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ryandormer

'Focus play through the middle'--how do you use it?

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I am currently using the following set up:

image.thumb.png.75cb0ccf784b54525b904810e399acc5.png

The idea behind the tactic is to try to keep all players--from centre backs to the striker--as close together in each phase as possible, so that all players can contribute in defence, transition and attack (within reason).

I have tried, once or twice, to use the instruction 'focus play through the middle' but I haven't seen any tangible results. The logic behind selecting this is that it increases the mentality of the CB and DM so that they are equal to almost every other outfield player. Almost the whole team has a 'balanced' mentality:

image.thumb.png.fb49c04b7b2c2edae580048cb0b54391.png

(that is the playmaker in midfield as an example).

The CB and DM, by default, have 'cautious' as their mentality:

image.thumb.png.10c50a6d404f6c15597dd645da8847cb.png

(that is the DM).

When the 'focus play through the middle' instruction is selected, the DM and CBs' mentalities go up to 'balanced', which is the same as the rest of the team:

image.thumb.png.33a32314309e45f116181a58ca066617.png

(DM again)

Logically, I thought that this would assist with the 'one unit' approach I am hoping for. I haven't seen any benefit yet.

Has anybody had any success using this? Or is it counter productive (i.e. do the defensive players with higher mentalities try riskier passes, for example).

Thanks, in advance.

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1 hour ago, ryandormer said:

Has anybody had any success using this? Or is it counter productive (i.e. do the defensive players with higher mentalities try riskier passes, for example).

This is an instruction which appears to be working as originally intended, however it's something which is under review.

By slightly increasing player mentality, this instruction can help these players get further forward to help them influence and support play - telling your players to focus their passing more through the centre means they need targets to aim at, so helping these deeper sitting players get into more advanced positions (relatively speaking) can help with this.

However it's a bit of an all or nothing instruction - use it and every DM/CD gets a little mentality boost.  Fine if you have a support duty DM or a Libero (for example) you want to encourage forward, perhaps less fine if you want your defend duty Anchor Man or No-Nonsense Defender to sit deep covering counter attacks.

The reason you may not be seeing much (if any) impact here is your use of a Half Back.  Even though his mentality may have increased, the HB has other specific coding to make him drop deep between CDs when in possession and thus may override any mentality impact.

And to answer your final question above, generally speaking players may indeed try more risky passes as their mentality goes up.  But with this instruction we're only talking about relatively small increases in mentality so you probably wouldn't notice that much of a difference.

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Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it, I may try the instruction with a simple DM rather than half back to see if that changes anything

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Just as you correctly noted - the Focus play down the middle slightly increases the mentalities of your CBs, DMs and defend-duty CMs (whereas FP down the flank(s) does the same for fullbacks/wingbacks and defend-duty WMs). 

However, in your specific case, I think the key problem is one-dimensionality of your setup of roles and duties in the sense that both flanks are literally identically set up.

Another potential problem is that your team is Arsenal, which is a top team, meaning most opponents will play very defensively against you, looking to pack the middle of the park - which is exactly the area in which you are trying to focus your attacks, both by focusing play down the middle and narrow width. So your tactic is clearly counter-productive from the perspective of the team you are managing and its reputation. 

What is good in your tactic is the setup of the midfield three in terms of roles and duties - HB, DLPsu and CMat :thup: (though Ozil as a DLP makes very little to no sense).

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On 19/06/2019 at 00:02, Experienced Defender said:

What is good in your tactic is the setup of the midfield three in terms of roles and duties - HB, DLPsu and CMat :thup: (though Ozil as a DLP makes very little to no sense).

I was very against trying it for a while, but he seems to work quite well there, as we keep the ball for long periods so he doesn't need to do much defending, he is left footed, so the left centre-mid position suits him well, one of his traits is 'come deep', which I want from the deep lying playmaker, and he is comfortably the best passer of the ball we have.

 

On 19/06/2019 at 00:02, Experienced Defender said:

However, in your specific case, I think the key problem is one-dimensionality of your setup of roles and duties in the sense that both flanks are literally identically set up.

Do you have any suggestions for how I could change the flanks to make them work slightly more effectively? I used to always have one of the inside forwards on attack, and one of the full backs also on attack, so the flanks were varied. However, I used to couple that with a 'very fluid' shape, in older versions of the game, which helped to keep it compact. Do you think keeping them on support duty for the mentality, but with an instruction to 'get forward' might work?

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14 minutes ago, ryandormer said:

Do you have any suggestions for how I could change the flanks to make them work slightly more effectively?

There are different combos that make sense. In a 4141dm wide system, these combos incude:

- IFsu/FBat and Wat/FBsu (or WBsu)

- APsu/WBat and IFat/WBsu

There are of course other combinations, some of which can use an IWB, but you also need to consider the rest of the setup, rather than just looking at the flanks in isolation.

In your tactic specifically, I would consider something like this (for example):

F9

RMD                                      IFsu

DLPsu    MEZat

HB

WBsu     CDde    Cde     FBsu

SKde

Also, with a top team like Arsenal, I would opt for a higher-risk mentality (my starting point would be Positive), but on the other hand would drop both DL and LOE a notch (to higher instead of much higher).

With players like Aubameyang and Lacazzete up front - along with great passers of the ball you have in the midfield - the Counter TI in transition would be a must if I managed Arsenal.

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Thanks for the reply--I had never tried a RMD in a tactic before, it looks like such a highly specialised role that the team would have to be built around it. I might give it a shot, though.

I'm sure I've read about this elsewhere, so forgive me, but wouldn't a MEZ(a) take up almost exactly the same position as the IF(s)? With a more reserved FB(s) behind, wouldn't that flank be even more one dimensional?

27 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

With players like Aubameyang and Lacazzete up front - along with great passers of the ball you have in the midfield - the Counter TI in transition would be a must if I managed Arsenal.

This never really occurred to me, given I was trying to play more possession based football. Counter seemed the absolute opposite I would have wanted. I agree, though, it makes sense with such fast players. How do you find 'counter' works with possession based football?

Thanks again, really appreciate it.

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21 hours ago, ryandormer said:

Thanks for the reply--I had never tried a RMD in a tactic before, it looks like such a highly specialised role that the team would have to be built around it. I might give it a shot, though

I opted for RMD because you play Aubamayang on the left flank. The role suits him better than any other wide forward role, and also fits well into the rest of the system. However, with a RMD and WBsu on the left, I would definitely not play Ozil as a DLP. Instead, my DLP would be Torreira, whereas Ozil would be the IFsu on the right. Ghenduozi would be the HB.

 

21 hours ago, ryandormer said:

I'm sure I've read about this elsewhere, so forgive me, but wouldn't a MEZ(a) take up almost exactly the same position as the IF(s)? With a more reserved FB(s) behind, wouldn't that flank be even more one dimensional?

Mezzala on attack works very well with IF on support (as well as AP on support). If you don't believe me, ask Rashidi or watch his videos and you'll see that he often uses this very combo. 

 

21 hours ago, ryandormer said:

This never really occurred to me, given I was trying to play more possession based football. Counter seemed the absolute opposite I would have wanted. I agree, though, it makes sense with such fast players. How do you find 'counter' works with possession based football?

You can play possession football and use counter-attacks (in transition) as an additional attacking weapon. I always have the Counter TI turned on, regardless of what my primary style of play is at the moment. These are ME-triggered counters that occur only when there is a promising opportunity that a counter-attack could succeed, meaning you are not going to see counter-attacks all the time.

Btw, there are two types of possession football - slow, patient and (IMO somewhat) boring possession football, and one that is more progressive.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎18‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 12:10, herne79 said:

By slightly increasing player mentality, this instruction can help these players get further forward to help them influence and support play

Adding more to this quote.

I think of it as an overload instruction.

When most people here talk about overloads, they overload a flank.

Exploit the middle brings defenders and defensive midfielders forward.  Personally I think its misunderstood by the community.  When teams are sitting back against you, give it a try.  Should mean more people joining the attacking phase and more passing options.

Weirdly just read this thread and people told him to remove the instruction.  Left them to it but not sure it was the right advice for him.  That's the trouble with forums, eventually too many opinions or certain voices too frequent or loud. ;)  Hard to tell wood from the trees.  I'm sure what I've said here will be disagreed with by some.

 

Edited by Robson 07

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