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Muller's 2nd Start

Honestly, this is legit, I'm not that sort of FMer or that good at Photoshop!

Alright, Leeds are in the Championship and this next example is against Fulham who are also languishing in the Championship but here goes for Muller's 2nd competitive start of his Southampton career...

Fulham vs Southampton - FA Cup 4th Rnd 30th Jan 2021

Muller-vs-Fulham-GoalOne.jpg

It took him 25 minutes to open the scoring, this time from a cross. Both reports after his two starts have commented on his aerial prowess contributing towards his accomplished performance.

Muller-vs-Fulham-GoalTwo.jpg

Fast forward to minute 79 and a tired and beaten Fulham can't handle sub Rudenok running at them and then the Meatball bustling his way between 3 defenders to slot home.

Final reckoning - 9.40, 2 gls and MOM.

2 starts, 4 gls, 2 MOM.

If only every new signing bedded in so well.

which tactic is it ?

In both these examples I've given my 4312 a run out although both were slightly different from each other...

Great start! What roles did you give the front 3?

In the first example I went with:

Muller - TGM/Att - The Spearhead

Bangoura - CF/Supp - The Velocista (sort-of)

Lallana - IF/Att - The Rapier

Against Leeds I used Wilshere and Shelvey alongside Old in midfield so had some creativity in midfield so didn't mind not using a specific creative role up top (their respective creativity is 16' date='14 & 17 so as a unit they are hardly lacking). Aging Lallana is still best running at people (belying his attributes) and the creativity/flair combo is deadly on occasion so I wanted him pushing forward which is why he gets ahead of Muller in the 2nd goal example.

Muller as target-man actually has loads of creative freedom so, despite not having roaming checked, he roams quite a lot. Seems to like moving wide which I'm not mad keen on but that might settle down as he learns the tactics and gels with the squad.

[i']In this latest example against Fulham:[/i]

Muller - TGM/Att - Spearhead

Bangoura - CF/Supp - Velocista

Kovacic - TQ/Att - Fantastista

This is one of 2 preferred setups for the trio up-front, the other includes Rudenok (which I'll explain in a bit) but Rudenok is on dreadful form so I've slated him and dropped him for a bit (it's not all his fault but I'll elaborate shortly).

This is probably the classic triplet that AC Milan used well with Ibrahimovic, Pato/Robinho, Cassano/Robinho. My players are similar with a big, slowish technical creative guy leading the line, a fast but all-round guy alongside with a more creative force behind. With 3 strung across midfield (I picked 3 hard-workers to compensate for the TQ) these 3 can be pretty free to do what they like so there are plenty of options in how to use the combination of players/roles.

Given that I won the game 7-0 (Fulham are pretty dire, how they are holding on to 13th in the Champ is beyond me) it worked well. This is from playing no more aggressive than Standard but getting selection and motivation right.

In both examples the roles selected are done so partly to match the players and partly to match how I want to attack the opposition. If you've read any of my other threads you'll know I take a pretty gestalt approach to tactics i.e. nothing in isolation, everything is connected.

So, Rudenok...

Although he is my star I'll accept that he is a fairly limited player and when he goes on a poor run of form, well, he really does. He is in that slump (I should say 'was'). This is partly because he is playing wide right with an injury to Luiz whereas at the start of the season he has been in sparkling form more centrally. With my switch to more dominant tactics rather than my usual smash-and-grab approach he is finding that his style is becoming more and more of a conflict with my team instructions when he plays wide right - not so through the middle.

So, with his poor form I've dropped him. He is consummately professional so should take it on the chin. Left out completely for the Leeds game in the Mickey Mouse cup he is on the bench for this game. I should be winning anyway so it's hardly a bold selection choice - more an opportunity to try and pick up a player.

After 60 mins or so I'm 3 or 4 goals to 0 up and on comes Rudenok for Bangoura and I initially swap like-for-like so he plays the Complete Forward-Support role in the hope that he'll fly around the focal point of Muller and wreak havoc.

It's hardly convincing and whilst the 10 mins or so I gave him are hardly proof I don't think Rudenok is able to play with such creative freedom (check out his attributes in the OP). So I swap him with Muller and end up with this configuration which is philosophically the same:

Rudenok - Poacher/Att - Spearhead (with pace rather than power although Rudenok possesses both - Rossi rather than Ibra if you will)

Muller - DLF or CF/Supp - Not a traditional Velocista but more of a creative, deep guy (I can't remember whether I put him as DLF or CF but it doesn't really matter - the role I want is slightly withdrawn from the other striker)

Kovacic - TQ/Att

With this setup Muller should be able to handle being slightly withdrawn and using his technical and mental attributes whereas Rudenok is tasked solely with getting on the end of things - something he excels at.

To cut an already long story short, in a 30 minute cameo in a game that is already won an out-of-form striker notches an 8.6 with 2 gls and 1 assist, did I mention he is a consummate professional? I'm also hoping that he is no longer out-of-form.

Great thread this. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I'll definitely be bookmarking it.

Top man

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I'm going to give the tactic it's own thread when I've used it a bit more and fleshed out some more of the options but, for now, here's a taster of some of the play that it creates:

[video=youtube;dfj9QkQyQFY]

Link Here

My favorite bits:

Goal 2 - Kovacic (TQ/Att)

Tactically this is a beauty. Loads going on movement wise (the highlight isn't quite long enough, needs to start probably 5 secs earlier). Midfield movement, Muller pulling wide in an effort to drag a defender, doesn't happen but Kovacic finds space anyway, Bangoura dropping deeper to receive the ball, turn and play it, FB's sniffing an attack, central MC dropping off. Loads going on.

Goal 4 - Bangoura (CF/Supp)

A nice pass by Shelvey but nothing too spectacular about this one by itself but bear in mind that the instructions are identical to those in Goal 2 where Bangoura was playing deeper and being the creator, this time he crops up with a traditional poacher/advanced forward role by testing the defensive line and running in behind.

That for a narrow formation plenty is created directly from width. I think there are two headed goals - my previous vid against Villa I think got 1/2 headed goals when I used this formation too - plus more from the aftermath of a decent cross which is pretty amazing because apparently the ME doesn't produce goals from crosses very often ;) Oh, and my FB's aren't great at crossing either! (Although there are some units in the middle)

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furiousuk that's fantastic. Muller is really great player. I'm also creating a 4-3-1-2 but in some older FM version. I have 2 questions: You use your 2 MC's as adv playmakers right? And i suppose that you also use attacking FB's to provide some width? Thank you.

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In midfield I actually use b2b/s - dlp/d - b2b-s and I've stuck with that so far. The idea being that creativity flows through the centre - through dlp and tq whilst MCr and MCl are more industrious (depends on the player though).

My fullbacks are full-backs with , I think, an attack duty. It might be support but they do get forward a lot, however I think they probably would with a support duty due to their attributes and due to the space.

The fun bit so far has been playing with combo of three up top. How have you assigned them roles? (or sort of roles if you're using th sliders)

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Could be a while, depends how much FM I can get done to try it out, I'm not using it as my primary tactic (although the last couple of results are persuading me it might be a good idea!)

I think I'll write up my thoughts on it and develop with help from e community and then maybe release it as a download. To be honest I normally go into quite a bit of detail so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure it out and adapt for your own needs. There's already an excellent 4312 thread on here.

I like to put in a lot of info so it might take a couple of weeks to get written up but watch this space as I continue to develop it. Don't even know if it'll work well with my players yet (looks like it probably will tho)

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In midfield I actually use b2b/s - dlp/d - b2b-s and I've stuck with that so far. The idea being that creativity flows through the centre - through dlp and tq whilst MCr and MCl are more industrious (depends on the player though).

My fullbacks are full-backs with , I think, an attack duty. It might be support but they do get forward a lot, however I think they probably would with a support duty due to their attributes and due to the space.

The fun bit so far has been playing with combo of three up top. How have you assigned them roles? (or sort of roles if you're using th sliders)

Thanks...Well i've been playing with my Arsenal save in FM08. I'm already in 2040 ( yes it is a really old save lol). Because it is FM08 i have some limitations, mainly in the forwards positions because there is no wide play available...

So for the fullbacks i've been using them with an attack duty, so they act more like wingers. My dmc is a dpl/d and my 2 mc's are adv playmakers but one of them with forward runs rarely. My amc, i've been using between trequartista and att midfielder/s ( i dont know yet which one is best). For the strikers i've been using them on the wings with arrows to the striker position and both with inside forward attacking role.Except for my defenders and dmc, all of them have roam from position ticked. Fluid philosophy and control strategy.

