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Jambo98

FM18 - The community formation experiment

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29 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

Lets see what happens now........

Entirely predictable, after that thinking and effort. 

a86d84f6bdc65864e8bf77b6c661683e.png

 

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Cool, my first attempt at an assymetric formation. I'm gonna try to keep it pretty simple, with the principles to use some pressing and a controlled build up play. For PI:s, only the CB:s have the Close down much less instruction, to try and keep them in line and covering.

Formation and instructions:

formation.thumb.PNG.3dbc04f4a69bd3b2414a82ffe6270f7e.PNG

instructions.PNG.ab175b6dad79a57786d597b74b4e31a3.PNG

 

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Another month, another mixed bag:

laCkmJK.png?1

I was happy with the win against a strong OM, which maintained our position at the top of our Europa League group. The away draw at Leverkusen wasn't bad, although we could have won it. The cup game at Division 2 Braunschweig was a complete embarrassment - we simply never got going and were duly punished. And then finished the month with a handy and convincing win against Hertha, who sat a couple of places above us in the league.

November promises to be a tough month, bookended by away games in the Europa League against OM and Napoli - if we can get a point from those two games, and finish the campaign with a home victory against Hajduk, we should be safe for qualification for the knockout stage. In between we have two tough league games away to Frankfurt and at home to Stuttgart (who currently sit third). On the positive side, the win against Hertha took us up to sixth - our highest position of the season so far.

Player ratings:

D0ZuOasl.png

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Well, attempt #1 was a complete failure. Given up 8 games in, i think we had 1 win and 2 draws but overall nothing worked as i intended. We looked disjointed, leaked goals like crazy and the roles, whilst in my head and on paper making sense, on the pitch  did not.

Back to the drawing board!

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So I've finally taken the time to properly get started on this. I initially had no idea how to go about using a formation I'd never even thought of using before - 4132 with 2 wide midfielders rather than central mids.

Like many others, my pre season has been successful.

20180127131919_1.thumb.jpg.27a8b5542588a4af10ac8a364fd88f8a.jpg

Undefeated in pre season so far where I just let the Ass. man use my tactic. I have played one game so far and we dismantled our opposition in the German Cup.

Here is the system I came up with:

20180127131913_1.thumb.jpg.b19a4f73478c28d906be20ee9e3843fc.jpg

I knew I had to somehow get numbers in central midfield. So what I did was go for a wide playmaker on one flank who will come inside aswell as an inverted wingback from the other flank to support the midfield. I still have width on both flanks with an attacking fullback on the left and a winger bombing down the right flank. The idea with the tactic is to build up play through the left flank where I have the wide playmaker and support striker. This will draw the opposition to that flank and create space for my winger and advanced forward both on attack duty.

In terms of transfers, there have been 2 ins and 2 outs so far:

20180127131935_1.thumb.jpg.ab82abb85aefc2f2b55db628fdc2eb37.jpg

The squad lacked a striker who had good pace in behind as well finishing. Zoller actually has decent attributes for that but he has the PPM "comes deep to get ball" and his finishing a bit low at 13. I saw Sorensen was wanted by Stoke and and managed to negotiate up to 11m for him. This gave me the funds to go and buy Ademola Lookman from Everton.

20180127132814_1.thumb.jpg.3c607f2b32496c0742e2c7b829a10dd0.jpg

Lookman has excactly what I was after, pace in behind, anticipation, off the ball as well as finishing and composure. At just 19 years old, he has a lot of room for improvement. 

20180127132830_1.thumb.jpg.8c9400ebf02f7f435c0cb8413f4c918d.jpg

The other signing I've made is a loan for a young midfielder. I like that this player has a very well rounded set of attributes. Not only can he cover for me in DM and CM but I can also see him playing as the inverted wingback or the wide playmaker in my system.

I'm still looking to bring in another player, I'm still trying to offload some players first to free up the funds. Probably looking at bringing in an attacking playmaker. 

Edited by NabsKebabs

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Damn the 5-2-2-1-0 that I am dabbling with really is horrendous to get working. 

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54 minutes ago, reerdo said:

Damn the 5-2-2-1-0 that I am dabbling with really is horrendous to get working. 

Haha see I wasn’t kidding. 

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1 hour ago, craiigman said:

Haha see I wasn’t kidding. 

You certainly weren't :) Its as if settings that do one thing in another formation do totally different things in this formation.

I am on my 4th restart already. Going with 2 Segundo Volante's this time round. I need to do some work in the transfer market to.

Edited by reerdo

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49 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

@sporadicsmiles - 433 Narrow

417037acf08cb2f0f08a5a9358460b78.gif

Interesting. I have read that this formation can be somewhat overpowered, so lets see if that is the case.

