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Defensive Shape/Attacking Shape or Wibble/Wobble


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Greetings Everyone !

As far as I remember there always have been discussions about should FM players be able to set different shapes for their team during attacking and defensive phases. Some people have been saying that if something like that were possible then it would be very unrealistic because in real life teams don’t play like that and so on…

For me, the answer to that question is obvious and I want to show you some examples from real life that might change some people opinion on that matter.

 

 

Tuesday, Apr 11 2017

1st leg of 1/4 Champions League

Juventus vs Barcelona

3 : 0

 

Juventus' defensive shape during the match:

Here’s how Juventus defended vs Barca during that match.  

As you can see at the screenshots below Juventus’ shape when it was defending looked like a compact 4-4-2 formation

Juve-RL-442-Def-Shape-Exmp-2.png

Juve-RL-442-Def-Shape-Exmp-1.png

Juve-Defensive-Shape.png


 

 

 

 

Juventus' attacking shape during the match:

Now here’s how Juventus’ shape looked when it was attacking vs Barca during that match.  

When Juventus was attacking during that match its shape looked like a 4-2-3-1 formation where Dybala had free role and he could be anywhere he wanted : the left flank/ the center/the right flank.

Juve-Attacking-Shape.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, Apr 23 2017

El Clasico

Real Madrid vs Barcelona

2 : 3

 

Barcelona's defensive shape during the match:

Here’s how Barcelona defended vs Real Madrid during the El Clasico that happened yesterday.  

As you can see at the screenshots below Barcelona’s shape when it was defending looked like a compact 4-4-2 formation

Btw, Barcelona always defends that way in Liga BBVA during this season when it plays a 4 defenders.

Barca-RL-442-Def-Shape-Exmp-1.png

 

Barca-Defensive-Shape.png 

 

 

 

Barcelona's attacking shape during the match: 

Now here’s how Barcelona’s shape looked when it was attacking vs Real Madrid during the El Clasico.  

Btw, Barcelona’s shape looked like a fluid asymmetric formation where Messi had free role and he could be anywhere he wants to be.

Barcelona always attacks that way in Liga BBVA during this season when it plays a 4 defenders tactic.   

Barca-Attacking-Shape.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Can something like that be simulated in Football Manager 17? No, unfortunately, it can’t be simulated in FM and due to this the realism of the ME greatly suffers because it doesn’t allow to simulate the way teams play in real life.

It’s obvious that in real life players takes different instructions where they should be and what they should do during many different phases such as: position attacking phase, counter attacking phase, pressing phase, defensive phase and some other phases.

There’s only way to make the ME looks realistically is to give FM players an ability to instruct their teams what to do during those different phases.

With the tools that we have in FM it’s just possible to simulate the way that teams plays in real life.

 

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It would be nice to see that ability but what about the AI managers?

TBH SI struggle to get them to cope with the current tactical options so adding another layer to that will likely make it far too easy to dominate so I reckon we're years from seeing SI successfully reintroduce a wibble/wobble system to the match engine.

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Some decent points though. In particular as for the defensive shapes... it's fairly fixed and currently hard to get it anywhere to the above even with a bog-standard 4-4-2 where you would expect it to line-up like that (depending on which). I can't see them retreating to fully on wibble/wobble either though (where in old CM games you could specific static defensive as well as attacking formations). It seems to have proven that the dynamic instructions don't mesh particularly well with two such static systems. Players would inhibit two positions at once, and from there on the dynamic instructions would apply (forward runs, dribblings, etc.). Also lead to tons of exploits undermining the entire system, and as was later found, making an entire portion of the player base understand the game at all. Upon exploiting, nothing much matters, and it's impossible to gauge whether a side is at all performing let alone how useful a player is (you'd be gifted scoring chance anyhow). Thus the reasons why it's been approached the way it is since, with defensive shapes dynamically morphing into attacking shapes based on the dynamic instructions (mentality, forward runs primarily), and vice versa, the quality of runs also relying on the player's qualities, not players inhibiting set positions no matter what and acting from there. It naturally has all has those limitations since...

Speaking on that exploits front, I find it somewhat intriguing that one of the more common ME exploit tactic providers is approaching this from a "realism" angle, i.e. how would teams realistically play rather than how can I game this engine with those new options then (not that the points wouldn't be valid and well worth considering!). :D Whilst the exclusion of wibble/wobble or the old Farrows wasn't PRIMARILY down to easy exploits, publishing/making exploit tactics likely didn't promote the inclusion of more positionally control on micro levels for future iterations either... I think allowing a huge level of positionally micro control in a management game is difficult full-stop though. You could change shapes on the fly multiple times a match, always overload areas where the AI currently doesn't have enough players, with it never being able to spot/react. In online matches meanwhile this would quickly turn into a simple numbers game which is not much like football management. More control over rough defensive/attacking shapes though is well needed. Problem being that the ME itself always has defensive weak areas here and that SI seems to find it difficult to balance as is (the open flanks on FM 2016 countered by the "trick" to make wide midfielders cover out wide as of FM 2017, leading to vulnerable central areas in turn though which are currently targeted by exploiting tactics). Sigh. :D

Edited by Svenc
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Theoricaly you could have it accomplished using the 4-4-2 as shape (currently what we see is the defensive one) and then assigning player instructions to form a 4-3-3 in attack.

The problem is that without an offensive shape visual, it's a guess game to create such tactic and then watching a few games to see if it does what you wanted.

