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Total Control - The BEST Possession FM 21 Tactic

Total Control 21.2.0

4-2-3-1 Highly entertaining - High Possession - High Success - Not Plug'n'Play

-- General comments --

This is my first uploaded tactic ever, and the reason is simple: For the first time, I've managed to make my players play the actual way I wanted them to play. Like many others, I've been inspired by Barcelona's high possession approach of the golden days '10-'11. Match engines of diverse FM editions have been tough on tactic creators with a possession-oriented mind. After testing and tweaks, I can finally present a tactic that covers all my personal needs: - Full blown control of the game: 70%+ possession - Maximum possession in front of the box, center field - High number of passes between central midfielders (DM / MC / AMC) - Actual attacking intent, with through balls and dribbles - Highly frustrating: Low-to-none xG from the opponent

-- Latest update -- (21.2.0 - See name of attached files)

21.2.0: In this new release, the inside forwards are instructed to get more runs behind the defenders when in the last third. This provides better clean chances to replace the frustrating blocked long shots. DM was also recycled in a Half-Back to help the defenders. Possession remained unchanged, but defense got a little more solid. Both central defenders are now a little less important in the passing game and can concentrate on their defensive positioning. AMC got "promoted" to Attacking Playmaker so his participation to the central passing game reflects his importance in the wanted system.

-- Obviously, this tactic is not perfect. None is. It is highly NOT plug-and-play. The main reason is that the "roles" of the players on the pitch is not exactly what the "description" of their roles is. I had to change the roles and instructions so that the players actually acted the way I wanted on the field, even if the text wasn't pointing toward it. You then truly need to check your players stats since a "good" defender according to the game for this position may not be your actual best choice! *** I will try to update this post with more and more infos as thing goes, if I see some interest! ***

Screenshot: With Boston Utd. I tried the tactic with top-tier teams and mid-tier ones too with similar success. Always with the need to carefully pick your players!

-- Player Selection -- For player selection, as a rule of thumbs, you will ALWAYS need to have good stats (even for defenders!) for: - First touch - Decision - Vision - Off the ball - Positioning This is an extremely high-tempo tactic, where the players will need to think and act fast. Without those stats, expect mistakes. And if you make mistakes, just like any possession tactics, you will pay dearly. The actual numbers needed depend on your league level. Aim for those stats to be at least above average. You can deal with lower speed, which is usually a stat that boost the price of players.

-- Tactical concept --

The tactic will provide extreme possession in front of the opponent box, with fast short passes to keep possession without risking being closed-in. The lateral players will come inside on attacking movement while go wide on defense. While this may seem counter-intuitive, the best counterattacks need to go through non-used space to be fully effective, so widening up when you lose possession actually translates in faster pression on the counter-attacking opponent, at a point where a fine-tuned team will actually get to the ball before the opponent get to it, almost always.

It is well known that possession for possession sake is a bad and fruitless approach. The "attacking" mentality helps trying to actually create chances and get some through balls and shots in when the opportunity is decent!

-- How to tweak the tactic during the game --

At the start of the season, opponents may try to attack against you, which will lead to easy wins. As soon as they realize you have a dangerous approach, they will most probably park the bus and hope for a break. With this tactic, one break can kill your game as they will have a lot of space behind your defenders. You need to monitor how you lose the ball, even at the FIRST highlight where you see a counter-attack. They will have one or two of those in the game... so correct whatever is needed.

If the problem is that you players took too much time with ball at their feet and got tackled, you can actually abuse and get up to "very attacking" mentality. You may lose the ball more, but for goal kicks, instead of counter attacks. Goal kicks are not as dangerous since you will be regrouped and get possession back more easily.

If the problem is more "long passes" intercepted wastefully, bring down the mentality to "positive" or even "balanced".

Other than that, just be alert and tweak individual instructions according to the problem you're witnessing!

-- Results --

CPL shortened season:

-- OI and training --

OI: Do not let your AssMan do it. I leave it all blank, but sometimes push a little "tackle harder" or "press more" on the opponent fastest striker if he is breaking my line too easily. Other than that, OI simply disrupt the general idea of being "in charge" of the game

Training: I let my AssMan do the General Training. For individual training, I do positional training for where I will use the player, with those roles:

SK - A





IF - S

AP - S

F9 - A

As you can see, some positions are "trained" not with the role they are used in for the tactic. This is because the role has been tweaked for the actual behavior to correspond to my team play philosophy, but the attributes I want to work on are not necessarily the ones highlighted for the player role.

-- Your input --

Please feel free to try it out and comment with your personal tweaks! This is what I call wonderful football. It is not a "game engine breaking tactic" and needs intelligent input not to fall into the "frustrating high-possession yet losing to a 21:1 ratio of shots" category of tactics



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