to create overloads while providing a platform for clean and effective circulation of the ball.

Using the focus play instruction, I'm pleased to have been able to consistently replicate this mechanic in my pitiful Schalke team

Here you can see how the right midfielder stretches the play wide before exploiting the inside channel, where the Mezzala is offering close support in an inside high position, while the inverted wingback (defend) holds position on the base of the triangle in an inside low position. The move progresses into a fantastic shooting opportunity for my DM at the edge of the box, who unfortunately blasts it to row Z.

Second Bonus

 

Did you watch Man City's game today? You'd have seen Mendy on the left flank absolutely fizz a line breaking diagonal pass into Aguero, who absolutely rifled it home, Well that's EXACTLY what happened right here. Oh yeah, it's all coming together now. The diagonal line-breaking pass is a Mendy specialty, and was used on numerous occasions last season, as detailed in the article I linked above. It was a joy to see it recreated so accurately. https://streamable.com/aoibg2 - have a look at these for more fabulous Mendy line breaking passes.

Overall, i'm more or less happy with the recreation, but it does look just a bit convoluted in the tactic creator. In the next few days I'll play a couple more games, upload a few more pkms and clean up the tactic, then upload it here for suggestions and improvements. Cheers

Edited by Ripamon
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Yeah, moving your false 9 type into the AM strata does tend to have the knock on effect that it hampers your ability to press high up the pitch. Because the formation is your defensive shape for the most part. I've dabbled with it quite a bit and it's never really sat right with me so I inevitably go back to using a F9, then get frustrated by its low mentality, try true strikerless again. Rinse and repeat. :lol:

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Great post mate look forward to seeing more. The thing is like you said the winger roles dribble a lot to ruin any movements and combinations.

Also the half space run clip starts with a throw in right? In my original tactic I was also able to get it from this scenario with WM-A but I put it down to it being calculated differently and being from a set piece in the game.

In all my various attempts & tweaking in the thread and out of it I've been happy with recreating lots of different parts that you've shown there at different times but this exact moment ( Half space runs from a central midfield player ) is the one i'm seeing the least so hopefully you have more scenarios from this combination!

Are you able to share your results and stats from the season too for people to have a bit of context with what they're seeing?

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Just now, Cult of Football Manager said:

Great post mate look forward to seeing more. The thing is like you said the winger roles dribble a lot to ruin any movements and combinations.

Also the half space run clip starts with a throw in right? In my original tactic I was also able to get it from this scenario with WM-A but I put it down to it being calculated differently and being from a set piece in the game.

In all my various attempts & tweaking in the thread and out of it I've been happy with recreating lots of different parts that you've shown there at different times but this exact moment ( Half space runs from a central midfield player ) is the one i'm seeing the least so hopefully you have more scenarios from this combination!

Are you able to share your results and stats from the season too for people to have a bit of context with what they're seeing?

Hey mate, cheers.

Yes i have a lot of inside run half space combinations that don't involve throw in's. I'll look through my save and upload 3 or 4 more pkms in the next hour or two.

Oh and sure, I'd be able to share my stats from the season. Need to know how to resize images though as I'm kinda new to the forums and not too sure how to do so, don't want them too big like the one i uploaded before.

 

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21 minutes ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

Yeah, moving your false 9 type into the AM strata does tend to have the knock on effect that it hampers your ability to press high up the pitch. Because the formation is your defensive shape for the most part. I've dabbled with it quite a bit and it's never really sat right with me so I inevitably go back to using a F9, then get frustrated by its low mentality, try true strikerless again. Rinse and repeat. :lol:

Wouldn't moving line of engagement line higher solve that issue in a strikerless system? I tried it for a couple of games and we appeared to press better and win possession more effectively.

However it does mess with my compression. I usually prefer to run high DL and standard LOE in a usual striker formation.

I really wish that False 9 was avay with Positive individual mentality. I think it would improve the role immensely.

Edited by crusadertsar
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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Wouldn't moving line of engagement line higher solve that issue in a strikerless system? I tried it for a couple of games and we appeared to press better and win possession more effectively.

However it does mess with my compression. I usually prefer to run high DL and standard LOE in a usual striker formation.

I really wish that False 9 was avay with Positive individual mentality. I think it would improve the role immensely.

What did you do with the LOE with strikerless? I thought about this a second ago actually would be interesting to hear what you did.

I'm starting a new save in a second too to try some of these ideas from the start. This tweaking is ageing me more then anything else at the moment!

