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  1. I second that. There are videos on youtube of their European Cup run, although the tactic is so player-dependent. It would be very hard to replicate the roles of Prosinecki, Savicevic, and especially Mihajlovic without the appropriate ppm's. The other thing is, apart from the ultra defensive final, they played very attacking and fluid, with the players free to express themselves - Mihajlovic often bringing the ball out regardless what position he played, Savicevic actually tracking back and making tackles, and Panchev, so often playing as a poacher, getting heavily involved in the build up. As a kid, I hated that team, not only because I supported one of their rivals, but also because in my naive mind, they were buying success...Ah, how times have changed. I don't want to go too far off topic, but someone recently did a thread on success with smaller nations, and perhaps this was the beginning o the end of European competitions being realistically winnable for such teams. The Yugoslavian league itself was fiercely competitive, in spite of Red Star's general dominance, and the generation of players they had produced was truly special - Mihajlovic, Stojkovic, Savicevic, Jarni, Boban, Suker, Susic, Prosinecki, and countless others. Here is a link to a match against Real Madrid, and the sheer pace of the counterattack would not be out of place in today's Premiership. The thing that would make it difficult to fully replicate in FM would be the energy, determination, and togetherness of that team. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th-LVjN6h0Q
  2. Sounds like you might be getting roasted on the counterattack, and in that case, the FB on defend may be even more vulnerable. You play high tempo, very narrow, and cutting down on crosses and long shots, plus up front you have two dudes who will drop deep and try to run at the defense with nobody running into the box. As soon as you lose possession, your flanks are exposed by virtue of you already playing narrow. No matter how good your defensive minded fullback are, they'll have a hard time stopping any rampaging wingers - a missed tackle on a winger in full speed and you're done. Even worse, a deep cross gives your defense no chance to regroup
  3. Very interesting tactic. In my save with Deportivo I use a much more defensive version of a similar tactic using two SV's. When I took over they were on a 12 match winless streak and very close to relegation with few games to go. The squad lacked quality in defense, but were blessed with decent all around midfielders (Guillerme and Mosquera) and a hard-working striker (Andone). With two SV's, my midfield suddenly became much more dynamic, and able to both be solid defensively and offer attacking options - depending on the players used. In the second season, despite having no budget and losing Andone due to his min. release clause (thanks ManCity), managed to win the title with three games to spare, mostly based on stubborn tight defense and lethal counterattacks, which were at times beautiful to watch. Personally I kept one on support and one of attack, but obviously 2018 Deportivo are a different animal than Dortmund. The route one, higher tempo, attacking mentality you use seems exhausting - both for the players and viewer, and I don't mean it in a bad way. As someone who is always defensively oriented, I think I'd have a heart attack.
  4. Just wanted to throw this old old but still relevant masterpiece out there. I remember when the tactical creator first came out, reading the pdf, and it certainly opened my eyes to the workings of the match engine and football in general. It was a key link in the evolution from the old slider system and really articulates what for most people becomes second nature. Football and Football Manager have evolved over the years, but in my opinion this still remains the closest to a tactical manual for new players and old. Since the first installment in the 08 (I think, getting old and forgetful), I've gone through several laptops and I'd love to get my hands on the downloadable pdf, if anything as a piece of fm history. My recollection of reading it while stuck at an airport just having downloaded the revamped and TC'd fm, and being torn between wanting to play and at the same time immersed in the text. For those of us who went through the slider years, it was a wonderfully articulated guide. For those struggling to wrap their heads around some of the concepts in fm, and even seasoned pro's , I'd highly recommend it. Certainly there have been a few changes in the game, particularly with the new roles and tactical approaches, but it's still very relevant and if anyone can help me get my hands on a working download link, I'd very much appreciate it.
