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The_Tactician

Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

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I thought it would be fun to post a tactical analysis of my upcoming full season, for each game as the result comes in. Whilst I'd love to post my tactics before the games kick off, that would give any lurking opponents a big advantage! So after each game (in the league only) whether it's a win, draw or loss, I'll post screenshots and discuss what my tactical thinking was for each one.

Tactically, being a Scot I'm a bit of a pragmatist who will do what it takes to win rather than be too over-elaborate. I also don't think the SM engine is advanced enough to be able to implement something like Guardiola's current 3331 for example, so I generally like to play the percentage game and keep things relatively balanced. It's important to point out that I'm not really a serious SM player, so I'm quite sure there will be some better and more successful SM managers than me around here - if so, I definitely welcome your constructive feedback and discussion.

But the main thing is hopefully this will be a good little guide for some of you struggling with the tactical concepts of the game, and it might help your SM team to reach its full potential. So without further ado, let's get started...

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

SQUAD OVERVIEW

Goalkeepers

qy8kkw.jpg

Defenders

29px1dt.jpg

Midfielders

j9mxhh.jpg

Forwards

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It's very important to point out that I have one of the best First XI's in the entire setup, so more often than not I should be looking to impose myself on the opposition and attack them rather than worrying about their threats. This is especially the case when you consider my one weakness is in the goalkeeping position.

However this setup is obviously very old and all of the world's best players are in the league now, so it's far from uncompetitive. This means that I'll still need to be on top of my game in terms of preparation if I want to win the league title.

Tonight was the first game of the season, at home to Heart of Midlothian, so let's go to the first analysis in the series...

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 1 (H) vs Heart of Midlothian

Lineups

Hearts have a well balanced First XI with a couple of decent players, but generally I am stronger all over the park and so I should be looking to take the initiative at home in this season opener. Definitely an attacking strategy in this one.

35co8ep.jpg

Kick-off

Below are the opening tactics, and Hearts lined up exactly as they did in their last pre-season game. It's a slightly tricky setup to play against as they will be compact, especially in the middle where they will look to win the battle aggressively. Therefore I decided the best course of action was to play a quick game to avoid their hard tackling style, and use a 4231 to get in behind the two banks of four - hoping that my direct passes would find their way in behind their midfield lines quickly, and draw their defenders out.

2mw555k.jpg

45 Mins

At the half-time point it was 1-1 and the possession was not great for me, so it was clear that while I was well in the game, things were not exactly going to plan. My Losing/Drawing @ 45 mins alternative switch that I set up before the game was to just rein things in a little and play a more measured game. Still an attacking mentality (I am still better than them) but more a case of "picking the battles" a little more carefully.

I moved to 433 wingers which is a favourite of mine, in order to nullify their attacking midfielder and tighten things up in the midfield area which is a key battleground here. The full backs are sitting back now, to draw their midfielders out. Also I have changed to Mixed Passing / Mixed Direction, because their midfield is so packed and so I have to let my players make passing decisions based on the space that happens to be available at any given moment - hence the slowing down to "Normal" tempo to allow them time to make the necessary decision. However I still want to press them high up and stop them getting too much time on the ball, therefore I'm sticking to All Over and Offside Trap to squeeze their playing area. I trust my defenders to have the better of Gomez despite not marking tightly.

11ltq4l.jpg

Result

So I got over the line in the end, winning 2-1 with the unlikely winner being Gerard Pique. I think the half time tactics ultimately made the difference and tightened the game up to allow me to take control, but this wasn't an easy 3 points and I'll need to be better next time around.

4uzb6o.jpg

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 2 (A) vs Queen of the South

Preview

Round 2 is nearly upon us, and as you'll see below they have been playing the basic flat 442 with all mixed/normal and no specific strategy. I'm reasonably confident this means he is not going to log onto this forum and deploy some intricate counter-strategy tomorrow before the game!

So my full tactics will follow soon, after my SMFA result is in and I can make my changes. Queens have a fairly average squad for this setup, other than Falcao and Robben in attacking areas whom I may need to be wary of. I do feel that the best way to counter a flat 442 is getting in between the two lines of four, and by dominating the centre of midfield to get the bulk of possession. More to come shortly...

kbrjfl.jpg

Starting Lineup

Okay here's my selected lineup for the game. Slightly annoying that Daniele De Rossi is injured as I had planned to put him as DM and make him playmaker. Paul Pogba comes in for his first start as a result, but at 91 he is not good enough to be a playmaker in his own right (it should either be very highly rated players 94+ or players that are noticeably better than anyone else around him). In terms of instructions I have gone for Attacking, Short Passing, Fast Tempo, Through The Middle, Normal Tackling and All Over press. I have NOT selected Offside Trap because I am wary of using it against Falcao with a back three on this occasion. Nothing else is ticked.

