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World Cup 2018 Tactical Interpretations

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1 hour ago, D_LO_ said:

I personally want my best players to play in their strongest positions. World Class players can usually play anywhere but why lose something from their game unnecessarily when they are match winners where they are most comfortable. De Bruyne pushed forward created more chances in the last 10-15mins than he did in the rest of the tournament combined. There looks to be some shoe-horning in the Belgium team, Mertens is a good player but there shouldn't be any room for him in this system. Defensively De Bruyne has too much responsibility as well, against top teams this will be evident.

Dembele looks fit but he's far from the only option anyway. Whilst De Bruyne has actually been critical of the tactical set-up :lol: and his role so I'm not sure what that's based on. Any interviews during the tournament are unlikely to yield complete honesty regardless. Why potentially upset the rest of the squad/management, it's unlikely to change now. 

De Bruyne was interviewed weeks before the start of the world cup , he was very critical about a lot of thing, not about his new position, he is playing in that role for the last 1.5 year(belgium).

I think this is the future position for Kevin De Bruyne, he'll play there in a few years at club level (my guess)

De bruyne played a few game on the right wing under Marc Wilmots.. he was complaining about that :)

Carrasco is also playing out of his normal positon but he is doing it for the team (remember Dirk Kuyt playing left back / wingback for Holland , 4 years ago).

 

Edited by Olivierlandman

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47 minutes ago, Olivierlandman said:

I think this is the future position for Kevin De Bruyne, he'll play there in a few years at club level (my guess)

Even at club level he sometimes drops deep, rarely though as the one bringing the ball out of defence. At least he works hard to cover ground if he needs to close down players and doesn't stand around admiring the view.

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1 hour ago, D_LO_ said:

The future for a lot of midfielders involves going backwards. As pace and other physicals decline so does the ability to get up and down the pitch. Games would bypass them if they were too advanced. 

De Bruyne is a long way away from that though. City play with 3 in midfield so defensively he's less important whilst he's afforded much more positional freedom in attack/going forward.

 

I think Carrasco is a massive liability for Belgium. We saw what happened to Argentina with questionably converted wing-backs. Even Ashley Young who has had a good season looks suspect at this level and he's far more familiar with the position and tactically adept.

 

I agree about carrasco but he is not playing on his best position or in the system that suits him best.

I'm happy we have him.. and not jordan lukaku(he is not ready yet)

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On 18/06/2018 at 00:10, reg22 said:

Being without Lahm is also huge, but the one that really baffles me is that Loew never replaced Schweinsteiger with a holding midfielder and has since pretty much constantly played an extra attacker instead. Add to that the fact that Kroos's work rate seems to have dropped by about 25% in the last 4 years and neither Ozil or Mueller are even half the players they were in 2014 and have become non-contributors defensively, and you have a problem. I've been thinking this for a while and I wish I posted this yesterday :-)

People say this, but I disagree, politely. Kimmich is Very intelligent and has fit into the squad perfectly & is a perfect replacement for Lahm. The entire squad is ageing and whatever that German team is playing(that high press, ultra attacking,commuting too many bodies forward, nonsense), defensively, they can't compensate. Khedira?Kroos?Ozil?Hummel's?Boateng?Muller?. Not even Lahm, in his prime, can save that teams defensive woes with amount of tired legs. 

 

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Whilst I like CBs who can bring the ball out of defence, the way Boateng does it in Germany's system is stupid.  Already lacking holding midfielders and a RB on his side who bombs forward and goes where he wants he decides he's Beckenbauer and goes running past all those creative midfielders to give the ball away then trots back.  It's like he's just decided if no one else wants to help cover defensively why should he.

When Ozil is covering the DCR + DR you know something is going wrong.

Edited by summatsupeer

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39 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

Boateng does it in Germany's system is stupid

It's almost a calamity waiting to happen.

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I mean, I might not be the best person to criticise a World cup winning, World Class,  team. But even if you're going to play "border line" or "ultrasonic" soccer, at least play people with good legs. Lozano & Mexico had it easy. Sweden were do compact & deep, & had it smooth countering. Hope they improve. I have them as favourites behind Spain(another back line failure).

