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Fortiscataphractus

The Botvinnik Aproach: How a new fm player will try to develop a superclub inspired by a non-footballer

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The first formation:

My first formation will be the main tactic in the system and the one I will employ as a base for most matches. I have chosen the 4-2-3-1 DM Wide. I have chosen this formation because I believe my strikers are better suited for direct football and this formation is the go to for this kind of football when you don't have a holding striker for a 442. The team will in theory split itself into a defensive unit of 2 centre backs, 2 full backs and 2 defensive midfielders and an attacking unit of a striker, a number 10 and 2 wingers. The fullbacks and one of the midfielders should in theory help with the transitions.

Role for Role:

Goalkeeper: Regular goalkeeper, I don't need him to recycle possession or play from the back so no Sweeping.

Fullback (attack): I expect my fullback to be a solid defender but also go forward to cross the ball. Therefore I have chosen The fullback role (the wingback might be a bit too aggressive) with an attacking mentality (I might change their mentality to support because my players already have "get further forward" as a PPM. I will make a decision after seeing the team play.

Centre-backs: I am not focusing on possession football and I don't play a high line so this should do.

Anchorman: A holding midfielder who in theory (I am not entirely sure I understand all the midfield roles) is a very conservative ballwinner. As far as his description and Instructions suggest he will busy himself with winning the ball and passing it forwards.

Segundo Volante (support): A blank slate. I expect him to work as a IRL box to box midfielder would, going from one edge of the are to another. I have him in DM so he shares defensive duties while being the man who will connect my team' s attacking and defensive units.

Winger (attack): As I have already said, I am going to rely on my strikers as the main scorers and engineer the rest of my team around crafting chances for him. This role with this mentality should see my players go further forward in order to beat any possible offside and cross the ball inside for my striker to beat his mark and gain a one on one on the keeper.

Advanced Playmaker (support): I am playing direct football, my midfielders will instinctively look for the playmakers in the team, therefore a deep playmaker makes for a less direct game while a more advanced one will benefit teams who aim to be more efficient (I might be wrong but that is just a matter of testing)

Poacher: I had seven possible striker roles with an attack mentality. Poacher, advanced forward, pressing forward, Target man, Complete Forward, Deep lying forward and trequartista. The trequartista is out of the question since he is clearly tailored to behave as Totti or Del Piero did. A complete forward is unnecessarily all encompassing, I don't need him to craft chances for others. The Target Man has a holds up ball Instruction which is the opposite of what I want him to do but I do like his other instructions and the fact that my players will be more tempted to cross him the ball. The pressing forward has some nice instructions and I might try him in the future. The deep lying forward seems to be just a holding trequartista so again not of use to me. The advanced forward was tempting but apparently he will step out of his primary role to abilitate other players, this might be great for other tactics but not what I am looking for. In the end I settled for a poacher + "shoot more often" instruction.

4-2-3-1 DM.png

 

Team Instructions:

 

Balanced Mentality: I don't know how my roles will interact with each other so I am not going to change mentalities right now.

Slightly more direct passing: to encourage my defensive unit to pass the ball to the attacking unit as soon as they can.

Low crosses: My strikers aren't very big so low crosses should help them against the defenders.

Counter: Again we are trying to be fast and direct.

Regroup: I am not sure, Counter press might force the opposition to play a long pass into my defensive unit. I will try both of them as the experiment progresses.

Lower defensive line: to play direct football you need spaces behind the other team's defensive line so I expect my players to sit deep and invite the opposition into our own half.

Much lower line of engagement: I picked it for solidity but I would like to try having a low defensive line and high line of engagement to see what happens. 

 

In my next post I will show how I intend to train my players individually to fit this tactic as well as the early training schedule for pre season. If any of you see anything blatantly wrong with the tactic above feel free to point it out.

Thank you for your time.

 

Edited by Fortiscataphractus

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On 03/02/2019 at 12:30, Fortiscataphractus said:

If any of you see anything blatantly wrong with the tactic above feel free to point it out.

I won't say it's "blatantly wrong", but what I clearly don't like is the one-dimensionality on the flanks in terms of roles and duties. That is likely to make it easier for opposition to defend. So IMO you should add some variety. Personally, I would try something like this:

PO/PFat

IFsu         APsu          Wat

 

AC     VOLsu

FBat     CD     CD     IWBde/FBsu

GK

The attacking FB on the left can create a natural overlap with an IF on support. Also, when the IF gets inside, the left FBat provides a nice passing option on the flank.

