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Gianni Brera

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38 "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"

About Gianni Brera

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    ''Kick everything that moves, if it is the ball, even better.''

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    AC Milan

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  1. Hmm, indeed, very true. Choices must be made, compromises need to be found. I haven't recently played a lot of 4-4-2 systems because it simply doesn't very often fit the players I have. Although I am toying with the idea to field a 4-4-2 that involves two attack duties on top, 4 midfielders on support, and all defenders on defend duties. I know, it sounds very anno 1990, very primitive and simplistic, but I just want to see how it works. My theory holds that it will facilitate swift transitions through the middle, and crosses into the box from deep from the flanks. Defensively, the two attackers won't do much, but the 4 midfielders on support duties will provide a nice screen in front of a deep backline. One alternative is to put attackers also on support roles when I'm consolidating a result. When I'm trying to kill off a game, I couldn't care less about launching vertical attacks. Then its a worthy sacrifice to make strikers and wingers tuck into midfield positions and, when in ball posession, pass it around a bit at the pace of an 80-year old. In the past, I used to fill my system up with Defend duties if I wanted to park a bus, as is done by the tactical presets. But I noticed that simply adding more Defend duties to my-already-deep-passive-backline only invited more pressure and gave opponents too much space to shoot. Its nice to have defenders back off to maintain their line, but I prefer my midfielders to keep opponents at a safe distance from the defence. Support roles don't back away and they stay slightly higher, and in a midfield 3 or 4 I will even use an Attack duty to a central midfielder to position him higher up, and enlarge the central zone controlled by my midfield that shields the defence. So paradoxically, Attack duties can be very effective when defending.
  2. Very interesting topic! I am myself struggling lately with how I want to set up my defensive bloc and how I want the team to act when in posession. I can't help but notice that, when virtually all my players are on a support duty, I tend to have the most rock-solid defensive low blocks (can't help it, I always drop back in a low block) I could ever ask for. Really love it when the wingers and attackers drop behind the ball-line and the opponent is literally facing a 10-man defence with a compactness that would make Arrigo Sacchi proud (even though he would curse the retreating movement and lack of pressing). The downside is... putting most or all players on a support duty. I simply do not like how they play and transition that way. The transition is, of course, that of pass-and-move football. Ideally, I put all or most of my forwards and wingers on Attack duties, letting them bomb forward and verticalize the game, but I want them to fold into a compact block when the attack is over. Setting players on Attack duties however (especially forwards), means they will generally stay a bit forward to receive the long ball. I understand this is entirely logical, but, how can I combine having a more ''structured'' shape in attack - so to speak - with a more ''fluid'' defense as in making all players withdraw into a compact shape? Yes, I accept that the latter will inevitably mean I can't launch it long immediately after recovering the ball, but I just want my attackers to stretch the game vertically when they can, and drop back when they have to. Or an attacking midfielder to run into the box, and drop back into central midfield when defending.
  3. Yeah its not a super big deal, but the difference between Mark Specific Position and Mark Specific Player isnt entirely clear to me. When you select Mark Specific Player, and that player gets substituted, they will still automatically mark the player that replaced him in the same position. What I see happening on the pitch however, is that with Mark Specific Player - you see old-fashioned marking across the pitch. With Mark Specific Position, I don't see them track the player as much. And in many cases, simply not following their man at all. This leads me to believe the Mark Specific Position option is a somewhat more flexible, zonally-oriented type of specific marking than Mark Specific Player. In both cases however, I found they should be applied with extreme caution. Collective application (for all players and opponents) may work for 1 match, but tends to be suicidal. Which is sad, because Atalanta nowadays beats Juventus with it.
  4. Yeah, after spending some time playing around with the settings I've come to the conclusion that the safest way to use this is to make an attacker or wide player make a defensive movement he would normally not do. On FM 18 I had some success using 5-man defences and assigning 1 CB to man-mark a striker, without actually destroying my defensive line. And the same I see in the central midfield: if you have plenty of CM's to step into defensive gaps you can allow 1 midfielder to track an opponent. But ''collective man-marking'', in my experience, is not a viable thing on FM19, even though the mechanics in that department have improved significantly. A pity though. I wish more options would be available to us to implement marking styles and strategies.
