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The Barcelona Style: My Interpretation

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That's not even near the levels we want and need :)

Hope we can get this level one day ;)

On FM2015 beta I'ts a complete nightmare. Most of time I got 40% possession, max 50-70 passes for my midfielders while opponent (Levante...) get their players to 130, 150 passes!!!

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Hope we can get this level one day ;)

On FM2015 beta I'ts a complete nightmare. Most of time I got 40% possession, max 50-70 passes for my midfielders while opponent (Levante...) get their players to 130, 150 passes!!!

Yeah, with United, the passing average is 77-86% but the possession is down to those levels. That's just pre-season though, and against poor teams. Against greyed-out Japanese teams, the opposition were netting almost 60% possession with 86% passes to my 75% passing... Was getting battered.

I'll put the figures here: (Manchester United btw all fixtures, away.)

Hanworth Villa: 10-1 / 65% possession, 84% passing (532 passes total), 4 CCC

Anderlecht: 2-0 / 52% possession, 81% passing (552 passes), 0 CCC

KV Kortrik: 2-0 / 55% possession, 75% passing (500 passes), 1 ccc (to their 2)

Tongeren: 10-1/ 62% possession, 85% passing (581 passes), 8 ccc

Antlers (Japan) 1-1 / 42% possession, 75% passesing (449 passes), 2ccc (They had 3 ccc and 82% pass accuracy)

Marinos (Japan) 1-1 / 41% possession, 76% passing (458 passes), 2ccc (They had 1 ccc and 86% pass accuracy) *we had ten men due to red card very early)

Cork................3-0/ 58% possession, 78% passing (545 passes), 3 ccc

St. Patricks 4-1/ 59% possession, 76% passing (505 passes), 8ccc

That's my pre-season in the game so far with the same set up and instructions, using a false 9 and half-back and minus short passing. Against average opposition, average possession. Against very weak opposition and I can hit 65%. The less said about the Japanese games, the better! hah.

*Edit: new matches*

From this point on I included "Play out from defence" and "Shorter passing" as I left them out originally.

Vs Everton (H) 1-0 54% possession, 78% passing (528 passes) 3 CCC,

Vs Gillingham (H) 3-0 55% possession, 81% passing (536), 4 CCC,

Vs Crystal Palace (H) 3-1, 63% possession, 84% passing (563), 3 CCC

Some things I noted;

The False 9 drops and the IF's tuck inside very, very early. Earlier than in FM14 I reckon, as such the formation is literally a 4-1-2-3 when in possession, with the Inside forwards holding position on the inside of the penalty area in generally, pushed up against the backline. The false 9 stays central and drops in the 'hole' basically.

Width is completely provided by the wing backs, if they don't get forward, there's nowhere to go but into the sea of bodies blocking off the trio upfront. Passing is mostly short, but the 'long balls' over the top are directed in the wide areas either to do one of two things;

1) Set an Inside Forward free and/or force a full back to go for a header.

2) To set the wing back free down the wing.

What happens because the IF's tuck inside is that the fullbacks seem to tuck in to help deal with them. That means when the defence holds possession they have two choices, going to the middle (and then wide) or going wide from the start. The wingbacks move forward, collect in miles of space and the opposition full back has to move forward and risk letting the inside forward have space. It's cool.

It works well enough, the trio in midfield stick very close together. Not many balls through the middle for the strikers, but the midfield trio do hold a lot of the possession, rather plenty of crosses, a lot of play going on the wings. I'm not sure if its because of the way Inside-forwards work now? I don't remember them cutting in that much on 14...

Wonder how it'll hold up against tougher opposition away from home. Got some interesting fixtures coming up so I'll keep playing. :D

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I'm nearly at the end of the first season and I also noticed and improvment in the possession and passing after changing the formation a little bit:

- I moved my full back to wing back position

- I set my DM to HalfBack instead of anchor man.

Here is my complete setup.

Tactic

barca_tactic.jpg

TI

barca_team.jpg

Roles are:

GB : SK / S

WBL : Complete wingback / A

DCL : Defender / D

DCR : Ball playing defender / D

WBR : Offensive wingback / S

MDC : Halfback

MCR : DLP / S

MCL : AP / A

IFL : Inside forward / S

IFR : Inside forward / A

BC : False Nine / S

Mentality is on control while fluidity is balanced.

