Jump to content

Patterns of progression and attack in a possession tactic


Recommended Posts

2 saat önce, coach vahid said:

 

I don't know if it's working but i like the theory...

 

Yeah, those ideas worked for me last year with FM20. I didn’t use my Pep replication on FM21 but I’m sure his tactic works if there is a good DLP…

This was my Manchester City replication for FM20:

8AF827DE-6F30-4FBB-9652-66260384A726.jpeg.0819c15d19058453134d215f795db40e.jpeg

RB-sit narrower

CMa-roam, channels

MEZs-risks  //De Bruyne

IWa-stay wider  //Mahrez

IFs-stay wider

 

Balanced mentality, one level higher width, shorter passing, play out of defence, lower crosses, be more expressive, counter-press, take short kicks, higher DL+LOE, max pressing, prevent short gk distribution.

 

DLPs is the most important player in my tactic. Defensively good, hardworking, not slow playmaker must be the first choice.

 

I had seen more than %80 possession on some games when I used this and average possession was between %70-75.

 

Balanced mentality+shorter passing creates space with some back passes from front players to centre backs to draw out defensive opposition. This replicates real life possession football for me. I didn’t see many examples on higher team mentalities. Maybe this can give an idea to possession football fans.

Link to post
Share on other sites

hace 13 horas, Flokerface dijo:

Hi everyone

Occasional lurker, first-time poster, and long time FM addict enthusiast here.

In my sporadic lurking, I have noticed certain topics and questions showing up with some regularity. A lot of people want to play an eye-catching, attacking possession style, often specifically in the mould of Pep Guardiola. I get it. I want to do that too!

This thread isn’t going to be an exercise in Pep tactic recreation, however. Others have done that far better than I could do! Instead, I want to discuss what exactly it is I try to accomplish when I set up possession-based tactics in FM, with the tactic I am currently using in an ongoing save as a point of departure.

In particular, I want to discuss how I use combinations of roles and instructions to create certain patterns of play. I want to focus on this, because when talking about possession-based play – at least if you want to avoid sterile, sideways passing between your defensive players – is often about constructing complex patterns of play that pull the opposition out of position, or overload key areas of the pitch.

So, let’s meet our manager. He’s a young, idealistic Brit named Thomas Norton. Born in the mid-90ies he’s just old enough to remember to Arsene Wenger’s incredible invincible team, with their fluid attacking football. In his teens he watched Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona dismantling Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man Utd in not one Champions League final, but two, and he thought “I want to create something like that”. Like that, because Thomas was always his own man, wanting to create something of his own rather than simply copying.

And so, Thomas set about building his philosophy. Its main tenets are rather simple:

·         Attacking with flair and skill, using dribbling and quick combination play to break through defences.

·         Defending on the front foot, by retaining possession and pressing to denying the opposition time on the ball

Well, everything sounds simple when summed up like that. As we will see, there is a lot going into setting up a tactic to achieve Thomas’ apparently simple philosophy. Before we get to that, let me just briefly set the scene.

Thomas is the manager of (fictional club) Ceriswood Football Club, the largest club of the mid-sized (fictional) Welsh city of Ceriswood. He took over the club when they were playing in the Wessex League Premier Division. Which is in the ninth tier of the English footballing pyramid. At first glance, it seemed like a good deal. A professional club with a 20 000 capacity stadium that the club could expect to fill on special nights, Ceriswood had far more resources than any other club that side of the Football League. On the downside, there was the crippling £60 million of debt and a fan-controlled board adamant the club had to play possession-based football using home-grown talents. A good fit for Thomas’ philosophy, but a difficult proposition in the ninth tier. Thomas, however, is bequeathed with the magical powers of being the player-manager. On the face of it, this is just another lower league challenge (I have a passion for those), with just a few particular unique circumstances that adds some challenges, but in sum makes it a fair bit easier than usual.

