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Updating a Classic - O-zil's Cruyff

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I think I'm going to give a go at a version of this tactic in FM19.

Using his thread as a template - 


Obviously, things have changed a bit since this version of FM, so here's what I'm thinking.

We start with the Tiki-Taka football style with Standard mentality.  

We can still utilize the 3-5-1-1 formation - to get the shape we're looking for, I'm thinking we utilize Inverted Wingers instead of the W/A as before. 

Tomorrow I'll upload pics of the tactic and how it's working thus-far in preseason with Manchester United.


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First match was against Crystal Palace at Home.  We won 2-0 and had 75% possession!

Few problems I noticed with the tactic (waiting for Steam to update so I can launch and post the tactic for you) were thus:

1.  CM(S) were too narrow.  I played Pogba and Herrera as CM(S).  They provided an excellent area of passing for the DLP(D) - but that's about all they did.  Often times during the match they would be only a few feet to either side of the DLP(D) and a few feet in front.  This lead to a lot of lateral passing between the three of them with little forward progress.  A couple of ideas I have to fix this is change them from CM(S) to Mezzala.  Another option would be to change the tactic from Tiki-Taka to Vertical Tiki-Taka to prioritize forward movement with the ball rather than lateral.

2.  Goals were from set pieces, not the run of play.  First goal was scored in the 5th minute by Pogba with a PK.  The second goal was also by Pogba but off a corner.  He beat his man to the near post and put it past their keeper.  However, while we had a ton of possession, we didn't really do much with the ball.  It was passed around laterally between Pogba, Herrera and Segei Darder (DLP(D)).  Nabil Fekir was signed by my DoF and he's playing the AM(A) role behind a CF(S).  Unfortunately, Fekir was practically marked out of the match.  He was credited with the assist off the corner.  A couple of options I'm considering is giving Fekir the Roam from Position and Move Into Channels Instructions.  The obvious drawback from that is I would lose the "point" of the midfield diamond.  

Few good things I noticed:

1.  IW(A) were in perfect position.  Played Martial and brought in Rony Lopes and have them both playing as IW(A).  When in possession in the attacking third, they were both just inside the corner of the box on opposite sides of the CF(S).  Didn't see them make many runs, but Palace were packing the area in defense.  

2.  DC(D) on left and right of the center DC(D) spread out very wide to mark wide players in transition.  Obviously, the main weakness of this formation is the lack of DL/DR.  This leaves you vulnerable to crosses by marauding wide players.  Thankfully the defenders stayed wide and the DLP(D) and central CD were able to cope.  They then pulled back in the closer to the box they got and let the IW(A) do their thing out wide.

3.  IW(A) performed well on defense.  I almost expected that we would get burned continually down the flanks because of how aggressive I set the IWs.  However, they stayed back far enough to perform well on defense and let the DCs do their thing in the box.

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The good news is you can see, the desired 3-4-3 with diamond midfield is there.  

The bad news is appears the issue of forward passing and playing through the middle with this ME hasn't been resolved yet - but I'll keep playing and see if any other patterns arise.

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Wow!  This one just goes to show how different games can really be!

Came up against Fulham this week at Home.  Looked at their formation and immediately saw they were packing the box - 3 CD, 2 WB, 1 DM and 3 CMs with one lonely striker.  Before the match, my Assistant Coach suggested a few tweaks to the formation, such as playing more aggressively (Attack vs Balanced) and higher lines of engagement and defensive lines.  The result?

A 3-0 thumping.  Darder with 2 goals, both from outside the box and Tahith Chong with his first professional goal (also from outside the box).

As you can see below, the difference in positioning from the Crystal Palace game to the Fulham game is quite significant because of the engagement/defense changes.

I'm also surprised at how similar the missed shots look between the two games.  Normally I'd be disappointed that all the goals came from outside the box, but given the defensive shape Fulham were utilizing, I think it only makes sense.

As for PIs, I'm only going to list the ones I added to the roles they're playing...

Keeper - SK(S): None

CD:  Take Fewer Risks

BPD:   None

IW:  None

MEZ:  None

DLP:  None

AM:  Hold up Ball

CF:  None

Jordan Sampson_  Inbox.png

Manchester United_ Analysis Match-6.png

I think one of the changes I'm going to try is "Work Ball Into Box" because look at the number of shots!  27!  I think only 8 were on-target for the Fulham game.


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So...  I didn't make any changes and played against Leicester next.  

I really think something with the ME isn't quite... right.  Pogba nailed two FKs from almost the same spot from just outside the box.  Herrera "Scholes'd" a volley from outside the box.  31 shots?!?  12 on target.  See the second screenshot.

I'm also noticing that this tactic appears to be very... individualistic, despite what it's supposed to be.  lol  For instance, once people get around the box, they don't look for any more passes and tee off.  It's like they're afraid to go into the box.  I think I'm going to try the IWs on a support duty to try and see if they'll be less likely to shoot and more likely to put in some passes and/or crosses.

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Manchester United_ Analysis Match-8.png

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I'm really beginning to wonder if I've run into an exploit or something of the ME.

I mean, holy crap.  I've been dominating every single match - and this one we scored 4 goals in the first half.  I did change the IWs to a Support role and they were much more inclined to pass around the box than take shots.  Next match I'm going to also include the Work Ball Into Box TI and see what that does.

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Man Utd v Southampton_ Stats Match Stats.png

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You've one of the most expensive squads in Europe playing against teams who are rigidly sitting on their bus, I'm not surprised you're doing well with Ozil's system. It's ideal for a team like Manchester United (Ozil's Ajax would be a good Dutch comparison). I've seen a lot of high block tactics perform OP with top sides, and it's something I've noticed in my saves after transition from mid to top table.

I would be interested in how this system would play out with say, a Southampton. Them playing against Manchester City with this system would pose incredible risk as City's ability to play it out from the back and find wide runners like Sane could potentially tear it apart.

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  • 5 months later...


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