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westy8chimp

Leverkusen - season 8/9/10 - Possession

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Sorry, like a bad horror franchise I'm churning out another quick instalment to the series. Don't worry, i'll try to end the series before 'Leverkusen in Space' the soft porno comes out.

I didn't know where to take this story next... I had to think at this stage, with the squad at my disposal and a move away from past few seasons, what would be my biggest challenge?

I've primarily had plenty of attack duties and used pacey wingers to drive my attacking play. Bailey has been standout season after season in any role given, to the point where is probably the worlds best player now.

Time to stop relying on wingers (slightly overpowered in FM18?) and specifically stop relying on Bailey.

Possession time

For the first 7 seasons possession has not been considered. We have hovered between 50-55% year after year using all kinds of shapes and styles. Possession hasn't been proactively aimed for, we've ended up on the positive side of 50% mostly through high line I suspect (where the aim primarily was to keep a steady flow of attacks).

Now I'm going to actively try and get my possession % over 60 consistently.

To do this;

  • change of personnel
  • change of formation

Transfer window

I'm no stranger to a busy, exciting window. This was probably our biggest yet. The King is gone, long live the king - but whilst one legend exits, another returns to welcome arms in mutual admiration

212647835_Arthuradmiration.thumb.PNG.dcfdf7654335d0608391dca207a561e4.PNG

723003673_transferwindow.thumb.PNG.fe621d3964e1570a264dbb535a9a8bf8.PNG

I bought in Arthur and Xhaka to help control the centre of the park, both have the passing required on the ball and the work rate required off the ball

TAA has much more alround ability than my current RB Lopera so will come in as first choice

Quieros has pretty good all round defensive capabilities and physicals, nice PPMs too to fit in with how I want to play from the back.

Foden will be backup (despite his cost) AP behind Havertz, he too has the passing, vision and technique - lacks defensive qualities though

arthur.thumb.PNG.8e3a1d148292f620f128121f64cbccc9.PNG

foden.thumb.PNG.c5aca1e6813e9b3d32b517a8e33b14db.PNG

xhaka.thumb.PNG.8d074cd2f818b245ad6527c5133bf37f.PNG

quieros.thumb.PNG.656dd0773a72c002207a949166dd8c0c.PNG

taa.thumb.PNG.711f45c0c5fdfa8cf8357cde9dd371ff.PNG

Other noteable exits... Savic was brought in as a backup TM - has great physicals but doesn't fit with this seasons style of play.

Sane was fantastic for me, but his width and pace also not needed.

Ndombele is a great midfield engine, but again with the roles I'm using he just missed the cut (he had been asking for a move away also)

Kellerer and Borry my wonderkid wingers have been loaned out in case I switch back to wide play next year.

To put my transfer activity in perspective, after 7 full seasons and a summer window of the 8th season...

1150570870_playersbroughtin8seasons.thumb.PNG.6df75e673f44d39118494428a7697099.PNG

816270505_playerssoldin8seasons.thumb.PNG.b2c5b5021f6dd304f6b1dc3ad0b2ca3f.PNG

Tactics

Last season I talked about the planning stage... not so much this time. I've gone with one idea only and no backup plan... i'll have to adjust on the fly if things go wrong.

This is my tactic with proposed first team choices.

You may remember this whole thing started with a challenge to minimise use of TI and PI (look away now)

tactics.thumb.PNG.7b25c75b28e4f3c67c3bccd48387f7e8.PNG

Positions

To keep the ball it's key everyone always has several passing options. So whilst I don't want to encourage wide play, I still need to provide width as an outside option. I've gone for wing backs, both on support duty, and rained in with PI to dribble less and cross less.

The other key positionally is to have players between the lines, so I have a DM and AM. My midfield pair has one static and one moving, my front two has one support one attack. The overall effect means a fairly well staggered formation.

Roles/Duties

Plenty of support roles. The key to possession is having passing options, making the right pass and then making yourself available for the pass. I think it was one of the Barcelona coaches who said you want to run as little as possible. I have just one attack duty, my main goalscoring threat.

The HB is a role I rarely use - but I think it will be vital with the build up from the back. It should push the CBs wider. My DLP and RPM have trait to come deep so I just like the synergy here to envelop the WBs in build up too.

Three playmakers!? I know, I may as well have none. I think it will work well, the DLP is fairly static but will make sure he keeps the ball moving. The RPM will give us a bit more vertical movement to join the attack. The AP will hopefully make the triangle but also play more risky balls to the strikers.

Both forwards are complete... as I'm relying on them solely for goals with no midfield attack duties or runners, they need to be everyone and everything upfront.

TI/PI

Quite an extensive list. But actually it's simple. Split it in two;

with ball:

  • retain possession - keeps the play safe, short, slow
  • work ball into box - same as above, and curtail long shots
  • play out of defence - entice the opposition out, keep possession, find the right pass at the right time
  • roam from position - make yourself available for pass
  • play narrower - shape wise we have width, but I want the ball to be channelled centrally as we advance

without the ball

  • higher d line - win ball back quicker
  • close down much more - win ball back quicker
  • tight marking - win ball back quicker
  • prevent GK distribution - win ball back quicker

PI have been added to most players to keep passing short, less dribbling, less shooting. GK distribute to CBs

Mentality/shape

Standard - I have quite specific TI and PI I don't need to confuse it with overarching mentality

Structured - usually I play flexible, but I've set a formation with a specific shape to achieve my objectives. As well as I want my defenders to defend, midfielders to support and strikers to score.

How my squad DNA will help as well, we are now very high in passing and vision. Work rate too in key areas, but i'll just show passing.

2130441070_squadstrengthspassingandvision.thumb.PNG.061eb80fb173d79598deee137e5db8db.PNG

first observations

Friendlies are never a barometer I stand on... but only to say we won them all with minimum 63% and without conceding.

First game is a much better barometer as it's against my nemesis RBL.

332298016_matchstatsvsRBL.thumb.PNG.1fbc3bfc2c2a850405ee53dd924a47e8.PNG

617940062_passstats.thumb.PNG.75f8d5e477d9fb07e562c2f3e213421f.PNG

the playmaker trio really worked. And in particular the central pairing DLP/RPM who in this case were Xhaka and Alliev

In game 2 we had this goal, which I thought was great building from my keeper to striker with a high number of passes.

1156010901_buildup1.thumb.PNG.625ffa16f9eefa8204e973f6d43fa472.PNG

191673122_buildup2.thumb.PNG.a31f3d57c1bff55b70db5fe54dae12ba.PNG

402805917_buildup3.thumb.PNG.a0e7fd6f6fc8a59f972fb2ef43f298b0.PNG

2104901118_buildup4.thumb.PNG.e271bade199f5eec326a042d05719df6.PNG

973718435_buildup5.thumb.PNG.551426bd0ae287b2c294b4962bb0a92d.PNG

642370237_buildup6.thumb.PNG.d3a44991d2120c2a7c10c82d74c86ab2.PNG

The linked events just started half way through;

34684037_passmapofbuildup.PNG.b6c16e9773bb8ca8c72f29419ec0ab78.PNG

It's great how the patient approach means even 31 year old sluggish Xhaka can get from one side of the pitch to the other to be involved. He is #34, Alliev (RPM) #8

 

 

 

Edited by westy8chimp

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interesting as always

17 minutes ago, westy8chimp said:
  • roam from position - make yourself available for pass

Just want to clarify this in case someone gets the wrong end of the stick. 

