Using Wide Players to Create More Space and Better Chances in Football Manager
We have been fortunate enough to be able to publish some great tips and Football Manager tactical analysis by Indonesian Ryan Tank. In the first article Ryan discussed how he approaches tactical analysis in Football Manager pre-match, in-match and pro-match using the German Klassiker FC Bayern versus Borussia Dortmund as an example.
Today he will take a closer look on how to create more space and chances by using wide players in Football Manager 2014. Here you will learn how to setup the correct roles and player instructions or in other terms how to create right combinations between the lines to improve movement and player positioning for utilizing your chances through players finding space on the wings.
Football and Attacking is a matter of forcing the enemy to leave empty space and we use it as much as possible for the benefit of team. It’s about how you put the right players in the right positions and right roles to create right combination between the lines of motion and position.
A lot of people, when entering to this topic, will think about playmakers and strikers. That’s not wrong, because, in fact these two roles has the tasks that are directly connected to the creation of space and chances (goals). But, in reality, not just playmakers or strikers can be used for purposes of creating spaces and chances. One other thing you can try is exploiting the opposite’s wide areas. You can hit their wides with various ways. The simplest way is using your wide players. Either attacking wingers or your two wing backs. Yes, wing backs. Which incidentally, in particular the wing back, is often to be the forgotten side regard to of how you can create space and chances in attacking phase. It’s obviously giving you more benefits, it’s obviously giving you tactical variation, it’s obviously raising the chance of winning when you succeed to maximize your wide players. How could it be right and benefiting, it is thing that I wanna show you.
So, to give some idea of how to create space through my wide players (attacking wingers and wing backs), is the main aim of this write. More specifically, I use the combination of my 2 Inside Forwards (IFs) and my 2 Wing Backs (WBs) to create space and chances.
I started, as I always did in previous chances, from the idea of play. Of how I want my boys to bomb the opposition. Of how I want to shape my team. Of how I tweak to do something little bit different as the consequence of different situation. Because my main aim is, I want my wide players to create space and chances, here are what I want them to do:
1. I want my 2 Inside Forwards to be aggressive up front, narrow play and deep into the opposition defense. I also want my IFs become the team’s main source of goals. Based on these two main tasks, IF with Attacking Duty would be logic, I’m sure.
2. Related to point number 1, I will give WB Role-Attacking Duty to my 2 wing backs. Why? It’s simple. Because, there will be no much cover for my wide sides as my attacking wingers will do a lot of narrow play. Wing Back role is naturally wide cover role. Wing Back is also able to stretch the opposition wide areas. They tend to hug touchline and press your opponents into submission. By plotting Attacking Role to my Wing Backs, the Run From Deep and Mentality would be high enough for my WBs to explode the opposition wide areas.
3. To maximize movement for my two IFs and two WBs in the 1/3 area of the opposition, I instruct my 3 central midfielders to use most of their time to play at the outside of opposition penalty box, one would be more advanced near the penalty box, one would be positioned deeper as the creator, and one to be the deepest. This set up, is my effort to avoid congestion in the penalty area. With my two IFs Sit Narrow and advanced, then my two Wing Backs made a lot of penalty box penetrations, you couldn’t debate if I say there was potentially overload if I let my 2 of 3 central midfielders to make a lot of runs into penalty area. Overload can bring much negatives for attacking shape. I’ve got to reduce it. Let me show you my plan to create more spaces through setting up player instructions below.
Individual Instructions to Implement the Plan to Create More Spaces On the Wings
The Individual Instruction to be given to my two WBs. With Get Further Forward (which never been used for any of my defenders), I hope my two WBs will stretch the opposition wide areas to the max limit.
The Individual Instruction for my two IFs. Roam from position offers many advantages when attacking. With Sit Narrower I tend to drag the opposition wing backs out of positions, so my two WBs are having a lot of vulnerable spaces to exploit.
After that, we need to look to the match itself. I show you some pictures when 4 wide players made a lot of havoc to the opposition back line.
The first screen-shot below is the first example of my LWB (Silvio Benito the regen), moved more advanced, utilized the Julian Brandt creation. Here you can see how Julian Brandt Sit Narrow then dropped a little bit deep to drag the opposite, so Silvio Benito had space to penetrate.
From the top, where the attack begun. Regis Barreau my DLP-S would receive a ball, he then forwarded it to Ivan Kujevic the Advanced Playmaker Support (AP-S). See my two left wide players, Julian Brandt and Silvio Benito kept watching the opposition left side. The two had anticipated Kujevic move. And, Kujevic my smartest player had also realized there would be passing option on the left side, as Brandt and Benito stood on the right side.
Julian Brandt movement shows us how effective a small step can impact the game. You see, Brandt who were ready to receive Kujevic pass, firstly did a forward move then he dropped deeper to accommodate Silvio Benito movement on the left side. Brandt succeed to drag the opposite wing back. Silvio Benito Get Further Forward instruction made him went more advances into the penalty area.
Julian Brandt then through passed to Benito, as my LWB came into the opposition penalty area. You can see how big vulnerable space left by my opposition. What Julian Brandt did a couple seconds ago contributed to trigger this.
This second example will show you, the combination of my two lines that created a good chance. As I said above, I wanted my midfielders to play little bit deeper compared to my two IFs and my lone striker. They were given Support Duty to make sure they played as what I wanted to.
Here you can see several things. First, you can see how my 4 wide players kept their distance to as minimum as possible. Second, take notice how Kujevic and Julian Brandt positioned themselves in this moment then what they did later.
Kujevic came deep to get the ball. Then, Julian Brandt realized if Kujevic picked up the ball and Brandt followed Kujevic movement, there would be space for him to shoot. That was the thing he did.
Kujevic passes to Brandt, then Julian Brandt had a go to the goal. And, he scored. Brandt movement, once again, was the movement triggered by Sit Narrower instruction. With Sit Narrower, I tried to help Brandt to be much closer to the goal, as I want him as the IF that acted as the main goal scorer for my team.
This is another sample how my wide players created space and chances. This time was combination of movement from my central midfielder and my two right wide players.
As you can see. Christian Reith started the attack. See Mohammed Ousmane positioning. That was what I wanted to. The Roam from Position and Sit Narrower combination helped this to be possible. Aziz Jbara (my RWB) was getting ready to penetrate into the penalty area. Ousmane as supposed to be the receiver of the pass would do something cleaver with simple decision.
Ousmane did dummy-move as he knew Aziz Jbara was going into the penalty area. He let the ball going through. Simple move but smart decision.
As so much space to do, Jbara then moved more little bit advanced with ball to find a ergonomic position to shoot. He used the Get Further Forward instruction to the right.
Conclusion and Further Tips
I hope what I described since the beginning of this article are able to give you an idea or different perspective of wide players, especially about how to create empty space and make chances making use of a combination of four wide players. In this match my Dortmund team did what are to be their tasks very well. My players did what I wanted to be the source of goal would be focused to my two Inside Forwards. And the result? Mohammed Ousmane made 3 goals + 1 assist and Julian Brand made 1 goal. Perfect. But, more importantly than what was achieved by my players, this paper is about how to use the wide players to create space and chances. That’s the main point. I hope you catch the idea.
In essence, vary your attacks as much as possible, combo your tactic with anything that can be used in many situations. Football Manager is a game, that’s why, the law of probability plays a lot in it. Find and take advantage of all those possibilities. And, you can hope, victory will be much closer to you.