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[FM22] A Day Without Football is a Day Lost


SixPointer
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The Idea of saving the switches is something I also stumbled upon.....

I actually keep 3 copies of the same tactic. I am currently using the 5-2-1-2WB and Focus play Left, Middle, and Right. All with the same TI's and Roles. (All generally based on Nesselquist Ball, but I am actually playing defensively soaking up pressure)

I generally use/start with the Focus play through the Middle unless I am told by the Assman or can figure out the opposition have a vulnerable flank.

It makes for easier transitions when I need to change something up. Even though I usually change the mentality first because I have found bigger dividends by doing that.

I used to start with Balanced Mentality, but I like Positive Better and Lower the Defensive Line and Line of Engagement a step to compensate for the higher mentality.

 

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11 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

The Idea of saving the switches is something I also stumbled upon.....

I actually keep 3 copies of the same tactic. I am currently using the 5-2-1-2WB and Focus play Left, Middle, and Right. All with the same TI's and Roles. (All generally based on Nesselquist Ball, but I am actually playing defensively soaking up pressure)

I generally use/start with the Focus play through the Middle unless I am told by the Assman or can figure out the opposition have a vulnerable flank.

It makes for easier transitions when I need to change something up. Even though I usually change the mentality first because I have found bigger dividends by doing that.

I used to start with Balanced Mentality, but I like Positive Better and Lower the Defensive Line and Line of Engagement a step to compensate for the higher mentality.

 

There is definitely some value you in having team instructions set ups saved. I’ve usually been a 3 system saved man. With all three systems having the core principles but little adjustments for specific threats. The end game would be to have these three systems with potentially 3 sets of instructions.

 

good to see Ole Martin Nesselquist still alive and kicking. Unfortunately he lost his job at Christmas in real life. Am glad you still take values from his Odds Bk system 

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Septemeber 2022

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The balancing act of European group stage football hasn't posed as much a problem as first feared. The squad depth being utilized to its full which is testament to some of the younger players who really have excelled. Two tough away trips for the young side gathered 4 points and a very gutsy home performance against lazio showed they have the metal to carry the burden their performances have certainly given Howedes plenty to think about. Scheffer becomes the clubs youngest ever goalscorer with a well taken goal against the italian giants.

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Three good results in the league backed up with two really good performances. Willem II being a real highlight of the month putting three past them and actually taking our chances they reversed could be said about fortuna when we really dominated the game but failed to turn our dominance into goals. AZ was a very tough test and in the end a late goal rescued a great point again struggling to make chances from long periods of domination has thrown Howedes back into tactical planning.

The league is starting to take shape now and AJax and Feyennord continue on from where they left off last season. The shock so far is RKC Waalwijk who have won 5 of their first 6. AZ and FC Twente already look in better shape this year and with no European football to worry about they may have an advantage. Heerenveen is a bad news story. They linger at the bottom, their playing squad is one to rival Sparta Rotterdams so it shows how tough the league can be if you're not at the best.

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Good solid start.  Only a few points out from the European places despite playing in Europe.  Were Zorya and Sarajevo decent games?  They worry you as contenders for getting to the knockout stages?

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10 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Good solid start.  Only a few points out from the European places despite playing in Europe.  Were Zorya and Sarajevo decent games?  They worry you as contenders for getting to the knockout stages?

Think we should take care off them relatively comfortably at home. 

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October/November 2022

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As the league comes to a break for the world cup this effectively becomes the winter break. 11 games gone and things are going reasonably well still very much in the mix for the top four but trail city rivals Feyenoord by 7 points at the top so i don't think there will be a title challenge mounted any time soon, That said had a couple of bad results been turned we would be right in the thick of it. Goals scored is a clear and obvious issue with the lowest scorers in the top half and ten goals off the pace in terms of leading scorers.

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Another issue which has been our achilles heel for a long time is consistency, it's not even consistently bad with draws or losses it's just a complete mixed bag of results every month. However performances are consistent, often dominating the ball and creating chances. Drawing 1-1 against a struggling Heerenveen and then destroying PSV the game after sums it up perfectly. Away form is concerning only 1 win in 6 compared to 4 wins in 5 at home so the break a tactic for the road is going to be top of the agenda.

A crazy 10 minute period in the middle of the first half saw Vitesse race ahead and see out the result again, dominating the ball and creating good chances but could not hit the net. Utrect offered very little in terms of any threat but again our finishing was less than convincing. Heerenveen is a real sore point. An early penalty for them was their only shot on target while yet again the finishing let us down.

PSV was the complete performance and Lennart Thy found his shooting boots and smashed home a hatrick to note there was a slight tweak in tactic as i made him CF(A) which may just be the answer. FC Twente dealt another blow after leading for 60 minutes and then Thy missed a penalty on 85 which more than likely would have given us the three points. The fine margins are not falling our way right now but performances are good so we charge on.

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The younger lads continue to cover themselves in glory as they get the job done in both home games against Sarajevo and Zorya before another respectable performance against lazio in the italian capital. Lazio cleaned up the group as expected but I feel we dealt with two tricky sides expertly and proceeded to knock out football for our efforts. There is a my clubs at Lazio level already in the draw so i don't feel winning the tournament is a realistic target at this present stage but when you consider twice it's been a weaker side and they only beat us by a goal in each game there could well be a chance if full strength sides were put up against them.

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A closer look at passing and possession and it's clear it's not a case of too much possession for the sake of it, attempting the most passes in the league but not completing them all would point to the fact it's not all safe passes being played, furthermore looking into possession winning the ball back isn't the issue, the pressing is working but the issue is we are loose in possession which is frustrating, but again it probably means we are looking for  hose risks key passes.

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The data backs up what I felt I was seeing on the pitch, chances are certainly being created with a whopping 40 clear cut chances in 11 games. This was a real weak point in our game last season, a lack of clear cut chances so it's pleasing to see this has been rectified. Attacking efficiency is now at its worst since i arrived at the club, in contrast last season this was the strongest part of our game often leading the way in conversion percentages. Now last season we sat along the average line for shots taken as well so it's not a case of we are shooting a lot more it's just the fact we aren't taking our chances.

Now something for me to consider here is the Mezzala’s are a lot more advanced this year and often find themselves through on goal after impressive third man running, last year it was more the wide men breaking the lines so this could be a factor especially for the Iceman who unlike Mijnans hasn't really hit the net as much as i would like. Something to be watched closely and I may need to get them on some PPM training for finishing.

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The XG table further confirms that if the finer margins in attack had fell our way we would be right in the mix. If i can solve these small issues we have a chance of another top four finish. The issue is making sure I don't sacrifice our great build up play and chance creation for trying to find the net more. I'm very tempted to leave as is and eventually the net will bulge.

I would be a lot more concerned if changes were not created as well as not taking them. A slight tweak here and there may just find the solution in particular when we play on the road which we have an issue with at the minute.

