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  1. I know these are for older versions of the game, but I reckon most of @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! principles would still apply to the quest of total football in FM 20. The very fluid concept played great football that was a joy to watch. In other words, total football. As @crusadertsar said earlier, combining these two theories into one perfect system is the total football dream. Whether or not ideas from both can be merged into one super total football system is the ultimate challenge.
  2. Evening @Jambo98, loving your input in this thread. Slightly off the possession with intent topic, but was intrigued to try and implement your CWB(a)/WM(d) overlap left combo into my game. Currently playing as Everton in 21/22 and I see Digne and Iwobi on my left flank as great attacking threats, so trying to get them more involved. I have seen Digne's overall threat increase, but wasn't expecting to see such an improvement in Iwobi, as I expected the WM(d) to be fairly reserved. Turns out though, with the right PPMs, this can be pretty devastating. Iwobi currently has great traits in runs with ball often, gets forward whenever possible and cuts in from both wings. So even with the 'defensive' role, this is seen on the regular. Doesn't always result in a goal like this, but good to see the deep starting position, with the following attacking threat and supporting options in the box. Thanks again for the inspiration, and hopefully this combo keeps on delivering!
  3. This is a tactic I try to employ regularly. If it's not obvious through watching highlights, then checking analysis frequently during the game to see if there are any glaring gaps. Quick question, if you notice there is space to exploit on one particular side (a marauding wing back and work-shy-not-keen-on-tracking-back type winger) would you add the TI to exploit that wing? It seems obvious to do so, but occasionally I have tried that with little success, yet have had some success doing the opposite and focussing the play down the other wing. Eg space down their left flank, I will focus play down our left side. This seems to provide more opportunities for the right FB/WB and right W/IW/IF, with crosses/cross field balls from the left side I'm exploiting. Hopefully that makes sense!
  4. Great idea for a thread @sporadicsmiles, it's proven to be a thinker! 1. I feel like going against the grain here by saying you've gone from balanced to cautious. Main reason being, this is something I do and have had loads of success with. I don't know the reasoning behind it, but it always seems effective. 2. I think due to this statement, plus the fact your striker has bagged a couple, the DLFs became a PFa. 3. If it was me I'd add pass into space and lower LOE due to this This implies to me there's space in behind to attack, so pass into space plus lower LOE, and the newly appointed PFa would take advantage of this. I also think you changed distribute to full backs (and kept only distribute to CBs. As you have a BPD, he would also take advantage of pass into space, and hit long balls over the top of their defence to the on rushing PFa). I was struggling with the change, but a total guess would be slightly more direct passing? Kinda ties in with the rest of the changes. I'm probably miles away, but these make sense to me and are changes I make regularly to exploit a high opposition defence. The problem of Alex and Ronaldo was also a conundrum, but I think changing mentality to cautious would help this slightly. Fingers crossed I've not made an arse of myself!
  5. I hadn't thought of the half back role, what's the thinking behind that? My W(s) actually has roam from position, and his position on the heat map was very narrow considering his winger role. Maybe from starting narrow tho, instead of the desired starting wide then coming inside. I'll have a tinker with that. The opponents seemed to be a lot more stand-off-ish than I had expected, hence the changing of BBM to CM(A). Possibly too late in the game tho, as the effect was minimal. I will tinker with more adventurous roles the next time, I've always adopted a more simplistic role set up, letting the players attributes and PPM determine how they take on that role. E.g. I have Sandro Tonali and Romeu as rotating DM, who both play the role different. One more playmaker, the other more no nonsense. Same with the RW position, I go between a runner/crosser and a drifter/inside forward type. I like the fact i can change the play very easily without having to change too many TI/PI.
  6. Honestly not as much as I'd hoped for. Even tho they pressed a bit, I was hoping for more of a chasing shadows approach from them but no such luck. They were quite happy to let me pass around. As I said, I felt as tho it was possession for possessions sake at times. As for your other question, there were times their CB was drawn out with the full back to my winger, but my BBM wasn't far enough forward to take advantage. I changed that (probably too late) in the game to my original CM(A) but I didn't see much if a difference. Apart from that, I didn't notice and real scrambles or confusion. I had it in the previous tactic, but took it out specifically for this game. I was hoping for a more varied attack if they were going to sit very deep. I didn't envisage much space in the box to exploit. Although looking at the shot map, I had a good 3 or 4 chances In and around the 6 yard box, yet still none classed as CCC!
  7. Yeah that was actually the intention in all honesty. The previous defeat to Forest was my usual more adventurous tactic, and it didn't work at all. Actually produced very little, and this more conservative approach created more. I tried to implement the patient, deeper approach, dragging their players towards mine (well that was the plan anyway). A couple of games previous we actually beat Roma 3-1 away from home I'm the Europa. I'm much more comfortable playing against the bigger teams who leave more space to exploit. These flat back 5 formations can do one!
