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  1. I'm having trouble to let my teams play the way I want. I found it especially difficult to get mentality, shape and team-instructions right. So I'm calling the community for help to get me on my way! So let's start with what I want to achieve: - attractive attacking football with a solid defense - no hoof balls from the back to the front - fast ball circulation (one touch if possible) - keeping possession (but not for possession's sake) - positive (forward) passes if possible - goals from crosses & through passes with my lone forward as main goalscorer - not too many long shots - agressive pressing, winning the ball back quickly What mentality, shape and team-instructions suit this style best? What instructions compliment my style of play? I think the following 3-4-3 formation goes well with what I'm aiming for: Goalkeeper: Not sure if I need a sweeper keeper or a regular goalkeeper, what's the difference really? Depends on how high the D-line will be I guess? Central defenders: I want my central defender to bring the ball from the back to the midfield (that PPM should work wonders I guess?) But I'm uncertain if has to be a stopper or cover? Wingbacks: I want them to deliver lots of crosses in the penalty box and act as a wide outlet in possession, being a passing option during the entire attacking phase. But also being solid in defense, marking wingers, eliminating crosses, ... Central midfield: I'm assuming I need two conservative roles to balance out the tactic, with one being the playmaker who links everything together (hopefully) and can deliver some assists (probably more pre-assists) with great through passes and distributing the game and the other player should be a workhorse who recovers ball possession quickly and plays simple passes in function of the team Inside forwards: They should roam freely and be a goalscoring threat as well as deliver lots of assists Lone forward: He should be my main goalscorer I hope I made it clear what I'm after and hope that someone could put me on my way! Did I choose the right roles? And what mentality, shape, TI's and PI's should I aim for?
  2. On this years edition of FM i have chosen Sevilla, mainly due to the fantastic defence, creative and solid midfield and terrifyingly quick forwards. 3-4-3 was the tactic i would be implementing, not at first but after evaluating the squad i realised that the players fit into the system i was looking to build towards. The tactic says 343 direct however ignore the direct part, i was trying to play direct football as i thought the 3 at the back would be exposed if i played a possession game but that is not the case. Balance is key for me as i wan't to keep a hold of the ball but with a purpose of getting to and overloadind the the last third. Defensively, the players are solid, Kjaer is the key role. Because the wingbacks will be so high up the pitch i have the right and left defenders on the cover duty as i want them to cover that space when we lose possession and are susceptible to a counter. It is working and the goals i have conceded so far have all been set pieces. Back to Kjaer - putting him on the stopper duty makes him push up and cover the space between defence and midfield and it it is working as planned. Here is the tactic- Examples from a 4-1 beating of an in form sociedad- In the shot below you can see how we squeeze up into the last third and the marauding wing backs provide all of the width which is what you want in a 3-4-3 but you can also see how the back three cover the centre of the pitch. Below you can see the defence, kjaer doing what he does, that is his role in this tactic as his tackling and mentals are through the roof, he done this multiples times in the match and stopped a pass out to the wings. To get through to kjaer the opposition have to get past the solid midfield pairing of nzonzi and pizarro. You can also see that the wingbacks keep the wing in check. At times it does look like a back 4 in the match as kjaer is patrolling and cleaning that dm area. The main reason i use the narrow shape in the TI is to funnel the ball to the wings and to make it the defending easier for the midfield and kjaer by compressing the space. If they have to cover a lot area i don't think it will be as effective. As the figure shows, a lot of the key passes are towards the side of the pitch, with hardly any through balls - i have played with through balls as the strikers are rapid with high of the balls stats but it has not worked as well as i hoped. Tinkering to hopefully make it effective but as of now i am not using that TI. The midfield of nzonzi, pizarro, banega and correa control the games, especially the first 3. The technical skill and movement keep the ball moving and they dictate the tempo of the game, you can see the passing triangles they create and it can unlock a defence, The team is really well balanced and i will update this post when i get to christmas as i have some really tough games coming up especially in the champions league, will be a big test to see how the system deals with spurs. Also any sort of constructive criticism on 3-4-3 formations, useful tips anything at all to make this system better would be very welcome.
