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Luken33

Replicating Dortmund's 'gegenpressing'

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Hello all, following the release of the BETA I wanted to try and establish a 'style' that I will be applying across my favourite saves and establish just what my tactical approach as a manager is.

Many people are rightly drawn to the Barcelona style tactics however I have found my inspiration from Dortmund. I have been impressed with Dortmund for a very long time however I found myself going through my bookmarked articles in anticipation of FM 14 and stumbled across the below articles which act as my inspiration:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1594218-dortmund-breaking-down-jurgen-klopps-tactics-and-the-role-of-each-player - Please note this article is a slideshow meaning you need to cycle through the 13 slides

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1781622-inside-the-tactical-mind-of-borussia-dortmunds-juergen-klopp - This article discusses gegenpressing in detail.

http://footballspeak.com/post/2013/05/16/The-German-Football.aspx - A look at Bayern and Dortmund in some detail and how both have adapted their respective games around gegenpressing.

http://www.zonalmarking.net/2013/04/25/dortmund-4-1-real-madrid-dortmund-enforce-high-tempo-spells-at-the-start-of-both-halves/ - ZM's review of Dortmund 4 - Real Madrid 1, surely few games can demonstrate how devastating gegenpressing is than this?

What is gegenpressing

The articles above really highlight what gegenpressing is and how it has been used so without going over it all again here is a quick reference of what I believe gegenpressing is.

The general principles of gegenpressing are:

  • Very aggressive pressing coupled with well drilled and organised team positioning
  • Very fast transitions from defence to attack with the team looking for the most cutting and damaging route to scoring a goal
  • High tempo and 11 players working their socks off for 90 minutes

Bleacher report summarises gegenpressing as:

Fundamentally, gegenpressing is a rather simple tactical approach: A team simply plays at full pace for 90 minutes, approaching every moment as though they are down a goal late in a major final. After losing possession, players will swarm their opponents, giving them no time on the ball regardless of position and location.

Without the ball the team presses the opposition all over the pitch forcing mistakes in opposition passing or looking for tackling opportunities, this is done as a team and defensive movement and positioning is of the upmost importance.

With the ball the team looks to immediately hit a through ball into space and turn defence into attack before the opposition has had a chance to organise themselves

Strengths

The strengths of gegenpressing are many and success in the system looks like:

  • Opposition has little to no time on the ball, causing mistakes and allowing the team to win back possession in dangerous places
  • When the ball is won, passing is swift, dangerous and a large number of chances are produced
  • Oppositions are overwelmed by the high tempo
  • Lots of beautiful through balls played into space for players to run onto in scoring positions

Weaknesses

There are of course some weaknesses which need to be factored in when planning to use the system, so failure in the system looks like:

  • Oppositions dominate possession and the team are unable to win it back
  • Players become too tired and are unable to maintain the demands of the system
  • Players move all over the pitch closing down and all shape is lost resulting in very leaking defending

In football manager

I have chosen to (attempt) to recreate gegenpressing as my philosophy in FM 14, and I have chosen Tottenham Hotspur to do it. Not because they are most suited to the system, far from it, but because they represent a club I think, given a few seasons, I can turn into a world superpower like Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.

My team will be set up 4-2-3-1 as per Dortmund with the following instructions:

Mentality: Attacking - Generally Dortmund play with a high defensive line so they can press the opposition high up the pitch and not leave huge space between the midfield and defence, however I will also be setting up a tactic with a counter attacking mentality in order to get the team to drop deeper and play fully on the counter.

