I am called MT.
Welcome to the in depth analysis of Pep Guardiola tactics and we will try to bring the same exact tactics in the game, yes, exactly in Football Manager 2019. First of all I am a Manchester United fan, but with all respect, you cant deny Manchester City and Pep Guardiola exciting football is out of this world, they are playing beautiful football, they are playing the most exciting football right now.
Therefore before reaching into the tactics itself, it is better to understand how his team plays..... Pep Guardiola uses the normal formation of 4-3-3. But his 4-3-3 is quite different and here is where the intelligence of this man comes in, I have never seen such a style since the days of Cruyff when he was managing Barcelona. What he does is he does not play with wing-backs, but rather with inverted wing backs, what he does is overloading the middle to open the wide areas., So have you ever had of ball-playing center backs?? Then let me introduce you to ball-playing wing-backs. These wing-backs act as play-makers and have immense vision. This is why he opted to use Delph when Mendy got injured, I dont think was the plan to play Mendy as inverted wing-back, but how these circumstances, changed for the better and therefore coming with a tactic which was an absolute masterclass.
As from the image above you can see that the Man city wingbacks, Zincheko and Walker have come inside therefore making a midfield of 3 players, with two centre backs at the back.
What this forces, is that when you press them, your going to be leave behind a huge space.
As you can see, this has left a huge space for David Silva to exploit, this is because of the inverted wingbacks coming inside and creating a 3 midfield.
To see the full analysis, watch this video:
Lets continue to analyse, I know some people will be lazy even seeing the video, so I will continue to put the shots in here.....
So, Manchester City structure is to play the inverted wing-backs with with the deep-lying midfielder and thus making a 3 man midfield but this leads to the two midfielders who are De-bruyne and Silva to find ample and free time behind the midfield or lets say between the lines, in order to achieve this the wingers must stay wide.
In today's soccer, left-footed players play in the right side of the pitch in order to cut in, while right-footed players also play in the left side of the pitch to cut in. But Guardiola put Sane, who is the left footed player in the left wing and Sterling a right footed player at the right wing. So they are wide and will always stay wide because they cant cut in, because if they do, they will be on their weaker foot, so its better they stay wide. But this has an advantage in Guardiola system, as these players stay wide, they offer width. When the Inverted wing-backs will offer overload in central areas, the wingers now will offer the width. We have always been accustomed for the wing-back to provide width, and the wide players to come in, what Pep has done, he has brought the wing-backs in and the wide players wide. Thus the formation is 2-3-5
As you can see here, and the information displayed is that because of man city wing-backs are coming in, they attract the opposition midfielders to come and mark them or press them, this leads to the Silva to be free. Again if you leave them free and mark Silva and KDB at the back, you again leave a ton o space for them to pick the right pass. So difficult.
1. The role of the Inverted Wing-backs is to attract the opposition midfielders, this leaves space in behind for midfielders to exploit
2. If they wont press, this means, space will be available for the 3 man in-front to pick a pass without being pressed.
3. The wide players MUST stay wide, in order to make the pitch as big as possible, in-order to make gaps in the opposition defense.
4. This means in the midfield were going to have two lines of midfield, one consisting of 2 inverted wing-backs and a one Defensive midfield and also the other line of midfield consists of the two playmakers which is occupied with Silva and KDB
Firstly, I must say am into my third season, therefore the team is mostly capable and know what I want from them. I have made three signings only until now, those are Leon Bailly from Beyer Leverkusen, Dayot Upemecano from RB Leipzig and Milinkovic Savic from Lazio. My team is Manchester United.
Formation is a 4-1-4-1 (4-3-3), (4-1-2-3)
From the image, I have choosed a Sweeper attack because the goalkeeper isnt only supposed to play short passes, if there is an opening he can start a counterattack as fast as possible, as Ederson did against Huddersfield, I think,it was a long kick and Aquero scored. 1 pass and a goal. The Ball Playing defenders are understandable. The Inverted Wing-backs also are also understandable, The Wingers too as I want them to be wide as possible, The striker psoition, I have choosen the Deeplying Foward on support and also, the Mezzala. Some may say I may go with an advanced playmakers, as they do find pocket of spaces, uuhhmm, yaah, i mostly use both roles, but often a mezalla
As usual, the width is very wide, as I want my players to especially in the wide areas, to be very wide as the way Sane and Sterling are. I havent choosen exploitation area, as really this is my third season and in every way I choose i dont come out satisfied, when i choose to exploit the flanks, the ball is taken so early in those areas, and because i play with wingers, they just run and cross, Nahh thats not the way Pep plays. The Wingers are only there to create gaps in the middle. When I play exploiting the middle, the good thing we do keep the ball well untill the opposition half, the problem is the wingers dont stay wide, they start coming inside, so I lack width again. So I have just left it to be taken out from the back and leave them from there...... I use vertical tiki-taka as the custom style, so I have a mentality that is balanced always. Welcome for suggestions.