I only use Work ball into box, Pass into space and Run at defence is some situations (see the llama3 guide).

I'm pretty satisfied by the results now. When in possession the team really look like a 3-4-3.

Average possession is now around 55 and 62% (with a 59% percent against Real at home). Passing is quite good. But all of this is not at the attended level (I hope 70% possession and more than 100 passes for my midfield trio).

One thing that must be worked : pressing. I'm not sure about the use of "Close down much more" instructions. I'm afraid that it will break my team shape and contradict with the "Stick to position" TI.

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Has anyone found the high press system easier to implement on FM15? Always struggled on last years game

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Continuing the stats from the above:

Versus / Possession

Everton : 54%

Gillingham: 55%

C.Palace : 63%

WBA (away): 50%

Burnley: 61%

Reading (away): 52%

Sunderland (away): 51%

QPR: 50%

Hull (away, down to 10 men): 50%

Swansea: 59%

Chelsea (away): 41%

Man City (away): 45%

Aston Villa: 52%

Liverpool (away): 52%

Arsenal: 54%

Chelsea (away): 58%

Newcastle: 53%

West Ham (away): 60%

Southampton: 64%

Leicester (away): 55%

Stoke: 61%

Everton (away): 53%

Everton: 57%

Spurs: 60%

Only defeat is the away 41% one, 1-2. Every other game was a win or a draw. The Chelsea, away, 58% one was a 4-3 whooper.

Additional note; Often the first half is a superb 60% possession held. Then the second half, the manager kicks them up the arse, my team get lazy and the whole possession drops even if there's no real chances being made by the opposition. Newcastle for example, first half 63% possession, full time 53% a full 10% drop.

Some of those stats are hilarious, QPR bagging 50% possession against me. Still, that's my progress so far.

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Since we all tend to think about low or very low tempo playing possession, here's what the master of possession has to say about the issue:

Interviewer: What’s the importance to you as the coach of the tempo at which the game is played? The speed?

Pep: I will like to play in a high high speed. To change the rhythm you must play at a huge speed, because It’s only when you play with a huge speed that you can change the rhythm. You have to try to stay aggressive without the ball and with the ball we try to play quickly but in the right moment to make a change in rhythm.

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Since we all tend to think about low or very low tempo playing possession, here's what the master of possession has to say about the issue:

Interviewer: What’s the importance to you as the coach of the tempo at which the game is played? The speed?

Pep: I will like to play in a high high speed. To change the rhythm you must play at a huge speed, because It’s only when you play with a huge speed that you can change the rhythm. You have to try to stay aggressive without the ball and with the ball we try to play quickly but in the right moment to make a change in rhythm.

That seems to contradict this thread?

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There's a difference in terms it seems here.. by high tempo are you meaning getting it up the field to the strikers as fast as possible? Or patiently passing it around looking for space, only with high tempo passing..

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My main problem here, is that my players (I play with Barcelona), insist on doing long shots constantly, despite me doing everything in my power, to instruct them not to.

In FM14 I managed to create a tactic where my players would practically walk the ball over the line in the opponents goal, which various managers commented on to the press during the years I played. But in FM15, they refuse to do anything remotely like that. Instead they shoot from way outside the box, resulting in a LOT of shots off target.

I'm at a loss.

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There's a difference in terms it seems here.. by high tempo are you meaning getting it up the field to the strikers as fast as possible? Or patiently passing it around looking for space, only with high tempo passing..

That's what I call passing with high tempo but with less risk (foot to foot, with one-twos). Getting it up the field to the strikers would be a lot more Counter mentality and pass into space.

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My main problem here, is that my players (I play with Barcelona), insist on doing long shots constantly, despite me doing everything in my power, to instruct them not to.

In FM14 I managed to create a tactic where my players would practically walk the ball over the line in the opponents goal, which various managers commented on to the press during the years I played. But in FM15, they refuse to do anything remotely like that. Instead they shoot from way outside the box, resulting in a LOT of shots off target.

I'm at a loss.

