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Building A Tactic From The Beginning - THE DISCUSSION THREAD!

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This thread is for discussing Build A Tactic from The Beginning And Maintaining It Long Term thread which is stickied at the top of the forum.

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/403153-Building-A-Tactic-From-The-Beginning-And-Maintaining-It-Long-Term

Please keep all discussion of the above thread in this one please. That's why the other thread is closed so people can just see the articles without having to shift through lots of text to see the updates etc :)

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There is only so much I can do before the game is released. As I won't be starting my proper game which this thread is discussing until the game is released. I still have other bits I can be adding but I thought it be best to put some of it out there already for you to mull over :)

I'm happy to answer any questions etc that people have about the closed thread at the top of the forum :)

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Great work Cleon !

I'm hoping you'll write more about "the direct style" for good/top sides.

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Good stuff! I have also been messing around with a 4-4-2 shape and trying out some of the new roles.

The Raumdeuter seems a great role option that can really do some damage to teams, especially in the transition phase. I was worried about being exposed down my raumdeuters flank so I originally had the full back behind him a little bit conservative. But I found that my team was much more dangerous when that fullback got forward more, supporting or overlapping....

I know this is not a "reguests" type situation but I, for one, would love to see an article on adapting a 4-4-2 shape to certain situations, such as opposition formation, opposition play style, weather conditions etc.

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The latter parts will focus on those adaptions you mention once I've got all the introductory stuff out of the way ?

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The latter parts will focus on those adaptions you mention once I've got all the introductory stuff out of the way

Yes!!! Thanks. :D

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Hey llama3, pairs and combinations saved FM14 for me so huge thanks :thup:. Anyhoo, I've just been forced to consider 3-5-2 - where on earth do I start?!

Errm how about reading the thread and then using the examples provided come to your own conclusion?

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Hey llama3, pairs and combinations saved FM14 for me so huge thanks :thup:. Anyhoo, I've just been forced to consider 3-5-2 - where on earth do I start?!

This thread is Cleons. You could look to a real life example like Wigan's 3 at the back system, or you could look to make your own depending on the personnel available. They come in a variety of formats, so depends on the team, personnel etc

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Hi Cleon

Thanks for the amazing post as always. Some really good advice for someone like myself who always wants to develop my own tactics but never quite get there and revert back to a downloaded super-tactic.

I have one question that has been bothering me for a few days and i thought you may be able to provide some insight. When looking for better players to improve my team i always send my scouts out and sign the best player i can get based on their star rating. So say a scout found a 4.5* DM. I would buy them if possible and then replace my existing 3* player as a way to improve my team. Never once do i look at stats or how they will fit into the role, only the scout rating.

So my question is, when looking for players, would you pick a worse player that fits the role of say an Anchorman even if they were a worse DM overall. Or if you wanted to play a short passing possession football would you sign worse players with better passing, even if they were a few stats lower in multiple areas.

I think i already know the answer but was curious as to your methodology.

Thanks in advance!

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Hi Cleon

Thanks for the amazing post as always. Some really good advice for someone like myself who always wants to develop my own tactics but never quite get there and revert back to a downloaded super-tactic.

I have one question that has been bothering me for a few days and i thought you may be able to provide some insight. When looking for better players to improve my team i always send my scouts out and sign the best player i can get based on their star rating. So say a scout found a 4.5* DM. I would buy them if possible and then replace my existing 3* player as a way to improve my team. Never once do i look at stats or how they will fit into the role, only the scout rating.

So my question is, when looking for players, would you pick a worse player that fits the role of say an Anchorman even if they were a worse DM overall. Or if you wanted to play a short passing possession football would you sign worse players with better passing, even if they were a few stats lower in multiple areas.

I think i already know the answer but was curious as to your methodology.

Thanks in advance!

I only ever sign players with the attributes I need for the role they'll be playing. I never take star rating into account ever. It's not unusual for me to buy a striker and play them as a fullback or defender depending on what their attributes are. So in short pick the player based on his attributes he has and ignore the position he plays.

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I only ever sign players with the attributes I need for the role they'll be playing. I never take star rating into account ever. It's not unusual for me to buy a striker and play them as a fullback or defender depending on what their attributes are. So in short pick the player based on his attributes he has and ignore the position he plays.

Thanks fella. I thought that would be the case and I guess its a part of my strategy i need to change. Are the stats that the game highlights for a role along with a couple of others that match team instructions enough to go by or should i be looking a bit closer at what is really needed?