This has been one of my biggest issues.....nevertheless lets delve in the tactic at play.
From this image you can see that my wingers are coming inside, we have Shaw as the inverted wing-back he has come in, and also Dalot also is in with Hererra this time playing as the Pivot and you can see Pogba and Perreira are both finding some spaces behind the opposition midfield, if my wingers would have stayed wide, as the description says, this means that, they would have been so much free, therefore when receiving the ball, the Opposition full back would follow to mark them and that will leave a huge space behind and thus Pogba/Perreira would have exploit that space.
Again if Sanchez had stayed wide, this means that the full back would have followed him in a 1v1 and therefore Pogba will exploit the half space so easily....now because Football Manger has set the winger in that area during the final third this means that Pogba cannot even manipulate that space because the area is too congested, therefore instruction look for underlap becomes even more useless.....
What happens is that the mezzala goes wide himself, in that position, where the winger was supposed to be and the winger is now in the position where the mezala was supposed to be.(this is way funny!! hahahaha).....as you can see in the edge of the box, we have 3 in coming players at the edge of the box. Guess who they are? The 2 inverted wing-backs and my DPL
To which the cut back is met with Darmian who was an inverted wing-back and bang, He scored the goal, It is great but my aim is playing like Pep. (But this had led me to another kind of idea in my mind on how to exploit the inverted wingbacks.) This was against Manchester City.
When you view the game in detail, you can even come up with new styles on how to break the opposition, as here you can see, in those rare occassions, Sanchez has dropped back, (in reality i dont know why, because its not what i told him to do that)this dropping back as attracted the attentions of City's fullback and has left the space, this space vacated is now then exploited by Pogba, who now decides to run in to that space, while Perreira also can attack the space and if he decides to track him, shaw will be free, while Martial is having a 1v1 at the other end.
Heat map, with the ball.
As you can see from the data that we are mostly camped in City's half, you may wonder that we have left a huge gap in the wider areas, I understand, but when we loose the ball, we press so much high that is impossible to get out, because the opposition most of the time are in their own half, even if they wanted to counter, they have a hell, long way to go and run, to which they can do it, yes...and can cause danger, but to sustain it for 90 minutes, its so hard!!
As you can see Man City are pretty much inside their own area....they cant even get out!! Look how narrow they are, this means it is even more difficult, if only the wingers could stay wide, we could stretch the opposition so much.....
See the stats below
We have 57% ball possession....we have made 367 passes, to which 304 were completed, that is 63 passes misplaced, that sums up our 82% completion rate. Something that i really dont understand, is that City have tried even more passes than us(hahaha, this is absurd)....City have tried 415 passes, but have 287 of them completed, that makesthem have a 69% completion rate. But how the hell, did the try to pass even more than us(that is something am really trying to understand, hahahaha)
Against Chelsea they were playing a 4-1-2-3 formation. The thing about this which confuses the AI is that Hazzard and Ward Prowse in this game, had to mark their opposing fullbacks which is understandable, the thing is that my fullbacks go inward, in this situation, Hazzard dosent want to come inside. So when Herrera has the ball, he finds Fosu-Mensah as my inverted wingback in a complete free pocket. Only if the wingers would have stayed wide, this would mean the winger was complete free and in a 1v1....but sadly, he has come in.
BUT LOOK AT THIS PATTERN, WOOWW!!!......
