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Building a tactic for my squad [FM22]


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Hello again!

It's me. Again.

I'm managing Swansea, and after a couple of seasons in the Premier League, I find my self struggling to create a satisfying system for my squad. Results are here and there, and generally not the worst, but I can't seem to find any footballing consistency.
Some key points:

- Predicted 15th, despite finishing 9th (2 seasons ago) and 13th last season. Personal expectation is 8th-12th, so considering the low reputation of the club it makes sense.
- I want to create a system that prioritises controlling the games as well as possible. I realize that we are not a top quality team, but I want to see my players at least attempt to play combination based possession football. 
- If my squad is in fact not suited to that (and my assessment is wrong), I am happy to pivot towards more transitional football akin to how Arsenal play IRL.
- I have a few key players that I assume should have priority in terms of system/roles.

Team overview; 

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Here are the best 11-12 players in my squad;

GK - Radoslaw Majecki

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RB - Gabriel Menino

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CB - Harwood-Bellis

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CB - Dimitris Nikolaou

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LB - Wilson-Esbrand

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CM/DM - Joris Chotard

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CM/DM - Fransisco Ginella

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CM/AMR/AMC/AML - Gabriel Cortez

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AML/AMR - Gabriel Veron

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MC/AMC/AMR/AML - Parfait Guigon

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AML/Striker - Adam Idah

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AMR/Striker - Gustav Lundorff

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Initial thoughts;

- Gustav Lundorff, Parfait Guiagon and Joris Chotard seem like my best players, should likely look to get the most out of them
- CB's are not top quality, will need protection
- Good fullbacks, especially going forward

The creation;

So, where to go from here? Keeping in mind my key points from the intro, how would you go about achieving either Plan A or Plan B? I've tinkered with this for the past week or two and can't seem to find a good solution. Please note, I'm looking for anyone to create my system - I'm looking for a fresh outlook. I think I've gotten stuck in my tracks here, and realize that there are approaches and solutions I'm not able to see. 

So if you wanna help me along and give me a fresh perspective and starting point, feel free to lend me a hand - I look forward to a productive process in building a satisfying system together! 

Cheers!

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I would do something like this: 

 

Quote

image.png.e8beffcf21274014171b7637bee30234.png

I'd have Parfait be your CM(A) and Veron be the IW. Chinella the CM(S).

Balanced mentality

Standard defensive line. Lower LOE. 

Counter. Distribute to centerbacks and fullbacks. 

Higher tempo. Pass into space. Narrow width. 

I would maybe at press more often or get stuck in depending on how I'm feeling. 

The whole idea is to take advantage of Idah's and Lundroff's pace in the counter. You'll also have an extra player in the middle. The only thing lacking is width on the right. But really you're trying to overload the left/middle and hit to the IF(A) one on one. 

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My take on the tactic using the post I wrote is the following.

775514294_ScreenShot2022-05-11at9_09_25AM.thumb.png.9051857ee753570ac0aa18fea1be4b7a.png

Generally, your team has lower work rate so no high pressing and a lower line of engagement. However, you have fast, direct players up front so the counter can engage. Menino is a good RB, but can't cross and isn't the fastest, so playing him on the defend duty makes the most sense, as the only other player that can provide cover for your defense is Chotard, who should be on a higher mentality to unlock his creative skill. At the Mezzala role, I'd play Guignan, as he needs to be on the highest mentality and can play in that role well, with a Winger out wide (Veron) to give him space, as well as feed the striker. On the other flank, Wilson-Esbrand has better ability to get forwards and be an effective wide presence, so he can provide width while Idah inverts and provides a secondary goal threat behind Lundorff up front.

The attacking instructions I used are a way to hopefully let you accomplish your goals of controlling the game, but due to player quality, I don't think you'll be camped in the final third often. Therefore, you'll work the ball in deeper positions drawing on the defense, before hitting a longer ball using the DLP, Menino's switch ball to other flank, or a direct run from wide by the winger or wingback to push play to a further position, where hopefully your players will combine. I used lower tempo because your team all has higher composure, so they should be able to work effectively, and play out of defense is usually possible, though if it starts to be shaky don't be afraid to take it off and just have distribution to your CBs or DM, so that play is still under control. If you decide to use this, let me know how it works and I hope I could help.

Edit: I forgot to mention that into the future, it could be interesting to replace Ginella with a classic defensive midfielder as he is both getting older and has low work rate for what you'd want in your side. Then you could move Chotard up to an RPM or AP at LCM, Menino could switch to a support duty and you will have more cover in front of the CBs with a defend duty DM.

Edited by dcayton9
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4 hours ago, dcayton9 said:

My take on the tactic using the post I wrote is the following.

