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Posted (edited)

At the time of writing, RB Leipzig have truly risen to a team capable of challenging for titles, while only being 5 points behind the dominant Bayern. They have also become a team to be feared in the champions league, having destroyed  last year's runners up Spurs 3-0. This is all despite Leipzig being a second division team not long ago. And although they are seen as a bit of a villain in Germany for being heavily backed by Red Bull as well as bending the rules in there favour, they have achieved all this without spending extortionate fees on ready-made world class players, which has long been associated with teams rapidly rising throught the tables, such as PSG, Man City and Chelsea. In this thread I am going to be looking at how they have become a team to be feared, as well as try to recreate how they play in FM19.

The Philosphy

Firstly, what Red Bull have managed to do, as well as what is common amongst many overachieving sides, is that they gone all in for one philosphy. In this case, they choose to play fast, direct, counter pressing football. They have done this amongst all there teams, which has Red Bull to create a 'feeder club' network, and allow Leipzig to pay reasonable fees to other RedBull sides, such as Salzberg for players that will immeditately fit Liepzig's stlye. For example, the wonderkid with world class potential, Upemacano, was snapped up for just 10m, whilst other clubs are playing well over triple for similar aged and similar ability players. Another knock on of this, is that while looking through Leipzig's team on FM, the vast majority of the players are blessed with high workrate and extreme physicals, meaning everyone is comforatble playing this high energy style of football.

image.thumb.png.18bc5394f4e947c2eb5a86be44a1e345.png

The Tactics

Nagelsmann doesn't build his teams around a certain formation, or a selection of roles. He instead keeps a set of principles constant, whilst reguarly changing the formation depending on the opposition. The changes of formation do 2 things, this means that the opposition will struggle to prepare for the game, and being able to change the distribution of players means we can organise our formation to most efficiently press the opposition's buildup. The only structural factor that seems to stay the same is a double pivot in centre mid. The most common 3 formations are shown below.

image.thumb.png.a8654a7665a3884f29eab9e018568d79.pngimage.thumb.png.59d1da3d3bae85b8ddc67e2503abff15.pngimage.thumb.png.8e6540f0b680a790b302247ab7b5a95f.png

In terms of formation selection, this entirely depends on the oppotsition formation and buildup play. For example, against a typical 4123 with a creative No.6, and inisde forwards, The middle 3412 would be ideal, as the the 2 forwards with the AMC can shutdown the central buildup, while the wingbacks can push on and press the oppostion full backs, while our 3 Centrebacks can cover the opposition's narrow front 3.

On the ball prinicipals:

  • Attacks begin with the centrebacks and goalkeeper playing short passes between each other, this both moves the opposition about as well as encourages them to press and leave space elsewhere. The short passing continues until either the central centreback brings the ball out of defence before playing a more vertical pass, or until one of the centre mids drops deep to collect the ball and then turn to play a more vertical pass
  • Every attack will have 5 players posisitoned across the width of the pitch: both wings covered, both half spaces and the centre
    • This both stretches the opposition as making every area of the pitch a threat
    • The back 3 formations naturally have players across these positions, whereas in the 442, the width is provided by an attacking full back and a winger, the halfspaces are attacked by an inverted winger and one of the forwards, and the centre is attacked by the other forwards. The other full back stays to make a back 3
  • Nagelsmann likes to disrupt defences by asking players to play with there backs to goal and lay off one touch passes to onrushing players
    • This can be done in FM by using a higher tempo, as well as using a target man with attack duty players around him, to recreate this in the final third, as well as using a deep lying playmaker, with attacking full backs around him, to recreate this in the buildup.
  • No designated holding player in the double pivot
    • A risky approach but a sensible one. Both of these players moving higher up the pitch allows the counter pressing to be more effective as well as creates more oppertunities from cutbacks from the wingbacks/wingers so the midfielders can play a pass or take a shot with time and room.
    • The risks can be mitigating by playing both a high line to compress the space that has been left, as well as play a stopper-cover combo in defence to further compress the space as well as have an insurance policy if we get beat over the top.
  • If the counter is on, then use it.
  • Groups of players in similar positions tend to split, one dropping deep while the other moves further forward, this stretches the opposition vertically as well as creates more vertical, rather than sideways, passing oppertunities

Off the ball prinicipals

  • Intense counter pressing when the ball is lost
  • Generally intense pressing but far from maximum
    • It's known that Leipzig press slightly less than the previous managers at Leipzig, instead he uses pressing traps, where the intensity is upped as the ball is played out wide, or when the opposition play a bad touch. In the central areas, they also tend to use stopper-cover combos, where one midfielder will press while the other sits, depending on who is closest to the ball.
    • This is difficult to implement in FM without using opposition instructions and inidividual instructions, so this is something I will revisit.

Recreation:

Instructions:

The instrucition were entirely based on the principles of play, they will also stay constant amongst all 3 formations.

image.thumb.png.a443340117d0d29adca2500363851bf3.png

Some Key Players:

image.thumb.png.46e67dbea9250995a3be2d4a1757f23b.png

  • Our target man
  • Excellent physicals to make the most of our vertical balls
  • Can hold up play for onrushing forwards and midfielders
  • The trait Knocks ball past opponent combined with his pace and power makes him the perfect player to start a counter attack

image.thumb.png.4d5c3232b54c6048c00e414f1223221c.png

  • Poulsen's main partner
  • He will be running in behind the defence while Poulsen drops deep to recieve a vertical pass
  • Pace and workrate suits our style perfectly
  • He will play as either a PFa in a strike partnership, or an IFa in a single striker system

image.thumb.png.35b199ddaa5a2f4e35dbb540ecb65253.png

  • Our deeplying playmaker in centre midfield
  • Will come deep to receive the ball from the centrebacks and try to link with an attacking full back on his same side
  • good off the ball to make himself available for passes from the centrebacks

image.thumb.png.dde2c06f619c1d10de6927531b91f520.png

  • Our key defender
  • WIll play as a BPDc, he has enough pace to cover for our adventurous approach
  • also likes to bring the ball out of defence, which will draw players to him and create space for vertical passes

