Sign in to follow this Followers 15 Ashez & Foxy Present Tiki-Taka Ashez September 6, 2018 68 replies 12,731 Views Report · Posted September 6, 2018 Hello and welcome to a tactical article looking at the Tiki-Taka style of play. Many of you will know @Foxy from his breakthrough tactical articles in recent years while I've always had a love of the tactical side of the game, so expect plenty of one twos as we look to implement this popular style into FMM. Vibe has seen various interpretations of tiki-taka during its life time but in this thread Foxy and myself will be jumping into our thought process into how to properly implement such a system. Our end goal is to create a tactic that is reasonably good in game while sticking to the core principles of the style, we'll both openly state this isn't a super tactic but a decent one that delivers the style we craved. We wanted a tactic to fully appreciate the visuals of FMM so we can witness playing out from the back, lovely triangles and that ever so powerful press. This wasn't an easy process as we discussed ideas for a long time before running around ten tests on various set ups, this was a labour of love I think we both really enjoyed. With that out the way let's look into what we've come up with. The Tiki-Taka Back Six When you think of Tiki-Taka the goalkeeper is one of your first thoughts as his ability makes or breaks the plan of the system. Obviously a keeper is always a vital role in any team but a keeper in this system needs to be comfortable on the ball and able to pick a pass, but why is this? This aspect of the formation alters the entire playing field in front of you, you see when your keeper has the ball the opposition have a choice of do they press or not, if they press the keeper this will create space in behind the opposition attackers or in their midfield, this is also true if the opposition decide to mark/press your passing options! In this case the entire opposition team will push forward which leaves space everywhere for you to exploit, however if they refuse the opportunity to press your CB's can come out of defence with the ball under little pressure to look for a dangerous pass while out numbering the opposition midfield. Obviously this system isn't fall proof as a well timed opposition press or interception can leave you wide open on the counter attack so it's up to the manager to decide if the risk is worth the rewards. It's not all about short passes to the defenders however as this keeper also needs the ability and precision to play pin point long balls up field to fully utilise any space you've managed to create from drawing the opposition on to you, like I've explained if the opposition press or push up that's leaving space in midfield or in behind the oppositions defensive line which you can exploit, especially if you can provide the right delivery. Obviously we're all about seeking those rewards in this article but there is more to the back six unit than picking a keeper and role that can pass, after all he needs someone to pass to. The next step is to add the defensive line to the system which in this case is two central defenders with ball playing attributes. These two players will sit deep which serves two purposes, the first is to limit the passing range for the keeper and the second is to draw the opposition on to you, if they're higher up the pitch you're limiting your space so you want to stretch them. These two defenders are more like your next line of attackers as they'll need the ability to make use of the space afforded to them while being able to stay composed under pressure if needed. The defender can look to open up play by passing to a more advanced team mate, or he can attempt to draw a press on by passing to his partner or goalkeeper, these little passes might appear pointless but every time the opposition moves you're creating opportunities you could potentially exploit. Personally I see the keeper and central defenders as one half of this unit and the remaining three members as the second half to complete the puzzle. It's all good and well if the first half functions but it needs the second half to be complete as this half is all about passing options. The centre backs can't keep the ball all game so it's vital you have some out balls in the side and our first ones are a pair of pushed up wingbacks, these players will naturally position themselves ahead of the central defenders and offer their services to them and the man between the sticks. This added width will again stretch teams and pull their press out wide with the end goal being once again to create space in field, the wingbacks have an added bonus of if the wings are free they'll fly down them looking for another area to deliver that dangerous ball. As they'll venture up and down their wing all game they'll often be available for a pass or be occupying an opponent, both of which we can exploited by other players in your team. The final component of our back six is the deep sitting playmaker who directs the play, this player will be available for passes from the rest of the back five regularly and once he's on the ball his job is to open up the opposition. This player will receive the ball in various scenarios but in the ideal one the playing out from the back will have opened up space in his area so he can pick his head up and find a team mate in a more dangerous position. As he's comfortable on the ball he'll happily slow the game down by interacting with his defenders or speed it up by launching a wide player down the wing or an attacker over the top. Obviously Tiki-Taka is all about creating space, then exploiting it, keeping possession, short passes and pressing which this player has to be a master of as he's the midfield pivot that everything else is based on. The Midfield Two With the back six in place it's time to look at the midfield unit that will be the main engine room of the team. The first role to be inserted into this pair is a box to box