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Jambo98

FM17 - The community formation experiment

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Team Instructions.

My idea at first was to have a slowish build up keeping hold of the ball whilst we get enough support up the field, as we will be compact in the defensive phase. Didn't want endless of balls just getting hoof up. So i had Lower tempo, fairly narrow (as i wanted to move the ball centrally and keep two wide midfielders tuck in, to make a slightly tighter 4 man midfield) and shorter passing. Started with standard as wanted an average risk mentality and was flexible as wanted them compact but didn't want the players to have too much creative freedom. I could have gone Fluid to get more players in transition but as we got done 6-1 against Juventus i had to go back to the drawing board. As the play was too slow we came under too much pressure and lost the ball easily. I went for no instructions and left it at Standard/Flexible to start matches and then changed accordingly throughout the game. Shouts that i did normally use were.

 

Slightly Higher - If i felt the opposition had too much time to get at our back line. Making easier to win 2nd balls,

Slightly Deeper - If the opposition came at us and was attacking. I went structured and pass into the space and fairly wider (hit early crosses sometimes too) and made sure i had put an extra attack duty either on the left flank or the striker. To hit them on a counter.

Clear to the flanks - used this a couple of times through the season if we had too much pressure through the centre made sure the full backs was the ones that got the ball.

Increased tempo if i didn't want to increase the risk as well.

Work ball in the box (i only used this about a 1/3 of the games and wasn't for long periods) if i find that we wasn't particularly crossing effective, and to make sure the players passed back if you didnt have any passing options rather than shooting.

Stay on Feet/Get Stuck in -  again depending on what defensive line i had and what period of the game.

3 out of the last 4 games, i started tried to play defensive and very fluid and more disciplined until the last 20 minutes then i would let the team come out a little to hit the counter attacks. Inter, Forientina and Napoli. We nearly got he result against Inter it was Jovetic 30 yards striker that settle the difference and against Forientina the plan work brilliantly scoring a 86th minute winner as shown below. We also had some nice passing play in this match, its what i wanted to achieve with this tactic.

Our Passing Play

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Our Goal.

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Where did we end up?

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In the end we finished 10th, i was slightly disappointed in that i thought after the good first half of the season we could finish in the top 6 or 7 but the bad form at the end of the season not picking up enough wins saw us slip to mid table.

You can see that the problem was that we didnt score enough goals. I do think the goals conceded could have been better but then again some games we lost 4-1 or 6-1 i did try and go a lot more attacking to get something from games if we went 1 or 2 down. We did achieve 13 clean sheets in Serie A.  All in all it was a good experiment i enjoyed it, was quite hard at times when i wanted to change formations but couldn't. I found that you had to watch make sure you adapted a lot more to certain situations to get the most out of the system. Maybe i tried to make it too attacking at times and going away from its strength with the numbers back in our half. 

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Transfers

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Goals and Assist Locations

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Tactics

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Edited by syemo

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Just a small request to anyone posting updates in this topic: would you be so kind as to start your post by mentioning the formation you're using. Makes it easier to understand.

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@syemo nice write up... vids of beautiful football... so promising... then you post the league table... 10th! what an anti climax.

Lack of goals as you say is the problem: With a defensive formation you could have done with more aggressive mentality ... or more attack duties. Personally I really like standard...gives plenty of scope to adjust accordingly during the match. I think I'd have made your FB attacking... so the WM ahead of him support... then your WM on the left attacking... meaning you would have switched your CMa and DLPd around. And I'd have had a CF attack or DLF attack rather than support... as no AMC bursting past.

Nice passing moves though as shown in the video.

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5-2-3 Narrow

This is my end of season write up. I think I can safely say we met our expectations for the year without ever threatening to do anything special. A small part of me is considering whether to replay the season using the system we settled on in December (Home Vs. Lazio) to see what might have been. I made some questionable transfer decisions and if I had invested a bit more time here I also may have seen better results. 

Final League Table                                                           Serie A Results                                                                                     

IfHZaRL.png?1        TAHfpjf.png?1     

                                                                                            BAZWCw9.png?1

 

Euro Cup Results

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Formation                                                                                                                            Vs. other formations

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There are big holes in this system and I think we struggled to compensate for them, or really commit to our strengths. The main criticisms are the ease at which teams could create long shot opportunities. This issue informed my decision to make the central centre back a stopper. Against stronger teams the long shots were a necessary evil and we did our best to stay compact and deep to make sure nothing was played in behind. Against weaker teams we played with a higher line and more closing down to limit the space. Again this had positives and negatives and I adjusted accordingly depending on the opposition. Inevitably in some games the opposition were able to score from distance and I just had to grin and bear that.

I never felt comfortable with how our forward line operated and although they all did contribute well, the lack of support they offer the midfield always concerned me. Our goal scoring potency was also hindered by my selling of Beradi to Bayern in January. The highlight of this system was the full backs, whether I used them as IWBs or a wing back they always contributed, Peluso had a brilliant season. The worst part were the two in centre midfield. I think there was too much for them to do in both attack and defence and so ended up lost. I had huge expectations for Sensi, but I just couldn't create the time or opportunities to utilise his vision.

In terms of results, we played well and consistently after I changed to IWBs. We managed to do the double over Roma and avoid defeat against champions Juventus. Our performance in Europe was good and our performance in the group stages was incredible. Eventually Man Utd defeated us in the quarter final, the 4-0 scoreline isn't a fair reflection of the game and the three screamers they scored were heart breaking. Defrel actually managed to finish as top scorer in the competition with 10 goals.

And finally my transfers, the two in pre-season were hasty and in hindsight were poor decisions. Kimpembe was brought in as Acerbi's replacement in January and was solid for us.

nNzQ1c7.png?1

I will have some time away from Sassuolo now, but may re-visit this formation again to see whether I could have done better.

 

 

Edited by Sanno11

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Thanks for the feedback @westy8chimp it was certainly an anti climax indeed. I thought we could hold up our first half of the season form, i had a settle tactic. But the inability to win any games saw us fall down the table. 

I could have tried a more attacking system to play and more aggressive mentality but i didn't want to take too much risk by that increase in mentality. As you can see my result in my first game against Juventus losing 6-1 kind of put me back into being a more conservative approach. My right full back did get his duty changed mostly in games but only when i knew we had control in that flank of the match. As we can see we concede most assists down our flanks and thats playing a little more conservative. I have thought about try this tactic longer but at present i haven't done so.

if both players was on attack on that flank they wouldn't have occupied the same space as i have the right mid sit narrow and cut inside ready for the overlap :)  Politano had his better games on a attack duty and was a little nulled when on support. Like i say it something that could be tested a little more. 

