Game 2: Real Madrid Castilla (1st) A
Maybe this has come too early, but we need to test it against the big boys sooner or later. Castilla are top of the table, and my main rivals in the division
15th Minute: Our first real tactical breakdown. Our BPD loses possession on the halfway line and the break is on. One good thing was that we had 3 players tracking him. But, considering the level of the player they were chasing (£10m-rated 22 year old Japanese talent) they were never catching up with him. The player then slid a ball through to the front man, who was played onside by a very static NCB. We were lucky to escape with the ball coming off the post and being cleared. This was the first real chance that we’ve given up in the (very short) lifetime of the tactic, so the level of dithering by the NCB needs looking at if it happens again.
35 Minutes: This starts out with a ball out to the BPD, who moves it towards the BWM. From there, there is some lovely interplay between the two BWMs and the BBM. This results in a raking ball out to the Raumdeuter who holds the ball up before slipping to one of the Mezzalas waiting. He squares it to the BBM who takes a shot, which is blocked. The rebound falls to the other Mezzala who hits a weak shot at the keeper. Our finishing is absolutely absymal right now, so I need to go into training to get the front 5 practice. But this is a good showcase of the the flower bloom movement I wanted. The support for the Raum was quick and close and, with better finishing, could have put us over the top.
At half time, we were drawing 1-1. Both goals coming from set-pieces. Not ideal. but it’s a seperate entity from the tactic. But, again, I need to keep an eye on the possible weakness to set-pieces.
56th Minute: An attack from Castilla saw a ball played out wide. As they raided the left flank and crossed in, we had 9 players back in the defensive zone. All of this is how I envisioned things. We concede the wings to defend the centre. As the ball comes in, it is cut out by the NCB. Again, everything going according to plan, but the subsequent tackle and loss of possesion to the opposition forward was not what we wanted to happen. Luckily, the shot was weak and easily saved. But again, how much of this was the mismatch in talent or a breakdown?
61st Minute: A cross into the box was defended well. The clearing header came to the Mezzala, who strode forward on the counter. The counter worked exactly as I wanted it to. The outlet ball was to the Raumdeuter, who crossed in for the Advanced Forward to head…straight at the keeper..Sigh. I just wish we could finish.
We then had a topsy-turvy 10 minutes late on where Lucas missed a penalty to put us 2-1 up, before Castilla took the lead with another header from a set-piece on 81 minutes.
83rd Minute: We finally conceded from open play. Our defence worked as it should to clear the ball from the cross, but when the player taking on your full-back is as talented as this, you can’t really blame the defence. I thought the goalkeeper could have done better however. The game eventually finished 1-3.
As you can see, it was a fairly even game for attacking stats, although we had the ball much more often which is part of our game plan. 700 passes attempted which is, again, on brand for what I want for this tactic. Yes, Madrid had more shots, but the whole point is bend, don’t break.
Look at all that beautiful red in the centre of the pitch. We’ve clogged the centre beautifully. The real surprise for me is how high the BWM (S) is, almost to the level of the BBM. Even the AF is drifting to the left allowing the Raumdeuter to play on the right. I’m excited so far.
Jon Tena had a good game for us, saving 5 shots. However, all the shots are around the middle of the goal which is the easiest place for the goalie to save. As I said before, Castilla’s talent level was way above ours, to only lose from one goal from open play and to be a missed penalty from maybe a win? I’ll take it.
We gave up more shots in the centre this time, but rode our luck enough to come away with a decent enough result. Seems odd to say a 1-3 defeat was a decent result, but for a missed penalty, we could have won or drawn the game.