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Jambo98

The 4-5-1 - The swiss army knife of formations?

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I know you've done your recruitment already, but I know Cleon had some success where he based his searches on attributes for the role, and not the position that player could play in, IIRC, he got a left back to score 20+ goals as a striker. Did you ever consider that?

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I know you've done your recruitment already, but I know Cleon had some success where he based his searches on attributes for the role, and not the position that player could play in, IIRC, he got a left back to score 20+ goals as a striker. Did you ever consider that?

Hey,

Yes, to an extent thats exactly what i did. Particularly for my WM and my F9. The F9, although he can play striker he is far more of a winger (vico). Likewise, my backup RM is a natural CM (CM type attributes tend to suit the WM role in my system - i look for attributes not the system).

I didnt come across any examples as extreme as Cleon, because i was pretty much always able to find the right type of player :)

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So I've finished my season - 41 games played with 29 wins, 5 draws and 7 games lost. Finished 2nd with 3 points behind champions Hiberninas. Highlight of the season was a 5-0 win over Hibernians.

UwSfTPEl.jpg

However, I have done some tweaks. I'm playing control/fluid, and as before, with left midfielder pushed to AM strata, with IF(a) role and these TI:

Shorter Passing

Pass Into Space

Play Out of Defence

Look for overlap - to force more attacking play from my full backs without having to change their roles that affect their defensive positioning

Play wider - combined with the above, it gives more space to the team

Close down more

Prevent short GK distribution - the one that probably has the least impact on my game and will probably be dropped

Be more disciplined - I am playing in the Maltese league and my squad has Flair attribute at around 9, and only three players have Off the ball attribute higher than 10

The bold ones are already described in post #25, the others I've added myself.

Apart from that, I changed my central midfielder role from DLP(d) to BBM(s). When he was set on DLP(d) he would often drop down and stick to my central defender. This way, I don't recall any goals conceded from not having a defend duty in the midfield, but I do have one more choice in the attacking phase.

Here is a goal from a Naxxar Lions match, which we won 6-2. Bruce is playing BBM(s), Camilleri CM(a) and the third player is Ciantar (DLP(s)). Again, no major changes are seen whilst defending but you can see how Bruce goes higher up the field than he would do on DLP(d).

The ball is won by Ojuola, he passes it to Bruce. Notice the midfield trio is still nicely shaped rather than being in a line. Bruce sees the IF on the left and CM(a) starts his run forward.

AUrEj3jl.jpghwaaSCel.jpg

A couple of seconds later, F9 comes deep and gets the ball, with CM(a) running past him into the space.

Ftmq6Ujl.jpgYDURy2Al.jpg

Finally, the ball gets to him and he scores. In that match, Camilleri (CM) scored a hat-trick whilst Montebello (F9) scored one and had three assists.

Od7AL6il.jpg

However, I mentioned 7 losses. In two games I conceded 6 goals, and one time 4 - the results being 6-2, 6-4 and 4-1. In the first match, two goals were scored from a free kick cross, and one from a penalty kick. One goal was scored after my left back (WB(s)) went forward after a goal kick whilst his player was running towards my goal. That forced both my central defenders to close him down and leave a player unmarked. I blame their poor attributes for that. Another goal was a beautifully executed one-two and another one a through ball behind my defenders.

Overall, 47 goals conceded in 33 league games (+8 in four Cup matches - one game being the mentioned 6-4 loss) is not bad for a Maltese side. As I stated, the attributes some players have are rather poor and I reckon the situation would have been better in a league with players of higher quality.

Hopefully Jambo98 won't mind my short analysis here. This also proves this tactic can be used even in lower league sides, with some minor changes of course. I'm looking forward to playing a couple of European matches with this side to see how will I manage against a (probably) much stronger side.

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Course i dont mind - Its more examples of a slightly different way to take this same formation (although admittedly, we have veered slightly off with the advanced LM>AML!) and make it work at a different level. Glad it worked out for you.

About to do some write up of the end of the Hearts season now. League win by just shy of 30pts in the end.

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Ok, so summary of the Hearts season and a bit in there about keeping the faith with a system, and not over-reacting at times.

The season

In the end, a very good season. Considering we had just been promoted, a league challenge was asking a lot. The gulf between the Scottish Championship and the SPFL is not that huge, but still we had to make the step up, and also cope with european football and the demands it can put on the squad.

The league title ended up being very comfortable, after a brilliant second half to the season. We won the title by some 28pts, finishing not far shy of 100pts and 100 goals.

3D9D81966378D067EBB27D9C75DEAFCFEE573725

I am reasonably sure i have never won a league by such a margin before. Testament to how the system held up to the test of a slightly higher level of football. We again had by far the best goals scored, and best defence too. Slightly annoyed with how many we conceded, mainly because some 20% of all of them came after we had won the league - A touch of complacency perhaps.

Overall, we threw away the Scottish cup by getting knocked out early by Kilmarnock, but we did cruise to the League cup, and also made the Europa Group stages, having to overcome IFK Goteborg, FC Twente and Mainz in the 3 qualifying/playoff rounds. In the end, a group with Ajax, Grenada and Steaua was a step too far for my young squad and we bowed out at the bottom of the group, but not disgraced.

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So onto the bit i wanted to write about keeping the faith:

Keeping Faith - Not over-reacting or becoming Ranieri

It is highly unlikely that you are going to win every game of a season, no matter how good you are. Some scenarios are different to others, in terms of whats "reasonable" in terms of expectations. For example, as a newly promoted side, which had made more signings than i would like in the close season, it was always likely that i would have to accept some less than perfect results and performances, especially early in the season.

It can be very easy to see a couple of results in a row go against you, and immediately react by saying "i have to change something" or "thats it, my system is failing, they have figured me out". Sometimes you need to not react like this. you can fall into the trap of endless tinkering and never settling on something. Consider that tactics are not always the problem, or the solution. I touched on this a bit in the Liverpool save, when talking about form slumps and using squad rotation, but this one is slightly different.

Below are my fixtures/results from October onwards (as much as i can fit in one screen!)

qh3uhao.jpg

The results in the black box shows a run of 3 wins in 11 games. Not a good sequence at all, and including 3 straight defeats in the middle of the sequence. That was a long enough spell that it could easily have made me react and think there is something wrong with the system, or i need to change something. However, i took into account the following:

1) My team is newly promoted, we are not favourites to win everything, we cannot win every game, no matter how good the system

2) We have several new signings in the team, it takes time to gel and adapt

3) Some of the games in that sequence were in Europa games, which were always well above my current level

4) Injuries - We missed some key players during that run

I also of course still watched the games and analysed to a level, but i was comfortable that the system was still strong at its core. I wanted to ride things out, let the players gel, let the injuries pass and i was comfortable we would come back to form. What happened? 22 wins from the last 23 games of the season after that. A crazy run, only broken from being perfect by a loss the day after we mathematically clinched the league without playing!