  8. So I got a chance to right some wrongs as I drew Forest at home in the cup. Again they set up with a flat back 5 (albeit a different gaffer this time). Made a couple of tweaks as advised, and the set up looked like this The general shape didn't differ too much, but with some minor TI and role changes the idea was to drop a bit deeper, lower the tempo and try the patient approach. This aspect was a success, with far more possession than last time. Although it felt like possession for possessions sake at times, and a bit stale. There was a lack in penetration which resulted in a lot of long shots and no CCCs (although watching the majority of the game we squandered a lot of chances). I really felt I missed the presence of the CM(A) running from midfield. BBM was fine, but just lacked the final third danger. Anyway, stats and shots to clarify my thoughts The main aim was to win, which we did, winning 1 nil after a Hojbjerg worldie. But the reality was I came away pretty disappointed with the stale play. Maybe Forest (or any flat back 5 team) are my bogey team (formation) and I should accept that scraping a 1 nil will suffice.
  9. This was one of the ideas floating around in my.head, but yet to test. Seems a logical solution and one I'll definitely try the next time the problem comes up. This was also another idea I had, one I actually tried to implement against Forest. Changed a couple of TIs to play wider and more direct, but as the score suggested without much luck! To be fair I created a few more chances, barely half chances tho never mind CCC! The rest of your advice regarding drawing opposition players onto my own is solid, and will definitely test it out next time. I feel I'll almost need a complete new tactic at times with the number of changes to specifically deal with these teams. Needs must tho, my approach clearly isn't effective against these sides. Definitely need to tinker a bit. Have actually tried this approach with both FB(S) and WB(D) but I've never fully understood the IWB to implement it properly. I may experiment on a new save with a completely new tactic and implement some of the ideas on this thread. I'm sure bigger teams than Southampton will have to deal with these flat defensive sides on a more regular basis.
  10. Thanks for the reply man, much appreciated. I did tinker with these two for a while, and decided Hojbjerg would be more suited to DLP(S) as although he has 'tries killer balls' and 'shoots from distance' he also has 'comes deep to get ball' as a PPM which doesn't suit my CM(A) role. I prefer to see him bombing forward to grab goals, not coming deep to receive. Ward-Prowse, who doesn't have any PPMs, actually scored a hat trick from that role in a previous game, so I ended up rotating him and Lemina in the CM(A) role (occasionally Armstrong depending on the circumstances) This is my base tactic for similar level/lesser teams (didn't think I'd need to worry against Forest...). If I'm playing a top 6 side say, I will change the FB(A) to (S) which seems to be defensively more sound. I'll generally tinker between Balanced and Cautious mentality as well against bigger sides, so that also helps tighten things up if need be without changing the overall tactic too much. You're actually correct in this, I didn't want to rely on crosses in the creation of this. But I noticed occasionally from watching games, the IF(A) on the opposite flank found himself in a lot of space so I stuck an FB(A) and W(S) to take advantage of this. It doesn't happen too often, but I'm now very happy to see a goal scored from a cross from either full back or winger to the IF(A). Having thought about it properly, this will be the first TI to go when I next face a flat back 5. It makes perfect sense, thanks. Cheers for the input man, appreciated. Yes, this will definitely go against a similar set up next time, hopefully prove more fruitful! Very true mate, I see this far too often watching teams come to play Rangers and 'park the bus'. Very frustrating I had a vision of stretching the pitch and having a bigger distance between LOE and defensive line, allowing more space to play in, but they would just become more compact and drop deeper and we'd be back to square one. Maybe the opposite would be true and playing them at their own game would benefit more, dropping a bit deeper and enticing them onto me to create a bit more space? Yes man, any help would be appreciated
  11. Coming up against a (usually newly promoted) flat, defensive 451, 541 formation has proven to be the bane of my FM life. This last game I played typified this. Playing as Southampton, coming into this in fairly decent form, decent morale, playing a newly promoted Nottingham Forest at home, I was expecting a comfortable victory. As soon as I seen the flat 541 alarm bells started ringing! Long story short, they scored in the 92nd minute with their second shot to win 1 nil. After completely dominating for 90 minutes, yet having no CCCs, which is a rarity for me (but somewhat clarifying my struggle against these flat defensive sides) My tactic is one I've used and tinkered with over the duration of FM19, and one I've had relative success with, with a number of different teams. Designed to be balanced and allow a variety of goals, with the IF(A) and CM(A) the 2 main goal scorers, but with goals usually coming throughout the team. It wasn't my strongest 11 due to a Thursday night Europa League game previous and a couple of injuries, but the team I had out should have been more than capable. When playing against a bigger team that play more attacking and open, I usually make some changes to take advantage of the space being left in behind. Namely DLF(S) to DLF(A), take away counter press and play out of defence, and employ pass into space. It's a formula that seems to work. When it comes to facing a 'shut up shop' team my mind goes blank, as theoretically (in my eyes anyway) there is no obvious space to exploit. So I'm basically asking for advice on how to deal with these 'bastard' formations, as I've affectionately come to know them! Thanks in advance
