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Mike_Cardinal

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  1. I've made a couple of tweaks to my setup with real success recently, partly inspired by Ozil-to-the-Arsenal's classic threads, including the use of Support duties for 'Very Fluid' total football. I also wanted to really minimise TIs, and come up with something like a universal tactic for this style of play - I tested it on FM20, but I think it could be applied to any of the recent games. Positive Much Shorter Passing, Play Out of Defence More Urgent SKd IWBs - CDd - CDd - IWBs MEZs - CMd - MEZs IWs - F9s - IWs The IWs have PIs to 'Stay Wider' and 'Get Further Forward'. And that's it! Here's why I think it works so well: The full backs, Mezzalas and wingers are on Positive mentality, the False Nine is on Balanced, and the rest on Cautious. I experimented with an Attack duty up front, but I do think the False Nine is perfect for this style of play. The key was playing on Positive team mentality or higher - the role is too passive otherwise, being Cautious with a Balanced team mentality. With a higher team mentality, I found my IWBs were getting too far forward with Underlaps - this creates an Attacking mentality, and we were being exposed on the counter. It also led to them sitting on top of the Mezzalas, which is completely contradictory to positional play principles. I took off the Underlaps, and also found great success in moving the DM to CM, which forces the Mezzalas wider. They make runs outside more often, they press the flanks better to stop counters, and there is generally excellent spacing and interplay between them, the IWBs and IWs - I cannot recommend testing this out strongly enough. Without a DM, I found the Support duty worked well for the Mezzalas, rather than Attack. They helped out in defence more, so we weren't exposed in the middle, and as I increased Mentality to Positive, they still got forward plenty. I didn't want them shooting constantly on Very Attacking mentality. The CMd also seems to have the effect of pushing the defensive line higher, indirectly, and works really nicely supporting attacks in a line of '3' with the IWBs in possession, whilst dropping deep as a holding midfielder out of possession. I often use a 'Tighter Marking' OI on opposition AMs, which works well. The IWs also benefit from a Positive mentality, as the lack of Underlaps means they get forward a little more, and form a proper front three with the False Nine - I still think this role is the best way to give Pep-style width in buildup, before attacking the box at the right moment. The only essential team instruction is Much Shorter Passing, genuinely. Shorter Passing gives me around 62% possession on average, Much Shorter Passing gives around 68% - it seems to prevent the CBs from ever kicking it long on Positive, and everyone focuses on neat, simple passes all over the pitch. We naturally work the ball into the box - the IWBs cross less often by default, and we don't use Wingers, who Cross More Often. We are patient, but always building towards creating chances. This means the attacking play is varied without being over complicated and players have the freedom to score all types of goal, without being given too many instructions, or forcing the ball to a designated playmaker. Again, try it out, and I think you'll see how a very simple approach can give really effective patterns of play, as players decide how to best unlock the defence, using the overloads created by a 235. A truer Pep recreation may be achieved with more tinkering, but in terms of results on FM, this has given me the best results with a 235 by far, as well as some seriously beautiful football.
  2. Great stuff with the patterns of play there. For what it's worth, this is the closest I've managed to get to creating those situations with a 2-3-5 (trying to keep Team Instructions to a minimum) on FM20: Balanced Much Shorter Passing, Play Out of Defence, Low Crosses, Underlap Left, Underlap Right, Focus Play Through Middle Counter-Press Higher DL SKd IWBs - CDd - CDd - IWBs Ad MEZa - MEZa IWs (Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Close Down More) - IWs (Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Close Down More) F9s (Close Down More) That's not the most adventurous setup, but I was playing in the Football League with less talented players, rather than being expected to win the PL/CL every season - still, the results were very solid - particularly defensively. If I needed a goal, I would increase the Mentality, drop to Shorter Passing, and sometimes use Be More Expressive and Work Ball Into Box together to break teams down. You could also use more aggressive out of possession instructions if you have the players for it. As you've done in your latest version, I found that the key to getting the 'free 8' to make those runs beyond the wingers was: Mezzala on Attack - rather than starting from an AM position, you want them to start deep, then push high up into the halfspaces. The Attacking mentality means they get into dangerous areas - I've found the Mezzala on Support doesn't get forward enough to give a well-defined front five for overloading a back four. Inverted Winger on Support at AMRL - rather than starting from the MRL strata, you want them to start high at AMRL, then move deeper. The Support duty means that they will drop off to receive the ball, which creates space. What's also important is to have them on 'Stay Wider', so they maintain the width. The Inside Forward comes inside too much even with 'Stay Wider', and the Winger is hardcoded to 'Run Wide with Ball' and Cross More Often, which I find means they will try and beat the full back down the inside more often than making those inside passes, even with 'Work Ball Into Box' or 'Narrow'. I also like them in the AMRL strata so they will press the opposition as a front three with the FC. Underlap - this encourages those inside passes even more, but also increases the mentality of the Inverted Wing Backs and reduces that of the wingers. I wouldn't personally feel the need to use an Attack duty at full back, as I really like the positioning that IWBs and Underlap gives you - they will support attacks, but also provide cover against counter-attacks to make up for the aggressive Mezzalas.