As such, I had no intention of doing a write-up based on my save, but in season eight something very special happened to make me reconsider. It was my first season in the Championship. I was clear favourite for the drop and based on the team comparison it was hard to disagree. Even my best stats, such as passing, first touch and decisions barely broke the league average. I did have a few stars in the first team I was confident would carry me through the campaign, and so thought the season would be something of a “free hit” to experiment a bit tactically. I had an experimental set-up I had used a bit in dead-rubbers at the end of the season before, and wanted to see what I could make out of it.

Well, it just clicked. Everything Thomas wanted it to do, it did, and Ceriswood kept winning even when having to field players who weren’t quite up to it in the lower leagues. Ceriswood ended the season with well-deserved Championship and League Cup titles, and a very, very lucky FA Cup win too. Now, I realise this probably comes off pretty braggy. But I am setting the scene to show why I was inspired to, for the first time, post here and share my ideas and how I try to make them come alive in the game.

And so, I will try to do just that. I will try to illustrate with pictures and video clips as best as I can, though bear with me since I have never done this before and am struggling a bit with recording examples. Also, since this is based on my work in a save I play for fun, rather than having planned to write up, I won’t always have good examples to show right on hand. There will be several things I write about where I know there was a good example in a recent match, but then I either could not find it again, or failed in my inexperienced efforts to record it.

 

I have rambled enough. Sorry for that. Let’s get into the actual tactic, and then break down what Thomas is looking to achieve on the field! 

image.png.23012a74e7150932b404f887a9e4309d.png

Some of this may be recognisable if you have dabbled with possession-based tactics before. The 4-3-3. Pass out of defence. Shorter passing. Work the ball into the box. Inverted wingers. Thomas has not come up with something completely insane meant to blow your mind. That’s not the point. I am not here to show you a ground-breaking, revolutionary plug-and-play, but rather to discuss what the set-up is meant to accomplish (and indeed, for Thomas and Ceriswood, often does accomplish). To do this, I guess the most logical place to start is how Ceriswood builds up from the back.

 

Build-up from the back and progression down the right

When discussing how Ceriswood builds their play, it is pertinent to stop for a moment a consider why they build up from the back.

The simple answer is to create space, or time. By passing the ball from the back, the opponent is enticed to press higher. If this first line of pressure can be by-passed, space opens up in the middle of the field for more advanced, creative players to break into and overload a retreating defence. The ideal situation is when the bypassing opponents that commit a lot of people (e.g. the entire front four of a 4-2-3-1) to this press. In such a situation, the advanced players will usually find themselves in plenty of space to receive the ball and then accelerate, allowing them to run at and unbalance to defence.

Note that playing out of defence to invite pressure is inherently risky. A misplaced pass or poor first touch can mean a turnover close to the Ceriswood goal. The way Thomas sets up his team shape in the early build-up phase is meant to mitigate this risk by creating diamonds that are hard for the opposition to cover.

image.png.db27956c36bcbafd5ee0734aa38f9e67.png

The keeper, central defenders and deep-lying playmaker make a diamond, and with the instructions play out of defence and take shorter kicks they will drop all the way down to the penalty area to initiate play. If the opponent does not press, the keeper can play to the ball-playing defender or the playmaker, who can both use their passing range to initiate attacks. If the opponent does press, they need to commit three players to deal with this initial diamond.

However, even with a top-heavy formation such as a 4-2-3-1, that still leaves options. By pushing up a front three or four, the opposition still leaves the inverted wing-backs free. They can either be reached by a chipped ball from the keeper, or a quick, risky exchange through the DLP or closest CB. They form a diamond with those two players, as well as the closest central midfielder. Since the IWBs stay narrower, the diamonds are relatively compact, making it easier to play simple passes back and forth even against a pressing opponent.

The DLP is the hub between the three diamonds, and as such a key player both to resist the press and progress the ball. However, it is important that he is not alone in looking to play progressively. As such, the diamonds are set up so that there is always one other player that takes more risks. The BDP to the right, and the Mez to the left. A further key element to making the diamonds a source of ball progression is the movement ahead of the ball. Therefore, both the players at the tip look to get further forward, roam from position and move into channels. These all come hard-coded to the Mez, while the latter two are added as additional personal instructions for the CM on attack.

