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stu_3145

The Liverpool Tactical Experiment

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G'day people, with my utter failure to grasp the tactical elements of the game initially (resulting in some very embarrassing score lines!) I have decided to undertake a experiment with tactics using my utterly favourite team, Liverpool! Firstly, I am not an experienced FM tactician - so this is just my experiences. Secondly, I would like to say a massive thanks to wwfan for the article on 'How to Play FM14' which can be found here

I believe that Liverpool, at least this season, have been using two distinct formations based a key aspect of two central strikers - either with three centre backs or the traditional back four. After watching Liverpool dominate Fulham recently, I have decided two start with the flat back formation.

Starting front to back, I decided to set up two strikers as that is the way Liverpool line up – with the most common pairing Sturridge and Suarez. On the left of the pairing, I placed Sturridge due to his stronger left foot (although I did toss up moving him right but ultimately put him left as I want Henderson/Johnson filling that space). He was placed on an Advanced Forward as he leads the line more than Suarez does – attacking mentality as only option. Individually, I gave him the shoot less and move into channel shouts as I need him linking him with teammates. With Suarez, I quickly discarded the non-creative roles as that’s definitely not his role at Liverpool – after some further review of his role I decided on a False 9 as that would hopefully allow him to drag the left centre pairing/left back out of position – space that could be exploited by the right side of my formation. In regards to shouts, shoot less often again (for the same reason as above) and roam from position – I would like him to pop of everywhere (the way he plays in real life).

On the left is Coutinho – he plays as a attacking midfielder but starts out on the left – I choose an inside forward on attack role with ‘sit narrower’, ‘shoot less often’, ‘dribble more’ and ‘play risky passes’ – to reflect the creative role he has bridging the gap between centre midfield and the attackers. Centre midfield was Lucas (a ball winning mid/defensive – ‘shoot less’ ‘play short passes’) and Gerrard (deep lying playmaker/support ‘play more direct passes’). I was trying to implement the break up play/simple passing game of Lucas and the more expansive role that Gerrard plays. My biggest dilemma came with the placing of Henderson, who has been a regular in the Liverpool side – I was unhappy playing as attacking winger role as he normally starts more around the centre line and uses his impressive work rate to push forward and back. He also regular links with Johnson who pushes forward from RB, so I choose a wide midfielder role on support with ‘sit narrower’ and ‘shoot less’.

This helped with the setting of Johnson (wing back/attack with ‘push forward’ ‘shoot less’ ‘cut inside’) I really want to see Johnson screaming up the wing to help with the attack with Henderson covering or Lucas if Henderson is caught forward. My opposite back, Enrique was also set on wingback but a support setting to help link play rather than create it – ‘shoot less’ ‘dribble less’ shouts. My two centre backs set on defender/defend – to hold back and provide cover in case the opposition break.

o980.jpg

I thought about a balanced team instruction but was concerned about the amount of players I had in the up field and wanted the cover by having the midfielders push back to help out. I struggled with team shouts – however, finally settled on fluid/control with ‘retain possession’, ‘shorter passes’ (hoping Gerrard’s individual shots override this), ‘pass into space’, ‘work into box’, ‘roam position’, ‘play out a back’

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Interested to see what this looks like in different phases of play.

Unfortunately, Fulham didn't provide much offensively so it's difficult to tell from the match how Liverpool set up defensively, however attack wise, this match clearly showed Liverpool's approach. To me it appeared that the deeper Liverpool were (on the very few occasions Fulham got out of their own half) it was very much 2 banks of 4 (a standard 442 if u like), but as the play progressed up the pitch, it became more of a 4132 with Lucas hanging back giving he other 3 licence to attack. I would also say that as these 3 moved forward, they also moved more central allowing Johnson and Cissoko (later Enrique) to overlap and maintain width.

Only immediate comment re your roles is that I don't think Suarez should be tied down by a specific role. His workrate and team ethic are immense, so to me he's more of a CF(S) with licence to roam.

