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121 "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"


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    Castel di Sangro & Lusitania Lourosa

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  1. Humor me and switch the F9 to a Treq.. I think it will reproduce things better and give the role the more attacking mentality it needs to replicate Messi. This and the poor striker movement from FM 19 is one of the reasons O-zil went SS-A with roaming for his recreation back in the day.. also the role was pretty much created to replicate Messi. I think the movement of the Treq role in the striker position is really good in FM 21 too.
  2. So I approach things very much like @04texag (awesome post btw!) using tactical styles to tweak things.. so what you do is copy your tatic to the other slots and then load up those other tactical styles or modifications. So I have all 3 slots filled with "essentially" the same tactic just with different tactical styles applied to them. This trains your players and helps eliminate the fluidity issue. Not sure if it still applies but one way to learn your preferred tactic quicker was to copy your tactic to all 3 slots and it helped get your players more fluent in the tactic.
  3. 442 and variants (442 diamond, 4411, etc.) are really solid this year. First glance I think the DLP(D) and the IWB(S) will find themselves in much the same space.. I'd either swap your fullback roles or swap your midfield roles... not to mention your left flank is pretty exposed. I've had good luck with the WB(S) instead of the FB(A) role and find they overlap at the "right and safe" time without even using the overlap instruction and I've since stopped playing with overlap right or left because playing my wide players in the ML/MR strata I really want them to have that extra individual mentality boost and not lower it with the overlap instructions. Positive/Positive is a pretty good combo and you will still see overlaps happen. I happen to really enjoy playing with this 4 across the middle.. WM roles let me pretty much customize the role for however I want it to play.. inverted winger, winger, inside forward, defensive winger all available from that one role. I even sometimes use personalized instructions for the players in that role so they act a bit different. Now I'm a huge fan of the DLP-D and VOL-S role in the DM space in my 442 variants because you end up with a late runner into the box but also a role that can help build out and looks to carry the ball on the dribble through the middle of the park. They act almost like a double pivot and then the VOL will look to surge into the box and be at the top of the box for cut back strikes. I sometimes goes VOL-A if I'm looking to hit a bit more on the break and want that midfielder runner. I think it will give you some of the same qualities as the CAR(S) with some additional benefits. The advantage of playing both those positions in the DM strata is that they will look to not only shield the backline but fill in for fullbacks that might be caught forward in attack. Put two complete total footballers in those roles and they will boss the midfield. Also give the FB(S) with sit narrow a try before going to the IWB(S) as well.. something about the IWB's position during build up doesn't seem right to me and I find they reduce passing angles during build out.. here is an example of what I'm talking about.. You can see in the above that the starting position of the IWB(S) blocks the passing lane from the CB to the MR or ML position because they start to narrow. Switch that to a FB or WB on support and they start wider and there is a clear passing lane between the CB and the MR or ML position. This has caused me to stop using the IWB(S) role in my tactics until it gets corrected. In previous versions the the role stayed wider during build up and wouldn't "invert" until the attacking half of the pitch.
  4. Yeah I felt that struggle at one point and going attacking and a bit higher tempo seemed to help a bit. I had to reduce some roles to support roles and really focus on the roles that I wanted to go with Very Attacking mentality with. I also messed around with Float Crosses because of Haaland and Low Crosses when I had a striker like Werner playing in the #9. In general attacking from wide and cutting back to the penalty spot seems like my primary goal path from build up, but both the aboves do a really good job at countering as well. Late runners from midfield and shooting from the top of the box on cut backs has been another trend I've seen being successful (hence the Volante and moving the creator back to the CM space). Winning second balls, runners from deep, 2v1s in wide spaces, cut backs to penalty spot and top of box.. those are the themes I currently have that I'm trying to exploit in attack while staying compact centrally and aggressively pressing the ball to prevent the balls over the top from catching us out. I feel like I'm close to dialing in my tactical system for the latest patch and just started a more methodical save with Dortmund to see if what I built with Chelsea is transferable to other teams building from youth (and what better place to try it than BvB with all their young talent!).