The dynamic movement of the Mez and CM-A potentially opens new passing lanes that bypass the initial press. Thus, the opponent also has to commit their midfield screen, which opens up a large gap between the lines. The inverted wingers, with the personal instruction stay wider is already occupying this space and stretching the defensive line, while the false nine is happy to drop into this space. Thus, the opponent has a difficult choice to make: Either they need to drop off, giving my BPD, DLP and mezzala space and time to play. Or, they have to hope their high press prevents the progressive pass, knowing a failure will have my dynamic front three running with the ball against a stretched, unsupported defence. Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful in making a recording of such a by-pass-the-press-situation, but I will perhaps elaborate on this in a later post.

So what then if the opponent does not press high? This is when build-up becomes about creating time. If the opponent stands off, it means they are playing a mid- or low block and are crowding that very midfield area we previously looked at opening. Just lumping the ball forward in such a situation means needing to win some tough duels and competing for second balls. Which you can, with the right players and set-up, but that’s not really an option for Thomas and Ceriswood. So, they need clever movement to open passing lanes, and a combination of creative players who can progress the ball through line-splitting passes or dribbling, and runners who can open up space for those progressive actions.

image.png.d60008980bc9d2fb13336e94f7a411f3.png

Consider this situation against a 4-4-2 in a midblock. With no one stopping the short ball from kick-off, the BPD is on the ball with time to pick a pass. However, the opposing strikers are in a position to intercept passes into midfield, while the opposing midfield is denying space in midfield. However, because of our BPD-DLP-IWB-CM-diamond, we already have two options open. The opposing striker can only cover one of these. Additionally, we have everyone except the CD moving dynamically off the ball to create angles (white arrows are potential off the ball movement, black arrows are avenues of ball progression).

The DLP and F9 will naturally drop into space to receive the ball. The Mez and CM-A will, as previously described, roam from position and move into channels. Both will get further forward, but the Mez on support stays a bit deeper in build-up to give the DLP a short, progressive option. With the BDP on the ball, the CM-A runs ahead to put pressure on the defensive positioning of the opponent, which both opens more space for the right IWB to move into and distracts from the movement of the F9. On a support duty, the IWB is happy to roam into the channel and make a progressive play, by combining with the IW or the F9 dropping into space.

We can see some of these movements, and the role of the BPD in initiating attacks through progressive passes in my recent 2-0 away win over Sporting. It was Ceriswood’s first ever European appearance, and a match I expected to lose. However, we won deservedly in part because my BPD, Goncalo Cardoso, was afforded time on the ball.

https://youtu.be/EZWob923UXM (uhm, I couldn't figure out how to embed the video. I'm sure there's some easy way I am missing, so if someone points me in the right direction I will fix it!)

We score the first goal from a goal kick. Carlos Alberto in goal passes short to DLP Agustín Cabrera, who lays it off to Cardoso. Sporting is playing a mid-block, so Cardoso is allowed to advance with the ball, before finding IWB Julijan Popovic, who has moved into the channel. At this point, Sporting wants to start engaging their press, but Popovic has time to pick out our F9, Matt James, who has made a lateral run, pulling a midfielder. James picks up the ball, and dribbles towards the right. This isn’t particularly dangerous in itself, but he pulls three players towards him (left CM, LM and LB). James lays it off to our IW, José Felipe, who suddenly has a lot of space to cut into. Which he does. Meanwhile, the opposite IW, Tim Walter, has taken up a position as striker, and runs into the through-ball José Felipe eventually releases and is one-on-one! The goalkeeper is alert and stops Walter, but James has followed play up the field and appears to strike home the rebound.

