Welcome To the first guest post to appear on thewideplaymaker.com by guest blogger Gustaf Hedström, over to you Gustaf.
Hey everyone! This is my first FM-related post and I’m extremely grateful that Michael is letting me post it here on his blog.
So since I’m new around here, I thought it would be nice to introduce myself a little bit. I’m from Sweden and I just turned 18. I’ve always enjoyed watching football and I’ve been a Liverpool supporter for as long as I can remember. Also, I’ve played FM for a couple of years and really enjoy it. I started taking a real interest in football tactics just about 2 years ago, when I found an article about Pep Guardiola’s 3-3-3-1 formation. I started to realize how smart that man really is and started to study him, and along the way I came across many different managers and different philosophies. I also found people sharing my passion for football in Saadiq and Michael, and we have talked many hours about football and tactics. They both teach me a lot and I like to think that I teach them new stuff as well sometimes. But that’s enough about me, let’s get to the fun part!
Most FM-players nowadays know that the formation you use is how your team defend. I had this idea that I would like to do something with an 4-4-2 formation just because it’s, in my opinion, the best pressing formation. Diego Simeone uses this formation frequently with his Atletico Madrid side, a side considered by many to be one of the best pressing teams in Europe. And as I’ve said, I like Pep Guardiola and get most of my inspiration from him. With that in mind, I like fluid teams with smooth transitions from defence and build-up play to attack. And since a bog standard 4-4-2 is quite boring, I added some influences from Pep and this is what I came up with:
It’s a compact 4-4-2 in defense and due to the fb’s having different roles, it becomes somewhat of a 3-2-4-1 in attack. The IWB tucks in alongside the DLP, in the gap after the CM, who should be higher up the pitch in that moment. The other fullback stays in defence and form a back 3 with the two CB’s.
As you can see, I’ve chosen to go with a Very Fluid team shape. It gives the most compact team and every player contribute to both defence and attack and the team plays stylish football. I like my team to work like a unit and not having the attackers just doing the attacking job and the defenders just defending. They all contribute to the build-up play in order to facilitate ball progression. I also chose to use Standard as the mentality. Although, I usually alter between control and standard depending on the opponent.
I like to play with a high defensive line just to get the most compact team possible in order to help recycle possession and move the ball to the other flank if needed. Much like Pep or Jürgen Klopp, I prefer to win the ball back as fast as possible. Because of that, I’ve set the closing down to Much More, and also Prevent Short GK Distribution as well as Use Tighter Marking. During build-up, I like to play out of defence. As you may have noticed, I exploit the left side more than the right. That’s just because my DLP and AM are the most creative players but also to create isolation for my winger on the right side, so he hopefully gets a 1v1 on the flank.
Sweeper Keeper (Support): Distribute to cb’s
Inverted Wingback (Support): Shoot less often
Central Defender (Defend): –
Central Defender (Cover): Hold position
Defensive Fullback (Defend): Sit narrower, Cut inside with ball
Right Winger (Attack): Aim cross at near post
Central Midfielder (Attack): Move into channels
Deep-lying Playmaker (Defend): Dribble less
Left Winger (Attack): –
Attacking Midfielder (Support): Get further forward, Move into channels
Complete Forward (Attack): –
I want my GK to distribute the ball to my Central Defenders so we can have a patient build-up, because when we have the ball, the other team can’t score. The Right Winger is instructed to aim his crosses at the near post, as that creates the best chance to score. Both my CM and AM moves into channels just to create some chaos for the opposition defence with late runs in to the box. The Left Wingers that I have at my disposal are both right footed, so they don’t have the same instruction as the Right Winger because I want them to cut inside like an Inside Forward. The Complete Forward up top focuses on scoring goals and is the first man in pressing to win the ball back.
The tactic in-game
Here we can see how the tactic functions in defense and when we’re in attack. When we defend, we press the opponent in a compact 4-4-2 formation with a
high defensive line and with only about 20 meters between the midfield and the defenders. In attack is when it gets more interesting. The IWB moves inside along the DLP and the CM and Winger join up with the AM to form a block of four. Leading the attack is the Complete Forward who presses the opponents defensive line down so the midfielders get’s more time and space to pass and find teammates in better positions.
I hope you enjoyed reading my first FM-related article. I just want to say thanks for reading and I really do appreciate if I could get some feedback, because without feedback you’ll never get any better. A special thanks to Saadiq (@rovazzz) and of course Michael (@totalfootball71). They have both helped me very much and they are always super nice and friendly. If you don’t follow them already go do it. They both post very interesting stuff about FM and just football in general.
See you soon!