Edited by Cult of Football Manager
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12 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Wouldn't moving line of engagement line higher solve that issue in a strikerless system? I tried it for a couple of games and we appeared to press better and win possession more effectively.

However it does mess with my compression. I usually prefer to run high DL and standard LOE in a usual striker formation.

I really wish that False 9 was avay with Positive individual mentality. I think it would improve the role immensely.

I'm sure it would help. I'm usually already on higher/much higher (depending on player quality) when I have this issue so there's not much wriggle room bar increasing mentality (but that has knock on effects).

Have said it elsewhere many times now that a change like that would help it out massively. Maybe for FM22? A man can dream :lol:

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

What did you do with the LOE with strikerless? I thought about this a second ago actually would be interesting to hear what you did.

I'm starting a new save in a second too to try some of these ideas from the start. This tweaking is ageing me more then anything else at the moment!

I've been using standard LOE so far. It's mainly because I cannot safely go higher than High DL. Again not to break my ideal level of midfield compression. But I've been thinking that with a strikerless system you might have no choice but to set the line of engagement to the highest possible in order to press effectively.

The problem in my save with Real Sociedad, I dont have the fastest group of centrebacks. Le Normand being the only one who is really up to par in a high defensive line system. So if I go Highest LoE then I cannot match that with Highest DL. In Premier League you probably need CBs to have at least 13-14 in values for Acceleration and Pace. So maybe i would need to start another save or shop for some quicker CBs.

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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40 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Great post mate look forward to seeing more. The thing is like you said the winger roles dribble a lot to ruin any movements and combinations.

Also the half space run clip starts with a throw in right? In my original tactic I was also able to get it from this scenario with WM-A but I put it down to it being calculated differently and being from a set piece in the game.

In all my various attempts & tweaking in the thread and out of it I've been happy with recreating lots of different parts that you've shown there at different times but this exact moment ( Half space runs from a central midfield player ) is the one i'm seeing the least so hopefully you have more scenarios from this combination!

Are you able to share your results and stats from the season too for people to have a bit of context with what they're seeing?

Okay, so here's a few examples real quick. Not too minded to do a proper deep dive and find the most perfect examples yet as I much prefer to play future games than look at past highlights, but I believe these are okay.

 

In this CL game vs Roma, our DM picks up possession from the CB and immediately pings a lovely diagonal to the right midfielder, who is stretching play high and wide on the right flank. He stands up the fullback and feeds the incoming Mezzala, who has drifted into a nice half space pocket on the edge of the box. The Mezzala fizzes a first time De-Bruynesque low cross towards the striker, which is unfortunately blocked. I would say the angle of the fullback prevented the right midfielder from sliding a pass towards the byline for the Mezzala, but this happens in real life too.

Here the winger picks up from the DM and immediately takes on his man while surveying his options. The Mezzala provides close support in the inside high channel, and accompanies the right midfielder as he goes up the pitch. The Mezzala, using the last of his 13 pace gets in front of his man and is free between the center back and fullback, but the inverted winger has spotted a better option and delivers a short but sweet cross to my striker, Jevic, who busts the net.

Appreciate those two aren't the strongest possible examples of the pure half-space run (like, De Bruyne bursting into the channel close to the byline to whip in a powerful cross) but should beem enough to show that the circumstances are in place to make it happen often enough. If it's any worth, I can assure you I've seen that exact scenario play out dozens of times in my saves. Now that I know how to record pkms I'll be sure to keep an eye out and upload stronger examples in the future. Cheers

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Posted (edited)

vs-Frankfurt.png

 

vs-Koln.png

vs-roma.png

Usually the kind of stats I record in my games. Hopefully the images aren't too large. Not sure how to resize them.

schalke-last-season.png

Lost the league by one point last season, my first season in the club. Was projected to finish around 13th. Very proud of my defensive record and the fact I pushed Dortmund to the wire. Won the European Conference cup and the DFB Pokal as well.

schalke-now-table.png

It's a new season, but it looks like more of the same. Dortmund are extremely strong.

 

schalke-possession.png

Possession stats aren't too hot right now for some reason. Averaged around 59% last season but there's been a marked drop off. I'd attribute most of it to the reckless passing of my new Mezzala and Defensive Midfielders, who are currently in the process of unlearning some unfavorable PPM's..

sunderland.png

Here's the same tactic on my Sunderland save with much better possession stats.

 

schalke-schedule.png

How we're faring so far this season. And yeah, that Dortmund team is nuts. I actually managed Arsenal for a couple seasons before I came to Germany, and i wound up losing a couple matches to Dortmund there in the CL and a couple friendlies over the years. The moment I arrived in Germany I saw just how deadly they were.

