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  1. Yea I could see that because the team shape is already naturally compact. I'm very weary of playing without any kind of wide players but I could see how it could work. May have to give it a go. Any screens of your defensive shape and pressing in that formation?
  2. Yea I'm struggling to get players to mark tight enough. We keep a very good shape with the structured or rigid mentality but it's tough to get players to get tight and really close down hard. Ive had mixed results using a 4-4-1-1 shape with an attacking mentality + structured setup. The 4-2-3-1 was way too inconsistent and left too many gaps against teams that play with ML/MRs. It's been very frustrating.
  3. Yea I'd be interested to see what you come up with. I'm been experimenting myself and haven't really found anything great. I'm thinking about going to a 4-4-1-1 but I'm worried about not being able to get my wide-mids to close down fast enough. Ultimately I'd like to see something like this in terms of defensive team shape: The team in defense is in red and playing a 4-2-3-1 while the opposition is in white playing a 4-1-4-1. I'm assuming the opposition RB has the ball.
  4. Just wondering if anyone has been able to achieve a very organized high press that keeps shape while closing down the opposition pretty quickly. I like to play 4-2-3-1 because of the defensive shape and how it forces things out wide but the issue I run into is that I feel like the formation becomes static without a fluid mentality. Have any of you been able to achieve a high press that stays organized and compact while also offering some fluidity in the attaching phase? Would be curious to see if any of you have any thoughts on this. Cheers!
  5. Is everyone able to see my screenshots through photo bucket because they aren't showing up for me in this thread??? If not I may need to find an alternative... Any ideas?
  6. Start of the Regular Season Sorry for the delay fellas, I've been very busy with work and I'm in the process of preparing to move so time has been limited for playing FM14. However, I'd like to share a quick update on the start of the season. So here is how my last 4 fixtures have gone including my first 2 league games: As you can see, we had two very uninspiring draws against Ligue 2 and foreign competition that had me worried going into the season and for good reason. When we opened the league campaign against Nice we were very, very average. Our passing was poor and we seemed to be rushing things going forward and trying to force balls ahead when there were more simple sideways or backward options available. Luckily we were very solid defensively and were able to get a goal from a corner and a late one when Nice were pushing for an equalizer. Still though, not what I was looking for. The same thing was appearing to happen when we stared the game away at Lille. My passing was disjointed and we looked to be forcing passes forward and then it clicked. So here are the passing stats of my starting XI for both games: Overall my passing was much better across the board. Why? Well let me show you what was happening with a screen: Look at how disjointed my team is right here. Essentially we've got two units of players connected by one player: my DLP. Not good. You can see the problem illustrated by my fullback's poor passing stats last game. So how did I fix the problem? This is how: Basically the solution to my problem was bringing more players deeper to connect my attack to defense. I had a couple of options in fixing this problem. I could have changed Matuidi to a DM(D) and stopped him from dropping between the CB's to get him closer to my DLP but I like that movement as it allows my FBs to push forward with cover. So instead I opted to change my DLP from Support Duty to Defend Duty to get him to play closer to Matuidi. I then changed my AP(A) to Support as well as my RW to Support to get them to drop deeper and link up with my DLP and connect him to my ST and LW. I then switched my right FB to Attack duty to encourage him to get forward and link with my right side which was mostly on Support while I move my left FB to Support duty to let him provide width to my midfield as my LW looks to get in behind. So essentially what I did was change my team's attacking shape from this... to this... The result was that my team immediately began stringing passes together and creating chances. We would finish the game comfortable winners 3-0 winners while playing some lovely passing football. [video=youtube_share;NUjPFQ-ZKCM] This was my third goal from Remy Cabella and it was a gorgeous team passing move with the exact movement I wanted from my team. You can color me satisfied . I'll be back with more analysis soon. Hopefully . EDIT: Apologies for the quality of the video. I'm not a YouTube expert so if I upload a video again I'll have to try and figure out what is going on in terms of quality. For best viewing right now I recommend going full screen.
  7. My tactic is pretty solid offensively. It's gotten better as my team have become used to the tactic and used to playing with each other. There are also definitely passages of lovely football too .
  8. I see. I actually kinda ran into a similar problem when I got into the regular season. I'll be posting an update very soon when I get some time with some in-game tweaks I did so be on the look-out for that. Also morale plays a big role in this tactic for sure. To play that short passing game in tight spaces players have to be confident and composed on the ball.
  9. To be honest, I haven't quite decided how I'm going to get him game time. I think for this season, given he is only 15, he will mostly be playing with the u18s and reserves. However if I can get a big lead in some two-legged Europa League tie I may see if I can get him some game time. If I could squeeze in 10 substitute appearances for him this year I would be over the moon! Overall though I will be following Cleon's method of training and development, especially in the future.
