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Ancelotti's Everton - How do I setup?

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After seeing Ancelotti  (and before him Ferguson) go for a basic 4-4-2 with Everton I was wondering how to recreate it with Everton. Some of the positions are pretty easy while I have no idea what to do with team instructions or player instructions. Versus Watford the team went out like this:

 

image.thumb.png.7b49a03df7e5883a325485d072c49e0d.png

 

Now, I feel Everton want to counter but also regroup. That's about where I got with instructions. As for Player roles Here is what I have:

GK: ? (maybe SK-De)

RFB: ? (Looking at Sidibe and Coleman's stats in-game it may be something aggressive but won't work with an aggressive player in front of him so most likely a FB-Su)

RCD: CD-De

LCD: DC-De (maybe a BPD-De but not sure on that yet)

LFD: ? (Same as the RFB really in that an aggressive player in front will lower the role befind)

RW: W-At

RCM: ? (Some sort of playmaker role with Sigurdsson but most likely a BBM-Su with Davies)

LCM: CM-De (Maybe a Car-Su but I think the CM-De is more appropriate)

LW: IW-At

RST: ? (DCL isn't really a creator, the game has him down as a PF-At. Maybe a PF-De or PF-Su might work)

LST: Either a P-At or AF-At

 

From this base I really don't know where to go with Everton. My general feeling is I'd like to maybe stray a bit from what Ancelotti is doing and use a DW-Su next to the playmaker with a IWB-De behind. That would be after I get something close-ish to what Everton is doing right now (besides going 2-0 down). It seems like a pretty basic 4-4-2 but I can't pick what roles they are playing.

 

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Full backs are definitely more attacking. I'd say Digne is a WB with attack duty with Bernard in front of him coming inside (AP?) and Sidibe is more supporting role and he often underlaps Walcott, so maybe WB or even CWB.

 

I like your centre midfield pairing, as they're really reserved under Carlo as Everton don't have any ball carrier right now. It will be interesting how he'll use Gomes once he's back.

 

His setup is interesting, but I think it's a very big work in progress and it we'll be very different with a right personel at his disposal.

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8 hours ago, buachuta said:

Full backs are definitely more attacking. I'd say Digne is a WB with attack duty with Bernard in front of him coming inside (AP?) and Sidibe is more supporting role and he often underlaps Walcott, so maybe WB or even CWB.

I think the FB's are too but I am concerned from a gameplay point of view that WB/CWB is too aggressive with no DM. The FB roles are customisable enough that I can take small steps with PI's before taking the bigger step in upgrading the role which also boosts mentality.

 

Bernard may play AP in the AML position but in the ML I think he (and everyone else who has played there) has operated in an IW-At role.

Quote

I like your centre midfield pairing, as they're really reserved under Carlo as Everton don't have any ball carrier right now. It will be interesting how he'll use Gomes once he's back.

I think the only difference will be Gomes will dribble a bit more than Davies or Sigurdsson do

Quote

 

His setup is interesting, but I think it's a very big work in progress and it we'll be very different with a right personel at his disposal.

Yeah, I agree it's a work in progress. It'll be interesting where it all ends up. Currently I am going in with this:

 

image.thumb.png.a41c8e8ef00b0ef5e99df9fa3c2f2883.png

 

The FB's are asked to cross to TM, DW to pass shorter and get further forward, CM-De more direct passes, IW-At to stay wider and roam from position. The DW is probably shoe-horned in a bit as I think he will come into his own with a better suited player. DCL isn't really a targetman but with low crosses I am hoping he doesn't need to beet CB's in the air. In saying that, I don't think the strikers are at all correct - they haven't scored for me yet while they have scored pretty much every goal under Ancelotti in open play. DCL has 5 in 8 games under him. Currently my IW has scored all my goals. In saying that, I have lost 0-1 to Manchester United, 1-0 to Arsenal and beat Leicester 0-1 so the signs are ok so far I think.