Anyways, as you can see I literally pulled all my pkms from the last three or four matches. I'm pleased that I'm seeing my desired patterns of play so frequently. 

Bonus point is that I recently tried to switch back to Extended Highlights from Full Matches as I'm relatively satisfied with my tactic now. It was funny to then see how active the extended highlights were, thought I was still watching full games haha. 

Finally, here is my wonderful Right Midfielder whom I love to bits

 

 

 

my-RM.png

He's absolutely incredible and growing so fast. Just look at his training ratings and his Progress. I would like him to unlearn the Runs With Ball ppm and maybe pick up something like Tries Tricks or Places Shots.  His decision making is awful though, hopefully it can keep increasing eventually.

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Some really excellent analysis of the offensive aspects of Pep’s City.

The problem as I see it is that there is next to no analysis of the defensive aspects of their play and the tactic doesn’t resemble City defensively at all and sort of looks like a giant disorganised mess when the team doesn’t have the ball.

Would be interested to see greater emphasis on improving this, with focus on realism, rather than just ticking all the most aggressive defensive options and hoping for the best.

Keep up the good work - your analysis in the other areas of the tactic/philosophy has been worth the read. I just struggle to watch the tactic when the team doesn’t have the ball and cringe at some of the defensive movements. However, I lack knowledge of what setting are required in the match engine to replicate the real-life, realistic defending that would actually look professional and organised (my biggest complaint in FM and very off-putting in terms of putting more hours into the game)!

Good luck! 😊

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By the way I think I'm onto something. Lots of goals, created chances, patterns, shape, movement & high possession & passes completed. Only issue is in my tweaking I had it a little possession heavy at the start and drew a couple of games and other AI team are undefeated.. I'm fairly sure I will win the title but I can't go to bed until it's done or i'm at least points ahead.

 

Newcastle H: 7-1 W

1725015205_Screenshot2021-05-02at06_30_35.png.0d4a4515783f6e8fe4f9b8c3d955f329.png

 

Chelsea H: 5-0 W

723804706_Screenshot2021-05-02at06_30_51.png.514f730a2355abe9c3fdeac70a6c4d3a.png

 

West Ham A: 3-0 W

1059391706_Screenshot2021-05-02at06_31_14.png.4139d2d4baa3db5ec695f687f0d6d552.png

 

 

Leicester H: 3-1 W

601664229_Screenshot2021-05-02at06_37_41.png.dcca4b03bc13b938b2ef151412ab6311.png

 

Average Possession

239988660_Screenshot2021-05-02at06_31_23.png.1b556d5721791f6c25d24bb613823b3f.png

 

XG for

1804349829_Screenshot2021-05-02at06_31_29.png.382514d62f5daab0e52bd390faa9318d.png

 

Clear Cut Chances

1328964022_Screenshot2021-05-02at06_31_37.png.90c39fa790d4d1249564232559a19101.png

 

And don't forget in a different league with less quality of opposition and a more cautious approach from the AI these numbers should be even better. I really should go to bed but I think this tactic is a genuinely good tactic but also gets what I want & I need to conclude this.

Edited by Cult of Football Manager
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Also check out this absolute jobsworth of a linesman ruining this passing move. Leicester had gone to a back 5 to hold onto their equaliser & this happened straight after.

I'm not impressed by this by a replication point of view necessarily, but purely from a FM point of view and to keep the ball this long in front of a backline in central areas then break through via a through ball down the centre of the pitch.

 

Cheers Lino

 

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1 hour ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Also check out this absolute jobsworth of a linesman ruining this passing move. Leicester had gone to a back 5 to hold onto their equaliser & this happened straight after.

I'm not impressed by this by a replication point of view necessarily, but purely from a FM point of view and to keep the ball this long in front of a backline in central areas then break through via a through ball down the centre of the pitch.

 

Cheers Lino

 

Absolutely incredible results, cheers.

