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The Art of Counter Attacking


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Well, time to agree to disagree :D

There's really nothing else to argue about otherwise we'll go in circles. All we can agree upon is that I can score goals from this tactic :D

haha.. its not even about disagreeing though.. can you point out the points in those games where you actually scored a goal from a counter attack, and not just a clearance from an opposition free kick or corner?

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The term "counterattack" implies that it's an attack made in response to an opponent's attack. That's why it's counterattack and not just attack. Hence, a counterattacking style implies that you deliberately drop off and defend in a deep-ish defensive block as opposed to winning the ball back before your opponent has transitioned from defence.

If you're going to be super precise about your terminology, I would say:

Transition Style = Your attack is based on moving the ball forward quickly after winning possession.

Counterattacking Style = You play a transition style in which you also have your defence drop back and invite the opposition to commit players forward.

Defensive Counterattacking Style = You play a counterattacking style in which you also avoid committing defenders/midfielders forward in open play.

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What about when teams give you the ball? The mentality plus the supporting roles will allow, I think, you to dominate possession and start probing. You have wide midfielders offering a bit of width, a box to box really pushing forward, a wing back with a bit of license and a deep striker. The rest of the team, I shouldn't think they stretch the opposition too much (or only in very low risk situations (how frequent are these?)?)? Is that enough to consistently beat the poorer teams? How many 0-0's do you have, or how many 0-0's were you on course for before you tinkered, although I saw that 99% of the time you don't tinker so they must offer threats?? You're playing as Sheffield United who a good team in League One, I'd guess that at least the bottom half clubs play negatively against you. Could you show a few examples of how the support duties play out when they are forced to build attacks?

Edit: I've just seen the Sporting Lisbon example from RTH, again it seems to be playing fine for big teams but how and why?

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It is a thread about counter attacking, and you claimed yours is a counter attacking tactic when it clearly is not. Anybody will be able to download those .pkms and see it immediately. So far three people have done so and suggested it is not a counter attacking system, so either we're all wrong or.......

Make that 4 (watching comprehensive too).

I saw some great attacking play, exciting goals being scored. Defence looked pretty solid too. Nice, fast, direct passing from deep lying defenders and/or midfielders up to the high positioned front 3 or 4 players.

But in terms of counter attacking as laid out and explained by Cleon in this thread? I saw no evidence of that.

Nice direct attacking tactic though :thup:.

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Look man, I'm a ManU fan and no one would tell Sir Alex that he was not a counter attacking coach and at the same time you can't tell him that was not an attacking coach. I remember the days of CR7/Wayne/Tevez

Three players always up front but the only time they came back deep were to pick up balls from deep to start counterattacks. So, now my brain hurts??

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Just curious...in the earlier post you mentioned that some significant changes were made from fm 2015 to 2016 with regards to how teams counter and soak up pressure, so does this tactic translate to fm 2015 for those of us that are still stuck on 2015?

In theory I can see how the ideas can translate to fm 2015 or any fm for that matter, I think I over use PIs and TIs and I get ocd about balancing attacking, support and defend roles, so I'll try this out on a save in fm 2015.

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Look man, I'm a ManU fan and no one would tell Sir Alex that he was not a counter attacking coach and at the same time you can't tell him that was not an attacking coach. I remember the days of CR7/Wayne/Tevez

Three players always up front but the only time they came back deep were to pick up balls from deep to start counterattacks. So, now my brain hurts??

You are simply confusing direct attacking style with counterattacking style. This last example proves it even more.

FYI, Mourinho is a counterattacking coach, SAF was not.

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^I thinks its semantics.

I look at it this way. One one side you have Dortmund under Klopp, but on the other side you have Atletico Madrid under Simeone (Although they have changed their approach this season).

If we try to replicate their tactics on FM, I think Dortmund would have a attacking mentality and a high line, whereas Atletico would have a defensive/counter mentality.

Dortmund did score many counter attack goals, but that was more a by product of their aggressive pressing, even Bayern score many counter attack goals nowadays.