The wibble/wobble was probably too much, setting the position for each player based on where the ball was.

I think it would be enough giving us a tool not to set each player position but a graphical representation of the players positions on defense and attack based on each player instruction. That way we could see if our instructions would accomplish the attack and defensive shapes we wanted, similar to what the arrows gave us in the past.

 

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I think it is possible now to mimic this behavior. 

The tactical view is the defensive position so you start in both cases with a 4-4-2. Because you want to have a completely different shape attacking you get al fluid-very fluid system. The movement in attack is controlled via the roles and playing instructions: 

Juve: 

Advanced Forward (attack) - Trequiesta (attack)/False 9 (support)

Winger (attack) - Deep lying playmaker (support) - Central midfielder (support) - Winger Attack

Fullback (attack) - Central defender - Central defender - Fullback (support)

GK

Barca:

Advanced Forward (attack) - False 9 (support)

Winger (attack) - Advanced playmaker (support) - Central midfielder (defense) - Wide playmaker (support)

Wingback (support) - Central defender - Central defender - Complete wingback (attack)

GK

I haven't tested this but believe this should provide the wanted plays. 

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7 hours ago, Kalme Saki said:

I think it is possible now to mimic this behavior. 

The tactical view is the defensive position so you start in both cases with a 4-4-2. Because you want to have a completely different shape attacking you get al fluid-very fluid system. The movement in attack is controlled via the roles and playing instructions: 

Juve: 

Advanced Forward (attack) - Trequiesta (attack)/False 9 (support)

Winger (attack) - Deep lying playmaker (support) - Central midfielder (support) - Winger Attack

Fullback (attack) - Central defender - Central defender - Fullback (support)

 

No, it's not possible, for the following reasons:

1. Regardless of their roles, mentaility, team shape, the two strikers will not draw back and defend as much as the Juventus strikers do. Note that Juventus are the exception and the ME is the rule, in this case: strikers are there to score goals, not to defend. However, you'd expect strikers with high workrate and teamwork to help their teammates, and/or managers with good man managing skills to persuade them to do so...

2. The Mandzukic role is not replicable. Then again, he's one of a kind, a sort of defensive wide target man: you can't replicate the role/duty either in a 442 (closest is wide midfielder defend) or in a 4231 (closest is wtm support).

3. The Dybala role is not replicable: he goes up and down, left and right, depending on how he and Allegri feel. A PPM like "comes deep to get the ball" may help, but in a 442 he'll stay on the centre-right no matter what; in a 4411/4231 he seldom plays on the same line as the STC, and he seldom goes left and right.

4. It's almost impossible to have such a compact shape in midfield. Wide players tend to stay wide. If you're not playing with wide players (eg 41212) the not-so-wide players (MCL/MCR) tend to stay cental. This is what I call "lack of lateral movement", but I'm sure there's a better way to define the issue. Note that, when Juventus played 41212, their defensive shape was still a sort of 442, with the AMC acting like a MC and the MCL/MCR acting like wide midfielders.

5. PPM's are needed to replicate the full-backs. For instance, the right-back may be seen as a full-back/support, but he must have "gets forward whenever possible".

6. And it's very hard to get something from the central midfielders: their movements off the ball is something you'll never achieve with a defend duty, support duties need PPM's, attack duties may be a bit too risky (I do manage to re-create a 4231 with a CM on attack, but I never use it as a "standard" option).

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It is not so hard to get a team to have a different defensive and offensive shape, it is all in how you set up the team, and what instructions you give players.

I currently play with a system that defends as a 451 or 541 and attacks as a hybrid 442/424, and it is extremely effective. You do not need to be able to designate an attacking and defensive formation to achieve this, and if you think so then I guess you do not understand fully how to set things up tactically in FM. 

Take your Barcelona example, you can set this up as a 4141 with Roberto a CWB(A), Rakitic a WPM(S), Messi a CM(A), Suarez DLF(S/D) or F9(S), Alba a FB(A), Alcacer as WM(A) or W(A) depending what you want him to do, and Iniesta and Busquets as any of the more stationary midfield roles. You would see behaviour very much like what you post. You can tweek the PIs to your heart is content to try to exactly replicate the behaviour you want to see after that. The Juventus one you can similarly set up using a 4411.

Whilst I will not say that FM is tactically perfect (it is not, and there are many ways to improve it), it is nowhere near as bad as suggested here. Nor is a reversion to the older way tactics were done, with detailed micromanagement of each player the answer either. I mean you can even dictate to some extent what players do during a transition by making sure they are in the right places when you win/lose the ball. And since transitions are by far the most dynamic part of football, they cannot be totally scripted by a manager because they are incredibly situational.

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It's pretty common to have both forwards playing so deep and narrow nowadays and the game should be able to more accurately reflect that however it can only be introduced when there's enough options or flexibility to be able to break it down too. Could you imagine coming up against even average sides playing so defensively on FM? It'd be impossible to penetrate such a defensive system on FM17 at least 

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On ‎24‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 09:58, Barside said:

It would be nice to see that ability but what about the AI managers?

TBH SI struggle to get them to cope with the current tactical options so adding another layer to that will likely make it far too easy to dominate so I reckon we're years from seeing SI successfully reintroduce a wibble/wobble system to the match engine.

Of course, if human players would be able to set different shapes during attacking and defensive phases then AI also should be able to play that way.

