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Found 18 results

  1. Thread Inspired by - Diego Simeone's 4-4-2 Atletico Madrid (!Watch Video!) The Rise of Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone Simeone's Major Honours with Atletico La Liga (1): 2013–14 Copa del Rey (1): 2012–13 Supercopa de España (1): 2014 UEFA Europa League (1): 2011–12 UEFA Super Cup (1): 2012 UEFA Champions League Runner-up (2): 2013–14, 2015–16 Simeone has established Atletico as a Spanish giant as Real, Barcelona and Atleti challenge for the title every year, one of the most sought managers in Europe here is why Simeone has been so successful in transforming a mid table Atletico Madrid side into one of the most feared teams in Europe not only able to compete in the Champions League and domestically but Reach the final twice and become champions of La Liga. Under Simeone Atlético Madrid play a unique style of football in comparison to the rest of the modern game, whilst teams like Barcelona prefer a 'Tiki Taka' philosophy dominating most matches with patient passing and keeping a large percentage of the ball or teams like Arsenal playing a vibrant attacking (4)-2-3-1 set up , Diego Simeone prefers a classic 4-4-2 formation but is much more advanced and effective than the old target man and poacher set up. Simeone engrains cohesion, organisation and discipline into his side in order to try and achieve a result, set up with 2 banks of 4 and 2 front men every player on his team contributes to the defensive and pressing side of the game with a lot of ground to cover attacking and defending as a unit, Simeone has his men set to press high up the field in an attempt to win the ball early on starting with his forwards and if the ball crosses into his teams territory his defensive line retreats much deeper and his team sit very narrow compressing the space in the centre of the pitch and forcing the opposition out wide where their wingers are pressed aggressively and a counter attack is quickly launched. - Against stronger opposition Atletico Madrid are known to sit deep and frustrate the opposition in an attempt to grind out a result - Against weaker opposition Atletico sit with a higher defensive line in an attempt to compress the space in the opposition half with a high tempo to unsettle them and get a goal. This tactic will attempt to: - Play a narrow 4-4-2 shape and use it to similar effect as Atletico Madrid. - Emulate Diego Simeone and Atletico's Pressing. - Remain disciplined in attack and defence. - Play high pressing high tempo counter attacking football. - Remain hard to break down and frustrate opponents - Rely on teamwork, work rate and aggression rather than technical ability of individuals to win games. Main Attributes for this style of play (DNA): - Team work: You want players to play together and work as a unit in attack and defence. - Work rate: Players will have to press all day long, there will be no room for players unwilling to press with a low work rate attribute - Aggression: Players will have to be aggressive in winning back the ball (Increases chance of successful pressing) - Off The Ball: Players will have a good understanding and make great off the ball runs. - Positioning: Players knowing where they should be in attacking and defensive situations is crucial. Atletico Madrid Shape variety ATLETICOS SHAPE IN ATTACK BASIC SHAPE ATLETICOS SHAPE IN DEFENSE Goalkeeper: A good shot stopper as he will face a large amount of long shots when playing deep in ur own half ( Jan Oblak ) Wingbacks: Must be able to get up and down the field and contribute to attacking and defensive phases of the game - high stamina work rate and positioning ( Felipe Luis + Juanfran ) Centre backs: Must be able to keep shape in defense and intercept stray passes - Positioning and Marking must be high ( Godin + Gimenez ) Wide Midfielders: One is set as a winger and one is set as a wide playmaker but both appear as Wide Midfielders but with PI's they fulfill their role and helps ensure they don't neglect their defensive responsibilities, Must have High work rate, stamina and first touch. ( Koke + Carrasco ) - DLP/S: Sit deep and keep shape in defense - Must be an all round player with good stamina work rate tackling passing and vision ( Gabi ) - CM/S: A box to box midfielder without the free roam PI player will press high up the field hold team shape in defence and have good physical attributes to be able to contribute to fast counter attacking bursts up field - Must have high stamina work rate passing and dribbling (Tiago) - DLF: Both strikers will have to defend deep in their own half and press high up the pitch whilst also linking up in attack with team mates - Must have good work rate dribbling passing vision and off the ball. **Aggression is also an important attribute but not vital** TEAM INSTRUCTIONS The team instructions are not set and stone and may be changed whatever your preference. Higher Tempo: Increases chances of fast counter attacks and unsettles opponents Narrow: Midfield and defence will sit narrow and compress the space the opposition has to work with Slightly Deeper Defensive line: ** Must be adjusted in game depending on opponent** Put to normal or slightly higher if you feel you need to attack. Be More Disciplined: Must work as a team and follow tactical instructions no flashy passes or wasteful dribbles to disrupt the flow of play Pass into space: Exploit the space in behind opposition defence Play out of defence: Discourages long balls from the back and encourages players to either run or work the ball upfield ***Optional*** Look for overlap: To bring wing backs into play more often ( will already be involved in the game due to their attacking roles ) Work ball into box: Only to be used against weaker opposition Run at defence: Use if your team has good dribblers amongst its ranks it can be useful on the counter attack bypassing defenders and taking them out of the game. Opposition Instructions *VITAL* Absolutely crucial in emulating Atletico's pressing, set to press every player in defensive positions (High Press) and to stay solid in the centre until the ball is out wide (Wide Press) TACTICAL ANALYSIS: Team Shape - Crucial in Providing a Solid Basis in pressing and being defensively disciplined and hard to break down. - 2 narrow banks of four in a solid team shape, forwards helping press the ball encouraging opposition to launch a long ball and give away possession, acts as an iron curtain making it difficult for opposition to break down and hurting opposition on the counter attack, all players must contribute to pressing and stay in shape. High Press - In this screenshot both teams are situated high up the field in the oppositions half pressing aggressively in an attempt to win the ball back providing successful may lead to a goal scoring opportunity as team mates run forward in support, both sets of strikes are forcing opponents into making a mistake whilst the other is man marking or cutting passing lanes the other is aggressively closing down the ball. Wide Pressing - Simeone's side are known to keep shape in the centre of the field whilst forcing opponents out wide with pressing from the strikers, once the opposition have the ball on the flank the team adjust and close the ball down with aggression whilst keeping team shape and launching a counter attack. Bellow is an example that lead to a goal scoring chance. This time the ball was successfully won back and the team are set for a fast attack at goal to catch the opposition off guard - Defensive line pushes higher - Players surge forward -Disciplined shape and fast attack - Passing options became available and players exploit the poor positioning of the opposition - - Space Opens up behind the defence and a clear cut chance has appeared - Wide midfielders display good off the ball runs that lead to a goal. - - WM/A surges forward and finds himself in a good position - Keeper makes a good save and the ball falls nicely for the open goal. PLAYER INSTRUCTIONS FOR EACH ROLE 4-4-2 Simeone_4AE1D7E8-9A8E-41D9-A326-F2FD9A000FB0.fmf Best of the 3 !!!New updated strikerless Tactic!!! 442 Diego Simeone Strikerless_3F30D31F-2F33-4429-8D1F-3080234EBB47.fmf OhhScottySinclair's - Rise of Diego Simeone - Underdog_D077F2D8-5E8F-4C14-B1C3-128B97DD11A1.fmf
