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Leeds United - a tactical experiment

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
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I bought the game a few days ago but I'm still to press the Continue button... I'm studying the team and trying to develop a tactical system.

1. Analyzing the squad- strengths and weaknesses
We have a determined squad , with an average height of 183 cm ( 184 is the best average for the league).

We are pretty decent at : First Touch (10 place), Passing( 13 place ), Teamwork(11place),Aggression(13 place ) - so I may consider letting the team more creative freedom ( by using the right fluidity?) and maybe tackle harder ( i have to see individual attributes ) and press more.
We are weak at Work Rate (21) - so my team is lazy and the pressing I was thinking is out of the question, strength(19) and decisions( 16)- this could interfere with my vision for a fluid philosophy.

Analyzing the defense I conclude it's one of the strongest in the league : Tackling(3), Heading(2), Marking(3), Pace(4) and Acceleration (5) - so I could play a high D-line because we have pacey defenders. Our weakest area is positioning (10 place in the league).

Looking at our midfield it seems quite creative with : Passing (4) , Technique(1st place in the league) , Tackling (6). We stand pretty low on Vision(14), Decision(14) , Long Shots(15) and Stamina (17)- so they won't be able to sustain a strong pressing style.

The attack division it's one of the weakest in the league ( statistically speaking at least): very slow ( at pace and acceleration we are 20thiest in the division), Heading (21). We are good at long shots (4) - so maybe I don't have to use work ball into box anymore, and Jumping Reach (5)

At this moment I'm worried about the team lacking of decision making at every level.

For a fluid style teamwork, flair, anticipation , off the ball, positioning, decision making may be important attributes. We generally lack in decision making and positioning, but consider the first eleven I believe we could try a more fluid approach. It remains to be seen.

2. Looking at the players available I could use the following defensive shapes: 41221, 442, 4141, 451. I have , in my opinion, only two ready to start strikers in Antenucci and Wood so in most of the games I have to favor a lone striker system.
I also want to have three approaches :
- a more adventurous approach for home games and smaller opposition - I think this is best represented by a control mentality( attacking football with medium risk) but I'm not yet sure of fluidity. The 41221 seems the best option available to me from the one listed above , for this type of football ( just my opinion and I'm not sure it's the right one)- this will be Plan A;
- a counter attacking option to use against teams I believe we won't get the ball to often but we may stand still and patient and make the upset - patient football, possession based(at least try), LOW RISK - so maybe a direct counter attacking 442 with TM/P combination ?
- a more defensive team to use against bigger team- no parking the bus, but a more defensive orientated system- so i believe the 4141 is the best choice for this.

1. PLAN A 41221 - Attacking Football

My setup is the following:
View attachment 211494

GK(D)- distribute to full backs
FB(A)- IF(A) combination on the left side of the pitch- the IF will cut inside , supporting the TM and also score goals. The FB will also provide support without occupying the same space with the IF.
FB(S)-W(A) on the right side of the pitch - providing another sort of movement then on the left side. The full back will be a little more defensive , the winger will try to beat his man on the touchline using his speed and skill. Crosses aim to target man.( I think I should add this PI to all wide man if i decide to use a TM but I have to see some games firstly)
In midfield I've gone for DLP(D) - protect the defense acting like the holding midfielder and also offers creativity by trying through balls - i see him as a hidden creator , the man who will give that pass that will get us that goal from nowhere . In front of him we have the AP(S) who will be my main source of creativity spreading passes all over the pitch. The BBM will be my runner, always providing a passing option.

I'm not entirely sure about the TM(S) role and I may change it with an AF; also the BBM may become a BWM(S).

Is this a balanced team?
Has this team a more dimensional attack?

Is the chose fluidity the right one? I made that choice because I believe that my wingers , my BBM and even my FB are creative players for this level so I should let them express themselves along my playmakers. With a rigid philosophy my DLP and AP will have been the creative force , but I want other players to try and create , too. Is this supposition right?

How about the control mentality?

