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[FM22] A Day Without Football is a Day Lost


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3 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Couldn’t have asked for a much better start. A nice little one in, one out swap too!

Certainly a good start. I’ve played the second month as well just not had a chance to type it up. Be Saturday morning i think. 
Still not seeing that complete fluid football but I knew it would be a project to get that. At the higher level applying it so am not going full throttle yet. 

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Header.jpg.fb264e4d0f85f9cbeb7b086cd10db470.jpg

September 2021

4bb4e0a3a0b668a56bc0167e7c20010d.png

Sparta Rotterdam remained unbeaten through September but lost the perfect record. Emegha showed the DNA can be flawed as he scored four goals in three games. The style of play started to shine through in all but one game.

Fortuna Sittard earned their point with both teams returning similar XG of 1.0 the visitors also dominated possession which is simply not good enough especially on our own patch.

12340b65bfdf6e12a49da797dad848d9.png

The NEC Nijmegen result  restored faith in Höwedes philosophy, battering them 6-1 and controlling the game with 57% possession.

PEC Zwolle result is a tough one to take, trailing 1-0 going into the last ten minutes then going 2-1 up before losing a goal from a corner in the dying embers of the game. Set plays is something I pride myself on being solid from at both ends of the pitch so it was a particularly hard one take.

Emenga earned his starting place by the time the SC Cambuur game came around and he repaid Höwedes faith by netting the winner in a game that Sparta had 61% possession but only an XG of 1.33. The away side certainly parked the bus and am surprised to see it this early into the season. Our passes completed more than double of our opponet shows just how much control we had over them.

9f90fa0df065adef56dc5a4da70120f4.png

The pass map in the SC Cambuur game is the most pleasing to date for a number of reasons. Mainly the shape of the combinagions with a main diamond being formed in the middle and two slightly offset ones to either side with Dzenis Burnic linking in all of three. His 167 passes and linking with all 11 players is exactly what I want to see, as I look to him to become the conductor of the team.

Thy is a clear focal point but also now it's good to see the wide men getting advanced to make it more of a front three. Seedorf already shows he is more capable to play as a more advanced full back than Jans was i've now removed the sit narrow instruction and gave him a little more freedom to link with the winger.

Osman and Mijnans have slot into the half spaces which is causing vital overloads in they areas with both the wide players  which is my main objective for both. I decided on adding the stay wide to Osman as the advanced playmaker in order to aid this, I also have now added the PI more direct passing and started to train him to play killer balls as i look for him to get more key passes from that area.

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The league table after 7 games and things are looking good for Höwedes Sparta side, sitting in 3rd place 2 points off top spot which makes the late draw in Zwolle even harder to take as we would sit alongside Ajax and our city rivals. Certainly at this stage my expectations are being more than matched, we have had a favorable run of fixtures so i wont get carried away.

Most goals from corners in the league again justifies the time taken to set up corners properly and with a plan. Second for passes completed behind Feyenoord as both Rotterdam sides knock the ball about however we have a better ratio for completion, my only concern is fourth place for average possession points to it needing work especially considering our run of fixtures.

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Conceding the fewest goals in the league is very pleasing. It's very much part of the philosophy. If we have the ball they can't score. You can see from the graph our defensive efficiency is only really matched by Ajax which is no shock. After all, I am trying to create a similar philosophy and style of play as the great dutch giants.

I must also add that Okoye has been superb when called upon, making a few crucial saves when our high line has been breached.

The most clinical side to go along with the defensive superiority and when you have both it usually means you're going in the right direction, fixtures may have been favourable but it's still a show that the game plan is coming together.

Certainly don't hit many shots but when we do we are converting them at some rate, with 18% being converted and a remarkable 54% hitting the target. Yes I would probably like to be a little more aggressive much like the big three who are well ahead of everyone but most teams will park the bus everytime against them. These stats do show that my gameplan of being patient and dragging the opponent out of position is allowing us to hit the target.

cb64b5d7bcedd16553249bb42183c76f.png

Last but certainly not least  the most important graphic. While we are above average for winning possession and below average for losing it, I still want to be a lot higher in terms of possession won and lower for losses. I need to be closer, frequently win the ball and be reliable in possession.

It is a positive at the minute but certainly I'll be looking to be much better in this aspect of play, especially when you consider how well we are performing at either end of the pitch. Potentially I could move to a higher press to look to win the ball back more but at the minute being compact is working so it will be something I continue to tweak game by game.

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October will certainly be vital to gauge where we are at as it's going to be a tough month, PSV in Eindhoven sets the tone right from the off. They press high but don't tend to keep the ball well so if we can bypass the press and look after the ball well, there is potential to claim a huge result.

At home to FC Groningen I'll certainly be wanting three points at the castle, as they sit in 17th place and are winless and RKC Waalwijk on the road will be a potential banana skin as they sit in 10th and cant be taken lightly. Both games are vital for maximum points with us facing two of the big three in the other two league fixtures. 

Cup tie before the Rotterdam derby with only two days of preparation means the cup game will more than likely see a second string played with backups and kids involved in order to keep us fresh for the big one. Howedes first foray into a derby as a Manager, He is no stranger to big games from his playing days, The revierderby from his Schalke 04 days should really put him in good stead for this sort of game as a manager.

