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About crusadertsar

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    Writer at dictatethegame.com

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  1. Grrat thread @Mutumba Some good food for thought here. That formation can be very defensively solid you will see. In one of my test saves, my Valencia side is third in La Liga at the end of March. We have least goals conceded with 13 all season long. The trick I think is having a defensively solid midfield full of hard workers. But your two wingbacks have to be among your best players and much more offensive as result. They don't just need to run up and down like freight trains but get up near the strikers to overload the opponent defence with 4 or 5 players at once. My two wingbacks are Gaya and Piccinni, have 9 and10 assists respectively. Sometimes I even play Gaya as CWB. He is probably the best wingback in the world right now. Anyway would love to see how 3-5-2 works out for you I'm currently working on Second Part to my write up, where I will hopefully expend more on these ideas.
  2. A little update from my Valencia save using the above tactic. I am surprised by how well it works. It is a very defensively solid tactic. As you can see in the screen below, between January and March, we barely let in goals. Only conceding 3 while scoring 21. Currently lying 3rd in La Liga and made it into the Quarter Finals of Champions League. Not bad for a club expected to finish 5th in the league and competing with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid and Sevilla.
  3. Sorry for the long break guys. I was distracted by other projects. But finally the continuation of my Dynamo Kyiv save is in the thread above. In this thread I discuss my tactical planning during summer break before starting my 3rd season with Dynamo. Part 2: Transition and Midfield is coming soon!
  4. I originally published this article over at https://dictatethegame.com/2019/03/15/dynamo-project-step-by-step-tactic-creation-step-1-the-defensive-unit/?preview_id=14577&preview_nonce=93c607e590&preview=true So if you are interested in reading it in its original formatting and with higher quality screenshots and videos then you can visit over there. In essence it is a follow up from my Frankfurt thread which I posted on here before. Here I am taking a more detailed look at the 3-5-2 formation I used there. Over the next couple of weeks I will be showing the process of how I create this tactic in my Dynamo Kyiv save. I would like to see what you guys think about using this formation and its variations. Have you had much success with it? What do you find are its strengths and weaknesses? Which teams do you think are best suited to using it? Please feel free to drop your comments and questions below and/or on Dictatethegame site or twitter page DYNAMO PROJECT STEP-BY-STEP TACTIC CREATION – STEP 1: THE DEFENSIVE UNIT I love summer break. No, I’m not being nostalgic for those halcyon days in elementary school when we would have three months free from all worries of studying, exams or work, and simply enjoy life. No, unfortunately as much as I would love to, this is not an article about that. Rather, I love the summer preseason break in Football Manager 2019. A great time to take a look at what worked or not in the previous season and start planning for the challenges of the next. For me all tactic building happens in preseason with ideally only a few tweaks needed once Fall rolls around and we get well into the new season. I planned this article as the first in a three part series. In the three pieces I intend to go step-by-step through the process of creating my new 3-5-2 tactic, from examining the strengths of my players in the context of the three units: defence, transition and offensive. This first part will be looking at the defensive trio and how it fits within my larger tactical system. So read on! It is June 2020 in my Dynamo Kyiv save and I just finished in 2nd place, two seasons in a row. Now is the best time to take a step back and see things in a better perspective. There are obviously some things that we are doing right: Playing high-defensive line, possession football (my goal from the start). We have consistently been getting over 50% possession in both our domestic and continental matches. Playing attacking football that is also defensively solid in the back – One of the staples of Lobanovskyi’s system. Over the last two seasons in all competitions I only conceded 19 goals while scoring 155 times. Getting into Champions League every year (as seen in the positive effect on our finances and continuously generous transfer budgets). Developing Youth – as you saw in my previous Dynamo Project entries, I have been very lucky in bringing some excellent regen prospects through our academy (including a Golden Generation) as well as developing the youths we started with by giving them First Team game time (sometimes finding positives in the midst of a crisis). Maintaining Culture of Loyalty – succeeded in keeping all the above said youth at the club. None of my young stars, including the meteoric Viktor Tsygankov (who real media has compared to young Gareth Bale and linked with the Spurs) have been poached by the big clubs. And now some things that that I am not so proud of: Not being able to beat Shakhtar to domestic title – not much can be said here. I just have to keep trying to improve the team