REBUILDING THE THAMES IRONWORKS – Plan B

Guest writer Herne79 is back and this time, he’s discussing his plan b.

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My last remaining option is to drop the STCR down slightly to the AMCR position. Because I have also changed my RPM to a BBM, and thus lost my midfield creator, I am happy having a more advanced creative player to provide the link – and so I use a Trequartista.

In doing so, I am quite aware that I am using 4 players with an attack duty which seems quite a lot – especially for a Standard mentality system. However, I am still happy with the overall balance of the team and it still refers back nicely to my original handwritten plan. Further, I also consider the TQ role to be a little misunderstood. If used in the right manner, the TQ is far from the “player who needs to be carried by the rest of the team” as the in-game description would have you believe. Especially with the right player (good aggression and work rate) I expect to see the TQ cover as much ground as anyone else in the team.

I make the change in time for my first Premier League match of the season against Crystal Palace. We win 3-1 with the TQ ending up as man of the match. Here is the new average positions map:

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This pleases me not just because it shows how deep my TQ is now dropping, but also because of player positioning. We’re pretty compact now, with everyone having good passing options. This is reflected in my 61% possession for the match. More than I was originally wanting. My shot placement is also great with 24 shots, 14 on target, 1 blocked, one hit woodwork and just 8 missed (remember I am not using work ball into box):

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I thought I’d also take a little time to mention the BWM. Previously I have always thought of BWMs as overly aggressive, apt to leaving their position to go running after the ball and so leaving the defence exposed – especially in a 2 man midfield like here. However, my opinion is changing. Take a look at this screen shot from the Palace game:

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Kranevitter is my BWM. Wickham has received the ball, and Puncheon has started a dangerous looking run in behind Kranevitter. Usually I would have expected the BWM to close down Wickham, dangerously leaving Puncheon running at the defence. However far from it – what Kranevitter actually does is turn and track Puncheon’s run leaving Wickham to my BBM to deal with. I like this and seems to be a bit more typical of BWM behaviour. I’d be interested if anyone else has noticed this?

Summary So Far

I think the planning of how I wanted players to behave has worked wonders for me. I know what to expect, therefore I can see if it happens (or not). In that Palace match (for example) I can see in the first 15 minutes that we are playing well and as expected, so there is no need for me to make any changes. Palace are clearly trying to play deep and hit me on the counter – which isn’t really going to work given my Standard mentality. Playing deep, passing the ball around slowly in their own half. They end up with just 5 shots all match, and a miserable 62% pass completion.

A great start, and the switch to a TQ at AMCR has worked wonders, really bringing everything together.

Next, I’ll report on how I observe the need to make small changes during a match, and what changes I make.

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