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noikeee

Özil + 10, a tactical exercise on FM14 with Arsenal

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Hello folks, with the release of the beta I have got on immediately with Arsenal as a challenge for fun, and have explored the new (brilliant!) tactical options a bit already. I have been thinking for a while this would be nice, particularly now with Mesut Özil on the side - he is the sort of extraordinary player you can build a top team around. It has come to my attention that other people are attempting the same, so why not write about my findings as I think this will be popular and I like writing anyway!

I will warn you now that I was not very good on the tactical side of FM13, so this is not a lecture on my part about tactics as some sort of authority on the subject, it's a thread for sharing opinions. It's not a Good Player & Team Guide thread about Arsenal neither, because it's almost all about the tactics.

I do know it's extremely early to take any conclusions from FM14 which is why this initial post is more about how my team should work in theory rather than analysing what has happened on the pitch.

Mesut Özil

Here's the lad. He's the inspiration for all of this.

iKn3qTg.jpg

Mesut is a particularly unique breed of player, because most attacking midfielders do not combine his set of skills - playmaking abilities such as Passing and Creativity is very common, but a lightning quick burst of pace is unusual for central midfield players, and what further sets him apart on a world class level is his faultless decisions on the ball, the constant selfless spirit represented in FM by a 17 teamwork rating, and above all his superb movement off the ball creating space for team-mates. The combo of high pace/dribbling/crossing is a lot more common in wingers than in central players, and indeed Mesut's uniqueness is deeply rooted in the fact he used to play a lot on the wing for Werder Bremen in his younger years. Later he moved to the middle, and for Real Madrid and often for Germany, a particularly feature of his game is the way he constantly moves laterally to help the winger+fullback to create overloads down the flanks, despite starting from a central position. This is a movement I will be trying to recreate on my team.

There is no question he will be the AMC in my team, at least in my Plan A. What role to give him is a bit murkier. I quickly discarded Advanced Playmaker and Enganche because they are not very mobile roles and I want him to be constantly on the move. Inside Forward does not suit him particularly well neither as they tend to hog the ball and do not playmake much. Attacking Midfielder is a possibility as a generic kind of role that lets him do his thing, and boy is he good at deciding his own things on the pitch; but for now as the team's main focus he should be given a more specific role, and that came down to a choice between Shadow Striker and Trequartista. Now a lot of people have mentioned Özil as a perfect Shadow Striker, and he has indeed played like one in some matches in his career, constantly moving forward to lead the line after starting from midfield. He has the pace and off the ball skills to do so. However this is another role that negates his playmaking abilities by putting him too far forward, and I want him drifting more to the wings not upfront. The obvious conclusion is that he needs to be a Trequartista.

I am slightly disappointed that in FM14 there's no player instruction for a central player to "drift out to wings", the Trequartista role does have Move Into Channels as a default option though (it's greyed out) and Özil likes to do this anyway as a PPM so that's already a help. Also whilst I'm not particularly keen on Özil hogging the ball for himself, there is a player instruction for "running with ball towards wings" and I've clicked that as further incentive for him to go wide. On an unrelated point, Özil isn't a poor finisher but I want him to concentrate on creating play and space for team-mates so I've ticked "shoot less".

sLZRebt.jpg

Balancing the style of play, roles and choice of players around Özil

I'm not sure I need to justify why the 4-2-3-1 is my choice of formation for my plan A because it's an incredibly obvious option with the players available, I've had it long in mind even before I had bought FM14. It's the formation Arsenal tends to line up with in real life, it suits a relatively big club like Arsenal and it suits the players available. Arsenal lack striking options (with Giroud being a decent-ish lone front man) and have loads of flairy attacking midfielders many of which can also play on the wings. This formation allows you to cram a few of them into the side whilst also having Özil who is the cream of the crop of them.

As preparation for this savegame until the beta was available, I actually loaded up FM13 on Tuesday and spent a couple hours building a really nice 4-2-3-1 for Dortmund, refining the possible combinations and making it work. It wasn't going 100% flawlessly but nevertheless I had settled into this setup, and the team was starting to gel rather well with it:

CufZVWO.jpg

This is a FM14 thread about Arsenal so I won't go deep onto why I made those choices for Dortmund on FM13, but I used it as a point of reference to build my Arsenal tactic. Dortmund are famed for playing quick incisive football, with very high pressing/aggression, and this tactic was replicating that style rather well. Arsenal are known to be more passive and patient, but I want them to evolve their style slightly towards Dortmund's reference of quick vertical football because that suits Özil. He is at his best when football is playing at a lightning pace because he is that rare player whose brain can actually perform at that speed - both on transitions (counter-attacks) and under high-tempo controlled possession phases of play (with the opponent defensively in position).

Oliver Giroud as my best striker is a fairly similar player to Lewandowski - albeit not as good - so there is little need to change the striker from a DLF/A role. I only have some concerns that he could be occupying the same space as Özil, but hopefully Özil will be constantly drifting away from him.

On the right we have Theo Walcott, who just like Blasczykowski is lightning quick and will be my team's major point of reference for receiving through balls and stretching play (both vertically and horizontally). Unlike Blasczykowski however he is not a very good defensive player so I see little point in having him as Defensive Winger - I gave him standard Winger role instead. More on Walcott later.

A major difference from Dortmund is that Özil as a trequartista will be running everywhere instead of filling his actual position of AMC as a playmaker, which is what I had Gotze doing there as a more static player. I need someone helping in that space/role, so I decided to give an Advanced Playmaker/Support role to Santi Cazorla despite the fact he'll be starting on the left-wing as AML. This will help us to cause overloads in midfield too, and to further emphasize this I have given him the "Sit Narrower" player instruction - this works beautifully as he plays permanently tucked in from the left. He is two-footed too so can still move left to cross and is completely unpredictable to defenders, even more so playing in a no-man's land pocket of space between the left wing and the centre of the pitch.

Walcott and Cazorla were both given mark tighter instructions in an effort to try to mark the opposition full-backs, which I am usually greatly concerned about in FM when using AML/AMRs.

