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Mr U Rosler

Oathkeeper for 18.1.2 – Final Thread, Results & Analysis. Bournemouth 2nd, 107 league goals on the Counter Attack

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Greetings,

Having now extensively tested OATHKEEPER I thought I’d put up a new thread with all the results from testing and some general feedback, observations and information as the one started in Beta is a bit cluttered with information pertaining to the Beta version of the tactic.

I also re-ran the Man City test to verify the tactic performs with Elite teams.

I think I’ve taken the concept of this 433 as far as I can. I also believe I have established a framework that can successfully be applied to other formations and will be investigating the 4231, 4141 as well as some 3 Centre Back set ups and will likely start a couple more threads over the next week or 2 before I crack on with my main Stockport Academy save.

 

Testing Methodology

I only test in ‘real world’ scenarios, if Aguero is out for the season, he’s out. I deal with it. (he was out for 6 months in my test).

I play each season as I would a normal save.

I Plug & Play Home & Away never changing the tactic for even 1 second of any game.

 

The Philosophy

I favour a high tempo, assertive, semi -direct, counter attacking approach to football. I do not prioritise possession and never use Team Instructions based around ball retention (Retain Possession, Short Passing, Work Ball into Box, Play Out of Defence etc).

This is simply my own preference, I have a strong aversion to the sideways pass and anything resembling Tiki-Taka and could not bear to spend a 1,000+ hours watching my team play like that in FM.

Nothing wrong with the possession approach of course and you are well served with those tactics elsewhere, it’s just not for me.  

Whilst this approach is generally favourable for Low & Medium reputation teams, getting this to work with Elite Teams can be tricky.

 

English_Premier_Division_Stats_Player_De

 

Sideways pass? No thanks, Key Passes only here :thup:

 

Lies, damned lies and statistics

Whilst the results and stats are vital, they don’t tell the full story so I try to add some of my insights gained after extensive hands on use of the Tactic.

Generally, I feel this is IDEAL for Low and Medium reputation teams whilst being FINE for top teams. No surprise here.

What do I mean by that?

Testing with the Strongest team in the Premier League, Man City is quite stressful, if you don’t win the League or are not in 1st position all season you’ll get sacked, so there is little margin for error or any kind of poor form.

Whilst I managed this relatively easily on both tests I have a feeling that a more possession orientated approach could squeeze a little more out of the Elite Teams.

However, I might be my own harshest critic here and in any event it’s good to know that a High Tempo, Countering set up is viable for Elite Teams for those people who find Tiki-Tika boring….. like me.

Developing your team around this approach would likely raise performance levels further as would managing beyond season 1 as even after winning the League I got zero respect from the City squad.

My Bournemouth team took to it well, they have some speedy Strikers and with their low reputation many teams were coming on Strong and we could crucify them on the Counter Attack.

 

Reputations

There was a marked difference in how teams set up to play against my Man City & Bournemouth teams.

Against Man City teams were understandably more cautious but we were able to break down teams often enough to score 100+ league goals. Player quality obviously helps a lot, but the formation with only 3 in midfield and no DM means teams are still ‘drawn’ on to us and we can still create some overloading situations on the break.

With Bournemouth, AI Managers are clearly a bit thick. King, Afobe, Wilson are all quick, powerful Strikers yet our opponents are more than happy to play a high line and send their full backs bombing forward.

You can end up with results like this.

 

Liverpool_v_Bournemouth_Match_Review.png

 

This plays exactly in to our hands and explains why Bournemouth scored more goals than Man City.    

 

 

Results

English_Premier_Division_Overview_Stages

 

English_Premier_Division_Overview_Stages

Original squads of course.

 

 I am satisfied that a good level of over-performance can be achieved with sensible management, this can of course be improved with good player recruitment.

 

Rather than just ‘dump’ a tactic on you I like to try and explain my objectives and what I am trying to achieve.

The attacking premise here is based on hitting the forwards early, either from a deep Counter Attack or from winning the ball higher up the pitch and feeding the ball forward quickly. The idea is to create lots of 3 on 4, 3 on 3, 3 on 2 situations, in other words creating high quality chances BEFORE your opponent has time to get in his defensive shape.      