Atletico on the other hand relied on dropping deep, soaking up pressure and hitting teams on the break. So when the numbers were not in their favor, they tended to play it safe. I think that's what counter attacking 'style' is all about. I think the confusion has to do with style vs outcome.

I don't know if that makes sense, this was my attempt to try.

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^I thinks its semantics.

I look at it this way. One one side you have Dortmund under Klopp, but on the other side you have Atletico Madrid under Simeone (Although they have changed their approach this season).

If we try to replicate their tactics on FM, I think Dortmund would have a attacking mentality and a high line, whereas Atletico would have a defensive/counter mentality.

Dortmund did score many counter attack goals, but that was more a by product of their aggressive pressing, even Bayern score many counter attack goals nowadays.

Atletico on the other hand relied on dropping deep, soaking up pressure and hitting teams on the break. So when the numbers were not in their favor, they tended to play it safe. I think that's what counter attacking 'style' is all about. I think the confusion has to do with style vs outcome.

I don't know if that makes sense, this was my attempt to try.

But, Atleti didn't only sit deep and soak up pressure. They funneled their opponents out wide and close them down any chance they could if they ever got in the middle. So, yea.

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Ahem....

Do you really think this proves that SAF was a counter-attacking coach?

Again, FYI, every team and every manager uses counter-attacks from time to time. It's part of the game. It's a game of transitions after all. But there is a difference between that and a manager being a counter-attacking manager. You see, one is a moment of the game and the other one is a style of play. When it's a style of play, it means having your team sitting deep, accepting pressure and allowing the opposition to have the ball, more or less to a certain degree. And then relying predominately on counter-attacks and set pieces to cause damage. Again, you need to understand that counter-attacks can be executed even by an possession/attacking style team too, because they are part of the game. But they are not the main weapon then, occur less frequently and they are less moments to execute them, because that team that practices possession/attacking style has less opportunities to use counter-attacks due to them having the majority of the ball while the opposition sits back and defend.

Therefore, SAF can't be classified as a counter-attacking manager because he rarely, almost never, set his team to sit deep, relinquish possession and count mostly on counter-attacks. Not even in two CL finals against Barca! Sir Alex was known mostly as Direct Attacking style manager, though progressed and improved over the years, like introducing more practicality and possession as he was changing players and rebuilding his team over and over again.

Now, someone like Mourinho on the other hand is know as a Counter-Attacking manager because more often than not he sets his teams to be patient, cautious and sitting deep - especially in big important games. For God's Sakes he did so while managing Real Madrid in Bernabeu vs Barca....blasphemy!

Now do you understand the difference between counter-attacks as phase of play and style of play?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvJVRL1Pmus

Direct counter-attack styles:

- Tony Pulis

- LVG

- Sam Allardyce

- Steve Bruce

- Portugal (Ronaldo)

- France (Zidane)

- Brazil 1994

Types of goals: 1 direct pass, few touches and passes before scoring. (Bergkamp vs Argentina,

Possesion Counter attacking styles:

- Jose Mourinho (Ronaldo, Benzema, Di Maria, Ozil)

- Jurgen Klopp (Dortmund)

- Aston Villa (Benteke, Delph, Weiman, Gabby)

- Barcelona (MSN + Rakitic)

Types of goals: Relies on speed, one touch pass, quick fluid transition

Every team plays counter attacking, after all it means COUNTERING an ATTACK.

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Do you really think this proves that SAF was a counter-attacking coach?

Again, FYI, every team and every manager uses counter-attacks from time to time. It's part of the game. It's a game of transitions after all. But there is a difference between that and a manager being a counter-attacking manager. You see, one is a moment of the game and the other one is a style of play. When it's a style of play, it means having your team sitting deep, accepting pressure and allowing the opposition to have the ball, more or less to a certain degree. And then relying predominately on counter-attacks and set pieces to cause damage. Again, you need to understand that counter-attacks can be executed even by an possession/attacking style team too, because they are part of the game. But they are not the main weapon then, occur less frequently and they are less moments to execute them, because that team that practices possession/attacking style has less opportunities to use counter-attacks due to them having the majority of the ball while the opposition sits back and defend.

