As you can tell by the standings this tactic really brought my side above and beyond expectations only loosing out to an incredibly overpowered Liverpool side which I am sure you all can relate to, this computer sided Liverpool beat Newcastle 13-0 so yeah. But despite losing out on the title I was so thrilled to play this tactic cause it is immensely entertaining to watch and I never expected to be so close to winning the title 1st season with Southampton so I think this is a great testament to how fantastic this tactic can go on to become if you get truly world-class players, hopefully I can document that in a season or two.
Here are the results that I got throughout the season, and you may notice a couple of things. 1. We started out poorly with two losses and this is actually because I started out with a different tactic of mine which obviously didn't work out too well hence why I theorycrafted my way to this new tactic, which almost instantly gave us results. Secondly, some of the results are bongers, 5-2 Home vs city and 3-1 away at Chelsea, as well as 3-1 away at Old Trafford are just some of them
This is the main setup. as you can see I am using inverted wing-backs with players whose preferred foot is the side that they play in, and I had many doubts whether that would actually work, but having the wingers create the width for the team it made the inverted wing-backs slot in on either side of my Deep lying-playmaker when we were in possession. This does two things. It gives us a lot of passing opportunities and having 3 players around the central half is excellent cover for the back 2 which means if we're dispossessed we can in much easier fashion defend the counter-attack.
Here is a look at the in-depth tactical overview.
We wanna play with width and we want to play sort of direct but not at irrational hastes we want to take the opportunity arises but not mindlessly throw the ball away so in that regard its a very balanced approach. I also want my players to adhere to the tactics we've set up, therefore, I've asked them to be more disciplined especially for the two inverted wing-backs but whilst doing this we're also allowing our wingers, Mezzala and frontman to be creative and challenge the defenders. We are going to be playing our own game and we want to disrupt the opposition as much as possible hence why we're pressing high up the pitch and with great intensity
The Players that we want and player traits:
Sweeper Keeper - Support:
What you generically want in your goalkeeper, eccentricity max around 10 good first touch, passing etc. Angus Gunn did a wonderful job for me despite being a medicore GK.
Ball playing Defenders - 1 Stopper and 1 Defence:
For me composure and concentration are to key attributes I look for in defenders, we would like to avoid silly mistakes so those two are key. Other than that you'd want them to be good in the air, as well as on the ground. Kristoffer Ajer and Jannik Vestergaard did wonders for me, they're both rather slow which is actually not ideal but employing the offside trap helped cover that weakness. They're both great in the air and quite strong, Ajer being the better player with his feet brought the ball out of defence a little more.
Inverted wing-backs - Support:
For the first half season I had Ryan Bertrand being an absolute beast at this role, lots of assists and key tackles, It is a strange role but for these players focus on, composure, concentration, vision, stamina and a decent passing ability, they will contribute with long balls and throughballs at times. They're difficult to cover for the defence because their role is sort of strange.
Deep-lying Playmaker - defend:
This guy covers our defence with the inverted wingbacks in the middle. He helps with stability in the midfield and is great for retaining possession, he also switches play and plays the odd killer ball
Player traits: Dictates tempo, Likes to Switch ball to other Flank, shoots from distance, tries killer balls often.
Box-to-box midfielder - Support:
The workhorse of the team, I experimented with two Mezzalas on attack but found that a BBM gave a better balance, he needs high stamina, teamwork and work rate, as well as decent technical abilities, he creates and scores goals and also tracks back or helps in the pressing scheme.
Player traits: Gets forward whenever possible, play one-twos, through balls.
Mezzala - Attack:
The King of long shots. James Ward-Prowse mainly played in this position for me and he scored an abundance of long-shot goals but also contributed massively with assists and key passes
Wingers - Support:
I have no clue how I managed to attract Frederico Chiesa from Fiorentina but I managed to do so for 55 mil € (not upfront ofc). He and Jacob Bruun Larsen have been wrecking the defenders with crosses and killer balls. Jacob Bruun Larsen got me 20 Goals which was joined 1st with Hazard and Callum Wilson. So not only do they assist a whole lot they also get you a lot of goals. These are the guys that are key to this tactic I find, they are the width of the team but as you can see from stats also contributes in front of goal. They need great acceleration and agility, First touch, dribbling, flair and most importantly great crossing.
Player traits: Hug the sideline, Plays One-Twos, Gets forward whenever possible, Tries killer balls.
Complete Forward / Pressing forward - Attack:
I switched between these two roles and I didn't feel a massive difference, down to preference. Danny Ings scored some goals and helped with chipping in a few assists but he was injured a lot and finished the season with a knee injury keeping him out for 2-3 months. I brought in Yussuf Poulsen from Leipzig not because he's the most technically gifted player in the world but because he was relatively cheap and he works his socks off every game and really plays for the team something which I've always favoured in my strikers. With a better technical striker, you could really get a lot of goals out of this position coupled with the wingers.
Player Traits: IF you have a pacy striker, Beat the offside trap
Lastly I'll provide you with some stats from the season, otherwise you are welcome to ask all the questions you want to i'll provide an answer as quickly as I can, hope you enjoy!