and tactics. Lack of defensive coverage in “Big” games – I need to come up with a way to concede less goals in important European games and derby clashes. Changing to a three man defence will hopefully help in this. Having foreign players in the squad – One of the original rules for the save was to develop a Ukrainian-only recruitment policy, akin to Athletic Bilbao’s Basque policy. Unfortunately, due to lack of adequate options from the academy, I have had no choice but to keep my starting foreign players. I actually decided to modify this rule, to allow the foreigners from Eastern European countries of the former Soviet Bloc. Provided they come through my youth academy via affiliates. I will not sign any foreign players from outside the club. Part 1: Real-Life Inspirations I never create my tactics in a vacuum, without real-life context. Initially, the driving force behind starting this save was trying to recreate Lobanovskyi’s tactical system with Dynamo. Then I slowly realized that the online source materials that initially inspired me were too vague to give me a really accurate vision of how it all can be translated into the game. Sure, I saw my team playing a high pressing kind of system and maybe 4-4-2 (because that is what many claim Lobanovskyi used) but then as game time started adding up, my vision became less and less defined. I started trying to artificially impose onto my squad the way I saw Liverpool or RB Leipzig playing. All in a headless drive for results. I sought to play pressing football in a way that I thought would win/exploit the game and not because that was the natural way for my squad to play or even the most enjoyable way. So now I am going to take a step back to square one, hit the reset button and do what I should have done from the start. That is to take a look at the players at my disposal and try to see what system will get the best out of their varied skills. This will hopefully give a clearer vision of what I want from my tactic. For clear inspiration I find myself turning most often to Tifo’s wonderful videos. The beauty of Tifo is in how he is able to break down some very complex tactical ideas and explain them in a visually appealing and concise way for even the complete tactical initiates among us to understand easily. The video above has given me the general base for what I would like to see in my Dynamo tactic. That is three defenders in the back for that solid defensive core combined with at least two forwards upfront to maintain our offensive bite. You can see just how well this could work in Tifo’s latest clip about Eintracht Frankfurt’s 3-5-2 tactic. I already wrote about my interpretation of Frankfurt’s formation in my recent piece highlighting the role of a Striker (using the example of Luka Jovic). You can visit that article here if you are interested in how I was able to recreate the formation of one of the most dangerous clubs in Bundesliga at the moment. I’m including Tifo’s video which I referenced for those not familiar with that article. So I am basically looking to integrate what I learnt from my experiment with Frankfurt into my Dynamo Kyiv series. So it might not be necessarily the formation that Lobanovskyi used but it should keep the spirit of Lobanovskyi intact. That is winning games through collective hard work and teamwork, defending and attacking aggressively, and running your socks off for the full ninety minutes. Part 2: Stoppers Ahoy! So let us start with the back three. From the general attribute overview one can see that Dynamo is blessed with quick defenders in Burda and Kedziora (converted from a fullback). These two I can rely on as my two best stoppers to push up in a high defensive line, stopping the opposition before they get close to our penalty area. They are good at tackling and passing which is key in the high defensive line I intend to implement. Once they win the ball they should already be in a good position to pass it quickly and accurately to the more creative central defender or to my midfield. As with Frankfurt, I’m looking for quick transitions from defence up to midfield and then even quicker to our deadly trio of finishers. Unlike at the start of my save, I am not as concerned about playing an aggressive Gegenpress. I rather prefer a fluid counter-attacking system with defenders starting higher up the field in order to smother opponent’s attacks early. For this I want my defence and midfield to keep their defensive shape, win the ball back quickly in a disciplined way and then try to send it to the strikers or wingbacks. Our defenders’ mental attributes are very suitable to such a tactic as high values in Bravery, Concentration, Determination and Work Rate are essential for playing in a high defensive line. So a good start so far! Part 3: Liberating the Play The central defender role in the three men defence is still a bit of a mystery to me. I was hesitating between a traditional Ball-playing Defender and a more aggressive Libero (Support). Essentially, what I need from him is to act as a sort of deeper playmaker to help in transitioning the ball quicker towards our midfield (or even the strikers via killer passes). The kind of player I was looking for is one with good playmaking attributes like Passing, Technique, Vision, Anticipation and First Touch. His tackling, jumping and positioning are not be as important, as we have two stoppers backing him up defensively. The the player I chose, while