Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
gf_bay

O Christmas Tree! Playing like Ancelotti's Milan

Recommended Posts

new-milan.jpg

Hardly any modern - if not already outdated - formation is as closely attributed to one manager as the Christmas tree formation (re)introduced by Carlo Ancelotti during his reign at AC Milan a decade ago. During his spell at San Siro AC Milan won one scudetto and lifted the Champions League trophy twice, playing in three finals.

A large part of this success was down to Ancelotti's tactical brilliance when he (re)invented the 4-3-2-1 Christmas tree formation. The formation emerged somewhat out of necessity; Ancelotti had a vast number of very technically skilled central midfielders available in his squad. Suiting all of them in his usually preferred 4-4-2 (diamond) was impossible. Instead he withdrew one of the strikers to the AMC strata and played a midfield without any out-and-out wingers. By doing so he could field creative legends like Pirlo, Kaka, Rui Costa and Seedorf all at the same time. Actually, this was the formation that saw Pirlo and Kaka bloom into two of the most prolific world class players of the last decade; it utilized their strengths to the max.

Kaka would employ a more attacking role than Rui Costa alongside him in the AMC strata. Whereas Costa would act as a creative - but stationary - link between midfield and attack, Kaka would surge into space, attack the box from deep, run at the defense with the ball at his feet at blistering pace and often bomb the ball into the net. During the 06-07 campaign when Milan won the Champions League and Kaka won the Ballon'dor, Kaka was also crowned the Champions League top scorer with 10 goals.

Pirlo famously pulled the strings in a deep lying creative midfielder role. Key to his success was the presence of Gattuso at his side. Gattuso would chase down opponents, tackle hard; quite simply do the dirty work that would allow Pirlo room to play a creative role from deep. Pirlo was the focal point of the entire team

What I find makes this formation so interesting and versatile is the role of the other holding midfielder playing alongside the withdrawn, creative Pirlo. Ancelotti featured at times the dynamic, attacking Seedorf but, just as likely, a defensive work horse like Ambrosini in this role. Depending only on personnel the formation could be both very attack-minded yet also quite defensive.

In defense Ancelotti used a flat back four, with the likes of Stam, Nesta and at times Maldini playing in the central positions. Due to the inherited lack of width and wide midfielders in the formation, Ancelotti made use of attacking wing backs. Cafu, the most famous of the players playing on the right hand side, would bomb down on the wing, staying wide, getting crosses in. When Maldini played the left wing back role (which he usually did), he would play slightly less aggressive than Cafu on the right, still staying wide, but more withdrawn. This happened partly due to Maldinis more defensive nature but also due to Seedorfs runs from deep and roaming into space and wide positions.

Up front the formation saw as varied strikers as e.g. Shevchenko, Inzaghi, Crespo and Thomasson playing the lone role. Each one would play the role differently. When Shevchenko played, the role could be interpreted - in FM-terms - as a complete forward (support/attack). Whereas Inzaghi would stay true to his nature and play as a poacher. It all came down to form and opposition.

The goalkeeper role was played as a standard keeper (yet very flamboyantly) by, what I always considered Milan's weak link: Brazilian international Dida.

To my recollection Ancelotti's AC Milan played a patient build up, mostly short passing, with Pirlo allowed complete freedom to stray 40 yard sugarcoated passes when he wanted to. The defensive line would be slightly pushed up to reduce the space the wing backs had to cover. The team would press –- however nothing like Klopps Gegenpressing or Barca in recent years. Every player had a specific task at hand, everyone knew his role and how it played out.

So how could we implement and interpret this formation/tactic into FM 15-terms? This is my take:

So far I have had massive success with this tactic. However, what is much more interesting to me is that, so far, the tactic gives me the kind of football I remember AC Milan playing. I would be very interested in any input and opinions that may differ from mine. This is merely my interpretation – and I could remember some detail differently than others, I could have interpreted roles the wrong way, etc. I hope my interpretation of the tactic can spark some ideas and inspiration. Do not expect this tactic to be a copy-paste tactic that can guarantee you instant success (in that case I would have posted it in the appropriate share your plug-and-play-tactic forum). It took me three seasons with Borrusia Mönchengladbach with lots of squad building and tweaking to get it right (at least what I interpret as close to right). So here goes:

Formation 4-3-2-1

Formation_zps1ouqdr9o.jpg

One thing worth noting! Due to the personell at my disposal, I had to mirror the original formation. Meaning that wheras the more attacking wing back played on the right at Ancelottis AC Milan, he playes on my left hand side. This also means that wheras Gattuso always played as the holding midfielder on the right side of Pirlo, my "Gattuso" playes on the left.