For the second goal, we see Cardoso intercept a long-ball. Being a BDP, he is comfortable advancing with the ball at his feet (and Sporting is initially obliging in this case!). This time, both Popovic and José Felipe stay wide on the right to occupy the opposing LM and LB, meaning a CM must come over to cover Cardoso’s advance. This leaves space in the middle, where James drops deep to receive the ball. Meanwhile, our CM-A, Stefan Mols (who joined us for free in the Southern League Premier South. He’s come a long way!) has moved into the hole and receives the lay-off, lingers on the ball for just a moment and then puts James through on goal with a well-timed pass.

So here we have two examples of how the ball can be progressed up the right side of the field, starting with the BPD. On this right side, the diamond (BPD, DLP, IWB-s and CM-a) is a bit more expansive than the left, with the deeper players being more willing to play risky, progressive passes, and the forward players being free to take up more advanced positions. One thing to note here is that the role of the BPD is not to retain possession, but to progress play. The rest of the right side is, in part, set up to facilitate this progression.

In order to keep this post at a readable length, I think I will stop there. I hope it has been interesting so far, and hopefully given at least one reader a new idea they want to try. In the future, I intend to cover several more topics relating to how Thomas Norton sets up his Ceriswood-team to play. At the very least, I have plans for the following topics, possibly with more to come:

-          How the IWB facilitates variation on the right in advanced positions

-          Combination play through the middle, and how the DLP controls it

-          How the left side functions in attack, and particularly how the Mez unlocks established defences

I would love to try it. Do you have a link to download the tactic?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the positive replies! =)

Quote

I would love to try it. Do you have a link to download the tactic?

I'll attach the current version. Note that I never designed this to be plug-and-play. The tactic does the things I want it to (even with a relatively low quality side compared to the opposition), but it is also the culmination of eight seasons of squad building and tactical development. I haven't tested it with any other clubs/squads, so can't guarantee it will work as well for you. There are also some inherent weaknesses to the set-up, which I will touch upon later.

Quote

Yeah, those ideas worked for me last year with FM20. I didn’t use my Pep replication on FM21 but I’m sure his tactic works if there is a good DLP…

This was my Manchester City replication for FM20

That's very interesting to see the similarities, but also subtle differences between your set-up and the one I've used. For example, yours is a little bit adventourous in roles and duties, and ups width specifically, whereas I get a similar effect from a higher mentality.

I also definitely agree that the DLP is a key to such a tactic (which should be unsurprising - consider the importance of players like Busquets, Xabi Alonso and Fernandinho), both for recycling possession, shielding defence, and providing line-breaking passes. 

4-3-3 Blue Knights.fmf

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi OP, great thread. A bit wordy but I appreciate the effort, good job!

I don't typically use plug and play tactics but you captured the spirit of what I wanted to accomplish (possession-heavy, dominate opponents tactic) seemingly better than I did. I flipped it so the IWa is on the right hand side but otherwise haven't tinkered yet.

One of my targets in my current FM21 save has been to find a way to to imitate peak-Flick Bayern but without the excessive goals against (not playing a bad CB, Alaba, as CB will help) -- to my surprise I found my team with this tactic actually playing in a similar enough way!

There are multiple phases to the attack:

1) We play deep and are comfortable doing so because of all the open passing options and once the ball carrier approaches the half-way line he (an IWB usually) thumps it to a forward player making a run on goal against a stretched wide defense. If a goal, good. If not,

2) The ball is spilled back and won back by our team, this time the attack is set up against the opponent's goal. The two IWs are between the opponent's FB and CB and the F9 is occupying the two CBs and DM by himself, one of the Mez or CMa then are the key to breaking this chess game. A clever run or one-two will have an opponent defender overcommit and then it is through on goal. If goal, good. If not,

3) The two IWBs push up to the same strata as the DLPs and offer yet another recycling option. Things get a bit static at this point but it's so pushed-up against the opponent that cracks appear and with good composure and skilled players, once my team get more familiar they will exploit these opportunities more and more. However, It is at this point that the differences from Hansi Flick's Bayern appear.