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Thanks fella. I thought that would be the case and I guess its a part of my strategy i need to change. Are the stats that the game highlights for a role along with a couple of others that match team instructions enough to go by or should i be looking a bit closer at what is really needed?

use the in game ones for a rough guide. Then add the ones on top of what you like from the player. I like to have players who play the roles dofferently so if I used 2 treq's for example they both would be different kinds of players. I don't see the point of having like for like as when you make subs you're basically bringing the same player back on.

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use the in game ones for a rough guide. Then add the ones on top of what you like from the player. I like to have players who play the roles dofferently so if I used 2 treq's for example they both would be different kinds of players. I don't see the point of having like for like as when you make subs you're basically bringing the same player back on.

Thank you Sir, much appreciated! given me a lot to try to improve my success with created tactics. look forward to more posts.

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use the in game ones for a rough guide. Then add the ones on top of what you like from the player. I like to have players who play the roles dofferently so if I used 2 treq's for example they both would be different kinds of players. I don't see the point of having like for like as when you make subs you're basically bringing the same player back on.

This is in short one of my own major tactical failings. I too often trust the system and replace tired or poorly performing players with similar types to keep the intricate balance of the system. However, there are teams I should clearly make a change to a different type of player for the same position to change the dynamic of my team. For instance, I rarely play 2 direct wide players - they are almost always a playmaking type and a direct type on opposite flanks, with the full backs behind in roles and duties to compensate. Sometimes however, I miss a trick to exploit certain teams by not bringing on a 2nd winger to stretch play more, or a 2nd playmaker to overwhelm the middle and get the full backs further forward. Having options is crucial, and in this FM with more tactical options than ever, and more subtle differences between roles and duties we can truly make use of this.

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This is in short one of my own major tactical failings. I too often trust the system and replace tired or poorly performing players with similar types to keep the intricate balance of the system. However, there are teams I should clearly make a change to a different type of player for the same position to change the dynamic of my team. For instance, I rarely play 2 direct wide players - they are almost always a playmaking type and a direct type on opposite flanks, with the full backs behind in roles and duties to compensate. Sometimes however, I miss a trick to exploit certain teams by not bringing on a 2nd winger to stretch play more, or a 2nd playmaker to overwhelm the middle and get the full backs further forward. Having options is crucial, and in this FM with more tactical options than ever, and more subtle differences between roles and duties we can truly make use of this.

Indeed. I hope to do more posts along these lines this year too. I find if I get the mix of players in the squad right a lot of the time I don't need to change the roles/duties as I just use a different player to achieve what I want instead.

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I'm also trying to incorporate the wide playmaker and roaming playmaker. How does this look as a base set up:

4-1-4-1 Control/Flexible

GK-D

CWB-A

DC-D

DC-D

FB-S

DM-D

WP-A

RP-S

CM-A

W-A

F9-S

Play Out Of Defence

Work Ball Into Box

Close Down More

The idea being to bring the ball out of the back and let the two playmakers do their thing with the CM-A and W-A providing runs and the F9 dropping off to aid in transition. I'm unsure about Close Down More but I'm thinking it will help us get the ball back quicker without pulling us out of shape too, too much.

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Great thread, as always lots of work gone in to it, really appreciate the time you guys take to make the games more enjoyable.

One line that really caught my eye was the bit about throwing 11 roles together, yep been there done that, and in older versions of the game come up with some pretty awesome stuff. FM14 was much tougher, and without the help of yourself and a few others, I'd have probably binned the game after a month. Now I feel I understand things a lot better, and really wish I could go back in time and play older versions with the knowledge I have now. Not that I am anything special at the game at all, but I understand enough to make it an enjoyable experience still, where as quite a few really didn't get FM14.

Anyhow, I have the FM15 Beta, not done a great deal with it yet, although initial impression is I love it, but then again I loved FM14 too. Just to check, is it okay to post a tactic in here, with an explanation of my thinking behind it all (in a similar way you have) but definitely wont be of the same quality. Think it's a great idea what you've done, thinking about a tactic from start to finish is a big task, I've spent hours thinking through things, realising one role clashes with another, so you tweak that and it affects something else, I really try and keep things as simple as possible to begin with at least. I'd like to give it a go if that's okay. I can start my own thread of course, but if I keep it within what the thread was about, which is building a tactic from the beginning , rather than just posting a tactic and looking for help, would that be okay?

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Actually looks like several are copied and pasted. Sometimes it makes a lot of sense (only so many ways to spin Teamwork), but in others it's obviously not right for that tactic.