The ball is given to Sanchez, who was supposed to stay wider, hugging the line, but he comes inside watch Alonso following him.....see what happens next
As you can see, Alonso has decided to go toe on toe with Sanchez, but that leaves a huge gap and my mezalla, this time, Perreira runs into that space. Now see the pattern, so lovely
What this has meant is that, Marcos Alonso has gone to tight mark, Sanchez and now, he has left a huge cap, and also all the Chelsea players have gone central, this means that Perreira is now completely free, while Hazzard is also still reluctant to come inside to mark, so here Herrera can pass a direct ball to Perreira who is free, or pass it to Fosu-Mensah who will pass it free to Perreira. Guess what happened??
I think in this game, Marcos Alonso was a little bit drunk, now after the ball was given to Herrera, he passed it back to Fosu-Mensah, I think it was more safe, if the Alonso returned to his original position because Perreira was fully unmarked, but No! He decided to make his own decisions, but when the ball was given out to Fosu-Mensah also, he returned the ball to Herrera.(I just hate it when i see these things, we could have exploited the space, but this also is a downside of using this system, the fullbacks naturally dont have the vision to see passes, so it becomes even difficult)
One thing I love is our buildup, its so easy, our DPL drops, this makes our two CB go wide and our introverted wing-backs at this time stay wide, our mezzallas in which in this match were perreira and Milinkovi-Savic were dropping down to offer some passing lane but Chelsea have tight marked our midfielders and that has left huge space and also our wingers then occupied the half spaces. As you can see Chelsea are pressing us with 6 players but they are still gaps to exploit so easily.
Because i have trained, Lindelof to come out with ball from the defense, this has already attracted attention here, with two markers tight marking, my mezzalas, and their defensive midfilder also covering that part, this means that, Lindelof can pass the ball to the other side, and boom!!! We have a 1v1 scenario where we can benefit from it.
Look at the triangles were forming and how were attracting the Chelsea midfielders to us, thus creating an open space wide. In this situation, Da Gea decides to go long to the sides to find our fullback, Fosu-Mensah.
Fosu-Mensah has decided to pass it to Sanchez who now is holding the line, now Sanchez has got a chance of 1v1 as now he has started attracting the attentions of Alonso....and also note Jackson my other wing-back has started coming inside and not going wide and how his marker is following him, this leaves the fullback in a 1v1 situation.
And now, we have started bombing foward and in those rare occasions Sanchez is actually not cutting in....but rather he is going to knock ball past his opponent. And Alonso fouled him(Alonso again, lol, hahaha)
SOME MORE INFORMATION NOW....
If Sanchez would have stayed really wide as a winger as the Football Manager description says, then Herrera would have an easy option to pass, and also Sanchez would have been in acres of space, this will make Perreira be able to exploit the half space and also in the other wing also none of my winger is there!! This is the problem with wingers in Football Manager, they generally dont hold the line, when the team is in the final third....
This has forced Perreira to come deep to offer a passing option, but Fosu-Mensah brilliant run is matched by Perreira passing and therefore, Fosu-Mensah now has changed to be a wingback and Hazzard isnt interested in marking, this is forcing Alonso wide.
Fosu Mensah cross is met by Milinkovic Savic and he scores leaving Hazzard just watching.
As you can see the midfield of Chelsea is starting to get attracted to our first line of midfield, that is my inverted wing-backs and my deep-lying play-maker, this in-turns leaves Perreira and Milnkovic Savic so free, if our wingers would have stayed wider, this means, it would be even easy, as the gap, would be wider and wider. As you can see Chelsea fullbacks are man marking my wingers and they are closely watching them. As you can see Alonso is watching Sanchez very much closely, this means the gap is widening. Although Sanchez did not touch any ball, but his contribution cannot be underestimated.
Here now because Herrera has average-good vision he can at-least spot a pass unlike Fosu-Mensah. Here he decides to pass the ball, to Perreira who now is in the half space. This is because of the wider positioning of Sanchez, therefore the gap is open, and also Milinkovic Savic half space is open, because Rudiger was busy watching Martial.
Because the ball has found Perreira free, Perreira then holds the ball, and then passes it to the on-rushing Alexis who at first opened a space for Perreira but now Perreira he is opening it for Snachez as Alonso is now caught into 1v2 situations, And Alexis scores....
These are the match stats, we have 61% ball possession with over 500 passes. Again am astonished that Chelsea managed 400 passes, Ok! I understand they have a 68% completion rate with only 200 passes completed, I really dont get the fact they dared even tried 400 passes and even completed those 200 passes!!(Any of you guys reading this can relate it and explain it to me)....At Chelsea we have 23 shots and 10 were on target while Chelsea had 12 Shots and had 5 on target. The match ended in a 2-2 draw to which I came out with some away goals and yes, they scored two goals, all from a set-pieces, just some direct free-kicks from Ward-Prowse and he scored both. You know those days that FM just dosent want you to win, this was one of those days.......
Another thing is that my DPL and Inverted Wing-backs are the one who are going to have most of the ball. as they are at the center of the pitch, In this game as you can see Fosu Mensah alone has 51 passes completed, Herrera has 76 passes and Cameroon Jackson has 45 passe alone, this total alone makes for the 172 passes out of 412 which we have completed. In which again Bailly and Lindelof have 63 combined, that means a total of 235 passes out of the 412 completed. Remeber we have excluded our Goalkeeper. This tells me that my defense and my DPL are the most critical part, hence the other need to have immense off-ball movement.
LOOK AT THE BELOW STATS TO UNDERSTAND BETTER
Here you can see that most of Chelsea players who made most of the tackles are their fullbacks, Alonso and Azplicuetta, Aziplicutta making 12 tackles, thus making a 91% success rate, while Alonso making 17 tackles, thus meaning he has a 94% success rate. This means that our wingers dribbled much. What I want my wingers to do is hold up the ball and wait for the under-lying run to pass, As we saw with the second goal.
Sanchez has 3 dribbles while Bailey has made 1 dribble and also what is even shocking news is the crossing criteria. Bailey has made 5 crosses with 0% success rate and Sanchez has made 9 crosses with 22% success rate. This is a huge sad news, because i dont to play crosses. I want to use my wingers as a tool of opening up the half spaces between the CB and the FB not as a crossing style. (This makes me wonder want to change their roles and play them as Wide Target Man role, I know it seems odd, But i want them to hold the ball and wait for an opening and not run with the ball.) Look even at the below stat, it is shocking....
I have had 29 crosses in this game, and am playing vertical tiki-taka(hahaha) not only that, I have completed only 4 of those crosses reaching their target.
WHAT AM TRYING TO SAY, IS THAT WHAT I DO IS I HAVE A PLATFORM OF WHAT I WANT MY TATCIC TO BE ABOUT AND THATS IT. THEN I WATCH THE GAMES, FULL TIME, THEN I TWEAK THEM DURING GAMES. IF YOUR A KIND OF COACH GAMER WHO JUST PRESSES KEY AS YOUR HIGHLIGHT OE EXTENDED OR COMPREHENSIVE, THEN ITS OK, NOT A PROBLEM, EVERYONE HAS THEIR WAY OF PLAYING THE GAME. I VIEW MYSELF AS A COACH. I SEE FOOTBALL AS AN ART AND THE PITCH AS A PAINTING BOARD, I JUST LOVE NEW IDEAS. SO I NEED TO WATCH OUT THE FULL GAME TO COME OUT WITH NEW FLAVORS EVERYDAY.
BELOW IS MY FIRST SEASON;
Won by three points only. Below is how the season started.
Drew to Leceister, Lost to Wolves and Roma, Drew with Burnley at home and drew with Man City as the scored a last minute equaliser and lost to West Ham.
As I continued in my journey, I started putting some tweaks during games and changing the tempo, mentality and sometimes even roles but always my platform remains the same. Then results came along but in the final of the League Cup, Liverpool out-smarted me, this was hard to take,but I was learning.
During the last part of my season, I was coming competent and aware of my tactic more and more. Playing Athletico Madrid leading 2-0, then they won 3-2 at home, always going to Athletico was hard, although we led through half time 2-1, we needed one goal, but Simione packed the bus, and we were knocked out!! Lesson learnt. Second Season was my season best as I started reviewing all my matches of the season and came up with suggestions and how to improve the team with my tactical template. I will write the down below.....
My second season was my best in the Premier League, Scored many, conceded less. Scored 12 more goals than Liverpool. This is due to a fact that i found, if I play my Inverted Wingback with defend duty and the DPL with Defend duty I find that I cant put a counter-press since my Inverted Wingbacks first option is to turn back. This was a master-stroke tactic master class that I figured out when I was exchanging roles during a match. This is the beauty of finding watching a Full Match and not some highlights.