not a superstar, nevertheless checks off all the requirements. In fact he is a midfielder who I decided to play in this position because it is very difficult to find an elite playmaking defender for lower league team. Essentially, I am looking for a defence-oriented player “with license to carry the ball out, make long sweeping passes and generally act a catalyst for attacking as well as the spare man at the back”. At first I was gravitating towards a libero role, but after testing the tactic more, I settled on Ball-Playing Defender (Cover) because I did not like how Libero would venture up into midfield. Since I need my wingbacks to be more aggressive (as you will see in my next article), I cannot afford to have gaps in my back three. Such gaps were created when my libero would lose the ball after dribbling into the midfield to look for passing options. I prefer the BPD’s tendency to launch defence-splitting through passes which can actually be quite devastating if he has good passing ability and vision. The clip above is a perfect example of just such a moment of brilliance from my defender (taken from my concurrent Valencia save, using the same tactic). After settling on the roles for the back three, the next natural step was to choose the right team instructions to make them play in the way I want. I have always been a believer in using as little team instructions as possible. Rather it should be the choice of mentality and player roles (and in turn the resulting fluidity) should mainly govern how your team will play. I add specific team instructions as a way to fine-tune my existing tactical system, and not to create my tactic from the ground up. So for my defensive out of possession instructions, I only add instructions to instruct my back three to play much higher up since it is not something that I can instruct through their roles. The more urgentpressing was added to make the team more proactive in getting the ball back without going into full counterpress mode. As I start with a relatively low mentality (balanced), adding a few “more aggressive” instructions will make a big tactical impact. I will explore the interaction between mentality and roles further in the next two parts about the Transition (midfield) and the Possession (offence) units of my tactic. By then the tactic will hopefully start to come together as I put more of its building blocks in place. So thanks for reading and please stay tuned for Part 2: Transition soon!
  5. People need to separate mentality and duties. Too many times I see tactics that use balanced or conservative mentality with 7 support duties told to pass short, retain position, slow pace down and take less risks. I mean who is going to score or even take the ball forward in this kind of system? No wonder you end up giving more possession to AI. Your players are so conservative they refuse to pass the ball up, simply passing it sideways and backward in the midfield until it is stolen by AI. For possession system to work, your need to put some bite into it. Identify the runners and scorers, such as shadow strikers or wingers, depending how you want to attack. So system with 3 attack duties such as in central striker and two wingbacks with rest on support and defence will still work as possession system if you start with balanced mentality for instance.
  6. One big reason to start with Frankfurt. Jovic. Hell of a player. A definition of a perfect striker. I wrote about him the other and was inspired to start a save
  7. I think the squad is a bit underrated in-game. Especially the defense. I don't like to go by the evidence of one game only, but seeing how well they defended against Inter yesterday, I would think that their mental attributes would be better than that
  8. I see you were also inspired by Tifo's video . I just find he lays the tactics out so clearly it just makes you want to translate it into the game. Truly I feel he did half my work for me. I think I prefer Hudder's tactic than how Kovac played them last season. Like you said, 3-5-2 is just a great, elegant shape that is strong in the back just as it is dangerous in final third. Having the aggressive wingbacks or even complete wingbacks on attack is really key. It basically puts five attacking players around the penalty area, with 3 of them moving into channels. Then you have one or 2 midfielders arriving late. When it works it works really well. I was able to beat Bayern in the very first game of the season in the SuperCup. And beat Russian Zenit in Europa. But was a bit more inconsistent in Bundesliga, sitting in 7th by the end of September. So actually didn't finish the season. Probably need more time for team to get accustomed to tactic. I think that's my problem when writing tactical analysis pieces, I tend to get excited and start many saves. So concurrently I'm working on Man U, Dynamo Kiev and Frankfurt saves. To add to this I already have inspiration to start another with Valencia and write something about their Cantera.
  9. Agree with using AM in WB role. I used players such as Lingaard and Chiesa (in Man U) and Gonsalo Guedes in Valencia in that role with great success. Also regarding PIs, theres not many, only "move into channels" on my RPM and "stay wider" on DLF
  10. Thank you for the kind words man it means a lot to me coming from you. I'm encouraged to keep on writing if people enjoy threads like this. And if it generates discussion that's an added bonus.