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I'm also trying to incorporate the wide playmaker and roaming playmaker. How does this look as a base set up:

4-1-4-1 Control/Flexible

GK-D

CWB-A

DC-D

DC-D

FB-S

DM-D

WP-A

RP-S

CM-A

W-A

F9-S

Play Out Of Defence

Work Ball Into Box

Close Down More

The idea being to bring the ball out of the back and let the two playmakers do their thing with the CM-A and W-A providing runs and the F9 dropping off to aid in transition. I'm unsure about Close Down More but I'm thinking it will help us get the ball back quicker without pulling us out of shape too, too much.

It looks alright for a base set up but you'll not really know what its like until you've tried it in a game, that's when you'll see if its working as intended or not.

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Great thread, as always lots of work gone in to it, really appreciate the time you guys take to make the games more enjoyable.

One line that really caught my eye was the bit about throwing 11 roles together, yep been there done that, and in older versions of the game come up with some pretty awesome stuff. FM14 was much tougher, and without the help of yourself and a few others, I'd have probably binned the game after a month. Now I feel I understand things a lot better, and really wish I could go back in time and play older versions with the knowledge I have now. Not that I am anything special at the game at all, but I understand enough to make it an enjoyable experience still, where as quite a few really didn't get FM14.

Anyhow, I have the FM15 Beta, not done a great deal with it yet, although initial impression is I love it, but then again I loved FM14 too. Just to check, is it okay to post a tactic in here, with an explanation of my thinking behind it all (in a similar way you have) but definitely wont be of the same quality. Think it's a great idea what you've done, thinking about a tactic from start to finish is a big task, I've spent hours thinking through things, realising one role clashes with another, so you tweak that and it affects something else, I really try and keep things as simple as possible to begin with at least. I'd like to give it a go if that's okay. I can start my own thread of course, but if I keep it within what the thread was about, which is building a tactic from the beginning , rather than just posting a tactic and looking for help, would that be okay?

Sure that is very welcome by me and I encourage more people to do it, it makes a better discussion and shows the different ways people might create tactics and think about them in general.

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would love to see a discussion on 4231 personally

Been there and done that loads in the past few years. In fact that formation has been discussed to death on here already imo so I doubt I'll be discussing it further :)

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I've added a new piece to the thread

This will likely be the last update until next week as I'll be going away for a few days this weekend. I'll still be around to answer questions etc just won't be adding any updates.

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It's a very good guide, Cleon, as always. I really applaud the way you force people to think of FM like a real match of football. It is when you actually do not want to sign that new flashy brazilian because you just got your pair of 2½ star local boys to perform well at the back that this game gives the most satisfaction

I would like to discuss two issues with you - phases of play and the concept of fluidity. In my spare time, I am involved as a scout and consultant to our "manager" (head coach) at a Danish semi-pro club. And I recently thought of just how much of our tactical work at the Club actually resembles FM. A massive step in the right direction was the introduction of shouts/instructions and the role system. This is EXACTLY how most football sides do their tactical setups. You set up a general shape, add some "flavours" and adjust during the matches. It is actually very realistic.

What I do miss is the concept of phases of play. Generally speaking, we work with transition play and established play. We then work with several differents setups of pressing and "attacking openings" depending of the phase of play. For instance, when facing a 4-2-3-1, we will often want our players to "clear ball to flanks" as soon as they enter the transitional phase, but when the defence becomes established, we want to attack the center of the field through our wing players "cutting inside". Equally, when we lose the ball high up the pitch, we want immediate, risky pressing, but when the opponent enters the established phase, we will fall back and absorb pressure. I am having a hard time implementing this in FM - which leads me to the concept of fluidity and (finally) a discussion more directly related to your Guide :)

I think I fail to understand the distinction between the philosophy and creative freedom/roaming. The way I read it from the game, Very Rigid should be the incarnation of the old saying: "You need 9 players to carry the piano and 2 guys who can play the damn thing". Basically, that defenders would defend and that attackers would attack. This, in my opinion, is the ecsact opposite of the Bayern style. Every player on the Bayern side is expected to participate in the press play and to join in the "attacking openings". This should, according to the in-game info, be the Very Fluid philosophy. Where do I go wrong?

At the same time, I agree that the Bayern style is very restrictive and demands that the players do exactly as told and trained beforehand. This, I would model through "be more disciplined" because even players like Ribéry and Götze are forced to be extremely disciplined both in an defensive and attacking sense. "Roam from positions" puzzles me as well. Bayern definitely allows for Roaming - but not in the old Italian sense where the Trequartista could do as he pleased.