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Looks good to me. I’d say the full backs are much more cautious than under Silva so I’d leave on both support duty for now. I’d have the LW sitting narrower and playing between the lines similar to what Bernard has been doing.

CM looks like what we have been doing and I’d have DCL as a target man(a) and Richarlison as a DLF(a) and see how that plays. 

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17 hours ago, ianscousemac said:

Looks good to me. I’d say the full backs are much more cautious than under Silva so I’d leave on both support duty for now. I’d have the LW sitting narrower and playing between the lines similar to what Bernard has been doing.

CM looks like what we have been doing and I’d have DCL as a target man(a) and Richarlison as a DLF(a) and see how that plays. 

 

 

image.thumb.png.8cf4be13b8c40c56bc5b834faa5b977a.png

Thanks for the tips. I've played 3 games since the changes to my tactic (above). As I said, I was reluctant to change the full backs but thought it was worth at least looking at and it caused DCL to score a hat-trick (with a DLF-Su and AF-At strike combination - DCL as the AF). I then experimented with a tactic I tried back in FM16 but changed at half time back to this. I also applied the sit narrower on the LM instead of the stay wider I had put on him already. End result was a win over Liverpool. I think there is still work to be done. Results so far are below

image.thumb.png.b71dcf66eb0b3c6a36a90aefd4964eaf.png

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https://royalbluemersey.sbnation.com/2020/2/13/21133613/everton-tactical-analysis-carlo-ancelotti-4-4-2-calvert-lewin-richarlison-bernard-central-midfield

I came across the above article which has been the most in-depth analysis of Everton I have found so far. I knocked up the following after reading the article:

image.thumb.png.b2303b276e9980908e3cb53d0fee4f79.png

Here is my thinking of the changes:

Sidibe - IFB-Su to keep him a bit deeper but still willing to play the ball. Overlap right to keep him a touch wider and closer to Walcott. PI of dribble more

Holgate-Keane swap - I preferred the CD on the left in this shape than the right. A touch more defensive (for lack of a better term)

Digne - WB-Su to keep some attacking instinct but also allow runs forward. "In essence then, Bernard, Richarlison, and Digne form a free-flowing trio down the left wing, where Everton has spent around 40% of its attacking-third possession time since Carlo took charge." The WB will still allow him to be a ball player and to stay wide and attack to provide the assists. PI's of Cross aim targetman, dribble more

Walcott - "Theo Walcott looks to make runs in behind opposing center-backs from the right wing." I have him as a W-At right now but I think he needs to be changed. IW-At is the most obvious. This will mean one of two things a) Gomes can become a Mez-Su, or b) Sidibe can become a FB-Su. I like b) a bit more as a Mez-Su with no DM worries me. PI's of Tackle harder, close down more and mark tighter

Sigurdsson - "Sigurdsson does advance a little farther up the pitch when the Toffees are in possession, serving as a pivot point to move the ball from left to right when required." This would usually mean a playmaker role but with 40% of play down the left wing I don't want the focus taken away from the left. In essence, I feel Ancelotti is trying to setup an outnumber on the left before switching to DCL on the right. Having the smart playmaker-type here helps for some quick, smart possession. CM-Su is told to dribble more, roam and move in channels. Just need him to be open for the cross-pass.

Schneiderlin - "Ancelotti wants a defensive-minded player in that space to pick up the pieces if an attack fails down the left wing. Both Schneiderlin and Delph are more defensively responsible, and able to cover for Digne if the full-back gets caught up the pitch on a counterattack." Really speaks for itself I think. Only potential change would to have him a strata lower in the DML-De position.

