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Jambo98

FM17 - The community formation experiment

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I felt i had turned a corner with my latest tweaks, racking up a few good performances and decent results, but then, as football has a tendency to do, it all went to pot...... 

My fixtures so far on "this attempt"

812efd47c8cf0bedeccac4d381542deb.png

The Europa games and the Milan / Chievo games i was using different systems and trying to find my setup. The Genoa game i moved to something close to my current shape, and from Napoli onwards i had settled on it (with minor in game situational tweaks). We had a nice run, the draw with Crotone was the one with the shot maps above where we just couldnt break them down. 

Then went wrong. Lazio schooled us a bit in Rome. They played 2 very attacking fullbacks, a solid anchor in Biglia and a very strong middle pair in Parolo and Cataldi. We had 2 good early chances which Berardi fluffed, and they then dominated us and deserved the win. However, if Berardi had been less wasteful it could have been a different game. The Atalanta draw was annoying. We led 2 nil, before they went ultra attacking with a flat 343. I reacted to slowly to that, and they got a goal back from a corner rebound. Even when i had reacted, an individual error by Acerbi let them come back to claim a draw. The Palermo loss was just totally abject.  They lined up in the same shape as Lazio, with attacking fullbacks and AML / AMR and we seem to struggle badly against that shape, which is somewhat understandable given our narrow formation. I shall look at options next time i play that shape. 

By far my biggest issue remains the striker. Berardi has been exceptionally poor. In 5 starts, 2 bench appearances since returning he has one goal (a pen) and zero assists, with an ave rating of 6.67. That is just not getting the job done. Matri has been not much better, he did score against Napoli off the bench but since then has looked poor. Druissi got a start as ST against Udinese and was great, scored one and made one, but the next start i gave him, he flopped again. I still like how the AF creates space for the rest of the team, but none of my players seem clinical enough to finish the type of chances we create. A dilemma for sure! 

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On 16/02/2017 at 00:14, Jambo98 said:

Really interesting use of the IWB there - Seems like that role really does work since the latest patch. Sadly i cant see myself using it in my setup, but interesting to note for other times :) 

 

The role works well since the last patch, as long as width comes from others on the same flank, the IWB will work well.

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2 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

The role works well since the last patch, as long as width comes from others on the same flank, the IWB will work well.

yeh using peluso (who isn't by any means ideal or suited to the role) as IWB behind Depay ML - WG attack and it's really nice.

IWB and WG is now my preferred option to WB and WM/IF

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Finally got some time to have a crack at this.

I've literally never, ever used a sweeper before, so this might be interesting! Going to develop two tactics to begin with, a more attacking version with a Libero, as well as a more defensively solid one.

 

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6 hours ago, noikeee said:

This is such a rubbish formation. :D I've gone strikerless before but that one just doesn't seem to make much sense for a strikerless system. I don't envy your position in this challenge...

Agreed, pretty rubbish formation but that's the challenge!

5 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

it does look like a difficult challenge. The only caveat Id have is that counter attacking systems are perhaps, dare I say it, slightly overpowered in FM17 ... and this lends itself perfect to that... as when automatically triggered that can easily turn into a 3-5 man attack. Lacks pace though so will still struggle.. its going to be rather dull watching and difficult to score lots of goals. . @apchivers will be interested in how your season turns out. Good luck...

noikee... I also signed depay.. im not even trying to harness him.. let the long shots fly... I lost my playoff 1st leg  ...2-1 ... in the return leg depay scored 4 in the first 50 mins ... 3 from 25 yards :D as WG (ML) Attack.

Thanks westy8chimp - it has been quite dry watching so far. Lost count of the number of times the commentary has said "it's safe to say this hasn't been a classic so far" at half time :lol:

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Right, so July has gone well, despite not playing anybody of particular note.

July Fixtures.jpg

That is the formation that I have used all month pretty much, but I have designed a more solidly defensive tactic that I haven't used much as of yet.

Formation.jpg

Edited by DH.

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just had a real thriller. completely mis-managed the game but came away with the 3 points ...I was 3-0 up and with 2 missed penalties ... then it came apart...

1) I gave a complacent HT team talk .. 2) I didn't drop mentality or change any duties, 3)they came back into the game... I still didn't change ...

