Yes, an Ajax save is not the most original idea. But my main idea was to have a team completely reactive to the opposition. For instance, if we play AZ, I might decide to stop LB Wijndal by playing Mazraoui/Dest/Alvarez in a defensive RM role. To make this happen I essentially wanted each position to have ~3 options. These options are dependent on factors like invertedness, speed, attack/defence.
GK - Sweeper/Standard - Sweeper for using a high line and standard for a low line. This is better in theory at the moment because Onana plays both roles better than any other keeper. I have signed Russo from Sassuolo to play as a GK in a few years.
RB/RWB - Attacking/Defending/Inverted - Ajax are blessed with 3 good RBs from the start of the game. Dest is the attacking choice, with high crossing/pace (14/15) and weak marking/positioning (10/11). Veltman is the defensive choice as he has stats like 16 tackling and positioning and 5 crossing. Mazraoui has 15 off the ball with 15 first touch making him the inverted choice.
LB/LWB - Attacking/Defending/Inverted - This is a little harder as Tagliafico is fantastic as a defensive all rounder. His stats are extremely high. I’ve also brought in Katterbach as defensive cover (great potential) and I am retraining Promes as a LWB (then LB) to offer a pacey attacking, inverted option.
CB - BPD, Libero, Fast, Left/Right - Ajax have lots of BPDs. They also start with 4 left footers and 3 right footers who can at least partly play at CB. Everyone is comfortable on the ball and Blind and Alvarez can easily play Libero. Pace is an issue, with 2 CBs having 10 pace and 3 having 11 pace. Alvarez has a slightly better 13 and I will be training Tagliafico (14 pace) as a BPD/Libero so I can play a higher line when needed. Blind/Veltman would be the technical partnership, lacking pace forcing a lower defensive line. Also, Martinez and Alvarez have lots of potential here.
DM - DLP, Half Back, Ball Winner, Segundo Volante - Essentially, all the CMs at Ajax are DLPs. Simple enough transition. I’ve also trained Veltman as a BWM (tackling, positioning, aggression all 16-17) to counter any creative opposition AMCs. I also have Alvarez who can play as a Half Back if needed to help the build up against a high pressing team. I’m also looking at maybe using Tagliafico as a ball winner but I’m focusing on him being a BPD first. All of the players can play Segundo Volante just fine.
CM - DLP, B2B, Mezzala AP - DLPs are more than covered and I can play both Tadic and Ziyech as Mezzalas. Martinez and Alvarez (great carrilero) can play as CMs offering a much more defensive option. Pretty much the same situation as DM. Ihattaren, Van de Beek, Tadic, Ziyech can all play in an AP role.
LM/LW - Defensive, Wide, Inverted, Playmaker - I have 2 defensive options here, with Tagliafico a useful defensive winger. Another option is Daley Blind as a wide midfielder. His mental stats help him massively here. For a wide winger we could use Neres as he is left footed with great pace/dribbling. Promes is also more of a winger (but right footed) and Ziyech is more of an inverted winger (although left footed). I would usually play overlapping full back with inverted wingers and inverted wing backs with wide wingers. I could also choose to fully overload the centre/wings. We could also use Tadic or new signing Ihattaren as wide playmakers. As a curveball I am training Huntelaar as a Raumdueter because of his high poacher stats.
RM/RW - Defensive, Wide, Inverted, Playmaker - Pretty similar to LM/LW. Promes and Dest offer right-footed wide winger options with Neres and Ziyech offering left-footed inverted winger/inside forward options. Tadic and Ihattaren offer the wide/advanced playmaker options. Mazraoui can play as a defensive winger and Alvarez has great stats for a wide midfielder.
AM - Shadow Striker, Attacking Mid, Playmaker - I have 6 players i could play here with Promes and Neres being used as shadow strikers. Neres is being re-trained here and would couple well with a false 9. Ziyech and Ihattaren are suited to the AM role and Tadic/Van de Beek suit the AP role. I like the option to ‘double up’ on each role with shadow striker being a great contrast especially.
ST - False 9, Advanced Forward, Pressing Forward, Poacher - False 9s will be used a lot in my team and both being great options for the role. For advanced forwards, I have the shadow strikers Promes and Neres ready to run in behind an opposition. My curveball here is the use of pressing forwards. I have decided to retrain Van de Beek and De Jong as pressing forwards to hound down any less technical defenders. I think Van de Beek has great stats for this role. I also have Huntelaar who has amazing stats and will be used a lot as a poacher, especially from the bench.