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sporadicsmiles

Possession with intent: Exploring tactical flexibility with the 4-5-1.

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Does it work against a stronger team?

Well, this is the question I have been asking myself. How effective can we be when we are outclassed and outgunned? I will show one example of this now (although one example is not definitive, never forget that). 

I am currently playing in a super league I made. Just a bit of added fun for me, and I am playing as Guangzhou which means I can do a bit of fantasy football from the start. Buying players to make this team great, flashing the cash and the like. It is a nice change of pace from my long term save as Almere (where I just moved to), where I have almost no cash to speak of. Anyway, this match was Guangzhou vs Atlético Madrid in the league. 

I think it is only fair to point out that this is not the mismatch it would have been playing without any signings. I have made a lot of singing for the first team to make this team stronger. We are not as strong as Atlético, but we are much better than you would assume when you started to read this. Like I said, this is a fantasy thing that I just so happen to try this tactic in as well. So this is the team I have.

1922689756_guangzhouteam.thumb.png.9cf2c0b38b08c6f4dc59cff635a289bf.png

Elkeson, Paulinho, Fernandinho (not the Man City player), Talisca and Aloisio were already at the team. Majer, Zivkovic, Quintilla, Komar, Rafael, Rodak, Kishna and Al Shahrani were all my signings. So while this is clearly a stronger team now than when I took over, it is clearly not as good as Atlético. By the way Al-shahrani is an excellent pick up in the game if you have a low budget and need a left back. I think he is in the game without any mods. So anyway, we now know my team. And against Atlético I am clearly not the favourite. So what happens in the match, you ask?

989664342_vsatletisummary.thumb.png.df5137990a6f04cb9a58b6ea11ba32d1.png

Here is the summary of the game. A 2-1 win and a pretty well deserved one. We went behind to a long over the top where my defender tried to the offside trap but failed. So he looked like an idiot running the wrong way. It is always going to be dangerous playing such a high line against a good side. But we are checking things here, so I left it alone. Not as interested in the result (since I expected to lose) as what happens and how we play. We then scored a lovely move where the RB squared the ball to the CM(S) for the equalizer. The winner was a back post free kick header. Nothing to say about that, not a part of my tactic except to say we had a lot of free kicks in dangerous areas. Which, by the way, means you have the ball often in dangerous areas. Keep note of that when playing on anything other than full match. If you keep seeing highlights start with free kicks for you in the opposition half, you have the ball there beforehand. Which is good. If the reverse happens, it means the AI has the ball in dangerous areas and you should find out why. 

363217197_atletimatchstats.thumb.png.d0cee3be07a95665fa69526297f4f5fd.png

The match stats are something like you come to expect. We cede possession, and still create. Although Atlético created more (and better) chances than me in this one. Why was this? Was I lucky here? Well, partly lucky and partly the AI finally got smarter (although not on purpose). Atléti scored their first CCC, and the second was saved but was not all that great a chance (quite wide, GK in a good position). But when and why did they create the extra chances? Well, for the final 10 minutes or so of the game, Atléti went to the aggressive attacking 424 the AI uses sometimes as a "we need to score now" approach. So for the first time, the AI was not bothering to play out of defence against me. They were actually being very direct. And as you expect, that would cut me open. Since I am not an idiot, I had to make changes at this point. 

1757746830_Atletitacticalchanges.thumb.png.da7eacdb24b09f37237e42fec93081c1.png

Go Defensive (less risk, all the attacking things dialled back). Drop the DL and LOE. Waste time. Get rid of the counter press. These are all standard shut up shop things for me. Then we stop playing from defence, move to direct passing with pass into space. This is to try to hurt them on the counter since they will overcommit. Which we did, but lacked the quality to make anything of it. We gave as good as we got at the end, it was a pretty open game. Oh and the WB(D) was to stop balls behind, which kept happening. It was close, and the keeper had to make a save or two, but we saw it out. First time a team has forced me out of the base tactic in the game though! So kudos to electronic Diego Simeone. 

What about the infamous heat maps?

Atléti:

1498152621_atletiheatmap.thumb.png.e091af22c9ecaf464ad2bd29d85580ca.png

Guangzhou:

142095344_vsatletimyheatmap.thumb.png.fded515e908ccc447a96d00100b921b1.png

So you will notice Atléti had a little bit of success possessing the ball in my half, but never close to my goal.They did get a lot more touches in my box than we have been used to seeing. Which makes sense. This is a good side who should be able to create chances. The press was not so effective against players who had the skill to avoid it. And Atléti midfielders did. They still messed around with the ball often at the back mind. Most of their possession was sterile until they went direct. Then it was dangerous. 

And for myself? Well, we struggled to have the ball that much around the box, but we still got in plenty of crosses and touches in the area. The keeper had a busy day, since players kept passing back to him when under pressure. Which is fine, I do not mind to recycle the ball a little bit. I'd call this possession battle a draw actually. But that is a good thing for this team. We were not outplayed here, despite being the worse side.

So what do we learn from this? Well, Even against bigger sides this can be successful. Although this win did have some luck about it (since we won from a set play and the keeper made a good save). Good teams will find ways to have the ball in your half, and to create good chances against you. Because their players can make things from nothing. And most importantly, if a team went direct and attacking against me from the start, and I changed nothing, I think we would get pounded. 

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Oh and by the way at some point I play away to Real Madrid this season... So lets see how that goes.

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Another good post. What was your thought about changing the mentality from positive to defensive? Was it to reduce the risk the players and the team were taking in general? Often when seeing out games I prefer to change the TI's and maybe go down one notch on the mentality-scale, by for example slowing the tempo, increase time-wasting and reduce the DL and LOE.

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Posted (edited)
Em 02/04/2020 em 16:39, chiani.ignacio disse:

How is this system working against big teams for you? 

I'm playing with Liverpool, and struggle in some big matches against English teams. They create a lot of chances (me too btw). 

I'm making some tweaks in the midfield to see how I can play these matches. 

A thing I noticed is that de wide roles of the midfield (IW) tends to dribble a lot and run with the ball to often (it's hardcoded). I'm trying with another roles like WM or WP. 

Anyone used a RPM in the midfield?

Well, me playing as Man City means I have an awesome squad with pacey defenders, so I usually just drop the LOD one notch, and so far it's doing the trick for me.

But I'm curious how other people are managing to achieve this, specially with lower quality teams.

Regarding @Jambo98 experience with Fiorentina, as he's using the balanced mentality in a league known for being too defensive, I'm actually more interested in what changes does he made to overcome defensive teams that park the bus.

Edited by davidbarros2

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10 hours ago, Vizzini said:

What was your thought about changing the mentality from positive to defensive?

Just to by default male the team more compact and less risk taking in general. If we defend more compact we will be harder to break down, and when a team is lumping the ball at your defenders with 4 forwards, you kinda want as few gaps as possible. It is something I tend to do when I want to see out games as well. I prefer to have the base tactic defensive and to make the offensive changes I want as a rule. So here I added in possession instructions to be direct and try to counter with balls into space. 

You can do the same with TIs, but I find it easier to keep track of what is going on with the mentality changed and evolving TIs and perhaps PIs around those. Both methods work, I just find this a little more intuitive for myself. 

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Posted (edited)
On 01/04/2020 at 18:03, Jambo98 said:

Formation

b36d7c4125a11dc3794d405a5a980d5d.png

Evening @Jambo98, loving your input in this thread. Slightly off the possession with intent topic, but was intrigued to try and implement your CWB(a)/WM(d) overlap left combo into my game.

Currently playing as Everton in 21/22 and I see Digne and Iwobi on my left flank as great attacking threats, so trying to get them more involved. I have seen Digne's overall threat increase, but wasn't expecting to see such an improvement in Iwobi, as I expected the WM(d) to be fairly reserved. Turns out though, with the right PPMs, this can be pretty devastating. Iwobi currently has great traits in runs with ball often, gets forward whenever possible and cuts in from both wings. So even with the 'defensive' role, this is seen on the regular. Doesn't always result in a goal like this, but good to see the deep starting position, with the following attacking threat and supporting options in the box.

Thanks again for the inspiration, and hopefully this combo keeps on delivering!

bab17939beb85a38365f717d6bab0c1c.thumb.gif.eab7fa177450529157f90a4f4eb4b7c2.gif

Edited by TheresOnlyTwoFilipSebos

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Em 03/04/2020 em 21:23, TheresOnlyTwoFilipSebos disse:

Evening @Jambo98, loving your input in this thread. Slightly off the possession with intent topic, but was intrigued to try and implement your CWB(a)/WM(d) overlap left combo into my game.

Currently playing as Everton in 21/22 and I see Digne and Iwobi on my left flank as great attacking threats, so trying to get them more involved. I have seen Digne's overall threat increase, but wasn't expecting to see such an improvement in Iwobi, as I expected the WM(d) to be fairly reserved. Turns out though, with the right PPMs, this can be pretty devastating. Iwobi currently has great traits in runs with ball often, gets forward whenever possible and cuts in from both wings. So even with the 'defensive' role, this is seen on the regular. Doesn't always result in a goal like this, but good to see the deep starting position, with the following attacking threat and supporting options in the box.

Thanks again for the inspiration, and hopefully this combo keeps on delivering!

bab17939beb85a38365f717d6bab0c1c.thumb.gif.eab7fa177450529157f90a4f4eb4b7c2.gif

Nice move! With those PPM's don't they often collide in attack? I guess that overload of the left flank can be amazing to release the winger on the other side of the pitch

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Sorry i havent replied to a few comments in here lads, will get a proper look / update tonight, i have been able to play on a bit but not a huge amount over the weekend. 

Although this has never been about results for me, the short update is that the wagon keeps 'a rolling. 

