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  1. Welcome to the (active) community! I was kinda like you back in the day, never wanting to post and just reading, but once I did it I enjoyed it a lot so I think you definitely did the best you could. Be sure you'll have tons of fun engaging in conversation with the gents around here and it will allow you also to learn much more. One thing you constantly repeat through your text explaining your approach is that you still feel that this tactic is not yours, that it is just a combination of other tactics, etc etc... Don't sell yourself so low man! How many real life managers build stuff off their brains without taking ideas from here and there, let alone FM players? You definitely spent the proper time learning the game as real managers spent it learning the history of football and where this and that system work and don't, then applied what you considered right for your team and players. Don't think it can get any better, and the way you put it all together in the post, along with the use of images was superb, believe me. No wonder you inspired me getting back to the game after a few months of hiatus. Hope to keep reading you around!
  2. Wait what? They said Touch would have a Beta version too... Waiting for it to drop or they to announce there won't definitely be one to be honest.
  3. Awesome! As I have it now we're pretty solid defending as you can see by the results I posted yesterday. It seems like I have found the right balance in defense with the triangle of the CBs+BWM. I guess I prefer to do innovative and creative stuff while having fun and exploring some new ways to play the game than just download a pre-made tactic and press the spacebar ad infinitum to see my inbox full of "congratulations on winning the cup again!". Personal taste. To me, the problem is not the MEZ not going forward (they do and pretty well) but rather wide, kind of overlapping the IFs. That is where it gets tricky, because the ME was not build to allow that kind of movement. So yes, what you mention happens sometimes (both a MEZ and a IF getting close to each other in the same area), and also it is often that you see the IF getting wide and the MEZ more on the inside part of the pitch. Not that is bad and doesn't produce results, which are there, but definitely not how I want the system to play. Yes I'm already using underlapping movements to keep IWBs on the inside areas of the pitch while MEZs and IFs get or start the play at wider positions. Definitely a great shape and movement is generated and the combinations are wonderful and work tremendously. Thanks. I'm definitely not trying to create some kind of "unstoppably-demonic" tactic with these Inspiring Concept threads. I just thought about having some fun doing new stuff and focusing on somewhat "little" things (the use of IWBs, the creation of the Central Winger, the use of a free-movement trio on a strikerless system, and what is yet to come...) rather than playing the casual same old game we all do every year without squeezing the game. Glad you're liking it! Believe me, that game against MTK was incredibly frustrating so I made changes and I don't know, they're working nicely now and we're pretty solid back in defense, so I'm happy for now. Wait until we reach the first knockout round of the EL and get crushed by some big team though haha There is definitely a lot of movement and variation in positions. Keep in mind that no less than 6 players start at a point that ultimately changes (IWBs to CM, MEZ to W, IFs to F) so that really causes problems for the opposition who often get lost into who to cover and leaves doors open to crosses or through-balls that make for clear chances in the area. I used the HB at first, but having the CBs split too wide caused a lot of trouble while defending long balls because they found it hard to recover and track back in time, that's why I changed the DM position to a BWM role. That way I keep a defensive triangle that holds the position vertically and that doesn't get too wide, so we avoid problems getting back.
  4. "Remember when I signed my contract a few months ago and moved to Merseyside? Remember what they said? 'He won't make it here as in Scotland. He won't be able to handle this level of play. This is no one-team league. No minnows here.' They can suck it now, that's what I say." - Robbie Gould, Liverpool's manager. PS: I did this post for fun and I know karma will hit me back in the forehead making me lose like 8 or 10 games in a row, just in case.
