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[FM22] Learning the game step by step - Tactical approach


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I just started reading this and I'm not done yet and the first thing is personal I don't think doing the comparison that way makes too much sense because for example you are comparing your defenders to other defenders in the league but when you watch football, it's not the defenders going against the defenders, it's forwards and midfielders going against the defence so I prefer to go to the Mental, Physical and Technical tab and untick the other positions and leave the defenders then take note of what I see then I'll look at the strikers immediately for direct comparison and then the midfielders. By doing it this was I can also look at how ever many attributes I'm interested in.

Before going into the friendly matches I'd like to see you look more into the players attributes and the roles you've chosen and why you've chosen a particular player for a particular role and how you think the tactic should work. I think this is a very important step people don't spend enough time thinking about

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I assume you are just trying to get yourself going. And the best tip i can properbly give you is to keep every thought simple. To achieve a solid performance of your team there is no need to compare stats, analyse data or fiddle around with which might be the absolute best role for a player. If a player has 3 stars for the assigned role and position then he is good enogh as a starting player and he wont let you down most likely. Its more about having the big picture right and then fiddle around to squeeze out the last 5% of your teams performance.

As a starting point i would suggest to create a balanced tactic that consists of 3 attack, 3 defend and 4 support duties (GK excluded) and make sure that all areas of the pitch (wide, central and channels) are either attacked or supported by at least one player. Pick a mentality that suits your general idea of the football you are looking to play. If you are looking for an aggressive and progressive playstyle, then pick positive or higher and for a passive, time wasting playstyle you can pick cautious or lower. Balanced for something inbetween.

When in the match football often is a simple numbers game and so is FM. If you are facing a 3rd tier deportivo in a cup game its likely that they are trying defend. So do you really need 3 players to stay back at all times? I would try to have at least one of them to support your attack and help your team to even out numbers in the final third. You can easily change your overall teams balance by shifing around duties to more attack or defend duties depending on what you are looking for. Just make sure to not change your teams structure by lowering or increasing the number of support duties.

I would generally advise against changing tactical instructions too often or too many at a time because it is important for your players to stay in their comfort zone and keep familiarity with your tactic.

This is some basic coverage from where you can move on.

 

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1 hour ago, CARRERA said:

I assume you are just trying to get yourself going. And the best tip i can properbly give you is to keep every thought simple. To achieve a solid performance of your team there is no need to compare stats, analyse data or fiddle around with which might be the absolute best role for a player. If a player has 3 stars for the assigned role and position then he is good enogh as a starting player and he wont let you down most likely. Its more about having the big picture right and then fiddle around to squeeze out the last 5% of your teams performance.

As a starting point i would suggest to create a balanced tactic that consists of 3 attack, 3 defend and 4 support duties (GK excluded) and make sure that all areas of the pitch (wide, central and channels) are either attacked or supported by at least one player. Pick a mentality that suits your general idea of the football you are looking to play. If you are looking for an aggressive and progressive playstyle, then pick positive or higher and for a passive, time wasting playstyle you can pick cautious or lower. Balanced for something inbetween.

When in the match football often is a simple numbers game and so is FM. If you are facing a 3rd tier deportivo in a cup game its likely that they are trying defend. So do you really need 3 players to stay back at all times? I would try to have at least one of them to support your attack and help your team to even out numbers in the final third. You can easily change your overall teams balance by shifing around duties to more attack or defend duties depending on what you are looking for. Just make sure to not change your teams structure by lowering or increasing the number of support duties.

I would generally advise against changing tactical instructions too often or too many at a time because it is important for your players to stay in their comfort zone and keep familiarity with your tactic.

This is some basic coverage from where you can move on.

 

I love the idea you lay out here. Keep it simple. It's a perfect way to start. 

Comparing players vs the rest of the league or at least look at attributes that we are superior in helps, right? 

We are first in the league in heading, that tracks back to the comparison against other defenders (should be attackers, I know now :lol:) in the league. Isn't it simple to focus on that? Which means trying to push our opposition wide and let them aim for crosses. Instead of letting them go trough the middle, were our lack of pace and acceleration will hurt us. 

Or am I looking at it totally wrong? 

Edited by Brian
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4 hours ago, DarJ said:

I just started reading this and I'm not done yet and the first thing is personal I don't think doing the comparison that way makes too much sense because for example you are comparing your defenders to other defenders in the league but when you watch football, it's not the defenders going against the defenders, it's forwards and midfielders going against the defence so I prefer to go to the Mental, Physical and Technical tab and untick the other positions and leave the defenders then take note of what I see then I'll look at the strikers immediately for direct comparison and then the midfielders. By doing it this was I can also look at how ever many attributes I'm interested in.

Before going into the friendly matches I'd like to see you look more into the players attributes and the roles you've chosen and why you've chosen a particular player for a particular role and how you think the tactic should work. I think this is a very important step people don't spend enough time thinking about

You're right! It make so much more sense to compare my defenders against opposition strikers. 

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6 minutes ago, Brian said:

Or am I looking at it totally wrong?

The idea generally isnt wrong. However i will put another view on how things work. I understand, that the game leads to a mindset where you think you are able to dictate how the other team behaves. But you dont. football is a game of two teams, of two managers. If they want to play through the middle they will do. If you want them to leave their defensive position, they wont. They will play their own game as much as you do. What you can do however is to adjust your team to their playing stylel if you think its nessecary by either better protecting certain areas of the pitch where you think the other team is strong or to exploit areas on the pitch that are poorly protected by their defense. 

So you always need to think out of your own position and how your team needs to behave to achieve advantage

 

15 minutes ago, Brian said:

We are first in the league in heading, that tracks back to the comparison against other defenders (should be attackers, I know now :lol:) in the league. Isn't it simple to focus on that? Which means trying to push our opposition wide and let them aim for crosses. Instead of letting them go trough the middle, were our lack of pace and acceleration will hurt us. 

To stick to your example, the question cant be "how can we make the other team to play into our hands". It is about "Is the other team trying to play through the wide areas and cross?" If yes "are we well protected against?" Yes you are, because your defenders are strong in the air and you got 3 of them.

