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The Art of Possession Football


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@ Cleon -

For what it's worth, I didn't simply carbon copy the tactical system in this thread [and expect it to "work"].

I've read all such threads from the tactical gurus, and gleaned as much information as I can from them. I've learned a lot and certainly had more success as a result, but not once, not EVER, have I had a truly successful save (barely a successful season never mind save).

I've even tried simply downloading a tactic from here, and watched in amusement as my players produce some of the most mundane football imaginable. I quickly learned not to bother because my own amateur tactical systems are far superior to those which people upload to the sharing sub-forum.

I am actually very good at managing, and really get involved hands-on in all aspects of the game, but my tactics are always just a little bit fragile at best. This, as you know, will never do long-term. It's frustrating.

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I've been using this with Man Utd in tricky games. I'm mostly very impressed; control 55%+ possession and spend most of the game in the final 3rd. However, Our play in the final 3rd is toothless.

I see many plays fizzle out with us passing slow and square on the edge of the box. We've even been passing it back out the box when we could be shooting or dribbling at the last man.

I want to retain our patient build up play, but then be quicker and play with more attacking intent in the final third.

How would you recommend achieving this?

P.S. I should add I have tried against weaker times and the same thing happened.

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My advice would be forget everything you think you know, even if you are 100% sure you are right. That way when trying things in game you don't have the 'I know best' attitude. My second bit of advice would be not to read but play around in game instead, especially if you don't think you grasp stuff from reading. Myself I'm a visual kind of person, I love reading but I learn more from actual visuals. Then also forget all your frustrations with the game, set aside the shoddy descriptions, the bugs that frustrate you. Instead focus on what does work and the descriptions for all things give you the basics you need to know.

Then when you've done all of that load up FM, start a game and have a tactical idea in your head. Keep it simple and possibly something you know about like a 442 or something. Then when creating it just think about how you want to play and fit the roles and duties around that. Put real effort into trying to figure out how your DLP will link up the CF, IF and B2B etc. This is the hardest part for people to get right. Don't select a role based on what the player might be best at, base the role on what fits the tactical approach you are adopting. I often see people who want to use a creatve lone striker who drops deep, then you see them do something silly like have two wingers on the flanks. What use is that for a striker who is dropping off from goal? So try and think how all the roles interact.

Then when in a game only focus on what your side is doing, don't worry about the AI at all. Just concentrate on learning how your system works. If you focus on the AI you don't learn how you play or what your side is doing. I always make changed based on what I see my players doing and never because of what the AI is doing.

Just keep things simple and that's how I learnt.

Cleon please could you look at my set up and help me. I am playing with Arsenal and I am a big fan of the 4231 formation. Here is my team shape

I am also playing a Control and highly structured team shape. I am not using any team instructions because I do not understand the game enough and I do not feel confident in using team instructions.

I want to try and play possession football with the ability to score goals. Do you think my team shape and roles look okay to play this way. Could you offer any help and advice.

I also want to create a counter attack tactic using the 4231 but I do not know how to do this please could you help

GK DEFEND

CENTRAL DEFENDER - DEFEND

FULL BACK LEFT SUPPORT

FULL BACK RIGHT ATTACK

CENTRAL MIDFIELDER DEFEND

DLP DEFEND

FRONT FOUR

ADVANCE PLAYMAKER SUPPORT

INSIDE FORWARD SUPPORT

WINGER SUPPORT

COMPLETE FORWARD SUPPORT

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I made a tactic for my new Spurs save earlier today

Control / Flexible

Same back 5 , BBM and DLP/s in CM positions AP/s on the left and IF/s on the right with a DLF/s up top. lower tempo, sometimes closing down, shorter passing , work ball into box.........Was getting destroyed nad finishing the game with 35-40% possession. Scrapped the save in a huff :p I'll be paying attention to this thread because Fm16 has been a miserable lesson in frustration for me this year (so far)

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Always play FM as Barca so I know the only real test to see if any tactic will work is against the bigger teams in Spain (R.Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia & A.Madrid) and in the CL.

I Have adapted some stuff from the OP - I play with two WB-Ss With a few additional TIs as well.

After 8 games of using the new tactic I Come up against Real Madrid.

Messi and Mascherano are at 90% but I put them in the team as it's Real Madrid :)

After 70 minutes I am 4-0 up.

Madrid have simply been chasing shadows the entire game (I have had over 65% possession) with Mascherano having scored one and Messi setting up two of Suarez's hatrick.

Messi and Mascherano are flagging so I sub them ...... Game crashes :( :( :( ..... Arrrrggghhh!

At least I know with absolute confidence that the ideas discussed on this thread work which is great news for my future seasons - thanks again Cleon.

... Sure I will still be as positive when I get hammered when I replay the game tomorrow though :D

(Couldn't face it tonight!!!)

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Cleon, I was wondering if you can provide some videos of goals you have scored with Swansea using this possession tactic? Maybe upload some interesting matches even?

Also, you mentioned that if you played another season, you anticipate opponents would start to sit back a little more and perhaps park the bus even. In that case you said that you would push the D-line. What other changes you would recommend against such opponents? Increase the tempo? Add pass into space? More dribbling? Play wider and/or exploit the flanks? Up the mentality to Attacking? These are some things that come to mind for me, but obviously not all of them together. Then comes the question how much would any of those changes effect the possession style. Does the possession tactic then turn into a different style perhaps? Which in turn leads me to.....are you interested in perhaps posting a thread called "The Art of Intelligent Attacking Play" or something along those lines......I mean, you've covered counter-attacking, now possession, last year you covered the art of defending.

