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Marsupian

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  1. It really depends on what you want from him and how the team is set up. If you are looking for him to make runs out wide and put crosses into the box along with scoring goals or run at defenders a lot than you want to play him as an advanced forward and might find that his dribbling isn't always as effective (although there is more to dribbling than just his technical skill). If you want him to focus his efforts on being a goal threat and keep things simple during build up play you want to play him as a poacher. I'd personally prefer to play him as a poacher but there are systems where I would play him as an advanced forward despite his relatively low crossing and dribbling skills.
  2. Marsupian

    Advice on my 3-5-2

    With a deep defensive line and shying away from getting stuck into challenges you are probably giving opponents a bit too much room to play their game in your final third. Staying on foot also doesn't make a lot of sense if you want to play counter attacking football as winning the ball is the way you want to attack. I'd personally remove the stay on feet shout and consider going with a slightly higher defensive line especially against weak/slow opposition. With a back three I think an anchor man isn't a great option for a DM. An anchor man tends to sit very close to the defensive line where you already have three defenders. Providing some pressure in front of the defensive line to limit time on the ball in dangerous areas seems more useful to me so I'd play a regular DM or even a second BWM. I don't get the stick to position shout. I don't think it will make your defense any more solid and it will make your attack more one dimensional. The same goes for the "be more disciplined" shout. You are already playing with a structured shape which limits creative freedom and by adding that shout you are only further preventing attacking players like the wingbacks and the targetman from thinking for themselves. If your attacking routes are working (likely crosses and long balls to the TM who shoots or plays it to the CF with occasionally the AP making dribbles/shots/through balls) than you can stay more disciplined but I'm guessing a bit more creative freedom won't hurt your attacking play. I like the shoot on sight shout, it really makes a statement to how you want to play. That said it might not be the most effective especially if you are going up against a good GK. Play out of defense doesn't make a lot of sense to me as it kind of defeats the purpose of playing a TM and trying to play direct, long ball, counter attacking football. If you want to make the CF(a) more of a goalscorer I'd play him as a poacher with a DLF or similar role next to him. At the moment your wide play is likely hitting early crosses from deep at your TM, removing the early crosses and TM role will get them to the byline more and get more balls towards the other forward. Basically I would remove "stay on feet" "be more disciplined" "play out of defense" and "stick to positions", move the defensive line one higher and change the anchor man and forward roles.
  3. I think he suits playing as a poacher. That will limit how fancy he gets in build up play and let him focus on getting into goal scoring positions. There are many ways to set up the players around him. I'm currently playing a 4-4-2 with a poacher with "move into channels" next to a DLF(s) with "roam from position" and I like how they play together.
  4. A robbery: CD Leganés - Valencia Pre match: Valencia is jet unbeaten in the league winning the opening game 1-0 Deportivo de la Coruna, drawing Malaga 3-3 with a hatrick from Zaza and in their last game beating Alavés 1-0. Most of their chances from open play have come from their fast wide players (Rodrigo and Nani) beating the fullbacks and putting high quality crosses into the box for Zaza and Munir. They also look dangerous on the breaks with their pace and technical ability to play long range passes to find the runners. Dangers: Fast forward and technical forward players feeding off of Canales in the 10 position. Cancelo overlapping on our left flank. Opportunities: Their RB Cancelo likes to get forward and Garay playing on his side lacks the pace to cover. Cancelo is fast so he has te be caught well out of position to use the space behind him. Gameplan: Defend in our usual low block to not leave space behind the defense and attack the opponents right flank with an attacking winger and poacher trying to get in behind the more advanced Cancelo and the slow Garay. Omar features on our right wing in a supporting role to use the space in front of the more conservative LB Ruiz to cut inside on his left and find the attackers on the opposite flank. Luciano and Guerrero are tasked with tracking their central midfielders to allow our central midfielders to pick up Canales. I'm confident in sending Szymanowski high up the pitch against Cancelo as I trust my defenders to deal with his crosses into the box. Key Events: 15min: Serrantes comes out to catch a Valencia free kick and rolls it out to Siovas who plays it sideways to Mantovani who in turn finds Omar in space. The Valencia defense isn't organized in time with Mangala and Ruiz still in switched positions after the free kick. Omar picks out Guerrero who has a clear path to goal. Sadly Guerrero turned out to be the wrong option is he didn't have the pace to beat the tracking defenders nor the ability to lay it off to Luciano. Garay does well to get back in time for the challenge and plays it back to his keeper Diego Alves who in turn clears it upfield. Gabriel is there to intercept the cleared ball but miscontrols and allows Perez to step up and play it into Zaza. Zaza interchanges passes with Rodrigo on the left and Gabriel has done well to get back in position to challenge Zaza. Gabriel puts in a poor challenge allowing Zaza to get past and run at our defense. He gets closed down aggressively but still manages to lay it off to Canales who takes it first time but fires it wide. It's a lively game with end to end football but the score remains 0-0. 