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    In a Díaz wonderland

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  1. Iran coming in a close second in terms of ridiculous achievements in this save, then! Top work, Makoto
  2. Ok, why would you go control away from home in a tough match that you admit you never win? Bit confused there... I rarely change from Standard, personally. I think the issue is that really that there are flaws in your tactic that you get away with because you are City with the best squad, but Chelsea are set up as one of the best sides on the break with intelligent players who can exploit those flaws. Like I say, I think your roles and duties need looking at - you don't really have anyone getting forward from central midfield, your striker won't look to drop deep and I would be swapping the duties on the wingers. Also, on an attacking duty, every player takes more risks and is more aggressive. Is this what you want against Chelsea? I also think it will exacerbate the issues with your midfield three being too far from your striker - you are relying on the wonder ball from De Bruyne rather than the interplay between them as they're just too far apart. I also strongly recommend you put your DM on support as with a defend duty he will never be used as an 'out' ball. I'm not sure why you have him as DLP either - who is your playmaker, him or De Bruyne? It can work, but I wonder whether you've considered who you want to have more of the ball? --- I may be entirely wrong, but I have set up a 4-1-2-2-1 very similar to yours before with lots of success. Watch the games on full (even against sides other than Chelsea) and see whether any of the things I'm referencing are borne out. Players are in totally the wrong positions as I've moved to a different formation since this: You also really have to bear in mind PPMs - I would play a Carrilero with one of my other CMs as he had the PPM 'Gets further forward', so would play too advanced as a BBM (s). FYI, we have won 2 of the last 3 Champions Leagues (losing the other final), have had 5 straight Liga NOS wins and just had an unbeaten season - it's a solid set up, but could be better still. Our weakness is that everything runs through the IF (A) and the DLF (S). If either of them, particularly the DLF, is having a bad day, we struggle. Worth bearing in mind the full backs' capability too as those roles are carefully considered. The LB has 'crosses early' as a PPM, so giving him a bit more depth is really helpful for putting those in. The right back is less capable but is an athlete - he can just bomb up and down and create issues purely by being a presence (he can't do much technically). Not trying to suggest this is perfect, by the way - it works for this bunch of players and hopefully gives you an idea of how I think and set my side up, as I think it will help explain some of my points. P.S. Regarding the 'Kanté 30 yarders and Hazard header' comment, could you share the match stats and maybe give us a breakdown of the goals with some screenshots. We all have a habit of remembering the strange goals without analysing why they were able to happen. When this happens I always think of the Alan Hansen moment when analysing that Wigan 70 yard goal by saying that the defence should have stood over the ball to stop them taking it quickly. There's almost always something you could have done
  3. Yep, that would definitely happen. A few questions that may help you ponder. I'm not necessarily trying to lead you to answers, there are just a few things that leap out to me when looking at this (that doesn't mean to say my observations are right - I don't know your team and haven't watched the matches : As a one man up top system, are you happy with the poacher doing very little other than trying to score? Do you want him involved in build up by holding up the ball, dropping deep to play in others etc? I liiked that earlier you referenced the destroyer, creator, shuttler trio in central midfield. Do you feel you still have this? Also, f you have two DMs and then a CM in front of them bombing forward, does that create too big a gap in game? Careful - results could be due to any number of factors. Did the gap change and did you notice that helping? Who is taking shots? Where from? Why are they missing? What's he doing or not doing? Sometimes they get low ratings for just fulfilling an important but underappreciated role (say, the water-carrier in midfield), sometimes it's because they aren't involved due to wrong role, sometimes it's mistakes or lack of suitability. --- Good thread though - this will help you improve massively (and quickly!)
  4. As others have said, it boils down to a few things: How do they attack? (Once you know this, do you defend the threat, cut off the supply at source, hold possession etc?) How do they defend? (Once you know this, do you attack the flanks, centre, play a slow game, quick game, draw them out, pin them back?) Are there flaws in your tactic that, as a good team, they are just better at exploiting? Personally, I'd drop to Standard (you will still be attacking!)# drop the CF (A) to a CF (S) - should link more with the midfield change the DLP (d) to a DLP (s) - he's defensive due to being positioned at DM. Change the winger to support and IF to attack. I think you'll see more goals this way round as the IF is the goal threat due to cutting inside, whilst the winger is more of a support player putting in the crosses and backing them up. But that last one could be personal preference. Honestly, points 1 and 2 are your key to any game. Watch the first 15 minutes on full match and try to write down what you notice. Then go from there.
  5. Ok, if you can relegate Arsenal, I'll stop holding you to that CL by 2080
  6. Cardiff, Swansea. Somewhere in Birmingham. So many better options!
  7. How Mimba (good though he was in our first four seasons) is ahead of Elton Abdul, I will never know.
  8. Literally my favourite moment of this bonkers career
  9. Great work - which did you go for in the end? Good read as ever, and I'm looking forward to whatever you have in store next.
