'The Partnerships Guide - Articles by tacticalterrier‎

Jun 10, 2012
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Hey! This guide will hopefully go through the wide spectrum of partnerships in FM 12, if you have any suggestions then leave them in the comments and I'll try and do them!

1. Stopper/Cover
2. Defensive Winger/Wing-Back
3. Advanced Playmaker/Deep-Lying Playmaker
4. Deep-Lying Forward/Poacher


The Stopper/Cover Partnership



Origins



The most common defensive partnership in modern football, was originally invented by the fantastic Brazil side of the late 1950s in their 4-2-4 system. They brought a midfielder into defence, so they had a centre back comfortable on the ball who had the ability to play out of defence, which made it easier to build attacks. It would work by the original centre back winning the ball then making a simple pass to his new partner who could then play out of defence to the midfield.



This partnership later evolved into the widely used stopper/cover partnership, as the original centre back took a more aggressive role, stepping forward to win the ball with strong tackling and tight marking of the opposition, as the stopper. Whereas the ball-playing centre back sat slightly deeper, zonal marked and picked up any loose balls that the opposition had played.


When to Use It

The stopper/cover partnership works well with:


  1. A normal or deep defensive line
  2. Any play style (e.g. counter-attacking, possession based)
  3. When up against 1 striker (as the stopper will mark him, and the cover will be free to anticipate and intercept through balls from the opposition)

However it doesn't work well with:


  1. A high defensive line (if you play a high defensive line, then their is a lot of space in between the defence and goalkeeper which the opposition can run into when receiving a through ball, this is usually countered by the offside trap but if the cover centre back is sitting slightly deeper, he will play the opposition on side and the offside trap won't work.)
  2. Against more than 2 attackers (they will just get overloaded because the stopper can only mark one player at a time so if they're up against 3 forwards, then the player in cover position will have to much to do and the system will be ineffective.)
Legendary stopper Jaap Stam
Advantages and Disadvantages

+ It's versatile since it can be implemented into many formations and playing styles
+ The system can easily stop one striker
+ It sets up counter-attacks well (the stopper wins it, quickly gives it to the covering CB who plays a counter attacking through ball, all can be done within 5 seconds.)
+ It creates two lines of defence (this means that if a striker gets passed the stopper, then he will also have to get passed the cover, whereas in a straight defensive line, if a forward gets passed one defender, he is usually completely through and onto a one-on-one with the keeper.)


- The stopper can get dragged out of position (if he is marking a false 9 who drags him out of position, another attacker can run into the space and then the cover is on his own with no help.)
- It requires specialist players (e.g. the stopper has to be strong, brave, and a good marker whereas the covering CB has to be fast, have good anticipation and concentration.)
- You can't use it with a high defensive line (explanation above)




In-Game Analysis

For an example I decided to use the two players at the top of this page, Thiago Silva and AC Milan legend Alessandro Nesta, the former being the covering CB, and the latter as the stopper. This pair is an almost perfect combination, as both players are really well suited to their roles. Nesta is the left sided centre back, Silva is the right.



As the renowned Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon hits the ball upfield, Thiago Silva has already used his great anticipation (17), concentration (15) and acceleration (16) attributes to quickly read the game and get into a covering position, whereas Nesta has also read the situation and moves forward to try and challenge for the ball against Juve striker Amauri, this also requires the attributes anticipation, concentration and positioning.




As you can see, Nesta has used his bravery (16) aggression (15) determination (18) strength (14) and jumping (15) to step forward and make an attempt to win the ball. His partner Thiago Silva has stepped back so that if by chance Nesta and Amauri miss the ball, he will collect it and my Milan team will keep possession and look to build an attack.



The Brazilian isn't needed however as Nesta wins the ball, gives it to van Bommel and now we can build an attack from the defence.


The Roles

My Stopper Role
The higher closing down (on stand off for team, 2 notches up from standard) is so he steps forward to deal with threats, man marking is so he sticks to the forward, and short passing so we retain possession once he wins the ball.
My Cover Role
Not many tweaks with this role, 1 notch lower mentality so he gets into a deeper cover position, with through balls often he has a chance to play a counter-attacking through ball. Make sure he is on zonal marking.





Football Tactics From A Terrier!
 
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Jun 10, 2012
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Well that would mean that you'd effectively have a stopper and two covers, which isn't really necessary as you don't need two players sweeping up behind the line. But if you had of two stoppers and a libero, a bit like Italy at the moment in the Euros, it could work, though you'd need the libero to have a high anticipation, concentration, acceleration, positioning, and decions so he could catch players offside. The two stoppers would man mark, and the libero (though i would use BPD-cover) would sweep up, it could work with a high line but it'd be difficult and wouldn't work against fast strikers such as Pato. I'd suggest just playing safe with a normal d line, but if you need it to be high, just use man marking limited defenders and the offside trap, maybe paired with a sweeper keeper as well if you want.
 
