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To Catenaccio and BEYOND!

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Every year since playing FML I, at some point, develop a catenaccio tactic based around Herrera's nasty little Inter team.

I'm not sure how good or detailed this thread will be, but it should hopefully be enough to get the discussion and experimentation flowing.

Strangely, Herrera's catenaccio can loosely be described as a 4231, though it barely resembles it on the tactics board. I'm going to go through this position, by position.

The Sweeper

One of the main innovations of catenaccio is the sweeper. His job is tidy up the defence, picking up on anything the other defenders miss and dealing with it. In this formation, that will be his main duty, but he will also be looking to clear direct passes out to the right wing.

Position: Sweeper

Duty: Defend

Extra Instructions: More Direct Passes

In previous versions, this was a bit of a ballache to set up correctly, but in FM14 it's an absolute doddle.

The Stopper

Ahead of our sweeper is a more traditional central defender. His job will be to hold the centre and close down the attack. Nothing else will be asked of him.

Position: Central Defender (LC)

Duty: Stopper

Extra Instructions: None

Again, such an absolute doddle to set up.

The Defensive Right

Now this is a weird one. Originally, this was a right back who ended up sitting more centrally, covering the attacks from the wing. As such he'd often end up in the DRC position. He has no attacking duties whatsoever.

Position: Fullback ®

Duty: Defend

Extra Instructions: Sit Narrower, More Direct Passes, Close Down Less

This gets him in more or less the right positions, and the Close Down Less stops him from being drawn out of the centre too much.

The Left"back"

Another strange one. Defence? Hah. No chance. This guy is there to run like hell down the pitch and blast shots at goal. Herrera often bragged about his left back scoring as much as a striker (though he was a massive liar, because this never actually happened), so it's important that he gets into a position to shoot as much as possible.

Position: Complete Wing Back (L)

Duty: Attack

Extra Instructions: Run Wide with Ball, Get Further Forward, Shoot More Often

I'm not sure on this Run Wide with Ball one, as ideally he needs to drift inside for the shot. Maybe the best way to do this would be to have a right-footed player here, but I don't currently have that option. Will see how it develops.

The Midfield Sweeper

Not really the ideal description, but it does show what he's there to do. Run around everywhere, tackling everyone, generally making a nuisance of himself.

Position: Ball Winning Midfielder (MC)

Duty: Defend

Extra Instructions: Shoot Less Often, Pass it Short

Again, not many extra instructions needed here as the new tactical system has the role pretty much nailed down. Alternatively I'd like to try the Half Back role here as well, as that seems like a perfect description of how he should play defensively. The only reason I've held back is that the Half Back appears to have an attacking side to his game as well, and that just does not fit in this system.

The Pivot

This is the main output from midfield. His job is to get the ball whenever it comes to him and then spray it somewhere up field. He should do very little running and mainly stick to his position.

Position: Deep Lying Playmaker (MC)

Duty: Defend

Extra Instructions: More Direct Passes

Another alternative here may be the Regista, which could be even better. Will again see how it goes.

The Playmaker

This is another hybrid kind of role. Half playmaker, half inside forward. Basically his job is to drift in to an AMLC kind of position and pass the ball around.

Position: Advanced Playmaker (AML)

Duty: Attack

Extra Instructions: Play Narrower

This is going to be a hard one to get right. May have to look at an AMC Engarche as well to see how that performs.

The Tornante

This is kind of a hard one, as I don't really know how to do it. A defensive winger would make sense, but that doesn't perform how I'd envision this role. Lots of experimentation likely to be needed. The main outlet for all clearances and long balls.

Position: Wide Target Man (AMR)

Duty: Attack

Extra Instructions: None

Again, not really sure what to do here, so will see how this goes.

The Deep Attacker

Again, I think FM14 comes to the fore here with an almost perfect role in Shadow Striker. Here's there to cause all sorts of trouble in the opposition's defence.

