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A Simple Build, Evolution Leading to Success, Back Three Special


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Great post and good analysis of your squad. I also like the decisions you made about your tactics. It looks quite simple, but is well thought out.

Btw, I always wondered how to create those GIF's. Maybe someone can PM me to not disturb this thread.

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2 minutes ago, CARRERA said:

Great post and good analysis of your squad. I also like the decisions you made about your tactics. It looks quite simple, but is well thought out.

Btw, I always wondered how to create those GIF's. Maybe someone can PM me to not disturb this thread.

Thanks man.

i just wanted to show that it can be easy to get caught up in it all and get overwhelmed going back to basics can always help.

The second build should be far behind when things get a little more interesting and I’ll disclose my set piece routines. Before a do the final picture of the super system they became. 
 

in terms of GIF I use gyazo. Very easy to use but you need to pay 

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1 minute ago, halfspace3000 said:

Very cool thread , hope to see more of the evolution

Thanks! Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have the second title season written up with the evolution into a more attacking shape  

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1 hour ago, coach vahid said:

Happy to see you open a new thread. Always a pleasure to read you. 

Thanks very much. A different idea than doing recreation this time. As much as I enjoyed Atalanta it required a lot of external research. This time I thought I would show how i grow and tune my tactics rather than just building. 

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Brilliant write up.

I also really enjoyed your Atalanta recreation. They’re one of my favourite sides to watch in real life but it’s cool to see the journey you’ll be going on here too. Especially how your overload to isolate has been so effective with the amount of assists and goals coming from those areas. 
 

Do you think perhaps a modified version of this would work in the lower leagues? I’m currently implementing a counter attacking style in the 6th Tier in England mostly using a 4-4-2 or 5-3-2 but I’m often winning by just a goal and the games are very tight. Tempted to take some elements from here and see if it can be done! 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Fantasista10 said:

Brilliant write up.

I also really enjoyed your Atalanta recreation. They’re one of my favourite sides to watch in real life but it’s cool to see the journey you’ll be going on here too. Especially how your overload to isolate has been so effective with the amount of assists and goals coming from those areas. 
 

Do you think perhaps a modified version of this would work in the lower leagues? I’m currently implementing a counter attacking style in the 6th Tier in England mostly using a 4-4-2 or 5-3-2 but I’m often winning by just a goal and the games are very tight. Tempted to take some elements from here and see if it can be done! 
 

 

The easy answer is try it out. Am a firm believer that the game is fluid and there is no set in stone rules. Of course there is things you shouldn’t do and things that won’t work. But the true beauty of it all is you can often put your own spin on things much like real life. If we all followed the rules football would be boring and there would be no innovation. Imagine being Chris wilder getting promoted then using overlapping cb’s people would call that insane but the first year it caught so many people of guard.

I will explain more detail later as I link the tactics all into a big system but the most crucial thing in tactics is looking at the system as a whole rather just specific parts.

you say your using counter attacking So elements of the system will work for you but only if you have the right players. Hence why I showed the bit on comparison of my team in the league.

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I do like how simple you've made this tactic.  It's not a simple tactic, just simply done.  It means you can apply the general ideas to a lot of different playing and personnel situations. I used to put in so many instructions and micro-manage, but it often works so much better to figure out how you want to play, then set up roles and general TI's to allow the players you have to play the way you want them to.

Looking forward to going deep into this tactic.

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5 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

I do like how simple you've made this tactic.  It's not a simple tactic, just simply done.  It means you can apply the general ideas to a lot of different playing and personnel situations. I used to put in so many instructions and micro-manage, but it often works so much better to figure out how you want to play, then set up roles and general TI's to allow the players you have to play the way you want them to.

Looking forward to going deep into this tactic.

Couldn’t agree more. One of the biggest problems with most tactics is the use of unnecessary amounts of team instructions which are often contradictory of one and other and the desired style of play. When it comes to team instructions I don’t add them unless I’m trying to create some very specific that the mentality doesn’t give me. 