775514294_ScreenShot2022-05-11at9_09_25AM.thumb.png.9051857ee753570ac0aa18fea1be4b7a.png

Generally, your team has lower work rate so no high pressing and a lower line of engagement. However, you have fast, direct players up front so the counter can engage. Menino is a good RB, but can't cross and isn't the fastest, so playing him on the defend duty makes the most sense, as the only other player that can provide cover for your defense is Chotard, who should be on a higher mentality to unlock his creative skill. At the Mezzala role, I'd play Guignan, as he needs to be on the highest mentality and can play in that role well, with a Winger out wide (Veron) to give him space, as well as feed the striker. On the other flank, Wilson-Esbrand has better ability to get forwards and be an effective wide presence, so he can provide width while Idah inverts and provides a secondary goal threat behind Lundorff up front.

The attacking instructions I used are a way to hopefully let you accomplish your goals of controlling the game, but due to player quality, I don't think you'll be camped in the final third often. Therefore, you'll work the ball in deeper positions drawing on the defense, before hitting a longer ball using the DLP, Menino's switch ball to other flank, or a direct run from wide by the winger or wingback to push play to a further position, where hopefully your players will combine. I used lower tempo because your team all has higher composure, so they should be able to work effectively, and play out of defense is usually possible, though if it starts to be shaky don't be afraid to take it off and just have distribution to your CBs or DM, so that play is still under control. If you decide to use this, let me know how it works and I hope I could help.

Edit: I forgot to mention that into the future, it could be interesting to replace Ginella with a classic defensive midfielder as he is both getting older and has low work rate for what you'd want in your side. Then you could move Chotard up to an RPM or AP at LCM, Menino could switch to a support duty and you will have more cover in front of the CBs with a defend duty DM.

Thanks a lot for your suggestion! 

My initial thoughts are that the system makes sense. However, I must admit I have some skepticism towards playing a Lower Line of Engagement in a 4-3-3 - I've never really seen that work, but I'm happy to be proven wrong!
Here's the results from game 1; 

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An absolutely toothless performance, sadly. 4 shots in 90 minutes, at home, is unacceptable against another mid table team. So, some tinkering is necessary I reckon! 

My first thoughts are that AF in a 4-3-3 is something I've yet to see work, at all. From my experience, they always end up horribly isolated for 90% of the game, and offer little to nothing defensively. This is completely anecdotal, of course, so any thoughts in regards to that? I've never been able to make a 4-3-3 work without having the lone striker in a more supportive role, but that doesn't mean it can't work. 

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Oh wow I am sorry that's not working and I agree it's unacceptable. The lower line of engagement was based on the players' generally lower stamina and work rate, but on a second look, they are alright and your back line is of average pace, so you could try and push the line of engagement up to standard and keep the defensive line at standard or higher, and go from there. If you want to stick with the lower line of engagement, you could try pushing the wingers back to M(L/R), but I avoided that due to Idah not being able to play there and wanting to fit him in. If you want to go the creative forward route, I think Idah looks like a great CF(a) with his pace and physicality and Lundorff could play IF(a) on the right. This is my general idea for roles and duties. The fullbacks are only so conservative, as the midfield is very attack minded.

876699983_ScreenShot2022-05-11at4_12_03PM.png.a6145f7153cd525ada843c6eebf78ce5.png

Also on the lone forward AF topic, in my personal save right now, I run a lone striker at advanced forward in a 4-3-3 and I get about a goal a game out of whoever I am playing at striker, though my team is of a predicted 7th in the league quality so that probably makes a slight difference. I think it can work if you have enough people feeding him with chances, as well as off the ball movement in the final third so that space is created.

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Looking at your squad, I have a tactic that I use when I want to overwhelm a team (though used in small doses for reasons that will be apparent once you look at it!) The only thing that may let you down is your Left Back.

It's a 2-3-5 (W-M basically) based off of how Pep likes Man City to be in possession. 

I play a 4-3-3 normally, with Rodri in the DM role, Kimmich at RB and Cancelo LB - with this variation I move Kimmich into the DLP role, Rodri into the DM role and Cancelo I tend to move into a Segundo Volante role but in that screenshot it's a little more defensively thought out, well, as defensively thought out as it can be when it's used to push for a win!

If you can get hold of a LB capable of playing in a DM role like you have with Menino on the right then that could be a good option to maybe start the first 10-15 mins to push for an early goal, then switch into a more traditional 4-3-3, or the last 10-15mins of a half/the game to put pressure on.

Obviously it's a high risk, high reward variant to use but i've even left that tactic on for a whole game on a few occasions and walked away with like 9-2 wins etc. - again, with the caveat that it is Man City so obviously OP but one that i've also used in a similar capacity with Middlesbrough, who are anything BUT OP (though I wouldn't even DREAM of playing it for a whole game with them!)

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23 hours ago, dcayton9 said:

Also on the lone forward AF topic, in my personal save right now, I run a lone striker at advanced forward in a 4-3-3 and I get about a goal a game out of whoever I am playing at striker, though my team is of a predicted 7th in the league quality so that probably makes a slight difference. I think it can work if you have enough people feeding him with chances, as well as off the ball movement in the final third so that space is created.