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This is looking quite nice. I always love being defensively solid and very efficient going forward. Pass map looks crazy geometric too. Surprised to see how much the shape of the pass map looks like Benjani’s in his 5-2-3/3-4-3, though Sparta is much more straight edged.

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9 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Header.jpg.fb264e4d0f85f9cbeb7b086cd10db470.jpg

September 2021

4bb4e0a3a0b668a56bc0167e7c20010d.png

Sparta Rotterdam remained unbeaten through September but lost the perfect record. Emegha showed the DNA can be flawed as he scored four goals in three games. The style of play started to shine through in all but one game.

Fortuna Sittard earned their point with both teams returning similar XG of 1.0 the visitors also dominated possession which is simply not good enough especially on our own patch.

12340b65bfdf6e12a49da797dad848d9.png

The NEC Nijmegen result  restored faith in Höwedes philosophy, battering them 6-1 and controlling the game with 57% possession.

PEC Zwolle result is a tough one to take, trailing 1-0 going into the last ten minutes then going 2-1 up before losing a goal from a corner in the dying embers of the game. Set plays is something I pride myself on being solid from at both ends of the pitch so it was a particularly hard one take.

Emenga earned his starting place by the time the SC Cambuur game came around and he repaid Höwedes faith by netting the winner in a game that Sparta had 61% possession but only an XG of 1.33. The away side certainly parked the bus and am surprised to see it this early into the season. Our passes completed more than double of our opponet shows just how much control we had over them.

9f90fa0df065adef56dc5a4da70120f4.png

The pass map in the SC Cambuur game is the most pleasing to date for a number of reasons. Mainly the shape of the combinagions with a main diamond being formed in the middle and two slightly offset ones to either side with Dzenis Burnic linking in all of three. His 167 passes and linking with all 11 players is exactly what I want to see, as I look to him to become the conductor of the team.

Thy is a clear focal point but also now it's good to see the wide men getting advanced to make it more of a front three. Seedorf already shows he is more capable to play as a more advanced full back than Jans was i've now removed the sit narrow instruction and gave him a little more freedom to link with the winger.

Osman and Mijnans have slot into the half spaces which is causing vital overloads in they areas with both the wide players  which is my main objective for both. I decided on adding the stay wide to Osman as the advanced playmaker in order to aid this, I also have now added the PI more direct passing and started to train him to play killer balls as i look for him to get more key passes from that area.

a973cebc048b0203734bff0e6e3974ec.png

609d14038ad13b78b5d08d5120319bca.png

The league table after 7 games and things are looking good for Höwedes Sparta side, sitting in 3rd place 2 points off top spot which makes the late draw in Zwolle even harder to take as we would sit alongside Ajax and our city rivals. Certainly at this stage my expectations are being more than matched, we have had a favorable run of fixtures so i wont get carried away.

Most goals from corners in the league again justifies the time taken to set up corners properly and with a plan. Second for passes completed behind Feyenoord as both Rotterdam sides knock the ball about however we have a better ratio for completion, my only concern is fourth place for average possession points to it needing work especially considering our run of fixtures.

e95a98d8bdffda9a82963e5008ce4dee.png

Conceding the fewest goals in the league is very pleasing. It's very much part of the philosophy. If we have the ball they can't score. You can see from the graph our defensive efficiency is only really matched by Ajax which is no shock. After all, I am trying to create a similar philosophy and style of play as the great dutch giants.

I must also add that Okoye has been superb when called upon, making a few crucial saves when our high line has been breached.

The most clinical side to go along with the defensive superiority and when you have both it usually means you're going in the right direction, fixtures may have been favourable but it's still a show that the game plan is coming together.

Certainly don't hit many shots but when we do we are converting them at some rate, with 18% being converted and a remarkable 54% hitting the target. Yes I would probably like to be a little more aggressive much like the big three who are well ahead of everyone but most teams will park the bus everytime against them. These stats do show that my gameplan of being patient and dragging the opponent out of position is allowing us to hit the target.

cb64b5d7bcedd16553249bb42183c76f.png

Last but certainly not least  the most important graphic. While we are above average for winning possession and below average for losing it, I still want to be a lot higher in terms of possession won and lower for losses. I need to be closer, frequently win the ball and be reliable in possession.

It is a positive at the minute but certainly I'll be looking to be much better in this aspect of play, especially when you consider how well we are performing at either end of the pitch. Potentially I could move to a higher press to look to win the ball back more but at the minute being compact is working so it will be something I continue to tweak game by game.

f9933a39e440db33aad9001eefc81e51.png

October will certainly be vital to gauge where we are at as it's going to be a tough month, PSV in Eindhoven sets the tone right from the off. They press high but don't tend to keep the ball well so if we can bypass the press and look after the ball well, there is potential to claim a huge result.

At home to FC Groningen I'll certainly be wanting three points at the castle, as they sit in 17th place and are winless and RKC Waalwijk on the road will be a potential banana skin as they sit in 10th and cant be taken lightly. Both games are vital for maximum points with us facing two of the big three in the other two league fixtures. 

Cup tie before the Rotterdam derby with only two days of preparation means the cup game will more than likely see a second string played with backups and kids involved in order to keep us fresh for the big one. Howedes first foray into a derby as a Manager, He is no stranger to big games from his playing days, The revierderby from his Schalke 04 days should really put him in good stead for this sort of game as a manager.