25min: They try to break after clearing our free kick. We get back in time and Marin takes the ball from Zaza and kicks it long towards Luciano. Mangala is there to intercept the pass but tries to control the ball instead of clearing it. Luciano steals it from him and is through on goal. Garay is too slow to intercept Luciano who finishes cleanly into the bottom left corner. Luciano robs Valencia and makes it 1-0! Match Analysis: The rest of the game Valencia had two more shots inside the box which both came from corners. Their forward players had a number of long shot opportunities but with three shots being blocked and three going wide Serantes only had to make three relatively comfortable saves to keep a clean sheet. Besides the mistake by Gabriel early in the game which lead to the dangerous shot by Canales we put in a great defensive performance. They didn't manage to pass through central areas and the few times they got in behind our defensive line in wider areas we were in position to intercept the cross. In this combination of the Valencia heatmap, passing combinations and shots you can see how we effectively restricted them to keeping possession in front of our low block and shooting from those areas. They did manage to get Perez and Canales on the ball, especially in their left half space where Gabriel occasionally had problems. The players most involved for Valencia were Canales (#16, 35 combinations), Garay (#24, 34 combinations), Perez (#8, 30 combinations) and Mangala (#5, 30 combinations). Canales being so involved in Valencia's play initially seemed like a bad thing but when taking a look at his touches and completed passes it only further illustrates how effective our low block was this game as he had to come deep to make his touches and only managed one pass into the box to the offside Zaza. In contrast to Valencia's lack of successful attacking venues we created two clear problems for Valencia's defense. We abused the mismatch of Luciano vs. Garay in combination with Valencia's relatively high line to put him through on goal on three occasions which should have lead to a goal but Luciano despite being the man of the match wasn't clinical enough in front of goal. When Valencia had time to move into a deeper defensive position the danger came from Guerrero linking up with his left wide player and Luciano to find shooting opportunities on the edge of the box. The most notable instance was a one-two with Omar who did well to hold up the ball for Guerrero to run past him into the box but Diego Alves did well to save the missile fired at his bottom right corner. That move also signaled the only significant change I made this game as Omar got injured when Mangala put in a hard challenge from behind while Omar was holding up the ball. I had recognized that Szymanowski wasn't able to provide a consistent danger on the left as Cancelo was defending him well so I substituted Robert for Omar with Szymanowski moving to the right and both wide players playing a supporting role in an effort to provide more defensive stability and link play to the forwards who provided the real danger. This is also why Szymanowski (#11) has a central average position on our heatmap, combinations and shots analysis below. As mentioned it's not the greatest representation as #11 wasn't central but either advanced on the left wing or deeper on the right wing. #20 Robert came on at 40min and played a deeper supporting role on the left. Omar isn't pictured but his and Szymanowskis position was in between #16 and #21 and slightly to the right. Similarly to the Real Madrid game we used the right half space in front of their defensive line to try and create chances but this time it was Timor (#17, 50 passing combinations) who ran the show. This really illustrated his game. Orellana (RW) dropped deep to receive a pass from Garay. Marín on LB closed him down, put in a good challenge and Timor is available for the sideways pass into space. This gives Luciano time to make his run in behind Garay. Timor plays a beautiful pass in behind the defense and should have had an assist if Luciano had been more clinical. This pattern of winning the ball, having a creative player available with time and space and which in turn gives the forward players time to make their run in behind the defensive line has been the key behind a lot of our chances. Conclusion: An effective low block and a more concentrated defensive performance nullified Valencia's fast attacking play. Meanwhile Luciano vs. Garay and link play in the space on the right provided enough opportunities for a comfortable win. Despite comfortably winning the tactical battle the winner came from an individual moment with Luciano picking Mangala's pocket to steal the points from Valencia.
