[Tactical Discussion] Plug, Manage and Play

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
Plug [Manage] and Play

View attachment 789752


With SI confirming that the last hotfix/update would be their last and that the road ahead leads to FM16, it's now time to knock up a tactics thread which I've named Plug [Manage] and Play (or PMP for short). The reason for the title is because the days of Plug and Play are gone. Now, us managers, need to think that little bit more. Funny thing is as the series has grown (I've played since CM2), I think without players noticing we've evolved as the game evolved. We've gone from text based, load tactic and win every game to having to think about training, tactics, man management etc etc.

So what prompted me to have a pop at a tactics thread. Well recently I was playing on my Liverpool save and was down 1-2 away to Swansea when I said to myself (yeah I talk to myself sometimes when I play, we all do it) let's go gung-ho however not realizing that this was a term from an earlier FM. Nowadays it's Overload. And then it made me think, when the sliders were around I'm sure it was called All Out Attack? Crazy how that label has changed quite a bit...

So from that I "ok Googled" on my tablet the phrase "Gung Ho" and it's origins. Obviously there was a Wiki link about the subject and this is what it read :

Gung ho is an English term used to mean "enthusiastic" or "overzealous".

The two Chinese characters "gōng" and "hé" are translatable individually as "work" and "together".

It means Work Together-Work in Harmony...."
Never had I been so excited to learn something new about languages since I learnt that Karaoke is translated in Japanese to "Empty Orchestra". Brilliant!

Right so back on topic. So after learning something new I decided to open a step by step tactics making thread in the spirit of Gung Ho. A tactic that makes teams work together and works in harmony. A while back, on FM12 I think it was, I created (on SiGames forums) a tactic called "Play like Pep" which allowed the user to use a framework which could be applied to any team and then use Shouts depending on match situation. I'm going to do something similar here but not so detailed. I'm also hoping to show that if you K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) you can actually achieve really good results.

I hope you'll all enjoy the thread, it might take a few posts to get going but be patient, could be good fun this one!


Table of Content



  1. [*=center]Great Managers Create Great Teams
    [*=center]The Birth of the Furacão
    [*=center]That 70's Show - The Formation
    [*=center]Fluidity - The 5x5 Theory
    [*=center]Finding the Right Balance
    [*=center]Furacão - Team Instructions
    [*=center]Water Carrier, Binman and a *********************
    [*=center]Let's Get This Show on the Road
    [*=center]The Defensive Unit
    [*=center]The Squad 2014/2015
    [*=center]The Rabbit and the Hole - 3rd and 4th Lines
    [*=center]And so the Vultures Start Circling
    [*=center]The "Chain" Players
    [*=center]Testers Wanted
    [*=center]First Season Results and New Approach Needed
    [*=center]Width, Runs From Deep and the "False 10"
    [*=center]Tactical Tweaks and Expanded Approach
    [*=center]Squad Rotation - My 22+(5) and 2x5 Explained
    [*=center]Furacão - The Final Version
 
Last edited:
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
Great Managers Create Great Teams

View attachment 789718


I guess it's no secret I like to play with bigger teams on FM (mainly Liverpool trying to captured that PL trophy we let go last season...). I'm sure a lot of us do love kick starting a new save with... I dunno, say Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Juventus, Roma, PSG etc etc. I do like playing with teams who are just outside the top teams but aren't quite relegation candidates. Like Southampton for example.

"Great Managers Manage Great Teams" I've always said. Recently me and a mate of mine started an online game where we both were going to take control of the two Rome teams (Roma and Lazio). Now I've been a follower of Roma since the days of Montella, Batigol and Totti forming an incredible trio up front with Cafu bombing down the right flank like he was 19 years old. I was adamant I was going to be Roma. "Why do you get to be Roma?" my mate said. I replied with the "Great Managers..." quote but before I got halfway he stopped me and said "You've got it all wrong. Great Managers Create Great Teams". He was right.

I'm a semi-lazy manager in terms of "creating" a team. I rarely venture into LLM (although did have a very lengthy FM12 save with AFC Wimbledon) and prefer going to teams on the cusp of topping their leagues and then giving them the final push. I like going for titles straight away from the get go. If you here looking for a tactic that will take Mickey Mouse FC from the lowest tier up to Champions League glory, you're in the wrong place. I will stress however the framework I produced in FM12 did actually work for lower league teams. But that's 3 versions ago. FM is a totally different game now.

