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The Art of Counter Attacking


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20 hours ago, VV Bal op de Lat said:

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

The principles are the exact same whether you play FM14, 16, 20 ETC

1 hour 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.

 

1 hour ago, noikeee said:

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.

It works fine against the defensive sides but the key is how you instruct the players to play when not counter attacking. That's the key thing people seem to neglect. As you don't constantly counter attack, you still play differently between counters.

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1 minute ago, Cleon said:

The principles are the exact same whether you play FM14, 16, 20 ETC

 

It works fine against the defensive sides but the key is how you instruct the players to play when not counter attacking. That's the key thing people seem to neglect. As you don't constantly counter attack, you still play differently between counters.

He's alive!

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Just now, Cleon said:

It works fine against the defensive sides but the key is how you instruct the players to play when not counter attacking. That's the key thing people seem to neglect. As you don't constantly counter attack, you still play differently between counters.

Which can still work in your favour. Playing safe, keeping the ball and strangling the opponent, waiting for that opening/mistake. It's just a different way to the forcefulness of the higher risk mentalities.

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Quote

He's alive!

Barely :D

 

1 minute ago, HUNT3R said:

Which can still work in your favour. Playing safe, keeping the ball and strangling the opponent, waiting for that opening/mistake. It's just a different way to the forcefulness of the higher risk mentalities.

It's the next natural step from a counter attacking formation imo. When you aren't countering you're playing a slow (ish) possession kind of system. Both systems mould into one for most parts if you play on the lower end of the mentality scale.

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Has anyone successfully played a counter attacking system in the lower leagues? I often when the chance to counter came up on FM16 lower league players tended to hoof the ball up the pitch and lose the opportunity.

It seemed to me that the changes to improve counter attacking from FM15 made much more difference with at the higher levels.

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I think people often confuse counter football(counter attacking)  with counter-pressing. I think they are 2 completely different approaches, the first one is conservative and the second one rather aggressive. Playing on the counter means playing you have to play defensive football for large periods in a match, so you have to be first of all defensively solid at the back, frustrate the opponents,and  when you have the ball keep it as much as you can in order your defense to take a breath. With this approach the main aim is to keep it clean at the back and if you have a chance to score then is more than enough.

On the other hand there is counter pressing football which is very popular nowadays as coaches like Bielsa, Klopp, Roger Schmidt implemented it to great success. In order to play counter pressing football i think you need at least the control strategy probably attack with several players surging forward when you have the ball. What you want is to press and steal the ball from the opponents and pass into space quickly to hit them while their def is not organised. With that being said i do not touch the closing down slider, instead i give to 3-4 players PI's to close down more in order to have the rest of my team well organised. I am already playing on attack so closing down and d-line are way up. The TI's i think are must  pass into space,play out defense,prevent gk distribution and mark tighter. Also sometimes playing narrow is good and the passing length depending on the opponent. Recently i found great help when playing with stubborn teams to drop deeper in order to create the space for me to counter attack.

Edited by fmjeros
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On 28/11/2015 at 06:31, herne79 said:

when they should actually be using the TIs and roles to tell the players how to play when they are not on the counter,

Herne mind expanding a bit on this?

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3 minutes ago, QSF25 said:

Herne mind expanding a bit on this?

A Counter Attack (in FM terms) is initiated by the game when certain criteria are met during the match.  I can't remember the exact criteria off the top of my head (it's probably detailed in this thread somewhere, I haven't read it for a while), but it's to do with the number of players in attack and defence when possession is lost so that you (or the opposition!) can create an overload and players sprint forward in attack (ie., a counter attack).

When that happens, the AI essentially takes over, ignores all of your tactical settings, and makes your team (or the opposition if they are counter attacking - it works both ways) ultra attack minded for the duration of the counter attack.  Thus, any tactical settings that you make will be used by your team when you are not counter attacking.  In other words, you don't have to use tactical settings to make your team counter attack, as the AI does it for you.