But sticking with the possession tactic, how much can be introduced/changed/added into it to remain "possession themed" tactic while also able to open stubborn defenses?

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Cleon please could you look at my set up and help me. I am playing with Arsenal and I am a big fan of the 4231 formation. Here is my team shape

I am also playing a Control and highly structured team shape. I am not using any team instructions because I do not understand the game enough and I do not feel confident in using team instructions.

I want to try and play possession football with the ability to score goals. Do you think my team shape and roles look okay to play this way. Could you offer any help and advice.

I also want to create a counter attack tactic using the 4231 but I do not know how to do this please could you help

GK DEFEND

CENTRAL DEFENDER - DEFEND

FULL BACK LEFT SUPPORT

FULL BACK RIGHT ATTACK

CENTRAL MIDFIELDER DEFEND

DLP DEFEND

FRONT FOUR

ADVANCE PLAYMAKER SUPPORT

INSIDE FORWARD SUPPORT

WINGER SUPPORT

COMPLETE FORWARD SUPPORT

You'd be better off reading and using this thread;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/444680-The-Art-of-Counter-Attacking

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Cleon, I was wondering if you can provide some videos of goals you have scored with Swansea using this possession tactic? Maybe upload some interesting matches even?

Also, you mentioned that if you played another season, you anticipate opponents would start to sit back a little more and perhaps park the bus even. In that case you said that you would push the D-line. What other changes you would recommend against such opponents? Increase the tempo? Add pass into space? More dribbling? Play wider and/or exploit the flanks? Up the mentality to Attacking? These are some things that come to mind for me, but obviously not all of them together. Then comes the question how much would any of those changes effect the possession style. Does the possession tactic then turn into a different style perhaps? Which in turn leads me to.....are you interested in perhaps posting a thread called "The Art of Intelligent Attacking Play" or something along those lines......I mean, you've covered counter-attacking, now possession, last year you covered the art of defending.

But sticking with the possession tactic, how much can be introduced/changed/added into it to remain "possession themed" tactic while also able to open stubborn defenses?

If I get the time I will but I have a lot going on at the minute. Both my youngest kids are very ill and I found out yesterday my landlord has died so I'm looking for a new place to live. So FM is the last thing on my mind atm.

I wouldn't increase the tempo I don't think and I'm not sure about pass into space. I find pass into space better against sides who sit higher up the pitch because their is actual space in behind the midfield and defence normally. Against sides who sit deep this space doesn't exist so I feel I'd give up possession. More dribbling could potentially be a better option as could changing the inside forward to an attack duty.

I actually have been playing season two on the sly up until yesterday because I was interested in how it would do. After 27 Premier League matches possession is close to 61% average for the league games so far which is good. I've let in 2 more goals than last season but scored quite a few more. The only change I've made is made the IF an attacking duty instead of the support. Nothings changed that much and we still retain roughly the same amount of possession as before.

I think in the end to get the most out of a possession themed tactic, player quality is the important thing. To open the stubborn defences try and get players with a bit more creativity than normal, I've done this for my IF, RPM and B2B. All 3 of those are basically based on playmaker roles, so they have all the basics needed to play those type of roles. I've found it's helped the attacking play an awful lot.

You mention and intelligent attacking play article, if I did get the time early next year, what kind of things would you want to see discussed in it? If you give me a general idea then who knows :)

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I've been using this with Man Utd in tricky games. I'm mostly very impressed; control 55%+ possession and spend most of the game in the final 3rd. However, Our play in the final 3rd is toothless.

I see many plays fizzle out with us passing slow and square on the edge of the box. We've even been passing it back out the box when we could be shooting or dribbling at the last man.

I want to retain our patient build up play, but then be quicker and play with more attacking intent in the final third.

How would you recommend achieving this?

P.S. I should add I have tried against weaker times and the same thing happened.

Totally depends on the set up you use. I know nothing about that as you've not mentioned it.

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I'd be interested in hearing what PPMs you would suggest for each role, would getting players to learn plays one-two, short simple passing not increase passings stats?

Passing stats aren't important, time of the ball is. As for PPM's it really depends what type of possession football you are playing and what roles you've used. In the shape I posted I don't really have players with lots of PPM's there minimal really and if someone has them they had them before as I've not taught any to anyone yet.

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Playing the striker as a complete forward - support at home and a defensive forward - support away has added a new dimension to my team. I also flit between defensive, counter, and control mentalities as and when I see fit. Changing the defensive midfielder to an anchor man or a half back (tough away games) has also bore fruit.

What's odd is we regularly concede the first goal, and then storm back into it and win very well. In the games where we win to nil, I always get the comment "Clyne and co never looked like losing this one!" which is great.

This style of play has certainly opened my eyes. With only one player on attack duty (RB - Clyne), I really see the difference that mentality has on players. He's immense down the right hand side.

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If I get the time I will but I have a lot going on at the minute. Both my youngest kids are very ill and I found out yesterday my landlord has died so I'm looking for a new place to live. So FM is the last thing on my mind atm.

I wouldn't increase the tempo I don't think and I'm not sure about pass into space. I find pass into space better against sides who sit higher up the pitch because their is actual space in behind the midfield and defence normally. Against sides who sit deep this space doesn't exist so I feel I'd give up possession. More dribbling could potentially be a better option as could changing the inside forward to an attack duty.