Great update - love the deep look into detail!

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5 hours ago, 13th Man said:

This is looking quite nice. I always love being defensively solid and very efficient going forward. Pass map looks crazy geometric too. Surprised to see how much the shape of the pass map looks like Benjani’s in his 5-2-3/3-4-3, though Sparta is much more straight edged.

I’ve started to work on the original shape in the back ground now to try create that same shape as Ruch. But I’ve decided to flip it. So it’s the opposite in terms of overloads than my current tactic. 
 

 

4 hours ago, abulezz said:

Great update - love the deep look into detail!

thanks very much. I appreciate it

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1 hour ago, Sheriff7 said:

Mate where can I find my defensive and attacking efficient in fm22?I can't find it in my game.

Look in the Data Hub. Search for it. and then say you want them to keep track. There should be a box to check.

 

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Glad to see Howedes having sucess.... I will not try to "borrow" this formation, but I must say the Nesselquist work is having great success in Russia!

 I have made a few modifications of course. I regroup and play on balanced for the most part. It is different but the same....

 

In fact, I am more interested in Set-Piece Routines of all types!

 

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3 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Glad to see Howedes having sucess.... I will not try to "borrow" this formation, but I must say the Nesselquist work is having great success in Russia!

 I have made a few modifications of course. I regroup and play on balanced for the most part. It is different but the same....

 

In fact, I am more interested in Set-Piece Routines of all types!

 

My set plays kicked off really well in the start. But it seems the AI had worked out I look for THY for the main target so time to switch around each one so I can have someone else offering a threat. Emegha most likely 

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54 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

My set plays kicked off really well in the start. But it seems the AI had worked out I look for THY for the main target so time to switch around each one so I can have someone else offering a threat. Emegha most likely 

Do you change the kick placement in game or only before the game?

 

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7 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Do you change the kick placement in game or only before the game?

 

Everything is set before the game. All I will change from the original three is who is the target. As it seems Thy is being marked tightly every time. So I’ll maybe keep him just for far post and the near post make it a CB 

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3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Seems to be going very well so far!

Which of the 3 routines are you finding the best?

Btw any luck with long throws so far?

The decoy front post overload with the ball being played to the back post has 3 of the 4 goals so far. 

long throws I have one goal from. In the 6-1 game it was the opener. But I’ve switched to a short routine as other than that one goal they have never created much chances. 

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October 2021

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A phrase and a headline I certainly never expected to see this early into Benedikt Höwedes reign as Sparta Rotterdam's manager, however headlines can often be misleading and I would say it was far from easy at the philips stadion.

I knew from studying the possession and passing stats that PSV won the ball back very often but also gave it away very easily. This was the deciding factor for making a tweak to my usual game plan, It gave me two options.

  • Slow the game down, look after the ball and take the sting out of their intense high press and generally tiring their players out and waiting for them to overcommit.
  • Play at a higher tempo looking to move the ball faster through the lines of their press catching them out before they transition back into any sort of defensive shape.

I felt both options represented good value and in the end decided to combine the two. I would start the game in the lower end of tempo to take the sting out and gain control, then once PSV tired, up the tempo and take advantage of the fatigue and exploit a somewhat tired press.

While I want possession football that's not to say it can't be achieved on a higher tempo provided the players have my full DNA requirements it shouldn't be an issue.

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While PSV's XG was almost double that of Sparta's it was really only in the last 15 minutes that PSV started to spike and create some real good chances after both teams had scored first half penalties.

The 3-1 lead going into the last 15 minutes probably sparked the emotional response of myself rather than my gameplan self. Rather than sticking to my plan and trying to be smart and expolit fatigue like most managers decided to shut up shop and hoped and prayed I could weather the storm.

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The decision to lower the tempo and look after the ball is justified in the end, 62% possession at any of the big three's grounds is remarkable on any given day, never mind when they look to press high and have the best numbers for winning the ball back in the division.

From the pass map above you can see our shape was perfect, three clear diamonds formed with one centrally and two in each half space with several triangles gives a great platform for possession football, as each player has several options.

Also i must heap a huge amount of praise onto my back four who recycled the ball and held possesion under immense pressure, it was a big ask but the players responded and showed they more than have the ability to control games.

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Grongingen came to the Het Kasteel and were dominated they did hold firm until the last 15 minutes when the pressure finally told, Thy and Emegha are now finding themselves on the pitch at the same time as Emegha has prospered in the winger on attack on the right hand side of the front three.

Then came the first defeat and boy what a defeat it was, completely blown away and found ourselves 3-0 down after 30 minutes. Of course I hold @Deisler26 fully responsible after telling him i would go easy on them, joking aside I think after losing two early goals i tweaked and altered far too many things and became my own worst enemy.

Lisse in the first round of the KNVB Beker provided the chance to bounce back the only problem being the Rotterdam derby was two days later which wouldn't allow enough rest and preparation for such a huge game. It then became an opportunity for some of the young talent to showcase their abilities and boy did they showcase it.

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7-0 victory breaking the record for the highest win in the tournament. The young guns in the form of Finn de Bruin (RW) & Aaron Bashir (LW) bagged braces and striker Jorn triep getting himself into the individual record books. It's safe to say the youngsters will certainly be given playing time.

