Like watching your wingers bomb up and down the touchline, getting crosses in? Or your full-back beguiling the entire opposition, manoeuvring his way into the box unmarked? Well stop reading right here.
We’re looking for passing and moving, people. No player can move without passing first.
That’s how I developed this spectacular tactical system.
It was a majestic sight. Go back 30 or 40 years and watch teams defend. The majority of them will feature a type of player that seems to have been lost from the modern game. You’ll see an elegant defender sitting behind the defensive line, picking up a stray through balls from an attacker. As he effortlessly brings it under his control, he marches forward with it, stepping past the other defenders and moving into the midfield zone. From there he acts as a modern-day deep-lying playmaker, initiating the play and spreading it out to the flanks, or playing it forward into midfield or attack. This is the Libero.
That passage could have been about any number of great players; the late Gaetano Scirea, Velibor Vasović, Ruud Krol, Matthias Sammer or the archetypal libero, Franz Beckenbauer.
In trying to create a tactic that showcased the Libero, I wanted to accomplish a few things:
Give the Libero room to work
Create diamonds to enable passing options
Make sure we have enough possession that the Libero can work his magic
To add a bit of context to this piece, I’m currently managing RB Leipzig and I’m in my second season. After finishing a respectable 4th place in the league and reaching the Europa league final (but losing to PSG) I made some good additions to the squad including a transfer listed Reuben Loftus-Cheek, Benjamin Henrichs from Monaco and Donny Van de Beek from Ajax.
After the summer we set out on another season in the Bundesliga and to my surprise, we’ve done incredibly well and found ourselves top of the league at the mid-way point. After signing Rafinha on a free-transfer come the summer I continued the save. I was originally thinking of uploading my tactic, showing off how brilliant my team was but then came 29th February, 2020: I struck gold.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a son before in Football Manager, but this feeling was completely different. I realised quickly how lucky this was. I received a youth academy team of young starlets. It completely restructured my youth set-up and made me realise how good this bunch of kids could be if I put my mind to it. So this series of articles will follow the lives of 8 youngsters, either from my youth academy or brought in for less than 300k. I’m not expecting all of them to become world class, but I’m hoping a fair few of them will become regulars at my title-challenging side.
It looks like you’ve got enough men back. The next thing you know, someone ends up ghosting behind your flabbergasted defence. Your first instinct is to blame your players, but the game’s animation often makes players look slower, or less alert, than they actually are.
Your next instinct might be to change your centre-backs; either in personnel or roles.
Nothing wrong with this at all. That said, without suitable protection, isolated centre-backs in a high line will always end up focusing primarily on the space behind them. To stop your enemies playing any football, the centre-backs must focus on keeping their positions! Continue reading →
Fans and writers regard the treble haul as manager Alex Ferguson‘s finest hour, although he dismissed that assertion in later years. Tens of thousands of fans lined the streets of Manchester to welcome the team as the season drew to a close. In recognition of his achievements Ferguson was awarded a knighthood, and handed the Freedom of the City of Glasgow in November 1999.
This is my fourth season in charge at União da Madeira, taking them from Portuguese Third Tier up to the Primeira Liga in my first two seasons. After a respectable lower mid-table finish last season, I was looking to make improvements and finish in the top half this time around. If you haven’t already, you can read previous editions by following the links below.
This time around I decided to switch up my tactics. Taking inspiration from Thomas Paine’s excellent piece on Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan side, I decided to take a punt on a fluid 4-4-2. Seeing how well he had done with a less fancied side over in Italy, I attempted to replicate his success over in Portugal. I was not disappointed.
I planned this article as a three part series. In this extensive guide I intend to go step-by-step through the process of creating my 3-5-2 tactic, from examining the formations strengths in the context of the primary three units: defensive, transition and offensive to showing you what kind of players you would need for this tactic. The first part dealt with the 3 Men Defensive Unit. This following one will be looking at the Transition Unit of the two midfielders and two wingbacks, and how their roles fit in my tactical system. So read on!
It’s that time of year where people are looking forward to the release of the latest edition of Football Manager and slowly losing interest in their current saves. People are playing less and less. I have a few ideas and tips which could help you find that spark to your save again.
In this article I break down five different categories in which I find to be the biggest influences in terms of keeping that spark in your save, or finding a save that will give you that spark.