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Requiring some general tactical advice please


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I'll try keep scenario as brief as possible. Since I've been playing FM Touch (actually played FM10 for 9 years before finally giving up and fully focusing on touch, the rest of the touch games I couldn't get into as I found them too hard) I decided to throw everything into FMT 20. As Ipswich in League One, 2nd season, I actually got promoted via playoffs despite being expected to finish 6th or 7th. Massive achievement for me personally. In championship however I am massive favourite for relegation, and the board know it. We actually started much better than expected, but now, halfway through season we are on a bad run of 14 defeats and 3 wins in last 17 League fixtures, and now sit next to bottom. I've actually had 2 championship job offers from bigger clubs in recent weeks, which suggests I'm still doing better than expected. But I do have some general questions.

In my time before Touch, I never really had a tactical plan. I bought good players with good attributes in key areas. Good tacklers in defence, good passers in midfield, pacey wingers and strikers with good finishing. This was a very basic way of playing, but it always brought me results. At the time it didn't teach me to be better as it was successful for me, but now I'm suffering from this all these years on. Now I don't have much idea of a sort of style I want my team to play like. A team in my position should look at playing deep, keeping it tight, and playing on the counter (I think that's right?). However, when I try to play that way in this ME I get slaughtered, I concede so many chances yet create barely anything. That is until I go high press and gung ho in the last few minutes, where I usually sneak a goal or 2 and get back in the game. Someone on this forum said high press and 442 all the way in this version, but I'm just scared to play that way constantly as I am the weakest team in the division and feel teams will catch on. What way do you guys think a team in my position should play in this version? Are defensive setups effective this year? Especially considering I'm a very weak team? I know it's a bit more awkward without seeing my team, but trust me it's definitely weaker than every other team. I do pretty much insist on 442 formation though. I will ask more questions if this thread develops. I hope it's not bored you, so please, any replies appreciated. I desperately want to do well here at Ipswich (after Barnsley sacked me in first season).

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8 minutes ago, sm1979 said:

A team in my position should look at playing deep, keeping it tight, and playing on the counter (I think that's right?). However, when I try to play that way in this ME I get slaughtered, I concede so many chances yet create barely anything

Post a screenshot of your tactic so that we could see what kind of mistakes you are potentially making in an attempt to play that (defensive/counter-attacking) style of football. That's the easiest and most efficient way to get proper tactical help and advice. 

 

11 minutes ago, sm1979 said:

I do pretty much insist on 442 formation though

Nothing wrong with the 442 per se, and it generally suits counter-attacking football (and more direct styles in general), but I still have to ask why do you insist? What if some other formation might suit your players much better? 

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8 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Post a screenshot of your tactic so that we could see what kind of mistakes you are potentially making in an attempt to play that (defensive/counter-attacking) style of football. That's the easiest and most efficient way to get proper tactical help and advice. 

 

Nothing wrong with the 442 per se, and it generally suits counter-attacking football (and more direct styles in general), but I still have to ask why do you insist? What if some other formation might suit your players much better? 

I'm not at the computer right now but will be able to post this tomorrow evening. However, the 2nd point on the formation is that is one thing I do t really want to budge on. It's a tried and tested formation that has stuck in football for years, and for me offers the most balance out of any other. I like playing with wingers, although in my team I do have the left as in inverted winger, due to him being right footed.

Off the top of my head, basically this is my team roles.

Sweeper Keeper - defend

RWB - defend

CB - defend

CB - defend

LFB - defend

RW - attack

BWM - defend (previously I used B2B in this position)

DLP - support

LIW - support

F9 -support (would prefer DLF sup, but my player suits F9 better, and he's been playing well of late)

AF - attack

When playing against much better teams I play defensive or cautious, most items on default, but to play down both flanks. As I say, I will post screenshots tomorrow night. I do appreciate how quickly you've got back to me and looking to offer advice, so thank you so much mate.

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1 hour ago, sm1979 said:

I like playing with wingers, although in my team I do have the left as in inverted winger, due to him being right footed

The fact that he is right-footed does not mean that you cannot play him as a standard winger on the left. In fact, that can make him a sort of hybrid between a winger and IW, which can bring some interesting dynamic into play. 

 

1 hour ago, sm1979 said:

When playing against much better teams I play defensive or cautious

This is a common misconception many FM players are misled by. Because defensive solidity is not (primarily) about the (low) mentality. Instead, it is much more about good compactness (the distance between DL and LOE) and a well-balanced setup of roles and duties. Mentality is of secondary importance here. 

Btw, which mentality do you use against other teams? I guess Balanced... or perhaps something else?

 

1 hour ago, sm1979 said:

but to play down both flanks

Why? 

 

1 hour ago, sm1979 said:

weeper Keeper - defend

RWB - defend

CB - defend

CB - defend

LFB - defend

RW - attack

BWM - defend (previously I used B2B in this position)

DLP - support

LIW - support

F9 -support (would prefer DLF sup, but my player suits F9 better, and he's been playing well of late)

AF - attack

So your setup looks like this:

AF     F9

IWsu     DLPsu    BWMde     Wat

FBde      CDde    CDde     WBde

SKde

Correct or not? 

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7 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

The fact that he is right-footed does not mean that you cannot play him as a standard winger on the left. In fact, that can make him a sort of hybrid between a winger and IW, which can bring some interesting dynamic into play. 

 

This is a common misconception many FM players are misled by. Because defensive solidity is not (primarily) about the (low) mentality. Instead, it is much more about good compactness (the distance between DL and LOE) and a well-balanced setup of roles and duties. Mentality is of secondary importance here. 

