I haven't really gotten into the groove with FM for a long time, but since I just picked up FM18 this week and this challenge caught my eye I figured I'd give it a go.
My West Ham team operating with this frame work are currently unbeaten in competitive fixtures and is sitting fourth in the PL with a media predicted finish of 9th. So far so good.
This tactic has become my primary tactic, it began development after a very nail biting result at Liverpool showed me that the original tactic developed during preseason probably wouldn't cut it against the top teams. It's primary focus is to frustrate and break up the opponent's attacking play in the defensive unit and limit the opposition to shooting from disadvantageous positions. In attack the focus is the "front three" of treq and wingers, who are always looking to one another when it comes to creating chances.
The central midfield pairing is a bit fluid and their roles depends on who I'm facing, however what they do never changes too much. They make a nuisance of themselves during defensive play and then when we're attacking they provide support to the front three and offer an illusion of an attacking threat even though they very rarely act on it, they still come close enough to pull some heat from the Treq.
The wide players have 16 goals between them and are heavily the focus of my attack. No small part of the inspiration for how I want them to play in attack is from my memory of the Ljungberg/Pires days of Arsenal.
This is the tactic I started with. It generally moves the ball around in a manner that is more aesthetically pleasing and produces more goals, however it also gives up more chances in return. The wide men are usually deployed further back as regular wingers on attack duty, I decided to return to an experiment with the specialist roles that I started in friendlies but abandoned when Fernandes got injured since nobody else was quite getting as much out of the role as he did. The first return to IF and RMD for them yielded a really good result at Brighton, but I'm not convinced it would've mattered either way in that game since Brighton are struggling hard on my save. Will probably persist with them at least at the start of games, if I see increased fragility then I at least know what to expect from moving them deeper.
Results to date:
I'm still trying to get to grips with how the tactical system works in the modern games and this is undoubtedly the best result in a long time that I've seen from attempting to create my own tactic instead of just downloading something. There are still things I need to iron out (like how to get the attack a little more direct since we still take too many touches right now, if pass into space and run at defence instructions on my 5 and 4 man defence variants respectively add any value, and if the RMD and IF roles really even add anything) but for the first time in a long time I feel like I'm finally equipped to deal with implementing my theory into practice, it's a nice feeling.