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“Quantum CS” (4-1-3-2 DM Narrow) Tactic for FM19 Revision 2019.3 (Nov-6-2018) (c) 2013-2019 Xeewaj Q. Intro It’s “Quantum” ‘cause it’s full of superpositions and controversies. Be more disciplined but roam a lot? Sure. Defenders attacking, strikers defending, midfielders are everywhere? Of course. It’s called in-game “4-1-3-2 DM Narrow”, but it’s actually very wide. You get the pattern. CS stands for “Creeping Suffocation”. Why? ‘Cause it slowly suffocates opponents, restricting them from playing football as much as possible. Even top opponents will often fail to do a single shot on target (sometimes even just shot). Often they’ll enrage and get red cards. I played variations of this tactic for years, from exotic lower divisions to top European leagues and it gave excellent results everywhere. Especially well it does against (undeservedly) popular nowadays 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 variations. In general, every tactic with wingers is highly vulnerable. The only tactics which can cause struggle are classic 4-4-2 and its variations (4-1-4-1, 4-4-1-1 etc), but you may never see it during the whole season (in any case, doing right changes will solve the problem). Proof of Concept As a top team, it’s easy and boring. Average-promotion-candidate dominating the league. Most games were lost after securing the title (you can see it in the “Form” column). There are some demo matches in “matches” directory. Philosophy Balance, discipline, possession, fluidity, restricting the opponent as much as possible. Sounds boring enough, but board and supporters will praise you for the attacking football. Theory A key concept is overloading zones 2 & 5 while defending, zones 14 & 17 while attacking and eliminating opponent presence in the middle (zones 8 & 11) by pressing them out to sides. We’ll use flanks occasionally, mostly for crossing and/or stretching defense, but as a whole, it’s a center line strategy. Pros One tactic to cover them all. You don’t need alternative tactics, just do some minor changes. Almost plug-n-play, it works well for top clubs and relegation candidates with minimal tweaking. You don’t need wingers (though you may use them until they’re sold). High possession. Graphene-strength defense, you’ll concede mostly flukes. Ideal for “Play attacking football” philosophy (again, quantums of discipline and possession do the magic), but board and supporters will be extremely happy anyway. Cons Can be vulnerable to counter-attacks if you have low-quality center-backs. Heavy rotation is required to keep players alive during the season. Dealing with 4-4-2 may require some extra clicking. Tactic Tactics itself looks plain enough, but don’t be fooled. It transforms to 5-3-2, 3-5-2, even to 2-4-4 or 5-5-0 when needed. Team Instructions The mentality is ALWAYS "Balanced". Don't touch it. There is a new "Positive" mentality in FM19, but from what I saw, it's too positive and lowers discipline too much. May work for playing against weaker teams, but use it on your own risk. 1) In Possession: We playing cautions football focused on possession and teamwork. No brainless longballs, we play out of defense with patience. Though we may use direct passes when appropriate or passes into free space if there's an opening. Constants: Width, all Approach Play instructions except Overlap Left/Right, Passing Directness, Creative Freedom. Tweakable: Overlap Left/ Right, all Final Third instructions, Play For Set Pieces, Dribble Less. Not recommended to touch: Tempo (tactic itself is quite intense and you’ll just kill your players with the high tempo, though it’s possible to slow down when you in total control of the match), Run At Defense (we play team passing game), Time Wasting (especially!). So, basically, you need to tune cross type, overlapping and long shots/working balls into the box. Using “Play For Set Pieces” is generally not recommended unless you have problems scoring normal way and/or already scored from set pieces. 2) In Transition: We press opponents as soon as they get the ball and counter-attack quickly. Generally, you don’t need to change anything there. Though you may use “Regroup” if playing vs much stronger team and/or want to play safe. 3) Of Possession: We press high and play offside. Constants: Defensive Width, Prevent Short GK Distribution. Tweakable: Use Offside Trap, Line of Engagement, Defensive Line. Not recommended to touch: Use Tighter Marking, Tackling. Using offside traps and defensive line depends on the quality of your defenders, though tactics work better with high lines. We don’t use global tight marking and hard tackling. Though it’s possible to use easier tackling when you in control of the match and want to prevent any unnecessary suspensions. Player Instructions You should not touch instructions/roles/mentality except for Full-Backs, Ball Winner and Strikers. There are 2 types of instruction sets for those players, more cautious and more attacking. Choosing the right one is depends on the situation. You can found instructions in “player_instructions” directory (they’re loadable from instructions edit dialog). Keeper "Cautious Sweeper Keeper": Keeper plays safe, sweep when needed and distributes the ball to full-backs with long throws (somehow it's now moved to "In Transition") Full-Backs They stay wide, dribble forward and cross a lot. "Attacking Full-Back": going forward often and cross close to the byline. "Cautious Full-Back": playing more carefully (works well with "Hit Early Crosses"). Centre-Backs “Ball-Playing Defender”: They obviously defend but may start counter-attacks with through balls and go forward for set-pieces often. Defensive Midfielder Tries to win the ball asap, tackles and presses hard. “Cautious Ball Winner”: stays back, acts more like third center-back/stopper. "Adventurous Ball Winner": goes forward more often, similar to Box-To-Box. Playmaker “Roaming Playmaker”: team brain. Does anything he wants. Central Midfielder “Box-To-Box”: they move all around the pitch, press and tackle hard, helping both with defense and attack. Striker Attacking all-rounders who shoot, pass, cross and press opposition defense. “Complete Forward: default balanced variation. “Pressing Forward”: acts much more aggressive. Stays slightly wider than “Complete