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Does FM favour attacking tactics over defensive ones?


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4 hours ago, DiStru_ said:

------------P-PFs------------

---------CAR-CMa---------

-CWBa---DMd---WBs-

------CBc-CBd-CBc------

Defensive mentality, Play Narrower, Shorter Passing, Distribute to CBs

+Mark Tighter PI on all three CBs

Update after 5 games:

4t1Twu3.png

Changes made:

  • Changed Defensive to Counter because we simply weren't creating anything and I saw a few needless clearances that made me think the risk taking was too low
  • Changed right WBs to CWBs in an attempt to create more chances
  • Changed DMd to DMs to encourage more risk taking (should still be fairly conservative on Counter team mentality)
  • Changed PFs to DLFa to encourage more forward runs, while he should still be involved in some build-up play (Hold Up Ball PI locked in)
  • Added Be More Expressive because we were struggling to find passing options under pressure (hopefully players will be roaming around more/making themselves available for the ball)
  • Added Much Higher Defensive Line + Higher LoE after West Brom, where we scored two goals shortly after I made that change (still shouldn't be extremely high due to Counter team mentality and we have 2 covering CBs)

We only have 4 players in the starting XI that aren't Premier League quality, so we should probably be doing much better. Morale is decent, players support me, fitness levels are good, I schedule plenty of Team Bonding and Match Preparation sessions (Defensive Positioning, Teamwork) for those little performance boosts, but we're still struggling like hell. Ultimately I just can't help but to feel that the defensive approach that I decided on before the season (and recruited appropriately with signing some brave, aggressive and overall defensively solid midfielders) doesn't work very well in FM. It feels like the moment you sit back and want to soak the pressure, you get overrun. Whether it be a set piece, a long shot, a GK mistake or something else, it just feels like you're asking to concede goals--which I don't think should be the case, sure, I don't expect to create many chances, but I also shouldn't be punished for trying to be cautious at the back.

Edited by DiStru_
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@DiStru_ take care that you are not making adjustments away from what you're looking to achieve.

  • Changed Defensive to Counter because we simply weren't creating anything and I saw a few needless clearances that made me think the risk taking was too low

Ok

  • Changed right WBs to CWBs in an attempt to create more chances

Complete wingbacks 'roam from position'.  This might be useful at the other end of the scale but not a defensive approach.

  • Changed DMd to DMs to encourage more risk taking (should still be fairly conservative on Counter team mentality)

The support version comes without hard coded PI's.  You might want this player to 'hold position'.  Support has also changed this players mentality and possibly his and even the team's creative freedom.  Is that your intention?

  • Changed PFs to DLFa to encourage more forward runs, while he should still be involved in some build-up play (Hold Up Ball PI locked in)

Similar to the DM, from a support duty to attack one has changed this players mentality and possibly his and even the team's creative freedom.  Is that your intention?

  • Added Be More Expressive because we were struggling to find passing options under pressure (hopefully players will be roaming around more/making themselves available for the ball)

Expression is another name for creative freedom.  It is unlikely you want too much of this in a Defensive system.

  • Added Much Higher Defensive Line + Higher LoE after West Brom, where we scored two goals shortly after I made that change (still shouldn't be extremely high due to Counter team mentality and we have 2 covering CBs)

The defensive line does links heavily with whatever mentality you have chosen. Defender attributes, specifically pace and positioning, will allow for some level of line adjustment but a much higher line is starting to unlink it from the mentality.  You might be allowing the opposition room to counter attack you now.  Do your players have the ability to read and cover that?

One more thing.  I notice you are distributing to CBs.  I think I understand why but if they get caught in possession, then bang, problems.

Edited by Robson 07
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46 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

This is not defensive its an offensive style of play

Well, obviously "defensive" style of play isn't what I should stick to, since I leak more goals than I can count.

What I learned from this save is that you have to defy logic in FM. My objective was simple, be defensively sound first and foremost and hit teams on the break. So I thought, Defensive/Cautious mentality, bottom-heavy formation and quick, direct passing. Turns out that was complete overkill, the only thing that ended up happening was that I was getting overrun left and right.

I'm now looking at your Hannover Diaries for example, where you also want to hit teams on the break. But instead, you're using Attacking mentality, Higher defensive line, overlapping wing-backs and no holding central midfielder. At first glance I'd say there's no way a team like Hannover can cope with such an attacking system, but instead you're destroying teams left and right. Call me stupid, but I'm lost.