4) I was still being complacent .. made subs early and instead of taking off underperforming players I made judgements based on who needed to be rested and who on the bench needed game time

5) I then gave up being the manager and just sat back and watched.

great game though

 

thriller.PNG

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I'm pretty happy with this start:

OYRTKcu.jpg

 

Most of it were friendlies and/or against rubbish teams, but still, nice to not have lost yet. My transfers:

 

zEhwol3.jpg

 

I'm still lining up very similar to this:

On 16/02/2017 at 10:48, noikeee said:

         DF/S         CF/A
        Defrel       Depay


         CM/A        BWM/S
        Duncan     Magnanelli

 WB/S          RGA/S         CWB/A
Peluso         Sensi        Politano

    CB/X        CB/D        CB/X
   Acerbi     Cannavaro   Letschert

                GK/D
              Consigli

Control / Very Fluid / Pass Shorter / Low Crosses

Only PI is goalkeeper set to "distribute to CBs" and I've got my own set piece routines.

The only things I've changed tactically were the two CD/Xs became BPD/Xs. Both Acerbi and Letschert have the technical ability for it. To be honest I haven't noticed many differences, but I've changed that.

Selection-wise I've been fielding Antei instead of Cannavaro in the middle, and rotating between the misfit left-footed winger Politano and the more conventional Felipe Mattioni as WBR. Will probably switch Defrel for Berardi once he returns too, although I'm pretty happy with Defrel's contributions as defensive forward. 2 goals and 2 assists in 5 matches, 7.18 ratings, one of my best players so far.

Also switching pretty routinely to the plan B of switching to Standard and adding Exploit Both Flanks and Play Wider. This is good against more defensive teams.

Edited by noikeee

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4312 Narrow

I have now navigated a heavy pre-season schedule and have just started the Serie A campaign. I'm a fan of numerous off-season fixtures and wanted as much practice as possible. It couldn't have gone any better so far; after the opening few mediocre performances, the refinement in the duties has set alight the attacking game. A significant problem with the original 'box' defensive system was that the two wingbacks too often became isolated and ended up dribbling into blind allies. The move towards central playmakers was aimed at progressing the interchange between the lines and prompting a clearer lateral movement and passing options for the two raiding fullbacks. This has worked well, and I have a pkm from the Europa Playoff win over Hajduk for you @Rashidi, if it is any use to you.

Sassuolo v Hajduk.pkm

The overall performance here was average, and we were under a reasonable amount of duress in the opening 45mins. The two moments of note are the 2nd and 3rd identikit goals; for the second a good period of probing central play opens up space for Duncan, who provides a lay-in for Peluso to drill across the box for a Belotti tap in. Then moments later it is somewhat replicated, this time Sensi provides a killer pass for Letschert to sweep across, yet again for Belotti. Two really nice examples of how the playmakers are helping to dictate the fullbacks' effective width.

Schedule.thumb.jpg.3b69076935a9242f5342ab2591888583.jpg

Squad Building

I looked at four main areas for improvement, in order of priority:

  • Striker
  • Right wingback
  • Central playmaker
  • Reserve GK

I originally planned to scout first for a dual-sided wingback, and River's Milton Casco was the option of choice, although I did look closely at the Spaniards Inigo Lekue and Joseba Zaldua for RWB. Casco's either footedness and strong offensive attributes made him my only serious option here; a clear upgrade on Gazzola and also a better backup option to Peluso than Dell'Orco. I failed to agree the wages for Casco and it proved a blessing in disguise. As pre-season went on, both Lirola and Adjapong impressed and if this was a regular save I wouldn't isolate two prospects such as these. Not to mention the impressive Timo Letschert, my option of choice at RWB.

With the move to two playmakers operating from the centre, I also considered investing here. Duncan and Sensi have done a fabulous job to-date, with Missiroli coming back into the fold, but Hoffenheim's Nadiem Amiri really fit what I want in this role - with the bonus that he could walk into the AM position. I had a deal in the offing, but an opportunity presented itself elsewhere...

And that was Andrea Belotti. Available at a decent lick from Torino, but affordable in a structured deal with the £525k sale of Terranova enabling me to scrape the £7.75m down payment to complete. He was just a no-brainer, such a multi-functional forward and a clear upgrade over Matri. I've loved the form of Defrel over pre-season, and the Belotti acquisition enables me to look at Berardi in the AM role when he returns - although the retrained Matteo Politano has done a sound job.

