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Everything posted by Iamarock

  1. When playing a high line of defence you are exposed to long balls into the space behind you, my question is, can a tall player with very good positioning but who is somewhat slow play so high or are pace and acceleration irreplaceable?
  2. Sore Victors Valeri lobanovsky won the Soviet supreme Title in 1961 playing as a winger for Dynamo Kiev but rather than celebrate he rued how close they had been to disaster and is quoted to have said: "yes we won the league but so what? Sometimes we played badly we just got more points than teams who played worse than us". This is my very feeling after winning the league on the final day in a hard fought game against United. Many a game during the season could and should have gone the other way and we would ha struggled to even qualify for the Champions League had it not been for Hazard's brilliant solo goals and the opposition strikers giving away many easily won one on ones against Kepa. The truth is that I can not claim that my 4231 works since I do not have the defenders needed to play so high up the pitch and only recently did I get my AMC to work. In retrospect this failure to put everything together is understandable, we were trying to play as if all our wonderkids had reached their full potential and I demanded too much from some of my players, I should have been more patient about the whole Dream Team system and try to translate my vision into something playable with my current players but I was so enamored by the little moments of brilliance on the field that I failed to notice for a long time they were not the result of a successful tactic but just anecdotal happenings. The way forwards The first thing to work on are corners, throughout the season I was terrified every time my opposition won a corner while we failed to make the most out of our own corners. The second thing to think of is the 442 diamond. I enjoyed the game the most when I tinkered with it and adapted it against specific teams and ways of playing like I showed against both Tottenham and Young Boys. In the following season I should like to further explore the possibilities of a formation I initially shied away from. The third thing I must develop is an alternative tactic or a different interpretation of the 4231 to play while my youngsters are developing into the players that will fit my original vision of the 4231. The final thing to focus on is the acquisition of players that can play the way I want them too instead of making do with what i had as I have tried this season.
  3. Under Preassure After a last minute 1-2 victory over Bielsa's West Ham and a dramatic 3-2 defeat in Portugal against Oporto which saw us win on the away goal after a 1-0 victory in Stamford Bridge I learnt that my main tactic is most vulnerable against direct high pressing teams. My defenders aren't simply good enough to play such a high line against those kinds of teams so When I saw that my Uefa semi finals rival, Young Boys, played a direct high pressing flat 442 I decided to go to the black board and device a way to not only neutralise their threat but also exploit their way of playing. This also marked the official debut of wonderkid Sandro Tonali who was handpicked to perform as the Half-Back for his PPMs (tries long range passes, brings the ball out of defence, dictates tempo) and some important attributes such as 15 composure, 14 vision and 16 first touch which I consider important to the way we decided to play. Our game plan was all about bypassing the press without actually knocking the ball forwards like a maniac while gifting the wide areas of the pitch in exchange for an impregnable area in front of our keep. I chose this plan because I saw that their best crosser only had a 13 crossing attribute with 14 technique and would cut inside from the wide areas anyways which meant that they were ill suited to exploit Guillaume Hoarau and his towering physique. Here we can see just why I decide on the roles I did and on Tonali. Young boys have tried to bypass our defensive line and now Kepa has the ball, in my usual tactic the long pass might have worked and Hoarau could have scored but in this match our defenders have intercepted the pass and handed the ball to Kepa. Tonali is dropping deeper as our centre backs are moving wider which creates an easily exploitable 3vs2 with which we can start to build up play. Notice that with giroud and Hazard dropping into the midfield their two central midfielders must leave our own central midfielder free of mark thanks to which our transition into attack is rather smooth. When Kepa passes the ball to one of my deep trio the midfielders and fullback are usually free of mark because we are playing wider and one of their midfielders was covering giroud who is know challenging our opponents high defensive line and who has drawn Kovacic's marker out of position. In the end we managed to win thanks to a long pass to Morata and a cross to substitute Arp in a convincing victory against a side that would have given me nightmare of a game had I faced them with the 4231.
