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Quique Setien’s 3-5-1-1 Possession-Based Tactic. Title & Italian Cup in first season.

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This season, I’ve been really taken with Real Betis and their attempts to play attacking football that utilises the technical abilities of their players.

Setien is a maverick, a man who has stated his sole purpose is to produce produce entertaining football and score goals, even at the expense of getting results. A man who has said he is left cold by modern football, he is a purist, a man who idolises Johann Cruyff and Luis Aragones. His Betis side, at times have played football at least comparable to anything produced by Guardiola’s City and Sarri’s Napoli.

Here’s a video from Tifo, attempting to explain the principles behind the thinking of their manager Quique Setien.

 

It is important to note that Betis have moved away from that 4-1-2-2-1 formation now, and are playing a 3-5-1-1 or 3-4-2-1, which is what i’m aiming to create with Inter Milan in my first season. The move to the back 3 has massively improved Betis’s defensive performance, and enabled them to push on and challenge for a European place.

Tactics is available for subscription from Steam Workshop here. Please see opposition instructions below for the tactic.

Blog post for this tactic available at https://footballmanager2017dotblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/quique-setiens-3-5-1-1-possession-based-tactic-title-italian-cup-in-first-season/

Inter are a good team to try this with, because in Perisic, Valero, Brozovic, Skriniar, and Icardi they have some players who have good technique. Rafinha is also there on loan for the first season, and they have a lot of talented young players. Their current U20 team is arguably the best in Europe right now. All in all, a great team to start FM18 with.

The Formation

Betis play either a 3-4-2-1 or a 3-5-1-1 which I will use for this tactic, given the player’s I’ve got at Inter in the first season.

betis

To recreate this tactic in FM, I’ve used a DLF-Su to essentially recreate the Boudebouz position. This is because at Inter, you’ve got Icardi, Pinamonti, and I signed Martinez as they have in real life, none of which are adept at playing in the AM role.

But obviously if you had the players to do it, then the AM-A can work quite well. Occasionally, i’ll drop the DLF-Su into an AM-A if i’m playing Franco Vazquez there, and he feeds the AF-A quite nicely.

inter

To play as Betis do, as you can see I’ve signed ball playing centre-backs with good first touch, composure, decisions, and passing. Given the high line it helps if the BPD-Co has good pace, and you don’t really want any CB’s who are slow. I have a better keeper, Rulli, although Handanovic is a world class stopper.

I’ve also signed two new wing-backs, with good dribbling, crossing, first touch, composure, passing, and off the ball. You want your AF-A to have good pace, finishing and heading, and your DLF-Su to have good passing and vision as well as dribbling and off the ball. Central midfielders should all have the standard attributes for ball playing teams, e.g. passing, first touch, decisions, composure, technique, off the ball. I’m pretty happy with this team now, have some other unavailable players (Frenkie de Jong, and Carlos Soler in CM).

Team Instructions

teamin

Mentality

I would say control is the best tactic to recreate Setien. Perhaps you might deem his tactics “attacking” in orientation, but we all know that Attacking is a VERY attacking orientation in FM. You can set up an attacking version of the same tactic, just for games in which you are losing, but attacking basically causes too many forward passes and the tempo to be far too quick, you’re going a bit too direct with it.

Remember Setein cites Aragones as his major influence. BUT you do want to use pass into pass here, Setein I would say is a little more direct than the traditional tiki-taka ball retention styles of Spain in the early 2010s.  I mean you could use attacking, slowing the the tempo and restricting width ticking off “pass into space”, you might get the same effect. Attacking also has the effect of intensifying the press and raising the defensive line. And yes, there are many ways to create the same style. This is just one. If you toggle between control and attack, you will see many things happen to the other instructions, it’s good to understand the linkages.

Team Shape

Having a fluid team shape does two things crucial to Setien’s style. Firstly, it raises the creative freedom of the players, and secondly, it ensures that Defenders and particularly full backs make attacking contributions, whilst attackers will contribute to the defensive phases also.

Tempo

Having a normal tempo was the best way I found to recreate the appropriate passing speeds. Setien does not rush things, but he is far from slow possession for possession-sakes passing we see at teams like Swansea. Having normal tempo allows a team full of good decision makers to make decisions about the speed of the game and make passes which are appropriate to the situation, as per Setien. If you create an attacking version of this tactic, the tempo will automatically rise.

Width

The wing-backs are an important feature of Setien’s betis in this 3 at the back system, therefore it’s important I think to get a balanced approach here. Possession based control tactics can function better playing with less width, especially with 3 CM’s and 2 strikers, but I think if you have two good wing-backs you gain fidelity to Setien by using balanced. If you’ve got an AF-A with good heading, you’ll score a few from crosses also, and get some nice triangles with the CBs, CM’s and WB’s.

