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Manchester City Pep Guardiola Analysis and Tactical Recreation


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How it started support version 2020-2021 3-2 shape double pivot: ( Slight More possession slightly weaker overall tactic )

4-3-3 Manchester City 2020-2021 ThecultofFM Support.fmf

How it ended & current Version 2020 - 2021 3-2 shape double pivot : ( Tactic used in save ) 

4-3-3 Manchester City 2020-2021 ThecultofFM.fmf

 

Alternative 2017 - 2019 W shape 2-3 build up 

4-3-3 Manchester City 2017-2019 ThecultofFM.fmf

 

I need to finally go get some sleep but I'm looking forward to hearing how people do with this. If you're playing in any league other then the premier league i'll be shocked if you don't absolutely destroy teams in terms of dominating areas of the pitch and therefore possession! 

I'll look to start a new save too in a different league to test and tweak a little.

 

One other thing if you need to get a goal all i did was put the tempo to the highest amount first. 

Second change attacking and LB to CWB-A

Third Change Ultra attacking menality. More often then not if you went through that process early enough you got a goal back.

 

Be careful with those counter attacks! they're annoying. I think my first change would be the DLP and changing him to a role that keeps mostly his in possession positives but then is different in transition or out of possession! Maybe a defend duty if that didn't change it to structured otherwise that could have major knock on effects to other players.

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I don't know about more involved but involved differently. If I keep the CDM centrally both IWB's take up similar positions either side, with him set to one side the IWB on the right side seems to average a lot narrower of a position especially it seems the closer you get to the opposition goal. Hope that helps

 

Also to everyone else i'm currently tweaking the up to date 433 it's too bad defensively for my liking I said it wasn't perfect and ready haha! currently testing and hopefully will have a solution pretty soon. 

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I decided to start a new save with a new team in a different league and I picked my favourite Norwegian team Rosenborg.

 

Now I had a terrible start to this season for a number of reasons.

1 being that I signed about 15 players.

2, I was tweaking the tactic and trying to find ways to continue the dominance of the zones on the ball but being better to defend the counter in transition and better out of possession.

 

After tweaking I think I've improved it a little. After all of them I think as the tactic is playing right this second the only tweak from the last tactic I uploaded is the RCB on close down less but I'll upload it anyway incase i'm wrong.

Here's the last two games now that we've finally settled down and accepted the new style of football 

846556131_Screenshot2021-05-04at04_36_13.png.2373a65d0d451c32a9558219d5b3b960.png

1721379807_Screenshot2021-05-04at04_36_05.png.a49f4f99a0d17d76ce1fb81d91633267.png

 

 

1768297283_Screenshot2021-05-04at04_35_54.png.672a44fdb11bfee57cee3bc9aada062d.png

 

In terms of results we are currently Joined top and we're really starting to hit top form now. We just clawed back from 7 points behind just 4 games ago and we're really starting to look good. When the team starts to understand the tactic and you hit good form the football is beautiful to watch in which i'll do a detailed explanation at some point but not until i've tested it in multiple leagues. I do think this one is less plug and play then the original one but is potentially better long term. We will see.

 

4-3-3 Rosenborg.fmf

 

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4 hours ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

I don't know about more involved but involved differently. If I keep the CDM centrally both IWB's take up similar positions either side, with him set to one side the IWB on the right side seems to average a lot narrower of a position especially it seems the closer you get to the opposition goal. Hope that helps

 

Also to everyone else i'm currently tweaking the up to date 433 it's too bad defensively for my liking I said it wasn't perfect and ready haha! currently testing and hopefully will have a solution pretty soon. 

You can adjust the narrowness or wideness of the RB by using the underlap or overlap shout respectively.

Of course this has the implication of raising his mentality and lowering the wingers, so may not be what you want.

But I've found with the underlap shout, he stays super narrow like Walker occasionally does and blocks the middle from counterattacks.