  2. Inter’s Famous Treble Season "This wonderful night bestows us with the colours of our crest: black and azure against a gilded backdrop of stars. It shall be called International, because we are brothers of the world." — 9 March 1908, Milan After success in the post-Herrera era, the blue side of Milan started to see more success starting in 2004. Inter were awarded the 2005–06 Serie A championship retrospectively after points were stripped from Juventus and Milan due to the match-fixing scandal that year. During the following season, Inter went on a record-breaking run of 17 consecutive victories in Serie A, starting on 25 September 2006 with a 4–1 home victory over Livorno, and ending on 28 February 2007, after a 1–1 draw at home to Udinese. On 22 April 2007, Inter won their second consecutive Scudetto—and first on the field since 1989—when they defeated Siena 2–1 at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Italian World Cup-winning defender Marco Materazzi scored both goals. Inter had the greatest season in their history completing a historic Treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League, becoming the sixth European club to complete the treble and the only Italian club to achieve this feat to date. The team was led by Jose Mourinho. The Special One Arrives In 2008, Jose Mourinho moved to Serie A club Internazionale. Within three months he had won his first Italian honour, the Supercoppa Italiana, and completed the season by winning the Serie A title. In 2009–10, Inter became the first Italian club to win the treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia, and the Champions League, also the first time Inter had won the latter competition since 1965. He is one of only five coaches to have won the European Cup with two different teams, along with Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jupp Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti. He won the first-ever FIFA World Coach of the Year Award in 2010. The Players GK Julio Cesar – One of the best goalkeepers in the world in his prime, Júlio César was known for his athleticism, strength, and reflexes, as well as his agility, positional sense, shot-stopping, ability to read the game, and speed when rushing off his line. A left-footed goalkeeper, he is also known for his ball skills and distribution, as well as his penalty stopping. (FM Role = Goalkeeper - Defense) LB Javier Zanetti – Zanetti earned the nickname El Tractor for his stamina and tireless energetic runs up and down the wings to aid both attack and defence. He was known amongst his teammates for consistency and fitness regime, which he has credited with prolonging his career. During his last few seasons, he started in over 30 games despite being in his late 30s. As a captain for both his club and international sides, he was well-respected by both fans and the opposition for his leadership, calm demeanor and conduct both on and off the pitch; in his entire 22-year career, he only received two red cards. (FM Role = Fullback - Support) LCB Walter Samuel – Regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, Samuel was a large, quick, powerful, and aggressive centreback, who excelled in the air, both defensively, and as a goal threat on set pieces. His defensive skills, which included an excellent positional sense, an ability to read the game, as well as tough, tight marking, and hard tackling, made him extremely effective at anticipating opponents. (FM Role = Centerback - Defense) RCB Lucio – Regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, Lúcio is a tall, large, tenacious, and physically strong defender, who excels in the air, and is known for his heavy marking of opponents, as well as his hard-tackling style of play and leadership; he is also highly regarded for his positioning, ability to read the game and his adeptness at winning back possession in one on one situations. (FM Role = Centerback - Defense) RB Maicon – Due to his work-rate and stamina, Maicon is known to be capable of aiding his team both offensively and defensively, and has been used both as a full-back and as an attacking wing-back or wide midfielder. He is gifted with outstanding physical attributes, athleticism and excellent technical skills, as well as good vision, crossing ability and a powerful shot, which made him a dangerous attacking threat down the right flank in his prime. (FM Role = Wingback - Attack) (PI: More Risky Passes) CML Dejan Stankovic – He captained the Serbia national team until 2011, when he announced his retirement from international football. He played as an attacking midfielder who could also play out wide on the wings, or track back in a defensive midfield role. A tenacious and hard-working player, "Deki", as he is nicknamed, was best known for his efficient, accurate passing, versatility and creativity, as well as his ability to score goals from long distance. (FM Role = Box to Box Midfielder - Support) CMR Esteban Cambiasso – is a complete, versatile, consistent, and modern footballer, who possesses acute tactical intelligence, and who is capable of playing in several midfield and defensive positions. A strong, left-footed player, he is gifted with stamina, good technique, passing range and vision, attributes which allow him to distribute the ball and create chances for teammates. He also moved into the half spaces opened up by Maicon. (FM Role = Carrilero - Support) LW Goran Pandev – Pandev was born in Strumica, SR Macedonia, then still part of SFR Yugoslavia, and began his football career with FK Belasica, the club with which he progressed through the youth academy. He only spent one season in the local Prva Liga, however, before being signed by Serie A giants Internazionale in the summer of 2001 when he was just 18 years old. (FM Role = Winger - Support) AMC Wesley Sneijder – A creative and versatile midfielder, Sneijder has been recognized as one of the classic playmakers of the 2010s. From his impeccable placement and confirmed ability to score from free kicks, Sneijder earned the reputation as a dead-ball specialist. Because of his short stature, he is quick and strong on the ball, and his passing range is enhanced by his ambidexterity; he is also renowned for his powerful striking ability from long range, with either foot. (FM Role = Advanced Playmaker - Support) RW Samuel Eto’o – Eto'o is a fast, strong, and energetic forward, who is known for his stamina, work-rate, ability in the air, and his accurate finishing ability both with his head and feet. A powerful and prolific goalscorer with good technique, composure in front of goal, and an ability to play off other forwards, Eto'o is primarily deployed as a central striker, although during his time at Inter, under José Mourinho, he demonstrated notable tactical intelligence and versatility by playing in several other positions on the pitch. (FM Role = Inside Forward - Attack) (PI: Shoot More Often, Sit Narrower) ST Diego Milito – A quick, dynamic, and technically gifted forward, with good vision, composure, and an eye for goal, Milito was known for his offensive movements and ability in the air and was capable of finishing well with his head as well as both feet, despite being naturally right-footed. He was also an accurate penalty taker. (FM Role = Advanced Forward - Attack) Translating to Football Manager Not only did Mourinho employ a hybrid 4-2-3-1/4-4-1-1, he also used a 4-3-1-2. I have taken a shot at both and found both these videos very helpful: TEAM INSTRUCTIONS (they remain the same regardless of shape) FORMATIONS Mentality = Counter - "Willingness to play exclusively on the counter" Team Shape = Structured - "Superb Defensive Organization" Team Instructions = More Direct Passing, Pass into Space, Clear Ball To Flanks, Exploit the Right Flank, Use Tighter Marking, Be More Disciplined, Much Deeper Defensive Line, High Tempo, Prevent Short GK Distribution (All of these instructions are designed to create Mourinho's low block and rapid counter-attacking) So far in early testing, this tactical recreation has the look and feel of the Mourinho treble team with EXTREMELY good defense and really makes the more of its co8unter attack chances. A lot of 1-0 and 2-0 wins with the occasional 4-0 blowout. I'd love to hear your feedback and how the tactic works for you. More results in testing to follow. Enjoy!
