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How to build a team that will be able to hold 80% of match position like Barca?

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@kevin what's your formation? Honestly, I can't find any other tactics that could fit possession football except 4231 with 2 central mids.

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@kevin what's your formation? Honestly, I can't find any other tactics that could fit possession football except 4231 with 2 central mids.

Why can't you play possession football with a 4-5-1? I don't think it matters that much whether you play the triangle pointing towards their goal or your own goal (at least in terms of possession).

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Well, in the first image I showed agaisnt Hercules, they lined up in a 4-3-3 with Dani Alves in the Wing back slot:

barcaformation.jpg

Agaisnt Valencia, I tweaked the Formation as I wasn't really satisfied with Messi postioning. I wanted to get him on the ball more and help keep the ball moving in the last third better so I changed him to a AMC, as a advanced playmaker. I also put Dani Alves back to full back which helped improve his defensive positioning. Also his runs from deep seemed a little bit better timed.

barcaformationtweaked.jpg

The second shape produces more life-like Barca movement from the match engine. The only negative is that there is less pressure on the back four because of Messi's position. A way to combat this is when setting up opposition instructions, set the back four and keeper to tight marking and closing down always. Also, the closing down setting for my whole team is set to 20 and everyone has tight marking ticked.

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Why can't you play possession football with a 4-5-1? I don't think it matters that much whether you play the triangle pointing towards their goal or your own goal (at least in terms of possession).

Depends on whether the opponent has one or two DM's.

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IntervLyonAnalysis_Analysis.png?t=1306790743

IntervArsenalAnalysis_Analysis.png?t=1306790975

ParmavInterAnalysis_Analysis.png?t=1306791959

The only problem, I couldn't keep same player to get high pass for every match. I know that I'm not playing as Barca but I really need your advice guys. FYI, my formation is 4231 with 2 central mids.

Cheers.

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Kevin, what sort of bars do you set for players such as Villa/Pedro/Iniesta/Xavi/Alves/Abidal etc... - run with ball often/rarely/medium.

In fact, is there anyway you could please download the tactic used to play against Valencia!?

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@kevin's possession achieved by brilliant percent of passes completed. 90%+ it's unprecedented for me. Very interesting to see the tactic too

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I am getting close to this, 84% generally, always 60%+ possession. 21-1 shots 56mins in. beat Real 3-0 and 2-0 so far. 60% +possession in both

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@kevin's possession achieved by brilliant percent of passes completed. 90%+ it's unprecedented for me. Very interesting to see the tactic too

The player roles are:

Valdes - Goalkeeper (Defend)

Dani Alves - Wing back (attack)

Pique -Central defender (Defend)

Puyol - Central defender (Defend)

Abidal - Wing back (support)

Busquets - Defensive midfielder (defend)

Xavi - Advanced playmaker (support)

Iniesta - Advanced playmaker (attack)

Pedro - Inside forward (attack)

Villa - Inside Forward (attack)

Messi - Deep-lying forward (support) or Advanced playmaker (attack) from the AMC position

I have tweaked all the player instructions manually so they don't fill out their roles like above.

barcateaminstructions.jpg

Ignore the team playing style as the player instructions are done mostly manually.

barcamentality.jpg

(In the order listed in the player roles above)

barcacreativefreedom.jpg

barcarunsfromdeep.jpg

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(rest of the post)

barcaholdupball.jpg

barcathroughballs.jpg

Other player instructions:

Closing down - Everyone 20

Tight marking - Everyone YES

Passing style - Everyone 5

Tackling - default

Run with ball - everyone normal except Puyol, Busquets and Valdes rarely

Long shots - everyone none

Cross ball - everyone rarely except two full backs sometimes

Roam from position - add Iniesta to yes

Goalkeeper distrubition - Defender collect - (Pique)

Also, Messi is set to come short on corners and free kicks.

If you do use this tactic you will find it struggles agaisnt teams that play a 4-4-2, and works wonders agaisnt defensive formations like Valencia's 4-1-4-1 was. I would say I have averaged 62-65% overall in 14 games, up in the 70's agaisnt teams with a defensive central midfield shape, but low 60's agaisnt more aggressive midfield shapes.