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Three players head to the world cup in Qatar, two for African countries and one for European. Nagalo looks to be making his debut at the tournament for  Ivory Coast and Okoye carries on as Nigeria's number one. Brunic changed to Bosnia from Germany having made the grade at under 21 while playing with Dortmund he now finds full international football with the country his parents were born in.

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Home draw in the KNVB Beker against relegation battlers De Graafschap a tough draw for the second round. This year i really want to give the cup a real go, last season wasn't good enough and this really is the first hurdle in the challenge so it would be good to get it in the bag sooner rather than later as i will have to nail down a job at one of the big three after cup success, so i could be waiting a while for that opportunity so it would be best to have the cup put to bed and in the trophy cabinet. Plus who doesn't love a good cup win!

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

It's a good solid start to the season. 

Btw do you need to win the Dutch cup or would something like the conference league do?

Good start but had hoped for better but still in the picture and still in Europe can’t have to many complaints. 
Dutch cup is the first step on the challenge so it’s all that will do. I do have 7 seasons to do it but I need a big three job as well at some point. So it’s best i attack it ASAP 

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Very good. Your team looks ready to play 3 games in a week, this is always a very difficult task in fm and IRL, especially if you aren't in a team who get used on this.

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1 hour ago, Sheriff7 said:

Very good. Your team looks ready to play 3 games in a week, this is always a very difficult task in fm and IRL, especially if you aren't in a team who get used on this.

I have to get huge praise to the kids who have stepped up and made a real difference they have been responsible for the European success. In particular Hamza el dahri and Edwin Scheffer have been exceptional.  

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Good start. Being in Europe really adds a lot to the sides plate, so I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself - though of course we’re always looking for improvement!  Especially in older versions you could see how the players would start the game at 93%, tire so much quicker, etc. (I like how we just see the hearts these days FWIW). This edition also seems to have a more realistic drop off in performance as players tire and get jaded. Even if you rotate (which brings its own issues) players in match day squads tire much quicker.

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6 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Good start. Being in Europe really adds a lot to the sides plate, so I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself - though of course we’re always looking for improvement!  Especially in older versions you could see how the players would start the game at 93%, tire so much quicker, etc. (I like how we just see the hearts these days FWIW). This edition also seems to have a more realistic drop off in performance as players tire and get jaded. Even if you rotate (which brings its own issues) players in match day squads tire much quicker.

Totally agree with all of the above - it's fun though and adds another dimension to the management of your club. 

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8 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Good start. Being in Europe really adds a lot to the sides plate, so I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself - though of course we’re always looking for improvement!  Especially in older versions you could see how the players would start the game at 93%, tire so much quicker, etc. (I like how we just see the hearts these days FWIW). This edition also seems to have a more realistic drop off in performance as players tire and get jaded. Even if you rotate (which brings its own issues) players in match day squads tire much quicker.

1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Totally agree with all of the above - it's fun though and adds another dimension to the management of your club. 

Definitely agree. It adds more realism. In this day and age with the sports science and the physical demands off the game in terms of fitness if your not at least 75% you are going to have a drop off in performance. Maybe 3 games out of 5 you won’t notice it to much but you certainly have at least one game we’re it really effects performance.
 

I also love that the intensity your press and intensity of the tactic in general has been reworked and that unless you have a really fit team it’s difficult to press effectively for a whole 90 minutes. 

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3 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Have to agree with @13th Man. European football adds extra fixtures to the schedule which, for a team like yourselves who aren't yet in a position to necessary cope as well as some of the teams at the top, makes it challenging. You're going well at the moment.

The fact I’ve really handed the tournament to the young guns and squad players shows the depth is better than expected! 

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Mid Season Break 2022

As previously discussed, the extended early break for the World Cup would be a good time for fine tuning the tactics and working on some issues.

  • Build 4231

  • Refine Salida

The conductor and its 235 shape in possession has been used exclusively this season, while its proved to create lots of chances and is defensively sound it seems to come undone away from home. This is my main reason for constructing a 4231 with a double pivot; it should give more protection as well as an extra man in the build up phase for teams who press higher when playing at home.

Another slight issue is although it creates many chances they often fall at the feet of the Mezzala’s their third man runs often lead them into one on one situations with the keeper and while they do score or at least make the keeper work it is a big burden to carry.

Sven Mijnans has great long shots and his finishing has improved so he does tend to take the chances better than Kolbeinn Þórðarson who lacks in both attributes but does have good composure. The most recent switch was to make the Complete Forward and attack duty to help him become more of a spearhead as well this seems to have helped therefore i wont tweak this system at the minute.

Refining Salida

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Named the Salida it does not require a rocket scientist to work out that the salida lavolpiana is a huge part of the system. What is this? For people unsure on the term, La salida lavolpiana’ means building up with three players in the offensive phase, primarily two centre backs and a defensive midfielder dropping to form a three chain with the full-backs tending to go further wide.

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Thus, meaning the line of 4 players would have just 2 players and opening the central hollow space for the midfielder dropping between them, who will come from the next line to the starting line, thereby moving from 2 to 3 participants in this first phase of the attack.

So now in game, with the new shape the wing backs have been pushed up and the centre backs being told to stay wider this should encourage the half back to drop in more and make it a three. Therefore creating the numerical overload against a 1 or 2 man strike force. Creating the salida lavolpiana and giving us a crucial overload in early build up play.

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Now the idea here is with WB’s bombing forward and attacking the byline the IW’s have been told to sit narrow and tuck in. This will create a dilemma for the defending fullbacks if they go narrow or stay wide. If they choose not to go narrow the IW’s will overload the CB’s if they go narrow its asking a lot of the wingers to track marauding wing backs.

With this movement above it made no sense to then have the two Mezzala’s sitting on the same line, as the IW’s as it doesn't fit in with positional play rules. No more than 3 players in horizontal zones and no more than two in vertical zones. Switching to AP will see them sit more narrow and become bounce passes for the wide overloads.

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The complete forward in this system stays as a support duty looking for him to be more creative and linking play with the wide men getting in behind. This should create a 343 like shape when attacking with penetration in the wide and half spaces. 

The movement in midfield coupled with the CF is the polar opposite of the Conductor system where the wing backs tuck in and the inverted wingers are responsible for the width and allows the Mezzalas to become third man runners. Now this should help with variation and gives the widemen the chance to be the third man runners.

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The in possession positioning against Austria Wien (top) in a resounding 6-1 victory shows a nice balanced 343 shape. This compared to the 235 shape from early or on pre season shows the contrast in systems nicely.

In possession these two now provide great variation, if a team is weaker down the sides Salida can be used to exploit this or if they simply need their wide men pinned down. If the Middle of the pitch is a weakness the Conductor can be used to get the third man runs coming from central while stretching the pitch with wide men and covering IWB adding to the overload.