  3. Hi Everyone, for a long time I have played CM & FM and most of the time I have stuck to playing the usual typical formations of the time. i.e 442, 433 and more recently 4231 that everyone seems to be playing at the moment. If I'm not using one of these formations then I would usually try someone else's formation from this thread. I have become bored of this and have desperately being trying to come up with my own formation to try to add a bit more interest to my game. The purpose of this thread is to get some discussion going to see if these are fundamentally sound or work just because of of the talented players that I had in my squad at the time. I have a fair knowledge of tactics and the match engine but there will be plenty of you out there who have a lot more in depth knowledge in this area, who could offer suggestions, criticisms and improvements and why. Background I have, I will admit taken some influence from Chelsea's 3-4-3 from last season both formations depending on opposition and has now evolved to something slightly different. First I will show my results which were pretty good, in my second season with Dortmund I managed to topple Bayerns 10 year dominance and win the Bundesliga, this followed on from my first season where I joined them halfway through the season and we won the Europa League beating Chelsea 2-1. You will notice I am no longer at Dortmund as I was offered the Bayern job after my success, and I have only just decided to write this post. Manager profile below as proof League Winners & League Table Below you can see my results throughout the season, we were pretty successful against Bayern playing them 6 times over the season and only losing to them in the Euro Super Cup, with some impressive wins against them too. Fixtures The Tactics Both tactics you will see here I use control and fluid, but depending on opposition I will change this. For the most part I will use control, against weaker teams I have used attacking/overload to blitz the opposition early on then revert to control once I have a substantial lead in a game and against stronger opposition I would change to counter or standard and see how things pan out. 3-4-3 So this is the tactic I started to use early on in the season with some good results. I like having the 3 Cbs at the back with a couple of BPDs either side of a CD/c, having the 3 centre backs gives us the chance to have that extra man in midfield or attack. I like to have attacking wing backs who have good work rate, stamina, dribbling and crossing. The CMs this is where I was most unsure which roles to choose I went with AP and DLP but this may need to change as our play is focused too much in the middle. I would rather our play be wider to stretch the opposition. The only PIs I have are for the IF's to sit narrower, so the WBs can overlap and offer a crossing option. I am finding though this doesn't happen as often as I would like. I struggle to get the WBs to overlap as I would like without compromising the defensive responsibilities. I also struggle to get the IFs to play as I would like. They are usually too wide and do not offer enough threat centrally. My vision is to have them receive the ball and cut inside to either shoot or provide through balls into the CF but I struggle to get the IFs to work in this way so this is why I have evolved to the tactic below. 2-3-2-3 One of the problems I found with the 343 was that especially in the Bundesliga a lot of my opponents play 4231, and having 3 CBs with no midfielder in the DM strata, the oppositions AMC was gifted way too much space for my liking and was able to pick out the run of their CF way too easily. So I decided to move one CB to DM to man mark the AMC which seems to work better most of the time. I tried using the HB role here but found that the AMC was still given too much space when the HB dropped into the CB strata. The CMs. This is where i have a bit of trouble, I have tried a variety of roles in these positions but struggle to notice a difference in play, I will need more time to look into this. I thought having an AP to push slightly forward to help support attacks, and a CMs to just sit in the middle and ping balls around, not offering too much movement away from that central area. WBs. Given the loss of our IFs, the WBs offer the only width in this formation. I would like both WBs to bomb on and attack from the flanks providing crosses and through