Funds gone, Belotti is the only purchase. I'm not expecting to make any sales, but if the club balance improves enough to enable extra funds, I may look towards a backup GK in the winter window. Pomino and Pegolo really concern me and I'm keeping tabs on Lovre Kalinic.

Transfers.thumb.jpg.10379dbd5b75bcb76bff154acb753006.jpg

All in all, I was really happy with the squad anyway. Acerbi, Letschert and Duncan and were the three players I picked out from pre-season as being key personnel. Acerbi is the rock on which the defence is built, whilst both Cannavaro and Antei are good options when Letschert is occupied elsewhere. Alfred Duncan is making for an excellent playmaker, in the Vieira mould with his high competencies in the overall game. Davide Biondini is currently anchoring the midfield, although is interchangeable with Manganelli. Belotti is a one-man wrecking ball and has netted five, with an assist, in two-and-a-half games of competitive play.

One thing that has really stood out is the ability of this squad from range. Biondini, Manganelli, Pellegrini, Politano and Duncan (twice) have all buried efforts from well outside the box, whereas Letschert has rifled in three freekicks already. After five years with Argentinos where barely a FK is ever scored, having someone with this capability is a god-send and part of the reason why Letschert is an automatic selection.

The favoured roles and XI as they currently stand:

58a7ac4a81daf_FirstXI.thumb.jpg.7208891e883a78a745f2334ee4032dda.jpg

Overall, we sit in an almost 442 diamond set-up:

Overall.thumb.jpg.da6b1cd2c6fbf44806ad23538acb6dd5.jpg

58a7ac7755911_WithBall.thumb.jpg.4533fa9e23af776ab1849056ae45a7fd.jpg

Whilst in possession we transfer to what it would be fair to call a 2152, very aggressive. The obvious issue, here, are those gaping holes behind the wingbacks and which it is much harder to cover with only one sitting midfielder. I may need to look at ratcheting down the mentality, or perhaps deploying a 'retain possession' to ensure we are more responsible with the ball and don't see as many concession/transitions. Susceptibility to width has been the general downfall, unsurprisingly, and I definitely need to refine how we deal with aggressive opponents hitting the 424 when they are chasing a game. Which leads to >

The lack of clean sheets. The attacking play is being somewhat undermined by the defensive uncertainty. We made harder work of Hajduk in the Europa Playoff than I'd have liked. I'll need to tighten this up to succeed in Serie A, although the incremental gains in tactical familiarity should help.

Other negatives, I've noticed that Letschert's PPM ensure he occasionally tries shots from ridiculous angles out on the touchline. A PI might need to enter the equation here, as he clearly thinks he's the Dutch Roberto Carlos.

Edited by AndySummers

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@AndySummers You just go to the match highlights for the match you want to upload as a pkm, then "Save Highlight". It should be in the folder in C:Documents/Sports Interactive/Matches

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3 minutes ago, AndySummers said:

Thanks @Rashidi. I'd navigated through to the 'automatic' files and didn't initially see it lurking in the .pkms outside of this.

.pkm added to post.

I might be very blind, I don't see it

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I am scratching my effort and starting it again. Still not happy with various elements. And I feel I am still being affected by the original tweak I was using.

This time I want to try to go for a counter style. More like Mourinho used to do it. It seems the 4-2-1-3 is pretty much what he was doing in his Chelski days. Will try it out tonight and report back!

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Here's a bunch of stuff for @Rashidi if he wants to use it.

Plan A tactics screenshot
Plan B tactics screenshot
Results so far screenshot

Zenit v Sassuolo.pkm (A) 1-2
A defeat I'm very happy with, we were unlucky and could've well beaten a superior team away here.

Palermo v Sassuolo.pkm (A) 3-0
My team at its best, taking advantage of a weak AI side playing too openly.

Sassuolo v Legia.pkm (H) 1-0
A difficult win, Legia fielded a narrow 4-2-3-1 at the beginning which unsettled our 1st stage of construction by fielding lots of high-up central players; later on they switched to a very deep 4-4-1-1 with DMs, a switch ourselves to plan B eventually solved it giving us a late goal.

Sassuolo v Sampdoria.pkm (H) 1-2
Probably our worst performance (bar the 0-0 at home with Chievo, which I won't upload as we had a red card so it's not representative). We could've still won it here, but were eventually uninispired vs a team that matched us with a similar formation and not even plan B saved us. Lots of bad long shots.