Creating Pivots

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The first draft of the double pivot system, drawn up for trials. Avery very basic system to get the creative juices flowing, opted for the deeper version but also considered going asymmetrical but for the time being i'll keep it relatively simple until I start to see patterns and ideas flow in

The CB's and midfield two should create a nice box shape in build up with the DLP being set to more defensive to allow the LWB to push on while a Volante the first time i've actually deployed one should become somewhat of a hybrid 6/8 is covered by a little more concervative fullback. The advanced areas are filled with two basic wide men and a Shadow striker/CF combo which am looking for rotations from. I thought about false 9 but i don't really have the player to play it. I'm hoping for a sort of 334 shape in possession but it is very much a work in progress.

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The results certainly gave food for thought, the first four games I used to refine Salida and with the final result against Austria Wien becoming a huge success with a 6-1 victory. Moving on to the 4231 saga things started really well against a strong AC Milan side with a win against the italian giants however the leeds game showed things still needed slight tweaking it also showed that away form even in exhibition games is poor! Real Valladolid saw some creative juices flow and the system morphed into a 424 and with some great success.

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The SS has shifted to one side as has the CF and now the Volante is switched to an attack duty. In all honesty I am really still trialling the system so it's a far cry from being finished but just gives you an idea of how I play around with things to try and create ideas. It's morphed into a 424 shape with a 244 feel to it in attack which really draws away from the thinking of being a conservative system, it does however defend like a 442 which does bring a solid aspect to it.

Youth Candidates

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A sweeper keeper with real promise would be ideal timing as would a couple of nice full backs as it's an area of weakness in the youth ranks. Defensive midfield and striker are areas of already strength but the more talent the better. Wingers are always welcome but I would have liked to have seen another couple of creative centre mids join the ranks along with a cb. You can't look a gift horse in the mouth though and it's good for potential success.

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Shortly after the preview I approached the board about improving the recruitment process. After a lengthy discussion i managed to convince them it was best for the club, in doing so it helps us compete with our bigger neighbours Feyenoord in capturing the local talent. Telling the board a few home truths about how strong Feyenoord academy is compared to ours seemed to do the trick.

European Conference League

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A home draw in the conference league goes a long way at this stage as it's only a one off match. Drawn against the belgian talent factory that is Racing Club Genk who finished 3rd domestically last season.

They boast a talented squad with no less than 7 players being worth more than 30 million euros and with their star Nigerian striker Paul Onuachu being worth around 75 million it's safe to say it's going to be a tough match. I do however fancy ourselves at home against anyone on our day.

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I like the 4-4-2 shape. For people using an AMC it seems like SS is still the preferred role of choice.

I am actually struggling to get my AMC performing as an AP so wondering whether I ought to make a switch too.

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4 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

I like the 4-4-2 shape. For people using an AMC it seems like SS is still the preferred role of choice.

I am actually struggling to get my AMC performing as an AP so wondering whether I ought to make a switch too.

I’ve always felt the SS gives the most punch from the AMC. the system is very much in its infancy and will no doubt continue to be tweaked until I get something sustainable 

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17 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

I’ve always felt the SS gives the most punch from the AMC. the system is very much in its infancy and will no doubt continue to be tweaked until I get something sustainable 

I agree but do you think SS and AF can work together? As my striker is best suited for AF.

I know that SS + DLF/F9 can be lethal. CF(s) should technically work very well too.

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2 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

I agree but do you think SS and AF can work together? As my striker is best suited for AF.

I know that SS + DLF/F9 can be lethal. CF(s) should technically work very well too.

I’m not sure about AF SS as both will be attacking the same space. But like everything try it and see if you like what your seeing. The game is fluid and while certain things don’t work sometimes it’s actually what someone wants to happen. So play around with it. It may give birth to another idea even if that one in particular doesn’t work. 

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39 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

I’m not sure about AF SS as both will be attacking the same space. But like everything try it and see if you like what your seeing. The game is fluid and while certain things don’t work sometimes it’s actually what someone wants to happen. So play around with it. It may give birth to another idea even if that one in particular doesn’t work. 

Yeah that's why I have my doubts about it. Actually my players are most suited to AP in the AMC role but that just seems to not work on FM for years now.

I am contemplating ditching the 4-2-3-1 and going back to the trusted 4-3-3, let's see.

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3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Yeah that's why I have my doubts about it. Actually my players are most suited to AP in the AMC role but that just seems to not work on FM for years now.

I am contemplating ditching the 4-2-3-1 and going back to the trusted 4-3-3, let's see.

I always find people over crowd the AP. He needs space to work in. Also it’s very easy for him to be marked out of the game. I like the treq as it’s roams around. But can be lazy if your high pressing and have a naturally lazy player. That’s why I like the shadow striker as he works hard of the ball. 
 

I had some success with the enganche tail end of FM21 but you need to make sure you have lots of movement all around him. Again if he comes up against a DM or even two he is struggling. 

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1 hour ago, SixPointer said:

I always find people over crowd the AP. He needs space to work in. Also it’s very easy for him to be marked out of the game. I like the treq as it’s roams around. But can be lazy if your high pressing and have a naturally lazy player. That’s why I like the shadow striker as he works hard of the ball. 
 

I had some success with the enganche tail end of FM21 but you need to make sure you have lots of movement all around him. Again if he comes up against a DM or even two he is struggling. 

That's true. I think when you compare it to how effective a mezzalla is there is just little upside to persisting with a 4231 over a 433. 

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43 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

That's true. I think when you compare it to how effective a mezzalla is there is just little upside to persisting with a 4231 over a 433. 

Very much so. A 4231 is a system I’ve virtually never used mainly because I prefer a single pivot. So I’m determined to give it a go. And it also keep me clear of my old back three addiction :lol:

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20 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

Very much so. A 4231 is a system I’ve virtually never used mainly because I prefer a single pivot. So I’m determined to give it a go. And it also keep me clear of my old back three addiction :lol:

Fair enough! Always good to try something different. That's my reasoning too. 

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I spent the last couple of days slowly reading this thread from the first page and really enjoyed it. I like a lot the way you explain the tactical concepts, define a club DNA and climb the ladder with smart recruitment. Being a positional play fan, it evern inspired me to maybe start a new save. Thank you very much for taking the time to write it and share with us :)
 

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January 2023

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Dare I say it? yes i shall, poor consistency is an absolute killer. Granted I didn't expect much in return against Feyenoord at home considering how well they are playing but I really felt the other six games were more than winnable.

Yet again it's the away games that are letting us down going to places like VVV-Venlo and RKC and dropping points back to back is just not going to cut it if Sparta are to remain best of the rest this really needs to be sorted out.

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This is where things get really frustrating, dropping points and then hammering teams. The performances on the whole aren't that bad, poor goals at poor times and a lack of cutting edge when it matters most. In all but one game against Feyenoord we have a better XG and more possession and even then it's not like Feyenoord completely outdone us in those stats, to have a better stats 6 out of 7 games it's really coming down to silly mistakes.

