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How on earth is it possible that the AI plays cautious against me and can have 60% possession?


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Everyone knows it, you have a good run, your reputation increases, you are not that little Norwich anymore and all oppositions play very cautiously against you. I try to press very high to force the AI to mistakes, have done everything, using brave players with high work rates, very high LOE, very high devensive line, wide/narrow in defence, very aggressive tackling and yet even brighton can just pass around the ball in my own stadium and achieve 60% possession with 1 shot on target... in my opinion it is very unrealistic. Since when does playing absolute antifootball cause such a high possession stat?

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How exactly are you setting up? Can you post your tactic in full, please?

When you say they're cautious against you, do you mean they're more defensive or that they use a 'cautious 4-2-3-1 DM Wide' for instance?

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5 hours ago, goku4 said:

Since when does playing absolute antifootball cause such a high possession stat?

Since Spain perfected it in winning the World Cup? Tiki taka was the pinnacle of anti football. But that is another matter. 

It is pretty well known that in FM20 the AI will endless recycle the ball in defence when on cautious or defensive mentalities. Have a look at the heat map or the map that shows where passes happen to see that this is what they are doing. 

You may want to post a screenshot of your tactic so people can see what you have tried and advice you on it.

Really what you want to do against a team like that is to take away their passing options down the field as much as possible and then press them. But it is a quirk in the coding of FM20. 

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You can try controlling possession by having a not too aggressive mentality and not too high of a tempo. With a positive/attacking mentality and/or high tempo players will go for riskier passes and try to quickly transition from defence to attack, which increases the probability of losing possession. If you have a ball playing defender, he will more frequently try difficult passes which will more frequently result in loss of possession. If you have the 'counter' instruction turned on, it will instruct your players to move the ball quickly to the attackers, risking losing possession. As you see, there are many factors that cause you to lose possession, and you can minimize those, but no way to know unless you post your tactic.

However, it is very well observed that in FM20 the AI is overly cautious, and in some games you will have to just accept the 45%-50% possession stat, unless you want to change the balance of your attack.

Edited by goranm
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5 hours ago, HUNT3R said:

How exactly are you setting up? Can you post your tactic in full, please?

When you say they're cautious against you, do you mean they're more defensive or that they use a 'cautious 4-2-3-1 DM Wide' for instance?

Hi, these two are my tactics to go. Still could not decide which one runs better in long term. I have the impression that the first one is better for putting pressure on the opponent. And yes, you guys are right, I often have games where I only have 40% possession, but heat map shows that the opposition has only played in his own half. Thats the biggest issue for me after having a streak of some good games... I have to learn how to prevent weak opponents to play from the back so comfortably. I have no problems against big teams. Have become winner of the PL in the first year with norwich, beating City, Liverpool, Chelsea etc. away. But lost many points against park the bus teams playing from the back...

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4 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Since Spain perfected it in winning the World Cup? Tiki taka was the pinnacle of anti football. But that is another matter. 

It is pretty well known that in FM20 the AI will endless recycle the ball in defence when on cautious or defensive mentalities. Have a look at the heat map or the map that shows where passes happen to see that this is what they are doing. 

You may want to post a screenshot of your tactic so people can see what you have tried and advice you on it.

Really what you want to do against a team like that is to take away their passing options down the field as much as possible and then press them. But it is a quirk in the coding of FM20. 

I did it :) Would be nice if you could have a look at it. I really struggle against teams that just play around in defence and dont wanna search for a goal besides that typical long ball behind my defence...

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4 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Since Spain perfected it in winning the World Cup? Tiki taka was the pinnacle of anti football. But that is another matter. 

It is pretty well known that in FM20 the AI will endless recycle the ball in defence when on cautious or defensive mentalities. Have a look at the heat map or the map that shows where passes happen to see that this is what they are doing. 

You may want to post a screenshot of your tactic so people can see what you have tried and advice you on it.

Really what you want to do against a team like that is to take away their passing options down the field as much as possible and then press them. But it is a quirk in the coding of FM20. 

I did it :) Would be nice if you could have a look at it. I really struggle against teams that just play around in defence and dont wanna search for a goal besides that typical long ball behind my defence...

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3 minutes ago, goku4 said:

I really struggle against teams that just play around in defence and dont wanna search for a goal besides that typical long ball behind my defence...

Or if you look at it another way - you're not giving them anywhere to go. It's not that they don't want to get forward - they are cautious and you're preventing them from really passing the ball forward, so they're forced into these safe passes. Is that what you're seeing in your matches?

The way I set up against teams like this is to not be extremely aggressive, defensively. However, as soon as they pass the ball forward, then I'm on them immediately. It sees me not only gaining possession quicker, but also having more space to use in an attacking sense.

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10 minutes ago, HUNT3R said:

Or if you look at it another way - you're not giving them anywhere to go. It's not that they don't want to get forward - they are cautious and you're preventing them from really passing the ball forward, so they're forced into these safe passes. Is that what you're seeing in your matches?

