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  1. Haha, sorry man. Hoping to get the rest of the update done soon. Thanks for the kind words.
  2. With my tactic ready to go it’s time to see if what works in my head, works in the game. To do this, as per Cleon’s article: I’ll be doing the same, playing 3 competitive games without changing a thing. I’ll also be analysing the games and making notes of key events, our shape with the ball and our shape without it. I’ll watch the entire first 15 minutes and then switch to Comprehensive Highlights for the remainder. As you might have guessed, I’ll not only be looking at how the tactic is doing in terms of general play but also in terms of how well it’s reflecting my desired style of play. Are we keeping possession, playing shorter passes, attacking through the middle and controlling the game in the opposition's half? Game 1 Altglienicke vs Bayer 04 DFB-Pokal 4-6 Favourites Key events 23’ Bayer 04 goal Counter from an opposition set piece 42’ Bayer 04 disallowed goal Offside from a free kick With the ball 4’ IWB - De (circled in red) holding his position, acting like a 3rd centre back / defensive midfield ready to stop potential counter attacks and recycle possession if needed 10’ IW - Su has the ball on the left and has 2 options inside, or has a 1v1 against the opposition winger. The VOL - At has taken up a brilliant position on the edge of their box and has plenty of central options to find (including the IF - Su) if the ball comes his way 45’ More evidence of our IWB - De doing his job Without the ball 23’ Their midfielder has the ball and is being pressed by our IF - Su (showing him inside) while our PF - At is marking his closest passing option Seconds later our IF - Su has forced their midfielder into a mistake and he’s given it straight to our RPM - Su. A good sign that we’re defending on the front foot in order to control the game 25’ You can clearly see our high line in action here and our players defending higher up the pitch to try and control the game in the opponents half Not much else at all to report in the second half with highlights drying up completely. Overall we dominated the game as you’d expect us to against this opposition. The possession numbers and passes attempted are particularly pleasing, as well as the fact we stopped them having a single shot. Underperforming our xG is disappointing, but what’s more disappointing is the lack of big (0.25 or higher) chances we created throughout the game, supported by our lack of Clear Cut Chances. Overall I’m very pleased with how the tactic reflected our style of play. We kept possession of the ball, played lots of short passes and controlled the game in the oppositions’ half. We tried to attack through the middle and often had plenty of numbers there but with no return, that’s definitely something to keep an eye on. The defensive performance was also very pleasing. If the highlights dry up again after I switch to Comprehensive Highlights in the next games I won’t be afraid to switch back to Full Match. Game 2 Bayer 04 vs S.C. Ashdod EURO Cup 8-11 Favorites Key events 4’ Bayer 04 goal Good work down the right from our CWB - Su, crossing it to our IW - Su to tap in 47’ Bayer 04 goal Wide free kick to the back post With the ball 4’ The cross leading to the goal, as you can see we’ve got 4 men in the box attacking through the middle 24’ This only resulted in a corner but again, we’ve got 4 players in the box attacking through the middle if the CWB - Su gets his cross in Without the ball 24’ We are set up well to regain the ball if the cross was cleared, aiding our possession football and controlling the game in the opponents half 50’ We can see the high defensive line and extremely urgent pressing in action here, our VOL - At is pressing the ball carrier, our SS - At is on hand whilst also blocking the pass to their number 46 90’ Our IWB - De is again taking up a really good position, ready to stop counter attacks or recycle possession if needed Once again the match stats are quite pleasing, we controlled the game and limited them to only 5 shots and 0.3 xG. We also created 2 Clear Cut Chances this time round which was pleasing. 42% of our shots were long shots which is a bit of a worry, which might have made me want to add the Work Ball Into Box team instruction now… however the team we were playing against were playing a 4-2-2-2 with 2 DMs and 2 CMs which would definitely explain why we were resorting to long shots. All the more reason to play at least 3 games without changing anything. Once again we can be pleased with the xG match story, they barely created anything of note and we steadily created throughout the game. We even had maybe 4 decent (0.25 or higher) chances as well, which perhaps should have been finished by our striker who apparently had one of those games. Overall I’m pleased with how this tactic aligned with my desired style of play. We also showed that even against a defensive formation we could still attack through the middle of the pitch with some success. Game 3 Bayer 04 