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Hi everyone,

 

I'm currently playing as the team I support, Aston Villa.

So far it has been a struggle, despite currently being 3rd in the league, my front three are really playing below par and can't get into games, very rarely scoring or assisting, with most goals coming from midfielders long shots, corners or free kicks.

I'm playing the tactical preset gegenpress with a few alterations and my only first team signing has been Joe Lolley to play inside forward on the right.

Tactic

We are consistantly failing to create good chances against any team and all of our games are very close in scoreline

Fixtures

Here are the stats of Grealish, Lolley, Abraham, Hogan and Kodjia

Jack Grealish

Joe Lolley

Tammy Abraham

Scott Hogan

Jonathan Kodjia

And here is how I'm setting them up, I've messed with how the forward plays a few times, as pressing forward hasn't really worked out and left them pretty isolated, I've also noted that all of my front 3 are being caught offside a lot every game.

Here is how I'm setting my front three up

Striker

Inside Forward - Right

Inside Forward - Left

Any help and advice would be much appreciated, if any more screenshots or information is needed then please let me know.

Thanks

 

Edited by ChippyLowe

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Okay, let's begin step by step. I see that you are playing with CWBs on both flanks. Are you sure that you have a single suitable player for the CWB role in your squad, let alone 2 of them? Because relatively few players in general are able to effectively (and hence successfully) perform this very demanding role.

Next, you are playing passes into space+more direct pass+much higher tempo while having only one player who actually attacks space (attack duty), which is contradictory in and of itself. After all, this is clearly reflected in your "Team Fluidity" label (very fluid).

Your Out of Possession section suggests that you are also defending extremely aggressively, which goes hand in hand with gegenpress though, but I'm not sure if Villa is good enough as a team for such a style of play?

So, the most important question is whether gegenpress is a good choice at all for your team. I fear it's not.

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6 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Okay, let's begin step by step. I see that you are playing with CWBs on both flanks. Are you sure that you have a single suitable player for the CWB role in your squad, let alone 2 of them? Because relatively few players in general are able to effectively (and hence successfully) perform this very demanding role.

Next, you are playing passes into space+more direct pass+much higher tempo while having only one player who actually attacks space (attack duty), which is contradictory in and of itself. After all, this is clearly reflected in your "Team Fluidity" label (very fluid).

Your Out of Possession section suggests that you are also defending extremely aggressively, which goes hand in hand with gegenpress though, but I'm not sure if Villa is good enough as a team for such a style of play?

So, the most important question is whether gegenpress is a good choice at all for your team. I fear it's not.

Thanks for the reply

I'm using CWBs because that's how the original preset set up my full backs and I haven't actually had an issue with them so didn't feel a need to change them, I'm glad for the width they offer as my inside forwards attack but also as my team has the 2nd lowest goals conceded in the league this season, they're clearly still doing their defensive duties.

I see your point about my attacking instructions, I've changed them a lot to try and combat the amount of offsides I'm having called against me. I believe my strikers have getting low ratings because they're offside anywhere up to 5 times each a match. I was hoping that playing a higher tempo, direct game with passing into space would get the ball up field quickly to let my front 3 get on the ball before the defenders have chance to organise and use an offside trap

My main issue is that we're not creating clear cut chances and that is partly because every time we get into good positions, my players are offside

offsides

We are fairly high on total chances created

Chance Created

But can't convert them, despite having some of the best attacking talent in the Championship

Conversion %

So really I could do with advice on how to set my team up to get the attacking players into better positions to score goals.

On the gegenpress, while Villa aren't the ideal team for it, we have high work rate, team work and stamina throughout the squad, particularly when compared to other Championship team, so while I will have to change our style for sure in the Premier League, for now it's probably the best template for us to start with.

I'm not bad at identifying issues in the team and will always assume it's something I'm not doing before trying to claim the game is at fault but finding fixes for said issues has always been my downfall so your help is much appreciated

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Well, as for the lack of good chances (and probably too many offsides as well), I think the first thing you need to do is reduce both tempo and passing, and then better distribute your roles and duties. There are several ways how it can be done in your 4141DM Wide system. If you could post screenshots of your first-choice midfield and forward players (player profiles with their attribute ratings), I would get a more precise idea about their ideal roles and duties and thus could help you more specifically.

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1 minute ago, Experienced Defender said:

Well, as for the lack of good chances (and probably too many offsides as well), I think the first thing you need to do is reduce both tempo and passing, and then better distribute your roles and duties. There are several ways how it can be done in your 4141DM Wide system. If you could post screenshots of your first-choice midfield and forward players (player profiles with their attribute ratings), I would get a more precise idea about their ideal roles and duties and thus could help you more specifically.