Three outstanding performances against Almere City, De Graafschap and Heerenveen, domainted the games, created chances and took them with Thy deciding against De Graafschap it was time for another hat trick. Three clean sheets further backed up that the team is more than capable of these great performances and doing so all the while using two sets of the systems. Feyenoord winning 3-0 doesn't really tell the true story of the match, early missed chances on our part allowed our rivals to take the lead and in the end their ruthlessness in front of goal was the deciding factor.

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The pass map against Cambuur shows the newly tweaked Salida in all its glory, the only downside is the RWB having pushed on so far compared to the LWB which slighly topples to the balance of this system. However the three assists did come from the IW on the left hand side so perhaps the overload worked wonders and allowed the IW to weave his magic.

The half back was at the heart of everything good which is crucial as he sits at the base of the centrally formed diamond, also note how he has sat nicely between CB's forming the Salida Lavolpiana when in early build up which can be shown how much he links with the two CB's. The CF has dropped nicely to link with the AP pairing which completes the central diamond nicely.

The left hand side of the structure has formed a perfect diamond with the LCB at the base the LWB ,AP and IW making the more advanced triangle to complete the shape. Diamonds and triangles are crucial for ball progression to give the player on the ball as many options as possible, it's also a very critical component of positional play. Numerical and qualitative superiority are the goal. Dragging the opponent out of shape and achieving these are central.

Scoring 3 goals with only an XG of 1.60 takes me back to the sort of finishing off last season, when attacking efficiency was optium in our success, I thought we had turned the corner.

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The VVV-Venlo match is perhaps the most frustrating of all the 7 games. An early lead for the hosts was about as much as they offered all game, they held on though due to poor finishing on our part, with over 20% more possession and a XG of 1.87 it really is disappointing to not have come away with at least a point. When taking the match momentum into account it should really have been all three points coming back to Rotterdam, dominating from start to finish. Tough pill to swallow!

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RKC Waalwijk was like travelling back in a time machine and not like the Cambuur game for good reasons. It was the downfall of last season that came back to haunt us here. For 90 minutes things looked good turned the game around and were clincial in doing so, but wait it's the old late goal from last season it's back and wait it's the first goal conceded directly from a corner. The two worst things from last season that seemed to have been conquered until this point were back and with a vengeance together. Throw in Mario Engels opened the scoring after being sold and it made for another very frustrating day for Benedikt Howedes.

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After the sale of Joey Veerman to RB Salzburg I knew SC Heerenveen would be weaker in the middle. Losing a key cog in their machine and a real creative influence lead me back to the conductor for this one. This along with coming off the back of a 3-0 home defeat.

The shift paid off dividends as both mezzala’s broke the lines and slotted home, maybe a message to Howedes that they dont mind shouldering a fair amount of the goalscoring responsibilities both had not scored in the Salida system which had done what was asked of it and gave the IW’s the net to hit.

The shape boasts some very nice diamonds and triangles again like its sister system. This time however we have a double central diamond with the goalie at the base of the first one and the Regista at the base of the second one which in terms makes the Regista central to all things good which is evident with Brunics passing performance.

The two outside diamonds are again a little lopsided but both are formed and further increase the options of the ball carriers. I am struggling to get any of the WB's to perform the inverted roll as well as young Hasenhutl on the right, perhaps because both prefer to to hit the line. I thought the technically gifted Frese would take to it like a duck to water but it hasn't been the case.

Eredivisie Table

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Just over the halfway stage in the 2022/2023 Eredivisie and although i've done some complaining Howedes side are still right in their with a chance of another top four finish, yes had this month played out as expected we would be sitting at two points of PSV and one point off AJax. All three are still relentless in their form but this season they have dropped slightly more points than at this stage last year.

FC Twente fell from a great height this month after a great opening to the season, they were  only to be replaced by a frightening in form Vitesses Arnhem side who are on a 5 game winning streak. AZ are tucked in behind us and appear to have their own concisnegtcy issues. There is slight breathing room to both RKC Waalwijk and VVV- Venlo who masterminded our downfall this month.

Goals scored continue to be an issue but with the 3 of the last 4 games providing 9 goals without reply and a tough game in between i feel things may just be starting to click but who knows what next month will bring and with PSV up first it's certainly not going to be an easy start especially when they are looking for revenge.

KNVB Beker

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Well there goes the attack on the Dutch cup, a strong side crashes out on penalties in a very bizarre game where our opponents just held onto possession for what seemed an eternity. This year I really wanted to push for this and now it's starting to become a concern as the Happel Challenge runs on. I really need this cup to unlock access to the famous big three. Perhaps I may have been better sending the players who thrived in Europe into battle here instead of switching to a full strength side.

Transfer News

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Bauer complained of being priced out of a move even though all that was asked was to meet the release clause he had agreed with the club, i argued the case and he didn't like it and am not in the business of keeping unhappy players around who don't want to be at the club. They never perform and also it's in keeping with the realism factor I strive for in all my saves.

In the end a good deal was agreed, 2 million for a player who cost only 400k and with a nice sell-on fee in the future, although he has been placed on the loan list immediately so hopefully he can impress and make his way into the EPL side.

This leaves a void to be filled in terms of offering cover for Nagalo, although Nelson De Bodt is shown signs of great promise he's just not quite there yet. He is only 16 and will have plenty of time to still feature but I had to dip my toes into the preverbal market.

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The former Dutch under 21 player comes with a usual slogan for Bendicted Howedes type signings "He never lived up to the early promise he showed'' The 28 year old has a point to prove as he comes into the prime years of his career and he is looking to prove it at the city rival. Having come through Feyenoords famed academy and going on to make 118 league appearances he's no stranger to Rotterdam but now he is playing with Sparta and not the big boys.

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Scoring a reasonable 123 in DNA does the job, after all he will mainly be a backup option although he is more than capable of starting if called upon. Decisions is a weak point in terms of the DNA and his pace and bravery cause separate concerns in terms of the all round package.

A few things did however swing me towards him, the fact he was fairly cheap as he was heading into his last year of his contract and that he didn't mind being a squad player played a big part. The big things though were his traits, plays short simple passes and runs with the ball rarely and marks tight all three things i like from the CD's. The traits, his age, personality and his determination make for him being a great mentor to the likes of De Bodt who can now shadow him on and off the park. All in all happy with a deadline day rescue.