3 up front suggests playing very direct football, and using the front 3 to get on the end of early balls. I think that will be the basis of how I play, since any team who plays a back 4 and pushes up their fullback is going to be left 3v2 against my players. I plan to retrain the wingers to play on the outside of the strikers. 

I have in mind a front 3 with a AF(A) DF(S) T(A). The DF to try to link play a little bit, the Treq to move into spaces on the flanks, and the AF to be always on the shoulder of the last man, waiting for the ball over the top (and being the fastest player I have).

Midfield along the lines of Car(S) CM(D)/BWM(D) Mez(S).  Their job is to recycle the ball if the long ball fails, and to be able to cover the midfield portion of the pitch, and covering wide areas as needed.

The back 4 will be WB(A), CD(D) CD(D) FB(D/S). The left back will provide the width on the left (I hope on the right the Treq will give me enough width). The right back will change depending on what I see in the match. If I need support at the back, defend. If I want more width, support or attack.

So far, I think I will set up counter/structured since I have a super offensive base, I feel I need a more defensive choice here. Higher tempo, direct passing, and clear balls to the flanks. Long ball football arrives at Koln! 

Transfer wise, all I really want is a very pacy striker who is quite intelligent - who can nicely fill the trequartista role. Otherwise, the squad is pretty well balanced. I will post something more definite after pre-season when I have a more solid idea of how I wil translate my ideas into the ME. I did just beat my reserves 3-1, and good lord 3 up front is horrible to defend without a DMC! 

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2 hours ago, reerdo said:

You certainly weren't :) Its as if settings that do one thing in another formation do totally different things in this formation.

I am on my 4th restart already. Going with 2 Segundo Volante's this time round. I need to do some work in the transfer market to.

I know it’s like it’s fundamentally broken. I’d honestly love to see someone who has said it isn’t that bad to do something with it.

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On the two wide men I tried Inverted Wingers to get them to try and come close and support the loan 'front man' yet they just don't seem to me to roam anywhere near as much as when I tried them in a 4-4-2 that I was playing with in an earlier save. For me I will call 'success' if I make it a season without the sack mate. Your more than welcome to take my 4-1-4-1 @craiigman

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I don’t know if I’ll have as much time as the last couple of years, but can I get a formation, Jambo? 

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Well, here's a quick update from my game...

 

Surprisingly I'm not sacked yet...1st part of season is done.

4ql6yaKvRJ_SPtXHJUZGqA.png

I've qualified for 1st knockout round of Europa League. Somehow...

Just signed this guy in January for 600k, I'd say he's the best striker in the team now.

kds5OHwLR02cn-PvzeIZgA.png

 

 

I really don't have an idea how to get this formation working, because flanks are unprotected and I'm conceding from crosses.

_Iv8WChER1OPOthm9wXeNQ.png

It's a bit better than it was at the start of the season that's for sure...I'm constantly changing roles.

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Am 26.1.2018 um 15:38 schrieb YasoKuul:

I played approx. 15 games with this setup and couldn't win a single match. Especially the WB as lone wide men seems to be a problem as most suitable players have bad offensive stats (dribbling, crossing, etc). I'll restart next week and see how it goes with a different approach.

The formation seems very defensive at the first look, but the Sweeper pushes the WB very high and opens space for the opponent on the flanks. I decided to use defensive WB to have a better protection and the available players are all better defenders then attackers. Five players at the back with defensive duty seems a lot but it's very stable for an attacking minded mentality like Control. I don't use any TI and only a few PI for the goalkeeper and the midfield players. The following pictures show the actual progress:

20180127111521_1.jpg

20180127111605_1.jpg

20180127111835_1.jpg

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@Jean0987654321

So you got him too? :D

 

So far seems like a beast...3 games, 3 goals and an assist.

And my biggest win in the league so far 4-1 away against Hoffenheim.

Seems like a good start to 2nd part of season.

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8 minutes ago, (sic) said:

@Jean0987654321

So you got him too? :D

 

So far seems like a beast...3 games, 3 goals and an assist.

And my biggest win in the league so far 4-1 away against Hoffenheim.

Seems like a good start to 2nd part of season.

9 goals in 19 games for me but hes easily our best player and top goalscorer

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Well pre-season actually went better than I expected

UXD5tFK.png

So far this is what I am going with tactic wise. Utilising the fact that I am set up with a solid wall of 5 at the back and let the rest go crazy trying to support the lone 'front man' using a high pressing high line to minimize the isolation of my Shadow Striker.

