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23 hours ago, vrbrasa said:

thanks @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! i wiil try that

i must say i have the fm18 because of this post. i was in the year 2045 with sporting in fm17...

and just because you are here, do you have any more pis?

 have to say the fluid match with 4-2-3-1 wright?


Very few. The centre backs dribble (very specific to the players I have with Benfica), the goalkeeper distributes to the central defenders, the striker moves into channels. That's about it.

You also don't have to be Fluid. That's just because the team have the mental attributes to pull it off. If you're less confident in the team you could equally use Structured or any other shape.

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yes, i notice that.

my big strangle is to decide the control or overload or neutral...

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19 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


You also don't have to be Fluid. That's just because the team have the mental attributes to pull it off. If you're less confident in the team you could equally use Structured or any other shape.

Can you explain this a bit more please @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!? If you moved from fluid up to very fluid, or down to flexible or structured, what would happen? (Assuming everything else was unchanged)

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Team shape influences the mentality of the team as a whole. It also affects how defenders, midfielders and attackers will contribute to the defensive, transition and attacking phases.

The more fluid the shape, the closer they will play as a team. That requires a degree of intelligence (the big 5, in my opinion: decisions, concentration, first touch, off the ball, work rate, but there are others attribute equally as important) from your players since they will attack and defend as a unit.

If you go more structure, you will isolate them a bit more. Defenders will spend most of their time defending and attackers attack, leaving gaps in the formation.

What @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! is saying is if you're not sure/confident about your team (in basic words if you don't have complete footballers), start with a Structured shape and work your way up.

In FM19, things are a lot different though since shape has been dropped.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah to add to the team shape thing, on FM18 I had great success using O-zil's Barcelona 433 with Real Sociedad, but on Flexible as although my team were technical and athletic enough, they just weren't quite mentally up there with the Barcelona team he'd assembled. Ended up winning the league using a version with a striker and IF-At on the left, and the cup (and coming 2nd in the league) using Oyarzabal in the Messi SS role. 

Can also be a positive in that it spaces the players out a little bit so you don't just end up camping on the edge of the box (although that still happened)

Edited by zlatanera

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5 hours ago, howard moon said:

Can you explain this a bit more please @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!? If you moved from fluid up to very fluid, or down to flexible or structured, what would happen? (Assuming everything else was unchanged)


This is a very good question. I'll write a proper answer over the weekend, if that's OK as it basically could be a thread of it's own and my opinions on this have developed over the course of this thread. Thanks! :thup:

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Well @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! once again.... you have proven yourself to be a bloody genius.

I have just read through your Cruyff inspired 3-4-3 thread and boy has it whet my appitite. I am very tempted to start a game trying to implement those ideals with Salford City, to see if I can build a culture through the leagues and develop players to sell for a profit and re-invest. I just looked at my Man United save that I started after being inspiried by this thread and I realised that I was getting it all wrong. Having finished the season with a treble (EPL, FA Cup and CL) I went out and signed Harry Kane (first time ever in FM) as he was a much better option as a DLF/CF than Lukaku (who will be sold). I also signed De Ligt, a couple of promising regens and picked up Arthur and Xadas in the winter window. Looks great on paper and I have a feeling that I could get a clean sweep next season (and probably an unbeaten one).

However in buying the players I have done, I have abandoned the idea behind developing my own and just played the game with my heart. I cannot seem to remove myself from Manchester United as a fan, which means I buy players to fill gaps that I wish the club would potentially buy in real life. So my best bet to develop a system and squad of my own is to start low or in another league where I will have the challenge of winning the CL.

I might just keep the United save on the side so I can see some of these players develop...

1187272378_DavidWard.thumb.jpg.ae76ff7239c84b5704b87b68d6fab214.jpg

8223616_JosefEckmann.thumb.jpg.d95700f4538c38dec7e7bdc838657ba4.jpg

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4 hours ago, Garrlor said:

Well @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! once again.... you have proven yourself to be a bloody genius.

I have just read through your Cruyff inspired 3-4-3 thread and boy has it whet my appitite. I am very tempted to start a game trying to implement those ideals with Salford City, to see if I can build a culture through the leagues and develop players to sell for a profit and re-invest. I just looked at my Man United save that I started after being inspiried by this thread and I realised that I was getting it all wrong. Having finished the season with a treble (EPL, FA Cup and CL) I went out and signed Harry Kane (first time ever in FM) as he was a much better option as a DLF/CF than Lukaku (who will be sold). I also signed De Ligt, a couple of promising regens and picked up Arthur and Xadas in the winter window. Looks great on paper and I have a feeling that I could get a clean sweep next season (and probably an unbeaten one).

