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Build-Up Shapes and Building Blocks - A Back Three in Disguise


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Overloading and Supporting

Defending in a 442 allows me to be both solid and compact when my team is not in possession of the ball. Attacking with a back three gives me plenty of options going forward. Many modern teams play this way - think of Pep’s City or Nagelsmann’s Bayern. Committing men forward, looking for a player in space, giving them the opportunity to influence the game. When attacking I aim to stretch my opponents as much as possible, giving my team the chance to create these situations themselves.

Firstly, let’s begin with my right back. When in possession, I want him to get up the pitch and stay as wide as possible. I want a role that is able to overlap my MR, providing my team with an outlet down that wing. As this player is considered an attacking player, this rules out the NCB role. I’m wanting a player who stays wide so I can rule out the IWB and the CWB - I’m not looking for someone to roam inside. This leaves me with either the Full Back or the Wing Back, but which should I choose? If you look at the PI’s of the Wing Back, these are perfect for what I want. The duty depends on the situation; the more risk I’m willing to take, the more likely I am to use the attacking duty. When looking for a player he needs to be able to cross and burst forward. Crossing, Decisions and Acceleration are essential. It’s also important that this player has a high stamina value as he is expected to get up and down all game. Since my system is about creating and using space, as with all of the attacking players Off The Ball is vital for this to work. With all this said, it is important that I don’t neglect the fact that I’m still wanting him to play in my defensive line without the ball, so it’s also beneficial if the player here has good tackling and positioning.

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The main thing when building a tactic in Football Manager is balance. Having a wing back bombing forward gives the player infront of him the option to cut inside while the team as a whole maintains the width. This will allow me to look to overload this side of the pitch. What I want from the two positions in front are two players capable of both holding onto the ball whilst also creating something with it. The MCR is possibly the most demanding role on the pitch in terms of what is required. I’m looking for a player who is able to help out his midfield partner when required but can also arrive late in the box and provide a goal threat from deep. This player also needs to be capable of dictating the game as I’ll be looking for him to become involved in the build up phase of play, so the ability to pick a pass is vital. For this reason, I mainly choose the Box to Box Midfielder. I also give him the trait to Move into channels as I feel this increases the chances of an overload on the right hand side. However, when I’m facing teams that I’m expecting a tough test against, I’ll opt to use a BWMs as he provides me with a solid base to form counter attacking opportunities for the more advanced players. This player needs to be an all rounder possessing attributes that allow him to defend, attack and create.

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I like the player next to my box to box midfielder to be the kind of player who can link up with either player I’ve just mentioned. I don’t need a role that will exclusively cover the right hand flank as I have a wingback on this side so what am I expecting of him? I want a player who can choose to go down the flank but can mainly operate in the half space on the right looking to further the overload on that side. I could use a WM or even a WP for this but I use the Inverted Winger. As for his duty I almost exclusively play him on an attack duty. This is down to the fact that with him starting in a more deep position I want him to always be looking to make that aggressive run and penetrate the opponents back line. Dribbling, First Touch, Technique, Acceleration and Agility are all vital to help him succeed in achieving this whilst also having good Passing, Composure, Decisions and Balance can help him keep a hold of the ball more effectively.

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@skyline72 Cheers mate, I was doing a bit of reading up on Bayern Munich in attack and I seem to be accidentally replicating the shape Nagelsmann actually tries to attack in albeit mirrored. Can't say I've seen enough of ten Haag to say whether or not its anything similar to that

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5 hours ago, Jrddrkly said:

@skyline72 Cheers mate, I was doing a bit of reading up on Bayern Munich in attack and I seem to be accidentally replicating the shape Nagelsmann actually tries to attack in albeit mirrored. Can't say I've seen enough of ten Haag to say whether or not its anything similar to that

Yea, there isnt much info on Ten Hag system available. But the concept of the backline is about the same.

Whats on my mind is something like this:

CF(s)

IW(a) AM(s) W(a)

BBM DLP/CM(d)

FB/WB(s) BPD(d) BPD(d) IWB(s)

SK(d)

 

Sorry for hijacking your thread.

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5 hours ago, skyline72 said:

Yea, there isnt much info on Ten Hag system available. But the concept of the backline is about the same.