Btw, It’s pretty easy to define what defensive shapes managers use in real life and I’m sure that would be easy for club researches to do that, anyway, if there will be any doubt what defensive shapes some managers use in real life then it’s always possibly to use some common “standard” defensive shapes like a compact and narrow 4-1-4-1 shape

 

 

On ‎24‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 20:15, Fosse said:

It's pretty common to have both forwards playing so deep and narrow nowadays and the game should be able to more accurately reflect that however it can only be introduced when there's enough options or flexibility to be able to break it down too. Could you imagine coming up against even average sides playing so defensively on FM? It'd be impossible to penetrate such a defensive system on FM17 at least 

 

The issue isn’t only about forwards’ positions during the defensive, the issue is much bigger than that.

The issue is that In FM the players’ positions in the defensive shape and the attacking shape are tightly connected which isn't true in real life.

For example, In FM if you want that during the defense phase your central midfielders were sitting as close as possible to your defenders then the only way to do that is it to give then “Defend” Duty and during the defensive phase thier positions will be looking like that: 

001122.png

 

 

BUT with “Defend” duty during the attacking phase their positions are also will be close to the defenders, it'll be looking like that, they will  sticking to the center of the pitch:

0033222.png

 

 

And that what you might not want they do during the attacking phase and as it can be seen from my examples at the opening post in real life central midfielders might sit close and compact to the defense during the defensive phase but during the attacking phase they can go anywhere and their positions during the attacking and the defensive phases aren’t connected.

 

 

 

 

In FM if you want that your central midfielders were sitting as higher as possible during the attacking phase then you should give them “Attack” duty but with “Attack” duty they will be sitting far away from your defensive line during the defensive phase so the defensive shape will be looking like this, there'll be a huge gap between the midfielder line and the defensive  

001133.png

 

 

 

 

As you can see In FM players’ positions tightly connected during the attacking and the defensive phases but as I said and showed that’s not true in real life and in real life players might have complete different positions during the attacking and the defensive phases and that’s why in FM it isn’t possible to simulate the way teams play in real life and due to this issue the realist of the ME takes serious hit.

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Both teams, Juventus (vs Barcelona) and Barcelona (vs Real Madrid) defended - in FM terms - in a 4-4-2-0, not in a 4-4-2. In FM, there's always a huge gap between the midfield strata and the striker strata in de defensive phase (even when using defensive forwards). As a matter of fact, a 4-4-2-0 isn't available for the AI managers. I think SI should be a little less afraid of exploits and give us more freedom to (re)create realistic set-ups.

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4 hours ago, Kcinnay said:

Both teams, Juventus (vs Barcelona) and Barcelona (vs Real Madrid) defended - in FM terms - in a 4-4-2-0, not in a 4-4-2. In FM, there's always a huge gap between the midfield strata and the striker strata in de defensive phase (even when using defensive forwards). As a matter of fact, a 4-4-2-0 isn't available for the AI managers. I think SI should be a little less afraid of exploits and give us more freedom to (re)create realistic set-ups.

On FM 2015 initially the duties were linked to defensive behavior of advanced roles for the first time. So you could make a forwards (plus advanced midfielders) always track deep back on support whilst defending, whilst he stayed forward on attack duty. Naturally clashed a tad both with the way AI seems to allocate duties, plus produces a bit of an overlap. You had to have a forward on support for him to track back, which then would also mean he wasn't encouraged to spearhead the line going forward, bit of a contradiction. A better solution was simply having an instruction, but that's also something for the AI to use as well intelligently then... ideally you may still want it to be simulated too that some players are more or less likely to help in defending, in particular attacking players tracking back in some way.

As for the above TFF seem exagerating a tad. :D If there's ever such a huge difference between a cm/d and cm/a its primarily because the CM/a pushes up into the AMC strata in possession so has to get back in position upon dropping the ball. He thus may also engage an opposing player higher up the pitch due to this all the while the d-line and the cm/d continues retreating. I'm torn on the exploit issue. It's not just that you may have new means to do it depending on the level of micro control. It's that they lead to unstructurally unsound or at least risky/one dimensional tactics, and as such fuel frustration when they fail, plus must be tough to maintain for SI. With exploits, the ME can appear completely broken to illogical on any random match day. That really shouldn't be the main concern, but as they undermine the entire work going into this, I could understand why SI are reluctant here.

More control over shapes, please! However anything that potentially undermines the experience, no. Same as anything that just gives you an edge because AI can't use it proper (happened before). Plus it should be inquired at  football contacts how this works for them. I.e. it is fine drawing a perfect shape on a board, but another seeing that carried out as is to perfection.


 

Edited by Svenc
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really good OP. teams in real have different set of instructions for defensive and attacking (even transition) phase. In FM it is all morphed together producing very "unfootballing" behaviour of players. essentially, the defensive positioning in the game is all wrong in wide areas (this creates sort of domino effect and spills over to central areas). this already produces exploits where you can overload the central area and control the match as even the best teams fail to protect the central areas in the game. 

the real problem is to make AI good enough to effectively use the separate def/off shapes. however, if forwards were forced to come deeper (as they are forced to cut inside if PI is set up) this might already produce better coverage of central area. If wide players were forced to stay goal side instead of hugging the line creating huge gap between CM and WM, that would already make things much better.