  10. End of the season went very well - finished up undefeated in the league, winning Cup and Champions League as well. The CL final was particularly pleasing, using the same formation in the OP, although I have actually stuck with those changes we made against Benfica. The left winger as a WM (s) is my substitution for when the LWB is tired.
  11. Sampedrense - 2032/33 Season Report Fixtures 1 - Fixtures 2 - Transfers Transfers As mentioned previously, we had a bit of an entertaining window with mega offers coming in for CM Alexandre (who I never really rated that highly) and ST Oliveira (who was good but never as good as Leite), which prompted more purchases. A couple of other good youngsters then came up for sale in January, so we added a few more beyond what we had. Out: Marcos Alexandre (YP08b) - CM - Real Madrid (£45.5m rising to £55m) Nelson Oliveira (YP07b) - AMR/ST - Atletico Madrid (£99m) Rafael Garcia (YP12a) - AML/R - AC Milan (£20m) Vitor Albino (YP07a) - DR - CSKA Moscow (£7.5m) In: Miguel Freixo (YP05a) - DC - AC Milan (£95m - but we had a 40% sell on from them, so it's really about £50m) Guillaume Palestri - DC - Dortmund (£82m) Angel Trujillo - ST - Chivas (£16m) Babacar Gomis - MC - Lyon (£12m) Wojciech Buczek - AMLC - Lech (£2,3m) Ilija Ivankovic - DR - Osijek (£7.5m) League Well, fair to say we've been threatening this for a while. There was a little wobble in November when we went 3-0 down two games running, but came back to a 4-3 win and a 3-3 draw each time. 88 goals for and 14 against is pretty good when you consider six of those goals came in two games running out of nowhere. 24 clean sheets is comfortably the highest we've had and it was some of the best football we've played. Cups Didn't play well in the Taca da Liga semi but nearly made it through. Won the Taca de Portugal comfortably in the end. Europe Another very good run! Groups: Arsenal didn't try to win either game, which was hilarious. Otherwise, straightforward. Atletico: Obviously, we got the hardest draw out there. Went 2-0 up late in the second leg (deservedly), before they grabbed a late goal to make things edgy. Nelson Oliveira didn't play a minute for them PSG: Our nemesis from the past two finals and it was great to put them aside earlier, with a vintage performance in the second leg (first time round, before the game crashed). Second time around wasn't quite as comfortable, but two poacher's goals from Trujillo was all we needed. Liverpool: We were always ahead or drawing in the first leg, which was great. Couldn't get the first goal for ages at home, but there was no danger from Liverpool and Leite's late strike just made things more comfortable. Fully deserved. This brings up Chelsea in the final, who we haven't played since they battered us in our first visit to the knockouts some 6 seasons back. They have a solid squad but nowhere near the might of PSG, so I was fairly optimistic and rightfully so. Delighted with this - we genuinely were better than every team we played for the first time in the competition, which just goes to show what a difference buying two good centre backs will do for you! Youth Intake A nice intake, even if both good prospects play the same position. Carlos Kapoco (YP15a) - I really like his spread of attributes and has good potential. Could be Rocha's replacement when that sad day comes... Joao Agostinho (YP15b) - Shame we already have someone with his name, but looks a decent prospect. Facilities and Finances: Back at max --- Aims for next season. Dunno, keep consolidating? Progress: Season | League | Pos. | Cup | CL | EL | Top scorer | Top assists | Top rating | Notes ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2018/19 | Prio | 2nd - lost in QF | 3rd rd | n/a | n/a | Mimba (30) | Mimba (16) | Mimba (7.65) | Squad of 11... 2019/20 | Prio | 1st - won league | 4th rd | n/a | n/a | Mimba (35) | Mimba (22) | Mimba (7.70) | 2020/21 | Liga Pro | 7th | 4th rd | n/a | n/a | Elton Abdul (YP02a) (32)| Mimba (20) | Elton Abdul (YP02a) (7.69) | Turned Professional 2021/22 | Liga Pro | 1st - champions | 4th rd | n/a | n/a | Elton Abdul (YP02a) (47)| Elton Abdul (21) | Elton Abdul (YP02a) (8.07) | 2022/23 | Liga NOS | 10th | 3rd rd | n/a | n/a | Elton Abdul (YP02a) (27)| Abdul/Barros (11) | Elton Abdul (YP02a) (7.37) | Elton Abdul won European Golden Boy 2023/24 | Liga NOS | 7th | 6th rd | n/a | n/a | Jorge Barros(YP03a) (23)| Barros (11) | Jorge Barros(YP03a) (7.31) | Made semi of Taca de Liga 2024/25 | Liga NOS | 3rd | 5th rd | n/a | n/a | Emanuel Leite YP06a (16)| Tavares (12) | Michael Rocha (YP04a) (7.46)| Qualified for CL 3rd round 2025/26 | Liga NOS | 2nd | 6th rd | 3rd in group| last 16 | Emanuel Leite YP06a (30)| Leite (YP06a) (14) | Michael Rocha (YP04a) (7.39)| Taca da Liga runners up 2026/27 | Liga NOS | CHAMPIONS! | 4th rd | 4th in group| n/a | Emanuel Leite YP06a (29)| Martinho (16) | André Tabaio (7.55) | 2027/28 | Liga NOS | CHAMPIONS! | Winners! | Last 16 | n/a | Emanuel Leite YP06a (66)| Tabaio (21) | Emanuel Leite (YP06a) (8.18)| 2028/29 | Liga NOS | CHAMPIONS! | 4th rd | Last 16 | n/a | Emanuel Leite YP06a (44)| Rocha (YP04a) (22) | Emanuel Leite (YP06a) (8.11)| 2029/30 | Liga NOS | 2nd | Winners! | Last 16 | n/a | Emanuel Leite YP06a (47)| Leite (YP06a) (22) | Emanuel Leite (YP06a) (7.96)| 2030/31 | Liga NOS | CHAMPIONS! | 6th rd | Winners! | n/a | Emanuel Leite YP06a (47)| Oliveira (YP07b)(22)| Emanuel Leite (YP06a) (7.82)| 2031/32 | Liga NOS | CHAMPIONS! | Runner up| Runner up | n/a | Emanuel Leite YP06a (47)| Oliveira (YP07b)(24)| Emanuel Leite (YP06a) (7.84)| Won Club World Cup 2031/32 | Liga NOS | CHAMPIONS!