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Tactics Testing Tactics - ‘Plug + Play’ with Man. United


DanEnglish
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Which tactic would YOU most like to see tested?  

163 members have voted

  1. 1. Which tactic would YOU most like to see tested?

    • Mushy’s 5230 (with 2 SS)
      7
    • Black Hawk’s 4123 (with 2 IFs)
      54
    • MarkD’s Welcome to Wrexham 442 v2.0
      26
    • DanEnglish’s Intense Press 451 + 4141
      27
    • Other (write in forum comments below!)
      4
    • *Added* Topline’s Solid 3-5-2 (with 2 DWs)
      3
    • *Added* Ra.v’s LF/RF 4-1-2-1-2 (with 2 IFs)
      10
    • *Added* Gingerbread’s 1-2-3-2-2 (Narrow) You Score We Score More
      1
    • *Added* Hhooo’s 31231 (with IWBs) You Score We Score More
      5
    • *Added* Ericm544’s 343 (with 3 Poachers)
      3
    • *Added* Van the Man’s a Bright Future (3-4-1-2)
      14
    • *Added* Footyman’s Liverpool 424 (with 4 across the forward line)
      9


Recommended Posts

Testing Tactics:
Plug + Play’ with Man. United on FMM23

34403AA3-E0FF-477D-85BA-7F451433A449.jpeg.4eee9f9051fc23d7f0ae0e2343e961ab.jpeg

This series will slowly TEST some of Vibe’s most popular + my favorite tactics in FMM23.

Using Man. United’s starting squad (with no transfers, same XI every game) - I’ll play up until the 2022 world cup (mid-Nov) for each tactic, to see how each performs.

That’s 16 identical league games, 23 games including cups, for each tactic. Enough to get an idea on that tactics style + strengths 👍

—————————————————————————
 

Tactics Tested

  1. @Mushy 5230 (with 2 SS) <link> - see below
  2. My tweaked ‘Narrow 5230’ (with IWBs) - see below
  3. 🔥🔥 @Black Hawk The Black Hawk 4123 (with 2 IFs) <link> - posted near the bottom of this thread’s page two.
  4.  @Black Hawk (featuring @StuartM) the Tweaked Black Hawk 4123 (with IFs + IWBs) - see page three.
  5.   My ‘Intense Press’ 451 + 4141 <link> with 4-5 attacking midfielders - see page three.
  6. @MarkD original ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ 442 (with Wingers) - see page three.
  7. @DutchTony tweaked ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ 442 - see page four
  8. 🔥🔥 @DutchTony ‘Updated & Great Again’ Welcome to Wrexham 442 - see page four

B66C1D02-9A76-4BC1-B1F5-8DD976918D6F.thumb.jpeg.b0d692625e4c6ec5fbf1edd7716e34cb.jpeg

Note - the first 5 tactics above were tested BEFORE the March/winter data update, while any further tactics were tested AFTER the March/winter update was installed. 
 

⏸️  Future Shortlist.  
(not yet tested, but would like to)

  • *added* @topline / Solid 352 (with 2 DWs) <link>
  • *added* @Ra.v / LF/RF 4-1-2-1-2 (with 2 IFs) <link> which was also discussed as ’4-1-2-3 Deadly IF & SS’ <here>
  • *added* @GingerbreadPooches / 1-2-3-2-2 (Narrow) You Score We Score More <here>
  • *added* @hhooo / 31231 (with IWBs) You Score We Score More <here>
  • *added* @ericm544 / 343 (with 3 Poachers) <here>
  • *added* @Van The Man / A bright future (3-4-1-2) <here>
  • *added* @Footyman / Liverpool 424 (with 4 across the forward line) <here>

————————————————————————— 

Q: Why these tactics / why not mine?

Spoiler
  • Popular - am picking some Vibe tactics which have many replies on the forum (e.g. Black Hawk)
  • Favourite - am picking some tactics which I like the look of / want to test (e.g. Mushy’s 5230).
  • Recent - am trying to only pick tactics posted (or confirmed are still working) after the late 2022 match engine update - which changed how IFs work + (mostly) removed the corner exploit.

My decisions are final - as am doing this based on my own interest 🙂 
 


Q: How are they tested?

Spoiler

To reduce the influence of “luck” + for a fairer test - here’s my approach to testing these tactics.

Save:

  • Started a save, English league only, played to 1st Aug 2022.
  • No transfers, no loans in, no contract extensions.
  • Setup positioning retraining for most players - depending on what each tactic needs.
  • Made Bruno Fernandes Captain, with Maguire Vice-Captain.
  • No set pieces setup (not takers) - so it should be fairly random / standard.
  • This one master save is used to test all tactics from Aug to Nov-2022 - so all the league games will be the same (a fairer test).

Match:

  • Plug + play style - no changes in each match, unless stated by the tactic’s creator.
  • Same XI used got EVERY match.
  • Use editor to boost fitness  + morale before every match.
  • Don’t use Maguire (DC) nor Ronaldo (ST) in any test.
  • No subs used in any match.
  • Reload match for a red card (from any team) or a red injury /  can’t continue (our team only).
  • On the team talk screen, press the continue button every time.  
     