You can see what the strategy is here - gain possession and outpass them quickly in the middle of the park where they only have two central midfielders. You'll see my 45 minute tactics when the result comes in tomorrow, but basically if I'm drawing or losing at half-time I'll be switching up to a 3412, making Iniesta playmaker in the AM role and changing to Normal Tempo, Mixed Passing, Mixed Direction and Hard Tackling. Still aggressive as I think their defence can be got at, but again as with Game 1 a slightly more measured option. Results to follow tomorrow evening!

2qa8zo4.jpg

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

Hey mate, thanks for making this thread and long may it continue.

I'm in GW 1199 with Burnley, got promoted from Div 2 and about 3 seasons later, I managed to win the 1st Division Title with an 89 rated side vs sides who are miles ahead of us on paper, such as Arsenal who are rated 95 with Messi, Bale etc.

Fortunately for me they knew very little (if anything) about the tactical side of the game and this played into my hands. I guess it's understandable why some of those managers take the lazy approach when their squad is full of world class players, but I don't get any satisfaction from having sides like that.

I read threads such as this one to learn about styles which counter other styles, and how to win against so-called "better sides".

The way I see it, you have to treat it like cat-and-mouse. A beats B, B beats C, but C will probably lose to A.

When I won the Division 1 Title, I don't recall ever using the same formation in back-to-back games. I could predict what my opponents were going to do and I would logically pick the correct strategy to counter it - and this felt a hell of a lot more satisfying than just taking the best players and crushing inferior opposition.

Due to the extremely low likelihood of this backfiring against me, I will give you a decent example of what I experienced.

Whenever I faced a significantly greater side who only ever used 4-4-2, I would use an aggressive, fast, attacking, 4-2-3-1, and whenever I faced a better side who liked to play the 4-2-3-1, I would simply switch to 4-3-3 wingers, and we usually achieved a similar, successful outcome.

Keep it up ;)

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

Hey mate' date=' thanks for making this thread and long may it continue.

I'm in GW 1199 with Burnley, got promoted from Div 2 and about 3 seasons later, I managed to win the 1st Division Title with an 89 rated side vs sides who are miles ahead of us on paper, such as Arsenal who are rated 95 with Messi, Bale etc.

Fortunately for me they knew very little (if anything) about the tactical side of the game and this played into my hands. I guess it's understandable why some of those managers take the lazy approach when their squad is full of world class players, but I don't get any satisfaction from having sides like that.

I read threads such as this one to learn about styles which counter other styles, and how to win against so-called "better sides".

The way I see it, you have to treat it like cat-and-mouse. A beats B, B beats C, but C will probably lose to A.

When I won the Division 1 Title, I don't recall ever using the same formation in back-to-back games. I could predict what my opponents were going to do and I would logically pick the correct strategy to counter it - and this felt a hell of a lot more satisfying than just taking the best players and crushing inferior opposition.

Due to the extremely low likelihood of this backfiring against me, I will give you a decent example of what I experienced.

Whenever I faced a significantly greater side who only ever used 4-4-2, I would use an aggressive, fast, attacking, 4-2-3-1, and whenever I faced a better side who liked to play the 4-2-3-1, I would simply switch to 4-3-3 wingers, and we usually achieved a similar, successful outcome.

Keep it up ;)[/quote']

Good post, and thanks for that. I think you know you're on to a winner when you start making 89 average rating sides win titles - it has to be down to tactics, at least to some degree. Very well done on that.

I enjoy it a lot more too. I haven't always had time recently to get into the game, but that's changing so I want to start enjoying it by adapting tactics and analysing the opposition.

I didn't know too much about football tactics until I got into FM a few years ago, and on the SI Games forum there were some absolutely fantastic discussions that I used to read. Tactical Theorems & Frameworks on that site was bordering on philosophy, they went into so much detail.