According to this guide(The Mentality Ladder: A Practical Framework for Understanding Fluidity and Duty) this mean:

GK: Cycle Possession
DC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
DL/R: Recover Possession
DMC: Recover Possession Immediately
Box to Box Midfielder: Shuttle Ball Into Space
AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently

Also, the control mentality uses :
- a quick build up style from the base
- shorter passing for defenders
-more direct passing for attackers
- higher tempo and more width

So I have to watch games and see how this translate into our style - if i see any flows i have to use the right TI's(or PI's) to either accentuate this characteristics or downgrade them - if the tempo is to high use lower tempo, if the tempo is not as high as it should be use higher tempo and so on ...

Please tell me your opinion about this tactic and explain me if are any flows in my system. It took me a long time to study a lot of different materials about football and football manager and I really want to make this save working. I really worked for it.
By the end of this week I wanna make the other two systems , create set up routines and finally start playing the game. I have yet to press that Continue button, I'm eager to do that but I have to make sure I'm on the right path before doing so. So if you have the time I would really appreciate any kind of constructive help.

Thank you
 

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
189
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35
After three wasted friendlies , where I couldn't even defeat my own reserve team I changed the formation to this:
View attachment 210403

This is working better on the pitch, we didn't improve to much in results but the play is better.
Now we have another pertinent problem: due to the roles I chose ( or this is what I'm inclined to believe ) we are crossing the ball a lot. That wouldn't be such a problem but most of the crosses end up being intercepted. It's like we give away possession for nothing. I would like to play just a little more elaborated at front.
Some suggestions?

Thanks
 

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
189
0
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35
For now, I don't really use them. I tried in some friendlies : work into box, play out defence, cross from byline but I haven't settled on any of them yet.
I use some PI like:
GK- distribute to full backs
DLP- tackle harder
DL- tackle harder
AF and DLF - close down much more
WM- cut inside

Watching the games in full and from the match analysis it seem I have to either improve crossing quality or simply take less crosses .
View attachment 210376View attachment 210375
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,477
8
38
For one thing, you may benefit from swapping your 2 CMs. Let the more defensive CM cover for the attacking fullback. It'll also push the other CM forward to link up with the right winger and DLF.

FWIW, if you are going to accept that crossing/wide play is part of a 4-4-2, it becomes a matter of how to cross to your strikers.
 

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
189
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For one thing, you may benefit from swapping your 2 CMs. Let the more defensive CM cover for the attacking fullback. It'll also push the other CM forward to link up with the right winger and DLF.

FWIW, if you are going to accept that crossing/wide play is part of a 4-4-2, it becomes a matter of how to cross to your strikers.
Thank you, that move in the midfield seems quite logical. I was thinking that for an alternative tactic to use this setup with cm (d) and ap (s) in the midfield , standard or control/fluid.

For the crossing thing I have to find the best delivery way that suits the players avaible to me, either by using PI's or TI's?

Anyway this 442 seems much more stable în defense then the 41221 I started with. And I was thinking that on a
game by game basis I could easily change it to a 4141 or a 4411...

Thank you for your help.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,477
8
38
For the crossing thing I have to find the best delivery way that suits the players avaible to me, either by using PI's or TI's?
What type of cross would suit the players - the strikers and the wingers? Would it work against defences you typically face? You can assess all of this yourself.

TIs are easy to adjust, so that's the obvious way. You can choose the type of crosses from there.
 
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BuchisPumba

Member
Nov 19, 2015
22
0
0
Watching the games in full and from the match analysis it seem I have to either improve crossing quality or simply take less crosses .
View attachment 986555View attachment 986556
I wouldn't say you have a problem with your crosses. On average you are completing 19% of them (small sample ofcourse). At the moment I'm playing a championship save with a friend (who is playing Leeds) and the best team in our league has completed 20% of crosses.
View attachment 210107
Remember that this is a very high risk percentage pass. Chances are big the cross won't reach it's target or becomes intercepted by the goalkeeper or defenders. You take this risk because a good cross has a good chance of turning into a goal.
View attachment 210104
For example: my team has 15% goals scored out of successful crosses. So roughly 1 in every 35 crosses is a goal for me. Odds worth losing ball possession over. I try to think about how I want to get the ball back after the cross. For example I might want to make sure that 1 midfielder stays behind the box to secure balls that are headed away, while the other arrives late in the box to try and finish a header.

Good luck man!
 
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aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
189
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Using that 442 it sometimes seems very hard to score.
Played four official games using a counter/standard fluid 442 : lost 2-1 to Burnley ( lucky strike late in the game, we dominated the game), won 2-0 against Morecambe and 4-2 against reading. Lost 1-0 to Bristol City, simply because we didn't find a way to score. For the game against Sheff Wed I used the below formation and won 4-1, after they had 1-0.View attachment 209939

Conclusion:
1. I like the 442 because it's a bit more stable in defense
2.I really don't like the 442 because of the wide players, the crossing and because I like scoring goals- one more than the opposition
3. In the 41221 I like the IF movement
4. I like the BWM role but I don't have a truly good one
5. Luke Murphy plays well as a DLP
6. I wood like to use in midfield all my best players once- and as much as possible in their best roles : Murphy/Cook/Mowatt- DLP(D)/AP(S)/ but what should I do with Mowatt? CM(D)? Or BWM and start Adeyemi?
7. What I'm going to do with Wood? Can he be a good lone striker? He's not really a DLF, not really an AF- he's a good target man but I don't enjoy having a TM at all... So wouldn't he better suited as a decoy - DLF , withdrawn, make place for the IF's in an 41221 ? But who to play as an IF on the right side? Botaka has a great finishing- 6!!! And i really don't want a winger - I want someone who cuts inside , gets into the box and score ( neither a raumdeuter wouldn't be bad )

True conclusion: my head is spinning!
And another conclusion: I may not be sacked ( at least until january) using the 442 but I don't like it and I don't see myself buying players tu support this systems in the future.

I have no idea what should I do at the moment.
 

BuchisPumba

Member
Nov 19, 2015
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4. I like the BWM role but I don't have a truly good one
5. Luke Murphy plays well as a DLP
6. I wood like to use in midfield all my best players once- and as much as possible in their best roles : Murphy/Cook/Mowatt- DLP(D)/AP(S)/ but what should I do with Mowatt? CM(D)? Or BWM and start Adeyemi?
Ideally you want to play Cook, Mowatt and Murphy all 3 together, because they are among the strongest in your squad. They are all very technical players, but also very alike. Against stronger teams or away you might want to run with a BWM or B2B who has better stats in strength, agression, marking and tackling. Adeyemi could be your guy for this, but perhaps there's better on a free transfer or loan.
 

Andyplatt

Member
Nov 16, 2015
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I feel your struggle

I have also started a career with Leeds and have only played a few friendlies so far and have found it very difficult. Finding a formation to suit the players is tough. Really, in the squad there are some very good young players. But no real quality compared to other teams in the league. Cook is probably the stand out player but even he is still very young and has nowhere near reached his full potential.

Not including cook, mowatt, murphy, byram and taylor. The team is very average and there is a distinct lack of goals. I really cant see how we are going to reach the top 6 this season as I dont see us scoring enough goals. I was thinking about using a flat 451 formation with Wood up top on his own, with cook, murphy and mowatt all in the middle together, with dallas on the right and hopefully a loan signing on the left. But I really cant see us scoring enough goals to mount any sort of challenge, I'm hoping to play a very defensive, tight formation that will keep possession and restrict teams to very few efforts, and hopefully concede very few goals, (hopefully winning every game 1-0) lol.

Any tips greatly appreciated
 

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
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Ideally you want to play Cook, Mowatt and Murphy all 3 together, because they are among the strongest in your squad. They are all very technical players, but also very alike. Against stronger teams or away you might want to run with a BWM or B2B who has better stats in strength, agression, marking and tackling. Adeyemi could be your guy for this, but perhaps there's better on a free transfer or loan.

I'm trying into fit them all into the first team... They are all playmakers type and maybe this makes things a little harder. Mostly because I like players like Wanyama and I would have liked to have one player of this type in my squad.
I usually disable first transfer window and don't sign any player until either january or the start of the second season. I may loan a player if i really think it's a must and I can't do it other way. But I don't think this is the case now.The squad seems good enough for a middle table. I sign a coach, a scout or more if they are available...
 

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
189
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35
I have also started a career with Leeds and have only played a few friendlies so far and have found it very difficult. Finding a formation to suit the players is tough. Really, in the squad there are some very good young players. But no real quality compared to other teams in the league. Cook is probably the stand out player but even he is still very young and has nowhere near reached his full potential.

Not including cook, mowatt, murphy, byram and taylor. The team is very average and there is a distinct lack of goals. I really cant see how we are going to reach the top 6 this season as I dont see us scoring enough goals. I was thinking about using a flat 451 formation with Wood up top on his own, with cook, murphy and mowatt all in the middle together, with dallas on the right and hopefully a loan signing on the left. But I really cant see us scoring enough goals to mount any sort of challenge, I'm hoping to play a very defensive, tight formation that will keep possession and restrict teams to very few efforts, and hopefully concede very few goals, (hopefully winning every game 1-0) lol.

Any tips greatly appreciated

But Cook , Mowatt, Byram, Taylor and Murphy looks like a very good platform to build upon. This is why I believe I have to fit them all into the starting team.
Every year I buy FM and play one single save- Leeds. And it is a struggle. Every year.

If you intend playing Wood upfront as a lone striker try to make sure he gets very good support- from midfield and even defense. He is not the type of player who will rip teams apart. One of my very first ideas was a 4141. But I seem to favour a more attacking style so now I'm working on that 41221.
 

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
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It seems that none of my players can score from penalties ... all penalties were missed since the beginning of the season...
 

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
189
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35
View attachment 209068

This is how we settled finally. I don't have an alternative tactic to this and our latest games were played using this with slight modifications during games ( like cms to bwm or bbm , or a mentality shift for short periods of time in matches , or sometimes dropping work ball into box etc).
If somebody has ideas on what I should work as a backup tactic or knows how I could improve this one it's more then welcome to help.

View attachment 209065

Currently 4th place, but I strongly believe that with a more patient manager ( one or two of the lost games are my fault, as I got mad watching some stupid mistakes and just let them play on only commentary and got out for a break- I won't do this anymore, I have to watch matches - at least in comprehensive when I get nervous - the changes I make in game really make a difference. Most of games where watched in full.)

View attachment 209054

Those three consecutive loses against MK Dons, Middlesbrough and Birmingham shouldn't be counted to much - the first one was my fault, the second one was Silvestri keeping the ball- putting down the ball- keeping the ball- putting down the ball again this time in front of a opposition striker. Unreal mistake ( the kind that will be fixed when the new patch arrives). And of course , we not scoring from penalty- very low conversion rate. It's this a bug or is just my players poor concentration? ( or lack of it) The third defeat looked alike the second one.

Cook is injured six weeks. He's the heart of the team. Another very good player seems to be Botaka, the team goalscorer.

I truly believe this Leeds team could easily get promoted in the first season. Probably I won't be able to do it but I'm quite satisfied by this save till now.
 

aramis

Member
Apr 19, 2010
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Do you think is there any way I could make a formation based on three playmakers in the midfield work?
It will be a combination of :
DLP(D)
DLP(S) AP(A)

Something like in:


GK(D)
FB(A) CD(D) CD(D) FB(S)

DLP(D)

WM(?) AP(A) DLP(S) WM(A)


DLF(S)

-still don't know who will possible score goals in this formation ?
-who will get forward to pick passes from central midfielders ? for who they will create chances?
- won't this be to unidimensional ?
 
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