  3. That final setup looks interesting. I've been thinking about using an IWB and DM on one flank, with an IWB on the other side, to create something like City's 3-2 shape when playing out from the back this season, where one FB and the CBs form a back three, with the other FB and DM playing as a double pivot ahead of them. The idea is that although an IWB on Defend duty seems to move into the DM strata rather than forming a back three on FM, if there is a DM on their flank, then this doesn't happen as much. My hope is that the presence of the DM might mean the IWB tucks alongside the CBs more, but they might just play like a Full Back instead. But even then, the IWB would still have Hold Position and Sit Narrower instructions, which you had added as PIs for your Full Back on Support, so it might give the same result. What I hadn't considered is that the security offered by an IWB on Defend and a DM on a flank could then allow you to move your CB into the central slot. It would make natural sense to have that central player on Cover duty, as they sweep up behind and form the base of a triangle in possession. The knock-on benefit of this was that it could allow you greater security to play the other CB as an off-centre Stopper on the other side. The Stopper could help with aggressively defending any gaps in front of the defence on their flank, as your DM is off-centre, as well as pushing forwards more in possession. EDIT - That probably doesn't come across very clearly, but this is what I'm thinking visually: IWBsu CDst CDco N/A IWBde DMde
  4. I think you're on the right track, with some nice players to get the best out of. Here's my suggestions for a couple of tweaks based on what you're already thinking. Van Den Bergh looks like a great playmaker, but he's not really a goalscorer. He already has 'Gets Forward Whenever Possible', and I think playing him as an AM on Attack isn't making the most of his skillset. I'd lean towards playing him on a Support duty. As a side note, I also think you could use him as your most advanced player on the right of a midfield three, with Campbell/Mancebo at MCL and Mancebo/Onana in a holding role at DM. If you did play Van Den Bergh as an AM on Support, I would probably tweak Moyle to an Attack duty. He'll still play a supporting role to create for Cresswell as a DLF, but would also give you more of a goal threat, which he's more suited to than Van Den Bergh. Based on what you said about your right back being more of a defensive player, my suggestion would be to change him to a Support duty. To make up for this, I would just swap your CM roles around. Mancebo can use his energy to support attacks on the right, making up for the more reserved full back. Campbell is a naturally left-footed player who can dictate from deep, as well as sharing the defensive work in the double pivot with Mancebo, who I would want to give plenty of gametime to develop. To summarise, I would suggest something like this if you want to play a 4231: SKd FBs - CDd - CDd - WBs BWMs (Mancebo) - DLPd (McGregor) Ws (Williams) - AMs (Van Den Bergh) - IFa Cresswell DLFa (Moyle) EDIT - As another subtle variation for the tougher games, you could also use a BWMd or CMd at MCL (possibly bringing in Onana), with a DLPs at MCR, so you would have two midfielders who 'Hold Position' for a bit more solidity.
  5. Does a Half Back always drop in between the CBs rather than on the outside - even if you have them positioned off-centre with 'Stay Wider' and a CB on Cover behind them?
  6. Yeah I take your point - I guess the main thing is that it's a FB forming the back three, not a DM. I would say Cancelo is playing at least as an IWBs, probably even as an IWBa last night - I find the IWBd tucking inside makes them more suited than an FBd to this role, but it would be a case of trial and error with the match engine.