What worries me most is a) the long ball over the top so may go to a Sweeper Keeper and b) a lot of our goals and good play has been through Clemens and Bittencourt and I very much doubt its how I have set the up tactically so if I lose one of them to an injury !! Ouch !!

mw6SzuF.png

Now to watch it crash and burn in the league :)

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1 hour ago, reerdo said:

Well pre-season actually went better than I expected

UXD5tFK.png

So far this is what I am going with tactic wise. Utilising the fact that I am set up with a solid wall of 5 at the back and let the rest go crazy trying to support the lone 'front man' using a high pressing high line to minimize the isolation of my Shadow Striker.

What worries me most is a) the long ball over the top so may go to a Sweeper Keeper and b) a lot of our goals and good play has been through Clemens and Bittencourt and I very much doubt its how I have set the up tactically so if I lose one of them to an injury !! Ouch !!

mw6SzuF.png

Now to watch it crash and burn in the league :)

Quite an interesting approach. Back 5 and the fullbacks as cautious as FB(s) would not be what i would expect, but then i am in no position to judge! 

The one thing i did wrong (well, one of....) was that i failed to take advantage of what the inherent strength of my formation is - Might be something similar you experience? 

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4 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

Quite an interesting approach. Back 5 and the fullbacks as cautious as FB(s) would not be what i would expect, but then i am in no position to judge! 

The one thing i did wrong (well, one of....) was that i failed to take advantage of what the inherent strength of my formation is - Might be something similar you experience? 

We talking about possession as I remember seeing your earlier comment about it and I did try on one of my run throughs to go with a possession based tactic and yes we did have loads but we were so blunt going forward though saying that I hadn’t opted for a high line at that point. 

I just regularly find the space in behind my FBs so bloody difficult to protect a lot of the time and I had tried so many other things with this formation it was more a sod it why not lol

Had a good cup result so now to test it against BMG in the first league game. 

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Just a small update up to the early season International break and although my first big test is yet to come when I face Bayern next match I am rather pleased with how things have gone.

JlD1eOC.png

And a then the injuries start to hit . . . . . grrrr . . . . all first teamers !!

xRs6HM0.png

Edited by reerdo

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21 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

 

@cregan - 5212 WB

 

Gah! I’ve just spent a season and a half playing that formation at Deportivo. I’ll have to try it with a very different approach to the one I took in Spain. (Which shouldn’t be hard, to be fair.) Cheers, Jambo. 

Edited by cregan

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Here goes my 3421 experiment. I've had a hard time deciding on the style of play I want to implement. In the end I've decided to work on a counter tactic, just because I haven't done this yet in FM18. In my opinion attacking tactics are working a lot better this year. It is a lot harder to defend, as opposed to last year. And as this is an experiment, why not add an extra challenge : )

I've created 3 tactics. For 3 different match situations. I'll always start out with the counter tactic and change it depending on how the game is going. For this I set up some match plans.

So far I haven't signed anyone but my director of football is working on a loan deal for Hazard and transfers of Zapata and Ben Arfa. Lets see if he can do what I ask of him.

Pre-season has been pretty decent so far. I've played every tactic 3 times. 5 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses.

First match of the season coming up. BUT! The real me has decided to go cook while the virtual me will go on a holiday : ).

The tactic has been created, the squad has been chosen, transfers are on the way & training is set. Lets see how well my plans work when I'm not allowed to tinker with them every other match.

I'll post the results once the holiday is done

 

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-28 om 20.15.16.png

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-28 om 20.15.08.png

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-28 om 20.15.00.png

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Right, I have played a little with this over the weekend, alongside various other endeavours (including fixing a huge leak in the bathroom). The 433 narrow is a nightmare tactic for someone who usually sets out to create a defensively solid base before venturing forward. It is a bit of an eye opener, to say the least.

Here is the current tactic I am using

5a6e276c6af0e_433base.thumb.png.e13524a72b823b22d583e15dd520bd66.png

I have gone for the "we have 3 forwards, so lets play get the ball to them as quickly as possible" route. Just a bit of an idea behind my thought process on these choices, and they have undergone some evolution in this time. 

For the front 3, I want a false 9 to come and try to link the midfield and attack, or at least to start deeper when we counter (preferably both). It would be also nice if he drops deep enough to press deep lying opposition midfielders. On the right, I have a a trequartista, who is a natural right winger. I need someone to provide a bit of width there, and this seemed the obvious option. His job is to drift into the space on the right flank, provide crosses, and to find space to run into when we counter. Bittencourt has 3 goals in 2 games from this position, so it appears to be working. The AF on the left is my fastest player. His job is to chase balls over the top and be faster than the defenders. He can then either score or assist goals for the other strikers. All of this is helped by having more direct passing. No fancy football here, our strength is having 3v2 or 3v3 when we get the ball forward quickly. 