Also, I set the closing down to always and tight marking to yes in the oppositions instructions to the defense and Goalkeeper to try and apply more pressure.

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This is something I have been tinkering with for a while. I play a 4-2-3-1, though depending on how the opposition lines up this reverts to either a 4-1-2-2-1 or a 4-3-2-1, 4-3-3.

formation-tactics.jpg

Like I say I've been using this theory and basis for some time in my network game (now into season 4) and albeit, I tweak it each year it has been my general philosophy. Here are the previous five games:

game1.jpg

game2.jpg

game3.jpg

What the above images don't show you is Meireles (deep playmaker) is basically the string puller in the midfield. I will upload later but generally he is on the sheet with 70+ passes per game with a 90% rate (he is currently the top passer in the EPL). Against Fulham and Blackburn he notched up 100+ passes, much was our domination, however as you can see the tactic - whilst controlling, isn't particularly cut throat.

Fulham and Blackburn were frustrating as we dominated the games to no avail. Blackburn snatched a goal and then shut the team out and as of yet, I have no plan B when my set up doesn't work (other than to switch around the Advanced playmaker into the formations mentioned at the beginning).

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I've had mixed success with it. Using it with Swansea, usually have 55-65% possesion which isn't that bad considering I probably don't have the players to use it very successfully just yet .... anyway, the only problem is goals. So far, played 7, won 7, lost 2 ...scored 6. Conceded 3 ....so while results haven't been bad, I struggle to score or create chances. Problem is, if I put wingers on run from deep 'often' then I do seem to create a little more more but lose possesion more with longer balls over the top for them, so just trying to find the perfect balance. I'm sure it will come with the right players.

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@kevin3, did you tried AMC-SCL-SCR formation at the front? If you can try, please post here how it affect the statistics and style of play.

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@kevin3, did you tried AMC-SCL-SCR formation at the front? If you can try, please post here how it affect the statistics and style of play.

Personally, I don't think that's how Barca would line up, maybe Messi as a AMC but not two wide forwards playing higher up. I have played Messi as a AMC and it produces mixed results. It works great when you are dominating the ball completely, but not that effective when trying to press high up and trying to force the goalkeeper to hit it long. Usually, I change from a deep-lying forward to AMC or vice versa when these situations arise.

Playing the inside forwards higher up the pitch leaves the opposition full backs free when they are in possession in your half making it harder to get the ball of them, and when in attack there isn't much difference between an AMR and a SCR.

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I've got the same formation as you kevin, just a few minor adaptations but thank you for the main general outline. I also agree, a few problems from time to time when you want to force a goalkeeper long but in 12 games for Swansea, I've only had 1 game I haven't had more than 50% possesion, usually I'm up around 60% and at times nearly 70% especially when teams play 4-5-1 against me. I may have to try and find some ways to improve when teams like to pass their way out the way back but at the moment, I'm winning games regularly, passing it great and rarely conceding. I'm missing a spark, I'd say I'm more like Spain than Barcelona at the moment.

Thanks to Kevin though, great work!

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I have been trying to recreate this tactic with A.C. Milan using your guidelines, mainly from kevin3 but here's the thing: In the game where I succeeded most possession-wise was against Lazio where I got 74% ball possession and I was very happy with that. Urby Emanuelson attempted 103 passes and got 93 of them successful and that's the first time that has happened for me but what bothers me is that Andrea Pirlo, my playmaker, only attempted 61 passes. How do I get him to a 100 passes and running the team's offense like Xavi does with you kevin3? Anyone have ideas?

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Diego,

I suggest that Pirlo has small number of shot attempts due to his PPMs. He likes to play long balls, as I remember.

The-Perfect-Fm'er! ,

Nice video, love the style of play

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I have noticed that Kevin3 did not use low mentality. Is this mean that low mentality is not helpful in possession football?

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@Kevin3,

I have achieved only 53% of possession with your guidelines. Any suggestions why?

Details:

I playing against Man City(away) with my team that has better players then Barca.

My CBs are "misplacing many passes straight to the opposition" and "getting skinned all too often"

My AMC(Messi clone) "is not used to closing down opponents as often as asked".