I actually have been playing season two on the sly up until yesterday because I was interested in how it would do. After 27 Premier League matches possession is close to 61% average for the league games so far which is good. I've let in 2 more goals than last season but scored quite a few more. The only change I've made is made the IF an attacking duty instead of the support. Nothings changed that much and we still retain roughly the same amount of possession as before.

I think in the end to get the most out of a possession themed tactic, player quality is the important thing. To open the stubborn defences try and get players with a bit more creativity than normal, I've done this for my IF, RPM and B2B. All 3 of those are basically based on playmaker roles, so they have all the basics needed to play those type of roles. I've found it's helped the attacking play an awful lot.

You mention and intelligent attacking play article, if I did get the time early next year, what kind of things would you want to see discussed in it? If you give me a general idea then who knows :)

I completely understand your situation and not having the time under those circumstances. Nevertheless, when you do get some time, I'm sure all other members would be interested in watching anything.

As for tuning instructions and adding Pass Into Space, I get what you are saying. However, I'm using Shorter Passing by default in my possession tactic (which you are not, btw....why is that?) and when I add Pass Into Space what I've noticed is not so much passes behind the defense (or even attempts) but rather between players which I kind of like. Playing as Barca, I noticed that very often opposition would sit back but close down and tackle my players really hard, aggressively. So when they do that it comes really handy to use Pass Into Space in combination with Shorter Passing.

Another instruction I like to use and I've found really beneficial is Hit Early Crosses. I don't know if you have tried it. It adds very useful sharpness to the attack in the final third as it makes players deliver the ball quickly from wide areas into the penalty box.

In terms of an article on Attacking play, I purposefully used the word "intelligent".....meaning player movement, options in attack, decisions, ball movement, relentless and hard to stop for the opposition. Creating width and depth, and using it wisely to move in behind and in-between the opposition. And I would love it if it involves a classic No.10 playmaker like Ozil in the AMC position. I guess we have seen you write articles about all kinds of shapes, but you could write this one about a 4-2-3-1 Wide perhaps

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I've been using this with Man Utd in tricky games. I'm mostly very impressed; control 55%+ possession and spend most of the game in the final 3rd. However, Our play in the final 3rd is toothless.

I see many plays fizzle out with us passing slow and square on the edge of the box. We've even been passing it back out the box when we could be shooting or dribbling at the last man.

I want to retain our patient build up play, but then be quicker and play with more attacking intent in the final third.

How would you recommend achieving this?

P.S. I should add I have tried against weaker times and the same thing happened.

I've adapted my tactic, hopefully in the right way, after reading this thread.

I make some changes, playing with WB(s) instead of FB(s), but i set them with the "play wider" instruction. The idea is to try to stretch the opposition defense and midfield.

Like you, i also notice that many times in the final 3rd my team wasn't incisive enough for my taste.

Because of that i've been messing around changing my right IF with support duty for a IF with attack duty or even a Raumdeuter.

With these changes i've notice my team being more "attacking" in the final 3rd.

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I completely understand your situation and not having the time under those circumstances. Nevertheless, when you do get some time, I'm sure all other members would be interested in watching anything.

As for tuning instructions and adding Pass Into Space, I get what you are saying. However, I'm using Shorter Passing by default in my possession tactic (which you are not, btw....why is that?) and when I add Pass Into Space what I've noticed is not so much passes behind the defense (or even attempts) but rather between players which I kind of like. Playing as Barca, I noticed that very often opposition would sit back but close down and tackle my players really hard, aggressively. So when they do that it comes really handy to use Pass Into Space in combination with Shorter Passing.

Another instruction I like to use and I've found really beneficial is Hit Early Crosses. I don't know if you have tried it. It adds very useful sharpness to the attack in the final third as it makes players deliver the ball quickly from wide areas into the penalty box.

In terms of an article on Attacking play, I purposefully used the word "intelligent".....meaning player movement, options in attack, decisions, ball movement, relentless and hard to stop for the opposition. Creating width and depth, and using it wisely to move in behind and in-between the opposition. And I would love it if it involves a classic No.10 playmaker like Ozil in the AMC position. I guess we have seen you write articles about all kinds of shapes, but you could write this one about a 4-2-3-1 Wide perhaps

I like the pass into space shout as I like increased throughballs. The reason I don't use shorter passing though is because I think the passing is just about right for how I want to play. Any shorter and it might be too short for natural counter attacks at times and I could see moves break down. So I just decided to leave it as it is for better overall balance. If I used different roles though I could go shorter passing.

Hmm so in terms of articles then you want me to combine these articles;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/423246-What-Makes-A-Goalscorer-!

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/427810-Meet-The-Attacking-Midfield-Playmaker

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/443668-A-Comparison-Enganche-vs-Enganche

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/443436-Meet-The-Enganche(s)

Those type of stuff?

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My advice would be forget everything you think you know, even if you are 100% sure you are right. That way when trying things in game you don't have the 'I know best' attitude. My second bit of advice would be not to read but play around in game instead, especially if you don't think you grasp stuff from reading. Myself I'm a visual kind of person, I love reading but I learn more from actual visuals. Then also forget all your frustrations with the game, set aside the shoddy descriptions, the bugs that frustrate you. Instead focus on what does work and the descriptions for all things give you the basics you need to know.