  5. Trapattoni, but also often taking some inspiration from Marcello Lippi and Fabio Capello. What I admire in Trapattoni is his ruthless defensive organization, I enjoy Lippi's chameleontic pragmatism and ability to strike a balance between attack and defence, and I am very much a Capello-like disciplinarian who tends to favor the 4-4-2 system. Among present day managers I find Gian Piero Gasperini at Atalanta very interesting. He has brought back old-fashioned man-marking, always adapting his formation to outnumber attackers, with a very dynamic offensive game. Atalanta is one of the few teams in Italy that regularly manages to beat Juventus.
  6. I am virtually always playing on Defensive mentality. When protecting a result, it goes down a notch to very defensive, when in need of goals I can escalate all the way up to very attacking if necessary. But that doesn't mean its actually ''defensive football''. The defensive mentalities do a number of things that I like: in posession, the ball is handled with care. Players take their time, stay closer together, and they stick closer to their defensive positions, maintaining tactical discipline. Great! When out of posession, the defensive shape is more congested, they won't press and run around like headless chickens, and there is a natural tendency to drop back and protect the goal. Splendid. The Attacking mentalities, in my view, very much represent the high-energy style I see every week on BBC in the Premier League: many forward runs, vertical passes, high tempo, creative freedom, and when out possession, players are frenetically running back and forth. You can create a more hybrid style through altering the TI's, or exaggerate it even - like going very high tempo on attack mentality. If youre looking for actual defensive football, I tend to achieve that more through the actual player roles and duties. Essentially, those determine the team's movements and organization on the pitch. If you want to keep many player behind the ball and hold a defensive shape for 90 minutes, you need to tell them through the player duties and roles. I could select a Defensive mentality, and then have 4 attack duties and 4 support duties and 2 CB's on Defend. That will likely see your team dominate possession, have 4 players close to the opponents' box, and the entire team involved in the attacks. So in my book, thats very attacking football - if somewhat dull, sterile and slow. I have had quite some success having 6 or even 7 Defend duties on a Defensive team mentality. What the team ends up doing is recycling possession deep in its own half, luring opponents forward, and then knock that ball into space behind them for your striker to run into. Or cross from deep for that attacking winger creeping into striker position. Its a different ball game that requires patience. One thing I'd recommend when playing with 6 or more Defend duties on a very low team mentality is to rattle up the pressing intensity. Defend-duty players are instructed to sit off longer, coupled with the low Team mentality and deep defensive shape can cause your team to be locked under pressure in its own area. Increasing the pressing allows you to push back a bit more, keeping opponents away from the danger zones - and if youre in such a compact shape, you can safely allow your players to step out and close down the ball. And of course tight-mark and kick the living **** out of them.
  7. I plan to try various versions of the same system, playing around with roles and duties, but sadly I haven't found any time to continue this experiment. But I'll give an update when I can. Well, typical of the old Italian school is that there basically is no plan to pursue a goal - hence the motto ''prima non prenderle''. Do not concede, next priority is do not concede, and then try some more protecting the goal. When you go down a goal, the options are limited. Maybe allow an extra full-back to charge forward, take a little more risk in mentality, more speculative shots, allow the players more creative freedom, or if necessary, switch to an emergency formation that enables more attacking. Go down 2 goals, and the new priority is ''damage control''. Perhaps its a bit of a pessimistic mindset, then again, this is a journey to the pessimistic Italian football of the past. Trapattoni once explained what Catenaccio, the mindset (not the system), means: it means ''ruling out defeat''. Its a take no prisoners mentality of maximizing tactical certainty, predictability, and control, and literally waiting for the opponent to commit an error and basically defeat himself. Defending requires tactical planning and organization, and can be perfected and then executed. Attacking is an entirely different art. It requires creativity, and then it requires technique to carry it out. As a lower league team, you posess neither. So if you must score, youre trapped. Lets just stick to the old plan, contain the damage, and hope we can pounce on the complacency and score a late equalizer. If I go down a goal, I often change nothing. Usually, the opponent changes something. Theyre gonna give you more time and space, and scoring chances will come your way.