I hope it makes sense

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Like you have been going through the same thing, (for years)

I have been taking the time to try and understand the player roles in more detail, been watching a lot of the BustTheNet videos and setting up my team. I have established my philosophy in how I want to play, which is I want to have a strong defence and maintain possession, recycle the ball etc. I have used what Daljit has posted around pressing traps and implemented that as well. Bottom line, I would rather win 2-0 and keep a clean sheet, than win 6-3 for example. Now Bristol City are not the best team in the league but that's who I am trying this with first and foremost.

It's a learning experience, but the principles are quite clear, I think as I progress I want to try and expand my knowledge and build different tactics, set up counter attacking tactics etc, keep things fresh.

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, SmashtonGate84 said:

Like you have been going through the same thing, (for years)

I have been taking the time to try and understand the player roles in more detail, been watching a lot of the BustTheNet videos and setting up my team. I have established my philosophy in how I want to play, which is I want to have a strong defence and maintain possession, recycle the ball etc. I have used what Daljit has posted around pressing traps and implemented that as well. Bottom line, I would rather win 2-0 and keep a clean sheet, than win 6-3 for example. Now Bristol City are not the best team in the league but that's who I am trying this with first and foremost.

It's a learning experience, but the principles are quite clear, I think as I progress I want to try and expand my knowledge and build different tactics, set up counter attacking tactics etc, keep things fresh.

 

 

 

how you lining up with bristol?

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Starting off with a 4312 Wide formation atm, it's too early to say if things are going to go well or not in the league, have only played a few friendlies which have gone well enough, kept cleansheets etc and retained possession, but we will see once the league starts.

I have changed some of the positions around, so play a Mezzala/CM combo currently and have some decent players to play that combo. My biggest concern is the AMC position, which I think is a Advanced Playmaker role, which I think I need to strengthen up a bit.

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Ive had great success using a set up very similar to yours across a couple of saves in FM22 so thought id upload for comparison, especially good against the top sides. In my opinion, Fm22 requires more ingame management then ever before, so i use a mixture of OI & PI. Wingbacks are crucial, and managing the last 10 mins or so of a game vital, have found be more disciplined, time wasting, dropping mentality to cautious and dropping the Wb to support means we rarely concede late on. Im no expert, and im sure there are plenty of errors in this set up, but it works well for me and is very close to what you were looking for. Good luck!

image.thumb.png.83b116df5db834e3281ea37fe004a50b.png

image.png.1adb7cd03fe3d2a78b17ee4e785e65fd.png

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Thank you for all the responses. :applause:

After some busy weeks, I thought it was time to write again. I did see a very good point that it’s unclear what my preferred playing style is. And I agree, it’s hard to know what to look for in-game if you don’t have a clear vision. That’s why I have put it down for you. 

Hopefully it makes sense. 

Football philosophy 
My philosophy is very simple. Just like many, many others I want to play possession based football and press the opponent heavily. But like everyone knows, it takes time to build a squad capable of playing that kind of football. It’s not weird to see the dominant sides in the league play that way. If you are thinking big you’ll think of Liverpool and Manchester City. But also Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg, Bayern München play that way. All dominant sides in their respective leagues. 

Of course, we are not. And because I conceded way too many goals the last 1,5 season, my approach is to go a bit more defensive. Hence the 5 at the back formation. 

Tactical thoughts and what to look for 
My approach is to create some sort of 5-2-3 shape in defense and a 3-2-3-2 or 3-1-4-2 shape in attack. This way I want to create enough defensive security when we defend, are in transition or attacking. There are always 3 or 4 players staying back, providing the cover I seek. I know I can lack attacking presence upfront, but we will have to wait and see. 

What I expect from my players:

  • Yeremy Pino or Isco as trequarista with all the freedom to create chances
  • Dani Parejo having a clear view and rotating the ball and search for through ball
  • The wingbacks providing width and stretching the opposition 
  • Iborra staying back and rotate the ball if necessary 
  • Moreno and Paco looking to break through the defense
  • 3 defenders who are staying back and are very strong in the air. Eliminating high crosses and making us strong when facing free kicks or corners (which I expect alot when absorbing pressure) 

Hopefully that makes more sense what I look for in my primary formation and tactic. 

Working towards my philosophy 
Already thinking of next season at Villarreal or at another club, I don’t want to play like this my entire career. At some point I want to work towards the possession and pressing style of football. The ultimate goal is some sort of total football. 

That’s why I have created the following tactic:

620904992_Schermafbeelding2022-02-07om21_59_20.thumb.png.9ee06bee4ffe313360c48a1dc56fb2ee.png
The formation is based on bringing out the best of my creative players in the team. And working towards implanting a more possession and pressing style of play. On a basic, beginner level. 

The TI’s are based on our current level. 

41371851_TeamInstruction-possession.thumb.png.d6323c0a86e51ef08f683b602215139d.png

This is the style of play I want to implant against lower sides and especially in home games. To test out how it plays and if we can grow into a more dominant side on the ball. 

What do I expect from my players:

  • CB’s with FB-D need to create a back 3. This way we will get the same principles as the back 5 variant
  • Right wingback need to cover the space the IW-At leaves
  • DM-de needs to defend the space, but also needs to recycle the ball
  • BBM needs to link up the midfield and attack
  • Roaming playmaker need to be the creative outlet of the team, creating chances and seeking running players. Primarily chosen for the role because I have Parejo and Isco
  • IW’s to attack the space the F9 leaves. IW-s has PI to stay wider, because there is no fullback behind him to take over the space if he leaves
  • F9 to link up play and create more passing options.

Next I will cover the upcoming friendlies and how the formations play in-game. After that it’s going to be a tough month. Facing the likes of Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Sevilla and FC Barcelona...:lol:
 

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On 01/02/2022 at 19:32, CARRERA said:

I assume you are just trying to get yourself going. And the best tip i can properbly give you is to keep every thought simple. To achieve a solid performance of your team there is no need to compare stats, analyse data or fiddle around with which might be the absolute best role for a player. If a player has 3 stars for the assigned role and position then he is good enogh as a starting player and he wont let you down most likely. Its more about having the big picture right and then fiddle around to squeeze out the last 5% of your teams performance.