Then when you've done all of that load up FM, start a game and have a tactical idea in your head. Keep it simple and possibly something you know about like a 442 or something. Then when creating it just think about how you want to play and fit the roles and duties around that. Put real effort into trying to figure out how your DLP will link up the CF, IF and B2B etc. This is the hardest part for people to get right. Don't select a role based on what the player might be best at, base the role on what fits the tactical approach you are adopting. I often see people who want to use a creatve lone striker who drops deep, then you see them do something silly like have two wingers on the flanks. What use is that for a striker who is dropping off from goal? So try and think how all the roles interact.

Then when in a game only focus on what your side is doing, don't worry about the AI at all. Just concentrate on learning how your system works. If you focus on the AI you don't learn how you play or what your side is doing. I always make changed based on what I see my players doing and never because of what the AI is doing.

Just keep things simple and that's how I learnt.

This bit is the part that kills me to be honest. I was having a muck around last night, keeping everything basic, a 4-4-2 in fact, on standard, flexible, relatively big team versus relative minnows (I was on Touch, so no familiarity to muck things up). Settled down with a cup of tea and a notepad ready to watch the interactions. Within 10 minutes we were all over the shop and 2-0 down, just completely ceding possession and getting dominated. At that point I have no idea what to do, hit the panic mode? Ring the changes?

I did pull it back 3-2, but only by actually ringing the changes. Maybe the best thing to do would have been to have left everything alone and watch it back later though. As for visual learning, I'm always worried I'll spot something and be 'half-right' or completely miss the heart of the issue so to speak.

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This bit is the part that kills me to be honest. I was having a muck around last night, keeping everything basic, a 4-4-2 in fact, on standard, flexible, relatively big team versus relative minnows (I was on Touch, so no familiarity to muck things up). Settled down with a cup of tea and a notepad ready to watch the interactions. Within 10 minutes we were all over the shop and 2-0 down, just completely ceding possession and getting dominated. At that point I have no idea what to do, hit the panic mode? Ring the changes?

I did pull it back 3-2, but only by actually ringing the changes. Maybe the best thing to do would have been to have left everything alone and watch it back later though. As for visual learning, I'm always worried I'll spot something and be 'half-right' or completely miss the heart of the issue so to speak.

But did you know how your 442 worked and what it was supposed to do? This is why I always leave any tactic I create 3 games before making any changes. Then I watch those games back that I've already played so the result isn't important and so we aren't in real time, as you view differently when no result is on the line. If you create something and are making changes from the off then how do you really get to understand what's working and what isn't? How do you distinguish a bad game or down to bad tactics? You need to let things play out sometimes to understand the basics. Then you make notes about those games and see if any patterns of play good or bad appear in the games you didn't make changes.

I guess what I'm trying to say is you need some sort of base/template to adjust from. If not then you have nothing to compare it to so don't now how or why it should be working but isn't. You always need some kind of base to work from.

The most important thing is to determine something is wrong, if you don't then you can't fix it. If you have issues you can always post what you see happening and provide screenshots or PKM's if you are a bit lost and need help. But learning in FM comes down to trial and error. Identifying something is wrong is the first step once you've done that then there is multiple ways of fixing an issue as a rule normally.

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up Cleon.

I'd been doing some head scratching with my Valencia 4-2-3-1 tactic, and some of the points raised here sent me off in a different direction which really clarified things for me. I'm now leading the La Liga possession table (just a smidge below 60%) with a tight defence and lethal attack.

Just as a side note, I tried experimenting with the Stay on Feet shout, thinking that may help a little with possession (ie., if you are on your feet more you can be more active with passing options and finding space). However, if anything I found the opposite to be true. Rethinking this, and applying the "chess clock" logic, I think what actually happens is players basically back off a bit more waiting for a well timed tackle (which may never arise) rather than making a challenge. That gives the opposition more time on the ball, thus leaving their chess clock ticking for longer.

I usually prefer the deep 4231 (DM + MC/L/R), such as I play with my long term Espanyol save since Beta, however I wanted to challenge myself further with the MC + AMC/L/R version, which I feel is now pretty well balanced thanks to the principles laid out in the OP. For reference, below is how things look now, with only 4 TIs and a couple of PIs for outfield players being used. I may make the odd small change as things play out on pitch (the occasional change from winger to IF, fullbacks being made slightly more or less attacking, def line altered, that kind of thing) but nothing drastic, and I tend to leave things alone as much as I can.

246uyvm.png

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up Cleon.

I'd been doing some head scratching with my Valencia 4-2-3-1 tactic, and some of the points raised here sent me off in a different direction which really clarified things for me. I'm now leading the La Liga possession table (just a smidge below 60%) with a tight defence and lethal attack.

Just as a side note, I tried experimenting with the Stay on Feet shout, thinking that may help a little with possession (ie., if you are on your feet more you can be more active with passing options and finding space). However, if anything I found the opposite to be true. Rethinking this, and applying the "chess clock" logic, I think what actually happens is players basically back off a bit more waiting for a well timed tackle (which may never arise) rather than making a challenge. That gives the opposition more time on the ball, thus leaving their chess clock ticking for longer.

