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  1. 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!
  2. 4-2-3-1 Wide Inspired by mourinho.fmf Gk: D FB(s). CD(d) CD(d) FB(s) DLP(d). BBM(s) W(s) AM(s). IF(s) CF(a) Teamshape ; Structured Mentality; Control on weaker teams or same level , counter on stronger or leave on standard Team instructions; lower tempo, get stuck in, prevent goalkeeper distribution, normal defensive line , fairly narrow ,shorter passing , exploit the middle , be disciplined, mark tighter, sometimes. Player instructions; FBs:- Manchester United full backs sit narrow with the center backs while defending ,they also help with build up and bumming up all the time they mostly hold position in deeper areas but as the role details..they intelligently pick there moment to go forward ....PI: sit narrower , hold position, sometimes,let them decide the rest . CDs: Defaults....once they can't do there jobs tell them to f@#k out , honestly they don't do much. DLP(d)- Close down much more, mark tighter ..the sole purpose of his signing is his defensive organization and orchestration from the back and preventing counter attacks . BBM(s)- Close down much more ,mark tighter..in fm18 he is a complete player with no flaw's, defense and offense...I trained Tom Davies for this position mostly for his work rate and long shots in the game...they do the most running. W(s)- this dude bagged up the assists for me with 27 assists in a season..it was Walcott .😀 PI: close down much more , mark tighter AM(s)- close down much more ,mark tighter ....bags in some goals and assists..his the main pass to assist guy. IF(s)- close down much more, mark tighter....leave the others ,man utd let their forwards play freely CF(a)- close down much more ...your main goal scorer , Everton's tosun and Calvert lewin bagged me 31 and 30 respectively ..I didn't know who to pick for first choice. Man utd played with a low tempo and where very defensively solid with attacking players rising to the occasion. I think adding more instructions to PI will reduce the dynamic and unpredictability of the team, we have the likes of Valencia and Ashley young who cut in or go wide ,making them unpredictable even Alexis Sanchez of recent with freedom and creativity . I used the tactic on Everton in my recent save and achieved beauty, being the 3rd highest goal scoring team in the league , PFA player of the year Walcott 😀, 2 of my strikers came 2rd and 3rd in EPL highest goal scorers respectively, won the Europa league with easy against top clubs ... should have achieved more but had injury crisisand i started using the tactic mid season was struggling at the bottom half with my other failed trail and error tactic. You should really try this it works like a charm..ohh when proctecting your lead move defense line deeper...I'm really new to this sooo forgive my article write up. First certainly not the last..... Don't forget it was inspired from Manchester United on how they play in the fm18 ME due to there dominace in the league ,cups and champions league ... surprisingly tho😂 Welcome tests and criticism..go easy
  3. 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!
  4. Hi Guys I'm trying to emulate Mourinho's 14/15 Chelsea What would be your advices about Player Roles and Team Instructions
  5. Hello guys, First of all i would like to clear the air of the statement, "the formation you set is the look in the defensive shape" as incorrect as i feel it can be tweaked to look however you want it to be just be setting a simple PI to your wide attacking forwards "mark tighter". this will instruct your wide forwards to track back their opposite numbers. Therefore the below tactic can also be tweaked to resemble a 4-2-3-1 if you fully understand how the tactic works. So for instance if you are using a 4-2-3-1 formation and you apply the PI "mark tighter" to your wide forwards your defensive shape would look like a 4-4-1-1 or 4-5-1 depending on the role set to your AMC. So if you use a 4-3-3 your defensive shape would look like a 4-5-1/4-1-4-1. Secondly, this is my version of the mourinho man utd system, though it isn't purely the system as I tweaked it to suit my type of gameplay. So the below is just what I feel of how we play, it includes the 4-2-3-1 (4-4-1-1 here to get specific movement of players) and the 3-4-1-2 based solely on the Arsenal vs United game and designed solely to play against teams with attacking intent. So lets get to it, shall we? 4-4-1-1 i believe the best way to assign a player to guard your defense when the