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Arsenal Successful High Pressing Possession 4-2-3-1 (No DM)


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This tactic is for FM16.

Download - https://www.dropbox.com/s/bysy07ru059l3xh/HPP_5D90B30C-7F00-4B65-8A2F-1173FB46E1F8.fmf?dl=0

Introduction:

I created this tactic with Arsenal as soon as I started and, with it, I managed to win the Premier Division in my first season with three games to spare going undefeated at home. This tactic is very goal friendly and because of the extremely high amounts of possession you'll have, works out pretty well defensively too (as in you'll have so much of the ball that the other to team will have very few opportunities to score).

The best thing about this tactic is that it's still very effective away from home, to the point that you can go to good sides and still dominate possession. And of course, at home the team becomes something of an end-game boss for anyone that visits. I'm talking about beating Bayern Munich 4-1 at home in the CL group stages and only losing one game at home throughout the whole season which was to SLB in the first knockout round (those two leg matches always feel a little scripted to me anyway, but that's a discussion for another time).

Aim of tactic:

The aim of this tactic is to not only have as much possession as possible, but to also make good use of the possession. I don't want the ball for the sake of having it, I want the team to have the ball, because I believe the more you have the ball the more opportunities you can create and as long as you have the ball the other team cannot score. Of course, at first glance you may think that this tactic will fall short against very defensive or counter-attacking teams, as in the team may struggle to score or be vulnerable on the counter. But with the right combination of instructions and formation/player roles this obvious weakness will be solved.

Formation and roles/duties:

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Defense:

Goalkeeper - I have no preferred role for this position. I just pick whichever role suits the GK I have. Which will usually be Goalkeeper over Sweeper Keeper. Although, I believe SK would be more effective if you can find one.

Full Backs (Support) - I chose this role, as I really value the extra attacking presence Full Backs give over Limited Full Backs. I won't involve Wing Backs, as they're meant to be used in formations with no wide players.

I set them as support, because I'd like the extra presence when in the oppositions half, but without the Full Backs over-committing themselves leaving the team vulnerable to counter-attacks.

Ball Playing Defenders (Defend) - I generally think Ball Playing Defenders are the ultimate form of Central Defender. I don't think this roles is necessary for the formation, Central Defenders are perfectly fine too. If you do have defenders who can play BPD, then I always think this role should be selected. I set both defender's duties to Defend, as I like them playing in line with each other as a partnership.

Central Midfield:

Ball Winning Midfielder (Defend) - In my view, this is a very key role for the formation. Simply put, to have the ball you need players who can win the ball, so having one player dedicated to doing this is very helpful for the tactic. I've position him in CM instead of DM, as the aim is to being playing the majority of our football in oppositions half, which means that you want him winning the ball back higher up the pitch. I set his duty to Defend as appose to Support, so that when he wins the ball he recycles possession and stays back in the centre of midfield to win it again instead of supporting the attack.

Box To Box Midfielder - When you have high amounts of possession you force the opposition back into there own half making them hard to break down. So, in my view, the more players you commit forward the higher your chances of breaking them down, but at the same time this raises the chances of you being successfully counter-attacked.

This leads us to the obvious partner for the Ball Winning Midfielder, the Box To Box Midfielder. He provides an extra presence in attack often getting into goal scoring positions, but at the same will track back and help defend when you lose the ball.

Attacking Midfield/Striker:

Advanced Playmaker (Support) - When playing high possession it makes perfect sense to have an AP set to Support. You will have a player dedicated to always be available for a pass to help you keep possession, and will also be exceptional at creating chances for your team.

Winger/Inside Forward (Attack) - I will pick either Winger or Inside Forward for my wide players depending on the which one suits the selected player. I set their duties to Attack, as I feel to get the best out of the Advanced Playmaker you need your wide players to have a strong attacking intent. I also feel that when playing one striker you need your wide players to help share the burden of scoring goals. They will also naturally do a good job of creating chances too.

Poacher - I chose a Poacher for pretty much the same reason I set the wide players to Attack (to get the best out of the Advanced Playmaker). I also chose this role, because the team will have high possession regardless of the Striker's role, meaning that you don't need your Striker to do anything else apart from just be available in goal scoring positions. Poacher is clearly the best role to achieve this.

Instructions/Shape:

CDfLNAC.png

Defense Instructions:

Closing Down - This should be More, as to have high possession we need to win the ball back quickly when it's lost. It will also help prevent counter-attacks or least make them more difficult. Tighter Marking is also selected to keep defensive players close to their attackers helping them win the ball back more quickly.

Defensive Line - To compliment the closing down more and fill the space of a DM we want the defensive line to be as close to the midfield as possible, so we set this to Slightly Higher. I would prefer it to be Higher, however, when the More closing down option is chosen Slightly Higher is the highest option that can be selected. Now, because we're playing a high defensive line there will be lots of space to exploit behind our defense (this is the main potential weakness to the tactic), so to help counter this the defense should use the offside trap to try and catch eager Strikers out when their team tries to counter-attack.