  11. I originally published this article over at https://dictatethegame.com/2019/03/06/dynamo-project-fm19-portrait-of-a-striker-guide-to-scoring-more-goals/ So if you are interested in reading it in its original formatting and with higher quality screenshots and videos then you can visit over there. In essence I'm trying to analyze what makes a great goalscoring striker. I would like to see what you guys think so you drop comments below. I'm going to start by making a bold claim that Luka Jovic is the best offensive striker in the world right now. There is a lot of buzz around him lately with the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Man City linked with his name. This has as much to do with the undeniable scoring ability as the promise of future potential in this 20 year old from Serbia. His wonderkid status in Football Manager 2019 is greatly merited because simply put no other forward has the same combination of key attributes and potential (especially after the Winter Update). At the start of the game, there are a few better strikers with much bigger names but none have his youth or potential. Naturally when looking for a player to perfectly highlight the archetypal Striker, I turned to Luka. His example will allow me to showcase all the attributes needed by a forward to develop into a goal-machine. In general, if you are interested in getting more goals from your special player, this is the guide for you. Also, I will recreate Frankfurt's brilliant 3-5-2 with Luca as its main scorer. One cannot talk about football without giving credit to the Striker. No matter how much our game has changed over the years, at its core it is still a game about kicking the ball into the net at the other end of the field. You can decide to play with two or three defenders, fullbacks or wingers, or no wide players at all. You choose to be a tactic-tinkering hipster and put registas, trequartistas and liberos all at once (and maybe a Raumdeuter for good measure ). Want to move the ball around via 1000 short passes or sit back in a parked bus for 90 minutes waiting for that perfect opening? No matter your tactical approach, you still need to have a player who is going to score most of your goals. Someone with a knack of kicking the ball into the net. Even, strikerless systems, despite the name, need a player with similar striker attributes, albeit in a withdrawn position. The Anatomy of a Striker: The attributes outlined in the image above are the ones I believe will help a striker score goals (provided he has adequate support from the team). You might wonder why the Finishing attribute is not up there. I did not include it because I do not consider it key to getting my strikers to perform well. While Luka is very gifted in his finishing, it is not what makes him a great goal-scorer.His balance and off the ball does. In fact, balance is the offensive equivalent of the more defensive strength. It is like Off the Ball is to Positioning. Thus it is essential for a striker to have great balance (and secondarily agility) as it affects the quality of a shot or pass they can make under pressure. As a result, when scouting for a perfect striker, to me finishing is important but not vital. It is simply the attribute which translates to how many shots on target the player will make. So of course with higher finishing he will put more shots on target but this will not necessarily translate into more goals. Jovic's exceptional balance combined with the other attributes outlined above will determine whether he scores. And scores he does! As you can see Luka is a clinically deadly goalscorer because most of his best attributes (in 15+ range) are his mental attributes, which is rather surprising in someone so young. Also it is arguably where a central forward's most important attributes (those circled in red) lie. The physicals and technicals are important but not as much as they would be for an inside forward for example. When put on the wing he would become more reliant on his technical dribbling skills and pure physicality and speed to get past the opponent. When positioned centrally, the striker already starts close to a penalty area so dribbling, pace and strength are not as important. Some Acceleration can help, especially when you need a little burst of speed to get to that cross or through pass. Centrally, he faces the opponent's most concentrated defences. At least two obstacles stand in his way, in the form of the centrebacks and the keeper. Then add defensive midfielders into the mix and in such a congested space, striker's Balance and Agility becomes vital. No matter how much pace or strength he has , it will not save your player from running head-on into Virgil Van Dijk's elbow. And while high bravery will allow him to go up against veritable giants like Virgil or Bayern's Niklas Sule, it is through his balance and agility that the forward will be able to sidestep away from danger, leap over that nasty sliding tackle and then turn his body quickly to be set up to receive a pass or shoot on goal. Exceptional balance will make it even harder for the opponent to physically intimidate and dislodge the ball from him. Just watch old footage of Maradona and Messi, both players known for their unreal balance (due to their low centers of gravity), and see how hard it is for defenders to take the ball away from them. Once the player is past