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Gian Piero Gasperini at Atalanta Case Study


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This was pure joy to read! Excellent work, looking forward following this.

You have given the  AMC (S) a lot of PIs but regarding the"close down more" - I cant seem to get the AMC S to close down more, the bar is full. Or have I misunderstood something?

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Great Works.

In my opinion there are two things missing that are basic features of Gasperini style. I think they are impossible to replicate here.

1. CB forward movement. As you can see in your picture when you describe the attacking the box on right side, there is a lot of space between the 3 CB and the other players. One of the, probably the left Cb, should be at least 15-20 meters forward. And also during build up is not rare that Toloi will move up to opposite area.

2. Roaming. Another aspect difficult to improve here. During the match there are a continuous roaming between the player in the side chain. For example the build up start with Hateboer wide, De Roon (or Pasalic) that link with defense, Ilicic wide forward. Suddendly Ilicic drop, Pasalic move wide and Hateboer goes forward....than Ilicic move wide, Hateboer come back and Pasalic goes bombing in the space.....I don't know really how to implement this in FM terms.

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3 hours ago, Mutumba said:

This was pure joy to read! Excellent work, looking forward following this.

You have given the  AMC (S) a lot of PIs but regarding the"close down more" - I cant seem to get the AMC S to close down more, the bar is full. Or have I misunderstood something?

It’s a tough one. If my the opposition have a great number 6 I was man markings them. But it then restricted gomez in a sense. It’s very hard in fm to recreate Gómez’s initial press. But really as long as he breaks the central area and takes the 6 just behind the forwards am happy. As that is his main job. Although he does press high he doesn’t follow the pivot say all the way. Am sure it covered in one of my resource link the defensive principles one possibly. 
 

thanks very much am glad you enjoy reading the first post. 

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2 hours ago, Ivan787 said:

1. CB forward movement. As you can see in your picture when you describe the attacking the box on right side, there is a lot of space between the 3 CB and the other players. One of the, probably the left Cb, should be at least 15-20 meters forward. And also during build up is not rare that Toloi will move up to opposite area.

2. Roaming. Another aspect difficult to improve here. During the match there are a continuous roaming between the player in the side chain. For example the build up start with Hateboer wide, De Roon (or Pasalic) that link with defense, Ilicic wide forward. Suddendly Ilicic drop, Pasalic move wide and Hateboer goes forward....than Ilicic move wide, Hateboer come back and Pasalic goes bombing in the space.....I don't know really how to implement this in FM terms.

1. These two examples i used to attack the box was just to set the tone of the wide play. It was more to show the wingbacks and forward as we hit the box. Tolói more so than palomino definitely bombs forward. I have some good examples of the RCB and LCB acting similar to fullback. Unfortunately in fm I again it’s her hard to recreate it in its purest form. I’ve only really scratched the surface in terms of analysis as I felt I was going on a-bit so there will be more clips rather than over view shots next that hopefully sees some of this higher CB movement.

 

2 similar to one but it’s more or less impossible to recreate there rotations   But i intend to cover it in my next post. So people can see how they do it in real life. But It’s very complex movement to get in the ME

7 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Rotations of positions in particular CB's WB's And CM's (this has proved very difficult but have made its happen on occasions)

I mentioned it when talking before. if someone knows how to make it happen I would be over the moon to here as as I tried so much to the point of getting the to swap position in game buts that’s no how I see it working  it’s more a unique trigger than just then swapping position 

thanks for your in put exactly what I wanted to create by no means is it perfect Atlanta yet  am still on that journey 

 

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2 hours ago, davidbarros2 said:

One of the best threads and OP I've seen in a long time.

Looking forward for the next updates!

Thanks very much mate a lot of work but really enjoyed it. Hopefully have another update Sunday. 
 

1 hour ago, crusadertsar said:

Top-notch read! Very detailed and well-tought out :applause:

thanks very much mate. You can take some credit as reading your stuff give me a lot of inspiration 

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Liked what you wrote, but as I wrote in a previous thread, I would use the Ilicic as a trquartista and the Zapata as complete forward on supoort :)

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46 minutes ago, josel15 said:

Liked what you wrote, but as I wrote in a previous thread, I would use the Ilicic as a trquartista and the Zapata as complete forward on supoort :)

yes the front two is definitely up for debate. And I totally agree Zapata has everything he’s big strong quick can dribble as well. Complete forward was my go to for him  but didn’t Have anyone capable enough to play the role. Ilicic gave me a lot more pain but towards the end he got a hatrick and the new boy playing his role had 4 goals and 4 assists in 7 games so se what happens. 

Definitely an option and one I would definitely explore. 

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18 hours ago, SixPointer said:

yes the front two is definitely up for debate. And I totally agree Zapata has everything he’s big strong quick can dribble as well. Complete forward was my go to for him  but didn’t Have anyone capable enough to play the role. Ilicic gave me a lot more pain but towards the end he got a hatrick and the new boy playing his role had 4 goals and 4 assists in 7 games so se what happens. 

Definitely an option and one I would definitely explore. 

Of course, and a tactic recreation can't be really done excpet with the appropiate/same team. It must be hard to find a Ilicic or a Zapata in the argentinian league, so sometimes giving them a generic role and apply the same principles is the best one person can do! :)

 

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5 hours ago, josel15 said:

Of course, and a tactic recreation can't be really done excpet with the appropiate/same team. It must be hard to find a Ilicic or a Zapata in the argentinian league, so sometimes giving them a generic role and apply the same principles is the best one person can do! :)

 

Well that is true. It’s more of a journey as well I’ve set out to play as them studied it and set about making it happen. Maybe 3/4 transfer window we will be there. Will have another update tomorrow as well which will reveal a lot more stuff that’s went on up to this point. The players playing the roles will be part of that so will give you a good idea of who am using as who. 

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Awesome thread, great work :applause:

I'm particularly interested in your 'magic' AMC role. I've really struggled to get use an AMC effectively, as have a lot of other people this year. I've tried very similar ideas to you (eg, a 'simple' AM-S  with lots of PIs) but found he rarely gets involved in the build up, mainly just passing out wide or backwards :seagull: Any ideas on what makes this role work well in your system? 

Attacking mentality (not something I've tried yet)?
Other central midfielders tending to move into wide areas to create space?

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I know this doesnt really help you much in your strive towards emulating Atalanta, but I did some testing...

I swapped DLF for TQ, and changed poacher to Complete forward S - and the did a holiday test with Fulham, Leipzig, Atalanta, Ajax, Barcelona and swedish side Hammarby. The results were quite amazing.  Barcelona scored 22 goals, conceded 1 in 7 games. Hammarby undefeated bar one game. Fulham also only lost one game against Bournemouth in the cup. Overall in total I only think I lost two games between all these teams. Mostly wins, one or two draws. 

Just a little FYI.

 

Have you identified which player attributes in FM are important for this tactic to fully work? Sureley something like "off the ball"movement should be a given, right?

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10 hours ago, Manutd1999 said:

Awesome thread, great work :applause:

I'm particularly interested in your 'magic' AMC role. I've really struggled to get use an AMC effectively, as have a lot of other people this year. I've tried very similar ideas to you (eg, a 'simple' AM-S  with lots of PIs) but found he rarely gets involved in the build up, mainly just passing out wide or backwards :seagull: Any ideas on what makes this role work well in your system? 

Attacking mentality (not something I've tried yet)?
Other central midfielders tending to move into wide areas to create space?

Tbh this is my first time getting a pure ten working how I want it. I played as Banik Ostrava when FM First came out. Player there Robert hruby he’s an ozil Type tried to get him playing in the ten. Never worked from 8 was a absolutely phenomenal but there I played with two wide players in the am strata. Which to me kills his space to weave his magic. Where as here I’m playing with wing backs. And two midfielders that are trying to play in half spaces along with forwards. The ten has the whole middle to himself. Or at least that’s the aim he also has two striker moving in front two supply.  Like gomez in real life. Getting a pure ten has been very difficult to get recently as it’s a dying breed. Due to the fact most teams now use a anchor man against them so playmakers are now much more of the deeper variety in the 6 position. Coupled with the fact most teams try to press high now. The 10 a luxury player is gone in a sense. Am glad the game replicates how difficult that is. Here for me he’s definitely the most talented player at the club which obviously helps. He has all the big teams chasing him so in Argentina he is going to be a star. Tomorrow we will a update with stats and squad stuff hopefully that well help 

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4 hours ago, Mutumba said:

I know this doesnt really help you much in your strive towards emulating Atalanta, but I did some testing...