Towards the end of the season, one example of why it pays to not always change - My system produced absolute destruction of our nearest rivals, and by far the best squad in Scotland:

6047FC26F40873370DA6DB0226BAE786F5AB821A

So there we are - Keep faith when you really believe you have worked hard and methodically created something. A few losses doesnt change a good system into a bad one. Always analyse, dont become complacent, but equally don't start over-reacting :) think of the wider picture, not just the tactical system.

Hope the thoughts are of some benefit to others :)

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Do you differ the ppms between the 2 dlps as they have different duties?

Yes, i didnt specifically teach any to the DLP, as its not an area where PPMs play a huge part for me (the attacking players and wingbacks make more use of them). My (d) duty one has "comes deep to collect ball" which i like for that role, but i would not want on the support duty player - i want him to stay more in the midfield. Likewise "tries killer balls" or "tries long range passes" or "switches ball to the other flank" i would avoid for the defend duty, but i may accept/encourage them on the support duty, who has the PI for "more direct passing" as in both saves i have excellent players in that role and want them to be the one with the chance to open up play.

I would probably also avoid "dives into tackles" for DLP, but thats probably a fairly obvious/general bit of advice!

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Yes, i didnt specifically teach any to the DLP, as its not an area where PPMs play a huge part for me (the attacking players and wingbacks make more use of them). My (d) duty one has "comes deep to collect ball" which i like for that role, but i would not want on the support duty player - i want him to stay more in the midfield. Likewise "tries killer balls" or "tries long range passes" or "switches ball to the other flank" i would avoid for the defend duty, but i may accept/encourage them on the support duty, who has the PI for "more direct passing" as in both saves i have excellent players in that role and want them to be the one with the chance to open up play.

I would probably also avoid "dives into tackles" for DLP, but thats probably a fairly obvious/general bit of advice!

Thanks! Yeah I normally have "comes deep to collect ball" and "stay back at all times" for my defensive player with the supporting midfield being a bit more expansive in their game

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Just trying to get a 4-5-1 working at the start of the first season..

Its going OK, although, I am missing Andy Reid, who is my 'metronome' of the entire system for 3 months. :(

S0ot0Tv.jpg

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Hey rob, glad to hear your giving the shape a try. I did think about giving it a whirl at championship level and see what adaptions where needed.

How have you set it up? I was a little confused by the purpose of that particular screenshot?

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Setup with

GK-D

CWB-S

CD-D

CD-D

CWB-S

WM-S

DLP-D

CM-A

DLP-D

WM-S

F9

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Ok so quite a similar set up to my original one. How is it working? What are the good and what are the bad for you?

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Ok so quite a similar set up to my original one. How is it working? What are the good and what are the bad for you?

Its still a bit of a work in progress. Went unbeaten in preseason, putting together quite a decent run, and am scoring goals. Just made a couple of tweaks (PI's) that hopefully will tighten my team up at the back.

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Hi Jambo.

Longtime without me saying anything. So, I just want to congratulate you about the success that you had and specially the contribute you provide in many areas and often not valorized. Happy that I contribute somewhat to your success. Great work and food for thought.

I haven't been able to play that much ultimately. Work abroad and some lazyness didn't allowed me to start my save about Capello/Trapattoni. I haven't forget it, specially with the other thread about Sacchi and what Capello did after him. I'm still researching and reading but I hope to start something in the near future.

Cheers!

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Brilliant read- and your midfield saved my 'alternate' strategy. I was looking for a three man midfield but none of my usual combinations worked and I don't think I ever would have thought to try 2 DLP's on my own. After reading this I thought it over, looked at my team, and was surprised to find that most of my midfielders best role would be DLP anyway. Even better I was already training my wingers to play MC for my main tactic so I tried (read:stole) the whole midfield setup, complete with the 'central winger' and figured I'd see how it worked and make adjustments from there. It's worked so well that the tactic, which was supposed to be my alternate, is now my main tactic and after nearly a full season I haven't made any adjustments to the midfield trio.

Watching the games I just love the DLP's, the central midfielder gets the glory, he's involved in most of the goals, but it's the DLP's that are controlling the flow of play and dictating the game (when things are going well, which fortunately is most of the time).

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Hi Jambo.

Longtime without me saying anything. So, I just want to congratulate you about the success that you had and specially the contribute you provide in many areas and often not valorized. Happy that I contribute somewhat to your success. Great work and food for thought.

I haven't been able to play that much ultimately. Work abroad and some lazyness didn't allowed me to start my save about Capello/Trapattoni. I haven't forget it, specially with the other thread about Sacchi and what Capello did after him. I'm still researching and reading but I hope to start something in the near future.

Cheers!

Good to hear from you jukilo :) Your insights in the CWB situation were very valuable to me. Would love to see what you come up with around Capello / Trap. As i did my research into Sacchi, of course it was impossible not to also look at Capello given that he replaced Sacchi and took Milan to even greater heights. He did of course, change the footballing type significantly (although only after the first season). A Capello tactic/thread would be a nice compliment to the Sacchi work :)

Brilliant read- and your midfield saved my 'alternate' strategy. I was looking for a three man midfield but none of my usual combinations worked and I don't think I ever would have thought to try 2 DLP's on my own. After reading this I thought it over, looked at my team, and was surprised to find that most of my midfielders best role would be DLP anyway. Even better I was already training my wingers to play MC for my main tactic so I tried (read:stole) the whole midfield setup, complete with the 'central winger' and figured I'd see how it worked and make adjustments from there. It's worked so well that the tactic, which was supposed to be my alternate, is now my main tactic and after nearly a full season I haven't made any adjustments to the midfield trio.

Watching the games I just love the DLP's, the central midfielder gets the glory, he's involved in most of the goals, but it's the DLP's that are controlling the flow of play and dictating the game (when things are going well, which fortunately is most of the time).

He ed, glad the same setup is helping you. I think the 2 x DLP is the absolute core of the tactic. They are the engine room. They keep everything together. With such attacking players around them (5 players on attack in my set up, including the CWB) they need to be disciplined and skilled at ball retention. As you say, they get little glory but when you watch the games you really see what they add. The support one can get a few assists and goals if you have the right type, but they are primarily about defending and distribution.

I am missing them badly in my current 442 Sacchi attempts! Not having my 2 DLP base is making me struggle defensively, i have come to rely on them :)

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He ed, glad the same setup is helping you. I think the 2 x DLP is the absolute core of the tactic. They are the engine room. They keep everything together. With such attacking players around them (5 players on attack in my set up, including the CWB) they need to be disciplined and skilled at ball retention. As you say, they get little glory but when you watch the games you really see what they add. The support one can get a few assists and goals if you have the right type, but they are primarily about defending and distribution.

I am missing them badly in my current 442 Sacchi attempts! Not having my 2 DLP base is making me struggle defensively, i have come to rely on them :)

Cannot agree more, the two DLP allows you a lot of freedom with what you do around. I was trying to have one of them as BBM or RPM, but it just lost so much structure.

