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michalgottwald

Should I go for a low block or a split block in this setup?

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So, this tactic already performs a lot of what I want it to do, but I would love some input on a couple of issues.

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The thought here is to by dropping the line of engagement a notch and leaving the d-line on standard to make my team compact and add get stuck in to make the environment between my lines as hostile as possible for the opposition. The BWM in the DM spot, generally hard working players in midfield and the slightly more urgent pressing on the positive mentality, also helps achieve that. When I win the ball I have counter points high up the pitch in the raumdeuter on the left or the target man type striker - but if the counter is not on instantly I also have the players to play around the opponents press and create dangerous situations that way. Play out of defence helps achieve that, and also ensures that I don't look for the long option all the time, creating more variation. 

At the moment I'm applying a split block, with my front three and the mezzala on more urgent pressing and the RPM on less urgent. My question is if it would be more logical to lose the urgent pressing all together. Maybe even regroup, against more prominent opponents? Would it be more logical as to what I'm trying to achieve, or would it hand over too much of the initiative to the other team?

Also wondering about the holding midfielder as BWM - which I understand is generally frowned upon. Do you find that it is always a bad idea, or can it be okay in certain setups if you have a clear tought process behind the use of one? For one thing I feel that the mobility of the BWM helps out the fullback on the left, who is the one under most pressure in this tactic, playing behind the raumdeuter.

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1 hour ago, michalgottwald said:

My question is if it would be more logical to lose the urgent pressing all together. Maybe even regroup, against more prominent opponents? Would it be more logical as to what I'm trying to achieve, or would it hand over too much of the initiative to the other team?

Also wondering about the holding midfielder as BWM - which I understand is generally frowned upon. Do you find that it is always a bad idea, or can it be okay in certain setups if you have a clear tought process behind the use of one? For one thing I feel that the mobility of the BWM helps out the fullback on the left, who is the one under most pressure in this tactic, playing behind the raumdeuter.

The urgent pressing doesn't necessarily have to be lost against bigger opponents -- just against opponents where the pressing leaves you exposed. Generally I find this happens more against teams who player a fluid counter-attacking style. They want you to press so they can exploit the space left by players charging around, so holding back can lead to them dwelling on the ball more, unsure how to progress, then your defense more easily thwarts any longer balls attempted and wins more 2nd balls.

For teams who are trying to play out of the back against you, keeping the urgent press and raising the line of engagement might be more helpful, for example.

BWM as holding mid isn't ideal if you want someone to hold position and anchor defense to midfield, but if you are looking for someone who will track out in wide areas to cover for attacking full backs, it's a viable option since BWM will do this more willingly than Anchor Man or Defensive Midfielder in my experience.

You could also trial a Stopper / Cover combination in central defense as that would mean another player stepping up to defend in that central space if / when the BWM is caught out of position. But you'll have to see if that works better / worse than the current setup.. may depend on opposition formation & player roles, whether they are playing with 1 or 2 strikers and whether they have any central attacking midfielders, for example.

Edited by rockpie

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3 hours ago, rockpie said:

The urgent pressing doesn't necessarily have to be lost against bigger opponents -- just against opponents where the pressing leaves you exposed. Generally I find this happens more against teams who player a fluid counter-attacking style. They want you to press so they can exploit the space left by players charging around, so holding back can lead to them dwelling on the ball more, unsure how to progress, then your defense more easily thwarts any longer balls attempted and wins more 2nd balls.

Thanks for this, I'll keep an eye on it. I have at least two games in mind over the last few months in game where I think this strategy would have left me better off.

With regards to teams playing out from the back I'm pretty comfortable with them doing that and even pushing me a bit back, knowing that chances are I'll score on the break before they manage to hurt me. So I think I'll leave the line of engagement untouched as of now, but will certainly try to ease up on the pressing from the front when I play counter attacking teams who are good on the ball.

Regarding the stopper/cover combination I', actually having both my CBs close down less at the moment, and have even considered defending narrower and concede some space on the flanks, as my central defenders are quite good in the air and very intelligent, but, not the quickest or the best tacklers. I'm a little bit worried a stopper duty would leave me exposed in the middle, and am not sure I have the right players for a s/c split anyway.

 

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8 hours ago, michalgottwald said:

At the moment I'm applying a split block, with my front three and the mezzala on more urgent pressing and the RPM on less urgent

Why RPM on less urgent? I am asking in the context of the split block (not judging whether it's a good idea or not).

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2 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Why RPM on less urgent?

The thought is to ensure central midfield is a little more stable when the initial press is bypassed.

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17 minutes ago, michalgottwald said:

The thought is to ensure central midfield is a little more stable when the initial press is bypassed

If that's the idea, then I would rather change the DM from BWM into some less aggressive holding role (such as anchor or standard DM on defend) than telling a CM (regardless of his role) to press less. 

Or drop the split block altogether if you are not confident that your players can execute it properly. 

Besides, given that the lower LOE suggests you are looking to play a sort of counter-attacking style based on tight and compact defense, a softer version of the split block could be a better choice in this particular case (which essentially means that only the striker and one CM (mezzala in this setup) are told to press more, while the others are set on default).

Btw, your right side/flank could turn out to be overly exposed due to the roles there (attacking FB and mezzala + focus play down the right TI).

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Lower LOE on a Positive mentality is still going to press pretty high so wouldn't say it was a particularly counter attack based setup.

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

Besides, given that the lower LOE suggests you are looking to play a sort of counter-attacking style based on tight and compact defense, a softer version of the split block could be a better choice in this particular case (which essentially means that only the striker and one CM (mezzala in this setup) are told to press more, while the others are set on default).

Never thought about this possibility - but it certainly makes some sense. I'll do some experimenting.

Regarding the holding role I feel the benefits of having the BWMs lateral movement is important to covering the flanks better. I had some problems being too open on the left side, and changing from a more static DM role was part of the solution to that.

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50 minutes ago, Obaaa said:

Lower LOE on a Positive mentality is still going to press pretty high so wouldn't say it was a particularly counter attack based setup.

Luring the opponent a bit forward and hitting on the counter is certainly a big part of the setup. 

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1 hour ago, Obaaa said:

Lower LOE on a Positive mentality is still going to press pretty high so wouldn't say it was a particularly counter attack based setup

Lower LOE coupled with the Positive (or any high) mentality can be a very effective counter-attacking strategy (provided other elements of the tactic are also set up properly). Because the lower LOE helps to draw the opposition deeper into your half, whereas a higher mentality means faster attacking transitions (unless you counteract it by slowing the tempo down).

While it's true that the lower LOE will be proportionally higher under a high mentality than it would have been under a lower one, it will still be low (deep) enough to draw the opposition in (unless you are playing against a very defensive side that does not want to attack you even if given the opportunity). 

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