Position: Shadow Striker (AMRC)

Duty: Attack

Extra Instructions: None

All hail FM14's tactical options \o/

The Striker

And here's our (hopeful) goal scorer. Herrera's main attacker was apparently not all that great so had a pretty limited role. Get to the ball, shoot with it.

Position: Advanced Forward (STC)

Duty: Attack

Extra Instructions: Dribble Less, Fewer Risky Passes, Hold Position, Close Down Less

Instructions there basically to imitate the limited role/ability of the original.

The Team

This team was a lot of very specific roles doing very specific things. The emphasis was on defence followed by quick attacks, so these choices are obvious.

Fluidity: Rigid

Mentality: Counter

Now the extra instructions are where it gets more difficult. We need to have this team tackling nasty, soaking up pressure and launching balls down the wing. The team's shape is paramount. Everyone should know where they are and what they should be doing.

More Direct Passing

Be More Disciplined

Clear Ball to Flanks

Hassle Opponents

Exploit the Right Flank

Push Higher Up

Higher Tempo

caten.png

Let's see how it goes...

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You've been promising you'll post this since our FML days, better late than never :D

The use of a sweeper, WTM and a SS all in the same formation is the stuff my dreams are made of.

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Really nice opening post :thup:

I love the way that in spite of a few debatable Roles that you aren't sure about yet, you seem to have a clear idea of where you're heading with this, which is obviously due to your experience of wheeling it out again and again. Will be interesting to see how the Pivot, Playmaker and Tornante evolve.

The Left "back" is an interesting one, as the notion of getting him to Cut Inside and Shoot More has been touted about as an "Inverse Wing Back" in other FM circles. To do so, would necessitate a load of intelligent balance up this pitch - you don't want him to be obstructed by the Midfield Sweeper, nor by the narrowness of the Playmaker.

With regard to the Pivot, are you prepared to reposition the Role? I believe that's what would be needed to give the Regista a go, as I'm sure that's pinned to the DM slot. Alternatively, you can completely reshape one of the generic "Central Midfielder" Roles with Player Instructions in ways which may largely deliver the play you're after.

All in all, an interesting approach and I've seen nothing that similar to this at all before, so I'll follow developments keenly.

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Match number 1: Away to Tottenham

3-0 victory. Two goals from The Playmaker and a near post corner.

Important things to take away from the match:

The Playmaker seems to be doing his job nicely, even though he's straying a little more than I'd want. He's also putting in way more crosses from the left wing than I'd want, but that could be because I accidentally had the team exploiting both flanks instead of just the right.

playmaker_positions.png

As expected, the left back just did not do the job I wanted him to. Not even an attempt at goal and a quick look at his positions shows why. He's spending most of his time on the defensive and never really got far forward enough to be a threat.

leftback.png

The Tornante isn't doing his job either - is staying far too narrow, but his passing and crossing seems ok. He's not crossing enough for my liking, though, so will look into that as well.

right.png

Finally, the Defensive Right is a big weakness in the team, with all good opposition chances coming from his position:

chances.png

Changes made:

Advanced Playmaker changed to Support Duty, Cross from Deep instruction added.

Ball Winning Midfielder changed to a Half Back to try and fill in that defensive gap from the right.

Left"back" changed to WBL position. Will need to look into PPMs to get this role working I think.

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You've been promising you'll post this since our FML days, better late than never :D

The use of a sweeper, WTM and a SS all in the same formation is the stuff my dreams are made of.

Oi, I made one like 4 years ago if you search for it :D

Really nice opening post :thup:

I love the way that in spite of a few debatable Roles that you aren't sure about yet, you seem to have a clear idea of where you're heading with this, which is obviously due to your experience of wheeling it out again and again. Will be interesting to see how the Pivot, Playmaker and Tornante evolve.

The Left "back" is an interesting one, as the notion of getting him to Cut Inside and Shoot More has been touted about as an "Inverse Wing Back" in other FM circles. To do so, would necessitate a load of intelligent balance up this pitch - you don't want him to be obstructed by the Midfield Sweeper, nor by the narrowness of the Playmaker.