The midfield is a work in progress. I am happy to have the left BWM, he covers for the WB(A) on that side. On the right, I was toying with the mezzala to exploit the space on the right, but my goodness we have been shocking in defence so far this season. I will keep my eyes on this, see what happens, make choices depending on what I see. The AP(S) I recently added to provide a bit of thrust going forward. So far, it has not been very successful, but that is from one match. Expect these roles to change as I experiment with doing different things here.

The defence I am happy with, in a setup sense. The WB on the left is my natural width. When he gets forward, we really can create overloads on the defence. He is a good outlet, and this works very nicely. I have a FB(D) on the other side simply because I do not have very good defenders. I do not want to get caught on the break myself, and I want to try to lock down the flanks. Thus far this season, we have been utterly horrible at defending though (something I hope changes when we settle a little). 

 433_resultsA.thumb.png.c246430f5a9b88ab9684990205cd5ff8.png

Results wise, I only played 2 competitive games. Friendlies were all against weak sides, because I do not feel you learn much from friendlies. I looked at the patterns of play we created when going forward, and built up fitness. The cup game, we actually got dominated in terms of shots and in terms of possession. We won with goals on the counter. This is going to be a theme for this tactic, I think. The game against Wolfsberg, we were dominated again, but went in 3-1 up at half time, after going behind early. Goals were again from direct balls, and we took the chances very well. We did not create a lot, but we took the chances we did create. Defensively, we were utterly horrible at defending crosses, which led to the first goal, and they hit the post twice from other crosses. The second goal, however, was one of those annoying slide tackles that turns into a perfect through ball. Not too worried about that, it was unlucky. 

Not a bad start, but this tactic is going to be bloody horrible to watch. I am really not used to purposefully ceding ground and really only trying to hit teams on the break.

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5-2-1-2 WB

So, having played this formation gung-ho in the past, I'm thinking a Herrera-era catenaccio type system might be workable.

cat-koln.thumb.jpeg.930af05a054d703def4567ee0d9ec91b.jpeg

Defensive/Structured/Be More Disciplined: Because catenaccio.

Push Higher Up/Play Narrower/Close Down More: Compress the space, and to some extent counteract the low d-line playing on defensive.

Exploit Both Flanks: I'm not sure about this one, but hopefully it'll encourage play through the IWB and encourage the CAR and CF(s) (who's PIed to run wide/move into channels) to give width. I don't want the WBR to get involved - the formation is weak down the flanks defensively and I'd like that side locked down - but with a bit of luck, the players ahead can fill the gaps a little.

More Direct Passing/Play Out Of Defence: On the one hand, I'm happy for people to shift the ball around quickly and at length. On the other, IIRC passing out of central defence is always longer on defensive mentality and I don't want them to go too nuts.

I'm not sure about:

The BPD. On the one hand, having one of the more aggressive defenders able to ping the ball around as they push up towards the DM strata seems like a good thing. On the other, I'm not sure it shouldn't be on the left flank instead, or that it'll work at all.

The CAR. Might switch for a MEZ in games where we can be a bit more aggressive or a BWM(s/d).

The EG. I want the role to work because I've hardly ever used it, but I'm not sure it will.

The striker pairing. One hard worker, one a bit freer, might be OK (especially given the number of strikers Koln have who play with their back to goal), but there might not be enough of a thrust.

The personnel. Clemens looks like he'd be a good IWB, in which case I'd shift Hector to MCR. Pizarro I'm not convinced is going to work, and Bittencourt would offer more movement at the cost of worse mentals. Alternatively, Osako could move up and Jojic take over at AMC. 

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Ok, so after a disaster of a first attempt, i decided to regroup, rethink and well, restart......

I felt that on reflection, my ideas first time round were poorly thought out. They were too "hipster" and too attacking, and failed to fundamentally look at 2 things:

- What are the key inherent strengths of the formation I have been given, and how do I capitalise on those ?

- What are the key inherent weaknesses of the formation i have been given, and how do i minimise them? (without compromising the strengths)

Fortunately, in the case of my formation, those 2 questions area little more simple to answer than in some cases. The strengths and weaknesses in the 4222 DM are pretty obvious:

a442ca6210f40e257abad5c887634af2.png

 

  • The potential strength of the tactic lies in the  DM area. We have a natural low block of 2 x DC and 2 x DM which should give us numerical advantage in this area against most other formations. With ML and MR also in place, these 2 DM players should not be burdoned with much need to cover out on the flanks (as they might be in say a 4231 DM setup) so should be able to form a protective wall.
  • The weakness, sadly, is in one of the most important areas of the pitch. The "zone 14" area, directly behind the strikers and just outside the opposition box, is empty. We have no player "naturally" in this key area as the formation stands, so one of the keys will be finding a way to bring players into that zone, whilst trying not to sacrifice our strengths 

 

Ok, so armed with that new thinking, what can we do to translate that into a system? Taking into account some of the learnings from last time. 