However in buying the players I have done, I have abandoned the idea behind developing my own and just played the game with my heart. I cannot seem to remove myself from Manchester United as a fan, which means I buy players to fill gaps that I wish the club would potentially buy in real life. So my best bet to develop a system and squad of my own is to start low or in another league where I will have the challenge of winning the CL.

I might just keep the United save on the side so I can see some of these players develop...

1187272378_DavidWard.thumb.jpg.ae76ff7239c84b5704b87b68d6fab214.jpg

8223616_JosefEckmann.thumb.jpg.d95700f4538c38dec7e7bdc838657ba4.jpg


:thup: Thank you for your kind words. Glad to be of service.

Why don't you try the structured control approach at Salford?

The 3-4-3 diamond is an advanced system and you very much need the right players to pull it off. Structured control is more of a simple, organised, positive possession approach which is designed for a much more basic level.

Could be anything possession friendly such as a 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, Diamond or something with a back 3 so something must fit.

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16 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Sorry for the delay in responding to this. As mentioned, it's an excellent question and probably justifies a thread in it's own right so I wanted to do it justice. Life's gotten in the way the past few weeks, but I finally have a coffee and a free afternoon :)

My thinking on team shape has evolved through the various saves and threads I've experimented with.

In summary, the initial breakthrough was combining Very Fluid to give intelligent, hard working, technical players freedom to make decisions but also bring them together to play as a unit. For example, please see:

Johan Cruyff's 3-4-3

FpQ6aot.png


Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2

HkaQs8d.png


..and even the simple Dutch style 4-3-3

PYXPjX9.png


During this time I'd essentially identified that Very Fluid caused players to prioritise the Team Mentality over their individual Duty. This is why the early shapes all used Standard team mentality, in order to keep the team balanced, rather than the Control, Attack and Overload you see me using regularly further down the line.

The next breakthrough was identifying that I could balance increased Team Mentality with reduced individual Duties.

This originated from the Guardiola's 4-3-3 thread, playing a Control team mentality but with only two in Attack.


YCnPYY7.png


The concept was then smashed home in the Bielsa thread experimenting with Overload balanced entirely by using only Defend and Support roles.


s6bWNKE.png


DmCJyQh.png


Anyone notice anything similar in the last shot? ;) Perhaps suitably for a thread about Bielsa, this one never attracted the interest of the others - perhaps because I didn't really finish it - but was the most influential on the style I play now.

In quite a plot twist, given the ongoing narrative on team shape, thinking carefully about the individual Duty frees you from needing to use Very Fluid to create compactness.

For example, a fairly disappointing crop in Benfica B have been set up to play in a Structured, Control 4-3-3.


S1nwcty.png


They'd had 1-2 years in the under 19s so starting to develop reasonably well technically and I want to maintain the style of pressing and possession at that level, but Control rather than Overload meant it was at a more manageable tempo and Structured meant they had less freedom to deviate from the basic plan.

They recorded very high possession figures, higher than the first team in fact, and won the league.


1BRIoiE.png


Despite the Structured shape, the compactness can still be seen looking under the hood at the individual mentalities themselves.
 


      11
11          11
   11 11 11

11  8    8  11
      8


As you can see we're already nice and compact. It'd simply be a case of increasing to a more fluid shape when the players decision making is ready for it.

This could easily be any possession-friendly shape and I'd be interested to give it a spin somewhere else.

Thanks for giving such a detailed response. 

Map, if I’m understanding rightly, you’re saying there are two ways to create compactness:

- very fluid shape (which gives more scope for using attacking roles, especially with a balanced mentality)

- using mostly (or exclusively) defend and support roles)?

So the main difference with fluidity would be the amount of creative freedom you want to give your players?

I’m guessing that the two approaches give different ‘styles’ of football? If this is the case, what would you say were the noticeable differences?

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, howard moon said:

Thanks for giving such a detailed response. 

Map, if I’m understanding rightly, you’re saying there are two ways to create compactness:

- very fluid shape (which gives more scope for using attacking roles, especially with a balanced mentality)

- using mostly (or exclusively) defend and support roles)?

So the main difference with fluidity would be the amount of creative freedom you want to give your players?

I’m guessing that the two approaches give different ‘styles’ of football? If this is the case, what would you say were the noticeable differences?


Precisely. To illustrate the point we can look at the mentality structure of the 4-3-3 in a Structured shape in comparison to Very Fluid.


S1nwcty.png


As already stated, the mentality structure is:


 

      11
11          11
   11 11 11
11  8    8  11
      8

 

Shifting shape to Very Fluid naturally:

  1. Brings the mentality of the wide players together so Overlap TI is no longer necessary
  2. Increases the playmaker mentality above neutral meaning we can use a Defend duty.

Leaving us with the following mentality structure:

 

      10
12          12
   12 11 12

12  11  11  12

      11


As you can see, very similar. The centre backs and goalkeeper become marginally more expansive which makes the set up marginally more compact, but really the mentality structure is very similar.