Behind the front 4 I have a pretty big problem in midfield. Even with some help from Cazorla, he is not the most defensively minded player, and then Özil as Trequartista just doesn't defend. We need a responsible duo of work horses here, however I am uncomfortable having them as DMs like I had for Dortmund, because the gap to Özil then just becomes too great so I'll rather have them as MCs. This makes the tactic even more attacking than it is, and then to make things worse my set of midfielders are all pretty lightweight. Flamini is my only somewhat aggressive midfielder, with Arteta, Wilshere and Ramsey as talented but lightweight partners next to him. I decided then to splash the cash on Valon Behrami, who my DoF signed for 13M€. He is a substantial upgrade on Flamini and more suitable to a Central Midfield/Defend role, so I feel more comfortable having Arteta or Wilshere as Deep Lying Playmaker/Support next to him. Even then I'm not 100% confident here.

As I am building this tactic from the top to the bottom, and this plan A tactic is meant to be an attacking plan anyway, my first concern about the back 4 was actually about how they'll attack. With Cazorla tucked in very narrow on the left, a talented left-back on Wing Back/Attack role would be brilliant to exploit that space - so I've told the FB to "stay wider" to further emphasize that's what he needs to do. Natxo Monreal doesn't fit the role very well and Kieron Gibbs is not talented enough (although has the potential), so again I splashed the cash on Fábio Coentrão. He seems right about the ideal player for the role so I hope that will materialize on the pitch.

On the right I suspect Walcott will not be tracking back as much on his Attack role as Cazorla on the left (although Cazorla has very low work rate), so whilst I want Bakary Sagna to still contribute offensively - hence on Wing-Back role - he can be on Support duty. This suits him okay.

The centre-backs at the moment with Vermaelen injured, have got to be Koscielny and Mertesacker. I am concerned both with Mertesacker's lack of pace and with the large space between MCs and the DCs so have given him a Stopper role. Koscielny's on standard Defend next to him, both are on standard Central Defender roles.

Sczezsny is a regular Goalkeeper albeit I may experiment with Sweeper Keeper role.

2ESnn89.jpg

This is my plan A setup. "Fluid" is a necessity as in my experiments with Dortmund I figured out it helped out make the players all closer to each other, on "Balanced" the team tended to break too much into several separate blocks of attackers and defenders. With Arsenal we have near-world-class players who are all very versatile in terms of skills so they should be easily able to cope with high fluidity.

"Control" + "Higher Tempo" and "Hassle Opponents" instructions help make the high tempo, high pressing game I want, without being as brainless and extreme as the "Attacking" strategy - unless I'm chasing a game, that is. "Pass Into Space" keeps our play very vertical which again is what I want, we have right about the ideal players to do this with many experts on playing through balls, and several players quick enough or intelligent enough to exploit the space ahead of them. "Roam From Positions" is again because our tactic is all about exploiting space, not retaining shape.

I have not set the team to do shorter passing because I want some level of directness, but don't want us to lose the ball brainlessly neither so have set "Play Out of Defence". Again, the defenders are good enough to cope with it and the existance of a Deep Lying Playmaker allows us to start good moves from deep midfield if needed. The keeper has the "Quick Throws" player instruction for distribution.

Cazorla and Walcott steal the show

I have only played a few pre-season matches but can already see a pattern emerging. This was supposedly all about Mesut Özil and how he'd take Arsenal to glory, but who have shone immensely so far have been Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott.

vBpb6ok.jpg?1

Yes that's 3 Walcott braces and all of them as a winger! One of my favorite patterns that I've already seen a few times, is when a play builds from the centre or the left, the opposition's defence is attracted to it and leaves Walcott free on the right - who then receives the ball either through a cross or on the end of a through ball. Santi Cazorla loves to spray those through balls, and the full-back (either Gibbs or Coentrão) loves to cross into his path. Alternatively Walcott has had some success himself crossing into Giroud. I am a little concerned I may be exploiting something on this build of the ME though as Walcott really finds way too much space for himself.

Cazorla whilst not as prolific as Walcott, he seems considerably more involved in play than Özil, I haven't yet figured out if this is a problem on Özil's part, or a good thing as he's occupying defenders by moving into space as intended. If this were FM13 I would attempt to tick Özil as playmaker to give him more of the ball, but the option is not there and the team is working well offensively anyway so why worry.

5LpIGxF.jpg

After the first two matches I gave Walcott extra instructions in "Shoot Less", "Play Less Risky Passes" and "Cross From the Byline". The first 2 are just to make us lose less possession as he's totally rubbish at attempting through balls or long shots, the latter I'm a bit more ambivalent on as it slows down our game because he does hog the ball and run towards the byline a lot. However he wins that byline very often and our crosses from there have been very dangerous, despite the fact I'm worried my 2 MCs stay in a pretty useless no-man's land where they're not close enough to the area to gain a rebound, and not far away enough neither to help the defenders stop a counter from that situation.

Plan B

Now you've read this all and saw the screenshots and thought "wait a minute, isn't that setup too attacking"? Yes, it is. It's been working very fine to beat the likes of Nimes and East Fife, but that's not exactly the standard of opposition we'll be facing in the Premier League or Champions League. Indeed I expect Plan A to only really be suitable at home against bottom-half of the Premier League sides, or away against considerably smaller sides.

Plan A also has an unwanted side effect of tiring our players a lot due to the high pressing. Against Saint-Etienne we were comfortably winning 3-1, when Saint Etienne became more and more dangerous in the final 20 minutes and scored twice, exploiting us very easily, mostly through the middle. No, we need a more balanced alternative. This is plan B:

a0qTHrC.jpg

This is very much a work-in-progress that has yet to be properly tested, but the main idea is basically to tone down plan A. Behrami becomes a DM instead of CM, strategy drops to Standard instead of Control, Hassle Opponents is gone. It's a compromise setup that can and will be furthed tweaked depending on how matches go, and should be my starting setup for away matches, or home matches against difficult opposition - or for closing out games we're winning on the plan A.

Plan C

I do need a completely different plan not just for the sake of having alternatives, but also for approaching the really tough matches like an away trip to Old Trafford or Nou Camp. It's very unlikely going balls out with a 4-2-3-1 will work in those occasions, which I've found the hard way in my short experiments with Dortmund as I lost 4-1 to Bayern. For plan C I am working on a counter-attacking 4-3-3 basing everything on pace:

b3aK6ZX.jpg

Again it's a work in progress. I intend to have Özil on a wing, possibly slightly tucked in, and Walcott also is a must in the side due to the fact we want pace. Upfront I'm a bit more undecided. Going for further pace with Podolski instead of Giroud is a possibility, maybe on advanced forward role, but then my front trio would become really isolated from the midfield. Maybe Walcott upfront, and one of the wingers to be given a defensive winger role? I need a bit of tweaking and experimenting.

