Sign in to follow this Followers 4 The Strikerless Series: Playing With 3 Attacking Midfielders FuddledFox March 7 14 replies 709 Views Report · Posted March 7 The Strikerless Series Introduction In the last couple of weeks strikerless formations have become a bit of an FMM obsession of mine and so it became obvious to me that I should write down some of my thoughts and findings on the subject. As it turns out I have a lot of thoughts on the subject and so I have decided to start this series of articles to explain some of them. All the articles will be in this one thread and I will add them as they are ready. So what can you look forward to. Clicking on the bold text will take you to each article once they are posted. Introduction: Why you may want to play strikerless and some of the ideas behind it. Tactics: Playing with three attacking midfielders. Tactics: Shadow Striker Vs Trequartisata Defensive Strikerless. The concept of playing FM without using a striker first came to my attention a few years ago through the work of a Dutch man called Guido Merry who has a website called Strikerless.com and is worth a look (after you have read this of course) although its sole focus is on the PC game. Much of my work is based around ideas that I have picked up from his work so I fell credit was due before I even begin. Despite strikerless being familiar to me for a few years I never really tried it on the PC game because of one reason, I love strikers! My two favourite England players over the years are Alan Shearer and Michael Owen and of course we have plenty of top strikers around at the moment such as Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski. So what has changed? Nothing really I still love using strikers but its always fun to play around with different ideas and I perhaps have a little striker fatigue at the moment due to playing a lot of striker based goal scoring challenges recently. I did briefly and unsuccessfully try a strikerless tactic last year on FMM17 and also wrote my trail article for Vibe about it but the tactic and the article were both awful so they have never reached the light of day. What is strikerless? This may sound a stupid question but I want to clarify something before we continue. In FMM we can play an inside forward in the right and left forward positions as we see here. For the purposes of this article I am not calling this a strikerless formation as the IF’s are in the forward/striker strata of the pitch. It could be argued and has been that the IF is a midfield role but once you put him this far forward he will play more as a striker. Strikerless in real life Football can be played in many ways and that is one of the reasons we all love it. We have seen a number of teams play without a recognised striker over the years including Scotland who tried to shut up shop against the Czech Republic in a 2010 World Cup qualifier. The aim of the then Scotland manager Craig Levein was to pack the midfield with numbers and try to stifle the more technically gifted Czech team. The fatal flaw in the plan was that despite creating the number Levein wanted in midfield Scotland lacked the players with the required skill and movement to harm the Czechs going forward and as a result putting in a turgid performance as they lost 1-0, that all but destroyed any hope they had of making the play-offs and Craig Levein received huge amounts of criticism for his negative thinking. A much more successful occasion that a team has played strikerless football is the Spain team which won the 2012 Euros. That Spanish side played with Fabregas listed as a striker on the team sheet but in reality he played as a false 9 and dropped deeper making a sixth man in midfield. This enabled Spain to play there possession Tiki Taka game as they dominated the midfield numbers and always had an extra man in that area. This style of football suited the squad that Vicente Del Bosque had at his disposal as it was similar to the Barcelona style of playing that was dominating domestic football at the time and seven players in the squad played for Barcelona including the highly influential Xavi and Ineista. His squad did contain strikers in the shape of Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negrado and Fernando Llorente and all except Llorente played some part in the tournament. Going into the tournament their where concerns over the form of Torres who was not enjoying a good time at Chelsea and also the ability of both Llorente and Negrado to get involved in the build-up play which is a must for the Spanish tiki taka style. The solution was to play Fabregas as a nominal striker when is actual fact he played a role somewhere between an attacking midfielder and a striker. This enabled the Spain team to play to their strengths and dominate in midfield with their constant passing and clever movement of players like Ineista and David Silva. Strikerless in FMM The reason I choose to experiment with playing without a striker was because I struggle to get decent possession with my teams on FMM. It doesn’t matter how good my squad is and what trophies I win, more often than not I have less possession in match. Of course that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things but I like to dominate teams and I become frustrated by seeing us have less of the ball than the team I am playing. Perhaps the strength of the squad you inherited at your new team is in the midfield area and you feel that a strikerless approach will enable you to bring out the best in the players you have especially at International level where the pool of players at your disposal are limited. This was part of Del Bosque’s thinking with his Spanish team. He had a pool of players which contained an abundance to top class midfielders whilst lacking in strikers who were in any kind of form or who suited the style of play he felt was best for the team. When we manage top teams with powerful squads in FMM we often find that smaller teams will sit back and try to simply defend against us and it can become very frustrating to try and break them down. Can we get teams to push further up and create space by removing the striker and causing the opposition centre backs to instead have to worry about our attacking midfield as the goal threat. Or on the flip side of that can we use a strikerless tactic to try and frustrate opposition that are better than us just as Craig Levein tried to do with Scotland. These are all things I want to look at in this series. So what do we need from our players if we want to play in this way? We need the basics for a start, so our attacking players that will provide the goal threat such as shadow strikers or trequartista’s need to be able to shoot otherwise how will they score but I believe there are some qualities that I need from all my midfield players in a strikerless tactic. This is young Benfica and Croatia midfielder Filip Krovinovic. I have been using him in my strikerless test save in a couple of different roles and he has developed well. I have highlighted some of the attributes that I would consider important if not vital for a midfielder to have if you are going to play strikerless football. These are universal attributes that I want to try and have in all my midfield players but of course you still require role specific attributes like shooting, tackling or crossing. Technical attributes: I ideally want players who are comfortable on the ball and so I want them to have decent dribbling ability. They can use this to move in tight areas of the field and create space by going past a defender. They need to be able to find a teammate with their passes so passing is a must and technique ties in with that as it means they make less mistakes when attempting a pass or dribble. It also means they will have a good first touch so they don’t have to be thinking about controlling the ball but what they will do with it when they get it. Mental attributes: Creativity and decisions are linked to passing in my mind. The player need to be able to see the killer pass and be able to make a quick decision which pass to make. Decisions also links with dribbling as a player needs to know when to run with the ball and when to pass it. To be able to find pockets of space on the pitch your player needs good movement as this will help in find good positions and get away from his marker. The better your players teamwork the better he will work with the other players in the team and also the harder he will work. In this introduction to the series we have looked at some of the reasons why you may choose to play in this style and also some of the principles of playing this way. In the next article we will start to look at some actual tactics and in game situations. I hope that you have enjoyed this introduction and that you will join me for the next instalment. I will update the thread title when I post the next article or you can follow the article by leaving a comment or hitting the follow button at the top right of this article. Thank you for reading 4 Share this post Link to post Share on other sites Share this with others!