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Finn de Bruin has especially caught the eye and provides a real chance of making the step up to the first team in the near future. His DNA rating currently sits at 107, with only composure, teamwork and stamina being below ten. Composure at 6 is definitely the main concern in his game. He is versatile as well and could easily play in a number 10 role in fact in some ways he perhaps suits it more especially with that incredible decision making and passing ability.

Certainly one for the not so distant future, and there are cute a few like him. Just for reference anyone with the * in their name is marked out for having real potential. It helps make them stand out if I am hurrying down to bring a couple up for a senior game or if I am looking to track their progress closer.I find it very helpful especially when you have large youth and B teams. Stolen from the old days of Champ Man when the game would highlight your three star players in the same way.

Edited by SixPointer
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Header.jpg.9255cb09a37b8645a8cf909f32c3c077.jpg

Rotterdam Derby

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A huge city battle with an unusually top end of the table feel to it. It's 3rd against 2nd, but more so it's a battle of two teams with a very similar style of play.

Defensively it's the smaller of the two clubs Sparta who shade it here, we face more shots but our opponents don't convert as many whereas Feynoord don't face as many but they do concede, hopefully their keeper fancies throwing one in while Okoye has been solid between the sticks thus far for me.

Possession wise Feyenoord win the ball back more, and Sparta looked after it slightly better. This metric however does not allude to any specific change in game plan unlike the PSV who had a clear weakness and strength in and out of possession.

Lastly it's the passing that makes for the most interesting comparison, both teams clearly pass the ball exceptionally well. This is where the real battle begins and will probably be the deciding factor in the game. This coupled with it being derby and being the homeside i've opted to come out quick get in there faces and get the crowd going, so i've added the instructions

  • Higher Tempo
  • Get Stuck in 
  • Tighter Marking

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On 17 minutes the reward was this wonderful piece of art, my favourite goal of the season so far. The CB,DLP,AP all combine in a nice triangle overloading the right hand side of our attack, before a lovely switch of play over the CB in behind their wing back for the IF to run onto and slot home.

This is precisely what I am trying to achieve, shifting my opponent out of position by drawing them into the overload then exploiting them on the other side. The only difference being I want to be able to overload each side alternatively within the same system, i'm not trying to just create this one one side every time

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From above it's clearer to see the positioning aspect of the play, the white diamond with the AP in the center, this shows the right half space overload.

Three clear passing options for RCB (Bauer) the ball carrier, easy passes to either the RB(22) or DLP(6) and then a switch alternative into 5 his CB partner who can then exploit the left side if quick enough.

The fact the WB keeps himself in the half space when the ball on the other side means he can impact directly right away if the ball comes his way, i'm not looking for him to be out on the touch line stretching play looking for a big switch as it leaves far too much space for counters.

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As the play progresses, Haye drags three players into him, three of the six which are in the red square which match our six, but they have been drawn into the ball leaving free passing options.

Haye could opt for simple passes to the RWB(22) or DLP(6) or perhaps sliding W(18) in, but with his direct passes instruction he is looking for the killer ball if it is on. He recognises the 2v1 as the Mezz and IF combine against the full back.

18 the centre back has been dragged towards the overload as he is wary of the threat of the DLF(9) which again is exactly what I want from the DLF dragging CB’s all over the place.

Another key factor that is pleasing from our positioning is both CB's and DLP have formed a solid triangle just inside the opponents half to counter any turnovers and to stop the counter attack at source, our LWB also hasn't overcommitted and leaves himself in enough space to recover.

There have been other examples of this early on in the season but certainly not as clean cut and perfected as this one, I still feel my tactic is very much a work in progress as is the squad building of course but this goal shows its moving in the right direction.

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All the hard work out done in injury time, from a set play as well a knock on from an indirect freekick which looked more like a deflection than a good header to me. Glorious failure and stopped what would have been an epic result in Benedikt Höwedes first rotterdam derby.

The match was anticipated to be very close with two managers with similar ideals pitted against each other, possession and XG alluded to that.

"In many ways I feel like two points dropped, but i had i been offered a point before the game a would have settled for that, they like to doimate the ball like ourselves and we more than matched the so called big club in the city"

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Ajax won their game in hand and leapfrog Feyenoord into first place. Then a slight gap to Benedikt Höwedes Sparta, who had Vitesse breathing down their neck. PSV endured a horrendous month which was set in motion by our result at the Philips stadion.

Still over performing at this stage although i'm left wondering what might have been two of the three draws have come from late equalisers against us which means we would sit right on the tails of the top two.

The only concern from this month is we have been slightly more leaky in goals but having played two of the big three it's understandable. RKC stopped the unbeaten run but we certainly never deserved anything from the game so not too many complaints there.

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1 hour ago, Hootieleece said:

Great Plan! Did you use the Match plans Tool to implement your two-pronged approach to PSV?

 

Nah it’s not something I use. Because the game changes all the time like this one did so I would rather have it in my mind. And look for the triggers and patterns for when it’s going to work.
 

I never used the second part of the plan. As I decided to shut up shop instead and try see my two goal advantage out. Rather than press on for another.