  3. It ended 2-2, which to me is a great result when you are Palace playing against the Mighty Reds with the best attacking trio in the world (Salah - Firmino - Mane), especially given that we had to play without our leading centre back Sakho due to an injury. We were leading twice, and both times Salah managed to equalize. This guy is simply incredible. He was everywhere across the pitch, always looking for space and making himself available for a pass. and it was clear that sooner or later he was going to put it into the back of the net somehow despite our really good and well-organized team defending. And he scored both goals virtually in the same way and from very similar positions, as you can see in this screenshot: If you look at the Match Stats, you could get an impression that they completely dominated the game, but in this case the stats are somewhat misleading, as I watched the whole match (as I regularly do), so you can trust me If you look better, you'll see they created just one CCC more than we did (3/2), and these were all created while they were desperately trying to equalize. They had a lot more shots overall, but quite a few were either from distance or blocked by my players. And even though I intentionally gave possession over to them, they did not have as much of it as one would have assumed (56/44). And finally, here is the strikerless 4213 which I used as the starting tactic that brought me a 1-0 lead. Later on, when we took the lead, I anticipated they were going to attack us like crazy, so I was making occasional tweaks to the tactic in order to better adapt it to the situation, and at some point even changed the formation to a regular 4-2-1-3 Wide.
  4. Believe me or not, the last version of FM I've played prior to FM18 was FM2009. Obviously, a lot has changed since. My specific question here is about tempo. I remember that in "good old times" of FM's early versions, tempo did not affect just the way you attack, but also the way you defend. So when you played with a higher tempo and your team was out of possession, your players would tend to hassle the opposition to a comparatively greater extent even if your mentality and pressing were low. When you wanted to use counter-attacks, you could've done that simply by ticking off the Use Counter Attacks in the Team Instructions even if your tempo setting was the slowest possible. Now, let's imagine that we are in the FM18 and I want to defend patiently, sitting deeper and drawing the OP into my half before hitting them quickly on the counter. If I use the Counter mentality on a lower (or even much lower) tempo, will my players launch a quick counter-attack once a good opportunity arises (ie. we won the ball) regardless of the slow tempo TI or I'll need to increase it to normal, for example? I hope I've managed to explain the question in the right way. Otherwise, feel free to ask for more details.
  5. Hello! A quick question to everyone, how many tactics in a season do you use? When starting a save i always create 3 tactics, Normal, Attacking & Defensive. However, i normally just stick to one tactic throughout the season. Is it more beneficial to use more than one? Do you have a home and away tactics?
  6. I keep reading on here that counter mentality doesn’t mean counter and control doesn’t mean control, and that fluid and structured isn’t what some people think it is. and that the existing descriptions for instructions don’t make total sense to what they actually do. Can anyone discuss or point to something to read up on better interperetations of the settings so I can revise my FM understanding. I feel as though approaching the game with real life football logic can sometimes not work how you expect it to so there might be an advantage to learning what each setting really does.
  7. Intro Before I dive in to the main theme of my thread, I'd like to speak a little about myself and Football Manager. I am probably one of the older players who still play the game (hopefully not the oldest) I have been playing since the Championship Manager days, have taken many breaks through the years, but have always found my way back to it. I have always done pretty well, I'm no great player, there have been times where I have done well, and not really been sure why, or cared that much, because winning is fun right? With each new game that comes out, it feels a little bit tougher, sure we have a huge advantage over the AI, but they seem to be adapting better all the time. Along comes FM 18, and I'm not going to lie, I have struggled a bit. I pretty much always start with my team, Walsall, sounds boring, but the connection with my team is something that keeps me interested. I started a save with Walsall as I usually do, and did really well, back to back promotions, built a team capable of competing at the top of the Premier League, but it felt flat, I had no real plan with what I was trying to do, kept changing tactics, making random changes in the hope that something works (sounds like a few managers we've had at Walsall) and I honestly just got bored. I didn't really have motivation to play any more, I wasn't enjoying it at all, and if it is no fun, then I can't justify wasting so much time on it. I still kept popping on here, to read what others were up to, and the thing that come across most from the main posters on the site, was having a plan of what you wanted to do. I read it half a dozen times, from some of the best people on the site. It got me thinking, but I still lacked any real inspiration. Then one Saturday night, after another depressing performance by Walsall, was sat in the pub with a mate, talking about Walsall past, trying to dig out some good memories to numb the pain of our current plight. Found ourselves talking about the class of 99. This wont mean anything to anyone who doesn't follow Walsall. To us, right up there with one of the greatest seasons in our history. That was it, I knew what I was going to do. The thread is actually tactics based, and will focus on tactics once the initial posts are set out. The story may not be of much interest to a lot of you, but it will add to what I am trying to do if you give it a chance. The Class of 99 So you probably opened up the thread to read about Liverpool, or Man United, afraid not, a little story, almost fairy tale about my own little club Walsall. The summer of 1998. We had narrowly escaped relegation by one point. This doesn't tell the whole story, we had a few fantastic cup runs in that season. We had some very useful players, and when they wanted to play, they could play. Manager Jan Sorenson was pretty clueless tactically, and failed to motivate the team, unless it was a big game, when no motivation was needed. He was relieved of his duties at the end of the season, and some of the better players we had, also left the club. We were left with 8 senior players on the books and no manager, odds on favourites to go down with the bookies. It was also made clear, the playing budget would be drastically reduced, due to the money that had been spent the previous season, quite a mess, and a very worrying time. It was going to be a tough league too, there were some very good 3rd division sides. Preston, Gillingham, Wigan Stoke, Bournemouth, all had good teams, that's not to mention Manchester City were coming down to join us, and big spending Fulham were coming up to join us. Fulham were one of the first big bankrolled clubs, that were without doubt heading to the top flight at some point, they had spending power way beyond anyone else at our level. Fast forward a little, and Ray Graydon was appointed as first team manager. He had never managed before, but very experienced coach. Didn't really fill anyone with much hope. Bit by bit he started to sign players and build a team, mostly players I'd never heard of, or with records that didn't really fill you with any confidence. Free transfers and cast offs, this is nothing unusual at Walsall, but somehow this seemed even more depressing than usual, especially after the previous season, where we actually had some quality in. We had an awful pre-season, losing to many non league clubs, and looking lost for ideas to be honest. Season began, we won the first game 1-0 away, with an own goal deciding the match, and then for the next month or so it was very unconvincing stuff. What we all thought was our best player hadn't been picked for any of the games, and was finally sold, this was going to be a bad season for sure. Gradually though, without anyone really taking much notice, we started grinding some wins out , 1-0 was a common scoreline for us, especially away from home. Many managers bemoaned how fortunate we had been, catching them on the break after they had “battered us” It became more apparent that this wasn't happening by chance. We were sucking teams in, and hitting them hard on the break. This