Perhaps this stems from my lack of understanding the precise English terms for the very same concepts we operate at the club. Unfortunately, the game is only very poorly translated into Danish and I try to understand the English terms in order to better follow the discussions and guides on this forum. I hope you understand my areas of confusion and would be open to a debate about the interpretation of these concepts - it really boils down to these two questions:

- why would you pick a very rigid style, if you want your players to be flexible and adapt to the "temperature" of the game?

- how would you operationalize the distinction between transitional play and established play?

Thanks again for a great guide :)

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Safe to say this is a go to guide for everyone! :thup:

It's a great read Cleon, however I just wondering about a few of your settings. You've chosen to Stay On Feet but want to be "aggressive when I don’t have possession". I would've chosen Get Stuck In if I wanted aggressive? Just wondering your thinking there.

Another TI that I was wondering was Float Crosses. Is this because you have a large striker in the Complete Forward role?

I also couldn't find anything on Strategy and Philosophy? Is this something you will touch on in future updates?

As always a great read though!

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Astonishing detail- great read again, mate:thup:

Thank you :D

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It's a very good guide, Cleon, as always. I really applaud the way you force people to think of FM like a real match of football. It is when you actually do not want to sign that new flashy brazilian because you just got your pair of 2½ star local boys to perform well at the back that this game gives the most satisfaction

I would like to discuss two issues with you - phases of play and the concept of fluidity. In my spare time, I am involved as a scout and consultant to our "manager" (head coach) at a Danish semi-pro club. And I recently thought of just how much of our tactical work at the Club actually resembles FM. A massive step in the right direction was the introduction of shouts/instructions and the role system. This is EXACTLY how most football sides do their tactical setups. You set up a general shape, add some "flavours" and adjust during the matches. It is actually very realistic.

What I do miss is the concept of phases of play. Generally speaking, we work with transition play and established play. We then work with several differents setups of pressing and "attacking openings" depending of the phase of play. For instance, when facing a 4-2-3-1, we will often want our players to "clear ball to flanks" as soon as they enter the transitional phase, but when the defence becomes established, we want to attack the center of the field through our wing players "cutting inside". Equally, when we lose the ball high up the pitch, we want immediate, risky pressing, but when the opponent enters the established phase, we will fall back and absorb pressure. I am having a hard time implementing this in FM - which leads me to the concept of fluidity and (finally) a discussion more directly related to your Guide :)

I think I fail to understand the distinction between the philosophy and creative freedom/roaming. The way I read it from the game, Very Rigid should be the incarnation of the old saying: "You need 9 players to carry the piano and 2 guys who can play the damn thing". Basically, that defenders would defend and that attackers would attack. This, in my opinion, is the ecsact opposite of the Bayern style. Every player on the Bayern side is expected to participate in the press play and to join in the "attacking openings". This should, according to the in-game info, be the Very Fluid philosophy. Where do I go wrong?

At the same time, I agree that the Bayern style is very restrictive and demands that the players do exactly as told and trained beforehand. This, I would model through "be more disciplined" because even players like Ribéry and Götze are forced to be extremely disciplined both in an defensive and attacking sense. "Roam from positions" puzzles me as well. Bayern definitely allows for Roaming - but not in the old Italian sense where the Trequartista could do as he pleased.

Perhaps this stems from my lack of understanding the precise English terms for the very same concepts we operate at the club. Unfortunately, the game is only very poorly translated into Danish and I try to understand the English terms in order to better follow the discussions and guides on this forum. I hope you understand my areas of confusion and would be open to a debate about the interpretation of these concepts - it really boils down to these two questions:

- why would you pick a very rigid style, if you want your players to be flexible and adapt to the "temperature" of the game?

- how would you operationalize the distinction between transitional play and established play?

Thanks again for a great guide :)

It's a lot to read but have you read this brilliant in-depth thread on the very subject? http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/382854-The-Mentality-Ladder-A-Practical-Framework-for-Understanding-Fluidity-and-Duty

It's well worth reading imo.

In short though the idea is very rigid allows the players who have the more creative roles to be more prominent in your side. While a more fluid style allows for every player to be more creative so the actual creative roles will be less prominent. That's the sort of it, it goes a lot deeper than that which the above link discusses but for me it really is that simple :)

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Safe to say this is a go to guide for everyone! :thup:

It's a great read Cleon, however I just wondering about a few of your settings. You've chosen to Stay On Feet but want to be "aggressive when I don’t have possession". I would've chosen Get Stuck In if I wanted aggressive? Just wondering your thinking there.