Maybe you're moving the ball around to slow, which facilitates the task of the opposition just sitting deeper.

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Just a quick thought, does the new Raumdeuter role better represent the wide role that Pedro and Villa played rather than an inside forward. To me it seems that they were more focused on making the off ball runs to get onto the through balls from Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta than picking the ball up and running inside at the defense.

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No not the thread, only the idea of slowly moving the ball around

IRL it is possible to pass the ball quickly while progressing slowly forward at the same time. I'm not sure if and how such thing is possible in FM.

Just a quick thought, does the new Raumdeuter role better represent the wide role that Pedro and Villa played rather than an inside forward. To me it seems that they were more focused on making the off ball runs to get onto the through balls from Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta than picking the ball up and running inside at the defense.

So far in my limited experience with the new role, my answer is no. Maybe Villa at times played as Raumdeuter, but Pedro is more of an Inside Forward and perhaps even Winger. In truth, the new role doesn't defend that much and Villa/Pedro both pressed and tracked back more than I've seen the role allow so far.

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IRL it is possible to pass the ball quickly while progressing slowly forward at the same time. I'm not sure if and how such thing is possible in FM.

So far in my limited experience with the new role, my answer is no. Maybe Villa at times played as Raumdeuter, but Pedro is more of an Inside Forward and perhaps even Winger. In truth, the new role doesn't defend that much and Villa/Pedro both pressed and tracked back more than I've seen the role allow so far.

I would say a less aggressive mentality and higher tempo. If wwfan's idea is still valid in FM15, than counter - which is a mentality with a lot less risk - with a high tempo would do. The team transition is more horizontal than vertical, passing, passing, always passing and with a lot of one-twos (wonder why this does not exist as a PI :confused:) and less pass into space.

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I would say a less aggressive mentality and higher tempo. If wwfan's idea is still valid in FM15, than counter - which is a mentality with a lot less risk - with a high tempo would do. The team transition is more horizontal than vertical, passing, passing, always passing and with a lot of one-twos (wonder why this does not exist as a PI :confused:) and less pass into space.

Well, from what I've seen the passing is mostly horizontal in FM15, I think what has changed that affects the passing now, is that the wide players tuck in a lot more earlier than they did on previous instalments. Very often, my midfield trio (HB/DLP/AP) will ping-pong around the triangle inching up the field. The F9 drops in to become a 'diamond' and the IF's just bugger off and tuck in.

Basically my observations in 14 was the IF's stayed wider, by the touchline before cutting in. In 15 they stand just 'inside' the penalty area but still outside of the box and slightly ahead of the F9. They tend to be effectively marked out by the backline, up to and until the wing backs bomb forward. That's when passing into space comes into play, some fantastic passes spread out wide for the attack.

I think on that observation, really the tactic works as WWFAN's original post intended, because as he says there, good WB's are fundamental to the tactic.

Also I think Counter mentality is correct, and implements the change in tempo necessary as it ramps it up to eleven when the opportunity arises. I think extra modifications to raising the tempo may result in more possession being lost.

Personally, I think the formation/tactic works quite well. The only things I'd seriously think about changing in 15 is the two new roles; the Roaming Playmaker and the Raumdeter, I wonder if either the DLP or the AP should be switched to a Roaming Playmaker. I'm not familiar enough with Barcelona to know if either of their playmakers under Pep did the whole 'craft from deep and roam forward' method.

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Well, from what I've seen the passing is mostly horizontal in FM15, I think what has changed that affects the passing now, is that the wide players tuck in a lot more earlier than they did on previous instalments. Very often, my midfield trio (HB/DLP/AP) will ping-pong around the triangle inching up the field. The F9 drops in to become a 'diamond' and the IF's just bugger off and tuck in.

Basically my observations in 14 was the IF's stayed wider, by the touchline before cutting in. In 15 they stand just 'inside' the penalty area but still outside of the box and slightly ahead of the F9. They tend to be effectively marked out by the backline, up to and until the wing backs bomb forward. That's when passing into space comes into play, some fantastic passes spread out wide for the attack.

I think on that observation, really the tactic works as WWFAN's original post intended, because as he says there, good WB's are fundamental to the tactic.