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A couple of tweeks and first game with new formation v Arsenal - not going so bad at half time :)

xsjc.pngUploaded with ImageShack.com

Started with Lucus in the CM line, but he was getting too far forward for my liking, so moved him to DM line and he started to do what I wanted, picking up balls as they broke from attack and re-starting the next :)

You can see I have Agger as BPD (well, he is really isn't he!!).

Individually -

GK. Mingolet - Distribute to Defenders

Midfield. Hendo - Sit Narrower; Coutinho - Sit Narrower & Roam from Position

Attack. Suarez - Roam from Position

No-one else has any individual instructions.

AM set OI's.

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Finished 3-0. Lucas got sent off 5 mins into 2nd half, so had switch to something more conservative to protect my win.

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Cissokho hattrick?

I know... 1st from a corner, 2nd a scorcher from the corner of the 18 yard box as the ball broke to him - 3rd was a pen (was actually quite cool to him him rush to grab the ball as soon as it was given :) ).

How come you are asking the team to play wide but then asking both wide players to play narrow?

Because I have 2 wing-backs, they need space to play in, so the wide mid-fielders need to sit inside a bit to give them space. The play wide shout I have generally found is useful for ensuring full pitch width coverage, especially when being aggressive. I take it off if I'm in a more defensive situation.

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To me it appeared that the deeper Liverpool were (on the very few occasions Fulham got out of their own half) it was very much 2 banks of 4 (a standard 442 if u like), but as the play progressed up the pitch, it became more of a 4132 with Lucas hanging back giving he other 3 licence to attack. I would also say that as these 3 moved forward, they also moved more central allowing Johnson and Cissoko (later Enrique) to overlap and maintain width.

Agree with the 2 banks of four in defence, but as you stated, it was hard to say with confidence as Fulham didn't have extended periods in possession and, as Countiho moved around the attacking third he wasn't always set up on to track back on the left wing.

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Interesting that you have both strikers set on complete forwards, alinp, as I don't believe Sturridge displays that willingness, or is allowed to, drop that deep into midfield - whereas Suarez does so with greater regularity

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Your AML has no one close to him. The lb is on support and the left midfielder is a DMC-d. That might get Coutinho isolated. I'd swap the 2 midfielders and swap the lb/rb mentalities.

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Interesting that you have both strikers set on complete forwards, alinp, as I don't believe Sturridge displays that willingness, or is allowed to, drop that deep into midfield - whereas Suarez does so with greater regularity

Rodgers has often said he sees them both as 9 and a half's, which to me seems best to fit a CF (defo not a F9 or Tq), however I have adapted slightly and changed the Sturridge role to AF(A). I've added Roam from Position to Suarez and in the CF(S) role he can't be made to close down any more (hence I assume this is at max) and don't see any other role as appropriate for him as making him too much of a specialist would restrict him, and we wouldn't want to do that now, would we??

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Your AML has no one close to him. The lb is on support and the left midfielder is a DMC-d. That might get Coutinho isolated. I'd swap the 2 midfielders and swap the lb/rb mentalities.

The purpose was to try and recreate LFC's tactic from this Saturday. Sorry, but don't see how swapping 2 midfielders would accomplish this. In the defensive position, Lucas was clearly centre left, hence his position is correct IMO.

Coutinho's positioning is the tricky one, but as he's not an ML and I actually don't see a role there that suits him, there's no option than to play him at AML as an AP with A duty (as there's no- one else in midfield I can give this duty to!!).

With regard to the wing backs, I suggest you check out llama3's guide re. Widemen and I think you'll find I've got it right, after all Cissoko scored a hatrick I the above match v the Arse from WB(S).

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2 corners and a penalty, yep that proves everything.

Not sure sacasm helps!!

Please advise in your opinion what you think needs doing to replicate the way Liverpool played against Fulham. As I've said, I agree Coutinho's positioning is difficult and that Lucas, when they form a flat 4, needs to be Centre left, so can't swap him with the other CM.