balls, I did try both on attack duty but now with only 2 CBs this left us a bit exposed at the back. I may drop one of my WBs to FB and see how this affects play, it might give us a bit more defensive stability. Attack. CF(A) - I like the idea of the CF being the main target for attacks but not affecting our play like a target man might. I am going to look at changing this role to an AF or P role to see how this changes our attacking play (again I need more time to look into this, as another role may complement our attacking play better) F9(DLF) & SS - I like the movement these roles offer, to try to confuse the oppositions defense, one dropping deep and the other running forward from deep areas seems to work well most of the time. I have tried the Treq role in the AMC but found that he just floats about and doesnt offer enough threat as I would like and whoever played there would get low ratings and not be involved enough in the play. I am undecided which role is best for the left attacker, either F9 or DLFs. I like the idea of them dropping deep while the SS runs forward and they do contribute to a fair amount of goals, The CF is usually the top scorer but the F9/DLF is not far behind. Team Instructions I try not to add too many TIs and just let the match play out. I like to pass out of defense, I dont like my CBs to just hit it long anywhere, with both my CBs comfortable on the ball and with good passing stats, I find this helps our possession and it builds up the play the way i like. I like my players to press more and put pressure on the opposition to try to win the ball higher up the pitch. I always use work ball into box, as without it i find my players shoot from distance way too often for my liking wasting chances when there would have been a better passing option. I am a bit short for time at the moment so cannot go into detail as much as I would like, but think I will post and see if I can add to my post soon. Initially in my Dortmund League winning season these tactics performed well, but we did start to struggle to win games convincingly towards the end of the season, and now I am trying the same tactic with Bayern and I am struggling to get it to work at the moment. I will need to tweak it to fit my players into it I think. Feel free to try this tactic and see if you can get it to play better than I have. Thanks for reading
  4. Intro Hey guys, today I've brought a totally dominating tactic created by me. It's a 3-4-3 formation, very similar to what Antonio Conte used with Chelsea this season but I've made some changes into it. So let's get started... Positions and Roles:- Sweeper Keeper-Defend/Support/Attack: So I used Rajkovic in this position even though he is generally a simple goalkeeper although I had Burki on the bench but I preferred rajkovic due to his better reflexes and 1v1 than burki. You can use any role with it but I kept it to defend because rajkovic isn't that comfortable with the ball at his feet. BPD-Stopper: I used Bartra in this position because he was pretty good with the ball distribution and tackling because you're gonna need it alot when he is rushing forward to stop the opposition attack. Central Defenders-Defend: With BPD in a stopper duty, you got to have central defenders in a defend role. In this role, your CD's will cover the rest of the defending areas by sitting in the half way line(depending on your defending line instruction) while your BPD go forward to stop the attack. CWB's-Attack/Support: In this role the Wingbacks will stay wider providing width to your team and stretching the opposition defense. You can set them on either duty because there is alot of fluidity in the formation and they're going to score anyway. B2B: A B2B is responsible for the defensive and attacking transitions of your team. You can set this to DLP with support duty too but I liked having an extra man in attacking and defending. Attacking Mid-Support: Attacking mid should have a good vision and first touch. I used weigl in this position, he was pretty awesome while doing the playmaking. Inside Forwards-Support/Attack: You should have pacey wingers with good dribbling ratings in this positions for the playmaking-you can use either duty in this position. I'd recommend selecting the opposite duty your CWB have to maintain fluidity and balance. Complete Forward-Support:- You can always switch this position with F9 or DLP-Attack if your Cf is not doing good enough but for me CF worked better. Used reus in this position because Aubamayeng kept loosing his control and only performed in a double pivot system. P.S: Reus performance was outstanding as he scored 34 goals and setted up 10..without injuries.. xDDD So here are the results.. It will take time to gel up so don't give up rather easily. I did a Double using this tactic while remaining UNBEATEN in the league throughout the season. 