It doesn't make a player better at finding space, that depends mainly on there Off The Ball attribute.  Roaming allows them to go further from there position, typically to overload a different area and let someone else use the space they've left, but that doesn't mean they'll be more available for a pass.

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Ive found that roaming has a byproduct of making available for a pass. You can see in transition the moments at which certain players roam... And its often to move away from a marker so they have a clear lane with the ball carrier. 

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Do you reason "work ball into the box" as only long shot modifier? Personally, I find that instruction as restrictive and sometimes it can achieve the oppositive of what you trying for. If there are no runners into the box, your AP will end up shooting anyway from outside the box, because... he ran out of options. That instruction also lessens the number of crosses and you giving PI to wb to cross even less, thus increasing the burden of creating chances on central playmakers.  It can work, but it also may struggle against deep defensive sides.

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1 minute ago, westy8chimp said:

Ive found that roaming has a byproduct of making available for a pass. You can see in transition the moments at which certain players roam... And its often to move away from a marker so they have a clear lane with the ball carrier. 

Well your RPM, CF-S and CF-A all have it built in and I don't really see anything in the images posted that i'd say was due to adding additional roaming but thats not to say it hasn't had a positive effect on your team, you'll have watched them more than me.  Increasing the range of movement can increase the range of options available for the player, but he still needs the attributes to make use of them correctly, he could incorrectly use them or not need the additional options.  Moving away from a marker is purely the players mental attributes, the only way roaming affects that is if its using that extra range of movement.

Its semantics really but I think is best described as allowing a player to use a wider area of the pitch, how they use that movement depends on there attributes.  Its not a "click this and find more space" button.

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Interesting. Do you not find that playing 3 playmakers makes the play too congested? I don't particularely enjoy playing more than one playmaker at the same time as they tend to play too close to each other. Do you not have this issue aswell?

Also, you say that you used TI to play narrower in order to channel the play through the middle. Why not use exploit the middle which would have the same effect without contracting your width? Or even not using any TI considering the amount of playmakers you have in the middle, which would make your play pretty centrally anyways.

Cita

Ive found that roaming has a byproduct of making available for a pass. You can see in transition the moments at which certain players roam... And its often to move away from a marker so they have a clear lane with the ball carrier. 

Can you specify what you mean by seeing the effect of roaming during transitions? I've always had trouble detecting when players are actually roaming and moving away from his position in FM (quite the noob, i know lol).

Edited by Sebas

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46 minutes ago, Barbosa04 said:

Do you reason "work ball into the box" as only long shot modifier? Personally, I find that instruction as restrictive and sometimes it can achieve the oppositive of what you trying for. If there are no runners into the box, your AP will end up shooting anyway from outside the box, because... he ran out of options. That instruction also lessens the number of crosses and you giving PI to wb to cross even less, thus increasing the burden of creating chances on central playmakers.  It can work, but it also may struggle against deep defensive sides.

My AP has trait to look for pass rather than shoot... And with two strikers ahead he always has the option. 

That was my main reason for theTI but it also builds into the overall approach of patience. 

The WBs still cross, both already have assists... Its just extra nudge to rotate the possession first and foremost... Cross as last resort

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23 minutes ago, Sebas said:

Interesting. Do you not find that playing 3 playmakers makes the play too congested? I don't particularely enjoy playing more than one playmaker at the same time as they tend to play too close to each other. Do you not have this issue aswell?

Close together yes... But not too close. Both dlp and rpm come deep and play triangles with hb and wbs... As they progress they make the triangles with ap... The central pair link up brilliantly 

25 minutes ago, Sebas said:

Also, you say that you used TI to play narrower in order to channel the play through the middle. Why not use exploit the middle which would have the same effect without contracting your width? Or even not using any TI considering the amount of playmakers you have in the middle, which would make your play pretty centrally anyways.

I could have used either... It wont have a huge impact...so far my wbs hold their width fairly close to the touchline. I could remove it... But currently all working well so no need

 

27 minutes ago, Sebas said:

you specify what you mean by seeing the effect of roaming during transitions? I've always had trouble detecting when players are actually roaming and moving away from his position in FM (quite the noob, i know lol).

Same difficulty as you. Its very hard to tell... Like summatsupper points out the movement could be mainly driven by other player attributes. To prove what is caused by roaming is difficult. The theory of players roaming ties in with possession football. 

I could do what @b101 is doing and play a game with it... Then replay the same game without it to spot the differences... But i dont have his patience 

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1 minute ago, westy8chimp said:

I could do what @b101 is doing and play a game with it... Then replay the same game without it to spot the differences... But i dont have his patience 

Not 100% sure I do either! Only done it for a few games now (and it'll never be Bayern away...)

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1 hour ago, westy8chimp said:

This is my tactic with proposed first team choices.

You may remember this whole thing started with a challenge to minimise use of TI and PI (look away now)

Shambles ;).

Joking apart, have you found you actually need each of the TIs or added them because that's what you think you need?

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5 minutes ago, herne79 said:

Shambles ;).

Joking apart, have you found you actually need each of the TIs or added them because that's what you think you need?

I could do away with a few... As already questioned on narrow and roaming and probably work ball into box. 

I guess theres two approaches

1) start with minimal and add following observations and spotting a requirement

2) start with more and see how it goes

Ive gone with number 2...ive thought of a specific way i want to play and chosen the ti's i think help (theory or practical). Also, in line with the series, im not much of a tweaker. I want to play a certain way right from the off. 

Ill tweak if i have to... But so far, whether its my setup or pure luck, im seeing exactly what i set out to achieve.

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10 minutes ago, westy8chimp said:

But so far, whether its my setup or pure luck, im seeing exactly what i set out to achieve.

Bottom line, that's all that matters :thup:.

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2 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

Close together yes... But not too close. Both dlp and rpm come deep and play triangles with hb and wbs... As they progress they make the triangles with ap... The central pair link up brilliantly 

I could have used either... It wont have a huge impact...so far my wbs hold their width fairly close to the touchline. I could remove it... But currently all working well so no need

 

Same difficulty as you. Its very hard to tell... Like summatsupper points out the movement could be mainly driven by other player attributes. To prove what is caused by roaming is difficult. The theory of players roaming ties in with possession football. 

I could do what @b101 is doing and play a game with it... Then replay the same game without it to spot the differences... But i dont have his patience 

Sometimes I think that roam from position doesn’t actually do anything 😂

On a more serious note, whatever it does, it doesn’t do what you’d actually expect it to 

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7 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

Sorry, like a bad horror franchise I'm churning out another quick instalment to the series. Don't worry, i'll try to end the series before 'Leverkusen in Space' the soft porno comes out.

I didn't know where to take this story next... I had to think at this stage, with the squad at my disposal and a move away from past few seasons, what would be my biggest challenge?

I've primarily had plenty of attack duties and used pacey wingers to drive my attacking play. Bailey has been standout season after season in any role given, to the point where is probably the worlds best player now.

Time to stop relying on wingers (slightly overpowered in FM18?) and specifically stop relying on Bailey.