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Ok you obviously don't get anything I have been trying to say.

Hannover has 8 players either on support or defend and only two attack duties played in a TM/PF config where we keep a compressed defence and hit over the top balls as quickly as we can. We are playing on an attacking mentality because i am willing to go for that kind of risky over the top passing. Possession isn't even something i am interested in. To be counter attacking we do something else. And its patently obvious to me that you don't know what I am doing  to achieve that. The team defends in compressed banks and we use mentality to risk the out ball. I am willing to throw more bodies into a counter hence overlapping and defensive line.  With the Hannover Diaries i am not interested in playing possession football, aiming to carve sides open like good sides do, we are only interested in using the few chances we get aggressively, but the overall system includes compressed narrow banks that move quickly to defend.

You are still thinking of defensive low block systems as mentality and formation driven when there are other more important elements.

This is a risky counter attacking strategy that has big payouts

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12 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

You are still thinking of defensive low block systems as mentality and formation driven when there are other more important elements.

Yeh, the thing is though mate that's not where the game leads people.  If we want to set up a "defensive" tactic, everything in game suggests to people they should use a low mentality and formation to drive a defensive low block system.  And when they come here to learn more about it, they see us talking about using the Attacking mentality which - as you demonstrate - is a perfectly valid way of doing things, but it can also confuse the hell out of people.

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To 

1 hour ago, herne79 said:

Yeh, the thing is though mate that's not where the game leads people.  If we want to set up a "defensive" tactic, everything in game suggests to people they should use a low mentality and formation to drive a defensive low block system.  And when they come here to learn more about it, they see us talking about using the Attacking mentality which - as you demonstrate - is a perfectly valid way of doing things, but it can also confuse the hell out of people.

To this point, I have been tweaking that 442 tactic and 4 of my roles are attacking roles, with a balanced line and line of engagement and I still put on a solid defensive showing, allowing 20 shots, 0 of them were on target, while I had 7 shots, 5 on target and won 3-0. Its definitely confusing and doesnt always work but there are occasions when everything comes together in random matches and does exactly what I hoped

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1 hour ago, herne79 said:

Yeh, the thing is though mate that's not where the game leads people.  If we want to set up a "defensive" tactic, everything in game suggests to people they should use a low mentality and formation to drive a defensive low block system.  And when they come here to learn more about it, they see us talking about using the Attacking mentality which - as you demonstrate - is a perfectly valid way of doing things, but it can also confuse the hell out of people.

True, to a point. 

The game uses a risk assessment model to decide what players do under certain circumstances. Should I run with the ball, should i play a risky pass, should i dive in to tackle, should i take a chance and dive in on the tackle. That is mentality loosely. Its been that way since the days of notches and sliders.

What SI did in FM18 was make it easier for people to create styles of play. The old nomenclature stuck, they may have made some adjustments but the style of creating a system didnt change. A 4231 on a defensive mentality and a 541 on a defensive mentality will not play the same. The formation, and the roles and duties guide the system's attacking or defensive side. Today the Line of engagement is the easiest way for people to create defensive systems, but they still need to understand how the roles and duties will be affected by the defensive line for example.

Like in a lot of games, the developer isn't expected to give you all the information, they don't need to. I have yet to come across a game apart from flight simulations that are so in depth. Most games expect you to find the best way there. And while defensive systems do benefit from mentality, ie. its naturally better to play a counter attacking system on a lower mentality as opposed to playing one on a higher mentality because your players will take less risks with the ball. One still needs to think about how the roles and duties work within the defensive line to get that done. The OP didnt even explain his use of LOE, then he used a narrow system that invited pressure on a lower mentality. So naturally the bulk of his players stayed behind the ball.

I am not suggesting that people should play counter attacking systems on higher mentalities, I am suggesting that people understand all the elements at play here.

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7 minutes ago, mc22 said:

, with a balanced line and line of engagement and I still put on a solid defensive showing

Thats where you got the mix right. When you want to create sound defensive systems you think about the LOE working with the DL. It may seem  like dumb luck but what you just told your team is wait for the oppositon to come to the middle third before pressing them. And you also told the defenders not to push up too high when they have the ball

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27 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

Thats where you got the mix right. When you want to create sound defensive systems you think about the LOE working with the DL. It may seem  like dumb luck but what you just told your team is wait for the oppositon to come to the middle third before pressing them. And you also told the defenders not to push up too high when they have the ball

Exactly, I start every match on balanced now as well, and soon as I feel things are going well ill go more and more conservative with the mentality but my players still fly forward when  a good chance arises. I know its not everyone's favorite way to play but its honestly kind of fun seeing other teams fail against your defense.  

