Starting at a new club

  • We've had a few issues with Google Adsense and so we're shopping around new networks so you may see more or less adverts than usual. We apologise for that. We dislike having ads on our site but without them Base would not be able to exist. If you'd like to support Base and go ad-free at the same time, we do have premium memberships available.

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
NEW BEGINNINGS

After getting a little frustrated at how many users simply want others to play the game for them, I’ve decided to show how remarkably simple it is to just create that initial tactic based on the squad available and how easy it is to spot flaws and tweak.

I’m using my own save as the example. I’m in 2025, so most of the real players are gone now. I will have basically no knowledge of the club or the players I’ll be moving to. I will have to start from scratch and assess the squad only from what knowledge I can get from the game. No real world knowledge. No downloaded tactics or others building a tactic for me. No young well-known bargains or wonderkids to go and buy. No exploits at all.

So after a very successful 5 year spell at Ajax, I’ve decided to move on and seek new challenges. That led me to Fiorentina. Their manager was sacked after 17 games and them rock bottom. They were predicted to be around 11th this season, so much work was ahead:

View attachment 259011

I have a chance of becoming a legend here (especially having not won a Champions League trophy yet) and the stadium is small enough (43,000) that I could maybe have a new one built and named after me. Anyway, enough dreaming. Here’s the squad:

View attachment 259012

This is an aging squad, to put it mildly. The captain is 35 and his vice-captain is 36!

Fortunately, it’s January 4th so I can buy/loan if needed. I have a £3m Transfer Budget and £44,000p/w room in the wage budget.

As a newly appointed manager, I have the option of choosing a captain to replace the current one, if I want. I can’t do this yet, as I haven’t assessed the squad yet.

So here’s how I do that:

View attachment 259013


1 - Find my best players - The first step to creating a formation


This is the opinion of the squad quality, according to my assistant manager, Daniele Russo, who has 19 JPA and has been at the club longer than me. I trust him for now then.

Looking at this, it’s clear Oscar (at 34!), Gruezo, Sonzogni, Stambouli, Petropoulos and Herceg are the key players.

I want to keep as many of them centrally, if I can. In theory, the central players will see more of the ball, so it would make sense to have them on it.

For now, it seems like I’ll need to keep Gruezo at DR (if my formation will have one) and probably Sonzogni and Stambouli as either CM or DM partners, Petropoulos at AMC or AML and Oscar either at CM or AMC. Herzeg for the moment my only striker.

View attachment 259014

View attachment 259015

View attachment 259016

View attachment 259005

View attachment 259006

View attachment 259007

Looking at the squad screen again, I have another decent DMC, in Davidson. We’re well stocked here.

View attachment 259008


2 - Identify possible roles for these players - Step 2 in finding a formation


1 - Gruezo - Unfortunately (or fortunately; not sure yet!) there’s nothing about him that stands out. He’s a jack-of-all trades. He has a PPM of Knocks Balls Past Opponent, which may be useful at DR. He’s an all-round player, so a generic CM/S, CM/D, DM/S or DM/D would work, while at DR he could be a good WB/S.

2 - Sonzogni - He will have problems with injuries, apparently, which makes me cautious about him. He’s not great at getting forward, but has pace and stamina, combined with good tackling. He could be the more defensive of the 2/3 DM/CM partners. CM/D, BWM/D or DM/D then, for now.

3 - Oscar - Just look at those mental stats. The perfect playmaker. I would place all the playmaking duties on him (one-dimensional, I know) so far, based on what I’ve seen. He should be fairly static, as he lacks pace and dribbling skills. So AP/S, T/A and ENG/A. He can be a DLP, but I have enough defensive players already. I need him in advanced positions.

4 - Petropoulos - Another interesting player. At first glance, I thought ‘Winger’ because of his pace, crossing, dribbling, technique and balance. Looking at him closer, he has great movement Off The Ball and decent Vision and Passing too. Apart from a W/S or W/A, he could be a great AP/A or Raumdeuter. I wouldn’t want him as an Inside Forward or Wide Playmaker, if I can avoid it, because he lacks in Agility and that’s important when cutting inside.