Whats on my mind is something like this:

CF(s)

IW(a) AM(s) W(a)

BBM DLP/CM(d)

FB/WB(s) BPD(d) BPD(d) IWB(s)

SK(d)

 

Sorry for hijacking your thread.

Don't worry about hijacking the thread pal, I'm always happy to have a constructive discussion. To be fair looking at what you've put down there is pretty similar to how I line up against the bigger teams, just a few changes in roles and positioning of the wide players. From what I know about Seb Haller though from his time in the Prem and looking at his stats on FM I'd be more inclined to play him as either a Target Forward on either attack or support or even Pressing Forward on Support as opposed to the complete forward. I very rarely use that role because I don't personally believe there are that many players capable of playing it. I see it as essentially a free role up front.

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9 hours ago, Jrddrkly said:

Don't worry about hijacking the thread pal, I'm always happy to have a constructive discussion. To be fair looking at what you've put down there is pretty similar to how I line up against the bigger teams, just a few changes in roles and positioning of the wide players. From what I know about Seb Haller though from his time in the Prem and looking at his stats on FM I'd be more inclined to play him as either a Target Forward on either attack or support or even Pressing Forward on Support as opposed to the complete forward. I very rarely use that role because I don't personally believe there are that many players capable of playing it. I see it as essentially a free role up front.

Yea, if you are looking at Haller, he would most probably fit as a TF. Ajax would then need to win the 2nd ball which is usually the case coz of their pressing after pumping up to him(they do that sometimes).

But for the system to truly work, I believe a CF would suits more as you had mentioned, its a free role. Ajax system is so fluid and easy on the eye. 

Due to the limitations of the engine, we cant truly replicate Ten Hag's system on FM. For example, when Blind is out wide, Mazraori will tuck in as IWB. It happens on the opposite as well, Mazraori out wide, Blind will tuck in. It might work to a certain extend.

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5 hours ago, skyline72 said:

Yea, if you are looking at Haller, he would most probably fit as a TF. Ajax would then need to win the 2nd ball which is usually the case coz of their pressing after pumping up to him(they do that sometimes).

But for the system to truly work, I believe a CF would suits more as you had mentioned, its a free role. Ajax system is so fluid and easy on the eye. 

Due to the limitations of the engine, we cant truly replicate Ten Hag's system on FM. For example, when Blind is out wide, Mazraori will tuck in as IWB. It happens on the opposite as well, Mazraori out wide, Blind will tuck in. It might work to a certain extend.

Fair enough, I can't say I've seen that much of Ajax beyond that Champions League run in 2019(?) I've seen talk of having your full backs tuck in and form a back three dependant upon the side the ball is before. Like I've said before the match engine while uncapable of perfectly replicating modern football is more than good enough for 99.9% of what people want to do. Completely honestly if they made options like being able to do things dependant upon the side of the pitch the ball is, they'd end up alienating so much of the fan base due to how overly complicated and intimidating the tactic creator would have to be. I'd class myself in that group too.

Back on topic though, I do like how you can make any striking role work within the system as long as you take into account what that role will do and make any changes to a tactic in order to keep the balance.

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  • Jrddrkly changed the title to Build-Up Shapes and Building Blocks - A Back Three in Disguise
38 minutes ago, Jrddrkly said:

Fair enough, I can't say I've seen that much of Ajax beyond that Champions League run in 2019(?) I've seen talk of having your full backs tuck in and form a back three dependant upon the side the ball is before. Like I've said before the match engine while uncapable of perfectly replicating modern football is more than good enough for 99.9% of what people want to do. Completely honestly if they made options like being able to do things dependant upon the side of the pitch the ball is, they'd end up alienating so much of the fan base due to how overly complicated and intimidating the tactic creator would have to be. I'd class myself in that group too.

Back on topic though, I do like how you can make any striking role work within the system as long as you take into account what that role will do and make any changes to a tactic in order to keep the balance.

Yea, I believe I have deviate from the topic already.

People tend to over-complicate things for the game like myself back then. Now, I try to identify the style that I want my team to play and choose roles/duties which make sense. Its all about balance. 

After identify the style, we got to cherry pick the players to fit the style. Just like I can't make Haller to play as a CF which doesnt play to his strength.

