Brazil 1970 – The Five 10’s

I originally wrote this a while back but have had a fair amount of people asking me to re-upload it. So for those people, here it is 🙂

The majority of people who follow football all have a team or time period that they admire and for them is the best team ever, even if they weren’t born yet. For me this is Brazil in 1970 eleven years before I was born. The team was brilliant with so much attacking flair and creativity, for me there is no better team ever to grace the game and even though I wasn’t born at the time it doesn’t stop me admiring the quality that was on display at the time. Brazil is a nation that I’ve studied a lot of over the last 15 years or so as I find them fascinating and have fallen in love with their football not only internationally but also on a domestic level. I actually watch more Brazilian football than I do that from England or the European leagues in general and all of this came about due to the 1970’s national team.

I like studying old formations and research them a lot and then being the nerdy no lifer geek (or so people assume!) that I am, I then try to develop these formations in Football Manager and see how realistic I can recreate the formation and to see if its possible to play a similar style of that in real life. Over the years I’ve done the W-M, Pyramid, 1-2-7, Il Metodo, Swiss Verrou and so on. I’ve made them all work to some extent and some of those were more challenging than others due to how the modern game has evolved. I’ve wrote about some of these in the past in great detail and others I’ve just mentioned in passing.

So what I’ve decided to do it create a new series where I write and talk about a classic formation of yesteryear and see if we can get it to work in Football Manager 15 without having to compromise too much of the original style. This won’t be easily and I don’t expect it to be plain sailing but I do think it’ll make an interesting discussion topic, so with this in mind what better way to start than a shape that I’m really fond of – The Brazilian national team of the 1970’s. This will likely be a detailed article that will be split into different ones as it’ll be far too big for one article so this is what I have in mind for the layout so far;

  • Introduction
  • Understanding what the players did in 1970 and how this translates into FM15+
  • The shape
  • Tactical analysis focusing on how the above works inside the game
  • More analysis focused on making the tactic functional in the modern era without sacrificing the core principles of the style and general play

That’s where I’m at for now and the things I’ll be focusing on.

So why the five 10’s?

It’s no secret that around the late 60’s and early 70’s Brazil had an abundance of number 10’s and when Mario Zagallo took over as the Brazilian manager from Joao Saldanha it was clear he wasn’t afraid to pack as much flair and creativity into the side as possible despite his lack of managerial experience. The successful 1970 side consisted of five players who played the number 10 role at club level;

  • Pele
  • Gerson
  • Tostao
  • Rivellino
  • Jairzinho

The front five players were all essentially creators (Pele was all round, he could score and create plenty), and as such became known as the five 10s, in reference to the traditional number for an inside left.

And we all remember and enjoy one of the best team goals ever scored don’t we?!

Piecing It Together

In this part of the article I’ll be focusing on the roles they played in 1970 and see if we can narrow the options down and talk about how we can then apply this to Football Manager. If you search Google or the internet in general you can actually find a lot of written stuff about the players and the positions so at least we can get some reference points to use as a starting point and it doesn’t all have to be visuals. Although I never get bored with watching the world cup matches that Brazil were involved in for this time period. While many remember the Brazil 70 team as a free-flowing attacking side they were actually well-balanced in both defence and attack. Players covered for each other and interchanged beautifully at times. The final against Italy shows how fluid they were, it’s the classic fluid vs rigid match.

So let’s have a look at the basics of what the players actually did.

Keeper – Like most Brazilian sides I’ve seen as I was growing up the keeper always seems less important and aren’t always the best. Felix was the keeper in 1970 but in all honesty it wouldn’t have mattered who played in-goal with the players he had in front of him.

LB – Everaldo was quite cautious considering how the rest of the side was set up. He still offered something going forward but not as much as you’d expect, he was quite reserved at times especially compared to the right side.

RB – Carlos Alberto was immense, he was relentless going forward and this tactic provided plenty of opportunity for Carlos to get forward. Even though he was attack minded he still did his fair share of defending too.

CB – Wilson Piazza was actually a midfielder who turned into a defender. I guess at the time he was what now call a ball playing defender. He was comfy with the ball at his feet and was more than capable of starting attacks.

CB – Brito was a beast, he was the classic big, tall and provided lots of aerial presence type of defender. He was more of a no-nonsense type of defender compared to the rest of the side who offered more physical presence rather than flair.