team that he had patched together was somehow climbing the table at some rate. To cut a very long story short, we ended up finishing 2nd and getting promoted, finishing above Manchester City with 2 games to spare, but quite a way behind big spending Fulham. It was a miracle of sorts, in any given season, this would have been a massive achievement for us, but in this season, it was beyond anyone's dreams that we could actually get promoted. I was fortunate enough to talk to Ray Graydon about football, on several occasion's and he revealed a lot about how they achieved it, the philosophies he had about football, which I will talk about in a moment, and those philosophies are what I am going to base my save on. Sir Ray's Philosophies As I said above, I was fortunate enough to speak to Ray Graydon about football on several occasion's. When he spoke, you just wanted to listen more and more, he made it very clear to me, he is no tactical genius, he even indicated that no such thing existed. The first thing he wanted to do on arriving at Walsall was set up a simple game plan, that everyone understood. I think he kind of indicated that footballers aren't always the brightest people :-) He would never say such a thing, as he is a gentleman, but anyway, he wanted to have game plan that everyone knew there role, everyone had specific duties in the team, and were fully accountable for mistakes this way. He went on to say, he wanted every player to be doing a role doing something they were good at. In modern football, you see so often square pegs trying to be fit in to round holes, he didn't want this. He knew he couldn't sign top class players even at our level, what he wanted was to sign players with specific attributes to fill a certain role/duty within the team. Sounds simple right? Well that's what he wanted, simple. It was always going to be 4-4-2, he made that clear, there wasn't really any 4231, 4123 etc etc kind formations then, 4-4-2. 4-5-1 the odd 5-3-2 were the basis of most teams set ups. He had several ideas of what he expected from the 4-4-2, a few things I can remember him talking about, and several things I can remember from memory of how he set up. Two banks of 4 when defending Every player bar one (Poacher type player) Expected to contribute to defensive phase If one full back overlapped, the other side had to stay back Usually a deep defensive line to draw teams out Big Man (hard working) Small quick man combo upfront One attack minded winger/wide man was key to a lot of counter attacks Further to this, the real key to the success I believe was some key attributes that pretty much all of his players had. Even if they didn't before he arrived, they soon got it. Team Work Work Rate Determination I can still picture some of the games from that season, with players literally throwing their lives on the line, to block a shot, or a cross. Busting a gut to get on the end of a ball, and so on. It was in some ways an extremely structured set up, but somehow he moulded this structured set up, with different cogs making a well oiled machine, that you could also have seen as a very fluid set up, without the creative freedom. He also talked a lot about the discipline he installed in the dressing room. The respect he commanded from his players, not just from himself, but for the club. They all had to wear suits to travel to away games in. No mobile phones allowed in the dressing rooms, he even made several players have hair cuts and a shave ! He wouldn't tolerate players arguing with refs, he in fact substituted several who defied him, and a few players got pushed in to the cold for getting needlessly red carded. This is all very nice for me to talk about, probably could talk all day, but I want to get on to how I am going to implement some of this in to my game. Club DNA Before I outline my tactical plans, I want to set out some rules that will help me achieve the things I want to achieve. All part of having a plan, rather than aimlessly playing a long, chopping and changing all the time, without any consistency, leaving it hard to measure where you are at. Obviously these can be flexible over time, and open to change, if it is for a good reason. Mostly based on all I talked about above, with a little bit of my own input in certain areas, as I am planning on being Walsall manager for many years, so can think a little bit more long term, than Graydon could. Formations Transfer Policy Key attributes Tactics/ Style Man management Formations 4-4-2. Non negotiable, it was what the success was based on, this simple formation, that seemed to almost disappear at one point, but notably has made a bit of a comeback over the past few years. Will be a proper flat 4-4-2 to begin with definitely, I reserve the right to use 4-4-2 with one or two defensive midfielders in the future, I actually thought about this from the start, but no I am going with 4-4-2. I also may use 4-4-1-1 in the future, keeping the 4-4-2 shape though. The main point is, to keep it simple, but giving it room to evolve is also important too I feel. Transfer Policy This is more of my own making than anything Graydon did. Looking long term here, I want to look sign young players I can improve, and sell on for a profit. Walsall are a selling club, always have been, it's pretty much how we have existed, by selling on players. Pretty much every club bar an elite few are selling clubs to be honest, if you look at the Coutinho saga, a club like Liverpool never had a chance of keeping him, once one of the big guns came in for him. I don't want to be rebuilding a full squad every year, but have to accept that if players do well for us, other teams will want them, and providing they will pay what I think they are worth, then all is good. I want players that want to play for the shirt, when they begin to have their heads turned, then their days are going to be numbered. Add to this I want a mix of youth and experience, this is so I can tutor young players, and give them the desired personalities where possible. Looking for certain attributes in my signings, which I will discuss further shortly. Setting a wage structure is difficult from the off, Walsall pay poor wages in real life, and this is reflected in FM, so for now it is more a case of doing the best I can with what I am given. Hopefully in time I will be able to dictate my own wage structure. Bear in mind, I don't want or possibly need is a better term, a team full of well rounded players, I want players with key attributes to do specific jobs. With success though, they will demand more money, just some thoughts for the future. Key Attributes Closely connected to transfer policy, key attributes that I will be looking for when signing players. That doesn't mean I will turn down the chance of signing a good player, if he lacks some of these attributes, but I want the team to be made up largely with these attributes. Primary attributes Team Work Work Rate Determination These are fundamental to what I want to try and do. It is what the whole thing was built on in my opinion. A team that will bust a gut for each other, no one player is worth any more than any other. A team that is never beaten until that final whistle has blown. A team that will work hard for each other from the first whistle until the last. Secondary Attributes Bravery Aggression Speed (Pace and Acceleration) Strength Not all players will need all of these, but they are attributes for certain positions I will be looking for. Bravery, I don't want a team of players that bottle out of challenges, I want players that are going to go in full on when trying to win the ball back. Aggression isn't required for all positions, in fact some positions it could be harmful, I'm not sure I want all my defenders going crazy, but I want a certain amount of steel with in the side, Strength goes hand in hand with this. Speed, I want to catch teams on the break a lot, so speed is going to be needed, I like players that get around the pitch quickly. Obviously, this leaves a little bit of a creativity void, I will need one or two players within the team in carefully selected roles, that may or may not compromise on a few of the above for a little more guile. It's going to be tough in the beginning, to an extent I am going to have to go with what I have got, but this is a plan to pursue over the coming seasons. Tactics/Style As described above, 4-4-2 is my formation of choice, that is just the outline though, how am I going to add my style to it? I thought long and hard about Team Shape, I feel that the large amounts of creative freedom mean that Fluid or Very Fluid shapes are a no no. I feel it probably was something like a structured set up, but possibly flexible, allowing the roles to dictate. Still undecided, and may change at any given time between Structured and flexible. I don't want to be pressing like crazy, sucking