5 - Herceg - I only see him as an Advanced Forward. He has the pace for it, coupled with Off The Ball and Finishing, but little else. He could be a decent Poacher too, but it doesn’t seem like I have another forward (yet?) so AF/A it is.

6 - Stambouli - Interesting one. The AI played him as a DC. I would never, with a Jumping Reach of 9! I’d prefer him as an Anchor Man because of the lack of pace and good mental stats. An outside bet, is as a Half Back, but I’d need 2 attacking fullbacks which I’m not yet sure I have.

7 - Davidson - He can help open a few tactical doors for me. He’s good defensively (Anticipation, Work Rate, Positioning, Decisions and Tackling) but also a threat offensively, with playmaking abilities (Vision, decent Passing, Technique and Decisions) and shots from range, Long Shots and Technique. I have enough deeper players, so he’d be a good Regista or Roaming Playmaker. An outside bet is as a Box-to-Box, but then I dampen his playmaking abilities. Oscar and Petropolous could make this a worthwhile sacrifice.

It may be worth noting that my vice-captain Bonaventura, is so far out of the reckoning for a starting line-up. He’s basically an Oscar clone, but just a poorer version.


3 - How to put this all together?

Looking at the Squad Depth screen again, I only have 2 DCs good enough to start. That rules out any 3 or 5 defender formations.

Remembering that I have Gruezo as a possible DR, I looked at the other possibilities at Fullback/Wingback.

View attachment 259009

This is the only other half-decent fullback. Fortunately, he can play at Left Back. That will mean Gruezo will have to slot in at DR. Since Mokoena isn’t very good at going forward or even crossing, that prevents me from using a Half Back (Stambouli) as It wouldn’t be worth it.



So that gives me a back 4 of:

DL (Mokoena) - DC (Bubnjic) - DC (Santarelli) - DR (Gruezo)



Looking desperately at my other, lesser-rated options, I discover this lad:


View attachment 259010


Now, try to look past the stupid moustache and look at his strengths - Strong aerial threat (although just okay heading) with superb, First Touch, Finishing, Dribbling, Technique and Off The Ball. My coaches still think that he’ll improve quite a bit too, but at 23, he’d better do that quick. He was the missing link. The goal scoring threat to balance out a plethora of Defensive Midfielders and Playmakers up front.

Given that we’re rock bottom and only predicted to finish 11th anyway, we’d be in for a tough time. That means that I would be looking at a fairly defensive setup. I want to counter. With my new discovery, Jong-Woo, that sets up my plan. This is what I’ve gone with initially and I’ll explain the plan.

View attachment 258999

That plan here, is to sit back and counter. My defenders are slow, so that fits perfectly. I have an Anchor will shield the defence and Mokoena will almost always be around to help out too.

On the left, I want Petropoulis to use the talents I spotted with my second look at him. He has the Off the Ball to really exploit any space given to him - and remember - I’m counter attacking mostly, so there should be loads of space.

On the right, I have Oscar. He’ll drift infield, using his fantastic mental stats to pull the strings in an advanced position - ideal on the counter. Being a Playmaker, the players will seek him out a little more. Once he has it, he has a powerful Jong-Woo surging past on the Inside and Gruezo sliding past on the outside. Oscar should be in heaven.

Davidson in the middle has been given a generic CM/S. I don’t want him to be a playmaker as I don’t want attention off Oscar. I thought about a Box-to-Box, but I don’t want him to be too attacking, potentially getting into the AML’s space. Davidson can do a bit of everything and I’m going to expect that from him.

Up front, it’ll be up to Herceg to make the defenders’ lives **** with his pace and movement. He will run the channels, opening gaps for himself, Jong-Woo or Petropoulos. Especially on the counter, he will pull central defenders really wide (with the fullbacks theoretically upfield) and I have 2 players ready to exploit that.


4 - What’s there still to do?

Plenty. You may have noticed that I have no TIs selected. I have no PIs either. I don’t know how my tactic plays yet, so I don’t know what I need!