I have a game-plan/approach for every game after I study my opponent work out strength weakness then make my plan. But it has to be fluid as they are doing the same and may play a different way or tweaked so I tend not to use match plans for that reason. 

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Loving the detailed analysis of the goal against Feyenoord, on the other hand I could never bring myself to go that deep knowing how limited the ME is and that it's probably never going to be able to replicate my desired style of football.

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8 hours ago, Rikulec said:

Loving the detailed analysis of the goal against Feyenoord, on the other hand I could never bring myself to go that deep knowing how limited the ME is and that it's probably never going to be able to replicate my desired style of football.

I never used to be such in depth tactically, could fire through seasons but I would get frustrated a losses of form etc. 
so about FM17 I dived head first into tactics and learnt as much as I could and now it’s my main passion in the game.

I can’t find anything more enjoyable in game than when I change or tweak something tactically and it comes off. finding hidden gems becomes to repetitive. 
The ME is limited to an extent I would like to be able to be more precise but it is a game at the end of the day and I think especially this version of the game is really good. Of course it has it faults but overall the graphics update and the Data hub have really boosted it.
 

1 hour ago, 13th Man said:

You’re really rolling now. Great stuff and enjoy the detailed match plans. Rough stoppage time goals though. Players tired or does it feel unlucky?

starting to pick up the pace, that month was a busy month with two huge games hence why I split it. Am trying to be a little more short but sweet now cut down on the screenshots for the sake of it.

Literally a last minute set play so hard to swallow, we stunted their very attacking right flank all game. Changing to a FB(D) towards the end and i had marked the goalscorer the RB out the game so that added a further blow. 

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38 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Ajax are definitely going to be hard to keep pace with in the Dutch league, but very solid effort so far :thup:

they really are a level above only something i can inspire to take Sparta too and of course ill be hoping to land the job at some point in the journey

 

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November 2021

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Only the three games this month due to an international break. The results are very much a mixed bag in terms of points gained, but showed some really strong performances which certainly merit more points on the board.

The Willem II results is a tough one to swallow from my point of view as we simply never started the game and the home side took an incredible 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes which is really criminal at this level. Something that certainly needs to be worked on especially when FC Twente took a first half lead into the break really can't afford to be chasing games every time especially when the goal is to control the game.

Emegha now coming from the left hand side in the Inside forward role showed maybe he is the man to nail down that side with a superb hat trick, this position along with the AP is two roles am struggling to get consistent performances from.

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A very workmanlike performance where we struggled to influence the game against a team with very similar ideas to ours albeit a team who are very well versed in the style. It took a penalty to break the deadlock which in some ways is very pleasing, although Ajax created a number of chances they found an inspired Maduka Okoye in goals.

We did create a few chances ourselves but in truth Ajax dominated the game which is what i expected. A man marking ploy against Dusan Tadic seeing the leagues top performer struggle to have an influence on the game which is a real positive to take from the game for future endeavours.

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Still sitting pretty in third place again only by a point from Vitesse who we face at the end of next month. Ajax are rampant at the minute which makes a 1-0 defeat not all that bad. Feyenoords draws are costing them which is pleasing as we dealt them one. I feel we really need to hit the back of the net more regularly to keep in touch with the top two but our defence has been a lot better this month.

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Ourselves, Vitesse and PSV are really struggling for consistency at the minute which sees the chasing pack from 3rd down to 7th bunch up. Next month provides us with AZ then Heerenveen who are next in line in the chasing pack, followed by RKC who devastated us earlier on this season so already December looks like a very crucial month for Sparta Rotterdam

Goal Review

I really hadn't planned to go into great details about any of my goals so soon, but I couldn't help but find Finn de Bruins goal really relevant.The reason I chose this one is that it shows the overload on the opposite side of Vito van Crooij’s goal against Feyenoord.

We scored some really good goals this month that probably were better goals which showed a broader element of what I am trying to create here at Sparta but I felt they weren't totally relevant at the minute as I am still toying with things trying to find the perfect blend to ensure these patterns happen regularly.

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First of all this shows one of the clear patterns in our play this year which is Arrey-Mbi driving into the half space with the ball, he currently completes 1.12 dribbles per game. This driving run breaks the first line of the press and opens up the half space.

From here the IF and Mezz combine well overloading the channel before the Mezz plays an exact copy of the ball from Haye in the previous goal, over the CB and in behind the Fullback. Finn de bruin latches on and shows composure beyond his years and slots home.

While it's certainly a little more fast paced and direct, It shows we are able to mirror each half space which in the end is my ultimate goal, I crave overloads in both areas but with subtle variation to allow our play not to become too predictable.

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Just the one aerial snapshot to show our positioning. The white box shows a clear 4v3 giving us numerical superiority in the right hand channel, this issue for the opponent eventually drags the 8 & 6 towards that side of the pitch which in turn drags 4 over slightly in the yellow box as he fears the ball to the DLF.

All these factors contribute to giving us a qualitative superiority in the green box, what does this mean in simple terms we have a 1v1 with a player who has more quality in the sense that he his quicker, better off the ball, better anticipation and has positional superiority as he is attacking the goal rather than tracking back.

I covered these terms in the Ruch Chorzow save, but will cover them in more depth as this game progresses. Right now I am trying to speed up haha.