 

Hansi's Bayern would have the ball-side WB push up even more while the Ws drift wide (or vice-versa, they were dynamic), concurrently the weak-side W would cut across the defense while Mueller would take that position. It was intricate and complicated and impossible to replicate IRL or in FM21 without having a world-class, well-drilled team like Bayern. The issue was that it left a massive gap against: at the most there are three and only rarely four players who can defend the space between the counter-attacking opponent and Bayern's goal. 

Your tactic doesn't have that intricate and dynamic mobility but it does keep the IWd closer to the defensive line and has a dedicated DLPd (as opposed to IRL where Kimmich would swap with Goretzka and push up). These two innovations do detract from the variability of the movement but they sure as hell give me more comfort against counters.

The only change I am considering now is whether to play on Attack mentality or Positive mentality + Wider for that aforementioned 2nd phase. 

Edited by Dj-Voodoo
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again for the kind comments!

 

3 hours ago, Dj-Voodoo said:

Hi OP, great thread. A bit wordy but I appreciate the effort, good job!

Haha, it's only going to get worse once I get around to discussing what you have labelled the second and third phases of attack =)

It would be interesting to hear your experiences with trying an attacking mentality or positive + wider. 

 

1 hour ago, Rashidi said:

A well thought out post. Personally for me these kind of systems live and die by who you choose as an IWB. These to me are the most important roles in the system.:thup:

Yes, I definitely agree that finding the right IWBs are essential!

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 22/09/2021 at 15:24, sejo said:

What kind of IWB do you use?

Do you mean their duty or the kind of players? The IWB on the left is a defend duty, the one on the right is a support duty. In terms of players, ideally they are press resistant, hard-working, capable of progressing the ball and able defenders. Which is asking a lot! Basically, if you find a box-to-box midfielder who is a bit better than usual on the defensive side, but can't shoot, he's your guy. I also prefer to play them on their "strong" side. That is, a right-footed player as right IWB, which is the opposite of what the game tells you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting work ! I like the way your explaining your thinking, it is very fluid and makes sense !

I tested a very similar tactic (with almost the same instruction, but less agressive defensively speaking), but I feel sometimes that my team is lacking penetration and make a lot of central passes without going into the surface.

As I saw in your last post, work ball into box is very important for avoiding a "stupid" loss of the ball and is managing the Positive mentality and higher risk involved, and it is complicated to remove it. How do you react when you see that you ares sterile in term of chance created ? Using a DLF-a instead of a F9 to increase the striker mentality ? Reduce mentality but adjusting passes and tempo ?

I also feel that this tactic is sometimes very fragile defensively speaking (especially on the wing because both IWB are pretty narrow and we are outnumbered on the wing), and the DLP-d is not covering enought the back 4. Again better team, do you change the role to a more covering one, like a DM-d or DM-s with more risky passes ?

I guess this is the final version of your tactic. When Ceriswood started his journey, he had to adjust to the fellow players he already had. How did you progress into the tactical evolution ?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Tibalg said:

Very interesting work !

Thank you! You raise some very interesting questions as well.

I have not found not found sterile possession to be a particular issue with this tactic. I think an important lesson (certainly for me, at least!) is that to make a possession tactic work offensively, the focus should paradoxally not be primarily about retaining possession. Rather, the focus should be on how to progress the ball effectively, and when, where and why to take risks. As such, we have the setup to score goals, even in the PL. We were arguably the worst team in the PL in our first season (passing and first touch were just over average, while just about every other stat was towards the very bottom), but still managed about 1,5 goals a game.

If I were noticing an issue with sterile possession, the way I adapted would depend on what I was seeing unfolding in the match. My likeliest course of action would be subbing one of my attacking players, to see if some fresh legs and a slightly different type of player would open the match up. If one of the IWs is having a poor game, that could blunt the attack both through stupid turnovers (from poor dribbles or misplaced passes) or through a lack of movement. It is better then to try a different player, than messing with the structure of the team. If the issue was not with (a) particular player(s), I would consider upping the tempo, mentality, or doing something with the focus of attack, depending on what I saw in the match. I would generally not touch roles, unless there was something very striking going on, and I had a clear idea of how a role might solve that, because even small adjustments to roles can fundamentally change the team's structure.