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Yes, in any time its important to have players who do the "team job". It doesnt have to be 2 DLP in every set up. Sometimes one, or both fullbacks for example might be more disciplined and be the ones who give the freedom to others to and create and attack. Its very hard, unless you really have some of the best players in the world, to create a system where only one player is entrusted with that duty/role (lets always assume that 2 CB in each team are of course disciplined types).

Guardiola is a great believer in the "one midfielder" set up. He himself as a player had that role at Barca, where he was the only one instructed to hold and be disciplined, whilst ther other 7 players were free to commit to attacking (again discounting the CB). However even with his great Bayern team, at times he has been forced to change that and allow a further "supporting" type player to be in the side. Sometimes last season it was a combination of Lahm/Kroos/Schwienstiger/Javi Martinez. In some games he would sacrafice that for attacking freedom, but other timse he recognised the need for extra structure.

i think the same applies here. In some games you could likely get away with changing the DLP(s) to something more adventurous. However in the most difficult of games, and even sometimes against surprise teams, it benefits to have that double base :)

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Very interesting stuff there. I guess that in the Barca sides he could afford to only have one base player as since they were so pressed up there was less space for the other more free players to have to cover to get back and help defending.

Yeah I love the double base, allows so much freedom for what you do with that third midfielder and also the flanks.

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Glad its helping you flipsix3 - Let us know how things go for you.

Entirely different tactic here, but you offer some really usesful advice in terms of (1) analysing goals and differentiating between tactical problems and player error, and (2) having the courage of your convictions when things start to dip. Neither are exactly rocket science, but it's easy to lose sight of the simple things.

I'm playing in the Danish 3rd tier (amateur teams) and adopted/adapted a 3-5-2 tactic that had some weaknesses at the back - although mostly down to (lack of) player quality. Made a couple of minor defensive tweaks and we tightened up and ran really well into the 4 month winter break.

Came back from the break and had a bit of an up-and-down run for 3 or 4 games. Again I checked the goals we were conceding (not a tactical issue, for the most part), and decided to stick with our game plan. Cue an unbeaten run of 10 or 11 games (winning all but one) and a late charge to the title.

Now we're up it would've been easy to start over, but. A couple of tweaks to personnel and the same tactic looks generally good. Sure we lose games, but only gone expected, but we win some too - and every now and the. We demolish the opposition. I put most of our success down to an established tactic that has become second nature, and a settled core squad of 15-18 players.

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I've been following this thread closely for a while now. I've had some success with my 4-5-1 but am getting more and more frustrated with it. Hopefully someone can help!

GK-D

WB-A

CD-D

CD-D

FB-S

WM-S

CM-A

CM-D

BBM-S

WM-A (dribble more, cut inside)

DLF-S

Standard, Fluid - I find standard to be effective against teams that sit back and also solid enough against more attacking sides. Fluid because I want to play as a team and I need more varied movement in such a flat shape.

TIs: shorter passing - I find if the team is too direct then the DLF gets exposed, work ball into box - mainly so my wide men pull the ball back and recycle possession rather than cross to a single forward. I'd rather the team recycle possession. This also reduces the long shots from the DLF.

Defensively I'm fairly happy. All the players do their bit and cover for each other. Occasionally the CM-D isn't deep enough and there is too much space between him and the CDs. When this happens I tend to add 'push higher up' to squeeze that space and it seems to help.

Attacking is a different story...

What I want to see:

On the right I want to see the WB-A overlapping the WM-S to provide the width. I want the WM-S to sit deeper and narrower, covering defensively but also acting as a creator. They should have forward passing options to the WB-A and CM-A who should be making the forward runs, as well as the more sideways option of the DLF coming deep and the 'safe' option of the sitting CM-D.

On the left I'm not so sure. I'd like the WM-A to act like an inside forward supported by the BBM-S on the inside and the FB-S sitting deep on the outside. It's how the BBM-S should behave that I'm not sure about. It would be quite nice if he could go wide as the WM-A cuts in.

Through the middle I want to see the DLF pulling back from the defenders and receiving the ball to feet. I want to see the CM-A, WM-A and possibly the BBM making forward runs into the space created by the DLF and getting into the box. The DLF should have many passing options including the killer ball to one of these players.

What I actually see:

Play through the centre is terrible. The most frustrating thing is that the CM-A seems very reluctant to get beyond the DLF to provide the killer ball opportunity. He seems to stay in line or deeper most of the time despite defenders out of position and the PPMs 'gets into opposition area' and 'gets forward whenever possible'. BBM never makes attacking off the ball runs. The WM-A tries but usually gets picked up by the opposition full back. Play deteriorates into sideways passes in front of their defence and then everyone gets lined up on the edge of their box with no space. The DLF has no choice to pass backwards and the CM-D ends up becoming the pivot as the only remaining deep player. This isn't great as my CM-D is very much a tackler rather than a passer! I'd rather the WM-S be the pivot but by this point they've already gone forward to help the opposition full back mark them!

On the right flank things are a bit better and occasionally the WB-A, WM-S and CM-A overload the opposition's left full back and cause chaos. This isn't happening often enough though as the CM-A doesn't get ahead of the WM-S that often.

The only thing exciting on the left is the occasional direct running with the ball that the WM-A provides. The BBM doesn't help him out much and tends to just get himself in the way. The FB-S is often too deep to help out but I like the defensive security this gives the team.

On top of all this I really struggle when the opposition has a DM. The DLF gets no space between the lines so my midfield quickly runs out of passing options and the flanks don't produce any joy either.

Anyone have any ideas? I'd love to get the CM-A running beyond the DLF as a starting point.

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Entirely different tactic here, but you offer some really usesful advice in terms of (1) analysing goals and differentiating between tactical problems and player error, and (2) having the courage of your convictions when things start to dip. Neither are exactly rocket science, but it's easy to lose sight of the simple things.

I'm playing in the Danish 3rd tier (amateur teams) and adopted/adapted a 3-5-2 tactic that had some weaknesses at the back - although mostly down to (lack of) player quality. Made a couple of minor defensive tweaks and we tightened up and ran really well into the 4 month winter break.

Came back from the break and had a bit of an up-and-down run for 3 or 4 games. Again I checked the goals we were conceding (not a tactical issue, for the most part), and decided to stick with our game plan. Cue an unbeaten run of 10 or 11 games (winning all but one) and a late charge to the title.

Now we're up it would've been easy to start over, but. A couple of tweaks to personnel and the same tactic looks generally good. Sure we lose games, but only gone expected, but we win some too - and every now and the. We demolish the opposition. I put most of our success down to an established tactic that has become second nature, and a settled core squad of 15-18 players.