I usually prefer the deep 4231 (DM + MC/L/R), such as I play with my long term Espanyol save since Beta, however I wanted to challenge myself further with the MC + AMC/L/R version, which I feel is now pretty well balanced thanks to the principles laid out in the OP. For reference, below is how things look now, with only 4 TIs and a couple of PIs for outfield players being used. I may make the odd small change as things play out on pitch (the occasional change from winger to IF, fullbacks being made slightly more or less attacking, def line altered, that kind of thing) but nothing drastic, and I tend to leave things alone as much as I can.

246uyvm.png

Spot on, that's because they don't dive in so back off until they are confident they'll win the ball.

How long did you find it took you to get a settled tactic that began getting possession consistently?

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How long did you find it took you to get a settled tactic that began getting possession consistently?

Once I'd applied a few of the principles you laid out in the OP, it was almost like flipping a switch.

The main changes I made were to the team shape, a couple of TIs and one or two player roles. I'd already taken on board the tactical changes as laid out by THoG here http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/442751-Important-FM16-Tactical-Changes, which was seeing me getting around 50% - 55% possession. Now I am seeing 60%+ without being possession just for the sake of it.

I'm very appreciative of this thread :thup:.

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up Cleon.

I'd been doing some head scratching with my Valencia 4-2-3-1 tactic, and some of the points raised here sent me off in a different direction which really clarified things for me. I'm now leading the La Liga possession table (just a smidge below 60%) with a tight defence and lethal attack.

Just as a side note, I tried experimenting with the Stay on Feet shout, thinking that may help a little with possession (ie., if you are on your feet more you can be more active with passing options and finding space). However, if anything I found the opposite to be true. Rethinking this, and applying the "chess clock" logic, I think what actually happens is players basically back off a bit more waiting for a well timed tackle (which may never arise) rather than making a challenge. That gives the opposition more time on the ball, thus leaving their chess clock ticking for longer.

I usually prefer the deep 4231 (DM + MC/L/R), such as I play with my long term Espanyol save since Beta, however I wanted to challenge myself further with the MC + AMC/L/R version, which I feel is now pretty well balanced thanks to the principles laid out in the OP. For reference, below is how things look now, with only 4 TIs and a couple of PIs for outfield players being used. I may make the odd small change as things play out on pitch (the occasional change from winger to IF, fullbacks being made slightly more or less attacking, def line altered, that kind of thing) but nothing drastic, and I tend to leave things alone as much as I can.

246uyvm.png

How do you find your central midfield pair when it comes to protecting the back four. I read Cleon post on the midfield in a 4231. I was under the impression that both midfielder needs to be able to screen the back four and not go bombing forward. I can see you play with a DLP Defend and BBM. Does your DLP Defend gets pulled out of position to cover the BBM.

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Totally depends on the set up you use. I know nothing about that as you've not mentioned it.

As I said I've been using "this", by "this" I mean the tactic in the opening post, changed nothing, I should have made that clearer.

Starting line up (when all available)

De Gea

Darmian Smalling Laporte Shaw

Schneiderlin

Schweinsteiger Pogba

Mata Memphis

Rooney

As I say, I'm happy with the build up play from the back, just want to develop the tactic into having more thrust in the final 3rd. I understand that will result in giving the ball away more, but scoring goals is more important to me than possession. I know that's not the point of this thread, just wanting to develop it further for my needs. Any help would be appreciated.

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You've missed the entire point of the thread and I covered this at the start of the article you supposedly read when I put;

Before we jump into the analysis and seeing how I go about creating a possession style I would like to point out that the idea of this thread, is not for you to copy what I do. But rather for you to take elements of what I do and implement them into your saves. if you just copy what I did and expect the same results then you didn’t understand the purpose of the thread. This will also mean I won’t answer any questions you have when you post something along the lines of ‘You have success with Swansea but I tried and blah blah’. So please, use this article as it’s intended and take what you learn here and implement it into your own saves with your own systems. This article is about the ideas, principles and philosophy of possession football in higher mentality structures.

I'm not being funny but I'm not helping people who just copy without understanding the concept behind the thread. It's pointless. People should actually put effort in and stop being lazy by copying. Use the ideas in the thread to create your own systems for the players you have to get the best out of them. Not build something that was meant for my players......

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How do you find your central midfield pair when it comes to protecting the back four. I read Cleon post on the midfield in a 4231. I was under the impression that both midfielder needs to be able to screen the back four and not go bombing forward. I can see you play with a DLP Defend and BBM. Does your DLP Defend gets pulled out of position to cover the BBM.

The DLP does indeed cover across when needed, but I fully expect that. For me, it all becomes relative to what you are trying to achieve and the compromises you are prepared to make.

I want my BBM to be my midfield runner to provide an extra passing option and attacking threat. It doesn't need to be as I already have 4 players ahead of him, but I like what the role brings to my overall set up. Because of this, I therefore want my DLP to provide cover. Does it leave space behind? Yes it can do, but with the work rate and quality of players I use that space can be quickly closed down, so long as the DLP has made sufficient in-roads to hold up opposition play a little. The fullback (support) can also help with this, as can the amount of possession I have.

It's a risk, but a risk I am prepared to take.

It also comes down to the player I use for BBM. For games I expect to win, I'll use Andre Gomes, who has the PPM to Get Forwards Whenever Possible, and is a playmaker type of player. For tougher games, I'll change to Javi Fuego, who is far more industrious and more of a defensive type. He has the PPM to Stay Back at all Times. Clearly those PPMs will have an effect, but it doesn't stop Fuego from providing support up field (he scored 2 goals from open play in my recent 3-1 away win at Athletic, where we enjoyed 64% possession and restricted the home side to just 6 shots).

