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Jambo98

Visualise, Create, Tweak, Repeat......

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Ok, so I'm no fatboy slim........but i do like a catchy thread title.........

Those who have followed my posts on here (Both of you...) will know i have been around a bit. From the 451 of Liverpool and Hearts, to the DNA of Bilboa, to the simplicity of Morton, QPR, Napoli, Schalke and Barca. Chuck in a bit of San Marino 4411 and I am basically a managerial nomad. "Have tracksuit, will travel".

I was commenting on a thread today that i felt this forum had gone a bit stale, and i had neglected it a bit myself. So i figured not fair to moan if i am not contributing. This, combined with a really confusing sequence of real life thoughts over a beer on a train (it is complex,but it starts from Hearts having signed a player called "Branco" this week......) made me think it is worth trying another thread on here, to see if people can come together and discuss and develop and learn together.

So over the second beer, i thought about what kind of threads i find useful on here. The recreating of real systems i love, but we have a few of those. So i thought maybe just something that is a bit more "reality telly" - Showing a bit of someone going from scratch to a final tactic, looking at the process, the steps, the learnings, and most of all the mistakes. There are probably 10 better threads at showing the same thing already, but another one cant hurt.....

At the same time, i have been a little bored by FM lately. You all know how it is, as we come towards the end of one FM and towards the next. I felt like i needed an adventure........So i wanted an adventure, to try and come up with a tactical idea and work it through from idea to polished product, where else could i go other than Brazil..........where i have never managed a full season before.

If i am going to go on an adventure, what better solution than to manage a club named after one of the finest explorers of all time.........Vasco da Gama. More about the club later thought.......

In essense, i want to touch on the 4 stages of tactical development (hence the title!)

- Have a vision

- Translate that vision into a tactic

- Adapt that tactic based on what you see on field

- Probably have to re-visit your vision, revisit your tactic, and tweak some more, because that is how football works.......

So, enough waffling (although not really....), on to showing my process of tactical concept to delivery.

The first (baby) steps - having a cohesive idea

So many tactics fall down at this opening phase. It is surprising, but i see it all the time. There is no point in having an "idea" which consists of "i want to play 2 x IF, a T, and 2 x RPM" - a load of roles do not make a system. You need to understand how it will work together - what are the attacking and defensive concepts?

Another absolute classic error (in my book), is answering the "how do you want to play" question with something like "i want fast attacking play, but tight at the back" - thats an outcome, not a system or style. It needs a bit more thought, lads. It doesnt need to be a complete 100% utopia idea of every phase of play - of course not. But have at least a few good core ideas. To illustrate, I will set out the key ideas i had for forming this particular tactic:

Flying wingbacks - A feature of many of the great Brazil sides of recent times, this thought started from the "branco" reference above... You see for my generation, it was Branco & Jorghino. Then it was Cafu and Bobby Carlos........and on to Marcelo and Dani Alves. I want a couple of guys who play here but were born to attack, not defend

Back 3 - Somewhat related to the first thought, i have in mind that to allow such prolific wingbacks, rather than deploy a DMC, i will have a back 3. It also allows me to make this formation a bit "different" to the norm. I have not yet settled on roles / duties for the back 3 though

A dynamic attacking trio, with a prolific figure head - I love a dynamic attacking line, with varied types of attacks, but also ensureing i have a "romario" - a guy who will get me goals in the system. I have a vision of 3 attackers, and given that i have the flying WB, i see that the 3 will need to be central, so some combination of ST and AM.

A pair of "water carriers" - Partially dictated by simple maths (i have 3 DC, 2 WB, and 3 attackers in plan......), means that i need a midfield pair. To compliment the other aspects of my idea, i sea a pair of players who are focussed on holding and retaining possession, giving the other players license to operate and attack.

So those are the 4 core concepts behind the system. You could argue that there is nothing there about style, or approach - just a set of positions and duty ides. However inherently in the type of picture this paints, a few things become clear which help shape the totality of the tactic in my head.

The second step - Creating it in FM

So now it is time to take the idea and try to build it into the lovely thing that is the FM15 TC / ME.