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I'm going to give the tactic it's own thread when I've used it a bit more and fleshed out some more of the options but, for now, here's a taster of some of the play that it creates:

[video=youtube;dfj9QkQyQFY]

Link Here

My favorite bits:

Goal 2 - Kovacic (TQ/Att)

Tactically this is a beauty. Loads going on movement wise (the highlight isn't quite long enough, needs to start probably 5 secs earlier). Midfield movement, Muller pulling wide in an effort to drag a defender, doesn't happen but Kovacic finds space anyway, Bangoura dropping deeper to receive the ball, turn and play it, FB's sniffing an attack, central MC dropping off. Loads going on.

Goal 4 - Bangoura (CF/Supp)

A nice pass by Shelvey but nothing too spectacular about this one by itself but bear in mind that the instructions are identical to those in Goal 2 where Bangoura was playing deeper and being the creator, this time he crops up with a traditional poacher/advanced forward role by testing the defensive line and running in behind.

That for a narrow formation plenty is created directly from width. I think there are two headed goals - my previous vid against Villa I think got 1/2 headed goals when I used this formation too - plus more from the aftermath of a decent cross which is pretty amazing because apparently the ME doesn't produce goals from crosses very often ;) Oh, and my FB's aren't great at crossing either! (Although there are some units in the middle)

I agree with you, Goal No.2, is every tactical manager's wet dream. Brilliant movement, although the defence is very much to blame as well.

I notice that 2 out of the 7 are headed goal from open play crosses. Is this a type of goal you score fairly often? If you do, I assume it's because you're playing with a Target Man / Attack?

I'm struggling, along with many others it seems, to score goals like that. I only score regularly with drilled crosses and with my right-footed left back swing in a cross with his right foot to the far post where my beast of a Complete Forward / Attack heads it in with ease. I have never tried playing a Target Man / Attack before. Maybe it's time I do...

Against Leeds I used Wilshere and Shelvey alongside Old in midfield so had some creativity in midfield so didn't mind not using a specific creative role up top (their respective creativity is 16,14 & 17 so as a unit they are hardly lacking). Aging Lallana is still best running at people (belying his attributes) and the creativity/flair combo is deadly on occasion so I wanted him pushing forward which is why he gets ahead of Muller in the 2nd goal example.

How high is Lallana's Agility? When I look for a dribbler, that's the atrribute I value more than dribbling itself. It might explain why he is so good.

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HUNT3R I agree with your thought behind agility as a key part of dribbling. I have Alberto Paloschi up top as a poacher with a dribbling of just 12 but agility of 19. He cuts through defenses like a hot knife through butter when he gets the ball and motors on. If he had a better dribbling attribute then he would possibly do better in tighter spaces but yes, I value agility quite high for dribblers

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Since I love buying talented youngster to the point where my teams are flooded with potential, I often have the need to loan players out. However, I always find this difficult. If I set my future stars on the loan list - wait a little, and then offer them for a season long loan for free, I either don't get any offers, or I get offers by teams way below my standard where my players refuse to play. Does anyone have any tricks to share? It's such a fundamental part of the game, that I really can't afford to keep struggle with.

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I agree with you, Goal No.2, is every tactical manager's wet dream. Brilliant movement, although the defence is very much to blame as well.

Yeah agree the defence is pretty **** poor. Fulham were dire across the board - I think 8/9 out of 11 players were one footed only! - so I knew I'd have no problems if I motivated my guys, I wasn't expecting 7-0 or such a good performance though.

I notice that 2 out of the 7 are headed goal from open play crosses. Is this a type of goal you score fairly often? If you do, I assume it's because you're playing with a Target Man / Attack?

I posted another video vs Aston Villa and the last couple of goals used this formation and there were goals from crosses but no targetman involved.

The Fulham game used a targetman until the last couple of goals but I specifically tick targetman-none in the team instructions. I actually forgot to do this but then saw my DR, under no pressure, play a stupid long ball up to Muller who was well marked and couldn't get a decent header away, normally the DR would play a sensible possession pass so I knew something was up and it was the 'Use Targetman' instruction. I'm not saying the instruction is useless, just that in my situation with my philosophy it hinders more than helps.

Actually scored loads from crosses using this formation and I think my FB's are FB/Supports. My DL got 2 assists in the Fulham game whilst DR got 1.

It's not just headers either, it's a tap-in/shot from the resulting knock-down that is getting me goals too. My guys are pretty crap at crossing too (although I have loads of guys good in the air to aim at).

I'm struggling, along with many others it seems, to score goals like that. I only score regularly with drilled crosses and with my right-footed left back swing in a cross with his right foot to the far post where my beast of a Complete Forward / Attack heads it in with ease. I have never tried playing a Target Man / Attack before. Maybe it's time I do...

I think part of it is getting a few guys into the box, in some of the examples I have 5 players to aim at, and this is from open play (Fc,FC, AM,MCL, MCR). I think goal no.3 is the strike from Old - loads in the box (I just checked, 4 plus the cross is from in the box) and he mops up the knock-down to score.

Also, check that your guys are good in the air. Whilst I have an abundance of strength, power and physicality my guys also have good mentals (particularly anticipation and determination) which is crucial for having the mentality as well as the physicality to be an aerial threat

How high is Lallana's Agility? When I look for a dribbler, that's the atrribute I value more than dribbling itself. It might explain why he is so good.

HUNT3R I agree with your thought behind agility as a key part of dribbling. I have Alberto Paloschi up top as a poacher with a dribbling of just 12 but agility of 19. He cuts through defenses like a hot knife through butter when he gets the ball and motors on. If he had a better dribbling attribute then he would possibly do better in tighter spaces but yes, I value agility quite high for dribblers

If you click on Lallana's name in the OP it'll take you to a screenie of him, his agility is a pathetic 11 although I think this used to be considerably higher. His dribbling is only reasonable (15) whilst his technique mediocre (13) although these also used to be higher (he has really suffered over the last year and a half). His flair is still high. With his attributes he really has no playing business at a top club but he often delivers - possibly due to his 'love for the club' or relationships. His work rate is only 12 and determination only 13 but in the Leeds game he tracked an opponent miles back down the pitch during the latter stages of the game before making the tackle - his attributes show no ability for this and tactically he is set as an attacker so there's nothing there either, but he still does it. This is why watching is so so important if you really want to know your players.

Since I love buying talented youngster to the point where my teams are flooded with potential, I often have the need to loan players out. However, I always find this difficult. If I set my future stars on the loan list - wait a little, and then offer them for a season long loan for free, I either don't get any offers, or I get offers by teams way below my standard where my players refuse to play. Does anyone have any tricks to share? It's such a fundamental part of the game, that I really can't afford to keep struggle with.

Relationships are really important in this game - maybe more than a lot of people give them credit for. This is what happened when I needed a new feeder club (hopefully you can see it alright, the SS if pretty wide):

southamptoninformationp.jpg

It should read the relationship between myself and the Preston manager.

I didn't out to try and 'find' this club or manager but my board presented it because I already had a good relationship through previous experience. Can't even remember who it is but it's someone decent at developing youth so I'll be sending players there and further developing a good relationship.

With Preston I know have Newcastle, Preston, Eastleigh (I think) and a Bulgarian work-permit side. Newcastle (don't know how I got them) and upper Championship which is a little high for some of my younger prospects so I needed a lesser club - Preston are mid to low Championship which should be great (particularly as they have a good manager). Feeders you can trust who play at varying levels are ideal for your different levels of youth - picking the right level and the right manager are pretty darned good. I had Brighton which worked well but they got promoted on the back of 3 of my loans so the link was severed.

At the moment I have a guy who is at Newcastle but should be at Preston because he's not quite top level and struggles to get a game (he got an injury at a bad time and they bought in another player in his position - I wouldn't of sent him if I knew they were purchasing someone else for his position).

In the OP I have Jon Ander Lasarte who, despite getting games, isn't yet good enough for my team but because I've played him a little I managed to drum up some interest and he has now gone on a season-long loan (for the 2nd half of season) to mid-table Fiorentina where he is getting regular Serie A games - if he handles that well then he'll slot in for me next year or go on loan again to a top club. Chelsea offered last season and at the start of this but only to take him as cover - I'd rather he was sat in the stands or bench for me, not for a rival. If Chelsea were to play him then it would be different - my star young defender had a sparkling season at Liverpool which really rounded off his development but I knew he'd be playing. Because I played Lasarte I developed some interest in him (or allowed him to develop some interest for himself).