A WB(S) will get high enough up the pitch to support the AML so see no need for a change of duty. On the other side, the WB(A) should (in theory) go past the MR.

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OK.... so I've noticed that a) Coutinho definitely doesn't track back - anyone got any idea how I could get him to do this? and b) yes, there is too much of a gap between Lucas and Coutinho.

So, I've pushed Lucas back into the CM line as a CM(D) and need to see what effect this has. I've also taken off the Wider instruction from the team and added "Stay Wider" to both the WB's.

em6r.pngUploaded with ImageShack.com

Player Instructions are -

GK - Distribute to Defenders

WB's - Stay Wider

MR - Sit Narrower

MCR - Close Down More (and if SG - Roam From Position)

AML - Sit Narrower, Roam From Position, Close Down More

STR (when Suarez) - Roam From Position

STL (when Sturridge) - Shoot Less Often.

Would welcome any suggestions that help the following...

- Regularly dominating possession against teams I should, but struggling to put the game to bed - i.e. not scoring enough for the possession and chances created

- The Chelsea's and Man City's of this world getting 2 up too easily - my team seems to start playing too late and lose 1-2 :(

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Having said that, Agger played as a BPD, whereas Sakho as a normal CD(D) when he replaced him. Also, switched Schneiderlin to the CM(D) role at MCL when SG came on, so possibly better to ignore both 44 and 5, in which case, I don't think it looks too bad :)

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Thanks for sticking up for the thread alinp! However, doesn't necessarily have to be just for the Fulham game - just how they line up with a back four.

In saying that, Lucas definitely needs a to stay as a left sided mid as Gerard always lines up on the right!

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Thanks for sticking up for the thread alinp! However, doesn't necessarily have to be just for the Fulham game - just how they line up with a back four.

In saying that, Lucas definitely needs a to stay as a left sided mid as Gerard always lines up on the right!

Thank you....

Just to finish off the season, added Stay on Feet to team instructions and played last match v Everton but with a CA mentality. Won 2-0 away :)

Now in pre-season for 2014/15 and training both Control & Counter versions (same team instruction as finished v Everton) + a 4132 (which I'll try and upload tonight).

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a 4132 (which I'll try and upload tonight).

Would love to see a this formation - I have been trying to put together one that would allow Sterling to actually play (I think that the formation Liverpool play in real life has no suitable role for him ... I can see Rogers adapting it within a few seasons to incorporate him)

Although still a bit unsure about the CM's

I am thinking that the ball playing defender role that agger has would push him further as he attempts to get into the play ... could always attempt Lucas' role as a support duty ... that would see him push up the field as well although could easily leave you a bit light on defensively ... and the generally accepted idea is to have at least one midfield on the defend duty.

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First game with the tactic ... left Coutinho as inside forward. Was happy with the result until I remembered that they had the early red card which would undoubtedly screwed the results

<a  href=http://imageshack.com/a/img854/6208/kj7l.png' alt='kj7l.png'>Uploaded with ImageShack.com[/img]

The biggest problem I see with this particular tactic is what happens when countinho and Henderson need a rest? I guess that Sterling could probably play the inside forward role but he tends to shoot to often for my liking and Moses is again not a suitable option. In regards to Henderson, there is no one with the exception of Gerrard who could play the wide right role that requires a large work rate. It seems that the only suitable alternative is to switch the formation whenever one of those two need a rest. I am currently working on a back 3, 2 wingback line up like Liverpool used over the last month, however, I am concerned that it still faces that same problem expect this time regarding Johnson at RB ... there is no like-for-like suitable cover meaning another change in formation. Any ideas?