Fluidity: Rigid - Dortmund players all have specific jobs to do in the pitch and have specific roles they play, this translates to a rigid system as I want my players to behave in the way they are instructed

Team instructions are as follows

Higher tempo - to get the fast transitions from defence to attack and discourage my players from dwelling on the ball needlessly

More direct passing - again this is to get the transitions from defence to attack going through as fast as possible

Drill crosses - strikers and wingers will be quick and have good movement meaning this instruction should be effective for generating chances

Use tighter marking - the system is all about pressing and limiting space for the opposition so this should mean the ball holder has fewer options to pass too

Hassle opponents - this is to ensure the team and closing down the ball carrier

Stay on feet - the primary aim is to force the opposition to make an error and capitalise, not to go in two-footed and win the ball back in crazy tackles and I am not really a fan of my players diving into tackles

Play out of defence - I do not want to go route one by any means so hopefully this will balance the other instructions and make sure my defenders are not going all 'Robert Huth' on me

Players

In order for this to work there are a couple of general principles I will try to stick to when recruiting players for the team:

  • Players must have great stamina
  • Players must have a great work rate
  • Players must have good positioning especially in key areas
  • Players must have good pace and acceleration

Essentially I need my team to be hard working and fit to allow to pressing to work, have good positioning across the midfield and defence so we can limit the potential of completely loosing shape and have lots of fast players in attack to make the most of all the balls going into space.

Player instructions:

Across the whole team all players are given the instructions: Close down more & Mark tighter where possible to get the pressing as high as possible, where 'Instructions: None' are specified below that is AFTER these two instructions have already been applied

Goalkeeper

Role: Goalkeeper| Duty: Defend | Instructions: Pass it shorter, Distribute to defenders

Nothing much to note here other than the instructions will hopefully stop the goalkeeper going route one given the higher tempo and more direct passing team instructions

Right back

Role: Complete wing back | Duty: Attack | Instructions: Cross aim far post

The attacking defender, the Dani Alves of the team, he will have space to run into due to the winger ahead of him playing as inside forward and coming narrow. His role in the team is to provide width on the right and support attacks will crosses

Centre back (left)

Role: Central defender | Duty: Cover | Instructions: None

His role in the team is to support his partner at the centre of defence and plug the gaps left by his parter stepping forward to stop opposition attacks

Centre back (right)

Role: Ball playing defender | Duty: Stopper | Instructions: None

His role when the team is without the ball is to step forward and try to stop the opposition attack before it has time to get going, when the team has the ball he will be the main focus for bringing the ball out of defence

Left back

Role: Full back | Duty: Automatic | Instructions: Cross aim far post

More disciplined than his right sided counterpart, his role is to balance the attacking mentality on the right side while also providing a wide passing option on the left, all be it further down the pitch

Central midfielder (left)

Role: Central Midfielder | Duty: Defend | Instructions: None

I have chosen the role of central defender over ball winning midfielder as I am concerned that having a ball winning midfielder will simply mean we lose all shape as he runs all over the pitch to close down the entire opposition on his own. His role is to keep the teams shape and protect the back four

Central midfielder (right)

Role: Deep lying playmaker | Duty: Support | Instructions: None

The creator from deep, his role is to spread the play and dictate how the team will attack while also providing some defensive cover.

Left winger

Role: Winger | Duty: Support | Instructions: Hold position, Cross aim far post

His role is more withdrawn than his attacking midfield counterparts, this is to give us a more solid shape down the left and to allow space for the other attacking players to move into while also whipping in crosses and providing a wide options

Attacking central midfielder

Role: Advanced playmaker | Duty: Attack | Instructions: Roam from position

This is the primary creator, his job is to create goals by either scoring or assisting, he can do it all and is the star of the team, with the attacking mentality he will be running at defenders and playing a more 'all action' game rather than sitting in the hole as he would with support mentality

Right winger

Role: Inside forward | Duty: Attack | Instructions: Get further forward

His duty is to be a secondary goalscorer, after the striker, he needs to be running at defences and causing chaos while also supplying goals

Striker

Role: Deep lying forward | Duty: Attack | Instructions: Roam from position

The striker needs to be a great goalscorer but also contribute as a creator, I think the DLF+Attack is the best instruction that translates as to how Lewandowski plays as he drifts all over the pitch sometimes he is like a poacher, other times he can be like a playmaker, this a variable role in the team.

3mal.png

In addition to this tactic, in order to keep players more rested I will also play a 4-3-3 which will be a slow tempo, retain possession and take a breather type tactic, so if I go 3-0 at half time vs Brentford I can take the foot off the pedal and not have players rushing around needlessly in the second half

7cp0.png

This thread

I have created this thread to hopefully inspire some other managers to try gegenpressing as a philosophy and to stimulate some discussion so the community might come her to discuss their experience, hopefully resulting in us refining the tactic and learning to to replicate it in the match engine.

