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  1. The team and individual focus clash was something I've been wondering about for a while now. I was tempted to alternate between Attacking and Ball Control team training but now I know the danger it can create when I'm also trying to mould my players the way you've shown here. At what point do you decide that a player isn't going to get to the point you're hoping he will?
  2. Jambo, thanks for the catch about the Inside Forwards. It was definitely supposed to be AMCr/l which has now been edited. As for the five forwards, the original Pyramid had all five in a line but eventually managers realised that it was pure chaos with no one helping out the midfield. The revised edition of ITP certainly explains how the 2-3-5 was naturally evolving into the W-M without any help from Arsenal's Chapman nor the change in offside law. All that was needed was for the dropping deep of the Inside Forwards and the Centre Half becoming a defender to be default choices rather than tactical tweaks. Sort of like Sir Alex Ferguson played 4-4-1-1 in his by always having one striker dropping deep but never turned the "1" into an attacking midfielder to make the tactical difference between his system and the boxy 4-4-2s more obvious. And you're absolutely right about Pep bringing the 2-3-W into the modern age through his tactical arrangements of the players but I argue he has looked to create the 2-3-W through attacking movement, not actually using it as a basic starting system. Although he has come extremely close. LeedsUnitedForLife - That's a good modern variation but it isn't how the classic system was set up and that's the basis of this thread.
  3. N.B. - I don't do downloadable tactics. What I like doing (and seeing in this area) are thoughts and discussion on tactics that we, as players, can take away and implement in our own way for our own games. A Brief History (Mostly taken from the revised edition of Inverting the Pyramid): The original concept of football was very much like Rugby; a player would pick up the ball and run at the opposition until they were either dispossessed or managed to weave his way through for a shot on goal. Formations, such as they were, resulted in a very overloaded 2-2-6 or an even worse lop-sided 1-2-7 attacking team until it was eventually accepted that six attacking players were simply too many and so one of the two centre forwards was pulled back between the two central midfielders to create the key position of Centre-Half. This was the Birth of the Pyramid. The "true" passing game could be considered to have began to grow in the Glasgow club of Queen's Park F.C. who struggled to get consistent, game time against opposition. So rather than sit on their hands and do nothing the club would devote their time to practice and in-house games which allowed the growth of a system of play outside of what was considered "the Right Way". This passing system spread throughout the embryonic Scottish landscape and would eventually move south to England through Scottish internationals playing in the English leagues. While this style is the forerunner to the possession game of today, it was still very much a Combination Game that allowed for raking long passes out to either wing mixed in with the shorter passes that seemed to alien to the English who back then perceived anything that favoured technique over fast paced and physical play as weak. An attitude which is only now being phased out of the professional game some 100+ years later. A word on the Pyramid itself. Rather that simply two defenders, three midfielders and five attackers, the tactical system would evolve and be tweaked by managers and a team's make-up. Some managers preferred that the full-backs (The 2, modern day Central Defenders) would man mark the opposition wingers, the Right and Left half would take the Inside Forwards while the Centre-Half would take the Centre Forward. Other managers preferred to push the Wing-Halves out wide to man mark the wingers and have the Central Defenders take the Inside Forwards. Towards the end of the Pyramid's life cycle two further changes would come about; The first was a concession that a straight line attack of five players was too much and the Inside Forwards were thus pulled back a little deeper than the wingers+striker (the "W-Formation") and that the midfield needed a good mix of attacking verve and defensive steel. So what does that mean for FM? Team Instructions: Control Mentality - The idea of the Scottish Game was to temper the attacking thrust of the English all-out-attack mentality. Hence Control. Rigid/Very Rigid Fluidity - Players had their instructions and each area of the pitch was looked at by the players associated with it. Defenders defended, attackers attacked and midfielders did both. Stick to Position - The modern day players roam too much for the way this tactic was played. Be More Disciplined - As above, the aim is for the system to prevail over the players. Shorter Passing - Obvious. Goalkeeper: Standard. Central Defenders: These are standard defenders (CDs or even Limited Centre-backs) whose role it is to defend and defend only. Half-Back Line: This is where the variety of the Pyramid comes into play. You can play three players in the DM positions or push two into the wing-back slots with the Centre-Half still central. In the slider based MEs, I have found a preference for using wide Wing-Halves with instructions to cut inside and cross less in order to keep them from playing as modern wing-backs. In the newer match engines however it is much more feasible to use a three-DM system. The Centre Half (DMc) can be on the Half-Back role, dropping deep into defence, splitting the defenders and essentially allowing for the marking system spoken of above. Against tough opposition, the Wing-Halves (DMr, DMl) can be Supportive Defensive Midfielders, while in normal games Support Deep Playmakers allows for an attacking threat without losing defensive shape. An interesting sight is having the Wing-Halves as Registas and watch them burst forward into attacking positions however this is capable of leaving the team very vulnerable to a counter attack. Wingers: Standard wingers. In slider based MEs these should be pushed into the STL/R positions to keep them from tracking back too much however in the newer MEs they end up acting literally like wide strikers and so don't assist nearly as much as wingers should. Pulling them in the AMR/L position in the new MEs doesn't bring about the deep defending issue. They are essentially touch-line huggers who race down the wings to whip in crosses for the striker and their opposition number coming in at the far post. Inside Forwards: The AMCr and AMCl are split between a creative player and the more attacking, supportive player. A Support Advanced Playmaker paired with either a Support Attacking Midfielder (Personal Instructions - Get Further Forward) or a Support Striker work will however there is, understandably, a very large blockage of bodies. Centre Forward: Advanced Forward or a Target Man (Support if paired with a Second Striker). The idea is for this to be the focal point, the spearhead, of the team's attacking thrust. Narrow Wide Tactical Thoughts: - As previously mentioned, the Pyramid is very open to pushing too many bodies forward as well as being caught on the counter with a long pass wing-to-wing. If the Wing-Halves are pushed wider into the Wing-Back positions to counter this then the midfield battle can be lost with only one Defensive Midfielder if the wrong player is chosen. - The Pyramid used a version of the offside trap in which one of the defenders would drop back and the other would push high enough to enter the midfield zone. Once the offside law changed this drastic tactic would be changed but it means you can use the offside trap if it's something you like. - If down to 10 men the ideal situation is to remove the AM, leaving the APM sitting behind the striker, to make it a 2-3-3-1 formation. This sacrifices no area and even has the ability to free up the playmaker against attacking opposition to make him more effective. - PPMS. In keeping with the tactic as it was played you ideally want no player to have any moves which cause him to move position. Cutting inside, move into channels, drop deep to collect the ball all adversely affects the shape of the team and leaves areas open which shouldn't be. The only two positions which work for drop deep are the Centre-Half (DMc) and the Advanced Playmaker in order to give him more room to find the ball. Essentially the striker must stay high up the pitch and not go looking for the ball nor roam around if keeping true to the tactical system is the goal. - Modern variety of style: Any possession based tactic. The 2-3-4-1/2-3-5 Pyramid has no modern variety if player positions are to be kept accurate. And here's an image of what it will look like when you're kicking off. Bestie.
  4. Don't forget that (I assume it's the same) the arrows show a decline in attributes on a 0-100 scale but the attribute list is only 1-20. So 24 down arrows might mean that there are 24 attributes who have all lost 0.1-0.9th of an attribute stat which all goes into add 1 attribute stat somewhere else.