The basic idea is to set up in such a way as to encourage the opposition to over commit players forward in attack so that when they lose the ball you can get players forward quickly and in numbers, and so overload their defence.  So, a counter attacking system is very much about your formation - if you have lots of players in advanced positions (such as in a 4231), the opposition will be very unlikely to over commit men forward when in possession as they'll leave plenty back to mark your advanced players.  But in a different formation (such as the 4141 that Cleon demonstrates) you only have one player in an advanced position, so the opposition are less likely to leave so many players in defence and thus commit more forward.

That's the basic idea, but Cleon goes through all of this in much greater detail which I'd encourage you to read.

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On 11/10/2016 at 07:33, herne79 said:

A Counter Attack (in FM terms) is initiated by the game when certain criteria are met during the match.  I can't remember the exact criteria off the top of my head (it's probably detailed in this thread somewhere, I haven't read it for a while), but it's to do with the number of players in attack and defence when possession is lost so that you (or the opposition!) can create an overload and players sprint forward in attack (ie., a counter attack).

When that happens, the AI essentially takes over, ignores all of your tactical settings, and makes your team (or the opposition if they are counter attacking - it works both ways) ultra attack minded for the duration of the counter attack.  Thus, any tactical settings that you make will be used by your team when you are not counter attacking.  In other words, you don't have to use tactical settings to make your team counter attack, as the AI does it for you.

The basic idea is to set up in such a way as to encourage the opposition to over commit players forward in attack so that when they lose the ball you can get players forward quickly and in numbers, and so overload their defence.  So, a counter attacking system is very much about your formation - if you have lots of players in advanced positions (such as in a 4231), the opposition will be very unlikely to over commit men forward when in possession as they'll leave plenty back to mark your advanced players.  But in a different formation (such as the 4141 that Cleon demonstrates) you only have one player in an advanced position, so the opposition are less likely to leave so many players in defence and thus commit more forward.

That's the basic idea, but Cleon goes through all of this in much greater detail which I'd encourage you to read.

Ok so lets say that I have a counter mentality and I have the instructions drop deeper and keep possession and slow pace. Once the counter triggers they will ignore this?  Meaning that they will take it slow  making the opponent to pressure us until the conditions are met?

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9 hours ago, QSF25 said:

Ok so lets say that I have a counter mentality and I have the instructions drop deeper and keep possession and slow pace. Once the counter triggers they will ignore this?  Meaning that they will take it slow  making the opponent to pressure us until the conditions are met?

If you'd read any of the opening post this is explained, :) I suggest you read it.

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Ok so my team do counter attack but once the forward (defensive forward) gets the ball he keeps it waiting for everyone else to come forward while he only has one defender to beat; by that time all of the defenders close down on him. He has a fairly good pace and avg dribbling am I missing something?

 

I changed the tactic a bit, I told them to drop deeper to not press the the other team, slow tempo, mark tight and keep possesion. I want them to keep the ball until the opponent sends all his man.

 

Also how would I know how many players are part of the counter phase?

Edited by QSF25
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3 minutes ago, QSF25 said:

Ok so my team do counter attack but once the forward (defensive forward) gets the ball he keeps it waiting for everyone else to come forward while he only has one defender to beat; by that time all of the defenders close down on him. He has a fairly good pace and avg dribbling am I missing something?

 

If you are having specific issues with your own system, you're probably better off starting your own thread.  If you do, please include as much detail about your system and the issues as possible.

https://community.sigames.com/topic/264734-asking-for-help-please-read-this/

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Ok thanks. At least help understand this bit. How do I know how many of my players participate in the counter attackin phase? How many will they stay back?

Edited by QSF25
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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, QSF25 said:

Hi, I still dont quite get who or how many participate in the counter attack. How could I know? 

 

Does support roles switch to attack and defenders stays the same?

You would know by watching. And it won't be the same players every time. Its going to depend on how and where the ball is won back, and what players are available. I can't say I've noticed my central defenders and anchor man charging forward on the counter with any regularity, but unless something is messed up with my deep shape when the ball is won back, they are usually amongst my deepest players. Maybe if your defensive players were your furthest forward when the counter is triggered, they would still participate. But that is going to be unlikely are should be rare.