I was happy how i got the tactic playing just disappointed in the end result end of the day. Maybe i was missing something due to my bad run of games around feb/march time that i could have tweaked.

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@Sanno11 nice system there i got that one last year and it proved to be intriguing to say the least. You did a good job achieving what you have.

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4-3-3 Narrow

I have been very pleased so far with the way its going for me, I have now played four league games and won three of them. The instructions I am using are dependent on each game and situation. I can use a higher attacking mentality and getting the midfield and defence to play fewer risky passes. I am also playing with a high to mid block to keep two of the zones covered. I have also got a CM/D to help support the back line as i sometimes play with a higher line. I also adjust  if i am playing defensively to push the tempo up and working the ball into the box. The 4-3-3 Narrows biggest problem is the width. To deal with this i have a  full back on attack which is giving the width and i have also got Iemello playing as a false nine and linking with pallegrini nicely.

 58b76932ac89f_4-3-3Narrow.thumb.jpg.55198a5830796c74c65877099bdac767.jpg

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4-1-2-3 Narrow

Just played the craziest of games.

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The weird thing is that it actually felt like a really tense game, as it was supposed to be: fourth in the league against fifth after eight games. I didn't dare switch to anything faster than Comprehensive Highlights until well into the second half. We scored pretty early, but I always keep the Body Language widgets open, and where teams usually fall apart after being two goals down, with a number of frustrated or even furious players, most of theirs remained highly motivated and they just remained aggressive and kept coming at us, even when they were 5-1 down. That was probably also their undoing, because they just gave away too much space and their defence couldn't cope with our top heavy formation. I'm pretty sure Fiorentina played a structured tactic with fast direct passing to a wide front three, the striker on support, dropping off, trying to link and set up combination plays with an attacking AMC. They switched formations during the game, starting in a 4-2-3-1 DM Wide, changing to an even more aggressive regular 4-2-3-1 Wide in the second half.

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Early in the game I dropped my d-line from slightly higher to normal (on counter mentality), hoping to isolate their attacking section from the defending one, and switched my wide defenders from the usual wing-backs (support) to full-backs (support), to keep the back four organised better. I also set the two outer strikers to man-mark the opponent's full-backs, and at half time I made the switch from Normal to More Direct Passing, turned on Pass Into Space, and set Bernardeschi, their Inside Forward AMR to Show Onto Right Foot, to try to prevent him from dribbling inside too much.

And even though it worked out amazingly well, I do feel we were a bit lucky in getting that early lead. Those goals came out of the blue somewhat, with the first being a 20-yard diagonal screamer, followed quickly by a penalty. (If you look closely at 0:13 seconds into the video you can see that Pavone is already applauding himself with his hands above his head during his run up for the penalty. There's confidence. :applause::idiot::lol: )

@Rashidi, you asked for pkm's. Here's one of this match. Please be gentle.  Fiorentina v Sassuolo.pkm

Season Performance

We're currently third in the Serie A on goal difference and leading the Europa League group with three wins out of three.

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Personnel

In my previous post I wasn't too confident about my transfer dealings, but two hattricks in one game by two of my summer signings help me feel a little bit better about them. Something I never really expected, was that Pavone as the Defensive Forward would get such a high pass completion ratio. Sure, the DF does have Fewer Risky Passes, but if you would see the melee of players he's usually in, you wouldn't guess he would do so well to find a team mate so often; not to mention he gets an admirable number of key passes and assists as well. I think his good Balance (16) is very important in this regard, and I feel somewhat vindicated in my decision to look for more of a rugby player than a football player for this position.

58b771da43bf1_Pavonepasscompletion.thumb.png.14c7fbbf37e3479d7afd135a069d8c15.png

Sassuolo Dance Party

The home match against Crotone one month ago was the start of a massive dance party, and six games with a goal difference of 23-3 later, the fans haven't stopped dancing yet.

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Super Timo

Finally, who needs Cristiano Ronaldo when we've got Timo Letschert, currently the best player in the Serie A? We get a lot of free kicks around the box with this tactic and he's already scored from three of them, and also headed in a corner.

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I apologize for the long post with so many screen shots, but the adrenaline was just too high after this match. Had to get it out someway.  :hammer:

 

Edited by eriktous

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Wow, both of those systems above (the 4-3-3 narrow and the 4-1-2-3) are VERY interesting. I love the unconventional/assymetric distributon of roles in the 4-3-3 (typically you'd use both wide forwards on attack roles and the middle one on support, or the other way around; rather than only one guy in the side as support, but it makes sense as it is combined with all the rest), and on DEFENSIVE on all things; and I quite like the almost opposite idea in the 4-1-2-3 of pretty much having most of those advanced players on cautious roles to bring them together to less bonkers positions. And seems like both approaches are working.

Some really creative thinking there, well done folks.

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4-3-3 Narrow

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Things are going well we look solid in defending and good going forward, The AI is playing mostly defensive systems against us.

I also wanted to send in a pkm for rashidi to check out but i accidentally clicked on the pkm to open with utorrent lol. anybody know how to fix that.

 

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3-2-3-2 DM

The fat lady has sung and we finished the season in 9th, never in danger of doing anything extraordinarily good/bad in the league. Failed to get out of the groups in the Europa, while in the Italian cup we missed out on the final on away goals against Napoli, 6-6 on aggregate, with their last goal in the second leg in Naples, the goal that put us out, coming in the 89th minute from a goalkeeping error from Consigli. :rolleyes:

Final tactic:

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(PIs only for GK, to roll it out and pass shorter.)

Second half of season:

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(Oddly, @eriktous, my home match with Fiorentina also featured 9 goals. We were 4-3 down going into the 90th minute when they gifted us a penalty, only for Missiroli to net the winner thirty seconds after the restart from a neat little through ball from Defrel.)

Where we won it/lost it:

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We were the league's second highest scorers with 68 behind Juve's 74, with Politano as W(a) out on the left contributing 16 assists, Berardi (mostly in the right-hand CF(s) slot) 12 and Defrel (mostly as DLF(s)) 11. Berardi notched 21 goals for the season, ahead of Matri - who barely played once Berardi was fit again - with 13 and Defrel with 12. Ol' Thunderboots Letschert hit five from free kicks. 

