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[Insert diamond pun here] recreating Stevie G's Aston Villa

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After enjoying replicating Stevie G's Xmas Tree tactic earlier in Fm22's lifecycle I'm currently using the Winter Update to attempt to recreate Villa's recent shift to a diamond midfield. 

The last two games have seen Villa switch to something a lot more structured than we'd previously seen. Characterised by a deeper defence, Ramsay acting as a runner from midfield and Coutinho dictating play at the tip of a diamond it's been fun to watch. 

Trying to recreate it in FM however is proving tricky. I can't seem to get a consistent performance out of Coutinho and also I can't seem to have less possession than the opposition. 

In the past two games Villa have had 38.2% and 33.5% possession - but no matter what I try I can;t end up with less than 50%

I'm not bad at tactics but I've never done a diamond before so a little lost here and hoped I could get some help from the hive mind. Below are a couple of attempts at thinking through what might work as well as Whoscored's recent analysis of the Southhampton game. 

Key things I'm hoping to replicate:

- Coutinho the heartbeat
- Ramsay breakng beyond from midfield

Screenshot (13).png

Screenshot (11).png

Screenshot (12).png

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Re: forward runs. I prefer a CM attack vs Mezzala, but that depends on whether you want more central or wider runs.


Re: Coutinho. I've noticed playmekrs in the AM strata tend to get crowded out. Try using a normal AM(s) and let the PPMs and attributes do the job for creativity.

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I'd probably try it like this:


PI's are basically everyone who can be told to dribble less is, everyone who can be told to shoot less is except for the trequartista. Both FB's are told to stay wider, cross less and cross from the byline. Both CB's are told to stay wider. The volante is told to move into channels. The DM(S) is told to hold position and take more risks. Both forwards are told to roam from position. Lastly the trequartisita is told to pass it shorter and cross less often. 

Admittedly I've not had a chance to watch much of Villa play this season but from looking over heatmaps and general stats on whoscored this seems like a pretty decent replication. Offside trap and whipped crosses are entirely a personal preference for me, not sure if they're really accurate to the way Villa have been playing.


A few more images for proof of concept regarding the midfield shape, the volante making forward runs and lack of possession.


Average position with ball shows a nice diamond shape.



Passing map showing the volante is making nice forward runs getting the ball in more advanced areas of the pitch: (15 is the volante)


(Note that the pass map in this one is a bit wonky due to the early sending off the opposition had. Usually the Anchorman (#30) is more involved.)


And lastly note the low possession you were looking for (though that probably has more to do with the opponent getting a red card after we were already  5-0 up in the first 30 minutes) 



Now I should say take this result with a huge grain of salt as I'm playing as Real Madrid in 2031 against a team from the division below us, but the concepts of the tactic that I saw in the match looked really good.


Edited by 1twoQ
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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry if this is a bit of Necropost - but I was waiting till I had a few more games under my belt before I showed this tactic


Edit: PI's are CM = Move into Channels, AMC = Roam From Positions and I've been asking my Assistant to do OI's for me

That's been my best attempt at the Gerrard Style 4-3-1-2 and it's been doing fairly well so far (4th in the table, Feb first Season - Watkins has been absolutely dominant and is the Joint Third highest Scorer in the League with 16 in 20 Starts & 3 Sub Apps and is around the top 10 for Assists as well)


It's not a perfect recreation, but like this game against Brentford shows it's not a bad attempt - we had 45% possession in this game:348965486_Villa4-3-2-1MatchReview.thumb.png.79aac3204bb12837eacd749dedccc02e.png

Edited by Aesorian
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