Secondly, I do think you should consider removing the extremely urgent shout. You could just use more urgent pressing instead.

The problem with extremely urgent is yes, it simulates fantastic pressure especially in the moment after losing the ball, along with counterpressing. But it also negates the fact that City have the best "rest defence" in the league. They maintain a fantastic defensive block when the opponent has settled in possession, with disciplined positioning, rather than haphazardly abandoning their positions to press without first ascertaining the presence of cover 

Personally I use neither more urgent pressing nor extremely urgent. Instead I use a split block defense, much like City do in real life. The default pressing option for Positive is slightly more urgent, and that's what I use.

The striker, wingers and one central midfielder are set to close down more and tackle harder. It replicates City's 4-4-2 shape in the initial transition when the opponent tries to build from the back. So basically, you still get to press ferociously. Just more concentrated in the front, as they do. I also never liked the way extremely urgent causes the players to fully vacate their positions.

My DMs only instructions are to tackle harder (so he can pick up Fernandinho yellow cards and stop transitions) and dribble more, because much like you, I've found this instruction allows him a bit more mobility to move up and place more accurate passes, rather than taking opponents on like we initially feared. When he doesn't have dribble more, I find he's much more likely to place a long ball to the flank which may or may not connect.

Anyways, I feel like this split block simulates excellent frontal  pressure while also allowing for a calm Rest Defence. I've found I concede very few goals with this style of defending. My Schalke screenshot from earlier where we only conceded 19 goals is around the number I average per season with this tactical setup 

 

 

 

Edited by Ripamon
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4 hours ago, Ripamon said:

You can adjust the narrowness or wideness of the RB by using the underlap or overlap shout respectively.

Of course this has the implication of raising his mentality and lowering the wingers, so may not be what you want.

But I've found with the underlap shout, he stays super narrow like Walker occasionally does and blocks the middle from counterattacks.

Secondly, I do think you should consider removing the extremely urgent shout. You could just use more urgent pressing instead.

The problem with extremely urgent is yes, it simulates fantastic pressure especially in the moment after losing the ball, along with counterpressing. But it also negates the fact that City have the best "rest defence" in the league. They maintain a fantastic defensive block when the opponent has settled in possession, with disciplined positioning, rather than haphazardly abandoning their positions to press without first ascertaining the presence of cover 

Personally I use neither more urgent pressing nor extremely urgent. Instead I use a split block defense, much like City do in real life. The default pressing option for Positive is slightly more urgent, and that's what I use.

The striker, wingers and one central midfielder are set to close down more and tackle harder. It replicates City's 4-4-2 shape in the initial transition when the opponent tries to build from the back. So basically, you still get to press ferociously. Just more concentrated in the front, as they do. I also never liked the way extremely urgent causes the players to fully vacate their positions.

My DMs only instructions are to tackle harder (so he can pick up Fernandinho yellow cards and stop transitions) and dribble more, because much like you, I've found this instruction allows him a bit more mobility to move up and place more accurate passes, rather than taking opponents on like we initially feared. When he doesn't have dribble more, I find he's much more likely to place a long ball to the flank which may or may not connect.

Anyways, I feel like this split block simulates excellent frontal  pressure while also allowing for a calm Rest Defence. I've found I concede very few goals with this style of defending. My Schalke screenshot from earlier where we only conceded 19 goals is around the number I average per season with this tactical setup 

 

 

 

HI mate,

First off thank you for sharing your thoughts and findings it's always great to see different ways of achieving things but by the way the second half of your message went I feel this should be mentioned as it's probably been missed.

I would like to take another opportunity to say that I am not trying to replicate them out of possession at least until I've perfected the in possession. To try and do both in the game is going to leave you having to decide between gaining and losing different things even more. 