Possession time

For the first 7 seasons possession has not been considered. We have hovered between 50-55% year after year using all kinds of shapes and styles. Possession hasn't been proactively aimed for, we've ended up on the positive side of 50% mostly through high line I suspect (where the aim primarily was to keep a steady flow of attacks).

Now I'm going to actively try and get my possession % over 60 consistently.

To do this;

  • change of personnel
  • change of formation

Transfer window

I'm no stranger to a busy, exciting window. This was probably our biggest yet. The King is gone, long live the king - but whilst one legend exits, another returns to welcome arms in mutual admiration

212647835_Arthuradmiration.thumb.PNG.dcfdf7654335d0608391dca207a561e4.PNG

723003673_transferwindow.thumb.PNG.fe621d3964e1570a264dbb535a9a8bf8.PNG

I bought in Arthur and Xhaka to help control the centre of the park, both have the passing required on the ball and the work rate required off the ball

TAA has much more alround ability than my current RB Lopera so will come in as first choice

Quieros has pretty good all round defensive capabilities and physicals, nice PPMs too to fit in with how I want to play from the back.

Foden will be backup (despite his cost) AP behind Havertz, he too has the passing, vision and technique - lacks defensive qualities though

arthur.thumb.PNG.8e3a1d148292f620f128121f64cbccc9.PNG

foden.thumb.PNG.c5aca1e6813e9b3d32b517a8e33b14db.PNG

xhaka.thumb.PNG.8d074cd2f818b245ad6527c5133bf37f.PNG

quieros.thumb.PNG.656dd0773a72c002207a949166dd8c0c.PNG

taa.thumb.PNG.711f45c0c5fdfa8cf8357cde9dd371ff.PNG

Other noteable exits... Savic was brought in as a backup TM - has great physicals but doesn't fit with this seasons style of play.

Sane was fantastic for me, but his width and pace also not needed.

Ndombele is a great midfield engine, but again with the roles I'm using he just missed the cut (he had been asking for a move away also)

Kellerer and Borry my wonderkid wingers have been loaned out in case I switch back to wide play next year.

To put my transfer activity in perspective, after 7 full seasons and a summer window of the 8th season...

1150570870_playersbroughtin8seasons.thumb.PNG.6df75e673f44d39118494428a7697099.PNG

816270505_playerssoldin8seasons.thumb.PNG.b2c5b5021f6dd304f6b1dc3ad0b2ca3f.PNG

Tactics

Last season I talked about the planning stage... not so much this time. I've gone with one idea only and no backup plan... i'll have to adjust on the fly if things go wrong.

This is my tactic with proposed first team choices.

You may remember this whole thing started with a challenge to minimise use of TI and PI (look away now)

tactics.thumb.PNG.7b25c75b28e4f3c67c3bccd48387f7e8.PNG

Positions

To keep the ball it's key everyone always has several passing options. So whilst I don't want to encourage wide play, I still need to provide width as an outside option. I've gone for wing backs, both on support duty, and rained in with PI to dribble less and cross less.

The other key positionally is to have players between the lines, so I have a DM and AM. My midfield pair has one static and one moving, my front two has one support one attack. The overall effect means a fairly well staggered formation.

Roles/Duties

Plenty of support roles. The key to possession is having passing options, making the right pass and then making yourself available for the pass. I think it was one of the Barcelona coaches who said you want to run as little as possible. I have just one attack duty, my main goalscoring threat.

The HB is a role I rarely use - but I think it will be vital with the build up from the back. It should push the CBs wider. My DLP and RPM have trait to come deep so I just like the synergy here to envelop the WBs in build up too.

Three playmakers!? I know, I may as well have none. I think it will work well, the DLP is fairly static but will make sure he keeps the ball moving. The RPM will give us a bit more vertical movement to join the attack. The AP will hopefully make the triangle but also play more risky balls to the strikers.

Both forwards are complete... as I'm relying on them solely for goals with no midfield attack duties or runners, they need to be everyone and everything upfront.

TI/PI

Quite an extensive list. But actually it's simple. Split it in two;

with ball:

  • retain possession - keeps the play safe, short, slow
  • work ball into box - same as above, and curtail long shots
  • play out of defence - entice the opposition out, keep possession, find the right pass at the right time
  • roam from position - make yourself available for pass
  • play narrower - shape wise we have width, but I want the ball to be channelled centrally as we advance

without the ball

  • higher d line - win ball back quicker
  • close down much more - win ball back quicker
  • tight marking - win ball back quicker
  • prevent GK distribution - win ball back quicker

PI have been added to most players to keep passing short, less dribbling, less shooting. GK distribute to CBs

Mentality/shape

Standard - I have quite specific TI and PI I don't need to confuse it with overarching mentality

Structured - usually I play flexible, but I've set a formation with a specific shape to achieve my objectives. As well as I want my defenders to defend, midfielders to support and strikers to score.

How my squad DNA will help as well, we are now very high in passing and vision. Work rate too in key areas, but i'll just show passing.

2130441070_squadstrengthspassingandvision.thumb.PNG.061eb80fb173d79598deee137e5db8db.PNG

first observations

Friendlies are never a barometer I stand on... but only to say we won them all with minimum 63% and without conceding.

First game is a much better barometer as it's against my nemesis RBL.

332298016_matchstatsvsRBL.thumb.PNG.1fbc3bfc2c2a850405ee53dd924a47e8.PNG

617940062_passstats.thumb.PNG.75f8d5e477d9fb07e562c2f3e213421f.PNG

the playmaker trio really worked. And in particular the central pairing DLP/RPM who in this case were Xhaka and Alliev

In game 2 we had this goal, which I thought was great building from my keeper to striker with a high number of passes.

1156010901_buildup1.thumb.PNG.625ffa16f9eefa8204e973f6d43fa472.PNG

191673122_buildup2.thumb.PNG.a31f3d57c1bff55b70db5fe54dae12ba.PNG

402805917_buildup3.thumb.PNG.a0e7fd6f6fc8a59f972fb2ef43f298b0.PNG

2104901118_buildup4.thumb.PNG.e271bade199f5eec326a042d05719df6.PNG

973718435_buildup5.thumb.PNG.551426bd0ae287b2c294b4962bb0a92d.PNG

642370237_buildup6.thumb.PNG.d3a44991d2120c2a7c10c82d74c86ab2.PNG

The linked events just started half way through;

34684037_passmapofbuildup.PNG.b6c16e9773bb8ca8c72f29419ec0ab78.PNG

It's great how the patient approach means even 31 year old sluggish Xhaka can get from one side of the pitch to the other to be involved. He is #34, Alliev (RPM) #8

 

 

 

Few suggestions.

1. Have you considered reducing the number of TI's you have?. You can still achieve he possession play with lesser(roam & narrower especially. I feel like if you have a RPM, why all the players need roam?)

2. Your two CM's are too tight to themselves. They not attacking the half spaces when one has the ball(like one goes wider or makes a run out forward or something.

3. Why didn't opt for an AF instead of CFA?. With the CFs and multiple playmakers I figured a center forward playing on the backs of CB's consistently might help.

Sorry for the English & typing.