78% of pass completion

Missing many long shots

Following players had pass completion lower then 80%: GK, WBL, CDs, AMC and AML

Midfielders made only about 25 passes per player. Only DCs made many passes, near 40

I have watched whole 90 minutes of the match and noticed that my AMC is not closing down opposite GK at all (even I asked to close down GK and all defenders in opposite instructions). He is not very active with the ball too. No shoots during whole match, no clear cut chances, rarely receiving the ball. My Playmaker (Xavi clone) is also not active. He made less amount of passes than DM and other MC. My DCs often makes looong passes gifting it for opposite DCs, sometimes as a reactions on danger and pressure, but sometimes trying pass ball forwards on wingers run.

Any suggestions?

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@Kevin3,

I have achieved only 53% of possession with your guidelines. Any suggestions why?

Details:

I playing against Man City(away) with my team that has better players then Barca.

My CBs are "misplacing many passes straight to the opposition" and "getting skinned all too often"

My AMC(Messi clone) "is not used to closing down opponents as often as asked".

78% of pass completion

Following players had pass completion lower then 80%: GK, WBL, CDs, AMC and AML

Midfielders made only about 25 passes per player. Only DCs made many passes, near 40

I have watched whole 90 minutes of the match and noticed that my AMC is not closing down opposite GK at all (even I asked to close down GK and all defenders in opposite instructions). He is not very active with the ball too. No shoots during whole match, no clear cut chances, rarely receiving the ball. My Playmaker (Xavi clone) is also not active. He made less amount of passes than DM and other MC. My DCs often makes looong passes gifting it for opposite DCs, sometimes as a reactions on danger and pressure, but sometimes trying pass ball forwards on wingers run.

Any suggestions?

I've mentioned that playing an AMC can cause problems when pressing, you're better playing him as a deep-lying forward to force the keeper to hit long.

What formation are you playing agaisnt? 4-4-2's can distrupt the flow of passing in the midlfield and make it harder for the playmaker to get on the ball.

I found that the tactic I created is very solid defensively,(rarely the opposition gets over 5 shots per game) but sometimes it can stuggle to put away chances. However, Messi has been on fire in my save:

messin.jpg

Here are my team results. You'll see a lot of clean sheets.

barcaresults.jpg

When I created the tactic I tried to re-create it as close to possible as how Barcelona play in real life hence a very attacking right full back i.e Dani Alves. It may not suit the players you are playing with. Also, the point of why I tried to re-create the tactic was to see if Barca's style was possible on the match engine, it is, as I showed with match agianst Valencia but it's not consistent. I guess you just have to accept the limitations within the match engine.

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Perhaps if playing against a 4-4-2, set your primary playmaker as a DM and target man (to feet) as the AM ..so that they get on the ball, the opposition midfield close them down, giving more space for your other midfielders?

I finished 10th with Swansea first season in the Prem but rarely dominated a match, although not that fussed because I had quite clearly players who aren't as good as Barca had in their system. A recent goal scored:

Signed some decent players in the summer so don't mind lack of progression in terms of results, just hoping I can now start to dominate some matches more often and see 'potential'

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I think the more interesting challenge would be achieving 70% with a lower league team. I'm Shrewsbury in my 3rd season and I'm in league one. Using this I managed to get 56% against top of the league Scunthorpe and draw 2-2. Ok now 56% isn't much but in the lower leagues is where real management is proven. I reckon with a few adjustments this could work for lower league teams.

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Kevin your tactic has been doing wonders for me, in the friendlies and first matches... (11.3 patch)

70-80% possession, great tikitaka visuals (greater than any other Barca tactic in forums), opposition creates very little chances, my team runs much less km witch means they dont tire so much, etc etc etc...Generally BRILLIANT JOB...I am in September and i know its to early to judge but, BRILLIANT JOB MATE...

and all this, with non-technical full backs and stoppers, with not great wingers, and with the deep lying forward beeing Vossen who has brilliant Mental and Finishing attributes but he is slow and NOT technical gifted...

the only good players i think i have are my 3 MCs...but not even close to Barca players...

if you want to know, my team is Panathinaikos, first year, and my basic eleven are : GK Ochoa, DR S.Toro, DCR Coates, DCL M.Gonzalez, DL Vyntra, DM Josue (Wolsburg), MCR Ninis, MCL J.Dos Santos, AMR Witsel, AML Tatos, ST Vossen...and 9 players of them recently arrived (transfered) !!!

i have two questions

1. what do you suggest against 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 where the tactic struggles? you ve written that we must free the "Buskets" position but i dont know how...

