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gam945

Help on a vertical tiki-taka 4-4-2

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I am currently in the preseason of my first season with my D3 team in Italy, and I want to build the club around a tactical culture that values vertical passing, efficient possession, fluid counter-attacking and solid defending. By efficient possession, I don't mean that I want 60% possession; I would be satisfied by 45% and +. I just mean that players should not just try long balls or clear it as a safe option. They should be confident with the ball, playing short simple passes with a clear intent to move it forward and not just keeping the ball for the sake of it.

I absolutely want to play in a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 formation or their variations with DMs, so it's not an option to play with another formation. The main reason for that is that I want to defend in 4-4-2 and that the formation set up in FM is the defensive one. However, I don't like the offensive animation of a traditional 4-4-2 as I consider it too simple, and unable to produce champagne football. Here is the animation I'm trying to reproduce:

image.thumb.png.68224e1b357e522adbf9d9dada490c08.pngimage.thumb.png.3ea7619c6e2e467a886845325f9d9f86.pngimage.thumb.png.548395372a000261ac3ffe9308638f45.png

So basically defending in 4-4-2 and attacking in a (pep's city inspired?) 2-3-2-3. Here is how I need each player to behave:
CBs - (CD-de): They are the ones who usually do the first pass of the attack, But that's it. They only reason to exist in the attacking phase is to give the ball to the #6. They have to excel in defending and have reasonable passing and first touch qualities. I do not expect them to play a role in the build up. As I value vertical passing, the ball shouldn't get to them after that is has passed the second line in attacking phase. I'd love a CB with long passing skills, but that is absolutely not necessary. Examples: Thuram, Nesta 

FBs - (IWB-su): they have a demanding role as they have to provide a screen to the defense in the wide areas, and help in the build up to get the ball to the 2 top lines. They may have to cross from deep in some situations, but it isn't their primary task. Ex: Lahm (Pep's bayern)

CM #6 - (A-de or HB-de): He is the one who gets the ball from the back and organizes the play. He is a primary key to the build up phase, and has to excel in positionning, passing skills and organizing play. He is also considered as a third defender. The central circle should be his and only his. Ex: Fernandinho, Fabinho, Koeman (minus his attacking role)

CM #8 - (DLP-su or SV-su): Much more an attacking/supporting player than is comrade #6 in the midfield, he organizes the attacking play deeper than #10 and participates to the build up. He isn't so much of a runner, but could (preferably) rarely provide options in attacking phase. He has to be technically gifted and proficient in defending. Ex: David Silva, De Jong (the first is more attacking than the second who is more defensive, but they have the required qualities)

WMs - (IW-su/at): They are explosive and technically skilled players who can make differences in one-on-one situations. They should be proficient in crossing and finishing and they track back. Ideally, one has a tendency to assist more and the other has a tendency to score more, while being able two do the two tasks. Ex: Ribéry - Robben (Heynckes' Bayern)

ST #10 - (SS-at or DLF-su or CF-su): He is positionned as a striker/AMC but he's nothing like a regular striker. He comes very deep to organize the attacking play with his comrade #8 but has a more runner profile. His primary task is the build up of the attacking phase in the final third, buy may come to assist #8 and maybe #6 and get the ball up the pitch. However, he is also an attacking threat and can place himself up with #9. Ex: Bergkamp, Van de Beek

ST #9 - (CF-at or P-at): Regular number 9, has to be complete, but I don't expect him the participate in the build up or holding the ball to assist his teammates. His first and only task is to score. He is a complete striker but has only scoring in his mind. Ex: Van Basten

Now, I have to consider that I'm in third division, with third division players. So I can't try to play such a system which requires very intelligent and skilled players. So my objective is to play a system that pave the way for the targeted one, while getting players who satisfies the targeted way. Again, I have to be pragmatic, I won't likely find such players in D3 or D2. So I'll make use of loans to get players who satisfies short-term needs and use transfers to get players who I'm confident I can develop into one that fits in the target system.

So I decided of a system that could pave the way for the targeted one, and relies on two principles: fluid counter-attack and solid defending. Vertical passing and efficient possession is something I'll try to develop going forward. So here's my tactic:
image.thumb.png.390944fb3116645d737bad973c43528d.png

PIs: IWs (Stay wider, Cross More often)

The thing is that I'm expected to be 2nd as my team comes from D2 (Serie B). The first line is set up as a classic 4-4-2, but their main task is to defend. FBs provide some crosses, but I expect solid defending.


The midfield consists of a DLP-de and a BWM-de; the first one being my #6 that defends and organizes the build up, while the second is a simpler version of the #8. He should play simple passes for his teammates and try to get the ball back, while maintaining his 2 man midfield with the DLP. They have Defend duties in a Positive mentality set up, which balances it for me.
The WMs are IWs that have Stay Wider and Cross More Often as PIs to reproduce the behavior of regular Wingers. They should be a threat in the half spaces and providing crosses from wide.

The striker pairing is set up as a DLF-su with a Poacher, so one should come deep and help organizing the attacking phase, while the second has only scoring in his mind.

TIs:

Shorter Passing: To build up play as in a possession tactic
Work Ball In the Box: To balance the number of crosses, as I have IWs on Cross More Often and FBs. This should make use of the DLF in the middle of the pitch.
Fairly Narrow: Again, to have balanced width and to use the half spaces.

Counter: part of the philosophy

Defend Narrower & Lower LOE: Compactness

Positive Mentality: We are expected to win our matches

I've played some matches and the playing style wasn't what I was expecting. I had no presence in the middle from my DLF, my Poacher isn't lurking for goals, and I don't know what to think about my two man midfield...Here are some team analysis of my previous match I won 4-1, but the playing style wasn't what I wanted and goals weren't from a build up play...

image.thumb.png.7f77dcbdf83b2e717133b48c8dfb63f0.png

image.thumb.png.278e9cb9ac38678bc71634609e687b51.png

A heat map of my CMS..

image.thumb.png.010c84c682915253d41ea6dca6deed47.png

However satisfied by the IWs:
image.thumb.png.604b28bfa4699e1e348fff97493bd1f4.png

But absolutely not by the strikers:
image.thumb.png.ef8ddb26e45d85e953e9fe91098acade.png

 

Any suggestions on how I can ameliorate the present system, keeping in mind of what I target?

 

Edited by gam945
pressed enter before finishing..

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3 hours ago, gam945 said:

image.thumb.png.390944fb3116645d737bad973c43528d.png

 

3 hours ago, gam945 said:

So basically defending in 4-4-2 and attacking in a (pep's city inspired?) 2-3-2-3

 

3 hours ago, gam945 said:

So I decided of a system that could pave the way for the targeted one, and relies on two principles: fluid counter-attack and solid defending.

Honestly, I fear that the above tactic is hardly going to produce what you described as your desired style of football. And btw - with reference to the thread title - it has virtually nothing in common with any tiki-taka (vertical or otherwise). 

 

3 hours ago, gam945 said:

Any suggestions on how I can ameliorate the present system, keeping in mind of what I target?

So keeping in mind that you want to be solid in defense and efficiently use possession when you have it, (counter)attacking in a fluid fashion (instead of just hoofing the ball aimlessly) - but at the same time your 3rd division team is not really capable of executing such a style of football in a really effective way - I can only tell you what my basic tactic would (approximately) look like if I were to attempt that kind of playing style:

DLFsu*   AF

IWsu   DLPsu   BBM    WMsu

WBsu   CDde  CDde    FBsu

GK/SK??

* Ideally, I would go with a TQ, F9 or CF on support instead of the DLF, but I guess you don't have a player that is good enough for any of these roles.

Mentality - would start with the Balanced (positive might be an occasional option)

In possession - shorter passing, run at defence, pass into space (and maybe - but just maybe - work ball into box, but with great caution)

In transition - distribute to CBs and FBs (and sometimes counter, but not all the time)

Out of possession - standard D-line and standard or lower LOE (depending on the situation)

In terms of player instructions, the strikers and BBM would be asked to close down more. DLF may also be instructed to roam from position, so as to further encourage his link-up-play role.

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15 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

o keeping in mind that you want to be solid in defense and efficiently use possession when you have it, (counter)attacking in a fluid fashion (instead of just hoofing the ball aimlessly) - but at the same time your 3rd division team is not really capable of executing such a style of football in a really effective way - I can only tell you what my basic tactic would (approximately) look like if I were to attempt that kind of playing style:

DLFsu*   AF

IWsu   DLPsu   BBM    WMsu

WBsu   CDde  CDde    FBsu

GK/SK??

That's really interesting and I'm gonna give it a go, but I always thought having a BBM or runner type of CM in a two man midfield wasn't effective because it would leave it with gaps. Would you use this tactic even against a 3 man midfield?

 

22 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

And btw - with reference to the thread title - it has virtually nothing in common with any tiki-taka (vertical or otherwise). 

Looking at the in-game description, seemed to me that is was an Ajax 2019/Bayern 2013 type of play..

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Just now, gam945 said:

but I always thought having a BBM or runner type of CM in a two man midfield wasn't effective because it would leave it with gaps

That's why I set the right back to a more conservative role (FB on support). IWB on defend could also be a good option, but I feared you don't have a suitable player for an IWB role (because it's more demanding than regular FB or WB). Keep in mind that I don't know your players, so I had to base the tactic on assumptions, rather than actual information. 

The reason I opted specifically for the BBM - as well as for giving the DLP support duty instead of defend - was to help achieve the more "fluid" style of attacking you mentioned as your goal. But the overall balance is still pretty good.

A problem with your initial tactic was that you had both CMs in holding roles but also both fullbacks in a fairly conservative role, so there was not enough support from deep to your attacks and the more attack-minded players. Which directly ran counter to your intended style of play. 

8 minutes ago, gam945 said:

Would you use this tactic even against a 3 man midfield?

I basically do not adapt my tactics to opposition formations but rather to their strength (are they a better, similar or weaker team than my team). 

 

10 minutes ago, gam945 said:

Looking at the in-game description, seemed to me that is was an Ajax 2019/Bayern 2013 type of play..

I don't remember what was their style of play and how they played back then (I am too obsessed with English football though). Maybe it was a tiki-taka. I just said that your tactic is definitely not a tiki-taka (not theirs). 

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9 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

hat's why I set the right back to a more conservative role (FB on support). IWB on defend could also be a good option, but I feared you don't have a suitable player for an IWB role (because it's more demanding than regular FB or WB). Keep in mind that I don't know your players, so I had to base the tactic on assumptions, rather than actual information. 

The reason I opted specifically for the BBM - as well as for giving the DLP support duty instead of defend - was to help achieve the more "fluid" style of attacking you mentioned as your goal. But the overall balance is still pretty good.

A problem with your initial tactic was that you had both CMs in holding roles but also both fullbacks in a fairly conservative role, so there was not enough support from deep to your attacks and the more attack-minded players. Which directly ran counter to your intended style of play. 

Yes you're right about the 2 holding CMs + FBs on support, I saw this issue in my matches.. Got it, thanks!

15 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

I don't remember what was their style of play and how they played back then (I am too obsessed with English football though). Maybe it was a tiki-taka. I just said that your tactic is definitely not a tiki-taka (not theirs). 

Oh okay, I've must misread you, I thought you were talking about the targeted system.

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