Also I think Counter mentality is correct, and implements the change in tempo necessary as it ramps it up to eleven when the opportunity arises. I think extra modifications to raising the tempo may result in more possession being lost.

Personally, I think the formation/tactic works quite well. The only things I'd seriously think about changing in 15 is the two new roles; the Roaming Playmaker and the Raumdeter, I wonder if either the DLP or the AP should be switched to a Roaming Playmaker. I'm not familiar enough with Barcelona to know if either of their playmakers under Pep did the whole 'craft from deep and roam forward' method.

i'll still be using a counter mentality for tough matches with possession TI :-) against stronger teams its great.

As for the roaming playmaker I have serious doubts: by default he will create gaps that might be dangerous, so i would stick with the dlp but with several ppm. As for the Raumdeuter, also serious doubts: as written he occupies the space but it's not a role we can count for closing down and defending.

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This is FM is getting worse for possession style :-( great although with fast transitions

I agree with you mate. I've been reading tactical guides (Cleon's, Ilama's, WWfan's) and trying different kind of possession style but to no avail. In fact, FM2014 is also bad at possession style football. I enjoyed myself playing FM2013 whereby my team really played the possession style reminiscent of Barca. i can muster between 70% and above for possession.

By the way, is our ability in playing a possession style football maybe due to the fact that SI has made changes to the way calculation is made for possession..?!! I'm saying this because when i watch the match in 3d at full duration, ie 90 minutes, it seems that my team is playing the short passes, high pressured style and have been controlling the game which deserves 70% or more for possession. However, when i take a look at the statistics, it only showed that i'm controlling between 59-65% of possession. Quite a sad fact i took away the enjoyment of playing FM. :(

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I agree with you mate. I've been reading tactical guides (Cleon's, Ilama's, WWfan's) and trying different kind of possession style but to no avail. In fact, FM2014 is also bad at possession style football. I enjoyed myself playing FM2013 whereby my team really played the possession style reminiscent of Barca. i can muster between 70% and above for possession.

By the way, is our ability in playing a possession style football maybe due to the fact that SI has made changes to the way calculation is made for possession..?!! I'm saying this because when i watch the match in 3d at full duration, ie 90 minutes, it seems that my team is playing the short passes, high pressured style and have been controlling the game which deserves 70% or more for possession. However, when i take a look at the statistics, it only showed that i'm controlling between 59-65% of possession. Quite a sad fact i took away the enjoyment of playing FM. :(

One of the mods will be in to confirm/correct me but I believe it was mentioned that in FM possession is strictly counted by the time spent in possession. Whereas in real life it's counted by the passes made.

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Time in possession is what causes the possession stat.

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One of the mods will be in to confirm/correct me but I believe it was mentioned that in FM possession is strictly counted by the time spent in possession. Whereas in real life it's counted by the passes made.
Time in possession is what causes the possession stat.

Thanks isignedupfornorealreason and llama for the confirmation.

So, if this is how SI calculate possession, can i assume that in order for me to have higher rate of possession, i should have used the Team Instructions of Take a Breather rather than Shorter Passing and Retain Possession as taking a breather will cause my team to hold on to the ball even longer...?

Thank you.

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Retaining Possession and using the ball sensibly is ultimately what keeps you on the ball. Reducing tempo is more useful than Take a Breather, as it's a shout that isn't meant for continuous use.

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since this thread was about fm12 it would be nice to have an update from wwfan... or llama... or cleon... or rtherringbone ;)

>_> Well not much has really changed about it; WWFA updated it to include the F9 and Half-back but really it's still a brutally effective tactic.

On 15, I went all the way to March before I lost in the league with this set up just using the stock settings in the first post. The only thing that's changed is the possession ratio.

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>_> Well not much has really changed about it; WWFA updated it to include the F9 and Half-back but really it's still a brutally effective tactic.

On 15, I went all the way to March before I lost in the league with this set up just using the stock settings in the first post. The only thing that's changed is the possession ratio.

where is that update ???

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The only thing that's changed is the possession ratio.

