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SRL88

A Formation Inspired by Rafa

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Hello everyone. I have dwelved into the Tactics Forum on a few ocassions to have a look at what other users post and I have finally decided that I should add some input. So for the first time I shall be posting a thread in here. Take it easy on me, or I will set Cleon onto you

:herman:.

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The tactic I shall be posting about is a one which I have used in the last 13-14 seasons of my career save which you can all take a look at here if you choose to. I developed this tactic when I took over at Liverpool in 2020, and having gone 9 seasons with them, then a season at Galatasaray, two at Atletico Madrid and currently in my second season with Boca Juniors, I have used this tactic every season to great effect. Yes, I have tweaked it slightly depending on which team I am at to suit the needs of the team in said league, but it has given me great success over the years.

The 'Formation Inspired by Rafa' Title actually comes from the formation which Rafa Benitez used whilst he was in charge at Liverpool for the most part. It is a little different in terms of positioning and roles, but I suspect you will get the jist of it when you see it. I am sure that a lot of people have already used this tactic, but this thread offers my take on it.

Whilst using the formation, my trophy haul at each club stands at:

Liverpool (Within 9 Seasons)

English Premier League x7: 2020/21, 2022/23, 2023/24, 2024/25, 2026/27, 2027/28, 2028/29

FA Cup x3: 2020/21, 2023/24, 2025/26

League Cup x3: 2023/24, 2024/25, 2028/29

Community Shield x6: 2021, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027

Champions League x2: 2023/24, 2026/27

UEFA Super Cup x2: 2024, 2027

World Club Championship x1: 2027

Galatasaray (Within 1 Season)

Turkish Super Lig x1: 2029/30

Atletico Madrid (Within 2 Seasons)

Liga BBVA x1: 2031/32

Champions League x2: 2030/31, 3031/32

Spanish Super Cup x1: 2030

Boca Juniors (Ongoing)

Apertura x1: 2032

Copa Libertadores x1: 2033

Copa Sudamericana x1: 2033

World Club Championship x1: 2033

BocaJuniorsTactics_TeamInstructions.png

It is a formation which I feel is set up to offer the perfect balance between attack and defence. You have an anchor man who simply screens the back four with their mentallity and creative freedom set to its lowest. This gives you an extra bit of cover infront of your defence. The formation sets the side up rather narrow to make you harder to break down, but also sets you up to cause a lot of trouble going forward.

BocavRacingClubAnalysis_Analysis.png

BocavRacingClubSplitView.png

The particular game on show obviously resulted in a 4-1 win and despite the fact that they had more possession than us, they didnt cause us that much trouble. The goal we did concede was a sloppy one, but after that they rarely got anywhere near our goal as they only had one other shot on target and were limited to shots from outside the area, and those were closed down rapidly by the defence.

I have changed this slightly over the years and with the four clubs I have managed. For example, at Liverpool and Galatasaray it was slightly more balanced where as at Atletico I set up a little more attacking, but due to the fact that I took over a Boca side who had just finished the season in 17th, I set us up to be more difficult to beat and that has been a great base for us to build on.

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As I said, this is my first look into doing a thread in this forum so any advice would be welcome and Im not the greatest of writers when it comes to tactics.

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nice write up

1 question i would ask is why do you bias the anchorman to the right side. normally anchorman should be plugged in at the centre (i'm ready for an argument! on this ;))

but you do have your right sided winger as a DW so that means he back tracks to support the anchorman, yes? why not place that winger more central (WM)?

but yes the tactic seems balanced. but i just find biasing an anchorman to one side is a little fiddly :). does he end up playing centrally anyway ie plugging the gap between 2 DC.

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nice write up

1 question i would ask is why do you bias the anchorman to the right side. normally anchorman should be plugged in at the centre (i'm ready for an argument! on this ;))

but you do have your right sided winger as a DW so that means he back tracks to support the anchorman, yes? why not place that winger more central (WM)?

but yes the tactic seems balanced. but i just find biasing an anchorman to one side is a little fiddly :). does he end up playing centrally anyway ie plugging the gap between 2 DC.

First of all, cheers for the comment, and second, I like a good old argument myself so lets get going!!!

I agree that the defensive midfielder would normally be set more central, but the way it works is as you said, although he is naturally on the right hand side, if their midfielder gets passed our central midfielder, he is more often than not there to cover. I also have him there because my right side of my team is slightly weaker than the left side, so if there is any pressure coming from the right hand side of he is generally there to break up any attack. The DM generally doesnt just sit in his spot on the right hand side of the pitch. Although positioned there, he covers every blade of grass infront of the back four to offer support.