As for being defensively fragile... yes and no. Direct, high-tempo attacking is very strong in FM21 (some would argue a little bit too strong), and a rapid strike down the wing can certainly leave the IWBs out of position. This is moreso an issue down the right, where both the IWB and the CM will usually be a bit more advanced. We struggled a lot with that the first season in PL, though Championship-level full backs are always going to struggle when up against the likes of Mbappe. In our season in the Championship, when we had defenders closer in skill to the typical attacker, we did not particularly struggle, however. This is something I will monitor as the quality of our defence is upgraded. However, I would not change the DLP to deal with this. The DLP is the hub of the team, and I want that player to be a ball magnet. On defence duty, he will stay deep in just the position I want, covering the centre. I much prefer using opposition/team/player instructions to deal with specific threats in a particular match, than touching roles and thus the team's structure.

 

In terms of progressing into the current tactic, there was a slow evolution going from the Wessex league until League One, and then a revolution as I experimented in a few late-season dead rubbers and started with the current setup in the Championship. If there is interest for it, I can try to make a more comprehensive write-up (though I don't have much in terms of replays and screenshots laying around to illustrate). However, the short of it is that in the lower leagues, physical attributes are king. The basic principle was to build a team just about capable of pinging it around the back enough to drag the opponents in, and then make a progressive pass to some lightning fast wingers, who would then just literally run through the defence. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Il y a 22 heures, Flokerface a dit :

Thank you! You raise some very interesting questions as well.

I have not found not found sterile possession to be a particular issue with this tactic. I think an important lesson (certainly for me, at least!) is that to make a possession tactic work offensively, the focus should paradoxally not be primarily about retaining possession. Rather, the focus should be on how to progress the ball effectively, and when, where and why to take risks. As such, we have the setup to score goals, even in the PL. We were arguably the worst team in the PL in our first season (passing and first touch were just over average, while just about every other stat was towards the very bottom), but still managed about 1,5 goals a game.

Do you think, because you are an underdog, that the Positive mentality is working well ? And, at the opposite, if you are the top team of the league, why don't play a more conservative mentality ? Of course you will increase the DL, LOE and tempo to make something "similar" to your idea, but without all the "risk" that are happening with a higher mentality.

Il y a 22 heures, Flokerface a dit :

If I were noticing an issue with sterile possession, the way I adapted would depend on what I was seeing unfolding in the match. My likeliest course of action would be subbing one of my attacking players, to see if some fresh legs and a slightly different type of player would open the match up. If one of the IWs is having a poor game, that could blunt the attack both through stupid turnovers (from poor dribbles or misplaced passes) or through a lack of movement. It is better then to try a different player, than messing with the structure of the team. If the issue was not with (a) particular player(s), I would consider upping the tempo, mentality, or doing something with the focus of attack, depending on what I saw in the match. I would generally not touch roles, unless there was something very striking going on, and I had a clear idea of how a role might solve that, because even small adjustments to roles can fundamentally change the team's structure.

That makes totally sense ! A new pair of legs, with different attributes can be good, and of course tempo is another one. I did not use Focus play that much but indeed it could open some doors through defenses.

 

Il y a 22 heures, Flokerface a dit :

In terms of progressing into the current tactic, there was a slow evolution going from the Wessex league until League One, and then a revolution as I experimented in a few late-season dead rubbers and started with the current setup in the Championship. If there is interest for it, I can try to make a more comprehensive write-up (though I don't have much in terms of replays and screenshots laying around to illustrate). However, the short of it is that in the lower leagues, physical attributes are king. The basic principle was to build a team just about capable of pinging it around the back enough to drag the opponents in, and then make a progressive pass to some lightning fast wingers, who would then just literally run through the defence. 

 

I would love to read something like this. We already have a lot of "plug-and-play" stories in the forum, but seeing how you improve your tactic game after game is always a nice read !