With regard to the Pivot, are you prepared to reposition the Role? I believe that's what would be needed to give the Regista a go, as I'm sure that's pinned to the DM slot. Alternatively, you can completely reshape one of the generic "Central Midfielder" Roles with Player Instructions in ways which may largely deliver the play you're after.

All in all, an interesting approach and I've seen nothing that similar to this at all before, so I'll follow developments keenly.

I don't think I'll need to reposition for the Regista. At the moment he seems to be doing the job well as he is. Need to see how he reacts to the change of his midfield partner's role.

I may have to go out and buy someone for the left back as none of my current players really fit the bill. This is all I currently have available, and it's just not good enough:

leftbacknew.png

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Lining up away at Steaua and the formation is now looking decidedly daft on the tactics screen:

newcat.png

Lucky I posted this, didn't notice that the FBR had reset to auto when I was moving him around.

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That formation is "special" :cool:

My initial instinct was that when you're defending, your front 4 will be pretty remote from the defensive unit, but I guess that won't worry you because you'll still have 6 (maybe 7 if the AP drops) back, and the other guys will be occupying the AI defenders.

It is a genuinely interesting set up. Until last night, I'd steered clear of the Half Back after my early dabblings with one in the week after release, because it makes the DCs stay wide for ages in a conventional back four. Your defensive shape is far from conventional, so that could be a masterstroke......

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1-1 Away draw at Steaua shows a few things:

1. The Left"back" and Playmaker are now getting in each other's way, and there's a gap in midfield where the half back is dropping away, so I'm going to move the Playmaker more central.

2. The halfback is working nicely. Gap on the right is filled and we held Steaua to two half chances just inside the edges of the box.

3. Left"back" is moving a lot better, but still no shots. Time to try cutting inside. Going to do the obvious thing and retrain a winger into a WBL as well.

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With regards your left side, I wonder if this is something that just requires PPMs to fully work.

I had something similar in my FM12 Lille team: I had Eden Hazard in the AML position as an AP-A, but his PPMs constantly had him running inside towards goal. Overlapping him on the left was Franck Tabanou as an attacking wingback - as he was essentially a winger that could play at DL, and with lots of attacking PPMs, he was constantly causing havoc down the whole left flank.

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Every year since playing FML I, at some point, develop a catenaccio tactic based around Herrera's nasty little Inter team.

I'm not sure how good or detailed this thread will be, but it should hopefully be enough to get the discussion and experimentation flowing.

Strangely, Herrera's catenaccio can loosely be described as a 4231, though it barely resembles it on the tactics board. I'm going to go through this position, by position.

Good thread, very good.

I only have a question: your intention is to create a tactic with Catenaccio system or emulate Herrera? Because I see a good tactic but some important differences between your roles and Herrera ones during his period in Inter Milan. It was an asymmetric formation.

For example:

- Burgnich was more a pure defender than a fullback. Often it seemed a defensive trio with Picchi as sweeper, Guarneri as stopper and Burgnich in a very difficult role to reproduce in FM. He was a lateral defender, often with man-markinf instruction on opposite winger, but he played very narrow, close to Picchi, not in the fullback position.

- Facchetti was the first Wing Back in Italy, with 59 goals during his period at Inter. I suppose CWB is correct role, but a little up in the field, in wingback position. This is an other very difficult role to implement in FM because he was a left wing back which often goes in opposite area, also in central position like a forward. In Inter-Liverpool 3-0 (1965) you can see a tipical movement of Facchetti: he starts from defense and go up to Liverpool defensive line. When he receive the ball he is in a central position, like an Advanced Forward or a Poacher. I think this is impossible to replicate in FM.