  8. I have those moments that Im giving old-fashioned man-marking another try in FM, but what I'm noticing on both FM19 and FM18 as well is this: If you assign a player a specific ''Position'' marking instruction, he will flatly ignore the instruction if the position you assign him to is ~not~ his direct opponent. So if I assign a wide player to mark a central player (position), or even just a central midfielder to mark a Defensive midfielder - not gonna happen. They ignore it. They only follow the instruction if its their immediate opponent - so CM on CM, DM on AM etc. Only if I use the ''mark specific player'' option I can actually see the players move out of their ''zone'' to stick with the player I want them to mark. So now suddenly the CM does step a line forward to stay with the DM as I would like. The question that bothers me is... why? What is ''mark specific position'' supposed to represent in this game? Is it supposed to represent a looser or ''man-oriented zonal'' marking style that many teams use nowadays? Its game description says its supposed to mark any player in the position, regardless of who it is. But.. If I specifically mark a player, they automatically mark the guy who replaces him if the opponent start switching position or use subs. So where does that leave the ''mark position'' advantage? Or... is this a cryptic way of FM trying to say mark the position means he will mark literally any player that wanders into the AMR or CM or whatever zone? So regardless of who plays as CM. For example, Iniesta plays as CM. But if Messi moves into that area they will temporarily stick to Messi instead? Other than that, I really dont see how Mark Position and Mark Player differ other than that in the former your players seem to ignore the instruction if their man isnt a direct opponent.
  9. The idea of aggressive pressing is precisely that 2 or 3 players try to encircle the ball carrier, make him commit an error. The idea is that players reduce the space around the ball, and the rest of the team shifts accordingly to cover the spaces they leave behind. Thats why collectivity is so important when pressing. If the players don't communicate or move together, gaps will emerge and the opponent will ''escape'' the press and it backfires. That's the reason why its mostly the big squads like Barcelona and Man City can pull it off, but not an average team. What you are proposing, that one player closes down his direct opponent while the rest of the players hold their ground, is not ''pressing'', its simply slowing the opponent down. To keep your defensive shape fixed while only 1 player steps out of the defensive line, I'd try to reduce pressing urgency. If you want more aggression, you can always opt to instruct ''Get stuck in''. But in RL, take a look at Atletico's pressing down the wing. They try to encircle the ball carrier with a side-back, a wide-midfielder and their ball-near striker, pressing with 3 players while the rest of the team shifts to cover them. Pressing is done with the entire team, or not at all.
  10. (This is a longread about my tactical thoughts and experiments in FM, I hope you enjoy it, and I welcome everyone to share with me their thoughts and suggestions) In 2017, Ultimo Uomo published a longread about the ''Tactical Revolution'' taking place in the Serie A between 2010 and 2016, led by avant-gardists such as Eusebio di Francesco, Vincenzo Montella, Antonio Conte, Luis Enrique, Paolo Souza and Maurizio Sarri. The article begins with the epicentre of the Revolution in today's football: Guardiola's Barcelona, 2008. Central to this revolution is the idea of ''Fluidity'', the constant movement of the squad, constantly shifting shapes to remain unpredictable and to maintain compact positioning near the ball - and therefore to dominate it wherever it is. To the proponents of ''Fluidity'', whether you ask Cruyff, Sacchi, or Ancelotti, formations and numbers are meaningless and irrelevant to the modern game: like random telephone numbers. Sacchi would say his formation is ''movement'', and to this school of thought we can add the German Revolution led by the high priests of Gegenpressing and organized chaos Jurgen Klopp, Joachim Löw and Thomas Tüchel. In the Premier League, especially the top teams have embraced fluidity. If Arsene Wenger was a pioneer in that respect with Arsenal, nowadays many teams have imported foreign managers that have put the ancient 4-4-2 long-ball game to rest in favor of a fluid game. But in Italy, so the article goes, things have remained rather quiet. For years, there were no signs of revolutions or subversive activities seeking to overthrow the old, and established order of ''rigidity'' and ''counter-attacking'', or as Sacchi would call ''Tyrannical football''. Except from individual cases such as Zdenek Zeman, Cesare Prandelli and Massimiliano Allegri, the Serie A staunchly held on to the sacred principles that