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herne79

Developing my 4123DM Wide ("Tiki-Taka")

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This is something I'll be eagerly waiting for. The issues you are mentioning are all things I'm finding very very frustrating with the current ME.

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Really looking forward to this, as much for myself as for the community. That possession style seems to be eluding the masses, and I'm excited to see it successful and on display.

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I'm very interested to see the combination of roles you are using. I find by using mostly support there is sometime not as much penetration I would like and we end up passing it around the box until a blocked shot occurs.  

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52 minutes ago, bdixon said:

I'm very interested to see the combination of roles you are using. I find by using mostly support there is sometime not as much penetration I would like and we end up passing it around the box until a blocked shot occurs.  

That will come :thup:.  However, from my final sentence above:

11 hours ago, herne79 said:

It's this combination of all the component parts which is important here...  And that's going to be a common theme throughout this thread.

It's not just about the combination of roles.  It's about the combination of everything: roles, duties, mentality, TIs, PIs and the players themselves.  Even the opposition will have a say.  There's also one particular player trait I've been making use of which can help, but again more on that later :).

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This is a truly great thread and I'm so happy that there are others who still find Cleon's possession post inspiring. (I personally worship that post like an insane person) Looking forward to the continuation of this thread!

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Really interested in seeing the results; mostly curious on your midfield 3 combination and your strikers role. I've been playing with West Ham myself and just beginning my 2023-24 season. I've went through many iterations of 4123 (DM-Wide) and finding the start of this season very tough.

So far I've gone from CAR-MEZ-HB(DM) to CAR-MEZ-DLP(DM) to CM(A)-RPLM-DM(DM) and now at BBM-AP-HB(DM). None have been satisfying me enough; mostly my disappointment is the DM role as my desire is for him to cover the pocket of space and he seems to wander just about everywhere; even with lower closing down and stay's back at all time PPM. 

On the strikers front; I'm having nightmares but the most logical role in my mind seems to either be a PF(D), DLF(S) or CF(S) though it grinds my gears where my wide players cut inside and since the forward's got no  "get forward" instruction in any of those roles, he just sits there.

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I have recently been trying to produce something similar in terms of aim to this, but so far not successful. At the moment I can have attacking thrust without possession, or possession without much attacking thrust.  We converged very well on the pressing side of things, in particular the use of PIs rather than TIs to get pressing where I want it (I will also use general OIs that I rarely change to try to better define the behaviour I want to see all across the field).

I still struggle with the movements of forwards, however. I have yet to figure out how to prevent play to be funnelled down to my wide fullbacks when playing with a lone striker. This results in a lot of crossing. I have, however, had a huge amount of success dropping a striker back into AM and using a SS(A), playing with a 41230 formation. This gets the striker involved, without losing the goal threat (although it is less, I try to play in a way to spread goals around my attacking players anyway).

I also suffer from a lack of penetration, which I assume may be linked to the tempo and directness at which I play. At least, when I want to play with possession. I tend to let the other side get into position before I expose them. This does not matter when you regain the ball high up the pitch as much, but if you fail to do this, or a team is totally parking the bus and not trying to exit, I have issues. So I will await with interest your thoughts on how to generate a bit more thrust.

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@herne79

I could be wrong but I suspect that you are combining a low LOE with a higher D-line, creating  a very congest press zone just outside the midfield line, with the 5 top players instructed to press more urgent, and the rest with standard pressing. 

I assume that you are using the counter instruction to when you win the ball. 

About the press, or not, instruction to when you loose the ball, at first I thought that you leave that with nothing ticked, but from you post it seen that you choose to apply immediately pressure after loosing the ball. I would assume that for a more possession orientated tactic you would choose the option to regroup. 

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1 hour ago, Keyzer Soze said:

@herne79

I could be wrong but I suspect that you are combining a low LOE with a higher D-line, creating  a very congest press zone just outside the midfield line, with the 5 top players instructed to press more urgent, and the rest with standard pressing. 

I assume that you are using the counter instruction to when you win the ball. 

About the press, or not, instruction to when you loose the ball, at first I thought that you leave that with nothing ticked, but from you post it seen that you choose to apply immediately pressure after loosing the ball. I would assume that for a more possession orientated tactic you would choose the option to regroup. 

He's using a high LOE. 