I am in no way a FM expert and so I am totally willing, in fact expecting, to accept feedback that I have got this wrong or misunderstood some element of the match engine and that changes could result in my getting better results

I will update this thread with hoe pre-season has gone as soon as I have completed it.

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What a great opening post! Dortmund are rightly being recognised for their consistent excellence, so this should prove popular.

I've been busy all day so am surprised to see that nobody has commented yet, but in time I'm sure it will pick up pace.

So far, the standard of FM14 threads is very promising :thup:

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Good opening post mate, and an interesting topic too. I love watching Dortmund because they're still a bit shaky at the back but devastating going forward which usually results in good games.

For me, they're a counter-attacking team with high pressing and direct passing. I don't believe they play a particularly high line as Hummels and Subotic aren't the quickest. Having watched the Schalke game from the weekend the DL was pretty deep most the time. Something to watch out for IRL is the high level of pressing in the opening stages though (could be done using shouts). For the first 10-15 minutes they often pressing for high and at times the formation is more like a 4-2-4. I think in recent games they've started to adapt to changes in the flow of games though. ie. if they score early they are happy to sit a bit deeper, conserve energy and pick teams off.

In my mind...Reus would be in the AML position as an IF, and Kuba would by in the MR as a wide midfielder. Also, Mhikataryan (sp?) is probably more direct than Gotze so maybe an attacking midfielder on attack. You could even use the staggered 4-3-3/4-5-1 preset. Plenty of options.

Look forward to seeing your results.

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Nice one, but I do wonder if the DLFa really is a good interpretation of how Lewandowski plays. From seeing Lewandowski I don't believe he runs from deep positions that often and I also am a bit sceptical to the DLFa's involvement in play generally. Certainly, none of Tottenham's strikers possesses similar abilities, so it would be hard enough to emulate anyway; maybe you should look to another striker role or DLFa might actually be perfect. Also, playing your striker in a support role will make him a better passing outlet for you DLP. Right now, seems his only option will be to hoof it behind the opposition's back or try to reach the APa or right back -- who in turn could turn up isolated. Strikers will also have to be the first ones to initiate pressure on your opposition: do any of the Tottenham strikers possess the high work rate and teamwork required?

Long term, the most interesting thing would be to hear your thoughts on training. I haven't played FM14 yet so i really don't know the scope and depth of training yet, but certainly training should be focused on a lot of fitness and attacking team wise, adding some individual training focus on roles to shape the individual player into specialists?

Futhermore, I believe that one of the cornerstones in Klopp's tactics is the ball-playing defender and his ability to initiate attack. Verthongen should be ideal either as stopper or defend.

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This is the exact style I've been trying (and failing) to replicate in my Arsenal save. I'll give your tactic a go and see how it goes!

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Nice start Luken. I've got a Dortmund save on the go atm the moment and have switched between ultimate possession to free-flowing attacking football for the first few seasons. Currently in my third season and opted for the same approach as you, of adopting the real life philosophy of the team press and quick transitions from defence to attack.

I had a similar tactic to you already, with a few more team instructions but one little thing that I've just tested out was dropping the ball-winning role for a centre-mid defence role. I didn't quite realize how far out of position the ball-winning midfielder would go, taking away the shape. Switched to the cmd role and it's felt a lot more solid.

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Nice thread, looking forward to seeing this one develop, might even give it a go myself. I think if you can get enough players with those key attributes (aswell as aggression) you mentioned then it could be fairly awesome football.

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Pre-season is complete and I am now working through season 1. I have made some changes to the team however, I am no longer using a 'more direct passing' team shout as it was causing terrible possesion and I am now using a 'Counter' mentality as standard rather than attacking. However the below results are posted using the tactic as stated in the original post, with one exception, I switched the striker role to AF-a:

0x9c.png

The good news is that we are scoring lots of goals and dominating games. The tactic also survived it's first encounter with a top team in the 1-1 draw with Madrid.

