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Is high tempo/intensity the only way to win?

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I've tried many times to create tactics that don't completely exhaust my players but the only time I have any success is when I create something Gegenpressing-esque, going in hard, high press, high line of engagement, running themselves into the ground each match. 

Is there no way to create a working tactic that employs calculating and patience? I'm really tired of seeing players completely shattered by 70/80 minutes, yellow cards all over the place, injuries akimbo... and even though it works to play that way, I always feel like I'm cheating myself by going against how I would love to see my team play; patient, possession-based, controlling the game, carving out chances  in a calculating manner. I'm probably asking for too much right away. Just want virtually the opposite of Gegenpress, much as I personally love watching teams who play that way IRL. 

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Well, Tempo can be a tricky one, since it’s a trade-off most of the time.

high tempo allows you to benefit from certain situation and can force lapses of concentration by the others team defenders. Due to its faster decisionmaking, your team will break through defenses more easily. 

however, it also is very exhausting and your players may loose the ball due to bad or hastily decisions.

Lower tempo on the other hand will safe you energy and help your team to remain in possession due to well thought decisionmaking.

however, it’s usually very easy to defend against a team using low tempo as defenders have a lot of time to keep shape and take a good positioning. 

so what you can do is to either find that sweet spot that allows your team to break through consistently while not exhausting themselves too early or to switch up the tempo during the match.

Comfortable lead? Slow down the play to rest on the ball. 
need a goal? Try to break through on a higher tempo to force the issue.

Tempo can be well paired with passing. If you up the tempo you may also want  to become a bit more vertical than normal and play more sideways / backwards passes if you slow it down to keep the ball. 

So to conclude this, there simply is a different purpose of playing with a high tempo (break through) or low tempo (rest and save energy).

IRL its often very fluid between a high and low tempo, but most likely whenever a scoring chance is created, it’s within a moment of intensity and several actions in a quick succession.

You can to some extend replicate that behavior by adding PPM‘s like „dictates tempo“ or „stops play“. 

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