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Getting the best of two worlds


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The other day I was talking to my dad about football and eventually the discussion lead to total football and then the catenaccio.....aka football in the 'good old days.' Now that got me thinking about FM. I've seen threads about total football and threads about catenaccio but I do not think I have seen any on attempting to combine both ideas.

Now, according to my dad, the best 'formation' to use if wanting to do this is the 4-4-2. Now I'm not sure if he meant a particular tactical shape (he probably did) or if he meant the anything with 4 defenders, 4 midfielders, and 2 strikers. He went on to explain that 6 players would have a primary in defending (4 defenders, 2 central mids), while the the other 4 would be given total attacking freedom i.e. lost of dribbling, total creative freedom, free roles, constant positional interchanging etc.

In a way, this makes sense to me and it is now something that I am trying to incorporate to my own footballing philosophies in FM.

My question to you guys is this; how would you go about trying to combined the best of both total football and the catenaccio? What tactical shape would you use? What other changes would you make?

Oh and if there is another thread about this idea, please point me in the right direction as I have not found it. Also, if everything I have said makes me sound completely ******** don't hesitate to let me know ;)

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Actually, that would not be the best of both worlds because that's 6 defensive players and 4 attacking players.

You should not mistake Total Football as "All Out Attack" football. It is not. Total Football, is the vision of the whole team working together on any and every given task. What you can't have in Total Football, for examples, is a Trequartista or a Limited Defender (to use FM terms.) Why? Because the former has no defensive task, and the latter has no offensive task. In Total Football, all outfield players take part in the defensive, build-up, and attacking phase of the game.

Total Football is also very much associated with aggressive pressing and high offside traps during the defensive phase. They depend on players being able to rotate to cover one another, and player's own individual brilliance to play in different positions and deal with different types of players. Total Football is also associated, most famously, with individual flair. In attack, players are encouraged to express themselves. During attack, players constantly swap positions, and attacking moves flow through different channels and spaces, depending on whichever area of weakness presents itself. These are just individual demands of each players. As a team, the demand is equally high since a high level of understanding, intelligence, and training are needed in order to pull off their high offside traps, defensive rotation, and attacking combination plays. You can't just play Total Football. In addition to world class players, years of hard work, together as a squad, is required, and also a world class manager.

Personally, I'm not a fan of it due simply to it's impracticalities. What chances have you got of putting together all the ingredients needed?

Since Total Football is a whole philosophy of football, I don't think it's compatible with Catenaccio. Unless of course, you argue that Total Football doesn't utilize things like aggressive pressing, high offside traps, and very fluid attacking plays, but only require that all 10 outfield players to be involved at all time.

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I'm sorry, your question made me laugh, um what has the development of football tried to do since the 1860's?

Score goals and have a tight defense. Catennacio has now got this aura of negativity, almost anti-football, whilst total football is maybe seen as the epitome of football. Obviously the truth is somewhere in between. They are both outdated, tactics have evolved. I would suggest try to develop a tactic/style around either of the two and try and see where weaknesses lie, then you can follow the same journey football has. The layout on the field for La Grande Inter was a sweeper, two cb's, an attacking left back, a dm, a cm, right winger, a am lc, a deep lying striker behind an advanced striker. Michels and kovacs Ajax used a 1-3-3-3.

Football is about the control of space, once we get our heads around that fact, we can make total catenaccio.

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