I am looking at tackling, firstly. I love crunching tackles (by my team only, obviously!) so I’m leaning toward Get Stuck In already. The other thing I want to see, is if my team will be exploiting the flanks enough, otherwise I’ll have to add that TI. Petropoulos and Oscar are the keys in this setup and I want to use them to full effect.

I’m not a big fan of adding a lot of PIs. I do add the odd one here and there, but it’s mostly little tweaks. One thing area I will be focusing on, is crossing. I noticed that Jong-Woo is brilliant in the air, but my crossing threat (Gruezo) is on the same side as him. Mokoena isn’t expected to get too far forward to still get crosses in (he has 5 for crossing anyway!) so I want to see if Petropoulis gets into regular crossing positions. If he does, I’ll ask him to cross to the far post (where I expect Jong-Woo to be) and I might ask the same of Herceg if I can pick up any patterns from him. If there aren’t patterns, I may just ask the team to Float Crosses, hoping that gives Jong-Woo the time to get there and compete.

As a side note, I will keep my captain, the Stambouli but will replace the vice captain as he isn’t even in the first 11.

Sonzogni was close to making it, but his injury-proneness scares me and Strombouli has much better mental attributes - exactly what I need from someone shielding the defence.

I have a match v Avellino in 2 days, so I can finally click Continue for the first time.


5. First Match - [A] - Avellino (16th)


This is how Roberto Di Matteo’s team lines up:

View attachment 259000

This may be an issue already. They’re matching us man for man in defence and midfield.

Stambouli’s match-up is much faster and a decent dribbler. Stambouli has the mental skills but not the technical defensive skills to cope. I have to watch this.

Elsewhere, we don’t have problems and Jensen (the DCC) has a lack of pace and only 10 for Jumping Reach. This could be exploited.

Oscar sees a lot of the ball in the opening minute. Before I can properly assess the tactic in action, he picks up the ball just inside the box, in the corner. While holding up the ball, he’s fouled and it’s a penalty. I’ve not even gone into the detail of setting up set-pieces (lazy!) but Gruezo slots it home. 0-1 in the 2nd minute.

View attachment 259001

Just look at this image from the 3rd minute. Oscar fed Jong-Woo, before bursting forward to get into his “normal” position. Jong-Woo plays it forward to Herceg and now the magic happens.

View attachment 259002

Herceg takes it a little wider (notice Oscar hanging back, available for a pass) with Gruezo bursting forward on the outside. Jong-Woo is also making a run past Herceg. In fact, he has lost his man. Also notice how Petropoulos has lost his marker too.

Defensively, I’d have to watch our transition to the defensive phase. We’re 3 v 3 at the back there. Davidson is also closely marked. Fortunately, Mokoena’s deep position means that he can help out in the centre, if needed.

Nothing cam from this move, but it’s a good sign nonetheless.

View attachment 259003

Avellino are putting the pressure on. This is the 6th minute and we’re pinned back. The ball is about to be won and cleared. Notice where Petropoulis is stationed. That’s exactly what I need from the role. Exploiting open pockets of space. What happens here, is he draws the No 4 onto him after receiving the ball, while Herceg sprints into that open space behind. The pass to Herceg didn’t come off, but again, it’s looking good.

A change I make after 10 mins, was to Push Higher Up, as they had too much room to play the ball in front of the defence. I also asked the team to tight mark Makrodimos. He seemed to be playing as a T/A and was drifting too much and Stambouli wasn’t tight enough, allowing Makrodimos to pick up the ball in space and run past with the pace advantage.

Being quite happy so far, I switched to my normal Comprehensive highlights at 20mins.

Jong-Woo scored from a free-kick that was knocked down by Bubnjic at the 27min mark. 0-2 Fiorentina.

Just before half-time, Avellino scored from a well worked throw-in situation. Avellino 1 - 2 Fiorentina

At half-time, I reflected on what I saw in the first half.


  • Good play overall. Misplaced passes occasionally but it looked like misunderstandings mostly, probably due to the new system.
  • Herceg received the ball a lot, but he lacks the vision (7) to play Jong-Woo or Petropoulis in. Looking at the bench, I have El Sayed, who has better vision (10) but is a little worse overall. Not by too much though, as he was fast and strong with good movement off the ball and good finishing. I’m going to put him on around 55-60 mins to see what he can do for me.
  • Looking at the passing, Davidson and Jong-Woo did well. Stambouli at Anchor Man only completed 9 of his 18 and the misplaced ones were all long clearances from deep. I’m not sure what I can do about it though. My wide men didn’t receive the ball enough, I feel, so for the second half we will try to exploit the flanks.
View attachment 259004


They came out a little more attacking in the 2nd half and we paid for it with weak defending and poor clearances. I’m adding Get Stuck In after 52mins and a goal against. Also bringing on El Sayed for Herceg. 2 - 2

2 - 2 it ended and although we were 2-0 up and only drew, there were a lot of positives to take away. The understanding will come and morale has be raised a little already. We’re looking good for the future.


6. Second Match - [A] - Genoa (18th)


Going into this one, I felt that I needed to give El Sayed a start to see what he can do. He was impressive (compared to Herceg) when running forward with the ball and he’s more capable in the air and has better vision to pick out Petropoulis or Jong-Woo.

It’s a must win game for us. Fellow strugglers, so hopefully we can take advantage. I’m aware of being too attacking or too over-confident here as they’re predicted to finish 10th which is one place higher than us. They have roughly the same quality in their squad, then. Morale on their side (the little I can see) shows me 5 players on “okay”, 1 on “fairly poor” and one on “poor”. All my players are now “okay”, so we may have a slight advantage here.

They will likely line up in a 5-4-1 Diamond WB (Christmas Tree) formation, so they’re going to pack the defensive third. It means that they have an AMC and Striker vs my DCs and DM. We’ll have a 2 v 3 advantage, which I like. A concern again though, is the pace of their AMC. He has an acceleration of 16. Currently, he’s up against Stambouli, who has 10 Acc and 8 Pace. That’s not ideal, even with a man advantage.

View attachment 258998

I’ll use Sonzogni here. He’ll cope with the pace and he’s a good tackler, which is needed, as Antenucci is a skilled dribbler. He’s one-footed too, so I’ll close down that foot and keep Sonzogni tight on him.

Their striker, Gabbiadini, has exceptional Off the Ball (19), but I feel relatively comfortable knowing that I at least have two men on him, just in case he loses one.

Crisetig will probably be at DMC and he has the most assists in the team and 18 vision. I’ll need to keep an eye on him. Unfortunately, with my formation the way it is, I don’t have anyone doing that. I’ll have to see how far Crisetig moves upfield where he can hurt me. I may just ask Oscar (AMR) or El Sayed (ST) to keep him company for the whole game. Ideally, I need both in space for the counter, but it’ll depend on whether they’ll even have space. If I see Oscar marked out of the game by their WBL, I’ll let him do the job of watching Crisetig and mess with their plans. Their WBL does not have an assist yet so I don’t feel too obligated to keep Oscar wide in the defensive phase.

Their outside DCs do not have the best tackling skills, so what I’ll do, is ask Petropoulos to Dribble More and try to exploit that. Oscar isn’t a threat with dribbling, pace or his role, so he remains unchanged. Jong-Woo has excellent dribbling too, so he gets Dribble More too.

I will also be adding Get Stuck In as a default, since we really didn’t make tackles when we needed to previously.

A lot of my planning went out the window as soon as I saw the line-ups:


View attachment 258997

Fortunately, Antenucci is still at AMC, making my choice of playing Sonzogni a good one. Crisetig is in a different position though. One where he could hurt us. I will ask Davidson to permanently mark him tightly. Gabbiadini is lined up against my weaker DC. Santarelli has excellent marking and positioning, so he will switch with Bubnjic.

We score in the 7th minute when a misplaced pass by Genoa is quickly pumped upfield by Santarelli while Genoa is still pushing up. El Sayed was first to react and picks it up just behind the D-Line. Petropoulis then made a run on the inside of their fullback, received the pass and slotted away on an angle, but 1 v 1 with the keeper.