Defensive Line & Offside Trap

Highest line you can have with control is slightly higher. If you use attacking you can go one higher. I wouldn’t say Betis use as high a line as Sarri, so perhaps slightly higher is OK, i’d like to go one notch higher though still. Again, offside trap should be ticked, although I wouldn’t say Setien is as obsessive as say, Saachi in his use of the offside trap. Would be nice to have different measures of offside trap, e.g. Aggressive, moderate, weak offside trap.

 Closing Down & Prevent GK distribution.

Again, Betis do a lot of closing down and the attackers contribute to this. See the opposition instructions will help achieve the desired effect of closing down in the opposition defensive areas and attacking wide areas. If you use attacking, you can go one notch more aggressive in your press.

Note, you need to have players with high team work and work rate to execute pressing properly, if you don’t have these players it won’t work properly. Even 12’s are not good enough, hence I sold Icardi, Perisic, and Candreva second season. Use your pre-match sessions also to focus upon the pressing.

GK distribution will help press the opposition back line, and you will recover a ball once or twice a game doing so, obviously tires your strikers out doing this, and you’ll need to keep an eye on their fitness.

Get Stuck In

I wouldn’t say this is a feature of Betis’s play, I just like to have it ticked. You could undo it if you wanted to, and you wouldn’t lose fidelity.

Build Up play

To get the Setien build up style, you’ll first need to ensure that the GK is playing the ball out to the central CB.

This can be done in player instructions as follows. The use of sweeper keeper in FM is interesting, because you can’t have a sweeper keeper who plays no risky passes, so arguable a Goalkeeper will give you better fidelity in the playing sense. Although there are times that you can get caught out when your CB’s are high, and the GK is too withdrawn. But if you use a Sweeper keeper, you will find him playing too many long passes, like Ederson does for Man City. It’s a trade off I guess.

gk

The other features of build up are obviously, play out from the back, with shorter passing and retain possession ticked.

I’ve ticked pass into space, just so that we get the verticality we see with Setien’s style.

I’ve ticked more expressive as Setien does like his teams to entertain, and has even said he prioritises entertainment over results, we want to maximise flair for sure.

Attacking

In terms of our attacks, obviously we want to work the ball into the box.

I’m not sure if overlap does anything when you are not playing wingers, but it might help the wing-backs overlap the wide CM’s possibly, so I’ve left it ticked.

Again, we want to see fluid and creative movements from our players, so I’ve ticked roam from positions.

Opposition Instructions

oppos.png

Purpose of these instructions is to recreate the tight closing down on opposition defenders and deeper midfielders, and the pressing of wide players. Players are also either to be shown inside, or pushed onto their weaker feet. All players are to be greeted with aggressive tackling.

Training

I would argue that general training on Team Cohesion at High Intensity should be done until you get to Very Good Match cohesion. At this point, you can then switch to a mix of attacking, tactical and ball control training, which will develop the attributes needed to play this tactic.

Player training will be by their roles, and firstly focus upon compsure for defenders, off the ball for midfielders and strikers, at whatever intensity level you can get them to train before they start moaning.
ALSO GET GOOD COACHES IN ON THE FIRST DAY YOU ARRIVE THERE.
Five star coaches are easy to find, just go into staff search and select filter, and click on attributes, and select motivation, determination and level of discipline at 15, and click match 2 from 3. Then you need a coach that has a sum of 60 across four attributes; (i) for the thing you want him to coach, e.g. attacking, (ii) motivation, (iii) determination, and (iv) level of discipline.
So you could have 20 for attacking coaching, 20 for motivation, and 19 for determination, and 1 for discipline, he’d be a 4 star coach.

Also always ask your board for extra coaches, so you can get the workload down ASAP. Check this every month or so, to keep getting more. I’ve got like 15 now at Inter in two years, we started on nine.

Also once you’ve won a fair few games, say, around Xmas, ask them to improve the training facilities. If you’re like me, and focus upon young talent, the training facilities have to be very strong, or you won’t improve the players quick enough to justify selecting them over established players.
Use tutoring also, select older players over 25, with outstanding mental attributes, and try to tutor every youngster at the club at least once. Determination is one attribute that get’s passed on well in training, so use highly determined players to develop less determined youngsters

PPM’s

All CB’s

Brings ball out from the back

Tries long range passes (if good passing stats)

Switches ball to the other flank

Runs forward with ball often (if good dribbling)

Both WB’s

Gets forward whenever possible

Plays one-Twos

Runs with ball down their flank (if good dribbling) or Knocks ball past opponent (if good pace but poor dribbling)

DLP-D

Comes deep to get ball

Stays back at all times

Dictates tempo

Plays simple short passes

DLP-S

Comes deep to get ball

Dictates tempo

Plays one-twos

Tries long range passes & switches ball to other flank & tries killer passes (if good passing /. vision) or shoots from distance (if good long shots)

CM-A

Arrives late in opposition area

Plays one-twos

Tries Killer Balls

DLF-Su

Drops deep to get ball

Dictates tempo

Runs with ball often

Tries Killer Balls

Plays one-twos

AF-A

Beats the offside trap

Plays one-twos

Tries first time shots

 

Edited by ifoundthatessence

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I'm not a big fan of the "Look for Overlap" TI. Doesn't make much sense since the WB are the only wide men. So, I would tick it off. Everything else looks good to me

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Interesting system and great post!