Bernard - "The whole thing really pivots on the left midfielder — mostly Bernard, but we’ll see Alex Iwobi there at times too. Both players have the same general skillset — shifty with the ball in their feet, quick but not exceedingly fast, and capable of picking out difficult passes." Speaks to me as a playmaker, especially when coupled with the ball movement on the left. "So, he has that player (who I’ll just call Bernard for now) pinch inside from the starting position on the left wing. As such, Bernard plays something of a hybrid No. 10 / left midfielder role when Everton is in attack." This is the attack duty to get him into the AM strata in attack. PI's of Tackle harder, close down more and mark tighter

Dominic Calven-Lewin - Really not talked about in the article so I didn't see the need for change. PI's of Tackle harder, close down more and mark tighter

Richarlison - "Richarlison is most dangerous when he has space to operate away from the big, physical center-backs who tend to physically brutalize him" A really hard one to pick but I think the T-At is the best role at the moment. I need to consider if something like DLF or F9 with roam selected will work but I'm concerned he will start to get in Bernard's way. I don't think any other role will get the best out of Richarlison. Due to the nature of the trequartista no PI's have been selected. If I go for F9 or DLF in the end Roam from position will be selected.

 

With the TI's I thought I needed to overlap to keep the full backs closer to the wingers. Play out of defence is to help the ball retention. Run at defence is to get the ringers and strikers a bit more willing to attack the box. Tempo and passing is more of a personal preference but I think mixed passing may work better (or shorter passing with normal tempo). Fairly narrow is to keep my attack central. I'm not really looking fro crosses into the box so narrower attack makes sense (to me). The in transition and out of possession instructions are designed to work together. Higher defensive line and counter-press will mean players are not too far away if there is a breakdown in attack. Distribute to full backs is to try and catch players out for a counter attack. Offside trap is to try and help the higher defensive line not get caught by balls over the top.

 

"Perhaps some of that is simply down to better man management by Ancelotti, but some of it is tactical too. Marco Silva’s high-pressing system put pressure on the defenders to deal with frequent balls over the top and quick counters — something Ancelotti’s system doesn’t force. Instead, Everton have been content to drop off relatively deep when out of possession under the Italian. For all the moving parts that we see in attack, in defense, Everton sticks to the standard 4-4-2 alignment, keeping those two blocks of four relatively compact in front of Jordan Pickford. This isn’t a Burnley deep block or anything crazy like that, but it’s pragmatic and limits the opponent’s chances without overly conceding possession. The upshot, of course, is that given the attacking system in place, the Toffees are more capable of keeping the ball once they win it — which makes it easier to tolerate long spells out of possession."

The above passage leads me to think my higher defensive line really isn't needed. I can even employ a lower line of engagement if needed to allow a bit more room for the counter. At the moment it's all a work in progress so any comments are more than welcome.

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image.thumb.png.d1b3e0a1bb61daa51bb4ed4c84590075.png

A really quick update. Sidibe became a FB-Su, Walcott (Iwobi in the above match) became a IW-At. No other changes. Newcastle are bottom of the league but the way the match was played was really impressive. Steve Bruce got the bullet after this match. Still a work in progress though.

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@nick1408

A few things ove noticed that are not how Everton play, so they might not be advisable changes to make a a better FM tactic but changes that reflect real life more.

 

First of all the full backs, Digne doesnt get to far forward anymore, on occasion hell get far up In the space Bernard creates drifting into number 10 space. However he doesn't bomb forward as much as the analysis suggests.

For realism Digne would be a wing back on defend when Bernard is not playing ahead of him.

This leads me to Sidbe, hes a totally unpredictable player and it's very hard to get a role in FM to reflect this.

He's often way to high up the pitch, he frequently makes runs on the overlap and sometimes fairly narrow inside. He's a player who should be on attack duty what ever role hes in to reflect how he really plays.

Also distribute to Full backs is limiting Pickford, if its on hell go long to DCL to create a counter.

Finally the tactic is always tweeked somewhat depending on who plays, ie Coleman plays when we want the right hand side more solid, with Sidbe pushed up to RM.

Michael Keane plays we intend to play deeper, as him and Mina paired are very tall to head crosses out.

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Ancelotti plays "3.5 at the back." That is to say, 442 in defense, 352 in possession. One FB (Digne) pushing forward (how aggressively is situational), with the other staying back. I think FB-D (w/ "sit narrower" PI) would better reflect that, but could go IWB-D.

 

 

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3 hours ago, thehig2 said:

 

@nick1408

A few things ove noticed that are not how Everton play, so they might not be advisable changes to make a a better FM tactic but changes that reflect real life more.

 

First of all the full backs, Digne doesnt get to far forward anymore, on occasion hell get far up In the space Bernard creates drifting into number 10 space. However he doesn't bomb forward as much as the analysis suggests.

For realism Digne would be a wing back on defend when Bernard is not playing ahead of him.

Not against this at all. I thought about defend originally but went for support to get him a touch higher. Do you think hi should be on stay wider too?

3 hours ago, thehig2 said:

This leads me to Sidbe, hes a totally unpredictable player and it's very hard to get a role in FM to reflect this.

He's often way to high up the pitch, he frequently makes runs on the overlap and sometimes fairly narrow inside. He's a player who should be on attack duty what ever role hes in to reflect how he really plays.

If he isn’t involved in attack as much as he was under Silva is FB-At the best option?

3 hours ago, thehig2 said:

Also distribute to Full backs is limiting Pickford, if its on hell go long to DCL to create a counter.

Yeah, I agree with you here. Should have thought better. 

3 hours ago, thehig2 said:

Finally the tactic is always tweeked somewhat depending on who plays, ie Coleman plays when we want the right hand side more solid, with Sidbe pushed up to RM.

Michael Keane plays we intend to play deeper, as him and Mina paired are very tall to head crosses out.

 

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3 hours ago, XuluBak said:

Ancelotti plays "3.5 at the back." That is to say, 442 in defense, 352 in possession. One FB (Digne) pushing forward (how aggressively is situational), with the other staying back. I think FB-D (w/ "sit narrower" PI) would better reflect that, but could go IWB-D.

 

 

I think this is probably better for Sidibe. I’ll test both and see what works. 

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@nick1408

With Sidibe just do what ever gets you best results in game from him, his play is too erratic to be a football manager role.

Instructions like get further forward and dribble more are Sidibe like, if you want realism you want to be exposed on the right hand side from him being out of position, this is were id ensure the denfsive minded of your midfield two play on the right hand side.

Sidibe is strange player, love the guy he creates a lot for us and can win the ball back with his physicality but he's sometimes woefully out of position and doesn't smell danger.

Id set Digne to full back attack, I think it's his natural in game role as well.

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Digne should get forward, Sidibe should stay back.

IMO you should try to play Kean as often as you can. A lot of potential.

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3 hours ago, permanentquandary said:

Digne should get forward, Sidibe should stay back.

IMO you should try to play Kean as often as you can. A lot of potential.

I tend to agree on the full backs. I'm currently running with a WB-Su and IWB-De.

 

Do you reckon I have the roles correct for the forwards? I feel I'm still missing something.

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I’m not sold on the right winger either. As a W-At I find too many byline crosses blocked. IW-At is either too inside or too outside if asked to stay wider

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36 minutes ago, nick1408 said:

I’m not sold on the right winger either

Random thought... a WM is pretty customisable.

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Glad this has been released and does compliment the link I posted earlier. I think the IFB will be going and Sidibe will be one either a FB-Su or FB-At. Also, Walcott does seem to be a WM-At looking at this with the sit narrower instruction. I’m still not sure on Richarlison but am thinking maybe a CF-Su with roaming on. DCL I think is still a TM-At but if anyone thinks different please feel free to correct.

 

 I’m down a laptop at the moment so won’t be able to test anything for a few days yet. 

 

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Are you trying to create "Ancelotti's system" or Everton, as they are currently, under Ancelotti? If the former, I'd look at his Napoli team to provide some guidance. Keep in mind he hasn't really had a chance to shape his Everton squad at all, and their talent is a far cry from what he's had at his disposal for quite some time. 

DCL is asked to hold the ball up, at times, largely out of necessity, but I wouldn't consider him a target man. I think PF is probably just about right.

CF(s) with roaming is probably the way to go with Richarlison. 

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6 hours ago, XuluBak said:

Are you trying to create "Ancelotti's system" or Everton, as they are currently, under Ancelotti? If the former, I'd look at his Napoli team to provide some guidance. Keep in mind he hasn't really had a chance to shape his Everton squad at all, and their talent is a far cry from what he's had at his disposal for quite some time. 

DCL is asked to hold the ball up, at times, largely out of necessity, but I wouldn't consider him a target man. I think PF is probably just about right.

CF(s) with roaming is probably the way to go with Richarlison. 

You raise a really good point re: Napoli. At the moment I am trying to play as Ancelotti’s Everton but as I recruit. I think it will move towards Ancelotti’s Napoli. 

 

 

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I watched the last Everton game against Arsenal, and this is how I would interpret Ancelotti's starting setup in this particular match (in which he probably was a bit more defensive-minded than otherwise):

F9      PFat

WPsu    CAR    CMde     Wsu

WBsu    CDde   CDde    WBsu

SKde

Richarlison - F9 / Calvert-Lewin - PFat

Delph - CAR / Schneiderlin - CMde

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On 26/02/2020 at 10:30, Experienced Defender said:

I watched the last Everton game against Arsenal, and this is how I would interpret Ancelotti's starting setup in this particular match (in which he probably was a bit more defensive-minded than otherwise):

F9      PFat

WPsu    CAR    CMde     Wsu

WBsu    CDde   CDde    WBsu

SKde

Richarlison - F9 / Calvert-Lewin - PFat

Delph - CAR / Schneiderlin - CMde

I think this was a bit due to the team selection. If Sigurdsson was in his usual CML position he would be a playmaker of sorts. Walcott would still be a winger (and support is probably right) and Delph would be a CAR in most games. you did point out it was for the Arsenal match so it will be interesting the setup vs Manchester United.

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4 hours ago, nick1408 said:

If Sigurdsson was in his usual CML position he would be a playmaker of sorts

Well, I did set him as a PM (WPsu in ML). 

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I decided to break down my tactic to almost start again. What are the basics that are happening for Everton? I answered thusly:

  • Attacking play is down the left
  • The LB, LW and LF all play pretty close to each other
  • Anchelotti likes to defend in a 4-4-2
  • He also presses pretty hard and early
  • Everton takes the play to the opposition when attacking
  • Sidibe makes inside runs on the right

 

386212032_ScreenShot2020-03-03at10_12_35pm.thumb.png.bf2b55a55e83fc9de539ccaf44040547.png

After the rethink I took those six points and have adjusted my tactic since the Manchester City game above.  Results have been pretty good. Tactic now looks like this:

104505353_ScreenShot2020-03-03at10_16_33pm.thumb.png.a2fd002a811eb3dae04a14208bed6ae7.png

The FB-At is told to cut inside with ball and both FB's are told to cross aim target man. CM-Su is told to take more risks, move in channels and get further forward. Both wings are tackle harder, close down more and mark tighter. The interesting thing is Gomes is leading my scoring with 10 in 16. DCL is only 5 from 15 and Richarlison 6 from 16. Digne has 10 assists from 17 matches.

 

I think with a better trequartista I could have the strikers scoring a bit more regular. Same with the right wing. A RW-Su is my priority for the January transfer window.

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A really quick update. I managed to finish 4th which is a really great effort. My concerns about the strikers were probably a bit unfounded. DCL finished with 15 goals from 34 matches, Gomes 12 from 29 and Richarlison 12 from 32. I did toy with DCL as a PF-Su for a few matches but ultimately I felt he played better on attack.

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If you can find the clip, Sky did a mini analysis last night on Carlo's 442.  As I recall its 442 out of possession; and 3142 in possession with a diamond in the centre.  It was quite interesting and worth a look.

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9 hours ago, Robson 07 said:

If you can find the clip, Sky did a mini analysis last night on Carlo's 442.  As I recall its 442 out of possession; and 3142 in possession with a diamond in the centre.  It was quite interesting and worth a look.

I couldn't find a clip but at the moment things look as follows:

 

I have the defensive part sorted:

image.thumb.png.9e33342b11aaea963ce16283da8fee17.png

 

Attacking not so much but it's ok:

image.thumb.png.0c0f98117692f7d5b2e0254306d26eac.png

 

Bernard (#15) is cutting inside to the AM position but Gomes and Iwobi won't shift across due to their roles currently. I assume the clip had the RB sitting in the DM spot? That is an easy one to adjust but I currently like the attacking movement I'm getting. If I get into trouble it may be a tweak worth exploring.

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How did this end up going, did you play any further? Always interested to see someone recreating Everton tactics

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I sort of lost a bit of interest in the Everton save but am using the same tactic as Hansa Rostock:

 

image.thumb.png.8aef7215c2b38398a69e27695f11f746.png

 

While I was an underdog on both saves I found Hold Shape worked well. When I became better I swapped this to counter. I also sometimes swap to Regroup if I find I'm under a bit of pressure.

 

This ended up moving away from Everton a bit (particularly with the front 2) but I like how it operates. I'd like to retain a bit more possession but results are good so far

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After some renewed interest in this thread (ok - one post) I thought I might do a bit more of a detailed post. I have a feeling this is going to be long so fair warning....

 

 

Prelude

This ended up not being an Ancelotti tactic in my opinion. Also, I changed saves from Everton to Hansa Rostock so there will be some flipping between games and positional changes to suit players. Finally, tactics are not my forte. Feel free to constructively criticize or add suggestions. I feel most of the time I end up at a successful tactic through pure luck so the following will show my thinking but should not be taken as gospel.

 

Genesis

In the beginning the Collyers created the heaven (and possibly the hell)

 

As per a lot of people here I wanted to emulate a tactic from real life, in my case Ancelotti at Everton. Perviously in most of my saves I tend to use narrow tactics (3-5-2, 4-4-2 diamond) or jag a tactic that works when it really shouldn't (I used Davie Selke as a trequartista in FM17 because it worked in the 4-4-2 2xDM I created). Because Ancelotti has been at a lot of successful clubs there are a lot of resources to guide. Unfortunately as the above shows I really struggled to implement what he is doing at Everton. I ended up straying from what I believed some of the on-field roles are (particularly the two strikers). Not only did I want to be Ancelotti I also wanted to be successful. This is a game afterall.

 

I did end up winning a Premier League title with Everton but I feel it was through luck. I had the lowest goals for of the top 4 (fourth overall) and second highest goals against for the top 4 (again fourth overall). I did happen upon a tactic that worked though:

image.thumb.png.e81f4a7cf13632c680a9cae711e8883b.png

PI's:

RB: Cut inside with ball

LB: Dribble more

RW: Close down more, Mark tighter, Tackle harder

LW: Close down more, Mark tighter, Tackle harder

RCM: Take more risks, Get further forward, Move in channels

RST: Close down more, Mark tighter, Tackle harder

Probably the most interesting thing here is the move of the IWB-Su to a FB-At. This come down to the hard-coded PI's more than anything. I wanted the FBto be in a dangerous secondary area (top of the box on the right hand side) to be an option for long shots but still be keen to cross if he happened to overlap the winger. I didn't want him trying riskier passes, crossing less or dribbling more. The attacking movement I wanted was off the ball, not on it.

 

The BPD role changed depending on who was in the position. It quite often was just a CD-De. I wasn't happy with the tactic but it was successful. I then got the inspiration to start a Hansa Rostock game.

 

Hanseatic League

Within your walls may be harmony and happiness

 

I moved to Hansa and shoehorned the players into the Everton tactic. Surprisingly, Hansa (who were predicted to finish 8th) had enough players to suit what I was doing. Players I thought would be hard to fit such as a WP I had two (note I had the following players in 2019/20. The screenshots are from 2026):

image.thumb.png.a0f8897435ce6e7b8edb1bc5b30c15d6.png

 

My CM-Su was also awaiting my arrival:

image.thumb.png.3e418b922a0221b15f1930f8fed90f43.png

I also jagged some really good loans. I have found it hard to find PF's but I ended up with this guy on loan for four straight seasons:

image.thumb.png.daa9dfc2e2d607404cc646193490749c.png

 

Season two I ended up getting a really good striker in Danny Mota:

image.thumb.png.38245c41e984e9f096c7c05c3cdfcbb4.png

Initially on loan, I ended up signing him for free and selling him after three seasons, 34 league games and 34 goals to Aston Villa for £6m. During the initial seasons in each division I relied heavily on loans. Guys such as Davide Bettella, Brad Smith, Beni Beningime, Ben Osborn, Jack Clarke and Reece Oxford all made up my title-winning 2.Bundesliga season. My first season in the Bundesliga I had Yukinari Sugawara, Hannibal Mejbri (moved to the WP-At position) , Eddie Salcedo, George Bello, Eric Garcia (redeployed from a DC into the CM-De role), Ilaix Moriba, Jorje Cuenca and Alex Mighten. Mighten originally came in to backup Mejbri on the left but also operated a lot on the right when Jack Clarke (second year of three years on loan with me) was out. I couldn't get all the players back I wanted on loan in season four but did get Reinier into operate on the left wing:

image.thumb.png.ab7f91adc2ba481a37e966eee69b14c1.png

The reason I listed all my players was due to the unconventional method (for me) that I took to get them. A lot of one and two year loans, some handy free transfers and my favourite was to scour leagues not heavily scouted by major teams such as Australia, Japan and South Korea:

image.thumb.png.b72a6ddef1c0aeafe11a7116c8649047.png

image.thumb.png.087b067988a0f7ecb1738a21e7fad038.png

image.thumb.png.ade054c7fa8759906fc57e3268f96d20.png

Jonathan cost me £2.5m, Jason cost £775k. Both players were targeted for specific roles. Jonathan went straight into the first team, Jason is a backup for my current right back (more on him later). The point I am trying to make is due to my limited resources compared to my competitors I needed to find a way to make the best use of anything available. The other thing I needed to do was only take players I could use rather than project players. This lead me to having to identify players with specific attributes.

 

I can't think of a smart title here

Nor can I think of something to put in italics

Early on I knew I needed hard working players but did I need them all over the field? Maybe, maybe not. What I did was sort out the easy spots first. In the above tactic what are the easy positions to fill? Easy! GK, CB's, AF and winger. GK was a bit difficult but I ended up getting Jeppe Holberg for £14k:

image.thumb.png.738a9e40dfbb3e6f349efc70c1ac7304.png

Next, wingers and AF's are always readily available on loan. No real issues to pick up the suitable players there. I just chose the best available for no wage outlay. CB's were pretty much the same but a touch harder to come by (although I did luck out as listed above). If I got a BPD great but all I needed was two guys to stop strikers.

With five positions filled I really needed to target some players and to do this I needed to know what I wanted. I again worked from easiest to hardest - in this case the order was LB, RB, CM-De, CM-Su, WP, PF. So, what did I target?

 

LB: What did I want? Fast player who could get forward and get a cross in. I needed dribbling, crossing, acceleration and pace. any other stats were secondary to his primary role. The plan was to start with these four attributes and gradually build upon them as I got better players.

RB: Be defensively assured while also offering a secondary option going forward and outside the box. I needed marking, tackling, positioning, acceleration and crossing.

CM-De: Due to only having two in the middle the two CM's are vitally important. I don't really need the CM-De to be able to pass but I do need him to break up attacks. Work rate is vital. Tackling and positioning I also rated high. It's why I ended up getting a CB and trained him to play the position.

CM-Su: Things started to get really hard here. The CM-Su needed to be an all round type of player. Work rate was again relied upon, passing and flair as well as strength rounded out what I looked for.

WP: Acceleration and pace, Passing and flair. More or less a good AMC that got retrained. The right player can really make a difference here. I used James Maddison at Everton before Almada. Reinier and Mejbri were stars here too. None originally started as a left winger.

PF: Hardest of the lot. I had trouble finding PF's that suited in the Everton save as well. Strength, work rate, bravery and aggression. The PF doesn't need to score but needs to provide space for the WP and put pressure on players trying to play around him.

 

How'd it all come together?

Knowing my weakness was midfield I chose to compensate with work rate, strength and a narrower attack. If the counter comes I am prepared to cop it with the knowledge my defence will be able to cope with most crosses. Unsurprisingly, most of my goals against come through the middle:

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With a 4-4-2 this is to be expected. In my opinion there isn't anything you can do to prevent this as it's a natural weakness, just like narrow tactics have their weakness down the flank. What I can do is make it harder to be scored against. How did I do this? As I noted, the aerial threat has more or less been nullified. Also, by focusing my attack down my wings (both through the TI and also the roles selected) I can ensure if I have interceptions it's down the wings which then in turn makes it harder for the opposition to get a good shot away. They need to get the ball central and into a good spot before I am vulnerable. While this may look bad because there are big numbers in the centre I actually see this as a benefit. If I saw say 6+ in multiple areas around the box I'd be worried that I can't defend lots of areas. By limiting the vulnerable areas it naturally makes me hard to score against.

What this also shows is my defence isn't getting dragged wide to cover a crossing player. They are staying central where the vulnerability is.

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The opposite is also true. While most of my goals come from the same area as my vulnerability the difference here is due to my high amount of crosses I am getting my AF scoring against less players in the box due to the opposition being dragged wide to cover the danger:

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My setup is predicated on wingplay. I can attack (mostly) via the WP who can provide a ball centrally or switch to an unmarked winger.

iH51izj.gif

 

Fin... (Hansa Rostock)

I have evolved to this now:

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Biggest change is the winger is now on attack. As the team got better he was less and less involved so I needed to give him a bit more freedom to attack. PF was still hard to find so I got this guy to play the position:

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A DM but he had everything I wanted. His off the ball is low but he will be training that due to his Attacking Movement focus. Hopefully he can get up to around 14 and I'd be happy. Clougherty I've had for a while and was doing a fine job but he's been relegated to backup now.

Katterbach I targeted for a while. While he had all I wanted defensively I was able to add attacking impetus with him as well.

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If you got this far through well done. If there's more you want to know please let me know. The above is a bit of a ramble but hopefully it got my point across.

 

TL;DR

Pick attributes that are important to your tactic. Fill the roles with players that have those attributes.

 

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I didn't really state before but if I get stuck not scoring I drop WBIB and/or focus play down left. Also, if the opposition is really hammering me I swap counter-press for regroup.

 

Edit: Couple more gifs illustrating what I am trying to say about attack above:

This is what I mean by assists from wide and having lots of areas to be dangerous from. Even though the goal is from the central area you can see from the gif above and the one added here I get assists from both wings but still score from a relatively central position.

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Posted (edited)
On 04/06/2020 at 12:43, nick1408 said:

After some renewed interest in this thread (ok - one post) I thought I might do a bit more of a detailed post. I have a feeling this is going to be long so fair warning....

 

I didn't see you updated this! Loved reading it, thanks for sharing, very interesting stuff :)

Edited by Tilling

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24 minutes ago, Tilling said:

I didn't see you updated this! Loved reading it, thanks for sharing, very interesting stuff :)

No worries. Hope it made sense

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