In this part of the article I’ll be focusing on the roles used in 1970 and see if we can narrow the options down and talk about how we can then apply this to Football Manager. If you search Google or the internet in general you can actually find a lot of written stuff about the players and the positions so at least we can get some reference points to use as a starting point and it doesn’t all have to be visuals. Although I never get bored of watching the world cup matches that Brazil were involved in for this time period. While many remember the Brazil 70 team as a free flowing attacking side they were actually well balanced in both defence and attack. Players covered for each other and interchanged beautifully at times. The final against Italy shows how fluid they were, it’s the classic fluid vs rigid match.
So let’s have a look at the basics of what the players actually did.
Keeper – Like most Brazilian sides I’ve seen as I was growing up the keeper always seems less important and aren’t always the best. Felix was the keeper in 1970 but in all honesty it wouldn’t have mattered who played in goal with the players he had in front of him.
LB – Everaldo was quite cautious considering how the rest of the side was set up. He still offered something going forward but not as much as you’d expect, he was quite reserved at times especially compared to the right side.
RB – Carlos Alberto was immense, he was relentless going forward and this tactic provided plenty of opportunity for Carlos to get forward. Even though he was attack minded he still did his fair share of defending too.
CB – Wilson Piazza was actually a midfielder who turned into a defender. I guess at the time he was what now call a ball playing defender. He was comfy with the ball at his feet and was more than capable of starting attacks.
CB – Brito was a beast, he was the classic big, tall and provided lots of aerial presence type of defender. He was more of a no nonsense type of defender compared to the rest of the side who offered more physical presence rather than flair.
CM – Zagallo used Gerson as a deep lying playmaker due to his fantastic vision and reading of the game. Gerson was able to pull all the strings in midfield with his accurate passing..
CM – Clodoaldo was the ball winning midfielder who would offer the defence extra protection.He never stopped moving around and was full of energy.
AML – Rivelino was played out of position on the left and inadvertently solved a defensive weakness down the left flank by sitting narrow and deep and only went wide once he had the ball. This helped plug the gap between midfield and defence. Rivelino was an attacking midfielder for his club and was known for his left foot, many to this day still think he had one of the best left foots any player has ever had. He sat narrow and deep and only went wide once he had the ball
AMR – Jairzinho had was nicknamed ‘Furacao’ (meaning ‘Hurricane’) for a reason, his explosive pace and acceleration. He was almost like an out and out striker at times due to how far up the pitch he was. Again at club level he was another creator but was more than capable of running at defenders and giving them all kind of headaches.
SC – Tostão was a very intelligent footballer who had an eye for goal yet he sacrificed a bit of his game for the national side at times. He would drop deep in search of the ball and dropping off the defence to create space for his strike partner.
SC’s – Pelé was the star of the team and came out of international retirement for this tournament to give it another go. Pelé and Tostão made a good partnership and their fluid interchanging caused defences all kinds of trouble. Both strikers dropped off deep searching for the ball.
The above is just a brief overview of what the players did, I should also point out that this isn’t the shape I’ll be using, I’ll be revealing that a little later in this article. I’ve tried to keep the above brief as I could talk about this Brazil side forever and I feel I’d lose you all in the babble and get side tracked 🙂
The FM Part
The tricky part now is trying to fit all this together into a coherent system that allows me to replicate the above. I’ll need to watch games to make sure it plays how I expect but for the player roles I have these in mind for now;
Felix – Standard keeper
Everaldo – A few options here but I’m thinking a fullback on support or defend.
Carlos Alberto – Complete wingback attack
Wilson Piazza – Ball Playing Defender
Brito – Standard defender
Gerson – I have a few options here, while he was a deep lying playmaker I feel this won’t do him justice. So I’m leaning more towards a roaming playmaker and Gerson was attacking at times.
Clodoaldo – Central midfielder on a defend duty to begin with but I’ll need to watch and see how mobile he is.
Rivelino – This is probably the role I’m struggling with the most. I’m thinking maybe an advanced playmaker support with some kind of personal instructions that make him go wide with the ball. I don’t think if I used him as a AML that I’d be able to replicate his narrow positioning, it would be to extreme even with the settings.
Jairzinho – Inside forward attack
Tostão – I have a few options here as well but I’m thinking deep lying forward support for now and then just seeing how it goes.
Pelé – For me he is the greatest shadow striker of all time. However this role doesn’t replicate the role he had in this set up so depending on the position I end up playing him in the formation i select I could use him a few different ways. He could be another DLF if he was a striker or if I use him as a AMC I think a Treq role might suit him a lot better.
That’s the thinking behind the roles for now and as you can see I have a few options for some of them and I’m also unsure of a few. To nail this properly I’ll need to focus more on what happens when I’m in a game when I can see the behaviour of the players.
I’m not set on any of these yet as they’ll be something I add once I see how the tactic plays rather than something I start off with. After saying that though I will be starting with two and those are;
- Roam from positions
- Be more expressive
As Brazil were a very creative side which saw lots of roaming. I’ll be using a lot of roles that are classed as being creative by the game but I still want everyone to be expressive hence why I’ve gone for that. This will also be why I go with the team shape fluid and mentality of standard for now. These will be changed or adjusted once I’ve seen how it all plays out in a match, it’s all just guess work at the minute but hopefully they’ll work.
The Actual Shape
For me this is the trickiest part of all this and will be something that not everyone agrees on as the formation could be classed as several different shapes. It all just depends on what you interpret the shape as. Before I reveal which one I’ll use let’s take a look at some of the other shapes it could be classed as.
You could just use this shape and the roles would make it very different to a 4-2-3-1 depending on how you set up.
This one is probably one of the more popular shapes that people would say they used.
This is another one that you could use and with the right roles could give you the defensive and offensive shape of what Brazil used.
Either this 4-2-4 or the one with two defensive midfielders instead of central ones can also work.
None of these are the option I have gone for though due to the roles that I want to use. Here is what I’ve selected to use as my base;
That’s what I’ll be working from and while its not set in stone that I’ll always use this shape, I think it’s the one that allows me to best represent the roles the players had in the team and allows me to replicate their behaviour better than the ones listed above.
The next thing I need to do now is to see how it reacts in game and see if it plays like I imagine it should in my head. So the next part will focus on some analysis of how it plays in the first competitive game and then discuss an changes I might make and explain why. I’m guessing it’ll be far from perfect and will require a lot of explaining about the things that are wrong with this set up, it might take a while to write up but hopefully I’ll have something up for you guys in the next few days.