Many think I am one of those FM gamers who is a complete geek and keeps spreadsheets, scribbles on napkins next to my laptop and goes in deep into the Matrix of this game. Couldn't be further from the truth. I am a ********************* lazy manager who loves the simple approach of setting up my team, tactic, training and then go! Hey at least I admit it, not a lot of people on the forum would. Maybe I should be playing FM Classic? Well my pride won't allow it. We have a saying where I'm from which would describe my FM vs FMC debate. "Why buy a Ferrari and then drive it like a Skoda". FM should be played Full Fat, not Diet.

My laziness as a manager is not new. This has stemmed from when I uploaded my first tactic to SiGames back in late 00's (yes I'm old enough to say that).
Now obviously I know Plug and Play is banished but that doesn't mean a good framework is. I truly believe you can set up a style that you want to play and then set a framework around it and you're good to go. My approach with FM will never change. Spend an age coming up with a tactic I like and I know works and then sit back and play the rest of the season without stress. That's just my style!
 
Last edited:
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
The Birth of the Furacão

View attachment 789685

Most football fans would be aware of Tiki-Taka and how particularly Barcelona have put that into practice of late. It all stems from the 1970's and Dutch National Teams Total Football. Barcelona is part of the evolution of this and have branded it Tiki-Taka. It's an offensive style with focus on short passing, possession and great movement from offensive players in the 4th line of offence, patiently waiting around for a chance to arise. If you're a bit lost when I say 4th line I'll give you a quick description :

When describing defence-transition-offense the lines represent where the players are in terms of helping the ball from defence to attacking zones. 1st line would be your defenders (GK not really included in this as he can go short, to the 1st line, or long to the 4th line), 2nd line would be your fullbacks/wingbacks or holding midfielder if you're utilizing one. 3rd line is the space in between the opponents midfield and defence whilst the 4th is the last line of attack. Hope that makes things a bit clearer!

Anyways back onto the topic of Tiki-Taka. On the opposite side of the tactical spectrum we have Catenaccio and the Kick and Run. The latter is all about moving the ball quickly over long distances (high tempo and direct passing in FM terms I suppose you'd call it) whilst with Catenaccio (which I've always found a bit of a boring version of the Swiss Verrou tactic) focuses on strong defensive organization. There are many different tactical approaches you can take when creating a tactic but basically they all have a meaning. A purpose. The managers that created these systems knew what they wanted and why. I have to recommend, and no I don't get any proceeds for mentioning it, but if you've not read Jonathan Wilson's "Inverting the Pyramid" you seriously have to buy it and give it a read. There is so much tactical inspiration in the book you're head will be spinning with ideas the first time you read it.

Right so back on track... So who is that dude in the picture I hear you say? Seriously, three paragraphs later and you're still wondering. It's one of the best Brazilian players to grace a World Cup stage. (Yes I know there is quite a few). It's the "Furacão" himself, Jairzinho! Now granted I do rate Garrincha as a better player then Jairzinho, simply because he was a great dribbler. But, if you didn't know, back in 1970 at the World Cup in Mexico he succesfully netted in all of Brazil's 7 games in the World Cup before lifting the trophy after netting his 7th against Italy in the finals. This incredible feat did earn him the title "Furacão da Copa" the World Cup "Hurricane". Unforunately for him Gerd Muller was playing in the same cup so Jairzinho didn't get the Golden Boot but he did win the MVP award, and rightly so.

So on to the Theorems and Framework of the tactic. As I said, each manager knew how he wanted to and impose his style of play. What do I want? Well in the spirit of all things "Hurricane" I don't want Tiki Taka. Yes Barcelona play it well and it's effective for them and now they have a framework that they can work with for years. But am I the only one who thinks it's extremely boring? Granted if my team was winning 6-0 every week by tap-tap-tap goal then I wouldn't complain but the best matches I've seen on TV are direct and attacking! Don't get me wrong, I'll steal some of the principles of the Tiki-Taka I'll try and combine it with a more direct style.