Just 2 mins later, their striker (Gabbiadini) scores from a direct free-kick. 1 - 1 and game on. I decided that we haven’t done too much yet, so went to Exploit the Flanks again.

They didn’t create much more, although they kept the pressure on. We had 2 good counters, both inspired by Jong-Woo at CM/A. In the first, he picked up the ball, dribbled past one (remember my PI change?) and played a long through ball for Petropoulos, who couldn’t finish from almost the same spot as the goal. The second counter, was Jong-Woo getting the ball with space in front of him. He dribbled forward at pace and hit a 35 yard thunderbolt into the far post.

At 66 mins, I replaced a dissapointing Oscar and a very nervous Mokoena. I also noticed that Genoa started pushing all 4 midfielders up and not really playing with a holder. To exploit that space, I asked El Sayed (ST) to be a CF/S. Him dropping into that space, will afford the runners (Petropoulos and Jong-Woo) even more space and freedom.

Despite coming close once or twice again, mainly through El Sayed and Petropoulos combining well, we could break through.

Oscar has been disappointing. The times that he has received the ball, he hangs onto the ball, waiting for a runner in support, but he lacks the strength to hold off challengers. I’m going to ask him to Roam From Position in future in an effort to get him more time and space.

I also have noticed that Davidson is just a little too deep, so I’ve asked him to Get Further Forward.

I’ll have Push Higher Up, Get Stuck In and Exploit Flanks as defaults from now on as well.


7. Third Match - [A] - Lazio (16th)

Another away match! Again against a struggling club. This will not be an easy game. It seems like they use the same 4-3-1-2 that others have and they have a deadly front 3, especially the AMC, Di Giacomo.

On the other end, they have a lack of pace in the D-Line, with an average ACC of only 11. Good news for my runners.

View attachment 258996

The first half was fairly uneventful. Possession was even, they had a half-chance and we had one from a corner. Flicked on at the near post before Santarelli volleyed home at the far post.

0-1 after 45 mins.

After Half-Time they went more attacking. Their back 4 and MCC stayed back though, so no counter-attacking opportunities. I switched to Standard mentality as a result. We won’t rely on counter-attacks and the increased mentality will help my runners make more aggressive runs and more aggressive passes will be played to them.

It worked a charm.

View attachment 258995

This was the setup as Oscar is about to take a free kick. He passes it forward to Davidson, who was left unmarked. Jong-Woo drops off slightly and receives the pass, before slipping it through to El-Sayed. Davidson, in the meantime, has made a run past his marker and El Sayed (with that increased Vision over Herceg) spotted him, played the square ball for an easy finish. 0 - 2.

A similar situation, this time from a throw-in, which was well-worked again. Oscar played the final ball for El Sayed to finish. 0 - 3.

They didn’t do much in the entire match; we were quite comfortable. Mokoena (DL) always provided cover and Sonzogni (DM) was very energetic and made life difficult for their offence and in particular, Di Giacomo. The combination of Oscar and Gruezo down the right flank worked well too. Davidson does a bit of everything, helping out in defence and (especially on counters) is a threat in possession too. Mostly, though, he has more attacking options to pass to. He constantly has 3 options in front of him in Petropoulos, El Sayed and Jong-Woo.

I’ll admit, I’m still not sure about El Sayed’s role in the team. I still feel that the position would be better of as one dropping into space to create space for the other 2. I’ll be exploring other options when I have the chance to in games that are already won or are too far behind in.

For now though, we’re on the rise. We’ve made a decent start and the team is getting more used to the new system. I’m already seeing far fewer misplaced passes and bad decision-making.

There’s a tough run of fixtures coming up against Inter, Juventus, Napoli and AC Milan but these will give us a great chance to properly counter attack and use the tactic to its full effect.


--------------------------------------------


The important thing is, I set up a tactic and settled on a first 11 within 2 or 3 matches, by putting in the time to do it. If I wanted, I could now pay less attention and switch to Key or Extended highlights because I know what I’ve set up works. This is why friendlies are so important in pre-season when taking over or starting a new game. Use the friendlies to assess the squad and formulate a plan for how to play. Then build a tactic and you’ll have the opportunity to work out the kinks in games that do not matter. Don’t even focus on the results. The AI won’t be giving its all. It’s about building match fitness and seeing that your tactic produces the movement and interaction you seek. By the time the season starts, you’ll be all set up without risking valuable league points.