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Great write up. 

I've been playing around with a 3-5-2 in my current save and while I've significantly exceeded expectations (promoted with Holstein Kiel first season/6th in the Bundesliga the next) I never really feel in control at all. I have one of the lowest possession percentages and find the wingbacks are constantly running down cul-de-sacs because of limited passing options. 

 

I have a pretty decent squad for the league now and had hoped that we'd hold onto the ball better and create more chances but I feel I'm going to have to change things up fairly significantly if I want to make that next step. I'm at a bit of a loss on what to do they currently. 

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39 minutes ago, warlock said:

Thanks for taking the time to write it :thup:. Enjoyable and informative - great stuff!

Thanks. The third episode is on route. It’s more short and sweet but more of a easier read to help aid ideas 

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1 minute ago, causeforconcern said:

Great write up. 

I've been playing around with a 3-5-2 in my current save and while I've significantly exceeded expectations (promoted with Holstein Kiel first season/6th in the Bundesliga the next) I never really feel in control at all. I have one of the lowest possession percentages and find the wingbacks are constantly running down cul-de-sacs because of limited passing options. 

 

I have a pretty decent squad for the league now and had hoped that we'd hold onto the ball better and create more chances but I feel I'm going to have to change things up fairly significantly if I want to make that next step. I'm at a bit of a loss on what to do they currently. 

It sounds like you maybe need a few tweaks. Without knowing your squad, you possibly need add a little more technical players who keep the ball well. You sound like you also need a few tactical tweaks maybe shuffle a couple of TI’s around. Personally I wouldn’t  rip it up and start again as what you’ve done has been successful so far. But as your reputation grows your tactic also has to. 

I didn’t do away with the first league title tactic it’s still there and comes back into play later on with a small spin on it and possibly becomes one of the most effective thought out tactics I’ve made. so don’t discard your already working tactic just try refine it and solve the issues you are seeing. 

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11 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

It sounds like you maybe need a few tweaks. Without knowing your squad, you possibly need add a little more technical players who keep the ball well. You sound like you also need a few tactical tweaks maybe shuffle a couple of TI’s around. Personally I wouldn’t  rip it up and start again as what you’ve done has been successful so far. But as your reputation grows your tactic also has to. 

I didn’t do away with the first league title tactic it’s still there and comes back into play later on with a small spin on it and possibly becomes one of the most effective thought out tactics I’ve made. so don’t discard your already working tactic just try refine it and solve the issues you are seeing. 

Yeah, I'd absolutely like to persevere with the shape as wingerless tactics have always been something I've gravitated towards since I started playing management games.

I just hate the inconsistentency I'm currently seeing- we'll beat a mid table side and look decent and then get completely outplayed by some of the worst sides in the league despite having significantly better players. It's no different in Europe either- I thrashed a very good Atalanta 3-0 and then needed a 90th min equaliser to beat an awful PAOK at home after being dominated by them. 

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19 minutes ago, causeforconcern said:

Yeah, I'd absolutely like to persevere with the shape as wingerless tactics have always been something I've gravitated towards since I started playing management games.

I just hate the inconsistentency I'm currently seeing- we'll beat a mid table side and look decent and then get completely outplayed by some of the worst sides in the league despite having significantly better players. It's no different in Europe either- I thrashed a very good Atalanta 3-0 and then needed a 90th min equaliser to beat an awful PAOK at home after being dominated by them. 

Is there any pattern with the inconsistency? Is it home/away games? Is it when you come up against a certain system or style? Do you lose goals at certain times in games? Do you lose certain types of goals? All things to look out for to try and solve the issue. 

Top tip for this is to watch back game highlights after, because you know the result it allows you to focus more closely on the finer details that could be going wrong, as you don’t have the pressure of trying to alter the result. 