Overall I'm very happy so far and we're a early 2nd in Serie A. Biggest question is what happens when morale goes down and/or we get a difficult run of fixtures, which hasn't happened yet.

Edited by noikeee

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I think I may have stumbled on something during a period of utter frustration.

Will run the game from the start to get it fluid. Managed a 2-2 draw with AC Milan. Bacca outmuscled the FB twice to score with the keeper making an error. We may have only had 40% possession but had 27 shots to 9. 13 were on target so it wasn't just hit and hope either.

A little touch of Zemanista!

EDIT: Wanted to check something before the proper test. Beat Torino 2-1 dominating the game. Then went to Rostov and absolutely annihilated them. Won 4-0 but hit the woodwork 4 times.

so I am positive I am onto something. Will sleep on it and run it tomorrow.

Edited by DrPoods

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2 hours ago, noikeee said:

Here's a bunch of stuff for @Rashidi if he wants to use it.

Plan A tactics screenshot
Plan B tactics screenshot
Results so far screenshot

Zenit v Sassuolo.pkm (A) 1-2
A defeat I'm very happy with, we were unlucky and could've well beaten a superior team away here.

Palermo v Sassuolo.pkm (A) 3-0
My team at its best, taking advantage of a weak AI side playing too openly.

Sassuolo v Legia.pkm (H) 1-0
A difficult win, Legia fielded a narrow 4-2-3-1 at the beginning which unsettled our 1st stage of construction by fielding lots of high-up central players; later on they switched to a very deep 4-4-1-1 with DMs, a switch ourselves to plan B eventually solved it giving us a late goal.

Sassuolo v Sampdoria.pkm (H) 1-2
Probably our worst performance (bar the 0-0 at home with Chievo, which I won't upload as we had a red card so it's not representative). We could've still won it here, but were eventually uninispired vs a team that matched us with a similar formation and not even plan B saved us. Lots of bad long shots.

Overall I'm very happy so far and we're a early 2nd in Serie A. Biggest question is what happens when morale goes down and/or we get a difficult run of fixtures, which hasn't happened yet.

Thanks I edited the first show already, thel's is in it...I will  add yours to the second show

 

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5-2-2-0 DM

Pros

Cons

  • One win all season sees Sassuolo in 18th place on 9 points
  • Six goals scored in Serie A so far
  • Fans falling asleep at games

 

Below is how the roles currently line up. I am playing with a Counter mentality and Flexible team shape with TIs of work ball into box and play out of defence. The full backs are instructed to run wide with the ball and to stay wider to provide some width as both wide midfielders have PIs to cut inside and sit narrower. Finally, "get further forward" has been added to the defensive midfielders to encourage them to join the attack.

Sassulo.thumb.png.55d440eb4d1e829deaf4614d9fcee1ba.png

 

The below screenshots are from my latest game (0-0 draw vs Bologna). The first heatmap shows how the team looks when we are possession. This is roughly the shape I was looking for (a sort of 3-4-3 in attack). With the shots, I am reasonably happy with where these were taken from with not many long range efforts.

heatmap.thumb.png.5a5fa49644eae7851dbe39e40ec9b701.png

The next heatmap shows our defensive positioning. I am reasonably happy with this as Bologna weren't playing with any wingers. Against a team with advanced wide men, I would expect the fullbacks to sit a little deeper.

heatmap.thumb.png.13854a45bc95ecb25b3bff5c6edc23bb.png

 

As my central defenders are sat quite deep, Bologna were restricted to long shots as the below screenshot shows. This is what I am aiming for, as I feel this formation lends itself to "men behind the ball" football. If I see a player with decent long shots lined up against me, then I instruct my team to close him down more (ideally this would be one or both of my defensive midfielders as the 3 centre backs between them should be able to cope with runners into the box if the opposition pass rather than shoot).

58a86e04c6128_bolognashots.thumb.png.f2b606e03109850930b47d34757995bb.png

 

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1 hour ago, apchivers said:

5-2-2-0 DM

Pros

Cons

  • One win all season sees Sassuolo in 18th place on 9 points
  • Six goals scored in Serie A so far
  • Fans falling asleep at games

 

Below is how the roles currently line up. I am playing with a Counter mentality and Flexible team shape with TIs of work ball into box and play out of defence. The full backs are instructed to run wide with the ball and to stay wider to provide some width as both wide midfielders have PIs to cut inside and sit narrower. Finally, "get further forward" has been added to the defensive midfielders to encourage them to join the attack.