The noticeable difference is that the Very Fluid shape gives considerably more creative freedom. You can see this clearly in the match engine through the variety and unpredictability of play.

The Structured shape is much more disciplined. I actually observe noticeably higher possession, perhaps due to taking less risks, and more emphasis on the playmaker in typical play with the Deeplying Playmaker receiving a lot more of the ball. I'd suggest that if you try this with a lower-quality side you'd still want to invest in your playmaker.

I'm reluctant to say "mostly/exclusively defence or support roles" across the board, but it does seem to work with Team Mentalities of Control and above. You might want to add one/two attack roles depending on your team and if you observe a lack of penetration but I've not had that issue.

Conversely, playing a Defensive or Counter system I'd be inclined to use more Attack duties - again to balance. In terms of a numerical value, I have a personal preference for having most of my team in the 11-14 range.

Finally - you can also add Team Instructions as a way to create compactness.

  1. Exploit the Middle increases the mentality of DC(C/D/S), DM(D/S) and MC(D) allowing you to bring them closer to your midfield unit.
  2. Structured shapes mean mentalities increase as you go up the field, reducing compactness, but Look for Overlap increases DR/L mentality and reduces MR/L and AMR/L mentality which tightens up the flanks again.
Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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fantastic once and again..

how are your fullbacks performing in the Structured system? when im using Overlap with Exploit the middle, they dont overlap. but when removing exploit the middle, they do.

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On 06/07/2019 at 15:30, axelmuller said:

fantastic once and again..

how are your fullbacks performing in the Structured system? when im using Overlap with Exploit the middle, they dont overlap. but when removing exploit the middle, they do.


Difficult to compare, because I use that system with significantly lower quality players but I've never noticed any identifiable difference as far as wingbacks are concerned. 

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On 06/07/2019 at 01:43, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


:thup: Thank you for your kind words. Glad to be of service.

Why don't you try the structured control approach at Salford? 

The 3-4-3 diamond is an advanced system and you very much need the right players to pull it off. Structured control is more of a simple, organised, positive possession approach which is designed for a much more basic level.

Could be anything possession friendly such as a 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, Diamond or something with a back 3 so something must fit.

Hey, genius needs to be recognised. The best part of your threads is that you really understand the match engine and what SI are trying to get at with the various instructions that are in the game. Taking "Exploit the Middle" as an example, most people would look at it and think that you concentrate all of your play through the middle of the pitch most of the time. As you have said, the reality is that it bumps up the mentality of everyone playing in the middle, encouraging more risk taking/forward runs etc etc. Simple, easy to understand explainations.

As for Salford, I was already considering some of the issues that I might encounter. Long balls over the top against slow centre halves, so you have to drop the DL a little. One of the things I considered for the 3-4-3 is picking up a couple of fast full backs to play the outer 2 CD posistions, with a reliable rock in the middle to mop up the headers. That won't help the relative lack of off the ball movement, though it will be good for the level, it is not a tactic that I can potentially keep using throughout the save as I will need a couple of seasons at each level to build the right players.

However, Evolution not Revolution. I already have the players that I could pull off the 4-3-3 Structured, and it is not that much of a departure from my Man United tactic. I think strangling possesion at this level will be very effective. Relatively speaking the players that I have available are of a much higher quality than 80% of the league so it will be interesting to see how they will fare. I romped the league in a Salford save playing a bog standard 4-4-2 with wingers and a target man / poacher combo. Easy to do, but I feel like building a dynasty and total football philosphy. Getting heavy investment in the youth set up is the way forward. Maybe even get my payers playing a 3-4-3 diamond when I have the youth prospects coming through, ready to transistion to the first team by the time I get to League 1 / Championship.

Now my head hurts...

PS, I hope that you dont mind me taking your Benfica thread off in a different direction. I just love your vision of football and wish that Man United would actually implement something like this in real life :(

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Euro 2024 Update


Hope you're all enjoying the weekend. Apologies for the radio silence on the updates lately, life's been hectic again. Likely to be hectic at for the next few weeks but I have managed to get through the Euro 2024 championship and it does leave us at a fairly major crossroads.

At this point, the Portugal squad is beyond a 'golden generation'. Not only are we reigning world champions but the squad consists of 3-in-a-row Champions League winners, Benfica plus multiple world class players from around Europe including Bernardo Silva, Xadas, Gonçalo Guedes and Andre Silva with many first team players from top clubs around Europe unable to make the squad.

Obviously, with a squad like this winning is no longer simply expected, it's demanded. This said, it remains an interesting challenge to maximise the talents available and the European Championship remains the final trophy to win in this save.