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7 hours ago, denen123 said:

Have you considered reducing the number of TI's you have?. You can still achieve he possession play with lesser(roam & narrower especially. I feel like if you have a RPM, why all the players need roam?)

Already discussed...i could, but only if it isnt working. 

7 hours ago, denen123 said:

Your two CM's are too tight to themselves. They not attacking the half spaces when one has the ball(like one goes wider or makes a run out forward or something.

This is by design. I want my midfield to keep the ball and play support function first and foremost. They are scoring a few goals, more importantly im maintaining 60-70% possession in every game so far... And its going well

7 hours ago, denen123 said:

Why didn't opt for an AF instead of CFA?. With the CFs and multiple playmakers I figured a center forward playing on the backs of CB's consistently might help.

The CFs do move to channel... And with roaming they are going wide too. If i change at any stage it'll be for a poacher i think

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Westy just finished going over all your threads, loving your stuff. You've inspired me to go back to my save and play some more.

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8 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

Already discussed...i could, but only if it isnt working. 

This is by design. I want my midfield to keep the ball and play support function first and foremost. They are scoring a few goals, more importantly im maintaining 60-70% possession in every game so far... And its going well

The CFs do move to channel... And with roaming they are going wide too. If i change at any stage it'll be for a poacher i think

Okay.

Lastly, Are you bothered with the amount of shots on target your opponents had(5)? You had a little above them(6). Considering you're a good side in the league, I would expect more potent sides to bury chances better against you.

Also, much of what you've shown is your team with the ball. The shape without should be equally as important.

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18 minutes ago, denen123 said:

Okay.

Lastly, Are you bothered with the amount of shots on target your opponents had(5)? You had a little above them(6). Considering you're a good side in the league, I would expect more potent sides to bury chances better against you.

Also, much of what you've shown is your team with the ball. The shape without should be equally as important.

You are approaching the thread from a generic viewpoint. 

The only consideration i have:

1) success (winning games/trophies) 

2) maintain avg 60+% possession

In all my threads its picking a style... Choosing formation and players to suit it... And stick to it. 

I will only change if one of those two criteria arent being met. 

I dont tweak, i dont worry about the opposition. 

One of the themes of the series is to show the average player that you can still 'plug and play' choose a fun style and be successful. In this forum too often advice (coming from a good place, im not moaning about you or anyone) if followed would lead everybody to playing the same. 4141 with one winger, one wide midfieler... One wing back one full back... One attack mid one support one defend... A dlf to join... Playing on counter etc. Or 4231 with one IF one wing... An am on support a dlp and cm-d fb attack behind the IF and fb/iwb-s behind the winger with a high block. 

Its all so boring, regimented and fundamentally 'sensible'. People who dont have time to come and read/understand all that have been saying for years tactics have become too elite 'you cant win with a normal 442 anymore'... Im proving you can. Im also showing you can change your squad and formation season after season and win with very contrasting styles. 

Update coming tonight with form... But safe to say im hitting my two criteria without any tweaks from the OP. 

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1 hour ago, westy8chimp said:

You are approaching the thread from a generic viewpoint. 

The only consideration i have:

1) success (winning games/trophies) 

2) maintain avg 60+% possession

In all my threads its picking a style... Choosing formation and players to suit it... And stick to it. 

I will only change if one of those two criteria arent being met. 

I dont tweak, i dont worry about the opposition. 

One of the themes of the series is to show the average player that you can still 'plug and play' choose a fun style and be successful. In this forum too often advice (coming from a good place, im not moaning about you or anyone) if followed would lead everybody to playing the same. 4141 with one winger, one wide midfieler... One wing back one full back... One attack mid one support one defend... A dlf to join... Playing on counter etc. Or 4231 with one IF one wing... An am on support a dlp and cm-d fb attack behind the IF and fb/iwb-s behind the winger with a high block. 

Its all so boring, regimented and fundamentally 'sensible'. People who dont have time to come and read/understand all that have been saying for years tactics have become too elite 'you cant win with a normal 442 anymore'... Im proving you can. Im also showing you can change your squad and formation season after season and win with very contrasting styles. 

Update coming tonight with form... But safe to say im hitting my two criteria without any tweaks from the OP. 

I honestly agree. I'm the type, clearly, that bothers about the movements of the opponents & such. Doubt I'll change anytime but I'm however, impressed by your direction & looking forward to more of your threads. Well-done.

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Midseason update

Flying through this campaign - I watch my games in extended highlights and with the patient possession approach there aren't that many highlights to watch!

Whilst it may not be high impact enthralment the results show it isn't passive possession without purpose.

Starting with league form, this is becoming a habit, into the Xmas period for a well earned break off the back of an unbeaten start.

1489953632_lgform.thumb.PNG.740457652cd677e7a96b52251724e81c.PNG926892882_lgtable.thumb.PNG.94b48a616119deb7662a71b1e6ba433b.PNG

Looking into the stats we can see I'm achieving the 60+% I was after. If anything it seems low to me as I can't remember a single game with under 60% possession, and more often than not it's been 63% must be perception bias

Sheer volume and accuracy of the passing builds up that possession - we lead in both departments

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You can see on the most passes screen shot we also use that well, as we have had the most shots on goal too, and second most chances created.

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Another result of our high 'keep ball' is opponent foul us a lot. Several of my 1-0 have been earned after the opponents go a man down...pulling them all over the pitch for the first 45 mins building up the yellows really pays dividends later on.

For the players - Arthur (RPM) is pick of the bunch, it's the role with most creative freedom and he uses it well, ensuring plenty of touches, a few killer balls, and gets in the area too.

Hernandez leading the number of chances and goals per min - exact what I want from my only attack duty. He has the role CF (a) but pretty much acts like the poacher he was a few seasons ago.

5 of the top 6 pass complete ratios go to my team

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Same story in the Cups - highest in possession (I didn't delve into more stats) and unbeaten, topping the CL group.

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@denen123 :D

A very brief look into our defensive shape (or lack of)

The biggest threat is when I lose the ball in my own half. Other than that we setup ok if they build out from the back.

This was the worst case so far this season, vs At Madrid. Pickford stood tall this time, but this kind of danger is always on if my HB loses the ball.

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Can put Lopera in too much trouble, quick turnover and Luan was clean through. You can see the biggest issue is the split CBs. It's great when it works but a huge hole when it doesn't.

Here's another game vs Bayern which is perhaps more indicative of what most AI teams do. The same space is opened up but they are reluctant to play the first time ball...but this is Bayern style and ends up in a goal anyway due to my high closing down. LB overcommits in the press opening up a channel for Isak.

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We perhaps moved the ball to #11 Monaco (CF-s) too early, but Hernandez is making a great run behind so it could have gone either way. As it is 11 loses the ball. There is that big space between my CBs, Bayern, playing 532, have two strikers clean through... but the ball is played safely sideways...

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Which gives us a chance to tighten up and mark the strikers.

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They switch play and the longer they take the safer I feel. The only space now is out wide, we have near enough 8 men behind the ball in central area.

Until Tierney, following my instructions, charges into full pressing mode

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There is the channel and they use it well. Ball played to near post for a tap in.