The way I set up against teams like this is to not be extremely aggressive, defensively. However, as soon as they pass the ball forward, then I'm on them immediately. It sees me not only gaining possession quicker, but also having more space to use in an attacking sense.

But, what if they dont want to come out and play forward? My second tactic follows that strategy. It is less aggressive and yet I end up with boring draws...

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55 minutes ago, goku4 said:

My second tactic follows that strategy. It is less aggressive

Less aggressive is very subjective here. You're on an Attacking Mentality (which has heavy pressing by default) and you've increased that. Most importantly, you are still counter pressing so it's still very aggressive.

Like I asked earlier - 

Quote

Or if you look at it another way - you're not giving them anywhere to go. It's not that they don't want to get forward - they are cautious and you're preventing them from really passing the ball forward, so they're forced into these safe passes. Is that what you're seeing in your matches?

Is that what you're seeing?

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10 minutes ago, HUNT3R said:

Less aggressive is very subjective here. You're on an Attacking Mentality (which has heavy pressing by default) and you've increased that. Most importantly, you are still counter pressing so it's still very aggressive.

Like I asked earlier - 

Is that what you're seeing?

Yes, thats what I am seeing. Yeah, I thought about being a bit more conservative, but thats unfortunately not how FM works this year... The moment I go more conservative, they will just play around not making any forward passes and then all of a sudden play a long ball to their pacey forward who is completely isolated in their 451 and will of course bang it in with their first chance...

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20 minutes ago, goku4 said:

Yes, thats what I am seeing. Yeah, I thought about being a bit more conservative, but thats unfortunately not how FM works this year... The moment I go more conservative, they will just play around not making any forward passes and then all of a sudden play a long ball to their pacey forward who is completely isolated in their 451 and will of course bang it in with their first chance...

Exactly. Frankly, getting the ball from these sides takes way too much micromanagement, such as marking and closing down their centrebacks, ect. I cannot afford to play every single game in full detail anymore. But definitely the logical approach of dropping the line of engagement and sitting back to invite them forward doesn't really work anymore. They just don't want to attack.

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8 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Exactly. Frankly, getting the ball from these sides takes way too much micromanagement, such as marking and closing down their centrebacks, ect. I cannot afford to play every single game in full detail anymore. But definitely the logical approach of dropping the line of engagement and sitting back to invite them forward doesn't really work anymore. They just don't want to attack.

Exactly my observations from playing like 15 full seasons in the last 3 weeks during pandemic... Thats why I thought focussing on every more pressure and completely locking down AI in its own third may be the reason. Because when I turn to control, drop d-line and loe by one bar, play more passing and patient game thats exactly what the AI wants. That will give them fresh air and you end up just passing the ball around if you have the ball. If you lose, you are lost because the AI will just use its 3 centre backs to pass the ball around, when you attack the CBs they will just pass it sideway to the wingbacks, long ball and get a 1on1 situation with their single striker...

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1 hour ago, goku4 said:

Yeah, I thought about being a bit more conservative, but thats unfortunately not how FM works this year...

I am seeing 50%+ possession against defensive sides. In my season now, I am 32 matches in and I've failed to have more than 50% possession in 1 match. I'm not even conservative - scoring 3.5 goals per match and conceding 0.4 goals per match. That's on Positive Mentality, higher D-Line, higher LoE, extremely urgent pressing and no 'counter' or 'counter-pressing'. 

Why didn't I add these? I never needed to. I tried it during a match once, against a defensive team and found we're endlessly pressing with no result. The team is too conservative and too deep. Rushing with 2 or 3 players after the ball carrier, just opened up easy passing options sideways or back to the keeper. So it was obvious - if it's not working and I can see it isn't - why do it? I still press heavily but a bit later and not mindlessly just after 1 player. I also let my players decide when a counter is on or not because against defensive teams, it isn't always - as they're defensive.

I'm just highlighting an issue that I saw and what I did to 'fix' it and also why I did what I did.

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@goku4 @crusadertsar  Take a step back from agreeing with each other for a moment and understand what @HUNT3R is saying.  He isn't wrong.

Is the AI more challenging this year?  Yes.  Has it gone too far?  I can see an argument both ways but on balance I'd say no.  Others will disagree.  But whatever, it is most certainly not impossible to stop the AI from doing what you're not liking.  The issue with the two setups posted above is that they are practically identical, so if one isn't working the other really isn't much of a Plan B.

So question - why are you using the Attacking mentality all the time?  You can use any Mentality and still press heavily.  You can use any Mentality and still get high possession numbers.  What it comes down to is a combination of Mentality, formation, TIs and the right players in the right roles & duties.  Almost every game I play now in one of my saves is against "defensive" teams and I'm averaging over 60% possession - some matches are over 70% - using a Cruyff inspired 343 formation with no full/wingbacks and the AML/R positions as my only wide players.  That uses either the Cautious, Balanced or Positive Mentalities.  In another save I'm also above 60% possession on average using more "traditional" 4231 & 4123DM formations with the Positive or Attacking Mentalities.