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Excellent detail again (one of the many who really deliver on this) and a really nice read. I've been watching a fair bit of Eredivisie football in recent weeks and it's good to see the likes of Emegha in game. Your analysis is really deep, but even for somebody like me who keeps all that to a minimum, it's a very good read whenever I get time to catch up. Best of luck, it's bubbling up nicely behind Ajax and your Rotterdam rivals Feyenoord.

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4 hours ago, 13th Man said:

That goal is glorious. I love the short, short, short passes - probing and pulling the defenders towards the ball - then releasing the backside runner.

That’s the thinking! Need it more often tho. It’s happening but not as regularly as I would like. Possibly because our attacking numbers do need work. 
 

 

46 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Excellent detail again (one of the many who really deliver on this) and a really nice read. I've been watching a fair bit of Eredivisie football in recent weeks and it's good to see the likes of Emegha in game. Your analysis is really deep, but even for somebody like me who keeps all that to a minimum, it's a very good read whenever I get time to catch up. Best of luck, it's bubbling up nicely behind Ajax and your Rotterdam rivals Feyenoord.

thanks I really appreciate it! I try my best to allow people to see my thinking especially tactically as it’s the area of the game I enjoy most! I appreciate as some of it is lengthy so I do really thank you for your input 

 

29 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Echoing the above! Whilst I'm not one to be picky with how my teams score goals, I love nothing better than a good team-move to score!

trying my best while at the moment it’s probably not as fluid as I had achieved in FM21 it’s starting to come and we are certainly overachieving 

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Wow I have to say I’m impressed with the detail and obviously your results.  Your game strategy is well beyond where I’m at but I am learning a great deal here.  Being in the US the knowledge of football is not what it is in most of the rest of the world.  Thanks for sharing and continued good luck in your challenge 

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10 hours ago, DD Martin said:

Wow I have to say I’m impressed with the detail and obviously your results.  Your game strategy is well beyond where I’m at but I am learning a great deal here.  Being in the US the knowledge of football is not what it is in most of the rest of the world.  Thanks for sharing and continued good luck in your challenge 

Thanks very much I really appreciate the feed back.

I’m glad your enjoying it and even more do that you feel your gaining knowledge that’s really satisfy especially through a game. 


I played football semi professionally in my late teens early 20’s, so have a reasonable understanding from playing in real life and of course am a serious football addict. If am not playing watching or gaming it am often reading about it. This all helps in the end 

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1 hour ago, Hootieleece said:

Every manager gets that title when you win games and tweak the templates or use none at all! 

but just so you know Nesselquist Ball is NOW considered Fluid Counterattack...

Couldn’t agree more. The only time I’ve heard it and it’s stuck was for Sarri tbh. 
 

I had a laugh when the press conference mentioned it due to you till quoting the old nesselqusit ball!

are you enjoying the counter attacking aspect in the new ME? I’m playing on the opposite end of the scale, so would be good to hear how you find it. Especially with the new animations which I think are amazing. 

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The Counterattack works beautifully, the only things I complain about is defenders having incredible tracking down speed of defenders (mine or AI's) and VAR and Referees. The Refs and VAR are almost consistent in denying my attempts and letting the AI's stand or changing them to that effect. 

I think if you can get a really pacy (16+) forward you will do real damage.

It is probably cognitive bias, but almost every presser seems to be talking about Refereeing or VAR. So, it must be a problem! lol!

 

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3 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

The Counterattack works beautifully, the only things I complain about is defenders having incredible tracking down speed of defenders (mine or AI's) and VAR and Referees. The Refs and VAR are almost consistent in denying my attempts and letting the AI's stand or changing them to that effect. 

I think if you can get a really pacy (16+) forward you will do real damage.

It is probably cognitive bias, but almost every presser seems to be talking about Refereeing or VAR. So, it must be a problem! lol!

 

i do find some of the offsides rather bizzare but then i suppose thats the world of var that we now live in

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21 minutes ago, Reifi said:

The analytical analysis is just amazing! Makes me think of how I can change my tactic a bit more game by game by actually scouting my opponent.

I’m glad it’s gave you some thinking! I do make individual plans for each opponent but try to keep the overall philosophy intact. 
Really all I try to do it’s gain that little advantage that can make the difference. 
I also find it helps me know what to look for when watching in game to help with in game changes. 

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Tactical Growth

The time had come to change the system to be geared up into a more pure form of positional football with a total football element to it. I decided that the early hard work had paid off and the team was confident and familiarised enough with the basic style of play that I had been asking off and it was now time to challenge them to take it to the next level.

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There are quite a few key changes which have made the system a lot more adventurous and dynamic, aligning us with total football and positional play in particular.

I'm sure many people looking at it will see that it's not a far cry from how Pep Guardiola sets up at times. I think it would be very foolish not to implement some things from the great man who leads the way with this style in this day and age.

As always the way I approach tactics is I use real life examples as a basis for ideas and then in the game tweak and work on them to fine tune them into what I want to see on the pitch.

Two reasons for this is I then know what I'm looking for on the pitch which in turn helps me effect games. Secondly I find the tactical creator used to be a very overwhelming tool and would often find myself with lots of contradicting instructions. This way which I turned to around FM18 allows me to have a structure to build from rather than going round in circles.