Alternative players and squad management

  • I would love a good alternative for Giroud but I couldn't justify paying 27M for Benteke (who doesn't suit the DLF role that well anyway), and I've ran out of money meanwhile too, so for now Bendtner and Podolski will do. Podolski is quite a short guy so when I have him as striker I think I'll have to tell everyone to stop crossing from the byline and keep things moving quickly.
  • On the right-wing Oxlade-Chamberlain is pretty similar to Walcott and I've been inter-changing both.
  • Özil on the middle is irreplaceable. Cazorla, Wilshere and Rosicky are all capable of playing there but have slightly different characteristics albeit I've been playing them with the same instructions there. I need to try out who's best here.
  • On the left Wilshere and Rosicky are easily interchangeable with Cazorla. Wilshere is being retrained to AML. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski gives us very diffent options here as I can place them here and change them to inside forward role.
  • I intend to rotate Arteta and Wilshere as the DLP depending on how defensive I need to go as Arteta is better defensively, Wilshere the more talented player. Behrami should have the CM/D spot for himself with Flamini as direct backup. Ramsey can slot in at either midfield role if needed. Diaby I'm not sure what to do with him once he's back from injury, will probably sell him.
  • Left-back Coentrão is on another level but I think Gibbs is more suited here than Monreal despite Monreal being the better player - am retraining Monreal to be a backup right-back instead.
  • On the right Sagna Jenkinson and Monreal are the options, I am unconvinced with all, having a look at Schalke's Uchida who may be available for cheap as a more attacking option if needed. Either Monreal or Jenkinson may be sold.
  • CBs Vermaelen may come into the side when he's back from injury, I have stuck with Koscielny/Mertesacker out of necessity so far. With Vermaelen instead of Mertesacker I may change the stopper into another CB/D. Would like another backup but no decent ones come cheap.
  • Keepers I would really like an upgrade on Sczeszny but there's not the cash at the moment I'm afraid. Having a look at Valdés for the end of the season.

Next up...

And that is all for now as this is already a very big read from actually very little playtime (I write quickly!!), I will continue posting whatever I find out in the tactical side of things as the game develops. Possibly will do analysis of matches.

Feel free to post your findings if you play similar systems, are managing the same club, or just have an interest in the subject.

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Wow this looks an amazing thread! Thanks for sharing. Will definitely be reading the whole article during my lunch break tomorrow :).

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:thup: Hope this is an indication of what is to come in tactical threads. I was hoping the changes to the tactical system would kick start threads such as this, when the user is really thinking about how players interrelate and how different players will offer a variety of options across the positions.

Just superb.

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I echo what wwfan says above, this is a great thread. Really well thought out and nicely presented, great job :)

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1st off, great looking thread!

Behind the front 4 I have a pretty big problem in midfield. Even with some help from Cazorla, he is not the most defensively minded player, and then Özil as Trequartista just doesn't defend. We need a responsible duo of work horses here, however I am uncomfortable having them as DMs like I had for Dortmund, because the gap to Özil then just becomes too great so I'll rather have them as MCs. This makes the tactic even more attacking than it is, and then to make things worse my set of midfielders are all pretty lightweight. Flamini is my only somewhat aggressive midfielder, with Arteta, Wilshere and Ramsey as talented but lightweight partners next to him. I decided then to splash the cash on Valon Behrami, who my DoF signed for 13M€. He is a substantial upgrade on Flamini and more suitable to a Central Midfield/Defend role, so I feel more comfortable having Arteta or Wilshere as Deep Lying Playmaker/Support next to him. Even then I'm not 100% confident here.

Regarding the MC's, have you thought about using the Regista role? Starting deep, in the DMC position, they (one of them?) would follow higher up the pitch to stay closer to the attacking action...

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Great thread!

Cazorla whilst not as prolific as Walcott, he seems considerably more involved in play than Özil, I haven't yet figured out if this is a problem on Özil's part, or a good thing as he's occupying defenders by moving into space as intended. If this were FM13 I would attempt to tick Özil as playmaker to give him more of the ball, but the option is not there and the team is working well offensively anyway so why worry.

Is this an instance of Cazorla being auto set as the playmaker due to his role and vice versa for Özil? I wonder how changing Cazorla to being an inside forward/support would change this...

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This is exactly what I've been working on myself in my Arsenal save! I've been a little wary of setting Özil as a Treq as I didn't think he would run with the ball as much as he does in real life, so I've been using him as an AP(a) with More Roaming and it's been working fairly well; he also helps to close down which is essential in a high press system, especially if you set the 2 CMs to Tight Mark so whoever is pressed cannot find an outlet easily. He doesn't quite float towards the wing as much as I wanted to though so I might try him as a Treq now.

I've been having a similar problem with you regards to the 2 CMs. I've been trying to incorporate a Defensive Mid (I either use Arteta as DLP(d) or Flamini as CM(d)) and a linking mid who helps circulate possession but gets late into the box as Ramsey has been doing this season, but I've been having difficulty setting this role. CM(s) doesn't seem to get forward enough and stays on the same strata as the defensive mid, I feel like BBM might roam too much, AP(s) seems to do the job fairly well but then I have too many Playmakers in the team - I feel the pivot is always the most difficult part in setting up a 4-2-3-1. I've also been trying to play Santi as an IF(s) so far, but will now definitely try him as an AP(s) with Sit Narrower. I really didn't know what role to play him as I haven't seen him play with Özil yet but I imagine it will be very close to what you said.

How do you plan to accomodate Podolski? I've toyed with the idea of setting Özil as an Enganche and having both AMR/AMLs be direct, but then I have no idea what to do with my Striker role.

I was considering dropping the 4-2-3-1 for a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1/3-4-3 but your thread inspired me to give it another go, thanks!

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I had a fairly similar setup in FM13, I used a data update to bring in the new transfers and worked on a tactic which would incorporate Ozil and mimic how I thought Arsenal would play this season. It was the following:

Balanced

Attacking

Direct passing

More pressing

Zonal marking

Hard tackling

More roaming

Default crosses

GK - Sweeper keeper support (Chez)

RB - Full back support (Sagna)

CB - Centre back stopper (Koscielny)

CB - Centre back cover (Mertesacker)

LB wing back attack (Gibbs)

DMR - Defensive midfielder support (Ramsey)

DML - Deep lying playmaker defend (Arteta)

AMR - Winger/inside forward attack (Walcott)

AMC - Trequarista attack (Ozil)

AML - Advanced playmaker support (Cazorla)

ST - Advanced forward attack (Giroud)

I plan on implementing the same system once I get FM14, hopefully it will work as well as it did in FM13. It will be interesting to see how I can work the new roles into the tactic.