Mentality: Counter / Balanced

I start every match on “counter”. If we seem to struggle in the first 10-15 minutes my first tweak is always to change the mentality to “balanced” before I tweak anything else. It often does the trick.

Team shape: Structured

I have tried with highly structured, and logically it would be the go-to shape. However, “structured” seems to give us some more fluent style of play. I would not go flexible tough. We have an abundance of very specific specialist roles in the team: deep lying playmaker, advanced playmaker, ball winning midfielder, second striker – arguably also the wing backs and the complete forward. So a structured setup is called for.

Instructions:

Instructions_zpslislipeq.jpg

These are the instructions. I think these reflect the style of play quite well. I often leave out the “retain possession” - it depends on opposition and how the game is going. The other ones are pretty straight forward; we want a patient buld up, that is why we play out of defense, short passing, work the ball into the box at a slow pace. “Be more disciplined” is added due to the sheer number of creative roles in the team. We do not need to over do it and loose the ball needlessly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Players

Keeper

GK (the Dida role)

GK_zpsvbrvgibb.jpg

Nothing much to say here. I decided to go with a sweeper keeper due to my somewhat high defensive line. No fancy stuff, however - he is set to a defensive mentality.

This is my "Dida". Thankfully Leno is a better Keeper than Dida ever was. Important attributes are the ones you would expect in a all-rounded keeper. I am glad that he is able to get of his line and sweep through balls.

Leno%20GK_zps2gqdvacs.jpg

Defense

DC (the Nesta, Stam roles)

CD_zpswcgptsqz.jpg

Bug standard instructions for both my DC's. I only added shorter passing to keep things as simple as possible. Just get the ball to a more creative player. Apart from being able to tackle and mark I value the mental attributes high. I want them to be concentrated, good at anticipation and positioning. Quickness, composure and bravery is also worth having.

These are my Jaap Stam and Alessandro Nestas:

Suumlle%20CD_zpsjveo1m8h.jpg

Pacheco%20CD_zpspzjo8dop.jpg

Balanta%20CD_zps8gubkg61.jpg

DR (the Maldini role)

WBR_zps4dyosxsy.jpg

He needs to be a wide option in build up play. His PI should reflect this. He is the more cautious of my wide men. Therefore he is on support duty.

I have two options for my DR. One who is very strong, quick and skilled defensively. The other is a retrained MC who knows how to pass the ball and can be a very creative outlet out wide. He lacks the pace and strength however, but is a great x-factor to put on the pitch when things needs to be stirred up i bit.

Konate%20WBR_zpsrpiho6d6.jpg

Roberto%20WBR_zpszgd37raj.jpg

DL (the Cafu role)

WBL_zpsn3n3p5ht.jpg

His style of play is aggressive attacking, getting forward down the line, staying wide. More inclined to attack than defend. He is Cafu. I have added the "mark tighter" PI to make sure he tracks back. "Shoot less often" is added to all wide players - I do not want them to shoot from distance at all. They are rarely in a good postion to shoot anyway.

My "Cafu" needs to bee quick, technically skilled, able to cross. I have two options - one is slightly more able to defend than the other, the other a better crosser. One for seeing out games or against tough opposition on the wings. The other to break down tough oppostion sitting deep.

Espinoza%20WBL_zpsnbhhzr9b.jpg

Silva%20WBL_zpsd9zsj90r.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Midfield

MC (the Pirlo role)

MC_zpsn2hgha32.jpg

The focal point of the team. He closses down less, as I want him in position centrally, ready to recieve the ball, all the time. I do not need him to shoot from long. I need him to create. This guy needs to be creative. He needs to be composed, technically skilled and able to pass the ball. He needs to anticipate play and it is vital that his decision stat is very high. Add to this some positioning and off the ball as well as some basic defensive skills.

