After catching up on my studies I thought it was about time to make a cheeky new thread. Some of the tacticians among you may be familiar with the football tactic analysis website Zonal Marking, or more specifically the 20 teams of the decade series from a couple of years ago. It's a really great list of some of the most exciting, innovative and successful tactics used around the globe from 2000 to 2010, and I've often used it as inspiration for tactic creating on FM.
Anyway, I'm at home feeling ill today, so I thought I'd have a go at emulating each one of the listed tactics. It should be noted that the list does contain tactics very specific to certain teams, and the fact that I haven't tested any of them out yet (that said, I am about to have ago at recreating the Arsenal Invincibles season using the corresponding tactic) means I can by no means guarantee success with any of them.
However, I had fun making them and I hope you guys will have a light-hearted go with some of them - though I don't expect anyone to come back with the Champions League trophy using France's weird Euro 2004 Tactic!
I'm hoping a few of you will download the package (full of a comprehensive 22 separate tactics) and use some of the ones that appeal to you most, posting any successes or failures you might have on this thread.
There are no screenshots yet I'm afraid due to the vast number of tactics included, but here is a brief run down of each tactic on the list:
20. Sevilla 2005-07. This side won 5 trophies under Juande Ramos, and is arguably the most basic tactic on the list. A bog-standard 4-4-2, this formation utilises the pace and skill of Jesus Navas on the right wing. Although Jesus Navas still plays for Sevilla, his bombarding counterpart of a right back (Dani Alves, whom the Sevilla side included) does not. I imagine this tactic will be pretty arbitrary given the current decline of the 4-4-2, but I have an inkling that it might suit Newcastle, with two powerful forwards and Ben Arfa on the right.
19. France Euro 2004. A fairly horrendous tactic that arose from Jacques Santini's attempt to create an all-star French team with an ageing Zidane at the heart. I'll be amazed if anyone can achieve something with this tactic or some kind of variant.
18. Australia World Cup 2006. Similarly to the France tactic, this was quite a difficult one to create. This Australia squad had a peaking Mark Viduka to lead their attacks, but other than that the players rotated around. If you have a go with this tactic I'd recommend not being too rigid: change the formation based on the situation.
17. Bologna 2001/02. An excellent example of a tactically disciplined mid-table team achieving commendable domestic success. This Bologna team almost qualified for the Champions League using a Target-Man-Hold-Up-Ball tactic as their source of success. Sounds a bit similar to the Bolton side that finished 5th under Allardyce a few years back. Again, the formation should be altered according to preference, but direct balls to the lanky centre-forward and offensive runs from the attacking-mids should remain the focus of this tactic.
16. Senegal World Cup 2002. Counter-attacking football at its best. As physically fit and iron-willed African nation as any, this team reached the quarter-finals of World Cup Korea-Japan. Given Senegal's current crop of attacking players, this could be one of the more interesting tactics to play with.
15. Brazil 2007-09. Based around an underrated Brazil team that was unlucky not to reach the last four of World Cup 2010, this tactic demonstrates the fluidity and flair of the Brazilians. Uses a bit of a weird formation that is specific to the way Brazil lined up at the time.
14. Milan 2002-07. One of my favourites as I think wingers are for wimps and creativity in the centre is king. The download contains two different versions of this successful Pirlo-led Milan side, although representing the shape of Milan's midfield is difficult in the rigid FM tactics screen.
13. Chelsea 2004-06. Mourinho's title-winning Chelsea stars. The current Chelsea squad is a good one to replicate this as Mata and Hazard are reminiscent of the creative, positionally-interchanging partnership of Cole and Robben, and in my opinion Lampard's still 'got it'. For god's sake sign a striker though: I'd sooner play Cech up front than Torres!
12. Brazil World Cup 2002. Based on the World Cup winning Brazillian side, this is a defensive formation playing attacking football. Classic Brazilian fluidity.
11. Valencia 2001-04. Rafa Benitez's La Liga winning (Rafa Benitez - winning??!!??) side that basically invented the modern 4-2-3-1. Unfortunately, though, Pablo Aimar never became the Maradona he promised to be.
