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About kingmike666

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  1. There's no blanket answer to this one. It depends on your tactics, as well as the opposition's. For example if you have a 4-4-2, the obvious thing is to drop a Striker, but for what? Depends on the resources at your disposal. I play as Arsenal too, with a 4-2-3-1 deep formation. If I'm getting to the last 10 of a tight match, away to a big team (at home I keep attacking), then I'll drop my Trequartista into a lone CM on Ball Winner - Support, he'll still get up the pitch but he'll put pressure on the creative heart of the opposition. For me, this is dropping RvP or Arshavin for Song, Diaby or Vertonghan. Leaving the wingers and Advanced Forward free to counter. Depending on the opposing formation, I might turn the wingers effectively into Trequartista's, by telling them not to run from deep, but to sit in front of the opposing full backs and look for through balls to Theo. Increasing time wasting is just good sense, I'm not sold on this having a big effect on the way you play.
  2. Hammer Head Tactic

    Looks interesting, I definitely have the players to pull this one off so I may give it a try and see how it fares. Just want to ask about the screenshot of the Burnley game you posted though. You've said very clearly in your OP that a big, strong, good heading Target Man is the best type of player to use, and quoting Ibra as the type of player you'd like. However you seem to have Walcott scoring 6 as your TM...... He is not big, not strong and can't head for toffee. So should we be revising this to say you need a quick striker here?
  3. Xavi as a playmaker

    It is possible, most I've had from Ramsey at Arsenal is competed 138 out of 146 attempted. You just have to build the team properly around the playmaker and set a v slow tempo and fairly short passing, doesn't need to be 0 or 1 though. I find the mentality settings of 'control' work best too.
  4. Sorry, Would have to disgaree with most things said in this thread. Beyond the initial quote of "The thing that annoyed me most about the 4-5-1 (or 4-1-2-2-1 if you prefer) is that the lone striker could play great one week, then be shocking the next" This is the fundamental issue to address if you want to get the best out of Arsenal with their existing squad of players. And it's surprisingly easy to do. There's a very good reason that the CF will do really well one week and really badly the next. It's all down to how the opposition choose to deal with it. Clearly to get any form of successful link-up play going in this formation you need to link up the midfield 3 with the attacking 3, there are 2 different ways to do this and you need to have both available to you and to choose the correct one based on the opposition. WF's Att, CF Supp - If you're opponent is relying on their back 4 to deal with your CF and WF's then the success comes from the CF dropping off the CB's (in a DLP or CF-supp roles) and then looking to play in the advancing wingers with a through ball, or a player like RVP can hit a few long range efforts too. This would be what happens in the weeks where you have success, the CF finds space between the midfield and the back 4 and wreaks havoc as your playmaker. WF's Supp, CF Att - If however your opponent decides to employ a defensive midfielder, then as soon as your CF drops off the CB's, he does so right into the DMC's zone, and is thus marked out of the game. So when this happens the best way to exploit space is to move the DMC around, this can be done by switching the way that the CF and WF's play. Here you can give the WF's and IF/AP role with Support duty, so they look to play either side of the DMC, inevitably causing him to leave his position to close down the WF's, in this case you will look for one of your WF's to then play the balls through to the advancing CF who this time should be on attack duty. It is possible with a V high level of understnading and skill to still have your CF drop off and hopefully into space, with all 3 attacking players between the midfield and defense. The idea being that you vary who makes the advanced runs by doing this and who plays the balls through, for a very fluid approach, but the danger of this is that nobody gets into the box or the midfield get back and close the space down, so it's best to keep it simple.
  5. Strange Formation Advice