Excellent passing move too. Admired the patience and the way your team artfully drew the opponent onto them, encapsulated the true Manchester City. From the looks of it you've absolutely nailed the passing and tempo settings too. Shame on that lino haha

Here's an excellent team goal my Sunderland team just scored vs Wigan

Rather enjoyed it as I see multiple Pep principles being observed here. First of all, patience in possession and using the keeper when you have to. Second, the positioning of the Inverted Wingback, who drifts infield to both draw the opposition and also create an angle for his right midfielder to receive the ball. Then, the high positioning of the Mezzala, who sprints high up the field after securing a midfield base. Finally, as the ball reaches the middle third, you can see the angles created by the RB, RCM and RM, who combine to fill inside low, inside high and wide channels respectively, a perfect overload. As the opposition shifts over, the right back switches play to the left central midfielder. Note the wonderful width maintained by the left winger throughout, stretching his marker and then gradually slipping into his blindside. A triple combination between the two Mezzalas, and the Pressing Forward contrive to release him for an easy tap in. Pumped my arms for that one.

This one is rather simple but also shows how the team has nailed the deep crossing mechanism. Right midfielder stretches the defense, lays it inside for De Bruyne, i mean, Bobby Gilmour, first time deep cross with lots of pace on it, expert header from Aguer... err Bobby Stewart.

Now where have you seen that before? https://streamable.com/rgzu9k#

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7 minutes ago, Ripamon said:

Absolutely incredible results, cheers.

Excellent passing move too. Admired the patience and the way your team artfully drew the opponent onto them, encapsulated the true Manchester City. From the looks of it you've absolutely nailed the passing and tempo settings too. Shame on that lino haha

Here's an excellent team goal my Sunderland team just scored vs Wigan

Rather enjoyed it as I see multiple Pep principles being observed here. First of all, patience in possession and using the keeper when you have to. Second, the positioning of the Inverted Wingback, who drifts infield to both draw the opposition and also create an angle for his right midfielder to receive the ball. Then, the high positioning of the Mezzala, who sprints high up the field after securing a midfield base. Finally, as the ball reaches the middle third, you can see the angles created by the RB, RCM and RM, who combine to fill inside low, inside high and wide channels respectively, a perfect overload. As the opposition shifts over, the right back switches play to the left central midfielder. Note the wonderful width maintained by the left winger throughout, stretching his marker and then gradually slipping into his blindside. A triple combination between the two Mezzalas, and the Pressing Forward contrive to release him for an easy tap in. Pumped my arms for that one.

This one is rather simple but also shows how the team has nailed the deep crossing mechanism. Right midfielder stretches the defense, lays it inside for De Bruyne, i mean, Bobby Gilmour, first time deep cross with lots of pace on it, expert header from Aguer... err Bobby Stewart.

Now where have you seen that before? https://streamable.com/rgzu9k#

Haha this is brilliant & Thank you for your comments! I'll respond properly to your last post and have a detailed read through of this current one a  little later on when i've finished this save off. I still haven't slept yet and this is taking longer then I expected! 

I think restarting with a team like Rangers or Benfica would throw up ridiculous results.

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9 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Haha this is brilliant & Thank you for your comments! I'll respond properly to your last post and have a detailed read through of this current one a  little later on when i've finished this save off. I still haven't slept yet and this is taking longer then I expected! 

I think restarting with a team like Rangers or Benfica would throw up ridiculous results.

Absolutely. Think you've finally cracked it at this point. I'm still wondering whether to give the AMR IW(s) with Hold Position Stay Wider more of a chance like you have. Ended up getting too frustrated at his movement when watching full games, but it's also true I analyzed that role way less than the others because of it. 

You've burned through this new City save at a terrific pace haha. Happens when you're seeing progress. Think we're about 90% done on recreating it at this point. Almost everything has fallen into place now 

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Just now, Ripamon said:

Absolutely. Think you've finally cracked it at this point. I'm still wondering whether to give the AMR IW(s) with Hold Position Stay Wider more of a chance like you have. Ended up getting too frustrated at his movement when watching full games, but it's also true I analyzed that role way less than the others because of it. 

You've burned through this new City save at a terrific pace haha. Happens when you're seeing progress. Think we're about 90% done on recreating it at this point. Almost everything has fallen into place now 

Well we will definitely come back to this and talk about it in more detail! In my tactic to see out the game i have the IW-S in the LM/RM slots and the Mezzalas get into the half space & receive the ball there better I feel, but i'm not sure whether that's because in that moment of the game we're winning and the other team is getting more and more aggressive to press the ball OR would it work from the start? I'm not at a moment to test that in this save as every point is crucial haha but I still think IW-S works better in the LM/RM overall but you can get them to work higher up especially with strikerless but strikerless is too passive to press. So i've gone for a mixture of everything I was seeing.