 

58fef6a3418e3_nenelouis.thumb.jpg.c2cdf8df6bdade320dbb0a2d545ec93c.jpg

The red team above plays 4-2-3-1 where CAM is in good defensive position that one of the strikers in 4-4-2 should assume. The problematic part is on the flanks where wingers needlessly stay very wide letting the opposition control and overload central area of the pitch while marking totaly not dangerous center backs. Nobody in real would defend like this unless those center back slots are occupied by Messi and CR while the rest of the squad consists of 8 schoolboys.

The Red team above essentially allows the opposition free passing lane towards wide advanced players (WM's) while covering deep wide positions (CB's). This essentially leaves Red full backs isolated 1v1 which is very bad defending in itself, but even worse if those wm's are any good at dribbling, acceleration which players in those positions normally are. no sense at all. especially since Red team already allows numerical parity in the most dangerous area of the pitch just above the box.

so I wonder what is the reasoning for not forcing those two wide players to come deep and cut those passing lanes towards the advanced wide players ? 

Edited by MBarbaric
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Guest El Payaso

Really good start for a conversation. I think that both AI and many human players want to set players to a 'natural position' when using a formation. So for me it's quite odd that the formation on FM is the defensive shape while IRL that is not the case. It's not like if Arsenal has players presented in 4-2-3-1 that they are going to always be in that shape when they defend. Also if I ended up having my team in a 4-2-3-1 (which I never currently do because of the fact it is the defensive shape) because it is the most natural for my team, I still wouldn't want that to be my defensive shape. 

I think that the current roling system is too much concentrated on instructing how a certain player attacks and defensive phase is left almost completely unpresented. What I've been thinking for a long time is that the players should have both attacking and defending role which means that you should be clearly able to set instructions on both how the player is going to attack and how the player is going to defend. With the current system I think that only influence you can have on player's defending is the 'tight' or 'loose' marking (which for me make no clear difference on anything in the ME) and closing down (which has never been well working in the ME) so it's quite useless at the moment. 

So even if I have someone in a formation as a AML/AMR/AMC I still should be able to tell that player to have a certain role in defense. Some more advanced attacking players would be good for dropping back while for example in case like having Lionel Messi it would be quite useless to drop him deep to defend as that is not what he is good at and on the other hand he is ideal on starting counter attacks. 

So for me: formation should not be the defensive shape and in roling the game should concentrate more on the defending phase.

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41 minutes ago, El Payaso said:

 Some more advanced attacking players would be good for dropping back while for example in case like having Lionel Messi it would be quite useless to drop him deep to defend as that is not what he is good at and on the other hand he is ideal on starting counter attacks. 

 

agree with most of the things, however, I'd like to add something to this. If player is defensively good or bad (wining tackles, intercepting balls, winning challenges) is just part of defending. the most important part is work rate and positioning. while messi is lousy at his defensive skills, he is still vital to how his team defends as a unit. he needs to be back not to win tackles or intercept balls but to cut passing options towards the central area of the pitch. just being in defensive shape makes it difficult for the opposition to find a passing lane and that is enough. 

this of course doesn't mean he must always be there but at crucial times when the opposition pushes forward he is expected to be in position more often than not.

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Guest El Payaso
3 hours ago, MBarbaric said:

agree with most of the things, however, I'd like to add something to this. If player is defensively good or bad (wining tackles, intercepting balls, winning challenges) is just part of defending. the most important part is work rate and positioning. while messi is lousy at his defensive skills, he is still vital to how his team defends as a unit. he needs to be back not to win tackles or intercept balls but to cut passing options towards the central area of the pitch. just being in defensive shape makes it difficult for the opposition to find a passing lane and that is enough. 

this of course doesn't mean he must always be there but at crucial times when the opposition pushes forward he is expected to be in position more often than not.

Yes yes of course and this is a good thing: tactical 'disagreements' which is exactly what the game needs tactically: have big differences between AI vs human managers and also between us human managers. You would drop Messi to defend while I wouldn't. And shortly why I would not:

- Messi is the best possible outlet to start attacks which means that I don't want him to drop too deep to defend or waste his stamina to do defensive work.

- Keeping Messi and Suarez high up the pitch will also limit the amount of players that the opposition can throw forward without the fear of being punished. 

Intelligence and reading of the game, physical attributes etc. are as vital as being able to mark, tackle and other 'winning the ball back tools' and for example Victor Moses is a good example of that. He might not have the defensive attributes of the centre back but with other qualities he has successfully played his defensive part as a wingback and even in the tough games. 

And if 'formation' is supposed to be the defensive shape, then most of the teams would be having their most advanced playes on AM or even MC position.

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I agree with the OP but I think the issues are deeper rooted in that the defensive side of the tactics creator is overlooked almost entirely. I don't want to sound like a moaner, but the inability to create a press in any form more complex than how much closing down each player does highlights this.

Situational pressing, for instance, is impossible to create but is a huge part of modern football.

Closing down is a catch all that encompasses all kinds of player behavior that we have no control over.

Whenever pressing is discussed with regards to FM in any sort of depth, it is usually only achievable by using certain shapes and occasionally someone who has a deep understanding of football and coaching sometimes gets something working by by using complex opposition instructions. But this is rarely noticed and could well just be a result of good fortune.

The key thing here though, which whilst annoying for people who want to dig into things, would probably be way over the head of the average FM player who just wants to play as a big team and sign Neymar and smash everyone.