the last defender, they still need to shoot on goal and most keepers will not make this an easy task. Here the importance of good Decisions and Composure is revealed. Without these two attributes, the player simply will not find the right time to shoot the ball, either shooting too early or too late. So even if he is on target (due to high finishing) if he takes too much time, he gives the keeper time to react and knock the ball away. He might decide to shoot too soon from a tight angle with a low chance of success or shoot before getting his strong foot on the ball to give the kick more power. Without the right combination of decisions and composure, a lot can go wrong. Even before he gets into a good shooting position, other things may go wrong, especially if the striker does not have high enough Off the ball and Anticipation. He might not anticipate the gap in opponent's defences to run into the channel there or predict where the pass will land. Basically he will not be in the right place and time to score. Yet even if he is in the right place at the right time, with low Technique, the player will not have the variety in his repertoire to do anything more than blast the ball straight at the keeper. If his First Touch is also poor, then he will blast the ball high over the net, as he is not able to quickly control the ball and set it up for his next action immediately after receiving it. Strength and Heading ability are not as important as those mentioned above but nevertheless play a role in helping your striker score. The stronger he is, the more power he can put into his kicks (something that finishing has no effect over). Despite the example above, sometimes blasting it helps. While heading is also another unique attribute which similarly to technique adds another trick into your striker's arsenal. A striker who can only score one way is never as good as one who is versatile at using his head and both feet. Such player can be supplied by variety of crosses (floated ones for his headers and low, whipped ones for his feet). All this translates into more ways to score. So as you can see many of these attributes come into effect way before the value of finishing can be taken into account. While doing my research I did a little scouting in a 40 000+ player database. While searching for player with similar levels of mental attributes and balance and agility as Jovic, this is the screen that I ended up with. He is by the far the youngest in an exclusive group of nine players. All the players on this list have one thing in common; top composure, anticipation, off the ball, balance and agility (values of 15+). I did not even put finishing into the search. Also, all the others are 25+ year old and world-class stars. Maybe now you can see why I am such a big fan of Luka. The Magic Trident Tactic: It would not be a Dynamo Project article without a tactical suggestion at the end. For a general striker role it is a little bit more complicated simply because it is a role that can work in many different formations and styles. Even the specific role itself, can be different depending on the player you have. Some people can get a poacher to score more while for others their pressing forward might be the goal machine. For the sake of time, I decided to focus on one specific formation to give you an example of how well an offensive striker can work when in a system that is well designed to service him. Truthfully, when setting up a prolific scoring system, the formation itself is not as important. As long as you have a striker(s) with the attributes I mentioned, he will be able find the ball and space to score. This combined with good support is all you need. Luka Jovic's own Eintracht Frankfurt was Bundesliga's undeniable revelation last year in how well they played all season long and won the domestic cup with Nico Kovac at the helm. While for the 2018-19 season Kovac has moved on, the team's attacking intent has not diminished. If anything Adi Hutter's own take on fluid counter-attacking style has them firing on all cylinders (with the team in 5th spot right now), particularly the deadly trident of Jovic, Haller and Rebic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Z4RdjWsas Initially it was this video by the great Tifo that actually inspired me to try to recreate Frankfurt's tactic in football manager. He breaks it down so succinctly that I do not really need to add much. So please watch the 5 minute clip above which in typical Tifo style manages to explain something very complex in the most simple logical manner. In short, I intend this to be a direct counter-attacking tactic where the intent is to move the ball via quick vertical transitions to the attacking trio (The Trident) do all the damage. For this purpose I have central ball-playing defender (ideally with "brings the ball out of defence" and "likes to play long passes" PPMs) and one central midfielder. The latter is basically a playmaker with all the appropriate technical and mental attributes of one (first touch, passing, technique, anticipation, composure, decisions, teamwork and vision) and with added player instructions for riskier, more direct passes. Alongside you will need a more physical supporting midfielder who is comfortable in both attack and defence (essentially your ideal box-to-box or carrilero player). I want this player to win the ball back, make short