I am wondering though how much of this comes down to patience, because it would be so easy to lose a match playing a certain style and think you have to throw it all away and start new, I've let in some poor long shot goals while the team is learning it but i wonder if i stick with it, and sign proper players for this with the attributes if it'll pay off and be rewarding, or risk just losing my mind

Edited by mc22
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1 hour ago, Rashidi said:

Like in a lot of games, the developer isn't expected to give you all the information, they don't need to.

Nobody wants all the answers, but the tactical creator in its current shape is nothing short of misleading. Not to seasoned veterans like yourself, who live and breathe FM, but imagine you're new at the game. Every backroom advice inbox item will scream at you if you're a minnow using a high mentality. Or another example, pre-match briefings. If you're an underdog and you brief your team on using a Positive or higher mentality, they will always react negatively. Same as if you're a heavy favourite, telling your team to be Cautious. So, you can either skip the briefings or be ready for a lot of red thumbs-down reactions (and of course I don't want to see that, I've no idea what impact it has on the players, I don't want some kind of a handicap on their performance or to worsen their support towards me). You might say the tactical briefings are useless and shouldn't be relied on, but they're in the game. If I can't trust the people who literally coded it, then what's the point?

So a noob like me will take the safe route and get punished for it. I think I get it now (a bit more, at least), it's no wonder I got overrun using a bottom-heavy formation + very low mentality. I basically told my players "defend for your lives and when you get the ball, God forbid you try exposing the space left behind by the opposition, I instead want you to take no risks at all and try to keep possession, even if our formation, roles and duties aren't set up for that".

What worries me, is that the SI literally changed some Mentality descriptions just last year. So they had a look at it, changed a few things and I guess they're now happy with it? I really don't think they should be, because there's a lot of things that could be described in a much clearer and easier to understand way. If they're not sure themselves, why not have a chat with a few tactical gurus from this forum and at least listen to their suggestions? I don't see the point in setting out this minefield for players. Having to go to various forums and read through countless threads just to understand what the game really means with certain things, isn't fun or immersive.

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You are free to play the presets, they are set up in a way that is safe for most people. Most people ask me about overachieving and that's different, thats when you are extracting maximum value and being as creative as possible. And that I am sorry you won't find detailed guides to overachieve in any game that happen in any game. The presets work for general use, you won't overachieve gloriously, but if you want to there's more to it, and a simple 100page manual is not going to cover it. Have you read the ingame manual by any chance?

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15 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Have you read the ingame manual by any chance?

I do check it occasionally, yes. For example, one of the most interesting things I've learned from it, is that Aggression also determines how likely a player is to engage in "darker arts" of football. I assume that means things like pressuring the referee, looking for fouls, unnerving the opponent, etc. Sounds like something I'd want from all of my players. :D

Anyway, would the following be a fair summary?

  • Mentality = risk taking. Counter-attacking is higher on the spectrum (fast, decisive transitions), possession play is lower (slow, calculated transitions).
  • Positioning of the defensive block is controlled by DL + LoE (and not by the sheer presence of DMs, as I originally thought). Aggressiveness of the block is controlled by Pressing Intensity and Tackling.
  • If you decide to "park the bus", you better have the numbers for it (e.g. flat 5-4-1). I tried passively sitting back with a 4-4-2 and got completely overrun.

Also, hopefully you don't mind one more question about your Hannover 4-4-2. What's the thinking behind Shorter Passing and a RPM in a direct, counter-attacking system? I always thought that you'd instead want More Direct Passing and that any playmaker role would slow your transitions down and therefore go against what you're trying to achieve. I guess the mistake there is thinking about how the transitions will play out only immediately after I've won the ball back, instead of thinking about how I'll actually play from the back in majority of the situations, where the opposition has time to regroup? In that case I can definitely see why Shorter Passing and a playmaker would make sense, to prevent pointless hoofing to TM.

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48 minutes ago, DiStru_ said:

What's the thinking behind Shorter Passing and a RPM in a direct, counter-attacking system?

I appreciate that the question is for @Rashidi and he will certainly give you a more detailed (and accurate) explanation, but I would assume it has to do with:

- playing on a high-risk mentality (Positive in this case AFAIR)

- higher tempo

- and the very configuration of his roles and duties setup (including the TM on attack duty up front)

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Basically if i go direct, the whole team is going to try that, if i go short the whole team goes short, but the ones most likely to try something different are: BPD, NCB and RPM. And thats what i wanted, not aimless hoofing, but intelligent hoofing, planned around specifically players.

 

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10 hours ago, DiStru_ said:

Anyway, would the following be a fair summary?

  • Mentality = risk taking. Counter-attacking is higher on the spectrum (fast, decisive transitions), possession play is lower (slow, calculated transitions).
  • Positioning of the defensive block is controlled by DL + LoE (and not by the sheer presence of DMs, as I originally thought). Aggressiveness of the block is controlled by Pressing Intensity and Tackling.
  • If you decide to "park the bus", you better have the numbers for it (e.g. flat 5-4-1). I tried passively sitting back with a 4-4-2 and got completely overrun.

Not sure the question was a general one but many ways to play this game.  Putting things in a nice neat pigeon hole is something we all like to do but many ways to achieve various things,  By way of example, @herne79 did a thread called Attacking + Possession which aimed to throw that particular mentality and style together, perhaps quite different to your point.  You both could be right by design.

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10 hours ago, Robson 07 said:

By way of example, @herne79 did a thread called Attacking + Possession which aimed to throw that particular mentality and style together, perhaps quite different to your point.

Good point. Perhaps I should instead say "individual mentality", since I guess you could still achieve gung-ho style of football with low team mentality + Attack duties, or what Herne did, possession football with high team mentality + very few Attack duties.

Anyway, since it was too late in the season to fix our situation, I started a new save with Sheffield United (newly promoted and predicted to finish dead last, so basically the same starting point).

Tactic:

----------P-----PFa----------

WMs-BBM-DLPs-WMs

FBs-BPDd-NCBd-FBs

Standard mentality, Shorter Passing, Overlap Left and Right, Regroup, Counter, Lower LoE, Stay On Feet

  • I wanted two strikers, so they can do things on their own without needing to commit midfielders to the attack (don't want to expose myself defensively)
  • WMs because I don't want them dribbling themselves out of possession (if the counter isn't on, I want us to stay patient and keep the ball rather than lose it and get countered)
  • DLPs acting as a ball magnet to prevent mindless hoofing into attack, while still being a holding role (BBM next to him is roaming, so I wanted to keep some balance)
  • I originally started with two WBs, but we kept getting exposed down the flanks, so I changed both to FBs
  • Lower LoE and Stay On Feet to restrict the space between our lines and not get beat too easily

As for the team mentality, I started with Positive, but found it too risky defensively. We looked all over the park during our defensive transitions and I put that down to my players simply not being good enough to be able to defend in such a risky manner (at one point I saw my CB lunging into a tackle and getting beat easily), so I changed it to Standard.

After making these initial changes, things started going great. Apart from the Watford game, we look quite solid defensively and we're scoring goals too.

robby17.png

I have to admit I was quite surprised by that Chelsea away win. I expected us to get battered as in my previous save, but we actually shut them down completely and could easily score another goal, if Mousset was more clinical on the day.

I59Bzo6.png

We only allowed them two shots from central areas in front of the goal. One being a corner-header and another coming in the 87th minute, moments after I decided to park the bus (I wouldn't be disappointed with a point against Chelsea, so I wanted to play it safe and not end up get robbed out of everything in the last few minutes).

I didn't expect us to be so solid without a DM. I was originally thinking about using one, but decided not to, because I didn't want to funnel the opposition solely down the flanks. My CBs/FBs aren't good enough aerially to win majority of the headers, so I imagine we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot. I was however worried that we'd get exposed down the middle, especially with no Defend duty, but that hasn't been the case so far.

What's your thinking when you opt for DMs? I'm always quite confused on this one, especially when it comes to their roles. Will someone like Regista/DLP do as much defensively as other roles, since they're still a DM, or will they be less inclined to protect the defensive line, because their starting position is a bit higher and Regista/DLPs don't have Positioning, Marking or Tackling highlighted as their key attributes (which I assume means they aren't required to do these things as often)? I feel I always fall into the trap of thinking DM is a must when you're a weaker side, but clearly not.