Edited by SixPointer
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2 hours ago, AlexandreMCD said:

I spent the last couple of days slowly reading this thread from the first page and really enjoyed it. I like a lot the way you explain the tactical concepts, define a club DNA and climb the ladder with smart recruitment. Being a positional play fan, it evern inspired me to maybe start a new save. Thank you very much for taking the time to write it and share with us :)
 

Thanks very much. That really means a lot. I’m Glad you’re really enjoying it and even going as far as inspiring you into a potential new save is all great news. Thanks for the great feedback and hope you continue to enjoy it. 
if you start a new save and decide to write about it be sure to tag me so I can join you on the journey. :thup:

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6 hours ago, SixPointer said:

I always find people over crowd the AP. He needs space to work in. Also it’s very easy for him to be marked out of the game. I like the treq as it’s roams around. But can be lazy if your high pressing and have a naturally lazy player. That’s why I like the shadow striker as he works hard of the ball. 
 

I had some success with the enganche tail end of FM21 but you need to make sure you have lots of movement all around him. Again if he comes up against a DM or even two he is struggling. 

I was surprised to see you play a 4-2-3-1Wide, but what you say about the AP is true and like you I have come to like the Treq, but a SS-A or AP-A can do the job. Most players aren't Treq's and it is a hard set of attributes to look for.

5 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

That's true. I think when you compare it to how effective a mezzalla is there is just little upside to persisting with a 4231 over a 433. 

The Mezzala is probably an important role in a 4-3-3 Midfield, but that is just a guess with me never having luck with a 4-3-3.

4 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Very much so. A 4231 is a system I’ve virtually never used mainly because I prefer a single pivot. So I’m determined to give it a go. And it also keep me clear of my old back three addiction :lol:

In my annual Journeyman save I have reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 Wide after 7 seasons' of 5-2-1-2WB Nessequist ball. Hated to do it, but I was taking over a top side (Bohemian's in Irish Premier) and needed results it is Title or Bust! I think I am over my 3 man defense for a while.... but not off the Vertical Tiki Taka.

I might have to get into the 4-3-3 craze!

 

PS. You are doing fine with Sparta. Top Four within reach, but don't worry just beat the "relegation fodder" like a drum and play .500 against the top four and your team will be fine. 

Your team is still a work in progress.... not yet a finely tuned "Title Machine"!

 

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7 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

The Mezzala is probably an important role in a 4-3-3 Midfield, but that is just a guess with me never having luck with a 4-3-3

It's definitely one of the best roles on FM in my opinion.

@SixPointergood run of form there. Are you still in the Cup as well?

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19 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

I was surprised to see you play a 4-2-3-1Wide, but what you say about the AP is true and like you I have come to like the Treq, but a SS-A or AP-A can do the job. Most players aren't Treq's and it is a hard set of attributes to look for.

The Mezzala is probably an important role in a 4-3-3 Midfield, but that is just a guess with me never having luck with a 4-3-3.

In my annual Journeyman save I have reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 Wide after 7 seasons' of 5-2-1-2WB Nessequist ball. Hated to do it, but I was taking over a top side (Bohemian's in Irish Premier) and needed results it is Title or Bust! I think I am over my 3 man defense for a while.... but not off the Vertical Tiki Taka.

I might have to get into the 4-3-3 craze!

 

PS. You are doing fine with Sparta. Top Four within reach, but don't worry just beat the "relegation fodder" like a drum and play .500 against the top four and your team will be fine. 

Your team is still a work in progress.... not yet a finely tuned "Title Machine"!

 

I think am being over critical but it’s just the manner of the bad results that’s frustrating me. It more the case of it could be even better than it is. 
 

 

11 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

It's definitely one of the best roles on FM in my opinion.

@SixPointergood run of form there. Are you still in the Cup as well?

sadly we went out on penalties to De Graafschap

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First off, the Heerenveen passing map is glorious.  Those two MEZs runs from deep are absolutely brutal, as Benjani's also found at Portsmouth, but the spacing is also really nice.  Also great business on the CBs.  Bring in €2m and get a pretty good replacement for €500k?  Fantastic.  Lack of bravery is a bit of a concern, but with the possession style it's not quite as important in some ways.

On the tactics - have those WBs worked for you in a 'back four'?  I know they were cooking in Poland in FM21, but they look a bit vulnerable on the flanks.  Maybe worth it for the overloads.  I do know that as teams get more direct when down late in games they love to hit those long balls down the flanks.  That said, I was a wide player for most of my playing days and loved it when the wings were left open so it's always been a focus of mine...

On the 4-2-3-1...

I haven't done a 4-2-3-1 in a few FM versions now (last seen in FM19 I think), but previously I found that a double pivot of a creative holding player [DLP(d)]and a 'runner' [CM(s) set to 'take more risks' if a good passer and sometimes 'close down more'] has worked really well.  I haven't liked BBM as they roam too much and remove that solidity, but a BWM(s) also worked nicely...if got too many yellows.  The other key is to have spacing in the front four - I think I had something like...

          CF(a)

W(a) - AM(s) - IF(s)

The AM would naturally drift left, the CF would often drift right, and the WBs would bomb forward into the spaces they created (right WB would often provide width while the left WB would combine with the AM a little narrower.

In your version I'd wonder about having the left sided W switched to a IW or IF as there will be more space in the left channel.  On the right, the VOL should move into those open spaces so the Winger keeping the width would be nice...

(Apologies for the update length reply, but once I get going on tactics...)

 

 

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15 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

First off, the Heerenveen passing map is glorious.  Those two MEZs runs from deep are absolutely brutal, as Benjani's also found at Portsmouth, but the spacing is also really nice.  Also great business on the CBs.  Bring in €2m and get a pretty good replacement for €500k?  Fantastic.  Lack of bravery is a bit of a concern, but with the possession style it's not quite as important in some ways.

On the tactics - have those WBs worked for you in a 'back four'?  I know they were cooking in Poland in FM21, but they look a bit vulnerable on the flanks.  Maybe worth it for the overloads.  I do know that as teams get more direct when down late in games they love to hit those long balls down the flanks.  That said, I was a wide player for most of my playing days and loved it when the wings were left open so it's always been a focus of mine...

On the 4-2-3-1...

I haven't done a 4-2-3-1 in a few FM versions now (last seen in FM19 I think), but previously I found that a double pivot of a creative holding player [DLP(d)]and a 'runner' [CM(s) set to 'take more risks' if a good passer and sometimes 'close down more'] has worked really well.  I haven't liked BBM as they roam too much and remove that solidity, but a BWM(s) also worked nicely...if got too many yellows.  The other key is to have spacing in the front four - I think I had something like...

          CF(a)

W(a) - AM(s) - IF(s)

The AM would naturally drift left, the CF would often drift right, and the WBs would bomb forward into the spaces they created (right WB would often provide width while the left WB would combine with the AM a little narrower.

In your version I'd wonder about having the left sided W switched to a IW or IF as there will be more space in the left channel.  On the right, the VOL should move into those open spaces so the Winger keeping the width would be nice...

(Apologies for the update length reply, but once I get going on tactics...)