Great to hear :) Ironically this system actually started out in the Danish Second division for me! I was playing the Gundo challenge with newly promoted Aarhus in the second division. I had previously started a safe in the same division with a 4-1-2-2-1 standard tactic and been absolutely destroyed, losing my first 9 games. I restarted in the same league, with Aarhus and setup the 451 and it went from there :) Good luck in your game! As you say, some of the key things are taking time and not reacting to single results every time, but at the same time being able to spot something which is blatantly not right quickly :)

I've been following this thread closely for a while now. I've had some success with my 4-5-1 but am getting more and more frustrated with it. Hopefully someone can help!

GK-D

WB-A

CD-D

CD-D

FB-S

WM-S

CM-A

CM-D

BBM-S

WM-A (dribble more, cut inside)

DLF-S

Standard, Fluid - I find standard to be effective against teams that sit back and also solid enough against more attacking sides. Fluid because I want to play as a team and I need more varied movement in such a flat shape.

TIs: shorter passing - I find if the team is too direct then the DLF gets exposed, work ball into box - mainly so my wide men pull the ball back and recycle possession rather than cross to a single forward. I'd rather the team recycle possession. This also reduces the long shots from the DLF.

Defensively I'm fairly happy. All the players do their bit and cover for each other. Occasionally the CM-D isn't deep enough and there is too much space between him and the CDs. When this happens I tend to add 'push higher up' to squeeze that space and it seems to help.

Attacking is a different story...

What I want to see:

On the right I want to see the WB-A overlapping the WM-S to provide the width. I want the WM-S to sit deeper and narrower, covering defensively but also acting as a creator. They should have forward passing options to the WB-A and CM-A who should be making the forward runs, as well as the more sideways option of the DLF coming deep and the 'safe' option of the sitting CM-D.

On the left I'm not so sure. I'd like the WM-A to act like an inside forward supported by the BBM-S on the inside and the FB-S sitting deep on the outside. It's how the BBM-S should behave that I'm not sure about. It would be quite nice if he could go wide as the WM-A cuts in.

Through the middle I want to see the DLF pulling back from the defenders and receiving the ball to feet. I want to see the CM-A, WM-A and possibly the BBM making forward runs into the space created by the DLF and getting into the box. The DLF should have many passing options including the killer ball to one of these players.

What I actually see:

Play through the centre is terrible. The most frustrating thing is that the CM-A seems very reluctant to get beyond the DLF to provide the killer ball opportunity. He seems to stay in line or deeper most of the time despite defenders out of position and the PPMs 'gets into opposition area' and 'gets forward whenever possible'. BBM never makes attacking off the ball runs. The WM-A tries but usually gets picked up by the opposition full back. Play deteriorates into sideways passes in front of their defence and then everyone gets lined up on the edge of their box with no space. The DLF has no choice to pass backwards and the CM-D ends up becoming the pivot as the only remaining deep player. This isn't great as my CM-D is very much a tackler rather than a passer! I'd rather the WM-S be the pivot but by this point they've already gone forward to help the opposition full back mark them!

On the right flank things are a bit better and occasionally the WB-A, WM-S and CM-A overload the opposition's left full back and cause chaos. This isn't happening often enough though as the CM-A doesn't get ahead of the WM-S that often.

The only thing exciting on the left is the occasional direct running with the ball that the WM-A provides. The BBM doesn't help him out much and tends to just get himself in the way. The FB-S is often too deep to help out but I like the defensive security this gives the team.

On top of all this I really struggle when the opposition has a DM. The DLF gets no space between the lines so my midfield quickly runs out of passing options and the flanks don't produce any joy either.

Anyone have any ideas? I'd love to get the CM-A running beyond the DLF as a starting point.

Yup it feels to me like its not balanced. Few pointers/suggestions/observations:

  • You need to get more men in the box. Only the WM(a) is likely to, and even then he will need PPM and/or PI to do this. The DLF again, without the right type of attributes, wont necessarily get turned and running into the box. I would consider, depending on your players/team, making the change i did in my Hearts safe - Move one of the WM to IF. This will immediately get you another runner beyond the striker
  • For the CM(a), did you mean he already has those PPM? Could you screenshot the player in question? I would make sure he has appropriate PI as well as PPM. It is not an easy role to get working well, but with the right player type it can happen. Also consider "hold up ball" on DLF (unless its already active - i never used this role so wasnt sure)
  • Consider your midfield balance. The CM(d) is a closing down type, the BBM is a bit of a hybrid, as you say he might get in the way. Why not have more defensive, holding type players. Obviously im biased towards DLP, but you could also use CM(d) but notch back his closing down. Also look for a player with appropriate PPM's
  • If you are finding the WB isnt getting far enough forward, look at CWB(a) possibly even with some PI added.

Overall just keep watching and think logically :) you have made some good observations ,so go to the next step and think about how you might address some of the things you have spotted :)

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I have been using this formation, or close variations of it over the past 3 seasons in my Walsall save. I did intend to do a write up on it, but I realised I was no where near where I wanted to be with it. It's served me well overall, with very limited resources relative to the divisions I have been in. Finished 10th in my first season in the Premier League, which was pretty good considering the highest I could pay a player was 16000 a week.

It started off with the shape being more a 4-3-3 shape, with one holding player in the center of midfield, with a box to box midfielder and a CM (a) either side. Worked nicely in the Championship, but I was getting slaughtered early on in the premiership, so it evolved to the double pivot like the op.

Biggest problem I am having is the CM (a) I have tried all sorts to get him to be more advanced, but in my opinion his behaviour is more in line with what I'd expect of a BBM. I have actually managed to get a very decent player to play there for the coming season, but still not seeing the behaviour I'd like. Guardo Vadala, he looks absolutely ideal for the role. He has gets in to opposition area ppm, not gets further forward, although I have had players play there with that ppm and saw little obvious difference. They do get in to the box, but often the F9 (which I am using) drops deep, and very often the CM (a) will lurk next to him offering a short passing option, rather than advancing beyond him. I am still working on it, because I have a feeling it could be because of roles around him that he stays deep for the short option rather than bursting forward.

Other than that, the DLP (s) often seems to get very carried away going forward, and isn't so much part of a double pivot at times, this isn't such a problem how my team is set up, but it has caused a few problems. This could quite easily be down to quality of player, I now have Ashley Westwood playing there, he's what I'd call decent for the Premier League, but about as good as I could get. Missed out on Darren Gibson to Crystal Palace which was a bloody shame. I offered him more money than them, but our poor reputation at the time probably swayed him.

Anyway, I am certainly enjoying working on this system, your thread has been of great help. I haven't tried to copy it at all, although the overall shape has evolved in to something similar, it never started out that way. I feel it's really difficult when you have to sign the dregs when you have a low rep, over the next few seasons hopefully I can start to sign better players and get this working towards a tactic that can win me some silverware.

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Great to hear that you have got something similar working Torkus. Nice achievement getting Walsall so far.

Re the CM(a) - What type of player behaviour are you trying to get there? When i originally went for a "runner" with the hopes of arriving late in the box, i struggled. What made the role for me, was converting it to a winger type role. Giving the PI to run with the ball more and iirc run with with the ball. I then also had players with PPM's around "dribble through the centre".