Another TI that I was wondering was Float Crosses. Is this because you have a large striker in the Complete Forward role?

I also couldn't find anything on Strategy and Philosophy? Is this something you will touch on in future updates?

As always a great read though!

I want to be aggressive without risking giving away freekicks. Get stuck in means you ask players to tackle hard which is good but is it really needed? More importantly do you have players who can actually do this and be effective? If the player is mentally weak then you risk getting cards. You can be aggressive without tackling hard. I prefer the players not to dive in rather than using stuck in which instructs players to attempt challenges that don't always favour them.

Float crosses is because I actually lack bodies immediately in the box. This should allow for players to attack them from deep especially if they hang for a bit in the air. If I drilled them the chances are I'd not have the wide support in the box so it would be needlessly aiming for just 1 player the complete striker. But by floating them instead, hopefully this means the other striker, raumdeuter and maybe the roaming playmaker can help and get on the end of them too. If I used drill crosses for example I doubt I'd have players positioned in the areas needed quickly enough so it could be a waste.

Yups not mentioned strategy etc yet on purpose :)

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Thanks for your answer!

I did read the mentioned thread, and I agree to your interpretation of Very Rigid, which does make good sense. Basically it resembles the philosophy of the 90's with dedicated no. 6 and no. 10's and full backs that would defend and not much more than that. In my opinion, this is a direct contradiction to the philosophy of Michels or Bielsa that emphasizes the inclusion of offensive players into both the transitional and established phases of defense and the great offensive importance of fullbacks and deep midfielders in the attacking phases of play. Personally, I tend to go Rigid or Very Rigid only for sides with low mental attributes (especially teamwork). Ingame, I feel that Fluid sides are a lot more flexible and defend much better as a team. This is perhaps also influenced by the fact that I always mark very zone-oriented, which emphasizes many of the same attributes - at least the way I see it :)

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I've been trying the tactic from the thread, but it creates a huge gap between the raumdeuter and the complete wing back and I'm not really sure how to close it... I tried an attacking wing back, but there's little change. He often tries long passes to the raumdeuter, which are intercepted by the opponent since the raumdeuter is much higher up. Any ideas?

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The point of the thread isn't to copy its to use your own ideas.

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It's a lot to read but have you read this brilliant in-depth thread on the very subject? http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/382854-The-Mentality-Ladder-A-Practical-Framework-for-Understanding-Fluidity-and-Duty

It's well worth reading imo.

In short though the idea is very rigid allows the players who have the more creative roles to be more prominent in your side. While a more fluid style allows for every player to be more creative so the actual creative roles will be less prominent. That's the sort of it, it goes a lot deeper than that which the above link discusses but for me it really is that simple :)

Without trying to turn the thread in to a debate about philosophy, I also struggled to get the hang of it, and over thought it for a long time, now I keep it as simple as you suggest.

I see a Structured - Very Structured set up, as your Brian Clough, Martin O'Neil type managers. Each player has a role, or job (preferably playing to their own strengths) that together makes a well oiled machine. There are probably better examples of modern managers for the younger ones, but I am a little out of touch with modern football other than my own team who languish in the lower leagues.

Fluid- Very Fluid more your Harry Redknapp type , that relies less on tactical systems, and more on giving players freedom to work in.

As said, it can be far more complex than this if you wish it to be, but for my own sanity, and to focus on other areas, I really keep it this simple. I will touch upon it though in the tactic post I shall do as soon as I am finished.

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I'm trying a 4-3-1-2 formation with Manchester United. But even though the formation is narrow, I'm asking my players to 'play wider'. Not so sure if this is a sensible idea but it worked against Arsenal with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford.

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I play a 5-5-0

GK-D

3 DCs -(X-C-X)

2 CWBs -A

Roaming playmaker in DM - CM-D (Assymetrical)

2RAUMDEUTERS and a Treq

its very flexible as you can change the roles and the duties during the game even the positions lateral, without decreasing the tactic familiarity

(for ex.the raumdeuters may become SS or Eng,playing with 3 narrower AMCs)

this seems a quite good idea...

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Hey Cleon,

First of all , I really enjoyed reading the thread and looking forward for updates. I'm glad you picked the 4-4-2, I was actually thinking of using it this year after seeing Diego Simeone use it so well. I decided that this year I was going to start in the lower leagues and build my way up from there and I think a 4-4-2 is a good formation when playing lower league football.

What I have in mind is something inspired from Simeone's 442 and a bit from what Pellegrini uses at City. I will start unemployed so probably the job I will get with be with a weaker team, so I'm thinking of going defensive/counter with a Structured/Flexible shape. I'm not really sure about Team Instructions , I guess I'd have to see what team I get first, but I'll probably be looking for a Direct Play team, with a bit of pressing (Close Down More) and Be More Disciplined since the tactic will be mainly defensive and I need my players to be a strong collective group.

As for player roles, I'm thinking of something like this :

GK-D

FB(S)-CD(D)-CD(D)-WB(A) <-- I didn't go for CWB(A) because I think getting a good one would be hard in the Vanaramas and also I feel that a WB offers more defensively. Unsure about FB(S) on the right but will see how it goes.

Anchorman(D) - Roaming Playmaker(S) <-- both on the DM strata, but I guess that depends on the players I will have, maybe I will have to move the Roaming Playmaker to the MC strata. The reason I went for 2 defensive mids is defensive cover(I'll probably be the weaker team in most of the matches).

Winger(Attack) - Wide Playmaker(Support) <-- Both on the MR strata. Of course I can swap these, depending on the players I have at the particular club, the one I used for creating the tactic had a Right Winger. I went for WP(Support) because I think he will link up better with the defensive mids.

Advanced Forward - DLF(S) up front. The reason behind this is because I need a striker to drop deep , help with the build up play and pull defenders out of position. The Advanced Forward should be receiving the passes/crosses but also bring others in play if needed. I didn't go for Complete Forward (A) because I want someone to be upfront most of the times and not roam around.

Would this be an ok shape in your opinion?

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If you want to play defensive or counter who would you want to press more? You'd lose shape. The point of being defensive is so you stay compact and are deep. Using counter relies you to stay deep and when you win the ball back from dangerous positions in your own half you then break forward out numbering the opposition. If you press more heavily then you might not be countering as the opposition might not be coming onto you so you might not actually be able to counter.

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You're right, I'll drop Close down more from the instructions. Now I'll just need to watch the games and see if I need to use Close down less so that my team stays compact or just not select anything there. I guess I was thinking that maybe I was going to get run over if I just sit back, but it should be hard to break through my defense if I use 2 defensive midfielders.

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You might need to use it in the odd game if you feel you're sat back too often. But for how you are wanting to play I don't think its needed to start with, use it as a tool instead imo.

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Yes I will do that. I'm refraining from starting the save game in the beta because I know a lot of things will change when the game gets released next friday. But I'm experimenting with the tactic to see just how it works and trying different Team Instructions. I stuck with counter and structured team shape. What I noticed at times is that my Wide Playmaker is absent from play, but that's mainly because the there are a lot of long balls(from defenders, mostly) and my DLF gets wide to get to them. So he gets ignored at times in the build up play. Also some games I realize I need more width and players running down the flanks so I just sub him out and replace him with a winger and that seems to work.

Do you feel that maybe a Wide Playmaker isn't suited to a direct counter attacking side? I will experiment with changing him to Attack duty and with Dribble More to see how it goes. The reason I opted for a Wide Playmaker in the first place is because I thought I needed creativity further up the pitch and I want him to do just like that, similar to what Silva does at City when played on wide left.

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As promised my attempt at building a tactic from scratch. First thing to mention I am playing FMC for now, this wont be a long term save or anything until the game is released. Just wanted a crack at making a tactic, didn't want to get in to all the other stuff just yet. Probably only play the one season, maybe 2 if I get the time.

Choose a team

I chose Liverpool. Few reasons. Firstly, as I said this is just a kind of tester save. I wanted a chance to win a trophy at least. I doubt I'll choose Liverpool when I start a long term save, usually just go with my team Walsall from the off. Not much point starting a save like this with them. Also I have quite a few friends from Liverpool who are season ticket holders, so I do have kind of a soft spot for them. They are really peed with how Rodgers has "wasted" the Suarez money. Tend to agree, they have paid for too much for pretty average players, they may have been better making a raid on Atletico Madrid rather than Southampton, but anyway Translated in to FM terms, the players are still good, Balotelli and Lallana are horribly overrated in my opinion (good for my game !)

Another reason is that most players are familiar with the Liverpool squad, or at least a lot of the players in it, so I don't have to spend ages showing attributes of all my players and so on.

