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Creating chances for a lone striker in a possession based system - Chelsea FC


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Hello everyone.

I'll keep it short. Taking inspiration on a lot of @herne79 and @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s threads and posts about possession football and the use of team mentality alongisde player duties to balance risk, i've come up with this system having recently taken over of Chelsea in 2023.
 

Complete Forward (S)

Tetraquartista (A)                                                     Inside Forward (S)

Carrilero (S)               Mezzala (s)

Deep-Liying Playmaker (D)

Wing Back (S)    Central Defender (D)    Central Defender (C)    Full Back (S)

Sweeper Keeper (D)

Mentality: Control 

In Possession: Play out of defense, Play Narrower, Much Shorter Passing, Work Ball into the Box.

In Transition: Counter-Press, Distribute to centerbacks, Play short kicks.

In Defence: Higher defensive line, Higher LOE, More urgent pressing.

Results have been alright and we are keeping possession well as well as creating chances. Club was in a bit of a mess when i took over and there isn't really too much quiality outside of the first eleven, key players and the roles they play are:

  • Jan Oblak: Sweeper Keeper
  • Ferland Mendy: Wing Back
  • Rodri: DLP
  • Mateo Kovacic: Carrilero
  • Lucas Paqueta: Mezzala
  • Jadon Sancho: Tetraquartista
  • Lautaro Martínez: Complete Forward

So why am i making this thread? I would basicaly like to increase the chances i'm creating for my striker. The system was designed to create chances mainly for my striker as well as my inside forward (who is actually enjoying the system i've created, being the team's best goalscorer so far, even scoring 4 goals in the first match of the season). My strikers on the other hand have been struggling to get service from the rest of my team, only scoring one goal so far from open play in about 12 games. 

Taking into context that i'm trying to build a possession based system (which is the reason i'm choosing so many support duties all over the field) i'm very open to hearing suggestions on how to improve the chances in terms of numbers and mainly quality (as both strikers register about 4 shots per game, but almost all of them from hard angles and with lots of bodies inside the box).

Looking forward for any kind of response really, everything helps. Thanks in advance.

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My guess is that the issue is with the support mentalities and low mentality, your players aren't going to be looking to create offence for the strikers as they're focused on avoiding risks and retaining possession. Based on the system, id imagine you have a major hot spot on your heat maps somewhere just above the midfield line and slightly to the left. If i'm right this is happening because your midfield is sliding towards the treq (due to moving into channels and much shorter passing) at the same time as your CF is dropping low, causing you to have 4 players sitting towards the left-middle part of the field. This is leaving your IF isolated on the right wing, which is probably why hes getting so many scoring chances as he has 1v1's all game against the fullback. This is even further reinforced he's the only player who's tasked with making runs into the box as an IF(S), and you have the Work Ball into the Box TI on, meaning your midfield, treq, and CF who are all sitting outside the box on support duties are instructed to not shoot. 

Assuming i was right with my guessing, with the DLP and attacking set up this feels a lot like a tactic designed to isolate your IF(S) for scoring chances, while your CF is playing as more of a DLF. I would personally tweak a few things to allow more risk (higher mentality, higher passing distance, no work ball into the box) and change Sancho from a Treq to something less playmakery. This should prevent your players from clumping together quite so much on that left side and will create more space for your striker at the expense of space for that IF.

Hope this helps in some way :)

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That set up looks pretty sweet, only thing I think's lacking is a bit of central punch from CM, just changing that LCM from a Car(S) to CM (S) should offer that 

I'd take out the WBIB, two good sources of goals with this ME are long shots & crosses so maybe only use that if your team's being wasteful  

 

 

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hace 11 horas, Sloak dijo:

My guess is that the issue is with the support mentalities and low mentality, your players aren't going to be looking to create offence for the strikers as they're focused on avoiding risks and retaining possession. Based on the system, id imagine you have a major hot spot on your heat maps somewhere just above the midfield line and slightly to the left. If i'm right this is happening because your midfield is sliding towards the treq (due to moving into channels and much shorter passing) at the same time as your CF is dropping low, causing you to have 4 players sitting towards the left-middle part of the field. This is leaving your IF isolated on the right wing, which is probably why hes getting so many scoring chances as he has 1v1's all game against the fullback. This is even further reinforced he's the only player who's tasked with making runs into the box as an IF(S), and you have the Work Ball into the Box TI on, meaning your midfield, treq, and CF who are all sitting outside the box on support duties are instructed to not shoot. 

Assuming i was right with my guessing, with the DLP and attacking set up this feels a lot like a tactic designed to isolate your IF(S) for scoring chances, while your CF is playing as more of a DLF. I would personally tweak a few things to allow more risk (higher mentality, higher passing distance, no work ball into the box) and change Sancho from a Treq to something less playmakery. This should prevent your players from clumping together quite so much on that left side and will create more space for your striker at the expense of space for that IF.

Hope this helps in some way :)

Regarding mentality, keep in mind that while i have lots of support roles i am playing with a positive mentality, which means that all my players in support are playing with positive mentalities themselves (and even my IF (S) is playing in very offensive mentality). 
 

Will try some of your suggestions regarding my system. Your intutions were pretty spot on actually :lol: and i did want to create some sort of overload on the left half space, but i was expecting to see some sort of movement on the right as well and it ending up with goal scoring chances for both my IF and my CF but in the end pretty much all of our chances come from pulling the opposition defense to our left and giving space to my IF. 
 

i may add something i’ve been thinking as well in that i think Lautaro is perhaps lacking someone in offense that helps hin with forward runs in order to support him in the box and confuse defenders, making hin harder to mark for crosses and through balls? Although i’ve been struggling on how to fix that as my inmediate reaction was to play a MC (A) but that would mean another player playing on a very high mentality and perhaps counter producing to my possession based approach.

 

 

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hace 3 horas, Johnny Ace dijo:

That set up looks pretty sweet, only thing I think's lacking is a bit of central punch from CM, just changing that LCM from a Car(S) to CM (S) should offer that 

I'd take out the WBIB, two good sources of goals with this ME are long shots & crosses so maybe only use that if your team's being wasteful  

 

 

I though the same and sometimes i’ve replaced the CAR for a B2B mid but performances haven’t improved much :thdn:

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A few things I don't like with the overall system:

  1. Take Short Kicks, Distribute to CB and Play Out Of Defence is probably overkill, especially on high mentalities with Very Shorter Passing.  Great for possession but maybe making it too safe.
  2. CAR + MEZ both play wider, in a 433 thats making a "wide" system (4 wide players) even wider, even if the wide forwards cut inside.  Even if using the Narrower TI the roles+duties will still make the central players go wide and could make with wide players have less space to collect then cut into.
  3. I don't like the combination of MEZ + IF, they want to position in a similar area which can limit passing options.
  4. Does a CF-Su actually do what you want if you want him to get more chances?

Whilst you want more chances/goals from the ST i'd focus on the CM pair and try to get them to support in high central areas more.  Adding more of a threat there could help the ST find space but that depends on his movement.  Rather than changing 3 players i'd just change the 2 CM's to something like CM-Su + CM-At or CM-Su + BBM-Su (Get Forward) or BBM-Su + CM-Su (Get Forward) so they're central and higher.  MEZ moves into channels and stay wider hence looking for other roles which might need PI outside of the CM-Su + CM-At.

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@summatsupeer Thanks for your reply. To answet the points you highlight:

  1. Which if those instructions specifically would you suggest to change? Im thinking take short kicks is probably not needed but i don’t think it only removing thst TI would be enough.
  2. interesting point. Mez was choosen as a role because i wanted to introduce roles that roam from their position in this tactic whilst on the left Car was selected to offer defensive protection to my somewhat more offensive left flank. It makes sense that my midfield pulls wide too much because of this.
  3. I dont neccesarely think that it is bad that they look to play in the same space as i am looking to create a midfield superiority of sorts, but perhaps playing narrow is congesting things too much, specially on that right half space?
  4. My CF is dropping deep early and helping circulate the ball during build up which is what i wanted, he’s just no being able to get in the end of chances and take shots from good angles. 

i think that indeed the root problem of my tactic is the lack of support for my CF in terms of forward runs. Too often the opposition ends up markint him whilst having spare defenders which i think makes it hard for him to get goal scoring chances if there’s no one other making forward runs and helping him distract defenders. I wanted the IF on the right to play that role but the tactics ends up creating more chances for my IF rather than my CF which is what i intended originally.
 

I dont think my choice of roles for my wingers/striker is that far off from what i planned, so it is probably the midfield that needs more tweaking. I’ll try a B2B for a more consistent patch of games and try and see if it helps supporting more my CF.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Sebas said:

Which if those instructions specifically would you suggest to change? Im thinking take short kicks is probably not needed but i don’t think it only removing thst TI would be enough.

Depends what you want and the players can do.

If GK is good passer i'd remove the CB dist instruction so the defence still drops to draw opponent up (stop short GK dist) and then can Short Kick it over them to midfield. If he's really good maybe drop Short Kick and just let him choose. If he's not that great but the defenders are very good then tell him to just give them it. 

Typically I have Play Out Of Defence or a specific dist target (CB and/or FB), can't think of many times i've used both.

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interesting point. Mez was choosen as a role because i wanted to introduce roles that roam from their position in this tactic whilst on the left Car was selected to offer defensive protection to my somewhat more offensive left flank. It makes sense that my midfield pulls wide too much because of this.

Yeah I think between recommended roles+duties for players and MEZ being the "most attacking" role+duty it seems over used.  Us older players only had BBM or CM-At plus adding PIs to do more attacking things with.

Quote

I dont neccesarely think that it is bad that they look to play in the same space as i am looking to create a midfield superiority of sorts, but perhaps playing narrow is congesting things too much, specially on that right half space?

If the movement was varied but I think most of the time they'd be standing pretty close and then making runs into same area, so 2 players doing 1 job.

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My CF is dropping deep early and helping circulate the ball during build up which is what i wanted, he’s just no being able to get in the end of chances and take shots from good angles. 

Is that because he's not in the right area or the player with the ball doesn't look for him?

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i think that indeed the root problem of my tactic is the lack of support for my CF in terms of forward runs. Too often the opposition ends up markint him whilst having spare defenders which i think makes it hard for him to get goal scoring chances if there’s no one other making forward runs and helping him distract defenders. I wanted the IF on the right to play that role but the tactics ends up creating more chances for my IF rather than my CF which is what i intended originally.
 

I dont think my choice of roles for my wingers/striker is that far off from what i planned, so it is probably the midfield that needs more tweaking. I’ll try a B2B for a more consistent patch of games and try and see if it helps supporting more my CF.

Yeah, in a 4141 DM Wide I find the AM area often gets overlooked due to the aforementioned MEZ issue.  Then having the other CM "sit" more to cover a wider player then compounds the issue and leaves a lot of free defenders to cover the lone ST.

Edited by summatsupeer
caught save when splitting quotes
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hace 23 minutos, summatsupeer dijo:

Depends what you want and the players can do.

If GK is good passer i'd remove the CB dist instruction so the defence still drops to draw opponent up (stop short GK dist) and then can Short Kick it over them to midfield. If he's really good maybe drop Short Kick and just let him choose. If he's not that great but the defenders are very good then tell him to just give them it. 

Typically I have Play Out Of Defence or a specific dist target (CB and/or FB), can't think of many times i've used both.

Yeah I think between recommended roles+duties for players and MEZ being the "most attacking" role+duty it seems over used.  Us older players only had BBM or CM-At plus adding PIs to do more attacking things with. (1)

If the movement was varied but I think most of the time they'd be standing pretty close and then making runs into same area, so 2 players doing 1 job. 

Is that because he's not in the right area or the player with the ball doesn't look for him? (2)

Yeah, in a 4141 DM Wide I find the AM area often gets overlooked due to the aforementioned MEZ issue.  Then having the other CM "sit" more to cover a wider player then compounds the issue and leaves a lot of free defenders to cover the lone ST. (3)

(1) Thing is i'm a bit torn about using a CM (A) because i don't want a player in the central zone being in a very attacking mentality, and i already have 2 players in this system playing very attacking in the Tetraquartista and the IF. I don't want too many players (specially attacking wise) taking too many risky decisions and losing the ball, specially against compact defenses (as we are a big team and encounter those teams a lot).

(2) He is doing his job but as i said, when we attack and push the opposition into their own box, spaces get congested and i think that my players just struggle to create chances for him because there are too many defenders in the box and not enough of my own players making runs and pulling players away from my CF. Does that make sense in the context of my tactic? It is something i've generally struggle with, creating a possession based system while being able to continually feed good chances to a lone center forward.

(3) I intended to fill that void with both the use of a Tetraquartista and a Mezzala. Well more than the AM, the "side AM's" space (or half spaces if you will).

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Sebas said:

(1) Thing is i'm a bit torn about using a CM (A) because i don't want a player in the central zone being in a very attacking mentality, and i already have 2 players in this system playing very attacking in the Tetraquartista and the IF. I don't want too many players (specially attacking wise) taking too many risky decisions and losing the ball, specially against compact defenses (as we are a big team and encounter those teams a lot).

Bare in mind whilst a CM-At has a risky mentality, he does not have Risky Passes or Dribble More by default like the TQ, CF and IF all have.  Player traits could of course make them play like those PI's are active (tries through balls etc).

Maybe try a BBM-Su with Get Forward PI initially and see if he takes up good positions to help the ST without taking too many risk actions.

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(2) He is doing his job but as i said, when we attack and push the opposition into their own box, spaces get congested and i think that my players just struggle to create chances for him because there are too many defenders in the box and not enough of my own players making runs and pulling players away from my CF.

I was checking on two things really:

  1. Once he's linked, has he dropped or roamed so far that he isn't in position to attack?
  2. He is in the right areas but other players don't see him or are going for more selfish / safe options?

If point 1 is happening then i'd suggest maybe a DLF-Su who will link but not roam or F9 who will stay more central.  Roaming usually is good for possession as can create overloads and fluid movement but if you want the ST to be the focus then it probably won't help him do what you want of him.

If point 2 is happening then i'd be looking at the players not passing to him and why that might be such as attributes, traits or there role/duty too safe.

From what you've said 1 isn't happening, he's links then is in goal scoring areas but then 2 isn't happening because he's not actual open.

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Does that make sense in the context of my tactic? It is something i've generally struggle with, creating a possession based system while being able to continually feed good chances to a lone center forward.

(3) I intended to fill that void with both the use of a Tetraquartista and a Mezzala. Well more than the AM, the "side AM's" space (or half spaces if you will).

I think its because it ends up a bit static except in wide areas, a common issue I see in 4141 DM Wide.  I'd say try to improve the team/tactic as a whole, which I think is the CM pair at this point.  It's possible that whilst a CM-At (for example) looks like it would take goals away from the ST but it could add goals for the ST if it makes space for him.

Edited by summatsupeer
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