The best work i had from my CM(a) was with the ball at his feet, not necessarily off the ball movements :)

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Great to hear that you have got something similar working Torkus. Nice achievement getting Walsall so far.

Re the CM(a) - What type of player behaviour are you trying to get there? When i originally went for a "runner" with the hopes of arriving late in the box, i struggled. What made the role for me, was converting it to a winger type role. Giving the PI to run with the ball more and iirc run with with the ball. I then also had players with PPM's around "dribble through the centre".

The best work i had from my CM(a) was with the ball at his feet, not necessarily off the ball movements :)

Yep, it's not so much with the ball, they do a decent enough job there. There are times when the F9 drops deep, collects the ball, and there is a great big space for the CM (a) to attack, and he tends most times to hold up and wait. He does at times arrive timely in to the box, but it's as if he has to stay in line with play rather than advance beyond the ball at times. I am tempted to try moving him to the AM strata in certain games, although then he will be advanced by default, and it will change the whole system as such.

It's all working pretty okay, but you know when you can just tell something could be better and you can't put your finger on it. I have an improved squad this season, although still not that brilliant, I am hoping I can push on. Beat Arsenal away first game 2-0, so a good start. I am enjoying the save, that is the main thing, I am sure within about 3 more seasons I can get to where I want to be. Excellent thread anyway, good job.

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Yep, it's not so much with the ball, they do a decent enough job there. There are times when the F9 drops deep, collects the ball, and there is a great big space for the CM (a) to attack, and he tends most times to hold up and wait. He does at times arrive timely in to the box, but it's as if he has to stay in line with play rather than advance beyond the ball at times. I am tempted to try moving him to the AM strata in certain games, although then he will be advanced by default, and it will change the whole system as such.

This is exactly the problem I'm having. I want him to be an off the ball runner but he just doesn't advance beyond the forward enough. When I tried playing him in the AM slot he started too advanced and so didn't have the space to run into. Any idea if mentality or fluidity will affect the CM-A's tendency to run beyond the striker?

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This is exactly the problem I'm having. I want him to be an off the ball runner but he just doesn't advance beyond the forward enough. When I tried playing him in the AM slot he started too advanced and so didn't have the space to run into. Any idea if mentality or fluidity will affect the CM-A's tendency to run beyond the striker?

I am using structured at the moment, with usually counter or standard mentality. I did try flexible at one point, thinking this is the fluidity as it is generally known as the "role theory" I saw little noticeable difference in his behaviour, I can tell the subtle differences overall to an extent, but it didn't achieve what I was looking for.

Occasionally it works how I'd like, but all to often he doesn't want to advance beyond the ball. I know you can't take the heat maps for to much worth, but he is rarely more advanced on that than my DLP (s) which isn't what I am looking for. The way it works at the moment, I am seriously considering a re-think, the midfield works pretty well, but I am thinking an advanced forward may suit the system better, although having said that, I have recently advanced my wide right player and am using a roamdaughter which seems to be working quite nicely. It's all fiddling still at the moment after 3 seasons, but it's quite fun. Just a tad annoying, cos if the CM (a) was willing to charge forward at the right moments, it could be a killer. I'm not trying to say it's a bug or anything, I am happy to work with what I have got, in my opinion the CM (a) acted differently on FM14, but it's just a case of adjusting over time to what I am seeing.

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I guess you do have to have some level of realistic expectation.

Think of real football, and try to think of an example of a true central midfielder who will regularly get beyond the striker? It will be very rare. Lampard in his Youth, Scholes in his prime, Gerrard 5 years ago come to mind, but actually they probably didnt often go fully "beyond the striker" (with the possible exception of Gerrard, but that was when he played as an AMC).

I did not set this system up to have him as an "off the ball" runner, because i did not see that working. He needs to be a running option in the middle to balance the 2 x DLP. If you want an off the ball type, you might need to rethink your overall setup. You might need different roles for the other 2 CM.

I am also not sure "structured" will free him up to his most either.

What does the player in question look like, out of curiosity?

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Hey, thanks for the response.

Yes, I have kind of accepted this now, and have it working pretty much how I'd like (for now at least) I have to be realistic about what I can do to an extent, to give you an idea my WML (a) Is Luis Alberto on loan from Liverpool for the second season, who I have retrained to play that side. Okay he's alright, but he's no Coutinho/Lallana etc. I have Angel Correa (also on loan) but I may be able to sign him on a free at the end of the season, he is my main F9, he is the absolute top of the range I can get right now. I managed to strengthen my defence a bit, and the CM (a) in question is a real nice player, I'll post some screen shots of him and some examples of the situations I was talking about when I get chance. It's not so much I expected the CM (a) to constantly be beyond the F9, but there have been times when the F9 drops off to collect the ball and there is an acre of space for him to run in to, but he comes short for the ball. I have actually done what you did and move the right sided winger up to the AMR slot, but as a roamdaughter (or whatever it is called really) this is looking real nice at the moment, although the players I have aren't perfect for that role, they are doing a decent job.

Structured is by far the best it's looked so far, I can't put my finger on why, it just looks to work better overall. I get what you are saying, but it wasn't working how I anticipated on flexible either. I am sticking with structured for now at least. I honestly don't think I have the players to play Fluid/Very fluid, I feel they need to be more disciplined. Now the new CM (a) is settling in, he is actually making a few more of those runs, and actually scored the perfect example of what I was after in the last game. However, he is a good ball player too, he was a real good signing for less than 5 million, which was a massive amount for me to spend, but he has without doubt improved my team.

I am going to evolve this tactic, it wont stay the same forever, I already have 2 set ups, one that presses higher up the pitch, and one that sits back a little more and looks to break. I feel I have a good handle on when to use each one now. Then mainly I just tweak the width, and sometimes the tempo.

I have it in my mind in the future to evolve it to look something like Rafa's best Liverpool side, when he had Mascherano and Alonso sitting deep, Mascherano the destroyer , Alonso the ball player, with Gerrard playing right in behind Torres. This may well mean moving a player in to the AM strata, but I really want to have some more capable players to attempt this, especially a real quality DLP that can spray the ball about better. The players I have do a decent enough job for what I want them to do for now. Hopefully within a few seasons I can break in to the top 6, or even 4, then the cash should start coming in. I am having a new ground built which will be ready in 2 years, that will also help too.

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Er, i am reasonably sure its just a copy of the tactic i had set up for Liverpool in the end? With perhaps some different PI?

Nothig against that, its not copyright, but not sure how we are meant to know if it is good? You are the only person who can see if its any good.

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Loving this.

C5D6pAf.jpg

AIHHQ6d.jpg

One of the best tactics defensive-wise, if anyone is wondering whether it works on lower quality sides - it does. I am playing with a high d-line and I'm compensating my awful players' attributes by having the two defenders on Stopper-Defend duties, with the Stopper being behind BMW(d) or DLP(d), depends on what role you're using - that way I managed to prevent conceding the same goal over and over again.