9bea27210bbb5d9f6e7a93d90634b25e.png

 

Pretty good defensive record for a team with no DM and one of the defenders on attack duty :) Was gutted to concede against Brescia but i was missing 3 of my first choice back 4 and the backups were not match fit (beacuse i still have not managed to get the hang of keeping fringe players fit - somehow i try to get them available for the u20s or whatever, but it never works)

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2 minutes ago, davidbarros2 said:

Amazing work @Jambo98. Glad to see you're leading goalscorer in Serie A, didn't see that coming ;)

Spoiler alert here.......but

13 league games. We have 12 wins, 1 draw. scored 28 goals and concede 3. 

Still not top of the league :D Scenes. 

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Ok so to try and catch up on some of the questions, in kinda chronological order......

Does it work against the big teams (Fiorentina version) 

So i guess the screenshot a few posts above showing my results gives the short answer to this - "yes" - we have beaten Milan, Napoli and Roma as well as the biggest scalp of all - The mighty Juve, and at the Allianz as well to boot!

Lets have a look at the Juve game.  

FIrst up, just he basics of the outcome: 

9cb06846a43357b9e7685b0e5b361cf4.png

So on the face of it, it looks like a bit of an undeserved win, certainly the magnitude of the scoreline looks out of line with the underlying stats. Juve had slightly more shots, albeit with low accuracy, and possession was pretty much equal. 

Going into the game, i noted that Juve set up in a narrow 4132 formation, which i felt was going to suit me well. It meant they would be focussed through the middle, and we have bodies there, with our IWB tucking in and creating a nice central block in defensive transition. Also given that much of our attacking is foccused on wing play, Juve playing narrow felt like it might just play into our hands......

Ok so some more depth......the basic heatmaps first:
66c337291c6e155a901d21af69b414ef.png

Right away, its noteable that Juve never really caused us problems in our half. Cuardrado at RB for them did bomb on a bit, which in theory could have been an issue for us with Dalbert looking to to the same, but in practice as i watched the game, we had enough cover with the WP and with the centrebacks able to come across and not leave a central gap because the IWB and / or the DLP are in place to block the centre. 

Now the more advanced heatmaps 

bb8e7728fa13e4d89ce3bfebcab31173.png

d223fb853f064cdb7aadc01bca07ad53.png

Again you can see that Juve never really troubled our box. Watching the game, they appeared to play a counter attacking style - they tried to move very quickly from back to front, was something i picked up on pretty earlier, but it was not causing us any trouble. Our shape is such that we are not an easy target for counter attacks. We play a low block style and with our defensive "box" 

What i mean by that, can be illustrated by an ingame "moment:

1a528b82f35aa1e32fc61e59481d430a.png

Here we are attacking with Dalbert bombing down the left hand side. But as we do so, we have our defensive box of 4 all nicely in place. It really does negate the counter very well, having 4 players set up like this. If the opponent counters down our left, where in theory we are most vulnerable, the left sided CB will cover across and the IWB will stay tucked in to avoid any central overload. 

Another interesting thing to look at, is the passing summary by player:

740a231aa37285914c7721ff3271d67f.png

Highlighte again here.........the opposing centrebacks have an insane amount of passes. By quite a distance, the highest in the Juve team. That is quite interesting, since it is not like they are a small team  who would have been trying to hold the ball against me, and they were behind for much of the game, so you would expect them to chase!

On our side, some pleasing numbers. It shows how key our IWB is as a recycling option. Adding Caceres and Lirola together (Subbed on Lirola at 62mins for Caceres) gives our most frequent passer. Dalbert also heavily involved, given we focus down the flanks and he is key both in the build up as a passing option and also in the final third to deliver crosses. Also, our 2 playmakers see plenty of the ball. So despite being up against a tough opponent, our system lets us keep playing "our way". 

Finally, lets look at our first goal, as it was one of the ones which caught me eye:
 

bf6a24274f2e3b19cc87dd25ebd06b9f.gif

A couple of key aspects to this:
 

1) The run by Chiesa - he wins the header initially, nods it back to Benassi, then he is on his bike, the ball is touched back to our IWB, Caceres, who pings one over the top to find that run

2) The bodies in the box. Look how, as the ball is played to Chiesa, we surge forward. Ribery hangs back for a cutback i guess, but my CM(a), who in the end applies the lovely finish, and also my WP(s) are both right up in the box, and we have 2 hanging around the edge (Dalbert and Benassi) for good measure. 

Overall, it was an enjoyable game to watch. We conceded a late goal from an individual error by Dalbert, getting beaten 1 v 1 by Cuadrado who then laid it on a play for Hig, but i always felt we were in control. Our system matched up well with how they tried to play so at no point did i feel any need to make a change. 

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On 03/04/2020 at 10:54, davidbarros2 said:

Well, me playing as Man City means I have an awesome squad with pacey defenders, so I usually just drop the LOD one notch, and so far it's doing the trick for me.

But I'm curious how other people are managing to achieve this, specially with lower quality teams.

Regarding @Jambo98 experience with Fiorentina, as he's using the balanced mentality in a league known for being too defensive, I'm actually more interested in what changes does he made to overcome defensive teams that park the bus.

The short answers, is i have not made any major changes as of yet. Although italy is known for being defensive other than themuch highlighted issues with teams just passing it between centrebacks.......i dont actually find even the small teams crazy defensive. A  number of the "smaller" teams play a version of 532 (With wingbacks in the WB slots) but even then its rare to see any play 5122 (with a DM added) so its not hugely park the bus tactics i have seen thus far.

The way the system has come together, it has a lot of variation - we can hurt terms by stretching the play - Chiesa and Dalbert, and we know on FM20 currently, crossing is dangerous........ we can also build up moves through the midfield, with 2 different playmakers, a runner who gets beyond the striker (the CM(a)) and a false 9 linking with them. 

Plus we can score some blistering counter attack goals, aided by the low block approach. 

655a26817f8c1387a86d3612bf6b9ec9.gif

Unfortunately this cuts off just before he slams it home, but trust me, it ends in a goal :) It is an example of a quick counter, the WP being aggreive with his more risky passing and finding our sub F9, who is a much more pacey player than Ribery. 

We also maximise set pieces -we have scored a couple of crossed free kicks and a couple of pens which make a difference of course against defensive teams. 

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On 03/04/2020 at 21:23, TheresOnlyTwoFilipSebos said:

Evening @Jambo98, loving your input in this thread. Slightly off the possession with intent topic, but was intrigued to try and implement your CWB(a)/WM(d) overlap left combo into my game.

Currently playing as Everton in 21/22 and I see Digne and Iwobi on my left flank as great attacking threats, so trying to get them more involved. I have seen Digne's overall threat increase, but wasn't expecting to see such an improvement in Iwobi, as I expected the WM(d) to be fairly reserved. Turns out though, with the right PPMs, this can be pretty devastating. Iwobi currently has great traits in runs with ball often, gets forward whenever possible and cuts in from both wings. So even with the 'defensive' role, this is seen on the regular. Doesn't always result in a goal like this, but good to see the deep starting position, with the following attacking threat and supporting options in the box.

Thanks again for the inspiration, and hopefully this combo keeps on delivering!

bab17939beb85a38365f717d6bab0c1c.thumb.gif.eab7fa177450529157f90a4f4eb4b7c2.gif

 

Lovely stuff, and really interesting thinking to take a player who maybe you would not think of as suiting the role as you originally think of it, and making him play it in a very different way. I actually moved away from the WM(d) back to WP(s), mainly because Bonaventura is so well suited to that role, but i do sometimes sub on a guy who is basically a winger (Sottil) at LM and can see he plays it slightly differently. 

I think way back in the original thread, i had a section about this - you can change massively how  certain role / duty plays out just by changing the player type you use. Great example of that in your post :)  Hope its still going good! 

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5 horas atrás, Jambo98 disse:

The short answers, is i have not made any major changes as of yet. Although italy is known for being defensive other than themuch highlighted issues with teams just passing it between centrebacks.......i dont actually find even the small teams crazy defensive. A  number of the "smaller" teams play a version of 532 (With wingbacks in the WB slots) but even then its rare to see any play 5122 (with a DM added) so its not hugely park the bus tactics i have seen thus far.

The way the system has come together, it has a lot of variation - we can hurt terms by stretching the play - Chiesa and Dalbert, and we know on FM20 currently, crossing is dangerous........ we can also build up moves through the midfield, with 2 different playmakers, a runner who gets beyond the striker (the CM(a)) and a false 9 linking with them. 

Plus we can score some blistering counter attack goals, aided by the low block approach. 

655a26817f8c1387a86d3612bf6b9ec9.gif

Unfortunately this cuts off just before he slams it home, but trust me, it ends in a goal :) It is an example of a quick counter, the WP being aggreive with his more risky passing and finding our sub F9, who is a much more pacey player than Ribery. 

We also maximise set pieces -we have scored a couple of crossed free kicks and a couple of pens which make a difference of course against defensive teams. 

Amazing work as usual @Jambo98! And glad to see Bonaventura playing in sort of a more natural role. And you're defensive record truly speak for itself, your left flank seems more defensively fragile but apparently it hasn't been an issue.

Are you still having issues with the overlap left instruction with the combo CWB-WP? Or did you remove it only when using the combo CWB-WM?

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On 02/04/2020 at 14:32, sporadicsmiles said:

Lovely work again Jambo, Nice to see that it is working as you planned. Some excellent results there!

The longer this thread goes on the more I am tempted to open a thread in the bugs forum about this. It is not really a bug, per se, but it is something in the ME that is really not working the way it should. 

Hi @sporadicsmilesand @Jambo98, I think this would be interesting to list it there and see what is the answer from them. I am pretty sure they have faced this problem, and with such a thread, in case they want more information, they might have a closer look and reply to us their way of thinking.

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Hitting a blip, and how do we react?

So after a blistering start, it was somewhat ineviatable that we wuld come back to earth at some point. And so it was:

9a782746a8953e1d09098c7ec97c3d47.png

(ignore the friendly i guess - it seems randomly schedule for our winter break, and i played all backups for fitness!)

So, we have 2 nil v nil draws, then a 1 v 0 defeat, and then after a brief return to form, another goal-less draw. So how do we react.......

It is at this point, that most people (e.g. me, most saves...) would start to lose faith, they would start to panic, make changes, think "oh its not working, i need to change my approach". For me though, sometimes a more measure approach is needed. So before we even get into looking at each individual game, we look at the wider picture. What factors should we consider, well:

  • Before the Samp game, we lost RIbery to a long term injury (5 months). Whilst he does not score lots of goals, he is quite vital to our system and we have no replacement - our backup strikers (Cutrone and Kouame) are totally different player types 
  • Lazio are absolutely flying themselfs, and 3rd in the league, a very tough game away from home
  • The Sassuolo game.......well Chiesa got sent off after 74mins, and he is our best and probably most important player. 
  • Prior to the Lazio game, we had a morale hit when one of our Centrebacks (Pezzerella) kicked off about wanting a contract, i didnt bite and he spread some unhappiness
  • Inter are also flying, and as hinted above, they were actually above us in the table even after our insane start. So away from home, a draw there is a very good result

So, we have to take that into account to start with. Context is important. A small sample size does not mean our system suddenly stopped working. 

We also, of course, look at the games. I lack the time to do full write-ups, and im sure you are all bored of that anyway......but briefly:

Fiorentina v Sampdoria 

2e05e9cfdb063bc073e365730bade620.png

489f14cda8d3402d573bd8f124058f06.png

75fcc5fc66c30184d06582af1344b2ec.png

So essentially, in this game, we did everything right. Played well, dominated.........just ya know, we didnt put it in the net. Sometimes that happens, as already covered, we were missing our main link man, and we just couldnt get a goal. Move on.......

 

Sassuolo v Fiorentina 

a32b627f67d3a2282ba1acbbf1a0469b.png

So the bare stats say we were ok here.........but i watched this game closely -we were quite simply.......poor. Our passing was not on point, we made some bad decisions and overall, we looked lacklustre. We had played a lot of games, our squad was a little stretched......and morale a little on the down after the Pezzerela affair. It happens. I did not see any specific weakness in our system / approach. 

 

So, how do we respond to that bad patch? We do........nothing, in tactical terms. We keep the faith. We do some squad building related things (more on that in another post), but largely speaking, we ride it out. We keep a very close eye on things of course, because we cannot be complacent, but if we are going to need ot change something, we will do it from identifying paterns and specific weakness, rather than over reacting to simple results.......

State of the nation

So the inter game actually brought up the half way point in the season nicely. Here is how things stand:
 

9f061cd4f305f26d1a3c466d6ff86a75.png

Cant grumble at that with Fiorentina in season 1, with just 1 signing (Bonaventura) 

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So I thought I would also give an update on how things are going in my save. A little different setup than for Jambo. I am playing in a super league I made and using this as the tactic in my fantasy save. Made sense to me, as I will face a range of teams both weaker and stronger than myself. The league system of the league I am playing in has 6 teams from Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe. So a wide range.

Here is the league table after most of a season. 

1980912480_GEtable.thumb.png.42ef71589ed6b11f836f816025f65912.png

As you can see, it has been a hugely successful season. I have only lost a single game, and drawn two more. The defeat was against Leipzig away. And to be fair they probably earned it. We conceded to a very early goal after 2 minutes to a ball over the top, and could not get the equalizer. We created and missed a lovely chance at the end. So while we lost, were competitive against one of the better teams in Europe this year. Which is good enough for me. I never expect to win so many games. 

1504964692_GEvsRBL.thumb.png.0e86880a82c83d82c22191f6610d4bc0.png

The two draws were at home to Atalanta (1-1). We took the lead but Atalanta scored a nice goal to equalize. They were also worth a point, although is was an equal enough game. Again we were not outclassed. The other draw was a 0-0 with Velez last night. I think we have some post-promotion blues, because we were just poor. One of those games where nobody plays to their potential. 

The results for (most) of the season.

387110762_GEresults.thumb.png.46bc35f5f8b9c498ea29d9fc5e911dc6.png

That crazy 3-3 draw was due to half my players being on international duty, so it was a bit topsy turvy with some sub-optimal players. The other two defeats of note came in the cups. Marseille scored a 92nd minute winner, although to be fair they deserved it. They kept counter attacking dangerously and I kept letting them do it just to see how resilient we could be playing like this. Not enough was the answer. I did have to play an ageing Zheng Zhi in midfield in this game. And he is slower than I am, which did not help. If you do not have the right players even a tactic cannot save you sometimes. 

The loss against Dortmund was much more unfortunate. I lost Fernandinho to injury early in the first half, and his incisive attacking play from the left flank is really important. His backup simply does not create as much danger for me. Plus we squandered a pair of golden chances (an away goal would have been enough here). One chance was sharply saved. The other was really good, but fell to the right foot of Zivkovic, who is a left footed player. One of those things. Haaland scored from a pair of crosses late in the game, which did for us. Again, though, it was a pretty balanced game and we held our own against a good side away from home. Which is just as important as winning. If we are being outclassed we have problems. If we are winning because we cannot stop Haaland scoring... well, we are not alone in that. 

You will also see we defeated Inter and Atletico at home (I think I posted about the Atletico game), and Real away. We absolutely mugged Real. It was the biggest struggle we have had, and we were dominated. We scored a goal just after half time from a long ball over the top, and then defended like demons. 9/10 times we play that match we probably lose. If I get the chance, I will try to analyse that one for you (busy times right now, I have started a new job in lockdown, which is rather complicated). 

Now let's look at player performances. As you guys probably know by now, team building is also an integral part of tactical play. Here I am in a fantasy league flush with money at a team with a front end tycoon. So we are playing with silly money, which means squad building is easy. Like I said, this is just a fantasy game so I can have a bit of fun constructing a dream team. So we have brought in a lot of talented players (here Ferro and Van de Beek are new signings, so ignore them).

367278348_GEteamstats.thumb.png.ea5c1d6de9029f0c940b9fceb271aec1.png

Why do I show this? Well, at a glance you can see who is scoring and who is creating, which in turn tells you what your tactic is doing. Our top goalscorer is the Elkeson from the striker position. Indeed our strikers have 20 goals in 29 games started between them (this is a crude measure, because I ignore that they could have both scored in the same game after a substitution, but I do not want to go find out the real number, and this is an illustration). This shows us that he is getting in good positions. He scores a variety of goals too. From pressing, balls over the top, passes and crosses. This position is working nicely.

Fenandinho on the left wing has been excellent. He is critical in the attacking phase of play, and when he was injured we struggled. He is the only right footed player for the left wing, which helps. He is scoring and getting assists. With an upgrade this position would be lethal. 

Talisca also has a great year from CM(A). This is a role I really love, and will always grab goals. He is the attacking thrust in the middle, and he typically bursts late into the box to get onto passes and crosses. Which is what I want him to do. He would likely get a bunch of assists if central play was a bit better in FM20. 

Paulinho at CM(S) is not a flashy player in this system. He is kinda an advanced pivot to recycle the ball and be a passing option. So the stats here are not fair to judge him by. Same for Majer at DLP(D). Nevertheless, Paulinho has a cannon of a foot and likes to shoot from range. So he has scored a lot of very nice long shots. He is always in a good position to try these as well, because of the role he has. Majer has not scored, but that is not shocking as a the withdrawn midfielder. He has created 5 goals, and his passing is excellent. He is the player to link defence and attack, and recycle the ball. He does both excellently. 

Rafael gets a lot of cross assists from RB. Which makes sense in FM20, as there are a lot of goals from crosses. Plus the overlap right instruction gets him into dangerous positions. The left back has fewer assists, but is playing a more supporting role. Zivkovic on the right has 7 assists, which are either crosses from this left foot (so in swinging crosses from deep) or passes to players on his left. 

Defensively, there is not much to say from these stats. My defenders have been solid at clearing away danger from direct passes, and good at recycling the ball. The 'keeper has been excellent, but in many games has to do the sum total of nothing. That we have conceded 6 goals in the league says it all. Although the defence does not take all the credit here. We defend as a unit from front to back. This is predominantly a tactic built on a defensive scheme. Which is not how I originally planned it, but I have come to learn this. 

One final thing for this post. Even my U23 are having an excellent year. 

238193350_GEreserves.thumb.png.e7263eb10903e993ae88b4715404f876.png

Also dominating their league. What makes this impressive is that this is basically the same side that we had at the start of the game. I have not bought players for this side. So they are in general not so great. This actually speaks volumes to the fact that this tactic is nice in both my hands and the hands of the AI. Make of that what you will.

 

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On 02/04/2020 at 13:55, Jambo98 said:

Does it work (the results show)

So, apparently the chairman is not interested in pretty pictures, average positions and obscure 1950s Hungarian tactical references........

How is it actually working then? Not too badly, so far:

8607b5869d36b80222ced4bb4467892f.png

 

 

 

I love the defensive stability. I m gonna try something similar

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Ok so its been a while, but i am stil slowly plodding away at this. There is work to do on the system i think, but firstly a post on squad building.

It goes without saying, or at least it should, that in order to have success with any given system, you need the right players to suit the way of playing. Clearly at the very top level, there is more wiggle room, in terms of the fact that your upper echelon players can perform well in most roles / duties / tactical systems but when you move down a little, and when you are trying to overachieve with a squad, then it becomes more vital to have the right player types. 

Obviously, i chose Fiorentina after looking at the squad, and determining they looked well suited for a 451 experiment. I then supplimented that with 1 single signing, the best suited / high attribute player to fit in a specific role where we had a gap (Bonaventura, as WM or WP). That said, things happen over a season, and come January, we identified a number of squad building challenges:

Challenge 1 - The Centre Back Situation

So as we know, Fiorentina start with 2 very good centrebacks in Nikola Milenkovic and German Pezzella. I mentioned in an early post, that we had a small issue starting up with Pezzella, who wanted a new contract. I stood firm on not giving one and this caused his morale to drop which rippled across the squad. As the window opened, Pezzella remained unhappy. This left me with a decision to make. He is 27, a very good, albeit not great centre back, and probably not much room for further growth. He was on a reasonable wage, but not outrageous, and his value was probably at its peak.

So what to do? Well this comes down to succession planning - As the season started, i had no reason to think i had any upcoming need in the CB department, but i still scouted my share. Always good to know you have a plan to pivot to, and in this situation, i had a scouting report on someone i liked very much as a replacement. 

Early in the window, a 20m bid arrived for Pezzella from Leicester. The fee was to be paid upfront in full. A check of my scouting reports for potential replacements, showed that my number 1 CB target, Felipe Luiz was likely to be available for the same, if not slightly less of a fee. He would likely want a bit of a higher wage, but that could be offset by the transfer fee gain, and i would also be adding a much younger more promising player.

So the deals were done, and here is a comparison of the old n new:
 

0665defecaaf9079e186b604d595c02b.png

Lots to like about the replacement, and also he comes from Serie A so should have no adaptability issues or language issues. So yes, the lesson here is always have a succession plan in place for each position in your team, even if you have no immediate plans to sell / upgrade.

Challenge 2 - The striker situation

I also alluded to this in an earlier post, but in early December we suffered a crushing blow when Frank Ribery was ruled out for 4 - 6 months through injury. Ribery was our first choice False 9, and was quite integral in linking our system together. His stats were not actually that impressive, with 4 goals and just 1 assist in 13 games, but he was always active in our build up play. When he was initially ruled out, of course, the window was closed. We have 2 other strikers in our first team squad as it stands, both on loan to us, and both with deals agreed to join us permanently next season.

We have Kouame - A pace merchant with pretty poor technical attributes for this level, and not wonderful mental......best suited to an occasional supersub it feels

61a3b4fe74246c0ed29b5081571808b0.png

We also have Wolves Flop, Cutrone...... He is not a bad striker by any means, fairly well rounded, but does not have the look, or feel, of a false 9 really. Passing and vision a little lacking and has none of the Traits we would like.

8dfebb27f832ddbefe65363930ba1afd.png

So, we turn again to our scouting reports. With some funds left over from the defender swap out, and the board shaking loose another 4m or so, as well as the use of some installments, we had the money needed to secure a bit of a south american wonderkid. Thiago Almada is someone i have eyed in other saves, and he really looks built for a False 9 type role. 

9e43200de5e76d1cd996354de6350a24.png

His Traits are perfect as well:

  • Runs with the ball through centre
  • Moves into Channels
  • Curls Ball
  • Comes deep to get ball
  • Cuts inside from both wings

He is obviously not the finished article, but that personality type also lets us dream on just how quickly he might grow. Ideally, i wanted to bring him in, pair him up with Ribery for half a season, slowly introducing him as a successor. As it happens, we have to throw him in a bit, and hope that maybe Cutrone can pick up some slack.....

Challenge 3 - The IWB backup issue 

To be honest, this one should have been addressed before now, but a 5 week injury to Dalbert forced my hand.........

As covered earlier, our first choice LB, for the CWB(a) role is Dalbert, a flying winback type. Our first choice RB, for the IWB (d) role, is Caceres, a converted centreback who is far from a wingback. However, the backups for each position as it stands.....our backup LB, is Igor, who is essentially a hybrid CB / LB with none of the attacking traits and limited attacking abilty. Our backup RB, is Pol Lirola, who is a flying wingback type.........

The solution here, i guess is blindingly obvious :D Create a mirror version of the tactic with all roles / duties "flipped". So when we need to play our backup fullbacks, we play each in a role that is well suited. Of course this also mandates changes in midfield, but this is not a huge issue. Both Bonaventura and Chiesa can swap sides without losing too much, and whist its not optimal, its also not something we would use every week.  Its also not ideal that it makes it tougher to only rest 1 fullback at a time, but both Lirola and Igor are among the hareem of players loaned to us, with perm deals already arranged that i can't escape from....... so for now, we make do.

Challenge 4 - The IWB long term issue 

So as mentioned above, our primary starting RB, as an IWB (d), has been former Southampton brief visitor, Martin Caceres:
 

cfa0eceae8450169c5ff8a80c4e7006a.png

Caceres is......well, a fairly solid defender to be fair to him. He is however 32, and already showing some decline. What's more, as i analyse the system more and watch lots of games, its clear that the IWB is actually quite crucial. He sees a lot of the ball and makes as many passes almost as our DLP. In effect, he is acting like a double pivote / second DLP. Caceres is not exactly a playmaker. As already covered above, his notional backup. Pol Lirola, is also not particularly that type. 

So, we need to do some thinking. Firstly, what do we now want in our IWB role, knowing what we know about how the role plays?

- We of course, need someone who is solid defensively. At times he will act like a 3rd centreback, covering for the fact our LB has gone marauding
- We also need someone who is good in the passing side of the game, a playmaker from fullback almost. Seems suitable, given that Lahm pioneered this role somewhat
- We are not overly worried about attacking. Pace, crossing / dribbling et al are not really a consideration
- Some playmaker-esque traits would be a nice bonus

A search of both my scouting reports, and all the players in our player search DB however, reveals very little by way of suitable candidates, and those we can identify, are either not interested in us, or will cost a huge price. That is a bit of an  issue, since we have maybe 10m at most available to spend.....

So, we get creative. A seperate browse of my scouting reports when looking at midfield succession planning, had shown me that one of my fave Italian DLP types, Roberto Gagliardini was on the transfer list. At the moment though , i have a surplus of DLP types in my squad.........but hmm, wait, we need a DLP type to play Right back........why dont we look to retrain one of our existing ones to RB.......

The candidate, is Erik Pulgar:


84fa9d844292d0bff4a9b8ed0facb4a9.png

I really like his Traits for an IWB and his tackling is solid, as is his defensive positioning, and of course we know his playmaker skills are pretty good. So i can retrain him to RB, and replace him at DLP with Gagliardini, and be within budget.....sounds like a plan!

Gagliardini:
 

04862de67a3bcff8e592acadc5cf7b89.png

So the lesson here, i think, is always be open to retraining possibilities. Doing it mid-season is far from ideal, as playing Pulgar at RB when he is unfamiliar will impact performance, and he will not learn the role without significant game time.....but in the interests of long term success, it is the approach we will take.


So there we go, January transfer business concluded. We also added a backup keeper (Claudio Ramos, for about 700k from portugal some place) as we had nothing of quality to back up our first choice, and when he got injured in early jan for 3 weeks, i had a mild panic! 

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The best laid plans and all that..........

I had the above post plans in action, Pulgar had started i think 4 games at IWB and was starting to get some level of familiarity........although his performances defensively were sometimes suspect. Then this happened:
 

c24ebd4182dfc6998f571152b4b1d471.png

It was  tough decision. They bid on the last day of the Chinese transfer window. Entire fee upfront and his agent indicated he would be unhappy if he was not allowed to talk to them.........I weighed it up. He had been surplanted by Gagliardini at DLP and the IWB experiment was not exactly working brilliantly thus far. I also had an eye on a different plan, which i needed funds for.......and so, i accepted, and off to China he went. This also frees up a non EU player slot, i think, although i still cant get my head round that.....

I will do another post on how we are evolving tactically, but in essence i had made a couple of tweaks in midfield which mean i was probably lacking a real true thurst / goal threat from the middle of the pitch. The funds from selling Pulgar, plus some installments, meant i have secured the ideal man for that job ahead of next season:

67832196e19e45778a6d0bca1e1415c4.png

I really want to see this guy play as a CM(a)...........

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So how is it going in Serie A i hear you ask (ok, i did not hear anyone ask........but @sporadicsmiles did a great job in this thread so im trying to keep it going!)

Well, my last actually result update was just after the Inter Milan game in Jan. Here are the results since:


970cd6fd1f60cb4785f6ff6481232a72.png


All in all, not dominant. A few too many draws against lower sides in Feb, then in April, could be costly. Loses to Roma and Milan are painful, and overall our biggest issue is very apparent - we do not score goals freely. Not scored 3 in a single game since the turn of the year. That does suggest that we need to look at the system, and throughout April i have implimented some changes in a desperate attempt to keep us in the title fight.

So where does that leave things.......... Tight as a ducks......

c392846217922803e66841fd273e11ed.png


That defensive record :) Our attacking record is actually not that different to most of the teams around us. Just Lazio are running riot. They have scored 20 more goals than anyone else in the league ffs. 

Of course, as you might note from the first image above......our next game, with 3 league games remaining, is home to Lazio......

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2 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

ok, i did not hear anyone ask........but @sporadicsmiles did a great job in this thread so im trying to keep it going!

I at least am reading on! 

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@Jambo98Please keep it going :) - I am also keen on reading your experiences. Are you planning any tweaks or changes to your approach? or will it be squad building and working on player traits to enhance the effectiveness?

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2 hours ago, Jungztar said:

@Jambo98Please keep it going :) - I am also keen on reading your experiences. Are you planning any tweaks or changes to your approach? or will it be squad building and working on player traits to enhance the effectiveness?

Cheers man, a bit of both to be honest -  i have made a number of small tweaks lately i just need to write up, but player traits can certainly help and getting Donny in with that perfect mix, i am hoping......will help! 

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Key match management - the potential title decider!

So as alluded to above, with 3 matches to go, we face a pivotal game against our title rivals, Lazio. Going into this game, we sit 2pts behind Lazio, with 3 games to go each. Lazio have 2 easy fixtures post our game, so in reality, this might be our last shot at the title. As such, it was important to treat this game with the most careful of management, and i thought i would write a bit about how i approached it. 

Pre- Match - Lazio 

So firstly, we look at how Lazio setup, and they seem to use only one system:

7b5266fc3e891c6bb773c169b1e6fc4e.png

We can see that Immobile is the main source of goals, and that Luis Alberto and Lazzari are the main sources of assists. When we played them earlier in the season, it ended up a dull nil / nil! Looking at the stats, it appears that Lazio, in common with most back 3 teams in Serie A, pass it around loads between centrebacks and keeper.........
 

Pre-match - Us 

So how do we set ourselfs up? Well firstly, i made some tweaks to the right hand side. Our lack of goals was becoming a real issue, and we are suffering from not enough threat in the box. our CM(a) is a little inconsistent in terms of getting in to the box (Not having great traits does not help). So we had to consider options. I still like how the left side plays out, but the CAR was also a role which was a bit....."meh". Our biggest goal threat had been Chiesa, playing as a winger. He has a very curious set of traits, in that he has "cuts inside from both wings", but also "hugs touchline" - which seem to  directly contradict ffs.........

So, we decided to try and alter out attacking shape a little. We make Chiesa an IW - with the intention being he gets more into the box and gets in there earlier, as well as driving more into the box than to the byline. To compliment this however, we look at something Sporadic mentioned ages ago - the use of a Mezzala. Castrovelli is very well suited to that role, and ideally he will swap with Chiesa and link with him as our attacks build - that is the theory.... in practice they might just end up stood on top of each other :D 

Instructions wise, we have removed "focus play down right" now, so in theory we focus down the left more - in turn though, i am hoping this can open up the right side for switches of play and quick overloads.  Transition wise, nothing has changed. 

Out of possession though, we have added a couple of instructions to add a bit more press to our game. I felt we were a bit passive against weaker sides, and i quite liked how the press was working so we go with it. Also added "defender narrower" on reccomendation from the Ass Man - given w are strong centrally. In retrospect, high and narrow seems an odd combo.........

So here is how we line up - personell wise, Lirola gets the nod as IWB - he is not perfectly suited to that role, but he has been thrown in lately and done ok. Castrovilli plays as our Mez, which i see as his long term role, but we lack a decent CM(a). Alfred Duncan gets the nod as the best of a "meh" bunch and up top, Ribery is slowly returning to match sharpness, and we decide to start him today in this huge game. Almada has struggled a lot thus far, and Cutrone also has done nothing. 

0c5af9c4114b5dff0db895e6038bf24b.png

 

First half - notes 

I was taking verbatim notes of any changes i made thoughout this game, which i watched on comprehensive......:
 

15mins - defender narrower emoved  -  Lazio have no central runners and WBs are a danager - they are getting way to move space. Moved to defend wider - a big change but it was obvious the WBs are the outlets in this team at the moment. 

30mins - this is the dullest game of football i have ever seen.......pretty much nothing is happening :D 

40mins - BUT WAIT. We get a free kick mid way into the Lazio half, fairly central. Bonaventura floats it in, and Milenkovic gets a head to it, floating it into the far corner. YASSSSS 


Half Time Analysis 

So the bare stats:

58529512cfef253c12d23650fd3691ce.png

As you can see, really not a lot happened, very few shots, Lazio have all the ball, but htat is because they pass it around the defence and keeper, as the heatmap shows
 

3c8ee764ebee5ed5a0093f10753f9c6b.png

Not a lot i can do really, i am not unhappy with our shape and our build up, and we have the lead so im not going to try and force anything. 


Second half - notes

52mins - WELL LOOK AT THIS. Lets go with the animated version:

39da144976d719eb2dbfe9772afbebc6.gif

What did we say about bodies in the box? Our IW to our MEZ, both inside the box (not exacly how i pictured it.....but hey ho!) 

55mins - Ok now with a 2 goal lead, lets notch down the mentality a touch. We go to "balanced" - it is too early to be thinking all out defence, and we do not want to invite too much pressure

62mins - I notice that Lazio seem to have changed shape, and a quick look at the formation screen confirms this:

e55f423c989af84b28d3c13cc0cb97b2.png

So they have gone to 4 at the back and a diamond. Time for some changes to combat that:

  • Remove "pass into space" - i want us to hold the ball a bit more 
  • Reduce passing directness to "shorter" - as above
  • Reduce pressing, lower Dline and lower line of engagement - time to start to sit in a bit and create a low block against that diamond
  • Move defensive width back to "balanced" - we can expect more central runners now and the wing backs less of an issue

66mins - Well, that worked a treat.......Lazio work it to Lazzarri, who is way advanced down the wing, he works a pass inside and Luis Alberto slams it home. 2 v 1.............uh oh. No tactical changes immediately, but 2 subs - Ribery off for Almada for fresh legs up top, and Badelj on for Duncan at CM - a slightly more possession type and more legs.

75mins - Ok Lazio are coming at us now, we are looking ok, but its time to get sensible and try and see this out.  We move down to defensive mentality, we  switch our LB to a FB(s) and our LM to WM(d) and our CM(a) becomes a  BWM(s).  We also make our last change - Caceres on for Lirola for more solidity at RB. 

80mins - Lazio have lots of the ball, but have resorted to pot shots and whilst i am fairly happy, one additional tactical tweak - move timewasting to "whenever possible" - just common sense really to go full on Simeone at this point

85mins - Badelj almost drops us right in it, giving it away needlessly, but Immobile blows a good chance. I move us down to "very defensive", whilst making a mental note to send Badelj on loan to North Korea at the next possible chance

91mins - WHY SO MANY DAMN HIGHLIGHTS SUDDENLY. go back to passing it around the back please Lazio........ah, its okt, we have the ball and taking it to the corner......surely.

95mins - GET A NEW WATCH REF FFS........and there we go. Full time. We win. we go top of the league.......phew

94049b9069611d2b3497af5937ef23d7.png

 

That was hard work and needed a lot of ingame management. Not a vintage performance, but the win is what counts

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27 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

That was hard work and needed a lot of ingame management. Not a vintage performance, but the win is what counts

The best games are those that need ingame management imo. Clearly you have the 'enjoys big match' trait as a manager.

It was a lovely write up update explaining your reasons for the changes, your prominent use of ffs makes me lol

Indeed, the big question is to be defensive or not when things are working out nicely, it's a very fine line. I find lowering LOE to get more compact and lowering passing length one notch to keep the ball more works most of the time to keep things tidy at the back. And time wasting and play for set pieces in the last 5 mins work 9/10 times in my case. Virtual Simeone got a taste of his own medicine :D 

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@Jambo98 Great update! I liked the IW and MEZ change and the thinking behind it. 

When defending a lead, I normally don't lower my LOE or Dline when the AI starts coming at me..... I try to setup the defensive traps correctly (eg defend wider/narrower with high Dline) and ensure that I have the right players to win the ball and use pass into space to release quick counters. I normally remove gegenpress but keep counter, don't do overlaps etc... and around 80" I turn on max. time wasting (not too early)

I feel that allowing the AI to enter "my territory" will always end with CCC and/or goals.  Especially the FBs or WBs must not be allowed to overload the flanks. If I can win the ball from them they leave huge gap to be exploided by a AF or IW..... So maybe changing the role of the SC in the 451 could also be an idea

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Well, we did it in the end! The last 2 games were tense, we had to manage so carefully, but we stuck to the shape / formation and the core system. Some good feedback / tips from the lads above about holding a lead which were usefull - cheers gents.

0f827a63fae01e4f037889e2fa57b8e2.png

In the end, Lazio actually lost on the last day of the season, so we did even need to win the final game but we played it out very well. The Mez getting a goal and an assist was nice. 

Our team stats at seasons end make it kinda amazing that we won the league to be honest........

392b6cf09a221b8e88bec8b424cebbb0.png

Top scorer with 11 goals :D only 1 player in double figure each for goals and assists. Proper team effort.............

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I just had the AI do this against me. The cheek of it! To use my baby against me!

1508063899_cheekyAI.thumb.png.82d42c963ac162d45f797715b6e8c473.png

Look at the formation, and the apparent distribution of roles and duties. And even where the players are on the pitch. It did not work out so well for them, but never mind! 

1 hour ago, Jambo98 said:

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I love this in general. One of the things I always enjoy is a tactic that gets lots of people scoring and getting assists (even if the overall total is not high). It is usually a sign of a versatile and successful tactic. I'm usually sad if every member of my rotation does not get a least one goal in a season (bar the keeper). Okay not sad, but it makes me happier when they do. 

Congrats on winning the league! A might achievement with Fiorentina! 

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5 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

Well, we did it in the end! The last 2 games were tense, we had to manage so carefully, but we stuck to the shape / formation and the core system. Some good feedback / tips from the lads above about holding a lead which were usefull - cheers gents.

0f827a63fae01e4f037889e2fa57b8e2.png

In the end, Lazio actually lost on the last day of the season, so we did even need to win the final game but we played it out very well. The Mez getting a goal and an assist was nice. 

Our team stats at seasons end make it kinda amazing that we won the league to be honest........

392b6cf09a221b8e88bec8b424cebbb0.png

Top scorer with 11 goals :D only 1 player in double figure each for goals and assists. Proper team effort.............

:applause: 

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Cheers lads ,most fun season ive had this FM for sure - the effort of trying to build and maintain a system, together with switching back to watching in 2D, got me over most of my annoyance with the ME. 

Its defo still a poor situation that so many sides in Italy in particular, seem to do the hold possession in defence thing. It seems to be quite specific to back 3 teams, and of course Serie A has lots of those. Half tempted to try another country.........but Fiorentina needs quite a big rebuild after season 1, so i am going to stick it out and try and improve the system more.

A rebuild, you say? For a squad that just won the league, and barely has 2 players over 30..........well.

Its all about the loans. Around half our 25 man squad was on loan to us, and we had about another 15 first team squad players away on loan. Welcome to the madhouse which is Italian footy!  So by the time i sort though that mess, accept the pre-arranged deals, sell off the dross that returns........and make one or two other big moves, there is a real  element of opportunity! 

I also have at least 2 key questions about the system going forward, which are somewhat linked:

1) What is the best role / duty for the single striker? 

F9, of course was the original intention, and what we used most of the season. I dabled with Treq when Almada came in, and tried PF to accomodate Cutrone, but i have not really landed it yet. In my mind, it needs to be something which makes him a link man, but i also want some more goals from ST. Proably a bit greedy......unless your name is Leo Messi or Bobby Firmino, the deep droping striker who also score goals is a bit rare. 

2) What is our approach out of possession 

This is obviously quite major - We had a clear attacking plan last season, and although we tweaked it, the overall approach was consistent, i like the shape, the movement and the roles and duties we landed on. Out of possession though.........do we have an identity? We started off mostly using a moderate low block, but at times we switched to some more urgent pressing and higher line. We never really got the complete right mix. It sounds insane when we had such a great defensive record, but its playing on my mind a little......Part of me says, we have a very attacking midfield shape now. At times we will have a lot of men up the pitch - why not really commit to counter pressing. Equally though, with the DLP and IWB, we might risk becoming quite..detached between the 2 units. Mulling this over still.......maybe its best to vary it by game

 

 

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Squad Building - Season 2 - Part 1 (Keeper & Defence) 

So key questions above not-withstanding, we are well into the squad building for Season 2. We know most of our key roles and duties, meaning we can get to work in the transfer market. 

First up, we sold off a shed load of the returning loanees, together with one big money departure, meant that we brought in 108m. The board also gave us a generous 30m budget based on last season, so we have some room to spend. 

Lets go area by area:

Keeper 

Not much to say here, our incumbent, Dragowski did a good job for us, and whilst his attributes dont get me excited, a top class keeper is very hard to find. He is unhappy about his contract, which is not ideal and means i am having a sniff around, but for now, file this under "would not mind an improvement, but not a priority"

493c7db1dcaae1d4033357fd0609354c.png

He is backed up by non descript Portugese dude Claudio Ramos, who is fine for a backup keeper, and we have an HG Italian 3rd keeper, who could be used in an emergency in Ghidotti 

 

Centrebacks

Our strong pairing from last season, Milenkovic and Luiz Felipe are both still in place and i like both very much. Milenkovic is attracting some interest but i am confident i can hold onto him. Both are young and strong all round defenders, which is exactly what we want. 

16d3d0553d614cb7c8e8c06f4519f44d.png

d891ff63acc85e1241db038201f73166.png

Backup wise, we were a little weak. Luckily last season we avoided defensive injuries, but our rotation type CBs are not of the quality we need, so we hit the transfer market.  Former wonderkid, Daniel Rugani was transfer listed at his own request at Juve, and at 5.25m seemed good value. He has never really developed into the world class defender perhaps some expected, but as a rotation choice, at that price, he is very solid and of course home grown italian. I grudge paying 70k per week to a non starting player, but that is the world we live in.......With the CL adding to our fixtures, he will see some game time for sure.

d025cde3d93d68f7ee10b80712005382.png


Our 4th choice / emergency option is a youth product who is not very good, but will fill a spot in dire circumstances. Pierluigi Pinto is his name 

Complete Wingback (Right back)

So, one big change from last season - we are flipping the system on its side. Last year, LB was the attacking fullback and RB the IWB. That was driven by players available, and with Dalbert returning to Inter (and tbh, his attributes are not amazing) we had an opportunity to look at this differently. Pol Lirola joined permanently from Sassuolo, and he has the perfect traits for the role. His mental attributes are not brilliant, but i am hoping at 23, with lots of game time, he can still imrpove a bit

d5600a7e105ecbb2aca09eee6da770d7.png

Backing him up, we hit the transfer market and added a bit of experience, and a former favourite, in Lorenzo De Silvestre. He is not going to set the world alight, but is a solid player to rotate, very similar in style to Lirola and hopefully they can work in tandem

543ff8ddbcf59e989a0b6887519cc5e6.png


Inverted Wingback (Left Back)

So to our first challenging situation. As anyone who has been sad enough to follow this saga, and my absolute thread hijack, will know, we have never settled on someone to play this role. Our returning loanees does actually have one interesting option, in Slovak David Hancko. 

2437af35f4cc1cef1a4e4a340c679433.png

He is not amazing, but he actually has a really nice balance of defending and playmaking abilities. No traits, which is a shame, but at very least he will make a capable backup in this role, and i would not be devestated to have to throw him in as our first choice.

My actual first choice, the transfer target i would love to land, and whom i think would fit this role perfectly, is Ajax youngster Lisandro Martinez

e5ed0f78f6c01dc5242ffcf1c80c44f5.png

There is however, one blocker which i cannot overcome. Not his price, which whilst high, would be something we could afford at the moment, but unfortunately he is Non EU, and the rules in Italy mean we can only sign 1 non EU player from abroad per season (NB - there is a wierd bug that when i got to bid, it tells me i can only sign 2, and have already met that quota - that is a visual bug, its 1 and i have indeed already signed one - more on that later). 

So, at the moment, this remains an open question mark.......

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Squad Building - Season 2 - Part 2 (Midfield)

DLP  (CCM) 

So last window we signed someone here, and the position looked set.....but then, Brescia got relegated, which gave us the chance, at a high price, to sign one of Italian footballs most prodigious young talents........... So, for now our starter in this slot is the impressive Sandro Tonali 

f8338aca95240bbe4954bc899d08aedc.png


For the moment, he is backed up by last seasons signing, Gagliardini (Although there are some ideas brewing in my head which might change this........) 

06b49936b0d4537d30f468c28d42a6fc.png

 

Mezzala (Support) (LCM) 

When we introduced this role late in the season, i felt we had a guy well suited - Gaetano Castrovilli is another young Italian and has some real talent, including some interesting traits. Arsenal are interested, but i hope to hold on to him and start him. He scored us some wondergoals, and i hope Mezzala is even more suited to him than CM(a) was. 

9144b53127a55d2cbc33e2bb2fa54e51.png

His backup is also someone we had at the club last year, one of the main loanees turned perm, Kevin Agudelo is only 21, has some positive attributes but not one single natural home in our system. He may also see some time at CM(a)  given his traits, and there might be an argument that he, and the backup CM(a) might be best swapped around.......tbc :) 

b25c489048beea9d3fa15d53cce8ff24.png

 

CM(a) (RCM) 

Our pre-arranged big signing, Donny van de Beek is our big hope in this role. Really hoping he can add a big goal threat to us, given how perfect his traits seem for this role. The balance of attributes also means he should help out a lot defensively. Almost a box to box but with added benefit of an extra goal threat

1d55ce6241ef5c269c87adf90ad253cb.png

His backup, as it stands, is another loanee turned perm.......and one i would not have chosen to sign myself, but he is not terrible. Alfred Duncan is probably not very well suited to this role, and in writing this i might well swap him and Agudelo in my backup 11, or some other plans may hatch that see him slide in elsewhere, but for now, here he is:

8804a93beaef3bd4584dc3385cacbff9.png

WM(d) (RM)

I have listed this role as WM not WP......but i am still going back and forth. Either way, as it stands, Giacomo Bonaventura remains our guy in this role. Lovely football player, nice traits. More ideally suited to this role on the left, so one of the slight victims of the flip around, but i feel he can play it just fine from that side. He is 30 now, and i was looking around at replacements, but his balance of attacking traits, nice mentals and not terrible defensive / workrate / team work stuff is hard to find a match

3c04705f57195b7481bc4121c0164388.png

At the moment, we have no backup for this role - one of my outstanding tasks. Alfred Duncan could fill in if needed, or Gagliardini, or even Tonali moving over, even Almada got a look in this role in pre-season 

IW(a) - LM 

So, our biggest change / gamble........last year, Chiesa was our key man playing off the right. However..........that "hugs touchline" trait was bugging me, he was starting to get unhappy, and Man Utd offered me 50m all up front for him.......so he is no more! Part of my reason for letting him go, aside from the aforementioned, and that he was not suited to "flipping" the system, was that i had an eye on his replacement. Everton joins us from Brazil, and whilst he may not be as rounded as Chiesa in some ways, i am excited to try him out, love the traits, has some lovely attacking attributes

96f7e44c48764aabc4e7397b701ef134.png

Backup, we have yet another former loanee who was signed to a perm deal before i arrived..... Kouame is a bit of a pace merchant who lacks a few things, and indeed i might opt to use Almada here on occasion depending on how some other thoughts play out....... but for now, here he is:

bc515e5e6590e9bc51adcc721a5799c2.png

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Squad building - Season 2 - Part 3 (Striker)

F9 (ST)

So, another area where i am not fully settled. Of course as we know, i landed what i still believe to be a great future talent in Thiago Almada for this role, but he struggled a little thrown in as the starter, and is still only 19 and probably needs to develop some more

60ef18ecb22a3b829aa31ecaee8c21d4.png


Backup, well, Cutrone remains on loan to us, and will join us perm in a years time whether i like it or not......he was useless for us, in admittedly limited game time last year, but he is around so i guess will sit on the bench

50f7ea0102177a1ea7a0a6638dd32734.png

 

As mentioned above though, i am not feeling like we are as strong as we need to be here, in order to try and retain a title and make our mark on the CL (Ribery retired fwiw). SO i am fishing around the transfer market, where 3 options have been identified:

Option 1 - The big money solution 

Nabil Fekir is on the transfer list at 54m. I would probably pay 30m up front, and 24 in installments to make him fit within budget. He is clearly a very good player, more a CAM than ST, but well suited to a false 9 in some ways:

114855633ab9bc06a4fbf7c727976747.png

However, he would be a long term signing, and would block Almada in the medium term. I am also not sure i am wild about the dribbling traits, and he does have a bit of an injury history.........

Option 2 - The experience / short term solution

An old FM fave of mine, Dries Mertens, can be had for only 12m. He is 33 and would command a hefty wage, but i love his attributes. He does not have any traits specific to a F9, but i am thinking the role and duty should cover that already

c88797c02c6b339b27ded397957d118a.png

The downside here is purely the salary, and the cost in terms of likely only getting 1.5 productive seasons at most out of him. But again, this is modern football....12m and 140k a week is painful but maybe necessary. He could form a nice tandem with Almada over time...

Option 3 - The left field solution

So whilst filtering through scouting reports, by the attributes i think i want in a striker......to my surprise, Felip Caicedo pops up. I was really surprised at just how strong some of his attributes are, to be honest, given his patchy history IRL. He is also on the transfer list so could be had for peanuts

fc7dd7480ea3fe49c1f748719ff49479.png

The downside, is he just had a completely woeful season at Lazio (1 goal and 2 assists in 20 odd games) and i have never seen him do well on any FM.......He does not really fit with what i see in my head when i think "false 9" or "link man", but its an interesting selection of attributes.........

 

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Posted (edited)

So I gave this a go, after reading that opening post it was hard not have a go at it.

 

For my go of it I ran two variations:

1.thumb.PNG.4bb5ee8f26c9935ece633ea0d3dc5f28.PNG2.thumb.PNG.7df3fe972fbf660ab47fb4f2a0720c25.PNG

Mostly unimpressed if I am honest, never managed to find a way to get the striker involved beyond tap-ins and the extra man on the midfield rarely translated into actual on-field superiority.

3.thumb.PNG.aea84e7eff60b4b8435acb3e0db4b249.PNG4.thumb.PNG.e8844001f9428ffaf456deb072e23806.PNG

You can plainly see where my bread was buttered, Gooch on the right side just had an abundance of pace for this division.

6.thumb.PNG.3f1b5b3737c2cc97177e127cd21e0dce.PNG

Hard to argue with results but it was mostly an exercise in frustration trying to manufacture something beyond 'winger-go-fast'

5.thumb.PNG.8c1d4f3c91e6f1dba47a4c5420a6de28.PNG

Edited by witticism

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23 minutes ago, witticism said:

So I gave this a go, after reading that opening post it was hard not have a go at it.

 

For my go of it I ran two variations:

1.thumb.PNG.4bb5ee8f26c9935ece633ea0d3dc5f28.PNG2.thumb.PNG.7df3fe972fbf660ab47fb4f2a0720c25.PNG

Mostly unimpressed if I am honest, never managed to find a way to get the striker involved beyond tap-ins and the extra man on the midfield rarely translated into actual on-field superiority.

3.thumb.PNG.aea84e7eff60b4b8435acb3e0db4b249.PNG4.thumb.PNG.e8844001f9428ffaf456deb072e23806.PNG

You can plainly see where my bread was buttered, Gooch on the right side just had an abundance of pace for this division.

6.thumb.PNG.3f1b5b3737c2cc97177e127cd21e0dce.PNG

Hard to argue with results but it was mostly an exercise in frustration trying to manufacture something beyond 'winger-go-fast'

5.thumb.PNG.8c1d4f3c91e6f1dba47a4c5420a6de28.PNG

I never said beautiful football, but it is effective football! As your title win suggests. I'm glad you posted this though, because trying with a team who are not full of excellent players is interesting. I also like that you identified a strength in your squad and exploited it (even if it is not really want you wanted to do). 

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23 minutes ago, sporadicsmiles said:

I never said beautiful football, but it is effective football! As your title win suggests. I'm glad you posted this though, because trying with a team who are not full of excellent players is interesting. I also like that you identified a strength in your squad and exploited it (even if it is not really want you wanted to do). 

It wasn't exactly ugly, it was just a blunt instrument. If the winger couldnt beat his man we had nothing else going for us.

I think part of it was my implementation, I cuoldn't figure out what to do about the striker. Support duties were not involved enough and I was afraid an attack duty would leave them on an island. They werent even cross targets, a lot of the time wingers crossed to each other so I really was at a loss.

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2 minutes ago, witticism said:

It wasn't exactly ugly, it was just a blunt instrument. If the winger couldnt beat his man we had nothing else going for us.

I think part of it was my implementation, I cuoldn't figure out what to do about the striker. Support duties were not involved enough and I was afraid an attack duty would leave them on an island. They werent even cross targets, a lot of the time wingers crossed to each other so I really was at a loss.

I guess i would ask, what was your game plan?

I look at your first / main setup, and to be honest, i do not understand it at all. It might, of course, be just that im not really that clued up / a bit out of date when it comes to tactic building, but for example:

1) You have "overlap" instructions, with inverted fullbacks and wingers on attack - how does that play out? The IWB, by the very nature, underlap. The wingers will already be high, so the instruction to hold it and wait for an overlap, does not seem to make sense? What was the thought process?

2) You have a single striker formation (obviously!) but what was the plan to get other players in the box? The 2 attack duties are set as wingers, so will stay wide in general. Of course maybe traits would play a part, but no attack duty in midfield, and stay wide type roles on the wide men, kinda feels like your striker would naturally be isolated (Which might be why you felt they were not involved?)

3) You have gone for high press on the main tactic, in terms of team instructions, but the roles chose, and the positions they would find themselfs in during transition, do not, at first glance at least, seem to lend to that - what was the plan in terms of winning the ball back (NB - i realise thats not easy - see my posts above about not having a plan myself!)

4) The second tactic, a bit more varied, but do you think IW and CAR function together? feels like they would be somewhat in the same space? 

5) ALso on the second tactic, the right hand side looks nice, the DLP creating space for the IW, the WB on support stepping forward a bit, but i wonder if you could go more bold and have the wing back attacking - really create overloads. I feel like having at least one fullback on a attack duty, ideally with a WB / CWB role is quite important

6) DId you try anything other than PF on your striker? I am not sure who you were playing there, but you might need a role that gives them more guidance around dropping deep and getting involved in build up?

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12 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

2) You have a single striker formation (obviously!) but what was the plan to get other players in the box?

This I can say was never fully formed. I couldnt decide whether an attack duty to lead the line or a support duty to have them come back down was more apt, and things were working out so well elsewhere it became a bit of a secondary annoyance to deal with it so I never really did much to it.

9 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

4) The second tactic, a bit more varied, but do you think IW and CAR function together? feels like they would be somewhat in the same space? 

5) ALso on the second tactic, the right hand side looks nice, the DLP creating space for the IW, the WB on support stepping forward a bit, but i wonder if you could go more bold and have the wing back attacking - really create overloads. I feel like having at least one fullback on a attack duty, ideally with a WB / CWB role is quite important

You arent wrong. Second tactic is a bit of a weird overload implementation I tried towards the end of the season. The idea, at least, is to have the fb/iw/car mostly trend towards the same area to draw the opposition that way and ideally switch to a relatively open iw/wb on the other side. It worked out, mostly as intended.

9 minutes ago, Jambo98 said:

6) DId you try anything other than PF on your striker? I am not sure who you were playing there, but you might need a role that gives them more guidance around dropping deep and getting involved in build up?

F9/PF/DLF were all attempted and all were equal in terms of performance for the most part.

On the one hand, they didnt do much at all to get us going but on the other it would be difficult to do much at all if one player is doing so much work elsewhere on the field and being successful at it. So all they had left to do was tap it in, I guess.

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I think this serves as a classic example of possession with intent:

bilde.thumb.png.9c905580c5d3cdd3c939b23e1d22bfdd.png

I started the game with this:

bilde.thumb.png.15d918c5b83db313d9ddaed74778087c.png

But had to move the DM to CB (Lib-A)  in the closing stages due to Parma going 3 up top.

I genuinly try to play short passing, possession football, but as this thread is about, not wanting sterile domination.

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4 hours ago, Vizzini said:

I think this serves as a classic example of possession with intent:

bilde.thumb.png.9c905580c5d3cdd3c939b23e1d22bfdd.png

I started the game with this:

bilde.thumb.png.15d918c5b83db313d9ddaed74778087c.png

But had to move the DM to CB (Lib-A)  in the closing stages due to Parma going 3 up top.

I genuinly try to play short passing, possession football, but as this thread is about, not wanting sterile domination.

I keep debating moving a cm to the dm strata but I havent so far. Halfway through a new season and 451 continues to serve me well.

image.thumb.png.becbf8475aef52acf6360364356ce061.png

 

image.thumb.png.afce925bae316f4e6ceac341595878f6.png

image.thumb.png.81eaf3ab25a24291f486633ebef54eca.png

It's not breaking records but I am rather pleased.

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@sporadicsmiles I'm a bit late to the thread, but given your team was packed full of creative players, what was the thinking behind not using 'be more expressive'? 

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7 hours ago, ryandormer said:

I'm a bit late to the thread, but given your team was packed full of creative players, what was the thinking behind not using 'be more expressive'? 

I only ever use be more expressive as an occassional tool if I need to break down a stubborn defence. Otherwise I trust my players to do the create things on their own. Especially when they are creative. Besides, we were not really having much possession and it is risky to then encourage players to take more risks. 

Most importantly is that we were comfortably winning matches anyway, so I simply did not need it. 

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9 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Most importantly is that we were comfortably winning matches anyway, so I simply did not need it. 

Makes sense! Thanks for the reply

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On 20/04/2020 at 22:24, witticism said:

I keep debating moving a cm to the dm strata but I havent so far. Halfway through a new season and 451 continues to serve me well.

image.thumb.png.becbf8475aef52acf6360364356ce061.png

 

image.thumb.png.afce925bae316f4e6ceac341595878f6.png

image.thumb.png.81eaf3ab25a24291f486633ebef54eca.png

It's not breaking records but I am rather pleased.

That is quite a nice variation - coincidentaly, i have just been trying out a slightly modified version of what i used at Fiorentina, and one of the changes was moving the playmaker to RCM and using RPM role, and just having a basic CM(d) as the middle CM. 

Also experimenting with the use of  BPD at the back.....

 

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Taking it on Tour - The 451 outside of Italy, and tweaks 

Taken a slight pause on the Fiorentina save, after losing a game in which the opposing centrebacks had over 110 passes each, my patience with that aspect was wearing thin........and anyway, i was curious as to how the 451 might hold up in a different league, with a different style of opponent (and also as to whether the possession hogging in defence thing is more pronounced in Italy, with all the back 3 teams and defensive reputation). 

My original plan was to "plug it in" to my Athletic save, which is in early season 2, but when i loaded that up, i realised that actually my team was not well built for it, and obviously being Athletic, the chances to modify the squad are very.... limited :D  

For a small trial though, i used that save and added myself as manager of Wolves. This was season 2, about 3 days before the transfer deadline and wolves were somewhat picked at random, as a midtable PL side. I hate the phrase "plug n play" but i pretty much did, only for about 6 matches just to see how it played out in PL - the results were good, and actually enough to tempt me to try the system "properly" on a second save.

So where to go........well i had 2 thoughts - one to try it out in the lower leagues, or at least in a lower quality league (SPL maybe - it cant be any worse at Hearts than Levien / Stendel.....) but the other was to see how it would perform in the Prem.....


Selecting the club

So of course, as in Italy, it is important to select a club which the system is at least somewhat suited. I had settled on the prem, and whilst i mused around the Everton / Wolves / Bournemouth types....... i decided i had already done the (somewhat!) "mid table" thing in Italy. I wondered how this woud work in a big team - a team likely to be favourites a lot of the time........ So, top 6 prem side i settled on. I already manage Liverpool in another save (plus the system is not well suited to getting the most out of Mane and Salah!), City were maybe a bit "too big".......so.... Arsenal. I liked this, because they are moderately suited to the system, but are also an utter shambles of a squad, in need of a huge rebuild.....and because they have relatively few new signings, its possible to do it.

I also have this wild thought about repurposing Ozil as a Wide Playmaker......

NB - full disclosure, i used the editor to remove all pre-game injuries, since these are outdated in reality and i wanted to be able to run with the full Arsenal starting squad. 

Suitability wise........its a mixed bag, i identified that there were some key players who would immediately suit roles i use:

CWB(a) - Kieren Tierney looks a good fit, if we flip back to the version with the LB as the CWB

IW(a) - Pepe seems like he could work here, although he has no familiarity at RM to begin which is annoying. Also has a very odd combo of Traits which include both "runs with the ball down the right" and "Cuts inside from the right wing"... decisive lad he is

Striker - Clearly Auba is world class and will play here, although the exact role.......still mulling 

IWB(d) - So its not a perfect fit, and i would love to find someone better, but Calum Chambers could do a job here. I also have half an incling to try David Luiz here, but then again he is a complete bufoon of a man...

DLP(d) - So the game thinks this is the best role for Lucas Torreira..i am less sure. I am sure he is a great asset and will be in my team, but is he a DLP.....14 passing and 12 vision, no speciflc traits to help, hmmmm

WP(s) - Well, its a speculative fit, and a bit of an experiment, but i really feel i want to try Ozil here........

Ok so thats a good base for the system. Throw in that we are fine for a keeper, and we have a couple of strong CB options, and some decent depth in midfield and out wide, then things look good.


Tweaking the system 

So, after my early apraisal of the squad, a closer look at Torreira, and looking at what we can do in the transfer market......i decided on 2 key changes to roles and duties, partly to better suit the squad i am building, but also to try out something different. 

Namely:

DLP(d) becomes CM(d)

MEZ(s) becomes RPM(s) 

CB(d) becomes BPD(d) 

There was a thread on here, many many moons ago, im pretty sure by a user who has either changed names, or gone (something like Ozil-to-the-arsenal?) where he built a system at Ajax. I dont even remember the formation, but what sticks in my memory is he built variations of it which allowed him to "move the playmaker" depending on the game - so sometimes it would be a DLP in the DM strata, other times thay guy became a BWM and someone in the CM strata became an AP (i think this may even be before RPM existed...) and so on - this was in my mind here, wondering if having both versions of the tactic might be interesting to allow us to adapt to different opponents. The last change was partly in response to a bit of squad building, but also something to try out, to see if we can feed our CWB some more passes. 

I also decided to tweak some instructions, largely based on observing some early games:

In Possession - nothing changed:

877d7e01d367c1f733b98418a271fa86.png

In Transition - Only change here is changing "counter press"  to "regroup" - more on this in a mo

c2576b36bbbc084b0ba5e98286856f18.png

Out of possession - Removed all pressing related instrucitons, and added "lower line of enagement" 

332c12948a67354db04316bce9064224.png

 

So the thought process here - In possession, well it mostly worked well, and i will use the different roles and duties to drive some of this.  THe template we use i am ok with.  But, the other thing in my mind was the constant question about whether we want to be a team who presses. Very originally when i started in italy, i applied nothing here. We were Switzerland - absolutely neutral. Then i added some more pressing instructions, largely in response to the possession hogging teams. 

But watching the first couple of Arsenal games........it strikes me that the shape of the team, and the roles and duties are not really suited to all out press. What happened, was the CM(a) and the striker would press, but others would stand off (because playmaker type roles tend to not press as much, unless you go extreme on instructions i think). Obviously work rates i would think also impacct this.  So, we decided to back off from this. I didnt want to drop us deep, we are still a top side, but we will stick to our shape a bit more. Lower line of engagement is just to make us more compact when we win the ball back, given the lack of any players in the AM strata

Early squad Building 

So Arsenal dont start with much budget, but we did have a chunk of players, high valued ones, who did not fit into our plans. Plus, this Arsenal team really need to clear house give n the malaize which as set in........so: 

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Some good players in there, and the top guy still has potential but he is not a fit for us and has a very curious set of attributes. Laca was not needed, Bellerin not a fit, Mustafi.....eh aye, Xhaka......i thought of keeping him, but he was not a starter and we need the funs. Holding would make a good backup, but we cant sell Luiz the clown yet, so we need to loan him out to make room for signings.

So we freed up a big load of budget, and also significant wages, so we adjusted, and used some instalments and finally did what Arsenal fans have prayed for in recent years-  We opened the cheque book:

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A noteable split here :D 3 world class signings, and 3 bargain budget squad players. 

Luis Alberto looks like a load of fun to try out as an RPM

Kai Havertz is of course a premium talent, and i intend to try him as CM(a). Until i was typing this, i could have sworn he had one of the attacking traits for it......but oops, no. Might need to use some player instructions 

Ruben Dias is a classy centreback and one who has "brings the ball out of defence" and good passing stats, so will be used as our Ball Playing defender. 

Elsewhere, Falk is a bargain backup for Ozil at WP, Majer is a talent for the future and backup at CM(a) - and he does have the traits!, Fischer was an absolute flier - he matched a load of attributes when i was looking for a backup for Auba, so at that price i went for it. 3 games in, he did his cruciates on INT duty and is out for 8 months....oh well! 

Noteably, we failed to secure anyone to play IWB for us. I tried, i scouted, i made bids but nothing doing, so for now we are going to run with Chambers there, and maybe give Luiz some games. Cedric is here on loan and although hardly suited, he can do in a pinch, or, well, in the league cup. 


How is it working (early)?

Well, i cant lie, it was a sluggish start, but given we were introducing several new signings, i can forgive that. After 3 league games, we had a sum total of 2 points. On opening day, we threw away a win at home to Everton by conceding a 96th min goal.....then we guttted out a nil nil at the Eithad, which was pretty pleasing. But game 3, we lost 1 v 0 to Leicester - That is when i made the changes to the team instructions mentioned above, and added a couple of minor player instructions. 

Something clicked, a couple of standard wins in the league, then Liverpool came to visit. As a Liverpool fan, this almost pains me.......

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Will do some more analysis of the movement / chance creation of the tweaked tactic in the next day or so - hope this is not too boring again!

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3 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

There was a thread on here, many many moons ago, im pretty sure by a user who has either changed names, or gone (something like Ozil-to-the-arsenal?) where he built a system at Ajax. I dont even remember the formation, but what sticks in my memory is he built variations of it which allowed him to "move the playmaker" depending on the game - so sometimes it would be a DLP in the DM strata, other times thay guy became a BWM and someone in the CM strata became an AP (i think this may even be before RPM existed...) and so on - this was in my mind here, wondering if having both versions of the tactic might be interesting to allow us to adapt to different opponents. The last change was partly in response to a bit of squad building, but also something to try out, to see if we can feed our CWB some more passes. 

I also decided to tweak some instructions, largely based on observing some early games:
 

 

Interesting that I was just thinking about this two days ago. A no brainer in my opinion when you realise that you want your play-maker in as much space as possible and a clear reason why so many people are struggling with the number 10 in FM now. Keep it up Jambo I love your posts.

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@Jambo98 I believe the thread you mentioned above is this one:

 @Crazy_Ivan It's certainly an interesting idea. It looks like people want their #10 to play AMC but if we were to follow the logic from the linked thread above then you would vary the playmakers position whilst keeping the shape the same. For example, if 4-2-3-1 is your shape, then maybe your playmaker is the AMC (a true #10) against formations similar to the 4-2-3-1 (maybe any formation that doesn't include defensive midfielders) whereas against teams with defensive midfielders, maybe the playmakers position shifts in your 4-2-3-1 (maybe to CM or wide possibly?) 

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Not boring at all @Jambo98. Keep up the good work, and amazing choice of a team/league if I might add. Very interested in the outcome of this arsenal rebuild.

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