Edited by Craigus89
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The roles actually offer a lot of flexibility in adjusting player's shape going backwards and forward *but none for lateral movement of central players* (bar 'roam' settings and decisions a player might make to cover space without instructions). A "cover right flank/left flank" instruction for DMs, MC/AMs to instruct them where to drop back (and possibly a "tuck in defensively" instruction on wide players and "stay wider/overlap" attacking instructions for MCs playing in a three) would solve most of those problems, and probably not be too difficult to train the AI to use occasionally and sensibly (get midfielders to cover nearest flank when playing with certain narrow formations against certain wide formations, basically). Whilst imposing more load on testers and AI designers to try to balance everything out, this seems possible to introduce without extreme exploit potential.

Most of the rest of the question marks about formations would go away with a small AI improvement that drew offensive and defensive arrows on the pitch to reflect (i) the role settings and (ii) any additional boxes you'd checked like "roam" or "move into channels". You could probably even have a screen which draws an "attacking" and "defensive" formations based entirely on the prescribed roles, and it might make them a lot clearer to newbies than the paragraph of text.

I mean, I rather liked wibblewobble's ability to be able to draw shifting triangles everywhere, but I get the arguments for those being overly prescriptive and easily manipulated

-

It probably doesn't help the discussion to conflate separate issues like the virtually all the forward roles being almost always reluctant to drop back to defend (which leads to 4-4-2-0 being a more accurate way of representing most RL 4-4-2s including the Juventus one. That's not a lack of flexibility, that's just questionable tuning of roles, much like the wingers defending too wide in the current version (personally I'd like most wide players in the AM strata to continue to stay wide and forward until a side is actually overloaded by wingers and most in the M strata to get in line and tuck in; at the moment their defensive approach is a bit too similar. Then again, that's an as-of FM17 development)

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Tuesday, Apr 4 2017

English Premier League

Manchester Utd vs Everton

1 : 1

 

 

 

Manchester Utd' defensive shape during the match:

Here’s how Manchester Utd defended vs Everton during that match.  

As you can see at the screenshots belowManchester Utd’ shape when it was defending looked like a compact 4-1-4-1 formation

 

MU002.png 

MU001.png

MU005.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchester Utd' attacking shape during the match:

Here’s how Manchester Utd attacked vs Everton during that match :

MU006.png

 

 

Please pay attention to the Lingard’s position during the attacking phase and the defensive phases 

During the attacking phase he played like Central Shadow Striker and the right flank was given to Young  

 

MU004.png


MU003.png 

 

So during the defensive phase Lingard marked/guarded the zone of Right Wide Midfielder but during the attacking phase he played like Central Shadow Striker and left the right flank to Young 

As you can see in real life players might take complete different positions in the shape during the attacking and the defensive phases

 

 

Unfortunately, nothing like that could be recreated in FM because players’ positons during the attacking and the defensive phases tightly connected so Mourinho tactic from real life like many other tactics from real life can’t be recreated in FM.

 

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Great thread adressing a very important limitation in the game, Getting your ideas from your head to your players.

We need to be able convert our atk/def shape ideas visually, The roles and duties are just words and sentences that mean nothing when looking at the very basic and diluted ME. Perhaps a visual guide of each role using a 3d training session will let you tune how your team reacts to different positions and how compact, wide they are.

OI are a good tool as well that can to be integrated in something like that, Telling your players to press areas instead of individuals.

Also off the ball movement is a very crucial part of football, I would like to be able to easily tell my strikers or midfielders to move into certain areas and perhaps teach them a combination play or pattern that is the DNA of my side.

When you look at you tubers using different tactics, all the goals are similar and really it would be amazing if we can have our different styles and philosophies showing on the ME instead of the repetitive 3 or 4 ugly goal types.

 

 

Edited by qwerty22
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another inconsistency that bugs the FM is that all players have their (natural) positions according to thier positioning in the attacking phase. So to create i.e. 4-4-2 defensive shape one would need to create the tactic that has majority (of wide  players/attacking midfielders) playing out of position.

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Regarding the ManU formation, it is possible, to a certain extent, to replicate these movements. 

If you use Lingard as a WM/a with a PI to cut inside and get further forward he will attack the box in more central areas.

Young can be a simple WB/a, or even a WB/s if you don't want to leave the flank too exposed.

Edited by kingjericho
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1 hour ago, MBarbaric said:

another inconsistency that bugs the FM is that all players have their (natural) positions according to thier positioning in the attacking phase. So to create i.e. 4-4-2 defensive shape one would need to create the tactic that has majority (of wide  players/attacking midfielders) playing out of position.

Good point.

The selection screen can't be the defensive shape but then the players natural roles be the attacking ones. It's illogical, especially as you are then penalised by players making poor decisions.

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If something like that is ever (re-)introduced or re-approached, it needs to be taking the following into account:

- It's great modelling distinctive defensive/attacking shapes, however the transitioning from one into another that must depend on player traits, team/tactical gelling and also context. Whilst there may be an odd manager who may instruct Messi to just flat out park high and wide at the half way line at all time, same as immediately sprinting to the corner flag when the side gains possession, that's not what's going on in a football match typically. He likely also wouldn't be allowed to sit there unchecked, which would also happen on FM now, i.e. the opposing manager has his Full Back on attack, he would storm forward disregarding Messi sitting there just waiting for the ball to be hoofed his way upon intercepting. In a real match there is match context, there is reaction to where the ball is, where the opposition is (plus most actual managers would rage over Messi not getting behind the ball likely ;) . Players don't brain-dead assume set positions just cause during that transitioning stage.

