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Found 8 results

  1. So what I've noticed is that teams that consider themselves superior to you always change their mentality to Attacking when they are behind. I just had a game where this happened again. Their Formation name changes to "Attacking" and they clearly play at least on "Fluid", throwing almost everything into the attack and turning the game around. For example, from 1-0 to 1-3. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at reacting to this. I always feel like being stubborn because I'm thinking that if I was able to score goals, I should just keep trying to score. I don't want to turtle up the minute I scored one goal. So how do you guys react when the AI does that? Also, extra question: I promoted to Premier League with Nottingham Forest exceeding expectations by far, then got relegated back to the Championship (yeah I'm new, don't laugh, I actually almost avoided relegation ). Why does the media etc estimate me to only finish mid-table in the Championship? (I have 4 Premier League-level players on the team)
  2. I am currently managing Harrogate Town in FM19 in the Vanarama National League. I have tried multiple tactics which includes my own 'Wings Of The Pheonix' tactic which had great results with Barcelona and even with Harrogate in Pre-Season but as soon as the season started, the team stopped scoring goals and the match went like there was no goal in the first half and then in the second half my team scores a goal and then either the opponents score a goal or my team doesn't score any more goal and it is never certain if my team will win the match or not. Now I know that it can happen in 2 to 3 matches but it has happened in each and every of the 16 games played so far irrespective of the opponent be it the worst team (York) or the best (Crewe). After this happened for a couple of matches, I decided to use a downloaded tactic by Total Football Fan (TFF) which was the 'TFF Conqueror' and still got the same results. I don't know if it some bug or is it my team. I must tell you that my team dominates every game as it takes 17 shots on avg. Per match and most of them being on target with my own tactic and even with the downloaded tactic however the strikers just don't seem to be hitting the shots towards goal or something. Any Hints or help will be appreciated. Thanks.
  3. I am currently managing Harrogate Town in FM19 in the Vanarama National League. I have tried multiple tactics which includes my own 'Wings Of The Pheonix' tactic which had great results with Barcelona and even with Harrogate in Pre-Season but as soon as the season started, the team stopped scoring goals and the match went like there was no goal in the first half and then in the second half my team scores a goal and then either the opponents score a goal or my team doesn't score any more goal and it is never certain if my team will win the match or not. Now I know that it can happen in 2 to 3 matches but it has happened in each and every of the 16 games played so far irrespective of the opponent be it the worst team (York) or the best (Crewe). After this happened for a couple of matches, I decided to use a downloaded tactic by Total Football Fan (TFF) which was the 'TFF Conqueror' and still got the same results. I don't know if it some bug or is it my team. I must tell you that my team dominates every game as it takes 17 shots on avg. Per match and most of them being on target with my own tactic and even with the downloaded tactic however the strikers just don't seem to be hitting the shots towards goal or something. Any Hints or help will be appreciated. Thanks.
  4. Into my 5th season with Young Boys and each season a reoccurring issue is that I’ve had the issue of not converting enough touches into goals (see the picture attached) - 195 touches and only 4 goals seems crazy! I play a 4-3-2-1 tika taka style where I dominate possession (see picture attached) Can anyone help in addressing this issue? I have changed training in the past in terms of adding in more chance creation and conversion but doesn’t seem to have that much effect Thanks!
