Set Pieces. Still very undervalued in football and especially in Football Manager. But they the most important for me. But all of you who read my posts already know this. Despite there are no changes in the Set Piece creator in Football Manager 2018 I would like to share my most favourite set piece routine in FM18 so far.
It’s not corner or free kick but throw-in routine.
If I said at the beginning that set pieces are undervalued the throw-in routines are undervalued even more than set pieces in overall.
Let’s take a look at my routine creation process.
I. We have short, long, quick and mixed throw-in available
- Just my opinion – mixed routine is useless in my eyes because it’s absolutely the same as if you leave throw-in routines as a default.
- The quick routine could be useful when you play with the higher tempo and your players are able to reach required positions around the pitch. It also works when you have a counter-attack but the success rate is not that good.
- The short one is my favourite for the third FM edition in a row.
- The long throw is very specific because of the Long Throws attribute. My straight advice would be – missing a player with the Long Throws attribute? ⇒ No long throw-in routine! It was very easy to analyse in FM17 if your long throw routine worked well or not. If your player didn’t have good enough long throws attribute opponent’s players were always able to intercept the ball.
II. Analyse your players
- I always check if there is a player with the long throws attribute in the squad. If not I have to think about the different approach. Before I will write about the short routine I just only want to say that “Decisions” attribute is absolutely the most important for me when I thinking about the routine.
III. What is the most appropriate based on the players?
- This is connected to the point above and thanks to the analysis we will know what we would like to create and if there is a chance to be successful with it.
IV. Choose the right players
- I know I mentioned this in various articles in the past but this my main point every time I talk about set pieces. If you want to be successful with routines you have to pay attention to details like this.
- You should not set your smallest player as attack near post during your corners and the same applies to throw-in. If you add a player with the poor decisions attribute as the player who offers short option there is a big possibility your team will lose the ball.
- The last thing you should do same as with the tactics in overall – analyse.
- As I wrote for The Higher Tempo Press in the past, my advice would be very simple – don’t be lazy and be patient. Step one is to pick the right players for the right roles. Step two is to the analyse your mistakes.
- Just open the match analysis screen, select your set pieces and watch every single set piece highlight especially as you are able to (re)watch all highlights in the analysis screen.
- You can spot your players in the wrong positions and you can also spot if the specific player did it once or many times.
- If the wrong thing is repeated try to place there another player or try to make space for the player and remove some role.
After team analysis, I decided to use Short routine. It’s not stupidly complicated routine and I’m sure if you will try it with the right players you can have the same effective routine which can help your team to score some lovely goals.
“Create chances in or around the penalty area.”
We need just only a part of the team for this routine and we can leave or defensive players at the back so you don’t need to be afraid you will be caught with the counter-attack.
As it’s different than long throw and we don’t need a player with this attribute I always use my wide defenders. In my 4-1-4-1 formation I use both my fullbacks and with a 3-3-2-2-1 formation, I use both wingbacks so that means all my three central defenders are always at the back.
This is my current version…
Specific players in this setup:
Striker – Near post – the reason is to take advantage of the rule as there is no offside during throw-in so he can be behind the defensive line.
Come Short – there are two players. In the most used line-up during the third season with Siófok, I have here defensive midfielder and attacking midfielder.
(Go) Forward – maybe someone would use a strong defender to be able to score with a header but my aim is not to pass/cross the ball for this player so I use there the last midfielder.
Stay Back – all three central defenders and wingback from the other side.
Lurk Outside Area – the last one who is finishing this routine in almost all occasion.
This is the first example from the third season as we played against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Europa League preliminary round and this was our third goal in the match.
You can see there are two players “Go Forward” as I changed it during the game when I wanted to score another goal.
It was really well done. Just take a look at the YouTube video with some goals from a couple of months. There is show linked events screen from this goal.
This example is one of my favourites so far in FM18. It was so fast and precise that I had to watch it for a couple of times.
It took us only three touches and we saw absolutely perfect finish from Botond Kovács. Same as before you can see this goal in YouTube video and there is also the screen with linked events.
The third example is very similar to the first one but this time our player who is set as Lurk Outside Area scored with the precise shot just from the outside of the penalty area.
When I wrote about the most important attributes above there is Márk Petneházi who is set to Lurk Outside Area and he is the best goalscorer of the team in terms of goals after this routine.
We, for example, beat Veszprém 3-2 at the end of the 2018/2019 season and Petneházi scored two goals after throw within five minutes in the first half. You can see these goals in the video below.
If you will go to Tactics/Analysis/Goals and Goal Assists you can see there is also “Throw-In”. Despite I scored many goals after this routine it’s not considered as a Throw-In assist.
If I counted it right my team scored 11 goals in the last 20 matches thanks to this routine.
Thanks for reading as always. If you are interested in something let me know there in the comments section, on Twitter or in my #fmrensie channel in FMSlack.
What is Slack? Read this or ask me and others on Twitter for example.
Take care and enjoy Football Manager 2018.