Different players bring different things, and it's about using them for your advantage.

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You've missed the entire point of the thread and I covered this at the start of the article you supposedly read when I put;

I'm not being funny but I'm not helping people who just copy without understanding the concept behind the thread. It's pointless. People should actually put effort in and stop being lazy by copying. Use the ideas in the thread to create your own systems for the players you have to get the best out of them. Not build something that was meant for my players......

That is what I'm doing. I've taken your ideas to start a system that is patient in the build up. Now I want to transform that in to a system that is more aggressive in the final 3rd.

You clearly have an eye for details with tactical elements of FM, so I was simply asking for any ideas you may have. If you don't want to help, that's fine but there's no need for a reply that makes me look and feel like a stupid child.

I've acknowledged my question isn't directly linked to your post, I have explained I am not trying to simply copy, but further develop from the ideas in this post to create a new system.

I'll never comment on your posts again Clean as I'm clearly not worthy of your greatness.

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It's not that you're not worthy so don't come out with that ********. It's about you asking questions for something I stated I wouldn't answer if people are just copying. You've not used ideas as a start point because I refer you to the post you did minutes before;

As I said I've been using "this", by "this" I mean the tactic in the opening post, changed nothing, I should have made that clearer.

You've not started a system that is different you've just admitted you use the exact same as in the opening post with no changes. If you want help then use the thread as it was intended for and I'd be happy to help. But those who have just copied will get no help as they don't understand the concepts of this thread or why they worked. People need to take these ideas and use them in their own game in their own shapes and systems.

I'll help anyone if I can but not those who aren't helping themselves as its a waste of time and effort, which I could spend helping others instead.

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If you don't want to help, that's fine but there's no need for a reply that makes me look and feel like a stupid child.

I'll never comment on your posts again Clean as I'm clearly not worthy of your greatness.

Then don't behave like one...

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But did you know how your 442 worked and what it was supposed to do? This is why I always leave any tactic I create 3 games before making any changes. Then I watch those games back that I've already played so the result isn't important and so we aren't in real time, as you view differently when no result is on the line. If you create something and are making changes from the off then how do you really get to understand what's working and what isn't? How do you distinguish a bad game or down to bad tactics? You need to let things play out sometimes to understand the basics. Then you make notes about those games and see if any patterns of play good or bad appear in the games you didn't make changes.

I guess what I'm trying to say is you need some sort of base/template to adjust from. If not then you have nothing to compare it to so don't now how or why it should be working but isn't. You always need some kind of base to work from.

The most important thing is to determine something is wrong, if you don't then you can't fix it. If you have issues you can always post what you see happening and provide screenshots or PKM's if you are a bit lost and need help. But learning in FM comes down to trial and error. Identifying something is wrong is the first step once you've done that then there is multiple ways of fixing an issue as a rule normally.

Hm... I'll try this again then and see what I can make out.

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I know I said I wouldn't write about season two as I wasn't playing it but I was intrigued in what we could achieve. I won't be writing about it though but these are a few things that might interest you;

6Ak0oBg.png

I've seen quite an increase with possession which is good considering I still have 12 of the original squad at the club and they've all been involved this season. The third season would be interesting now due to the finances and players I can attract. But I really won't be playing it beyond this now as I don't have the time.

LwTLAay.png

It's interesting here as I scored 2 less goals than the previous season yet have the exact same goals conceded as the season before. The lack of goals is due to my striker not being upto the standard I'm playing now. That would be the big signing I'd have made for next season if I was continuing.

Oh and did I mention this little thing that happened?

DvYxdSB.png

The lowest possession I've had all season in this game. But I was outclassed really and couldn't quite compete how I wanted. But we stuck to our game plan and still won and has better share of possession, it just wasn't as high as I'd like.

The only change I've made for this season was change the Inside Forward to an attack duty. Everything else is the exact same as outlined at the beginning of the thread.

TP0VnOT.png

Through balls are still out main source of assists. You'll also notice the shift in assists compared to last season, they now appear to come from the left hand side more compared to central areas last season. This is because of the change to the inside forward, so he's more involved in the final phases of play now instead of the beginning of phases.

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I know I said I wouldn't write about season two as I wasn't playing it but I was intrigued in what we could achieve. I won't be writing about it though but these are a few things that might interest you;

6Ak0oBg.png

I've seen quite an increase with possession which is good considering I still have 12 of the original squad at the club and they've all been involved this season. The third season would be interesting now due to the finances and players I can attract. But I really won't be playing it beyond this now as I don't have the time.

LwTLAay.png

It's interesting here as I scored 2 less goals than the previous season yet have the exact same goals conceded as the season before. The lack of goals is due to my striker not being upto the standard I'm playing now. That would be the big signing I'd have made for next season if I was continuing.

Oh and did I mention this little thing that happened?

DvYxdSB.png

The lowest possession I've had all season in this game. But I was outclassed really and couldn't quite compete how I wanted. But we stuck to our game plan and still won and has better share of possession, it just wasn't as high as I'd like.

The only change I've made for this season was change the Inside Forward to an attack duty. Everything else is the exact same as outlined at the beginning of the thread.