Yeah I actually did City's out of possession pressing specifically for my UEFA B & what they do in real life is very difficult to replicate in FM especially when in one of their pressing shape's where the opposite winger tucking into the midfield as a central midfielder goes out to press a CB to maintain a compact shape. This is one of the reasons I never bothered to attempt to recreate the out of possession. Even this season they've switched out of possession traps and set ups depending on the team so I don't agree that there is a "City way" out of possession to replicate.  Against Liverpool they've what appears like a flat 442 out of possession with the opposite winger moving into the centre often. Then against Everton Jesus a number of times would not press the CB instead dropping onto the CDM and having the 2 wide players press the back line where it's almost looked like a narrow diamond. Also the way they've locked teams into one side & stopped them retaining doesn't work in the game which is yet another reason why I haven't bothered. I also feel with less intensity on the pressing settings kill a number of factors on the game that influence domination in different areas of the pitch. 

Again the disciplined shape they retreat into after a certain period I'm very aware of this it's been talked about on sky sports since about 2008 but again once the opposition play a pass back into a zone or situation they're happy with they will then start to press aggressively again they won't just sit in their shape the entire time. 

My Original tactic with Boston with the highest levels of press conceded 21 goals the entire 46 game season with the most maximum pressing as a non title favourite. So to just put it down to pressing settings as a binary problem and solution is misleading. And I'm not saying you here but it does seem on this forum if you're not playing what people consider to be a "split block" it's not realistic, it won't work and it's the only way to defend on this forum. Also if your understanding is just pressing with front players in this case the front 5 and the others behind it not then my tactics on the absolute maximum still only does that especially while they're building their attack.

 

I also encourage anyone to google search the words split block or split block football. You'll see almost all of the hits that are football related are from the sports interactive forums. Be careful what you read on here and taking it at face value from the number of years someone has been here or the likes they've got on their profile.

 

1480136335_Screenshot2021-05-04at11_52_01.png.310ff04e45670e3ffd4da2c34fb73068.png

Edited by Cult of Football Manager
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1 minute ago, cristhianlinhatti said:

@Cult of Football Manager, is possible  replicate this 4-4-2-0 played agaist PSG?

 

 

I was thinking about it during the game. I'm just tweaking some stuff now with the recent one and got some tests running by some people. 

I'd have to rewatch the game and analyse it but lots of parts in the front 5 if you will were very similar to the Everton game it's just in the Everton game Jesus was listed as the striker but you could make loads of still images and clips of city looking like they had 2 strikers or 0 depending on the moment!

I'm going to make a video soon about the tactic and talk about some of the Pep analysis and the Zones used looking at them rather then positions. What's been brilliant this season is just how different they can look with a few players rotated and play within the same philosophy and zonal dominance with different shapes!

I missed the first 2 minutes does anyone know what that was on the pitch was it just frost/snow!?

 

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The best tactic creator in the world @knap has been testing the latest version.

image.png.29f23aa68a37ca06fd040cfff17498a8.png

image.png.e25bb28701f148cc0a80dfab74a39b4a.png 

I believe this was a normal test with no tweaks yet. Assistant manager also picked the team for every game and no transfers.

Purely from a statistical point of view to get 60% Average Possession and 20,000 passes completed + is a Very good first season in the premier league whoever you play as and I suspect it could be higher in others. This averages to 526 Passes per game again if its pure statistics that matter to you.

 

The problem is 92 goals scored isn't amazing for FM and 29 is a little high so tweaks obviously need to be made to make it a better overall tactic.

I just makes me wonder now playing in a smaller league and playing the save properly in terms of buying players to fit into the tactic etc what sort of numbers we could throw up. 

I will add clips eventually they take a while to process and I've been trying to just play as much as possible!

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13 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

The best tactic creator in the world @knap has been testing the latest version.

image.png.29f23aa68a37ca06fd040cfff17498a8.png

image.png.e25bb28701f148cc0a80dfab74a39b4a.png 

I believe this was a normal test with no tweaks yet. Assistant manager also picked the team for every game and no transfers.

