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Non Mollare Mai - Relentless Total Football


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Rushed through this now, I will dig deeper into it later. By the looks it contains great food for thought. Good post @OJ

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Cheers guys!

Before I started writing the post last night, I played the first match of the new season, European Super Cup against Valencia. Started as usual with the standard tactic, but they did the park the bus tiki taka routine so by min 20 I switched to the 2DM extreme version. As usual, my players gradually took control of the game and we slowly started dominating. we won 3-1 in the end (their goal scored with a miracle volley through/past heavy traffic after my defence cleared a corned, otherwise they only had a few semi-good chances, which against good teams will almost always happen no matter what).

It was basically the near perfect game where even though at 2-0 they get that corner goal out of nowhere (didn't even give a highlight how they got the corner on extensive highlights), start attacking thinking they can gome back into the game and for a moment I'm thinking should I go safer and away from the extreme tactic back to normal. However, I'm thinking if I do that they will anyways look to attack, but since they also play from the back, it will just again make my press less effective and give them outs more often, leading to more attacks. So I hold my never and stick to my guns, and it works beautifully. They don't get any dangerous attacks, and I score a beautiful 3rd to kill off the game directly as a result also of the aggressiveness of the tactic.

I'll add this to the initial post with a few stats screenshots and will put up all the 3 goals, because all of them where exactly according to all the principles I am talking about.

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5 minutes ago, skyline72 said:

@OJ

You can export the video to your mac, upload to youtube from there and paste the link here after.

Ahh if that works, perfect, cheers! Will try it now.

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1 hour ago, skyline72 said:

@OJ

You can export the video to your mac, upload to youtube from there and paste the link here after.

Still doesn’t work for some reason. I hit export, the game then starts encoding the vid, but after it’s done just goes back to the highlights pnale with the options to upload highlight, export (which starts the encoding again), but nowhere do I find the clip I exported or see it now ready to finish the export. Any ideas?

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41 minutes ago, OJ said:

Still doesn’t work for some reason. I hit export, the game then starts encoding the vid, but after it’s done just goes back to the highlights pnale with the options to upload highlight, export (which starts the encoding again), but nowhere do I find the clip I exported or see it now ready to finish the export. Any ideas?

Im not sure where the file is at mac. 

You can try to find it where your FM is installed?

Or the place where you can find your tactics/skins, etc. There will be a folder named 'upload'

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Tried plugging this into my midtable FC Andorra team, who have a couple of good technical midfielders. Playing some really good football!

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1 hour ago, LUFCspeni said:

Tried plugging this into my midtable FC Andorra team, who have a couple of good technical midfielders. Playing some really good football!

That's really great to hear, especially that it seems to be working with a smaller team as well (haven't tested as only played this one save with Arsenal in FM20)!

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2 hours ago, skyline72 said:

Im not sure where the file is at mac. 

You can try to find it where your FM is installed?

Or the place where you can find your tactics/skins, etc. There will be a folder named 'upload'

Checked everywhere and seems like he game just doesn't actually cate/save the clip and nothing I can do about it, checked all folders. Anyways, fuound out with Apples Quicktime you can screen record, so did hatno. Though now the momevement's a bit choppy cause of the lof FPS at which it seems to record. Oh well...

 

I edited in to my opening post now the The Near Perfect Match with 3 textbook goals section where I go over 1 really good game (my last played) and the goals.

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Just finished the second league match of the new season, Away to newly promoted Newcastle. So, predictably they wen't super defensive with a beautiful 4411 with 2 DMs (see below). I played the entire first half with my standard tactic, and while I had 60%+ possession, I was struggling to break them enough and to create any proper quality chances.

So for the second half, besides telling my guys they were crap to get a reaction, I switched to my 2DM counter tactic. And as with 1 one of the key non-negotiables, no matter what, I do not switch to positive or attacking mentality (because this will largely kill all the tiki taka). So I stayed with Balanced, but as said in the opening post I might switch the tempo. So I did, went to much higher tempo but kept everything else the same.

As a result, we sliced them open 3 times through the middle, for clear cut high quality chances without having to first move the ball and defense around by lots of horizontal movement, decoy runs etc. We simply opened them up with the high tempo passing. Unfortunately, due to unusual **** poor finishing, none of these resulted in goals but nevertheless it was all about the moves. We did win the match 2-0 though, in the end easily, with 2 set piece goals. In the end had 71% possession, they had 1 shot in the match, I had about 20 with 9 on target and 3 clear cut chances created. All the 3 big chances as said came in the second half, like the goals.

This is the most beautiful move of the three, what I especially love (though could also now be cursing), is Tierney's absolutely massive cojones when he's on the ball as the last man and just decides to dribble past the Newcastle guy trying to press him and nick the ball. So it all starts with a short free kick which we take down first, but then just go quickly vertical and Christian, my RPM quickly spots Martinelli starting an excellent quick dart into the box and puts a beautiful and quick lobbed through ball in:

 

 

This gives me further confirmation as well that what I set out to do; stick to my guns and only vary positioning, marking and tempo basically, is the correct way to go and it can work even against the most stubborn of defenses. Also, my guys at the moment are only competent with much higher tempo, as it's start of the season and just started using it, so once they're fully fluent with it, the results should be even better.

Attached also the heat map of the match.

Screen Shot 2020-05-17 at 22.22.52.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-17 at 22.06.55.png

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Awesome thread @OJ As a Canadian and Winnipeg Jets fan I love your hockey inspirations for this. Always wanted to try something similar, like forechecking in hockey, in FM but never got around to it because of other projects. Great read.

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20 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Awesome thread @OJ As a Canadian and Winnipeg Jets fan I love your hockey inspirations for this. Always wanted to try something similar, like forechecking in hockey, in FM but never got around to it because of other projects. Great read.

Cheers! As a Jets fan, you must be pretty happy with Finland then, considering what we've given you guys over the last few decades, from Teemu and Teppo to now Patrik :D (Btw since the Red Wings ain't gonna do much in the next few years I'm all aboard your Stanley Cup train!)

Actually you got me further inspired by mentioning you've wanted to try like a "true" hockey tactic. And earlier @Djuicer as well with our discussion about one of my goals where he said it was a bit slow tempo for a hockey goal though, even if the movement and passing was.

I didn't even think about it in terms of trying to create a "full" hockey tactic, just wanted to take some of main things about chance creation, but now that I do think about it I already have a lot of "hockey" in the tactic. Cause essentially hockey's a lot of man vs man, and 5v5 you're always lined up symmetrically of course, cause of the small rink so no space (and only 5 players) for different formations. So with my extreme formations, I line up man vs man as much as I can, virtually everywhere on the pitch. Then we have of course forechecking, i.e. like I have, most aggressive pressing with every player on man marking instructions to get their man. And I can produce the movement variations that are like hockey goals, so really the only thing missing more or less is the highest tempo, to get as close as possible to hockey. And it just already worked in my last match when I switched to it.

So what I think I will at least try is to play basically all the time like that. The hardest part to pull is the extremely high tempo, which in the last match led me my defenders twice giving it away fairly dangerously. But again they're not fully fluent yet, and my logic in thinking it might actually work is this: it's all about getting used to it, i.e. practice. If you can learn to play hockey and start playing needle-accurate passes with split-second decision making in hockey, why couldn't you do it in football?

Obviously it will lead to SOME turnovers, but if instead I absolutely hammer everyone and can translate it into something close to ice hockey being played with tiki taka football on the green pitch, then that would be the most glorious thing ever to me hahaha.

Worth a shot!

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Posted (edited)
Spoiler

 

Har läst öppningsposten mer nogrannt nu. 

Dem delarna jag gillar bäst är vartifrån du fått din inspiration samt att du har olika taktiker för att bryta ner olika motsånd. Smart!

Alltid spännande tycker jag när folk fått inspiration ifrån andra sporter. Finns äldre exempel från tex amerikans fotboll har jag för mig.

 

 

I completed the reading of your OP. 

The parts I find most interesting is the parts you found inspirations in. I always like examples from other sports  (older threads about american football etc).

Secondly, its great to have diffrent versions to break diffrent op formations! Clever solution.

Edited by Djuicer
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One a Mac if you use command+shift+5 you'll find an option to record your screen. Select record selected portion and you can drag a box over the bit you want to record. Hit record and play the match. When finished you'll get the option to trim the start and finish. Then upload to YouTube for a better video experience. 

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@OJ A very good read. Well thought out and explained.

I have just started a new Barcelona save and my set-up is quite similar except for minor tweaks.

Where I struggle is making changes during match especially when looking to score a goal and gain upper hand on possession. Most of the players have the Play One two's trait but still don't see enough of quick exchanges leading to an opening.

Messi plays as F9 in this tactic and Suarez as DLF-S. I keep changing between them to keep them both equally fresh.

Any suggestions to improve the tactic is really appreciated.

Tactics.thumb.png.476336554af0ffa9316c25f158e6e8c9.png

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34 minutes ago, nidhar.ram said:

@OJ A very good read. Well thought out and explained.

I have just started a new Barcelona save and my set-up is quite similar except for minor tweaks.

Where I struggle is making changes during match especially when looking to score a goal and gain upper hand on possession. Most of the players have the Play One two's trait but still don't see enough of quick exchanges leading to an opening.

Messi plays as F9 in this tactic and Suarez as DLF-S. I keep changing between them to keep them both equally fresh.

Any suggestions to improve the tactic is really appreciated.

Tactics.thumb.png.476336554af0ffa9316c25f158e6e8c9.png

Thanks!

What formation are you usually facing/most often struggling against? You mentioned in some cases struggling to keep possession, I assume this is when you face a team playing very defensive, but they play out of the back without your press catching them quick enough deep in their zone? I.e. that they can keep a lot of possession in their half? If yes, I would say the best counter to it I've found is the Extreme formations in those moments. So match their entire D-line and wingbacks+midfield man to man with your positioning, make everyone mark their man and your striker marks their stronger ballplaying defender/the CB in the BPD role, leaving the weak technical CB as only play unmarked in their entire D+midfield. Then up your D-line and go to highest closing down setting. This should wrestle back the control of the match.

I learned it from Pep, actually, when he tried it one night in the Champions League when he came up against Barca when he was at Bayern. He tried to get control/possession by going man-to-man all over the pitch, man-mark etc as above to try to stop Barca. Of course he was up against basically his prime-Barca, so he got slaughtered, bu the logic was 100% solid.

Otherwise, what are your individual PIs? As this can heavily influence the outcome depending what you do. In general I would ask this, are you seeing enough movement out of your guys and are you able to drag/move defenses to create space? Do you have guys that are told to dribble? how many players have roaming added?

And also, who are your best performers and who are your worst? As this helps isolate also what works/doesn't work. For example for the longest time I had trouble getting the F9 be involved in play enough and also to get enough goals out of them.

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1 hour ago, fmFutbolManager said:

One a Mac if you use command+shift+5 you'll find an option to record your screen. Select record selected portion and you can drag a box over the bit you want to record. Hit record and play the match. When finished you'll get the option to trim the start and finish. Then upload to YouTube for a better video experience. 

Ahh OK will try that. I started using quicktime, which works, the only annoying thing is the low framerate so the momevement's choppy in the clips. Is this better?

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30 minutes ago, OJ said:

What formation are you usually facing/most often struggling against? You mentioned in some cases struggling to keep possession, I assume this is when you face a team playing very defensive, but they play out of the back without your press catching them quick enough deep in their zone? I.e. that they can keep a lot of possession in their half? If yes, I would say the best counter to it I've found is the Extreme formations in those moments. So match their entire D-line and wingbacks+midfield man to man with your positioning, make everyone mark their man and your striker marks their stronger ballplaying defender/the CB in the BPD role, leaving the weak technical CB as only play unmarked in their entire D+midfield. Then up your D-line and go to highest closing down setting. This should wrestle back the control of the match.

I will try the man to man marking against defensive sides. Its generally 3 at the back or 2 DM's or sometimes even the standard 4141.

 

32 minutes ago, OJ said:

Otherwise, what are your individual PIs? As this can heavily influence the outcome depending what you do. In general I would ask this, are you seeing enough movement out of your guys and are you able to drag/move defenses to create space? Do you have guys that are told to dribble? how many players have roaming added?

the 2 CM's to dribble & take more risks.. very similar to users.. everyone except the back line to roam from their position.

It's annoying coz the squad is world class but still struggles to make the most of their abilities.

If you were me, how would you set-up the current Barca said? May be I can take some pointers from there.

Thanks

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, nidhar.ram said:

I will try the man to man marking against defensive sides. Its generally 3 at the back or 2 DM's or sometimes even the standard 4141.

 

the 2 CM's to dribble & take more risks.. very similar to users.. everyone except the back line to roam from their position.

It's annoying coz the squad is world class but still struggles to make the most of their abilities.

If you were me, how would you set-up the current Barca said? May be I can take some pointers from there.

Thanks

Trust me I know how you feel mate, FM20 sure is a challenge for tiki taka! Part of it is a few flaws with the ME, but the other part I suppose is realistic as well, it's supposed to be the hardest to get to work hehe.

I'm 10 seasons in on my save so can't check the Barca squad and the exact stats and PIs of everyone, but I live in Barcelona and watch them so I know the squad as players etc. (well and I guess who doesn't, it's Barca) so I'll go based on that, but some of the individual PIs might affect things a little bit so do let me know if you think there would be something conflicting.

In all my playing and testing, the only way I've gotten tiki taka to work, and consistently only basically score good passing move goals, is to stick to a few key things (then match on match adjust marking, positioning like I explain in m OP when struggling for posession/creating changes).

The key things are:

  • Balanced mentality
  • Tons of players on roaming (so like you have, everyone except CBs basically)
  • Fluid mentality, i.e. about 7-8 support roles.
  • Narrow Width - this is actually crucial. Before this it was way too much wingplay and 50/50 crosses, and not enough chances crafted trough the middle
  • To counter that you don't become too narrow and compressed, you need to balance it with a few roles and settings, will go over them below in the role by roles

The above, from my experience in FM20, are the ones that have to be set in stone, otherwise you will not get consistent tiki taka (I hope someone comes in btw and proves that I just couldn't think of them but that there are other ways). So those will give you the basis that will allow you to craft passing moves, then we need to make sure you have enough penetration, players doing the right movement at right times etc, and can take and keep control of any match and craft enough chances to win consistently.

So what that leaves as room to play with are basically:

  • Tempo
  • Individual roles bar a few key select ones
  • how you distribute the support/attack duties
  • Player positioning i.e. formation on a game to game basis/in general
  • Individual and team (besides the set in stone) instructions

 

Tied to the individual roles and making sure you have enough penetration, this is my logic when I build my team (and something which I forgot to cover in the OP):

  • 2 main goal threats (the players you most often want to be on the end to finish the moves)
  • 2 playmakers
  • 4 hybrid roles (will need to contribute with both assists and goals)
  • 2 defenders (i.e. the CBs but as BPDs they're also added deep playmakers which is great)

In my tactic they are:

  • goal threaths, AMR IF and MCR BBM
  • playmakers, DM DLP and MCL RPM
  • hybrids, DL IWB, DR FB, AML IW, ST F9

 

You have of course in your squad a few of my all time favourite players, Messi and de Jong, and in their roles the best in the game. So those two for me are the most important you need to get really firing, and around whom you want to build everything around. Best player and F9 in the history of the game, and assuming de Jong stays healthy and has a long career, a guy who I'm willing to be will be seen as one of the all-time best midfield playmakers.

So you already have Messi as the F9 most of the time, and I'd play him as much as you can without killing him physically. How good is Fati in your save? Because I would not use Suarez as rotation for Messi, but have him in your first lineup but on the right wing. Fati should have the potential and enough of the right stats (fast, good dribbling, all around technical), so then the question is does he have good enough mentals (anticipation, off the ball, decisions), and good enough passing and at least decent/good vision? Or can he develop them? If not, try to get a rotation option that has those, or Griezmann or Suarez would work as well, but I'd rather have them in the first lineup with Messi, while they're still not too old.

To make the F9 role work, because it's a bit broken in the ME (doesn't roam/drop deep enough to get involved in play), you need to have Messi and all the other guys playing as F9 to have comes deep to get ball PPM. If they don't, and you have in game editor, I'd honestly use it to give it to them immediately, to me in this case it's not cheating cause it will help fix some of the broken role behaviour of the F9. Or train it to them. Then also add roam PI if you don't already, and dribble more. You'll have good dribblers, especially Messi of course, so with the roam and drop deep they'll get to the ball in deep/wide positions which is excellent to get them dribbling (whether they dribble horizontal or vertical, both good) to cause havoc and drag defenses around, or at least win you a lot of good free kicks.

Then de Jong, yeah the AP can work fine but keep the roaming and dribbling, but make sure you have him on more direct passing also - if he's on team short, it will reduce a lot the chances he'll go for longer through balls through the middle when the chance is there. I would try and drop him to Support though. and also possibly switch from AP to RPM, I love the RPM personally cause he roams with the play from deep to high up, then camps just outside the box in excellent positions if there's space. If that happens, even with his 9 finishing de Jong should score some goals.

Next to him, I would switch away from the carrillero. For me, in a world class possession side, he's a bit redundant cause he's just a ball shuttler and nothing else. So to me you're a bit wasting a player because you can easily achieve 60%+ possession and have vertical ball progression without this role. So I would switch him either to a BBM or CM with some PIs added. Personally I think especially in a tiki taka side the BBM can be one of the best and most deadly players (check my OP and the near perfect match section and see the guy I played as BBM Albarracin, and the goals). So maybe try the BBM, and if whoever you have there has stats to be a dribbler then have that PI, but if not, might not be necessary. Now as who to play, tbh I'm not a huge fan of Rakitic (and don't remember his stats in game), so I'd be inclined to drop him and try Arthur as the BBM. He's smart, has pretty good dribbling and decent finishing, so I assume when the space is there he will get into good positions inside the box. But if Rakitic has great off the ball movement and smarts, and finishing/dribbling then he's probs a good bet to keep as BBM. And also add the get further fwd PI to max the times they push into the box. You'll be dominating matches so they're not going to be defending a lot anyways, and you need enough penetration to counter all the Support roles. But if you follow my advice and switch around the AMR/AML (below), make sure you switch de Jong to the MCL spot instead of MCR, so it's the same like you have now where he's opposite side of your IF.

Busquets I would switch to a DLP and look to train him to get rid of his plays short simple passes PI. a DLP Defend as DM is excellent, he'll be a quarterback pinging a lot of balls to the free runners on the wings, for example, which when he's deep and middle is a great position to be in. And again for Barca a DM is too conservative IMO. And he'll be defensively great as well, so no need for the over-conservative DM role IMO.

The full backs I would change to IWB but keep on Support. But then the key, add look for overlap on both wings. Then when you have guys in the wing that will cut inside (will get to that when we get to those roles), when you have IWBs but look for overlap, you'll get variety where at times the IWB will go wide for the overal and your AML/AMR will be inside, or then vice versa. But either way they will play some very good combinations in between outwide when one is overlapping, then often because you've told them to play narrow, they will take the play inside again and either combining between themselves or with other. Like moving then the ball back to the middle to your playmaker to make a through ball to one of your guys in space in the box (the wide play and cutting in etc will drag defenses around and create space on the other side to exploit with the through balls when the timings are right)

I would also add get further fwd to the one you want to be even a bit more attacking, but either way they should play really good with your wide guys. And as they're IWBs and they roam plus cut inside, when there's space on the edges of the boxes  in the half spaces they'll quite often be there to exploit it and can score/assist you a ton of goals. My backup right back last season in about 25 starts had 6 goals and 8 assists, he has 6 finishing hahaha.

So that leaves the AML/AMR positions.

I'd keep Griezmann on the left but change him to IW Support, he's a playmaker/goalscorer and a smart player so as IW he should combine great with others, especially the IWB, and add get further fwd PI and train him if possible (and this applies to ALL wide guys always IMO) with gets into opposition area (to counter the Support duty and make sure he's also a goalscoring threat).

Suarez is the best goalscorer in the team along with Messi and Griezmann, but the worst of the 3 as a playmaker. So he should be the other goal threat in the team so I'd play him as the AMR, train him in the position and role and he'll be natural in no time, if he isn't already.and don't worry about IF with his strong foot on the outside, it'll work perfect. So I'd start with IF Attack, add Roam from position also. I would personally sell Dembele cause he's super injury prone, and while he's lightning quick and technical, he's not a smart player and you need smart players for tiki taka. he's basically a winger but you have midgets up top so why would you want to play with wingers. And you can sell him for big bucks, but just rotate him with Suarez for now, is what I would do. Hopefully he'll also do good and you can easily sell him if you want to.

I would also switch to very short passing, and up both your D-line and pressing intensity. With the second highest setting for them as is, you're anyways not drawing opponents in to create space behind, so the only thing it does is when you struggle in games for possession, it'll just make it easier for AI to play around your press and get into scoring opportunities. But when your d-line is as high as possible, your press is instant (highest setting), and when needed adjust player positioning aggressively as per my Extreme tactic examples and the deploy man-marking, you will force most teams to some very dangerous turnovers, I've scored severl goals like that. And because your super aggressive with your positioning (both individually and d-line as high as possible), and you press instantly with everyone told to man-mark a guy, you will give them no room to breath. This is how I wrestle back the control of a match when I face something similar you do.

But then also forget hold shape and put counter instead. No reason not to exploit good opportunities when you win the ball back and there's space with the opposition out of position. These are the few moments you could be attacking against an unorganised defense, which rarely happens cause you're barca and they park the bus a lot, and you are just letting those opportunities go. It's also not counter to tiki taka philosophy, just ask Arteta or Pep etc I would assume too, and they will tell if possible I want to score a goal with 2 touches instead of 20. (ie counter, take your chance quick, when you can).

Again, these are of course just my opinions so not suggesting my way is the only way, but keep in mind (and test), what are the fundamentals you always need in place, and what you can play around with. For example as mentioned about Tempo, normally I play slow but started testing/playing with extremely high, and it has produced some excellent results. I'll write a post about that a bit later. So once you've done all the changes and you have your standard way of play, if it fails, try upping the tempo but keeping all else same. This is btw standard Pep/arteta etc strategy where you see them at times shouting on the side lines to up the tempo to get going proper and find space to open tough defenses.

I might have forgotten something, but this became long-enough already as is so I'll leave it here :D

Edited by OJ
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Really enjoyed reading the basis, theory and process of setting up your tactic. I would love to be able to understand the intricacies of forming tactics like some of the contributors on here but alas, I doubt I ever will.

I use a high pressing 4-2-2-2DM formation in my current save as Celtic. I have a good team for the league and from taking over the role I have 1x double and 3x treble's in the 4 seasons (included in here was an unbeaten season as part of a run of 66 matches unbeaten) but back end of my last season and start of current one all teams now employ ultra defensive tactics and my results / wins are really hard fought, goals are drying up and I am struggling to adjust, nothing making any noticeable improvements. Teams are actually now gaining significant possession advantages over me which I can't get my head around. Number of chances created are still very high but clear cut chances becoming elusive so I am finishing games with e.g 32 chances 18 on target and winning 1-0 / 2-1 etc. I'm sure my wins now are just down to the superior player ability that I have that eventually prevails.

Looking at your set-ups I have the players to adjust so I am very tempted to get this set-up employed within my team (adjustments for obvious areas I am lacking) and try to come at it from another angle. I am convinced I need to change as results/wins are no-where near as dominant as previous, goals have just dried up in my team with the exception of my striker who completely carries the burden save for a few around the 5 / 6 goals a season mark.

The time and effort put in to the tactics and your thread (LOL) is great.

I may have missed it but is your current save Arsenal where you have 9/9 leagues and 5 champs leagues?

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11 minutes ago, sven78 said:

Really enjoyed reading the basis, theory and process of setting up your tactic. I would love to be able to understand the intricacies of forming tactics like some of the contributors on here but alas, I doubt I ever will.

I use a high pressing 4-2-2-2DM formation in my current save as Celtic. I have a good team for the league and from taking over the role I have 1x double and 3x treble's in the 4 seasons (included in here was an unbeaten season as part of a run of 66 matches unbeaten) but back end of my last season and start of current one all teams now employ ultra defensive tactics and my results / wins are really hard fought, goals are drying up and I am struggling to adjust, nothing making any noticeable improvements. Teams are actually now gaining significant possession advantages over me which I can't get my head around. Number of chances created are still very high but clear cut chances becoming elusive so I am finishing games with e.g 32 chances 18 on target and winning 1-0 / 2-1 etc. I'm sure my wins now are just down to the superior player ability that I have that eventually prevails.

Looking at your set-ups I have the players to adjust so I am very tempted to get this set-up employed within my team (adjustments for obvious areas I am lacking) and try to come at it from another angle. I am convinced I need to change as results/wins are no-where near as dominant as previous, goals have just dried up in my team with the exception of my striker who completely carries the burden save for a few around the 5 / 6 goals a season mark.

The time and effort put in to the tactics and your thread (LOL) is great.

I may have missed it but is your current save Arsenal where you have 9/9 leagues and 5 champs leagues?

 

Cheers!

Yeah, sounds to me like you're in a situation where you don't (IMO) have too many options: You're the best side in the league so you'll be most of the time facing very defensive setups. And the only consistent way of winning (or winning enough and not just through individual brilliance like you say), IMO, is you need to be a possession side and you need to be able to break the defenses down. That's the reason why for example Liverpool under Benitez and up until the last 1-2 years under Klopp never got anywhere in the league and were only good cup sides (especially in Europe were a lot more often esp in the late rounds they could just play on the counter vs in the league against smaller sides), they weren't good enough possession sides so they always struggled when they couldn't play a direct/counter game. And that's why the Liverpool evolution of last 2 years and especially the setup how it maxes TAA and Robertson.

So I would most definitely give this or something similar a go. And remember, even if you'll have somewhat lower standard squad than my Arsenal, it's all relative to your level. So at least outside of Europe even if you don't have the perfect squad, you should be able to pull most if not all of this stuff off, I believe.

Yes, just started with my tenth season, and won all league titles and 5/8 CL's. Could've won mor CL's as well but been every year tinkering, often during CL knockout rounds too, to find the perfect formula so haven't maximised all results. Also did go as well about 85 matches and two full seasons unbeaten in the league, so I've always had a strong basis though (and of course a top squad).

And yeah taken a bit of time to write everything down but when you'er in lockdown not allowed to leave home, got plenty of time in my hands :D

How you feel about tactics I felt once too, so don't get too discouraged! My biggest strength as a player was playmaking and understanding/creating space and I had/have a very good intuitive understanding of the game, how to play it, but then with tactics (and also, FM is a game so it has its own logic as well) I wasn't actually that great, especially truly understanding all the different tactical choices and how exactly they affected the play. So I would always be able to create good but not truly great tactics, I would say. But if you're interested in the tactical side, really recommend check all the other good threads in this forum that have a lot of explanations and links purely from football tactics side, and technically while basically I covered in my way most of it at least I think, they'll be from purely football tactics perspective so will greatly improve your understanding, I think. I read a lot of those, like I said in my OP, and it really helped me as well.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Djuicer said:
  Reveal hidden contents

 

Har läst öppningsposten mer nogrannt nu. 

Dem delarna jag gillar bäst är vartifrån du fått din inspiration samt att du har olika taktiker för att bryta ner olika motsånd. Smart!

Alltid spännande tycker jag när folk fått inspiration ifrån andra sporter. Finns äldre exempel från tex amerikans fotboll har jag för mig.

 

 

I completed the reading of your OP. 

The parts I find most interesting is the parts you found inspirations in. I always like examples from other sports  (older threads about american football etc).

Secondly, its great to have diffrent versions to break diffrent op formations! Clever solution.

Thanks, much appreciated! And yeah me too, just love it when you see something in one sport and then can apply it in another.

with the different positioning, when it started happening more and more as I kept winning, and then started struggling more to win with tiki taka style and keep control, tbh just thought also what does Pep always do: he adjusts his players' positioning basically on a game by game basis to maximise control. So, follow the leader :D

And also this basic logic I've had more and more in mind over the last few years when I've been playing: If the AI goes extreme in their ways to try to stop me (and it's working), and I've tred the "half-measures" (my standard tactic) and they don't work, what's the point in trying other half-measures, why would the result be any different? (Einstein and the theory of insanity :D) But since I don't want to go extreme by attacking more direct, more exploiting wing play etc but I want to keep my tiki taka identity, how CAN I counter with more extreme measures without breaking that. And the 3 major ones (cause I assume Pep followed this same logic and came to this same answer) is that you can go extreme with mainly by your positioning, marking and pressing.

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1 hour ago, OJ said:

Then de Jong, yeah the AP can work fine but keep the roaming and dribbling, but make sure you have him on more direct passing also - if he's on team short, it will reduce a lot the chances he'll go for longer through balls through the middle when the chance is there. I would try and drop him to Support though. and also possibly switch from AP to RPM, I love the RPM personally cause he roams with the play from deep to high up, then camps just outside the box in excellent positions if there's space. If that happens, even with his 9 finishing de Jong should score some goals.

Next to him, I would switch away from the carrillero. For me, in a world class possession side, he's a bit redundant cause he's just a ball shuttler and nothing else. So to me you're a bit wasting a player because you can easily achieve 60%+ possession and have vertical ball progression without this role. So I would switch him either to a BBM or CM with some PIs added. Personally I think especially in a tiki taka side the BBM can be one of the best and most deadly players (check my OP and the near perfect match section and see the guy I played as BBM Albarracin, and the goals). So maybe try the BBM, and if whoever you have there has stats to be a dribbler then have that PI, but if not, might not be necessary. Now as who to play, tbh I'm not a huge fan of Rakitic (and don't remember his stats in game), so I'd be inclined to drop him and try Arthur as the BBM. He's smart, has pretty good dribbling and decent finishing, so I assume when the space is there he will get into good positions inside the box. But if Rakitic has great off the ball movement and smarts, and finishing/dribbling then he's probs a good bet to keep as BBM. And also add the get further fwd PI to max the times they push into the box. You'll be dominating matches so they're not going to be defending a lot anyways, and you need enough penetration to counter all the Support roles. But if you follow my advice and switch around the AMR/AML (below), make sure you switch de Jong to the MCL spot instead of MCR, so it's the same like you have now where he's opposite side of your IF.

 

Apologies if I haven't fully understood your last sentence, but you're recommending to play the AP (S) on the same side as the IW (S) (Greizmann)? I play something vaguely similar with Barca but have struggled to get my head round who to play adjacent to my IW (S) (who is Messi for me).

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20 minutes ago, Luizinho said:

Apologies if I haven't fully understood your last sentence, but you're recommending to play the AP (S) on the same side as the IW (S) (Greizmann)? I play something vaguely similar with Barca but have struggled to get my head round who to play adjacent to my IW (S) (who is Messi for me).

No worries! It's quite possibly me :D

So you have Antoine on the left and Messi on the right, right? And both in IW support roles. I'd at least try with Messi as IF A, and put him to roam, dribble more b more because he's the best ever. So you want him to be as attacking as possible, but you need space for him too. Which is good with Antoine as IW(S) on the left, I would combine him with an IWB on the left on support, at least on the left flank tick look for overlaps. Then the reason you put de Jong on the left MC spot, MCL, so opposite side to Messi is that with an IWB, IW, and de Jong as RPM on the left side, they will combine a lot there, create overloads and drag the opposing defense towards their right/your left flank.

Then they (IWB and IW) can play the ball in combos between them high left on your pitch, bring the ball back down and pass to de Jong, and because he's on the left side and right footed, he has the perfect angles and inside curve with his right foot to play balls in to Messi and/or your fullback coming in to the box on the right side into open spaces, because their defense has been dragged to your left flank towards your ball magnets. And really honestly believe RPM is much better than AP, would recommend to try it, and add dribble more as PI.

Hope this clarifies?

EDIT: Or besides the above, the can also combine like this where the assist comes from my IWB Tierney, not the RPM, and it's to my ST F9 Martinelli instead of my AMR IF Pepe. But it's the same principle as above, IWB and my IW Havertz combining on the wing, and my RPM Christian who's playing left centre mid, is there also combining. As you see the defense gets fooled, they're drawn to the ball and my guys and in the end Tierney is in a great position on the left half space to play in Martinelli, who's making a great run in to the space my guys created, and he slots it in beautifully:

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, OJ said:

No worries! It's quite possibly me :D

So you have Antoine on the left and Messi on the right, right? And both in IW support roles. I'd at least try with Messi as IF A, and put him to roam, dribble more b more because he's the best ever. So you want him to be as attacking as possible, but you need space for him too. Which is good with Antoine as IW(S) on the left, I would combine him with an IWB on the left on support, at least on the left flank tick look for overlaps. Then the reason you put de Jong on the left MC spot, MCL, so opposite side to Messi is that with an IWB, IW, and de Jong as RPM on the left side, they will combine a lot there, create overloads and drag the opposing defense towards their right/your left flank.

Then they (IWB and IW) can play the ball in combos between them high left on your pitch, bring the ball back down and pass to de Jong, and because he's on the left side and right footed, he has the perfect angles and inside curve with his right foot to play balls in to Messi and/or your fullback coming in to the box on the right side into open spaces, because their defense has been dragged to your left flank towards your ball magnets. And really honestly believe RPM is much better than AP, would recommend to try it, and add dribble more as PI.

Hope this clarifies?

EDIT: Or besides the above, the can also combine like this where the assist comes from my IWB Tierney, not the RPM, and it's to my ST F9 Martinelli instead of my AMR IF Pepe. But it's the same principle as above, IWB and my IW Havertz combining on the wing, and my RPM Christian who's playing left centre mid, is there also combining. As you see the defense gets fooled, they're drawn to the ball and my guys and in the end Tierney is in a great position on the left half space to play in Martinelli, who's making a great run in to the space my guys created, and he slots it in beautifully:

Thanks for the detailed post above, interesting to hear your thoughts. I'll definitely look at apply a lot of whats been said in this thread. :thup:

I actually line-up in a very simplistic set-up, as below:

IF (A) - PF (S) - IW (S)

Mez (S) - B2B (S)

DMC (S)

FB (S) - CD (D) - CD (D) - WB (S)

*Focus play down the right, Shorter Passing, Play out of defence

The idea is dominate/overload the central and right areas of the pitch, with Messi in the IW (S) role in an attempt to get him into the thick of the action as much as possible. He's given additional PIs to make him more aggressive/ambitious with his play. Space is created on the left side with the Mez and IF (A) able to exploit.

Edited by Luizinho
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19 minutes ago, Luizinho said:

Thanks for the detailed post above, interesting to hear your thoughts. I'll definitely look at apply a lot of whats been said in this thread. :thup:

I actually line-up in a very simplistic set-up, as below:

IF (A) - PF (S) - IW (S)

Mez (S) - B2B (S)

DMC (S)

FB (S) - CD (D) - CD (D) - WB (S)

*Focus play down the right, Shorter Passing, Play out of defence

The idea is dominate/overload the central and right areas of the pitch, with Messi in the IW (S) role in an attempt to get him into the thick of the action as much as possible. He's given additional PIs to make him more aggressive/ambitious with his play. Space is created on the left side with the Mez and IF (A) able to exploit.

My pleasure!

Yeah, those role combos can definitely work. If you keep it exactly like that, I would at least try it with one change though: switch the sides of the B2B and the Mezzala: Since you're creating the overload to the right side to create space to the left flank, I think mezzala on the right with Messi would be better, because he'll combine more. As the B2B is mainly to wait in the centre areas a bit, and when they see an opportunity (space in the box), to attack it to go finish moves. So since this role in attack is basically to be a "space investigator", if you put him on the left side, once your overload on the right creates the space for the left side, you'll have two players attacking really the box (and add the get further fwd to the B2B to make sure he makes more those runs).

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Posted (edited)
On 17/05/2020 at 23:02, crusadertsar said:

Awesome thread @OJ As a Canadian and Winnipeg Jets fan I love your hockey inspirations for this. Always wanted to try something similar, like forechecking in hockey, in FM but never got around to it because of other projects. Great read.

So, like I said I would try to up the hockey in my tactic, been playing now some matches and the results are just getting better and better.

Played the first Champions League match of the season, away to Real Sociedad using my 2nd string lineup, they're playing a defensive 4231 with 2 DMs (at times super difficult to break down if the AI is using some "right" settings). Well, it didn't matter: by half time we were 5-0 up and had carved them completely open several times. Like so:

 

 

7 goals, 7 different goalscorers, 3 goals scored by my defenders. And the goals by my fullbacks were just delightful. First up was my left back Martinez, like so:

 

 

Then I guess my right back didn't want to be outshone, so he decided to put one in from a free kick:

 

 

Tactic I used: my standard, the only thing changed was Tempo set to Much Higher

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 00.20.42.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 00.21.11.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 00.21.52.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 01.19.03.png

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, retrodude09 said:

I'm very curious as to how the IWB (S) - RPM & IW (S) all link up? Do you not find them all getting in each others way? 

They link up excellently, and no issues with getting in each other's way. Actually they produce some of the deadliest combinations I've seen in FM20.

These are some of the goals where you see how they link up:

 IWB Tierney combining with Christian my RPM and Albarracin DLP, and the guy up there left you see in good positions all the time is my IW. His positioning also helps free Tierney so he can go assist the goal:

 

Again Tierney and Christian combining, got Tierney free cause my F9 roaming wide (Merlen), and IW Havertz inside the box taking great positions and Havertz also is involved in the move:

 

And here Tierney and Havertz as the IWB and IW just slicing the defense open by the 2 of them like it was a Sunday kickabout:

 

 

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19 hours ago, OJ said:
  • Balanced mentality
  • Tons of players on roaming (so like you have, everyone except CBs basically)
  • Fluid mentality, i.e. about 7-8 support roles.
  • Narrow Width - this is actually crucial. Before this it was way too much wingplay and 50/50 crosses, and not enough chances crafted trough the middle
  • To counter that you don't become too narrow and compressed, you need to balance it with a few roles and settings, will go over them below in the role by roles

I have got this covered.. I need to fix the Narrow width though

19 hours ago, OJ said:
  • 2 main goal threats (the players you most often want to be on the end to finish the moves)
  • 2 playmakers
  • 4 hybrid roles (will need to contribute with both assists and goals)
  • 2 defenders (i.e. the CBs but as BPDs they're also added deep playmakers which is great)

In my F9 tactic, I envision my AML & MCR to be my goalscorers. Having said that, I expect others to chip in with a goal or two from cut backs and midfield runs.

Obviously, F9 & MCL are my creators with both full backs supporting everyone and DM & CB's defending and building up from the back

Having considered the points you have mentioned, I have built the two tactics as shown below.

The F9 one is straight up tiki-taka style.  Goals should be coming from us probing the final third with patient recycle of possession and  up the tempo by quick interchanges and opening up the defence.

Tact2.thumb.png.23c5a031fafa25a3abb8aaed77d5d8d2.png

While the second one where I use Messi as an AP- A is to mimic Barcelona of 14/15 under Luis Enrique. He wanted possession and patient build-up but in the final third they had a complete approach.

Tact1.thumb.png.a4706029004045f022ae94d3e7ce1f0c.png

Messi was the prime creator while Suarez, Neymar & Jordi Alba were often at the end of Messi's killer passes. I hope the second set-up is close to how Barca played.

Please share your thoughts. Once again, thank you for your inputs.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, nidhar.ram said:

I have got this covered.. I need to fix the Narrow width though

In my F9 tactic, I envision my AML & MCR to be my goalscorers. Having said that, I expect others to chip in with a goal or two from cut backs and midfield runs.

Obviously, F9 & MCL are my creators with both full backs supporting everyone and DM & CB's defending and building up from the back

Having considered the points you have mentioned, I have built the two tactics as shown below.

The F9 one is straight up tiki-taka style.  Goals should be coming from us probing the final third with patient recycle of possession and  up the tempo by quick interchanges and opening up the defence.

Tact2.thumb.png.23c5a031fafa25a3abb8aaed77d5d8d2.png

While the second one where I use Messi as an AP- A is to mimic Barcelona of 14/15 under Luis Enrique. He wanted possession and patient build-up but in the final third they had a complete approach.

Tact1.thumb.png.a4706029004045f022ae94d3e7ce1f0c.png

Messi was the prime creator while Suarez, Neymar & Jordi Alba were often at the end of Messi's killer passes. I hope the second set-up is close to how Barca played.

Please share your thoughts. Once again, thank you for your inputs.

 

Both look potential!

 

Besides the narrow width, I would also add still look for overlaps as well, to encourage your fullbacks on support to be a bit more active, and to make sure someone’s stretching the pitch. Especially because with roaming, and one as IWB they’ll cut inside plenty, but you don’t want just that all the time.

So I would give it a go, and let me know how it works! If mostly it’ll work good, then can further adjust where needed to get it as close to perfect as possible (or if someone isn’t performing, try to get them playing good too).

edit: I think your MCL and RPM are wrong way though, right? should be De Jong as RPM and Artur as Mezz?

Edited by OJ
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Posted (edited)

Played a couple of matches today, and I wanted to focus a bit more on the defensive side with this post, since most of my opening post focused on the attacking side and how I try to break down defenses etc.

The second match we played was in the league at home against United, managed since a couple of years in my save by the Gegenpress master Jurgen Klopp himself. Under him last year they came 2nd placed behind me, and for the first few months of the season were giving me a run for my money. This season they already beat Liverpool away 4-2, who under Mikel Arteta play very similar game to me of course. So a good comparable as well.

So I wanted to show him and the fans that Gegenpress, Heavy Metal Football ain't got nothing on Total Football.

Refreshingly, they also came to play football and not just defend, so I had to worry about defending for once as well, and not just how to pick the lock offensively. Their formation the Positive 4-2-3-1:

1654176139_ScreenShot2020-05-20at00_38_33.thumb.png.9a3cb4de51cac56e1ceaa209d78d6956.png

So I decided to, even when they're playing positive and trying to attack me, go man to man all over the pitch and man mark (as per what I covered within the Extreme formations part in my OP). Which on the outset with the player positioning against another top team looking to attack might look like suicide, however one of the key things to note is that even if I only have 1 single guy on the Midfield strata, I still have 5-4 superiority against their striker, AMC, and two wide forwards (even though de Jong is at MC and not DMC, he's DLPd and told to man mark the AMC so he'll be there).

Then, even if of course their deeper guys and full backs are looking to attack as well, since all of them are man-marked by my guys who are positioned exactly where they are, whenever they join the attack my front guys are following and pressing relentlessly with the extremely urgent pressing instructions I have on.

Also note, since Jurgen is all about fast heavy metal football, I decided to do all my playing on the ball with Much Higher Tempo to show him who's really the boss playing high tempo football:

452321105_ScreenShot2020-05-20at00_40_42.thumb.png.8771666a56d8f842b764ce1cca9ae5a6.png

This season United have scored 2 goals a game on average, taken 9 shots on target per match, and on average 3 clear cut chances per match created. Against us no clear cut chances, and we limited them to 3 shots on target (from just inside the box but my defenders also covering well to help goalie make easy saves), whereas we have a few more shots on target and from a bit better and more open positions:

1750791958_ScreenShot2020-05-20at00_31_12.thumb.png.82ad039d724f0be7d4d936d446935d9d.png

1518054986_ScreenShot2020-05-20at00_34_52.thumb.png.838e0b5a9db32437814757f5ab9d46c9.png

1571083965_ScreenShot2020-05-20at00_34_34.thumb.png.35498d109dd7ec2be1225b4c1230f205.png

The 2-0 and 3-0 goals are a direct result of our defensive plan, with the aggressive positioning where every single guy is close to their man, and is told to man mark him, except my 2 CBs who are left to deal with their lone striker, and I've given instruction to always mark him tight, so one of my CBs will always be on his case (Dybala does not have a fun time and gets subbed off at 58th having accomplished nothing).

On the 2-0 goal, if you look at when the highlight starts, they have the ball on my right flank in a good position and have enough men forward that at that moment it's 6-5 to them around my box and the ball. This can happen because of course my formation is ridiculously top heavy, so this is potentially a dangerous situation. However what counter balances it is the extreme press (and of course always balanced mentality), and that even all my attackers and midfielders are man marking. So Pepe as AMR gets back just in time to put pressure on the guy on the ball, so he puts a rushed ball in to Rashford, who's man-marked by Bellerin and who's on point to take the ball like it was a lollipop from a baby. Now it's our time to attack again, so Bellerin plais it coolly to Pepe, who finds Willock (playing as the right sided AMC but down deep because he was tracking his man) and since Willock is told to dribble more often, takes on the first man and then realises the lane is open cause we just won the ball back, so they have a lot of guys forward and D is not set. So he just takes the ball the length of the pitch like prime-Vieira and bangs it in:

 

On the 3-0 goal because I'm man marking all their defenders, this time the goalie doesn't try to play it short nbut goes long instead. He actually puts in a great ball and their AMC gets to it and lays it off, but due to my extreme press they have no option but to go back to the goalie. Then however my extreme press and man marking leaves the technically weak CB (De Jaeger) on the ball but with no options except to play a difficult to receive ball out to the wing, where my guy is ready to pounce and intercept. We then turn it into attack which is finished beautifully by our right back and club legend Hector Bellerin (love the man!):

 

From this we were unlucky not to score, but again you see them trying to play out of the back but the defender has no option but to go long, and Tierney is there to easily mop up. We then turn it into attack and almost score.

 

 

Finally, if you look at the heat map of the match, you see that even with our extreme 4-1-5 formation, we completely and utterly dominated the midfield. And the only place where they basically had the ball for any length of time was in their own six yard box, trying to play their way out of my press (and getting punished for it).

1540529343_ScreenShot2020-05-20at00_30_34.thumb.png.a4a893f58be3770971b155bf37e93c14.png

 

So, in case you are struggling defensively, hopefully this might give some ideas on how it can be possible to defend. And in case someone does try something similar, would love to read about the results!

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Gotten till early December now and the results have been great. We barely concede from open play, have controlled every single match (at least to the point where max they have is empty possession inside their box), also barely concede any shots on target, and our attacking play is great with a lot of variety. We've scored in every single match of the season, and won 24/27 matches. All 3 draws have been in the PL, but we sit comfortably at the top with an 11 point lead to 2nd placed United who have a game in hand.

I was thinking once I get till January I'll do a mode detailed update, with some goals and highlights in case anyone's interested, and maybe go through a few matches in a bit more detail.

For now will just post a few quick screenshots showing our fixtures, and then the player stats. What I'm most happy about is that the goals and assists are divided beautifully within the team, and that out of the 23 outfield players I've used this season only 4 are yet to score a goal. But between the 4 they have 7 assists still, so not too bad.

 

1300789067_ScreenShot2020-05-22at22_38_13.thumb.png.8c80acce3a3cf2601b8e246192364d50.png1338901675_ScreenShot2020-05-22at22_38_50.thumb.png.d3c59e4dff08c0d428d9c7cee3698e28.png

 

1847236383_ScreenShot2020-05-22at22_53_01.thumb.png.fef9223d341892577c1a4e4a7b9bdab2.png

1332963278_ScreenShot2020-05-22at22_54_08.thumb.png.2a3aca1e968980868f08f995053f4282.png

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7 hours ago, Toin said:

I have really enjoyed reading this topic, would certainly be interested in a January update!

Thanks, really appreciate it!

Yes, I’ll do an update, already have a few things on my mind: I think one of the main things I’ll focus is in-game management, which I’ve realised (and love) in FM20 to max results you need to do often even when you have a really solid tactic, the AI seems much better at starting to counter it than in previous versions.

At least that’s my feeling.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you OJ, i've tried to replicate your tactic, and this is the first time that one of my teams ever get 70 percent possession in matches

Swansea.thumb.jpg.b4f0f7717c17dd0f34f7d0cd87a2169d.jpg

Edited by quanhanh
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14 hours ago, quanhanh said:

Thank you OJ, i've tried to replicate your tactic, and this is the first time that one of my teams ever get 70 percent possession in matches

Swansea.thumb.jpg.b4f0f7717c17dd0f34f7d0cd87a2169d.jpg

Could you share your interpretation of the tactic? those stats look really good, and I can't get my team to be quite as good as that !

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2 hours ago, Pep468 said:

Could you share your interpretation of the tactic? those stats look really good, and I can't get my team to be quite as good as that !

Mine is basically the same as him, you just need to buy the right players (high technical ones) to fit the tactic

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@OJ firstly, many thanks for sharing your thoughts around this tactical system. I always appreciate the effort some members of this community go to with providing their thoughts around how they play the game in order to assist others in different ways of playing this wonderful game.

If I was asked to articulate how I wished to play this game and visualise how I would like to see any team I manage playing the game then I would be struggling to describe it any better than you have pointed out in your opening post. It is exactly the way I would like to see my team playing and would commit to that without taking a backward step. I have waited for a post like this for a long time. I would love to set up my current team, Liverpool, in 2027 in this way. I have been on a long-term journeymen save which has seen me with Ipswich, Aston Villa and now Liverpool as my final destination (the team that I support). Up until this point I have used my own 442 in the lower leagues and 4132 more recently successfully. However, time is now for a change and what you have outlined is something I wish to explore in detail and understand as much as I can.

As an initial start I would like to set up as you have outlined in your opening posts in order to see how it works as you envisaged and see what I can learn before tinkering around with my own take given personnel available, strengths et cetera. With that in mind, I had a few questions;
 

  • In your base tactic you talk about the AMR IMF crossing less often which appears to be a hardcoded behaviour anyway.
  • In your extreme variations a couple of specific questions;
    • when you move some players into different positions in the extreme versions do you maintain the PIs that they had in the base version? For example, when the rpm moves into AP support does he still have dribble more and more direct passes? Does the WB support maintain the PIs he had in the base tactic as a full-back? An analysis of the PIs in both extreme versions would be very helpful in my understanding.
    • When you say you go man-to-man on every position for the opposition except for the least technical defender do you do this specifically in the player instructions specifying the opposition position rather than the player?
    • I noticed that the team instructions have slightly different tempos and it would be good to have an understanding of how you deal with tempo in all three tactics. I understand that your preference is to change to balance once you have changed tactic in game.

Many thanks again for sharing your thoughts which is much appreciated and I cannot wait to get started on experimenting.

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7 hours ago, loisvale said:

@OJ firstly, many thanks for sharing your thoughts around this tactical system. I always appreciate the effort some members of this community go to with providing their thoughts around how they play the game in order to assist others in different ways of playing this wonderful game.

If I was asked to articulate how I wished to play this game and visualise how I would like to see any team I manage playing the game then I would be struggling to describe it any better than you have pointed out in your opening post. It is exactly the way I would like to see my team playing and would commit to that without taking a backward step. I have waited for a post like this for a long time. I would love to set up my current team, Liverpool, in 2027 in this way. I have been on a long-term journeymen save which has seen me with Ipswich, Aston Villa and now Liverpool as my final destination (the team that I support). Up until this point I have used my own 442 in the lower leagues and 4132 more recently successfully. However, time is now for a change and what you have outlined is something I wish to explore in detail and understand as much as I can.

As an initial start I would like to set up as you have outlined in your opening posts in order to see how it works as you envisaged and see what I can learn before tinkering around with my own take given personnel available, strengths et cetera. With that in mind, I had a few questions;
 

  • In your base tactic you talk about the AMR IMF crossing less often which appears to be a hardcoded behaviour anyway.
  • In your extreme variations a couple of specific questions;
    • when you move some players into different positions in the extreme versions do you maintain the PIs that they had in the base version? For example, when the rpm moves into AP support does he still have dribble more and more direct passes? Does the WB support maintain the PIs he had in the base tactic as a full-back? An analysis of the PIs in both extreme versions would be very helpful in my understanding.
    • When you say you go man-to-man on every position for the opposition except for the least technical defender do you do this specifically in the player instructions specifying the opposition position rather than the player?
    • I noticed that the team instructions have slightly different tempos and it would be good to have an understanding of how you deal with tempo in all three tactics. I understand that your preference is to change to balance once you have changed tactic in game.

Many thanks again for sharing your thoughts which is much appreciated and I cannot wait to get started on experimenting.

Thanks, really appreciate the kind words!

Sounds great about your save, tbh once I get bored at Arsenal I'm thinking of doing the same, starting lower and testing how much I can get away with with a worse team.

  • I don't have the game on but IIRC the Inside Forward does not have i hardcoded, hence why I've put it on. But I could remember incorrect. Either way doesn't really matter tbh as long as it's on, so they only cross when it's a really good opportunity.
  • Extreme variations, yes, I keep the PI's matching so their behaviour on the pitch is matching. Hence the vanilla AP and AM roles which you can custom to match the RPM and BBM. And same for the WB, PI's the same so he's mainly stretching the pitch
  • With man to man, I put all my guys marking specific position. So if the ballplaying CD is DCR, then I put for my striker from his player instructions mark position DCR, and tighter marking (though I also have it on team setting but anyways), and same for the other positions. I do this, instead of choosing the mark player by name instruction in case they change their positions on the pitch.
  • With the different tempos, yes I normally always change it to slower (to my standard), but in some matches if I'm struggling to break the opponent down I might up the tempo, hence keeping them on the tactics so my guys are training on those tempos and will be fluent on them. But tbh since I started going more man to man with the extreme formations, I don't remember the last time I had to play around with tempo. (Will cover this more once I get to writing the Jan update and the in-game mgmt stuff)

If/when you do give it a go, looking forward to discussing how it's going!

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16 hours ago, quanhanh said:

Mine is basically the same as him, you just need to buy the right players (high technical ones) to fit the tactic

Welcome, and I'm happy to hear about the success!

Yes, it can be that, and also even with a top team whether you get 55-60% or 70% depends basically on if they are keeping it at the back and playing out of the back a lot, or not, and how effectively can you stop it. But I wouldn't be too hung up on the exact number, as long as the play on the field you see is good and you don't see them creating anything ie you're fully in control, you should be good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@OJ I had read your post many times and bookmarked it. After struggling to perfect total football tactics like @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s famous Ajax 3-4-3 tactic which gave me great returns in older FMs, I decided to turn to your post for a heavy possession based tactic where my team didnt give away the ball cheaply + didnt concede easy counters/long ball goals + scored beautiful team move goals. I decided to take Lille, which might not be a top team which this tactic might be better suited too but they have many technical players and some wonderkids to build on and I thought they could be a good starting point for a save where I focus on super-possession football inspired by your post.

So far in the friendlies im seeing amazing stuff. Its exactly like you mention. Ultra-possession but with a cutting edge and without giving away counters. Some of the moves are breathtaking to watch and I feel a sense of justice. So far so good and im hoping the number of chances and goals will increase as my players get more familiar. 

I'm pretty much sold on most of the TI's, PI,s and player roles. I just have one doubt. The F9 role. As you yourself mentioned FM20 doesn't give a good account of the role. In earlier games it was super effective and I've seen great play in @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s 3-4-3 with a false nine at the helm. My suggestion was a tweak I did to the 3-4-3 which seemed to work better. Changing that role to a Complete Forward (Support). It gave me better results there. Do you think using this role at the head of your tactic would also be beneficial?

Edited by Experienced Defender
irrelevant complaint about ME, improper in the tactical forum
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Nice tactical choices. It is unfortunate that the user is required to use 4 attacking midfielders and a striker in order to prevent weak teams from stalling in their own end. It feels like an indictment of the pressing, tackling, and intercepting behaviour of players in more traditional formations.

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/06/2020 at 18:24, thev_666 said:

@OJ I had read your post many times and bookmarked it. After struggling to perfect total football tactics like @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s famous Ajax 3-4-3 tactic which gave me great returns in older FMs, I decided to turn to your post for a heavy possession based tactic where my team didnt give away the ball cheaply + didnt concede easy counters/long ball goals + scored beautiful team move goals. I decided to take Lille, which might not be a top team which this tactic might be better suited too but they have many technical players and some wonderkids to build on and I thought they could be a good starting point for a save where I focus on super-possession football inspired by your post.

So far in the friendlies im seeing amazing stuff. Its exactly like you mention. Ultra-possession but with a cutting edge and without giving away counters. Some of the moves are breathtaking to watch and I feel a sense of justice. So far so good and im hoping the number of chances and goals will increase as my players get more familiar. 

I'm pretty much sold on most of the TI's, PI,s and player roles. I just have one doubt. The F9 role. As you yourself mentioned FM20 doesn't give a good account of the role. In earlier games it was super effective and I've seen great play in @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s 3-4-3 with a false nine at the helm. My suggestion was a tweak I did to the 3-4-3 which seemed to work better. Changing that role to a Complete Forward (Support). It gave me better results there. Do you think using this role at the head of your tactic would also be beneficial?

Hey,

Apologies for the super late reply, last couple of months have been a bit hectic so haven't been on the forum nor playing.

Happy to hear about your promising results, did your team keep it up throughout the season?

The Complete Forward on support is very similar and can work equally good or better, I've stuck with the F9 with the PPM mods as for me personally it's the most "pure" role for the striker in a total football 433, so mainly just personal "puritanical" reasons here hehe.

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

Last couple of months have been a bit hectic so haven't been on the forum nor playing, but just loaded up the save again to finish the season I've been talking about in earlier posts.

Will just give a quick snapshot of where we are at the moment; we've managed to stay unbeaten in ALL competitions thus far, and if we can keep it up till the end and win all comps it would be my best ever season in any FM I think. So the stakes are high and the toughest games are still to come. It's mid-March in game, these are the latest results and the current remaining fixtures on the calendar:

1812106365_ScreenShot2020-08-08at17_02_44.thumb.png.64e8d0ab58fec2ad6a94838f3d7c8502.png

659667143_ScreenShot2020-08-08at17_03_03.thumb.png.8a1eccefec19cd68e12f8f10a10821f9.png

As promised way back when, once I finish the season will do a full review.

Edit: As a side note, anyone have any recommendations for a screen video capture software? Fine if it's not free as long as it's not crazy expensive. For the season review want to also do a highlights package with better quality than the previous clips. Thanks!

Edited by OJ
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I have an Nvidia card and GeForce experience can capture, it's pretty easy and ok quality. Otherwise you can dive into obs studio, it is good just not very user friendly.

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On 08/08/2020 at 17:24, 04texag said:

I have an Nvidia card and GeForce experience can capture, it's pretty easy and ok quality. Otherwise you can dive into obs studio, it is good just not very user friendly.

Thanks, however forgot to mention one crucial part, which is that I'm on Mac haha. So unfortunately will have to look for another option.

Back  on topic, I finished the season and have gotten to halfway point in the league (Boxing Day) in the next already. Before getting into what I'm doing in the new season (changed tactics a bit), will review some key things from last. Did manage to go all the way till the end unbeaten, which I'm super happy about, so it means we lifted all the 6 titles on offer in the season. Really only achieved this with adjusting tactics as per what I covered in first post, plus good squad management. Otherwise especially in the second half of the season I think we would have dropped more points, with AI looking to counter my tactics and playing a lot of park the bus in practically every match, including the top teams.

This is the last set of fixtures we had:

2080388243_ScreenShot2020-08-12at23_24_17.thumb.png.cc41fe3bfd39fcff602ad05ef005ea34.png

One of the big goals for the season was to score and assist collectively as equally as possible, i.e. have a lot of variation in our attacks to be as hard to stop as possible. The team achieved this with flying colours, I think this must be my most equal G/A distribution within a squad.

Goals:

2045270542_ScreenShot2020-08-12at23_37_07.thumb.png.e06593abacf7c23cd0735267f842fac1.png

 

Assists:

1194326513_ScreenShot2020-08-12at23_37_28.thumb.png.a0b989ac9f3647b923ef7fe747852150.png

 

Per position as below, though some of the players played in various roles in some matches, so will go by the role they played for the majority of the season.

 

RB

Bellerin 33 apps, 3 goals, 7 assists

Pelissier 28(7) apps, 1 goal, 15 assists

 

CD

Upamecano 36(2) apps, 3 goals, 3 assists

Saliba 34 apps, 3 goals, 3 assists

Todibo 27(3) apps, 2 goals, 2 assists

Alvarez 30 apps, 4 goals, 4 assists

 

LB

Tierney 33 apps, 1 goal, 3 assists

Martinez 29(1) apps, 5 goals, 4 assists

 

CDM

de Jong 35(4) apps, 2 goals, 7 assists

Torreira 28)(6) apps, 8 goals (7 pens), 1 assist

 

MCR

Willock 28(5) apps, 11 goals 6 assists

Albarracin 28(1) apps, 12 goals 4 assists

Sacavem 12(8) apps, 1 goal, 4 assists

 

MCL

Christian 34(5) apps, 8 goals, 4 assists

Smith-Rowe 27(6) apps, 7 goals, 5 assists

 

AMR

Pepe 35(2) apps, 18 goals, 20 assists

Nelson 28(14) apps, 20 goals, 12 assists

Kellet 16(10) apps, 16 goals, 6 assists

 

AML

Havertz 30(5) apps, 14 goals, 4 assists

Saka 20(1) apps, 6 goals, 9 assists

 

ST

Martinelli 31(2) apps, 17 goals, 4 assists

Thompson 25(11) apps, 14 goals, 8 assists

 

Final league table looks as follows, my base goal for every season is to score 100+ and concede less than 20, so in that respect as well the team did well. The ultimate goal is to try to beat Aston Villa's 128 goal record, this far the closest we've gotten is 117 goals in 2025/2026.

427059477_ScreenShot2020-08-13at00_07_41.thumb.png.12f7d44ca52c35cd6121e86f1afcfcfe.png

 

We were top or near the top in every category team stats wise, which is as well what you are looking for. The only stat I'm not totally happy about is the clear cut chances one, though IMO the ME doesn't always count them totally correctly (comparing to what I'm seeing play out), however another thing that makes it more difficult for us to create tons of huge clear chances is that since we're the number 1 ranked team in the world on reputation, every team plays very defensive against us pretty much throughout the season, and often even when they go 1 or 2 goals down.  Still, this is one of the aspects will again try to improve in the new season.

2039024221_ScreenShot2020-08-13at00_08_13.thumb.png.b6bbf908da6011abc45b2a36d43f41e5.png

385039719_ScreenShot2020-08-13at00_16_31.thumb.png.a8a00aeda265a57c382881f1ae9f852c.png

 

Next up will start writing about the latest tactical variations, the main tactic in the new season I'm using is a strikerless 433 essentially, as even with all the adjustments I'm still not totally happy about the False 9 in the buildup phase, and then another one to counter a 5 backline formation, like a 532 etc, which is the hardest to crack with the other variations I have. The latter is still very much a work in progress, as I haven't faced that many teams that play a 5 backline, plus the players are not totally fluent yet either, and I'm not myself sure either on all the roles etc.

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