I think that a counter attacking strategy does better reflect the Dortmund play upon reflection.

In my mind...Reus would be in the AML position as an IF, and Kuba would by in the MR as a wide midfielder

Completely agree however Tottenhams players (Lamela) work more effectively by flipping the roles on the wings over.

Nice one, but I do wonder if the DLFa really is a good interpretation of how Lewandowski plays. From seeing Lewandowski I don't believe he runs from deep positions that often and I also am a bit sceptical to the DLFa's involvement in play generally. Certainly, none of Tottenham's strikers possesses similar abilities, so it would be hard enough to emulate anyway; maybe you should look to another striker role or DLFa might actually be perfect. Also, playing your striker in a support role will make him a better passing outlet for you DLP

I actually switched the striker role to AF-a as stated above as DLF-a was offering very little and I didn't see the strikers getting in good positions or really contributing at all!

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Lewandowski is really a complete striker with the creativity toned down. He holds the ball up and flicks the ball on like a targetman, he closes down the opposition like a defensive forward, he scores goals like a poacher.

In general he doesnt really drop deep or move into the wings very often. He is the guy who keeps the centre halfs occupied as high up the pitch as possible and because he's physically very capable he doesn't mind battling it out for a long ball from Hummels or a 50/50. He is happy to run into a channel or in behind when the opportunity presents itself but I see his movement dictated by the positioning and movement of the boys in the band of three behind him.

He's a very modern striker in that he can do everything very well and score goals. The complete package lone striker.

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I'm having largely very good success with Spurs playing a Standard/Very Rigid 4231 - with important shouts being very high line, hassle opponents.

Lloris SK(A)

Walker (CWB) -- Kaboul (CDx) -- Vertonghen (CDc) -- Alaba (CWB)

Dembele/Sandro/Paulinho/Capoue (All B2B)

Townsend (DWs) --- Eriksen (En) -- Lamela (IFa)

Soldado (CFa)

I mark opposing central midfielders with my two midfielders, and close down throughout with individual instruction. I've found that I am able to press much more effective by simply having players positioned further up the pitch - most importantly the full backs.

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Tommonufc, yours seems interesting as I think replicating Dortmund's pressing game effectively needs a compact high line as you have put up. Spaces are to be closed down. How has it worked out for you in more detail? Pros - Cons? Maybe a couple of points about the strengths/weaknesses and where you can improve it. Thanks.

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Tommonufc, yours seems interesting as I think replicating Dortmund's pressing game effectively needs a compact high line as you have put up. Spaces are to be closed down. How has it worked out for you in more detail? Pros - Cons? Maybe a couple of points about the strengths/weaknesses and where you can improve it. Thanks.

I'm working on a very similar formation to the one in the OP, with a bit of the stuff tommonufc goes on about. Its good at maintaining possession, and creating spaces, but needs forwards with good composure / decision making in order to know when to 'finish'.

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Just beat Spartak Moscow 3-0 in the Europa League quarters with more or less exactly what I explained further up. I believe it's helped by having to very strong and athletic central midfielders, of whom will mark the opposing central midfielders to cut of obvious passing lines. I'm obviously slightly susceptible to the counter attack but having fast defenders will obviously help this, of which Kaboul his very handy, Michael Dawson not so.

OTCp7qU.png

7UYDout.png

DIYnFFW.png

7eemCC6.png

[/img]

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What sort of impact is thsi having on conditioning? I would imagine that playing two games a week, you're having to rotate quite heavily?

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Superb thread mate, im a big fan of Dortmund and gegenpressing an am trying to encorporate it into my FM14 tactic, coupled with a couple of other things. I originally started off with a Fluid setup but eventually, as you have done from the start, switched to Rigid. Helps to keep the shape much better and gets everyone in good positions for the pressing. Ill be following the developments with interest though

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What sort of impact is thsi having on conditioning? I would imagine that playing two games a week, you're having to rotate quite heavily?

Quite a bit, not as much as you'd think though. Fortunately I've a fully fit squad, plus no real unfit players regards stamina, so full backs and central midfielders could easily get away with starting two games a week - but am rotating to keep preferred choices for bigger more important games - Sandro, Dembele, Alaba.