promised certainty. Italian football, so obsessed with tactical detail and ''systems'' (or meaningless numbers), was a hostile environment to the broader, more strategic aims of the Guardiola's, Klopp's, and Pochettino's. While they employed their entire squad to manipulate, control and exploit space, such ideas remained under-developed in the Serie A. The season 2010-2011, perhaps in the wake of Mourinho's Inter Milan Treble the year before, is considered the darkest year. With only 955 goals scored that season, ''reactive'' and ''speculative'' football of the Old Italian School dominated. These principles included: Defending the central areas of the pitch, closing off passing lanes, fouling and long balls. The article takes Stefano Pioli's Chievo as example of this school: a 4-3-1-2 formation, Chievo ended 20% of their games in 0-0. They led the league in defensive interceptions, number of fouls, least amount of ball possession in the attacking third, long balls and crosses. Chievo has one of the worst attacks in the League, but ranks 4th for best defense. Im taking a leap forward. Nowadays, the tide has turned in the Serie A. Fluidity is fashionable. The most succesful teams in Serie A of the recent years, Juventus (Allegri), Napoli (Sarri), Roma (Spalletti, Garcia, Di Francesco) have all done so whilst controlling ball-posession, fluid movements, and even high pressing. Since even smaller squads like Pescara and Empoli managed to avoid relegation by going forward and trying to control the space through positioning, many Serie A teams now accept fluidity and ''pro-active'' football as a way to success. Atalanta under Gian Piero Gasperini, for example, has achieved European football and is one of the few squads in Italy that Juventus can't beat, thanks to his tactical innovation. With Simone Inzaghi at Lazio, Spalletti at Inter, and Gattuso at Milan, even the old giants are converting to the fluid philosophy - although AC Milan have arguably always been loyal to that philosophy since the 1990's (Sacchi, later his pupils Capello and Ancelotti, Zaccheroni, Allegri Seedorf, Montella - all of them propagating a fluid game). Counter-revolution in Parma Being rather nostalgic to the bygone era's when some of the most talented teams in the world in vain attempted to save their title by trying to break down an organized Italian defense that was sitting on a 1-0 lead, I have decided to try and see if I can succeed in FM resorting to the Old Italian School: Rigidity, tactical discipline, fouling, and a speculative long ball forward and see if we can get a penalty kick or something. For this experiment, I have chosen AC Parma. Why? Pure nostalgia and theyre fighting against relegation, so I won't be troubled by my conscience of making Dybala or Cristiano Ronaldo track back to their own box and stay there for 80 minutes. My assistants recommended me using a 4-3-3 formation, and as an arch Reactionary ''4-3-3'' is not a meaningless number to me, as it is to Mr. Sacchi, but its a means to an end. Marcello Lippi once said 4-3-3 is his favorite formation, because in a 4-3-3 all the individual roles are very clear and understandable to the players - and its the manager's task of making things ''as simple as possible'' for the players. This 4-3-3 is now of course to be rigidly implemented, with no room for deviance. There are however two ways in which one can understand tactical ''rigidity''. In my understanding, it can mean that the roles of the players are strongly defined by their relative position. So a ''rigid'' take on 4-3-3 would mean that there is 4 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 3 attackers. The defenders stay back, the midfielders shuttle up and down the pitch, and the attackers lead the attack. Translate this to FM, it would result in picking the most straightforward roles, and selecting Defend duties to defenders, support duties to midfielders, and attack duties to attackers. On many occassions, FM would judge that to be a ''flexible'' arrangement actually, depending on your formation. FM has a different idea, which is tied to the number of support roles and duties. The more support duties you employ, the more fluid FM says your shape is. Select the Tiki-Taka preset style, you'll notice the abundance of support duties FM has implemented, with only 1 central midfielder having an Attack duty. It makes sense though. If fluidity is about movement, compact positioning, and collective transitions, there is a number of things that contribute to this. First is having a lot of support duties, allowing players to determine themselves when and where to move up, drop deeper, move wide or cut inside - but always taking the positioning of their teammates into account. Attackers drop between the lines to make themselves available and participate in the build-up, defenders push into midfield or overlap to help the team progress up the pitch. To make this