In my most recent game I changed slightly, decreasing the tempo to slightly higher, removing run at defence and added focus play for both wings and actually had a much better result

Win v Derby

But here goes:

Defensive Midfield

1st choice

Jedinak

Backup

Whelan

Centre Midfield

1st Choice

McGinn

Hourihane

Backup

Bjarnasson

Lansbury - note Lansbury may be sold in January and also is injured for at least 2 months

Attacking Midfield

1st Choice

Grealish

Lolley

Backup

Adomah

El Ghazi

O'Hare

Strikers

First Choice

Abraham

Backup

Hogan

Kodjia

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I would definitely play Jedinak as anchorman. McGinn would be DLP. I would use Hourihane as CM on attack duty. Grealish would be wide (left) APM on support. El Ghazi either right winger or IF on attack (though Lolley could also be good as right IF on attack). Finally, Abraham would be DLF on attack. So my basic setup with your Villa team would look like this:

DLFa

APMs                              Wa/IFa

CMa      DLPs

ACM

CWBs       CD      CD        WBs

As for your GK, I hope he has proper attributes for a sweeper-keeper on support, given that you are playing gegenpress (very high d-line and a lot of pressing). So pay attention primarily to his acceleration, rushing out, anticipation, concentration, one on ones, decisions, passing, vision and first touch.

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Stick Kodjia inside forward left wing on attack. Focus down the right and look for overlap, get your right sided players to aim at the far post. Use whippedor floated crossed (I use whipped). Left backs tend to be very short, so if you can isolate Kodjia against them using this method he'll score goals. Also Abraham is great forward for this sort of wing play. I also used McGinn as a box-box but with play wider, run wide with ball, to use the space on the left vacated by Kodjia being narrow, but then I didn't use cwb on the left. I'ddrop Taylor to full back support, to counteract the attacking right sided defender and use McGinn to provide width on that side. 

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As others have said, I'd reduce the tempo and look again at the passing instructions. Likely that you're asking too much of a team like Villa.

How I'd personally look at it, is firstly what you're doing without the ball. You mention that you're second for goals conceded, and so it's a solid defence and you might be happy with it, but is your team actually, well, gegenpressing?

If it was me I'd personally be a bit more aggressive with the midfield. DM(s) I don't mind too much (wouldn't go to anchorman, don't see why you would in a high press....) but I might push them up and go to CM(d) or even BWM(d). Some people might think that's too aggressive, but gegenpressing is about getting up the pitch and it has risk involved. I'd then go with plain CM roles for better pressing than a playmaker, either support with get forward or attack duty, and/or Mezzalas.

I think these could then potentially win the ball back higher up the pitch and so more bodies in advanced areas to then take advantage of the transition. In possession they will also get closer to the forwards (particularly the IF's) and link play with them, plus your fullbacks arriving (CWB might work, a more simple WB or FB(a) I have always found to be ok on FM though).

Edit: Also the quality of the players at your disposal have to be taken into account. Can they do what is being asked of them? Granted at Villa you aren't going to have a perfect set of players, most of them look alright, but two or three from the screenshots look rather unsuited to mobile, high press, fast football.

Edited by mp_87

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You're set up with a lot of support roles.  This is probably part reason you are not dynamic in attack as most players more focused on the build up and literally supporting a move rather than finishing one.  You can build a game around that approach but typically that would be a possession orientated style, whereas you have gone for high tempo, direct passing, into space,  There may be a couple of other things to look at but your fundamental fix is changing role/duty to meet the instructions or vice versa.

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Without reading previous posts too much, playing as Villa myself, I sit top after 25 games, this is what and who I have found useful.

Pick players based off training.

O'Hare and Doyle Hayes are actually sneaky good youngsters for playmaking ability, find a way to get one in at CM as DLP Support.

Rotate heavily, keeping players fresh seems to be key and we have an ideal squad for it. Also set the defensive line slightly lower, I found I was being beat over the top almost every game. 

Finally I would reduce tempo and passing range, opposition teams let Villa have a lot of the ball on the game, and its about slowly breaking them down rather than just running and losing the ball. 

I play Vertical tika taka but all the above should help you as well. 

Let me know how you get on.