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 2 (A) vs Queen of the South - The result

Wow, I took a real beating in this one. 4-0 was the final score, with all goals coming in the first half. Maybe you guys can start to help me and not the other way round :D

Result

2jg4d1u.png

Kick-off Tactics

2unzuxw.png

Half-time Tactics

8voscl.png

Analysis

So before I go on to analyse the tactics in this game, it's important to point out that a 4-0 scoreline is never just "bad luck". This is not a broken engine or some random event - I must have messed something up in the preparation for this one, and it's important I understand what that is moving forward. It's also important to point out that Ronaldo and Ter Stegen had extremely bad performances (getting a rating of 5 each), so when your goalkeeper and best player have a bad day together, you will definitely be in a spot of trouble.

But the good thing is, to me it's glaringly obvious what I have done here tactically. Think back to the Hearts game too and look how I set up for that. What is the common theme emerging from both games? For me it is this: I have started with a Fast tempo game, played badly, then come back into it when switching to a more controlled strategy. In this particular game all 4 goals came before half time, then in the second half no more were conceded. This cannot be coincidence. And looking at the statistics, I actually had a good amount of shots on goal and reasonable possession - I'm willing to bet this came mostly in the second half.

Think also about the opposition formations. In both cases I have faced relatively compact formations, without being ultra-defensive. Against Hearts I perhaps got away with a Fast tempo, because of their All Over pressing strategy which opened up spaces for me to play the ball into. Here, Queens sat off into their own half, which meant my guys were moving the ball up the field quickly again, but this time they were facing a compact unit rather than pockets of space, so they were getting intercepted much more often. The possession stat seems to bear this out. What I should have done here was start with a Normal tempo at best, in order to exert more control and pick them off more carefully, rather than playing in the 100 mph naive manner I started in. The pitfalls of playing like this are further compounded by the fact they have two world class attackers to hit me on the break - something I ought to have respected more possibly, especially playing away from home.

So here's the main lesson: Only go Fast tempo when you are confident that there is enough space to exploit quickly, either by the opposition deploying an attacking formation, or a high pressing strategy.

One final observation... Maybe I am hindering my guys too much by giving them very strict strategies (Short passing rather than Mixed, for example) as opposed to allowing them to make their own decisions as world class players should be able to do. Also, is All Over pressing a good idea against two opposition strikers away from home? Maybe tight marking was a better plan here? Thoughts and comments?

I won't be going away anywhere; I'll be seeing this through no matter what position I end up in ;)

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

Good post' date=' and thanks for that. I think you know you're on to a winner when you start making 89 average rating sides win titles - it has to be down to tactics, at least to some degree. Very well done on that.

I enjoy it a lot more too. I haven't always had time recently to get into the game, but that's changing so I want to start enjoying it by adapting tactics and analysing the opposition.

I didn't know too much about football tactics until I got into FM a few years ago, and on the SI Games forum there were some absolutely fantastic discussions that I used to read. Tactical Theorems & Frameworks on that site was bordering on philosophy, they went into so much detail.[/quote']

Cheers man, much appreciated.

I agree 100%, there's some great threads around, and I've already taken a few good tips from this one tbh, and don't get too disheartened about that last defeat. I'm not afraid to lose, I will just do what I think is best.

Also I've learned not to overthink things against people who really don't think very much (without trying to insult them :D). For example, I was having some joy against this one opponent with 4-2-3-1, and then next time I played vs him, I talked myself out of the same system because I expected him to match me up this time round, but no, he did the exact same thing!

Keep it up

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 3 (A) vs Aberdeen

Preview

Aberdeen are on the left here and they've been using this Through the Middle strategy in every game recently, so it's reasonable to assume that's where they'll concentrate their attack. Their three best players are 8 Modric (Playmaker), 9 Muller (Target Man) and 11 Reus with the rest averaging around 91. They have a good squad and this is far from an easy game, so I'll probably approach this one more conservatively then the last two.

2vsq7ux.png

Starting Tactics

This time I am holding back a little more and deploying a 32221 formation. Three central defenders and two defensive midfielders to deal with their concentration through the middle, and hopefully the AM's can also cut off their supply line from the back. It's critical that I stop Modric because everything will be going through him as Playmaker (Short Passing, Fast Tempo, Through the Middle) so I've instructed Aguero to drop deep into his position and team up with Pogba to get on top of him. I'm confident this shape can thwart them, but I will need my attacking quality to step up to the plate because I probably won't create a great deal of chances here.

