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gechal

Overloading The Middle - My Formation.

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Hello, I have always enjoyed reading the tactics and training forums, I love the amount of work people put in and the detail they go into. Now its about time for me to give my formation a go. This post might not be as polished as some, due to my total lack of ability when it comes to computers, but I hope I still manage to get my points accross.

There is nothing revolotionary in here, and a lot of poeple probably use something similar, but this one is mine, and I am really enjoying the football it produces.

MY TEAM - WREXHAM - A SHORT BACKGROUND .

I have been with Wrexham for five years now, and we are in League One, and we have just started our third season in this league. We are the youngest squad in this division, and there were no transfers in during pre season. The players are a close knit determined group of lads, and there is great harmony about the place.

The formation I have given them is a young one, having been used for the last few games of the previous season, and the first twenty of this season. We finished lower mid table last season, the formation change saving us from a relegation scrap, and this time we are nine points clear at the top after twenty games.

So it has mostly been used in the summer months, and I wonder if it will be as effective in deepest darkest January and February, when the matches pile up and the pitched become poor. We have just started December and it is holding up so far.

THE FORMATION.

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TEAM INSTRUCTIONS

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My original formation didn't have the winger, but another advanced playmaker in the middle. Injuries forced me to play him. It was a stroke of luck, even though sometimes he doesn't get as involved in the game as the otheres, he creates more space for the central midfielders to run into, and he often cuts inside from the flank to run in between the left back and centre back to receive through balls. This is because my shouts are applied at the start of the game change the team instructions slightly, with exploit the middle changing the passing and wide play of the players.

SHOUTS

Doing this thread has helped me get to know how the team plays a lot better, and one of the things I discovered was what the shouts really do, and how sometimes using them together means some shouts get overridden by other ones. I have had to ask myself if some of these are necessary, although I haven't changed them yet -

PASS TO FEET - WORK BALL INTO BOX - EXPLOIT THE MIDDLE - PLAY WIDER.

Now I always thought that if I play wider and exploit the middle, the team will have more width, and look to pass inside to the creative players. My team does this, but I think that possibly it would do this anyway without the play wider shout. I have looked, and maybe I have missed something, but I cant find a single influence play wider has on the team instructions or the player instructions, due to the fact I have exploit the middle on. Exploit the middle seems to be the most dominant shout of the two.

I will show the effects the shouts have on my players later on down the post, next to their passing maps.

FORMATION OBJECTIVES

What I want from this set up is for the team to pass pass and pass. I want this passing to be done predominantly in the middle of the pitch, just outside the oppositions third of the pitch. I want them to keep hold of the ball , and if nothing is on, play a simple pass. If something opens up, then play it through to the poacher.

A typical move will involve the keeper passing short to my right wing back, who will then look inside for options. He will usually have two or three.

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Because of the width the wingbacks are giving, there is room and time for the central midfielders to get the ball down, look up, and pass around in a patent manner, not forcing the play, just playing simple passes until something opens up.

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Despite the midfeild options available, the wingback decides to pass short to the centre back.

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The anchor man drops back to collect of the centre back.

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The anchour man then plays to my right side centre mid,who turns inside and has two options.

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He chooses the advanced playmaker, and now the poacher is on his bike.

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The advanced playmaker knows what he is going to do before the ball reaches him, and plays in the poacher, who this time gets through and has his shot saved.

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The example above is really quite a quick transition from back to front, caused by possible the opposition set to high closing down. A lot of the time they will keep the ball longer, but that makes for too many pictures!

For them to keep hold of the ball and play it around I think it needs a combination of good descion making, short passing, through balls set to" sometimes".this gives them the best chance of doing this properly.

The wingbacks, with a support option set up, and run from deep set to sometimes, means they are not racing up to the byline all the time. They stay level with the midfield, always offering an option if there is nothing on in the middle. They will mostly look to play the ball back inside, instead of passing long up the flanks. Still stretching the play, but focusing on the inside .

With the exploit the middle shout, the midfielders will look to make runs from deep more often, and do this very well when the ball is on the flank. Always hoping to overload the oppositions central midfiled.

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Right back has the ball, about to pass to the right winger, the two centre midfelders are being looked after by the oppositions midfileders.

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As the winger gets it, the two centre midfielders and advanced playmakers are already on the move, especially the left centre mid, who is really starting to motor forward.

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As the winger gets by the left back the two centre midfielders and the advances playmaker have left the oppositions midfield behind, with the anchor dropping back nicely. What I like about this is the centre midfielders are both ahead of the advanced playmaker, even though without the ball they are set to defend. Shows what an impact shouts can have.

This time the winger runs down the line and goes no where, but if he could have stopped and played it across early , there are opportunities there.

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The poacher always tries to be on the shoulder of the centre backs, and when the time is right, he gets the ball close to goal and gets a shot off from a central location. As a result of this play, my poacher is having a storming season. (Granted, being Jamil Adam helps.)

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This next picture shows how well its going, with most assists coming from the centre being exploited, which is just what I want.

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PASS COMPLETION STATS

WINGBACKS

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CENTRE BACKS

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CENTRE MIDFIELDERS INCLUDING ADVANCED PLAYMAKERS

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WINGER

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POACHER

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MATCH EXAMPLE

I have chosen a match which I think shows this formation at its best - I could show other games where things dont go so well, and of course this set up has weaknesses, but I wanted to show what it is cabaple of . I give you Wrexham 5 - Crawley Town 0.

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SHOTS

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EACH INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS PASS MAP - INDIVIDUAL PLAYER INSTRUCTIONS UNDERNEATH.

