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The Art of Counter Attacking


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Do you actually have very few counter attacks or are they usually unsuccessful before making a chance to shoot so the highlights system doesn't show them?

thanks for the reply

that's a good suggestion - i generally flick between 'extended' and 'comprehensive' highlight settings, but i've been watching on 'comprehensive' more now, after your comment... i did see a few counter attacks which fizzled out almost immediately. i'll analyse things more.

ironically, i'm getting decent enough results using 'counter' mentality, but i'm just not producing a lot of counters! one ad hoc explanation for this could be that the AI is 'aware' of my counter 'threat', so doesn't commit too much to the attack, meaning they are less of an attacking threat, so i'm able to control the game and probe for chances.

the frustration is that the AI is so effective at countering...

i feel like a two-striker system could be more effective than the 4-1-4-1 for me. automatically you have two players who can build the counter together, or get on the end of it.

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Not with the shape you use you can't, not really. Mentality isn't an issue as a stand alone but add the shape you use to that and then you won't really have a counter attacking tactic. Anyting that uses a 4231 and a high mentality isn't a counter attacking system and calling it one is a bit stretch of the imagination and only misleads people. You might see the odd one but not regular and I still think you are confusing direct attacks with counter. Upload your save game and I'll go through the games and see how many counters you've actually had over the season. Upload it to Google Docs and post in the link in here please.

bang on with that, counter attacking is simple - pack your defence and his on the break when the right chance allows!

people do forget that 4-2-3-1 is very effective but its born from being in control of a game/the ball and flooding your opponents half with players and movement, even wingbacks get forward into opposition half etc.

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the only way to set a tactic which produces something similar to counter attacking football is with higher metality coupled with TIs like drop (much) deeper, more direct. at least pre FM16. I can't comment on it because I don't have it. but I doubt things have changed that much. Counter mentality is/was slow tempo, short passing game. and I'm talking about what happens in the game if you watch it on full, not in theory.

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the only way to set a tactic which produces something similar to counter attacking football is with higher metality coupled with TIs like drop (much) deeper, more direct. at least pre FM16. I can't comment on it because I don't have it. but I doubt things have changed that much. Counter mentality is/was slow tempo, short passing game. and I'm talking about what happens in the game if you watch it on full, not in theory.

Things have changed a lot.

This isn't theory btw.

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the only way to set a tactic which produces something similar to counter attacking football is with higher metality coupled with TIs like drop (much) deeper, more direct. at least pre FM16. I can't comment on it because I don't have it. but I doubt things have changed that much. Counter mentality is/was slow tempo, short passing game. and I'm talking about what happens in the game if you watch it on full, not in theory.

Not sure that was ever the case was it? I think there was some confusion as to what counter attacking football is, confusing it with direct attacking after quickly winning the ball. But even with a dropped D-line, attacking mentality still has a relatively high line and doesn't act at all like a defensive style of play.

The main noticeable difference for me in 2016 is my teams ability to keep shape and it randomly let in stupid goals or get battered right left and centre should I choose to try and play defensively.

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Do you actually have very few counter attacks or are they usually unsuccessful before making a chance to shoot so the highlights system doesn't show them?

...

Yeah you need to right players to counter quickly and to not let the defence catch up.

You could try a 451 or 4411 rather than making the jump to 442. It depends if you think you can defend without someone sitting in front of your DC's ?

having continued to watch matches on comprehensive setting, i can conclude that it's a combination of

i) a producing very few countering opportunities

and

ii) the few counters my team does create quickly fizzle out

both of which are consistent across many games and strategic situations...

i'm now going to give a two-striker formation a go, to see if this helps at all

still slightly baffled as to how others are having success in creating counters with similar tactics.

(my squad is also based on discipline and pace, with a couple of great passers in the midfield, with the intention of them having the qualities to get the counter going)

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Great thread again.

I think this time something finally clicked regarding space and movement. The screenshots were really helpful in illustrating.

There are some concepts I have already thought about and will try to implement with my tactic. I currently have a morale problem but I think my attacking movements break down too much as well. The space might be why.

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I took over Stade Brestois 29 in the French Ligue 2 right before the Sochaux game (Brest were 18th out of 20 in the league at that time) and decided to give counter-attacking a chance. After the initial results and just 2 wins in 8 games I was inclined to say it doesn`t work, but I`ve tried minor adjustments from one game to another, tried to have a better understanding of things and results improved. It`s also worth mentioning I changed from 4-1-4-1 to 4-2-3-1 (with 2 DMs on Support in the DMC position and one CM as RPM) before the Ajaccio game (it was that type of game in which everything goes horribly wrong, we were 2-0 down after 15 minutes and ended up losing 4-0, but it wasn`t a bad performance overall). 4 months later and we`re sitting comfortably in 11th place, 9 points above the relegation zone.

Schedule_%20%20Senior%20Fixtures-2.png

My advice to people saying it doesn`t work: don`t expect instant results, there`ll be no miracle and you won`t win every single game. Also allow players to learn the tactic and constantly make tweaks towards improving the tactic. It took me nearly 10 games to finally make it work, but as you can see, I`ve lost just once in the last 9 games, and that was against the league leaders.