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First game with the tactic ... left Coutinho as inside forward. Was happy with the result until I remembered that they had the early red card which would undoubtedly screwed the results

:)

I've tended to use Alberto on the left if/when Coutinho needs a rest, but as LFC weren't in Europe this season, didn't happen that often. On the RHS, yes there's an issue. There is very little decent cover for Hendo or Johnson. I managed to get Schneiderlin off of So'ton, so I could switch SG to MR if required and got my DoF to find my a RB cover (who wasn't great, but was better than Kelly!!). I loaned out Sterling, as there really isn't a place for him in this set up.

On the back 3 idea, I gave up for the first season (and I think we'll find Brendan has now too), but am training Agger & Ilori both to be Sweepers, so may pick it up again in the future.

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As promised, here's my 4132 as it currently exists, but I'm only in pre-season and haven't used it yet, so would welcome any comments. I'll probably leave it as my option 3 for now and maybe use it now and then (probably when I'm comfortably up :) )

xepz.pngUploaded with ImageShack.com

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Update...

I've been using my 442 Counter mainly in pre-season, and very impressed with the results so far. Made a couple of shout changes (inspired partly by the gengenpressing thread).

hxaq.pngUploaded with ImageShack.com

Last pre-season game v Deportivo (with mainly my B team).

kadh.pngUploaded with ImageShack.com

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I would liek to ask hows the DLP poistion himself with the DW s there?? as well as does glen johnson go for the overlap there? (WB). I also would liek to ask if coutinho on the AP (a) position actualy do some thing... I find my AP anything infront of the midline just passes the ball backwards ...I find gerrard or who ever in DLP is just kicking the ball up front

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I would liek to ask hows the DLP poistion himself with the DW s there?? as well as does glen johnson go for the overlap there? (WB). I also would liek to ask if coutinho on the AP (a) position actualy do some thing... I find my AP anything infront of the midline just passes the ball backwards ...I find gerrard or who ever in DLP is just kicking the ball up front

Here is the heat map from my most recent match

1xqx.pngUploaded with ImageShack.com

and here is Coutinho's passing

4xf6.pngUploaded with ImageShack.com

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Feeling confident, squeezed an extra friendly in...

v3w4.pngUploaded with ImageShack.com

How's them apples?? :)

To be fair, I dropped the tempo to normal and part way through the first half, moved my CMd back to DMd as they were getting a bit too much space in front of my back four for my liking. I also added the individual Mark Tighter shout to my CDR to try and keep Neymar honest.

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hmm look like coutinho doing some work there how does the other side work? does the dlp stay in the area proving passes or the DW and CWB work around in getting a cross?

Assuming you are using hendo at the DW how is he going does he attack or just stay in that area and letting johnson to go forward?

I play the normal 442 but with the recomended false nine poacher duo.. and i find the false nice do really drop deep and sometimes go to the flank if theres space

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hmm look like coutinho doing some work there how does the other side work? does the dlp stay in the area proving passes or the DW and CWB work around in getting a cross?

Assuming you are using hendo at the DW how is he going does he attack or just stay in that area and letting johnson to go forward?

I play the normal 442 but with the recomended false nine poacher duo.. and i find the false nice do really drop deep and sometimes go to the flank if theres space

I've got Gerrard with Roam PI - so he pretty much does that, but generally sits centre right, slightly ahead of Lucas. Hendo & Johnson tend to take it in turns, although Johnson definitely stays wider (as intended).

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Thought this might be helpful to the OP, I'm doing something similar myself but waiting for the patch before posting anything. Anyway, http://www.whoscored.com/Matches/720142/MatchReport Selecting player positions from the positional report section shows you where players played generally. I also have that fulham match recorded :lol: working out how each player played. If you look back over the older match reports it becomes quiet obvious that Sturridge plays a little bit more withdrawn than Suarez, which is surprising and harder to implement in FM in my opinion due to Sturridge's mental stats.

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Thought this might be helpful to the OP, I'm doing something similar myself but waiting for the patch before posting anything. Anyway, http://www.whoscored.com/Matches/720142/MatchReport Selecting player positions from the positional report section shows you where players played generally. I also have that fulham match recorded :lol: working out how each player played. If you look back over the older match reports it becomes quiet obvious that Sturridge plays a little bit more withdrawn than Suarez, which is surprising and harder to implement in FM in my opinion due to Sturridge's mental stats.