  5. Welcome to - what I should imagine is - my last tactical thread before Football Manager 2018. So far, I have enjoyed looking at some of the most exciting and interesting teams in football history and looking at how we can implement their playing styles in the Football Manager Tactics Creator and see it played out in the match engine. As always - if you have yet to read along so far - I would recommend you start here as I will not spend too much time explaining already-discussed concepts. Johan Cruyff's 3-4-3 Diamond Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 Arsene Wenger's Invincibles Brazil's Jogo Bonito style Cult Heroes: Wales at Euro 2016 Pep's Barcelona In addition to tactical re-creations we have also looked at some more general real-world tactical theories or Tactics Creator concepts. What is Team Shape? Grassroots Tactics: Simplicity Playing Style, Structure & a modern 4-1-4-1 Universality in Football Manager 2015 (Very Fluid) Remember when I promised that Pep's Guardiola was my last system based on the Very Fluid shape? I am sorry.. Before you think, "here we go again" and your eyes glaze over, this discussion is going to follow a new approach aimed at making the Tactics Creator cleaner, simpler and more rational when implementing your tactical ideas. Resources on Marcelo Bielsa My most common gripe about tactical content, certainly applies to Marcelo Bielsa. There is an awful lot written, but not a lot actually said. There is a lot written about his erratic character - obsessive, genius and nicknamed "El Loco" - or his "disciples", but not much actual tactical content. Please feel free to recommend additional resources, and I am happy to share. Zonal Marking - Bielsa's Chile, the most tactically exciting side (at the 2010 World Cup) Zonal Marking - Marcelo Bielsa set to thrive at Bilbao Zonal Marking - Manchester United 2 - 3 Althetic Bilbao: United unable to deal with Bilbao pressing Analysis of Tactics of Athletic Bilbao by Peter Chulkov Scout Report: Olympic de Marseille 2014/15 by Branko Nikovski Tactical Theory Before we look at the characteristics of Marcelo Bielsa's tactics in more detail, let's introduce a new format which should make it easier to relate real-world football to the Tactics Creator and on to the Match Engine. Football can be broken down into 4-phases: Defence Transition from Defence to Attack (aka. Build-up) Attack Transition from Attack to Defence Now, let's think about Marcelo Bielsa's approach to each of these phases: Defence Famously intense pressing and high defensive line As a general rule, Bielsa maintains a one-man advantage over the opposition striker(s). -> Preferring a 3-man defence when facing a 2-man attack. -> And choosing a 4-man defence against a 3-man attack with a lone centre forward. The rest of team press man-to-man against the entire opposition team. Transition from Defence to Attack Fast attacking transitions Verticality or - for those not a fan of tactical jargon - passing the ball forwards. Build-up play through Defenders comfortable on the ball. Regular use of midfielders in defence, aiding build-play. Attack Attacking unit has been described as an "enganche y tres puntas" which means playmaker and 3-forwards. Bielsa was one of the pioneers of Inverted Wingbacks, essentially acting as auxiliary midfielders in-possession. Stretching the opposition defence using width from either wingers or wingbacks. Runners from deep position support attacks and overload opposition defenders. Transition from Attack to Defence Typically employs 1-2 holding midfielders, protecting the defence from opposition counter-attacks. Bielsa is famous for his 'loco' approach to the game and his 3-3-1-3 formation, but also uses 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 as illustrated thanks to the tactical diagrams from Zonal Marking and Konzeptfußballberlin.de. In Football Manager 2017 Step 1: Team Mentality Team Mentality is - in my opinion - the single most influential component of the Tactics Creator, determining: Base individual mentalities across the team Base levels for: Defensive Line Closing Down Tempo Time Wasting Width Passing Directness (to a smaller extent) Quite simply no other instruction influences - anywhere near - as many aspects of a team's play. In order to simplify our decision, we can group these aspects into 3-core factors which relate to the phases of play outlines earlier. Base individual mentalities across the team => our overall, collective strategy Defensive Line and Closing Down => Defensive strategy Tempo, Width, Time Wasting and Passing Directness => Transition from Defence to Attack / Build-up strategy Later on, we will assign individual Player Duties and use Team Instructions tailor each of these to our exact requirements. Let's apply this theory to the characteristics of Bielsa's play, outlined above. What is our overall, collective strategy? Bielsa advocates pro-active, high-intensity (Spoiler Alert! ) attacking football. What is our defensive strategy? Intense pressing and a high defensive line. What is our build-up / attacking-transition strategy? Fast-attacking transitions, verticality etc. Team Mentality: Attacking Step 2: Formation Re-visiting the quote on formations from Jonathan Wilson: The application of this is that we use formations which facilitate our overall strategy: Facilitates