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FM17 - The community formation experiment

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20170222135709_1.thumb.jpg.7264db7bc26c79a842069dff2efebce3.jpg

so 4321 narrow Christmas tree, lucky to draw this one. will think about how Ancelotti implemented this system in his Milan days. Probably going to find a good amc for the system. 

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This type of goal is why i am being driven mad by this game / challenge.......

5cff4032c2f66a838b748a48c2562d1d.gif

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1 minute ago, Jambo98 said:

This type of goal is why i am being driven mad by this game / challenge.......

5cff4032c2f66a838b748a48c2562d1d.gif

I've seen that happen quite a few times.

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2 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

This type of goal is why i am being driven mad by this game / challenge.......

5cff4032c2f66a838b748a48c2562d1d.gif

haha not annoying at all ... !

are you on the latest version... I haven't seen that kind of goalkeeping since the BETA? But Consigli has jumped over a few long shots for me.. and parried some into the post then sat on it and rolled backwards.

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Yeah latest version, i do still see fairly regular stupid goal keeping goals, both for and against me and its pretty infuriating when you are trying to set up every little aspect of a tactic, but you cant legislate for that. I mean i get that you cant legislate for individual errors in general, and i am fine / can accept when we concede the odd goal from a short backpass or a completely missed defensive header, but these keeping ones.........

My third attempt at this is going the way of the second. Breezed pre-season, breezed Europe qualifiers........2 games into the actual season, 2 defeats and about to play Man U away :( 

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I must say I am not getting into the 4-2-1-3 DM at all. The only one that has worked at all is the tweak version of a downloaded tactic that I was discussing before. And now that is colouring all my attempts at it. My originality seems shot at the moment.

I would love to try a 4-2-2-2 Magic Box if anyone wants to do a switcheroo?

Otherwise I will have another crack at it. The big issue I am finding with it is that the lone striker is just so isolated and if I set him to drop into midfield to link up like a DLF or F9 or something of that nature, the DMCs don't tend to get up there. Even when set to get further forward. This means that we tend to only have probably two players in true advanced positions that can have a pop at goal. And they just get swamped. Also, strangely, the defence is pretty ordinary. That's probably more due to the higher line that I am trying. But even a slightly deeper line was bad.

It's just frustrating me. I am not a tactical mastermind at this time and I can see the potential. I just can't quite get anything original to work.

The wingers seem to be a big issue. For some reason they are cutting inside. I checked my TIs and PIs and the wingers are set to stay wider and cross often. But they seem to be behaving like IFs. It's seriously doing my head in.

Finally. I have always used more attacking tactics in FM but, at heart, I am more defensive by nature. For the life of me I cannot get counter tactics to work. If anyone wants to chat about how to get a tactic right for the formation then drop me a line. It's becoming dispiriting.

Even just some encouragement. Because of my earlier attempts I am not sticking with a style until it becomes fluid. Which surely wil exacerbate the issue.

😀

Edited by DrPoods
Added more whine to go with my cheese!

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3-2-3-2 DM

So far, eight competitive games into the restart. The only change I've made to the tactic that had me struggling against relegation last time out is to switch from Structured to Fluid. In those eight games - Against AEK x2, a very decent Osmanlispor side x2, and Zenit in the Europa, and Chievo, Juve and Crotone in Serie A - we're P8 W6 D1 L1 F13 A3 and we could easily have snatched a point against Juve and beaten Zenit.

Personnel is a little different, in that I signed Matej Mitrovic who did a sterling job for my St Etienne in last year's thread as cover at DC and D/M RL Andrea Conti from Atalanta, and that's led to me using a mirror variant, swapping the left and right sides. I knew Conti was right-footed, but I wanted him as an alternative to Peluso at ML. I hadn't scouted him 100%, though, so on signing I found he had the "Runs with the ball down the right" PPM as well. When he plays at ML and left-footed Politano plays at MR, both of them cut inside. There's times when a central overload isn't a bad thing, but given the apparent prevalence of narrow formations in Italy, I've tried swapping sides - and roles, since Politano isn't geared for Defensive Winger. Most games now, Politano plays (and is retraining) at ML and Conti at MR, and now they stay wide and offer much more of a way around the opposition. Peluso's now backup to Politano and Ricci or Adjapong for Conti. 

Still don't think I've cracked the striker pairing, though. Defrel looks good but plays woefully (in six starts, mostly at DF(s), no goals and one assist). Matri, mostly at CF(a) has two assists in 6+1 appearances, but other than a hattrick against AEK hasn't scored or even looked likely to. Berardi's just come out of injury, not a moment too soon. 

 

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20170222233534_1.thumb.jpg.08387ce56e848af201db42ac92b0c2d9.jpg

Just have roles set up, and played first friendly, didn't apply any team instructions, kept the mentality and shape in standard, flexible though the whole match. just to check the balance between defense and attack within the system, seems works OK. adjustments will be made and will explain in detail after all friendly games. will update my transfers soon next. 20170222233553_1.thumb.jpg.ca6d08151a710dc73540d3bb8c5374d4.jpg

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final third is compact in the middle of pitch during attacking transition with large numbers, which can fully take advantage of, still need to figure out some roles for MC AMC players and  striker. flanks can be vulnerable all the time, need to be considered for protection during attack-defense transition. 

 

Edited by kingpa689

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5-1-2-2 DM WB

We continue to do well although not amazingly so. I was afraid of what would happen when I had a sequence of difficult fixtures and I was right to be. We suffered a few defeats and tanked to 8th in the table, but an excellent run lately made us climb back to 5th. Europa League has gone fairly easily as we qualified with 2 matches spare, and will face West Ham in the next round.