Regarding the DW, although set to the attack duty, he does drop back to offer support defensively and often offers a lot to the right side of the team in a defensive aspect if the Anchor Man is offering defensive support elsewhere on the pitch. Basically, I feel its set up to cover every aspect possible.

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Boca -v- Belgrano

BocavBelgranoAnalysis_Analysis.png

BocavBelgranoSplitView.png

So a 1-0 win follows up a 4-1 victory in our previous game. As you can see from the screenshot above, we completely dominated the game but just failed to make the most of our dominance until late in the game. Our narrow formation made it difficult for Belgrano to cause us any real problems, but we made the game difficult for ourselves by trying to go for goal from distance when there was an extra pass on.

BocavBelgranoAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

As you can tell from the above screenshot, we didnt have to many shots on target to trouble the goalkeeper. As I have already said, we went for goal to early once to many when the extra pass was on and would have resulted in a better opportunity.

Going forward, I think I will be asking the team to try and work the ball into the box so we arent trying our luck from distance.

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Union Espanola -v- Boca

UninEspaolavBocaAnalysis_Analysis.png

UninEspaolavBocaSplitView.png

An excellent comeback in the Copa Libertadores as we once again showed our quality. Yes we fell behind but that once again spurred us on. We once again passed the living daylights out of our opponents, maybe not to the extent of the previous game but we just wore them down and that resulted in most of our goals. We show with our high pressure that they dont keep possession as much as they would like and their passing success isnt as high as ours. This means we can control the game more, but also when they are on the attack we are so solid in defence that Espanola struggled to really conjure up any chances.

UninEspaolavBocaAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

Our shots at goal show that a lot of our work came from the left hand side, not something which bothers me to much. I gave touchline instructions for the lads to work the ball into the box and I feel that it shows the success of this with the ratio of shots on to off target (7:2).

Anchor Man Passes

UninEspaolavBocaAnalysis_Analysis-3.png

I actually feel that a lot of our attacks started with our anchor man. He simply picked the ball up and played the most simple of passes to get the ball rolling and allowed us to work up an attack. Nothing fancy, just keep it simple.

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Ahh I do love some discussion on Rafa's formation at Liverpool (despite me being a United fan... Don't kill me :rolleyes: ). I quite like how you have that set up, it seems very nicely balanced and with the Anchor Man you have a nice base to get things rolling. Obviously how you set up the roles will be down to your players but if I remember rightly, the 2 deep midfielders of Alonso and Mascherano if you were to put their roles into FM would be a DLP (probably support) for Alonso and the Anchor role for Mascherano.

What I want to know is how did you arrive at the conclusion of the Central Midfielder - Automatic role for your CM and what makes you play with the CML and the DMR instead of both on the same line. Is that a tactical move or is that a bit more forced due to the players that you have?

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What I want to know is how did you arrive at the conclusion of the Central Midfielder - Automatic role for your CM and what makes you play with the CML and the DMR instead of both on the same line. Is that a tactical move or is that a bit more forced due to the players that you have?

I use the CM in the automatic role because it makes it easier for me when I am having to change tactic. Rather than me having him on support the whole time, with him being on automatic it allows for his role to automatically change when I need to go more attacking or defensive. For example if I change my strategy to defensive then his role automatically goes defensive.

As I have already said, I have my Anchor Man there because the right hand side of my midfield is slightly weaker than the left so he offers support there, but also he doesnt actually just sit on the right hand side. He screens the entire back four. The CM I use as well is very young and although developing, has some quite good stats for a DLP although he isnt quite there yet. Im also not a fan of having my three central midfielders from defense to attack in a straight line. It gives me a much wider range of attack if they are staggered like they are.

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Welcome to this part of the forum SRL, hope you stick around :)

I'm enjoying the write up and I like how you've created a formation based on real life and have made it to suit the team you manage and the group of players you have. I wish more people would follow this route and post about them, as I really do enjoy reading about real life based tactics.

I like how each heat map shows the tactic working in a different way.

nice write up

1 question i would ask is why do you bias the anchorman to the right side. normally anchorman should be plugged in at the centre (i'm ready for an argument! on this
winking-smiley-17138.gif
)

but you do have your right sided winger as a DW so that means he back tracks to support the anchorman, yes? why not place that winger more central (WM)?

but yes the tactic seems balanced. but i just find biasing an anchorman to one side is a little fiddly
:)
. does he end up playing centrally anyway ie plugging the gap between 2 DC.

I actually think off settings the anchorman was the correct thing to do. Even though the AMR is a DW he still won't track back enough. Which in turn means the tactic is vulnerable down the middle especially in the area that there isn't an initial MC. So by off settings his anchor it'll work nicely especially as he used a limited defender on the same side.

You can see that time and effort as been put into the player roles to create a nice balance.

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Welcome to this part of the forum SRL, hope you stick around :)

I'm enjoying the write up and I like how you've created a formation based on real life and have made it to suit the team you manage and the group of players you have. I wish more people would follow this route and post about them, as I really do enjoy reading about real life based tactics.

I like how each heat map shows the tactic working in a different way.

Cheers Cleon. I appreciate the comment :). I hope this helps me stick around longer in here because although I have dwelved into the forum, I have been rather apprehensive about posting because Im not the most confident of writers when it comes to tactics. I feel though that having used this tactic for so many years I am able to talk about it in greater depth.

I agree about the heat map. Its not something I have ever really looked at before to much, but I have been checking on it more this season with Boca to see how things work. I like how although we have a set-up there to work with, depending on the tactics of our opponents it works completely different to nulify their attack but also benefit our own.

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I use the CM in the automatic role because it makes it easier for me when I am having to change tactic. Rather than me having him on support the whole time, with him being on automatic it allows for his role to automatically change when I need to go more attacking or defensive. For example if I change my strategy to defensive then his role automatically goes defensive.

As I have already said, I have my Anchor Man there because the right hand side of my midfield is slightly weaker than the left so he offers support there, but also he doesnt actually just sit on the right hand side. He screens the entire back four. The CM I use as well is very young and although developing, has some quite good stats for a DLP although he isnt quite there yet. Im also not a fan of having my three central midfielders from defense to attack in a straight line. It gives me a much wider range of attack if they are staggered like they are.

That's grand. Was simply curious with what your thinking was behind that. Thanks for the reasoning and I hope you stick around here more often :)

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That's grand. Was simply curious with what your thinking was behind that. Thanks for the reasoning and I hope you stick around here more often :)

No problem. Any questions, just fire them my way and I will be happy to answer them!!!!

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No problem. Any questions, just fire them my way and I will be happy to answer them!!!!
If I can think of more questions to bug you with then I will. This has given me some food for thought with my own tactic so it's time for me to sit back down and really look at what exactly I want my players to do. Because it's clear that you know exactly what you want from each player and you have their roles very nicely balanced.

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If I can think of more questions to bug you with then I will. This has given me some food for thought with my own tactic so it's time for me to sit back down and really look at what exactly I want my players to do. Because it's clear that you know exactly what you want from each player and you have their roles very nicely balanced.

Cheers. I appreciate that :thup:.

I do like to sit down and work out how I want my side to play and how I want my players to as well. Im quite OCD about everything on FM I must say.

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Hi SRL88 - this is something that I've been toying with as Liverpool (I've started a new game with a new approach) although I've borrowed heavily from the Triple Pivot formation that someone (apologies - can't remember their name, but I'm not taking the credit!) else posted about for FM11 (if I recall rightly).

Mine is setup with the LFB actually having the WB role, the SC being a poacher and the anchor man being a DLP. Formationally identical to yours but the roles a little different. It's interesting to hear about your success by going narrow - I've not tried that. My problems have actually been with breaking down a 4-4-2 as used by lower Prem teams - have you got any advice?

Other than that though, it seems to work - 2nd in my 1st season (lost to Arsenal away in last game of season, allowing ManUtd to pip me to the title by 2 points :( ) So yeah - if anyone's interested in the OP's formation - I'll recommend it!

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Mine is setup with the LFB actually having the WB role, the SC being a poacher and the anchor man being a DLP. Formationally identical to yours but the roles a little different. It's interesting to hear about your success by going narrow - I've not tried that. My problems have actually been with breaking down a 4-4-2 as used by lower Prem teams - have you got any advice?

Other than that though, it seems to work - 2nd in my 1st season (lost to Arsenal away in last game of season, allowing ManUtd to pip me to the title by 2 points :( ) So yeah - if anyone's interested in the OP's formation - I'll recommend it!

Cheers for the comment fella :thup:.

Shame you missed out on the title to Man Utd but glad to hear that your tactic is working somewhat.

As I have mentioned in the OP, I have tried this method with three clubs prior to Boca and it is only really at Boca that I have gone this narrow/rigid to be honest. Before that I used a poacher at each of my clubs, its just here, with the quality of the players I have and the amount of goals that tend to be scored in Argentina I tried to limit other teams attacksfirst.

When I was in the Premiership with Liverpool I echo your comments about 4-4-2. Sometimes I struggled to break them down and had to rely on a 1-0 win or a tight 2-0 win. Im not saying that this is the thing which helped me, but I like to believe that it did. When I was playing against sides who played certain formations such as 4-4-2 I liked to be quick out the blocks. I changed my tactics to quick attacking play for say the first 15 minutes and I usually got a goal or two in that opening period then it allowed me to slow things down and not have to worry about chasing a goal. I would hightly recommend it because when you are a side like Liverpool its important to dominate from the off.

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Interesting, although I'd probably find the Liverpool / Galatasaray / Atletico versions more to my liking than this Boca setup (which I'm guessing will evolve as the season progress and you build a team, no doubt).

How much have you changed player roles from the preset instructions? And did you ever use the LCM in a Left DM role (say as defensive midfielder - support or a deep-lying playmaker)? Just wondering whether you have a tactical reason for preferring a CM to a DM, or if its just a result of the players at your disposal.

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Interesting, although I'd probably find the Liverpool / Galatasaray / Atletico versions more to my liking than this Boca setup (which I'm guessing will evolve as the season progress and you build a team, no doubt).

How much have you changed player roles from the preset instructions? And did you ever use the LCM in a Left DM role (say as defensive midfielder - support or a deep-lying playmaker)? Just wondering whether you have a tactical reason for preferring a CM to a DM, or if its just a result of the players at your disposal.

Yeah it will evolve and I am just keeping it like this due to who I have at my disposal. Its not as though the Argentine league is loaded with money where as I had money to burn at the other three clubs to fill my squad with superstars.

Regarding players, as I have mentioned, my Anchor Man has his creative freedom and mentality set to its lowest. My left back I have run with ball often and try to get him forward as much as possible to offer more width than my left winger who cuts inside a lot. My TM I have so he doesnt run with the ball at all and just gets it and lays it off. I have his supply set to mixed because he is able to fulfill the three supplies quite well.

Regarding my midfield. Its mainly because of the players at my disposal. As mentioned, my main CM has some good stats for a DLP, but he is still very young and quite raw so I dont really want the side to look to him as our main outlet to start an attack. Over time, this may develop. I do have another DM in the squad who is 19 and still developing as well. He offers a good alternative to my current Anchor Man but at the moment I am happy with how we are set up, but I also dont want to limit our attack my having two DM's and prefer to have an option in midfield to be able to switch it up between attack and defence.

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Argentinos -v- Boca

ArgentinosvBocaAnalysis_Analysis.png

ArgentinosvBocaSplitView.png

This particular game here was against a side who at battling at the top of the league with us so I knew I was in for a tough game. It was a reletively even game. Looking at the position heat map shows that a midfield trio were one of the bases for our solidity and pushing us towards victory. I dropped my CM slightly deeper into a DM and used him as a DLP. They worked hard in the middle of the park and stopped the Argentinos midfield from playing. We were edged on possession and scored with our only attempt on target (a header from our centre half), but again, due to the solid nature of my tactic and the hard work of my team we werent really in to much trouble.

AML Runs

ArgentinosvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-2-1.png

Although our midfield three were our main aspect defensively, our main outlet when it came to our attacks from our AML who I deploy as an IF. He popped up in some dangerous positions and that is the side our general play seemed to go down. He ran at their defence very directly and caused them many problems, with the run circled the one which led to the corner which we scored from.

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Is this available to download?

You dont really need to download it to be honest. Just copy the settings I have in the OP. As for player roles I can send you them in a PM if you want.

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Libertad -v- Boca

LibertadvBocaAnalysis_Analysis.png

LibertadvBocaSplitView.png

Well this is the first time I am posting about my tactic and we have failed to win. I have had to venture away from my usual strategy due to the fact that we had numerous players missing. I had to go with a poacher upfront which completely changed the dynamics of my team. We didnt have a player cutting in off the wing and most of our balls went over the top of their defence, rather than us working the ball through.

This is definitely something I will need to look at to allow us to be able to be as effective in a different circumstances.

Anchor Man Passes

LibertadvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

Well compared to the last time that I posted about my Anchor Man's passing, this screenshot shows a massive difference in number of complete passes made. My Anchor Man was much more involed in this game in terms of an attacking aspect as he received a lot more of the ball than normal.

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^^ yup but he's biased to the right!

btw how does he do in terms of tackles and interceptions (per match)

In that particular game it was as follows:

Tackles

LibertadvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-1.png

Interceptions

LibertadvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-2-1.png

That includes any missed interceptions and tackles lost which is obviously NONE. We werent exactly great in the game above, but it shows the importance of him to our side as he won every single tackle and every interception.