passes to his more creative partner or the closest wingback and to make late runs into the penalty area. All in all he is a there to make life difficult for the opposition by putting an extra body in the final third to detract from the real threat of our "Magic Triangle" of Advanced Forward, Deeplying Forward and Shadow Striker. As Tifo's video explains Frankfurt's tactic is all about quick transitions and getting the ball up to the three attackers. This can either be accomplished through long passes from the more creative central midfielder or the ball-playing defender in defensive trio. On the wings we have hard working, fast wingbacks who act as an important link between the midfield and attack. They can track back and defend as well as providing whipped crosses into the congested penalty area. Once the ball is in there, the strikers can take advantage of the resulting chaos. Not surprisingly, our wingbacks need to be among the fittest players on the team because they start so advanced that they practically act as wide midfielders. At the same time they will be doing most of the running for the team, covering all the vertical space between the two penalty areas. Finally, the three players who make up the Magic Trident at the top of the formation, play a huge role in scoring the majority of the goals so naturally the tactic is geared towards supplying them. So far this season the trio have scored 35 goals together! The best for any attacking trio in the Bundesliga. I chose the roles carefully to represent how I think they play in real life. Jovic is the advanced forward, acting as the spearhead for the tactic. He is the most advanced of the three but is not averse to sometimes dropping deep or drifting to the wing to link up with the other players. His striker partner Haller, is natural at playing the deeplying forward role because of his towering, physical strength and the ability to hold up the ball. I initially had him playing as a Targetman but then decided that I needed him to act as a more creative outlet, roaming around and driving to the right wing (via stay wider instruction) to pick up the ball from the wingback or to launch a quick cross to Jovic or Rebic. Finally Ante Rebic is the stereotypical hard working and aggressive shadow striker. He has the hardest job of dribbling between the two strikers to either pass to one of them or to attempt a shot on goal. He also needs to roam around into empty half-spaces and vertical channels. He is the wildcard as he often ends up unmarked because of arriving late in the penalty area and having the defenders drawn away by Jovic and Haller. So this is my Frankfurt Magic Trident Tactic in the nutshell. As you can see I used a few rather aggressive attacking roles. At first glance this might seem too gung-ho and reckless but you have to keep in mind that I am playing on a lower balanced mentality and with a solid three men defence. This should allow me give more freedom to the players who I expect to be involved in most of our goal-scoring. Also, I needed to make sure that the wingbacks always stay high and wide to open up more space for my attackers to move into the channels between the opponent's fullbacks and defenders. To this effect I made sure that all 3 forwards had "move into channels" instruction selected. This tactic should hopefully get the best results out of your own offensive striker, much like Frankfurt's 3-5-2 is able to do in real life, with Jovic topping goal-scoring charts in Bundesliga. Hopefully you will enjoy reading and trying this out for yourselves as much as did testing and writing this article. Follow Dictate The Game on Facebook and Twitter! And here are other articles that you may be interested in: Dynamo Projekt FM19: Introducing the Deep Raumdeuter Role Making Moves: 5 Players to Watch after the Winter Update Dynamo Project: Improve The Odds - Guide to a Winning Tactic for the Underdog Does Age Make a Difference in a Striker? | Football Manager Experiment Players of the 90s: Alan Shearer Starting a New Save: Football Manager Guide
  12. Here's the link for those interested in scoring more with a striker: https://dictatethegame.com/2019/03/06/dynamo-project-fm19-portrait-of-a-striker-guide-to-scoring-more-goals/
  13. Like some have mentioned already there is no best role it really depends on the tactical system you are using and the attributes on your striker (especially mental ones). Incidentally I'm posting an article on this exact topic on dictatethegame.com today. I'll try to copy it here later when it goes live. It's not as in depth as Cleon's amazing guide above but hopefully it will help
  14. I actually don't like him as much anymore. His passing, tackling, marking, positioning, technique and vision were the reasons I considered him before. now he is just an average targetman
  15. Umm.... Good for you @md6511 I guess. But how is signing an aging primaDonna/diving specialist, bankrupting the the club in the process and severely reducing the quality depth of the rest of the squad for years to come help the original poster? How does it even answer the original question of how to get the best out Salah? Maybe if Neymar is supposed to come in as morale booster and some kind of friend with benefits for Salah. Like giving him steamy Brazilian massages before game to help him loosen up maybe.
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