It seems to be a very intense system. Lots of closing down and tackling hard, so how are you looking in terms of injuries and yellow/red cards?

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Why the need for 3 BPDs? Or the redundancy of TIs? It doesn’t make sense to have both retain possession and pass into space ticked at the same time. Same with the fluid team shape and the roam from positions TI. Other than that the system looks okay. Have you encountered any difficulties coming up against a specific tactic?

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Good post.

However, why so many instructions?who is the full back overlapping? Length of the passing is reduced,then youve  retained possession and then you'll work the ball into the box?I'm confused.

Also,why have two playmakers performing practically the SaME function? I mean,you could switch the left CM to a CMs and configure the PI's and PPm to recreate what you want.

Well as long as its blanaced for you,its good.

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Urbiscuit - so would you just go very fluid then instead of fluid + roaming ? 

My logic for retain + pass into space, is that retain shortens the passing length, whereas pass into space is about frequency of through balls. Betis do play short passing, but definitely not afraid to play those killer balls. 

 

denen123 - as I say in the blog, wasn't sure if the overlap does help the full backs go beyond the wide centre-mids, if you're sure not, then obviously can be turned off. Retained shortens passing even further, as far as I was aware work into box is about mode of chance creation rather than just passing length ? Also as regards the two dlp's - I would say that when Garcia and Fabian play together that is what they essentially have, I mean I know it's not great to have two in the same tactic, but if it's what they do ? perhaps fabian could be seen as an RPM. I would like Garcia to receive from CB's then lay off to Fabian essentially. 

 

 

 

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On 4/25/2018 at 14:47, ifoundthatessence said:

Urbiscuit - so would you just go very fluid then instead of fluid + roaming ? 

My logic for retain + pass into space, is that retain shortens the passing length, whereas pass into space is about frequency of through balls. Betis do play short passing, but definitely not afraid to play those killer balls. 

 

denen123 - as I say in the blog, wasn't sure if the overlap does help the full backs go beyond the wide centre-mids, if you're sure not, then obviously can be turned off. Retained shortens passing even further, as far as I was aware work into box is about mode of chance creation rather than just passing length ? Also as regards the two dlp's - I would say that when Garcia and Fabian play together that is what they essentially have, I mean I know it's not great to have two in the same tactic, but if it's what they do ? perhaps fabian could be seen as an RPM. I would like Garcia to receive from CB's then lay off to Fabian essentially. 

 

 

 

As I said,it looks good overall.

I just think a lot of the instructions will knock themselves.if you're retaining possession & applying shorter passing,ideally you'll "work the ball" into the opposition's box.pass to space when the idea is to pass your way into the box seems off too.you've addressed the look for overlap issue.

You can get the play with less,essentially.would like to know if you've encountered any difficulty against a certain tactic(4-2-3-1,maybe).

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On 2018-04-25 at 09:47, ifoundthatessence said:

Urbiscuit - so would you just go very fluid then instead of fluid + roaming ? 

My logic for retain + pass into space, is that retain shortens the passing length, whereas pass into space is about frequency of through balls. Betis do play short passing, but definitely not afraid to play those killer balls. 

 

I would go fluid without roaming and remove be more expressive as I find there is enough freedom given by the fluid team shape which all the while doesn’t sacrifice your ability to be countered.

Surely you must see the confliction of TIs? Retain possession does exactly what it says. Your side will prioritize holding onto the ball even sometimes holding onto the ball for too long. At the same time you’re asking them to play riskier passes with pass into space. Doesn’t make much sense. If you’re trying to recreate Betis I would just use shorter passing as your team’s creativity is already higher due to your fluid/very fluid team shape.

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Why are you showing the players inside using OI's? No strong defensive team in the world does this, look at Atletico, Chelsea, United. You're giving them a free route inside, so they can go directly to goal, this goes against every defensive principle in the book. Not to mention wide players cutting inside means a fullback can overlap and overload your wingbacks, though this is a problem anyways. You're much better off showing them on the outside, OI's or not, so they are forced to cross to your three strong, aerially dominant center backs who can block crosses all day.

Plus your players might be a tad bit too aggressive with Hard Tackling and Get Stuck In, though I can see why you would use it. 

I'd also switch the CM (A) and DLP (S), that way the DLP can look for the AF and the CM can get beyond and link up with the DLF.

 

 

Edited by FlairRA

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