  5. This has to do with a few things. First, I need my IWBs as CMs covering the whole midfield because MEZ are not supposed to play that role when we are on attack (they are supposed to turn into wingers). Second, if I don't play them on attack, I've seen (or at least I think) that they hit a wall and don't go upfield enough to my liking. Third, they produce overloading situations around the opposition area through the center of the pitch and force the MEZ to get a little wider. Fourth, they sometimes even roam around the edge of the box, which is great for recycling possession. Fifth, they're often so high the pitch that can't track back in time, leaving my CBs and BWM exposed and thus creating exciting moments for the fans out there in the stand. Wait, forget about that fifth point. I need to fix that. This is the struggle of this challenge. Basically, there are three key roles in the system and two completely opposite ways of work for them. Simply put, we have: IWBs + IFs => Start wide, need to get inside. MEZ => Start inside, need to get wide. So we can say that we need to widen the field for the MEZ to turn into wingers hugging the touchline, but that would make the IWBs and IFs stay too wide and we don't want that, so we need to counter-act by applying the narrower instruction in order to keep things in kind of place. It is not obvious, it is not perfect, but I don't think there is a better way to mix and mangle all of the concepts running. Yes it may makes the MEZ not go as wide as possible, but they're really not going to go that wide even if applying a wider shape, so I think it's not worth doing it (because then IWBs and IFs would be much more outside than I want them to, so the problems outweigh the benefits). Again, hard to achieve the system in the current ME because after all it is all a huge mix of tweaks to try and put it in play, so some things are counterintuitive and definitely not perfect. It is just about finding the right balance and what most resembles the idea, given the impossibility of nailing it down 100%. Same as with the first quote, I hate to do stuff like the one you mention. I'd never play a super deep defensive block and close down a lot, because that may cause and over-stretched formation full of holes everywhere and people running out of position quite frequently. But here, seeing how the defensive pair of CBs and the HB/BWM were destroyed by long balls I wanted to keep them in place as deep and restrained as possible, while still trying to put pressure on the opposition's creative players to try and recover the ball quickly or at least force bad decisions at the start of their plays. The fact both CBs are on Cover is related to what I already said. I know it may sound extreme, and it may change over time when I play more games against stronger teams and see how the pair works, but I just wanted to have two guys down there with restricted duties just focusing on defending. Sure. I will play some more demanding games (Premier League and the start of the Europa League) and then upload some videos and provide some tactical image breakdown as I did in IC#1. I just didn't want to start pumping stuff during the preseason because it may not fully represent how the system works given the weak opposition.
  6. I ditched the APs as soon as I fired the game today and played 5 minutes of the first game I didn't want more ball-magnets on the system, much less ones with "playmaker" attached to them. We're keeping the IFs there for the time being. As explained, IWBs are doing what I want them to do. They are false CMs and play like them. Get the ball, pass the ball, don't get too fancy. And they are hyper fast tracking back and positioning on defense (even while actually being players meant to play on CM positions as you can see by the names in my best XI). Man if I could make your comment about the Wingers real and 100% true that'd be glorious, and I acknowledge and recognize that they may not hold the wide position as much as you'd like, but in my case I need them to get inside as hell but I don't think I'll ever get fully happy with that. At least they try, tho. About that City system you mention, well, you know what I think about it. Lovely stuff. Happens to me all the time. I read something here and I want to take on a completely different challenge. I read a book I want to start with another team. I read an article I want to sign a player. Crazy stuff haha! Yes you can tweak players' roles with PIs and looking at their PPMs, but even with that some roles are hard-coded to work in a certain way and even for those not that exaggerated, you still find problems. Not a perfect ME, but well, we have to adapt and that makes it challenging and fun to try and come with new systems and ideas, so it's okay.