Indeed. The changes in the possession ratio is what is killing me off of my enjoyment for FM2015. Even though i do see short passing and retaintion of the ball in the 3D match engine most of the time, but looking at my team's possession rate really broke my heart. How i wish the possession rate can be as good as in FM2013, whereby i'm enjoying almost 70% of possession most of the time with my team. Sigh... :(

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Forgot to say that I still don't like the F9 in the game, didn't like it in FM14 and although it has improve it's a role that wastes to many long shots even when he has good passing options. And this happens no matter the mentality or the team shape. Its terrible seeing almost permanently long shots.

As for possession, it seems more rigid fluidity works better than more fluid.

Another curious thing: in FM14 I set this wwfan interpretation and I had very good results, the curious thing was that against strong teams I had about 65% possession, against weaker teams than mine the possession would drop about 8%

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where is that update ???

Back on page 4:

It's the thread that never dies!

I'd agree that you could use the FM14 roles as suggested. The remainder of the OP is still very relevant.

regarding the use of false 9 and Half-back.

Basically just do this:

SK/S

WB/A

CD/X (stopper)

CD/C (cover)

HB/D

DLP/S

AP/A

IF/A

IF/A

F9/S

BPD can be used instead of CD if you have the player for it.

Mentality: Counter / Balance (flexible)

Shouts:

Shorter Passing,

Roam From Positions,

More expressive

(Those three taken from the 'adjustments' which, have been removed from FM13-15, you could use sliders in 11 obviously; The first one is a given, the other two are more or less optional however.)

Shouts WWFAN says to use in original post:

Retain Possession,

Pass into space,

Work Ball into Box,

Push higher up,

Hassle opponents (Close down more in 15),

Stay on Feet

That's it, auto-win mode activated with a decent team. As noted in the original post, you want to spend money and spend big on the wing-backs, ESPECIALLY in 15, where they are more effective than the midfield trio at the moment.

Indeed. The changes in the possession ratio is what is killing me off of my enjoyment for FM2015. Even though i do see short passing and retaintion of the ball in the 3D match engine most of the time, but looking at my team's possession rate really broke my heart. How i wish the possession rate can be as good as in FM2013, whereby i'm enjoying almost 70% of possession most of the time with my team. Sigh... :(

Aye, shame isn't it.

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My possession stats with Barcelona:

67% 4-0 Elche (443 completed/515 Passes)

56% 2-1 Villareal Away (367/454)

59% 3-0 Atletic Home (510/585)

57% 1-1 Juventus Away (435/533)

62% 4-0 Levante Away (506/585)

61% 4-0 Malaga Away (484/587)

65% 5-0 Granada (383/446)

64% 2-0 Besiktas Home ( 543/617)

59% 3-0 Rayo Away (560/666)

60% 3-0 Eibar Home (462/515)

71% 3-0 Salzburg Home (718/785) (wait what?!, no Messi no Iniesta whole game, Xavi 139 Passes - 133 completed, Rakitic 132-119)

60% 2-2 Real Away(515/607)

Changed TI to High Tempo somewhat after the Juventus game, as i felt it was better for the amount of passes. Also Stick-to-Position and Be More Disciplined as i feel the midfield playmakers cluster too much when theyre allowed to roam (Wingers are allowed to).

My tactics are now on full fimiliar, will now continue to look at it. I also got a spin-off tactic with Messi as a second striker, so Dani Alves can push up the whole flank, tried out inverted wingbacks, too. And i dont know about the Half-Back, he somewhat helps the team, somewhat doesnt see enough passes in my opinion.

EDIT: Messi is my first choice for the Trequartista (False Nine), that he is on the wing on the screenshot, has to do with the named spin-off tactic i used against real madrid, where he is on the right side.

sAxaQJ2.jpg

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Hi guys!

I had a lot of sucess with my version of this formation as Valencia in FM14.

I started playing FM15 last night in Brazilian 3rd Div. I'm trying to use the same formation, but in a more suited way for a 3rd div team.

So far, so good... each match the team is playing better and I'm also tweaking on some things, mainly TIs.

About the new roles, from what I heard of them, both aren't good options. I'd never give up on the DLP-s, as he makes the DM play more safely. I was using the AP-a as a CM-a, as I wanted for him to get closer to the striker. So, this would be the only option for the RPM, but I think he won't be where we need him to be.