CM – Zagallo used Gerson as a deep-lying playmaker due to his fantastic vision and reading of the game. Gerson was able to pull all the strings in midfield with his accurate passing..

CM – Clodoaldo was the ball winning midfielder who would offer the defence extra protection.He never stopped moving around and was full of energy.

AML – Rivelino was played out of position on the left and inadvertently solved a defensive weakness down the left flank by sitting narrow and deep and only went wide once he had the ball. This helped plug the gap between midfield and defence. Rivelino was an attacking midfielder for his club and was known for his left foot, many to this day still think he had one of the best left foots any player has ever had. He sat narrow and deep and only went wide once he had the ball

AMR – Jairzinho had been nicknamed ‘Furacao’ (meaning ‘Hurricane’) for a reason, his explosive pace and acceleration.  He was almost like an out-and-out striker at times due to how far up the pitch he was. Again at club level he was another creator but was more than capable of running at defenders and giving them all kind of headaches.

SC – Tostão was a very intelligent footballer who had an eye for goal yet he sacrificed a bit of his game for the national side at times. He would drop deep in search of the ball and dropping off the defence to create space for his strike partner.

SC’s – Pelé was the star of the team and came out of international retirement for this tournament to give it another go. Pelé and Tostão made a good partnership and their fluid interchanging caused defences all kinds of trouble. Both strikers dropped off deep searching for the ball.

The above is just a brief overview of what the players did, I should also point out that this isn’t the shape I’ll be using, I’ll be revealing that a little later in this article. I’ve tried to keep the above brief as I could talk about this Brazil side forever and I feel I’d lose you all in the babble and get side tracked 🙂

The FM Part

The tricky part now is trying to fit all this together into a coherent system that allows me to replicate the above. I’ll need to watch games to make sure it plays how I expect but for the player roles I have these in mind for now;

Felix – Standard keeper

Everaldo – A few options here but I’m thinking a fullback on support or defend.

Carlos Alberto – Complete wingback attack

Wilson Piazza – Ball Playing Defender

Brito – Standard defender

Gerson – I have a few options here, while he was a deep-lying playmaker I feel this won’t do him justice. So I’m leaning more towards a roaming playmaker and Gerson was attacking at times.

Clodoaldo – Central midfielder on a defend duty to begin with but I’ll need to watch and see how mobile he is.

Rivelino – This is probably the role I’m struggling with the most. I’m thinking maybe an advanced playmaker support with some kind of personal instructions that make him go wide with the ball. I don’t think if I used him as a AML that I’d be able to replicate his narrow positioning, it would be to extreme even with the settings.

Jairzinho – Inside forward attack

Tostão – I have a few options here as well but I’m thinking deep-lying forward support for now and then just seeing how it goes.

Pelé – For me he is the greatest shadow striker of all time. However this role doesn’t replicate the role he had in this set up so depending on the position I end up playing him in the formation i select I could use him a few different ways. He could be another DLF if he was a striker or if I use him as a AMC I think a Treq role might suit him a lot better.

That’s the thinking behind the roles for now and as you can see I have a few options for some of them and I’m also unsure of a few. To nail this properly I’ll need to focus more on what happens when I’m in a game when I can see the behaviour of the players.

Team Instructions

I’m not set on any of these yet as they’ll be something I add once I see how the tactic plays rather than something I start off with. After saying that though I will be starting with two and those are;

  • Roam from positions
  • Be more expressive

As Brazil were a very creative side which saw lots of roaming. I’ll be using a lot of roles that are classed as being creative by the game but I still want everyone to be expressive hence why I’ve gone for that. This will also be why I go with the team shape fluid and mentality of standard for now. These will be changed or adjusted once I’ve seen how it all plays out in a match, it’s all just guess-work at the minute but hopefully they’ll work.

The Actual Shape

For me this is the trickiest part of all this and will be something that not everyone agrees on as the formation could be classed as several different shapes. It all just depends on what you interpret the shape as. Before I reveal which one I’ll use let’s take a look at some of the other shapes it could be classed as.

You could just use this shape and the roles would make it very different to a 4-2-3-1 depending on how you set up.

This one is probably one of the more popular shapes that people would say they used.

This is another one that you could use and with the right roles could give you the defensive and offensive shape of what Brazil used.

Either this 4-2-4 or the one with two defensive midfielders instead of central ones can also work.