I will start with a picture of the chosen tactic, and explain each part from there:

E657F89E1A7F952D2D87BF76C57733B9A7067E0D

Formation

I have opted for 5221 - A bit of an unusual shape, but it reflects what i want. I purposely have used the WB in the DL/DR slots, not the WBR/WBL slots because although these guys are absolutely designed to attack, when we defend (remembering as always that formation is your defensive shape) they have a role to play. The pure attacking instinct of these guys will come from a combination of fluidity, role, duty, PI and PPM.

Breakdown:

GK (d) - Vanilla role for now. With a cover DC in place, didnt see the need for a sweeper keeper, and starting from here means i can adapt as i go if needed

DC(d) / DC© / DC(d) - Partially inspired by the "defensive arc" concept that RTH picked up on in his thread about Tuchel, and partially because i just like the shape and level of cover this gives. I am open minded to the fact that i could totally change this and make the middle guy a "stopper" if i find that space infront of the defense is an issue.

CWB(a) x 2 - Both the full backs are set to this very attacking role and duty, since this is what i really want - these guys flying forward from deep and being a factor in the final 3rd

DLP(d) x 2 - If you read any of my threads (again, talking to you both here....), you will know that i have a love affair with the DLP. Infact when i get married next year, i wouldnt be surprised if a DLP turns up in place of my fiance.....however i digress. For this system, 2 guys both working together in this role is my first thought - I might well need to change one to a support role, but for now i will start with 2 x defend

Treq(a) - The maverick in the system. I had to have one of these, a guy who will drift around, link up with players, and generally be a creative force in the space which the rest of the setup should afford him - a lot of the other roles and duties, should, in theory create space for this guy.

SS (a) - Another role i recently fell back in love with. The classic runner from deep, a goalscorer in AMC's clothing. He will be bursting forward a lot, leaving space for the Treq to roam laterally.

CF(a) - The 3rd member of the dynamic trio. A true attacker, but one who has a bit of freedom to do different things. He is brazilian afterall.......With his attack duty, i expect him to be a goalscorer.

Mentality / Shape

Standard - Because why not? Why choose anything else? Anything else just adjusts other settings which i would rather control myself. I am fine with the "risk level" this gives my players and other instructions will have the desired effect. I never understand why no one uses standard mentality

Very Fluid - I went back and forth a lot on this setting, but i think it describes how i want to play - Everyone has similar mentalities, players have multiple responsibilities and it allows more freedom.

Team Instructions

8840C73E4BD9912BA35F463CB43221F282956460

I always start minimal here and add - this way i am always in control. If i start with 10 and try and subtract, i never know what the true cause and effect are. So i went with 4 here:

Whipped Crosses - With flying WB, and a trio of high movement attackers, i feel this will deliver the best opportunities from wide areas

Look for the overlap - With the way i am setup, this will mainly impact the DLP and possibly the T / SS. It helps with my desire for flying wingbacks

Roam from positions - I want freedom from my front 3 and for my WB to get forward lots, and not be afraid to sometimes come infield.

Higher Tempo- A bit of personal preference here, i want a bit of urgency, particularly with 3 players already starting in high field positions.

Player Instructions

None - Simple, i need to see how the core idea plays out before i start adding PI. The final tactic will absolutely have some, but how can i know which i need until i see the core idea in action?

Ok so that is enough for stage 1 and 2 - time to put it into action. I will add a huge disclaimer at this point. This thread is being written pretty much "live" - I have no idea whether this tactic is any good, its not like i played a season and then created the tactic. It might fall on its @rse spectacularly! If it does though, hopefully i can show its because the core idea was wrong, and show how to adapt........

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Good luck :thup:

As you know, I'm a huge advocate of people just getting on and doing new stuff, so it's great to see you playing in another country and with another system. I like the shape. Will be interested to hear how that gap between the DLPs and the AMCs develops when you are attacking - not from an attacking point of view, but in terms of who is where in the AI team when your attacks break down. Not sure if it will be an issue or not, but it could be something worth monitoring.