As a starting point i would suggest to create a balanced tactic that consists of 3 attack, 3 defend and 4 support duties (GK excluded) and make sure that all areas of the pitch (wide, central and channels) are either attacked or supported by at least one player. Pick a mentality that suits your general idea of the football you are looking to play. If you are looking for an aggressive and progressive playstyle, then pick positive or higher and for a passive, time wasting playstyle you can pick cautious or lower. Balanced for something inbetween.

When in the match football often is a simple numbers game and so is FM. If you are facing a 3rd tier deportivo in a cup game its likely that they are trying defend. So do you really need 3 players to stay back at all times? I would try to have at least one of them to support your attack and help your team to even out numbers in the final third. You can easily change your overall teams balance by shifing around duties to more attack or defend duties depending on what you are looking for. Just make sure to not change your teams structure by lowering or increasing the number of support duties.

I would generally advise against changing tactical instructions too often or too many at a time because it is important for your players to stay in their comfort zone and keep familiarity with your tactic.

The above was the best post in this thread (less so Carrera's follow up :D).  Keep this as your ground zero.

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Quick update. Only a miracle can help me keep the job... :onmehead:

Spoiler

1871345651_Schermafbeelding2022-02-10om23_11_14.png.5447598c40b742a2d06d451ce69fdfbe.png

I used the following formation and tactics in those matches

Spoiler

681908518_Schermafbeelding2022-02-10om23_11_55.thumb.png.5201f3e9c96de90460f6159bbabf85bd.png

 

Back to the drawing board I guess.. Going to pause the save for a bit to read articles on how I can set up my team the best way.  Will keep you guys updated on the articles I will read and what I'm learning from them. 

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10 hours ago, Brian said:

Quick update. Only a miracle can help me keep the job... :onmehead:

  Reveal hidden contents

1871345651_Schermafbeelding2022-02-10om23_11_14.png.5447598c40b742a2d06d451ce69fdfbe.png

I used the following formation and tactics in those matches

  Hide contents

681908518_Schermafbeelding2022-02-10om23_11_55.thumb.png.5201f3e9c96de90460f6159bbabf85bd.png

 

Back to the drawing board I guess.. Going to pause the save for a bit to read articles on how I can set up my team the best way.  Will keep you guys updated on the articles I will read and what I'm learning from them. 

FM22 can be brutal at times.

Just a couple of observations from your last couple of posts... you mention wanting to play a possession with high press philosophy.... yet in the above formation youve gone for much lower LOE... what was you hoping for there? With a standard defensive line and that lower LOE, you are effectively giving the opposition their entire half and some of yours to build out, even if youve used individual PI's to close down more. 

Also, goals have looked hard to come by, my question to you would be where was you expecting your goals to come from? DLFs will spend as much time outside the box as in it, the only player with an attack duty is your IW, but he will be limited by your overlap right instruction (at times your IWA will be slowing play down waiting for your wb to overlap). With a much lower LOE, although you use counter press, once theyve won the ball, chances are you are at best only as high up the pitch as the half way line. And then you arent using counter, so you are relying on mentality, player roles, and PI's to get you moving forward, but the only players who would be moving forward would be your IWA and your BBM.

Your left side offers little threat ( i know you were aiming for a 3 man defence by having a FBd), but in front of him is a dlps who's initial movement is to go back or sideways. 

Personally id start with removing the much lower LOE and overlap right, change the IWA to IFA, and if you are wanting to keep the FBD and DMD, then you have the scope to make the dlp more attacking, either with a APs, mez or even a CMs with get forward PI's. 

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@Brian I feel much compassion for you as I know exactly how frustrating it can be at times. @dazza11 already explained some points in your tactics. Could you post a team comparison picture? Or much better do you have created these oversights of attributes which you want to be crucial? This would be my first steps to go

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3 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

@Brian I feel much compassion for you as I know exactly how frustrating it can be at times. @dazza11 already explained some points in your tactics. Could you post a team comparison picture? Or much better do you have created these oversights of attributes which you want to be crucial? This would be my first steps to go

It was never going to be a romantic, love story. :lol:

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16 hours ago, Brian said:

Quick update. Only a miracle can help me keep the job... :onmehead:

  Reveal hidden contents

1871345651_Schermafbeelding2022-02-10om23_11_14.png.5447598c40b742a2d06d451ce69fdfbe.png

I used the following formation and tactics in those matches

  Hide contents

681908518_Schermafbeelding2022-02-10om23_11_55.thumb.png.5201f3e9c96de90460f6159bbabf85bd.png

 

Back to the drawing board I guess.. Going to pause the save for a bit to read articles on how I can set up my team the best way.  Will keep you guys updated on the articles I will read and what I'm learning from them. 

One thing I would suggest when looking at that tactic and reading through your posts is to have a think about why you want to keep possession, what are you trying to achieve by it? In my (admitted limited) opinion the idea is to draw a team into a specific area to leave space in others then to take advantage of it. As @dazza11 mentioned some of the TI's don't relate to what you planned to do and I'd also add that it may be worth trying to use a winger on the Left flank to create some width there. It might also be worth putting your playmaker on the other side so that you draw teams towards your right leaving the winger in space.

Edited by Jrddrkly
Accidentally posted before finishing
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Quick little update. Moved back to the 3-4-1-2 formation, with some tweaks (see spoiler) and won my first friendly this season with 7-0. Next up is 19th placed Leganes (we're 16th). 

Let's see how the next matches go. Will keep you updated as always. :D

Spoiler

image.png.a7776c0408ae3801f30130705539950c.png

Edit: won 1-0 against Leganes. It feels good to win again. :thup:

Edited by Brian
Update on the game vs Leganes
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Tactical progression

After some defeats using the 4-3-3, focused on possession, it was time to refocus. By doing that I went back to my original plan, the 3-4-1-2, but with some tweaks to focus more on the attacking part rather than blindly focusing on the defence. 

Focus change
The first thing that needed to happen was to shift the focus from defending to attacking. While re-reading the topic from O-zil to the Arsenal, it made more sense to me. When you break down every style of play, you can divide it in 4 different phases of the game:

  1. Defence
  2. Transition from Defence to Attack (aka. Build-up)
  3. Attack
  4. Transition from Attack to Defence

When creating the 3-4-1-2 I was focusing on phases 1 and 4. 

  • Defence: only focusing on how my players position themselves in defence
  • Transition from Attack to Defence: Focusing on regrouping, rather than press.  

Now that I have found my mistake, it’s time to tweak the formation. 

Phases of football

Spoiler

Defence
When playing the 3-4-1-2 at the beginning of the season and friendlies throughout the season, it was clear that my defence was relatively strong. At the beginning of the season, I drew more than I lost. At some point I was even second on the xG table, but 9th on the table. 

With this in the back of my mind, I want to hold on to the 3 at the back formation with 2 wingbacks. Creating a back 5 in defence, which seemed to work at the beginning of the season. 

Transition from Defence to Attack (aka. Build up)
This is a point that I missed in creating the 3-4-1-2, so this is a crucial phase while tweaking the formation. To simplify it for me and for you as a reader, I will break this transition up in 2 phases:

  1. Defence to Midfield
  2. Midfield to Attack

Defence to Midfield
My defenders don't have the passing ability to be BPD. The average passing in the league is 13, all of my defenders have 12 or lower. There needs to be another playmaker and luckily for me I have one of the best in the league with Dani Parejo. 

For me the defenders now have 3 options to build-up, which are:

  • Left wingback
  • Dani Parejo
  • Right wingback

Because the midfield is crowded with my players and the opposition players, I will focus on playing on the wings, where the wingbacks have more space. Dani Parejo will be near both the defence and wingbacks so that when he receives the ball, he can look for running players or find another player in build up. 

For the preferred role, I’m choosing the Deep Lying Playmaker for Dani Parejo. The description tells me the role is exactly what I'm looking for:  

Quote

 

Deep Lying Playmaker
The Deep Lying Playmaker operates in the space between the defence and the midfield and aims to initiate attacking moves via pinpoint passes to players positioned higher up the pitch. 

Although primarily a creative player, the Deep Lying Playmaker also has to be competent in the art of defence. 

With a support duty, the Deep Lying Playmaker will bring the ball out of defence and operate with a more expansive passing range. 

 


Midfield to attack
The next phase is when the ball is in midfield. We have 2 scenarios in my head that come to play:

  1. Dani Parejo gets the ball deep and launches a through/over the top ball to a runner
  2. It’s further up the pitch and there is a slower build up. 
    1. Scenario 1 can still happen when scenario 2 is happening.

This means I need runners in midfield, because I already have a playmaker in front of defence, there is no need to have another one in midfield. The main task of my midfield is linking up the defence with the attackers and covering passing lanes and making sure there isn't a big gap between defence and attack. Immediately the BBM role comes to mind. 

The Box-to-Box midfielder is the perfect role to link defence with my attackers. Although I don’t have a real box-to-box midfielder at my disposal, I have some players that can play that role, while bringing their own style of play to that role. 

When I think of a Box-to-Box midfielder, I want him to have a more attacking minded player besides him. One that is also focused on creating chances, besides his task to link up play. There are a few roles that I think are suitable besides the BBM, which are:

  • Deep Lying Playmaker
  • Roaming Playmaker
  • Mezella 
  • Carillo
  • Central Midfielder

As I mentioned before, I want Parejo to be the playmaker (DLP) in front of the defence. I don’t want another playmaker in midfield. My approach is actually like in American football. Parejo is the quarterback of the team and the 2 midfielders are the defensive line that keeps the opposition away. That means the Deep Lying Playmaker and Roaming Playmaker are off the table. 

The Carrillo role is more suited when playing with a 3-man midfield or a diamond shape. Default instruction is Stay Wider and I need them to shield the DLP. 

Then there is the Central Midfielder. A beautiful player role that, with support, is a clean slate. To tweak those instructions, I need more knowledge of the duty’s you can select, which is why (for now) I’m moving away from it.

Last option. The Mezzela. Coded to play in the half spaces and plays as a half midfielder/half winger. 

  • With the support duty, Mezzela will seek to balance his responsibilities between more traditional midfield work and the inclination to contribute in the attacking third. 
  • On Attack, he will often leave his midfield responsibilities to his teammates whilst mainly looking to make attacking contributions in the final third. 

The Mezzela support is what I’m looking for besides the BBM. He operates closer to the wingback and has the BBM beside him, the attackers in front and the DLP behind him to recycle the ball. 

Attack
How do I want to attack? When I look at our transition from defence to attack and how our build up comes to play, I need them to be available for crosses and passing options. 

Because my wingbacks are the main creators on the wide space,  want one striker to be constantly looking to break behind the opposition line and the other to be available when possible. They don’t need to move to the flank, they need to focus on attacking. 

First striker

For the more passive forward, I’m thinking of the following roles:

  • Attacking Midfielder
  • Deep Lying Forward
  • Complete Forward
  • Target Forward
  • False Nine

When I’m looking at the player instructions and how I want my 2 main attackers to operate, I have made the following conclusion:

  • Attacking midfielder
    • On support, he is too passive, because he stays deep and he don’t attack the box
    • On attack, he looks to craft out chances for our forwards, but with one forward there isn’t another goal scoring threat
  • Deep Lying Forward
    • In support,  he will wait to bring others into play. 
      • This will be counter active when I’m, trying to break fast when having the ball
    • On attack, he will look to fashion chances for himself, instead of looking for other possibilities
  • Complete forward
    • On support, he will drop into space, move to the flanks and look for through balls. My BBM and MEZ will occupy the space behind him and the wingbacks will provide width on the flank. 
    • On attack, he will lead the line, spearheading attacks and crafting out chances for himself and others. 
      • This looks more suited for my other forward, which I’ll talk about next.
  • Target Forward
    • In support, he will look to win flick-ons and bring others into play with simple possession passes.
    • On attack, he will lead the line and open spaces for others to run into. 
      • This could be helpful when the other striker is looking to break through, but I’m hesitant that my main attacks will be too attacking focused. 
  • False Nine
    • He will drop deep in midfield, where the BBM and MEZ already are. He won’t be any trait to the defenders when countering. 