Sassulo.thumb.png.55d440eb4d1e829deaf4614d9fcee1ba.png

 

The below screenshots are from my latest game (0-0 draw vs Bologna). The first heatmap shows how the team looks when we are possession. This is roughly the shape I was looking for (a sort of 3-4-3 in attack). With the shots, I am reasonably happy with where these were taken from with not many long range efforts.

heatmap.thumb.png.5a5fa49644eae7851dbe39e40ec9b701.png

The next heatmap shows our defensive positioning. I am reasonably happy with this as Bologna weren't playing with any wingers. Against a team with advanced wide men, I would expect the fullbacks to sit a little deeper.

heatmap.thumb.png.13854a45bc95ecb25b3bff5c6edc23bb.png

 

As my central defenders are sat quite deep, Bologna were restricted to long shots as the below screenshot shows. This is what I am aiming for, as I feel this formation lends itself to "men behind the ball" football. If I see a player with decent long shots lined up against me, then I instruct my team to close him down more (ideally this would be one or both of my defensive midfielders as the 3 centre backs between them should be able to cope with runners into the box if the opposition pass rather than shoot).

58a86e04c6128_bolognashots.thumb.png.f2b606e03109850930b47d34757995bb.png

 

APchivers, have you considered a central Treq as your AM and putting both WB on attack duty for extra width?  You formation is very conservative so you can afford to get more players forward?  You can use your 2 DM's as a central double pivot and you wide players as a goal threat and your wing backs to provide width.  I suspect with a single SS ahead of two DM's he is going to get isolated.  The only alternative to a treq would be an AM on support.  This way the treq would effectively play the role of a support striker.  Anyway just a thought.

Edited by WhyMe
typo

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2 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Thanks I edited the first show already, thel's is in it...I will  add yours to the second show

 

Neat. :) More explanations of my system are in previous posts.

Hopefully more people post PKMs, I want to see the systems in motion, specially the really wacky ones. :D

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36 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

APchivers, have you considered a central Treq as your AM and putting both WB on attack duty for extra width?  You formation is very conservative so you can afford to get more players forward?  You can use your 2 DM's as a central double pivot and you wide players as a goal threat and your wing backs to provide width.  I suspect with a single SS ahead of two DM's he is going to get isolated.  The only alternative to a treq would be an AM on support.  This way the treq would effectively play the role of a support striker.  Anyway just a thought.

I think a more aggressive mentality would help too. With such an incredibly defensive formation he's gonna need any help he can to get the players higher up the pitch.

I love how his results are almost in binary. :D 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 1-1, 1-0...

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I forgot to play Pomini in his own testimonial.  Feel like a complete dick. :(

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451 Midseason Update

adbe0f8e734f8b4ead5464051e242a19.png

Good season for us so far. We managed to top our Europa League group and will be facing Shakhtar in the next round.

039959467a9a84f5a4a8f3e520eff660.png

Peluso has been playing at the peak of his ability. So far according to average ratings he has been the best performer in the league. Not bad for someone who before the season was considered an average full back! Our system has suited him really well. The IWB role lets him be the heart of the team in possession, often completing the most passes out of anyone on the pitch.

Below are 2 examples of how we are creating chances, both starting from the IWB. I have put them in spoilers to make sure this post does not take up half the page. :D

Spoiler

 

zns57hR.png

Here Peluso is on the ball and has slotted into midfield to create a box with the 3 central midfielders. Peluso and the DLP(D) are often playing deeper with the other 2 ahead of them.

GJrFsWm.jpg

Peluso plays it into the CM(A) who passes it to the BBM(S). The CM(A) immediatelly starts a forward run.

FuoKXrI.png

The BBM(S) proceeds to pass it to the DLF(S) who then puts the CM(A) through on goal.

 

Spoiler


WkL5cnu.png

Similar to the first example Peluso is once again on the ball with the midfield box in place. This game is against a DM-CM-CM setup so the middle is crowded.

zmoNFJh.png

Peluso drives forward and passes it to the CM(A) who then plays it to the DLF(S). The BBM(S) begins a run into the open space.

DaLFyT5.png

The DLF(S) turns and plays the BBM(S) 1v1 with the goalkeeper. Both examples are very similar but with 2 different runners from central midfield. The striker role is important in this setup and it requires someone who is able to link up well.