movement even more fluid, we can select a more attacking Team Mentality - encouraging more movement and forward runs, and ''be more expressive'', allowing for greater roaming movement. To achieve the opposite, a highly structured formation in which positions and roles are sacred laws to abide by, we have to do the opposite. Lets begin by banishing as many Support duties from our system as possible. Initially, I set all my Parma defenders to a Defend duty - since they're all useless with the ball anyway. I set my defensive midfielder on Defend as well, and all my attackers on an Attack duty. Two central midfielders played as BBM's on support, to link the two departments. With only 2 players on a support role, FM considers that to be a Very Structured system. Its a myth that Fluidity is ''merely'' a label and has no effect under the hood anymore - you'll notice that the individual player mentalities will either raise or drop a notch along with Fluidity. A Defend duty on a Flexible shape has ''defensive'' individual mentality, but ''Very Defensive'' on more structured shapes. On Highly Fluid shapes, a FB on support will have a higher individual mentality than a winger on support. To complement my ''Reactive'' style of play, I dropped the Team Mentality to ''Ultra Defensive''. Take no prisoners, I want to drag down the mentalities of all my players as much as possible to make them track back and defend. Since my attackers are on an Attack duty, I was a bit scared they would not track back. A defensive mentality further increases rigidity, because less movement and less forward runs are expected. To complete the package: ''Be more disciplined''. There can be no misunderstanding anymore that I want every player to think of nothing but his role, his position and his instructions. Formation (note the roles are set how I ended the game, not how I started it) Attack & Defend Having basically split my players between attack or defend duties, lets proceed to the instructions for both phases of play. In Attack, its fairly simple: Much higher tempo, and long balls. Since we lack support roles, this team is badly positioned to pass-and-move its way forward, and if it does, it will probably go at the tempo of a dying dog. In order to have an attack phase at all, it is necessary to just knock it forward immediately and let the 3 forwards sort it out. Above all, we hope to exploit the spaces and mistakes of the opponent. Indeed, it is nothing but speculation. In defense, I aim to drop my Line of Engagement as deep as possible. This is to encourage the attackers to tuck in, creating a 4-5-1 shape, and have the team minimize the spaces within the defensive block. Added to that is tight marking and get stuck in, combined with a lot of pressing. The purpose of these instructions is to ensure that opponents within our defensive block are constantly harassed, kicked, beaten and spat on. If he doesnt have the ball, breathe in his neck. If he has the ball, block him. If he gets past you, take him to the ground and concede a free kick. First experiment: Parma vs Eintracht Frankfurt I got exactly what I asked for in the first game. With ball possession averaging 25% in the first half, Parma did pretty much nothing but conserve energy and block the penalty box. Eintracht Frankfurt had the ball, but only one shot on target in the entire first half. I did have to make an adjustment though. After 1 minute, I could see happening what I was afraid of. My wingers did not track back to defend on an attack duty, and Eintracht Frankfurt was immediately making use of that. Having a Fluid shape and Positive mentality, Frankfurt represented my arch nemesis, and this initially gave them the upper hand down the flanks. In order to make the wingers contribute to defending, and withdrawing 9 players behind the ball (8-9 players behind the ball has always been the norm in Italy), I had to switch them to support duties. There I was compromising on my Counter-revolutionary principles after just 1 minute. My shape went to structured - how soft and weak! In order to restore iron tactical discipline, I switched the 2 central midfielders to CM-Attack. Midfielders after all, regardless of duty, come back to defend. This changed my shape from 4-3-3 to 4-1-4-1. Both when defending and when attacking, it remained exactly this shape. Numbers matter! In the image above, you can see the problem if the wingers are on Attack duty. The image below, from the second half, shows the defensive 4-1-4-1 shape I wanted, with 9 and occasionally 10 players behind the ball. Putting the 2 central midfielders on attack, and later having one of them play as BBM-Support, was not a defensive risk at all. They in fact ensured that a significant triangle was maintained in front of the defensive line, controlling the central space in such a way that opponents could hardly get into the Golden Zone with the ball. Futile, speculative, reactive