  4. A Beacon of light After thinking a whole lot about my team and their roles and even wondering if my vision was right to begin with I came to the following conclusion. "my N10 plays badly because he lacks interesting options around him and he lacks interesting options around him because he lacks space to operate on." both the CMa and the DLF-a play too close to my Ap-s and this damages our way of playing since it is awkward for us to circulate the ball through the centre of the pitch. I entered the game with the same roles as as usual DLFa APs and sure enough we struggled to create any chances against City with only 4 shots in 45 minutes and all of them off target. In the second half now convinced I had found the problem I added the instruction "Be more expressive" and birthed this Tactic: At first I was very hesitant about this since I was playing with no less than 5 attack duties and a positive mentality but as if to prove that fate favors the bold not only was were we able to shoot five more times at goal, 4 of this chances were finally on target and one of them even found the net on the 107th minute. Götze performed much better creating two clear chances with two key passes in 45 minutes. Even now I cringe at the number of attack duties but even if I change some roles in the future I am now convinced that the way to go is an Afa with an APa. This could very well have been a fluke so further testing is in order, we did lose the possession battle so my next step will be to explore incorporating a DLP-d or lowering the tempo to better accommodate all the movement in the front. I hope I can write soon about how we have recovered the performance of earlier in the season and how our N10 is now a big part of how we play.
  5. A blue winter The third quarter of the season saw us lose our first spot on the premier to United, struggle to win the carabao cup against Watford in a comeback victory and barely narrow out our victories against opposition we should be dispatching with more ease. It started in december but since we did get the chances going I couldn't really change anything for the better. But the truth is that we are not playing as we used to and weaker teams have been hurting us on the counter. To make matters worse we confidently hit 3 to 5 wood posts per game and most goalkeepers get possessed by the spirit of Lev Yashin when playing against us so even if our chance creation hasn't worsened dramatically these chances amount no nothing on a regular basis. A 2-1 comeback win from set pieces against BRIGHTON almost made me give up on the tactic entirely. The problem is that I can't get my AMC to perform at acceptable levels, I have tried taking the playmaker job away from him, turning him into a shadow striker and pairing him with a false nine, give him an advance forward to pass the ball to. Nothing I have tried has worked and it is very much time to admit that the Götze experiment has been an utter failure. last match I won 2-0 against huddersfield dropping the defensive line to higher to better deal with their long balls and adding the "be more expressive team instruction" in a desperate attempt to improve our performance and it seems to have worked for that particular match even if once again our AMC did nothing of note. However our next match is the FA Cup semi-finals against Man City facing them for a 6th time this season (3-0-2 in our favor) and Our current way of playing just isn't gonna cut it against them. There is something wrong with my AMC and I am not sure what it is but I think it has to do with the way it interacts with the cm-a and the striker. I need to come up with a solution soon so i will give it all a long hard thought before facing off against Guardiola, if nothing comes to mind I will use the midfield diamond that neutralised Tottenham but it is only an experimental tactic and it needs a lot more work put into it.
  6. An Inspired Diamond Because Willian has been injured since december and we are not having the easiest of times and our last game against Tottenham ended in a 0-2 defeat that saw us relinquish first place to man united I decided to face the sixth round of the FA cup with a new approach: This here is my first attempt in Football manager at a narrow formation. I wanted to overload the midfield in order to force them to play wider and in order to control the game through possession without my box midfield. I added the instructions: "much higher line of engagement" and "prevent short goalkeeper distribution". As you can see my midfield diamond meant that not only did I have a 1 per 1 marking system against them but my anchorman could collect any stray header which did indeed saw them try to play in the wider areas of the pitch. Because Kane was injured Alli was playing as a striker and had a miserable game almost not seeing the ball because all Tottenham could do was send crosses that were dealt with by Rüdiger and Christensen. Here we can see how the extra man on midfield allowed Barkley to spot a long pass into space for morata to score the 1-0. Additionally Tottenham were having trouble dealing with the wingbacks with one of them almost always unmarked and with two or more players not helping in the defensive effort. When the ball was on the flanks Tottenham would often allow us to make an inside pass to a free midfielder and again leave a wingback free of any short of mark or pressure perhaps because the narrow front free demanded that they in turn defend narrowly. Here Alonso passed the ball to barkley who sniped zappacosta down the right wing who crossed a ball for Morata to score the 2-0. Tottenham only managed to score on the 87th minute thanks to a fluke counter. There are however a few things that I am not entirely sure about: first, despite our extra man in midfield we only managed 51% possession mainly because several long passes to the wingbacks would get intercepted, If I use this tactic again in the future I don't know if I should add the option play narrower to correct this. second, We defended the wide areas poorly and if Tottenham had had a proper striker things might had turned out very different, I am not sure how to better defend this areas of the pitch without sacrificing my main attacking advantage. third, The shadow striker did little to connect the midfield with the striker partnership, an It is either his or the BBM's fault, I must look more into it. Could someone with more experience playing this kind of formations shed some light on this issues? this is a second tactic I'd like to keep as an alternative to our main 4231.
  7. I am going to tell you the truth I am not very happy with my AMC myself, I have been experimenting with different approaches but nothing really clicks, I am soon going to hit the thirty League games mark and when I do I will write a post detailing some problems that have appeared.