I have two Pirlo'esue guys I use in this position. One is Lucas Romero, the other is Gianluca Gaudino. Many FM-players will know these two talented youngsters. Romero offers more physical presence and defensive skill than Gaudino. Gaudino on the other hand offers technique and passing skills of the absolute highest calibre.

Romero%20MC_zpsdb4d3nvx.jpg

Gaudino%20AMCR_zpsowimtpwb.jpg

MCL (The Gattuso role)

MCL_zps6cqzaxna.jpg

The rhino of the team. He is hard working, hard tackling, a tough no nonesense kind of guy. Work rate, determination, anticipation, positioning, tackling, marking, stamina, bravery are some of the more important attributes. Please disregard the "runs wide with ball" PI. I forgot to remove it when I took the screen-shot after some experimenting.

This world champion is my Rhino:

Kramer%20MCL_zpscimdbgkc.jpg

MR (The Ambrosini/Seedorf role)

MR_zpscp9qoamh.jpg

The guy playing in this position is key to the versatility of the tactic. Naturally one would think the position should be MCR. But especially when using a "Seedorf" he struggles to find space when playing as a MCR. That is why I have opted to use a MR with the shouts sit narrower and roam from position. When using a "Ambrosini" I remove the roaming shout and change the duty to defend and, occacionaly, move him to MCR. one of the keys to winning with this tactic is to get this role right; the right choice between "Seedorf" or "Ambrosini" wins games.

My Ambrosini (and back-up Rhino)

Bender%20MR_zpsuglfoiem.jpg

My Seedorf

Msigwa%20MR_zpstx8kczqa.jpg

Attacking midfieldes and striker

AMCR (The Rui Costa role)

AMCR_zpsfwgbrixs.jpg

No PI's, just a standard add playmaker on support duty. This guy is the link up between midfield and attack. He sits in the hole between the lines and thus needs to be creative, great technically, good off the ball, have good decisions and composure.

I have quite a number of guys who can play this role - including Gaudino who also plays the "Pirlo role". I also use Martin Ødegaard in this role - but he also plays the "Kaka role" quite ofte. Mostly I use this guy:

Hallilovic%20AMCR_zpspx5peupc.jpg

AMCL (The Kaka role)

AMCL_zpsgqqcqwx0.jpg

The slot in the team for a true world class attacking-midfielder-second striker kind of player. The type of player who can create chances, who can dribble at the defence, get on the end of chances. Dribbling, technique, otb, finishing, composure, quickness, agility, flair, vision - you name it, is all essential. These guys are hard to find, so mould the role to what is available. Normally I would not have used a shadow striker as the "Kaka role". But after quite a lot of trial and error it just happens to be the role that seems to be the right fit. The Trequartista drifted to far away, the Enganche did not get enough into the penalty box. Shadow Striker did the trick.

Luckily I have one guy who truely is world class + one excellent back up in Martin Ødegaard who can play in this role. Say hello to Sunday - my Kaka:

Oyewole%20ST_zpssizjwq45.jpg

Oslashdegaard%20MCL_zps7fpfzjvk.jpg

ST (The Shevchenko/Inzaghi role)

ST_zpsnqqwwda2.jpg

The spear head of the attack. You will notice that I am using a complete forward (support). Some might argue that Milan - especially when using Inzaghi - played wtih an advanced forward or a poacher. That would be true. But I need this guy to link up with the AMCL. To get that Inzaghi-feeling to it, I use a striker with the PM's "likes to beat off side trap" and "gets into opposition area". When I need a more powerfull Shevchenko-striker I use Sunday.

This is my "Inzaghi":

Carneiro%20ST_zpsfxrhtopl.jpg

And just to boast a bit - this is the league table after first complete season playing with this approach:

League%20Standing%20_zpsynctzyhv.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah. I admit that thread completely escaped my attention. Should off course have taken a look at that one before posting. I still hope people gather something interesting form my post nonetheless. Especially considering that my setup is a lot different from yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah. I admit that thread completely escaped my attention. Should off course have taken a look at that one before posting. I still hope people gather something interesting form my post nonetheless. Especially considering that my setup is a lot different from yours.

Don't be put off! This is a really nicely laid out thread with lots of good supporting evidence - thanks for taking the time to add it :thup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent and well laid out thread and explanation - Also some pretty damn crazy results there, even given the world glass squad you have built :thup:

Would be great to see some screenshots of it in action, how it works and why, and maybe some stats showing what type of things it achieves. I am always a fan of recreating a real life tactic.