Quote

Team/Player Instructions - if I'm going to win the ball back nearer to their goal than my own, I need my players to engage accordingly.  This is where FM19 comes into it's own with the new Line of Engagement instruction, so up it goes.  But when my players are at that Line of Engagement they need to know how to behave (ie., with a high intensity press).  I could use the Team Instruction to adjust pressing intensity, but I'd run into the same issue as described above.  So I target my front 5 with specific pressing instructions and leave my defenders alone.  I could use the TI and then tell my defence to press less, but that's just over complicating things.

Also, regrouping isn't always a good thing nor does it mean it's better suited for more possession orientated tactics either. Possession can be gained/achieved in many ways. Sometimes if you drop off to regroup then you lose the opportunity to gain possession back, so lose time. After all in FM possession = time on the ball.

It all depends on the type of possession/system you are creating. There is no such thing as better suited when talking in isolation.

Also not sure what you mean by a more possession orientated tactic, @herne79 possession numbers are great for the players/team he is. You could probably squeeze some more numbers out but then I'm 90% sure you'd lose a lot of attacking intent.

@herne79 Another cracking thread mate. It's good to see someone writing about possession with intent and showing how you have a high amount of possession but you're ripping teams open with it and being aggressive from the front to win the ball back. In my current save I also have a possession with intent tactic but it's the reverse of yours. A passive front 4 and an aggressive back 6. The approach itself is very different from yours but we achieve the same thing, we just come at it from different ends.

I also like how you've set things out and spoke about what you are wanting and the way the team needs to act/behave to achieve what you need. You've just laid things out in a simplistic way, especially when you talk about combinations. I wish more threads where like this that forces the reader to think about stuff as a whole and how mentality/players/roles etc all link together. It's the way that the forum should be driven towards now, with how the game is beginning to link up better with the other modules available. 

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1 hour ago, Keyzer Soze said:

I could be wrong

Higher LoE + higher d-line.  I want to win the ball back high up the pitch.

1 hour ago, Keyzer Soze said:

I would assume that for a more possession orientated tactic you would choose the option to regroup. 

There's different ways of achieving possession (which I mentioned above).  I'm choosing to use a counter-press as part of this particular system as I don't want to give the opposition time on the ball when I lose it, with the intention of winning the ball back high up the pitch (ref. that quote I mentioned).

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9 minutes ago, Cleon said:

Another cracking thread mate.

Cheers :).

12 minutes ago, Cleon said:

possession numbers are great for the players/team he is. You could probably squeeze some more numbers out but then I'm 90% sure you'd lose a lot of attacking intent.

Yup 100%.  I haven't touched on how I developed things or adjust from match to match yet but I've had games where I'm above 75% with 800+ passes which is overkill.

19 minutes ago, Cleon said:

You've just laid things out in a simplistic way, especially when you talk about combinations. I wish more threads where like this that forces the reader to think about stuff as a whole and how mentality/players/roles etc all link together. It's the way that the forum should be driven towards now, with how the game is beginning to link up better with the other modules available. 

Exactly this.  It's too easy to just slap a bunch of player roles together without considering how everything else will impact those roles.  Without giving away too much, I'll be writing about that soon with particular regard to one of my positions as an example of how I consider these different aspects as I make changes :thup:.

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I'll be honest, as someone who has struggled on this year's iteration this is a really great thread. Think sometimes it takes seeing someone else break everything down really logically and in an easy to understand manner for things to click. 

Great work!

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God, I need to see your system, @herne79, from which you do the changes. Your numbers and stats are really impressive - so is your overall approach. 

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4 hours ago, herne79 said:

So if using the Positive mentality (or even Balanced) and giving Jack a support duty role, there is simply no need to encourage more forward runs with an Attack duty because he does it himself already. 

This. This. This. You can do a similar thing with the Get Further Forward PI.

I use this constantly to bridge the gap between support and attack duty, and get a player that gets forward, but doesn't have the risk taking or single minded aggressive intent that you can get when you stack attacking duty players with higher team mentalities.

It's a very underutilized tool and can help resolve a lot of the repetitive issues you see people try to attribute to the ME being broken.

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22 minutes ago, VinceLombardi said:

This. This. This. You can do a similar thing with the Get Further Forward PI.