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4 hours ago, DiStru_ said:

Will someone like Regista/DLP do as much defensively as other roles, since they're still a DM, or will they be less inclined to protect the defensive line

While DLP and regista are both playmaker roles, there is a considerable difference between them. DLP is a holding role, whereas REG is roaming (and generally much less responsible defensively), plus more adventurous than DLP in terms of his style of play. So if you play with a lone DM, the REG could be a bit too risky option (especially when you are an underdog).

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6 hours ago, DiStru_ said:

----------P-----PFa----------

WMs-BBM-DLPs-WMs

FBs-BPDd-NCBd-FBs

Standard mentality, Shorter Passing, Overlap Left and Right, Regroup, Counter, Lower LoE, Stay On Feet

I like what you have done.

Let me explain what's happened in your game. The mentality you have chosen along with the overlap instruction has kinda reduced  the WM(S) inclination now to take risks.  The low LOE will drop you into a compact block, when you have possession of the ball you are also a compact block. The overlapping runs won't be too aggressive since you are on a balanced mentality, but just enough when the ball traverses into the opponents half, which is when you will see the FBs shine. 

You have also created more than one route to goal, there is space up front and you have a BPD/NCB combo that hurls balls forward given the opportunity, and you also have a DLP that can do the same. When you lose the ball, your team will drop back immediately to its defensive position first as a result of regroup and will look to counter when good chances present themselves and you have enough roles in the right tiers to take advantage of them.

A DM is fine if you are worried that your defenders need more help, but when used in a low block like you have set up its kinda wasteful. Since the low block already compresses the space. If you want to use a DM you probably can afford to play on a standard line of engagement and open up the tiers so that the DM can exert an influence, when you play a static defence like that. I like calling it static when its a holding role cause he doesn't venture forward, you generally are doing this because you feel that your players cannot handle inside running. However,. when you play with some more 'less risky" roles in midfield that is actually much harder to pull off. 

The reason why you looked out of sorts playing on higher mentalities is because you are now more fluid, since you have more players reacting to the same events in transition. On higher mentalities you need to look at your own defensive line and how they get back into position. The risk on higher mentalities is that your players are willing to do more, and that risk can go up. So you do it only when you are reasonably confident of handling it. This was a lot more well thought out as a counter attacking system. 

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1 hour ago, Rashidi said:

A DM is fine if you are worried that your defenders need more help, but when used in a low block like you have set up its kinda wasteful. Since the low block already compresses the space.

I see, makes sense! :thup:

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Just want to say that I think I found proof that if prefers attacking tactics. I can post screenshots of my tactic later BUT first third of the season i was more focused on playing balanced line on balanced or cautious, and more disciplined. Then out of curiousity i tweaked my tactic to bump up the LOE and DL, increased urgency of pressing to the max and play on positive or balanced depending on opposition and I ran rampant for the next 10-12 games. Maybe this is because my Fenerbache squad is a favorite after winning title my last two seasons, but its weird that just simply making it more attacking makes the exact same players and roles work that much better.

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22 minutes ago, mc22 said:

Just want to say that I think I found proof that if prefers attacking tactics. I can post screenshots of my tactic later BUT first third of the season i was more focused on playing balanced line on balanced or cautious, and more disciplined. Then out of curiousity i tweaked my tactic to bump up the LOE and DL, increased urgency of pressing to the max and play on positive or balanced depending on opposition and I ran rampant for the next 10-12 games. Maybe this is because my Fenerbache squad is a favorite after winning title my last two seasons, but its weird that just simply making it more attacking makes the exact same players and roles work that much better.

That is the principle reason why. Chances are most teams are becoming more defensive, as a top side now your competition is now champions league. You need to compare how you do against top sides there now.

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Just now, Rashidi said:

That is the principle reason why. Chances are most teams are becoming more defensive, as a top side now your competition is now champions league. You need to compare how you do against top sides there now.

Admittedly I am getting frustrated with this team so maybe I am looking for any reason to want to leave to a new club. It was just a shock to go from lots of draws to suddenly blowing teams away in the league. Unfortunately even more pressing has stopped being effective now in the last stages of the season so hopefully we can scrape by to the third title win.

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FWIW, I don't think there is such a thing as a 'defensive' tactic or an 'attacking' tactic. I say this because attacking and defending are just phases of play and every tactic that you can possibly conceive has both phases built into it. This is where the labels on mentality become so problematic as they can easily fool people into thinking something which isn't true. Choosing the attacking mentality doesn't mean your team is playing attacking football. What it does mean is something which is impossible to define with a single word or a paragraph long description. 

It is far better I think to view mentalities as styles of play. As you go up the scale from balanced your team will play quicker and more expansive when attacking and become increasingly aggressive when defending with the other end of the scale producing the opposite effect.

The reason why it may appear that 'attacking' styles of play are favoured by FM is because they tend to be less passive and proactive whereas 'defensive' styles of play are more passive and reactive. It is all a matter of risk and reward. You would therefore expect that the teams which take more risks will reap more rewards on average. That is not to say that you can't be successful playing on lower mentalities but you must change the profile of the players in order to do that. If I wanted to play a low block for e.g. rather than looking at aggression, bravery, determination and tackling as you did in your 2nd post of the thread I'd be looking at attributes such as positioning, anticipation, decisions and concentration which unfortunately the team is lacking in. I guess that's the problem in going from one extreme (gegenpressing) to the other (low block) in such a short space of time you don't have the opportunity to mould the team into that image.

Best Regards

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I'd actually be interested in an extreme Experiment. On a couple Prior Versions, in which sitting Deep oft wasn't near as robust, I'd line up like this or similar.

 FWD
WB DM DM WB
LB CB CB RB
LI
GK

With the entire backline on a defend Duty, etc. This was just a kinda test how Long you could go with the waves towards your Goal keeping rolling. The AI threw a reasonable amount of Players Forward, however, that was a load of Long shots typically (and even the few stuff within range typically being a Header from an indirect free kick or Corner, etc). In this one, one of ~40 still stuck in the back of the net, mind -- probably the reason why the AI didN't log on to complain. :D Would be an interesting "stress test"with FM 19...

ksbqH4H.png

 

Edited by Svenc
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I think the game favours defensive formations more. You see most exploit tactics being with attacking mentality but it's mostly due more bruteforcing chances. 

Very difficult to break defensive sides down without some major gymnastics. I easily won the UCL with the counter or park the bus presets as underdog. 

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On 12/10/2019 at 08:15, DiStru_ said:

I do check it occasionally, yes. For example, one of the most interesting things I've learned from it, is that Aggression also determines how likely a player is to engage in "darker arts" of football. I assume that means things like pressuring the referee, looking for fouls, unnerving the opponent, etc. Sounds like something I'd want from all of my players. :D

Anyway, would the following be a fair summary?

  • Mentality = risk taking. Counter-attacking is higher on the spectrum (fast, decisive transitions), possession play is lower (slow, calculated transitions).
  • Positioning of the defensive block is controlled by DL + LoE (and not by the sheer presence of DMs, as I originally thought). Aggressiveness of the block is controlled by Pressing Intensity and Tackling.
  • If you decide to "park the bus", you better have the numbers for it (e.g. flat 5-4-1). I tried passively sitting back with a 4-4-2 and got completely overrun.

Also, hopefully you don't mind one more question about your Hannover 4-4-2. What's the thinking behind Shorter Passing and a RPM in a direct, counter-attacking system? I always thought that you'd instead want More Direct Passing and that any playmaker role would slow your transitions down and therefore go against what you're trying to achieve. I guess the mistake there is thinking about how the transitions will play out only immediately after I've won the ball back, instead of thinking about how I'll actually play from the back in majority of the situations, where the opposition has time to regroup? In that case I can definitely see why Shorter Passing and a playmaker would make sense, to prevent pointless hoofing to TM.

The TM in his system works as an outlet, but you won't necessarily see your team hoofing the ball to him every time. That's why you have a BPD and a RPM.

By the way, @Rashidi system can be used for possession football as well. That's the beauty of the 4-4-2. I'm using his Hannover system with Milan (considering half of the Serie A uses lone wide men, I thought it would be a good idea) and I usually average 55% possession or more.

I use a high defensive line with a standard LOE, but with counter-pressing. Roles are the same, but I normally start the games with default team instructions for the possession phase of play, except for shorter passing. I just change width and passing length depending on the results I need.

If I see my RPM being too targeted I change him to a CM-Su with PI's such as take more risks, roam from position, dribble more and shoot more often (depending on the player, usually it's Paquetá). 

The 4-4-2 is actually one of the best systems to defend with - two compact lines of four are really effective - you just need to be compact and find the right balance to your pressing. Having a player who can start counters by running with the ball is great too, as you already have a 2v2 or 2v3 situation upfront with other players running in support.

I'm unbeaten so far (January) in all competitions and leading Serie A by one point (Juventus, after all, is a far better team and they don't seem to drop points). His Hannover tactic is by far the best tactic I've used in FM19 and once you understand how it works and where you are leaving space/finding space, you can tweak it in-game to your advantage.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think that this topic is still relevant in FM2020. I have tried all styles with Burnley. And I was surprised that all counter styles were disaster. But when you use Gegenpressing, it suddenly works like plug and play tactic.

But I wanted play on counter-attacks so I checked Tactics Sharing Centre.  Almost all tactics were using "attacking" or "very attacking" mentality.

I am sure that it is possible to play on counters and I will find a way. But attacking is far more easy, so there is no change in FM19 vs 20 in this issue :(

Edited by smajliss
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If you set up your team in a low block type formation, but then use the attacking mentality, this works great for a counter attacking system as players will look to play more direct passes and attack space more.

Playing on a "counter" mentality seems to lower the risks they are prepared to take and id often partner this with a high LOE and defensive line, and use it as a patient possession orientated style

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To be fair, I am using an attacking 442, but regrouping and lower line of engagement and I feel like I am finally creating beautiful counter attacking football. Especially now that crossing seems fixed in FM20

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23 minutes ago, FMunderachiever said:

If you set up your team in a low block type formation, but then use the attacking mentality, this works great for a counter attacking system as players will look to play more direct passes and attack space more.

Playing on a "counter" mentality seems to lower the risks they are prepared to take and id often partner this with a high LOE and defensive line, and use it as a patient possession orientated style

 

8 minutes ago, mc22 said:

To be fair, I am using an attacking 442, but regrouping and lower line of engagement and I feel like I am finally creating beautiful counter attacking football. Especially now that crossing seems fixed in FM20

So if I set defensive mentality with low block formation and TI - I am not taking advantage of created space as good as with attacking mentality ... Maybe the game is working well but the way we are thinking about mentalities and their link to playing styles are wrong. 

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1 minute ago, smajliss said:

 

So if I set defensive mentality with low block formation and TI - I am not taking advantage of created space as good as with attacking mentality ... Maybe the game is working well but the way we are thinking about mentalities and their link to playing styles are wrong. 

i think if you played a defensive mentality, low block, and defensive TIs, youre basically going to win the ball back deep inside your own half and then be trying to pass your way out from there.

youre going to invite too much pressure on yourself by playing in this way. the space will be in behind the opposition in this example, youd be looking to exploit this space ideally

 

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5 hours ago, smajliss said:

But I wanted play on counter-attacks so I checked Tactics Sharing Centre.  Almost all tactics were using "attacking" or "very attacking" mentality.

They are aggressive in General -- you can still Play Pretty exposing Football even on contain. Don't use the download section as a yardstick to go by what works and what doesn't. You won't ever see a huge influx of a defensive tactic there for as Long as the bigger ME inherent flaws to take Advantage of are defensive ones. And that kinda tactic is by far the most common (actually, on any tactic sharing platform). That's all a viable playstyle and all, same as cheesing the AI on any game is. But you're not going to see really defensive tactics there for quite a while, likely. The last time the tactics sharing Center was dominated by tactics that could be considered defensive/counter attacking was FM11/12.  This too happened because it took Advantage of a game flaw, actually two.

- The AI couldn't read a match (and still can't). Even on most of its attacking tactics it oft still didn't push enough men Forward to break rigidly defensive tactics down. Sticking guys behind the ball in numbers would reasonably frustrate it more often than not. The more popular tactics thus shifted to basically keeping both wide backs back 24/7, and usually all of the (centre) mids. And it still worked in an attacking sense too.
- Why? Forwards could basically ghost through defenders off the ball (they can't do that anymore). Therefore, keeping armies behind the ball plus launching through balls from deep to isolated forwards was far too efficient and not properly defended. During that era, the download tactics played a numbers game that wouldn't have worked in Football; being defensively extremely robust (and primarily defensive minded), whilst still extremely dangerous on the attack

 

Edited by Svenc
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To answer the OP's original question in a very simple way:

All it takes to lose a clean sheet is for the other team to get lucky once, to keep it, you have to be perfect every time.

Complicating it a tad:

A good offense is a great defense and a good defense is a great offense.

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