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I am struggling to get my team playing particularly well, and I'm trying to mess around with the attacking width setting (I have it set to 'extremely wide' here):

image.thumb.png.80ba0f200af42dedaef3c0882f4ee0a9.png

I am trying to keep the ball as much as possible, using slightly shorter passes.

I am wondering what would be the best approach:

Narrow--seems logical, as the players would be closer together, suiting short passes, but it may be difficult to break down compact defences; or

Wide--may contrast with short passing, but it ought to result in my players having more space, dragging opponents out of position more often.

What would you recommend?

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1 hour ago, ryandormer said:

I am trying to keep the ball as much as possible, using slightly shorter passes

If you are looking to play possession football - which your tactical screenshot suggests as well - I would definitely not recommend extreme att width. Given that you play on Balanced mentality, I would consider either standard (default) width or slightly wider. 

If you played on Positive, then you may even try slightly narrower.

Btw, you have both attacking CM and attacking WB on the same side. Apart from the potential defensive risk, it does not quite go hand in hand with possession football. A domination of support duties is key to a possession-based style (along with shorter passing, POD and an appropriate selection of roles). My suggestion would therefore be to change the RB to either IWBsu (my personal preference) or standard FBsu.

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you don't have a playmaker either mate....who do you want to be creating the chances for you?

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3 minutes ago, burdinho said:

you don't have a playmaker either mate....who do you want to be creating the chances for you?

Having a playmaker (as a role) is not necessary. However, given that he wants to play (very much) possession-based football, using a PM is not a bad idea. So your remark is basically correct :thup:

The question is what type of PM (DLPsu or APsu) and in which position/strata (TQ can also be an option).

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2 hours ago, ryandormer said:

I am trying to keep the ball as much as possible, using slightly shorter passes.

By spreading everyone out as far as you can (on that mentality) your reducing the short passing options available.

Spreading out can be good to stretch opponents but players then need to be able to try longer passes so the switch is quick to use the space.  This is risky since need to be accurate and a good opponent could intercept it leaving your players out of position.

You have two wingbacks who will run wide and give width, is that not enough?

9 minutes ago, burdinho said:

you don't have a playmaker either mate....who do you want to be creating the chances for you?

You dont have to use a playmaker. Any of those front 5 could create a chance rather than focusing through one player.

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I think a MEZ (S) and AP (A) in the two central slots would wreak all kinds of havoc, complementing the front three

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

My suggestion would therefore be to change the RB to either IWBsu (my personal preference) or standard FBsu

How would this work with an inside forward on support on the same flank? Wouldn't there be a lack of penetration down that side, particularly if using an inverted wingback?

48 minutes ago, burdinho said:

you don't have a playmaker either mate....who do you want to be creating the chances for you?

I was going to test the tactic out with generic roles to see if, broadly, the tactic was working, then decide whether I really need a playmaker. Ideally, I would want chances coming from a variety of different places, so I was considering not having one. However, I have noticed that we play too many speculative balls forward without a playmaker, so I may change that.

 

42 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

The question is what type of PM (DLPsu or APsu) and in which position/strata (TQ can also be an option).

Which do you find tends to work better? I've tried out both in the past, but I can't seem to get it working the way I would like. The deep lying playmaker attracts passes well (he had 122 passes in a recent game where I used that role), but he tends to pick the ball up slightly too deep to cause any real damage.

34 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

You have two wingbacks who will run wide and give width, is that not enough?

They help to an extent, but the inside forwards tend to still be a little too narrow for the central midfielders (particularly the attacking one) to get forward.

Thanks for the replies

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Given the choice between either narrower or wider attacking width, I would opt for the former when trying to play a shorter passing game.

That is however just part of the story. In addition to having to consider width you also need to consider depth. The concern I would have with your tactic in that respect is the massive gaps that exist in your wide partnerships and between your central midfielders and your lone striker. You need to give careful consideration to how you select your player duties and try in some way to bring those players closer together when you have the ball in order to mitigate this.

I also would favour using a different formation when trying to play a possession-based game. I would want a formation which packs the central areas (such as a narrow diamond) that forms a good amount of passing triangles. I would do that to ensure that my players have a variety of passing options within their passing range at all times which is critically important for that style of play. 

Finally, I would give serious thought to whether my players have the right sort of attribute profile to carry out what I want. It's all well and good expecting the team to play beautiful tika-taka but if they can't pick a pass to save their life or find space off the ball then they're not going play that style particularly well. The more you compress the pitch, the better your players need to be at finding space.

All the best

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22 minutes ago, ryandormer said:

How would this work with an inside forward on support on the same flank? Wouldn't there be a lack of penetration down that side, particularly if using an inverted wingback?

From the perspective of possession football - which you said you wanna play - it should work very nicely, especially with IWB who sits narrower as a sort of extra midfielder and helps to both keep and recycle possession, in addition to covering for the attacking CM. But if you want to switch to a more progressive style, then you need a bit different setup overall. 

 

29 minutes ago, ryandormer said:
1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

The question is what type of PM (DLPsu or APsu) and in which position/strata (TQ can also be an option).

