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Compensating for Lack of Pressing DNA - Blunted Attack


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In need of some tactical help.

Preamble: 3rd season with Leverkusen, still no trophies. Currently in 2nd place but the xG table would more realistically have us in 4th. We have only the 6th best attack and the 5th best defence. Warning signs are all around. We are not playing the football I want and I fear my team has no identity and it's only being held together by strong morale and team cohesion. Originally my team had the counter-press on with my front line pressing the opposition backline, but we were getting killed by long balls over the top and the analyst report showed we practically never won the ball in the opposition half due to our lack of a pressing DNA. 

The tactic.

Schick and Lucca are my best players/goalscorers by far but I can't accommodate them both, so I've had to move Schick out onto the IF role where he has excelled. That's kept Harvey Elliott (loan) and Paulinho out of the mix for the time being.

The idea behind my tactic is that this team has no underlying attributes for press/counter-press.  They have bang average teamwork (10th in Bundesliga) and aggression (10th). The backline is technical and fairly pacy, hence the high line and offside trap. The idea is to try to control possession and otherwise stay rather compact out of possession to compensate for the lack of ability to press. Instead we are 2nd only to Bayern Munich for average possession, but we are 11th in the bundesliga for chances created. 

I seem to have hurt the team's creativity despite our high possession numbers although we are certainly more defensively solid than year's past, without being exceptional. It is a highly technical squad which led me to believe that despite the average teamwork, they would be best suited to a possession game but now it looks to me like we are not ready for the next step of challenging meaningfully for a title. Any suggestions would be welcome. 

 

 

Edited by Snootch
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16 minutes ago, Snootch said:

We are not playing the football I want

What sort of football do you want to play then? I just assumed you'd have no TI's for your tactic before I had a look but you've got a few ticked so you've set your team a certain style

I mean, tactic wise, there's nothing wrong with that and you're performing well, I think it's just a long term project of bringing in players that fit your idea, create a club DNA where every player you buy or develop has Aggression, Work Rate, Team Work (or whatever you want) above a certain attribute  

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55 minutes ago, Johnny Ace said:

What sort of football do you want to play then? I just assumed you'd have no TI's for your tactic before I had a look but you've got a few ticked so you've set your team a certain style

I mean, tactic wise, there's nothing wrong with that and you're performing well, I think it's just a long term project of bringing in players that fit your idea, create a club DNA where every player you buy or develop has Aggression, Work Rate, Team Work (or whatever you want) above a certain attribute  

I guess creative possession? I don't want us to be midtable for chances created. If the squad has anything going for it it is attacking talent and technical ability matched with pace. I would like to emphasize that while attempting to cover its defensive deficiencies as much as I can. Instead I seem to have killed its attacking nous but made it reasonably solid. 

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1 hour ago, Snootch said:

Preamble: 3rd season with Leverkusen, still no trophies. Currently in 2nd place but the xG table would more realistically have us in 4th. We have only the 6th best attack and the 5th best defence. Warning signs are all around.

You could try making some slight tweaks:

CFsu

Wsu                        IFat

CMat CMsu

Ade

IWBsu BPDde CDde WBsu

  • CFat -> CFsu: I see IFat as an out-and-out goalscorer and thus like my striker to have a supporting role whenever I use it (perhaps just my personal preference)
  • FBsu -> IWBsu: With supporting Winger keeping width on that side, IWB could focus more on creating overloads down the middle and slotting into the space CMat vacates with his forward runs

I'd also try removing the following instructions for now:

  • Lower Tempo: Shorter Passing already lowers tempo to Standard by itself (Positive Mentality), lowering it even further could A) make your team easy to defend against when combined with Shorter Passing and B) make it easy for high-pressing teams to close you down, since players are taking long time before making decisions
  • Use Offside Trap: might add needless risk for sub-top teams, Higher Defensive Line should suffice when combined with Positive Mentality
  • Trigger press More Often: Slightly More Often should be aggressive enough (Positive Mentality); reduce the number of gaps your team is leaving with closing down

Hope that gives you some ideas.

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5 minutes ago, Snootch said:

I guess creative possession? I don't want us to be midtable for chances created. If the squad has anything going for it it is attacking talent and technical ability matched with pace. I would like to emphasize that while attempting to cover its defensive deficiencies as much as I can. Instead I seem to have killed its attacking nous but made it reasonably solid. 

If you want to be a bit more possession based and be more creative, you could cut out your wide runners at RB & LW? I mean, they're run wide with the ball and cross type roles, so kinda the opposite to what you want? Crossing will create chances but so will risky passes, so it's about tweaking the balance of how you want to play. Inverted players also help bring the ball centrally and have a better chance at finding another team mate with a pass

You could Invert the LW with an IW or IF. Introducing the IF would have all 3 of your front-line looking to make risky passes which could be overkill. A simple FB(S/A) at RB will cut down a bit of width of the right and make him less cross heavy 

You could introduce a Playmaker in there? Like the CM(A) could become an Advanced Playmaker on Attack, that will add another risky pass player rather than a direct attack the box type player. All depends if you have a capable player and if you want play focused through him

Lower Tempo and Dribble Less will take out some of your attacking sting, if running on the ball is a team strength, it might be worth taking that off? Dribble less is a great option for ball retention, but if you've individuals that are really good at it, using it will stunt their talents. Lower Tempo is also great for more patient play, it's probably produce less but better quality chances  

There's a few options there to try and dabble with, see if it helps bring the tactic round to how you want to play

 

 

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If I may, 

It's not a big deal to not play with agressive pressing. It's certainly a chance if you play with it. Maybe you should leave the pressing on default. On default with positive mentality, you press a little more than on balance mentality but not too much. In my opinion you should increase your tempo on higher, you will keep possession but not too much. Lower your LOE and stay with a higher DL is an other option to stay compact. 

But it's just a theory. 

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