Purely from a statistical point of view to get 60% Average Possession and 20,000 passes completed + is a Very good first season in the premier league whoever you play as and I suspect it could be higher in others. This averages to 526 Passes per game again if its pure statistics that matter to you.

 

The problem is 92 goals scored isn't amazing for FM and 29 is a little high so tweaks obviously need to be made to make it a better overall tactic.

I just makes me wonder now playing in a smaller league and playing the save properly in terms of buying players to fit into the tactic etc what sort of numbers we could throw up. 

I will add clips eventually they take a while to process and I've been trying to just play as much as possible!

Good results! But would be interesting to see a test with a more midlevel club like Spurs or Arsenal. And not just Liverpool and Man City. 

I find that in the game almost any tactic works with those two. Same as with Real Madrid or PSG (not to test with I mean).

 

 

 

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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6 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Good results! But would be interesting to see a test with a more midlevel club like Spurs or Arsenal. And not just Liverpool and Man City. 

I find that in the game almost any tactic works with those two. Same as with Real Madrid or PSG.

 

 

 

 

That's definitely a good point and something that has to be taken into consideration. On the other hand if it only worked with top level clubs in respective to their division I would be ok with that as long as the recreation is close. I wouldn't be totally disappointed as Pep himself hasn't shown us the results of that experiment yet!

Also I think many people despite playing as top clubs struggle to even resemble a possession based system ( not even a pep recreation specifically )  and I think that plays a part in the interest in these types of threads. I'm assuming there's people that come in here just want to have some ideas on how to create a tactic that can keep the ball!

I'll test after Rosenborg.

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 I haven't really uploaded many clips of the new tactic so I thought I'd do that from the City save I first played through and the Rosenborg save. I haven't had much time as my clips take ages to process so to save time these are all goals and moves leading to goals there are definitely better examples of the patterns and movements we are looking for I just haven't had time yet and will get round to sharing those soon.

 

Everton A:

  • Longer build up and different players taking responsibility of the wide zo e

 

Chelsea H:

  • Wide players holding width really well and great finish from LW reminded me of a Henry at Barca or Mahrez at city just on the other side.

 

 

Leeds H:

  • LCM into half space between the FB & CB to score. Perfect!

 

CL A: 

  • Long patient move where nearly everyone touches the ball.

 

VIlla A:

  • Switch over to the weak side with the winger on the outside of the backline

 

 

Brighton H:

  • One of the best assists i've seen looks like a no look pass haha! Incidentally it's the RCM who's played through beyond the backline here to score

 

 

Chelsea H:

  • Goal starts with Ederson playing out from the back and finishes with the striker showing when required he can be a threat in behind.

 

 

Chelsea H:

  • Perfect run by LCM between their CB and player occupying the RB role. Ball played from our player in a wide zone/

 

 

Chelsea H:

  • Brilliant passing move finished by the RW staying wide then timing his run more central to get the ball on the outside of the back line and scoring

 

 

Southampton H:

  • This move is like all of the City players are a step ahead of the opposition probably one of the best overall moves.

 

 

West Ham H:

  • Just finishing off with a great example of the Mezzala and IW both occupying the attention of the FB and as soon as the IW goes to dribble into the zone the Mezzala threatens in behind creating space for a shot and goal. This is the same principle as the goal in Everton game from the analysis but different players, different side and in different zones but achieving the same principle. 

 

 

 

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Also here are some results from some testing from somebody who does this on a regular basis. Here they play as United, Fulham and West Ham all in the same save.

 

image.png.1957b87fd1009f26218d2bbbf9fd786e.png

 

image.png.ebfa739b1399ef58e78e7d1a9bf5a82d.png

 

image.png.15b5ba3df6579fe07de6abfce032929e.png

 

What's surprising is how well it does with a relegation battler but how it underperformed as a tactic with United. Now I never expected this tactic if we ever perfected it to be a fully Plug and play tactic. It's very specific in what it's trying to achieve and we still have no idea in real life if Pep took over West Ham what sort of position they'd end up in. 