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11 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Well we will definitely come back to this and talk about it in more detail! In my tactic to see out the game i have the IW-S in the LM/RM slots and the Mezzalas get into the half space & receive the ball there better I feel, but i'm not sure whether that's because in that moment of the game we're winning and the other team is getting more and more aggressive to press the ball OR would it work from the start? I'm not at a moment to test that in this save as every point is crucial haha but I still think IW-S works better in the LM/RM overall but you can get them to work higher up especially with strikerless but strikerless is too passive to press. So i've gone for a mixture of everything I was seeing.

That's really quite possible. I do notice more half space runs from my Mezzala on the right, where I have an RM, than the one on the left, where I have a LW( inside forward)

If that really is the case that they're more willing to invade the half space when they don't have an AMLR on that side,presumably clogging up the space, then I guess it would come down to personal preferences. Personally, I wouldn't trade my KDBesque inside high runs and whipped crosses for anything.

But yeah after church today I'm gonna sit down and give the AMR some extended tests to see how it works for me, because let's face it, we all really want to use an aesthetic 4-3-3 that looks pretty in the tactic creator haha.

Also really glad the strikerless system is working out for you. I'm still obsessed with the 19/20 city recreation so I have to use a predatory striker like Aguero is (Pressing Forward Attack), but I'm definitely gonna give your tactics a try too 

 

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6 minutes ago, Ripamon said:

That's really quite possible. I do notice more half space runs from my Mezzala on the right, where I have an RM, than the one on the left, where I have a LW( inside forward)

If that really is the case that they're more willing to invade the half space when they don't have an AMLR on that side,presumably clogging up the space, then I guess it would come down to personal preferences. Personally, I wouldn't trade my KDBesque inside high runs and whipped crosses for anything.

But yeah after church today I'm gonna sit down and give the AMR some extended tests to see how it works for me, because let's face it, we all really want to use an aesthetic 4-3-3 that looks pretty in the tactic creator haha.

Also really glad the strikerless system is working out for you. I'm still obsessed with the 19/20 city recreation so I have to use a predatory striker like Aguero is (Pressing Forward Attack), but I'm definitely gonna give your tactics a try too 

 

 

This is what i'm using right now

385598542_Screenshot2021-05-02at09_21_55.png.d2b6122df6433699637ccc779237a8ed.png

 

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Posted (edited)

Right so I finally finished the season. I still have the champions league final to play but here's how the tactic played out over the season. I did drop points a few times early in the season when the tactic had a couple more support duties and was a very possession based tactic but not sustainable for a title challenge in a league like the premier league.

The tactic

 

How it Started:

815226066_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_19_20.png.801b70d0abb7940c956a8bacda7bc824.png

 

How it ended up ( after lots of tweaking along with trial and error with roles and duties etc )

image.png.a188eb61e41cc8be10936411845b861b.png

 

- Let me be clear this tactic is NOT perfect. It's very good at retaining the ball along with creating chances and finding ways to create space and overloads in various zones with various movements. I would say it's a great base tactic to tweak from & it would probably still be a good plug and play tactic with any team as long as you are one of the better teams in your division.

It needs to be better at stopping the counter, the DLP makes it a lot easier to recycle possession and play through the opposition lines of press but the role seems to be awful defensively on stopping the counter while being a little to forward thinking with his movements. In the original form with the PF-S I thought the front 5 movements were actually better when they did create chances the problem was it was too passive with the ball and those chances would be too few. Now if you're a top team in your division and you rarely go behind in a game you might rack up some serious stats here but going behind will require you to make changes to save the game.

Now i actually loved the movements of the Mezzala in the strikerless tactic i posted above a few days ago, it was far closer to being EXACTLY what i wanted from my analysis. The issue was we couldn't get enough pressure on the backline to stop teams playing out and dominating us with the ball making it very difficult to play our own game and win against patient teams or teams that scored early against us. Because of this I tried to recreate as much as i could but instead of a AM-S I started with a PF-S. 

It worked ok he got a few assists but didn't really do much in the games and hardly every scored in about 8 starts and became the clear issue in games where we weren't winning. 

The issue with the PF-A now is that he makes more runs in behind and drags defenders back which sounds like a good thing but it seems to make the Mezalla's space different and it's back to them making their runs and the IW-S now dribbling with it instead of passing like they were before with the strikerless. So frustrating.

We do get some great combinations though especially from the wide players scoring and creating far more then I expected

 

I've missed loads out but i've not slept in 24 hours and just wanted to make sure I got enough information across for people that are interested in reading about how it played.