- Likewise having designated without/with ball shapes can't boil down to the  player basically just assuming that position immediately when the ball is won. Not how this works in football either.  You can't just draw an arrow or put up some shapes and then the **** guy turns into Thomas Müller / Makelele with his attacking/defending movement and positioning.

- For that to work, both the defending and the attacking team when those switches occur would need to be coded a positionally awareness for each player and area of the pitch, something that right now is very limited as Barbaric highlights. Certain positions are coded to cover a certain area of the pitch no matter what.

That might be a big task, considering that every single football (management) game that has allowed such was rife for simply rigging/gaming/exploiting the thing to hell and back. Starting from Anco's Player Manager where you could basically rig the play into the same undefendable attacking move over and over scor, to Fifa Managers forward and backward arrows allowing for a specific micro control over attacking and defending movement leading to 150+ goals seasons with crappage teams/players (one of the few things where you had any kind of control over anyway in this one considering that else both teams would always play direct attacking football no matter what), to the set piece creator exploits of Champ Man 2010. I know that some argue this to be a fundamental part of a "game", but once you have gone there, there is no management anymore, no game play. It's just hitting the space bar snooze fest and a massively failure of what this is trying to be.

I adore all these attempts to introduce more depth here though, the last Champ Man tried it too (on/off the ball formations shown at the end of the vid, there is a second part showing the set piece creator).
https://www.gamereactor.eu/grtv/?id=4194

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I definitely agree a lot more can be done with tactical positioning especially with its growing importance in the game however it is possible to use individual instructions to do some of the things we see real teams do.

For example you can set a CM to mark a winger and in defensive positions you will see them move into the wider area to close down and mark. I use this method sometimes with my players to change my defensive shape. 

I remember watching Man City early season and thinking it would be hard to replicate the positions that Silva and De Bruyne were playing in FM. But I found that if I selected a player as an AM-S and then changed their individual defensive closing down and marking settings that they would look more like Silva and De Bruyne did. At that time they were playing very advanced positions, beyond where a CM would with the ball but still operated like a CM without it. 

If you think outside the box you can get FM to be more flexible than you would automatically think. 

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On 24/04/2017 at 05:54, Totalfootballfan said:

Greetings Everyone !

As far as I remember there always have been discussions about should FM players be able to set different shapes for their team during attacking and defensive phases. Some people have been saying that if something like that were possible then it would be very unrealistic because in real life teams don’t play like that and so on…

For me, the answer to that question is obvious and I want to show you some examples from real life that might change some people opinion on that matter.

 

 

Tuesday, Apr 11 2017

1st leg of 1/4 Champions League

Juventus vs Barcelona

3 : 0

 

Juventus' defensive shape during the match:

Here’s how Juventus defended vs Barca during that match.  

As you can see at the screenshots below Juventus’ shape when it was defending looked like a compact 4-4-2 formation

 

Juve_RL_442_Def_Shape_Exmp_2.png


Juve_RL_442_Def_Shape_Exmp_1.png

Juve_Defensive_Shape.png

 

 

Juventus' attacking shape during the match:

Now here’s how Juventus’ shape looked when it was attacking vs Barca during that match.  

When Juventus was attacking during that match its shape looked like a 4-2-3-1 formation where Dybala had free role and he could be anywhere he wanted : the left flank/ the center/the right flank.

 

Juve_Attacking_Shape.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, Apr 23 2017

El Clasico

Real Madrid vs Barcelona

2 : 3

 

Barcelona's defensive shape during the match:

Here’s how Barcelona defended vs Real Madrid during the El Clasico that happened yesterday.  

As you can see at the screenshots below Barcelona’s shape when it was defending looked like a compact 4-4-2 formation

Btw, Barcelona always defends that way in Liga BBVA during this season when it plays a 4 defenders.

 

Barca_RL_442_Def_Shape_Exmp_1.png 
 

Barca_Defensive_Shape.png 

 

 

Barcelona's attacking shape during the match: 

Now here’s how Barcelona’s shape looked when it was attacking vs Real Madrid during the El Clasico.  

Btw, Barcelona’s shape looked like a fluid asymmetric formation where Messi had free role and he could be anywhere he wants to be.

Barcelona always attacks that way in Liga BBVA during this season when it plays a 4 defenders tactic.   

Barca_Attacking_Shape.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Can something like that be simulated in Football Manager 17? No, unfortunately, it can’t be simulated in FM and due to this the realism of the ME greatly suffers because it doesn’t allow to simulate the way teams play in real life.

It’s obvious that in real life players takes different instructions where they should be and what they should do during many different phases such as: position attacking phase, counter attacking phase, pressing phase, defensive phase and some other phases.

There’s only way to make the ME looks realistically is to give FM players an ability to instruct their teams what to do during those different phases.

With the tools that we have in FM it’s just possible to simulate the way that teams plays in real life.

 

Crikey your Computers good what setting do you need to put to get FM graphics like that?? 

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The lack of defensive options, especially ones regarding pressing has been bugging me for a long time. All we have is close down more/less which is pretty lame, and doesn't offer any sort of options to design an effective pressing unit, create specific pressing movements, or to set up pressing triggers. The way players approach an enemy when pressing also does not represent real life, they just run at them straight, rather than taking a "curved" road to cancel out passing lanes. Players dont use their cover shadows as an effective tool and are easily tricked to move out of position, leaving gaps as it is rare that teams press as a unit.