    The shape looks really good and the players are doing a lot of what they would do IRL. Would be really interested to hear how you get on with this one, all that movement could either open up a lot of space or run your players into corners. Really interesting idea. Keep us updated.
  6. I've played a very similar set up with Arsenal, and I've yet to decide on the exact width settings that work best, very wide seems to work better against some teams, a more normal width seems to work better against others. I would go for a high-normal width and use the shouts of "play wider" or "play narrower" if you're struggling to break teams down or being exposed too often. Shouts are an excellent way of making these kinds of adjustments from game to game. Ideally you want your Wingers to be playing relatively narrown whilst keeping your full backs overlapping outwide, so using the "wide play" instructions and RFD instructions properly is vital to the set up here.
  7. Nice post. I have never really given this sort of formation a go for a couple of reasons. Firstly it just looks a bit light in attacking numbers. I suspect with enough effort put into getting the wingers forward and balancing the midfield link up with the AMC and his link up with the F C it could work, but it wouldn't be easy to pull off. Secondly I never play M R/L as the most talented attacking wingers are all natural AM R/L and as such that is where I look to use them. I suppose putting them on attack duty from M R/L could work well though and maybe get them more involved. Question is whether you'd look for them to cut inside or go down the flanks? But what you say makes a lot of sense and has tempted me to give this formation a go. My current Arsenal team has Edin Dzeko/Van Persie for the ST and David Silva/Van Der Vaart for the AMC role so I think I have the right players to give this a go. Any thoughts on set up? I'm thinking GK (Def) FB's (Auto) CB's (Stopper/Cover) M R/L (Attack - not sure about cut inside or touchline though) M C's (Ball Winning-Def/Box2Box?) AMC (Trequartista) ST Complete Fwd (Att) Balanced or Rigid? Standard or Control? More Creative Freedom?
  8. I'm sorry the "His mentality" part isn't written in good enough english for me to understand what you want. And as I'm not familiar with how his teams have played I couldn't even being to put this together. If you could translate the following, it would help: We have to take care of ball possession Ball must be stay with our team We have to complete our passes over %60 are these all the same thing??? We have to drop distance between attack and defence you mean the defense and attack should be close together or far apart???
  9. I would say it depends on the other attirbutes of the players involved. If one of them has a good first touch and is fairly creative then having him as a DLF will definitely add balance to your team, ideally playing in the other guy as an AF or poacher. However if you have 2 Theo's for want of a better way to describe it then I would say having an AMC is actually essential. This way you can use the pace of both strikers as either Poacher or AF to move into channels. Then either the opposition centre backs follow them, opening it up for the AMC or one of them finds space and the AMC has to pick the right pass (mental stats for your AMC would be very important) and they will be in behind the defense. I like to change my poachers to have RWB on sometimes rather than often, unless they have amazing first touch and dribbling as I only want them to run when they can get in behind the defense. I find on Often then too often dribble across the field in front of the back 4 and then eventually run into trouble. Like I said it depends on the abilities of the players in question, but in general, if one is creative and has a good first touch you don't need an AMC, if neither can do this I think it's essential to have somebody making chances high up the pitch. This could be supporting Inside Forwards/Advanced Playmakers out wide in theory but I would prefer it coming from an AMC.
  10. Approaching tough matches

    I would always just set the Midfielders to Man Mark, that way they would pick up the appropriate player according to the mentality of the opposition midfielders. No specific instructions. You could definitely set players to do it specifically if you have a M C who his quite good defensively, or strong to match up to a weaker opponent. But the problem with this is that if they change formation of make a substitution then the settings are lost. Whereas with a general Man Mark setting they will pick up the right player. This works best if you have the same number of central midfield players as your opponent and your mentalities are staggerd. The liverpool game was a classic example where my two M C's pushed right up to mark their 2 DM C's and my DMC sat with their AMC, so without adjusting mentality or closing down my player played in different areas of the pitch to deny the opposition space. It is still important to watch how your team plays when doing this though, as nulifying your opponents midfield can greatly effect your own attacking game. So you may have to adjust some other settings to make the most of other attacking outlets, like I did with my fullbacks/wingers. Then you just have to remain patient. You won't score a goal every 10 mins, but the more frustrated your opponent gets in a game they should win, the more they will attack and leave themselves exposed. This is when you can really cause some damage, especially if you have quick and/or intelligent players to exploit this. Best of luck.
  11. Adler, Akinfeev or LLoris