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All well and good allowing your players learn the tactic, but as soon as they've come close to learning the tactic their morale has taken a battering. So the poor morale counters any benefit of tactic familiarity.

Have tried this on a couple of saves from the start, and it's hopeless. My teams never actually counter attack. They either bluntly keep the ball, and because the team has little attacking mentality, there is no threat on goal. When you don't have the ball, you sit so deep and players just hoof the ball all the time. Players never ever intercept or tackle higher or in the midfield.

Can people post some examples of how they've turned things around to make this approach viable?

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Cleon,

This tactic outlook you gave was abysmal for me. I picked the weakest team in the German Bundesliga and gave this tactic a go with the same setup you used after thoroughly reading this thread. The results speak for themselves, ignore the last 3 games because I was sacked after that very last loss. Ironically this team I was managing, Darmstadt, is suited very well to run your setup. Not only are all the players natural in every position required in this tactic, but they even thrive in these roles. Darmstadt is a team which has top 5 for teamwork, work rate and strength across the league. This tactic, or outlook you created, worked pretty well defensively although it was completely lackluster going forward. Most of the games I only lost by 1 goal, or at the most 2. But we only scored 6 goals in 14 games. There were no injures or any other reasons why the team should have performed so abysmally. For instance, this tactic was 100 % known by the very first Bundesliga match. What was disappointing was not only the results, but the overall lack of counter attacking football. Only a single game did we score from a counter-attack. While only 3 or 4 chances were created from counter attacking in 14 matches! Even though the results were terrible, it felt like the team was defending itself pretty well and the opponents had to rely on their individual skill beating our players rather than their tactic beating this tactic. It doesn't seem that you can create a tough, strong and hard-working team in the FM16 match engine, nor one that relies on counter-attacking as its basic principle.

WxolDXa

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Well, it did work for me.

I've recently started playing FM16 (before that was FM13, and in tactical therms, things are complete different).

So i've “loaded” cleons counter tactic and also the herne79 (442) to have backups.

I've take control of a B team (battle for relegation) and set a custom tactic. Things were ok (a couple of win, 1 loss, and 7/8 draws). When the market closed, i lost my top 5 players (out to loan and to the main team), made some adjustments to the tactic, but without those players, the results were getting worse and the team enter on a negative spiral: bad results and morale droping. By the time I hit the relegation spot, i've change to cleons tactic: first 2 games were losses (but the team was doing a lot better), next a draw, and the following 9 games (without a specific order) were 7 wins, 1 draw and a loss (this one against the leader).

The team has 4 good players at the back, the WM are quickly ones, the CM are good passers and the forward can hold the ball if long passes are made to him.

I also didn't saw many counter attacks starting in the middle field, but on corners, crosses, and when those 4 players won the ball back, several times the counter worked amazingly well (i love to see the WM changing flanks). Most of those wins were 1-0 (the chairman it's happy with the middle top table, but the fans don't like that type of football).

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All well and good allowing your players learn the tactic, but as soon as they've come close to learning the tactic their morale has taken a battering. So the poor morale counters any benefit of tactic familiarity.

Have tried this on a couple of saves from the start, and it's hopeless. My teams never actually counter attack. They either bluntly keep the ball, and because the team has little attacking mentality, there is no threat on goal. When you don't have the ball, you sit so deep and players just hoof the ball all the time. Players never ever intercept or tackle higher or in the midfield.

Can people post some examples of how they've turned things around to make this approach viable?

Re. the highlighted part, what have you tried? Copying Cleon's system and applying it to your team? Or taking the principles that Cleon discusses to create your own system? If the former, then that's the reason it didn't work - Cleon hasn't put up a tactic to download (copy). If the latter, try posting your full system in detail and someone may be able to help you.

Cleon,

This tactic outlook you gave was abysmal for me. I picked the weakest team in the German Bundesliga and gave this tactic a go with the same setup you used after thoroughly reading this thread. The results speak for themselves, ignore the last 3 games because I was sacked after that very last loss. Ironically this team I was managing, Darmstadt, is suited very well to run your setup. Not only are all the players natural in every position required in this tactic, but they even thrive in these roles. Darmstadt is a team which has top 5 for teamwork, work rate and strength across the league. This tactic, or outlook you created, worked pretty well defensively although it was completely lackluster going forward. Most of the games I only lost by 1 goal, or at the most 2. But we only scored 6 goals in 14 games. There were no injures or any other reasons why the team should have performed so abysmally. For instance, this tactic was 100 % known by the very first Bundesliga match. What was disappointing was not only the results, but the overall lack of counter attacking football. Only a single game did we score from a counter-attack. While only 3 or 4 chances were created from counter attacking in 14 matches! Even though the results were terrible, it felt like the team was defending itself pretty well and the opponents had to rely on their individual skill beating our players rather than their tactic beating this tactic. It doesn't seem that you can create a tough, strong and hard-working team in the FM16 match engine, nor one that relies on counter-attacking as its basic principle.

Copying Cleon's detailed system is the last thing that you should do. If, as you say, you have "thoroughly read" this thread then you should understand that Cleon is trying to get the principle of counter attacking football across - not putting a tactic up to copy.

Well, it did work for me.