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Nice work TIR, glad you got over your frustration at losing goals in a similar way :)

I never thought the "park the tank" achievement was even possible on FM until i started up this tactic/thread and i go that achievement with Hearts (managed 11 consecutive clean sheets).

Great to see a few people taking this shape and varying it a bit. I have not used it in a while or been back on these saves, as i was working on Milan/442 but i have not forgotten this shape or these saves.

I quite fancy doing a save in perhaps Serie B or Liga BBVA with a middling side and trying to see how it works there, will give it some thought whilst finishing out my Milan season with a new 31411 tactic which works very well :)

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Yes, I would like to give it a try as well TIR. I've been working on a decent 4-5-1 tactic but can't figure it out.

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Why don't you post your set ups, and maybe we can offer some advice, rather than just copying, which will never work long term anyway?

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TIR can u upload ur tactic pls?
Yes, I would like to give it a try as well TIR. I've been working on a decent 4-5-1 tactic but can't figure it out.

I wil let TIR answer, and if he wishes to PM you both his tactic he can do so.

However, it couldnt be clearer at the start of the thread and throughout. This is not a download thread, nor is this the download forum. Its about using a formation to create specific shapes, and completely understanding how and why it works for your specific set of players. If you dont want to do that, fair play, its your game, but please head to the downloads forum instead :)

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Apologies, I had no intention of causing a stir :)

This is what I got so far.

--------------------------DLF(S)----------------------------

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

WM(S)------CM(D)------CM(A)------DLP(S)---------W(A)

WB(A)------------CD(D)------CD(D)----------------WB(S)

---------------------------G(D)-----------------------------

My Left WM is right footed so I got his PI set to: Cut Inside and Sit Narrower

My TI are: Play Out of Defense, Shorter Passing and Work Ball into the Box.

Standard - Fluid

I'm having trouble defensively. Maybe because I'm playing in the Championship with a squad which is midway League 1 material at best. Does this look balanced to you guys? I want some defensive solidity.

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The only initial think i might say is that your only defend duty midfield is in a role which will press a fair bit, so you might be short of "sitting cover".

I would consider switching the DLP and CM duties perhaps, and also carefully consider which player types you have in there.

If you have a poor quality squad, is it also possibly your DLF is losing the ball a lot as he isnt skilled enough, and doesnt get enough passing options? The WM(s) is not going to get into the box, and the W(a) is staying wide so wont be an easy passing outlet?

Overall - Watch the games, take some screenshots, tell us what you see. :)

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Apologies, I had no intention of causing a stir :)

This is what I got so far.

--------------------------DLF(S)----------------------------

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

WM(S)------CM(D)------CM(A)------DLP(S)---------W(A)

WB(A)------------CD(D)------CD(D)----------------WB(S)

---------------------------G(D)-----------------------------

My Left WM is right footed so I got his PI set to: Cut Inside and Sit Narrower

My TI are: Play Out of Defense, Shorter Passing and Work Ball into the Box.

Standard - Fluid

I'm having trouble defensively. Maybe because I'm playing in the Championship with a squad which is midway League 1 material at best. Does this look balanced to you guys? I want some defensive solidity.

I really dislike Winger on attack with a support duty striker, I don't know maybe it's just observation bias, but I find a winger on support duty really links up well with Attack duty midfielders/attacking midfielders and winger Attack links up better with attack duty strikers.

I think you might lack penetration, maybe a Treq up front would be better.

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I really dislike Winger on attack with a support duty striker, I don't know maybe it's just observation bias, but I find a winger on support duty really links up well with Attack duty midfielders/attacking midfielders and winger Attack links up better with attack duty strikers.

I think you might lack penetration, maybe a Treq up front would be better.

I think you are right about penetration, but i dont think a Treq is going to help that? Its not that type of role. If penetration is the issue, there are a few ways to attempt to solve it:

  • Different role/duty for the 3 "attacking" mids - So perhaps the WM needs to be on attack, or the W needs to be a WM.
  • PI on the 3 Attacking mids - Get further forward the obvious one, possibly run with the ball more depending on the player type
  • PI on the DLF - "Hold up ball" will help
  • Formation change - As i did in the Hearts save, if you really cant get enough pentration then the shape needs tweaked, move one of the wide men or the CM into the AM strata to try and get more bodies in the box
  • Possibly change the striker duty. F9 would see him likely come even deeper, meaning less room for the attacking mids to make up. TM is also an option but will impact other aspects : )

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I wil let TIR answer, and if he wishes to PM you both his tactic he can do so.

However, it couldnt be clearer at the start of the thread and throughout. This is not a download thread, nor is this the download forum. Its about using a formation to create specific shapes, and completely understanding how and why it works for your specific set of players. If you dont want to do that, fair play, its your game, but please head to the downloads forum instead :)

I have to agree with this. It's much more effective to read Jambo98's posts on the previous page*. Not all teams are the same and not all players are the same either. This is far from a plug&play tactic, even though it is quite solid set-up.

I would suggest having a look at your players and finding a style of play you want to see from them, then searching for a topic such as this (in case you don't prefer a 4-5-1 control-possession tactic), creating your own tactic and tweaking it as time passes. If you have issues with this system, take a couple of screenshots in-game, give us a quick overview where you think the problem is, etc. and you will definitely get a response or two in this topic. :)

PM'd you my latest version of the tactic, named it Knights. Bear in mind there are a lot of different roles/duties/instructions than what Jambo98 had made in his Liverpool&Hearts' games and they might not do the trick for your team.

*if you need a short summary of links - I suggest reading posts #1 to #6, #30, #37, #78 and #88 - you can find most of the details on how this system works in these posts - if you don't have the time or the will to go through the entire topic.

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After going through a lot of these posts in here (amazing read btw, really great stuff) I went the same route as Jambo.

my 4-5-1 looks like this

6F76E3FAB927CD2322DCB4885E9E36BCE3FEF773

The results don't lie either! Currently I'm in 1st with a squad that's good enough for a mid-table finish (board want me to attempt to avoid relegation)

BBEEC9A026B0549CAD04603D6E62227513C5206D

Granted it could be better but in a competition with very big teams and about 10 times more wage budget than I have it is really good.

I've read your post where you went looking for several players and the attributes you focus on makes sense to me. My question is what PPM's do you focus on for the F9, CM(A) and WM(A)

For the WM(A) i suppose 'Gets Forward Whenever Possible' and maybe 'Stick to Left/Right Side of Pitch'

The CM(A) and F9 are more of a mystery to me.

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Hey Yipster, glad to see you are making this work in your own save and with your own thoughts added. Also great to see that you are focusing on PPMs - Still an under appreciated but very important part of the game.