The tactic isn’t perfect. I will probably make more slight changes in roles or TIs. The point is that I had a vision of how I wanted to play based on my players’ strengths (and weaknesses). That plan allowed me to create most of a working tactic. The rest then came from watching it in action.

It’s a fairly simple process. You don’t need to be a tactics expert to do it. It just needs a plan and watching matches, especially initially. It’s important to watch full matches (or 10-15 mins in full at least) to pick up issues, though. As I pointed out to someone in a PM exchange, there are issues you just won’t see when watching in Key or Extended highlights. You won’t see your midfield playmaker being marked out of the game, for instance, because it’s only showing important, exciting highlights. You won’t see that midfielder in the highlights, but that doesn’t tell you what the issue is. Watching matches is an important tool.

I hope that this has brought some little insight for some.
:)
 

callamity

Member
Jul 16, 2012
1,425
1
38
Nice read this.

Yesterday morning I actually went through this exact process with my Newcastle save. I'm not this far on but in the first two seasons had only purchased Andre ayew and icardi. In the January window of season two I received an offer of 51m for ayoze perez which was too good to refuse. I was playing 442 with an obviously limited squad . I had a choice to make of buying in an expensive replacement or shuffling around the squad to see what best suited what I had left. I put my best players into position and ended up with a regular 4231. Spent some time on the roles, i was already pushing for the title so went more adventurous from the standard flexible approach in my 442 to attacking and fluid.

9 games later I still have added no ti's and have won 8 and drawn 1 match sitting pretty at the top.

It really is that simple to watch a few games with basic settings and adjust what you need to suit your playstyle .
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
After a few matches on Comprehensive, for instance, I know what changes to make against certain formations. So that little bit of "time and effort" will now carry me through the rest of the game for as long as I use this tactic. I can make these changes automatically next time without even needing to view anything in any detail.
 
Oct 30, 2013
169
0
0
Really interesting read and something that I will definitely be taking into my games now, I may find I've taken a slightly wrong approach. Especially found it good to read how you check the other teams players to see what you could exploit before going into the game such as the poor acceleration of defenders and which midfielder to mark tightly/close down more due to the high assist count. The approach looks very good! I'm definitely remembering this post for future reference.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
So the season has just finished:


View attachment 255988


We managed to claw our way up to 11th, which is also where we were predicted to be as well. We made it to the final of the Italian Cup as well, but lost. It was good enough to get me into the Europa League though. The last game you know about was the Lazio game. Here are the results after that:


View attachment 255983


I had a 4-0 lead in the first half against AC Milan, but they were just too strong and I reacted too late to stop it! I made slight changes to the tactic as well. Here it is and notice the surprise striker:


View attachment 255982


I made Petropoulos my striker and he terrorised the defense with his dribbling and his lethal left boot. He set up quite a few goals for the AML (Bourgeois, Garofioli and lately Herceg) too. Petropoulos scored 11 goals in 11 games as a Striker for me. This as someone rated as "ineffectual" as a striker and "below average rating for senior team" as a False 9.

My fast breaks relied on the F9 and IF/A combining, while the AP/S was just a pivot during the transition. When/If that broke down, the F9 would drop deep, supported by the B2B and a CM/A drifting past. Gruezo at DR was also crucial with his overlaps.

You'll notice Davidson has personalised settings and I just reduced his dribbling and asked him to play riskier passes. Normally, that position is an AP with other players there.

At DM, I changed to a DM/D as an Anchor Man was just not aggressive enough without the ball. In the games where I was favourite and came up against formations like the 4-5-1 or 4-1-2-2-1, I used Oscar (!) as a Regista here, to great effect.

At DL, I play Aloisi normally as a WB/S, but in the big games I opt for Mokoena who plays as a FB/S and is also more sound defensively.

Against the big clubs, I kept the Counter Mentality, but in games where I was favourite I changed to Control. The mentality changes were often the only changes I made and it was enough.

