Jump to content

Lines and Diamonds: The Tactician's Handbook for Football Manager 2015


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 309
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

"The risk of a fluid system is that, while the two units see players supporting one another closely, they may become isolated from one another, and this can lead to overly rushed and hurried play if the ball is released into advanced positions too quickly."

Does this mean that higher tempo TI in a fluid system would be a bad idea?

Link to post
Share on other sites
"The risk of a fluid system is that, while the two units see players supporting one another closely, they may become isolated from one another, and this can lead to overly rushed and hurried play if the ball is released into advanced positions too quickly."

Does this mean that higher tempo TI in a fluid system would be a bad idea?

It has more to do with the availability of support in deep positions and linking roles in more advanced positions. For example, if you have central two in midfield, then using a more conservative linking role like a DLP-S will ensure your outright holding mid isn't stranded too quickly by his advanced support, forcing him to play more difficult passes when a good move isn't on. Tempo could exacerbate the problem, but it mainly comes down to the options that your defensive unit will have ahead of them.

On the other hand, this could be exactly what you're going for if you, for example, have a DLP-D and you want the MCs ahead of him to offer a more direct option and attempt forward runs more often.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you planning on any real life examples as you did during the World Cup?

This is a busy time of year for me, so there's no plans for any FM-related writing over the next few months.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say THoG - every time I hit a slump in form, or a tactical dilemma, I just go and read the right section in the guide and everything becomes clear again. The best piece of work ever done for FM. It's absolute class.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Mister THoG.... >_>

I don't have FM installed anymore, so I can't really test things out (until 16 anyway!), but first let me say, fantastic write up, very accessible and frankly, brilliant.

I particularly liked your descriptions of the roles and the analysis of the formations.

So it came as no surprise that I see the 4-2-3-1 is analysed as being more suited to a high-block defensive line, which is a shame, as I'd love to play the 4-2-3-1 conventionally but I also like a mid-low block. So I was thinking, is it suited to the high block due to the nature of the 'top four'? If so, could we negate this by pulling them back? So the "AM" strata becomes the midfield, an MR/L and MC. That would suit a more low-block, but probably invites the same trouble as a 4-5-1 has in isolating the attack, I would wager that it is essentially a variant on the 4-5-1 eh?

Anyway, onto the big question. I see you covered 'flat' midfields and 'diamond' midfields (DM/CM/CM) but I had a thought, what advantages does a DM/DM/CM midfield offer for most of the formations? Even in a 4-3-3, because as we know the flanks are weak but if the opposition is playing something akin to a 4-2-3-1 wide variant that attacks not just the middle, but the flanks then we would ideally want flank cover with the DM there to negate the opposition AM. Would a double DM pivot offer flank cover and stability through the middle or is it far more likely to make the lone CM exhausted running back and forth?

*ponder* >_>

Link to post
Share on other sites
So it came as no surprise that I see the 4-2-3-1 is analysed as being more suited to a high-block defensive line, which is a shame, as I'd love to play the 4-2-3-1 conventionally but I also like a mid-low block. So I was thinking, is it suited to the high block due to the nature of the 'top four'? If so, could we negate this by pulling them back? So the "AM" strata becomes the midfield, an MR/L and MC. That would suit a more low-block, but probably invites the same trouble as a 4-5-1 has in isolating the attack, I would wager that it is essentially a variant on the 4-5-1 eh?

The main advantage, defensively, of the front four is that you keep pressure on the opposition's back line, forcing them to funnel it forward. It works well against very defensive opponents since it prevents them from keeping hold of the ball and also instantly gives you players ready to attack when you win it back. If you pull those players back, it's going to be a very different system; like you said, more of a 4-5-1. It'll give you more numbers behind the ball, but if the opposition can break that initial wave of pressure after they've just won the ball and your players stay up in attacking positions (or just get a restart with a goal kick), they can play keep ball and frustrate you.

Anyway, onto the big question. I see you covered 'flat' midfields and 'diamond' midfields (DM/CM/CM) but I had a thought, what advantages does a DM/DM/CM midfield offer for most of the formations? Even in a 4-3-3, because as we know the flanks are weak but if the opposition is playing something akin to a 4-2-3-1 wide variant that attacks not just the middle, but the flanks then we would ideally want flank cover with the DM there to negate the opposition AM. Would a double DM pivot offer flank cover and stability through the middle or is it far more likely to make the lone CM exhausted running back and forth?