I've recently started playing FM16 (before that was FM13, and in tactical therms, things are complete different).

So i've “loaded” cleons counter tactic and also the herne79 (442) to have backups.

I've take control of a B team (battle for relegation) and set a custom tactic. Things were ok (a couple of win, 1 loss, and 7/8 draws). When the market closed, i lost my top 5 players (out to loan and to the main team), made some adjustments to the tactic, but without those players, the results were getting worse and the team enter on a negative spiral: bad results and morale droping. By the time I hit the relegation spot, i've change to cleons tactic: first 2 games were losses (but the team was doing a lot better), next a draw, and the following 9 games (without a specific order) were 7 wins, 1 draw and a loss (this one against the leader).

The team has 4 good players at the back, the WM are quickly ones, the CM are good passers and the forward can hold the ball if long passes are made to him.

I also didn't saw many counter attacks starting in the middle field, but on corners, crosses, and when those 4 players won the ball back, several times the counter worked amazingly well (i love to see the WM changing flanks). Most of those wins were 1-0 (the chairman it's happy with the middle top table, but the fans don't like that type of football).

If it's worked, then good.

Again though, just exercise caution about taking someone else's system and copying it into your save. It won't always work, especially if the whole purpose of threads such as this one (and mine that you mention) are to discuss styles of play and setting up your own system based on sound principles.

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Copying Cleon's detailed system is the last thing that you should do. If, as you say, you have "thoroughly read" this thread then you should understand that Cleon is trying to get the principle of counter attacking football across - not putting a tactic up to copy.

Actually, he creates a naked 4-1-4-1 with no specific team instructions. In which he promises counter-attacking football. But that's not how the tactic works at all.

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Actually, he creates a naked 4-1-4-1 with no specific team instructions. In which he promises counter-attacking football. But that's not how the tactic works at all.

But do you know WHY you didn't get any counter attacks? Thats the real question. I've started using very similar tactics to Cleon, I don't that many counters, but really the reason for that is mainly due to the roles and players I have, which don't quite have the skills to pull it off, but what they do have is a much more solid base and are able to keep things tight for 90 minutes. I'd suggest your players aren't good enough to play that style.

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Actually, he creates a naked 4-1-4-1 with no specific team instructions. In which he promises counter-attacking football. But that's not how the tactic works at all.

Cleon quite clearly delivers on the promise of counter attacking football. Look at the screenshots in the OP.

The question is what does your setup look like, exactly?

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This might be a good place to post this:

4A7ZLCM.png

I'm playing as Bharat, the weakest side in the Indian Premier League, so I expect to be under the cosh in most games. What I'm trying to do is sit deep with a line of 5 and a line of 4 and wait for the opposition to commit men forward. On winning the ball, what I want is to hit the target man who holds the ball up while 2 or 3 midfielders try to get beyond him and the wingbacks move up in support, so we get a lot of quick breaks happening like this:

abKBufTamX.png

In reality, what happens is that the target man holds it up somewhat ponderously, the wingers kind of think about getting forward, receive the ball and turn back resulting in a badly-supported move in their half that goes nowhere. We really need to be getting from back to front as fast as possible with wingers bursting straight into the space behind fullbacks and the team trying to find them ASAP, but all higher tempo + more direct passing seems to do is lower pass accuracy and make attacks even less effective. Any ideas anyone?

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This is a perfect example of people not understanding the fundamental aspect of any tactic, which is that it requires an understanding of your group of players and their attributes, and that each set of players you throw into the tactic causes it to play out slightly different:

Cleon,I picked the weakest team in the German Bundesliga and gave this tactic a go with the same setup you used after thoroughly reading this thread.

So after thoroughly reading the thread, and analyzing both Cleon's and your own squad, you came to the conclusion that his tactic was plug-and-play because the weakest team in the Bundesliga matches his squad and setup, attribute for attribute?

Actually, he creates a naked 4-1-4-1 with no specific team instructions. In which he promises counter-attacking football. But that's not how the tactic works at all.

You are right, it's not how the tactic works at all. Play a F9(S) or a DLF(S) who has a rating of 15 for Teamwork, and then swap him out for someone with a rating of 1. See if they don't play any different, with no team instructions, because that's how tactics work, as a collection of individuals. Now throw PPM's into the mix, and the attributes of the players surrounding that F9/DLF. If they have no options/ability, they'll play the role differently with no team or player instructions.

One of the most common mistakes people seem to make on these forums, is to ignore the point of everything that Cleon wrote in Post #2, which again comes back to attributes, and why watching your tactic play out is not only important, but also a major influence on your enjoyment and satisfaction of the game:

Before we look at the shape and break it down to see how and why it works, I’d also like to point out the attributes I would look for if I was squad building long-term to play this style of football. I’ll not list every single attribute because no doubt you’ll all have your own ideas. But as a general list here is what I’d go for;

Technical Attributes

  • Crossing – Whether it is from deep or the by-line, it’s a weapon that you can use to devastating effects. An early cross to an attacker can instantly put the opposition onto the back foot. It’s something your wide players should have in their locker.
  • Dribbling – To take advantage of any space that appears you’ll want players who are able to bring the ball forward. It’s important for anyone who will breaking from deep with the ball at their feet.
  • First Touch – When a player receives the ball you want to be confident his touch doesn’t kill the move right?
  • Technique – This goes with the above really. You need to know players are comfortable with the ball at their feet and can use the ball well. A bad technique player could hinder a counter attacking tactic as it means he isn’t good with the ball at his feet. This can impact any kind of difficult passes or passes in general what require a bit of range.