teams in and then hitting them on the break is high on the order, so possibly going to be counter, with normal D-Line, and pressing, with selected roles that will add extra pressing in some areas. I want to stick to very simple set of roles and duties, no playmaker roles, no player is more important than any other remember, I don't want one player attracting the ball all the time, although it can have it's advantages at certain times. This is about me learning too, if I can see how these roles work , by sticking to simple set of roles, I can gradually begin to understand what I am doing, and how to change things as I go. As for the actual roles and duties, I will set those out shortly, based loosely around how that team of 99 set up, with what I have got to start with. Man Management Maybe not the most important part of Football Manger, but something I want to take a bit more of an interest in now. Being able to manager multiple personalities is important to get the best out of a team. Morale still plays a part in results on the pitch too. Graydon was very much the disciplinarian, as I mentioned earlier. No player is bigger than the team, I want to follow this the best I can, without going crazy and losing key players, and upsetting everyone, which does happen. Players that get sent off needlessly will be fined, not warned. Players that complain about contracts and moves to other clubs constantly, will be sold at my earliest convenience. Training will be tough as I can make it, without inducing needless injuries. Graydon had the players in doing fitness work on afternoons, whilst other teams players just trained in a morning. I can't push it too hard or I will just upset everyone and have a bunch of injuries. But training will be based around a mix of Fitness and Tactics. That's enough ramblings, on with the plan. First Day In The Office So I have had a meeting with Jeff Bonser, and he has assured me, I will be like any other manager at Walsall, and have very little in the way of playing budget. Any money I make on player sales, he will be taking a 50% cut of it. Met my staff, didn't take long, there aren't many of them, but the ones left are on at least 2 year deals, and I can't afford to offload them. Team meeting done, I tell them I think we can avoid the drop, which was the objective set by Mr Bonser. They all seemed okay with this,not over excited, but no real arguments either. I met the media, they seem sceptical of me, and the questions were somewhat boring, when I have other matters to tend to. I probably need to make some friends in the media, but I don't want to be the kind that just rolls over to them either. First job, I got in some staff in areas that I had spaces, mainly medical staff, had room for a couple of fitness coaches, I got the best I could, they aren't great, but they are not awful either. Then I set my staff responsibilities, it made me wonder a little what I employ them for, as I am set to do most of the work. That's fine, ultimately, the buck stops with me, if I fail, I get the sack. I set up pre- season training, largely based on Cleon's guide, I'm okay with copying him, he knows what he is doing, I'm not going to argue. I also set up a bunch of friendlies, mostly against really poor teams, with the odd one against similar teams to us, so I could have a little gauge at how we really are doing. Mostly it is about fitness and team bonding, and making the tactic as fluid as possible. I will be watching the games closely, even though you can't take too much out of friendlies you can see how the movement of your team is working, and that is what I am going to be looking at. Analysing the squad Okay, as you may or may not know, our manager in real life has recently had the sack, he has left quite a mess behind. The team is very different with the winter transer update, we had a couple of decent strikers on half season loans, that killed it for me in my last save. They are gone now, I also had a decent winger on loan, that is now also not in the squad. That's the downside of things. There are a few positives. Firstly despite being left with a bit of a mess of a squad, it is largely built up of strong , aggressive players, decent amount of work rate among them, lacking a little in creativity, but that's okay, there are a couple of options in that area, one of whom is probably our best player. Added to that, there are a few new loans in the squad, one was a center back, that I have immediately sent back, he's played okay for us actually, but on FM his attributes are awful, and I had the option to terminate the loan, so that is what I have done, I can't justify paying him, as I see no place in the squad. We have a tidy center back on loan from Arsenal, that actually hasn't played a game for us, but he looks very useful, and I know he did really well at Birmingham in the Championship last season ,so I am expecting him to be a key player. We also have a speed demon striker/wide forward from Stoke on loan, I am looking to utilise him as one of our key players, even though he is lacking in some attributes, I feel his speed will compensate a lot for that. I could spend hours, adding screen shots of all of my players, and descriptions, but I feel it isn't really needed, we have a pretty poor squad, possibly one of the worst I have ever started a Walsall save on any version of FM with. I will add a few screenshots of a few key players, and talk about what I am hoping for from them. I have high hopes for this lad, looks real quality for League 1, could possibly play in the Championship with those attributes. Ticks a lot of key attributes from the club DNA. Pretty awful defensive stats for a full back, would like to possibly use him in the left midfield slot at some point, but for now he is probably going to be an attacking full back, and just hope we can cover for him. He will be my Defensive Forward / Target Man. I actually sold him sharpish in my last save, but he has pretty ideal stats for what I am looking for. Great Work Rate and Team Work, Strong , Aggressive. Would have liked a better first touch, but can't have everything. My Poacher. He doesn't actually have the stats I want in a poacher, his off the ball stats could do with being much better, Composure and Finishing aren't great either, but we are in League 1, I am hoping his speed is going to compensate for a lot. I am expecting him to miss quite a few chances, but hopefully he will be able to do a good job for us. I don't have anyone else, my next Poacher is a 17 year old prospect, which I will probably have to use. The Tactics The meat and gravy, and the main focus of the thread from now on. In the words of Mike Bassett “ We are playing 4 4 flipping 2, or words to that effect :-) Before I begin a few words. The tactics will be loosely based on a team that gave me a lot of pleasure to watch. A team that over achieved by some distance, based on a simple plan, hard work and determination. I will be making mistakes tactically, I am no genius at this game, I am trying to learn to be better, whilst hoping to get a lot of fun out of it too. I am open to questions, advice, criticism, whatever you want to say, feel free. Graydon's Set Up As discussed earlier, I feel it was a structured set up, but there could be arguments for a more fluid set up. There was little in the way of creative freedom in this side, they all had their jobs, and wasn't expected to deviate from it too far. Having said that, all players barring maybe one, were expected to help in the defensive phase. This is something I am probably going to struggle with in terms of FM. I am going to settle on Structured for now, and assess at a later date, I don't want to make to much of a chore out of this. Below is my interpretation of his set up in terms of roles and duties, from memory, and a few looks at the odd video that is still knocking about. Starting from the back, Sweeper Keeper, I think he could be classed as that. He was very small for a keeper actually, but still managed to pull off saves that defied logic and science that season. He swept up nicely through balls, and his distribution was excellent. Mostly long kicks. The Center back pairing was a solid one. One player that definitely was a Defensive Center back, his main job was just clearing the ball, he would head anything away, kick anything away, never looked to play any passes as such. On the left side was a bit more of a cultured defender, still willing to block anything, but I have marked him as a Ball Playing defender, more in the sense of how one works on FM than the real life description. I wouldn't say he brought the ball out of defence, but he often launched long diagonal balls to either our right midfielder, or to the target man, or over the top. The two full backs was difficult to decide, because as I mentioned earlier, one would often wander forwards, and the other