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Ajax Champions league run & Holland Euro fun: small tactical adjustments

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Ajax DNA:
Positive mentality, high press, counter press, and play from the back

New players:

Formation:  Asymmetric 


Player roles and attributes:
Sweeper keeper support.  Great goalie, who can play this role perfect. 
In addition to the regular goalie attributes, he has technique, passing, etc. all the fun stuff a sweeper keeper needs.
Also has player trait uses long throw to start counter attacks.
Hateboer:  Full back on attack.  Overlapping on the left inside forward, he is our force down the right wing. 
Key attributes: all high physicals and mentals.  And can play defense and cross 
Veltman and Onguera Center backs on defend. Stick the faster center back on Hateboer's side.  Onguera had a great season. Veltman just lacks some physicals 
for Championsleague play.
Tagliafico: Full back on support. 
Blind: Deep lying playmaker on defend.  Smart passer, and good defender. Engine of the team.  Also great mentor for youngster (model citizen).  And got important player traits: dictates tempo, comes deep
van der Beek: Box to box midfielder.  High mentals.  Just put him on individual training for defensive positioning.   Can also play Advanced playmaker position well.
Ziyech: Inside forward support.  Cuts in from the right, player traits to switch ball to other flank, plays long range passes, and plays killer balls.  He often feeds it to Neres or Promes.  Also great set piece taker
Tadic:  Advanced playmaker support. Has all the perfect attributes for this role.  He doesn't play killer balls, so my future advanced playmaker would need this. 
Promes: Inside forward on attack. Dribbles and takes on his opponent. Also a lot of assist.  
Neres: Advanced forward (default attack). Love this role.  Creates a lot of space for the 3 behind him.  And is on the end of a lot of attacks, many times we get to send Neres behind opponents D-line. 
Pretty sure a player with higher finishing and composure will have a higher scoring percentage.  I did had my staff teach him a new trait, beating the offside trap.  
Vs. some lower level opponents, that played very defensive,  I used Huntelaar instead of Neres.   As a Target man on attack.  Played wider (attacking width) - put Promes on support, and Tagliafico on attack + overlap. 

Adjustments I make,  particular vs. teams that are high level
- Mentality to normal. Depending what mentality opponents uses.  If they play cautious or normal, I mostly will still play 
- Not running at defense
- Pass into space.  Only if opponent plays high line and we can keep decent possession
- Drop defensive line to normal, depending on roles, quality, attributes of their forwards
- Drop line of engagement to high/standard/lower. Want to make sure they won't win 2nd balls easily and/or play easily between my lines
Not preventing short GK distribution anymore

Sometimes also change:
- Hateboer to support (but still overlap)
- Promes to support: if opponents right defender keeps getting away from him
- Tempo to normal (depending on how game goes)
- Defensive with to wide, if opponent pretty much only uses the wide area's to attack (Zenit did it, and it was lovely)
- Defensive with to narrow, if they only have one wide player on each wing
- Time waste to sometimes/always:  to protect a lead

I watch first 15 minutes in full mode to finalize above settings, also try to figure how opponent attacks, but a lot of times 
I know before hand:
How do they attack?  How do the defend?  Wide, narrow, high, deep. What roles, and do I need to worry about it? 
Do they play a ball winning midfielder on Blind (Feyenoord did this, and cost us...)
At half time I can see their exact player roles

Opponent instructions:
High press their attacking full back(s) or wing backs
All right or all left footer I show on weaker foot (even goalies)
Winger who likes ball into feet (high press)
Play maker: high press, sometimes tackle hard
High level wingers?  tackle hard, particular if they have low bravery.  If I end up giving up to many free kicks, and they
have a 16+ free kicker taker that is left footed, I won't tackle their right winger hard. And vice versa.


Champions league

Leverkusen away we played a high line, this end up being to risky with Veltman
Atalanta home was a fluke game, two cheap goals :(
We pressed Atlanta's 532 in their own half (Opponent instructions on their wing backs) - maybe better if we would
allowed them to come out a bit, to hit them on a break to create better chances. 


City match at home was great. We kept hitting them on the break. 


The away match we took an early lead, but it got way to exciting 1-3 loss.. 

Bayern was another thrilling match...3-0 up at home with 20 min to go...  They eliminated us on two late set plays... Veltman just not tall enough :(
Time to replace him next season


Food for thought:  Should of OP pressed their main passers, and used an offside trap.  Instead I dropped the line and allowed them to come at me...
Thought their high off the ball movement  attributes would of maybe beaten our offside trap.  But should off trusted my back line more! Have great positioning, anticipating. 
Expensive lesson with a 1/4 final defeat.  

Eredivisie: On fire! Didn't make to many adjustments, just in some of the away games (Feyenoord, PSV, AZ and Utrecht). And against defensive teams had 
to bring Huntelaar

Cup loss: 10 vs 11 was easier then 10 vs 10...  Missing a pk and getting a counter scored on us...   Learned a lot from this match,  left a gap for their runner 



Edited by Holland2000
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Posted (edited)

Holland Euro fun

Euro Qualifications was easy, except we had to beat Germany away to get the nr 1 spot.  What gives you three Euro home group stage matches

I used the same formation and principles as the Ajax formation.  The difference with Ajax are the world class center backs, van Dijk, de Ligt and de Vrij.  Frenkie, Depay and Wijnaldum also help, but the back line is the big difference.  You can pretty much always play with a higher line.  



It was a lot of fun:

3rd group match I was able to rest the starting line up. 

Wales match we couldn't score the 2-0..

Italy match won on pk's,  again we could not score...   36 shots on goal vs. a top side and working the ball in the box


We where pretty tired vs. Spain and France. But they played some less fit players aswell.  Still decided to play some high quality player less fit player vs. fit less quality player. 

It worked out well.  Didn't trust my back up left back Wijndal to do well enough vs. Dembele.  So 73% fit Ake played him, untill we had a lead,  and Blind took the left back position the 2nd half. Didn't fully trust blind (lack of pace..),  but with a lead we where able to drop the D-line to normal. 

Semi final vs Spain went a lot easier I expected:


The final was even more fun, 2-1 win. 


Now ON to the World Cup:  By then Ihattaren, Stengs, Wijndal and Boadu will be closer to their potential

Edited by Holland2000
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Nice thread mate, interesting you playing Neres upfront i have never seen him play there, also De Jong always dropped into the back on the left side i would of thought a half back role would of worked better. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Latrell.  Just having a really fast guy up front makes a difference.  In his first season he played center some. 

Starting season 2 I got Victor Osimhen - who is fast, but also strong in the air.   

De Jong would be a perfect Volante, but he doesn't want to score, but would also have to adjust the system to much.  He shines in this role aswell

Edited by Holland2000
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Be really impressed if you can get an AF to work in this formation consistently, I haven't. Did VDB or Tadic perform better for you in AP-S role?

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  • 1 month later...

Both did very well!  I got more play out of them in the AP role vs. regular Attacking mid.   AF role went really well, Osimhen couldn't stop scoring. 

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