🙂 

Edited by DanEnglish
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Key Results

Which of these tactics tested so far work best? And why?!

421E5A7C-D399-486B-A4B0-75FA1C11CC9E.jpeg.cc6112842a80c5d799ae10a249214dd4.jpeg

 
Recommended Tactics

This gives us 2 recommended ‘plug + play’ tactics - which should lead you to success with Man Utd’s starting squad.

  • 🔥 Original ‘Black Hawk’ 4123 (with IFs + WBs)
  • 🔥Updated & Great Again’ Welcome to Wrexham 442 (with Wingers)

8062C5EF-AC7A-4D88-836F-520710D05609.jpeg.7a0c7ee81b51695e23d0fe82b6c031a1.jpeg

Edited by DanEnglish
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Lovely idea. And good to see how the same team and players react to different tactics.

It may not necessarily indicate which of the tactics is better over the next one, but it certainly tells us which one suits the players / the players favor. 👍

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Tactic 01: @Mushy
5230 (with 2 SS)

1413FFEB-64FC-423C-8A6D-5D9F011171FD.thumb.jpeg.01eb18a2abffaa9f476ab9e29f6a2e48.jpeg

Available <here> - I ❤️ the look of this tactic. Was posted as a very defensively solid tactic - with a back 5, with two SS flanking an AP, in a strikerless formation. Exciting!

  • High Line + High Press
  • Overload Mentality - as per @Mike Dodgson + @Mushy’s later posts.
  • Retraining Sancho + Rashford as AMC’s / SS, plus Shaw + Dalot as WBs.

C715127E-0161-443B-BA20-3B1BC0E55335.thumb.jpeg.84cb7b966bae8a5cdf9befc0bc6526ca.jpeg

 
Team Results:
An average 1.8 points per game, across the 23 games in all competitions - with an average 1.1 goals scored vs 0.6 conceded. Low scoring.

Spoiler

League:

  • ⚠️ 26 points (in 16 games)
  • 🔻 16 goals scored
  • 10 goals conceded

EFCA2691-0EAE-47AE-B87F-2C6960E46C39.thumb.jpeg.92f05e6644f534139fbbe129280e68a6.jpeg

Europe:

  • 14 points (in 6 games)
  • ⚠️ 10 goals scored
  •  3 goals conceded 

FCBD639E-E365-46A7-94A4-3D005987C8E0.thumb.jpeg.dcb36e17e267a810138df760453dfc13.jpeg

All Fixtures:

  • Average 1.78 points/game
  • Average 1.13 goals scored + 0.57 conceded per game
  • Overall 11 wins, 8 draws (inc. the Carabao Cup game which went to penalties), 4 losses, across the 23 games.

9AD9C2CB-C613-46AA-B9C1-ABBC7E34E2BD.thumb.jpeg.17ba4928e0235ebfe92557ccfffac0eb.jpeg

672910E1-6AA7-4B80-9181-E4DE033A28DF.thumb.jpeg.841163b8d386c831485e444a4eaa112b.jpeg

  • 5 dominant wins (by 2+ goals)
  • 6 narrow wins
  • *most* 8 draws
  • 3 narrow losses
  • Only 1 humiliating loss (by 2+ goals)

 
Player Performances:
Bruno, Rashford + surprisingly Lindelof were the team’s best players. BUT 🔻you’d need an upgrade at right WB as Dalot was poor, plus CM is obviously not Erikson’s best role. 

Spoiler

Keeper:
De Gea only conceded 13 in 23 goals with a decent 6.95 average rating

7A963343-4787-4F71-83E0-6D77CB29492B.thumb.jpeg.93efc20574cebd0ebe05c62be16293b6.jpeg

 
Defensive:

The back 3 DCs were ‘fine’. Lindelof was surprisingly good  with a 7.2 average rating, while Martinez’s was below 7.0 due to 2 mistakes leading to goals.

Right WB Dalot was not good enough 🔻with 6 yellow cards + a 6.4 rating. Left WB Shaw was better - with more assists and a decent 6.9 average.

61E34C5B-4E1C-4A95-B616-27409DBFCDB3.thumb.jpeg.6795603d66b041dcce0f8a1c50e95cbf.jpeg

 
Midfield/Attack:

In central midfield, Casemiro was solid  with a 6.95 average rating, but Eriksen was surprisingly disappointing 🔻with a <6.8 rating - though CM is not his best role. 

B201C6CC-B4ED-4D5D-9161-8677251842F7.thumb.jpeg.d9fa57c0e5682485b7a40c01635a623f.jpeg

The front three shared the (limited) goals between them.