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Whilst counter appears to be the best strategy for Dortmund's style, I always found that this strategy leaves too much of a gap between the centre backs and central midfielders (for some reason), meaning it was harder to play out from the back, especially when the defence is being pressed.

It looks like the gap in the picture above is fairly big. Have you found this to be a problem?

I'm also curious whether or not the defensive line drops too deep with this strategy...

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Quite a bit, not as much as you'd think though. Fortunately I've a fully fit squad, plus no real unfit players regards stamina, so full backs and central midfielders could easily get away with starting two games a week - but am rotating to keep preferred choices for bigger more important games - Sandro, Dembele, Alaba.

This is all with the new match engine?

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How have the B2B players been for you? I've never had a midfield without one player set to defend so I'm interested how 2 support players would work.

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I kept all the op's instructions except I use a ball winning midfielder in front of the stopper. Awesome football, really fast aggressive football. Skill set must be important because I followed his guidelines and my own (high aggression). It is results wise my best save so far, I am not a fan of the really fast aggressive football, but like watching Dortmund, you have to be impressed with it's implementation :)

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I'm playing on ME 1246, so I presume this would be the latest - especially seeing as I'm able to get Lloris to actually play from the back!

I've never played with two B2B midfielders in my midfield pairing either, but yeah, it's working for me very well. Just got in for work, so will play a few more games tonight and see what I can pull out from them that looks interesting!

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It is a very interesting tactic, and is one I am using with my liverpool team, with the flanks switched over and countinho and Enrique offering the attacking options down the left. I would be a bit nervous of using 2 bbm's though, how do you stop being completely exposed on the counter? I find that I always need a CM/D (Lucas/Allen) to offer some protection to my back 4.

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I lost my save with the full release and have started again also taking in a couple of pointers from this thread. In particular he very high defensive line shout seems to have tied everything I was trying to achieve nicely together.

I have been trying to, like Klopp, be flexible in my approach to matches. Some games require short passing possession football, others require long balls over the top to exploit space behind slow strikers.

I will post a reformed tactic I am using and some results soon but there are some great suggestions in here that are helping me at peat refine the tactic

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Good post, Luken.

On the whole, I don't think you can quite replicate counterpressing in the game just yet as there is no distinction between transition phase pressing and defensive phase pressing. Counterpressing itself is primarily intended as an offensive tactic in which, in terms of the phase of play, Dortmund's players are always supposed to be one step ahead of their opponents to make the most of their relatively limited time on the ball. For example, when an opposition player appears poised to win back the ball, he is still thinking in terms of a defensive phase whereas the Dortmund players are already reorganizing to press him (i.e., they're already in the transition phase), and when the Dortmund players get back the ball, they're already looking for the killer pass (attacking phase) while their defender is now in the transition phase. This is why a huge component of Dortmund's training programme is based on improving reaction speed, avoiding drills based on mere repetition and refining what FM represents as "Anticipation."

But the other aspect of this is that you can only effectively counterpress in that key window before the opposition has reorganized into an attacking shape. So Dortmund's attacking unit will typically swarm the player on the ball in the transition phase, but if the opposition holds on, they reorganize into a tighter defensive shape rather than just running themselves ragged trying to get the ball back. There is a practical side to this too, as this is largely how they conserve energy and are able to maintain such an intense tempo compared to traditional high pressing systems.

But in FM, pressing is a bit all or nothing, and it's going to be a big challenge to figure out just how to represent counterpressing mechanically. One option would be to have a specific Counterpress phase in which Support/Attack duty players switch to an ultra-aggressive mentality/pressing setting in the defensive-transition phase when the ball is lost in the opposition's half (sort of an inverse of how the Counterattack phase works), but obviously, this isn't something you can really set up in the TC at the moment.

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It is a very interesting tactic, and is one I am using with my liverpool team, with the flanks switched over and countinho and Enrique offering the attacking options down the left. I would be a bit nervous of using 2 bbm's though, how do you stop being completely exposed on the counter? I find that I always need a CM/D (Lucas/Allen) to offer some protection to my back 4.

