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442 Diamond Wide - The Scottish Way (Match Engine Version - v2040)

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Tactic download - The Scottish Way 442 Diamond Wide.fmf







The shape is a 442 Diamond Wide formation. The roles are Sweeper keeper (attack), Ball Playing Defender (Defend) x2, Inverted Wingbacks (Attack) x2, Ball winning midfielder (Defend), Wide Midfielder (Support) x2, Attacking Midfielder (Support), Attacking forwards (Attack) x2.

I have left the opposition instructions and man marking clear. I would suggest you amend these on a game by game basis. For example it may be useful to have the ball winning midfielder mark the AMC, and/or the Advanced Forwards marking the oppositions DMC's if you are an underdog. I do not use opposition instructions but you could use them to the same effect, similarly tactics briefings. You will lose the edge attacking wise but it may halt a lot of the build up play of the opposition.  Set piece takers should automatically assign themselves to those that are best suited, but make your DL take left throw ins and the DR take right throw ins. It includes pre-loaded set pieces and the team instructions are as above. 

The formation of a 442 diamond wide was chosen because I wanted a strong defensive base with the back 4 being supplemented with a BWM and two WM’s who will act as a screen across the pitch to opposition players. I like triangular passing, so I wanted this represented in the diamond set up and with inverted wingbacks, I had players who would help overload the central areas in attack, with the BWM staying back to protect the BPD’s at all times. The AM is in a support role as I want this player to defend when need be but also be an offensive pivot for the WM’s and AF’s in attack. The WM’s offensively I wanted to stretch the opposition by going wide, whilst the wingbacks cut inside. The Advanced forwards are essentially both focused on goal scoring in the main and are there to hit the channels and exploit any space they can get to create and score.

In possession I wanted the team to play out from the back, retain the ball until an opportunity arise and be prepared to attack through direct runs and balls into the channels.

In transition I wanted the players to counter as soon as they lose possession and attack immediately once they have attained it, preferable a high up the pitch as possible, which accounts for the much higher line of engagement and high defensive line. I have instructed the players to stay on their feet but have instruction them in the player roles to tackle hard. This is so they tackle hard to win the ball but are not reckless in going to ground doing so, avoid bookings.



Here are the advised training schedules to use in conjunction with the tactic:

Chrissy's Pre-season Schedule.fmfChrissy's Basic Part Time Schedule.fmfWednesday and Saturday Training Schedule.fmfChrissy's Saturday Match Training Schedule.fmf

The pre-season schedule is for pre-season. The Saturday match schedule and the Wednesday and Saturday match schedule are for one and two game weeks respectively.

The part time training schedule is for semi professional sides to use and i'd advise plugging it in for every week.


Scouting for Players & Staff

Here are what is considered to be the desired player and staff personalities. My advice is to apply these for when you are scouting players and staff and focus only on these positive traits alongside the attributes given below:

Model Citizen, Perfectionist, Resolute, Model professional, Professional, Fairly professional, Spirited, Very ambitious, Ambitious, Driven, Determined, Fairly determined, Charismatic leader, Born leader, Leader, Iron willed, Resilient

Any player or staff with these personalities I would seek to remove from a club as soon as is feasible:
Slack, Casual, Temperamental, Unambitious, Easily discouraged, Low determination, Spineless, Low self-belief

Sweeper keeper (GK)
Description – A sweeper keeper acts not only as a goalkeeper but as a sweeper in possession.
Real life Example – Manuel Neuer
Useful Player Traits - Plays Ball With Feet, Uses Long Throw To Start Counter Attacks

Ball Playing Defender (DC)
Description – Focus is to defend the defensive area but also start attacks form the back 
Real life Example – Sergio Ramos
Useful Player Traits - Stays Back At All Times, Tries Killer Balls Often, Tries Long range Passes, Brings Ball out of defence, Does Not Dive Into Tackles

Inverted Wingback (DL/R, LWB/RWB)
Description – A wingback that sits inside and plays in the central area of the pitch.
Real life Example - Phillip Lahm
Useful Player Traits - Does Not Dive Into Tackles, Cuts Inside From Both Wings, Cuts Inside From Left Wing, Cuts Inside From Right Wing

Ball Winning Midfielder (DMC/MC)
Description – Focused on winning the ball back from the opposition.
Real life Example – David Batty
Useful Player Traits - Does Not Dive Into Tackles

Wide Midfielder (ML/MR)
Description – A balanced midfielder, seeking to 
Real life Example – David Beckham
Useful Player Traits - Does Not Dive Into Tackles, Crosses Early, Hugs Line, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Runs With Ball Down Left, Runs With Ball Down Right

Attacking Midfielder (AMC)
Description – A forward player that supports the midfield and attack in the central position.
Real life Example – Mesut Ozil
Useful Player Traits - Looks For Pass Rather Than Attempting To Score

Advanced Forward (FC)
Description – Attacking striker focused on breaking the offside or defensive line to create chances and/or score goals.
Real life Example - Gonzalo Higuaín
Useful Player Traits - Likes To Lob Keeper, Likes To Round Keeper, Moves Into Channels, Places Shots, Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap, Tries First Time Shots, Shoots With Power

Player filters - 

sweeper keeper.fmfball playing defender.fmfinverted wingback.fmfattacking midfielder.fmfball winning midfielder.fmfwide midfielder.fmfadvanced forward.fmf

Staff Filters - 

tactical attacking.fmfgoalkeeping coach.fmffitness coach.fmfassistant manager.fmftechnical possession.fmftechnical defending.fmftechnical attacking.fmftactical possession.fmftactical defending.fmf


The set pieces are -preset and there is no need to tinker with them.


Team Talks and Shouts

Team talks are used to amend the mental outlook of your players to the match scenario. and they can have an exceptional positive or negative difference to your match day squad.

The are split into pre-match, half-time and full-time talks. You have to decide the tone of the team talk and then the content.

In terms of tone you can choose between reluctant, cautious, calm, assertive, passionate and aggressive. 

Pre-match – It is advisable to choose a tone and content that is in line with the pre-match expectations and is achievable for the players. Telling huge underdogs for example that you aggressively expect them to win, may make some players feel pressurised into achieving an unrealistic result. If your team is the favourite though, it is perfectly reasonable to be more demanding of them. I the pre-match prediction is for a close or even game, then you want to take a more encouraging or inspirational approach to your tone and content.

Half-time – If your team is under performing, I would recommend that you are more demanding of them. If the game is evenly matched then again be inspirational and encouraging. If you are romping it by 3 goals or more, then praise them. If you are holding on to perhaps a one or two goal lead then give praise but tell them to watch their performance levels don’t drop. If an individual is not performing, I would be critical of their performance regardless in an individual team talk after the general team talk.

Full-time – If your team lost or drawn and it was expected, be sympathetic. If they lost or drawn and it wasn’t expected be critical. If they have won in any circumstance praise them.

A player’s body language will indicate how they should be handled. A quick glance guide below tells you the body language and the appropriate response individually to them:
Complacent, Confident – demanding
Nervous – relaxing, praising
Frustrated, Aggressive – calming
Disenchanted – encouraging

Shouts are used in the middle of the game to encourage a mental response from the players to the game. I normally spam the ‘Demand More’ shout as much as I can but that is just me. As you can see below there are 10 different types of shouts you can give. The success of a shout is dependent on the morale, motivation and body language of each player, so a one size fits all approach like “Demand more” only works if you have a determined motivated bunch of players (which is what I usually have). 
So please don’t just copy that approach, what you should do to be successful is amend the shouts to the needs of your team.

The following is a useful guide for judging the effects of the different types of shouts
•    Encourage – Encourages and inspires the players to do better
•    Calm down – Tries to settle the players if they are frustrated or aggressive
•    Get creative – Tries to encourage the players to have more creative freedom
•    Concentrate – Tries to focus the players and improve their concentration
•    Show some passion – Encourages the players to be more aggressive
•    No Pressure – Relaxes the players who are perhaps feeling under pressure
•    Tighten up – Encourages the players to shore up the defensive shape and be more disciplined
•    Push forward – Encourages the players to get further forward to overload the opposition
•    Demand more – Demands more effort and performance for the players. Works best with highly determined and motivated players.
•    Praise -  Lets the team know their performance is appreciated and seeks to improve their morale.

You can of course assign team talks and shouts to your coaches and if you do so, allocate to your coach with the highest motivating attribute. There is a great argument for just keeping tactics in terms of team instructions very simple, letting player roles dictate how the players operate and using team talks and shouts to manage games instead of 101 different tactical changes and instructions. My advice is to find your own approach. Team talks and shouts won’t affect a game tactically, they will influence the teams body language and morale though and in turn THEY DO influence how a tactic is performing.  I see team talks and shouts as hugely important. 

Additional pointers for when using the tactic

This section is very much my advice based on my in-game experience. It is entirely subjective and open to debate, which I welcome. The following is what I would term good practice for dealing with situations during a game:

•    Manage team talks and shouts, do not ignore them and if you don’t wish to do them, assign them to a coach with a high motivational attribute. Constantly changing your tactic will have adverse not positive effects.
•    If you have a player booked early, the team instruction “get stuck in” and player instruction ‘tackle hard’, chances are that player more often than not is getting sent off later on. To avoid this, take off hard tackling. If the tea or tactic is accumulating an unmanageable level of bookings, consider changing the TI to ‘Stay on feet’ and have hard tackling for the player instruction on.  This way your players tackle hard but are not lunging in.
•    If a player is carrying an injury and gets early booked -that’s a red flag for an impending red card as they are clearly struggling to compete. Substitute them.
•    Be aware that weather will influence how your tactic and team performs. Adverse conditions such as snow or heavy rain will affect any short to medium range possession heavy tactics. One solution is to change the passing and team instructions to take a more direct approach.
•    Before you consider changing tactics, assess if your team talks and shouts can have an influence. The problem may be how you speak to your players, not your team selection, or tactics.
•    Be realistic with your tactical expectations, team talks and shouts. Asking players to win a game as an overwhelming underdog only puts the player sunder undue pressure. 
•    The best form of defence is effective attack. That’s my opinion, if you want to hold onto a lead, praise your players or demand more near the end of the game ad more often than not they’ll score another if they are fit, the morale is good and the body language is positive.
•    Do not time waste to early. By all means run down the clock but do so in a sensible fashion. If you haven’t used any subs, space them out over the final few minutes in conjunction with time wasting. This should break up the play and waste more time. If you employ this approach before the last ten minutes, chances are the opposition might catch a break, as more often than not, they will be throwing everything at you in a direct fashion.

Examples: I have used this tactics with Watford and Liverpool in the English Premier League and found that it works reasonably well as long as the player's are suited to the tactic and the team talks and shouts get a positive response in terms of body language and morale. 





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