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Everything posted by Flußkrebs

  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.
  16. Just resurrecting this thread as I have been trying out this tactic (with some slight tweaks) on my current Journeyman save. I took over a just relegated NEC team so for our first season in the Keuken Kampioen division I thought the squad had a number of characteristics to play a style of football like this: -Exceptionally technical players -Strongest team in the division -Lack of pacey strikers and/or attacking mids (1 pacey attacking winger). I just want to say that the tactic has worked phenomenally well defensively. I struggled with 2 things which led to connected changes. 1) Struggling with balls over the top due to lack of pace at the back and/or a missing an extremely aggressive sweeper keeper. 2) Struggling to convert massive dominance in and around the box into shots on goal from open play I therefore lowered the defensive and engagement lines to higher. I found that with max pressing this maintained similar levels of possession and turn overs, but helped with both of the above problems. It cut down on balls over the top significantly, and also led to slightly more space for the opposition to play in, and therefore more opportunities to score counter attacking goals (although these are still low, due to the nature of the tactic). I also have tried changing the IF(s) into an IF(a). This has led to many more shots and also goals from the forward line. Due to the man marking and pressing instructions, the IF(a) still tracks back a good amount and presses enough. However, there is a trade off with ball control centrally. The IF(s) is important when trying to assert control in the opponents final third, against say strong opposition away, or heavily possession based teams. So it is a situational change I make depending on the opposition. Results have been brilliant- undefeated in the league up to the first period of the league, top of the league etc, best defence in the league and 3rd or 4th best attack. The style of football is also very fun to watch. Sometimes when playing against lower opposition I turn the tactic to positive and add dribble less. This is some of my favourite attacking play in the game, dazzling 1 and 2 touch passing around the box. Not entirely convinced these changes actually help, but its definitely even more fun to watch. -------------------------------------- Separately, I think that Tuchel's Chelsea tactics have been subtly different with the Kovacic-Kante double pivot that has been used a little more in recent games. From what I can tell from watching the games, Kovacic, playing on the left still, becomes the deeper lying midfielder, and Kante plays higher up the pitch but with an emphasis on doing, well, Kante things. Trying to think how this would it as a variant of the above tactic, there are a couple of options. One would be to switch the roles over and change the RPM into a BBM or BWM. F9 IF AM BWMs W CWB HB CD CD IWBD This is a little off balance to me. I think maybe it would need the W to be knocked down to a CWB. The HB, given the right player traits, would still act as a deep lying distributor (like the 'jorginho' role does in the original tactic). I've also considered playing Kante as a Segundo Volante which would get some of the behaviour right (although that might be overthinking things- BWMs in the CM slot seems to get it right imo and is simpler). However, whilst Kovacic has been playing slightly more in a holding role recently (as Kante has been roaming up and down the pitch), he has still been doing Kovacic like things on the ball, i.e. driving at players, dribbling, playmaking etc. Perhaps a RPM in the DM slot? It is a difficult one to get the balance right for in FM I think, but interested if anyone has any thoughts on the slightly newer look Chelsea.
  17. Been playing a lot with various front lines in different formations looking something like: ST-ST 10 Although it might usually be a no-no having all three of these duties on attack, in the right set up (namely relatively counter attacking and/or possession based systems) it can work wonders just having a front 3 let rip like that. My favourite combination at the moment is: DLFa-AFa SS And then depending on the rest of the tactical set up and/or the opposition I will sometimes tell the strikers to stay wider, split strikers. This leaves so much room for the SS to arrive in the box from deep and finish off chances, or get on the ball early and play the pass, or make a run off the DLF who holds the ball up. This is also very fun: PFa-AFa TQ And then tangentially I have also had success with the dual 10s, two good examples that can work well are, in a counter attacking system: PFa/CFa SS TQ And in a heavily possession oriented system, this has worked well: CFs SS APs As I'm sure you can tell my favourite roles in the AMC slot are SS and TQ. And I think it is worth pointing out that different players in these roles (especially slightly lower than the elite level, where players tend to have more explicit holes in their game) produce vastly different results. Converted poacher or IF who has poor passing in the SS role? Brilliant last minute finisher or long range threat. BBM or CMa type played as a SS? Going to get far more involved in build up and arrive in the box to finish chances secondarily.