If you want more detail I wrote a thread on it last year.

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When you are endlessly pressing and seeing no results what do you do?

Personally I have two strategies, the first is to draw them out which can sometimes make things worse if they are cautious and are just interested in playing out draws. When I see a double dm system or a back five. I sometimes choose to take the game to them, but differently.

Knowing the options in my system is important. Lately I have been playing a Bayern variant, where I start stretching teams and dragging them all over the place before we start unlocking them.

An example with different setups. Say it’s a 4141 that I am using then, I will go wider, direct and yes go on a lower tempo. Why a lower tempo with direct passing? On direct passing we attempt longer passes, on a wider setting, my players stand further apart. This works to stretch defences as they move from one end to the other. With roaming roles up front and swapping my players take advantage of their traits as different styles of play emerge when they swap positions. So a winger with cut inside and dribbles more could end up playing like an IF in some cases.

When I play my 4231 I have a very aggressive fullback like (A. Davies). I use that position to tear the flank apart them I use overlaps for positional influence so I am higher up the pitch. Then my topside 4 in attack do their runs inside putting teams on the back foot. Teams that play a 532 invariably end with 30% possession regardless of my mentality because I am using roles and duties more aggressively.

 

 

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5 hours ago, goku4 said:

Hi, these two are my tactics to go. Still could not decide which one runs better in long term. I have the impression that the first one is better for putting pressure on the opponent. And yes, you guys are right, I often have games where I only have 40% possession, but heat map shows that the opposition has only played in his own half. Thats the biggest issue for me after having a streak of some good games... I have to learn how to prevent weak opponents to play from the back so comfortably. I have no problems against big teams. Have become winner of the PL in the first year with norwich, beating City, Liverpool, Chelsea etc. away. But lost many points against park the bus teams playing from the back...

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4-1-4-1 is more suited for controlling the game against an evenly matched opponent. In addition to that your 3 attackers have support duty. They need to pin down defenders so at least CF should be on attack duty. Lines of engagment and pressing won't matter if your starting position in the final third is too low against such cautiously playing team. I would also switch formation to 4-2-3-1 because this hole in your AM spot is where theirs DM or holding midfielder have too much space.

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31 minutes ago, bartex55 said:

4-1-4-1 is more suited for controlling the game against an evenly matched opponent. In addition to that your 3 attackers have support duty. They need to pin down defenders so at least CF should be on attack duty. Lines of engagment and pressing won't matter if your starting position in the final third is too low against such cautiously playing team. I would also switch formation to 4-2-3-1 because this hole in your AM spot is where theirs DM or holding midfielder have too much space.

Won't their 1 or 2 DMs just close down the AMC? And how is pinning the defensive opponent back supposed to create more space to attack?

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@goku4- I feel your pain :)

I have a couple bogey teams (Southampton and Bournemouth at the moment) that will play CB ping-pong if you let them. To properly take it to them and get scoring chances, I give up the pretense of playing nice football and instead play beat the video game for 90mins. I might play football for 45mins or sometimes I go from the off. I drop my 433/4123 and go 4213 - the extra 1 is an AMC at the expense of one of DLP/REG/RPM/Mez. Man-mark their preferred passing channel, which means a CB, maybe a couple CMs, and try and funnel them to play out via one of their FBs/WBs on one side. Let them use that route down the side and then close it down via a BWM or just a clued up CM. Heck I'd be happy for them to attack that way, but they're almost never keen to do so.

For an extra bit of umph, I've brought on a WB/CD to play striker to take advantage of their tiring CBs (who they almost never sub and will tire if you keep pressuring them) to try and win the ball. One match he had 2 goals and an assist and didn't come on until the 80th minute. It was funny and got me thinking about converting him to a striker, instead of the WB I want him to be, but it's not particularly gratifying way to play, if I had a 1/2 dozen teams doing that to me each year, it'd really be annoying.

I have a tactic that is wide, less zippy, etc... to "draw them out" and make space, it's a lovely idea but doesn't work against uber-bus-parkers. Juve? Werder Bremen? Sure no prob, works a charm. Premier league relegation fodder? Nope, they are too good for that :-S

Edited by CaptCanuck
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37 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Won't their 1 or 2 DMs just close down the AMC? And how is pinning the defensive opponent back supposed to create more space to attack?

When some people pin them back they also move them sideways and cause all kinds of problems in defence allowing better players to utilize the space created to score goals.  For example when I use my AMC his role  is vital, I want someone moving around like Muller. So if my tactic allows that I really pity the team defending.

