Soccer formation tactics on a blackboard

The Analyst – Taking Your Time Part Two

The second part of this article will focus on the attacking side of the tactic and see how well it creates chances, uses space and to look at how the roles function together.This first screenshot poses a problem for me due to it showing how isolated the complete forward on an attack duty can be, especially when the raumdeuter and the deep lying forward come deep.


So when the ball is cleared what can the complete forward really do, realistically? He can drive forward but the defender is already looking at making him move wide. So what happens when he is forced wide or can’t get beyond his marker without support?


Well this is what happens, he is forced to play a cross into these kind of areas (shown in the screenshot) which would be great. But can you see the issue I have? He’s way too far ahead of play in general and can’t really do anything here, he’s just going to give the ball away. These are the sort of balls you want players to attempt but its wasted if there is no support. You’ve probably heard me bang on before about how players need support and you need to use roles that compliment each other. Well this is a prime example of what I’m talking about. It might just be an isolated incident here but its disappointing to see so early in the game.

If this is a regular thing I notice then I either need to make the deep lying forward more attack minded or make the complete forward less aggressive. However on FM15 support players seem to track back an awful lot compared to previous version due to certain tweaks in the match engine.

This screenshot shows a similar scenario;


I can’t really cause too much damage when my DLF is this deep, it’s far deeper than I was hoping he’d be. In this screenshot it’s making it hard to get the ball to the complete forward and raumdeuter. The DLF is supposed to be the link up player but as you can see he can’t link from where he currently is. It would be much better if he was playing in the area I highlighted in red. He’d be better positioned to link up play and would be unmarked, it seems.

I mentioned at the very start when I wrote about this idea, that the strikers would be the problematic area and the one aspect of the tactic that I wasn’t clear how it would work with the roles and duties I used. At first glance with the two above examples I’ve got it completely wrong with these two roles. A simple change could change all of this though. I feel like I do have options and we’ll speak about them in more detail in the third article.

This next one shows better what the DLF can do or should be doing when in the areas I want him to be:


The red dotted line shows the ball’s path for this move. The blue dotted line shows the possible option the DLF could use should be decide to pass rather than drive forward. This kind of play is what I like to see and is how I want to play so for me this is a good move. On this occasion the DLF is fouled though but this move was an encouraging sign.

Next up is showing the wide playmaker and the right fullback creating an overlap;


It shows what I mentioned in the ‘How I Think The Roles’ will work section a lot earlier in the series. I had visions of the wide playmaker cutting inside and allowing the right fullback to overlap into the vacant space so its good to actually see this happening. I also have options getting into the box who we can aim for unlike in the first example at the top of this post. However the fullback makes a really poor cross and doesn’t make most of the situation. But it’s still encouraging to see.

The next screenshot again shows how much more efficient I look when the complete forward is dropping deep and the DLF is pushing forward. This is making me believe I have the duties the wrong way around on them.


The red dotted line shows the path the ball will take again. This is good as it shows me trying to use the width of the pitch and use the strength of the 4-4-2, the wingers/fullbacks. On this occasion the fullback actually cuts inside rather than going on the outside of the wide playmaker:


 Not only has he cut inside but just look at the amount of support and runners I have trying to get forward and into the box. Unfortunately the wide playmaker is fouled so its an opportunity missed but this is the sort of thing I love to see happening when attacking. I need to see players in space, players running into space and players making space. I can see all of these things in the image above.

The rest of the game I kept seeing similar things happen and apart from the few things I mentioned above I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary or anything that was a cause for concern.


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