intense pressing, positioning players across the entire pitch. Facilitates quick-attacking transitions, allowing players to quickly get into attacking positions. Given Marcelo Bielsa's flexibility in his approach to structuring his teams, we need to employ a 3-3-1-3, a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1. We will come on to Player Roles and Duties later on. How do these formations facilitate our strategy? High-intensity pressing: Wide 3-man attack means we can effectively press opponents in their own third. We have different midfield options depending on our opponents set-up. Option of either a 3 or 4-man defence, allowing us to maintain a 1-man advantage against our opponents attack. Quick attacking transitions: We have 3 or 4 players in attacking positions ready to attack quickly when we turn over possession. Note: The only aspect which requires any basic knowledge of the Match Engine is positioning the positioning of the Wingbacks in the 4-3-3 due to the issue with a Half-Back playing with a 4-man defence. Step 3: Core Team Instructions Having determined our Team Mentality and Formation we can use Team Instructions to tailor our game plan, exactly as we would like it. The Team Instruction screen throws a lot of information at you. It helps me to divide it down into 3-areas: Core Team Instructions => Instructions relating to our Team Mentality: Defensive Line Closing Down Tempo Time Wasting Width Passing Directness Team Shape (covered later) Auxiliary Team Instructions: All remaining instructions. In the instance of Bielsa, we can use these core Instructions to: Optimise intense-pressing Higher defensive line Close down more Match passing directness to suit attacking-transitions More direct passing => has the side-effect of a minor increase in tempo and width. Step 4: Team Shape Team Shape is the final element of our collective strategy, and determines: How individual players prioritise Team Mentality vs Individual Duty. Collective level of Creative Freedom across the team. Individual Mentality Individual mentality is determined by 3 primary factors: Team Mentality determines a base Mentality level, according to the collective team strategy. Player Duty determines whether an individual is responsible for attacking, defending or supporting in relation to the collective mentality. Team Shape determines to what extent the individual focuses on the Team Mentality vs. their individual Duty. Given that we have already chosen an Attacking team mentality, we can see that a Flexible - instructs individual players to balance Team Mentality and individual Duty equally - team shape gives us the following Mentality distribution: Defend: Balancing a Defensive duty with an Attacking team mentality gives us a Neutral balance between attacking and defensive tendencies. Interestingly, the Attacking mentality description does hint towards this but is very easily overlooked: Support: A Supporting duty balanced with an Attacking mentality gives us a 70-30 preference towards attack. In a Standard mentality system, this level of individual mentality would be considered attacking. Attack: Attacking duty in an Attacking team mentality = all out attack. More than 80-20 in preference of attacking. Team Shape allows us to alter the balance between Team Mentality and Individual Duty, with more Structured shapes prioritising the individual duty and more Fluid shapes prioritising the Team Mentality. Applying this back to Marcelo Bielsa: One of the reasons behind the 'el Loco' nickname is the focus on a collective, attacking mentality. Bielsa's teams attack and defend as a unit. Bielsa typically gives players a high level of collective creative freedom. Team Shape: Very Fluid Deja vu. Sorry.. Step 5: Player Duties Having determined our team mentality and shape, assigning individual player duties will now allow us to: Set individual Mentality Structure our attacking movement Individual Mentalities In the context of an Attacking team mentality and a Very Fluid shape, we can see the individual Mentality assigned to each duty in the Player Instructions screen. Defend => Marginally above neutral. Positive, yet sensible play. In a Standard mentality, this mentality would be associated with a Support role. Support => 70-30 preference for Attack. In a Standard mentality, this would be classed as an Attack duty. Attack => Heavy preference towards attack. Attacking player in an Attacking system. All out attack. Attacking Movement Going back to the 4-phases of football: Defence Transition from Defence to Attack Attack Transition from Attack to Defence We have already defined our strategy for defence and the transition from defence into attack. Player duties influence our attacking shape in 2-ways: More attacking mentalities will - other factors remaining equal - take up more attacking positions on the field. Roles associated with different duties have different profiles for attacking movement. Roles associated with an Attack duty are more likely to get further forward. Roles associated with an Defend duty are more likely to hold position. Roles associated with a Support duty are typically open to customise. How does this influence our Attack and Transition from Attack to Defence phase? Attack Instructing players with Support or Attack duty to get forward more determines Attacking shape. => Next, we'll use specific