It would be also nice to be able to set up different types of man/zonal marking schemes but i think that is a thing for the future.

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Guest El Payaso
8 hours ago, Scrench said:

The lack of defensive options, especially ones regarding pressing has been bugging me for a long time. All we have is close down more/less which is pretty lame, and doesn't offer any sort of options to design an effective pressing unit, create specific pressing movements, or to set up pressing triggers. The way players approach an enemy when pressing also does not represent real life, they just run at them straight, rather than taking a "curved" road to cancel out passing lanes. Players dont use their cover shadows as an effective tool and are easily tricked to move out of position, leaving gaps as it is rare that teams press as a unit.

It would be also nice to be able to set up different types of man/zonal marking schemes but i think that is a thing for the future.

Well the pressing issues are also highly related to the ME and sadly the ME has never had any kind of real pressing in it and it's a big task to improve it.

Tactically the game is dragging behind and needs definitely something new especially for long time players. It's wrong to say that it doesn't need more challenge either as for example for me it took about two minutes to create three totally working systems which make me overachieve in the game but sadly, even though they differ quite a bit from the ones I usually use, I cannot see any differences on statistics such as average ratings and who is scoring and who is getting the assists. And no, the game shouldn't be only thinking about new players. New players shouldn't be expecting to overachieve straight from the beginning if they know nothing about football style of plays. It should be study and learn and develop yourself type of thing. The success will come when you develop yourself. With the current system it's quite a bit too easy to overachieve.

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I agree with Karimza, FM18 needs to keep adapting and evolving in the tactics department.

One example would be looking at Tottenham this season, yet again they've evolved their tactics and play with 2 formations during games, 1 in possession and 1 out of possession.

Earlier in the season Spurs were setting up in a 4231 formation but when in possession of the ball Dier would be dropping into RCB allowing Tottenham's formation to expand into a 3421 with walker and rose/davies pushing on in wide areas, erikson and alli tucking into the pockets to create overloads in the attacking phase. This is why they dominate the ball for long periods.

In the defensive phase this season Spurs have installed an immediate counter press when losing the ball helping them win the ball high up, when an opposing team breaks out of the counter press freely Spurs reform into a 4231, full backs get back RCB pushes into CM and 1 CM pushes into AMC. 

Its an extremely fluid system. My FM 343 system nearly mirrors the spurs one but i would like to see FM improve the tactical side of the game. 

Its the same with Juventus as mentioned in the thread earlier, their defensive shape (especially in europe) is a 5311 they played dani alves right wing in a 4231 shape but when defending they sat deep with alves going right back and barzagli shifting inwards to make a 5. I dont think you can currently replicate this in FM with your AMR dropping into a defensive phase and filling in at RB.

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I like and agree with all what has been said in this thread  :)

In FM you can't make Juve or Barca to play like these teams play in real life due to the poor tactical system that FM has and I'm looking forward to see some significant changes in that area in FM18

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18 minutes ago, Malik75 said:

I like and agree with all what has been said in this thread  :)

In FM you can't make Juve or Barca to play like these teams play in real life due to the poor tactical system that FM has and I'm looking forward to see some significant changes in that area in FM18

This isn't true, as TFF knows I have replicated the (in)famous pass & movement approach of Guardiola that people often claim is impossible on various FM releases, I also had a tactic in FM15 that was very similar to what Conte is perceived to use.

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well... depends what you classify as 'working or not working'. If it's titles in March and 100 GD then stick to exploiting the ME. If it's about interpreting RL formations, FM has a lot of options available that one cane get very creative with. For example, this is my interpretation of Juve's formation, something I've written over a month ago.

https://fmasymmetric.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/the-mad-max-space-commitment-creativity-part-one/

Yes, I had really good success with it and yes, it is possible to get teams to play in certain ways, however with a lot of detailed thought and analysis to it.

 

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3 hours ago, Barside said:

 

This isn't true, as TFF knows I have replicated the (in)famous pass & movement approach of Guardiola that people often claim is impossible on various FM releases, I also had a tactic in FM15 that was very similar to what Conte is perceived to use.

with tinkering human player can do a lot. the real issue is that AI Chelsea, Man City, ... don't look at all like teams in real life when you watch them on FM. I can accept FIFA not reporoducing realistic football but football manager simulator... 

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1 hour ago, MBarbaric said:

with tinkering human player can do a lot. the real issue is that AI Chelsea, Man City, ... don't look at all like teams in real life when you watch them on FM. I can accept FIFA not reporoducing realistic football but football manager simulator... 

I agree but going back to my first reply in this thread adding an extra layer to the tactical interface is only going to make that worse & increase the advantage the user currently has.

Until the AI managers are able to use the current interface I'd be firmly set against SI introducing a wibble/wobble interface as that will take a massive amount of resources away from improving upon the current structure that at its core can do what TFF has asked for.

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17 minutes ago, Barside said:

I agree but going back to my first reply in this thread adding an extra layer to the tactical interface is only going to make that worse & increase the advantage the user currently has.

Until the AI managers are able to use the current interface I'd be firmly set against SI introducing a wibble/wobble interface as that will take a massive amount of resources away from improving upon the current structure that at its core can do what TFF has asked for.

true that. to make it possible some sound defensive principles need to be integrated in the ME before we/si goes to next step.

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Guest El Payaso
20 hours ago, Barside said:

I agree but going back to my first reply in this thread adding an extra layer to the tactical interface is only going to make that worse & increase the advantage the user currently has.