 

Final Tactics

image.thumb.png.58b64c7da067c84a9bcdef33bc101b9f.pngimage.thumb.png.c080d820826f05490163ae6ab6f127a6.pngimage.thumb.png.9f940b8bbf62e20d6116d294a3b08212.png

*EDIT to anyone skimming through, these tactics were imrpoved upon in a later post in this thread

Across all formations we have:

  • Players dropping deep with other rushing past them
    • 442: Poulsen being overlapped by Werner and Sabitzer, Kampl and sabitzer
    • 3412: Forsberg and Kampl, Poulsen and Werner
    • 343, Haidara and Klostermann, Poulsen and Werner
  • The compression of our 'weakest area' behind the central midfield with the use of stoppers and a high Dline
  • threats on both wings, as well as in the centre and in the half spaces
  • The perfect recipe for a counter attack, with a physical targer man, playing close to the pacey Werner.

 

 

Edited by Jack722

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First game analysis

The opponent

frankfurt.thumb.PNG.4b37089ad4ec47fef95e348db67be226.PNG

A Frankfurt side, still with there dangerous attackers from last year. Based on their roles, it seems like a good idea to play the 3412, as we can disrupt any central buildup play and force them out wide. Due to there lack of attacking presence in central midfield, and Jovic playing as a poacher, i feel confident that we can isolate their forward with our 3 centrebacks fairly easily.

The Result

233322562_playerstats.thumb.PNG.3c8e8e4f78341f77746cf5751ef0a85c.PNG

What a performance from Werner! His pace is absolutely electric, not only did he score 2 (one was a penalty, but he won the penalty) but he also got one of the opposition players sent off late on. It's also worth noting how Upamecano was our second best player with 2 key passes, showing how well our approach of playing out of defence before finding space for a direct ball worked. 

Even though I didn't mention him before, Forsberg was always going to be one of our best players. As a typical technical advanced playmaker who likes to play through balls, his partnership with a direct runner really flourished this game. Our encouragement of direct passes and high tempo also suited him, as we were able to attack more space as teams struggled to get back in time. 5 Key passes is excellent for an attacking midfielder, epecially as they seem to be a bit underpowered in this game.

The goals

331513443_goal1.thumb.PNG.117de04b6767f8e613740a443a50ab60.PNG

Even though we got very lucky with a falied clearance, this goal was still a product of our style.  A one touch layoff back to the wingback from Poulsen meant our wingback had enough space to whip in a cross for Werner.

*Note how compressed the final third is, it will be extrememly difficult for Frankfurt to beat a counterpress should they win the ball back.

1608514329_goal2.thumb.PNG.30fd9b780fe7ee8f9e75ee0705333695.PNG

For the second goal, high tempo passing led to the ball reaching Forsberg with time and room to pick out a pass. He was able to put it on a plate for Werner who was never going to be caught legally by the defence. This move won us the penalty.

redcard.thumb.PNG.34893110a79a30e75e7b2c5babf9dc73.PNG

Here we have a similar situation to the first goal, Sabitzer (who came on for the injured Forsberg) picked out Werner, who was tackled from behind and got their centreback set off.

Changes

I only made one change in terms of instructions this game. It was to add prevent short gk distribution. I did this after they scored a goal from playing out the back as we were far too passive. It was a bit silly that I didn't add this instruction in the first place, to be honest, as our changes in formation allow us to press the opposition's build up without having players pulled too far out of position.

 

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You've got play out of defence selected and more direct passing? Which are you asking your players to do? One contradicts the other.

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6 minutes ago, Hilly1979 said:

You've got play out of defence selected and more direct passing? Which are you asking your players to do? One contradicts the other.

To play out of defence then attack with direct passes? Like I said in the first post, Nagelsmann likes his defenders to play short to each other, before either the deep lying playmaker collects the ball, or until Upamecano brings the ball out of defence. After any of these 2, the passes become direct. It's a useful tactic as it draws the opposition to press you more and then leave space elsewhere that you can exploit with your direct passes.

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quick note @Jack722: you mention Sabitzer twice when discussing overlaps

 

"Across all formations we have:

  • Players dropping deep with other rushing past them
    • 442: Poulsen being overlapped by Werner and Sabitzer, Kampl and sabitzer"

 

Another interesting read!  I like the idea of having multiple formations based on the opposition, but I am not personally a fan of 3 at the back.  If I was to bring this to my team somehow I might move the CB to DM. 

 

Maybe you would be interested in this thread from a few years ago:

 

 

Ignore the American football name, he has an interesting take on how he approaches games.

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33 minutes ago, Jack722 said:

To play out of defence then attack with direct passes? Like I said in the first post, Nagelsmann likes his defenders to play short to each other, before either the deep lying playmaker collects the ball, or until Upamecano brings the ball out of defence. After any of these 2, the passes become direct. It's a useful tactic as it draws the opposition to press you more and then leave space elsewhere that you can exploit with your direct passes.

May be wrong but I’m not sure the ME is that sophisticated to know to use the play more direct instruction  after play out defence, but then again the playmaker is a ball magnet,@Experienced Defendermay know better though but I see it as a contradiction but hey if it works for you.

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38 minutes ago, Hilly1979 said:

May be wrong but I’m not sure the ME is that sophisticated to know to use the play more direct instruction  after play out defence, but then again the playmaker is a ball magnet,@Experienced Defendermay know better though but I see it as a contradiction but hey if it works for you.

I am not particularly familiar with Nagelsmann, but I guess the question is whether using the Play out of defence and More direct passing together makes sense or not? Or maybe I misunderstood something?

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18 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

I am not particularly familiar with Nagelsmann, but I guess the question is whether using the Play out of defence and More direct passing together makes sense or not? Or maybe I misunderstood something?

Yes @Experienced Defenderi was questioning whether the 2 instructions were contradicting as the op was thinking that the more direct passing instruction would be used after the play out of defence instruction, I didn’t think that the ME was that sophisticated and would end up one instruction contradicting the other.

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Posted (edited)

Quick update:

image.thumb.png.4d203f3bccfe69f86c5f33d157ddca1b.png

Having played our first game against Standard, we've been doing about as well as you can expect, it would've been nice to get a win in the Euro league and to win against Nuremberg, but that run came with lots of games close together and i hadn't been rotating my squad well enough, I'll do my next analysis when we face a big team such as Dortmund or Bayern, to see how we face when we are the underdogs.

However, I have high hopes, as tactics that rely a lot on pace and counters tend to struggle more against the sides that you are expected to beat, rather than against the big boys.

Also, check out Forsberg's stats, he is absolutely bossing it as an attack midfielder:

image.thumb.png.4a425f38e9894ed762499280130af4ed.png

Edited by Jack722

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5 hours ago, Hilly1979 said:

Yes @Experienced Defenderi was questioning whether the 2 instructions were contradicting as the op was thinking that the more direct passing instruction would be used after the play out of defence instruction, I didn’t think that the ME was that sophisticated and would end up one instruction contradicting the other.

Play Out Of Defence just decreases passing length for defenders so they are less inclined to play long balls. It works absolutely fine here in conjunction with direct passing and merely acts as a modifier.

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Enjoyed reading the start to this thread & I'm looking forward to reading more.

You mentioned that you would use the 3-4-1-2 against the typical 4-3-3 in the game but didn't talk about when you would look to use the 3-4-3 & 4-4-2? 

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15 hours ago, Hilly1979 said:

You've got play out of defence selected and more direct passing? Which are you asking your players to do? One contradicts the other.

And top of that, he's playing with a target man. 🤦‍♂️

 

This tactic makes no sense to me. Naglessmann never play with a Target Man nor he played more direct passing while playing out of defense. You're gonna have a ManUMou-esque tactic with instructions like that

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55 minutes ago, Jean0987654321 said:

And top of that, he's playing with a target man. 🤦‍♂️

 

This tactic makes no sense to me. Naglessmann never play with a Target Man nor he played more direct passing while playing out of defense. You're gonna have a ManUMou-esque tactic with instructions like that

Sandro Wanger, Szalai? I don't watch RBL so I don't know how Poulsen plays but this is just wrong. 

 

I understand the OPs thinking with the direct passing and play out of defence, not sure I would play on positive with this set up but I don't think he's far off of replicating Nagelsmann, especially his Hoffenheim side

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I just think with both instructions set it is giving the defenders an option to either play out from the back or look for the longer option. I guess it's down to the attributes of his defenders what they actually do.

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2 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

And top of that, he's playing with a target man. 🤦‍♂️

 

This tactic makes no sense to me. Naglessmann never play with a Target Man nor he played more direct passing while playing out of defense. You're gonna have a ManUMou-esque tactic with instructions like that

Target man role would work absolutely fine with the more direct passing setting although don't think that  instruction is needed when using that role, but play out out of defence doesnt go hand in hand when using a target man as it is contradictory.

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Posted (edited)

I love the use of multi formations against specific opposition tactics with the principles staying the same. I agree with what you’re trying to achieve with the instructions you’ve used. 
 

im a little confused at the negative reception to one or 2 of these instructions. I have lived in Frankfurt for around 3 years and watched a lot of hoffenheim and Leipzig as well as lots of German football in general. and although you can never label any player with one individual role like you are forced to on fm it’s completely understandable to use Poulsen as a target man. Specifically against top high pressing sides they will use direct balls to bypass the press into Poulsen. 
 

https://totalfootballanalysis.com/player-analysis/yussuf-poulsen-bundesliga-rb-leipzig-tactical-analysis

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/fansided.com/2019/04/01/yussuf-poulsen-rb-leipzig-most-important-player-bundesliga-bayern-dortmund/amp/
 

there are many more that would agree with this.

i think rather than coming into an article which someone has spent a great deal of time on (and is very good). Maybe it’s time to offer some constructive criticism such as Obaaa has. 

FYI attached is a pass map from earlier this season and although the play is mixed you can quite clearly see the goalkeeper passed directly to Poulsen. And he also received “the most progressive passes.

05598FCE-3EEF-49DF-866C-AF3F8E14BF74.thumb.jpeg.e7a77b146515d314da0006e86b0bd987.jpeg

Edited by Margent2

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15 minutes ago, Margent2 said:

I love the use of multi formations against specific opposition tactics with the principles staying the same. I agree with what you’re trying to achieve with the instructions you’ve used. 
 

im a little confused at the negative reception to one or 2 of these instructions. I have lived in Frankfurt for around 3 years and watched a lot of hoffenheim and Leipzig as well as lots of German football in general. and although you can never label any player with one individual role like you are forced to on fm it’s completely understandable to use Poulsen as a target man. Specifically against top high pressing sides they will use direct balls to bypass the press into Poulsen. 
 

https://totalfootballanalysis.com/player-analysis/yussuf-poulsen-bundesliga-rb-leipzig-tactical-analysis

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/fansided.com/2019/04/01/yussuf-poulsen-rb-leipzig-most-important-player-bundesliga-bayern-dortmund/amp/
 

there are many more that would agree with this.

i think rather than coming into an article which someone has spent a great deal of time on (and is very good). Maybe it’s time to offer some constructive criticism such as Obaaa has. 

