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so a bit of a backstory, i've been reading articles on counter attacking and fast paced football, my side is augsburg and we're relegation candidates for the bundesliga so there is presumably not a lot of technical quality available, so i've wanted to create a tactic primarily reliant on pace, strength and ruthless german efficiency, and considering that most bundesliga sides seem to employ a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-4-2 i'll do what mister mourinho did and play a 3 man midfield when he first came to england (i've taken a lot of inspiration from his chelsea side as you will see)

this is how my side lines up

        Gk

FB CD CD FB
      DM(AM)

 CM(attack) DLP(?)

IF(a)    DLS(CF)  IF(a) 

now my concern is, i want to create a link between the central midfielder that likes to roam around and attack and the defence, i've thought maybe i could use Deep lying playmaker but i don't want him to slow down the play and carefully pick out passes, i want quick and fast direct transitions from back to front as we're on the counter as we use our strength and pace and hopefully break through their 2 man midfield

would it just be better to use central midfielder on support who takes more risks when passing the ball? 

that was the main issue, any other tweaks would be appreciated, i'm not too sure about this tactic  as i feel as though it can leave me vulnerable to counter attacks as my fullbacks will be further up the pitch on counter attacks and i could falter to a counter myself

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mourinho-herrera-defense said:

i've wanted to create a tactic primarily reliant on pace, strength and ruthless german efficiency

 

2 hours ago, mourinho-herrera-defense said:

this is how my side lines up

        Gk

FB CD CD FB
      DM(AM)

 CM(attack) DLP(?)

IF(a)    DLS(CF)  IF(a) 

now my concern is, i want to create a link between the central midfielder that likes to roam around and attack and the defence, i've thought maybe i could use Deep lying playmaker but i don't want him to slow down the play and carefully pick out passes, i want quick and fast direct transitions from back to front as we're on the counter as we use our strength and pace and hopefully break through their 2 man midfield

would it just be better to use central midfielder on support who takes more risks when passing the ball? 

that was the main issue, any other tweaks would be appreciated, i'm not too sure about this tactic  as i feel as though it can leave me vulnerable to counter attacks as my fullbacks will be further up the pitch on counter attacks and i could falter to a counter myself

Okay, if you have a relatively weak team and wanna play on the Counter mentality (and use a direct playing style in general) with a 4123 Wide (Mourinho's 1st formation with Chelsea), I'd recommend something like this (just as a basic idea, not a definite one):

DLFa

IFs                              Ws

BtBM   APMa

ACM

FBs    CDd    DCBc    IWBd

GK/SWKd

Counter / Structured

TIs - drop deeper, lower tempo, more direct passing, low crosses (and optionally pass into space when you see that the opposition are leaving a lot of space while attacking you)

IFs - get further forward, roam from position

Ws - roam from position

FBs - hold position

Edited by Experienced Defender

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wouldn't the lower tempo be counter productive if i'm looking for fast transitions from defense to attack? 

 and i read that playmakers can be counterproductive to counter attacks because they can slow down the pace of the game which again would slow down the transition

thank you, that was very useful

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2 hours ago, mourinho-herrera-defense said:

wouldn't the lower tempo be counter productive if i'm looking for fast transitions from defense to attack? 

When you use the Counter mentality, the ME automatically triggers counter-attacks when your players intercept an opposition attack, provided that  your players in a position to counter are outnumbering the opposition players in a position to defend at the moment, so whatever your tempo setting is, your team will speed up play in an attempt to make a counter-attack as quickly as possible. In other words, tempo is lower only when you are defending or building up a regular attack, but not when you are counter-attacking. And note that more direct passing increases tempo whatever the setting (lower tempo with direct passing is still faster than lower tempo with short passing). Because of all this, it is the roles, duties and primary positions (formation) of your players (in combination with team shape) that primarily determines whether your counter-attacks will be successfully implemented once the ME triggers them or they are more likely to fail. Of course, a successful counter-attack will not always lead to scoring - sometimes your players will execute a beautiful counter, but may fail to score when one one one with the keeper (because of poor finishing, composure, technique or whatever the reason).

Now, you can use normal (or even higher) tempo, but given that your team is rather weak, that could easily have an adverse effect on your defensive performance. That's the reason I opted for lower tempo in this particular case.