 

 

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3-2-3-2 DM

11 December, and after a 2-2 draw with Genoa, where their switch from the 3-4-3 DM Wide this formation seems to perform well against to a 3-5-2 Attacking (though why it's called that when it's just a flat 3-5-2 I don't know) once they went 2-0 down demonstrated once again that this central shape has a hard time holding its own against a packed midfield, I've had the inevitable meeting with the board to discuss our poor performance. I asked for, and got, a month to save my job. That's three games away against mid-table Udinese, at home to 4th-placed Napoli, and away at bizarrely 15th AC Milan.

I think it may be curtains soon. In my defence, Consigli and Henriquez have been injured the last three games, and Peluso was sent off in a prior thumping by Lazio and was then suspended for Genoa. 

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@Rashidi

nothing mind blowing going on with my roles and duties.. but my TF is getting higher and this last match illustrates more how I expect to play.

I have standard and flexible... so players aren't deviating massively between defensive and attacking positions ...

but within the system I have three players on attack duty. Depay ML (wing attack), Lirola DR (wb attack) and Sakho ST (CF attack) and these are the trio I expect to break the game line.

in my latest match we won 2-0 ... a cross by depay finished by sakho and a cross by lirola finished by sakho.

Whats pleasing is that the moves follow my TI/PI ..

Goal 1: some nice slow passing with REG in particular pivotal to the first goal .. my support amc holding position, players bouncing the ball of my regista who starts at dmrc zone.. plays off sakho into the centre then off my rpm and amc .. comes right up the amlc slot plays in my AMC ... Depay and sakho make aggressive runs... depay Is played through and he crosses for sakho

Goal 2: Reg and RPM involved in the build up, not as mobile this time.. as down the right hand side we attack more direct with WB overlapping a WMs. Berardi is the WMs... cuts inside leaving the space.. plays a 1-2 feeds in Lirola who has broken the D-Line and crosses for Sakho who again finishes neatly.

In both moves the slow build up play starts with my most advanced player (sakho) just in the opponents half. the team play off him...then by the time he's sprinted forward he is in the 6 yard box.

 

Torino v Sassuolo.pkm

standard.PNG

goal 1.PNG

goal 2.PNG

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1 hour ago, cregan said:

3-5-2 Attacking (though why it's called that when it's just a flat 3-5-2 I don't know)

Because they play Attacking mentality (at the least).

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56 minutes ago, eriktous said:

Because they play Attacking mentality (at the least).

Huh. I'd assumed it was just another tactic name - there's no mentality marker on others like 4-1-2-3 DM Wide on the opposition formation widget - but I guess that would make sense!

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There's no marker for Counter, Standard, or Control. For Attacking and Overload it says Attacking. For Defensive and Contain it shows Defensive. You can easily check this by switching mentality and looking at your own formation widget.

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Running my "Zemlandia" tactic, which is an Overload/Fluid 4-2-1-3 with a Poacher and two Inside Forwards (Attack). Played some friendlies with some decent results and then we played Slavia Prague in Europe.

Absolutely blattered them. Were 2-0 up in ten minutes and had our left winger sent off on 31 minutes for a horrendous tackle.

Anyways, with ten men we put another 4 past them for a 6-1 win. We then went to Prague and peppered the goals coming away with a 1-0 win.

Really happy with what I have seen so far. I will post some screenies once we have played 4 or 5 Serie A games.

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Hopefully will get some game time on this in the next few days. Got the 541 a slightly more normal formation that i tried last year with the 523 so looking forward in seeing how i can get this working. 

SO far.. Got knocked out of the Europa by Aberdeen 1-0 over two legs and first game of season this happens.. 

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 09.58.41.png

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After six games the 4312 sits 10th, with a steady 2-3-1 record.

Favourite game so far has been a 0-0 home draw with Juventus. We rode our luck early, before a couple of subtle tweaks negated their identikit 4312 and we saw the game out in comfort. A 2-0 defeat at Inter Milan was the first loss in around twenty games, but we then managed a 1-1 draw at the Olimpico against Lazio.

Considering we've played three high-flyers, two of them away, I'm pretty content with the opening two months. Matri has been the surprise standout so far, his off-the-ball movement shredding defences in the complete forward role. He has sidelined Defrel at the moment.

In the Europa we drew Schalke, Red Star Belgrade and Legia. Here the goal is just simply to qualify, as I intend to use the squad players to keep fitness at an acceptable level.

