We’re not doing that badly, with our away form being the way it is, I am surprised we’re still second on the table. Our last 5 away matches have been sad, only a 2-1 win stood out amongst our 3 draws and 1 loss. We may have drawn away to the top two sides, but I’ve come away worried that we have conceded 8 goals in games.
So what went wrong? For one thing, my over-confidence with tactics has seen me tinker too much. When I look at my archive I have something like 10 versions of my 451 now, and thats not good. I need to decide once and for all exactly what I like to play and stick with it. Thats how we did so well at the start. Tinkering isnt good, our also tinkered with lineups and thats worse cos I started forgetting who were my top defending duo. I mean these arent household names.
I’ve also gone back to study each game I’ve conceded goals in and tried to find patterns:
- a. Conceded most of my goals in the last 15 mins
- b. DCs getting split by OTT balls (Over the Top) and being beaten for pace
- c. One touch tiki taka (in BSS..please!!!) in front of my back four
- d. Getting lazy with OI
Now that I’ve kinda pin-pointed the reasons, I will hone in on b and c cos if I isolate both of them, it should do wonders. First things first, theres space being exploited between my defending strata and my midfield strata. There is an area where the MCs disengage and let my DCs take over..now that is ohhhh not so good. For me thats a huge cosmic screw-up. I look at my settings and decide changes have to be made. Its either the Tactical Creator or Custom.
I go to my player roles and decide my screen isn’t good enough, if there is space being exploited causing my DCs to get pulled out of opposition then I have several choices. I could opt to use a DMC, but thats too easy. Or I can try and give both DCs support in front of their zones, so I change the roles of the MCs to B2B, APM, B2B, instead of B2B,APM,BWM. This should give my defenders a better screen. I them adjust the closing down settings by reducing the cd of the defenders, so they dont come charging out. For the defending group I make sure they all close down within their mentality settings and I leave the midfield strata to do the chasing around, leaving my APM alone.
This should have the effect of reducing space that can be exploited.
Now since I’ve been conceding a lot of goals in the final part of the match, this has got be down more to match conditioning, I cant really push their training much, cos they are amateur players, so I make sure that I use tempo more often in a game as a breather of sorts.
In a lot of games I’ve given up a fair bit of possession by setting my forward group to direct passing. So in future for all away matches I will set them all to 1 for passing, and have quick for tempo till we get our goals. Tempo will be reduced once we have secured the goals. Furthermore, a narrow setup will be used, since encourages more inside running from inside forwards as well. It should also lend defensive solidity.
Yeah you start winning a few matches and you forget all about OI. The Opposition Instructions have been improved, but I get real lazy sometimes, so I need to make sure that in each game, the opposing fullbacks are closed down, the opposing wingers are tight marked and the the creative outlet is tight marked as well..where their acceleration is greater I will make adjustments by removing tight marking and having closing down.
For now those are gonna be the changes..lets see if Stafford Rangers can start keeping more clean sheets