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Exactly, the round pegs in square holes approach doesn't always work and you're much better trying to adapt a team to a system than a system to a team because if you do the latter it takes Man City or PSG to come swooping in for the player and suddenly you're back to square one. This approach also makes rotation much harder which I find really important in this years game

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On 04/12/2021 at 20:30, Jrddrkly said:

Before I get started this is the first time I've ever writen anything like this so sorry if the formatting or the writing itself isn't great :D

 

What I'm wanting to achieve here is to show that it is posible to create attractive and attacking football with a high press whilst using a 3-1 build up shape. I'm hoping to do this using a few different shapes over the course of a few posts. My first port of call will be...

The 442

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The 442 has to me always been considered the stereotypical English football system, it is a great all round system that can be moulded into many different variations. What I want to achieve with this system is to attack teams with a back 3 to give my team a solid defensive base whilst attacking. So with this in mind, how am I going to achieve this? Let’s begin with the formation itself, but I’m sure we’re all familiar with what a 442 actually looks like. As you can see when you load up a clean slate 442 on Football Manager 2022, this is what it gives you: two wingers going down the flanks, two strikers up top with what you could consider a big man/little man combination like a Michael Owen and Emile Heskey for England in the early 00’s or even a Creator/Finisher combination akin to Arsenal of the same era.

How I’m wanting to play though is a high line that is allowed by the covering of the back 3 so let’s begin at the back. Playing this way there is going to be a lot of space behind my team so I’m going to want a goalkeeper that’s willing to come out and sweep up, so this leads me down the route of a Sweeper Keeper. His duty will depend on how aggressive I’m wanting him to be with his sweeping. Personally, I find that the SKd role will suffice for what I’m wanting here.

 

The Defence

Now let’s get into how I want to create my back three. I have a few options that I can use; I can ask one of my midfielders to drop into the back line to create this back three. I can also ask one of the full backs to act more like a centre half out wide or I could even be a little more adventurous and move my entire backline to form an actual back three of a DCL a DC and a DCR. However, in my eyes, this defeats the object of what I’m trying to achieve so I’m going to discount this option. To achieve my back three I’m going to use one of my full backs to do this. As for roles, I also have a couple of options. I can use a FB on the defend duty or I can use the IWB on a defend duty. I’m not wanting my player to cut in with the ball though so I’m going to use a FBd. To further achieve this, I’m going to use the Sit Narrower instruction. Considering my team has more left footed centre backs than right footed, it makes sense for me to play my DL in this role.

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As for the other two defenders, a simple combination of two centre backs will suffice. However, as I’m quite deep into my save I have a great option for a Ball Playing Defender who can play those destructive cross field balls. I will also give the instruction to stay wider to the defender on the opposite side to the full back to try and force the back line to shuffle across, aiming to get the back three more central and wider. This will give my team a greater ability to break a high press of an opposition team by not pigeon holing my team to one side of the pitch.


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So what am I looking for in these players? My Goalkeeper needs to be well-rounded, with the ability to play the ball with his feet. I want my back line to be comfortable on the ball so whilst looking for the obvious Defensive attributes of Tackling, Heading, Bravery, Positioning and Jumping Reach; I want them to be able to play out from the back so First touch, Passing and Composure are also vital. Furthermore, good decision making and acceleration will enable me to implement a high line with an offside trap. These attributes aren’t the only ones I look for but they are what I would consider essential.

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With the back three shape sorted, let’s move onto the 1 of the 3-1. What I am looking for here is a midfielder that will hold his position in front of the Defence and allow the team to recycle and circulate possession. If we take a look at the player instructions for the roles, we will see that there are three roles that have the instruction to hold position; these are the CMd, the DLPd and the BWMd. Firstly, with the Ball Winning Midfielder, whilst his instructions contain the PI Hold Position, his description states that he will “Close down the opposition and win the ball,” which is not something that I am wanting, so I’m going to discount this role. This leaves us with either the CMd and the DLPd. Which role I choose here will depend on the player available - if I have someone who is a great candidate for the DLP role then I will go with this. Otherwise, I’d lean towards the CMd as a safer option.