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The second episode didn't disappoint! Great stuff :applause:

I really like how you evolved your tactic (and playing squad) without forgetting your principles/original style. I must say I've never been brave enough to try a 3 striker system but seeing your success with it is inspiring. 

Thanks for sharing your set piece set ups too - I've have relative success with my own routines but could definitely do with a Plan B (or even Plan C) in those tightly contested games. 

Looking forward to part three :thup:

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3 minutes ago, Fantasista10 said:

The second episode didn't disappoint! Great stuff :applause:

I really like how you evolved your tactic (and playing squad) without forgetting your principles/original style. I must say I've never been brave enough to try a 3 striker system but seeing your success with it is inspiring. 

Thanks for sharing your set piece set ups too - I've have relative success with my own routines but could definitely do with a Plan B (or even Plan C) in those tightly contested games. 

Looking forward to part three :thup:

Thanks very much I really appreciate the support.

I would much rather evolve a system rather than start a fresh due to a few factors.

Rarely do you see managers change an overall philosophy, Sean Dyche isn't all of a sudden going to change from direct counter attacking to Tiki-Taka. He may tweak his system slightly, depending on players availability and opposition. But his core principle of being hard to beat and playing direct won’t change greatly. He may play slightly higher against weaker teams or slightly lower against stronger teams. Episode 3 is about this aspect of my tactics. 

I also have built a squad tailored to my style of high tempo football with quick transitions designed to catch the opponent of guard. if I changed the core principle to that I would have to rebuild my squad vastly. I am not stating this can’t be done cause of course I could go Burnley and slowly transition them into possession-based team, but it takes time.

Also the original tactic worked it just needed to evolve with the times after winning a league title and teams uncovering my plans. There was no need to start a fresh like I did after the first two seasons.

 

 

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The Third Amendment

In this section I would like to cover my in-game tweaks and game plans that vary from opponent to opponent. Ill discuss how I analyse opponents to devise plans, the season is however over and silly me has lost the screenshots of scouting reports so ill try my best without them. I will centre in on the bigger results of the season where small changes helped turn the game. I will keep it all nice and trim leading it on nicely to the final episode.

The Results

63681da21c9f0a20e3e1e0f4348027e5.pngFinal League table 2024

b4399fd86f55a3518914fdb23f693c98.png

Third league title in a row. Rosenborg matched us as we broke the league points total. A phenomenal title race which seen the league won on goal difference. Only one league defeats all season was impressive and had it not be for a tendency to lose silly late goals at the end of each half it would have been more emphatic.

f584ead74bfc9a463f01747531556204.png

60aaf6ec40ad316448a1d800f7cee041.pngChampions league group 2024

Qualification to the champions league was secured, after two big wins in eastern Europe we negotiated a tricky Salzburg tie the away goal getting the job done. Then I went on to qualify from the group with some inspired performances mainly at home which has become somewhat of a fortress.

Tweaks

f73e92a95829eea386ff495e4b772436.png

Mentality switch

First tweak is simple but effective but must be done correctly in order to work. 523 on attacking it sounds wild. The reason for the switch is in order for us to transition even quicker than before. This was employed against teams I knew I would lose the battle for position.

When changing mentally its key to remember that it’s the biggest single change you can make due to the fact that it effects so much. This is why in the out of possession box certain things have changed. While we want the quicker transition, we don't want everything that comes with the more aggressive mentality this is when you have to use TI's to tailor it to what you do want.

  • lower line of engagement is now in effect.
  • higher defensive line is dropped.

The reason being for this is yes, we want the higher tempo, more aggressive passing, and quicker transition, but I want our block to remain the same, so we still have space to attack. The mentality shift would have moved the block higher so through the use of the team instructions ive brought it back down a notch to match our block like the positive mentality.