The new tactic is definitely a tactic you have to build your squad towards not in type of player but also in quality. If you're a top team in your league it will work for you I mean don't forget in that test they don't play any games and the assistant picks the team and makes his own changes every game both subs and tactical.

 

In my first 2 Play through's we have this.

 

Manchester City PL & CL winners:

 

League Table:

1730130_Screenshot2021-05-06at11_06_08.png.a1715f20aa300219944e6e70405ce640.png

 

Average Possession:

 

51738125_Screenshot2021-05-06at11_06_35.png.649e8428b7b80b6deec6bd471d14d21b.png

 

XG For:

242566258_Screenshot2021-05-06at11_06_46.png.af490fecbea0f8aed3bd4334e0e06d20.png

 

XG Against:

 

1051081213_Screenshot2021-05-06at11_07_17.png.1ac3e2d661fc55cd802455572c62dc59.png

 

 

I didn't play the tactic from the very start I was tweaking. We won all 19 games at Home and dropped all our points away which is interesting. We got caught a lot on the counter and either a different role for the left pivot or moving him central are 2 options for that. I prefer how it plays strikerless but it's a much worse tactic I feel overall so far but will go back to it at some point. It's probably close to where City will end up in real life. They dropped a lot of points this season early on but will break 90 points most likely but not by a lot and are in the Champions league final.

 

Rosenborg League winners ( No domestic cup 2020/2021 season ):

 

League Table:

1542402041_Screenshot2021-05-05at01_26_15.png.7943e8e83e3370372fa07dc831ea97b1.png

 

Average Possession

100653826_Screenshot2021-05-05at01_26_23.png.a7936c20e8556a691a7611d23b9d18f0.png

 

XG For:

 

1450185842_Screenshot2021-05-05at01_26_31.png.36aaa17f50157a99c4d877db3a75b40a.png

 

XG Against:

2140989238_Screenshot2021-05-05at01_26_51.png.f412b1388956266253ff69710896c9b3.png

 

 

No tweaking really in this save I did sign a lot of players ( I got carried away with the cheap Norwegian market ) & we dropped A LOT of points early on!

 

988071321_Screenshot2021-05-06at11_14_28.png.b1640ec514a66067ce041aa44cfa7f6b.png

 

 

We then recovered and won the league.

I'm looking forward to continue testing a member messaged me a test he was running with his own create a club and he won the championship with 66% average possession & is currently in the top 4 on 57% in his first season in the premier league.

My favourite for movements was basically this tactic but strikerless with the false striker on a support duty and the RB on Support duty. This got not only a great variety of movements but our Mezzala's making the desired runs on a more regular basis. The issue is it was far too passive and dropped points too often.

PF-A links up well enough and still threats the back line which opens up other combinations but we will see.

 

In my save with Boston we are still dominating with the old tactic. We don't get enough runs between the FB & CB but if you're not really bothered with that then the original is performing very well still!

 

1049265684_Screenshot2021-05-06at10_36_13.png.6eb7fed257b327be46786e5c2bc72fd3.png

 

203534834_Screenshot2021-05-06at11_23_17.png.b518211a26b31b77eb0244969f2a8c35.png

 

Edited by Cult of Football Manager
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I'm Excited.....

Playing with some tweaks as Tottenham on a new save to test with a lower quality and reputation team.

 

Game 1:

Clip 1:

Now it's not perfect the RW does have a go at dribbling himself first but does play the RCM into the gap between the FB & CB who crosses for us to score YES progress if we can make this more regular.

 

Game 2:

 

This clip is about as perfect as you're going to get in our "pattern 1" combination of movements to break the back 4 between the FB & CB. 