For me, there is one option. The Target Forward. Looking to be available at all times, winning his duels with his physical presence and looking to play the ball to the wingback, BBM/MEZ or the other attack.

Second striker

Now looking at my other attacker, who will be our main goal threat. I’m looking for a striker that is continually looking to get behind the last line and focusing on goals and assists only. For me, there are 3 options to create this role:

  • Complete Forward (attack)
  • Poacher
  • Advanced Forward

When I’m looking at the player instructions and how I want my 2 main attackers to operate, I have made the following conclusion:

  • Complete Forward 
    • On attack, he will lead the line, spearheading attacks and crafting out chances for himself and others. 
      • There aren’t many strikers that can play the role of a complete forward, so it’s hard to buy or develop one. Luckily I have Gerard Moreno, who is more than capable of playing the role
  • Poacher
    • The poacher sits on the shoulder of the last defender, looking to break the line and run onto through balls from midfield. His focus on scoring is so extreme that he rarely offers much help in construction moves, preferring instead to remain central and sniff out opportunities in and around the box. 
      • When playing at home, I want a more supporting striker. The fact that I have technically gifted strikers, I will consider this role only when playing against higher placed teams in away games. 
  • Advanced Forward
    • His role is to lead the line and spearhead attacking moves. His primary duty is to be the focal point of attacking moves and he is required to both score and create goals. 
      • This looks more suited in most games vs the Poacher. He is required to score and create goals, which is more allround. 

After much thinking, I will start with a Target Forward (support) combined with an Advanced Forward. Roles that I will keep in mind are Complete Forward (attack) and Poacher. 

Transition from Attack to Defence
Looking at the Team Instructions, there are 2 possibilities that I can select. Counter Press or Regroup when losing the ball. 

In the ideal situation we will press the opponent in their half, but I don’t have the players to play that kind with that level of intensity. So we will regroup to give the opposition as little time as possible to counter us and as less time to find space when building up. With the formation, I’m trying to create a 5-3-2 formation. 

The wingbacks drop down to create the 5 at the back, my BBM and MEZ will drop next to - or just in front- of the DLP to keep the spaces between the lines as small as possible. And my attackers will look to hit them fast on the breaks when we get the ball. So they need to be 1) available when we dispose of the opposition 2) looking to break the line quickly. They stand in front of the midfield, but also close to the opposition’s centre backs to find space. 

 

The Formation

Spoiler

I have already said I’m going to tweak the 3-4-1-2 and focus more on the attacking phase of play. With the discussed roles above, I have chosen the following formation:

ETfS-FQbSwgCEVAH3X2qlaqeyoJT79L65n2Lzy_HlZv5SIbN3waFXY3F4M_Gcft8CJ77nv0howK2-atEJt3gtBAyfotGCrB57mR_OJSxqGyhuJUagBjfLDHc_qpz0PCuOhGmWo0e


Team Instructions
Here are the Team Instructions and why I chose those instructions. 

  • Hit Early Crosses
    • Because my wing backs are the wide players and have the most amount of space, I want them to hit early crosses so my striker(s) can break the line and use the space behind my opponents defence.
  • Focus Play Down The Right & Left
    • I want my wing backs to have the ball. They (or the DLP) need to provide the through balls to my strikers or find the BBM/MEZ in the middle.
  • Distribute to Full Backs
    • In combination with focusing play on the wings, it’s clear that I want my keeper to distribute to the wing backs for build up play.
  • Counter
    • The whole idea of the formation is to hit my opposition on the counter. 
  • Regroup
    • We want to hit our opposition from deep. And because I’m leaking goals, I want my team to regroup first. 
  • Higher Defensive Line
    • I want my team to be more compact and have a higher chance that my DLP or wing backs through ball passes are secure. 
  • More Often
    • When my team is compact, I want them to press the opposition to counter. In combination with the highest tackling in the league, I think it increases our chances to counter.
  • Get Stuck In
    • Simple. We have the highest tackling in the league, not only in defence but also in midfield. I want to use that.

Player Movement
While I’ve gotten deeper on why I chose the roles in the Phases of Football, here is another image how I want my players to move around the pitch:

CBOp3vk8rh2Oqh8AMCDT4EIPQibHgeFcWFLCsGLyP3Gwz9-HpnWSYiMmUARyg4Y03tdGI22uZysWYfKGhRLILnYCYF4LYrHdTVMTzhQU2XGEEtKJO3BGeVRSDc_95r0NqOHzLwVh

If you have made in to the end, you’re the best. Thank you! :applause:

I hope this gives more insight in how I want to play with the current squad and how I’m looking to survive and keep my job. 

In the next post, I will give examples on how the phases of football plays out in-game against different kinds of opponents in the likes of Leganes and Vallecano, but also Atlético Madrid (sitting at 16th) and Valencia (second in the league). 
 

Edited by Brian
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On 15/02/2022 at 07:54, Brian said:

Tactical progression

After some defeats using the 4-3-3, focused on possession, it was time to refocus. By doing that I went back to my original plan, the 3-4-1-2, but with some tweaks to focus more on the attacking part rather than blindly focusing on the defence. 

Focus change
The first thing that needed to happen was to shift the focus from defending to attacking. While re-reading the topic from O-zil to the Arsenal, it made more sense to me. When you break down every style of play, you can divide it in 4 different phases of the game:

  1. Defence
  2. Transition from Defence to Attack (aka. Build-up)
  3. Attack
  4. Transition from Attack to Defence

When creating the 3-4-1-2 I was focusing on phases 1 and 4. 

