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About Cleon

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    International Star Player


  • Biography
    Why do people think I'm a dude ffs!!!!!

About Me

  • About Me

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    Sheffield United

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  • Currently Managing
    Sheffield United

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  1. That doesn't make any sense though as you only use a libero for his attacking ability. If you want to focus on defensive side of things you would never use a libero. And the libero is caught out of position a fair bit anyway, so he doesn't always drop back to his natural position that fast, depending on how quickly you lose the ball and how far up the pitch he is. And the DM's can drop deeper if you set your line of engagement up correctly. The DM and libero take up roughly the same recovery position to begin with initially. So you still don't lose anything. However I stand by what I said. The libero offers nothing that a standard DM role can't fulfill much better and easier. There is not a single benefit of using a libero who is a playmaker over a deep-lying playmaker for example, not one other than wanting to use a libero for the sake of it (which is something I often do).
  2. If people are using a more playmaker type of libero rather than a runner, you're probably better off just using a defensive midfielder role above a libero. As the DM position will play the playmaker roles much better than a libero. Basically if you use a playmaker and your libero isn't making late surging runs into the final third, then a DLP/RPM/SV will all do the role much better than a libero ever will. There is no reason ever to use a libero above a defensive midfielder if its for playmaking reasons imo.
  3. Why would they contradict? You can run down the left with the ball and still cut in on the same side. You can't have conflicting PPM's on a player any longer, it was changed last year.
  4. No he won't, the only time it would work was if he finds himself on the left.
  5. Erm the midfielders and the third centreback? You only mentioned wingbacks in your question, so hence I only spoke about wingbacks.
  6. No they all go forward and attack. The wingbacks don't fill in for the CB's going forward, it's all part of our attacking play and they'll work the channels together overloading them and forcing teams to adapt their defensive shape to deal with it. It means if we lose the ball high up the pitch, we are in trouble and exposed. But it's risk vs reward and it works well for us.
  7. A little peak of what is in the third article
  8. Analysing your tactics can be quite tricky and is something I see people get frustrated with regularly. I understand why it’s frustrating and sympathise with those people and hopefully, this article will go a long way in helping these people not only spot potential issues but give ideas on possible solutions they could use. I like to keep it simple when analysing games and reviewing my tactics, I don’t over-complicate things if it isn't necessary. What I mean by this is, don’t analyse too much in one go as this can be daunting or be information overload. So what I did was create a system of some kind to help breaks things up, so I can analyse in stages. Some of those stages look like this; Friendly games Competitive games 15 mins 30 mins 45 mins Without the ball With the ball These aren’t all the stages I use but are probably some of the most common splits I use. Friendly Games I believe the results of this games or the manner they are played in should be taken with a pinch of salt. For me these are mainly used for fitness for all the players that will be used during the season. It’s important that everyone is in peak physical condition are ready for the season. In terms of actual telling me much about the tactics I’m playing, I don’t really put much stock into anything that’s happening. The reasons for this are players aren’t in peak condition and will likely be nowhere near match fit (especially on new save games). Another point is, the players know the difference between a friendly game and a competitive one. Some players due to personality or hidden attributes might be more dismissive towards a friendly game than a competitive one. Which makes it hard to judge if something is a player, tactical, or personality issue. If you want a more clear picture of how things work then I tend to use competitive matches to get any kind of real feedback or info. I’d never make a change based on what happens in preseason or a friendly game. This year though due to playing with no attributes, I used the friendly games to try to understand my players more and the types of personality traits that they might have, which don’t initially show up on the player's profile page. Rather than reusing some stuff that I recently wrote, I’ll just link some analysis I already did on the W-M formation a few weeks back that were based on the friendlies I had played. https://teaandbusquets.com/blog/the-w-m-formation-match-analysis Competitive Games These are the most important games of all, especially if you want to learn if your tactic plays how you thought it would or whether you need to make changes and adapt your