Of my youngsters - Diego Costa and Kouame have had several season loans, Gray went for a year and Lasarte will now hopefully have a successful spell - all these players I've had from 16, I have others who I have sold for many bags of cash. Only Bangoura, Esposito, Rigamonti & Kelava escaped the loan system - Rigamonti needed more tutoring, Kelava got in because I was light at DL, Esposito I bought at nearly 18 to fit straight in behind Old and Bangoura was already outstanding when I bought him. Bangoura & Gray are still listed as wonderkids (possibly also Esposito although he shouldn't be in my opinion but is playing well).

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Thanks, maybe I'll try to be a bit friendlier towards some managers in the future, as it is I mostly ignore that part of the game right now. I've always struggled getting decent feeder clubs, maybe that's in part why. Last time I asked for a feeder club where I could send players on loan I got 3 suggestions - all in close geographical proximity but 3 divisions down. I wouldn't even send my youth players there... :(

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Yeah 3 division down isn't very useful, Southampton have a long standing relationship with Eastleigh but I've not sent anyone there since the very first season in league 1 (even then it was only to do it as an exercise, the player was pap).

It isn't always easy to get a decent club to take a player and play them and I've made tons of mistakes doing it.

My midfielder Diego Costa spent 2 years at Getafe, his first year he hardly played but they took him on again and he did well that next season as he was a year more developed.

My DL Kouame has a year at Preston (this may be where I developed the relationship come to think about it) when they were in the Prem 4-5 years ago but it was far too much for him as a youngster - think he averaged about 6.5 for the 20 of so games (although looked a bit better at the end of the season).

If you can get it it's also better a successful team than a struggler - promotion from League 1 is probably better for most players than relegation from Championship. Maybe this is more important for strikers than defenders.

All I can say is that give them plenty of gametime in pre-season, same with the guys you want to sell and try and get them flogged before you want to give your proper guys match exercise before the season. I flogged a decent enough player for 18.75 Million because he had a goodish loan season with Man Utd (somehow) and a goodish pre-season for me. I tried to flog him before pre-season to no avail, think I offered him for about 6M so 3 times that was greatly appreciated!

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Furious thanks for the inspiration, I was so fixated on playing narrow with a poacher and a TQ, You've opened my eyes to more physical forwards, Of course I was aware of them but I always felt they didn't suit my playing style.

You prompted me to buy this guy a player called Boumsong, (No! Not Jean Alain), And switch to the much Maligned 4-2-3-1.

Having such a player just opens up a variety of options, Instead of having to limit my full backs to basically wasting possession in wider areas they can now put it into the box as they have someone who wants to get on the end of it. I've often seen him throw himself into the bath of the ball to divert it goalwards. I really think this is down to his aggression and he's shear will to get involved and get his name on the scoresheet.

Also I've found that as my fullbacks are no longer passive, (sure they got the some assists via through balls down the line and such) but now the opposition manager has to deal with them as giving them space is perilous. And of course this then creates space in the middle of the pitch to allow my central midfielders to probe with less bodies occupying the space in front of the goal.

anyways without further ado, here is the man who's making me wax lyrical:-

rubenboumsongprofileatt.png

Doesn't he remind you of someone?

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Cracking player ROca

He does indeed remind me of someone! Right down to the one-footedness!

And he's not even greedy for the money, money, money! Superb!

Who needs concentration? This guy is so good he only needs to play for 10 minutes!

What role have you been using him in? Looks like he could play several different roles when needed

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Cracking player ROca

He does indeed remind me of someone! Right down to the one-footedness!

And he's not even greedy for the money, money, money! Superb!

Who needs concentration? This guy is so good he only needs to play for 10 minutes!

What role have you been using him in? Looks like he could play several different roles when needed

I first spotted him at 18 but I had so many 1 dimensional poachers with insane stats, I thought this guy isn't as good as them so I wont bother with him. Can't complain however the AI has developed him a treat imo.

He's the spearhead of the team, so I decided to take a leaf out of your book and he's playing CF support, Flanked by 2 Inside Forwards and a AP in support behind him. Really seems to work nicely, especially with variation. Some games i'll play 2 proper inside forwards other i'll play a creative guy who can dribble cross and finish :D.

I've also noticed that despite not having the PPM he seems to rifle his shots, I wonder if this relates to his strength do you notice this on your powerful forwards?

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I first spotted him at 18 but I had so many 1 dimensional poachers with insane stats, I thought this guy isn't as good as them so I wont bother with him. Can't complain however the AI has developed him a treat imo.

He's the spearhead of the team, so I decided to take a leaf out of your book and he's playing CF support, Flanked by 2 Inside Forwards and a AP in support behind him. Really seems to work nicely, especially with variation. Some games i'll play 2 proper inside forwards other i'll play a creative guy who can dribble cross and finish :D.

I've also noticed that despite not having the PPM he seems to rifle his shots, I wonder if this relates to his strength do you notice this on your powerful forwards?

Yeah Bangoura and Rudenok try to break the net and neither of them have that PPM.

Interesting point you made about aggression too - do you find players with high aggression attack more aggressively?

The online manual says this:

This reflects a player’s attitude in terms of playing mentality but is not necessarily a dirtiness indicator. A more aggressive player will look to involve himself in every incident and get stuck in, perhaps at the expense of a yellow card or two. A less aggressive player may shy away from situations and merely drop into his comfort zone.

The first paragraph might indicate that aggression affects attacking but the others seem to point to purely defensive ability. Jury is out with me.

I'm not surprised he's doing well as a CF. I think it's good that you've paired him with an AM in behind to hide his modest creative ability meaning that he can be free to just play and not be burdened too much with creativity - although he's got a pretty darn good assist record so he obviously creates just fine. I bet he creates loads of gaps with his movement as well.

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Yeah Bangoura and Rudenok try to break the net and neither of them have that PPM.

Interesting point you made about aggression too - do you find players with high aggression attack more aggressively?

The online manual says this:

The first paragraph might indicate that aggression affects attacking but the others seem to point to purely defensive ability. Jury is out with me.

I'm not surprised he's doing well as a CF. I think it's good that you've paired him with an AM in behind to hide his modest creative ability meaning that he can be free to just play and not be burdened too much with creativity - although he's got a pretty darn good assist record so he obviously creates just fine. I bet he creates loads of gaps with his movement as well.

In terms of aggression it's hard to judge with this guy, He has the PM Runs with the ball through the centre which makes it hard to identify if it's his aggression or his ppm. that being said he's scored a couple of goals from goals being played up to him mid way inside the opponents half took it down on his chest spun from his marker and smashed it in from the edge of the area. Now given this action, I personally speaking would deem this an aggressive form of play. So it's one open to debate.

In regards to the current set up your bang on once again. He really plays the definitive CF role, weather it's dropping deep to turn and run - standing on the should of the last defender he does it all, He's the sort of guy where you glance it him and think he's ok, Decent nothing out of this world, but when you couple look at his attributes and combine them it's like i'm gonna struggle to find another striker as complete as him his attributes really compliment each other well, the team work and aggression are a bonus imo!

He really does create space for my inside forward who is one of those lethal poachers I mentioned earlier. Reading your posts and reading some of this http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=U4ZQSsg3KIgC&pg=PA21&num=10&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

made me realise I Was bottlenecking my team, I always wanted to have a team which had threats from practically everywhere on the pitch, I believe in order to achieve this I need a forward such a boumsong who can mix it up. When your team and reputation is so high teams will just sit deep and narrow and try to play keep ball for the entire game. A 0-0 to the AI is like a win for them. Playing Boumsong gives me the option to A cross the ball and have a genuine aerial threat, and B causes a massive headache for the AI.

Which is exactly the reason why i'm on the look out for another boumsong, Lethal Poachers are ten a penny in my save, Complete Forwards are like gold dust.

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Which is exactly the reason why i'm on the look out for another boumsong, Lethal Poachers are ten a penny in my save, Complete Forwards are like gold dust.

My save is exactly like this. Genuine complete forwards are just so so rare, as they should be.

A good combo of attributes can really hide a multitude to sins. Technique, flair & creativity is absolutely deadly. As you say, aggression and teamwork is great too in a totally different way. Off-the-ball, work rate & stamina is pretty useful too.

That's good link too, thanks for that. It's from 2001 but the formatting looks like 1801!! Looks like decent content though at first glance.