  18. This looks good. I would be interested in seeing results and how you feel the tactic plays (looks maybe a little too counter-attacky?). I've also been thinking about this today after reading an interesting analytics deep dive into Villa this season and I agree that more direct passing is the way to go. Hopefully I will get a chance to revisit this soon- I'd also be interested in hearing how Grealish plays as the WP-a (for me TQ is still him to a tee!).
  19. This post might have some interesting stuff- I can't play test your tactic atm but my personal thoughts are that your set up is broadly right. If you want to try and mimic it using a 433 as the base formation then I'd be inclined to have Bernardo as a potentially more offfensive role. It's difficult to truly mimic as the midfield 3 are very flexible. For example against Liverpool they settled into a 442/4222 block in midfield at times, and it'd usually be Gundo-Rodri as the pivot with Silva joining Foden up top to press. But sometimes Gundogan would be the presser and Silva would be in the pivot. But just thought I'd plug that post as there was some decent discussion of the Pep tactic. As I'm writing this @Experienced Defender has just replied and I don't disagree with his points from an FM game play perspective necessarily. But in terms of recreation the LB should be the FBd/s and the RB (Cancelo) is definitely the IWB (however when Cancelo has not been playing then sometimes Zinchenko will take up the role and the tactic will 'flip'). I would be inclined to play with 2 winger roles to keep the width and then just play inverted footers on that side so that you get cutting inside behaviour.
  20. Yep bang on. Thought it was really interesting that he chose to bring on Laporte and shift Zinchenko into midfield (on paper). Of course, that left hand side position he occupied is where a conventional Pep full back (sometimes wide, sometimes inside) would play anyway. Funny old things formations. I need to go back and double check but they were effectively playing a kind of Cruyff style 343 diamond, with much interchangement, other than Rodri mostly hanging slightly further back. I can't pretend to have watched the City U23s at all so I'll take your word for it. Would you say it's more of a narrow 343 in possession? With a double pivot/box midfield formed like Cancelo usually does and the two 8s playing in the channels ahead? How does it line up defensively, like this?: Nmecha------McAtee-----Edozie Knight------------Palmer Lavia C.Doyle---Gomes---Burns---E-Riley
  21. Just to chime in on the overkill of adding pass to CBs whilst also having POD and shorter passing- usually I would tend to agree, but I have to say that in FM21 I have noticed an increased likelihood of Keepers kicking it long despite having, say, 2 of those 3 instructions. So if you did want a "play out of defence in nearly all situations" (e.g. 2020 Arsenal) then I'd be inclined to add all 3 instructions. Not that I'm saying that that suits this Soton tactic, but it isn't as much of a no-no in FM21 as previously, imo.