Build-Up Instructions:

Passing - This will be Play Out Of Defense, as we want to keep the ball at all costs and not just clear it out.

Passing Directness - Our focus is to have high possession, so selecting Short Passing and Retain Possession are key instructions to achieving this, as they focus on keeping hold of the ball above anything else.

Attacks Instructions:

Final Third - We'll make the players Work The Ball Into The Box, as it further encourages ball retention and patience, so that the players don't give the ball away easily attempting risky play. It's important the players remain patient for the right opportunity to arise, because every time the ball is given away in the final third the opposition will have a chance to counter-attack and although we've put in measures to prevent this we would still like it to happen less (the players are still human and will make mistakes).

I'm a fan of Whipped Crosses, as they're the hardest for defenders to deal with and my team have scored many goals this way. I can't see any reason why it's a must for the tactic, it's just my preference.

Dribbling - I select Run At Defense over Dribble Less, because at this point there are enough instructions geared towards keeping possession and I feel it gets the best out of the wide players and helps score goals. Like I said before we don't want to just keep the ball for the sake of it.

Tempo - This will be Normal, as I think the team needs a bit of balance. Lower would make them too easy to defend against and Higher would make it harder to keep the ball and combined with closing down more we would tire out the players.

Width - This is balanced, because we'll be keeping the ball for long periods and will want to try different approaches to not be predictable.

Mentality (Control) - I shouldn't really need to explain this. If we're playing high possession, then we, obviously, want the players to have a mentality of trying to control the match while also being wary of counter-attacks. This mentality gives us that.

Shape (Very Fluid) - I believe that the Very Fluid shape is a no-brainer. I think it's very important for all players to contribute to the teams defending and attacking. I've never really experimented with other shapes, as this has always worked for me.

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Trying this tactic with my everton side. im in year 2020 so have a better side than the current one but first game against derby who are in the prem and i won 2:0 with 66% possession. look forward to seeing how it does against the bigger teams. do you keep the tactic same all the way through when you`re in front or do you change it ?

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Trying this tactic with my everton side. im in year 2020 so have a better side than the current one but first game against derby who are in the prem and i won 2:0 with 66% possession. look forward to seeing how it does against the bigger teams. do you keep the tactic same all the way through when you`re in front or do you change it ?

At home I tend to keep it the same all way through. Sometimes when we're winning by two or three goals I will set closing down to Sometimes, put the defensive line to Normal and take off offside trap, so the plays save their energy, as closing down more does tire them out a bit more than usual. Away from home against stronger teams I'll use this tactic to get a goal or two lead, then switch to a counter or defensive tactic to protect the lead, but I've still had good results sticking with the tactic the whole way through the match. Away from home will always be tougher though.

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Lost 2:0 to barca. dominated possession with 56% and 4 shots on goal but not one on target. worse than that my attacking playmaker is out for 7 months with broken leg and my winger is also out for 9 weeks. i`ll ses how it goes for rest of season.

Oh damn, unlucky. It seems like the tactic did it's job it terms of possession (having more than barca is tough), but maybe the players let you down on the day. It's a shame they couldn't at least score. Keep us updated with how you do over a string of results and if there are any stand out games.

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Oh damn, unlucky. It seems like the tactic did it's job it terms of possession (having more than barca is tough), but maybe the players let you down on the day. It's a shame they couldn't at least score. Keep us updated with how you do over a string of results and if there are any stand out games.

Squad is pretty depleted now. im having to put players in positions they don`t actually play until transfer window opens. thankfully board increased my transfer budget to 36m so hoping to strengthen in jan window. was leading man u 1:0 but lost 3:1. once i get the players i think iit will be much better.

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Yeah, like any other tactic, to get the best out of it your players need to suit the roles. All I really had to do at Arsenal was strengthen the Striker department and I was good to go. It sounds like you're gonna have a tough season though with the way you've described your squad. Good Luck!

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Yeah, like any other tactic, to get the best out of it your players need to suit the roles. All I really had to do at Arsenal was strengthen the Striker department and I was good to go. It sounds like you're gonna have a tough season though with the way you've described your squad. Good Luck!

Im still in 5th coming up to December. really wish i hadn`t sold lukaku. had a great game with spurs in carling cup quarters. lost 4:3 but players did well especially ones out of position. got revenge on them in next game. beat them 3:1 another player injured though. my only attacking playmaker out for 4 weeks. i had to bring on DM and move him to the position.

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Im still in 5th coming up to December. really wish i hadn`t sold lukaku. had a great game with spurs in carling cup quarters. lost 4:3 but players did well especially ones out of position. got revenge on them in next game. beat them 3:1 another player injured though. my only attacking playmaker out for 4 weeks. i had to bring on DM and move him to the position.

Yeah, lukaku is great. DMs playing CAM, now that's a tough time right there :O

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Yeah, lukaku is great. DMs playing CAM, now that's a tough time right there :O

moved position to DM role. ive managed to find a good player to play attacking playmaker. won`t get him for a few weeks though. for time being ive put a player from under 21s in the position and player from under 18s on bench.