  10. Really? That's awesome! Do you mind sharing what changes you've made and some of your results/stats? I'd be curious to see what you've accomplished!
  11. Preseason Update First off, this happened right after my first preseason game. I've been shopping him but to no avail. I imagine his wages are a huge stumbling block with most clubs. Now on to the results. This is how my preseason has gone so far. A couple of uninspiring 1-1 draws followed by improving play and some scintillating football! Overall the play has been improving in both the attacking and defensive phases of the tactic as my team get used to it and I want to highlight some of the positives from our 3-0 friendly win against Seongnam. The three screens below are from about 25 minutes in. Already you can see we've established our possession game in their half just by looking at the average positions for both teams. In fact, they've barely been around Zone 14 or in my box at all which is excellent! Now lets take a look at some screens of my defensive shape. Their LCB (#6) has carried the ball to the left and Edinson Cavani has pressed him all the way wide. This allows Remy Cabella to stick tight to his mark while Ignazio Abate is advancing forward to cut of the passing option to their LM (#11) while Dzagoev is pushing up on their LCM (#8) essentially leaving him with no other option but to play it backwards to the keeper or try a risky square ball to their RCB (#4). Another positive to note is the positioning of my defensive triangle; that is my two CBs and my DM. Both CBs are close to their mark while Blaise Matuidi is positioned well to cut off any passes looking to bypass the midfield. Overall, I'm satisfied with my team's shape and pressing. Now another example from early in the second half. Here you can see my high line, offside trap and pressing strategy being executed to perfection. My team is holding an excellent 4-1-4-1 shape while Yohan Cabaye is pressing the ball aggressively. My team has also done a good job of cutting off the forward and closest passing options leaving him with little but choice to pass back to #17 (I should also point out at this point they switched from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2.) However if he decides to try and play a long ball in behind, my back line is positioned well to step up and trap their two forwards. Also if he trys to play it out wide, Patrice Evra is in a good position to intercept the ball and regain possession for our team. Once again, I'm very satisfied with my team's execution of my defensive strategy. Next we can see the potential rewards from playing a high pressing game. In this screen, Zlatan (of all people haha) has aggressively closed down their CB #4 after a lazy back pass from their #18. He is immediately all over him and is able to knick the ball off him. The main reason this happened is because of my team's, once again, excellent shape. My center mids are tight to their marks and pressed aggressively forcing #18 to play the ball back and Zlatan was able to pounce on their CB. It then lead to this: And as you can guess since I used the phrase "potential rewards" above, he bottled the chance mainly due to him be uninterested in playing and having low morale from handing in a transfer request. But alas if I can get my team to press like this every game I'll be in business. Finally, I'd like to point out just one screen from my attacking phase of play. I'd have more but we were uninspiring in the final third mainly due to the team not being interested in playing. We scored from two corners and capitalized on a mistake. Here we see Alan Dzagoev about to receive a pass from Remy Cabella. What I would like to point out is my team's shape and the options available to Dzagoev . First off my teams shape is exactly how I want it. Alex has shifted over to the right to support play and provide an option while Matuidi has dropped into that space in his halfback role, also providing an option. My DLP, Koke, has positioning himself well to receive a pass and switch the play should Dzagoev pass the ball to him. Also my RB and RW are available as options if need be. Overall we have 6 players in a small area of space giving the player receiving the ball plenty of options to choose from to keep the ball. In the end, Dzagoev was able to turn and play Cavani in behind who attempted to cross the ball low for an on-rushing Lavezzi but their defenders cleared the danger for a corner. Overall I'm happy that my team is looking to keep the ball but when the cutting pass is on, we're playing it. Now all we need is the end product and we should be in business. Here are the final stats from our friendly against Seongnam: Not the best day from an attacking stand point in terms of shots on frame and goals. The score line could have easily been 5-0 or greater had we converted our other clear cut chances. But in the end there are a lot of positives from this match that I'll be taking with me into our final two preseason fixtures. I'll be back with more analysis once we enter league play. Stay tuned!