I'm curious to see this set up as the AF in a 4-3-3 is how I'm having mixed success with wanting to be my forward as my primary goalscorer while also wanting to main variety and carry threats elsewhere.

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@bruffell06 I put in my tactic below. It's not super aggressive but the AF role (I rotate between two players) had 27 goals in 34 games in the league this year so nothing crazy but solid scoring totals. We scored 64 in 34 as a team on a balanced mentality mostly, so goals all around as well. IW (a) acts like a second striker also cutting in for goals and assists and the wingbacks provide a lot of cutback crosses. Low crosses is only because one striker is short but the other is not and I keep it at standard. Next season I'm going to try an IF (su) in the left wing role and switch the mentality up to positive to see if it provides a bit more creation for the AF and get those tallies further up.

 

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 9.13.50 PM.png

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18 hours ago, dcayton9 said:

@bruffell06 I put in my tactic below. It's not super aggressive but the AF role (I rotate between two players) had 27 goals in 34 games in the league this year so nothing crazy but solid scoring totals. We scored 64 in 34 as a team on a balanced mentality mostly, so goals all around as well. IW (a) acts like a second striker also cutting in for goals and assists and the wingbacks provide a lot of cutback crosses. Low crosses is only because one striker is short but the other is not and I keep it at standard. Next season I'm going to try an IF (su) in the left wing role and switch the mentality up to positive to see if it provides a bit more creation for the AF and get those tallies further up.

 

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 9.13.50 PM.png

This seems more in line with what I've been trying to achieve on my own. I've always struggled with the 4-3-3 on FM, with very few successful creations over the years. I'll give this a go and see how it looks initially. 
Overall I'm happy to concede some silly goals if the football we play aligns with how I want my team to play - if the foundation is there, I can build recruitment for it and improve specific roles/positions.

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Play out from the back doesn't really suit your back line quality , your RB can't really dribble or cross, he's an IWB candidate for me. Maybe then can get another central player to push on a bit. 
don't want to sound harsh but prob need a bit more quality through the team to play with any sort of control. 

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9 hours ago, Dutchy1983 said:

Play out from the back doesn't really suit your back line quality , your RB can't really dribble or cross, he's an IWB candidate for me. Maybe then can get another central player to push on a bit. 
don't want to sound harsh but prob need a bit more quality through the team to play with any sort of control. 

Based on my understanding of my squad, we have ample quality in midfield and forward to control games - maybe not against the top 4-5 teams, but against most others. However, upon reviewing our defenders, I'd say that our on-ball quality (or lack thereof) in defence means we can't reliably establish control from the back.
Would you agree with that? As a general statement, of course.

Edited by Christopher S
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I've tinkered around with the 4-3-3 based on tips and observations in this thread, and things are starting to shape up - just take a look at these two gems against Chelsea;

 

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This is the exact type of attacking play I'm looking for - short interchange, utilizing space and creating overloads/outnumbering the opposition in key areas to release the free man.
As for the system itself, here's what I've got so far (used in the above two clips); 

Main 4-3-3;

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The IWBs has "Dribble Less" ticked - I want him to function as a possession outlet, as well as fill the room behind the CMa for when we lose the ball. Having him Dribble Less should mean he'll stick to his position more. Further, Menino (as we know) is not much of a dribbler or crosser, but his passing and traits make for an excellent pseudo-playmaker from deep, as seen in the second clip above. I also have a more conservative version of the system that I'm not fully happy with yet; 

More conservative version;

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I also signed this guy to shore up our central midfield during the january window;

DM/CM - Eyüp Aydin

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Another really well rounded midfielder/defensive midfielder, with really suitable traits. Finally, I've started working on improving the defence to support the kind of football I want to play, and have signed this guy to really bolster our ability to play higher up and play out from behind; 

CB - Oscar Garzon (coming in during the summer window)

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His First Touch isn't the best, but with the players available to us I don't think we could've made a much better deal. He's aggressive, quick, intelligent and comfortable picking out a pass.

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Having now wrapped up the season in 9th place, I should have an exciting pre-season to really try and work this tactic into our main playstyle. I should be able to improve a couple of core positions and hopefully improve on the 9th place we finished in!

Edited by Christopher S
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8 hours ago, Christopher S said:

Based on my understanding of my squad, we have ample quality in midfield and forward to control games - maybe not against the top 4-5 teams, but against most others. However, upon reviewing our defenders, I'd say that our on-ball quality (or lack thereof) in defence means we can't reliably establish control from the back.
Would you agree with that? As a general statement, of course.

Fair enough mate. The build up in that first goal v Chelsea looked great!

I see the IWB involved too, good to see.

I have signed Aydin before as Bristol city when he was 18-19, I actually received trained him to become my IWB on the left, he was perfect and held the role for years!

Your incoming CB looks a great upgrade too

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