  5. Marsupian

    A Terrible Season in Review

    The thing that stand out to me from your initial tactic is the "be more disciplined" shout. I personally don't see the reason to restrict the creative freedom from the rest of the team. I can see the game plan being to get the ball to the AP(s) and fully rely on him to create but if that is the case you might want to get more movement in front of him than just an advanced forward and occasionally a CM(a). Basically I think it makes your tactic rely too heavily on the AP(s) finding the AF in a good position which is a route to goal that is usually heavily contested. Also if you go that route it doesn't make sense to play a player like Sigurdson in the DLP(s) position. You already have the AP(s) as the main playmaker in a fairly deep position so why add another one and while restricting the teams freedom. I'd also heavily consider changing the defensive forward to a role that offers more movement and doesn't crowd the space for the AP(s). Either choose to be a one dimensional side, keep the more disciplined TI and find a way to optimize for the AP(s) role with a more defensive midfielder in the DLP(s) position and more movement from the right forward or remove the TI to allow the rest of the team more creative freedom. As for the defensive side I'd just make sure you can change to a deeper defensive line or a higher defensive line depending on the opponent. With a standard mentality you leave room in behind and don't put a lot of pressure on the ball. This can work but you have to recognize when the opponent is getting too much space and opt for a pressing approach or a low block approach when necessary. This is easily done by switching to a counter or control mentality when appropriate.
  6. I'd try a structured counter mentality with a high line, more closing down and more direct passing. It gets you to win the ball high and it lets you play more direct instead of trying to keep possession. The structured shape keeps defenders back to prevent opposition counters. You will want a good amount of defensive or supporting roles and pick your attacking options carefully so you don't create to many counter opportunities. You also have to control space well as allowing the opponent time to play balls over the top is going to cause trouble for your high defensive line. Basically it's a good way to spend a lot of time defending but doing it on the opponents half.
  7. A DM can play a vital role in ball retention, switching play and covering for counter attacks even if he doesn't have a direct opponent in terms of formations. If playing against your own tactic he will be responsible for covering the run of the AP(a) as his own BBM and AP will likely be out of position. Similarly when the two in front of him are higher up the pitch he provides the option for a back pass and can switch play towards wider areas of the pitch. A Defensive Playmaker or Regista will try to excel at distributing play while a regular Defensive midfielder or Anchor man will likely prioritize covering the defensive line from breaking attackers and recycle possession in a safer fashion. I think you are already using your DM perfectly fine as he allows your fullbacks to go up the pitch and attack which will likely be of more attacking value than sending your DM forward into the already crowded space used by your AP, BBM and DLF.
  8. David and Goliath: CD Leganés - Real Madrid Pre match: Ronaldo is out so James plays on the right wing. Real won their opening game 2-0 against Deportivo Alavés. There wasn't much scouting info to be had as Alavés sat back with a 5-4-1 conceding an own goal as a Benzema long shot got deflected into the net and Kroos finishing the scoring with a long shot. Alavés managed one shot the entire game which was a header from a free kick. I'm hoping we can pose a bigger threat than Alavés. Dangers: Attacking overloads on the wings and individual quality. Opportunities: Attacking fullbacks and possibly a high defensive line leaving space behind defenders especially in wide areas. Gameplan: We start full on defensive with defensive fullbacks to cover the runs of their wingers, supporting wide midfielders to assist the fullbacks and central midfield in defense and both forwards tracking back. As the game progresses we can choose to keep Luciano higher up the pitch or make a wide player more attacking minded. Key events: 2min: Marcelo carries the ball forward, gets closed down by Bueno which opens up the pass to Kroos in midfield. Bale is making a run in behind and Benzema is dropping deeper. Bueno tracks Kroos to provide back pressure while Perez steps forward to close down forward options. This allows Bueno to put in a good challenge from behind. The loose ball skips past Perez towards Bale who immediately plays it into Benzema using the space vacated by Perez. Benzema is closed down aggressively and Gabriel tries to clear the ball away from Benzema's feet but it deflects towards Kovacic in space. Kovacic runs into the channel and takes a powerful shot from just outside the area. Serantes can only parry the ball and it falls towards Benzema who can finish and make it 0-1 for Real Madrid. 