Until the AI managers are able to use the current interface I'd be firmly set against SI introducing a wibble/wobble interface as that will take a massive amount of resources away from improving upon the current structure that at its core can do what TFF has asked for.

But when is this going to happen? The current tactics system has been basically unchanged for many years and the AI still isn't handling it even decently. What suggests that the AI will improve tactically at some point as there hasn't been any change through the current tactics system existence. Well, at least I haven't seen any improvement with the AI or raise of the difficulty level.

Also in terms of business it is risky to not bring any new content to the players.  I doubt that the AI can get even worse tactically if something is added.

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while I agree with you, I think it is difficult for SI to find sweet spot between decent tactics and happy customers who can just pick the team and win. introducing sound team defense in the game would also produce a knock on effect on attacking. I can't imagine current offensive phase could cope with proper defense. so, while improving the defensive phase would be difficult, creating offensve phase that could break down this defence in equally realistic manner would be the real challenge. now that i think of it, i guess that is the culprit that impedes the progress of ME in defensive department.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12.05.2017 at 15:52, El Payaso said:

But when is this going to happen? The current tactics system has been basically unchanged for many years and the AI still isn't handling it even decently. What suggests that the AI will improve tactically at some point as there hasn't been any change through the current tactics system existence. Well, at least I haven't seen any improvement with the AI or raise of the difficulty level.

Also in terms of business it is risky to not bring any new content to the players.  I doubt that the AI can get even worse tactically if something is added.

 

I really doubt that AI could do worse than now :)

Bayern almost alwasy finish the 1st season in Bundelliga only in top 3 in my save, all that looks completly unrealistic  

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  • 4 months later...
1 hour ago, Karimza said:

I've checked the featured FM18 video and didn't notice any tactical improvements… I'm really disappointed :( 

It looks like we won't get tools to customize Attacking Shape and Defensive Shape in FM18 so It'll be impossible to recreate the way teams play IRL :(

well, in tactics video there was a short part where it said you can instruct your player to mark specific position. Not sure what that really means. However, I hope it is, sort of, a back door introduction of a defensive shape. I.E. you could play whichever formation, let's say 4-2-3-1 and then instruct LW to mark RM (or RWB postiion). Instruct RW to mark LM/LWB position. Instruct RCM to mark AM, instruct strikers to mark DML/DMR... hope it makes sense what I wrote.

If it really works this way, it might be a good addition but:

-it completely goes against "chosen formation is your defensive shape", which isn't bad at all

-it still remains to be seen how this reintroduced defensive shape acts. How does it really cover the space assigned. There is no use of players being in their defensive position but then each of them acts individually. Whole point of dence is to have a defensive unit that works together, not just individual defenders or pairs.

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6 minutes ago, MBarbaric said:

well, in tactics video there was a short part where it said you can instruct your player to mark specific position. Not sure what that really means. However, I hope it is, sort of, a back door introduction of a defensive shape. I.E. you could play whichever formation, let's say 4-2-3-1 and then instruct LW to mark RM (or RWB postiion). Instruct RW to mark LM/LWB position. Instruct RCM to mark AM, instruct strikers to mark DML/DMR... hope it makes sense what I wrote.

 

Sorry fot the question, haven't play FM in a couple of mounths, and never was a fan of man marking, but...

Can't you do that already? Set any player of your team to man mark a specific opponent player?

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1 minute ago, Keyzer Soze said:

Sorry fot the question, haven't play FM in a couple of mounths, and never was a fan of man marking, but...

Can't you do that already? Set any player of your team to man mark a specific opponent player?

you can mark a player currently. what i think they introduced would allow you to mark specific position on the field.

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2 hours ago, Keyzer Soze said:

Sorry fot the question, haven't play FM in a couple of mounths, and never was a fan of man marking, but...

Can't you do that already? Set any player of your team to man mark a specific opponent player?

You could have done it in FM17...

 

Players instructions had that in the lower left corner, during match.

 

If they are going to introduce positional marking outside the match, that is going to be new.

 

But if you instruct to mark full backs and the other team uses wingbacks, will your players update the info or not?

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1 hour ago, apvmoreira said:

You could have done it in FM17...

 

Players instructions had that in the lower left corner, during match.

 

If they are going to introduce positional marking outside the match, that is going to be new.

 

But if you instruct to mark full backs and the other team uses wingbacks, will your players update the info or not?

there a good feature coming for FM18, as you can instruct players to man mark a position rather than a player. Can be very handy while using man marking.

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4 hours ago, andu1 said:

there a good feature coming for FM18, as you can instruct players to man mark a position rather than a player. Can be very handy while using man marking.

It was possible in FM17.

 

Pause the game, go to tactics, players instructions, ask them to man mark someone and save the tactic.

 

Then, after the match, go and upload the tactic you have saved (give it a different name so you can recognize it) and voilá!

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7 hours ago, MBarbaric said:

you can mark a player currently. what i think they introduced would allow you to mark specific position on the field.

I'm sure it'll work the same as specific man marking but instead it'll mark anyone in that position, rather than a specific player.

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16 hours ago, HUNT3R said:

I'm sure it'll work the same as specific man marking but instead it'll mark anyone in that position, rather than a specific player.

 

8 minutes ago, Karimza said:

then it does almost the same thing so there's nothing new :(

indeed, so how is that different from what we had in opposition instructions to mark position and how does it merit a new feature status?

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