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Bracken

FM19: Vertical Tiki-Taka Help - A stagnant front three

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Hi all, hoping I can get some advice on figuring out how to translate the style of play in my head into the game. Haven't played the last couple versions of FM, so possible I'm just missing something, but any help appreciated.

What I'm trying to create: I'm trying to create a fast tempo, short passing style of play. My ideal would be to move the ball quickly through the midfield to my front three players, with those three given a lot of creative freedom to move around and try and pull defenders out of position. The ideal situation is the inside forwards to run across the backline or in behind, while the striker looks for spaces to drop behind the backline and run onto through balls. I want to see neat interplay between the three players, fast passing, one-twos etc. The wing backs should stay wide to provide an overlapping threat, mostly to occupy defenders rather than to actually be attacking outlets, but when needed they should overlap to provide first time crosses or cutbacks. The midfielders should essentially provide deeper support for the front three, feeding the forward players and occasionally arriving from deeper positions.  Essentially, the short clip you see on the vertical tiki-taka selection screen is exactly what I'm looking for.

Here's the current setup:

 Tactic.thumb.png.d215822b19d4d1095f46028b308d3882.png

It's a slightly modified version of the standard vertical tiki-taka. I've dropped the line of engagement and defensive line deeper, in an attempt to create more space higher up the pitch, and changed the DLF to a CF/S in order to give the striker more creative freedom. I've also upped the tempo slightly and given them more direct passing, to try and get that fast paced tempo moving from back to front, in order to unsettle the opposition and create opportunities. Players are 

What I'm seeing: The movement through the midfield is ok though a little slower than I'd hope, but the front three is the real problem. They. won't. move. There's no interplay between them, they just don't link up with each other, mostly because the ball never goes into them in more central areas. Essentially the midfield bring the ball forward and then we meet a brick wall. The opposition defence sit deep as a back four, and my front three just space themselves out within that back four and just stay still. The midfielders, when encountering this, don't try and force the ball through to the front players, they instead opt for long shots, or go wide for the full backs to cross. I just don't see the movement needed to pull defenders out of position, which would give the strikers and IFs space to drop in behind. The striker just is completely isolated, essentially standing still next to one of the centre backs while the midfielders pass it between themselves before thumping it from range. He gets goals from crosses, but nothing from short passes or through balls in behind.

Anyone have any ideas? I know through balls were fairly underpowered before the recent patch, but I've seen no real difference since with the exception of the odd 60-yard ball over the top. I've tried varying the tempo, directness, and the mentality (attacking vs. balanced vs. positive) but nothing seems to get close to the fast interchange and interplay up front that I'm looking for. I've also tried changing the roles, particularly in CM to stop them clogging up the space up there, but it makes no difference so I reverted to FM's suggestions for the style

Any help much appreciated!

Edited by Bracken

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I think two of your adjustments are the problem.

A faster tempo will allow your players less time to think when they have the ball, so they will go more often for speculative through balls or long shots.

Another thing is changing the forward's role to a CF(s). When using a lone forward you want him to link up play, whereas a CF with his roaming and channel movement will too often find himself out of position. On the other hand, to stretch the opposition it's not enough that you drop your def line but you need someone to spearhead the attack and keep their defenders tied up. A DLF(A) is the perfect role for doing both things, but if you must use a CF I'd at least give an attacking duty to the right IF.

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2 hours ago, SD said:

I think two of your adjustments are the problem.

A faster tempo will allow your players less time to think when they have the ball, so they will go more often for speculative through balls or long shots.

I've tried a lower tempo, but the challenge is that they just then slowly play up to the penalty area, allowing the opposition to get organised, and leaving us no space to get in behind. Coupled with the lack of movement, it just results in the midfielders passing the ball around between them before the inevitable long shot. So, higher or lower, it ends up with a lot of long shots from the midfielders, it's just in one case I get at least some more dynamic build up. I wish it did lead to speculative through balls, I'd love some of those! But even with the higher tempo and direct passing I don't see them around the box, only much deeper in the buildup.  Also, the whole point of the style is to have fast-paced short passing, if I lower the tempo it's not the same right? 