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Cheers, as you can guess it was your thread that inspired me (also..since i said "was reading today", you can possibly tell it took me 4 days from starting this thread to pushing "submit")

I did mean to add a bit on what i see as the immediate "risks" of the tactic. The obvious 2 are:

1) Gap between the Defensive line and midfield - Without using a DMC, and with no "stopper" in the defence, there is a risk of a gap infront of the back 4 which allows the opposition to play. I also dont have a pushed up DLine yet, based on my current mentality and TI, however i have previously found that DLP (d) covers this space well. I will need to closely monitor this

2) Gap between midfield and forwards - Probably 2 fold. Firstly when we regain possesion, there is a potential issue that my front 3 could in theory be a long way from the 2 DMC. In practice, i have previously seen that an SS in particular does more than his share of dropping deep. The odd PPM here might help as well. The bigger issue, as you highlight, could be around transition. When we lose the ball in attack, is there a danger of no one in the space where perhaps an opposition DMC / MC might operate - I am reasonably willing to take this trade off - with a back 3 and a cover DC, i am less worried about the "Xabi Alonso" pass from deep, but there could be an issue with too much space for the opposition to build from. Requires careful monitoring.

Part of the initial pain in brazil is that the state championship is not a great place to judge a tactic. Vasco currently play in the second division in Brazil, and the state championship is mostly either cannon fodder small teams, or top division teams who are always going to be a touch too good for me. However i can at least make small observations :)

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Great thread, hopefully this will instigate some discussion in what you said is a quiet part of the forum, I probably don't contribute as much as I should, but I do enjoy reading discussions :)

Anywho, great choice managing in Brazil, its my favourite country to manage in on FM15 (despite many people saying its easy, it really isn't), I currently have just finished a game lasting 12 season with Santos which I enjoyed terribly, so Brazil should serve you well for enjoyment.

I echo what RTHerringbone says, I like to see/read about people attempting different shapes/formations when creating tactics and putting there own spin on things. For my own Santos game, I created my own take on Santos' 3-2-5 formation,

684704_Santos_FC.jpg

I used it for my full time in Brazil and it was great once I got it up and running.

I also like the shape you have created, however, I would have paired a CM(d) with the DLP(d) as personal preference I don't like two player makers in the same line, again personal preference though. I also love narrow formations with flying fullbacks, as its so easy to make minimal changes, such as changing the full backs role to protect your wings or vice versa to bring some wingplay into the game. Anyways, this thread has great potential for a point of discussion and hope people engage in it, as I see so many people opening threads asking if so and so... Will work when they havent even tried it themselves, Im a big fan of trial and error, its the only way to learn IMO. I shall be following the thread mate :)

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Interesting. Very good explanation on each step and the choices you do. Will definitely keep my eye on this one. Looking forward to the next part.

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As someone who very much appreciated your 4-5-1 thread, and got a nice system out of it I will follow this thread closely. I can see this formation being successful with Liverpool again, at least on paper. I probably would change one DLP to support instead, at least to begin with, since I would be worried about the gap between CM and AM. The CFa I expect to do really well in such a setup. I would also watch the CWB's closely as they would probably waste a ton of crosses each game, but I haven't really tried whipped crosses myself.

That said, I can't see myself using anything like this tactic at the moment though, as I've realised I want defensive stability before lots of goals, and this tactic seem to be setup to outscore the opposition and not really about shutting them out completely. Hopefully you'll prove me wrong and it will be defensively sound.

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Interesting tactic Jambo.

Did you ever think about play wider shout? It could make sense with that formation

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Cheers for all the initial comments guys, appreciate the thread is still a bit meaningless until i post up some actually game footage / analysis! I will try and get to that this morning!

In terms of some of the specific points:

@kamikazeee - Interesting point re the 2 midfielders in "the same line". It is something i am quite aware of, however i would not use CM(d) here - It really isnt the type of "water carrier" role that i visualised in my team. What i suspect i will end up doing however, is to change one of the duties to work around the issue

@gilfanon - Yeah i think the point re the CWB and crosses could be an issue, early analysis brought this quickly to the fore of my mind. I have a few thoughts on how to solve it, will do a post on it it i think. Also interesting that you think this is a tactic set up to outscore.....it is a back 5 and standard mentality :)

@mikcheck - In your mind, why would that make sense thought? This is somewhat what i mean in the OP - you need to be always thinking bigger picture and "why". There is almost certainly an argument to make for "play wider", but i can actually make an argument for the opposite.

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Jambo, maybe because you have two central man in MC and AMC, i thought things may get a little clogged sometimes and that could help, but maybe i'm completely wrong! hehehe

Thanks!

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Cheers for all the initial comments guys, appreciate the thread is still a bit meaningless until i post up some actually game footage / analysis! I will try and get to that this morning!