But our defence was poor, conceding 61, the fifth worst in the league. Our main weakness, even with both wide men on attack, wasn't crosses but quick through balls mid-attack while one or more DCs were out of position (normally Letschert, whose high Aggression made him a bit of a terrier) leaving space in behind. We were tighter, as you'd expect, dropping to Standard or Counter, but in most but not all games that obviously blunted our attack.

That's the peril of playing a high line, of course. The squad doesn't have any super-fast defenders capable of mopping up after positional troubles, and I didn't have anyone lined up/available/willing to come when looking for those two-plus-one signings at the start of the season. Cannavaro seemed to steady the ship somewhat when I restored him to the side in place of Letschert in October. His pace wasn't great but his mental attributes were good. Unfortunately, he broke his leg in November against Zenit and retired due to injury in late January. Mitrovic, who I'd brought in as extra cover at DC, did alright but nothing special and in hindsight hunting around for someone with Pace 15+ rather than Mitrovic's 12 would've been a smarter move.

We could've gone deep and played on the break, which the formation obviously supports, but I'd really want someone big up front capable of holding long balls, because the midfield three don't offer much coordinated support (three MCs I suspect operate more as a unit, or at least offer each other better passing/movement opportunities because of their proximity; if the ball comes out to the DLF then it only takes two players to mark his midfield runners out of contention because the far winger is too far away to be involved much), and again the squad doesn't have one and I didn't find one. (And I'd tried that to some extent on my first run at the challenge and that was disastrous.)

Other thoughts:

  • Injuries were a real problem. Consigli, Pellegrini, Defrel, Politano, Acerbi, Mazzitelli, Ricci, Berardi, Pierini and Missiroli all missed a 3-4 week minimum spell at one point or another in addition to the injuries Berardi and Missiroli started with, while Cannavaro's broken leg ended his career. Training was at average level and most of them were in-match injuries, so I think I was just unlucky.
  • In hindsight, I could’ve tried one wide role as a faux-IF to mix things up and to try to avoid the wide men getting too isolated. But since narrow formations seem to be more common in Italy, I’m not sure it would’ve worked, and it wasn’t like scoring was an issue (though being better at it might’ve allowed more focus on defence).
  • Getting the midfield and strikers to work together was frustratingly difficult. The back five, great. The front five, a challenge because neither striker wanted to drop back much (even though both are on support; I didn't try a DF(d) - none of them looked suitable for it - but otherwise I messed with every other 'deep' role trying to get one to link). Having played an almost identical formation last year, the 3-4-1-2, the difference it makes having no one at AM was stark. Last year, defence was a problem (though in later seasons on the same save with the same tactic, it improved) with three exposed DCs. This year, it was having an effective attack without going completely gung-ho with two isolated STs ahead of a spread trio of midfielders. In the end, gung-ho won out, which was at least entertaining.
  • Our bogey formation was the 4-1-3-2 Narrow, which seems to really hurt our ability to put together attacks, smothering the MC and easily locking out either wide man. I can't remember anything I tried making the slightest lick of difference against it. It might just be that I need to play better. :brock:

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4-5-1

The last I posted I had played 19 games. 8W, 5D, 6L, 0GD, 29 Pts, 8th place. I had a 8 game winless streak going.

  • Jan 15 - Feb 4: I had been playing Counter/Structured so the first thing I tried was to go Control. Had a great result against Genoa. Then I lost 3 of my next 4.
  • I don't think it's working.
  • Feb 12 - Feb 26th: Hey, I remember @thels did this formation, let's copy him. So i did. First game we look the absolute best I have ever seen them play. Win 6-0. Played 4 more games with it, going 2-1-1 including a great win against Inter. But I felt like it wasn't my tactic so I stopped using it.

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So I went back to my original tactic. Looked at my players, made some adjustments, tried to figure out how I wanted my team to play. My first game with the adjustments was the 3-0 win against Udinese on March 5th. And I had only 2 losses the rest of the way.

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I moved LB Peluso back to Fullback Support.  I put Acuna who I had mainly as Winger or Wide Playmaker on Support before as Winger on Attack. I move the most central midfielder from CM(a) to AP(a). And put the MR as a WM(s). Simplified the TI's to just Play out of Defense and Work Ball into Box.

LB - Cross More Often. Acerbi on Close Down Much Less. Antei on Pass it Shorter. The ML, AP and F9 on Tackle harder and Close Down Much More. Then the MR on Sit Narrower and Run Inside With Ball.

So, where did I finish?

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5th. Not bad. There was a 4-way tie between 3rd and 6th place at 68 points. So, I clinched a Euro Spot!

I was named the Head Coach of the Year!

Magnanelli had the Serie A Goal of the Year. Berardi was named on the Serie A Team of the Year. Acuna finished 2nd in the Italian Media Foreign Player of the Year (Damn you Carlos Bacca!) though he did win the Midfielder of the Year.

We made it to the 2nd knockout Round of the Euro Cup which isn't too bad. The less said about the Cup the better. I used a rotated, low match shape squad in that game and got thumped by Pontedera. But they went on and beat Juventus in the next round and had a draw against Lazio in the first leg in the Semis before losing the second leg. So, they played really well.

One thing I did not notice during the season was how many of my opponents assists came from their left flank. My RB was Gazzola most of the year. In retrospect I probably should have played Mattiello who I got on loan from Juventus more. Or adjusted defensively.

Crazy season. I had some real highs. I started off strong and finished strong. In the middle it was a struggle. It was an interesting experiment to be forced to play a particular formation. Especially one that did not have any DM's or AM's which I almost always use.

sassresults4full.jpg[this is a phantom image I can't remove so I made it smaller]

Edited by jstu9

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Sassuolo - 4312

After a hiatus finishing yet another season in Argentina, and also missing a few slots to play the game, I've now reached the mini winter break and a game shy of the halfway stage. To recap the previous post, the 4312 is not a formation I have ever used on any iteration of FM - although I have occasionally used its close cousin, the 442 diamond. I had set three versions of the formation during pre-season, but have almost-exclusively used this:

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The aim was to create a controlled, offensive playstyle, utilising attacking wingbacks to provide width and the sheer weight of bodies in the central areas to unpick opponents. Pushing back an opponent also helps to mitigate the one major weakness of the formation; the lack of wide support.

The table and results currently stand as:

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We are currently overperforming my expectations, sitting 4th. Considering the strength of the top teams, I am really pleased with this outcome. I had huge concerns at the start as to how we'd be able to handle teams thrusting in wide areas but, apart from a few select occasions, this hasn't proved as problematic as anticipated. The strong wingbacks do an excellent job at shutting down opposing wingers.

Pros

  • Control of the ball. Leading Serie A on 57%.
  • Output from the fullbacks. Already fifteen assists between Peluso/Dell'Orco/Letschert/Adjapong.
  • Balanced attacking play, multiple goal threats.
  • Threat from set pieces

Cons

  • Propensity to draw games.
  • Suspect to 'ball over the top'
  • Gap in behind the aggressive right-sided wingback against opposing players who pull into channels
  • Inconsistent attacking output - half Serie A games scored less than twice.

The above sum up the main points of note and trends.  We are doing a good job controlling games and getting the fullbacks into positions to be effective. Fifteen assists from the fullback core is a great return, minus one or two from Letschert which may have derived from corners, and both Letschert and Adjapong have also scored from raiding open-play runs. We also do an excellent job from set pieces and have scored seven from corners or indirect freekicks, three of which came in one game against Pescara, who were mauled aerially. Conversely, we have only conceded three from such scenarios. I also set the front duo specifically to play closer together (rather than one creator, one finisher) and this has been demonstrated in a balanced attack; Matri leads the way on 14 goals and 2 assists, his partner Belotti has 11 and 5 assists - it is a harmonious, balanced duo, with attacking midfielder Politano also chipping in with 5 goals and 6 assists.

The main negative has been the struggle to turn draws into wins at times against moderate opposition. Although we are netting at a solid ratio of 1.6gpg, we have scored one or zero in exactly half of our Serie A games to-date. This has been mitigated by conceding 1.0gpg, the joint second best defensive ratio behind Juventus. That in itself has been slightly surprising and we have been difficult to beat, losing only to the heavyweights of Inter, Napoli and Roma - all away from home - and Consigli has had no trouble keeping clean sheets; his 7 the joint highest number after Buffon's 10. Within the tactic I am frequently using the Be More Disciplined shout. This is something I have been using in a very attacking formation with my Argentinos file and I find it is much more useful than setting up a more disciplined team mentality. It is effectively a toggle, allowing me to immediately moderate how I want to approach an opponent at any given point of a game. I have witnessed some excellent results using it from the start in home games, where the increased structure helps to alleviate the clusterfudge you can occasionally see with a fluid formation featuring four central midfielders.

Players

My preferred lineup is that of the image above. This Sassuolo lineup has been one of the tightest XIs I've had at any club. Consigli, Letschert, Acerbi and Peluso are automatic at the back. Biondini - the limited, ginger, Italian Robbie Savage that he is - has surprisingly emerged as the holder of choice. Politano has done a fine job at the spearhead of midfield, and Belotti and Matri have struck up quite the partnership upfront. The only real ponderances have been Acerbi's partner in defence, where Luca Antei has now usurped Cannavaro, and also who flanks Biondini. Duncan and Sensi have been the two most preferred, but Pellegrini is a movable-part that stepped in well to cover an injured Sensi, whilst I've been retraining tricky Ricci to drop back into the most attacking playmaking role. His dribbling ability gives him an edge.

Acerbi and Matri have been the sensations. Acerbi is currently the highest performing player in Serie A, whilst Matri's 14 goals have ensured that Berardi has been riding pine since his return from injury. If there has been a disappointment it is Defrel; a favourite during pre-season, but he's had limited impact.

Elsewhere

We breezed through the Europa Group Stage, an opening 2-1 win over Schalke helping to ensure we had qualified by the time of the return leg at the Veltins; we drew this 2-2 after throwing away a two-goal lead, but it was enough to finish the group unbeaten and knock Schalke out at the expense of Legia Warsaw. I've only been using a reserve XI too, which demonstrates some of the depth available. We have been paired with another German heavyweight, Leverkusen, in the next round though. That will be tough.

My favourite game to-date was the 2-3 win at Milan. They lined up with a mirror 4312 and I shut them down until Luiz Adriano finished off a sweeping counter close to half-time. We roared back in the second, Politano and Matri scoring early to ensure we led until the 81st minute, when Mati Fernandez lashed home a deflected volley. However, we won it straight from the kickoff through Belotti....

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Easily my favourite goal so far. Belotti>Biondini>Acerbi, swept wide to Peluso>Pellegrini, Matri, Politano runs off his marker at the edge of the box>Belotti>placed past Donnarumma. 16 seconds, 7 players, not a Milanese touching the ball. :applause:

Transfer Window

Expecting a fraught transfer window. Magnanelli has left for Norwich for £1.5m, having achieved all he can at the club and picking up his testimonial money. Not a big deal, means I can develop Mazzitelli more. Acerbi has stepped in as the new club captain, reward for his excellence, and coincidentally that has also stopped him getting the hump rejecting Mourinho's advances. The squad love this, all expect Berardi who for some reason feels he is a better captain. He already has the hump about wanting to resign for Juventus.

I could easily see Berardi being offloaded if a mega-bid comes in, or perhaps even Defrel. If that happens, I'll target my allotted second signing. Renewed a few contracts, including Consigli, Antei and Cannavaro - but have dropped a bollock letting Peluso run into unprotected and I can't renew as he fancies a move to snowy Moscow. I'm sure its for the challenge and not the roubles and women.

10-1 U18 win.jpg

On a sidenote....

Big fan of managing in Serie A for the sheer variation in formations, such as this gem from Atalanta.

Atalanta formation.jpg

On an extra sidenote....

I haven't been as closely monitoring the youths as I usually would, but they seem to love the 4312. The U20s are 3rd, the U18s 2nd. And they also did this:

58bca3e2a30f5_10-1U18win.thumb.jpg.98042b6c723f127c0892ec408bf95f49.jpg

Edited by AndySummers

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53 minutes ago, AndySummers said:

Big fan of managing in Serie A for the sheer variation in formations, such as this gem from Atalanta.

Agree, the managers have a pretty varied set of alternative tactics added to their profiles. We took the lead against Roma and was almost shocked to see them switch to a 4-2-4-0 DM strikerless. Also pretty much every imaginable variation of 5 man wing back defences makes an appearance.

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36 minutes ago, eriktous said:

 

I like how the attacker takes the pee and goes across goal rather than tap it in... he may as well have got on his belly and did the nod in... we all did it at school

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I daresay this is commonplace but.....has anyone seen a player do a rabona?