  7. Preseason completed. So far, so good, yet not so good. Am I happy with the results? Sure. Look at the numbers: 34 goals in 7 games and only 5 conceded (I don't even know what happened against MTK, the team was utter crap to be honest for some mysterious reason). Am I happy with the way the system is playing out? Hmm... Not 100%. At least not until the last game against Tranmere, which yes I know is not 2011 Barcelona but still. That felt like the game in which the tweaks I did to the formation made it work the closest to what I want to achieve. So this is it. I know. I know. You're think "oh look at this ***** putting all those TIs and PIs and having no clue what he's doing". I understand your logic, but bear with me. You have read my thought process and what I want to achieve. You know this is not some random stuff throw to the ME that works just because the ability of the players featured in the XI. No. I'm building something I have an image of pretty clear in my mind, and that formation, and all of its instructions make it work as close as possible to how I think it should work. A few notes: The DLF works wonders. He drops, participates in the game, but is a threat up front. Me likes. I've tweaked and re-tweaked and then tweaked again what now are the IF(Su). Believe, they've driven me incredibly nuts. But finally, I think the best way to make them drop a little deeper and getting them some more into inside positions to be overlapped by the MEZ is by assigning them both the Support duty and also heavily customizing their PIs to get narrower, hold the ball and roam. I've tried countless combinations, but this seem to be the best one. The MEZ are never going to be "true" Central Wingers, that's for sure. I give up and we have not even started the season yet ("how dare you!?", I heard in the distance). Again and as with the last point, this is the closest to a Central Winger you can get on this FM. They are on Attack duty to give room to the coming IWBs (our truly fake/false CMs here), and I also PI'd them to run wide and dribble more. I was using a HB but was forced to change the role. Honestly I don't care that much about the defensive side of the game for this challenge, but I don't want to get screw over and over, and the HB made the CBs split and that created massive holes in defense that even ****** MTK exploited as hell. No more my Hungarian friends. BWM is a win-win and I loved the defensive triangle that I created in IC#1 with Celtic, so I'm cool there. The CBs go on Cover because holly hell those holes. Too much to stand each and every game. No more risky business down there fellas. The IWBs were also a little of a headache during the first creation phase (up until like v5 or v6 of the tactic -- I'm at v10 now) but I've finally gotten to a point where they are pure false-game-building-CMs. They go up, stay inside and don't go crazy overlapping, which is not what they need to do because that is supposed to be the MEZ task. I'm currently playing a SK because we go quite high as a block so I guess having someone deep in there covering the CBs doing stupid stuff is necessary. Not a lock tho, may get back to a classic GK in time if there is not a lot of difference. As far as the team instructions, oh boy are they a bunch: I want to retain possession because I understand that makes the team take more time to finish plays and that allows players to relocate into their "real" positions on offense. It seems to be working more and more as MEZs overlap the IFs (not always but what can I do...) and the IWBs get settled in midfield pretty nicely. The shorter passing has more or less the same effect, and I don't think going flank-to-flank is a must here. It is not something I had in mind when developing the system and I'd rather play that short-distance game so it's alright. Same playing out of defense. I don't want long balls that go for nothing and doesn't allow the system to fully develop and display. By narrowing the playing space I force the IFs and IWBs to get in. It works to an extent to fulfill my ideas. Higher tempo and CDMM is what Klopp taught me. And finally, by "forcing" the underlapping instead of leaving it open I've observed that IWBs are quite restricted and remain inside the central zone of the pitch instead of going wild wide, which I don't want to even mention. It doesn't seem to affect the MEZs and IFs interaction too much, so I'm happy with it. I'll wait and play some Premier League / EL games before updating with some images and videos so you can see how the system looks in a more detailed way, but I hope this breakdown of the stuff and update on how things are as of now gives you an idea of how I'm putting together my "real-life" thoughts into the beloved FM match engine and tactics creator. Edit: Forgot to mention the mentality and shape: Standard mentality. Don't go to crazy up the pitch or sit to deep. I've come to realize I'm a disciple of the Standard, which nonetheless I change during games depending on how the opposition is playing, the result, etc... to move the lines up or down the pitch as I need it. Flexible shape. "Booooooriiing!" Yep. A lot. But really, nor do I want the lines to be to close (may make it hard to reach further zones against strong teams giving the whole concept developed) or too separated (basically because if we get caught we're pretty fudged against quick and precise booming counters). As always, any comment/suggestion/question is appreciated and will be properly addressed