- Inter has no Deep Lying Playmaker. Real Playmaker was Suarez, he played next to Bedin, a defensive midfielder or an Anchor Man, with the only duty to recover ball. Suarez was and incredible player, with technical skills but also movement. He played with number 10, and in my opinion an Advanced Playmaker support is correct role, or maybe the new Regista role. I think DLP plays too much in defense for replicate Suarez role.

- Jair was a Tornante. This was the most underrater player in Inter. He was very important for Herrera mechanism, with his ability to cover and score. Maybe a Defensive Winger or a Winger with support duty.

- Corso was in fact an Advanced Playmaker, i think support duty and "sit narrower" could be good for him.

- Mazzola is correct. Shadow Striker was his role, with attack duty as he was top scorer of Inter in 1965 and 1966.

- In striker position there was alternance between Domenghini (in Serie A) and Peirò (in CL). Both played upfront as Complete Forward in my opinion, probably support role. Ad Advanced Forward I think keep the line, and is not able to create space for Mazzola.

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Oh god, the attacking five are terrifying.

They're everywhere, and the opposition just can't tell what's coming next.

WBL, WTB, SS, AP and AF all getting in the box, all getting shots off. I'm playing a weakened side at home to Crystal Palace and am just tearing them apart. I don't think their back four have managed to stand in a straight line all night. If it wasn't for Ben Arfa being useless, I'd already be out of sight at half time.

The WBL is becoming a lot more involved, but he's still staying out wide. Have started training for Cuts Inside, so we'll see how that goes. Going to sign a right footed left winger in January as well and retrain him at WBL to see.

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Good thread, very good.

I only have a question: your intention is to create a tactic with Catenaccio system or emulate Herrera? Because I see a good tactic but some important differences between your roles and Herrera ones during his period in Inter Milan. It was an asymmetric formation.

For example:

- Burgnich was more a pure defender than a fullback. Often it seemed a defensive trio with Picchi as sweeper, Guarneri as stopper and Burgnich in a very difficult role to reproduce in FM. He was a lateral defender, often with man-markinf instruction on opposite winger, but he played very narrow, close to Picchi, not in the fullback position.

- Facchetti was the first Wing Back in Italy, with 59 goals during his period at Inter. I suppose CWB is correct role, but a little up in the field, in wingback position. This is an other very difficult role to implement in FM because he was a left wing back which often goes in opposite area, also in central position like a forward. In Inter-Liverpool 3-0 (1965) you can see a tipical movement of Facchetti: he starts from defense and go up to Liverpool defensive line. When he receive the ball he is in a central position, like an Advanced Forward or a Poacher. I think this is impossible to replicate in FM.

- Inter has no Deep Lying Playmaker. Real Playmaker was Suarez, he played next to Bedin, a defensive midfielder or an Anchor Man, with the only duty to recover ball. Suarez was and incredible player, with technical skills but also movement. He played with number 10, and in my opinion an Advanced Playmaker support is correct role, or maybe the new Regista role. I think DLP plays too much in defense for replicate Suarez role.

- Jair was a Tornante. This was the most underrater player in Inter. He was very important for Herrera mechanism, with his ability to cover and score. Maybe a Defensive Winger or a Winger with support duty.

- Corso was in fact an Advanced Playmaker, i think support duty and "sit narrower" could be good for him.

- Mazzola is correct. Shadow Striker was his role, with attack duty as he was top scorer of Inter in 1965 and 1966.

- In striker position there was alternance between Domenghini (in Serie A) and Peirò (in CL). Both played upfront as Complete Forward in my opinion, probably support role. Ad Advanced Forward I think keep the line, and is not able to create space for Mazzola.

This is excellent, thanks.

- Burgnich role. The way my guy is currently playing is quite similar, he's about 3/4s the way towards a DRC positioning. I don't want to use man marking with him, but at the moment it looks like I don't have to. He's tracking the winger nicely and is doing a good job.

- Yes, Facchetti I'm struggling with. Getting more joy with him playing in WBL, but he's still not getting central at the end of it. Hopefully his PPM training will work and we'll see.

