May 10, 2013
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I've been working on trying to recreate a Barcelona-esque tactic for quite some time now. (This is my first post so sorry for anything wrong!)

I've tried a tactic I found on here called La Masia Philosophy, which works well at keeping posession and creating an equal distribution of passes as you can see from these screenshots:

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The formation is just how I want it, and the passes are perfect. My only problem is that I don't create enough chances in a game. Admittedly in this screenshot I'm not having the best of games so my players are sat very deep.

I actually tried Raikan's new Borussia Dortmund tactic on another save and was very impressed with the amount of chances it created, both shots and CCC's. I used Raikan's tactic and changed the formation and it created enough chances, and was a lot more stable defensively, but the passing and the way the goals were scored just weren't to my liking as I am trying to recreate a Barcelona/tika-taka style team.

My problem is that if I try to implement this tactic into a non-classic tactic, the formation just isn't right, Messi pushes up to high, the Iniesta role pushes up a bit too high, and the passes are never equally distributed no matter how I set my team up.

I also have a problem with this classic setup that the defence is very inconsistent, a lot of the time I get clean sheets, and other times it all goes wrong...Not sure if my PPM's etc are all wrong really.

Anyone able to give me any tips? Ideally I would want a tactic which isn't classic so I can apply all of the shouts I want mid-game and get a lot more CCC's, but I want a non-classic tactic which still embraces the passing/formation of this tactic.

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Here is the formation using a non-classic tactic.
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You have to go from the formation you're trying & what you like, & tweak it. If you want one of your CM's to look for chances more often, or go for it when it's clearly on, finely tune the individual player instructions "Mentality" & "Creativity" sliders until you get the almost exact balance you want. I'm having the same issue to a point in the sense that I have the midfield working exactly how I want in terms of how it moves & passing, but it seems almost impossible to have your midfielders doing both that & also looking to create chances. It's frustrating when good play results in clear openings but the player just lingers with the ball & eventually just passes sideways again.
Well, I have the attacking players with a lot of creativity, but I'm not sure how to make Messi come deep to get the ball.

I've found that just making everyone play short passes, and adjust the through ball options is enough to make them play a passing game well. In order to get an effective passing game such as with Barca, you need a lot of players close together, hence why I moved the right winger more central such as with Barca. This allows Alves to push up the right and provide width there.

One problem with this is that in real life, Alba/Puyol/Pique all move across to become slightly more central when Alves pushes up the right, almost forming a back 3. Or Busquets will drop off into the CB's to form a back 3. I think this is impossible to produce in FM however.
I don't think your wingers should be given the most creative freedom. If anything, you want your midfielders, & obviously the Messi role, to be given the most creative freedom. But then players should actually be very disciplined in what they're told to play like, & just putting the slider right up for Creative Freedom isn't really the right thing. You need to very finely tune the slider to find the correct balance, basically what I already said.

Although wingers come inside as play approaches the final third, they generally move back into there wide position when the ball moves back into midfield. It's not all about playing narrow, you need wide players hugging the touchline to stretch play.

To remotely replicate the Messi role, you need to play him in an attacking midfielder position. If you put him in the position of a ST, he won't come as deep as what he should regardless of what role you give him in that position.
I've put him in an AM position yeah, will try putting the creativity of the wide players down a touch as I'm probably allowing for too much creativity at the moment. I moved Pedro in from the right, so hes effectively next to Messi much like Fabregas does for Barca sometimes, and with that I've allowed Alves more of an attacking role as WB so he still provides the width with Pedro but Pedro cuts inside and Alves stays wide, it works as it allows for more players in the middle open to passes.

I'm in two minds as to whether my left winger (Villa role) should be in line with Pedro/Messi or whether to put him in a left striker position. What do you think? Getting some improved results though, now I just need to improve the defence I think.
If you are using Iniesta or Fabregas as one of your wingers with the fullback on there side doing the job of keeping width, then you should position them how you have. But when Barca use Pedro & Villa as wingers, they don't play as an extra man in the middle. They keep width, & play on the shoulder rather than coming short all the time. They might come inside occasionally to help combine play during a certain phase of play but in-general, they don't. Looking at there average positioning after some games, it might look as though they spend a lot of time in the middle, but that's because Barcelona spend a lot of games around the oppositions penalty box, & the wingers usually spend a lot more time in the box rather than staying wide, unless they've clearly been told to stay wide. I just have them in a wingers position as inside-forwards. They get in the box enough for my liking as play approaches the final third, with there respective fullback keeping the width.

Right now, we average really high amounts of possession. At home, we're almost guaranteed 68%-74%, against strong opposition as well. There's never really been a problem for home games though, even without a well thought-out tac'. My main struggle was to be able to get high amounts away from home as well, and I've been happy with the results with the tactic I've made. It's consistently getting around the 65% to 70% in away games. Some games aren't always the same though because if opponents press & leave a lot of space behind, I prefer my players to always get it forward quick & CM's to always look for the killer ball, like Barcelona do in real life against teams who try to play them at there own game: I.E. Watch them vs. Athletic Bilbao. In that situation, it's usually the 56%-62% mark. But I'm happy with that, because if opponents are coming at you to play good football as well, there's no need to look sideways when there's probably an easier pass on to create a chance. The only time we just find impossible to totally dominate is at the Santiago Bernabeu. With the tactic I use, & considering how players suddenly become incapable of making an unbelievably simple square pass, I've learnt to be happy with 55%-60% at there ground, & that's usually the amount we get.

So many stuff on recreating the tactic. Most aren't patient enough to even let the tactic they're trying to become Fluid in all areas. In my first season with Barca, we won every title possible but I wasn't really happy because we just won games by Messi dribbling past hapless, gormless defenders. How we play is more important to me, even if we aint as successful. The way we played was no where near as good as what we play like now. PPM's are important as well, such as "Look for pass rather than shot" for midfielders, "Rarely run with ball" for wingers.. and all the obvious anti-possession PPM's. If players are unable to learn it the first time, just keep getting them to until they do.
View attachment 341690 This was a drab game away to At. Madrid. We were suffering from fatigue since we'd just had a game almost every other day within 3 weeks, & we hadn't looked as sharp. But I think the 68% possession away to At. Madrid still shows the importance we have with dominating possession, regardless of how fatigued we are. We looked how Barca looked away to AC Milan when they lost 2-0, with hardly any movement.

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View attachment 341693 Benfica somehow got to the CL final.

View attachment 341694 Against Fluminense in the Club World Cup final.

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Just a random bunch of end of game stats. Everyone on here seem obsessed with CCC's & I know there's a definite lack of them, but I've never really cared as much about it. As long as we score, which we do a lot, I don't care. I don't really know how CCC's are calculated. I mean, is a 6 yard shot in the box counted as a clear cut chance? I always check to see if some of the really good chances we get are counted as a CCC, but they're not. To me, a shot inside the box is a good chance & we generally get a lot of them.