  8. Great concepts you are using there, and indeed somewhat close to what I'd like to do, although not quite the same from what I read. After a couple of quick tests during the first match of the preseason I've already reached v5 of my tactic (yes, I save "major" changes as different versions as I get closer to what would ultimately be the final system). Right now I'm using some of your instructions, so we're close in some of the stuff you mentioned. For example, underlapping works better than overlapping more than anything because I want to limit how outside the IWBs get/remain, which that allows for. I'm also applying up-pitch press, as much as I can, and playing out of defense to give time to the team to position in their offensive "target areas". Given how you explained your formation, it is logical to apply a wider approach, something I'm going in the opposite direction here with a narrower TI. I acknowledge it may cause problems in the build of the CW role, so I still have to see how it truly affects the game, but by now it seems like the best option while looking at the whole team shape and functions. As far as mentality and shape, I'm right now at Standard/Flexible, but don't pay that much attention to it because it may change depending on the opponent's approach and their strength. About point 4 and the midfield focus, it is just something I'd like to achieve for the IC#2 in terms of using IWBs as pure midfield creators instead of more "classical" IWBs that ultimately end playing as WBs, only faking it by getting a little in, then out. It's more about the idea of playing two "False CMs-from-IWBs" than other thing. The focus of course would be the CWs and their in-and-out approach getting further up through the wings to generate danger. Here are a couple of pics that depict how I'd like the team to shape in defense (left; although I don't really focus that much on defense for this IC#2, same as in IC#1 to be honest) and then what I expect to see on offense (right; with the DLF linking but also getting as further as possible when the ball reaches the final third to overload the area). That is definitely one of the biggest challenges, getting the IWBs-CWs-IFs to work in a way that doesn't make them look silly by using the same spaces and positions on the field. Ideally the formation drawn in the board up here (my expect offensive shape) would be what I see, although it is just impossible to nail it down knowing how the ME is hard-coded in some aspects (the Mezzalas not getting wide enough, for example). Be sure I will still try to get the best outcome I can tho! Let's see if I can at least achieve something close to the idea of a CW I have in mind ^^ Now that you mention it, my last version of the formation through some changes features two APs rather than IFs. For some reason they represent better what I want to achieve in the current ME, although I've just played a couple of matches so I will probably end making many more changes until I reach the final version of the tactic. Speaking of the DLF, I haven't really applied any PI to him as of now, barring CDMM to press as high and as much as possible. I will see if he works properly or if I need to turn into a strikerless formation, which I wouldn't really like for this challenge and won't probably be doing.
  9. After thinking about it, I've finally settled at a 4-1-2-2-1 formation, as the follow image depicts. These are the key points to consider, which I more or less already introduced: 2 CBs drift wide to give space to the dropping HB, creating a 3 D-Men line to build from 2 IWBs turn into play-making CMs 2 MEZ turn into Wingers (Central Wingers) 2 Wingers (probably IFs) get inside 1 DLF to link with the IWBs during the build up and share the ball with the IFs in the area As you can see from the names (not definitive, but projected), I won't be using players on their "natural" or most suitable positions of origin, but instead having in mind where I want them to finish the play. So, no FBs/WBs, but rather CMs into the IWB positions. The same for the two MEZ, which will actually be Wingers by nature. Given the quality of Mane/Salah and how good they are in attack, they fit the IF role so no real/dramatic changes there. As for the DLF, Firmino will probably be at that role with Milik as his most common sub. I'll be playing some preseason games next tweaking the roles/TI/PI until I get what most resembles the idea I have in mind and post another update then.
  10. In name of those present here I ask for all of those docs to be photographed and uploaded and shared here. Or you can just send them over DM to me
  11. Probably not entirely relevant (as we don't discuss your system exactly as is or talk about how to change it), but you may find some light here from me and @SD.
