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  1. This is my first proper game of FM18. I have been playing around with FM18 but not started a serious save yet since I bought it. I missed FM17 completely so quite a few new features that I will need to get used to. The purpose of this thread will be to; To develop my own tactical system Analyse games to see what is going well and what is going wrong Get assistance from the FM community to improve my tactic and hopefully at the same time help others out who are starting their own saves. Team The team I have selected for my career save is Nottingham Forrest. A club with an amazing history, once conquering Europe and being feared by teams across England and Europe. Now struggling to really establish themselves as promotion contenders. The plan with this save will be to just go with the flow. If I get sacked, I will stay unemployed until another club picks me up. If I do well and get offered new jobs, I will consider them. Squad Analysis Looking at the Nottingham squad, I see a couple of positives; Great options in central defence Really strong central midfield options (Bridcutt and Osborn are the standouts) Good options upfront with Zach Clough, Kieran Dowell, Barrie Mackay and Daryl Murphy And some negatives; Lack of quality wing backs or full backs which are going to be extremely important in a system without wingers (this will be my priority) Lack of quality central midfielder to play the Carrilero role and provide support to the wing backs. Lack of transfer budget to dramatically change the team without getting rid of players first. I need to sign; 2 Wingbacks A Carrilero (Industrious, hard working midfielder in the mould of Ramires in the Benfica squad of 09/10) Eventually, I'll also need a DLP-D to give me more options in building attacks, but for now I'm happy with a DMC-D Tactical Vision So as my username suggest, I’m a SL Benfica supporter. One of the great teams that I enjoyed watching over the years was the 4-1-2-1-2 formation we utilised during the days of Oscar Cardozo, Javier Saviola, Javi Garcia, Angel Di Maria, Ramires and lastly but most importantly Pablo Aimar. I will be utilising a 4132 as I believe it will be a more accurate reflection of how Benfica actually played during the 09/10 season. It also provides me with more options to change things up in the game without actually compromising my tactical vision or system. Essentially, the AMC will push back into a MC position and his role will change to accommodate being deeper (likely changing to a roaming playmaker as I still want him to be the focal point of the team). I plan on utilising 2 new roles in FM18. I will be utilising Ben Osborn as a Mezalla with a support role (MCL). He has all the attributes to make this role work and I see him playing a similar role to Di Maria. On the MCR position, I’ll be utilising a Carrirelo – Support to try and replicate the Ramires role and provide the freedom for the wing back to bomb up the wing and support the attack which will be crucial to the success of a tactic that lacks width. The Carrirelo will be the protection to the space the wingback leaves behind. The DMC and MC positions are arguably the most important in the team. The DMC will be the ly bridge between defence and midfield. Linking up and recycling possession. Allowing the team to transition from defence to attack. The MC will be the heartbeat of the team. Whilst I still expect him to contribute to the defensive phase, more important he will be responsible for creating chances and linking midfield with the attack. He will constantly be looking to push the team forward and fashion out chances. The strikers will be a classic big man / little man combination. One quick striker capable of utilising the channels to create space and fashion out chances for his colleagues. The big man capable of dropping deeper and holding up the ball whilst the midfield moves into attacking positions. Specifically ill be keen to look into his link up play with the AMC, MCL, MCR and DR. I want the team to play with the following emphasise Aggressive closing down with the Carrilero and Mezalla and forwards pressing high up the pitch Overlapping wing backs / full backs Creativity provided by the MC and False 9 (Aimar and Saviola in the Benfica squad) Quick transitions between defence and midfield to launch counter attacks (sometimes skipping midfield and going straight to attack) Stay compact (fluid team shape to promote compactness) Inspiration for my tactic (Zonal marking analysis of Benfica) http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/04/09/benfica-4-1-psv-overlapping-full-backs-crucial/ http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/03/02/benfica-the-most-attactive-side-in-europe/ The Initial Tactic Bear in mind that this tactic has not yet been trialed, but here is what I'm thinking. I would also look at alternating the Mezalla from a support to attack role and left wing back from attack to support to vary my attack. In terms of PI's, I want the MC to push further forward to link up better with the False 9 (creating the Aimar / Saviola Combination) The Mezalla will be asked to run wide with the ball and play more risky passes The right wing back will also be asked to play more direct passes to encourage forward play The Carrirelo will be asked to shoot less often (I want him to do the basics well, nothing else, nothing more). He needs to be focused on protecting the flank when the right wing back bombs up the field. Team Instructions are listed in the screenshot above. Look forward to a constructive discussion. Next post will analyse my first competitive game. Also thank you to Rashidi for his posts on 4132 on his blog ad youtube channel. It gave me the inspiration to start this.