Mental Attributes

  • Aggression – Players should want to be involved in everything. This can also help with winning the ball back early and starting quick counter attacks.
  • Bravery – You don’t want players who bottle it when trying to win the ball back early do you?
  • Off The Ball – Movement is the key to all attacking formations and play. If an attacking player has a low rating then he’ll be less likely to find a little bit of space and make the right movement to beat his marker before he receives the goal. Sometimes it can be the difference that gives you that extra yard.
  • Work rate – Players will need to work hard both in defence and attacking situations. They will be up and down the field all day long, so should be prepared to put in the hard graft.
  • Team Work – You need to play as a unit and this requires everyone on the same page. You can’t always afford to have a selfish player in this type of strategy as they can make moves break down.

Physical Attributes

  • Pace – Especially for players who like to drive forward and beat their man. It’s important for me that they can reach the top speed. Plus the players will be back and forth all match long.
  • Acceleration – This will provide that little edge in gaining an extra yard on the opposition. This and pace are very important.
  • Stamina – As the players will be up and down a lot, they need to be fit.
  • Strength – Having a high attribute for this will ensure he can hold his own against the opposition should they get close to each other. You don’t want your players to get out muscled and knocked off the ball. It will also help you win the ball back.

I appreciate not everyone will have those attributes but that’s why at the beginning I mentioned if I was squad building long-term.

Whether it's for a counterattacking system, or just comparing two Enganches and how they interpret a role, I honestly can't get my head around why people seem to think you can plug and play any tactic without setting things up around the actual players at your disposal.

The role is only a part. The player in the role makes a massive difference. The sooner people really start getting this into their heads the sooner they'll not only become better managers, but also enjoy the game a lot more. Squad building is everything, and it's about more than just winning everything, it's about having a tactic and a style of play in mind and having/acquiring the right players to deliver that, and also about seeing different flavors of that style come out with different player attributes that each individual has in the system.

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This might be a good place to post this:

4A7ZLCM.png

I'm playing as Bharat, the weakest side in the Indian Premier League, so I expect to be under the cosh in most games. What I'm trying to do is sit deep with a line of 5 and a line of 4 and wait for the opposition to commit men forward. On winning the ball, what I want is to hit the target man who holds the ball up while 2 or 3 midfielders try to get beyond him and the wingbacks move up in support, so we get a lot of quick breaks happening like this:

abKBufTamX.png

In reality, what happens is that the target man holds it up somewhat ponderously, the wingers kind of think about getting forward, receive the ball and turn back resulting in a badly-supported move in their half that goes nowhere. We really need to be getting from back to front as fast as possible with wingers bursting straight into the space behind fullbacks and the team trying to find them ASAP, but all higher tempo + more direct passing seems to do is lower pass accuracy and make attacks even less effective. Any ideas anyone?

What are your settings?

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Ceefax, I think you're trying to force the issue here. You've set your team up to counter attack every time you win the ball back.

If you read further up the thread, you'll see how counter attacks are triggered in this version of the ME. That is, if the ME sense a counter attack is on, it effectively flicks a switch which overrides all other instructions. The key to flicking this switch more often is to sit deep and invite teams on to you, to make them over-commit. You have no control over what happens once the switch is flicked. What, then, is left for you to do? Well, the tactic you create is how your team will play when it's not counter-attacking.

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Ceefax, I think you're trying to force the issue here. You've set your team up to counter attack every time you win the ball back.

If you read further up the thread, you'll see how counter attacks are triggered in this version of the ME. That is, if the ME sense a counter attack is on, it effectively flicks a switch which overrides all other instructions. The key to flicking this switch more often is to sit deep and invite teams on to you, to make them over-commit. You have no control over what happens once the switch is flicked. What, then, is left for you to do? Well, the tactic you create is how your team will play when it's not counter-attacking.

I understand the way counterattacks are triggered. However, the way I'd like my team to attack in any case is via sequences of direct passes starting with one to the target man. If the opponent is sitting back you'd expect that to take the form of a long ball to the edge of the box, a knockdown followed by a pass wide or a long shot. If they're pushed up (which they will be in most games), I'd expect it to take the form of a knockdown followed by a pass into space for a wide player. If the numbers behind the ball are just right for the counter, I'd expect to see my team charging forward trying to overload the opposition.

I'm not even totally sure the 'counter' setting, or the automatically triggered counter-attack, are relevant to the way I want to play. I want sitting back and attacking with speed via the TM to be my style of play. That should result in hardly any possession and a lot of speculative long balls into space being mopped up, but that's not what I'm seeing. 'Defensive' or 'counter' would seem to be obvious settings from the point of view of wanting to sit back and prioritise a clean sheet, but not if it means my team will be unwilling to get the ball forward or make runs beyond the target man.