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New Plan C on Flexible

The most interesting development lately has probably been the introduction of a Plan C in the last few fixtures:

Plan A (default)
Plan B (mostly used to unpick defensive "park the bus" teams)

Plan C:

CfZ7It1.jpg

 

The reason for this is I am getting increasingly unsure that our default approach (plan A) on Very Fluid is adequate for most matches. There are a few issues with Very Fluid, for a start we have a very very deep formation and on playing out from the back on goalkicks, we are all cramped together in our half. Whilst we are usually capable of passing our way around this initial phase, it fails when the opposition is aggressive enough. But these issues vs aggressive teams don't end at this phase of play, generally against most good teams that also play fluidly, the match tends to become a sequence of tight cramped battles across all of midfield, where we usually lose as we are not THAT gifted.

So on this plan C I have switched to Flexible. This is an attempt to stretch play further, and pass over the opposition if they are themselves compact and fluid. This goes well with a slightly longer passing style so I dropped pass shorter, and added pass into space. I have also made Depay a AF/A instead of a CF/A in this to further maximize stretching of play.


Mid-match adaptations

Please notice that plans A, B and C are just quick starting points and I am often deviating further during matches. 

I am taking extra attention against particularly unusual formations. I've come across a 3-4-3 DM Wide (WBL, WBR, DM, DM, AMR, AML, ST) often in recent fixtures and this poses several numerical problems. Often their wingers play actually rather deep, so I've got 3 CBs doing nothing against 1 striker and their wingers/wingbacks doubling up on my wingbacks, which are our usual path to goal as otherwise we have no width. My answer to this has been to push up my defensive line dramatically and pin their players up on their half. Sometimes I saw my 3 CBs sitting beyond the halfway line! Whilst this is radical, the AI gets stuck there and can't get out with 1 single striker vs our 3 CBs. Sometimes I'm even going Attacking mentality, we have a deep formation so can afford to do this.

One of these matches vs the 3-4-3 DM Wide, a team suddenly switched mid-match to a flat 3-4-3 with 3 strikers. My answer was to go plan C and flexible, and to switch my regista into an halfback. This way he becomes a 4th defender and we outman their 3 strikers, and Flexible helps isolate this group of 4 vs 3, compared to Very Fluid where the lines are more compact.

 

Reliance on wingbacks

I find that, unless the opposition is attacking us immensely and giving us loads of space for us to play on plan C and hit balls for Berardi and Depay to run into, we are extremely dependent on our wingbacks finding space for us to attack properly and create decent chances that aren't long shots. We score more from crosses than from anything else, which is not what you'd expect maybe from a 3-5-2 variation.

Overall I am however really enjoying this system! Fun times!

Edited by noikeee

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Hi all - and especially @Jambo98: real life has been interfering with my playing time far too much. I haven't been able to play at all the last two weeks, so please give my formation to someone else (4-1-3-1-1).

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Meanwhile, my struggles to get going continue! I restarted with my clearer vision of how to play, specifically targeted signings who have the attributes to fit into that style. Trained the system hard through pre-season, and between friendlies and the Europa qualifying games, we seemed to be starting to get to grips with it, pulling off the types of moves / goals that i was looking for. Early fixtures up to the start of Serie A: 

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Then Serie A kicks off...........

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Problems scoring, problems keeping goals out. Not a recipe for success! 

The attacking side, i feel is likely to get better as we get more tactically familiar and our new signings in that area gel, not to mention getting Berardi back to full fitness. I also need a plan B, and have some thoughts, but for now the goals against column is my worry. Looked back at the goals we conceded in this run:

Torino - 2 goals from crosses, both times very bad marking in the box, but also on the second they double up on my RB (Lirola) who cant cope and means an easy cross.  Action - Added "Mark tighter" PI on my DC's and well, signed a new RB who is better at defending

Sampdoria - First goal is a second phase from a corner (cleared, one pass then long shot). Set pieces will be a theme.........second goal is the stupid GK bug i posted earlier. Action - Need to look at my defending corners setup

Inter - First is a rebound from a 45yard screamer which the keeper palms out. Nothing to be done with a shot like that. Second is a penalty.  Action - Nothing, hope for better luck

Fiorentina - Corner, headed down, blasted home.  Action - These damn corner settings.......

Udinese - Corner. I kid you not...... Action - Someone sack the defensive co-ordinator! Wait, what do you mean this isnt Gridiron and we dont have one??

Soligorsk - Second phase from a cross, after we deal ok with a first cross. Its not great defending but nothing too obvious Action -  It was my 3rd and 4th choice DC's and we were 3 nil up so would just wear it 

Palermo - First, DFK, Second one is a cross ball, which is a bit of a worry as the opposing RB gets to the byline, we have a man with him but he gets a cross in and our RB makes no attempt to mark his man. Third is a corner. Seriously. Action - Pray more to the god of luck and sort out these damn corners

 

Work to do then........the irony is, after never even looking at set pieces in a save for ages, this one i decided i would make the effort. The corner defending routines are ones i set up. Perhaps i might revert back to default.......

