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Uncle_Sam

Brazil 2006 - Inspiration

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Probably the first thing everyone points out about the 4-4-2 Box is, “how do you defend the wide areas”?

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In reality, this is actually one of the strong parts of the formation. When the ball goes out wide to a DR/DL or even an MR/ML, then Kaka and Ronaldinho would be the first defender:

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Here you see the numerical superiority in the central midfield functioning properly. Ronaldinho has stepped out to pressure the DR, who has the ball. Ronaldo is marking the DC R, Roberto Carlos marks the M R. Ze Roberto has stepped up to mark the diagonal to the MCR. Kaka is taking away the longer option of the MCL. Looking way ahead, Juan is marking STR while the STL is marked by the right back, Cafu. You might also notice Lucio and Emerson roaming free, offering cover. This setup basically begs them to play a long ball to the wide side of the field, which is hopeful and difficult.

Another thing you might notice is how the players have organized into a diamond shape in the back. This is an important principle in Parreira's system. Even with the ball, he expected the team to organize this way:

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Here you see Roberto Carlos has advanced with the ball. Juan has stepped up to support, while Lucio slides over for cover. Emerson positions himself at the top of the diamond, and Cafu provides defensive width. In the Parreira system, Cafu and Roberto Carlos (the fullbacks) were meant to operate much like a seesaw. When one presses forward, the other stays back. While there is nothing revolutionary or even uncommon about this principle, it is important to remember because the inclination in FM would be to set the fullbacks to most aggressive role and duty possible.

So that’s how it was supposed to work in real life. In FM? Well in my experience in past versions of FM it’s near impossible to replicate that defensive organization. There are simply instructions that you can give to real players that you can to their digital counterparts. The big dilemma is getting the MCs to properly close down the width. The obvious solution is to simply raise their closing down. However in past versions of FM that causes both of the MCs to rush off to pressure the same attacker, often in the middle, and leave gaps, so that has to be considered. I do have some ideas, we’ll just have to see how they work. Everyone knows Cafu and Roberto Carlos as the attacking fullbacks they were, always bombing forward. While this is true, they still had roles to play within the system. The formation in FM will encourage to attack without having to set an overly aggressive role and duty. They also were aggressive going forward not because of the roles they were given, but because of the players that they were. So when implementing this system in FM, the fullback position should be filled with players who have attributes and traits them make them get forward rather than trying to force it with instructions.

So obviously there are challenges. In the next post I might look at some potential variations employed by Parreira in his time as Brazil's manager.

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@Uncle_Sam  I know you asked about this in the original Challenges thread, but the amount of time and effort you are putting into this write up deserves it's own thread.  Keep it up :thup:.

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Hi, brazilian here (I'm betting Uncle Sam isn't...)

The 2006 4-2-2-2 is, imo, not much different than the 4-2-2-2 that was pretty usual around brazilian clubs in the 90s and 00s.

To me, they were always hard to implement on FM because, as the name says, there should be 4 equally spaced stratas. If you used the AM strata, it would be top heavy and almost a 4-2-4. If you used the CM strata, the CMs wouldn't attack like they should, which would be like trequartistas, but with a little more defensive help.

The first thing that I thought when I understood what the Mezzala role was was using it for the 4-2-2-2. And the Segundo Volante (which is a brazilian name) fits perfectly the supporting DM. To me, the formation that you're using recreated perfectly the brazilian 4-2-2-2.

Now, there's a reason that it simply vanished from existence, which for me is defending against wingers. And it's kind of paradox because, if your fullbacks attack like they should, you're exposed. If they don't, your attack is too predictable.

Of course the success of the formation rested on the DMs covering for the FBs and one full back attacking less if the other was too high.

Edited by thizaum
Typos

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5 hours ago, thizaum said:

Hi, brazilian here (I'm betting Uncle Sam isn't...)

The 2006 4-2-2-2 is, imo, not much different than the 4-2-2-2 that was pretty usual around brazilian clubs in the 90s and 00s.

To me, they were always hard to implement on FM because, as the name says, there should be 4 equally spaced stratas. If you used the AM strata, it would be top heavy and almost a 4-2-4. If you used the CM strata, the CMs wouldn't attack like they should, which would be like trequartistas, but with a little more defensive help.

The first thing that I thought when I understood what the Mezzala role was was using it for the 4-2-2-2. And the Segundo Volante (which is a brazilian name) fits perfectly the supporting DM. To me, the formation that you're using recreated perfectly the brazilian 4-2-2-2.

Now, there's a reason that it simply vanished from existence, which for me is defending against wingers. And it's kind of paradox because, if your fullbacks attack like they should, you're exposed. If they don't, your attack is too predictable.

Of course the success of the formation rested on the DMs covering for the FBs and one full back attacking less if the other was too high.

