In my humble opinion the greatest formations I’ve ever seen teams play in real life, have always featured a high work-rate. They share the characteristics of having quick passing, high pressing, hard running and great organisation. As early as 2003 I was working on formations that didn’t have a centre forward, instead, employing a deep lying forward that would bring in charging wing forwards. Rewind please to Scramjet. The only way that was possible in those days was to work the match engine hard. There were no such things as a deep lying forward in those days. Tactics were a complex algorithm that grew out of our imagination and mushroomed on the screen. The problem was, the logic of these formations was as mysterious as the match engine was, and the only people who had a clue started looking like prophets of a secret cult. Well, I am glad that is over please say thank you to FM15 for bringing me back.
We have dropped the mysterious sliders, and introduced the tactical creator and along with that, we now have new acronyms like TI, PI and TC. While these appear to be more challenging, lets just demystify this quickly – ITS ALL BASED ON COMMON SENSE. Still wandering around in the dark? Ok lets start with a few simple steps. I am going to take Liverpool as an example. not the Reds of 2014/15, but the ones from 2013/14. Okay, minus Suarez.
Lets try and reproduce the system from last year. It was a back four with a deep-lying playmaker and 2 box to box midfielders. Upfront we had false nine flanked by two inside forwards, and maybe you could call one of them “Suarez” a playmaker of sorts. There is a new role in the match engine that reflects that…can’t quite remember what its called at the moment. I had tried making the same formation in 2012, maybe Rodgers found that here 🙂
The system Liverpool used, employed high pressing from the front line, and they had attacking fullbacks who would run the width of the pitch, their biggest weakness was their defense which would often be let down if players were out of position. Can this system be reproduced on FM? Yes it can. How?
a. Step 1
Know your roles, use common sense when you set them up and be realistic if this is possible with your squad. With liverpool it should be since the only players not there are Suarez and Agger. I chose to make my home system a controlled one with high pressing from my forward line, they play short passing at the back so that we don’t give the ball away a lot, and we close down their keeper.
b. Step 2
Know your shouts and your team instructions. If you are going to make a lot of changes to your system, isolating the cause of poor performance is going to be impossible. So KNOW how your shouts affect your team.
c. Step 3
Use common sense. If you want to score goals, you got to create chances, and that requires a lot of work from your players, so pay attention to HOW YOUR CHANCES are being created. You need a variety of chances created.
d. Step 4 Repeat Step1, 2 and 3
The reason why Liverpool were so successful last year – the number of chances created. This season, Liverpool look like shit. People blame Balo, when they should be looking at why their team is hopeless in the final third. I love how the engine of FM15 can translate modern systems, its looking great and I hope I get more time to post quality updates of FM15.