midfielder who's fairly balanced attribute wise, this balance is vital as the player will be the legs in midfield and he'll often find himself in offensive and defensive positions. His ability to roam around the pitch will keep the opposition guessing which will create space as he looks to find defensively sound positions when needed or ones to cause damage as he ventures forward. This powerful runner will be the main link within the team but he must also possess the ability to dribble out of midfield with the ball to look for dangerous passes or shots he can take, his roaming role will also make him available for short passes and pressing opportunities. His midfield partner will be a creative midfielder with more freedom and licence to stay forward as he is the main playmaker in the side. The playmakers job is to receive the ball from team mates and drive forward with runs or passes with the aim to create opportunities. As the player is deeper than more advanced options he'll also have an important role to play defensively and will need pressing attributes to start attacks and protect his back line. As we've explained the playing out from the back should create space to be exploited and a deadly playmaker is one of the key ways to take advantage of these opportunities as he'll have the vision, ability and technique to deliver that killer ball into the front line. The Tiki-Taka Attack The False Nine Most of the tactic was set in stone during the discussion Foxy and myself had but the one area for concern was the attacking third of the team. The false nine is a vital component of the tiki-taka system as his ability to drop deep and run games while still being an offensive threat causes the opposition's midfield and defence all sorts of problems, especially space. Originally we experimented with dropping striker roles like the DLF and the TRQ but we weren't overly impressed with their out put. With this in mind we decided to look at the AMC position as we tested TRQ's and Shadow Strikers in this position. After some tests and analysis we decided the shadow striker was the false nine we were hoping for! This almost free roled striker will find himself all over the pitch being a creative force and a goal scoring weapon and his movement worked really well with the midfield two. The main draw back with the Shadow Striker role is he loves a long shot which we can't influence as his role traits must overwrite the team instructions but after plenty of tests we both agreed it was the most suited to the task. The Front Two With our main striker looking to play deeper we encountered issues implementing the final two roles as we needed a more reliable goal threat than a deep striker. We played around with various combinations to build our front three by placing the remaining roles in wide midfield positions and up front but nothing gave us what we were after. Eventually we decided on including two inside forwards but as our main goal threat was at the AMC line we decided to push them forward to the FL/R positions which was the solution we needed. Pushing these wide forwards up the pitch gave us two wide outlets, options on the overlap, players to execute the high press and most importantly some reliable goal threat. Having this versatile front three is a joy to watch as all three players will roam across the pitch which makes them difficult to mark which creates space as they're always on the move. The link up play from the three is exactly what we were looking for as at times they're playing their own game with excellent passes around the box leading to chances, however similar to the shadow striker it appears long shots are hardwired into the role but it's something we can do nothing about. That's the formations roles explained and showcased and in truth we're both pretty happy with it. When it comes to implementing real life tactics in game you have to decide what's set in stone and what can be played with to work in game, after everything is said and done I believe we've found a nice balance with this set up. Tiki Taka Team Instructions You have seen the players positions and roles that we have used but that is only half the story of any tactic as we need some TI’s under the hood to make the whole thing tick in the way we want. Some of the Ti’s we used I think will be quite obvious but I think at least one of our choices might cause a raised eyebrow or two but there is a method behind it that I hope to explain. Shape Team Mentality: This seemed like a no brainer for us to go with control as if you have watched any team managed by Pep you can see that they look to control the game by keeping the ball. We did consider attacking because Pep teams always look to attack and score goals but the worry is that would lead the team to give the ball away more often as they will constantly be looking for that killer ball, control should have the players looking to attack but if the killer ball isn’t on they will look to keep possession instead. Width: This one took a little thought because part of Tiki Taka’s point is to use as much of the pitch as possible in order to stretch the opposition and create chances. On the other hand we want the players to be close together in order to play the short passing style that Tiki Taka is famous for and you can’t play a short pass if your players are all to far from each other. We have WB’s in the team and they will naturally play wide anyway to create width. Another reason to play narrow is that a high press is needed to recreate the Tika Taka style and for a press to be effective you need your players working together to pressure the ball and that cannot be done effectively if your players aren’t compact without the ball. If we had gone for a wider shape we would have had bigger gaps between our players and out of possession those gaps would have been made worse as our players tried to press the ball and this could lead to us being far to easily opened up by the opposition. Tempo: Slow or