26 wins and the rest draws. Although this tactic never had good times against 4-4-2 so I made a 4-2-3-1 wide to tackle it, did really well despite drawing twice against Bayern in the league. OI'S AND TRAINING: -For the pre-season do a fitness training at a high or very high intensity so that your players could get ready for the exhausting season ahead. -For Oi's I use closing down on midfielders and tighter marking for the strikers only. Suggestions:- -As the team shape of this tactic is Fluid so your players should be hardworking and teamworking. Sign players with good work rate, teamwork and concentration because you are going to keep the possession for a very long time. Have a look at some of these games.. So that will be it guys, thanks for the time and do try this and let me know if you are facing any problems. Cheers! BVB INVINCIBLES.rar
  5. Hello everyone and welcome to another FM17 project. This time the spotlight falls onto Borussia Mönchengladbach: a historic team for German Football, 'Die Fohlen' have enjoyed their most successful spell in the 70's and are widely regarded as one of the best footballing institutions in Europe. Having developed players like Marko Reus, Andre-Ter-Stegen in modern times or Herbert Wimmer, Berti Vogts and Günter Netzer in the golden decade of 70-80' that saw them win eight trophies and make a series of appearances in European finals, BMG's legacy is tied to several pillars of traditional German football philosophy: youth development, coaching excellence and tactical innovation. The nickname 'Die Fohlen' (i.e. the foals, the young horses) isn't incidental either, in that respect. Hennes Weisweiler, the coach that kick-started BMG's golden decade, developed a style of football based on fielding highly energetic young players and employing an offensive-minded philosophy and powerful play that attracted fans from all over Germany. From the fans' point of view there's no doubt towards the visual relevance their tactical style had in that regard. Young, aggressive, quick, physical, hard-working and hungry - a horde of foals indeed. The club has experienced a resurgence in their performances as much as their identity since appointing Lucien Favre as coach back in 2011. Prior to that, there were relegation battles, disjointed performances and a complete lack of vision that ultimately drove the club as low as the second division (98' and 07'). Under Favre, the team re-discovered their emphasis on youth development as well as a tactical style that integrated elements of counter-pressing or 'Gegenpressing' with work-ethic and compact defensive displays. A good article on the particularities of Favre's style can be found here. Since the Swiss took over in 2011, BMG enjoyed 3rd and 4th placed finishes in the league and Favre's tactical approach meant The Foals were once more amongst Germany's elite. Players like Raffael, Xhaka and particularly young sensation Marco Reus have propelled the club to a mini-renaissance, however even that would prove to be short-lived. We are in 2017, Reus has long left for BVB, where he made his mark as one of the most efficient attacking players in the Bundesliga, Favre has left BMG after a dispute with the club's board and The Foals found themselves ending the current campaign with a 9th placed finish. I've taken it upon myself to 're-invent' this club, maintaining elements of their core identity and pushing them to the next step in terms of domestic and maybe even European Success. The principles will be simple: Have a strong presence of young players (preferably German) in the squad and gradually build them into first-team performers. Develop a style of play that doesn't venture far from 'Die Fohlen DNA'. In terms of FM, here's how I see it: hard-working players and system relying on player's determination, bravery, work-rate and stamina a football style based on collective feats rather than individual brilliance intelligent tactical strategy that seeks to exploit team's strengths and minimise weakness You don't need to know a lot about BMG to know they're probably the most hard-working, aggressive squad in the Bundesliga. The stats do that justice: I'm looking to build on these core foundations of the team as much as the legacy of the above-mentioned Favre. Perhaps what he was most famous for was his narrow shaped 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 that allowed wide players to use space centrally in intelligent ways as well as maintain a robust tactical shape. This refers to one of those terms I keep mentioning a lot when talking about tactics, and in no way is that by coincidence: The Half-Space Increasingly popular in modern football discourse, the half-space is a key strategic concept that has often been overlooked in traditional football thinking. Of course, there are a number