  8. A look into the Future Like I previously said I am not comfortable with the idea of burning through mountains of cash in order to make my dream team, instead I should want to develop the players from my academy into world-class players who can proudly call themselves the best at what they do. I have just received my first youth intake and in combination with my early signings I have several promising gems in my club: Pelayo Morilla (17): I paid the release clause for him during pre-season and he has been improving greatly during these months, I have high hopes for this player who will surely become my N10. Technical: 15 finishing. 16 first touch, 16 technique. Some very good skills on the ball for his age Mental: 12 composure. 14 vision. 13 decisions. 12 flair. Not a genius but with a good idea of what to do Physical: 15 acceleration, 15 Agility, 15 pace. He is no speedster but he is no turtle either. Antonio marin (18): An ambidestroux dribbler with a bright future ahead of him, Were it not for Pedro he would already form part of the first team as Hazard's substitute. technical: 17 dribbling, 14 first touch, 16 technique. It is all about carrying the ball on his feet Mental: 18 flair, 13 off the ball, 12 composure. He is not that sure of what to do with the ball once carried but that can be worked on. Physical: 14 acceleration, 14 natural fitness, 14 agility, 14 pace. Some nice physical aid to his runs that could improve even further. Sandro Tonali (18): the next Andrea Pirlo, because there are so many midfielders in my squad he is playing in the U23s but you can be sure that someone will leave to make way for him next season. technical: 15 first touch, 16 passing, 16 technique. If Marin is a ball carrier Tonali is a ball distributor confident on his passes. Mental: 15 composure, 12 decisions, 14 teamwork, 14 vision, 14 workrate. An excellent head for someone as young. Physical: 14 stamina, 14 acceleration. He is no Toure Yaya and he doesn't need to be. Fiete Arp (19): My substitute striker, Giroud will have to look for a new team this summer because of this guy, a very complete forward who can both spearhead an attack and link play with people coming from deep. technical: 16 finishing, 15 first touch, 13 long shots, 13 technique. Like I said I am looking for someone with good first touch finishes. Mental: 14 anticipation, 14 bravery, 14 decisions, 16 off the ball, 15 teamwork, 13 composure. He has his head in the right place when it comes to chasing passes. Physical: 14 pace, 14 natural fitness, 14 Balance, 13 jumping reach. He is no tank but he will not be let down by his own body when fighting for the ball. Liam Hendey-Hoole(15): The pride and Joy of my first Youth Intake, this small winger can easily become my first choice attacking wingback for the next decade. technical: 15 crossing, 16 technique, 11 first touch. From a purely technical point of view he is already a better crosser than my first team wingbacks. Mental: 19 aggression, 12 anticipation, 12 composure, 11 decisions, 11 vision. Once he improves on some key attributes he is going to be a tireless defender and great crosser. Physical: 15 acceleration, 16 natural fitness, 14 pace, 14 agility. good attributes that will help him when going backwards and forwards during a game. Some other players might also become first team members but are a clear step behind this five prospects. I have been choosing training roles that focuses on some key attributes that I want to improve (poacher, winger, Deep Lying Playmaker) before they make it to the first team and once those deficiencies are corrected I switch to a more universal training role (complete forward, roaming playmaker, Box to Box midfielder, Complete wingback). My youngsters train at double the intensity and have a specific focus assigned to either correct some weakness or improve some strength.
  9. I only added the "work ball into the box" instruction after losing the community shield to Man City in a rather humiliating way.
