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  1. My time's been a limited lately, normally only get the weekends to have a play about with work and that too. I did have one more of your 361 variants I wanted to give a crack at. First thing that came to mind with this was...Brazil! That comes from the Box midfield that is setup in place. With that in mind, you can probably guess exactly how I'd look to set this one up... SK-D BPD-D CD-D BPD-D REG-S REG-S WG-A WG-A TQ-A TQ-A AF-A The lack of the second striker will probably mean it won't be so potent going forward. But I think this will result in some really nice fluid football that can be played all the way from the back. It should have a little more defensive security with the third centreback in place, although we will of course still be vulnerable on the flanks. Sometimes I wish you could somehow pick players from the past to fill in some of these roles and just watch them play Kaka, Ronaldinho, the real Ronaldo and Pirlo instantly come into mind. Then throw in Maldini, Baresi, Puyol and it would look menacing already I've made a start and it's looking good so far. It's probably looking like my favourite system from an aesthetic point of view at this moment in time. Whether it gets the job done though I'll find out soon enough.
  2. That screenshot almost gave me a heart attack! With Palace, naturally if going for a 361 I'd look at a 3151 if not you aren't intending to use wingbacks. I do tend to look at whether formations are top heavy or not to determine what shape is going to be best suited. There's no harm in trying to get a 3421 going with CP, but I'd consider it a more offensive formation given there are no players in the DM zone. So that would instantly say to me playing counter or defensive with a lower defensive line isn't something I'd consider. You're right here, and I think with CP you'd definitely want wing-backs involved. And although I hate asymmetrical formations but I would be receptive to giving Oj403's suggestion a go! I don't think we'll get closer to agreeing on something However from my book, I would move the Winger Slots up a notch so they would occupy the AML and AMR positions. I'd leave the wing-backs as they are, and rather than having a DLP and BBM, I would go for a defensive central midfielder and an advanced playmaker support. I'd also have a BPD in the centre back slot, but the wide CB's as regular CB's on defend duty. I'd also have a completed forward on support, as my game would be more to the fluid side, pressing high up again and playing shorter passing and an attacking game, taking the game to the opposition and with a higher tempo using the width of the pitch. SK D CB D BPD D CB D WB A WBA CM D AP S IF A IF A CF S I'm about to give one more 361 variant a crack - it would probably be my most favoured of the shapes. The 3421 worked well, but it was only marginally better for possession than the 3151 which is what I want in my exercise. The diamond shape of the 31411 is what I'm going to give a go at and if I had to use a 361 I would pick first hand. OJ will love this one: SK D BPD D CB D BPD D DLP D WA MEZ S MEZ S WA AP A CF S You'll notice this time around my Mezzala's are on support duty rather than attack like in the 3151. As I now have someone in the AM strata available with an attack duty, I think there is enough offensive potency this time around to not need the Mezzala's on attack. So with them being on support, I'm hoping ball retention will be better as I would expect a more patient approach will naturally take place.
  3. Lol yep, it's gonna need some back-side deflection to get Benteke back on the score sheet
  4. Very much so. They, along with the wingers and the F9 form part of the my main press high up. If for instance I had the AP(s) and AM(a) combo in the AM strata as in Experienced Defender's setup below, I would expect the AMa will frequently make more forward runs and find himself often nearer to the striker. The AP(s) will most likely be deeper and then be the only player within the AM strata where my organised press would then not be existent to take place. The AMa would be too far and too frequently out of that position for my liking. With that said, that may not a bad thing if you're looking to unsettle a side and cause a little panic by closing down immediately. However, rather than on a control mentality I'd personally be more comfortable using such a combo in a more attacking mentality where it is a bit more gung-ho. Although I never will as you will know You're going to have to go and try that one out now, create some organised chaotic havoc in the OP box
  5. I realise you're probably someone I'd not ever be able to have appreciate a symmetrical formation! But glad I could explain though Another big reason for that approach for me is team structure, working as one cohesive unit and that's considerations taken both offensively and defensively. Although I like to play very fluid, by having similarities across the pitch I know when we lose the ball my players are going to be in similar positions in similar circumstances to then begin the press as one unit and all on that same wavelength. So in that sense I do like that structured element to a very fluid game.
