I've recently started playing again and the 13.2.1 ME update seems to be so much better then the previous updates, so am going to start putting in the time/effort to create a possession/retention tactic, fine tuned with successful penetration.
I'll be needing a handful of people who are willing to plug and play with the tactics and to update me with the cons/pros of the tactic, if your able to do this please leave a message below.
I'll keep this thread updated with a tactic once am satisfied with testing.
What are the aims of this tactic?
To play fast attractive attacking football, the kind of football that is fantasised about.
The philosophy and formation :
The pitch will be split into 7 zones :
The goalkeeper is seen as the sweeper and has a set of similar roles (in possession) to zones 2 and 3. The 'keeper is expected to act as a pressure relief for under pressure teammates;
Zone 2 consists of two centre-backs who, unlike in other formations, are expected to play a huge role in keeping possession. They also act as pressure relief to the midfield and an obvious option for the goalkeeper to play the ball out to. Instead of passing the ball 30, 40 or even 50 yards the majority of their passes will be kept under 10 yards;
Zone 3 has arguably the most important role to play in keeping possession. This player must be particularly good at keeping possession under pressure from opponents and will often see their passes also being played short for the duration of the game. Leon Britton, Pirlo and Xavi are examples of players who act as the deep lying play makers, the water carriers, the short playing quarterback or the 'volante de salida' which simply translates in football terms as the outlet for under-pressure teammates.
Zone 4 are expected to act as support to players in possession and are too expected to look to work themselves into the triangular connections made with teammates. They are expected to get forward as play moves up the pitch and follow the ball back when play dictates so. Zone 4 will opt to cross the ball from the opponents' byline rather than from deep, in keeping with the 1950s optimum assist zone in zone G;
Zone 5 have the role of consistently finding space acting as the final piece in the triangular connection between teammates. These two centre midfielders, like the player in zone 3, must have high standards of passing ability and awareness to keep possession but must also have high levels of stamina to work as box-to-box midfielders. They do not necessarily look to create the spectacular, but are the catalyst in the change of speed in which the possession play is being played at, the moments of which they choose to change speed and direction of the ball are key to the succession in creating opportunities to create an assist or goal. Both zones 3 and 5 will be expected to boast 90 per cent pass completion rates in order for the system to work successfully;
Zone 6 will consist of arguably the most creative players on the ball either in the sense of dribbling ability or of passing ability to create. Messi, Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer, Pedro, Afellay, Cuenca et al are examples of players who play in this system and portray the qualities expected. This zone will also be responsible for much of the goalscoring as well as the assisting of goals;
Zone 7 needs a player who is good technically and can hold the ball very well as well as link up the play. The difference here to the traditional long ball target man is that the lay off will usually be followed with this player spinning away to find space and having full awareness of where space is around him in all areas of the field, the 360 degrees of vision with and without the ball;
Zone G is the zone to which optimum chance creation occurs. However, the difference in this system is not that of desperation to play the ball as you get into this zone, but to see if the opportunity is indeed available. If not, then the only viable option is to turn and play the ball back which then may well get played all the way across to the other side of zone G, or even back to the same side if the opponents' defensive positioning has changed. Patience is the key here and the general rule that one goal is scored to every nine shots will alter due to the quality of opportunity created being significantly better;
Lastly, it is important to remember that 'the whole is greater than the sum of its components' and the entire team, despite set into separate divisions of the field, is expected to work together; to move up together and backwards together.
This is going to take a lot of time and effort to perfect, I'll be needing a number of people to help trial and error the tactic.
If anybody has any opinion whether it's criticism or praise shoot ahead.