As every tactician I'm trying to achieve a good balance between attack and defence. The tactic (or Theorem if you will) needs to be attacking but at the same time not to be naive. Press needs to be high with a wide, direct and attacking play where the focus will be large movement and creativity.
 

detached

New member
Aug 21, 2011
23
0
0
I'll admit I'm curious about this, I'd like to see which will be your lineup for this, I have created a similar tactic (possession based with direct bursts) and is going rather well with mediocre/decent players (Toulouse FC + some kids I got). I won't go into details yet as I want to see what you'll pick.

Edit: Of course, I have neither large movement nor creativity :p
 
Last edited:
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
I'll admit I'm curious about this, I'd like to see which will be your lineup for this, I have created a similar tactic (possession based with direct bursts) and is going rather well with mediocre/decent players (Toulouse FC + some kids I got). I won't go into details yet as I want to see what you'll pick.

Edit: Of course, I have neither large movement nor creativity :p
Appreciate the curiosity! We should be getting around to settings in a couple of posts time. To be honest I haven't even loaded the game yet. I know what team to be but I want to make sure I'm going at a comfortable pace :)
 
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
That 70's Show - The Formation


View attachment 789787


Ah yes some more nostalgia. Above you're seeing the 1978 Argentina team that won the World Cup against Holland in the finals. The reason why I have them headed is because the formation I'm creating has some of it's origins from the team and the Manager Cesar Luis Menotti. Now for me Menotti was slightly underrated, although he does have a WC medal to his name and has also managed teams like Barca, River, Boca etc etc. From what I have gathered he was the first manager to talk about pushing up the defence with zonal marking to press high and try and incorporate an offside trap. Comical defending at times but it was an untested way of playing before this. It worked well in the 1978 WC however it faltered in 1982 as Menotti played with exactly the same defence which had aged and could no longer play the offside trap due to their lack of pace. So in two World Cups Menotti discovered how to get it to work but also what happens if you don't have the required players. Don't say I don't try teach users something new ;)

So back to our formation. Let's wind back time (not as far as the 70's) to FM12. Even though it's 3 versions ago I do remember it like it was yesterday. I was trying desperately to get an asymmetric 4-1-4-1/4-2-3-1/4-3-3 to work (I think it was because it was the first time SI included it as a default formation as a preset and it really intrigued me). The project to create a fully functioning one fell flat and although I was close to creating a good one on FM14 I still couldn't get the tactic to flow right. It was easier creating a solid 4-4-2 and 4-4-1-1 then it was the asymmetric one.

In FM13 I did manage to create a good 4-3-3 though however I have to admit I borrowed ideas from other tactics on FMB and SiGames so it never really felt like my creation. However playing an inside forward and Poacher seemed to be the way to go and it absolutely rained goals just as long as they had pace. Pace has since FM14 been less overpowering which is fair enough. It was way too easy to race up a few leagues with a pacey striker (now we're talking 18/18 Pace/Acc and like 4-5 in finishing would easily finish as top striker).

Anyways back to FM12. I did set out to create a 4-3-3 with WBA which won the league in the first season. They we're not a rubbish team at the time (I'm sure they finished 8th IRL that season) which I'll be building this tactic on. However the difference back then was I didn't play the defensive midfielder as a trio, he'd be pushed up in midfield. He be on defence and his midfield buddies were on support and attack. It was perfect. By pushing the DMC into line in midfield allowed the defence to squeeze up and create no space between the lines (even Menotti would of been proud). The midfielder on defence did his job brilliantly, stopping attacks before they reached the defence and recycled possesion with short passing and let the other midfielders to orchestrate attacks. FM12 was perfect for this formation. Hasn't worked since although I've seen a few managers on FM15 get a flat 3 in midfield to work to a decent level.
I'm going to keep the suspense a little while longer about which team I'm going to play with but here's the formation I'm going for. Just posting this picture has gotten my tactical fluids flowing and can't wait to get stuck in. It's the formation that comes closest to the one I created back in FM12 and I'll be looking again for the DMC position to be crucial. As I'm writing this I'm debating which role to give him. I'll be trying Anchorman and Defensive Midfielder in the friendlies to see which one I'll justifiably (whey!) go for. Next up will be the Approach!
 