In my last match, Belotti did a Cuauhtemoc Blanco bunny hop past a defender and then a Payet-style rabona cross for Berardi to tap in. I didn't pick it up until the replay. 10/10 for style points!

Edited by AndySummers

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Is there still space on this test @Jambo98?

Edited by reerdo

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15 hours ago, AndySummers said:

I daresay this is commonplace but.....has anyone seen a player do a rabona?

In my last match, Belotti did a Cuauhtemoc Blanco bunny hop past a defender and then a Payet-style rabona cross for Berardi to tap in. I didn't pick it up until the replay. 10/10 for style points!

I've seen a few more skills of late... I don't know what triggers it though - because in my saves it's quite often from the least skilful players! Mertesacker in my Arsenal save was king of the cruyff turn!

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Sassuolo 4312 - end-season, 2nd place

Finishing off the season from where I left off. I expected a fraught transfer window, and fraught it was; Europe's luminaries trying to land the cream of Sassuolo and even Leicester getting in on the act and trying to pinch Pellegrini. Acerbi decided he wanted out and, when Man City showed interest and I was able to negotiate them up to £25m, out he went to join Guardiola's revolution. His stint as Sassuolo captain had lasted less than a week and without playing a game. That left a 6"4 hole in the backline, swiftly filled by the shape of Willi Orban for £6.5m.

I managed to retain everyone else, but feared the unsettling factor would see performances drop. They didn't and we were soon back in the groove, hitting our best stride in late January with a nine-match winning streak. By March we had overtaken Napoli and Lazio and risen to second and the remainder of the campaign was a battle to hold them both off, particularly the latter. We did enough, qualifying for the Champions League with two games to spare and then squeaking second after a heavy final-day defeat at Genoa as Lazio could only provide an insipid 0-0 draw at home to relegated Torino.

58c9ca17428fc_Leaguefinal.thumb.jpg.ea59421c8af14dd3d4fff55c63992f8f.jpg58c9c9fba0c77_2ndhalfresults.thumb.jpg.03236edb0fd8d78654b86cbc39506086.jpg

The individual Sassuolo player stats stand as:

Apps.jpg.58503e9b0458c3b85ba147c7eaef7517.jpgGoals.jpg.760755b64dd4b150d79c0da0cb86cf70.jpgAssists.jpg.ab35f203368bf6dfe02eee12530afc42.jpg58c9cb7e09e0e_AverageRating.jpg.d5338c4f35c97ca8f55944afe6544cfc.jpg

Notable Performers

  • Andrea Belotti - the big-money signing didn't disappoint, firing 30 goals across the season and also winning the Capocannoniere with 24, just pipping Ciro Immobile. Playing as a deep-lying forward, Belotti also chipped in with 10 assists in an all-encompassing season.
  • Timo Letschert  - the raiding wingback provided 4 goals, 11 assists and also topped the 'official' league average ratings on 7.42. Didn't hit as many freekicks as pre-season suggested and was also too card-happy, picking up 15 in Serie A.
  • Luca Antei - Antei stepped up from Cannavaro's backup, to first-choice, to the leader of the backline with Acerbi's departure. Topped the 'unofficial' ratings with a tremendous 7.61, dropping off the list only on the final day.
  • Alessandro Matri - 22 goals for the powerful striker, 18 of them in Serie A. Had a better goals-per-minutes than Belotti and very clinical. Dropped in performance across the second half of the season, but carried the team in the opening period and picked up invaluable points throughout.
  • Matteo Politano - the winger-cum-attacking midfielder had a productive season, 9 goals and 14 assists.

Capocannoniere.thumb.jpg.40ac7dfe6a2fe9b3a034b1f5005aa1e3.jpg58c9ca99f14e6_LeagueAverageRating.thumb.jpg.ad689609b9f313c5a478e639e96249fa.jpg58c9ca9bb1af7_PossessionStats.thumb.jpg.8c628dcb2af7c02b9ea6fa5070acbf91.jpg

Europa

We had a great run here. After comfortably topping the qualifying group, the knockouts were as hard as they come; Leverkusen, Lyon, Man Utd. We thrashed Leverkusen 1-3 on their own patch in the second round and, after going 0-2 down in the home leg, made some tweaks and produced a clinic in counter-attacking football to take advantage of Leverkusen pushing forward and won 3-2. A victory in France against Lyon set up a mouth-watering QF against Man Utd, but we couldn't repeat the trick. After the attacking success against Leverkusen and Lyon I just went too gung-ho at Old Trafford and we were spanked 5-1, partly thanks to two Ibrahimovic wonder goals and one from Martial. The big Swede did the same back in Italy, although we at least restored pride with a 2-1 win. Over the two legs we'd actually topped the CCs by 7-2, but Ibrahimovic's finishing is sheer lunacy and we ended up well-beaten.

Europa.thumb.jpg.433880c706089e9977fb0e8b96c301bb.jpg

TIM Cup

Oh dear! Scored early against Serie B bottom-dwellers Ternana and then slipped to an insipid 1-2 defeat. They did go on to knock out Inter and push Juventus very close though.

Tactics

My overall thoughts match what I said previously:

  • Pros
  • Control of the ball. Finished with 57%, 3.2% ahead of Juventus and also completed 18906 passes, nearly a full thousand ahead of Inter.
  • Output from the fullbacks. 32 assists from Peluso/Dell'Orco/Letschert/Adjapong.
  • Balanced attacking play, multiple goal threats.
  • Threat from set pieces
  • Cons
  • Suspect to 'ball over the top'
  • Gap in behind the aggressive right-sided wingback against opposing players who pull into channels
  • Propensity to draw games*
  • Inconsistent attacking output*

*However, I managed to really increase the attacking output and turn some of the draws into defeats.

  • 1st half - 10-6-3, scored 32 and conceded 18.
  • 2nd half - 14-2-3, scored 41 and conceded 17.

The Be More Disciplined shout remained a huge favourite through the season. Tactically, I loved playing against that deep 3421 and I think the 4312 won every single game against the handful of opponents who used it across the season. I didn't particularly struggle against any individual formation, but the 41221 is possibly the most difficult as the packed midfield with a DM is naturally set up to destroy the effectiveness of the 4312, and the two advanced wingers mean I can't usually get too aggressive with my second wingback.