None of these are the option I have gone for though due to the roles that I want to use. Here is what I’ve selected to use as my base;

That’s what I’ll be working from and while it’s not set in stone that I’ll always use this shape, I think it’s the one that allows me to best represent the roles the players had in the team and allows me to replicate their behaviour better than the ones listed above.

The next thing I need to do now is to see how it reacts in-game and see if it plays like I imagine it should in my head. So the next part will focus on some analysis of how it plays in the first competitive game and then discuss any changes I make.

Attacking Analysis

The team I’m playing as is Santos in Brazil as it’s a club I know well and enjoy playing as from time to time. It also has the State Championships which will be ideal for learning how the tactic works and being able to tweak it before the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A starts. While the State Championships are super easy in some of them, the group I’m in is probably one of the hardest due to it having quite a few strong teams. It still has weak ones as well but there are five or six other teams who are all better than me, so while it’ll be easy for most parts it’ll not be that easy, especially to win it.

Now you’ve seen my ideas down on paper it’s time to put them into practise and see if they actually work like I imagined. So for this I need to concentrate on the first competitive game of the season once my tactic familiarity is all fluid and the players are fit. Trying to gauge how something works in pre-season is hard and actually misleading due to player fitness, tactical familiarity and friendlies not being competitive, so the players play different from they would during the normal season.

I also want to concentrate on just the attacking side of things in this bit of analysis. Once I’ve sorted out attacking then I’ll concentrate more on the defensive side unless I find myself crumbling in the opening ten minutes and getting battered!

The first game will be a test as it’s against one of the better sides São Paulo.

Here is me winning the ball straight from their kick off.

Already you can see how narrow the advanced playmaker is which is good but once we get the ball I need to see if he goes wider. I’m guessing he won’t yet as I’ve not set any individual player instructions as I need to see how it plays before adding these and TI’s. Then I’ll use both PI’s and TI’s to refine the style and make the players behave how I expect them to.

This screenshot shows a potential issue with the advanced playmaker if he drift inwards centrally when we have possession. He is basically going to run into space that the Treq is about to run into. It would be much better if the AP offered me width as this would mean the Treq actually has more space to run into and it should be clear space! The AP would be better suited taking up the paths that the lines show rather than the arrow. This would be more in line with how it worked in 1970. I had a feeling this would happen but now I’ve actually witnessed it I can note it down and change it for the next game.

Note One  – The AP needs PI’s to change his behaviour or possibly a role change, however, the latter will only happen if the PI’s can’t achieve what I want.

Next up is the build up for my first goal:

This shows me doing a quick counter attack after winning the ball in my own half. Again I’m not happy with the positioning of the AP at all, far too deep and narrow. The Treq however is showing how versatile he is by occupying the left side this time and is totally unmarked. In this move I have lots of time, space and runners. No-one is really being marked due to how quickly the move happened once I’d won the ball back.

When the right sided complete wingback plays the ball to the inside forward he takes out four of São Paulo’s midfield in one move. The Treq is still totally unmarked and has plenty of space to run into. The inside forward still has a lot of work to do though as he’s running away from goal.

He eventually gets the ball and makes his move, the defender gets across to make the tackle but my inside forward just side-steps and avoids the challenge. He then puts the ball into the box via a cross. While in the end this works out well as we score, albeit from an own goal, I would have liked to see the inside forward cut the ball back into the path of the ball winning midfielder or the advanced playmaker.

It ended up being a lucky goal but the counter attacking and options I had going forward was reminiscent of the Brazilian 1970 team so it was good to see that positive from the move. You can view the full move here;

I know the move might not look impressive to you but for me this is part of the style that I’m trying to recreate. I need to see this happen often especially with all the options I have when breaking forward. That’s not to say every attack should be like this though, I do want to see patient slow build up as well.

I’ve only watched about five minutes of the game so far but I think I might be over aggressive at the minute and rushing things a little too much. This will be down to the control mentality that I’m using so I think I might change it to standard depending on what I see in the next 85 minutes on the pitch. But from what I’ve seen so far I will definitely be changing it at some stage.

Note Two – Drop from control to standard to be more reserved.

I just saw Arouca my deep-lying playmaker play this fantastic ball:

A few seconds later in the same move he also showed great vision with this ball:

In fact the full move shows good player movement and different speeds of play:

This is all brilliant stuff if not a bit wasteful in the end but as a base to tweak from the settings I have chosen so far seem to be doing some of what I expect. It needs a lot of refining still but early signs are looking good.