of ways of interpreting space on a football pitch, however the most common markers of formation based interpretations usually exclude this term from the conversation. There a are plenty of reasons why understanding how the half-spaces can be best used can be extremely beneficial. "Theoretically, one could even argue that the half-space is superior to the middle. From the half-space, both the middle and the wing are options. But from the midfield there are only the two identical half-spaces, which both have the same end product and a clear path to goal." The quote is 'stolen' from a fantastic article on Spielverlagerung which goes into great detail in analysing the particularities and interpretations of this spacial concept. Find the full article here, I strongly recommend you read it. For a short summary, though, we have the several points to guide our thought process: 1. Using the half-spaces allows for the 'surprise element' against the most common/traditional formations (4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3), which all emphasise either the middle or the wings, leaving gaps in the horizontal third quarter. Agglomerating the half-space usually results in opposition players being drawn out of position and an increased variety in the way space is manipulated. 2. Correct interpretation of the half-space allows for great flexibility in space coverage, be it defensive/attacking transitions or compactness of shape in rigid situations. 3. The geometrical applications of the half-space allow players positioned in that area to be better connected to various aspects of play as well as for players to have a better visual perspective on the situation on the pitch. Part One: The System I will start from the fact that if half-space theory is understood correctly then one quickly draws conclusions about the style of play that would enable a team to reap the full benefits of employing the half-space as the main tool for space-manipulation. Be it in defence or attack, elements of pressure and pass geometry are much more efficient if there is more than one player exploiting the half-space, or if the strategy of play revolves around a collective application to exploiting the half-spaces. There are many formations that can be employed to illustrate a style of play like that, however I will go for the 3-4-3 as my big goal for FM17 was understanding this formation in as many applications as possible. So here are my key considerations for employing a 3-4-3 that will make its' aim to exploit the Half-Space. 1. The BMG squad possesses a good mix of technically gifted players with good movement off the ball and vision as well as hard working defensive-minded players. 2. The application of the system will seek to exploit the intelligence and movement of the front three whilst relying on the work-rate and defensive know-how of the rest in a combined fashion. 3. A general characteristic of the 3-4-3 is that its' main advantage (the wings) are also its' main disadvantage. Correct allocation of roles and team shape set-up can help smother the disadvantage, as much as particular attributes for key position such as the wide centre-backs and the wide players. Shape / Formation / Mentality The Reasoning behind the Team Instructions I can already hear you saying 'but... but.. it's not a 3-4-3!' And before you do go on, I should say that I pay as little attention to formation cliches as much as I do to how much sugar I've got in my coffee. If you've read any of my previous stuff, you should find decent enough reasoning to my thought process there. All in all, what the FM tactics screen shows is about 5% of what really matters, as you'll see in the upcoming analysis. A very fluid set-up for the collective style of play mentioned earlier on, a standard mentality that allows me to neutralise the 'generic approach' and dissect the players that attack and defend via duties/roles and instructions. Whilst that might sound contradictory at first, the idea is to channel team efforts collectively towards space coverage via fluidity and balance the risk via mentality. - a system that aims to manipulate space, hence 'pass into space': this instruction will exploit complex player movement and will take advantage from either the two deep passing options finding a player into space with a long ball or the attacking mids with a shorter pass - even though I want my lines close to each other, I do not want my players too close to each other horizontally, given how many numbers we have in midfield. I've chosen a wider team shape to help stretch us out in that sense - I have two deep passing options: one molding with the back three and the other a bit more advanced and creative, hence I ticked 'play out of defence', in order to exploit their functionality - the tempo has been left at 'normal', as well as the passing