I've never noted that role and duty matters all that much when the counter is triggered. The players who are in a position to join the attack will do so. A defensive winger is still gonna go for it.

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This is brilliant. I've decided, rather belatedly I admit, to read up on how the game actually works tactically and this thread is a great place to start. 

FM17 has had me on the verge of smashing my MacBook Pro to pieces so something had to give. I cant justify a new mac so it's time for me to go "back to school"! 

I might actually start to enjoy the game!

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Did anyone watched Liverpools 4th goal against Crstal Palace? Firmsino scored. I thought it was the perfect FM goal, the RW ran wide with the ball, pulled Crystal Palace defender wide leaving Firmino (striker) and another slow defender wide open, he then pass back to a CM player and the CM made a long through pass to the penalty box which Firmino run passed the last defender and scored a tidy goal. 

I notice the Liverpool players were all standing inactive, only the RW and Firminoe  making run during the attack. Would you say they played a very rigid mentality with high creativity for the attacking players? very Barcelona stuff

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I've just finished my first season with Sheff Utd in FM17 and using this tactic, and a possession tactic against the smaller teams, I did the double (League One and Vanarama Cup).

I made a few tweaks to the the 4-1-4-1. I made my LB an attacking wing-back so he overlaps the Left WM to provide an attacking outlet and crosses into the box (I scored plenty of goals this way). I added the player instructions for the 2 MCs to Shoot Less Often and the Right WM to Get Further Forward. I still have no Team Instructions.

In my second season after 10 games in the Championship I am 1st with 8 wins and 2 draws playing exclusively this counter 4-1-4-1. This is against teams with much better players than mine.

Another thing to stress (as Cleon mentioned) is that pace is extremely important to be able to counter efficiently, so try and get as much pace as you can in the side.

Edited by OTron
Grammar
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On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 16:33, herne79 said:

A Counter Attack (in FM terms) is initiated by the game when certain criteria are met during the match.  I can't remember the exact criteria off the top of my head (it's probably detailed in this thread somewhere, I haven't read it for a while), but it's to do with the number of players in attack and defence when possession is lost so that you (or the opposition!) can create an overload and players sprint forward in attack (ie., a counter attack).

When that happens, the AI essentially takes over, ignores all of your tactical settings, and makes your team (or the opposition if they are counter attacking - it works both ways) ultra attack minded for the duration of the counter attack.  Thus, any tactical settings that you make will be used by your team when you are not counter attacking.  In other words, you don't have to use tactical settings to make your team counter attack, as the AI does it for you.

The basic idea is to set up in such a way as to encourage the opposition to over commit players forward in attack so that when they lose the ball you can get players forward quickly and in numbers, and so overload their defence.  So, a counter attacking system is very much about your formation - if you have lots of players in advanced positions (such as in a 4231), the opposition will be very unlikely to over commit men forward when in possession as they'll leave plenty back to mark your advanced players.  But in a different formation (such as the 4141 that Cleon demonstrates) you only have one player in an advanced position, so the opposition are less likely to leave so many players in defence and thus commit more forward.

That's the basic idea, but Cleon goes through all of this in much greater detail which I'd encourage you to read.

What about a 4-4-1-1? Or would you think to many advanced players?

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Read up on this thread recently and implemeted some of the things said along the way into my own tactic. Currently using a  3-5-2 wing back formation with Burton no TI's/no PI's.

It seems to be going pretty well so far I have currently just battered Sheffield Wed***day 4-0, which as a United fan pleases me greatly.

 

Kudos to Cleon for this thread and others who have contributed.

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On ‎2016‎-‎11‎-‎05 at 06:46, daleuk8 said:

What about a 4-4-1-1? Or would you think to many advanced players?

A 4-4-1-1 isn't bad. Much like using a standard 4-4-2, who have the two forward players who aren't contribute that much on the defensive side. You might have to experiment with the roles for the AMC - if you use DF for the ST, you might find they actually do more work defensively than the AMC.