Oh, and also:

View attachment 255958
 
Last edited:

Gorstak

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
58
0
0
So, why didn't you finish first? I see you lost some matches. Is that because of players or poorly designed tactics?
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
Why? Can't you explain why you lost in football terms? Fiorentina isn't exactly a weak team.
Read the OP. There are even pictures if you're too lazy. The team was dead last after 17 games and only predicted mid-table. That's not a good team. Looking at the league table for the last 5 games, we're 3rd, so that's decent.

I lost 3 league games. 2 against better opposition and the 3rd because we couldn't find a breakthrough and I pushed up too much when trying to force a win and got hit on the counter.
 

Gorstak

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
58
0
0
By the looks of it, your box to box and CMa push up into space occupied by false nine, while your right winger just sits on the right flank trying to create chances for CMa, which should be the false nine's job. You have fairly attacking wing backs supposed to provide width and a man extra in a counter setup in which you should primarily counter? You aren't exactly supposed to close them down into obedience so that they can be used effectively. You just made your defence weak. I'm surprised you reached 11th place with this setup. On one hand, you have your dm who you don't expect to do anything but defend, and a winger anything but support, which should fit a highly structured team shape, and on the other hand you have wingbacks with attack duty fit for very fluid team shape, and a false nine fit for fluid team shape. Your tactic needs plenty of work.
 
Last edited:

Gorstak

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
58
0
0
View attachment 255925

This is how I would set it up. False nine drops deep, IFa exploits the space created. APa dribbles left to space left by IFa, and provides width, while the winger on the other flank provides width on the other side. I use FBs to primarily defend, and also offer a passing option to more advanced wingers. Since everyone is doing slightly more then primary duty, I use a Fluid team shape.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
By the looks of it, your box to box and CMa push up into space occupied by false nine, while your right winger just sits on the right flank trying to create chances for CMa, which should be the false nine's job. You have fairly attacking wing backs supposed to provide width and a man extra in a counter setup in which you should primarily counter? You aren't exactly supposed to close them down into obedience so that they can be used effectively. You just made your defence weak. I'm surprised you reached 11th place with this setup. On one hand, you have your dm who you don't expect to do anything but defend, and a winger anything but support, which should fit a highly structured team shape, and on the other hand you have wingbacks with attack duty fit for very fluid team shape, and a false nine fit for fluid team shape. Your tactic needs plenty of work.
No one pushed up into any space occupied by anyone.

The Box to Box is a Support player. He only made very late runs into the box, unless there was space on the counter, in which case he surged past the F9. The CM/A moved forward when the F9 moved into channels (which is the F9's default instruction), when the F9 dropped deep he made runs past and when the F9 made a run forward, he'd stay behind.

My right winger is supposed to sit. That was the plan and that's why he was given that role. He has other runners to feed. He fed the CM/A, F9 and DR. He was a busy boy. The F9's job was to pull defenders (creating space for the IF and CM/A) and either create goals himself or play in the IF.

When I used a Counter mentality, for the most part, it was with Mokoena who is a FB/S, so he covers defensively instead of pushing up that far. In these games I also played someone like Oscar in the CM position so I didn't have a box to box midfielder there, but a AP/S. So for the counters, I'd have a double AP/S setup which was quite effective.

I am not closing them down anywhere? Where are you getting that?

My DM was expected to shield the defence without possession and he was expected to be available in case the other midfielders ran into trouble. He did both jobs very well.

My tactic is fine on Flexible as I need them to focus mainly on the duties. I benefited from the extra attacking mentality that my Attack Duty players had. It encourage my two runners to do just that.

I don't know where you get that a F9 is fit for a fluid shape (probably that guide again) but it's hogwash. My F9 scored 11 in 11. That's really good and it gave me the results I needed.

My tactic doesn't need work. It 'worked' fine to get me out of relegation and on a long unbeaten run. The point (which you also missed) is that it's really easy to set up a tactic once you have a vision and know the players. Even if the tactic 'needs work', it still proves my point and the results agree.
 
Last edited:

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
View attachment 880385

This is how I would set it up. False nine drops deep, IFa exploits the space created. APa dribbles left to space left by IFa, and provides width, while the winger on the other flank provides width on the other side. I use FBs to primarily defend, and also offer a passing option to more advanced wingers. Since everyone is doing slightly more then primary duty, I use a Fluid team shape.
With respect, how you would set up doesn't matter to me. I don't have a right winger to play that role. Not that I'd use that role anyway. I was also not looking to open up space in front of my defence by putting a BWM there and I don't want the sort of double pivot you have there. In fact, it's wasted because your fullbacks aren't attacking. Speaking of, I have an attacking DR, so that doesn't fit your Support duty fullback either.
 

Gorstak

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
58
0
0
With respect, how you would set up doesn't matter to me. I don't have a right winger to play that role. Not that I'd use that role anyway. I was also not looking to open up space in front of my defence by putting a BWM there and I don't want the sort of double pivot you have there. In fact, it's wasted because your fullbacks aren't attacking. Speaking of, I have an attacking DR, so that doesn't fit your Support duty fullback either.
Yes, you could be correct. Perhaps a DLPd instead of CMd would fit better, and a DLPs instead of BWMs also. Going agressive in a counter setup usually isn't a good idea.

What I meant by not not closing down is that counter mentality normally lowers the closing down and defensive line, and I see you only use 2 instructions, so I guessed it wasn't the close down more.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
Yes, you could be correct. Perhaps a DLPd instead of CMd would fit better, and a DLPs instead of BWMs also. Going agressive in a counter setup usually isn't a good idea.

What I meant by not not closing down is that counter mentality normally lowers the closing down and defensive line, and I see you only use 2 instructions, so I guessed it wasn't the close down more.
You didn't need to guess. I stated in my posts that I used Push Higher Up and Get Stuck In. We mostly kept shape and were aggressive in the tackle, something my DM loved.
 

Gorstak

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
58
0
0
You didn't need to guess. I stated in my posts that I used Push Higher Up and Get Stuck In. We mostly kept shape and were aggressive in the tackle, something my DM loved.
So instead of inviting them onto you so that you can counter, you opted not to encourage them forward? Well, I see how that probably lowered the pressure on your defence, so you got away with your setup, but I don't think that's the proper way of playing counter football. In the process, you probably lowered the ammount of counter opportunities created, but I see how that could work with your roles. Nicely done, but wouldn't it make more sense to play control instead?
 

Gorstak

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
58
0
0
Oh, and if you pushed up with wb's in a narrow counter setup, wouldn't you be vulnerable on the flanks? And possibly corners?
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
I don't think you realise how we played or what push higher up does? Again, with respect, telling me 'that's not the proper way way play counter football' is insulting. I didn't play "counter football" according to how you envision it.

Counter means just that. We aimed to counter their attacks and quickly. The F9 and IF/A did that brilliantly. My double AP/S provided the pivots around which everything happened.

Your idea of counter attacking football seems to be to have 10 or 11 players in my own box defending. I didn't want that. We were rock bottom, but with mid-table quality players. Counter mentality ensured that we defended deep and didn't close down much, but I didn't want too much pressure. My one DC is weak defensively and my DR is also weak defensively. Inviting a lot of pressure would expose them. That's what happened when I used an Anchor Man. We also defended too deep. By instructing them to Push Higher, we defended just outside our box. That's exactly what I wanted. My players can crunch them in the tackle with no fear of giving away penalties. The D-Line, then was still deep. We didn't close down aggressively.

We invited enough pressure to draw them in and hit them on the counter.

We didn't use Control, because I didn't want a high D-Line. I didn't want aggressive closing down. I didn't want defenders playing short passes. I didn't want risk taking as far as shots and passes go. I wanted a fairly defensive Counter setup.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,478
8
38
Oh, and if you pushed up with wb's in a narrow counter setup, wouldn't you be vulnerable on the flanks? And possibly corners?
I wasn't vulnerable on the left, because against the big teams I used a better DL and he was a FB/S. On the right, I was a little, but that's why I have a DM. My stronger DC is also on the right.
 
Top