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Bohemian analyst

Developing and Improving a Catenaccio.

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1.- WHY I AM STARTING THIS PROJECT

If you are like me you spend almost every hour talking with someone over football, watching someone play football or playing it yourself.

This is my first time interacting with the FM community, I have decided to do this because of a conversation I had a week ago. I was talking with a friend about a match between Barcelona and At. Bilbao that ended with a 1-1 draw. At. Bilbao scored early and then almost managed to leave Camp Nou with three points but Barcelona managed to score from a weird rebound. Luis Suarez said something along the lines of: "They shot once and scored but we only got one goal out a a dozen chances, its so unfair" (not as simple but just as whiny). I can see why he would think so. His career has been spent in teams such as Ajax, Pre-Klopp Liverpool and Barcelona. Teams that focus heavily in possession as a means to attack and defend.

However I find it inexcusable that a world class striker complains about his opponents being effective. Because actually managing a real fife team to prove a man wrong would be time consuming and petty I want to prove him wrong through FM19.

2.- WHAT I AM DOING

I want to start a thread dedicated to developing and perfecting a Catenaccio. What I mean by this is a system where possession is sacrificed in exchange for solidity and clinical finishing of chances created from counter attacks and set pieces. In order to do this I urge those willing to participate in this project to go to their tactical creator and try to form such a system, then share it in this topic. Though mutual criticism and exploration we can prove that a non possession based system is usable at top level. Here are the core "rules" of this project:

1.- THE AIM IS NOT TO REPLICATE HERRERA'S INTER.

2.- A SOLID TACTIC THAT FAILS TO SCORE REGULARLY DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A SUCCESSFUL CATENACCIO

3.- 1-0 VICTORIES ARE PREFERABLE TO 4-3 VICTORIES

4.- GOOD DEFENDING STATS BECAUSE OF POSSESSION ARE THE ANTITHESIS OF WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE

5.- THE PROJECT IS FOCUSED ON HIGH LEVEL COMPETITIONS.

3. MY PROTOTYPE

It is only fair that I set the first stone. While this is not intended to be a replication of Herrera's system I have taken huge inspiration from his team. I do not want to limit the approaches investigated in this project so please feel no obligation to base your contributions on this system. 

3.1- The formation & Roles.

FM reads my formation as an asymmetric 4411, I disagree, in defence a 532 is formed and in attack the team transforms into a 334. Özil-to-the-Arsenal has written several amazing articles burying the idea of formation equating to shape. Shape is a combination of Formation + Roles + Team Instructions + PPMs.

This two shapes mean that my Wingbacks are tacking the greatest hit when it comes to stamina. It also means that we are sacrificing the wide areas of the field so this must be taking into account when deciding on the players (more on that later).

GK-D: A classical Goalkeeper, no need for him to sweep for anything. He must have good reflexes and other attributes related to stopping long shots.

CBL-D/CB-C/CBR-D: Three centre backs. Should be tall in order to deal with the crosses that the opposition will be forced to try in order to score. The cover has to have good anticipation and positioning as is meant to replicate the famous Picci, his main mission is dealing with throughballs. the other two centrebacks are meant to man mark the striker (1 vs 1) in a 442 both CB-Ds take a striker each. The cover doesn't mark nor press.

LB- IWB - A: an inverted wingback attack. Meant to replicate fachetti. While defensive ability won't hurt his main role is to help transition, so must be pacy and have decent crossing, a fair amount of finishing could also go a long way since he is meant to be an attacking player. PPMs are pretty obvious. Marcelo from Real Madrid would be awesome. I think that a converted Winger would work wonders.

RWB- CWB-A: Meant to replicate Jair. Again more attacking than defending. Think of Maicon, Dani Alves and Cafú. I originally tried to make him a defensive winger but he was neither attacking nor defending enough. I think the RB position is too deep, so this asymmetry amongst my back 3/5 is my proposed solution. As long as he has decent crossing he becomes an assist machine.

DM- DLP-D: My holding midfielder, his main attributes are oriented towards long range passing (vision, passing, anticipation, decisions). His job is aiding transition. He is a holding midfielder to prevent my counter attacks to be a complete mess and a playmaker to give my defensive players a simple pass so they don't just wack the ball forwards. PPMs such as plays on twos, dwells on the ball, and Plays short simple passes are unacceptable, favourable PPMs can be deduced from the explanation.