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Now that you can have a ball-winning midfielder in DM position, would you try that for Behrami if any of your tactics?

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Really top thread mate :) Im planing on a tactic in the Dortmund philosophy as mentioned above but I want to base it around a Pirlo type Regista rather than an AMC. Im thinking Pace and Technique up top solid midfield with the Regista sitting in the whole and controlling the game. Think I may even start a thread on it actually, 3 at the back seems to much better in FM14.

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Great idea! As a German, I had to start with Arsenal :D I love the squad but somehow I can't get it to work. So thanks for your thread!

Buying a defensively competent DM/MC is really first priority when starting with Arsenal. Somehow I spent all my money before realising that :rolleyes:

I bought Morata from Real Madrid for €10M, he is similar to Giroud but has more pace. I also brought in Reveillere on a free as a DR backup. Despite his age, Heintz (€5M from Kaiserslautern) has been a very solid backup DC for me.

Podolski has been a waste for me on the left wing but he seems very prolific when playing him up front as a poacher. Because no winger except for Özil has a high crossing attribute, you might also experiment with inside forwards.

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Buying a defensively competent DM/MC is really first priority when starting with Arsenal.

Dead right - Sven Bender can be picked up for crazily low £13.5m, and that's exactly what I did on my current Arsenal test run of the Beta.

Him and a couple of DCs (Moreno and Subotic) have really supplemented the squad well in key areas in the first transfer window.

niokeee This is a lovely thread, and I hope this is how the FM14 (and beyond) area of tactical debate evolves.

The opening post has not one mention of "slider", "creative freedom" or "mentality". Many people will hate that,but I love it!

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Dead right - Sven Bender can be picked up for crazily low £13.5m, and that's exactly what I did on my current Arsenal test run of the Beta.

Him and a couple of DCs (Moreno and Subotic) have really supplemented the squad well in key areas in the first transfer window.

niokeee This is a lovely thread, and I hope this is how the FM14 (and beyond) area of tactical debate evolves.

The opening post has not one mention of "slider", "creative freedom" or "mentality". Many people will hate that,but I love it!

Hear, hear!

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The first pic says the game considers Enganche to be Ozil's best role. Can you theorize as to why that is? How does Enganche differ from Trequartista?

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The first pic says the game considers Enganche to be Ozil's best role. Can you theorize as to why that is? How does Enganche differ from Trequartista?

Essentially, the Enganche is a static Trequartisa. A Trequartista will Roam about a lot, an Enganche is less mobile.

Remember the "Best Role" ratings in the game are pretty flimsy - I wouldn't hang your hat on them.

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The first pic says the game considers Enganche to be Ozil's best role. Can you theorize as to why that is? How does Enganche differ from Trequartista?

Got to agree with RTHerringbone's comments here, I almost never trust the recommended roles. According to a game I have just booted up with Juventus Pirlo's best role is hafl back. I would class him as a DLP or Regista.

Treq definately is right for Ozil

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But if you want him to get more involved in play than Cazorla, I think you'd have to loose the AP role for Cazorla, as this will make the team seek HIM out according to the new ME info...

Why not make Ozil an AP/S which will still see him come deep to get the ball, and then fill his instruction screen with all the CF and Movement 'shouts' there is? That is, increase his roaming (max) and creative freedom in any way possible etc etc... this along with his PPM's SHOULD get him to perform more or less the way you seem to want him to. Plus, he'll be the focal point of your team, having him as the designated playmaker through the AP role ;-)

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Going to try the following:

----------------------------------- GK (D): Szczesny-----------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CBWR (A): Coleman ----- CD (D): Vermaelen ----- CD (D): Mertesacker ----- CWBL (A): Monreal

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------Anchor (D): Flamini----------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------DLP (S): Arteta-----------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------Treq (A): Özil-------------AP (S): Cazorla---------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------TM (S): Giroud---------------P (A): Podolski--------------------------

As I said, I have forgotten to buy a good DM and now my transfer budget is drained :-/

Özil drifting wide to both sides and the wingbacks are filling the wings. Arteta and Flamini should give wide defensive support.

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Essentially, the Enganche is a static Trequartisa. A Trequartista will Roam about a lot, an Enganche is less mobile.

Remember the "Best Role" ratings in the game are pretty flimsy - I wouldn't hang your hat on them.

I've long been curious about how the game comes up with the "best role" tag. The only difference in key attributes between trequartista and enganche is that trequartista requires agility, which Ozil has at 16. Also it seems ridiculous that his 3rd best role would be shadow striker because he doesn't seem to have the workrate or stamina for it.

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I've long been curious about how the game comes up with the "best role" tag. The only difference in key attributes between trequartista and enganche is that trequartista requires agility, which Ozil has at 16. Also it seems ridiculous that his 3rd best role would be shadow striker because he doesn't seem to have the workrate or stamina for it.

The game uses an average of his overall attributes. That's why the system is badly flawed at times.

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The game uses an average of his overall attributes. That's why the system is badly flawed at times.

Can you explain what you mean by "an average of his overall attributes"?

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Going to try the following:

----------------------------------- GK (D): Szczesny-----------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CBWR (A): Coleman ----- CD (D): Vermaelen ----- CD (D): Mertesacker ----- CWBL (A): Monreal

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------Anchor (D): Flamini----------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------DLP (S): Arteta-----------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------Treq (A): Özil-------------AP (S): Cazorla---------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------TM (S): Giroud---------------P (A): Podolski--------------------------

As I said, I have forgotten to buy a good DM and now my transfer budget is drained :-/

Özil drifting wide to both sides and the wingbacks are filling the wings. Arteta and Flamini should give wide defensive support.

Looks interesting.

Please post here again how its going =)

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trying your settings now , first game I used the attacking setup against easy opposition and won 5-0 in my first friendly.

Do you use any player instructions for plan c or is it still very much a work in progress?

anyway im going to keep track of this thread to see what comes together , thanks

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Looks interesting.