My team has has completed 3077 passes but Liverpool have more like 100plus passes, but our pass completion is even better than the top 3 ahead of us, we have an 85% completion rate compared to Liverpool and we are averaging a 64% possession rate in every game. It is not about numbers game, it is about efficiency and accuracy of the passes your team is putting together. Look at this striking stats down here again...These are stats from my third season now
Were even creating much....
BUT THERE IS A FLAW, THIS IS A GAME, AND WE MUST APPRECIATE WHAT THE CREATORS HAVE TRIED, SO WE CANNOT BRING EVERY ASPECT OF THE GAME IN HERE; HERE ARE FEW STATS TO PROVE THAT....
We are having 18 Shots going on target, we have 105 shots but only 40% of them are on target.
Were 16th in Converting our shots. This means that even from our 40% shots that are on target were only managing 8% of them to hit the back of the net.
This is the reason we are failing, most of our shots come from our mezzallas/ advanced playmakers(support), yes sometimes i do play some advanced playmakers. These center midfielders whose primary role was to create for others they are the ones that are trying to shoot more often. Pogba has 40 shots, Perreira has 38 even more than a normal striker, Aubameyang. While Milinkovic Savic has 30 shots. Lukaku has 35 shots. Pogba, Perreira and Savic in total have 108 shots for themselves. Now i really dont understand how this is called playmaking(hahahahaha)
This stat is even shocking, Out of the 40 shots Pogba has hit, only 14 of them were on target and Perreira out of the 38 shot he has hit only 13 shots on target. the rest were not on target.
We are no where to be found in the chance created charts...
This is due to the fact, our wingers(who sometimes cut inside, because of their PPM but also who dont even stay wide, players like Martial, Sanchez who am trying ahrd to unlearn them) like to dribble with the ball too much.
Not only that we cross the ball to much, so even sometimes when our wingers goes wide(on those rare ocassions), they sometimes pull a cut back if the TI is look for underlap and often our the players found there are the Mezzala or the AP, to which they shoot, and their shot gets blocked, goes outside, or on rare situations really hit the target.
FOOTBALL MANAGERS, THIS HERE IS MY PLATFORM. I HAVE A CLEAR IDEA ON THE WAY FOOTBALL SHOULD BE PLAYED IN MY TEAM. REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING, I WILL OVERLOAD THE MIDDLE TO HAVE A 1v1 FOR MY WINGERS. I WOULD LOVE TO PLAY A FALSE 9 BUT THE PROBLEM IS LUKAKU. HIS FIRST TOUCH IS LIKE OF AN ELEPHANT AND THIS IS TOO HARD FOR ME, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU VIEW THE FULL MATCHES.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
1. IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED WATCH THE MATCH, THE AI IS NOT INTELLIGENT THAN OUR BRAINS.
2. YOU MUST UNLEARN PLAYER PPM, AND REPLACE THEM WITH OTHERS, I HAVE MADE SCOTT McTOMAINY TO BE A CENTER BACK IN ORDER TO PASS THE BALL
3.TRIAL AND ERROR LEADS TO SUCCESS
4. I ALWAYS LEAVE EVERYTHING TO MY ASSISTANT, INCLUDING TRAINING BUT NOT OPPOSITION INSTRUCTIONS.
5. IT HAS BEEN TESTED ONLY WITH MANCHESTER UNITED NOT OTHER TEAMS.
6. ENJOY THE RIDE.
1. THE WIDE PLAYER ROLE IS TO OPEN SPACE FOR THE ON-RUSHING MIDFIELDER AS THE WAY SILVA AND KDB FIND THOSE POCKETS.
2. IT IS HARD TO FIND WING-BACKS WITH THESE SKILLS, A SKILL LIKE OF A DPL. SO ACCEPT THE SITUATION.
3. WATCH THE MATCH.
I AM SORRY NO TACTICAL UPLOAD, IT WAS A SIGHT TO YOU ALL MANAGERS, TO GIVE YOU A TACTICAL ANALYSIS OF GUARDIOLA PLAY AND HOW FAR I HAVE REACHED TO REACH TO CARBON-COPY IT IN FOOTBALL MANAGER. IF YOU GOT ANY IDEAS, ABOUT THE WINGER ISSUE, I WILL APPRECIATE. HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT WELL.
ANY QUESTION, ASK ME IN THE COMMENTS AREA.