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Changing to an attacking mentality is certainly the biggest change here, mainly because mentality is the single biggest decision you can make when creating a tactic as it affects everything. From width, to how you press, to how you transition to player individual mentalities to everything. Which then means I can trim down team instructions and use them for purely tailoring a style.

The description can be misleading by defining if you're a stronger team or not but to me my philosophy never changes instead the club grows into it. Like now this is the first step of tactical growth and in the recruitment peace that was the first DNA growth towards the overall philosophy.

  • Dominate Possession
  • Exploit Space in Final Third
  • Recycle Possession if High Chance of Losing 
  • Getting Players Forward Into Space
  • Creative freedom

All very key components of Total Football and Positional play. While positive mentality talks about probing and patient football, overlaps, maintaining possession I feel that can create possession for the sake of it and very bland football.

I was to create overloads, A free man between the lines, Space in behind full backs and then punish it. If i was to play slow the opponent would be able to nullify these threats a lot easier than if i'm moving them around quicker.

Positive mentions being wary of counter attacks which is the big trade off. I want attacking, passing and moving football therefore my weakness is counter attacks. I have to accept that and put small plans in place to try to limit it as much as possible without affecting my attack too much.

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To talior the attacking mentailty to help suit the philopshy just that little bit more ive selected 8 instructions, now thats not to say certain opponents require a few more or a few less or a certain one to counter a specific threat but overall these are the corner stone off what is needed to get the right style onto the pitch.

Passing out of defence is very self explanatory. I want to build play and keep the ball so it's essentially we aren't just lumping it up the park. Notice i haven't given the keeper specific instructions this is because i want to allow him a certain amount of freedom, it helps with variety. Short 9 times and a direct counter that 1 time can be very effective.

Shorter passing again has similar thinking behind it and with an attacking mentality its default setting would be more direct, which although i want at the right time am not wanting it constantly i do still want to recyle possesion if its not on. That is where player roles and instructions come into it.

Pass into space is about the newest one that i've started to use since the original Ruch ideas, i don't know if it's the new ME but i found with the old tactic i wasn't getting enough penetrating balls so i've added this and reaped the rewards. 

Transition is a key part of the system, I spoke about Pep's 15 pass rule before this is what hold shape is, allowing time for everyone to transition into their attacking position before mountain the attack. Counter press leads nicely to out of possession, when wanting to dominate the ball it's crucial to win it back as fast as possible after losing it therefore counter press is a must at all times.

Out of possession is another big change mainly because it's a flip around of what I had previously been doing. The higher defensive line and standard LOE never clicked, it provided good compactness but what I found was it was too compact and was affecting the space when in possession. Also it allowed too many opposition fullbacks freedom, as my central press idea flopped on me.

The attacking mentality sets the defensive line high enough by default, changing to a higher line of engagement allows me to really get after the ball higher up the pitch but still maintain a solid structure behind the press to help if the press is bypassed or when teams look to counter attack. It will almost form a slight spilt block not anything major but just slight.

A key factor in the style of play is making the pitch as big and wide as possible in possession but as compact and small in possession, but I felt it was too much. It led to the defence and midfield being right on top of each other. I have still opted to defend narrow and force the opponent wide which should still give me the effect of small pitch out of possession big pitch in.

Many people will ask why i dont have play wider ticked its mainly because the base mentailty sets it wide enough for what i require. I want to stretch play but i also need players close enough to link, therefore i use player instrcutions on the IW and the Winger to stay wide and hold postion so they stretch the play and open up the half space channels.

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The inverted wing back is back! I decided that although I thought the right side was incapable that the left certainly could handle it, it is however the one role I do change depending on the opponent. If I was to come up against a very good left footed winger I would change this to become a standard full back just so that he wasn't caught inside the pitch.

When he does play he fills the void left from the mezzla who attacks the half space nicely after the winger has dragged the fullback out of shape. It makes for some very nice combination play with two players gravitating to the half space while the other holds the width.

RPM is in for the AP as it was giving me absolutely no return, at least with the RPM i will get a more rounded package. I felt the game was bypassing the AP who often couldn't actually make space in the hole, whereas I feel the RPM will just move into whatever space opens up.

Inverted Winger now on the right which should provide me with another potential third man runner and a man between the lines. A goal threat and a creator, i still feel the inside forward doesn't give me what i want i had tried it again but i feel its too much off a second striker rather than someone who comes in off the line beating people before scoring. The IW with the attack duty should hopefully give me a blend of both.

Last but not least the DLF(A) becomes a CF(S) . I felt Thy started immense but he tailed off and I realised it was because although he was an attack duty he was often just being used to bounce off and never really managed to get in behind himself.

Now he should provide a more all round threat of leading the line, linking play and also getting in behind and into the box. The support duty description gives me everything I want. He will drop into space, run at the defence, drive to the flanks, play through balls through the defensive line. the only thing i dont want is the long shots but even then we should be high up the pitch anyway.

Edited by SixPointer
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Great stuff as always.

Two things I'm finding really interesting -

2 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Pass into space is about the newest one that i've started to use since the original Ruch ideas, i don't know if it's the new ME but i found with the old tactic i wasn't getting enough penetrating balls so i've added this and reaped the rewards. 