Please post here again how its going =)

Err... please let's never speak about that matter again. It sounded all so well in theory but the ME thought otherwise. Got battered by Crystal Palace and Southampton, got sacked in November. Might go down a more conventional route in my new Arsenal save :D

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Err... please let's never speak about that matter again. It sounded all so well in theory but the ME thought otherwise. Got battered by Crystal Palace and Southampton, got sacked in November. Might go down a more conventional route in my new Arsenal save :D

haha epic :D

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Woah thanks for the very positive reception, wasn't quite expecting this!

1st off, great looking thread!

Regarding the MC's, have you thought about using the Regista role? Starting deep, in the DMC position, they (one of them?) would follow higher up the pitch to stay closer to the attacking action...

I'm not sure the regista necessarily plays further up the pitch than the DLP, from what I've understood the big difference to a DLP is that they tend to roam a lot more, mostly laterally. That to me sounds like a pretty bad idea to use together with a Trequartista! I love the idea of a roaming DLP and will certainly test it out in the future in some other circumstances, but I need 2 roles that are more restrained to work behind the Treq without losing positional shape otherwise we're going to be all over the shop. We're already a bit too all over the shop defensively!

Though moving one or 2 of the MCs back to the DM position is indeed an idea I'm toying with.

Great thread!

Is this an instance of Cazorla being auto set as the playmaker due to his role and vice versa for Özil? I wonder how changing Cazorla to being an inside forward/support would change this...

But if you want him to get more involved in play than Cazorla, I think you'd have to loose the AP role for Cazorla, as this will make the team seek HIM out according to the new ME info...

Why not make Ozil an AP/S which will still see him come deep to get the ball, and then fill his instruction screen with all the CF and Movement 'shouts' there is? That is, increase his roaming (max) and creative freedom in any way possible etc etc... this along with his PPM's SHOULD get him to perform more or less the way you seem to want him to. Plus, he'll be the focal point of your team, having him as the designated playmaker through the AP role ;-)

Yeah I've picked that hint somewhere that playmakers will work as, erm, playmakers :D but given I have both a AP and a DLP the responsibility should be shared by Cazorla and Arteta not just Cazorla.

To be honest I'm not really sure I want the ball to go more through Özil, our play building is working very fine as it is, and Özil works very well exploiting constantly the space off the ball which he wouldn't do if he had the ball all the time!

Now that you can have a ball-winning midfielder in DM position, would you try that for Behrami if any of your tactics?

I was considering a BWM at the beginning and the signing of Behrami was partially with that in mind. However, much like the suggestion of the Regista, I don't want roles for centre midfield that are too easily dragged out of shape. We already have things chaotic as it is with the "more roaming" instruction.

Great idea! As a German, I had to start with Arsenal :D I love the squad but somehow I can't get it to work. So thanks for your thread!

Buying a defensively competent DM/MC is really first priority when starting with Arsenal. Somehow I spent all my money before realising that :rolleyes:

I bought Morata from Real Madrid for €10M, he is similar to Giroud but has more pace. I also brought in Reveillere on a free as a DR backup. Despite his age, Heintz (€5M from Kaiserslautern) has been a very solid backup DC for me.

Podolski has been a waste for me on the left wing but he seems very prolific when playing him up front as a poacher. Because no winger except for Özil has a high crossing attribute, you might also experiment with inside forwards.

I have tried Podolski on the left for just 45 minutes and I reached very much the same conclusion - he doesn't belong there. More on that in my next extensive post.

Dead right - Sven Bender can be picked up for crazily low £13.5m, and that's exactly what I did on my current Arsenal test run of the Beta.

Him and a couple of DCs (Moreno and Subotic) have really supplemented the squad well in key areas in the first transfer window.

niokeee This is a lovely thread, and I hope this is how the FM14 (and beyond) area of tactical debate evolves.

The opening post has not one mention of "slider", "creative freedom" or "mentality". Many people will hate that,but I love it!

Thanks for the tips on centre-backs. :D I did miss Bender, who is probably slightly better than Behrami and a lot younger... (though he's not for sale in my game?)

trying your settings now , first game I used the attacking setup against easy opposition and won 5-0 in my first friendly.

Do you use any player instructions for plan c or is it still very much a work in progress?

anyway im going to keep track of this thread to see what comes together , thanks

Plan C is a total work in progress yes, as I'm yet to play a single minute with it! Really need to test it and tweak it soon as it'll be crucial for the big matches. I haven't really thought on special instructions for it yet, other than Özil on the left as a W/S who I have him set as "Roam From Position" and "Shoots Less Often".

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Wonderful thread noikee.

Long term Gunners fan here, and ofc created my first savegame with em. Only just completed all the pre-season stuff ; tactics, transfers, friendlies etc. Won the friendlies comfortable and the matches was nice to look at. I hope they will continue to play like that in the league.

Here's my approach (work in progress) : (Cazorla is playing as IF/s instead of AP/a though)

TQw4quY.jpg

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Here's the analysis of the next 2 friendlies I made, in which I learnt an awful lot more about my team again.

Arsenal 4-2 Livorno: Coentrão causes havoc in the 1st half

7AnqAKU.jpg

For the next friendly vs Livorno I lined up almost at full strenght on plan A as usual, as this was a home match vs a smaller team. We seemed to be at the very top of our game as we battered Livorno ruthlessly for the first 45 minutes, scoring 4 goals, with the understanding down the left wing looking extremely promising. Fábio Coentrão put his best performance yet with an Arsenal shirt, as Livorno's defence did not seem to know what to do to deal with his runs from deep plus Cazorla's tucked in positioning, so time and again and again he showed up completely untracked in very advanced positions. He ended up with an 8.7 rating.

I have uploaded a little video with 3 of our goals (the other goal was a scruffy corner tapped in by Oxlade-Chamberlain). Apologies for the extremely poor video quality as the Youtube function is bugged in my game, it won't let me upload or record at higher resolutions:

[video=youtube_share;gchNnIZ3AI8]

This shows perfectly how important (and extremely effective) my left wing dynamics are at the moment, as all 3 goals are created down there but let's analyse each in detail:

Goal 1

At the very beginning of the video you see Coentrão running all the way up the pitch left of Cazorla, and in this (rare) case he is picked up by the opposition full-back. However Livorno's right-winger stays high and wide watching instead of helping, which is a very big mistake as the midfielders are the ones who have to pick up Cazorla. This leaves my other midfielders free and for a very long time Cazorla, Arteta and Behrami can easily play passing triangles around them. There is always a passing line here, until the ball falls to Cazorla in a dangerous high central position. The benefit of Cazorla's tucked-in positioning couldn't be any more obvious in this clip - the overload he creates in midfield is priceless. It is facilitated a lot as well by Coentrão's runs.

