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Iamarock

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  1. A "Sequel" match Once again we were facing a deep formation and once again I decided to go with my 433 against it. This time my biggest worry was the Argentinian Alejandro Gomez: Atalanta had won 0-2 against Inter and it had all been thanks to his ability to create chances from the left wing by not only crossing the ball but also cutting inside to play a through ball to Duván Zapata, another run of the mill Target man. Alejandro had no glaring weaknesses apart from his air game so even our usual ploy of seeing him on the foot opposite to his role risked not being as effective against him. This time I decided that above all we couldn't let them weave a string of passes into our own half so I told my front five to mark tightly and close down more so that they were forced to play long balls where Alejandro's poor air game meant that we intercepted most of their attempts at giving him the ball If you look at their left side you can see the large amount of missed passes searching for their star player, one can indeed acuse Atalanta of playing too one dimensionally but this had more to do with our high press than with a lack of vision or creativity from their part. Against Inter they showed a much more flexible approach to their passing game: Compared with their match against us they had fewer problems reaching dangerous positions against Inter and this also showed in their shots: Compared with their two shots on target against us, one of them (their goal) a lucky rebound from a poorly dealt with corner, they were able to provide both Zapata and his substitute with excellent chances against Handanovic. For all of this I was quite nervous before the match and was worried I would be unable to deal with their attack. My only tactical change in attack apart from the pressing of the front 5 was to tick off the focus play down the right instruction to see if this helped Insigne's game. This time he managed two more shots but in the end 2/3 shots were charged down by a defender and the third was saved by the keeper. I call this a Sequel match because our first goal came from a corner and our second from a long shot from outside the box, just like our second match. S So the story repeats itself, I was able to asses and neutralise my opposition but couldn't make my attack work how I wanted it to. The whole game is however a step in the right direction so I am not all that worried. Has any of my reader managed to make an IFa into the main goal scoring threat? if so, how? creating a consistent attack is clearly beyond me and I need help, I can't live from corners and long shots indefinitely. My next opponent will be Genoa who play in a similar style to Atalanta so I intend to use the 433 as a building base (because it is working great to dominate deep three man defenses) but I clearly need to change something in my attack.
  2. An auspicious start Our very first game against SPAL saw us win 0-2 in a comfortable encounter: SPAL had only one player capable of posing a threat to us, Petagna: He is quite a good Target man, 190cm, very good strength, Balance, Teamwork, Jumping reach and Heading along with some very good PPMs. He has two glaring weaknesses that let him down: his one footedness and his lack of composure. Because of this I had Koulibaly, who happens to be even more of a physical beast, target him throughout the entire match by showing him onto his weak foot and marking him tightly. Thanks to this we managed to neutralise him. Despite receiving the ball 25 times he only managed to make 9 passes (all of them inconsequential) and shoot once from outside the box. Because SPAL played a deep formation and relied on their targetman to get things done they lost all capacity to pose a threat to us: Like with dortmund I had my players show the wing backs into their respective inside foot to try and lower the number of crosses, during this match this worked especially well with SPAL attempting no more than 4 crosses and only ever connecting one of them: Now onto our formation for the match: Because I was facing a deep defensive formation I decided to try and focus my attacks on our best attacker, Insigne. I gave him an IFa role and built a combo of roles meant to support him, a F9 to create space for him to arrive into, a WBa to cross the ball into that space, a MEZa to stretch the defence and help create even more space and a DLPs to pass the ball around and orchestrate the attacking unit. It failed. Our goals came from an early corner and a long shot from Hamsik during the second half of the match, Insigne only ever shot once, So once again I am proud and happy when it comes to the defensive part of the tactic but have failed to attack as I intended to. Was it the "Focus play down the right" instruction? I chose it because I saw Insigne as the man to arrive into the space and thus not the one who should get the ball into said space, did I "starve" him with that decision? We will see next time we face a parked bus. With a few tweaks I hope this becomes my anti-parked bus tactic. Next up is Atalanta, I am already scouting them to see their key players and playing style and I am confident I can earn another three points in the Serie A.