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my partner at baby yoga tonight so I can get another mini session in :) wish you could opt out of the jan window completely so it doesn't stop so much .. hard enough to find time to play FM as it is and I want to get back to my main save!

ive had my corners on default for years as there always seemed some cheat way of scoring if you tinkered too much. concede and score approx. 5 each season. Sass quite good tho ive already scored 5 I think going into Jan. Politano whips them in just right

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On ‎20‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 19:50, westy8chimp said:

Update 11 December (having played my allotted hour! hopefully I can get another hour in after the Arsenal game)

Just qualified top of the euro group

still top of the league and creating a nice cushion from the euro places

pros - 11 clean sheets in the league from 16 games.. and scoring well too, very few injuries, not many tactical tweaks now that im run of form, no unhappy players

cons - concede a lot of chances down my right side where I have a CB (cover) Wing back (attack) and RPM (support). Concede more in Euro than in league.. not sure why, I do rotate players for Euro though so could just be strength of B team letting me down.

Obvious solution to put a DM/Anchor in as defensive role ... my other DM is already a regista... and I need someone to sit infront of the CB cover as my wing back leaves him exposed. I don't want to change the WB because it's working well as one of three attacking roles. At the moment I'm allowing the risk as I don't want to unsettle a winning tactic. If it continues to be exploited its something I will review.

 

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i hate hate hate serie A!! i got an hour in last night ... 1 game because there was a 3 week winter break! Going to quit while im ahead and stop in Jan. (the window will be so long just clicking continue)

The experiment is interesting - it gave me a tactic i wouldn't have chosen, albeit the 4411(2DM) is solid and malleable... and a squad of players i really knew nothing about...and i was able to think more carefully and precisely about my tactic and how to use the players... where if there were no confines I'd probably have switched tactic after my first loss in game 2 and made numerous personnel changes.

But ... at the same time ... when injuries hit and Jan comes ... if i were serious about the save i would definitely have to make signings and tweak formation, if only for a short while... i have all my rbs injured or out on loan (kids) so would probably go to a back 3.

I enjoyed it ... and nice to see some screen shots of how others interpret certain formations.

i lost the 1 game last night away to Cagliari 0-1 ... so my record in serie A was 17 played 12 win 3 draw 2 lose

Playing probably 75% of the games with the tactic shown in the screen shot... i did start off in the early away games with a counter mentality and a couple of role adjustments... and in the home Euro games i had an attacking mentality variant with some role adjustments  

Good Luck to those still playing, i'll follow the thread to see if anyone can win the league or get top 4 with a silly formation like the strikerless 5221 !!

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2 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

i hate hate hate serie A!! i got an hour in last night ... 1 game because there was a 3 week winter break! Going to quit while im ahead and stop in Jan. (the window will be so long just clicking continue)

I'd have thought you'd have wanted to see if you can keep up at that level for the whole season! You're doing spectacularly well, don't just stop now!

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5 minutes ago, noikeee said:

I'd have thought you'd have wanted to see if you can keep up at that level for the whole season! You're doing spectacularly well, don't just stop now!

just cant take any more of that mirky green kit and squad screen :rolleyes:... plus ive done absolutely nothing with coaches, training, kids etc so no way id continue beyond season 1.

im waiting for a delivery at new house tomorrow so I will have like a 4 hour session ... I can either get back into my main save with Bournemouth where I came 5th and then 2nd and just into start of season 3 ... or I can spend the 4 hours clicking continue to get through Jan window with Sassuolo

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1 minute ago, westy8chimp said:

just cant take any more of that mirky green kit and squad screen :rolleyes:... plus ive done absolutely nothing with coaches, training, kids etc so no way id continue beyond season 1.

im waiting for a delivery at new house tomorrow so I will have like a 4 hour session ... I can either get back into my main save with Bournemouth where I came 5th and then 2nd and just into start of season 3 ... or I can spend the 4 hours clicking continue to get through Jan window with Sassuolo

Are you playing FM in like a Pentium 2 or something? :D

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Have been fiddling around with a counter tactic based on the 4-2-1-3 formation. I have a feeling that it might be the way to go. Will start a save with the proper setup.

Just want to get another ten or so games in with it. As long as the consistent performance is there I will crack on with proper updates.

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3-2-3-2 DM

And it was looking so promising...

After just one defeat in our first 8 competitive matches, I thought I'd cracked it. Just two wins in our next 9 (one in the Europa, one in Serie A) suggest otherwise. A combination of individual defensive howlers and strikers unable to score - including Berardi, who was lethal in my first try with the exact same tactic, just Structured instead of Fluid. And then injuries: Consigli, Politano, Pellegrini, Conti, Pegolo (meaning a debut for 16-year-old Enrico Mora in our last Europa game because Pomini isn't registered for that) and Lirola (who was only a backup option, but would've been worth having with both first choice wide men out), all out for a month or two.

Pegolo was injured first and has come back the last two games, but then we also lost Peluso on a three-game ban for elbowing an opponent 10 minutes into a match against Cagliari. Ragusa - who has barely played on grounds of being junk when he has, Ricci - who's only appeared as a sub, and dropping either Berardi or Defrel back to the wings are my only senior wide options on both sides.

The main problem seems to be the gap between strikers and midfield, specifically the support striker not dropping back out of possession. I've tried DF(s)-CF(a), DLF(s)-AF(a), DLF(s)-CF(s), none of them with much success (Pierini was, for a few games, the most effective as DLF(s), but everyone else has been largely garbage in either role). The secondary problem, those silly mistakes at the back.

The last couple of games, I've tried to correct these (Peluso's sending off in the first makes it hard to judge the impact so far) by switching to Very Fluid to compress our formation, switching the BPD for a regular CD, the RPM for a regular DLP (which I think might suit Sensi more anyway; Pellegrini's more mobile, but out for another few weeks), the BWM for a regular DM to better fit Very Fluid, giving the attack a double-support duty, and making the wings more aggressive to bring them up more with the strikers.

t1PTxz9.jpg

PIs:

DLP - Close Down Less

MC - Get Further Forward

Debating:

Changing the MC(s) to a flat-out MC(a), switching from Standard back to Control (because I've done both both games so far and it's seemed effective without damaging our defensive side, such as it is). Both with the aim of giving us more welly going forward. Also: adding Work Ball Into Box, again because I've done it both times; given our lack of height, a lack of crossing isn't something I'm too worried about.

