gm.442-fff2-hoof-19.3.4 / Low Block Hoofball

BJT

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Dec 23, 2018
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gm.442-fff2-hoof-19.3.4 / Low Block Hoofball

Tactic Download - View attachment 8448






Nope, this isn’t a possession style of football tactic. And nope, it’s not the normal offensive high pressing style of game.

But this instead is a tactic for those that like to chew their gum either on the touchline or in front of the monitor, whilst also believing the baseball cap is a highly fashionable accessory...

Oh yes, inspired by my two favourite managers in the English game Big Sam and Tony Pulis…here is my version of the 442 Hoofball!

Route One IS the way Forward

Prior to creating the system, I was about 9 points off the league leaders after around 10 or so games played. The team Billericay. It’s a shame I didn’t start the season with this tactic, but I ended the season with 96 points and a 32 match unbeaten run that was ended last day of the season.

I was previously playing with a direct system, but then it occurred to me the extreme Long-Ball in my mind seems to be the most effective direct game for team’s inferior especially when you look at well documented history.

Big Sam’s made an EFL cup final, Tony Pulis an FA Cup Final, and Wimbledon have beaten Liverpool winning the FA Cup Final.

What it Comprises

Taking elements from each of these three sides is what makes this 442 Hoofball tactic.

Big Sam – utilises the hoof to gain territory to then allow his teams to play some decent football in the opposing third and brings full-backs into the play. This is my general style in how I’d want to play a long-ball game.

Tony Pulis – a deeper and lower line of engagement letting teams come onto them whilst playing narrow to keep things tight at the back. Also utilises the long throws and set pieces to perfection. I do love a Rory Delap.

Wimbledon – their pressing is urgent in style from their midfield, especially having one Vinnie Jones to really battle the opposing midfield, with Fashanu their main target man up top and Beasant slowing the play down whilst launching balls directly up to him.

I always aim to produce a system that you can plug n play. The hope by bringing these three elements will leave a very flexible approach.

-We should have quality possession in the opposing third to break teams down
-We should be able to counter-attack effectively utilising the low-block and having wingers
-We should be able to slow the play down allowing us to re-organise and manage the game

I would say from my results, it’s definitely an offensive long-ball style as we will concede a few goals given our wingers do go on the offence with large frequency. I was 4-1 down in a game, only to win it 5-4 =)

The system also uses the cautious mentality.

Roles

The roles allowing me to do the above are:

-Target Man Support, to give us time to bring support into the opposing third of the pitch to play our game
-Advanced Playmaker Support, to direct our attacks in the opponents half
-Wingers to provide dangerous balls into the box for our Poacher to feed on, whom are supported by supporting Full-backs ensuring to remain deep
-Centre Midfield Defend, our hard man in the middle but with an ability to pick out a pass when it’s on
-Ball Playing Defender, someone who can control and pass the ball out from the back with the ability to hit our target man accurately

Note I have also designed the best header of the ball as the target for our set-pieces. So if you can get a real tall physical beast of a target man that would be extremely handy to supplement the centre-backs also going forward.

Training / OIs

FM Touch – Set Pieces, ensure to set as I found a lot of goals came from them especially throws. I'm not sure if I stumbled onto an exploit, although my choices were all very deliberate. I'd like to think it's just a decent well planned routine.

OIs – Assistant Handles with the following positional OIs

AMR/MR - show onto right foot
AML/ML - show onto left foot

-Ensure your centre-backs are capable of dealing with predictable crosses into the box as wingers will be forced wide
-This will show an inside forward naturally onto his weaker foot

The idea being this will retain the narrow defensive structure, and the dangerous inside forwards will always be shown their weaker foot towards the touchline, reducing the danger of a shot at goal.

Set Pieces

AP Support set to take the corners and free kicks, and they are launched into the 6 yard box and best header of the ball

Throws taken by full-backs, launched into the box.

Results

As briefly mentioned, a 32 game unbeaten run since I changed tactic after around 10 games took us to 96 points and top of the league. We were 9 points off the pace beforehand.

Our poacher ended up top-scorer in the league as it should be, and we notched up over 100 goals in the season.



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I’m not sure how many low-block or long ball tactics are about, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to make given I’m a big fan of Sam and TP. This hoofball tactic has worked for me in the lower leagues, how it fares in higher divisions I don’t know – appreciate any testers.

I’d also like to know what sort of possession I’m getting. Unfortunately on FM Touch I don’t have this information available. I'm hoping it will be sub 40%.

Otherwise if you want something different to the normal and enjoy having the heart race by playing a low-block system with shots being pinged at you from outside the box left right and centre, then this tactic will allow for just that =)



 
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BJT

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Dec 23, 2018
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Further Testing - Fulham / Juventus / Celtic

After promotion from the league's lowest division, I thought it may be an idea to try and ascertain the potential of the tactic with different sides.

The Fulham squad was pretty much same and no first XI changes, but with Juventus I sold Dybala and Pjanic to try and get a side more geared to the system. It took me until January to have the first team I wanted, and is one which on paper should win the league. Veratti came in at the start of the season, with Erikson replacing him in the first XI from January along with Lukaku in place of Mandzukic for extra pace.

With Juventus we finished 5th which is in the European places but not the ECL. (I did get sacked in 5th place but for the purposes of testing carried on). However with Fulham we over-achieved by some places and finished 13th.

I don't believe in the modern day there has been a long-ball team to finish in an ECL spot. However Big Sam achieved the top of the Europa League spot with Bolton, which is where I ended up with Juventus. Burnley have also made the European spots via the league.

So based from my results from a season with Fulham and Juventus, you should probably/hopefully expect to see a tactic that like Wimbledon, can work it's way up the divisions. It also has the potential to reach the 40 points which means premiership safety. And given it is a system that can over-achieve with an inferior squad, there's no reason why it can't achieve a European spot.

Lately testing it with Celtic, it amassed a decent points total to win the Scottish Premiership and can succeed in a less competitive top division.

However don't expect to win a top European League with the tactic and probably not make the ECL just like the long ball has achieved in recent times - unless you get a bit of luck of course or choose to exploit.



 
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BJT

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Tactic Update - v2

Slight change to the defending free kick set-pieces. The target man has instead been set to man-mark with the winger taking their place in the wall instead. The hope being the extra height will help defensively, whilst two wingers in the wall be greater placed to directly hit teams on the counter.
 

BJT

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Dec 23, 2018
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Aston Villa – Season 2 Premiership

After getting promoted in top spot with our sky-ball, following a bit of investment we achieved our goals of remaining in the Premiership ending up in 10[SUP]th[/SUP] place being a top half finish.

A lot of injuries meant the squad was tested, but over the course of the year we had some really good results against the big clubs. Our positive results against the so called top 6 were as follows:

H – Man City 0-0
H – Arsenal 1-0
H – Liverpool 1-0
H – Man Utd 3-3
A – Spurs 0-0
H – Spurs 1-1
H- Chelsea 1-0

These were crucial in comfortably reaching the 40 points mark with 3 games to spare, and it was nice to grab points from every one of the top six. We got 13 points off these sides from of our final 48 points total.

Breaking it down, our home form was excellent – but our away form was poor. So to get the most out of an underdog side in the big league, you would probably want to make a second tactic for the away games using the park the bus / defensive mentality to even further overachieve.

 

BJT

Member
Dec 23, 2018
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36
Tactic Update - Opposition Instructions Tweak

The main thread has been updated to now include OIs. The aim being to make the opponents' offense more predictable and help retain the narrow defensive shape.

Additionally inside forwards should be less dangerous by being forced towards the touchline.
 
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