Meanwhile with all the roaming instructions I've given to my forwards, it seems Oxlade-Chamberlain (who I started as AMR over Walcott for this match) has decided to go central into the area, which leaves a giant gap on the right. Ozil cleverly decides to move there and Cazorla's playmaking skills come into action as he feeds Ozil the clever ball for him to shoot in.

Goal 2

This is a very simple move that highlights perfectly what happened over and over again in this 1st half, I am surprised it only resulted in one goal. Cazorla picks up the ball deep, the full-back rushes high to pick him up, Coentrão rushes forward into the empty space completely alone, as the Livorno winger who should be tracking him is nowhere to be seen. He easily wins the line and crosses for Giroud's header.

Goal 3

This one isn't any special but shows how Cazorla despite being given a tucked-in role, is still free to ocasionally go to the byline and cross - which shows how immensely valuable is the fact he's two-footed. Behrami wins back the ball in midfield, Ozil heads it to a free Cazorla, who the opposition left-back is too slow to pick up and unable to prevent him from crossing sucessfully into Oxlade-Chamberlain's header in the far post.

This was all good and very fun to watch, we had cruised to a 4-0 lead, but as soon as my team came back from half-time, it was a completely different match. Our constant incisiveness had gone and the match was now a lot more even, I couldn't pinpoint why. Motivational issues perhaps - a team-talk gone right in Livorno's favour, and/or my players relaxing under complacency?

Casually worried (not like a 4-0 lead in a friendly would cause me to lose sleep, but still), I switched to plan B as pictured in the opening post, in order to attempt to close out the match. Unfortunately it seemed to do nothing at all, apart from pushing us deeper and taking away some attacking edge from us.

Tiredness made things worse and again, like in the Saint-Etienne match, we conceded 2 late goals. That is extremely worrying as it tells me I have a lot of work to do with plan B. I think a big issue is how much deeper we are with it - without the "hassle opponents" instruction and with "Standard" instead of "Control" mentality we drop too many yards, and suddenly the opponents now have space to play in. Next time I will attempt the "push higher up" instruction to see if it helps. Maybe a slight formational change is in order, too...

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Arsenal 5-3 Bastia: Recovering from very bad tactical mistakes

AeIZBqZ.jpg

For the following friendly against Bastia I was forced to change a lot of players as everyone was tired from the Livorno match. Santi Cazorla was the most half-fit AMC so I tried him in the Özil Trequartista role. Lukas Podolski was given the left wing on an inside forward/support role. My centre-backs were all completely knackered (or needed for right-back) so I had to bring in 19 year old Semi Ajayi to play as Stopper next to an exhausted Koscielny. Gibbs played instead of Coentrão, and I fielded 2 other midfielders as well (Flamini and Ramsey instead of Behrami and Arteta).

We actually scored first through an inspired Giroud, but the game quickly degenerated in a total disaster. A pretty big problem was Podolski. I reckoned he didn't have the playmaking abilities of Cazorla on the left, but still wanted him tucked-in to leave space open for Gibbs on the left to run into. Moreover he's also left footed. Podolski's only big strenghts are pace and shooting/long shots, so I told him to shoot more often and go further forward.

It completely destroyed my left-wing dynamics. Gibbs had space to run into but was isolated without support from Podolski. Podolski stayed high all match - I now figure the "go further forward" instruction was completely contradictory to the Support role he had - tucked in between left-back and centre-back, easily marked out of the game, contributing absolutely nothing. He did hit the woodwork out of the blue from long range in a rare occasion the ball fell into his path, highlighting his superb shooting abilities, but otherwise was missing from action.

Cazorla also was not doing a particularly great impression of Özil. I figured as he had a good long shot, I could drop the "shoot less" instruction, but he wasn't hitting them in and it just resulted in squandering possession. His space to run into was also partially occupied by Podolski's awkward positioning. In hindsight in this situation Cazorla as Advanced Playmaker or even Enganche could've balanced Podolski better.

rcXvMAe.jpg

Podolski stays high and fails to support Gibbs or the midfielders

If problems with attacking and building up play weren't enough, we had even worse problems at the back. Bastia were fielding a narrow 4-2-3-1 formation (2 MCs and 3 AMCs), which matched their players with ours roughly like this - our 2 MCs picked up their 2 MCs, and their 3 AMCs were left completely free in a no-man's land ahead of our tired-and-unexperienced duo of centre-backs, who already had a striker to mark themselves. Recipe for disaster, of course. Bastia scored 3 in the first half. As I review the goals, a dooming pattern emerges - their AMCs run with the ball through the middle, poor young Ajayi does the Stopper role by moving upwards to press them, and a giant hole opens up for Bastia's striker to run into.

QGO9M8y.jpg

Bastia easily exploits the space through their 3 AMCs and Ajayi's over-eagerness to press makes it even worse - from this situation the ball is then passed to the striker who scores

I had to do something and changed our plan for the 2nd half. The CM/D moved into DM position, a few minutes later I decided I needed to drop the DLP/S into a DM position as well. With 2 DMs directly in front of defence, it was no longer necessary to have Ajayi on Stopper so he was given standard Defend duty like his partner. Finally, and most importantly, the underwhelming Podolski was replaced with Rosicky who was told to play the regular Cazorla tucked-in role on the left. Cazorla himself was replaced as AMC by star man Özil midway through the 2nd half.

We were a transformed side and performed a massive 4-goal swing in 2nd half to win the match 5-3. Some of it were the changes in my defence (although Bastia later reacted themselves, changing to a very daring 4-2-4). Some of it was motivational, as I told off my players at half-time. Some of it was thanks to the hugely inspired Oliver Giroud, who lead the line scoring an hat-trick and also beautifully set up a goal by dropping deep as well - he is truly blossoming in the Deep-Lying Forward role.

oXJ1LVA.jpg

Giroud drops deep to feed Walcott a goal in a quick transitional move

But a lot of the credit for the comeback has to go to my left flank, who once re-established to its normal understanding, dazzled the opposition again. Rosicky and Gibbs played just like their counterparts Cazorla and Coentrão in the previous match and set up the final 2 goals:

[video=youtube_share;MlFsFkwJNPc]

Goal 1 (4-3)

Absolutely identical goal to the one Coentrão crossed into Giroud's head in the previous match - this time Rosicky cuts inside and vacates a gigantic strip of space for Keiron Gibbs to run into. Rosicky passes it short to Behrami who quickly plays a through ball into Gibbs' path. His cross into Giroud's head does the rest.