The wide Strikers run the channels beautifully and really have an opportunity to shine as both creators and goal scorers.

 

Joshua_King_Overview_Profile.png

Like Josh King, 33 Goals, 30 assists.

Defensively, our record has been good with City, whilst poor with Bournemouth, but that is irrelevant when you consider the goal scoring upside and points total.

Games can be a bit ‘tense’ with a few high-lights showing opponents build up play outside your own penalty area, but you soon learn that as often as not this ends up with a gilt-edged chance for you as someone nicks the ball and you get on the Counter. It can be great to watch.    

Home vs Away

Home form is never normally an issue, even sub-optimal tactics I tested did well enough here. However any weakness in a tactic is badly exposed in Away fixtures, this was a hard nut to crack. A more conservative approach yielded poor results, in the end I did a lot better when we just went for it so using the main tactic Home & Away has been fine.

Playing Away, strong teams have enough about them to control or at least stay in the match, weaker teams have good opportunities to counter as Home teams over-commit. Sure, you’ll take a beating now and again, but you’ll spring some big surprises yourself and with 3 points for a win its better than trying to grind out draws.

 

Other Bits

Set your Full Backs to take corners

NO Opposition Instructions

Training, doesn’t really matter. Once the Tactic is fluid I go Balanced/Team Work

Vary your pre-game team talks.

At Half Time, I use ‘avoid complacency’ when sat on a 2 or 3 goal lead. If you’re drawing when you should be winning, or losing > ‘I’m far from happy’. Don’t be afraid to use assertive/angry tone.

 

TACTIC

AFC_Bournemouth_Overview.jpg

 

OATHKEEPER.fmf

Edited by Mr U Rosler

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Back in the day, people used to like some guidance on player roles, thought I’d resurrect it.

 

Forward Line

We employ a highly mobile forward line and are dependent on them seeking and finding space. They will also isolate defenders regularly and their ability to beat their man is key as once clear they will have time and space to pick a pass or shot. The skill to be able to do this is useful, but more often than not just being quicker than you opponent will get the job done.

 

DLF/A

Our wide strikers are absolutely key in this set up, they will be both your main goal scorers AND your main creators. At times they almost operate as high wingers and they actually cross the ball on a regular basis. Being able to outpace defenders is of great benefit as well as being composed finishers.

I’d look for;

Acceleration

Composure

Finishing

Off the ball

Crossing

 

 Leroy_San_Overview_Profile.png

Sane stepped up when Aguero was injured, never lost his place in the team. Winger come Striker. Ideal.

 

DLF/S

Whilst they have less onus on them to make runs our entire front line needs to be highly mobile so this remains a consideration. Beyond that they need to be able to distribute the ball well being a creative hub before arriving to finish moves themselves.

Operating as a deeper Pivot, linking midfield to attack he will also do a small amount of defensive work. Due to his positioning he will often be the ‘free man’ in the box arriving late and unmarked so his goalscoring ability must not be overlooked.

 

Go for;

Off the ball

Vision

Passing

Composure

Finishing

 

 Callum_Wilson_Overview_Profile.png

Super footballer if you can keep him fit. An eye for a pass as well as an accomplished finisher.

 

 

Midfield

Nominally a 3, this fluctuates to 5 as the Inverted Wingbacks reinforce the Central Midfield area, before reverting to a 3 again as our Mezzala’s go marauding up the pitch. 

I’ve seen AI teams cope with only 2 central midfielders and I’ve done so myself so a ‘3’ with support around them is more than enough to come out on top in the crucial midfield battle ground.

You need hard workers here though, people willing to put in a good shift. 

 

Mezzala/A

Contrary to their description, Mezzala’s can and do put in a good defensive shift, even on ‘attack’ duty, which is great as this set up wouldn’t work if they didn’t.  

They are like Box to Box midfielders…… on Amphetamines….. one moment they are defending on the edge of your penalty area, the next they are almost auxiliary Strikers.

They operate in the half & half spaces in midfield and are difficult to pick up. Brilliant in a midfield 3.