initial ideas somewhat. As stated in the linked article above, I like to play three competitive games without changing anything. Even if something isn’t working, I don’t change anything. The reason for this is because when I’m creating a tactic I like to get a feel for it over several games. This way, you can see if something is a one-off or whether you see patterns in each game of things that aren’t working. You don’t want to make knee jerk reactions and change things without knowing if it's a one-off or not. Friendlies can kind of help with this but I believe competitive games are better because players know the difference between a friendly and a competitive game. Once the three game period is up, I then look back over the games. There’s a reason for this. When you watch a game in real-time and when the result matters, you maybe rush decision-making or don’t think properly. So it’s important for me to take my time and make sure I look over all three games and gather all the information I need, without feeling the result matters. I know some of you will be sat thinking that this sounds like too much and fair enough it might be. But then you’re probably the person who doesn’t need the use of this whole series. However the point is, if you spend time (now) learning how your system functions and works then you can play at a faster pace once you have that understanding. Putting a bit of effort in now means you’ll be able to make changes on the fly in the future or be better places to know what’s gone wrong and why. 15 mins, 30 mins and 45 mins Splitting the game into time sections when viewing it back can be really useful. By splitting the time up, you can really push your focus. It’s also easier to spot potential issues in shorter spaces of time than it is longer ones. My favourite time period is the first 15 minutes of a game, I believe the game is won or lost in this time and that its very hard to recover from a bad opening. I’ve wrote about this before so I’ll just link the article; https://teaandbusquets.com/blog/first-15-minutes-football-manager You don’t have to stick to these time periods though, you could use anything that makes sense for you. This is the good thing about analysing, you find what works for you and the way you play. If you wanted to you could analyse the first 15 minutes of the second half, to see if your team talks have helped or not. You could analyse a specific period of time after you make a change to check how it's benefited/restricted you and so on. Find something that works for you. With and Without the Ball When viewing games and looking for what my players are doing without the ball this includes both defensive and attacking phases. So immediately you can see the positions the players take up when defending as well as seeing how they move off the ball when attacking. I’ve banged on about this for the past 10 years but the most important aspect of trying to identify these issue is using the pause button. Pause the game at random stages throughout, to see what positions the players have taken up and to enable you to see what is happening around them. Not only that but also use different camera angles to view things as it gives you a much better picture of what’s going on seeing incidents from a different view. Focusing on play when you do have the ball is just as easy as the above but remember you want to look at the positions of the players not on the ball too as everyone who is currently on the ball needs support. I’ve wrote about both of these aspects in greater detail before too. It can be found here; https://teaandbusquets.com/blog/identifying-tactical-issues This series is a great way of me linking all my previous works into what I’m currently doing to make it even more in-depth. Now we’ve got the basics of analysing your tactics out-of-the-way, it’s time to show how we now apply this to our games. Analysis I touched upon this above but I like to see how my tactic plays out over three competitive games before I make any changes. This allows me to look back at the games after they’ve happened so I can watch them properly and not get worried about needing a result. On top of this, it’s a great way for spotting if something is a one-off or a regular issues. Sometimes the issues might be caused because of the oppositions tactics, shape, team instructions or even because of a specific individuals influence. It could also be caused by your own player not being good enough, a weakness in your formation, a player having a bad day and so on. The most important aspect of this is to try to spot such patterns of play and make a mental or written note. When I was learning how the game works I used to write things down on a bit of paper or by using the notes feature inside the game. Find a way that of doing what works for you and make notes about what you see happening in a game. You don’t need the answers to fix them just yet, the first step is identifying issues. At times you might notice something happening in-game that isn’t currently a problem but might be at a later date or in a specific scenario. This type of information can be valuable as you progress and is all part of understanding how your formation works and why, as well, as knowing its faults and flaws. To give you a few examples, here are some things I noticed in my first