Roles and PIs to get players into specific positions. Transition from Attack to Defence What happens in the key moment we are attacking - with players committed forward in our attacking shape - and we lose the ball? Instructing players with Defend or Support duty to hold position means they remain in their defensive position guarding against opposition counter-attack. Understanding this we assign players duties depending on: Whether they should be: Positive yet, sensible. Attacking All-out-Attack Whether they should: Get forward in attack Stay back Implementing characteristics we see employed by Bielsa, we can implement: Aggressively commit players forward with attacking runs from deep. Attacking players wide, stretching the opposition and creating width. Use a holding midfield shield to circulate possession and protect from counter attacks. Across all 3 formations, players perform similar duties despite taking up different positions on the pitch. Central Defenders (Defend or Cover) Positive yet sensible mentality Stay back in attack Wingbacks (Support) Attacking mentality Get forward in attack, providing width Inverted Wingbacks (Support) Attacking mentality Neutral movement, naturally moving into midfield. Holding Midfielders (Defend) Positive yet sensible mentality Stay back in attack Advanced midfielder (Support) Attacking mentality Get forward in attack Wingers (Support) Attacking mentality Get forward in attack, providing width Inside Forwards (Support) Attacking mentality Get forward in attack, naturally coming inside Striker (Support) Positive yet balanced mentality -> Strikers on Support always have a lower mentality than other players on Support, conversely Strikers in Attack are more attacking than others. Move into channels creating space We avoid Attacking duties in an Attacking mentality as: We want to attack as a unit. The mentality is simply too extreme. Chasing a lead maybe but playing all-season trying to score at all-costs is an unnecessary risk. Step 6: Player Roles and Instructions Player roles are the icing on the proverbial cake. Player roles are simple. They are nothing more than a pre-set combination of Player Instructions, the name is just a label. In most cases, after selecting Duty you will be left with a handful of options. Your decision simply comes down to: Do you want this player to be a Playmaker / Target Man? Do the Player Instructions associated the role, suit the player and fit your tactical requirements. If not, are they customisable? Not sure we need to walk through every decision, but let's give one example. We already know that my Striker is going to be in the Centre Forward position and playing a Support role, which leaves me 5-options: Deep-Lying Forward Target Man Complete Forward Defensive Forward False 9 Process of elimination: Do I want a Target Man? -> No, I tried it and don't like the long-balls. Target Man. Do I want my Striker to Dribble More? -> No, my primary striker is 35 and his dribbling is 11. Complete Forward False 9 Do I prefer more or less risky passes? -> More, as he is drifting off and has attacking runners all around him. Defensive Forward Hello, Deep-Lying Forward + Move into Channels. Don't forget to set your Goalkeeper distribution. In this case, to the centre backs! Step 7: Auxiliary Team Instructions If the last step was the icing, these are the candles. Finally, we have the remainder of the Team Instructions screen which we bypassed earlier. Offside trap? Tighter Marking? Tackling Instructions? Passing Instructions? Retain Possession? Creative Freedom? Final 3rd instructions? Crossing? Dribbling? Freedom of movement? There are two issues people trip over with Team Instructions: Lots of them are redundant, ignored or unspecific? -> In an Attacking / Very Fluid system, is more creative freedom going to do anything? -> How much is more, anyway? 2 is more than 1, so is 999,999,999. Lots have unclear side effects. -> Retain possession, and play out of defence change passing and tempo settings. -> Focus passing through the middle and look for overlap impact the individual Mentality of related players. My advice: Treat them as an intermediate level area of the Tactics Creator. => Employ them if you know what you're doing => If you're struggling then keep it simple Watch a few games first. => Do you need to employ a particular instruction to improve play? => If yes, watch a few more games and see if it does the trick. In this case our Attacking mentality meant that players were prone to shooting from long range more than I liked during pre-season, so I added Work the Ball into the Box. Overview There we have it. We have used the tactics creator to create: Marcelo Bielsa's high-octane attacking football. Fast-attacking transitions. "Verticality" High-intensity pressing. Applying this style in 3-variants: 3-3-1-3 4-3-3 4-2-3-1 Apologies for a long post. The purpose is to explain decisions in simple way that people can apply to their own tactics. Look at this as a walk-through ahead of a guide I intend to put together around the release of Football Manager 2018. Due to travel commitments I am out of time for now, but the next post is reserved for: Match engine analysis Info on the squad For those who like inverted wingbacks and 3-4-3 diamonds, here's a pre-view: Can't give an ETA at this moment as it's subject to finding time.