Dual DMs will stay more compact with the defence and has the advantage of keeping the opposition from playing balls behind your midfield to force your DCs to step out and intervene. The DMs will also help on the flanks, either engaging directly or helping to cover for a fullback. The issue with it is that you open up a lot of space ahead of your midfield, and the lone MC tends to get dragged around chasing the ball. I've found this usually ends up with DMs being forced to come out anyway, but since they're sitting closer to the defence, they often come running out of position but fail to apply pressure before the attacker can pick his pass.

The section on the box formation basically gives you a summary of the advantages you can expect from two DMs. If you're mainly concerned about an attacking AM or a creative striker getting the ball at his feet, planting two DMs ahead of the DC will give you a lot more security against that specific threat, but as above, I find these formations struggle to assert control over the midfield and win back possession quickly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question re: Play Out Of Defence TI.

Play Out of Defence is used to encourage players to hold onto possession inside the defensive third. This is useful for slowing down build-up play when the opposition isn’t applying pressure high up the pitch. All defenders, wingbacks and defensive midfielders are instructed to only play simple passes. In other words, this will set their passing to the lowest possible range, and in doing so, it can also affect the attacking contributions of both wide defenders and defensive midfielders.

Does the bolded part refer to any midfielders in DM positions or midfielders with Defend duties? Just wondering if using this TI will nerf a DLP(S) or RPM(S) in a DM position.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But this doesn't affect midfielders with Defend duties in the MC strata, right? They are not defensive midfielders. Or are they affected as well?

Speaking of which, if I'm playing the 4-2-3-1 Wide with a CM/S and want him to be slightly more attack-minded, does adding a PI of get further forward make him like a CM/A? Or will he still remain more solid defensively? So in other words, can we say the following: CM/S + get further forward = CM/A?

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on what you want from him. Passing range isn't an absolute limit, it just modifies preference. If you want a DM DLP who controls tempo/possession and he has plenty of support mids to feed the ball short to, you won't necessarily see much difference. If you want your DM DLP playing killer balls and long diagonals to the flanks, then you would want to avoid using Play Out of Defence.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi THOG,

Just one question, having read your thread on the mentality leader and the controller effect, that makes the team more agressive, i have a tactic that on the counter mentality whit TI´s much higer and close down more to mimic the default pressing of the control mentality, and i have seen lots of red cards.

His this due to the controller effect or only bad decisons frmo the player or even due to the PI´s?

Maybe its a stupid question, but anyway.

Thks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What are some ways to make third-man runs more likely to happen? Two support duty players in proximity with each other with the third man being an attack duty runner elsewhere?

Yep, you want the support players to drag out defenders, opening up space for a diagonal run into the gap (typically from the flank).

Link to post
Share on other sites

THOG, wondering if you could provide some insight on this question...

I've been watching a lot of games back and I've been noticing how crazy the AI's role/duty selection can be. For example a 4-4-2 that completely isolates the strikers, while using a block of supporting players in midfield + defense. Or, a 4-4-1-1 with a ball winner as the only holding player. There's a zillion examples but I won't waste time typing them all out here..

I'm sure you've seen this as well. Knowing that, how on earth can the tactics we create ever match up against those in a meaningful way? In other words, sure you might be able to win consistently as a top team, as I normally do. But as soon as the playing field becomes more "level" in terms of the team I'm using and the players I have, tactics have greater importance, and sometimes, less effectiveness.

It doesn't make sense for me to try and make a well balanced tactic if I'm playing a team that literally keeps 10 guys in front of the goal and 1 who is totally alone waiting for a route 1 ball.

What are your thoughts on this?

Link to post
Share on other sites
It doesn't make sense for me to try and make a well balanced tactic if I'm playing a team that literally keeps 10 guys in front of the goal and 1 who is totally alone waiting for a route 1 ball.

