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Performing against top sides


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Hey fellow FM gamers!

I have an issue with the big teams in my league. I'm managing Arsenal for the fourth season in a row and I have had one continous problem since I took over: Beating the top 6 teams! At home I can get some good results, but away I have only won once in four seasons. Not acceptable even though it's very realistic compared to the real life Arsenal ;)

These are the results from THIS seasons matches against the top sides both home and away in all competitions:
H: Tottenham 1-1 (used my attacking tactic)
H: Liverpool 0-1 (used my attacking tactic)
A: Chelsea 2-3 (used my balanced tactic)
H: Man Utd 1-1 (used my attacking tactic)
A: Man City 1-1 (used my balanced tactic with Defensive mentality)
A: Tottenham 0-0 (used my balanced tactic with Defensive mentality)
H: Liverpool 6-2 (used my attacking tactic)
A: Liverpool 2-2 (used my balanced tactic with Defensive mentality)
H: Tottenham 1-0 (used my attacking tactic)
A: Tottenham 0-2 (used my balanced tactic with Defensive mentality)
N: Man Utd 1-2 (used my balanced tactic)
A: Man Utd 1-1 (used my balanced tactic with Defensive mentality)

That's a total of 12 matches with 2 wins (home wins only), 6 draws and 4 losses. Total score is 16 for (6 of them was scored in the same match) and 16 against. Changing the mentality from Balanced>Defensive in my balanced tactic has been quite useful resulting in 4 draws and only 1 loss (no win though) in 5 away matches.

Then I have played 21 matches in Premier League with 16 wins, 4 draws and only 1 loss against the other teams in the league. Total score is 46 for and 11 against! In all of these matches I have used my attacking tactic both home and away.

I know that there are no final answer to win those big matches, but I would very much like to hear any input in order to break my poor record against the top sides.

Thanks

PS. I have attached images of my Attacking and Balanced tactic.

1attacking.png

2balanced.png

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2 hours ago, amadeo said:

(used my balanced tactic with Defensive mentality)

Does this mean you make no other changes to the 2nd tactic you posted except you hit the Defend button for team mentality?

You keep the roles and other instructions such as 'higher defensive line' the same?

You can probably see where this is going...:)

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On 10/03/2019 at 01:25, Robson 07 said:

Does this mean you make no other changes to the 2nd tactic you posted except you hit the Defend button for team mentality?

You keep the roles and other instructions such as 'higher defensive line' the same?

You can probably see where this is going...:)

Yes, I can :)

Therefore, I have now played another season with a slightly more tweaked tactic which is shown below. The results were not that great with no away wins in 9 matches!

A: Chelsea 0-0
A: Chelsea 1-1
A: Liverpool 1-1
A: Liverpool 0-2
A: Man City 3-3
N: Man City 1-1
A: Man Utd 1-1
A: Tottenham 0-4
A: Tottenham 0-2

0 wins, 6 draws, 3 losses. Score: 7-15.

Should I look at player roles in order to optimize the tactic?

433away.png

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1 hour ago, amadeo said:

Yes, I can :)

Therefore, I have now played another season with a slightly more tweaked tactic which is shown below. The results were not that great with no away wins in 9 matches!

A: Chelsea 0-0
A: Chelsea 1-1
A: Liverpool 1-1
A: Liverpool 0-2
A: Man City 3-3
N: Man City 1-1
A: Man Utd 1-1
A: Tottenham 0-4
A: Tottenham 0-2

0 wins, 6 draws, 3 losses. Score: 7-15.

Should I look at player roles in order to optimize the tactic?

433away.png

In 2028 and with Arsenal one of the top teams don't you have so good players that you can be more offensive?

 

 

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35 minutes ago, LukasZ_VCF said:

In 2028 and with Arsenal one of the top teams don't you have so good players that you can be more offensive?

Yes, I do. I have an attacking tactic which is the first screenshot of this thread...and it works amazing against any team except the top 6 teams. That's why I want to create a more defensive/balanced tactic to improve my results against top 6.

As I wrote earlier: "Then I have played 21 matches in Premier League with 16 wins, 4 draws and only 1 loss against the other teams in the league. Total score is 46 for and 11 against! In all of these matches I have used my attacking tactic both home and away."

Edited by amadeo
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On 09/03/2019 at 22:31, amadeo said:

That's a total of 12 matches with 2 wins (home wins only), 6 draws and 4 losses.

I'd say that is a pretty decent record against the top sides. I would certainly take that if offered it at the start of the year, assuming I am not really pushing on with my team and expected more.

You probably should look at neutralising specific threats more than anything against big sides. After playing them enough times you can work out what they will likely do in a match. Liverpool, for instance, are fast and direct. This means you want to avoid losing the ball during a transition, and you should make sure that you have enough players getting back into position quickly enough that you can cover this threat. So I avoid the counter press, avoid my full backs streaking up the pitch, have midfield cover infront of the defense, have a lower D-line than normal, etc. I'm currently playing as Leicester, and we are on the lower edge of the top 6 in terms of quality. So more often than not I lose anyway. But over time I have made it more of a fight. I recently played the FA cup final, and it took a free kick in extra time to lose. Disappointing to lose, but pleased with the nature of the loss.

Other teams, like spurs, will push players forward and control possession (against Leicester anyway). This means they are wide open to counter attacking. I have scored 12 goals in my last 3 games against them just by exploiting this, and how they try to prevent short GK distribution. Shift my striker to attack duty, do not try to play from defense, maybe be more direct.

You get the point, anyway. I cannot really give you specifics because the changes I make are usually on the fly, and they apply to my side and my tactics (since I know what my team does, how they play, and what they are capable of). You just have to pay more attention to the match against bigger sides. Watch for their weaknesses, where they give you space, how they are hurting you, and try to adjust to minimize your weaknesses while exposing the opposition. You will still lose a good number of games away from home, but you can definitely improve your home form. Oh, and do not forget it is totally okay to be time wasting defensive barbarians if you want to hold a lead late in the game!

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8 hours ago, amadeo said:

Should I look at player roles in order to optimize the tactic?

You should look at everything.

 

8 hours ago, amadeo said:

433away.png

Looking at this tactic, it's hard to understand how exactly you want (or expect your team) to play. 

Certain settings suggest you want to defend tightly and then hit the opposition on the counter:

- more direct pass

- pass into space

- counter

- low-risk mentality

- lower LOE

- tight mark

- get stuck in

But then the domination of support roles points more to a possession-based game. At the same time however, you use wingers on both flanks, which runs counter to possession football.

Not to mention other elements of the tactic that make it pretty much "toothless" and kind of illogical, especially given that you manage a top team (even though it's 2028 in your save, I assume Arsenal is still a top side in the EPL?)

If you want, I can give you some more concrete ideas of course.

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