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Tactics 3331 Bielsa!


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Ok.. will start off by saying this is still very early and it may fall apart as the season goes on but I am liking the the movement of the players and have had some really fun games so I think it may have potential..

some notes to start with:

(1) after the depressing season Leeds had and the mess we turned into after El Loco was sacked I am very nostalgic right now..

(2) “If you don’t want to be here you can f*ck off!” - Liam Cooper after relegation.. along with being nostalgic I am also a little vindictive right now about who Leeds has in the team in FM23 so I just benched (sent Weston back to Juve as well) or kept in reserves certain players and promoted up the youngsters like Bate, Darko, Gray etc etc.. I start with no transfer budget so of course some I still need to play and some who aren’t with us anymore I can’t be mad at (Rodders being one of them who so far has started off great)..

(3) so with (2) in mind.. the team is “weak”.. as I started with no budget (plus unknown manager) I will march on till winter window and level up if I can or just dump those players in the summer.. 

with that out of the way.. here is the tactic (I haven’t looked around to see if there is anything similar people have used but I basically took a base 4231 and adjusted it):





During the game play I will sub out anyone I can in the 80s fitness around the 60th or so minute.. obviously can’t always but I want to keep as fresh a team on the pitch as possible as I stick to attacking regardless (el loco style)…

the DLP will form a 3 with the two cbs and the rp moves up along to join attack as expected so you get the 3 there in defence.. the bombing down RWB creates a nice load on the right side while the LB stays very balanced. I tend to use Dallas in as a FB on the left but will bring Struijk on and change him to DFB if we have a lead to make it more 3 at the back with the DLP providing extra cover (normally against tougher opponents or to protect a lead).. on the right I tend to keep the RWB high up but my back up is ayling so I may bring him on and go to a back 4 (still as a WB)..

against 2 strikers I will make the DLP an Anchor as well just to get the bielsa philosophy of having an extra man (though not all the time.. I tend to change it mid game and like I said early in season so I have not really played much to see if it makes too much of an impact).. 

The RP is key.. I got lucky with Bate this save as his potential is high and he’s been solid (even though for some reason he always complains about the retraining)..

on the right the IW I have debated whether turning it in IF but the cuts inside with the RWB bombing down the flanks works well so far.. on the left the IF does does decent with cutting in but as we know this years IFs in FM are a little off compared to before..

AM and AF work well together and we have hit some nice counter pressing goals from those two.. 




Starting schedule had some tough matchups..

Much better than expected considering I vindictively left a lot of the “starters” out of lineup.. lost to City (they were all over us but only scored one goal) and Liverpool.. drew to Arsenal and Newcastle.. the shocking game was Man Utd.. no clue what what was going on in that one (Martinez was sent off in the 20th minute though as you will see):





anyway.. early days like I said but I just wanted to post this because so far it’s been pretty fun to work with and it is pretty fluid with the formation you can tinker with roles I feel.. haven’t tried the true Bielsa trait of man marking but I feel that could get a little messy as defensively we have been pretty solid so far.. 

anyway I will continue the save and give an update at end of season.. 

*First Update:

against 2 man fronts (Brighton and Everton specifically playing 442) I noticed we struggled (again team is weak in general so maybe I am over thinking it) in the beginning falling behind early so I moved the DLP centrally (turning him to Anchor) to create the 3 man central defence) and RP up one spot (not central) and we played a lot better against that.. RB stayed at FB… against Everton that change helped us score to draw 1-1.. Brighton we got back in the game and were more controlled and dangerous but too little too late..  lost 1-0.. so even with the struggling we didn’t concede badly but I felt we could start shipping goals had I not tinkered.. 

Edited by Darabeel
Cleaning up some things
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Nice work! 👏🏻 I am interested if the work of so many playmakers in a little space is good...I usually do not concentrate so many in a little space to avoid they step on each other feet. 

Just a little bit sad of Weston back... I preferred him at Elland Road 🤭

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6 minutes ago, Migraz said:

Nice work! 👏🏻 I am interested if the work of so many playmakers in a little space is good...I usually do not concentrate so many in a little space to avoid they step on each other feet. 

Just a little bit sad of Weston back... I preferred him at Elland Road 🤭

Thank you!

Yes that’s what I worried about too but so far the RP and DLP do tend to separate out a bit. The AM and AF can stick together but play off each other well but rodrigo has bagged 8 goals so far.. greenwood from the bench has 3 (I play him AM or AF depending on who is more tired).. 

Haha.. I am sure you did prefer him with us! 😂

Edited by Darabeel
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