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Now, which side should I play my midfielder? As we can see above, despite the fact I’ve tried to get the Defence to be more centralised, there is always the potential that this might not work perfectly. If I play my DLPd on the right I’m likely to end up with a huge gap on my left hand side. To resolve this issue, I will play my DLP in the MCL space, sitting perfectly in front of my back three.

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As previously mentioned, the role will depend on the player, so in order to play in this space I will be looking for a player with good Tackling, Anticipation, Bravery and Positioning. Furthermore, if I am wanting someone capable of playing as a DLPd then the player will also require good Passing, Composure, Decision and Vision attributes. I’ve also found that while not essential, having the PPM comes deep to get ball can help the team achieve this shape.

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Now that I’ve covered the roles and duties of my 3-1, it’s time to take a look at how I want my team as a whole to play out of possession. As previously mentioned, I want my team to press high whilst remaining solid. I’m going to go with the higher defensive line and high Line of Engagement. I will also check offside trap and playing a high line lends itself well to this with the intelligent players I have at my disposal. In addition, asking my team to trigger press more and prevent the short GK distribution will further emphasise my wish to press high when we don’t have the ball. As for when we lose the ball, I will also ask my team to Counter Press as this again makes sense.

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With FM22’s new match engine I’m finding that either dropping or raising my LOE/DL essential to maintaining my team’s fitness. Alongside this, raising or dropping the Trigger Press proves beneficial. This is all dependant upon the match situation though.

How did you achieve this shape?  Which position / role is number 27? At what point of play was that screengrab taken? I've never seen a back 3 from a flat 4 look like that...

 

1.PNG

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11 minutes ago, Lordluap said:

How did you achieve this shape?  Which position / role is number 27? At what point of play was that screengrab taken? I've never seen a back 3 from a flat 4 look like that...

 

1.PNG

The roles are what I laid out in the first post, nothing other than that. This shape occurs naturally during the progression of the ball. The wing back with drive forward and the DCR will pull wide with his stay wider instruction.

Number 27 is a DL playing as a FBd with stay narrower PI. As long as he doesn't have any PPM that means he looks to get further forward I'd imagine it works but I haven't tried a player in that position with a PPM like that as it seems counter intuitive.

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2 minutes ago, Lordluap said:

Gotcha.  I was interpreting the image as the 27 being the RCB on stay wider.  Just tried it, It certainly works better on this ME than it did on FM20/21.

Good stuff sir.

Thanks mate, yeah number 4 is DCR as BPDd with stay wider, number 6 is a standard CDd in the DCL spot and 27 is a FBd with sit narrower, number 8 is a standard DLPd in the MCL slot

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35 minutes ago, Tibalg said:

Hey @Jrddrkly, do you have any udpate on your team construction ?

Very interested to see how you implement the rest of your team

Hey man, I am working on the final part. I'm just struggling with the the right words to explain the picture in my head at the moment. Gonna try and get it posted by the end of the week though

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Em 08/12/2021 em 14:02, Jrddrkly disse:

The roles are what I laid out in the first post, nothing other than that. This shape occurs naturally during the progression of the ball. The wing back with drive forward and the DCR will pull wide with his stay wider instruction.

Number 27 is a DL playing as a FBd with stay narrower PI. As long as he doesn't have any PPM that means he looks to get further forward I'd imagine it works but I haven't tried a player in that position with a PPM like that as it seems counter intuitive.

Been doing this since FM19 (?) And it kinda works like Walker irl. My only problem with this is the gk distribution ignoring the FB.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Il 4/12/2021 in 21:30 , Jrddrkly ha scritto:

 

What I'm wanting to achieve here is to show that it is posible to create attractive and attacking football with a high press whilst using a 3-1 build up shape. I'm hoping to do this using a few different shapes over the course of a few posts. My first port of call will be...

Lovely thread. Try watching Juventus or Milan. they tried this system with different tactical styles

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  • 2 weeks later...
17 hours ago, Andrew Marines said:

I've actually created a back 3 in disguise that i've been using on an online save and is working well[FM20]. don't know if i should update this thread or create one more.

Feel free to pop it in here if you like matey, always good to see other peoples ideas on how to create build up shapes

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  • 4 weeks later...

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