FYI attached is a pass map from earlier this season and although the play is mixed you can quite clearly see the goalkeeper passed directly to Poulsen. And he also received “the most progressive passes.

05598FCE-3EEF-49DF-866C-AF3F8E14BF74.thumb.jpeg.e7a77b146515d314da0006e86b0bd987.jpeg

I'm trying to be constructive and help with how instructions in football manager (not real life) work that's all.

Love his post and his interpretation of a particular play style just trying to help with the game mechanisms to get his tactic exactly how he wants it.

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38 minutes ago, Hilly1979 said:

I'm trying to be constructive and help with how instructions in football manager (not real life) work that's all.

Love his post and his interpretation of a particular play style just trying to help with the game mechanisms to get his tactic exactly how he wants it.

Agreed. Best thread if seen in a while 

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I think we're getting very hung up on "more direct passing". I could be wrong but I'm fairly confident that it doesn't mean that every time one of the defenders gets the ball, they'll hoof it up field. I think it merely increases the likelihood of them being more direct but when the purpose of the tactic is to be more vertical & play through the thirds quickly then I don't think that's a bad thing.

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4 minutes ago, retrodude09 said:

I think we're getting very hung up on "more direct passing". I could be wrong but I'm fairly confident that it doesn't mean that every time one of the defenders gets the ball, they'll hoof it up field. I think it merely increases the likelihood of them being more direct but when the purpose of the tactic is to be more vertical & play through the thirds quickly then I don't think that's a bad thing.

But he is playing on a positive mentality where by default direct passing is higher any way, by making it more direct it is adding to it, the way I see it, positive mentality plus more direct passing I doubt the players will look to play out of the back very often.

Mentality affects a lot of settings.

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Posted (edited)

There's been some interesting discussion here, and it seems the op is a bit controversial. 

It looks like there are two difference issues:

  • Some think my interpretation is wrong.
  • Some agree with my interpretation but think how i've gone about it in the match engine won't be able to work so well due to limitations.

Firstly, in terms of my interpretation, it's impossible to get it exactly right. There are long essays online about the very specifics of how Leipzig play. But, I am too lazy to read all of this in depth and watch lots of match footage. Even if i did, the information will be far too detailed to be able to recreate exactly in football manager. What I have done instead is read the most important points of these onlne analyses, and also watch a selection of 10ish minute long youtube videos of the tactics. These already condense the information for me and a lot of the time put it into terms that FM can do a decent job at recreating.

For example, this is just one of the few videos that I watched, and they seem to be all very similar to each other. A few of the quotes:

  • "Attacking vertically thtough quick, forward passes"
    • More direct passing, Higher tempo
  • "pressing aggresively out of possession
    • Counter press, high dline, etc.
  • "defenders pass between each other until a vertical pass is open"
    • Play out of defene
    • To me, FM seems far too trigger happy with long balls from defence, especially on more direct passing. Playing out of defence moves the oppostion around until a high percentage direct pass is availabe. 
    • In FM, play out of defence also positions your back 3 to be lower and wider, which means that when the forwards press you, there will be more space left than if the defence was higher and narrower. We also have the GK and good enough technical defenders to pull this off, so it's low risk.

There's also some debate about whether Poulsen is a target man. Look at this picture from statsbomb that shows the importance of Poulsen in recieving direct balls. As well as the quote to go with it 

IQTactics_Events_RB-Leipzig_For__2019_2020-1.png?resize=840%2C744

"Second balls

To begin with, it didn’t seem all too prominent but from the Bayern game onwards – where they used it to great effect to escape the unrelenting pressure and turn the game around for themselves – it has come into play far more often, and for the better. Even in matches where Poulsen hasn’t been available, it’s been core to their play simply because of how they can setup around the ball. Here we can see al the successful high passes to Poulsen this season (crosses and throw-ins excluded)."

 

Also, Iike how the target man doesn't roam. Some would say he would be a more complete forward, which is true in a sense due to his pace and running, but a complete forward in the game is given "complete freedom" and is more likely to roam from position and dribble, which I don't want him to do, as he won't be abel to be the focal point for direct passes.

 

As for the limitations of the match engine, I see your concern, but I believe we have been playing very good football so far, I will post a ferw videos in this thread later when I open up FM.

Edited by Jack722

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5 minutes ago, Jack722 said:

There's been some interesting discussion here, and it seems the op is a bit controversial. 

It looks like there are two difference issues:

  • Some think my interpretation is wrong.
  • Some agree with my interpretation but think how i've gone about it in the match engine won't be able to work so well due to limitations.

Firstly, in terms of my interpretation, it's impossible to get it exactly right. There are long essays online about the very specifics of how Leipzig play. But, I am too lazy to read all of this in depth and watch lots of match footage. Even if i did, the information will be far too detailed to be able to recreate exactly in football manager. What I have done instead is read the most important points of these onlne analyses, and also watch a selection of 10ish minute long youtube videos of the tactics. These already condense the information for me and a lot of the time put it into terms that FM can do a decent job at recreating.

For example, this is just one of the few videos that I watched, and they seem to be all very similar to each other. A few of the quotes:

  • "Attacking vertically thtough quick, forward passes"
    • More direct passing, Higher tempo
  • "pressing aggresively out of possession
    • Counter press, high dline, etc.
  • "defenders pass between each other until a vertical pass is open"
    • Play out of defene
    • To me, FM seems far too trigger happy with long balls from defence, especially on more direct passing. Playing out of defence moves the oppostion around until a high percentage direct pass is availabe. 
    • In FM, play out of defence also positions your back 3 to be lower and wider, which means that when the forwards press you, there will be more space left than if the defence was higher and narrower. We also have the GK and good enough technical defenders to pull this off, so it's low risk.

There's also some debate about whether Poulsen is a target man. Look at this picture from statsbomb that shows the importance of Poulsen in recieving direct balls. As well as the quote to go with it 

IQTactics_Events_RB-Leipzig_For__2019_2020-1.png?resize=840%2C744

"Second balls

To begin with, it didn’t seem all too prominent but from the Bayern game onwards – where they used it to great effect to escape the unrelenting pressure and turn the game around for themselves – it has come into play far more often, and for the better. Even in matches where Poulsen hasn’t been available, it’s been core to their play simply because of how they can setup around the ball. Here we can see al the successful high passes to Poulsen this season (crosses and throw-ins excluded)."

 

Also, Iike how the target man doesn't roam. Some would say he would be a more complete forward, which is true in a sense due to his pace and running, but a complete forward in the game is given "complete freedom" and is more likely to roam from position and dribble, which I don't want him to do, as he won't be abel to be the focal point for direct passes.

 

As for the limitations of the match engine, I see your concern, but I believe we have been playing very good football so far, I will post a ferw videos in this thread later when I open up FM.

Very good work, loving your post and ideas, please don't take it as a negative my thoughts about your tactic just trying to offer an insight that sometimes the ME doesn't quite interpret our ideas as closely as we like but pleased your having success and seems to be working for you.

looking forward to the updates.

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8 hours ago, retrodude09 said:

Enjoyed reading the start to this thread & I'm looking forward to reading more.

You mentioned that you would use the 3-4-1-2 against the typical 4-3-3 in the game but didn't talk about when you would look to use the 3-4-3 & 4-4-2? 

  • I tend to use the 343 when I play against a back 3, as our 3 forwards cover the 3 centrebacks and our wingbacks can push on and cover the opposition wingbacks while the 3 centrabcks can either cover 3 forwards or 2 forwards fairly comfortably
  • I tend to use the 442 against a 4231, as they only have 2 CBs to play out to, we don't need to waste a 3rd player in the opposition half not doing anything
  • I haven't played against a 442 yet, but I think I would use the 343, which I know doesn't cover all the opposition centrebacks, but I don't peronally like leaving a 2v2 at the back when playing a high line, and I also wouldn't like to use a narrow formation like the 3412 as we would have a 4v2 on the flanks and the keeper can just clear the ball to the flanks

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Posted (edited)

Really enjoyed this thread, and I agree with you @Jack722, the play out of defence and standard/longer passing are not contradictory. At all. It just does what you want, controlled possession out of the back and then quick forward passing.

In the save I'm doing rn, with lower league sides I do exactly that, I attract pressure if the opposing team is the favourite one, I have a DLP waiting to receive the ball to break the first  lines of the press and release to an overlaping winger with the main striker (AF) being on the opposite side and have a DFL(s) on the winger side to grab one of the opposite defenders and create space for the winger to attack, and it's been working nicely. If a quick transition doesn't work, we work the ball and players roam, with my IW (s) on the left acts like playmaker and passes the ball to my WB(at) for a cutback or makes a cross to the far post for the winger to attack and shoot or make a simple pass. Really similar to your 4-4-2 actually, but with a DLP on defend and on the left. It stabilizes the team and balances out the very attacking left back.

Just one thing, would you try Poulsen as a PF on support instead of a target man, or it's something you intend on keeping? Because i think that as a TM the team would focus too much on him, but perhaps you just really want that.

Good work, really enjoying it, as a big Nagelsmann fan myself :)

Edited by josel15

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On 16/05/2020 at 16:25, Hilly1979 said:

Yes @Experienced Defenderi was questioning whether the 2 instructions were contradicting as the op was thinking that the more direct passing instruction would be used after the play out of defence instruction, I didn’t think that the ME was that sophisticated and would end up one instruction contradicting the other.

It's not to say that you cannot use both instructions together, although people who like to play out of defence usually tend to avoid more direct passing as their primary passing style. Because playing out of defence is generally more associated with possession-oriented football than direct styles. 

 

On 16/05/2020 at 14:40, Jack722 said:

To play out of defence then attack with direct passes? Like I said in the first post, Nagelsmann likes his defenders to play short to each other, before either the deep lying playmaker collects the ball, or until Upamecano brings the ball out of defence. After any of these 2, the passes become direct. It's a useful tactic as it draws the opposition to press you more and then leave space elsewhere that you can exploit with your direct passes

I think this particular manner of playing can be achieved without the more direct passing team instruction (which - again - does not mean that you cannot use it if you want). Instead, you can use a combination of standard passing, play out of defence and BPD role coupled with a higher team mentality to encourage more appetite for passing risk and forward passes overall. 

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35 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

It's not to say that you cannot use both instructions together, although people who like to play out of defence usually tend to avoid more direct passing as their primary passing style. Because playing out of defence is generally more associated with possession-oriented football than direct styles.

I think this particular manner of playing can be achieved without the more direct passing team instruction (which - again - does not mean that you cannot use it if you want). Instead, you can use a combination of standard passing, play out of defence and BPD role coupled with a higher team mentality to encourage more appetite for passing risk and forward passes overall. 

That's how I use the tactic.

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Posted (edited)

Tactical Update

After some debate about whether more direct passing and a target man were suitable for this style, I went back to watch some games to find some videos of these combinations working, but I realised that we were going direct at times when it would be more efficient to wait a little longer. Seems that the critisim was justified :lol:. A higher mentality with a ball playing defender, more direct passing, and a target man, was probably just a little too direct and high risk. This, combined with a relatively poor run of form meant that it was a good time for me to experiment a little. And after changing things up against Augsburg, we've managed to turn things around, and cut our defeceit from Dortmund in first place from 12 points to 6, whilst climibng above Bayern into second.

image.thumb.png.0e5bb230f8177db6f6d44c342d466cc6.png

I was disspointed that we couldn't get results against Bayern and Dortmund, but these games coincided with injuries to my two first choice CBs, meaning we had to play a right back at centre back, so we were never going to be at our best. Even though we had a poor run of form, the only game that I feel we didn't deserve anything from was Arsenal away where we lost 4-0.

Heres what I changed:

  • Instructions:
    • More direct passing
    • GK Distribution to CBs
  • Changed Poulsen from a target man to a Pressing forward on support
    • This role can still play similarly to a target man in how it holds up the ball, but doesn't ask the other players to look for him so much

That's it, all I needed was to play slightly less direct. I feel that this matches Nagelsmann more closely, as I wasn't seeing enough buildup at the back as the ball went long more than it needed too, and it also gives us more control of the game and naturally lowers the tempo a little. I noticed that we conceded late very often in our games, which could be a result of our team being too happy to knock the ball forward with risky passes and then being too tired late on to counterpress effectively.

We still combine a direct style of play with building from the back in this situation though, as we play on a positive mentailty with a ball playing defender and a sweeper keeper at the back. The overall passing directness will probably look very similar to a standard/cautious mentality team that uses more direct passing, but doesn't have a ball playing defender or sweeper keeper.

Heres what we look like now:

image.thumb.png.1a07fc590d65404f77d6ee87b8d28ed3.pngimage.thumb.png.bb7372c94fb17442919b12197ff15bfd.pngimage.thumb.png.3f2cfe6b183a9d6d49bfe3f1a34fc2ce.png

*I changed the back 4 roles in the 442 due to it not being so balanced in the op.

image.thumb.png.91dee589234e498a546d13f960016249.png

Edited by Jack722

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Posted (edited)

End of Season Review

After a really strong final run in to the season, with big wins over both Bayer and Bayern, we cut Dortmund's 12 point lead to 2 on the final day, before choking with a draw while they kept there cool. I definately think I could've won the whole thing if I rotated better and took the beginning of the season more seriously - as I was only origianlly planning on playing a few games.

image.thumb.png.7bbffe35af02f099374d6bfbc4326276.png

We also had Werner and Poulsen as the 2nd and 3rd top scorer in the league, with Forsberg being the 2nd highest rated:

image.thumb.png.981052e17029cf4ebd7f8aece4302cc6.png

 

Thanks to some of the changes that were suggested earlier, I believe we managed to get very close to the desired style. Check out this goal we scored against Bayern:

 

*EDIT this video doesn't seem to be working, anyone know why? I exported it from the 'review and share highlight video'. After searching the internet, all i've seen about it is that this is a known bug with iOS Catalina, but I am on windows 10...

  • Short passing between defenders until the ball reaches the deep lying playmaker
  • Suddenly the play explodes to fast and direct passes, with even the wingbacks crossing to each other, before Poulsen is found in the box to complete his hatrick
  • All this without even being given so much space with Bayern looking like theyre playing a mid block

This is pretty much exactly what I was envisioning when I wrote out the On ball prinicples in the OP.

On a side note, Leipzig look like a very fun team to play as. Theyre a team with mostly players who are <23, with 4 players labled as wonderkids in and around the first team, a clear DNA within the squad, with most of the players being the physical type, plenty of room to grow (dethroning Bayern before taking on the champions league), and plenty of money to improve. My provisional budgets were set at 94m, which is huge for a team outside the prem.

If i were to continue this save, I would probably buy Xaver Schalger from RB Salzberg. I realized that we had pretty good depth in most places apart from deep lying playmaker, where Haidara had to play pretty much every game. Schlager is a young centre mid who has been developed by Salzberg into a player that suits the system perfectly. He has the physicals of a BBM and the technicals of DLP so can both play instead of or alongside Haidara.

Edited by Jack722

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16 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

And top of that, he's playing with a target man. 🤦‍♂️

 

This tactic makes no sense to me. Naglessmann never play with a Target Man nor he played more direct passing while playing out of defense. You're gonna have a ManUMou-esque tactic with instructions like that

None of these things contradict each other in the least. He wants the defenders to be patient, for the rest of the team to be aggressive with long passing when the chance arrives, and the center forward to hold up the ball and look for onrushing attackers. It makes perfect sense and it's really odd to start facepalming something just because you don't understand it.

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14 hours ago, Hilly1979 said:

Target man role would work absolutely fine with the more direct passing setting although don't think that  instruction is needed when using that role, but play out out of defence doesnt go hand in hand when using a target man as it is contradictory.

Target man doesn't mean to just lump it.

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Just want to stop in to say well done on another great thread @Jack722

Felt like a breath of fresh air to read stuff that's based first and foremost off football logic and not game logic. Then how you stick or twist with certain roles and instructions in order to strike that balance between what feels like RBL but also makes sense in FM.

You reckon your happy with the final version now or will there be more tweaks?

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2 minutes ago, felley said:

Just want to stop in to say well done on another great thread @Jack722

Felt like a breath of fresh air to read stuff that's based first and foremost off football logic and not game logic. Then how you stick or twist with certain roles and instructions in order to strike that balance between what feels like RBL but also makes sense in FM.

You reckon your happy with the final version now or will there be more tweaks?

Thanks Felley!

I'm very happy with how the season ended even though we couldn't win the league. The icing on the cake was dominating Bayern, as I was struggling against the bigger sides in the middle of the season.

I'm using FM touch at the moment as it's less in depth so I can work on tactical ideas like this one without spending too much of my time on the game, and I don't like the idea of playing a long term save on FM touch as I won't be able to control enough and make the club 'mine'. So there won't be any updates on this save, but I really enjoyed playing as Leipzig and already played way further than I thought I would. So when I download the full FM again, I would definately like to start a Leipzig save and try and make them into a powerhouse.

 

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13 hours ago, Jack722 said:
  • I tend to use the 343 when I play against a back 3, as our 3 forwards cover the 3 centrebacks and our wingbacks can push on and cover the opposition wingbacks while the 3 centrabcks can either cover 3 forwards or 2 forwards fairly comfortably
  • I tend to use the 442 against a 4231, as they only have 2 CBs to play out to, we don't need to waste a 3rd player in the opposition half not doing anything
  • I haven't played against a 442 yet, but I think I would use the 343, which I know doesn't cover all the opposition centrebacks, but I don't peronally like leaving a 2v2 at the back when playing a high line, and I also wouldn't like to use a narrow formation like the 3412 as we would have a 4v2 on the flanks and the keeper can just clear the ball to the flanks

How did you find the 442 did against the 4231? Did the AM cause you any problems in the gap between your CBs & CMs? 

I was thinking about a 532 against a 4231. That would leave the 2 strikers to press the oppositions 2 CBs. The WBs would take the opposition FB with the DM against their AM & the CBs picking up their front 3

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, retrodude09 said:

How did you find the 442 did against the 4231? Did the AM cause you any problems in the gap between your CBs & CMs? 

I was thinking about a 532 against a 4231. That would leave the 2 strikers to press the oppositions 2 CBs. The WBs would take the opposition FB with the DM against their AM & the CBs picking up their front 3

Most of the time the 442 did well enough. However, we got absolutely smacked away at Arsenal who were playing a 4231. I should have seen it coming tbh, Aubameyang was having a field day running in behind our high line and Ozil had all the time and space in the world to pick him out. 

The 532 would be a good idea I think, the wider midifedlers could also help out wide if the opposition play with wingers instead of inside forwards

Edited by Jack722

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Excellent thread @Jack722 . I'm a big fan of RBL & their style. Plus, it hurt me to see Jose lose to them(I'm clearly a fan of Mou), but their style just had this unmistakable uniqueness that i enjoyed.

Good job.

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Tactic looks much better now and I would say it fits like a glove on how Naglessmann plays. Nice to see you're having good success 👍

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20 hours ago, Bluebird123 said:

Sandro Wanger, Szalai? I don't watch RBL so I don't know how Poulsen plays but this is just wrong. 

 

I understand the OPs thinking with the direct passing and play out of defence, not sure I would play on positive with this set up but I don't think he's far off of replicating Nagelsmann, especially his Hoffenheim side

Sandro Wagner and Szalai were barely targetman (as in the game's role) for Hoffenheim. It's not like they played kick and rush to their heads. I consider both of those (in game) AFs. 

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18 hours ago, Hilly1979 said:

But he is playing on a positive mentality where by default direct passing is higher any way, by making it more direct it is adding to it, the way I see it, positive mentality plus more direct passing I doubt the players will look to play out of the back very often.

Mentality affects a lot of settings.

But this is where I personally would then add POD to balance it off and shorten my defenders passing?

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10 hours ago, Jack722 said:

Tactical Update

After some debate about whether more direct passing and a target man were suitable for this style, I went back to watch some games to find some videos of these combinations working, but I realised that we were going direct at times when it would be more efficient to wait a little longer. Seems that the critisim was justified :lol:. A higher mentality with a ball playing defender, more direct passing, and a target man, was probably just a little too direct and high risk. This, combined with a relatively poor run of form meant that it was a good time for me to experiment a little. And after changing things up against Augsburg, we've managed to turn things around, and cut our defeceit from Dortmund in first place from 12 points to 6, whilst climibng above Bayern into second.

image.thumb.png.0e5bb230f8177db6f6d44c342d466cc6.png

I was disspointed that we couldn't get results against Bayern and Dortmund, but these games coincided with injuries to my two first choice CBs, meaning we had to play a right back at centre back, so we were never going to be at our best. Even though we had a poor run of form, the only game that I feel we didn't deserve anything from was Arsenal away where we lost 4-0.

Heres what I changed:

  • Instructions:
    • More direct passing
    • GK Distribution to CBs
  • Changed Poulsen from a target man to a Pressing forward on support
    • This role can still play similarly to a target man in how it holds up the ball, but doesn't ask the other players to look for him so much

That's it, all I needed was to play slightly less direct. I feel that this matches Nagelsmann more closely, as I wasn't seeing enough buildup at the back as the ball went long more than it needed too, and it also gives us more control of the game and naturally lowers the tempo a little. I noticed that we conceded late very often in our games, which could be a result of our team being too happy to knock the ball forward with risky passes and then being too tired late on to counterpress effectively.

We still combine a direct style of play with building from the back in this situation though, as we play on a positive mentailty with a ball playing defender and a sweeper keeper at the back. The overall passing directness will probably look very similar to a standard/cautious mentality team that uses more direct passing, but doesn't have a ball playing defender or sweeper keeper.

Heres what we look like now:

image.thumb.png.1a07fc590d65404f77d6ee87b8d28ed3.pngimage.thumb.png.bb7372c94fb17442919b12197ff15bfd.pngimage.thumb.png.3f2cfe6b183a9d6d49bfe3f1a34fc2ce.png

*I changed the back 4 roles in the 442 due to it not being so balanced in the op.

image.thumb.png.91dee589234e498a546d13f960016249.png

Thats a really good copy of Nagelsman IMO. Good Job! 

You got constructive critique. Re-evaluated and came out with a new solution :thup:

 

If you want to consider something, the bpd will take more risk on a side (stopper gets Higher mentality) but maybe he does not need that?

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52 minutes ago, retrodude09 said:

@Jack722 - Did you use OI's to create the pressing traps you spoke about in the opening post? 

I personally didn't, because I like to avoid using OIs and Pis as much as I can in FM as things can get messy and time consuming as you may have to change them game by game depending on who's playing the role (Pis) and who you're playing against (OIs). But, Ideally, you would have the opposition wide players closed down more, to create the wide pressing traps, and you would set one of your Cm's to close down more while the other CM closes down less, to create the stopper - cover combo in midield.

I have no idea if this will be more effective in FM but it would definately do a better job at recreating

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2 hours ago, Djuicer said:

Thats a really good copy of Nagelsman IMO. Good Job! 

You got constructive critique. Re-evaluated and came out with a new solution :thup:

 

If you want to consider something, the bpd will take more risk on a side (stopper gets Higher mentality) but maybe he does not need that?

That's a good suggestion, my go-to back 3 set up is usually a ball playing defender in the centre as a stopper anyway. But I wanted Upamecano to be a cover just because he is by far our fastest centre back, and I want him dropping a bit deeper to pick up oposotion strikers who have run in behind the line. He is also our best passer, so it's a bit of a compromise to have him as a cover.

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On 17/05/2020 at 20:52, Jack722 said:

 

image.thumb.png.91dee589234e498a546d13f960016249.png

Which TIs are more up to date? The one in the OP or this quoted one?

 

Great read btw!

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16 minutes ago, Mutumba said:

Which TIs are more up to date? The one in the OP or this quoted one?

 

Great read btw!

I would assume the ones that came last? So the ones you quoted..

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5 hours ago, retrodude09 said:

I would assume the ones that came last? So the ones you quoted..

Yeah, so did I but some creators/authors update the OP with the latest tactic, so wasnt completley sure

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Nice work! Did try the 343wide out with my hearts side and worked really fine. Tweaked a little: The right striker is a winger.

BUT: Nagelsmann loves a 3322 which is missing here. With the usual back three and Konrad Laimer in DMd/s Position, Nkunku and usual Sabitzer in MC and Schick/ Poulsen with Werner in the Front row.

he used the formation also with Hoffenheim and the duo Joelinton/ Kramaric

could be something like this:

             TMs   AF

             MCa DLP

WBs         DMd        WBa    

          CDs  BPDc  CDs

                  SKs

 

(?)

 

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Posted (edited)

Seeing as the video never worked, here is the goal vs Bayern:

748854139_rb1.thumb.PNG.9aaf39baf5ed6ab5a7b3252b2c194f33.PNG

rb2.thumb.PNG.f594ac0105beab167d9fa3861f12f26e.PNG

Notice here how playing out the back has given time for the wingbacks to advance higher up the pitch, while the short passes have drawn Bayern's forwards to press our centrebacks. The use of 2 forwards also pins back Bayern's full backs, as if they leave to mark our wingbacks, they will be left with a 2v2 at the back. 

 

rb3.thumb.PNG.5ba46f87453f18e3d41ef8c4723ab2e0.PNG

The sequence in the previous picture allows our wingback to be found in acres of space to drive at the opposition back line.

 

rb4.thumb.PNG.c9e23d8d5e19b5d6ae9a81cfdcab3cfe.PNG

rb5.thumb.PNG.f4d8488c94073ba9140070d782bfde0e.PNG

rb6.thumb.PNG.ee21613abf0d80a832ea9725a8684abe.PNG

  • Play out the back
  • Get the deep lying playmaker on the ball
  • Quick turn and long pass to advancing wing back in space
  • A 1-2 between full backs on the opposite sides of the pitch
  • High percentage cross to Poulsen 

As someone who's not a fan of keeping the ball with short passes, this was probably some of the best football i've seen on this game over the season. The tactic for me keeps the perfect balance of using directness to create chances out of nothing and not look stale, while at the same time, every pass is deliberate - there are rarely low percentage route one passes that you would expect from a physical side.

Edited by Jack722

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May be you should change it to "slightly lower the tempo" or "slightly higher tempo" and pressing is "extremely urgent".

I'm saying this because Nagelsmann is known with his style to slowly build up the play in the back from goal kick, passing around across the back waiting for opportunity, once the timing is correct then they will start passing the ball to midfield or attackers who dropped deep. When off the ball, his players tend to close down opposition very quickly and rely on the pace of Werner for counter. 

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Wonderful thread. Really enjoyed reading! :applause:

Nagelmann's flexibility makes it a bit of a headache to recreate in Football Manager. I have loved watching his sides for the last few years and it's fascinating to see him alternate between a 3-man or 4-man defence, double or single pivot in midfield and lone striker or striker partnership up front.

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Question, I'm not much of a 3 at the back kind of fan but have you tried something like this?

             PFa   PFs

                 AMCs

 

WBs    DLPs     VOLs        WBs    

          CDd  BPDc  CDd

                  SKs

With overlaps selected for the WB's.

Was watching RB today and made me think of trying something like this out purely out of curiosity. Although I might go with a straight line in defence and go offside trap.

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