For me, the desired PPMs are something along the lines of:

WM - "Gets forward when ever possible", "Gets into opposition area" - These 2 i would always want on this position - "Cuts inside", "Tries Killer balls" - These 2 are more optional, but at Liverpool where i had great creators i wanted the killer balls and cuts inside is because i want them heading to the penalty area and linking with the F9, not going wide. When we attack, the touchline is more the territory of the CWB for me. Interestingly, looking back at a post #63 i made in this thread, it highlighted the difference in assits v goals from 2 WM who are on identical duties with identical PI - They had different PPMs which resulted in one scoring lots and one assisting lots. Shows the important of the PPM again :)

CM(a) - "Gets forward when ever possible", "Runs with the ball through the centre", "runs with the ball often", "plays one-twos" - These are the 4 i wanted, i like "one-twos" in most of my attacking payers, but you probably need at least 2 of the other 3 in order for this guy to get forward often enough. If you have a pacey converted winger in here (which is generally what i did), then "Knocks ball past opponent" can be a nice addition

F9 - This one is less clear cut, and can very much depend on the type of player you have and how good your other 3 attacking players are. There can be arguments made for "Holds ball up" and "plays with back to goal" certainly if your other 3 are not fast and attacking. With Liverpool, STurridge was great with "runs with ball often" because he could come deep, turn and beat a man or 2 easily. This was largely because of his great dribbling attributes and wouldnt work for everyone. Again "plays one -twos" might be a nice addition. If you go down the road of playing perhaps a converted AMC type here, "tries killer balls" might also work nicely

Let us know how you get on. The championship was an area i quite fancied trying this system out, just didnt get round to it before getting engrossed in my current 361 pressing system and youth development save :)

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Thanks for explaining Jambo!

I managed to get promoted to the Premier League. I don't know how I'll be able to stay up there, my squad really isn't good enough for that level and my finances don't allow for big wage budgets either. It's going to be a struggle :p

I did get my hands on this guy for my F9 role. He's the only big signing I was able to do for now.

DBA3D6EC124FF272DF4071BCBC7800D27BE85858

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Thanks for explaining Jambo!

I managed to get promoted to the Premier League. I don't know how I'll be able to stay up there, my squad really isn't good enough for that level and my finances don't allow for big wage budgets either. It's going to be a struggle :p

I did get my hands on this guy for my F9 role. He's the only big signing I was able to do for now.

DBA3D6EC124FF272DF4071BCBC7800D27BE85858

I wouldn't get too disherartened about your chances of staying up. You will be surprised how much a good system can forgive you for not having quality players. I finished 10th in my first season in the premier league with Walsall. The max we could offer a player was 16000 a week, we were given 5 million to spend, but I had to move most of that to wages to give us a fighting chance. Our salaray per anum was 3 times less than the next closest team.

What made it even harder was, we over achieved in the championship too, so we went up with a lot of 3rd division standard players. I used the loan market, was some useful players, when I say useful they weren't really top end premier league players, but good enough to do a job. The great thing was, we made a lot of money that season, got to the League Cup final only to lose on penalties to Chelsea.

I was prepared to go back down, as long as I kept my job, but as it happened it worked out very well. I know this isn't really tactical advice, but anyway don't give up hope, that F9 looks like he can do a good job for you, it's very much a key position in that system in my opinion.

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I wouldn't get too disherartened about your chances of staying up. You will be surprised how much a good system can forgive you for not having quality players. I finished 10th in my first season in the premier league with Walsall. The max we could offer a player was 16000 a week, we were given 5 million to spend, but I had to move most of that to wages to give us a fighting chance. Our salaray per anum was 3 times less than the next closest team.

What made it even harder was, we over achieved in the championship too, so we went up with a lot of 3rd division standard players. I used the loan market, was some useful players, when I say useful they weren't really top end premier league players, but good enough to do a job. The great thing was, we made a lot of money that season, got to the League Cup final only to lose on penalties to Chelsea.

I was prepared to go back down, as long as I kept my job, but as it happened it worked out very well. I know this isn't really tactical advice, but anyway don't give up hope, that F9 looks like he can do a good job for you, it's very much a key position in that system in my opinion.

I'm in exactly the same boat. I'm looking forward to how the system will work here in the Premier League ;-)

EDIT: Oh man, I'm getting hammered. I'm having some serious troubles in defense. I might dial the CWB's back to a support duty. Lots of goals coming from a cross to a marauding midfielder.

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I'm in exactly the same boat. I'm looking forward to how the system will work here in the Premier League ;-)

EDIT: Oh man, I'm getting hammered. I'm having some serious troubles in defense. I might dial the CWB's back to a support duty. Lots of goals coming from a cross to a marauding midfielder.

I would think it is worth analysing a bit deeper before just making the change to the CWB - Be sure you know the problem before you try and jump to the solution :)

Look at the supply to the wide men, look at your own WM - are they tracking back enough?

Most of all, i guess your players are very weak so you might want to consider being more conservative with mentality at times. Its very hard to overcome a massively weak squad, but keep with it and also try to manage morale, as that can always be a killer :)

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First of all, I would like to thank Jambo for this thread, it has been a pleasure to read. So much so I was almost tempted to start a Liverpool save. I often have one, as although not a Liverpool fan, I really love the history of the club, they were my first 'love' in football as a kid (may give you an idea of my age !) staying up late to watch the big European games. Before my Dad showed my the way, and I started following my local side, Walsall.

However, it would have felt to much like a copy, so I decided to implement some of it in to my Walsall save, which is always my long term save anyway. As usual, from the start of my save with Walsall I am pretty much always playing the underdog, with the lowest budget in the league I am in, the lowest rep etc, and it gets worse as you have success and move up the leagues. This is something that you have to bear in mind, how teams will approach you. It often requires a few changes second half of the season, as teams realise you aren't as bad as the media suggested, and they are a little more cautious against you.

My tactic started life as a flat 4-5-1 as in the op. However, I didn't have the double pivot, instead the DLP (d) was the holding man in the center, and I had runners either side of him. CM (a) and BBM. This worked a treat in the Championship, I never really had to change that much from game to game, just the odd change here and there to change width, tempo, and closing down. However on arriving in the Premier League, it became clear pretty quickly that one holding player wasn't enough, I was getting destroyed through the middle. I tried to stay away from the double pivot to stop it being a rip off of Jambo's tactic, and be some work of my own, but I really had little choice but to adjust for the sake of my season. It's been a while since that championship season now, I am at the end of my second season in the Premier League, so the tactics I used back then are a little vague, so I will focus on the past 2 seasons.

The Tactics

Tactic1.png

This has been my base tactic for most of the past 2 seasons now, I haven't really changed anything much about it. What became obvious over the past 2 seasons is how important it is to get the right players in key positions. Sounds obvious, but it doesn't always mean the most expensive, or even the highest rated player. Vadala was a beaut of signing and after he had settled in, transformed the tactic completely. First season I struggled to get players in the box often enough, especially the CM (a) this guy is just awesome, I think he is my best signing ever on any version of the game for what he has done for my team. 5.5 million I wouldn't sell him for 50 million he is that important. Also Barrada in the transfer window in January, was struggling in a Marseille side, as an AM, signed him, retrained him to play left midfield, has been awesome, he is by no means a Coutinho or Hazard, but has done a really great job for me and was an upgrade on Luis Alberto by some way.