team is attacking is to put him on a DLP(def) duty and that is exactly what matic does when pogba plays alongside him, even as at that, he still comes forward occasionally and takes long range efforts scarcely. Like i said earlier, when we are defending with low block, miki doesn't track back so ive given him the trequartista role. Pogba for me is a central midfielder with a support duty which i have heavily customized to have the passing freedom of a playmaker and the tenacity of a box-to-box midfielder. Lukaku simple enough a complete forward on support duty. Now addressing the fullbacks issue, I strongly disagree mourinho uses complete wingbacks, i myself consider them defensively irresponsible, which is why i went with a wingback with support duty as I've watched the play like valencia. i changed the leftback from fullback on support duty to wing-back because of solely luke shaw's talent. Defensively we're capable, second best defense in the league goals mainly come from rebounds from set pieces. Team Instructions. Simple enough, normal tempo(if not lower at times. I don't think we've ever played a high tempo game this season), mixed passing, be more disciplined (preserve team shape, the mourinho way). Against teams that aims to defend and sit deep, i lower the tempo of the game to much lower to drag them out of position. i credit my style of defense to my player instructions; Front two asked to close down much more, midfield four asked to close down more fullbacks told to close down sometimes, center backs told to close down less/much less. i use opposition instructions that tell team to mark tightly the central midfield players of the opposition in order to win the the ball back in the best place to create play, the middle of the pitch. then tackle hard the opposition central midfield players, and all players are shown to their respective flanks because given the formation it is easier to defend the flanks. All this combines with the individual player instructions given to all wide men in the system which is to mark tighter an tackle harder, this ensures that they track back their opposite numbers in order to increase the possibilities of a turnover in the wider areas with the touchline being the third man a 3v2 will be created out wide. As you can see this is a match against arsenal, tbf i didnt have the time to dig deep for the perfect example for our defensive shape, but this is close, as i said the trequartista will stay with the striker to have an extra man for the counter attack, (its also important that you use a good and "well inducted into your system" kind of player for this role as he is a key figure) the wide forward are already placed inline with the CMs but as at that i told them to mark tighter so as to make sure they don't lose track of their opposite numbers. from the opposition instructions, the aims is to shift the opposition wide because it easier to defend the flanks, trying to cause a 3v2 in our favour with the touchline as 3rd man. Wherever the ball is won back, theres sure to be a burst of energy when the chance for a counter arises. usually a 4v3 or 4v4 in our favour. We scored quite a number of goals on the break. Example... won the ball abck in defense and ball played to Ibra, Ibra plays Luan (Trequartista) through, Gets his goal clean. So now the 3-4-1-2 tactic. Based solely on the match against arsenal, this is a refined form of the tactic as I made it to beat big teams, summary is, we defend with 8 men and attack with 2 men, now logically of the opposition wants goals they would have to commit men forward to break us down which in turn would would leave them at risk at the back against two quick forwards. Now the application of "get stuck in" TI would make players want the ball more and improve our chances of a turnover. Followed by a couple of direct passes and we get to the opposing goal an it ends with a shot. Team Instructions Glimpse of Defensive shape; Counter Attacks; SI restricts too many files, but one thing ;leads to another rashford gets a shot in the 6-yard area from a cross from valencia and scores. Results; Arsenal EFL cup second leg behind of a 1-0 home win, we won the return tie 2-0 both from counters. Also at OT we beat sevilla in the 2nd leg of the europa league 2-0 comin back with a 2-2 draw at seville in the 1st leg. Like I earlier said, This is not exactly how united play but more of an inspired system. If you made it up to this point thank you for your time. Yours Truly, Sherifddin Apampa, Twitter: TheEngancheexpress, Sherifddin's Interlude.