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My save is exactly like this. Genuine complete forwards are just so so rare, as they should be.

A good combo of attributes can really hide a multitude to sins. Technique, flair & creativity is absolutely deadly. As you say, aggression and teamwork is great too in a totally different way. Off-the-ball, work rate & stamina is pretty useful too.

That's good link too, thanks for that. It's from 2001 but the formatting looks like 1801!! Looks like decent content though at first glance.

Was bored looking for inspiration so I headed over to ZM in search of stories of Goliath smashing David over the head ;) Stumbled upon the reading list and found that. I think at times I tend to get complacent and stop thinking about how my team is winning, which just like in FM can lead to tactical ruts!

And yes, having a front 4 which create space for one another instead of all pitching there tents on the edge of the 18 yard area is very useful. I can't over state how much of a role the Full backs play in this though.

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My save is exactly like this. Genuine complete forwards are just so so rare, as they should be.

A good combo of attributes can really hide a multitude to sins. Technique, flair & creativity is absolutely deadly. As you say, aggression and teamwork is great too in a totally different way. Off-the-ball, work rate & stamina is pretty useful too.

That's good link too, thanks for that. It's from 2001 but the formatting looks like 1801!! Looks like decent content though at first glance.

http://s1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii498/HUNT3R1369/?action=view&current=2012-07-05_00031.jpg

This is the guy that I feel should score more headed goals. It always felt almost criminal to give him a simple Target Man role. I felt that he'd be much better getting all the freedom he wants/needs, but I've tried him recently as a Target Man / Attack and he was brilliant. He didn't score any headed goals, but I can kick myself that I always thought playing someone as a target man was very limiting and basic.

I think where my problems are as well, is that Im not getting enough players into the box. Added to that, my wing backs are on attack duty, so the crosses come in before I get enough players into the box.

It's not that Im doing badly. I've played 10, won 10, scored 35 and conceded 1. I try to have variation in my play and score different types of goals. Something I've been lacking is headed goals from crosses and your videos highlighted that for me.

You've given me quite a bit to think about Furious!

Hope that link works.

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Fantastic thread Furious. A very interesting read from your posts and also interesting to see how others have interpreted your theories and ideas. I've been playing FM since 08/09, so not too long, and probably from FM12 I have only just started to look more in depth at the tactical side of things. Before it was just a matter of following a generic way of playing and hope it works - if it doesn't start a new save.

Compared to you guys it is clear I still know very little. I take things a lot at face value and, for example, if you hadn't pointed out the tactical brilliance of your 2nd goal (Youtube video) I wouldn't have noticed. In all honestly I think I underestimate the ME sometimes. In real football I notice these things.

My most recent fascination is with the 'False no.9 & 10' pairing up front. With Liverpool (always found them an interesting team to manage) it is quite easy to implement. It is different, I imagine, from your attacking combinations where you use one of your players as a pivot almost for the other 2 out and out attacking players to move around. My most commonly used formation was a 4-2-3-1 with two deep DMs both just sitting in front of the defence. I was obsessed, once I found this out, with giving my players room to move into i.e. my centre forward having a support duty to ensure my central attacking midfielder (attack duty) had room to power on or my attacking full backs being allowed the width by my two IFs on the flanks as they cut inside. All of this I imagine is pretty basic :)

I'll be exploring your theories a lot more later this evening and starting a new, very very easy, save to practice these theories and refine them. I do have one question though. You started with Southampton, obviously. You looked at the team and did these ideas start to develop from that squad or did you think 'I know how I want this team to play' and, over the years, buy players to suit your ideas until you had a squad that took to your tactics? Obviously a squad needs to gel to new tactics and ideas but was it Southampton's players that drove you to these ideas (for example, you had a very physical centre forward that suited the role of Complete Forward (s))?

Looking forward to getting into the real stuff for a change! Top stuff once again :thup:

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http://s1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii498/HUNT3R1369/?action=view&current=2012-07-05_00031.jpg

This is the guy that I feel should score more headed goals. It always felt almost criminal to give him a simple Target Man role. I felt that he'd be much better getting all the freedom he wants/needs, but I've tried him recently as a Target Man / Attack and he was brilliant. He didn't score any headed goals, but I can kick myself that I always thought playing someone as a target man was very limiting and basic.

I think where my problems are as well, is that Im not getting enough players into the box. Added to that, my wing backs are on attack duty, so the crosses come in before I get enough players into the box.

I've never used the targetman role before purchasing Muller. I play with high creative freedom and a targetman actually has loads of it which surprised me a little - this I think is why Muller keeps pulling out wider which I actually don't want him to do so I might lower his CF to try and keep him more central (although he has excellent mentals so 'giving him his head' is desirable - decisions decisions). With the high CF though it keeps the TM less predictable which allows excellent players to be excellent - your chap is pretty smart so and has a good all-round game so it's probably why he is doing well as TM.

What formation are you playing?

I hear a lot of people struggle to score headers and then find they are playing a 4411 or a 4231 (with supporting AM and poacher) or a 41221/433. These formations in my opinion aren't naturally set to become a threat from crossing simply because there usually isn't enough players in the box to really be a nuisance (the 4231 can be adapted to push more into the box though). With my 41221/433 that is currently my usual formation I score headed goals from open play only very very rarely - the 4312 has been a revelation in that department, largely I think because there's more guys to aim at. Any dual striker formation inherently has more to aim at in the middle for wingers and FBs.

My FB's are on a support duty if that helps. I can't remember what their cross from and cross aim settings are but almost certainly they are TC defaults. They generally cross the ball from about 18 yards from the byline or deeper - sometimes it'll be a fairly innocuous pass from a midfielder, other times when a player has moved towards the byline and passes back to them. Most of the time it is an unpressurised cross - this almost certainly helps loads because my FB's are pretty average (at best) at crossing.

Something else that is worth considering:

Headers are often 50/50 balls with a defender which means they require bravery and aggression - your chap is blessed with neither (although I'll agree that everything else is there to make him a very very good aerial threat - hell of a player by the way). None of my guys are particularly blessed with these attributes either and they are all doing alright in the air so it may not matter that much - but logically it should.

My team, apart from Muller, are exceptionally well gelled. All FB's have been at the club for a number of years (one was on loan though) and the same with the strike-force so this could be a factor although as your save is well progressed I imagine its the same for you.

I'll be exploring your theories a lot more later this evening and starting a new, very very easy, save to practice these theories and refine them. I do have one question though. You started with Southampton, obviously. You looked at the team and did these ideas start to develop from that squad or did you think 'I know how I want this team to play' and, over the years, buy players to suit your ideas until you had a squad that took to your tactics? Obviously a squad needs to gel to new tactics and ideas but was it Southampton's players that drove you to these ideas (for example, you had a very physical centre forward that suited the role of Complete Forward (s))?

Looking forward to getting into the real stuff for a change! Top stuff once again :thup:

I actually started the save at Crawley (I know, I know) and moved to Southampton in the 2nd (I think) season after Adkins got the boot for failing to perform. Clawed my way into the Championship and did a highly unrealistic (or so I thought!) thing of getting promoted to the Prem at the first asking. Little did I realise real-life Southampton would be following :lol:

I always knew that I wanted to move towards a powerhouse 433 (41221) so always had that in mind. My transfer policy very very roughly equated to making this happen but I think it took 4 years to get to that point. I simply couldn't get a 4231 or a 41221/433 working until I had sufficient defensive mental ability which took me a year or so in the Prem.

So I started off 442 and 442 deep and occasionally used 4141 whilst clawing back to promotion spot in League 1. In the Championship I actually had a pretty good side by the standard of the league so used a 4411 and started to introduce the 41221/433 although still predominantly went 442 or 4141. The 4141 is operationally the same as the 41221 but more solid defensively due to the wide midfielders doing more defensive legwork.

When I hit the Prem it was backs against the wall most of the time even though I had a decent 1st season. 2nd season was even tougher - in part due to bedding in a number of transfers to look to the future. 3rd season and my overall squad had improved, I had a couple of top quality players (Sandro & Rudenok I think were that early and Spence/Berra were good in defence for me) and I could look at introducing the 41221 properly and the 4231 as well. From then on it was my preferred formation and I only made major tweaks a few seasons after that when I was established as a top side and teams really started to go negative against me.

So I always had a direction of where I wanted to take the team but also was mindful of where they were at the moment. A balancing act of surviving right now and building for the future. As a lot of real-boys are hitting retirement ages now I'm in the process of looking forward to a brighter, more technical side.