few competitive games. With The Ball What I’m looking for here is how we attack when we have the ball. This means I’m totally ignoring the opposition and just concentrating on my own players positioning and movement. I need to understand how the roles I am using all link together. This is the start of the move and I already notice something interesting in the screenshot. The three players in the red box that I’ve highlighted are all a bit too close together. Now this doesn’t mean it's an issue because this is the very start of a move and they might become further apart as the move progresses. However I’d like the RPM to perhaps play slightly more forward initially. Perhaps somewhere between his current position and the arrows end would be more preferable. Maybe I have the wrong role for what I am wanting or maybe all of this is nothing to worry about. However I’ll make a mental note because it could have complications further in the move. One of the reasons I believe it could be an issue further down the line is highlighted in the screenshot below. There’s an awful lot going on here, it’s why I’ve broke it down into little stages to make it easier to understand. However in this latest screenshot I add everything back together to show you the overall picture which actually prompted my concern from the very first screenshot. Both the inside forward and the roaming play maker are both facing away from goal and are both going towards the ball. This then creates the dead space. Now if you look at the strikers positioning (he’s the player circled in white) you can see he is really advanced. This means the only immediate support he has is from players on the opposite side of the pitch. If we get the ball to the opposite side then none of this becomes an issue. But what happens if the ball doesn’t reach that side? Well my striker would be isolated because he’s cut off from the right hand side of my tactic in this scenario. He has no support, no runners and no direct route for anyone to supply him with the ball. That’s all without even considering the opposition and the amount of players he has around him. From the very first screenshot were there doesn’t seem much going on, at face value, there actually is an awful lot going on potentially. Now I’ve identified this I can look to see if this kind of scenario happens regular in this match and the others that I play or if it's just a one-off. I can also keep an eye out to see if this does happen, does it actually play out like I think it would and is the striker actually lacking support or supply. If it happens two or more times in one match it's a concern long-term. If it only happens once then it’s likely nothing much to worry about unless you see it occurring in every single game. Then it would require a further investigation. I could probably show fifty or more other examples too but I don’t want to over analyse and fill you with information overload. So I’ll keep it at that for the attacking example. I will show you one more example before this part of the article is done though. This time focusing on our positioning when we don’t have the ball. Without The Ball One thing I have neglected to mention in the series so far is changing your view when watching games or incidents back. Changing the camera angle can be a great tool for looking at things from different angles and perspectives. Some stuff might become clearer or give you a fresh take just because you did something simple like change the camera view. I often change it for different angles when analysing my tactics. In this screenshot I lost the ball after attacking. A bad pass and the ball was put out for a throw-in. The opposition took it quickly and got the ball back into the centre of the pitch. You can basically get a general idea of my formations natural shape here, it’s not exact but it’s more than enough to highlight the issues defensively. As you can see, a quick ball out to the wider player and he has time to control and turn with the ball. This simple pass puts me on the back foot and means the oppositions wide player is one on one against my IWB. This is still the same move but the screenshot is taken after the pass I was speaking about above and from a different camera angle. The oppositions wide player is rather isolated and my half backs who are circled are coming across to cover. So there isn’t that much danger here. However what if the opposition was using an attacking midfielder or two strikers. Then this would be a huge concern because my centre back would be isolated and not able to mark them both. Not only this but in this screenshot my two half backs are too close together. I don’t want them both doing the same thing at the same time and moving into the same space. This isn’t helpful at all. Could this be a downside of using two roles that are the same next to each other or is it down to the quick change of play which has put my team onto the back foot.It could be either and I know the answer but I’ll leave you pondering the situation until the next article. In the next article I’ll focus on the stuff I have seen happening regularly are speak about what changes we could make, whether it be a role/duty/PI/TI change and discuss all the other possible options. Normally there are multiple ways of fixing things and not one specific way.