  • Defence: only focusing on how my players position themselves in defence
  • Transition from Attack to Defence: Focusing on regrouping, rather than press.  

Now that I have found my mistake, it’s time to tweak the formation. 

Phases of football

  Hide contents

Defence
When playing the 3-4-1-2 at the beginning of the season and friendlies throughout the season, it was clear that my defence was relatively strong. At the beginning of the season, I drew more than I lost. At some point I was even second on the xG table, but 9th on the table. 

With this in the back of my mind, I want to hold on to the 3 at the back formation with 2 wingbacks. Creating a back 5 in defence, which seemed to work at the beginning of the season. 

Transition from Defence to Attack (aka. Build up)
This is a point that I missed in creating the 3-4-1-2, so this is a crucial phase while tweaking the formation. To simplify it for me and for you as a reader, I will break this transition up in 2 phases:

  1. Defence to Midfield
  2. Midfield to Attack

Defence to Midfield
My defenders don't have the passing ability to be BPD. The average passing in the league is 13, all of my defenders have 12 or lower. There needs to be another playmaker and luckily for me I have one of the best in the league with Dani Parejo. 

For me the defenders now have 3 options to build-up, which are:

  • Left wingback
  • Dani Parejo
  • Right wingback

Because the midfield is crowded with my players and the opposition players, I will focus on playing on the wings, where the wingbacks have more space. Dani Parejo will be near both the defence and wingbacks so that when he receives the ball, he can look for running players or find another player in build up. 

For the preferred role, I’m choosing the Deep Lying Playmaker for Dani Parejo. The description tells me the role is exactly what I'm looking for:  


Midfield to attack
The next phase is when the ball is in midfield. We have 2 scenarios in my head that come to play:

  1. Dani Parejo gets the ball deep and launches a through/over the top ball to a runner
  2. It’s further up the pitch and there is a slower build up. 
    1. Scenario 1 can still happen when scenario 2 is happening.

This means I need runners in midfield, because I already have a playmaker in front of defence, there is no need to have another one in midfield. The main task of my midfield is linking up the defence with the attackers and covering passing lanes and making sure there isn't a big gap between defence and attack. Immediately the BBM role comes to mind. 

The Box-to-Box midfielder is the perfect role to link defence with my attackers. Although I don’t have a real box-to-box midfielder at my disposal, I have some players that can play that role, while bringing their own style of play to that role. 

When I think of a Box-to-Box midfielder, I want him to have a more attacking minded player besides him. One that is also focused on creating chances, besides his task to link up play. There are a few roles that I think are suitable besides the BBM, which are:

  • Deep Lying Playmaker
  • Roaming Playmaker
  • Mezella 
  • Carillo
  • Central Midfielder

As I mentioned before, I want Parejo to be the playmaker (DLP) in front of the defence. I don’t want another playmaker in midfield. My approach is actually like in American football. Parejo is the quarterback of the team and the 2 midfielders are the defensive line that keeps the opposition away. That means the Deep Lying Playmaker and Roaming Playmaker are off the table. 

The Carrillo role is more suited when playing with a 3-man midfield or a diamond shape. Default instruction is Stay Wider and I need them to shield the DLP. 

Then there is the Central Midfielder. A beautiful player role that, with support, is a clean slate. To tweak those instructions, I need more knowledge of the duty’s you can select, which is why (for now) I’m moving away from it.

Last option. The Mezzela. Coded to play in the half spaces and plays as a half midfielder/half winger. 

  • With the support duty, Mezzela will seek to balance his responsibilities between more traditional midfield work and the inclination to contribute in the attacking third. 
  • On Attack, he will often leave his midfield responsibilities to his teammates whilst mainly looking to make attacking contributions in the final third. 

The Mezzela support is what I’m looking for besides the BBM. He operates closer to the wingback and has the BBM beside him, the attackers in front and the DLP behind him to recycle the ball. 

Attack
How do I want to attack? When I look at our transition from defence to attack and how our build up comes to play, I need them to be available for crosses and passing options. 

Because my wingbacks are the main creators on the wide space,  want one striker to be constantly looking to break behind the opposition line and the other to be available when possible. They don’t need to move to the flank, they need to focus on attacking. 

First striker

For the more passive forward, I’m thinking of the following roles:

  • Attacking Midfielder
  • Deep Lying Forward
  • Complete Forward
  • Target Forward
  • False Nine

When I’m looking at the player instructions and how I want my 2 main attackers to operate, I have made the following conclusion:

  • Attacking midfielder
    • On support, he is too passive, because he stays deep and he don’t attack the box
    • On attack, he looks to craft out chances for our forwards, but with one forward there isn’t another goal scoring threat
  • Deep Lying Forward
    • In support,  he will wait to bring others into play. 
      • This will be counter active when I’m, trying to break fast when having the ball
    • On attack, he will look to fashion chances for himself, instead of looking for other possibilities
  • Complete forward
    • On support, he will drop into space, move to the flanks and look for through balls. My BBM and MEZ will occupy the space behind him and the wingbacks will provide width on the flank. 
    • On attack, he will lead the line, spearheading attacks and crafting out chances for himself and others. 
      • This looks more suited for my other forward, which I’ll talk about next.
  • Target Forward
    • In support, he will look to win flick-ons and bring others into play with simple possession passes.
    • On attack, he will lead the line and open spaces for others to run into. 
      • This could be helpful when the other striker is looking to break through, but I’m hesitant that my main attacks will be too attacking focused. 
  • False Nine
    • He will drop deep in midfield, where the BBM and MEZ already are. He won’t be any trait to the defenders when countering. 

For me, there is one option. The Target Forward. Looking to be available at all times, winning his duels with his physical presence and looking to play the ball to the wingback, BBM/MEZ or the other attack.