vs Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga 10-11 Favorites Key events 4’ Arminia Bielefeld goal Their CAM has produced a moment of magic, skipping past two of our players and playing a killer cross into the near post for their player to finish… 35’ Arminia Bielefeld goal While we had two players pressing out wide, their wide player was able to play a ball in behind our 2 CBs and put their striker clean through on goal to score 58’ Bayer 04 goal Really good one/two touch passing leading to our IF - Su crossing it to 4 players running into the box, it falls to our IW - Su at the back post who slots home 64’ Arminia Bielefeld goal A really poor loss of possession from our SS - At in a dangerous area leads to us being wide open With the ball 2’ Very early on we can see we’ve got plenty of numbers in the middle and our IWB - De is sitting in that position once again 58’ Good build up play has led us to our IF - Su crossing it to 4 attacking options in the middle 64’ This is just before our SS - At loses the ball, is this down to not having enough options? If we had a PF - Su would he be close enough to provide a passing option? Is this a bigger issue or an isolated individual mistake? Without the ball 12’ Our shape here is quite pleasing, the number 10 is pressing the ball carrier while also forcing him to the outside where our number 11 is covering a passing option and ready to press their number 15. The rest of the team is also positioned well to help with the press to try 35’ While this shape doesn’t seem too bad, this unfortunately led to the goal - I was particularly disappointed with our BPD - Co here as I feel this should have been swept up by him. Is that a personnel issue? A player pressing an intensity issue? Or just a lapse in concentration? What a poor performance... We failed to keep more possession against a team we consider to be favorites against, completed less passes and failed to create a single Clear Cut Chance. The 6 long shots is also a worry, once again proving that we might be a bit toothless in terms of our chance creation. They were obviously on fire in terms of their finishing, scoring 3 goals from a total of 0.67 xG but the fact they had 55% possession really doesn’t sit right. We actually created some half decent opportunities throughout this game but failed to capitalise on our dominance, only scoring once from our 2 big (0.25 or over) chances. While their first goal was a big chance, their other 2 goals were a lot less likely which does give me some hope that this game might be a one off. Overall this was a disappointing defeat and gives me plenty to think about. While a result like this could make me want to make wholesale changes to my tactic, my thinking at this point is to play another game or 2 before making any changes. Conclusion Hopefully you’ve learnt a bit from this case study, I’ve certainly enjoyed putting it together. I know the opposition wasn’t exactly “competitive” but the analysis still applies. With what I’ve learnt from these 3 games I may well come back with a revised FM22 version trying to achieve my desired style of play. I probably won’t go into as much detail but I’ll keep you posted on my journey to playing possession football, with short passes while controlling the game in opposition’s half and attacking through the middle.
  3. Even with FM22 just around the corner, I thought I’d do a little case study following my (with the stuff I’ve learnt from others) process of creating a tactic in FM21. The two links below are two of the most useful topics I’ve seen when it comes to creating a tactic and I recommend reading them both before mine. https://community.sigames.com/forums/topic/467009-creating-a-tactic-step-by-step/ https://community.sigames.com/forums/topic/407593-marcelo-bielsas-tactical-philosophy-in-football-manager-2017/ Style of Play Rather than creating a tactic based on player attributes / positions available in the current squad I’ll be using elements of real life tactics. As Cleon talks about in his step by step guide: As a result I’m going to be focussing on key concepts in a generic manner, the concepts that make up my desired style of play are: Possession football Short passes Control the game in the opposition's half Attack through the middle You’ll definitely be getting very sick of these 4 concepts by the end of this topic as I’ll be constantly referring back to them throughout to ensure every tactical decision made has them in mind. For those interested, the inspiration for my style of play comes from arguably the 2 best sides in Europe right now. Team Mentality With my style of play in place, I now need to decide my team mentality. As O-zil mentions in his article: In order to achieve my desired style of play I’ve read through the various team mentality descriptions and decided on this. Team Mentality: Positive Formation With my two inspirations (Bayern and Ajax) in mind I have actually already settled on a 4-2-3-1 shape, however in terms of how that is set up, as O-zil rightly pointed to, let’s look at this quote from Jonathan Wilson: With my shape already decided, let’s think about how I can set up my players in a 4-2-3-1 to facilitate my style of play. A player holding his position to be available to recycle possession easily to facilitate possession football Player roles and duties forming triangles to facilitate short passes and possession football Players with higher starting positions to win the ball back higher up to facilitate controlling the game in the opposition’s half Putting any attacking player mentalities in the middle to facilitate attacking through the middle A staggered midfield to create vertical options to facilitate attacking through the middle and possession football Players Roles and Duties Taking the above into account let’s take a look at how I’ve initially set up my players. The player holding his position to be available to recycle possession will be the IWB - De. His job will be to act somewhere between a third centre back and a defensive midfielder, protecting us from counter-attacks and helping us keep the ball moving. The IWB - De, BPD - Co, CD - De, RPM - Su and VOL - At have all been set up to try and form triangles across the pitch to make passing options. The VOL - At and RPM - Su should provide lots of movement in the centre, helping us keep the ball while providing an attacking threat through the middle from deep. The IF - Su will cut inside looking for a pass or shot, while the CWB - Su will overlap from deep, providing potential crosses into our central attacking players. The IW - Su on the left will keep some width but then move inside to again help us focus our attacks through the middle. The SS - At and PF - At should both aid the team in winning the ball back higher (as per their role descriptions) as well as being an attacking threat through the middle. Team Instructions Every team instruction added should be with the intention of achieving my desired style of play. With this in mind I’ve listed every instruction added along with the key concepts they support. Play Out Of Defence Possession football Short passes Shorter Passing Directness Short passes Possession football Fairly Narrow Attacking Width Attack through the middle Dribble Less Possession football Counter-Press Control the game in the opposition’s half Distribute to Specific Position Possession football Higher Defensive Line Control the game in the opposition’s half Extremely Urgent Pressing Intensity Control the game in the opposition’s half Force Opposition Outside Attack through the middle (bit of a stretch I know but my thinking is that this out of possession instruction populates the middle with heavy numbers, meaning that if we win the ball back we’ll have numbers to attack through the middle… maybe?) While I appreciate that some of these might not be 100% necessary or needed to achieve my style of play (especially that last one…) I’m happy with my initial selection. What’s Next? In the next post I’ll be taking my newly created tactic out for a spin and begin the process of analysing it. This is where Cleon’s article really comes into its own in terms of the analysis side of things and I’ll pretty much be following along step by step.
  4. Hello, and welcome to my first Football Manager 2020 thread. In this, I will be attempting to explain how I simplify all things related to mentality within the Football Manager Tactics Creator. A big mention has to go to @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! (please don't stop posting ), his threads have taught me the things that truly matter when creating a tactic. Another mention has to go to @Cleon. I highly recommend reading his creating a tactic guide. I'd also like to point you in the direction of @fmFutbolManager's website, not only will you find his cracking blog posts on there but also his incredibly useful mentality calculator. Anyway, let’s get into the thread! Team Mentality When selecting team mentality there are a few questions you should ask yourself: What type of team am I managing? Am I a team that can afford to take big risks tactically or am I an underdog? What style of football am I looking to play? Do I have the personnel to play this kind of system? What effect will this have on my players' mentalities? Once you’ve had a think about the answers to these questions you can then read through the different team mentalities and make your choice. In my opinion this is the first and most important team instruction that you are giving to your players. For my tactic in my academy only Crewe save I’ve chosen Balanced. I’m currently in League One after gaining promotion. My main aim this season is to avoid a relegation scrap. In terms of the system, I’m looking to give my players the platform to play their game; rather than give them a specific style of play. With a balanced team mentality I expect my players to be “carefully balancing risk and reward”, meaning we won’t be too cautious and invite teams onto us and we won’t be overly aggressive exposing ourselves at the back. Player Mentality A players mentality is affected by team mentality, role, duty and various team instructions. To view a players mentality, take a look at their instructions from the Tactics Overview screen and it will be displayed to the right of their role and duty. While lots can be made of how a players mentality affects how they play on the pitch, in this thread we’re keeping things simple. I like to think of it as how much risk a player takes performing the role and instructions assigned to him. Let’s take a look at the role’s and duties I’ve assigned my players in my 4-5-1 at Crewe: Now let’s take a look at each players mentality: Attacking Attacking Balanced Balanced Balanced Attacking Balanced Defensive Defensive Balanced Defensive We can see the following things with my system, we have: A mostly Balanced team. Central midfielders and fullbacks who will do a bit of everything. While performing their role and instructions in a balanced fashion, they are less likely to get caught upfield. Attacking threats on both wings. Both wingers will attack their man and try to get crosses into the box. Defensive core, focused solely on defending. These guys will keep it simple with their prime objective of defending the goal. An Attacking striker, who will try to both create and score goals. While the Complete Forward role is a demanding one, I want my striker to be a regular threat in the box and hold up the ball. Wide players in the midfield strata. Creates a solid band of 5 across midfield. Starting further back gives them space to attack into. On hand to help out their fullbacks. A central playmaker. Who will hold his position in front of the defence. Look to find the right balance when taking more risks with the ball. He will be the deepest midfielder, giving him more passing options ahead... sound familiar? Player mentalities can also be changed by Focus Play, Overlap and Underlap approach play instructions as well as other factors such as having the whole team on support duties. These can be used to fine tune your players’ mentalities to create the style of play you want. At this point I haven’t revealed any of the In Possession team instructions, however we already have a variety of different instructions for each player. The combination of Team Mentality, Player Roles, Duties and Mentalities create the initial team instructions before any of the actual In Possession team instructions have been selected. There are plenty of resources around that explain team instructions and how they affect the way your team plays. I'd recommend checking out @Rashidi's stuff, whether it's his YouTube or Twitch stream. Thank you for reading this short thread. I hope you’ve found it somewhat useful! Let me know how you guys like to set up your team and player mentalities!
  5. Hey O-zil, big fan of your work. Just to give my thoughts regarding your points: 1. Agree completely with this. I'm actually still using @fmFutbolManager's mentality calculator from FM18 when creating my tactics on FM20. It might not be 100% accurate but I still find it very useful. 2. As for the auto-assignment of Team Shape, part of me actually agrees with this. Granted my understanding of the ME isn't that great but to put it simply: - Structured: Defenders defend, attackers attack (midfielders midfield ). So in my mind it makes sense that if you put a back line of defenders on defend and attackers on attack the Team Shape will be auto-assigned to Structured. - Fluid: Defenders can attack, attackers can defend, the team does both together. With the majority of the team having support roles not one person/s is responsible for attacking or defending therefore the whole team must do it together. Unfortunately, as you have noted, your new found joy over disciplined tactics, using duties rather than shape to create compactness is definitely a banana skin when it comes to FM20. Especially considering that using the Very Attacking (Overload) mentality seems to move the Team Shape away from Structured. What might be a Structured Team Shape when using Balanced could be a Flexible Team Shape when using Very Attacking. To get the disciplined tactics that you are after it would definitely seem like you would have to use shape rather than duties, in order to create that compactness. That being said I (like most of the other people on this site it seems) would love to see you push the boat out and pick up FM20. I would be particularly interested in seeing how you used the new training, mentoring groups and obviously the tactics creator. P.S. My O-zil inspired flat 4-3-3 is going particularly well in my FM20 Mallorca save and has just moved from the Flexible stage to the Very Fluid stage .
  6. Interesting at 1:13. "Gomez on Busquets, Ribery and Robben follow the fullbacks. Schweinsteiger follows Xavi and Muller again steps out with covershadow". This is roughly what I was going for by using a pressing forward, setting the wide players to man mark their opposite fullback and by using tighter marking for the AMC and 2 DMs. You could argue I should be using tighter marking along with pressing for the central players but I think that's something i'll experiment with to see how well it works currently.
  7. I don't suppose you know when that was said in the video? I must have missed that.
  8. Cheers. I'll be recreating this with a completely different team. I'll be adapting the tactics to the squad at my disposal, all will be revealed in the third post. I'll be honest, the Champions League instructions were mainly based from the two Barcelona games I remember watching back then. I'd almost have to agree with you in a way with the fact they never played "deep" as such however I seem to remember it was more they sat "deeper" and then pressed after certain triggers. Also I think in terms of replicating this in FM in order to be able to counter-attack effectively opposition teams will need to push forward, so the deeper line encourages that therefore leaving space in behind. Appreciate the comments though, maybe i'll experiment with leaving the defensive line and line of engagement as standard in the future. You're absolutely right... Maybe I'll end up removing that but in my head if say my Anchor Man decided to take things into his own hands and burst forward into the box, that'd leave me massively exposed at the back. If however though it blunts my attack more than helps keep my players in check I'll definitely be removing it. Cheers!
  9. Bayern Munich's Treble Winning Team Roles GK Sweeper Keeper Attack | Manuel Neuer None No explanation needed. The role made famous by the German keeper. DR Wing-Back Support | Philipp Lahm Close Down More Wing-Back to take advantage of the space vacated by the inside forward ahead of him and whilst Lahm did get forward often I think the support duty balances well with Robben’s attack duty on the same flank. He is also encouraged to close down more to press heavily in the wide areas. DCR & DCL Central Defenders Stopper | Jerome Boateng & Dante None Stopper duties have been used to promote the central defenders pushing ahead of the defensive line and sticking close to the opposition attackers. I did think about Ball Playing Defenders but I think Central Defenders with traits such as Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank (like Boateng and Dante have) then I think that suffices. DL Wing-Back Attack | David Alaba Close Down More I’ve gone with the Attack duty here as Alaba regularly bombed forward and even got amongst the goals during the season. Like Lahm he is also encouraged to close down more to press heavily in the wide areas. DMCR Anchor Man Defend | Javi Martinez Mark Tighter I think you could argue he was a Defensive Midfielder Defend however I think this role will offer that screening and occasional dropping in front of the defence that the DM wouldn’t offer, tough one though. DM strata has been used as it offers the screening in front of the defence that CMs just don’t offer. DMCL Segundo Volante Support | Bastian Schweinsteiger Mark Tighter To me I think this role perfectly sums up Schweinsteiger’s role within the team. He was like a Defensive Midfielder, Deep-lying Playmaker and Box-to-box Player all rolled into one. Mark Tighter has been used to cut off passing options when the flanks are being pressed. AMR Inside Forward Attack | Arjen Robben Stay Wider, Close Down More, Mark Specific Position D (L) How many times have we seen Arjen Robben hugging the touchline out wide, receive the ball, cut inside at pace and curl one top bins? To me this was an obvious choice. He is encouraged to close down more to press heavily in the wide areas as well as sticking closely to his opposite full back. AMC Attacking Midfielder Support | Toni Kroos Mark Tighter Wasn’t too sure with this role so I’ve gone with a pretty blank canvas. He will drop deep and support the DMs but won’t be a focal point like an advanced playmaker would be. He will also get into the box from time to time and crack a long shot in. Mark Tighter has been used to cut off passing options when the flanks are being pressed. AML Inside Forward Support | Franck Ribery Roam from Position, Close Down More, Mark Specific Position D (R) Could argue that his role is more of an inverted winger but as I went with the AM strata for the wingers (to promote pressing higher up) I’ve gone with Inside Forward on support and will work well with the overlapping DL. He is encouraged to close down more to press heavily in the wide areas as well as sticking closely to his opposite full back. He is also allowed to Roam from Position along with the STC as these two often end up in each others position and to create variety in our play. STC Pressing Forward Attack | Mario Mandzukic Roam from Position He will be a nuisance for the opposition defenders and constantly put pressure on them. Roam from Position has been added as mentioned in the AML role. Mark Tighter has been used to cut off the closest passing lane if the wide areas are being pressed. Subs: AMR Raumdeuter Attack | Thomas Muller Close Down More, Mark Specific Position D (L) Thomas Muller was a massive reason for the success of this team and to call him a rotation player wouldn’t do him justice. Preferably I would play him in this role however he could easily play in the STC position and if I did play him in the AMC position I would play him as a Shadow Striker or Attacking Midfielder Attack. STC Poacher Attack | Mario Gomez Mark