2. I see that the link says November 2010...Are you still working the tactic? Do you think it can be better?

again GREAT JOB MAN

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Kevin your tactic has been doing wonders for me, in the friendlies and first matches... (11.3 patch)

70-80% possession, great tikitaka visuals (greater than any other Barca tactic in forums), opposition creates very little chances, my team runs much less km witch means they dont tire so much, etc etc etc...Generally BRILLIANT JOB...I am in September and i know its to early to judge but, BRILLIANT JOB MATE...

and all this, with non-technical full backs and stoppers, with not great wingers, and with the deep lying forward beeing Vossen who has brilliant Mental and Finishing attributes but he is slow and NOT technical gifted...

the only good players i think i have are my 3 MCs...but not even close to Barca players...

if you want to know, my team is Panathinaikos, first year, and my basic eleven are : GK Ochoa, DR S.Toro, DCR Coates, DCL M.Gonzalez, DL Vyntra, DM Josue (Wolsburg), MCR Ninis, MCL J.Dos Santos, AMR Witsel, AML Tatos, ST Vossen...and 9 players of them recently arrived (transfered) !!!

i have two questions

1. what do you suggest against 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 where the tactic struggles? you ve written that we must free the "Buskets" position but i dont know how...

2. I see that the link says November 2010...Are you still working the tactic? Do you think it can be better?

again GREAT JOB MAN

I'm glad it works for you. For your first question, when "Busquets" is more marked and pressured, try dropping the "xavi" player (advanced playmaker support) in your team to a deep-lying playmaker support and reduce his mentality to 7 or 8. This helps because if the centre backs can't feed the ball to the "Busquets" player, then "xavi" is there as an extra option. Also, the reduced mentality can help keep the ball a little better.

For your second question, I haven't changed much apart from dropping Xavi's mentality and role, however certain player roles may not suit your players and you may want to experiment with different roles, for instance , the right back in my tactic (Dani Alves) has a very high mentality (20), you may want to change this if your right back isn't as good going forward or left back is better going forward etc.

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i forgot to mention that i ve already changed the DRs settings to the same as the DLs for the reason you say...;)

THANKS for "Busquets"...

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Ive noticed this tactic is brilliant but isnt as effective with smaller sides. I've read that thread but do you have any further suggestions kevin for lower league teams?

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@kevin3, I don't understand how you're getting so many passes to go through Busquets and Xavi. 100+ passes is insane.

I'm consistently getting over 70% of possession whilst winning games, but the most passes I'm getting Xavi to is about 60, with Iniesta, Busquets and the centre backs sometimes getting over 50. My full backs usually complete the most passes though, despite me using Xavi as playmaker and playing the ball through the middle. Low mentality, neutral tempo, width and time wasting. High defensive line, low mentality. I don't know what to do, any help from anyone?

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@kevin3, I don't understand how you're getting so many passes to go through Busquets and Xavi. 100+ passes is insane.

I'm consistently getting over 70% of possession whilst winning games, but the most passes I'm getting Xavi to is about 60, with Iniesta, Busquets and the centre backs sometimes getting over 50. My full backs usually complete the most passes though, despite me using Xavi as playmaker and playing the ball through the middle. Low mentality, neutral tempo, width and time wasting. High defensive line, low mentality. I don't know what to do, any help from anyone?

The reason I made the tactic was after the Barca vs Man Utd game, I wanted to see if it was at all possible to create their style, I managed it and I know now what the match engine can do and can't do. I'm not one of those that say "Download my tactic and you will play like Barca!" I was just experimenting to see what would happen, so it's not a perfect tactic and I don't claim it to be.