- Yes, it's Suarez's role I'm trying to recreate and it seems to be going good at the moment. Every time he gets the ball, it's quickly sent to my AMR who starts the attack with the other forwards. It's brilliant to watch, I think. I will try the Regista with him at some point, but I don't have a creative enough player who can play DM at the moment, so an MC DLP is the closest I can get.

- Jair I'm also having trouble with, mainly because I don't know the exact duties of a Tornante. He's also the main guy in my team, with a lot of the play going through him. Defensive Winger just didn't work. With the WTM he's behaving as I'd expect - bullying their leftback and making it unpleasant for him.

- Yes, a more support role would be good I think for the ST, but at the moment this seems to be working ok. He's making lots of space in the way he's playing and the SS is getting into good positions.

I want to base it on Herrera's Inter, but at the same time it'll need a more modern edge to it for it to be successful in the modern game simulated in this engine.

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I've got Gylfi Sigurosson coming in in January to play in the WBL role. Should be a nice fit, I reckon.

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- Yes, Facchetti I'm struggling with. Getting more joy with him playing in WBL, but he's still not getting central at the end of it. Hopefully his PPM training will work and we'll see.

We'll see with the PPM. I know is a very difficult role to emulate.

- Jair I'm also having trouble with, mainly because I don't know the exact duties of a Tornante. He's also the main guy in my team, with a lot of the play going through him. Defensive Winger just didn't work. With the WTM he's behaving as I'd expect - bullying their leftback and making it unpleasant for him.

Probably in England you have never had the "Ala Tornante" role, due to use of 4-4-2 systems. An "Ala Tornante" was a bit different from pure winger like Garrincha because is more defensive and try to help fullback to cover. He starts wide in midfield, usually with number 7, and run at defence to provide cross for Forward. In defensive situation he has to follow opposite wing back. In Italy the last Tornante probably was Camoranesi during his period at Juventus. He plays usually on right side, on the left there was a second striker, with number 11.

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I think with the PPM it should go well. He's already getting a lot more central just with moving the AML to AMC.

I'm going to try the AMR as an MR(S) with a Mark Tighter instruction. I also have him staying forward from all defensive set pieces to get more balls to him.

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Probably in England you have never had the "Ala Tornante" role, due to use of 4-4-2 systems. An "Ala Tornante" was a bit different from pure winger like Garrincha because is more defensive and try to help fullback to cover. He starts wide in midfield, usually with number 7, and run at defence to provide cross for Forward. In defensive situation he has to follow opposite wing back. In Italy the last Tornante probably was Camoranesi during his period at Juventus. He plays usually on right side, on the left there was a second striker, with number 11.

That does sound very similar to the FM Defensive Winger - do you think that is the best fit of all the Roles for "Ala Tornante"?

A Defensive Winger with a specific man marking instruction?

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The only problem I find with the defensive winger is that he seems to forget the "winger" part and the supply from that flank just dries up.

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The only problem I find with the defensive winger is that he seems to forget the "winger" part and the supply from that flank just dries up.

Really? On FM13 mine used to get around 30 assist each every season. Very good going forward and very solid picking their man up and tracking back.

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Really? On FM13 mine used to get around 30 assist each every season. Very good going forward and very solid picking their man up and tracking back.

Snap. I found them absolutely lethal in FM13 with no tweaks whatsoever.

Even though the Attack Duty version has gone, I'm sure you can influence the Support iteration to get up and down the wing pretty effectively.

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Snap. I found them absolutely lethal in FM13 with no tweaks whatsoever.

Even though the Attack Duty version has gone, I'm sure you can influence the Support iteration to get up and down the wing pretty effectively.

The 'get further forward' individual shout would be excellent at doing that.

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Yeah, I used them fine in FM13 as well. Have you tried them this time around?

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Yeah, I used them fine in FM13 as well. Have you tried them this time around?

Yups, still creating a lot for me when I used them in a 3-5-2.