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moved position to DM role. ive managed to find a good player to play attacking playmaker. won`t get him for a few weeks though. for time being ive put a player from under 21s in the position and player from under 18s on bench.

That sounds like a good plan. Also, keep in mind that your squad still need to become familiar with the tactic and it should be your main focus for your match preparation training.

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That sounds like a good plan. Also, keep in mind that your squad still need to become familiar with the tactic and it should be your main focus for your match preparation training.

amazingly i just beat league leaders chelsea 2:0 60% possession. recalled one of my attacking midfielders back. he`s 19 and pretty decent. formation and mentality are on fluid rest is quite close but i doubt they`ll be fluid for rest of season..

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amazingly i just beat league leaders chelsea 2:0 60% possession. recalled one of my attacking midfielders back. he`s 19 and pretty decent. formation and mentality are on fluid rest is quite close but i doubt they`ll be fluid for rest of season..

Impressive, that's very good to hear.

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Looks very good, Any OI needed?

Thanks. I let the staff with the highest tactical knowledge handle opposition instructions, as I don't believe you can just have the same ones for every opposition and I really cannot be bothered to set them for every match.

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If he's still playing well, then why not. Did you end up signing him?

No. Ones I found were much better. Total cost 17m which still leaves me with 19m to spend. Gonna try this tactic on my FM touch save on my tablet. I'm managing Liverpool so players are a lot better. Downloaded it from the cloud on PC to tablet this morning and was hoping to try it on my break at work but its not there. I'll try again when I get home.

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No. Ones I found were much better. Total cost 17m which still leaves me with 19m to spend. Gonna try this tactic on my FM touch save on my tablet. I'm managing Liverpool so players are a lot better. Downloaded it from the cloud on PC to tablet this morning and was hoping to try it on my break at work but its not there. I'll try again when I get home.

Oh right, well, Liverpool's players should work well with it.

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Oh right, well, Liverpool's players should work well with it.

Didn't work for Liverpool on FMT. Played 5 games and only won 1. On my Everton save its started to go downhill. I'll go back to my tactic until yours gets full fluid which it isn't although not sure how long it'll take. Seems to take way longer than it used to.

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do you use oi ?

Someone already asked:

I let the staff with the highest tactical knowledge handle opposition instructions, as I don't believe you can just have the same ones for every opposition and I really cannot be bothered to set them for every match.
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I've just finished my first season with Leeds United narrowly missing out on automatic promotion and failing in the play offs but for the last 10/15 games I couldnt buy a win otherwise I'd have run away with it.

Looking for a tactic to build my second season around so will report back with how I get on and any tweaks I make if they work better for my team.

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I've just finished my first season with Leeds United narrowly missing out on automatic promotion and failing in the play offs but for the last 10/15 games I couldnt buy a win otherwise I'd have run away with it.

Looking for a tactic to build my second season around so will report back with how I get on and any tweaks I make if they work better for my team.

Great, let me know how you get on. And definitely share any successful tweaks.

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Early days and only played two games with this with my West Ham side but beat Chelsea 2-0 and they only had one shot on goal and then beat Derby in the FA Cup at home 4-0. Played some pleasing stuff and I must say I love the lack of PI's so it's not overloaded with instructions. What do they say? Simplicity is genius?

What if anything do you do if playing away against a stronger opponent or want to shut up shop with a slender lead? Ever tried going to counter or defensive?

The only thing that was a bit frustrating is sometimes wide players had a great chance to cross but didn't. Obviously it's possession based and has work into box but wondered how you found that?

Looks hopeful though, thank you for posting.

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Early days and only played two games with this with my West Ham side but beat Chelsea 2-0 and they only had one shot on goal and then beat Derby in the FA Cup at home 4-0. Played some pleasing stuff and I must say I love the lack of PI's so it's not overloaded with instructions. What do they say? Simplicity is genius?

What if anything do you do if playing away against a stronger opponent or want to shut up shop with a slender lead? Ever tried going to counter or defensive?

The only thing that was a bit frustrating is sometimes wide players had a great chance to cross but didn't. Obviously it's possession based and has work into box but wondered how you found that?

Looks hopeful though, thank you for posting.

That's good to hear. Yeah, I think the team instructions are good enough to get them playing the way I intended.

Away games are obviously a lot more difficult. I like to use it early on to try and steal a goal, then switch to a counter tactic to defend the lead and if I'm lucky grab another goal knowing they'll have to attack. Obviously, against much weaker teams I'll stick to the tactic all the way through. The main the thing to watch out for away from home (and even at home sometimes) is getting countered because of the high defensive line. So if they're creating chances through this, then I'll set the defensive line to Normal, take off Offside Trap and change closing down to Sometimes.

With the crossing thing, I guess it's just something you have to sacrifice for the tactic. My players usually cross close to the byline though.

Thanks, hopefully it carries on working for you.

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