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Without sounding like abroken record Ceefax, check out my Pulis thread, I tried to do something similar to what you are looking for

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/441916-A-Pulis-for-2016-Leeds-Longball

I do think having a target man in that style of play is very limiting, something I was prepared to accept however. If he gets surrounded or is having an off day... well you are screwed. It does need players to be near him for him to be able to supply them, and his stats are vital, he has to be a good player.

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Nice thread.

I wonder if it's possible to pull it off without a player in the AM strata. What I'd really like is to have inside forwards at ML and MR, so they defend properly but make runs towards and beyond the target man. I can't put a player closer to him without sacrificing the back 5 (keen to mark the hell out of all the star foreign strikers in the Indian league) or the 4 across midfield (keen to stop crosses raining in while I'm sitting deep). Maybe it'll end up something like the Napoli 3-4-2-1 of years gone by

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Nice thread.

I wonder if it's possible to pull it off without a player in the AM strata. What I'd really like is to have inside forwards at ML and MR, so they defend properly but make runs towards and beyond the target man. I can't put a player closer to him without sacrificing the back 5 (keen to mark the hell out of all the star foreign strikers in the Indian league) or the 4 across midfield (keen to stop crosses raining in while I'm sitting deep). Maybe it'll end up something like the Napoli 3-4-2-1 of years gone by

It definitely is possible, I've tried it with 'inside forwards' as you mentioned, and also using a player in the central CM position, a BBM works well. The difficulty of using a TM is that often the ball is lumped so far forward at the wrong times, and a counter isn't initiated. Not always a problem. I think even Cleon suggested its basically another type of football. I would look at having a couple of those midfield players on attack duty in that case, so they make better more ambitious runs. But again, just beware that this type of approach is quite one dimensional and relatively easy to defend against.

Having said that, I've done ok with it.

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http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2015/12/15/leicester-city-premier-league-ranieri-vardy-mahrez-tactics-epl

How about using this thread as a base to Leicester's tactic?

My take on it would be something along these lines:

GK - Schmeichel - GK/d

RB - Simpson - FB/s

CB - Morgan - CD/d

CB - Huth - CD/d

LB - Fuchs - FB/s

RM - Mahrez - W/s

CM - Drinkwater - CM/d

CM - Kante - BBM/s

LM - Albrighton - W/s

ST - Okazaki - DF/d

ST - Vardy - AF/a

Fluid/Very Fluid based on then roles chosen. Biggest doubt for me are the midfielders, the wingers could also be WM/s with added Run With Ball, Kante could maybe be a more simple CM/s.

As for TIs I'm not really sure, but I'd start with some basic ones that in my view express the way Leicester plays: More Disciplined, and Higher Tempo. They have low possession % and try to be as direct as possible without being too wasteful.

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http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2015/12/15/leicester-city-premier-league-ranieri-vardy-mahrez-tactics-epl

How about using this thread as a base to Leicester's tactic?

My take on it would be something along these lines:

GK - Schmeichel - GK/d

RB - Simpson - FB/s

CB - Morgan - CD/d

CB - Huth - CD/d

LB - Fuchs - FB/s

RM - Mahrez - W/s

CM - Drinkwater - CM/d

CM - Kante - BBM/s

LM - Albrighton - W/s

ST - Okazaki - DF/d

ST - Vardy - AF/a

Fluid/Very Fluid based on then roles chosen. Biggest doubt for me are the midfielders, the wingers could also be WM/s with added Run With Ball, Kante could maybe be a more simple CM/s.

As for TIs I'm not really sure, but I'd start with some basic ones that in my view express the way Leicester plays: More Disciplined, and Higher Tempo. They have low possession % and try to be as direct as possible without being too wasteful.

Seeing Leicester beat City today was really interesting. Theres an article out there that compares them to the way that Atletico Madrid set up. And I'd agree with it quite a lot. They are certainly a very good counter attacking side and Man City paid for it today.

What I will say is that LEI set up very tight, 3 banks playing very closely with each other when they don't have the ball, when they hit a counter opportunity the strikers and the wing players rush forward a lot more, the rest of the side are less adventerous.

With that in mind I'd think of them in this way:

GK

RB - Support

LB- Support

CB - Defend

CB - Defend

RM - Wide Mid, cut inside.

LM - Wide Mid

CM - Central Mid Defend or support

CM - Central Mid, Defend or support

ST - DLF - Support

ST - DLF - Attack

TIs - Counter, more direct.

I'd consider going fluid with them to keep their lines tighter, maybe more disciplined to stop them getting too creative and losing shape, although you'd have to see how these things interact really.

You'd also want to look at how your central mids move, you kind of want them to creating those 2 banks of 4, a defensive role would maybe pull them back a bit too much and you'd end up with them leaving a lot of space in the centre in front of them.

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http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2015/12/15/leicester-city-premier-league-ranieri-vardy-mahrez-tactics-epl

How about using this thread as a base to Leicester's tactic?

My take on it would be something along these lines:

GK - Schmeichel - GK/d

RB - Simpson - FB/s

CB - Morgan - CD/d

CB - Huth - CD/d

LB - Fuchs - FB/s

RM - Mahrez - W/s

CM - Drinkwater - CM/d

CM - Kante - BBM/s

LM - Albrighton - W/s

ST - Okazaki - DF/d

ST - Vardy - AF/a

Fluid/Very Fluid based on then roles chosen. Biggest doubt for me are the midfielders, the wingers could also be WM/s with added Run With Ball, Kante could maybe be a more simple CM/s.