 

 

In short both tactics are working well, they have really clicked and now im happy with both systems. It's been about looking at the opposition in depth and deciding which one is better suited along with what set of saved instructions I have. The wing backs success is very mixed, young Hasenhutl has been arguably our best player nailing it in both the conventional wing back role and the Inverted. Likewise Bader also on the right has had some good success. The left has been a little more slow both Frese and Kaib struggled with the inverted and were inconsistent when on wing back on attack although both have shown glimpses.

As for late in the games if it's tight i often drop them back into a flat four and make them support duties. In Fact if it's tight late on both tactics can shift often wingers drop back as well in the conductor system. Just been doing whatever I can to try to nullify the issue with late goals.

The 4231 is really a project going on in the background. I need a full pre-season to work on it, I think. The winter break I still had a little fine tuning to do on the other two systems which took up half the games, so the 4231 will most likely be worked on and should hopefully be fully operational by the start of next season.

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19 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

The 4231 is really a project going on in the background. I need a full pre-season to work on it, I think. The winter break I still had a little fine tuning to do on the other two systems which took up half the games, so the 4231 will most likely be worked on and should hopefully be fully operational by the start of next season.

Makes sense - It'll be fun to see your take on the old 4-2-3-1!

A side note - I specifically meant the WBs in the WB strata.  They work great in a back three (which you kind of have with a HB!) but I keep being surprised that they don't leave things too open in a back four.

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I remember van Beek at Feyenoord and do recall him being touted to be far more successful in his career than he has been. I have little doubt that he will be an excellent player for Howedes' side. :D 

The tactical tweaks look interesting. I'm keen to see how the 4-2-3-1 evolves, especially. I'm usually quite content sticking with the tried and tested DLP/BBM combination - it'll be good to see something a little different.

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10 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Makes sense - It'll be fun to see your take on the old 4-2-3-1!

A side note - I specifically meant the WBs in the WB strata.  They work great in a back three (which you kind of have with a HB!) but I keep being surprised that they don't leave things too open in a back four.

Agree I am quite surprised to see that work out without 3 center backs. But honestly it's been so long since i even tried that. 

However loving the tactical discussion and experimentation overall!

Edited by karanhsingh
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3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Agree I am quite surprised to see that work out without 3 center backs. But honestly it's been so long since i even tried that. 

However loving the tactical discussion and experimentation overall!

I’m in the middle of doing my monthly update with a heavy tactical feel to it. :brock:

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7 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

I remember van Beek at Feyenoord and do recall him being touted to be far more successful in his career than he has been. I have little doubt that he will be an excellent player for Howedes' side. :D 

The tactical tweaks look interesting. I'm keen to see how the 4-2-3-1 evolves, especially. I'm usually quite content sticking with the tried and tested DLP/BBM combination - it'll be good to see something a little different.

Yeah he was highly regard in his early Feyenoord career not really sure what happened. Perhaps his lack of bravery killed his promising career in real life. 
 

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1 hour ago, RogerC said:

Just finished reading the whole thing! Great read! Loving the tactical analysis and tweaking!

Thanks my man glad you liked it. Working on a good tactical insight post right now. Hopefully out tomorrow night 

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Header.jpg.941474a5ccc0f2094080c4333b4717c8.jpg

February 2023

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The perfect month does exist and along with it the consistency I have been craving for so long! I had said on last month's update that things had started to click and this is the proof, it's mainly down to the fact I'm now happy with both systems and fully understand each one's strength and weakness.

This knowledge of the systems now allows me to fully commit to the scout and analyst reports on opponents and come up with the perfect game plan. With each system having the same philosophy and principles  but slight adjustments in how they achieve them is a huge factor in the success, it also keeps the AI on its toes.

I'm going to use this month's update to tactically dissect the systems and how they work and why they performed well and finally why I went with what one. As we dig deeper into Benedikt Howedes quest for total positional football.

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PSV is clearly the standout result and completes the double over them this season which is not easily done in the Eredivisie. This time it was nice to be the team stealing the points after being dominated. Go Ahead Eagles visited the castle and were dominated as Sparta rushed into an early lead they did score on 88 minutes to make for a nervy ending. RKC is by far the most clinical performance of the season, what a huge difference it makes when the chances are put in the back of the net.

The Euro run continues and yet again the Euro lineup shows they aren't to be messed with not only beating Genk but completely dismantling them. Young Edwin Scheffer with a top class performance showing he may just have what it takes to follow in Lennart Thy's shoes. NEC Vs Sparta was a match between two teams battling it out for three points, although Sparta led the game, NEC were very much in the game throughout. A real complete and professional display in front of a finaatic home crowd sealed the perfect month, they never offered much which was a surprise as they beat us in the return fixture previously.

Eredivisie Table

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The table makes for better reading now hot on the tails of PSV now who did recover after our defeat with 3 wins and a draw. Vitesse sorted themselves out in the last two games to keep within striking distance of us and AZ and FC Twente aren't too far behind either, 11 games to go and the battle for European football is only going to intensify. AJax and Feyenoord would have to really crumble and Sparta keep up this incredible run for there to be any slim chance of a title hope.

Mario Hasenhütl

The young Austrian/Canadian has had a remarkable start at Sparta Rotterdam, i knew when i recruited him that he was a talented player with supreme potential i just never realised he would be this good already. His performances this month have been far beyond his years, at 16 years of age and still yet to sign his professional deal it's actually quite incredible. To further complement the young man he is doing it while switching between roles showing his versatility as well. 

A superbly compseed and defensive display against PSV kicked off his month before being rested against Go Ahead. His best performances to date came against RKC this time it was his attacking prowess on show as he found the net for the first time in a Sparta shirt and also laid one on. Rested for the European tie it was back to business against NEC again he showed his creative edge setting up the second goal, before rounding off the month with a solid performance vs Venlo.

  • 271 passes completed out of 291, with 9 being key.
  • 11 tackles won out of 13, with 3 crucial ones.
  • 38 headers completed out of 41 attempts.
  • 21 interceptions.
  • 2 assists and a goal.

If you look closely at the stats it's clear to see the contrast in the different roles. The inverted wing back is clearly more controlled in his possession and is a real asset in defence in particular for picking up loose clearances you can see that in his heading and interception numbers. The Wingback on the attack duty you would expect to have more cutting edge and the numbers back this up as it's clear from hsi key passes that he is a lot more direct.

PSV Eindhoven (A) 0-1

After assessing the scout report and looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the dutch power house i decided that the Conductor would be the system of choice here. PSV play a standard 442 which means the Regista and double attacking Mezz's would be able to overload the middle two and would mean either the Regista has space to pull the strings or Mezz's would be free for a third man pass between the lines. Inverted wing backs will tuck in and offer a good option for bounce passes around the narrow two.

Defensively i had to be careful as it would potentially leave 2v2 at the back but with inverted wing backs sitting in the half space they can offer cover to both wide men and CF's. My main concern was the strength on the flanks both as a matter of fact. The inverted wingers meant my wb's should be able to marshall them back outside, easier said than done when coming up against Gakpo & Madueke who are two of the best in the league.

