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Tactics The Diego Simeone System | Ruvio4


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               The Diego Simeone System

Diego Pablo Simeone González "El Cholo" has held the reigns at Atletico Madrid now for some ten years and has achieved unfathomable results using a system that is now considered anti-football by many and does not fit in with the modern day passing game brought to us by the likes of Josep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Maurizio Sarri and many more. Instead Diego Simeone has for many years preferred a defensively solid and compat style of play shutting the opposition out with a low block and exploiting them with physicality and fast sweeping play. I write this on Sunday 7th February 2021, where his side's results speak for themselves:

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I set to work on replicating the more modern interpretation of Diego Simeone's tactic and after studying Atletico Madrid this season, I found myself with two versions.

Favourite:

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Underdog:

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I didn't change the setup of the team much as you can see. The defensive wingers drop back into a wingback position as to add more defensive cover while still providing a wide threat. The other change implemented is the team mentality changes from control to counter allowing us to sit slightly deeper making us more compact defensively. 

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The defensive setup is the same for both versions here although I do implement several tweaks in-game which I will explain towards the end of the article. We sit with a balanced defensive line, I don't want to be sitting to high and be exploited in behind although we don't want to invite pressure by sitting too deep. I demand closing down all over the pitch as to stop the opposition playing and give them minimal time on the ball. I selected committed tackling because well... this is Diego Simeone!

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I present the attacking instructions, which again stay the same for both tactics. I firstly leave the option of overlapping and crossing down to the wide players as I feel both can be viable options in this style of play. I selected shoot on sight as due to possibly having less of the ball we want to test the opposition as frequently as possible so when we come into a good attacking phase we don't want to over work the ball. I feel this one is obvious, I chose run at defense due to lack of pace up front in this squad and also maybe lack of runs in the final third as most of our players are behind the ball we will look to run with the ball.

                            Adjustments

I mentioned earlier about making tweaks during games and I feel this is a massive aspect so please don't be lazy as plug and play tactics do not exist so much now, and if they do cannot provide results like I am about to show you.

So adjustments, the first major and most obvious adjustment is dropping or raising the team mentality. If for example I find myself at a one goal advantage I would drop the mentality down depending on which tactic I am playing and this can be applied if I was one goal down I would raise the mentality.

I secondly occasionally tinkered with playing narrow when we had a small margain lead as I found that we would sit as a more compact unit and the opposition would find it more difficult to play through us.

The other major adjustment is switching pressing down so we only press when the opposition enter our half. This will invite slightly more pressure but again it allows us to maintain our shape and re-group sitting tighter and more compact vertically.

I will finish this section of the article with two minor adjustments, them being the famous time wasting which is self explanatory. I use this when leading narrowly in the final fifteen minutes or so and encourage players to slow the game down. I VERY VERY rarely done this, but I once switched the passing and goalkeeper distribution to long to get the ball as far away from out goal as possible in the final minutes while holding a lead if the opposition had more of the ball and were creating chances.

                               Selection

The section of which tactic to use is CRUCIAL. I tended to use the favourite tactic when I was at home and the opposition were weaker or when away and the opposition are considerably weaker. I used the in-game odds to determine which tactic to use along with taking into account the oppositions current form. I often switched mid-game between tactics depending on scenarios. If I found myself ahead I would switch to the more defensive formation, and vice versa while making the adjustments I mentioned earlier.

                               Results

I have only currently had time to test this for half a season but the results are so ridiculous I had to share this now. I present to you without further delay the results:

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Thank you for reading if you made it this far and if you do chose to test this out be sure to let me know how you got on. I hope you find success with this. Thanks.

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Really nice write up and good to see another tactic based on real life actually working.
Beyond the current squad do you think it will be hard to get players to fulfil some of the positions, in particular the Wide Midfielders / Wing Backs?

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3 hours ago, SK15Kev said:

Really nice write up and good to see another tactic based on real life actually working.
Beyond the current squad do you think it will be hard to get players to fulfil some of the positions, in particular the Wide Midfielders / Wing Backs?

Thank you mate hopefully lots more to come as I will be starting a long term career soon, I may run another test on this tactic with another team maybe Newcastle and see how I get on as I imagine I will have to adapt the shape and playing style slightly.

 

I think you raise a good point here but I do think the wide players can be replaced but you would have to be very specific when looking. I think the likes of Valentino Lazaro would be a good viable option. He posses most things I would look for in that area of the pitch and can fulfil the role I am looking for. 

 

Let me know if you try it mate.