I am NOT Brazilian, no. I guess I could have given a little more information on my history with the Brazilian interpretation of the 4-4-2. My fascination really goes back to 1994 when I was in California when Brazil beat the USA in the World Cup. Then when I was a youth player my team was at the Dallas Cup a year or two later and I saw EC Vitoria playing (Yes, I'm old). They won the elite age group and I remember trying to figure out what they were doing, formation-wise. I tried to talk with one of the people who travelled with the team but I obviously don't speak Portuguese and his english wasn't great, and he seemed to be sort of confused by the question, like he didn't understand how I didn't already know the basics. When I started getting into coaching I started studying stuff about how Brazil and, yes, other Brazilian teams played. I have some old VHS tapes of Corinthians and Palmeiras in the early 90s, Santos in the early 2000's, and of course Brazil's 06 World Cup matches. And I've of course got some books and coaching DVDs. I've dusted them off for this project, as I changed my tactical approach in coaching when the USSF released their curriculum. 

And yes, the 4-2-2-2 was the standard formation for Brazilian clubs. Similar to how the 4-4-2 was in England or the 4-3-3 in Holland. However, Parreira's implementation with the players he called in for the 2006 World Cup is the inspiration for this series. I do plan on looking at different variations. As I'm sure you know being Brazilian the box midfield can take many different forms depending on who you have available. Sometimes teams will take off a Volante and throw a third "Meia" on the pitch, or they'll go with one meia and 3 volantes. One interpretation of the tactic Brazil used in 1994 is a 4-1-3-2 of sorts, with the "Segundo Volanta" Dunga sitting between the two attacking midfielders Rai and Zinho. 

And your are correct that defending wingers is a challenge for the 4-2-2-2, especially in FM. In preliminary experimentation I feel like the 2 Mezzalas are combining with the Strikers well. They find the spaces and unbalance the defense well. I'm optimistic and I think this will be fun. What I've just about decided to do is to take over EC Vitoria in my current save and roll with them.

Edited by Uncle_Sam

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Ronaldo and Adriano WERE CFs. They weren't DLFs so I would change the role of the strikers. I do like the role of Mezzala for both Ronaldinho Gaucho and Kaka. Both men tended to stay narrow but drifted wide at times to help Roberto Carlos and Cafu out on the wings

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Hey Uncle Sam, it’s very cool too see someone taking so much interest in this.

First of all, depending on the data file that you use, Vitória is a wonderful team to manage as they’ve got a lot of youth prospects. Just be careful (if you’ve never managed in Brazil) with the schedule. It’s unforgiving.

About the box midfielder variations, I would NOT consider the 4-1-3-2 one. Actually, this is the regular 4-2-2-2, because the segundo volante would arrive late through the center, with the “meias” on each side. On defence a 4-2-2-2, on attack a 2-1-5-2.

Now, the 3 volantes were a thing. That was when one team was “afraid” of the other. So the meia would be centralised and there would be 2 segundo volantes. In reality, a 4-1-2-1-2.

I myself root for Sao Paulo, but for the best examples of 4-2-2-2 that I,ve seen, I’d recommend Wanderley Luxemburgo’s Palmeiras in the first half of 90’s. They were know as the “Era Parmalat”, because of the sponsor. Lots of familiar faces there.

Now, I wanna mention the striker duo, as I think it was one of the reasons 06 was a failure. This formation needs a “creator-scorer” partnership. One needs to move a lot and create (Bebeto) while the other is more focused at goal scoring (Romario). That’s why Romario+Ronaldo and Ronaldo+Adriano were not good combinations. Edmundo and Robinho would have been better options during their prime (imo).

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11 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Ronaldo and Adriano WERE CFs. They weren't DLFs so I would change the role of the strikers. I do like the role of Mezzala for both Ronaldinho Gaucho and Kaka. Both men tended to stay narrow but drifted wide at times to help Roberto Carlos and Cafu out on the wings

As Herne stated in the original thread - it's about inspiration, not about sticking to every single role as it is in real world. 
That way, it would be very hard or even impossible to create a well-performing system that way.

I think a DLF(s) is a good approximation of the CF(s) - you add a "move into channels" PI and it's there.

 

Uncle Sam, I've read your threads from 2010 or so, great work and in-depth knowledge. I'll follow this one as well.
 

Edited by Guest

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12 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Ronaldo and Adriano WERE CFs. They weren't DLFs so I would change the role of the strikers. I do like the role of Mezzala for both Ronaldinho Gaucho and Kaka. Both men tended to stay narrow but drifted wide at times to help Roberto Carlos and Cafu out on the wings

Yes, that screenshot is a very early concept. I haven't dived into the tactic just yet. The thought behind the two DLFs was really just an attempt to reduce the gap between the MCs and the STCs. This will be a challenge because neither Ronaldo or Adrian was the type of striker who played "beneath" another one. Usually that's the case even in the Brazilian 4-4-2, with an advanced striker who plays in the middle while a second striker roams about beneath them. But with this tactic I need to try and get the front four combining with each other the buildup and the final third so the front pair's mentality needs to be lower.

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1 hour ago, thizaum said:

Hey Uncle Sam, it’s very cool too see someone taking so much interest in this.

First of all, depending on the data file that you use, Vitória is a wonderful team to manage as they’ve got a lot of youth prospects. Just be careful (if you’ve never managed in Brazil) with the schedule. It’s unforgiving.

About the box midfielder variations, I would NOT consider the 4-1-3-2 one. Actually, this is the regular 4-2-2-2, because the segundo volante would arrive late through the center, with the “meias” on each side. On defence a 4-2-2-2, on attack a 2-1-5-2.

