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Hi people, after trying and failing to recreate a Lucien Favre tactic (slow buildup in my own half to lure the opponent in) I wanted to give a go to my second best favoured formation, aka 3-5-2, and I wanted to try using a libero.

The main idea was to stretch the opposition with my wingbacks, and to allow midfielders or strikers to get into the half space and deliver crosses, or my libero to distribute from behind with some nice through balls. I wanted to have a short but fast passing game, in the opponent own half, with a small amount of gegenpressing to get the ball back and to force the opponent into mistakes.

I should add that I haven't the best team in the league, nor in Europe. I have fairly decent players, especially up front, but I have some of the most clever players (second best decision rating in the league, third best determination rating, second best vision rating. My libero is not a star, but he fits quite well the role. 

I have built my tactic during the last half of past season, and I'm now in November of the new season (with some new players). My players have reached a really good tactical knowledge.

My problem (well, it's not a problem, but it is really suspicious) is that it works really, really too well. It shouldn't work that well. Granted, I study my opponent and tweak the tactic ingame, but let's be honest, I'm no tactician mastermind.

Let's take a look at the tactic first :

tactic.thumb.jpg.ba5841c43a12c564dcad214b2cb0b3e9.jpg

Few PI : both CB have Dribble Less and Stay Wider, the front four (MEZ, AM, DLF, AF) have "Close Down More" and the AM has "Move into Channels".

Let's then see the results :

results.thumb.jpg.2f7e8491862dc5c4664b5f3756ea7c78.jpg

As you can see, the results are pretty impressive, my only defeat is against Angers where I had to put some C team players...

Team stats are as follows :

team_stats.thumb.jpg.8e111843f35085f0f5c99bfd610ee7dd.jpg

I mostly score from crosses and through balls and I seem to be really clinical when it comes to converting CCC :

goals.thumb.jpg.06bd70b37630a98def38bf54bda41a8f.jpg

CCC.thumb.jpg.401a9a30e56f76db945b95e5f72ff839.jpg

My 5 best rated players are my two strikers, my mezzala, my Libero, and my left back :

players.thumb.jpg.892bb2645d227eb4b623d283801606a3.jpg

Can anyone explain me WHY I have such results as I think I shouldn't have those ? Is it because my team is overlooked by good teams ?

Edited by xavierm
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  1. Once your striker gets on a roll, you can beat anyone in FM.
  2. Similarly, once you start winning some matches, each subsequent match becomes tougher to lose.
  3. I've found 3 at the back to be incredibly stable defensively in FM20.
  4. Playing with just two wide players gives you huge advantages on crosses that you have clearly used to your benefit.
  5. You should be vulnerable against good teams playing a 4-2-3-1 against you, so it's strange to see you beating so many good teams. That might be a temporary blip.
  6. The game is easy and you really just need to manage your squad selection sensibly to overachieve.

Overall, I agree with you that your results are suspiciously good, but that's overwhelmingly the expected result in FM20. What is truly surprising is how strong your central midfielders have been at providing goals and assists. That's impressive and not necessarily typical. You're on to a winning tactic.

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On 25/08/2020 at 21:22, xavierm said:

Hi people, after trying and failing to recreate a Lucien Favre tactic (slow buildup in my own half to lure the opponent in) I wanted to give a go to my second best favoured formation, aka 3-5-2, and I wanted to try using a libero.

The main idea was to stretch the opposition with my wingbacks, and to allow midfielders or strikers to get into the half space and deliver crosses, or my libero to distribute from behind with some nice through balls. I wanted to have a short but fast passing game, in the opponent own half, with a small amount of gegenpressing to get the ball back and to force the opponent into mistakes.

I should add that I haven't the best team in the league, nor in Europe. I have fairly decent players, especially up front, but I have some of the most clever players (second best decision rating in the league, third best determination rating, second best vision rating. My libero is not a star, but he fits quite well the role. 

I have built my tactic during the last half of past season, and I'm now in November of the new season (with some new players). My players have reached a really good tactical knowledge.

My problem (well, it's not a problem, but it is really suspicious) is that it works really, really too well. It shouldn't work that well. Granted, I study my opponent and tweak the tactic ingame, but let's be honest, I'm no tactician mastermind.

Let's take a look at the tactic first :

tactic.thumb.jpg.ba5841c43a12c564dcad214b2cb0b3e9.jpg

Few PI : both CB have Dribble Less and Stay Wider, the front four (MEZ, AM, DLF, AF) have "Close Down More" and the AM has "Move into Channels".

Let's then see the results :

results.thumb.jpg.2f7e8491862dc5c4664b5f3756ea7c78.jpg

As you can see, the results are pretty impressive, my only defeat is against Angers where I had to put some C team players...

Team stats are as follows :

team_stats.thumb.jpg.8e111843f35085f0f5c99bfd610ee7dd.jpg

I mostly score from crosses and through balls and I seem to be really clinical when it comes to converting CCC :

goals.thumb.jpg.06bd70b37630a98def38bf54bda41a8f.jpg

CCC.thumb.jpg.401a9a30e56f76db945b95e5f72ff839.jpg

My 5 best rated players are my two strikers, my mezzala, my Libero, and my left back :

players.thumb.jpg.892bb2645d227eb4b623d283801606a3.jpg

Can anyone explain me WHY I have such results as I think I shouldn't have those ? Is it because my team is overlooked by good teams ?

the 5212 is really good for attacking football and high pressing due to the numbers that you can throw up front. This formation is not that different to how teams that use a 433 will attack in real life with a narrow front 3, a striker that drops deep, two attacking full backs and a third man to play out of defence.  The only disadvantage for the formation is the two midfielders in the centre which can be exploited. However this can be negated if you have two midfielders that are energetic and decent defensively as they will cover a lot of ground.

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It's nice to see someone overperforming without turning up pressing :) 

But its a well balanced formation on FM because back threes are excellent defensively as already mentioned, wingbacks on attack duty are practically supermen in giving you aggressive runs and width in attack and then a proper back five when the opposition have the ball for any length of time, you've got two strikers and two additional players running into the box, and your AM  will offer much more in defence than, say, an IF.

I think you're probably also right in saying other teams underestimating you helps the overperformance as you're not set up to stretch a really defensive team.

Edited by enigmatic
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Thanks for your answers.

Update : I have been quite successful this season. Lack of depth in my squad and some injuries led to some "disappointing" results and me losing the title vs PSG for 4 points. French Cup finalist (lost against ... PSG !) and CL semifinalist - lost 5-4 on aggregate against Inter, losing 4-1 in Milan and winning 3-1 at home.

I had to sell my star striker Dolberg to City for 92 M€ during summer transfers window and I sold my two CB (NSoki and Robson Bambù). 

I bought quality players to replace them - Piatek up front, couldn't find a better striker which would join my team - but for the moment it doesn't work as well. Piatek is disappointing and haven't scored yet in 10 fixtures. My team seems less fluid and makes more mistakes than last year but I'm noticing improvements on the two or three last fixtures.

So I have an explanation : this tactic is quite unbalanced and needs a very good tactical knowledge and a well accustomed team.

I'm going to heavily focus training on tactical knowledge and team gelling and see whether it drastically improves my results. It should :)

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Now that I have sold my star striker and got another one who is not as efficient as the other, I had to tweak my tactic to take it into account.

I changed the two MC - 1 AMC setup by a flat 3 man midfield, with Mez (S) on one side, CAR/BBM/BWM(S) - depending on the opposition - on the other side, and CM(A) in the center. It works quite well and gives me the flexibility I need to address different oppositions. I've been quite bothered by teams playing between my midfield and my defense, but this is an issue I can address with dropping 1 MC in the DM strata or playing with BWM(D).

But I'm concerned with my CM(A). I wanted to play an AP(A) in the center midfield, but I've seen he interferes with my Sweeper (At). I feel the CM(A) is not enough offensive to my taste.

Is there any non-playmaker offensive role I could use for my central midfielder ?

Edited by xavierm
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1 hour ago, xavierm said:

Now that I have sold my star striker and got another one who is not as efficient as the other, I had to tweak my tactic to take it into account.

I changed the two MC - 1 AMC setup by a flat 3 man midfield, with Mez (S) on one side, CAR/BBM/BWM(S) - depending on the opposition - on the other side, and CM(A) in the center. It works quite well and gives me the flexibility I need to address different oppositions. I've been quite bothered by teams playing between my midfield and my defense, but this is an issue I can address with dropping 1 MC in the DM strata or playing with BWM(D).

But I'm concerned with my CM(A). I wanted to play an AP(A) in the center midfield, but I've seen he interferes with my Sweeper (At). I feel the CM(A) is not enough offensive to my taste.

Is there any non-playmaker offensive role I could use for my central midfielder ?

I am using a similar shape with a Libero on S (Ajer) and central midfielder being AP(A) Grealish and it seems to be working well - both of them doing well and I haven't seen them getting in each others way.

The two side mids are both CAR but with added PIs.

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