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Welcome to the 4th instalment in a series of Football Manager tactical re-creations based on some of football's most exciting teams. It's been a while having been away since the early-summer but I am excited to be back. If you've read along so far you'll understand that I am particularly interested in using Team Shape, Mentality and Team Instructions to create a certain playing style. This time, I am actually not going worry about emulating a particular team, instead a very iconic style of play - that of the legendary Brazil. You'll be able to use the information discussed here to adapt to any side of your choosing.

If you have yet to read the previous threads, I recommend you start there in order to understand the concepts I am talking about.

  1. Johan Cruyff's 3-4-3 Diamond
  2. Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2
  3. Arsene Wenger's Invincibles

With 5 World Cups, vibrant yellow shirts and exotically named superstars including Pele, Zico, Garrincha, Socrates, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and now Neymar lighting up games with their flair, skill and genius - for me - Brazil are the Holy Grail of attractive attacking football.

Before I begin, I'd once again like to say thank you to all those who have contributed so far. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. This is slightly shorter due to numerous time constraints and takes a different approach in some ways. As always, feedback is very welcome.

 

Resources

 

Theory

Iconic Brazilian football teams such as those of 1958, 1970 or 1982 each have their own system but there is an inherent style or 'philosophy' throughout.

  • Vibrant, free-flowing football.
  • Rhythmic possession-oriented game.
  • High creative freedom in midfield and emphasis on flair.
  • Fluid shape with movement in attack.
  • Loose variants of the 4-2-4 formation - flat or box.
  • Attacking wing backs provide width.
  • Technical ability throughout the team - Technique, Dribbling, Vision, Passing.

 

In Football Manager

 

Team Shape, Mentality and Team Instructions aka Playing Style

In this case, we can use Team Shape, Mentality and Team Instructions to implement the following traits:

  • Vibrant, free-flowing football.
  • Rhythmic possession-oriented game.
  • High creative freedom in midfield and emphasis on flair.
  • Fluid shape with movement in attack.


Shape: Fluid

V3GlMHN.png

  1. The team is organized into an attacking unit and a defensive unit, with everyone contributing towards transition play. 
  2. Encouraged to play free-flowing and creative football.

FAQ: Why not Very Fluid?

Very Fluid is more comparable to the Dutch, Total Footballers where teams are one unit thus requiring every player to attack and defend. These great Brazil teams gave their attacking players almost complete freedom, which we then balance with a more defensive group of players behind.

 

Mentality: Control

MeJfli2.png

One of the advantages of the attacking and defensive unit created by the Fluid shape is that you can select a more attacking mentality and the defensive unit to balance the system.

In this case, I want to control the game. Probing the final third, creating space, higher mentality and a tempo to create that rhythmic passing. Attacking wing backs overlap, but not to a suicidal extent. Perfect.

FAQ: Why not Attacking?

Attacking mentality is too aggressive for this situation. See the lightening quick attacks of the Arsenal system. In this case, I am looking for more control, more dominance and players to use their flair, vision, movement and skill to create chances, as opposed to speed.


Team Instructions
 

lIUkjD5.png


In this case, the combination of Team Shape and Mentality give me almost the exact playing style I wish to create. These are just minor touches. The pressing instructions are to facilitate a possession-oriented game and more the realities of football in 2016, than classic Brazil. The crosses and with-the-ball instructions are fairly straight forward.

 

Formation, Player Roles / Duties and Player Instructions

pz97wzY.png


As per wwfan's influential 12 Step Guide on How to Play Football Manager, in order to successfully play a Fluid shape I need to limit my team to 1-2 Specialist roles i.e playmakers, ball-winners or anything with a fancy name.

Goalkeeper (Defend): Distribute Quickly
Right Wingback (Attack): N/A
Centre Back (Defend): N/A
Centre Back (Defend): N/A
Left Wingback (Attack): N/A
Central Midfielder (Defend): Close Down Much Less
Deep-Lying Playmaker (Support): N/A
Right Inside Forward (Support): N/A
Attacking Midfielder (Attack): N/A
Left Inside Forward (Support): N/A
Complete Forward (Support): Move into Channels

Minimalist. As you'll see above, I have my attacking wing-backs in place and will be lining up in a reasonably simple 4-2-3-1 variant, which will play as a 4-2-4 given the nature of my players and playing style.

In a playing style like this, your tactical instructions are less of a strategy / game-plan and more of a template to go out and allow talented players to perform to the best of their ability in a cohesive, balanced system.

I have Oscar as my 'conductor' in a deep-lying playmaker role with a hive of fluid movement ahead of him, width and cover behind.