  2. Greetings, and happy Korean Independence Day to you all. Yesterday I came across a thread here where a guy wanted input on his Real Madrid tactic and I thought I'd try to replicate a very fancied tactic these days, the midfield crowded 4-1-2-1-2 that Zinedine Zidane uses for the top matches. We don't need to go into a full blown wall of text on ZZ and Real, let's just say that this tactic is one of three or four you'll see him use over the course of a season. We should add that Real Madrid is the most lethal counter attacking team today and this should absolutely be a part of our arsenal. The tactic itself relies heavily on the two wingbacks to provide width and provide crosses/passes; as evidenced in the annihilation of the rock solid Juventus in the CL final. 3 of the 4 goals came from Carvajal/Marcelo directly or indirectly. Furthermore, ZZ has removed all fancy play syndrome from the squad and instead uses a very pragmatic and straight forward approach. That means there are no playmaker roles in midfield; instead the passing play is quick and in a forward direction, with zero dallying on the ball. For instance, Marcelo had 89 touches in the Madrileno Derbi, more than any other player, including Kroos. The whole idea of this tactic is to have bodies in central areas, both going forward and defending. Should be well suited to the current ME, no? Let's have a look at those stats from Opta and 11tegen11: Image to the left is against Barca in the Spanish SC some days ago. Center image is the match against United and to the right is the image of the official submitted team pre game. As you can see by the REAL stats there is only one striker at any given time. Against United it was Bale, against Barca it was Benzema. Isco drops deep(er) and helps the team when out of possession and links up with the attack in possession. An Isco heatmap will show that he plays slightly on the lefthand side, somewhat withdrawn from the two attackers. Let's have a look at how this translates into FM17: Mentality: Unpopular answer; it depends. The default setting is counter, but like real life we are very flexible and likely to change during a match. I can go to control or attack, depending on the opposition. IRL, when using this RM plays with low risk. Shape: Like above, likely to change. When starting out in control we always play fluid. The thing is that being Real a lot of teams will come with a very defensive outlook, or a counter attacking setup. In these instances there is no point in going super compact (fluid), as you'll be closed down and blocked 95% of the time. In these cases we go highly structured and we can change the mentality to control or attack (take more risks). Roles, duties, team instructions and player instructions: GK: Standard, with PI's 'fewer risky passes', 'distribute to CBs'. CWBs: These are your most important roles in order for this to work and the roles are self explanatory. Added PI's: 'tighter marking', 'fewer risky passes'. CD-Co: The Varane role. On cover as his overall quickness is superior to that of Ramos. 'Mark tighter'. BPD-De: The Ramos role. The born leader and distributor from the back. 'Mark tighter'. CM-Su: The Modric role, on the right side of the three midfielders. Technical, hard worker with PPMs 'Dictates tempo' and 'Switch to other flank'. His only PI is 'mark tighter'. CM-De: Casemiro. The best DM in the world at the moment, a physical enforcer with good technical abilities, albeit not in the Kroos/Modric class. PIs 'mark tighter' and 'fewer risky passes'. PPMs 'simple passes'. CM-Su: Kroos. We give him slightly more passing freedom than the other two. He will launch some wicked counters when we add 'more risky passes'. He is also on 'tighter marking'. SS-At: Now it's get sticky. This is first and foremost Bales role in a normal setup. It can also be Asensio, Benzema or Ronaldo. Bale PPMs: 'Run w/ball often', 'shoot from distance' and 'knocks ball past opp' ++. Add 'tight marking' and 'roam' to get that Bale free running style. DLF-Su: Benzema, Ronaldo or Bale, in that order. CR will score for fun here, but you will not get that link-up play that Benz offers with 'plays one-twos'. No added PIs. AM-Su/AP-Su: The role that Isco made his own and sent James packing. Asensio and CR/Bale/Benz can also play here. When AP, use PI 'sit narrower'. When AM, use 'roam\, 'channels' and 'mark tighter'. We need him to track back. The Isco role is by far the most difficult one to replicate. It is most correct when using him as an AP out wide, with sit narrower PI. Then he will link up nicely with Marcelo and the DLF. The heatmaps below illustrates it better: Leftmost image is Isco against United in the ESC last week and the right one is in-game against Barcelona in the league: The team instructions are few. The only ones that are absolutely set in stone are 'dribble less' and 'closing down sometimes'. Too much closing down will pull the midfield all over the place. Less dribbling goes into the whole directness of the system. I normally use shorter passing and then change it up once in a while with mixed. If you want to see some devastating counter attacks, try highly structured on attack and pull the d-line all the way back. It's probably not sustainable for a full 90 mins, but against the likes of Barca it's extremely efficient once in a while. How did it work? Too well I fired up a single league save and used the current squad, no signings and no sales. I have also had a fair share of luck; no major injuries (zero injuries to Bale), Navas saved a few pens late on in two games, there seems to be a good amount of goals from set pieces using this system. Other than that it looks extremely solid. Will not work with any other team as you rely a lot on having three world class players up top though. Sorry for the long post, they always become so friggin long when you are dead set on making a to-the-point type OP. Hope you enjoy it and maybe take something from this.
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