Starting Point

I don't have a real life tactic/philosophy in mind, I am pretty horrible at that, although I intend to go down that route at some point. I wanted to build my own tactic, from my own ideas. I have to say I have gone for something very different to what I would usually do, mainly cos it's a beta, and a good chance to just have a play around with the settings, roles, duties etc. Playing FMC makes this even better for me.

The first thing I did was assess the strength of my squad, or should I say the key players, I want my key players to do damage. I also want to be able to get my best players on the pitch as much as possible. This is more difficult than it sounds, Rodgers has built a pretty unbalanced squad in my opinion, getting all of my key players on the pitch is quite problematic, some areas have a lot of talent, others are horribly neglected. Hence the moans from my Liverpool friends.

Players I consider to be key players.

* Sturridge -Pace, off the ball movement, great finisher.

* Sterling. - Pace, Dribbling, and I'd imagine a lot of potential still to mold him in to a specific type of player, he is somewhere in between an attacking mid/winger/striker at the moment in my opinion.

* Coutinho - Creator and dribbler

* Balotelli - He has really good stats on FM, good in the air, good finisher, decent creative skills. Terrible mental stats, work ethic, team work etc. Still think I can utilise him well though.

* Moreno - Wouldn't say he is a key player, but looks a very useful potential complete wing back indeed.

* Henderson - He doesn't really have excellent stats in any area other than fitness and stamina, but has a very solid all round set of attributes. Probably not the best midfielder in the world, but a very useful player to have indeed.

Usually I build tactics from the back. Not this time ! Well for a few reasons. Reading a lot on here about high scoring games, dodgy keepers, so on so on. After all it was Liverpool's ability to score goals that almost got them to the title. More so though, I saw a problem here. First thoughts are, Sturridge, top class Advanced forward, build the team around that, firstly I never think that is a great idea, and secondly we have Lambert and Balotelli as our other strikers, neither of which really suit that role. Borini could play that role, but I'd rather he was back up than on the pitch that often, I also want Balotelli in my side a lot. This brings a big problem. If I play 2 up front this limits me to a 4-4-2 style tactic. I may actually develop a second tactic in that style, but it's not what I want for our main tactic.

I also want to develop Sterling to play central, so I make a big decision here. Balotelli/Lambert will be DLF (s) Of F9 undecided which yet. Balotelli has desperately poor team work, but I still think he can offer something dropping deep. Sterling will be a Shadow Striker. I feel this is a great role for him, although he doesn't have world class stats, I believe he can cause a lot of damage here, with someone dropping deep, and him bursting through. I also have Markovic that could play there, seems to have some potential, and possibly Suso, although I may have other plans for him. This leaves Sturridge, to either play as an Inside Forward or a Raumdeuter. I have little idea about that role, but the description of a wide poacher sounds ideal for Sturridge. Bit controversial moving such a key player out of position, but I believe he can flourish there if it is set up correctly.

Roles and Duties

Forgive me I already started on roles and duties a little above, got a bit carried away. I have in mind how I want my front players to work, now I have to work out how to supplement this. From here I moved to the back 4, little bit **** eyed, and not how I would usually do things, but as I said I am having a bit of fun here, and having the attack partially sorted, if I sort the back 4, then I can work out how to link it all together from there.

I always start with just 2 standard central defenders to kick off with, until I spot something at least, it is the safest bet in my opinion. So Lovren, Skrtel, and Sakho to fight it out for the 2 places, desperately short in this area, hope injuries don't cause big problems in that area.

Full backs, I want Moreno bombing down that wing, he seems good enough to own that side of the pitch on his own, and having someone get in his way would possibly hinder him. Complete wing back from the full back position. I also have Enrique, who isn't as good, but reasonable at least. On the right side I have Johnson (groan) Manquillo who is quick and reasonable defensive stats, not a lot else. Flanagan also looks useful. I am pretty much set on this side being a support role, don't see that they are good enough to play attacking roles. Johnson possibly is for the sake of balance I am going with a support role for now, unless I spot that it isn't working out.

This leaves me 3 roles in the center of the midfield to link this lot together. So far this is something like I have in mind.

Mignolet GK

Moreno CWB (L)

Johnson FB/WB (s)

Lovren CB (d)

Sakho CB (d)

Sturridge Inside Forward (a) / Raumdeuter

Sterling Shadow Striker

Balotelli/Lambert DLF/ F9

Sturridge to occupy the right hand side, to leave the left hand side free for Moreno to bomb up and down. I did consider having Moreno supporting Sturridge down the left, but after seeing my final tactic in game, I had to adjust it. I'll explain more later.