 

The Squad
 

d40LFiN.png

 

Gone are the conservative central midfielders favoured by Brazil in recent years, replaced by an out-and-out playmaker with good work-ethic and a more complete holding player with good positional intelligence and technical ability.

Marcelo is one of my favourite wing-backs on the game and he combines well with the ageing Dani Alves going forward.

The attacking unit of Coutinho & Neymar, flanked by Felipe Anderson and Douglas Costa has an abundance of flair, technique, agility and dribbling ability - exactly the players we need to make this system work.

 

Match Analysis

For me, you simply can't analyse the type of football we're looking to create with a series of match stills dissected with lines & arrows. Instead, I'm trying something new. Hope you enjoy.

 

 

Cheers, everyone!  :thup:

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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ramie   

I above with the above post, you write very well and clear, which makes it easy to understand. 

In terms of the tactic, I have changed the AMC to a trequartista as I felt the standard wasn't adding much to my team. The changes seem to be working nicely.

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Hi O-zil,

Great post, and i really like the style of football you are trying to implement. In fact i liked so much, that i've decided to do something similar but using my favourite formation: the 4123 DM Wide.

So, taking your idea as my foundation, i've decided to use these roles:

 

CF(s)

IF(s)                                       IF(s)

CM(a)          AP(s)

DM(d)

WB(a)     CD(d)     CD(d)     WB(a)

GK(d)

 

Like you i've kept the players instruction to the minimum, only giving my CF(s) the move into channels instruction and to the DM(d) the instruction to close down less. I've decided to remove the quick distribution option from my GK because i dont understand the logic of using it, when we instructed the team to play from defense. When i use it, i see my GK making long kicks, something that i want to avoid.

 

I decided to use the CM(a), because i think it's the best solution to try to emulate your AM(a), although he starts back in the pitch, he will get into the opposition area.

About the AP(s), you have a DLP(s), i think i could afford having a AP instead of the DLP because of the extra cover i have given by the DM(d).

 

About the team instructions, i've choose the same that you use in your tactic, only giving more width (fairly wide instead of balance). I've decided this, manly to have my IF(s) to start from a wider position, giving them more space.

 

So far i'm liking the footbal i'm seeing. Good combinations between the CF and both IF, and the CM(a) works well arriving in the box, altough i think it something that can improve with a player with some proper PPM's like getting forward whenever possible or get into the the opponent area.

Edited by Keyzer Soze

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please do a Ferguson era 1999 tactic or Ronaldo era united team :). i Know you hate them but your tactics are very good and fun to read about .

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'Hate' is a very strong word. I do actually have a lot of respect for Ferguson, in fact that is an understatement.

Tactically, he's difficult to comprehend as over the course of his career he re-invented his teams numerous times. To me, his strength was far more motivation and squad building than anything particularly unique tactically.

If you have ideas you wish to implement then shoot me a message - I'm more than happy to help out.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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14 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Great work - I'll be interested to hear how you get on!

Thks O-zil,

Things are going very well. Made, so far, 15 games, having good results.

I'm playing in the portuguese league, with Benfica, so i'm facing lots of opponents that are really defensive.

The tactic works very well in these situations, with the creativity given by the fluid shape and the "pass into space" instruction, creating a good number of goal situations.

About the "pass into space" instruction it's something that sometimes i turn off, when i see that my possession ratio is low or if i'm protecting a 1-0 lead. In some situations, i also choose the "retain possession" instruction.

 

I also mess around a little bit with some players instructions. I gave my MC(a) the instruction to roam from position. It's working very well, because it clears more space to the IF that play on the same side. Don't know if could work also for your AM(a).

 

Against stronger opponents the tactic don't work so well. Even when i change the mentality to a lower risk (standard or counter) the attacking wingbacks don't give the right protection to the flanks. So in these situation, i went for a different tactic, using a more consertivative 4141.

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Ozil, in all of your systems, particularly this one and the Sachhi one - would you say it is vital to have the much higher defensive line in? Generally, I like to play with a Normal Defensive line at best. I like to have my players close down, but not to excess and I find a higher defensive line leaves too many gaps. Would a normal defensive line with your shape and TIs still have a good chance of success?

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I echo the same question as Shauny1990. Whenever I play with a much higher def line I always seem to let through passes over my def line and a striker will have a one on one with my keeper. Even though I try to put real pressute on the opposition they often find one or two through balls. I also have a good defender who's quick and reads the game pretty well. So how do you prevent this and manage to play a high line?