  5. I don't know, it depends. Sometimes it pays off more to stick to what's already working rather than invite more pressure. Against weaker teams, especially those that park the bus for 80 minutes then realize they're losing, I'm like "bring it on!" and take advantage of the spaces that will inevitably appear. Against stronger sides, it makes sense to change, but only insofar as you are being proactive - taking advantage of opposition weaknesses rather than passively defending and invite pressure. A good example of the latter is playing Allegri's Barcelona (I know I know) in the champions league. They went down and switched from the annoyingly possession based 4141 to very attacking 433 with a front three of Messi, dembele, and Suarez. it made sense to pull my wingers further back, but knowing they would be exposed on the flanks I just changed mentality of my fullbacks and focused my passing down the flanks. As in real life, I think this game tends to reward being proactive and in control. There are going to be times even though you're playing well you go behind, and are eventually rewarded for persistency. My thinking is, if your tactic is solid and things are going well, there should be no need to make major changes. the ai losing its sheeet to chase a losing game should be seen as an opportunity to finally get that elusive kick in the teeth and, more importantly test your own squad when it's, as sir Alex Ferguson said, squeaky bum time. you may find out your DC makes a silly error or a striker misses a sitter, and most importantly, here is where you really find out what your tactic and squad are made of. panicking and freaking out simply betrays a lack of faith in your tactic which should be seen as criminal for a winning squad.
  6. Excellent analysis, Cleon, and thank you for enriching our fm (and football) experience. I use this role in a sort of 442, with the two central midfielders in the DM strata - the SV paired with a DM(s). Playing as Inter, I'm often up against very deep defences, and Seria A teams like to pack the midfield, so the SV is really crucial for unlocking defences and creating movement from deep. However, as Cleon and others stress, it's an overpowered role and it's important to choose the players wisely. I'm using three different players in this role and their attributes and especially PPM's add a whole new dimension to my tactic. The first player I use is Marcelo Brozovic. In real life he's a bit of a misfit, and for both the national team and his club he seems to be a jack of all trades, but not quite good enough to consistently fit into any role. His sometimes prickly relationship with authority and propensity for hitting thunderb@stards when he's been written off make him one of my favorite players, but I digress. His ppm's are are "dictates tempo", gets into opposition area, and most importantly, likes to switch ball to the other flank. This makes for some wonderful play in that he'll often spot overlapping fullbacks of wingers who get into space, and the fact that he's attacking space from deep and drawing the opposition into awkward spots is fantastic. He's also very fit and has good workrate. The second player is Jack Wilshire. His ppm's are gets forward, killer balls, and play his way out of trouble. From time to time he gets caught in posession but it's a risk worth taking because he's also excellent at penetrating by both dribbling, and hitting killer balls when just when it seems he's lost the ball. His main problem is fitness, so I try to use him as a supersub. Finally, I have Marko Rog, who is an absolute beast. High determination, workrate, and ppm's of runs with ball through the center, gets forward, and plays one two's. He also has an engine that ensures he doesn't need to be subbed off by the 60th minutes. The thing is, none of his technical attributes are exceptional, but he's just a very good all around player who can do a bit of everything from the heart of midfield. One of the best things about this role is that even on attack duty, with the right player and system, the defense is seldom exposed. I used to put the SV on support duty against tougher opposition, but it's on attack duty that, given the space, he is able to truly come to life on the counter. Finally, perhaps I could be overthinking it, but I noticed the SV is especially valuable when play "breaks down" - for example on counterattacks, or when trying to bulldoze through packed defenses. This is where attributes like anticipation and aggression really come into play.
  7. After my Hoffenheim side became fabulously wealthy and successful I stopped using this system and decided to go with a more old fashioned 433. This thread inspired me to go back to it, and it led to some gritty, lunch pail and hard hat football of old. Fewer shots and opponents deem it a bit more "safe" to try to camp in our area. I'm happy with them firing 15+ long shots, and any runs into my box or crosses from wide are dealt with very comfortably because there is a wall of 3 big aggressive centerbacks with excellent anticipation. Once teams give up possession it gets very difficult for them to deal with counterattacks. A few things I did to make us more solid: - One winger out wide with an IWB. The inverted wingback gives us more presence in the center, and allows one of the midfielders to get further up the pitch. I'm not quite sure where to put him yet because the wingback himself is getting into scoring positions and is so difficult for the AI to pick out. The "gets forward" PPM probably contributes to this. The winger is, of course, on support duty, and him not getting too far forward creates a nice pocket of space for one of the cm's and iwb to exploit. - I actually tend to play quite narrow. This way, there is more space opening up for the wide men, and ensures play develops more. Since the danger is out wide, keeping possession and dragging the opposition towards the center helps a lot. - Having said that, I now realize just why I abandoned the tactic a few seasons ago. The football is, at times, turgid. Oh, the defense is very solid. 19 games into the season and we've conceded 4 goals - one was a penalty and the other a free kick. Hoffenheim were blessed with the likes of Nichlas Sule and Benjamin Hubner - big mountains with good marking and tackling and nothing gets past them. It also helped to have Eugene Polanski and Dirk Vogt shielding that back line. It's Tony Pulis in dreamland! However, it's hard to get many chances, and it's too reliant on the striker for goals. The striker averages a goal a game, and quite a few goals come from set - pieces , with the wide forwards chipping in once in a while, but it would be nice to get more contribution from the central midfield.