TP0VnOT.png

Through balls are still out main source of assists. You'll also notice the shift in assists compared to last season, they now appear to come from the left hand side more compared to central areas last season. This is because of the change to the inside forward, so he's more involved in the final phases of play now instead of the beginning of phases.

Cleon, What was the reason you changed IF support to attack ?

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Cleon, you have a IFL on attack, what's your thoughts on a left wide playmaker support role?

I've always used and found Coutinho to be more expressive coming inside more centrally from this role with Moreno bombing on down from left full back.

How would this change, change your play with Swansea? would this be something you would use in your current set up to potentially offer something different?

Intrigued as to your thoughts.

Appreciated.

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Cleon, What was the reason you changed IF support to attack ?
Also, Did you see him(IF) isolated ? I have an attack duty IF in my tactic and I see him isolated sometimes. But this probably happen my midfield set-up

My striker isn't developed enough to lead the line on his own. So I had to give him help so the goals couldbe shared and that's why I made the IF attack. If I ever brought in a good striker then I'd possible change it back to support.

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Cleon, you have a IFL on attack, what's your thoughts on a left wide playmaker support role?

I've always used and found Coutinho to be more expressive coming inside more centrally from this role with Moreno bombing on down from left full back.

How would this change, change your play with Swansea? would this be something you would use in your current set up to potentially offer something different?

Intrigued as to your thoughts.

Appreciated.

I'd flip it all around to fit if I had the players. There's no real need for an extra playmaker though on the left in my current set up as I need a more direct goal threat with already using a RPM, AP and F9.

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"Oh and I won the CL with Swansea"

*drops mike*

:)

It's just very basic explanations like your IF-A one in #137 that ensure that (for the majority) everyone can understand then go off with ideas to build their own tactics using these principles.

Well played that man

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"Oh and I won the CL with Swansea"

*drops mike*

:)

It's just very basic explanations like your IF-A one in #137 that ensure that (for the majority) everyone can understand then go off with ideas to build their own tactics using these principles.

Well played that man

Cheers. Thinking like that comes naturally to me but I know it doesn't for others, that's why I try and mention the subtle changes because it's normally the subtle changes that have the greatest impact on things. They tend to turn decent tactics into good ones. So I try and write in a basic way to get that across and hopefully (judging by what people have said so far) that is coming across :)

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I made a tactic for my new Spurs save earlier today

Control / Flexible

Same back 5 , BBM and DLP/s in CM positions AP/s on the left and IF/s on the right with a DLF/s up top. lower tempo, sometimes closing down, shorter passing , work ball into box.........Was getting destroyed nad finishing the game with 35-40% possession. Scrapped the save in a huff :p I'll be paying attention to this thread because Fm16 has been a miserable lesson in frustration for me this year (so far)

The reason why Cleon used a RPM(S) is because it's more mobile, like the BBM(S), and will see your player make late runs into the box or edge of the area. The DLP(S) is a more static role which will see your player hold his position. This will give you less threat in attack and see you lose possession as a result of lacking adequate passing options in the final third.

There is also the question whether you require the both shorter passing and work ball into box team intructions when retain posession on control mentality will already help you achieve what you're looking for.

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The DLP does indeed cover across when needed, but I fully expect that. For me, it all becomes relative to what you are trying to achieve and the compromises you are prepared to make.

I want my BBM to be my midfield runner to provide an extra passing option and attacking threat. It doesn't need to be as I already have 4 players ahead of him, but I like what the role brings to my overall set up. Because of this, I therefore want my DLP to provide cover. Does it leave space behind? Yes it can do, but with the work rate and quality of players I use that space can be quickly closed down, so long as the DLP has made sufficient in-roads to hold up opposition play a little. The fullback (support) can also help with this, as can the amount of possession I have.

It's a risk, but a risk I am prepared to take.

It also comes down to the player I use for BBM. For games I expect to win, I'll use Andre Gomes, who has the PPM to Get Forwards Whenever Possible, and is a playmaker type of player. For tougher games, I'll change to Javi Fuego, who is far more industrious and more of a defensive type. He has the PPM to Stay Back at all Times. Clearly those PPMs will have an effect, but it doesn't stop Fuego from providing support up field (he scored 2 goals from open play in my recent 3-1 away win at Athletic, where we enjoyed 64% possession and restricted the home side to just 6 shots).

Different players bring different things, and it's about using them for your advantage.

Hey Herne.

I use a very similar set up with my Athletic team. I'm also doing a bit of head scratching at the moment trying to find the right balance with my TI's. What did you settle on in the end and why?

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Hey Herne.

I use a very similar set up with my Athletic team. I'm also doing a bit of head scratching at the moment trying to find the right balance with my TI's. What did you settle on in the end and why?

Close Down Much More - which became a favourite TI of mine in FM15 anyway. I give my 2 central defenders a PI of less closing down to try to stop them jumping out of position too often, but it doesn't seem to make much difference.

Play out of Defence - something I was already using, and tend to use anyway to help build from the back - especially as my GK is set to roll it out to my central defenders.

Retain Possession - was originally using Shorter Passing but swapped to this once I properly understood the impact of the team shape and how this helps negate the "downside" (for want of a better word).

Roam from Position - not something I had considered before this thread, so shamelessly lifted from Cleon's OP ;).

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Close Down Much More - which became a favourite TI of mine in FM15 anyway. I give my 2 central defenders a PI of less closing down to try to stop them jumping out of position too often, but it doesn't seem to make much difference.