Tighter This man would come off the bench to do one thing, score. Apart from that, other players such as Shaqiri, Luiz Gustavo, Van Buyten and Claudio Pizaro in my opinion would come in and play pretty much the same roles as the player they replaced. Bundesliga Possession Team Instructions Play Out Of Defence and Work Ball Into Box have been used to promote possession of the ball. Pass Into Space has been used as if we win the ball high up the pitch we want to punish the opposition by quickly taking advantage of the space left behind by advancing players. Counter-Press has been used along with the individual player instructions to try and replicate the pressing Jupp used. Much Higher Defensive Line, Much Higher Line Of Engagement and Prevent Short GK Distribution have all been used to try and win the ball back as high up as possible in dangerous areas. Champions League Counter-Attacking Team Instructions Work Ball Into Box has been used to encourage the chances we do make on the break to be as clear cut as possible. Pass Into Space has been used as when we win the ball back we want to punish the opposition by quickly taking advantage of the space left behind by advancing players. Counter-Press has been used along with the individual player instructions to try and replicate the pressing Jupp used. Counter has been used to promote countering at every opportunity. Be More Disciplined has been used so that the team keep their shape and stick to their jobs. We want this deep defensive unit to be hard to beat with no gaps. Lower Defensive Line, Lower Line of Engagement have been used to keep the team deep, compact and hard to break down.
  10. Quick disclaimer, I am still learning here. Even though I've been playing FM for a few years now I am by no means an expert so any advice is more than welcome! Also I am not saying this is exactly how the treble winning team played, I am simply putting together my version. Before reading this post I highly recommend watching this great Tifo Football video on Bayern Munich & Jupp Heynckes’ Treble winning season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLjkWniuBII That season he built a team that dominated the Bundesliga breaking numerous records including the most points during a season (91), fewest goals against (18), highest goal difference (+81) and many more by playing an attractive possession based style of football. During the Champions League the team showed their tactical flexibility as they produced devastating counter-attacking performances such as the famous 7-0 (agg.) demolition of Barcelona in both legs of the Semi-Final. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012–13_FC_Bayern_Munich_season Introduction One mistake I've made throughout my time playing FM is not appreciating everything that goes into recreating teams of old. Simply creating the tactic isn’t enough. Playing someone as an Inside Forward isn’t going to make them Arjen Robben. Playing a high line with a high press isn’t going to be successful with Per Mertesacker and Daley Blind at the back. A counter-press isn’t going to work if players don’t have high work rate and stamina. Likewise how are players expected to play in this way if the training schedules don’t regularly include sessions which improve these attributes and work on these things. Therefore recreating this will be a process; getting the right players in to suit the system, training the players to play in this way and creating a realistic version of the tactic that the current players can actually play. As a result throughout this topic I will be covering the following: Post 2 will cover my interpretation of the roles and player instructions used in Bayern’s treble winning team, the team instructions used for the possession football in the Bundesliga and the team instructions used for the counter-attacking football in the Champions League. Post 3 will cover the club choice for recreating Jupp’s treble winning team. I’ll go over a realistic (with the players available) version of both the possession and counter-attacking tactics as well as the relevant training schedules. Post 4 will include season updates.
  11. Thanks man. It's something I was a bit unsure on myself. Agree with you in that I don't think I've seen a "radical" press at all from England. One of the reasons I've kept the defensive line / line of engagement default is because as you say they usual fall back and press from there. I think at times you see notions of a counter press but it never seems to be a particularly well structured (or successful for that matter) press. I imagine this is mostly down to the fact that international managers just do not get the time with players to really drill home every tactical aspect coupled with the many different systems players are used to in club football.
  12. Could well be the answer. For the time being I'll keep things as they are but if I concede chances from this scenario again I'll look at removing the counter-press TI and adding individual player pressing settings - if this is what you mean?
  13. Smashing thread. I particularly like the 'first 15 minutes' analysis, been using that a lot and it really is spot on. Cheers @Cleon.
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