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
Fluidity - The 5x5 Theory

View attachment 789831


The goal of this thread is to create an attacking tactic and so obviously requires an attacking strategy so the first thing we do when starting off this tactic is setting the mentality to "Attacking". By setting the default strategy as Attacking you're setting the whole way your team and players operates, for example pressing and passing. I'll try and describe what goes on under the hood. By going attacking that means that any players set to a defensive role (like the Central Defenders and a possible Anchorman) it by default means they'll pass short. The reason for this is because it maintains an attacking mindset by recycling possession and patiently build up with short passes to players on support or attack to unlock the other team. Players on attacking roles play more direct to set the tempo and pressure on the oppositions defence. Players on support roles have a mixed set of passing which means they can choose by going short or direct.

The team on attacking will pressure more, push up with width and also a forward thinking mindset. Exactly what it says on the tin really. The whole point of stretching the team is to stretch the opponent to make space for runs and to make room for creative players to work in. Therefore it is important whilst selecting roles for players that we have roles that sit wide so we can stretch the opposition as much as possible. How I make this possible we'll cover later when we go over the roles.

By setting a team's structure to Very Fluid is Fm's way of saying "We're going to play Total Football!". By playing with Very Fluid the whole team works as a one large unit and everyone has exactly the same mentality. That means all players think the same. We all attack, we all defend. Very Fluid also sets a very high level of creative freedom which means you're relying solely on the players abilities. On the other end of the Structure spectrum we have Highly Structured which means players will focus solely on team and player instruction and rarely deviate from it.
As you can see above I am going for a Fluid approach. This is where the whole 5x5 Mentality System comes into play. If you want to know more about what I mean by that see below where I quote from wwfan who 6 years ago wrote a "Tactical Theorems and Framework" pdf will chuck loads of info and now the game (and tactics creator) are based on all this info he collated. This is what he wrote about the 5x5 Mentality Structure aka Fluid :

5x5 Theory

Manager Type : Rafael Benitez

Although Benitez doesn't come immediately to mind as a Libertarian, his structural approach to tactics is a simple one, relying on five players to defend and five to attack. Although he transformed Liverpool into a team that is very difficult to break down, criticisms remain with regard to his attacking intentions and lack of width. In typical Spanish Manner, Benitez wants his front five to play with creativity and flair, unlocking opposing defences via quick-fire passing interchanges. Without players who have the vision and touch to unlock defences in tight areas this translates into many efficient but dour matches. However, with the right players and creative freedom allowances up front, scintillating attacking play will complement resolute defence.
Fluid is the 5x5 system. Here's how it describes it in-game :

With this approach, players are expected to contribute to more phases of play than with the Flexible philosophy.

The team is split into broad attacking and defending units with the more creative players responsible for the attacking phase and the more defensively disciplined players more responsible for the defensive phase. However, players from each unit are expected to move into transition phase when the opportunity arises.

The team will be encouraged to play more flowing football with players allowed more creative freedom.
To break it down even more we'll take a step back through the versions of FM when we have numbered sliders. A Fluid system, as FM now calls it, is the same as putting these numbered values on sliders :

GK : 8
DC : 8
FB : 8
DMC : 8
MC : 12
AML/AMR : 12
FC : 12

Those numbers are based on just have "common sense" roles. The mentality values are given depending on roles and position on the field. If I was to have an attacking fullback on left then the values change slightly :

GK : 8
DC : 8
DR : 8
DL : 12
DMC : 8
MC(s) : 8
MC(a) : 12
AML/R : 12
FC: 12

The DL is now part of the attacking unit and the more defensive MC is part of the defensive unit. Cool huh?

So as you can see wwfan was well ahead of his time if he wrote that 6 years ago and it's still relevant today :D So to sum up Fluid Structure sets up two units, Defence and Attack. My back four and DMC will be the five in defence, the MC's plus 3 up front are part of the Attacking unit. Both units are to contribute to the transition stage in both defence and offence.

Next part will be about finding the balance and important information on how to find the chains which keep the team together within a tactic!
 