I use this constantly to bridge the gap between support and attack duty, and get a player that gets forward, but doesn't have the risk taking or single minded aggressive intent that you can get when you stack attacking duty players with higher team mentalities.

It's a very underutilized tool and can help resolve a lot of the repetitive issues you see people try to attribute to the ME being broken.

Exactly.

The biggest single issue some people who look for help have is they don't look at the players properly.  It's all well and good telling a player to do something if he isn't actually capable of doing it.  Or, perhaps more pertinently, don't tell a player to do more than you need to.  Two sides of the same coin - instruction and ability - and then use both sides to your advantage.

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21 minutes ago, herne79 said:

Or, perhaps more pertinently, don't tell a player to do more than you need to. 

Perhaps even more pertinent, not identifying what it is that they actually need and want a specific player to do. And understanding how their system is suppose to work so that they can differentiate between the two. 

I'm my system, I WANT my wide midfielders to be great shooters or crossers. But what I NEED is guys that are good with the ball at their feet and use space well.

If they don't have the skills to do what I need them to do, they will never get the chance to do what I want them to do. 

 

Edited by VinceLombardi

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This thread and the Mentality Masterplan one have made Christmas come early. Don't get me wrong, I am not struggling per se, but it will certainly help me set up a number of tactics for my United side to change the way I play.

It would also explain why I get far more out of Martial as an IF(Su) rather than on attack duty in a positive mentality set up and why I need to drop Pogba back to a SU mentality Mez when I am playing on that same Team Mentality, as they both have the gets into the opposistion area trait. It also explains a lot of my success with my 4-2-3-1 Balanced tactic. A lot of food for thought here mate, excellent work!

Thinking about it, it's probably also why Chong has started doing well for me playing as a W(At) as he starts wider then cuts in onto that left foot, and also why Mata starts deeper and wider to play the through balls into Martial/Sanchez.

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Sometimes I feel like I've finally understood the game then posts like this come along. Even in the few posts you've written @herne79 you've given me a lot of ideas on how to refine my tactic. Thank you

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I'm amazed by the sheer number of passes you are achieving in that Watford game. I've never got anything as high as that and I thought I had a little bit of an understanding of tactics following Cleon's thread last time.

Now my base setting for my possession tactic is balance/positive depending on opposition, to further increase possession numbers obviously much shorter passing is a must. Now I always used to select play out of defence as my approach was one of defenders must play it short, which is along the same as what you were saying in the 2nd post. All my roles tend to be on support, which is something I picked up from Cleon's thread.

The issue I tend to face is a ME one, whether it is a bug or not I'll not comment too much, but when facing teams who are playing ultra defensive and have no interest of getting out their own half this is where I struggle to achieve anything more the 55%.

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35 minutes ago, bdixon said:

to further increase possession numbers obviously much shorter passing is a must.

I hope so bad that it's not the case for @herne79 's system. This is another of the ME myths that is just ripe for busting. An absolutely untrue statement that everybody takes as gospel. Same with needing to use an extremely low tempo.

In both cases the lowest settings are so extreme that, based on other factors (like width, player mentality, etc.), they can significantly hurt your possession numbers by causing very unnecessary and preventable turnovers, especially when they are used in conjunction with one another.

35 minutes ago, bdixon said:

The issue I tend to face is a ME one, whether it is a bug or not I'll not comment too much, but when facing teams who are playing ultra defensive and have no interest of getting out their own half this is where I struggle to achieve anything more the 55%.

Not a ME issue I'm afraid. It's the same tactical issue that @herne79is dealing with and resolving with his discussions about how he uses Jack Wilshire.

 

Edited by VinceLombardi

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3 minutes ago, VinceLombardi said:

I hope so bad that it's not the case for @herne79 's tactic. This is another of the ME myths that is just ripe for busting. An absolutely untrue statement that everybody takes as gospel. Same with needing to use an extremely low tempo.

In both cases they lowest settings are so extreme that, based on other factors (like width, player mentality, etc.), they can significantly hurt your possession numbers by causing very unnecessary and preventable turnovers.

Well, this is very interesting to hear I've always thought that a retain possession type TI is a must when creating possession based tactics. So I'm assuming playmakers are a must or is this no longer the case either?

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12 minutes ago, bdixon said:

Well, this is very interesting to hear I've always thought that a retain possession type TI is a must when creating possession based tactics. So I'm assuming playmakers are a must or is this no longer the case either?

Nothing is a must. Playmakers, short passing, low tempo, any of it. They are just tools that can help (or hurt) your goal to control the ball based on how you use them. For a possession based tactic you are very likely to use most or maybe all of them. But you don't have to. It's not good to think in absolutes in this regard.

And even if they were "a must" in the old versions, the new ME has shown itself to be a different beast. Gotta be willing to expand those expectations to accommodate it.

I think that's a big part of what @herne79 is trying to do with the post and how he is presenting the system.

He obviously has a working system. It could have all been in the first post. Instead he is trying to piecemeal it a little at a time to get people thinking about what he is doing, rather than just copying it and inadvertently creating the next age of "must have" rules to possession football that everybody follows.

That's why I was so excited for this post for the community. Gotta get people to think outside of the box, so that they stop blindly clicking "Work ball into the box."

Edited by VinceLombardi

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Well I'll sit here patiently waiting for the rest of thread to be posted because it would appear what I thought I knew might not be the case.

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3 minutes ago, bdixon said:

patiently waiting for the rest of thread

You, me, and many others. I'm expecting there will be lots of neat little bits to glean and consider before it's all done. 

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1 hour ago, bdixon said:

All my roles tend to be on support, which is something I picked up from Cleon's thread.

As far as I remember, that Cleon's thread was from FM18, when team shape still existed in the game. In FM19 however, as the shape has gone, the context is somewhat different (though basic principles still apply).

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3 hours ago, bdixon said:

Now my base setting for my possession tactic is balance/positive depending on opposition, to further increase possession numbers obviously much shorter passing is a must.

 

2 hours ago, VinceLombardi said:

I hope so bad that it's not the case for @herne79 's system.

That all depends on the rest of your possession tactic @bdixon.  If your system calls for it then absolutely use shorter passing - it brings the players closer together and gives them a little more time to consider their actions, both of which can help promote possession.

It's the rest of the system which is important though.  Consider just the basic formation aspect for a moment.  If using a single striker with nobody at AMC, getting people up in support of that striker may become more difficult if you use a higher tempo and/or more direct passing.  And if the striker lacks support there's a risk you'll consistently lose possession in that area.  But reduce the tempo and/or passing length and suddenly your players have a bit more time on their hands to provide support.  But with a more top heavy formation this may become less of an issue - players are already up in support and so there's less pressure to give them time to get there.

A quick example:  I just beat Arsenal 4-0 using the Positive mentality.  I didn't touch passing length but I did set Work Ball Into Box (reasons described above) and I also reduced Tempo.  The Positive mentality comes with a high Tempo + longer passing set by default.  So in order to ensure my midfield could provide decent support in the final third, I reduced Tempo to give them time to get there (I'm not using anyone at AMC remember).  I still played my passing game but I "only" achieved 58% possession.  That's still damn good but relatively low for me - at least in the context of what I'm doing (which as Vince says is more of a community experiment than anything).

2 hours ago, bdixon said:

Well I'll sit here patiently waiting for the rest of thread to be posted because it would appear what I thought I knew might not be the case.

You do know.  Shorter Passing can indeed help, it's just how it fits in with the rest of your system and whether or not you actually need it :).

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I’m not sure if it’s a visual glitch, a bug or intentional but if you pay close attention; setting your team instructions to shorter passing while also using play out of defence indicates that the back lines directness is higher (50%) than if you use standard passing (33%) alongside play out of defence.

big thanks @herne79 for the write up and not just a tactic dump. After reading this, it motivated me to tweak my system and I’m getting some wonderful footy. I’m not as insistent on possession but I’ve finally unlocked the pressing I was desiring as well as attacking intent from my striker. Also solved my DM problem via mentality adjustments to the CBs

keep it up!

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4 hours ago, herne79 said:

For me, this one goal encapsulates the entire thread :).

That's a nice goal. And the pass to Yarmolenko that made it possible isn't something you would see in most possession systems I see posted. Thanks for sharing. 

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8 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

As far as I remember, that Cleon's thread was from FM18, when team shape still existed in the game. In FM19 however, as the shape has gone, the context is somewhat different (though basic principles still apply).