So far, we're two matches down, both draws. The 1-1 with Cagliari was impossible to judge given that we played almost the whole game with 10 men (though we could've won; Defrel hit the post and missed an open goal), but the 2-2 away at Torino was interesting. We had to claw it back from 2-0 down, but completely battered them. They only had three shots on target all game.

If this switch doesn't bear fruit, this may be curtains, though; we're 13th in the league and I'm now out of other ideas.

Edited by cregan

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451 End of the season report

2138e0e12db12232432931ee9778f2fb.png

We went into the last game of the season sitting in 4th place. Crucially both Roma and Napoli dropped points so we managed to leap into 2nd, certainly better than what I could have hoped for before the season.

99d057471bd48d3526c6a44849e61d07.png

In Europa League we topped our group but got 2 tough knockout stage draws in form of Shakhtar and Zenit, the latter knocked us out on away goals. The Italian cup will be forgotten about quickly, we lost to Empoli in the first round.

Tactically things remained mostly the same throughout the season. We were doing so well that there was little reason to change anything. The tactic was made with possession play in mind and our 54% average was the 2nd best in the league. We also completed more passes than any other team. Going forward we scored 46 goals, the 10th highest in the league. We had the 4th most shots on target out of all teams and I felt our finishing let us down at times. Our 2nd place finish was mostly down to our great defence. We conceded just 23 goals while keeping 22 clean sheets, both the 2nd highest in the league after Juventus who were simply unstoppable. I think both our defensive and offensive numbers were greatly influenced by the 451. The formation offers by default both solid defensive positioning and a lack of numbers in attack.

Looking at the assist locations 25 came from the left flank (W(S) and IWB(S)) while just 4 came from the right (WM(A) and FB(S)). On the other hand the right sided players scored a lot more of our goals so it worked out well.

Highest scorers

Defrel - 26 goals
Politano - 19 goals
Pellegrini - 12 goals

The striker plus the 2 midfielders who were given attacking duties. Defrel and Politano did so well that Berardi, who failed to impress, spent a lot of the season sitting on the bench.

Most assists

Paganini - 13 assists
Pellegrini - 12 assists
Defrel - 12 assists

Good output from our winger. Pellegrini also made it into the top 3 here. He had a great season and has already developed into a key player.

Highest average ratings

Peluso - 7.62
Acerbi - 7.40
Politano - 7.38

The top 2 being defenders sums up our season. Peluso also topped the average ratings for the entire league. He got injured for a bit of the 2nd half of the season and we struggled during that period. That was when we went out of Europa League. In hindsight I could have changed my tactics during that short period instead of shoehorning in Saborit who did not perform as well.

While the 451 is far from any of the most obscure formations available, this challenge got me using a structured shape which I normally do not tend to use. I will be using it more from now and I think it is especially nice for flat formations where it can add a bit of depth which the formation may otherwise lack.

Finally, thanks for taking the time to host this @Jambo98 :thup:

Edited by thels

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3 hours ago, thels said:

451 End of the season report

2138e0e12db12232432931ee9778f2fb.png

We went into the last game of the season sitting in 4th place. Crucially both Roma and Napoli dropped points so we managed to leap into 2nd, certainly better than what I could have hoped for before the season.

99d057471bd48d3526c6a44849e61d07.png

In Europa League we topped our group but got 2 tough knockout stage draws in form of Shakhtar and Zenit, the latter knocked us out on away goals. The Italian cup will be forgotten about quickly, we lost to Empoli in the first round.

Tactically things remained mostly the same throughout the season. We were doing so well that there was little reason to change anything. The tactic was made with possession play in mind and our 54% average was the 2nd best in the league. We also completed more passes than any other team. Going forward we scored 46 goals, the 10th highest in the league. We had the 4th most shots on target out of all teams and I felt our finishing let us down at times. Our 2nd place finish was mostly down to our great defence. We conceded just 23 goals while keeping 22 clean sheets, both the 2nd highest in the league after Juventus who were simply unstoppable. I think both our defensive and offensive numbers were greatly influenced by the 451. The formation offers by default both solid defensive positioning and a lack of numbers in attack.

Looking at the assist locations 25 came from the left flank (W(S) and IWB(S)) while just 4 came from the right (WM(A) and FB(S)). On the other hand the right sided players scored a lot more of our goals so it worked out well.

Highest scorers

Defrel - 26 goals
Politano - 19 goals
Pellegrini - 12 goals

The striker plus the 2 midfielders who were given attacking duties. Defrel and Politano did so well that Berardi, who failed to impress, spent a lot of the season sitting on the bench.

Most assists

Paganini - 13 assists
Pellegrini - 12 assists
Defrel - 12 assists

Good output from our winger. Pellegrini also made it into the top 3 here. He had a great season and has already developed into a key player.

Highest average ratings

Peluso - 7.62
Acerbi - 7.40
Politano - 7.38

The top 2 being defenders sums up our season. Peluso also topped the average ratings for the entire league. He got injured for a bit of the 2nd half of the season and we struggled during that period. That was when we went out of Europa League. In hindsight I could have changed my tactics during that short period instead of shoehorning in Saborit who did not perform as well.

While the 451 is far from any of the most obscure formations available, this challenge got me using a structured shape which I normally do not tend to use. I will be using it more from now and I think it is especially nice for flat formations where it can add a bit of depth which the formation may otherwise lack.

Finally, thanks for taking the time to host this @Jambo98 :thup:

Excellent job!

As mine goes, I think I am ready to run a season test. Happy with how it looks. Just needs a minor tweak or two and I think I am good to go. Have found that the relatively simple change of the fullbacks from FB(Auto) to FB support makes a massive difference. The counter philosophy was just keeping them too deep so there weren't enough options in attack. Still maintains a pretty good defence though.

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Hi, I'm a bit of a lurker round here. I read last years thread (after finding it about 8 months late :D) and am glad to see it back.

Is there any room for a johnny-come-lately? I think I can end up being too rigid with my tactics and something like this would really help pushing the boat a little and seeing if I can survive outside my comfort zone. No doubt I'll be sacked within the first 6 months, if I'm accepted, but hey 'ho. That's half the fun isn't it.

Cheers

Edited by demodave

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4-5-1

Since I came late in the selection process, I knew this formation had already been doled out to someone before me. So, the first thing I did was check to see who had it already. @thels had it. And 1) I recalled reading their posts and 2) I had just seen @Rashidi do a video on his formation. So, at first thought I decided to try and forget everything I had seen so I didn't just copy what he did. Then I had the brilliant idea to read his posts and do the exact opposite to what he did. Then I realized the only thing I want out of this is to learn something and have fun with it. So, I re-read the posts and re-watched rashidi's video. Then I did what I was probably going to do anyways. i.e Try something, suck at it, try something else, suck at it. Rage quit. etc. ;)

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Picked up Acuna for ML. Looking at the roster, ML seemed to be the weakest position. I scouted a bunch of players and he seemed the best that I could afford. And in 7 competitive matches so far he has 2 goals, 6 assists.Gobbi was meant for depth and I think he has played once or twice. Mattiello got hurt in a friendly and has been out so far.

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This is where I am now, just entering October. My defense has played well at times and has been terrible at times. My attack has been great at times and has been terrible at times. So, in other words, my typical teams. That Juventus pasting, I had a 1-0 lead, tried to go defensive, gave up 2 goals, tried to go control, gave up 2 more goals, then gave up and gave up 2 more goals.

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The two losses coming from Juventus and AC Milan don't bother me too much. We actually played well against AC Milan, they just scored.

Tactic - Counter/Structured

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I have experimented with Structured, Flexible and Fluid but Structured seems to make us play better. I will likely continue to experiment with it. I started out with a direct/counterattacking approcah so i would go with TI's of Prevnt Short GK Distribution, Pass Into Space, More Direct Passing. I tend to exploit one or both flanks based on what is happening in the game. Then I have PI's of get forward to the WP(a) and CM(a).

The last few games I have tried a more possession oriented system with Play Out of Defense, Shorter Passing, Work Ball Into Box. What I plan on doing is play the more direct/counter game against better opponents and the possession game against weaker opponents.

I've had the F9, CM(a) and WP(a) on close down much more and tackle harder to try to disrupt the opponent.

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Question gentlemen.

Have been playing two W(S) and now have a CF(A) in the middle. But we are still not that good going forward often. Spurts of attacking but we are struggling to score goals.

Would it be better to switch one to an IF(A)? I would like to get a bit more support to the central striker. Defensively we are nice and sound. But not sure what to do.

Help?

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Made a shift to a control strategy with both wingers changed to IF(A) and the FBs both changed to attack.

The opposition instructions were amended slightly to allow more pressure on wider players.

First match? Beat Crotone 4-0. Berardi with a hat trick and 5 clear cut chances. Absolutely put them to the sword. Will be interesting to see how it goes. I plan on sticking with it. Anythig is better than endless dreary results.

Edited by DrPoods
Fascinating as they are, "wongers" are not yet in the lineup.

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Just about to hit the halfway point of the season with my 4411 2DM system. I had to start again as I had a PC crash. On the plus side I made the tactic better this time around and am doing quite well. I shall do a mid-season report this evening.

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3-2-3-2 DM

Halfway through the season. The switch to a Very Fluid, less specialised variant has definitely lifted results and performances. Not dramatically - we're pinging between 7th and 13th, 10th at present - but things are definitely better:

9hUYHs3.jpg

We could've beaten Torino and Empoli, and could have scraped a draw against Napoli as well, while the Lille result in the Europa was a reserves side - we were already out so I played the kids. It's only really been the last game against Roma where  we've been dreadful; not a shot on goal, even after they went down to 10 men (albeit we followed a while after).

I've adopted an all-attacking midfield line (two W(a) and a CM(a)), occasionally dropping one back a level if we need to tighten up, but there seems to be minimal difference in defensive positioning and a little more tendency to break forwards on the ball. Given the big problem I've had has been disconnect between strikers and midfield, more movement behind seems like a good thing.

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So, we hit January 1st. A bit up and down but I'm happy nethertheless.

Mid%20season%201%20league_zpsoyvusvdn.jp

results_zpsylrjzwoe.jpg

4411 2DM

tactic%20mid%20season_zpss0uvq1n5.jpg

Plays almost like a 4231 when attacking. The DMC spots sit higher when attacking with the both being on Support but I have instructed Sensi no to dribble with the ball, he just sprays passes around the pitch.

Transfers

Transfers_zpsbaqtwnmh.jpg

 

 

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8 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Featuring Noikees' impressive tactic in the 2nd show

 

Thanks for the review Rashidi.