Last edited:
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
Finding the Right Balance

View attachment 789842


Take a look at the picture above. Should be familiar to all but these 3 players are key to what has made Chelsea better. Sure they're quality players but Mourinho identified an issue in the team. Firstly there was Matic. His first stint in Chelsea Mourinho had Makelele, the man who all by himself created a role that I'm actually really surprised that it's not in FM. However Mourinho after 6 months into his second stint realized he didn't have a good enough player who links defence and midfield. That's why he went for Matic. After his first year in Chelsea Mourinho knew a) he didn't have a good enough striker, a two way striker, someone who could run the channels but also come deep and b) With Frank Lampard loosing his pace he didn't have a two way midfielder either. Que Fabregas and Costa arriving in West London. What these three players allowed was Chelsea being able to play a plethora of formations due to the versatility of those three players. Mourinho can play 4-1-4-1, 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-2-1-2-1 etc etc due to these buys.

In all tactics I create there is one basic principle. There needs to be balance. I need to have two roles in my team, the "Pivot" and the "Link". Without these two players/roles then any tactic I create will crumble. These two players chain the lines together (Remember when I wrote about 1st-4th line??). The player who acts as the Pivot to the team chains together the defence and midfield. The Link player chains together the midfield and attack.

In all formations you need both of these players otherwise you run the risk of the lines being too far away from each other and you loose your structure. Let's take the classic 4-4-2. The Pivot player would be a MC on a defensive duty and the Link would be a striker on a support role. The Pivot and Link pull towards each other chaining the team together. In other formation you already automatically have these roles. If you're playing with a DMC or an AMC you already have players in between the lines so you're halfway there.

With a 4-1-2-3 we already have the Pivot in position, we just need to decide on his role. The Link player is something I have to "create" myself. I don't have an AMC so the striker needs to be assigned to a support role to tie the chain together. However by selecting my striker as support role that means I need midfielders to rush on past him to make the attack dynamic. If I don't then I could end up with the Man Utd conundrum where they had too many players "Supporting" and not enough runners on "Attack".

Obviously it's not as easy as one, two, three to find the balance but assigning these to roles will go a long way. Just because I have a pivot player doesn't mean I can let the fullbacks bomb forward and have fun and leaving the defensive work up to the Pivot and DC's. I still need to think attack, attack, attack because that's the mission statement I put up first but I can't be naive. After that I need to take into consideration the players in support roles, are they contributing or making things stale? All the excitement is ahead and this is what makes tactic creations so exciting! Coming up next will be going through the team instructions...
 
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
Furacão - Team Instructions

View attachment 789868



As mentioned earlier in the thread, when you instruct a team to play attacking it automatically widens play, pushes up and closes down more. Passing is short among the players set on defending roles and direct for the players on attacking roles. The goal here is to see if I actually need to tweak anything to achieve my mission with Furacão. Let's just highlight the mission statement I wrote on the previous page: Closing down high up the pitch with a high line, wide and direct attacking play where the focus is movement a creativity throught the 3rd and 4th line of attack. I've chosen 6 additional instructions I want to try from the off and then throughout the season I will review.

I want to be positioned higher up the pitch so it allows my team to press higher up the field so with that in mind I selected Push Higher Up. It does make me a little more vulnerable to balls over the top so I selected Use Offside Trap to try and catch those pesky attackers offside. However in terms of bigger picture I shouldn't need the offside trap if I'm dominating the opposition in their half and pressurizing the passer into hurrying it down field. To achieve this I've selected Close Down More and Prevent GK Distribution.

I have also chosen to Play Wider because spreading the play is important for me to create space to attack. I need the opposition defence spread out wide and moved around as much as possible so we create holes and that I can exploit with runs from deep and in behind. With a wide style of play there is the temptation to exploit the flanks because I'll have AMRL and DRL's in the wide positions. However I need to leave it as mixed because I need to sometimes exploit the 3rd line in front of the oppositions defence so passing focus will always be mixed despite playing wide.

Work Ball Into Box is one I'm a little unsure about. When you read our mission statement it doesn't really fit in when you think quick, attacking and direct play. However it seems with this instruction you get the best of both worlds really. The direct balls from deep don't disappear, they're very much still there. It seems the instruction seems to only come into effect in the 3rd and 4th line rather then the transition stage. However it does see a decrease in crossing from wide positions which is a shame but I'm hoping I can rectify it by using PI's later.