11min: James comes deep and receives the ball from Kroos. I had switched Rico to a support duty as I am more afraid of James using space in front of our defense than in behind and a support duty puts more pressure on the half space. Rico closes down James high up the pitch and Carvajal and Kovacic are looking to attack the created space but are tracked by Szymanowski and Gabriel respectively. Rico doesn't give James a chance to find the runners and puts in a good challenge to win the ball. Rico carries the ball forward to start a counter attack and as Casemiro closes him down he finds Bueno in the space between the defensive line and the tracking central midfielders. This forces Ramos to step forward which opens the space for the ball in behind the defensive line for Luciano to attack. Sadly Luciano has some trouble to get past Pepe who grabs just enough of Luciano to allow Navas to come out of his goal and clear the ball. An early warning sign to Real. 13min: Kovacic moves into the right channel but gets sandwiched by Gabriel and Szymanowski who plays it back to Rico, sideways to Insua and forward to Perez. While we quickly moved the ball to the other side of the pitch Casemiro hasn't moved back to his central position to cover Bueno peeling away from Kroos into the right half space. Perez plays it into the feet of Bueno with the opposition midfield completely out of position to cover their defense. Bueno holds up the ball to drag Ramos out of position and give Luciano time for his run. Bueno times the pass perfectly and this time Luciano has enough distance between him and Pepe to have an unobstructed run towards the goal. Luciano gets his one on one with Navas and blasts the ball into the right corner to equalize for Leganéz! 53min: We have defended well after our equalizer and have a counter opportunity from a Real Madrid free kick which is cleared towards Luciano who has stayed high up the pitch. Luciano drags one of the defenders with him and then plays in Bueno making a run past the other player who stayed back. Bueno is through on goal but Marcelo makes a professional foul and we have a free kick halfway up their half of the pitch. During the setup Szymanowski sneaks off towards the left corner of the box without being picked up, Rico plays the free kick just in front of him and Szymanowski turns Estadio Municipal de Butarque upside down as he smashes the ball past Navas into the top right corner! The fans chant his name! Leganés lead the Royals 2-1. 74min: We protect our lead fighting like lions in our low block as Real has switched to an attacking 4-2-4. We look solid and get some chances on the counter to extend our lead. The fans are singing their hearts out until a Real throw in. Morata controls the trow on the edge of the box and a simple pass finds James free on the penalty spot. One moment of disorganization and confusion as players switched off looking at who would pick him up. The manager's scream is clearly audible throughout the stadium and beyond. Hands collectively meet with faces painted with despair. Real Madrid equalize 2-2. Analysis: Real Madrid only created the two chances mentioned in the key events but scored both. We created five chances of which we scored one. They had 18 shots, most from range, with five on target. We had 11 shots of which 7 from inside the box and 5 on target. In general we defended well and managed the pressure from Real with a solid low block. They had enough continues pressure to score two scrappy goals and we got in behind their high line often enough to equalize the score. I think my decision to switch Rico to a support role in response to James playing on the right wing was very successful as Rico's more aggressive mentality lead to a great chance for Luciano and James didn't create any meaningful chances throughout the game. My decisions to play the left footed Omar instead of El Zhar on the right wing didn't provide much to our attack. I was hoping he would be able to receive the ball into his feet in the half space and play Luciano in behind but he didn't have the quality to make that happen. The stats show that he did link up well with the midfield and attack but his only key pass was from a corner sending Luciano on a run towards the byline which had little to do with my tactical decision. He did receive the ball a lot (second highest passing combinations in the team at 44) and was a vital venue towards Bueno. I was a bit late to respond to Real Madrid's change to the attacking 4-2-4 which might have indirectly lead to the throw in goal. Here is a combination of our heat map, pass combinations and shots. This visualizes how we used the right half space with Perez (7), Omar (22) and Bueno (10) to create chances for our poacher (9 and later 19). The first key event shows how getting their DM Casemiro out of position is key to making this happen which we did with our direct passing. This also shows how the defensive roles of Gabriel (6) and Tito (4) were vital in finding Perez, Omar and Szymanowski who could get the ball to the forwards. We won some key battles on the pitch namely Tito, playing as fullback on defend, didn't let Bale get in behind and had 6 winning tackles on him making him the best tackler of the game. Omar did his job tracking Marcelo and the left wing combination of Rico and Szymanowski did well to deny James space and track Carvajal. Real managed to complete 3 crosses in open play, two from a throw in including their second goal and one from deep which didn't pose a threat. We did sacrifice our own wing play and only put in three dangerous crosses, all from breaks, but lacking the quality to find an attacker in the box. We also did well to lock down passing options in the middle as Real only managed three key passes, one long freekick, the pass/cross that to James that was the assist for the second goal and a long ball by Benzema during a Real break after they cleared our free kick. Here you can see Kroos (8) and Casimiro (14) were relatively isolated as they were hassled by our