Now, the 3 volantes were a thing. That was when one team was “afraid” of the other. So the meia would be centralised and there would be 2 segundo volantes. In reality, a 4-1-2-1-2.

I myself root for Sao Paulo, but for the best examples of 4-2-2-2 that I,ve seen, I’d recommend Wanderley Luxemburgo’s Palmeiras in the first half of 90’s. They were know as the “Era Parmalat”, because of the sponsor. Lots of familiar faces there.

Now, I wanna mention the striker duo, as I think it was one of the reasons 06 was a failure. This formation needs a “creator-scorer” partnership. One needs to move a lot and create (Bebeto) while the other is more focused at goal scoring (Romario). That’s why Romario+Ronaldo and Ronaldo+Adriano were not good combinations. Edmundo and Robinho would have been better options during their prime (imo).

Yea, since that tournament in Dallas I've always kind of had a soft spot for Vitoria. It also helps that after perusing the Brasileirao squads, they have the fewest out-and-out wingers so they're probably the best fit.

And I definitely agree about the basic setup being a 4-2-2-2. I've had discussions with people before who want to mischaracterize a Brazilian teams formation. I remember someone trying to convince me that the 94 World Cup squad played a flat 4-4-2. I believe that Dunga's Brazil still played a Brazilian 4-4-2, with Luis Fabiano as the main striker and Robinho playing underneath, Kaka and Ramires as the meias, Gilberto Silva as the primeiro volante, Felipe Melo as the segundo volante. As with any other football tactic the aesthetics of the formation will largely depend on the players and the opponent.

Anyway, I do have some videos of Real Madrid under Luxemburgo and his magic square, so I'll certainly tap into his contributions in this project. And speaking of Sao Paulo, Tele Santana's 4-2-2-2 in the early 90s is a pretty good example. I also have some Sao Paulo stuff from 2005 when they run a version of the 3-5-2.

I agree that the strike partnership between Ronaldo and Adriano didn't "flow" well. As I said in the other thread, it's like they were trying to play with two "#9's". Robinho did play as the Segundo Atacante in the 4-1 against Japan, and they even tried Ronaldinho there once. I will at some point work with an Advanced Forward-Deep Lying Forward type combination at some point, but the good thing about FM is you can often get something to work that didn't work in real life.

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56 minutes ago, Uncle_Sam said:

Yea, since that tournament in Dallas I've always kind of had a soft spot for Vitoria. It also helps that after perusing the Brasileirao squads, they have the fewest out-and-out wingers so they're probably the best fit.

And I definitely agree about the basic setup being a 4-2-2-2. I've had discussions with people before who want to mischaracterize a Brazilian teams formation. I remember someone trying to convince me that the 94 World Cup squad played a flat 4-4-2. I believe that Dunga's Brazil still played a Brazilian 4-4-2, with Luis Fabiano as the main striker and Robinho playing underneath, Kaka and Ramires as the meias, Gilberto Silva as the primeiro volante, Felipe Melo as the segundo volante. As with any other football tactic the aesthetics of the formation will largely depend on the players and the opponent.

Anyway, I do have some videos of Real Madrid under Luxemburgo and his magic square, so I'll certainly tap into his contributions in this project. And speaking of Sao Paulo, Tele Santana's 4-2-2-2 in the early 90s is a pretty good example. I also have some Sao Paulo stuff from 2005 when they run a version of the 3-5-2.

I agree that the strike partnership between Ronaldo and Adriano didn't "flow" well. As I said in the other thread, it's like they were trying to play with two "#9's". Robinho did play as the Segundo Atacante in the 4-1 against Japan, and they even tried Ronaldinho there once. I will at some point work with an Advanced Forward-Deep Lying Forward type combination at some point, but the good thing about FM is you can often get something to work that didn't work in real life.

Well, you have your homework done. Congrats! :applause:

I didn't mention Tele Santana's São Paulo because of Cafu and Leonardo (sorry about the elbowing, btw). I was really young at that time, but I was doublechecking the lineups for the Toyota Cups in 92 and 93.

In 92, the midfield was Pintado (1st volante), Cerezo (2nd volante, more of a BWM-s), Raí and Cafu. So basically you had a skilled and young full back as a meia.

In 93, the midfield was Dinho (1st volante), Doriva (2nd volante, almost a RPM), Cerezo (3rd volante, BWM-s) and Leonardo, who again was the skilled full back playing as the meia. This is a good example of the "afraid team" playing 4-3-1-2.

With Palmeiras, you had Zinho, Mazinho (Rafinha's and Thiago's father), Djalminha, Rivaldo. To me they were very well defined "meias".

Side note 1: typically, one meia would be right footed (#10) and the other left footed (#11). Raí + Cafu and Zinho + Rivaldo are examples of exceptions.

Side note 2: imo, the best examples of skilled full backs playing as midfielder were Leonardo and later on Zé Roberto. 

 

 

Correction (and fun fact): 

São Paulo in 92 played a 4-3-3 very similar to Guardiola's. The difference is that the triangle in the midfield was 2DM/1CM, not 1DM/2CM. The whole formation was around Raí having the freedom to create and attack, like FM's trequartista. Palhinha played as False 9, Muller as IF, and Cafu as a very offensive winger. That's actually VERY modern for 1992! I want to rewatch that match someday.