  • :star: Bruno was the team’s AP + star player (+7.4 rating, 4 Man of the Match awards).
  • Rashford was decent as an SS - our leading scorer with 9 goals in 23 games.
  • 🔻 Sancho was disappointing as the left sided SS - 6 goals is ‘ok’, but this was with just 2 assists + a <7.0 average rating as well 😞


Tactic Gifs:  
One common theme was passing to the WBs in space, who passed / crossed into a SS centrally …

FE8DDD96-DCE1-49AB-813A-29095538AFAE.gif.303eaa0c0cc5b8ba1929068807dab4ae.gif

0610C9F8-43E1-41BF-A11E-CDF5456A5599.gif.4453a2437da21a6a6fcd6eb57337d00f.gif

… plus sometimes TOGETHER with good quick passing through the middle …

76204FCD-7CE7-4C79-978E-53E10D8DE82A.gif.e579ba2ae23bef2c5372308cbd8d8fad.gif 
 

Tactic Suitability:
(for Man. United’s current squad)
:star::star::star: 3 stars (out of 5)

This 5230 may be fantastic for other teams, perhaps if you’re not dominant in that league yet (Southampton, Newcastle, etc) - as it’s extremely solid defensively.

… but it’s not that suitable for Man United’s current squad - it may need ‘more suitable’ players or instructions to score more goals with Man. United.

This is a fun + very innovative tactic. Great job @Mushy!

Edited by DanEnglish
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1 hour ago, BatiGoal said:

Lovely idea. And good to see how the same team and players react to different tactics.

It may not necessarily indicate which of the tactics is better over the next one, but it certainly tells us which one suits the players / the players favor. 👍

Exactly. It’s not about ‘which is the best tactic’.

Instead it’s ‘which is the most suitable tactic for Man. United’s current squad’ - as they’re one of the most popular teams to manage + in real life they may not have much money remaining to improve the squad!

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Love the idea of this thread!

The 5-2-3-0 is one of the best I’ve used this version and I’m a little surprised it didn’t perform better for you - but in my 1st season it was after the World Cup (when I loaded those weeks with friendlies) that the ‘relationships’ were 7+ and the tactic clicked into gear.

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20 minutes ago, Mike Dodgson said:

Love the idea of this thread!

The 5-2-3-0 is one of the best I’ve used this version and I’m a little surprised it didn’t perform better for you - but in my 1st season it was after the World Cup (when I loaded those weeks with friendlies) that the ‘relationships’ were 7+ and the tactic clicked into gear.

I’m also surprised it didn’t do better! Hence why it was my first pick.

Guess Man. United are less suitable, as the RWB is a little weak + their front line (Sancho, Bruno, Rashford) are not really suitable for a high pressing game 😞 

8CBE3984-5FB2-4F64-9928-B9A9C9D2B407.thumb.jpeg.60cd4b922947cf86a997ede981e89d2a.jpeg

By mid-November of season one, I’d got 7 player relationships started…

… considering Man. United start with no/almost-no useful player relationships (!), I guess it would be true that most tactics would need time to gel for Man. United - right?

Edited by DanEnglish
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Great stuff, DanEnglish, very much enjoying the read so far!

 

55 minutes ago, DanEnglish said:

I’m also surprised it didn’t do better! Hence why it was my first pick.

Tbh, I have little experience playing with 0 proper strikers. My guess is that one takes the "sting" out of the WBs if there's no forward on the receiving end of the crosses. Do they cross at all (maybe much less) if one's "frontline" is the AM strata? Are they due to the set-up limited to defensive duties? That's something I've done little to no experimenting with.

Maybe iWB or FBs are more suitable in this formation as this role more often than not "guarantees" there's a matching shirt color to pass to, thus leading to less loss of possession?

Definitely a few things to ponder over already.

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44 minutes ago, BatiGoal said:

That's something I've done little to no experimenting with.

When I start quoting myself everyone should be very worried 😂😂

The above is not entirely true tho. For WBs it is but not for some other roles. Years back I experimented with BPDs in a packed midfield setup just to see how these roles react to "unfavorable" situations. It was a preparation for a challenge I was undertaking. Anyways, in real life (intelligent) BPDs simply don't venture into midfield when there's no space - they pick their moments. Unsurprisingly, the ball rolls differently on FMM grass as we know. And since these BPDs are instructed (programmed) to do so they will, despite having little to no space to run into, thus leading to loss of possession quite often. 

So in this 5-2-3 formation the WBs surely obey orders as well and shoot the ball long into the more packed AM area, which is much easier to defend against. Well that, unless the EME has really become smarter over the years.

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@BatiGoal - you have questions, I have answers 🙂 

Can confirm both WBs average around 10 crosses EACH per game, of which only ~15% are successful (so 85% are not 😞). 

In the highlights, the two SS often run into the box, and occasionally score from a headed cross. BUT neither Sancho nor Rashford are great in the air, plus neither Shaw nor Dalot are great at crossing 😭 I assume that’s why there’s a low % cross completion rate.

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12 minutes ago, DanEnglish said:

@BatiGoal - you have questions, I have answers 🙂 

Can confirm both WBs average around 10 crosses EACH per game, of which only ~15% are successful (so 85% are not 😞). 