 

 

 

League Table:

1960875007_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_04_33.png.8e9a2c03aa8002009c87737df67cbbb7.png

 

- Now what is interesting here is for a possession based tactic in FM that normally equals less goals scored and less against. But as you can see we scored over 100 goals and conceded 33 which was the 3rd best overall defensive record.

 

Average Possession & Passes completed:

306276360_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_04_41.png.e0e31a482fc921f96c1cee4357c379f9.png

61% & 19,000 is pretty good first season in the premier league if you are purely interested in the stats. I also played with my own real life qualifications and playing experience which is B license and Sunday league, so if you selected the 2 highest levels you probably could have done better then I did here!

I just can't wait to test this in a different league. Looking Only at statistics here for a second in FM, what i've found is with the good possession tactics is the overall domination of the game is usually down to how much better you are then the opposition. Now that seems ridiculously oversimplified. But what I mean is if you have a tactic that has flaws in it's ability to dominate, it will have a high water mark for possession, passes & shots etc. It doesn't matter how good your team is in relation to your league ( unless it gets ridiculous )  you'll always be around your flawed high water mark with potentially a couple of exceptions across the season.

 

In some of my early testing with City I found that no matter who we played against or how good my team got we couldn't get more then 63% possession and 500 passes in more then a couple of games a season these being the exceptions. The reason I found was that based on what my intentions were my tactic was poorly designed. When playing out or building an attack I had too many players in the same horizontal zones/lines. This made it extremely easy for the opposition to screen passes into the players. Now the better my players got it just meant now being even better then the opposition they could now just dribble at the player they are superior too or force an even riskier pass then was done previously but because of the quality of the player playing it and receiving it compared to the opposition it worked. And of course the "results" get better but my outcomes of my intentions weren't any different & the results when it comes to statistics didn't change too much either!

Here in this save it was noticeable we dominated some teams 70%+ some teams only 56%+ & a couple of teams in the cup at nearly 80%! The percentages seemed to fluctuate more on real things like systems & opposition player quality.

 

458713773_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_59_43.png.6c4dcf3a0ed9954b569e2d899c4330f3.png

 

Here I rotated my side which was all back up players except for Dias and Cancelo. The gap between my 11 and their 11 is about the gap I would say between my Rangers team I had and the other SPL teams. We absolutely dominated them playing excellent football and we just couldn't in that final third get the right through ball or time the movements right to score. If we played that game 100 times that would be the only time we'd lose it & my point here is the tactic has a lot more of a solid foundation then previously and I fully expect to get these kind of games on a more regular basis the better my team gets in relation to the opposition especially playing in somewhere like the SPL.

 

XG for

1882024113_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_04_48.png.113127340edec519a4f9a8981b7e78a8.png

 

CCC's

 

1450787730_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_04_59.png.cc657651fb151da82a2b7de47278bacb.png

 

XG Against

2038751974_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_05_17.png.f034fddb6c75a8d8853930421e5ca0d2.png

 

 

Some Average Positions from games:

 

Liverpool H 3-2 W

54079534_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_06_41.png.34ae5e4b28104d930ced347001b90edf.png

 

- This was a crucial end of season title decider and we won 3-2. You can see our double pivot and 3-2 build up shape. It would be nice if the RCB would stay wider & i've tried using that PI but sometimes it feels like it gives 0 benefit but then he gets beaten in the gap between him and the LCB a lot easier on the counter.

- The RW is a lot more narrow then the LW despite them both having the exact same role & duty. The other weird thing is they are both right footed so you'd expect the winger cutting in on his strong foot to be the one averaging closer to the middle but that isn't what we find.

 

 

359809560_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_07_01.png.146b371b7ed7f9602bcff1fbabb796f8.png

 

This is how it looks out of possession I've only done this for this one game but incase you were interested.

 

Man Utd H 2-1 W

 

445764231_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_07_54.png.e75257cb184eb3ee748c6cd231c12535.png

 

- Another title decider close to the end of the season. A lot more spread out then the liverpool game despite them being 3 games apart and no tactical changes.

 

Newcastle A 3-1 W 

1977308515_Screenshot2021-05-02at12_12_14.png.a28bcb0bc65fbf1260ff982fa1a2ab5f.png

 

Thought it would be good to show how it looked against a team playing 3/5 at the back.

 

 I have lots of thoughts that i've tried to get across there quickly. Please feel free to download and try. I hope you destroy some teams with it I'll put up both the first and second version of the new tactic as you might prefer the stats and want the support duties everywhere.

I also did try it with the CDM just central in the 2017-2019 W shape which I'll share too.

 

 

Edited by Cult of Football Manager
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