I think as you are on the way up and replacement buying a lot of the time you have to be more flexible because your transfer budget will be tighter and the level of player you can attract will be different. Sandro, for example, I picked up for a ridiculously low amount (<2M I think) because Spurs wanted rid. I didn't need another midfielder at that time but a player of such quality for such a low fee was worth stretching the wage budget for. Similarly I had Mohammed Sissoko because he was available for very little - with those beasts in midfield I was really able to up the physicality and buy in a few more thoroughbreds to augment the style I was developing.

It's good to have a plan but you have to roll with the punches. If I'd got some more technical midfielders rather than the smash-mouth ones I'd have a drastically different side by now no doubt. The way up is quite exciting because you look at who you can pinch for free (or cheap), you see who is unsettled and might become available. When you're at the top those decisions are still important but you usually have the safety net of a huge budget and one that you can probably up by selling a few players too.

Good luck with really analysing how you play and agonising over every decision - it's an addictive way to play FM!

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I've never used the targetman role before purchasing Muller. I play with high creative freedom and a targetman actually has loads of it which surprised me a little - this I think is why Muller keeps pulling out wider which I actually don't want him to do so I might lower his CF to try and keep him more central (although he has excellent mentals so 'giving him his head' is desirable - decisions decisions). With the high CF though it keeps the TM less predictable which allows excellent players to be excellent - your chap is pretty smart so and has a good all-round game so it's probably why he is doing well as TM.

I also noticed my Target Man drifting and looking for space. That was part (if not most) of the reason he played so well. He always seemed to find space to "make a play".

What formation are you playing?

I hear a lot of people struggle to score headers and then find they are playing a 4411 or a 4231 (with supporting AM and poacher) or a 41221/433. These formations in my opinion aren't naturally set to become a threat from crossing simply because there usually isn't enough players in the box to really be a nuisance (the 4231 can be adapted to push more into the box though). With my 41221/433 that is currently my usual formation I score headed goals from open play only very very rarely - the 4312 has been a revelation in that department, largely I think because there's more guys to aim at. Any dual striker formation inherently has more to aim at in the middle for wingers and FBs.

http://s1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii498/HUNT3R1369/?action=view&current=2012-07-09_00001.jpg

This is the tactic I used most of the time. My Ismael score headed goals sometimes because of my right-footed left back, but that's about it. Never any goals with a left-footed left back or even my right-footed right backs. He'll score more often when I play him at AMR and float crosses in, but that's only because he's usually up against a tiny fullback.

My FB's are on a support duty if that helps. I can't remember what their cross from and cross aim settings are but almost certainly they are TC defaults. They generally cross the ball from about 18 yards from the byline or deeper - sometimes it'll be a fairly innocuous pass from a midfielder, other times when a player has moved towards the byline and passes back to them. Most of the time it is an unpressurised cross - this almost certainly helps loads because my FB's are pretty average (at best) at crossing.

Something else that is worth considering:

Headers are often 50/50 balls with a defender which means they require bravery and aggression - your chap is blessed with neither (although I'll agree that everything else is there to make him a very very good aerial threat - hell of a player by the way). None of my guys are particularly blessed with these attributes either and they are all doing alright in the air so it may not matter that much - but logically it should.

My team, apart from Muller, are exceptionally well gelled. All FB's have been at the club for a number of years (one was on loan though) and the same with the strike-force so this could be a factor although as your save is well progressed I imagine its the same for you.

I've kept pretty much the same squad for the last 2/3 seasons. Bought them pretty young and they matured together. I only really add one big signing a year and a youth player or two, but even then, my reserve and U18's all play the same tactic and get chances in the first team from time to time as well. BUT you've mentioned something I haven't even thought of! I love looking at attributes how it makes a player act the way he does. I must be honest and say aggression and bravery are extremely low on my list when it comes to noticing attributes. That could well be why he loses out against DC's. I need to pay a little more attention to ALL the attributes next time ;)

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It's only a small point - as I say my guys aren't much better in this respect :)

I don't know why he'd score more headers with the right-footer on the left? The ball is curling towards goal so maybe he can get in behind the defender to get a clear header at goal - once he's got a clear header his insane finishing, heading and composure should ensure he hits the target all the time and negates any chance that he has to really get involved in the rough stuff (he's not overly hard working either so might not be too keen to continually work hard to pit himself against a defender - choosing instead to use some of his other strengths).

I'm not surprised he scores an AMR, back-stick headers from a late arriving IF are fairly common in FM as headers go (I'm not sure about real-life but I'd have thought any good late run from a chap good in the air is so so difficult for a defender to deal with - Alonso scored like this in the Euros I think and he's hardly good in the air).

There's such an interaction between all the attributes that make a player that it's hard to pick out one or two to really focus on and I find that I often come to value an attribute I didn't think all that much of before. Aggression for example doesn't seem like much but, whilst it might be obvious that you'd need it for a combative side it might not be so obvious that it's darned useful for a hard-working team too as it'll help to ensure your players challenge for everything and really make use of their fitness and work-rate.

Similarly I don't hear many people really sing the praises of guys with good decisions but for certain positions it is mega important as it augments all of their strengths and attempts to hide weaknesses. Taken in conjunction with concentration and composure (and to a lesser extent determination) and you have a player who takes the best course of action 99% of the time - a perfect player to run the game for you.

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It's only a small point - as I say my guys aren't much better in this respect :)

I don't know why he'd score more headers with the right-footer on the left? The ball is curling towards goal so maybe he can get in behind the defender to get a clear header at goal - once he's got a clear header his insane finishing, heading and composure should ensure he hits the target all the time and negates any chance that he has to really get involved in the rough stuff (he's not overly hard working either so might not be too keen to continually work hard to pit himself against a defender - choosing instead to use some of his other strengths).

I'm not surprised he scores an AMR, back-stick headers from a late arriving IF are fairly common in FM as headers go (I'm not sure about real-life but I'd have thought any good late run from a chap good in the air is so so difficult for a defender to deal with - Alonso scored like this in the Euros I think and he's hardly good in the air).

There's such an interaction between all the attributes that make a player that it's hard to pick out one or two to really focus on and I find that I often come to value an attribute I didn't think all that much of before. Aggression for example doesn't seem like much but, whilst it might be obvious that you'd need it for a combative side it might not be so obvious that it's darned useful for a hard-working team too as it'll help to ensure your players challenge for everything and really make use of their fitness and work-rate.

Similarly I don't hear many people really sing the praises of guys with good decisions but for certain positions it is mega important as it augments all of their strengths and attempts to hide weaknesses. Taken in conjunction with concentration and composure (and to a lesser extent determination) and you have a player who takes the best course of action 99% of the time - a perfect player to run the game for you.

I agree with all of that. I've been going over the type of goals he has scored and there hasn't been a headed goal in 6 months. The one he did score, was late in the game. I pushed a lot of guys into the box, right footed cross from the left at the back post.... drags a single central defender with him from the middle to the back post, because all the other defenders are occupied by my other attackers and easily over-powers the defender to score. But, yeah, I have noticed that even average players can score headers from the AMR/AML position. It's just such a pity that it's so difficult to get right with a single striker.

Actually, I think I should stop trying to get my aerial game to work. Because of this discussion, I've been going over the types of goals he HAS scored and his anticipation, movement off the ball and decision making in almost every single one was brilliant.

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By the way, Furious, any signs that Muller being only right footed hampering him in any way? I'm sure I can already guess your answer though ;)

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Ha, yeah all signs positive so far. Gonna have to see whether I'm still saying that after he faces better opposition ;)

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So it was a progression into your tactics over a number of years - fair enough. I think I always struggle with that. The players forge my tactics or my tactics forge the players. I guess at a team like Real Madrid neither matters, to some degree, as they are good enough to adapt or you can just buy new players in. I had a Stockport save where I got the team from the BSP to the Premiership, being promoted every season except spending two in the Championship. I would say that was the first project where I have actually examined my side and opposition and purchased players wisely.

It is a much more inclusive way of playing the game. I'm looking forward to it - have quite a long time off over the coming weeks so it should be interesting.

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Once again Furious, this is an excellent thread, and there's been some excellent discussion which has made me think about a few things.

The comment above talks about when you're a top club, you don't really need to change anything, although, I'm not sure I really agree with that. At a top club, if anything, it's easier to change things up.

