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Why can't I score with Spurs?


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First, a disclaimer. I created this account to post this because I just downloaded FM20 on sale and it's my first time playing a FM game since 17. I understand changes are made each year to improve gameplay and realism and appreciate that. If my post offends some of the more advanced players out here I apologize.  

I'm in my second season of my Spurs save. My first season went pretty well, finishing 3rd in the league, making the CL quarterfinals, and Harry Kane winning top scorer.  However, my second season has been frustrating, as I'm almost into October and can't seem to score more than 1 goal per match.  No matter what happens, every match so far has finished 1-0, 1-1, or 0-0.  You name it, it's happened.  Opposing goal keepers having the game of their lives against me, wingers shooting it right into the net, Harry Kane passing it to the goalkeeper on his shots, teammates blocking each other in the box, red cards when I'm up 1-0 and dominating, doesn't matter.  Not just in the league, but in Europe and Cup competitions against lesser opponents. I'm still getting good results and haven't lost yet, but my board is getting upset for not playing the attacking style I promised in their vision and not beating opponents by higher margins.  

I'm attaching my basic tactics for your critique, and am open to all suggestions. I'm also attaching a screenshot from the Arsenal match which finished 1-1 despite... those shot statistics. Sadly I wish I could say that was an aberration. 

How can I improve my tactics to score more and satisfy my board (and not be clenching my fists as we enter the 80th minute up 1-0)? Is it a training issue more than a tactical one? Or am I just getting "footballed"? 

Thanks for any help! 

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Edited by COYFCC
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If it was me personally:

 

I would look at the forward roles. By that I mean Kane, VDB, Son & Moura. For me you are playing with 2 wingers who will naturally stay wider than other roles in the game and cross more. Who are they crossing to? Looking at Kane and VDB's roles you will likely only have Kane in the box, and even then, because he is on a DLF(S) duty even he won't be in there all the time - the role will want him to drop deeper.

I can also see a conflict with VBD and Kane's roles. As mentioned above Kane will want to drop deeper than some other roles and I think he will encroach onto VDB's position.

Personally I would switch Kane to maybe an Adv Forward. I like Pressing forwards but not sure how suited to that role Kane is, and as he is Spurs best player, for me you want to get the best out of him. I would leave VBD on AP(S) and alter Son to an IW. Try support or attack, you may find that each works better in different circumstances.

I would also look at Lo Celso's role. I don't often play 4-2-3-1, but for me an Advanced PM in that role, with another one just in front of him is overkill. With your set up you have 3 playmakers, it is just too much imo. I would look to change Lo Celso's role to maybe a BBM or even a standard central midfielder - you can change the duty depending on the situation. With that many playmakers, they all want the ball, yet none of them are really making forward runs to help the offence out.

As for the TI's. I would look to remove Work into Box. I would also turn the tempo down one notch so you are not rushing the play too much. 

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There are so many things about this to balance.

At first, using 3 playmakers on the same area is not a good choice. Also they are not so much different from each other.

There is no one stretching play on central attack. DLFs doesn't attack spaces. Behind him an APs does not too. 

WBd behind a DLPs; there is no need to use a defend duty behind a holding midfielder.

WBa behind an APa; this brings too many defensive problems on the left.

2 BPDs at the same time don't give enough conservativeness on bringing the ball out of defence.

 

I suggest these changes for a more balanced and sound tactic:

  • Changing APa in a more balanced role like a CMs.
  • WBa to a WBs to balance that side's offence and defence with a more balanced CM role.
  • Ws Son more suits an IFa role then anybody else in this team.
  • DLPs to a DLPd / CMd / BWMd which suits him well. This is for defensive balancing.
  • WBd to a FBa or a more attack minded WBa.
  • Wa to a Ws or an IWs if he has quality.
  • I know Kane is a Complete Forward in real life. He does everything for his team to get the win. DLFs to a CFa is a better choice for him.
  • Changing 1 BPD to a CB to balance the risky passing. I suggest using a BPD not behind a Playmaker.
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Some points I'd like to stress: 

  1. You're using TI's play out of defense, shorter passing, work ball into box but in your roles you're using wingers who like to do the opposite - pump crosses into the box
  2. Those wingers actually don't have anyone to cross to, because a DLF drops deep and there are no central midfielders penetrating into the box because they are all playmakers
  3. All those playmakers will just constantly pass the ball to each other without anyone actually attacking spaces for them to create something
  4. Don't look at the green circles to determine your player roles, but look at their attributes and what kind of role you need in your team
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If your playing attacking mentality without toning it down then attacks will be over very quickly.  With a DLF-Su, and 3 playmakers there isnt really any urgency to get into the box.  I guess the winger gets it wide and tries to cross which will then rely on Kanes amazing ability rather than anything else.

Your left flank is wide open with WB-At and AP-At.  I'd rather have a holding player with the DLP then let the AM and ST get into box as DLF-At and AM-Su or DLF-Su and AM/SS/TQ-At combo.

Attacking plus shorter passing is still quite fast, I'm not sure higher tempo is needed, especially with so few attack duties looking to attack quickly.

You could use multiple playmakers but I'd want shorter+slower style so they keep possession whilst drawing defenders out of position.  I'd also want more varied positioning of them so not all central.

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You finished 3rd in the league playing with that tactic? :applause:I'm impressed 

The other posts pretty much have you covered

An attacking duty in the CM slot should be 4-2-3-1 footballing suicide, I'm surprised you didn't have trouble shipping goals   

 

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18 hours ago, COYFCC said:

If my post offends some of the more advanced players out here I apologize

There is nothing offensive in your post, so there is no need to apologize :thup: 

Now, let's take a look at your tactic and potential issues/flaws:

- a CM on attack duty (APat in your setup) is a tactical no-no in a top-heavy system such as 4231

- the left flank/side is very exposed defensively (in large part due to the aforementioned attacking CM role. i.e. no defensive cover for the attacking wing-back)

- your aggressive out-of-possession instructions further contribute to this defensive vulnerability

- having as many as 3 playmakers in such a close vicinity usually leads to tactical overkill (there are exceptions though where it can make some sense, but your tactic is not one of these)

- the left flank is very crossing-heavy (with a winger and attacking WB), which is inconsistent with the rest of your tactic (especially with at least 2 of your in-possession instructions)

- the right flank may lack support in the later stage of attacking play because you have 2 conservative and holding roles behind the attacking winger (WBde and DLP)

Therefore, your left flank is overly vulnerable defense-wise, whereas the right one is overly conservative attacking-wise.

Now, the key question you need to answer is what style of play do you want to implement? Because only when I know that, I'll be able to offer more specific advice on what you need to change in your tactic to achieve such playing style.

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Now, the key question you need to answer is what style of play do you want to implement? Because only when I know that, I'll be able to offer more specific advice on what you need to change in your tactic to achieve such playing style.

This... What style you want to play. 

You really should make a thread with a tutorial + Q&A about styles of play and what formations, Ti's and players roles/duties fit better in that specific style. 

For example i want to defend deep and launch quick attacks... OK, for that the best formations are this and that, and you should go with this kind of Ti's, and so on. 

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31 minutes ago, Keyzer Soze said:

This... What style you want to play. 

You really should make a thread with a tutorial + Q&A about styles of play and what formations, Ti's and players roles/duties fit better in that specific style. 

For example i want to defend deep and launch quick attacks... OK, for that the best formations are this and that, and you should go with this kind of Ti's, and so on. 

Well, I already created a topic on role and duty combinations per your request, and it has received some (fairly justified) criticism. So I am sort of reluctant to do the same kind of thing again. 

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23 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Well, I already created a topic on role and duty combinations per your request, and it has received some (fairly justified) criticism. So I am sort of reluctant to do the same kind of thing again. 

OK, understand... Although I don't quite understand the criticism that the thread received. 

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