And about the raumdeuter, he would lack the def coverage this formation needs. I would stick to the IF.

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Recreating this in FM15, I was thinking along the lines of a symetrical formation (4-3-3) but with non-symetrical roles on the wings, as Dani Alves was always more attacking than the DL, and Villa was more goal-oriented than the AMR.

So I would suggest this:

GK: sweeper keeper (s)

DR: wing back (a)

DC: ball-playing defender (x)

DC: central defender ©

DL: wing back (s)

DM: half back (d)

CM: advanced playmaker (a)

CM: roaming playmaker (s)

AMR: inside forward (s)

AML: inside forward (a)

ST: false nine (s)

I have some doubts regarding some roles:

1) the sweeper keeper may be best on another duty but that requires watching him play to be sure. We want him to come out of the goal - therefore the sweeper role - but we don't want him to kick the ball upfield. So if we can still play a short passing game in the support duty, that should be fine;

2) the ball-playing defender role is to match Piqué's passing ability but just like the GK we don't want him to be very adventurous so if he's trying too may through balls then he should just be a simple central defender;

3) the roaming playmaker role is what seems to suit Xavi best, because he is a presence in every moment of the attacking process, not just a reference in the middle of the pitch. He should be instructed to get near the ball as much as possible

4) the advanced playmaker (a) role is the one that I'm more unsure of. We need a CM to come forward and occupy the areas near the box.

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4) the advanced playmaker (a) role is the one that I'm more unsure of. We need a CM to come forward and occupy the areas near the box.

I agree. That's why I don't usually have him on APM-a.

The pair I think works the best is DLP-s and CM-a. Another option would be B2B.

And how is the HB working for you? I didn't like it when I used it. I ended up switching to DM-d, as he still stays closer to the DLP. The HB would get too far from the midfield on FM14. Defensively, he still helps a lot.

An other option there would be the DLP-d (maybe Rakitic, as he was playing on the Croatia national team).

Anyways, I'm not playing as Barça.

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^On 15 the half back stays as the bottom of the diamond in possession, so he offers the backward exit if possession gets bogged down.

Recreating this in FM15, I was thinking along the lines of a symetrical formation (4-3-3) but with non-symetrical roles on the wings, as Dani Alves was always more attacking than the DL, and Villa was more goal-oriented than the AMR.

So I would suggest this:

GK: sweeper keeper (s)

DR: wing back (a)

DC: ball-playing defender (x)

DC: central defender ©

DL: wing back (s)

DM: half back (d)

CM: advanced playmaker (a)

CM: roaming playmaker (s)

AMR: inside forward (s)

AML: inside forward (a)

ST: false nine (s)

I have some doubts regarding some roles:

1) the sweeper keeper may be best on another duty but that requires watching him play to be sure. We want him to come out of the goal - therefore the sweeper role - but we don't want him to kick the ball upfield. So if we can still play a short passing game in the support duty, that should be fine;

2) the ball-playing defender role is to match Piqué's passing ability but just like the GK we don't want him to be very adventurous so if he's trying too may through balls then he should just be a simple central defender;

3) the roaming playmaker role is what seems to suit Xavi best, because he is a presence in every moment of the attacking process, not just a reference in the middle of the pitch. He should be instructed to get near the ball as much as possible

4) the advanced playmaker (a) role is the one that I'm more unsure of. We need a CM to come forward and occupy the areas near the box.

I would assume the roaming playmaker gets in and around the box and so should be ok with the AP. I was considering the roaming playmaker alongside a DLP/S so both start deep and move up accordingly, but I'm not sure.

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I would assume the roaming playmaker gets in and around the box and so should be ok with the AP. I was considering the roaming playmaker alongside a DLP/S so both start deep and move up accordingly, but I'm not sure.

But then you would get to little support up front. I don't know... I don't think the roaming PM is a good idea in this formation.

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I would assume the roaming playmaker gets in and around the box and so should be ok with the AP. I was considering the roaming playmaker alongside a DLP/S so both start deep and move up accordingly, but I'm not sure.
A roaming playmaker + deep-lying playmaker combo seems to be a pair that will not get into 'shooting' areas.