2 hours ago, mourinho-herrera-defense said:

and i read that playmakers can be counterproductive to counter attacks because they can slow down the pace of the game which again would slow down the transition

Not necessarily. In the tactic I've suggested, the playmaker is an advanced one (and on attack duty at that), so he should not tend to slow play down (unless he has PPM "Dwells on ball"). And as I explained above, the Counter mentality will automatically trigger quick counter-attacks as soon as a good opportunity occurs, so even if you use a playmaker who likes to dwell on the ball, it should not slow counter-attacks down. But it is very important to make the right decision on which of your players should perform a PM role. What he needs is - passing, vision, decisions, anticipation, at least decent technique, first touch, composure (and if he is an advanced one, then also off the ball). Pass & vis should not be less than 14, dec, ant, comp, technique and first touch at least 12, and OTB not less than 11 (for APM) or 9 (for DLP). 

And remember that this is just my line of reasoning, not necessarily everyone's :)

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6 hours ago, mourinho-herrera-defense said:

so a bit of a backstory, i've been reading articles on counter attacking and fast paced football, my side is augsburg and we're relegation candidates for the bundesliga so there is presumably not a lot of technical quality available, so i've wanted to create a tactic primarily reliant on pace, strength and ruthless german efficiency, and considering that most bundesliga sides seem to employ a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-4-2 i'll do what mister mourinho did and play a 3 man midfield when he first came to england (i've taken a lot of inspiration from his chelsea side as you will see)

this is how my side lines up

        Gk

FB CD CD FB
      DM(AM)

 CM(attack) DLP(?)

IF(a)    DLS(CF)  IF(a) 

now my concern is, i want to create a link between the central midfielder that likes to roam around and attack and the defence, i've thought maybe i could use Deep lying playmaker but i don't want him to slow down the play and carefully pick out passes, i want quick and fast direct transitions from back to front as we're on the counter as we use our strength and pace and hopefully break through their 2 man midfield

would it just be better to use central midfielder on support who takes more risks when passing the ball? 

that was the main issue, any other tweaks would be appreciated, i'm not too sure about this tactic  as i feel as though it can leave me vulnerable to counter attacks as my fullbacks will be further up the pitch on counter attacks and i could falter to a counter myself

I'm currently trying a similar thing with Udinese over in Serie A, trying to get a counter-attacking team spearheaded by the dribbling/passing prowess of my #10. If you want to play a true counter-attacking game, whereby you sit deep and soak up pressure, I think it's crucial that your wide players are in the ML/MR strata, as they will offer you far more protection from a defensive point of view; two IF-A's won't track back nearly enough and your full-backs will be horribly exposed. Don't think players in the ML/MR positions won't be attacking, they can be devasting in any system, but especially in a counter-attacking one as their deeper positioning should encourage the opposition's full-backs forward. 

In regards to your use of a DLP, that's entirely up to you. If you want to be solely reliant on AI triggered counter-attacks then maybe don't use one, but if you'd like to 'force' your own counters then a DLP is a great role to use as he launches attacks from deep. Either way, I don't think playmakers slow down counters that much for it to be a concern. 

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2 hours ago, jc577 said:

In regards to your use of a DLP, that's entirely up to you. If you want to be solely reliant on AI triggered counter-attacks then maybe don't use one, but if you'd like to 'force' your own counters then a DLP is a great role to use as he launches attacks from deep. Either way, I don't think playmakers slow down counters that much for it to be a concern. 

The Match Engine (I’m avoiding saying AI here to avoid confusion between the ME and AI opponent) will trigger automatic counters when the right circumstances exist. Generally this depends on how many players the “computer” has in attack and how much space they leave for you to exploit. In these ME triggers, the ball magnet influences of a play maker will be ignored and your team will go into all out fast counter attack mode 

The important thing to remember is these ME triggered counter attacks are rare. Most of the time, if you are on a low mentality, you’ll want a playmaker to try and keep hold of the ball. This won’t prevent the ME counter attacks, and if you have a playmaker with the right attributes, he ought to be able to ping a pass behind a high AI D-Line if you have a forward capable of running behind. 

If you really want the high intensity German style then you might want to avoid a play maker. Well especially deeper playmakers with defend or support duties. However, if you do want to set up with a deep defence but pace in attack, a “quarterback” style role should give the best of both worlds - ie still trigger ME auto counters, but have the ability for a sudden pass over the top too when the option is on 

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On 08/10/2018 at 14:01, jc577 said:

I'm currently trying a similar thing with Udinese over in Serie A, trying to get a counter-attacking team spearheaded by the dribbling/passing prowess of my #10. If you want to play a true counter-attacking game, whereby you sit deep and soak up pressure, I think it's crucial that your wide players are in the ML/MR strata, as they will offer you far more protection from a defensive point of view; two IF-A's won't track back nearly enough and your full-backs will be horribly exposed. Don't think players in the ML/MR positions won't be attacking, they can be devasting in any system, but especially in a counter-attacking one as their deeper positioning should encourage the opposition's full-backs forward. 