Tactics

In 2022, we won the World Cup playing a 4-3-3 with the same high-intensity, high tempo style we've used with Benfica to dominate Europe.


LO5gQzv.png


The majority of the squad remains together, with João Felix and Umaro Embalo establishing themselves as key players. João Felix in particular has established himself as - possibly - the best player in Europe playing behind the striker in a dominant 4-2-3-1, however at national level this would have world-class trio João Felix, Bernardo Silva and Xadas competing for one position, or playing out of position.

During the build up to the World Cup, we settled on a 4-3-3 playing two of João Felix, Xadas and Bernardo Silva with Afonso Sousa as understudy playing in Guardiola-inspired 'Free 8' roles either side of Dantas.


SaLUY7A.png


Free 8 role:


HSo3qCr.png


We consistently played at an exceptionally high level, qualifying easily, however the system did need some work. The issue observed was the high tempo meant that the ball ping-ponged forward very quickly, often reaching attacking positions before the free-8s had moved into attacking positions, leaving Andre Silva isolated and over-relying on wing play.

Switching to a Control mentality achieved the desired effect of using more controlled build-up play to allow players to get into position.

The final pre-Championship change was actually using Bernardo Silva first as a False 9 and then as an Attacking Midfield (Support) in a strikerless system, which allowed all 3 superstars on the field, in their best positions, interlinking and playing some beautiful football.


hpWEbhv.png
 

The only downside was coming up with this after submitting my squad, and if I'd anticipated this switch I'd have taken Bernardo Sousa (after a breakthrough season at Sporting) in the place of Goncalo Oliveira, but not a big issue.


Squad


4026yDw.png


Our starting team now consists of two natural defenders, two natural wide players and 6 natural midfield players, with a clear focus on technical, intelligent players and an ingrained style of play.

Most of this squad is still early to mid-20s so this team is likely to be together for the foreseeable future.


Group Stages


L5uFzLC.png


gzyQl32.png


Fb7SLyo.png
 

Knockouts


Fp023I3.png


xVob3II.png


Final


ChNkCkl.png


I've not got a huge amount to say about this one. It's a very simple system, slightly adapted from one we've seen quite a few times before.

The attacking shape is a 2-3-5 involving inverted wingbacks solidifying midfield and two Guardiola-inspired "Free 8s" flanking another playmaker, rather than the usual Centre Forward.


vNV2DzL.png

 

Bernardo Silva is crucially asked to Hold Up Play whilst the onrushing midfield swarm past him, and are extremely difficult for the AI to pickup. This set up repeats itself extremely regularly and - as you can see from our results - Xadas and João Felix are contributing a lot.


1JS1iUY.png


Essentially we've now reached a point where we've got a very talented group who have been playing together for a long time and can play a number of different systems. Looking at the squad screenshot you can see that overall comparisons for ability are less friendly when compared with the best of the best, but the team is out there on their own as an overall unit.


The Crossroads

With 3 consecutive Champions Leagues, a World Cup and a European Championship this group of players has achieved everything it can, and feels a natural time to disperse and take on the biggest and best leagues of Europe.

Europe's elite are circling with some mega-bids and we're reaching the point where it's the right time for a new challenge.


S7mb6Tf.png


Quite a few major clubs around Europe are going to be in major rebuild having failed to replace major stars, so far and now forced by age.

In Spain, Real Madrid won the league very comfortably under Allegri who just moved to Man City and replaced by Mancini but still have gaps, particularly in attack. Simeone's Atleti look like they'll run Real Madrid close next season. Whilst Barcelona have an almost mid-table quality team and require major, major rebuild.

In Italy, Inter have finally broken the dominance of Pep Guardiola's Juventus who have a weaker side than usual.

Bayern are back on top after Dortmund took the previous title and have one of the strongest squads in Europe.

Chelsea won the Premier League under Marcelino, and the Premier League is the most competitive by a mile. Arsenal are back in the mix and the Champions League under Ralph Hasenhuttl. Mourinho's Man Utd and Luis Enrique's (now Allegri) Man City right in the mix.

There seems to be a whole host of potential suitors for the stars of my time, but nothing jumping out as to a new challenge for me.

At this moment, I'm leaning strongest toward staying with Benfica and overseeing the transition as this generation disperses around Europe and managing the transition whilst maintaining the club status and re-kindling the academy. I'm kinda thinking out loud so I'll think more and make the call shortly.

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I hope next step is Ö-zil to the Barcelona!

on the side note, what kind of players did you use with the B Team in the Structured Control system. been using it with semi good success at Cambridge United.

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Well if the Premier League seems the most interesting, as one of the most successful managers in the world why not see if you can do it on a cold night in Stoke, every week?

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Would definitely like you to give the premier league a crack. Would be interested to see how you would manage your playing and development philosophies whilst satisfying ambitious owners!

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