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Arsenal have only played one match with Aubameyang and Mkhitaryian, so I know calling it a 'New Look' maybe premature, nevertheless, after analyzing the stats from the Everton 5-1 result, I want to see whether I can replicate this in FM18. (I haven't actually tried this in-game yet, so this is only theoretical at the moment.)

Formation / Shape 

From what I could make out watching the game and from the team line-up, Arsenal appeared to have set somewhere in the middle of a 4-4-1-1 / 4-5-1 / 4-4-2.  Looking at the average heat maps (below), I've interpreted how these would be represented using in-game player roles and team instructions 

Average Player Positions / Action Zones / Attack Sides:

image.png.19dfba3284e8b627c0720005ce4ac9b3.pngimage.png.b3f4f6de0496b894661c25f503b1f578.pngimage.png.f9d74d880029265bb2c724d958a8c5e6.png

The first thing I notice is how vertically compact Arsenal appear, which looks more like a 2-8-0 with the ball. I've interpreted this as a 'Very fluid' philosophy in game, with most players adopting a very similar mentality.

So what is the mentality? Well looking at the action zones, to me, this appears to be leaning towards a defensive mentality overall. However I don't think this is a true representation, mainly because Arsenal were 4-0 at half time and then really slowed the pace down in the second half (which finished 1-1). With this in mind I think a standard mentality is probably a fair representation as a primary tactic and use defensive to see out a lead.

Defensive line, I'm not sure about this because looking at the average heat map, the CB's look quite deep and isolated, Not sure whether this would be achieved by the use of the defensive line or individual instructions. Although I'm worried that running a deeper line will impact the on the overall compactness for the block of 8. Tempted to go with a slightly deeper defensive line. Feedback on this would be appreciated.

Narrow width with stay wider instructions for the WBs and sit narrower instructions for the ML/MR positions.

Player Roles

33 - Cech: GK(Defend)
6 - Koscielny: CD(Cover)
20 - Mustafi: BPD(Cover)
24 - Bellerin: WB(Attack)
18 - Monreal: WB(Attack)
7 - Mkhitaryian: WP(Support)
8 - Ramsey: CM(Support)
29 - Xhaka: DLP(Defend)
17 - Iwobi: IW(Support)
11 - Ozil: Enganche
14 - Aubameyang: Poacher

Build-Up

image.png.95d53874fa0e11f8e00bfa7f4a446016.pngimage.png.fdbeb48380b5b900a7be407bb1b79e07.png

It's clear that Arsenal prefer a short passing approach to build up play, therefore I will play out of defense and use shorter passing. With 80% of shots coming from with the box, I will also work ball into box.

Other Team Instructions:

  • Low Crosses
  • Dribble Less

I hope to post some in-game results (with Aubemeyang and Mkhitaryian signed-up) soon, to compare and tweak the tactic. In the meantime I'd love for feedback on my interpretation above, particularly on the positioning of the defensive line.

Edited by GazGJ

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They’ve only played 1 game? Anyway I wouldn’t say Auba was playing like a poacher and Ozil is not an Enganche (that roles holds position).

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1 minute ago, craiigman said:

They’ve only played 1 game? Anyway I wouldn’t say Auba was playing like a poacher and Ozil is not an Enganche (that roles holds position).

Yep only one game!

Reasoning for Auba as a Poacher: He only touched the ball 25 times on Saturday, and was hardly involved in any of the build up play. He's renowned for his off the ball and forward runs. I hope the very fluid / standard mentality will rein in his positioning so that he doesn't become isolated. I considered using him as an Advanced Forward, but his dribbling is only 11 so I don't want him to run with the ball often. What you thinking is best for his role?

Ozil is THE archetype Enganche in the game. Regarding the perceived "Static" nature of the role, read my post here in this Ozil thread: 

 

 

 

 

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If you watch back the highlights , Ozil was playing fairly deep.

 

His heatmap from the game shows how deep he was, he was playing more as a CM that a CF.

 

ce01f84252c2b0d63595d0e089ffde62.png

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Yeah I saw that, but when you look at his average position on the first image, bar Aubameyang, he's the most advanced player, as expected.

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On 08/02/2018 at 14:37, Ji-Sung Park said:

Looks cool, I will follow this. I love Mkh and it was very fascinating to see him score 9.9 on whoscored after that game.