  5. I have two shapes I'm currently working with.. seems like 4411 and 442 diamond wide are the more ideal defending shapes this year that we can build a solid 2-3-5 and 2-2-6 attacking shapes from. I'm pretty settled on my 4411 (2DM) shape but have been dabbling around again with my first strikerless shape and dropping that "creator" role in the CM space. Here's what I'm currently running.. The above is a really solid formation and I went 12 matches in a row on my Chelsea save without conceding a goal and the majority of the games I didn't even concede a shot on goal. This is the strikerless shape I'm messing around with and is more geared for breaking down teams that sit a little deeper and park the bus.. more my anti 5-4-1 tactic That CM-S role is what I'm currently working on.. has been CM-A, AP-S, AP-A.. still trying to find the right fit. I want it to act a bit more like the Treq from the 4231 shape where they create and score from deep. Most of the goals come from the cut backs to the penalty spot.
  6. @04texag I think I know how @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! feels now.. this makes me want to cry..
  7. No way! Actually I need to dig it back up but @Cleon had posted a long time ago about how Ajax used to recruit all strikers into their academy and then retrain them to other positions including centerback. I've been taking South American (and Portuguese) strikers and turning them into attacking wingbacks for years in FM. Especially if they have any kind of tackling, crossing, work rate, bravery as base attributes to build on.
  8. What?! There is nothing wrong with having a world class right back.. Reece James has been the highest rated player on my squad the last 2 seasons and has become invaluable both offensively and defensively. So I fixed my conceding goals issue after that frustrating Tottenham game and then the 1-0 loss to Man City.. as you see we exacted our revenge with a 7-0 destruction once we started to open things up. That 0-0 draw with Liverpool was the best nil nil draw I've ever seen..
  9. So yeah just as I post this and take screen shots from the game my team again can't finish.. we dominate the game and generate plenty of chances to score with a 1.64 xG to .12 xG.. result? We lose 1-0 on a Lo Celso free kick.. Tottenham's ONLY shot the entire game.. We got Jose'd
  10. Yeah you aren't wrong in your assessment and it appears with the latest patch that it's even more pronounced without someone in the striker position. What I saw was that it compacted the space in the midfield because you don't really have anyone stretching the back line to create that space in midfield to operate (which is the strength of this approach). So I was more defensively solid than you and while I didn't give up many goals at all you are correct that it wasn't scoring enough for my liking (although in general I'm feeling like my boys are finishing fewer chances right now.. not sure if it's a patch thing or what, but they are missing sitters from in front of goal that I "felt" would have been put away previously). I was getting a lot of 1-0 results with the occasional breakdown (mainly on set pieces) that would give me a 1-1 draw even though I had at least 3-4 good chances to score another goal and had xG well over 1.5 and sometimes 2.0 with only scoring 1 goal. So with all that said I think you are playing very risky with your midfield setup. So yes I want to play fast, fluid, attacking football going forward but I also want to stay responsible in the back. Rather win 2 or 3 to zero than a 5-4 shootout so my main focus right now has been trying to balance pushing numbers forward while staying responsible in the back and more importantly because of the style of our attack we need to be able to reliably break up counters as well. I've pretty much settled on the fact that you need a dedicated holding role in the DM strata. I've also pretty much decided that a DLP-S (i.e. deep playmaker with positive mentality) is key to breaking down teams in the final third. Doesn't have to be a DLP role and I've had success with a RPM as well but you need them paired with a holding role. Two man midfield in a 4231 forms a very solid double pivot and stays responsible defensively. With the two player selections as well they pretty much own the midfield and do an excellent job breaking up counter attacks. DM-S/DM-D - Hold Position, Close Down More, Tackle Harder - Zouma has been trained with "Play Short Simple Passes" PPM as well and already had "Dives Into Tackles" - He is an absolute beast in this role. I usually go DM-D if they opponent is playing with 2 strikers to get that 3vs2 match up in the back with the DM-D trying to prevent an outlet ball into the strikers and break up counter moves from deeper. DLP-S - Close Down More, Tackle Harder So something else to keep in mind about players in the DM strata.. they will fill in for players in the back line if they step out. So let's say your CB goes "walk about" pressing the ball or in transitions.. the DM will fill in their spot in the back 4 and maintain shape. This is very key for staying sound defensively and preventing gaps from forming in your back 4 and I think the new logic around central attacks looks to specifically exploit