The D tactic

I’ll level with you now: This isn’t going to be the most exciting update.

Much like the influence of right wing radio hosts, Big Pharma and the smell of fried chicken when I walk past Morley’s; the D tactic is too powerful.

The current trend is for managers to revert to D as soon as they take a one goal lead and try and see out the match with their single goal advantage. It usually works.

To check, I ran 400 games with two identical teams and formations playing P. Team 1 changed to D as soon as they went in the lead then back to P if Team 2 equalises. Team 2 just played P. Of the first 40 games:

Team 1 wins if they take the leadTeam 1 doesn’t win if they take the leadTeam 1 doesn’t take the lead (D tactic isn’t used – irrelevant games)
20218

I got bored after the first 40, the point had been proved. If you score and then try to shut out the game then it will almost certainly work.

So, D has to change. But how?

Taking 400 games with Team 1 starting as D vs Team 2 using a tactic that I’m not going to name, we had the following results over 90 minutes:

TM1TM2DrawsGames
Goals304263400
Wins1057496
Win %38.2%26.9%34.9%

Team 1 is still scoring a fuck ton of goals despite apparently playing defensively.

What we need is the scoring ability of a team playing D harpooned and their defensive ability slightly reduced. The outcome should be that a team playing D will stop more goals being scored against them, not all goals. They definitely shouldn’t be scoring more.

In real life, if you put the handbrake on immediately after going just one goal up then it usually doesn’t work out. You invite pressure on and sure enough you concede. Teams only set out to play defensively for the majority of the match if they know they are up against vastly superior opposition and defending for their lives is their only option – usually with a lot of luck too. You play to draw and hope to nick something, you don’t play to win.

When a team switches mid-game to play defensively it’s often that they’ve decided to settle for the result and see out the last 10-20 minutes. They’ll gamble that they’ll be able to hold out for the last part of the match, not the entirety.

I’m proposing to change D as such:

Old

# D – Defensive

MULT D DF TK 1.1
MULT D DF PS 0.5
MULT D DF SH 0.25

MULT D DM TK 1
MULT D DM PS 0.68
MULT D DM SH 0.25

MULT D MF TK 0.85
MULT D MF PS 0.75
MULT D MF SH 0.25

MULT D AM TK 0.5
MULT D AM PS 0.65
MULT D AM SH 0.5

MULT D FW TK 0.5
MULT D FW PS 0.25
MULT D FW SH 0.75

New

# D – Defensive

MULT D DF TK 1.1
MULT D DF PS 0.5
MULT D DF SH 0.25

MULT D DM TK 0.9
MULT D DM PS 0.55
MULT D DM SH 0.25

MULT D MF TK 0.75
MULT D MF PS 0.65
MULT D MF SH 0.25

MULT D AM TK 0.5
MULT D AM PS 0.5
MULT D AM SH 0.35

MULT D FW TK 0.25
MULT D FW PS 0.25
MULT D FW SH 0.5

After re-running the same games with Team 1 playing D from the start, we now have this:

TM1TM2DrawsGames
Goals162296400
Wins42117124
Win %14.8%41.3%43.8%

Over a 90 minute period it’s an even chance between Team 1 getting a draw i.e. keeping the scores level, or losing. You almost certainly won’t win but then that’s not the point of D. When most people switch to D mid-game they’re looking to keep the scores level (in this scenario a draw) as they’ve just gone in front. It’s a far better way to protect their lead than other tactics, but they still need that bit of luck.

However, this even chance of a shutout is with 442. I picked the tactic that most of us utilise when I tested. If you want to increase the chance of a shutout whilst playing D then you need to move someone back or introduce either a DM or a fifth defender. This is what happens in real life, a forward might get subbed off for a defender or defensive midfielder to protect the lead. Keeping your formation as 442 if you decide to play defensively is a bit :/

Requiring a change in formation at the same time as switching to D to completely park the bus should increase the strategic side and should further help us have more players ‘in circulation’, as more are now being used.

What do you think?

Mike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.