I'm sorry to digress like that, just got way too deep down the rabbit hole. I'll leave a website about the tactics in that game. It's in portuguese, but there are pictures.

https://taticofc.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/sao-paulo-e-campeao-do-mundo-em-1992/

Edited by thizaum

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4 hours ago, thizaum said:

Correction (and fun fact): 

São Paulo in 92 played a 4-3-3 very similar to Guardiola's. The difference is that the triangle in the midfield was 2DM/1CM, not 1DM/2CM. The whole formation was around Raí having the freedom to create and attack, like FM's trequartista. Palhinha played as False 9, Muller as IF, and Cafu as a very offensive winger. That's actually VERY modern for 1992! I want to rewatch that match someday.

I'm sorry to digress like that, just got way too deep down the rabbit hole. I'll leave a website about the tactics in that game. It's in portuguese, but there are pictures.

https://taticofc.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/sao-paulo-e-campeao-do-mundo-em-1992/

No, it's a lot of fun talking about Brazilian tactics. I haven't gone down this road in a long time and it just shows how because of how fluid the movements it can be difficult to determine exactly what shape Brazilian teams played in. It's why they were so difficult to defend against and shows why so many innovations were made just to counter their style of play.

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MATCH 1: v. Santos (Copa Do Brasil Semi Final - Leg 1)

My first match was a high-stakes encounter with one of the top teams in Brazil. Quality-wise, Santos is the superior side. They have much better players than I do. So when looking at the result it is important to take that into account. With that said, let's look at what I started with.

Mentality: Standard (Although I adjusted this during the match)

Shape: Flexible

Below are the positions, duties, and roles, but the players are not the ones I used in the Santos match:

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And the Team Instructions:

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As far as Player Instructions, it was really just some typical stuff I do, like turning the shooting down for everyone. I also set the Mezzals to roam from position. The defensive box I also set to mark tighter while having the MCs,  DR/L, and STCs close down more. The idea is to for the closing down players to force passes to where I have defenders marking tight for interceptions. 

DISCLAIMER: The result might also be a little skewed because I actually played a player I meant to have at MC in the DM position because I was farting around with positioning before the match and I didn't realize it until after. I also had a DM playing MC, but that wasn't as bad because he was also an accomplished MC.

So here is the result:

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A nice win, albeit saved by a missed penalty. As you can tell the run of play was mostly even. Not a bad first rollout given the quality disparity. Let's look a little deeper...

image.thumb.png.10808b9d8d0526c48b41e2a3016567bf.png

This was the overall average position. As you tell, that's pretty close to what we're trying to accomplish. The gap between the STs and the MCs is acceptable. The DMCR is a little close to the DC line, but that might have been at least partially a result of Santos' formation with 3 AMCs. I might think about changing the role from Anchor Man to something that sits a little higher, but for now I'm leaving it. Another possibility would be dropping the back line. The positioning WITH the ball is somewhat disconcerting:

image.thumb.png.54738171c050f30fb30ae61cb471c2f3.png

The DMs and the MCs are way too close together. That's the first thing that stands out to me. Again, I'm avoiding making any hasty changes before I have a larger sample size, but I may need to consider changing the shape to Structured or even Highly Structured. This might also help the MCs get a little closer to the STs. I actually like the positioning of the fullbacks. It shows that they are helping in attack while not neglecting their defensive responsibilities.

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Without the ball again shows the DMR a little too close to the back line. 

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The Heat Map is somewhat encouraging because even though our formation is narrow we did a lot of our attacking out wide. This again is at least somewhat a result of the opponent's formation.

One observational note, as I feared I saw both of MCs closing down the same player. So I'm going to try a fix that I used to use way back when when I played the 4-2-2-2 in FM. I'm going to stagger the closing down between the two midfield lines. I want the Anchor Man (DMR) being more disciplined and holding his position more, so I'm setting him to close down less while MCR in front of him will close down more. To counter that, I'm having the MCL close down less, which means the more aggressive DM, the Segundo Volante (DML) will close down more. It's not exactly how it's supposed to work but... I want to win.

 

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Quick Update: My first 11 was knackered from the midweek game against Santos, so I played my second 11 at home against another Brazilian giant Flamengo. I went ahead and set the shape to highly structured (decided to go extreme so I could see if I had somewhere I needed to go) and the results were very encouraging. Fell behind but managed a 1-1 draw, outshot them 12-8 (5-3 on target) and the positioning was much better. I might set both fullbacks to attack duty just because I felt they needed to get more involved in the attack, but for playing the second team against an opponent who is superior to my first team I'd say progress is being made.

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Quick comments:

At least in my save, Neilton, Yago, Nickson, Juninho and Jose Wellison are all very good player. And although Jose can play fullback, he’s very technical and would be a great playmaker. In your case, VOL.

As I almost always play Fluid, this formation has never worked well for me. I did think about going structured, but it is far from reality with this formation. And the main reasons are the fullbacks, the mezzalas, and the supporting striker (they need to move a lot). Which brings me to...

I’m disappointed with the horizontal average position of the mezzalas. Why aren’t they wider? Did you check their heat map? Maybe force it via PI? Or does it have to do with being in attack duty? What if you could keep the flexible shape with the mezzalas playing wider, 1-2ing with the fullbacks, and with the segundo volante bombing forward through the middle?

Edited by thizaum

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So far, those guys have been my best players. Neilton is even getting some sniffs by the national team coach. But most of the teams I'm playing against have guys of that quality at every position.

Results-wise, the experiment has been going well:

image.thumb.png.d8d6b4d175de72505543a8e9d116bcae.png

My first match in charge was the Copa do Brasil Semi Final First Leg against Santos. Before I arrived they were obviously on a run of bad form.Since I've won 4 of 6 with no losses, and advanced to the final of the Copa do Brasil. This will be a long-term project, as I want to see how the tactic functions when I'm employing at least the same quality of player as my opponent. But right now, I don't have that.

As for how it plays, well not as I would have hoped. As you saw, the MCs are not getting as wide I would like according to the heat map. However, I will say that in-match during the highlights they do combine well with the front 2. They also seem to attack in the half spaces in the highlights so I'm trying not to judge everything based on the heat maps. I'm sure it's kind of like a yo-yo, they make a move out, then snap right back into position. When it comes to player instructions, they are naturally instructed to roam from position and move into channels, however I am going to start training my MC players with the "Moves Into Channels" player trait to see if that helps. I might try reducing their duty to Support just to see if that causes them to get wider, the issue there will be how far they are from the STs.

The fullbacks do well getting forward, I have them on support duty right now but I rarely see them not getting forward. I'm also obviously training my fullbacks with always get forward. I also have no issues with the Segundo Volante. He's often right in the middle of the attack, helping to unbalance the defense,

I did set the overall team mentality back to Standard so I could get more of a sample size and that does seem to help how the tactic flows. 

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Fantastic write up Uncle Sam! Good to see you knocked out Santos :cool: I remember you was doing this over Susie/Sortitoutsi few years ago.

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Here is what I mean by the heat map not being entirely reliable for this tactic. Below are a couple of screenshots from the 2D view of a match against Palmeiras;

image.thumb.png.8dc1400e75a4fdc84cc6749bfd6d3fa1.png

Luan is the MCR, and he has the ball occupying the half space, while the MCL is in the half space on the other side. 

image.thumb.png.44a7ff55ca349324e225841d187fb6b3.png

And above we see the DL Bryan with the ball, and the MCL has slid over with the two DMS holding the middle and the MCR is sitting wider. 

Below is a screenshot of a match against Santos:

image.thumb.png.49c0067c36082db60bea90a065d2eac7.png

Here we again see the MCs sitting wider than the DMs. Obviously, there are other positional issues to nitpick, but some of those will probably be impossible overcome. The point is that although the heat map and average positions maker it appear that the MCs are receiving their mail in the middle of the pitch, in-match observation tells a bit of a different story.

I feel like I'm going to need at least one full season of employing this tactic to fine tune it. I need to also have at least one offseason of bringing players and generally improving the squad. I feel like it is passing the test of getting results against superior competition, but now I kind of need to know how it will fair when we have a strong team.

As kind of a side note, Brazilian clubs have a CRAP TON of players! Right now I have 34 players in the first team, 25 players in the reserves, 26 players in the U20s, and another 20 guys out on loan! That's 105 players. At least half of those guys are dead weight. I'm going to half a fire sale in the offseason, an I'm already looking for prospects to help improve the team.

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2 hours ago, Uncle_Sam said:

Here is what I mean by the heat map not being entirely reliable for this tactic. Below are a couple of screenshots from the 2D view of a match against Palmeiras;

image.thumb.png.8dc1400e75a4fdc84cc6749bfd6d3fa1.png

Luan is the MCR, and he has the ball occupying the half space, while the MCL is in the half space on the other side. 

image.thumb.png.44a7ff55ca349324e225841d187fb6b3.png

And above we see the DL Bryan with the ball, and the MCL has slid over with the two DMS holding the middle and the MCR is sitting wider. 

Below is a screenshot of a match against Santos:

image.thumb.png.49c0067c36082db60bea90a065d2eac7.png

Here we again see the MCs sitting wider than the DMs. Obviously, there are other positional issues to nitpick, but some of those will probably be impossible overcome. The point is that although the heat map and average positions maker it appear that the MCs are receiving their mail in the middle of the pitch, in-match observation tells a bit of a different story.

I feel like I'm going to need at least one full season of employing this tactic to fine tune it. I need to also have at least one offseason of bringing players and generally improving the squad. I feel like it is passing the test of getting results against superior competition, but now I kind of need to know how it will fair when we have a strong team.

As kind of a side note, Brazilian clubs have a CRAP TON of players! Right now I have 34 players in the first team, 25 players in the reserves, 26 players in the U20s, and another 20 guys out on loan! That's 105 players. At least half of those guys are dead weight. I'm going to half a fire sale in the offseason, an I'm already looking for prospects to help improve the team.

Yeah...it is what it is in SA. Most of those players are TPO slaves and will prolly never see the light of day for their parent team. You can shift them on at the end of the season. I tend to do a crazed clearout at the end of the year at MOST of my clubs because of that. A LOT of players get sold on because they're just not good enough

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7 hours ago, Uncle_Sam said:

The point is that although the heat map and average positions maker it appear that the MCs are receiving their mail in the middle of the pitch, in-match observation tells a bit of a different story.

Yeah, you're right. It might be that when the attack is thru one side, the mezzala on this side moves to this side and the other one stays central. I would still prefer more penetration from the segundo volante (at least in relation to the anchorman). Maybe play around with the duties for VOL, WBs and MEZs?

 

7 hours ago, Uncle_Sam said:

As kind of a side note, Brazilian clubs have a CRAP TON of players! Right now I have 34 players in the first team, 25 players in the reserves, 26 players in the U20s, and another 20 guys out on loan! That's 105 players. At least half of those guys are dead weight. I'm going to half a fire sale in the offseason, an I'm already looking for prospects to help improve the team.

Yes, you can end up loaning a bunch of them, offering for zero + future incentives or waiting for contract to end. If you compare with real life, in FM it's too easy to separate "dead weight" from future starters.

Two quick examples:

- Kaka was the reserve for a guy called Harrison in Sao Paulo's U20 in 2001. He's only played for low divisions clubs ever since, stopped playing with 31 yo and is now a coach in the US.

- remember when Bojan Krkic had more potential than Messi? 

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3 hours ago, thizaum said:

Yeah, you're right. It might be that when the attack is thru one side, the mezzala on this side moves to this side and the other one stays central. I would still prefer more penetration from the segundo volante (at least in relation to the anchorman). Maybe play around with the duties for VOL, WBs and MEZs?

 

Yes, you can end up loaning a bunch of them, offering for zero + future incentives or waiting for contract to end. If you compare with real life, in FM it's too easy to separate "dead weight" from future starters.

Two quick examples:

- Kaka was the reserve for a guy called Harrison in Sao Paulo's U20 in 2001. He's only played for low divisions clubs ever since, stopped playing with 31 yo and is now a coach in the US.

- remember when Bojan Krkic had more potential than Messi? 

I am considering playing with the roles. If I wasn't trying to manifest my inspiration for this thread (2006 World Cup), I would avoid having players side-by-side with the same role. I'd probably do something like this;

DR - Wingback Attack

DCR - Central Defender Cover

DCL - Central Defender Cover

DL - Wingback Support

DMR - Anchor Man (or Defensive Midfielder...) Defend

DML - Segundo Volanta Support

MCR - Mezzala Support

MCL - Mezzala Attack

STCR - Deep Lying Forward Support

STCL - Advanced Forward (or Target Man) Attack

 

That would probably provide better balance but I really want to try and get it to work with two "#10s" like Ronaldinho and Kaka. I'm also kind of avoiding making any rash decisions.

 

I did read an article about Harison a year or two ago. He was in Atlanta working as a teacher and youth coach IIRC.

Edited by Uncle_Sam

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So I was very excited to get a message today from someone who I would call one of my FM tactical theft victims, Cleon. Probably the best to show how Cleon thinks on a whole different level than me in FM tactics is in visual form:

image.thumb.png.5c4b70ddd3ad4e664e4cbce130fe1257.png

You guys have no idea how accurate that image is. Anyway, when I first started using the 4-2-2-2 in FM (my goodness, it's probably been 10-12 years ago, How old are we?), Cleon was a guy who I bounced a lot of stuff off of. Well, ok usually what would happen is that he would help me fix what was going wrong. In fact, my memory is a bit hazy but I believe that my closing down solution for the midfield posted in this thread was something that he gave me way back when.

Anyway, I admittedly have a tab open in my browser to his blog series on the 4-4-2 Box Midfield for what I believe was FM 16. I have been referencing it, looking for parallels in his experience while developing the tactic and my own. So for anyone interested in this project you may want to read up on his series:

Part 1 - https://teaandbusquets.com/art-of-the-brazilian-box-4-2-2-2

Part 2 - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-part-two

Part 3 - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-part-three

Final Chapter - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-final-chapter

A great read and even though I haven't used many of his adjustments it's still relevant reading as it helps give a wider perspective for someone using this formation in FM. You can never have too much data when trying to doing something like this.

He did also mention that he's worked on a 4-2-2-2 in FM18 with 2 Segundo Volantes at DM, a Mezzala and a Carrilero at MC. No lie, I actually thought about eventually trying two Segundo Volantes. My theory was that if the SV's both were set to push forward it would "force" the MCs to fill the space out wider. I was going to wait until the squad was a little better before I gave it a go because I kind of have this locked-in philosophy of keeping 3 players on Defend/Cover duty at all times and was tentative about coming off of it until the quality of my squad was at least on par with the top half of my competition. 

As for the MCs, his concept also lines up with something I had planned (but his idea is better, of course). After I felt like I got this tactic to the point where I couldn't really expect to improve it anymore, I want to build a 4-2-2-2 designed simply to maximize success rather than fulfill an "inspiration" that would function something like this:

image.thumb.png.aacc899b0b7031d889bde81dfc15679e.png

You'd have one forward playing as a Target Man (11-Ronaldo) with a second forward playing underneath (probably as a deep lying forward to start). One of the MCs would be more attacking (10-Ronaldinho), getting forward and exploring the half spaces. The fullback on his side (6-R. Carlos) would be given support duty to allow the MC more space to roam. The other MC would be more of a supporting player, linking to the front (8-Kaka). I had planned on him being a Mezzala - Support, but the Carrilero makes MUCH more sense. The fullback on that side would be bombing forward, probably Wingback-Attack or even Complete Wingback-Attack. Anyway, that's just a very early concept of where I would start building a 4-2-2-2 if I weren't working on what I'm doing.

Edited by Uncle_Sam

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Quick Update: we won the Copa do Brasil after two 1-0 wins over Palmeiras. The matches weren't particularly helpful for this project due to the formation that they employed. This is what they came at me with:

image.thumb.png.ad8edf2e6e64d72e66ba73f9e0a5a7da.png

I mean... come on. Given how aggressive they were obviously going to be I set both of my fullbacks to Fullback-Defend, with low closing down and tight marking, specifically marking the striker on their side. This is the only method I've found to combat the 3 center striker tactic. It worked, in both legs they could only muster 4 shots in each leg. But, it's hard to use the data for creating this tactic. Good news is I got like $16.5M for winning the cup and I'm automatically qualified now for the Copa Libertadores, which was not going to happen through league play. Hopefully that extra money and the prospect of continental competition will help me lure some players in during the offseason.

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4 hours ago, Uncle_Sam said:

So I was very excited to get a message today from someone who I would call one of my FM tactical theft victims, Cleon. Probably the best to show how Cleon thinks on a whole different level than me in FM tactics is in visual form:

image.thumb.png.5c4b70ddd3ad4e664e4cbce130fe1257.png

You guys have no idea how accurate that image is. Anyway, when I first started using the 4-2-2-2 in FM (my goodness, it's probably been 10-12 years ago, How old are we?), Cleon was a guy who I bounced a lot of stuff off of. Well, ok usually what would happen is that he would help me fix what was going wrong. In fact, my memory is a bit hazy but I believe that my closing down solution for the midfield posted in this thread was something that he gave me way back when.

Anyway, I admittedly have a tab open in my browser to his blog series on the 4-4-2 Box Midfield for what I believe was FM 16. I have been referencing it, looking for parallels in his experience while developing the tactic and my own. So for anyone interested in this project you may want to read up on his series:

Part 1 - https://teaandbusquets.com/art-of-the-brazilian-box-4-2-2-2

Part 2 - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-part-two

Part 3 - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-part-three

Final Chapter - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-final-chapter

A great read and even though I haven't used many of his adjustments it's still relevant reading as it helps give a wider perspective for someone using this formation in FM. You can never have too much data when trying to doing something like this.

He did also mention that he's worked on a 4-2-2-2 in FM18 with 2 Segundo Volantes at DM, a Mezzala and a Carrilero at MC. No lie, I actually thought about eventually trying two Segundo Volantes. My theory was that if the SV's both were set to push forward it would "force" the MCs to fill the space out wider. I was going to wait until the squad was a little better before I gave it a go because I kind of have this locked-in philosophy of keeping 3 players on Defend/Cover duty at all times and was tentative about coming off of it until the quality of my squad was at least on par with the top half of my competition. 

As for the MCs, his concept also lines up with something I had planned (but his idea is better, of course). After I felt like I got this tactic to the point where I couldn't really expect to improve it anymore, I want to build a 4-2-2-2 designed simply to maximize success rather than fulfill an "inspiration" that would function something like this:

image.thumb.png.aacc899b0b7031d889bde81dfc15679e.png

You'd have one forward playing as a Target Man (11-Ronaldo) with a second forward playing underneath (probably as a deep lying forward to start). One of the MCs would be more attacking (10-Ronaldinho), getting forward and exploring the half spaces. The fullback on his side (6-R. Carlos) would be given support duty to allow the MC more space to roam. The other MC would be more of a supporting player, linking to the front (8-Kaka). I had planned on him being a Mezzala - Support, but the Carrilero makes MUCH more sense. The fullback on that side would be bombing forward, probably Wingback-Attack or even Complete Wingback-Attack. Anyway, that's just a very early concept of where I would start building a 4-2-2-2 if I weren't working on what I'm doing.

@Cleon is a genius when it comes to tactics. I always get some of his ideas and eventually make it my own. His Ajax save back in FM14 was the blueprint to my Athletic save in FM16 to 18.

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4 hours ago, Uncle_Sam said:

So I was very excited to get a message today from someone who I would call one of my FM tactical theft victims, Cleon. Probably the best to show how Cleon thinks on a whole different level than me in FM tactics is in visual form:

image.thumb.png.5c4b70ddd3ad4e664e4cbce130fe1257.png

You guys have no idea how accurate that image is. Anyway, when I first started using the 4-2-2-2 in FM (my goodness, it's probably been 10-12 years ago, How old are we?), Cleon was a guy who I bounced a lot of stuff off of. Well, ok usually what would happen is that he would help me fix what was going wrong. In fact, my memory is a bit hazy but I believe that my closing down solution for the midfield posted in this thread was something that he gave me way back when.

Anyway, I admittedly have a tab open in my browser to his blog series on the 4-4-2 Box Midfield for what I believe was FM 16. I have been referencing it, looking for parallels in his experience while developing the tactic and my own. So for anyone interested in this project you may want to read up on his series:

Part 1 - https://teaandbusquets.com/art-of-the-brazilian-box-4-2-2-2

Part 2 - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-part-two

Part 3 - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-part-three

Final Chapter - https://teaandbusquets.com/the-art-of-the-brazilian-box-final-chapter

A great read and even though I haven't used many of his adjustments it's still relevant reading as it helps give a wider perspective for someone using this formation in FM. You can never have too much data when trying to doing something like this.

He did also mention that he's worked on a 4-2-2-2 in FM18 with 2 Segundo Volantes at DM, a Mezzala and a Carrilero at MC. No lie, I actually thought about eventually trying two Segundo Volantes. My theory was that if the SV's both were set to push forward it would "force" the MCs to fill the space out wider. I was going to wait until the squad was a little better before I gave it a go because I kind of have this locked-in philosophy of keeping 3 players on Defend/Cover duty at all times and was tentative about coming off of it until the quality of my squad was at least on par with the top half of my competition. 

As for the MCs, his concept also lines up with something I had planned (but his idea is better, of course). After I felt like I got this tactic to the point where I couldn't really expect to improve it anymore, I want to build a 4-2-2-2 designed simply to maximize success rather than fulfill an "inspiration" that would function something like this:

image.thumb.png.aacc899b0b7031d889bde81dfc15679e.png

You'd have one forward playing as a Target Man (11-Ronaldo) with a second forward playing underneath (probably as a deep lying forward to start). One of the MCs would be more attacking (10-Ronaldinho), getting forward and exploring the half spaces. The fullback on his side (6-R. Carlos) would be given support duty to allow the MC more space to roam. The other MC would be more of a supporting player, linking to the front (8-Kaka). I had planned on him being a Mezzala - Support, but the Carrilero makes MUCH more sense. The fullback on that side would be bombing forward, probably Wingback-Attack or even Complete Wingback-Attack. Anyway, that's just a very early concept of where I would start building a 4-2-2-2 if I weren't working on what I'm doing.

It was written for FM17 :)

Thanks for the kind words btw. I kind of miss throwing ideas around with you, used to be fun bouncing ideas around.

I'm gutted you beat Santos, apart from that, I'm loving the thread 

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So I'm now about to begin the 2019 season and kick this into high gear. I used the offseason to jettison a lot of the dead weight. I also brought in more of "my kind" of players who I think I can develop in the tactic. I didn't have a huge transfer budget, only about $13m. So I really went for 18-23 year old guys who I can develop. Most of them were relatively cheap. This is what the team looks like in the preseason:

image.thumb.png.9211f7d6564ac789a09385dcd3146dff.png

My most expensive purchases were Bruno Tabata (Attacking Midfielder) and Alison (Defensive Midfielder)
image.thumb.png.48fd6749cfac628e10040e720c0e300b.pngimage.thumb.png.bdc968eabbc49eaf62f56b05d57c2df3.png

Obviously Real Madrid isn't going to come knocking on our door any time soon but they are an upgrade to our overall squad. All of the other guys are young and developing. 

 

As for the tactic itself, I've decided to really start simple and build from there. The only team instructions I have is to Roam From Position and Be More Expressive. The Brazilian style of play, generally speaking, is to build from the back. So I had previously set Play Out of Defense, Work Ball Into Box, and Shorter Passing. I may put all of those back, but I wanted the players to be free to be creative. The reality is that the passing will generally be short anyway due to the narrow-ness of the formation.

image.thumb.png.33df7b6015ccb09318ee24e256d1de0d.png

I know that I'm probably not going to get away with a formation that mirrors itself on each side, although when I coached it that was really our default strategy only adjusting it based on the typ of players I had. In my experience in FM the roles need to allow for more interplay between strata. Generally, it's not a great idea to have two players side-by-side with the same duty-role (except maybe the center backs), but I feel if there is one formation where it can work it would be this one.

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On 04/08/2018 at 00:10, Uncle_Sam said:

I know that I'm probably not going to get away with a formation that mirrors itself on each side, although when I coached it that was really our default strategy only adjusting it based on the typ of players I had. In my experience in FM the roles need to allow for more interplay between strata. Generally, it's not a great idea to have two players side-by-side with the same duty-role (except maybe the center backs), but I feel if there is one formation where it can work it would be this one.

I have a problem with the mirror on the DM and ST stratas (strati?).

Firstly because it does not mirror (pardon the pun) the real brazilian 4-2-2-2. You can't have a Segundo Volante if you don't have a Primeiro Volante. And you're lacking the "centroavante", the goal scorer.

And second because it goes against 2 of my few rules of thumb when building a tactic. I know that we should not have "rules" per se, but these 2 have always helped me. 

- always have at least one scorer (AM-A, SS, AF-A, CF-A, DLF-A, TM-A, P, Raum or IF-A)

- always have at least one sitting midfielder (DM-D, DLP, HB-A, CM-D, BWM-D, etc)

 

I'm curious to see how it works out for you.

Oh, and keep an eye out for Eron... lots of potential!

 

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31 minutes ago, thizaum said:

I have a problem with the mirror on the DM and ST stratas (strati?).

Traditionally, it's one stratum, two strata/stratums. But a lot of people here insist on 'one strata'. If you want to say that then just say two stratas.

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