Therefore, SAF can't be classified as a counter-attacking manager because he rarely, almost never, set his team to sit deep, relinquish possession and count mostly on counter-attacks. Not even in two CL finals against Barca! Sir Alex was known mostly as Direct Attacking style manager, though progressed and improved over the years, like introducing more practicality and possession as he was changing players and rebuilding his team over and over again.

Now, someone like Mourinho on the other hand is know as a Counter-Attacking manager because more often than not he sets his teams to be patient, cautious and sitting deep - especially in big important games. For God's Sakes he did so while managing Real Madrid in Bernabeu vs Barca....blasphemy!

Now do you understand the difference between counter-attacks as phase of play and style of play?

Now, I just don't get it here. You are saying the same thing that I am saying but you've just changed the phasing. Maybe, it's better off to open my own thread called "Fast Transitions" for tactics like this. I think it's 5-1 favor that a standard 4-2-3-1 is a nono when making a counterattack tactic. And I've just waved my white flag

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Now, I just don't get it here. You are saying the same thing that I am saying but you've just changed the phasing. Maybe, it's better off to open my own thread called "Fast Transitions" for tactics like this. I think it's 5-1 favor that a standard 4-2-3-1 is a nono when making a counterattack tactic. And I've just waved my white flag

I agree/can see what you're saying. SAF was renowned for counter attacking, especially from set pieces and by direct, fast, transitions. But he wasn't a counter-attacking manager in the sense of sitting deep and soaking up pressure in order to enact those counter attacks.

It's all about different interpretations and viewpoints, this is why topics like these are good, because they make the distinction and your points are also good as an example to show why there is confusion around the issue. After all, the media and pundits throughout time has usually used that terminology with United's play anyway. :)

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I agree/can see what you're saying. SAF was renowned for counter attacking, especially from set pieces and by direct, fast, transitions. But he wasn't a counter-attacking manager in the sense of sitting deep and soaking up pressure in order to enact those counter attacks.

It's all about different interpretations and viewpoints, this is why topics like these are good, because they make the distinction and your points are also good as an example to show why there is confusion around the issue. After all, the media and pundits throughout time has usually used that terminology with United's play anyway. :)

Yea, the way you put it now makes sense. I watched a lot of ManU under him and he played the way you described and I guess topics like these can aid a younger and an even more confused fm-er to get his tactics straight.

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I agree/can see what you're saying. SAF was renowned for counter attacking, especially from set pieces and by direct, fast, transitions. But he wasn't a counter-attacking manager in the sense of sitting deep and soaking up pressure in order to enact those counter attacks.

It's all about different interpretations and viewpoints, this is why topics like these are good, because they make the distinction and your points are also good as an example to show why there is confusion around the issue. After all, the media and pundits throughout time has usually used that terminology with United's play anyway. :)

Problem solved

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I'm glad Jean posted his example as it made a good discussion. However it is not representative or a counter attacking tactic in any way or shape like he claimed. The only time you see his side make any kind of counter attacks are from set pieces which don't really count as that's the only time he really has players in deep situations.

However like I said at the very beginning when he first posted, he is confusing direct attacks and fast transitions with a counter attacking style. They are different things completely. I also think the United side you mention was one of the best at direct attacking football.

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What about when teams give you the ball? The mentality plus the supporting roles will allow, I think, you to dominate possession and start probing. You have wide midfielders offering a bit of width, a box to box really pushing forward, a wing back with a bit of license and a deep striker. The rest of the team, I shouldn't think they stretch the opposition too much (or only in very low risk situations (how frequent are these?)?)?

It's enough to stretch still. I think people get hung up on duties and think because someone is on a defensive one or a support one, that they offer nothing and have no attacking intent. That's not true, they still go forward, offer support and attack. A support/defensive duty is still the same role as an attacking one for whatever role you selected. It just has small subtle changes to the players behavior. It's just they take less risks than normal compared to an attacking duty so you'll see things like they cross from deep instead of the byline etc. They might have not have forward runs often, it might be mixed and so on.

Is that enough to consistently beat the poorer teams? How many 0-0's do you have, or how many 0-0's were you on course for before you tinkered, although I saw that 99% of the time you don't tinker so they must offer threats??