In the highlights, the two SS often run into the box, and occasionally score from a headed cross. BUT neither Sancho nor Rashford are great in the air, plus neither Shaw nor Dalot are great at crossing 😭 I assume that’s why there’s a low % cross completion rate.

I'm not entirely surprised but it's a bit lower than I expected. But as you say, with better WBs and SS that % should go up a bit. Then again, Shadow Strikers are per definition not great Aerial threats (unless retrained) so I doubt that % would go above 50 vs decent opposition.

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Just now, till malkovich said:

I can advise you to test this : 

            TF

       IF-AP-IW

      DLP-BBM

WB-BPD-BPD-WB

             SK

 

CONTROL

NARROW

FAST

BALANCED

 

HIGH

ALL OVER

NORMAL

NO / NO

 

WORK INTO BOX

RUN AT DEFENCE

SHORT

MIXED

SHORT

 

                   WEGHORST

    RASHFORD-BRUNO-ANTONY

           ERIKSEN-CASEMIRO

SHAW-LISANDRO-VARANE-DALOT

                       DE GEA

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7 hours ago, till malkovich said:

I can advise you to test this : 

Thanks for the suggestion. Can I ask - why this tactic? I haven’t seen it posted / discussed elsewhere on the forum yet 🙂 

Also my rules for these tests are:

  • current squad only - so no Weghorst 😞 plus he likely won’t be around long term
  • plus no Ronaldo (he doesn’t press, so weakens any tactic with a high press)
  • even if you use Weghorst (+ remove Ronaldo), who is your TM backup for this tactic? As Weghorst can’t play every game 🤔 
  • that means tactics needing aerial TMs are less suitable for Man. United’s current squad - as there’s no other high aerial TF (except DMC McTominay?!)

Thoughts? 🙂 

Edited by DanEnglish
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Tactic 01: @Mushy
5230 (with 2 SS) continued!image.thumb.png.3d28056df18190f087517b72e1baa039.png

Due to popular demand (3 Vibe people) ...

Welcome to the 'Analytics Hub'
our secret lair within the training ground, where we DELVE DEEPER into the tactic - similar to Shankly's 'inside the bootroom' (good idea @StuartM!)


🔴 SCORING
Why are we scoring so few goals (26 scored in 23 games)?

It's because this tactic doesn't create many chances with Man. United. Only 4 shots on-target (per game) + only 1 CCC (per game). 

image.thumb.png.513f8bf62641dabcbfe08a285c41b846.png

Who are getting these chances?

It's all about the Front Three - right sided SS Rashford is our top scorer  & performed well & is our top scorer, central playmaker Fernandes is our main creator 

However left-sided SS Sancho could be doing a little better 🔻 Sancho's 13 shooting isn't good enough (yet). 

image.thumb.png.8aaa694d171734e7cfdaa991d3d5d72f.png


 🔴 CROSSING
So why are we getting so few chances to shoot ... ?

While our dribbles looks ok - there's a HUGE issue with our crossing. 25 crosses each game but ONLY 4 completed. Ouch.

image.thumb.png.348a680d134eb8091d0e7d697aeae5e2.png

Spoiler

The issue is with our Wing Backs - they are in a lot of space out wide, so have more than half of the team's dribbles. However both WBs are crossing A LOT, though with only 15% success. Right sided Dalot is particularly selfish - plays less passes, dribbles more & crosses more. 

image.thumb.png.ad8839cdb07adbceb1da50473cd984ef.png

 
What about our attackers’ HEADING of those crosses?

Spoiler

You can see BOTH SS have opportunities to head the ball (probably from crosses) - BUT successfully head it <20% of the time!

40074540-A2C0-4DE4-95D1-DC8C0974B4E6.thumb.jpeg.99b0af72803a307d96168eacacabcda6.jpeg

This is probably because both Rashford’s + Sancho have <10 attributes for aerial 😞   
 

 


 🔴 PASSING
What about the team's key passes & possession?! Bruno Fernandes' key passes (above) looks promising ...

Firstly - we are getting only 50% possession, but perhaps that's expected as we are on 'overload' mentality. The 8 key passes looks good - but it's only resulting in those 4 shots + 1 CCC per game. So they're good passes, but not creating many clear chances.

image.thumb.png.bf9a188163b19bb4363692d3e5733f6e.png

Spoiler

The passes of our front 5 are quite interesting to analyse ... 

  • Shadow Strikers - are not involved in the build-up play and not passing much 🔻 How can we give them more supply
  • Advanced Playmaker - Bruno Fernandes is our key creator centrally  How can we involve him more?!
  • Central Midfielders - vital to our passing network, connecting the play  Not creating much though, so this role really isn’t taking advantage of Eriksen’s ability on the ball.

image.thumb.png.6ac74ff3bcb08c0fdd0bc6953dbf155f.png

  • Wing Backs - a lot of passes go wide to the WBs. Their pass completion rates are terrible (~60%) 🔻 How can we give them better / easier passing options?!
  • Wide DCs vital to our passing network, connecting the play
  • Central BPD - not involved in play much 🔻 Few passes, no key passes, no dribbles. Wasted talent?
  • Sweeper Keeper - poor pass completion rates 🔻 Maybe De Gea isn't the best choice for a SK on short passing?  