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11 minutes ago, denen123 said:

I mean, I might not be the best person to criticise a World cup winning, World Class,  team. But even if you're going to play "border line" or "ultrasonic" soccer, at least play people with good legs. Lozano & Mexico had it easy. Sweden were do compact & deep, & had it smooth countering. Hope they improve. I have them as favourites behind Spain(another back line failure).

No-one is going to disagree with you here. Some of the lesser teams have shown more heart than the champions or even any of the top sides. Peru, Mexico, Iceland even Australia have impressed me with their heart and their willingness to run till they drop as a unit. Sometimes though, work rate isn't enough.

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There is only one thing that irks me about the world cup. All the last group matches should be played at the same time. Basically every group should be done on the day. Media as always controls the game.

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43 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

No-one is going to disagree with you here. Some of the lesser teams have shown more heart than the champions or even any of the top sides. Peru, Mexico, Iceland even Australia have impressed me with their heart and their willingness to run till they drop as a unit. Sometimes though, work rate isn't enough.

As an Aussie we will always give 100% in any sport. All we needed in the WC was a good striker. Unfortunately our quickest and most clinical striker didn't even get a minute (Jamie Maclaren).

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1 hour ago, NabsKebabs said:

As an Aussie we will always give 100% in any sport. All we needed in the WC was a good striker. Unfortunately our quickest and most clinical striker didn't even get a minute (Jamie Maclaren).

Arzani, holy moly he is one heckuva talent

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4 hours ago, FMWolf said:

Looks like Sampaoli has been lurking around here :lol:

Went for a simple 442/4411(maybe, not too simple) & gave Messi all that freedom(a tactic & position, he is all too familiar with). Kept the back line stable & simple. It worked. Wanted Nigeria to progress, but good. Passing was still poor. Masche has lost legs & a liability. Higuain still a bottler.Di Maria can't last 75 mins. Banega is genius. Fingers crossed for a Messi v Ronaldo QF clash.

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Argentina seemed like a knock-off Portugal in many ways - 442 designed to get their half of the "messi/ronaldo-footballjournalism-industrial complex" firing, partnered with a misfiring striker Guedes has much more of an excuse for fluffing chances than Higuain though. 

Bizarre that their two goals were both right-footed finishes by left-footed players (although Messi's right foot is arguably as good as the strong foot of the likes of Hazard in the tier of star just below him). The United fan in me is happy for Rojo, the football fan in me gutted for Nigeria.

Also, what the hell does Dybala have to do to get a game? At the very least, why not gamble on him having some effect on Higuain's performances given how well they both play for Juve?

 

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32 minutes ago, NabsKebabs said:

Germany have shown why the 4231 can be such a suicidal system. 

Germany have shown that work rate is better than other attributes :-)

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1 hour ago, Rashidi said:

Germany have shown that work rate is better than other attributes :-)

Yep. And also the importance of acceleration in midfield and at the back when committing so many players forward. 

Edited by NabsKebabs

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FM18 Acceleration attribute for Germany's starting back 4 and 2 in midfield:

Kimmich(13) Sule(11) Hummels (9) Hector(12)

Khedira(10) Kroos(11)

The 4231 naturally is top heavy. Add the fact that Kimmich plays like a complete wingback and Hector also likes to get forward on the left flank. It's no wonder the 2 centre backs are always isolated. Neither have the acceleration to deal with balls over the top (eg Son's goal). The fullbacks don't have the acceleration to get back from playing so high up the pitch and neither of the midfielders are quick enough to close down the flanks either. 

Completely suicidal tactics from the Germans and they got exactly what they deserved. 

Edited by NabsKebabs

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42 minutes ago, NabsKebabs said:

FM18 Acceleration attribute for Germany's starting back 4 and 2 in midfield:

Kimmich(13) Sule(11) Hummels (9) Hector(12)

Khedira(10) Kroos(11)

The 4231 naturally is top heavy. Add the fact that Kimmich plays like a complete wingback and Hector also likes to get forward on the left flank. It's no wonder the 2 centre backs are always isolated. Neither have the acceleration to deal with balls over the top (eg Son's goal). The fullbacks don't have the acceleration to get back from playing so high up the pitch and neither of the midfielders are quick enough to close down the flanks either. 

Completely suicidal tactics from the Germans and they got exactly what they deserved. 

Yeah, if you were trying to make a squad like Germany's lose on FM whilst playing a conventional formation, this is how you'd do it. Very high defensive line consisting of two very attacking wingbacks and two slow players, no pressing, and your low tempo attack is instructed to rain as many crosses as possible in the general direction of your 5'11 lone striker

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Low's lack of replacing Schweinsteiger and Klose was also a fatal mistake.

Those men played absolutely key roles in Germany’s 2014 World Cup win; Klose as the selfless target man that enabled Germany’s fluid attack around him to function; and Schweinsteiger running the show from the base of midfield. 
 

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7 hours ago, goqs06 said:

Low's lack of replacing Schweinsteiger and Klose was also a fatal mistake.

Those men played absolutely key roles in Germany’s 2014 World Cup win; Klose as the selfless target man that enabled Germany’s fluid attack around him to function; and Schweinsteiger running the show from the base of midfield. 
 

They have those replacements but for some reason joachim low refused to bring them to russia. Sandro wagner for klose and julian weigl for schweinsteiger.

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4 minutes ago, Jyuan83 said:

They have those replacements but for some reason joachim low refused to bring them to russia. Sandro wagner for klose and julian weigl for schweinsteiger.

And brought in an ageing Mario Gomez who is way past his prime.

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12 hours ago, goqs06 said:

Low's lack of replacing Schweinsteiger and Klose was also a fatal mistake.

Those men played absolutely key roles in Germany’s 2014 World Cup win; Klose as the selfless target man that enabled Germany’s fluid attack around him to function; and Schweinsteiger running the show from the base of midfield. 
 

They have those replacements. The issue, as with every other previous winner, is that he is afraid of replacing too much. Afraid of backlash. 

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Not an interpretation as such.  England v Belgium.  In FM speak 2 strikers on an Attack Duty for most of the match until Rash worked it out, before then being moved to wing back???

Such a formation does not work well.  Bad combination that for England. 

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@Robson 07 yeah we seemed to have an issue of two very direct players but still playing our measured passing game. Whilst I'm sure if Mourinho wasn't trying his hardest to crush his spirit Rashford would adapt more quickly, using Vardy in this manner is like using a Rapier to chop down a tree. 

Once Welbeck came on I could not tell what we were doing - although that might just be because I was watching in the pub. 

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Vardy and Rashford were isolated, their service was poor and from too deep. I think we went direct too often to them. These 2 are never going to play together in a meaningful match for England though.

Most possession was meaningless and impotent. Delph and Dier don't have the passing ability or vision to create much, just work-man-like midfielders, quite negative choices. Dier has little mobility too, when Belgium went up a gear the game bypassed him. In possession he was very poor, giving it away or going side-ways/back-wards as per. I hope we don't see him in an England midfield ever again tbh. Maybe a potential centre-back option at best. Delph has over-taken him in the pecking order by default hopefully.

This tournament, if nothing else, has really highlighted for me that we could be approaching the end of an era in terms of the type of holding players that we will be seeing at the very top level. In the past there's been plenty of static 'anchor-men' types, not particularly athletic, not great on the ball but very disciplined. Now the demands and pace of the game is so much greater. Mascherano (getting on anyway tbf) and Khedira have been two other examples. Energy and legs are going to be the bare minimum from defensively minded midfielders I feel for anyone looking at the QFs this year and beyond.

Loftus-Cheek was also too deep and didn't have the support himself to provide much for the strikers or the guile to carve anything out. Still have reservations about whether he is truly up to this standard. Time's on his side.

The centre-backs all lack in several key attributes (no surprises there) concentration and anticipation in particular. 

 

 

I think this has proven Southgate got his initial team selections more or less spot on (I was calling for Rose and people still are after this performance but his constant backing off from Januzaj has made me personally less convinced).

 

Regardless I'm glad we got to rest everybody and that we go into the bottom half of the draw :D

 

 

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10 hours ago, denen123 said:

They have those replacements. The issue, as with every other previous winner, is that he is afraid of replacing too much. Afraid of backlash. 

The bundesliga is teeming with quality young players who are craving to prove themselves. It surprised me that Low chose to go with his favourites when one of his qualities when he first came to the fore as Germany coach was the insistence on youth integration in the national set-up. He left behind phillip max, who had 12 assists last season second only to muller with 14, a quality left back for jonas hector and plaven. He left behind julian weigl, a top-class DLP ready to step into schweinsteiger’s shoes. He left behind leroy sane with 14 goals and 17 assists. In my opinion had he gone with this bunch of talents instead of the likes of ozil and khedira, the general public would not have blamed him so much had they crashed out of the world cup. 

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3 hours ago, Jyuan83 said:

The bundesliga is teeming with quality young players who are craving to prove themselves. It surprised me that Low chose to go with his favourites when one of his qualities when he first came to the fore as Germany coach was the insistence on youth integration in the national set-up. He left behind phillip max, who had 12 assists last season second only to muller with 14, a quality left back for jonas hector and plaven. He left behind julian weigl, a top-class DLP ready to step into schweinsteiger’s shoes. He left behind leroy sane with 14 goals and 17 assists. In my opinion had he gone with this bunch of talents instead of the likes of ozil and khedira, the general public would not have blamed him so much had they crashed out of the world cup. 

I get what you're saying, but I politely disagree. Had he dropped Ozil(German best player for 3 years) & Muller(Captain), he'd have been crucified by the media. Sticking to a majority of the players that won you your first trophy is the safest option :

1. They obviously, buy into your philosophy. & quicker, if new ones arrive.

2. The experience that comes with it is also  guaranteed.

is it the right option? After 4 years, those 25+ players become 28+ players & loose a lot of leg. I assumed, that with his Confed cup experiment, he'd integrate the team with those youngins more. Only Draxler & kimmich had a certified starting spot. Old players were tasked with "heavy, full throttle, leave your flanks open soccer". Unbelievable.

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9 hours ago, D_LO_ said:

I think this has proven Southgate got his initial team selections more or less spot on (I was calling for Rose and people still are after this performance but his constant backing off from Januzaj has made me personally less convinced).

 

Regardless I'm glad we got to rest everybody and that we go into the bottom half of the draw :D

 

 

Belgium nor England has been really tested during the group phase due to lack of decent opposition..

The bottom half of the draw is a poisonous gift I think. If they make it passed Colombia..Sweden/Switserland are underestimated and tough opponents to play against!

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10 minutes ago, BadAss88 said:

Belgium nor England has been really tested during the group phase due to lack of decent opposition..

The bottom half of the draw is a poisonous gift I think. If they make it passed Colombia..Sweden/Switserland are underestimated and tough opponents to play against!

If we can't beat them I very much doubt we can beat Brazil either anyway. I don't think we've lost anything and potentially could be looking at Semis if we play to our capabilities (big if I know).

 

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I fancy the deep 51221 would be better countering vs an attacking brazil side... Than trying to break down an 11 man defence of switz or sweden. We've proved inept at creating consistent chances from open play in all 3 group games

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2 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

I fancy the deep 51221 would be better countering vs an attacking brazil side... Than trying to break down an 11 man defence of switz or sweden. We've proved inept at creating consistent chances from open play in all 3 group games

Fair point we don't look suited to teams that defend deep at all I agree the plus for me is that they don't offer a whole going forward. Whereas I don't see how Brazil don't score against us. I think our defence would have a relatively comfortable day against the Swiss or Swedes and you'd think we could create 1 or 2 good chances more. (Losing to either via a set-piece would be predictable though.) Now France, Portugal or Uruguay on the other hand have the individual quality to punish us and are similarly, if not more effective at the back, so again there's no way I can look at it and not be happy to avoid that part of the draw and potentially all of these teams if Brazil dispatch whoever gets through in the Semi... then we can face Brazil in the final anyway :D (although it wouldn't surprise me if the winner this year was the best defensive team and came from that French 'quarter section'.)

I don't agree about the open play bit. Lingard could have got a hat-trick (4 tbh but one was from a free-kick) versus Tunisia and the Panama game was already won barely after it started, we didn't get out of first gear. Belgium obviously can't come into the equation given there were  8 changes.

Edited by D_LO_

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If people still are interested in the Iceland-tactic, here's my interpretation, and some match stats from one of my test games against Argentina which I won 1-0.

I went with a strikerless formation, to get my striker behind the ball and defend with 10 men. I opted for a 4-2-3-1-0, with two defensive midfielders.  I played around with mentality and shape, but ended up mixing it up in between Counter and Standard. I could see Iceland being both fluid and structured, so Flexible was the best decision, and it worked out quite well.

Iceland are deadly at set pieces, so I spent some time with that. They have six attackers in the area on corners, and all ten are defending corners. Same goes with free kicks and throw ins. I have Gunnarsson tossing it in, to six people in the box. Gylfi Sigurdsson are taking long corners to the far post or the middle, with Arnason attacking from deep and Magnusson and Ragnar Sigurdsson attacking the posts.

As for team instructions, I wanted to try and replicate the match stats from Icelands real games, but I couldn't get the total pass amount down below 200 to save my life, but the passes completed % usually ends up in between 60-65%, and I have 30% of possession. Argentina tried to play a more direct style of play on FM, so they didn't really get 700-800 passes on my game, but I think this is as close I can get. However, I selected Much Higher Tempo, Narrow Width, Much Deeper, Close Down Much Less, Be More Dicisplined, Go Route One, Pass Into Space, Exploit Flanks, Floating Crosses and Clear Ball to Flanks. If my team make it up the pitch to actually create something, they do with some more creativity. I've seen some nice combinations and sweet counter attacks with pace.

Since Iceland want to force the play down the wings, I instructed my team to never close down the wingers, play safer tackles and just show them to the weaker foot. Quite contradictory when I've selected my own wingers to mark tighter and close down more, but it worked...

Here are my players, their roles and their tailored player instructions:

 

Halldorsson - GK (d) - I want him to hoof it long to Finnbogasson, or play it short to Magnusson (LB), so I decided to go for "Short kicks" and "Pass specific team mate: AMC". I also selected the instruction to slow the pace down and lower the tempo.

 

Saevarsson - DFB (d) - He's tucking in, play narrow.

Sigurdsson - DCB (d) -

Arnason - DCB (d) -

Magnusson - FB (a) - He's actually quite attacking, and likes to overlap on the left flank. 

 

Gunnarsson - DM (s) - He's a ball winner, I don't need him to tackle harder or close down more. He does what I want anyway, probably because of his attributes. He doesn't really join the attacks, but I found support suiting.

Hallfredsson - VOL (s) - This guy! Pretty allround, and good on the ball. I selected Move forward and More risky passes.

 

Gudmundsson - WM (a) - He's got PPM to cut in from the right side, so I don't select any PIs. He is pretty good on the right side, since he both attack the flank and cut inside. Dangerous on the counter attack, and attack the penalty area when the ball is in the left flank. I made him Close Down More, and Mark Tighter so he would track back properly. 

Sigurdsson - MC (a) - Gylfi is hard to replicate. He is moving around, getting out on the flanks and dictates play when he can. I took the CM-role so I could modify it, with Roam from Position, More Risky Passes and Close Down More.

Bjarnason - WM (s) - I made him Close Down More, and Mark Tighter so he would track back properly, and told him to Move Further Forward. He's both cutting inside by default, and I don't want to restrict him and have him leave the flank all the time, so I didn't mess around more with the PIs.

 

Finnbogason - AM (a) - Dribble less, Hold up the ball, Move into channels, Less risky passes, Close down much more

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Argentina - Iceland 0-1 (0-0)

Shot Attempts: 26-8

Shots on Goal: 5-4

Clear Cut Chances: 0-2

Decent scoring chances: 1-3

Possession: 64% - 36%

Corners: 7-2

Fouls: 15-4 (Don't know why, but my players kept it clean)

Offsides: 3-2

Completed Passes: 510-314 / 86%-68% (Too many, I really tried, but I always ended up in between 200-300 passes somehow)

Succesful Crosses: 3/63 (4%) - 2/15 (3%) As you can see, I really succeeded to funnel Argentinas play down the flanks, where their attacks usually just ended.

Won Tackles: 21/28 (75%) - 24/27 (88%)

Won Headers: 12/47 (25%) - 52/56 (92%)

Yellow Cards: 3-1

Red Cards: 1-0 (Yeah, in this game Pereira got sent off after an hour and we scored a couple of minutes later)

Man of the Match: Aron Gunnarsson (7.9)

 

 

The goal we scored was a quick counter attack after an interrupted pass by Bjarnason in the middle of our half. We played it quick with a couple of passes and ended up getting it in the box from Bjarnason on the left flank, to Gudmundson on the far post where he just could tap it in an empty net. Seven players were activated and stormed forward to the penalty area. Other than that, we created on set pieces, and some other area passes which ended up in breakaways. Very stellar performance!

What do you think, you have any recommended changes or other interpretations?

 

Edited by golden-goose

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I think at the start of the tournament if someone had said you can have Tunisia, Panama, Colombia and then Switzerland/Sweden as your route to the semi's most people would probably have said yes please!

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I would feel a lot more confident that we could hammer Brazil with Trippier's set pieces than Sweden...Switzerland aren't exactly short either. Japan would have been a far more comfortable last 16 tie, given the last time we got past that was 2006 and Antonio Valencia was a young, exciting winger (who would believe it now?) I would rather have had that. 

Southgate's hand was forced by Martinez though - what if our first string had lost to Belgium's backups? Not only would we be arguing about the merits of the "Easy side of the draw^TM" but both fans and squad would be hopelessly demoralised. I saw Ted Knutson tweeting that final group games in WC and CL don't contribute to their statistical modelling and with the likes of that shitshow and the 1982 reboot France and Denmark gave us, I can see why. 

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Portugal used the same hybrid strikerless 442 against Uruguay and could have won had they made better use of their chances. The way they set up at the top is very similar to how @Rashidi pictured them in his earlier post about portugal’s set-up with joao mario, ronaldo and guedes occupying more or less the same positions as can been from this image i got from whoscored. Joao mario seems to be the playmaker for guedes and ronaldo but when he was replaced by manuel fernandes in tbe dying moments of the game, i felt he gave portugal more of an attacking boost and made me wonder if the scoreline could have been different had he started. Really interesting to read about the careers of little known players who catch your eye at the world cup and reading up on manuel fernandes made me realise that he helped lokomotiv moscow win their first russian premier league title in 14 years!

DE09C620-96C8-4313-896B-3E8FA54ED014.jpeg

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Cool thread.

Brazil played a few different formations today. They started with their usual 4-3-3. Then they changed to a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 (Neymar at SCL or AMCL; Coutinho ML as a Wide Midfielder with 'roam'). Later, perhaps wanting to shut the game down, they were 4-1-4-1 with Coutinho back inside as one of the three central midfielders and Jesus covering at ML so that Neymar could be the striker.

They didn't use Coutinho as a playmaker, in my opinion, and if anyone was a playmaker in FM terms it'd probably be Neymar as a Wide Treq then a Treq. So that the others look to him and also the Treq instructions probably suit him - lots of freedom and dribbling, and no closing down (though he does do a little).

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On 29/06/2018 at 18:47, BadAss88 said:

Belgium nor England has been really tested during the group phase due to lack of decent opposition..

The bottom half of the draw is a poisonous gift I think. If they make it passed Colombia..Sweden/Switserland are underestimated and tough opponents to play against!

I agree be very careful with what you wish for. England’s system has not been pushed yet. Last night Belgium got pushed to the brink by a very organised Japanese side that was only outdone by the lack of physical presence.

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12 hours ago, fmupdater2k16 said:

Could someone recreate the Japanese tactics/formations?  

Standard, Fluid, shorter passing, close down more

4-4-1-1

GK D

WBs

CD

CD

WBs

WMa

CMs

CMd

IWs

APs

DLFs

You could possibly move the CMs to DMs and add another Ti or two and some PIs. And you need lots of good technical players with high teamwork and work rate.

Edited by s1111

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Not that I want to replicate Germany or Spain, who were both woeful, but I am interested in getting the high line and territorial pressure in the opposition half that they manage. Is this a team shape and/or mentality issue?

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1 hour ago, howard moon said:

Not that I want to replicate Germany or Spain, who were both woeful, but I am interested in getting the high line and territorial pressure in the opposition half that they manage. Is this a team shape and/or mentality issue?

I think the important thing with that possession style is lots of support duties with few (if any) attacking runners, most likely a FB. High-ish mentality but retain possession, slower tempo, shorter passing to reduce risks taken and with higher line & pressing instructions. 

Cleons possession guide explains there style of play, slightly different roles+duties between Spain and Germany but the basic principles are the same:  https://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/445500-The-Art-of-Possession-Football

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