Very interesting link and shows how much Liverpool pressed Fulham back into their own half, although the comments indicate that it was still very much a counter mentality, just that it was played much higher up the pitch than you'd ecpect normally, helped in no doubt by Liverpool ability to steal the ball. I think my interpretation is about right :)

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I tried making this tactic it failed miserably @.@ for me

the gap inbetween coutinho and lucas is too big yes ap(a)---CM(d) i find my players getting pulled apart

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Thought this might be helpful to the OP, I'm doing something similar myself but waiting for the patch before posting anything. Anyway, http://www.whoscored.com/Matches/720142/MatchReport Selecting player positions from the positional report section shows you where players played generally. I also have that fulham match recorded :lol: working out how each player played. If you look back over the older match reports it becomes quiet obvious that Sturridge plays a little bit more withdrawn than Suarez, which is surprising and harder to implement in FM in my opinion due to Sturridge's mental stats.

Apart from the Sturridge/Suarez swap (which I agree cld be extremely difficult to use in fm14 as Suarez is definitely more suited to that creative role) think that the tactics used here really do reflect that data post Fulham match. There are a couple of tweaks to be made I'm possibly dropping Lucas to dm and pushing Johnson up to wing back to allow him to get further forward but I feel that would leave Johnson out of position defensively. Could also considering switch countiho to a left sided centre mid (not 100% sure you can do that not at home to check) so he operates more centrally.

Thanks for the information pelejunior :)

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I tried a DM - BBM, DLPs, APa option but it didn't look or feel right to me, so other than the Sit Narrower PI on Coutinho, can't think of how else we could get him sitting more centrally.

What I have found myself quite often doing, particularly when playing against an AMC, is dropping Lucas back to DM, but leaving the rest alone, although for better balance I kinda agree that he should be the right sided centre mid (at least for FM purposes).

I have taken my eye off the ball a bit with this tactic as I wanted to see what else I could get Liverpool to do reasonably well pending starting a new save when the next patch comes out (hopefully improving some of the defensive engagement issues that still prevail). Currently tinkering with a variable 5 man midfield option having taken inspiration from another thread.

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Are these tactics available to download?

Sorry, no. All the discussion and instructions around this experiment are in the thread. Would be great if you created something similar and could then feed into the discussion.

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I tried making this tactic it failed miserably @.@ for me

the gap inbetween coutinho and lucas is too big yes ap(a)---CM(d) i find my players getting pulled apart

Have you tried anything to resolve this. Any constructive input more than welcome :)

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I tried a DM - BBM, DLPs, APa option but it didn't look or feel right to me, so other than the Sit Narrower PI on Coutinho, can't think of how else we could get him sitting more centrally.

What I have found myself quite often doing, particularly when playing against an AMC, is dropping Lucas back to DM, but leaving the rest alone, although for better balance I kinda agree that he should be the right sided centre mid (at least for FM purposes).

I have taken my eye off the ball a bit with this tactic as I wanted to see what else I could get Liverpool to do reasonably well pending starting a new save when the next patch comes out (hopefully improving some of the defensive engagement issues that still prevail). Currently tinkering with a variable 5 man midfield option having taken inspiration from another thread.

Im interested in this 5 man midfield tactic as I need something to fall back on when this tactic not working

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the only way i can see it is yo pull back the ap and make it wm.... Imnot sure is coutinho good for wm?? or winger? with cmd next to him

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the only way i can see it is yo pull back the ap and make it wm.... Imnot sure is coutinho good for wm?? or winger? with cmd next to him

sorry, but cant see how that will fix the issue? the game results showed coutinho playing extremely central ... as in a central attacking player - I suggested placing him on the left side as that would allow him to maintain some width and normally starts wide left anyway - makes Liverpool very lopsided towards the right but allows acres of space for whoever is playing left back! Pulling coutinho back to wm would appear to actually make it worse I think as his starting position wld be further out of whack

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Good Afternoon All

Thought I'd resurrect this (following it being mentioned in dispatches by Cleon elsewhere) and give an update as to where I'd got to.

Well basically, I tinkered.... then tinkered a bit more... and lo & behold, it all started going a bit Pete, so I decided to cut my losses and start again.

So - back to LFC and there starting squad. In the Meet your Staff meeting, my AM recommends 4132, 41212 or 4312 as the best formations for my squad & upon reviewing these available, I can't say I disagree. Before deciding where to start, I had a quick look at what each looked like from the pre-set formations and concluded that 4132 was the most defensive, 4312 the most attacking and that therefore 41212 was somewhere in the middle and hence would be my starting point. I will develop the others at a later date once this one is fluid.

My board want possession based attacking football, so my first decision is that my default mentality will be Control - i.e. possession based football on the front foot.

Next roles...

GK - My only realistic choice at the start of the game is Mignolet - he's a keeper. If I had Reina, then maybe SK could be an option, but for now GK(D) is my only option.

Defence - Keeping it simple to start. As I know my Fullbacks will be my only wide players, I have decided on WB's. I've set them both as WB(A) for now to provide balance, but don't think the left sides options available to me (Enrique/Cissoko) are as attacking as Glen Johnson, so happy to be persuaded that perhaps the left should be WB(S). Agger is my only realistic BPD, so the default will be CD(D), but with the setting that DCL is BPD(D) if Agger plays.

Midfield - after a little tinkering in some pre-season games, I have settled for DM(D), BBM(S), AP(S) & T(A) (which to me equated to Lucas/Hendo/SG/Coutinho).

Up front - to have S&S, my opinion still is that they are CF(S) & AF(A), which leaves the formation looking like this -

4ah1.png

Team Instructions...

I don't believe that you need to over emphasise possession based instructions. As a team, LFC are ranked 1st for passing, so I'd hope they don't need me to tell them they need to pass their way around the pitch, so I decided against Play out of Defence & opted for Shorter Passing. To aid keeping possession in the final 3rd I added Work Ball into Box. With these there is no need for Retain Possession, which IMO should only really be used if you're after a "Death by Football" type of approach or trying to take time out of the game.

My basic formation is very narrow, so I've asked the team to Play Wider to try and create some space and then added Pass into Space to try and exploit this. When we do get into the final third, I want any crosses pinged in to take advantage of the quickness of thought of my front two - they're both ok in the air, but neither are a traditional Andy Carroll type TM, so floating anything isn't going to help them. Therefore, Drill Crosses is on.

And finally, when we do lose the ball, I want them to try and get it back asap, so in order to aid pressing and compact space, I've gone for Hassle Opponents, Push Higher Up & Use Tighter Marking.

Player Instructions

GK - Distribute to Defenders hence allowing the good passing of my team to start from the back.

Both CM's - Run Wide with Ball (this was added after I noticed my central pair were still too close and it seemed to improve their pitch coverage), Close Down More to further encourage pressing. I have the solidity of the DM(D) behind them, so happy for them to move slightly out of position if it aids winning the ball back early.

Will post some details of how it's going shortly, by my laptop has just told me it wants to re-start.

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Squad wise, I noted that we had no effective cover for Johnson and could do with one more CM, so set my newly recruited DoF off to find me a couple of new recruits and as you can see below, he picked up Inler & Montoya for me. I've put my better potential players up for loans, but using the Development List rather than just offering them and anyone else has been transfer listed.

mxw6.png

Could probably do with getting a back up keeper on loan as I intend to keep Pepe when he gets back.

Pre-season, I'm using Cleon's plan, which so far seems to be working okay, but I am concious that adding 2 new players may disrupt this.

Results so far...

5mj1.png

Anyway... back to it :)

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