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2 hours ago, Shauny1990 said:

Ozil, in all of your systems, particularly this one and the Sachhi one - would you say it is vital to have the much higher defensive line in? Generally, I like to play with a Normal Defensive line at best. I like to have my players close down, but not to excess and I find a higher defensive line leaves too many gaps. Would a normal defensive line with your shape and TIs still have a good chance of success?

 

The high line is just there to facilitate the possession-oriented play. I wouldn't expect you'd have any major issues removing the instruction.

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On 08/23/2016 at 19:45, xander007 said:

please do a Ferguson era 1999 tactic or Ronaldo era united team :). i Know you hate them but your tactics are very good and fun to read about .

I can easily cook something up since I'm a ManU fan :)

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A very nice read. I don't browse the tactical pages, but admire the thought that you guys put in to it. And for the topic title alone, I salute you :cool:

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davehibb   

Another fine post mate!

The video clip shows some very nice football and as always, plenty of food for thought in terms of creating certain playing styles.

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Fantastic thread. Your threads never fail to amaze me.

Two questions if I may.

1) What is your favourite out of the four styles you have managed to implement so far?

2) How important is the flair attribute for the full backs in this system. I am struggling to find full backs with that attribute.

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  1. It would probably have to the the Cruyff 3-4-3 - it's just so simple, effective and plays beautiful football. Not to mention, being the inspiration for so many other great teams.
  2. I'd say ideal, not essential. Marcelo is perfect. Jorge is also outstanding after a few seasons. Struggled for consistency on the right side.

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davehibb   

In my Inter save I was playing a system similar to the one @Keyzer Soze posted earlier, though I had a HB at DM and WBs in the WB strata. I was grinding out results at the start of the season though I was struggling with my front 3, in terms of roles/duties to bring out the best in Icardi, Candreva, Gabigol, Jovetic, Perisic and Eder. The play of Icardi was particularly frustrating as he seems like a very one dimensional centre forward. he was scoring goals but not linking play or being involved, other than getting on the end of crosses.

Anyway, in January Arsenal came sniffing and I offloaded him for £42m and brought in Berardi for £20m and took some of the concepts of this system, especially in terms of the front 3 and it's been a joy to behold! :)

Instead of scraping games 1-0 or 2-1, we're hammering teams 3-0, 4-1 and 4-0. Unbeaten in about 26 league games, playing some lovely football and our only 2 defeats came in a dead rubber Europa League game against Celta, where I fielded a weakened team and 'instant resulted' and in an Italian cup game where we were down to 10 mean and lost to a stoppage time goal from a corner. All this and we currently have Berardi, Gabigol and Joao Mario injured. Can't wait until they are back. ;)

As I said earlier, great thread once again mate. 

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18 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:
  1. It would probably have to the the Cruyff 3-4-3 - it's just so simple, effective and plays beautiful football. Not to mention, being the inspiration for so many other great teams.
  2. I'd say ideal, not essential. Marcelo is perfect. Jorge is also outstanding after a few seasons. Struggled for consistency on the right side.

Thanks for the speedy reply. I was wondering, you posted in the Cruyff 3-4-3 thread a tactic you used with Barcelona. A 4-3-3. Did you ever get round to posting the TI's and PI's for that. It looks mightily impressive going by the average ratings of the players and I was wondering if it played similar to the 3-4-3.

 

AYEwr76.png

Edited by Anaconda Vice

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Sadly, this save was lost due when my laptop was stolen in Ecuador so I can't say exactly but - if I recall correctly - the Team Instructions would be the same as the Cruyff 3-4-3 and it has probably been my 'go-to' tactic for more games than just about anything else.

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8 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Sadly, this save was lost due when my laptop was stolen in Ecuador so I can't say exactly but - if I recall correctly - the Team Instructions would be the same as the Cruyff 3-4-3 and it has probably been my 'go-to' tactic for more games than just about anything else.

Yes, I was going with that the TI would be the Cruyff system until I realized that system has 8 TI's and the 4-3-3 has only 6. I am guessing the CB's, WB's and IF's are standard roles with no adjustments to how they play? Like PI's. I assume the Midfield Trio and the CF follow the same pattern as the Cruyff system.

BTW, you need to try the Conte 3ATB system or Bielsa's haha. That would be a challenge.

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The 6 -> 8 instructions is simply evolution. The Barca 4-3-3 came first and then gave me the idea for the 3-4-3 however needed a different club due to not suiting Suarez / Messi / Neymar. If I recall, one addition was low crosses. Pretty minor tweaks.

I'm very frustrated at the moment trying to play a Guardiola-esq 4-3-3 with the half-back dropping back but the match engine mechanism won't allow it properly.