* | Winners! | Winners! | n/a | Emanuel Leite YP06a (45)| Belo (YP11a) (19) | Emanuel Leite (YP06a) (7.64)| Invincible season Season | Finances | Coaching | Recruitment | Training Fac. | Youth Fac. | Stadium ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2017/18 | £96k | Average | Basic | Good | Good | 3000 2018/19 | £480k | Adequate | Fairly Basic | Good | Good | 3000 2019/20 | £256k | Exceptional | Well Established | Good | Good | 3000 2020/21 | £559k | Exceptional | Extensive | Good | Good | 3000 2021/22 | -£400k | Exceptional | Extensive | Good | Good | 4000 - seriously, £1m for 1000 seats...? 2022/23 | £2.6m | Exceptional | Extensive | Good | Good | 5250 2023/24 | £2.2m | Exceptional | Extensive | Great | Good | 5250 (planning a 16,898 stadium) 2024/25 | £20.5m | Exceptional | Extensive | Great | Great | 5250 (building a 17,468 stadium) 2025/26 | £32.5m | Exceptional | Extensive | Great | Great | 5250 (still building a 17,468 stadium) 2026/27 | £41.5m | Exceptional | Extensive | Great | Great | 17468 2027/28 | £43.6m | Exceptional | Extensive | Great | Great | 17468 2028/29 | £50.6m | Exceptional | Extensive | Excellent | Superb | 17468 (expanding). No more debt. 2029/30 | £57.7m | Exceptional | Extensive | State of the Art| State of the Art | 26202 2030/31 | £64.4m | Exceptional | Extensive | State of the Art| State of the Art | 26202 (expanding to 32,656) 2031/32 | £54.4m | Exceptional | Extensive | State of the Art| Superb | 30697 (expanding to 32,656) 2032/33 | £79.5m | Exceptional | Extensive | State of the Art| State of the Art | 34936
  12. So, what when things don't go so well? I think this screenshot might surprise people when it goes with the title. A 5-0 win hardly sounds like things not going well, but do read on... The end result was fantastic, but this was far from plain sailing - check out things at half time. We were 2-0 up after a good finish from Leite off a cross and a breakaway goal, but Benfica had had 12 shots, with a clear cut and 2 half chances, as well as having hit the woodwork twice; we'd had four with one clear chance. They had 63% possession at half time to our 37%... We're lucky to be in front. Partly out of laziness, partly out of interest, I decided to wait till half time before watching the whole match for the first ten minutes in the second half. I went back and did all of the screenshots later, as I didn't want to get too into the numbers at the time, so you get the benefit of the analysis in a level of detail I didn't really go into... Our passing, first half and Benfica's passing, first half. Not pretty. First half shots. Bar the greens, also not pretty: --- So, when watching it on full match, I assumed Benfica would be coming at us all guns blazing, pushing men forward and really dominating our flanks. What I saw was this: Absurdly cautious, seriously deep and with a front man so isolated, he might as well have his own postcode. But as this move carried on, I could see why we were having problems. Caruso carried the ball out toward our right mid, who wasn't really pressing that much (I figure as he assumes that the poacher will press). Caruso gets to one wing and plays a long ball over to the other side. Now we start seeing a problem... Didn't change anything yet, but I've got a much better idea of how they are playing - seriously patient and pulling us onto them whilst keeping the full width of the pitch. There are immediately a few ideas that come up of how to sort this out, but I want to see how we attack first - why aren't we causing such a defensive side problems? In this move, we play the ball up to Leite (complete forward). He runs with it a little, but because Benfica are already deep, he doesn't have many options in front of him. He cuts inside, holds the ball up and spreads it to the other wing. Robalo gets the ball on the other wing, has nobody particularly offering in front of him as they're all marked. Benfica are content to hold positions, so he switches it back to the other flank, slowly. We don't really do much from here. --- So, at this point, the problems are: Players up front are already marked because Benfica are sitting deep We are leaving a lot of space for them to exploit, because they are sitting deep and playing patiently. We don't really have that much penetration from deep. (There