at 'mixed' as I trust the players to choose between a long ball/short pass according to the situation (key note: our squad features some of the best decision-makers in the league) - I want to work the ball in the box, given the front three are instructed to roam and create space via movement - Even though I employ a 'normal' defensive line, I've instructed the team to close down more, so that we feature elements of high pressing in our style of play. I also use 'prevent short GK distribution' sometimes, when I feel we could benefit from additional pressing from the front three. A juxtaposition that should explain better why I chose the current set-up: You can see how high the number of players 'concentrated' in the half-spaces is, as well as having wide players that are instructed to 'sit narrow'. Apart from the pressure on the half-spaces, we create a central 'circle' shape that will aim to circulate possession and maintain possession-based pressing. Analysis of play attacking shape in our most attacking form, we become a 3-2-5 that shows good coverage of width and two deep passing options - the HB and the DLP, each prepared to offer support either side of the pitch, or create additional pressure in the left or right half-space. With the help of the DF who is instructed to 'hold up the ball', our wingers and attacking mids are much more involved in the final third the two attacking mids have instructions to roam from position and will often drift from the centre to the flanks, or in other words, agglomerating the half-space here is a prime example of that in action: in the next screenshot notice Hazard (AM) drifting away from Barcelona's marking all the way to the flank where he offers himself as a potential passing option: in the same move, after about 3 seconds whilst the ball is circulated between the HB and the defenders, Hazard moves back to the centre and receives the ball: defensive shape our initial shape from a goal-kick. notice how wide the LCB and RCB are and the DLP & HB offering passing options to help build-up from deep the high press defensive shape. hard working player for the left winger sees him maintain good coverage of potential attacking threat on the flank. the front three (AM,SS,DF) press aggressively : the deep press: wide players track back to almost 'wingback' thanks to high work-rate and high fluidity pressing trap one of the key elements of 'half-space defending' in this system is the pressing trap achieved through numerical superiority and positional flexibility. Given the fact the our two axis formed by the DLP+AM and the HB+SS in the centre of the pitch can drift either centrally or towards the wing, we manage to create numerical superiority in most situations of play. This helps us put pressure on the opposition either through the passing triangles that these movements create, or defensively, where we have 4 players pressing wings and 6 pressing the centre of the pitch Key elements here? High Fluidity + Player mobility/workrate. Here is an example: we are being hit on the break by Barcelona and Suarez has the ball in an advanced position. Our HB and DLP are cutting passing lanes towards the middle of the pitch, where Suarez has the most passing options. The next passing option he has is towards the wing where we have Hermann (RWM) outrunning the opposition player. In the meantime, we have the CB, HB and the DLP all applying physical pressure on Suarez. Two seconds later, Suarez is being succesfully tackled by our CB and Hermann (no 7 ) drifts inside and picks up the ball to initiate a counter-attack. Key players for the system: - hard working & fast wingers self explanatory, absolutely key requirement for any 3-4-3 - mobile & fast LCD and RCD the flexibility of the back-line is a key element of this system: the wide CB's are responsible for covering both wide and central areas, so they need the attributes to pull that off - intelligent attacking midfielders the two indispensable tools of the system: they are responsible for key elements in maintaining possession and attacking space. High stats for technical and mental attributes are very important here. With the help of three key signings, Van de Beek (DLP/HB), Lucas Alario (DF) and Matthijs De Ligt (CD), we have pulled of a clean swipe in our very first season: I will focus a bit more on issues of squad building in the next post ---------------------------- Leave your thoughts if you liked what you've read and as per usual... no download available