I've gone Normal/Mixed for everything because I don't see any compelling reason to go to any extremes in this game away from home. Tight Marking is ticked, so is Counter Attack - nothing else. Their formation has too many players in high areas to justify an All Over press. Ironically enough despite the last two games, their 4231 is probably a situation where Fast Tempo might be justified on my part, but I'm sticking to Normal to try and get a better grip of the game then last time.

A big shift in personnel with Ronaldo moving up top and De Sciglio replacing James to give a bit more defensive solidity in the wide area.

One in-game instruction: If losing/drawing at 60 minutes, I switch up to 352 and James comes back in for De Sciglio. All the same instructions except Direct Passing and Both Flanks, to exploit the space their wide midfielders are leaving there (I don't want to start with this because I want to let my players decide where best to hurt them from the kick-off). Results to come on Saturday.

25aknjs.png

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 3 (A) vs Aberdeen

Preview

Aberdeen are on the left here and they've been using this Through the Middle strategy in every game recently' date=' so it's reasonable to assume that's where they'll concentrate their attack. Their three best players are 8 Modric (Playmaker), 9 Muller (Target Man) and 11 Reus with the rest averaging around 91. They have a good squad and this is far from an easy game, so I'll probably approach this one more conservatively then the last two.

[img']http://i58.tinypic.com/2vsq7ux.png[/img]

Starting Tactics

This time I am holding back a little more and deploying a 32221 formation. Three central defenders and two defensive midfielders to deal with their concentration through the middle, and hopefully the AM's can also cut off their supply line from the back. It's critical that I stop Modric because everything will be going through him as Playmaker (Short Passing, Fast Tempo, Through the Middle) so I've instructed Aguero to drop deep into his position and team up with Pogba to get on top of him. I'm confident this shape can thwart them, but I will need my attacking quality to step up to the plate because I probably won't create a great deal of chances here.

I've gone Normal/Mixed for everything because I don't see any compelling reason to go to any extremes in this game away from home. Tight Marking is ticked, so is Counter Attack - nothing else. Their formation has too many players in high areas to justify an All Over press. Ironically enough despite the last two games, their 4231 is probably a situation where Fast Tempo might be justified on my part, but I'm sticking to Normal to try and get a better grip of the game then last time.

A big shift in personnel with Ronaldo moving up top and De Sciglio replacing James to give a bit more defensive solidity in the wide area.

One in-game instruction: If losing/drawing at 60 minutes, I switch up to 352 and James comes back in for De Sciglio. All the same instructions except Direct Passing and Both Flanks, to exploit the space their wide midfielders are leaving there (I don't want to start with this because I want to let my players decide where best to hurt them from the kick-off). Results to come on Saturday.

25aknjs.png

If losing at 45-60 mins, I would have gone for a 4-3-3 wingers with a very attacking, aggressive & fast style, whilst pressing all over the pitch

or it's something to consider next time vs the 4-2-3-1 :D

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

If losing at 45-60 mins' date=' I would have gone for a 4-3-3 wingers with a very attacking, aggressive & fast style, whilst pressing all over the pitch

or it's something to consider next time vs the 4-2-3-1 :D[/quote']

Do you use any arrows with your 433 Wingers wolves?

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 3 (A) vs Aberdeen - Results

Another defeat on the road unfortunately. It's all going a bit LVG at the moment:

raugwm.png

Tactics at Kickoff

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60mins Tactics

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Analysis

Disappointingly it's another loss, and as you can see for the third game in a row the team with the bulk of possession has won it. That is absolutely key in SM and it's a bit confusing as to why I see so little of the ball with such a highly-rated team. But the very interesting thing for me is that again for the third game in a row, the goals have all been lost by my "starting" setup - then when I've switched up to my alternative I've started to compete again (albeit too little, too late). It looks to me as the fancy formations aren't really working in this game anymore, and it might be time to go back to basics. Also the consistent factor with the switch tactics is that I've deployed a more aggressive line of tackling in those, so that might be a big factor in getting more possession of the ball in this competitive setup. A lot of goals are being conceded, so I may also have to play with a back 4 in future to tighten things up back there. A lot of food for thought going forward.

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

CUP ROUND 1 (A) vs Hibernian

Yet another away game to contend with, and this time we move to the Cup against Hibs. I did say I was only going to post league games, but given how this thread is going so far the cup games could actually be useful to experiment in. So firstly here's the Hibs report from their last fixture. These are always a bit dodgy with cup games as you'd expect the opponents to swap players around to avoid NMF issues, but I'll assume they will stick with the same setup for this game.