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Check their goalkeeper pass stats. When I see them on pace for 60-ish passes in a match then I know what I'm dealing with (average is 30-ish). Some obvious ways to combat this are:

  1. Move players forward in your formation - having 4 players in the ST/AM spots works much better than 3
  2. Team instructions: Press more urgently, get stuck in, prevent GK distribution
  3. Player instructions: Mark tighter, close down more, tackle harder on the ST/AM players
  4. Use a more aggressive mentality
  5. Use attacking roles on your ST/AM players
  6. Use ST/AM players with high work rate, acceleration, pace, tackling, etc. so they can press effectively
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4 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Won't their 1 or 2 DMs just close down the AMC? And how is pinning the defensive opponent back supposed to create more space to attack?

I was talking purely in terms of defensive phase. IMO there should be 2 tactics screens for each phase. But even so I don't really believe in dropping whole formation to create space. At least not against those defensive sides - they will sit deep no matter what. In such cases it's no longer a tactical battle. It's up to individuals. Poacher with great anticipation and flairy attackers do wonders. I think these two attributes are highly underappreciated bearing in mind that most FM players end up being this superior side.

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28 minutes ago, FuturePLManager said:

pressing in FM is just tons of players running at one defender

:applause::applause: perfect, mate

And i can say that EVEN with a much higher DL and attacking mentality, your CB's and FB's still defending very deep. 

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Look at this, it's impossible to achieve this in FM, cause when the opposition advances a little bit on the pitch, my much higher DL drops deep.

 

 

Edited by h3nrique_SEP
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1 hour ago, FuturePLManager said:

Absolutely not, there's a reason why possession is often 70-80% for these teams

That reason is possession is calculated differently in real life vs FM.  Real life possession is number of passes; FM possession is actual time in possession.

 

1 hour ago, FuturePLManager said:

In FM at best you'll get to 55% and often you'll even have to force it by sacrificing attacking intent to not smash the laptop in anger of these unrealistic numbers.

And yet both my elite Premier League side and my League Two side - using the exact same tactic - have the highest average possession and have scored the most goals.  In 90% of those matches I use the Positive mentality.  So whilst you may not get above 55% possession, don't make the mistake that that is as high as it'll ever go.  I'm regularly seeing above 70%, which even matches real life.

 

1 hour ago, FuturePLManager said:

I'm a long time reader on here, but now this subject came up again and again even MODERATORS try to make their customers look like silly people. Is it so hard to admit that pressing just isn't replicated good enough in the game and you'll have to work on it?

What's silly is trying to make an us vs them issue.  Nobody has ever said there is no room for improvement.  There absolutely is.  But this is the Tactics discussion forum and if there are tactical options which could be employed that may help relieve at least some of the issue then that is what will be discussed.  Somebody saying "hey you could try this" is not living in denial about game improvements, but rather they are making tactical suggestions - in the Tactics forum - to try to help.

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How about showing your 70% tactic instead of talking about it? And even if it's achieveable in some way it doesn't change the obvious flaws in the match engine pointed out, nice way to deflect from them though.

It's not about "us vs. them" it's just a pattern that happens all the time and I was seeing time after time even just reading some threads to get some new ideas, with moderators or former moderators like you going after people pointing out legitimate problems.

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The way the AI has these levels of possession is quite simple.

Unless pressing high, the opposition dont take any risk with the ball. With your lines dropped back, the AI passes the ball around the back 4 in straight lines too much.

Youre trying to leave them some space to come forward with the ball, but in reality they dont. So their possession numbers go up.

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1 hour ago, FuturePLManager said:

I'm a long time reader on here, but now this subject came up again and again even MODERATORS try to make their customers look like silly people. Is it so hard to admit that pressing just isn't replicated good enough in the game and you'll have to work on it? There's multiple issues in the game that need to be fixed to make this realistic and there's no ifs or buts about this, so please just admit it and stop acting as if your customers are silly by making suggestions like putting a lower LOE or something against tactics like this.

First of all it needs to be changed how mentality works, or AI managers have to handle it in a different way when being confronted being a big underdog. I don't know how some people on here can have high positions but seem to have never watched a football game. Watch one game of PSG, Bayern, Man City, Liverpool or even Leipzig, whatever you like, against teams that just want to defend against them. Will they EVER have consolidation phases like OP, me and other people that play FM see when playing with teams like that against teams doing that? Absolutely not, there's a reason why possession is often 70-80% for these teams. Even 5th placed Leverkusen in Bundesliga had games with possession north of 80%. In FM at best you'll get to 55% and often you'll even have to force it by sacrificing attacking intent to not smash the laptop in anger of these unrealistic numbers. In FM this often occurs because low mentalities that AI managers select for these games are just based on avoiding all risks as much as possible. Shorter passing, lower tempo etc. etc. by default. Teams just don't play like that. They'll try to find whatever space they can find in transition when having the ball against these teams, taking enormous risks. Which can only be achieved in FM by playing on higher mentalities. Which is the best way to play as an underdog in FM btw against teams with way way way better players yourself. Put a 4-2-3-1 double DM with wide players in RM/LM strata on Positive/Attacking, man mark the attacking full backs and hope for the best. I played with Southampton, Heidenheim and Union Berlin in this FM and you'll constantly overachieve, even winning some games against teams you have no business hanging with and next to never get smashed and if so mostly because of freak goals or set pieces. The problem is that AI managers never play like that. They sit on Cautious/Defend and don't even try to expose your spaces and I'd bet every download tactic etc. would get destroyed if the AI could do that. That'd be something realistic you'd need to figure out - how to build enough pressure and intent forward without getting destroyed on the counter. But now we're talking about how to find ways to stop weak AI teams from just passing the ball around, which is never an issue in real life.