LEFT AND RIGHT SIDED CENTRE BACKS+INSTRUCTIONS on next post

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Considering you were apprehensive to write in here this is a pretty good write-up fella :thup:.

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LEFT AND RIGHT WINGBACKS

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Both taken off after 71 mins. This set up does destroy the wingbacks stamina, and I have four of them that I rotate all the time to cope .

ANCHOR MAN instructions on next post

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I am surprised at how far forward he is on this pass map. The game was a while ago, and I may have put him as a def mid by mistake, because this doesn't look quite right.Although if the play is around their area, he is always just behind the action, picking up clearances and passing it on, so it may be right.

LEFT AND RIGHT CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

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ADVANCED PLAYMAKER - Was subbed at half time, so two players shared this role.

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1st half above

2nd half below

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WINGER instructions on next post

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POACHER

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So that was the game. I love how much the ball was played around the middle, and the amount of possession we had. We have had similar matches, but not with such an emphatic scoreline. The player instructions stay the same for every game, and they are changed from what they were before the game began , due to the shouts.

WEAKNESSES

We are vunerable on the wings, to long balls out wide where a centre forward might peel out to. Although if my centre back gets dragged out there because the wing back is caught out of position, the anchor man does a good job of getting in to fill in for him, with the two central midfielders not far behind him.

These are the areas where we struggle -

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If teams play short passing football against us, this happens. The rightwingback has gone to close down, left a huge gap between him and the right centre back. On the other side there is lots of space as we get dragged towards the ball. Goals usually come from these situations against us, be it a deep cross causing chaos, or a slick passing move cutting inside. Id take a deep cross each time, usually the centre backs deal with them quite well.

Defending the flanks is something I have always had problems with , and was the reason I chose wingbacks, to try and force back their wide players. For me, fullbacks either push up too high and get caught, exposing the centre backs. Or they stay too deep, and give the wingers all the time in the world to run at them.

I love the way the wingbacks, when the ball is being held in midfield, act as extra midfileders , making one long line of them across the pitch.

So we get caught on occasion, but it is a sacrifice and a risk im willing to take, if it means we play the football we do when we have the ball. Some of it has been a joy to watch.

Thanks for reading.

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Very detailed write up :) and not bad for a first attempt ;) I joke its an excellent start. Only had a brief skim through as Im at work but will have a proper read at some point, I love a different formation and I think this almost qualifies as different :p

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gechal :brock:

Welcome to these parts of the forum. You really didn't have anything to be worried about. I know you was from speaking to you, but I feel you've put across what you wanted to excellently and provided loads of detail. I really hope you stick around here as we could do with more people like yourself who take the plunge and post. It'll only make the forum stronger and better imo.

Quality 1st thread in here mate :thup:

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Good thread...

I've recently uncovered the joys of asymetrical formations, and have used them in the lower leagues when players were tired and I just didn't have enough people on the books to fill symetrical formations. Conicidentaly it's also been the right wing where I've branched out on to, possibly due to the avliability of right footed wingers further down the pyramid.

I think you made some good decisions with your team settings especially zonal marking and stand off more with such a brave formation. Have you experimented playing a higher D-line and going Off-side? With only 2 centre-halves, playing a bit squarer might make for an interesting approach?

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Good thread...

I've recently uncovered the joys of asymetrical formations, and have used them in the lower leagues when players were tired and I just didn't have enough people on the books to fill symetrical formations. Conicidentaly it's also been the right wing where I've branched out on to, possibly due to the avliability of right footed wingers further down the pyramid.

I think you made some good decisions with your team settings especially zonal marking and stand off more with such a brave formation. Have you experimented playing a higher D-line and going Off-side? With only 2 centre-halves, playing a bit squarer might make for an interesting approach?

I think playing with a higher line would give the midfield less space. With the centre backs deep, there is always a ball on if the midfield cant go anywhere. They play it back to them and the defenders often will switch play over to the opposite wingback.

I've tried high lines and lots of pressing, and it did work for me with a different formation when we were going up the leagues. Getting to this league it got properly found out, teams going through us like butter.

I've had to find a different formation for each league I've been in. As soon as I've taken a step up, it's been found wanting at the higher level.

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Great thread, I can see you've put a lot of time and effort into it and it's a good read and interesting formation.

My only concern would be whether you need a WB on the same side as your winger, perhaps he could be dropped back to a DR with a WB role? This way he would still get into the midfield area to provide an extra passing option, albeit from a slightly deeper position to assist the defence in case you lose possession.

I play a 4-1-2-1-2 with my DR/DL both on WB roles and they provide brilliant support in attacking positions whilst still doing a sound job defensively.

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Great thread, I can see you've put a lot of time and effort into it and it's a good read and interesting formation.

My only concern would be whether you need a WB on the same side as your winger, perhaps he could be dropped back to a DR with a WB role? This way he would still get into the midfield area to provide an extra passing option, albeit from a slightly deeper position to assist the defence in case you lose possession.

I play a 4-1-2-1-2 with my DR/DL both on WB roles and they provide brilliant support in attacking positions whilst still doing a sound job defensively.

Yeah the wingback on the same side as the winger is something I need to think about. Attacking , I'm going to go back over the past few matches and take a closer look at where they both are when we are in their 3rd. I think the winger is inside with the wingback in the space where the winger ususally is. Because the winger isn't set to hug the touchiline.

Defensively , this might help with the weaknesses I have showed on the post above.

Thanks mate:thup:

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