In terms of some of the specific points:

@kamikazeee - Interesting point re the 2 midfielders in "the same line". It is something i am quite aware of, however i would not use CM(d) here - It really isnt the type of "water carrier" role that i visualised in my team. What i suspect i will end up doing however, is to change one of the duties to work around the issue

@gilfanon - Yeah i think the point re the CWB and crosses could be an issue, early analysis brought this quickly to the fore of my mind. I have a few thoughts on how to solve it, will do a post on it it i think. Also interesting that you think this is a tactic set up to outscore.....it is a back 5 and standard mentality :)

@mikcheck - In your mind, why would that make sense thought? This is somewhat what i mean in the OP - you need to be always thinking bigger picture and "why". There is almost certainly an argument to make for "play wider", but i can actually make an argument for the opposite.

As strange as i may sound I am beginning to find that supporting full backs (FBs) are the best way to go when they play the wings on their own providing that you give them PPMs that mould the way you want to attack. All their decision making is set to 'sometimes' which I take to mean that they will attempt an action if their attributes and the in-game situation allow and they have a lower mentality making them a touch more secure defensively.

After a long struggle of removing those PPMs I did not want all my dedicated full backs now have or are in the process of getting...

Gets Forward Where Possible

Runs with Ball down Left/Right

Runs with ball often - only if dribbling is above 14

Hugs line

A good way of being defensively secure and still providing attacking threat from a lone wingman.

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Initial observations - Looking at the phases of play.

One of the early key stages to managing a tactic, is to understand how your tactic is functioning in the 4 phases of play:

- Defending

- Attacking transition

- Attaching

- Defensive transition

The way in which you system works in those 4 phases will be dictated by a host of things, and not just your formation. So its worth spending some time pausing the game in each "state" and seeing how things look for you versus what you visualiised.

One thing i do with my tactics, is that i dont use the first few games of the season to judge them. For me, there are far too many other factors like match fitness, team gelling, tactical familiarity which might mask the true picture. In this situation, i have played through circa 9 games of the Rio State Championship (the wierd "first" season in brazil), and the game i picked to analyse was my first game in the Brazilian cup, at home to Palmeiras. They are a team from a division above us, so its a real good test. We shouldnt be totally outclassed, as we are one of the better teams in the second division.

On to a few quick screenshots

Attacking phase

8scPSvR.jpg

So although this is only 12 secs into the game, its a reasonable capture of us in attacking phase. We have possession (wide right) and we are moving towards the opposition area. I have picked up on a few things in this image:

1) Whilst the right CWB has possession, the opposite side CWB is also high up the pitch and in a lot of space. Its unlikely we will make the quick switch, but if we wanted to make a couple of swift lateral passes, it would stretch the opposition.

2) The midfield has formed almost a bit of a "box" shape which is actually something i had in my head previously when looking at the formation (a slight hint to the traditional brazilian formation). I am quite happy with this shape in principle, as it gives different passing options

3) The striker actually looks a touch isolated here, somewhat surprisingly given the formation i have. The space i have highlighted infront of the SS is where i would like him to be - This would give a better attacking pass option for the CWB and perhaps reduce his propensity to simple sling a cross in

Some food for thought there, but no immediate change, i will also look at a second example of attacking phase, in a slightly different situation from the same game:

KopBTTS.jpg

So this time we are attacking, but we are almost in "slow build up". The ball has come back do my DLP players, and they are just exchanging passes. We are in a more advanced position that the first example. Observations here:

1) For the first time, we see an example of a large gap between our back 3 and the rest of our team. I dont have a huge worry, since the opposition only has one player in there, and we have 3 defenders, but it is a notable gap and might suggest we could consider moving the Dline forward a little in future

2) Our CF and SS are taking up largely similar positions in this example. This may just be a quirk of the act of caputing a screenshot as things are moving, but it is a little bit of something i want to keep an eye on. Combined with the first screenshot, it has me considering the duty of the CF

Defensive Transition phase

QT2HHm7.jpg

In this example, we have just turned over possession in the final 3rd and the ball has been quickly cleared by the opposition. Again my observations on how things look:

1) We have a nice solid base of 3 DC's behind the ball, all fairly compact and more than enough to handle the opposition striker. Actually the fact that we do look so secure makes me consider whether the central of the 3 would be better deployed as a "stopper "- in this example he could have quickly charged out to kill the attack, and even if he messes up and gets beaten by the striker, we still have 2 men in place to clean up. Food for thought and one for me to try and find more examples of it to consider

2) We have several more bodies already backtracking to cover the opposition players who are breaking forward. I am quite happy with the balance of this

Defending phase

N9vreYM.jpg

Here we have a fairly standard situation where we are defending. The opposition have the ball in a fairly advanced but central position. Thoughts:

1) Again, plenty men back defending here, a line of 5 across the back. Our 2 x DLP are also back in the mix helping conjest the central area a bit

2) Even our Treq has tracked back a bit, which is encouraging and takes away a bit of the risk of leaving 3 players forward

not much here to comment on or be concerned by at this early stage.

So those are initial observations as i look at a match for the first time in some detail. I also want to look at some match stats, which i find can be useful secondary information source, and will do another post on that shortly.

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@gilfanon - Yeah i think the point re the CWB and crosses could be an issue, early analysis brought this quickly to the fore of my mind. I have a few thoughts on how to solve it, will do a post on it it i think. Also interesting that you think this is a tactic set up to outscore.....it is a back 5 and standard mentality :)

Well, it just strikes me as a very attacking tactic with the fullbacks going forward that much, just look at the defensive transition screenshot where your fullbacks are like attackers and there are no one else on the wings to cover the gaps. Not that your opposition seem to be exploiting the space either with what seems to be a very deep defence. Never mind me though, I've got stuck with my 4-1-4-1 formation and recently started to tinker with a 3-1-4-2 formation. I really love the DM play of this version of FM but I've had difficulties with the AM positions myself :)

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Well, it just strikes me as a very attacking tactic with the fullbacks going forward that much, just look at the defensive transition screenshot where your fullbacks are like attackers and there are no one else on the wings to cover the gaps. Not that your opposition seem to be exploiting the space either with what seems to be a very deep defence. Never mind me though, I've got stuck with my 4-1-4-1 formation and recently started to tinker with a 3-1-4-2 formation. I really love the DM play of this version of FM but I've had difficulties with the AM positions myself :)

Thats interesting, see i would view it differently. There are 5 "defend" duties in that starting line up, and with the roles involved, 5 players who are very unlikely to ever go beyond the ball. That leaves us very solid defensively. In the screenshot you mention, although i have no one covering the wings, i have 3 players in the middle. If the ball were sprayed wide, one of them can easily go out without leaving us exposed centrally.

I compare this to my 451, where i had only 3 defend duty players, and 5 were on attack, and its an interesting contrast of how you can use formation / role / duty in a number of different ways.

At the moment my "5 behind the ball" approach is probably making me 2 defensive. As i originally suspected, i might need to make one of my DLP a support duty to free things up somewhat.

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I always love reading these kind of threads, making a sustainable successful system, is all down to how you organise the process. For a lot of people its already instinctive, and its always good to see a thread that starts off like that.

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Thats interesting, see i would view it differently. There are 5 "defend" duties in that starting line up, and with the roles involved, 5 players who are very unlikely to ever go beyond the ball. That leaves us very solid defensively. In the screenshot you mention, although i have no one covering the wings, i have 3 players in the middle. If the ball were sprayed wide, one of them can easily go out without leaving us exposed centrally.

I compare this to my 451, where i had only 3 defend duty players, and 5 were on attack, and its an interesting contrast of how you can use formation / role / duty in a number of different ways.

At the moment my "5 behind the ball" approach is probably making me 2 defensive. As i originally suspected, i might need to make one of my DLP a support duty to free things up somewhat.

The 4-5-1 formation had a more defensive solidity to it, I think, with the fullbacks and wide midfielders and still three central midfielders. What I think bothers me is the AM position that I've struggled with myself. I can see the opponents players track back quite a bit, but not managed to make my own AM's defend that well. Granted I gave up quite early as I found solutions that suited me and my style better, as in the mentioned 4-5-1 and 4-1-4-1. One thing I've noticed with three at the back is that sometimes the outer defenders are a little to far apart and that makes the central defender vulnerable to a succesful dribbling attempt. At least with my own experiments with a back three, though I don't have fullbacks, but defensive wingers in the CM strata.

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Using the match analysis - additional learning

I wanted to add a bit about how i might use the match analysis tab to support my initial review my tactic, which in turn will feed phase 3 (the tweaking). I think the analysis tab has great value, provided it is used properly. It also has a few annoying quirks and long running bugs, but we can generally see past those :) One think i would say, is i would never rely on this tab alone. It can only tell you so much, i need to see some of the action to confirm any thoughts (or vice versa, i might use this tab to confirm a suspicion i had from watching matches). Of course one of the nice features is the ability to combine both by activating ingame replay clips directly from this screen.

So a few things i looked at after the Palmeiras game (which we drew 1 v 1, by the way!)

Pass Completion

cbc1x19.jpg

This is always worth a look. Two initial findings from me

1) My keeper distribution is a disaster - this is my fault. My approach of "start with zero PI" left me with this. I should have set the keeper to some more sensible settings. Likely tweak 1 identified here

2) Defenders pass completion is low - This is one where it comes with a caveat. The analysis tab counts clearances as incomplete passes here which can artificially lower these numbers, however i watched back a few of the "incomplete" passes and it did confirm what i thought i already saw during the game, too many long pass attempts from my 2 DC's which resulted in lost possession. Likely tweak 2 identified here.

Cross Completion

Given my initial misgivings (and those pointed out by gilfanon further up), i was keen to check in on this

LSpr73a.jpg

Yikes. That is not pretty at all. Crossing is often a relatively low % game, but to have attempted 33 of them, in a game which we certainly didnt dominate, is probably not good. In fact thats a ruddy understatment.

Now, one of my key initial targets in this system was to feature flying wingbacks, however i didnt envisage them being high crossing types. If you think of those names i listed in the OP, you dont immediately think of crossing ability, either at club or international level. So I need to think, what did i see the value being in these flying wingbacks, if not to deliver crosses?

I had a think about my vision, and about how i have used these player types before. I saw them as being an enabler to stretching the play, widening the field high up the pitch. Wide passing options, who help create space, even sometimes get right in behind, and yes, deliver some targeted crosses. However i would prefer that more often they deliver a pass than swing a cross in. We dont have a big striker.

Ok, so clearly we have a gap there between "vision" and "reality". So whats going on? What is the cause? A few options

1) The role / duty - I am sure a few would be quick to point out that CWB(a) as a role/duty should expect lots of crossing. I am not averse to that thought, however what i do have is a huge amount of successful experience of deploying 2 x CWB(a) in a different system, with an entirely different outcome. To sanity check myself, i fired up another save which i havent touched in months (The Bilboa one from the DNA thread, as it happens......must pick that up some day...). IN that save i exclusively used a setup with 2 x CWB(a). The formation was different, but those 2 roles the same. I looked over 5 sample matches in that save, and my average crosses per fullback per game was under 5. In this save, i looked at some other games and i am averaging over 10 for the same measure....

There are, of course, factors to consider like its a different save, different league, different players, however with crossing PPMs are less likely to be a factor, and the difference is so vast that there is no way it can be down to just the role and duty

2) The surrounding roles / duties - Ah, so now we get into the crux of it perhaps. In my other example listed above, i had 2 x WM(a) deployed, who tended by default to be offering a different passing option for the CWB when they were in the last third. In this current setup, perhaps that is part of the cause - The CWB is crossing because his other options are limited. In theory my Treq and SS are likely to be the closest players, but they are deployed more centrally. The DLP are likely to be too far back in most cases to be a passing option (on their current duties). The CF is also generally speaking looking to lead the line, and be on the end of a cross, so not likely to be a crossing option. I dont want to blow the formation to pieces, but this might be where some of my issue is

3) The Player Instructions - Hmm, i have no PI on these guys, and i also cant change their crossing more/less options because of the role. I can change where they aim the cross, but at the moment that isnt the core issue. However some of the other PI might allow some options. In particular the length of passing and level of risky passes might infact influence the decision to cross. One left field instruction is actually "run wide with the ball", which is not ticked, and the only reason i even consider it here is that it is ticked in my other example, where i have the CWB working much better. I am not sure i can yet picture why that would impact the number of crosses, but sometimes you just gotta try and see.....

4) The Team Instructions - We are quite vanilla here, and "whipped crosses" shouldnt impact the simple number of crosses we make. What might however, is if i ticked "work the ball into the box" - i have an inclining that amongst other things, this can impact the decision on pass v cross

5) The players - Of course the other issue is are my players just rubbish. Jonas and Henrique are not brilliant, and have some gaps in their skillset, but overall for the level i am at, they are quite good. Interestingly, doing those screenshots pointed out something else to me. These 2 guys have very good Ave Ratings, the 2nd and 3rd highest in the squad amongst regulars. Puts a slightly different slant on whether we do really have a problem, but on balance, i dont always really pay attention to Ave Ratings anyway.

This problem is likely to be where my main first phase of tweaking comes in (see a future post!)

Ave Positions

90wkxah.jpg

I am actually not usually a huge proponent of using this particular view, as on its own its very flawed in a number of ways. However sometimes its not a bad guide rule for things. 2 notes

1) My CWB are actually positioned quite far back on average, which is perhaps a reflection of the fact that this was a game against a tough opponent, from a league above, and we were in the defensive phase of our game more often than the offensive one. None the less, i might keep an eye here as to whether i want them being even more attacking

2) This is a small bit, something people wouldnt usually look at, but the distance covered stats of my striker(s) caught my eye. Taking the 2 combined, the distance covered was quite low. Less even than my treq, or my DLP, who are not players you traditionally expect to cover lots of ground. I can also somewhat look at the average positions and say is my striker too isolated, or just too high up the pitch. One to ponder as to whether a small PI tweak, or even a duty change, might be in order.

So that is a load of waffle on how my thought process has evolved as i sit down and look at some detailed analysis.

I will do a post tonight hopefully, beers permitting, around phase 3 - tweak (who doesnt twerk on a friday night afterall.......oh wait)

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Less even than my treq, or my DLP, who are not players you traditionally expect to cover lots of ground

A treq should cover a lot of ground as a rule normally as they drop deep and roam about more than most. Id be worried if my treq wasn't covering lots of ground as it means he isn't doing what the role is intended to do. It's a role that is reliant on the player being very mobile.

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How are things going with your CF-a? Still seeing him get isolated?

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A treq should cover a lot of ground as a rule normally as they drop deep and roam about more than most. Id be worried if my treq wasn't covering lots of ground as it means he isn't doing what the role is intended to do. It's a role that is reliant on the player being very mobile.

Yes, sorry i probably didnt quantify that statement of mine very well. I would expect a Treq to cover a reasonable amount of ground, however by default that roles as closing down set to very low, so i would expect that to be reflected in the amount of total distance covered. When contrasted against a CF(a) who should be doing a fair bit of work both with and without the ball.

How are things going with your CF-a? Still seeing him get isolated?

He doesnt look overly isolated, at least not in the way i have seen in some systems, its just whether he really links up as well as he can. I have been rotating 2 strikers and they have scored 13 goals in 17 games between them, which is reasonable.

Will do some more analysis and talk about tweaks shortly.

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You look a bit vulnerable down the flanks there is a huge amount of space and those 2 DLP's won't be too keen on rushing out and closing down attacks on the wings. I think better teams will be able to work the ball out there and cause you problems. I'm not sure how you plan to win the ball back are you trying to get interceptions/tackles in your own half in front of the penalty box or are you happy for the ball to go out the opposition wingbacks and then win headers from the resulting cross and try to pick up the pieces?

Most Brazilian clubs play narrow formations with attacking wingbacks so this setup should work fairly well in the Brazilian 2nd division, however in leagues were teams often field wingers I think this setup would struggle and you'd find yourself pinned back in your own half.

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Interesting observation - I dont find the flanks are a huge problem for me defensively. Although it might look like we only have 2 players to cover the flanks (as opposed to formations with double wide men), the one factor which helps is we have 3 x DC. The outer defenders are not slow to go out to the flanks where we need, and the DLP enables that, by dropping very deep almost into the D-line.

I think it is a fair observation about how we want to win the ball back - My OP was probably a little bit light on that. We have a few ways to win it back - I want the CWB to press the ball quite aggressively, to snuff out wing attacks earlier. THen we have a "weight of numbers" advantage when the opposition trys to play through us centrally. Finally our DLP are brilliant as "second ball" winners. I have found that the DLP(d) from the MC strata picks up so many second balls from clearances, headers clear, tackles. They are vital th defending, even though people dont always think that role/duty is a true defensive one.