DML-BWMd: his role is to harass any midfielder getting into Zone 14. Anticipation, Tackling, Agression and Teamwork are encouraged. Fairly simple role.

DMR- Segundo Volante- A: Demanding role that departs from Herrera's view. His role is to attack Zone 14 from deep and arrive late into the opponent area. This is the role I have the most concerns about.

AMCL- Tretarquista: He must act as an Attacking Midfielder and a Second striker. He lops to the left to provide width and give time to the Inverted Wingback to get into position, because he is instructed to roam from position he while automatically find a space in the centre sandwiched between the Inverted Wingback and the Segundo Volante. Bergkamp like PPMs and attributes should do the trick.

ST: AF-A: the leading man in attack, he moves into channels and is always ready to chase a pass into space to end in a one on one versus the keeper.

3.2- Team Instructions 

Mentality= Defensive

 

When team has the ball: Route one, More risky passes, higher tempo, pass into space, run at defence, much wider.

As you can see the team must play in a lightning quick fashion not allowing the opposition to regroup.

 

In transition: Counter, Regroup.

In order to go from an organised defence to  a fast attack.

 

When opposition has the ball: Much Lower line of engagement, much lower defensive line, more urgent pressing, tighter marking, defend narrower. 

We are trying to make the opposition come forward so we can exploit the space behind them so we surrender space and focus on the defence of zone 14 and our area.

3.3 Observations

I have played half a season with Inter MIlan and I am currently second only 4 points behind Juventus due to two 0-0 draws. as I predicted my goals come from fast electric transitions and highly polished Set pieces. I went as far as to sign a new DLP-D for 15M just because he had great set piece attributes to go along with my excellent, players capable of relying on set pieces for somewhere between a third and half my goals.

My possesion figures number between 30% % 40%, at most I have 10 shots but given that I have Icardi and Lautaro to take care of them That is usually all I need, I tend to finish most matches with 1-0 and 2-0 victories but my best match has been a 0-4 destruction of Fiorentina and a 3-1 first place qualifier against United in the champions league group stage.

 

4. THE WAY FORWARD.

I am currently very comfortable with this set up but I have some things to think about

1.- could my Fachetti sit higher up the pitch alonside my Jair?

2.- Is the Segundo Volante really the best role?

3.- Could a poacher or a target man be better than and Advanced forward?

4.- What makes this system work? Will an injured Icardi spell doom? Is there a formation that can exploit a vulnerability I am not aware of?

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hace 22 minutos, False 9 dijo:

Nice post, would you mind showing screenshots of the tactic? 

I haven't recorded my campaign up to this point but you make a great point. As soon as I can I will take some screenshots so you can see my tactic in action.

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3 minutes ago, Bohemian analyst said:

I haven't recorded my campaign up to this point but you make a great point. As soon as I can I will take some screenshots so you can see my tactic in action.

Thanks, I mean as in the tactics screen too

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I like the idea and it looks like you are having success.  One thought though is that without a wide left player in front of him in either ML or AML, doesn't your IWB-a revert to a standard wingback-a?

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My initial impressions are very positive for defensive football. While it is not my primary tactic, I’ve found that seeing games out in this fashion to be very effective. 

Interestsed to see where this goes

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hace 3 horas, WhyMe dijo:

I like the idea and it looks like you are having success.  One thought though is that without a wide left player in front of him in either ML or AML, doesn't your IWB-a revert to a standard wingback-a?

An inverted Wingback is the only LB that has the instruction Cut Inside, because my RW, Vrsaljko (Croatia needs to be introduced to the beautiful world of vowels), starts his run a little further up it makes sense for the LB to cut inside to be in place for a crossed ball or a stray ball from a header. when my Trequartista  is in place the he automatically looks dor with like a normal Wingback.

 

hace 1 hora, s0ni42 dijo:

My initial impressions are very positive for defensive football. While it is not my primary tactic, I’ve found that seeing games out in this fashion to be very effective. 

Interestsed to see where this goes

Would you mind sharing your interpretation of defensive football?