  10. A Mistake Why couldn't I make my n10 work as I wanted? because I was too focused on the roles themselves and had forgotten about the players. There was no need for me to use a DLP because PPms and a few Pis will make the Regista for me. Take Tonali: Tries Killer balls often, Dictates Tempo, Tries long range passes, Brings the ball out of defence. It doesn't matter what role I give him because he is already a Regista by his repertoire alone I could make him a Volante and he would gravitate towards playing as a regista. The same is true for the BBM, I thought that only this role would make my player both attack and defend when in truth the whole team will defend and the player will regroup along with the team so long as he has a decent work rate. I was momentarily blinded by my "perfect" blueprint and failed to notice how it had become an obstacle to my players. A box is born This is the new, improved version of my original idea. The CM-d has been told to "dribble less" and "take more risks". The CM-a and AP-s conserve their "Close down more" instruction. I have chosen not to include any players in the image because the winter market is coming and a few trades might take place. The IWB-s positioning creates a box in the midfield with the help of the Cm-a, AP-s and CM-d, this box is crucial in helping us dominate the game and squeeze our opponents in their own half (our opponents create a chance every 93 minutes) .. We have an average of 59% of possession per game and have scored a grand total of 44 goals in 19 games while conceding only 15 (5 set pieces and 6 counter attacks). It's funny how unmistakably Brasilian the tactic is something which has got me thinking about the possible step forwards for the tactic The Future Like I said I realized a third of the way into the season just how Brazilian my tactic is, the box midfield, the deep striker, the possession oriented approach... this has got me thinking about the headache that is the N10 role and how Zico was not only a technical genius but a prolific goal scorer. The following formation and role combination will not be used during this season but is one of the futures I envision for this tactic: Very reminiscent of 1970's Brazil. I made the Cm-d into a DLP-d because I am not entirely comfortable fielding a side without a designated playmaker, The one issue with this team might be it's defensive vulnerabilities so I am waiting to either sign or develop a good solid pair of defenders before I even take a shot at this. The League We had an amazing run collecting another 21 points for a grand total of 46/57 points. Finishing is still something to work on with both Arp and Morata missing some really good chances that would have left us with a healthy 50/57 points but we are actually generating enough chances per game to go first despite this so i am overall happy about it. I promised The chairman that I would qualify for Champions League because I was unsure about my tactic but if things keep going our way we might even win the League.
  11. Thank you for your insight, I have noticed that the IWB and the BBM do tend to stick too close together and thanks to your comment on the DLP starving Götze I think I have come up with an improvement that will help our way of playing, I will try it out until mid season and then comment the results.
  12. The first Quarter of the Season This here is our starting XI, aside from Götze our transfer budget was spent poaching some of the brightest U18 talent in Europe: Marin, Arp, Tonali and Morilla (to mold them into archetypes). I only sold Lucas Piazón and Caballero. From this XI only Hazard fully embodies an archetype (the magician) my Dream team will take shape with patience and time I don't want to simply spend exorbitant amounts of cash on the usual suspects and call it an achievement. I was hoping that Gotze could perform at a high level with his great chance-creating attributes but he has been far from the number 10 I wanted him to be and I am not entirely sure about how to improve this, he simply doesn't contribute enough: 40 passes per game, 1'5 fouls against per game, 2'5 tackles won per game, 0'75 dribbles per game. All of this translating in 1 assist and 10 key passes in 9 games. I am considering either giving him the APs role or giving him the PIs dribble more, more risky passes, get further forward. Emerson and azpilicueta have been playing just as I wanted to and have yet to gain a rating below 7'0. I didn't sign a any centre-backs because I expect Christensen to improve throughout the season and Rudiger to suffice for the first year. I am having no problem creating chances but our finishing has left us down in one or two matches which I guess is a good sign when it comes to the tactic working. Our only truly bad match was the Community Shield match where I discovered that I had to add the "Work Ball into the Box team instruction" During the next matches I will experiment with my number 10 role to try and get more out of it. I am leaving the discussion on the evolution and shaping of my youngsters for later, when enough time has passed for a significant change to take place
  13. For versatility, if my defender has the eye for them I am not against him trying, what I am against is players who have no business trying those sort of passes launching the ball forwards without rhyme or reason.
  14. Prologue "Choose the best player for each position and you'll end up not with a strong XI but with 11 strong 1s" Mr. Cruyff has always been my managing Idol along with Lobanovskiy and when I find myself facing difficulties in the game I will usually refer to his adages in search for a solution. This quote in particular struck me deeply as a kid. I was not a physically amazing kid and I lacked technique on the ball so my approach to football was since the beginning a tactical, intelectual one, in the playground and sports class I would try to lead and aid my companions by directing them ( with mixed results and little discipline, when you are a kid you absolutely must be a horse to be a jockey). One of my obsessions was the formation of a Dream Team: 11 players all amongst the best at what they do who can work with each other as a team. Thus I will rephrase the previous quote as: "To have the strongest XI you need to have the best players in each role of a working system". In this Topic I will present my way of achieving such a thing. Archetypes in football I define Archetype as the pinnacle of a way of playing