Which do you find tends to work better? I've tried out both in the past, but I can't seem to get it working the way I would like. The deep lying playmaker attracts passes well (he had 122 passes in a recent game where I used that role), but he tends to pick the ball up slightly too deep to cause any real damage

There is no rule as to which type of PM (or any role) would work better or worse. Any type of PM can work on condition(s) that:

- the role is logically integrated into the tactic as a whole

- the player playing the role is suitable to play it

So there are different combos that could work or fail, depending on how much these preconditions are satisfied. In possession football, you can even use 2 PMs at the same time. However, in order to avoid an overkill, I would suggest they should not be the same type of PM and should not play next to (or too close) to each other. One example of using 2 PMs in a sensible way in a 4141dm wide:

X

APsu                                  X

X         DLPsu

X

X          X         X           X

X

Or:

X

TQ                                  X

X         DLPsu

X

X          X         X           X

X

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In answer to your question....with that tactic I'd play normal width and then review in game if it's working. Your WB's, which in my opinion are really attacking, should provide all the width you need. But spreading the rest of the team out you make your passing style harder to achieve as there are fewer players that can receive a short pass as they are simply not close enough but you also lessen the space your WB's can work in.

If you want your WB's really wide then use the PI's to achieve this...... Stay wider + run wide with the ball.

On a related note.... and entirely subject to player ability my RB would be FB(S) or IWB(D/S).

Don't underestimate how far forward a FB(S) will go when there is space.....  for him to move into..... hmm..... space for Wingbacks..... I think I may have mentioned that above.

 

 

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3 hours ago, ryandormer said:

They help to an extent, but the inside forwards tend to still be a little too narrow for the central midfielders (particularly the attacking one) to get forward.

They're Inside Forwards its kind of what they're meant to do regardless of the width of the team.  Even Wingers in the AML/AMR positions will get narrower the closer you get to the goal.

Why do you want your CMs to get forward when you have two inside forwards?  Whos sitting and creating for them or giving a different option rather than making runs into the same areas?  I don't think Width is your issue, more how you want them to combine with wide forwards.  If you want your CM pair to be runners i'd consider a Winger and AP, one to actually give width and the other to give a deeper central option thats more focused on creating for others.

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16 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

There is no rule as to which type of PM (or any role) would work better or worse. Any type of PM can work on condition(s) that:

- the role is logically integrated into the tactic as a whole

- the player playing the role is suitable to play it

Thanks for this. I've altered the set up quite drastically to the following:

image.thumb.png.419f64aff7c8c52adf6a24b3344e2835.png

Possession wise, it has been ok. I dropped the line back to standard, as the line organically seems to move up the more possession we get in the opposition half. In the last game, I knocked the width down to 'standard' (one notch narrower on attacking) and that helped with possession, too. Penetration is the problem.

I'm struggling to find a good middle ground--attacking roles offer penetration but don't seem to help with possession, as @pheelf pointed out, my attacking players created too much of a gap between them and the rest of the team. Support roles the opposite--great passing options, limited penetration.

I'll try the tactic out for a while longer and see if, perhaps, more intelligent forward runs will come with tactical familiarity. 

I agree with, and appreciate, the advice on here that narrower shapes are the way to go for possession styles.

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Posted (edited)

What was the reason behind pushing the mentality up to attacking?

I don't think that the attacking mentality is necessarily a good fit if attempting to attack playing a possession-based style. By default, it has the following effects.

- Increases the attacking width

- Increases passing directness

- Raises tempo

It also has the effect of making all your players more attack-minded (check the individual mentalities) which makes them less inclined to play safe and keep possession. I also don't think the attacking mentality suits some of the roles very well such as the F9. 

From my perspective, if the aim is to retain the ball better then I would switch back to the standard mentality which will make your approach play more patient which helps with ball retention while also giving more opportunity for players to get involved in building attacks. I'd also remove the Shorter Passing instruction and put back some penetration with attack duties.

You may say that removing the shorter passing instruction is counterproductive but let me provide my reasoning. If your shape is naturally wide which the 4-3-3 is then the main effect of adding shorter passing is to reduce the number of passing options available to a player when they have the ball especially those on the flanks.

The fewer options a player has the more likely the opposition will be able to force a turnover of possession given the only alternative to continue moving the ball forward is dribbling. I think there is a commonly held misconception that reducing the passing directness by itself will lead to better ball retention. The reality is that in the wrong system it can actually produce the opposite effect. That is why I always stress the importance of viewing things holistically.

If you want to play a possession style then everything needs to be set up in a cohesive manner. The players, the formation, the roles and duties, the mentality, the TIs, and PIs all need to be right. If they aren't then you will get problems and struggle to find balance. 

Best Regards

Edited by pheelf

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Thanks for the detailed reply.

The reason I pushed the mentality to attack was because of the number of support roles. With that many support roles, there are very few players who make forward runs, so I though pushing the mentality to attacking would assist. So, where the first tactic was 'standard' with attacking duties, creating gaps which were too wide between players, an attacking mentality with support duties should (in theory) increase everybody's mentality slightly but equally.

Where would you put the attacking duties?

Thanks again

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2 hours ago, ryandormer said:

Thanks for the detailed reply.

The reason I pushed the mentality to attack was because of the number of support roles. With that many support roles, there are very few players who make forward runs, so I though pushing the mentality to attacking would assist. So, where the first tactic was 'standard' with attacking duties, creating gaps which were too wide between players, an attacking mentality with support duties should (in theory) increase everybody's mentality slightly but equally.

Where would you put the attacking duties?

Thanks again

Hmm when you have more support roles, you have more players supporting the attacking transition. So you have more players moving as a unit. Thats how you should think about it. As far as "attacking space" is concerned, a team with support duties in attack is just as capable as creating space and attacking it, if the players have good off the ball. So while its good to have some attack duties on the pitch, it is usually a good idea to see how they fit into the system. 

I have some thoughts. Counter pressing in itself does not create the "Klopp" LFC effect if that is what you are after, it will help you keep possession when you lose the ball as your players strive to get it back. Now think about what happens when you have attacking duties there. These attack duties could easily get out of position during that press. Counter pressing is excellent when paired with hit early crosses and pass into space, or alternatively using specific roles to create space or giving player instructions to attacking the space. 

You can play on attacking mentality and still generate obscene possesion, but you need to understand what the mentality has done. To help with possession it would be a good idea to drop tempo in this case.

You should go and try the system out, and see how your players play with it. When you play a lot of support duties, how your players create space is a function of off the ball and the decision making of players to make the move and try the pass. If i were playing this system and found that i was struggling to break sides down, the first positions i set to attack are the fullbacks. That way we get them getting into dangerous positions. You should go give your system a whirl.

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Thanks, I shall give the system a go and see what happens.

3 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

Counter pressing in itself does not create the "Klopp" LFC effect

I wasn't necessarily going for the gegenpress, I just wanted my team to try to get the ball back quickly. If they can't get the ball back within a few seconds, I would expect them to adopt their defensive positions. I don't think my team is ready for all out aggressive pressing just yet--the team isn't aggressive enough, and the centre backs not quick enough to recover any mistakes.

I'll give the system a try with more support roles and see what happens.

One question: do you find dropping the passing or the tempo more effective? I have noticed that shorter passing can work well, but the players' tendency to want to pass forward remains, resulting in giving the ball away slightly more. Lower tempo seems to encourage more sideways/backwards passes if the forward options are too risky.

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1 hour ago, ryandormer said:

Thanks, I shall give the system a go and see what happens.

I wasn't necessarily going for the gegenpress, I just wanted my team to try to get the ball back quickly. If they can't get the ball back within a few seconds, I would expect them to adopt their defensive positions. I don't think my team is ready for all out aggressive pressing just yet--the team isn't aggressive enough, and the centre backs not quick enough to recover any mistakes.

I'll give the system a try with more support roles and see what happens.

One question: do you find dropping the passing or the tempo more effective? I have noticed that shorter passing can work well, but the players' tendency to want to pass forward remains, resulting in giving the ball away slightly more. Lower tempo seems to encourage more sideways/backwards passes if the forward options are too risky.

Its not just a question about passing/tempo, its about how your duties work together with your system to help you keep the ball. I play a 235 and i can get high amounts of possession as well. Lower tempo does not lead to sideways passing. Balanced mentality does. I can also play on attacking mentality high tempo and get good possession.

Ultimately its a question of:

Can you players pass the ball?
Are they good enough to make themselves available for the pass.

Attacking.thumb.jpg.fc13878325c345f91d79bcf3b2f962eb.jpg

Lowering tempo, will not lead to sideways passing. A lower mentality will. My liquid system plays on attacking with low tempo, and it generates 60% possession, and an ungodly amount of shots on goal. My 235 system plays on attacking with direct passes and standard tempo and it also generates high possession. Tempo does not lead to sideways passing. Lack of forward passing options, caused by poor OTB, a player with poor technique who needs to make the pass but can't see it or make it and a lower mentality will lead to sideways passing. So you need to address those factors. 

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Thanks for the response. I have seen your video on the Liquid system--do you still set up that same way, or have you tweaked it since then?

At the moment, I still line up with this formation (roles and duties still under construction):

image.thumb.png.1f600215fcc3106a515883298f188ecb.png

Until I get to the summer window and can have a proper clear out (with Ramsey is going anyway), my centre midfield duo are Ramsey and Mkhitaryan (retraining him). Do you have any suggestions for roles/duties for those two, and how you would set up the rules/duties around them? I tend to use Ozil inside forward right, Aubameyang inside forward left and Lacazette striker (false nine at the moment).

I've been playing the game for years, but I've never taken such notice of roles duties--I used to (almost religiously) follow the 'Guide to FM' side with regard to distributing duties (i.e. one support and one attacking full back, same for wide forwards), and would alwas go very fluid which tended to keep the playing positions closer. I've found this year much harder as a result!

I really appreciate the input.

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