However it was the avderouts Teze and Max who stood out as a real problem, both full backs like to attack so it was another reason to use the Conductor as the wingers on support would prove vital in the win. The support duty would lead to good tracking back but I decided to utilise a full on man marking scheme. The wingers are asked to mark tighter, mark specific players and on the opponent instructions the full backs are told always to mark tight. A result of this is man marking like this which limited the full backs attacking prowess.

The pass map shows the conductor and its wonderful diamond shapes with Burnic the Regista central to it all, the idea was he would be afforded space and with all his options link everything. The left hand mezz was allowed to attack more as Gotze dropped deeper, the right hand was up against a mezzala so did a little deeper. This right hand dilema lead to some nice overloads which meant it was no surprise for the goal to built up down the right.

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A lovely interchange of passes down the right hand side sucking the PSV defence out of shape. The link up play between CF, Mezz and winger is free flowing and very easy on the eye but the most important thing is it's very effective. The ball from Kolbeinn Þórðarson has shades of KDB about it, the man city man likes to whip them from that half space. The arrival of Emegha at the back post features massively through this month, keep your eyes peeled throughout for this movement.

Go Ahead Eagles (H) 2-1

After doing my homework on the opposition it was clear that our weaker opponents back four had issues with composure, decisions and first touch, while they didn't look to play out from the back often I knew it was crucial to implement a high press. The press would help if the ball was turned over in the opponent's half and as they looked to progress it they would be smothered. Pictured here you can see that Thy is in the process of closing down the GK as he receives a back pass, while both IW's are high on the full backs the midfield two press centrally towards the ball side. Wing backs are in close proximity to the wide men and we have a 3v1 overload at the half way line in our favour.

To make this press its again done through a combination of player instructions and opponent instructions, both sets of saved team instructions implement a standard basic high press but adding these further instructions make it more detailed. The front three are asked to tackle harder and on opponent instructions the whole back four and keeper are targeted for pressing triggers and tackled hard. This helps intensify the press without over committing  the whole team. Yellow cards can be an issue so a close eye is needed.

Implementing the high press was a key factor in the decision to play with the Salida system with the 343 shape and the attacking IW's it would allow me to have three very aggressive players in the front line, another reason was they played a 433 DM wide which meant i could out number the forward in build up with the Salida lavolpiana and i could pin there wingers high up with my aggressive wing backs.

The pass map shows the difference in shape between both systems, now with a box like shape in deep build up with the narrow playmakers and cbs and the half back central. The six in both systems is cruical and usually central to the whole thing. You can also see how advanced the wing backs get and how they overload with the tucked in IW's.

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Here is a good overview of the shape in early build up phase showing the salida lavolpiana, hillen has dropped in to make the back three which overload the centre forward and now laid into the AP. The green boxes show the wide overloads on the right the wing back has advanced on the blind side of his marker, on the left its a full on 2v1 and the full back would be totally overwhelmed if the ball was switched. It was switched and the winger attracts three players into him as he's a clear threat, with three passes the CF is in behind and really should score.

RKC Waalwijk (H) 4-0

Leading on from the last game another great overview of the Salida shape, this time its a lot clearer the real effectiveness of the overload in early build up. The six has dropped in to make a back three drawing the attention of the striker, the LCB on the ball has the attention of the RW which has now allowed the LB and LW to overload providing a clear 2v1. On the opposite side the RCB has moved wider to be a the free man, the wide men have formed a 2v2.

The build up for the first goal shows the team transitioning from defending a corner, the CF drives the team up the park and when the team gains a foothold higher up the ball is worked back to the cb to allow more time to transition into the attacking shape.

The ball is then passed through the lines then played into the channel for the overlapping wing back to advance the byline. A quick interchange of passes and then a lofted cross to the back post finds Emegha there to head home and finish off a great team move. The second goal also finds that man Emegha at the far post, it helps to have a 6'5'' inverted winger with 17 jumoing reach and 13 heading makes for quite the potent weapon.

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The third goal shows how devastating the attacking wing backs can be as he breaks the lines and gets himself through to bag his first goal for the club. The deep build up shape draws in the front three and when the ball is worked into the inverted winger he drags the full back out of positioning and lays back off to the AP who hits the advancing wingback who attacks the vacated space. A lovely finish to a great piece of positional play, overloading and dragging the opposition out of shape to then exploit it.

Genk (H) 3-1

A quick glance at the key passes from the Genk game shows that there is good variation where the pass leading to shots on goal are coming from. There is plenty from wide which you would come to expect from Salida as the wide overloads often release the marauding wing backs, but what is surprisingly good is the amount of central key passes there still is. The cluster of 8 passes central involving the midfield three shows that if teams block the aggressive flanks that the central overload can work in the spaces from the defence being stretched wide.

Our defensive shape in the lead up to the first goal. The back four is stretched out across the width of the attacking line covering the front three as Genk look to attack down the left side. While players are drawn to that side we don't overcommit and with our tighter zonal marking instructions most players are tight to a man or close enough to affect him quickly, the only free player is the RCB and ours is the LCB

As Genk looks to advance through the centre forward the RCB steps up and pressing him as he faces his own goal, in turn he tries to slip his centre midfielder in but the AP reads it, he passes back into the free LCB who drives into the half space. The team has now transitioned into its attacking shape.

The centre backs run into the half space has wreaked havoc on Genks defensive shape as many as 8 players have been dragged to that side of the pitch, remarkably there is still a 2v1 at this side of the pitch. The main threat is the right hand side the IW has isolated the full back and will soon be joined by the RWB, the CF's movement has left a huge gap to be exploited as he brings a centre back across the pitch with him.

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All of the attention on the left has seriously left Genk exposed, it was all about timing the runs to take advantage of the space. A nice little around the corner pass from the CF finds the IW bursting in behind the full back and with no central cover due to the CF movement the IW has a free run at goal and slots home. The numerical and qualitative superiority pays off as the full back can't live with the 1v1 nor the pace and movement off the IW. Great goal again from the positional play off the team.

The ball is turned over in our defensive third and played back to the keeper this leads to a great example of the deep build up play using the Salida Lavolpiana to overload the lone centre forward and play around him and beat the first line of the press. The ball is passed around nicely between what becomes a back three and the two central playmakers to allow the team to transition into its attacking shape once this is achieved the pace of the attack changes.

The CF drops deep to link play and allows his team to get further up the pitch and transition into the final attacking shape. The ball laid back to the AP facing the attack changes the Dynamic as he can pass through the lines to the inverted winger who slips in the attacking wing back, on the left side the 2v1 has taken shape already by this point. The wing back hits the byline and crosses for the inverted winger on the far side to hit the post.