balanced was the options under consideration here and we initially thought slow might be the way to go to help with ball possession but do Pep teams truly play slow football? Yes they can slow play down but actually they try to move the ball around quickly to unsettle the opposition into making mistakes and leaving gaps. Play too slow and they would be far too easy to defend against as teams would simply get everyone behind the ball and close the gaps that you would be looking to exploit. Creative Freedom: To unlock those stubborn defences we need our players free to try something a bit different. Defence Defensive Line: Deep! but Pep teams play with a high line, I hear you cry. Well we want to create a tactic that plays out from the back so actually a deep line helps with that. Watch a Man City game and you will see when Ederson has the ball to begin to build an attack, the Man City defence will drop right back to the edge of the box to receive a short pass and then build up the attack from deep in their own half. Coupled with mixed (more on that later) GK distribution this creates an environment where we can see our GK and CB’s playing short passes out from the back. Closing Down: Has to be all over here as we want a high press the second we lose the ball. This also means that as we move up the pitch our defensive line pushes up higher than you would expect with a deep line set. Tackling: Pep doesn’t like his players to dive into tackles as once a player goes to ground it can create openings if the tackle is evaded but cautious tackling really isn’t going to cut it when you are looking to press so balanced it is. Offside trap and Time wasting: Not much to see here as with a deep line an offside trap isn’t going to work very well and time wasting isn’t a viable option for an entire game. Attack Final Third: We want our WB’s to get up the pitch and provide width to the team as they are our only wide outlet and it is the wide areas of the pitch where a lot of space can be found, with Look for Overlap ticked they should push up and our other players will look to get the ball out wide as well. We are looking for a short passing style with plenty of possession so we have gone for Work the Ball into the box so that we aren’t just going for long shots. We don’t have an out and out striker so we need to work the ball into positions were our SS and IF’s can get good shots on goal. Passing Style: Do I need to explain our choice of short here!?! It’s Tiki Taka so short is the only option. Passing Focus: We used both mixed and central in our tests with very similar results but we decided to go with central in the end as we have that strong core to the side with that diamond midfield and we also saw more playing out from the back with central passing. Goalkeeper Distribution: The obvious option here would have been short but that limits our creativity as a team because sometimes a longer pass can create an opportunity and we have seen Ederson in real life use his footballing ability to ping longer passes forward. This also stops the game locking in shorter passes from the ‘keeper if we are being pressed ourselves. That is the positions, roles and instructions but how did it get on in our tests. You've seen how the tactic is built but before we get to the results we thought it would be fun to take a deep dive into the stats this tactic produces. To produce this stat showcase i played half a season with Liverpool and collected all the information available on the main stat page to give you an idea of what this tactic is all about. Possession As you can see from the graph above my Liverpool side had the bulk of the possession in most matches it played, across the 32 game test it's highest achieved possession stat was 63% with the lowest being 46%. The side had 55% or more possession in a staggering 18/32 matches which while not amazing it is impressive considering the games possession stats aren't that detailed, however I don't think we could achieve much more than a 54% average with the way the game works. Shots The tactic averaged 13 shots a game while it only conceded on average 4.5 shots a match so it's very attacking yet reasonably solid at the back. Our highest shot heavy match saw us shoot 24 times with our least effective display only producing 4, however in 25/32 matches we had 10 or more strikes at goal. The highest amount of shots we allowed the opposition in a single match was 10 but it wasn't uncommon for us to keep the opposition from taking a single shot! Shots On Target It's all fine and well having shots but it's those on target that count and thankfully this formation doesn't disappoint! We averaged 6.2 shots on target a match with our highest achieved total being 13 and our worst showing being 1. The tactic was very good at limiting the opposition to dangerous shots however as in 9/32 matches the AI failed to have a shot on target and they only achieved 3+ shots in 6/32 matches! Clear Cut Chances Personally I think this is a nothing stat in game as it's hard to find meaning in it but I decided to collect the information regardless and it continues to paint a positive picture for the tiki-taka style. We averaged 1.2 clear cut chances per ninety while the opposition averaged 0.1! In 29/32 matches the AI failed to create a clear cut chances against us but we also failed to create one in 10/32 matches. Penalties & Red Cards Penalties - We won 5 penalties within the 32 matches while we conceded only 2. Red Cards - The opposition was sent off 7 times during these matches while we suffered 2 sendings off, I think it's safe to say this tactic frustrates the opposition. The Full Stats LFC Total Shots - 416 Total On Target - 199 Total CCC - 41 Actually Scored - 68 Opposition Total Shots - 146 Total On Target - 53 Total CCC - 3 We conceded - 17 During this half season we had a conversation rate of 34.2% for on target shots compared to the AI's 32.1%. For shots in general we're looking at the opposition having 11.6% and