(This is part of a series, it follows what happens after we make changes in efforts to control the game)
Making the Good Transition Part 3
Faced with a defensive 424 that played with 2 defensive midfielders we decided to tweak our system. We had to draw them out, and apply a low block. We played on a lower defensive line and told both wingbacks to close down more and tackle hard. The use of the Halfback allowed us to recycle possession but more importantly, it drew the opposition forward to try and win the ball back.
This was what we wanted to see, it’s important to look for clues which show your transitions working well. Playing with a low block is unnerving, but as long as the AI was playing defensively, it wasn’t an issue.
The use of a sweeper keeper and half back meant we had an outlet, a quick one. The keeper would look for the chance to play the ball over the top to a player who had now got in between the most important and key area in the AI’s defence – the gap between the DMs and the CDs
Here player selection is critical, with us playing with a playmaker on the left side, it meant that the Poacher up top had options, but he would always take the one that did not involve the risky pass, which means playing the safe pass back.
This was perfect as it meant the others could move into space. Now the only reason why this would fail would be poor off the ball attributes in our players. The BWM and the CM on attack both surged forward while the APM who had “comes deep to get the ball” dropped into the space to play the perfect through pass.
Needless to say we dominated this match and controlled the right spaces. We would have won the match outright, had I not been so in love with our style of play. The AI switched to an orthodox 424 and pushed its two DMs into central midfield. At this point I should have abandoned my low block, because now the AI would be able to start camping with more numbers. It was a critical mistake that saw us concede a last minute equaliser.
If we had continued with our original system we would have lost the game outright.