side would always stay back. This is impossible to replicate in FM as far as I am aware. Both of them both launched balls forwards from the back at times too. Based on what I remember, our right back played more long balls forwards, either down the wing to our right midfielder, or for the target man, where as the left side would be found putting in crosses more often, so that's how I decided on the roles here. In center midfield, this was pretty clear cut. We had a ball winning midfielder, and a box to box midfielder. It is possible the the box to box midfielder was at times asked not to enter the attacking phase, but mostly he was an end to end all action type player that linked things up nicely and had a bit of creativity about him. The wide men, our right midfielder was a key part of this team, from memory he scored something like 15 goals and 17 assists. He was a key outlet to the team, I think he was close on being classed as a winger, but I don't recall him running wide with the ball often, would more often start wide and come inside, although he was right footed. The left side, we had several different types of player play here over the season, but none of them were as attack minded as the right side. Both of them were expected to track back in the defensive phase for sure though. In attack, I think we definitely had a target man, he won headers, held the ball, and was generally a big battering ram, that would put his head anywhere. Didn't have much in terms of vision, or creativity. Next to him would always be a more nippy striker, who would be the only player excused from the defensive phase. The main plan was to sit deep, suck teams in, and catch them on the break. Our tactics when not on the counter, were generally direct balls, either up to the target man, or over the top,usually down the right hand side, with the midfield pushing up to pick up the second balls. It really was that simple. Below are just a couple of videos of that season that are still knocking around. V Oldham when we clinched promotion and then v Title Winners, Kevin Keegan's big spending Fulham after we had already got promoted. They can be a little misleading as we signed a striker on loan for the last few months of the season, that was a little different to the poacher type that played next to our Target Man most the season, but what it does show is how direct we were at times and how deep we defended. The Oldham game, there was little in the way of counter attacks, they were fighting against relegation and came for a draw basically, but the first goal v Fulham shows a little insight to how quickly we broke, although it was through the middle, we often would break down the right hand side. Translating in to FM Okay, so now it is time to try and implement some of this in to FM. I have been left in a bit of a mess here by Jon Whitney, but I am confident over time I can build the team I want. For now I may have to adjust certain aspects, with the long term plan still very much in mind. I have to try and mould what I have in to a functioning football team. So as discussed, a structured , Counter set up. The only team instruction I have added for now, is Higher Tempo. I don't want any dilly dallying with the ball, even when not on a counter attack. I'm interested in possession. I want to get the ball forwards quickly, and despite the fact we are playing a counter mentality, we should always pretty much have the two strikers up field to battle for these balls. I considered more direct passing, but I believe counter mentality gives the defenders slightly more direct passing, and the defensive center back with more direct passing by default. I'm not trying to be 1980s Wimbledon, just a quick transition. I also considered a lower defensive line, but lets see how leaving it as it is works out for now. Starting from the back as always. Sweeper Keeper No distribution instructions yet, considering making him play it long to me strong striker, but am happy to watch how it goes for now. I have to reasonable keepers actually, the younger one having 16 for passing, which seems random, but could be interesting to try a few things with him. He is my second choice though for now. Center Back (D) I don't have a player I feel is good enough to play the ball playing defender just yet, I considered two defensive center backs, but my main defender has plays short simple passes player trait, so I will let him do just that for now and see how it goes. Defensive Center Back (D) Pretty simple, defend and clear the ball up the pitch, for the strikers to tussle for, run on to , etc etc. Full Back (A) (Left Side) I had to make a decision what I was going to do with the full backs, I can't get one to attack and one to cover in rotation, so I had to decide what to do. The best left back at the club has pretty poor defensive attributes, and decent attacking ones, so there is little point making him a defensive full back. May as well play him to his strengths, which is one of the main parts of Graydon's philosophy. It is more than possible I will use this player in the left midfield slot in the future. He looks far more suited for that kind of role. I did sign another left back, that has decent attributes in defence and attack, so it is possible they may both play together at some point. Player Instructions – Stay Wider Full Back (S) (Right Side) Considered a Defensive Full Back, but was a little concerned about the gap between him and the wide midfielder. Player Instructions – Hold Position Ball Winning Midfielder (D) Could yet become a Center Midfield (D) Will have to keep an eye on the pressing. Main job is to just break up play and lay the ball off. Simples. BBM (s) This was a tricky one, I am struggling for the kind of player I want here, I'm not certain what exactly I want here, without seeing the rest of it all connect up. I really considered a standard Center midfielder (s) here, that I can easily add Hold Position PI too if needed in game. However I like the idea of a player that gets up and down the pitch. This is the one position that in the future I may be looking for a more rounded player, that can do a bit of everything, including creating. That is just a dream for now though. Wide Midfielder (S) (Left Side) What I want here is just a nice simple role, who will support and play balls through for the Poacher sometimes, with the option to his left of the overlapping Full back. I have my key player ear marked for this role. He does unfortunately have the shoots from distance trait, but he is still a creative type player, that should do well. He also has the dictates tempo trait. He is actually an AMC naturally, and only awkward in this position, I'm not going to over worry that. Player Instructions - More Risky Passes. Shoots Less. Often Cross Less often Wide Midfielder (A) (Right Side) I want this player to be my attacking outlet from midfield. He is expected to be a a goal threat, and put crosses in. I decided against the winger (for now) Not sure I want him hugging the touch line, and even though I don't mind him putting some crosses in, it's not his main function. No player instructions , for now, until I have assessed how the role works. Defensive Forward (D) Really , this should be a Target Man, inline with what Graydon did. However, do I want him to battle for the ball, win headers, be a battering ram, hold the ball up? Yes to all, do I want him to be the main target? No not really, I don't want my Poacher and Wide Midfielder on the right being ignored. So I am hoping he will play kind of a target man role, without being an actual target man. Put him on the Defend Duty, in the hope he will drop deep and put pressure on defensive midfielders when they play those pesky 3 in midfield formations against us, it's not a role I have used much so will have to monitor how it goes. Poacher The simplest of roles, I just want this man to focus on scoring goals, again have little experience of this role, have always favoured the Advanced Forward, but I don't want or need him running out wide, or wasting time trying to create goals. So that is it, my initial set up. I am certain it is going to need some changes, but I want to focus on how it is working and make small changes. Big changes will only be made, if big changes are really required. I have completed a full season now, and have a whole more to add sometime in the next 24 hours. Including.. Some Tactical Analysis Some thoughts on Set Pieces Pros and Cons of the 4-4-2 Formation Changes made , based on what I watched Changes made after key players sold End of Season Analysis For now, I just want to get this up on the board, and then finish off editing the rest. I hope you have enjoyed reading so far. It's a big read, and a lot of it is based on something that may not interest a lot of fans, but hopefully the simple 4-4-2 , going forwards, will appeal to some.