One slight correction though. Jaap Stam was not at Milan in 2003/04. He signed after Euro 2004. The 03/04 CB pairing would mostly have been Maldini and Nesta with Serghino or Kahladze at left back.

Also i dont think Inzaghi played much that season. He had one of his injury prone seasons and barely scored any goals. It was mainly Sheva up front and Tomasson played a bit as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.

Jambo->When I get the time, I def intent to write indepth about the tactic and with screen-shots show how I manage to create chances (and goals) using this tactical approach.

And you are right about the personel available to Milan during the 03/04 campaign. One could argue that Thomasson was merely an Inzaghi-light. ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect Geordies might choke on their newkie broon at that final suggestion........ :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suspect Geordies might choke on their newkie broon at that final suggestion........ :D

We needed the brown ale to get through a game watching him play and how wasted his talent was at newcastle :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I were to try out this tactic with Liverpool (their current squad), who do you recommend using for the Seedorf role? All of the other positions are pretty much given, but this one I'm struggling with. Henderson is my best bet, what do you think? Awesome tactic by the way, really loved the Milan team back then!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Henderson could probably play the role quite well. I would imagine so could Joe Allen and Emre Can. I'd might even give it a try with Lallana in matches where I was the clear favorite or against a very stubborn defense - sure his defensive abilities let him down - but he does have the neccesary work rate and add to that creativity, technique, good otb, anticipation and some pace.

I hope you succeed and get that Ancelotti-Milan-feel to your style of play. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed reading this thread. This is a formation I never even consider but now I'm thinking of starting a save to see how it plays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every time I get stuck using "basic" formations, I go here to get inspired a bit, Thank you - really enjoyed the thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Preferred moves for each role

I thought I would elaborate on the preferred moves that I like my players in the various positions and roles to have, to ensure that the tactic plays out the way I envisaged.

In my opinion the preferred moves are almost a just as important part of any tactic as the roles and instructions. E.g. a small, agile poacher-like striker with preferred moves like “likes to beat offside trap”, “gets forward whenever possible” and “moves into channels” will not play like a target man even if instructed to. It makes sense to me; Messi will not play like Peter Crouch no matter how much you tell him to - or vice versa.

GK: None

DC's (the Nesta/Stam roles)

Nothing vital needed here. I do prefer my DC's to stay on their feet when tackling, tough.

Some of my DC's have picked up various preferred moves from previous clubs (or have some from when they were generated) that I do not mind them having, as they only make them even more catious in defending than I could instruct them to be through tactical instructions. E.g. :

stays back at all times

plays short simple passes

plays no through balls

I would avoid traits that would completely negate the purpose of a standard defensive centre back like gets forward whenever possible, runs with ball often/through centre, tries killer balls often/long balles.

WBL (the Cafu role)

As this is a very attacking role and that the player playing this position should have the required attributes to attack down the flank, preferably with the ball at his feet, I would look for preferred moves that would enhance this role even further.

My WBL's have some of these preferred moves:

gets forward whenever possible

hugs Line

runs with ball often / down left

knocks ball past opponent

plays one-two's

One of my WBL's have decent passing-attributes, vision and decision-making. I have given him: likes to switch ball to other flank to add another dimension to his style – an dimension that does not contradict our style of play.

WBR (the Maldini role)

A slightly more cautios role than the Cafu one. This player still needs to be a passing option out wide and needs to be able to perform some of the tasks of a winger. However, as he is more cautious than the WBL, I do not necessarily need to exaggerate the role. One of my options is very quick and had the knocks ball past opponent when he arrived at the club. Other than that I have only added hugs line. He really does not need more than that to perform to my liking.

MC (the Pirlo role)

This guy pulls the strings from deep. He is given license to be creative, pass the ball to whatever player he wants to. We need him to play the way we all remembered Andrea Pirlo played when at Milan. But since Pirlo is a rare breed, I need my players to play the way they can to the best of their abilities without disrupting our style of play.

As mentioned in the OP I have two players that I use in this role. They can both play the role excellent – but they do so quite differently.