attacks While Frankfurt kept circulating the ball around my defensive third without finding openings, Parma awaited for opportunities to intercept and well... knock it forward. Because Inglese was alone up front, most counter-attacks resulted in nothing. Futile attempts to get him into a spot to earn a free kick or corner kick. Occasionally, if the wingers were involved, the counters looked a bit more threatening but it wasn't something that could scare anyone. But it did contribute to fooling Eintracht Frankfurt into thinking there was no danger for them. Germans in control, Italians steal the win Eventually in the 80th minute, the inevitable lapse in concentration, the inevitable defensive mistake was made by the German team lulled asleep, thinking they could not possibly ever concede a goal against this static Parma. I wanted to speculate on scoring from opponent's mistakes, and the Gods seemed to favor that approach today. Parma earned a free kick on Frankfurt's half, a unique opportunity to bring all players on their half. After passing it around a few times, Ball-playing defender Bruno Alves knocked it over the top for Inglese to run into, and the Frankfurt defenders - caught by surprise - abbandoned the center of the defense to close down Inglese, leaving an enormous gap for the central midfielder to run into and score. Things only got worse for Frankfurt in the 89th minute after as a counter-attack down the right flank resulted in another goal being scored, this time by the other central midfielder. Rigidity beat Fluidity this time, not because of any superior attacking play, but because of its superior capacity to avoid mistakes. And that is the culture that has dominated the Serie A for so long according to Ultimo Uomo. For years teams have focussed on risking nothing and avoiding mistakes.
  11. Watching Ajax every week, this would be my take on how they approach their big games (Champions league). Its a bit of a rough sketch though: Two Ball-playing centre backs: Blind was specifically brought into the squad for his ball-playing capabilities, and De Ligt is one of the few defenders in Europe both exceptionally good at defending and playing with the ball on the feet. FB-L on Attack: Tagliafico is always the more attacking full-back of Ajax and most of Ajax' attacking movement happens down the left flank. I'd set him to FB and not WB or CWB because Tagliafico is not a la Roberto Carlos taking the ball with his feet to the attacking third. Rather he makes overlapping runs and delivers a quick cross. WB roles would instruct him to make lots of dribbles. DLP-D + DLP-S: The build-up often runs through De Jong who drops deep, and positional analysis of Ajax shows that De Jong is - on average - consistently playing deeper than his midfield partner Schöne in every CL game. Nevertheless, I think they both play as DLP's. Van de Beek: this is a tricky one. It seems tempting to describe him as a shadow-striker, but positional maps show he plays deeper than Ziyech (RW) and only slightly ahead of Schöne. In the domestic league Van de Beek aggressively pushes into the box and moves out wide, but in the Champions League I think he plays in a more traditional AMC role. Shadow Striker would also not see him contribute a lot to defence, so I think it must be a ''support'' role. He is not a playmaker either. RW: Ziyech plays there, support role - often comes back very deep to help out Mazraoui, then launches it long diagonally to Tagliafico or Neres on the other flank. LW: David Neres cuts inside whenever he can - originally a striker, so his natural instinct is to drive towards the net. I gave him an attack duty as well mainly because positional maps show that he is, together with the striker, the most advanced player of Ajax. CF: In the big games they play Tadic here, but in what role remains a bit vague. Perhaps because Tadic is not a natural striker, and gives his own twist to it. They play him here for his dribbling capacity and pace, expecting a lot of counter-attacking opportunities against teams like Real Madrid and Bayern. An Advanced Striker seems a fitting role, allowing him to move into channels, go after clearances etc. Alternatively, I could also easily interpret him as a DLF-Attack, but positional maps once again show that he plays quite far ahead together with Neres from the attacking midfielders. TI's: The usual Ajax philosophy basically. Positive mentality, short passing, play out of defence, be more expressive (allowing greater roaming movement). In transition, Onana often plays out to the CB's. Ajax does seek to counter when the opportunity arises with Neres and Tadic, and counter-pressing remains a key element of their game, especially since their manager learned the trade at Bayern Munich under Guardiola. They play a much higher defensive line - De Ligt will frequently stop his opponents at the half-way line. Offside trap would seem rather logical.