  6. Jose Mourinho's 04/05 Chelsea Introduction For many years in the Premier League, a certain formation was KING. In the very words of Mike Basset, "4-4-f@#$ing-2". That was until José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix came to the England during the 04/05 season. Before arriving, Mourinho had just won his first Champions League trophy as a manager with Porto. Mourinho played a 4-3-3 system that worked so well because most English teams were still fixated on playing 4-4-2, which Chelsea’s system worked brilliantly against. In the very words of the man himself, "Look, if I have a triangle in midfield – Claude Makelele behind and two others just in front – I will always have an advantage against a pure 4-4-2 where the central midfielders are side by side. That’s because I will always have an extra man. It starts with Makelele, who is between the lines. If nobody comes to him he can see the whole pitch and has time. If he gets closed down it means one of the two other central midfielders is open. If they are closed down and the other team’s wingers come inside to help, it means there is space now for us on the flank, either for our own wingers or for our full-backs. There is nothing a pure 4-4-2 can do to stop things". Essentially, a 3 vs 2 situations in central midfield. Let's have a look at why Chelsea was so successful in 2004/05. Resources http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/01/25/teams-of-the-decade-13-chelsea-2004-06/ https://chfootballtips.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/chelsea-200405-tactics-under-jose-mourinho/ http://chelseaindex.com/the-modern-4-3-3-mourinhos-recreation-of-a-dominant-side/ Tactical Principles The System: Defending well Score Goals Dominating play Transition to Defence: immediately pressure the ball, stop the opponent getting organized into an attack. Done by hassling, closing down and challenging opponents for the ball. All passing options must be closed down by marking players and shutting off the passing options. (close down more, use tighter marking & get stuck in) Transition to Attack: Get the ball moving towards the opponent's goal, as quickly as possible, before the other team has done its job of marking and closing down. Resting on the Ball: Keep possession (retain possession?) Mourinho is famous for his 4-3-3 formation for 1st tenure at Chelsea, thanks for the illustration http://www.zonalmarking.net/ Translating into Football Manager 2018 1) Mentality and shape As with most Special One teams, counter-attacking at pace, defending as a team, and pressing the players out wide (having forced them there with a congested midfield) are the foundations. Thus, the mentality chosen is... Counter And the shape chosen is... Very Fluid. Mourinho's 04/05 players saw all of them partaking in attack and defense as a solid unit. 2) Formation Obviously, the 4-3-3. We'll come to player roles and instructions later. 3) Team Instructions In the example of Mourinho, we can use team instructions to hassle opponents to win back the ball (close down more, play narrower) play fast counter-attacking football (higher tempo) 4) Player roles and Instructions Roles: Goalkeeper, Defend (Cech): Cech had an aerial presence in the box, a trait which relieved the pressure of his defenders as they knew that he’d rarely succumb to a mistake. Cech was also a great shot stopper and was one of the main reasons, Chelsea only conceded 15 goals all season. Central Defenders, Stopper and Cover (Terry & Carvalho): Carvalho would usually cover for Terry while the latter would go up the pitch to hassle opponents. John Terry was a dominant figure and a real leader in the Chelsea team, he was one of the key players as he provided leadership whilst also winning everything in the air and tackling. Carvalho possessed great pace and a great ability to read the game which worked very well with John Terry. Carvalho also had a great passing ability which helped him find teammates further up the field. Wing Backs, Attack (Ferreira & Cole): Both full backs would get forward to support the attacks and provide width on the flanks, they would also be expected to get crosses into the box for teammates. Defensively both players were great in 1v1 situations and stopped many crosses coming into the box. Anchorman, Defend (Makelele): Wasn't this role made after him? Makelele played a vital role in Chelsea being as solid as they were defensive. Not only would Makelele protect his back four by making interceptions and crucial tackles, but he would also sit back when Chelsea had the ball, which allowed Frank Lampard to roam further forward which crucially led to him being a goal outlet. Box to Box Midfielder, Support (Essien/Tiago): Tiago/Essien would support attacks in the opponents half from a deeper role, often trying to break up play and stop any potential counter attacks from happening. Essientally (see what I did there?), they were the workhorse of the team. Central Midfielder, Attack (Lampard): Goal outlet for the team. Would provide goals and assists. An attacking BBM. He will readily surge into the final third to support the attackers. Winger, Attack (Robben and Duff): Both these wingers were lively down the wings with tons of energy and lightning pace to beat their man on the wing. Both wingers would regularly cut inside creating space for fullbacks to overlap and get crosses into the box. (Note: You can't set Wingers to cut inside in the AML/AMR roles, so I added the PI Mark Specific Position to allow them to move inside) Complete Forward, Support (Drogba): Didier Drogba was the definition of a complete forward in modern football, he had ridiculous strength, great movement off the ball, was quick and was a great finisher of the ball. PIs: Gk: Take Long Kicks, Pass to CF WB: nil CD (Stopper): Close down more, Tackle Harder CD (Cover): Tackle Harder A: Ease off tackles, mark