If there was one disappointment, it was the stats for the AP(a) and, to a lesser extent, the AP(s). If there were a stat for 'secondary assists' I'm sure these two would have done very well, but they didn't in terms of direct assists. I didn't expect large numbers for the AP(s) as it is designed to feed the raiding right wingback, but the AP(a) should be a more direct threat. I used Alfred Duncan here for a decent part of the season and perhaps it is simply not having the right player. Ricci is arguably the most ideal player thanks to his dribbling, but his weak defensive atts meant I used Duncan, Sensi and Pellegrini much more frequently.

Final Thoughts

It has been a really enjoyable season and I'd gladly do it again with another side further down the track. I hope this thread earns more completions and reports - and less restarts - as it has been quiet. I expect to be running the Sassuolo file alongside my Argentinian game and will keep an eye on this thread and perhaps keep providing season reports. I've already started planning for 2017-18 and have agreed to buy the German schemer Nadiem Amiri for £4m and agreed the £870k option on Lirola. I'll be bringing Falcinelli back into the squad for next season and have semi-promoted Abelli, Marin and Opoku. I also managed to renew Peluso's contract eventually.

With £8m in the pot a centreback is the target, to add cover for the Antei-Orban partnership, with Cannavaro ageing.

Edited by AndySummers

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At some stage I need to get back into this and finish the season, but this worked to provide me a base for a new system for a new career so not all was lost!

My Sassuolo 3-3-2-2 gave me the platform to create a 3-4-1-2 system, which I switch back to a 3-3-2-2 almost identical to the Sassuolo tactics in certain occasions, and to a 4-3-1-2 in others. It's hugely entertaining/rewarding and the best set of systems I've built in the last couple of FMs. All thanks to this experiment. :)

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On 3/15/2017 at 23:51, AndySummers said:

I hope this thread earns more completions and reports - and less restarts - as it has been quiet.

As it happens, I had an idea for a third crack at the 3-2-3-2 yesterday - it's occasionally bugged me that I never really got to grips with the formation. On the original DB, rather than the January update, and currently coming to the end of pre-season. I'm going to give it a few games into the actual season before deciding whether to carry it on or if I'm still clutching at straws...

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I would be really interested in giving this a go if there are still formations available. Need something to get my interest back after a long FC United save. 

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Formation: 442 Diamond Narrow

Unfortunately due a few problems such as a broken mouse, and illness. I haven't really had much time to play much over the last few weeks so I've only just finished preseason. Hopefully I can update much sooner now.

Notes

I'm not where to fit this into my post, so I'd thought I'll open up with it as I fell its worth noting.

For the purposes of this experiment, I have put my Director of Football in charge of hiring and firing all my staff except for my Assistant Manager and put my staff in total control of Training. I feel that for such a short term experiment I'm not really losing anything by doing this. For training I would of perhaps liked to re-train a couple of players positions e.g winger Matteo Politano into a better AMC, so that is a draw back, but I'm not going to turn water into wine over the course of one season. So its a couple of things I don't have to worry about.

Tactic 1

f8f8acd837eeb3084b14035fc539ef16.png

59eef48ca94445b636c2a66598b903d6.png

 

To be honest, has will be explained later, I'm not really happy with my tactics so far. So things will be tweaked but this forms the basis of what should be my tactic this season. On the face of it, it is quite a vanilla formation with few specialist roles but that is OK for me. I'm looking for a style that is a bit in the middle when it comes to everything. I want my players to press the opposition defensively and close down gaps but not to point where we are exposed by counter attacks and through balls, there is not a lot of pace in my back line. I want my players to look for forward passes and get the ball forward quickly, but I want to do this without giving the ball away cheaply, trying aimless long balls also I don't want my team to bypass the midfield and lose the strength that having four players gives me.

 

The control mentality gives me two things I'm looking for in my team.

  • It pushes my defence up a little bit, which I''m hoping helps push the opposition back and keep their players in a deeper position. I'm hoping that this will counteract my lack of numbers down the wings and help defend any attacking full back - winger combo by keeping them in a more defensive position.
  • Helps open up opposition defences. With a control mentality giving players an opportunity to  make riskier passes and make more runs. I'm hoping that going forward it help unsettle defences and catch players unawares by moving the ball forward fairly quickly.

Performance

4dcc4b81333c9e7d241a4b35599ba632.png

So far the performance in pre season has been encouraging. Our first game against Krasnodar used different tactics a more aggressive attacking style and it failed badly with Sassuolo ending up being 3-0 down at half time, after being dominated. we were lucky it was not worse. and the tactic was ditched at half time. We were lucky to come back with a draw.

So far we have been able to dominate teams and it shows in our results. A lot of the play has been in our third of the pitch and we have been able to beat teams with swashbuckling performances. We are having more shots on goal, generally more possession then our opponents and they have struggled to even get out of their half at times. The Full backs in my team have provided good width, getting forward and being able to cross the ball to create opportunities and provide goals.

However as good as the results look on paper they do hide a few issues that could become a problem during season. When in possession we have struggled to create much through the centre of the pitch. The front 3 have at times struggled to find space passing routes have been closed off. This has led to our team being forced taking quite a few pot shots at goal, long shots that never really have a chance of going in. This in turn means our shots on target are quite low. The ratio between shots and shots on target have ended up too often below 50%. All of a sudden the amount of shots we are having does not look so impressive. A lot of our goals so far have come from our full backs getting forward and putting balls into the box. This isn't a problem but I was hoping for more through the middle, keeping our opponents guessing and being unpredictable. If the team we are playing against can deal with our full backs and defend crosses it is going to be a struggle go get goals.

Defensively there are concerns too. So far in pre-season We have not seen a team really come and attack us. Even Boca Juniors, who I hoped would come and try and attack us seemed happy sitting back and letting us attack. I worry what will happen when a Juventus or Roma come and play against us. We also haven't really had any teams with good width, playing a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 play against us. We do however seem somewhat prone to counter attacks. A couple of teams have tried bypassing our midfield with long balls from centre-backs to strikers and have had some joy, using the lack of pace of our centre backs getting some goals or good chances on goal.

Overall I'm a bit afraid of how we will do this season. My tactics have the feeling that could fall apart once teams start playing a certain way, and I think Work needs to be done. I don't think we have been truly tested with the friendlies so far.