Having one less player defending deep is a downside, but with a 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2, the upside is you have two players forward when a counter is triggered.

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2 hours ago, Bigpapa42 said:

A 4-4-1-1 isn't bad. Much like using a standard 4-4-2, who have the two forward players who aren't contribute that much on the defensive side. You might have to experiment with the roles for the AMC - if you use DF for the ST, you might find they actually do more work defensively than the AMC.

Having one less player defending deep is a downside, but with a 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2, the upside is you have two players forward when a counter is triggered.

OK thank you. I've tried a 4-3-3 wide, do you think I should pull them back to a flat 4-5-1?

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55 minutes ago, daleuk8 said:

OK thank you. I've tried a 4-3-3 wide, do you think I should pull them back to a flat 4-5-1?

Well, a key part of the idea of playing a counter-centric tactic is that you can defend effectively. The more players back, the better. With a 4-3-3, you have 3 players more forward who are not going to defend all that much. Pulling them back into the MC strata will help. It leaves the ST a bit isolated, but you can use roles and even PIs to get the wide players fairly far forward when you have the ball in a non-counter situation.

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2 minutes ago, Bigpapa42 said:

Well, a key part of the idea of playing a counter-centric tactic is that you can defend effectively. The more players back, the better. With a 4-3-3, you have 3 players more forward who are not going to defend all that much. Pulling them back into the MC strata will help. It leaves the ST a bit isolated, but you can use roles and even PIs to get the wide players fairly far forward when you have the ball in a non-counter situation.

I decided to pull them back, I've got a W/P support on the left and a Winger-Attack on the right, it's the winger I'm questioning as I know he wont track back much?

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16 minutes ago, daleuk8 said:

I decided to pull them back, I've got a W/P support on the left and a Winger-Attack on the right, it's the winger I'm questioning as I know he wont track back much?

Why won't he track back much?  A winger (attack) in the MR position on Counter(?) mentality should track back, even if he doesn't have much work rate.

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1 minute ago, herne79 said:

Why won't he track back much?  A winger (attack) in the MR position on Counter(?) mentality should track back, even if he doesn't have much work rate.

Sorry I thought I read somewhere that Wingers don't tend to track back much? Are you questioning having a Winger on an Attack duty on a Counter mentality? It was to give the side balance and movement. Do you feel it would be better on another role?

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2 minutes ago, daleuk8 said:

Sorry I thought I read somewhere that Wingers don't tend to track back much? Are you questioning having a Winger on an Attack duty on a Counter mentality? It was to give the side balance and movement. Do you feel it would be better on another role?

Not questioning the role / duty at all.  If you're happy with the balance and movement it's giving you that's all that matters :thup:.

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2 minutes ago, herne79 said:

Not questioning the role / duty at all.  If you're happy with the balance and movement it's giving you that's all that matters :thup:.

The other thing I'm question is my CM set-up, I have and Anchor Man, a head of him I have a BBM and A/P/attack with CF/Support? Any advice?

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1 minute ago, daleuk8 said:

The other thing I'm question is my CM set-up, I have and Anchor Man, a head of him I have a BBM and A/P/attack with CF/Support? Any advice?

My advice would be to play some matches and see how it goes.  If you have problems and can't figure out what to do, create a new thread, post the full detail and the issues you are having, and see if someone can offer help.

Based on this quote above, some people may say alter this or change that, but that's dangerous to do.  Everything interacts with everything else, so to look at a few roles in isolation could well result in bad advice being given.

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  • 1 month later...

 

Just about to start a save as Alcorcon in the Spanish second tier. Being just below mid table in quality there are teams in the division that are a lot better than me and a lot worse. Against the teams that are better than me i will set up as a countering team (read the above thread very helpful!) and soak up a lot of pressure and try and sneak a 1-0. But against teams that are worse than me I'm not sure this will work as they won't be committing as many players forward so i will have to play a more expansive style of football to break them down. In the past when this has been the situation i have struggled on both counts as my team never really settles into either mentality and it is hard to get a squad that can play defensively and focused but also with flair and creativity on a shoestring budget and a small reputation. If i had to choose i would prefer to be more defensive as if i ever get promoted that would be my main tactic.