One thing I’ve just noticed and it’s something that completely slipped my mind at the beginning is my goalkeeper’s distribution, it’s awful as he keeps kicking it long. I really need to change it so we don’t give the ball away as easy in future.

Note Three – Instruct the goalkeeper to distribute the ball to the defence.

This is a great through ball and I was unlucky not to score from this. Lima shows good vision and anticipation here to play this ball;

Unfortunately the defender gets across and makes the tackle. The reason I’m highlighting this is I’ve seen a lot of people say they never see through balls or direct balls from deep (the Arouca example above) so I just wanted to show they do happen if you set up correctly. This is the move in full:

As good as the movement is can you see a real issue with the screenshot and the video above? It’s the narrowness and the players all occupying a similar kind of area. This makes it hard at times especially against the teams who are more disciplined defensively or sit deep, they’ll be really hard to break down with no width. This is why its crucial I make the AP play wider. The ball winning midfielder might also be a role I change even though he is contributing really well going forward. He’s taking up positions the Treq and deep-lying playmaker are too. So this could leave me a little exposed at the back, if I change him to a central midfielder on a defend duty then he should be more strict positional and not be as adventurous as he currently is.

Note Four – Considering changing the BWM to a CM defend.

The second goal I scored actually came because my advanced playmaker was out wide!

The advanced playmaker plays the ball to the deep-lying playmaker Arouca who then does a great through ball to the deep-lying forward who slots the ball home.

I’m seeing lots of through balls which is great, it’s causing the oppositions lots of issues. It’s also good to see the deep-lying playmaker as involved as he is, I was expecting I’d need to use a roaming playmaker at some stage as I didn’t believe the deep-lying playmaker would work with how involved I wanted him to be in the final third. But so far so good!

The third goal I score is in a similar vein but this time it’s the advanced playmaker (who is out wide again yay!) who plays the final pass into the feet of the Treq.

The rest of the game was me seeing more of the above and overall I was pleased with how we played from an attacking point of view. I also won the game 2-3, one of their goals came from a corner and the other was a carbon copy of the second goal I scored due to the ball winning midfielder getting caught out. Admittedly both goals came late in the game and after I’d made three subs due to tiredness but nonetheless I conceded two goals that perhaps I shouldn’t have and were my fault. I’ll be talking about the defensive side of things in a future update once I’m happy with the attack.

So what have I learnt so far

I’m seeing glimpses of the overall style that I am trying to recreate and while the movement, positioning and use of space were all brilliant in this game it still doesn’t play like the 1970 team for the full 90 minutes, there’s still an awful lot of work to do. The immediate changes that I’ll be making are:

Advanced Playmaker – I need to tweak him with the use of PI’s to make him go wider more often, he is much more of a threat when he goes wide when attacking. So I’ll first try some player instructions to see if I can create the behaviour I am wanting from him. If not then a role change will be in order but at this time I have no idea what role I’d use instead, I’ll cross that bridge when it happens I guess. One thing I am sure of though is I won’t move him from AMC to AML as his positioning for the defensive side of things is already perfect which would be almost impossible to recreate from a wider position, it just wouldn’t be the same regardless of what role/instructions I used.

Change Mentality – The current control mentality is good but its making everything fast paced and far too aggressive for my liking. By changing to standard I hope to slow things down a little and not be positioned as high up the pitch. Hopefully I won’t lose any of the good attacking I saw, I’m hoping the quality will improve and it’ll be more precise.

Goalkeeper – I should have done this before I even played the match, the keeper should be instructed to distribute the ball to the defence. This way it should reduce the amount of times he kicks it longs and is wasteful with our possession. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to over focus on possession but at the same time I don’t expect to give the ball away for no reason either.

Ball Winning Midfielder – I enjoyed how he linked up with attacks and closed down high up the pitch but I think long-term it’ll be an issue. Especially as he’s already shown signs that he can cost us goals when he is caught out of position. So I need to weigh up the risk vs reward and decide if it’s a risk I want to take or not. I might give it another game to see how he plays against a different formation but it is something I need to keep a close eye on.

These are the changes I’ll make for the next game with the exception of the BWM one. If I just focus on these few to begin with I shouldn’t see a drastic change compared to if I were to change lots of things in one go. By keeping the changes minimal its simplifies things and makes it easier to keep track of which changes are working and which ones aren’t.