You’re looking for technical athletes here, players who can get up and down the pitch all day but skilled enough to make a big contribution to all phases of play.

I’d get;

Work Rate

Stamina

Passing

Vision

Technique

 

Lewis_Cook_Overview_Profile.png

Solid contribution from Cook, getting better every game.

 

CM/D

Compared to the generalist requirements of the Mezzala we can employ a specialist in this role. An alert, diligent defender is what’s required here. A permanent fixture in front of our back 4 (back 2 at times!), capable of stalling counter attacks until our Mezzala’s and Wingbacks can get back into position.   

Whilst he will sometimes build from the back, he is only required to play simple passes to his more exuberant team mates. Rarely recognized by the pundits, back in the Dressing Room no one underestimates the contribution he makes.

Look for;

Decisions

Determination

Tackling

Team Work

Work Rate

 

Fernandinho_Overview_Profile.png

Fernandinho is the perfect midfielder. Even chipped in with goals.

 

Defence

Not much fat on this formation, everyone needs to manage their own workload well, if one domino falls, the whole lot comes tumbling down. This is especially true of our defensive unit.

Whilst we allow our forwards and midfielders to harass and harangue opponents, we need our defenders to remain calm, stalling our opponents attacks is the main objective, buying time for the Cavalry to arrive in the form of our midfield who can then set about winning us the ball back.

Our back line is the anvil, our midfield the hammer. 

 

IWB/S

I tried all the Full Back variants and the IWB seemed to offer the best attacking and best defensive option at the same time. Sitting a bit narrower means they are more involved in play and seem to be better placed for interceptions when we lose the ball.

Don’t overthink the role regarding ‘footedness’, they still cross from natural crossing positions, I still prefer my Left Back to be left footed and vice-versa, I just think of them as ‘narrow Fullbacks’.

Still, they do get involved in build up play and have a lot of running to do so a mixture of Physical and Technical stats are required.

I look for;

Team Work

Passing

Tackling

Decisions

Positioning

 

Charlie_Daniels_Overview_Profile.png

Not a tactic where the Fullbacks shine, but they still put in a shift.

 

Centre Backs

The Attacking Mentality results in a fairly high defensive line amongst other things, our Centre Backs can also get isolated so there is no doubt that having them be quick of thought and foot can save you a lot of pain.

You do see them ‘mop up’ a lot of balls hit ‘over the top’, so having a quality pairing here will at least ensure that any passes played beyond the back line need to be of quality as general ‘hoofs’ will not threaten a decent Centre Back pairing unduly.  

Beyond that you need the usual attributes to deal with general defending and especially set pieces etc.

Look for;

Marking

Tackling

Jumping Reach

Anticipation

Positioning

 

Steve_Cook_Overview_Profile.png

Solid season from Cookie.

 

Goal Keeper

Not much mystery in this role in terms of what is required. It is, however, worth considering our main vulnerabilities which are dealing with set pieces and giving up ‘one on one’ goal scoring opportunities.

I look for;

Aerial Ability

One on One’s

Reflexes

Handling

Command of Area

 

Asmir_Begovic_Overview_Profile.png

3 Keepers at Bournemouth, all had really solid stats.

Edited by Mr U Rosler

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If I were to use two wingers instead of the deep lying forwards would it still work and what player roles would you recommend for them? I don't currently have the players to play 3 strikers but have a couple of very good wingers.

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I've not tried it with Wingers so you would have to experiment.

There's a good chance it would throw things off.

Might be better retraining the Wingers into Strikers, I did it with Stanislas & ibe and they did well.

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You and knap have stumbled upon very similar conclusions. Obviously this "direct pass - central overload" works really well on the current ME.

5a058a87a61f0_Arsenal_Overview.png.878be

 

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Knaps has a lot of ball retention TI's so I would expect them to play quite differently.

He's also exploiting the flanks rather than the middle.

Plus lower tempo.

Its the same formation with opposing philosophies.

I think we'll see a lot of 3 striker set ups this year as the ME is vulnerable to them.

I did point this out early on in the general beta feedback thread. No one listening as usual.