As for TIs I'm not really sure, but I'd start with some basic ones that in my view express the way Leicester plays: More Disciplined, and Higher Tempo. They have low possession % and try to be as direct as possible without being too wasteful.

That article bases a lot on how Leicester used to play earlier in the season. How we play now and how we played up to the Arsenal game (the 5-2 home loss) are very different. Part of Ranieri's brilliance has been his slow, almost glacial pace of change so that on a match-to-match basis we have changed little, but progressively we have changed a lot.

For instance, compare how our fullbacks bombed on up to the Arsenal game (and led in large part to Arsenal killing us repeatedly on the counter - in addition to now fielding better fullbacks in Simpson and Fuchs, over De Laet and Schlupp). Kante and Drinkwater have a much better understanding on when one should sit while the other goes flying up on a counter. Okazaki now plays more as an attacking midfielder than a forward (torn here on a Shadow Striker role or a Defensive Forward myself). Not enough is said about Okazaki imo. Many would complain in the role, as he is bypassed 90% of the time with the designed early ball for Vardy. Check out a lot of our goals and you will always see Okazaki busting his butt getting into the area late, from deep, just in case the ball breaks.

My take on current roles is

GK - Schmeichel - GK/d

RB - Simpson - LFB/d

CB - Morgan - LCD/d

CB - Huth - LCD/d

LB - Fuchs - LFB/d

(note, none of the Limited roles are a view of their skill - purely a get it out of the danger area without hassle, and if we clear long then Vardy might make something of it - Hold Position PI where possible)

RM - Mahrez - WM/a or WP/a (with OI to man mark the fullback / wingback when defending)

CM - Drinkwater - CM/d

CM - Kante - BBM/s or BWM/d (for both CMs the triggering of a counter should suffice for bombing forward)

LM - Albrighton - WM/s or WM/d (cuts inside PI, hit crosses early to far post - one of the key routes is Albrighton to Mahrez) (with OI to man mark the fullback / wingback when defending)

ST - Okazaki - DF/d or SS/a (with OI to man mark the DM or more defensive of the MCs - to simulate him dropping deep out of possession)

ST - Vardy - AF/a

The biggest difference I see is that we currently play Defensive in FM terms. A lot of MOTD viewers are naturally falling in love with our attacking flair on the counter, but watching full games (I cannot believe it took a move to the USA to be able to watch every single Premier League game live!) we spend a LOT of time parked outside our own 18 yard box defending. Possession stats don't lie, our ~35% possession a game = a lot of defending. Our highlights of lightening quick, exciting counters no doubt give a different impression, but we are very defensive (another slow progressive Italian trait Ranieri has instilled).

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After struggling to create counter situations (except from set pieces), I've found that playing an Advanced Forward is quite effective. While the rest of the team is sat back defending (I play a 4-4-1-1), he's able to stay up high and find space, and we can hit him with quick balls over the top when the opportunity arises. Pace, movement, work rate and composure recommended. This has helped me create a few more counters than before.

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  • 1 month later...

A bit late to the party here, but I'd just like to thank Cleon for this great thread.

To put things into context, I'm playing as a championship team, but after promotion I have finished mid to upper-mid table in the Premiership for the past few seasons. The problem is that I've struggled to break into the European places consistently. I'm playing a 4-2DM-3-1 possession based tactic, which struggles against the elite (although is good against teams below that level).

Reading this thread, Cleon has several times mentioned that the natural progression is to a possession-based counter approach. Taking this as inspiration I've developed a second tactic with the aim to compete better against the higher reputation teams.

I've dropped my two wingers back to form a 4-2DM-2-1-1 of sorts. I have an IF(A) and AP(S), which have become a WM(A) and WP(S). I've set my team out with instructions to retain possession when attacking naturally, but I've also moved to a counter mentality. This, coupled with the deeper positioning of my team, gives my team a greater chance to break against teams which over commit, while still retaining a patient build up style if there isn't a chance to break.

Using this, I've got draws in my last two away matches against Chelsea and PSG, something which I'm happy with (as the big teams used to thrash me away from home). I'm still refining this approach, but I would like to thank Cleon triggering the idea!

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I really struggle to play against better teams (mainly Man Utd) away from home with them playing 4-4-2. Last three trips to old trafford have ended up 17-0 overall. The first game i admit was because i tried to flood the middle and they just went around my midfield, crossed from deep and scored every time. Second time i played with wingers hoping they would track back but again the same thing happened. So the last time thought i would tryand counter them as they are much better team on paper so though this was the best way to go:

--------------------------GK----------------------------

FB(D)-------CB(D)------------CB(D)----------FB(D)

------------------------HB(D)--------------------------

WM(A)---------CM(S)----------CM(A)---------WM(S)

------------------------CF(S)-------------------------

TI - balanced, Counter, Direct, Slightly deeper D.Line. Close down less(set Full backs to close down more)

This did not work as i kept them out for 50 minutes. then they scored 4 in the second half. I didn't mind as much as it wasn't as easy for them but i had 1 shot off target the whole game and 49% possession. Just seemed to get to their half and nothing. I wouldn't mind but i'm Arsenal and have a lot of talent in my squad its just so frustrating that i can't stop crosses and forwards easily getting on the end of them when usually i have a very solid defence.