 

Breakdown:

 

 1:

760131462_Screenshot2021-05-06at22_11_29.png.8c73e8289a20563e50c1b856e5f8c49d.png

 

  • The RB is just out of the camera shot here at the start of us playing out from the back. He will move central and occupy the attention of their LW opening up the chance for our RW to drop off the front line and receive the ball in a slightly deeper zone without being screened.

 

2.

1722919006_Screenshot2021-05-06at22_04_49.png.e66a0cb022ba2706b4c64f1d04b6e482.png

 

3.

797609438_Screenshot2021-05-06at22_04_57.png.49c170724ca9a954bfa72f26a8d371a2.png

 

4.

 

2019216209_Screenshot2021-05-06at22_05_05.png.cab41f56e2646e4e805a2579fd03600a.png

 

  • Here the RW is now on the ball and the RCM looks to make his run between the fullback and centre back. 

 

5.

163351163_Screenshot2021-05-06at22_05_21.png.072b0ecee45c0538e0aa1137b2ca999d.png

 

  • The left back decides late to leave the RW and go with the runner but it's too late.

 

6. 

 

209047342_Screenshot2021-05-06at22_05_40.png.f341bf647c91d1b4c1fd758ec3d073d2.png

 

  • He breaks all the way through to this point and the Striker makes a great pull back movement very much Aguero like.

 

7.

 

2086189092_ScreenshotSpurs.jpg.aa6ff965ece4242ab88f79d6ddcc2cc0.jpg

 

  • And a great finish to finish off a great move.

 

 

Game 2 Clip 2:

 

 

 

This one is arguable an even better example as the opposition fullback moves straight out to press clearly leaving the gap for us to play in and score from. The LCM delays on the ball a little before releasing it but the move to that point is absolutely brilliant and it's unbelievable to see both of these goals in the same game.

 

We might actually be onto something here.

Edited by Cult of Football Manager
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I was hoping to have a full save to bring everyone but i've been a little busy with other stuff. 

 

In case it takes a while here is my current set up getting the movement in the clips above.

148942700_Screenshot2021-05-08at01_22_49.png.a200e9430ab709e9e3cf007ea8706126.png

 

4-3-3 Pep Recreation 433 TheCultofFM.fmf

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6 hours ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

I was hoping to have a full save to bring everyone but i've been a little busy with other stuff. 

 

In case it takes a while here is my current set up getting the movement in the clips above.

148942700_Screenshot2021-05-08at01_22_49.png.a200e9430ab709e9e3cf007ea8706126.png

 

4-3-3 Pep Recreation 433 TheCultofFM.fmf 44.12 kB · 9 downloads

The amount of testing you've done is incredible. Also how you regularly pump out such detailed posts haha. Cheers mate.

This setup looks pretty good, I must say. I'll give it a whirl too.

I've refined my own tactics and played a full season with Lyon with excellent results, will make a post soon but a bit lazy haha. 

 

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Great stuff with the patterns of play there.

For what it's worth, this is the closest I've managed to get to creating those situations with a 2-3-5 (trying to keep Team Instructions to a minimum) on FM20:

Balanced
Much Shorter Passing, Play Out of Defence, Low Crosses, Underlap Left, Underlap Right, Focus Play Through Middle
Counter-Press
Higher DL

SKd

IWBs - CDd - CDd - IWBs

Ad 

MEZa - MEZa

IWs (Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Close Down More) - IWs (Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Close Down More)

F9s (Close Down More)

That's not the most adventurous setup, but I was playing in the Football League with less talented players, rather than being expected to win the PL/CL every season - still, the results were very solid - particularly defensively. If I needed a goal, I would increase the Mentality, drop to Shorter Passing, and sometimes use Be More Expressive and Work Ball Into Box together to break teams down. You could also use more aggressive out of possession instructions if you have the players for it.