  12. Interplay Around the Box I'd also like to showcase a bit of interplay and movement around the box which for our first game was pretty stellar. We start with Dzagoev on the ball just inside the attacking third. Their LDM (#8) has stepped out to close down the man with the ball. Dzagoev plays the ball forward to Cabella's feet. Thiago Motta immediately steps forward to support him and forms a nice triangle with Cabella and Dzagoev. Cabella then plays the ball back to Motta who immediately plays a first time return ball to play him in. Cabella would end up looking for Zlatan with a driven cross but their defenders do well and clear the danger. Once again, encouraging signs from my team being that it's their first game with this tactic. But alas, I can't just showcase the good without showcasing the bad... Conceding a Soft Goal After half-time I was forced to play mostly u19 players due to the fact that most of my first team was still at the World Cup so I had a feeling something like this may happen and sure enough. After a goal kick, the opposition were able to get on the ball and play it around the back for a couple of passes and then this happened... You can see my team shape with my backline, midfield and forward line all connected. Then, highlighted in the white boxes you can see what has totally gone wrong. Ongenda has failed to track his fullback and given my pressing instructions, my LB looks to close down the ball oblivious to the danger in behind him. Their RW is playing in behind easily and all of the sudden my young squad is on the back foot. Their winger is able to get down the line with ease and plays in a simple ball that is tapped home by Terrance Makengo. 1-1. The reason I wanted to showcase this is because I feel it highlights the importance of the Teamwork and Work Rate attributes in this system. Currently Ongenda is below 10 in TW and his WR is only a 12. This leads him to being lazy and not tracking his fullback therefore leaving his LB in no mans land. In the end, the LB did chose the wrong option of ignoring his mark and closing down the ball, BUT it shouldn't have come to that and wouldn't have if Ongenda had done his job. Conclusion Not a bad first display from my squad with this tactic. Given it was our first game and I played alot of youngsters I'm not too worried about the result. Still though, I'll have to keep an eye on my wingers tracking back when we come up against better opposition.
  13. PSG 1-1 Chateauroux First friendly of the campaign and there were some positive signs which I'll cover below. Overall I'm not really surprised or worried by the result since we still have a lot of first teamers unavailable due to the world cup. I essentially played a u19 squad after half-time and one mental lapse allowed Chateauroux to knick a goal and equalize. So to start, we're not even three minute in and already I see the movement I want being produced against Chateauroux's 4-2-3-1 (in the game it would be a 4-2-1-2-1 with 2 dm) Overall Shape You can see that Zlatan has pulled off the backline looking to drop deep and receive the ball. Their number 5 looks to aggresively close him down as he receives the ball to feet from Dzagoev. Remy Cabella, my number 9 and RW this game, has immediately noticed the massive amount of space open up and looks to exploit it but making a run into the channel. Unfortunately it comes to nothing as he mistimes his run and ends up offside. HOWEVER, this is encouraging for me because my tactic is nowhere near fluid yet the team appear to be moving the way I envisioned. I'm hoping that as the team gets more familiar with my tactic the timing of runs and passing will sync up better. Attacking Transitions Moving on now I'd like to illustrate something I really like about the Counter mentality after the first game. The one thing I want my team to look to do is keep possession of the ball, but when the break is on, I want us to be ruthless and exploit it too and here we see my squad doing just that. It also showcases some of the movement I'm looking for as well. The move starts with Raboit intercepting a pass in our defensive third and immediately finding Zlatan's feet. At this point, it looks like nothing is on but as we advance into the attacking transition space will begin to open up. As my team rushes forward to support Zlatan, you can see my two wingers are looking to get in behind the Chateauroux backline. Zlantan feeds a nice ball to Dzagoev who carries the ball into the attacking third. As the play continues, with Zlatan deep in the midfield, their CBs have no idea what to do so they both run out at Dzagoev who is able to slip Cabella in behind their backline with it all over the place. Cabella ended up fluffing the chance but once again I'm not too worried as it's our first game and I'm hoping that as the team get more familiar with the tactics and each other, we'll be able to ruthlessly finish off these moves.
  14. Transfers Summer 2014 Here is my transfer activity this summer: Alan Dzagoev was my main target since we didn't have enough players able to fill the AP(A) role in my squad. It was an easy decision given that his personality is Resolute and he already has two of the PPMs I'm looking for in the position with Plays 1-2's and Tries Killer Ball Often. Remy Cabella was brought in as a direct replacement for Jeremy Menez who was sold to Liverpool. I also turned a small profit on the like for like transfers. Patrice Evra was brought in at Leftback to help mentor and rotate with young Lucas Digne. He's up there in age but still has very impressive attributes so I'm hoping to squeeze two good years out of him. Victor Valdes was, like I said earlier, a no brainer. He was free and is probably the best SweeperKeeper in the game. I'll be rotating him with Sirigu and Areola and will be look to both him and Sirigu to mentor young Areola. Dennis Vos is a youngster I brought in from Hertha BSC because of this: He may not be French but Messi isn't Spanish . I'm hoping I can turn this kid into just that, my Leo Messi. As for player outs they're pretty self explanatory. Lots of free transfers to reserve or youth players that aren't good enough plus aging players leaving the club for cheap. A couple of things to note. Zlatan is not happy right now because PSG didn't qualify for the CL last year so he may hand in a transfer request. We'll have to wait and see but if that's the case I may have to go shopping for a replacement. Also Chantome is in negotiations with Toulouse as they met my asking price. I thought about keeping him but I just fail to see where he is going to fit in my system. Any who stay tuned for some tactical notes and feedback as we begin our preseason friendlies.
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