  12. Replied in the quote, not completely focusing on how I'd go against Chelsea but rather applying my answers to this IC#2, but hope it can pour some interesting stuff into what you probably expected to read as an answer. I didn't mean or wasn't going for Fluid in the title as the "Fluid Shape" that is used in FM. I used it as defined in football as a whole, in the "real world" rather than FM. I could have use other terms such as "adaptive", "transformative", or whatever. What I meant was to represent somehow the classical "Totalvoetval" of the Dutch in that if you look at the diagrams, the original formation is something that I expect to "fluidly" turn into another thing when in attack. IWBs would turn into CMs. CMs into wingers. Wingers into Forwards. Forwards into "False Forwards/False AMs". All of that through fluid moves building from the back. In terms of in-game application, off the top of my head I'd go with Standard/Structured. Standard to keep the team balanced and not overly defensive or attacking, and Structured to be a little longer on the pitch and have more vertical distance between the lines so players have to mover more, thus giving more time to others to change positions on the field. I know it may sound counterintuitive and may end using Fluid/Very Fluid, because again I have yet to test first approach to the system in the ME. I hope it is clearer now. Thanks man! I always do some paper work (or digital diagrams, whatever) because I'm a football tactics nut and I can spend hours looking at Spielverlagerung diagrams without even the context of the articles they appear in haha! Hope you enjoy the journey. Sorry to disappoint you by managing Pool instead of Arsenal! :P Sure. The idea is what I already wrote up as a reply to Robson. IWBs => CMs; CMs => Ws; F => AM. This fluid change of positions would allow us to overload the space from midfield up as we will have two extra (unexpected) players by deploying two WBs that actually will play as CMs, still covering the back with the line of CB-HB-CB. Given the absence of the Central Winger role, I also coincide in that Mezzala is the closer it gets to it if correctly tweaked. There is no way to create a "true" Central Winger, so I guess that would be the best I would be able to do. I also thought about tweaking the Carrilero role, but they don't get as upfield as a CW would, so I think I've already discarded that option. And yes, Wingers will be there (giving space for the Mezzalas to get into their original position) while moving to inside positions accompanying the Forward. I don't know if it makes sense, but it is definitely a super close approach to what I had already thought about, so I'm cool with your mind.
  13. Intro Following the somewhat unexpected (and good) response to my first tactical thread here (which came from a challenge originally posted by @herne79 and was heavily inspired by @westy8chimp and @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! work), here is the second instalment of the series that I plan to keep writing about for some time, or at least in those moments time allows me to. As I already said in the first topic and Concept thread, what I'm trying to do here is only to build formations or work on concepts I've read or watched somewhere that, even not fully knowing about them, inspired something that I want to achieve on FM. The first thread focused on the creation of a trio of forwards in a strikerless tactic, in which that partnership was expected to start the game (every play, actually) in a 2-1 shape of two TQs and one SS to then turn into a 1-2 shape formed by one AM (the SS dropping deeper) and two Fs (TQs getting inside to central forward positions). I was quite pleased with the process and the fact that the system ended working, both around that idea and the full formation as a whole. Past Inspiring Concepts' Threads - Celtic's Strikerless 1-2-to-2-1 * * * Context For the 1-2-to-2-1 challenge I used an all-Scots Celtic side and although it wasn't something I had planned, given that I had loaded both the Scottish and English first-level divisions I ultimately thought about keeping the same save alive while taking on other challenges and inspirations, just to play on an evolving world and force myself to adapt to diverse and unexpected squads, losing potential preconceptions. Even with that, the idea is to move places every season (the original plan was to start a save for each challenge, so it's kind of the same after all). And at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, after reigning in all Scottish competitions, two teams emerged as possible destinations given their subpar seasons in England: Manchester City and Liverpool. Ultimately, Guardiola's side defeated Manchester United in a derby for the UCL title and kept the Spaniard as their coach, while Klopp was sacked after finishing 6th and only achieve Europa League qualification with Liverpool. So, for this next challenge, I'll Never Walk Alone. * * * The Idea I'm not sure if the thread's title has make anything clear, although I guess it hasn't – not at least completely. The second challenge and concept I've been thinking on taking on is based around a few ideas rather than just one, although there is a prime element to the whole formation to build and work in. And that, is the creation of the unavailable role of the Central Winger. The inspiration for this, I must acknowledge doesn't come from a single article or image or anything I saw that turned on