IWBde or FBsu as the RB are more conservative than your original FBat. That's because you need better defensive cover for the volante who gets forward and the winger on attack. IWBde can also help in the midfield to recycle possession when needed. 

Player instructions I would use:

- get further forward for the volante

- sit narrower for the RB (if a FBsu is used instead of IWB)

- move into channels for poacher or PFatt

- roam from position for IFsu (AML)

Regarding team instructions, I like your idea to play a more direct (as opposed to possession) style of football. However, I don't think you need to go to extremes with your DL and LOE settings. Instead of lower DL and much lower LOE, I would opt for standard DL and lower LOE. Then you need to be a bit more aggressive in trying to win the ball. Consider the "more urgent pressing" and "get stuck in" TIs (either together or separately). Because in order to counter-attack successfully, you first need to win the ball and intercept an opposition attack in appropriate areas of the pitch. You could also try with a bit higher tempo, to encourage your players to move the ball forward faster and try to catch opposition off guard (I assume Inter players are good enough to be capable of playing on a higher tempo). 

On 03/02/2019 at 12:30, Fortiscataphractus said:

Regroup: I am not sure, Counter press might force the opposition to play a long pass into my defensive unit. I will try both of them as the experiment progresses.

You also have an option to leave both regroup and counter-press turned off (i.e. to use neither). But of course you can experiment to see what suits your players better in a given situation / against a particular opponent.

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Apologies: My laptop's charger cable broke at the head so I was unable to use play the game or update this topic since battery was scarce. I will focus extra hard on the game this weekend as compensation.

Goalkeepers:

I am not using a sweeper keeper so all my goalkeepers are being trained as regular goalkeepers, since handanovic is getting old there is not much to do in regards to a special training focus.

Defenders:

Skriniar is being trained with a central defender routine with a defensive positioning focus and double intensity, I chose the intensity because his good work rate, stamina and perfectionist personality should allow him to push himself further than other members of the squad. I chose central defender because I want to build him as a pure defender so he doesn't need the confidence on the ball.

Miranda is being trained as a non nonsense centre-back to preserve his most important attributes against old age.

De vrij is my best creative outlet from the back so he is being trained as a Ball playing defender with a quickness focus because I think he is a tad too slow.

Ranocchia is on the same regimen as Miranda.

Van den Eynden is training as a central defender with a strength focus (10 jumping reach, 6 strength) once this attributes improve to a decent level he will be getting first team football, most likely next season. Double intensity because he is young and won't be playing loads of matches during pre season. He is in a mentoring group with Skriniar and miranda.

Wingbacks:

All wingback are being trained as Complete Wingbacks because I happen to like the attribute spread it trains. Vrsaljko is focusing on final third because I found it lacking. 

Midfielders: Nainggolan, Brozovic and Vecino are training as box to box midfielders and are very balanced players so I feel no extra focus is required. Gagliardini and Valero are training as roaming playmakers. Joao Mario and Salcedo are training as Trequartistas with Salcedo training at double intensity with an additional focus on passing. I have chosen roles that cover a wide variety of attributes because I am using very specific roles in attack and defence so I want my midfield to add versatility to the team.

Wingers: All wingers are being trained as wingers with a focus on attacking movement but this may be subject to change.

Strikers: All strikers safe Fonseca are training as poachers. Icardi is on double intensity and a quickness focus to improve the only area of his game where he isn't an absolute beast. Lautaro is on an attacking movement focus and double intensity. Colidio is on a shooting focus. Esposito is on double intensity and an attacking movement focus, in addition he is learning the "tries to beat the offside trap" PPM. Fonseca is training as a Target Man with a focus on strength and double intensity. All my strikers + Salcedo are on the same mentoring group.

 

This covers all my first team players, I have left the training of the youth team to the backroom staff. I have a few questions:

1.- What are some good PPMs for a Target Man?

2.- Should I reduce double intensity to normal of double match weeks? on regular weeks?

3.- Is there a way of focusing on keeper attributes other than aerial reach?

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You don't have to train players for the role you intend to play them in. For example, I always train a keeper as a sweeper-keeper, even if I use him as a standard GK. I also train my central defenders in a BPD role, even though I very rarely use a BPD in my tactics. Strikers as complete forwards. Fullbacks as complete wing-backs. DMs as half-backs or volantes (depending what type of DM I need). And so on. The point is to train players for roles that will develop most of their attributes, no matter whether you'll actually play them in those roles or not.

16 minutes ago, Fortiscataphractus said:

What are some good PPMs for a Target Man?