    Definitely Lloris. I like a keeper that not only makes the saves, but also organises by back 4 so he has less saves to make, so for me communication and command of area are fairly important and Lloris is streets ahead of the other 2 in this area. All quality keepers though
  12. I like balanced, it does exactly what is says on the tin. Players perform both in attack and defence without overcomplicating matters or looking to easy to defend.
  13. I thought I would start a thread discussing different people's approaches to tough matches. I'm talking the sort of game where you're always in for a tough ride no matter how good your team or tactics. For example in the EPL away to Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool (god I hate playing against Torres) etc. My reason for this is that I have recently been working on a tactic designed specifically for this type of occassion, whilst still sticking to my regular formations, roles and even starting strategy. Originally this topic was going to be a post of said tactic for people to download and test, but firstly I feel a discussion around the subject could help me and a many others learn more about how to approach these games and secondly I don't feel I have done enough testing of my tactic to just set it loose. Though the results have been very impressive. The way this approach started was because I was trying to build a Chelsea-beater tactic. That's right, an entire tactic devoted just to beating Chelsea. I'm sure most people would agree with me when I say that their 4-1-2-1-2 tactic can prove incredibly difficult to breakdown and eventually they seem to overpower even the most skillful of sides. Not to mention the incredible defensive record this tactic often produces and a very low number of losses to go with it. Now I have seen the various threads on here about how to make Chelsea chase the ball, and I did consider this, but the truth is, I wasn't comfortable changing the shape and roles of my formation. I felt this would be a tactic my team could never perform at their best in as they would never have the time to adapt to it if I was only using it twice a season! So instead my focus was around trying to maintain my own shape and patterns of attack (more or less) but stopping them play as effectively as I could and trusting my players would sort out my side of the scoreline. Now whenever I'm working on something like this I love to sit and watch game after game, in full and making adjustments here and there based on what I see. So I went to Stamford Bridge with my full Arsenal team and regular tactics, in this case a 4-1-2-2-1 which has served me very well, but as per usual these big games away from home were always a bit of a lottery and require a lot of effort, attention and tinkering to win. As I watched the first 15 mins I simply could not get the ball off Chelsea. I like to play a short passing, low tempo game, but 15 mins in I had 37% possession! Anybody who has watched a match with Chelsea will see that they just keep passing the ball around their 3 deepest midfielders and centre backs, short, simple and not really going anywhere. But whilst they have the ball, I can't score. Plus sooner or later one of them will spot either fullback make a run into space, or more worryingly, the AMC or 2 strikers (Lampard, Drogba and usually Anelka, but on my game it was Obasi) will find some space and exploit it with ruthless efficiency. So how to stop this? Well I thought I could close them down more, but I already have very high closing down throughout my team, increasing it more would kill my players who get pretty tired as it is. Another option was to go in harder on them to try and win the ball back more often by attempting riskier tackles, but I didn't feel I was even getting close enough to the ball for this, and I don't want my players to miss a tackle and be exposed. What I had noticed from watching the game was that Chelsea rarely got my team out of shape, they had to rely on good movement up front to make an opening as I always matched up to them in midfield with my DMC and 2 MC's closing down their AMC and MC's, plus as I have a Striker with a Support roles, he would often close down the DMC. So I have their midfield covered, but they were moving the ball around too much for me to actually get it. So I decided that the key to stopping Chelsea, and I'm convinced this applies to all good teams, is to stop their midfield having time and space on the ball, make them try difficult and risky passes or dribbles if they want to not only open my team up but just to keep the ball. I decided to put my DMC and M C's on Tight, Man marking. This was something I had never done with my midfield before, I like to play attractive attacking football, having my 2 creative midfielders man mark was just a complete no no for me before. But the results of this change were astonishing. Suddenly Chelsea couldnn't keep the ball. They like to play cautious possession football, but now all the simple passes were far too risky to play as all their midfielders were being shadowed by Fabregas, Ramsey and co! So this meant they either hoofed it forward where Senderos and Sakho could easily win the ball or they played the ball out to A Cole and Bosingwa early, before they could get too far forwards, which meant that they were always double teamed by my Wingers and Full Backs so they posed very little threat. As my possession rocketed up and I began to knock the ball around, I was delighted with how I had completely nulified Chelsea but didn't feel that my team was set up to expose them. The way to do this quickly became apparent, and around 30 mins into the game I decided that my Wingers were giving the ball away too easily in good positions by trying attacking passes, so I lowered the passing on my Wingers to short. I also noticed that on many occassions their full backs were caught in no mans land between helping out their M C's close down my marauding full backs and staying to mark my AM L/R, but my full backs weren't exploting this as much as I wanted. So I put their passing up from short to mixed and put their through balls up from rarely to sometimes (I don't want them to do it all the time, only when it's on). The results were fantastic. Every time my AML or AMR lost his marker the fullback started pinging balls through into space and let my wingers lose. This became my number one outlet and became especially prominent in the second half as they started attacking more to get back into the game. In the end I left Stamford Bridge with a 3-0 win, having had almost 60 % of the possession, creating 4 CCC and Chelsea could only manage 1 shot on target in the entire match.... and I'm pretty sure that came in the first 15 mins before I marked their midfield out of the game. Anway, fresh from my delight of an easy 3-0 win at the Bridge I turned to my fixture list to realise that I then had Man Utd at Old Trafford next game. Having enjoyed the way my team had played against Chelsea I put the same tactics into force to see if the same principles of shutting down the opposition midfield would work with wider formations. The result? Another comfortable win, this time 3-1. 58% of the possession, and Man Utd only had 2 shots on target all game. I then tried this tacitc against Sunderland in the league, less encouraging, shut them down completely but it wasn't attacking enough against a side that had no intention of doing any attacking of their own so I changed tactic at half time. But I did soon after have Man Utd on neutral ground in the FA cup, so out came this tactic and this time Utd were blown away. At half time I was 4-0 up. I then stupidly put on some youngsters and went for a rugby scoreline with some different super attacking tactics, which went badly, in the end it was 4-3 but the midfield closing down tactic was only responsible for the 4-0 first half. There then followed 2 games against Chelsea in the Champions League semis, 0-0 at Stamford Bridge, though I agains dominated the chances and possession and Chelsea offered virtually no threat. Then won 2-0 at Emirates, another dominated game. So at this point, playing Man Utd and Chelsea from 4 and a half games I've scored 12, conceded 1. The final vindication of this method of shutting down good teams came in my last game. Due to commitments in soooo many competitions I had built up a bit of a fixture backlog and I had games on Saturday (Man Utd - Prem - Home), Monday (Liverpool - Prem - Away), Wednesday (Liverpool - Ch Lg - Home). With games just 2 days apart I decided to hedge my bets on the 2 home games and 'sacrifice' the away game in between in order to have my players fit for the Champions League, after all the Prem is a safe bet for me by now anyway. So I fielded a strongish side against Man Utd and dispatched them at the Emirates (not with my shutting down tactics I might add, at home I attack no matter who I play). So on to Liverpool (who are Premier League holders on my game), they fielded a full team, which pleased me as it means they will all be knackered 2 days later for our Champions League game. I on the other hand fielded, not even a reserve team, but a youth team. 5 players who didn't even have professional contracts, poor both technically and mentally. Though I should add that most of them have acceptable physical stats, i look for this in my young players. Song was the only player in the first team squad, though far from a regular. My team lined up as follows: GK-Kettle(16) DR-Hurst(16) DL-Traore(22) DC-Cano(16) DC-Nordveidt(21) DMC-Song(25) MC-Hawsawi(18) MC-Lansbury(21) AMR-Obinna(23) AML-Bungert(21) ST-Van Veen(17) Liverpool lined up with, Torres, Hazard, Ribery, Cambiasso, Xabi Prieto, Lucas, Skrtel, Bale, Samuel, Torsoridis & Reina. Pretty awesome, my only saving grace was Gerrard's injury, but when Hazard replaces him it's not much better! So out came the shutting down tactic again, whilst I hoped this would keep it respectable, I feared a real spanking here, most of my players wouldn't get in a League 1 team and at Anfield against a Liverpool team that had signed so many good players this could have gotten nasty. However, much to my amazement I took the lead, my 17 yr old striker scored a decent goal, 1-0 Arsenal. It took until the 37th minute for Liverpool to equalise as my youths dominated possession and kept chances to a minimum. The goal wasn't even a good one, an inoccous cross from the right headed straigth at my keeper by Xabi Preito, but the keeper jsut fell over it and in it rolled. 1-1. Second half, first minute Havard Nordveidt heads in a corner, 2-1 Arsenal. Possession continues to go my way chances are low but about even. In the 88th minute Lucas scored, again from a poorly dealt with cross. 2-2. At this point my players are all about 60% energy and I'm just hoping to hang on, without changing anythin. But 90th minute my Hurst, my 16 year old right back without a single technical attribute in double figures pops up on the right hand corner of the box and fires one past Reina. Full time score from Anfield, Arsenal youths 3 Liverpool superstars 2! What's even more amazing is that most of these players have never even played a first team game in their lives. Yet we had 10 chances, 9 on target and 55% of the ball against a 5 man all star liverpool midfield, which only created 1 more chance and had far less on target. So in conclusion, this has been a very long way of saying that tight man marking the oppostions central midfield, then playing a slow tempo, short passing game is now my way of shutting down tough opponents in difficult fixtures.
  14. in game stratagies?

    Counter sounds about right to me. Have a very successful game with Blackburn where I used Counter in every game first season. Always got good results against the big sides, looking back I didn't always get results against teams I should have beaten so maybe going up to Standard will work well. But sometimes a change in strategy seems to unbalance a whole tactic. Hence my use of 'Retain Possession' when I move up to attacking. If you're going to play Counter though you either need a couple of strong strikers or a couple of fast wingers. Average on both these fronts seems to be a real killer when it comes to getting goals of your own. Due to the lack of good, pacy players available at a reasonable price I used to play a flat back 4, 1 DMC, 2 MC's and 3 ST C's. But those 3 were Kalinic and Di Santo for strength and Hoilett playing off them as a quickish poacher.
  15. in game stratagies?

    I play with a good Arsenal team, so I never go in lower than "Control". But if I'm large odds favourites then I go up to "Attack", but use 'Retain Possession' to keep the passing distance and tempo where I like them. Seems to work pretty well. It's about playing to my strengths. Arsenal are pretty weak defensively and don't have the best headers in the world, so going defensive and soaking up pressure is not an option. If I am protecting a lead in a tight game I stay on Control but use 'Drop Deeper' and 'Play Narrower' shouts.