Firstly, in order to capitalise on the strength above, I want to set us up with a "low block" approach to winning the ball back. This means sitting deeper than before, pressing slightly less with defensive players in particular and being more compact.  In attack, width is always important (ask Liverpool...) and we are going to need to try and get some action in Zone 14, but not by using our DM players. The WP / WB mix last time was one aspect which did actually look good for us, so we will use that as one way of moving someone into Zone 14 (The WP). We will also try to have one of our strikers dropping into that space. 

So what does it shake out?

da5d30df2edb8ea4cacc39be967921e7.png

I have selected "Counter" mentality, not because i expect us to initiate counter attacks (we know that is considerably more complex than just setting the mentality) but because it brings my Dline, closing down and width back towards a low block level. It also reduces our overall level of risk which alligns to this approach.  Team Shape is always tricky for me - i am trying to balance a few factors....the need to instil some discipline to our low block, the need to create movement wide and up top to fill Zone 14, the need to reduce the space between our midfield and attack lines.....overall i pretty much compromise and pick Flexible to start with. 

The TI are basic. Play out of Defence and Work into the box for the same reasons as always. Play Narrower to further congest the middle area where we are strong and avoid gaps in the channels which could be exploited. Look for the overlap was added after a couple of games because the WP seemed to ignore the WB too often when he was in good free space. Finally Shorter passing is a bit of an outlier, but i found without it we would give possession away to quickly, before we had a chance to move our attacking players around in the way we hoped.

PI are minimal - Keeper distribution ones and the W(a) is given "roam from position" to bring him inside now and then, without forcing it on him with a specific movement PI. 

In terms of roles and duties, most are straightforward. Basic DMs, although split duties, to form the midfield element of the low block. Left side combining the WP / WB to give width and start to have one player into Zone 14. On the right, a more solid defender to keep our low block more intact, and a winger to give us width and stretch the play.

Up top, its tricky.  To keep us compact i have opted against either Poacher or AF. Dont feel we have the players or style for CF. DLF(a) can be plenty threatening, and also is apt to drift out wide when the WP cuts in / foward. The second forward is where i am less certain. I  want this to be the main guy who gets into Zone 14, but Cordoba is not exactly a false 9 type. He does however possess immense work rate, and the plays with back to goal PPM, so i am going to use DF(d) to try and bring him back into the AMC type space. 

Transfer wise, I tried to bring in players again to compliment the strengths and combat the weaknesses somewhat. 

f8b5711afa3f74590d95a368022af32b.png

Vukcevic is a real bit of quality in midfield. A very well rounded player, he will give us a little attacking / playmaking intent whilst still being a very solid defensive player in DM.  He could also fill in at WP on occasion to give us a different look, or indeed may  become our play maker from the DM slot in games where the WP is being crowded out against certain formations.

Bendetto also fits the description of "well rounded". He brings advanced forward style attributes (14+ in Finishing, Composure, Anticipation. OTB, Pace, Acceleration) as well as strength and aerial ability. In essence i hope to use him to create almost a hybrid between AF and DLF. 

Boveda was the loanee. I need defensive solidarity at RB rather than a WB type, and the 2 natural RB we start with are not the right type.  Boveda can be an adequate defender, and is also versatile and can slot in across the backline. Initially he might rotate with Sorenson at RB, until i see what is what. I have had Boveda at Athletic before and he has seemed a dependable player.


No doubt this will crash and burn again :D 

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Ok so I haven’t played any FM at all since FM15 and I thought that this experiment might help me get back into it again. Therefore this will mostly be trail and error but hopefully it will get me to know the game again. 

 

I got the 4-2-3-1 DM Wide formation:

ST

AML - AMC - AMR

DM - DM

DL - DC - DC - DR

GK

 

The biggest weekness/challange is of course the big gap between my DMs and my AMs. I therefor went with a SV role for one of my DMs, making him push up more, and an AP(s) for my AMC hoping he’ll stay back a bit spraying passes. For my other roles I’m not sure yet and will have to see during the first months what seems to work best.

For TI I went with Push higer up, Use offside trap, Close down more, Work ball into box and Prevent GK distribution. So for, after 2 friendlies, at least the team seems compact enough and there seems to be no gap in midfield. My keeper has been set to SK(s) but that still seem to leave to much gap between him and my defence so might go for SK(a). 

I’ll probably go for a counter mentality hoping it will balance the fact that we are playing higher up the pitch. 

So here it goes! Hopefully I’ll learn by my mistakes..!

Edited by RLC

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Think I'm going to have to restart, too. Things have gone from pretty good to pretty awful...

7IrGEY1.png?1

For the Stuttgart game I went with a variation designed to retain possession - shorter passing, work ball, dribble less - and it worked brilliantly. Then the wheels fell off. Morale is at an all-time low, Man City are sniffing around Hector and Bittencourt and both are unsettled.

Apart from the obvious issue with the sweeper/CB combination, I can't find a balanced tactical variation that is sufficiently sound at the back while offering some kind of threat going forward. Even if we try to stay solid in defence, the huge gaps between the central pair and the FBs make us easy pickings for two-striker formations, and any kind of 4231 just tears us apart.

So my current thoughts are to get one FB to tuck in and sit, with maybe a defensive winger ahead of him to drop back and cover the wide area. The other winger to provide a bit of attacking creativity, with a CM inside to cover (BWM or CAR?) Basically, a Leicester-ish counter-attacking system.

I really can't see any advantage to the sweeper in the 442; but I haven't yet found a way to minimise the disruption.

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P.s. I have Hector, Meré and Klünter still on holiday on the 17th of july, anyone know what date they will return? D.s.

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3 minutes ago, RLC said:

P.s. I have Hector, Meré and Klünter still on holiday on the 17th of july, anyone know what date they will return? D.s.

27th

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So, after puting all that thought into my second attempt, is it working..........

Well, sort of / maybe / almost,  is the answer to that. We have played 12 competitive games, wining 6, drawing 3 and losing 3. We sit 4th in a very tight league, and a comfortable 2nd in our Europa Group.

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But to understand if it is "working", i need to see  more than just my results. I have been watching each game in comprehensive mode, using the old 2D classic view (I like it for judging movement / shape in a tactic) and noting down key points from each game.

Game 1 - Rielasingen (away) - Cup - Not much to say as they were lower league cannon fodder. A glorified friendly really 

Game 2 - Mainz (home) - League - They set up with a 4231 DM formation (which seems common in Germany). We scored first with a pleasing move. We had posession in our own half, the WP comes infield and picks the ball up from the DM, and at this point Bendetto (the DLF) peels off to the space on the left flank and Jojic finds him with a ball down the line. Bendetto crosses and the RW (Clemens) slots home at the far post. Nice.  Minutes later. A Mainz free kick 45 yards out. We set out defending with everyone in a straight line along the area (known bug), and when the initial dinked ball is headed clear, they have a man at the edge of the box to slam home with no one near him. FFS.  Litterally from the kick off, we pass it around 4 passes, before the DM(d) hits a long one over the top for our DF to chase. He is has just about broken the Dline but gets tackled when in on goal, with the ball nicely rolling to Bendetto to tap into the empty night. IT gets better. A lovely flowing passing move on the edge of the area, the WP working it out to the WB, who works it back in with no cross on, exchange of passes involving DM(s), WP, W(a) and DF(d) ends in the ball being played to Bendetto in a yard of space in the box and he slams home. We are playing well.

We then do a good job at strangling the game for a while, creating chances but nothing great and allowing a few chances our end, but mostly from in front of the low block. Unfortunately we get sloppy, give the ball away on the Right wing and a quick exchange has the opposing LB in behind my RW, who is caught up field. My RB is sitting narrow so the LB has time to cross and they score the header. Not great play by us, possibly playing narrow costs us a bit. 

Then the ultimate kick in the teeth. In the last min of injury time, a harmless looking throw, a ball to the edge of box,we close down but the opposing AML ghosts in between our RB and our DC's who appear to want to mark the same guy, and has a tap in. I mean, what is this defending.........

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Hugely annoying draw. Positives are we looked dangerous in attack, Bendetto in particular has great movement. We did ok in possession, although at times we did rush things slightly and the low block, despite conceding 3 goals, operated well. Negative is we got done in our RB position twice and Cordoba wildly slashed at 3 great chances. We should have scored more if he had more composure

Game 3 - Hoffenhiem (away) - League - A more tricky game on paper. They set up in a 32212 formation with wingbacks and an AMC.  We find it tough going against the back 3 and resort to a few too many pops from distance, meanwhile the opposing WB's are giving us some problems. We take the lead when Cordoba drops deep to pick the ball up in Zone 14, holds off his man and pings it wide to our RW, who takes it forward 15 yards then swings in a cross which Cordoba heads home. Nice interchange between the 2.

We hold our own in the game until one of those stupid pens for pulling back an attacker from a cross gets them level.  We continue to pretty much match them although they create a couple of good chances and Horn has to be at his best to keep us level. We settle for a fair draw.

Positives were the link play between the DF and RM, and the WP doing some lovely interchanges with the 2 DMs. Negatives were our struggles defensively against aggresive WB's coming from deep. The WP at times is caught infield and cant help the LB and at RB both Sorenson and now Boveda have looked shakey at times

Game 4 - Frankfurt (home) - League - Holy goals batman. Against the same 32212, we conceded a 45 yard screamer, score from a defensive mistake, then score from a well worked move following a throw, all within 13mins. Then we concede another from a cross, this time from in behind our LB. In the second half we score 2 goals from indirect FKs and concede from, you guessed it, a cross. 

Overall we totally dominate this game, create lots of chances and limit them to jsut the 3 chances, which they happen to score all of :( Bittencourt at RW excels, and the DM(s) position is proving fruitfull for us in most games so far. We need to stop conceding from crosses, which on FM18 is easier said than done......

Game 5 - Arsenal (away) - Europa - Oh dear. I heavily rotate and we just get a hammering. Horn has a rare poor game and almost everything which hits the target ends in a goal. We just do not cope with Arsenals pace and movement. All backup players, so one to accept and move on. We do score a nice counter attack goal, LB cross to RW but it is scant consolation. 

Game 6 - Bayern (away) - League - Just what we need off the back of a thrashing...... Bayern line up 4231 DM and just destroy us. We cannot hold the ball and this leads to the introduction of "pass it shorter " in the second half ,which instantly makes us a little better and i  decide to keep. We also lose Bittencourt to injury for a few weeks, but Clemens who comes on ends up our best player. At this point, i am worried but it was 2 hugely better teams, both away so lets see what happens from here.

Game 7 - Dortmund (home) - League - A 3rd consecutive tough fixture, and potential watershed for us.  Dortmund line up in a standard 41221 wide. We start well, scoring in 11mins an interesting goal, where in the space of 17secs, we go from our low block being effective (first picture,we win the ball back in this instant) to us having 6 bodies in the box to force in a goal.

0dd2779f3f9644bf9c58413c17e7bf04.png -----------> fbee1051ad76724bc7f26d94f1a4d762.png

 

Before this game i made one additional tactical tweak (it is in the tactic in the post above, but my write ups are out of kilter). I added "roam" to the RW to let him get into the box more. We score our second when Cordoba (DF) drops deep with his back to goal, picks up an easy ball, turns and plays it round the corner to Clemens who has cut in behind the DC and LB and goes in on goal to score. Nice.

From there, our low block really comes into its own. Dortmund have plenty shots, but nearly all are from a distance i am fine with them shooting with and when they do hit the target, Horn is a good enough keeper to cope.

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I would prefer some of those shots pushed back a yard or two more, but on the whole i can live with that. We score a 3rd from a corner, which is rare and the icing on the cake. Excellent performances all round and everything working as i hoped .

Game 8 - Augsburg (away) - League - Another 4231 DM, and i start Osako who is now fit again and intrigues me with his PPMs. We score early and its a lovely goal. A passing move which involves 9 of our starting 11. Only my RB and one of the DC's dont touch the ball in this move, which culiminates in our WP finding the overlapping LB, who crosses for Osako to head home. Lovely stuff

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From here, it settled in to an even game. The low block again limiting them to mostly long pops, we tried to be creative but Augsburg played dirty, commiting foul after foul and picking up a load of bookings which disrupted us a bit. Mid second half we get caught out with a ball over the top of the RB (sound familiar?) which is then played first time into the ST who is free 18 yards out in the middle of the goal, as both my DCs have been drawn to the first cross field ball. Shambles of a goal defensively :( 

Similar story on the positives, the shorter passing looks good. The RW is a threat with his roaming and the left side of the team is good.

Game 9 - Lugano (Home) - Europa - Much improved from the backup players, comfortable win with our wide men in particular sparkling. 2 goals from WP and one from W are pleasing but it was an easy game

Game 10 - RB Leipzig (Home) - League - They lined up in a flat 442 and right out the gate looked like causing us some problems. One CM was dropping deep so i made a tweak and asked my DF to specific man mark him, which stemmed things a bit. We took the lead after a lovely cross field ball from the WP cutting in found the roaming winger in behind and he ran in on goal, initial shot saved but Bendetto was there to tap in the rebound. They came back at us with some pressure, and would you believe it. ball in behind my RB sees there LW in on goal and scores...... We made a change as the WP was not getting any space. I replaced him with a winger, and made my DM(s) into an RPM(s) and we gained a bit more traction. Then 2 mins from the end, a throw on the right hand side gets cleared a couple of times, and worked back in and played across to the ST who is space where the RB should be and smashes home. A sore defeat, we competed well, did not deserve a win but a draw would have been fair. The RB problem though.....absolutely killing me 

Game 11 - Freiburg (Away) - League - A big game for us to get back on track away from home. Against another flat 442, but less quality about them. We worked some nice passing moves early, one of which ended with Cordoba putting in Bendetto for the opener. Playing well, in a tight match and Cordoba made a lovely run into a channel to pick up a through ball and crossed for Bendetto. 2 nil.  All going well and our block holding. Then we gave away a crazy goal when the DM wins  it back in his own box, then dallies for 2 secs before punting it anywhere he can. Anywhere being the edge of the box where an opposing player gleefuly accepts the gift. We hold on through a turgid second half, making some subs to change  the game with different player types but pick up a good win.

Game 12 - FCSB (Home) - Europa -  Backups again, and one of the worst games of football i have ever seen. It was 39mins before we had our first shot on goal , and 58mins before EITHER side got a shot on target.  We tweaked it mid second half to move the playmaker to the DM(s) and play 2 proper wingers and also brought on Bittencourt to play as F9 in place of the DF. We won it with a late corner goal, then a lovely well worked second invovling both strikers combining deep, finding the winger then cross and goal...... First bit of good football in 94mins....

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@Jambo98 That is a great write up of your progress so far, very insightful.

Can I get involved again this year please?

Edited by Sanno11

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3-1-3-1-2 DM update

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And something funny : Koln creates a lot of chances ...

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Unfotunately they lose match after match ... but does not matter, chances are important !

 

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So in between work a 3 year old and chicken dinners i'm finally getting around to doing the beginning write up.

Just finished all my friendlies an about to embark onto the league.

Tactic looks like this:

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Wanted to go with a battling hard working midfield, no playmaker in amc slots as i'd rather my team attack as a whole an use most of my players. Although I really wanted to try use Pizarro as an Enganche it just didnt work as well as I would prefer. Only role i'm not overly stuck on is wether to stick with a complete forward or use an advanced forward.

Atm I am kinda shoehorning Bittencourt and Clemens into the attacking midfielder slot, they've adapted well in friendlies but time will tell when it gets to competetive games.

Results wise I really should of won every match:

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Even tho they were a no mark team my last friendly the team performance as a whole was nigh on perfect to what I wanted.

The games I lost basically all had this story....

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:lol:

Transfers wise , so far Ive only signed one player on loan, and basically blew the majority of my budget on him too!

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Looking into signing another central mid as cover, looking at Jan Kirchoff on a free and hopefully a goalscoring midfielder, altthough so far the best affordable option is Kaiser from RBL. I had a RBL save last year and he performed well for me so.

Still trying to sell Maroh, Rausch but to no avail. And I think Risse will be gone too when he recuperates from injury, highly influential player or not.

Next up is the cup game and then the league starts. Not looking forward to playing Wolfsburg, Dortmund, Bayern and RBL within my first 6 games tho!

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5-2-1-2 WB

So far it's been a mixed bag for a quasi-catenaccio setup. Pre-season went fine, but after 8 league games we're W3 D2 L3, with the best defence (as you'd hope) and the second-worst attack (as you'd fear), and a thumping by Zenit in the Europa followed by a draw with Rosenborg that we should/would have won if Clemens hadn't been red carded after 7 minutes.

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Our main weaknesses seem to be playing against 4-2-3-1 wide systems - even though we're solid against crosses into the box, something usually gets in - or teams, like RB Leipzig or HSV, set up to play on the counter just like we are.

There seem to be two main issues with the system itself so far.

One is at WBL, where the inverted wing back doesn't seem to do anything like as much inverting as I'd hoped, even playing right-footed wingers (Clemens, who even has the PPM for it, or Bittencourt) there. The only time that position has contributed anything is one cross from Rausch late on against Erndtebruck in the cup, and that's hardly something to shout about. Most of the key play seems to come through the AMC, which on the one hand is good, but on the other hand hasn't been good enough.

And the second is the striker pairing. Cordoba's done well in predominantly the right-hand post - 5 of our 8 goals, in fact - but the differing combos I've tried just haven't gelled yet. Currently I'm trying an even deeper/wide-running F9 on the right, a combative DF(s) on the left and a switch from EG to SS for the attacking midfielder.

Current shape of the tactic:

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