  22. This was from the beta- you might find it useful. To be honest I think it is less close to how Southampton have been playing this season, and more like how they were playing last season. This season they are being less front foot in possession in my opinion. Out of possession, they are still pressing the 3rd most intensely in the PL (3rd lowest PPDA after Leeds and Liverpool) but their attacks are actually not as direct as they used to be. In a trivial sense, they are pressing less than last season (but only because every team is pressing less than last season, Covid fatigue presumably). But relatively speaking they are still a gegenpressing team out of possession. They have actually been a little more conservative once they win the ball back (53% average possesssion, but only 13th in the league for number of passes they complete within 20 yards of goal). Although imo these new characteristics have helped contribute to them being worse this season than at the end of last season, so maybe just take the bits you like and run with them. I guess the two ways Southampton attack are either as transitional counter attacks once they win the ball high up the pitch or quite patiently via build up from the back, content to pass the ball back to the goaly to build the attack again from scratch if necessary. Now, as a general rule the former type of attack is more dangerous, and especially in Soton's case as their players aren't quite at the elite level as some of the other patient possession teams might have available. This season, they are using more of the latter and less of the former as they are pressing less (like I said, as all teams are) and that's my theory why their attack has been a little less potent. Personally to aid the press I would use a 424 DM still like above. The front 2 should both be roaming and will move wide and interchange with each other and with the hybrid 10s/wingers. The strikers will drop deep, move to the byline etc, sometimes at the same time, usually one at a time. Some combination of PFs/PFa/CFs/CFa/F9 would be my choice. If you do play a front 4 (like in my post) then I'd suggest ensuring the wingers are on support duties so they track back. And maybe lowering the mentality to balanced. The midfield duo I would have not as DM(d) and Vol(s) like in my post (that was more for FM balance and effectiveness) but maybe a DLP and BWM/DM combo. KWP and Bertrand get forward quite a bit and are usually tasked with providing width so pick your roles as suits the tactic (FBa/WBs/WBa/CWB maybe). Hope that helps (Tifo have a good video from November, but imo it is more useful for the general patterns of build up play and such rather than necessarily the minutiae of how they've played the last couple of months).
  23. You're right that Pep's positional play is all about having a wide player stretching the play (typically). But this was just a replication of the specific tactics that have been used when Cancelo has been playing and no striker has been on the pitch for City. In recent games the tactic has actually been mirrored (with Walker as the reserved/defensive full back and Cancelo inverting from the left hand side). So for the specific matches I was basing this tactic off, what was happening was a flexibility in the postional play principles. That is, there was always someone keeping the width ont he right hand side, but who that was would change as the players rotated. In build up this was usually Mahrez as the right winger, as Cancelo inverted into the double pivot. But Mahrez had license to roam, much more than the left winger who operated as a normal Pep style wide player (keeping width until on the ball, when they have license to cut inside). So when Mahrez was not occupying the left flank position, the right sided false 9/10 or Cancelo would then move to keep the width. So my FM tactic has an IWB and an IW on the same side as that is what I observed in real life. As you can see from the last goal that I posted in one of the posts above, Mahrez does keep the width well in build up, here's the start of that move: All of this isn't to say that a winger would not work (it does), and would get relatively similar behavior if a player with traits like cut inside from the right was used. You could also maybe try giving the IWs stay wider hard coded. But I was happy that there was enough width for the tactic to work! PS. The only other thing is that IRL sometimes Stones is the player who keeps width, when the formation most resembles a 3223 in build up For example this might look like: Foden-De Bruyne-Mahrez Gundo-Bernardo Rodri-Cancelo Zinchenko-Dias-Stones Where Stones, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez and Cancelo can all hold the width in different phases of the play.
  24. There are known issues with some of the analytics and internal stat collection in FM21- tackles and pass maps, crosses displayed etc. The advice of 'ignore the ratings' would be fair enough if the ratings were independent of game play and merely offered a way to quickly judge performances. But because player morale/value/success is partially dependent on the rating that they get it is a little annoying. I don't really have any advice beyond sucking it up, or start using a different tactic :/
  25. 100% agree. Part of the what I was trying to get across in the posts above was that whilst there are certain immutable features about the recent system Pep has been using, there is so much flexibility and reaction to opposition on top of that. The aggressiveness of the 10/8s, where the LB plays, how the wingers play, these features alone all depend on the opposition. And basic features like tempo, pass length, work ball into box and underlaps/overlaps all depend on the formation and system the opposition are playing. Against set block defences the generally correct strategy with this formation (and tbh as a rule of thumb) is to play wider in attack, lower the tempo somewhat, and depending on the roles in use potentially add work ball into box. Sometimes the issue is ball progression and all your shots are outside the box (in which case work ball into box might be useful) and other times the issue is just moves breaking down in the box (maybe you need to add width/runs from deep/give up space to counter into etc.)
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