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  1. Disclaimer INTRODUCTION Hello again football manager fans! Artisan here with another one of my tactical recreations . After a long hiatus and not touching FM16 due to personal commitments, I decided to pick up FM17 about a week ago and start working on recreating tactics. But less about me and more about the tactic. See links below which helped me create this tactic in addition to watching a few matches. http://spielverlagerung.com/2017/01/02/beyond-the-business-model-rb-leipzigs-football-philosophy/ https://www.sofascore.com/news/story-rb-leipzig-tactical-analysis-hasenhuttls-side/ Results from my Test The tactic was initially created with Arsenal before finally testing and refining with Southampton. The results in the screenshot below show how potent the formation can be. I will be tweaking to improve defensive capability. A lot of goals were conceded late in games when fatigue set in. The players performed to expectation with Ward Prowse (Keita Substitute) bossing the midfield and my forward players grabbing a lot of goals. It should be noted that I have not created any set piece routines. If anyone knows of any that works, let me know and I will test and include. TACTICAL INSPIRATION A raging bull at full pace running through the prairie causes the earth to shake and is a menacing site for anyone to behold. It is in many respects an unstoppable force of nature that after seeing red only has one thing on its mind...Destroy. It is not surprising that a team associated with the image of that beast tries to emulate the bull’s fierceness. It is not surprising that a team with the ambition to become the next big player in German football tries to establish a catchy identity". Redbull take the concept of gegenpressing to new heights with their ferocity. To the tactically uninitiated, this might look like gung-ho pressing with no regard for team shape and structure. On the contrary however, they work as a collective unit to isolate and force players into areas where they pose little danger before swarming to win the ball back or forcing the opposition into a long ball. RB The Philosophy RB Leipzig play a very narrow fluid counter pressing 4-4-2 hybrid that often resembles a 4-2-2-2/ 4-2-4. As mentioned before they don't go gungho with pressing. They instead set tactical pressing traps with specific triggers that when activated put the team into what I like to call raging bull mode. They do this by forcing the opposition fullbacks into clearing the ball to the congested centre and also forcing the wingers into the less dangerous wide areas. the video below illustrates this [video=youtube;_dBtD63LQ6Q]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dBtD63LQ6Q[/video] So how do you emulate this in FM17? A lot of you probably think "just select closing down much more", and to a degree you are right. You however though have to couple this with opposition instructions. See image below. The opposition instructions are what complete the triggered press 1. Vertical and Horizontal Compactness Narrow shape with a high defensive line forming a difficult to penetrate central block of players. This reduces the space the opposition have in central areas and reduces the distance players need to cover when closing down. The shape also means that second balls can be easily won which is paramount to Leipzig's strategy. You will need fast defenders due to the high defensive line . If they are good in the air also then great>Virgil V Dyk was amazing in my test [video=youtube;8zbKkCPV2wE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zbKkCPV2wE&feature=youtu.be[/video] 2. Counter pressing Trap The team allow opposition central defenders some time on the ball and use angle pressing runs to force the ball out wide. As soon as the ball is sent wide, the team isolate the wide defender and swarm before wining the ball back high up the pitch. This is a risky tactic against teams that play long balls. As soon as the ball is won, a counter attack is sprung with direct passing and fluid motion The first two lines of the 4-2-4 shape act as a unit. The way the players move and position themselves, follows certain group tactical principles; outnumber near the ball to generate pressure and direct the opposing build-up, guard the rest of the pitch to outnumber opponents in zones the ball could be played into, defending goal-near zones only when superior in numbers. The image below shows the teams stats in the Bundesliga for 2016/17 season. You can see that on average, despite them playing direct and with men behind the ball, they still have more possession than the opposition on average. The clip below shows how isolated opposition attacking players can be before the team swarm, win the ball back and launch a counter attack. Giroud had absolutely no chance in this situation [video=youtube;mlKoAwFjEf8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlKoAwFjEf8&feature=youtu.be[/video] 3.Fluid and Direct Players are fluid and are given a certain degree of freedom in the attacking phase. When the ball is won in the high up, the team will use smart movement to work the ball into the opposition goal. If the ball is won deeper, it is played direct to the forward players with the compact shape allowing second balls to be won. If possession is lost high up, the team will work hard to win it back by forcing the opposition into aimless long balls. [video=youtube;QKS_f3MfQOI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKS_f3MfQOI&feature=youtu.be[/video] Team Shape in Football Manager As I have mentioned in previous posts, being able to completely recreate a real life tactic in FM is almost impossible. The first major problem with recreating Leipzig's tactic is balancing pressing with team shape. Another issue is the difficulty in re-creating the support and cover principles that result in the “see-saw” movements of the formation. Generally speaking, when the attack focuses on one side of the pitch, the other side of the formation should fall back to cover. Despite the limitations, I feel I have created a tactic that is very successful and true to the nature of the Leipzig's style of play. The tactical setup is seen below. If you have read this far then you are a star. Type "woop" in the comments if you did Key Players I have highlighted some key players that make the formation tick. You must make sure you have the right players in every position, but these positions are particularly important Roaming Play Maker (Naby Keita) He has been described as a hybrid of Iniesta and Kante. In my opinion, definitely an exaggeration but from watching him play, you can see how people can get carried away. He is the industry in midfield able to break up plays and set up attacking moves. Let's make it two woops' In my test Ward-Prowse was my roaming playmaker who bossed the midfield similar to what Keita would do. See quick clip below. The team press the opposition defenders forcing a long and aimless ball that my team can easily control. Ward-Prowse then controls the attack [video=youtube;EJkNof_joP4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJkNof_joP4[/video] Shadow Striker (Timo Werner) He will link play with wide and central players and be a constant presence in the box to score goals. Work rate and team working ability make this player difficult for opposition defenders to deal with. In my test I played Steven Davis in the position [video=youtube;y5mStuww9us]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5mStuww9us&feature=youtu.be[/video] Red Cards I usually just take off the shadow striker and keep everything else the same Conclusion As with all tactics, there is room for improvement. This one particularly against teams that use a big target man and pacey wingers chasing the knock on. Despite this, I believe this is a great tactic and will serve you guys well. Finally, happy managing Leipzig Counter Press by Artisan_BBC9BC95-F815-4FF5-84DA-1E8901B54C90.fmf
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