My question is has anyone had success playing counter attacking football consistently over a season even if they are the better team or is it just about using minor tweaks to try and get the best out of a small squad as i don't want to ask my team to learn two entirely different tactics as that's not fair or realistic for consistent success?

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5 minutes ago, Marc.Foster050 said:

My question is has anyone had success playing counter attacking football consistently over a season even if they are the better team or is it just about using minor tweaks to try and get the best out of a small squad as i don't want to ask my team to learn two entirely different tactics as that's not fair or realistic for consistent success?

You've answered your own question ;).

It's perfectly possible to play counter attacking football over a season.  Just be prepared to make minor tweaks here and there during matches if you think it's needed.

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  • 1 month later...

How important is the aggression stat for more attacking players?

Interested in building something with Arsenal's young squad but their aggression stat is largely woeful across the board.

OP states it relates to willingness to involve themselves in the game, a low stat seems very counter-productive in this setup.

Edited by sirfletch2006
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  • 4 weeks later...

A big thank you to @Cleon for his analysis and another big thank you to @herne79 for helping me understand some of the details of this analysis.
I had read about

and made a very good possession-based tactic out of it.
I haven't created a counter-attack tactic yet, i am still working on it, but, your contribution is fantastic.

Thank you.

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  • 1 month later...

hi, Cleon! , astonishing threat and some andswers too  ;

this threat It has helped me a lot to make more consistent my team :D

But it is still very difficult for me to determine the position of the opps d-line
Is there any trick to observe this better* ?

thx a lot!

* i'm playing in 2D

 

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I'm currently attempting to kind of re-create Conte's 3-4-3 /5-4-1 which I would argue is counter-based. I've got my defenders basically in a wall but they're quick enough to bomb forward when the opposition inevitably over-commit. I think it's funny how the AI seem to see 3 at the back as license to try and overload me. My defenders are solid enough to win it back and knock it forward to a wide player who is basically on his own. I owe a lot to Cleon and Herne on this thread! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the thread. I've taken in the opening posts and looking into applying counter attacking principles to my side.

I wanted to ask, and apologies if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but do you see any problem with using a two striker formation and trying to counter using it? I've been struggling with my 4-4-2 system in the Conference, and I am looking at changing it to a 4-2-2-2. The only instruction I will use would be go more direct due to the quality of my target man. He is the main reason I want to try and play two up top.

Using the two strikers presents a few problems by way of instructions. The BBM midfielder used to link your attack and midfield is too attacking for a formation with two central midfielders. I have a good candidate for the anchor man role and was considering using a deep lying playmaker with support setting - I don't want him to press and leave the back four overly exposed, but I do want him to give an option to link with the attack.

At the moment I'm looking at

ST (AF-A), ST (TM-S)
ML (WM-S), DM (DLP-S), DM (A-D), MR (WM-S)

My idea using the counter mentality and lack of players pressing as suggested in the thread is to invite teams on. I have two strong tall centre halves and want the two central defensive midfielders to sit in front, be difficult to breakdown and then using direct balls counter for a target man and an advanced forward.

What should I be worried about, and is a two striker formation designed to counter a bit foolish? My concerns are the DM--> ST link and as OP has outlined that my two strikers mean my opponents are less likely to commit players forward as they might vs a one striker formation.

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@Fishlcfc_9 A deep 442 as you suggest shouldn't be a problem if set up right.  Remember, any tactical settings you create are used when you are not counter attacking, so when a counter is on your deep midfield should break forwards in support anyway.

The two issues I'd be concerned about are:

1) Using a Target Man.  In much the same way as using a playmaker, a Target Man is a ball magnet and thus may unduly attract the ball during counter attacks before the rest of your team have organised themselves.  Possibly not much of an issue as he has a strike partner, but something to keep an eye on.  A CF(s) or DLF(s) can be good alternatives if you notice problems.