Fluidity

I use structured fluidity, I found this the best I got it working. I didn't feel that my team were good enough to play a Fluid set up, I was set on Flexible but it didn't look right. In my opinion the actions of the full backs in particular seem better in the structured. Even with attack duty, the wing back seems to pick his moments to bomb forward, rather than acting like a winger.

Mentality

has mostly been standard and counter, but more recently I have started to throw in control. A thing of note to me is that being to cautious against bigger sides can be a disaster. My results against the top teams has improved drastically since having a more balanced set up,rather than trying to grind out draws, where they just batter you for 90 minutes.

Team Instructions

Nice and simple here, didn't want to do anything to drastic.

* Work ball in to box - We have several players with shoots long ppm, it's quite annoying, but this helps a little. We still score plenty of shots from long range with this ticked, but without it a lot of moves break down because someone will have a crack to early.

* Close down more - I like this when using a lower mentality, although it goes against a lot of what is written, I find my team to ball watch to much without it. I remove it if I go above standard usually, dependent on what I am trying to do.

* Stay on feet- I want my players to press, but I don't want them flying in to tackles, stay on there feet, pressure the man, while the team regroups and regains it's shape. I rarely remove this, unless I find my team is getting passed to death without making any challenges.

I then add other TI's sometimes to change defensive line, width, tempo and so on to exploit something or fix something I see. Always bearing in mind the mentality, and the effects they have together.

Another change I make to this tactic sometimes is to push the WM ® up to to the AML spot as an inside forward (as Jambo did) this is only done in game if I feel there is a space to be exploited, or if I feel my team need a bit more presence further up the pitch. It's worked well late in games, I will sometimes give the right wing back an attack duty in this scenario too, especially if we are chasing a game. Most recently it helped me come from behind to win against Liverpool and Man City ! I like the flat shape best though, I always feel more solid, but sometimes needs must.

Player Instructions

F9 has shoots less often, Correa is very creative, and he was shooting far too often for my liking, this has helped a lot, as has training him the ppm tries killer through balls. Sadly he isn't my player, but I am hoping I can sign him on a permanent basis come the end of the season.

CM (a)- Dribble more, roam from position. I don't have him as a central winger, I like him to be more central with the ball, it's something to think about in the future, but I mean this guy has been awesome as it is.

DLP (s)- close down less. He was getting dragged all over the place, I found this cured this a lot. I really feel he gets a bit to far forward sometimes, and he is quite a disciplined player, I'd rather he held his position a bit better, but having 2 defensive duties in the center seems a bit much.

WM left and right - Ideally I'd prefer a winger type on one side, but such was the players I could get in, I ended up with both sides cutting inside. Left side, sits narrower, cuts inside. No dribble more, although he can dribble, I like him to pass the ball more, and get in the box to score goals. The WB (a) supplies the winger type play down that side. On the right side, Dribbles more, cuts inside, no sits narrower, this player starts out wide, and dribbles the ball towards goal. Halilovic has been superb in this role, again sadly not my player, and I have little or no chance of getting him, so got some work to find someone to fill his boots next season.

Alternative

Last season when I was struggling to get my CM (a) to get forward enough, I created something slightly different. It didn't actually work out that well last season, but has proved to be a great alternative tactic this time around. Although not used often, I have found this to be really good against 4-4-2 in particular, especially against teams that push forward.

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Ignore the players selected, Correa never plays advanced forward, I actually have a young striker , and it's an ideal time to give him a run out when using this. He has progressed really well this season, and may need to step up a bit more next season.

This tactic works better with a lower mentality, it's great at picking teams off on the break. I might have to adjust it if it became my main tactic, as it can get quite exposed with having a TQ and an advanced forward who offer nothing defensively, along with 2 attacking wide players, but it has worked well for what it has been needed for so far.

Achievements

I am extremely proud of what I have achieved in this save. We finished 10th first season in the top flight, with what I can only describe as a bottom end Championship budget and a ridiculously low rep. We also got to the carling cup final, and lost to Chelsea on pens (the equalised in the 93rd minute) gutted.

This last season is my favourite ever I think. I have learned so much, and now know how to change games a little better, I obviously have a slightly better squad, still restricted by a very small budget, but it was better by at least double, and my rep was better to attract better players. Had to rely on a few decent loan signings, but I don't see anything wrong with that.

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That is this seasons salary, last season it was so much worse, hopefully when our new ground is built, we will be a little better off, think it's another season to wait yet of 14000 capacity. New ground is only 25k, but at least it's a little more inline with the Premier League.

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I am very proud of this, when you consider what the other sides are paying, we can't compete with that. Chelsea and Man United have awesome sides, they really do, it's quite scary what good sides they have built, Chelsea especially, but United are dam good. Man City have a very good side too, not quite sure whey they have failed so hard in the league, but they are in the CL final, which meant I had to finish 3rd to assure CL football next season, cos if they win it ( I think they will) they would take the 4th spot.

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One game to go, and we still have an outside chance of winning the league (we have Chelsea away) United who have to lose have West Ham away. I doub't well beat Chelsea away, I'm not even bothered, we will get our title one day. Although there is a little feeling of disappointment as we have had some really poor results against bottom sides. This was probably me being lazy, fitting games in when I didn't really have time. You can't take your eye off the ball at all. I would estimate we've thrown a good 10 points or more away in games we really should have won. We recently beat Man City and Liverpool at home after going down, cos I took the time to analyse things and change them, I could almost certainly have rescued more points against weaker teams. Lesson to be learned.

I also lost in the Carling Cup final (again) this time to Man United, a game I felt we should have won, lost at the end of extra time when my players were shattered, but we lead twice, they really are a good side though.

Quick screen shot of my best player, just an awesome signing for 5.5 million.

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I think he still has some PA left too ! Could easily be my F9, but I think it would be hard to find someone this good to play CM (a) be easier to find a good F9 I think.

Looking forward

Looking forward to next season, it's important my recruitment is good. I have already been told I have 21 million to spend (wow!) but with only 100k in wages available, that wont leave a lot when I have adjusted it to give me some play with wages. I will need to replace Haliliovic , and possibly Correa, although I am hopeful I can get him. If I can't get Halilovic, then I may look to sign a winger type that can run down that flank and cross, having said that, Halilovic running in from wide has been deadly, so we will see. I will need a bit more beyond my first 11 with the Champions League, I've been pretty lucky with injuries this time around, I sacrificed quantity for a little quality. I may also run in to problems with my home grown players, I have a few, but it's been a little neglected trying to scrape every penny together to put out a side that can compete. It's important I focus on youth a little more now, and more important that I try and kick on.

There may be even more of a change in how other teams view us, I will have to watch out for that.

Anyway , thank you for taking the time to read this, and thanks Jambo again for a wonderful thread.

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