Since the RP is basically a box-to-box midfielder with playmaking responsabilities, he comes deep to get the ball. Why the need to have a DLP do the same?

I think the hardest part in this setup is getting the Xavi-Iniesta pair right. We want Xavi to be always near the ball. He doesn't need to start or to finish attacking moves, but 99% of the times he will get the ball somewhere during the play. That's why I went with the RP role for him. As a DLP (s) I fear he will not follow Inieste and the front 3 when they are near the box.

As for Iniesta, we want him to be the midfielder that links to the front 3. He doesn't need to drop deep, he waits until the ball has passed the halfway line. So, for me, the DLP option is out because of this.

I considered a CM (a) role for him but the problem is he might venture too far up the pitch while the ball is being passed around around the box. We don't want him to attack the box until the ball is there. That's why I chose him to be a AP (a).

But of course saying it here and then watching it in the game might be two different things. :D

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I think the hardest part in this setup is getting the Xavi-Iniesta pair right.

The Xavi-Iniesta part really bugs me out in Football Manager. Also Busquets is important to the midfield creating a triangle that can pass the ball around. The setup i use right now is: Xavi (DLP-S (sometimes DLP-D)), Iniesta (AP-S(sometimes AP-A)), Busquets(Half Back).

Xavi should be the guy that builds up the play, i dont have real interest getting him in really dangerous positions, as i feel keeping the ball in fm is hard enough when you have no outlets. DLP-S is what i used mainly in fm2013-14 for Xavi, i can see the RP opening up new opportunities, but didnt try it out on Xavi yet.

Iniesta is on a support duty as i feel that he gets cut off too much with an attack duty. And his mind is not supportive enough in the opponents half.

Busquets is really hard, you can see that every role could suit Busquets, if it plays out right in the match engine. Im using a half back so that busquets splits up my central defenders so i use more room in my defense and have more room for Xavi and Iniesta, although the half back gets forward on his own.

The main problem i encounter for the midfield is: The midfield players dont create space for themselves. For example, when the ball is on the left flank (happens all the time in this match engine because of the amount of wing back, winger runs regardless of their player role), both Iniesta and Xavi will move extremely far to the left flank. The space in the middle is not occupied in any means. With roaming duties(Player Instructions) this gets even more obscure in which Iniesta and Xavi occupy exactly the same space. I could show you screenshots where they literally stand on each others feet, every minute. Thats why i switched TIs to Be more Disclipined and Stick to position.

There is the same problem with Xavi and Busquets, they dont want to make space for themselves in the build up play: If you play Busquets as (DLP-D, Regista, HB) they stick to the same spaces again, when the goal keeper distributes the ball to the defense. I tried DM on busquets but not for too long, maybe ill have another look on that.

Also when Busquets gets to the centre spot the triangle of Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets gets so close to each other that they isolate play in the middle, because they attract the defenders that are a threat to every one of them 3 because they dont have any space in between them. Also the range and success rate of slide tackles in the match engine gives that triangle a massive disadvantage.

Oh also my play will get more and more restricted to long shots because my players have more interest in doing long shots than doing a pass back, this leads to a high amount of goals due to set pieces. Ive seen maybe 5 goals in fm2015 that were extremely good played out, with decisive short passing and players that occupy spaces on their own.

So far for the midfield problem...

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A roaming playmaker + deep-lying playmaker combo seems to be a pair that will not get into 'shooting' areas.

Since the RP is basically a box-to-box midfielder with playmaking responsabilities, he comes deep to get the ball. Why the need to have a DLP do the same?

I think the hardest part in this setup is getting the Xavi-Iniesta pair right. We want Xavi to be always near the ball. He doesn't need to start or to finish attacking moves, but 99% of the times he will get the ball somewhere during the play. That's why I went with the RP role for him. As a DLP (s) I fear he will not follow Inieste and the front 3 when they are near the box.

As for Iniesta, we want him to be the midfielder that links to the front 3. He doesn't need to drop deep, he waits until the ball has passed the halfway line. So, for me, the DLP option is out because of this.

I considered a CM (a) role for him but the problem is he might venture too far up the pitch while the ball is being passed around around the box. We don't want him to attack the box until the ball is there. That's why I chose him to be a AP (a).