Lucas Romero has the following preferred moves:

plays short simple passes

comes deep to get ball

dictates tempo

stops play

He is my defensive option for this role, which his preferred moves should illustrate quite clearly.

Gianluca Gaudino, my offensive option for this role, has the following preferred moves:

tries killer balls often

comes deep to get ball

dictates tempo

tries long range passes

likes to switch ball to other flank

MCL (the Gattuso role)

My no-nonsense tackler, disruptor and work horse. The guy that does the hard work to ensure the MC can perform. This guy needs not to create chances or pass the ball 40 yards. He needs to keep it simple and tackle the ball.

Christoph Kramer, my Gattuso has the following preferred moves:

plays short simple passes

looks for pass rather than attempting to score

stays back at all times

I would have liked him to dive into tackles but he has refused to learn this.

MR (the Seedorf role)

The preferred moves for the Ambrosini-role in the same position are some of the same as the Gattuso role – but without stays back at all times. The Seedorf role however is very much up to interpretation. I would not stress any specific preferred moves needed for the player in this position as it is very much up to the specific player in this role to interpret the way it plays. I would simply use PM's that enhances the strenths of the “Seedorf” available in my squad.

I have a player available who, apart from the necessary attributes like decent work rate, composure, decisions and anticipation is very quick, good off the ball and a good dribbler. He has these preferred moves:

gets forward whenever possible

knocks ball past opponent

runs with ball often

AMCR (the Rui Costa role)

This guy sits in the hole between midfield and attack and creates goal scoring chances for the striker and the second striker. Two of the most vital preferred moves for this guy are:

tries killer ball often

plays one-twos

Possibly added with comes deep to receive ball.

AMCL (The Kaka role)

As mentioned, Kaka is hard to come by, so the role possibly needs to be moulded to what is available. But the player in this position should preferably be able to run at the defense with the ball, create chances and score goals. I have therefore given my “Kaka” the following preferred moves:

runs with ball through the centre

gets into opposition area (if not an option: gets forward whenever possible)

Tries killer balls often

Plays one-twos

ST (the Inzaghi role)

Like I stated in the OP it is very much up to the specific player playing in this position how the role is interpreted. I use a complete forward role and this requires quite a lot from the player. But the way he performs is very much up to his preferred moves. My “Inzaghi” is quick, great off the ball and at finishing – but not very physically strong. He has the following PM's:

moves into channels

likes to beat offside trap

gets into opposition area (if not an option: gets forward whenever possible)

plays one-twos

But a very different player with more physique could also perform great in this position with out in any way influencing our style of play in a negative way (e.g. the Shevchenko role), and with completely different PM's like e.g.:

plays with back to goal

runs with ball rarely

I hope this has added some insight as to how I envisage my team playing. Please feel free to add comments or questions. :-)

Next up I want to use some statistics from different matches to show how each role plays/performs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A look at the statistics

So how does this tactic play out when we take a glance at the numbers and heatmaps of some of the matches.

I will add two examples – one against tough opposition (Wolfsburg) and one against a considerably weaker opponent (Freiburg).

The game against Wolfsburg

This is a heatmap from our game against Wolfsburg – a very strong team (yet weaker than us) and a tough league rival:

It is worth noting that heatmaps can be very misleading. Especially if one wants to identify specific tactical issues – the in-game events are much more relevant. I just want to use this heatmap as an illustration of our shape:

Heatmap%20vs%20Wolfsburg_zpshdsfv1af.png

Defense

As expected my Cafu takes up a position much more advanced than the three other players in my back-four defense.

Midfield

In midfield we can clearly see that the Pirlo role is the deepest midfielder. The Seedorf role has tucked in closer to the halfway circle than the touch line due to the “sit narrower” PI.

Att. midfielders

In the AM-stata we can easily see that the Rui Costa role sits deeper and more centrally than the free roaming and more attacking Kaka role.

Striker

The Inzaghi role is located centrally up front, as expected.

This is the shape I want my team to have. Thankfully this heatmap confirms my ideas.

Match statistics

Match%20stats%20vs%20Wolfsburg_zpsvzqxrhj0.png

These are the match stats. We completely dominated this match but should ideally have created more clear cut-chances. However we did more than enough to win comfortably.

Much more interesting than the match stats, when looking at our style of play, are the player stats.