More Analysis

I noted some changes that I could possibly make to try to recreate the Rivelino role and this article will be focusing on that to see if the changes made any difference or not. I wrote this in the last article I did about the role;

Advanced Playmaker I need to tweak him with the use of PI’s to make him go wider more often, he is much more of a threat when he goes wide when attacking. So I’ll first try some player instructions to see if I can create the behaviour I am wanting from him. If not then a role change will be in order but at this time I have no idea what role I’d use instead, I’ll cross that bridge when it happens I guess. One thing I am sure of though is I won’t move him from AMC to AML as his positioning for the defensive side of things is already perfect which would be almost impossible to recreate from a wider position, it just wouldn’t be the same regardless of what role/instructions I used.

So I’ve made some changes and added a few player instructions to see how he gets on based on what I wrote above. He now has;

  • Dribble More
  • Roam From Position
  • Move Into Channels
  • Run With Ball Wide

I’m hoping these will make him play wider. The only one I’m not really sure about is the dribble more one as I don’t know if this will be overkill now if he is attempting to dribble more than he did in the first game. But at the same time I’m hoping it encourages him to spread out more and work in tandem with the others I selected. I need to see how it works in-game though before making a final decision on whether it works like I expect or not.

My next game of the season was against Portuguesa so would be a relatively easy game.

Straight away I can see a difference in Giva’s positioning and play. The screenshot shows;

A – Current position

B – Rough position last game

Already he is wider which is what I’m wanting so this is good to see. The above actually results in a goal inside the first thirty seconds of the game but I notice another problem now with the advanced playmaker.

The circled player is the advanced playmaker and I believe his lack of involvement in play in the final third is an issue in this instance. While I want him to be narrow and deep when defending, in attacking moves he should be aiming to get involved up and around the box. This suggest to me that his duty is wrong and I might try him on an attacking one for the next game to see if that pushes him higher up in the attacking phases. I think this is something I notice now and not in the last game because he now drifts more wide (at least in the opening minutes he does, not watched the rest yet) now so its took away from him slightly as play is no in front of him compared to when he didn’t go wide and he’d be in support or central forward moves. Now he seems a little isolated for a better word and can’t keep up with play due to being on a support role.

The downside of any changes I made could come at a cost though, let me show you;

The above image highlights his positioning and the areas he tends to take up in attacking scenarios. He really does act like a defensive midfielder at times and occupy the kind of area you’d expect from one of those. So if I give him an attack duty in the next game then it might be a bit unrealistic of me to expect him to still get into these kind of positions as quickly as he currently does due to the more attacking nature meaning he’ll be pushed further forward. That means he has more space to cover when we lose possession hence why it could be a potential issue but it’ll not know this until I try it in the next game. This could end up a struggle and might end up being a balancing act between what I’m trying to create and what’s actually possible without compromising too much.

People often overlook what a player is doing in the defensive phases of play and over focus on the attacking side when in fact both should be treated equally because what a player does when attacking will determine what kind of positions he will be realistically able to pick up when you lose the ball. Higher up the field the player, the less likely he’ll get back into good positions in time or help defend deep in your own half. You’d be asking the player to do far too much let alone how this would impact his fitness and condition levels.

In the second half of the match the player was injured so I put Robinho in his position and subbed Giva. Straight away I saw Robinho was more attack minded and offered me the needed width. This is him about thirty seconds after being put in the advanced playmaker role;

It doesn’t look like much but this is exactly what I want, he goes outside after passing the ball to offer me width. The when ball goes to the other side he comes inwards in support. This is everything I need from the role. The movement is fine but you can see how hesitant he is to actually push on and support attacks due to his duty. You can see the exact moment he checks backs and comes down the pitch rather than pushing up.

Allowing him to roam from position might not be a good idea either as I’ve noticed on a few occasions he is positioned too far to the right hand side of the pitch which is no use at all.

Admittedly here the ball is out on the right and naturally he should shift across however this is a bit too extreme for me and he should be more centred towards the A icon instead.

When the ball is finally played you can see the issues I have due to how compact we’ve become when it shouldn’t be;

That’s the advanced playmaker circled there but he’s stood on top of the deep-lying forward so this is a waste. If he was positioned further left he would have lots of space and quite a few options. He could drive wide and put a cross into the box or he could drive forward himself. Either way I don’t like how central he is here he really does need to be positioned more to the left and I believe the reason he isn’t is due to having the roaming from position shout active.

