I am releasing this post due to the interest from the FM Community since I tweeted it last week. I am not in any way claiming that this is a super tactic that you can just plug and play and win a lorry load of titles. It’s the framework of a tactic that works for me at SD Eibar based on the philosophy of Jorge Sampaoli a disciple of Marcelo Bielsa who I hold in high regard. In FM16 I created a tactic based on Bielsa’s philosophy which I named Verticalità after Bielsa’s vision of Verticality. So this year’s version is simply named Verticalità 17. This year’s version follows many of the same principles of last year’s with a few changes along the way. A lot of people feel that you can’t translate Juego De Posicion (Positional Play) in to FM. I disagree with this thought process. Every one of us has who plays FM and creates a tactic have our own mechanisms and instil our own ideas on how we want our system to play. The stupidly named football hipsters (sorry I think the term stinks so I apologise to any football hipsters) will correctly tell you that juego de posicion is a concept that instructs players to play within certain zones determined by the position of the ball, made famous by Josep Guardiola. We all know about how managers like Guardiola, Tuchel,Schimidt,Sampaoli, Bielsa and Co have made the system work but how do we translate that in to the game? I have had many a conversation with Saadiq Bey @Rovazzz about juego de posicion and the conclusion we come to is that if you think about any game of football what ever the systems being played, you use some sort of positional play just by setting your team up. So back to my interpretation of juego de posicion Sampaoli style. I want to control the game with or without the ball through agressive pressing to gain possession in the opponents half whilst blocking passing lanes. I want to build from the back using a high defensive line, I want my wing backs to overlap to create width whilst my midfield push on to create space for my forwards. I want to press the life out of the opposition whilst attacking on the front foot.
I have had a few people test the tactic and received some excellent feedback from all but this message received tonight gives me great satisfaction:
That message alone makes it all worthwhile, so below you can find the details to create the tactic in its rawest form so you can mould it to your club and players until your heart is content. This is the easy to follow framework to create my Jorge Sampaoli Verticalità 17.
The Framework 5-3-1-1
Simple closing down all positions.
Training Once Tactic Is Fluid
I personally like to switch my training around on a 2 week rotation giving all categories good coverage. I keep match tactics to Defensive Positioning all season.
I set individual training to the specific player position.
Average Positions Without Ball
Average Positions With Ball
Please remember that this tactic is not intended to be a super tactic and requires you to watch your games and analyse what’s happening on the pitch during the game.
Thanks for reading and feel free to give me feedback from your experience if you use the tactic.
Look out for my next update in the next few days has SD Eibar enter season 2 with our new system.