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Boca -v- Estudiantes

BocavEstudiantesLPAnalysis_Analysis.png

BocavEstudiantesLPSplitView.png

This particular game got us back to winning ways, but also included the addition of a TM back into our side rather than a poacher upfront. It was a game which we started slowly in, despite the fact that we took the lead in the first minute. It seemed to give us that option to just sit there and allow them to attack us. After a little tweak in touchline instructions and we seemed to get a stranglehold on the game again.

The positional heat map shows that we were a little deeper, especially in the centre of midfield due to the early pressure we were put under after going a goal up. You can also see by the heat map that we were a lot more compact in the midfield compared to the previous game, but also offered a lot more width in the wider areas.

Attacking Midfield Passes

BocavEstudiantesLPAnalysis_Analysis-3.png

A lot of our play during this particular game went through our AM. Although there were a few passes backwards so we could return possession, there were many more forward thinking passes which set us off on numerous attacks from many different positions. On more than one occassion he swapped position with our central midfielder, something which I didnt ask to happen and it just happened naturally which caused a lot of problems for their defence.

Shots at Goal

BocavEstudiantesLPAnalysis_Analysis-4.png

As we got pretty well into double figures in terms of shots I though I would show you where those shots came from. The above screenshot clearly shows that when shooting on the left hand side of goal, we tended to shoot from inside the box, where as from the right it shows that we tried our luck from distance to much for my liking. It is something that I would like to work on and I will definitely be looking into it to see if there is any way I can change this.

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Godoy Cruz -v- Boca

GodoyCruzvBocaAnalysis_Analysis.png

GodoyCruzvBocaSplitView.png

So this is the first time I am posting a defeat using this formation. I actually think that is extremely important because what would be the point in me sitting here, typing that this is the ultimate formation that everyone should use because it will win you every single game and every trophy available to you??? There wouldnt, thats the answer. Its a good thing that I can post in here about a defeat because the whole point is that I can now analyse my weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Looking at the heat map, I have circled a couple of things which I would like to point out to you. The black circle shows our Anchor Man and centre midfielder (Yes I realise there are three but that is due to substitutions). What I would like to point out is how deep they are. There is no way that my central midfielder should be sat that deep, pretty much alongside my Anchor Man when I actually havent set this formation up in that way.

The second circle (yellow) shows the difference between my AM's (no7/21). The difference in their overall positions is ridiculous. There is no way that no7 should be that deep when playing as an AM. I actually feel that the two things I have pointed out are a reason for our defeat. Yeah I like the defence to sit deep so we dont caught out in behind, but an CM and even worse an AM should not be that deep in the way I have for formation set.

These two points pretty much resulted in us being very ineffective as an attacking threat.

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Chances Created & Shots

GodoyCruzvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-4.png

This shows pretty much the same thing, but I wanted to point out what our actual chances brought. We were extremely limited in terms of chances created to outside the box and one of the reason's being that our AM was no where to be seen so our AML/AMR/TM had nothing to feed off. In this formation the AM needs to be much further forward for us to be an attacking threat to allow us to work the ball into the box to create a better chance for ourselves.

Anchor Man Tackles & Interceptions

GodoyCruzvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

Here is another little flaw in the formation. Our Anchor Man just wasnt at the races during this game. For my liking there were to many tackles lost (red dots). The three shown were the process for a Godoy attack.

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This looks like a great thread, when i get a moment i'll read it properly keep up the excellent work OP

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This looks like a great thread, when i get a moment i'll read it properly keep up the excellent work OP

Cheers fella :thup:.

Glad you enjoyed the opening post and nice to have someone else reading.

Its a work in progress and I hope I can improve the thread from its current standard.

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Boca -v- Libertad

BocavLibertadAnalysis_Analysis.png

BocavLibertadSplitView.png

Well probably the most dominant 1-0 win you will see for a long time. The formation worked extremely well against Libertad and our possession shows that we completely controlled and dominated the whole game. Our midfield three from DM to AM were on song with their passing a delight, all being involved to the maximum.

The heat map shows that due to our dominance allowed us to press higher up the pitch and we also played quite a bit wider. Despite our usual set-up, our defensive line was a lot higher which allowed us to influence the game in their half of the pitch throughout.

Shots at Goal

BocavLibertadAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

The shots we had at goal screenshot looks a lot better as we were able to get the ball into the box a lot more compared to our previous game. I was much happier to see a lot more variation in our attacking play because as I mentioned previously, from the left hand side of the pitch all our shots came from inside the box and on the right they were from outside the box. It was a lot nicer to see the fact that we varied this up.