2vuik3m.png

Starting Tactics

As you can see I've picked my reserves for this one to prevent the first team from losing their fitness, with the exception of Ter Stegen so that I can get his level 1 concern down. At best my average rating is going to equal that of Hibs, even if they put their reserves out, so I'm going to approach this one with the intention of killing the game completely just to see how this works. They are playing Attacking and Direct, so I'll need a deep formation to do this.

I've chosen a 541 formation, Defensive Mentality, Aggressive Tackling, Slow Tempo, Short Passing, Mixed Direction, Own Half Press. Men Behind Ball and Tight Marking are ticked.

At 45 minutes if losing, I change the arrows to forward on the wing backs, Direct Passing, Down Both Flanks, Counter-Attack ticked, Men Behind Ball un-ticked, Tackling down to Hard.

This should be an interesting one. Results on Monday night.

r0c9hd.png

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

You've taken a very interesting approach, and I hope it comes up trumps for ya.

Against an aggressive, attacking 3-5-2 like this, I would have gone for:

4-3-3 wingers

Normal

Defensive

Mixed

Down both flanks

Normal speeds

Press own area

+

Counter Attacking

Men behind ball

Use target man

You may want to consider throwing this in if you're losing at Half Time? Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in because I know this works

"These are always a bit dodgy with cup games as you'd expect the opponents to swap players around to avoid NMF issues, but I'll assume they will stick with the same setup for this game."

Yep, tricky one. Some "managers" in my league just pick the same side no matter what. Sometimes I've made 10 changes and left the keeper alone because he always seems to be 100% regardless.

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

You've taken a very interesting approach' date=' and I hope it comes up trumps for ya.

Against an aggressive, attacking 3-5-2 like this, I would have gone for:

4-3-3 wingers

Normal

Defensive

Mixed

Down both flanks

Normal speeds

Press own area

+

Counter Attacking

Men behind ball

Use target man

[b']You may want to consider throwing this in if you're losing at Half Time? Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in because I know this works [/b]

"These are always a bit dodgy with cup games as you'd expect the opponents to swap players around to avoid NMF issues, but I'll assume they will stick with the same setup for this game."

Yep, tricky one. Some "managers" in my league just pick the same side no matter what. Sometimes I've made 10 changes and left the keeper alone because he always seems to be 100% regardless.

Cheers for the input wolves. In all likelihood I'll be reverting to a back 4 for the next league game. 433W is a traditional favourite of mine so I'm sure I'll be using it again at some point soon. I use a few variants of it, with arrows and so on which I'll share soon.

For this particular game I'm not too bothered about winning it. I'm just interested in terms of how many goals I'll concede despite having 5 defenders in there.

It definitely feels to me as if they have changed the game engine and moved it away from the previous midfield emphasis, and have now placed more importance on the matchups at either end of the pitch. I'm conceding far more goals than I should be, so if it happens again with an ultra-defensive 541 then I think the right thing to do is ditch these 3 CB formations. They just don't seem to work in FM anymore, a bit like real life. In real terms 3 CB's should handle 2 CF's, but I think in SM the engine just sees things in terms of 3 defenders vs 2 forwards or 4 defenders vs 2 forwards - as simple as that. It's a bit annoying because I like to take a real life view of tactics, but it appears the engine here is still a bit limited on that kind of thing so I'm going to have to revert to basics and be pragmatic about it.

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

Cheers for the input wolves. In all likelihood I'll be reverting to a back 4 for the next league game. 433W is a traditional favourite of mine so I'm sure I'll be using it again at some point soon. I use a few variants of it' date=' with arrows and so on which I'll share soon.

For this particular game I'm not too bothered about winning it. I'm just interested in terms of how many goals I'll concede despite having 5 defenders in there.

It definitely feels to me as if they have changed the game engine and moved it away from the previous midfield emphasis, and have now placed more importance on the matchups at either end of the pitch. I'm conceding far more goals than I should be, so if it happens again with an ultra-defensive 541 then I think the right thing to do is ditch these 3 CB formations. They just don't seem to work in FM anymore, a bit like real life. In real terms 3 CB's should handle 2 CF's, but I think in SM the engine just sees things in terms of 3 defenders vs 2 forwards or 4 defenders vs 2 forwards - as simple as that. It's a bit annoying because I like to take a real life view of tactics, but it appears the engine here is still a bit limited on that kind of thing so I'm going to have to revert to basics and be pragmatic about it.[/quote']

I admire your passion and interest in tactics because I'm the same way, but the reality is, SoccerManager is obviously based around codes and algorithms which probably includes mathematical formulae.