With the full season I played for this topic, I didn't have a single 0-0 in 54 games.

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Getting back to the original post for a minute, I'd just like to thank Cleon again for being so helpful! It's made me realise that you actually don't have to keep fiddling about with TIs and PIs! Wth Truro (NOT the greatest!) I've been trying a simple bog standard 3-5-2 on Counter or Defensive (depending on circumstances) with no TIs or PIs at all. Indeed, the only thing I'm doing is to give OIs to mark the opposition forwards tightly, close 'em down and show to weaker foot. And that's it. Result is that team is playing nice flowing football, scoring goals and giving nothing away at the back. Simples....!!

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Getting back to the original post for a minute, I'd just like to thank Cleon again for being so helpful! It's made me realise that you actually don't have to keep fiddling about with TIs and PIs! Wth Truro (NOT the greatest!) I've been trying a simple bog standard 3-5-2 on Counter or Defensive (depending on circumstances) with no TIs or PIs at all. Indeed, the only thing I'm doing is to give OIs to mark the opposition forwards tightly, close 'em down and show to weaker foot. And that's it. Result is that team is playing nice flowing football, scoring goals and giving nothing away at the back. Simples....!!

I think people get carried away at times and add an unneeded complexity to their games by using TI's and PI's when there's no real need. I'm seeing a lot of tactics this year with 14+ TI's wtf :D. FM is simplistic, only us as the users make it more complicated than it really is.

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@ Cleo -a question reguarding this sentence: I’m not to sure how many of you pay attention to the roles and duties the AI uses via various skins and add-ons but as a rule they tend to line up something like this with regards to attack duties.

Where can i find these skins or/and add-ons?

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Seems a cheat tactic lol - Using a counter attack with Capri in siera A - So far played 3 top teams 3 draws but im not being dominate, even vs Roma I had 56% possession.

Playing simple 4141 with

TMs

WMs CMs B2Bs WMs

FBs CDd CDd WBs

GK

Defensive - Flexible no TI's and the only PI I have is the right WM to cut in with ball and WB to run wide with ball

Might change the B2B to DLPs against similar teams to myself.

With DLFs I find hes going wide and I have no one in the middle to get the ball too

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@ Cleo -a question reguarding this sentence: I’m not to sure how many of you pay attention to the roles and duties the AI uses via various skins and add-ons but as a rule they tend to line up something like this with regards to attack duties.

Where can i find these skins or/and add-ons?

Not sure if they're are any for FM16 yet but keep checking the skinning section of the forums.

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Seems a cheat tactic lol - Using a counter attack with Capri in siera A - So far played 3 top teams 3 draws but im not being dominate, even vs Roma I had 56% possession.

Playing simple 4141 with

TMs

WMs CMs B2Bs WMs

FBs CDd CDd WBs

GK

Defensive - Flexible no TI's and the only PI I have is the right WM to cut in with ball and WB to run wide with ball

Might change the B2B to DLPs against similar teams to myself.

With DLFs I find hes going wide and I have no one in the middle to get the ball too

Cheat tactics etc isn't really the kind of stuff we say around here. Nothing is a 'cheat, exploit' or anything similar. It's just a case of being logical and understanding the simple things. It's basic beginner football knowledge nothing more, then I highlight the same by translating it to FM. Again, it's just basic stuff. Nothing in here isn't anything the average person who follows football and claims to have a basic understanding shouldn't already know.

FM is all about simplifying things and that's what I like to remind people.

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Didn't mean its a cheat cheat, but its seems powerful as im even getting 20+ shots some games and having the most possession. Even vs Lazio and Roma who are miles better I matched them with a poor team

Because you are using their strength against them. Those bigger sides like to impose themselves, so if you stay disciplined in defence then this plays to your strengths too, as you hit them on the counter. That's why it's fine to concede space and allow them the ball.

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Definitely digging this so far. My previous tactic was a 4-4-2 narrow diamond counter approach. It worked fairly well but wasn't amazingly solid defensively - there were three players who were not typically behind the ball and being so narrow. The 4-1-4-1 definitely seems more sound defensively, even just through friendlies.