forwards. Kovacic (16) and James (10, swapped to the left in their 4-2-4 hence the central position) saw most of the ball in our right half space but didn't create more than long shots and free kicks as Rico, Gabriel and Szymanowski did well to pressure the space and track runners. Ramos, Marcelo and Kovacic were most involved in play but as mentioned Marcelo didn't manage to be a real thread out wide and while Kovacic was dangerous from deep and not always picked up correctly he had trouble finding a way through our low block. Interesting to note is that we both tried to create from the right half space and that Real spend most time in our half trying to find a way through our low block while we had a clearly staggered heatzone which illustrates our most common route to goal which was winning the ball in our right half space (where Real had most possession), move it to Perez on the right who found tried to find Bueno and Omar in their right half space to launch someone in behind the defense. Basically exactly how we created our first chance of the game. This staggered buildup was partly necessary to give Luciano the time to free himself from tracking Casemiro and make the run in behind. Conlcusion: A low block along with solid attacking routes that made good use of the available space was an equal match for an attacking team with world class players. Overall a very pleasing performance but with a bad aftertaste because it could have been so much better.
  9. The Opening Game: Real Sporting Gijón - CD Leganés Pre match: Without any previous games to watch all we have to go on are the scout report and the lineup. Dangers: AMC-ST combination, overload on our left wing, Bargui finding the right half space. Opportunities: In between the defense and midfield especially on the right, in behind the left flank. Gameplan: Strikers cover their two central midfielders to allow our central midfielders to screen the defense and nullify the movement from the AMC and ST. We start conservatively on our left wing to cover the runs from Douglas on our left while allowing Luciano to use that space by moving into the channel. We can be more attacking on the right flank as Bargui will likely try to play from deep and their left fullback is more conservative which allows El Zhar a more free attacking role. Key events: 25min: Timor receives ball in midfield, Vesga closes him down opening up the 10 space, Bueno comes deep to receive the ball dragging the defensive line open and puts El Zhar through who crosses it to Luciano at the far post. 0-1 Leganes. Here you can see that Gijón left too much space between the defensive line and midfield as their CM closes down our CM. There is also enough space to use behind their defensive line. They should have either dropped deep enough to prevent El Zhar from getting in behind or pushed high enough to be able to challenge Bueno or Timor in time to prevent the passes. Here the basic combination of El Zhar running in behind due to his attack duty and Bueno dropping deep with his support duty was enough to open up their defense. 31min: Szymanowski wrestles the ball from Douglas and puts in a cross which is badly cleared and falls to Timor on the edge of the box. Timor takes it first time and rifles it into the bottom right corner. 0-2 Leganes. 39min: Sergio Alvarez is under pressure from Luciano and plays it into Carmona on the right wing. Carmona has no options left and tries to dribble past Rico who takes the ball off him. Rico lays it off to Szymanowski who spots the run of Luciano in behind the defense. The ball in behind is perfect and Luciano slots it hom for the 0-3. Here is the combination on the other side of the pitch at work. Rico had a more aggressive duty as I didn't see Carmona as a big threat. Here the extra pressure pays off as Carmona is left without forward options and closed down high up the pitch by Rico. Immediately you can see the downside of the forwards tracking back to screen the midfield as Luciano isn't in position for the forward ball in behind. This is why the supporting players are crucial to receive the initial pass in space and give the more attacking players time to make their run. In this case Szymanski is playing as a wide midfielder on support and takes a moment on the ball before putting it in the channel for Luciano who is through on goal. If Luciano wasn't tracking back the transition would have been more lethal but Carmona would also have a sideways pass available to play out of the pressure. 67min: Unorganized after a throw in the center forward Cop receives the ball dragging Insua with him opening up the space for Carmona in behind who slots it past Serantes who came out to try and pick up the pass. Analysis A convincing 1-3 away win against direct relegation competitors Gijón is a great way to start the season. The defensive side of our plan worked well enough as we restricted them to eleven shots and three chances which were all taken under pressure from our defenders. Besides the lapse of concentration or miscommunication leading to their goal we looked solid. We created eleven chances and took 18 shots which was mostly due to Gijón playing a fairly high defensive line and our willingness to go directly at it with forward passes and runs from our forward players. While their chances were mostly taken from in front of our defenders while being closed down and put under pressure our chances were mostly taken with their defenders chasing our forwards. I don't think the setup of our wide players was particularly ideal based on their tactic but it was enough to create two quality chances.