  6. Hello everyone. After a few months of experimenting my way around 3-at the back tactics, I might finally have stumbled upon the motherlode. An attacking 3-4-3 which guarantees goals. For my team, I chose Borussia Monchengladbach, as I felt they had the right players for the formation, and also were in the Champions League, where I can test it out against the very best. So without further ado, here it is. THE ALBATROSS 3-4-3 Why this name? The formation when in place does look like the bird in full flight, hovering with its wings spread to full length. (An Albatross has the highest wing-span of any bird) So here is the formation, and the team instructions of the tactic as well. Formation: Team Instructions: We have gone with the control strategy as we aim to dominate the play, and let the opponents adapt to our style rather than us to theirs. I've always been a fan of attacking football which looks good on the eye (No wonder I'm a Netherlands supporter), and I feel this is the strategy which suits me, and this formation the best. We've gone with fluid as we expect that little more from each player, with the wingers tracking back and helping in the defensive phase, as well as the strikers moving wide when necessary, with the midfielders pushing up and dropping back in a fluid manner, didn't go for very fluid as I felt it would complicate too many things, as well as Fluid was working very well. Player Roles: GK: Just your standard Goalkeeper. (Sommer, Patricio, Lloris, Jefferson etc) RCB and LCB: CD -Defend. Pace is definitely a factor here. Anything less than 13 acceleration and pace will struggle, as Vestergaard did for my Gladbach team at LCB, before he was dropped and eventually sold off in January. Pacey centre-backs who are alright on the ball will do a good job. [12+ passing] (Elvedi, Wimmer, Romagnoli, Rudiger, Dier etc) CB: BPD- Stopper. This guy needs to be strong in the air, so definitely check for jumping and height, as he would push up from his defensive line to win headers from opposition goal kicks. Decisions is another key stat, as he should realise when and when not to leave his deep position. You could change the role from Stopper to Defend if your opposition has a very fast striker and your CB can risk being caught out due to the sheer pace. And as this guy will spread the play out to your wingers when such an option exists, he should also be decent on the ball. (Christensen, Hoedt, Alderweireld, Koscielny, Musacchio etc) RM and LM: Winger-Support. These guys are the engines of your team, and a LOT of running is expected from the players playing in these two positions. Their job is to supplement the attack with passes to the forwards, whilst also getting into the box to provide incisive crosses when the opportunity presents itself. They also need to do a job defensively, tracking back to alleviate the problems caused by the opposition wide-men. Needless to say, 15+ Stamina and Work Rate is pivotal for your wingers to perform upto their extremely high standards. I also can't stress enough on the importance of speed, which fortunately is available aplenty in my Gladbach side. I did use left-footed players on the left and right-footers on the right, I'm not too sure as to how inverted wingers may work, but you can give it a try and let me know. (Fabian Johnson, Herrmann, Bellarabi, Mkhitaryan, Lennon, Rose{retrained to LM} etc) LCM: Deep Lying Playmaker- Defend. This guy acts as the cog in your team, sitting in front of the defenders and will recycle possession to the players in front of him, whilst always offering an option to pass the ball to. Along with this, he is also your defensive enforcer, winning the ball back in midfield and quickly laying it off to more attack-minded players, facilitating a quick counter attack. Retrain a good DM with alright passing [minimum 13] who doesn't try many risky passes to this role and you'll do very well. Christoph Kramer was one of my most solid players all season, with the highest passing accuracy in the club (88%). Note: Do make sure you have plenty of depth in this position, as it is very prone to having a lot of yellow cards, Kramer had 20 bookings over the season for me. Fortunately I had Tobias Strobl and Diego Poyet who could fill in when needed. (Kramer, Schweinsteiger, Kranevitter, Matic, Besic etc) RCM: Box-to-Box midfielder. This player during the attacking phase will be your more aggressive midfielder, venturing forward and looking at killer passes to your forwards and/or wingers. While a forward moves into a channel, the box-to-box midfielder will see the space and dart in to it, hoping to get on the end of a cross or a pull-back. The Gets into opposition area or Arrives Late in the Box trait should work well for this position I imagine. Needs to have high work-rate and stamina as he will also be doing some defensive work along with his offensive duties. High passing and vision is also a bonus. (Dahoud, Pogba, Alli, Joao Mario, Ander Herrera etc) LF and RF: F9- support. These forwards should be your skillful players, who know how to use the ball, while making the most of their movement to get into channels either wide, or inward, details of which will be