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7 hours ago, Bohemian analyst said:

An inverted Wingback is the only LB that has the instruction Cut Inside, because my RW, Vrsaljko (Croatia needs to be introduced to the beautiful world of vowels), starts his run a little further up it makes sense for the LB to cut inside to be in place for a crossed ball or a stray ball from a header. when my Trequartista  is in place the he automatically looks dor with like a normal Wingback.

 

Would you mind sharing your interpretation of defensive football?

I’m refering to full on defense to see out games with a lead. Counters occur but more to burn clock than scoring opportunities.

Playing a very compact, narrow 352, with wing backs in support/defend depending on where threat exists. Will one of mid fields to DMF if teams are penetrating with dribble.

 

 

 

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ON THE QUESTION OF SQUADBUILDING. THE MIDFIELD THREE.

 

(I think of the trequartista as as part of my attacking unit, while he does drop deep to put pressure on the opossitions deepest midfielder his role is an attacking one and I will talk about him when I talk about my attackers)

There is no point in creating a system if the players at your disposal are not endowed with the skill and mentality required to play it.

Too often I focused on stats and ability ranking when signing a player only to realise he had no place in my squad.

Certain styles allow for a greater number of generic, jack of all trades players but not my vision.

The catenaccio requires the fielding of very specialized players, you must either sign them or train them through your ranks.

When I decided to start this project I started with Inter because I believed them to have the right kind of players (Perisic, Icardi, Naingolann).

In this post I will elavorate on the key components of my deluxe eleven.

THE CREATOR: a longball expert, a species in risk of extinction.

Defensive attributes aren't a priority, as I said at the start he takes care of transition through high risk direct passes to the wide areas and the striker. 

If the regista is a deep playmaker who goes further up the field and distributes the ball amongt his companions with short passes and through balls (regista has the same root has regulation) my playmaker abandons this patient aproach and instead looks to cover half the field in a single touch.

When my team is on the opponent half he acts as an axis my playera can use to quickly and safely take the ball to the other flank.

His key PPMs are "tries long passes" and "switches ball to the other flank". Any PPM witch encourages him to play like Xabi Hernandez or Toni Kroos must be eradicated.

I currently lack this kind of player so I bought someone without the negative PPMs and decent attributes (the 15 million set piece taker I mentioned earlier)

My youth staff is currently busy training candidates to this role.

 

THE DESTROYER: We all know this guy, our team's destroyer is a galant hardworking fellow who doesn't mind getting dirty for his club and his fans. Those *!#*¥*!§Г* from the other side of town employ an unsporting butcher who should have been banned from the sport long ago. I am referring to the Simeones and Roy Keanes of the world.

He should have high levels of agression, marking anticipation, positioning, bravery and tackling. 

The one PPM he should have is "dives into tackles". You could use other PPMs to make him into a hibrid Creator/Destroyer Lothar Mathaus style but I find it unnecessary. 

This player is much easier to find and train. My current destroyer is Naingollan. My top target here is Kanté from Chelsea but I reckon he will cost me 80£ ~ 100£ and will ask for ridiculous wages so I am scouting for cheaper options.

Again my youth system is creating candidates but unless Mr. Samaden comes up with a great prospect in the next intake I will be scouting the market.

 

THE ENFORCER: The poor water-carrier of my team, he must collaborate in the defence of zone 14 and rush forward to become a second striker. A very demanding role both phisically and technically but also a very thankless one.

Along with a destroyers attributes he must have excellent work rate and stamina and the ability to shoot from outside the opossition's area.

His ideal PPMs are "gets further forward" and "tries long shots".  

There is no realistic signing that can be done with this one so I am using Gagliardini and Brozovich as alternatives until I can produce the real deal from my academies or for some reason a moronic manager lets go of one of this commodities.

 

So this is my interpretation of my catenaccio's midifield trio. I still have douts about my enforcer, could have him be a box to box midfielder so he sits higher up, (maybe that will reduce his workload) or I could not use one altogether and have a second destroyer. 

How about you? How do you think of the midfield when playing direct football? What changes would you make?

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hace 39 minutos, Horse dijo:

Whelp, tried this and got hammered with 0-4 by Torino as Milan

Could you elaborate?