ours is a much higher 16.3%. Interestingly only 5.3% of the opposition's on target shots were clear cut chances yet we have a monstrous 20.6% of our shots on target being deemed as clear cut. As you can see we've built a tactic here that completely dominates the opposition across every stat the main page shows, unfortunately this doesn't make it as God like as it appears as the AI loves winning while being dominated. I've also noticed a massive issue with long shots which will pad these stats and while the game does allow a lot of shots from distance to go in it's fair to say they're wasted opportunities most of the time. I'm sure you're all now eager to see how this formation performs so I'll play a through ball to Foxy so he can showcase the results we've collected. Results Barcelona Spoiler Manchester City Spoiler Leeds United Spoiler Liverpool FC Spoiler Watford Spoiler Leicester City Spoiler This is indeed what I'm using for my Maguire's save but as it's on going I can't post results as yet. Check this Link to see my progress Lyon - Thanks To @kylieboi88 Spoiler We decided to ask Kyle to test the tactic for us as we wanted to see how someone who didn't create it got on, I believe he'll also have more to show soon as well. Thanks again Kyle, your input was extremely valuable. The Dropped Points Like we said at the start of this article this tactic isn't a super one or one built for Vibe's challenges but I think these results show it in a positive light. However it can and will drop points so I'm going to show a handful of random images so you can see the scenarios in which points were dropped. My Leicester save linked above also features match by match updates but they're slightly misleading considering the strikers used. Spoiler As you can see even in dropped point matches this tactic is very dominant and the result easily could have gone differently. I like to call this being FMM'd and unfortunately this is a trend for this tactic, I have two theories for why this keeps happening. The cynic in me believes it's a cheap AI tactic to add difficulty as the AI score way too much from few chances and especially clear cut ones, however I feel our stats are padded slightly by long shots, yes we have the option turned off but our forward line is still never hesitant to shoot from distance which we can't influence. It could however just be dumb luck and on another day that calculation of goal or save could've gone in our favour but I'll let you have your own beliefs. Spoiler Foxy's Conclusion When @Ashez first messaged me about trying to create a Tiki Taka tactic I have to admit I was a bit sceptical as to whether we would be able to create something close to the style. This was simply because I feel we lack some options in the roles and TI's to really play a possession based style. Ashez already had the back line just about sorted and the midfield came together fairly quickly as well but it was the front three which has really taken the time and the testing to perfect. What kept me going though was that I could see a not only a tactic that kept possession well forming but also one that got results as well. I forget how many front 3 variations we tested before we came to this set up but as soon as I played a few matches with Manchester City in the test save you see above I knew we were on to something at least with a top team as not only was the possession there but also it looked good in the match engine and the results were excellent. Of course playing as Man City isn't the biggest challenge in the world as you have a great squad and plenty of money but it was the consistency that stood out for me, as you have seen above even if you drop points here and there you will dominate those games and after a season or two building a squad to this tactic I think those dropped points would vanish. When it got really exciting was when I saw the results from tests with mid table sides and just how well it worked with them and hell Ashez was even able to get good results with a couple of Slab heads in the IF positions. I am really proud of this tactic and also delighted to have been proven wrong by FMM, yes this isn't 100% Tiki Taka but of all the Tiki Taka tactics I have tested or tried to create it is the closest I have ever seen. Ashez Conclusion I'm not sure why but I got inspired to create this tactic based purely on the idea of using a deep defensive line, for some reason that concept stuck with me and bugged me for days. Unfortunately this late in the games life span is a difficult time to build something big and new as 2019 could change everything so I reached out to Foxy for his help, without him I wouldn't have taken on this project so I owe him a massive thank you. Now the tactic is built I feel confident it's pretty future proof concept wise and I'm hoping once 2019 comes out we can improve it, you see I believe this set up is hindered by the lack of control we have and with a little more I think we can turn this into a top tier tactic with the style we wanted. That's not to say I'm not happy with this current version however as it does what we set out to achieve with an added bonus of it being a fairly reliable tactic which is some bonus, although I think I also like the fact it's not some God tactic as it adds to the realism. This is by far the most fun I've had with FMM in years as I set out with a clear goal, Foxy and myself poured everything into it and we got to see everything we wanted to achieve so I can't ask for much more. Now all I can do is hope the Vibe community can see success via our Tiki-Taka style, enjoy lads! Thank you for viewing and we both look forward to reading your comments and seeing your results so don't forget to comment! PS - This was 100% a team effort so if you happen to press the +1/like feature on this article can you please also like a post from Foxy which I'm sure will be in this thread. Thank you. 20 Share this post Link to post Share on other sites Share this with others!