In regards to your use of a DLP, that's entirely up to you. If you want to be solely reliant on AI triggered counter-attacks then maybe don't use one, but if you'd like to 'force' your own counters then a DLP is a great role to use as he launches attacks from deep. Either way, I don't think playmakers slow down counters that much for it to be a concern. 

yes you are right, it's just that i used a 4-4-1-1 on the counter with my last team i wanted to do something more adventurous and reactive, i wanted to use the inside forwards as players who would overload in the center seeing as though in the bundesliga most teams play with a duo in midfield

having said that i've taken experienced defenders suggestion with a few tweaks

here i changed the fullback into a wingback so he could play more vertical and take advantage of the wide areas left by the IF creating a 2v1 vs the opposition fullback and subsequently the IF drops into a channel in behind the two midfielders overloading the center of the field, my box to box midfielder, my fullback is staying behind the winger as he is going to keep a back 3 in shape, in case my left flank is exploited my center half moves up to defend the cross and my anchor man drops deep creating a back 4 while my BtB and wb come back to defend, in attack i'm using a Target man that likes to press but ideally i'd like a deep lying forward that presses a lot so he can bring one of the center backs with him giving the IF space to run into

i defend in a low block and depending on how tall my dlf is or if the opposition seems to not press as intensely i tone the directness down to mixed passing, i use a narrow shape as i want to concentrate most of my play in the middle exploiting the two man central midfield pairing

individually the IF ideally roams around, the Btb moves into channels to create opportunitys for a one two and open up space for my playmaker to carve out a killer ball, my fb holds his position and my DLF and IF press high up the pitch in case the opposition seems to build from the back

 

thoughts?

DLFa

IFs                              Ws

BtBM   APMa

ACM

WB(a)    CD    CD   Fbs

GK/SWKd

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2 hours ago, mourinho-herrera-defense said:

thoughts?

DLFa

IFs                              Ws

BtBM   APMa

ACM

WB(a)    CD    CD   Fbs

GK/SWKd

If your team is a relatively weak one, then using a WB on attack may be risky even in a more defensive tactic. But if you definitely want him on attack duty, I would recommend changing the ACM into HB and setting the left CD on cover duty (important attributes for a cover CB - positioning, concentration, anticipation, composure, teamwork, tackling, and if you use a higher d-line - also acceleration). A cover CB is actually a sort of "quasi-sweeper" or (as I like to call it) "corrector". 

And note that WB on support will also be pretty much offensive and get forward a lot participating in attacks to a good degree, but will provide more defensive safety than one on attack. 

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I've played a fast paced counter attacking system in my Dynamo Dresden side a few FM editions back. In the beginning I've tried utilizing the Counter mentality and the tactical setup as suggested by the experts on this forum, but personally, I found relying on the ME-triggered counter attacks to be very unsatisfactory due to the rarity of their occurrence. Even more frustrating that my team ends up being battered on regular basis anyway from theoretically weaker teams.

Later on I just decided to go for broke and use Overload mentality since we're desperate for points and it was close to winter break already. And that's when the team finally performing the way I've had hoped in the beginning. In spite of the mentality being set was very offensive, my team still sit pretty deep most of the time but the very direct counter attacking moves are plenty (though they do got broke down quite often too), and when they happen they are pretty often involving plenty of bodies marauding forward to the opponents area. We regularly lose the possession battle but our shots on goal are comfortably better against most teams.

I utilized a similar central midfield triangle as the one you're posted above, but the wide advanced players were withdrawn to the MR/L strata, and both assigned with the Wide Midfielder (Attack) role so it's a 4-1-4-1 with the forward role alternating between Defensive Forward and Advanced Forward role depending on the opposing team's back line. By default, the WM(A)s have the Get Further Forward and More Risky Passes active and there's the added flexibility compared to the other more restrictive wide roles, whether you'd like to give them instructions to play narrow or wide, crossing from the byline or deep, etc. depending on the situation. The PIs I activated for them were Mark Tighter and Close Down More.

Other roles that I used are Full Back (Support) for the defensive flanks, and Anchorman to sit behind who sometimes got switched to a Defensive Midfielder if you find his presence to be a bit redundant, depending on your assessment of the match. A bit higher up in the middle I used a Ball-Winning Midfielder (Support) with Get Further Forward PI active and a Central Midfielder (Support) with More Risky Passes and Close Down More (if I remember that right,) active.

The active TIs at the start of the matches were four: Higher Tempo, Play Narrower, Drop Deeper and Be More Disciplined. Adjust accordingly, but never too extreme, depending how the match plays.