I have had some thoughts against teams with double wide men, and particularly dangerous ones, about using the treq and SS to man mark the opposing fullbacks, to get something more from then defensively. I have not had to try this yet though.

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Step 3 - The first set of tweaks

So turning back to the thread title, and the stepped process, it was time to apply my first set of tweaks, based on the initial observations and also the little bit of match stats / analysis work.

As always with any tweaks, you need to think about the what, the why and also the bigger picture - think of the impact on the system. With that in mind, i had a batch of tweaks to make, as follows:

Team Instructions

- Removed "roam from position" - i felt this was encouraging a bit too much movement at times. I will look at perhaps PI type alterations for my front 3 if we now look to static

- Removed "look for the overlap" - experimenting a bit with this, i want to keep using my wide men, but i want to see if removing this alters slightly the type of positions they typically recieve the ball, or if it just reduces their overall possession.

- Added "play out of defence" - necessary to avoid DC's playing it too long

- Added "push higher up" - Some of my analysis showed some gaps at times between the lines, and i felt with the back 3, and a cover duty, i can afford to push up a little more to squeeze the space

- Added "work ball into the box" - to see if this will reduce the crossing numbers at all

GK

- Changed distribution settings - pass it shorter, roll it out, distribute to DC©

CWB

- Added "run wide with ball" - to keep the play stretched

- Added "close down more" - want to have these guys pressure the ball a bit higher to snuff out wing attacks early

DLP

- Moved the right sided one to "support" duty - This will give a bit more variation in the midfield line, and might also provide a passing option for the right sided CWB, as he will be further forward than before

ST

- Changed his duty to support, to try and encourage better link up play with the other 2 attackers, and also potentially discourage early crosses which are low %.

Now its time to continue the "repeat" cycle by repeating the analysis, learning some more, then probably repeating the tweak process :)

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I am a long-time lurker on the forums and very much enjoy threads like these as it tends to show where my tactical thinking is lacking and always find that I learn something new from them, so thanks to Jambo for creating this thread. Something about the average positions just caught my eye and I had to ask about it though - am I correct in thinking that the AMCL is the trequartista? If so I find it interesting that he has a higher average position than the shadow striker as I would have assumed the shadow striker would be continually trying to push up alongside the striker whereas the trequartista would be dropping deeper and roaming about looking for space behind them. It's hard to tell from the ingame screenshots whether this actually happened or not - the first one has them about level, and the second has the shadow striker right up next to the striker - was the second screenshot more reflective of what happened throughout the match? Perhaps the average positions are being skewed by the trequartista not closing down/tracking back as much as a shadow striker, although the defensive screenshot seems to imply the opposite as I think on that the trequartista is the one who has tracked all the way back and looks like the shadow striker is in fact the most advanced of all your players? Maybe it's just the screenshots coincidentally being taken at moments that don't necessarily reflect their usual positions, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on whether those two are doing what you want throughout the matches as these were two of the positions that you hadn't tweaked.

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Ok, so barely had a chance to play FM at all this last week or so, hence allowing this thread to almost totally die :( I do still want to see if i can follow my approach of create/tweak/repeat somewhat.

However first up, to answer your question cruisecontrol443 - I think that its a bit of a quirk of the ave positions graph. The SS does tend to be higher than the Treq. The treq comes deep a lot to seek the ball, and the SS tends to be up alongside the striker.

That said, the front 3 is still an aspect of this which is not working perfectly for me. Perhaps that combo is wrong. I am considering some experimenting with a front 2 with 1 in behind, rather than the opposite.

Meanwhile, one other health warning about using the analysis screens - Have a look at the shots analysis below from a recent match:

BA90FE4FB961E37542EAA47E4A68D1AEF6EF8710

At first glance, its a bit horrific. So many long shots from silly distance, noticeably all from my Treq - At this glance alone, all sorts of things start going through my head about his lack of options forcing a shot, too much CF, lots of others.

However.......i decided to watch each shot back (this was from a match played about a week back - when i last had a chance to play!). 5 of those shots from long distance (The 5 longest as it happens), were all direct free kicks! Not sure why he was taking those on, but i have never been able to stop that happening in FM15 (had the same issue at Bilboa). So actually, take those 5 out and its not such a bad picture afterall, although it could still be improved upon........

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