is some - we scored from a breakaway and a good run from the right winger leading to a nice cross earlier - but not consistently enough). Some of the solutions I thought about were: Harry Benfica more - we're giving them too much time. We'll get the ball back quicker and move them out of position. Get more runners from deep - could change formation and get wingers + wingbacks to overload the flanks. Change the Enganche's role - he's swamped in there and maybe more movement could work. Draw Benfica out of their defensive shape, either by changing mentality, passing, dropping deeper ourselves or a role. I went with a combination that I noticed when looking at the very last screenshot with Bijnens (above). We need to push them more, so we went with a Much Higher Line, Closing Down Much More, Get Stuck In. Let's get the ball back quicker. I changed Bijnens from a Box-to-Box Midfielder to a Deep Lying Playmaker (support). The one thing I was really noticing was that we were so eager to get the ball to our Enganche, it was playing right into Benfica's hands. With a box-to-box midfielder, he was also running right into that lack of space and suffocating our Enganche even further. I figured that if we make him a playmaker, he'll sit deeper, be happy to spray the ball about a bit more, draw possession to him and therefore create a bit of space for Rocha and the strikers. --- Two screenshots from literally 5 minutes later. Notice the space opening up between their CMs and CBs. In the second one, in particular, it's clear how the slower pace is benefiting us - he plays a short ball to Fejciuch, is happy to take the return ball and then ends up swinging it in to Rocha who has much more space than before. When Benfica did get the ball back, they had little choice but to smash it long as we were pressing so much more and much higher. We end up grabbing a 3rd from a corner after about four waves of attacks, a 4th from our CB finding an overlap (Creative Freedom...) and a 5th from the Enganche arriving late onto a cross from the right. It could have been more as well as their keeper had a good game. --- Some comparisons: Bijnen (as a BBM) first half passes received (light green) and passes completed (dark green). Trying to force the ball forwards a lot. Bijnen / Lezcano (subbed on) as a DLP (s) - second half passes received (light green) and passes completed (dark green). Night and day. Same thing with Rocha - first half vs second half comparison. N.B. his role didn't change at all. You can see the difference in the service and where he's receiving the ball.
  13. Time left to add it on... Surely Allwein could do it?! I'd be interested to see how someone else interprets it. The key really is the roles you surround him with - I'm still not entirely sure I've got them perfect, but looking forward to the process of getting it done. There must be a few other positions or formations you've got left as well!
  14. So in the answer to one of those questions - how does this play out against better or more dangerous opponents? - I give you a 2-1 home victory against PSG with 12 chances (7 clear cut). It would have been far more comfortable had Trujillo (our poacher) converted any other of his many chances. For info, we have faced PSG in the past two CL finals, winning one and losing the other. We did need to make a couple of changes over the second half - they started with a 4-2-3-1 wide 2 dm formation and after half time, their AMC started bossing it. I dropped the CM (d) into the DM strata and made him a DM (s), which worked pretty effectively to just sit in the space. I think it's purely because of all of our closing down - PSG are the best side on the game and are one of the few sides who can move the ball that well at pace; they just got around our high press too often. I think I could have abandoned the high press by closing down less, but it was having some effect due to the amount of counters we gained through it. I also always worry about letting better sides just play in front of you... Things got a little hairy when our LWB got a second yellow, but we actually still created more than them by dropping into the 4-5-1 and leaving Leite up top. Goals: Slightly different goals to the last game, but shows that we can play through the middle. Nice to see our BBM (s) also get the winning goal - his first for the club! The Enganche is heavily involved in both goals, too. Their goal was annoying, but more a result of good, quick movement and a class finish than anything else. Just one you hold your hands up to, but you can see how our CMs were pressing a bit too much. They had a few better chances, but most of them were from set plays. They have a seriously frightening front three with two of the best wingers and the best striker in the game (see below), so I think this is pretty good proof that the 3 at the back formation can hold up against proficient attackers. Lots to like in the key passing/assists overview as well: