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123 "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"

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  1. Nothing particular to add, just glad you got something out of this thread!
  2. I mean, the tactic itself could maybe do with some work- is it meant to be a possession based tactic or more on the counter? Don't think it really offers enough penetration personally. I can't see if you've put the screenshot of your no 10 in. I was going to say unless you've got a great 10, I'd personally just shift to a 442. Seems like you have all the right players for it. Could play 2 BWMs/BBM types in the middle, a target man/DLF and an AF up top. On the right play your attacking wingback on the overlap and then Dennis Man cutting in. And then on the left just play a more reserved full back and one of your wing backs as the left mid. Easier to get firing in my opinion. Another thing I noticed- all your centre halves are kind of slow (other than Valenti, and he isn't fast fast). So maybe a high line doesn't make sense..? In fact, other than Man and your wing backs, all your players are pretty slow. I'd try asap to get some young blood in with better physicals to add some dynamism to the attack.
  3. Yes, I think that looks good (or better at least). But you should try it out and see I would also probably keep counter on, don't see why you wouldn't. And I'd also be tempted to play a normal 4231 instead of a 42DM31 with a team like Atleti but, again, see how the results are. I think you might be lacking penetration still but try it!
  4. The go to thread for TQs in a 4231 is of course this, worth a read: TL;DR is that a front 4 of: AF IFs-AMs-TQa Works very well (with one holder and one support/runner behind). Your tactics instructions are a little off, personally. I can't tell whether you're looking for it to be a counter attacking tactic, or patient possession, so I'd have a reassess of that as well. I'm using a 4231 at the moment, sometimes switching to a 42DM31 with the DLP/BBM or DLP/VOL combo. I use a front 4 of: P (sometimes AF) IFs-AMa-IWa The AMa gets very good ratings, decent goals and assists as well. You could try swapping in a TQ into the AMC slot or, wide on the right. If you are going to play cutting in wingers in a 4231 shape then imo a poacher/AF/PFa would be best to stretch the play. Personally I don't think the TQ role is best suited to a 4231, as there is less space available up top. I prefer him wide or central in a 433, in a narrow front 3 of either AMc/2 STs or 2AMc/1ST, or he can work well in a front 2.
  5. Some other ideas for roles which clearly exist irl but don't exist in the game: Playmaking fullback e.g. Trent Alexander-Arnold. Of course CWB can function like this but it ought to have the ball-attraction and built in risky passing of the other playmakers. Perhaps having Wide Playmaker available from the Wingback position..? Half-space players in the AM slot- Kevin De Bruyne, Havertz, Mount to name but a few, are players which ideally would sit in the position an aggressive Mezzala would find himself in, but in the AM slot. You can only fill this position if you use 3 CAMs- the wider players are what I'm thinking. Perhaps just making the Mezzala role available in the RCAM/LCAM slots, but a half-10 might be another term... EDIT: I'm an idiot- think that last one is more or less what @NotSoSpecialOne meant by 'false 10'..?
  6. 100000% agree on introducing some king of wide-back role. Not sure if Libero makes the most sense though. In some corners of the Internet I've used the term "elbow back" to describe this, so interesting to hear the German term. They should have introduced this back when Sheffield United came up to the Prem- overlapping centre-halfs are basically just an aggressive version of the role Azpilicueta has played for Tuchel/Walker has played for England etc etc. The closest I've come to replicating is using an IWB on defend. Playing a back three on FM is painful at times because the players tend to form a straight line in build up/possession. We need a role in the LCB/RCB positions that can either be on defend/support/attack and functions as a slightly higher position centre half in build up and then has a variety of behaviour depending on duty/tactics i.e. sometimes acting like a FB, sometimes as an IWB etc. "Wide-back" would be my shout... Only issue would be if it meant that there would be a hole in your defence- would the match engine be clever enough to get the other two CBs to shuffle over to cover..? EDIT: Regarding the term elbow back... https://spacespacespaceletter.com/this-is-the-year-of-the-elbow-back/
  7. Seems like a clear CWB-A to me, know? Very high and wide in build up, runs into the box to finish moves. Generally my view is that a) tactics being geared specifically to squads available, b) tactics being highly reactive to opposition and c) tactics being relatively simple (e.g. no highly complex JdP systems) means that Euros recreations are fun but not on the same level as club recreations. Having said that, England in the group stages were something like: FBs-BPDd-CDd-FBs VOLs-DMd IW-AM-IW CF The Declan Rice role could be a DMd/BWMd/Ad/HBd to be honest- he dropped deeper to build in a back three shape in some games. Stones was a BPD in the sense of playing longer raking passes, Maguire does his thing of stepping out with the ball into midfield and playing a pass to someone between the lines. Mount drifted over to the left hand side a lot so either some PIs or maybe a TQ role. Foden and Sterling played inverted for the most part but stayed wide in build up, so maybe even the winger role for one or both of them could work. And trying to get a read on Harry Kane's role was difficult from the groups due to not actually... doing much? And then to be honest, pretty default in a lot of the instructions. I'd say balanced mentality (the passive roles means that Cautious would be too much). Counter/Counterpress, pressing set to the medium maybe. Pickford mixed it up, sometimes going long, often building from the back. Against Germany, England obviously switched to a back three. I'd be inclined to line them up in a 343 or 3421 shape in FM, but the wingbacks definitely dropped to form a back 5 at times so not sure you could play them as WMs or DWs. They drew heavily in pressing from Tuchel's Chelsea imo (forming a 'pentagon', with a 5 behind them or WBs attached to the German WBs). So Sterling and Saka played variously narrow or wide depending on the ball and player position. That kind of shutting down of passing lanes isn't really doable in as much detail on FM. Walker was (needlessly imo) doing the IWB thing and moving into midfield in the first half. Then in the second half he instead started doing the Azpilicueta thing and overlapping/underlapping Trippier. Getting that movement requires a lot of hijinks in FM involving lopsided formations. So, a limited recreation might look something like: CD-BPD-CD WBs-DMs(SV?)-DMd-WBs IWa-PFs-IFs You could move the DMs into the CM position for a better FM result. There are also strong arguments to moving the wide players into the AMC slots and maybe having a TQ/SS combo or something similar. When Grealish came on the balance changed, Sterling played as a SSa/IFa on the right I think, Grealish something like a IWs or APs or TQa. Kane shifted to be more aggressive as well. Ah look, after I'd just explained why I think doing international football recreations (from this Euros at least) is a bit boring, I've ended up doing one anyway
  8. Just to try and help on this as well, some questions to ask yourself. Nothing set in stone, just to help at all: 1) How fast are your defenders? Faster defenders are probably a prerequisite to a high line. 2) How good in the air are your defenders? Aerially dominant defenders are probably a requirement of a low block (defending near your goal) to stop crosses coming in. At least one aerially good defender is probably also needed for a very high line (to stop balls over the top/flick ons). Similar to what @phnompenhandysaid about narrow/wider defending (do you want the opposition to cross?). 3) How are your players in terms of stamina/determination/work rate/bravery/aggressiveness? Which of your players have these characteristics? The ones who do will be better for winning the ball back. If all your players are tirelessly hard working, then a high pressing style might make sense. Look, here's what I'd say for a 31411 like you've set out. I have to say I quite like some parts of the tactic, and it is obviously working for you. To me, that would scream a possession based tactic, as you have 4 players in midfield plus a deep dropping striker plus wide players who are going to come in rather than dribble/stay wide. So that's up 7 players playing in the middle, plus a back three which will help with passing options. So slightly shorter passing and a higher line would make the most sense to me, especially as you one of the stronger teams in the division. You will have enough players to keep the ball very nicely in the centre of the park. What are your current possession numbers like? I don't want to offer more tactical advice for this specifically as you are already winning the league and ahead of your expectations, so it is working. But I would say it is lacking penetration, with only the SS really attacking the box, with the F9 and BBM supporting. Compared to say a 4231 where you have 4 players at least in and around the box. Are you scoring enough goals? PS- the first thing I thought of when looking at your tactic is kind of a variant of a Cruyffian 3-4(Diamond)-3. F9 with a shadow striker as the tip of the diamond behind, 2 wide players and a back 3. Guardiola as the HB. It looks interesting!
  9. The only things I could think of that you're missing are practical examples perhaps. Take defensive line. A very simple example would be that if your opposition in the upcoming match play with fast forwards, then you might not want to play a high line, as they will be able to kick a ball over the top/through for their fast forwards to chase or dribble through. The flipside of that is that if you don't have fast defenders, you probably don't want to play with a high line either. Maybe one way of thinking about it is if you're opposition forwards are faster than all your defenders, don't play a high line. It's much more complicated than this obviously. For example, some teams have a style where they need to play a high line, to keep the game played in the opposition half e.g. Bayern or Liverpool. They play like that because it will help them win the ball in the opposition half, creating chances. And it will also stop the ball getting close to their own net, aiding them defensively. So when they have injuries to their fast defenders it leads to bad results (see Liverpool this season). They either have to change their style of play and lower their line (which means more coaching/tactical changes up the pitch). Or they accept they will ship some extra goals. However, some teams are more pragmatic. That sounds like your style! If I were you I would stick to standard or higher DL/LoE (taking on board @Experienced Defender's feedback regarding compactness). If in doubt, leave it as standard/standard or higher/standard. And then, once you can see how the game is going, maybe tweak it. Oh, they are dominating the ball a bit too much in our half. Maybe we need to press more agressively, take the game to them more. So you then up the lines/the pressing perhaps. Or they're constantly getting chances by passing the ball over the top for their pacey striker to chase. So, then you might lower the defensive line from being too high. Does that help at all? I see also you are confused about passing style as well, which sounds like you are really fine with the roles and duties but not understanding the tactical/style side of things. My advice again would be- if in doubt, leave it on default!
  10. Absolutely- Bielsa has his whole -1 in attack, 1 extra in defence, so it's usually very easy to predict what formation he'll use against a certain opponent. He always matches them in midfield in theory but in practice it's often a 1 DM 1 CM/AM combo instead of a double pivot e.g. 3313 vs 343. It would be an interesting FM challenge to always follow this formula for a campaign!
  11. There is no right answer! (As @Jack722 has rightly pointed out) I just wanted to give one example of: "same style, different formation" would be Nagelsmann at RB Leipzig. He has used 343, 4222, 352 (and more I am sure, but I am not an expert in RB Leipzig). But the RB Leipzig tactical identity stays the same throughout (although obviously occasionally they will sit back and defend or slow the pace down etc, like all teams do). This might make sense if you play an offensive/intense style and think that the main reason of switching tactics from your 5212 would be because maybe a player is injured and you only have 2 fit centre backs, or 1 striker who can play. Or maybe it is tactically reactive (e.g. they play with high and wide wingers so I will play a back 4 so there isn't space to run in behind my wingbacks).
  12. If you're playing strikerless then I've been using the following front 3 in a strikerless 343 system (although i think it could translate well to a 4atb if the rest of the roles are suitable): SSa-AMa-SSa And it provides some absolutely beautiful goals. The type of player you play in each role massively impacts things though (i.e. traits like dropping deep, killer balls). The central AM will do everything from pressing as a false 9 at the tip of the attack off the ball, to dropping deep to collect, play a 1-2 and then finish the move off after the SS plays the pass. However, I have found that because the central no 10 space tends to be more congested they are less likely to be the player making the assist (this mimics real life somewhat) and the left and right SS will usually have more room in the channel or moving wide to receive the ball and play the pass. But it might be something to try.
  13. Look- there are plenty of things about that tactic that one might normally say aren't ideal e.g. no width on the right hand side, no defensive cover on the left hand side, 2 BPDs is probably overkill, extremely aggressive system not typically ideal for a lower league team etc etc. However, there are actually quite a lot of things I like about this tactic. It reminds me very much of some of the Red Bull systems that have been employed. It completely packs the middle of the pitch (4 midfielders plus supporting target man will drop deep and the IWB will maraud through the centre as well), so many overloads and interchanges and runners in the half spaces and the centre. It looks like chaos but I can 100% see why this tactic has done well for your dad. In my experience having unpredictable and dynamic bodies in attack is key to success in the match engine and there are so many different sources of danger here, combined with the ultra high press. I think this would be fun to watch (plus the opportunites for long and direct counters with the BPD and the TM-AF combo). Sure, there are only 2 defensive duties but there is also a holding player in the middle (DLP) flanked by 2 B2Bs who will contribute defensively. Plus there are only 3 players on attack, so the remaining 5 support duty players will all help out defensively. Plus, when you're pressing so aggressively from the front and have so many bodies in the middle of the pitch there will usually be someone covering, but yeah I expect that this tactic will be open on the counter attack. But if it works, it works! Because I'm a little more risk-averse, I'd probably change it to something like the following for the roles and duties: AF-TMs AMs CAR-DLP-CAR FBa-CD-BPD-IWBa That would provide more coverage on the flanks, more solidity in the midfield, although it would sacrifice a lot of the penetrative power. So maybe you could try the left centre mid as a B2B or Mez and maybe putting the DLP on defend or changing the TM to be on attack etc but this might also sacrifice some of the original dynamism and gung-ho attacking nature of this tactic.