  8. I used the 343 system and won everything there is with Hoffenheim. At times it plays beautifully, although your central midfield might be the reason you started to eventually struggle. Personally I've had success with a BWM/B2B combo or something similar which will offer enough protection and cover enough space in that area. A dlp simply doesn't offer enough bite defensively and is a bit too I static. I even used a more creative player as a BWM(s) quite successfully, as he was able to provide a bit of creativity as well as making it tough for the opposition to control the midfield.. ... which brings me to the central midfield. you're outnumbered there and with three center backs behind, it's difficult for the opposition to get behind, and that can lead to loads of camping around your 30 yard line and lots of long shots. This is why aggressive midfielders are important. Also, you might consider a bit of variety for your wide players. and iwb /winger combo may give you more presence in the center and stretch the defense better. I used an AP on one wing with an attacking wingback behind him and it led to a lot of chances created through the wingback overlapping and the AP tucking in and having a lot of options. It almost looked like a pick n' roll play in basketball and is so difficult for the AI to stop.
  9. I actually gave a pretty general but common example. In that case it was a situation where there was nothing major wrong tactically per se, and it made more sense to "stick" rather than make major changes. I found that the goals I was conceding and chances missing during that slump were results of individual mistakes and not due to the tactic itself - weird deflections, woodwork, etc. This is something that's often been very difficult for me. I'd often make changes too hastily . Anyway, that's an excellent article, Cleon. The conviction you show in the way your team is playing throughout the match, in spite of the scoreline, is very admirable. As for the team meeting, we did that, and it didn't work. The whole "bad morale virus" lasted about two months, before gradually the squad got over it. I'm using that as an example of the way morale affected results. I was very tempted to make wholesale changes to the tactic. I don't believe in the AI being able to "crack" a tactic but it seemed so offputting, particularly since during gameplay, we were playing well - but "bad luck" would happen. For example, dominating a team and then conceding a silly penalty from a corner, and another goal from a 30 yard free kick. Anyway, I appreciate the article. Very interesting indeed
  10. One of the things I enjoy most about this game is the man management aspect, and even though it's not perfect, it's sometimes easy to take for granted its effect on performance. This is neither a guide or asking for advice, but rather an observation and hopefully the start of a discussion on another layer of the game. Everything was going very well, perhaps even too well. So well that I started sniffing around for other jobs, playing matches on key highlights and just breezing through yet another successful season. Then PSG decide to do what PSG always do, which is declaring interest in my in form CB for the millionth time, and at the end of the season he finally throws a tantrum, and I stand my ground, only for the entire squad to side with him! Morale drops to the point that not a single member of the squad is higher than "okay", and they all side with him! Since it was the end of the season, there was not much I could do and I decided to just leave it at that. In the next season, things started to go wrong. My tactic was the same. Watching the highlights, most of the time, my team was playing as I want and expect them to - except the odd time when silly errors would occur. Suddenly I started drawing and losing. The goals I'd concede would be silly missed headers or deflections or long shots after throw-ins. Meanwhile, my strikers were missing tap-ins, midfielders losing duels though should normally win easily. Now I realize morale plays a big part in performance, and no matter how much I'd shout or praise, it stayed low. Every time I'd play the wantaway CB, he would play poorly by his standards, to the point that I got so frustrated I dropped him from the team. My team normally plays a Very fluid/fluid Control game, where the football tends to be pretty expansive, with a lot of possession and good interplay. I would also rotate a lot, as it helps with the development of young players and keeping the squad happy. To get out of my slide, I ended up playing a lot more conservatively, dropping my mentality, and changing the shape to "structured" - the logic being to keep things a bit more simple, letting players focus on their particular roles and allowing less room for mistakes. Also, I started to stick with the same, strong line up with focus on determination among other mental attributes. In team talks, 1:0's were treated like world cup wins, and slowly morale started to go up again. Two months later, the wantaway CB came whinging again, this time