As you've done in your latest version, I found that the key to getting the 'free 8' to make those runs beyond the wingers was:

  • Mezzala on Attack - rather than starting from an AM position, you want them to start deep, then push high up into the halfspaces. The Attacking mentality means they get into dangerous areas - I've found the Mezzala on Support doesn't get forward enough to give a well-defined front five for overloading a back four.
  • Inverted Winger on Support at AMRL - rather than starting from the MRL strata, you want them to start high at AMRL, then move deeper. The Support duty means that they will drop off to receive the ball, which creates space. What's also important is to have them on 'Stay Wider', so they maintain the width. The Inside Forward comes inside too much even with 'Stay Wider', and the Winger is hardcoded to 'Run Wide with Ball' and Cross More Often, which I find means they will try and beat the full back down the inside more often than making those inside passes, even with 'Work Ball Into Box' or 'Narrow'. I also like them in the AMRL strata so they will press the opposition as a front three with the FC.
  • Underlap - this encourages those inside passes even more, but also increases the mentality of the Inverted Wing Backs and reduces that of the wingers. I wouldn't personally feel the need to use an Attack duty at full back, as I really like the positioning that IWBs and Underlap gives you - they will support attacks, but also provide cover against counter-attacks to make up for the aggressive Mezzalas.
Edited by Mike_Cardinal
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2 hours ago, Ripamon said:

The amount of testing you've done is incredible. Also how you regularly pump out such detailed posts haha. Cheers mate.

This setup looks pretty good, I must say. I'll give it a whirl too.

I've refined my own tactics and played a full season with Lyon with excellent results, will make a post soon but a bit lazy haha. 

 

Thanks mate I really appreciate it! It's definitely designed for a top side but the only issue I found with a team like Spurs is the striker role. The DLF moves and creates how I want the striker to move and create but then just seems to not score as often as a PF-A which is what I changed to if I need a goal!

I'm going to play a full season with City to finish it off & I'll post findings. If anyone bas any tweaks feel free to tell me and share and @Ripamon if you do tweak it to your less urgent pressing style let us know if it's any better as it's still not perfect defensively but it is better!

 

haha no worries mate just screenshot your tactic and the league table no analysis needed haha!

 

47 minutes ago, Mike_Cardinal said:

Great stuff with the patterns of play there.

For what it's worth, this is the closest I've managed to get to creating those situations with a 2-3-5 (trying to keep Team Instructions to a minimum) on FM20:

Balanced
Much Shorter Passing, Play Out of Defence, Low Crosses, Underlap Left, Underlap Right, Focus Play Through Middle
Counter-Press
Higher DL

SKd

IWBs - CDd - CDd - IWBs

Ad 

MEZa - MEZa

IWs (Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Close Down More) - IWs (Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Close Down More)

F9s (Close Down More)

That's not the most adventurous setup, but I was playing in the Football League with less talented players, rather than being expected to win the PL/CL every season - still, the results were very solid - particularly defensively. If I needed a goal, I would increase the Mentality, drop to Shorter Passing, and sometimes use Be More Expressive and Work Ball Into Box together to break teams down. You could also use more aggressive out of possession instructions if you have the players for it.

As you've done in your latest version, I found that the key to getting the 'free 8' to make those runs beyond the wingers was:

  • Mezzala on Attack - rather than starting from an AM position, you want them to start deep, then push high up into the halfspaces. The Attacking mentality means they get into dangerous areas - I've found the Mezzala on Support doesn't get forward enough to give a well-defined front five for overloading a back four.
  • Inverted Winger on Support at AMRL - rather than starting from the MRL strata, you want them to start high at AMRL, then move deeper. The Support duty means that they will drop off to receive the ball, which creates space. What's also important is to have them on 'Stay Wider', so they maintain the width. The Inside Forward comes inside too much even with 'Stay Wider', and the Winger is hardcoded to 'Run Wide with Ball' and Cross More Often, which I find means they will try and beat the full back down the inside more often than making those inside passes, even with 'Work Ball Into Box' or 'Narrow'. I also like them in the AMRL strata so they will press the opposition as a front three with the FC.
  • Underlap - this encourages those inside passes even more, but also increases the mentality of the Inverted Wing Backs and reduces that of the wingers. I wouldn't personally feel the need to use an Attack duty at full back, as I really like the positioning that IWBs and Underlap gives you - they will support attacks, but also provide cover against counter-attacks to make up for the aggressive Mezzalas.