  3. Facing the 433 part 2 I am not sure what to make of this result. On paper it is a bad result but I had set myself the mission of minimising the chances of a far superior team and if you consider that their first goal was a counter where both Pulisic and Reus (two of the greatest wide players in the game) bet their marker to cross the ball and score and that their second goal was an own goal from our centre back in a corner near the end of the match I wouldn't call our experiment unsuccessful in the defensive end of things. In attack we had 5 shots, with four of them coming from inside their box but none from our poacher which was what I expected to see, The low number of chances does not concern me for this much since I set up a tactic in a very defensive way to see how it would fare against a team with as good as Dortmund: The FBd was selected to try to better deal with Reus, I expected the Wb+If+W+AP combo to be good enough to make some passes for our striker but as I said he only shot once, and it was from far away so I will have to look into that. the instructions are pretty simple to understand, a low block and some instructions for the counter. Against a less threatening opponent I might change the Ws to a Wa the CMd to BBM and the FBd to a FBs, I guess this will help feed the poacher. One choice I made in the wings that I was very proud of was to tell my players to see pulisic to his left foot and Reus to his right one. Because pulisic played as a winger I thought that trying to steer him inside by seeing him into "the wrong" foot would damage his game. With Reus the opposite was true, since he liked to cut inside seeing him wide was our attempt to neutralise him. In the end it was not enough but I have the feeling that had it not been for these instructions we would have been hammered. I am also proud to say that Alcácer played no significant role throughout the match so that was another thing to celebrate from our defeat. I don't know when I will use this formation again but if you have something to add in regards to making our poacher more effective I will be happy to hear it. Next game will be the Serie A opener against SPAL like with this game I will first analyse their playing style and players and later publish the result along with some explanations from the chosen formation, roles and instructions.
  4. Facing the 433 Last decade saw the rise of the 433 as one of the most dominant formations in the modern game. From Mourinho's Chelsea to Guardiola's Barcelona many top teams have employed this formation to great effect. The 433 is a very flexible formation which can easily form passing triangles all around the pitch, the defensive midfielder can drop in between the defenders to bring the ball out of defense, the striker can drop deeper to link up with the midfielders and leave space for the wide attackers and the fullbacks can stretch the pitch wider by marching forwards with relative safety thanks to the domination of the ball the midfield provides. The 433 was responsible for the decline in use of the traditional 442 and the reason is explained in the following Mourinho quote: "Look, if I have a triangle in midfield I will always have an advantage against a pure 442. That's because I will always have an extra man. If nobody comes to him he can see the whole pitch and he has time, if he gets closed down it means one of the two other central midfielders is open". Indeed, Mourinho reshaped the tactics use in the premier league forever after he introduced his holding midfielder 433, forcing every other english side hoping to compete at top national level to evolve. So, How does one go around facing such a formation? what are the weaknesses? how to neutralize its strengths? Favre plays a 433, a high pressing ball retaining 433 and it is my job to find a way of countering it. I will first take a look at their midfielders since those will be key to my approach: Gotze is their star midfielder when it comes to attacking, while he is not the best at moving around the pitch he is very good at moving the ball around the pitch and is a decent shooter from afar. He is good enough with his weak leg but can be bullied by bulkier players. I think I will try to have Nemanja Radoja mark him tightly but further closing down might also be needed. Witsel is another great midfielder with a nice even spread of attributes. He is more defensive than gotze and not as good when high up the pitch, again he is a bit static but I am not sure if I want to play with two man marking players in defence, his dictates tempo instruction makes me think of him as the playmaker to Götze's number 8 like role. Rode is not someone I am concerned about, he is clearly a covering midfielder and won't contribute much to their attack. Maybe some slight pressing might be good for us but nothing more. On the other hand he is one very good covering midfielder so I might want to bypass him and play through the flanks. Dahoud is just a worse version of Götze so whatever is effective against Götze will also be effective against him. Unless they are resting Götze he shouldn't be starting this game. Delaney is every bit as as good at covering as Rode with an additional asset in his long shots and aerial game. A BBM through and through marking him is out of the question, he needs to be closed down. The battle for the flanks is lost before it has even started: Just what am I meant to do against this trio? I feel is best to abandon the fight and focusing on dealing with their crosses and movements inside. One of my central defenders can play on the wings so I might try that but then again he is one of my tallest, best anti air player so I might want him as a centre back. Next time I will expose just how I plan to deal with the challenges ahead. You might be wondering why I am not talking about the striker, the reason is that I will simply have on of my defenders mark him tightly. Why? because it is more important to cut the ball before it reaches him than try to do something once the ball has reached him. He is simply a goal scorer with nothing interesting about him aside from his ability to beat his marker and shoot at point blank. If the ball reaches him in a dangerous position it's all over, as simple as that.