Play out of Defence - something I was already using, and tend to use anyway to help build from the back - especially as my GK is set to roll it out to my central defenders.

Retain Possession - was originally using Shorter Passing but swapped to this once I properly understood the impact of the team shape and how this helps negate the "downside" (for want of a better word).

Roam from Position - not something I had considered before this thread, so shamelessly lifted from Cleon's OP ;).

Cheers Herne.

At the moment I am running a similar set up but without the retain possession option, however I have them set to prevent short GK distribution on a higher D line. I chose not to retain possession because I want my players in the final third to be a little more direct - my attacking players are good players, but aren't naturally strong in terms of passing and vision for their level (although they're not shockingly bad either).

I'm worried with my aggressive high press, it means when my attacking players have the ball the opposition has already parked the bus and my team lack the creativity to work through the block. So i do create a lot of shots inside the box, but with a packed box, perhaps they're not the best chances.

I'm at a little bit of a tactical roadblock at the moment, in that I know how to build a tactic but can't decide how my team should play.

Basically I have full backs and wide players who can cross well and stretch the play, central defenders and midfielders who are good on the ball and good defensively (so I can definitely operate a solid 2-2 CD/CM block in a 4-2-3-1 or similar. Forwards who are really suited to playing in the AF/poacher role and not much else, and attacking midfielders who offer a slightly more creative option in the middle.

Perhaps a lower defensive block and a highly structured shape would give the team more room and depth to exploit. I might go down the Simeone kind of route as I feel this would suit my players quite well.

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My setup is eerily close to Herne's and it's working as a base , but as SPurs I'm coming up against a lot of teams who are sitting deep and I'm just butting up against them.

Kane especially is awful and I can't find a attacking role that brings him into the game at all. My goals are all coming from the IF/a on the right or from my LFB/a (who has strangely scored 5 goals from IDENTICAL free kicks). I did try an AF like you use but it never received the ball and using a support role sees him involved outside the box but not getting on the end of anything. His link up play isn;t even that good and he is sitting on a 6.3 2/3 of the way through the season.

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Cheers Herne.

At the moment I am running a similar set up but without the retain possession option, however I have them set to prevent short GK distribution on a higher D line. I chose not to retain possession because I want my players in the final third to be a little more direct - my attacking players are good players, but aren't naturally strong in terms of passing and vision for their level (although they're not shockingly bad either).

I'm worried with my aggressive high press, it means when my attacking players have the ball the opposition has already parked the bus and my team lack the creativity to work through the block. So i do create a lot of shots inside the box, but with a packed box, perhaps they're not the best chances.

I'm at a little bit of a tactical roadblock at the moment, in that I know how to build a tactic but can't decide how my team should play.

Basically I have full backs and wide players who can cross well and stretch the play, central defenders and midfielders who are good on the ball and good defensively (so I can definitely operate a solid 2-2 CD/CM block in a 4-2-3-1 or similar. Forwards who are really suited to playing in the AF/poacher role and not much else, and attacking midfielders who offer a slightly more creative option in the middle.

Perhaps a lower defensive block and a highly structured shape would give the team more room and depth to exploit. I might go down the Simeone kind of route as I feel this would suit my players quite well.

No worries.

Unless you have a large transfer kitty to bring in new players to suit your chosen style of play, rather than trying to decide how your team should play have a look to see how your team are capable of playing and use that as your tactical starting point. You can always develop a medium/long term plan to evolve the team into a different style that you may prefer.

Post your setup here (if you are looking at possession specifically) or in your own thread if you need more help or ideas :).

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No worries.

Unless you have a large transfer kitty to bring in new players to suit your chosen style of play, rather than trying to decide how your team should play have a look to see how your team are capable of playing and use that as your tactical starting point. You can always develop a medium/long term plan to evolve the team into a different style that you may prefer.

Post your setup here (if you are looking at possession specifically) or in your own thread if you need more help or ideas :).

Cheers pal.

I think I will create a thread as it's more a general question than a possession orientated one. I play with Athletic, so I can't buy in players to fit a style and I feel like I've been looking at it for too long and need a fresh set of ideas. I'd love to get your thoughts in the thread!

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My setup is eerily close to Herne's and it's working as a base , but as SPurs I'm coming up against a lot of teams who are sitting deep and I'm just butting up against them.

Kane especially is awful and I can't find a attacking role that brings him into the game at all. My goals are all coming from the IF/a on the right or from my LFB/a (who has strangely scored 5 goals from IDENTICAL free kicks). I did try an AF like you use but it never received the ball and using a support role sees him involved outside the box but not getting on the end of anything. His link up play isn;t even that good and he is sitting on a 6.3 2/3 of the way through the season.

Any striker's role, no matter which one you choose, is only as good as the support and link up play around it. If you have tried different roles for Kane, that may indicate the issue isn't with that role, but with the roles around him (and/or tactical settings).

Personally I am using my AF as the spearhead, swapping Negredo with Alcacer for some variety of personnel in the same role. Negredo's scored 16 in 13 appearances, Alcacer has 17 in 13. Strikers will score, but they need to be fed properly.

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Cleon I can see that you are using a DMC Support as your holding player. If I was to change the DMC Support to a Anchor Man do you think this would affect the way the system plays. Could I ask how the Anchor would affect the roles in the midfield and further forward. I am just confused and do not quite understand what midfield roles to change if I was to use a Anchor Man instead of a DMC Support.

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