So firstly we need someone defensive in this midfield, I opt for a standard DM to start with, Gerrard or Lucas filling these slots. That leaves 2 central midfield slots to gel the whole thing together. Coutinho will take one of the slots. Not his natural position, but he is good enough to play there. I chose roaming playmaker, I'm not certain about this yet, I think the role will involve some defensive duty, and it may be Henderson will play there at times. I imagine the will both play the role very differently. Next to him, I have B2B midfielder to get up and down the pitch, to offer support in both defence and attack. Henderson is ear marked for this role, but it could all change.

This tactic is different to any other I have created in the fact it has no attack duty in midfield (yet at least) but I am hoping a roaming playmaker and B2B midfielder will offer enough support. If not will have to re-think.

So lets take a look at my initial roles and duties set up.

Team.pngLFC.png

First glance, looks a bit of a mess, although I have an idea in my head how this will work, I had to change things slightly, I wanted Sturridge down the left, with Sterling occupying the right AMC slot as a Shadow striker, with runs wide with ball, to offer some width out that side. I watched a game with it set up like that, and he just didn't go wide enough, and it was painfully weak down the right side, so had to reshuffle a little.

Few potential problems are obvious, Pretty weak defensively in the middle of the pitch, and the left side could become exposed with Moreno bombing forward. I am hoping my team settings will help here, if not I may have to reshuffle the middle a little. After watching one game, I moved the DMC to a CM (d) this helped massively with covering the flanks, with 3 players in the center. I'd prefer a DM in there to be honest, but watching it in game, it was clear that the CM (D) made the tactic look far more stable. This could change too, it's early days.

Team Instructions

I have chosen the Fluidity totally based on the amount of specialist roles, and gone for structured. I believe this could look a horrible mess using flexible, using structured should help keep some kind of shape to this set up. I have chosen Defensive as a starting mentality. This is a very adventurous set up, I don't think I can go to gung ho with it. I may change this, but at the most it will be standard mentality, I want to have a room to work in, Utilise some of the pace (Sturridge, Sterling)

SS.png

Play out of defence. I added this because my center backs in particular were just lamping the ball up the pitch. Totally understandable as this is a trait of defensive mentality. I decided to use this team instruction see how it works out, if it isn't working I may adjust player instructions.

Push higher up, I added once I had removed the DM for a CM (d) to close the gap a little, although I am using defensive mentality, I don't want to just sit back and defend. The CM (d) does actually sit quite deep, but there was an instant improvement in the look of things once I added push up more.

Work Ball in to box. Got sick of long range shots, this worked to an extent, it's still a tad annoying, but workable.

Press more. I added this because we were sitting very deep and allowing teams to come on to us. Again this is what you'd expect from defensive mentality. My thinking behind defensive mentality wasn't to be mega defensive, but not to be to hasty going forward, give players room to work in, and to try and ensure my support roles in midfield kept some kind of discipline. I may have to re-think this, but I am hoping a mix of team instructions and my roles and duties will make this all knit together nicely.

I put quite a lot of effort in to this. As I said this is far from my usual approach, but I felt it a good chance to try something different before the official release. Probably play 1 or 2 seasons just see how it goes. Will tweak a long the way (I already have as you read above) see if I can come up with something that resembles a working tactic.

If it flops miserably, nothing lost, just a lesson :D Hope it was at least enjoyable to read. I will update further when I have played some more. Thanks for reading.

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Quality content as usual Cleon, loved reading it! If that doesn't help people creating tactics then honestly nothing will.

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A fantastic post Torkus, I like that you took time to assess everything and touched upon the players you was going to use too. I've purposely left this bit out of my guide so far as I want to talk about the players after my first game, it'll make sense why when people see the instalments I have planned for next week.

This was actually the shape I nearly used but decided on the 4-4-2 as I felt this (your shape) was a bit similar to my diamond I wrote about last year so decided it was best to write about a different shape. So I'll be interested in seeing how you adapt it and how it evolves as the season goes on. I actually don't think your settings seem that far off being a great solid base and more often than not it should just be a simple tweak that is needed like changing the mentality. I look forward to seeing how your experiment goes :)

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Quality content as usual Cleon, loved reading it! If that doesn't help people creating tactics then honestly nothing will.

Thank you, hopefully someone finds it useful :)

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I'm away from today so there won't be any updates until next weekend at the earliest. The plus side is the game will be out when I'm back so can start talking about the first match I play and all the analysis to see if the players do what I suspect they will or not and a whole load of other stuff :)

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