  5. A total success I am very pleased with how the team played. We managed to reduce their opportunities to a minimum. We also scored a total of four goals against them completing our tactical domination of the match. I have not included to blocked shots from outside the area. the two shots from inside the area were achieved through set pieces. Our tight marking of their strikers and closing down of both midfielders meant that the best they could do throughout the match was two really speculative shots from far away. As I predicted it was Jaroszynski who proved to be conductor of the attack but Chiriches and Koulibaly dealt with most crosses with ease. Not once did Verona threaten us. Our defense was excellent at stopping their attacks short, especially their long passes from deep. a fantastic result against a serie A side. Next opponent will be Dortmund a stronger side which will pose us much more problems than Chievo and which will prove a much more interesting side to combat against.
  6. Our next friendly is against Chievo Verona. The first thing I look at is their manager's profile. At the bottom we can see his usual way of playing, a deep 532 with a direct attacks and zonal marking. We also see that he likes to go with attacking mentalities but I do not trust this too much since Napoli is a much better team than Verona there is a high chance they will go for a more conservative formation. Next I take a look at their matches to try and guess some things about their team, especially the roles they use: These are Chievo's average positions against Spezia with and without the ball, The great difference in positions of the their number 11 makes me thing of a BBM while their number 8 seems to be either an Anchorman or a DMd. They seem to be playing with a DLF and a Nº9 like forward like a poacher or an AF. I can also see that their right wing is slightly more attacking than their left one and that there defence is narrower than their attack. Next I take a look at their main attacking threats which in this case are numbers 10, 9, 11, 7, 3 & 2 (which are most likely the friendly shirts) Looking at their matches I see that their four goals in three matches came from the strikers so if I manage to identify their weaknesses and plan accordingly I should not fear their attack at all. Stepinski is a very average striker, his balanced attribute spread might seem like a hard but to crack but he is weak on the air with a decent but not exactly good height and poor physical attributes. He is good at moving with nice anticipation, off the ball and speed attributes so we must avoid trough balls since that is the one area where he outperforms our defence, his lack of concentration and bravery will also work in our favor. Pucciarelli is another average striker who while more technical and intelligent than Stepinski is easily bullied physical defenders, they seem to work as a creator-scorer combo but they don't pose any threat on their own to our defence so long as we can keep Verona from attempting a killer pass in front of our area. these are their midfielders, since I already determined that I can beat their strikers in the air it is most important that I deal with them since they are going to be responsible for the best chances Stepinsky will get unless I do something about it. Radovanovic is on paper the more dangerous of the two being the more technical, ambidextrous of the pair and having the more aggressive spread but his composure, speed and off the ball let him down. Man marking might be the best idea to shut him out since he lacks a way of dealing with it. Joel Obi is faster and better at moving across the pitch but lacks Radovanovic's technique and is very one footed, he is however better at defending. I think that showing him on his weaker foot will be enough to neutralize him. Jaroszynski is undoubtedly the better player in the attacking phase, but he is not a world beater so to speak, he is let down by his off the ball but has no other clear weakness. Cacciatore lacks composure, off the ball and overall technique but makes up for that with a better defensive game than his partner on the other side of the pitch. I don't think they are particularly threatening but I might try to exploit Jaroszynski worse defending abilities to exploit that wing in particular. I think I can easily turn their attacks into a one dimensional bombardment of crosses by targeting their midfielders, I will try to play a deep 4231 and hit them with fast counters when their 6 man attacking unit gives us the ball.