I like that the ideas presented here create sound base to build from and adapt. As I already mentioned, the timing of this was somewhere between ideal and almost creepy. The discussion in bababooey's I Don't Know How To Play Defensive Football thread and Ö-zil to the Arsenal's thread (which I hope isn't dead) led me onto this path. Because of the players I have, I will do some adapting. For example, I am using a DLP-D instead of an Anchor. I like the idea of an anchor better, but my best DM is very much more a DLP than a pure defender, and he's too slow to use as a CM. With his long passes PPM and passing skill, he will hopefully be the launching point of some of the counters.

I don't want to read too much into the first few friendly matches. But its very restrictive of any opposition scoring chances. I am definitely trying to be more attentive - even watching much of the match in 2D view so I can see shape and spacing.

Once again, great thread, Cleon. Love that it gives us some basis so we can build and go from there.

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I thought I'd share this pkm saved match of my Espanyol team beating Real Madrid at the Bernabau 3-1.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6RNBR38TajLUWlUeHlmdERUQWc/view?usp=sharing

Why? Well, I've seen some comments asking what is the football like when the team is not counter attacking - and this match is perhaps a perfect example of that. I didn't actually see many counter attacks, so most of the play is just patient, slow build up in possession, and dropping back into shape and in numbers when defending.

In terms of why there weren't many counter attacks, I'm not entirely sure although my thoughts on this are:

- The gulf in player quality. Espanyol are a poor side (expected to finish 11th in La Liga) so man for man Madrid could perhaps get back into shape faster than we could counter.

- Lack of pace and decision making. My quickest player is a centre back, and the Decisions attribute is averaging around 12 or 13, so again doesn't compare favourably to the likes of Real Madrid players.

- Using a playmaker in central midfield may(?) encourage players to pass to him rather than a better option for a counter.

- My own league position. Going into this match I was 4th and Madrid 5th. Teams have been playing more cautiously against me which would reduce the opportunities for counters. Whilst Real were still lined up quite aggressively against me, their tempo didn't seem that great.

For reference, my deep 4231 formation is shown in post #45 on page one of this thread with 2 small changes - DLF(s) is now CF(s) and the AP(s) now a DLP(s). No TIs, a couple of PIs and I altered my usual Fluid team shape to a slightly less adventurous Flexible for this match.

Anyway, thought it may be of interest :).

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Cleon, great thread. I have got a question for you. What would change if the mentality changed from flexible to more rigid ones? Would it only influence the defensive side of the tactc or also the counter atacking side?

If I need to close a game down, would you change to Contain for the time wasting? Which striker role is better to throw him the ball so he holds it up and wins fouls or gives the defense some breath when you have a lead?

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Every team can make nice counterattack but it does not mean they play for counterattack. Simple, a team which is make counterattack when opportunity given. A team which is play for make counterattack wait from own half invite OP bla bla. I guess second one is counterattacking coach's choice.

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What would be the main differences in how the team play if I set my team exactly like Cleon has in the post but I changed mentality to attacking and lowered the d line for example? Would my team counter less frequently and have more creative freedom etc or is there more to it?

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I thought I'd share this pkm saved match of my Espanyol team beating Real Madrid at the Bernabau 3-1.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6RNBR38TajLUWlUeHlmdERUQWc/view?usp=sharing

Why? Well, I've seen some comments asking what is the football like when the team is not counter attacking - and this match is perhaps a perfect example of that. I didn't actually see many counter attacks, so most of the play is just patient, slow build up in possession, and dropping back into shape and in numbers when defending.

In terms of why there weren't many counter attacks, I'm not entirely sure although my thoughts on this are:

- The gulf in player quality. Espanyol are a poor side (expected to finish 11th in La Liga) so man for man Madrid could perhaps get back into shape faster than we could counter.

- Lack of pace and decision making. My quickest player is a centre back, and the Decisions attribute is averaging around 12 or 13, so again doesn't compare favourably to the likes of Real Madrid players.

- Using a playmaker in central midfield may(?) encourage players to pass to him rather than a better option for a counter.