  7. Yeah, I think it probably would be easier to achieve, without having tried it! Asking the CB on the other side to the inverted full back to 'Stay Wider' should give you a more natural back three shape than with a DM dropping backwards, as well, which always looks slightly awkward. It's worth asking not only can we recreate a trendy tactical shape like the 3-1-6 in FM, but also ask the question of why real-life managers are doing it, and in what circumstances we might want to replicate it. I'm sure plenty of the knowledgeable posters on this thread will be very familiar with positional play and the 2-3-5 shape, which was achieved differently by Pep's City (full backs tuck into midfield, wingers stay wide, 8s push forwards) and Klopp's Liverpool (full backs push high up, wingers come inside, 8s hold a deeper midfield position). An interesting variation on that is that Pep likes to play a 3-2-5 against teams who leave two strikers forwards in attack. Basically, he wants one more defender than they have strikers when in possession, to make it easier to play out of defence and cover against counter-attacks. The thinking behind the 2-3-5/3-2-5 was that it exploits the natural gaps in a back four to break down defences, whilst guarding against counter-attacks. The 3-1-6 is clearly a more attacking development, but also a potential solution to the fact that after Conte's Chelsea saw great success with an unusual system (at the time), attacking in a 3-2-5 with both wing backs pushing forwards, PL teams turned to a back five themselves to try and nullify them. That has me thinking about a setup where you tailor your positional play approach in possession to the opposition's defensive formation - you aim for one more defender than they have strikers (i.e. a back three in possesion against a front two, or two CBs against a lone striker) and one more attacker than they have defenders (i.e. a front five against back fours, and six attackers against a back five), with the rest of your team sitting in midfield. For example, you would aim for a a 3-1-6 against a 5-3-2/3-5-2, a 2-3-5 against 4-5-1 shapes like a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, a 3-2-5 against a 4-4-2 (whether it's flat, a diamond or box-midfield), and maybe a 2-2-6 would be effective against teams who play with a 5-4-1/3-4-3. Food for thought...
  8. Nice post, worth noting that Pep's approach shown here is not like most in this thread - using two attacking full backs and narrow wingers in a 4-2-3-1/4-2-4, with one DM dropping into defence. Instead it uses one full back tucking into form a back three (i.e. an IWBd in FM terms), with the other pushing forwards as a conventional wing back. Then you just need the winger to come inside on the flank of the attacking full back, and the the winger on the side of the defensive full back to stay wide and stretch the play. The striker, 'free 8s', DM and CBs do their jobs as normal.
  9. Does anyone know if the player ratings issue (for fullbacks particularly) was affecting FM Touch on Switch as well, and whether the minor update has been rolled out to the Switch to fix this? I understand that the updates aren't made as regularly for the Switch, so I'm guessing it may still be an issue, but would be grateful if anyone could confirm before I get the game on the Switch for now...
  10. Nice thread, great setup to replicate. The first thing I would suggest is that I think you want both strikers with Moves Into Channels, taking advantage of the wingers coming inside, as both Nihat and Rossi did for Villarreal under Pellegrini. Because of that, I would suggest changing your Poacher to an Advanced Forward, or possibly a Complete Forward on Attack if you have the right player. The CF on Support could also work well as a Deep Lying Forward. As you have pointed out, although they played with a Brazilian-style box midfield in possession, without the ball they fell back into a fairly solid two banks of four - Regroup is probably a sensible idea to create this effect. The main thing I am a little surprised at is that you have used Inside Forwards in the AMRL strata - I would have said that these players were textbook Wide Playmakers in the MRL positions, as they really tracked back quite well. If you find that this means the wide players are too close to the central midfielders, I would suggest dropping the BWM to Defend duty (which comes with Hold Position so that he doesn't get as far forward) and/or dropping the CMs to the DM strata - I think the central midfielders were closer to being DMs than the wingers were to being AMRLs in this tactic. Either way, the positioning looks good in your screenshots - I am guessing that was helped by the Much Lower LOE. I worry that the Much Lower LOE would invite too much pressure and easy balls over the top, though. By dropping the wingers back, you wouldn't need to have a Much Lower LOE - I don't think that works with Prevent Short GK Distribution (would probably remove that instruction altogether, as Pellegrini teams adopted more of a relaxed South American approach to pressing). I would go for Higher DL and Standard LOE, or Standard DL and Lower LOE against stronger opposition. Another benefit of using Wide Playmakers is that they will see more of the ball than Inside Forwards - your DLP might be too much of a focus of the team's play with the current setup. They are also more difficult for the opposition to mark when they drift inside from a deeper position into the space between the opposition midfield and defence.
  11. It can make sense where you feel you have the numbers to win the ball back in the middle, but don't want to encourage the opposition to exploit your weaknesses on the flanks. For example, if you're playing with a 4-3-1-2 or another narrow shape with only one player on each flank, but you aren't confident in your ability to deal with crosses into the box.