Any suggestions on how i can link the midfield to the striker a bit better to give my back 4 a rest would be much appreciated.

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Any suggestions on how i can link the midfield to the striker a bit better to give my back 4 a rest would be much appreciated.

Looking at that tactic makes me think you need to re-read cleons guide as you've not really followed its principles, the main ones I think you've missed:

1) Counter attacks are triggered when the situation is right, you don't need to tell your team to play deeper, less pressing and more direct, they already start like that so are inviting more pressure on to you, do you have the defensive quality to soak all that pressure up consistently for the whole game? I'd say your setup is inviting crosses.

2) The roles, duties and instructions are ignored when a counter attack is triggered. This means those instructions are how you will play when you can't counter attack, keeping GK+5 players back at all times i'm not surprised you reach there half and then create nothing. I'm also not surprised that your forward is isolated when playing even more direct to him with no other forward or attacking midfielder near him.

As Arsenal I think you have the quality to play like Boydo mentioned (in the post before yours). Counter mentality so you get players behind the ball, don't press to high and have a solid defensive shape. You'll look to counter but if it isn't on you'll look to retain possession and work the ball around patiently to create a chance.

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its the worst tactic seen in my life. with southampton cant win against even easy teams loosing 3-0/2-0. We are having 1 shots on target in games lol. I see only 1 counter attack goal from the start of the season. Teams are camping in my half, the only thing my team does is hoofing the ball to striker. Total crap.

Edit: what is the point of making a tactic then? With the forum's moderators tactic i am close to be sacked. In 10 games, my team lost 5 matches, draw 4 games and win only 1 game. Then you guys expect us to make tactic and be successful?

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I didn't put a tactic up to download or to be used, instead what I did was discuss the concept of counter attacking football and left it for the user to create their own. So its you who is the issue and I don't have time to even attempt to help you as it's clear from your tone you don't want help. An obvious troll is a troll.

I'll close this thread now anyway as it's people like you who made it easy to walk away from trying to help people. I have no intention of keeping up with questions raised in threads I've created. It's actually users like you who have forced all the contributors away from the forums. If you wasn't so rubbish at the game you wouldn't have to come looking for help or to copy others here would you. A quick look at your posting history shows its not the first time. So maybe learn to play for yourself before telling others their crap etc and post your stuff up and contribute to the forums so people can post crap comments to you. Bet you won't do that though will you?!

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  • 4 months later...
On 28.11.2015 at 21:01, RTHerringbone said:

Oddly enough, here's my current system with Sporting Lisbon. Same Mentality, same Team Shape, same lack of TIs. Top of the league after 19 games; we have conceded two goals. Two :eek:

screen-shot-2015-11-28-at-19-53-38-e1448740612898.png

Could you or someone else pls post the player roles for this setup?

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi,

Like to share this tactic i've made to play against bigger teams.

Despite playing with Benfica, big team in Portugal, i've always struggled against the big teams in the european competitions. I usually play with a 4123 Wide DM formation, and against top teams in europe, that usually play with very attacking 4231 formation i was always beat... big time!

So i've decided to adopted a diferent formation, with more man at the back. The logical transition was for the 4141 formation.

Read the excelent thread by Cleon, and decided to make a tactic that could fit the following criteria: Good to play against bigger teams, both home and away.

Went for the standard mentality, because i think it's a good starting point for what i want. From there can go easily to Counter mentality, or even Defensive.

Decide to go with Fluid team shape. The reason is having a more compact formation, with more players helping in the defense. There's the risk of the extra creatitity, but that's something that i could fixed with TI's.

So Standard/Fluid to start.

Altough i'm playing against a bigger team, i still want to try to have the ball and attack... but attack only when it's save.... so for that i went it many support roles.

 

DLF(s)

 

WM(s)    BBM(s)    DLP(s)    WM(a)

DM(d)

WB(s)      CD(d)      CD(d)      FB(s)

G(d)

 

Team Instructions: None, apart from choosing "low crosses", but this is only a personnal believe that in FM16 they are the more effective.

Players Instructions:

CD(d): Mark Tighter

WM(s): Dribble More, More Risky Passes, Cut Inside with Ball, Cross Less Often. The same PI's that a IF(s) have.

BBM(s): Get Further Forward

WM(a): Dribble More, More Risky Passes, Cut Inside with Ball, Cross Less Often, Get Further Forward. The same PI's that a IF(a) have.

DLF(s): Move Into Channels

In home games, i play with the DLF(s), but in away games i prefer using a defensive forward, with support duty and Move Into Channels and Hold Up Ball instructions.

The result, is a tactic that works very well for my team when i play against big teams. Very compact in the defense, but with the ability to make good attacks.

Only play 2 games with this tactic, both against Arsenal in the group phase of Champions League.