This brings me to the next point. Why is that never ever an issue in real life? I mean if it'd work I bet some managers would be happy about passing the ball around for half the game against the likes of Bayern. Correct, because pressing is just too mighty for that. People said Gegenpress is too good in FM, but pressing in FM is just tons of players running at one defender, leaving everybody else open. Look at the Bayern-Barca game, Bayern can press so aggressive that one of the best Goalkeepers on the ball in Ter Stegen punted it right to a Bayern player countless times, with Barca having no chance to get themselfes out of it. So if Barca can't with Lenglet, Pique, Busquets, why would some mid-table to relegation zone team be able to do it? You can find countless videos of this on Youtube. Within seconds a team's GK and CBs can be forced to play the ball to the wing (where they're also surrounded pretty easily) or having to punt it forward. All these shenanigans with CBs and GK passing the ball around and chilling their life we're talking about here don't ever happen to good teams against weak teams (if they don't want it to happen).

Also an issue as worse as pressing and 1on1s is tackling... You just need brainless pacey players who can then do a maradona, run with the ball the whol pitch and your 150 million euro centre backs and bwm just act like passengers... its awful how any single full back can just run from his own third into my goal... this is absolutely stupid. no matter how brave, how good tackling and marking stats are, its not possible that a full back can constantly take the ball from his own third and run to the other goal. I understand better, why all those tactic creators have all their players on aggressive tackling. there is no other way to can get the ball...

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23 minutes ago, FuturePLManager said:

How about showing your 70% tactic instead of talking about it? And even if it's achieveable in some way it doesn't change the obvious flaws in the match engine pointed out, nice way to deflect from them though.

It's not about "us vs. them" it's just a pattern that happens all the time and I was seeing time after time even just reading some threads to get some new ideas, with moderators or former moderators like you going after people pointing out legitimate problems.

Well, to be fair, I found his argumentation and tactical tips very logical, and the may work for him. But anyway, I think we need to relax a bit, in the end we all want the same thing, a match engine that provides us the best football feeling. Anyway, I can just agree with you. As soon as you lower the LOE and D-LINE by just one bar, so from very high to high, this will end in a disaster. You can have success with it in the beginning of your career, but as soon as you overperform and teams playing with 5 at the back and cautious/defensive, you just invite them to play ping pong in their own half...

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13 minutes ago, FMunderachiever said:

The way the AI has these levels of possession is quite simple.

Unless pressing high, the opposition dont take any risk with the ball. With your lines dropped back, the AI passes the ball around the back 4 in straight lines too much.

Youre trying to leave them some space to come forward with the ball, but in reality they dont. So their possession numbers go up.

Exactly, this is what I mentioned before. Even irl this is not a proper way to crack these teams. These teams are happy with a draw. They play defensively against you because they are scared. If you just drop back a bit to invite them to mistakes, they will just say thank you and play simple risk-free passes. The only way to overcome these teams is by PRESSURE PRESSURE AND PRESSURE. You have to force them to mistakes. But you cant force them to make mistakes by lowering your LOE and D-Line... THis will just take away pressure from them and they will play very relaxed without commiting themselves into dangerous situations.

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23 minutes ago, goku4 said:

Exactly, this is what I mentioned before. Even irl this is not a proper way to crack these teams. These teams are happy with a draw. They play defensively against you because they are scared. If you just drop back a bit to invite them to mistakes, they will just say thank you and play simple risk-free passes. The only way to overcome these teams is by PRESSURE PRESSURE AND PRESSURE. You have to force them to mistakes. But you cant force them to make mistakes by lowering your LOE and D-Line... THis will just take away pressure from them and they will play very relaxed without commiting themselves into dangerous situations.

Agreed. FM ME is getting better on mimicking real life. Soccer is getting boring and repetitive, IMO.
I understand that it can be frustating to people though, but you have to accept that if your team is good you must attack and press. You won't win with Real Madrid by using a Low Block.

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1 hour ago, herne79 said:

That reason is possession is calculated differently in real life vs FM.  Real life possession is number of passes; FM possession is actual time in possession.

May I ask why is this so, have the developers explained their rationale somewhere? Why not make the possession stat reflect how it is calculated IRL and make a separate "time on the ball" stat to indicate what the possession stat is measuring now?