Forward”. Alternate Tactics & Plan B You don’t need one. This tactic covers (almost) everything. When the team has a ball, it's extremely attacking. When not, it's extremely defending. Use Player/Team Instructions to make it more attacking or defensive. Be creative, use non-standard moves. For example, put center-backs into BBMs positions, turn on Float/Early Crosses from the Deep etc. Familiarity, Cohesion, and Partnership This tactic is focused on teamwork so it may require some time until it starts to give the best results. Usually, pre-season is enough for the start. Focus on establishing partnerships asap (especially for central defenders). Opposition Instructions It’s a complex topic and you can read about it here or there, for example. If you have a decent assistant, let him handle this. Yellow Cards By default, BWM and BBMs (and “Pressing Forward”) use hard tackling, so be careful. Man Down (Red Card) An obvious solution is take off one of the forwards. But if the match is going well, it’s possible to take off BWM, set playmaker role to DLP/Defend and set strikers to Pressing Forward (Defensive Striker). This is particularly useful when you still need to score. Rotation As this tactic is quite intensive, a rotation is very important. Generally, you should have two full line-ups. At the start of the season good rotation is 25%-33%, but close to the end of the season, it may require 50% rotation sometimes (packed schedule, important/cup matches etc). Pitch Size It’s important. Basic rules are: max size if your team is among the favorites, max width and normal length for midtable teams, min size for relegation candidate. Assistant Just ignore him in most cases. “We being terrible overrun at midfield” and “We need to use more direct passing” when your team is winning 2-0 with 65% possession and opponents have 0 shots on target. Training & Match Preparation Prior to FM19 most important were teamwork and attacking movements. In FM19 training was completely reworked, so no real data on training efficiency exists. To be honest, I’m quite intimidated by the new training and prefer to leave it to the staff for now. Some recommendations may come soon. Team Talks Don't be harsh. Don't yell. Be calm and motivate. Remember, usually, the team who scores “pep” goal during 46-49 min, wins. Set Pieces Tactic includes some decent set pieces, but you may want to tune them for players you have. The playmaker is default taker (except for throws, full-backs obviously do them). Also, note that offensive set pieces are quite risky with many players going forward. Protecting Lead The tactic itself does it very well, but for more safety switch to Defensive Striker and bring on fresh fullbacks (with possible changing them to “Supportive”). Never touch mentality. Consider turning “Work Ball Into Box” on for more possession. Breaking the Crossbar Bus Sometimes it’s hard to score even if your team is dominating. Before going postal and moving all attack-related sliders to the right and subbing all the strikers, check your midfielders and full-backs, the problem is most likely there. Still, it may not help. They say "nothing is scripted in FM", but you may get something like this: Just laugh and move on. Players Don’t let the color of suitability circle distract you. Usually, I have only 2-3 players with more or less green circles, the rest are orange/red. Role/duty circle is a good reference, but again, don't worship it. A typical setup for teams I manage: You may check how they perform by watching a demo match, first goal especially. 1) GK Any decent keeper will do. Green circle of “Sweeper Keeper” is not necessary, but don’t touch role. Example: Gianluigi Buffon 2) DC * The position where the green circle of BPD is a good indicator. Though generic quality limited defenders may perform well. Example: Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs de Ligt** 3) DRL * Fast players with good dribbling and crossing and decent defensive skills. Some wingers may be used there even with a red circle. Example: Marcelo, Daniel Alves, Alex Sandro, 4) BWM A defensive midfielder with good technical skills. Example: Arturo Vidal, Matthijs de Ligt** 5) MC/Playmaker * It’s hard to find a player with a green circle for that role, but DLP usually performs well there. Default set pieces use playmaker as default taker, so consider that. Example: Miralem Pjanic, Ruben Neves 6) MC/Box-To-Box Again, it’s hard to find “green circles” for that role and it’s no guarantee they’ll perform well. Look for MC, DM or DC/DM/MC with well-balanced stats. You may use wingers there if you don’t have other options. Example: Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot, Matthijs de Ligt** 7) ST Powerful pressing (“defensive” prior to FM19) forwards. You may use any advanced wingers (sic!) there, but pressing forward will score much more. Proof: Example: Edinson Cavani, Mario Mandjukic * Centre-Backs, Full-backs, and Playmaker are a top priority in that order. ** Should be transfer target #1 due to his skills and versatility. General Recommendations Try to avoid one-footed players. Make exceptions only for VERY good and/or young players (and immediately start developing their weaker foot). Try to avoid midgets, except for full-backs. Height must be 180+cm. Very important attributes: Team Work, Workrate. Installation Unpack archive and copy directories “matches”, “tactics”, “player_instructions”, “set pieces” (or select only files you need) to your FM19 directory (usually “C:\Users\[your_name]\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2019”). Anomalies 1) Players on set pieces may behave not like they supposed to do (usually, players with attacking roles stay back). Set pieces rework in 19.1 supposed to fix that problem, but it still may occur. 2) Taker instructions may reset after loading set pieces. This bug is acknowledged so we may expect a fix soon. Changes 2019.1 (Oct-28-2018): First version for FM19. Tested on beta match engine 1900. 2019.2 (Nov-1-2019): Update for FM19 release. Changes: player instructions (BWM), set pieces, better demo match. Tested with match engine 1913-1914. 2019.3 (Nov-6-2019): Changed attacking corner set pieces (removed bugged role “Mark Keeper”). Downloads Another download link: https://www.filedropper.com/quantumcs2019-3 Quantum CS Demo.pkm quantum_cs_2019-3.zip