Goal 2 (5-3)

Kieron Gibbs starts the play deep into midfield, playing triangles with Sagna and Arteta. The triangles continue as Özil drops deep to participate, and Rosicky takes charge of the short passing move from the left. For the final pass notice Rosicky has 2 amazing options, one is Gibbs on the left who has raced all the way upfront and is alone again. The other, which he chooses, is Mesut Özil who too is attempting a run but through the middle - facilitated by Giroud's excellent movement dropping deep. Rosicky's perfect through ball allows Özil to score another goal leading the line - a move that I would expect if he was chosen as Shadow Striker, but am delighted nevertheless to see him making as a Trequartista, provided he does also drop deep as he did in the beginning of this very goal.

Winning meaningless friendlies has never felt any more rewarding than this.

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Conclusions

  • my left flank with the tucked-in playmaker and the attacking wing-back is working amazingly well, to the point it almost feels like an exploit in this ME
  • Giroud and Özil show flashes of performing their respective roles to perfection with fantastic movement and finishing
  • my plan A sometimes loses steam after a while and I haven't figured out yet why - it happens before tiredness should come into play
  • my plan B needs severe tweaking as currently it's not working at all as an attempt to protect a lead. This is a major concern as I intend to use this tactic a lot as starting strategy for many matches (I've had very easy opponents so far).
  • Lukas Podolski is completely unsuited to playing as left-winger for my plan A, and probably shouldn't be given the inside forward role on the left in any case anyway
  • 4-2-3-1 narrow is a formation that exploits my plan A very well and I need to be careful against it. Moving the 2 MCs to DMs and switching the Stopper to Defend does the trick somewhat.

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Those last 3 posts were supposed to be a single article but the forums kept crashing whenever I tried posting it all at once!

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Hi Noikee

do you use individual player instructions for the central midfielders and striker at all for plan a and b?

I also tried plan B at home to Sevilla , lost 2-1 , like you say tweaks are required here as Plan A is to attacking for tougher games but so far seems excellent for those games you are expected to dominate at home

thanks

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Just noticed Carlos Vela has a buyback clause of 3.4mill. Should offer plenty of width on the left as a winger and can be used as an inside forward on the right. Bargain buy for those considering counter attacks like the OP's Plan C! Also I found lacking in depth at the back, so I brought in Westermann for around 7mill, great thing about him is he also reinforces the DM role and can play across all the back 4.

On a tactical note, I've found telling Giroud to move into channels has allowed him to atleast create more chances for himself and I've been playing around with Cazorla playing as an Inside forward on the left and allowing Gibbs to bomb forward. Gibbs has assisted a few times now for Walcott/Giroud. Good thing with Cazorla and Vela is I can do it on the opposite wing, with Cazorla on the right cutting in and Vela winging it on the left. To compensate for the IF, I've played Özil as a ShadowS and he's exploiting the space Giroud's making by moving into the channels

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Just noticed Carlos Vela has a buyback clause of 3.4mill. Should offer plenty of width on the left as a winger and can be used as an inside forward on the right. Bargain buy for those considering counter attacks like the OP's Plan C! Also I found lacking in depth at the back, so I brought in Westermann for around 7mill, great thing about him is he also reinforces the DM role and can play across all the back 4.

On a tactical note, I've found telling Giroud to move into channels has allowed him to atleast create more chances for himself and I've been playing around with Cazorla playing as an Inside forward on the left and allowing Gibbs to bomb forward. Gibbs has assisted a few times now for Walcott/Giroud. Good thing with Cazorla and Vela is I can do it on the opposite wing, with Cazorla on the right cutting in and Vela winging it on the left. To compensate for the IF, I've played Özil as a ShadowS and he's exploiting the space Giroud's making by moving into the channels

omg thanks for this. Signed Vela, Giroud played awful for me the first few league matches. Vela scored a hattrick and Man City was destroyed easily 4-0. I like!

Özil still aint performing very well for me at AMC (AP/s) for me though :-(

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I found playing Giroud as an AF/A or a CF/A as a lone ST on FM13 brought out the best in him so will try him as a CF/A this time round!

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Great thread noikeee - really enjoying following it.

For the first time in quite a few years I am really enjoying making my own tactic and trying to get my team playing the way I want. I used to just give up and download a tactic but that won't be the case this year.

I'm building a tactic similar to yours for my Chelsea team. One thing I've picked up was I was playing Juan Mata as an enganche (as that was his supposed best role.) After reading the tip on here though I have now made him Trequartista and what a difference it has made.

A player that I am having trouble with is Eden Hazard - got him playing currently as an IF (again that's his 'supposed' best role) but he doesn't seem to be bringing as much to the team as he should with his talent.

Look forward to reading more from this thread!

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Started a new game and bought Morata (12), Bender (14), Montoya (6), Gaitan (8), Vela (4), Sissoko (free), Reveillere (free). Sold Jenkinson (2,5), Park Cho-Young (5), Sagna (10). Going with a 4-DM-MC-3-1 similar to yours but at half-time of the first league match, I'm 0-3 down against Stoke :( They play with 3 MC and 2 AMC and have complete control over the match. I thought that Walcott might have a lot of space because they only have fullbacks on the wings but he is a mess. I think he didn't get past his man even once. Really frustrated :-/

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Started a new game and bought Morata (12), Bender (14), Montoya (6), Gaitan (8), Vela (4), Sissoko (free), Reveillere (free). Sold Jenkinson (2,5), Park Cho-Young (5), Sagna (10). Going with a 4-DM-MC-3-1 similar to yours but at half-time of the first league match, I'm 0-3 down against Stoke :( They play with 3 MC and 2 AMC and have complete control over the match. I thought that Walcott might have a lot of space because they only have fullbacks on the wings but he is a mess. I think he didn't get past his man even once. Really frustrated :-/

Sounds bummer.. Walcott is one of the best players in my setup :-/

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I watched the game in full, 0-5 at full-time. Don't know whether I should tell my players to dribble less or pass less, because they lose the ball either way. Stoke wins every tackle, every header, they play perfect 40 metre passes... I'm really clueless :confused:

It seems to be the same with every new FM but this time I want to create my own successful tactic, I'm not giving up. Gonna reload and try different approaches until I figure out why my team plays so badly.