  6. I do indeed The way I see football is you can win in either two ways. Try and take each game as it comes and adjust tactics etc accordingly, or have a strong plan A / philosophy the players fit perfectly for. I'm definitely not a tinkerer So my style will always be extreme in one form or another. Only in lower leagues I'd end up going counter-attack focused and structured, but trying to balance that with having enough quality possession to grind out results. Definitely not a defensive coach here. I've only ever made a 4411 and 442 aiming to go long and direct, but my FM highlight funnily enough probably was creating a 442 that won the Championship with Fulham with 100 points and with an average possession of 35%. The brief was to do it under 38% possession with Big Sam and Tony Pulis my inspirations there. I've never enjoyed chewing so much gum in an FM season. Got to love a bit of hoof-ball! But most of the coaches nowadays seems to go the Plan A route in most part. Klopp, Sarri, Guardiola, instantly spring to mind. Not sure what roles balance you would consider their sides to use with respect to the support / attacking side. But I've just felt that when you do come up against a side that parks the bus, if you don't have enough attacking threats you'll end up dropping a lot of points. Hence may as well vision a tactic and go Plan A and so I did have a 325 in mind with this particular 3421.
  7. Indeed, each system has its weaknesses - and it was my worry that pressing may not be as effective on this system, because the aim is to force the other team to boot the ball aimlessly high up the pitch for my defenders to then retrieve the ball and build up from the back again. If my team don't press well and put pressure on them immediately, I will be very much exposed
  8. Well I want as much possession as possible - but it's always having the balance between quality possession and just having it for the sake of it. I've always liked to play offensively, so pressing high and trying to play around the opponents box with as many offensive options and threats as possible whilst being able to recycle the ball well is the aim. Naturally having more on the attack role is going to give a greater goal-scoring and direct threat rather than keeping the ball but not really looking that threatening, hence the APs being on attack. I like symmetry in my tactics, hence the same role on each side. They are there to create for the side closer to the opponents box and hold up the play to try and bring the wingers into play receiving the ball in more dangerous positions rather than them just running down the sides for the sake of it like in a 442. They also get forward often, and so when the F9 drop deeps he then has 4 options to play the onrushing wingers or the APs in. By playing APs in these positions, they'll also be more prone to be sought out in receiving the ball so they can either play in the wingers or attack spaces between the fullbacks and centre backs that the wingers create by staying wide. Both my midfielders are holding their positions to help recycle the ball and move the play to the other side so to try and keep continuous pressure on the opponents defence and probe each flank. Ball playing defenders will be needed to play the riskier passes when required, such as no immediate option available to pass safely to the two centre midfielders. Trying to play too short if they are being marked closely and teams pressing high is risky business and varying the play is a must option to have in my opinion.
  9. Yeps, there is more than one way to skin a cat I know what you mean with how formations set don't really mean that holds true when on the offence. I made a 4141 but it played very much like a 235 going forward. I do kind of get you, I think if you don't have ball-playing personnel at the back then it's probably a good idea to have someone play from deeper especially with a deep defensive line but in general, you're right in that I don't think it necessarily means you can't circulate possession well. The 3412 I referenced above had no players in the DMC zone of the pitch. But I'd then ensure to always have a DLP that drops deep into that zone when our side has the ball. With my 3421 by employing it there again and by having a False 9 dropping deep, it's going to keep triangular passing options to the system. The DLP will then look forward and still have 6 reachable passing options to pick from. I'm hoping I'm going to get more possession with this variant. It's looking like this.. SK D BPD D CD D BPD D W A CM S DLP D W A AP A AP A F9 S
  10. Not only did we differ on the liking of the 3151 shape - but it's symmetry I like in my tactics too....Probably related Funny you mentioned a 3421...that was actually going to be my attempt to up the possession on this 361. I have just finished a season with a 3412 and it's probably the best control tactic I've come up with from an overall perspective. It gave me over 64% possession season average, but 109 goals for and 19 against too. I hadn't been able to get 100 plus goals using control till then. I was surprised how well it worked defensively too. Based on the success of that, I'm hoping I can somehow maintain a good balance but where I'll now drop a striker for an additional role in the AMC position. I'm just not so sure it's going to be able to press as well as the 3412 though...