- My own league position. Going into this match I was 4th and Madrid 5th. Teams have been playing more cautiously against me which would reduce the opportunities for counters. Whilst Real were still lined up quite aggressively against me, their tempo didn't seem that great.

For reference, my deep 4231 formation is shown in post #45 on page one of this thread with 2 small changes - DLF(s) is now CF(s) and the AP(s) now a DLP(s). No TIs, a couple of PIs and I altered my usual Fluid team shape to a slightly less adventurous Flexible for this match.

Anyway, thought it may be of interest :).

Will give this a watch later when I get the time :)

Cleon, great thread. I have got a question for you. What would change if the mentality changed from flexible to more rigid ones? Would it only influence the defensive side of the tactc or also the counter atacking side?

If I need to close a game down, would you change to Contain for the time wasting? Which striker role is better to throw him the ball so he holds it up and wins fouls or gives the defense some breath when you have a lead?

You mean the team shape not mentality? As team shape is flexible, rigid etc. Read the lines and diamond thread at the top of the forum and read the team shape bits to get a full understanding of how each of the settings all work.

If you want to close a game out I'd advise against contain because that is just focused on staying compact and has no urgency to break when you win the ball back. It's basically FM's park the bus setting.

What would be the main differences in how the team play if I set my team exactly like Cleon has in the post but I changed mentality to attacking and lowered the d line for example? Would my team counter less frequently and have more creative freedom etc or is there more to it?

Well the whole team would be positioned very high up the pitch. When using the TI's all that does is slightly reduce the base you currently work from and attacking mentality sets d-line as high to begin with. So even lowering it you will be high. Not all that but players positioning will be altered too, so they too will also be a lot higher than a lower mentality.

If you use any mentality that is higher than the one listed here with this shape you will always do less counter attacks, always.

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Thanks for the reply. I thought as much but just wondered if you went to the extremes i.e. attacking with much deeper line etc and tried to mimic the base counter strategy then what would happen but I guess even taking it to the extreme, it would still perform different to the counter strategy. Also you mention counter strategy will try and break when the team have 'x' amount between the ball carrier and the goal. Do you have a rough idea of what this number is for each of the match strategies?

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Thanks for the reply. I thought as much but just wondered if you went to the extremes i.e. attacking with much deeper line etc and tried to mimic the base counter strategy then what would happen but I guess even taking it to the extreme, it would still perform different to the counter strategy. Also you mention counter strategy will try and break when the team have 'x' amount between the ball carrier and the goal. Do you have a rough idea of what this number is for each of the match strategies?

Why would you use a different base then try and mimic the one before? Seems a bit of a long winded way of doing something that can be achieved much simpler and in a much better way by using the lower mentality to begin with?

You have to remember that the mentality you use impacts a lot of different things not just the defensive line. Tempo will be higher, risk taking is higher and so on.

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I wouldn't ever do it as it would be pointless as you say, I'm just trying to understand the mechanics of the match engine and how it would behave with certain tweaks. I know how an attacking strategy would work as a base but was just curious how closely it would mirror the counter tactic if you tried to make it that way. I presume that you wouldnt counter with such regularity because the number of players between the ball carrier and the goal would be less on an attacking strategy than on counter? Good to hear it from an expert. I've always been successful but have been guilty of not watching full matches and just looking at stats etc to try and shape my tactic. also very guilty of overkill on TIs.

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Remember also that mentality not only affects team mentality but also individual player mentality. So even if you used an aggressive mentality and lowered TIs to try to form a pseudo-lower mentality, individual players would still be more aggressive.

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Remember also that mentality not only affects team mentality but also individual player mentality. So even if you used an aggressive mentality and lowered TIs to try to form a pseudo-lower mentality, individual players would still be more aggressive.

:thup:completely correct

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I honestly cannot get counter-attacking working for me at all.

I've tried and tried and tried...

I set up exactly as Cleon showed and HTB in another post...without any TI's etc.

I used NUFC (ok, ok, irl not great but on FM16 better team on paper than a fair few) after seeing the impressive result Cleon got with a lower league team against NUFC and as they have players that seemingly fit that type of approach.