 🔴 CONCEDING
A very solid tactic for Man. United, with very few opposition chances conceded. Keeper De Gea's save % looks pretty good also.

image.thumb.png.cafe12b178a786e4c762e5cb5134e107.png

To avoid the below section bring too big - our defenders are pretty capable at (defensive?) headers … 

Spoiler

Central DC Varane is the star here - with double the # headers + the best % win rate.

8B638A8C-3AAD-4398-8076-8A71BC52FC2E.thumb.jpeg.7db6d78e4c68e392b2fdfdd13ca65db8.jpeg

Both wide DCs are ‘ok’ at heading - both have just 14 + 13 for aerial + strength respectively!  

 

 🔴 DEFENDING
A huge amount of mistakes made - mostly from the back 5 defenders. Why?!

Partly this is because Man. United have slightly weak defenders (four of them have a tackling attribute of 12-13 out of 20!) - but the other part is that this tactic asks a lot from them - overload, high line, high press, high creativity, fast pace. Mistakes (& fouls!) are expected.

image.thumb.png.8c8ebcd1c07658e88665d5698a6dd30e.png

For the few chances we do concede - here is the 1st obvious problem defensively ...

Spoiler

Looking at the HIGH PRESS from the front ... all three attackers have few interceptions & tackles each game. 

image.thumb.png.89afe525a266d9f4639fd6e75d3cff24.png


Highlights - these show often the opposition full backs have too much time + space on the ball 🔻

Our high press isn’t that effective in those wide areas 🔻 Probably this is because we only have one SS to close the opposition FBs down on each flank … see GIF

C362DD02-AE1A-4571-948C-49ECE177A94B.gif.0c0111447659936e638041187c022e3d.gif


At the back our defending looks more solid ... BUT with a 2nd obvious problem ... 

Spoiler

On the surface, the stats for each player looks good ... 

  • WBs - decent amounts of interceptions & tackles
  • Wide DCs - highest amount of both, especially for the DRC Lindelof (hence his higher average rating of 7.2 ?!)
  • Central BPD - lower defensive stats, which seems a waste of Varane's talent.
  • Keeper - good to see the SK does have a (small) defensive impact outside of normal GK metrics.

image.thumb.png.9a83ebf284cae0e76636f84ab854fe81.png


Highlights - these show sometimes an opposition midfielder has massive space + time on the ball in front of our back three 🔻 

When one of our DCs step forward to close them down, it creates space for a through ball into the opposition striker 🔻 Probably this is because we don’t have a DMC to close them down instead … see GIF

9976918E-D685-46C8-8A9A-811CE8AE6FAB.gif.336f6a7faf4d5aafcc7c375014ff35ed.gif  
 


Occasionally BOTH these two problems can combine together. Twice this lead to an opposition goal (across the 13 goals conceded in 23 games) … see GIF 

80272898-0854-49DF-931F-24CBB3DE5762.gif.0de54cb345b47e150691ffa0ea5fdea2.gif


 🔴 SUMMARY
Very solid defensively, but to use this with Man. United, we would need more going forward. 

  • the front three roles are good  though Sancho needs to improve + aerially dominant SS would help!
  • the two midfielder roles are suitable  though it doesn't get the best from Eriksen
  • the two WB provide width & crosses  though you either need a new RB, or change the right WB role.
  • the back three are very solid  though the central BPD isn't really involved much.

image.thumb.png.f59ab0c485ae6cb5c0d2f64ab20831a9.png


 🔴 SUGGESTIONS
Unless you buy better players, perhaps this 5320 can be more suitable for Man. United with some tactical tweaks ?

Spoiler

3 Suggested Options to Test:

  1. Aerial SS - with the many crosses from wide, Shadow Strikers with high aerial & strength would surely be more effective in the box.
  2. IWBs - without high aerial SSs, perhaps having IWBs (with pass through the center!) can give fewer wasted crosses + get the ball centrally to star creator Fernandes? Or would the lack of WBs eliminate the existing source of goals from wide play?!
  3. Libero or DMC - as Varane's talent is wasted in the middle, would changing the central DC into a Libero or up into the DMC role help to build up play through the center? Or would it give opposition’s strikers more time + space to score?!


Overall an excellent, interesting tactic from @Mushy - which has been fascinating to analyse & understand 👍

Any thoughts? 🙂 
 

Edited by DanEnglish
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19 hours ago, DanEnglish said:

… considering Man. United start with no/almost-no useful player relationships (!), I guess it would be true that most tactics would need time to gel for Man. United - right?