Now on a brief hiatus to keep my Argentinos file ticking along, but hope to get a few more games in this evening.

Edited by AndySummers

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I've ditched my tactic and started again - had some issues with being wide open defensively and as a result wasting decent performances - keeping the tactic as a plan B though.

Attempt 2 involves something that I've not used before, and been inspired by in this thread - the Inverted Wing Back.  Only had one friendly so far but I quite like the initial shape.

58a99fe179eff_U.S.SassuoloCalcio_Overview-3.thumb.png.1182c9d487a9a091c6108b46aad096df.png

The idea is that I have Politano acting like an inside forward and being overlapped by Pirola/hopefully Peruzzi, and Duncan also pushing forward from midfield in support.  Width provided by the WB on the right and the DW on the left.

This is what it looks like without the ball:

58a9a04167942_SassuolovAngers_AnalysisTeams-2.thumb.png.5278c065a74f31eeb0beff9cbfc59da5.png

That's basically doing exactly what I want it to do - a compact, decent shape that limits my opponents and means they can't easily walk through us.

With the ball, however:

58a9a03522ba8_SassuolovAngers_AnalysisTeams.thumb.png.7c30a5da75855b81c8e8f3b23c645839.png

I can see one problem there straight away - my BBM (Duncan) is too close to my AMC (Ricci) and they'll get in each other's way.  My proposed tweak to this is to add "Get Further Forward" to his instructions to try and get him running beyond the AMC and supporting the striker.  I do like the width provided by the DW and WB though, and the IWB filling the space behind Duncan gives me a very nice midfield shape.

I've got a couple of other thoughts on potential tweaks - one is changing my MR role to WM (S), while on the left going for W (S) or W (A) - I am a little worried about my team being a bit unbalanced towards the right when attacking.  The other, if the first tweak to the BBM doesn't work, is trying a CM (A) in that role - I would want to keep the DW in that case though in order to not overcommit my midfield forwards.  It does depend a bit on who I can get as a left sided player - how are you all getting Depay?  He's not really interested on my save.

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22 hours ago, WhyMe said:

APchivers, have you considered a central Treq as your AM and putting both WB on attack duty for extra width?  You formation is very conservative so you can afford to get more players forward?  You can use your 2 DM's as a central double pivot and you wide players as a goal threat and your wing backs to provide width.  I suspect with a single SS ahead of two DM's he is going to get isolated.  The only alternative to a treq would be an AM on support.  This way the treq would effectively play the role of a support striker.  Anyway just a thought.

@WhyMe - thank you for your advice. With regards the wingbacks, I started on having them on attack duties but I found the "cross from byline" default instruction was ineffective as crosses were delayed and kept hitting the first man. To provide the extra width, I have the wingbacks on support but have added "run wide with the ball" and "stay wider" as additional instructions for the two players.

Interesting thought about the attacking midfielder. I have found this role the hardest to get right. My reservation about a Treq is that I have it in my head that this is more of a creative role and I feel that in this formation the attacking midfielder probably needs to be the main goalscoring threat. Having said that, it is something that could be worth trying to avoid the player getting isolated.

21 hours ago, noikeee said:

I think a more aggressive mentality would help too. With such an incredibly defensive formation he's gonna need any help he can to get the players higher up the pitch.

I love how his results are almost in binary. :D 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 1-1, 1-0...

Thanks @noikeee - a more aggressive mentality was my first thought as well. I tried a control mentality earlier in the season with not much success, but the counter mentality has hardly been successful either! Maybe it is worth re-visiting as the team are now more familiar with the formation.

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thought id share this straight away as might be my only chance to ...but went away to AC Milan knowing a win would send me top.. got completely outplayed but won 1-0 (pretty sure the goal was offside too)

ive had a nice fixture list... lent itself to form...not too many difficult back to back games so able to bounce back quickly where I lost and drew away to Inter and Lazio respectively... and then form breeds form.. but how long can it last

 

fixtures.PNG

top lg.PNG

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Finally getting some time to start this.  Can someone tell me how to post a screen shot?

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Between the 25 player registration rule, fixture congestion and the climate I'm finding squad management to be really challenging.   Add in injuries piling up and 3 of my 4 HGCs being completely worthless and it is downright brutal.   

Edited by Andrew K

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14 minutes ago, kstoyle said:

Finally getting some time to start this.  Can someone tell me how to post a screen shot?