  8. Hey there! After struggling a bit to really get into this year's FM, I finally decided to compromise myself with a long term project: selecting a style of play, picking up a team, set up vital mentals attributes and trying yo build a squad around it. The style of play I choose was Mou's electric counter attack style when mananing Real Madrid. The speed at which the team break was something amazing. Just watch this: After seeing some videos and reading about it, I started to take some conclusions and notes of a few things that stood out for me: - The formation used was a 4-2-3-1, with a deeper set up; - Mourinho has never been known for pressing up high and this was no different. Real had a somewhat medium block of pressing; - As pressing, highs amounts of possession have never been a trademark of Mou's teams and once again that was reflected in his Real's side. Obviously they had more of the ball sometimes as they played much weaker teams, but it wasn't a concern to keep a slow, patient shor passing style; - As stated above, the pace at which the team break was WOW! And that's what I look to replicate the most; As for the players: - Marcelo had more licence to go forward; Arbeloa was more limited in his actions even though he would put a couple crosses from game to game; - Xabi Alonso and Khedira are the two roles more difficult to interpret to me: I see them as double pivots, with Alonso being more responsible with recycling the possession (he was the player with most passes per game at the end of the season) and Khedira more as a destroyer. Their offensive movement is harder to judge as sometimes Alonso went further forward, others Khedira did; Between the two, they had the higher amount of passing pretty much in all games. Defensively they we're maybe the most important part of the system: Alonso perfect positioning allowed Marcelo and Ronaldo to venture forward more and alongside Khedira, they had the biggest tackling ratio of the team; - Di Maria was a key man: he helped a lot defensively and was a great carrier of the ball, providing a lot of assistis; He's main concern was to provide witdh, even though he also cut inside at times (inevitable as he's left footed and put to play on the right side); - Ozil was given some freedom (isn't him the last number 10 on earth after all?), but he still droped somewhat deep to help in the defensive phase; His vision and assists were to die from *.* - Ronaldo was obviously a key player: Mourinho and him had a bit of a beef because Mou always wants his wide players to drop back and help, and Ronaldo was not much into it. So, he was at times the more advanced player on the pitch, always providing a goal threat with his almost perfect movement from the left side of the pitch into the center forward position; - Benzema/Higuain: they both worked a lot for the team, trying to provide a link between the attack and the rest of the players. They often droped deep or went wide to create space for Ronaldo to come into; How did I tried to replicate this into FM? (team is FC Sochaux-Montbé, 3rd season) Mentality: Counter Shape: Flexible TI's: Be More Disciplined; Pass Into Space PI's: WB-S: Stay Wider; Drible More; DLP-S: More Direct Passes; More Risky Passes CM-A: Shoot Less Often; Roam From Position; More Risky Passes; Move Into Channels; DLF-S: Move Into Channels; This hasn't quite worked out. We're getting a mix of results sitting 6th in the France Ligue 1 at the beggining of January, with a lot of inconsistency and failing to recreate the style of play wanted in most matches. My biggest problem has been my inability to counter teams that press high against us when that should be our biggest weapon! I also have problems with teams who sit too deep: we don't create a lot chances and often it's either a corner, long range shoot or a deep cross that decides the game for either them or me. My biggest concern is to replicate that specific style of play so that's what I aim for (more so than to try to solve it's limitations). Any problem you can spot with the formation, roles, mentality or shape that it's just not making the "fastest counter in the world" work for me? All help is welcome, even discussion about the way I interpreted Real Madrid's style of play as that can maybe be where I'm getting all wrong!
  9. I've been a long reader of this forum, but never really posted anything. I've read a lot of the posts here (most notably the Art of Possession Football by Cleon, amongst others) and took a few tips here and there. I've created a club on a Portuguese Premier League, using Nacional da Madeira (a very small team on FM with no budget for transfers or wages) and it took me a few years to make it a powerful club. On one of my seasons, I've managed to make a whole season without losing a match. I did a lot of experimentation with it for several seasons, until it was perfected to my liking. It relies a lot on the quality of the Wing backs (Pace, Stamina, Crossing and Marking) and also the decision making of the AMC (Decision, First Touch, Passing, Long Shots). I would like to point out that at this moment, I have a high quality team with great attributes, very determined and fast. For several seasons I played with a Defensive Midfielder instead of an Attacking Midfielder, but there was always lack of support in the middle for the Striker. So I tweaked it, and it became much more stable with an AMC. It should work well for medium-sized teams, but the small teams might struggle. Here's the tactic itself: Counter mentality might seem counter-intuitive, but it gives more stability at the back to compensate the high defense. Structured shape is great to encourage players to keep it simple. However, I do change it to "Fluid" when I'm struggling on a match, this does seem to push the opposite side to areas that they are not supposed to be. As you can see, the Defensive line is the highest possible, which congests the space on the opposite side. Width is stretched so that the players can find better spaces. The problem with high or low tempos was that the players would either loose the ball too often or just waste opportunities, so I kept it normal. "Work Ball Into Box" is due to the same reason, my attackers used to waste too many balls. I do like to Play out of Defence though, it keeps the possession more stable. However, due to the space I have at the back, I want my players to press as soon as they loose the ball. This makes the opponents rush or waste opportunities to attack. For a long time, I used to have an asymmetrical shape (just one Winger with Attack, the opposite winger on Support, etc.) but I noticed that many times, specially due to the Preferred Foot or Player Traits, this didn't always worked well, so I decided to keep it symmetric on both sides. Another thing I rely a lot is on Player Instructions. The more control I have over the players way of play, the better. So, starting from the back: Sweeper Keeper (Defend) - Fewer Risky Passes - Distribute to Full Backs - Roll it Out Goes out of the goal if necessary, doesn't waste possession, starts the attack from the wings and passes the ball to a nearby player if the wings are marked. Complete Wing Back Right/Left (Attack) - Shoot Less Often - Close Down More -Tackle Harder - Mark Tighter - More Direct Passes - More Risky Passes Keeps pressure on the wings, aggressive at the back and closing opposition opportunities, finds opportunities to start the attack and doesn't shoot as much at the front. Ball Playing Defender (Defend) - Shoot less often - Tackle Harder - Close Down Much More The Central Defenders always stay at the back, taking the ball away from the opposite attack as soon as possible. Very aggressive as well. Ball Winning Midfielder (Support) - Shoot less often - Dribble Less - More Risky Passes The main function of the Ball Winning Midfielder is to support the defenders, not wasting possession with dribbles but finding players to exploit the opposition Deep Lying Playmaker (Support) - Dribble Less - More Risky Passes Another midfielder to support both the Defense and the Attacking areas of the team Inside Forward Right/Left (Support) - Shoot Less Often - Tackle Harder - Mark Tighter I experimented a lot with this. I noticed that, due to the attacking mentality of the Wing Backs, I needed to have the Wingers more close to the center, but every time they were close to the area they were shooting from a distance. So, they are there to keep support to the Striker and the Wing Backs when necessary. They still shoot when an opportunity arrives, but not so often as before. Advanced Playmaker (Support) - Tackle Harder - Mark Tighter This is the team main creator. He's always there to support the Striker and the Inside Forwards, but also deviates a bit from position to support the midfield. Plays very close to the Central Midfielders when we don't have the ball, but is there at the attack close to the Penalty Area. Great for second chance shots, or when the Striker is marked heavily. Complete Forward (Attack) - Shoots Less Often - Tackle Harder - Mark Tighter He's the main scorer. However, many times he tried to shoot from a distance or straight away, so the Shoots Less Often does bring some stability to this. He's always at the front, ready to score. EXAMPLES: Defending from the front As you can see, all my team (except the CD's) are at the opposition side. They lost the ball, but the team is pressing straight away. The Wing Backs are coming back to their position, and the Central Defenders are ready to press the Striker right at the center of the pitch. Defending from the center Now the team is more evenly shaped. The back four are at their marking areas. The AMC is going into position to press the player with the ball. The other two midfielders are marking the opposition midfield. The opposition will either have to pass long, or stop the play. Attacking from the back/center The midfielder has several options to pass. When attacking from the middle, there's always at least two options to pass the ball. The Inside forward is finding position, and the Complete Wing Backs are getting ready to go forward through the wings. On another example, you can see that the CWB is already very high on the pitch. The AMC now has an option to either play to the Striker that has no marking, or send the ball to the wings. The Inside Forward is starting to push to the center, as the Wing Back is getting the flanks covered for the attack. Attacking from the wings The CWB has the ball. He's ready to cross. The Striker is there, but if he misses the chance, the Inside Forward is going there as well. The AMC is finding position to cover the hole. Defenders are always at the back in case the chance is missed. The problem Here is one of the problems of this tactic. Because we play so upfront, the CWB is going to mark the player with the ball. However, the opposite striker has plenty of space to attack. That's why the team as a whole needs to have high attributes on the physical side. So, this was basically the tactic that I used the whole season. It's based on attack and pressing. More often than not, my back gets a few yellow cards during the season, but you can always remove the option Tackle Harder and see how it works for you. The Wing Backs need good physical attributes, and the two Midfielders should be good at defending. I kept using this tactic the following seasons, but from time to time I had to tweak some options because the AI seemed to figure out some of the way of play (Specially the teams that park the bus). Also, the updates of FM kept me having to make some changes here and there. But if I struggle, I mostly change the shape from Structured to Fluid, and also add the option to Retain Possession and Pass Into Space. It does push the opposite team to leave their positions, and my team doesn't waste as many balls at the front but sometimes there's not much you can do. It worked out for me, maybe it will work out for you too.