the bulb. I can't actually point to a single piece it comes from. It is more about all I've been reading lately, which has mostly been related to the Barçajax school of football, and the Dutch history. We all know about the "hipster" roles that have been heavily featured and used during the last few years. False 9s, Raumdeuters, Inverted Full-Backs, this and that. On top of that, for lots of people Spain created the now-renowed "Tiki-taka", which was a wrongly named "Juego de Posicion", etc etc. Don't want to bore with terms and definitions here, but I'm open to delve into all that if you want to ask for it in the thread and there is interest. So, back to the idea to develop, I have been thinking about new stuff to do in-game and also probably influenced by my Celtic side of last season, I wanted to go into a different direction taking into consideration the things I learnt thanks to that year of tinkering. That brought me basically to the next points: Avoid the use of overlapping WBs after using them heavily on Inspiring Concepts (IC) #1 Try to better defend the sides, which was something I paid not attention at all during IC#1 Build another fluid system, with smooth changes of positions in place Focus on the midfield, overloading it by employing IWBs getting inside from the back IWBs push CMs forward, which in turn push Wingers, which in turn affect the Forward(s) position too To some it may sound like Guardiola's system at Bayern, and I won't deny it. I'm not trying to emulate that (nor the formation, shape, style of game, or anything) but it could very well be what inspired this given my late readings. I think the thought process could be described as: I want to use and build through IWBs If the IWBs get to CM positions then CMs will need to move forward If CMs go forward then Wingers/AMs have to make room for them and thus their position will change The Wingers/AMs move will also affect the way the Forward(s) play From this I envisioned the idea of the Central Winger role, which doesn't exist on FM. Wait, what? Central Wingers. I had not read of them previously but somehow I thought someone must have had that thought before me. And yes, indeed someone had. And I'm totally cool with it. I already had the role and its functions clear in my mind prior to finding that article and reading more about it, so I'll keep going for it, and given FM's evolution during the past couple of editions I also had thought about how to "create" the role in game. It is still early tho, because I have not put time on building the tactic in game, but the ideas are already in my mind. Here are the stupid doodles that would lay the foundation of the thread. I won't explain anything about them and just leave them in here for now, just to see if some of you have questions or could say something about how I want or how you would expect the thing to turn out by having read the prior paragraphs and now watching at the formations and notes (click to enlarge). Hopefully we can get the discussion going before I update with some in-game developments. Further Reading Using the Central Winger How to use Inverted Full-Backs Tactical Philosophy of Eusebio di Francesco
  14. Here are some stats and numbers. Thanks for the idea, I will keep track of them during the duration of the series. Pretty good record both on goal scored and allowed, with a 1.29 goal difference between them in all competitions. Rangers, for example, were incredibly potent in offense scoring 94 goals (2.47 per game) in 38 league matches while allowing 38. Had Morelos not been injured (in a match against us...) for 3 months he could have finished with over 30 goals easily (he scored 17 in 18 league games). To not play a true-forward and go with a strikerless system, something I had never seriously done to be honest, I'm pretty happy with the outcome. In the UCL we finished the group stage 2nd only behind Real Madrid while scoring 12 and conceding 9 (4 against Madrid, giving away the second leg match as we were already onto the Round of 16). WBs commented next. Thanks Craig, hope you like the next adventure! As far as how I would have kept evolving the system, it is hard to give a quick answer without putting much more think that I've done now over it, given that I honestly just focused on the forward-trio for the challenge and basically complemented it the best I could but not giving much thought to anything else (keeping some balance in there, tho). The first thing, as you already said and I explained, would be to find a better (or proper) way of assessing the combination of WBs and TQs in transition on defense, as both WBs are usually way up the pitch so they find pretty hard to track back cause they go all-in every single time and against strong opposition the defensive triangle is just plainly not enough. changing their mentality to a more denfensive one would be the obvious first step, and even maybe changing their role from WB to FB could placate them a little more while also awarding them offensive chances and room to roam upfield (I've not tested it). Another option could be to keep the FBs back and try to use some sort of side-central midfielders going to the touchlines instead of WBs, maybe some sort of Mezzala going from inside to the outside part of the pitch to overlap the TQs when they get inside, although that may create a rather big empty space on the center field around the halfway line. Just talking off the top of my head ^^
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