Edited by goranm
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21 minutes ago, goranm said:

Why not make the possession stat reflect how it is calculated IRL

Different sources have different measures, it actually started with a stopwatch a long time ago.  I was actually physically in the tv studio when my executive producer came to me and told me i was in charge of clocking each time a pass was made. It was the most boring job ever. We are talking about the late 80s and early 90s.  And that was how they did possession. 

Today its moved on, but its still a question of time and passes. Now we have flashy companies wanting to give all kinds of interesting stats, but they aren't universally the same. 
 Some agencies use total passes and others use total time spent on the ball.  OPTA and Statzone use different measures and these measures can be different from those that are used by broadcasting centres.  Let's say ESPN or Sky don't want to pay either OPTA or some other agency a fee for these kind of stats, then you could find that the dudes in the studio could be using a timer again. I wouldn't be surprised. When it comes to stats you never trust the stats.

In real life there is no universal method, it depends on who costs less and can give more flashy numbers to those televising the match live. 

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6 hours ago, FuturePLManager said:

How about showing your 70% tactic instead of talking about it? And even if it's achieveable in some way it doesn't change the obvious flaws in the match engine pointed out, nice way to deflect from them though.

It's not about "us vs. them" it's just a pattern that happens all the time and I was seeing time after time even just reading some threads to get some new ideas, with moderators or former moderators like you going after people pointing out legitimate problems.

You're making it 'us vs them' when it isn't. That has to stop.

I've explained what I've done and the reasoning behind it. As Herne said, this isn't about flaws or not. If you have a look at my post - you will also see I highlight the same issue.

17 hours ago, HUNT3R said:

I tried it during a match once, against a defensive team and found we're endlessly pressing with no result. The team is too conservative and too deep. Rushing with 2 or 3 players after the ball carrier, just opened up easy passing options sideways or back to the keeper. So it was obvious - if it's not working and I can see it isn't - why do it? I still press heavily but a bit later and not mindlessly just after 1 player. I also let my players decide when a counter is on or not because against defensive teams, it isn't always - as they're defensive.

All I did was to think about what I was seeing and came up with a tactical solution for my issue. Rashidi has done the same and has 2 ways of handling it. Herne also doesn't appear to struggle for possession or breaking these teams down either. Herne plays with even less intensity (defensively speaking) than I do. Rashidi sounds like his 2 strategies also differ from ours. I'm not saying my way is correct. I'm saying - this is what I saw and what I did. That's all. As you can see, others have come up with other ways of doing it too.

I can't speak for them, but I must highlight that it's not my tactics (and I've posted this before) that is the star here, but the players instead. Some of their player traits especially help to give me a bit of a different edge to the tactic. Other times they just come up with brilliant passages of play and I can't give my tactics all the credit.

Herne has posted his setup before: 

I've posted mine too. The first (same formation as the OP here) was used against everyone, but I didn't have issues in general with breaking teams down. The second, I'm still using now after 3 league wins and a CL win. With more defensive teams than ever, I just broke points and goal records. Mine was posted here and Herne's also in that thread as well:

 

6 hours ago, goku4 said:

As soon as you lower the LOE and D-LINE by just one bar, so from very high to high, this will end in a disaster. You can have success with it in the beginning of your career

Have a look at what I posted. Don't assume this is the case for every setup and every situation. Both my tactics worked for me, one Balanced, standard D-Line and higher LoE and the other Positive, Higher D-Line and Higher LoE. I over achieved every season and I've been at the club for 8 seasons now. It's possible to have something that works other than just being insanely aggressive. In the last 3 seasons, I've won the league every time and won the CL in the 2nd of those 3 seasons. After the CL win, I faced even more defensive teams, but my goal scoring has gone way up and defensively we're very good too. Sometimes the wins are ugly. Sometimes I have to force it a bit. Sometimes a substitution or two swing things more in my favour. Etc. It's not just about a starting tactic, for me anyway. The players I choose going into that match is the most important thing for the way I'm playing now. Then, changes in matches can help gain points you would have otherwise lost. Things don't always go to plan. In those matches, come up with a solution or have a plan B etc.

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12 minutes ago, HUNT3R said:

All I did was to think about what I was seeing and came up with a tactical solution for my issue.

I'm likely misunderstanding something, but how are your linked examples a solution? As I understand the issue, it is not to just break down the opponent, but to break them down and retain high possession. Herne is comfortably winning those games but still has low possession, as low as 34%.

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12 minutes ago, goranm said:

I'm likely misunderstanding something, but how are your linked examples a solution?

I'm not counter-pressing or using the most extreme pressing settings, as I said. I've posted this higher up with the reasoning behind it and why in my opinion, it's a good idea.

Quote

but to break them down and retain high possession.

I have the 2nd most possession in the league at 55% and I've only had 1 match against a defensive side that went under 50%. It could be better, but I'm not aiming for super high numbers. I am aiming for efficiency when I have possession.

Defensively, I don't want my players endlessly chasing the same 2 or 3 players without result.