It was FM 16, but yeah the principles are the same. But I wonder how herne created space by positioning players far apart from each other and then bring them back together somehow or do I just misinterpret the reason he linked those comments?

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I'm really intrigued to see if there are any comparisons between this tactic and your 442 from a few years ago Herne, more in terms of overall thought process as I know it wasn't meant to be a possession tactic. I think the development of that system was the physical manifestation of the lightbulb moment you mentioned earlier. 

 

 

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Hi @herne79,

A quick help in analysing my tactic, and the thoughts i'm having after reading your thread.

I'm playing, like you, in a 4123 Wide DM formation, with the following setup:

DLF(a)

W(s)                                       IF(s)

MEZ(a)        DLP(s)

HB(d)

WB(s)        DC(d)         DC(d)      WB(a)

SK(s)

I usually play with balanced mentality, and in possession i use the play from defence and work ball into box instructions.

What i see in this setup, is that i usually have less possession than my opponent. I'm winning game, 77% win percentage, but my game is more a game of quick transitions.

From your thread, i come to the conclusion, that one of the issues for that is probably the tempo. By not reducing the tempo, i'm probably rushing the play (mainly because of the attacking duty of my forward), and not giving enough time for my MEZ and WBacks to come into play.

Is this correct?

 

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2 minutes ago, Keyzer Soze said:

Is this correct?

Possibly, I'm guessing you haven't made adjustments from your Balanced mentality?  However, the Mez shouldn't have too many problems keeping up, especially with the attack duty.  It may be more a question of where he's running to and what use he's being when he gets there.

You also mention nothing about Pressing and Line of Engagement, both of which can play a big part in possession systems.  Have a read through the following regarding the Mezzala, especially the part concerning example suitable systems.

But it all depends on what you are trying to achieve.  You have a 77% win rate already, so do you want to run the risk of jeopardising that?  You may be safer trying things out in a throw away test save before mucking about too much with your actual game.

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@herne79 did I understand your latest post that correctly, saying you have been using the Dribble Less TI? If so, could you expand a little further about your experiences with it? Whenever I have tried using it I always had a hard time spotting any difference. :)

Edited by Gegenklaus

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6 minutes ago, Gegenklaus said:

@herne79 did I understand your latest post that correctly, saying you have been using the Dribble Less TI? If so, could you expand a little further about your experiences with it? Whenever I have tried using it I always had a hard time spotting any difference. :)

Yup, I use Dribble Less.  Players with a role PI telling them to dribble or players with a dribble more Trait will still play in that manner (albeit toned down a bit) but the basic principle is dribbling is a risky business.  So pass the ball to a player in space rather than try to dribble past a player all the time.  Unless your name is Messi.

If you're not seeing much difference, it may be due to using roles and/or players who will still do it some anyway.

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@herne79

Do you think that your aproach work well against teams that park the bus?

I ask this, because, playing with West Ham, you probably dont encounter too many teams parking the bus, at least in the first season.

The instructions that you talked in the previous posts, like work ball into the box, shorter pass and tempo, dribble less (i know you dont use them all at once) area all instructions that need space and movement by you players, or you'll end up with a very static attack with players passing ball around. This is something that can happen when facing teams that park the bus. 

 

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16 hours ago, herne79 said:

 

 

 

For me what l like most about this video is the way Oxford and Diop just pause on the ball and wait to be pressed. Its not pretty to look at but it really helps open up space. If they hang onto the ball like that the AI often can't resist pressing and if anyone is pressing a DC then they are leaving/opening space behind them. I've often seen this with 2 DMs in some of my tactics, again not pretty but it draws out CMs and can open a glorious pocket up in the AM strata. I always thought this was down to 'waste time sometimes' TI????

Its also nice seeing that the 'possession' style is focused at the back, you watch Yarmalenko casually walk back until he gets the pass them BOOM it's like a different tactic. I'd have thought its a ridgid structure becasue of that but I didn't think ridgid structures suited possesion football

Edited by scwiffy

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15 minutes ago, Keyzer Soze said:

@herne79

Do you think that your aproach work well against teams that park the bus?

I ask this, because, playing with West Ham, you probably dont encounter too many teams parking the bus, at least in the first season.