  12. Same! I'm forever breaking my own rules. I had a Rangers save where I promised myself I wouldn't go over 30k a week wages... until my star man was wanted by half the european big dogs. Once I caved with him, they all wanted more! It's a slippery slope. On a serious note though, do you ever struggle against certain formations? The counter attacking, direct, long ball, Claudio Ranieri flat 442 has proven to be a nightmare for me. Any suggestions welcome
  13. Ah the exact same dilemma I had when buying him! But due to his ability to play any of the midfield roles, a host of other very desirable attributes, and the fact he was less than 5 million was enough to see past the lack of determination. Like you I also aim to see a player leave the club a better player than when he came. And despite the determination factor, I reckon this guy will be a far more complete player in a couple of years time. I like this way of looking at that role. I think I was expecting too much from this guy, hence trying out a more roaming sort of role. But the reality is there is plenty of movement ahead, and even more coming from the back in the shape of the full back. Sometimes less really is more in this game!
  14. Just came across this and read from start to finish, thanks for an enjoyable read @sporadicsmiles. It was almost as though I was reading a write up of my own FM style! These, along with real life tactical replications, are among my favourite topics on here. This again is very much my style. In most cases I play the same shape to you and see the midfield trio as key to how the tactic works. In my recent save (taking over a bottom of the table Wolves in December) I have created a very reliable and interchangeable midfield as shown (with the exception of Coady who is one of my two first choice CBs) Van de Beek and Bazoer brought in for 20 million, and 4.8 million respectively. The rest already at the club. Like you I'm never keen on big transfers and big wages, but van de Beek is pretty much my vision of a perfect midfielder so was worth the 20 million fee. One question I have though. Whilst my CMa is also my favourite role and set in stone, (young Gibbs-White is a demon here!) I sometimes struggle with the guy beside him. Like you I primarily play with a DLPs, but sometimes feel the (lack of) movement of the role stifles play a bit. Have you tried any other role in that position with any success? I tried both CMs and BBM but wasn't convinced either offered more than the DLPs. Similar with the DM strata, have you tried any other roles? Occasionally, with relative success, I have tried a HB in there when coming up against two strikers to offer my two CBs an extra man. Again, thanks for an enjoyable read and look forward to any more updates
  15. @beverage1982 great OP, love all the thought processes that get you to your final tactical system. Very similar to the way I approach the game. The update as well is a good read. I always relate more to the mistakes, and learning from them, than the immediate success stories. Anyway, regarding your dilemma. I don't know if you are an advocate of a one tactic fits all, or multiple versions of the same, or completely different tactics for different situations? I generally have a base tactic with one or two variations of that depending on opposition; their weaknesses vs my strengths, favourites or underdog, injuries etc. My latest save was a holiday til December and save the bottom club from a relegation dog fight type challenge. The club (surprisingly) bottom of the Prem was Wolves. I got to work and realised that there was an abundance of wide players all with different traits and preferred roles. My default My secondary The secondary is a very slight variation on the primary tactic, very few TI/PI differences, but using a different base shape and different types of wide players makes it perform very differently. Both variations effective in their own right. I personally think using non specific roles helps this as well. Rotating between Ruben Neves and young Gibbs-White in the CM(a) varies the attacking play due to differences in traits. Same applies to bog standard wingers and IFs. Similarly to you, I noticed that moving up the mentality spectrum when chasing a goal made for more varied (and better to watch) attacks. But this was the last 5/10 minute desperation attempts, I'm also far too reserved to play whole games above balanced/positive! But back to your original question, I do a bit of 1, 2, 3 and 4! In short, for me personally (depending on both pre-game, and in-game circumstances); shape changes to suit, roles change only occasionally, TIs change to suit, PIs generally remain the same, and mentality very rarely strays from balanced for me (purely because I don't fully understand all the implications of doing so ). But having such a basic set up allows me a bit of tinkering depending on circumstances. Generally having few TI/PI means it's easier for me to see what needs to be changed during a game. Really enjoyed the read and hopefully you enjoy some prolonged success in the Prem, good luck going forward!
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