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  1. It's quite interesting what criteria people use to define "major" =) Lets go for top 14 by population (because it's easily available on Wikipedia...): Previous CL-winning teams in parenthesis. Only EU-countries: 1. London (Chelsea) 2. Berlin 3. Madrid (Real Madrid) 4. Rome 5. Paris 6. Bucharest (Steaua Bucharest) 7. Vienna 8. Warsaw 9. Budapest 10: Prague 11. Sofia 12. Brussels 13. Stockholm 14. Amsterdam (Ajax) Missing on the list if all of European countries is considered: Moscow Kyiv Minsk Belgrade (Red star Belgrade) So a potential list of missing clubs could be: Herta BSC (Berlin) Lazio (Rome) Roma (Rome) PSG (Paris) Austria Vien (Vienna) Legia Warsaw (Warsaw) MTK Budapest (Budapest) Ferencvaros (Budapest) Ujpest (Budapest) Budapest Honved (Budapest) Sparta Prague (Prague) Levski Sofia (Sofia) Lokomotiv (Sofia) Anderlecht (Brussels) AIK (Stockholm) Djurgården (Stockholm) Hammarby (Stockholm) CSKA Moscow (Moscow) Spartac Moscow (Moscow) Dynamo Moscow (Moscow) Arsenal Kyiv (Kyiv) Dinamo Minsk (Minsk) Anyone want to go for CL with Hammarby or Ferencvaros?
  2. Yep, as far as positioning is concerned he drops quite deep in the build up, but still gets into the opposition box to finish of chances, keeping it simple all the way. Awesome! Defensively, I almost get a 4-6-0 with a midfield diamond thanks to the DF dropping down. This is another reason why I want a player with lots of pace and work rate. If the players lacks those qualities he just wont get up fast enough to provide an offensive outlet during the attacking transitions.
  3. I've actually grown quite fond of the DF recently as the deeper forward role when needed, both in a pairing togheter with a poacher in a 4-4-2 and as a lone forward, such as in this system. The performance is very dependent on the system, In this save I rotated between Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew as my primary forward options. Both players are pacy with lots of work rate. The good thing about this is that they close down the opposition CD:s and GK, wich ment I got a few of those theft goals were we capitalised on a simple mistake. Cheap gols from very little effort (and low risk). I did some rotation with Bony as well, who is more of a natural target man, and did not get any good performances from him. My forwards stats for the first season: Jordan Ayew: 26 apps, 11 goals, 4 assists Tammy Abraham: 20 apps, 6 goals, 2 assists Wilfried Bony: 14 apps, 0 goals, 1 assist The system spreads the goals between different players, which is nice because it works against lots of different opposition formations. My attackin threath was my RW and the MEZ. I predominantly played Luciano Narsing in the winger role and Renato Sanches as the mezzalla. Narsing is a beast of a winger with 17 in acceleration and dribbling, 16 in flair and pace and 15 in crossing and first touch. Sanches is an aggressive, physical player with lots of pace and work rate. Often one of those players created the chances for either each other or the ST or LM (Andre Ayew) to finish of. Their stats: Luciano Narsing: 26 apps, 4 goals, 14 assists Renato Sanches: 38 games, 8 goals, 8 assists Andre Ayew: 22 apps, 9 goals, 1 assist
  4. Allright, one season done and time to review the results. I drew some serious inspiration from Hernes Attacking and Possession-thread. The challenge was to reinvigorate the Swansea way, injecting a positive and forward thinking philosophy with emphasis on possession into a team who seams to have lost their identity. Team: Swansea City AFC Media prediction: 18:th Bord expectation: Avoid relegation Additional settings: No transfers first window, Now, I was looking to go back to the style and formation that got the welshmen promoted in the first place and made them a Premier League staple. This meant a stable back 4, an intelligent triumvirate in the middle, two wide players and a single forward. My first take on it was a 4-1-2-3: To achieve the desired style of play, I used the following team and player instructions: Mentality: Attacking Team shape: Flexible TI: Retain possession PI:s: Both Fullbacks got Mark tighter and Ease of tackles, Goalie got Roll it out So how did it perform? Well, decent enough, but not really as I was hoping... My first 11 games resulted in 4 wins and 7 losses, two of wich in the Carabao Cup (beating Oxford at home, then loosing to Tottenham away). No draws, and looking at the performances it was kind of clear why. The play was open and aggressive. In the games where everything fell into place it was beautiful, the forward players combining really well and goals a plenty. However, when it didn't work (especially during away games), we left huge gaps for the opposition due to the players not tracking back or having to advanced starting positions. I felt the issue was the defensive shape and started to tinker with the formation. By new years eve, I ended up with a 4-1-4-1-formation that seamed to be working really well: Mentality: Standard (or Attacking depending on the strenght of the opposition) Team shape: Flexible TI: Retain possession PI:s: Both Fullbacks got Mark tighter and Ease of tackles, Goalie got Roll it out So what is the result? A great second half of the season, ending in a 6 game win streak (including games agains ManU, Arsenal and Watford that I expected to loose), and Swanseas best ever Premier League finish was safe. So what about "The Swansea way"? Possession and attacking, right? Well, I'm acutally quite satisfied but it could be better. Some team stats: Best at hitting target: 1:th, 4, with a shot % of 43 % Most goals: 8:th, scored 58 goals Most passes completed: 7:th, 18 221 passes, with a pass completion of 81 % Avg. possession: 8:th, 51, 74 % Transfer wise, I did barely anything. The big weakness in the squad was att full back. I got lucky with a couple of the youngsters (Connor Roberts and Aaron lewis, so I got som decent performances out of them as well as some really good potential). Apart from that, i brought in a new left back in january, but not much else. No sense doing a challenge like this if you're going to revamp the entire squad. Hopefully the second season will be even better...
  5. Cool, my first attempt at an assymetric formation. I'm gonna try to keep it pretty simple, with the principles to use some pressing and a controlled build up play. For PI:s, only the CB:s have the Close down much less instruction, to try and keep them in line and covering. Formation and instructions:
  6. Count me in. As far as club goes, all your suggestions from France, Spain and Germany seem fine to me. I'm not to over excited about Portugal or Holland.
  7. Ah, perfect! I totally missed that one - I'll read up on it. Thanks!
  8. Are there any special PPM:s you are looking for or prefer in this tactic? I noticed in your thread about the inside forward that an AM with Killer passes and Looks for pass rather than to score increases the performance of the IF, but what about the other positions? In the teams i use i have found that many central midfielders (used as DM in this case) have the Plays short simple passes trait, and that I get a better performance if I play those players in the DM role rather than the VOL. What about PPM:s for the VOL? Tries killer passes is one I would guess is preferable? Maybe avoids long shots if long shot stat is low? The winger? Cut inside/move into channels in order to encourage variation on the right hand side? What about the ST?
  9. This thread is really awesome! After a failed attempt at a 4-4-2 diamond with my Swansea side, I changed to a 4-2-3-1 to utilize the wide options. I have pretty much copied your tactic, of which I am a bit ashamed to be honest, normally I try to read threads like this only for inspiration and steal small concepts to implement in my own way. Since Swansea is a underdog in the PL I have moved the wide players back one step to provide a little bit of defensive stability - for the last 3-4 editions of FM I have preferred LM/RM over LAM/RAM. It seems to be more in line with the kind of defensive positioning I'm after. Since I really don't like the keeper hoofing the ball up the field I have also given him the PI:s Distribute to CB, Roll it out and Shorter passing. The one problem I have is that the striker seem to become isolated when I'm facing tougher opposition, and I am not really sure how to fix it. I am reluctant to put him on a support duty, since I want him in the box for crosses. It gets better if I move the wide players up to LAM and RAM (mainly due to the inside forward being closer positioned to latch on to flick ons). This, however makes me open to counter attacks on the flanks. It might be an issue relating to the standard of the players... I'll se how that pans out in a couple of seasons I guess. Another problem is when the opposition is pressing high in a top heavy formation. My GK and CBs will often choose to recycle the possesion between them rather than try the more risky passing and I have conceeded some goals when a striker intercepts a pass in that triangle. In those matches I have had some success by changing the LCB to a BPD to encourage a ball above the high press, to the ST, AM or W. It does not always work out however. I guess I could remove the PI's from the GK - but my CB is often more accurate with his distribution. Overall I'm performing much better than I should, so it's really a good base. From now on, all my 4-2-3-1:s will be of the deep variety. And the SV is a really special role that I'm already deeply in love with.
  10. I'm trying to implement a formation that is kinda similar to this one - a take on a 4-4-2 narrow diamond using three players in the CM-strata and two carrileros for the wider CM-positions. In my two first choice players for those positions i have one left footed and one right footed. Would you play them with their stronger foot on the outside or the inside?
  11. Allright. Now I've been using the Standard/fluid tactic for a season, and the results have been really good. I have spent the better part of the season rooted at second place, shadowing a seriously letal Arsenal. My strengths have been the defensive side of the game, conceading the least i the league. There have been a clear pattern in the results during the season. Low league and mid league teams have been beaten pretty easily. In the games with the bigger sides (Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, ManC, ManU etc.) i mostly drawed or lost. During a match against Liverpool in March i got an idea. All the "big sides" seemed to have pacy, technical players in the AM-strata (Coman, Wilshere, Martial etc.). These players ripped my defence to pieces by using the space between my defensive line and the midfield. This annoyed me, and at first I did not know how to counter this. First I tried to change the mentality/shape to defensive/structured - but it did not produce the results I were after. Sure, I managed to keep it pretty tight defensively, but my attacking play were completely and utterly destroyed. More often than not, i lost those games by 1-0 due to a lapse in concentration during a corner or something like that. When reviewing the game, I realised that since the problem was to much space between my defence and midfield, why not try to reduce that space? To accomplish this i changed the mentality to Control and added the TIs Slightly higher defensive line and Close down more. Now when i did these changes I expected to be punished by counter attacks. For some reason though, my team ended up playing a high press counter attack game, winning the ball by decisive tackling in midfield and quickly feeding the ball to my wide midfielders, often resulting in a cross to my AM or ST for a simple finish. An unexpected, but welcome result!
  12. After playing the second half of the season with Standard rather than Counter mentality, I would like to give some feedback on the results. I feel that the season exeeded my expectations, and the tactic suddenly made my team perform more on the level you would expect from the squad. I.e., we started to beat the team below us more comfortably, while struggling against top level teams. We finished the season third in the PL, which is clearly a lot higher than I expected, and we also managed to win the Euro Cup (quarter final was the target). ManU had a crazy season, winning everyting (league cup, FA Cup, Champions league and they hade secured the league title in april). While the change in mentality brought more bite to our attacking play, I also noticed that it made us concede more. Wierdly, the most prominent rise in goals against came from "Misstakes leading to goals", that increased with approximately 70 % compared to the first half of the season. Is there a reason why the higher mentality makes the players more prone to misstakes, or is it just a case of the misstakes becoming more dangerous when there is less defensive cover?
  13. Interesting! I actually started with Standard/Flexible the first season, but almost immediatly changed to fluid since i saw to little movement from the 4 attacking players. I figured that the higher creative freedom should give the attacking play a little more bite. I then reverted to Counter approximately 6 months later since i got better scorelines agains same level teams and higher with that mentality. The defensive/very fluid approach was developed during my second season when I had big problems with a super defensive Watford side (playing a 5-3-2 DM WB). Ighalo and Deeney were ripping my team apart on the counter, but when I lowered the mentality, their defense was inpenetrable. Your analysis are correct, the posession play have been pretty orthodox since those changes, lots of recycling via the CM-D. The goals have probably mostly been made by countering, probably the reason why Dyer (my first choice RM and the paciest player on the team) are my top scorer and joint top assist player. I guess that I have been to scared of conceding, and that have meant that i have tried to minimize risks - as shown by our good defensive stats. I would however prefer a more determined passing play - probing, as you said. Said and done - for our next game I changed to Standard/Fluid instead. The game was home against West Brom, sitting 14:th in the table and with one of the best defensive records of the season. We were clear favourites, and they fielded a 4-1-2-3 formation that I, based on their defensive stats, assumed were pretty conservative with regards to the roles and duties. With Sigurdsson recovering from an injury and not fit for more than 45 min and my second choice AM (Louis Schaub) unavailable due to injured knee ligaments, young Liam Cullen, normaly fielded as a ST, got the nod at AM. The game started quite well, alltough Cork and Lenglet gave away lots of free kicks right on the edge of the area. Luckily, the West Brom players shot high and wide and even though they hade many more shots, none were on target. My attack were not great, even tough we had plenty of support my players often preferred to dribble and therefore lost the ball. Our first shot on goal came after 32 minutes. A deflected cross meant a corner and after some pinballing in the box, the ball landed with Guidetti who hit it first time from the edge of the area. 1 - 0 to Swansea. This was it as far as the first half was concerned. WBA had one shot on goal - a shot from