shown in screenshots below. They will get a load of goals, as well as assists for your central and main striker. More often than not, I played Raffael and Lars Stindl up there, and from their stats which I will be posting below, you will see that they were absolutely phenomenal. (Raffael, Stindl, Dybala, Hazard, Penaranda, Son-Heung Min etc) ST- Complete Forward (Attack). Your main goalscoring threat, although the goals will be divided a lot amongst all three frontmen. Finishing, off the ball movement and pace are key attributes, as they were for Andre Hahn, doesn't look like he can do much with his technical stats, but he was an absolute goal-machine, leaving defenders in his wake with his 18 pace, also being the quickest to meet crosses from the wide-men/false 9's. This player doesn't need to be very flashy, just needs to get the job done. (Hahn, Berahino, Aubameyang, Hernandez, Bale, Vardy etc) Now that I've told you a fair bit about the player roles and the formation in general, let me go in deep regarding how the team works and how some link-ups prove key to the success of this tactic. DLP IN POSSESSION The DLP (Kramer) receives the ball deep and weighs his multiple options before executing the pass. THE THREE FORWARDS LINKING UP The following sequence of images show how the three frontmen are involved in building a move which leads to a goal for our main striker, Andre Hahn. Raffael picks up the ball after it is won in midfield, the opposition panics and rushes towards him, leaving acres of space on the right hand side. Raffael promptly spreads the ball out wide to Herrmann, who spots the run of Thorgan Hazard into the outside right channel. Herrmann feeds Hazard, who rolls it across goal to Hahn for a simple tap-in. LINK-UP BETWEEN WINGER AND WIDE FORWARD Fabian Johnson picks the ball up and drives at the Basel defence. As the opposition left-back rushes to close him down, Raffael sees the space in the outside left channel and is picked out by Johnson. Hahn's movement is too good for the defence to handle as he gets in front of everyone to head home Raffael's cross from out wide. CLOSING DOWN IN MIDFIELD The high pressure from the team shuts Wolfsburg's avenues down as Maxi Arnold is forced into a backpass to Phillip Wollscheid. Wollscheid hurriedly makes the clearance which is pounced upon by Andre Hahn. Three to four passes later, Hahn is in on goal and does not miss. RESULTS What good is a tactic, if it does not provide you with the results you need? I won the Bundesliga with Gladbach, edging out Bayern on goal difference, while also making a Champions League surge to the Quarter-Finals, where I was beaten on away goals after a 1-1 aggregate result against Atletico Madrid. As you can see from the league table, we scored the most goals in the league, a staggering 96, averaging 2.8 goals per game, which is a fabulous attacking record. Defensively, we conceded 42 goals, which can be considered a lot but still managed to somehow be the second best defense in the league, behind Bayern. As for our signings, the only notable ones were Carlos Vela, who could not get into the team thanks to the form of the front 3, and Kevin Wimmer on loan from Spurs in January, to replace the departing Vestergaard, who had a torrid time with us and couldn't handle the prerequisites which came with this formation. Here are a few of my notable matches- Included the 3-2 loss against Barcelona at the Camp Nou too, as from the stats we out-possessed Barcelona (no mean feat) as well as had more shots, but Suarez was just too clinical for us to handle. The match went a long way to show that on our day, we can compete with absolutely anyone, which is also shown by 3-2 and 4-0 wins over Bayern and Dortmund respectively. PLAYER STATS As I mentioned earlier, my main men were the front 3, Raffael, Hahn and Stindl. Instead of posting their stats one-by-one, I'll just leave this here and let it do the talking. Shoutout to Thorgan Hazard as well, a constant provider of goals from the bench, and really stepped up to the plate when Stindl was injured for 8-9 weeks midway through the year. Another honorable mention goes to my B2B, Mahmoud Dahoud who made it into the Bundesliga team of the year. Well, so now I've shown you the results, shown you how the team will set up, shown you what players you should look for, looks like my job is done. Oh wait, I need to provide the tactic. Here you go. THE TACTIC Albatross 3-4-3_F14C4900-C6CB-4067-BBBA-AA5875CEC5E8.fmf Enjoy, and do let me know how your season goes. I'm going to try it out myself with another team as a test, maybe a side with lower expectations, such as West Brom, with a front three of Rondon, Chadli and Berahino. Sounds exciting, already! I hope to read your feedback regarding this tactic. Thanks a lot.
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