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4-1-2-3 Narrow

58d2aa409acca_U.S.Sassuolo_ConfidenceConfidencehappy.thumb.png.389236011def77a8a78a20781269ea0d.png

58d2ab5fb6f62_U.S.Sassuolo_Overview(2)lineup.thumb.png.3670bed25007bd003eaf7a88782c2ba9.png

So, I finished the season with this crazy formation. I'm planning on doing a more complete review of the season later today or tomorrow, but I'd like to just share the final result, because it ended much better than I had ever anticipated. As it turned out, this was one of the most exhilarating and fun saves I've played in my short FM career (FM15 was my first, and even though I play quite often, I play slowly, so haven't finished many seasons overall). It's actually been the first time I won silverware since my very first save with Chelsea, over two years ago.

58d2a846e796c_ErikToussaint_Inbox-3cupwin.png.4f915556abc91503e94f930fc2b3e1f8.png

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58d2a84ec44a0_SerieAtop5.thumb.png.54247d1b219ac504d9f14fc34b8bef35.png

As you can see, the battle for third place was tense until the end. We clinched it because Palermo lost 0-1 on the final day, while we only managed to score the winning goal in a 3-2 win in the 85th minute. If we had drawn that game, it would have been a three way tie on points. During the season we beat Palermo twice, Palermo beat INTER twice, and INTER beat us twice, so I guess it would have come down to goal difference.

So this happened.

58d2a8526de07_ErikToussaint_Inbox-4manageroftheyear.thumb.png.1aa59a5495703a0df1418a09d31df1d5.png

 

P.s.: @Jambo98, did you see this request?

On 3/17/2017 at 20:43, reerdo said:

I would be really interested in giving this a go if there are still formations available. Need something to get my interest back after a long FC United save. 

P.p.s.: Where do teams find the motivation to keep trying in a league with Juventus? :(

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On 3/17/2017 at 19:43, reerdo said:

I would be really interested in giving this a go if there are still formations available. Need something to get my interest back after a long FC United save. 

My apologies, I had not been checking this thread after I got completely fed up with my lack of ability to make anything work and got caught up in other saves! 

You are welcome to still get involved! 

 

@reerdo - 541 Diamond WB 

 

75018191a99c2c818cf24aa86cc63534.gif

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1 hour ago, Jambo98 said:

My apologies, I had not been checking this thread after I got completely fed up with my lack of ability to make anything work and got caught up in other saves! 

You are welcome to still get involved! 

 

@reerdo - 541 Diamond WB 

 

75018191a99c2c818cf24aa86cc63534.gif

Thanks Jambo90. Actually rather pleased by that one. Forcing me into my first ever 3 @ the back tactic plus its nicely set up for me to try counter football for the first time ever with a nice Pirlo style DM, well thats the plan but I am rubbish at tactics so this is going to be 'fun' :)

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Can you do me one. This is very interesting.  Hopefully I get something a bit 'out there' and can go full hipster. 

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Yeah i was going to post to say that, anyone starting now will be on the Jan update. 

Changes are minor i think. Berardi is out injured for the entire first half of the season now :( 6 / 7 months and the only addition to the squad is Aquilani on loan. The only loss was Terranova who was a nothing player anyway. 

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This latest batch of interest makes me want to dip back into this again :D I need a new formation though, cant ever go back to that haunting previous one. So giving myself another draw for another go:

Jambo98 - 4240DM

e0ec672b1a7dac3c4d4511e1caed9a6e.gif


Strikerless.........hmm, not done anything of that ilk in a long time. Shame Berardi now misses half a season as he might have fitted this nicely. 

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Can I have a different formation Jambo please? I had to reinstall FM and couldn't really get on with the 4141 AML assymetric anyway so I lost interest. 

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32 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

@Fosse  - 4132 DM Narrow 

0ca6aba571277a08f666d618d187d371.gif

Cheers, not played a diamondish formation for a while so looking forward to participating more now:thup:

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So far I am failing miserably as getting a counter-attacking tactic working even with the insights of Cleon's cracking guide. Im going to restart and go for a more patient style of play as my counters keep getting countered and leaving me exposed.

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4-1-2-3 Narrow

Time for the final write-up on my season with this formation.

58d9265ba9ed4_U.S.Sassuolo_Overview(2)lineup.thumb.png.17c3f893f7028552b60a1c8ec49eee7b.png

58d926860bc0e_U.S.Sassuolo_Overview-2_3.thumb.png.15c108e5fbbbeea6a474dc8dd8eb07a0.png

 

Results

As I wrote in my previous post, we had a great end to the season. We beat Juventus in the cup final, and finished in third place in the league.

We breezed through the group stage of the Europa League, qualifying early after four wins, and stunned Schalke in the first leg of the first knockout round. Unfortunately we were knocked out a bit unnecessarily in the second knockout round by Zenit, after achieving a hard fought 2-2 in the away leg, but then losing 0-1 at home through an individual error from Magnanelli and not being able to score in the remaining 60 minutes.

Results.thumb.png.0d561a4d1e66ef56f8927fd62f10b857.png

As you can see and as I wrote in an earlier post, we had a very good start of the season, with only a minor blip against INTER, who had an excellent start of the season, only conceding 3 goals in their first 15 games. Looking more closely at the fixture list, however, reveals that the schedule hadn't been the toughest before November. Then we came up against Roma, Milan, and Juventus. We were perhaps a bit lucky to beat Roma, who had a poor season, leading to Spalletti's sacking in January. Against Milan we only lost 0-1, but we never participated in that match; they completely nullified us. This was followed by again a narrow but deserved loss, this time against Juventus, decided by individual quality, mainly in Dybala with his dribbling. This started of an erratic patch of results, and I was fearing the season would end in tears, speeding through games ever faster and more frustrated.

Until an epic cup quarter final game against Milan. We went up 3-0 before half-time, but by then of course Milan was going all out attacking in their 4-3-1-2 formation, and the AMC with two strikers configuration is so hard to defend against with our formation, so they came back to 3-3 in the 82nd minute. I was all set for extra-time, in which we would get crushed, but a last flash of brilliance from Defrel edged it for us in the 88th minute. This result gave me renewed confidence and with a lot of micro-management during games (and an easier set of fixtures) I managed to get us back on track, and with a very good run towards the end of the season, winning 7 of the last 9 games, only losing against Juventus and our bogey team Sampdoria, we narrowly ended up in third place.