The player statistics

Stats_zps9ybp0fnp.png

I have marked the stats that catches the eye.

Defense

Starting from the back, we can see that the Maldini role sees more of the ball than Cafu and has more tackles. But from the stats we can also see that Cafu makes more runs past his man and whips in more crosses than Maldini (Cafu 5 runs / Maldini 0 runs, Cafu 7 crosses / Maldini 1 cross). Luckily that was also the intented vision.

Midfield

The Seedorf role: In midfield we see that Seedorf played a fantastic game and assisted two goals and lead the team for key-passes. I am not worried by his 11 crosses due to him being our corner taker (we had 12 corners).

The Gattuso role: According to the numbers, my Gattuso(s) also had a very Gattus-like game: The Gattuso role engaged in 14 tackles – 7 more than any other player on the pitch! He committed 2nd most free kicks – but considering that the number only amounts to two I am very happy the way he played.

The Pirlo role: Looking at Pirlo it gets even more interesting. My Pirlo sees the ball a lot. He has 67 passes throughout the game (2nd most of the entire team – only Rui Costa sees the ball more) with 62 passes reaching their target. That is a passing-rating above 90 % - I defiantly like that. He only engaged in three tackles of which he won all three – but he intercepted the ball 14 times (2nd most of the team) and most of these in the midfield area, which to me indicates that he is perfectly positioned to both distribute the ball and interrupt the build up play of the opposition in a very Pirloesque way. I am not worried by his 6.8 rating – I find the rating system skewed to bias att-midfielders and strikers. I am perfectly content with the way my Pirlo played.

Romero%20intercepting_zpsum4rte4f.jpg

(Pirlo intercepting the ball)

Att. midfielders

The Rui Costa role: As mentioned Rui Costa saw most of the ball and he had 4 key passes (3rd most). This shows me that he finds space between midfield and attack to recieve the ball and that his team mates are able to get the ball to him. I like that. He also managed to score a goal out of his three attempts. In short: a good day at the creative-AMC-office for Rui Costa.

The Kaka role: Kaka had a marvelous game, scoring once and setting up another. He had 2nd most key passes, 2nd most shots at goal and a stunning 9 runs past opposition players. This indicates to me that the Kaka role does exactly as planned: creating chances, getting shots at goal and making dangerous runs at the defense with the ball at his feet.

The striker

Up front my Inzaghi only made 37 passes – only one of the DC's had fewer passes. He lost 8 of his 10 aerial challenges. By only looking at these stats one would suspect that he was positioned to far away from the AMCs or marked out of the game. But looking at the ingame events (which we shall do in more detail in a later installment) I could see that was not the case. Instead he was quite selfish when he received the ball, trying to do his own stuff rather than passing the ball (his 7 runs past opponents indicates this as well). But he did what I wanted him to do – he had 8 shots at goal (most of all) and he bagged a goal. That is the reason why he is playing.

From looking at the stats from our match against Wolfsburg, a pretty strong side, I am very content with what I saw. By looking at the heatmap it appears that we are true to Ancelotti-style-of-play; the statistical numbers backs this up.

I will post one more example of analysis of stats before moving on to in-game events/examples. The next installment will show examples from a match against Freiburg – a considerably weaker opposition compared to Wolfsburg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking for a mid table team to try out this tactic and it seems like Newcastle has the right personnel to make it work.

Cafu/Maldini roles: Ideally I'd buy a new attacking WBL for this role with Haidara as cover. Alternatively, you could use Janmaat as Cafu on the right side and Dummett as more conservative WBL.

Pirlo role: Anita/Colback

Gattuso role: Tiote

Seedorf role: Sissoko seems like the best fit on the current squad but I've seen him get some pretty big transfer fees so may be worth selling and finding somebody who is better than competent in wide midfield position.