I'm finding the same thing to some extent, and while there's not a ton of pace in Benjani's Portsmouth side, I'm wondering if this will help in my save. Really curious to see how it works for you over time and might have to steal it.  With the possession heavy tactics, it might just give a little something extra to get in behind - which is how a lot of the goals have been scored.

2 hours ago, SixPointer said:

RPM is in for the AP as it was giving me absolutely no return, at least with the RPM i will get a more rounded package. I felt the game was bypassing the AP who often couldn't actually make space in the hole, whereas I feel the RPM will just move into whatever space opens up.

I really like this.  I've weirdly never managed to make the AP role work. In this case, it seems like he'd be pushing into a 'hole' that wasn't actually a 'hole' because the IW and the CF(s) would be moving into that area too and/or he'd get in their way.  Seems like an RPM might sit a bit further back where they'll actually find space.

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1 hour ago, Rikulec said:

I like that setup! :thup: Looks quite similar to what I've come up for my current save, although yours is a bit more complex compared to my very simplistic one.

I probably make it sound complex. Football is simple at the end of the day! 

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51 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

Great stuff as always.

Two things I'm finding really interesting -

I'm finding the same thing to some extent, and while there's not a ton of pace in Benjani's Portsmouth side, I'm wondering if this will help in my save. Really curious to see how it works for you over time and might have to steal it.  With the possession heavy tactics, it might just give a little something extra to get in behind - which is how a lot of the goals have been scored.

I really like this.  I've weirdly never managed to make the AP role work. In this case, it seems like he'd be pushing into a 'hole' that wasn't actually a 'hole' because the IW and the CF(s) would be moving into that area too and/or he'd get in their way.  Seems like an RPM might sit a bit further back where they'll actually find space.

Definitely my thinking. The next update will provide so footage of it playing out 

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Excellent post. I enjoy reading your thinking behind seemingly every little change - I think I've mentioned previously that the tactical side of the game and analysing is one of my downfalls. I could learn a thing or two from these posts amongst others on these forums :D

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December 2021

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A touched on previously how difficult and pivotal a month December could prove to be and it lived up to my expectation. Losing in Alkmaar makes it back to back defates following on from the Ajax defeat last month. I can't help but feel it's another bad result which really deserved more.

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AZ will be delighted with their 3 points but the result certainly never told the whole story. Sparta started really well on the front foot, controlling the game and creating chances until Bauer decided to get himself sent off in the 32nd minute for a second bookable offence.

AZ capitalised very quickly in the second half and although there were glimpses of chances the damage was really already done. The main thing is to take the positives out of the first half performance which showed the team is capable of performing the new tweaks to the system.

The trip to the north to take on sc Heerenveen a team im very fond of having led them in FM18 to Europa league glory and an Eredivisie title. Myself and Sparta showed them no sentiment in a game that should have finished more comfortably.

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The biggest pleasing factor being both our goals, Thy breaking in behind the line to round the goalkeeper was a sight to behold. Big man has  been needing a goal and the switch to CF got him much more involved and turned him into more of a threat rather than just a link player.

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The second goal above I won't get too deep into but I wanted to show the combination of the winger and Mezz on the left hand side, creating space in the channel before a lovely cut back finds the IW arriving at the back post to tap home. Two goals I don't think would have happened without taking the system to the next level.

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I certainly got this one totally wrong in front of a sellout in a local derby. I threw the backups and the kids under the bus and paid the price ultimately as Sparta crashed out the KNVB Beker in the second round.

Clearly they weren't ready for the new system and the fans have a right to be annoyed, it's also the first hurdle in the challenge but not something I had prioritized at this season and I was more concerned about the Vitesse game which sees 3rd against 4th at the Het Kasteel.

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Great  game of football this one, again we controlled from the first to the last minute which is reflected in the 62% possession and 2.05 XG. Vitesse to their credit were dogged in their defending and looked to counter regularly and made it a fascinating contest.

Not the biggest result of the season. I think that still belongs to the PSV game but I would say this was our most complete performance in terms of the style of play echoed by the second goal which saw a great third man run from Mijnans to break the lines and be the free man. Finally a performance from the RCM role and let me tell you that is very satisfying.

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Revenge against RKC rounds off the month which Howedes can take many positives from, as mentioned the goals scored are really the types of goals i want to see us scoring. The league averages at just over the halfway mark see that the style of play is coming to life more and more, leading the way with possession and passing but also backing it up by hitting the target. Hopefully in time more goals will flow.

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Ajax are devastating in everything that they are doing, only dropping points in one game this season. Feyenoord have even been blown away at this point. Mainly though Sparta are holding their own in the top four at keeping in touch with two of the big three with Vitesse tucked in just behind. The second half of the season after the winter break will be very exciting, with SC Cambuur up next.

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Cooking up a storm!

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1 hour ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Excellent post. I enjoy reading your thinking behind seemingly every little change - I think I've mentioned previously that the tactical side of the game and analysing is one of my downfalls. I could learn a thing or two from these posts amongst others on these forums :D

My top tip for the tactical side is trying to translate real life into the game. While it’s impossible to completely replicate certain things it’s definitely gives a good starting point. Which also helps with analysis as you then know what you want to see and what you don’t want to see and then with the new data hub you can see statistically if it’s working how you wish as well. 

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