Defensive Analysis

So far I’ve only concentrated on the attacking side of the tactic as that for me is the most important factor of the Brazilian’s 1970’s playing style. But I think I’ve nailed that side of it now which I’ll be talking about in a future update so thought I’d talk you through the defensive side of things to see how it actually works. In fact it’ll also be useful for me as I’ve not changed anything or paid much attention to it at all so I’m not quite sure how it works either. When watching games I see they do what I want to an extent but I’ve not looked at it in-depth it’s just been a passing glance really so this article will help me as well, I’ll be learning as I go along.

If I spot any issues I’ll list the possible solutions but you have to remember I’m trying to create something specific here so I can’t always make the change that I will mention as then I’ll stray away from replicating Brazil 1970’s tactic to something else which isn’t what I want to do. But at the same time I do want this to work so it’ll be a fine balance between how strictly I stay to original idea and how functional it really is. However I’ll talk about any possible changes and if I do make them I’ll update you about them in a future update. So let’s dive straight into the analysis.

This is taken straight from the kick off;

The advanced playmaker is tucked into the middle like I was wanting. I’m a bit worried that the ball winning midfielder and deep-lying playmaker haven’t picked up the two opposition players though.

The above screenshot is similar to the first one but this one is more problematic as it highlights a couple of issues here;

  • The two opposition strikers are unmarked
  • The ball winning midfielder was caught out of position
  • The DLP is too advanced he should be dropping back further

The two strikers not being picked up shows the downside of playing with a flat midfield with no defensive midfielder. Any striker who drops off or attacking midfielder will have lots of space to play in. This isn’t helped by the fact my ball winning midfielder was actually caught out of position. When the move first happened he was positioned on the A and by time he got to where he should be somewhere around the B the move has passed him by and he can never recover and get deeper in time.

I highlighted that the ball winning midfielder might be an issue due to his aggressive nature of closing down very high at the very start of this project. The deep-lying playmaker being on support means he plays higher up and gets involved inside the oppositions half which is good when attacking but can be problematic when you lose the ball. Ideally he should be dropping back into the space where the central oppositions striker is positioned. If he’d be placed further back and the ball winning midfielder was in position then I’d be defensively sound. Based on this screenshot though I think this could become a major issue.

I have enough numbers back to deal with the situation but that’s not the point. The point is against better opposition this could get punished. I like my team to play as a unit and to stop incidents happening before they happen (or at least reduce the chance of it happening). The season will run a lot smoother if I try to identify problematic areas, it helps me understand the tactic and how it works which in turn should make it easier to decide how to deal with the issues.

Possible solutions for this could be two simple changes;

  • Change the deep-lying playmaker from a support duty to a defensive one
  • Change the ball winning midfielder to a central midfielder on a defend duty

I won’t panic and make drastic changes until I’ve seen more examples from a wider spread of games and formations. It’s something I need to keep an eye on though. It’s also worth noting that if I do make the changes above this will have a knock on effect for the way I attack and could take something away from that. So any changes have to be carefully considered and then I’d have to spend a bit of time seeing how the dynamics have changed for the team.

What the hell are my players doing here? It’s so crowded and they are all bunched up in the circled area. I’ve watched the clip back about fifteen times and my players were breaking forward but I gave the ball away needless by someone having bad first touch. So this highlights the issues I can have with quick counters or quick long direct balls, they can bypass five of my players instantly. The oppositions player on this near side does exactly that as he plays the ball into the striker.

This is the next stage of the move, luckily the move doesn’t come to nothing on this occasion but against better opposition or if this side committed a couple of men forward I’d be in real trouble. I’m not sure how I’d remedy this as nothing was actually wrong as I was breaking quickly at the start of the move but because I lost the ball and was turned over quickly it meant I had players out of position and this caused them all to be huddled up due to how I was breaking forward initially.

There doesn’t look much wrong with this image, my defence are well positioned, the opposition don’t really look a threat as I have the numbers advantage. However my deep-lying playmaker (Arouca) mis hits the ball and hands it straight to the opposition.