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1) regarding the HB danger when he loses possession ... simple, he doesn't ...most of the time. When he does I can live with the opposition having the odd chance. They often don't take it, as seen in the Bayern transition, or they don't score as witnessed in the At.Mad game

2) I could reduce closing down, particularly on my defence, but again ... I just accept this as a good goal from Bayern. I'm not aiming for perfection...I'm going to concede goals, I'm going to draw and lose games... I believe the high closing down over the season will be more beneficial than detrimental so for now I stick with it.

In the OP I showed our goal build up starting from a goal kick. A lot of our goals are that style, so thought I'd just show one off the back of winning the ball;

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starts with a decent defensive shape... opponent should probably play to the open fb/wb but chooses for the tougher option of winger. TAA #2 has it sussed and cuts it out.

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FFWD a couple of one twos with the HB... we made the split (to the point where our CBs play wider than WBs) ... Stones decides he's going to bring the ball out as opponent was more interested in marking TAA until Stones breezed past...

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Too congested? :D of course... but is Stones ever going to fail to find a team mate in that situation? No... so does it help me keep possession... 7 players in a 10 yard radius.... this is Barca style and how you can win the ball back instantly if one pass was to be intercepted. Receiving the ball here as an opponent would be like finding a chicken leg in a room full of starving people, you will be lynched before you enjoy any reward.

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Again there I FFWD several one-twos as that block of players worked their way out into better positions. Arthur now has the ball in advance of the AP... not exactly a 360 of great passing options, but he has a few. He probably should play in Tierney at this point, but with Tierney instructed to get forward less, and the team instructed to play narrow ... I think Arthur decides putting Hernandez down the channel is the right move. Plus he has PI to go for risky passes.

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Simple from there. Hernandez is left footed so it's easy for him to put the ball back across in the right area. AP Havertz the grateful recipient

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Every goal worth showing is a build up of 20+ passes, so it would be far too much screen-shotting just to repeat myself...I'm sure with the few events shown and the stats speaking for themselves you can picture the rest.

Here is the squad view at the midseason break. CF a has the most goals, CF s certainly playing the support role with almost 1 goal 1 assist in every 2 games. This is looking like the Hernandez Monaco partnership that won me the CL in our 4-4-2 season. They compliment each other well. Havertz usually the assist of the assist.. with Monaco, Arthur or Hernandez playing the final ball.

1595333480_squadview.thumb.PNG.20fc9489798a7500e85737fa1d01ec1e.PNG

 

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End of Season Update

I'll keep this brief - not a lot changed in terms of form, types of goal, types of danger etc since mid season.

Straight to CL final...

Here's the scout report in advance. 3 things of note (though I wont proactively tweak for the match).

  • They are playing counter - I can expect them to sit back and allow me possession. But when they have it they too will be reasonably safe and may draw me out. Only thing I can glean.. it will be a boring match!
  • They can create a bit of an overload in the central defence area that I already know is a problem for me. Potentially the AM, IF and CF will be in the zone between my split CBs. However, because they are on counter ... if the opportunity arises will they play the risky pass early to exploit any gaps? Probably not.
  • They don't have a DM. Should be an area my AP can exploit

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Lineups

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No major gripes, both teams are pretty much full strength - I was missing Xhaka.

Jump to HT... literally nothing happened.

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Jump to 60th min, I make a little shuffle around. I expected more from Havertz with so much space, he wasn't producing so that's where I made the change. I could have made a direct swap, but Arthur is my best player so I thought I'd see what he could do given some space.

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Forgive me making the narrative fit my agenda here... I can't prove it, but I'm going to suggest the frustration of possession finally paid off here... a moment of madness from City's LW (who has been starved of chances/touches) and they are down to 10 men. War of attrition has been won!

Look at the highlight bar... no highlights at all...

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Bang now we kick on... 1-0

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2-0

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Full time - we win the CL for 2nd time in 3 seasons (3 finals in 4 seasons)

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The final was a good barometer of the season. Achieved over 60%, wasn't thrilling... but we won the game.

Jan window

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Pickford picked up a 3 month injury... so I signed a wonderkid GK who could step in immediately, but then not be surplus to requirement 3 months later...

I signed Kovacic as I'd been working to bare bones prior... (6 players covering 3 positions...which is perfect until you have an injury or two and games every 3 days)

The other player was a backup WB as I'd grown tired of Rhuan (a terrible DL I signed for about 20k years ago)

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Form

Lost our unbeaten run again. I'm just going to pin this on the GK... we still had over 60% in every game, think we lost to a dodgy long short or set piece

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stats/squad view

Stats largely replicated mid season - just to evidence the possession, as that was key of the seasons goals...

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And here is how the goal/assists finished across the squad.

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What next?

I'm sure by now the interest in this series is as low as my energy is to keep writing threads :D 

I'm jumping straight into next season with a  532. I've just proven to myself I can win with possession... now I'm going the other way, I will win with 45-50%

I won't create a separate thread ... series complete (or on hold pending further interesting challenge)

Here's a very quick look at my formation, window and early form. No point analysing - I think it will play very similar to my 442, reliance on WB putting crosses in, Hernandez and Monaco partnership to carry on winning me titles. Nothing fancy.

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Window was mostly a clear out. I bought in a wonderkid with tackling, determination and work rate as backup Carilero. I let go an unhappy ageing Tierney for a better younger Costa.

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Early form.. the defeat to Chelsea is because I had 3 of 4 strikers injured!! had to rely on an 18 year old poacher and a 17 year old CB played the CF role :D 

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Discussion on either possession or 532 welcome.

Had a few PPMs  PM's :D about my seasons, more than happy to discuss, or if you have a formation you want me to use feel free to PM or ask in here.

Edited by westy8chimp

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For what it’s worth, these have been amongst my favourite threads on here for FM 2018. Great to see someone explain a clear approach to how they want football to be played and then show how to achieve it in FM. 

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I second what many others have said - these threads have been superb, some of the best work I've read in a long time. 

 

In terms of suggestions, I feel it's a bit futile me suggesting a formation to you, as you've covered a huge number already, but how about a specific style? You've mentioned you are aiming for a lower amount of possession this season in your 532, how about going a step further and trying to emulate an Atletico or Uruguay style? Obviously, you've already covered the diamond and 442 to an extent, so I'd leave the shape up to you, but I'd definitely be interested in reading a series where you perhaps aim to be defensively solid over all else, maybe focusing on keeping clean sheets, breaking defensive records etc? Maybe less than 10 goals in the league season or at least 25 clean sheets for your keeper? I've seen a lot of attacking tactics this year, but not too much on defensive systems, combine this with your systems that have increased their attacking prowess as you've got stronger, it could be intriguing to see if you could dial it all the way back down to just be resolute defensively, whilst still winning the league.

 

Even if you don't go down this route, I'd happily read whatever you choose to focus on! Great work, keep it up :)  

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3 hours ago, Fieldy_21 said:

but I'd definitely be interested in reading a series where you perhaps aim to be defensively solid over all else, maybe focusing on keeping clean sheets, breaking defensive records etc?