  12. Even with a lower LOE, forwards on Attack duties will look to play higher up the pitch, which might explain why you're still seeing a gap between midfield and your front two. From a counter attacking perspective, that might be exactly what you're looking for, as they are available for an outball when you win the ball back to break. The way I see it, you could look at it two ways: 1) Bring the forwards closer to the midfield - you could do this with at least one support duty (e.g. by changing the TM to support) and/or changing the AF to an Attack duty role that doesn't play as high up the pitch (e.g. Pressing Forward on Attack) 2) Encourage your two banks of four to be more aggressive in winning the ball back - you could do this with Get Stuck In, More Urgent, a higher team mentality as a default and possibly removing Regroup. You could also consider changing your midfield pairing to a CMd and BWMs - this is a fairly subtle change, but the BWMs will press higher up the pitch than your current BWMd or CMs, but will leave you with less of a focus on team shape. There's not necessarily anything wrong with your system. All of these changes come with a trade-off - they might help with the issues you're seeing, but they could cause other problems as well - bringing the forwards back might dilute your threat, and making the midfield more aggressive might make you less defensively secure, so it will be trial and error. EDIT - I suppose you could also try a Much Lower LOE with your current attack duties, although that tends to be a more extreme option. I suspect that playing this way on Cautious mentality might be causing you issues - you can generally get away with More Urgent pressing on Balanced with a Lower LOE - it's a nice mix of drawing the opponent onto you then snapping into tackles.
  13. I'd like to agree with this again - could anyone please confirm whether this has been introduced with the control changes for the Switch this season? If you still need to individually click to select more than one player, I'll stick with the PC version, as niche as it may seem, so would be really grateful if anyone can confirm. Thanks!
  14. This entire thread is brilliant, but I was particularly interested in your 'Highly Structured' 4-3-3, using a more disciplined passing game with the younger players. This immediately made think of my attempts to incorporate positional play with lower league teams in FM20, and how affording less creative freedom might be a better idea with more limited players. After playing around with the excellent Mentality Calculator (https://theresonlyoneball.com/2020/05/22/an-individual-player-mentality-calculator-for-football-manager-2020/), I struck upon the following setup as a potential solution - using a Cautious team mentality with lots of Attack duties, rather than a Positive team mentality with lots of Support duties: Team Mentality Cautious Approach Play Left Overlap Left Approach Play Right Overlap right Focus the Play Focus play through the middle ST - At Positive IF(L) - At IF(R) - At Positive Positive CM - At CM - At Positive Positive DM - De Defensive DL - At/Su CD - De CD - De DR - At/Su Positive Defensive Defensive Positive GK - De Defensive Given that this setup uses 4 Defend Duties, 7 Attack Duties and nobody on Support(!), I'm pretty confident it would give us a 'Highly Structured' label on FM20, although I haven't tested it in-game yet. The mentality calculator also seems to think that the Full Backs would still have a 'Positive' mentality with a Support duty, which might influence whether the game labels the tactic as 'Highly Structured'. Either way, the consensus seems to be that this feature is largely cosmetic now. In terms of how this could be set up for positional play, you could use the Striker as a Trequartista, or maybe a Deep Lying Forward on Attack, so that they link up with the midfield. Alternatively, you drop him into Attacking Midfield, and he would have a Positive mentality as a Shadow Striker, which I think was your interpretation of Pep's Barca. The central midfielders could play as either a Mezzala or Advanced Playmaker on Attack - or possibly a combination of the two. You need to play the wingers as Inside Forwards (specifically) on Attack duty. Otherwise, you will be stuck with either a winger with a 'Balanced' mentality (if you use Overlap and a winger on another Attack duty), or a full back on 'Balanced' (if you use them on Attack duty without the Overlap). Still, with a 'Stay Wider' instruction, I think the Inside Forwards should maintain width in the early phases, before going for goal in the final third. By comparison, you would have plenty of options to play with at full back, such as either Inverted Wing Backs or more traditional Wing Backs/Complete Wing Backs on either a Support or Attack duty, depending on your preferred combinations. Finally, the defensive diamond should give a solid base to build from, and means that you aren't asking too much of your central defenders in terms of mentality. You could always use a more aggressive Sweeper Keeper, as well. The other significant factor on FM19/20 is how much you can customise the Defensive Line, Line of Engagement and Pressing Urgency - I'm confident that an aggressive approach could be counter-balanced quite nicely with the Cautious mentality, so we get a patient, controlled, but progressive approach to build-up play. Now I just need to test it out on the game!
  15. I would just like to second this - playing FMT on the Switch, and it's frustrating having to click on players individually if you want to select several at a time. I also find it easy to misclick on the Switch (probably my fat thumbs), which means that you end up selecting one player only, and then have to click them all again. I've found this not just with scouting players (as I understand the limit on 50 at a time), but also if I wanted to promote several players to the senior team, offer 10 youth players out for loan at a time, etc. The obvious solution to me would be if one of the unused buttons could act as a Shift key does on the PC, as BuryBlade mentioned. This is a small change, but would make a big difference to me in the Switch experience being more viable.
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