 

haha it sounds like we've been through similar issues and found similar solutions ! on FM 20 you say?

A lower mentality I can see being a huge benefit to get movements & patterns etc but also requiring more in game work to tweak & fix any issues?

 

Interesting with the Support duties everywhere and it's something I did consider the F-9 with 2 IW-S but DLF seemed to work pretty well but I will definitely look to revisit this as I haven't liked using the DLF role since FM 16 for some reason. I know it's always about the rest of the tactic but I've just not liked it for a long time.. but it's ok for now!

and with your Defend duty at CDM ( Which is my other position I would still look to change for my own tactic ) I assume you end up on flexible too with your selection of roles and duties?

Feel free to share some screenshots of league tables or results if you're getting good ones!

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32 minutes ago, Cult of Football Manager said:

Thanks mate I really appreciate it! It's definitely designed for a top side but the only issue I found with a team like Spurs is the striker role. The DLF moves and creates how I want the striker to move and create but then just seems to not score as often as a PF-A which is what I changed to if I need a goal!

I'm going to play a full season with City to finish it off & I'll post findings. If anyone bas any tweaks feel free to tell me and share and @Ripamon if you do tweak it to your less urgent pressing style let us know if it's any better as it's still not perfect defensively but it is better!

 

haha no worries mate just screenshot your tactic and the league table no analysis needed haha!

 

 

haha it sounds like we've been through similar issues and found similar solutions ! on FM 20 you say?

A lower mentality I can see being a huge benefit to get movements & patterns etc but also requiring more in game work to tweak & fix any issues?

 

Interesting with the Support duties everywhere and it's something I did consider the F-9 with 2 IW-S but DLF seemed to work pretty well but I will definitely look to revisit this as I haven't liked using the DLF role since FM 16 for some reason. I know it's always about the rest of the tactic but I've just not liked it for a long time.. but it's ok for now!

and with your Defend duty at CDM ( Which is my other position I would still look to change for my own tactic ) I assume you end up on flexible too with your selection of roles and duties?

Feel free to share some screenshots of league tables or results if you're getting good ones!

Yes the DLF (A) unfortunately isn't as frequently in contact with the defensive line, so not really a frequent target for through balls or holding up the play in advanced positions really, and they'll never be in the box for a quick cross.

PF(a) is like a more aggressive complete forward but unfortunately so static in comparison. Sometimes he just stays in the center (even with roam) waiting. I find the Advanced Forward has way more movement bit encourages too many long balls haha 

It's so hard to get right really. These days I'm liking the CF(a) a lot more because he will make occasional runs in the box as well as drop deep to link play. 

Honestly I'm beginning to see the magic of using slightly less instructions and allowing your players make their own decisions within a broader tactical framework. For example I've been watching more matches on full and I'm beginning to get disillusioned with the "low crosses instruction"

Sure we normally use smaller forwards and yes it looks glorious when it comes off, and lastly I know it doesn't mean they will always cross low. But I'm seeing so many opportunities where the shot is blocked by the defender because it was a low cross and he could get his body in the way, or when he drills the cross across the ground when it needed just a bit more elevation. 

I've realized that to a certain extent the type of cross will be dependent on the strikers profile anyways. They'll usually put it in the air for Calvert Lewin but they'll drill it across the ground for Moukouko where possible.

So yeah I think you should also consider removing the instruction for the time being and see where it takes you. 

I used to get annoyed with how many point blank headers my players would sky over the bar, but now I get annoyed at how they blast the low cross into the defenders shins haha. 

Anyways, just a random observation. Cheers 

 

 

 

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