And in lower league, it must had been fun to implement a possession based tactic with all of these physical player :brock:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Really high-quality thread! You’ve got me inspired to try one final save before fm22. Which traits would you say are essential/nice to have for each role? Like would you use the hugs line trait for the inverted wing-backs to encourage them to overlap? Also, what instructions do you have for your false nine? I’ve had difficulty determining the effectiveness of moves into channels, roams from position, both, or just leaving them blank for him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 30/09/2021 at 12:20, AidanH96 said:

Really high-quality thread! You’ve got me inspired to try one final save before fm22. Which traits would you say are essential/nice to have for each role? Like would you use the hugs line trait for the inverted wing-backs to encourage them to overlap? Also, what instructions do you have for your false nine? I’ve had difficulty determining the effectiveness of moves into channels, roams from position, both, or just leaving them blank for him

Essential traits? As in attributes or PPMs? For PPMs, none. I prefer making tactics where as long as a player is good enough, he will work, rather than needing this or that specific trait. It's easier to, say, find a defensive midfielder with excellent passing, first touch and composure and tell him to hold position, than finding one who has those stats, but also has stays deep at all times.

That said, traits that accentuate the desired behaviours are always welcome. Plays one-twos is really good on the players involved in the attacking phase. Killer balls and switches play on the midfielders, dictates tempo on the DLP and so on. I suspect switches play would be quite good on the right IWB too (ref the pattern I showed earlier with build-up on the right and then a switch to the mez in the left channel), although I haven't had the chance to test it.

Basically, think common sense and don't over do it: What prefered moves will increase the chance the players move dynamically, make neat passing triangles and then pierce the defence with a through ball?

At the same time, I am a bit wary of getting too many PPMs, and particularly ones that impact on movement. I don't want hugs line for my IWBs. I want them to occasionally make overlaps, when there is space. However, I generally want them to make up a stable midfield three together with the DLP. That way, I should always have an option for recycling the ball and changing the angle of attack, allowing more risk-taking for the front five.

As for which attributes, well, I want the players to be press-resistance, and capable of a good passing game. That means good passing, first touch, technique, anticipation, composure, decisions and off the ball, agility and balance. I also want them to press high, which means good work rate, stamina, and at least adequate bravery, tackling and aggression (though the latter need not be particularly high). I want them to actually do what the tactic says, which means high team work. Then you have dribbling, vision and flair for creative players, positioning and concentration for defensive players (IWBs in particular, because they are prone to being caught out). I like fast players and... well, you see the list getting long? What I really look for is passing, first touch, composure and team work. Without those, there's no point in telling your players to play neat passing triangles under pressure, because either they can't, or they won't. Those four stats were the only one's I was around or above average on both in my one season in the Championship and now in the Premier League (in fact, I was bottom or close to bottom in almost everything else when in my first PL-season). And that was, incredibly, just about enough.

I don't have the game in front of my now, so I am not 100 % on the F9 instructions. I do not have move into channels, because I have the Mez, CM-A and the IWs doing that. I want the F9 to be involved in central build-up play, and to make things difficult for the CDs, rather than overcrowding the channels - I am already doing that just fine! As for roaming, I think I ended up leaving it off after some experimentation, though I will have to check to be sure. With be more expressive, there will be some roaming anyway, but I mainly want the Mez and CM-A to be the "free roles", while the F9 along with the IWs have more defined areas of responsibility (my experience is that it works better with some players roaming, some holding position, and some being inbetween to ensure there is a structure to your play, since there's no way in game to tell the players "there should always be an attacker in this zone, but it doesn't matter who").

On 29/09/2021 at 08:54, Tibalg said:

I would love to read something like this. We already have a lot of "plug-and-play" stories in the forum, but seeing how you improve your tactic game after game is always a nice read !

And in lower league, it must had been fun to implement a possession based tactic with all of these physical player :brock:

Fair point! =)

I will try writing it up at some point, although it will probably be a little while before I have the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...