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Thanks for your help guys

30 games in I'm sitting top of the table

I even got to the semi finals of the Carabao Cup vs Liverpool and suffered heartbreak in the penalty shootout

I've been setting up pretty similarly to how I did the rest of the season

Tactic

Team Instructions

I've decided to try this for a few games instead, to see if I can get Grealish into games a little more, I will probably tweak the roles in midfield a little as when I see fit

Injuries have really hurt us this season, I had just one of my first choice midfield available for most of the the Christmas period

I'm still struggling to limit the number of offsides though, my front three are constantly offside, up to 10 times a match so if anyone has any advice on how to deal with that it'd be much appreciated

 

Also,  I've seen other people mention it elsewhere but the gegenpress tactic, whether it's even being implemented properly by my team or not, seems really overpowered on this game, even with the difficulties I've had going forward I've never found winning matches so easy on an FM since plug and play tactics stopped being effective.

Edited by ChippyLowe

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I'm playing as Villa and haven't lost a game by January (including premier league teams in Carrabo cup). 

Tactic: Gengenpress deafault no changes with formation 4-2-3-1 all default roles for Gengenpress

GK - Nyland

RB - Hutton

CB - Chester

CB - Tunzabe

LB - Taylor

CM - McGinn

CM - Houihane   (Bjarnsson/Lansbury as fitness dictates)

RW - El Ghazi

AMC - Grealish

LW - Bolasie 

ST - Abraham 

Others subbed in as required. Never playing anyone with fitness below 95% (Squad is so huge you dont need to)

 

Sold - Whelan, Jedinak. Elmohamady - Far too many players in their positions already

Signed - One crappy CB as a backup (can't remember who off the top of my head) on loan as cover for CB/LB - Bedeau does most of the CB cover though

 

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I'm finding Villa an interesting challenge this year. On the BETA I romped to the tile, on the full fat game I'm top at Christmas, most goals scored and least conceded, but Swansea are running me close. 

 

I've settled on a 4411 with the aim of building the team around Grealish - though his ratings seem to suggest he doesn't want that to be the case. I've also planned to make the most out of Hogan and play an attractive possession style. 

So far so good, my struggles with Grealish aside I have Hogan as league's top scorer and generally have 60% possession a match - the byproduct of which has been clean sheets for days!

I've been very lucky with injuries but know I need to strengthen in January. So far I have Alexander Milosevic coming in for peanuts and added James Collins and Tremoulinas on free transfers for defensive depth.

Plan on shipping out Jedinak, Whelan and Lansbury and hopefully add a few gems for squad depth. 

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16 hours ago, beverage1982 said:

I'm finding Villa an interesting challenge this year. On the BETA I romped to the tile, on the full fat game I'm top at Christmas, most goals scored and least conceded, but Swansea are running me close. 

 

I've settled on a 4411 with the aim of building the team around Grealish - though his ratings seem to suggest he doesn't want that to be the case. I've also planned to make the most out of Hogan and play an attractive possession style. 

So far so good, my struggles with Grealish aside I have Hogan as league's top scorer and generally have 60% possession a match - the byproduct of which has been clean sheets for days!

I've been very lucky with injuries but know I need to strengthen in January. So far I have Alexander Milosevic coming in for peanuts and added James Collins and Tremoulinas on free transfers for defensive depth.

Plan on shipping out Jedinak, Whelan and Lansbury and hopefully add a few gems for squad depth. 

interesting you are building around Hogan up top, I find Abraham such a big improvement to him, is there a reason you prefer Hogan?

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3 hours ago, jim owen said:

interesting you are building around Hogan up top, I find Abraham such a big improvement to him, is there a reason you prefer Hogan?

You're right in that Abraham is better. Just as a Villa fan I think Hogan has been wasted with us and I wanted to play to his strengths. He's banged in 20 for me so far but the real revelation has been Kodjia who has chipped in 15 from a. Left wing slot. 

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2 hours ago, beverage1982 said:

You're right in that Abraham is better. Just as a Villa fan I think Hogan has been wasted with us and I wanted to play to his strengths. He's banged in 20 for me so far but the real revelation has been Kodjia who has chipped in 15 from a. Left wing slot. 

Really Interesting that, I can't get either of them to score, however both are playing a bit part role up top, Bolasie has tucked away double figures from the left, and El Ghazi has 8 from the right i think with Abraham  on 19 up top  (and its only January). The other strikers Hogan has 0, Kodja has 1 and Davis has 1 (though he has only made 2 appearences, i wanted him out on loan but he wouldnt go). Grealish hasn't got many through the centre, in fact O'hare has scored more in that position from fewer games

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