I'm finding indeed that a weakness vs big sides is that on Very Fluid we get camped on our half, and are prone to conceding long range shots (although I'd rather concede from those than from any other sort of more dangerous shot!). Our worst defeat yet was a 3-0 against Inter, although we didn't give away a single CCC - 2 of the goals were long shots. Sigh. I'm switching to Flexible often now, as I alluded to in a recent post.

Helping out Sensi with the robust duo of Duncan/Magnanelli ahead was only kinda half intentional. I started with Sensi as Regista just for the hell of it, and the rest fit together afterwards. Duncan's indeed not a perfect CM/A fit as a poor finisher, but he's there for his defensive skills too, not necessarily to help out Sensi directly, but to win more balls higher up the field and prevent us from being camped on our area that often. I find it very important in this ME to win balls high up and this midfield setup allows us to (same as why I have stoppers as wide CBs really - win as many balls higher up as possible). Also my midfield's on a rather aggressive trio of roles by design, because I know I've got 3 CBs behind them to cover their backs when they lose shape...

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Apologies all, been away from this thread for a bit - missed a few people asking to get involved. 

@eiLo - 4213 DM Wide

8a2bf1ddf14253e9080b1b1ac1b982a0.gif

 

@demodave  442 Diamond Narrow

61fe9459e1de3e554b77669d470f38b9.gif

 

@isakj - 3412

db03caad039b4f57101c5624913d0490.gif

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As for my own attempt, frustrations abound. Could never ever get the balance right. And i switched it off after this typical FM style game:

6153226284e70d06945f2f1d52d3bf95.jpg

Check the Genoa number of goals v shots no target :rolleyes:

Might try again, or perhaps give myself another formation in the second go around :( I do like some of the players a lot, and brilliant reading the progress and thoughts of others here. 

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3 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

Check the Genoa number of goals v shots no target :rolleyes:

Man, that's harsh. And only one of them a CCC by the engine's reckoning.

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5 hours ago, noikeee said:

Thanks for the review Rashidi.

I'm finding indeed that a weakness vs big sides is that on Very Fluid we get camped on our half, and are prone to conceding long range shots (although I'd rather concede from those than from any other sort of more dangerous shot!). Our worst defeat yet was a 3-0 against Inter, although we didn't give away a single CCC - 2 of the goals were long shots. Sigh. I'm switching to Flexible often now, as I alluded to in a recent post.

Helping out Sensi with the robust duo of Duncan/Magnanelli ahead was only kinda half intentional. I started with Sensi as Regista just for the hell of it, and the rest fit together afterwards. Duncan's indeed not a perfect CM/A fit as a poor finisher, but he's there for his defensive skills too, not necessarily to help out Sensi directly, but to win more balls higher up the field and prevent us from being camped on our area that often. I find it very important in this ME to win balls high up and this midfield setup allows us to (same as why I have stoppers as wide CBs really - win as many balls higher up as possible). Also my midfield's on a rather aggressive trio of roles by design, because I know I've got 3 CBs behind them to cover their backs when they lose shape...

Actually your setup inspired me to create a libero system with Gloucester it's covered in episode LLM25 and 26. I will keep experimenting with Gloucester but I have to admit this thread has never failed to inspire me into making new systems

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4-1-2-3 Narrow

a.k.a. The Wrecking Ball

58b4d2863d006_SassuolovCrotone_AnalysisOverview.thumb.png.077eb5cf5094549b397d4c674ebf512c.png

Time for a first real update on my struggles with this formation.

Tactic

I started a test save first, to experiment with different tactics and at the same time get to know the squad. It didn't start out all that bad, but once the opponents figured out I only ever played one formation and they could make my life difficult by being aggressive, it started to get really frustrating. I played through to the end of the season, ending somewhere around 14th place, but a large part of it was just me rage-continuing, slamming the space bar and going through games at high pace. I had been trying all kinds of things to avoid turning it into a pile of players just outside the edge of the opponents box, trying to get strikers to drop off and AMs to run into gaps, but nothing really worked and everything turned out unstable defensively. Opponents with just the tiniest bit of quality and, especially, pace, will usually run rings around my defenders. At the end of that test save I decided to keep it simple and settled on the following system. (Don't pay too much attention to the particular players; this was taken somewhere in pre-season.)

58b4d1dbe8247_U.S.Sassuolo_Overview-2_3.thumb.png.b8562975cba059bab15b8afa53479273.png

58b4d1ae0f0a3_U.S.Sassuolo_Overview-2_2.thumb.png.3385198cff64dd57470bfb8534e18ea3.png

I've resorted to playing a defensive midfielder in the MC spot and all-round midfielders in the AMC spots, trying to get it to act as a more regular midfield triangle, just placed higher up.

  • A DLP-de with Close Down Much Less to keep him in his place as much as possible (also More Direct Passes and More Risky Passes to try and get him to accelerate play and make some use of all those players in front of him, but I don't see back much of that in matches, possibly due to the lack of movement).
  • Two basic AM-su's who don't have to be sexy, but need to be brave and work hard (although some creativity here can make a big difference).
  • Two Wing Backs on support with Sit Narrower, Fewer Risky Passes, and Cross From Byline, to help out circulate the ball during the build up phase and sneak forward late in attacks.
  • A basic Defensive Forward in the center, because there really is no space to try anything creative there. Can't drop off, because there are two AMCs behind him, can't move sideways because of the two other forwards beside him, can't really ask him to run into space because we're often camped on the edge of the box. I was looking to get a big, brave, strong guy to play here. Managed to get the brave and strong, not so much the big, in an experienced (some would call it aging) Argentinian striker.
  • I've set the two outer strikers to Trequartistas to just give them carte-blanche to use their creativity and move around and try to find space to play in.