So when the ball is given away this causes me a number of issues;

  • The ball winning midfielder seems to do nothing and stands and watches the move
  • When the ball is played to the opposition player via the jagged line he has space and time
  • This means the centre back pushes up to deal with the threat

The ball winning midfielder could have dealt with this by tracking the runner but he didn’t and this proved costly. Because he didn’t deal with the threat or track the player then what happens is the oppositions player receives the ball and instantly my centre back steps up to deal with the threat but in doing so leaves the third player who runs past and slides it home to make me go one nil down.

Possible solution;

  • The ball winning midfielder really does seem to be troublesome at times so the role change mentioned above earlier will hopefully sort all of this out.

I can’t stop the defender stepping up directly as its only natural he’d do that. I can ensure the players around them are doing their job though and not allowing the opposition to have an easy ride. If someone fails at doing their basic job then it has implications elsewhere as someone else has to deal with it eventually, it’s like a domino effect.

This is from another game but I was being attacked centrally and then play switched out wide and my defence decided to push up. They issue here is the full back nearest to the player with the ball he is far too narrow. Now he came narrow due to the move before but on a few occasions I’ve seen him do similar things. I need to keep an eye on it, However possible solutions are;

  • Ask him to close down less in the hope he doesn’t come as central tracking play.
  • I could make him positioned slightly higher so he’s better placed to deal with threats from wide by giving him an attacking duty.

All the above issues are what I’m seeing a lot of as well as lots of set piece goals especially from corners. But I’ve not even began to look into those issues yet as I wanted to get the attack side of things works first. Now that’s happened it’s time to look at sorting some of the above issues out while sticking to the main principles of what I was looking to originally create, I don’t want to stray too far away from that or compromise too much.

12 thoughts on “Brazil 1970 – The Five 10’s”

  1. For the Advanced Playmaker, did you change him to Attack also? I cannot add roam from position for an AP support in that position. For attack it is available though.

      1. Thanks, I am going to give something like this a whirl. I think I can make it work with Everton. Rooney is going to be the AP, so it is a key role for me as well. I had to flip everything around, because Baines is my fit as the Complete Wing Back. I think I have to players to make it work.

  2. Excellent work. If you can get this to work and still maintain the spirit of how they played then you are a Genius!!!!.
    My question relates to this system and the way you set up the 4-2-3-1 you wrote about. In this piece you have alot of specialized roles while the 4-2-3-1 was more “natural” to quote you. Now I understand you must specialize the roles to recreate the above tactic but why play more naturally with your 4-2-3-1?. Was it because:

    A; personal preference. You wanted to create a more natural tactic.
    B; The 4-2-3-1 works better with more natural play rather then specific roles,
    C; Other.

    If other, please explain.
    Thanks for your time and insite.

    1. I think you’ve misunderstood something somewhere. When I speak about the natural shape I’m speaking about that, the actual shape. That doesn’t include the roles/duties, I’m on about the pure shape.
      In reality no-one uses a 4231 with MC’s they’re all DMC’s.

      As for the roles in both tactics, there is no such thing as specialising. All roles offer something different. A DM is just as specialised as a Regista and so on. It’s just they both offer something very different. All roles can be classed as specialised.

      The 4231 is no more normal than the shape in this topic. They both just offer different styles of play and both have different emphasis.

  3. You are correct. I did misunderstand. I confused the use of roles with the fact that you didn’t use an AP in the 4-2-3-1. The shape i am trying to make work does use 2 DM’s rather than 2 CM’s.

  4. Great read. I was wondering if there is more coming? I am still playing FM15 and would like try this tactic to its full potential.

  5. Hi, Mr. Cleon!

    You don’t know me, but I’m a huge fan and I’m starting playing the FM18 right now (after playing the FM16 a long time ago!).

    I’m having a lot of tactical problems, and – although – my basic english, and reading your articles and trying to use your great tips (mainly the 4231 explanation, that formation is perfect for my Palmeiras squad).

    So, I’m brazilian, and as a huge fan, I need to correct a common mistake about the 70’s Brazilian “Dream Team”: The team in analyse have “only” 4 “10’s”.

    Tostao, one of the most smart players of all time, was a Cruzeiro’s player, but in that team, an amazing playmaker named Pedro Rocha dressed the 10 shirt. Tostao was amazing, but in his team he was the number 8, not 10.

    I’m a soccer addicted and, don’t worry, it’s a common and historycal mistake!

    Please, don’t stop posting, you’re helping me a lot, I’m feeling a little bit noob in that new game!

    Sorry for my english, thanks for all your tips: It’s amazing!

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