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AceAvenger

Gegenpressing: The Roadmap to German Efficiency

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2 hours ago, Vizzini said:

Great introduction, looking forward to reading the rest!

Thank you!

I just editted the second post to put the actual tactics in. Next I'm gunna talk about what to look for in players to achieve success in this formation.

Let me know what you guys think.

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2 hours ago, AceAvenger said:

Thank you!

I just editted the second post to put the actual tactics in. Next I'm gunna talk about what to look for in players to achieve success in this formation.

Let me know what you guys think.

Damnnnnnn. This looks awesome. Well done!!

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Brilliant. I was getting bored of possession based tactic so this has come at a perfect time for me. Well done again. 

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I´m gonna replicate the tactic in my Benfica team and later i post the results!

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9 hours ago, h3nrique_SEP said:

Why CWB's on support instead of attack?

Probably because IWs are on attack duty.

 

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Great write up, love the detail!

 

Could you perhaps continue this thread by discussing suitable player trais and attributes for the style of play and/or the different roles?  How important is aggression, work rate, pace and so on? What is the most important attribute to have?

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11 hours ago, h3nrique_SEP said:

Why CWB's on support instead of attack?

 

The CWB is on support because with the Looks for Overlaps TI it'll push the mentality of the player to Attacking, keeping it the same as the IWs. If I just had both the IWs and the CWBs on attack they'll both be Very Attacking and then they'll just lose the ball too often by being overzealous with possession.

As you can see below, this is the mentality of the role with Looks for Overlap

81504650b91316276083080b0a3d4b95.png

Here is the same role without Looks for Overlap

7e63bae9be6d53d3b3bff883c411cfd2.png

51 minutes ago, Mutumba said:

Great write up, love the detail!

 

Could you perhaps continue this thread by discussing suitable player trais and attributes for the style of play and/or the different roles?  How important is aggression, work rate, pace and so on? What is the most important attribute to have?

I will definitely do that right now, I was planning on giving an update but I got side-tracked by looking for a potential new save.

Thank you guys for the appreciation, it's lovely to see that I'm not alone in my unhealthy obsession with this game.

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Finding the players to implement the style

Having a tactic is all well and good, but without the players with the capacity to carry out the tactic, your efforts will be futile. You need the right kind of players too, players that synergise with the identity of the team you’re trying to build.

How do you decide what kind of players do you need? Well, you need to implement a Club DNA, a set of attributes needed to carry out the tactic you want your players to carry out. Once you’ve done that, you can get a clearer picture of type of player required.

For gegenpressing, I’ve found that you need a team of players who competent in 7 attributes to carry out the intense pressing and counter-pressing needed. Those are:

  • Aggression
  • Anticipation
  • Determination
  • Teamwork
  •  Work rate
  • Acceleration
  • Stamina

A lot of those are self-explanatory but there are a few that are more important than what you first might assume.

Aggression is one of the most overlooked attributes, at least for me before I started this save, but in actuality it’s one of the most important. Players with higher aggression will physically contest for the ball more than ones with lower. This is vital for gegenpressing as you want your players to fight for every 50:50. The players I’ve seen winning the ball back from the front the most for me are the ones with the highest aggression.

Anticipation is another undervalued attribute. The description of anticipation is:

 24c19bce9382bdf841b54f8193c1223d.png

This is vital for a pressing system; you want your players to be able to predict were the ball is going so they have a better chance of winning it back.

Teamwork is also important because it shows how well players adhere to tactical instructions and put the team above everything else.

Case Study: 1. FC Heidenheim 1846

The team I used to develop this tactic was Heidenheim, in the 2. Bundesliga. They were already a high-pressing, attacking side, the lasting legacy of Frank Schmidt. Schmidt took them from the Oberliga, the German 5th division, to the brink of promotion to the Bundesliga, but without having to rely on a rich benefactor or an energy drinks company.

I got promoted the first time of asking in 2020 and after two years in the Bundesliga, this is the squad I’ve assembled:

 d3cbd5161110e5f5d2965014afe982af.png

As you can see, baring a few exceptions, every player in my squad has a mean value of 13 for those attributes. This level of competency, in my opinion, is needed to be able to execute this tactic at a Top 5 league. This would need to be higher if you want to start challenging for the titles.

How does my team compare to the rest of the league though? Well for work rate and determination we’re 2nd in the league. The rest of the relevant mental attributes we are pretty average. We came in at 8th, 6th and 10th for aggression, anticipation and teamwork (I don’t know what the bar is doing for anticipation showing it so low) respectively.

c43a2ca74921d0aeea4f75e3c1ac6895.png

As for the relevant physicals, we’re also pretty mediocre, coming 10th for stamina and 7th for acceleration.

bd7dca0b87cd41a148b86f6012a120d6.png

With this is mind, how did we do?

 bc6bd3d8c3e6347f5c41dcdc53de4fa2.png

Very well, if I don’t say so myself.

Now this is all important but don’t discount the other attributes. Having players with great work rate and aggression will mean you’ll be winning the ball back more but you still need strikers with good finishing and off the ball and defenders with good tackling and positioning to be actually winning games.

Now I have family coming over, I finally understand what Sartre meant when he said ‘hell is other people’.

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Just a few questions....

When do you use attack or positive mentality And why... And you talked about the TI used in the part disclosure and play focus through middle... Do you use these TI all the time and do you think its better or more realistic or its just a question of feeling.... 

Its been a long time since i had read such a good article. 

Thank you 👍

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, coach vahid said:

Just a few questions....

When do you use attack or positive mentality And why... And you talked about the TI used in the part disclosure and play focus through middle... Do you use these TI all the time and do you think its better or more realistic or its just a question of feeling.... 

Its been a long time since i had read such a good article. 

Thank you 👍

Thank you!

Honestly I just winged it, if I'm playing an inferior team I use the Attacking mentality, if it's 50:50 I went for Positive. If I'm playing against a significantly better team (i.e. Bayern) I drop the mentality to Standard, lower the DL and LOE to higher, remove Look for Overlaps and pray to god I don't get ripped apart.

I do all that because I don't want to give them the opportunity to counter-attack, if they get one chance they're gunna take it.

When we played Bayern at home that year, I was dreading it. They were on a 16 match winning streak under their new head coach Jesse Marsch. I went for that tactic, inspired by the how Jupp Heynckes sent the same Bayern Munich out to beat Barcelona 4-0 in 2013.

f5222d3ab651a216e8b17bd5cb5b0b5b.png

The FM Gods were smiling on me.

They dominated the match but they didn't create any clear cut chances (CCCs) and their goal came from Leroy Sane dribbling the entire length of the pitch after getting the ball defending a corner.

c19905e741d141133bb13fa8b54d8c04.png

This result was very lucky though, when I played them again at home for the DFB-Pokal they won 1-0. In the reverse fixture at the Allianz Arena was a dead rubber game for them and they played their kids, they still won 3-1.

Ninja edit:

Oh yeah as for play out from the back, I use it all the time except for when I'm playing against Bayern or Dortmund. I want the play against those big teams to be as disjointed as possible. 

Edited by AceAvenger

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This tactic is great. using the 1 strikers version. I alternate between positive and attacking. Always start on positive. If we are not making chances or it feels like an even game and change to attacking. Alternating between seems to keep the opponent guessing and i start to create chances if the game is a stalemate. I often, come out the blocks at half time for 15 minutes in attacking, this has bagged me 3 goals in ten minutes before lol. 

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3 hours ago, Mutumba said:

Do you use play out of defence? Its not mention in the OP

yep

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18 hours ago, Irn Rvd said:

This tactic is great. using the 1 strikers version. I alternate between positive and attacking. Always start on positive. If we are not making chances or it feels like an even game and change to attacking. Alternating between seems to keep the opponent guessing and i start to create chances if the game is a stalemate. I often, come out the blocks at half time for 15 minutes in attacking, this has bagged me 3 goals in ten minutes before lol. 

That's awesome, I'm glad it's working out well for you. What team are you using and which year?

13 hours ago, Mutumba said:

Do you use play out of defence? Its not mention in the OP

Si. I didn't have it to begin with but it helped with creating chances from goal kicks.

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6 hours ago, AceAvenger said:

That's awesome, I'm glad it's working out well for you. What team are you using and which year?

Si. I didn't have it to begin with but it helped with creating chances from goal kicks.

I was pretty deep into leeds united save. seven seasons in I think. I stayed pretty loyal to home grown players and still had two players from OG leeds squad, so I didnt have a world beating team. I usually mix my first teams with two or one luxury players and then the rest hard working but technically gifted, so my squad was perfectly suited to this.

I played progressive possession football 41221 for nearly my whole save but it gets very boring with this years ME. I was bored of winning one nill, or creating two half chances a game, or the opponent skinning four players and scoring from my corner lol. I have only managed in the english prem so not sure if its just that league but the fact that everyone is posting in the forums asking for help on how to play progressive possession football with 1 striker every day means there is something wrong. Most of the youtubers and genuis fm tacticians are all using 442s and 343s as they know 41221/433 are just not working with a positive style of play.

I am using your tactic now with AZ Alkmaar. Will let you know how it goes!

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Any ideas on possible tweaks to the PI or player role of the AP(s). I am sturggling to get a performance out him. The creative cam is usually the most talented player in the team, so im hoping to make some adjustments here. Its possible that he is just being passed by with the move into channels PI but wil test a few tweaks out. Tactic is great but would just like a little more from the player.

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6 minutes ago, Irn Rvd said:

I was pretty deep into leeds united save. seven seasons in I think. I stayed pretty loyal to home grown players and still had two players from OG leeds squad, so I didnt have a world beating team. I usually mix my first teams with two or one luxury players and then the rest hard working but technically gifted, so my squad was perfectly suited to this.

I played progressive possession football 41221 for nearly my whole save but it gets very boring with this years ME. I was bored of winning one nill, or creating two half chances a game, or the opponent skinning four players and scoring from my corner lol. I have only managed in the english prem so not sure if its just that league but the fact that everyone is posting in the forums asking for help on how to play progressive possession football with 1 striker every day means there is something wrong. Most of the youtubers and genuis fm tacticians are all using 442s and 343s as they know 41221/433 are just not working with a positive style of play.

I am using your tactic now with AZ Alkmaar. Will let you know how it goes!

Kalvin Phillips would be a beast in midfield, either in the Volante role or the DLP. Also good luck with AZ, Calvin Stengs is going to be a monster at IW along with Boadu upfront.

3 minutes ago, Irn Rvd said:

Any ideas on possible tweaks to the PI or player role of the AP(s). I am sturggling to get a performance out him. The creative cam is usually the most talented player in the team, so im hoping to make some adjustments here. Its possible that he is just being passed by with the move into channels PI but wil test a few tweaks out. Tactic is great but would just like a little more from the player.

Honestly, I struggle with that too. If he's a good finisher stick him as a SS with a PF(S) or CF(S) or maybe just put him as an attack duty. Increasing his mentality will have him force the issue more, that might let him get more goals and assists. 

Let me know how your tinkering goes.

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13 minutes ago, AceAvenger said:

Kalvin Phillips would be a beast in midfield, either in the Volante role or the DLP. Also good luck with AZ, Calvin Stengs is going to be a monster at IW along with Boadu upfront.

Honestly, I struggle with that too. If he's a good finisher stick him as a SS with a PF(S) or CF(S) or maybe just put him as an attack duty. Increasing his mentality will have him force the issue more, that might let him get more goals and assists. 

Let me know how your tinkering goes.

Kalvin phillips is the hero of the team. Hes still in the squad and plays volante role for sure lol. He has crap leadership and was 32 in my save but was still the captain and played every game. I couldnt bring myself to get rid of him. He must have a statue outside the stadium by now. 

 

The AP(s) in these tactics is super important for the pressing so we cant really move his position around without losing the integrity of the tactic. I was contemplating changing to a Trequista but I hope it doesnt mean he wont tackle anymore lol. SS in theory should work though as it will add another runner, giving the dlp(s) even more options. This tactic kinda reminds me of the Man u tactic (only with Bruno Fernandes though) so hopefully we can get bruno esk performances from that position lol.

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8 minutes ago, Irn Rvd said:

Kalvin phillips is the hero of the team. Hes still in the squad and plays volante role for sure lol. He has crap leadership and was 32 in my save but was still the captain and played every game. I couldnt bring myself to get rid of him. He must have a statue outside the stadium by now. 

 

The AP(s) in these tactics is super important for the pressing so we cant really move his position around without losing the integrity of the tactic. I was contemplating changing to a Trequista but I hope it doesnt mean he wont tackle anymore lol. SS in theory should work though as it will add another runner, giving the dlp(s) even more options. This tactic kinda reminds me of the Man u tactic (only with Bruno Fernandes though) so hopefully we can get bruno esk performances from that position lol.

Trequartista is a definite no no. The PIs don't lend themselves to gegenpressing at all.

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Posted (edited)

Fantastic thread. Trying this out with Sunderland, and it's looking very good so far.

Any thoughts on replacing the Segundo Volante with a Box to Box-midfieler (in M strata obv)?

Edited by Sorro

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1 hour ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Wonderful thread. Nice work! :applause:

haha, what is this?

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Fantastic writing @AceAvenger, the time you took to write all of this really shows in the quality of the content. It was really easy to read and understand your thought process for making the tactic and obviously O-zil's tactics template helped with this. I have a few questions for you as well. Did all the TIs you chose to select in the theory section work as you expected them to when you went to play matches? Or did you find yourself having to make tweaks to get the movements you desired? 

I thought that your post on the type of players that suit this style was very informative also. Which brings me to my next question, when it came to recruiting players for your Heidenheim team how did you go about finding the kind of player?

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22 hours ago, steakfaced said:

haha, what is this?

Hmm. Same guy? Surely not! :D 

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On 21/03/2020 at 00:00, Sorro said:

Fantastic thread. Trying this out with Sunderland, and it's looking very good so far.

Any thoughts on replacing the Segundo Volante with a Box to Box-midfieler (in M strata obv)?

I used to use a BWM(d) and RPM combo in midfield so I don't see an issue with using a B2B. The other midfielder provides the cover while the player with the roams from position PI marauds forward.

On 21/03/2020 at 15:17, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Wonderful thread. Nice work! :applause:

Thank you! Glad to hear your laptop is fixed so you can get back to playing FM. God knows it's a respite with everything that is happening.

22 hours ago, camoulton21 said:

Fantastic writing @AceAvenger, the time you took to write all of this really shows in the quality of the content. It was really easy to read and understand your thought process for making the tactic and obviously O-zil's tactics template helped with this. I have a few questions for you as well. Did all the TIs you chose to select in the theory section work as you expected them to when you went to play matches? Or did you find yourself having to make tweaks to get the movements you desired? 

I thought that your post on the type of players that suit this style was very informative also. Which brings me to my next question, when it came to recruiting players for your Heidenheim team how did you go about finding the kind of player?

 Danke schön! I spent an ungodly amount of time researching this and I'm happy people are finding it useful.

When it comes to tweaking the TIs, I knew what I didn't want to do and just fiddled with it until something worked. For example, I knew I didn't want my passing to be lower than standard so I put that as the threshold. There was very little method to the madness if I'm honest.

As for player recruitment, I looked for the 7 attributes I highlighted earlier, but if I player was lacking in one I still considered him because with a club whos stature is as small as Heidenheim, I couldn't be too picky. Take Tramoni for example.

c08e8a0ce466598a4d414ff0f858ccd2.png

He's got 6 out of the 7 attributes needed that are over 13, but his aggression is appalling. He's also objectively a good player for his age, with amazing physical attributes. He was also 18 at the time we bought him (01/22) so he will be considered home-grown in the future which is vital because I had no home-grown players of first team quality when I started.

As for where I look for players, I pay particular attention to the II clubs of the big teams, Heidenheim have a reputation for picking up Bayern 'rejects' in real life so I tried to continue the tradition. They have so many high potential players slugging it out in the lower divisions whom you can sign for relatively cheap. I also paid attention to all the relegated clubs at the end of the season, seeing if any of their good players have relegation release clauses I can activate.

I signed Lukas Mai and Luca Unbehaun from Bayern and Dortmund respectively and they're my starting centre-back and goalkeeper. I got Erkan Eyibil for €70k from Mainz II at the start of the save and now he's my main creator in the AP role with a €42.5 million release clause.

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On 21/03/2020 at 09:17, steakfaced said:

haha, what is this?

Ahhh sorry guys I thought I was on O-Zil's thread Caixa football when I made this response! My mistake

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Ok, so i had to change the tactic slightly, but i manage to get the AM firing on all cylinders. Using Avengers base 42211 genenpressing positive tactic. 

 

                    PF(A)

                    AM(A)

IW(A)                            IW(A)
            DLP(D).   VOL(S)
CWB(S) CB(D) CB(D) CWB(S)
                     SK(S)

 

- the AM has roam from position, takes more risks, moves into channels, dribble more. The players i use here have the ppm, collect ball from deep, so i think that helps too. When he was AP even on attack, he would collect the ball too deep and also very rarely went into the box. Must be a good passer.

- Play out of defense is needed to make chances from goal kicks as mentioned in OG post. I also use work ball into box which is not gegen like, but it stop crossing every single attack and also shots from long distance. 

- dropped the DLP to defend so that the AM has more room to shine and stop counter attacks. Must also be a good passer.

- against god teams, i usually make the cwb fullbacks on attack/support depending on if im at home. Makes the possession in the tactic disappear, but also makes it super counter attacking.

- dropped the passing to standard. Again not very gegen like, but it also lets the team break down stubborn opposition. 

- added low crosses but also had a back up striker who was a target man. left it at mixed when he was playing.

I used this with AZ Alkmaar who are not a bad team and did not loose in the league for 24+ games so far. I have tested against some big teams like napoli and juventus. Was beat both times but controlled the games and created lost of chances. Should have beat them both but the average age of my squad is 20, so i think they buckle under the pressure. Destroyed wolves in the euro cup easily. Testing against man city next in the champions league tonight.

Thanks again for the OG post Avenger, this tactic is awesome.

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2 hours ago, Irn Rvd said:

Ok, so i had to change the tactic slightly, but i manage to get the AM firing on all cylinders. Using Avengers base 42211 genenpressing positive tactic. 

 

                    PF(A)

                    AM(A)

IW(A)                            IW(A)
            DLP(D).   VOL(S)
CWB(S) CB(D) CB(D) CWB(S)
                     SK(S)

 

- the AM has roam from position, takes more risks, moves into channels, dribble more. The players i use here have the ppm, collect ball from deep, so i think that helps too. When he was AP even on attack, he would collect the ball too deep and also very rarely went into the box. Must be a good passer.

- Play out of defense is needed to make chances from goal kicks as mentioned in OG post. I also use work ball into box which is not gegen like, but it stop crossing every single attack and also shots from long distance. 

- dropped the DLP to defend so that the AM has more room to shine and stop counter attacks. Must also be a good passer.

- against god teams, i usually make the cwb fullbacks on attack/support depending on if im at home. Makes the possession in the tactic disappear, but also makes it super counter attacking.

- dropped the passing to standard. Again not very gegen like, but it also lets the team break down stubborn opposition. 

- added low crosses but also had a back up striker who was a target man. left it at mixed when he was playing.

I used this with AZ Alkmaar who are not a bad team and did not loose in the league for 24+ games so far. I have tested against some big teams like napoli and juventus. Was beat both times but controlled the games and created lost of chances. Should have beat them both but the average age of my squad is 20, so i think they buckle under the pressure. Destroyed wolves in the euro cup easily. Testing against man city next in the champions league tonight.

Thanks again for the OG post Avenger, this tactic is awesome.

Beat Man city away 0-1 with full backs on support. 

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@AceAvenger outstanding tactic. I had been on FM18 for a while, but with Coronavirus keeping us indoors I moved to FM20. I generally use a 442 (2DM) variant, and came to the tactics forum to get some ideas how to run it in FM20. Ended up finding this which is pretty much exactly how I like to play the game. The idea was to replicate yours, and work back from there, but it's actually a perfect fit (im using the 1AM, 1ST tactic)

I'm currently playing as Leeds United, but am limiting myself to ex players, players who list Leeds as a favourite club, and Home Grown at Leeds players. Have signed one veteran CB to help with mentoring, he's yet to play, and probably won't. Lost Nohan Kenneh unfortunately but will try buy him back later. Kept everyone else except Gaetano Berardi who had a poor personality. 

At this stage, I'm 1st after 10 games (8 wins, 2 draws), and into the fourth round of the cup. Absolute highlight was a 3-0 over Liverpool away in the third round. They used first team squad players, but rested 7-8 of their very best. 

Finding the tactic super balanced. Nobody really underperforms, nor does anyone score bags of goals. Will keep you posted, but great work!

 

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Well this is quite probably one of the best threads I've read in a while, in terms of content, structure, logic and the general not condescending (is there a word that means the opposite to condescending? If so thats the one I'm after). So much so I keep coming back. I'm posting this after probably my third rear through. Well done mate on a fantastic thread!

I'm borrowing many of your principles here and applying them to my save, particularly regarding the attributes. I've got an influx of 15-17 year old proming newgens coming in on the cheap from across Europe, taking your attribute guidance into huge consideration. I also play a similar shape (a flat 4-4-2) with similar principles, albeit slightly less gengenpress and more of a regular press, but the principles remain the same and have been very much applied to varying extents.

However the major question is will there be any more updates...?

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On 24/03/2020 at 17:47, Irn Rvd said:

Ok, so i had to change the tactic slightly, but i manage to get the AM firing on all cylinders. Using Avengers base 42211 genenpressing positive tactic. 

 

                    PF(A)

                    AM(A)

IW(A)                            IW(A)
            DLP(D).   VOL(S)
CWB(S) CB(D) CB(D) CWB(S)
                     SK(S)

 

- the AM has roam from position, takes more risks, moves into channels, dribble more. The players i use here have the ppm, collect ball from deep, so i think that helps too. When he was AP even on attack, he would collect the ball too deep and also very rarely went into the box. Must be a good passer.

- Play out of defense is needed to make chances from goal kicks as mentioned in OG post. I also use work ball into box which is not gegen like, but it stop crossing every single attack and also shots from long distance. 

- dropped the DLP to defend so that the AM has more room to shine and stop counter attacks. Must also be a good passer.

- against god teams, i usually make the cwb fullbacks on attack/support depending on if im at home. Makes the possession in the tactic disappear, but also makes it super counter attacking.

- dropped the passing to standard. Again not very gegen like, but it also lets the team break down stubborn opposition. 

- added low crosses but also had a back up striker who was a target man. left it at mixed when he was playing.

I used this with AZ Alkmaar who are not a bad team and did not loose in the league for 24+ games so far. I have tested against some big teams like napoli and juventus. Was beat both times but controlled the games and created lost of chances. Should have beat them both but the average age of my squad is 20, so i think they buckle under the pressure. Destroyed wolves in the euro cup easily. Testing against man city next in the champions league tonight.

Thanks again for the OG post Avenger, this tactic is awesome.

Thank you for your contribution! That's what I want most is to see a discourse about about how to go achieving this philosophy of play. Who do you have in your team right now? AZ have such a wealth of talented youngsters in their team.

21 hours ago, Irn Rvd said:

Beat Man city away 0-1 with full backs on support. 

That's quality mate, City are so good on this game, at least on my save. They're also phenomenal in real life.

13 hours ago, davidmcain said:

@AceAvenger outstanding tactic. I had been on FM18 for a while, but with Coronavirus keeping us indoors I moved to FM20. I generally use a 442 (2DM) variant, and came to the tactics forum to get some ideas how to run it in FM20. Ended up finding this which is pretty much exactly how I like to play the game. The idea was to replicate yours, and work back from there, but it's actually a perfect fit (im using the 1AM, 1ST tactic)

I'm currently playing as Leeds United, but am limiting myself to ex players, players who list Leeds as a favourite club, and Home Grown at Leeds players. Have signed one veteran CB to help with mentoring, he's yet to play, and probably won't. Lost Nohan Kenneh unfortunately but will try buy him back later. Kept everyone else except Gaetano Berardi who had a poor personality. 

At this stage, I'm 1st after 10 games (8 wins, 2 draws), and into the fourth round of the cup. Absolute highlight was a 3-0 over Liverpool away in the third round. They used first team squad players, but rested 7-8 of their very best. 

Finding the tactic super balanced. Nobody really underperforms, nor does anyone score bags of goals. Will keep you posted, but great work!

 

That is such a good idea for a save, could you show us what your team is looking like now?

4 hours ago, OJ403 said:

Well this is quite probably one of the best threads I've read in a while, in terms of content, structure, logic and the general not condescending (is there a word that means the opposite to condescending? If so thats the one I'm after). So much so I keep coming back. I'm posting this after probably my third rear through. Well done mate on a fantastic thread!

I'm borrowing many of your principles here and applying them to my save, particularly regarding the attributes. I've got an influx of 15-17 year old proming newgens coming in on the cheap from across Europe, taking your attribute guidance into huge consideration. I also play a similar shape (a flat 4-4-2) with similar principles, albeit slightly less gengenpress and more of a regular press, but the principles remain the same and have been very much applied to varying extents.

However the major question is will there be any more updates...?

Thank you so much mate, I'm glad you're finding it useful!

There will definitely be updates. I was thinking of starting another save with a team from East Germany, because all the big dogs from the former GDR are garbage right now, the only East German team in the Bundesliga is RB Leipzig. However seeing how this thread has been received, I'm going to continue until 2026 (I'm at September 2022 right now). That means I'm going to keep going until I play 1 season in the new stadium, which is called Marc Schnatterer Park, named after Heidenheim's most capped and highest scoring player (who was also a beast in the first season with me but since he was 34 his attributes dropped like an anvil). The goal is to win a piece of silverware to christen the new stadium.

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@AceAvenger Great read!  I'm playing with 1860 Munchen and have taken them to the Bundesliga but have struggled thus far to find a consistent tactic to get them over the hump.  I like the idea of sticking to a German ideology of play with a German side, as it seems to suit long term save plans.

Question on the two tactics, is there a reason you've created two?  Which tactic do you use when, and why do you use it?  Thanks for all this great info!

P.S. I loaned Rhian Brewster from Liverpool as well, excellent player who consistently banged in goals for me. Good call!

Edited by Tcufrog

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1 minute ago, Tcufrog said:

@AceAvenger Great read!  I'm playing with 1860 Munchen and have taken them to the Bundesliga but have struggled thus far to find a consistent tactic to get them over the hump.  I like the idea of sticking to a German ideology of play with a German side, as it seems to suit long term save plans.

Question on the two tactics, is there a reason you've created two?  Which tactic do you use when, and why do you use it?  Thanks for all this great info!

The plan was to recreate Klopp's tactic's at Dortmund, Rangnick at Leipzig and Nagelsmann at Hoffemheim/Leipzig but I scrapped I scrapped Nagelsmann and just went for Klopp and Rangnick. I also have a tactic that's similar to what Heynckes used at Bayern when he played away at Barcelona, but it's not that faithful of an adaptation of it.

Keep us updated as you go along, I'd love to see what gems you uncover because the German lower leagues are a treasure trove of good players.

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34 minutes ago, AceAvenger said:

The plan was to recreate Klopp's tactic's at Dortmund, Rangnick at Leipzig and Nagelsmann at Hoffemheim/Leipzig but I scrapped I scrapped Nagelsmann and just went for Klopp and Rangnick. I also have a tactic that's similar to what Heynckes used at Bayern when he played away at Barcelona, but it's not that faithful of an adaptation of it.

Keep us updated as you go along, I'd love to see what gems you uncover because the German lower leagues are a treasure trove of good players.

Will do, my first youth intake was great when I was in the 3. Bundesliga. Ever since that, it's bee terrible and I've been in the Bundesliga 4 years now. I'm in 2027 in my save.

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3 hours ago, AceAvenger said:

The plan was to recreate Klopp's tactic's at Dortmund, Rangnick at Leipzig and Nagelsmann at Hoffemheim/Leipzig but I scrapped I scrapped Nagelsmann and just went for Klopp and Rangnick.  I also have a tactic that's similar to what Heynckes used at Bayern when he played away at Barcelona, but it's not that faithful of an adaptation of it.

Keep us updated as you go along, I'd love to see what gems you uncover because the German lower leagues are a treasure trove of good players.

Could you, by chance, share the Heynckes setup here? It would be quite enriching to the overall theme, I suspect!

 

cheers

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16 hours ago, JIPI1 said:

Could you, by chance, share the Heynckes setup here? It would be quite enriching to the overall theme, I suspect!

 

cheers

Ofcourse!

So here is the tactic I use now:

a78d7372afa1bd0321c934a788f01137a.png

As you can see, the mentality was dropped to Balanced and the DL and LOE are only set to higher, while focus play through the middle is also set. I also removed play offside trap. With this system I only half mimiced Heynckes' style of pressing. The differences being is that Heynckes used a man-marking system at Bayern, old habits die hard, and made sure his centre-back followed there man, even though it meant having a staggered defensive line, meaning playing an offside trap was futile. Again referencing uncle Marić:

Quote

As already stated: Dante and Boateng are strong in the air, excellent tacklers, and very fast on their feet – at least in long distance runs. Bayern’s offensive formation in ball possession also requires outstanding coordination, so Heynckes curbed line play (staying on the same horizontal line as it is usual in a back four). The Bavarian defenders still act as a bank and shift in orientation towards the ball, but they use man-marking again and again without provoking offsides.

So in an accurate system, you would select 'use tigher marking' and maybe even play a stopper/cover combination in defence. This would allow a more aggressive, physically dominate centre-half to step forward and stop play, leaving a more mentally gifted, quicker, centre-half sweeping up play. Bayern had Jerome Boateng and Dante do this, both took turns being the stopper and the cover because of their immense physical qualities. This meant they could still play a high line, maintaining the vertical compactness needed to press and counter-press effectively.

Quote

So both situatively man-mark their respective counterparts. Dante stays deeper than his opponent, offside is of no interest – if your defenders are combative and quick, a running duel or tackle 40 yards from the goal is probably more promising than hoping for an offside situation. A maximum vertical space compression is not necessary out of principle.

Also, specifically against Barcelona, Bayern's formation resembled a 4-4-2-0. Their strikers were withdrawn, standing infront of Barcelona's defence and, more importantly, their deep-lying playmakers. They have Xavi and Busquest all the time in the world in deep positions, because if they tried progressing the ball forward, there were met with a great big red wall in midfield.

Quote

Therefore, Xavi and Busquets dropped again and again into safe space. They were then positioned in front of Gomez and Müller who only occasionally pursued them further back. They abandoned the Catalans to the playing vacuum of the defensive structure space and then went mostly back to their position if possible. Then they had a horizontally and vertically enormously compact 4-4-2-0-position into which dangerous passes were hardly possible.

So to get this kind of system, the Team Instructions should be a narrow playing with, a much higher DL but a standard LOE. This will achieve the maximum vertical and horizonal compactness. 

It would look kind something like this:

ee8b6982b3ada461bd5a402887f399db.png

You could also try playing with a Cautious mentality, and sticking the AM on attack instead of support, meaning the 'front two' will have a positive mentality, and stick on focus play through left and right. This will give the wingers and full-backs higher mentalities, attacking and balance respectively. You wingers will have the highest mentality in the team then, and will be your most adventurous players, which is exactly what Robben and Ribery were with Bayern.

This is all just tactical theory, I have no idea how effective it will be in the game, I've never tried it (apart from the first screenshot which is my go to whenever I play a much bigger team i.e. Bayern). If you guys want to try it, go for it and let me know how it goes.

References (honestly read them if you want to know more about how Heynckes set out Bayern to play):

Edited by AceAvenger

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Congratulations, I really enjoyed the process you put in place to develop your tactic. Same goes for me, I love my wingbacks to be the most important ones in my team with a lot of overlapping (I guess it is because that is my position IRL, and also my playstyle). I am developping my 4231 the same way as you have done: what I want to see IG and how to translate it in the tactics. 

Keep up the good work! :applause:

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On the training ground

As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. Training is something I never looked at in FM until I started this save and honestly it worth taking the time to make sure you set up your training correctly.

I’m going to split this section up into two parts, training for first team players and training for youngsters.

First team

For the first team training, I set up 3 week-long schedules, sensibly named Gegenpress – Attack, Defence and Physical respectively. From their names, you can guess what each schedule focuses on. The Attack schedule looks like the following:

81d0dd69b6c7b9aa39c76617b1184761.png

The Defence schedule is:

d1af793b7b9f6605b2726c8fd48e71d0.png

Finally, the Physical is:

d984901520491fefb466be18622059a7.png

Now some things of note:

  • I tried covering all the attacking and defensive sessions except for Defending Disengaged and Attacking Patient, purely because they’re not sessions that lend themselves to gegenpressing.
  • Transition – Press is the most used session, with 2 sessions in every schedule. This is because it covers all the attributes needed for gegenpressing perfectly

51454326d892865311267cd04f158481.png

Now the thought process behind this is that I wanted to cover all the sessions I wanted in a 3-week schedule. I made it so each week has a different focus, and I did this so I can prepare for each match in a 3-week period differently.

For each 3 weeks, I determine which of the games I’m a favourite in, which of the games I’m the underdog and which of the games are 50:50. For the game I’m the favourite for I pick the attacking schedule, because it has the attacking movement and attacking shadow play sessions which will increase my potency in attack. For the game I’m the underdog, I pick the defending one for the same reason but on the defensive side. The physical schedule covers both attacking and defending shadow plays as well as teamwork, which is perfect for a 50:50 game.

If there is an international break in the 3-week cycle, I put the physical preparation there, and if there is a week with two games in it, I use the pre-existing gegenpressing schedule if they’re two easy games or the pre-existing tactical schedule if they’re two difficult games.

I do this because the pre-existing schedules automatically adjust for multiple games in a week, and I can’t be bothered to make schedules that take this into consideration. I specifically use the tactical one for the tough weeks and it has all the shadow plays to better prepare for the upcoming match, at the expense of training sessions that could improve the players.

Make sure you do reduce the workload for the weeks with multiple games in them. You might have the urge to keep your players training a lot so they can improve more, but for the first team, match practice is more important that training to improve your players. So if you keep them fit and playing more, they will improve further.

Youth Training Set-Up

At Heidenheim, I only have an U19 set up, without a II club. For players under 18, training is more important than match practice, so it’s worth while taking the time out to take control of the training.

The method I use was based on TIPS model that Ajax use, which stands for:

  • Technique
  • Intelligence
  • Personality
  • Speed and movement

It is a method of judging their players, but Espen Høgli over at passion4fm.com base his youth training schedule on it. He made 3 schedules, Technical Skills, Intelligence and Speed and Movement, which I kindly downloaded and adjusted to fit what I want to achieve.

Here are the 3 schedules:

Technical Skills:

2db6d5286f748f99819e0ac308b49e93.png

Intelligence:

19b4b6ee6012b081556061269df949f4.png

Speed and Movement:

744197e02a8eb49c0b2ddb9e61cde37d.png

Now setting up the schedules is a bit different, what I do in a 4-week month is schedule Technical Skills and Intelligence once, while putting Speed and Movement twice. Why is that you may ask?

Well, on top of the fact that training is more effective on a player under 18, they also improve a lot quicker, because the gap between his current ability (CA) and his potential ability (PA) is large. Another thing is that improving a players physical attributes ‘costs' more CA points than improving his technical or mental attributes. Knowing all this, I try and maximise my number of physical sessions so that the youngsters’ physical attributes will increase quickly, taking advantage of the higher rate of increase to allow for radical change.

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That looks amazing Avenger. Great work. 

I have some bad news though, My AZ Alkmaar save has been lost in the cloud. I have had to start again. So will definitly use your training schedules once i pluck up[ the courage to start again.

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36 minutes ago, Irn Rvd said:

That looks amazing Avenger. Great work. 

I have some bad news though, My AZ Alkmaar save has been lost in the cloud. I have had to start again. So will definitly use your training schedules once i pluck up[ the courage to start again.

That's such a shame! Are you thinking of going back to AZ or going to try something new?

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6 minutes ago, AceAvenger said:

That's such a shame! Are you thinking of going back to AZ or going to try something new?

I cant play as them again because I was doing so well. All the youth players were coming through progressing tremendously. I was in second season.
- 2 wins away from winning the league. Also playing against ajax, who were just behind me on last day of the season.
- Quarter finals of champions league. was about to play the second leg against city at home. (0-0 draw at the etihad).
- Only signings were armini and almada, signed them both to long long long ass contracts without buy out clause finally.
- board just bought the stadium.
- Golden generation coming through the youth apparently. So sad.

- Just signed Jude bellingham on a free with only 20k wages a week. 

- After 1.5 years in mentoring, the youth 5 star players finally got their determination up to scratch.

- managed to get all team leaders with 17+ determination. We were set up perfectly for the next ten years. I wasa gonna try not sign a player again for three seasons.


Trying to find the right club to try next while I wait in hope for steam to recover my game. It seems like this has happened to many people over the last few days. Wishful thinking I know!

Do you have any recommendations for my next club? It took me weeks to find AZ. I like teams that:
- Are in europe.

- have a capable youth recruitment or its pointless.
- have good enough mentors.
- decent rep so you can sign promising players.
- works within a budget.

The dutch teams are great for these parameters as they have a high rep and dont get much tv money, so you have to make money from europa/champs and players sales. I was thinking a french team as I would be too sad to play AZ in holland.

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57 minutes ago, Irn Rvd said:

Do you have any recommendations for my next club? It took me weeks to find AZ. I like teams that:
- Are in europe.

- have a capable youth recruitment or its pointless.
- have good enough mentors.
- decent rep so you can sign promising players.
- works within a budget.

The dutch teams are great for these parameters as they have a high rep and dont get much tv money, so you have to make money from europa/champs and players sales. I was thinking a french team as I would be too sad to play AZ in holland.

Braga are a great option, and if you load the original database you'll still have Trincao.

Edited by AceAvenger

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1 hour ago, AceAvenger said:

Braga are a great option, and if you load the original database you'll still have Trincao.

Thats good. Will have a look into them now. Thanks.

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