This literally happens week in and week out irl though. Why would the fact that they are parking the bus mean you shouldn't have a balanced tactic? You need to stretch them and get them to commit, find some way to create your chances yes, but if you aren't balanced then you can lose a game like that 1-0 or worse as a superior side. Playing for 0-0 and hoping for more is a common strategy to try and get the superior opposition to over commit, creating space to exploit behind them, so if you go unbalanced you can play right into what they're looking for as a means to attack you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This literally happens week in and week out irl though. Why would the fact that they are parking the bus mean you shouldn't have a balanced tactic? You need to stretch them and get them to commit, find some way to create your chances yes, but if you aren't balanced then you can lose a game like that 1-0 or worse as a superior side. Playing for 0-0 and hoping for more is a common strategy to try and get the superior opposition to over commit, creating space to exploit behind them, so if you go unbalanced you can play right into what they're looking for as a means to attack you.

I probably should have worded that differently. What I'm trying to say is that it's incredibly frustrating to spend time tweaking my tactics, making sure they're well balanced and answer various rhetorical questions, meanwhile the AI sends out these stupid looking tactics and does decently well.

That being said. I think this is more to do with my unreasonably high expectations, even with smaller clubs, than it has to do with getting "realistic" results. I think I am too much of a perfectionist, and in FM that tends to be a horrible trait to possess.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I probably should have worded that differently. What I'm trying to say is that it's incredibly frustrating to spend time tweaking my tactics, making sure they're well balanced and answer various rhetorical questions, meanwhile the AI sends out these stupid looking tactics and does decently well.

That being said. I think this is more to do with my unreasonably high expectations, even with smaller clubs, than it has to do with getting "realistic" results. I think I am too much of a perfectionist, and in FM that tends to be a horrible trait to possess.

As Sir Alex said, don't ever have a problem with losing, it's fine to lose, just make damn sure you don't lose that situation again. ;)

I understand the frustrations though. I'm experimenting as always with a tactic I wouldn't normally bother with. In the lower league with crap teams it plays wonderfully. Put it on Manchester United and they struggle horrendously with it, even though, theoretically it checks the boxes for pulling teams out, what I'm seeing at times is horrendous decision making by some of the players that contributes to the frustration. I don't think it is exclusively a human player's frustration though, I'm testing with Aston Villa now and I see the AI Manchester United posting awful results in their pre-season akin to what I was achieving with them! So at least they are running into the same issues we face, though of course, we do see some interesting AI tactics that shouldn't be fathomable, I like seeing that sort of thing as it shows a manager's naivety (or that's what I head-canon anyway!)

Link to post
Share on other sites
As Sir Alex said, don't ever have a problem with losing, it's fine to lose, just make damn sure you don't lose that situation again. ;)

I understand the frustrations though. I'm experimenting as always with a tactic I wouldn't normally bother with. In the lower league with crap teams it plays wonderfully. Put it on Manchester United and they struggle horrendously with it, even though, theoretically it checks the boxes for pulling teams out, what I'm seeing at times is horrendous decision making by some of the players that contributes to the frustration. I don't think it is exclusively a human player's frustration though, I'm testing with Aston Villa now and I see the AI Manchester United posting awful results in their pre-season akin to what I was achieving with them! So at least they are running into the same issues we face, though of course, we do see some interesting AI tactics that shouldn't be fathomable, I like seeing that sort of thing as it shows a manager's naivety (or that's what I head-canon anyway!)

Yes indeed sometimes the AI managers do a horrendous job. It's quite funny sometimes. One of my older saves saw Liverpool AND Arsenal both get relegated in the same season in FM14. Truly awesome.

Link to post
Share on other sites

as for the seemingly imbalance 4-4-2 (or whatever formation) used by AIs, I think it depends mostly because our team is good and using a certain style quite consistently. to put it simply, the AIs are using that seemingly imbalance tactic only agaisnt us. i checked some AIs matches agaisnt their equal or lesser opponents, their tactics arent that extreme. once i checked how Kaiserlautern playing against Bayern. their tactic seems imbalanced too but it works since the match turned out to be a 3-3 draw

i've been using possession tactic n a withdrawing striker for long. my opposition knows that im quite stubborn not to penetrate the central area quickly. so their imbalance 4-4-2 is actually effective agaisnt me since my players are congested in the center. once they gained back the ball they lauch a long pass or run with the ball quickly inside my disorganized defense. simple yet effective. they use water agaisnt fire. just like that

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi THOG, I still powerfully intrigued by this thread, having more amazing fun than ever with fm an football in general, thanx for that.

So I get a couple of quick questions for you, I guess that by now you seen this new thing in the forwards not pressing the defenders, rather eagerly waiting for the defender to make a stupid mistake passing the ball, preying for the interception and quick deadly counter. Simeone and Mou are doing this, in FM terms that would be like the Enganche with his Close Down Much Less. Now is that something I can easily achieve with any role/dutie or this is hard-coded into the game (enganche role)? Or maybe achieve it through OIs?

When you talked about Retain Possession shout (also remember the roles-duties discussed in other later section), that can be powerfully useful to create fast involving 1 touch passes, last year without this info I tried and miserably failed, with this new great info I feel I'm closer, so which mentality should I use control or attack? Should I offset tempo to higher?

Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks for your comprehensive thread

how about having 2 or 3 playmaker roles like regista,advanced playmaker and trequartista on the pitch,simultaneously? is this possible practically?

It is possible in the right set up, for example a deeplying playmaker to bring the ball out of defense, start counter attacks in the cm or dm slot, with an advanced playmaker to control the play in the attacking third looking to carve openings and play through balls to strikers or runners turning possession into attacks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a couple of tactical questions:

1) What are the differences between giving every player the instruction to Shoot Less Often as a PI and just giving the whole team a TI to Work Ball Into Box (no PIs)? Are there any?

2) When there are just two midfielders in the MC strata, I usually put my holding midfielder on the same side where my more attacking fullback plays. When playing one fullback as a WB/s and another as a FB/a, both are instructed to Get Further Forward by default. Which one should I cover more? Currently, it's the FB/a for me since he's the one attacking.

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites
I When playing one fullback as a WB/s and another as a FB/a, both are instructed to Get Further Forward by default. Which one should I cover more? Currently, it's the FB/a for me since he's the one attacking.

Thanks

As a general rule, the WB versions will be positioned slightly higher up on the pitch in the defensive shape. They also have a slightly higher mentality than the FB. So a FB(A) will have a higher mentality than a WB(S). They both get forward, but the FB(A) has a more aggressive mentality. The WB(S) will get forward and has a slightly higher mentality than a FB(S) etc. Which should you cover more? On paper, the FB(A) will be more forward more often than the WB(S) so having your Holding mid cover that side makes the most sense. But as Vizzini said below, because the differences are not tremendous between FB(A) and WB(S) some will come down to the individual player as well as the how the match is playing out versus different opponents.

I would start with the setup you have as a principle, but if you see that the FB(A) is getting stifled or prevented from getting forward too often, but your WB(S) is not, the switch the holding mid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

THOG, thanks for the great writing.

Im using 4231 Formation with Control/Very Fluid with the hope of playing possession football. What u gonna say about the roles and duties of the 2 CM. Would CM(D) and B2B is a good choice? Or should i stick with DLP(D) and CM(D)?

And is ist neccessary to have one playmaker (the DLP) when u play possesion football? ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
THOG, thanks for the great writing.

Im using 4231 Formation with Control/Very Fluid with the hope of playing possession football. What u gonna say about the roles and duties of the 2 CM. Would CM(D) and B2B is a good choice? Or should i stick with DLP(D) and CM(D)?

And is ist neccessary to have one playmaker (the DLP) when u play possesion football? ?

You know, the whole point of the guide is that you'd be able to answer such questions for yourself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Have to agree it is a really interesting read. My only real problem is that while it fleshed out some details on the various tactical strategies on a theoretical level, there is relatively limited information about how to actually implement them in FM. I.e. What mentalities are suitable what team instructions you need, how many of each duty is suitable, what formations can and can't use each strategy or even some extra guidance on what roles are needed/not needed. To some people this is likely really obvious but as someone who never really played football as a kid and only really gets to watch match of the day and the odd live FA cup game, I was familiar with most of the concepts but how to implement them into FM just doesn't seem obvious to me from what you wrote. It is of course possible that I am being incredibly dense but just for us dense people when you update this for FM16 please be more explicit on how to actually implement the strategies in FM.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Have to agree it is a really interesting read. My only real problem is that while it fleshed out some details on the various tactical strategies on a theoretical level, there is relatively limited information about how to actually implement them in FM. I.e. What mentalities are suitable what team instructions you need, how many of each duty is suitable, what formations can and can't use each strategy or even some extra guidance on what roles are needed/not needed. To some people this is likely really obvious but as someone who never really played football as a kid and only really gets to watch match of the day and the odd live FA cup game, I was familiar with most of the concepts but how to implement them into FM just doesn't seem obvious to me from what you wrote. It is of course possible that I am being incredibly dense but just for us dense people when you update this for FM16 please be more explicit on how to actually implement the strategies in FM.