I've just joined Manchester United after spending my first two seasons at PSG (probably should have stayed) and I see this as the perfect club to try new things with, especially seen as they've dropped from the top a little (finished 5th last season). One of the things I want to try and introduce is a striker-less formation because it's something we're beginning to see in the modern game, and it's also something that fascinates me. Another thing is Guardiola's philosophy of 'the more midfielders, the better' is something I like as well, especially when concentrating on possession - so, i'm going to start looking at DM's who'd make suitable CB's and midfielders who'd make decent full backs (SFraser did it with Alaba in his 'Meet The System' thread and I've turned both Sandro & M'Vila into centre backs to great effect, so it can be done)

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Once again Furious, this is an excellent thread, and there's been some excellent discussion which has made me think about a few things.

The comment above talks about when you're a top club, you don't really need to change anything, although, I'm not sure I really agree with that. At a top club, if anything, it's easier to change things up.

I didn't quite say that. I said if you are a bigger club it is easier to change or adapt. I pointed out that at a team like Madrid you have players good enough and versatile enough to adapt to your tactics while at the same time you have a good enough crop of players to suit a number of tactics too that you, as a manager, want to bring in. The strategy is to win titles, play as you want and be a successful empire of a club, the tactic is how you go about that strategy. With a team like Madrid who have an impressive bunch of starting players and reputation both the strategy and tactic is made easier - whereas a team like Bilbao may struggle a bit more.

Another thing is Guardiola's philosophy of 'the more midfielders, the better' is something I like as well, especially when concentrating on possession - so, i'm going to start looking at DM's who'd make suitable CB's and midfielders who'd make decent full backs

This, I have found, works really well. Especially if you want to dominate possession in a game. Wenger did this with his Arsenal team from 2000 - 2004. Ashley Cole, for example, was a promising attacking wide midfielder. Wenger retrained him as a LB. This was a common theme in his team. Lauren was the same, retrained to a new position. Ball playing defender works a lot better with a DM/CM retrained. Need to keep an eye on PPMs though.

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Once again Furious, this is an excellent thread, and there's been some excellent discussion which has made me think about a few things.

The comment above talks about when you're a top club, yo u don't really need to change anything, although, I'm not sure I really agree with that. At a top club, if anything, it's easier to change things up.

I've just joined Manchester United after spending my first two seasons at PSG (probably should have stayed) and I see this as the perfect club to try new things with, especially seen as they've dropped from the top a little (finished 5th last season). One of the things I want to try and introduce is a striker-less formation because it's something we're beginning to see in the modern game, and it's also something that fascinates me. Another thing is Guardiola's philosophy of 'the more midfielders, the better' is something I like as well, especially when concentrating on possession - so, i'm going to start looking at DM's who'd make suitable CB's and midfielders who'd make decent full backs (SFraser did it with Alaba in his 'Meet The System' thread and I've turned both Sandro & M'Vila into centre backs to great effect, so it can be done)

Train mvilla to play right back that's where he plays for me,

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@Furious

Looking at your Depth Chart, someone like Llallana is covering 4 different positions. Have you noticed any dips in form or only average performances if you play him in different positions almost every game? I can't be 100% sure, but I think I've had that happen to me. I have a lot of versatile players, each capable of playing in at least 2 positions. I'm sure I've seen better performances when I've played a player in one position regularly instead of playing him in different positions.

I'm a very reactive manager. Probably because I'm usually the underdog. Now that I'm at a big club, I haven't changed. I still base my selection on whichever team we're playing next. Sometimes I feel it's costing me a little because my players don't settle into one position. My player, Ismael, is one. He is capable of playing ST and AMR. Against physically weak DC's, he'll play ST. If I need absolute pace against the opposition DC's, Ismael will play AMR and my Poacher-type ST who looks to break the offside trap will play. It could be as bad as a player alternating between 2 or even 3 positions, never starting a game in the same position he did the previous game because I'm so reactive.

Have you noticed something like this in your team?

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So my first competitive game has come about with Madrid against Barcelona in the super cup. I have the first leg at home and fans are nervously expectant. My tactics changed a bit according to Barcelona's set up. I'm playing a deep 4-2-3-1. Please bear in mind this is probably my second save where I am examining games as you guys do, as oppose to just hoping things work. My ideas behind the 4-2-3-1 are; A very rigid back 6 (back 4 and two DMs) that I can use as a solid platform to build attacks from and counter with while remaining disciplined at the back as Barcelona have incredible ability through the middle and wide. My wingbacks have run from deep on often, causing them to arrive late and hopefully stretching the Barcelona back 4 as my wingers will cut inside and exploit open channels - but more about this a bit later. I really enjoy the whole false no.9 and no.10 thing at the moment and I want Benzema and Ozil's movement to really control the game and provide space for an expansive game.

Here are a few screenshots that hopefully display my ideas well enough. The move, unfortunately, came to Ronaldo being booked for diving after a promising build up but I felt it was tactically superior to Barcelona but you guys know more than I do so please feel free to be constructive in your criticism.

First screenshot. Benzema (DLF(s)) has dropped deep to get the ball from the goal kick. Ozil has pushed up (AM(a)) as planned. You can see their back 4 is being pulled all over the park. Benzema dropping deep has dragged Busquets a bit higher up the pitch as I don't want him stopping attacks through the middle forcing play to the wings. Ronaldo's presence on the left demands Bartra's attention. Ozil is set to move to channels so hopefully occupying Abidal and Fontas, allowing Di Maria some space. Ozil pushing up has dragged the Barcelona midfield 3 deep as well, giving my back 6 more than enough cover which should free up Ramos/Marcelo to exploit the flanks.

Madrid_1.jpg

Benzema used Ronaldo who still brings Bartra with him. Benzema is pushing on, bringing Busquets, while Ozil is indeed attacking Abidal allowing Di Maria some space. Their back 4 is beginning to resemble a line but is still being manipulated. Note Ramos on the far wing.

Madrid_2.jpg

Ozil drops deep as there is no realistic option for Ronaldo going forward here. He is well contained by the midfield three of Mascherano, Xavi and Fabregas so the space Di Maria (and Ozil) worked hard to create is nullified. Abidal has him fairly well covered anyway. Benzema has once again dragged Busquets out of position but Ozil can't find him on the flank.

Madrid_3.jpg

Ozil realises nothing is on so, referring back to that platform of my 2 DMs and back 4, Ozil retreats back to Alonso. After Alonso and Khedira exchange passes Carvalho finds a still advancing Ramos who has bypassed the Barcelona Midfield and the Barce back 4 who are still repositioning find themselves in a bit of a mess. Benzemas drifting out wide and Ronaldo's natural position on the left have caused Bartra a few problems.

Madrid_4.jpg

I won't use more space with more screenshots but what happened from there is Di Maria attacked the left CB which widened the gap between left CB and LB for Ozil to exploit. The 2 CBs tried to plug the space in the middle while Benzema and Ronaldo double-teamed (stay mature here) Bartra. We had a very promising 3v3 which, had it not been for a good save from the keeper, Di Maria would have converted but unfortunately it led to a Ronaldo booking.

I may just be looking for tactics that aren't there but is this generally what we have been talking about and can you see my directions being executed in this example? Obviously this is an isolated incident in the game and Barcelona may have just been caught here but we are 2 up against Barcelona and look more likely to score. As I said, feel free to be constructive or point out how things could be better.

Your opinions would be appreciated.

Edit: We won the game 3-0, dominating Barcelona as much as you can expect to and drew the 2nd leg at Nou Camp 0-0 with a pleasing performance against a much strengthened Barcelona side.

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Also need a better way to upload images... It's been a while since I was on here! :D Apologies

Yeah the screenshots are too small mate, even when I click on them.

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Any recommendation how to improve it? As I say, it has been a while

edit: all sorted, bigger now when you click on them :thup:

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Off topic here but just reading through SFraser's tactical analysis of 4-5-1 and here is a quote I have found particularly interesting:

"The Germans have found and exploited the weakness in the 4-5-1, and I fully expect this evolution of football to continue unabated. Hopefully after this World Cup people will not be so easilly blinded and taken in by the "Barca philosophy" but understand the real practicalities of this formation."

During the business end, and indeed throughout the 2011/12 season, we have seen Barcelona limited. They conceded the title to Madrid and champions league to Chelsea. It is true to say that once they are in their attacking positions with the brilliance of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and co. they are stifled they have nowhere else to go, with no deep runs or variation in their brilliance. Fraser wrote this in 2010, quite amazing :)

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Off topic here but just reading through SFraser's tactical analysis of 4-5-1 and here is a quote I have found particularly interesting:

"The Germans have found and exploited the weakness in the 4-5-1, and I fully expect this evolution of football to continue unabated. Hopefully after this World Cup people will not be so easilly blinded and taken in by the "Barca philosophy" but understand the real practicalities of this formation."