I swapped DLF for TQ, and changed poacher to Complete forward S - and the did a holiday test with Fulham, Leipzig, Atalanta, Ajax, Barcelona and swedish side Hammarby. The results were quite amazing.  Barcelona scored 22 goals, conceded 1 in 7 games. Hammarby undefeated bar one game. Fulham also only lost one game against Bournemouth in the cup. Overall in total I only think I lost two games between all these teams. Mostly wins, one or two draws. 

Just a little FYI.

 

Have you identified which player attributes in FM are important for this tactic to fully work? Sureley something like "off the ball"movement should be a given, right?

You could well be right. Tbh I never holiday games. It’s probably why it takes me so long to get through my seasons. Even over on my career updates stuff. I love reacting to what am seeing in front of me. 
 

but onto your point when I done my analysis of Atalanta some 4 weeks ago. The front 3 was always going to be tricky. Gomez I feel I have as good as I can get. With more progression in the save he will become that role. zapata role is a compete forward. In my notes I took down I wrote complete. Cause he does a bit of everything and has the full package. There a video I’ll attach later which made me decide this. He is 100% complete forward. As he a target man poacher deep lying toward advanced forward rolled into one. I don’t have someone capable of that role of similar mould yet. That’s why i refer to journey. Am not Atalanta so I can’t just use there players. Ilicic role is a whole other problem. In my studies before I stated trials. I had Af,dlf,IF,treq and SS and had a go with all. And with my players available I had most success in his movement and play as DLF. 

You said you holiday. That proves you won did you check to see the games if it was illic type play cause I’ve now seen most think he’s treq so could well give it an extended trial if you’ve seen that in all the seasons. 
 

in terms of key attributes off the ball is key cause of there rotations. But for me a lean more to the elements of work rate and team work. There such a hardworking team and play for each other and know each other’s Strengths so I lean to that. But from front to back there also all technical players. The middle two optimise this. There fluid so all need to be capable in all areas of the game. 

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Sorry for the delay on the update guys been back to work this week. Should hopefully be out before the weekend if not definitely Sunday 

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The opening post is excellent.  A lot of effort, some great concepts, plenty of detail.  I bet you are having a great save @SixPointer as a result of all you've invested.

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7 hours ago, Enzo_Francescoli said:

This is a great read. Micromanaging your players' attacking and defending movement, something I too have been experimenting with lately, should warrant its own separate thread.

Very much so. Next update will have more info on specific player movement. Should have it finished off tomorrow and posted. 

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5 hours ago, Robson 07 said:

The opening post is excellent.  A lot of effort, some great concepts, plenty of detail.  I bet you are having a great save @SixPointer as a result of all you've invested.

Thanks mate. Yeah a lot of work went in. So much research to begin with followed by a lot of trials. So in a sense it’s been enjoyable there. I’ve yet to really sit down and get right threw. The league season is done. Which is where the next batch of analysis will come from. Before we go onto the supercoppa so we’re still in season one. It is definitely a journey as the players get better roles will change. Especially the front two as i still feel they need to give more at this stage. But other than that we are looking good. 

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5 hours ago, kazm said:

Hows it going?

Update should be out tomorrow  I’ve been back to work and it’s hectic. Should be finished writing It later tonight. 

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42 minutes ago, kazm said:

Cool, looking forward to it. Using it with Chievo, going decent but leaking goals. 

Very strange. Am the opposite solid as a rock but need more goals. Suppose player ability plays a part 

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exellent thread! Its great reading how people try and succeed in implementing a game plan.

I got a question regarding your defensive play, as while trying to play with a back 3 I find it hard to defend against both attacking fullbacks and inside forwards. How do you manage to suppress their attacks? do you utilize special man marking instructions?

 

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Gian Piero Gasperini Episode Two

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Intro

In episode two we will cover some squad analysis just to give everyone and idea of what kind of players we have at the club right now and how we are looking to develop them. We will cover some of the key stats I was looking to achieve both team and player. 

Squad Analysis

I have never managed a club with so many promising talents, I counted 16 players described as promising talent. It's clear to say that the club is just a conveyor belt for young talents like Atalanta. The link below is a good read to get a little bit of insight into this. I am fully committed to give these players a chance you will see this in how many I have promoted but will also look to bring players in with a point to prove much like Gasperini himself.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/47961674

Goalkeeper

Miguel Acosta

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The young 18-year-old has stepped up from the under 18’s due to the fact we just sold Lucas chaves. The kid has some real potential to become a top-class sweeper keeper. Three clean sheets in his first 7 games, 2 under 20 caps a real gem. He already has high stats in some of the key attributes. Future number one for his country.

Key attributes for role

  • Passing

  • kicking

  • Composure

  • First touch

  • Rushing out
  • Commanding area

  • One on ones

  • Reflexes

  • Positioning

Are all key to how Gollini plays the role due to the fact he has such high stats for passing under pressure along with the distance he stays from his goal line. Along with some standard sweeper keeper attributes.

RCB

Miguel Angel Torren

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Club captain Miguel Angel Torren is our Toloi, Natural as BPD stopper and limited ability to play as right back matches some of Toloi’s key features. Comfortable on the ball relatively quick and can dribble and cross to an extent. So far, he has been a solid performer and is often the basis for starting attacks. Problem here is he does not have high OTB which in this role with rotations is key, however he has made an impressive 16 dribbles so far this season.

Key attributes for role

  • Dribbling

  • First Touch

  • Passing

  • Technique

  • Composure

  • Decisions

  • Of the Ball

  • Vison

  • Acceleration

  • Pace

These I find key to the Toloi role as he is the most comfortable on the ball and can often be found marauding up the flank. As well as being an astute passer of the ball. The usual defence stuff is important but like stated before of the three Toloi is the weakest in that department.

CB

Nicolas Thaller

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The 21-year-old just arrived for 1.7 million after selling the aging Carlos Quintana. Like Berat Djimsiti he is the most basic of the three centre backs. He already looks a great bit of business in his first 7 games he has 100% tackling ratio and has settled well into his role. He has most of the key attributes to already be a solid centre back but, His aggression is however a weakness due to the fact Atalanta do defend aggressively in their own half.

Key attributes for role

  • Heading

  • Marking

  • Tackling

  • Anticipation

  • Concentration

  • Positioning

These to me are the absolute main stays for the role having pace is a bonus as Djimsiti is well known for being quick.

LCB

Dardo Torres

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Dardo is another youngster who has stepped up from the academy to play the palomino role. Much like Torren, Dardo can play at left back which makes it ideal for getting that wide CB movement. Palomino is somewhere between Toloi and Djimsiti, He is not basic but not also has comfortable as Toloi I think Dardo represents this perfect and at 19 he will only improve. Marking is a little worrying, so we have him working on that.

Key attributes for role

  • Dribbling
  • Passing

  • Of the Ball

  • Acceleration

  • Pace
  • Aggression

  • Heading

  • Marking

  • Tackling

  • Anticipation

  • Concentration

  • Positioning

The key attributes are a mix of the previous two centre backs some off the more technical ball playing attributes have been knocked off to match palomino being slightly less of a BPD than Toloi. Palomino is however still a very solid and aggressive defender, Dardo has some way to go in terms of that he probably has about the same level of on the ball play.

RWB

Lucio Carbone

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Carbone is yet again another academy graduate. The 18-year-old is very much a dynamic wing back like Hans Hateboer his physical attributes are great. More than capable of getting up and down the only downside for the kid is his crossing ability which of course we have him working tirelessly along with the PPM gets forward whenever possible.

Key attributes for role

  • Acceleration

  • Balance

  • Natural fitness

  • Pace

  • Stamina

  • Strength

  • Work rate

  • Teamwork

  • Off the ball

  • Determination

  • Aggression

  • Crossing

  • Tackling

At 18 Carbone is well on his way to becoming a top right wing back. Much like Hateboer he is not the most technically gifted, but his physical style matches that of the flying Dutchman. therefore, the key attributes are more on the physical side. He has also managed to grab himself a goal and assist in his maiden season from only 14 starts am happy with how he is looking.

LWB

Elias Gomez

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Very technically gift wing back with many of the same characteristics as Robin Goosens. He also can play in the midfield slot a trait of Goosens also. He has managed to rack up 6 assists for left wing back which am more than happy with I would like to see more goals added of course to replicate Goosens we did have shoots more often activated but he kept putting them in the stands.

Key attributes for role

  • Crossing

  • Dribbling

  • Long shots

  • Passing

  • Tackling

  • Technique

  • Composure

  • Determination

  • Off the ball

  • Teamwork

  • Work rate

  • Acceleration

  • Pace

  • Stamina

Elias definitely has a bit of the Goosens about him, a very attacking wing back which has seen him set up many goals if I could have his long shots and off the ball boosted I would feel a lot closer to a true Goosens but for now he is certainly one of the best players at the club. He is the more technical of our two wing backs which again is reflected in key attribute choice it also gives us that same sort of balance that is going on at Atalanta.

RCM

Tomas Belmonte

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What a signing is all to be said here. Perfect for the De Roon role. Tenacious midfielder who is extremely intelligent and hardworking. He is a carving copy of De Roon right down to the point of his PPM of dives into tackles, currently working on drops deep for the ball to try help give is that De Roon like movement of dropping for the ball after that we will work on arriving late in the area.

Key attributes for role

  • First touch

  • Marking

  • Tackling

  • Aggression

  • Anticipation

  • Bravery

  • Composure

  • Concentration

  • Decisions

  • Determination

  • Off the ball

  • Positioning

  • Teamwork

  • Work rate

  • Natural fitness

  • Stamina

In 8 games at the club Belmonte has already proved he has what it takes to fulfil the De Roon role. With 2 goals and one assist already. Attribute wise you can see how complete the role is full of Intelligence and work rate. De Roon is the most technical of player its more his brain this reflected here. Belmonte is of that vain and will handle the responsibility of being the man that makes everything tick.

LCM

Fausto Vera

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The man in Freuler role is one of the most highly rated centre midfielders in Argentina and is testament to the club’s great academy. Very much the complete midfielder like Freuler himself, probably why Inter Milan are interested already. He has had difficult season so far mainly due to being tried out in so many roles plus even though he was already in the first team he hadn't made many appearances.

Key attributes for role

  • Dribbling

  • First touch

  • Passing

  • Tackling

  • Technique

  • Aggression

  • Anticipation
  • Composure

  • Decisions

  • Determination

  • Off the ball

  • Teamwork

  • Work rate

  • Acceleration

  • Agility

  • Balance

  • Natural fitness

  • Stamina

As expected there is a lot of key attributes due to the fact the Freuler role is so complete. He has the work rate and tenacity of De Roon but also has the technical ability of Mario Pašalić. Vera himself is shaping up to be a fantastic complete midfielder worthy of the Freuler role. Hopefully now he can add so more goals.

AMC

Matko Miljevic

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By some distance, the most talented player I promoted and straight into the Gomez role for him. There are many similarities between the two both like to play on the left as well a centre which is ideal, but more so both are highly creative and hardworking which is unusual for a number ten. He does lack flair but at 18 he his is sublime for this role. 

Key attributes for role

  • Dribbling

  • First touch

  • Long shots

  • Passing

  • Technique

  • Determination

  • Flair

  • Off the ball

  • Vison

  • Work rate

  • Acceleration

  • Agility

  • Natural fitness

  • Pace

Highly technical role but also still has his defensive duties, pressing the pivot and the when in possession is aloud full freedom do what he likes. it’s a hybrid role so there is a mix of a second striker and playmaker of course a lot of the way Atalanta play is built around this so it crucial that the player here is capable, Matko certainly is and now the team is settled after trial up on trial he has hit 3 goals in 5 assists he like Gomez is our star man who links everything.

RCF

Franko Troyansky

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Brought in to play the Ilicic role. He so far has 4 goals 4 assists in 6 games which is a great start. Clearly not the finished article nor is he as good as Ilicic but in terms of what we could get he looks a great addition. Likes to move into channels can blast them and he is left footed. Good Dribbler, finisher as well as being strong and aggressive. All round he is a technically good striker.

Key Attributes for role

  • Crossing

  • Dribbling

  • Finishing

  • First touch

  • Long shots

  • Passing

  • Technique

  • Anticipation

  • Decisions

  • Flair

  • Off the ball

  • Vison

  • Balance

The role Ilicic plays is sublime he has had the best season of his life, technically he is sublime but also very clever, especially in his movement. These key attributes totally sum up what he is all about. Troyansky is not a patch on him but he will make do for the time being as he ticks many off these boxes.

LCF

Gaston Veron

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The young man who must fill the role of Zapata. Broke through 2 years ago making two appearances then 11 the following season, I promoted him full time to first team and he know has 25 appearances this season. Problem being he played a lot as complete forward in the early stages and he is not anywhere good enough to fulfil that role. Poacher role has seen him score 7 goals which am happy with for his first full season.

Key attributes for role

  • Finishing

  • Heading

  • Aggression

  • Anticipation

  • Bravery

  • Composure

  • Decisions

  • Determination

  • Off the ball

  • Acceleration

  • Balance

  • Jumping reach

  • Natural fitness

  • Pace

  • Stamina

  • Strength

Very physical role due to the fact Zapata is so strong and quick. But he is not just a big target man as you can see in the mental attributes required here. Veron again is some way off Zapata but has filled a hole while we identify a target. He does however provide great off the ball movement and strength. He also for his age is physically sound a few years and he may prove to be deadly.

Summary of Squad

As you can see its by no means Atalanta level, but after all we are playing in Argentina and it is a journey, I want to work the club up similar to how Gian Piero Gasperini also has. We have a good nucleus of talent. I think the centre midfield three are perfect the club will not get much better than them 3 player and they all replicate each role perfect. The back 3 are solid enough if Torren were a little younger there would be a great potential for the three to be long term. Keeper looks a superb prospect and the wing backs are a great fit, we do however struggle in the forward position at this minute and time. There is still a lot of talent bursting down in the 19’s which am sure we will all see in the future. Redondo’s son looks on the cusp of following in his father’s footsteps.

In terms of attributes we can see each role has its on specific key ones needed but the main stays that pop up all over are aggression, work rate, determination, teamwork and last but certainly not least of the ball. These are key to the Atalanta ideas it is what every player must fundamentally buy into due to the intense pressing and movement in possession none of these can be missed. The technical side of the game comes more from individual talent or trait which shines due to the wonderful core of the team. A great mix of technical, intelligent, physical players all buying into one great philosophy works wonders for the team.

Team Stats and Data Analysis

Here we will look at the teams and players stats for the league season as its now finished. We can delve into the league season before I play the supercoppa. There will be some clips along with the data and more in depth about Atalanta playing style along with some examples.

League table

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Delighted with the first league season. 4th place when expected to finish 12th and nailing down a Copa Libertadores place. Much like Atalanta going from mediocre mid table and flirting with relegation to continental slot all while testing serval tactical ideas. The goals scored need to be better but other than that great season. Defensively solid the high pressing and man marking scheme paying off, with one of the best defensive records in the league. Best home record in the league also is nice, making the Diego Armando Maradona a fortress to be reckoned with, much like the Stadio Atleti azzurri d’Italia what is well known for being packed out with ultras.

Team Stats

Defensive

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We can see in these three stats that we excelled in 3 areas

  • Goals Conceded

  • Tackles won ratio

  • Goals conceded from corners

The fact we are conceding under a goal a game is wonderful. Atalanta are not considered to be defensive team in anyway shape or form but like we seen earlier they are classed as one of the best pressing teams and well known for aggressive defending I feel that is reflected here with the tackling ratio as well. Happy with our defence from set plays, also in one of the articles I used it stated that they were good at this, but I have also come across some stats that contradict that as well. One thing missing is headers won we ranked 8th I would like to see more after all it is a big part of defending, they force opponents long and the defence win the aerial duel.

Build Up

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 Here we have some great stats that point to Atalanta’s style

  • Average possession

  • Pass completion ratio

  • Cross completed

  • Chances created

Average possession and pass completion tie in nicely with their possession-based style of play build from the back. Cross completed is massive one for me they cross ball so often and their play is focused to the wide areas so am delighted to have this working so early on it was on the things I stated I wanted to see in the OP. But probably even bigger is the chances created well renowned for being attacking and scoring lots of goals the fact we rank second in the first full league season is something that is truly delightful.

Attacking

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Finally, the attacking side which we all know is so key another two great stats

  • Goals scored

  • Shots on target

Ranking 5th for goals scored is real positive of course here its where we want to sit top of the pile but for the time being I can accept this there is so great attacking sides in the league especially river who just never stopped scoring. Second most amount of shots on target again another thing stated in the OP that I wanted to see lots of shots so again incredibly happy to see this play out like this in our maiden season.

The downfall

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The main reason we really did not have a spectacular season, our conversion rate of chances was shambolic. lower than teams that got relegated. So an area needing key work for sure.

Player Stats

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The maverick Matko Miljevic showed at 18 years old he is already capable of being the talisman in the Gomez role. 5 man of the match performances, 2nd for chances created add in his 5 assists and 3 goals and it is a fantastic first season for the kid. Also nice to see Gomez our left wing back creating plenty chances something we now want to see happening on the right.

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Young Gaston Veron only has 7 league goals, but I could well have been a different story for the youngster trying to play the Zapata role. He ranks as 3rd for amount of shots and 4th for the amount on target if he can start finding the back of the net a little more there is a good chance he could cement his place rather than we find someone else.

Video Analysis

I will go through a small section of video analysis with little clips. Showing some goals, player movements, pressing and general style of play. I planned this as full update with lots more detail and comparison but I feel I need to give more of an overview of how things have been working so, this will be a little taster of what's to come when we go on to do full game analysis in the next couple of episodes. I hope all the Gifs work nicely for everyone to see.

Goals

Banfield (A) 1-1

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  • Left hand side overload

  • Switched to the right side leaving 1v1

  • Cut back from the WB

  • Before the De Roon role smashes home
  • Colman positioning like Gomez

Superb show of the overload working its magic before a lovely combo replicating Hateboer and De Roon. A key thing here is well as you see Colman here playing in the Gomez role, he is key to linking the play and making the switch for the overload again he is only the really central player.

Huracan (H) 2-0

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  • Building from the back

  • Torren (Toloi) Aggressive RCB movement dribbling and acting like a full back in half space

  • Right hand side overload with diamond shape

  • Miljevic (Gomez) only true centre mid

  • Left hand side keeps its width

  • Veron (Zapata) drops and lays off

  • Vera (Freuler) stays in left half space

  • Gomez (Goosens) hits the byline to cross

Great example of Atalanta from front to back. We see aggressive wide play and switches threw the Gomez role to the opposite half space. Both forwards offer deeper movement to link at different times. We have a diamond shape on the right in the early build up stages for me the only thing missing was player rotation.

Boca (A) 1-2

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  • Goalkeeper breaks the press finding Miljevic (Gomez)

  • Wing backs high and wide

  • Nice interchange between midfield 3

  • Hauche (Ilicic) drops to link and lay off

  • Wing back attacks the byline before crossing

  • Opposite wing back attacks far post

This shows a more direct approach by evading Boca's high press, again the side keeps its width the strikers both offer short and in behind at different stages. Both wing backs aggressively attack and in the end the box is packed forcing an own goal.

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  • Goalkeeper breaks the press finding Miljevic (Gomez)

  • Ball is worked into a right-hand side overload with diamond

  • Penetrating pass from Torren (Toloi) into Hauche (Ilicic)

  • Hauche (Ilicic) beautiful touch and lay off to Miljevic (Gomez)

  • Miljevic (Gomez) blasts home

Marvellous Gomez like play here starting off and finishing the move to put us 2 up at Boca. Again, we see the wide centre back heavily involved. The lay off was first class and Gomez like blast into the back of the net. Both goals against Boca are more of I direct type but Gollini is known for aggressive passing and breaking the press so again it was nice to see it pay off. Its one of the main reasons I don’t touch his distribution as it leads to overkill trying to play out from the back no matter what.

EL National (A) 1-1

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  • Lovely switch from Ibarra (Freuler)

  • Overloading defence with forwards

  • Free man costs in after switch

  • Carbone (Hateboer) like movement and finish

 

And finally, our RWB Carbone (Hateboer) gets in at the back post for a goal. Nice play from the opposite full back Olivera (Goosens) who then plays it into Ibarra (Freuler) who switches to the unmarked wing back who is free to roam in and finish. The two forwards occupy the defence allowing the wing back to waltz in.

Pressing

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  • Counter-pressing

  • High press

  • Man marking

  • Forcing long/wide ball

Here is a great example of all our pressing, the ball is headed down by there centre back Miljevic (Gomez) and Vera (Freuler) swarm the ball receiver instantly therefore forcing the ball back to the goalkeeper. Veron (Zapata) then side presses the keeper covering the opponents  right flank while Hauche (Ilicic) drops into a more man oriented press on the left the goalie is forced wide and long the Carbone (Hateboer) wins the header a quick interchange with Hauche (Ilicic) and the ball is threaded to Veron (Zapata) Who should really score.

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  • Build up play
  • High RWB
  • Dropping Gomez
  • Diamond/overload
  • Counter pressing
  • Transitioning from defence to attack

A bit of everything here in this clip we have, Nice wide build up play on the right with a diamond/overload. Miljevic drops deep and then goes for a killer ball, its intercepted Carbone then instantly wins the ball back plays it to the forward and the build-up begins again with a great switch of play from the de Roon role the LWB is left one on one his cross is poor which is a shame.

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  • Man/space-oriented press
  • High press

  • Defensive shape

  • Man marking

  • Forcing keeper into mistake

From the opposition deep free kick the defensive shape is perfect man marking deep with a space/man oriented high press as soon as the ball is played the number 9(Gomez) role presses with the centre forward, forcing the player into a bad pass which the Ilicic and De Roon role pressure forcing back to the keeper who is pressed all the way and forces an error.

Build Up Play/Player Movement

Disclaimer this section could be a whole update so I will go through some brief examples and in the future in full game analysis we will cover it in more depth with more insight into real life Atalanta 

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Nice RCB play before switching the ball and fining the LWB one on one after a right-hand side overload he beats his man and gets his shot away. A great example of Toloi and Goosens.

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Miljevic gets on the ball centrally and works the ball through the half space and back before a great ball finds the RWB advanced who crosses and Version narrowly misses. Great example of Gomez being central and working the ball through the channels while its very Hateboer and Zapata in the final third although Zapata scores it.

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Torres LCB finds Veron RCF wide who works the ball down the line before finding Miljevic breaking down the middle who shifts the ball before firing at goal. Great link up replication of Zapata and Gomez

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Nice right hand side diamond overload is then worked inside before being switched wide again the crossed for the wing back arriving at back post. I decent replication of the diamond set up in build up and how the ball is worked wide. Its great Hateboer and Goosens one attacking to cross the other looking to arrive late and score.

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Great cross from wide Veron drops deep before laying off to the on-rushing Torres. Great Zapata movement from Veron and Torres is carbon copy for Goosens here.

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If you look closely here in the build-up, you can see the team overloads both half spaces in diamond like shapes. The ball is then worked from one half space to another and back before some neat interchanges on the edge of the box unfortunately it comes to nothing. (this is Me only touching on diamonds there will be more to come)

Summary

So, there we have it, episode two. I have tried to set the tone even more here following on from the OP, so people can see more of the in-game stuff, Like my squad and how we have started to play and what the league finished like. I have 4 games saved for full analysis and will do each game as an episode where we will have more comparison and facts about real life Atalanta. I hope everyone enjoys it and it helps them have more insight into our first league campaign on the journey. Sorry for the long delay work is hectic after return after lockdown so I have slowly put this together day by day hopefully the full games will be a bit shorter but packed with relevant info. I hope all the clips work as then none of it will make sense really let me know if they don't and ill try come up with a solution. 

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27 minutes ago, Serios Sim said:

exellent thread! Its great reading how people try and succeed in implementing a game plan.

I got a question regarding your defensive play, as while trying to play with a back 3 I find it hard to defend against both attacking fullbacks and inside forwards. How do you manage to suppress their attacks? do you utilize special man marking instructions?

 

I used to defend narrow but it was killing me. I think the fact I have the centre backs playing wide in build up helps me when the ball is turnover as there close to wingers/IF and in OI’s I tell the full backs to be man marked and the cbs to be pressed to try get that space/man oriented press going on. The two midfield roles are also are playing wide which helps. Especially the Carrilero throw in the wings backs and it’s not seeing us being battered down the sides. Although a few games it has cost us. 

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On 06/06/2020 at 00:26, SixPointer said:

Very strange. Am the opposite solid as a rock but need more goals. Suppose player ability plays a part 

Cool, I restarted with Red Star but had to take a break after being kicked out of the EL because I hit the woodwork 5 times in one match, losing by 1 goal difference in the end.

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Really great post :thup:
Nice analysis and reasoning for the players and the style you want to mimic.

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On 07/06/2020 at 12:23, kazm said:

Cool, I restarted with Red Star but had to take a break after being kicked out of the EL because I hit the woodwork 5 times in one match, losing by 1 goal difference in the end.

Nothing worse than when you make loads of good chances but can’t find the back of the net. 
 

On 07/06/2020 at 13:58, Djuicer said:

Really great post :thup:
Nice analysis and reasoning for the players and the style you want to mimic.

thanks very much mate 

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This is such an interesting read, thanks for all the effort you've put in. Are there any attributes you'd consider key for every player to have for the system you've created? Having read through I'd assume you'd go with something along the lines of;

First Touch,

Dribbling,

Determination,

Team Work,

Work Rate,

Natural Fitness

 

I'm just thinking of whether to try and follow a similar system and just thinking in terms of squad building.

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On 22/05/2020 at 01:51, SixPointer said:

Both our flying wide men are set to stay wider to stretch the game even more just like Gasperini does. They also venture inside from time to time and both regularly find themselves in the box usually getting onto the end of the others cross. Not as many goals as I would like but as the squad improves, I feel it will come as they get chances.

Has anyone tested if WB(S) with “Gets into opposition area” or “Gets forward whenever possible” traits help them get more chances/more goals?

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3 hours ago, Jrddrkly said:

This is such an interesting read, thanks for all the effort you've put in. Are there any attributes you'd consider key for every player to have for the system you've created? Having read through I'd assume you'd go with something along the lines of;

First Touch,

Dribbling,

Determination,

Team Work,

Work Rate,

Natural Fitness

 

I'm just thinking of whether to try and follow a similar system and just thinking in terms of squad building.

I would agree with them. Read the squad summary section in the episode 2 am sure a list them. One key one your missing is off the ball. There movement is phenomenal. There’s lots of rotations which I’ll look to cover in more depth in episode 3. 

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3 hours ago, Ronaldinho Gaúcho 10 said:

Has anyone tested if WB(S) with “Gets into opposition area” or “Gets forward whenever possible” traits help them get more chances/more goals?

Can’t say I’ve tried it. Could well work. Tbh am pretty happy with there contributions so far. In general goals have been my only weak point so far.

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Ahh wicked mate, yeah I was reading through it and they where the ones that seemed to keep popping up. I admit I missed off the ball though. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm a great fan of Gasperini, thank you so much for your effort, I'm trying your tactic on my save but with a very poor team (Italian serie C).

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On 06/07/2020 at 09:56, sejo said:

I'm a great fan of Gasperini, thank you so much for your effort, I'm trying your tactic on my save but with a very poor team (Italian serie C).

Thanks for reading it’s still very much a work in progress. Unfortunately work has just be too busy after returning lockdown due to coronavirus. Hopefully won’t be too long before I can give more insight and update 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good news guys it’s looking like I’m getting so rotation coming up at work and will get home for a week. So I’ll be able to finally be able to get back to working on this. I know it’s been a long wait. But just been so hectic at work and long trips. Please bare with me 🤣 hopefully having an update out Sunday evening 

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On 22/05/2020 at 01:51, SixPointer said:

Intro

Been playing FM since way back in the CM 00/01days, but I am by no means an expert on the game. I usually write in career updates but have a heavy emphasis on tactical updates. I usually use a certain managers tactics from real life to give me a base to build from, I started this about three years ago, it helps me in looking for what I actually wanted to see from a tactic on the game instead of getting overwhelmed with the tactical creator and turning to plug and play. So with being in lockdown I thought I would use my time and do a total in depth analysis of my tactical idea for my save. Its been a long journey about 30 games so far but its started to click in the last ten games now, however its not the finished article so therefore am open to advice, debate and of course criticism. I will first lay the foundations by going into detail about there system before then turning it into FM and how I built the tactic then we will have some in game analysis then ill follow this up with a few game updates. Should be plenty images and videos for people who don't like to read all my ramblings haha.

The Task

To recreate Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta side, now deemed one of the most exciting teams in Europe rising from mid table mediocrely to champions league football and all on a tight budget, a famed academy That GPG has used to no end has seen them reap the benefits. There high octane and complex attacking football is what drew me to them, some very difficult aspects of there game which is hard to tie down in the ME. Gasperini is know recognised as a innovator but it wasn't so long ago he was sacked by Inter Milan after just 5 games. In the challenge there is a twist I won't be playing as Atalanta, instead as someone who has similar features, Argentinos Juniors now a mid table team that's flirts with relegation, But a famed academy sited as the Ajax of Argentina, which is responsible for many Argentinian greats the list being headed by none other than Diego Armando Maradona who there stadium is named after. A few other key ones Cambiasso, Riquelme and Redondo. Been working on this for some weeks and just as if by magic Tifo put a video out yesterday which will be useful to set the tone.

Resources

I used a lot of total football analysis work problem is you only get 3 articles for 3 and the you have to pay so some people may not be able to access these. There should however be enough extracts in my post which will cover it.

https://betweentheposts.net/atalanta-gian-piero-gasperini-tactics-divine-rise-serie-a-elite/

https://www.holdingmidfield.com/gian-piero-gasperinis-atalanta/

https://totalfootballanalysis.com/team-analysis/atalanta-201920-defensive-principles-action-scout-report-tactical-analysis-

https://totalfootballanalysis.com/team-analysis/atalanta-201920-using-rotations-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics

https://spielverlagerung.com/2020/03/28/video-analysis-atalantas-possession-system/?doing_wp_cron=1589479504.6754209995269775390625

 The rest is all the players which we will use for extracts in the Role selection part

https://statsbomb.com/2019/11/the-two-gianluigis-will-donnarumma-dominate-in-goal-for-the-next-20-years-like-buffon-did-for-the-last-20/

https://thelaziali.com/2018/12/20/atalanta-hateboer-lazio-serie-a-dutch/

https://footballbh.net/2020/04/01/robin-gosens-2019-20-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics/

https://totalfootballanalysis.com/article/marten-de-roon-2019-20-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics

https://forzaitalianfootball.com/2017/10/remo-freuler-has-become-one-of-serie-as-most-complete-midfielders-at-atalanta/

https://serieaanalysis.com/analysis/player-analysis/alejandro-gomez-201920-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics

https://totalfootballanalysis.com/player-analysis/josip-ilicic-201920-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics-2

GPG Philosophy

 

Atalanta favour 3-4-1-2 formation, Although they occasionally field a 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-3. Either way, A back three is what head coach Gian Piero Gasperini favours. Deemed as rigid in the past, His formation is as flexible as it gets. The shape initiates from a solid base in the back three, dating back to Johan Cruyff's Barcelona's and Ajax rich history with three defenders. In the 3-4-1-2 he operates with three centre backs, two wings backs, two central midfielders and two forwards the number ten is filled by the instrumental Papu Gomez.

In offence they like to build from the back with possession, he uses It to pull the opponents out of shape he masters this to develop overloads especially in the wide and half spaces. Rotations of positions are used in these overloads, which usually take up a diamond/rhombus shape to free up space for a player in the diamond the movement is fantastic to watch. The team’s movement is very fluid with every player involved in attacking and defending it’s not unusual to see a CB deep in the opponents half space on the ball. When they get to the final third, they tend to take lots of shots but clever ones and crossing and cutbacks from wing backs are also one of their mainstays.

In defence he deploys a high pressing system with an extremely strict man marking policy, which when applied properly is designed to force the opposition into long balls or force them wide, they strive to prevent central play. Atalanta's attack is more famed, but their defensive strategy is by no means useless like attacking play it done with an intensity and purpose which translates into how intense their counter press is. We will see this later in more depth.

Quick FM Translation

Things we will want to see in game :

Defending

  • High Pressing system forcing long ball or play wide
  • Strict man marking policy all over the pitch
  • Aggressive defending in deep areas winning tackles and Arial duels
  • Preventing central play
  • Intense counter pressing

Build Up

  • Playing out from the back probing the opposition
  • Overloading in wide and half spaces
  • Diamond/Rhombus shape during build up
  • Team keeping its width and stretching opponent
  • Rotations of positions in particular CB's WB's And CM's (this has proved very difficult but have made its happen on occasions)
  • Overloading and switching play to catch opponent out of position.

Attacking

  • Fluidity and movement especially strikers dropping off and playing in the channels and wide
  • Lots of crosses and cutbacks
  • Goals Goals Goals (which were hard to come by at first but feel we are getting there)
  • Gomez pulling the strings and being the maverick that he is
  • Trying to Recreate Ilicic's sensational season (again tough but now have someone who can play it)

Formation

Ignore the roles and duties for now we will cover that in much more detail later after we explore more of how Atalanta play.

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5-2-1-2 WB in FM not a 3-4-1-2, due to the fact we want our wing backs dropping back as defenders not playing as midfielders, which the 3-4-1-2 does.

Mentality

For me one of the most important things you will set when creating a tactic, simply because it affects so much. It’s not just a case of we will take more risks, or we will attacking all the time. Tempo, DL, LOE, Width, passing length and right down to the individual player mentality this is even before you touch a role or duty or most of all a team instruction.

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For me Atalanta is attacking description gives us a good idea of what we want.

  • Looks to dominate possession
  • Aims to exploit space in the final third
  • Will recycle the ball and retain possession
  • Focuses on players getting forward into space
  • Allows creative freedom

It ticks so many boxes already just in the description which is a great starting point to build from and fine tune. At this stage of my building I would not add instructions I would play it out and add them as I see fit. Trial and error basically, but in the interest of this I have done this already so will add them now and explain my reasoning

Team Instructions

Disclaimer

I would usually put my roles and duties into the tactic at this point and testing, before adding my team instructions am only doing it this way round for writing purposes.

Out of Possession

  • More urgent pressing
  • Prevent short Gk distribution
  • Tighter marking
  • Defend Narrow

Right away I know people will be thinking surely high defensive line and higher line of engagement are needed for a high press. But really its over kill, both are already set high enough with the mentality. By adding the pressing and prevent short we already have enough of a high press. Tighter marking gives us an aid in our quest for man to man marking. Originally, I had defend narrow but we were getting killed on the wings so it was removed

Transition

  • Counter-press

Simple as that, we do not need to over complicate our distribution, or if we counter or hold shape. Again, it is overkill we do not want to restrict our play we want to encourage fluid play. The mentality has already done much of that along with in the next step. Counter pressing is key to the philosophy therefore we need it.

In Possession

  • Slightly short passing
  • Play out of defence
  • Focus play down left and right flank
  • Underlap left and right
  • Wide

So here if am honest I probably have more instructions than a normally like, but it was necessary to try and achieve the complex style and movements. Short passing was the last to be added as I felt we were being just a little to direct at times. Play out of defence is a must as we looked to build from the back. In the wide areas is where it got complicating for me here there is too much going on, but I tried so many variations and this worked most to give us what we needed. We want to see lots of play in the wide area and lots of movement with underlapping centre forwards and midfielders.

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So, we know have something that looks like this, which I dare say would play some sort of Atalanta play but not in its purest form.

Roles and Duties

Now the fun begins, this is where I had so much difficulty nailing stuff down running into problems with a hybrid role’s especially the illic role and roles not really transforming from real life terms into Fm. First, I will explain each role individually then time them all in together with a conclusion. Every role has a quote from a scouting report.

Defenders

Goalkeeper Gollini SWK(A)

What really stands out is his goalkeeping aggressive distance, which measures how far from the goal the keeper is coming to perform defensive actions. Only Donnarumma performs his actions further from goal than Gollini, emphasizing that not only is Gollini playing in a system that encourages the keeper to be aggressive, but that he is not scared of leaving the posts to perform sweeper keeper actions.

Another number related to his modern interpretation of the role is his passing percentage under pressure, 71%, the highest among Italian goalkeepers in the league this season. For comparison, Meret completes just 52% of his pressured passes. Gollini is not simply focused on short distribution either as he attempts 6.13 long balls, while his average pass length is 39.49.

100% a sweeper keeper attack plays high risk passes and defends on the edge of the box.

RCB Toloi BPD(S)

  • Stay wider
  • Dribble more

is probably the weakest of the centre-backs, not quite as live to danger as the others and can be caught flat-footed, however he is still a good solid defender, comfortable in wide areas. Toloi could easily play as a full-back, often charging into the final third

I have gone with a ball playing defender as you can see from the quote, he could easy play as a full back which is what we want advancing the ball up the line. Went for a stopper duty here to give us that pressing factor in deep areas.

CB Djimsiti CD(D)

is slower on the turn than Toloi and Palomino therefore The Albanian will push up to stop a player from turning if they have their back to goal, but otherwise prefers to give himself a bit of space to ensure the opposition can’t burst past him. This means he is the best-suited to the central position in the back three, as he is most often able to cover for the two either side of him.

very self-explanatory he is the slower of the three and suited to the centre role as he drops off. I avoided the cover role which people may question but its suits more as the centre of the three does not sweep as such he does press when need be.

LCB Palomino BPD(S)

  • Stay wider
  • Dribble more

can also turn quickly and is aggressive in bursts, Palomino will steam out of the defensive line to stick his hand in a player’s back, letting him know he’s there before a pass is made – that way the passer will usually pass elsewhere, but if they do pass to Palomino’s man, he’s reluctant to turn with the Argentine on top of him.

A tricky one here as he probably isn't a ball play defender in terms of FM with long passes but is capable on the ball and he does advance down that left-hand side. Using a stopper duty replicates what Is described

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The solid base that we spoke about earlier. The ball playing defenders both are instructed to stay wider and dribble more to give us that advancing up the wing almost into a full back like action when it is on. stopper defend stopper bit of a weird one but as I mentioned earlier cover isn't how the middle centre back acts, he still very much presses like the other two but just not as much. Keeper has been starting us off by either playing short or spraying balls into the Gomez role or the WB's. We will have examples of all this type of play probably in the next update.

Wide Men

Hans Hateboer WB(S)

  • Stay Wider

a dynamic right wing-back. The Dutchman has proved to an extremely effective player both defensively and going forward. has been raiding down the right side all season long. Defensibly he has been solid and going forward he has got involved too. In fact, he has been a highly effective attacking option creating numerous chances with his robust style. That winning goal against Inter was scored with Hans sliding in at the back post and it is a position we have seen him in all season. He always gets forward were possible to link up with Josip Ilicic.

  • Complete wing back (S)
  • Wing back (A)

Now one of the tougher roles to nail down. Dynamic attacking wing back who gets in the box and gets the odd goal as well as doing is defensive duties. it screams complete wing back or at least wing back attack. But here is where the game catches people out because of my team instructions to focus on the flank and underlap his mentality is bumped up one therefore support is attacking enough. Complete wing back never dropped deep enough when defending we will cover that in the pressing section later.

 

Robin Goosens WB(S)

  • Stay Wider

The German is a physically adept wing-back/wide midfielder who tends to link up with his teammates well, often performing one-twos with his forward teammates and finding himself in space to take shots of high quality. His aerial ability and defensive contribution are impressive, especially considering that many in the media (rightly so) focus on his attacking contributions, despite his ability to do both.

  • Complete wing back (S)
  • Wing Back (A)
  • Wide Midfielder (S)

Goosens left me much debate he scores more goals and shoots more than Hateboer but in the end I settled for the same role. He could easily be complete wing back with his goal tally and the fact he used to play as a midfielder. I toyed with the wide midfielder role for a while but again it never defended how I wanted.

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Both our flying wide men are set to stay wider to stretch the game even more just like Gasperini does. They also venture inside from time to time and both regularly find themselves in the box usually getting onto the end of the others cross. Not as many goals as I would like but as the squad improves, I feel it will come as they get chances.

The Engine Room

 The trials and retributions to get this pair right do not think I have ever tried as many roles out trying to get a pair to work how Atalanta's two do. A lot of pain went into these pair and am sure it will spark a debate or two. The quotes do not do these guys justice as to how much work they do for the team I would recommend reading up on them if you take a keen interest to all of this.

Marten De Roon Carrilero(S)

  • Close down more

Atalanta’s metronome! One of de Roon’s primary roles in the side is to drop into deeper positions when Atalanta have possession and facilitate attacks from these areas. This will often include him taking up a position as a right-back, or even dropping into the space between the right and central centre-halves. In this area, de Roon can move away from opposition’s pressing, Here, he has the ability to dictate play from deep positions and can get forward when the opportunity arises, making late runs from deep underlapping or overlapping the wing back and beyond the forwards arriving late in the penalty area.

  • Box to box midfielder
  • Ball winning midfielder

Essentially, he is what keeps the team ticking. In possession Drops deep to start play or drifts wide or pushes on beyond wide players and forwards and gets on the end of things. Without the ball he breaks up play or sniffs out danger and covers players out of position. It’s an all action role box to box it says but it didn't work out that way, neither did BWM on support eventually the carrilero was decided it offers play wide and half space like De Roon it covers players out of position it does to an extent drop deep not into the back line like half back, however it does get on the end of things and get goals as well as the odd overlap of the centre forward.

Remo Freuler Mezzala(S)

He is a complete midfielder. His tireless work rate matched with his often-overlooked technical ability makes him perfectly suited to an energetic Atalanta side who rely on fight and persistent pressing as much as they do flair and creative spark. His positioning and reading of the game without possession allows him to break up opponents’ attacks. He averages 2.7 tackles per game 1.3 interceptions per game in possession, his distribution is accurate, and he consistently completes upwards of 88 percent of his passes. Clearly, he is a midfielder who can break up opposing attacks, distribute or carry the ball forward and create chances or score them himself.

  • Box to box midfielder
  • Segundo Volante

Now it clearly states complete midfielder which again cries out pick box to box even more so than what Dr Roon did. But again, it would not work along with the Segundo volante on support it just never gave it half space movement. I know what you are thinking a mezzala is not very industrious, but you would be surprised because of the team’s way of playing he’s made and impressive 70 tackles in the league 3rd only behind the wing backs. This role does give us everything we want in half space.

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FM really does not do these pair justice there so complete and unique that I can understand how it would be hard for developers to get a role in the ME. Looking for a half mezzala half box to box. anyway, this pairing has come up with the goods and its as gave us a lot of how they play. Like I said, I would expect this to be an area of great debate. The carrilero has close down more that's the only instruction here on these two. Just as the centre two press and man mark high in the early press.

The Magic Man

Papu Gomez AMC(S)

  • Take more risks
  • Dribble more
  • Shoot more
  • Roam from position
  • Move into channels
  • Close down more

Take more risks in passing as he unlocks defences with his eyes shut, Dribble more cause he could nutmeg a mermaid, Shoot more often was added later as he wasn't getting enough away often passing when he should have shot, Roam from position and move into channels because he is anywhere on the left on the right or deep or high he just jumps into overloads or brings his team up the park. close down much more as he is still a key cog in defence, he got a role in there and we will touch on it later in more depth.

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Has match-winning contributions nearly every game, with his ability to find space almost anywhere on the park he simply drifts around dictating what's happening. He has a real knack of knowing when to pass, dribble or shoot at the right time. But don't be fooled this guy works just as hard in defence in attack he does his job in the press but its more his dazzling skills he know for. With great movement off the ball he can create the angles and spaces that has made him so effective, along with being an incredible passer of the ball, he makes such purposeful passes. He passes knowing fully the possibilities that the pass could unlock a defence. His ability to go past players is phenomenal as well, this coupled with his outstanding movement, vision, shooting and passing range makes him a force to reckon with at the very top of the game.

  • Enganche
  • Trequartista
  • Advanced playmaker

On the surface it looks pure playmaker but if there was ever someone to investigate it is this man to think it took until this year to play in the UCL is beyond me. the role is a hybrid of , Shadow striker and Enganche. Therefore, I have went for the highly customable role of attacking mid.

Front Two

Both these roles are up for debate, as much as I have lots of analysis of them playing like the pair in real life, I can’t get them scoring as much but think its maybe down to player quality.

Josip Ilicic DLF(A)

  • Move into channels
  • Roam from position
  • Shoot more often

has always had the versatility, and the flexibility to his game, which is shown in his ability to play multiple forward positions. That being said, this season, in particular, he has combined all the different assets that are needed for those different positions (positioning for a traditional winger, playmaking for an attacking midfielder, and shooting for a striker), and has improved in all of them, essentially making him a hybrid player. One of Iličić’s main strengths is playmaking. His ability to work in tight spaces and his vision allows him to see the best possible situation while playmaking. He can navigate in tight spaces, which is difficult to defend against. Iličić is left-footed, and unlike many other left-footed forwards, he is comfortable with both feet which makes it difficult for defenders to mark him. Iličić is also quite brave in where he shoots from, something we have seen as of late.

  • Advanced forward
  • Inside Forward
  • Complete forward
  • False 9

Well here comes my biggest challenge. Inside forward, nope, false 9, nope, advanced forward, nope. his movement is so hard to replicate yeah can get him wide but can get him on the last defender. Can get him dropping but can’t get wide. I think a lot came down to I didn't have the player capable and I did settle with DLF(A) and its worked to a extent but this is definitely the role am most likely to tinker with in the future. There is a lot Ilicic in this role now with right player which we will see later.

Duvan Zapata Poacher(A)

  • Move into Channels
  • Roam from position

Zapata is a big man, standing at 1.86m, he has a presence in the box. Due to this, he had been used mainly as a target man by most of his managers. Big and strong, he would play with his back to goal to hold up play. Recently though, this has changed. Now utilised as the top of the rhombus, Zapata can run at the defence with his pace. He is winning less aerials than before, only 2 per game as opposed to the 4 or 5 earlier in the season. He plays fewer long balls as well. He now moulded himself into a much more complete forward. Linking play as well as playing on the shoulder one thing is for sure he knows how to power them into the net

  • Target man
  • Complete forward
  • Advanced forward

Zapata tough one again. He links play, drifts wide, used as target man, Is lightening quick, Strong, and plays on the shoulder he sounds like a complete forward attack/Advanced forward but am not sure he is as creative but that's what role I see him as. Unfortunately, we had now one could play that role. I then watched a video on him, and a poacher made sense in a way as long as we could get him roaming and linking as well and that's just what we done.

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Not the ideal place in all of this as we were limited up top. link up is good and movement is good in the end we just really need more goals. Both players are instructed to Roam, move into channels, and close down much more as we look to get them moving wide and intiating the high press. I recently added shoots more often to the Ilicic role and we got a hatrick out of him so that’s a plus.

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This is what we are left with now.

  • Sweeper keeper with a well drilled back 3 in front of him, with two aggressive ball playing stoppers, Looking to press hard and started off play in the half spaces and flanks
  • To attacking wing backs getting forward and casing havoc with crosses and shots, who drop to make a 5 when defending unless required to press.
  • Two hardworking midfielders with a desire to roam wide and into the half spaces, weather it be attacking or defending
  • A magic number ten who drifts around from the centre making things happen with dribbles, passes and shots
  • A front two that probably need a little more work but with investment goals will flow for them

Key Analysis

Defence Data

When looking at their defensive statistics there are some key areas which make Atalanta worth focusing on. Atalanta’s PPDA is 8.31. This ranks them 11th overall in the “Top Five” European leagues for PPDA. They also have the best defensive duel win percentage in Serie A, with a highly impressive 60.9%. In the top five leagues, only Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain rank above them for both PPDA and for having a better defensive duel win percentage. Here we have a table below of teams from the top 5 leagues.

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There are some expected names, but also some less so. RB Leipzig have the highest defensive duel win percentage out of anyone in Europe’s top five, and it’s unsurprising to see the defensive duel win percentages generally increase the higher a team’s PPDA is, however, if we look at those with similar PPDA’s to Atalanta – let’s say nine or lower, it is clear to see that along with Bayern Munich, PSG, and Leverkusen, Atalanta are one of Europe’s elite pressing sides, and that to have such a high defensive duel win percentage alongside these PPDA numbers is somewhat of an anomaly. Next we will explore in more detail how they achieve this.

Pressing from the front

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Here we can see the centre-forwards positioning, we will generally see the Atalanta forwards operate in a space-oriented press, where they are close enough to the centre-backs to prevent the keeper from playing to them. However, they are directly in line with the keeper’s passing lane to the full backs. Right now, this is awfully hard to recreate with the current match engine, but I will try my best to recreate it. If anyone has some superior knowledge of how to do this, I would love to know. Gomez marks the pivot to stop him having time to break the press with everyone behind man marking.

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A couple of nice examples of the high pressing shape when the goalkeeper has the ball.

In the top one you can see a 7 (ilicic) pressing the keeper while covering the passing option behind him. forcing him into a mistake. There is a nice show of how good the marking is as well with only number 30 in any real space with an easy pass.

Second one the press isn't as high as the goalkeeper takes the goal kick, but there is a good mix of space-oriented press and man marking with no space for a pivot to drop as 10 (Gomez) is in the hole waiting.

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This is an example of what we might see from Atalanta should the goalkeeper play to one of his centre-backs. We can see that there is a mixture of space-oriented pressing and man-oriented pressing. The two forwards look to prevent the lateral pass to the left-sided centre-back, as well as the inside pass to the pivot. Gómez is close enough to the pivot where he can press should they receive the ball, yet deep enough to drop quickly and provide support centrally should the opposition play long. One constant we will see throughout is that Atalanta are man-marking the opposition all over the park. Here the left wing back has now pressed on to the full back with the back three shifting over.

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Here again we have two examples of pressing and marking once the ball comes down the side

The top one is a right hand  sided press from 18 (Zapata) has pressed the ball carrier but done it by using his run to cover the passing lane behind 66 (De Roon) has moved up passed 7 (Ilicic) to press the pivot as 7 is wide pressing the wing back.

Below that we can see a left hand sided press with the 10 (Gomez) role pressing along with the poacher not allowing the pivot to receive the ball is key to Gomez defensive duties. The left hand side is marked so tight they will have to play a risky long ball. This time the RWB has dropped in to make it a 4 but not two deep that he wont be able to press if the ball is switched.

1468610211_PreventingCentralPlay.thumb.png.7f55b59171433133a12adc8419010843.png

Atalanta want to avoid having the opposition play through the middle. From these areas the opposition has more passing options, can specifically get the ball into the centre-forwards in better positions to set up attacks. To facilitate this process, we will see the pivot marked tightly, not just when the opposition keeper or centre-backs have possession in deep areas, but during most of the build-up play. This is to stop the pivot being used to break the first line of press. We saw earlier how Gómez occupies the pivot when the keeper has the ball. In a more developed build up phase, albeit still within the opposition half, one of the central-midfield pair will sit tight on the pivot to allow Gómez to press higher. if the keeper goes ahead with playing a lofted pass to the full-back then the forward line can press the opposition full-back along with the help of their wing-back (in this example Hateboer), and Gómez from the 10 position, as well as the central-midfielder (in this case de Roon). The image below demonstrates that further passes from this position are difficult to come by for the opposition and increases the likelihood of Atalanta winning the ball back in a high area.

c85f5c0e5b72ab366c0194e98a39a83b.png

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Here we have two examples of preventing central play one high and deep

In the top one we can see the team has shifted over, number 5 (De Roon) has moved a head of 10 (Gomez) to press the pivot the rest of the team get close enough to there man again to force a hopeful long ball.

Below we have an example of this in deeper areas the RWB(hateboer) has moved up to press but while covering the passing lane behind him,10 (Gomez) has dropped in too provide more central cover again only leaving a backwards pass or a switch

Defending Deeper

We see aggression and intensity in almost everything that Atalanta do defensively and there is always a desire to win the ball back as soon as possible that does not really change to much in deeper areas. In deeper areas Atalanta still have similar principles to when defending from the front. They want to make the pitch smaller. If the opposition bypasses the press and gets prolonged possession inside Atalanta’s own half, you are going to see certain tactics that are commonplace within most back three formations. However, still the principle of intense defending to force the opposition into making rushed decisions on the ball can be seen throughout also. . They work in tandem with one another, ensuring there is a balance as one presses, with teammates dropping into positions behind to protect that space from passes or dribbles. With them operating with a back five in deeper areas it means Atalanta’s defenders can be more aggressive in coming forward, as they still leave a solid back four behind them when doing so.

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Two great examples here of aggressive defending deep

In the top picture the opposition has managed to get central but look how many players are back there protecting the central area of the goal even (Gomez role) number 9 this time is back defending.

Below the (Freuler) role has stepped up to press the number 10 and behind you can see that intense man marking system behind now one has an inch of space to receive a pass.

Build up and Attacking Play

 

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Here we can see the standard shape for build up. wing backs nice and high, RCB, LCB, RCM, LCM, RCF, LCF all overloading the half spaces. Gomez the CAM is the only person other than the ball carrier that's central.

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Not the greatest example here as my middle CB rarely gets on the ball. But you can see here how it starts with the width and a diamond in front of the goalkeeper

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here we see how it progresses as (gomez) starts to head towards the right half space we have RCF (ilicic) RCM (De Roon) RCB (Toloi) all in the right half space The LCF (zapata) has already shifted more centrally to allow (ilicic) to move wider.

Atalanta-wide-triangles-600x826.thumb.png.ced3b5ec3eef36db3d71a93ce142e3c2.png

Here we can the triangle type overloads that we see on each side of the pitch. Now you can see illic drop and Zapata come more central.

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Fantastic example of a right hand side overload, (gomez) has picked up the ball and 9 and 5 (Ilicic, and De Roon) are in the half space and 4 and 14 (Toloi and hateboer) are providing the width. 18 (zapata) has moved centrally but what is crucial here is how 26, 6, and 11 (Palomino, Freuler and Goosens) have all kept there width and have there own triangle ready to go if switched.

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Nice example of the left hand side overload where the LWB(goosens) has the ball and the LCB(Palomino) and LCM( Freuler) are overloading 7 again number 4 (toloi) keeps his width at RCB ready for a switch along with 14(Hateboer) the RWB

846203777_DiamondPlay.thumb.png.19c2fa5b74e6d3c930f2e5a8b28a5182.png

The diamond structures that are talked about so much in everything you read on atalanta. The diamonds usually consist off the sided centre back the wing back the sided centre mid and the striker, leaving only Gomez central again.

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The right hand side diamond is a thing of beauty. Its consists of the RCB, RWB,RCM and RCF 4,14,36 and 9 you can also see 8 (Gomez) ready to join to create even more off an overload. Again 18 (zapata) has moved centrally, while 3,6,and 11 all keep the bottom of the diamond ready for if the ball is switched.

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Here again we see the right hand sided diamond with the same players but this time 10(gomez) has space to move into to overload the diamond again the other side keeps it width and Zapata has moved centrally. watch as it advances

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10 (gomez) now on the ball has the option to play in 12(hateboer) due to 9(ilicic) overloading the full back Hateboer can easlily be slipped in.

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Here is a left side example problem is 16 (De Roon) has not spread wide yet as its to early in build up as he is a carrilero not a mezzala. however you can see 9 (Ilicic) has shifted more centrally while 18 (Zapata) drifts wide. 10 (Gomez) and 6 (freuler) drop deep to make the diamond.

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Here is a good one makes a lot of this work worth while seeing this. Double diamond. right side (4,14,66,7)  left side (3,26,6,18) its more or less perfect considering the ball is on the right as well and not centre am really impressed with the positioning.

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Its not a bad like for like am very happy with it considering it took 20 games trial and error to get there on a whole.

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Attacking the box on the right side. With 12(hateboer) ready to cross/cut back. We can see 10,16,6 (Gomez, De Roon and Freuler) all ready on the edge for a cutback 9(ilicic) has made his move towards the front post and 18 (zapata) has  moved to the back and 13 (Goosens) is arriving late at the back post.

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Attacking the box from the left 18 (zapata) has drifted wide and is ready to cross cut back again we can see 6,10,16 on the edge for the cut back and 9(ilicic) central with 12(hateboer) ready to attack the back post.

 

Summary

I now feel after all lot of trials and work feel like am playing like Atalanta its been a long journey so far, but the last ten games since we set the tactic after the workings before it its paid dividends. I have so much more analysis to go through and share. Todays analysis just sets the tone for when we step it up a level and gives everyone a good idea of what to look for and what am talking about. I wanted to go on and do some video clips of goals but its a very long post as it is and am worried I might deleted it again. Thank god for copy and paste haha. Thanks for reading I hope you enjoy it and tune in for the next update.

Amazing post! 

 

Out of interest, whats your AM-S like? do you get goals & assists out of him? 

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On 30/07/2020 at 13:44, Louisking1992 said:

Amazing post! 

 

Out of interest, whats your AM-S like? do you get goals & assists out of him? 

Em so far this season he has 7 goals 8 assists in 24 games. But this wasn’t all from the AM-s role as during the building of the tactic he was used as a Treq and AP(a) so I would say he’s about 5 and 5 from this role 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sickening blow for Atalanta tonight!!!! Thought they had done it!!

 

again guys sorry no update I’ve been extended at work again!! Starting to worry I won’t finish my planned series. 

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Incredible read. Thank you

Just re-started a save with Inter to give this a try after pulling my hair out trying to get the same shape to work the way I hoped. Already enjoying watching the games 2 friendlies in. Legendary

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1 hour ago, 32MJ32 said:

Incredible read. Thank you

Just re-started a save with Inter to give this a try after pulling my hair out trying to get the same shape to work the way I hoped. Already enjoying watching the games 2 friendlies in. Legendary

Your welcome man 👍🏻 Took a fair bit of experiment to get it working right for me in the first season.  Hopefully I can get some more insightful stuff posted soon to further help 

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9 hours ago, Number seven said:

Great thread. Wonder how effective this tactic will be with one of the top top clubs were you have the money to buy the players that fits into these roles.

I would like to think It would be good as you can cheer pick players that match the idea . But the reason I went Argentinos juniors as there morals and philosophy are similar to Atalanta. And I’ve been lucky so far to have picked up a couple of players that fit well especially Belmonte. He makes for a excellent De Roon

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15 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Your welcome man 👍🏻 Took a fair bit of experiment to get it working right for me in the first season.  Hopefully I can get some more insightful stuff posted soon to further help 

As well as being an amazing read about a club and system I am fond of (who isn't?), this has been a real FM lesson for me on what it actually means to create space in a dangerous way.

I am an Inter fan and I've had several goes at trying to get the Lukaku-Martinez partnership firing - but I've struggled to do so. They both have great physical and mental profiles, so getting them to fly around the pitch while still threatening on goal has been the aim. What I've found is I end up pulling one too deep or having both sit on top of each other (and hoping that the intricate movement around the box will free one up, which I don't believe this year's ME wants a lot to do with). 

Your setup has shown how to space two well-rounded F's and have them take up menacing positions, pulling defenders with them, and allowing whichever one picks up the ball to do something with it. Unreal.

 

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I have been messing around with a similar set up trying to get the back three to resemble that of Gasperini's. I find it's the most complicated part of his system, getting the CB movement just right.

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