It's very rare to get to the 100 mark and only happens when the AI teams are defensive and put less pressure on your DMC and playmaker. If you're getting 70% consistently then I would'nt worry too much because it's not posssible to consistently get 100+ passes for a player, rarely happens in real life (except Barca of course). Basically though, you want Xavi coming deep and knitting play together, collecting it off defenders and laying short to nearby team-mates and receiving it again. The best role is deep-lying playmaker support with short passing and mixed through balls. He needs to be your set playmaker

My advice would be to play a slow tempo, reduce forward runs of certain players, reduce through balls, increase closing down and tight marking, reduce crosses and set goalkeeper distrubution to short. Also, I have corners, free-kicks and throw-ins to short and have players to come short on set-pieces, that can add some passes togther. The best way to improve tactics is to watch them in full-replay to see how your tactics are being implemented. It may be time consuming and boring but it will help a lot. Also, watching Barca play in real life and comparing it to how your tactics are set up can help loads too:)

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Yeah my initial idea was to create a tactic that averaged 65%+ possession which was pretty easy (with Barca of course). I've done lots of tweaking in previous games with big clubs so I already knew the basis of how to keep the ball in FM.

I actually downloaded your tactic the other day, but then changed so many things about it that it doesn't resemble it at all now :D I kept all the stuff you mentioned though, including things that I hadn't thought of like the gk distribution and short corners.

I've only played the friendlies, the two games against Sevilla and the opener against Racing Club anyway, so I've not got very many games to base anything on, but Abidal is always getting the most passes in the team, followed by Xavi and Iniesta and then the rest of the defence. Can't figure out how to sort this one :confused:

I've not watched any full games, just extended highlights, will try that out next. I like to play games slowly anyway, so it's not that bad. In the friendlies the only way I was losing the ball was when it was in the back of the net though :D

Kevin, the things I changed from your tactic were that I got rid of all the 'hold up ball' instructions, as I thought it might lead to more passes, changed some of the roaming (though can't remember what I changed exactly), much less creative freedom, especially for the full backs (Xavi, Iniesta and Messi's are still high) and lower mentalities.

One thing I'm going to try for the next game is to tick roaming for Xavi, hopefully he'll find space and more of the ball better, don't know why I didn't try this before.

Edit: I should also mention that I've cheated in that I've changed a fair amount of PPMs for some playing, getting rid of 'tries through balls' 'run with ball often/down the right', giving Messi 'comes deep to get ball' and gave some other players short passing ones, can't remember exactly what I did. I also gave Pedro a better positional rating at striker because my formation is a 4-1-2-3 (another thing I changed from yours).

Forgot to ask, what opposition instructions do you use, if any? I'm still trying to figure this part out, at the moment I'm doing closing down on every player except strikers, tight marking on any striker or midfielder that fits perfectly to be marked by someone.

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I've built a tactic based on what's been said here, with a rather defensive mentality, short passing, slow tempo, etc. and it's working very well. I'm averaging around 70% poession against every opposition, even the bigger teams in the Premier and Champions League. I'm playing as Chelsea.

There is however one massive problem: The team is creating very few chances and are therefore not scoring nearly enough goals. After 26 games in the league I've scored 37 goals. I've watched large periods of the game "live" and alot of the time the team is just passing the ball around the back 4 and the defensive midfielder. As for Barcelona they are passing the ball around further up the pitch and are therefore closer to the opposition goal to punce when the opportunity is there.

I realise that Chelseas players are nowhere near what's needed to pull this off, but I'm sure there is some way to tweak this to also allow the team to score goals. I'm sure that alot of you that have tried to replicate Barcelona with other teams in the game have had the same problems as I am having.

Please give me some pointers on what I can do to improve further :)

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Guys should head over to the Swansea team guide and have a look at how muhammadrizka plays his side. Getting over 80 successful passes for players like joe allen and britton:

Just like an usual possession setup.

Play short and slow, but not narrow. Just give normal width, so not too crowded in the middle, not too hard for the playmaker to find space.

From the back, play with high D-Line help me to keep the ball well. My defender will pushing support the midfield, and offer some save passing between them. But, would be very dangerous when offside trap fail. Still necessary risk.

In midfield, fluidity is the key. Make them moving around, make them hard to marked, but still keep the midfield shape. From the picture I post before, Leon Britton (MCr) play it simple, comes deep, be the link from back line to midfield. Then, a playmaker McEachran (MCl) more adventurous, that nearly every opponent man marked him and this really has a big impact on your passing. I have one way to at least make the playmaker more harder to man marked. Switch position with AMC Jonathan Viera.

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