During the business end, and indeed throughout the 2011/12 season, we have seen Barcelona limited. They conceded the title to Madrid and champions league to Chelsea. It is true to say that once they are in their attacking positions with the brilliance of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and co. they are stifled they have nowhere else to go, with no deep runs or variation in their brilliance. Fraser wrote this in 2010, quite amazing :)

Me and SFraser also had a thread about how the 4-2-3-1 was going to be the formation that everyone was using posted at the same time as the quote above. Shame it got deleted though as it had some interesting points in it.

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Why was it deleted Cleon? Its a shame. I would be interested to hear any points you made from it or, indeed, if you have any documentation of the original post I'd be interested in the read.

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Why was it deleted Cleon? Its a shame. I would be interested to hear any points you made from it or, indeed, if you have any documentation of the original post I'd be interested in the read.

It was auto pruned by mistake by the forum software.

We discussed the WC 2010 and talked about what formations an trends we would see and discussed why we'd be seeing 4-2-3-1 dominate for the next 5 years or so. Then we talked about what steps teams would have to take to try and nulify the 4-2-3-1 and we decided more teams would try 3 at the back. Which we've seen a lot of teams trying that over the last 2 seasons. Liverpool, Parma, Juve, udinese, Italy, Barca etc have all played with 3 at the back on more than one occassion.

Before Pep talked about the importance of trying to dominate the middle of the field and the games need to try and allow an extra man in the middle we'd already talked about why we thought that would happen. Was some fascinating stuff in it and was one of the best discussions to happen on here and was popular. I'm not sure how many people actually remember the thread but a fair few should.

Shame I don't have any back ups of it or anything as 99% of what we said in the thread as happened already in terms of tactics and teams dominances.

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It was auto pruned by mistake by the forum software.

We discussed the WC 2010 and talked about what formations an trends we would see and discussed why we'd be seeing 4-2-3-1 dominate for the next 5 years or so. Then we talked about what steps teams would have to take to try and nulify the 4-2-3-1 and we decided more teams would try 3 at the back. Which we've seen a lot of teams trying that over the last 2 seasons. Liverpool, Parma, Juve, udinese, Italy, Barca etc have all played with 3 at the back on more than one occassion.

Before Pep talked about the importance of trying to dominate the middle of the field and the games need to try and allow an extra man in the middle we'd already talked about why we thought that would happen. Was some fascinating stuff in it and was one of the best discussions to happen on here and was popular. I'm not sure how many people actually remember the thread but a fair few should.

Shame I don't have any back ups of it or anything as 99% of what we said in the thread as happened already in terms of tactics and teams dominances.

That is what impressed me most about the SFraser quote. That, having said it in 2010, it came to fruition in 2012. It sounds like you were spot on also with the 4-2-3-1. This is still off topic but I'm quite intrigued. What was it that suggested to you that this would be the case in the 2010 World Cup? Was it just keen observation or something you'd heard about elsewhere? Not trying to take anything away from yourselves.

I have a period of a few weeks off from Sunday and I am looking to enhance hugely my knowledge on tactical frameworks and theories so anything you come across, if you have the time that is, please feel free to send my way via pm. I'm sure most things I find you would have seen already, especially on these forums, but likewise i'll try find the relevant thread on the forums and make it known to everyone. This thread and a lot of others around the forum I am finding fascinating at the minute!

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The absolute crux of my Madrid team is the combination of Ozil and Benzema now. Although Di Maria and Ronaldo have the higher average ratings, every meaningful attack is being stemmed through the creativity of my central players. Benzema is a beast. He is my Muller. From information from here and a variety of tactical theories thread I have tweaked his instructions to near perfection, resulting in a hat trick in the Champions League against a well established Dortmund side and Ozil with 3 assists. Oh Ronaldo and Di Maria chipped in with a goal apiece but who cares?

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Looking at your Depth Chart, someone like Llallana is covering 4 different positions. Have you noticed any dips in form or only average performances if you play him in different positions almost every game?

Have you noticed something like this in your team?

I think you're spot on - I don't play Lallana that much so he doesn't really settle into a position so he's fine moving around but others who mainly stick in one position will get 'used' to playing there and appear 'rusty' if I switch them elsewhere. This effect was particularly pronounced on previous FM's so either the effect has diminished or I have players with better mental attributes who are better at switching positions - I think there is a hidden attribute called adaptability or versatility or something and that probably plays a part.

Actually, the previous FM experience I was thinking of was a defender who could regularly get good ratings at DC but would often have a stinker if I switched him to DR even though he was actually a natural DR! I think the effect is probably more pronounced for defenders because any errors in positioning are more obvious - as an attacker you can usually get away with playing a bit looser.

That is what impressed me most about the SFraser quote. That, having said it in 2010, it came to fruition in 2012. It sounds like you were spot on also with the 4-2-3-1. This is still off topic but I'm quite intrigued. What was it that suggested to you that this would be the case in the 2010 World Cup? Was it just keen observation or something you'd heard about elsewhere? Not trying to take anything away from yourselves.

I have a period of a few weeks off from Sunday and I am looking to enhance hugely my knowledge on tactical frameworks and theories so anything you come across, if you have the time that is, please feel free to send my way via pm. I'm sure most things I find you would have seen already, especially on these forums, but likewise i'll try find the relevant thread on the forums and make it known to everyone. This thread and a lot of others around the forum I am finding fascinating at the minute!

What you'll realise is that ALL technical innovation is begun from these boards! They are frequently patrolled by Wenger, Pep, Bielsa etc etc ;)

Cleon's been taking backhanders from all the top clubs for years :lol:

The absolute crux of my Madrid team is the combination of Ozil and Benzema now. Although Di Maria and Ronaldo have the higher average ratings, every meaningful attack is being stemmed through the creativity of my central players. Benzema is a beast. He is my Muller. From information from here and a variety of tactical theories thread I have tweaked his instructions to near perfection, resulting in a hat trick in the Champions League against a well established Dortmund side and Ozil with 3 assists. Oh Ronaldo and Di Maria chipped in with a goal apiece but who cares?

Yeah the interplay between AM and FC generally typifies the type of 4231 you'll use. You can have them swap positions (tactically I mean), you can have them both drop deep or have them both push forward, or have the FC play high and the AM tuck in behind or have the AM stay as more a part of the midfield. Loads of variations and attacking-wise how you set up your team should stem from how you set up these two guys. They'll generally make or break you attacking-wise.

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Yeah the interplay between AM and FC generally typifies the type of 4231 you'll use. You can have them swap positions (tactically I mean), you can have them both drop deep or have them both push forward, or have the FC play high and the AM tuck in behind or have the AM stay as more a part of the midfield. Loads of variations and attacking-wise how you set up your team should stem from how you set up these two guys. They'll generally make or break you attacking-wise.

I feel I am beginning to understand this a lot better - in no small part down to yourself and other tactical posts. In my eyes the centre, right from the keeper to the centre forawrd, is where my creativity and tactical instructions will come to fruition. The inside forward is without doubt key in this but the space created from the movement, passing and general footballing intelligence of my AM and FC means that the inside forward is key, not the other way around.

I'm playing about with it as you say. At the moment I am tactically beating teams with more than convincing results every game. Restricting the opposition defensively and exploiting them with my attack. Both Benzema and Ronaldo have as many goals in games with Ozil assisting twice per game. When I say "I have tweaked his instructions to near perfection" I seem up myself but it is down to information I've picked up from other people's expertise. At the moment the instructions are for Benzema to drop deep and Ozil to exploit the space created centrally. I don't want creativity to stem from the wing, I want individual brilliance paired with pace, directness and flair in respect to the individual. I don't want Ronaldo to cross the ball. I want Ronaldo to do Ronaldo. In this respect his instructions are fairly strict in their freedom, contradictory I know but I understand :). Di Maria however chips in with assists almost on par to Ozil but his team work, creativity and passing are higher than Ronaldo's equivalent stats. Technique has a difference of -1 (16 compared to Ronaldo's 17) but this is still reasonably high and with a lower long shots stat and no shooting PPMs (Ronaldo has shoots with power and shoots from distance) Di Maria's technique is focused in his passing and awareness of team mate's positions. This combined with his PPMs of cuts inside and tries killer balls makes him, in my eyes, a more rounded and complete 'total' winger. Ronaldo excels in what he does and Di Maria is above average in everything he does! A good balance on the wings. Wings are important but they do what they do - the centre is where the tactical battle occurs :D

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Following on from the title Building The Squad, and considering this is my second really indepth save game, I have decided to buy a young player I feel I can mould into who and what I want. I want players to work to stay in my team and to respect the way the team plays. A lot of thought has gone into my tactics and I want the young players I do choose to develop and introduce into my squad to buy into my way of management and football.