Btw, which mentality do you use against other teams? I guess Balanced... or perhaps something else?

 

Why? 

 

So your setup looks like this:

AF     F9

IWsu     DLPsu    BWMde     Wat

FBde      CDde    CDde     WBde

SKde

Correct or not? 

I do like to play the inverted winger because due to his stats I don't see him as a natural winger, I think he's more dangerous cutting in.

Against other teams I use positive mainly and I have to say it does quite often work, but I change it up as I don't want to get torn apart by the much better sides, and also I don't want the opposition getting used to me playing the same all the time.

I play down both flanks to give me width. Most teams i come up against either have 3 in midfield and outnumber me, or quite simply that they are a much higher quality 2 than mine, so I feel like I can get much more success from the flanks. My WBd supports my Wa down the right, and my FBa gets down the left flank and is effectively my winger with my IWs moving inside often. You'll notice I say FBa as I cocked up when telling u my team roles, left full back is usually on attack duty, not defend. Apart from that, that's exactly right the setup you've shown mate.

 

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5 hours ago, sm1979 said:

Against other teams I use positive mainly and I have to say it does quite often work, but I change it up as I don't want to get torn apart by the much better sides

As I already said, a mentality change alone does not make you (more) solid defensively. Likewise, a higher mentality does not automatically make you more dangerous in attack. 

 

5 hours ago, sm1979 said:

left full back is usually on attack duty, not defend

Well, that definitely makes more sense (considering the roles in front of him) :thup: 

However, the right flank looks problematic to me. The attacking winger seems to have insufficient support, given that both his fullback and BWM are on defend duties. 

All in all, I would probably not change too much in your tactic, but a couple of tweaks would definitely have to be made.

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

As I already said, a mentality change alone does not make you (more) solid defensively. Likewise, a higher mentality does not automatically make you more dangerous in attack. 

 

Well, that definitely makes more sense (considering the roles in front of him) :thup: 

However, the right flank looks problematic to me. The attacking winger seems to have insufficient support, given that both his fullback and BWM are on defend duties. 

All in all, I would probably not change too much in your tactic, but a couple of tweaks would definitely have to be made.

It's surprising actually down the right flank as I do have my WBd to overlap on the team instructions, and that really does seem to work. Despite being on a defensive strategy he gets forward and beyond my Wa quite often.

So playing on a positive mentality I could actually tweak things to defend better too? Will try out a few things tonight regarding that. Making things more compact may really help?

Is it a good idea to have multiple tactics setup too and switch between 2 or 3 depending on the opposition? Are you against changing formation too, or does it not matter as I'm playing Touch? Cheers

 

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7 hours ago, sm1979 said:

It's surprising actually down the right flank as I do have my WBd to overlap on the team instructions, and that really does seem to work

Well, you did not mention the overlap instruction when you were describing the tactic. 

 

7 hours ago, sm1979 said:

So playing on a positive mentality I could actually tweak things to defend better too?

 

7 hours ago, sm1979 said:

Making things more compact may really help?

The short answer is - yes. But only if you treat tactical elements as interactive parts of an integrated whole. However, if you view them in isolation, you are highly likely to struggle. Anyway, the first thing you need to do is define your style of play and make sure it suits your players. Also keep in mind that being an underdog does not necessarily mean that you must play defensive football. 

 

7 hours ago, sm1979 said:

Is it a good idea to have multiple tactics setup too and switch between 2 or 3 depending on the opposition?

Different people have different approaches on this, and none is inherently either right or wrong. My personal approach is that if I use more than one tactic, they should be pretty similar. Very often the only difference between my tactics is the LOE or/and D-line. 

 

7 hours ago, sm1979 said:

Are you against changing formation too, or does it not matter as I'm playing Touch?

I have never played Touch, so really don't know anything about that version of FM. But when it comes to changing formations (i.e. switching between them) - even if I use more than one, I always make sure they are analogous. Basically the same principle as with multiple tactics (see above). 

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On 11/09/2020 at 23:12, Experienced Defender said:
On 11/09/2020 at 23:12, Experienced Defender said:

 

 

On 11/09/2020 at 23:12, Experienced Defender said:

Well, you did not mention the overlap instruction when you were describing the tactic. 

Sorry, it was all off the top of my head.

On 11/09/2020 at 23:12, Experienced Defender said:

The short answer is - yes. But only if you treat tactical elements as interactive parts of an integrated whole.

ERM.... What? I only understand English haha.

On 11/09/2020 at 23:12, Experienced Defender said:

I have never played Touch, so really don't know anything about that version of FM.

I was merely talking about not having to worry about the tactical familiarity side of things. As that isn't in FMT then I just wondered if changing formations willy nilly would go against me.

On 11/09/2020 at 23:12, Experienced Defender said:

analogous

Have you swallowed a thesaurus? I've never encountered that word in all my years haha.

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15 minutes ago, sm1979 said:

ERM.... What? I only understand English haha

Well, that is English. I really don't know which particular part you did not understand? 

 

15 minutes ago, sm1979 said:

Have you swallowed a thesaurus? I've never encountered that word in all my years haha

Then i seriously doubt that you are a native English speaker.

Analogous = similar = corresponding = comparable 

For example, formations analogous to the 442 include: 4411, 4222 dm wide, 424, 42dm4, 4132 wide. The flat 4141 can also be considered somewhat analogous to the 442. As well as the wide 442 diamond.

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