Edited by Mr U Rosler

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Chill, mate. I wasn't accusing you of copying, just pointing out that you came to the same core principle. Attacking mentality which provides fast, direct football (regardless of TI), punting the ball to the front three in central areas plus two Mezzalas to cause additional havoc.

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Great thread. It's good to get a bit of insight into the thinking behind the tactical choices.

I'm running a similar 4-3-3 setup myself in my Darlington save currently. Whilst it's been great going forward and I've managed to do pretty well results wise, I'm constantly getting caught out by long balls over the top. Ideally, I'd like to be a bit more solid but not blunt my attack too much.

I think I'll either give the Oathkeeper a try or at least *borrow*  some of your ideas and see how I get on.

Cheers for posting Mr U Rosler. :thup: 

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I'm going to give this tactic a go when I get home from work. it looks good.

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Wanted to change things up a bit. I've been playing 4-1-2-3 wide for the last four seasons so the idea of this tactic was pretty similar to what I was playing before. That meant that I started with the familiarity almost at max, but anyways; the results were great! This is the first "screen" after I changed tactic midseason:

5a14a3d32c275_Skjermbilde2017-11-2123_05_00.thumb.png.a865aadfd811e14565ac0ba9af5c70c4.png

I liked how the IWB worked! I've only tried combinations of WB/CWB when I've played a narrow 4-3-3, but as you said, very good both forward and defending.

One note:

Have you tried to play a front-line like DLF(s)-DLF(a)-DLF(s) with a left footed player on the right and a right footed on the left? I imagine that will be more like playing with inside forwards.

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9 hours ago, Woho said:

Wanted to change things up a bit. I've been playing 4-1-2-3 wide for the last four seasons so the idea of this tactic was pretty similar to what I was playing before. That meant that I started with the familiarity almost at max, but anyways; the results were great! This is the first "screen" after I changed tactic midseason:

5a14a3d32c275_Skjermbilde2017-11-2123_05_00.thumb.png.a865aadfd811e14565ac0ba9af5c70c4.png

I liked how the IWB worked! I've only tried combinations of WB/CWB when I've played a narrow 4-3-3, but as you said, very good both forward and defending.

One note:

Have you tried to play a front-line like DLF(s)-DLF(a)-DLF(s) with a left footed player on the right and a right footed on the left? I imagine that will be more like playing with inside forwards.

Great results.

Not tried the DLF(s)-DLF(a)-DLF(s) set up, my worry would be the Mezzala's and DLF/s would run into each other.

I prefer the 'double chevron' approach with the Mezzala's running into space vacated by the wide Strikers.

Looks like it doesn't need tweaking by your results !!

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2 hours ago, Mr U Rosler said:

I prefer the 'double chevron' approach with the Mezzala's running into space vacated by the wide Strikers.

Good point! It definitely doesn't need tweaking to improve the results, it was just an idea to switch up the style of play. The only thing that bothers me with the tactic is that every goal I concede (except for 2nd leg CC where my defenders decided not to show up) have been coming in the opening minutes means that I have been chasing all those games from behind. I dont know if thats just random with such a short period of testing. Anyways, I felt like I had to share the results when they were that successful. Great work, thumbs up from me! I changed my CBs to BPD btw, but thats just because it suits my CBs better. Dont think that affected the results that much.

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Yep, its not a defensive set up, you will concede some bad goals but you should score a lot more.

Arsenal are strong this year, playing them away is hardest game I face testing with Bournemouth & Man City.

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30 minutes ago, bladesadviser said:

Is this tactic the same as on your other thread or an updated version? cheers

Same version as the last one on the beta thread.

 

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I dont often download or copy other people's tactics because I'm a stubborn old soul, but I think you are on to something really special here. Tried this with my Liverpool save and the trifecta of Sturridge - Firmino - Mane up top is deadly. Changed the DMC to a DLP on defend for home games but dont know if that made any difference at all. Anyway great job on the tactic and the write up about your thought process behind it.

Edited by Blinklys

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1 hour ago, Wyer said:

Nice to see you back, its been a while from the testing I done for you a few seasons back :)

Time flies!