Check the FAQ at the top of this forum.

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14 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

@Haguey -5122 Sweeper DM WB

 be78796450b6feee0969f740b328ad4f.gif

Cheers! Never used a sweeper, never used 5 at the back, sounds incredibly defensive contrary to what I usually play - sounds fun! :D 

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3-2-3-2 DM

I'm going to have to restart because our poor league position (which has recovered somewhat by late January) has led to Dufrel, Acerbi and then Berardi all demanding the chance to leave for pastures new and kicking up a right old stink if told "no". With them gone to L'Om, Man City and Bayern, the rest of the squad keep kicking up a fuss about a lack of depth, and if squad harmony drops I worry about board confidence falling again. In a regular save I'd sign a DC and an ST, but as it is I'm left with two senior strikers plus Pierini (Matri was already gone due to high wages/low appearances) and the admittedly versatile Adjapong retraining as reserve DC, while Fiorentina keep trying to unsettle Sensi and Politano, and it's going to be a slog to avoid the sack/falling back into relegation, while sitting on an unusable £33m transfer kitty and £170k wage budget...

Overall we are:

  • Fifth highest scorers with 31, two players in the top eight individually
  • Fourth highest coneded with 34
  • Sixth best percentage on target, with Missiroli individually the most accurate shot in the league
  • Fifth best average possession, three regulars at ML, MC and MR in the top eight for most distance covered, but not for passing accuracy

The system has some definite pros:

  • Overall shape looks good in attack, and in defence. Players aren’t wandering anywhere they shouldn’t be at silly times (while the RPM, CM(a) and CF(a) are all set to roam, they seem to do so intelligently). This is our average position map with the ball against Juve (lost 5-3), and this against Chievo (won 3-2), both fairly typical, recent examples. We're a bit more spread against Juve, and Politano spent more time further forward, but that was from trying to chase the game in the second half, and in both cases we've covered the territory well. Without the ball against Juve and against Chievo we were solid.
  • Pressing from the CM(a) seems good. I was worried he'd be a little headless-chicken or uninvolved, but that's not been the case.
  • Distribution from Sensi at RPM has been generally very good. I've not made much use of an RPM in past FMs, so this has been pleasant to see.
  • Some wonderful attacking play (ex. vs Juve or a break away vs Chievo), reminiscent of Arsenal at their best.

And some definite cons:

  • Some occasionally wasteful attacking play, reminiscent of Arsenal at their “best”. Tiki-taka-tiki-tackle.
  • Build up from midfield can be somewhat ponderous.
  • Lack of connection between the two STs and the rest of the team (see that position map without the ball against Chievo for a good example). Playing Fluid/Very Fluid or having big target men capable of holding up the ball, or very fast strikers capable of breaking onto long passes, might mitigate this, but I don’t have those.
  • Vulnerable, as 3-man defences seem to be, to diagonal balls into the box, both crosses and knock-downs and cut-backs from crosses to onrushing players (like this goal by Juve).
  • We concede soooo many late goals. That’s got to be something I’m not doing, or else a stamina/concentration issue.

On restart, as well as hopefully avoiding squad issues this time out, I think it's worth experimenting switching to Fluid with an otherwise identical tactical setup. I have a feeling that it'd mesh together that little bit better, particularly in terms of bringing play closer to the front two.

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which of the starting squad are people finding most effective/valuable?? For me;

Politano as a wide midfielder role on support duty in the MR position - set to sit narrow and cut inside, shoot less, shorter passing. He is the best corner taker, fairly solid passing stats - has been replaced by Berardi but comes back in for European games and is a fantastic utility man on the bench

Defrel as attacking midfielder on support duty in the amc position - set to hold up play, shoot less. He adds some much needed pace, which I utilise with counter mentality. In my preferred standard setup he just seems an extremely reliable link up player, most assists in the squad.

Duncan as regista on support duty in the dmlc position - set to get further forward & more direct passing. Sensi plays this role well, but when fit Duncan has kept him out - he has a hammer left foot and has scored vital goals for me when he gets into the advanced positions, also solid at the back... seems a good all round player and possibly someone I'd look to sign for other clubs in future saves.

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9 minutes ago, westy8chimp said:

which of the starting squad are people finding most effective/valuable?? For me;

Acerbi and specially Letschert as wider stopper CBs. They make a ton of interceptions for me, and Letschert's scored a few times going up for corners.

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