"Plays with back to goal" can be a nice PPM for a TM (for example).

 

18 minutes ago, Fortiscataphractus said:

Should I reduce double intensity to normal of double match weeks? on regular weeks?

Here I always follow a physio recommendation. But I'm not sure if that's the best approach :onmehead:

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hace 4 minutos, Experienced Defender dijo:

You don't have to train players for the role you intend to play them in. For example, I always train a keeper as a sweeper-keeper, even if I use him as a standard GK. I also train my central defenders in a BPD role, even though I very rarely use a BPD in my tactics. Strikers as complete forwards. Fullbacks as complete wing-backs. DMs as half-backs or volantes (depending what type of DM I need). And so on. The point is to train players for roles that will develop most of their attributes, no matter whether you'll actually play them in those roles or not.

I have chosen more narrow attribute spreads because mt players have a limited potential and I am not playing Total Football so I'd rather have my players develop in a more focused way. for example, If I am not going to build from the back I don't want my defenders to invest part of their potential on passing.

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Just now, Fortiscataphractus said:

I have chosen more narrow attribute spreads because mt players have a limited potential and I am not playing Total Football so I'd rather have my players develop in a more focused way. for example, If I am not going to build from the back I don't want my defenders to invest part of their potential on passing.

Okay mate. That's also perfectly legitimate :thup: :)

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so the  match against my U20s was not that good (2-2):

One day after joining Inter I play a match against the youth squad in which I was most interested in seeing my original tactic at work, as Experienced Defender pointed out my attack turned out to be too straight forward, Icardi was too isolated to be a threat and the only reasons I managed to score at all were a penalty on De vrij from a corner and a long shot effort from my segundo volante. 

We were caught offside 7 times and only created one clear cut chance (Icardi heading a ball from a cross) and a half-chance (our volante's goal). We lost the ball 7 times and missed three interceptions, two of them in or penalty area and the other one right in front. We lost 26 headers, 12 of them inside the opponents area and none on ours. 18 of our crosses were intercepted and only 6 of our 9 completed crosses were received by one of our players. We had 21 shots in total, 11 failed to hit target, 8 where either saved or blocked and the other two where goals (including a penalty). 17 of our passes ended up outside and 66 were intercepted, having made 398 good passe that leaves us 83/481 failed passes (17.25%), which I deem as too high.

on the bright side of things. We intercepted 12/15 dangerous passes, we won 46/72 headers, we won 14/15, we only had to make 3 fouls, we had a 59% possession.

I am going to change several things about my tactic based on the recommendations i received from Experienced defender and try it out on my next match too see if I manage to chance anything for the better. 

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The Second Try:

After the disappointing draw against our own youth I have had to make some important changes to my team, especially in attacking and transitioning. To do this I have decided to add more support roles and introduce an IF(s) + Wb(a) combination on the left. I have also instructed my players to run at defence, play with a higher tempo and press in a more urgent manner. To make better use of my wingback I have chosen overlap left. To retain an attacking attitude despite the increase of support roles I have raised the team mentality to positive.

 

1047422346_4-2-3-1DM(2).thumb.png.02a8834253d5a5db4474d273db4ede10.png

 

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Beating Unione Sanremo (1-5)

We have played much better against Unione Sanremo and yes part of this is because of their lower quality compared to our U20s but it is clear that the team has played much better. All goals save a penalty have been achieved via crosses and Icardi has scored 4 of those.

We missed 10 passes and had 27 passes intercepted by an opponent, if we sum them to our 264 passes gives us a 12.3% of failed passes, the lesser number of passes most likely comes from the "run at defence" instruction. We completed 16 crosses but they were able to intercept 32 crosses. We won 33 headers but lost 25. we won 11/12 tackles. we intercepted 4 balls and created 1 clear cut chance and 6 half chances. we were only caught offside twice. 

Our next opponent is the MLS team Chicago Fire a much stronger opponent, before facing them I will try to develop a corner routine for both defence and attack.

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1 hour ago, Fortiscataphractus said:

1047422346_4-2-3-1DM(2).thumb.png.02a8834253d5a5db4474d273db4ede10.png

Be careful with the "Run at defence" and "overlaps/underlaps" TIs, as well as with pressing levels in general. Run at defence can disrupt your defensive shape to a certain extent (even though it's an "attacking" TI), while overlaps and underlaps increase the mentalities of you fullbacks/wing-backs. Btw, you already have a so-called "natural" overlap on the left, since the wing-back is on attack and the IF on support ;)

That being said, I don't mean that you should not use over/underlaps at all, just be aware of the abovesaid mentality change.

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My first corner attacking routine:

1385806307_Corners(a)1.thumb.png.42e879cd05844cdd4738283de8e6bbd7.png

Here you can see my first attempt at an effective corner routine. It is currently untested and will wait until I have 50 corners in our favor to make any adjustments. I have based this routine on one of the many routine I coach with kids so I might happen that real life approaches might be sub-optimal in FM corners.  

I will try to explain my reasoning:

The corner taker will aim a ball to the far post, in principle this are harder for the keeper to intercept but also harder for the corner taker to nail. I have one of my centre-backs attacking the far post and he will be my main threat. My other centre-back is challenging the keeper but I am not entirely sure this will do something in FM. I have three players going forward and a man on the near post to support my centre-backs and try to get to any pass of deflection of the ball. My playmaker is lurking outside the area (I think this will mean he will try to make a pass out of any ball he gets) and my striker is arriving from deep because he is not very physical but he has great mental and technical attributes so he can beat any possible zonal marking and get a surprise header in.

So in theory my centre-back gets the ball and either heads it hard or passes it to one of several options. There are many players on attack because in theory that will give defenders a harder time and an own goal is slightly more likely (although that could be my IRL experience manifesting itself, this are meant to be professional players not U16 kids.

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American Tour Over:

My two matches during the American Training camp went very well with a 3-0 and 3-1 victory over Chicago Fire and Columbus respectively. 3 out of the six goals came from corners which I take as a god sign of my ideas being correct. Chicago Fire played with a brazilian box and dominated possession but only had two shots on goal thanks to our deep midfielders and out of possession instructions. Columbus played a 442 and possession was quite evenly spread between both teams, despite their two ranks of four they were incapable of "lowering the verticality of our attack" and because they defended deep our deep midfielders were able to command the centre with ease.

Because these two matches were friendlies against lower leveled opposition I am not going to bother you with more detailed stats but next friendly is against Atletico Madrid so a more nuanced post is in order.

Just before the Training Camp I signed both Rajkovic as our future keeper and Tonali as our future Anchorman. I am now scouting spain for future talent (spanish release clauses are a joke and a serious threat to their clubs future foundations) and have a specific assignment for young promising left-backs. 

Edited by Fortiscataphractus

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A nice draw against a huge team:

 391602225_AtleticoMadrid.png.379fe2a970d0a68131524ce7be2778ad.png              2-2  1458839933_InterMilan.png.f00491be7dfb4021f6897208d1b5d133.png

 

 

I was honestly expecting to lose this one but my boys were able to not only reduce their chances but also make the most out of ours!

An indirect free kick from Politano was headed by Vecino at the 8 minute mark to put us on the lead early on. Thomas Partney took a shot from outside our area that hit the woodwork, Vitolo was able to outrun Asamoah and score, 15 minutes gone 75 remaining. Joao Mario saw Vrsaljko make a run for it down the right flank and passed him the ball, Vrsaljko crossed the ball inside where Icardi headed the ball and beat Oblak, 23rd minute, 3 goals in less than half an hour. Diego Costa scored from a corner at the 40th minute, leaving the match even by half time.

At that time I decided that this friendly was the perfect time to try and see if my "parking the Bus" tactic was good enough as a situational weapon. 

1257478153_ParkingtheBus.thumb.png.57dca1fd56628a936b9718730f619479.png

I decided to play it as a deeper version of my 4-2-3-1 so that I can switch between them whenever I feel like using one or the other. The objective of this tactic is not to score but to sit out a goal advantage against a desperate team or hold the line against a stronger squad. I chose the roles with minimal attacking responsibilities and a direct fast style so that my team doesn't have to attack as a group. The tactic held the line for 45 minutes against the combined efforts of Costa, Griezmann, Vitolo, Koke and Lemar.

We minimised their chances inside their area to two (Their two goals) and they had to try eight shots from outside our area. We made 30 good tackles and only failed to gain the ball this way twice, we also made 23/25 interceptions.

Our crosses  had a 33% success rate and we had a healthyish 5 shots out of 11 inside the opposition area. We missed 21.8% of our passess which I found surprisingly decent if we take into account the team before us has a reputation as arguably the most solid team amongst the big clubs.

I would have to run this match several times to be sure this wasn't a fluke but I think I can be happy with a tactic that allows "not full strength Inter" to draw against 9 first team Atletico players + two back up fullbacks.

Edited by Fortiscataphractus

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