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Legendary. I'm on a 28 match unbeaten run (2 draws)/23 match winning run with Arbroath, taking them from mid-table in the Scottish Championship to winning the first 7 games in the Premiership, and into the Group Stages of the Europa League via winning the Scottish Cup.

6-1, 7-0, 7-2 - they're the 3 aggregate scores in qualifying for the Europa, 

Honestly can't fault this, as I sit here 2-0 up at Celtic Park. 

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4 hours ago, Blinklys said:

7 straight wins without conceding. 14 wins 1 draw 1 defeat. GF 39 GA 5. Amazing!

where do you play coutinho in this? up top or the mezella.  I'm going to look at this as one of my alt tactics.  Generally happy with my current set up with wide men, but I feel I could be doing better so was going to look at this I think....

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5 hours ago, gmulv said:

where do you play coutinho in this? up top or the mezella.  I'm going to look at this as one of my alt tactics.  Generally happy with my current set up with wide men, but I feel I could be doing better so was going to look at this I think....

That's a good question. I tried this tactic when both him, Lallana and Salah was injured for some time. Now retraining C as a mezzala and playing him there more, but he hasnt been great to be honest. Still hoping I can fit him in though.

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2 minutes ago, Blinklys said:

That's a good question. I tried this tactic when both him, Lallana and Salah was injured for some time. Now retraining C as a mezzala and playing him there more, but he hasnt been great to be honest. Still hoping I can fit him in though.

yeah that was my worry too - I currently play him as a MC in my tactic.  He is very inconsitent there - I guuess I need to give im time to adapt to that position then re-assess

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Hi Mr Rosler. Any chance you could share you individual player instructions if you have any please? I'd like to test this on touch on the iPad.

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13 hours ago, Malicious Penguin said:

Legendary. I'm on a 28 match unbeaten run (2 draws)/23 match winning run with Arbroath, taking them from mid-table in the Scottish Championship to winning the first 7 games in the Premiership, and into the Group Stages of the Europa League via winning the Scottish Cup.

6-1, 7-0, 7-2 - they're the 3 aggregate scores in qualifying for the Europa, 

Honestly can't fault this, as I sit here 2-0 up at Celtic Park. 

Are you Still semi-pro mate? Im currently Peterheed, top of League 1 15 points clear. Im looking at this tactic to go all out in the Championship next season.

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1 hour ago, Gary5891 said:

Hi Mr Rosler. Any chance you could share you individual player instructions if you have any please? I'd like to test this on touch on the iPad.

Yep, will pop them up after work tonight.

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1 hour ago, parsdaft1982 said:

Are you Still semi-pro mate? Im currently Peterheed, top of League 1 15 points clear. Im looking at this tactic to go all out in the Championship next season.

Became Professional after getting promoted to the Premiership. Beat Celtic 4-2 at Celtic Park in the end. It's ridiculous. 

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27 minutes ago, Malicious Penguin said:

Became Professional after getting promoted to the Premiership. Beat Celtic 4-2 at Celtic Park in the end. It's ridiculous. 

Think im convinced now, cheers mate

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1 hour ago, Malicious Penguin said:

What I would say, is if Oathkeeper isn't working, try Mr Rosler's Oathbreaker instead. Guaranteed one will work wonders!

Hmm.

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I gave this a go with my Liverpool save. All I can say is awsome!!

apart from a 2-1 away loss to utd I have decimated the opposition and conceded no other goals!! Only played 7 games but so far looks good

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I've been using this tactic a little while, and one big issue I'd had was conceding a torrential downpour of late goals. My side is admittedly very poor for the league we're in, and the full backs aren't close to what you ideally outline so I've had to play around a bit to find a way to shut up shop.

I've found the standard (not defensive) fullback position, set to defend once you're on a 2-3 goal lead is immense. Well just in general, it compromises a lot of the attacking prowess, as your full backs become ultra-cautious but if you're suffering a team that weakens in the last 20-30 minutes, or isn't quite optimal for holding on late on this might be worth a try. 

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Always like to test a @Mr U Rosler tactic as they are the only ones I ever use bar my own.  Had a small test save as Barnsley and it worked fantastically well.  Tried it on a test save with Souchaux in France and it was completely the opposite with me getting hammered a fair few times and not scoring many at all

I've actually started a new Souchaux game and I'm using my own 4-5-1 tactic for now but look forward to using this one again, if I manage in England, or any new ones @Mr U Rosler comes up with

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7 hours ago, Mr U Rosler said:

Hi Nozzer,

I've been working on the 4231, should be a bit more stable.

Not quite there yet :D

 

 

Ohh, I'm looking forward to that one....

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19 hours ago, Mr U Rosler said:

Hi Nozzer,

I've been working on the 4231, should be a bit more stable.

Not quite there yet :D

 

 

Look forward to seeing it mate.  I usually agree 100% with the ideas behind your tactics (no faffing about with the ball / direct football / plenty of hard work) but with my current Souchaux save I've actually developed a slow tempo, working the ball into the box, use a playmaker type tactic.  It's pretty much against how I like football to be played but it is working well

I think this new tactic you are creating could go quite well with it when I'm wanting to change things up

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Tip o' the hat to Mr Rosler. Just won the Vanarama National with Gateshead using this tactic, and won it easily with five games to spare (bookies' prediction was 14th). Set all kinds of records along the way, too. It might be exploitative but who cares, eh? Sometimes it's a pleasure just to watch teams go at it hammer and tongs, last one to score wins.

Won the FA Trophy, too, just for good measure!

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Hi there, i’m playing on FM touch. Is all the info needed on the tactic screenshot, or does each position have instructions? If so, is it possible for someone to post screenshots? Sorry for the hassle, would be most appreciated! 

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On 24/11/2017 at 10:28, Mr U Rosler said:

Yep, will pop them up after work tonight.

Hi Mr Rosler, just noticed someone else had asked this too. Did you manage to do this or were they posted somewhere else? On FM17 I mostly played with a striker less formation so wanted done to play with ALL the strikers for FM18!  Currently using a 433 but only the middle striker is doing anything off note so hoping this helps :-) 

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Sorry, forgot this.

Here you go,

 

FM18 Touch (or those who do not wish to download) - Additional Player Instructions

GK - Distribute to Full Backs

Full Backs - Shoot Less Often, Close Down less

Centre Back - None

Central Midfielder - Shoot Less Often, Tackle Harder

Mezzalla - Shoot Less Often, Tackle Harder, Close Down Much More

All Strikers - Shoot Less Often, Tackle Harder, Close Down More

 

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Finally settled on the 4231 set up.

I still have 2 seasons of manual testing to do before i'll put it up, but were looking at a few less goals going forward (but still plenty), and a better defensive record resulting in a similar points tally as the 433 with more sensible football.

Still sticking to my principle of non-possession based tactics.

I've come to think of the 3 striker set-up as an 'exploit' this year and won't use it in my main save, so i'm happy to get close with a 1 Striker formation :thup: 

  

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12 hours ago, Mr U Rosler said:

Sorry, forgot this.

Here you go,

 

FM18 Touch (or those who do not wish to download) - Additional Player Instructions

GK - Distribute to Full Backs

Full Backs - Shoot Less Often, Close Down less

Centre Back - None

Central Midfielder - Shoot Less Often, Tackle Harder

Mezzalla - Shoot Less Often, Tackle Harder, Close Down Much More

All Strikers - Shoot Less Often, Tackle Harder, Close Down More

 

Thanks mate!

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On 27/11/2017 at 16:18, santy001 said:

I've found the standard (not defensive) fullback position, set to defend once you're on a 2-3 goal lead is immense. Well just in general, it compromises a lot of the attacking prowess, as your full backs become ultra-cautious but if you're suffering a team that weakens in the last 20-30 minutes, or isn't quite optimal for holding on late on this might be worth a try. 

This. I've pretty much taken to just using fullbacks set to defensive all of the time now. I'm still banging in the goals but I'm keeping a lot more cleansheets.

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How Kings acceleration is 19 for you. For me it is 14, cant believe you have developed it so much to be raised by 4-5.

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