58d93490eeb65_SeriaAtable.thumb.png.d365e061af227f28e6ff97d579f41216.png

 

League Stats

Looking at the table it's easy to see that my earlier prediction came true: there will be goals. The formation performed as could be expected. We scored the most goals in the league, even more than Juventus, but we also conceded a lot, although we still "only" ended in 10th place for goals conceded. Surprisingly, we did get 13 clean sheets, which was 8th best in the league, indicating that when we concede, we often concede a few. (38 games minus 13 clean sheets means we conceded 51 goals in the remaining 25 games, so on average slightly over 2 per game when we can't keep a clean sheet.)

Looking at the Serie A statistics, what stands out is that we achieved the highest possession average with 56.05%, the second highest number of completed passes, and 19th (!) for the number of dribbles per game. This confirms what could often be observed during matches, caused by the cautious Counter Mentality, AMCs on support with a DLP(d) behind, and Dribble Less and Work Ball Into Box TIs: patient short passing play around the edge of the box between the MC, AMCs and Trequartistas (and often a Wing Back joining in the party), looking for space that isn't really there. I was surprised though at how often they did manage to find a way through. It works basically by applying constant pressure until something cracks. This style of play works very well against lower rated teams that play too cautious. They hardly find an opportunity to get out from under the pressure.

58d957f6bad08_SerieApossession.thumb.png.549c4a7fcb438e990d4147ecdb5b77b4.png

58d9589d8ff90_SerieAcompletedpasses.thumb.png.f68d8ab109d702ebd15824db61a1c5ff.png

Something that is perhaps not surprising with this formation, but still interesting to see, is that most goals were created by through balls, both for and against.

58d9623ab1c33_U.S.Sassuolo_AnalysisGoals.thumb.png.191ad3e79dc572b046462d2f690d1a26.png

 

Player Performance

Over the course of the season Defrel was our top scorer, but at the same time his performances could be very frustrating. I played him as STCR and being left footed he would almost invariably turn inside and dribble into the most crowded area. It would work sometimes and he scored some nice goals by running into the box and shooting from an angle, but against better organised defences he could go missing for entire games. I think he also scored a lot of goals through his PPM of Gets Into Opposition Area combined with high acceleration and good technique, allowing him to get on the end of good team moves in a packed box and scoring from first time shots. His Important Matches rating was also noticeable. He scored a couple of deciding goals in big matches. I sometimes wondered if it would work the other way around as well, though; if players that enjoy big matches are less motivated against lesser opponents. Probably just my imagination.

On the other side, one of my signings, Alejandro Romero Gamarra, also being left footed, utilized the space on the outside more often and would show some nice interplay with the left wing back and left AMC. Especially near the end of the season, Caju, one of the other new signings, got in a rich vein of form and started linking up with the STCL and AMCL in wonderful ways. That actually caused my attacking focus to switch to the left side more  and more, instead of just through the centre. In the cup final against Juventus this led to Rugani at DCR and, especially, Dani Alves at right full back to get increasingly nervous as the match went on, with Alves finally picking up a second yellow in the 76th minute.

As you can tell from the list of top goal scorers in my team it's pretty straight forward. The strikers both score and assist the bulk of the goals, with the attacking midfielders chipping in their fair share. Not really one particularly dominant player.

58d9a2afd33d0_goalstop.thumb.png.a9c7702d60da55a0c8eddc6100b76474.png

A look at the best performers over the season shows that the defenders were the most consistent, with six of them in the top seven. Even when we conceded and lost, their ratings wouldn't necessarily be too low, because it was usually caused by the tactic leading to them being overwhelmed and outplayed, instead of them making glaring mistakes. On the other end, there were quite a few games where the attackers had low ratings, because we played too slow, in possession, and they simply couldn't find a way through. I also often switched to more direct passes when an opponent went to an attacking mentality, to make better use of the space gifted, but as that has the added consequence of more high passes, and most attackers having poor to mediocre jumping reach, they would lose a lot of headers, which the ME punishes a bit too harshly in my opinion.

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Youth Teams

Initially I let the youth teams play with a different tactic from the main team (same formation, though), but their results weren't all that great, so from the eighth game on I let them play the rest of the season with the above tactic and their performances were excellent. The U20s won their league and the U18s ended second behind Palermo, equal in points but losing on results between teams. Another indication that this tactic isn't all that crazy.

 

Conclusion

Looking back I feel there are two main situations in which this tactic can be very useful. As I mentioned earlier it works very well against lower rated teams that sit back. It puts a lot of players in dangerous areas and helped by a decent amount of technical ability and agility it can still create chances in crowded situations.

The second one is when teams are playing too aggressive for their own good. The better teams can come at you aggressively and still remain stable at the back, but some other teams, usually equally rated to us but wanting to get a result, for instance when they are playing at home, can leave too much space when going on the attack, and even though I usually set the outer two strikers to man mark opposing full backs, they did so in a manner befitting Trequartistas. They would track back, but always with an eye on making themselves available at the first sign of winning the ball, leading to swift breaks into acres of space.

All in all I am much more positive about this formation then on initial review, and I think it can have its place in the tool box of good teams with a lot of technically gifted players. It's a bit of a brute force approach when faced with an opponent that wants to sit back.

Like all tactics, it can behave differently depending on the phase of play and the opponent. Sometimes it's an aggressive 4-4-2 diamond, with the tip of the diamond shoved up between the two strikers, trying to pass its way through a congested area. On other occasions it's a 4-3-3 with a midfield triangle doing its best to protect the defensive line from opponents pushing up and in possession doing not much else than feeding balls to the forwards.

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In the end I massively enjoyed this challenge. Being tied to one formation really forces you to tinker and tweak and try to get the best out of it, instead of just abandoning it early and switching to a different one.

Final Remark

A Trequartisa is a lot of fun. So obviously playing with two of them is double the fun. I should really try to incorporate them in my tactics more often.

Edited by eriktous

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@eriktous some of the most fun I've ever had in FM was when I used 2 Treq's :D

Glad you got that shape working for you. It's been certainly a few years since I've seen anyone use something like that.

Edited by aderow

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Well so far my first attempt at the 541 Diamond WB has been nothing short of hopeless so far but reading through some of the pieces Rashidi and Herne79 have posted might be turning the light on slowly. Particularly Rashidi's discussion about lines of defense and Herne79's Back to Basic piece with the quote about mentality by Dr Hook which for me at least was an absolute eurika moment for my understanding of how the ME works.

Hopefully I can hold onto my job while I create a plan in mt head and implement it in game but if not I hope I have a better understanding to start from if I restart.

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Any chance of being given a formation or shall I just randomise and take one myself? :) 

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