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I watched the game in full, 0-5 at full-time. Don't know whether I should tell my players to dribble less or pass less, because they lose the ball either way. Stoke wins every tackle, every header, they play perfect 40 metre passes... I'm really clueless :confused:

It seems to be the same with every new FM but this time I want to create my own successful tactic, I'm not giving up. Gonna reload and try different approaches until I figure out why my team plays so badly.

If you continue to struggle, start a new thread and detail as much as you can, not just about your own setup, but what you think it is that Stoke did that you failed to address.

As well as having immediately successfully implemented tactics in the forums, it's important that we document the ones that don't start firing straight away.

FM14 will be a learning curve for us all, so if we can get a collective effort to try to change your fortunes, we'll all end up teaching ourselves a thing or two.

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Hey man just want to say it's been a great thread so far, really loving all the details, and I look forward to see how your team will evolve :)

One question- on the FM13 picture with the Dortmund squad, I noticed you chose Man Marking over Zonal. Have you kept it? Because from my understanding, Zonal Marking is kinda mandatory with 4-2-3-1. If so what was your logic going with Man Marking?

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I watched the game in full, 0-5 at full-time. Don't know whether I should tell my players to dribble less or pass less, because they lose the ball either way. Stoke wins every tackle, every header, they play perfect 40 metre passes... I'm really clueless :confused:

It seems to be the same with every new FM but this time I want to create my own successful tactic, I'm not giving up. Gonna reload and try different approaches until I figure out why my team plays so badly.

Whats your player roles? Im using same formation as you, and im having really fun and success!

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Hi Noikee

do you use individual player instructions for the central midfielders and striker at all for plan a and b?

I also tried plan B at home to Sevilla , lost 2-1 , like you say tweaks are required here as Plan A is to attacking for tougher games but so far seems excellent for those games you are expected to dominate at home

thanks

No I don't use specific instructions for midfielders and strikers as of yet.

Unfortunately I agree that Plan B just isn't working right, and plan A whilst potentially great, is only really suitable for like, 25% of games. I have 75% of work to do yet!

Just noticed Carlos Vela has a buyback clause of 3.4mill. Should offer plenty of width on the left as a winger and can be used as an inside forward on the right. Bargain buy for those considering counter attacks like the OP's Plan C! Also I found lacking in depth at the back, so I brought in Westermann for around 7mill, great thing about him is he also reinforces the DM role and can play across all the back 4.

On a tactical note, I've found telling Giroud to move into channels has allowed him to atleast create more chances for himself and I've been playing around with Cazorla playing as an Inside forward on the left and allowing Gibbs to bomb forward. Gibbs has assisted a few times now for Walcott/Giroud. Good thing with Cazorla and Vela is I can do it on the opposite wing, with Cazorla on the right cutting in and Vela winging it on the left. To compensate for the IF, I've played Özil as a ShadowS and he's exploiting the space Giroud's making by moving into the channels

I actually had a look at Vela but completely missed the buy back clause! With 6 mil remaining of transfer budget I will have a good look at that although would prefer bringing in a new defender.

That setup you have going on there sounds pretty nice, all logical. I like it that you have found different attacking alternatives. :thup: Might experiment with that myself.

Started a new game and bought Morata (12), Bender (14), Montoya (6), Gaitan (8), Vela (4), Sissoko (free), Reveillere (free). Sold Jenkinson (2,5), Park Cho-Young (5), Sagna (10). Going with a 4-DM-MC-3-1 similar to yours but at half-time of the first league match, I'm 0-3 down against Stoke :( They play with 3 MC and 2 AMC and have complete control over the match. I thought that Walcott might have a lot of space because they only have fullbacks on the wings but he is a mess. I think he didn't get past his man even once. Really frustrated :-/
I watched the game in full, 0-5 at full-time. Don't know whether I should tell my players to dribble less or pass less, because they lose the ball either way. Stoke wins every tackle, every header, they play perfect 40 metre passes... I'm really clueless :confused:

It seems to be the same with every new FM but this time I want to create my own successful tactic, I'm not giving up. Gonna reload and try different approaches until I figure out why my team plays so badly.

Woah that is a pretty bad defeat. Sounds like what happened to me in the Bastia match but worse. Bastia was really killing me with a similar formation packing the centre, I can imagine that a slightly stronger team like Stoke would be more intense, particularly given how aggressive they can be. For me this version of 4-2-3-1 (ours) only makes sense when you're winning more balls than the opponent, it assumes you can press and bully them out of their game. If the opposition is winning all the balls then it will completely kill you, even more so if their formation exploits your positional weaknesses perfectly. I'm gonna guess a lot of your 5 conceded goals were through balls to their striker?

To turn the game around vs Bastia I dropped both MCs to DMs and changed my Stopper CB to Defend. However Bastia weren't trying to bully me back, nevermind actually winning all the balls - merely exploiting the space between my midfielders and defenders. I suspect this approach wouldn't be enough in your case. I would probably concede defeat on the bullying and switch to a 4-3-3 similar to plan C, maybe even with 2 DMs and 1 MC.

Hey man just want to say it's been a great thread so far, really loving all the details, and I look forward to see how your team will evolve :)

One question- on the FM13 picture with the Dortmund squad, I noticed you chose Man Marking over Zonal. Have you kept it? Because from my understanding, Zonal Marking is kinda mandatory with 4-2-3-1. If so what was your logic going with Man Marking?

It's because I think 4-2-3-1 is a pretty poor defensive shape with 4 players so advanced on the pitch, so to me it makes more sense to go after the opposition players individually than divide the pitch in little zones of marking responsibilities as we're gonna be exposed in many pockets of space. Again, my tactic is assuming we can bully the opposition out of their match.

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very inspiring thread! I don't have the beta but that looks a lot like the tactic I have in my mind, building a 4-2-3-1 around a star Trequartista! I like your idea of AML/playmaker a lot too.

Couple of things: how many dribbles per game do the AML and AMC perform on average? I'd especially want my AMC to take on defenders in central zones and beat them regularly! is this something you're trying to achieve too? can it work?

are the two CM's enough to give defensive balance to this formation? maybe a more rigid philosophy would help defensive balance or would only disrupt the offensive flow? never had much luck playing with two DM's, especially if I want to keep ball possession high so that's something I wouldn't want to try!

great thread, following with interest!

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Noikeee take a look at a defender who plays for river plate think his name is balata or something like that , anyway he can be had for around the 6m mark

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