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Also this talk about how possession is measured is a total non-issue and another way trying to deflect from the real issues, at least so it seems. If the game would show 50/50 but the pass numbers would be accurate I couldn't care less, but it's not the case.

qWLBKSB.jpg

PSG has 378 passes, Montpellier 680. Never will happen like that EVER.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, goranm said:

I'm likely misunderstanding something, but how are your linked examples a solution? As I understand the issue, it is not to just break down the opponent, but to break them down and retain high possession. Herne is comfortably winning those games but still has low possession, as low as 34%.

In terms of breaking defensive team I think being patient is important.Usually I manically tweaked roles/duties/TIs if I didn't score before 30 minutes.But for the last two seasons I changed the panic time to around 60 minutes (that is 60 minutes before any changes in tactics ).That has been actually been beneficial because in tight matches the opening goals has been scored around the 60-70 minute mark.And this is my personal opinion that the ME doesn't always reward you from open play,so accept these set piece goals as well.

In terms of having high possession that has been a bit random for me.High DL & LOE with high pressing hasn't always resulted in high possession.But IMHO the ME takes into account a lot of things in terms of possession ( both teams formation,mentality,LOE & DL,player attributes etc ).It's not as organic as real life football so doesn't always represent real life football accurately.So better not to worry about it.( Again,it's only my opinion and I could be wrong so there's that...) 

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7 hours ago, FuturePLManager said:

How about showing your 70% tactic instead of talking about it?

 

40 minutes ago, FuturePLManager said:

I'm asking this herne guy to provide his tactic with regularly over 70%

Way ahead of you.  Check the tactic guides thread pinned to the top of the forum, you'll find some guides I've written there.  The exact same principles still apply for FM20 and are what I continue to use now.

8 hours ago, FuturePLManager said:

And even if it's achieveable in some way it doesn't change the obvious flaws in the match engine pointed out, nice way to deflect from them though.

I'll try once more.  This isn't about deflecting from an ME issue or even denying that there is an issue.  This is the Tactics forum.  It's a forum where people go if they want tactical help.  If somebody then offers tactical advice that is not the same thing as deflecting from an ME issue or even denying there may be one.

Can the AI be improved?  Yup.  Can the ME be improved?  Yup.  Are there tactical discussions which can be had which may help to at least partially relieve issues people are having?  Yup again.  And that's the entire point of this forum - to have tactical discussions without just simply bemoaning ME and AI shortcomings.  Everyone acknowledges there are issues however that doesn't stop tactical discussion.

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I've found the way to counter this is to be less aggressive off the ball against defensive opposition.

What I've done in my 4-1-2-3 Wide is that instead of running down the opposition defenders at the first opportunity I set up a pressing trap.

I make my front 3 tightly man mark the defenders in their 'zone' (STC - DCR or DCL, AMR - DL, AML - DR) which usually leaves a man spare for them. That spare man usually gets the ball and then he is given 2 choices.

1 - He can try and play it to a marked man in his defence greatly increasing the risk we can intercept and win possession. If the attempted pass does reach the marked defender then we are able to exert pressure on him having a player in close proximity.

OR

2- Failing that the spare man can attempt a long pass where I have an aggressive pair of central midfielders which are set to close down more to compete for it or if it's a longer pass my defenders can compete for it.

Either option usually results in my team turning over possession and leads to 70%+ possession against teams that are set up defensively.

I think you have also made an error in only considering the off the ball instructions when attempting to construct a 'possession' based tactic. Just as important is what you do with the ball once you recover it. Both the tactics you posted aren't designed to keep possession in my opinion and very likely what is happening is that on winning back possession you are gifting the ball back to the opposition which is inflating their possession statistics.

You are playing an attacking mentality which is a do or die brand of football in my view which I personally wouldn't choose when trying to create a possession based style. If I'm trying to get my players to recycle the ball and opt for the safer pass to keep possession then I don't want them having a hell for leather mentality. You then compound this further by playing a whole bunch of players in roles which are designed to take risks with their passing while also using the 'Pass Into Space' TI which instructs everyone to take risks with their passing.

In my save game, I'm pretty much facing parked buses all the time. I know the temptation is to get into their faces but actually that can prove counter productive.

Finally, why would you use the Bayern - Barcelona game as an example? Even though the scoreline would suggest otherwise both teams are actually fairly evenly matched and it's not an example of a team set up defensively against a high pressing opponent. If it were say Atletico Madrid playing against Bayern, do you think they would have attempted to play out from the back in the same way that Barcelona did?

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5 minutes ago, pheelf said:

 

Finally, why would you use the Bayern - Barcelona game as an example? Even though the scoreline would suggest otherwise both teams are actually fairly evenly matched and it's not an example of a team set up to defensively against a high pressing opponent. If it were say Atletico Madrid playing against Bayern, do you think they would have attempted to play out from the back in the same way that Barcelona did?