This is very true. I'm actually playing with Man Utd with the tactic I've being developing and the first few months were really harsh. I ended up winning most games, but a lot of them because we had guys like Rashford or Bruno Fernandes that can make the difference alone.

Only by November and specially January I started to see good things (also, that's a thing my tactic, a lot of people have reported the same, it takes some time for things to start clicking).

This thing of yours is very interesting, I will follow with interest and I'm really curious with the results :)

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4 hours ago, DanEnglish said:

Tactic 01: @Mushy
5230 (with 2 SS) continued!image.thumb.png.3d28056df18190f087517b72e1baa039.png

Due to popular demand (3 Vibe people) ...

Welcome to the 'Analytics Hub'
our secret lair within the training ground, where we DELVE DEEPER into the tactic - similar to Shankly's 'inside the bootroom' (good idea @StuartM!)


🔴 SCORING
Why are we scoring so few goals (26 scored in 23 games)?

It's because this tactic doesn't create many chances with Man. United. Only 4 shots on-target (per game) + only 1 CCC (per game). 

image.thumb.png.513f8bf62641dabcbfe08a285c41b846.png

Who are getting these chances?

It's all about the Front Three - right sided SS Rashford is our top scorer  & performed well & is our top scorer, central playmaker Fernandes is our main creator 

However left-sided SS Sancho could be doing a little better 🔻 Sancho's 13 shooting isn't good enough (yet). 

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 🔴 CROSSING
So why are we getting so few chances to shoot ... ?

While our dribbles looks ok - there's a HUGE issue with our crossing. 25 crosses each game but ONLY 4 completed. Ouch.

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The issue is with our Wing Backs - they are in a lot of space out wide, so have more than half of the team's dribbles. However both WBs are crossing A LOT, though with only 15% success. Right sided Dalot is particularly selfish - plays less passes, dribbles more & crosses more. 

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 🔴 PASSING
What about the team's key passes & possession?! Bruno Fernandes' key passes (above) looks promising ...

Firstly - we are getting only 50% possession, but perhaps that's expected as we are on 'overload' mentality. The 8 key passes looks good - but it's only resulting in those 4 shots + 1 CCC per game. So they're good passes, but not creating many clear chances.

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The passes of our front 5 are quite interesting to analyse ... 

  • Shadow Strikers - are not involved in the build-up play and not passing much 🔻 How can we give them more supply
  • Advanced Playmaker - Bruno Fernandes is our key creator centrally  How can we involve him more?!
  • Central Midfielders - vital to our passing network, connecting the play  Not creating much though, so this role really isn’t taking advantage of Eriksen’s ability on the ball.

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  • Wing Backs - a lot of passes go wide to the WBs. Their pass completion rates are terrible (~60%) 🔻 How can we give them better / easier passing options?!
  • Wide DCs vital to our passing network, connecting the play
  • Central BPD - not involved in play much 🔻 Few passes, no key passes, no dribbles. Wasted talent?
  • Sweeper Keeper - poor pass completion rates 🔻 Maybe De Gea isn't the best choice for a SK on short passing?  


 🔴 CONCEDING
A very solid tactic for Man. United, with very few opposition chances conceded. Keeper De Gea's save % looks pretty good also.

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 🔴 DEFENDING
A huge amount of mistakes made - mostly from the back 5 defenders. Why?!

Partly this is because Man. United have slightly weak defenders (four of them have a tackling attribute of 12-13 out of 20!) - but the other part is that this tactic asks a lot from them - overload, high line, high press, high creativity, fast pace. Mistakes (& fouls!) are expected.

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For the few chances we do concede - here is the 1st obvious problem defensively ...

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Looking at the HIGH PRESS from the front ... all three attackers have few interceptions & tackles each game. 

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Highlights - these show often the opposition full backs have too much time + space on the ball 🔻

Our high press isn’t that effective in those wide areas 🔻 Probably this is because we only have one SS to close the opposition FBs down on each flank … see GIF

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At the back our defending looks more solid ... BUT with a 2nd obvious problem ... 

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On the surface, the stats for each player looks good ... 

  • WBs - decent amounts of interceptions & tackles
  • Wide DCs - highest amount of both, especially for the DRC Lindelof (hence his higher average rating of 7.2 ?!)
  • Central BPD - lower defensive stats, which seems a waste of Varane's talent.
  • Keeper - good to see the SK does have a (small) defensive impact outside of normal GK metrics.

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Highlights - these show sometimes an opposition midfielder has massive space + time on the ball in front of our back three 🔻 

When one of our DCs step forward to close them down, it creates space for a through ball into the opposition striker 🔻 Probably this is because we don’t have a DMC to close them down instead … see GIF

9976918E-D685-46C8-8A9A-811CE8AE6FAB.gif.336f6a7faf4d5aafcc7c375014ff35ed.gif  
 


Occasionally BOTH these two problems can combine together. Twice this lead to an opposition goal (across the 13 goals conceded in 23 games) … see GIF 

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 🔴 SUMMARY
Very solid defensively, but to use this with Man. United, we would need more going forward. 