Jun 10, 2012
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The Defensive Winger/Wing-Back Partnership





Originally used purely for defensive work, full-backs are now expected to attack and provide support to the winger as much as defend. A great example of this is the man at the top of the page, Brazilian wing-back Dani Alves, who despite technically playing in defence in the 2010-2011 season, made the most passes in the final third throughout Barca's Champions League campaign. Brazil popularised the attacking wing-back with famous players such as Roberto Carlos and Cafu, their team has always had wing-backs capable of changing a game, ever since they originally invented full backs in the legendary 1950s side which contained greats such as Garrincha and Pelé. They now have brilliant wing-backs in Dani Alves, Maicon and Marcelo, who all are well known for their attacking ability.

One of the only problems about fielding attacking wing-backs is that they're sometimes too offensive, and when high up the pitch, can be caught out of position. This makes them susceptible to the counter-attack, and for a lesser team to ****** a winner in the 88th minute from their first shot in the match is a top-of-the-table side's worst nightmare.

The Solution

To let a wing-back attack as much as possible, you will need to have someone capable of covering him at all times. One of the best ways to do this is to field a defensive winger ahead of him. A defensive winger is someone who aims to support his full back defensively by either marking the winger or full back on the other team, hold the ball up for his teammates (more importantly, the wing-back behind him) and make crosses from deep to the attackers in the box. In this combination his main job is to ensure that the wing-back will be able to go forward without worrying about the counter-attack as he knows that the defensive winger will cover him as he bombs down the line.

When to Use It

This partnership works well when:

  1. You're up against a good winger (so he can support the wing-back when defending)
  2. When versing a counter-attacking team (so they can't catch the wing-back out of position and exploit the space he leaves behind him, as the defensive winger will cover that)
  3. If you have to good wing-backs that play on one side of the pitch (this will allow you to field both as one can play as a defensive winger and the other, the wing-back, with this you could also allow them to swap positions regularly, this would make it more difficult for the opposition to defend against)
  4. When fielding slow wingers (because defensive wingers don't need to be fast as they rarely try and beat the opponent with a run from deep, they tend to hold the ball up instead and let the wing-back run at them.)
On the other hand, it fails to work well when:

  1. Playing against defensive teams (as their wingers are likely to defend as well so you would benefit far more from using attacking wingers as well as wing-backs)
  2. When you're against a narrow formation (you don't need defensive wingers as it will be rare that you get hit on a counter-attack down the wing if they only have full-backs on the pitch. I would advise playing very attacking wingers to exploit their lack of players on the flanks instead.
Advantages and Disadvantages

+ It provides defensive stability down the wings (as if your wing-backs attack, there will be someone covering them should the opposition try and play on the break.)
Internazionale wing-back Maicon
+ The combination gives the wing-backs freedom (they can attack without having to worry about being caught out of position, since the defensive winger will cover them.)
+ It lets you field two wing-backs on the same side of the pitch (e.g. if you have two great wing-backs on the same flank, like Brazil do in Dani Alves and Maicon, you can have one as the defensive winger, and one as the wing-back then maybe switch positions every so often to let them both attack.)

- The winger has to be capable defensively (his main job will be to defend and cover so he will be poor in this role if he struggles to put tackles in and mark opposition players well.)
- It isn't a good strategy for the best teams (if you are one of the best teams, you should be looking to play positive football and put your opponent under pressure, and if your wingers aren't attacking then you won't be offensive as you could be.)
In Game Analysis


As with my stopper/cover analysis I have used the AC Milan team as my example. In this I am playing experienced midfielder Massimo Ambrosini as defensive winger and young prospect Ignazio Abate at wing-back attack. Ambrosini isn't the ideal defensive winger as he is more suited to a central position but he was my best option at the time due to injuries of players such as Zambrotta. However, Abate is a very good wing-back as he meets all the requirements for it, with blistering pace (16/17) reasonable crossing (12) and reliable tackling (13).



Straight away after receiving a pass from Alexandre Pato (9), defensive winger Ambrosini gives the ball to Abate (2). This requires good teamwork from both wide men (16 - Ambrosini, 14 - Abate) so they play well together and have a good understanding, a decent positioning attribute (13) from Abate for him to get into a position to receive the pass.