Second striker

Now looking at my other attacker, who will be our main goal threat. I’m looking for a striker that is continually looking to get behind the last line and focusing on goals and assists only. For me, there are 3 options to create this role:

  • Complete Forward (attack)
  • Poacher
  • Advanced Forward

When I’m looking at the player instructions and how I want my 2 main attackers to operate, I have made the following conclusion:

  • Complete Forward 
    • On attack, he will lead the line, spearheading attacks and crafting out chances for himself and others. 
      • There aren’t many strikers that can play the role of a complete forward, so it’s hard to buy or develop one. Luckily I have Gerard Moreno, who is more than capable of playing the role
  • Poacher
    • The poacher sits on the shoulder of the last defender, looking to break the line and run onto through balls from midfield. His focus on scoring is so extreme that he rarely offers much help in construction moves, preferring instead to remain central and sniff out opportunities in and around the box. 
      • When playing at home, I want a more supporting striker. The fact that I have technically gifted strikers, I will consider this role only when playing against higher placed teams in away games. 
  • Advanced Forward
    • His role is to lead the line and spearhead attacking moves. His primary duty is to be the focal point of attacking moves and he is required to both score and create goals. 
      • This looks more suited in most games vs the Poacher. He is required to score and create goals, which is more allround. 

After much thinking, I will start with a Target Forward (support) combined with an Advanced Forward. Roles that I will keep in mind are Complete Forward (attack) and Poacher. 

Transition from Attack to Defence
Looking at the Team Instructions, there are 2 possibilities that I can select. Counter Press or Regroup when losing the ball. 

In the ideal situation we will press the opponent in their half, but I don’t have the players to play that kind with that level of intensity. So we will regroup to give the opposition as little time as possible to counter us and as less time to find space when building up. With the formation, I’m trying to create a 5-3-2 formation. 

The wingbacks drop down to create the 5 at the back, my BBM and MEZ will drop next to - or just in front- of the DLP to keep the spaces between the lines as small as possible. And my attackers will look to hit them fast on the breaks when we get the ball. So they need to be 1) available when we dispose of the opposition 2) looking to break the line quickly. They stand in front of the midfield, but also close to the opposition’s centre backs to find space. 

 

The Formation

  Hide contents

I have already said I’m going to tweak the 3-4-1-2 and focus more on the attacking phase of play. With the discussed roles above, I have chosen the following formation:

ETfS-FQbSwgCEVAH3X2qlaqeyoJT79L65n2Lzy_HlZv5SIbN3waFXY3F4M_Gcft8CJ77nv0howK2-atEJt3gtBAyfotGCrB57mR_OJSxqGyhuJUagBjfLDHc_qpz0PCuOhGmWo0e


Team Instructions
Here are the Team Instructions and why I chose those instructions. 

  • Hit Early Crosses
    • Because my wing backs are the wide players and have the most amount of space, I want them to hit early crosses so my striker(s) can break the line and use the space behind my opponents defence.
  • Focus Play Down The Right & Left
    • I want my wing backs to have the ball. They (or the DLP) need to provide the through balls to my strikers or find the BBM/MEZ in the middle.
  • Distribute to Full Backs
    • In combination with focusing play on the wings, it’s clear that I want my keeper to distribute to the wing backs for build up play.
  • Counter
    • The whole idea of the formation is to hit my opposition on the counter. 
  • Regroup
    • We want to hit our opposition from deep. And because I’m leaking goals, I want my team to regroup first. 
  • Higher Defensive Line
    • I want my team to be more compact and have a higher chance that my DLP or wing backs through ball passes are secure. 
  • More Often
    • When my team is compact, I want them to press the opposition to counter. In combination with the highest tackling in the league, I think it increases our chances to counter.
  • Get Stuck In
    • Simple. We have the highest tackling in the league, not only in defence but also in midfield. I want to use that.

Player Movement
While I’ve gotten deeper on why I chose the roles in the Phases of Football, here is another image how I want my players to move around the pitch:

CBOp3vk8rh2Oqh8AMCDT4EIPQibHgeFcWFLCsGLyP3Gwz9-HpnWSYiMmUARyg4Y03tdGI22uZysWYfKGhRLILnYCYF4LYrHdTVMTzhQU2XGEEtKJO3BGeVRSDc_95r0NqOHzLwVh

If you have made in to the end, you’re the best. Thank you! :applause:

I hope this gives more insight in how I want to play with the current squad and how I’m looking to survive and keep my job. 

In the next post, I will give examples on how the phases of football plays out in-game against different kinds of opponents in the likes of Leganes and Vallecano, but also Atlético Madrid (sitting at 16th) and Valencia (second in the league). 
 

Brilliant to see this thread and all the contributions. I've been a lurker for a while but followed this thread with great interest. Well done OP look forward to seeing more updates.

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Quick question, why the FB(D) on the side of the RPM? I see people doing this a lot, but a lot of times I don't see it IRL from the likes of Guardiola, who are distincted for using this type of positional play strategy.

Edited by Razor940
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vor 16 Stunden schrieb Razor940:

Quick question, why the FB(D) on the side of the RPM? I see people doing this a lot, but a lot of times I don't see it IRL from the likes of Guardiola, who are distincted for using this type of positional play strategy.

The RPM is a roaming role and needs protection for the transition phase into defence. A FBs usually suits this but if the wide player is also not contributing enough for defence transitions the FBd or IWBd come into play.

It would be different if the RPM is a holding role like a DLP.

plus, with a FBd you can create a back 3 

Edited by HanziZoloman
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Em 21/02/2022 em 07:59, HanziZoloman disse:

The RPM is a roaming role and needs protection for the transition phase into defence. A FBs usually suits this but if the wide player is also not contributing enough for defence transitions the FBd or IWBd come into play.

It would be different if the RPM is a holding role like a DLP.

plus, with a FBd you can create a back 3 

I understand all that, but it doesn't make much sense on that side from a positional play stand point, even worse when in the other you have a roaming, going forward BBM paired with a WB and a attacking IW. Also, the RPM is not a holding midfielder, in the FM sense, but its quite one by real life standards, and holds quite well his ground, even better when the player has the attributes to pull it off. You never saw Xavi paired with a defensive Dani Alves, i.e., and he was a RPM for quite some time. Because he comes deep a lot of times you can have two guys hassle the wide defender and make him decide who he wants to defend, which probably wont happen here. 

That tactic kinda screams to overload on the left, but it looks half assed without commiting many players, while also overloading the other side where the running forward will be. It's odd.

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Season 2023/2024 - Pre-season transfers 

After the small success we had with the tactic, it’s time to improve. But with 2 seasons of underperforming, unhappy players and no budget, it isn’t easy.  

Luckily for me at the beginning of pre-season, it was clear that the English teams were circling around our wonderkid Yeremy Pino and it was just a matter of time before they came in with a bid. I didn’t want to sell, but I knew I could use the money to rebuild the squad (and focus on the future) and if I rejected bids, Pino would become angry and it would affect the whole team. 

Eventually he went to Tottenham for €80 million (€60 million upfront). The board gave me €55 million to improve the team with. 

So now is the question, what am I looking for? 

Identifying players
Before we even start to scout, look at players and analyze if there is a match for our team, let's look at what I’m looking for. 

Age
Our club’s vision is signing players under 23 y/o. That fits my preferred transfer targets too, so that’s a win-win situation. But I’m also aware that we need quality, real quality. 

So for this window, I’m  looking at: 

  • Quality players that can go in to our starting 11 right away
  • Preferred U-23
    • If the player is the ideal player, I will still be looking to buy him this season. 

Attributes
Which attributes - and why - do I find important for our current tactic?

After looking at our formation and how I want to play, I’ve selected some attributes that I think will fit our playing style:

  • First Touch
    • When playing a higher tempo, we need players to control the ball quickly after receiving the pass. If a player has a bad first touch, the chances of him losing the ball is very high.
  • Passing
    • In order to counter quick and precise, our passing needs to be on point. Otherwise we’re just wasting the ball and opportunities. 
  • Technique
  •  
  • Tackling
    • If the moment arises that a player, it can be due to pressing, can take the ball of the opposition player he needs to take it. Because if he doesn't, the opposition can break our lines. 
  • Decisions
    • When to press, when to tackle, when to pass the ball at the right time. All comes down to decision making on the pitch. 
  • Off the ball
    • We need to be excellent without the ball, because we don’t have the ball most of the time. Our movement needs to be precise. 
  • Work rate
    • I want players to keep working. Because we don’t have the ball, we will be running. Allot.

Now that we have something to search for, let’s look at area’s that we need to focus on. 

Positions that lack quality
First of all, I will identify key positions in the tactic. 

For me the key positions are the wing backs and deep lying playmaker, so I will cover those first. 

Wingbacks
Our wing backs are by far the most important positions in our tactic. Without quality backs, we don’t have:

  1. Passing options in the wide area
  2. Early crosses to launch our attacking minded players

Last season, the back positions were lacking quality. We played youngster Kadile - who is a winger - at right back because we didn’t have any other player and at left back we had OK players with Pedraza and Estupiñán. 

With Kadile out on loan and Pedraza moving to Valencia CF for €20 million, we needed new players. 

To my surprise, I signed 4 players that were out on contract back in December. One of them was Calegari. 

1592217513_Schermafbeelding2022-02-23om19_42_26.thumb.png.d37180faff14c6ce4f6df17e9a9aae5f.png

Modern wingback that can play in our starting 11 right away. Overal really great and only 21 y/o. 

Deep Lying Playmaker
After our wing backs, I find the DLP to be our second key position. Sitting deep, always offers a passing option and the ability to launch our forwards. It’s a must to have one of the best players in this position. 

With Dani Parejo, we already have one of the best DLP of the league. But age is catching up and with 35 years, he needs a replacement. Somebody that can take his place, but also can be a starter in our team. 

To my surprise, we got one of the best deals possible. Barça placed Nico on the transfer list for €6 (!!!) million and we were able to get him. He is the crown prince to take over from the king. 

975825777_Schermafbeelding2022-02-23om21_35_58.thumb.png.186f1e939eca598b8d38e308d3c6fdd1.png

Now that we got the key positions done, let’s look at other areas to improve. 

Supporting striker
With Gerard Moreno, we have a world class striker to our disposal. He will start whenever possible. And with Boulaye Dia and/or Samuel Chukwueze we have options behind Gerard Moreno as the main goal scoring threat. 

But we need a supporting player to assist him and be a focal point. We have Fer Niño, who had a good second half of the season. But I’m not convinced he can step up to be the main supporting striker. That’s until Broja came in.

1300832586_Schermafbeelding2022-02-23om21_36_42.thumb.png.5534c514943b5cf1c545e21f9b222b50.png

We got Broja for cheap with a 1-season loan deal. He is our ideal partner for Gerard Moreo.  He can hold the ball to bring others in to play or pass it quickly to keep the counter going. Also decent pace and acceleration when he makes a run behind the lines. 

And with Fer Niño breathing behind Broja’s neck, we have plenty of cover for the main thread upfront. 

Midfield duo BBM/MEZ
Last year we had Coquelin (BBM) and Yeremy Pino (MEZ) as our main midfield duo. Linking up together nicely. With both of them gone, we need something new. 

Just like our right back Calegari, we also had a midfielder for free. Another Brazilian who is a specialist in the Mezzela role. How lucky am I? 

360403359_Schermafbeelding2022-02-23om21_37_18.thumb.png.6a143198878fdd5774cca00b886b6fb0.png

Around league average on most attributes and fit right into my starting 11. Moving Moi Gomez to the bench, again.

 

Current squad and starting 11

1696744882_Schermafbeelding2022-02-23om21_40_47.thumb.png.821108661343be832fee4e3a846c6a55.png
 


The transfer windows isn't over, yet. But with our money well spend, I'm not expecting fireworks. 

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vor 13 Stunden schrieb Brian:

To my surprise, we got one of the best deals possible. Barça placed Nico on the transfer list for €6 (!!!) million and we were able to get him. He is the crown prince to take over from the king. 

Yeah!! Got him too on a free I love him 😍 

great Job so far. It is so difficult to evolve in the first league, it took me six seasons to reach Europe. 
I believe it’s crucial to develop a youth system before reaching the first division.

Edited by HanziZoloman
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