  • the front three roles are good  though Sancho needs to improve + aerially dominant SS would help!
  • the two midfielder roles are suitable  though it doesn't get the best from Eriksen
  • the two WB provide width & crosses  though you either need a new RB, or change the right WB role.
  • the back three are very solid  though the central BPD isn't really involved much.

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 🔴 SUGGESTIONS
Unless you buy better players, perhaps this 5320 can be more suitable for Man. United with some tactical tweaks ?

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3 Suggested Options to Test:

  1. Aerial SS - with the many crosses from wide, Shadow Strikers with high aerial & strength would surely be more effective in the box.
  2. IWBs - without high aerial SSs, perhaps having IWBs (with pass through the center!) can give fewer wasted crosses + get the ball centrally to star creator Fernandes? Or would the lack of WBs eliminate the existing source of goals from wide play?!
  3. Libero or DMC - as Varane's talent is wasted in the middle, would changing the central DC into a Libero or up into the DMC role help to build up play through the center? Or would it give opposition’s strikers more time + space to score?!


Overall an excellent, interesting tactic from @Mushy - which has been fascinating to analyse & understand 👍

Any thoughts? 🙂 
 

Very interesting. 
 

In my ongoing Newcastle save, I’ve changed the WBs to IWBs to see what impact there is.

Honestly? Very little.

I don’t know if it’s the CMs already being there, but when we have the ball the IWBs do not drift inside.

GS and GA for the 10 games I’ve tried it: GS 21 and GA 5. So, about average for this tactic anyway.

However, your attempted crosses stat is something that interested me - what a waste! Checked over the 10 games again (since WB changed to IWB), averaged at just over 41 attempted crosses.

 

Checking that back to the previous 10 games, that averages 31.

Small data to test, but it suggests that changing it to IWB produces more attempted crosses, not less.

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3 minutes ago, Mike Dodgson said:

In my ongoing Newcastle save, I’ve changed the WBs to IWBs to see what impact there is.

Honestly? Very little.

I don’t know if it’s the CMs already being there, but when we have the ball the IWBs do not drift inside.

You are absolutely correct. If you change to IWBs, then you also need to change the CMs' roles to something that moves out of the way (DLP, AP, RP, B2B). Then the IWBs can drift inside!

I'm also testing this => I changed both to IWBs, then the CMs to an RP + B2B pair. The results are surprisingly good!

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2 hours ago, DanEnglish said:

You are absolutely correct. If you change to IWBs, then you also need to change the CMs' roles to something that moves out of the way (DLP, AP, RP, B2B). Then the IWBs can drift inside!

I'm also testing this => I changed both to IWBs, then the CMs to an RP + B2B pair. The results are surprisingly good!

Interesting!

The shape is great, if tweaks can be made to make it more effective whilst retaining how solid at the back it is, the potential is huge!

Looking forward to seeing how the updated test compares.

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5 hours ago, StuartM said:

Great post Dan, I love the detail and thought process. I think you may have raised your own bar with that one!

It's good, agreed. Wish he'd use more color tho.

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8 hours ago, DanEnglish said:

overload, high line, high press, high creativity, fast pace. Mistakes (& fouls!) are expected.

As you mentioned 12-13 Tackling is simply mediocre and really isn't nearly enough to cover for the above instructions. as for High Line I don't use it unless there's green Positioning across my entire defensive line.

8 hours ago, DanEnglish said:

When one of our DCs step forward to close them down, it creates space for a through ball into the opposition striker 🔻 Probably this is because we don’t have a DMC to close them down instead …

Since you mention the DM. I've always loved using one in my tactics but they've been nerfed to death in recent versions. However, I'm using one right now, and early signs look promising. AM -  2 CMs - DM diamond (Roles: SS - CM - AP - BWM) is one of my favorite combinations in the game.

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Tactic 02: @Mushy + @DanEnglish
Narrow 5230 (with IWBs)

750B472F-2625-4099-A41D-2AA9945E24BE.thumb.jpeg.53e1242e117a200c5c994cf35e83c1e2.jpeg

Here is a tweaked version of @Mushy’s 5320 - which should be more suitable for Man. United’s starting squad.

Spoiler

This addresses Man. United’s weaknesses:

  •  WBs with poor crossing, 
  •  central DC does not contribute enough
  •  MC Eriksen’s creativity isn’t used much
  •  star AP Bruno isn’t involved enough 
  •  both SS have weak aerial (for all those crosses!) 

 … hopefully ! …


Presenting:
Narrow 5230 (with IWBs)

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  •   IWBs - to better connect play centrally.
  •   DMC - to protect in front of the 2x DCs.
  •   RPs/B2Bs - to move forward, provide more creativity in the final third, and make room for the IWBs behind them centrally.

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Switched on passing through the ‘center’. Also switched on ‘narrow’ width - but this may have been a mistake, as it means the tactic is VERY NARROW (too narrow?!)

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Look how narrow our team are (in red)  - with the IWBs tucking inside! There is NO-ONE on the wings at all !