distance after an indirect free kick. Rulli handled that shot just fine. The posession stats for half time was good as well. After the goal, my teams confidence was sky high and Allen/Cork/Forsberg made neat little passing triangles all over the pitch. As I had suspected, West Brom were very defensive. Their formation looked more like a 4-1-4-1 than 4-1-2-3. Half time stats: After the break, WBA came on more aggressively. Their wingers pushed further upfield and they actually got som decent posession. Young Cullen hade played good, but 5 minutes into the second half I started to feel he was out of his depth. Sigurdsen came on instead, and immediately made an impact. In the 62:nd minute we had a good spell of posession and Allen found Sigurdsson with a neat pass. Sigursson played a perfect trough ball into Guidetti who had made a sweet diagonal run. First time finish low into the far corner, and we were up by two goals. Four minutes later West Brom pushed allmost their entire team up for a free kick. Lenglet won the ball and the counter was on. Cork sent a long ball to Guidetti, who dribbled a little bit before giving the ball to Allen who served Dyer with a great through ball. Dyer, being our top scorer and in great form, made no misstakes when he put it low past Pickford. 3 - 0. After that, West Brom wouldn't even try to attack any more. They subbed on another CD and switched to a super defensive diamond formation with three central defenders. Their posession stat went from ~30 % to allmost 60 %, passing it slowly sideways between their defenders and deep midfielders. Since i had the lead I decided not to apply pressure and risk getting cought in counter attacks, so I changed mentality to defensive. The last 20 minutes of the game was pretty low tempo... Final stats: I really liked the possesion play between our first and last goal. Allen (CM-S) and Sigurdsson (AM-A) did some great playmaking, Dyer (RM) and Forsberg (LM) showed good movement, allowing Guidetti space to penetrate. Two of the goals came from penetrating passing, which really is a good Swansea way of attacking! I'll try this tactic for a couple of games now, hopefully the revived attacking play dosen't expose our defence to much. Great tip, Ö-zil - I really appreciate the help!
  14. Ok, so this is my first topic on the forums. I've been lurking around for several years and really enjoying the intricate descriptions of how the tactics work and trying to build my understanding of the game. Every version of FM, I tend to go for a Swansea career, trying to create long term success. The ambition is to reach success managing both the on field and off field development in a steady, positive way. Long term objectives are: - Financial health. No debt, expanded/new stadium and an increasing transfer budget. - World class facilities. The prerequisites to find and develop home grown talent - A positive and successful brand of football based on good technique and movement (posession and decent press) - I try to buy players with high levels of Passing, First touch, Technique, Composure, Determination, Team work and Work rate - A professional and determined culture in the dressing room - A british/welsh core of players with influences primarily from Spain, Holland and Scandinavia Now, the off field pieces of the puzzle are going great. The club is in a sound financial position, debt free, and several investments in the facilities have been made. So far the success on field have been good as well. I am now in my third season, finishing 7:th and 5:th respectively. My problem is that the board are expecting me to finish in one of the CL places this year. My plan was to aim for Europa leage for one or two more seasons in order to develop the squad i a little bit further. At the moment I find that my players lack some of the attributes to succesfully play the brand I would like. To make a long story short: in order to avoid the sack and be able to continue this career I would really appreciate if some of the experts on this bord could take a look at my main tactics and provide a second opinion/some pointers on what I can do to improve it. Currently, the results are pretty good - 4:th least conceded in the league and 4:th highest scoring. I do however fear the second half of the season when the opposition starts "parking the bus" and play more defensively. Usually, that is when my scoring dries up. This entire season I have been seing shortages of goals from the strikers, with my wingers and AM being the most prolific in the side. I am also suffering on the possession side of it, sitting just 9:th in the league with an average of 52 %. The current tactic: The basic idea is to defend with two compact banks of four, and attack i a rough 4-2-3-1 shape. PI:s: GK: Fewer risky passes, Roll it out, Distribute to CB (in order to retain possession) DL: Stay wider (providing width on the left side) ML: Sit narrower, cut inside, cross less often (providing space to the DL and linking up with AM and ST) I am considering if I should add roaming to the CM-S as well, to aid with breaking down the opposition defence, but I havent decided yet. Before games, I adapt slightly depending on the opposition. If I am facing an inferior side who i suspect will try to park the bus and try to strike on the counter i change the mentality to defensive (to lure them out) and the shape to Very fluid (to add extra creative freedom and break down their defence).
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