Welcome & thanks for checking out today’s exciting blog! This blog post is unique, as we will be looking at what happens if Bielsa was appointed as England Manager for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar. In this FM22 Experiment, I’ll apply an intense 4-1-4-1 tactic that’s influenced by Marcelo Bielsa to see how England would do it at this years World Cup.
About the Bielsa Experiment
The experiment was a random thought from myself, went for one of my long walks & came up with the fun idea. It’s a good way to test out tactics and get some good results by playing just a few games, rather than dragging out a season. The rules of the experiment were:
- Not to amend the tactic at any point, including in-game (despite winning or losing)
- Make team selections/player positions based on what we think Bielsa would have done
- Opposition instructions were set to trigger press on all players, at all times!
So, I will break down the post today by firstly, sharing the tactic itself. Then we will go over the overall results, providing some in-depth overall stats.
FMGegen’s Bielsa 4-1-4-1 Tactic
Harry Kane as MEZ? I thought I would give it a go, being as in real life he likes a wonder and play passes through to goal. Stats may not back it up but he had a decent run in the tactic but may have been better being a CM on attack? Luke Shaw, played the Luke Ayling role where he underlaps runs and Trent would bomb up and join the attack. The rest is really as it says on the tin but the movement in-game was something really enjoyable to watch and it felt like each chance was a goal. The England team overall adapted very well to the tactic and the intensity.
World Cup 2022 Tournaments Results – England
England won the world cup! Conceding only 2 goals through the whole competition & winning all the games fairly well. So, let’s break down each game’s stats-wise & let’s see what things we can draw out.
Group Stage Games:
Few main things i noticed in the initial games. Firstly, the shots on goal, which for the first 2 games nearly touched 30 & 20 against Spain which was impressive! In terms of shots against, these numbers were kept fairly low & the opposition didn’t seem to get near our box too much. Our passes completed % was over 90 in all 3 games, possession-wise there wasn’t too much in it. Overall, dominating performances with this tactic.
Knock-Out Stages & Beyond:
In the knockout stages, all the way to the final, we can see not a massive amount changed. With meeting more quality opposition, the shots against changed slightly along with the passes completed on England side has a slight drop, but overall was more of the same performance-wise.
Now, let’s look into some team & player stats for the tournament.
Team Stats Breakdown:
We can see, overall the team came out on top in some good categories. The tactic is clearly in favour of attacking opportunities & creating chances. So as long as you have the right people to finish it off, it looks to be a really powerful tactic. It was good to see how realistic the tactic played out with the team coming on top in areas such as interceptions, possession won & tackles won. A perfect way to round it off was with the lack of goals conceded & clean sheets kept!
Player Stats Breakdown:
Tammy Abraham made the incredible tally of 9.52 shots/90 minutes in this simulation! Perhaps he could become one of the favorites for the Golden Ball Award in coming World Cup?!
Firstly, we can see that Tammy enjoyed his role in the tactic. Statistically having more shots on goal than anyone else & finishing of 9! The distance covered is one I was impressed with, seeing 3 out of the 5 top players in the tournament appearing in the stats. This makes sense with the style of play & amount of off-ball movement required. Finally, I have noticed the Regista role offers a lot of passes attempted which Kalvin Phillips completed the most, which were mostly direct passes for attacking movements.
In-Depth Player Analysis:
Produced by my good friend FM Beth, she kindly offered to help me run some stats which I could use for the blog. Check out below, which shows an interesting read of how the team performed:
As we can see, we had many key passes from our middle guys which were a contributing factor in the number of goals scored. Then moving to the player xG, we can see that Tammy as mentioned before, was able to take advantage with a notably high xG rating. Finally, we can see that most of the team tackled successfully and made key interceptions, which was a big factor in the tactic itself.
If you like to test out my Intense 4-1-4-1 Tactic that’s influenced by Marcelo Bielsa, you can download the FM22 tactic below!
Let me know via Twitter which team I should take to the World Cup next & which tactic to test out? Next time, we will be looking at an underdog team I think!
Thank you for taking the time to read through this today, it’s always appreciated. Please do RT the tweet, so we can increase the reach so more people will try out the tactic!