Who did you field? Where your centrebacks strong on the air? Were your midfielders similar to the archetypes I mentioned?

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2 minutes ago, Bohemian analyst said:

Could you elaborate?

Who did you field? Where your centrebacks strong on the air? Were your midfielders similar to the archetypes I mentioned?

Ragequit the game out of frustration, but aim to try it again sometime this week.

What I did notice though was that almost every, if not all, goals came from set pieces. At least three goals came from corners, and one from a free kick situation just outside the box. My players lost the air battle, which sounds unreasonable seeing as Milan today has Romagnoli, Musacchio and Caldera, neither which are weak in the air. Romagnoli is very much suited as a cover defender, as well. 

As for the other players, very likely that they werent up to par according to your archetypes. Rodriguez isnt a finisher, but he's solid in terms of speed and crossing. Calabria is competent as a CWB, although he lacks a bit of offensive power.

I suppose the midfield trio could've been the weak link in this, alongside with the treq, Calhanoglu. Montolivo is a good DLP (less competent than Biglia, but Biglia is the anti-thesis to your idea of a DLP) but lack some of the PPMs listed, Kessie and Bakayoko, although good on paper, didnt do much. Higuain was pointless, despite his qualities.

I like the idea and the formation that you have concocted, but have you noticed if the tactic is especially susceptible to goals from set pieces?

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hace 36 minutos, Horse dijo:

Ragequit the game out of frustration, but aim to try it again sometime this week.

What I did notice though was that almost every, if not all, goals came from set pieces. At least three goals came from corners, and one from a free kick situation just outside the box. My players lost the air battle, which sounds unreasonable seeing as Milan today has Romagnoli, Musacchio and Caldera, neither which are weak in the air. Romagnoli is very much suited as a cover defender, as well. 

As for the other players, very likely that they werent up to par according to your archetypes. Rodriguez isnt a finisher, but he's solid in terms of speed and crossing. Calabria is competent as a CWB, although he lacks a bit of offensive power.

I suppose the midfield trio could've been the weak link in this, alongside with the treq, Calhanoglu. Montolivo is a good DLP (less competent than Biglia, but Biglia is the anti-thesis to your idea of a DLP) but lack some of the PPMs listed, Kessie and Bakayoko, although good on paper, didnt do much. Higuain was pointless, despite his qualities.

I like the idea and the formation that you have concocted, but have you noticed if the tactic is especially susceptible to goals from set pieces?

I haven't received a single goal from corners as of now. there was the extremely odd penalty and every 3 games of so a free kick went in.

I haven't talked about team training but I made use of set piece training early into the season because I knew that with the reduced number of conventional chances my team would have defending and attacking set pieces would be an imperative.

There are several good guides to set pieces although I recommend  the series of articles on the subject recently written by a quite famous FM writer who goes by the name Guido. You can find them here.

https://strikerless.com/author/strikerlessguido/

By the way the strikers are very important. Players like Icardi, Morata, Martial and Ronaldo who sacrifice vision and passing in exchange for pace, anticipation and finishing are a must. Higuain has his uses in other tactics but he is just not gonna cut it for this one. 

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Question from me. Do you change your system at all when you're facing a one striker formation? If not, why not?

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hace 3 horas, goqs06 dijo:

This video should help out!

Thank you for the video, I didn't know of it's existence.

I like how he makes a distinction between "parking the bus" (which I consider to be an exclusively circumstantial aproach to football) and the Catenaccio as a complete system dedicated to both defense and attack.

I knew of Rappan's Verrou but I consider the Catenaccio to be the refined product while the Verrou was the first "stab in the dark".

hace 2 horas, ajsr1982 dijo:

Question from me. Do you change your system at all when you're facing a one striker formation? If not, why not?

I do not change the system regardless of formation. Was I to remain truer to my understanding of football I would constantly change approaches in small ways to optimize my chances against other teams but my goal here is a universal tactic capable of giving good results against any teams.

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Did you sign your mystery set piece taker from Milan? 

I've been scouting about for my own for exactly the same reasons as you but in a totally different system and I have currently come across two which really interest me. 

I was reading through this thread and a light bulb went off...... I just wondered if we had selected the same guy for our roles? 

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