But of course saying it here and then watching it in the game might be two different things. :D

Yes, over on another site there's a load of pictures and comparisions of the Roaming playmaker playing in both DM and Cm slots. He gets into the box as another outlet for scoring. Of course, the role is new so there's no authoritative guide on it yet but I was very impressed at how they started literally from the DM position then surged all the way into the opposition box finding space for the attack.

There's no issue with the DLP not following the ball, in the DLP/AP combo on 15 they're both quite high up the pitch, both getting into scoring positions as well.

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After a bit more analysis I've come up with a setup that I think is the most balanced so far:

Mentality: Counter

Team shape: Flexible

Team instructions:

Retain possession

Pass into space

Work ball into box

Push higher up

Close down more

Stay on feet

I'm leaving 'Roam from positions' and 'Be more expressive' unticked because I'm in the lower leagues so I don't want a lot of unnecessary and inefficient flamboyancy.

Roles and duties:

GK: Sweeper keeper (s) - I'll add the PI 'Distribute to centre backs' if he's hoofing the ball up front

DR: Wing back (a)

DCr: Central defender (d)

DCl: Central defender (d) - No stopper/cover deal as I don't like stoppers exploring areas that should be covered by the DM

DL: Wing back (s)

DM: Defensive midfielder (d) - Half back role probably isn't the best choice after all, as Busquets only dropped between the CBs occasionally

MCr: Deep lying playmaker (s)

MCl: Advanced playmaker (a)

AMR: Inside forward (s)

AML: Inside forward (a)

ST: False nine (s)

I'm using wing backs and inside forwards on alternating duties because: 1) It replicates better what Barça did with Alves/Pedro and Abidal/Villa; and 2) I wanted to keep defensive balance in the midfield and not have the same players doing the same movements symetrically

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This False 9 is still terrible, wastes to many long shots when he has passing options.
Indeed he does. So a Trequartista would be the other option? Note that I intend on using a 'real' striker. I'm saying this because I was thinking of using a deep lying forawrd or even a complete forward, but they would probably still be too far ahead.

edit: I had 20 shots last match, 15 were long shots... I checked the stats and half of them were from the false 9, the other half were from the AP(a) who has the PPM 'Shoots from distance' so that makes sense. The following match I changed the False 9 to a Trequartista and even though he doesn't press as much he also didn't shoot from far which was the objective.

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The Treq. would not be an option because he doesn't close down. The thing is to worl some ppm for the False 9 until SI fixes this issue with the long shots... assuming SI will fix it

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Indeed he does. So a Trequartista would be the other option? Note that I intend on using a 'real' striker. I'm saying this because I was thinking of using a deep lying forawrd or even a complete forward, but they would probably still be too far ahead.

edit: I had 20 shots last match, 15 were long shots... I checked the stats and half of them were from the false 9, the other half were from the AP(a) who has the PPM 'Shoots from distance' so that makes sense. The following match I changed the False 9 to a Trequartista and even though he doesn't press as much he also didn't shoot from far which was the objective.

I would go with DLF-s or CF-s, depending on the player.

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I opened up a thread on the Bugs section about the False nine shooting from distance too often. If you want to contribute you can add PKMs where this happens. If SI get enough examples they will most likely fix it as soon as possible :thup:

[15.1.3] False nine shoots from distance too often [Reviewed]

Hi kingjericho, thanks for the uploads. Having a look at your examples it seems like you may have a valid issue here. If you are able to upload any further examples that would be really appreciated as once I have enough evidence I can put a report together. I will also try to play some games with a false nine and see how my experience goes. Thanks

Good catch.

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I opened up a thread on the Bugs section about the False nine shooting from distance too often. If you want to contribute you can add PKMs where this happens. If SI get enough examples they will most likely fix it as soon as possible :thup:

[15.1.3] False nine shoots from distance too often [Reviewed]

Read that thread of yours, great work :applause: Let's see if SI give us some fix on that issue.

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I set up IF (s), CF (a), IF (s). Thought one of the IF could be with an attack duty but I find it ti become too selfish player, always searching for the cut inside and just shoots even when having passing options.

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