Bielsa would be interesting - 'el Loco'. To me - it'd be Very Fluid and Attack. That'd create the extreme pressing approach, vertical football and even the leaky defence! Good luck finding the players to pull it off though!

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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Must say I like your threads, they have given me insight that I didn't have and maybe it will make me able to create a team that play in the way I want teams to play, something I haven't so far with FM16. This version of the game always end up with me playing a defensive 4-4-2, so I can get results. I hope what I've learned from you will change that, and that I can get results with my style, so I think I'm going to try ideas from this set up in my next game as it fits with how I would like a team to play.

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On 9/3/2016 at 15:19, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

The 6 -> 8 instructions is simply evolution. The Barca 4-3-3 came first and then gave me the idea for the 3-4-3 however needed a different club due to not suiting Suarez / Messi / Neymar. If I recall, one addition was low crosses. Pretty minor tweaks.

I'm very frustrated at the moment trying to play a Guardiola-esq 4-3-3 with the half-back dropping back but the match engine mechanism won't allow it properly.

Bielsa would be interesting - 'el Loco'. To me - it'd be Very Fluid and Attack. That'd create the extreme pressing approach, vertical football and even the leaky defence! Good luck finding the players to pull it off though!

I still hope you have another one of these projects in the works. I am sensing a Barcelona one will be coming :D

Some of the football this system plays (Jogo Bonito) is incredible. Do you recommend any PPMs for any players in particular?

I am thinking Plays One Twos would be good for all players, Gets Further Forward for WB's, and Moves into Channels for the Striker. Anything else you would recommend?

 

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There's nothing essential - I always like Plays One Twos and in this case anything dribbling / flair related would be helpful. Take a look at Coutinho, Oscar, Felipe Anderson and Douglas Costa. They absolutely thrived in this system and are the prototype players. Not to mention Neymar :D

==================================================================================

Regarding upcoming work. Keep an eye on the Cruyff 3-4-3 thread. There are a couple of things I have learnt from this system which I would like to apply to the 3-4-3.

I'm also interested in replicating the Xavi - Iniesta - Messi core which is why I'm Barcelona.

6RpPjsn.png

Samper has been phenomenal.

OhoBKdd.png

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11 minutes ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

There's nothing essential - I always like Plays One Twos and in this case anything dribbling / flair related would be helpful. Take a look at Coutinho, Oscar, Felipe Anderson and Douglas Costa. They absolutely thrived in this system and are the prototype players. Not to mention Neymar :D

==================================================================================

Regarding upcoming work. Keep an eye on the Cruyff 3-4-3 thread. There are a couple of things I have learnt from this system which I would like to apply to the 3-4-3.

I'm also interested in replicating the Xavi - Iniesta - Messi core which is why I'm Barcelona.

6RpPjsn.png

Samper has been phenomenal.

OhoBKdd.png

Using Neymar at PSG in this system. He is on fire.

Great to hear about the upcoming work and can't wait to see it. Always knew Samper was good on this game but not that good haha. Incredible.

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This is actually first season as well. It's pretty exciting. He's being tutored by Iniesta and then I'll train his weaker foot. If he'll sign before he retires, I'm thinking of bringing back Xavi as a tutor.

Messi's back to his best in the false 9 role and Iniesta is phenomenal, yet ageing. I intend to build out the rest of the team around this unit. Possibly, in a 3-4-3 set up.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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Do you plan to try this tactic with a club side? I see you have a screenshot cut with Barca, but I assume that it's with another setup as the roles are different from th OP.

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1 hour ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

This is actually first season as well. It's pretty exciting. He's being tutored by Iniesta and then I'll train his weaker foot. If he'll sign before he retires, I'm thinking of bringing back Xavi as a tutor.

Messi's back to his best in the false 9 role and Iniesta is phenomenal, yet ageing. I intend to build out the rest of the team around this unit. Possibly, in a 3-4-3 set up.

Oooh, I look forward to seeing that someday, I hope. To get that with Samper in the first season is great. 

I'm currently managing PSG and using your Cruyff, Jogo Bonito and Sacchi tactics all together. They really are fantastic. Adding a Barca 3-4-3 to that would be excellent haha.

The Arsenal Invincibles, I never got to grips with the Defensive line and how and when to change it.

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MattP100   
On 8/23/2016 at 08:49, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Formation, Player Roles / Duties and Player Instructions

pz97wzY.png

 

Fantastic post and another great thread.

 

Do you think you could play this (same instructions etc.)  with a Regista instead of an AMc? If so, what would the DLPs become? B2B or APa or CMa or even stay as a DLPs?