tighter BBM: Get further forward CM (A): Move into channels W(A) right side: Roam from position, Mark M (L) W(A) left side: Roam from position, Mark M (R) CF: Shoot less often, move into channels, pass it shorter APPENDIX: Based on the tactics request thread I created https://community.sigames.com/topic/422441-request-for-tactical-replications/ more to come in the month of December. Mourinho 04/05 tactic is requested by @Ellandroadhero so a shoutout to him. Happy FMing and hope you have a good time! Oh yeah, and here's the link to the tactic: https://tinyurl.com/y9qatleq ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ FIN -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  7. Help with replicating man utd 3-5-2 and/or 4-2-3-1 for the 17/18 season? Could someone point me in the right direction? I have started with Man Utd, attempting to replicate Mourinho’s 17/18 system. I’ve used a 4-2-3-1 wide with my team playing controlling, structured football by playing out of the back. We get stuck in and stick to our positions with little creativity. My team has a typical GK (Dea Gea), 2 defenders (Bailly & Jones), Wing Back on Attack (Valencia) and a Complete Wing Back with support duty (Shaw). Matic acts as a Central Mid (Defend) and Pogba a Mezzala (Attack). Rashford the Raudmuter, Mhkitaryan a Trequartista that roams around, Mata as a advanced playmaker (support) whom cuts in and Lukaku, a complete forward (support) who drops deep to link up play. Seems accurate, doesn’t it? However, I'm losing badly to big teams, and barely scraping thru wins. Oddly enough, this tactic leakes in lots of goals! (Mourinho is a master of defence) I’ve also been asking myself some questions: • Should Pogba be a RPM, AP or a Mezzala? • Should I place both central midfielders in the DM strata, with Matic as a DLP (D) and Pogba as a Segundo Volante (Attack)? • Is Matic more of a CM (D) or DLP (D)? Any help or advice appreciated, thanks 🙏!
  8. INTRODUCTION It's rare to see a system in football manager built around the philosophy of Jose Mourinho. The less than glamorous tactician has an unfair reputation in my opinion. Despite the guarantee of trophies wherever he goes, many prefer to emulate the more exciting coaches like Klopp or Guardiola. With this in mind, I decided to attempt to replicate Mourinho's successful 4-2-3-1 with which he continues to use with great success. However, it is important to stress that this system is not a like-for-like, rather it is a Mourinho inspired system; therefore you might see some player roles and instructions that you might not agree with. However, I'm open to having a healthy debate on anything I've presented below. I'll jump straight into the system below, talk a bit about Mourinho, and then how I replicate this philosophy in game. To get the obvious out of the way first, we play with a control mentality and a structured shape. I want to ensure that the structural integrity of the shape is maintained. I will tailor my instructions via each player so that they know what their responsibility is. With a structured shape, we are more disciplined in defence, e.g., we're less committal going forwards and there's more space for us to operate in. So let's look at some of the key characteristics of a Mourinho system and see how I have tried to slide these into my setup at Barcelona. I will talk about the instructions Mourinho uses and note observations against them, so I can reference these from my tactical instructions. IN DEFENCE AND TRANSITION FROM ATTACK TO DEFENCE Arguably one of the best defensive coaches of the modern era. Mourinho typically builds his team around a two-man midfield. His system typically deploys a deep playmaker alongside a more defensive midfielder who is tasked with winning the ball back and releasing it to more creative players. At Manchester United, this responsibility has predominately fallen to Matić and Paul Pogba respectively. [Observation 1] When in their defensive shape, a Mourinho side will utilise a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 formation with the central attacking midfielder staying with the striker in order to have players available for the counter attack, should his team turnover the ball in an advantageous position. The wide attackers will fall back in line with the central midfielders in front of the defence to create two solid banks of four. [Observation 2] In the early phase of defence, the aim is to shift the opposition out wide when they have the ball since it is easier to defend the flanks. This is due to the limited options to progress the ball compared with the central areas and the natural player match up (1v1 or 2v2). A way of achieving this is by having the two furthest central attacking players block the passing lanes for progression of the ball through the central areas and to put pressure on the defence. Moreover, when the play does get out to the wide areas, this is where the overloads become more effective. It is less detrimental to your shape by overloading the wide areas than it is in the middle, simply because there are fewer passing lanes for progression of the ball (since the side of the pitch blocks passes in that direction). [Observation 3] When it comes to pressing the opposition the two key objectives are to reduce space for wide players and reduce the time on the ball for central players. In wider areas space is reduced by tightly marking the wide player and closing down aggressively. Increasing numbers out wide will reduce the space the opposition can move into. To reduce time on the ball for the central areas an aggressive approach to closing down will achieve this, however, with more and more coaches increasing numbers in the central areas, this can cause your shape some problems if you're not closing down intelligently. Furthermore, tightly marking the central players will lead to an increase in interceptions. [Observation 4] The defensive line is neither deep nor high, usually situationally adapting. So let's look at some of my tactical instructions and relate these back to the observations above. [Observation 1] To achieve some defensive solidity, and to match the asymmetry of the midfield two, I use a Central Midfielder with a Defend duty and a Deep Lying Playmaker with a Support duty. This gives me the solidity in front of the back four, with a risk averse two who will be the first line of cover should the opposition turnover the ball and break the first lines with a counter attack. [Observation 2] When playing against two wide men on each flank, e.g., a left back and a left winger, I will instruct my attacking wingers to specifically man mark his opposite to increase our chances of ball turnover. We want to be winning the ball in the central midfield or out wide. We don't want to rely on the last man of defence to make the last tackle. Since the wide men track their opposite number, this brings them down in line with the central midfield pairing and giving us what looks like a 4-4-1-1 [Observation 3] I use the opposition instructions to show the defenders out wide, so the left sided central defender is shown onto his left foot, and the right sided onto his right foot. With the passing lanes into the midfield covered by my central attacking midfielder and my striker closing down the defence, the ball is moved out to the wider areas where you can safely press with more numbers with less impact on the defensive shape. Moreover, the central midfielders are instructed to close down more, increasing their determination to move into the wider areas when the opposition progresses the ball here, creating 3v2 overloads against the opposition wide men. [Observation 4] Wide players are closed down always as defined by the generic opposition instructions. Additionally, my wide attacking wingers are set to man mark their opposite number when the opposition plays with wingers (most teams in Spain). Hard tackling is also instructed against the opposition central midfielders. Similarly to the central defenders, the central midfielders are down onto their outside foot, e.g., the left central midfielder is shown onto his left foot. This is to try progress the opposition build-up down the flanks. Simplistically, we play with a very conservative back four. We have two Central Defenders with a Defend duty, and two Full Backs with Support duty. Ahead we use a Central Midfielder with Defend duty and a Deep Lying Playmaker on Support. We aim to get into our shape quickly. Forcing progression of the opposition attack down the flanks if we can, where we create overloads in an attempt to win the ball back before the opposition can get a cross in. If the ball is progressed into the middle, we are quick to close down the opposition midfielders in an attempt to win the ball back before it progresses through to my defensive line. With these observations my defensive team instructions look like this: Defensive Line Defensive line is set to normal Use offside trap enabled Closing Down Closing down is set to sometimes, but this is governed by specific opposition instructions Tackling No specific instructions at a team level My player roles and instructions for the defensive players: My defence is pretty standard. I want my central defenders passing it short to my central midfielders or our wide to the Full backs. I don't want them hoofing it the field so that is why they're set to pass it shorter (since we use mixed team passing). My Full Backs have a few instructions. Fewer risky passing to help control the safe possession when they receive the ball in deeper areas in the build-up. I don't want them spraying fancy cross-field passes to players where there is a high-risk attached to the pass. I need them up supporting play, but also very mindful of their defensive responsibilities so we allow them to get further forward, but we keep the support duty to ensure their starting position is deeper in line with the defence. EXAMPLES OF OUR DEFENSIVE PLAY In a recent game against Real Madrid we came up against a stubborn 4-4-1-1 system. Below is an example of our defensive shape in action. The backline is relatively flat around the midpoint of our half. Playing with a control mentality and a normal defensive line it is slightly higher than normal. My Trequartista (the midfielder circled) is covering the inside of the pitch as he moves the midfielder towards the wide areas with the ball. My striker, meanwhile, is occupying the central defenders to ensure a pass isn't easily recycled. In this particular passage of play, Marchetti plays the ball into the winger, who almost instantly has my left back on his toes, who wins the ball back cleanly. In this next phase of play Madrid have just won the ball back and are looking to progress. My Advanced Playmaker highlighted positions himself between the ball carrier and the central midfielders. Moving the ball out wide where the player is already being tightly marked. With the alternative being a long ball forward, the player attempts a high-risk pass into the winger despite the presence of my defender. Sasic is closed down quickly and ordinarily would have probably lost the ball here. However, we're playing Madrid so have to expect that at some points in the match they're going to beat the man or pass when it seems almost impossible to do so. However, because of the high closing down and structural discipline, when the pass is made into the midfield, my Deep Lying Playmaker (with closing down more activated) makes a good interception to win the ball back for us. All the while my Central Midfielder maintains his position in front of the defenders as a second line of defence if the pass is successful. During this game we made 62 interceptions across the pitch, most of which in our own half. IN ATTACK AND TRANSITION FROM DEFENCE TO ATTACK The defensive shape and team instructions allow for more efficiency in a quick transition from defence and counter attacking. With the shortest distance to goal on the counter being through the middle, an efficient counter system would require at least two central players in attacking positions during the defensive phase, with a supporting wide player along one flank to join in if progression through the middle is restricted. At United, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku are usually the furthest forward when the team is defending. Sometimes the left sided attacking midfielder will be somewhat advanced. [Observation 1] With Juan Mata operating more as a playmaker a lot of the slower and more patient build-up was directed to the right side of the pitch. United created overloads on this side with Pogba and Valencia supporting Mata and Mkhitaryan in the attack. Furthermore, with the approach directed to guide the ball towards one flank with clear overloads, this frees up the player on the opposite side to almost inevitably be free for a quick break. [Observation 2] This season it appears that Mkhitaryan has more confidence from his manager and this has shown with his free role to create and dictate play from the central areas. He is registering high chance creation and assists already. This free role to roam and be less involved in the defensive side suits his style. A similar role has been afforded the number 10 at Madrid and Inter. [Observation 3] So let's look at some of my tactical instructions and relate these back to the observations above. [Observation 1] I leave my Trequartista and Complete Forward high during the defensive phase. This allows our transitions from defence to attack to be quick and sharp and triggers good counter attacking opportunities with Raumdeuter being fairly advanced, too. With the team instructed to pass into space, we look to progress the ball forwards quicker than we would if we passed into feet. [Observation 2] We have also adopted an Advanced Playmaker on the right. With our right sided central midfielder and right sided winger being playmakers a lot of the ball and progression is down the right flanks. This leaves the Raumdeuter with more space to exploit. And given his pace, acceleration and dribbling, he takes full advantage of this. He is currently second in the scoring charts. [Observation 3] My Trequartista is there for attacks. I afford him the freedom to dictate the game from the middle. I'm less concerned about his role defensively, which is just as well, given he is assigned a role that has less emphasis on defence and more on offence. However, this does not mean that he is ineffective defensively, on the contrary, he is key in the first phase of defence in moving the ball into wide positions. When we transition to attack, if we're quick enough to break into a counter then it is usually through my Trequartista that play progresses before the ball is switched out wide to my Raumdeuter. At this point we usually trigger a 3v3 or 3v4 attack, of which we're usually favourites to come out on top. When we progress with the ball we have a natural inclination to progress to the right with quick switches to the left when the Raumdeuter is in space and 1v1 situations. We are comfortable on the ball and happy to play the patient game looking for clear openings. Typically, this will see us dominate in the possession and passing stats for most games. With these observations my offensive team instructions look like this: Passing Exploit the middle Play out of defence Pass into space Passing Directness Mixed passing Creative Freedom Be more disciplined My player roles and instructions for the defensive players: My Central Midfielder is instructed to pass it shorter as he needs to keep things simple. His prime role is ball winner and defence protector. I don't need him doing anything fancy. Alongside him is my Deep Lying Playmaker. He has a bit of freedom but not too much. He is instructed to close down more to keep up the pressing when the ball moves into the middle of the pitch and to help support the overloads on the flank. My Trequartista doesn't have instructions as it isn't really needed. My Advanced playmaker is instructed to sit narrower as I want to really congest this side of the pitch and draw in the opposition to the half-spaces where he will be operating. My Raumdeuter is instructed to shoot less, purely because of the positions he can get into. I need him to be more decisive when he is in the box and to only shoot when it is a high chance shot. My Complete Forward is instructed to move into channels to support the build up and to move the defence with him to open up spaces for the on-rushing players behind him. EXAMPLES OF OUR OFFENSIVE PLAY In the next passage of play I will highlight how out players use the short passing abilities of my playmakers to move the ball about and manipulate the shape of the oppositions. I will show the intelligence of my Raumdeuter to isolate the right back and subsequently unmark himself to break free and score a simple goal. To set the scene, my Central Midfielder makes a short pass into my Deep Lying Playmaker. This is a common pattern between the two. My left back has the attention of the opposition winger and my Raumdeuter is in-line with my striker, pressing the defensive line back. My Deep Lying Playmaker now progresses the ball into my Trequartista. He is a very technically gifted player and is the key creator in the side, both scoring and creating goals. You will notice that my Raumdeuter has now drifted into space in order to move into a better position to attack the ball. All the while the defender who was meant to be watching him is now ball watching. My Trequartista wastes no time in playing a first time pass into space for my Raumdeuter to run onto. Who has this time unmarked himself and snuck in behind for a very nicely worked goal. This is one of the more simple patterns of play we create by overloading the right and central sides of the pitch before playing the ball to the left side where my Raumdeuter will have isolated the defender. The supporting Full Back is key in occupying the attention of the winger to ensure there's little in the way of obstacles. Here is another example from the same game, where my Raumdeuter actually scored four goals. Again, play is moved from my Advanced Playmaker on the right, into my Trequartista. My Raumdeuter is running in behind the defender, and waits for the pass to come in from the Trequartista. A really simple, yet effective pattern of play. IN CONCLUSION I've tried to keep this fairly brief without going over the top with examples and images, so if anyone is curious about how I've setup or why, just drop a reply and I'll see what I can do to answer anything. It's a really simple system and one that is very effective. Finally, I have posted our results from our season so far. We're defensively strong and offensively potent. I have also included the complete team instructions and opposition instructions, since I've already posted the roles and player instructions above. Team Instructions Opposition Instructions Results so far Thanks for reading, Ciao
  9. So after deciding to start a new save on FM17 before FM18 comes out, it was time to have some fun trying to figure out what team to pick and most essential what style of football I what to implement in the long term. S. C. Braga was the team and the tactical inspiration came from ... José Mourinho! Why? Well, I've wanted to successfully implement a 4-2-3-1 this year and I as was reading through a topic here, I noticed @Cleon mentioned that he always used two DM's instead of two CM's when using a 4-2-3-1 and I thought: "Is this the answer to make it work?" And BAM! Cambiasso and Stankovic instantly came to mind, all Inter's team was just showing up So I digged a bit deeper into the system (main sources: http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/calcio-tactics-through-time-jose-mourinhos-inter-milan-2008-10/ and http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/05/23/inter-bayern-champions-league-final-tactics/) and started taking away some conclusions about the overall system: Fairly conservative side: low-ish tempo and closing down and a deep-ish block; Counter attack based; Except for Milito, everyone tracked back; Here I had mentality sorted out: Counter. Shape is where I'm having must trouble deciding with either Flexible or Structured and I change between the two. Formation wise a deep 4-2-3-1. Next it was the players roles and duties. Starting with the back four they had: Julio Cesar: incredible reflexes, was there to stop shots coming in. A Goalkeeper - Defend for me; Lucio and Samuel: two straight central defenders, so Central Defender - Defend; Maicon: the bombing full back on the right side. Would go up and down the right flank all day long. Role chosen Wing Back - Attack; Zanetti: words can't really describe Zanetti, but he was used to maintan the balance of the back four, being more cautious when the team was on the attack. I went with Full Back - Support with the PI's: Dribble Less, Pass It Shorter, Fewer Risky Passes and Sit Narrower; Onto the midfield now. Let me just say that even though this a deep 4-2-3-1, I use one AMC as I felt it replicated Sneijder role better; Cambiasso: fantastic reader of the game would be in charge of covering up the right flank when Maicon went forward. Would also launch counter attacks from the back plenty of times. Decided to go with a Defensive Midfielder - Support with the PI's: Hold Position and More Direct Passes; Stankovic: the other pivot who had a bit more freedom to venture forward. Scored a couple of goals too. Again a Defensive Midfielder - Support with the PI Get Further Forward; Eto'o: the 30 goals last season man came to Mourinho's and he decided he would play in the ... right flank! He had the work rate to come and defend and, obviously, was great when going forward, cutting in a being almost a second striker to the system. To replicate I decided to go with a Wide Midfielder - Attack with the PI's: Sit Narrower, Roam From Position, Close Down More and Tackle Harder. PPM's here would also be vital I think. Im going with Move Into Channels and Gets Forward Whenever Possible as the essential ones for now; Pandev: another forward moved to the flanks. He didn't do as much as Eto'o and was a "keep the balance player". A Wide Midfielder - Support with the PI's: Close Down More and Tackle Harder; Sneijder: one of the last number 10 in modern football but didn't neglect his defensive duties. I opted for a Advanced Playmaker - Support with the PI's Close Down More; The lonely forward was Diego Milito, a clinical finisher, a true number 9. Always ready to break defensive lines aswell as carry the ball forward. Advanced Forward - Attack seems the best option to replicate that. All put together: I had no TI's at first but decided to add Play Into Space to try and maximize counter opportunities and Play Fairly Narrower as after watching a couple of games I felt players were a bit too much far apart from each other resulting in a lot of lost balls. Why post it here? Well, first of all I really like the discussion when it comes to try and mimic some real life setting. Secondly, even though it is bringing me some good results, it's failing to do what it should do best: beat better teams than us. So far, I've only lost to Porto, Sporting and Benfica which makes sense from a quality of players point of view, but makes me angry that we aren't capitalizing against this teams. And in the Portuguese Premier League, if you lose 6 games, you're pretty much out of the title discussion So any advice on this would also be awesome!
  10. Just a quick idea, wondering what anyone else thinks. I strongly believe we should have a much more in-depth tactic creation. Sometimes I feel I'm limited to what I can do with a tactic, for example take Pep Guardiola, Man City vs Sunderland opening game of the season. (I will link a youtube video to emphasize my point more) In the transition from defense to attack you notice he uses an unorthodox approach regarding his full backs and defensive midfielder, opting to have the DM drop inbetween the two CB's. Granted I know this can be achieved with a HalfBack role but what about the fullbacks in cliche and sagna who come inside and act as two holding midfielders infront of the now new back three with inturn draws opposition players inwards and creates space out wide for the wingers leaving a clear 5 men behind the ball and 5 infront attacking the goal. Now it might just be me but i not sure something like this is achievable with tactic creation features at our disposal in FM16. I think there must be a way to be able to create real unique tactics using some sort of transition phase creation feature perhaps? In the same way we do with the set piece creation tool? Let me know what you think. Also here's the youtube video in question:
  11. A few days ago I started watching Football's Greatest Managers on YouTube. They are about a half hour in length and very interesting. Thanks to Ö-zil for providing a link in one of his threads! From there I dug into everything I could find on the magnificent team of José Mourinho that won the everything they played in 2009/10. For me easily top 3 sides in newer history, I can only think of Bayern under Heynckes and Barca under Pep as equally good. Anyways, there are some great docus out there on this particular season, not all of them in English. I will post some links when we wrap it up. Credit also goes to Cleon's thread on counter attacking football. First we have to understand why Mourinho chose to go with a 4-3-1-2 or 4-1-3-2 (both can fit the description). Before, in Chelsea he used a more dominant 4-2-3-1 with wingers, same in Madrid and now at United. Both he and Rui Faria, his loyal assistant, sums it up in the documentary "Football's Greatest Managers: José Mourinho" (about 18 mins in). Mourinho: Rui Faria: I think this video is the best analysis out there of the style of Inter that season. It's 14 mins long, but goes into decent detail. It also focuses on the CL final where they played slightly different than that of the league. Cliffs from that vid: pressing mainly in own half, with a low defensive line. The idea is obviously to hit them on the counter. To facilitate this he deployed very physically apt players in midfield. Thiago Motta, Stankovic, Muntari, Zanetti, Cambiasso, McDonald Mariga. In addition to having an extremely well organized defense, with Walter Samuel, Lucio, Ivan Cordoba, Maicon, again Zanetti, Chivu etc. It was a very strong team, both in physical terms and in the mental department. He wanted 4 midfielders narrowly in front of the 4 defenders. The key was shape and structure. Very disciplined stuff. Of the 4 midfielders, only Wes Sneijder had the creative freedom to roam and link up the forwards. Although his two strikers were relieved of defensive duties, Samuel Eto'o was basically transformed into a defensive forward after his move from Barca. He was slightly deeper than Milito, who played more the role of a complete forward. Milito was unreal that season, scoring 30 goals and just tormenting both Barca and Bayern in the CL. Sneijder would often connect with the forwards and drop deep when out of possession, which more than half the time. On YT there is a clip of the domestic comp goals from that season. If you remove the set piece goals, you'll find that most goals came from Maicon on the right and counter attacks. Before we go into the translation to FM process, let me warn you - this is not a plug and play tactic! You absolutely need the right type of players to pull this off. Basically all the players need to have the mental attributes (check Cleon's thread on counter) and the technical stuff. I played the CL matches with squad players and got hammered, you are warned. In my game I took over AC Milan to do this experiment. I got a 160m war chest, in addition I had tons of players with high values that I sold off, that just did not fit the profile. We're in season 18/19, January. Next I'll post a thorough look at the tactic, player roles, how it looks etc.
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