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I have a vision, but it just wont work!

Sc00by

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Feb 27, 2011
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I started a save with Liverpool, I trawled this forum for all the best tiki-taka or possession based tactics and decided I would take things really slow and try to develop a successful team playing in a style I enjoy.

The vision initially was to bring Muniain, Rodrigo, Alcantara and Isco all into 1 team(yes Ive been watching the U21s, lol) and then play some patient, possession based brand of football and never have to change the squad much for the next 10 years. Obviously that was going to take a **** of a long time, or was it?...

Well when I took charge I quickly noticed that there are a lot of good/average young players here, but by the time they become good enough for what I wanted they usually have been replaced(at least in my experience). So my initial plan of going with what I have kind of went out of the window. I sold off Allen, Shelvey and Hendersen right away, and I bought in Stanciu, who isnt ready for the Premier League yet but he was only £2.5m so I couldnt refuse.

I tried a few plug and play formations and it just wouldnt work, my squad just didnt fit any of them. It seemed like the only way to go was 442, given that we have 3 fantastic strikers(Borini is way better than IRL) and 3 semi decent wingers, with 3-4 AMC's that can play wide if needed. The obvious choice was Modern Warfare 442.

Well we won the league playing with Downing and Sterling on either wing and Borini up front(very realistic, lol)

So I didnt want to go through another save using MW442. I hate 442 and its not the style I want to play nor the reason I started this project. So I decided with all my players values massively inflated, this would be a great time to sell off the older players for big sums and start my Spanish revolution.


I offloaded Johnson, Enrique, Downing, Robinson, Spearing, Carrol, Assaidi, Galacsi, Jones and Pacheco. I got £68m, added to the £36 war chest that was given from the board.

I made £168m woth of signings, every single one is paid over 48 months, I realise this is kind of exploitative, but I wont be making many(if any) signings over the next 4 years, so it will be comfortable to make up the £50m odd shortfall.


Muniain
Isco
Thiago(Alcantara)
Rodrigo
Pogba
Chalobah
Ben Davies
Butland
Tagliafico
Romero
Frees:
Douglas
Babel - Signed him when I was expecting to take it slow, lol - Thought he would make a good squad man as can play many positions.
Yaisien
Rugani
Andrada


So as you can see there have been some big changes, but in terms of players on the pitch, the core of the title winning squad is still there and there are usually only 4 new signings on the pitch at 1 time.


Onto my tactics...

So I didnt like any of the plug and play ones I downloaded so I decided to make my own. I know my players and I know my squad so I should be able to create a tactic that fits my individuals and squad alike.


4231 is an absolute must, I have so much talent in the AMC area that I just cannot waste that by playing 433 or 442 or any other tactic.


I went for a maxed out creative freedom and free roaming etc, short passing, low tempo, narrow, Suarez is a DLF, AMR/L are APs. Initially everyone was set to support, I was hoping this would make them attack and defend as a unit.

It was horrendous, we lost and we lost. I am now in the process of tinkering with everything. I have adjusted 1 thing at a time hoping to see an improvement. I have changed my wide men to Wingers and IFs, but I just dont like how they play. I really like how the wide APs play.

Anyway, Im now on a much wider, faster tempo style, but maintaining the short passing style(I feel anything else would be totally against the type of players we have)

What would you tactical genius's advise now? Stick with this team and this system and let them gel, or keep tinkering until I turn things around? Or just totally ignore my vision and just back to a proven plug and play tactic?

Im pulling my hair out now, I need results!
 

herne79

Member
Feb 12, 2013
336
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Making so many changes to squad personnel at the same time will badly affect results, no matter how good your tactics are. Try setting Team Training to Team Cohesion for a while, but it could take several months.

Check how the team are gelling by going to Staff > your ***. Manager > Reports > Team Talk Feedback.

One other thing - you say you want a 4231 formation, have you tried a deep 4231 using 2 x DM (support)? Run from deep <sometimes>, long shots <rarely> and through balls <often> I have found works extremely well.

Oh, and don't be afraid to have the 2 wide men set as IFs: 2 x attacking IFs + an AP support in the centre + an attacking striker can be lethal, whilst still giving you plenty of possession.
 

Sc00by

Member
Feb 27, 2011
219
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37
Making so many changes to squad personnel at the same time will badly affect results, no matter how good your tactics are. Try setting Team Training to Team Cohesion for a while, but it could take several months.

Check how the team are gelling by going to Staff > your ***. Manager > Reports > Team Talk Feedback.

One other thing - you say you want a 4231 formation, have you tried a deep 4231 using 2 x DM (support)? Run from deep <sometimes>, long shots <rarely> and through balls <often> I have found works extremely well.

Oh, and don't be afraid to have the 2 wide men set as IFs: 2 x attacking IFs + an AP support in the centre + an attacking striker can be lethal, whilst still giving you plenty of possession.
I have tactic training maxed out heavy right now as Im tinkering so constantly need that. Team cohesion gets switched on when the tactic is back to full.

I have a Dortmund save with IFs and AP in centre and I feel the wide men cut inside way too much and run with the ball way too much even when I tell them not to, its a solid formation but not the greatest, Ive won titles but not enough to justify the quality of my squad. I just want them to pass, with the occasional dribble, but not always in-field.

Yea I figured all the changes would have an adverse effect, but in game its not like I am dominating and having CCCs. I can tell from the gameplay its just not working. I could be wrong but I dont think the fact the team is newly formed would make things THIS bad.
 
Dec 22, 2011
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In my opinion I think that 3 AP is too much mate. And can you post Team instruction?
And I think that the fact you put Suarez as a DLF will make him sit too deep, in the AMC space.
 

herne79

Member
Feb 12, 2013
336
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Wow that's a lot of playmakers :O Personally I wouldn't have more than 2 - you don't need to have them all as playmakers to make them pass.

Team Instructions will help :).
 

TheBetterHalf

Patient Moderator
Mar 6, 2009
8,209
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I would consider 2 things.

- You want to play a certain style, yet you use 4 playmakers in a very fluid approach. This will give these players( and the rest to) really high creative freedom to almost do whatever they want.

- You use a Ballwinne without any DMC cover. This will create a hole for the more attacking MCs to drop into as he will easily get dragged forward when closing down anyone in his sight. ( perhaps a CM on defend instead ?)
 

Sc00by

Member
Feb 27, 2011
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Seems like I didnt understand the BWM role. I will change this immediately.

I really want the high creative freedom approach, I think I need to tone it down a bunch though.

I just switched Suarez to AF and he got a hat-trick first game, albeit vs weaker opposition. I do love him dropping deep though, my initial vision was to play without a true striker but I cant make that work either, lol


View attachment 353321


As requested...
TM was originally set to pass to feet. Think it musta have changed it when I switched him to AF.


Appreciate the help guys!
 

Sc00by

Member
Feb 27, 2011
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I just beat Stoke away 1-0 with an injury time header from Douglas from a free kick. The game passed by with practically no incidents, no CCCs for either side(which is a positive in a way because Ive been conceding 2-3 CCCs a game on average, verses 1-2 created if Im lucky)
 

Sc00by

Member
Feb 27, 2011
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Another 2-0 win, back to back clean sheets? West Ham got 2 shots and 32% possession. I missed a pen and just felt in control throughout.
 

Sc00by

Member
Feb 27, 2011
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2-2 Away at Birmingham...

30 shots to 3, but they have 3 CCCs. It just looks like my defenders dont bother defending, they just jockey the opponent and let him do as he pleases while at least looking as though they are defending.

Zigic ran 40 yards marked by 2 defenders then got into the area, skipped between both and scored.
 

herne79

Member
Feb 12, 2013
336
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I think we've fallen into the trap of trying to change everything, when sometimes less is more. It's not necessary to change everything to play, as you say in your vision, patient possession football.

My opinion:
- change from attacking to control. This should move your defensive line deeper which will help stop balls over the top and fast counters against you, as well as helping you play more patient football
- untick width and tempo (you want patient football yet you select a quick tempo?)
- change tackling, crossing, creative freedom back to default
- change the 2 central mids to a DLP defend and a CM defend
- change wingbacks to fullbacks (fullbacks = support wide players ahead, wingbacks = no wide players ahead)
- change the 2 wide APs to 2xIFs or 1 IF + 1 winger

Personally I would still favour 2 x DMs rather than 2 x CMs, especially if you want to stick with an attacking mentality.

The only trouble is, not only do you have a very new team trying to gel, you are also tinkering with the tactics which will also work against you.

Thumbs up for your vision though :).
 

Sc00by

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Feb 27, 2011
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I started out narrow with slow tempo, I changed them trying to find a solution.

By making all these changes Im slowly changing back to some generic 4231 that I really dont want to use.

There has to be a way of playing a possession based technical game and win football matches.

Ive also started out with control and we just were not having enough efforts at goal or creating enough chances so I switched to attacking.
 

Sc00by

Member
Feb 27, 2011
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I need to stop leaking CCCs, but I cant go defensive because Im not scoring enough either.

Ive changed to IFs on support so they are not constantly charging at the defence, WBs are now FBs, DLP is now on defend, BWM is now CM defend.

Im getting 25+ shots per game but some games not a single CCC, some games 4-5 CCCs. Same at the back, some times opponent gets 1-2 shots and no CCCs, other times they get 15 shots and 4 CCCs.

Just no consistency at all... I just beat Man Utd 3-1(3-0 up until last 5 mins), then lost to Stoke in the cup and drew 1-1 with WBA having been 1-0 up all game ad missed many other chances.
 

Sc00by

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Feb 27, 2011
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Im on a great run of games now, 13 wins and 2 draws in my last 15 games. Including 2-0 vs top of the table Spurs, 4-0 vs Inter and 6-0 v Chelsea. 2-2 draws vs both Man City and Barcelona... Vs Barcelona I had 58% possession and 17 shots to 4.

So now the lads are gelling together nicely, do I now try and work in my 3 playmakers or do I leave them as IFs? They do play some nice short football and I always have 64%+ possession vs weaker teams and 55%+ vs good teams, but the play does feel a little too central and too direct for what I wanted to do.
 

Sc00by

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Feb 27, 2011
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Beat Barca 3-1 at the Nou Camp. At home we had 2 goals disallowed and way more shots and CCCs than them and it ended 2-2, I thought I missed my chance there.

This team is absolutely amazing, but we are going to miss Gerrard... Ive had Isco in AMC all season and hes not set the world on fire. Ive used Gerrard deeper, but through injuries I had to use Gerrard in AMC 1 game and he got a hat-trick and was amazing. The whole team seemed to react off him.

In the Nou Camp I put Gerrard to AMC and bought on Thiago in the DLP role with the game finely poised at 1-1... The rest was history!
 

Sc00by

Member
Feb 27, 2011
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Won the Champions League, beat Bayern 3-1 in the final. Over the 2nd half of the season I am top by a long long way!

Cant wait for next season. I have sold Douglas, Agger, Lucas and Skrtl and I have bought in Papadopoulos, Garmash and 1 other DC, probably Umtiti.

That will be my last signings now for a couple of years until Suarez and Reina need replacing. If Ter Stegen becomes available I might make that happen sooner, but I cant think of a forward I would rather have than Suarez so I cant see me changing that.

Couple of teams are interested in Sturridge, but Ive been using him as AMR/ST cover so will probably just keep him.

So...

Im still tempted to go back to the APs, but I really dont want to mess up next season too... Anyone got any other suggestions?

If this tactic continues to be as good as its been second half of the season, should I upload it?
 
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