10. Roma 2000/01. Another one of my favourites, this tactic demonstrates a 3-5-2 that is logically superior over standard 4-4-2s. Built around the magic of Francesco Totti, this side was packed with disciplined, hard-working players that provided a great balance elsewhere on the field. There's no reason you couldn't reunite Totti with this tactic and have a go with Roma, but I can think of another couple of Trequartistas who'd be fun to build around, too. I definitely recommend trying this tactic, specifically in the English league, where back 3s are mostly a rare occurrence.
9. Arsenal 2001-04. Arsene Wenger's Invincibles took to the field in this shape. With the wide-midfielders battling hard and then cutting inside, and the strikers providing intelligent link play up top. Giroud is no Henry, but I'd say this one will be interesting to use.
8. Czech Republic Euro 2004. Who remembers when the Czech Republic were a force to be reckoned with? Boasting players like Cech, Nedved, Koller and Baros, this Czech side could afford to play an extremely attacking and ambitious strategy. Ultimately they were denied success at Euro 2004 by a very special team...
7. Spain Euro 2008. Finally Spain won a major trophy - and now look at them! A fairly tricky one to recreate as tiki-taka isn't simple, but this one should provide a short passing possession tactic like the incredible Spanish side. It isn't as hard pressing as Barcelona's tiki-taka fashion, because come summertime the players just didn't have the energy. This tactic requires an intelligent holding-midfielder and technically excellent playmakers in advanced positions.
6. Bayer Leverkusen 2001/02. Back in the days of Michael Ballack, this Leverkusen team were narrowly denied three separate trophies. The first hints of a false 9 way back in 2001 can be attributed to Oliver Neuville, who like to drop deep and make space for the unstoppable Ballack to get the goals. I'm only left to wonder what kind of amazing Fred Sears-Kevin Nolan combination could have been at West Ham. Alas, the number 9 remains a true 9.
5. Roma 2005-07. Though Andy Carroll may be a 'true 9' at West Ham, that old genius Francesco Totti certainly isn't at Roma. Totti is the focal point of a tactic again, this time credited with inventing the much discussed false 9 role. A fairly standard 4-3-3, this tactic could be a good one to experiment with to try and get the best out of that deep forward.
4. Porto 2002-04. Jose Mourinho again, this time parading the tactic that guaranteed him a life of stardom and riches. Winning the Champions league with Porto was a fantastic achievement, and it's no surprise that Mourinho was soon offered the job at Stamford bridge. Quite a tricky one to make, the tactic I've included contains the Attacking version that wiped the floor with the Portuguese Superliga - though it's no doubt that Mourinho used a Counter if not Defensive strategy against the big boys in Europe. It would be great to see someone achieving the same feat with a similar club, someone like Ajax or Dortmund.
3. Manchester United 2006-09. This was hard to make and to be honest it probably would be easy enough for anyone to do a better job. The fact that Alex Ferguson liked to shift the formation depending on opponent, venue etc. made it difficult to pin down a clear strategy, so I've included two different ones. Generally though you should play attacking football and the formation best suited to the players at hand, although I'm sure anyone managing Man Utd will have their own ideas sorted.
2. Barcelona 2008/09. Pep Guardiola's laugh in the face at the world of strength based, direct football. The Spaniard left his mark on the game when he won absolutely every competition ever using tiki-taka football. Pretty similar to the Barcelona tactics of today, it's important to note that this team used Messi primarily as an outside right, swapping positions with Eto'o to cause confusion. Similarly to Man Utd, though, this is a pretty unspectacular tactic that many people will already be using.
1. Greece Euro 2004. I remember going to Greece on holiday in 2008, and the quiet folk of the village I was staying in still regarded Charisteas as a national treasure. Greece's win of Euro 2004 was unbelievable, and even though they didn't do it by thrashing their opponents, it was still a case of tactical genius. The formation should again be changed depending on the situation, but the key tactical features should remain: tight man-marking, men behind the ball when defending, quick counter attacks and organised set pieces aimed at the forwards forehead. It was a hard tactic to make and I don't expect it to plug in and play very well, but it would be awesome if someone could win an international competition using a similar sized nation and an organised, defensive philosophy.
That took me a long time, but it's been a nice way to spend my day in bed Don't forget to read the original series here, and please post some screenies of your tactical experimentations. Have fun!