Counter mentality, to avoid too many players taking risk in running forward. Fluid in a bid to try and keep the team somewhat cohesive. Same goes for Push Higher Up. Higher Tempo and Dribble Less, because we're usually playing in a small crowded area, so no time or space to dilly-dally or run with the ball too much.

Basically, the game plan is to create a mess and hope for either a spark of creativity from our side or a lapse in concentration / lost nerves on the opposing side.

I usually start matches on Full Detail for about ten to fifteen minutes, before I switch to higher speed, to see what adjustments I need to make. I will raise or lower Mentality if I think it's possible or required. Often I have to set the Trequartistas to man-mark the opponents' full-backs (I try to play fast players with good work rate in these positions, basically wingers/inside forwards), sometimes get one or both of the AMCs to man-mark a central midfielder. Sometimes I switch one or, even more rare, both wing backs to attack, to unlock really stubborn defences. When an opponent goes Attacking, I may increase passing length and add Pass Into Space to try to catch them out of position.

As an aggressive formation probably should, against weaker opponents it can easily dominate possession and generate a lot of shots from the edge of the box. If the players were a little bit (a lot :lol:) better, it could almost start to look like tiki-taka, with a lot of short passing around the box, the DLP laying back as a safe passing option, wing backs pushing up. But unfortunately, we're Sassuolo, so it's usually just a mess and we have to scrape ugly goals. It's not uncommon to score from a long shot through the crowd that gets deflected two or three times.

And while it has the capability to pin back weaker opponents, against stronger sides it's nerve wrecking. A decent team with a bit of movement up top and a runner from midfield or a full back pushing up will easily tear all kinds of holes in it.

Transfers

This is something I usually don't bother with too much, so I'm not really good at it. In the end I got a left back with a bit more technical ability than Dell'Orco (probably way too expensive, though), and that old, strong striker I mentioned earlier. I wasn't planning on it, but on dead-line day I also got in an AM/ST on loan (with optional future fee) with decent pace and agility, although his work rate probably is too low. He hasn't played yet because of injury.

58b4e569b89d6_U.S.Sassuolo_TransferHistory_2.thumb.png.f30dda6b087c2fb722cfd05d7c62f150.png

58b4e5b09ccae_MarianoPavone_OverviewProfile_2.thumb.png.2a892fdf7105af76b0a63e754052f319.png

58b4e60479d98_Caju_OverviewProfile_2.thumb.png.d4d135208e5168547ea53e877acc61d1.png

58b4e61349b45_AlejandroRomeroGamarra_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.cbf5eb7eec66d2b96ec451fef5f0ad8d.png

Back Room

Most of the staff I brought in are unremarkable, but I can never resist big names, so I couldn't help myself bringing in these three.

58b4e83d469c5_U.S.Sassuolo_OverviewAll5.png.6996c71484f6ea86201ddd08b425eb6f.png

Results

So far, so good. Six games into the season, it doesn't look all that bad, although somehow it looks better than it felt. Especially after the Lazio and Inter games I feared the wheels were coming off, but we picked ourselves up against some weaker sides.

58b4ead43256b_U.S.Sassuolo_SeniorFixtures2.thumb.png.eee6e7756027f2946ea550c6ca4d5c02.png

Edited by eriktous

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4-5-1

First the good news. I had an ok start of the season and then I had this.

sass2nd.jpg.6a9ba4692577862bb3eb4aa9ea989cbe.jpg

I climbed to 2nd place. Everything was going pretty smoothly. There were a few games here and there where our defense seemed a bit suspect but what can I really complain about with 6 clean sheets. We created chances, played well.......

Then....

sass3rd.jpg.f85a82f499b927bcfa97769c00c41c36.jpg

My defense has just collapsed. My attack which sometimes creates chances just can't finish. The most demoralizing loss is the Cagliari match where I had a 3-1 lead. And the goals aren't coming from the same place, they come corners, long shots, crosses, passes through the middle and just dumb mistakes by my players.

I think I am going to have a long think on this. My tactic is pretty much the same with....

sasslineup.thumb.jpg.18086d8a852f4d9a80915c4a904ead46.jpg

This is probably the most common lineup recently.

sass.thumb.jpg.4e25d816c2f8a149c3d4978538cb394f.jpg

And this is how they are playing.

During the win streak, i was mainly playing a possession tactic. TI's of Shorter Passing, Play Out of Defense and i usually left Pass Into Space on. Whipped Crosses typically. Counter/Structured.

As I have started to lose I have gone back to a direct approach as well. TI's of Pass Into Space, More Direct Passing. Then Prevent GK Distribution for both. I have experimented with other shouts.

GK has Roll it out. RB has Cross More Often. ML has nothing now but I had More Risky Passes on Acuna for awhile. The CM(s) and DLP(d) have More Risky passes and More Direct Passes. The CM(a), MR and F9 have Tackle Harder and Close Down Much More. Right now I also have the CM(a) on Move Into Channels and Roam From Position.

Now to try and figure out what I'm doing wrong here...

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13 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

@demodave  442 Diamond Narrow


Thanks for this.

At first I thought this one of the less interesting formations to try, but now I have looked at the Sassulo squad. Its going to be a little more difficult then I anticipated.