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I will when I switch team or start a new game/challenge.
Just started one with Arsenal and don’t have the right players for the Simeone style (other than Partey). Can’t see Ozil, William and Aubameyang working that hard. Although I could see Saka and Maitland Niles working in the WB/WM roles.

Maybe Leeds, Brighton or Southampton would be a good test.  All have good youth squads and variety of players that may suit.
 

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Great write up - and i am happy for you that you managed to Achieve you goal :)!

Diego is a huge coach and shows great leadership in games! Thank you for sharing 

best regards Anders 

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Great tactic this is and great write up, sitting 3rd after 15 games with Torino first season no transfers. Thank You

Edited by White Europe
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5 hours ago, White Europe said:

Great tactic this is and great write up, sitting 3rd after 15 games with Torino first season no transfers. Thank You

Yes mate thank you so much.

Great managing there mate as its down to you to tweak and select how you setup this is essentially a base platform. Well done mate! 👍

I am working on a 4-5-1 + 5-4-1 variant now. As you can probably tell I love defensive football, Jose Mourinho, Diego Simeone, Antonio Conte, Giovanni Trappatoni are some of my favourites. Canteneccio is one of my favourite styles so hopefully be churning out a few more tactics and careers soon so keep an eye out!

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10 hours ago, White Europe said:

You are speaking my language! I rather win 1-0 than 5-3. Love good old fashion anti-football;)

We are the same then! Helenio Herrera Cateneccio style, clean sheets racking up pleases me more than anything like you say. I hopefully will have time to start and test few new ideas I have over the next week. 

 

Out of interest purely to see if I can tweak and improve this how many clean sheets have you kept in them fifteen games with Torino mate?

Edited by Ruvio4
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2 hours ago, Ruvio4 said:

We are the same then! Helenio Herrera Cateneccio style, clean sheets racking up pleases me more than anything like you say. I hopefully will have time to start and test few new ideas I have over the next week. 

 

Out of interest purely to see if I can tweak and improve this how many clean sheets have you kept in them fifteen games with Torino mate?

Got 9 clean sheets in 20 games, Torino is only test save with no transfers and training done. Still thinking about starting a proper save with it. 

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1 hour ago, White Europe said:

Got 9 clean sheets in 20 games, Torino is only test save with no transfers and training done. Still thinking about starting a proper save with it. 

Meh. I guess Torino aren't the strongest of sides, could maybe drop mentality down slightly to ramp up defensive stability.

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3 hours ago, Ruvio4 said:

Meh. I guess Torino aren't the strongest of sides, could maybe drop mentality down slightly to ramp up defensive stability.

9 clean sheets is great for Torino. Tactic performing very good

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Season finished well, 5th in the league and lost domestic cup final on penalties.

Waiting to see more ideas of Anti- Footbal from You, keep up good job man!

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Well done mate can build from that as I'm guessing they weren't expected as high of a finish and a cup final!

Thank you mate, 100% more shithousery and anti-modern football coming. I really want to create a 4-4-2 or a Low Block Absorbant 5-4-1.

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1 hour ago, White Europe said:

Most important statistics 20 clean sheets! 2nd best defence, and most yellow cards 😅😅

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To compete with Juventus defensively is very very impressive!!

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22 minutes ago, White Europe said:

Three Man up top will work great when You need score, but without that DLP on the middle losing a lot from defensive stability.

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Yeah I also think maybe changing the two BBM to a CM may add more structure to the midfield while providing some cover defensively.

 

I am starting a career on here soon, trying to better Frank Lampards Chelsea run so keep an eye out for that mate. I have created a 4-3-2-1 or 4-2-3-1 variant which I am using. I have kept ten clean sheets out of fourteen games and while it isn't as defensive as this tactic it holds shape well and allows the attacking players freedom.

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2 hours ago, Ruvio4 said:

Yeah I also think maybe changing the two BBM to a CM may add more structure to the midfield while providing some cover defensively.

 

I am starting a career on here soon, trying to better Frank Lampards Chelsea run so keep an eye out for that mate. I have created a 4-3-2-1 or 4-2-3-1 variant which I am using. I have kept ten clean sheets out of fourteen games and while it isn't as defensive as this tactic it holds shape well and allows the attacking players freedom.

The tactic and in game tweaks ideas You have posted is great base for tweaking, for everyone that want to play other formations, and two tactics system is a Must to achieve succes.

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Thank you mate + very well done your keeping it solid there and deffintley looks a great tweak with the three up top!

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