2 hours ago, SD said:

Another thing is changing the forward's role to a CF(s). When using a lone forward you want him to link up play, whereas a CF with his roaming and channel movement will too often find himself out of position. On the other hand, to stretch the opposition it's not enough that you drop your def line but you need someone to spearhead the attack and keep their defenders tied up. A DLF(A) is the perfect role for doing both things, but if you must use a CF I'd at least give an attacking duty to the right IF.

I've generally used the "Get further forward" instruction for the IFs in order to stretch it more without sacrificing their defensive duties, I'll try the DLF(A), but I generally want someone leading the line in the manner of an AF. If I use that role however he basically never gets a touch, let alone a chance. Thanks for the help though, will try DLF for a bit

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3 hours ago, Bracken said:

'm trying to create a fast tempo, short passing style of play. My ideal would be to move the ball quickly through the midfield to my front three players, with those three given a lot of creative freedom to move around and try and pull defenders out of position. The ideal situation is the inside forwards to run across the backline or in behind, while the striker looks for spaces to drop behind the backline and run onto through balls. I want to see neat interplay between the three players, fast passing, one-twos etc. The wing backs should stay wide to provide an overlapping threat, mostly to occupy defenders rather than to actually be attacking outlets, but when needed they should overlap to provide first time crosses or cutbacks. The midfielders should essentially provide deeper support for the front three, feeding the forward players and occasionally arriving from deeper positions.

DLFa

IFs                              RMD

MEZs     CMd

REG

FBa   CDd   CDd     WBs

SWKs

mentality - positive

In possession - shorter passing, higher tempo, play out of def, work ball into box.

In transition - counter, counter-press

Out of possession - prevent short GKD, higher LOE, standard urgency and d-line either higher or standard (normal)

That's how I would play if I wanted to achieve (as closely as possible) the way of playing you described (though I must say that you want to achieve too much at once)

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1 hour ago, Bracken said:

I've tried a lower tempo, but the challenge is that they just then slowly play up to the penalty area, allowing the opposition to get organised, and leaving us no space to get in behind. Coupled with the lack of movement, it just results in the midfielders passing the ball around between them before the inevitable long shot. So, higher or lower, it ends up with a lot of long shots from the midfielders, it's just in one case I get at least some more dynamic build up. I wish it did lead to speculative through balls, I'd love some of those! But even with the higher tempo and direct passing I don't see them around the box, only much deeper in the buildup.  Also, the whole point of the style is to have fast-paced short passing, if I lower the tempo it's not the same right?

When it comes to long shots, I found that the best counter other than lower tempo, is having deep passing options. I was a bit surprised when I saw the role distributions in the presets, especially when coupled with play through middle/underlap TIs. With this much licence to roam and the high mentality the PIs give them, all three of your midfielders, even the DLP, will end up very very high up the pitch. The solution for me was to push the def line as high as possible and have the BPDs act as those deep passing options you need.

But that won't be enough, so don't be afraid to restrain one of your midfielders even further. Best candidate for the chopping block is the MEZ, it's a very attacking role that will often find itself stepping on the toes of the wide player on his side of the pitch, unless that wide player is on attacking duty and pushes forward or is an AP and naturally drops deep.

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Hi, I've played one full season with Chelsea and started second one in the beta as well and opted for a similar tactic as you. I agree with the users above, that you are perhaps trying to achieve too much at once, especially given the tools you are given in the beginning.

We have the same defender roles. In midfield, I play a Half Back in the DM position and above him B2B and DLP on Support duty. It is a solid midfield, that is able to win the possession battle against the best teams, works hard and gets the ball forward, ideal engine room : ) The front three I play with Hazard as Advanced Playmaker on Support Duty and Willian as Winger on Support Duty. Inside forwards were rubbish for me. Especially Hazard just doesn't perform as Inside Forward. However, as an Advanced Playmaker, he netted 20 goals and created about as much and generally wreaked havoc with his marauding runs. Left back then keeps the width and provides crosses. The right side is a bit more defensive with Azpi on RB, so Willlian as Winger is trying more to keep the width and provide crosses, but he is a gifted player and sometimes plays one-twos from the wing to the middle and that generally results in a very good chance. He had great stats as well, double figures for both goals and assists.

Now the Striker position is the one I feel like I'm struggling with. The first season I played Morata as CF on Attack duty and he scored some 25 goals, not bad, but I found it painful to watch him. I signed Belotti for the second season and am experimenting with Pressing forward on Attack duty.

Tactically, my results have improved once I've dropped the focus through the middle, very narrow instructions and underlaps. The pitch must be incredibly contested and with the high tempo, I can imagine players having few options due to congestion so it ends up static or hoofbally and they give it away to opposition. Without passing focus, player choice improves and while the buildup goes through the middle, it then spreads to the wings from which you can cross or dribble to the less congested middle. Very narrow doesn't work for me too well either, looks like the players are in the way of one another. When playing wide, it sort of seems narrow anyway, when you buildup through the middle with BPD and 3 midfielders, but once you spread it to the wings, there is more room to attack. I have honestly no idea, what underlaps are supposed to do : )) But changing them to the good ol' trusted overlaps provides crossing positions and crosses are kings.

Oh, and Positive mentality for sure. Personally, I'd lower the tempo as well, but then we are looking at a completely different tactic : ))

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I'm glad I am not the only one looking for help with this tactic! I love the idea and theory behind vertical tiki taka - I'm striving for a Sarri at Napoli style of football. I am ten games in to my first season with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga and on the face of it I have done pretty well. 7th in the league with 3 wins from 6, only losing to Dortmund and Leipzig, beat a lower-tier team 11-0 in the cup first round, lost the Supercup on pen to Bayern after a 1-1 draw, and lost to Chelsea and drew against a Czech team 0-0 in the Europa League.

Defensively we have been outstanding, only conceding 6 goals in 10 games and keeping 6 clean sheets. But offensively we have been fairly awful. Taking away the 11-0 win, we have scored 5 goals in 9 games. When I checked the stats for the league we are right up there with possession, shots, etc (as you'd expect for this tactic) but we can't score for toffee!! I've tried playing with different formations, even going three out and out strikers for the last 3 games (two 1-0 wins and a 0-0) but we can't seem to tuck chances away. The biggest issue I have, as with the OP, is getting the ball in to the strikers in the box. The midfield knock it about and eventually, more often than not, just try pot shots (despite having 'work in to the box' selected). I have used the preset on default for most games, but have tinkered for the last two or three but changing 'underlap' to 'overlap' and adding 'early crosses' to encourage attacking wing-backs to get the ball and ping it in quick. It has helped a little I think, but not as much as I hoped.

 

Any ideas on what I could do differently? Up the tempo and directness perhaps? Introduce an advanced playmaker in the 10-hole? I'd be fascinated to hear from anyone that has had success with the vertical tiki taka preset, especially with a similar sized club (Everton/West Ham/Valencia/Hoffenheim-type clubs, etc.).

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

Edited by DanBeats90

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On 31/10/2018 at 20:21, Bracken said:

 

What I'm seeing: The movement through the midfield is ok though a little slower than I'd hope, but the front three is the real problem. They. won't. move. There's no interplay between them, they just don't link up with each other, mostly because the ball never goes into them in more central areas. Essentially the midfield bring the ball forward and then we meet a brick wall. The opposition defence sit deep as a back four, and my front three just space themselves out within that back four and just stay still. The midfielders, when encountering this, don't try and force the ball through to the front players, they instead opt for long shots, or go wide for the full backs to cross. I just don't see the movement needed to pull defenders out of position, which would give the strikers and IFs space to drop in behind. The striker just is completely isolated, essentially standing still next to one of the centre backs while the midfielders pass it between themselves before thumping it from range. He gets goals from crosses, but nothing from short passes or through balls in behind.

 

Take a look at the Bugs forum Match Engine section, or the official Feedback thread. This is a dire issue with the ME, acknowledged by SI, not with your tactics. It's never a bad idea to get tactics advice but I'd take everything you read here with a pinch of salt, in the current version of the game you will see this no matter what tactic you use, no one here can fix it, only SI can.

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Like the OP, I am playing Chelsea as my main save and trying to get a vertical tiki taka Sarriball tactic working. I used the beta to fine tune a tactic for my main save but the ME changes in the full game release put paid to that work - largely made redundant. Main issues I have encountered are inability of ME to deliver passing stats (ie number of passes rather than possession %) near to real world  - overall premier league averages about right but too little difference between top sides and bottom sides. Also real problems getting solitary striker to work in this system (much like Morata in real life?) and movement of team, particularly front players, to increase passing options.

Playing 2 strikers (playing CFA and PF S) and removing AMR role helped with forward play but really wanted to get single striker tactic working better.

What I have found is that selecting more roles on attack (resulting in flexible fluidity) combined with be more disciplined seems to help with team movement and increased passing options. For the AML role (Hazrard) I added roam from position and sit narrower to increase forward movement and options. Using be more expressive seemed to result in too many "risks" being taken and lost possession. I have also removed work ball into box as it tended to lead to far to over elaborate passing into and around penalty box to try and break through the "brick wall".

For passing I have moved to much Shorter but with Standard tempo (wanted faster movement of ball than preset tactic setting).

Early days but current tactic seems to be showing promise....

image.thumb.png.761c4fbce8690a449f5ad0b5a86035ca.png

 

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On 02/11/2018 at 09:10, Gruffyd Llywellyn said:

Hi, I've played one full season with Chelsea and started second one in the beta as well and opted for a similar tactic as you. I agree with the users above, that you are perhaps trying to achieve too much at once, especially given the tools you are given in the beginning.

We have the same defender roles. In midfield, I play a Half Back in the DM position and above him B2B and DLP on Support duty. It is a solid midfield, that is able to win the possession battle against the best teams, works hard and gets the ball forward, ideal engine room : ) The front three I play with Hazard as Advanced Playmaker on Support Duty and Willian as Winger on Support Duty. Inside forwards were rubbish for me. Especially Hazard just doesn't perform as Inside Forward. However, as an Advanced Playmaker, he netted 20 goals and created about as much and generally wreaked havoc with his marauding runs. Left back then keeps the width and provides crosses. The right side is a bit more defensive with Azpi on RB, so Willlian as Winger is trying more to keep the width and provide crosses, but he is a gifted player and sometimes plays one-twos from the wing to the middle and that generally results in a very good chance. He had great stats as well, double figures for both goals and assists.

Now the Striker position is the one I feel like I'm struggling with. The first season I played Morata as CF on Attack duty and he scored some 25 goals, not bad, but I found it painful to watch him. I signed Belotti for the second season and am experimenting with Pressing forward on Attack duty.

Tactically, my results have improved once I've dropped the focus through the middle, very narrow instructions and underlaps. The pitch must be incredibly contested and with the high tempo, I can imagine players having few options due to congestion so it ends up static or hoofbally and they give it away to opposition. Without passing focus, player choice improves and while the buildup goes through the middle, it then spreads to the wings from which you can cross or dribble to the less congested middle. Very narrow doesn't work for me too well either, looks like the players are in the way of one another. When playing wide, it sort of seems narrow anyway, when you buildup through the middle with BPD and 3 midfielders, but once you spread it to the wings, there is more room to attack. I have honestly no idea, what underlaps are supposed to do : )) But changing them to the good ol' trusted overlaps provides crossing positions and crosses are kings.

Oh, and Positive mentality for sure. Personally, I'd lower the tempo as well, but then we are looking at a completely different tactic : ))

Mind share your setup?

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20 hours ago, mhaffy said:

Like the OP, I am playing Chelsea as my main save and trying to get a vertical tiki taka Sarriball tactic working. I used the beta to fine tune a tactic for my main save but the ME changes in the full game release put paid to that work - largely made redundant. Main issues I have encountered are inability of ME to deliver passing stats (ie number of passes rather than possession %) near to real world  - overall premier league averages about right but too little difference between top sides and bottom sides. Also real problems getting solitary striker to work in this system (much like Morata in real life?) and movement of team, particularly front players, to increase passing options.

Playing 2 strikers (playing CFA and PF S) and removing AMR role helped with forward play but really wanted to get single striker tactic working better.

What I have found is that selecting more roles on attack (resulting in flexible fluidity) combined with be more disciplined seems to help with team movement and increased passing options. For the AML role (Hazrard) I added roam from position and sit narrower to increase forward movement and options. Using be more expressive seemed to result in too many "risks" being taken and lost possession. I have also removed work ball into box as it tended to lead to far to over elaborate passing into and around penalty box to try and break through the "brick wall".

For passing I have moved to much Shorter but with Standard tempo (wanted faster movement of ball than preset tactic setting).

Early days but current tactic seems to be showing promise....

image.thumb.png.761c4fbce8690a449f5ad0b5a86035ca.png

 

Have this helped Morata up top with preforming, and how about your widemens? 
What i see a lot with possesion-based tactics this year, is that the opposition is "too" good at closing down space for your striker, and also sometimes your wingers - which result in them just not triving. 

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9 minutes ago, pq said:

Have this helped Morata up top with preforming, and how about your widemens? 
What i see a lot with possesion-based tactics this year, is that the opposition is "too" good at closing down space for your striker, and also sometimes your wingers - which result in them just not triving.  

Still early days in my save - 6 games into Premier League 1st season.

Willian currently has best average rating and Alonso also doing well. Morata performing fine so far in this tactic (a lot better than he was in earlier tests where I had trouble getting ratings higher than 6.8 for Striker). Having Hazard set to Roam sees him coming inside and "drifting around", helping to create space for others. Early days but planning to persevere for now.

Getting some really nice build up play out of defence, rather than speculative longer balls.

I do switch Morata's role to CF At, depending on how game is going, which changes shape from Flexible to Structured.

Premier League Player stats so far as follows;

image.thumb.png.8e1c8fb0b19bf3fab785a8f127752407.png

Edited by mhaffy

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10 minutes ago, mhaffy said:

Still early days in my save - 6 games into Premier League 1st season.

Willian currently has best average rating and Alonso also doing well. Morata performing fine so far in this tactic (a lot better than he was in earlier tests where I had trouble getting ratings higher than 6.8 for Striker). Having Hazard set to Roam sees him coming inside and "drifting around", helping to create space for others. Early days but planning to persevere for now.

Getting some really nice build up play out of defence, rather than speculative longer balls.

I do switch Morata's role to CF At, depending on how game is going, which changes shape from Flexible to Structured.

Premier League Player stats so far as follows;

image.thumb.png.8e1c8fb0b19bf3fab785a8f127752407.png

Just me that thinks there’s something seriously wrong looking at those tackle success rates and dribbling stats for central players? Maybe worth posting in the bugs forum?

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6 minutes ago, fidelitywars said:

Just me that thinks there’s something seriously wrong looking at those tackle success rates and dribbling stats for central players? Maybe worth posting in the bugs forum?

Have not been able to find actual tackling success rates for Premier League. Premier League average success rates in my current save range from 87% to 94%.

Because of high possession my team get, they make fewer tackles than most sides and are 17th for total tackles made.

Re dribbling stats do you think too high or too low?

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48 minutes ago, mhaffy said:

Have not been able to find actual tackling success rates for Premier League. Premier League average success rates in my current save range from 87% to 94%.

Because of high possession my team get, they make fewer tackles than most sides and are 17th for total tackles made.

Re dribbling stats do you think too high or too low?

Too low, i’d say - esp from players as gifted as Kovacic.

Think with real life tackling stats, 60-65% success rate would be considered good...

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13 minutes ago, fidelitywars said:

Too low, i’d say - esp from players as gifted as Kovacic.

Think with real life tackling stats, 60-65% success rate would be considered good... 

Dont forget that I have included dribble less in my tactic to encourage more passing....

Re tackling success rate what is your source for 60-65%? If this is correct then FM way out if range for all Premier League sides is 87-94%.....

 

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54 minutes ago, mhaffy said:

Dont forget that I have included dribble less in my tactic to encourage more passing....

Re tackling success rate what is your source for 60-65%? If this is correct then FM way out if range for all Premier League sides is 87-94%.....

 

Ah ok; that will have an impact but i'm instructing my players to run with the ball more and the stats for central players seem very low.

Wyscout is the source for the tackle rate but you'll need an account to access; obviously winning 87-94%of tackles is far too high and makes the tackling attribute redundant; seems everyone is super-humanly good at it.

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19 minutes ago, pq said:

image.thumb.png.8e1c8fb0b19bf3fab785a8f127752407.png

What "stat-screen" is that? 

One of my customised screens. When beta comes out I spend ages setting up custom screens that I want.

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