I found results shocking at times.

That 4-1-4-1 set up just invited a pounding every game...I was beaten by Everton 6-0 away, conceding 4 in the first 15 mins, 4 shots, 4 goals...

I also found the full backs never tackle and I concede hundreds from crosses that my CD's never deal with.

I've gone back to a different approach and do better but I hate the fact I cannot win games with counter...

I also hate that away games are so hard to approach, not matter what mentality or formation I use...

And lastly, I hate that there's a fair few on here that just don't seem to run into the issues I do...(am I that bad at this game these days?!)

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Well, to be honest, I haven't scored any goals from the counter. All goals came after possession play or set-pieces. And centre backs are having hard times against crosses. Also, opposition usually scores on counters, not me. )))

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Supposing that you move one of your MCs to the AMC(R or L) position ,so to play an assymetric 41311 ,which role do you suggest for counter ? AM(S) ?

An SS could work?

This is exactly what I'm doing since my FM session yesterday, I've ended up on a counter-attacking assymetric 41311 with a AM(S) on the AMRC position (and also a STLC, a MLC and a DMRC, so every central position is staggered making up some sort of diamond), to accomodate a #10 type of player. Seems to be working alright with my lower league side but I've only played 5 matches since - won 3, drawn 1, lost 1. I'm trying to accomodate an advanced forward too, though (might not be ideal for this setup but his pace is one of my team's biggest assets).

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Well, to be honest, I haven't scored any goals from the counter. All goals came after possession play or set-pieces. And centre backs are having hard times against crosses. Also, opposition usually scores on counters, not me. )))

Then you're either doing one of these;

1 - Not really playing a counter attacking system, or have roles in the side that are hindering it.

2 - Only watching highlights

Not every goal you always score is from a counter attack. You still play normal football too. It all depends on how you view games though as this will sway what you see as it's heavily edited.

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Then you're either doing one of these;.

1. You can take a look at my formation at post #139. Any advice will be appreciated.

2. I watch on comprehensive, frustratingly when my players get the ball under control near our penalty box, they just hoof it upfield.

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@noikeee

interesting!

but next is the decision about the roles in this pseudo diamond ,

I am thinking if i choose the AM(S) ,then B2B in MC and DM(S)

but if i choose SS ,then in MC position AP(S) or CM(S) ,and A in DM position.

Whats your opinion ?

But i still believe that the two attacking roles Cleon suggests ,if i had the right players i would choose both CWB(A)

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1. You can take a look at my formation at post #139. Any advice will be appreciated.

2. I watch on comprehensive, frustratingly when my players get the ball under control near our penalty box, they just hoof it upfield.

In post 130 above, I shared a pkm of a match I played where I didn't see many counter attacks (watching on full), but also laid out a few thoughts as to why that may have been for that particular match.

Of course there are other matches where I do see a few counters, so I think sometimes we need to raise and lower expectations accordingly.

I'd also say that even watching on comprehensive may not give you a full picture. A lot of the time, counter attacks will start and then fizzle out very quickly so they wouldn't even make it to comprehensive highlights - which there are a couple of examples of in that pkm. A counter is still a counter even if it doesn't result in a shot on goal.

With regards your formation, the issue may be not necessarily because you are using 2 strikers (although that may have an effect) but possibly because one of them - the TQ - is a playmaker role. The TQ may be acting like a ball magnet, so rather than players breaking from deep with the ball in a counter attack, they may instead be trying to pass long to the TQ.

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Excellent thread (as usual) Cleon. I've been using a counter attacking 4-4-2 as my main formation as Cambridge in League 2, and it's been pretty effective, though there's definitely some ideas here that I'll take on board to see if I can get even more out of it. In particular, skimping on the attacking roles makes sense. I have several in there to ensure that my players get forwards when counter-attacking, but now that it's been pointed out, it seems rather obvious that the counter attack itself would achieve that, while going onto more support roles should make me more defensively stable. Still, with only three games to go this season, and me in the promotion spots, I'm loathe to change it now as, while it's not perfect, it's done me good so far. Maybe keep the tweaking for the summer and (hopefully) next year in League One.

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