Thanks for your comments

RE the specific bit I've highlighted... this did cross my mind when I was thinking of ways to next challenge myself... but what put me off;

  • I'm now league and European champions...it will be very simple to sit back and play defensively...an out of the box 4141 or 541 would probably be sufficient.
  • Being defensive and still winning I think would require a lot of in game tweaking which leads to...
  • The theme of the threads is picking a proactive formation at the start (based on simple theory/plan), buy the right players...and then i'm in essence able to 'plug and play'. Tweaking to keep clean sheet but also win games is probably too time consuming for me (I'm at the point where I have to do chores, or put baby to bed when I get home from work ... so a lot of the time I just leave matches running, whilst I do something else, to maximise my playing time... which is why i've been able to get through 8 seasons in about 6 weeks). It's also moving towards more elite methods of managing a tactic.

Basically, I don't think I'm capable (partly due to the nature of the task, and partly due to the situation of the club i'm at, and where we are) of creating an easy to understand tactic, that without tweaking in game, can be great defensively and still win me leagues.

-----

Having said that, it's still on my brain so maybe over the next few days i'll have a Eureka moment and think of a system to do it :D 

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On 06/07/2018 at 16:13, summatsupeer said:

Well your RPM, CF-S and CF-A all have it built in and I don't really see anything in the images posted that i'd say was due to adding additional roaming but thats not to say it hasn't had a positive effect on your team, you'll have watched them more than me.  Increasing the range of movement can increase the range of options available for the player, but he still needs the attributes to make use of them correctly, he could incorrectly use them or not need the additional options.  Moving away from a marker is purely the players mental attributes, the only way roaming affects that is if its using that extra range of movement.

Its semantics really but I think is best described as allowing a player to use a wider area of the pitch, how they use that movement depends on there attributes.  Its not a "click this and find more space" button.

Well of course it isn't a case of "click a button and find space". If the game was that simple we'd not bother with these threads. I don't think he's saying that either. Same way clicking "Tighter Marking" doesn't suddenly make your players better at marking, it will instruct them to be tighter to their man and how well they do that is defined by their player attributes, specifically including but definitely not limited to Marking. 

Roam From Position is definitely the right way to go in terms of building a possession based side. It is telling your players to find space to become available for a pass, be that a through ball (so an attacking run) or a pass to feet (usually a supporting run, but of course the player could then go on a mazy run, depending on other PIs, TIs and traits). 

As we've seen pretty clearly from just my mess of a post, nothing on FM is simple. Everything has an effect and changes the balance and setup of your play. 

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5-3-2 end of season update

Cracking season... the aim was simple, play with less possession (45-50%) supply from wing backs, goals from strikers.

We won the league with just two defeats (9 seasons of getting close to unbeaten!)

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We did it with average under 50% possession.

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But still kept tradition of most chances created and most shots on goal - with a very high number of crosses.

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The best part of this formation as contrast to the possession tactic of season 8 was the WBs. Last season they were wide outlets to keep possession, and I think each WB got 2-3 assists over the season.

This year, still as WB but with attack duty instead of support, they were the main attacking threat. Lopera (RWB) was player of the season as a result. Costa (LWB) came third placed.

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CL final (again)

Scout report is interesting... looks like my LWB (Novy, Costa suspended for a straight red in the semi) will have free reign down the left vs aggressive roles from Madrid.

Again Isco could be a problem as playmaker in the hole, due to my lack of DM. But last time he had inside forwards and a complete forward around him. I don't see the TM or wingers as quite such a threat in terms of Isco having great options.

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Costa is my only absentee ... and I'm sticking with my backup keeper as he has played the whole tournament. Madrid look bare bones with no striker on the bench... and copying me by playing Savic as TM

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The first goal is a Lopera cross to Hernandez, who is taken down for a penalty

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2-0 and as expected Novy enjoying bags of space

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Monaco (CF-S) playing like his TM days, knocks down for Hernandez to bag his brace.

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We scored a flukey third with a Lopera cross finding the keeper missing... straight in off the post reminiscent of FM15 days

Our fourth was typical of many goals this season... classic Lopera with a powerful run and cross. Hernandez has another CL final hatrick! What a player...

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And just like the league stats show, the FT match stats again, very indicative of the season as a whole. We had less of the ball but did far more with it.

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It was a real cross fest - Novy with the most space made the most crosses. I probably could have had a lot more joy from crosses if I'd signed traditional aerial threats. The players I had were good enough though.

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Here's the squad view by goalscorer... dominated by the 4 strikers... then not a lot else

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The assists a bit wider spread, but alongside the strikers, the wing backs came out really strong. (I probably could have managed the season without playing a midfield)

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We managed our best year yet, finally breaking the curse of the German cup

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Edited by westy8chimp

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Next season (10)

I haven't 100% decided yet... but I think I'm going to go back to possession, but a little more conventional than before (maybe 55% ish, with more emphasis on goals).

Possibly the narrow diamond. Havertz now has composure 20, vision 20 .. so thinking he can hold the ball up (PI) in the AM slot. We will play slow tempo (TI) to allow FBs to get up the field and provide width.

 

narrow diamond.PNG

Edited by westy8chimp

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Could you explain why you opted for fluid team shape?

You have an AMC dropping deep and a DM also with support duty (granted,  he'll be 'holding position') in a formation with at least one player in each stratum.

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The shape itself is quite lacking... Fluid should give a little more freedom and encouragement for strikers to drop or defenders to step up as needed. 

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Yes, it will encourage them to do so, I believe that might be a bad thing. What I wanted to say is maybe a more structured shape would be better suited for this formation as it would help to create space between players positioned in different strata...

The combination of multistrata formation with the advanced midfielder dropping deep and the defensive midfielder stepping up with fluid team shape might get your players on top of each other, with no vertical space between them.

I know it did for me, so I was interested to see your reasons here.

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On 07/07/2018 at 09:05, westy8chimp said:

In all my threads its picking a style... Choosing formation and players to suit it... And stick to it. 
 

I'm proper loving this. I'm dipping into all of it at the moment. Have you considered doing a 'Libero' one at all? I'm using a Libero system with Benevento after reading @Cleon's libero thread and I'm really enjoying how it's panning out. It'd be interesting to see your vision on it after all the depth you've gone into with other systems/player roles.

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8 hours ago, charisma_charisma said:

Yes, it will encourage them to do so, I believe that might be a bad thing. What I wanted to say is maybe a more structured shape would be better suited for this formation as it would help to create space between players positioned in different strata...

The combination of multistrata formation with the advanced midfielder dropping deep and the defensive midfielder stepping up with fluid team shape might get your players on top of each other, with no vertical space between them.

I know it did for me, so I was interested to see your reasons here.

It's really interesting... Because i absolutely agree with how it will impact the spacing... Yet i see it as an advantage and you see it as a disadvantage. 

This has happened a few times now in my threads...its good for discussion. 

Im curious as to whether its a hangover from previous FM or a case of theory overtaking practice...or just that im going for a very specific system each time... But when i get 4 technically gifted cms in a tight pack they are able to keep the ball until the cows come home. 

Also i have very pacey strikers so keeping the ball tight around halfway opens up a little more space behind their defence (once they apply the press) for through balls. 

I probably need to add some player profiles to help visualise how it plays out. DM likes long balls... So if its on early he plays it...if not it goes to cms... They each dictate tempo, play one two, switch flank... So they either play keep ball, go back to DM (and step 1 repeats), spray out to a fb, advance to am. 