That would be because that's not what this thread is about. This one shows the examples and the extra information you are wanting;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/375632-Pairs-amp-Combinations-FM2015-UPDATED

And then this one shows you how to translate ideas into FM;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/403153-Building-A-Tactic-From-The-Beginning-And-Maintaining-It-Long-Term

Link to post
Share on other sites
What mentalities are suitable what team instructions you need,

TIs are relative to mentality. The TC is designed to prevent inherently contradictory instructions.

how many of each duty is suitable,

That's covered in great detail with analysis of the different ways of setting up your duty distribution for a basic set-up (single pivot, double pivot) and with different match strategies (bunker tactics, obstruction tactics, etc.). It's a huge document, so it's understandable if these things get overlooked.

what formations can and can't use each strategy

An old maxim among football coaches is that formations are neutral. You can make anything attacking or defensive, and that's more the case now in FM than it has ever been. With that said, I dedicated an entire chapter to explaining the strengths/weaknesses of different formations as well as an entire chapter to explaining how to exploit exposed zones in any formation.

It is of course possible that I am being incredibly dense but just for us dense people when you update this for FM16 please be more explicit on how to actually implement the strategies in FM.

If I do a series of posts highlighting how I set up a set of tactics for Schalke, then I'll get a dozen posts moaning about how the tactics didn't work in their Leeds save. :p In any case, the thread was written to help people with their own ideas, and to be honest, I just don't have the time to quadruple the length to get the sort of specificity some want.

I also did not want to encourage people not to try new things and experiment. Whenever we get a guide that is more rule-oriented or offers strict guidelines, lots of people read it and then treat the guidelines like gospel, so we end up with the forum filled with bad advice telling people what they have to do. I wanted to encourage the opposite.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Under styles of play and fast transitions you talk about a transition creator, I was just wondering what roles you had in mind? I want mine to be the AMC in a 5-4-1 diamond WB, thinking Treq. Maybe he'll be positioned too high up? Not sure. I'll give it a go

Link to post
Share on other sites
Under styles of play and fast transitions you talk about a transition creator, I was just wondering what roles you had in mind? I want mine to be the AMC in a 5-4-1 diamond WB, thinking Treq. Maybe he'll be positioned too high up? Not sure. I'll give it a go

Defensive positioning of attack duty AMCs has improved a lot, so they shouldn't be too far up the pitch with the ST. AP-A, Treq and Enganche are all good options.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I realise that you can't cover every possible formation, but I haven't seen much about any of the asymmetrical options. Is this because they are inherently flawed? If your starting point is the strengths of your existing squad then these may look quite attractive as options.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I realise that you can't cover every possible formation, but I haven't seen much about any of the asymmetrical options. Is this because they are inherently flawed? If your starting point is the strengths of your existing squad then these may look quite attractive as options.

You can apply the same principles to analysis of other formations to asymmetric ones. Identify the exposed areas and compare to a similar formation. I wouldn't say they're inherently flawed at all, but they probably require more attention to detail. If you have a central midfield partnership where one of the two central players is always dropped off to cover (and some real coaches do this at times, Scolari and Pellegrini being examples), you probably want to make sure the DMC is on the side where you're likely to see threats in the channels... or ahead of a DC who you don't want coming off his line. I'm personally biased towards standard formations, but asymmetric formations are workable and valid approaches.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

ThOGster, can I ask about the double pivot?

The way you word it makes it sound like it is ideal for the 'attack' duties to be fullbacks and not actually duo-wingbacks. I know you're not saying it's impossible to have two WB/A's in that system, but is that advice given because two wingbacks on attack would basically exposed the flanks a lot more than two full backs on attack would?

Link to post
Share on other sites
ThOGster, can I ask about the double pivot?

The way you word it makes it sound like it is ideal for the 'attack' duties to be fullbacks and not actually duo-wingbacks. I know you're not saying it's impossible to have two WB/A's in that system, but is that advice given because two wingbacks on attack would basically exposed the flanks a lot more than two full backs on attack would?

No, there's not much difference between the roles other than the fact wingbacks run with the ball more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...