  7. Pragmatism I am at heart a perfectionist. I want to do things the best I can and I try to take into account every detail in order to achieve my goals. Even in football I am constantly watching matches, reading books and articles, watching videos...etc. Pragmatism is defined as a philosophy that quantifies and qualifies approaches and beliefs in terms of their success in praxis. There is a widespread belief that perfection is impossible, this is most likely true and therefore our only consolation is taking a pragmatic approach to things. So long as it gives my team 3 points I will keep using and developing the different tactics that will arise in this thread with no qualms about the manner the goals are scored. Adaptability Systems are never going to be perfect because they are never absolutely universal, therefore a pragmatic approach requires a high level of adaptability. This translates as different formations and different role distributions in these formations along with a flexible set of team instructions to better exploit an opponents weaknesses and better cover our own deficiencies. four formations should be enough I am thinking a a 433, 4231, 532 and 442. These four formations should be more than enough to face all kind of opposition in several different ways. Different formations and roles will be adopted throughout the thread as a way of dealing with our opposition along with different methods of attack and defence. Reactiveness Reactive fotball has been associated by certain fans with anti football. Anti football was a term first used in argentina to criticize Zubeldía's Estudiantes. Zubeldía and his disciples practiced a brand of football that focused on stopping their opponent's attacks and later scoring from drilled set pieces but could sometimes indulge in unsportsmanlike practices. In truth reactive football has nothing to do with being particularly defensive or engaging in unsportsmanlike practices of any kind. Reactive football is just an approach that takes into consideration the peculiarities of your opponent in order to maximise the odds of victory. There is no need to be defensive about this and indeed if a team were to take a defensive approach against a parked bus we would be talking against a failure to react to their opponents choice. In this save I will be taking a look at my rivals way of playing in order to determine the best way to deal with the threats they pose as well as posing some problems of our own to the opponent. These three will be the core of this new save where I will take a detailed look at our rivals before deciding how to play to stack the odds in our favor. I will do this by using all the tools the game gives us to analyse the different teams and players we will be up against. I will then come up with a tailored tactic to face our opposition. I have chosen Napoli as my team, I was going to go for a mid tier english team but after the brexit debacle with Chelsea in my Archetypes thread I am a bit scared about doing anything other than a homegrown talent save in England.
  8. A hiatus We'll meet again don't know where don't know when but I know we'll meet again some sunny day After a 1-0 victory in the german cup from our opponents own goal, after scoring seven out of eight goals from set pieces and after my changes caused us to play worse both in possession and out of it I am burnt, I can't properly recreate my vision and it is time for me to move on. I have decided to focus on a different topic that has been roaming around my mind since the 442 diamond. During the summer, when I am fresher and have more time and patience I will return to my 4231 and by then I will hopefully come closer to my ideal. Thank you all for reading my posts and sorry for the hiatus but if I am not having fun with this save and it is becoming a source of frustration for me I refuse to continue at the moment. Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back is not the same as never leaving Terry Pratchett
  9. Evolution By paying close attention to our pre season friendlies I decided to add several new team instructions that have helped the team perform: Pass into space: we were lacking penetration so I switched it on and it has helped our attack an awful lot Overlap left/right: I was unhappy with the movement of our wingbacks so I told my team to overlap the flanks in an attempt to make them go higher up the pitch, it has worked. Work ball into box: in the second half of our intrasquad friendly I ticked off the lower tempo and switched on this instruction creating better chances for us than before. Use tighter marking: this instruction was chosen to help us with our press. Prevent short GK distribution: I noticed that we were allowing our opponents to play from the back unopposed. additionally I told both my wingbacks to Stay Wider and my AMs to Get further forwards, move into channels and Take more risks. Our German Supercup game went quite well for us, the opening phase was a bit chaotic and we didn't quite dominate possession during the game (pass into space seems to be the one to blame) but we were able to reduce them to 5 single shots against us. One problem we came up against was the high number of long speculative shots (roughly 50% of our attempts) and the fact that when one of players managed to get into a good scoring position he was immediately closed down by one or more opponents. In the end they only managed to score from a lucky corner while we immediately equalised from a nice combination of passes culminating in Müller scoring from inside the box. After that we won on penalties. I am still looking to make some more changes, I am happy with our high press but there may be some issues when we have the ball, or it may have been just this match since we dominated our friendlies against similar or better opposition. The early parts of the season will tell.