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Strange. He has all the attributes to be a decent defensive winger as well.

Currently with the WTM + tight marking, he's dropping back in between the two wide players when in possession, and hangs on to the fullback when defending, so it's working ok.

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That does sound very similar to the FM Defensive Winger - do you think that is the best fit of all the Roles for "Ala Tornante"?

A Defensive Winger with a specific man marking instruction?

Maybe for Jair the best fit is Winger with support role in AMR position or with attack duty in MR position.. Because he was a winger when he had to attack, but also a wide midfielder when not in possession.

This is very important because Burgnich played very narrow and with man marking, so following the forward he could leave uncovered the right side, and Jair have to provide cover.

But we have to remind that in 60s defensive compactness was not as importat as today.

Nowadays Tornante role is changed a bit, in particular with the intensive use of 3-5-2, expecially in Italy. Nowadays a Tornante could be Lichsteiner. Maybe Valencia with a little more cover duty.

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Managed a 0-0 draw away at Madrid, despite being a much weaker team :cool:

Only managed two shots, but completely shut down their attack to long shots only.

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This looks like a very interesting tactic that I would like to try out.

Just wondering, do you reckon it is very dependent on having quality players for the role? In other words, could this perform in the lower leagues?

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My players are all mostly 2.5 stars at current ability in comparison with the league - almost the entire team are aged 17-23. The team could be much​ stronger than it currently is.

Have no idea how well it would work lower down the leagues.

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It lines up as a pretty regular looking 3-4-2-1 most of the time, or a 3-2-4-1 when properly attacking.

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The 'get further forward' individual shout would be excellent at doing that.

Im currently training Jose Enriquie to "cut inside". He already has "gets forward whenever possible". Im looking to get him high up the pitch and then cut into the space that Sturridge leaves with the "play wider" shout. As a defensive winger in my 3-5-2 im hoping for big things to come. agree in FM13 the defensive wingers were beasts.

Nice thread by the way.

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First defeat since the change has finally occured, away to 2nd place Man Utd:

first_defeat.png

AMR is now a DW(S) and the striker is now a False 9, but everything else is the same.

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Isn't happening yet. They tend to form a triangle around the opposition's central defenders.

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love this thread!

that welsh left back actually looked quite good to me, though maybe you need another welshman for the CWB role who indeed started his career as a natural left back...

on a side note, Facchetti was right footed and used to provide lots of scoring chances cutting inside and shooting from distance - almost like an inside forward at times. Maybe something you could try in the future for the left wingback role

great read :)

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Bale would have been amazing for it, yeah, but I'm not paying that kind of money for anyone :D

Sigi is doing brilliantly in that role. Bunch of assists and bunch of goals too.

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Bale would have been amazing for it, yeah, but I'm not paying that kind of money for anyone :D

Sigi is doing brilliantly in that role. Bunch of assists and bunch of goals too.

Do you think Siggy is better suited because he lacks the speed? Sometimes having a fast player in this kind of roles makes it hard because he's way ahead of the other players, so they always struggle to catch up with play?

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Sigi has the speed. His main use is his either footedness as he can perform wherever he ends up on the pitch.

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This is the first time I've been in this tactics section of the forum and unbelievably I was just coming in to ask if anyone had attempted Catenaccio in any version of FM!

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Awesome thread. Love how you've nailed the defensive side of the formation, you've not conceded more than 1 goal in that last screenshot!

Edit: That is a hell of a lot of awesome newgens by 2018!

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Edit: That is a hell of a lot of awesome newgens by 2018!

For every one you see, there's at least 3 others who haven't made it.

Bussey and Carver, however, both turned up in my very first youth intake :cool:

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Awesome thread. Love how you've nailed the defensive side of the formation, you've not conceded more than 1 goal in that last screenshot!

Edit: That is a hell of a lot of awesome newgens by 2018!

This is one of the weakest sides I've seen him have :D

Does Altun have any PPM's Ackter?

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