  6. Frstly, as a disclaimer, I've really only spent six months thinking about the theoretical side of tactics in Football Manager, and how the match engine replicates certain aspects of the game is still a little unclear to me. So probably some of what i'm saying is potentially nonsense, as I've mostly made my observations from tinkering with things and watching what happens in the games, as well as in the analysis screens. Anyway, The Tactical essence of Sacchi Summary from my blog post about Sacchi Sacchi once said “I coached the best team in history”. Some might dispute this, and argue that Guardiola’s Barcelona were the better side, this interesting blog in Goal.com gives Sacchi’s Milan the title, arguing: Previous attempts to recreate Sacchi in football manager, whilst being incredible tactical analyses in some cases, in my view have failed to address the speed and width of the tactic as well as the physicality of the approach, the utilisation of set pieces, and the extreme positioning of the defensive line. I’m most confused by the lack of width in many, not all, of the previous tactics. Donadoni is an incredible winger, two footed, with the ability to go inside or outside on either flank. Tassotti almost plays as a wing back, and Maldini is definitely a supporting fullback, with an outstanding ability to cross from deep. As goal note: Sacchi was an innovator. Like Guardiola’s Barcelona, both teams undeniably have their influences in the 1970s Dutch team. Sacchi will perhaps be best remembered for the notion of the 25 yard rule, such that, your defensive line should never be 25 yards behind your further most attacker. Watching AC Milan 1989 now on YouTube you’ll see them often camped on the half way line. Within that 25 yard zone, AC would hunt down their opponents to win back possession. There is also a tremendous fluidity to the Milan approach, and Sacchi loved players who can play in any position. Milan’s back four, Tassotti, Baresi, Costacurta and Paolo Maldini, were comfortable on the ball, the latter two outstanding crossers. Baresi became famous for his attacking bursts to instigate attacks from the back, he was technically as good as any midfielder (Bonucci is p[perfect in this regard). Sacchi’s formation should not be considered an orthodox 4-4-2, aside from the fluid movement of the players, there were asymmetries to the tactic. Tassotti spends more time up the pitch than Maldini, and Columbo often tucks inside from his wing role to form a midfield three, and help out Ancelotti and Rijkaard. And Gullitt comes deep into midfield to collect the ball, whilst Van Basten usually occupies advanced positions. In terms of chance creation, goal note Resources for development of the tactic http://www.football-coach.net/arrigo-sacchis-method.html http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2011/11/23/2767812/arrigo-sacchis-ac-milan-vs-pep-guardiolas-barcelona-the http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1425160-great-team-tactics-breaking-down-how-arrigo-sacchis-ac-milan-took-down-europe https://markfc713.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/football-tactics-arrigo-saachis-4-4-2/ Previous attempts to recreate the tactic The Formation and Player Roles There are other views of this formation available online, but in my view, nothing comes closer than this graphic to representing how Milan play. The formation is relatively easy to represent in Football Manager, and use of player roles allows you to represent some of the key aspects of Milan's play. E.g. Baresi (Bonucci) as the quarterback, (this is aided in FM18 by the brings ball out of defence PPM), Rijkaard's (Kessie) runs into the box, Van Basten (Kalinic) as an out and out complete forward, the sweeper keeper, and the way Ancelotti (Biglia) drops deep to receive the ball, without ever becoming a holding midfielder. Also having that deep mentality for Biglia will mean he drops in and takes the ball of the defenders whilst playing shorter passes to those around him like Ancelotti did. I'm not sure about the BBM, because Rijkaard does get involved in the build up play as well, hmmm. Some of the other positions are debatable, for example the positions of Colombo and Donadoni are subject to debate, as are the Gullit position. I believe the front two should be marked out as a two, because if you look especially as Milan get into the final third in the videos Gullit takes up the position of an orthodox centre-forward. In this case, Gullit is used as a deep lying forward, This role seems a perfect fit for Gullit. The other area of contention concerns the full backs. I've seen matching mentalities set for the full-backs in previous replication attempts. This is surely wrong, if you watch the videos Tassotti gets much further forward than Maldini. Maldini is sure a great crosser of the ball, but a lot of his work comes from deep, he seems to be more cautious, i'm not sure if that is his mentality, or the tactical system. Anyway, as such I've set asymmetric mentalities on the full backs. I am concerned about having an attacking fullback, and may look to analyse this throughout the season if the defence does not improve. The other problem concerns what to do about the Wingers ? I think Donadoni is fine as an Winger switching to inverted Winger throughout the game, i have no issue with that. Zivkovic is nice, because if you put him on the right as a "Winger - A", he has a left foot and cuts inside PPM, so this will actually perfectly replicate the unpredictable attacking play of Donadoni, in that he will go inside and out. Donadoni is amazing, since he can go outside on the right, but his two-footed nature means he often cuts in as well - and can do the same on the other side. I have signed Zivkovic and Chiesa in essence to replicate him, we also have Suso as well who can play this role. So i perhaps have too many Donadoni's. The other side is an issue. I've just had Bonaventura return from injury, and i see him as playing that Colombo role nicely. The issue is how to replicate a narrow wide midfielder in the game. The description of the Wide Midfielder seems to fit exactly what Colombo does for AC, with the Sit Narrower option ticked in order to move him inside. It is interesting to note, that Milan's width comes from Donadoni and Tassoti, as well as Gullit dropping into wide areas. So the narrow wide midfielder is placed narrow on the same side that the DLFS is placed on, you will see the DLFS often occupying wide areas. I've also used this tactic below to great effect, winning 4-0 and 5-1 in the past two games I've used it, so i might go with it for a while. In this case, the central midfielder on the left pushes out wide with his Mezzala role. Again, the role of the Mezzala seems to some degree consistent with what Colombo does "a central player who drifts out wide into the half spaces". I'm actually a big fan of the asymmetric formations, in that for whatever reason they seem to confuse the AI. Of course, Donadoni is now in the role of an AMR, and i think this could compromise the way we press, although I've not looked at the analysis on that yet. It might be that we need to pull him back to MR, and have the asymmetry in a flat bank of 4, and having him set to an attacking mentality, will push him ahead of his 3 teammates who are set to support and defend roles. Team Instructions In my previous thread on my Crystal Palace save i was criticised, perhaps right or wrongly, for trying to change aspects of my mentality through team instructions, so i imagine this is where i'm perhaps committing some mistakes. Remember, i'm not so familiar with all of what the engine does, so i'm applying what I've learnt about football to this tactic, without necessarily understanding if what i'm doing is right within the engine. So i guess, this will be where i will learn the most. If you can comment constructively that'd be really cool. Mentality I've agonised over mentality, because I've noticed that the mentality influences the defensive line as well as intensity of the press and desire to win possession back quickly. I've not measured it analytically, but i can clearly see that the heat maps for the defence are higher where you use attacking. On attacking, players are also more aggressive winning the ball back (not sure what to do about gets tuck in here, because AC backline did stay on their feet a lot, although the midfield could put the boot in, and also the defence were good at tactical fouling). Pressing is also a lot more intense. So, the question with Sacchi, and the same will be true where we're talking about Saari, is how do we get these defensive lines at the highest as well as ensuring pressing is intense. Since, both operate what must be considered some of the highest defensive lines, we MUST replicate this in FM. I've created a Sarri tactic for Napoli, which uses Attacking mentality, but then rigs everything against that mentality, attacking, e.g. slow tempo, no risky passes, no dribbling, no long shots, retain possession, all short passing, no pass into space. This is just my own version, i don't know if what i'm doing makes any sense WHATSOEVER. However, it makes it work in the game, i'm top with Napoli after ten games, although we're not scoring as much as i'd like the defense is amazing. So i'm bringing that in here ,because i know that Saari was influenced by Sacchi's idea of compression and pressing with the high line and offside trap. Plus watch AC, there is NO WAY, they should be set to a standard mentality. I agree that control is more realistic for their attacking style, but given perhaps the defining aspect of Saachi's is the high defensive line, closing down, and compression, i believe the attacking mentality actually beats Control for fidelity. I'll be interested to know i guess, am i overstating the role of mentality in defining the defensive line ? I am of course aware, that the attacking players might stay a little further forward in the compression, and therefore we might not get to our 25 yards between defense and attack, but often in the game with this tactic you will see it very compact. But regardless, surely having a Very Fluid mentality ought to create this compression and movement as a unit naturally anyhow ? Also, look at Baresi man, he's got a total attacking orientation with the ball, as does Tassotti, i don't know ? Be interested in peoples thoughts ? In summary, selecting attacking allows us to have a higher defensive line, if you look at pressing that is also intensified by selecting attacking relative to control, the tactics