2) The DM pairing.  When you are not counter attacking (which will be most of the time), the pairing you mention when combined with the low risk Counter mentality may be overly conservative.  The ball is going to get forwards fairly quickly due to your use of a Target Man so getting players forward in support of your two strikers could be an issue.  You already mention this with your concerns for the DM > ST link.  Consider 2 support roles here, perhaps one with PIs adjusted to help him get further forward.  With such a conservative mentality, support duty players in the DM position will play accordingly, unless you instruct them otherwise.

Overall, start with what you suggest and watch to see how you get on, especially in relation to these two issues.  Adjust from there if you notice problems.

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@herne79 Thanks for your input, really helpful comments.

1) I've just watched my first couple of games in the league with the tactic, and I think your target man comment may be an insightful one. I just tried sticking with a target man for one half after I saw your comment, and then as the pass completion was so low (57%) I moved to a DLF. You can see that my Deep Lying Playmaker became the nucleus of the team when changing to a DLF, while the Target Man was a bit more of a 'ball magnet' in the first half.

My pass completion and possession increased markedly in the second half (avg. pass completion jumped from 57 to 66), but the build up was a little more studied. I want to get the best out of my target man (in Non League I think a striker with high physical attributes and height is very useful), but I don't want it to be at a detriment to the team. I'll probably be mixing it up to begin with to see what the best result is. It might be that I try early crosses TIs, but I'm going to keep it as basic as possible to begin with.

2) As for the DM pairing, I think your concern is valid and similar to mine. I think I am going to stick with the DLP (S) and an Anchorman (D) for now, and try to be solid and difficult to beat. So far my results are 0-0, 0-1 (away win) and 0-0 since moving to the tactic. If the trend of low scoring continues I may move to DLP (S) and DM (S).

Thanks again!

passcombi.png

passcombiAFTERgoingDLF.png

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, I've been reading this topic over and over en trying to get counter attacking to work, but i'm becoming a little desperate. 

I've been experimenting a lot, but now I've gone back to the basic tactic Cleon used. It fits my players so it seemed like a good idea. I'm managing Kingstonian (youth scenario) and the tactic worked very well. I was in the top of the league (Vanarama South). But all my goals came from normal play and not out of counters. Now and then a counterattack is triggered, but very often killed within seconds.

So, tactic:

GK

FB-CD-CD-WB

         A

WM(o)-BBM-CMs-WM(a/o)

DF

Problems i'm facing:

1. Getting the counterattack triggered. Lots of teams play 4-4-2 and play direct football. So kicking the ball to their strikers, very often I win the ball before the opponent gets far into my half. So no counterattack is triggered. They also keep their backs behind and often one of the central midfielders. They won't come out and just kick the ball to their strikers. I really don't no how to get counterattacks. Only TI i'm using is: drop D-line a little.

2. Creating chances out of open play. We often have a lot of possession (+60%), but we're not effective. We play the ball around just before the penalty-area in the diamond DMC-MC-MC-ST, but without options to pass a ball through. That's why I end up with a lot of shots from outside the penalty-area, but no good chances. Or we just lose the ball and face a counterattack ourselves 

1zew10x.png

I've been trying to tweak the tactic, but I end up with a few attacking roles with the consequence that we have fewer chances of triggering counterattacks. 

I hope someone can give me a helpful tip.

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@Jommelb

Welcome to the forum.

A few things:

1) Be happy !  You're top of the league, great going :).  No need for desperation.

2) Your success may be part of the issue.  AI managers will play differently against you given your relative performance.  You're doing well so they'll probably be playing more cautiously against you.  Cautious play is less likely to lead to counter attack opportunities.  You can't "make" your opponents over commit and leave themselves open to a counter.

3) Is there any perception bias here?  If you are playing on key highlights, that means you'll only be watching exciting incidents during a match - usually goal mouth incidents.  ok, you aren't scoring many (any?) from counter attacks but some failed counter attacks may not warrant a "key highlight", so perhaps you are getting more counters than you realise?