  9. Part Two - Creating A Tactic Based On A Simple Idea Without And References The Objective A little earlier in the series I wrote a little about why I was using the W-M formation. If you missed it, then the short version was that I wanted to give it a modern-day twist. The reason for this was mainly because I wanted to add an extra difficulty level to my saved game, so I felt it was a challenge. It all fits in with the no attributes thing I am doing. That as the reasons behind using this shape but is that really an objective, I’m not sure. So let me explain a little further in what I want to do. I want to win games, pure and simple. I don’t want to set up not to lose, I want to set up to win. This means I will have to take risks and not be as conservative. Setting up not to lose is very different to setting up to win. Think of Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, he set up not to lose a game and didn’t try to win games that often. The same can be said about Nigel Clough when he was the Sheffield United manager. Both managers focus on playing in a negative way, I want to be a positive manager and take risks. The objectives come down to; Playing to win Play a good brand of football I don’t want to focus on the style of football I want to play as that will come in the other parts because good football can be many things. But these are the objectives. Understanding The Roles And Team Instructions When creating a tactic, you need to have some idea of how it’ll function on paper. It doesn’t matter that this might be proven wrong at a later date. But initially you need to have some idea of how you think the roles all link together as this is what we have to work from. There always has to be a starting point. Let me talk you through what I selected and why in the W-M formation. Vertical Tiki-Taka offers me a balanced mentality and is quite direct at times, so this suits the ideas I have much better. I’ve not touched the team instructions yet, everything is still default. I won’t be altering any of this until I’ve seen it played for three consecutive games. That way I can build a much better picture of how it functions and pick up any patterns that I spot. The narrowness are something I want to try to keep though, it will help us stay compact and be much harder to break down, even though we might give up space in some specific areas. Giving up space is fine though, as long as it fits your overall strategy and you don’t become easy to break down. The four important things for creating a tactic for me is movement, supply, support and scoring. Each tactic to be successful needs these elements. So really focus on this when deciding on the roles and duties that you'll use to create the base tactic. Picking the roles is probably the part people struggle with. I find that if I am struggling, then start from the front and work backwards. So what I'd do is focus on the main priority of all tactics - Who will score the goals?! Once you've identified this whether it be a striker, midfielder or even a wide player, then you should focus on the next stage which is the supply. Who provides that scorer with the supply he needs and what kind of supply is it. Will his goals come from through balls or crosses or even a mix of those things. Once you know this then the roles you need to use become more obvious as a lot of your choices, will not have this as part of its skill set. Your choices automatically rule out certain roles because of what the roles do. It makes it much easier to select a role because instead of having maybe six different choices for a specific position, you are left with one or two. Just carry this thinking on throughout the whole process and before you know it, you'll have something similar to what I've set out below. The four important things for creating a tactic for me is movement, supply, support and scoring. Each tactic to be successful needs these elements. So really focus on this when deciding on the roles and duties that you'll use to create the base tactic. GK - I’ve gone for a standard keeper here but I think eventually he will have to be a sweeper keeper. I think him staying on his line and playing deeper, might make me more vulnerable, especially if the central defender pushes up. I need all the defensive players to play as a fully functioning cohesive unit. Any big gaps between the players, and this is something the AI could possible exploit. CB - I don’t want anything fancy from him, I just want a good old-fashioned no-nonsense defender. IWB’s - I don’t want players to cross often down the wings. I want t force play into the central areas were I have the numbers. I think these roles suit that better than the others available. There is a concern here though and that’s that I could become too narrow at times or that they push too far up the pitch. So I’m not 100% set on these roles but they are the best fit as a starting point. HB’s - The two half backs will allow me to revert to a flat back five when the opposition attack me. This will make me harder to break down and offer protection to the lone central defender who might become isolated without them. RPM - There has to be someone who can play with the ball at their feet and bring it forward. He is very much the link player in the system. Without this type of role, I struggle to see how the ball would get to the attacking players. Mez - A very aggressive role as I try to overload the central areas. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, especially with the inside forward possibly taking up the same areas. It could be problematic on FM18 and forced one of them to act in a way that was the intended behaviour of the role. With the changes in FM19 though, this shouldn’t be as much as an issue as before. IF’s - Scoring goals and providing support to the striker while trying to cause the opposition defence issues is the main aim here. I’m not sure on the duty allocation just yet and might end up having one side more aggressive than the other. But it’s something I really need to see in action first. CF - When creating a lone striker formation, this is probably the role most will struggle with. Any number of roles could possibly work. I’ve tried to select a role that offers a bit of everything. I didn’t want to use one who dropped off the front constant and was more focused on linking play with the IF’s. As I have the Mez who will be venturing forward a lot too and space is likely to be limited to begin with. The last thing I want is someone else constantly dropping into the same areas. It might be a role I change after a few games but I think whatever role I end up with, will be one that is very attack minded and focused on occupying the central defenders and playing in and around the box rather than outside of it. As you can see, I have a vague idea how the roles and settings should link together in theory. This gives me a basic idea of who is creating the goals, scoring them, which players are creating the movement and so on. Whether this works in reality as I think it would, doesn’t actually matter at this point. As you’ll see later in the series, when we start the analysing stuff. What Does The System Offer After I’ve done all of the above, I need to take a look at the shape I’m using and see what the system actually offers me, as well as focusing on the areas we will struggle with. This is a very important part of creating tactics because it allows us to know what we are good at and potentially what we could struggle with. If we take a quick look at how I’m set up I can talk you through what the system offers me. These are the roles and duties I currently use The key to the W-M is how I’ve set up to create overloads in the central areas of the pitch. This is one of the biggest advantages the system offers me currently. The majority of my play and goals are likely to come from these areas. The inside forwards, roaming playmaker and mezzala will all look to overwhelm the opposition in the final third. Using inverted wing-backs will also see them reinforce the midfield and central areas in attacking phases of play. This allows us to keep recycling the ball in the central areas and keeping the opposition under relentless pressure. The above screenshot shows us overloading the middle with six players attacking players in the final third. The IF (on the right when looking at the screenshot) is dropping off the front to receive the ball. He is creating space and movement by dropping deeper towards the ball, as the defender is following him. The players who aren’t labelled with roles, along with those who are, are also in good positions to recycle the ball should the move break down. Or if we lose possession and the ball is then cleared, these players will either be able to retreat to cut out the threat or chase the ball down and play it back to the advanced players. Remember though, just because I showed you an in-game example of how this worked out in this scenario, doesn’t mean it’s a constant thing. It’s still very much an idea just on paper for now and showing an in-game screenshot is jumping the gun slightly. But I just wanted to show you a visual to help you think about how the roles and settings you initially choose, could play out in the match engine. Another strength of the initial shape is when the opponent attacks, the midfield drops right back, clogging up the centre of the pitch, keeping two half backs in-front of the centre backs, essentially making a solid flat back three at times. Due to this, it makes it hard for the opposition to penetrate me from central areas. And when the inverted wing-backs regain their position, I have a flat back five. For me those are the two main benefits of the shape and while there are a few more benefits, I don’t think it’ll be beneficial to speak about them just yet. The whole idea of this series is to talk you through each phase of the tactic creating process a step at a time. This will allow you to build better tactics without being overloaded with information to begin with. The important thing is to focus on a couple of the strengths you have with the shape, roles and settings you’ve decided to use. Naturally Exposed Areas Understanding any potential weakness you could have in your system is every bit as important as understanding the strengths. This will allow you to understand were the opposition might hurt you with their play. Then you can decide whether the risk vs reward side of things is worth it. Something I’ll focus on in a lot more detail later on. The W-M is very vulnerable to attacks down the flanks, especially to the quick, direct counter attacking styles of play. It can also be susceptible to quick changes of play to the opposite flanks. You only have to look at the system overview earlier in the article to be able to automatically see this. The roles and duties you use will further impact this and make the issue more bearable or more exposed depending on how it affects your overall balance. Another area that could potentially be exposed is the space between the central midfielders and the defenders, should the half backs drop deep to form a solid three or five with the rest of the defenders. This could give up important space just in front of the defence. Now we’ve got enough of a picture to know what we should and shouldn’t expect from the system we are creating. The next step is to analyse if your ideas do work when you play games. Or whether you need to make slight changes based on what you actually see happening in a game. In the next article it will focus on that next step as we dive into the analysis stage. It’ll be a different type of analysis than you have seen from me before though, as I will be breaking things down into key stages so it’s easy to understand, follow and more importantly, easy for you to do in your own save.
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