  11. I've been using Man City, although I'm a few seasons in when I tested this particular formation. I've been creating different ones each year trying to maximise possession on the control mentality as I haven't set up any beforehand. The first half of the season wasn't the best but tweaked it so the second half went more how I had hoped. I had originally used a DLF on support but the F9 worked better. I then beat United 4-3 in the CL final although I had been 4-1 up. But can't say it was as epic as yours after bringing back your memory bells! I was hoping for more possession, but I think having Mezzala's or wingers on support wouldn't have been offensive enough to break down the more defensive teams. The max average I've reached for a league season so far is 66%. But I guess given the roles a little less probably would be expected in hindsight. Bus-parking on this though is certainly to be admired - but it's also not very good for the heart! I'd have never thought such an idea could work so well as on your save there.
  12. I'm currently playing around with formations utilising control mentality and I actually really liked the idea of a 3151. I had a vision of trying out what could be also considered a 370, control and possession based. My changes from the screenshot would have a False 9 up front, with two Wingers on attack and two Mezzala's also on attack duty. Given there are no full backs to get forward like in a 460, I hoped that it would then be offensive and penetrative enough to not be too negative so it could be plug n played through a whole season (I tend to do that with all my tactics I make). I also like to play from the back so my SK was on defend duty. With the play looking to exploit all areas, naturally someone needs to dictate the play centrally and provide some sort of threat from the middle. So a DLP on Support is what I would go with in the Xabi Alonso mould acting like an offensive pivot, with the DM-D the defensive pivot to keep the play moving and bringing the ball playing centre backs into play thus recycling the ball from the back again. So I went control and very fluid to try bring about this effect. It worked out okay, averaging 60% possession through the whole year and had the best defence. It wasn't great offensively, but with good set-pieces you'll have more than enough to win the majority of the games and have success with this system.
  13. Season 13 – End of Season Review La Liga – Winners Champions League - Winners Spanish Cup – Winners Spanish Super Cup - Winners The Real Madrid board have been rewarded for placing their faith in their previous conqueror Moss, completing the clean sweep of trophies in his first year in charge. Continuing from the fine form shown during the first half of the season, his team pulled away from Barcelona and Athletico slowly but surely with the gap ending 8 points between Real and their neighbours Athletico. Although not quite breaking the 100 points barrier, they did get over 100 goals in style. In the Spanish Cup, after getting passed Barcelona in the 5th round, wins against Betis and Real Sociedad booked them a final place against Espanyol. Spanish Super Cup Final (Real Madrid 4 – 2 Espanyol) In a match bossed by Real, Espanyol did have the Real boss worried his side would throw the game away. Real took the lead early on in the game from Agudo coming in for the injured Pierguidi. Failing to clear a corner, the ball eventually made it’s way back to Lemar who crossed the ball into the box for Agudo to knock the ball in from 6 yards out Not under 10 minutes later the second followed. With right back Aguilera coming in for the injured Vinicius, in an offensive position inside the box his shot deflected off the helpless Espanyol centreback giving the wrong-footed keeper no chance, with the defender unfortunately credited with an own goal. Things got worse for Espanyol with a second own goal of the game coming from midfielder Lozano. A shot outside the box struck the player with the keeper left stranded not moving an inch to watch the ball fizz passed him on the other side of the goal. Things seemed comfortable at 3-0, but then a sloppy ball from De Ligt left the Real back line vulnerable and Espanyol took full advantage, attacking the space down the left flank with a ball crossed in for Daniel Marin to slot home on just after the half hour mark. This gave them a glimmer of hope. Early into the second half the gap now became one, with some very direct wing play that again exploited the Real Madrid right flank, crossing the ball for Vukovksi to divert the ball in from 6 yards out. But just under the hour mark, some excellent display of recycling possession and putting Espanyol under constant pressure led to the third player deputising, Ugur Aydemir putting a cross into the box for Lemar to make some space for himself and finish passed the Espanyol keeper. Real learnt their lesson and controlled the remainder of the match well. Espanyol only had one clear cut chance all game, and Moss watched the last half hour with his feet up and chewing his trade-mark gum from the sidelines in good comfort, claiming his first major trophy at his new club. Champions League Final (Real Madrid 2 – 0 Monaco) Meanwhile in the Champions League, it was an extremely tough route to the final. After coming through PSG in the first round of knockouts, ties against Man City and then fierce rivals Athletico were close