This should help you out!

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1 hour ago, craiigman said:

You still sure you want to replicate them? Lol

Let's wait and see... oh wait Arsenal - Totteham 0-1 :brock:

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20 hours ago, Ji-Sung Park said:

One of my fave replica threads here was a Roger Schmidt (Neverkusen) 4-4-2. It doesn't always to be glorious, winningest sides.

 

15 hours ago, ericstpeter said:

Where can I find that one Ji?

Same! 

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On 2/10/2018 at 11:48, goqs06 said:

This should help you out!

Hey thanks for the link, it was an interesting watch. I can definitely see Mkhitaryian sitting in a wider role and looking for space in the middle as a playmaker. I'm not sure about the comparison as a Raumdeuter? It's not a role I'm particularly familiar with, but I understand it as a wide poacher in vein of an uber aggressive winger sitting the shoulder of the last defender a la Walcott? Have I got this wrong?

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3 minutes ago, GazGJ said:

Hey thanks for the link, it was an interesting watch. I can definitely see Mkhitaryian sitting in a wider role and looking for space in the middle as a playmaker. I'm not sure about the comparison as a Raumdeuter? It's not a role I'm particularly familiar with, but I understand it as a wide poacher in vein of an uber aggressive winger sitting the shoulder of the last defender a la Walcott? Have I got this wrong?

You got it right and even though I haven't seen Mkhitaryan plays for Arsenal, from seeing him quite often at Dortmund the Raumdeuter role doesn't seem fit.

I'm afraid that, like I said, I haven't seen Arsenal in a while (since the last time we played each other) so I can't offer much help, but I'll follow your try to replicate them, as I'm interested at how the new Arsenal is going to look. However, I must say that with Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Sven Mislintat around, I'd be tempted  to recreate Tuchel tactics with them.

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1 hour ago, GazGJ said:

I'm not sure about the comparison as a Raumdeuter? It's not a role I'm particularly familiar with, but I understand it as a wide poacher in vein of an uber aggressive winger sitting the shoulder of the last defender a la Walcott? Have I got this wrong?

I love the RMD role and Mkhitaryan will suit it very well (in the game), but it is very dependent on the system as a whole. You need roles up front that will create the space for the RMD and I'm not really sure that's what you're going for with this tactic you have in mind. Basically, if set up right the RMD will be a goal scoring winger, that'll also provide a lot of assists. 

Having Auba threatening that very space the RMD would want, it might be difficult to accomplish.

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I've made a start on my tactic (based on the Everton match in my OP) to some success but it still need some refinement. I will post my progress soon.

So........ week 2 of the this 'New look Arsenal' ...... awkward....

In Wenger's marvelous wisdom, he's decided to throw a spanner in the works and change the formation..... after one week!  This is going to be difficult replication thread if he keeps this up!

Formation/Build-up

image.png.e63d46fe5a6ec6e3d3d7f260f5053387.pngimage.png.fa9816d5a3b96858b71abd9e0504e88a.png

Last week Arsenal were set in 4-4-1-1 with one CM in the holding role. This week (above) it looks like Arsenal adopted a more pronounced 4-2-3-1, with Xhaka(29)/ Elneny(35) as a two man holding midfield with Wilshere(10)/Ozil(11) in more advanced roles...very advanced!

Build up play was largely consistent with last week so no major changes there, except for final third where 67% of shots came from outside of the box! I'm going to give credit to Tottenham's defense for this so will keep the build up play for my tactic unchanged for now.

Regarding the formation, I've had a read of @Cleon's recent 4231 thread, and I'm keen not to use the AM Strata for wide players because as he correctly points out; this is too "Top Heavy" and not reflective of how teams actually defend in real life*.  Therefore I will be keeping my 4-4-1-1 formation also unchanged, besides this can be easily adapted to become a 4-2-3-1 in the attacking phase. 

On a side note, I'm still having some trouble with getting my wing backs so far up the pitch, given they're already on attack roles. I think this maybe because my Very Fluid team shape is holding back their attacking mentalities relative to other players. I'm thinking I need to either change to a fluid  team shape or use the Look for the Overlap shout. I'm thinking the later mainly because I don't want to loose compactness. Any thoughts?

*Ironically this is exactly how Arsenal played at the weekend, and got punished accordingly.

Edited by GazGJ

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