  12. Thanks for the replies, they're very helpful in my considerations. @Rashidi This is indeed exactly what I am seeking to achieve, a patient build-up (but willing to knock it long if the opportunity or necessity arises), probing play. I have noticed the power of playing roles in creating a style of play, but as I am still fleshing out my system I've taken a ''conservative'' approach to player roles, keeping them as basic and simple as possible. So currently in a 4-3-3 formation, employing lots of ''generic'' roles such as full-backs, central midfielders, central defenders etc, so that I can carefully observe what happens when I add or change something. (I've also noticed it helps to produce a sort of ''practical'', simple and no-nonsense kind of football that I appreciate. Lets play a game of chess.) I will probably continue to tinker and experiment a lot with it because to me that is what makes this game so much fun. There's endless possibilities and a lot of roads leading to Rome.
  13. Hello everyone, I like to approach the game a bit in ''Italian fashion'', focussing strongly on the positional arrangements of my players. I like to work out my defensive and attacking structures through player movements in detail, and make the players stick to the plan with iron discipline. However, one problem with implementing my game-plans on the pitch is sometimes, the game simply moves too fast for my squad to morph into the attacking shape I had in mind for it. One possible cure, I guess, is to instruct (TI) the team to employ a slower tempo. I guess the same line of thinking is often found in Italy, as players often comment that the pace of Serie A games is slower in favor of tactical control. But I am also frequently playing at Cautious Team Mentality, or even drop to Defensive if Im leading the game. My concern is that slower tempo TI with lower mentalities produces an exaggerated slow-motion game. Would slower pace TI and lower mentalities be too much, or would you recommend me to only employ that as a balancing measure on higher mentalities? I guess I'm just in doubt whether I should drop the mentality a bit to give my team more time to organize, or to use the TI. The down-side of dropping the team mentality is that it affects many things, while a TI tweak might be just what I need to get the team well-organized. Or it simply ends up making my squad far too sluggish and predictable to create scoring chances. Hopefully some of you can give me some suggestions as to how TI's and Team mentality can be used to make subtle adjustments.
  14. This is an interesting question. Lets first assume that, knowing FM, there is no ''right'' or ''wrong'' in the use of your instructions. As long as you win, youre on the right track. With the arrival of FM 2019, we can now see in the Tactical Style presets that the ''Use Tighter Marking'' is employed in the Catenaccio, Park the Bus and Route One presets, but not in ''Control'', ''Gegenpress'', ''Tiki Taka'' or any of the Counter (Direct/Fluid) presets. This seems to suggest that Tighter Marking has nothing to do in FM with a desire to press aggressively, although I agree its in-game description does seem to suggest a link. FM seems to associate Tight Marking with the more physical styles of play, so Italian Catenaccio, Mourinho-ball and old-fashioned English Kick n Rush. Unfortunately, the aspect of marking remains a bit neglected in FM - so we can't really tinker with the various forms of man-oriented pressing, man-oriented zonal marking, ball-oriented pressing etc. These various forms of marking make a real difference in today's game, but can't be replicated. My best guess would be: Use Tighter Marking if you have a particularly physical squad, with players capable of winning individual duels and you want to intimidate tricky little Spaniards by having defenders and ball-winning midfielders breathe into their neck for 90 minutes. Also notice it says ''in defensive situations''. They wont track their opponents across the pitch. They will stay close to them once an opponent enters their individual defensive area of responsibility. So if you park your defensive block at 20 meters from your own goal, your players will probably not begin to tight-mark until opponents enter that area. Disclaimer: I know nothing and this is my best guess. The question has bothered me since many FM versions though.
  15. Ah yes, that makes a lot of sense. Now if FM 20 would add the concept of back-pressing we're golden. Thanks
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