Therefore I think it's much more important to grasp a basic understanding of which formations generally beat which - like the example I used in my original post regarding A>B, B>C & C>A. Obviously I haven't cracked it 100%, otherwise I would literally win every match I play, but I feel I'm pretty close. Of course you won't always predict the opponents' formation correctly either so that throws some doubt into the equation, but luckily I'm in a gameword where people don't tend to have any plan B.

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

CUP ROUND 1 (A) vs Hibernian

Starting Tactics

As you can see I've picked my reserves for this one to prevent the first team from losing their fitness' date=' with the exception of Ter Stegen so that I can get his level 1 concern down. At best my average rating is going to equal that of Hibs, even if they put their reserves out, so I'm going to approach this one with the intention of killing the game completely just to see how this works. They are playing Attacking and Direct, so I'll need a deep formation to do this.

I've chosen a 541 formation, Defensive Mentality, Aggressive Tackling, Slow Tempo, Short Passing, Mixed Direction, Own Half Press. Men Behind Ball and Tight Marking are ticked.

At 45 minutes if losing, I change the arrows to forward on the wing backs, Direct Passing, Down Both Flanks, Counter-Attack ticked, Men Behind Ball un-ticked, Tackling down to Hard.

This should be an interesting one. Results on Monday night.

[img']http://i59.tinypic.com/r0c9hd.png[/img]

First of all great threat, i 'm another one who read you, so keep it up and hope you got lot of wins !!

For your next match let me suggest you my 5-4-1 that give me 2 championships with different teams in different GW's .

here we are :

541 formation

Attacking Mentality,

Normal Tackling,

Fast Tempo,

Mixed Passing,

Mixed Direction,

Own Half Press.

Counter Attack , Tight Marking , Offside Trap (optional depends on the opponent strikers) , Playmaker (no 6) are ticked.

** use a backward arrow on your 6 (playmaker)

Good luck .

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

Okay wolves I've altered my half-time change tactics, and replaced the "attacking" 541 (which is probably still too defensive) for a 433 Wingers. Three substitutions: P.Alcacer, J.Rodriguez and Varane replace Immobile, A.Gomes and Veltman respectively to provide some additional quality (they are all at 100% fitness so one half shouldn't kill them for the next game).

Two arrows are employed that I always like to use in a Defensive/Normal 433W - a back arrow on the CF and a forward diagonal arrow on the right winger (James), both to create confusion in the 3 man defence and to put a little more pressure on the opposition DM (though they're playing a Fast game so he shouldn't be dictating too much).

All instructions are Normal/Mixed apart from Both Flanks attack, and Counter-Attack ticked which are both a direct response to the opposition setup.

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Riferimento: Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analys

I admire your passion and interest in tactics because I'm the same way' date=' but the reality is, SoccerManager is obviously based around codes and algorithms which probably includes mathematical formulae.

Therefore I think it's much more important to grasp a basic understanding of which formations generally beat which - like the example I used in my original post regarding A>B, B>C & C>A. Obviously I haven't cracked it 100%, otherwise I would literally win every match I play, but I feel I'm pretty close. Of course you won't always predict the opponents' formation correctly either so that throws some doubt into the equation, but luckily I'm in a gameword where people don't tend to have any plan B. [/b']

I'm not sure of your theory A>B, B>C & C>A. Just 3 weeks ago I red a suggestion by The Tactician and this opened lot of SM misterious.

You have to setup a formation starting by the players you got; then it's to consider how your opponent will play more or less. Last you have to chose tactics and countertactics to setup. After the game you have to look at good or bad marks of your players: those are the indication if your tactics are working or not.

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

CUP ROUND 1 (A) vs Hibernian - Results

Final Score

5l9ymr.png

Match Statistics

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Analysis

A better result this time around, that much is for certain. I'm not sure how much information can be gleamed from this one because Hibs' aggressive approach saw them reduced to nine men just after the hour mark, and from then on it was a formality for us.

However I would like to think that our 541 played a part in frustrating them into committing these offences, and it is good that our reserve lads had the quality to score three goals without the need for substitutions. Also I looked at the commentary and 4 of the first 5 attacks in the game were for us, so we were definitely on top of the game even before the first sending off.

A useful exercise, and we now move back to the league on Wednesday when the first team boys will come back in.