a particular position in football. As an example: the archetype for a deep playmaker who plays behind the midfield line is Pirlo, the archetype of a bombing wingback is Cafu, the archetype of the complete footballer is Cruyff. Archetypes can therefore be seen as the idealised version of a particular player, the best of the best in the history of football leave behind a blueprint of how the game should be played that lesser players seek to imitate. I believe that in order to build a squad one must select 11 archetypes and sign, scout and develop players to fit a particular idealised 11. Given that the greatest teams in history have all been about adapting 11 players into a system rather than adapting systems for 11 players it stands to reason that the system must take priority over a particular player. My Dream Team As a disclaimer I will say that I do not believe this eleven players to be the best in history but rather the best at 11 particular things I want my players to do. The Sweeper-Keeper Archetype, Manuel Neuer: A keeper that could play as a midfielder amidst an injury crisis, when he is not making great saves he is always there to ease the pressure and recycle the ball. I want my keeper to be confident when given the ball since I play with a highline and don't want long risky passes from my backline. The Railway Train Archetype, Cafu: A wingback that contributes in attack with pace dribbling and crosses, playing two roles at the same time as part of the back four and the attacking unit at the same time. I want my wingback to go high up the pitch and provide width along with another attacking option but also have the work rate to run back and defend when we lose the ball. The Tower Archetype, Vidic: A tall, strong, intimidating centre back that can win any and every physical challenge even against the bulkiest Target man. I want a stopper who can intercept the ball and leave the Ibrahimovics a Drogbas ball-hungry. The Kaiser Archetype, Beckenbauer: A technically gifted defender that can both win the ball back with an inch-perfect challenge and distribute the ball to his teammates with confidence and assertiveness. I want a player who I can trust when bringing the ball out of defence and who can balance the deficiencies of the Tower. The Tractor Archetype, Zanetti: a truly complete defender who can be trusted with every task on the pitch, the defensive equivalent to Cruyff. I want a wingback that can mark, tackle and intercept any chance that could be born on his side on the pitch and also help the midfield when possession has been won. The Regista Archetype, Pirlo: The playmaker of the Team, what he lacks in physicality he makes for in technique and vision. A man who can win entire seasons on his passing alone and will always find the space to create a clear-cut chance for the strikers. I want him to concentrate on passing the ball around and creating chances for the men in front. The Workhorse Archetype, Neeskens: The hardest worker in the pitch who can both stop an attack short on its tracks and smash the ball inside the net with an accurate powerful long shot without breaking a sweat. I want an all arounder that can sit deep, carry the ball on his feet and finish play during 90 minutes for 40 or 50 consecutive matches. The Magician archetype, Mathews: The man who no one can take the ball from receiving in midfield and only letting the ball loose inside the opponent's area. I want a dribbler that can bypass any defensive line while making the ball look like a sticky bomb The Roadrunner Archetype, Gento: The man no one can catch, he will outrun everyone and leave even the cameraman behind. I want a pacey runner with an excellent capacity for crossing. The technician Archetype, Zico: The number 10 of the team, the technical miracle who can make something out of any ball given and drive whole teams insane with his unpredictability and sheer talent. I want a gifted midfielder who can dribble, pass and shoot with equal ease and majesty. The Goal Machine Archetype, Sanchez: A striker with a seemingly endless repertoire of finishes who can score even the most pathetic of passes with with a single touch. I want a poacher who can score with both feet and his head beating his markers with good anticipation and off the ball movement and a clinical finish. Formation and Roles These are the roles which I believe will best help me achieve the combination of archetypes I want. SK-s= I don't think I need him on an attack duty since he can do his job when we are on the ball without taking extra risk. CWB-a= He will provide the width in attack and occupy the space left behind by the IF-a. BPD-d= He will be in charge of bringing the ball out of defence. CD-d= having him as a stopper would ruin the offside trap, he will work as a stopper because of his attributes not because of the role. IWB-s= He will cover the space left be the BBM when he goes forwards. DLP-d= My midfield creator he should stay the deepest and have no less than 6 options to pass the ball to (midfield partner + wingback + attacking midfielders + striker) BBM= The roaming midfielder to my holding creator, a multi-purpose tool. IF-a= a scoring and passing threat from wide, he should make things happen from inside the opponent's area. AM-s= I don't want another playmaker he will act like one when he gets the ball thanks to his PPMs but he won't be a ball magnet like a AP-s W-s= The will provide the width the IWB won't and add another option to our attack. DLF-a= by being deeper he should theoretically challenge their defensive line better, I am not sure about this role AF and P are both possible options I will try. My four attacking players and the BBM have the Close Down More PI, inspired by Lobanovsky. Team Instructions I tend to use roles and PIs over team instructions so there are only 6 things I want my team to do and which they won't do on their own. Positive Mentality= I will be playing a strong team so this will be my default. Shorter Passing= to help with possession and team cohesion. Play out of defense= I very much dislike long passes from the back line, this isn't american football. Distribute to centre-backs= consistent with play out of defence. Counter-Press= I want my team to attack the ball as soon as it is lost. Much Higher defence line= to aid with the pressing. Use Offside Trap= if the pressing works then my opponents will have to try long balls, this is my counter measure.
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