also allows us a bit more width. Although we need to take steps to mitigate the tempo, since obviously we don't want to turn into Real Madrid. Although if you watch AC they do engage in a lot of counter attacks, so i'm ok with this, although i can see that we're a little too fast. I'm allowing my obsession with the defensive line to make this call. Also aware of the issues relating to using attacking and more width, and how that impacts upon defensive shape. I need to look at this, when i do the defensive analysis. Tempo I guess i probably should put this down to normal, and in fact i have used normal at times throughout the season. I can see that this is one way to mitigate the effects of having the attacking mentality. I don't know, i mean if the nature of high intensity is "using this approach to unsettle opposition", then it would appear to be the case with Sacchi's AC. Attacking obviously raises the tempo anyhow, so yeah, i'll change to normal, lol. I can see the engine does not always like higher tempo with shorter pass as well, and relative to my crystal palace save, i think we're having issues with chances being wasted, which i think might be influenced by tempo and passing style. Team Shape Very Fluid, i don't think there's any debate, AC one of the most fluid teams I've ever watched, with all players contributing to all phases. In my head anyway, this option, the team plays as a unit and as such ought to create the compression necessary for the 25 yard compression zone, since all players are contributing to that phase of the game ? Attacking players still have high levels of creative freedom with the ball, despite the rigid systematic approach to defensive phases. Width Again, i think is debatable, I've seen some teams go for a Balanced width. I'm not convinced, given the high volume of crosses to goals AC scored, you will not get authenticity by using Balanced, it has to be wider for me. I might even try exploiting the flank that Donadoni player is on in future. I certainly passionately disagree with previous replications who've used Narrow, in fact i'd say this was wrong. Width will allow more space and increase the mentalities of wider players, whilst offering support to them as well. Which seems to be a characteristic of Saachi. As mentioned above, i'm aware of the tension between wide play and defensive shape. Defensive line and offside trap Self evident. One of highest defensive lines ever used, and watching Baresi orchestrate the offside trap is a thing of beauty. There are some videos on YouTube actually, it's amazing. Closing Down More Again, debatable as to whether should be set to Much More, but i believe that the compression of the zone between defence and attack is more a characteristic of Saachi rather than aggressively closing down per se. Need to do some analysis on how the pressing looks in the match engine, as I've been very focussed on getting the attacking play improved. Prevent GK short distribution. I'm unsure about this too, since i imagine that during the press, it drags the attackers a little further forward, thus creating a longer gap between defence and attack, but again, thoughts welcome. Tight Marking Big problem for this tactic, is this option. Because Saachi doesn't man-mark. So previous attempts to create pressing systems, which i read when i was creating Sarri, users stated that they had clicked tighter marking to intensify the press. But, this would not be appropriate here ? However, here, i'm making the assumption that tighter marking relates to man marking ? I'm not sure it does ? Because obviously you can zonally mark tightly. So i'll definitely be interested if anyone knows about this ? Passing Right, play out of defense, shorter passing, and work ball into box are all key features of AC's play. There is an argument for pass into space, but if you watch how the rest of the tactic combines, you will see that there is no need to pass into space since given the mentality and player roles, they already do this. I don't want possession to fall below 55% since you lose fidelity to Sacchi's play. Although i agree, they do pass into space. For those who said i was using too many TI's to influence the mentality, my reasoning for doing so, is that when you click retain possession all of the passing directions change, not only the team directness bar (see below), but also ALL of the INDIVIDUAL bars for the players too. So ok, I've clicked shorter passing, but in my head anyway, by clicking retain possession, i'm shortening that pass direction of players who have short passing selected. And this is the reasoning for selecting the TI's that i have, I've looked at what they do to those instructions that are dependent upon other tactical choices, and some of the chains of causation are quite long. Are you saying then that this is completely useless and meaningless ? and there's no difference between retain possession and not retain possession in terms of passing directness ? Remember, i don't know much about how the engine does these things, i only have my observations on what happens in the tactic screen, as well as what happens in the match engine, and analysis of the data post game. Creative freedom Again, i think this is an area I might have got wrong. Since creative freedom relates