  10. I'm in my 4th season with Newcastle and the majority of games I play are comfortable, particularly at home. The one area that is stopping me from breaking into the european spots each season are my performances away vs teams with higher reputation (Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs). Its not just that results are poor; I barely get more than a couple of decent chances while the opposition dominate each game. I have tried several different systems over the course of three seasons, and once again I search for a tactic simply to compete against these teams away from home. I have now played 20 games away against these teams and have yet to win a game. Record against these 6 teams away from home by season: 2015/16 p6 w0 d2 l4 f2 a11 2016/17 p6 w0 d1 l5 f5 a22 2017/18 p6 w0 d2 l4 f5 a14 My current system is a 4-2-3-1 (counter, flexible). Much lower tempo, short passing, play out of defence, exploit middle, pass into space, stay on feet, look for overlap, narrow, slightly higher line. Here is my first choice line up with age and role: GK - Predrag Rajkovic 23 SK(A) RB - Ricardo Esgaio 25 WB(A) CB - Emanuel Mammana 22 CB - Brendan Galloway 22 LB - Douglas Santos 24 WB(A) CM - Carles Alena 20 DLP(S) CM - Juan Bautista Cascini 21 CM(S) LW - Goncalo Guedes 21 IF(S) RW - Fede Cartabia 25 IF(S) AM - Marcus Rashford 21 SS(A) ST - Adam Armstrong 21 CF(A) I'm after some pointers to try and help me compete better in just these away games against higher reputation teams. I by no means expect to achieve victory every time, but as the stats show I have been on the end of some brutal losses in these games and need to stop the rot. I feel my team has a lot of potential, and have beaten these teams at home (recently beating Liverpool 5-1), but maybe I lack some experience for these tough away games? There must be some pointers to help me compete better in these games? Once I get over this obstacle I should be able to push for european football at last.
  11. Hey guys, in case you are a more experienced player of the game and you're doing fairly well with FM unlike me for the most recent years, please post your suggestions below if you have any to make this work. So the type of playing style I like a lot especially for mid- to low-level underdog teams is to play more devensive when expecting to not control the game, then shifting to immediate counter when retaining possession. I do like players to close down more and press a lot (as much as possible) but I do not know if this goes together with the idea of being an underdog-team. What type of player roles and overall set of settings would you recommend for such a tactic? What is the best formation to play like this? 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-5-1? If you'd like to go after an example, you can pick a team like Swansea or Nottingham.
  12. Hi all, Just testing a 4222 Counter Tactic with Leicester City and thought people might be interested to try it out. Some screen shots and video plus the link to the tactic. Good Luck and be interesting to see how people get on with it. Tactic - http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/share-download-fm-17-tactics/362209-4222-brazils-samba-football-charm-football.html Video -
  13. I have started a season with Perugia in Italian 2nd tier, season went okayish, I have reached the goal of top table finish arriving 9th. However there are some issues with my tactics, most of all that I have hard time scoring goals. I use counter strategy in a flexible shape. The formation is asymetric 4-1-3-1-1, with AMCR and STCL. Next come roles and duties: GK - goalkeeper / defend RB - wing back / support (duty changes to attack occasionaly) DC - central / defend DC - central / defend DL - full back / attack DMC - deep laying playmaker / defend MCR - central midfielder / support (with the RB on attack duty becomes defend duty) MC - central midfielder / attack MCL - central midfielder / support AMCR - shadow striker / attack STCL - deep laying forward / support (often also defensive forward / support) As I finished the season with 2nd best defense and only 16th best attack, I think I need to risk more, I'm not sure where though, as the play itself looks fine, we would just need more presence in the box, but I'm not sure where to get that. I mean which player / role change to obtain that. I'm also hoping improvement will come from transfers I have lined up, as AMCR and striker weren't good enough (only 2 and a half star each). I would however welcome any opinions or tips how to improve this system, whether there is some obvious flaw I don't see etc. Thank you guys!
  14. 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.
  15. Hi everyone, I'd like to ask a theoretical question. For this application, we are to assume that both teams are completely equal, and that it is only the strategies in play that define the game. With that in mind, if we were to have several strategies play against each other, which ones would come up out on top? I'm talking attacking, defensive, counter, possession, long ball etc. Take for example, attacking football vs possession football, long ball vs counter attack etc. What would win against what and why?
  16. 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 -
  17. I am trying to creat a Tactic based on Real Madrid 2016-2017 season. I am also trying to make it a long term tactic since I am starting with a team from the Dafuge Challenge. I have based the instructions from this video analysis: Real Madrid 2016 tactical analysis courtesy of PDS FC but I will welcome any suggestions about roles, team and player instructions and attributes for my players. Player Roles and positions: Tactic Instructions: My logic behind it: Their counter attacks are beautiful and plenty. So Counter mentality it is. It seems Real Madrid plays a form of 4 3 3, that when defending it goes to a 4 1 4 1 or a 4 51. In order to achieve those defending numbers I added the drop deep instruction. I could have put a DM but since we are already droping deep a CM (d) will be lower than the 2 midfielders making it a 4 1 4 1. that also goes for the IF's. Marcelo and Carvabajal help with the width a lot going forward when they can. So i choose wingbacks. The other 2 midfielders tend to roam from position looking for space so that they can get the ball and support the three strikers they also get back and protect the defensive line. I decided on 1 BBM so that he can get in the box if needed and pull a defender. I decided on a RPM so that he can create plays between the oponnets defensive and milfield line. The inside forwards will get further forward when they dont have the ball so that they will be able to get in the cross inside of the box. Top three presses a bit. They play wide so that they can find space. Play out of defence because I would like to build slowly. The only player intructions I have so far: Well that's it. I really apreciate any advice. I have read The Art of Counter Attacking by @Cleon which is awesome. Also following @Rashidi Bustthenet chanel. And I still feel that I am not getting how the game works so i come here to ask for help.
  18. 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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