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Team Results:
An average 2.3 points per game, across 22 games in all competitions (one less league game) This is 0.5 points per game better than the original’s 1.8 points/game.

This had an average 1.6 goals scored vs 0.3 conceded  Both are better than the original tactic’s 1.3 vs 0.6.

Spoiler

League:
in one less game, as one was rescheduled to after the world cup…

  • 🔥 35 points in 15 games (9 more than the original 5230 tactic, playing one less game)
  • 20 goals scored (more)
  •  only 4 conceded (6 less)

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Europe:

  • 16 points in 6 games (2 more than the original 5230 tactic)
  • 14 goals scored (more)
  •  goals conceded (same)

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All Fixtures:

  • Average 2.3 points/game
  • Average 1.59 goals scored + 0.32 conceded per game
  • Overall 15 wins, 6 draws, plus just 1 loss in the Carabao Cup - across the 22 games.

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  • *most* 7 dominant wins (by 2+ goals)
  • *most* 7 narrow wins
  • 6 draws
  • 1 narrow loss
  • no humiliating loss (by 2+ goals)

 

 
Player Performances:
 
 Bruno is our main man - scoring or assisting in most games. Also improving are the back 4, Eriksen, plus the 2 SS.

🔻 The only players to perform worse are Casemiro - who doesn’t suit a B2B role) - and Martinez in the under-valued DMC role.

Spoiler

Keeper
De Gea conceded 4 fewer goals (playing one game less) with a slightly lower average rating of 6.9 🔻due to one mistake which led to a goal. Solid.

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Defending
A big improvement in average ratings across the back four:

  • DCs star Varane now has a 7.5 average rating, while partner Lindelof maintains his 7.2.
  • IWBs Shaw jumps to a 7.2 average rating, with the same 4 assists. 🔻 Dalot’s rating is higher than before, but still low + now with no assists.
  • DMC - Martinez was shifted forward as an Anchor, we conceded less goals but he got just a 6.5 average rating 🔻 Ouch

B00CEF29-CAA0-4B9A-971F-6DF1F43476E6.thumb.jpeg.597c543da61e58d7436539ff05c0534f.jpeg 
 

Attacking
Also a big improvement in the front five:

  • AP - 🔥 star creator Bruno Fernandes scored a huge 14 (double the original tactic) - with 4 penalties + lots of successful long shots! Look at that 8.0 average rating!  
     
  • SS - Rashford’s goal tally rose up to 9 - 🔻while Sancho’s dropped down to 5 scored, though he assisted more. Both had good ratings above 7.0.

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  • RP - this role was much more suitable for Eriksen - who scored, assisted + performed much better.
  • B2B - 🔻Casemiro struggled a little in the more dynamic role, averaging <6.8. He’s more suited to a CM, BWM or Anchor role. 
     


Tactic Gifs:  
<coming later>

 

Tactic Suitability:
(for Man. United’s current squad)
:star::star::star::star: 4 stars (out of 5)

Scoring one star MORE than the original Al 5230 tactic - this “Narrow 4530” is much more suitable for Man. United’s first team.

More points, more goals, less conceded! How? Well it’s more central, it gets the two MCs further forward, and - critically - star creator Bruno Fernandes is much more creative!

However - it still doesn’t score a lot (1.6/game), the build-up play doesn’t look as beautiful as the original tactic, and ‘narrow’ width is probably too narrow.  
 

Suggestions:
🤔 Am not sure what the best MC roles are (RP or B2B). Plus am not sure whether to: 

  • keep a WB + CM on the left flank (Shaw + Casemiro),
  • while changing to a IWB + RP/B2B on the right flank (Eriksen + Dalot).

Interesting options for you to consider! 
 

Next:
But - WHY are we scoring more? WHY is Bruno more effective? WHY are we conceding less? Is it just LUCK?! Let’s answer these questions + more in the ‘analytics hub’!

THOUGHTS? 🙂

 

Edited by DanEnglish
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2 hours ago, BatiGoal said:

Since you mention the DM. I've always loved using one in my tactics but they've been nerfed to death in recent versions. However, I'm using one right now, and early signs look promising. AM -  2 CMs - DM diamond (Roles: SS - CM - AP - BWM) is one of my favorite combinations in the game.

As a note on DMs - without them, opposition midfielders (and the dreaded unmarked AMC) just have too much time + space on front of my DCs. So an eager DC steps forward + BANG … in comes a through ball to the striker in the gap left behind by that eager DC. Urgh.

Having a DMC (mostly) prevents that situation, even if the DMC’s average rating never reflects their importance ❤️ 

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4 minutes ago, DanEnglish said:

even if the DMC’s average rating never reflects their importance ❤️ 

This exactly. I was going to reply to your earlier post where you mentioned Martinez's av. rating. It's impossible to get 8-9-10 ratings for DMs let alone consistent high ratings. From all stats this AvR is probably the one I value least as it can be misleading imo.

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