AM looks to pass rather than shoot....has super composure and vision, so ive asked him to hold the ball up.... Should give time for runs from fbs, mez and strikers... Then the player can find a through ball or again recycle possession. 

Only got a few games in last night. Possession is around 55% but we scored 15 goals from first 3 matches. 

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6 hours ago, Old Scouser Tommy said:

I'm proper loving this. I'm dipping into all of it at the moment. Have you considered doing a 'Libero' one at all? I'm using a Libero system with Benevento after reading @Cleon's libero thread and I'm really enjoying how it's panning out. It'd be interesting to see your vision on it after all the depth you've gone into with other systems/player roles.

Cheers Tommy

I have an irrational loathing of the role due to the reasons @Cleon mentioned in his thread (invisible wall, cb split).

But the main reason i probably cant do it in line with this series... Is finding a libero. The AI dont use them, regens arent born as Libero...

You need to find someone young with bags of potential and train them for a long time. I have a player with ideal attributes (ill post his profile tonight) but he has the opposite ppms you would want (i trained him as a BPD and RPM so its about releasing the ball not running with it or making off the ball runs. 

Setup wise it wouldnt massively differ from the 41212 above. Id keep to a slow tempo, play out of defence, higher d line. Id replace the dlp with lib. 

Possible angle would be taking the am out wide as a winger and make the fb that side an iwb

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But the main reason i probably cant do it in line with this series... Is finding a libero. The AI dont use them, regens arent born as Libero...

The AI does use them and newgens can come as libero but they're quite rare.

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3 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

I have an irrational loathing of the role due to the reasons @Cleon mentioned in his thread (invisible wall, cb split).

I don't mind the split so much it's the wall that infuriates me. He'll get into really good positions and stop. I had it working really well in the first season but not so well second season.

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Personnel

Just to paint a better picture of the last couple of seasons... here's a selection of key personnel profiles. Might help understand how I get away with certain tactical choices.

WBs - these two were asked to just recycle possession in season 8 - as far as WB go they are reasonably good technically. Season 9 they came into their own being asked to be the main providers...their physicals are very strong, and they can both dribble and cross to a good standard

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My primary midfielders.. were brought in for possession in season 8... had front row seats to the 532 season (but literally just had to watch) and now back to possession. DVB new addition this season as I like him for the Mez role (good, albeit moderate not excellent) stats across the board. Several have the come deep to get ball and play one twos... I just like the willingness to play for the team that those PPMs create.

Havertz as mentioned as quite good strength touch and balance, so he's almost being asked to be a TM of sorts. He is asked to hold the ball up...and his composure, decisions and vision should kick in to see some nice assists.

Allwein is a beast... killer balls, switch play, long passes + passing and vision... this guy is a prime BPD/Reg/DLP...his physicals are incredible so could be a BBM/VOL/TM ... @Old Scouser Tommy he would be my Libero if I'd gone a different way with his PPMs

Aliev, Foden are first choice subs... Aliev has been plateauing for years, always had good physicals but hasn't improved his technical enough to ever hold a first team place. Shame he should have been better or on par with Allwein.

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Strikers.. I mentioned a lot of pace. Physicals and finishing is great across the board. Monaco has played CF-s and TM...in another squad he would be the leading man, but compare to Hernandez he's always seemed the better choice to play supporting act. He is brilliant.

Niegenfink is someone I've trained from age of 14... he did two great loan spells at Mainz, winning European Golden Boy (or whatever that award is called)...last year he was backup poacher and scored 23 goals... same again this year.

Biscan another who could be leading man elsewhere... he offers more with his direct runs (he even covers WB/FB when I have injuries

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2 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

Allwein is a beast... killer balls, switch play, long passes + passing and vision... this guy is a prime BPD/Reg/DLP...his physicals are incredible so could be a BBM/VOL/TM ... @Old Scouser Tommy he would be my Libero if I'd gone a different way with his PPMs

Yeah he looks quality. His physical stats are immense he'd be an excellent choice as a Libero. Teamwork too isn't too high which I like. It means he would hopefully be a bit more selfish when gets into the areas you want him to be in as an attacking Libero.

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Season 10 - 41212 - midseason update

Again keeping this reasonably brief like season 9, as there is very little criteria for the season.

Reminder of the aim; focussing on a narrow tactic, aim for good possession stats, but not as much emphasis on high % as season 8 .. aiming for circa 55%

The tactic remained the same, here it is as a reminder

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The midfield 4 are for ball retention (in season 8 WB on support made it 6 players keeping possession, which is why this season % will be lower but overall we should be more potent). FBs both on attack are to create goals but still provide decent defensive shape. I expected most of the damage to come from good strike partnership.

Here is the league table going into the winter break, along with the league and cup form;

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Really impressive defensive record so far. More born of frustrating the opponents by keeping the ball and attacking a lot, than a particularly thoughtful defensive strategy.

Possession is about right, however, it's much less consistent. In season 8 over the whole season we didn't drop below 60% in a game. This time we have ranged from 50% to 70% but 55% is most common and a fair reflection of typical matches.

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Here is the team view ordered by goals and assists respectively. Lopera and Alexander having more joy down the right than my left side... can't really decide if this is tactical or simply that they are each better players than their counterpart.

Goals have certainly not been an issue, amongst the 4 it works out pretty much 2 goals per game

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Will be another little update at the end of the season.

I'm omitting analysis purely because; I'm not funnelling play through a specific role (which I could then illustrate through analysis), I've not set out many specific goals which I could then prove or ask for help to achieve.

I've already thought about season 11 though, and may do a new thread as I intend to go back to a particular role based tactic (as I've nearly exhausted all the formation side of things).

 

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End of season (10) update

I don't know what my guys eat at Christmas, or maybe it's the drink, but every season lately we go in to the break unbeaten, then lose a game almost straight away in the second half of the season. The other theme is that it's usually RBL - not only did they beat me, out of the blue, having conceded only 6 in 15 previously, they took me apart at ease.

The other down point to the season... for what feels like the first time since season 1 or 2? (definitely of this magnitude) we lost back to back games and didn't win in 3 games. One being a heavy defeat to Inter, and it only takes one poor performance in knockout football to ruin a season.

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This has been a series of very few in season tweaks. But that three games really hurt! Minor tweak, but the reason is important. All I did was remove 3 of the TI; play out of defence, short passing and low tempo.

It gave much more of a level platform. During those heavy defeats I was 2/3-0 down after 20-30 mins in each case... and I didn't have a plan B this year at all... and with TI selected like tempo and short passing, if I was to tweak in game it would be wholesale. That's not what this save is about. So by removing them, it meant if I was struggling again all I needed to do in game was change mentality and it would do all the TI as needed (i.e. if I needed to go to overload, I didn't have to also adjust my passing and tempo settings).

This is evidenced in the crazy 6-2 second leg vs Inter. They scored an early goal so I switched to overload from virtually 5 mins in. We missed a penalty in the last 10 minutes so were very close to overturning the first leg humping.

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Overall we kept possession levels quite good and consistent. And as with pretty much every season, top of the chances created and shots on goal.

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Transfers have always been very fun in this save. This time we made yet another huge profit

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Here's how the goal and assist distribution ended. Phenomenal again from the front 4 (in particular first team choices). Reminder Hernandez played poacher, Monaco is CF-s

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I wasn't going to do any analysis - especially as there is no CL final this year to illustrate how the tactic plays on the big stage.