Rui Costa role: Cabella/de Jong

Kaka role: Ayoze/de Jong

Inzaghi role: Cisse

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comparing Jack Colback to Andrea Pirlo should be a criminal offence......... :D

Nice analysis and explanation gf_bay - Really seems to work well. Quite a large chunk of shots off target would maybe be the only comment? Is that by design, eg that you intend to bombard the goal rather than be patient around the box?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like how you set your ppms up for your players with thought towards fitting them into an overall system of play. The Cafu role is almost similar to how i use my wingbacks, naturally within a system that encourages such play. You should be seeing a lot of assists coming from that position. One thing though, the use of retain possession, and play short passing, will make your overall passing even shorter, you don't really need use both at the same time to generate high possession numbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jambo98: I appreciate the feedback. The large amount of shots off target is by no means part of a plan to just bombard the goal of the opposition. But it happens from time to time that I have a ridiculous amount of shots in a game, but usually it is a more modest amount of shots and with more accuracy. I would ideally have fewer shots with more on target and a lot more clear-cut chances than in the example against Wolfsburg - and I usually have. But I have no idea what I could have done differently in that game; we do not play at a high pace, I played the entire match on "counter" - not "standard" or anything more offensive/risky, none of the players in my start 11 has the shoots from distance PPM.

Any ideas or thoughts as to what might be happening when these bombardments with sloppy finishing occurs? I know it is hard to tell without any visual representation of the actual match like e.g. a pkm, but a qualified guess from you or anyone else would also be appreciated. ;)

rashidi1: Thx, and you are right - the Cafu role is seeing a number of assists. So far 4 in 10 games, which is pretty good imo. :)

Regarding retain possession and shorter passing; I thought shorter passing was more or less redundant when retain possession was also ticked. I was under the impression that retain possession kept my players from trying hurried crosses and through balls while at the same time passing the ball short and at relatively slow pace (coupled with the general tempo instructions). I ticked the shorter passing shout only to insist on continuous shorter passing when I might need to remove the retain possession shout (e.g. one goal down, unable to create enough chances etc.). Please correct me if I am mistaken. But if you are right (which I do not doubt you probably are) I probably should remove shorter passing, as I am not trying to replicate any sort of one-touch tiki-taka style of play (not that I had that feel to it so far, though); I am seeing plenty of possession as things are at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I am sure most of you guys have been anticipating my next installment for weeks, I can now put your worried minds at ease: this thread is not dead. Life just got in the way, but I am now able to play some FM again. So where were we... Ah, yes:

The game against Freiburg

This is the heatmap from the game against Freiburg – a considerable weaker team. We are favorites and should be dominating.

Heatmap%20vs%20Freiburg_zps4sstui6m.png

There is nothing much to note here. I like the shape and the same comments as against Wolfsburg applies. Most of the game and build up play happend on the left - this is also quite clear here.

Match Statistics

Match%20stats%20vs%20Freiburg_zpsvvnltxim.png

Again we completely dominated and won the game, but we should really have won by a much larger margin. We had another bombardment of the opposition goal. I would still like to produce less shots but more clear cut chances. This is still one of my unresolved issues.

The Player statistics

Stats2_zpsuo3kerav.png

Defense

The Cafu role: This role seems to be playing exactly as planned. A staggering 10 runs is just what I was looking for in this guy; he gets past his man, to the byline and whips in crosses.

The Maldini role: As most of the build up happend on the left he played a very quiet match; he made no mistakes but was also not very involved. I'll leave him be for now.

The Nesta and Stam roles: These roles are set up exactly the same way and the players has similar PPMs – yet “Nesta” was the one engaged in challenges earlier than “Stam” throughout this game: 11 tackles from Nesta vs. only 1 from Stam shows this clearly. I do not mind though – their partnership seems to be functioning.

Midfield

The Seedorf role: I played a very pacy, technically skilled player in the Seedorf role in this match. I did this decause Freiburg fielded a very slow DL and I wanted to take advantage of my player's superior pace. His 10 runs past his man, 7 shots at goal, 1 goal bagged and the MOTM tells me I made the right decision. :-)

The Pirlo role: He saw a lot of the ball, and as we saw in the heatmap he was positioned approximately where I want him to be. However, something just did not feel right about Pirlo in this match (and I have noticed something similar in other matches as well - at times he playes great but often I just do not get that Pirlo-feeling about this guy). I fielded Gaudino; my Pirlo for games I expect to dominate. Yet he did not create a single key pass nor a shot at goal. He made most tackles of all my players. This is not exactly how I envisage Pirlo playing. It might be time for a change of role or a tweak to this role.