You could just make the D/R or D/L a defensive full back so that you have a back 3 when in possession. But with 2 attacking fullbacks and 2 BBMs I don't see how you can effectively protect yourself from being exposed on the counter attacks.

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I lost my save with the full release and have started again also taking in a couple of pointers from this thread. In particular he very high defensive line shout seems to have tied everything I was trying to achieve nicely together.

I have been trying to, like Klopp, be flexible in my approach to matches. Some games require short passing possession football, others require long balls over the top to exploit space behind slow strikers.

I will post a reformed tactic I am using and some results soon but there are some great suggestions in here that are helping me at peat refine the tactic

It's an excellent thread you made here. I am using this style with a very average Watford team in the Premiership. I found the biggest mistake I made with this tactic is to keep a deep defensive line. I think playing a high line with quick CBs is a must using the instructions that you are. I found that sitting deep and hassling was both inviting pressure on to my team and then compounding the mistake by pressing which pulled my defence out of position. I got totally abused by arsenal making this mistake. They just walked round the defenders and played through balls.

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Just beat Spartak Moscow 3-0 in the Europa League quarters with more or less exactly what I explained further up. I believe it's helped by having to very strong and athletic central midfielders, of whom will mark the opposing central midfielders to cut of obvious passing lines. I'm obviously slightly susceptible to the counter attack but having fast defenders will obviously help this, of which Kaboul his very handy, Michael Dawson not so.

OTCp7qU.png

7UYDout.png

DIYnFFW.png

7eemCC6.png

[/img]

How has it worked in long run? Noticed you are 11th in PL.

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Lewandowski is really a complete striker with the creativity toned down. He holds the ball up and flicks the ball on like a targetman, he closes down the opposition like a defensive forward, he scores goals like a poacher.

In general he doesnt really drop deep or move into the wings very often. He is the guy who keeps the centre halfs occupied as high up the pitch as possible and because he's physically very capable he doesn't mind battling it out for a long ball from Hummels or a 50/50. He is happy to run into a channel or in behind when the opportunity presents itself but I see his movement dictated by the positioning and movement of the boys in the band of three behind him.

He's a very modern striker in that he can do everything very well and score goals. The complete package lone striker.

Lewandowski regularly drops deep. In FM he even has the ppm comes deep to get ball.

Best example of it was his goal against Arsenal in CL. He comes really deep lays off the ball to a team mate and then sprints up into the box to finish off the move.

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How has it worked in long run? Noticed you are 11th in PL.

I took over the save by starting in January. 11th place was the doing of AVB's rather sloppy first half of the season, and partly to do with me having games in hand. I finished the season 3 points off 4th place, in 7th.

It's been working very well - I've new recruits coming for the next season, one being Lewandowski. I'm looking for a more creative midfielder I can play in the B2B to balance Sandro, Paulinho, Capoue, as Dembele is only the real 'playmaking' source there.

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This is a great idea for a tactic. Been working on it myself a bit, mostly by following the advice on this thread.

One question: what sort of training regime are people using? I assume player's fitness levels will need to be sky-high to make this system work, but does anyone have any advice about how to do this? On my Liverpool save, I've done the following:

Pre-season: one week team cohesion, the next week fitness (very high), with tactics as match prep.

During the season: balanced (high), again - tactics as match prep.

I'm sure there is a more refined way of doing this though.

Thoughts?

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Right, another little bit from me.. This time a counter attack.

Here we see Wigan with the ball, and you can see how compact my side is, with the LB tracking back in the bottom right half of the shot.

4xOzcfw.jpg

The ball is intercepted by the RB/RWB, who heads it forward, to the RW, who is in a large amount of space.

IDtIQhr.jpg

He holds the ball up, and cuts inside. The RCM makes a run into the 'channel' that the RW would normally run, dragging the LCM of Wigan with him, creating a small space for the AMC (Trequarista instruction) to drift open.

SaHBbd0.jpg

The LCD comes out to close the AMC down, but creates a hole for the RCM to run into, having evaded his marker. The CF is keeping the RCB on his side of the pitch, so the hole is made bigger.

Syu4rMm.jpg

Having got a perfect through ball, the RCM shoots from range, lobbing the keeper with a shot, as the keeper attempted to close the gap down.

Rb8HNSr.jpg

Now, the 'stats' and passing stuff.

DvtrDzI.jpg

Vkch28C.jpg

sA1b0yX.jpg

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You have your CMs running into channels robterrace?

How is it looking for you over the course of season?

Havent figured out the differences between your system and that of tommonufc.

But what I want to know is whether it is effectively winning the ball high up in the pitch? Do your wingers/forwards win it back too or not?

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I don't think theres much difference to be honest, I've got it set up fairly similar to tom, but my CMs are set up as B2B midfielders with tight marking set up on the opposing midfielders, and I've got the AMC set up as a Trequarista instead of an Enganche.

I think he has higher defensive line set as well.

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Are your attacking players pressing well? Ive found wingers dont press that highly. So do yours do and are they winning the ball back high up?

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The wingers press well, but not as great as I'd like them to.

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Will build something similar to this IF/When I get promoted to the PL with Blackburn.

Are you in a promotion position in your 1st season?

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Sitting 5th at the moment. Need to get the tactic to 100% knowledge and see what happens.

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So I have taken on board a lot of what has been said here and have adapted my approach to try and emulate Dortmund's style of play more closely, as a few people have said it would never be possible to absolutely replicate gegenpressing as there are so many intricacies and nuances that make up their play. However this is true of any club and I guess I have taken the principle of gegenpressing and adapted it to make something that is working for me in FM 2014

The system

The system I am now using is a 4-2-3-1 still with the following settings:

Mentality: Attacking

Philosophy: Very rigid

The is producing the desired results of quick transitions, fixed roles and a high line. Alongside this I am using the following team instructions:

  • Play out of defence
  • Hassle opponents
  • Stay on feet
  • Much higher defensive line

The hassle opponents and stay on feet were obviously vital to what I was trying to achieve but it's been the switch the 'Much higher defensive line' that some have recommended using that has really changed my team's approach. I have been changing my team shouts from game to game looking to exploit a quick tempo vs teams that try to go blow by blow with me and a slow tempo vs teams who sit back and park the bus.

At the moment I am seeing the below trends in my games

  • Far more shots than opposition
  • Poor opposition pass completion stats
  • Generally we are dominating possession
  • Opposition pinned VERY far back on the pitch

For example below are our stats of a match vs Aston Villa:

pz97.png

Key thing to note here is the crazy number of shots we are having, I am becoming accustomed to having 30+ shots with a shot on target ratio of around 60-70% with this tactic

Below shows Villa's average positions in the match relative to ours:

3c5r.png

2acl.png

This is by no means extreme but it shows how we are pinning oppositions back. I played a game vs Udinese and they spend most of the time with their own box! Action zones also below for the game vs Villa:

afok.png

Finally this shows the poor pass completion %age Villa managed on the night which is a key outcome we want to achieve with gegenpressing:

p953.png

I hope I will have time tomorrow to plow through a load more games, I have a 3-2 loss away to Chelsea which I would like to report back on, we went 2-0 up and I switched to a counter attacking 4-3-3 to try and preserve the lead and ended up conceding 3!

One thing is for sure, this tactic has got goals in it. I think that what I am using now reflects the double edged sword approach that Dortmund have and with the right signings before the next season we could be on to a winner!

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It would be good to see it over a period of time and especially to see impact on passing percentage of opposition players compared to their usual averages.

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I've just played one match against the team that were 5th in the table, and whilst I averaged about 82% passing, they were down at 61%.

I'll have a look and see what its like when I get to the end of the season.

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Is no one playing with higher/much higher tempo with their sides? Logic says that it "should" help execute the strategy. At least it does in reality.

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This is an excellent thread. Anyone any tips on training?

I guess a large part of the training will be on Fitness and Attacking movement ?

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In terms of play-making who is at the forefront for the team or is there no natural play-maker?

How does the AMC perform in your systems in creativity and contribution (goals/assists)?

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