this. This is really awesome in a 4231 because either side DM will fill in for the fullback when they step out to press and prevents those pesky overloads in wide spaces. If you only have one DM slot then you need a hard working player in that role (good work rate, stamina, acceleration, anticipation, positioning, etc.) And just to state this so there is no confusion.. a DLP-D is NOT a holding role. We are talking DM-D, A-D, CM-D, DM-S with hold position.. even BWM-D can be considered an aggressive holder. What I'm currently struggling with is finding the right role to complement my system as that #10 creator player. I really think it is the Treq and have had the most success with that role because of the combo of it dropping deep to link play and not being afraid to ghost into the box and finish moves. Especially with "Be More Expressive" in the final third it creates some really good movement and creating/using space. So my current midfield looks like this: So if we go back to our 5-5 split between attackers and defenders we end up with either a 2-3-5 (opponent plays with 1 striker) or a 3-2-5 (opponent plays with 2 strikers). Now those are modern formations but what I keep coming back to is the 4-6 split that we've seen in history and is probably best represented via the Brazilian Box 4222. Width comes from fullbacks pushing high.. and you form a 2-2 box in defense with 2 CBs and 2 DMs. I did this to get more punch in the attack while maintaining the key defensive philosophies we have. So right now I'm currently playing around with the following shape: I don't know how I feel about the team fluidity of "structured" and this is when I wish for the days to control fluidity again.. So one of our paths to goal is getting our fullbacks high in the attack to cross. I play Floated Crosses when Haaland is my #9 and Low Crosses when Werner plays as the #9. As you see from the above picture we have 6 in the attack with our DM-D, FB-A, and 2 CBs forming that 4 block. FB role transitions late and does a really good job of recovering position (especially on the weak side) when the ball is lost, but gives you those wide channel attacks in the final third that you want. DLP-S is providing good support along with the IW-S on that side and we have 3 players attacking the box. Reece James got fouled in the corner and we got a free kick off the above move. Sometimes he can turn that corner.. sometimes he cuts it back to the DLP-S to recycle.. sometimes he slips in the IW-S earlier. As you can see the above pretty much acts very much like the old brazilian box 4222 formations and actually that was the first thing I tried playing it strikerless with 2 Treqs in the AMC strata and it wasn't bad, but like I stated above I felt like the midfield space was just too compact and didn't give us the room to operate so initially I pushed both to the striker position but then I was leaving the opponents #6 or DLP pretty much unharassed so you either solve that by man marking one of your strikers to that player or what I eventually did was just go with a AMC/ST combo to solve for that. I'm still not settled on the role for my striker yet and the CF-A is the latest attempt.. but I still might try double Treqs there (I really am in love with that role this year.. just something about the movement, link play, and finishing moves that looks like a proper #9 to me). Yeah so a very long winded way to explain my thought evolution... so my advice to you is to chop and change your midfield a bit.. I'd go with something like this if you want to play a normal 3: I would then customize that CM-A role with some PIs to get what you want.. I've always liked generic roles customized with PIs and this is the perfect example. I'd start with "Roam From Position", "Dribble More", "Take More Risks", "Close Down More" as my initial PIs and tweak from there. Should give you a bit more defensive stability and not take away the attacking punch. This would let you attack with 6 and still be a bit more responsible in the back. Hope that helps!
  11. Dortmund kid.. he's a beast in the game. I loved him in FM 18 too and you are right he is a really good Total Football striker.
  12. Fair enough but there are so many variables that go into player development.. Training Facilities Training performance (praising and criticizing them too based on performances) CA vs PA (do they even have the capability to improve) Personality Training Schedules and Training Load Game time So outside of game time which of the above don't you totally have covered?
  13. Under 18 training matters Over 18 and game time is what matters - BUT only if they have good performances.. so these players that aren't developing what has there avg ratings been? They also need to get at least 20 games a season
  14. Inspired by the free 8 role Pep used with Silva and DeBruyne but I think it replicates how Frank played pretty well too. I'd remove the Shoot Less Often for him though since he did have a pretty good outside of the box shot on him.
  15. What you thought I was joking? I had great success with the below formation and really figured that the next evolution would be what I posted above.. ultimate high press/camping tactic.
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