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I tried this formation with my Crewe side but used a deep player maker at DMC instead of CM. Very well written and an interesting read.

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I tried this formation with my Crewe side but used a deep player maker at DMC instead of CM. Very well written and an interesting read.

I find it a very effective formation, and one which you can blend so many different ways of playing into.

Cheers for the comment to :thup:. I am working on making it better and hoping I can become a better writer because of it. Im not one full of confidence when it comes to writing about tactics.

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Nice write-up and good work on those tactics. I'm currently working on a countering 4-2-3-1 formation for Newcastle and I'll take some pointers from this thread. :thumbs up:

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Lanus -v- Boca

LansvBocaSplitView.png

This particular game resulted in an excellent 1-0 win for us in a game which we were billed as massive underdogs for. Well looking at the split view screen above we looked anything but underdogs as we dominated the game in pretty much every area shown. Going into the game I knew that Lanus played with a very narrow formation (Diamond Midfield) and I looked to take advantage of that.

LansvBocaBoca_TeamInstructions.png

LansvBocaAnalysis_Analysis.png

I actually feel that these two screenshots are key. The former shows what I changed prior to kick-off to give us the best possible chance of beating Lanus. I switched our general play from a mix to down both flanks. This meant that because Lanus didnt play with wingers that we could double up on their full backs by attacking them. I also moved our width up somewhat to stretch the game and hopefully stretch their midfield to a position they werent really used to.

The latter shows how much wider we were than normal. There is a much bigger gap between our Anchor Man and our CM and also between our backline. The circled player is a player I brought on as a substitute. I had my usual DW on the right hand side who when Lanus did attack us down the flanks via their LB, our DW wasnt tracking back as much as I would like to double up on him. I decided to bring a WM on, drop him back to the wide midfield position and left him on the automatic role. This resulted in an excellent wide midfield play which saw him get up and down the pitch at a rapid pace.

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Lanus -v- Boca - Continued

The Run Which Won us the Penalty

LansvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

This is why one reason I went wide. Despite being set to an IF, our left winger actually picked the ball up just inside their half and drove at their full back with our LB going inside actually. This left a bit of space for him as he then cut inside from near the touchline and due to their full back being dragged slightly out of position due to a dummy run, he had a lot of work to do and ended up stretching for the ball and bringing our IF down.

Chances at Goal

LansvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-3.png

Now this looks a lot better in my eyes. There is a lot more variation in our strikes at goal both in terms of in the box and outside the box. All of our strikes at goal came from the face that we worked the ball from out wide to an inside position and Lanus just struggled to respond. Yes we could have scored more, but this general play and the way in which we worked the ball into the box was a joy to watch.

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Nice write-up and good work on those tactics. I'm currently working on a countering 4-2-3-1 formation for Newcastle and I'll take some pointers from this thread. :thumbs up:

Cheers fella :thup:. Always nice to have a comment :).

It will be very interesting to see how you have both set up and currently playing with Newcastle.

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Boca -v- Ferro

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This game against Ferro just shows how much of an attacking threat this formation and tactic can prove to be. We were brilliant in this game. One thing I would like to point out is how close our AM was to our TM (circled). I believe this is one of the main reasons why our attacking threat worked so well.

Once again our defensive line pushed quite high up, despite the fact that I set it up so we play slightly deeper. It just shows that our general dominance of a game allows the defence to squeeze higher up the pitch and in the process pushes the rest of the team further up field.

Chances

BocavFerroAnalysis_Analysis-3.png

It is very nice to see the number of chances we created. Yes, only one of them is classed as a clear cut chance (green), but the overall play to get us into a scoring position is nice to see. A lot of them came from the left hand side, not exactly to shoot but even to lay it off to someone else to have a chance at goal. We really took advantage of their right hand side.

Goals

BocavFerroAnalysis_Analysis.png

This shows the goals in what is a very nice screenshot. The far left goal (45+1') shows the run our AML made. Set as an IF as usual, like in the previous game he set off just inside his own half, running towards the touchline and then cutting inside and guess what, like in the last game it worked again. This time though he cut inside enough to give himself a goal scoring opportunity and a goal is exactly what he got. It was a brilliant run and it is showing to me now that our IF is getting a lot of play. In the process, he scored his 20th goal of the season.

The second is a bit of a passing move before some quick feet from out TM broke him free from the defence to unleash a brilliant strike.

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Boca -v- Colon

BocavColnAnalysis_Analysis-3.png

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Yet another solid win follows for us against Colon. This game saw us pushed quite a bit further back than in previous games so we had to work a little harder as the split view and the heat map show. Looking at the split view you can see that we limited our opponents to no shots on target. That was mainly down to a fantastic defensive display and the fact that we closed the Colon players down at every opportunity.

Boca -v- Colon

Shots at Goal

BocavColnAnalysis_Analysis.png

This screenshot really does show the difference. The number of chances we created and turned into shots on goal makes the Colon screenshot look shameful. As I said, we closed our opponents down at every opportunity and forced them to either snatch at their shots to blaze over or the shots were blocked.

AM Passes

BocavColnAnalysis_Analysis-5.png

Our AM was a massive factor in our win during this game. This passing was fantastic as he spreaded the ball around with ease to cause problem after problem for their defence. A 95% success rate from passes is a brilliant stat and an excellent performance was capped off with a goal.

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You're putting me and my thread to shame with your analysis. :(

Great thread, very intereting read.

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You're putting me and my thread to shame with your analysis. :(

Great thread, very intereting read.

Well thats up for debate but thank you for the kind words Sir :brock:.

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Boca -v- Union Espanola

BocavUninEspaolaAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

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Despite the 3-1 win (which came very late in the game), this was one of those games which, because we had already qualified for the Knockout Round of the Copa Libertadores, was very subdued. I am struggling for things to comment on because of the performances of both sides, but we started **** to be honest and it took for them to take the lead for us to pull our fingers out our arses to put it bluntly.

AML - IF

Runs & Goals

BocavUninEspaolaAnalysis_Analysis.png

This is the thing to look at mainly. The main reason for victory in this game was due to the fact that our left winger was on fire. Three fantastic goals, all coming from the left hand side after cutting in. The two highlighted runs are there because after taking a player or two on, they led to two of his three goals. This is an inspired season for our AML and shows that in the right formation how well a player can perform.

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Boca -v- Independiente

BocavIndependienteAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

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This specific game was an extremely tight and hard fought game which finally resulted in us grabbing a 2-1 win. Yeah we created a lot more chances than Independiente, but they controlled most of the play to be honest and we had to work hard to get the ball back. The heat map shows that our side looked very compact from back to front but Independiente made it difficult for us to play. We played with a mid-high back line and that was probably one of the problems for us. Despite their lack of created opportunities, we were troubled in behind one to many times. Maybe going into games like this when I notice this I should drop the back line a little deeper to try and nip this problem ASAP rather than try and see it out.

RB (Tackles) - CB (Interceptions)

BocavIndependienteAnalysis_Analysis.png

This screenshot shows a massive amount of work which needed to be done defensively by just two of our back line. Our RB had a lot of work to do down his side of the pitch and on all but one occassion he managed to succeed in the tackle to stop their attack. Our CB had to be on his toes a lot as well and the interception graphic shows just how many he had to make with 100% success rate.

Chances Created & Shots at Goal

BocavIndependienteAnalysis_Analysis-3.png

You can look at the above screenshot and determine two major factors in my eyes. One is that we created my clear cut chances than we have had previously, and the second is how clinical we were because we scored both our goals with two of the three clear cut chances we created.

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Santos -v- Boca

SantosvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

SantosvBocaSplitView.png

Well if there was ever a game when my formation and tactic was going to come into question this was going to be it. Santos, a major force in Brazilian football really gave us a game. Looking at the heat map it shows that our team was a little all over the place and I have to give a big pat on the back to Santos because they really made us work hard for this victory. Our defence was pushed very deep, but our players were stretched and more often than not our players were really far away from each other. This is something I want to look at, especially in tough away games when we are more likely to have our backs to the wall for most of the game. It is a situation I dont want to find myself in most of the time so I will definitely be looking into this.

Chances Created & Shots at Goal

SantosvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-3.png

Well not many chances created but we did create a couple of clear cut chances, which we did fluff bare in mind!!! The goal we did score came from a ball played forward towards our target man who took the ball on his chest to lay it off to our RB of all people who fired in a thunderbolt.

CM Passing

SantosvBocaAnalysis_Analysis-5.png

One of the reasons we managed to have such a high possession percentage was due to our CM. He was a calming influence in the midfield and had a 94.1% success rate in his passing. He generally just played the simple passes to retain possession and that helped towards a fantastic 1-0 win.

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Botafogo -v- Boca

BotafogovBocaAnalysis_Analysis.png

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Much like the Santos game, this was an extremely difficult game against a very good Brazilian opponent. Considering we got into a two goal lead we spent the majority of the game afterwards having to defend heavy Botofogo pressure. They dominated possession and had numerous chances, but in a screenshot I will show in a bit you will see how we defended their attacks.