The instructions that you talked in the previous posts, like work ball into the box, shorter pass and tempo, dribble less (i know you dont use them all at once) area all instructions that need space and movement by you players, or you'll end up with a very static attack with players passing ball around. This is something that can happen when facing teams that park the bus. 

 

I actually started to do a post about the parked bus (which I face quite a lot) but deleted it as you need the context of the complete system, which I haven't posted yet.  The system works just fine, although small tweaks are sometimes needed.

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4 hours ago, herne79 said:

It's a product of the formation and I use those tactical settings to help the support - not to drive possession.  Additional possession is the by-product.

I think this is one of the most important statements you make. Possession is not the goal, it just helps with the overall goal, which is to win as many games as you possibly can. I think this gets lost when many people focus on a possession based tactics. You cannot get hung up on achieving X amount of possession and Y number of passes. Scoring goals is the most important thing you want to achieve, and possession is a tool to help unlock defences. 

Just a short note on the ME. It is definitely possible to get the type of football you want from it, using various tricks. I like my striker to be involved a lot in build ups, and this is not what you see at the moment. So I just dropped him into the AMC position (I too am playing what the game is calling 4141), and he is involved, scores, creates problems with the movement. I also use the fact that the ball often ends up out wide to create overloads that makes central space. It has worked wonderfully for me, I may eventually write about it when I get some more time to do it properly. The thing is, I have the confidence to do this, because I have a fair understanding of the ME, and know how this will affect my play and what I need to change to get the most out of it. The same for you. I think the problem is many players do not have the confidence or the know-how yet. The biggest problem, I think, is that some of these things should be a lot easier and more obvious to achieve. I really can understand the annoyance some people have.

Great thread though, I am really enjoying the way you are telling people how things work, and why. I find this much more useful than simply providing a setup and dealing with each part individually. The thread of FM19 thus far. 

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Thought provoking thread. Funny as one of the questions that's been on my mind recently has been how much any given role/instruction impacts things around them? How much should I consider? 

In a sense, you've answered that @herne79. I should be considering everything. 

I was planning on going back to the drawing board. Now I have a different 'why' to utilise I as I work on my system.

 

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I actually also have a question that I forgot to add. You mention that you will use short passing, or lower tempo, or both, to modulate your tactic. Can you comment on when and why you choose each in a given match situation? What is your thought process that leads to "right, better lower the tempo"? Or is this something that will come later in the series. 

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1 hour ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Can you comment on when and why you choose each in a given match situation? What is your thought process that leads to "right, better lower the tempo"?

The million dollar question.

The simplest answer I can give is by reading the game and the stats.  But that's experience and hard to translate into a forum post.  The type of things I look out for (perhaps I should flow chart):

-  Is my midfield supporting my forward players effectively?  ("Effectively" meaning a passing option, positioned to play a forward pass, or even just be a physical presence to give the opposition something to think about).  Yes - leave well alone.  No - consider MC duty.  Attack duty - consider Tempo.  Support duty - try attack instead.  Did changing duty to Attack work?  No - consider Tempo.  (This is not the definitive list as other factors could be at work such as Mentality, the wrong role or even something as simple as the player having an off day).

-  Is our passing game working?  Yes - leave well alone.  No - why are my players not finding space?  Is my length too long, is my length too short?  (No sniggering).  Are they marked heavily?  Am I giving too much time to allow the opposition to regroup?

I could probably go on for pages, but in essence it all boils down to this: are my players doing what they are supposed to be doing in terms of their roles and the instructions I've given them?  If they are, we'll probably have a good match.  Of course if my system is rubbish we'll probably have a bad match.

But I can only tell if they are doing what they're supposed to by understanding what I've told them to do in the first place.  So is my Fullback (support) covering his wing defensively, supporting the midfield and providing the odd overlap?  Yes - tick move on.  Is my Advanced Playmaker (support) helping to dominate the midfield and supporting the attack?  No - sort it out.  And so on.

It perhaps sounds laborious but once you get your eye in it becomes quick and second nature.  Of course getting your eye can be the tricky part and comes with experience, which I know a lot of people struggle with.  I usually watch the first 10 mins or so of each half then switch to key highlights and keep an eye on the stats (pass completion rate and opposition shots can be good to watch out for).  Just don't ball watch and don't try to watch everything.  Break it down, focus on one thing at a time (at least to begin with).

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