I used Barcelona because it shows that you can even press and force a team with one of the best ball playing Goalkeepers and CBs like Lenglet and Pique with Busquets in front into punting the ball long all the time in real life, but in FM you can't even stop people terrible on the ball from circulating it around how they want. Should be pretty easy to understand.

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35 minutes ago, FuturePLManager said:

You say you have a tactic with 70% possession but instead of showing it to give some real input to the conversation you're rambling about year old guides that haven't worked before and won't work now.

 

25 minutes ago, FuturePLManager said:

Should be pretty easy to understand.

You're just a troll looking for an argument.  Believe whatever you like but until you put away the attitude and start actually listening people you'll continue to have problems.

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2 hours ago, FuturePLManager said:

Also this talk about how possession is measured is a total non-issue and another way trying to deflect from the real issues, at least so it seems. If the game would show 50/50 but the pass numbers would be accurate I couldn't care less, but it's not the case.

qWLBKSB.jpg

PSG has 378 passes, Montpellier 680. Never will happen like that EVER.

 

 

Why don't YOU show us your tactic? It's a very real possibility that it's simply unsuitable for your intents and purposes. Based on those stats, it's yet another attacking high pressing tactic full of playmaker types without any real presence in the box.

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1 minute ago, FuturePLManager said:

I used Barcelona because it shows that you can even press and force a team with one of the best ball playing Goalkeepers and CBs like Lenglet and Pique with Busquets in front into punting the ball long all the time in real life, but in FM you can't even stop people terrible on the ball from circulating it around how they want. Should be pretty easy to understand.

That has entirely missed the point of what I wrote. The high pressing that worked against Barcelona was because when they had the ball they had attacking intentions and came forward (especially their fullbacks who both had terrible games) leaving space for Bayern to attack once they successfully counter pressed. That is entirely different to a team which is hoping to see out a 0-0 draw that has no attacking intent what so ever.

I've just given an example of how I go about constructing a tactic (and others have done so too) that makes it possible for me to dominate possession against such defensive teams and also as a consequence prevent them from endlessly playing the ball around at the back. If you choose to ignore that then I don't know how this discussion actually moves forward.

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It's a little bit back & forth at this time and it derails from the OP's question. Let's keep focus, please.

We all want the same thing. Let's just cool off & find solutions. 

To me this is an interesting topic. I understand people's frustration. We, admittedly, never liked the FM19 ME, initial, but what it gave us was an AI that allowed us to press them out but was difficult to break. So even if you had a "bad" tactic, Montpellier shouldn't be dominating somebody even if the possession stats are calculated differently. Let's even say he drops the "LOE" a bit, it makes no sense that Montpellier still get more passes off, over the course of 90+ minutes. So, yeah, i understand. Especially cause i record low(34-38%), because I'm a higher mentality guy.

However i still see some of Mod's points. It's a tactical Forum. The tactics you have have consistently given you problems. They'll offer "play around" solutions to help better situations, pending a change in ME. I don't mind debating them, cause i do recognize their lack of courtesy, sometimes. But we have to be objects in looking for solutions, so if they offer something that is FM logical, why not just listen for a bit.

I agree with some points highlighted. The issue really is with the ME. Think they bypass our early press, easily. Girona building up from the back is ridiculous. The features added to the game(play to CB, that forces your CB to come into the box) is a cheat code that only the users should be able to mximize. The SI have to revert back to long balls, so we can capitalize. That's how small teams play. 

But moving forward, let's be more construction in our debates, please.

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On 17/08/2020 at 02:00, goku4 said:

Since when does playing absolute antifootball cause such a high possession stat?

The problem lies in how Mentalities are designed. In theory, Cautious or Defensive should indeed result in "anti football", but in FM they really don't. 

  1. Low-risk Mentalities look for passes rather than safety-first clearances way too often. In real life, you will not see lesser teams passing at the back when under any sort of pressure, defenders will simply clear the ball, because that way there's no chance of them getting caught in possession close to goal. Not the case in FM, defenders will all too happily turn back and pass the ball to a goalkeeper or another defender, racking up a hundred passes during the course of the match, which means low-risk mentalities effectively have no penalty to them.
  2. The way pressing works, players never close down passing lanes, instead they run directly towards the ball, vacating their area and leaving a passing option open. Even with top-heavy formations, that can result in some really wonky-looking pressing, with players chasing the ball like headless chickens and outside of opposition getting caught in possession, they can often still play out of defence without too many issues.

That is why in FM it's way too easy to create a tactic that will keep all the possession in the world, even with subpar players. That's very simple to try out, pick a heavy-underdog predicted to get pumped in every match, create a bottom-heavy formation like a 4-1-4-1, select low-risk roles (w/o Dribble More, Take More Risks or similar), use Cautious or lower Mentality and your possession numbers will be through the roof. Doesn't matter if inside your half or not, the fact any team can pass it at the back like prime Barcelona, is a real problem. You will easily see 60-70% of possession and survive comfortably.

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