  14. So, the first thing that comes to mind is that you're first in the Bundesliga in May, and rule no. 1 for tactic creation imo is if it ain't broke don't fix it. Having said that, by the sounds of it the 4231 is what got you this success and wanting to switch to a 442 is the issue? My go-to 442 looks something like this: CFa-CFs WMa CMs CMs WMa FBs CBd BPDd FBs On a balanced or positive mentality, and then I go from there. I would then tweak the roles depending on personnel- for example I would not play two attacking centre mids as CMs as they will both naturally go forward. But a player with the right traits e.g. hold position, dictate tempo, stay back perhaps can perfectly well play alongside a B2B type in the middle. What does your (successful by the looks of things) 4231 look like? You could very easily use that as a base and then tweak it into a 442 with similar structures. In fact, it looks liek you might have started to do that already by the name of the tactic. Playing Haaland as a PFs is a waste imo. Surely he should be your main goal machine and if you want him playing a more all-round role should be at the least a DLFa or CFa? I also don't really like the Mezzala running into the same space Haaland will be looking to play in. If I were you I would keep the 4231 and rotate Mokoko as he is still very much under 18 in this save going by the year as well. Or if Mokoko has the skill set to play as e.g. a SS or IFa then that could work. Although it is a tactical no-no in some circles I think dual AFa or duel CFs or CFa or PFa can work very well in the right set up, and possibly something like that should be what you look too go with if you really want to play 442.
  15. Like Bielsa's crashed and burned with Leeds? Or do you think there are specific differences between the two styles which mean that Pep's would fail with such a team as Leeds and that Bielsa's would succeed? I'd also point out that Mourinho by his actions and words very clearly wants a specific type of player as well. Note also that Mourinho had the highest net spend of any Manchester United manager since the start of the Premier League era, and also has a net spend of ~£130mn at spurs, which iirc is far higher than Poch's was. This is not to get into an argument about various managers buying wins etc (nothing wrong with buying players IF it results in wins after all) and of course Pep has spent oodles and oodles of money. My point is just that it isn't really fair to paint it as a dichotomy where one style of football comes with a trade off that you have to spend more and the other style gets better 'value for money'. 50% possession for a top team in a lopsided league is much lower than you'd expect, playstyle neutral, no? Even before possession football was really a thing in the UK, better teams would generally have more possession than lower teams for fairly obvious reasons- better at winning the ball, better pass accuracy, more attacking intent because they're the favourites. As you rightly point out, West Ham average 41% possession (the lowest for a 'good side' in the league) but had 63% possession against Stockport, which is exactly what you'd expect. So 50% possession for a top team in the league is lower than you would expect, possession style neutral in my opinion, and they tend to sit back when they have a lead. There's actually a really important distinction here between West Ham and Spurs. Spurs allow 0.08xg/shot and West Ham allow 0.09xg/shot, but West Ham allow fewer shots than Spurs, 11.3 vs 12.2. I don't really understand how Spurs can be said to control space if they allow on average 12 shots a game against them. 1 extra shot allowed compared to a team which is worse player for player (certainly worse in £££ value). Because it leads to letting in 3 away at Dinamo? Letting the opponent shoot 21 times is probably not the best way to keep clean sheets. All you are doing by sitting back is transferring the risk and breakage point closer to your own goal. A team that uses possession to defend relies on not losing the ball, and if they lose the ball, not stopping the ensuing counter attack. A team that sits back relies on their defenders/defense oriented midfielders not making mistakes. The more you sit back, the more you expose those defenders. Both come with different risks. If Mourinho is the master of this pragmatism and at picking the correct game plan, why has he not identified that his defenders aren't up to the job of sitting back and defending whatever the opposition can throw at them? I think it is nonsense frankly. It might have been true when Mourinho had success with Inter Milan, but football has come a long way since then. Teams are easier to break down by good sides due to extremely well drilled patterns of attacking play. I've spoken about this forum before relatively recently, that Atleti are the only real outliers of good teams that play differently. But modern football unfortunately means you either dominate games if you have the ability or you will under perform relative to your position. West Ham play Moyes-ball, yes. But they have different ambitions and expectations, a different level of player.For me, Spurs are at their best when they play to their ability. I understand that it is not very romantic, very corporate, very modern world that all these top clubs play ~relatively similar brands of football.You press, you keep possession, you lose the ball you counter press, you counter. It is kind of dull! Obviously there are differences due to certain tendencies- more or less crossing, more direct counters versus fluid through the middle. But pressing and the possession which comes with it are now established due to the results they bring. Final comment- do you think Pep Guardiola doesn't understand the importance of space? Positional play is all about space. I guess my main point is that an idealised version of non-possession football looks MUCH more like Simeone's Atletico than any Mourinho team of recent years. There are no established attacking patterns or plans other than giving the ball to Son and Kane and letting them do their thing. The defending is comical (Mourinho shouting 'press' at his players, as if that will achieve anything without a plan of how they will press, not that this is something you can do in FM). Mourinho is obviously incredibly knowledgeable about football, so I don't where it is going wrong, but I can't see anything out their on the pitch other than the abilities of some of their attacking players.
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