  10. Leganés 16/17 battle for survival: A Showcase of Reactive Anti-football It's June 2016 and Club Deportivo Leganés, a relatively small football club from the southern outskirts of Madrid, have just been promoted to La Liga for the first time. Expectations for the season are direct and brutal relegation. The board demands we put up a fight so we can relegate with our heads held high. Coming into the season half the squad is on loan without option to buy. The transfer budget depends on how the owners bitcoins are doing at the moment. The B team consists of amateurs who play in a competition nobody knows exists, in fact they might just go to a pub every Saturday for all we know. When someone asked about the youth setup there is a distinct lack of response. It's the perfect place for heroism and building a story to be told many years from now. Realistically, it's the perfect place for loss and despair. It's time for some good old Anti-Football! In this thread I will detail how I approach this relegation battle. First I'll quickly show how I build a system that suits the squad and our specific challenge. Later I will post updates on specific matches going through my opposition scouting, building a match plan and changes I make during the game. The Core Squad Serrantes is a solid goalkeeper with good reflexes and no holes in his game. Owned by the club and 27 years old. Tito is a very experienced rightback and a great teamplayer. He doesn't have the speed or technical ability to be top class but makes is still a good player due to his football intelligence. Victor Diaz is a decent rightback who lacks pace and technical ability. He is defensively solid if not asked to cover too much ground and a decent rotation option for Tito. Martin Mantovani the club captain and experienced centerback. A great leader and solid defender who lacks a bit of pace and isn't great on the ball. Pablo Insua is a fairly young but solid centerback who only needs to improve his marking and acceleration to become a complete defender. Dimitris Siovis is a left footed ball playing centerback. Not as good defensively as Mantovani and Insua and also lacks pace but has a great pass and is good in the air. Diego Rico is a hard working leftback with great speed and strength but desperately lacking in acceleration, agility, key mental attributes and tackling. Adrian Marin is a talented leftback who has everything to become a great La Liga leftback in the future apart from determination which he plainly doesn't have. Gabriel is a very well rounded central midfielder with a great pass. The 23 yr old Brazilian lacks a bit in physicality to be a great central midfielder but is easily a first choice for our squad. Ruben Perez is another complete central midfielder with more strength and stamina than Gabriel. He lacks the tackling ability to be a great defensive midfielder and the passing and vision to be a great playmaker. David Timor is a strong central midfielder with a great pass. Not intelligent enough defensively to be a mainstay in our central midfield but a good option if we want more creativity in the center. Nabil El Zhar is an experienced right footed winger who still has good pace and a good cross. He has great flair, technique and movement off the ball which makes him our first choice on the right wing. Alexander Szymanowski is a technically gifted left footed winger who has good ball control and passing ability. He lacks the pace to be an explosive winger but makes up for it with skill and creativity. Omar is an agile left footed winger who combines speed with technical ability but lacks the mental attributes and strength to be a first choice winger. Robert is a right footed winger with great acceleration but lacking the pace to back it up. Decent technical ability but sub-par vision make him a decent backup but not much more. Alberto Bueno is a technically gifted forward with vision and flair. He lacks the strength, reach and workrate to be a complete forward but is a real threat both dropping deep to receive the ball in space and when running in behind the defensive line. Luciano is a pacey forward with decent technical and mental ability. His speed is the only edge he has over defenders so unless there is space to use he isn't much of a threat. Mikel Angel Guerrero is a strong and hard working forward who lacks the height to be a real target man and the technical ability to be a threat from deeper positions. He makes up for it through teamwork and dedication which makes him a useful rotation option. Darwin Machis is a fast forward who likes to take first time shots. Highly determined and hard working but held back technical and mental abilities like his first touch, technique, decision making and anticipation. He is a surprisingly good backup. Squad Summary Slow defenders. Good passers in midfield but lacking a classical ball winner. Decent wingers with speed and some technical ability. Two fast strikers and two strikers who can provide good link play. Tactical Setup I want to build a team that plays combative, hard working and direct football. We will defend with a disciplined low/mid block, men behind the ball and hard tackling. We will attack with direct passes to players who work hard to use the space available to us. I will adapt my setup to the opponents threats and to take advantage of vulnerabilities when possible. The 4-4-2 is a great defensive setup as shown by the