  10. All wrong, all wrong. After my dissatisfaction with my implementation of my ideal and my foray into the 442 diamond I was once again facing the challenge of building a system based on my archetypes. I decided to get rid of my previous tactic and start from nothing in an attempt to skip my previous mistakes and look at things from a fresh perspective. Where did I go so wrong that the highlights of the season came from ignoring the system in favor of a different tactic? Why couldn't my team play like in my vision? Looking at my first Chelsea season with new eyes I can see where I went wrong, I obsessed over my 11 archetypes and disobeyed the very first rule I had established. " Choose the best player for each position and you end up not with a strong eleven but with 11 strong 1s". I was trying to form a system out of eleven players rather than find the eleven players needed for my system. I remembered what a teacher of mine once told me: "I always tell students to check their essays in search for spelling mistakes but when it is my turn to do so I always tell myself I was careful not to make them in the first place". In this second attempt at building my dream team I will take a different approach and develop the players into the archetypes I want to see in the pitch after having a tried and tested system. I will also add a self imposed handicapped and sign only U20 german players, to once again avoid signing the usual suspects. The Phoenix After a long period of procrastination and thinking about just how I would like my team to play a memory came to my mind. It was a game from almost a decade ago, Spain's historic 1-0 domination over Germany in South Africa. At times the spaniards were simply perfect, playing a narrow, short passing carrousel that swept the germans away and employing an aggressive high press to regain possession before Klose and podolski could receive a pass. I decide to take inspiration from that side and try to develop a short passing and high pressing 4231. I intentionally went for a very fluid combination of roles so that my team would gain a greater cohesion. SKa= I believe that playing a short passing game high up the pitch demands an aggressive sweeper keeper, Ws= the "Generic" role, as I observe the tactic this role might change but for now I will rely on my team's mentality as the main factor fueling their attacking intent. CDd= again a pretty standard role. DLPs= my playmaker, he should be the guy with the greatest number of touches on the ball and must be up to the task being our midfield orchestrator. cms= another role that may vary, for now I have gone for the default midfield role to see how things work out. IFs= for now all I know is that I want my wide midfielders to cut inside so I went for an inside forward, I might try an AP in the future. AMs= the role has no instructions which means that (along with my TIs) it is up to the player I place here how he interprets his duties. CFs= I don't like using a CF but the DLPs and F9 are probably not aggressive enough for what I want to play, plus they will take space from my n10. Attacking mentality: 2010 spain was a very cautious side that liked to dwell on possession as a means of indirect defense and attrition of the opponent but I want to go for a more goal hungry side, this might go down to positive if I feel attacking is too high. Much Shorter Passing: the key instruction when playing with the secondary goal of dominating possession. Lower Tempo: I was debating between this and "work ball into the box", both of them would be overkill so I will first try this one and switch to the other if I don't like what I see. Narrow: makes us more compact which helps with the shorter passing. Take short kicks + distribute to centre backs/fullbacks: a combination of instruction to help us build from deep Higher DL/LOE: I might change this to "Much higher" but I don't trust the extreme options in the tactics setting too much, only praxis will tell. More urgent: passive pressing and a high DL is, in my opinion, an incoherent choice.
  11. Brexit has happenned in my save and the Premier now runs on a maximum number of Foreign players system which has ruined my squad of only 4 english players. It will take me forever to bring a team of acceptable players under these conditions so I have decided to start a new save with Bayern Munich since it already has a ready made squad for the style I want to play and they happen to have a great academy and be wealthy and prestigious enough to poach the best talent in the world. I am sorry if any Chelsea supporter wanted to see my dream team play on chelsea shirts but this was probably the worst Brexit my Team could have suffered.
  12. Using a high Press You do not need to look at the first minutes of the match to see how the other team plays and how you should try to counter, before every match I take a look at the manager of my opposition where one can find very important information regarding the style of play of the opponent: Here we can see the tactical choices he usually makes and other important information such as their teams mentality, the way they defend and how long their passes will be. In this case I chose a High press because of their bottom heavy formation and the fact that Jokanovic (who played for Chelsea at the start of the century if I remember correctly) like to have his teams play out of defence. A 442 diamond is an interesting creature when in relation to the high press. On paper such a top heavy formation is ideal for this kind of press but on the other side the lack of people on the wings would mean that there should be an option available there. The first thing that surprised me was our way of implementing the "prevent short goalkeeper distribution": Our midfielders have gone higher up the pitch to pair with their centre backs and our front free has moved to the wings ready to apply pressure on the fullbacks and wingers which means that Fabricio must send a Globe to either the wide areas of the pitch or the central midfield beating our press but risking interception. When in possession Fulham were subjected to an intense pressure that allowed us to wing the ball back and win the possession battle: Here our pressing has cut down all posible passes (30-23, 28-9, 18-24, 19-4, 3&6-7 and 6&8-20) so there are only two options left for number 7, the right fullback who is in an innocuous position or a long complicated pass under pressure to the left wingback. We even have two spare players ready to pose another challenge should the fulham player dribble past his marker. This pressure from our side translated into roughly 70 intercepted passes and 35 tackles won. Our attack was the same as always. fulham defended narrow to deal with our front three and not leave the centre backs with a 3vs2 so our fullbacks had the wide areas of the pitch to themselves and sooner rather than later a cross found its way home. When they lost the ball in the middle of the pitch our AF would chase a ball into space and try to make something out of it but in this particular match this was not successful.
  13. European super Champions After a ten man draw against Bielsa's West Ham where I decided to boldly play a high press against them (I went for a low block the moment Jorginho earned himself a red card) I was very happy with the way we both attacked and defended but was a tad unhappy with not having a match to showcase how effective our tactics were being aside from friendlies. Until now. The European Supercup saw us fight Champions League winners Inter who played a 4231 with DMs, I decided to go for a low block and try to hit them on the counter but I was not expecting to dominate them the way we did: This here is a depiction of all the passes we intercepted from them and fro reading them we can see one thing clear, they were having trouble getting the ball into dangerous positions from deep. A second less obvious problem they had was the fact that they just couldn't give the ball with their intimidating partnership of James Rodriguez and Icardi. James had to drop deep to receive passes from the wings and Icardi only touched the ball 15 times 8 of them being headers. Even if this seems like a mess the message is clear, they were forced to rely on wingplay to attack where they had a natural advantage. This can be seen when we see they with the following revealing statistic, those nine shots they had? here is where they came from: When it came to our attack we were able to make a healthy 10 key passes, the one thing they have in common is directness other than that we were quite versatile whhen it came to our passes and the areas we received those passes in: I know it looks like a mess but it is rather easy to read, those yellow dots in surrounding the opposition area are the places where our players received a pass, if you are failing to create chances and can't see what is wrong just from looking at the game you should use this analysis tools to better understand what is going on. Just like Inter's diagram showed they relied heavily on the wings to create chances these two diagrams show an unpredictable pattern of attacks with our chances coming from deep, from the wings and from zone 14 in the way you would expect given how we played (a little less from zone 14 a little more from deep). One final thing: Despite playing a low block these where our average positions, you will notice that we tended to play higher up the pitch than them despite the low block this is because we played on an attacking mentality which meant that for us playing with a low block is roughly the equivalent of a standard D line and LOE for a balanced mentality (and our interceptions helped skew this diagram), this is an important thing to keep in mind when adjusting mentality and out of possession instructions. What in a balance mentality is the equivalent of "sit deep and tight" in an attacking mentality becomes "just be careful with leaving too much space for the strikers, don't go too high up the pitch".
  14. I think the most underated of managers and a guy whose ideas have shaped my understanding of football just as much as Cruyff and Michels is Valery Lobanovsky. He took both the individual and collective training sessions to new levels and his 442 was refined into a perfect machine of quick vertical passes, relentless pressing and varied defensive approaches the likes of which we have never seen again. Without him there would have been no Bielsa, no Sachi, no Simeone and no Klopp and the ways of training would be stuck 20 years in the past.
  15. A cursed Cup We seem to be cursed when it comes to the community shield, which we have lost two times in a row. This time, unlike our painful humiliation in the hands of Man City we were able to not only fight for the trophy but also dominate the game. The attacking mentality makes naturally us play a slightly more direct passing style with a higher tempo which I wanted to use because teams were able to park the bus against us with ease and force us to launch speculative crosses with too much ease. These here a my team's base instructions when we play, no matter the opponent we will will always use this settings as the core of our style. Additionally I will add depending on the opposition changes to the LOE, D Line and Offside Trap to create three ways of defending. Against possession oriented teams we play a high LOE and D line with an offside trap. This way we will force our opponent to deal with the same problem I had to deal with when playing the 4231 against high pressing teams, I have a choice of three tall, Intelligent centre backs who can deal with a direct style of play and shut down isolated forwards with ease. Against opposition I am not sure about I just play with standard height and see if I can find a way to exploit something in their style of play. This middle block aims to make use of our midfield superiority against wide formations. Against direct opposition with fast mobile forwards I play the same low block I beat Frankfurt with. This aims to reduce the space the forwards can use while at the same time inviting the other team to leave space for our front three to exploit. This such block came into play against Man United during my very first game of the season. Having played the match I could have done even more to shut them down such as targeting Pogba and parking the bus for the final 15 minutes of the game but there is no use in crying over spilled milk. Here we can see both the greatest strength and weakness of our formation, their 433 has no way of targeting Jorginho and our front three demands an extra defender in the back line which frees up space for someone in the team to use but out fullbacks open a lot of space and just like I was ready to launch quick attacks on them they were ready to respond in a similar manner, their equaliser came from 3vs2 arising a not dissimilar position almost at the very end of the match. Our own goal came when Jorginho gained the ball from Rashford and passed it to Kovacic who found Morata expertly bypassing their back line and passing the ball inside for Lukaku to score an easy one on one against De Gea. We failed to score a single penalty against De Gea but were very much the better side
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