Historically, Italian sides are known for masterful defending, being tactically sound and putting everything on the line to win at any means necessary. Traditionally, Italian sides deployed three central defenders, with Wing Backs of some sort; whether you call it a 3 or 5 at the back system, they arguably were the same thing. With that in mind, I also want to have a pinnacle number 10, preferably a Trequartista. Over the years, so many fabulous number 10’s have dominated Italian football, let’s see if we can implement all this together.
Looking at how I can implement this in Football Manager, bearing in mind I haven’t ventured away from a back 4 in years. Luckily the squad was very set up for this kind of formation. I will implement 3 versions of the tactic that I can use throughout the save, an attacking version, a defensive version and something in the middle.
I am considering 2 of the 3 central defenders to be on defend, with one on cover. Thinking about the Wing Backs, I want to ensure we have layers in our play, therefore I will be opting for one side to be an Attacking WB, with the other flank, I will aim for a supporting Inverted Wing Back. thinking of this, it could add runs more centrally, whilst giving some width in attacking and defensive phases.
With that in mind and thinking about the central midfield areas, something that I wanted to ensure a Playmaker of some sort was there, along with some sort of tough tackling engine along side him.
So let’s have a look at what I came up with.
Typically how I like my sides to play, playing out from the back, pushing up high and pressing our opponents; all similar with Italian sides over the years. With short passing, I want a patient build up aiming to open up sides.
I’ve opted for a DLP and a Box to Box midfielder, both on Support. This may change to Defend depending on how things go and how much space is left behind. The BBM might change to a Mezzala also depending on how things are, the idea being that although the Mezzala will drift into the half spaces forward and out wide (which could work wonderfully with the IWB), however, it doesn’t offer the defensive duties a BBM does, so this will be my preference.
Strikers wise, again I haven’t used two up top for a long while, therefore looking at a standard AF & DLP combo which ideally goes together. However, both Belotti and Zaza are both Pressing Forwards, but don’t think I could have both of those in the side. I would be open to a Pressing forward with an AF or Complete Forward though. Again, this will be something that I’ll monitor.
The other two versions are:
As you can see, nothing changes regarding team instructions and positions, although the DLP drops to the DM strata. However, by simply removing the Treq from the AM strata and lowering it to a Mezzala changes our fluidity from flexible to structured. Therefore, increasing the distance between Forwards/Midfield and Defence/Midfield whilst creating structured lines and discipline defensively.
Time will tell whether any of these systems will work at all, but I am optimistic and looking forward to getting things going. I wouldn’t consider myself a tactical guru by any stretch, but I like to think I know how a thing or two, even if I have been out of the scene for a while.
If anyone has any suggestions or observations towards any of these systems I’d love to hear your opinions on them.
Our next post will look at how the first half of the season goes.
Until then, Forza Toro
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