When playing with an attacking mentality the team are obviously very keen and hungry to take risks in the final third. There's also more shots on goal, they pretty much shoot at goal at every glimpse of the net. Work Ball Into Box remedies this by saying "Yes take risks, get the ball up the field quickly however be patient in the final third". Perfect. However it's important to remember that when we chase a result it needs to be removed when we're deep into the second half otherwise you'll have Arsenal-syndrome when you try and walk it in instead of actually taking chances from distance. You have to have patience though, I usually wait for the last ten minutes. You know when you're a goal up and the AI always seem to have a last minute chance? To achieve this I remove Work Ball Into Box, select Overload, Pump Ball Into Box and Shoot on Sight. The amount of last minute chances is good, you won't score all of them but you get quite a few.

I don't buy into this possession ************. It's what you do with the ball which is important. I'm not a huge fan of Tiki-Taka (which I think I stated earlier. If not now you know) so instructions like Retain Possession and Play Out of Defence are not for me. I honestly don't mind if my defenders play a direct ball now and then, just as long as they're passing it short when we've moved upfield.

I haven't touched any passing instructions for the team either because I'm happy the way it is when using an attacking approach. Short passing defence and quick and direct from my attackers. I won't change the tempo as it should be high already due to the attacking mentality. I don't change creative freedom as these will be quite high with Attacking/Fluid set up. I don't touch anything to do with Roaming/Movement as I can do this individually with PI's later on. There's no need to change too much, remember we're trying to K.I.S.S. Sometimes I see managers/tactics that use way too many team instructions, there really is no need. In regards to crossing I like unpredictability so I leave as is. Plus the team as a whole have quite high creative freedom so more then likely they'd ignore my crossing instructions.


  • Push Higher Up
  • Use Offside Trap
  • Close Down More
  • Prevent Short GK Distribution
  • Play Wider
  • Work Ball Into Box

These are the six instructions that I won't touch for the forthcoming season. Apart from Work Ball Into Box if I need a goal. I don't use OI, I feel it just over-complicates things. I will keep an eye on my assistants advice during the game unless it tampers with one of these six. You'd be surprised how many times I've taken his advice and he's been right. One tip though, if he gives you advice and you take it, if you score then go back to square one again as the opposition will react to you scoring.
 
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
Water Carrier, Binman and a *********************

View attachment 789915



The most important position in the team is in the DMC spot. There you'll find the Pivot player for the team and without him you'll get nowhere. When I made a 4-3-3 on FM12 he was set as a MCD and he was key to my success on that version. I see this role being important in this version too. The only conundrum I have now is what role to put him on? Let's have a look at some of the roles we can choose in the DMC spot...

Firstly we have the 3 playmaker roles; Regista, Roaming Playmaker and Deep Lying Playmaker. You can easily be tempted by these roles because they're creative but if we go back a couple of posts we were saying how the DMC was part of the defensive unit so in keeping with that Theorem we should let the other 5 in the attacking unit take care of the creative output. So I'm ruling out all these three roles in one swoop. The DMC is not part of the attacking unit hence if he does have a playmaking role and gets caught out it'll open up for a counter for the opponents. Besides I have other plans in regards to playmaker roles.

For the first couple of friendlies I saw no harm in trying out the Half Back Role and I thought my DMC did really well in that role. He fell as a sweeper and there was no conflict with closing down attempts from the Central Defenders so from a defensive point of view I thought the role did brilliantly. However, despite the DMC being part of the defensive unit, he still needs to be a Pivot for the transition stage for the 2nd and 3rd lines. As a halfback he was ok for the 1st line but he was too far away from my other MC's to be a Pivot and the chain between him and the Link player was consistently broken. So for now I'm ruling out the Half Back.