Another thing to add is that it is highly preferable to use wide players, especially your WMAs, with high Work Rate and this is of much higher importance than their technical and speed attributes. Anyone with lower than average on this attribute will be struggling to be effective.

On the following seasons I've made some small adjustments here and there, mostly due to the changes of personnel in my squad, but the main principle remained the same :)

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Something I forgot to add in regards to the question in the OP, is that using playmakers can be fine in theory, but personally I'd avoid that role as I'd like to see the supply of the dangerous passes not being overly reliant on a single player on the pitch and that the ME-triggered counters are not very conducive for the brand of football that I believe you wanted to achieve.

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

If your team is a relatively weak one, then using a WB on attack may be risky even in a more defensive tactic. But if you definitely want him on attack duty, I would recommend changing the ACM into HB and setting the left CD on cover duty (important attributes for a cover CB - positioning, concentration, anticipation, composure, teamwork, tackling, and if you use a higher d-line - also acceleration). A cover CB is actually a sort of "quasi-sweeper" or (as I like to call it) "corrector". 

And note that WB on support will also be pretty much offensive and get forward a lot participating in attacks to a good degree, but will provide more defensive safety than one on attack. 

yes, i found that out the hard way as my flank was regularly exposed and i  inevitably conceded while my attacking options down that flank were minimal, so i've just used an attacking full back instead

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2 hours ago, bangkonggedek said:

I've played a fast paced counter attacking system in my Dynamo Dresden side a few FM editions back. In the beginning I've tried utilizing the Counter mentality and the tactical setup as suggested by the experts on this forum, but personally, I found relying on the ME-triggered counter attacks to be very unsatisfactory due to the rarity of their occurrence. Even more frustrating that my team ends up being battered on regular basis anyway from theoretically weaker teams.

Later on I just decided to go for broke and use Overload mentality since we're desperate for points and it was close to winter break already. And that's when the team finally performing the way I've had hoped in the beginning. In spite of the mentality being set was very offensive, my team still sit pretty deep most of the time but the very direct counter attacking moves are plenty (though they do got broke down quite often too), and when they happen they are pretty often involving plenty of bodies marauding forward to the opponents area. We regularly lose the possession battle but our shots on goal are comfortably better against most teams.

I utilized a similar central midfield triangle as the one you're posted above, but the wide advanced players were withdrawn to the MR/L strata, and both assigned with the Wide Midfielder (Attack) role so it's a 4-1-4-1 with the forward role alternating between Defensive Forward and Advanced Forward role depending on the opposing team's back line. By default, the WM(A)s have the Get Further Forward and More Risky Passes active and there's the added flexibility compared to the other more restrictive wide roles, whether you'd like to give them instructions to play narrow or wide, crossing from the byline or deep, etc. depending on the situation. The PIs I activated for them were Mark Tighter and Close Down More.

Other roles that I used are Full Back (Support) for the defensive flanks, and Anchorman to sit behind who sometimes got switched to a Defensive Midfielder if you find his presence to be a bit redundant, depending on your assessment of the match. A bit higher up in the middle I used a Ball-Winning Midfielder (Support) with Get Further Forward PI active and a Central Midfielder (Support) with More Risky Passes and Close Down More (if I remember that right,) active.

The active TIs at the start of the matches were four: Higher Tempo, Play Narrower, Drop Deeper and Be More Disciplined. Adjust accordingly, but never too extreme, depending how the match plays.

Another thing to add is that it is highly preferable to use wide players, especially your WMAs, with high Work Rate and this is of much higher importance than their technical and speed attributes. Anyone with lower than average on this attribute will be struggling to be effective.

On the following seasons I've made some small adjustments here and there, mostly due to the changes of personnel in my squad, but the main principle remained the same :)

that sounds interesting, how do see yourself progressing from that to when say you're the stronger side and have to be the one breaking teams down who sit quite deep? don't you think that mentality can leave you more vulnerable to the oppositions counters if they just sit off deep?

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On 11/10/2018 at 20:06, mourinho-herrera-defense said:

that sounds interesting, how do see yourself progressing from that to when say you're the stronger side and have to be the one breaking teams down who sit quite deep? don't you think that mentality can leave you more vulnerable to the oppositions counters if they just sit off deep?

That is correct, and actually by the time my team had already establishing themselves as the bigger teams to beat on every season, I had to change my tactic for good. The formation was still pretty much the same, but in place of an Anchorman I put a Regista instead (alternating with DLP(D) role against other big teams), and changed my Full Backs as Wing Backs (both on Support duty). As for the mentality, I just use Control most of the time, and simply leave the TIs on default settings. Before my team had reached that point though somehow the smaller teams that I was facing didn't really sit off deep and still happy enough to take more offensive approach, dunno why.