encounters that Real had enough to get through. In the other semi-final, Monaco played holders and Moss’ old side Chelsea. Moss was hoping to meet his old club in the final, but they were unable to overturn a 2-0 defeat in the first leg, meaning it was a tie between Real Madrid and Monaco from France. With De Ligt banned for this match after his red against Man City in the Semi’s, in came Italian international Gori. Everyone else was fully fit for this one, and after claiming the title with a good win at home against Barcelona 4-2, Moss and Co were confident of completing the treble. This game was a tight affair, with Monaco certainly playing their part playing a 451 formation and looking to park the bus. With Real Madrid controlling the ball and being patient as much as possible when going forward, Monaco stuck to their guns and were looking to hit Real on the break. With the game all square with the half-time whistle blown, the game was forming to become a highly tense affair for the second half. A golden chance then fell to world-class striker Pellegri just after the hour mark. One on one with the Real keeper, he failed to keep his composure and fired over the bar. This was a miss they were to regret. A fluid 18 pass and move build up from the back, eventually found Pierguidi in some space to attack the left channel, knocking the ball passed his marker before whipping in a cross for his strike partner Geubbels to clinically finish from 6 yards out, directing the ball into the far top corner leaving the Monaco keeper no chance. Monaco then looked to play more offensively trying to put some more pressure on the Real Madrid back-line, but were never able to carve out that second clear-cut chance, with Pellegri taking pot shots that failed to trouble Yapici in the Real goal. And with only a few minutes left and the Frenchmen getting desperate, Pierguidi from deep played in a precise pass beating the high Monaco defensive line to leave Geubbels a chance to put the game to bed. With the onrushing keeper closing him down, he kept his cool well and struck the ball hard passed Lafont giving Real and Moss an unassailable lead which they held till the final whistle. Moss was delighted with how his team kept their patience and continued to recycle the ball extremely well throughout the game. A highly professional performance and one he’ll certainly enjoy, becoming the first boss to win the Champions League with three different clubs and in three different countries. End of Season Thoughts Some of the football this year that was on display was excellent from Real Madrid. The only disappointing loss came away to Athletico in the league, managed by Pep Guardiola. A 3-0 scoreline was painful to take, but it doesn’t get better than winning all 4 trophies possible this year. Moss was 'so happy' with how Lemar performed at 34 years of age. He showed he still has the quality despite not having the legs he once did, with an automatic extension triggered after hitting his appearance limit. But the top performers go to both 7.84 average rated Pierguidi up front and Rene Charrier. He was superb at left wing-back, with Monaco continually bidding for his signature but Moss wasn’t having any of it. Vinicius and De Ligt were solid at the back, and Sen scored some very important goals from centre midfield this season. All in-all, it was a great squad effort with the personnel in the important positions performing very well and their successes were well deserved this year. Chances created this season far surpassed that of any other club, with 221 to Athletico’s 168 being the second most. This showed the attacking intent shown, and the board were delighted that both attacking and possession philosophies had been well met. It will be almost impossible to have as good as season as this one. But Moss will look to see where areas need to be strengthened. Fortunately there were no real serious injuries this season, but with a lack of players trained in Spain the Champions League squad could have been more severely depleted. So this is one area he will certainly be looking at in the off-season.
  14. Season 13 – Mid Season A good first half of the season in the league. Top scorers and undefeated, a 6 points gap has been created between rivals Athletico and Barcelona. The first set of games against these two big sides have ended both as draws. Behind in both games, Moss’ men showed great resilience to come back to take a point and importantly not lose. The game against Athletico was a frustrating one. By far the better side, Real just couldn’t convert their chances but kept plodding away till the equaliser came. Against Barcelona, although taking the lead Barca struck 3 times on the trot to take a 3-1 advatange. Then a sending off a few minutes after surely meant Barca would have strolled the last half an hour to take the 3 points. But a few substitutions helped mark an amazing comeback scoring 2 goals in the last 6 minutes to take an absolutely crucial point and kept the 6 point gap there. In the Champions League, although qualified Moss’ men lost both times to Inter. Playing like Italians do tactically, they certainly took their chances clinically in both games to help them take top place. Unfortunately for Moss they have drawn PSG in the first round which will make things extremely difficult to meet the board’s semi-final spot objectives.
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