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 4 (H) vs Motherwell

We're back at home finally, and this time we are up against the reigning champions of the division Motherwell. They are a well balanced side, and in my experience form transcends different seasons in this game so we will need to get this one right. With that being said, I have a much higher average rating than Motherwell so there is an onus on me to take the initiative at home here.

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I have had a bit of time to think since the last league game, and I have re-aligned my philosophy on this project somewhat. I won't bore you with all the fine details, but basically I have approached this thread so far by reacting entirely to what the opposition have done, and offering up tactics to counter them. However in reality I am one of the strongest teams in the league, and the team should be strong enough to operate on its own terms, but with tweaks where necessary to take advantage of opposition weaknesses. There is a small difference in that thinking, and hopefully you will see the evidence of this in my future lineups this season.

So onto this game, I am approaching it with a flat 442 formation to try and get Motherwell on the wings. Attacking, Fast Tempo, Direct Passing, Hard Tackling, All Over Press, Both Flanks direction. Offside Trap ticked.

The main reason for the shape is that I have seen 442 do well against 352 recently (this wasn't always the case in SM) so I'm curious to see how it does here. Also their focus is also down the flanks, so whilst they have a numerical advantage in the centre they won't be using it in theory - meaning I can double up on them in the key area of play in the game (this is all assuming they go with the same tactics, of course). They are pressing all over so they should be leaving a lot of space for me to ping quick direct balls into my wide midfielders and allow them to cause havoc. At the end of the day this is a classic traditional Rangers / British attacking tactic which I think hurt them quickly.

My half-time losing change tactic is my good friend wolves' favourite 433 Wingers! Still Attacking, but I sub James Rodriguez out and bring Paul Pogba in to tighten control of the midfield area. I also put Iniesta back to the DM role and set him as Playmaker in another experiment, to get him more on the ball. Tempo is dropped to Normal, Passing to Short, Focus to Mixed, Pressing to Own Half, Offside Trap unticked, all in an effort to slow the pace down and play more deliberately through Motherwell, drawing them out of their defensive positions. Hopefully the 442 will do the job and this change won't be needed. Results on Wednesday.

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

Just to add, I've made a big signing in Hugo Lloris (92) who will be the last piece of the jigsaw in terms of the first team. I'm delighted to get him as I'd probably only have Neuer, Courtois or De Gea ahead of him in terms of choice, so that's the last problem position filled in my team.

Ter Stegen will be leaving imminently, due to his constant concerns despite being first choice for many months. He has been performing badly too so I'm hoping we'll see a difference in results with the new goalkeeper.

I've also sold Granit Xhaka due to competition for places (A.Iniesta, Vidal, Pogba, R.Pardo, W.Carvalho and Rode all ahead of him).

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 4 (H) vs Motherwell - Results

Final Score

A second comfortable victory in a row, so we are now back in business which is pleasing.

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Tactics @ Kickoff

Motherwell lining up as anticipated and explained in my pre-match post.

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Tactics @ Half-time

Here you will see they opened up, making three substitutions and a number of tactical changes to aggressively try and get back into the game.

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Analysis

So, for the second time in this thread a 442 has comprehensively beaten a 352. This again suggests some changes in the SM game engine but it's good to know about in any case.

This one went pretty much as anticipated. We didn't completely dominate possession but we played Direct with the intention of hurting Motherwell in the key offensive flank areas, and that clearly worked with us bagging the three goals (the game was dead when they got their consolation). I think they could have got back into it in the second half had they changed their shape, but sticking to that 352 saw them continue to get caught out in wide areas. Lloris made a difference for me too, I think.

Again, no need for the change tactics here as the game was won without the need for them. Onwards we now go to what will be the biggest game of the season so far...

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Re: Scottish Championship 1 - Season #28 with Rangers, a tactical analysis

ROUND 5 (A) vs Celtic - Preview

There is not a cat in hell's chance of me revealing anything about my tactics before the results are in for this particular game. I know that the Celtic gaffer posts on the forums so me posting my tactics in advance wouldn't be a bright idea.

I can tell you that perhaps as you might expect in a Scottish gameworld, Celtic have a superb and well balanced squad of players with an average rating of 94, so this match will be very difficult on that basis alone. However the manager is also very good tactically and he knows what he's doing in this game, so we will be up against it here. I am unsure as to how they will set up, but I have a sneaky feeling it won't be as per their last few matches.

All will be revealed at the weekend

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