Botafogo -v- Boca

Shots at Goal

BotafogovBocaAnalysis_Analysis-2.png

I love this double screenshot. I think it looks great. Botofogo had a lot more chances than us but look at all those blue dots which indicate blocked shots. Our defence was really on song this game and closed down at every opportunity.

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Boca -v- San Lorenzo

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This particular game was a very pleasing performance, yes before the sending off, but more so after. We had a much higher possession percentage prior to the sending off which obviously changed after it due to the fact that we were down to 10 men and San Lorenzo were chasing the game. Still though, to come out with a higher percentage of possession is very pleasing to see. When we had the man sent off (LB), I brought off our AM for another LB which left us effectively playing a 4-2-2-1 formation. The heat map shows that our defence was quite compact, and also shows the Anchor Man who didnt move to far away from the defence.

Tackles & Interceptions

BocavSanLorenzoAnalysis_Analysis-3.png

I like this image because it just shows that despite having 10 men, we continued to win most of our tackles and intercept a lot of passes. Its lovely to see how hard we worked to win the ball back because we still had over 50 minutes of football to play following the sending off.

Chances Created & Shots at Goal

BocavSanLorenzoAnalysis_Analysis.png

This is again much better for the formation that we created so many clear cut chances. There is a lot more variation in the way we worked the ball around.

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I'm loving how you can see how the players play based on what formation they come up against. Almost every heat map is different :thup:

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I'm loving how you can see how the players play based on what formation they come up against. Almost every heat map is different :thup:

Yreah thats pretty good :).

Its good to see how the players respond based off the pressure they are put under, or in some cases lack of it.

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Boca -v- Estudiantes

BocavEstudiantesLPAnalysis_Analysis-1.png

BocavEstudiantesLPSplitView-1.png

This game was a Cup Semi-Final so in terms of general play it was a lot tougher and tighter than I it looks, despite the 3-0 scoreline. I like how the heat map shows how compact we were as a team because we came under some heavy pressure at times, and it wasnt until the sending off when we finally took complete control of the game.

Goals

BocavEstudiantesLPAnalysis_Analysis-2-1.png

Yellow Star - Starting Player Position

Black Star - Player Position

Red Line - Player Movement

Black Line - Pass/Cross

*I have just noticed a bit of a problem with one run. It is the run made by our RB for no1. It should be a red line, not a black line before the final pass for a goal.*

Right, this may look confusing but its not. I will talk you through it anyway. I like that it shows a variation in our play to show the different methods in which we can score goals.

1. Our first goal of the game (far right of the pitch), came in the first minute from our AMR. The passage of play started with our RB playing a one-two with our AMR. Our AMR then proceeded to make a run into the box and the ball was pulled back from our RB for our AMR to slot the ball home.

2. The second goal of the game (far left) was a set piece. An excellent ball in from a free-kick by our CM resulted in a towering header from our CD.

3. The final goal of the game (middle) was similar but showed the effectiveness of our TM. A long punt upfield from our RB saw our TM knock the ball down for our AML to smash the ball home.

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Sorry for the lack of updates. The season has ended, but when it starts again I will be posting.

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I've been using this tactic at Wigan and it looks very well balanced and effective, I've noticed my team is much more clinical than usual, for example, I beat Liverpool 1-0 when they 20 shots to our 6 and drew 1-1 with Arsenal when they had 18 shots to our 1 (and this is with Shola Ameobi up front!) This is fantastic as previously (at Volendam in the Eereste Divisie) I dominated games, more possession and more shots etc. but failed to put the ball in the net. As another Liverpool fan and with the players at my disposal, I have opted to use the CML as a DLPs effectively re-creating Alonso's role back in the Rafa days. Thanks man! :)

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I've been using this tactic at Wigan and it looks very well balanced and effective, I've noticed my team is much more clinical than usual, for example, I beat Liverpool 1-0 when they 20 shots to our 6 and drew 1-1 with Arsenal when they had 18 shots to our 1 (and this is with Shola Ameobi up front!) This is fantastic as previously (at Volendam in the Eereste Divisie) I dominated games, more possession and more shots etc. but failed to put the ball in the net. As another Liverpool fan and with the players at my disposal, I have opted to use the CML as a DLPs effectively re-creating Alonso's role back in the Rafa days. Thanks man! :)

Ahhhhhhhhh, glad to hear about someone else having success with this formation :).

Keep up the good work with Wigan fella :thup:.

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Ahhhhhhhhh, glad to hear about someone else having success with this formation :).

Keep up the good work with Wigan fella :thup:.

Thanks man, I'd be happy if I did half as well as your journeyman save! That's one epic career!

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