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Well, I'm back FMBase!

I believe this is my first FM13 post, that's mainly due to laziness and the fact I've not really had any inspiration for tactics/articles until recently. I've been reading an unofficial Chelsea FC biography (well worth a read) and the chapters about Jose Mourinho's 2004-2006 team reminded me of my footballing upbringing.

Hence why I'm writing this. Being 20 now (I Feel Old) I am lucky enough to have grown up with the best Chelsea team ever and one of the best teams the world has ever seen (in my opinion). Therefore counter-attacking, defensive solidarity and breaking the opponents lines has been ingrained in me and to a point the tactics I've been using since Championship Manager 2004.

I've been working on a tactic that uses these principles for a LONG time now, since FM2008 to be precise, but I've never been happy enough with it to release it and I'm sad to say that I'm still not releasing it;well, not today at least ;)

But now to the main point of this article, helping you guys involve precise, counter-attacking football into your tactics.

First of all here's a few things NOT TO DO.
-Don't base a tactic solely around the counter-attack. You'll struggle to score goals if this is your only means of attack.
-No matter how incredibly gifted a player may be, if he has low stamina he's just going to waste one of your substitutions. Stamina is important in any tactic that uses the counter-attack. Don't waste money of lethargic players.
-Don't push your fullbacks to far forward, space behind you is your enemy. You can compensate for doing this by having an anchor man who will fill in the space when required.

Now here's some things you'll need.
- A formation that allows quick transitions to your forward/s without resulting to hopeful balls. 4-2-3-1, 4-1-2-2-1, 4-1-4-1 are all good for this.
- Speed kills. Speedy, traditional wingers are generally a good thing when counter-attacking. Think Antonio Valencia rather than Nani though.
- Position swapping can be useful, confusing markers is going to give you more space. Space is good.
- Passing and technique are key for anyone who's going to be heavily involved in creating a counter (CM's, AM's, Wingers and even your Fullbacks!)

Lets get thorough, above was the general gist of the art of counter-attacking this is the refinement of it to be a truly deadly weapon.

The Art of the Counter Attack That is some extra reading if your interested. It's one of the best football articles I've read in a LONG time. Well worth a look :)


Right then, Here's the 4-1-2-2-1 I use for my Everton team.

View attachment 319566

As you can see, it's fairly varied when it comes to attack. An inside forward/attacking fullback combination creates overloads on the left, a deep lying playmaker hits precise, vertical balls to the players in front of him, a traditional winger gives width on the right side and an attacking cm charges onto knockdowns from my forward.

Variety is important. Especially when your playing a counter-attacking strategy. If your only method of scoring on the counter is a long ball to a forward who runs behind the oppositions defense and you come up against a team like Stoke (who play deep with strong CB's) then well, to put it bluntly, you're screwed.

Keeping things varied when it comes to attacking is important but balancing that with defense is even more important. Your not going to have a lot of the ball so your defensive structure needs to be near flawless. So all the attacking systems I listed above have a defensive counter-measure. The attacking CM is balanced by a ball winner who stays deep, the attacking fullback knows that my DM will fill in if he gets caught in possession and so on. Balancing your attack and defense is hard, but when you get it right the results are brilliant.

View attachment 319568

The above picture details something key about creating effective counter-attacks. Direct, accurate passes. Not long, hoofed balls forward. A precise, well timed ball to one of your forwards. Direct passes will also allow you to break out of your defensive structure faster than slower, short passes. This will allow you to hurt the opponent easily due to you defending DEEP and drawing them onto you by NOT PRESSING THEM high up the pitch (though your striker should press the center-halves, you'll be surprised how many goals you can score when your striker tackles a CB and then runs behind them).

Here's the instructions for my 4-1-2-2-1 that I showed you earlier

View attachment 319571

They do what they say on the tin, so no real explaining is needed other than a few things:
-Having your striker set as a Target Man even if he is not using the TM role will increase the speed of your play going forward.
-Having a playmaker who is central and playing down the flanks will cause your team to use the 'Wall Pass' that Manchester United use so effectively. (A 'Wall Pass' is a long, diagonal pass for a winger to run onto behind the oppositions defence)

(I know it says press more, but all of my players;except my Striker, are set to OWN HALF closing down)

Well, I know that was long winded folks, well done if you got through all of that. Pat yourself on the back, make yourself a hot drink and relax. I'll be back soon ;)
 
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Interesting read Laffles. Will you be releasing a tactic at all this FM?
 
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Nice write-up and a hot drink is a good idea as well :)
 
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Would love to see some of your results with this, also how are you finding it defensively?
 
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4 games played with a young Everton side, won 2 drawn 2 conceded 3 scored 5. Still tweaking massively though.
 
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Seems that a solid defence is harder in this FM than any previous versions!
 
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Nah, Its hard to balance defence and attack. You can do one or the other but its hard to do both
 
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I've tried a lot of tactics and haven't found one to be defensively sound yet! I really like the idea you have of two different mentality sides to the tactic, surely making it a bit harder for the opposition to counter it effectively. This also gives you the chance to mix wingers with inside forwards or full backs and wingbacks. Hope you do well with Everton, and keep us updated :)
 
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I've tried a lot of tactics and haven't found one to be defensively sound yet! I really like the idea you have of two different mentality sides to the tactic, surely making it a bit harder for the opposition to counter it effectively. This also gives you the chance to mix wingers with inside forwards or full backs and wingbacks. Hope you do well with Everton, and keep us updated :)
Too many injuries therefore had to use too many youth players, kinda unusable testing data. Started a new game with Spurs, will then go for Southampton and maybe some foreign/league 1 teams :)
 
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You should try it with Chelsea, they have a few decent players that should fit the system.
 
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Laflles is back! :D

I hope you will upload your tactic soon ;)
 
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Nah, Its hard to balance defence and attack. You can do one or the other but its hard to do both
Yes, this is exactly where my 6-2-2-0 is weakest. The defense is great but when you do go down , it's extremely hard to equalise again.

It seems we are trying to achieve the same thing. Do you mind if I try some of the things in your write-up for my own testing Laffles?
 
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Yes, this is exactly where my 6-2-2-0 is weakest. The defense is great but when you do go down , it's extremely hard to equalise again.

It seems we are trying to achieve the same thing. Do you mind if I try some of the things in your write-up for my own testing Laffles?
Not at all, that was the idea! I need a bit of help with it and this was a clever way of getting people to comments successes/failures so I can reduce the amount of testing I normally do!
 
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Not at all, that was the idea! I need a bit of help with it and this was a clever way of getting people to comments successes/failures so I can reduce the amount of testing I normally do!
Ok. great :) I will let you know how it goes. I am trying a weird formation at the moment but the principles should be the same.
 
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Ok. great :) I will let you know how it goes. I am trying a weird formation at the moment but the principles should be the same.
I've downloaded it to have a look mate, definitely an interesting formation!
 
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I've downloaded it to have a look mate, definitely an interesting formation!
Great! Already discovered some flaws with it which are in the testing section in the write-up. There are some other people as well trying to make it more offensive so any input is appreciated.
 
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