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craigd84   

O-zil, can you come up with the Brazil of 94, Romario and Bebeto front line? or a 442 that gets the strikers alot of goals like the Fowler Collymore era at Liverpool.

 

Im finding that im getting strikers to about 20 goals a season in all comps but i want that one GOAL scorer like Fowler 30 plus a season ect.

 

I want to make use of the static target man/box finisher trait. Last year i did ok with it then branched onto something else.

Edited by craigd84

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6 hours ago, MattP100 said:

Fantastic post and another great thread.

 

Do you think you could play this (same instructions etc.)  with a Regista instead of an AMc? If so, what would the DLPs become? B2B or APa or CMa or even stay as a DLPs?


Yes, certainly. Or at least with one of the deeper playmaker roles.

You're swapping an attacking threat in midfield for a playmaker so I'd lose the existing deep-playmaker and maybe a MC(A) to get those runs going forward.

I've been playing with deep-playmakers a bit lately and - so far - made the following observations.

  • Regista speeds the game up and makes vertical movement, into midfield. Passing tends to be more direct so suits quicker attacking systems. Useful PPMs = switch ball to other flank, comes deep for the ball, tries long passes, killer balls (if you have fast attackers) - think Pirlo.
  • Roaming Playmaker passing is shorter, suits the controlled build up. Movement is more side-to-side, but still forward slowly. Useful PPMs = control tempo, move into channels, comes deep for the ball.
  • Deep playmaker is more positionally disciplined. Less movement but far more appropriate if this player also needs to be your holding player.

For this (Fluid, Control) system, I'd recommend Roaming Playmaker but for a more aggressive system such as the Invincibles thread (Fluid, Attack) a Register could be lethal from deep.

Both are particularly effective if the opposition plays a shape without an AMC.


 

13 minutes ago, craigd84 said:

O-zil, can you come up with the Brazil of 94, Romario and Bebeto front line? or a 442 that gets the strikers alot of goals like the Fowler Collymore era at Liverpool.

 

Im finding that im getting strikers to about 20 goals a season in all comps but i want that one GOAL scorer like Fowler 30 plus a season ect.

 

I want to make use of the static target man/box finisher trait. Last year i did ok with it then branched onto something else.


That World Cup was slightly before my time - what are you actually looking to create?

I like strike partnerships. Deep-Lying Forward and Advanced Forward seems to be the highest scoring. If you're not playing wingers so need more movement Complete Forward Attack & Support combo works well. Haven't used a Target Man too much but given the option for both attack and support, I imagine you could replace either forward.

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craigd84   

Cruyff is before your time haha!! before mine even!! 

On a serious note, i want to create a tactic where my strike force is the focal point for goals, i want a box finisher/predator (Fowler/Van Nistelrooy goals in the 18) and maybe a dynamic striker next to him, (Collymore role)

Perhaps a 442 not sure.. do you know if setting a striker who has box finisher trait conflicts with the poacher role?

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2 hours ago, craigd84 said:

Cruyff is before your time haha!! before mine even!! 

On a serious note, i want to create a tactic where my strike force is the focal point for goals, i want a box finisher/predator (Fowler/Van Nistelrooy goals in the 18) and maybe a dynamic striker next to him, (Collymore role)

Perhaps a 442 not sure.. do you know if setting a striker who has box finisher trait conflicts with the poacher role?


Touché :lol:

The Poacher, Advanced Forward and Complete Forward all have to Run with the Ball more - no idea why. You can see this on the Player Instructions screen.

Sounds like the role you're after is Target Man with attack duty. The other striker you can take your pick. Deep-lying forward drops deeper but reasonably central whilst the Complete Forward roams.

SI's definition of 'complete' seems to be roaming. Not sure why.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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Azza2306   

O-zil I am assuming this style will still work on FM17? The tactic I used last year has struggled so far so I am looking for something else. I like the look of you 4-3-3 which I will try with the 3-4-3 instructions but my team is set up already for  4-2-3-1.

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On 24/08/2016 at 17:59, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:
On 24/08/2016 at 15:33, Shauny1990 said:

Ozil, in all of your systems, particularly this one and the Sachhi one - would you say it is vital to have the much higher defensive line in? Generally, I like to play with a Normal Defensive line at best. I like to have my players close down, but not to excess and I find a higher defensive line leaves too many gaps. Would a normal defensive line with your shape and TIs still have a good chance of success?

 

On 24/08/2016 at 17:59, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

 

The high line is just there to facilitate the possession-oriented play. I wouldn't expect you'd have any major issues removing the instruction.

Reducing the d-line will create more space between the defenders and the MC, so it's a matter of testing to see whether the space behind the defense or in front of it suits you best.

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