The Central Midfielders seem quite defensive and its going crucial to get the right balance. The Full backs seem a little weak considering I probably need them to bomb forward to create width. And the front 3 partnership seems like square pegs in round holes. Who is going play AMC for instance? Do I really want an attacking role like a Shadow striker or a Trequartista behind a front two. If not I am lacking options a little. Being on "Day 1" still, I feel right now like I need 4 or 5 players to get the squad suited to the formation. Obviously that's not an option.

The first 11 should be OK, but keeping the team fit and injury free is going to be crucial I feel. It's going to be interesting to see what I can conjuror up.

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This years formation for me was the 541 flat. It was slightly better than the one i had last year even though playing a 523 narrow was quite fun and i did achieve higher league position than i thought with Saint Etienne with a 6th place.

 

So what did i decide to do with the 541? There was a few options that i thought off and wrote down. At first i tried to make the tactic as attacking as i could and this came with a lot of problems 

 

My thoughts initial thoughts/problems when thinking how to approach this 541?

Its a defensive tactic
Lone Striker seems to be isolated (will need to get him support?)
2 Banks whilst defending (compact hard to break down?)
We effectively only have 2 central players in midfield.
If a team is camped in our half it would be hard to move out as we only have one outlet to whom has a lot of work to do before he gets support.

So getting the transition from def to mid and mid to attack transition need to be thought out. Also because we lack a AMC or DMC we need to be able to control the two spaces. One in front of our defensive line and one behind our striker. Winning second balls will be key!

So what did i come up with?

Defence

f11035af9b2b16cca700e7239940648c.png

Due to being overloaded in our first game against Juventus and losing 6-1 i was finding that we was just getting run at though the middle. So With Peluso i had a player that could play as an IWB so i made that switch from FB(s) to IWB to try and make more numbers up and helping with transitioning from defence to mid. With having a back 5 i knew i could afford him to be slightly more adventurous. 

Because of IWB i needed a strong centre back next to him to help clear up balls and protect that wing i placed Acerbi in that left side CB role.

Same with Antei on the right, in certain time in games i wanted Lirola to move be more attacking i would change his role to FB (a) to give us more width on this flank. So needed a no nonsense centre back here. Could have used Cannavaro in this role but Antei was performing well so he got the nod more. 

Leaves us with the BPD (st) in the middle. I wanted this role to be a Half Back/DM but slightly withdrawn, i wanted him to step out of the defence line and clear balls and intercept to gain a little more control in this space infont of the defence. He got Closing down much more and tackle harder. Pass it short as i didn't want him trying too adventurous balls and lose possession. 

All the back line had pass short and fewer risky passes.

Full backs also had Close down more and tackle harder i wanted to have an aggressive defensive line to try and get the ball to launch counter attacks whilst the opposition was slightly out of shape.

Midfield 

661268f629afbc486b38eefd9a57eae3.png

Now this is where most of my changes came throughout the season but i settled on this in the end.

Initial thoughts was have the 2 wingers to become inside forwards to help support the striker and have one late runner from midfield and another just outside the box to keep recycling the possession.

LM- Due to IWB coming in side i need a little more width on the left flank at first i had him on WM(s) and sit narrower but in attack it felt too close for 3 players and not enough chance to spread the opposition back line. So Winger on Support. His only PI was fewer risky passes. In games where the opposition attack us and i knew he had space to run into i switch duty to attack to hopefully take advantage of the space. (Ragusa wasn't performing and he got injured so Missiroli who had moaned about lack of playing time i noticed he was awkward at the role but had the attributes to play it so he got the start and i never looked back.)

CM(a) - This role is probably one that i pretty much kept with throughout the season i wanted a late runner to help support the lone striker and also to become a second striker attacking the box. I wanted those runs in the space between midfield and attack to help control this part of the pitch and also try and win the 2nd ball knock downs. I did use AP(a) or Cm (s) depending on situations in certain games. PI's More risky passes and more direct passes, shoot less often didn't want too many long range shots. (Pellegrini made it his role until a few longish injuries where Duncan stepped up and took on the role for most of the season.)

DLP(d) - now this was the third role i used here. I started on BWM on support and this left us too open defensively so i went to a defend duty. I liked how the role worked but it was picking up way too many yellows and reds so went to use a similar role but without the tackle harder instruction so CM(d) it was. This also proved too much for me in yellows and with this role starting position slightly higher than the BWM i felt the defence and mid transition wasn't as easy so i went with DLP(d) to help with this transitions. Pi's Pass it shorter. (Magnanelli / Duncan both rotated in this role. Biondini played a few due to injuries and suspensions)

Now to the right wing. This player i wanted as a withdrawn Raumdeuter. So i customised the WM(a) role to give him all the nes Pi's. I had this role in mind for Berardi. But while he was injured at beginning of the game i used Politano he had some superb performances in this role so Berardi didn't play as much as i thought he would. He didn't get a long stint whilst Politano was out for 7 weeks.

Striker

3c073ad741abba776e52b3ebe2fa842e.png

 

I settled on DLF(s) with Pi's More direct passes.

I wanted the striker to drop deep and become involved in transition and not to become too isolated. I have tried TQ and F9 but i felt they moved far too much and wanted someone a little more static to play off. Again if i the opposition played high up i would put him on attack duty and try balls over the top to launch counter attacks, i want the defence of the opposition to be worried about something if we was sitting deep. (Defrel was my main man for the first most of the season, Iemmello had a small stint, Matri played a few time before i sold him, and Berardi was my number 2.)

In my next post later i will go through team instructions and what i did in certain times of the matches and also how the where we finished in the league.

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Loads more excellent info and write ups here, making me actually think i might delve back into my save! Great to see all the ideas floating about. 

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