What I am trying to achieve with the DMC position is someone who acts like a stopper in front of the central defence and close down central placed midfielders trying to thread passes through. He needs to get to wing players who try and cut infield with the ball whilst keeping an eye so strikers and attacking midfielders don't drop into the 3rd line space and exploit "the hole". The whole point of a DMC is to close the gap between the midfield and defence, to make sure there is no space between the lines. He must not contribute creatively to the attack but should support the attack by collecting loose balls and breaking up any counter attacks. He needs to lay off quickly to more creative players when he does win the ball. In an attacking framework he does play short passes and is available as a pivot incase the creative players want to roam around and find pockets of space.

So with 4 out of 7 roles ruled out for the DMC role I started to test Defensive Midfielder and Anchorman role in a few friendlies. After 4-5 friendlies I started to panic slightly as the two roles were not working as I wanted them to.

With only a few friendlies left I had only 3 roles to choose from and I needed an answer before the season kicked off. So on the table we have Defensive Midfielder, Anchorman and Ball Winning Midfielder. I tested them all and they all have pluses and minuses. Anchorman stood too deep and was too passive in the pressing game but worked well as a stopper for the central defence. The Ball Winning Midfielder had the opposite problem, he was positioned too high upfield and his closing down was too aggressive which meant he was pulled out of position way too often. He did win challenges higher up the field which did leave to counters however the defence were too exposed. The Anchorman role in-game is described as the Water Carrier role but I also need someone to pick up the rubbish and be a bit of a ********************* which the Ball Winning Midfielder caters for. I found out with some tweaking I could set up the Defensive Midfielder to act that way.

The Defensive Midfield role's closing down is somewhat in between the Ball Winning Midfielder and the Anchorman so he holds his position like the Anchorman does. I do like when one of my midfielders is a bit of a *********************. Say what you will of Roy Keane but who wouldn't have him in midfield during his prime? Dominating physically, throwing his body around and picking up the rubbish in front of the defence. Just like Vinnie Jones for the Crazy Gang. Vinnie was a bit more unpredictable with his bad boy antics though but you have to love it. For that reason alone I added Tackle Harder. I did keep an eye though if he got booked I removed it so he didn't pick up a silly second yellow card. The other PI's I added was Pass It Shorter and Fewer Risky Passes so he acts just like the Anchor Man does in that role. So my rubbish collecting, water carrying and ********************* midfielder was in place with the following instructions (Italics are instructions already active):


  • Tackle Harder
  • Pass It Shorter
  • Fewer Risky Passes
  • Dribble Less
  • Hold Position
  • Close Down More
 
Last edited:
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
No disrespect intended but "the days of plug and play are gone"?

I would have to disagree with that.
No disrespect taken. Let me ask you a question here -

You've downloaded a tactic from FM-base. You plug it in, you run 10 games with a top/middle PL team. Wow fantastic you've won all 10 and have a goal difference of 32-4. 11th game, home to Colchester Utd in the FA Cup. Somehow you're down 2-1 with 15 minutes to go.

Do you:

a) Just sit there and stare at the screen as the clock winds down
b) You pull an angry german kid and break everything in sight
c) You throw the kitchin sink at Colchester. Overload, Pump the ball into the box etc etc

If you answer c) I'd say that's you conceding that plug and play doesn't exist anymore.
 
Last edited:
OP
J

justified

Member
Dec 11, 2009
403
0
16
twitter.com
Let's Get This Show on the Road

View attachment 789957



My last update of the day but I felt like I couldn't really keep you guys out of the loop anymore on who I'm going to develop this tactic with. I won't update until late afternoon tomorrow so feel free to comment on the team, player selection; who should play where in what roles within the framework and formation. Obviously you've seen my Team Instructions and my DMC settings. Any suggestions on any of the players selected? On the SS you'll see who I've selected as my first 11 and my backup 11. Obviously they're a highly talented squad and the talented youngsters are pouring out of this team at the moment.

The reason why I selected Marseille was because they've got good potential to play the 4-3-3 in the way I want them to. They have no European distraction so the attempt to dislodge PSG as the top team in France is very possibly. It'll be interesting to see how we blend the youngsters with experience to try and get that balance right. I reckon I'd need around 5 seasons to establish this team back at the top and being able to compete with PSG with their financial backing. As long as I get CL football I should be ok. Should see the stars staying at the club as well.

EDIT: Just realized Mandanda is on the bench in that SS. Obviously he's a starter.
 
Last edited: