Making the Good Transition Part 2
Understanding why everything is relative
Now we head into an actual game, and I plan to start by prepping for my next match. Ordinarily we play a system like this:
It features a fairly strong attack down the left flank, with plenty of attempts to control the ball down the left. The roles and duties here should be irrelevant, we should focus primarily with how I am attempting spatial control. The fullback on the right flank is clearly attacking and the MC (Ring) looks to be on support or defend mentality. This should work fine under certain conditions. So we know the transitions are clearly meant to control the left and exploit the right. Ordinarily we play on Control Fluid.
For our next game we are faced with a situation. We are playing a team that’s coming with a 424.it’s being played on Standard Flexible but the roles in front suggest there is a strong possibility that the system may get isolated if support is not forthcoming.
If we are to play our system in its current form, we could be in trouble, even without considering any shape or mentality changes, my immediate goal is to ensure their transitions fail. The goal is to force isolation and give us great opportunities to counter
Here their attack has broken down, we have changed our WB(A) to a DFB, he plays the ball to the HB who has been given risky passes and direct passing, so he has options to unlock in front.
Here the ball is played upfront, if I want this transition to work well, I am looking specifically at this phase to make sure I have the right player selected. Pope is playing as the DLF(S), he has poor attributes for this position, but he still manages to play the ball out into space for the AF to chase down.
However because we are playing on Overload/Structured, we have an issue getting enough numbers into the box to support the AF. I have several choices. I either maintain the shape setting ,choose players who are faster and can keep up or choose another role and duty configuration up top.
The question here is : Is our attacking transition a good one? If you look carefully the AI is defending with a back 4 and 2 defensive midfielders. This means that our two players need to do a really good job to hold the ball up and wait for support. First touch, composure, balance, off the ball, passing and decisions become major attributes. The problem here is if we fail at this point or any point in the final third. We could be left defending a ball over the top where their two wide players link up with 2 strikers. This will put us on the back foot.
Our attacking transitions will fail because space can open up down the flanks. So what can we do?
Those AML/AMR need pressure – Opposition Instruction Tackle Harder –
WB turned to Defend duty, with Mark Tighter, Tackle Harder and Close down more. This is to put pressure on the AML/R if they get the ball
(Downside, WBs go in early we open the flanks up)
The team plays on Standard/Fluid so we involve more players in transition and we make ourselves compact. This is further reinforced by the Offside Trap.
(Downside) : Balls over the top. So we make sure our best defender is marking their target man.
So while our system has done very well in creating transitions that exploit space, this particular match poses a problem. We are playing against a system that is going to attack our vulnerabilities.
Having good transitions in a game isn’t just about your own tactic and its roles and duties. In some games your system could be superb and in other games it can all fall apart.
We switched to a 4123 by pushing the AF out to the flanks as an IF. This gave us the option of a player dropping deep to help the WB and an option in attacks to stretch the defence.
We now got adequate protection when the opposing wingers got the ball and we had players in good positions to launch counter attacks down the flank. The only reason we won’t be able to get a good result in this case is poor attributes.
So the next time you are trying to build in good transitions don’t forget how it plays out against another system.
(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 [...]