4) Are you expecting too much?  Counter attacks, even with the best system imaginable, will be quite rare during any given match.  However many you think you should be getting, divide it by ten, then halve it and halve it again.  ok, not literally but you get my meaning.

5) Remember that any tactical setting you use will be used by your team when you are not counter attacking.  So if you are having issues creating chances out of open play (which will be most of the time), you can still set up instructions for your players to use under these circumstances.  They'll just ignore them when a counter attack starts.

6) If copying Cleon's system is working for you then great.  Just bear in mind that simply copying someone else's system can lead to issues, so try to prioritise the principles being discussed here first and foremost which can help you create your own systems in the future if needed.

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Thanks for your response Herne.

I've been watching full games and the counterattack gets triggered now and then, but won't last long most of the time. So my expectations are probably too high. That makes me wonder if it's worth the effort to create a counterattack like this. 

I lost in the play-offs for promotion so second season I'm in the VNS again. But this season the results are less good. Most of the matches I'm dominating, but I just can't create chances with this tactic. We're playing the ball around at the opponents half, but without creating chances. What gives me a lot of matches like this:

24zzkg9.png

2njm59i.png

Tactic:

GK

FB-CD-CD-WB

         A

WM(o)-BBM-CMs-WM(a/o)

        DF

How can I create more chances? So far the danger comes from these two scenario's: Througt ball to our left WM who crosses the ball. Or a pass to our DF who drops deep and our BBM is getting into the box, but this happens not very often. If I give my midfielders more attacking roles they will also be putting more pressure when we're in defense so the chance for a counterattack triggered gets smaller. One the problems might be that I don't have any creative players, 9 is the max for creativity.

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1 hour ago, Jommelb said:

How can I create more chances?

No.  

"How can I create better chances" is more valid, based on what I see above.  If those analysis screens are indeed typical of what you are seeing then you are having plenty of chances (shots) already, but they're just about all from outside the area and mostly off target.  Closer range shots (aka better chances) are in order.

So why so many long range shots?  Possibly a bad PPM (trait) in one or two players (takes long shots for example) or low decision making, but more than likely from a lack of support and options.  If a player is isolated near the opposition penalty area without a valid passing option he'll either shoot or get tackled.  The first thing I suggest you do is look into those shots (you can click each one on that analysis screen to play it back) an identify why the shot was taken instead of something else.

Then how to fix?  Well that'll depend on the cause, but some general ideas (may or may not be relevant until you know the cause):

- Change Team Shape to standard or higher.  This can help encourage your players forward in attacking transitions.

- Give a central midfielder an attack duty to get him forward faster in support of your striker.

- Shorter passing and/or lower tempo to stop the ball getting forward so quickly (although with a counter mentality that shouldn't happen anyway unless counter attacking).

- Give your striker the instruction to hold up the ball (or change his role to one that has this PI).

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You're right about the chances, it's indeed about better chances. There's no PPM for long shots. Decision making could be a problem. Well I'm not playing with a very good team. The players don't get isolated, but it's more that there seems to be no option inside the box to pass the ball to. 

About your suggestions:

- The team shape, I think you mean change to more fluid? But that means players pay less attention to their own mentality and more to the team mentality so I guess my BBM will get more defense-minded?

- If I give him an attack duty, he will also be closing down more, that gives us a less chance to trigger a counterattack. 

- That's not the problem, it's not going too fast.

- Haven't tried that option yet.

I've been analyzing and I've uploaded a video with some moments that happen very often.

There's not a lot of penetration into the box but there's also little space. I don't really know what to change to get better chances. I hope you can help me a analyze the problem with this video.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YLRUEpZ2AU&feature=em-upload_owner

 

Edited by Jommelb
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I've found playing with more width (wingers and fairly wider TI) helped cut down long shots and create better chances. It stopped players crowding up in the centre, creating more space.

Maybe not the problem you're having but if full backs are too attacking it can also cause a lack of space.

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