 

First game at home, won 2-1. Use standard mentality. Arsenal had more possession and more shots, but i had more CCC's (4 against 1). Went 1-0 in the first half, and always had the control of the game. Score the 2-0 in a counter attack, and could score a couple more also in counter attacks. In the final 10 minutes they went more attacking, so i changed the mentality to Counter.

They finally score, almost in the end, in a period where i think that were playing with overload mentality.

Couple weeks later, played away in London. Draw 0-0. Went with a mix of Counter and Standard mentality (start with Counter, changed mid first half to Standard and only changed back to Counter in the final 15 minutes).

Again Arsenal had more possession and more shot. Again i had more CCC's (3 against 2). My centerback Jardel got MOM.

Really liking the tactic. Untill now, always played against big teams with my usual tactic (4123 wide DM with Control mentality) and like i said usually loose big team. Sometimes got that odd win, but always with the feeling that it was a lucky win.

Now, in these two games really like the sensation that my team was in control, the same sensation that i have when play against smaller teams.

Anyway, decided to share this you guys.

Thks. 

 

Edited by Keyzer Soze
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Greetings,

I just managed to talk my way into a full time position with Watford, 2017/2018 season is coming up.

I have a small transfer budget, but the current squad screams 5-3-2. Looked up this excellent thread and I thought of this formation off the bat:

watf count.png

No TI's/PI's to start with.

Anyone managed something like this? Cleon mentioned a 3-5-2 as suitable for countering tactics, I thought I'd give this a try. The problem is I have only one winger (Amrabat), so I'll buy the required defenders and wingbacks and try to make this work.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, I found this thread really useful and I learn a lot from it. I had success with Leicester but now I'm struggling in Argentina.

The thing is that some teams give me the ball and counter attack me. I know this is not a battle for who has less the ball, but in some matches I have like 60% possession. If I have the ball so much I can't counter attack. 

Taacutecticas_%20%20Vista%20general-3a_z 

In English is GK (D) - FB (D) CB (D) CB (D) FB (D) - DM (D) - WM (S) BBM (S) CM (S) WM (S) - DF (D)

The mentality is Counter, Shape is Estructured and 0 instructions. I tried with Slightly Deeper Defensive Line and Closing Down Less but it doesn't work. I use another tactic but is the same but 4-4-1-1 and it has the same problem. 

I hope someone could help me. 

Thanks to Cleon and everyone here. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Cleon,

 

What a stunning thread! For years I've been having not at all happy with my fm tactics, because I only could get a attacking style of play working. That said, I absolutely love counter football and thus got more and more frustrated about playing the game tge way I did.

 

Could you or someone else help me with the question: will this way of forming a counter style of play work in fm 15 (because of the differences in me 15/16)? What do I need to change/keep an extra eye on when I want to get counterfootball working in fm 15?

 

Thanks for helping me out

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Anyone still having success with a predominantly counter-attacking game as per some of these principles, with the final patch? This is more out of curiosity than anything as I've abandoned FM16, but I have a sneaky feeling that when the penultimate patch came out, this type of setup became less effective, as Cleon's highly successful experiments were prior to it. Counter-attacks seemed slightly less deadly, crossing goals almost inevitable to concede with a low block, and the AI would learn to sit deep as well and give you little space to counter.

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3 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Anyone still having success with a predominantly counter-attacking game as per some of these principles, with the final patch? This is more out of curiosity than anything as I've abandoned FM16, but I have a sneaky feeling that when the penultimate patch came out, this type of setup became less effective, as Cleon's highly successful experiments were prior to it. Counter-attacks seemed slightly less deadly, crossing goals almost inevitable to concede with a low block, and the AI would learn to sit deep as well and give you little space to counter.

There were very, very few (if any?) changes to the ME in the final patch, so it wouldn't have made any difference to counter attacking systems pre or post patch.

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Just now, HUNT3R said:

There were very, very little changes to the ME in the final patch, so it wouldn't have made any difference to counter attacking systems pre or post patch.

I know, which is why I mentioned the penultimate patch. I don't remember when it was released but remember witnessing some changes then.

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Just now, noikeee said:

I know, which is why I mentioned the penultimate patch. I don't remember when it was released but remember witnessing some changes then.

Even then, few changes were made. I've had to use counter attacking systems with the weaker teams I've managed and had no issues at all. The counter attacks were sometimes brilliant to watch and overall, I did better than expectations.

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11 minutes ago, HUNT3R said:

Even then, few changes were made. I've had to use counter attacking systems with the weaker teams I've managed and had no issues at all. The counter attacks were sometimes brilliant to watch and overall, I did better than expectations.

Interesting. Maybe I need to give it a try again. Although, it's always a balancing act because when your team gets stronger, the AI will give you less space to counter. I would imagine this type of setup would be less effective the more the game calculates the odds in your team's favour.

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1 hour ago, noikeee said:

Anyone still having success with a predominantly counter-attacking game as per some of these principles, with the final patch? This is more out of curiosity than anything as I've abandoned FM16, but I have a sneaky feeling that when the penultimate patch came out, this type of setup became less effective, as Cleon's highly successful experiments were prior to it. Counter-attacks seemed slightly less deadly, crossing goals almost inevitable to concede with a low block, and the AI would learn to sit deep as well and give you little space to counter.

Actually this was written using the final patch as I had access to it way before it was released :)

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