490be34f79c144493526e1f0e9bf3e85.gifOdd 2-0 Dortmund 2024

Great example here in the home game against Dortmund at home, showing how quick the transition from defence to attack is. The press in the middle of the park works the LWB steals the ball find the RPM, He then slots the poacher through on goal who narrowly misses. The pace of the attack is frightening at catches the Dortmund back line out that has left space to exploit.

Man Marking Plans

6326db4a44f53ad4c4973d321c56f9ef.pngFullback MM 2024

I am afraid without my scouting screenshots this is the best I can do. I have placed the assumed roles under each fullback. On the scout report it was clear that the right-hand side was a natural overlap (WBA & IW). We are already outnumbered on the flanks so this poses a big problem for my LWB. My simple solution to this was applying a tight man marking scheme to the RB without weakening our full system. 

  • DLF Man mark specific player Bushiri on the player instruction screen
  • Mark tighter ticked on the DLF in his player instruction screen
  • Tight man marking always ticked on the full backs opponent instructions

These three things allowed the DLF to mark a dangerous overlapping wingback out of the game completely leaving him with a rating of 5.7. The fact that the DLF drops deep already helps the matter but these instructions make it a proper job on the RB.

09cd1ddb1136ed7b516c0f3af1377cc9.jpgDLF Man marking 2024

f38cdb24ac8f03bd97ead17da64ff62b.gifMan marking DLF 2024

5c8435af4d5a7c740cc6eb5573905356.gifMan marking DLF2 2024

Examples of Rasmussen tracking his man down as he looks overlap and head to the byline to cross. Now am not saying this purely won us the game but it blunted Rosenborg’s exploit side of their own overload massively. The man marking can however become a weapon as well......

9e64e377a9b5370f7f24825b2340db5c.jpgMan marking PF 2024

This time around against Bodo/Glimt both the DLF & PF were giving man marking jobs. Due to the fact they played similar to Liverpool with attacking wing backs and a sitting centre mid. As you can see above the LWB didn’t break forward as much probably as he had to deal with the PF however, he has sold himself short in the turnover above. Another layer added here was the stay wider instruction given to the PF. Something that becomes much more useful in the final episode that follows this.

a6b0b87a1b894f049503ded8aa5a2ddd.gifMan marking goal 2024

The man marking role coupled with the stay wider becomes a weapon. The CB steps into midfield cuts the ball out lays to the RPM who with a launching killer ball finds the PF wrong side of his man and he fires into the far corner. The speed of attack again catches our opponent out.

Final tweak

ae318de451d37058c9f6a8d72257523d.pngTweaked 343 2024

This system tweak was created for a few reasons but the main one was two stop teams that played down the flanks or have an incredible CMD so the DLF can help occupy him. It also gave us another option for overloading a different area. This is an in-game tweak I would never start like this, but I save it, so it is easy to switch to it. Every game I start with my base idea and watch on comprehensive to get a feel of things before changing, unless ive noted something from a scout report like the RB of Rosenborg earlier or a specific team shape.

  • Front three changes to allow the DLF to be used for central overloads, PF's either side are designed as exploits but also workmen to shut down wing play.
  • Focus play through middle and overlap each side to aid the overload (notice WB's on support to balance the defensive idea on flanks)
  • The back three switches for the same reason the stoppers designed to help wing backs and the centre man becomes sweeper like.
  • Focus play inside as it often used against teams who attack down the flanks and try force them inside to our overloaded area

3ce7aaae41b31bde009f780558a5d5e3.jpgTweaked attacking shape Salzburg 2024 

  • DLF drops deep to overload with the two CMS in the black box
  • The PF's and WB's in yellow are ready to exploit and burst into the space highlighted in green

No major changes just a slight shift in focus and out now looks more promising after being over ran by Salzburg in the first 30 minutes. The change pays off....

bd1542ab44e5fb88406a196be72753cb.gifGoal against Salzburg 2024

The centre back steals in to win the ball from the pass from Salzburg LB who has cut inside and tried to find the striker. The CB lays into the DLF who had dropped back to help out the midfield two. quick pass into the RPM and that signature switch is on to the unmarked PF on the right who is in acres of space due to the overcommitted left back. He takes his chance and ultimately, it’s the goal that sends us into the champions’ league group.