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On 08/10/2018 at 18:18, Experienced Defender said:

Now, you can use normal (or even higher) tempo, but given that your team is rather weak, that could easily have an adverse effect on your defensive performance. That's the reason I opted for lower tempo in this particular case. 

Tempo doesn't effect your defending.

 

Also, judging by his post, it doesn't seem like he wants to rely on ME- triggered counters as those are quite rare.  It sounds like he wants to counter all the time, in which case he needs to be maxing his tempo. 

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On 11/10/2018 at 07:57, Experienced Defender said:

If your team is a relatively weak one, then using a WB on attack may be risky even in a more defensive tactic. But if you definitely want him on attack duty, I would recommend changing the ACM into HB and setting the left CD on cover duty 

This is strange advice too. If his wingback gets caught up the pitch he's going to need his LCB to get out and pressure the opposition winger to take the place of the wingback, not sit back by his own goal.

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2 hours ago, RocheBag said:

This is strange advice too. If his wingback gets caught up the pitch he's going to need his LCB to get out and pressure the opposition winger to take the place of the wingback, not sit back by his own goal.

I don't want to sound rude, but the person you're replying to is constantly offering very weird advice all over this forum. 

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7 hours ago, Bluebird123 said:

I don't want to sound rude, but the person you're replying to is constantly offering very weird advice all over this forum.

Perhaps, but in this case the guy's advice makes sense, even though I'm not sold on the Cover duty part.

When you get caught exposed, you don't want your player to pressure the opposing player or to attack the ball decisively except as a last resort. Instead, you want them to stall and slow the opposition just enough that the rest of the team regroups.

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19 hours ago, RocheBag said:

Tempo doesn't effect your defending.

Tempo affects everything (i.e. defending, attacking and transition phases). With a higher tempo, your players will look to move the ball forward faster, but if they aren't good enough, they are likely to lose possession too soon and so the attack (attacking transition) will eventually fail most of the time. Not to mention that playing on high tempo is physically more demanding, which means that even if you insist on higher tempo, it's not advisable to use it all the time.

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9 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Tempo affects everything (i.e. defending, attacking and transition phases). With a higher tempo, your players will look to move the ball forward faster, but if they aren't good enough, they are likely to lose possession too soon and so the attack (attacking transition) will eventually fail most of the time. Not to mention that playing on high tempo is physically more demanding, which means that even if you insist on higher tempo, it's not advisable to use it all the time.

Right. The tempo in which they move the ball. Like I said it doesn't effect defending. There is no such thing as defending at a high or low tempo.

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18 hours ago, SD said:

Perhaps, but in this case the guy's advice makes sense, even though I'm not sold on the Cover duty part.

When you get caught exposed, you don't want your player to pressure the opposing player or to attack the ball decisively except as a last resort. Instead, you want them to stall and slow the opposition just enough that the rest of the team regroups.

The guy's advice was the cover duty. How can you say his advice makes sense then say you're not sold on it?

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1 minute ago, RocheBag said:

The guy's advice was the cover duty. How can you say his advice makes sense then say you're not sold on it?

I was thinking mostly of the HB part, and that wanting your central defender to rush the flank and pressure the winger is counterproductive. I'd rather have a cross from the flank than risk losing the 1v1 with the winger.

A regular Defend duty is still probably best for that. Cover may have less closing down, but it lacks the hold PI Defend duty has, so in practice it may find himself even more out of position.

Personally, whenever team closing down goes over 50% of the bar I usually lower the individual setting of all my defenders - just make sure you don't forget to change it back if say you lower mentality or def line, else you'll be in for some silly goals.

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11 hours ago, RocheBag said:

Right. The tempo in which they move the ball. Like I said it doesn't effect defending. There is no such thing as defending at a high or low tempo.

i think he meant that if you played at a higher tempo you'd move the ball around quicker and by consequence your players would have to move their positions faster into attacking zones, if you lose the ball easily playing higher tempo your players can be caught out easier and be susceptible to counter attacks yourself

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21 hours ago, RocheBag said:

it doesn't effect defending. There is no such thing as defending at a high or low tempo.

This is taken from the FAQs section: "High Tempo - Asking your players to crank up their on pitch intensity may mean you win the ball back quicker or move it around faster, but it does also increase the chance of injury. Consider lowering your tempo, retaining the ball and taking a breather when in strong winning positions" (link: https://community.sigames.com/faq/football-manager-2017/85_gameplay/injuries-team-selection-tactics-r268/

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