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sixsecondsleft
09-09-2008, 02:50
I'm new to soccer IRL, and only know what I do know from FM. I know zonal marking is a player defending his 'zone', whereas in man he is defending a specific player. But, if you choose 'man' and do not assign a specific player for him to defend, how is it different then zone?? I have a lot of questions...

IRL, what is more common? What kinds of clubs play which style of defense? Do teams play a mixture of both? Does a team change during the game according to the circumstances? What are the advantages/disadvantages to each? Is one style more traditional and one more modern?

Sorry for all the questions, but I hope the experienced football fans will share their knowledge with me. :) In the game, the preset positions leave everyone at zonal except for the central defenders, and I pretty much leave it like that all the time.

Nilsson
09-09-2008, 06:21
I'm new to soccer IRL, and only know what I do know from FM. I know zonal marking is a player defending his 'zone', whereas in man he is defending a specific player. But, if you choose 'man' and do not assign a specific player for him to defend, how is it different then zone?? I have a lot of questions...

IRL, what is more common? What kinds of clubs play which style of defense? Do teams play a mixture of both? Does a team change during the game according to the circumstances? What are the advantages/disadvantages to each? Is one style more traditional and one more modern?

Sorry for all the questions, but I hope the experienced football fans will share their knowledge with me. :) In the game, the preset positions leave everyone at zonal except for the central defenders, and I pretty much leave it like that all the time.

If you set a player to mark man and don't assign him to a specific player he will mark the man closest to him and follow him wherever he goes, but if he is set to zonal marking he will be in his zone even if there are no players there.

IRL zonal is what almost everyone uses, with very few exceptions. Greece who won the Euros 2004 used man marking but it's very unusual. Usually you might man mark one or maybe two players, but the others have a zone to take care of. It used to be more common but now it's almost all zone marking.

saints_lad
09-09-2008, 06:29
When you choose Man Marking but don't select a specific player the defending player will mark his opposite number, i.e. a centre-back will mark whoever the striker is for the opposing team, and so on. Zonal marking is different from Man marking in this way because the defenders will defend only their area or 'space', so if somebody runs into the centre-back area the defender will pick them up, whereas the man marking system will have a defender tracking whichever player happens to be their opposite number- even if he happens to run out of the defenders area.

If however you were to man mark a specific player the defender would basically track that player wherever he goes. This can cause problems in the fact that if your centre-back is man marking a striker, but then the striker moves position to the left-wing, then your defender will be dragged out of position leaving a gaping hole in your defence.

Personally I've always used zonal marking so that I know my defenders are going to be where I want them to be.

In real life in open play I believe that all teams generally use a zonal system i.e., striker v centre back; full back v winger etc. Some teams may additionally man mark a particular player who they see as a threat. So one player will be selected to basically go wherever the marked player does to reduce his influence on the game. This only happens occasionally though.

Some clubs do however use different tactics when it comes to defending set-pieces. The majority of teams will man mark when defending freekicks and corners. So normally the best players at heading will be marked by your best headerer of the ball and so-on. I am sure there are many other clubs which zonal mark from set-pieces, but the only one I am personally aware of is Liverpool.

Rafa Benitez has been highly criticised for his use of set-piece zonal marking. Players as with the open play system will mark 'their space', so if the ball enters their space then they are responsible for defending it. It will normally be a player on each post, 3 or 4 along the 6-yard line and the others strategically placed around the penalty area.

Rafa has proved that this zonal system of marking is as equally as effective if not better than the man marking from set-pieces. However you can absolutely guarantee that IDIOT co-commentators such Mark 'not so' Bright or Lee 'D***head' Dixon and others will instantly blame the zonal marking system WHENEVER Liverpool concede from a set-piece. As soon as the ball hits the net its: "Well you've got to blame this zonal-marking for that one. I'm just not a fan. Why can't your big man mark the other big man?". It's not like other teams who use man marking don't concede from set-pieces is it? Utter clowns they are. Anyway rant over....

As you say you're better off just leaving those preset settings as they are. Just as long as you're not conceding a ridiculous amount of goals anyway!

sixsecondsleft
09-09-2008, 13:07
Thanks for the replies! I've actually been playing the last few seasons with the whole team in man except for my defensive midfielder and attackers. I didn't really have any reasoning for it though. :P Now that I know what real footballers are doing, I'm gonna have to play zone. :) Also, thanks for the long answers... much better then "Zone is better. The end."

BrianQuinn
09-09-2008, 17:49
i set most of my team to zonal marking apart from the two centre backs who i put on man marking and the defender with the best marking and pace ability i set to tight marking:rolleyes:

Amaroq
09-09-2008, 19:19
Hey, sixsecondsleft, welcome to the beautiful game!

You might want to check out the thread Brand new to FM, several game and football questions (http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?t=9147), which has been a long question-and-answer session with a Canadian asking a lot of FM and football-in-general questions, and getting answers from an American whose gone through the same learning curve and some of the best European posters. So, if you're new to football IRL and from North America (hint: Europeans call it football, we North Americans give ourselves away by calling it soccer) you might get a lot of information from that thread.

I mention it in particular because we've covered Man vs Zone marking in great detail on page 11 of that thread, including why you might want to have some of the team on Zone, some on Man, and some on Man Marking (specific), all at the same time. :D

Amaroq
09-09-2008, 19:20
p.s., saintslad, great answer. Hope you keep posting!