5cbc810a7195acd157c362a3b41aca88.pngFake Scout report Milan 2024

Sorry its resorted to this to make up my fake scout reports.

Looking at the shape of Milan it was clear that it would suit us much more to start with the tweaked shape. Due to the fact we could outnumber them with the central overload, where the middle centre back would either be dragged out or allow us to outnumber them.

Another reason was the power they had on the wings, the stoppers could help press the wide forwards. However, the fact they had very attacking wing backs meant our pressing forwards and wing backs could get at them in the space they would leave, and if we transition quickly, it could be devastating.

8f3ddd996746aed2b17740fd3a35da7c.jpgDefensive shape Milan 2024

Our shape as AC Milan attack down our right hand side ive highlight a few key areas ill bullet point each one.

  • Green zone the space left exploit if we can turnover
  • Yellow players both PF's left 1v1 ready to attack the green zone
  • White zone the DLF tracking back but isn't followed by the Milan number 4 so has space to get on ball if won back
  • Red zones the defensive cover on the front three of Milan
  • Blue the cover centre back who can either help the RWB if there is a switch or can drop behind to sweep the space

407a0f369319b5c5880f60be12e45d92.gifTransition from defence to attack Milan 2024

As you can see in the clip above, the RPM wins the ball back and finds the DLF who is now pressed by number 4, he offloads to the CM(D) who works the ball forward and link with the PF and who then lays back to the RPM unfortunately he is fouled, and the move is stopped. But a clear indication of how the altered shape transitions and shows its strengths and weakness especially against a system its suits.

669fc173c59ede3ea400002da91b64c0.gifFirst goal Milan 2024

The last of the positive points. I clear example of how the fast counter in the tweaked shape can pay off as the pressing forwards combine well on their last men and make it 1-0 to the Norwegian side.

Downsides

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I can’t show all their great positives of the system without showing of some of its faults. It of course a risky strategy even if I deem it as being a counter attacking type tactic. You have to balance risk and reward. This shows there isn’t a perfect system out there, I often think people are searching for that. A miracle system that works in every situation. It simply doesn’t exist and neither it should cause it doesn’t in real life. Every system has strengths and weaknesses and its key to identify them so you can look out for problems if you don’t you het hammered like I did on these occasions.

Summary

Again, thanks for reading and supporting the thread its appreciated. I am by no means a guru just trying to show people how I see the game. I hope this gives people some idea how to tweak a system for certain occasions to help get them much desired results. I have one more episode where I pull all three ideas together and go back closer to the original system with all the things that I learned from the first three league title wins.

Edited by SixPointer
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Really cool seeing this in depth breakdown of your 3 striker system and how your instructions pulled the outside strikers out to the flanks when defending while still having their attacking threat and presence in the box.  The the center back stepping up as a stopper it sometimes had the look of a 4-3-3 when you play it like that but with a bit more brawn from the central defender rather than a DM and the forwards being more specifically central.

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7 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Really cool seeing this in depth breakdown of your 3 striker system and how your instructions pulled the outside strikers out to the flanks when defending while still having their attacking threat and presence in the box.  The the center back stepping up as a stopper it sometimes had the look of a 4-3-3 when you play it like that but with a bit more brawn from the central defender rather than a DM and the forwards being more specifically central.

Thanks again! The strikers movements worked well especially when man marking fullbacks it made for a perfect counter if we could find them with the diagonal balls over the full back quickly after turning over. The stopper did move into midfield on occasion to snap in and win the ball. 

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Be a slight delay on the 4th and final instalment. Works busy again and it’s a sizeable post that I want to get perfect please just bare with me hopefully get it rounded off quicker than expected hopefully Sunday night. 

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