likes of Atlético de Madrid. The counter mentality provides the defensive approach and low defensive line. A slightly higher line is used along with forwards instructed to track back to compress space. Direct passing to transition faster and use the pace we have on the wings and up front. Get stuck in to put bodies on the line, fight for those points and hopefully create the occasional break. The forwards will be instructed to track the opponents midfielders to create a 4-4-2-0 defensive shape. This will restrict our counter opportunities but screening the two central midfielders is vital for defensive stability. If the forwards don't track back into midfield positions most La Liga teams will be able to easily pass through the center and exploit the space in front of our central defenders. I do have the option to leave the poacher free from defensive duties if I think I can get away with it and want to try and get him in behind the defensive line on the transition. The poacher is instructed to run into the channels and the DLF to roam from position. The wide midfielders will either be played as an attacking winger or wide midfielder to try and get in behind the fullbacks or as supporting wingers or wide midfielders to try and use the half space to create chances and provide more defensive stability during transitions. Supporting wide midfielders will often be instructed to roam from position or sit narrow to make them available for passes in space or free up space for advancing fullbacks. The central midfielders are always set up as a defend/support pair with the midfielder on support allowed to roam from position. If one of the wingers plays more advanced I play the supporting central midfielder on the same side so he can use the space vacated by the advanced winger to link play. The fullbacks will play defensive against fast wingers who try to get in behind the defensive line, supporting against wide players who try to create from deeper positions and attacking if I feel I can get away with it or need the extra attacking option. The Goal My aim is to cause some kind of upset somewhere. Either an unlikely challenge for Europa spots, a semi final or deeper cup run or beating the top teams and securing a top half league finish. Meanwhile I'll be showing my approach to this type of challenge which hopefully adds a different perspective to the forum. What to expect? I will occasionally update this thread with match reports consisting of pre match scouting, the game plan, how the game played out, changes I made during the game and a post match analysis. First up is the opening game away against fellow relegation candidate Real Sporting Gijón. The next game is Real Madrid at home which I'll obviously make a post on and from there I'll pick some important or interesting games throughout the season.
  11. Someone can have an ambitious, balanced or loyal personality and also have fairly high professionalism. A personality is a reflection of a bunch of hidden attributes. Someone with an ambition attribute of 17 and professionality attribtue of 15 can be labeled as having an ambitions personality but also fit into a professional squad. I generally look for players with a professional, resolute, driven, determined, spirited or resilient personality and a level headed, evasive, reserved or unflappable media handling style. Obviously I make exceptions but those are good signs for me. Here is a great guide on figuring out hidden attributes from a players personality and media handling style:
  12. I think a lot of young players get a bit of a boost from their first appearances in the first team. It's an exciting challenge and if they don't buckle under the pressure can lead to some astonishing performances (think Rashford). It's partly natural that when the grind sets in and you are expected to now pull those same performances off week after week and the pressure takes over from the initial excitement that a dip in form is more likely. That said it could just be some bad luck or a combination of a lot of different factors that lead to a dip in form.
  13. It can work, especially if you are more focused on defending instead of scoring. That said a winger (especially with an attacking duty) on the opposite flank can get pretty close to the TM so he isn't necessarily left isolated when playing with two wingers and an amc.
  14. With no information on how you play you won't get any useful advice. If I don't know what we don't know what your defensive plan is we can't help you. That said with a contain and to a lesser extend defensive mentality you are telling your team to sit deep and stand off. This creates a very compact block in front of the goal but you will concede space in front and out wide for long shots and crosses and you might be vulnerable to skilled players dribbling into the box to draw fouls or create chaos against a defense that is hesitant to close him down. Watching games to see how goals are scored, how you deal with crosses, etc. would be a good idea. btw. Did you read some of the stickied links like the art of defensive football? Warn them after bad performances and tell them you expect a performance from them before the game. That said if you are playing a friendly or are winning with big numbers it's just what happens to players and I wouldn't be worried.
  15. Marsupian

    My form is knackered

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