to individual expression, we have a paradox of sorts within this AC Milan side. Going forward they are extremely expressive, yet Sacchi will of course be remembered for the extremely rigid and extreme approach to defending. So i'm thinking ticking this, will influence how the teams expressed itself, which is what i want. But i'm hoping it does impact upon defensive shape too much. Crossing Float crosses, as mentioned, crosses are frequently floated into the box for Gullit, MBV, and Rijkaard, so self evident. Maldini also has the PI "crosses from deep" whereas Tassotti has "cross from byline". Attack Another defining characteristic of Sacchi's play, especially compared to Guardiola's replication of the 70s Dutch philosophy, and in stark contrast with Saari's replication, is the degree of dribbling. This isn't a possession tactic, there's bags of direct balls, crosses, and dribbling. Players who have dribble more include the "RB", the "BBM", the "Winger", and the front two. Playing Squad I'll do another thread linked on the playing squad, because i need to think in detail about how we get the right plyers in to replicate this. We need to get in big men in order to replicate the set-piece aspect of Saachi, as well as the goals from crosses. Obviously, we're going to need defenders with outstanding anticipation and positioning, as well as the technical attributes, we're lucky in having Romagnoli and Bonucci from the start, Roma can take over from Bonu when he retires. Mussachio should be good enough to fit that Costacurta role. I need a back up for him, defenders also need reasonable technique, first touch, off the ball and passing as well as decisions and high mental defensive attributes. Then you've got the overall team DNA, of determination, work rate, and team work. This will not be an easy task. The purchase of a better left back than Rodriguez also will be needed, in my head i'm thinking Kolasinac, although i need to think about this more ? Plus is Kolas better than Rodriguez in this version of the game ? Kessie can become Rijkaard, i'm convinced of that. I'm unsure about whether locatelli can become Ancelotti, but i like giving young players a chance and will allow him the time to see. Plus, we can play Biglia, who's just a shade off being a world class DLP right now, in bigger games, until LocaT is where we need him to be. We need to get in a back up for Kessie, i also like to have two first xi's who can nearly do as good as job as each other, because Montolivio, although playing well in this role, is not what we're looking forward. We need a strong CM who's good in the air, has the techincal ability, mental stats, and aerial capability to play the Rijkaard role (Savic ?). I need to find a better Wide Midfielders than Bonuventura, not because i don't rate him, i'm sure he can do that Coloumbo job, but he doesn't have a very good rating for that position. I will try and retrain him there, and see what happens. But i will sign a replacement in the summer, since i don't think this is a priority now. Kalinic and Silva can play the Van Basten role, and both are smashing in goals from everywhere at the moment. Silva is amazing in this game, and the similarities to Van Basten in terms of the goals he has got is really cool. I need to find a Gullit figure ASAP, hopefully in the Jan transfer window. I'm looking for player who is tall and strong, capable in the air, but with amazing first touch, dribbling, pace, passing, off the ball, decisions, team work, work rate, determination, bravery, and finishing, LOL, not too much to ask for a club in the EURO Cup. Anyway, will LOVE some feedback, especially from those who can answer my questions on the match engine Q's I've noted above. And also those who have created tactics based upon Saachi, Sarri, or even the German pressing systems, as well as obviously those which derive from the Dutch school. Tactic is finally working, we lost 3 of our first 4, but then won 6 in a row, although we just lost to Juve away 1-0, in a really close defensive game. This is the beauty i think of the tactics i have made, is that the attacking mentality combined with higher defensive line, closing down, and offside trap, gives a beautiful defence as the tactical familiarity improves. We're storming our EURO Cup games, against some poor teams, which really gives me hope that once this tactic is bedded in, and the right players are bought and young players improved, we will be able to replicate some of those crazy Sacchi scorelines from the late 80s. My blog on Sacchi - https://footballmanager2017dotblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/arrigo-sacchis-fast-attacking-4-4-2-fm18/ Subscribe from the Steamworkshop - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1214157519 YouTube videos regarding my tactic -
  7. Hi Experts Can anyone help me with what i am missing? I cant seem to score a goal or create a chance. However i have no clue what im doing wrong. After 11 games i scored 5 goals, which were all either defender mistakes or set peices. I dont concede either, just five goals. I am strong in possession and passing. Can anyone see what i am doing wrong. tried a billion things.
  8. 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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