This really shows the effectiveness of the inverted wingers, when on the ball side they drop and sit inside and become a creative outlet but when the ball is on the opposite side and with their attack duty they become more like a second striker. Especially the left hand side seems to have become really deadly, maybe because of personnel, both Emanuel Emegha and Thijme Verheijen can play as central strikers which has really helped make this role extremely potent.

NEC Nijmegen

On first opening the scout report for the upcoming coming game it was glaringly obvious that NEC liked to overload the centre of the pitch, with no fewer than 5 central midfielders playing. My plan of overloading the central area of the pitch to draw the attention of players to free up space in the half space or wing was going to be tough, the one advantage was with only two wing backs if we could isolate them against our two weidman it should really proved effective.

The analayst report from their previous game, a 1-0 defeat to AZ backed up my thinking from the original scout report. As expected they boast a very good defence centreally with only 15 of the 63 entries into their final third coming from the centre of the pitch. They did seem to be having issues in front of goal inside the penalty area which converted none of their 12 touches in the box into goals, i couldn't let this lead to complacency as with two attacking midfielders well positioned for counter attacks could pose a real problem if we were sloppy.

Opting to use the Salida system made sense for many reasons, the Regista from the Conductor system wouldn't be afforded the space to operate in as he would have two attacking midfielders to contend with. The half back will drop to make the back three which will overload the loan striker, the issue here will be playing into the AP's who will be outnumbered therefore i added the instruction to play down the flanks towards the overload in our favour.

The 343 attacking shape should offer enough narrow support with 6 central players and allow the wings to be exploited, this however is a gamble and took me a long time to decide if i was making the right decision because the midfield could easily become overrun. The inverted wing backs from the other system would have offered cover as well to NEC vast central overload so it wasn't an easy choice.

The system choice paid off although it was a real tactical battle with both managers looking to gain that advantage, This overview of the final third shows how attacking shape paid off in the lead up to the second goal. Green circles highlight the 1v1's in NEC's backline, the LB has been pushed more central by the IW in the half space who still has the run in behind, the WB has held his width and also has a run on the mezzala who has been dragged over to help with the overload. On the left the LWB has a free run to make it 2v1 at the back post area.

The two central defenders camp just inside the NEC half with the half back sitting in front patrolling for any turnovers, our centre backs heading numbers have been really impressive as they often win the ball from clearances as the high press pressures defenders to launch the ball out. Unfortunately here the AP has received the ball with his back to goal but if he can pass to his partner who's facing the play the game will open up with several willing runners.

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He finds his counterpart who faces the play and he lifts the ball into the complete forward whos hold up play is excellent and draws the NEC defence narrow, he the lays out wide to the now free RWB Hasenhutl who advances to the byline and chips a lovely ball to the far post for that man Emegha to head home yet again.

The positional play of our overloads allowed for free men in the centre as the focus was on the right half space, when the ball goes narrow to a player in a 1v1 the defence panics to go narrow which frees up the intended freeman wide to deliver a final ball to the opposite 1v1. Dragging the opponent out of shape and punishing them is the intended goal at all times with this philosophy.

VVV-Venlo (H) 2-0

Venlo arrived at Het Kasteel playing a 4-2-3-1, having done my homework the team was more than prepared for this. Switching back to the Conductor system for the first since the PSV game allowed us to totally control the game. The defensive shape of the system sits in a nicely compact 4-1-4-1 so when retreating to the shape it offers the perfect cover for the attacking shape of Venlo. Allowing one centre back to remain spare while the midfield three goes man for man.

In order to make us retreat Venlo would have to beat the high press, this time using the Conductor it allowed me to commit 5 players to the press. The CF, Wingers and Mezzala's are all told to tackle harder in their player instructions, opponent instructions sees the back 4, and middield 2 all to be tackled harder and to always be trigger pressed. The front 5 players can press however they wish as the solid base of the W offers great cover towards counter attacks, with Venlo's front 4 all being closely watched.

The only real concern is the RCM has pressed up to the FB which i do what to see but it has to set about a motion further back, the winger needs to recognise this and move narrow to cover the central midfielders and the IWB move forward to press the wideman. The keeper would have to be exceptionally good with the ball at his feet to make us pay as the RCM can step to the left as he presses and blocks the lane and the CF is pressing the goalkeeper at a high rate.
 

This time around the press on the LB forces the goalkeeper into a long clearance as he has no real short options, the ball is gathered by Nagalo and Sparta reset to attack again. As Mbi receives the ball overloads have already started to form on both flanks and half spaces, the ball side is pretty well covered except for our winger who is very much in 1v1 if he advances further. The right side is completely overloaded as we have a 2v1 in the half space and 1v1 out wide.

Recycling the ball between the back 4, Regista and goalkeeper drags the Venlo defence up the pitch allowing space to open up to be attacked. The ball is played wide to the winger who bounce passes with the IWB into the Mezz where the overload has allowed him to be a free man facing the play he slides the ball down the line for the advancing CF. A fine example of how the press works, and how defence transitions into attack. A key cog is the recycling of play drawing the opponent in, without this there would be very little space to attack and balls would be cut out as it would be too direct.

The Pass map is a thing of pure beauty showing the fantastic 2-3-5 shape with diamonds and triangles set up perfectly to offer the perfect options to the ball carrier. The amount of passes going through the regista shows he is the true Conductor of the system which is where the naming came from. I think even pep himself would be happy with his pass map.

Think it's very fitting that I finish my in depth tactical analysis with a wonderful goal, just pure individual brilliance nothing to do with my tactical ideals. Thanks to anyone who took the time to read through and click each link to really understand my thinking and philosophy and how I go about achieving it. Here is a wonder striker from Sven Mijnans who has been quiet this month, he seems to excel more as the Mezz than the AP but what a fine strike this is against Venlo to round off a great month.

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Edited by SixPointer
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Wow what a month! I love how you can switch between different tactical frameworks with such ease. And the young wing back is really proving to be worth the investment already. Great stuff hope you can keep it going. 

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37 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Wow what a month! I love how you can switch between different tactical frameworks with such ease. And the young wing back is really proving to be worth the investment already. Great stuff hope you can keep it going. 

Thanks man, yeah came together perfectly I don’t think it’s completely sustainable NEC’s formation offered a lot of problems although it is a rare shape it probably warrants the effort of making the 4231thats going on in the background.
Hasenhutl has been the best player this season 16 going on 26. 

Was a lengthy update but I thought no time better than now to show my tactical workings. Appreciate you taking the time to read my man 

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Always love the tactics heavy posts! Love the thinking and how it works in practice. 
Your last two saves are making me miss my 4-3-3 systems!

Seems like things are really clicking at the moment.

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Amazingly good write up! I must say that, even with a massive increase in tactics, I'm still feeling very inflexible. I am absolutely going to scour through your posts again and again looking for where you get your clues from. In the most previous Ural game I played, I moved to a different shape to counter something I saw and it came off; the feeling is great! Furthermore, the month was clearly great for your long term aims here!

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