My chosen formations are variants of the 4-5-1. I always use a AM and a CF. As Furious pointed out the interaction between these two is the key to attacking moves and will make-or-break my attacking proficiency. I have recently developed on the idea of my playmaker being my CF. As a result a lot of retraining is going on. Ozil may find himself learning to drop deep and Benzema will exploit this space using his excellent off the ball and decision stats while utilising his average anticipation. As a result I wanted variation. Kaka is going downhill and I want a suitable replacement in this system. Ozil, Benzema, Higuain and Kaka are all suitable for now but when Kaka's physical stats mean he can't operate that high up (he will eventually fall to CM then DM) I need someone ready to step in, someone well educated into my way of thinking and someone ready to step in with the right head on his shoulders. Here is Zakaria Labyad:

Labyad_profile.jpg

Labyad_Info.jpg

Labyad_Training.jpg

Key Strengths & Weaknesses

At just 18 years old he is still very young. The first sign for me of an old head on young shoulders are his stand out statistics being both Mental and Technical. As we know in FM these are the statistics that increase with age with Physical stats decreasing, generally speaking. I will talk about those physical stats later. The two highest stats are Technique and Flair. For me, rightly or wrongly, I believe both these are flexible in their definitions. As I mentioned in a previous post regarding Di Maria and Ronaldo's differences I feel both these relate directly to other stats i.e. passing/shooting. Labyad has both, albeit very average stats, in these departments. Bare in mind his age folks. His flair and technique; coupled with his creativity, passing and shooting (all being some of his stronger stats) and his abilities on both feet (right is very strong, left is fairly strong) suggest to me this lad is very gifted in passing and shooting when asked. Scout reports all say he has the ability to do the unexpected, a consistent strength that my scouts pick out (whether I can develop these attributes on a par with one another to produce the complete package is another matter, training being a weak point in my limited FM understanding). For me, this is exactly what I wanted in a young player. If my understanding is correct I am confident I can mould him into the player I want to be has it seems he as that raw talent I need.

My end plan for Labyad is being my playmaker. Spearheading my attack from the centre forward position, dropping deep and utilising the runs from more physical and better finishing wingers and attacking midfielders. Key attributes for this for me are: Anticipation, decisions, off the ball and team work. Anticipation in both receiving the ball (ties in with off the ball positioning and knowing how to work with team mates) and playing the pass. Being technically brilliant with heaps of creativity is useless if you shoot when you should pass and ultimately make the wrong decision. I want him to survey whats ahead with the space he has created for himself (off the ball, anticipation, first touch (not mentioned but important)) and play the right pass. Off the ball and team work are fairly self explanatory. I need him to move into the right positions which I feel he can do and work with his team mates to create space or play that cheeky one two with the advancing AMC or IF. All of this I am confident in his ability to do - which moves me onto his training.

I am not good at training on FM. I don't understand it and take things at face value really. As you can see I value his tactical and technical development the most. If this player will succeed in the role I want him to play in he needs to excel in both these areas with his attributes complimenting one another to form the player I demand. I don't want him to be a smash and grab type player. I want him to look like he has all the time in the world on the ball, to just play the right pass and give himself space as well as others. I want defenders to tail him when he drops deep to provide space for him to utilise with his ability. I want him to effortless place his shot in the top corners of the net instead of using raw power. I value his physical attributes to some degree however I am limited by him as a person, physically speaking. His balance, agility, pace and acceleration are more important than his strength as you can see. I don't want to push for a strong, barging player when at 5'7" he just won't be that guy. Use what god gave you, your low centre of gravity, good balance, quick feet and good agility (one of his higher attributes). Quickly, note he has no PPMs as of yet. Comes deep to get ball will define him as a player. The rest will follow.

One of the things I picked up from SFraser, perhaps one of the most important, is the usefulness of the Information panel. It says a lot about him. Lets look at his general happiness. Although this is a very general overview I have picked out two key pieces of info. He is 'honoured' to be at the same club as Ronaldo. This tells me he knows his place. He knows he isn't above what he is. He is, right now, a fringe player. His CA does not merit a first team place nor a place on the bench and he knows this. He knows that, right now, he is just at the same club as Ronaldo. He is his team mate techincally but he won't play with him regularly for a while. The second piece of information of note, for me, is the fact he is 'overjoyed' to have scored for his country. He has immense pride in a system that has given him his chance (his international debut came very recently) and this links to his favoured personnel. Eric Gerets: National manager. A determined manager, fantastic man management and someone who can judge ability and potential very well (all attributes above 17). This man knows more than I do and he has put his faith in Labyad. The fact that Labyad has him as a favoured personnel means he respects the right people - the people he knows can get him where he wants and has put trust in him and respects authority. This is reflected in the other people listed. Henry and Nesta have both been there and done that. Revelations in their respective positions (one more than the other but hey). Not only that, model professionals. 'Level-headed' and 'Professional' personalities are the type he looks up to. Gago, although a bit of a nothing player, is a 'Fairly Determined' and 'Level-headed' player. All of these personality traits are desirable for Labyad to succeed in my team and at the highest level. Even Afellay has the right traits. He was at PSV, like Labyad, for a long time. He was a bit of a star there and despite all the attention and a move to Barcelona has a 'Professional' mentality. These personality traits go against his most worrying attribute which for me is his determination. He looks up to players that have worked hard, succeeded and been at the top of their game. His national manager's best attribute is his determination.

Conclusion

All things considered I feel his is a good buy. Scouts say he can exceed Xabi Alonso's ability and, although he has some poor stats, I feel the platform is there for a quality player. This is my first real in depth look at how a player could behave and my first real time investment in terms of a single player's stake at my club. I could fail, all my predictions and observations could be wrong but on a more worrying level one of you could have seen him in the future and he could be useless. Time will tell!

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The second piece of information of note, for me, is the fact he is 'overjoyed' to have scored for his country. He has immense pride in a system that has given him his chance (his international debut came very recently) and this links to his favoured personnel. Eric Gerets: National manager. A determined manager, fantastic man management and someone who can judge ability and potential very well (all attributes above 17). This man knows more than I do and he has put his faith in Labyad. The fact that Labyad has him as a favoured personnel means he respects the right people - the people he knows can get him where he wants and has put trust in him and respects authority.

I think you are trying to make things look more complex then they infact are, he got his national team manager as favored personal because it was the same guy who handed him his first senior cap, likewise its very common to see the manager who hand a player his first senior team game at club level on the favored personal list

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I think you are trying to make things look more complex then they infact are, he got his national team manager as favored personal because it was the same guy who handed him his first senior cap, likewise its very common to see the manager who hand a player his first senior team game at club level on the favored personal list

Perhaps I am over complicating it but I find myself constantly underestimating the complexities in Football Manager. You've basically made my point though as to why the national manager is on the favoured personnel list, but I made it in three lines when I could have done it in one. Taking into account what you said and if we just look at the favoured personnel list at face value he likes his national manager because he gave him his first cap - but why did he give him his first cap so young? His stats for spotting young talent and developing them are ideal, as I say he has more knowledge than I do. He obviously see's something in him to play him so young in the national team, three times scoring once.

Perhaps I make it sound overly complex but I'm quite excited and my trail of thought can go off on a tangent at times :D

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Perhaps I am over complicating it but I find myself constantly underestimating the complexities in Football Manager. You've basically made my point though as to why the national manager is on the favoured personnel list, but I made it in three lines when I could have done it in one. Taking into account what you said and if we just look at the favoured personnel list at face value he likes his national manager because he gave him his first cap - but why did he give him his first cap so young? His stats for spotting young talent and developing them are ideal, as I say he has more knowledge than I do. He obviously see's something in him to play him so young in the national team, three times scoring once.

Perhaps I make it sound overly complex but I'm quite excited and my trail of thought can go off on a tangent at times :D

That's one of the great things about FM. It really lets your imagination run wild which makes it all the more addictive and immersive :D

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