But I remembered some perfectly reasonable questions about my choice to play on fluid, with midfielders possibly being congested. I agreed with the outome, I just saw it as a positive. I'll try to show why.

This is the German Cup Final vs Hamburg

We won 4-0 with yet another cup final hatrick from Hernandez (2 hatricks in CL finals, 2 hatricks in G Cup finals, 1 hatrick in super cup final, 1 hatrick in world club cup final) :D 

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All goals neatly in the box. In the buildup you can see there is often very close passing in the midfield, but we do bring the FB into the game. They have plenty of space as I will show later.

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Biscan goal was a 3rd phase play off a corner. The other Hernandez goal was more direct, CF-s through ball from deep for him to run on to and score (again i'll show how the space is opened up for Hernandez).

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So here is some of the build up. Rather than explain each shot, look out for these trends;

  • Midfield quartet close together supporting each other
  • Midfield quartet outnumber the opposition
  • Midfield play narrow, sucking in opposition
  • Full backs nearly always in space
  • Full backs nearly always have space to run into
  • Hernandez is quite disciplined in the poacher role, sticking on the shoulder
  • Biscan, playing for the injured Monaco, as CF-s often pushing a channel or has option to run channel/s
  • We dictate the AI movement - if we switch flank, they all shift. This creates constant change in their shape, opening spaces

Goal A

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Goal B

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What next?

Season 11 will be it's own thread. Ideas are in the making. Since selling Bailey I have missed playing with width. So one minor spoiler... the return of the wide man. I've had to open the warchest to sign adequate players. Will be tapping into the u19s to promote a couple of backups.

These are the future transfers! I'm sure this money will be offset though as moving back to width I have a surplus of CMs to clear out.

189307980_futuretransfers.thumb.PNG.2c84fcb478ad7c8158206b543129323d.PNG

 

lg table.PNG

Edited by westy8chimp

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@westy8chimp
Just an idea for a possession hybrid with elements of direct off-ball running.

It's fairly well known that Guardiola hates tiki taka. That is, he despises the passing for passing sake mentality. He likes possession that has good tempo, is incisive and he likes to switch balls across the field periodically to shift the defence. One other element that is intrinsic to his possession approach is that he uses inverted full-backs and keeps his wingers out wide to drag defenders wide, creating space in the central areas. The inverted full backs then make runs inside the opposition full-backs and pull it across for someone to finish.

What if we try....

4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3.
Wingers staying wide.
Inverted-fullbacks (with his off-the-ball) encouraged to make runs on the underlap, instead.

That way, the possession stats are still there or over around 60%, however, it might help break down the defences that stubbornly park the bus and defend narrow in response to your dominant ball possession.

Edited by Criminal Backpass

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Wish FM came as easy to me as it does you mate haha. You've certainly helped me over your threads though so please keep them coming while you have the motivation. 

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@Criminal Backpass all sounds like a good plan... Probably one to do with City... Before you posted it id already blown 300m in the market so for this season im working to a plan already.

Youve got a good idea, some clear ideas of what you want to do... I strongly recommend you pursue it and see how you get on

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13 hours ago, Criminal Backpass said:

@westy8chimp Thanks! Would you recommend creating a save with a friendly game, tinker, play the game, and then re-load the save accordingly? Watch extensive highlights or full game to determine movements?

No guts no glory, i dont put any stock in friendlies, i use them either for money, fitness, morale or all three... But never watch or play the games. I check the analysis after to get a general feel as to whether it followed the idea... I. E. If i want possession ill check that and number of passes and the pass combos... 

Again this is personal choice, i only watch matches in extended mode. Partly due to time constraints... But i also really believe you get more idea of how a tactic is working by watching the more important highlights. Watching the passive passages of football may give a false positive i.e (using possession again)...you could have 100% of the ball for the first 20 mins and give yourself a pat on the back dor achieving your plan...but if it hasnt resulted in a highlight thats useless football. 

Never reload! You could play the same game 100 times without changing any variables and get different results. So besides it being timely, cheating :D, it will also give the false positive or negative.

Also lots of external factors other than tactics can affect the win or lose... Team gel, morale, opposition strength etc. So even if i was more of a tweaker... Id give it 5-10 league games (depending how bad i was doing) before making any decisions

But its your game to play, those are just my preferences

Edited by westy8chimp

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@westy8chimp Fair points, there. I'll give it the fair run of the mill, then!

I think that possession based tactics suffer from chance creation in the game in the same way they do IRL. High possession leads to the opposition team sitting back and packing in, which leads to banks of defenders and little space to play in. Much in the same way that few chances are created IRL by "working ball into the box" against deep sitting teams, so it appears to be in the game. My general idea for the approach is this :-

Possession based yet quick in the offensive transition when winning the ball back.

- Keeper normally distributes to CB in these approaches, however, if I keep two wingers staying wide, I could instruct the keeper to look to hit them when on transition with opposing team high in my half. Possession, yet, direct.

- Keep wingers wide, team instructions wide. Possession teams stretch the field when on the ball to open the pitch up. Will use Inverted full backs to occupy spaces more central, which will add men to the middle to dominate the ball and help on defensive transition. Keeping wingers wide (and holding position) should pull full-backs and CB's wider, creating the central space for CM's, Inv-full backs, forwards, to exploit.

I'll make a new thread after I've done half a season or so. 

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2 minutes ago, Criminal Backpass said:

I'll make a new thread after I've done half a season or so.

:thup: I will keep an eye out, good luck. Yes possession football with consistent results is quite tricky both IRL and in the game. And what makes it worse in terms of FM ... even when you get it right, it's quite boring to watch (I found it a war of attrition.. even when I won the CL), no highlights then suddenly you wear them down.

I enjoyed the difference from my usual type of style though, if not the football, so it was a good tactic or two to add to my repertoire :D going back to my comfort zone in season 11 though with more emphasis on width. Hoping to get a thread out this afternoon if work isn't as busy as it was this morning...

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On ‎23‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 12:30, Criminal Backpass said:

@westy8chimp Fair points, there. I'll give it the fair run of the mill, then!

I think that possession based tactics suffer from chance creation in the game in the same way they do IRL. High possession leads to the opposition team sitting back and packing in, which leads to banks of defenders and little space to play in. Much in the same way that few chances are created IRL by "working ball into the box" against deep sitting teams, so it appears to be in the game. My general idea for the approach is this :-

Possession based yet quick in the offensive transition when winning the ball back.

- Keeper normally distributes to CB in these approaches, however, if I keep two wingers staying wide, I could instruct the keeper to look to hit them when on transition with opposing team high in my half. Possession, yet, direct.

- Keep wingers wide, team instructions wide. Possession teams stretch the field when on the ball to open the pitch up. Will use Inverted full backs to occupy spaces more central, which will add men to the middle to dominate the ball and help on defensive transition. Keeping wingers wide (and holding position) should pull full-backs and CB's wider, creating the central space for CM's, Inv-full backs, forwards, to exploit.

I'll make a new thread after I've done half a season or so. 

How have you got on with your Pep tactic ?

I like your thoughts about wide and direct. Very different from the usual shorter passing with narrow tactics.

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