Thiago Motta, quite a big name in football. As a player, that is. He isn’t really known as a manager. Until recently, when a interview with the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder was released. What happened after that was really interesting. This is the Not Thiago Motta’s 2-7-2 tactic for Football Manager 2019.
The interview with the 35-year old Brazilian started a discussion on the internet and in the world of football. Motta mentioned something very interesting about his formation; 2-7-2. Given the fact that most formations have at least three or four defenders and at most five players in a line, we can say that Thiago Motta’s formation is very interesting, to say the least.
And if this wasn’t peculiar enough, Thiago added that the goalkeeper is supposed to play next to the center backs or even higher up the pitch. But that isn’t all, because he also said: ‘I had a game a while ago where the two full-backs ended up playing as the 9 and 10.’ Very interesting.
Not Thiago Motta’s 2-7-2
You can imagine how amazing the uproar this caused in the world of football. But it didn’t take too long before the truth surfaced. It was said that the tactic isn’t actually what was first thought it was like. Motta was wrongly interpreted. The 2-7-2 formation was a lie.
Unlike most formations, you don’t start at the back. So a 4-3-3 is four defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 attacks. The 2-7-2 needed to be counted from left to right. Which made more sense. And video evidence later revealed that the keeper was playing where he is supposed to play; in goal. That same video showed that Thiago Motta was using a very dynamic 4-3-3, a familiar tactic for people involved in football. So the discussions faded away.
Nevertheless, this inspired me to create a tactic based on the wrong interpretation of Motta’s tactic. After some tweaking and testing I’ve finally found something that worked. And for my HSV it worked perfectly. Setting amazing streaks, scoring a lot of goals, (including a 11-0 win over powerhouse Bayern München and a very limited amount of goals against.
The tactic focuses on short passes, a small playing field, mainly through the middle of the field with crosses from the wing backs and a counter Gegenpress. If you’re gonna use the tactic, you’ll need to keep the following things in mind:
1. Fast defenders
Since you only have two “real defenders”, you’re going to need defenders who have some pace.
2. Players need stamina
You’re players, especially the wingbacks and the center midfielders, will be running a lot. So they need to have a high stamina rating or else they will be dying at the end of the match.
3. Very attacking
This tactic is very attacking. This isn’t a surprise given the fact that the formation has three attacking midfielders and only two defenders. So keep in mind that it may not work for smaller teams, since they’re of lower quality compared to other teams.
Good passing is very important in this tactic. Especially for the center attacking midfielder; the advanced playmaker. His job is to put the striker in one-on-one situations. The higher his passing rating, the better the tactic will work.
5. Away games
As said before, this tactic is very attacking so away games are sometimes a problem. We suggest at least to change the mentality to Defensive for away games. Or else you’ll be completely overrun in those games.