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This is perhaps one of the more interesting challenges on Football Manager, and it is a good exercise in using FM21’s overpowered Focus play instructions to create overloads. Hansi Flick’s Bayern side have great attacking output, averaging around 2.6xG per game, scoring on average 3.19 goals per game with an xGA of around 0.93. Under Flick Bayern lineup mostly as a 4231, it’s their most frequently used formation. This replication is based on their 20/21 side when they had Tiago Alacantara. This was a side that had Pavard, Alaba, Boateng and Alphonso Davies in defence. Bayern employ a double pivot with Tiago and Kimmich in midfield. Leon Goertzka is their other option in central midfield, while in attack Sergi Gnabry is the one who takes the left flank with Ivan Perisic as the other option. In possession Bayern’s fullbacks will push higher up the pitch and provide the width. The wingers tuck inside and occupy the half spaces. Between the two fullbacks the more adventurous one is usually Davies. The side frequently looks like a 2-3-5 in possession. In attack there is plenty of fluidity. Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman sometimes swap positions. Lewandowski will also deep allowing both wide players to attack the box. And with Thomas Mueller given free reign to roam, Bayern’s attack can devastatingly unpredictable. Typical in their movement patterns is the sight of their centre forward dropping deep during their attack phase. Bayern are narrow in possession allowing them to keep short pass lanes. As a result of this whenever they lose the ball, they are not too far away from the ball when they want to execute their press. Their overloads allow them to win the ball back quickly when they lose it. When they build their play up they use overloads along the flanks. They shift towards the ball with several players and occupy the ball near flank and half spaces with six to seven players. This allows them to create a numerical superiority and forces the opposition to commit more players there Of particular importance is the role of Thomas Muller who operates in a free role allowing him to take part in the overloads and this frees up space for Lewandowski and the two wide players to attack. Their marking style is fairly aggressive, they defend man against man within the backline. Lewandowski and Muller can be seen pressing opposition central defenders. While their double pivot does press opposition players, usually one is free to pick up the second ball. FM21 Replication The Bayern replication for FM21 becomes an exercise in balancing mentality and using the focus instructions to generate the kind of football I want. We can use focus play down the flanks to generate the overloads, and since we are using a 4231 I am a bit hesitant about using overlaps. This is one replication which will also study individual mentalities within the tactic. If I keep the team mentality to Balanced, several roles will still be operating on different mentalities these include: Inside Forward: Attacking Wingback (A): Positive Fullback (A): Positive Trequartista (A): Attacking Complete Forward (S) : Cautious My attention is focused on our build-up play. I am keenly paying attention to how we transition the ball from defence to attack paying attention to our overloads, which are expected to happen on either flank when we have the ball, like in the next image. I have decided to let the assistant manager choose the starting 11 and he has gone with this lineup As we build up play down the right, note where Muller has ended up, his role is that of a TQ allowing him the freedom to move about in the final third. One of my conditions for this replication is to see Muller drifting around supporting the overloads as this is a core function of his in real life. Here you can see Muller helping Kimmich who is bombing down the flanks as a fullback. Muller is free to receive the pass and drop a cross into the box for Lewandowski. These are small attacking patterns that I am paying attention to. Here Bayern are working the ball down the right flank again, and have an overload down that flank, if we lose the ball in possession it will also allow us to win it back effectively with the counter press! While I can get the movement and all the patterns to work in the game, the one real issue is going to be getting the goal scoring numbers of Lewandowski to match real life. In my games Muller ended up topping the numbers at the club. So while its possible to get the movement, getting the real numbers is a slightly different matter GENERATING OVERLOADS AND FINAL THIRD MOVEMENT In order to generate the overloads I used focus play on both flanks. I avoided the use of overlaps so that I could use the wingback role on attack duty while maintaining the mentality of the IF and the IW. If I had used the overlap/underlap I would have to turn those on attack duty affecting the movement I wanted. To generate more movement I either went for roaming roles for the front 3 or added the roaming instruction. I also added tight marking for the team in general as a PI and left it on the front 4 players. The CM(D) is given direct passing. No other player instructions were used in the system. Why balanced mentality? I start on Balance and keep it for most matches, unless I need to push for a result. I also add Defensive Narrow width or as its known in FM21 force opposition outside for away matches against difficult competition. If you want to get Lewandowski banging in the goals then just change his duty to attack, you might lose some of the movement from him, but he will occasionally drop and swap positions with Muller ***This may not be a perfect replication for Bayern but I wanted to achieve several facets of their play which I am confident I did*** - Fluid attacking movement - Counterpressing successfully through overloads Naturally there is an inclination to copy these onto other teams and hope that this can be achieved, that is always going to be a challenge. This is a team with very good players, so its relatively easy to get this done with them. However the challenge goes up a lot if i wanted to do this with Arsenal for example. There I may need to consider changing the roles in midfield. I would still maintain the roles in the final third to get the movement I want and to use the roam player instruction as well. Of particular importance is the Trequartista. While the game says it won't tackle, surprisingly I get good defensive numbers out of him in my matches. I was really after the movement we get with the role to support players and also to achieve his late runs into the box. I thought of using the shadow striker as an alternative, but then he may not end up supporting play as wide as the corner flag. Attributes needed for the system: Generally a system like this depends on a host of mental attributes:Decisions, off the ball, anticipation, teamwork, work rate. These are all going to be important. One feature that they have is acceleration and to get the right kind of attacking patterns out of the wingback we will need pace and acceleration in quite a few roles: Wingback, IF and IW. There are going to be times when the centre is vulnerable and if i meet sides that play with aggressive AMCs or central attacking overloads I may consider dropping my defensive width to force the opposition wide as I have done in the tactic above. I will be updating this thread over time as I continue this replication and I will also take it to other teams to see how they do and whether I need to make slight modifications. I am pretty sure I will need to. There is a livestream on my youtube channel where i will be doing creating this and showing how I adapt if I need to later on my youtube channel. You can find links to that in the community links channel. This is just one of the attacking movements I was after.