The Gattuso role: He saw a lot of the ball – even more than Pirlo. This is all right. It is not that he is not allowed to see the ball at all, just as long as he passes it to the more creative outlets without a fuss I do not mind. He was yet again the guy with the most tackles (tied with Pirlo) in the team – great.

Att. Midfielders

The Rui Costa role: Rui Costa saw yet again most of the ball – and he created 8 key passes! Wonderfull. This role seems to be set up exactly the right way. Rui Costa seems to never play poorly (Hallilovic who usually plays in this role holds an average rating at 7.98 after 15 games!). Funny enough it is just a bug standard Advanced Playmaker (support) with no personal instructions, which just goes to show that keeping things simple is often the best path.

The Kaka role: Due to a minor injury to Sunday I had to start the game with Ødegaard, my back-up-Kaka, in this role. He had a good game. He was not as involved as I would have wished. He still created 4 key passes, ran past his man 7 times and bagged a goal (out of only 2 shots, though). No need for changes here.

The Inzaghe role: A very Inzghi-esque game from this bloke. He saw the ball least of all players – yet he had more shots than any other player and he scored a goal. I do not need him to see a lot of the ball. Just to get at the end of team moves and get shots at goal. Nothing much to note here.

All in all I am still content with the way this tactic is playing out. I still need to solve the bombardment-issue (any input on this issue would be much appreciated) and the Pirlo role needs to be addressed. He is not playing exactly as envisaged at the moment. It might not be as easy as just tweaking his role. Atm the players are set up to complement each other; drastic changes to the Pirlo-role might have negative knock-off effects on the players around him. Tweaks and changes might also include some of the other players. But I will make changes! Pirlo is the key – the key needs to fit.

In the next installment I will show the changes I have decided to make and the effects to the tactic these changes might have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great update. I was remembering this thread only early tonight. I have a bit of 4321 setup in my head to try out sometime (different to yours - F9/SS/SS is in my mind).

Does Gaudino have any PPMs? I would be looking for "comes deep to get ball" and "tries killer balls often" for the Pirlo role for sure. What type of positions does he seem to pick the ball up? Look at the options around him when he does? Maybe the problem is not hi, it might be the passing options?

To be honest, if i was trying to create the Milan side there, i might move the Pirlo role back to DM and play a regista with a couple of PI to balance it out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jambo: Thx. I have been thinking about moving "Pirlo" back to the DM strata. But I feel I loose the Christmas Tree line-up/formation by doing so without moving the other midfielders back too. But I might give it a go.

I think I mentioned Gaudino's PPM's in an earlier post. But they are as follows:

Comes deep to Get Ball

Tries Killer Balls Often

Dictates Tempo

Tries Long Range Passes

Likes to Switch Ball To Other Flank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that your getting a bit more hung up on the formation, as opposed to the actual shape. My recollection, and checking back a few quick articles and clips, was that Pirlo played very much in the DM strata. Very much like he still does today, his role was to create from deep, always infront of the back 4 but behind the midfield line.

You already made the change away from the Xmas tree by using the WM - and i think you did that because it was the best way to create the type of movement/shape that Milan had, so i wouldnt get too transfixed with the core formation :)

I wonder does "tries long range passes" and "switch ball to the other flank" actually limit him a bit. Particularly with no wide men, and only one real attacking wingback? The long range passes might preclude him from some nice moderate length sliderule through balls?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone tried to work this in fm16? Really like this thread about Milan and made a start doing very similar however pi's are different on player roles in fm16.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also trying to replicate Ancelotti's 4321 but rather the one that he used in 2007 with Ambrosini, Pirlo and Gattuso as the 3 midfielders. This is the thread if anyone is willing to give feedback : http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/457915-Creating-my-own-tactic

I like the discussion about the pirlo role, I'm really focusing on that lately and I started using a DLP(D) but realized it didn't offer enough. A DLP(S) is a lot better going forward but of course a little bit weaker defensively. I'm yet to try a Regista in the DM role but I feel he might roam too much from that position

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Regarding your pondering and adapting of the Seedorf role, I would like to note - the preferred moves of the real Seedorf translated in-game should be: shoots from distance, shoots with power:) That was the real Seedorf

besides the technique, sneaky passing and overall stability on the pitch. I play older versions of FM, but my favorite is playing A.C Milan and I always give the instruction to Seedorf to shoot more often - never disappoints.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...