that he wants more first team opportunities and since PSG went after the next new hotness, he was happy to stay at the club. Performances started to improve and it was business as usual, with the CB playing better than ever. It was another title won, and crisis over. In the offseason, ManCiteh came calling for the same CB, and I was only too happy to sell him. I'm sure he'll enjoy the shelter of the bench on those cold rainy afternoons! I'm not sure if there is an element of "luck" in the game, or just how much of an effect things like morale have on performance. We've all seen matches where you just "know" the opponent will score with their only shot and no matter how easy the chance your star striker will hit the inside of the post for the tenth time. When watching highlights or playing through a season, at what point do you start to question or modify your tactical approach, and when do you decide that perhaps it's just "bad luck", morale, or a man management issue? Especially long term, I do believe there is a "narrative" to a season, with form, reputation, and squad harmony influencing the type of football you can play, and ultimately, the results. We've all been through winning streaks where you don't need to do much and goals simply "happen" with the team performing like a well-oiled machine. Conversely, there are also times where the team plays "better", and barely scrapes results. For example, you lose a match 1:0, with your striker missing loads of easy chances and ending up with a rating of 6.0. Does this mean changing his role in the future? Or the tactic of the team? Or does it mean disciplining him for poor performance? Or perhaps chalk it off to a bad day at the office and move on. I'm curious how people approach this type of situation, and how much "faith" they have in tactics. Personally I tend to "overtinker" and constantly make adjustments, but I always keep in mind my player personalities, attributes, and the overall "mood" of the squad.
  11. thanks for clearing it up. So what exactly does sportsmanship do? In the six seasons as a regular he's never been booked for diving or done anything "unsportsmanlike" - no issues with training, bookings for diving or anything like that. Also, what are the characteristics of a realist personality? It's interesting that this player's personality evolved from unsporting to realist.
  12. I have a regen player, a forward who was "unsporting" , and eventually evolved into a "realist" . As far as I know unsporting should mean low professionalism and high dirtiness (I could be wrong), though I'm not sure what the practical implications are. His attributes are pretty good, and while his important matches attributes must be low, and that I know because my coaches tell me so, he's scored in CL finals, and been one of my consistently reliable performers. It was only recently that I realized his personality had changed from "unsporting" to realist. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with these personalities and what they actually imply.
  13. @grazdoztrez It's not really a plug and play tactic and the problems of players far apart of far from the ball are actually not that hard to fix. Anyway, good luck. Hamburg have a pretty decent squad so you should be fine...
  14. The Hoffe are indeed still bossing the Budesliga and we're on our way to securing the third CL trophy in a row. The system is pretty much the same although it's evolved due to having better players. I don't want o hijack the thread too much as it's going into a new direction, and perhaps I should start my own humble little thread, but with teams now starting to treat us as one of the big boys in the league, we've had to attack more, which ironically is starting to happen with reducing mentality and pulling back the wide men in order to make more of a 541 when defending, and morphing into a 343 in attack. Using the inverted wingback has also been a bit of revelation, particularly when attacking as it allows for one of my cm's to bomb forward and seems to really put the AI (who obviously didn't get the new patch yet), in a bit of confusion. The system is still very solid, with focus on defense above all - apart from a blip when we went a bit braindead in defense having wrapped up the title already, we don't allow more than 25 goals in a season, and it certainly fares better in the CL where teams have more quality and are more willing to attack. The most difficult types of opponents are aggressive and defensive teams which are happy to sit back and break knees when defending and go direct when attacking. I'd give a lot of credit to Rashidi for his videos and helping me understand the effects of changing shape. In this type of system, it is very important because of its reliance of overloads in particular areas, depending on opponent and personnel (of course). Having a Kante is never going to be the same as having a Krenvitter, just as a Costa gives you something different from a Kramaric. I'll start a humble thread and let this one Conte on...
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