After getting the ball from Ambrosini, wing-back Abate makes a run down the touchline as his teammate holds up and lets him run past him. If he were a normal, attacking winger, then Ambrosini would've made a forward run and hoped to get a ball back from Abate or not even passed to him in the first place and tried to take the opposition on himself. To make the run down the touchline, Abate needs to have a reasonable dribbling (14), a fast acceleration (17), an agility to match that and a good decision attribute so he can assess the situation and decide what would be the best thing to do quickly. Ambrosini on the other hand also needs a good decision skill to realise that he needs to cover Abate, he also needs a good positioning skill to get into a covering position and a good teamwork attribute to work well with Abate who needs him to cover his position whilst he's attacking. I have decided not to show it but the Italian wing-back continues the line and whips a cross in only for it to be collected by the keeper.

The Roles

My defensive winger role

Firstly, his run from deep is on rarely because he needs to cover Abate, not run down the wing himself, the run with ball is sometimes, because I don't want him to dribble with it all the time, but I want him to keep the ball a bit, and not just play first time passes constantly. I dislike my players so the long shots is on rarely, and I keep him crossing from deep so if he does get into a crossing position, it isn't very far up field and to the far post because my taller striker is at the other side. He will cut inside in the hope of opening up space for Abate by dragging an opposition player in with him. Lastly, his closing down in on own area because I want him to let the player come to him whilst covering Abate, not the other way around, because if he stands off the player trying to start a counter-attack, he will slow him and the attack down, giving his teammates more time to get back into position.

My wing-back role

He has a very attacking mentality, especially for a wing-back so he attacks as much as possible, his run from deep and run with ball are both on often for the same reason as well. Again I don't want my players taking long shots, so his is set to rarely, like most of the team. I tell him to cross often as that is his job and for it to be from the byline, so he gets into more advanced positions than Ambrosini (who crosses from deep). Finally, I've instructed him to hug the touchline regarding his wide play, so he overlaps the defensive winger more.
 
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connort787

Member
Jan 4, 2012
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@ Tactical Terrier

Would you please upload some of your tactics as they would be very interesting to use or even just screenshot them and the team instructions and player instructions

Thanks and i'am a big fan
 

OoscotsmanoO

Member
Dec 14, 2009
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love reading somthiing made by somone who knows what he/she is talking about, Fantastic keep up the good work.
 
Jun 10, 2012
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Wow thanks for all the feedback! :D I can try do a replica or just a specific tactic if you'd like, just PM me with what you want! I have a horrible attention span so I'm constantly starting new saves and never get a tactic fully done though so I don't have one to send you straight away but I'll do one for you mate :) Cheers pal! I'll cover another combination tonight, anyone want me to cover a specific one?
 

TheBetterHalf

Patient Moderator
Mar 6, 2009
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Wow thanks for all the feedback! :D I can try do a replica or just a specific tactic if you'd like, just PM me with what you want! I have a horrible attention span so I'm constantly starting new saves and never get a tactic fully done though so I don't have one to send you straight away but I'll do one for you mate :) Cheers pal! I'll cover another combination tonight, anyone want me to cover a specific one?
I think you know best in what order these acticles should be published. Perhaps there is one containing some essential information one needs to understand before reading the next, learning to walk before running ?
 
Jun 10, 2012
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I've made a list of what I can think of, could do it in order from the defence, since i've done one on CBs and now i've done one on wing-backs... The attacking wing-back/inside forward combo is linked to my previous post but it is widely covered and I assume most are comfortable with that partnership so there is no real need to cover it. I'll have a think!
 

OoscotsmanoO

Member
Dec 14, 2009
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Could I request the Deap laying playmaker and Adavanced playmaker CM CM style like Ramsey and Arteta at Arsenal ?
 

joeroffey

Banned
Apr 25, 2012
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Hi everyone, I am a naughty little spammer. Oh, I have a tiny...
 
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dinho80

Member
Apr 6, 2010
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4-3-1-2, mate. I am really enjoying in narrow tactics.

Or even 4-1-2-1-2,it is your choise,you know what is better :D
 
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Jun 10, 2012
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Okay pal! I can't guarantee you success with it, I've never uploaded a tactic before and rarely play long saves, but I'll try for you! :)
 

Hernanes

Member
Dec 12, 2010
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Are you posting another guide soon? The current ones are great and I am hoping for more like everyone will do who reads this thread.
 
Jun 10, 2012
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Yeah I'm gonna do a deep-lying playmaker/advanced playmaker partnership (both CM) soon! It'll be up tonight hopefully... Thanks mate, I appreciate all this great feedback!
 
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