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6-2-2-0 Counter: A Hypothesis (Work in Progress)

Shyftyy

Member
Nov 18, 2012
638
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0
UPDATE: Because of a new job I have no time to continue this project. However, Dinjesk is carrying on with his version which seems to be doing great by the images on page 60. Undefeated over several seasons and more offensive than the original. His latest tactic (V39 at the moment) can be found in the testing area in the post below or on page 60

Thank you to everyone who has put time and effort into this, you are what makes this site great. Hopefully see you back for FM2014.

Shyftyy

Original post below:
New additions/edits to main post are always in blue

Hi all,

First of all, I would like to thank Raikan, Thebetterhalf, Tacktikzz and the fm 2013 community on this site and various others for the inspiration they have provided me to finally upload one of my own tactics. I am a big fan of testing out principles and weird formations so let's get started:

The Hypothesis

As you can see by the title; it's an hypothesis based on the 2 following principles:

1) When creating possession tactics, we always run into the same problem: High Possession = Low Clear Cut chances. So, what happens if we completely reverse that principle and let the opposition pass as much as they want, providing all their passing happens on their own half so they can't get dangerous. Logically, this would mean for them as well that High Possession = Low CCC's which is exactly what we want.

2) A major request for the development of FM2013 was the possibility to have a tactic for when in possession of the ball and one without the ball. Unfortunately, the developers didn't give this to us so when examining tactics we will always see the team run back to their default position as stated in a tactic. The strikers move back to their striker position when they do not have the ball and the defensive instructions kick in from there. So, what happens if we set-up the team in their defensive position, let them attack from there and in their default position (without ball) let them all move back to the midfield line.

So how does this work in FM 2013:

With all the possession we allow our opponents, we have to be on the counter. Let them make the mistakes in the passing (through pressing) and once we have the ball, the whole team storms forward to attack and if not successfull, will come back to their defensive positions in order to not concede.

So what about the defensive formation?

Placing the entire tactic in a defensive position(in order to make sure that they stay on their own half) works fine for defenders, normal midfielders but starts to falter when it comes to Attacking Midfielders, Wingers and Strikers so these positions (please note, I said positions, not players) cannot be used. You can make a fortune by selling your strikers.

(a quick side note: I called this tactic 4-6-0 before but FM 2013 calls it 6-2-2-0 so I renamed it here, you may see some screenshots with 4-6-0 in it. It's the same formation)

In order to have access to what I thought would be the very best team to test this tactic, I chose Barcelona.(I am currently testing it with Bristol City as well but more on that later). (Newcastle now by request)

The formation explained

View attachment 315981
At first glance, this looks like an extremely defensive tactic. This is obviously correct but if you examine the lines closer , it's in fact only the back 4 that are defensive minded. The other 6 players will all burst into action the moment we have the ball. At this time, the computer's defensive line will have to crawl up a bit in order to cover the ball so there will be room for through balls and crosses.

Also, although it is a counter attacking formation, the strategy is set to standard which means that our possession goes up when the opponent is not interested in going forward at all as opposed to using the counter strategy and offcourse it's rigid to maintain it's defensive strength.

The back four is setup with Man Marking/Tight Marking: Yes. The other players are all setup with Zonal Marking/Tight Marking: Yes with the exception of the Wing Backs who are set-up with Zonal Marking/Tight Marking: No as they are often up against the Wingers who will run right by them if set to Yes.

This creates a nice mix of pressing in such a condensed area with all of your players on your own half which often leads not only to the opposition's ball handler to be covered but his passing lanes as well. You'll often see turnovers for the opposition since the players are running all the way back from the opposition's goal area to your own goal area.

Definitely not a possession tactic

Now, when I started with Hypothesis one i wanted to make it absolutely clear again: This tactic is about creating chances, not possession: To prove this point: Here is the analysis of my match in the Champions League vs Manchester City.

View attachment 315982

Barcelona with 27% possession during the match. If you like to see possession football from your and watch every single second of the match you will have a bad time with this tactic :)

However, you will also see in that 27% we managed to create 2 Clear Cut Chances and 1 half Chance whereas Man City managed 2 shots on target out of 9 during the entire game and nothing else. Coming back to principle 1 at the top of this post, you can clearly see that they are allowed to pass as much they want. Just not into our area which is clearly demonstrated in the analysis below. Another benefit is that their main striker (who I sold to them since I don't need strikers in this tactic) David Villa touched the bal a miserable 9 times.

View attachment 315983






How to play the tactic

One result from testing is that it seems you'll need some specific players. In order to help out with this I have included some player filters that should be able to help out:

Central Defenders: http://www.mediafire.com/?2iquv5rm3k40d37
Full Backs: http://www.mediafire.com/?pvf6belybdx9bq1
Wing Backs: http://www.mediafire.com/?a66bhkv7uv7c05k
Defensive Midfielders: http://www.mediafire.com/?l3r2v022te4u8xr
Advanced Playmakers: http://www.mediafire.com/?blhg52lyg8nsx05

In your search players menu, on the right side of your screen, you can see a dropdown menu called filters. Here you can import these filters like you would import a tactic. I have set the values reasonably low in case you play a lower division league.

I use a Standard Field Size but I haven't tested the small size yet a since I am fairly certain this will hinder the opposition even more but I am also worried that it will hinder the counters as well.

Offensively I believe it's best to have a passer and a dribbler as the advanced playmakers. They will swap positions in order to upset any man marking instructions the match engine may use against you. Make sure that regardless of what position your player plays,that they are at least semi comfortable with the role. If you have a great dribbler without the ' run with ball often' PPM feel free to set him to Run with ball often through the sliders.

I let my Assistant Manager (Baresi in this case) set the opposition instructions but he has 4.5 stars in defense training so use your own instincts as well and make sure to set the instructions again when the match engines makes a substitution.Normally though, I would like to set the opposing central midfielders to:

- Closing Down: Always
- Tackling: Hard
- Weaker Foot

I did NOT use any shouts to allow for testing under the same circumstances all the time.

I have built in near post corners and the one that attacks the near post is the best header I have.(Puyol in this save) So if you're best header is not the DCR, you will need to change that yourself. The corner strategy seems to be effective but I read that there are no more exploits in Fm 2013 so I hope this is not the case here.

It takes quite some time for teams to be getting used to this tactic so expect some counter goals in the pre-season and please don't give up on this until the team is fluid in all categories.

I also suggest spending most team training on defending set pieces since that is where the opposition's goal seem to come from.

The drawbacks of this tactic are Stamina, Stamina and Stamina. With the huge amount of ground the attacking players cover you'll need to rest them a lot. Even if this conflicts with their training. I suggest resting them for 2 days or more every other match if you have 3 matches in a week for example. Keep the condition high. It definitely is extremely important for this work

Another thing I have noticed from testing sofar is how important the morale is. Don't be too stingy with praising them as high morale leads to victories. I was going to do a write up on this but the master himself(and all credit for the teamtalk guide should go to him) has written one just today so please check out:

http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/football-manager-2013-tactics-training/115433-raikan007s-teamtalk-guide-fm13-how-get-right-reaction.html



Individual Training:

I train everybody in the roles that they should be able to play. Even players who are 'red' on that position.Take a look at Newcastle's set-up below:

View attachment 316510

You'll notice that the highlighter players are being trained in a completely different role than their position suggest. Take a good look at your players and see who would be able to play where. If you only look at the stats, Sissoko would make a great DM Support for example but he only has 1.5 stars in that position. having everyone at 3+ stars in their role should make this tactic much less erratic.

Match Preparation

During the pre-season: Team Cohesion High for the week and matches is: Tactics Only
During the Season: Balanced - Balanced and for the Match it depends on your opponent:

Much Stronger opponent: Def. Positioning

Similar opponent: Def. Free Kicks (consider this default as it's where the most goals against you will come from)

Lesser opponent: Just go for attacking movement. Your defensive positioning will be okay against them since your entire half is full with your own players and this will help when they choose not to attack.


Set Pieces

View attachment 316002

I forgot about the set-pieces:

Only 1 thing is important here: Have your WBR and WBL do the throw-ins.This way when the Throw ins go wrong the DR and DL are there for the defense.

corners and Freekicks are as in the picture with the normal rule. Right Footer to Left Side and the other way around.

Results

After reading all this I am sure you would like to know what you can achieve with this. Well, I miust say I was very surprised at the results and obviously this is what lead me to posting this tactic:

In my first season with Barcelona, I won the quadruple:

- Spanish Cup Winner Cup
- Spanish Cup
- Champions League
- Liga BBVA

Now, with any tactic Barca can win the league obviously with any tactic and I only won it over Real Madrid by 1 point, but here is the suprising part:

View attachment 315984






That's right: 0 losses, 3(!) goals against and 78 for. That is, with all players on their own half, still the 3rd highest production in the league.

Over all those 4 campaigns including some injuries, we had 53 clean sheets out of 62 matches and 12 goals against in total.

View attachment 315985

You can see in the next image what kind of goals to opposition goals this tactic achieved. A ratio of 10-1 which is the same ratio I managed to achieve with Bristol city below.

View attachment 315987


Bristol City

I can hear you thinking that with Barcelona any tactic will work so I have set out to test it with Bristol City as well. Bristol City has a media prediction of coming into 20st place and have a expectations simply avoiding relegation. I am now only 9 games into the season but the same patters starts to show here as well:

View attachment 315986






Currently in #1 position in the Championship with 11 goals for and only 1 against. This includes to 9/11 clean sheets.

View attachment 315989






And the above is without buying any single player at all (but once again, selling my strikers)

View attachment 315988



Now testing with Newcastle Utd:

Here is the team set-up. Tactic is far from fluent in first games of the season and notice the effect of 3 games in the season without rest so I will rest them for 3 days now. Eventhough the next match is in 4 days.

Also have a look at the DL/WBL: Although Santon looks to be more offensive, he has less flair than Haidara so he is the more defensive option. The flair is important since a lot of chances will come through your WBL's. This also goes for the Advanced Playmakers especially the dribbler.

View attachment 316514




Conclusion

I believe this to have high potential to be a successful tactic but of course it requires more testing. The link is now approved and included below. I hope you will find this an interesting experiment and give it a try with your favorite team. Please do not hesitate to post any questions and I will try to answer them as quick as I can .

Link

http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/downloads.php?do=file&id=7608

Testing area:

First of all, I am proud and surprised by the amount of reactions this received. There are so many people reading this post, testing and commenting that it can be hard for new readers to keep up with all the different things being tested in one big topic. I will put some links to people who have linked tweaks and images of results in the testing area so that it may help others explore the idea behind this tactic.

In general, everyone can see the potency of this system and it works in itself when playing with a high ranked team. You will get few goals against but also a lot of 0-0 draws and minor victories over teams that you were expected to beat comfortably. The main flaw is therefore that this system doesn't score enough to be competitive which is why a lot of testing is to score more while staying true to the original idea, so let's take a look at some tweaks (in no particular order of how good a tweak is, I am just going backwards through the topic:

Currently testing:

Dinjesk: Basically has redesigned and maintained the orginal hypothesis. A big thank you for the effort and believing in the project.

?i have in the 4 positions in the back all central back players, trained for full back position too.
in the next line i have 2 players like busquets. good defending, passing and some times they can pick a goal.
also there are 2 wingbacks, i am rotating with normal wingback and wingers trained too wingback. (depends on the oponent)
then my 2 midfielders are mostly amc or strikers trained 2 the cm position.


in my new tweak i have changed the pressure and speed and also the tactic is verry fluid instead of ridged, this i did so i can put presure right away when i lose the ball en counter for the goal. The choose for verry fluid is because then al my players are doing presure/defending and when the have the ball i can counter with all of them. ( little like mourinho's real madrid )


have made some screens of my undefeated streak and the goals ratio.?

The screenshots mentioned above can be found on page 60. The screenshots below are from a previous version.


View attachment 322042

View attachment 322044

He has completed his 2nd season with Ajax and
won the Eredivise, Dutch Cup, World cup and Champions league.

Dinjesk has now released his final version and you can find it here: http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/attachments/football-manager-2013-tactics-training/395444d1380908197-6-2-2-0-counter-hypothesis-work-progress-test-39_.tac



StueyRob

So many private messages regarding his and my tactic and I am very grateful for some of the insights into the tactic he has given me. StueyRob's tactic is only based on my principles and he has incorporated a lot of his own stuff into his work resulting in a tactic I think he will release in it's own thread (which it probably deserves).

Stuey plays with 3 defenders and 3 defensive midfielders as you can see in the image below.

View attachment 319161

He is done testing and got some extremely good results with it. I will only post his champion's league victory on here but he has also won the league and many more competitions. Don't look at just the score in the picture below, look at the amount of CCC's created.

View attachment 319162

Stuey has released his tactic now in a seperate thread. You can find it here: http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/football-manager-2013-tactics-training/116198-3-7-0-hypothesis-stueyrob.html

Pezz96

Pezz96 has tweaked it into a 4-3-3 (all on our own half) and although it's a early phase in testing seems to get some very nice results with Stoke. Pezz, if you have more updates please let me know.

View attachment 319157

AVPMoreira

AVP is currently testing the original in order to get it to score a bit more.

Shyftyy

I am back to testing the original formation and will hopefully release the final one in about a week.

 
Last edited:

Crane

Member
Nov 18, 2010
1,529
10
38
3 goals against in 38 games? Jesus, even with Barca that's very, very impressive. I love clean sheets, so might give this a go.
 

Shyftyy

Member
Nov 18, 2012
638
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0
3 goals against in 38 games? Jesus, even with Barca that's very, very impressive. I love clean sheets, so might give this a go.
Thank you for the enthousiasm! Can't wait for other people to give it a go :)
 

ICYUNVME

Member
Dec 27, 2010
385
0
16
I tried this a couple of months back with West Brom... Worked pretty well, although I didn't spend too much time developing it, I managed good victories v Milan, Man C & Liverpool. Got bored and went back to my main save after that.
 

JLBfifa

Member
Jan 5, 2013
151
0
0
Woah, this looks insane! 3 goals?? ​Definitely will give this a try once approved.
 

tnemelE

Member
Feb 7, 2013
31
0
0
Any chance of uploading to a 3rd party filehosting site in the mean time? Very eager to test this tactic.
 

jordyboy2468

Member
Nov 29, 2010
216
0
0
3 goals in 38 and 1 in 11 is ridiculous. I'll definitely give it a go with my Stoke save when the links up.
 

tnemelE

Member
Feb 7, 2013
31
0
0
Good idea, I'll give it a go. Any 3rd party you can recommend?
4shared is decent, doesn't require you to register to upload. Mediafire is also good but I believe you need to sign up to upload anything these days, if you're not lazy then give mediafire a go :)
 

Shyftyy

Member
Nov 18, 2012
638
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0
I have uploaded it to Mediafire and the temporary link is now at the bottom of the original post.

Please don't bash the tactic before your team is fully fluid in it :)
 
Last edited:

Shyftyy

Member
Nov 18, 2012
638
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0
Just updated the main posts with one thing I forgot to mention: Make sure that, regardless of what position your player plays, he is at least semi comfortable with the role.
 

mikedodgson

Member
Apr 12, 2010
438
0
0
Shyftyy,

Firstly - well done mate, an inspiring post and a great read!

Do you ever change anything with the tactic to chase for a goal, or defend a lead?

Would love to see how your season goes with Bristol City!

I'm going to get my team to learn it as a backup tactic, can imagine it might take a team a while to adjust to a formation like this!
 

Shyftyy

Member
Nov 18, 2012
638
0
0
Shyftyy,

Firstly - well done mate, an inspiring post and a great read!

Do you ever change anything with the tactic to chase for a goal, or defend a lead?

Would love to see how your season goes with Bristol City!

I'm going to get my team to learn it as a backup tactic, can imagine it might take a team a while to adjust to a formation like this!
Hi Mike,

No. I didn't want shouts to affect the tactic so I intentionally did not use those. What I did do every now and then was to see if a winger for example could play the role of the wing back in order to bring some more flair or better finishing into the situation. A lot of chances come through the wingbacks on my Bristol City save so there it helped every now and then. On Barcelona it was mostly Messi running by everyone :)

Thanks for the enthousiasm (this goes for everyone). I appreciate the nice comments.

Oh, and yes, it takes a bit of time for the team to get fully fluid in this :)
 
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